Record of Lodoss War
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|Record of Lodoss War|
|Genre||Sword and sorcery|
|Written by||Ryo Mizuno|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Imprint||Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko|
|Original run||April 10, 1988 – March 27, 1993|
|Volumes||7 + 2 side stories|
Record of Lodoss War (Japanese: ロードス島戦記, Hepburn: Rōdosu-tō Senki, lit. "Lodoss Island War Chronicle") is a franchise of fantasy novels by Ryo Mizuno based on the work he originally created for a world called Forcelia as a rules-free setting for role-playing games (RPGs). There have since been multiple manga, anime and computer game adaptations, several of which have been translated into English. The plots generally follow the conventions and structure of the RPG systems including Dungeons & Dragons and Sword World RPG, in which several characters of distinct types undertake a specific quest.
Record of Lodoss War was created in 1986 by Group SNE as a Dungeons & Dragons "replay" serialized in the Japanese magazine Comptiq from 1986 to 1988, though they also used the setting with other systems such as Tunnels & Trolls and RuneQuest. Replays are not novels, but transcripts of RPG sessions, meant to both hold the interest of readers and convey the events that took place. They have proven to be popular, even to those who do not play role-playing games but are fans of fiction (including fantasy fiction). Similar to light novels, many characters and parties in replays have become popular as characters of anime. An example of such a character is the female elf Deedlit in Record of Lodoss War, who was played by science fiction novelist Hiroshi Yamamoto during the RPG sessions.
The popularity of the Record of Lodoss War replays was such that the Dungeon Master Ryo Mizuno started to adapt the story into some of the earliest Japanese-language domestic high fantasy novels in 1988.
When the replay series went on to become a trilogy, Group SNE had to abandon the Dungeons & Dragons rules and create their own game, dubbed Record of Lodoss War Companion and released in 1989. All three parts of the replay series were eventually published as paperbacks by Kadokawa Shoten from 1989 to 1991:
- RPG Replay Record of Lodoss War I (ＲＰＧリプレイ ロードス島戦記I, Aru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Wan) (November 1989) — Parn's party, retake played according to the Record of Lodoss War Companion rules and incorporating elements from the novelization
- RPG Replay Record of Lodoss War II (ＲＰＧリプレイ ロードス島戦記II, Aru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Tū) (September 1990) — Orson's party, retake played according to the Record of Lodoss War Companion rules and incorporating elements from the novelization
- RPG Replay Record of Lodoss War III (ＲＰＧリプレイ ロードス島戦記III, Aru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Surī) (July 1991) — Spark's party, played according to the Record of Lodoss War Companion rules
Two other replay volumes have been published later:
- RPG Replay Record of Lodoss War: Hero Knight Spark (RPGリプレイ ロードス島戦記 英雄騎士スパーク, RPG Ripurei Rōdosu Shimasenki Eiyū Kishi Supāku) (April 1998)
- Record of Lodoss War RPG Replay: Wandering Takako's Endless Home Road (ロードス島戦記RPGリプレイ 放浪貴公子のはてしない家路, Rōdosu Shimasenki RPG Ripurei Hōrō Kikōshi no Hate Shinai Ieji) (October 2020)
Mizuno's novelizations were published by Kadokawa Shoten between 1988 and 1993, and followed by two collections of short stories in 1995, with illustrations done by Yutaka Izubuchi. The first volume was published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment in 2018.
- Record of Lodoss War 1: The Grey Witch (ロードス島戦記 灰色の魔女, Rōdosutō Senki Haiiro no Majo) (April 1988)
- Record of Lodoss War 2: Blazing Devil (ロードス島戦記2 炎の魔神, Rōdosutō Senki Ni: Honō no Majin) (February 1989)
- Record of Lodoss War 3: The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain (Part 1) (ロードス島戦記3 火竜山の魔竜(上), Rōdosutō Senki San: Karyū-zan no Maryū (Jō)) (January 1990)
- Record of Lodoss War 4: The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain (Part 2) (ロードス島戦記4 火竜山の魔竜(下), Rōdosutō Senki Yon: Karyū-zan no Maryū (Ge)) (June 1990)
- Record of Lodoss War 5: The Kings' Holy War (ロードス島戦記5 王たちの聖戦, Rōdosutō Senki Go: Ōtachi no Seisen) (February 1991)
- Record of Lodoss War 6: The Holy Knights of Lodoss (Part 1) (ロードス島戦記6 ロードスの聖騎士(上), Rōdosutō Senki Roku: Rōdosu no Seikishi (Jō)) (November 1991)
- Record of Lodoss War 7: The Holy Knights of Lodoss (Part 2) (ロードス島戦記7 ロードスの聖騎士(下), Rōdosutō Senki Shichi: Rōdosu no Seikishi (Ge)) (March 1993)
- High Elf Forest: Deedlit's Tale (ハイエルフの森 ディードリット物語, Hai Erufu no Mori Dīdoritto Monogatari) (February 1995)
- The Black Knight (黒衣の騎士, Kokui no Kishi) (July 1995)
The first volume forms the basis for the first eight episodes of the Record of Lodoss War OVA series, as well as the two Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch manga series. The second was also adapted in manga form, and as a four-CD audio drama. The final five episodes of the OVA series are loosely based on the story told across the third and fourth novels and, having caught up with the ongoing novelization at that point, feature an original ending. The Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series and manga are a more faithful adaptation of volumes three to seven. The first collection of short stories was adapted into the Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit's Tale manga series.
Mizuno later went on to pen other series of novels: a prequel titled Legend of Lodoss (ロードス島伝説, Rōdosu-tō Densetsu) (1994 to 2002, 5 volumes) and sequels Drifting Legend Crystania (漂流伝説クリスタニア, Hyōryū Densetsu Kurisutania) (1993 to 1996, 4 volumes, part of Legend of Crystania setting) and Record of Lodoss War Next Generation (新ロードス島戦記, Shin Rōdosu-tō Senki) (1998 to 2006, 6 volumes); Legend of Lodoss was adapted into the Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis manga series and Legend of Crystania was adapted into a radio drama, manga, an anime film, and OVA series. In 2019, he began writing a novel sequel series Record of Lodoss War: Diadem of the Covenant (ロードス島戦記 誓約の宝冠, Lodoss-tō Senki: Seiyaku no Hōkan). The new series takes place 100 years after the events of the original series, with Deedlit as the lead protagonist.
Record of Lodoss War recounts the adventures of a youth by the name of Parn, the son of a dishonored knight. Part of his motivation for adventuring is to find out what happened to his father, and to restore his family's honor. Despite his inexperience, Parn is considered the leader, who is accompanied by his childhood best friend Etoh, his friend and sometimes advisor Slayn (and later by Slayn's lover Leylia), and his newfound mentor Ghim. They are accompanied by Parn's romantic interest, the high elf Deedlit, who comes from the Forest of No Return seeking an answer to her people's isolationism and an end to what she sees as a slow march to extinction; and a thief named Woodchuck. Throughout the series, Parn comes into contact with friends and foes alike. His allies include King Kashue, King Fahn, Shiris, and Orson; his enemies include Emperor Beld, Ashram, and the evil necromancer Wagnard.
The volumes three to seven, adapted into manga and anime Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, continue the adventures of Parn for the first eight episodes, but then focus on Spark and his adventures to complete a quest tasked onto him to protect Neese, the daughter of Slayn and Leylia. He is accompanied by his own cast of friends in the form of Leaf, Garrack, Greevus, Aldo, and Ryna. The television series shares similarities with the plot of the OVA, such as Wagnard seeking to kidnap Neese in order to use her as a reagent for the resurrection of Naneel, a priestess and the Avatar of Kardis who was slain by Leylia's mother, the high priestess Neese a short time after the battle with the demonic god. Leylia was the reincarnation of Naneel, but when she lost her virginity she was no longer capable of being the doorway or reagent needed to unseal Naneel.
The Legend of Crystania setting places the former villain Ashram into the seat of a would-be hero who is placed under a spell by a "god beast" of Crystania. One of the prominent characters is Pirotess, his dark elven lover, as she tries to find a way to free him from the clutches of the spell and to restore him back to his living self.
Home video releases
The original OVA series and the TV series had both been released in North America through Central Park Media on VHS and on DVD. The OVA and TV series were slated for a Blu-ray release through Media Blasters, but they had dropped all plans to re-release the series. On April 14, 2017, Funimation announced their license to both the OVA series and the Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series and released the OVA on both Blu-ray and DVD and the TV series on DVD in one set on July 18, 2017.
Record of Lodoss War Online
GameOn released an online game for PC, Record of Lodoss War Online in April 2017 and closed it on October 31, 2019. Ryo Mizuno, the novelist and co-creator of the franchise, served as a supervisor on the development of the game. The game was also released outside Japan.
- 1990 Record of Lodoss War (ロードス島戦記, Rōdosu-tō Senki) 13 episode OVA produced by Madhouse
- 1998 Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (ロードス島戦記 英雄騎士伝, Rōdosu-tō Senki: Eiyū Kishiden) 27 episode TV series produced by AIC
- 1998 Welcome to Lodoss Island! (ようこそロードス島へ!, Yōkoso Rōdosu-tō e!) 3-part parodic movie produced by AIC
- 2014 Record of Lodoss War: Is That Delicious? (召しませロードス島戦記 〜それっておいしいの?〜, Meshimase Lodoss-tō Senki: Sorette Oishii no?) 13 episode parodic TV series produced by Studio Deen and Studio Hibari
- The Lady of Pharis (ファリスの聖女, Farisu no Seijo) 2 volumes, art by Akihiro Yamada, released in English by CPM Manga
- The Demon of Flame (炎の魔神, Honō no Majin) 2 volumes, art by Ayumi Saito
- The Grey Witch (灰色の魔女, Haiiro no Majo) 3 volumes, art by Yoshihiko Ochi, released in English by CPM Manga
- Legend of Crystania: First-time Adventurers (レジェンド・オブ・クリスタニア はじまりの冒険者たち) 3 volumes, art by Akira Himekawa
- Welcome to Lodoss Island! (ようこそロードス島へ!, Yōkoso Rōdosu-tō e!) 3 volumes, four panel parodic manga, art by Hyakuyashiki Rei, first two volumes released in English by CPM Manga
- Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (英雄騎士伝, Eiyū Kishi-den) 6 volumes, art by Masato Natsumoto, released in English by CPM Manga
- Deedlit's Tale (ディードリット物語, Dīdoritto Monogatari) 2 volumes, art by Setsuko Yoneyama, released in English by CPM Manga
- The Grey Witch (灰色の魔女, Haiiro no Majo) 3 volumes, art by Tomomasa Takuma
- Legend of Crystania (はじまりの冒険者たち レジェンド・オブ・クリスタニア, Hajimari no Bōkensha-tachi: Legend of Crystania), a series of RPGs and novels adapted to film, OVAs and manga that focus on Crystania, the land to which Ashram and Pirotess migrated after the Lodoss series.
- Rune Soldier, a more comedic series from the same creator that is set in the same world as Record of Lodoss War, but on the Alecrast continent.
- 1989 Record of Lodoss War Companion (ロードス島戦記 コンパニオン)
- 1991 Record of Lodoss War Companion 2 (ロードス島戦記 コンパニオン2)
- 1994 Record of Lodoss War Companion 3 (ロードス島戦記 コンパニオン3)
- 1995 Lodoss Island RPG: Basic Rules (ロードス島RPG ベーシックルール)
- 1996 Lodoss Island RPG: Expert Rules (ロードス島RPG エキスパートルール)
- 1998 Sword World RPG: Lodoss Island World Guide (ソード・ワールドRPG ロードス島ワールドガイド) - supplemental material for Sword World RPG
- 2018 Record of Lodoss War RPG (ロードス島戦記RPG) - 30th anniversary revised edition
Soundtracks and music
- Record of Lodoss War: Original Soundtrack 1 (VICL-00051 and SLP-85)
- Record of Lodoss War: Original Soundtrack 2 (VICL-00114)
- Record of Lodoss War: Original Soundtrack 3 (VICL-00267)
- Record of Lodoss War: Minstrels' Memory of Lodoss (VICL-8090)
- Record of Lodoss War: Arrange Sound (VDR-28071)
- Symphonic House from Record of Lodoss War II Arrange Sound (VICL-8060)
- Record of Lodoss War TV: Maaya Sakamoto - Kiseki No Umi single (VIDL-30202)
- Record of Lodoss War TV: Original Soundtrack 1 (VICL-60243)
- Record of Lodoss War TV: Original Soundtrack 2 (VICL-60244)
- Record of Lodoss War TV: Original Soundtrack 3 (VICL-60246)
- Welcome to Lodoss Island! (KICA-400)
- Record of Lodoss War (PC 98, MSX) 1988
- Record of Lodoss War - Fuku Zinduke (X68000) 1991
- Record of Lodoss War - Haiiro No Majio (X68000/PC Engine) 1991/1992
- Record of Lodoss War 2 - Goshiki No Maryu (X68000/PC Engine) 1992/1994
- Record of Lodoss War (Sega Mega-CD) 1994
- Record of Lodoss War (SNES) 1995
- Record of Lodoss War: Eiyuu Kishiden (Game Boy Color) 1998, published by Tomy
- Record of Lodoss War: Advent of Cardice (Dreamcast) 2000, released in English
- Record of Lodoss War: Successor of the Legend (browser-based TCG) 2012
- Record of Lodoss War Online (PC MMORPG) 2016, released in English
- Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC, 2D metroidvania) 2021, released in English
- The Demons of Wind and Flame (風と炎の魔神, Kaze to Honō no Majin), released in 4 CD collections. Based on the plot of the second novel which was once supposed to become a second OVA series, but that project was put on hold.
Books on tape
The first three are original stories.
- The Bewitched Stone (幻惑の魔石, Genwaku no Mashaku), side story of novel 1
- The Mage of Destiny (宿命の魔術師, Shukumei no Majutsushi), side story of novel 3
- The Forest of the Magic Beasts (魔獣の森, Majū no Mori), side story of novel 3, and an episode featuring the mage and magic beast tamer Elena of Alania
- The Traveler from the Spirit World (妖精界からの旅人, Yōseikai no Tabibito), based on Deedlit's Tale
- The Forest that was Forced Open (...開かれた森, ...Akareta Mori), based on Deedlit's Tale
- The Mist of Vengeance (復讐の霧, Fukushū no Kiri), based on Deedlit's Tale
The novel series has sold over 10 million copies in Japan.
- Legulalp, Serdar (2014-05-28). "Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Anime (Top Best List)". About.com Anime. About.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-14. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Yasuda, Hitoshi. Afterword. Record of Lodoss War 1: The Grey Witch (ロードス島戦記 灰色の魔女, Rōdosutō Senki Haiiro no Majo). By Ryo Mizuno. Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko, 1988. 291.
- "1st New Record of Lodoss War Novel in 12 Years Rescheduled to August". Anime News Network. June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- "Confirmed: Media Blasters Rescues Record of Lodoss War from Central Park Media". Otakureview.net. 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "Media Blasters Drops Lodoss Wars Release Plans - News". Anime News Network. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "Funimation Licenses Record of Lodoss War OVA, TV series". Anime News Network. April 14, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "Lodoss Online Game's Global Rights Licensed by GameOn - News". Anime News Network. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "Fujimi TRPG Online - Record of Lodoss War RPG". Retrieved 2019-05-24.
- "Record of Lodoss War". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 72. Sendai Publishing. July 1995. p. 88.
- Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth Game's Full Version Launches on March 27
- ""Record of Lodoss War" to Get Stage Play Adaptation in January 2017".
- Divers, Allen (2 July 2003). "A New Beginning". Tankobon Tower (column). Anime News Network. Westmount, Quebec.