Rance (series)

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Rance
Rance cover.jpg
The cover of the first game of the Rance series, Rance – Hikari Quest –.
Genre(s)Role-playing game
Developer(s)AliceSoft
Publisher(s)AliceSoft
Platform(s)PC-8800 series, PC-9800 series, Sharp X68000 and similar models, Windows, others
First releaseRance – Hikari Quest –
15 August 1989
Latest releaseRance X – Decisive Battle –
23 February 2018
Spin-offsthe Brutal King Rance-based time-line

Rance is a role-playing video-game series created, developed, and published by AliceSoft.[1] It is the oldest continually-running erotic video-game series. The first installment, Rance – Hikari Quest –, was released in 1989, while the last main-series game, Rance X – Decisive Battle –, was released in 2018.[2]

The Rance series follows the titular character, Rance, as he saves a number of kingdoms, defeats demon invaders, and causes mischief in the in-game world, "The Continent." He has appeared in most of the main series games as the playable character, accompanied by his loyal slave, Sill Plain. The main series has nine games, while the Kichikuou Rance sub-series has five games either released as a part of the sub-series or canonically altered to be in that time-line. In addition, the first two games, Rance – Hikari Quest – and Rance Ⅱ – Rebellious Maidens –, have been retro-actively superseded by their later-released versions, Rance 01 – Hikari Quest – and Rance 02 – Rebellious Maidens –.

Games[edit]

Rance titles
by release date
1989Rance – Hikari Quest –
1990Rance Ⅱ – Rebellious Maidens –
1991Rance Ⅲ – Fall of Leazas –
1992
1993Rance Ⅳ – Legacy of the Sect –
1994
1995Rance 4.1 ~ Saving Pharmaceutical ~
Rance 4.2 ~ Angel Army ~
1996Brutal King Rance
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002Rance 5D – Lonely Girl –
2003
2004Rance Ⅵ – Collapse of Zeth –
2005
2006Warring-States Rance
2007
2008
2009Rance 02 – Rebellious Maidens –
2010
2011Rance Quest – Rance Quest –
2012Rance Quest Magnum
2013Rance 01 – Hikari Quest –
2014Rance Ⅸ – Helman Revolution –
2015Rance 03 – Fall of Leazas –
2016
2017
2018Rance Ⅹ – Decisive Battle –
TBARance 04 – Legacy of the Sect –

Rance – Hikari Quest –[edit]

Rance is given the task of finding and protecting the daughter of a rich family by Keith Gold, the owner of a local guild to which Rance is attached; he appears in almost all of the Rance series games. Rance investigates the city, while Sill investigates at Paris Academy, where the kidnapping victim attended school. The first game made by AliceSoft, it was released on the PC-8800 and PC-9800 series of computers, as well as the Sharp X68000, the MSX 2 and 2+, the FM TOWNS, and the PC88VA. A Windows 95–03 version of the game was released in the late 1990s, about eight years after the first game was released.

Rance 01 – Hikari Quest –[edit]

Rance 01 – Hikari Quest –, released for Windows in 2013, has the same setting as Rance – Hikari Quest –, and replaces the latter in the main canon. The game featured an improved gameplay system, and features more new content from Rance – Hikari Quest – comparatively to Rance 02 – Rebellious Maidens –, the re-release of Rance Ⅱ – Rebellious Maidens –.

Rance Ⅱ – Rebellious Maidens –[edit]

The city of Kathtom, a member of the Free Cities Alliance, is suddenly entombed under-ground by the Four Mages who were tasked to guard the town by Ragishss Cryhausen, the city's former guardian. Rance sets out with Sill to defeat them, but soon learns that their minds were corrupted by the power of the rings that they wield. Rance sets out to prevent them from receiving the magic power the rings grant. It was released on the same computer systems as the first Rance game was.

Rance 02 – Rebellious Maidens –[edit]

A graphical re-make of Rance Ⅱ – Rebellious Maidens –, released for Windows in 2009. It was the genesis for the other early Rance series game re-releases. It did not contain as much new content as the next re-release, Rance 01 – Hikari Quest –.

Rance Ⅲ – Fall of Leazas –[edit]

Leazas, a kingdom ruled by Queen Lia, who marries Rance in the Brutal King Rance time-line, is invaded by the warring empire of Helman, to the west. Demons are believed to be the cause of the attack, and to solve that problem, Rance sets out to find the "Chaos" sword, which contains the soul of an incredible thief from about one and one-half millennia ago. It was released on the PC-9800 series of computers, along with Sharp X68000 and the FM TOWNS; an early Windows release, similar to those that the first two Rance games received, was also released.

Rance 03 – Fall of Leazas –[edit]

A complete re-creation of Rance Ⅲ – Fall of Leazas –, released for Windows in 2015. The graphics are renewed, while the story is changed to better fit into the main canon. It is the most advanced of the early Rance re-releases.

Rance Ⅳ – Legacy of the Sect –[edit]

This game directly follows the events of its predecessor. Rance, having defeated the demons of Helman and saved Leazas, is teleported to Ylapu, a giant floating island above Leazas. There, Rance must find a way to escape from the island, but is hindered by agents of Leazas and Helman who come to retrieve him to The Continent. The legacy alluded to by the game's title is a powerful magical artifact left by the Holy Magic Sect. It was released for the PC-9800 series and the FM TOWNS.

Rance 4.1 ~ Saving Pharmaceutical ~[edit]

Rance accepts a quest to stop a horde of under-ground monsters from attacking the Happiness Pharmaceutical building, where the Seirogan, a healing medicine, is produced. They discover that the perpetrators are the Angel Army; one of their commanders escapes, which begins the next game, Rance 4.2 ~ Angel Army ~.

Rance 4.2 ~ Angel Army ~[edit]

In a continuance of the previous game, Rance 4.1 ~ Saving Pharmaceutical ~, Rance chases down the remainder of the Angel Army, while himself being chased after by an assassination group and three "Rare Gal-Monsters," a class of unique enemies that he offended in Rance Ⅳ – Legacy of the Sect –. The two games were released for the PC-9800 series, with a separate on-disc version.

Brutal King Rance[edit]

The game was assumed to be the final in the Rance series, and one of the final AliceSoft games; however, its great popularity allowed the company to continue its production of games. Rance, bored of his normal life, gathers a group of outlaw bandits and takes over some towns in southern Helman. The imperial army quickly puts down Rance's rebellion and take Sill captive; however, he escapes to Leazas, where he marries the country's queen to become a tyrant "brutal king," commanding his own army to seek his revenge on Helman. Large opposition forces arise tried to remove the tyrant ruler from power; yet, Rance continues his trials to re-assert his power as the King of Leazas, retrieve Sill from Helman control, and take over the world. Rance, in fulfilling his general rôle as an epic hero, saves The Continent from destruction by a greater evil. It is the first territory acquisition-based Rance game, and was the genesis for other similarly-designed games. It was also the first AliceSoft game released for Windows, instead of any number of Japanese computer systems. All other Rance games to-date have been released for Windows.

Rance 5D – Lonely Girl –[edit]

The temporary stop in the production of Rance games, including the release of "Daiakuji" a year prior, led to the largest time-gap in-between the release of two Rance games. Rance 5D – Lonely Girl – is based on a unique roulette system, where the role-playing elements are determined by randomisation. In the game, Rance is travelling through The Continent, trying to recover the always-lacking money, when Rance and Sill accidentally enter Genbu Castle, a separate dimension. Rance et al. must then escape the dimension, with a newly-found woman, Rizna Lanfbitt of Zeth.

Rance Ⅵ – Collapse of Zeth –[edit]

Rance, continuing his trials from Rance 5D – Lonely Girl –, travels to Zeth, a kingdom to the south-west of Leazas. He offends Radon, a high governmental official, and is sent to the slave camp; Sill, who he bought from the Zeth slave camp, is treated very kindly. Whilst within the Zeth slave camp, Rance joins the resistance group "Ice Flame," which seeks to change the un-equal governing system of Zeth, which is biased against non-magic users. Rance Ⅵ – Collapse of Zeth – is considered to be one of the best games in the Rance series, which is helped by the continuance of the game from the Brutal King Rance time-line.

Warring-States Rance[edit]

Rance sets out for JAPAN, an island archipelago to the east of The Continent, which is modeled after the Warring-States Period of Japanese history. The original English translation of this game, that of Yandere Translations, gave the Rance series, and AliceSoft in general, a noticeable presence in the western world. Warring-States Rance, also known by its title in the Japanese, Sengoku Rance, was one of AliceSoft's best-selling titles of all time. In the game, Rance, having taken control of one of the feudal states, seeks to take over JAPAN through his control of the state, and save it from destruction.

Rance Quest – Rance Quest –[edit]

A continuation of the previous game, Warring-States Rance, wherein Rance returns to The Continent to seek a cure for the curse placed on Sill. While attempting to convince the Queen of Pencilcow, a kingdom to the west of Leazas, to cure Sill, he offends her, and she places a curse on him that he must become much stronger to overcome. He then journeys around The Continent, seeking a cure for himself and Sill. The game is based more upon the cessation of the stories of individual characters rather than a more continuous story-line.

Rance Quest Magnum[edit]

An expansion of Rance Quest – Rance Quest –, this game follows Rance as he quests around The Continent to break the curse incurred upon himself in the previous game. The game focuses on the addition of sundry quests, through which Rance can adventure, ostensibly to cure his curse, although primarily in practice to assuage the effects of the curse.

Rance Ⅸ – Helman Revolution –[edit]

The government of Helman has fallen into the hands of Stessel Ignon, who corrupts the country and plans to take over the entirety of The Continent. A revolutionary force gathers, seeking to replace the former emperor to the throne, and they solicit the aid of Rance, who agrees, hoping to remove Sill's curse. The Prime Minister, Stessel, has been planning this, and his actions have been seen earlier in the Rance series; he pushed for the war between Helman and Leazas in the events of Rance Ⅲ – Fall of Leazas –.

Rance Ⅹ – Decisive Battle –[edit]

The last game in the Rance series, it was released on 23 February 2018.[2] The war amongst the demon lords of the Monster Realm has ended, and they now invade the human realm, to their east. Rance leads the combined forces of all humanity to battle the attacking demons.[3]

Characters[edit]

The Rance series has featured a large number of characters throughout its installments. A number of characters are shown below.

Rance (ランス)

The main playable and the titular character of the Rance series. He is a powerful warrior who was created to the "kichiku" character archetype. He was based out of a town in the Free Cities Alliance, where he accepts jobs from Keith's Guild when he is low on money. He lives in the "Rance Castle," which he had built after the events of Rance Quest – Rance Quest –. The games generally feature quests and other missions that he embarks upon to gain or regain the money he has lost.

Sill Plain (シィル・プライン)

A powerful magic user that generally accompanies Rance on his quests. He bought her from a slave camp in Zeth, where she was born; she now must travel with him wherever he goes. She was frozen in ice at the end of Warring-States Rance and freed at the end of Rance Ⅸ – Helman Revolution –.

Athena 2.0 (あてな2号)

An organic-base android that functions as a pet to Rance. An accident during her creation caused her to have lower intelligence and an inability to gain a higher level. She was created in the events of Rance Ⅳ – Legacy of the Sect –. She is a noted magic user, although she is not as powerful as Sill due to her limitations.

Lia Parapara Leazas (リア・パラパラ・リーザス)

The Queen of Leazas, who married Rance in Brutal King Rance. She brought a new age of prosperity to the kingdom, which led to an antagonism en-brewed amongst a number of foreign countries and noblemen. She became the queen after her two brothers were killed in a succession dispute. She grants her hand-maiden, Maris Amaryllis, a large amount of governing power, whilst regularly taking maidens by way of her JAPANese ninja, Kentou Kanami. Her taking was eventually stopped by Rance.

Kentou Kanami (見当 かなみ)

A JAPANese ninja acquired by Queen Lia Leazas after she got lost on The Continent. She is generally engaged in assisting the queen in getting the affection of Rance, although she was used to gather maidens until the events of Rance – Hikari Quest –.

Rizna Lanfbitt (リズナ・ランフビット)

A magic user, originally from Zeth; she is first encountered by Rance in the Genbu Castle dimension in Rance 5D – Lonely Girl – when he accidentally enters there. She is incredibly naïve, and that naïveté caused her a lot of pain while trapped in the alternate dimension; while a kind spirit helped her, it was Rance that enabled her to escape. She is now in the protection of the King of Zeth, a childhood friend of hers whom she knew before she was imprisoned.

Copandon Dott (コパンドン・ドット)

A noted business-women, who seeks to marry Rance to increase her luck. She was born as a miko, but after predicting her own future as one of great misfortune, became obsessed with luck and wealth; this caused her to strive towards business, where she succeeded. She is first encountered in Rance 5D – Lonely Girl –, while seeking a man who has great luck.

Urza Pranaice (ウルザ・プラナアイス)

The leader of the Zeth resistance group Ice Flame. She is introduced to Rance when he enters the Zeth slave camp in Rance Ⅵ – Collapse of Zeth –, and takes control of her resistance group. The game continues, Zeth is made more equal, and the resistance groups is disbanded. She becomes one of the Four Lords who guard Zeth, the first non-magic user to do so.

Crook Mofus (クルックー・モフス)

The Muralaloux of the AL Church, the dominant religion on The Continent. She first appeared in Rance Quest – Rance Quest – as a bishop in the church; she became the Muralaloux when the former one, Duran Teyuran, died. She has a great knowledge of curses, and helped free Sill from her curse at the ending of Rance Ⅸ – Helman Revolution –.

Sachiko Centers (サチコ・センターズ)

She was saved by Rance whilst being attacked by monsters during the events of Rance Quest – Rance Quest – and turned into a slave. She is a member of the AL Church, and is very respectful to Crook, the church's Muralaloux. She is a very powerful guard in combat.

Patton Misnarge (パットン・ミスナルジ)

A former prince of Helman, who led the war against Leazas in the events of Rance Ⅲ – Fall of Leazas –. He has a major rôle in Rance Ⅸ – Helman Revolution –, where Rance aids him in a large force seeking to take back the country from its current, corrupt state.

OVA[edit]

A hentai OVA based upon the series, Rance: Sabaku no Guardian, was released on December 25, 1993. It was not directly related to the events of any game in the series. It consisted of two episodes.

A second original video animation series, Rance 01: Hikari wo Motomete The Animation, was an adaptation of the re-release of the first game, Rance 01 – Hikari Quest –, and was released from December 26, 2014 to June 24, 2016. Consisting of four episodes, the OVA was directed by Takashi Nishikawa and animated by studio Seven.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Rance Series. Retrieved from The Rance Series.
  2. ^ a b ランス10 | アリスソフト Archived 2018-02-16 at the Wayback Machine at the official AliceSoft web-site.
  3. ^ Green, S. (2017). After Almost 30 Years "Rance" Game Series Prepares For Final Battle. Retrieved from Crunchyroll - After Almost 30 Years "Rance" Game Series Prepares For Final Battle.
  4. ^ "ランス01 光をもとめて THE ANIMATION 第1話 第2話 第3話 第4話" (in Japanese). Retrieved July 27, 2018.

External links[edit]