Trans Character in Valkyria Chronicles 4?


#1

I was trying out the demo of Valkyria Chronicles 4 this weekend and I was going through the personnel descriptions, and I think one of the characters is trans… but it’s not handled well if that’s what their going for.
Rosetta Valeriano is described as “presents feminine” but also says that they were named Rosanno.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts for what they were going for with this. The language of the description is super awkward and it feels like they were maybe trying not to commit to anything but also trying not to be too offensive?


#2

The language isnt great but the thing that bothered me more was that they gave her the mans model. As far as I could tell she was the only woman who got it despite one woman being described as having a large frame. I mentioned it to a (cis)friend and my friend said “well they wouldn’t have hrt in that sort of time period” and ofc i responded “they have these capsules where you hold them over your head and glow blue and heal your wounds…”. Its not exactly a series thats going for “historical” accuracy
At least she doesnt seem to have a trait that affects her actions.

Valkyria has done kinda weird things with lgbt characters before. Jann was a very stereotypical gay character but was also presented as one of the more important non-core characters and the game clearly wanted you to like him. Dallas has a “Man Hater” trait which is obv completely unnecessary for a lesbian character to have.

Oh after googling a bit more it seems that the japanese VA is more clearly a dude which kinda muddies it more(source is gamefaqs tho so grain of salt). I thought her English voice was perfectly fine. Seems the English version may be smoothing out some issues with the way they handled her character in the original material and she may originally have been more of a crossdresser. Thats frustrating to me since a considerable portion of crossdressing (""“trap”"" barf) characters in japan appear to be trans in intent, appearance, and pronouns yet are held back because the creators refusal to give their desires to them. Luka (Steins;Gate), Naoto (Persona 4)(which yes its slightly more complicated than that), Kyuubei (Gintama), even characters who are long accepted examples like Birdo and Poison aren’t treated consistently

I may have to wait for the full english bio then to see if they salvaged her at least okayish before considering buying the game. I thought she was mostly pretty cool despite the issues since she’s a pacifist who joined the war to combat racism but i guess i’ll see how much the other stuff drags her down :\


#3

That’s a good point. I didn’t originally notice it but you’re totally right that she has a much larger frame than any other woman including the one who is described as super muscular.

I looked around on some forums and saw similar things about her being a crossdresser in the original Japanese version of the game. I got the feeling that whoever did the localization thought that there may be a better way to handle this for western audiences and she ended up in this limbo where they don’t call her a trans woman but sort of imply it. (I can’t find a quote of the bio at the moment, but did they even use pronouns in her English description?).This seems like a place where a good localisation team could commit to something cool for the audience outside of Japan.

I didn’t remember Jann and Dallas since it’s been years since I played, but yikes. Those aren’t great.

I just… hope it somehow turns out ok.


#4

They completely avoided using pronouns for her in her bio so far.

Edinburgh army Squad E scout, age 28. Presents as feminine. Birth name is Rossano. Fights to end the war, and combat anti-Darcsen discrimination.

It isn’t that out of the ordinary since a lot of the bios are just a bunch of sentence fragments and even the main character’s doesn’t have any pronouns in it. Guess we’ll have to see how the rest of the bio goes


#5

Fingers crossed. I’d just love to have an anime-esque game without it being shitty as hell to women, lgbtq people, and people of color.


#6

Lol Apparently they talked about this on Waypoint Radio today!


#7

For what it’s worth, their Potential descriptions all use “they” or “their”, which stood out when I was checking to see what they did.


#8

It appears that a lot of Potentials, especially ones shared with other characters, use they/them like Teresa’s Clumsy has “Their aim decreases.” Not sure that tells much atm. Being nonbinary would be pretty cool though.


#9

It seems like they keep the potentials gender neutral because they can be used for multiple characters?


#10

God that’d be amazing.
My partner is nonbinary so I’ve had my head on a swivel for some nonbinary representation. I’ve started suggesting it to developers of early access games I’m interested in to suggest it.
Ooblets devs confirmed for me that there is no mention of pronouns in the game and no character creation options are gender locked.
I reached out to the devs of Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark the other day and was unsurprised when they didn’t respond to that particular suggestion though I still would like to see them implement it.


#11

I mean, in terms of framing said trans character in terms of crossdressing, isn’t that kind of the super common way that Japan frames trans people? Like that they are just confused gay people that crossdress because they “wish they were born a man/woman”. Its a super shitty and gross way to frame it, no question, but as a person who has watched a decent amount of animu, its a pretty common way to view it in Japanese Pop Culture.


#12

Yeah I think that’s what GraphicViolets was referencing earlier. It’s the kind of thing I would want to see localisation improve though. It seemed like maybe they were kinda going for that without really knowing where to lean.


#14

Coming in angry and cherry picking phrases to attack isn’t a great look, especially when most of your complaints are addressed in that same post and the resulting conversation.

For what it’s worth, Rosetta seems like the localization team took a gross run at a trans character and did as much as they were able to push it into a positive representation.


#15

Naoto will always be relevant to discussion of trans characters in video games simply cause the writers decided to indulge in the good old trope of ‘scary sex change’.