A Quick Intro to Long Gone Days
Long Gone Days is a JRPG set in a near-future, war-torn version of our world. Through a mixture of traditional exploration, expressive storytelling, and innovative turn-based combat, this game explores human connection during war with a focus on civilians, language barriers, and borders.
You play as Rourke, a young man who has trained all his life to be a sniper for The Core—a secretive and militaristic nation with a charismatic leader. Rourke believes strongly in the ideals of his nation, but on his first mission he stumbles into a vast conspiracy that strains his conscience and drives him to desert.
As an idealistic fugitive, Rourke will go on an odyssey to escape The Core’s clutches and avert the catastrophe they’ve set in motion. This journey will take Rourke across Europe, and in each new country he encounters a language barrier (including German, Polish, and more) that must be deciphered to progress.
Expand Your Skills by Forging Bonds with a Party of Comrades
Luckily, Rourke has help. Along his way, Rourke will forge bonds with a diverse party of colorful and well-rounded characters. Each party member contributes potential story arcs, valuable skills in and out of combat, and, crucially, fluency in new languages that allow Rourke to communicate with locals and achieve his goals. These characters form the heart and soul of Long Gone Days, and they serve as bridges between the player and the distinct communities found in each of the game’s three major cities.
These party members include Adair, a cool and collected fellow soldier who has trained as a medic, and in so doing seems to have made peace with the cost of war. By contrast, players will also meet Lynn and Ivan – civilians who find themselves under attack by the Core. Lynn is quiet but won’t hesitate to fight tooth and nail for those she loves. Meanwhile, Ivan is a pacifist who will not hold a gun but contributes everything he can to support the party—including foreign language skills and some fantastic cooking. Atiye and Pascal are two fan-favorite characters from later chapters in the game, and while we don’t want to spoil too much of their stories, suffice to say each brings a unique set of skills, perspectives, and language capabilities to the table.
Overcoming Language Barriers is Key to Progression
As characters join your party and contribute their linguistic skills, a world of possibility opens. When you first arrive in a new city and can’t understand the language, you’ll find yourself feeling a bit alienated and without much freedom—much like in real life. But once you unlock the ability to understand the locals, you can make your way through each town, access shops, and progress storylines. Beyond the main plot, being able to communicate lets you engage with the numerous side-quests in each chapter.
Through both the main and side quests, the ability to speak the local language lets Adair and the party quickly become enmeshed in the lives of others. The game’s quests focus on the small stories of specific characters, but each also feeds into the larger plot. For example, you might evade curfew to bring medicine to a home-bound grandmother, help a local animal shelter search for stray animals before a city is evacuated, or help defang propaganda by covering it in hand-made art. With language as the key, these quests all unlock heartfelt emotional moments rooted in the people and the culture on display in each chapter.
Languages, Borders, and Human Empathy
Language and communication are powerful concepts, and they are at the heart of what Long Gone Days is trying to say. On the one hand, language can feel like an insurmountable, alienating barrier. Yet, the moment one understands another, they can freely access a new world of humanity—they can once again find common ground. In this way, through its unique language mechanics, Long Gone Days consistently highlights the beauty and importance of people, no matter their circumstances or nationality.
Long Gone Days is out today, October 10th, on Xbox! We hope you’ll join Rourke on his journey to fight for a future he can believe in. For more updates on the game, follow @SerenityForge on Twitter!
Long Gone Days