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Rance (ランス Ransu?) is a series of Japan-exclusive eroge role-playing video games by Alice Soft featuring the titular character, Rance. Starting in 1989, the series has lasted for 20 years, making it one of the longest running adult themed games ever. Among them, Rance series games up to Kichikuou Rance have since been officially permitted by AliceSoft for free public distribution.
Rance: Hikari o Motomete (Rance -光をもとめて-?, "Rance: Quest for Hikari") was Alice Soft's debut title under its present name (however, there have been eroge made by the company preceding this title under the company name "Champion Soft" ). and was first released in July 1989 for the MSX. It was also later released in 1990 for Windows 3.x. An English unofficial translation patch for Rance: Hikari o Motomete was released on January 21, 2011. In this game, Rance, with his magician slave Sill Plain, are searching for Hikari, the missing daughter of a noble family who was kidnapped from her school.
Hikari ("Light"), the red-haired girl seen in an opening clip, has been kidnapped. Rance gets a mission from his boss to investigate the case. Rance is something like a detective in this story, turning the game somewhat into a detective/exploration game, unlike the RPG or strategy gameplay found in later games. Rance is not alone in his job. He is aided by 16-year-old Sill, who is Rance's slave. She was from a wealthy family, but was kidnapped by a bandit and sold in an auction, where Rance bought her.
Now with her help Rance has to solve the mystery of Hikari's disappearance and pay back those responsible.
Rance II: Hangyaku no Shōjotachi (Rance II -反逆の少女たち-?, "Rance II: Rebel Girls")
After ten years of training, the young female disciples of the old mage Ragithis rebelled and killed him, entombing the town in the underground with a barrier spell preventing everyone from going out. This is when Rance appears with Sill by his side, and takes the job of defeating the magician maidens and saving the town. He finds out that the actual villain was Ragithis himself, who put four magical rings on four maidens. The rings give a great boost of magical power to their bearers, but are also able to steal magic power from virgin sorceresses and after collecting the magic power of 40 maidens, anyone could use these rings to obtain unlimited power.
Alicesoft's 20th anniversary compilation Alicesoft 2010 included Rance 02, a remake which included brand new graphics and sound. It also altered several elements which had been retconned. For example, in II the Hanny race is affected by spells, in 02, they are immune.
Rance III: Leazas Kanraku (Rance III -リーザス陥落- Ransu III -Rīzasu Kanraku-?, "Rance III: The Fall of Leazas")
The nation of Leazas is suddenly attacked by their neighbor, Helman. Prince Patton of Helman seeks the Holy Weapons of Leazas; armor, sword, and shield, to unseal one of the two strongest swords in the world, Demonic Blade Chaos. Queen Lia Leazas sends message to the current bearer of the Holy Weapons, Rance, to rescue her and reclaim Leazas' lost territory. Rance, having pawned the Weapons, sets out to reacquire them.
Rance III was translated into English on December 26, 2012 by a fan translator named Tulip Goddess Maria.
Rance IV: Kyōdan no Isan (Rance IV -教団の遺産-?, "Rance IV: Legacy of the Sect")
Rance and Sill on a floating city. It was translated to English in 2013.
Rance 4.1: Okusuri Kōjyō o Sukue! (ランス4.1 ~お薬工場を救え!~?, "Rance 4.1: Save the Medicine Plant!")
This is a side-story in Rance series, dedicated to a factory where a Happiness Medicine is being developed. Rance is hired to investigate the source of troubles there. It was translated to English on January 25, 2014
Rance 4.2: Angel Gumi (ランス4.2 ~エンジェル組~ "Rance 4.2: Angel Group"?)
In this direct continuation of Rance 4.1, Rance and company assault the headquarters of The Angel Group, the gang of monsters attacking Happiness Pharmaceuticals. It was translated to English on March 28th, 2014
Kichikuō Rance (鬼畜王ランス Kichikuō Ransu?, "Brute King Rance") - a "what-if" spin-off not part of the official timeline.
This game is not part of the official Rance universe timeline, forking off after the events of Rance 4.2, as a "what-if" episode. Rance leads a band of bandits which is attacked by the Imperial Patrol, who captured Sill. Rance marries Lia, queen of Leazas, becoming king to take revenge and rescue Sill. It was translated to English on September 13, 2014
Rance 5D: Hitoribocchi no Onnanoko (Rance5D -ひとりぼっちの女の子-?, "Rance 5D: Lonely Girl")
Rance is lost in a dungeon with Sill and must escape to begin a new adventure.
Rance VI: Zesu Hōkai (Rance VI -ゼス崩壊-?, "Rance VI: Collapse of Zeth") was released on August 27, 2004. It features new (relative to the Alice Soft's games) 3D graphics for exploring dungeons.
Rance is thrown into a slave camp while Sill is treated as a VIP. Rance joins up a resistance group to overthrow Zeth's government. Meanwhile, a greater evil conspires to use the resistance to its advantage and conquer all of the Human Realm.
Sengoku Rance (戦国ランス Sengoku Ransu?, lit. Warring States Rance) is the 7th game in the series and was released on December 15, 2006. It is the first game not to have a number in the title, even though in-game the name "Rance VII" is displayed on the background of the title screen as well in the main map. This game takes place in a land known as "ＪＡＰＡＮ" (spelled that way in Japanese using fullwidth English letters), which is partially modeled on the fourth Sengoku period of Japan.
Rance, after saving Zeth from destruction, went to Japan for a hotspring trip, upsetting the power balance of Japan, and sets the unification of its provinces in motion. An ancient evil power arises.
The game includes alternate reality versions of Oda Nobunaga, Shibata Katsuie, Maeda Toshiie, Niwa Nagahide, Akechi Mitsuhide, Uesugi Kenshin, Naoe Kanetsugu, Takeda Shingen, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Imagawa Yoshimoto, Date Masamune, Asakura Yoshikage, Mouri Motonari, Shimazu Yoshihisa, Hojo Soun, Sakamoto Ryouma, Yamamoto Isoroku, and Saint Francis Xavier among its cast.
Sengoku Rance was ranked first in System, fifth in Music, sixth in Scenario, seventh in Visuals, and fourth place overall in Getchu.com's 2006 Bishōjo Game Ranking.
Rance Quest (ランス・クエスト Ransu Kuesuto?) is the sequel to Sengoku Rance. It is a dungeon crawler RPG released in Japan on 26 August 2011. Its title and logo are parodies of the Dragon Quest series of games.
Rance goes to the Kalar Forest to find a way to unfreeze Sill, who was trapped in ice during the events of Sengoku Rance. Rance is affected by a curse that prevents him from having sex with any woman less than level 35 and doing so makes the woman in question drop to level 1 instantly. He must now pursue the Kalar queen to free himself from the curse.
An expansion pack for Rance Quest, titled Rance Quest Magnum (ランス・クエスト マグナム Ransu Kuesuto Magunamu?) was released on 24 February 2012. It requires the original Rance Quest installed to play and adds new scenarios including an entire what-if route, items and characters in addition to overall system enhancements and fixes.
Rance IX:The Helman Revolution (Rance IX -ヘルマン革命- Ransu IX Heruman Kakumei?), the sequel to Rance Quest, was released on 4/25/2014. The story involves Rance's conquest of The Helman Empire by joining forces with the rebels led by the exiled prince Patton Misnarge. The game features seven main heroines and turn-based SLG gameplay.
- Rance Series and Rance Quest Summary (Japanese)
- アリスソフト アーカイブズ (Japanese)
- List of Alice Soft's games (Japanese)
- Champion Soft on VNDB - The Visual Novel Database
- 2006年美少女ゲームランキング 結果発表 [2006 Bishoujo Game Ranking Results Announcement] (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-03-31.
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance 5D
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance VI
- (Japanese) Official page for Sengoku Rance
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance 02
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance Quest
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance 01
- (Japanese) Official page for Rance IX
- Rance: Hikari o Motomete at MobyGames
- Rance II: Hangyaku no Shōjotachi at MobyGames
- Rance III: Leazas Kanraku at MobyGames
- Rance - Hikari o Motomete - at The Visual Novel Database
- Rance (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia