Content of the article: "[VALHALLA SPOILERS] As a huge fan from of AC, I’ve been dying to see my country represented in the series I love and Valhalla was a punch to the gut."
I’m Welsh and I’ve been following assassins creed since the first instalment, for the longest time I’ve been so excited seeing so many different countries and cultures explored throughout history. With each new game I always wanted to see my own in this franchise I passionately follow.
Black Flag is one of my favourite games of all time, Edward Kenway is a fantastic character and his story seriously moved me, his character did Wales proud and the voice actor knocked it out the park, it was awesome to see.
Playing Valhalla (which for the record I have really enjoyed, a brilliant addition) I was thrilled to see a real Welsh person enter the story through Rhodri the Great, with the famous welsh dragon displayed proudly on his castle and shields, I was so pleased. Then it all went to shit.
Right off the mark the characters begin to mock the Welsh language and names, I can’t remember the exact quote but they ridicule a characters name and spelling – keep in mind these are Norwegian vikings who’s names are not exactly “English”.
This comes up again a ton of times with Brigid, every time she speaks Eivor looks so puzzled and confused and at the wedding the entire camp are like “Is this girl an alien or something???”. Again, this is really weird considering they are Norwegian vikings, their native tongue is Norwegian, not English. They’ve managed to learn foreign tongues of Saxons and so on etc but Welsh is apparently a bizarre concept. (Hell Eivor even goes to America and is completely chill hearing Native American and even tells them a story in Norwegian, why was he so confused about Welsh?)
I realise this seems quite sensitive but take into account the history of the Welsh language – it has actively been stamped out and silenced in our history, after the English control over the Welsh the language was essential replaced along with many other aspects of our culture, in schools you would even get punished and mocked by teachers if you were caught speaking Welsh, forced to wear a degrading sign and unable to remove it, unless you caught someone else speaking Welsh and ratted them out. It’s a major part of our history. It’s still an issue today, our schools and government have to make efforts to keep it alive through education, public information etc.
The final blow was seeing Rhodri the Great brutally tortured and his body left desecrated and openly displayed by Ivarr the boneless. Historically speaking – there is no evidence these two people even met, obviously I know this is a work of fiction and not a history lesson but it’s such a rare experience to see a genuine Welsh historical figure portrayed that it really felt like shit to see what they did with him, knowing that for many people Alfred the Great will now be that guy who’s back was ripped open by that Viking bloke – even though this obviously did not happen. I know they wanted us to really hate Ivarr but I think betraying and killing a child did the job.
I hope I got my message across well, I’m not shitting on the game – I’m still playing it to this day and really enjoy it. I just felt so bummed out that our country was essentially just the butt of a joke when AC usually does a good job portraying cultures.
There’s some awesome parts of wales and the Welsh people Ubisoft could delve into – this example really missed the mark for me.
TLDR: Wales and the Welsh language was nothing but the butt of a joke in the game, which felt crap after waiting to see representation in a game that usually does an awesome job.
- My Players are asking me to change to our mother language!
- Maybe this is messed up of me but what the hell man, I’m supposed to a viking.
- Playing my first Yakuza game, Yakuza 0 and really enjoying it.
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