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Yoko Tsuno with radio headset

Yoko Tsuno

(Part #2)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


This profile is a direct continuation of .


Lands of adventure, part 2

But that’s not all ! The trio also :

  • Assisted Monya, a girl from the post-apocalyptic XXXIXth century. Monya was on a time-travel mission to prevent the invention of the contraction bomb, a technology that would destroy the Earth of her time.
    After Yoko travelled back to 1943 and discovered the link between her family and the antimatter technology powering the contraction bomb, the mission was accomplished. Monya stayed in the present, and Yoko’s cousins in Borneo adopted her as their daughter.
  • Investigated a seeming curse and haunting in Scotland, unearthing the sordid conspiracy and vengeance beneath. Yoko saved the life of one Cecilia, who was left a millionaire heiress after the case. Cecilia would later hire Yoko to solve another mystery.
  • Discovered the City of the Depths on Veneya. There, robot archangels forever prevented the growth of children to forestall a war planned two million years ago – but an evil queen stole their charges to create an empire.
  • Thwarted the catastrophic destruction of a supertanker by Wotan’s Fire.
  • Destroyed the Cannon of Kra, a World War Two Japanese super-heavy artillery piece refurbished to threaten South-East Asia with nuclear shells.
  • Discovered the secrets of the two Dragons of Hong Kong. During this case Yoko adopted as her daughter a Chinese orphan, Morning Dew. The little girl’s last relative, her aged grandfather, would die soon. Morning Dew, who originally only spoke Cantonese Chinese, became bilingual in English in an amazingly short time.
  • Helped Monya save a dancer from Bali’s past, whom Monya’s attempts at saving XVIth century Indonesian art from destruction had condemned to death.
  • Saved the last surviving mini-robots of the space city of Keefa before it would crash on Veneya. At the conclusion of this case Yoko had her own starship, the Ryu, and Myna, one of the mini-robots, joined its crew.

Lands of adventure, part 3

Furthermore, our merry adventurers went on to :

  • Shed light on the mystery of the Kazuky-Watanabe corporation ownership. This occurred as Yoko worked as a translator for her father’s sworn enemy on an antique train in Germany. During this case, Yoko met KGB representative and fighter pilot the Countess Olga, who became her ally after initial hostility.
  • Travelled back to the XVIth century in Bruges to close a temporal paradox. It involved a painting of Yoko and Monya, the Devil’s secrets and the Black Plague.
  • Aboard the Ryu, reconnoitred the taboo planet Ultima in the Veneyan system. There they helped with a strange reincarnation at the Gate of Souls.
  • Rescued Sin-Yi, the third wife of Emperor Zhen Zong , before her murder in 1021 at age 6. Sin-Yi was adopted by Yoko’s newest friend Lin-Po, a nurse living near Guilin and among the famous hills  of the area.
  • Soon returned to the Guangzi of the XIth century, where they ended up uncovering the secret of the dragon at the Pagoda of Mists.
  • Neutralised the threat of the Iron Temple deep in the Amazon after being recruited for a chess challenge. The Countess Olga was instrumental in that, helping unlock the Seventh Code. During this case the Trio met teenage pilot Emilia MacKinley.
  • Returned to Scotland to work for Cecilia, with Emilia as her co-pilot. They then reactivated the Handmaiden of Lucifer, and agreed to return her to the Forbidden Zone.
  • Recovered the Maleficent Amethyst in 1934, and arranged events to prevent tragedy in Emilia MacKinley’s family. As they knew beforehand they would.

  • Veneyans, our alien friends


    Veneya (Vinéa in the original French) is extremely similar to Earth. It lies two million light years away, in the Triangulum galaxy (M33) . However, the two suns in Veneya’s system were not stable and drifted too close. This resulted in a gravitational tug-of-war.

    The heat from the stars sucking each other’s outer layers scorched Veneya. This forced the population to emigrate to underground cities. They lived there for thousands of years.

    Yoko Tsuno and a Vinean shuttle

    Recent Veneyan shuttle.

    Then Veneya started getting sucked toward its merging suns. A titanic project was launched to abandon the planet. But the steadily worsening gravity well and solar wind did not help.

    Huge ships were assembled one after the other in orbit. But though a hundred were planned, it was over before the 12th could be built. Most of the population in the ships were children, who had priority. All were kept in magnetically-induced suspended animation.

    The 11th ship reached Earth after two million years, about 400,000 years ago. Earth was remarkably compatible, but Veneyans had become unable to live on the surface after so many generations underground. Furthermore, they breathed a slightly different atmosphere.

    Deeper underground

    It was decided to take everything underground — including the spaceship after taking it apart — then have most everybody return to suspended animation. The suspension system would then biologically adapt them to life on the surface.

    This process would take hundreds of thousands of years. Though it wasn’t explained, a likely hypothesis is that having spent two million years in suspended animation immensely slowed down treatments.

    There also seems to be a cultural bias against waking people up and having them live underground just like on Veneya. The goal seems to be waking them up when they can live freely on the surface, and not a second before.

    Small numbers of Veneyans were woken up to run the undergrounds installations, living and dying as the rest remained asleep. Two Veneyans became close friends of the Trio – Khâny, who has some seniority among her people, and her kid sister Poky.

    Both were originally close in age, but Khâny was woken up well before Poky was. Thus Khâny looks, to human eyes, to be in her mid-30s whereas Poky is still a little girl.


    Veneyans are basically blue-skinned Humans, and biological differences seem very minor. Their atmospheric mix is slightly different from Earth’s and will in time prove toxic to Humans. But even that might be a product of their underground life.

    Two-seater Vinean flyer

    Typical Veneyan two-person flyer.

    Their psychology seems also basically Human. Still, there are implications that they have a greater degree of psychic sensitivity, explaining their telepathic technology. There is also a loose implication that their lifespan is much greater than Humans’.

    What makes it difficult for them to live on a world’s surface was never explained. Khâny and Poky never evidenced any problem. Perhaps it is a sort of agoraphobia, and only the individuals who are the least agoraphobic are awakened from suspended animation.

    If so this might explain why the treatment is so long. Thought patterns are immensely slowed down in suspended animation.

    Technology and organisation

    Veneyans have a low active population. It’s closer to a big village or a small town and they generally know each other. They greatly depended on a central computer to manage their installations and particularly the suspended population.

    Yoko Tsuno was forced to destroy the energy intelligence inhabiting the computer. It had gone evil and was subtly enslaving the awake Veneyans. Presumably, the Veneyans had to awaken more people to compensate.

    A Vinean shuttles hangar

    Underground Veneyan shuttles hangar.

    Veneyan tech is typical space opera stuff –

    • Lightspeed spaceships.
    • Personal beam weapons (looking like pens connected by a cable to a cigarette pack-sized battery).
    • Artificial intelligences made of accumulated energy.
    • Simple artificial telepathy. It can be used to duplicate and/or transfer the personality and memories of persons.
    • Humanoid robots.
    • Antigravity vehicles.
    • Sleeping berths where two hours of sleep refresh like eight normal hours would.
    • Etc.

    As they awoke more people, Veneyans resumed scientific progress which had halted for almost 2.5M years due to the tiny active population. This made it possible to improve their vehicles, but also to employ point-to-point FTL  tech.

    Back to the Triangulum, part 1

    Veneyan FTL flight employs a sort of energy tunnel. It is loosely comparable to a black hole, and likely counts as a wormhole . Within it shuttles can do one million light years per month of subjective time. The passengers will be kept in magnetic suspended animation.

    In 1975, the space station sent to establish such a tunnel between the 11th ship’s destination and Veneya’s system arrived to its destination. It parked itself in Saturn’s orbit. That was 400K years after the spaceship as it had to “spin” its tunnel whilst travelling, slowing it down.

    After a year of testing, the Veneyans decided to launch an expedition to their home system. Since most Veneyans were still uncomfortable operating overground, Khâny recruited Yoko, Vic and Pol as a reconnaissance team.

    Once back in the Veneya system, the Veneyans and the Terrans discovered that the homeworld was still around. The red sun had died and exploded before the blue one did. Then the blue one had become stable and turned yellow by absorbing gases from the dead red one.

    Back to the Triangulum, part 2

    The shock of the red’s explosion had kicked Veneya to a stable and safe orbit around the yellow sun. It seemed potentially habitable since the catastrophic solar events had occurred millions of years ago.

    Yoko Tsuno's Ryu space frigate

    Yoko’s Ryu frigate.

    As it turned out Veneya was now tidally locked, with an ice side and a scorched side. But there was still hope that a temperate band would be habitable. The Trio discovered that there indeed was an habitable zone… and that it was already inhabited.

    The Veneyan dedicated themselves to restoring part of their homeworld to habitability. They also established contact with the locals. The bulk of the population was kept suspended on Earth as the adaptation to surface life process continued.

    Their Terran scouts would prove very useful in :

    • Solving a number of issues with the locals.
    • Discovering the legacies from Veneya’s history after the departure of the last evacuation ship.
    • Finding out what had happened on several colonised moons and planets in the Veneya system, such as Ixo, Shŷra or Ultima.


    Yoko is a slim — 50kg at most — Japanese woman in her mid-20s. She’s eternally wearing her late 1960s hairstyle held by a headband. Her French and her English are better than most natives’, with a rigorous grammar.

    Yoko’s wardrobe has evolved as the decades progressed. But in formal occasions she sometimes wears a traditional ladies’ kimono. Though she has been living in Belgium for decades, her clothing and interior decoration maintain a Japanese flair.

    Ms. Tsuno tends to swear in Japanese. But she has occasionally used her improbable “by the thousand kimonos !” exclamation in French. Since the flow of the phrase is identical to much more common and way more vulgar French swearing, the “thousand kimonos” thing is probably a polite euphemism.

    Yoko Tsuno and Pol Pitron

    She is a gearhead, and will often get herself a cool set of wheels. In 1973 that was a then-cutting edge Japanese mini-motorbike. In 2012 it’s a Lotus Elise  (mostly paid for by her father). She will be enthusiastic if she has an opportunity to fly a cool plane.

    Unlike many action heroes, Yoko frequently changes her clothing to stay fresh and clean. Except, of course, during lengthy expeditions in the field where she cannot bring much luggage. She prefers traditionally feminine clothing, and somehow never has any difficulties operating in a tight skirt and heels.

    Yoko being photogenic and skinny, she once did a fashion photoshoot. This was presumably a consequence of making a new friend who happened to work in this industry.


    Yoko is a nice and very positive heroine. She :

    • Is unusually kind and friendly.
    • Will always help and defend the innocent.
    • Seeks to serve the common good.
    • Uses the minimum amount of violence that can reasonably be deployed.
    • Certainly doesn’t want to injure or kill anybody.

    She will never do anything bad. For instance she completely refused to desecrate a tomb, an action which few adventurers would hesitate to conduct. She genuinely cares for people. She will shoot attacking animals if she has to, but the death of any sapient  opponent is something she considers a grave personal failure.

    Into the breach

    Her bravery is amazing. She will unhesitatingly dive into adventure and danger with the firm intent to do good and protect folks. Yoko never just minds her own business, and keeps getting involved in dangerous situations. Her friends have long since learned to just roll along, since she’s too determined to be convinced not to.

    In fact she can get imperious. She is also extremely independent, and terrible at following any order with which she disagrees. On the other hand she is unusually trusting toward strangers, though it generally works out well for her.

    Yoko Tsuno is a serious person. She quips a bit, but is very facts-based. Likewise, while she’s very kind, she’s also highly goal-oriented and has something of a temper. Yoko can take blatantly unreasonable risks when she’s investigating something or she’s pissed off.

    The latter is easily achieved through racist remarks. These were not uncommon in her early career, back when Japan was perceived as exotic and mysterious in the West. Corrosive sarcasm will also probably be part of her response.


    Friendship is very important to Yoko. She wants (or perhaps even needs) to be everybody’s friend. She is uncommonly loyal toward those who reciprocate.

    Yoko Tsuno in an ultralight among pteranodons

    These are not stories with a lot of bad guys who are bad because they’re evil and evil is bad. Hence, Yukio’s policy of open mind and open hand will often play in her favour. It will have some opponents reconsider what they are doing.

    Tsuno accepts that sometimes a bad guy is just a bad guy. But she is visibly disappointed when somebody interesting refuses to be her friend.

    … and foreigners…

    In the early stories, written in the early 1970s, Yoko still has various cliché Orientalist  sayings. Yet she is deliberately kept mostly culture-neutral and even gender-neutral. She is an adventurer and do-gooder who happens to be a Japanese woman rather than the other way around.

    The Orientalist stuff is clearly a product of the information then available about Japanese cultures. It quickly recedes as a better understanding of the country and its people becomes available to the author.

    Yoko Tsuno in a small boat runs into a sea monster

    Yoko continues to respect various concepts such as loyalty toward her country, respect toward her parents and elders, etc. more than most Westerners do. There’s also a strong implication that she cannot lie to an older family member under any circumstances.

    However, she also stated after a dozen years of Belgian life that she had come to feel every bit as European as she feels Japanese.

    In 1985 she stated that she wasn’t sufficiently old and wise to consider herself a full adult. Hence the symbol on her plane – a red half-circle with a red horizontal bar underneath. The half-circle — the top half the rising sun on the Japanese flag — represented the women of Japan, and the line underneath where was Yoko was at that point of her maturation.

    … and family.

    Tsuno’s crew is closer to an extended family. It comes complete with children, since her daughter Morning Dew and Khâny’s kid sister Poky are about in the same age.

    Vic, Pol and Seiki Tsuno are the only recurrent male characters, with most of the cast being female.

    Circumstances perennially conspire to have Morning Dew and Poky accompany the adults in the field, though it is occasionally possible to do the sensible thing and leave them safely behind.


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    Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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    Yoko Tsuno

    Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Uphold Good
    Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Engineer
    Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
    Init: 015 HP: 035

    Iron Will: 02, Mind Blank: 02

    Bonuses and Limitations:
    Both Iron Will and Mind Blank are Skilled Powers, and require an Automatic Action to work during any given Phase.

    Accuracy (Social interaction with children): 05, Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Acrobatics (Dodging): 02, Animal handling (Elephants): 03, Artist (Photography/video): 03, Charisma: 05, Detective (Police procedure): 06, Gadgetry: 05, Martial Artist (AV, incl. Techniques): 05, Martial Artist (EV): 04, Medicine (First aid): 03, Scientist: 04, Thief (Stealth, pickpocket): 04, Vehicles: 06, Weaponry (Archery): 05

    Bonuses and Limitations:

    • Yoko’s adventure take place in a Genre with realistic Gadgetry rules, where inventions are a major undertaking.
    • Martial Artist (EV) can only be used against targets who cannot see the blow coming, or do not have time to react.
    • Martial Artist (EV) can also be used as EV for disarming attempts – and without restrictions.

    Buddies (Vic Vidéo, Pol Pitron, Monya Ichida, Myna the mini-robot, Emilia MacKinley), Credentials (Yoko has root privileges on all automated systems in the City of Depths, on Veneya), Edge (BODY), Familiarity (SCUBA diving, Buddhism lore, Ichthyology, Oyster pearl farming, Audio engineering, Television work, Veneyan technology, Parachuting, Chess), Iron Nerves, Languages (French, Japanese, German, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Balinese, Indonesian), Local Hero (admirers of Seiki Tsuno).

    Khâny of Veneya (High), Ingrid Hallberg (High), Lin-Po (High), Countess Olga (High), Cecilia (High), MI-5 (Low).

    Dependant (Morning Dew), Dependants (Vic and Pol, 5 points), Edge (STR).


    • HUMMINGBIRD MINI-JET [STR 04, BODY 07, Flight: 09, Gliding: 06, Radar sense: 17], occasionally with ANTI-MISSILE PODS [BODY 02, AV 12, EV (Scattershot): 05, Ammo: 04, Limitation: AV is limited to targeting missiles within the Hummingbird’s rear cone].
    • XXXIXth century tech-scanner binoculars [BODY 01, Detect (Energy, metals (both are Discerning)): 04, Detect (Time translator): 09, Gadgetry (Identify Gadget): 08, Life sense: 05, X-Ray vision: 04].

    When travelling with Monya, Yoko will usually be issued a Stun Pistol [BODY 01, Mental blast: 07, Limitation: Mental blast only affects living beings, Mental Blast only for Bashing Combat, Mental Blast cannot result in Knockback].

    Veneyan equipment:
    When the Trio is adventuring on Veneya or its solar system, Khâny normally provides them with Veneyan equipment. Common equipment includes :

    • TELEPATHY HEADSET [BODY 01, Telepathy: 04, Limitations: Telepathy cannot be used for mental combat].
    • LIGHT PROTECTIVE SUIT [BODY 06, Cold immunity: 01, Flame immunity: 01, Lighting immunity: 01].
    • VACUUM SUIT [BODY 07, Cling: 04, Cold immunity: 01, Flame immunity: 01, Lighting immunity: 01, Radio communications: 14, Sealed Systems: 12, Limitations: Cling only works on magnetic surfaces such as starship hulls].
    • Laser cutting torch [BODY 02, Heat vision: 09, Limitation: Heat vision has a Range of 01 AP, Drawback: the battery will eventually run out, but a cutter can be used for continuous work for about an hour, Advantage: torches can be operated with unmodified DEX as they just involve pointing a pen-like tool at the spot ; they also work fine underwater].
    • FLYER [BODY 06, Flight: 09]. A very light and compact one- or two-person aircraft with VTOL capabilities.

    Vic Vidéo

    Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Uphold Good
    Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: TV producer
    Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
    Init: 013 HP: 015

    Martial Artist: 03, Vehicles: 04

    Buddies (Yoko Tsuno and Pol Pitron), Familiarity (SCUBA diving, Veneyan technology, Chess), Expertise (Television work), Language (French, Flemish).

    Belgian public television (Low).

    Dependant (Yoko, 0 pts).

    Pol Pitron

    Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Uphold Good
    Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Camera operator
    Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
    Init: 006 HP: 010

    Artist (Photography/video): 04, Gadgetry: 03, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms, heavy): 03

    Bonuses and Limitations:
    Gadgetry only for maintenance, repairs and power user operations.

    Buddies (Yoko Tsuno and Vic Vidéo), Familiarity (SCUBA diving, Television work, Veneyan technology, Beekeeping, Radio technician, Air navigation, Chess), Language (French, Flemish).

    None demonstrated.

    Dependant (Yoko, 0 pts), MIA toward good food and pretty women.

    By Sébastien Andrivet.

    Source of Character: Yoko Tsuno graphic novels by Roger Leloup.

    Helper(s): Ethan Roe ; fr.wikipedia for identifying the Seawind 3000.

    Writeup completed on the 1st of September, 2013.

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