Valis Returns

Wow, they're making a new Valis game! Remember Valis, the 16-bit action series about a schoolgirl named Yuko turning into an anime version of She-Ra and saving an alternate dimension several times over? Yeah, the games are mostly average, but they were fun back in the days of the Genesis and TurboGrafx, when we could be entranced by a plucky female warrior, decent Castlevania-style play mechanics, and cinema sequences that used "amazing CD technology" to mimic those then-novel Japanese cartoons.

The series quietly died around 1993, but now we have Valis X (or Valis Cross, as it's pronounced) for the Japanese PC. Here's the official website.

It's ALREADY better than the Famicom version of Valis or that shitty SNES port of Valis IV.

I don't remember the original games showing Yuko with quite such large breasts or an expression that mixed drugged stupefaction with a dawning sense of terror. Still, this is an official Valis title—there's the Telenet copyright in the corner—so we should be interested. Let's look at the screenshots and see just what sort of game this is.

Back in 1991 we told you that you couldn't trust Cham because she was from the Dark World, Yuko. But did you listen? NNNNNNOOOOO-OHHHHH.

Fabulous secret powers were revealed to Yuko the day she RAMMED A SWORD UP HER VAGINA.

That's Reiko on top. In the first Valis game, Reiko ran off with an older man who turned out to be a demon warlord from another world. I would suggest that this was subtle commentary on the trend of Japanese schoolgirls whoring themselves out to dirty middle-aged businessmen for cell phones and shoes, but I'm not Tim Rogers.

Yes, it's a lesbian porn game. A lesbian porn Valis game. I'd make some joke about Philip K. Dick spinning in his grave, but he never had anything to do with the Valis games in the first place. Besides, he might have even endorsed lesbian anime sex in his unhinged later years.

This sort of thing turns up all the time in unlicensed gaming subcultures, where you can find just about any porn based on just about any game. It's truly rare, though, for a company to put out fully authorized smut about their most recognizable character, and that's precisely what's happening here. Telenet was a major Japanese game developer during the early ‘90s, but the days of Valis, Cosmic Fantasy, El Viento, and all those shooters are long gone. Like a film director with no career left, Telenet's doing porn. And so is Yuko, whether she likes it or not.

That's the disturbing thing about this: Yuko doesn't seem to be enjoying it at all. If she was going about things with a huge orgiastic grin on her face, there'd be far less cause for offense. But no. We can't have harmless, consensual lesbian stuff, because Japanese porn-gamers won't buy it unless a woman is cringing, blushing, sobbing, or dying.

Telenet's actually endorsed a series of Valis X games, with four more titles that focus on other characters like Cham, Valna, and Yuko's stupid classmate Reiko getting sapphic with each other. Telenet also has the temerity to charge about $25 for every game, and they're download-only. You don't even get a DVD copy with special-edition packaging, which would come in handy when you wanted people to leave your apartment. The upside? Someone might swipe the games and slap them into a torrent for all the Internet to see. And though I normally don't promote that sort of overt thievery, people shouldn't pay money for something like Valis X, because that'll just encourage more of it.


Well, that settles it.

At game shops across Japan, social retards and vapid schoolgirls alike are standing in line for the next available shipment of Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. At every Gamestop and EB Games and doomed mom-and-pop gaming store across America, clerks are shoveling through piles of newly traded-in DS systems. At Nintendo's headquarters in Redmond, Reggie Fils-Aime is sitting dejectedly behind his desk with tears rolling down his face and bouncing off his enormous chin. The PSP has won.