The Record of Lodoss War franchise is somewhat of an enigma to western audiences, though it is most likely recognizable as a fantasy anime series from the 90s. There have been a number of video games based on the series, but the latest, Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, is the first to jump into the Metroidvania genre. The game is generating positive buzz ahead of its release.
Record of Lodoss War actually got its start as a Dungeons and Dragons “replay” that ran in the Japanese magazine Comptiq from 1986 to 1988. A “replay” is a transcript of an RPG session, and the Record of Lodoss War proved to be such a popular replay that it was made into a series of fantasy novels. From there it grew into a huge multimedia hit, but has remained relatively niche outside Japan. Given that Dungeons and Dragons is experiencing a renaissance of late, reintroducing folks to the world of Forcelia, where Record of Lodoss War takes place, seems fitting.
This is the franchise’s first foray into the Metroidvania genre, with Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth taking inspiration from the legendary Castlevania title Symphony of the Night. While the game is currently available through early access on Steam, the full release of the game is scheduled to drop on March 27th. The story revolves around Deedlit, a high elf, who awakens in an unknown place, searching for answers. The game looks to tie in some of the Record of Lodoss War mythos, with an appearance from Parn, Deedlit’s love interest in the novels.
The gameplay found in Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth shares some DNA with Symphony of the Night, with Deedlit able to back-dash, and wielding a familiar set of weapons and skills to that of Alucard, though the game adds in an elemental system that Deedlit can make use of, adding some depth and strategy to enemy encounters. Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth has all the hallmarks of Metroidvania games, from the back-and-forth exploration, light RPG elements, and acquiring powers to reach new areas and tackle new foes. The popular genre doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
While the actual Castlevania franchise has been dormant for some time, and series developer Konami not seriously pushing for a new release, a number of games have filled that void, like Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth. These studios have proven themselves capable of creating a Castlevania-inspired game, and would likely be thrilled develop more in the future. For now, fans can find solace in spiritual successors keeping the genre alive.
Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth will be available (in full) March 27th on PC.