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Equipped for both atmospheric and space flight, Valkyries are equipped for ship-to-ship combat. To this end, they employ H.A.L.O. (short for High Altitude Long Operating) cluster rockets, firing the missiles in salvos of eight, impacting with a large area of effect. The dispersal radius of its targeting system is designed to achieve maximum damage to not only its intended target, but also adjacent targets within the blast area. Each cluster can quickly tear through a formation of light fighters or mutalisks.
Valkyries lack the manuverability of lighter fighter craft; they rely on their heavy armor to survive combat. A Valkyrie can take substantial punishment from enemy fire before suffering any core systems failures. It was equipped with dual VTOL engines for speed and maneuverability.
The Valkyrie first appeared in the Koprulu sector as part of the United Earth Directorate pacification force at the beginning of the Brood War. Several wings of Valkyries were in the invasion fleet.
In the aftermath of the Brood War, Valkyries entered into the service of various terran factions. However, the precedent for this was in question; the Brood War had revealed critical weaknesses in terran anti-air capability. Valkyrie and Wraith formations proved to be an unwieldy combination against agile zerg airborne organisms. With the shortcomings of ground to air support from the goliath also made clear, research led to the development of the Viking; a more flexible craft which could take over the Valkyrie's air-to-air role.
Despite the advances in technology, Valkyries continue to be used by the Terran Dominion after the Brood War. Though they largely fell out of use during the Second Great War, the design of the Valkyrie would later be reused by the Terran Dominion as the basis for the Liberator.
By 2511, the Zerg Swarm salvaged the technology within Valkyries to create rudimentary psi-to-voice communicators in order to communicate with terran vessels. Abathur used these devices to relay orders to his renegade chitha during the One-Day War.
The Valkyrie fires rockets in salvos of eight. Each rocket has a base damage of 6 (explosive) and causes splash damage to enemy units within a 3x3 matrix around its detonation. The rate of fire overcomes the weakness of the damage type against small- and medium-sized targets. However, since target armor affects each rocket individually, high armor units such as battlecruisers, devourers and carriers are particularly resistant to the Valkyrie. Valkyries are best used against tightly packed groups of low armor targets, similar to the corsair. This makes them especially deadly against wraiths, mutalisks, overlords, guardians, queens, corsairs, shuttles and dropships. They are not very efficient against groups of scouts however, since the scout has an additional 100 shield points along with its 150 hitpoints and the scout's missiles being one of the most powerful in the game.
The Valkyrie, unlike most other air units in Brood War, cannot fly away before it deaccelerates, since the firing animation is longer than the amount of time it can maintain speed. This makes it impossible to harrass against a defended base with.
Valkyries have very resistant armor too, making it survive fairly punishing damage from ground units. Recommended counters to Valkyries are marines, goliaths, hydralisks, dragoons and archons.
If the sprite limit has been reached on a map the Valkyrie cannot fire anymore since each attack uses 8 sprites.
Sound files suggest that the valkyrie was originally called the "frigate."
During the StarCraft beta, the raider functioned as a ground-attack bomber but never made it into the final version of StarCraft.  It bore great resemblance to the Valkyrie. Perhaps as an easter egg, the Blizzard website described the Valkyrie as a "modern redesign of the raider."
The Valkyrie was later included in the expansion StarCraft: Brood War. During development of the expansion they had an ability called "Afterburners", which gave them a very high speed for a limited time and cost energy. However, it was found that it was far too easy for Valkyries to fly into a zerg base and destroy all of its overlords. To prevent the use of such a "cheesy" strategy, "Afterburners" was removed from the final release.
This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
At some point, Valkyries were present in the StarCraft II game engine. In the final product, the viking takes its place as the terran air-to-air assault unit. The unit went through several visual design changes during its brief history.
Known Valkyrie Pilots
- The Valkyrie may have been named after the American experimental XB-70 Valkyrie bomber, a Cold War aircraft with afterburners, capable of reaching Mach 3 and flying past Soviet interceptors while delivering nuclear weapons. Early versions of the Brood War unit were bombers with an afterburner ability.
- Valkyries are minor female deities in Norse mythology tasked with selecting the victors of battle and choosing the brave amongst the slain for admission into Valhalla. Similar personalities play a major role in Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre, the second work in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
- In StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, the Confederacy used a transport named a Valkyrie to during the Fall of Tarsonis. However, the Brood War Valkyrie was introduced by the United Earth Directorate after the fall of the Confederacy, and the two ships functioned in wildly different roles, implying they are two ships that share the same name.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of XB-70 Valkyrie.
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