Valkyr was originally intended to be a performance-enhancing drug used by the military. The substance then became illegal and found itself sold on the black market as a highly addictive recreational drug. Valkyr, colored green, is shown to be consumed via an injection and is found in syringes.
Physical and mental effects of taking valkyr include nausea, long and vivid hallucinations, and partial to total mental deterioration.
In 1991, the government of the United States commenced and funded a classified research program, dubbed Project Valhalla, to invent a pharmaceutical agent which would strengthen the effectiveness of military personnel. Alfred Woden was involved in the project. However, due to unsuccessful results, the supply of money for the program was discontinued and it was shut down in 1995.
Nicole Horne, a member of the Inner Circle and the head of the medical drug development company Aesir Corporation, secretly took over Project Valhalla and continued developing, testing and producing valkyr, namely in a bunker under the Cold Steel foundry in New York City.
By 2001, V is routinely sold by the Punchinello crime family of Italian Mafia to junkies looking for a fix. Jack Lupino officially oversees the distribution of V, although he is nothing more than a middle man for Don Punchinello who in turn is controlled by Nicole Horne.
A few years later, after the destruction of Cold Steel, the crippling of the Mafia, and the death of Horne, all results of Max Payne's vendetta, V is mentioned to be on the decline with dealers and users only inhabiting the poorest neighborhoods of NYC.
Mentions of ValkyrEdit
Working the case of the Cleaners at the police station, detective Max Payne can listen to a murder suspect talking about how his wife injected him with V and killed herself to frame him for the crime. Another night that year, Payne overhears some of Vinnie Gognitti's men saying they have once peddled valkyr, confirming that they are part of the same group of dealers he fought in 2001.
- Jack Lupino - a caporegime of the Mafia, Lupino is a mentally unstable and disturbed mobster addicted to valkyr and, apparently, consuming large doses of it. The hallucinations of the drug might have helped strengthen his belief and fascination with the occult and Norse mythology. Valkyr could also be responsible for his extreme aggressiveness.
- Max Payne - an unwilling user, he is injected with an overdose of valkyr by Nicole Horne after being apprehended by her forces in the Punchinello manor. Payne then has some lucid dreams and hallucinations in which he sees himself in a graphic novel and inside a computer game. Max wakes up from his nightmare in a pool of his own vomit but alive.
In the Max Payne film, valkyr is an ingestible fluid in a luminescent blue color. The Aesir Corporation alone researched and produced valkyr as part of a plan to create an army of super-soldiers impervious to fear or pain and would have increased strength, athletic, and fighting abilities. Their project had only a 1% success rate. A certain dose of it was used by dealers as a street drug. It was also meant to cause greater aggression in combat. The high of the drug could sometimes be overwhelming and scare the user with its hallucinations. Also, withdrawal from the drug caused the hallucinations it causes to become more real and far more violent - the spectres in their hallucinations would begin to attack the users instead of the intended effect of making the user feel that the creatures in their hallucinations were giving them power and were watching over them.
Valkyr produces strange hallucinations of flying Valkyries of Norse Mythology. The difference between becoming an addict or a super soldier appears to be a matter of willpower. Along with seeing and hearing Valkyries, the user would sometimes be overwhelmed with fear, causing their hallucinations to seem to attack them, trying to take them away. Max consumed two vials and not only saw Valkyries, but also perceived the buildings and the city around him as being consumed in a hellish inferno, seemingly caused by the drug induced rage.
Jack Lupino is a former US soldier and an Aesir test subject during the trials of valkyr. Now a vicious mobster, he forces others to take the drug this way "building his army" with those who manage to survive the hallucinations and brutally killing those who fail or those who are completely consumed by the addiction that they literally only know to find the drug and consume it any way they can. Lupino was part of the 1 percent success rate of the drug, shown as he did not at all suffer its fear and panic inducing hallucinations and addiction, both which crippled the usual users of the drug. He was crazed though, obsessing over the thought of angels watching over and flying for him and the need to build an army with the mark of the creatures, the winged tattoos of the Valkyries.
Max Payne drinks two vials of valkyr after getting out of freezing water. The drug evidently combats the effects of hypothermia with remarkable efficacy. Payne then is overcome with the V-induced rage and power and goes on a killing spree in the Aesir HQ building searching for B.B. Hensley, although suffering from Valkyrie hallucinations. In the end, Max Payne manages to resist and survive the side-effects of V.
Other users of valkyr are three junkies at the Roscoe Street Station who attempt to mug Max Payne. One of them is crushed by a subway train when his hallucinations make him disoriented and flee on the train tracks.
Natasha Sax is a heavy V user as well.
Behind the scenesEdit
The mystery of Mona Sax's drugEdit
At the end of the chapter An Empire of Evil of Max Payne, Payne meets Mona Sax for the first time but Sax spikes his glass of whiskey with an unknown hypnotic that makes him lose his consciousness and dream nightmares. The drug makes Payne hallucinate (including green-colored visions) and lose his consciousness (both known effects of valkyr), but it is never really explicitly stated the substance actually is valkyr. Supporting the theory the drug was not V is the fact that is was introduced via the oral route whereas valkyr is always shown to be an injectable narcotic.
Nightmare and the 4th wallEdit
When having a nightmare during his valkyr overdose, Max Payne finds out he is in a graphic novel and a video game, this way breaking the fourth wall.
Differences between valkyr in the games and in the filmEdit
Valkyr's depiction in the Max Payne film has drawn considerable criticism:
- Changing the drug from its form as a green, injectable, nondescript-looking substance to a blue, glowing drinkable substance has been described as unnecessary and this way "dumbing down" its nature and making it appear less dangerous to the audiences in order to achieve a more lenient movie rating. Neither is it particularly scientifically plausible for an orally introduced drug to create such rapid effects on the human body as shown in the film.
- Project Valhalla is never mentioned and the government conspiracy theme is eliminated in the motion picture.
- Mona Sax's sister, Natasha Sax, is portrayed as a miserable Russian valkyr addict selling her body as a prostitute, while in the game where she is named Lisa Punchinello she is the physically abused wife of the Mafia Don Punchinello and never once mentioned to be a drug addict or even of Russian nationality.
- However, the most bizarre and despised by fans design idea of John Moore's film direction are the visions of Valkyries that are depicted constantly haunting the valkyr users. Valkyries as such do not appear in a single graphic novel panel or game scene in the Remedy's 2001 video game. In the film, though, the mythical creatures are shown extensively with much of the movie's visual effects budget having been spent on their production. The idea that a chemical substance would be able to create an adverse effect of a highly specific and always identical hallucination of a Norse mythology creature to all of its users is scientifically absurd.
- Max Payne
- Max Payne 2 (Mentioned only)
- Max Payne 3
- One Card Left To Play (Mentioned only)
- Max Payne film (Non-canon)