Langrisser (ラングリッサー Rangurissā ) is a five-part video game series created by Masaya, the software division of Nippon Computer Systems created in the early 1990s. The development team working under Masaya is Career Soft. The Growlanser series is considered the spiritual successor to Langrisser.
The games are set in a world where there are only two known mega-continents: El Sallia and Yeless. With the exception of the fourth and fifth installments, all games are set exclusively on El Sallia, although references are sometimes made to the other continents. The series maintains a fantasy Germanic setting, but draws on religious concepts like ditheism and sword worship for historical context.
Gameplay in the Langrisser series is similar to many other tactical role-playing games. The game is divided into Scenarios, each of which reveals a portion of the story through battle interaction. Langrisser set itself apart from other tactical RPGs in its time with larger-scale battles, where the player could control over thirty units at one time and fight against scores of enemies.
At the outset of battle, military commanders are positioned on the game's map and units are hired. Combat always follows a system of turns. In the first two games, any unit can be moved at any time during your turn, but each unit can only be moved once. In the last two games, a clock was introduced and units were moved in turn according to agility.
A unit's commander class dictates the radius of its command range. Units battling within this command range receive a bonus to their attack and defense due to proximity to the commander.
Commanders can recover life using a specific command depending on the game. In the first game the Treat Command will recover 3 health points. In later versions of the game the Treat Command is replaced by the Heal command which recovers 3 health points (HP) and 2 magic points. A commander’s troops recover by being positioned directly around the commander. Each will recover 3 HP at the start of a turn.
Units work on an affinity system. Fliers are strong to soldiers but weak to bowmen. Soldiers are strong to pikemen but weak to cavalry. Cavalry are strong to soldiers and weak to pikemen. Holy units are strong against demon units. Seafaring units get a tactical advantage when attacking from water.
Since Der Langrisser, the series offered non-linear branching paths and multiple endings. The player's choices and actions in Der Langrisser affected which of four different paths they followed, either aligning themselves with one of three different factions or fighting against all of them. Each of the four paths leads to a different ending and there are over 75 possible scenarios. Langrisser III introduced a relationship system similar to dating sims. Depending on the player's choices and actions, the feelings of the female allies will change towards the player character, who will end up with the female ally he is closest with.
El Sallia, since time immemorial, has been influenced by the power of "gods". The evil gods were originally their own tribe, and over time one rose to power to dominate all the others. He was the dark god, Chaos, worshiped by the devil tribe. Conversely, Lushiris, a goddess of light, was worshiped by the humans.
Each god has its own avatar to exercise its power in the human world and prepare for its coming. Chaos' avatar is Böser (German: "evil one"), a prince of darkness who is really the trapped soul of a damned human. Lushiris' avatar is Jessica, a magician. Each avatar has been entrusted with a sword that carries the weight of the gods’ powers. Böser is responsible for Alhazard, and Jessica is responsible for Langrisser. By choosing a champion for the swords in each era, they influence the world in an endless series of wars.
Langrisser itself is a copy of Alhazard made in ancient times and bound to the soul of Sieghart, the first king to rule Elthlead, later called Baldea, as a Descendant of Light.
The series is actually has a spiritual predecessor in an older NCS strategy game series called Elthlead, which began in 1987. The first two games, Elthlead and Gaia no Monshou, focus on Sieghart's battles against Böser for the power of Gaia. The last game, Gaiflame, is set in the distant future as a new hero, Elvin Lambert, rediscovers the powers lost in the ancient past. The units that Lambert's kingdom uses were first recreated by the Federation Court Magician Gizarof and dark god Gendrasil in Langrisser IV.
Meanwhile in Langrisser Schwarz, a new faction known as the Drake Empire began to rise as the war between the two Avatars escalate. The Drake Empire consists of atheists that seek for World Domination.
Below is a complete list of released Langrisser products:
- Elthlead (1987; PC-88, MSX)
- Gaia no Monshou (1987; PC-88, X1, MSX, PC Engine)
- Gaiflame (1987; PC-88, PC Engine)
- Langrisser (Mega Drive, PC) [US title: Warsong]
- Langrisser: Hikari no Matsuei (NEC PC Engine CD)
- Langrisser II (Sega Mega Drive, PC)
- Der Langrisser (Super NES)
- Der Langrisser FX (NEC PC-FX)
- Langrisser III (Sega Saturn, PS2, PC)
- Langrisser I & II (PlayStation)
- Langrisser: Dramatic Edition (Sega Saturn)
- Langrisser IV (Sega Saturn)
- Langrisser V: The End of Legend (Sega Saturn)
- Langrisser IV & V: Final Edition (PlayStation)
- Langrisser Tribute (Sega Saturn)
- Langrisser Millennium (Dreamcast, PC)
- Langrisser Millennium: The Last Century (Bandai Wonderswan)
Elthlead, Gaia no Monshou, and Gaiflame make up a trilogy of predecessors to the original Langrisser.
Der Langrisser is a remake of Langrisser II with branching story paths. Langrisser: Dramatic Edition is a remake of Langrisser and II, a port of Langrisser and Der Langrisser. Langrisser Tribute is a box set with all five games for the Sega Saturn.
Langrisser Millennium and Langrisser Millennium: The Last Century are not generally considered part of the Langrisser canon. They were not created by the same developers, and have no real connection to the rest of the series.
The only game in the series to be officially localized to English was Langrisser (renamed Warsong) for Mega Drive. Otherwise, English fan translations of Langrisser II (Mega Drive), Der Langrisser (Super Famicom) and Langrisser IV (PlayStation) have been made.
- The Clouds of El Sallia
- Hardcore Gaming 101: Langrisser - history of the Langrisser series at Hardcore Gaming 101.