Characters Done Right: Chrono Trigger’s Lucca

Image of Lucca. A female character with glasses, a helmet, dressed in shorts, boots, and a tunic. She carries a messenger bag.

*This post contains some story spoilers for Chrono Trigger*

When Lucca was introduced in Chrono Trigger she was referred to as Chrono’s “inventor friend”. No gender was given in this description. When you first met Lucca she was with her father at the Millennium Fair showing off her new teleportation device. When the device malfunctioned, the game’s adventure began.

As I played the game I found myself really liking Lucca. She was a smart character that was explaining the time traveling to the rest of the group. As everything around her was changing she did not hide in fear but instead fought alongside her friend Chrono with weapons including guns and powerful fire magic.

I was really drawn to her character being described as an inventor. She was a female scientist/engineer/inventor and was never seen as incapable in this role based on her gender. She was smart and not afraid of a challenge. When the group traveled to the future she was able to fix a non-functioning robot named Robo. As the game continued I was under the impression that the two of them became friends. In the Nintendo DS version of Chrono Trigger there was a cut scene after the credits showing Lucca with another robot. I saw that as her creating another robot similar to Robo because she missed her friend.

Lucca was a female scientist,  a powerful member of the group, and was not sexualized in the story. Her role was NOT that of “female friend destined to be love interest of male lead”. She was smart and capable, often explaining their situation to the rest of the group. But she was not the stereotype of a cold or unfeeling scientist, since she cared deeply about her friends and their lives. I saw her as an interesting and endearing character because of those traits.

This is a series of posts seeking to highlight positive examples of women in video games. Inspiration from “Characters Done Right” series by Lake Desire.

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11 Responses to Characters Done Right: Chrono Trigger’s Lucca

  1. nanasuyl says:

    Lucca is one of the reasons Chrono Trigger is a classic.
    Too bad I didn’t have enough patience to get through it. Gave up after losing the battle to a boss. Didn’t know there was a DS version, maybe I’ll try that then.

  2. Oh, I love Lucca! I actually just love Chrono Trigger in general. That game has so much heart, it’s coming out of its ears. My first time through was the DS version, and I’m so glad I played it.

    I actually wish Square Enix had replaced Vanille with a Lucca-esque character in Final Fantasy XIII. It would’ve made that game’s cutscenes 20% more enjoyable.

  3. Dan Bruno says:

    Lucca is one of my all-time favorite video game characters, if not my favorite. Great choice!

    Interesting note for huge Chrono Trigger nerds — in the Japanese version, there are a few subtle jokes about Lucca being bisexual. These were, of course, removed in translation — and a few comments about attractive men were added in.

    If you have, uh, some spare time, you can compare the two scripts here:

    http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Retranslation.html

    • nanasuyl says:

      Gosh, this is censorship! They shouldn’t be able to do that without informing the English-speaking market they were getting different dialogue. The consumer has the right to know what they’re bloody buying.

      And it’s always nice to have non-heterosexual characters in videogames.

      • Maverynthia says:

        That unfortunately is the way it goes. :/ I’ve been telling people to get informed and to stop buying games when they aren’t up to snuff as buying games even though you object just tells the companies that it’s perfectly OK.

      • emmy says:

        … it was TRANSLATED, of COURSE you’re getting different dialogue. :) Some things are changed owing to inability to properly translate certain concepts or just because of technical difficulties fitting the text into the necessary slots.

        it’s annoying when small bits are intentionally censored like that but there are huge amounts of changes to any translated game/anime/manga/anything, it’s pretty inevitable.

        • nanasuyl says:

          I know, I know. I was talking specifically about the bit about leaving the bisexual part out. I know things get lost in translation. The best thing would be to know the original language.

          I’m talking about censorship in cases like in The Duchess film. I saw that in England and I saw that again when I came back to Brazil. They cut bits of the film and didn’t tell anyone! That’s censorship! I wonder what other films they have cut without warning the consumers.

    • Pacian says:

      FYI, the DS version included a different translation that restored a lot of the censored dialogue, including the innuendo.

  4. Matthew says:

    I LOVE CHRONO TRIGGER. Possibly my favourite game of all time, and Lucca definitely has a big part to play in that.

    What do people think about Marle as a character? I’m just curious. I definitely think she’s a stronger character than the typical damsel in distress. I also think it’s really interesting that for a very large part of the game, the only main characters who have speaking parts are females.

    • I liked Marle, and really liked Ayla, too. It was cool that the physically strongest combatant in the game was a woman.

      In fact, my favorite part of Chrono Trigger was when the women were on their own, carrying that doll of Chrono through the ages to find the a way to bring him back to life.

      Slightly off-topic, but this post actually prompted me to write some of my own thoughts about the strong female characters of FFXIII, Lightning in particular. Thought I’d share it:

      http://www.gamermelodico.com/2010/03/call-me-light.html

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