The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (November 2014)
|Developer(s)||Masaya Games (Team Career)|
|Publisher(s)||Nippon Computer Systems|
|Genre(s)||Tactical role-playing game|
Langrisser II is a tactical role-playing game for the Sega Mega Drive console. It is the sequel to Warsong, and was never released outside Japan. Langrisser II was also remade for the Super Famicom by Masaya as Der Langrisser, which featured multiple paths through the game, greatly reduced difficulty, and reworked graphics. A PC-FX port, Der Langrisser FX, was also released, featuring animated cutscenes. It was later compiled with the first Langrisser for the PlayStation as Langrisser I&II, and then given a script edit and new branch of the Imperial path in its final Saturn remake as Langrisser: Dramatic Edition. A Windows 98 release of the game was released in Japanese, Chinese and Korean; it features redrawn, high-resolution graphics, but a vastly trimmed-down soundtrack to fit the confines of a standard length CD. A full remake of Langrisser I&II was also released in 2019 on both Sony PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, featuring highly rendered graphics and BGM.
Der Langrisser was one of the first tactical RPGs to allow the player a choice of story paths. Depending on the player's choices, the protagonist of the game, Erwin, can switch allegiances between three factions: the Descendants of Light, the Rayguard Empire, and the Demon Tribe. Alternatively, he can choose to create his own faction in opposition to the other three.
Erwin begins the game on the side of the Descendants of Light, fighting against the Rayguard Empire, which has enlisted the aid of the Dark Lord Böser in the interest of unifying the continent and putting an end to the wars which plague it, unaware that Böser is chiefly responsible for the conflicts. To unify the continent, the Empire needs the power of the two legendary swords, Alhazard and its anti-type, Langrisser. Determined that the two swords should not serve one master, the Descendants of Light, led by Jessica, pledge to stop the Empire from finding Langrisser. Erwin commits to discovering Langrisser before the Empire.
Erwin's rival for Langrisser, Leon, is the leader of the Empire's Blue Dragon Knights and a frequent obstacle to Erwin's progress. By chance, however, the two find themselves participating in a common cause, and begin to suspect that the differences between them are not as great as they imagined. Leon suggests that Erwin side with the Empire, the choice of which is left to the player's discretion. If Erwin sides with the Empire, the roles of protagonist and antagonist are reversed: Jessica's Descendants of Light side against Erwin and the player, and the Rayguard Empire allies itself to Erwin. Former allies become enemies, and previously defeated enemy commanders become allies. The choice of sides carries significant weight to the story, because Erwin will ultimately have to kill the opposing side's commanders to bring peace.
If the player refuses Leon's offer to change sides, Erwin will remain with the Descendants of Light until the Empire is completely crushed. If the player accepts, Erwin remains with Rayguard until Langrisser is found, at which point the player may choose to betray the Empire if Erwin takes Langrisser before Leon. If Erwin betrays the Empire, he commits himself to the destruction of both the Empire and the Descendants of Light. The Prince of Darkness Böser, sensing Erwin's strength, himself betrays the Empire and places his forces under the player's command. Erwin remains with Böser until the unsealing of Alhazard, at which point he may leave it to the player's discretion whether or not to continue on with Böser or to betray him. If Boser is betrayed, Erwin will commit to a totally independent path of absolute peace for demons and humans, ultimately setting himself in opposition to the Goddess Lushiris herself. If Erwin remains loyal to Böser, he commits to destroying the Demon Tribe's enemies and taking power for himself, assuming the character of a sociopath.
Relations with Kaiser Bernhardt
Depending on the path taken, Erwin's relationship to Kaiser Bernhardt, the leader of the Rayguard Empire, takes one of several forms. On the Light Path, the steady advance of Erwin and the Descendents of Light compels Bernhardt to ever greater dependence on the Demon Tribe and Al-hazard, culminating in his suicide as a final act of defiance against Erwin. On the Imperial Path, Erwin submits to Bernhardt's rule and is given Al-hazard as a token of Bernhardt's esteem. On the Independent and Chaos paths, Erwin hunts Bernhardt after an attempt by Rayguard to ambush Erwin fails. Bernhardt escapes long enough to reflect on his ambitions and their consequences, but is cornered and killed by Erwin. If Erwin has accepted the Independent path, Bernhardt takes solace in the knowledge that Erwin intends to bring peace after he is gone. If Erwin has chosen the Chaos path, Bernhardt leaves him with a warning against the use of peace and darkness for the same ends, which Erwin fails to comprehend.
Relations with the Goddess, Lushiris
Because Erwin is presented as the avatar of Lushiris' will, Lushiris is accepting of the player's decisions in his name, even if she disagrees with them. Although Lushiris does not appear on the Light path due to Erwin's compliance with her wishes, Erwin's use of Langrisser for ends opposite her own provokes her to action on the Independent and Chaos paths. Should Erwin take the independent road, he will find himself in opposition to Jessica, who serves as Lushiris' formal avatar on behalf of her own personal desires. Jessica plans to defeat Erwin by deactivating Langrisser, believing Lushiris will be open to this possibility due to the defeat of Böser and the non-necessity of Langrisser's continued existence as a counterweight to Alhazard. To prevent this from happening, Erwin invades Lushiris' domain before she can act. Lushiris determines that Erwin has strayed from her guidance as a means of proving that a person as great as Erwin can exist, as a testament to humanity's ability to end social conflicts and bring peace. Erwin defeats Lushiris but not before receiving a final warning that one day he too will be confronted with someone with the will to overthrow the existing order, just as he has done to Lushiris. Her words prove prophetic, as Erwin finds himself faced with a new movement of people who believe that if only they are strong enough, they too could rule El Sallia.
Lushiris takes a different approach on the Chaos path. Unable to accept the possibility of Chaos' reign, she personally descends to El Sallia to defeat Erwin after Jessica is killed. Although Erwin defeats her, Lushiris poses an ominous warning to Erwin before dying, arguing that although his way has proven triumphant, he is nearly insane and capable of great destruction. If he should abuse his position as ruler, she warns, her will would re-manifest and punish him. Although there is no clear statement of her return in the epilogue, Erwin is described as facing a rebellion of people who have united in the face of a common enemy, suggesting it is her spirit within them that has taken its vengeance for Erwin's misdeeds.
- Elwin: A wandering swordsman searching for his instructor's murderer. He will find the murderer only if he chooses to stay on the light path.
- Hein: A young magician in training that Elwin met on his journeys. Beside Elwin, Hein is the only character that is playable on all the paths.
- Liana: A maiden from the shrine of light who lost her parents at birth. Her twin sister was kidnapped when they were small. In the endings of light and independent paths, she opens an orphanage for kids who lost their parents during the war, the two endings are quite similar for Liana, since Elwin will find her and gives her the money to run the orphanage. For the independent path, this will only apply if the player did not kill her during the final battle with the Goddess.
- Scott: The adopted son, student and heir to the Lord of Salrath Country.
- Rohga: A powerful mercenary willing to sell his blade to the highest bidder. He follows the player in every scenario path except the light path.
- Cherie: The rebellious princess of Kalxath Kingdom who wants to see the world. She has a crush on Elwin, but after the player killed her in the Imperial path, she will confess that she loves him.
- Keith: The retainer of Kalxath and commander of its famous aerial knights.
- Jessica: The avatar of the goddess Lusiris (she is only playable in the Sega Genesis Version).
- Lester: A former pirate who has devoted himself to protecting the sorceress Jessica.
- Aaron: An old swordsman who has been watching the world for too long.
- Leon: A young idealistic knight who commands the Blue Dragon Knights, he is a descendant of the light like Elwin and Cherie.
- Imelda: The cold, narcissistic lady commander of the Water Dragon Navy.
- Vargas: Strong as a bear and the General of the Blazing Dragon Army.
- Egbert: The General of the Dark Dragon Sorcerers and Kaiser's counsel. A former student of Jessica who sees that the darkness is rising again, he joins forces with the Empire in hopes that they have what it takes to destroy the darkness.
- Esto: A parasitic monster loyal to the Prince of Darkness, Böser.
- Osto: A minion of darkness with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
- Sonya: A half-human, half-demon girl who has an axe to grind with all humanity.
- Lána: The long-lost twin of Liana who was mysteriously kidnapped after birth. She has feelings for Leon.
Non-playable characters (major)
- Böser (ger.: "evil one"): Prince of Darkness who has been sowing discord in El Sallia since ancient times.
- Jessica (SFC version): An ancient magician who knows much of the history of Langrisser. Jessica has the ability to be reborn over and over again, but it takes time before she can recover her power completely in each reincarnation.
- Morgan: A sorcerer in Egbert's service.
- Laird: Leon's right-hand man. A knight-in-training with a penchant for battle tactics.
- Zorum: A comrade of General Vargas who has absolute confidence in his strategic ability.
- Bernhardt: The Kaiser of Rayguard. A charismatic leader who seeks to unite the continent through the power of the dark sword, Alhazard.
Non-playable characters (minor)
- Krämer: A lieutenant of the Water Dragon Navy under Imelda.
- Camilia: A proud sorceress of the Dark Dragon Sorcerers who is in charge of ensuring that the Descendants of Light do not escape during the fire at Jessica's home.
An arranged soundtrack Langrisser II Original Game Music, based on the original Sega Genesis version of the game, was released October 26, 1994, by Toshiba EMI. Its catalog code is TYCY-5403.
The original Mega Drive version of Langrisser II had been translated by the fan groups of Hiryuu Honyaku and later, building on that group's work, NoPrgress. However, the final translation patch from March 21, 2001 still remained incomplete with the ending missing. Also, the translation was considered unpolished and incomplete. Seven years later, on August 13, 2008 another translation effort started by D was finally finished and released by popular Mega Drive hacker MIJET. This translation proved to be complete and accurate, even featuring a dual language feature that would let the game play with the original Japanese texts if played on a Japanese console. In the works since 2001, an English-language translation for Der Langrisser, the Super Famicom version of the game, was publicly released in June 2007.
- Kalata, Kurt. "Hardcore Gaming 101: Langrisser". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: デア ラングリッサー. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.342. Pg.31. 7 July 1995.