Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Longest Journey Saga

Go To

A series of video games created by Ragnar Tørnquist. These are, in the order of release:

Another game, titled The Longest Journey Home, which would have explained the events in the Time Skip between the first two games, was teased during the Kickstarter campaign for DFC, but, according to the Word of God, "will probably never happen. At least, not for a long, long time."

Tropes common to the series:

  • The Alcatraz: Friar's Keep, the tower the Azadi use as a prison, which April needs to rescue Zoë from, then later Kian has to escape from.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The magical people has various skin colors, like yellow or purple.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In Dreamfall and Chapters, playing as Zoë, April (only in Dreamfall), and Kian.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The Azadi.
  • Arboreal Abode: Abnaxus lives in a hollowed-out tree trunk.
  • Arcadia: Arcadia is Another Dimension where magic is possible. While it looks like a pastoral utopia to people coming there from our world, it has its own share of problems, too.
  • Astral Projection: Zoë's trips to Arcadia and Europolis, in a nutshell. She's not a Shifter, like April, but merely winds up there while dreaming. Unlike normal astral projections, her presence in Arcadia is very much physical.
  • Cat Folk: The Zhid are a catlike humanoid race with yellow fur.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The second two games play a lot more seriously than the first one.
  • Chaos Architecture: Marcuria. Justified between The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, as there is a 10 year Time Skip between the storylines of the two games, in which time the fanatical Azadi invaded the city, replaced the temple with their own Evil Tower of Ominousness, and installed several Steampunk contraptions throughout the city. However, between Dreamfall and Dreamfall Chapters, the changes are more artistic. The two games set right after one another, so In-Universe not much should have changed. But to utilize the more modern game engine, the city is expanded to give room for more exploration, and the layout of certain parts are also changed.
  • Common Tongue: Na'ven or Alltongue, a magical language spoken in all of Arcadia (a parallel universe). Its omnipresence is justified with the fact that you can become a fluid speaker after listening to it for just a few minutes, as April does upon her first visit to Arcadia. This language can only be spoken in Arcadia, as shown in Chapters, where an engineer is shifted to Stark (our world) and suddenly Zoë and he don't understand each other.
  • Corrupt Church: The Azadi's religion, Kian calls them out on it before he's arrested.
  • Cyberpunk: Stark, especially in Dreamfall and Chapters.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Shifters are the only creatures known to physically travel between the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia, as well as to and from much smaller splinter worlds, like the Guardian's Realm (although speculation abounds that the Draic Kin are capable of it, as well).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The racist "Front" talks about how bad the magicals are...
    • Note the somewhat middle eastern motif of the Azadi.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Unlike other examples of this trope, you don't get to choose when to go to the other world.
  • The Empire: The Azadi have conquered much of Arcadia.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Azadi play an antagonistic role in both Dreamfall and Chapters — and even many of them find the idea of exterminating all magicals to be either going too far or simply not right. The events at Ge'en cause a lot of them to be absolutely disgusted.
  • Everything Is Online: The Wire is an omnipresent wireless network that links everything on Earth with a computer chip - which means almost everything, from mobile phones to smart fridges to traffic lights. It is essentially an environment of constant communication, integration and exchange of information. The Wire is monitored by the EYE, and a lot of money can be made on the black market by severing or shielding objects from the Wire, especially mobile phones. The Wire also functions like the Internet it evolved from, playing host to news feeds like The Hand That Bites. The mysterious network failures known as "The Static" have even resulted in fatal car accidents, and, indeed, one of the things you get to hack during the game is a car.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The tower the Azadi are building in Marcuria. The ending makes it even more ominous.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: The Marcuria ghetto for the "magicals", set up by the Azadi occupants.
  • Fantastic Racism: Which is handled with a surprising amount of depth and nuance. The Azadi's determination to exterminate magicals is only the most obvious manifestation.
    • Between humans and magical races and magical races themselves, most notably the Azadi and their treatment of magical races.
    • The Azadi also have a complex hierarchy of human worth that is informed by intersections of class, race, and religion; for example, a cutscene reveals that an infidel's testimony cannot be used against a Trueborn.
    • Additionally, Vamon resents Kian, who is of low birth, for essentially rising above his station.
  • In the Doldrums:
    • The Guardian's realm looks like this. It turns out to be a Fisher Kingdom—in Dreamfall, the replacement for´ the first game's ailing Guardian adds plant life and a proper sky.
    • In Dreamfall and Chapters, Storytime.
  • La Résistance: The small group lead by April, and later Shepherd after April's death, to fight the Azadi in Marcuria.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The dreamer machines can have this effect. They even have a flower component that covers a person's face.
  • Knight Templar: The Azadi, who seek to destroy all magic in the world in order to "cleanse it". Justified, as magic causes chaotic effects, which interfere with the Machine.
  • Magic Versus Science: The scientific Stark and the magical Arcadia. A balance is kept so that no technology goes to Arcadia and no magic goes to Stark.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: The Collapse in Stark is due to magic going away. It's heavily implied that most of the advanced technology (e.g. FTL, antigravity) is impossible with pure science and was the result of magic bleeding in from Arcadia through cracks in the Barrier. Once the Barrier is restored by the new Guardian, it's back to using old tech for the people of Stark. By the same token, pure complex technology is impossible in Arcadia due to laws of nature being in flux. Thus, even Azadi technology is reinforced by magic, although you may be arrested for suggesting that.
  • Matriarchy: The Azadi Empire is ruled by six Empresses, political power is expressly the woman's domain (though military power is the man's), they worship a Goddess, and the term for an orphan without fortune or connections is a "motherless" child. Sub-trope Enlightened Matriarchy (great cultural and scientific achievements, started off saving the entire civilization), or Original Matriarchy (overstayed their welcome big time to become an occupation, Well-Intentioned Extremism on full display including the Fantastic Ghetto, repressive government, assassinations, and mass murder).
  • 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 20 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 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 extrasolar travel is no longer feasible.
  • MegaCorp: Lots of them in Stark, e.g. WATIcorp. Even the police is owned by a megacorp. What does this mean? When you're arrested, you're read both your rights and a catchy soda ad.
  • Narrator All Along: Played with. At the end of the first game, it is implied that Lady Alvane is April Ryan herself in later years. In Chapters, however, it is revealed that she is Saga, a time traveller and a reincarnation of April.
  • 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.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The title of the games (see description above).
  • Oh, My Gods!: Phrases such as "By the Balance" are common in Arcadia. Sailors tend to swear to Mo-Jaal. For the Azadi, it's the Goddess, Light, or Darkness.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • The way Brian Westhouse behaves in this game is vastly different from the way he behaved in The Longest Journey. It's not quite clear what happened to him between the games and after his encounter with The Undreaming, but it sure is very important.
    • A more straigtforward example would be Sister Sahya, who is a part of an extremely matriarchal culture, taking orders from the Prophet, who is rather obviously male. April even lampshades on it.
  • 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, in the first game the Vanguard and their desire to merge the worlds and rule them versus the Sentinels who want to keep the worlds separated.
  • Portal Door: The Shift is a single-use variant. April (and later Saga) opens it, steps through it, then it closes. There is one scene in Chapters where Saga keeps one open while other characters talk and even walk through it.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The resistance in Marcuria.
  • Refusal of the Second Call: After saving two worlds from annihilation, April becomes a bitter cynic and refuses to help Zoë when when the world is in peril again ten years later.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The exact nature of the connection between April, the White Kin, and Lady Alvane, a.k.a. Saga. Even the Tome of the Balance artbook, which explains a lot of the saga's mysteries (and is likely the last canon source of TLJ lore we will ever get), outright states that "the specifics of this link will never be revealed".
  • 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.
  • Science Is Bad: Arcadia is the world of magic, and apparently the only way to introduce advanced science/technology is to eradicate all magicals.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Occurs throughout Dreamfall and Chapters after you're introduced to the other two characters. Produces a very striking moment, when Kian meets April and player is being switched from one to other in their dialogue.
  • Steampunk: The Azadi machinery in general looks more modern than the rest of Arcadia. Chapters reveals the true reason behind it.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: As an adventure game, the games are obviously story-heavy. While The Longest Journey has lots of, sometimes complex, puzzles, that are popular in older adventure games, the later games are more straightforward in gameplay. Dreamfall has some hacking and lock-opening mini-games, Chapters has none of these. The latter two games also have quite long cutscenes, especially near the end of the games.
  • Technicolor Fire: Blue flames are a fairly common sight in Marcuria. As April points out, it's magical in nature. When the Azadi outlaw magic, it is restricted to the Magic Ghetto.
  • Translation Convention: Arcadian dialogue is always presented in English (or whatever language is appropriate for the localization of the game), even when the characters are Arcadian natives who would never have heard or spoken it. An exception occurs in Book 5 of Chapters, when an Arcadian engineer temporarily enters the non-magical world of Stark where the magic of his native language has no effect, preventing him from understanding any English-speakers and preventing him from being understood by anyone who had not already been exposed to his native language.
  • 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.
  • Used Future: Stark tends to be like this.
    • Newport has a gritty, cyber-punkish feeling to it. While not entirely Dystopic in the first game, by Dreamfall, even Venice has become a run-down Wretched Hive.
    • Smog-toned, neon-tinted Europolis in Chapters.
    • Averted with bright, vibrant Casablanca, which is one of the nicest places in Stark that the games show us.
  • Where It All Began: Happens to the whole saga at the end of Dreamfall Chapters. The Longest Journey, the first game of the Saga, begins at the House of All Worlds with Lady Alvane telling April Ryan's story. Dreamfall Chapters ends at this same place with Lady Alvane, who is revealed to be old Saga, meeting April Ryan from the past. Bonus points that back in The Longest Journey Lady Alvane did mention that the story ends where it begins.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The location of Newport, a key location in both TLJ and Dreamfall, had been a mystery for almost twenty years. In a post on his now-defunct blog, Tørnquist had confirmed that it was in the Pacific Northwest, "perhaps including... Seattle and Vancouver", but it wasn't until the Tome of the Balance art book that Newport has been confirmed to be an urban sprawl that will connect those two cities in the future.
  • Where the Magic Went: Arcadia is a parallel world to what we know as "Earth" (known as "Stark" in the series) where all of Earth's original magical creatures, as well as magic itself, were split off about twelve thousand years ago.
  • Wild Magic: All of magic in Arcadia (and sometimes Stark) is rooted in the energies of Chaos.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: The Azadi introduce airships in Arcadia. Zoë rides these in both Dreamfall and Chapters.


Video Example(s):


Sorry Ma'am

April's attempt at flirting with a cop hits a bit of a snag.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / IncompatibleOrientation

Media sources: