Video Game: The Longest Journey

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where."

April Ryan is an ordinary art student living in the Cyber Punk metropolis Newport and applying for the local Academy of Arts. She has her share of problems with her parents, insecurity about her future, and increasingly strange dreams, but she also has some great friends, a job, and a friendly landlady. Then a weird Cool Old Guy named Cortez appears and tells her that she is The Chosen One who has to Save Both Worlds — and then he sends her to that other world, Arcadia, she is supposed to save. As her familiar world crumbles around her, April has to dive deeper into the secrets of the universe, fulfill cryptic prophecies, bring down an Ancient Conspiracy or two, cope with her friends' deaths, save the Guardian of the Balance, and ultimately restore the harmony between the Twin Worlds of Stark and Arcadia itself. And that all in less than two weeks.

The Longest Journey is a 1999 Adventure Game developed by Norwegian company Funcom and designed by Ragnar Tørnquist. Famous for its expansive storyline, a lovable, Genre Savvy heroine, and flawless gameplay (as far as point-and-click gameplay goes), the game is commonly credited with resurrecting the Adventure Game genre after its crisis in the late 90's. An Oddly Named Sequel, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, was released in 2006, and a second sequel, Dreamfall Chapters, is currently in development for an episodic release, starting in October 2014.

Please add character-related tropes to the characters tab.

Tropes found in the game:

  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: The Guybrush monkey toy.
  • Cyber Punk: Newport.
  • Cyber Punk Is Techno
  • Deggans Rule: Followed via Cortez, Charlie, Warren, and Father Raul.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The ending reveals that April is actually supposed to get the Guardian to his destination, not become the Guardian herself.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Stone Disc, the key to the Guardian's realm in the first game. Justified in the Back Story: the disc was originally kept at the Sentinel Enclave, ready for pickup by The Chosen One, but then the Vanguard tried to steal it. Afterwards, the Sentinels decided to break it up and hand the pieces over to the four magical peoples most motivated to keep it hidden (since most magical creatures would likely perish if the Twin Worlds were forcibly reunited).
  • Disney Villain Death: Cortez and Jacob McAllen, Word of God stating that the former is just hiding, though what that would imply about the latter...
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Pretty much the point of the first part of the game.
  • Dream Intro: Subverted. While it looks like a dream, when April visits the same location in the waking world, she can see the traces of her actions from when she was "dreaming" about it at the start of the game. In other words, it was real from the start, she just didn't realize it then.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The fictitious drug "raptures" comes up repeatedly, though not importantly to the story. Too many will really mess you up.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Unlike other examples of this trope, you don't get to choose when to go to the other world.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Captain Nebevay is tricked by April into leaving to checking on apple supplies below decks, despite noticing what pest is infecting them.
    These are worms, all right — viscous, snarling wheat worms driven mad by their hunger for a change of diet!
  • The Federation: Northlands, particularly, Ayrede.
  • Funny Background Event: April crashes a news report and does this.
  • Guardian of the Multiverse: Guardians of the Balance.
  • Guide Dang It: One of the reasons this game was so well received was the lack of this trope. However, even then, a few puzzles may come off as unintuitive, namely the rubber ducky puzzle very early in the game.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Gordon Halloway has one after his soul is reunited with his body.
  • Here There Were Dragons: Among other fantasy stuff.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Accessible via the Book of Secrets.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Trope Namer.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: Tobias gives you the Talisman of the Balance, and is quick to admit that aside from being magical, he has no idea what it does and doesn't really know how it will help, only that it's supposed to be given to April.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: The Gribbler takes this to ludicrous levels, one of many, many signs that she is totally evil and will eat you:
    I was out picking bones- uh, berries, for my stew, and flowers, yeeess, pretty flowers...
    Oh, I'm no one, no one at all, just a frail, old woman out picking booones- uh, berries, picking berries, for her stew so she can feed her prisoners- uh, guests, so she can fatten them up for... um, the long winter...
    I still need your help, plump pudd- um, nice pretty girl, [...] Help me home and I'll cook you... um, a nice stew! Yum, I'm getting hungry already *growl*...
    Oh, what have we here, this... "stew", isn't good enough to stuff yo- um, to serve, a guest as plump- as well built and deliciou- as honoured as you, my dear...
    • ...And April still follows her home. Not until she's trapped inside her house does she go "Hey, you know what..."
  • Lampshade Hanging: Done a lot.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Partially averted, with different, context-sensitive outfits for April. Justified, too, when she enters Arcadia in her nightclothes.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The White Dragon, who turns out to be April's real mother.
  • Keep It Foreign: In the Spanish version Cortez is not Hispanic, but rather a Frenchman named "Corthes".
  • Magic Versus Science
  • Medieval Stasis: Way back in history, the inhabitants of the world in question had to make a choice between "magic" and "science", and two parallel worlds were created, between which the Player Character can skip. Our PC is from the Science world, apparently Twenty Minutes into the Future, whereas the Magic world is still on swords and bows, because anyone born with ingenuity and inventiveness ends up in the Science world. Stark the science world is set in the 23rd century with interstellar travel and antigravity flying cars while Arcadia the magic world which has been separated from the other for several thousands of years is perpetually in the medieval ages level of technology. The Azadi in the sequel have introduced steam technology and airships but itself must rely on magic (though saying so in public can get you arrested). Stark on the other hand is only able to produce faster than light travel and antigravity technology because of magic seeping into this dimension as it defies the laws of physics (unbeknowest to its denizens). The high number of antigravity accidents are due to the chaotic nature of magic and after the collapse the complete removal of magic causes society to revert to old technology as both antigravity and etrasolar travel is no longer feasible.
  • Merged Reality: That's what the Vanguard are attempting to do; apparently, chances of failure don't bother them much.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Gribbler, ye gods.
  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here
  • Non-Linear Character: The Venar, who perceive all of their life simultaneously. Asking one to focus on the "now" to talk to you gives it a massive headache.
  • NPC Amnesia
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Roper Klack's castle.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Stark is the world of order, Arcadia is one of chaos—but when they begin to seep into each other, chaos wins out. Also, on a different level, the Vanguard and their desire to merge the worlds and rule them versus the Sentinels who want to keep the worlds separated.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Draic Kin.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Simply by holding a pizza box, April can get by a guard she had continually pestered to let her in to no avail.
  • Physical God: The Guardian, after the Changing of the Guard; outside their Tower, however, they are as helpless as normal humans.
  • Prophecy Pileup: By the end, April fulfills the prophecies of at least three magical peoples who all proclaim her their respective Chosen One.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: The introductory cutscene.
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: April has to play the peacemaker between the Alatien and the Maerum to get to the Old God, a.k.a. the Blue Kin.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: If you look at a red cherub in the cathedral, April mentions that it must be from the sequel of the Bible.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Banda, furry little creatures with curious speech patterns and rather elaborate naming traditions.
  • Save Both Worlds: There are two worlds in place of one Earth: technological/ordered Stark and magical/chaotic Arcadia. If they collide, there may be a hell to pay. Or not. Let's just leave the cosmology of the Twin Worlds at that.
  • Scary Shadow Fakeout: Invoked - you must assemble a pile of things to make a shadow that resembles one of a man pointing a gun, so that a guy sees it and gets scared.
  • Set Piece Puzzle
  • Shout-Out: The game features a lot of homages to famous TV shows and movies of our time, including Looney Tunes, Evil Dead, Futurama, Labyrinth, and Star Trek. And there is Constable Guybrush.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: When April tries to get past a security guard by acting cute, all he says is, "Sorry, ma'am, I'm gay".
  • Standard Powerup Pose: The Guardian of the Balance assumes this pose (but with his legs together) upon ascending to the top of the Tower of the Balance.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: The scene with the Gribbler, although the jury is still out on whether it was played straight or as a mockery of the trope.
    • Disrupt the magic compass and prevent the ship's escape from a storm that even got the hardened crew shaking in their boots? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Draic Kin.
  • Supervillain Lair: Roper Klacks' castle and McAllen's skyscraper and office.
  • Surprisingly Easy Miniquest: Getting the Stone Disc pieces kept by the Dark People and by Abnaxus.
  • Taken for Granite: Roper Klacks favorite pastime is turning people into sentient statues.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Subverted. In this game thirteen is a lucky number and an Arc Number.
  • Time Dissonance: Again, the Venar.
  • Title Drop: "You're about to take the first step on the longest journey of your life."
  • Translator Microbes: Na'ven or Alltongue in Arcadia is a magical language that can be learned in a few minutes just by listening to it..
  • You Can't Miss It: The mapmaker's directions in the delivery mission.
  • Wild Magic: All of magic in Arcadia (and sometimes Stark) is rooted in the energies of Chaos.