Hello Tenno, I have recently completed the Chains of Harrow quest line. And I was pleasantly surprised with how they depicted Rell as a character with Autism Spectrum Disorder (refereed to ASD from here on forward).
After completing the story I was impressed that DE didn't make the quest about curing or defeating Rell's ASD. Instead Rell's ASD is seen more as a character trait than an inherent flaw. There is an unfortunately common misconception that ASD is a "disease" that must be cured coughAutism Speakscough. ASD is the result of the brain simply being "wired" in a way so that things are perceived differently, this is simply something that can't really be cured. This is why groups that actually advocate on the behalf of people with ASD are proponents of accommodation rather than curing. During the quest we see Rell struggling with some of the issues asociated with ASD, such as recognizing facial expressions, communicating emotions, and the perceptions of sound and touch (I will delve into the perceptions part later). The facial expression is done surprisingly realistically. When I was in elementary school I was in a Special Education class a few times a week, and one of the things me and my peers did was work on our recognizing emotions by saying what emotion was displayed on a card. The communicating emotions was done very well as well, a problem some people on the spectrum have is communicating thoughts. In Rell's case we have him taking a bit longer to articulate words and phrases, such as "Mmm, Because I'm not broken.". This not broken phrase also reinforces that Rell's ASD isn't a disease that must be cured.
Throughout the quest and in the Rell web comic, Rell and Palladino mention that Rell doesn't react well to certain sounds colors and textures. This is due to ASD resulting in certain things being perceived differently. For example, I cannot stand high pitched whistling sounds, while my neurotypical peers don't have such a reaction. This differing perception of things may also be the reason why Rell has been the only Tenno to have seen the Man in The Wall as a visible entity.
Lastly, I think it's really interesting that the Orokin, a people so obsessed with perfection and normality didn't try to fix Rell's ASD. This would imply that Orokin society doesn't view ASD as an issue, so props to the Orokin for that I suppose.
TLDR: DE did a really good job at depicting a character with Autism. 10 "Rap tap taps"/ 10
Apologies if things got a bit rambley here and there, I have a lot of thoughts on the quest I wanted to voice.
Edit: As users have brought up, the Orokin's accommodation may have been because of practicality, rather than kindness. And that's probably a better assessment
Source: Original link
© Post "Rell’s story from the perspective of someone with Autism" for game Warframe.
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