This is GM Gremory with some behind-the-scenes info on the upcoming new Hero, Valance.
The long wait is finally over! When it comes to the Hound Unit, you can’t go without this charming character: Valance!
Through this Behind the Development of Valance, let’s dive into her relationship with the Hound Unit and explore various information about her!
Part. 1 Settings
“A Reliable Companion of the Hound Unit”
I’m sure all of you are aware of how the members of the Hound Unit are – a bunch of troublemakers. Even Crow, the captain of the squad, is unstoppable and out of control. We needed a character who can play the ‘brain role’ and be the assistant of the team that shares information, organizes, and gives constructive advice.
Moreover, as Crow’s Unique Weapon, ‘Akistra,’ is deeply connected with the Technomagic Kingdom and Technomagic, we needed a character who is capable of sharing information about Technomagic to the Hound Unit. Not only that, we made Valance a character that explains the newly revealed secrets of the Technomagic Kingdom and information about Akistra to the in-game characters and our Raiders. Only Valance was able to do this since Crow and the members of the Hound Unit were too specialized in combat to play the ‘explainer role.’ Valance’s role doesn’t just end in X: Rebellion. She’ll continue to appear in later chapters as she’ll continue her Technomagic research, go after the Pandora, and dig into the Evil Knights Project with the Hound Unit.
Technically, Valance is not part of the Hound Unit. As mentioned in Crow’s Substory, Valance is the chief research director of ‘Magos Le’flamme,’ the top research facility of the Empire. As she followed the Hound Unit that was heading to the Technomagic Kingdom on her own, she’s an adventurous, tough, and doer-type of person who turns her thoughts into action. She doesn’t merely make decisions; she tries to solve and make improvements whenever there is a problem. It’s probably her commitment and enthusiasm for research that allowed her to climb up the ladder to her current position – the chief research director of Magos Le’Flamme.
Crow’s wife, Rose, was Valance’s coworker and a very close friend at the same time. As Valance strived to protect her beloved friends, she naturally interacted with the Hound Unit often, not to mention that she’s been sharing information about the Technomagic Kingdom and Technomagic to the Hound Unit as well.
“The Relationship Between Valance and the Hound Unit”
Both Crow and Rose went to the same school as Valance. Basically, the three of them spent their teenage years in the same school. Valance was very close with Rose that she knew Rose was part of Pandora. She was also close to Loah, Rose’s daughter. As Rose, Crow, and Loah were the only friends that this coldhearted-looking woman opened her heart to, the death of Rose and Loah was a big shock to her that it made her get revenge. I mean, she probably couldn’t just watch Crow, her only friend left, go through dangerous paths of getting his revenge all by himself. Although she can be a coldhearted person with a sharp tongue, she’s a doer who is willing to act on her own if it’s for her beloved friends. Crow, too, trusts Valance’s decisions and advice and thinks twice when it comes to Valance’s words. They don’t express their feelings as much since they’re both quiet. However, they’re very close to each other as they’re the only ones who can share the memories of the departed ones. Don’t get the wrong idea though! You might make a complete fool of yourself if you ask Valance if she has feelings for Crow.. 😀
Valance is fairly close with Mitra, Pansirone, and Kibera. Valance is well aware of how much Crow trusts Mitra, and Mitra devotedly follows her by calling her ‘big sis.’ Moreover, Mitra probably had more opportunities to meet Valance than other members of the Hound Unit since Mitra has a deep connection with Crow’s family. To Pansirone, Valance is probably just a ‘good person who helps managing Tersia (Pansirone’s Unique Weapon).’ On a side note, Pansirone also calls Valance ‘big sis,’ but this is only because she’s copying how Mitra’s calling her. Seeing how comfortable mongrel (Mitra) acts around Valance, Pansirone probably thought she would do the same. As for Kibera, he’s not that close with Valance since he didn’t get to meet her often. However, he probably thinks ‘she’s an outstanding person since his captain (Crow) acknowledged her.’ As you can tell from Crow’s personality, it’s not easy to become his friend. Of course, Valance values the Hound Unit as well. She probably hopes that Mitra, Pansirone, and Kibera don’t get hurt or sick more than those three would hope for.
Part. 2 Art
“Valance’s Design Keywords: Haughty Scientist and Steampunk”
When we first designed her looks, we thought of portraying her as the typical steampunk-style scientist with an arrogant personality. However, by considering her story, her role of supporting Crow and assisting the Hound Unit as a reliable big sister figure, and her profound, multifaceted personality as the coldhearted looking on the outside but a warmhearted companion on the inside, we decided to match her designs with her overall character instead of portraying her as a one-dimensional conceited scientist.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with 4 Star Valance since she already appeared in the game several times. Our focus for designing the artwork of 4 Star Valance was giving it a try on the typical steampunk style, which was uncommon in King’s Raid. Designing the steampunk style was an approach to highlight the difference between the clothing culture of Orvelia and the Empire. We used light purple for her hair and achromatic colors for most of her clothes to display her coldhearted image. Designing her eyes was where we struggled the most. We designed them sharp, but soft by having them closed slightly to express her cold-heartedness on the outside yet warm-heartedness on the inside.
We tried out various designs for Valance’s 5 Star draft artwork. We wanted her 5 Star design to emphasize that she’s the genius scientist/chief research director even more. Since the first two drafts somewhat looked like a dress, we decided to go with the third draft which matched her scientist image of 5 Star Valance the most.
Moreover, we added several mechanical devices related to Technomagic on her arms and back to indicate that she’s a scientist that researches Technomagic.
“A Unique Weapon Named After Crow and Rose – Corbeau Rose”
We spent a lot of time designing Valance’s Unique Weapon since it took a long time to release her as a playable Hero. The initial concept was like an airship type of weapon in a steampunk style that moved around like a satellite by reacting to Valance’s voice and hand signals. However, we changed the concept into a laser gun type since the concept didn’t quite coordinate with Valance’s settings and character as the cutting-edge mechanical engineer.
As you can see, the modified version contains a mechanical device in the middle of the tripod that serves as a laser gun. Compared to the previous design, more auto systems have been added so it’s more specialized in combat. For the overall design, we made sure its visuals feature the characteristics of the Technomagic weapon of King’s Raid.
As the weapon progresses into 5 Star and Unique Weapon, the intensity of Technomagic technology increases. We added joints on the tripod part of the weapon to display the mechanical feature even more. As for the color of her 5 Star weapon, we matched it with her 5 Star artwork so both the weapon and clothes look like a set. We used pink colors for the Unique Weapon to highlight its upgraded feature.
The initial concept of the weapon was designed in a way that Valance uses the weapon by giving it a command with a remote control or some special device. Unfortunately, it’s a shame that we weren’t able to implement this unique and appealing feature. Her steampunk-style design was very charming, and we knew we couldn’t use it for other heroes. Therefore, we decided to add that concept in Valance’s Unique Treasures instead. Make sure you take a good look at them!
Since Valance is an adventurous character who has pride in her abilities, we designed an illustration of a scientist who is willing to step up and fight for her friends instead of a scientist with a static pose.
Out of the three drafts, we chose the first draft because we thought it featured Valance’s weapon very clearly. We tried to express her confidence and elegance by having her hold out her arms and legs, and illustrate the wind effect on her hair and lower ends of her clothes.
And there goes Valance’s illustration! Though she seems expressionless due to her monotonous tone and coldhearted personality, she’s actually very true to her feelings and she expresses them well. She’s not a character who simply explains and shares information; she’s also a humane person who speaks in a straightforward manner. At the same time, she’s known for her sharp tongue. If you want to check out some of her famous, blunt quotes, I recommend you to view Crow’s Substory 😀
“Valance’s 3D Modeling, Motion (Animation), and Effects”
Since we used relatively light colors based on achromatic colors for Valance’s overall design, it was very difficult to express the design in depth without disrupting the color synergy. One thing we had the most difficulty with was her eyes; we had to express sharpness and softness at the same time.
There was a lot to consider because if we design her eyes as half-closed, we knew she could look like a lazy character like Gremory or a passionless person. We needed to make sure her eyes didn’t contradict her image as someone who really cares for the Hound Unit and is committed to her job as the engineer. Even though Valance is the newest hero, she appeared in the story way earlier than Gremory. We still remember the difficulties we faced back then.
As for Valance’s motions and effects, we wanted to display her appearance as the engineer by having her grant effects in areas by summoning and reproducing weapons. As Technomagic can be perceived as a futuristic technology, we thought it was appropriate to use machines and holograms to express Valance’s motions and effects, just like the way ‘Valance’s Workshop’ is displayed.
However, we had to make sure her skill motions wouldn’t look too plain because the concept of her skills all involved summoning objects and creating holograms. We tried to design her skill motions as diverse as possible and prevented the movements of weapons from overlapping with each other.
As for her [Motions], our focus was on expressing her intelligent image and slightly cynical personality. Especially, we used Valance’s Workshop as the background for her acquisition, awakening, and transcendence scenes to highlight that she’s the best in terms of Technomagic. What you’ve been seeing at the workshop wasn’t everything about Valance. Check how competent she can look in her motions!
Part 3. Planning
Valance is a Mechanic NPC hero with Physical ATK Type. We’re currently designing her as an all-rounder support type of hero that uses various Technomagic skills to grant positive effects on allies and inflict negative effects on enemies. Additionally, she’ll be able to imbue useful effects on Technomagic Raid and Technomagic Gear. Please note changes can be made to our plans and the hero may be different from what we shared in this post once the updates hit. We’re fully aware that many of our Raiders have been waiting for Valance’s release for a long time. Don’t worry. We’ll make sure that we’ll prepare Valance in a way that meets our Raiders’ expectations!
Part 4. Valance’s Hero Dungeon: Azeta Appears
In addition to Valance’s release, we’ll be releasing her Hero Dungeon as well. In Valance’s Hero Dungeon, the story will be based on Rose’s ideas, will, and research material that’s passed on to Crow and Valance. The information from Rose will also be passed on to ‘Azeta,’ a new character who will appear in the future with Valance.
For some reason, there is a big difference between the way Valance and Azeta took Rose’s research. While Azeta’s focus is on completing Rose’s research, Valance wants to follow Rose’s will and use her research for humanity. This disparity wasn’t Rose’s intention, but it leads to an inevitable clash between Azeta and Valance.
What were Rose’s actual goal and her hopes for the future? How would her research influence the others? If you want to find some clues to crack these mysteries, the upcoming Hero Dungeon is the place to go! Raiders, I hope you all enjoy playing it!
Part 5. Conclusion
It’s mostly the character’s looks that dictate a hero’s overall concept, but his/her tone is also a very important factor. There was an in-depth discussion about how Valance’s tone should be. Everyone shared different opinions such as her tone should sound like a soldier, a lady from a noble family, or just an ordinary office worker. While every one of us was trying so hard to describe our own versions of Valance, the heated discussion came to an end all at once when the staff in charge of Valance’s concept came in and set the direction for us. Yeah, it just ended like that. What a bummer! ☹
As you can see, Valance is the center of attention from the development team. Raiders, please look forward to our upcoming hero, Valance, and make sure you check out her story at [Valance’s Hero Dungeon] as well!