A Squad Story is a special storyline chapter in Valkyria Chronicles 4 containing information about a specific group of closely-related soldiers, usually three. They are similar to the Classmate and Squadmate missions from the previous two games. They each contain a special combat mission using one of the maps from the story campaign, generally tailored to the specific talents of the group of soldiers who are supposed to participate in the mission.
Acquisition and function
A Squad Story for a group of characters will unlock when all of the soldiers in it have joined Squad E, are all alive, and at least one of those characters is either promoted to Corporal, or if they are already of a higher rank, when they fulfil what would be required to promote a regular soldier to Corporal.
Promotion is based on a hidden system which will here, for the sake of argument, be referred to as "Rank Points" (RP). Rank Points are assigned for each Command Point used to start a Movement Phase for that soldier, with no regard for what they actually do during the phase. Nothing else the soldier does factors into ranking up. The assignments are as follows:
- Main story missions: 1CP = 1RP
- Squad Story mission: 1CP = 0.75 RP
- Normal skirmish: 1CP = 0.5 RP
- Hard skirmish: 1CP = 1.5 RP
- Challenge and Expert skirmish DLC: 1CP = 1.5 RP
After a total of 10 RP, a soldier whose starting rank is Private is promoted to "Private 1st Class," which has no effect on gameplay. After a total of 20, they are promoted to Corporal, and will unlock their respective Squad Story, as well as additional data in their character bio and being able to be assigned the role of Leader if the player has reached Chapter 8 in the main storyline. Unlocking a Squad Story, however, can only happen if a player completes a mission; a good example is the Squad Story The Price of Skill. Two of its participants, Neige LePreton and Aladdin Ballard are available and promotable from the beginning of Chapter 1 and its final participant, Leonhardt Strauch, is usable after Chapter 8. However, even if Aladdin or Neige are promoted to corporal before Leonhardt is unlocked, their squad story remains locked even after Leonhardt joins Squad E in Chapter 8. It is only after one completes a battle when the check for RP takes place and The Price of Skill is finally unlocked.
The main story characters Raz, Kai Schulen, Claude Wallace and Riley Miller do not have a Squad Story, and so do not accrue points under this system. In addition, Ronald Albee, Dan Bentley, Minerva Victor and Miles Arbeck, despite being involved in Squad Stories, do not accrue RP and cannot be used to unlock the Squad Stories they are part of.
Completing a Squad Story combat mission and watching the remaining story chapters has several positive effects. Squad Stories can either give a soldier their final Personal Potential or replace a negative Potential with a positive one (it will always be the fourth one), and may also alter a soldier's list of friends, particularly if they start out without any. It will also add a third section to the character bio of any character who is of Corporal rank: this is applied forward, so if a soldier whose Squad Story is already completed is promoted later, they will unlock their second and third bio sections at the same time. Squad Stories also frequently contain Aces with weapons and equipment that cannot be acquired elsewhere.
List of Squad Stories
|Like Old Times
|Curtis Blackwell, Eileen Blackwell, Laurent McCloud||Chapter 3+. Eileen Blackwell is unlocked. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|A Prayer for the Broken
|Nico Emery, Rosetta Valeriano, Godwin||Chapter 3+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|The Price of Skill
|Aladdin Ballard, Leonhardt Strauch, Neige LePreton||Chapter 8+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Simon Bale, Emmy Mistral, Viola Bryce||Chapter 3+. Simon Bale is unlocked. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
(Scrap Metal Jacket)
|Louffe, Stahlschrott||Post-Game. Complete Into the Woods and Through the Fire. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Honor, Pride, and Regret
|Fleuret Valois, Rebecca Longhurst, Mabel Drake||Chapter 3+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
(Paths to Glory)
|Gertrude Albright, Vancey Fioré, Zaiga||Chapter 5+. Unlock Gertrude Albright. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|All the Single Ladies
(Saving Private Hudson)
|Rita Raywater, Millennia Hudson, Brittany Scarlett||Chapter 6+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|To Live Unbound
(A Great Escape)
|Azusa Tsukikage, Scott Aldiss, Norid Saarinen||Chapter 9+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Treading New Ground
|Dan Bentley, Aulard Abington, Miles Arbeck||Chapter 4+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Ronald Albee, Ryan Ford, Keigel Hohmann||Chapter 8+. 20 RP with Ryan Ford or Keigel Hohmann.|
|Girl in the Iron Mask
|Ferrier Blancheur, Jean Matrix, Stanley Barclay||Chapter 4+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Love and Logic
(The Infatuation Game)
|Jascha Alatt, Aoife, Hanna Carroll||Chapter 9+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
(Company of Zeroes)
|Jimmy Frank, Odin, Lily Ashley||Chapter 5+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
(The Roguish Patient)
|Jester Mooney, Teresa Leach, Connor Doherty||Chapter 3+. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|Soul of the Navy
|Brian Haddock, Sergio Mousquelaire, André Dunois||Post-Game. Complete Through the Fire. 20 RP with any participating characters.|
|A Chivalrous Heart
(A Rather Long Engagement)
|Minerva Victor, Christel Ward||Post-Game. 20 RP with Christel Ward.|
It is worth noting two things when tackling Squad Story missions: firstly, that since at least one member of the squad must be a Corporal, they can be made a Leader (assuming the player has proceeded far enough in the story) to provide an extra Command Point for the mission. Secondly, many of these missions that feature a home base flag or enemy base flags allow reinforcement requests as normal: thusly, the player can deploy the Leaders of Squad E for an additional boost and added tactical options.
- All of the Squad Story combat missions are named after action or war movies: respectively, Black Hawk Down, Three Kings, Top Gun, Inglorious Bastards, Full Metal Jacket, Braveheart, Paths of Glory, Saving Private Ryan, The Great Escape, Tank Girl, M*A*S*H, Commando, The Imitation Game, Company of Heroes, The English Patient, Navy SEALs and A Very Long Engagement.
- Jean Matrix being involved in a mission called Commandos is a further reference, as the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a character called John Matrix.