Record of Lodoss War (ロードス島戦記 Rōdosu-tō Senki?) is a franchise of fantasy novels by Ryo Mizuno based around the work he originally created for a world called Forcelia 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, being based around a party of several characters of distinct types undertaking 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. 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ⅠAru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Wan) - 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ⅡAru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Tū) - 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ⅢAru Pī Jī Ripurei Rōdosutō Senki Surī) - Spark's party, played according to the Record of Lodoss War Companion rules
The last volume of Mizuno's novelization was published by Kadokawa Shoten in 1993, and followed by two collections of short stories in 1995:
- Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch (ロードス島戦記 灰色の魔女Rōdosutō Senki Haiiro no Majo)
- 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)
- 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))
- 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))
- 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)
- 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))
- 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))
- High Elf Forest: Deedlit Story (ハイエルフの森 ディードリット物語Hai Erufu no Mori Dīdoritto Monogatari)
- The Black Knight (黒衣の騎士Kokui no Kishi)
The first volume forms the basis for the first eight episodes of the Record of Lodoss War OVA series, as well as the Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch manga series. The second was also adapted in manga form, and as a 4 CD radio 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 is 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 two new series of novels: a prequel titled Legend of Lodoss (ロードス島伝説Rōdosu-tō Densetsu) (1994 to 2002) and a sequel titled Record of Lodoss War Next Generation (新ロードス島戦記Shin Rōdosu-tō Senki) (1998 to 2006), the first of which forms the basis for the Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis manga series.
The manga (and its anime derivative) Record of Lodoss War centers around 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 on 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. 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 manga and its anime derivative Chronicles of the Heroic Knight continues the adventures of Parn for the first eight episodes, but then centers around 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 third series, Legend of Crystania, 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. The series then centers around 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.
The following is a timeline of the events as they take place in the original events surrounding Record of Lodoss War, and is derived from the replays and manga. All events are measured on the "NRC" (New Royal Calendar) as used on the continent of Alecrast.
|NRC ??||The sorcerers of Kastuul seal away the fire giants (remnants of the cataclysmic war). Azzard, a sorcerer strikes a covenant in which Jinn and Ifrit become guardian deities and are sealed in a sacred urn. Hostility between the Wind and Flame tribes begins to arise.|
|NRC 0||Kastuul the magic kingdom collapses. Governor Saluvan curses the ancient dragons to guard the governor's treasures. Karla, later to be known as "the Grey Witch", seals herself into an enchanted circlet, and upon her death knowledge of her whereabouts becomes vague.|
|NRC 50||Naneel, the queen of the dead begins to manipulate the people of Lodoss from within Alania.|
|NRC 100-200||Various city states arise, among them Kannon, Raiden, Roid, Rood, Adan, Marnie, Loran, Highland, Harken, Persei and Saluvad.|
|NRC 101||King Kadomos defeats Naneel and inaugurates the kingdoms of Alania. An expedition to Marmo is launched. After Kadomos himself is killed, the main force returns to Lodoss, with a small remnant remaining to settle the land.|
|NRC 221||The Kingdom of Elvec is inaugurated, and its forces advance westward taking possession of Venon and Adan.|
|NRC 229||Elvec continues its expansion, forcibly merging with Rood, Marnie, and Loran. Revolution follows, and 20 years later these states reclaim independence from Elvec, and establish themselves as the Holy Kingdom of Valis.|
|NRC 259||The dragons' covenant is founded. This covenant is an agreement by the dragons of Lodoss not to interfere with the politics and people of Lodoss, but does not bar them from feeding on its people.|
|NRC 313||The Academy of Sages is created.|
|NRC 473||Neese frees Bramd from Saluvan's curse. King Bruuk of Skard releases the demon god, who attacks the dwarven kingdom of Stone and the Mirror Forest (the mirror elves). The War of the Demon God begins, and the dragon covenant is abandoned. The hundred heroes and the allied order of knights are gathered and move to liberate those conquered by the demon god. Mycen is released from her curse. The mirror of truth is stolen by Karla the Grey Witch.|
|NRC 474||The demon god king is defeated by the Six Heroes: Fahn, Beld, Neese, Fleve, Wort, and Karla and their companion Flaus, the Valis Priestess.|
|NRC 496||Fahn ascends the throne of Valis.|
|NRC 497||Beld declares a united Marmo, assuming the title of Dark Emperor. The Marmo Empire is inaugurated.|
|NRC 500||In Alecrast, Kashue is arrested and made a gladiator slave. Three years later, he procures his freedom, and leaves for the island of Lodoss, where he joins the Wind Tribe as a mercenary. One year later, at the Tower of Dust Storms, he frees Jinn from its sacred urn, and it is unspecified where he becomes the king of Flaim.|
|NRC 509||The Academy of Sages is destroyed by Wagnard's machinations.|
|NRC 510||(OVA continuity begins here): Deedlit travels to the human world. Parn, Etoh, Slayn, and Ghim begin to travel together and are later joined by Deedlit. The War of Heroes begins. Fahn is struck down by Beld, Beld is challenged by King Kashue, during their fight Beld gets hit by an arrow shot by Karla, Kashue takes this chance to kill Beld. The War of Heroes ends. Parn and Ghim do battle with Karla. Leylia is freed, but Ghim dies. Karla takes control of Woodchuck.|
|NRC 512||The Flame Tribe regains Ifrit and destroys Haven. Deedlit frees Jinn from the Tower of Dust Storms. Little Neese is born.|
|NRC 514||(Chronicles of the Heroic Knight continuity begins here): Narse and Shooting Star awaken from hibernation.|
|NRC 515||Kashue and Ashram join forces at Fire Dragon Mountain, killing Shooting Star and dueling for the Scepter of Domination. Orson is killed. Reona of Kannon assumes the title of King and forms the Kannon Free Army.|
|NRC 520||The spell on the Forest of No Return is lifted.|
|NRC 524||Neese dies.|
|NRC 525||The War of the Destroyer's Resurrection begins. The Dark Elves infiltrate Akroyd and steal the Soul Crystal Ball. The main temple of Falis at Roid is attacked and the Staff of Life is lost. Duke Raster is executed, and the Marmo ruling council is disbanded. A holy war is declared on Marmo and in the end Marmo is defeated. Karla is sealed away forever. Wagnard resurrects Naneel, the avatar of Kardis, and becomes the king of the dead. Wagnard is defeated, and Naneel's soul is destroyed by Marfa herself. The War of the Destroyer's Resurrection ends. Ashram and Pirotess depart for a new world.|
|NRC 526||The Duchy of Marmo is inaugurated as a dominion of Flaim. The first Duke of Marmo is named, Duke Spark.|
Future Blu-Ray release
It has been confirmed via the Media Blasters Twitter page and several other sources that Central Park Media News reported that during a visit to the Media Blasters store, he was told that Media Blasters had rescued the Record of Lodoss War OVA and TV series and would be releasing them as one set and that a Blu-Ray release was likely.
- 1990 Record of Lodoss War (ロードス島戦記 Rōdosu-tō Senki?) 13 episode OVA
- 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
- 1998 Welcome to Lodoss Island! (ようこそロードス島へ! Yōkoso Rōdosu-tō e!?) 3-part parodic movie
- The Grey Witch (灰色の魔女 Haiiro no Majo?) 3 volumes, art by Yoshihiko Ochi
- The Demon of Flame (炎の魔神 Honō no Majin?) 2 volumes
- The Lady of Pharis (ファリスの聖女 Farisu no Seijo?) 2 volumes, art by Akihiro Yamada
- Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (英雄騎士伝 Eiyū Kishi-den?) 6 volumes, art by Masato Natsumoto
- Welcome to Lodoss Island (ようこそロードス島へ! Yōkoso Rōdosu-tō e!?) 3 volumes, four panel manga
- Deedlit's Tale (ディードリット物語 Dīdoritto Monogatari?) 2 volumes, art by Setsuko Yoneyama
- Legend of Crystania
- 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 film and 3-episode OVA focusing on the adventures of Ashram and Pirotess in the continent of Crystania, which they migrate to 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.
Soundtracks & music
- Record of Lodoss War: Original Soundtrack 1 (VICL-00051)
- 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)
- Record of Lodoss War (PC 98) 1988
- Record of Lodoss War - Haiiro No Majio (X68000) 1991
- Record of Lodoss War 2 - Siki No Maryu (X68000) 1992
- Record of Lodoss War - Haiiro No Majio (PC Engine) 1992
- Record of Lodoss War 2 - Siki No Maryu (PC Engine) 1994
- Record of Lodoss War (Mega CD) 1994
- Record of Lodoss War (SNES) 1995
- Lodoss War (Game Boy Color) 1998
- Record of Lodoss War: Advent of Cardice (Dreamcast) 2000, which was also released in English.
- Official Kadokawa novel site (Japanese)
- Record of Lodoss War (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Roodosu tou Senki - Akinori Nagaoka, 1990 (Italian)