|“||Side effects may include nausea, headaches... and death!||„|
Valentine is a villain (later anti-hero) and playable character in the indie game Skullgirls. Prior to being destroyed by the hands of the Skullgirl, the Last Hope (which Valentine is the remaining member of) was under the control of Lab-Zero, wrapped in darkness and carried out a wide range of tasks ranging from reconnaissance to interference work and advanced research.
Currently, Valentine plays the role of faithfully serving the Skullgirls and practicing her will from the shadow, now serving Double and Marie. It is she who is responsible for turning Painwheel into a monster with Brain Drain.
Initially, Valentine was unavailable and Squigly and Umbrella took her place, but later the developers decided that more playable villains needed to be introduced. She is an antagonist in almost every story along with Double.
Valentine is a codename based on Valentine's Day. All Last Hope members have similar names. Her real name is Valerie, which means "strength," "health," and "courage."
Valentine is the only survivor of the Last Hope, a group of special Anti-Skullgirl Lab operatives. Before meeting their end at the hands of the Skullgirl, the Last Hope worked for the mysterious Lab-Zero and performed duties ranging from reconnaissance and sabotage to advanced research.
Now Valentine dutifully serves the Skullgirl, carrying out her will from the shadows. She keeps to herself, so much of her true nature and personality are unknown.
Almost nothing is known about Valentine's past. She was an employee of Last Hope - a group of specially trained employees who were previously in the Anti-Skullgirl Laboratories. Together with other members she worked for the mysterious Lab-Zero, performing various tasks, ranging from sabotage and ending with advanced research.
Valentine lost an eye because of the incident in which Lab-7 was destroyed. The cross-shaped pupil in her remaining eye is the result of experimental drug usage. The scar on her lips was originally hers.
After Double and Marie killed all the members of Last Hope, Valentine surrendered at the mercy of the winner and now dutifully serves the current Skullgirl. At the same time, she secretly studies the enemy from the inside and her devotion is very fragile.
In her storyline, Valentine defeats Double and Marie, taking possession of the Skull Heart. However, knowing the artifact's habit of distorting the owner’s desires, Valentine realizes that her dream is to resurrect fallen her comrades from Last Hope would only turn into a disaster. She instead wishes to become the next Skullgirl to further her research, leaving her fate in the hands of Painwheel.
The after credits scene shows Painwheel finding Valentine's signature bonesaw left behind, with no other trace of her in the catacombs.
Valentine is a very secretive person, and her true identity and past are unknown. She is cool and crue, speaking in an impartial and condescending manner. She does not hesitate to resort to murder. While she is immoral, she some guilt for creating Painwheel. In the past, she was shown to willingly disobey orders from her superiors to treat injured civilians, and even hesitates when Brain Drain demands she bring in Carol for experimentation.
She is strongly attracted to medical science, and often treats her actions as experiments or research. This is very clearly seen when she meets Ms Fortune and shows a tangible interest in her abilities, wanting to examine her further by cutting her open.
Combat StyleBetween her fast run and air dashes, large disjointed buttons, and her plethora of movement options, Valentine has some strong offensive tools to stay in her opponents face. But make no mistake, she can use all these tools to also play surprisingly defensive when she needs to when added with her safe air fireballs.
- Valentine has several movement tools to take advantage of. Her forward air dash does diagonally upward to cover space, but her air backdash reels her back quickly as an escape tool. She also has a double jump, which when combined with a super jump and her air fireballs will let her snipe the opponents from the sky freely. Control your momentum with air fireball to slam the breaks, or use her bypasses to zip across the screen at lightning speed. Not only does she have a relatively decent IAD speed, but she also can cancel her ground backdash into a forward airdash by holding forward (→) which allows her to perform her air moves faster than her IAD would allow her to do normally.
- Between her air fireballs and good disjointed normals to fall down on the opponent with, a Valentine that plays defensive can be surprisingly difficult to deal with. No need to go offensive all the time! Remember that her ground backdash exclusively makes her airborn as she dodges backwards, letting her avoid several lows and throws, which you can double jump or air dash out of for more safety or punishes.
- Valentine's poisons allow her to rack up damage in various ways that can add up very quickly. Since there are many assists that can allow her to freely load a vial and continue a combo, it's typically preferred to play her on point when she has these assists behind her to get the fullest extent of the character.
- Valentine has a couple of reversal tools, but they are generally fairly iffy. Ground scalpels has a long recovery, and air scalpels is reactable. Both air and ground versions of EKG can work sometimes, but don't hit assists and can potentially mess up due to this. Her counter, level 3, and level 5 all work fairly decently, but cost a lot of meter to perform so be wary when attempting these on defense.
- Valentine's special move "Vial Hazard" is a possible reference to Jill Valentine of Resident Evil fame, since Resident Evil is called Biohazard in Japan.
- Valentine's timeout animation features her detonating and leaving several bones behind is a reference to Mortal Kombat 3, due to certain Fatalities (or Mortal Kombat Trilogy's Brutalities) causing the opponent to explode violently, discarding bones behind.
- In an unused ending for Valentine, rather than continuing the cycle of the Skull Heart, Valentine decides to seal it in Lab Zero's vault. She returns to Brain Drain, who originally congratulates Valentine for "succeeding where others have failed", before revealing his intention to punish her for her "deception", which caused the death of Nurse Christmas. Valentine is then presumably subjected to the same experiments as Painwheel, while the Skull Heart mocks them for thinking they could possibly break the cycle.
- Valentine's Blockbuster move "Checkmate Incision" is a reference to DIO's Super Move "Checkmate" in the game Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future. Both moves feature the character throwing a large amount of blades.
- Some of her dialogue while taunting suggests that she often (if not always) is on a diet.