If Alyxx’s review of Wizardry is anything to go by; it takes a long time to make an RPG review. There are a lot of things to consider regarding the elements of the game. This is obviously the case with Langrisser I, which does bring a lot to the table as an RPG. There is a lot to talk about in this review, so let’s not waste any time.
As mentioned before, Langrisser I started life as Warsong in the Sega Genesis. The game was also available on the PC Engine as “Langrisser: The Descendants of Light”. In it, we follow Prince Garett of Baltia as he battles the Dalsis Empire. Naturally, the story evolves from there and the journey becomes a fight between good and evil.
In the remake, we see a complete retooling of this story. Instead of Prince Garett from Baltia, it’s Prince Ledin from Baldea. He goes in a crusade against the Dalsis Empire because they awakened evil by using the titular weapon: The Langrisser. So, let’s join Prince Ledin in his crusade and look at the entire plot even closer.
Who is the Protagonist?
We can’t talk about Langrisser I without its branched story nature. After a few stages, you’ll find a split in the timeline and you’ll get a chance to get alternate endings for Ledin’s story. The original Langrisser only had one ending where Prince Garrett succeeds in his quest against evil. Of course, this ending is a bit lackluster and a bit nonsensical.
However, once we get to Langrisser and its multi-branching story. We begin to see more sides to the story. In one of the routes, one of Ledin’s rivals (Lance) begins to see the Dalsis Empire for the collective of evil guys they are. However, we can also find a bit more about the Dalsis empire and the fact that they really weren’t evil all along.
We could have the leader of the empire be possessed by Chaos (which led him to steal the Langrisser). Afterward, Ledin gets the aid of the Dalsis Empire to deal with the threat that take the world. While the story remains largely the same, it also brings its own twist to make it unique.
Your Actions Matter
Each of the different scenarios in Langrisser I take the form of letters of the alphabet (from A-H). This means that Langrisser I has 8 different endings in total. Each of the scenarios requires you to fulfill certain requirements during certain stages.
The requirements vary from stage to stage. Some of them require you to keep enemy units alive after clearing the stage. Other endings require you to have team members die during battle. You can find the pivotal stages by checking the Story Tree.
Of course, you can always fall back with all of your progress and money to another point in the story and reset the route. However, keep in mind that once you go back to undo your progress; the rest of the route you were going through originally becomes fully inaccessible until you meet the conditions you met to reach it.
What’s a little bit more inconvenient is the fact that clearing the game will require you to start all over again. That’s right, you’ll begin the game over again from the very first stage and you’ll have to clear every stage leading up to the first pivoting route of the story. I find this method a bit sloppy because it forces the player to commit to certain routes rather than unlocking every scenario from the point where it starts.
So, which one is canon?
I believe that Langrisser I’s scenarios will only provide you with some insight about the true intentions of certain characters. The scenarios have a lot of different sections, so the story variety is good enough to warrant going through them.
Of course, if you’re a guy who cares about the canonical ending of the game. Then the A Scenario will be the canonical one. However, it is deliberately left lackluster and vague. Why? so you go out of your way and uncover more of the game’s story as you replay the game over and over.
The decision aspect is a great integration for the original Langrisser game. However, we won’t see a refined version of this until we get to Langrisser II. This is a great breath of fresh air for the original game and it brings relevance for the Dalsis Empire, the Langrisser, and even the evil forces of Chaos themselves.
As mentioned during part 1 of this review; Langrisser I & II takes a similar gameplay structure in both games. In them, you take charge of commanders and mercenaries in a strategic environment where careful planning is key to victory. While the commanders themselves are your strongest units, they can hire Mercenaries to aid the during combat.
In Langrisser I, the mercenaries you can hire are tied to your current class. You’ll be able to unlock different classes for the characters you play as. As you level the characters up, you’ll get CP which lets you choose the classes you can get.
If you’re fond of a certain particular class (for example, I like Chris being my white Mage while Jessica is my black mage); you can always go back to the Class that benefits the approach you want to take the most. Of course, some classes are better than others and they all have their own share of strengths and weaknesses.
If you played Fire Emblem before, think of the Classes as the Rock-Paper-Scissors approach the game takes. Certain classes will be stronger than others while others will have an advantage.
The Mages are Broken
However, like in any other strategy RPG, the mages are completely busted. It’s not even a matter of subjectivity, they just are completely broken. Jessica and Chris become invaluable members of your team as they learn powerful spells that can wipe out most enemy forces. Of course, they don’t start that way and begin quite weak and almost feel like a liability.
However, as they level up, they become more capable of destroying the entire battlefield. No joke, Jessica became the MVP of the entirety of the game because of her access to spells like Meteor. Not helping things is that the AI is as stupid as your usual raiders in Final Fantasy XIV…
… And your Enemies Keep Walking into the Red Circle of Death
Magic attacks take one turn to be cast. If you use them, you’ll forfeit your opportunity to move through the battlefield. However, nothing’s stopping you from baiting the enemy forces with one throwaway soldier and then using your spells against them.
Don’t be surprised if you see Jessica murdering everyone en masse with magic spells because of this. Not helping things is that the AI is stupid and tends to run into the AoE of these magic spells. It’s hilarious to see enemy Commanders running into my baits and then seeing the entire field cleaned by one spell.
Playing Smart is the Bane of their Existence
It’s pretty easy to outsmart the AI too. Like the player, they have access to magic spells. However, the AI always uses the strongest spells on any unit that approaches them. So, what do you do? Well, it’s easy. Just throw a random mercenary close to them and watch as the AI uses spells like Meteor just to deal with that unfortunate person.
I would love to praise the combat of Langrisser I but the fact is that the AI needs some tweaking. If the AI was a bit smarter on how they play. I would be singing this game’s praises. However, it almost seems mind-numbingly easy when you start reaching the higher levels.
Of course, if you want a ‘harder’ challenge. You can always try your hand at the game’s Challenge Mode. Challenge Mode will basically let you experience harder battles against enemies. You can either throw yourself at it with all of your progression or start from scratch.
If you want a really challenging experience, I’d suggest going for a Challenge run without items, EXP, and gold. Of course, you can also just start the game over again and see as commanders one-shot
almost everything in the early chapters. It’s cathartic to see units that gave me so much trouble in the first chapters going down like flies by the might of Prince Ledin.
Everything I haven’t mentioned (like the music aspect and such) can be found in the first part of the review. However, I want to talk about what I think regarding Langrisser I. In closing, I believe that Langrisser I is an excellent way to provide a rebirth to a classic from the Sega Genesis.
With multiple endings and a tweaked battle/class system, you’ll find yourself having a lot of fun replaying the game. Not only that, but you’ll also feel a constant flow of battle and exciting music to go along with it.
My only gripes are that the AI definitely needs some retooling. Additionally, I believe that unlocking the entire Story Tree would also be good. The fact that you have to go through the same chapters 8 different times to get all 8 different endings can become boring in no time fast.
However, we’re not done yet. So, please stay tuned for the final part of this 3-part review where we say goodbye to Baldea and join the Rayguard Empire in Langrisser II.
What do you think about our Langrisser I review? Have you played the Sega Genesis original? Are you a fan of the Langrisser series? What do you think of the remaster? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.