They say that curiosity killed the cat, and this old adage almost proves true for Faldio, Welkin and Alicia in episode eight of Valkyria Chronicles, as their little sightseeing trip to the Barious ruins takes a decidedly unexpected turn.
It isn't every day that you run into an Azure witch and the Empire's commander-in-chief, but this is exactly what happens here, with our intrepid trio crossing paths with Selvaria and the object of her protection, Maximilian. As per usual though, it seems that no situation will prevent Alicia from acting rashly, as she pulls a gun on the pair despite the obvious dangers that such a situation might bring about.
However, with Maximilian refusing to pursue the matter any further, it appears that the danger is over... That is, until the Empire shells the building, causing it to crumble with all three Gallian soldiers still inside. This leaves Faldio and Alicia trapped together, with Welkin's whereabouts unknown, giving them just enough time to pad out the episode with some reminiscences about Welkin's youth and time at University before they're found and brought to safety, thanks to Welkin's knowledge of lizards. No, really.
All in all, I have to confess I was expecting a little more from this episode, which left it as a pretty passable attempt that really didn't move things along as much I was expecting. To be honest I'm still trying to fathom out how both Welkin and Faldio were left trapped beneath rocks for periods of time, only to come out with a couple of cuts between them - Do these guys have bones of steel or something? Perhaps they've somehow inherited Alicia's quick-healing abilities by osmosis I suppose.
Having not played the PlayStation 3 game I'm not too sure where the series is headed next, but I'm starting to feel a little wary that it may be preparing to jump off at the deep end into the realms of magic and generally unbelievable goings-on - Probably not something I should fret about too much given the show's unrealistic depiction of war, but I don't much fancy seeing it dip further into flights of fancy.