Hey, Dave, remember XSEED? They were that company that brought this and this to America, then kinda went silent for like six or seven months. Then, when you were asleep, those guys walked in your room, fired a gun into the air and were like “Surprise, byatch! We’re publishing Valhalla Knights!” The look on your face was priceless.

Heath Hindman, RPGLand.comWell hello again. Good to have you back. Please introduce yourself for those who may not know you?
Ken Berry, XSEED GamesMy name is Ken Berry with XSEED Games and I’m the localization producer for Valhalla Knights.

Heath HindmanXSEED’s first and second titles were Wild ARMs 4 and Shadow Hearts: From the New World, respectively. How does this title fit into your motif?
Ken BerryWe are just looking to bring over the best games available anywhere, ones that all our staff really enjoy playing and would enjoy working on. Valhalla Knights, just like Wild ARMs 4 and Shadow Hearts: From the New World, has a really unique and fun battle system which is important for any game that requires a lot of battles to level up and progress. Though all our titles have been RPGs so far, we are willing to bring over any genre game as long as it’s fun and we feel that the US audience will enjoy playing it.

Heath HindmanWhy this game? There were other games available to pick up and publish, but what do you see in Valhalla Knights–as a gamer as well as a publisher–that makes you think it will perform well in the stateside market?
Ken BerryThere were so many things about Valhalla Knights that impressed us such as the amazing graphics, detailed character models which show all equipped weapons and armor, and especially the battle system. Though we love our turn-based RPGs, we think the US fans will really have a blast with the real-time battle system which allows up to six characters in your battle party and the ability to switch which member you control on the fly during battles.

Heath HindmanOkay, so there were obviously perks that made you interested in Valhalla Knights, but what are some things that worry you? There is no title marketable to anyone, so what might turn people off of this game?
Ken BerryI suppose some people may be a bit intimidated by the hours necessary to complete the game since it clocks in at over 50 hours. We still feel it’s an exciting 50 hours with lots of action-packed battles which also require a lot of planning and strategy, so hopefully they will still give the game a shot and enjoy playing so much that they won’t mind how long it takes them to finish it.

Heath HindmanWhat can you tell us about the characters?
Ken BerryBasically the main character has just woken up with no memories, but thankfully has a guide named Noir that steers him/her in the right direction. All the player knows is that a man named Rastul sealed the Dark Lord away a long time ago in order to save the land, and the rest of the story sort of unfolds from there. That’s about all I can give away at this point.

Heath HindmanNow take that a step further–which characters in the game remind you of which XSEED staff members?
Ken BerryJimmy here likes to think of himself as being similar to Rastul, the rugged hero that saved the day, but I personally think he’s more similar to the Barkeep in the main town of Paladi. Once you play the game and visit the bar you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Heath HindmanWhich character, if any, reminds you of Heath?
Ken BerryWell, I do remember the “who can grow the biggest beard” contest you had for Shadow Hearts: From the New World, so would have to say that none of the characters remind me of you since none of them have beards.

Heath HindmanSpeaking of the characters, who is the designer and what previous games has he/she worked on?
Ken BerryThe character designer’s name is Mitsuo Kodama. He is probably best known for his work on Tenchu 3.

Heath HindmanWhy a PSP game? Aren’t sales expectations a bit low on that platform?
Ken BerryWe look at the quality of the game first, regardless of the platform. With that being said, we’re big fans of the PSP system and believe that it still has incredible sales potential in the future. Of course it doesn’t have nearly the install base of the PS2, but we’re confident that good games on the PSP will still sell.

Heath HindmanSome PSP games suffer from sore loading times. Tell me honestly, how are the load times in Valhalla Knights? Give me estimates for battle transition, changing areas, opening menus and whatever else sticks out to you.
Ken BerryThe load times in Valhalla Knights are almost non-existent, with especially the changing areas and battle transition being practically instantaneous. Some of the other non-gameplay functions, such as switching out party members at the guild or equipping new weapons and armor from the main menu, may take a couple seconds but it’s never too distracting.

Heath HindmanAnd oh yeah, hey, have you harassed people about bringing over Wild ARMs XF and/or Wild ARMs 5? If I were you, I’d get on people’s freakin’ cases about that.
Ken BerryWe love the Wild ARMs series as much as anyone, so we’re doing what we can to ensure that all future iterations will reach the US. We would be honored to work on Wild ARMs 5 and Wild ARMs XF, but the final decision on US publishing will come down to SCEI and Media.Vision.

Heath HindmanThank you for talking with us. I suppose we’ll see you next release, eh?
Ken BerryAlways a pleasure talking to you, thanks for having us.

We at RPG Land thank XSEED for talking with us, and for adding an RPG to the PSP’s lineup. Valhalla Knights is currently set for release in early 2007.


  • Discuss this interview
  • XSEED Games Official Site
  • Valhalla Knights press release