For this week and next, we’ll be looking at Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume here on Strategy Session. This latest incarnation of the series can get devilishly complicated, particularly late in the game, so we’re going to be starting off slow. We’ll start with some basic tactics, such as the Formation system and the recurring importance of revive skills and items in the Valkyrie Profile series.
Probably the most basic system to be found in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, but also one of the most essential, the Formation system grants some pretty impressive bonuses. There are a variety of bonuses granted by Formations, including increased number of attacks and up to a 100% increase to the item drop rate, but the 40% boost to the special attack gauge is perhaps the most significant. Soul Crush attacks tend to recover only around 40% of the gauge on their own, making it extremely tough to link more than two or three Soul Crushes together. By using the Formation system, players can start using Soul Crushes much earlier, and use the remaining attacks to link the third and fourth Soul Crushes together. This level of damage output is more or less essential in the later stages of play, where high-powered enemies will need to be removed before they have a chance to counterattack. So the best piece of advice I have to offer here is simple; stop attacking when you get to 100, link as many Soul Crushes as you can, and then go for your remaining attacks.
This leads nicely into our second point; the importance of revive. Being able to quickly and easily recover your characters from death is essential in Covenant of the Plume, especially late in the game when enemy damage quickly outpaces your ability to recover your characters. There are two ways to return fallen allies to the land of the living; the Union Plume, a fairly expensive item available in almost every shop, and Invoke Feather, a spell available only to mages. Both come with their own drawbacks and advantages, but the main usefulness of the Union Plume is the fact that its AP cost is slightly lower than Invoke Feather — 30 AP as opposed to 40 for Invoke Feather — and that it can be used by anyone. The Union Plume’s usefulness is limited by its Oth cost, a significant issue early in the game when money is scarce. Invoke Feather’s primary advantage springs from the unlimited number of times it can be used. Other than that, Invoke Feather is not terribly useful, since money is less of an issue by the time it becomes available. Still, it can be useful in unexpectedly difficult fights. On the whole, it isn’t a bad idea to carry both means of resurrection, particularly late in the game where running headlong into certain death can actually be a useful tactic.
And that’s about it for this week’s primer. Next week, we’ll be talking about the more adaptable parts of the combat system, such as the various character classes you can pick up on your trek through the game, as well as a few of the more useful and overpowering skills, both Sacrificial and non.