Babes in Torland

The back story for the second Dragon Quest is that, after the events of the first game, the hero and the Princess left Alefgard [1] and founded their own kingdom. In the original Japanese, the new country was called Lorasia, a play on Princess Lora’s name and Laurasia, the northern supercontinent that broke off from Pangaea in the late Triassic era. In the English translation, the Princess’ name is Gwaelin, and the new kingdom is Torland, which I’m not sure means anything at all. What’s kind of odd is that Gwaelin’s father is King Lorik, while Lora’s is King Lars.

You would think Lorik and Lora would appear in the same version, wouldn’t you? Incidentally, the King of Alefgard in Dragon Quest III is named Raosu, which looks like a mangled version of “Lars.” And I believe Lars is one of the names the Prince of Cannock is sometimes automatically assigned in DQ2. Anyway, the hero and the Princess had three children, and the kingdom was divided between them. What I wonder is whether people were already living in the area that became Torland. Did they WANT the hero as their ruler, or did he take over by force? Granted, killing the Dragonlord and restoring peace to the world gets you a lot of street cred, but I’m still curious about how much of a role imperialism played. For that matter, when were the lands outside Alefgard even settled? In DQ3, someone tells you that Alefgard is inhabited by the descendants of those who fell into the Great Pit of Giaga in the upper world, but that game makes it impossible to sail beyond the borders of Alefgard. DQ2 shows several other countries in the same world.

Another issue regarding DQ2 is the one addressed here and that I also mentioned in a post a few years ago, specifically why you can’t visit most of the towns from the first game. Opinions seem to be divided between the towns being there but not being relevant to the game and the smaller villages being abandoned over the years. That in turn leads to a more general question about role-playing video games. In many of them, you explore the whole world, and come across only a handful of inhabited places. The implication seems to be that there are more towns that are essentially glossed over, because, really, the games don’t have enough memory for you to talk to millions of people. And DQ2, being an early world-exploring RPG, has a particularly sparsely populated world. Getting back to Alefgard, I have seen it mentioned that the town of Brecconary was moved closer to Tantegel Castle so that it could be defended more easily, so that at least is explained. The king there is a coward, hiding from the wrath of Hargon in one of the shops in town.

I wonder whose descendant this king is, if King Lorik’s own heir left the kingdom. As suggested on that thread I linked to, maybe there was a war of succession after Lorik’s death. Then again, I seem to recall reading somewhere that the hero’s descendants ruled Alefgard as well. I suppose we just don’t know.

[1] I always used to think it was spelled “Alfegard,” as in a combination of Alfheim (the world of the elves) and Midgard (the world of humans) from Norse mythology, but apparently it’s actually “Alefgard.” Or is it? I get results for both spellings on Google.

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3 Responses to Babes in Torland

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