|“||It was an age of chaos and destruction...
An age that was seeking a hero...
The man with the qualities to be that hero was...
And it's very hard to believe he'd do the right thing.
—Rance VI: The Collapse of Zeth, opening sequence
The Rance series is one of the oldest on-going H-game franchises and one of the oldest series of the Eastern RPG genre rivalling in age with the Ultima or Final Fantasy series. It is notable for having one continuous story among the main series of games (with a few If Routes and Spin-Off games on the side) despite being almost 30 years old by now. One of those Spin-Off games, Kichikuou Rance was released in 1996 and still is one the best selling H-Games of all time.
Aside from the adult content, the series is widely considered to stand apart from other H-games for having an excellently well developed setting, a large variety of characters with unique and developed sub-plots, well rounded and fun gameplay, a long and developed plot-line, and stunningly good music.
The series is also known however for having an outrageous and sometimes brutal plots, embodied by the completely anti-hero behaviors of the protagonist Rance, which defy social conventions and common moralities. While the series contains black humour through making fun of social atrocities sometimes, the games also have moments that can inspire awe or rip your heart out.
The games follow mostly the story of Rance and his many adventures all over The Continent. While there are a group of main characters that re-appear in almost every game, most of the games feature a new adventure in a new location with a completely new cast of characters.
A few years after Rance IV, Alice Soft was facing economic problems and they almost went bankrupt. As a result they decided to finish the franchise with one massive game that would feature all the ideas they had but couldn't implement yet and give the series a proper ending. This resulted in a giant strategy conquest game Kichikuou Rance. The game ended up being one of the most successful games of the genre and saved the company.
Years later they decided to continue with the series and divided the games in two timelines, the new canonical plot-line and the old Kichikuou Timeline.
|Canonical Timeline||Kichikuou Timeline||Retconned Completely|
Rance I: Search of Hikari
Rance II: Rebellious Maidens
(not released yet)
|LP0004||Rance VI: The Collapse of Zeth||Kichikuou Rance||-|