Langrisser 2 was undeniably a great game. So where would Masaya go from there? How could you possibly follow-up a masterpiece? …By remaking it, of course. Der Langrisser is a remake of L2 which brought with it many innovative ideas, some of which would become mainstays of the franchise. As one of the positive new things it added, there’s this:
Depending on how the player answered the questions, the main character would turn out differently: varying classes, varying atk/def bonuses, and potentially different items in his inventory. Another noteworthy thing added in Der Langrisser is the inclusion of new story routes. And it was far beyond what Feda did, which was to simply have characters join or leave depending on your alignment, while leaving the main narrative static throughout. Der Langrisser went a step further, and became the first SRPG to give the player completely different campaigns depending on their choices. There are four total: the default (light) path, the imperial path, the dark path where you ally yourself with Böser, and the independent path where you betray everyone. All in all, the game offers over 70 maps. The replay value’s there if you want it, and it goes beyond the shallow replay value that many other games have which is “oh, try out new skills or new strategies to beat the exact same maps!” In Der Langrisser, it’s like you’re playing a completely different story. The only problem is that the conditions you have to satisfy in order to unlock these alternate paths are sometimes cryptic and unintuitive. For instance, there’s a choice you can make during the character creation quiz which will permanently lock you down one path. I don’t think that was such a great idea.
Some other things DL introduced were new characters and musical themes: Ally Backup2, Opening themes, Ally Backup3, Egbert’s Theme, Requiem, and the Staff Roll themes are the ones I know off the top of my head. Many maps were remade entirely, just like what Langrisser 1’s PCE version did with many of the original Langrisser 1 maps.
Probably the biggest problem with the game is what I call the “SNES RPG Curse.” This is a curse which affects virtually every SNES/SFC RPG and results in, for one reason or another, all of these games running about 75% as quickly as they should. Play Langrisser 2 for around 10 minutes, and then play Der Langrisser. You’ll instantly know what I’m talking about. I have no idea why this happens, but it’s a routine occurrence for every SNES RPG I’ve played: Tactics Ogre is probably the most flagrant case, but you also got Bahamut Lagoon, Der Langrisser, Final Fantasy 4-6, Feda, Fire Emblems 3-5, Front Mission, and plenty more. And I doubt it’s a hardware issue, either; Super Mario World plays fluidly and that was one of the FIRST games to be released for the console. I don’t know what the deal is, but all I can say is these games feel rather sluggish and dated compared to the snappiness of Genesis RPGs and modern consoles.
Overall, I don’t believe that Der Langrisser is an improvement over Langrisser 2. The muddier graphics and the much slower controls just make the game that much less enjoyable. That being said, the game’s still great and introduced some crucial new ideas. Had Masaya/NCS expanded upon and refined these ideas, I believe they could’ve surpassed even Langrisser 2. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, they inexplicably took influence from one of the worst RPGs on the SNES (Ogre Battle) and gave us Langrisser 3. At least the various other versions of Der Langrisser (detailed in this post) were improvements with regards to the controls and pacing. Yet, if they had made Langrisser 3 in the classic Langrisser style is one of the greatest “what if”s in the series’ history.
General Langrisser tips
Link to our walkthrough
Translation patch: https://www.romhacking.net/translations/1147/