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Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where.
—Cortez, The Longest Journey
April Ryan is an ordinary art student living in the Cyberpunk metropolis Newport and applying for the local Academy of Arts. She has her share of problems with her parents, insecurity about her future, and increasingly strange dreams, but she also has some great friends, a job and a friendly landlady. Then a weird Cool Old Guy named Cortez appears and tells her that she is The Chosen One who has to Save Both Worlds... and then he sends her to that other world, Arcadia, she is supposed to save. As her familiar world crumbles around her, April has to dive deeper into the secrets of the universe, fulfill cryptic prophecies, bring down an Ancient Conspiracy or two, cope with her friends' deaths, save the Guardian of the Balance, and ultimately restore the harmony between the Twin Worlds of Stark and Arcadia itself. And that all in less than two weeks.
The Longest Journey is a 1999 Adventure Game developed by Norwegian company Funcom and designed by Ragnar Tørnquist. Famous for its expansive storyline, a lovable, Genre Savvy heroine, and flawless gameplay (as far as point-and-click gameplay goes), the game is commonly credited with resurrecting the Adventure Game genre after its crisis in the late 90's. An Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, was released in 2006.
- Abusive Parents: April's adoptive father, though it's strongly hinted he feels deep remorse over it.
- Adventure Narrator Syndrome
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Vanguard.
- Ancient Tradition: The Sentinel Fathers.
- Arcadia: Arcadia is Another Dimension where magic is possible. While it looks like a pastoral utopia to people coming there from our world, it has its own share of problems too.
- Arc Number: 13.
- Bittersweet Ending: After all her numerous trials and sacrifices throughout The Longest Journey, April is basically given heartfelt thanks... and then left to her own devices. She even admits as not knowing how to feel as she starts her trek "home".
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Mr. Guybrush.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Mystery Door in The Longest Journey.
- Constructed World: And how.
- Creepy Long Fingers: Abnaxus.
- Cyberpunk: Newport in the original game.
- Cyberpunk Is Techno: A lot of technoheads in the cyberpunk metropolis of Newport.
- Cymbal-Banging Monkey: The Guybrush monkey toy.
- Didn't See That Coming: The end of the first game.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: The Stone Disc, the key to the Guardian's realm in the first game. Justified in the Backstory: the disc was originally kept at the Sentinel Enclave, ready for pickup by The Chosen One, but then the Vanguard tried to steal it. Afterwards, the Sentinels decided to break it up and hand the pieces over to the four magical peoples most motivated to keep it hidden (since most magical creatures would likely perish if the Twin Worlds were forcibly reunited).
- Down the Rabbit Hole: Pretty much the point of the original game.
- Dual World Gameplay: Unlike other examples of this trope, you don't get to choose when to go to the other world
- The Federation: Northlands, particularly, Ayrede.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Guardians of the Balance.
- Heel Face Turn: Gordon Halloway has one after his soul is reunited with his body.
- Here There Were Dragons: Among other fantasy stuff.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Accessible via the Book of Secrets.
- In the End You Are on Your Own: Trope Namer.
- Keep It Foreign: In the Spanish version, Cortez is not Hispanic, but rather a Frenchman named "Corthes".
- Last-Second Word Swap: The Gribbler takes this to ludicrous levels, one of many, many signs that she is totally evil and will eat you:
I was out picking bones- uh, berries, for my stew, and flowers, yeeess, pretty flowers...
- The Library of Babel: The Dark People's library.
- Limited Wardrobe: Partially averted, with different, context-sensitive outfits for April.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The White Dragon, who turns out to be April's real mother.
- Magic Versus Science
- Merged Reality: That's what the Vanguard are attempting to do; apparently, chances of failure don't bother them much.
- More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: The Gribbler, ye gods [dead link].
- Move Along, Nothing to See Here: Said by the police guard bot at the site of the crashed transportation unit in front of PD.
- Non-Linear Character: The Venar, who perceive all of their life simultaneously. Asking one to focus on the "now" to talk to you gives it a massive headache.
- NPC Amnesia: April can chance her answers without fearing any backlash.
- Ominous Floating Castle: Roper Klack's castle.
- Order Versus Chaos: And how.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Draic Kin.
- Physical God: The Guardian, after the Changing of the Guard; outside their Tower, however, they are as helpless as normal humans.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: The introduction to The Longest Journey.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Banda, furry little creatures with curious speech patterns and rather elaborate naming traditions.
- Save Both Worlds: There are two worlds in place of one Earth: technological/ordered Stark and magical/chaotic Arcadia. If they collide, there may be a hell to pay. Or not. Let's just leave the cosmology of the Twin Worlds at that.
- Set Piece Puzzle
- Shout-Out: The original game features a lot of homages to famous TV shows and movies of our time, ranging from Looney Tunes, Evil Dead, Labyrinth and Star Trek.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: In The Longest Journey, when April tries to get past a security guard by acting cute, all he says is "Sorry, ma'am, but I'm gay".
- Stupidity Is the Only Option:
- The scene with the Gribbler in the first game, although the jury is still out on whether it was played straight or as a mockery of the trope.
- Disrupt the magic compass and prevent the ship's escape from a storm that even got the hardened crew shaking in their boots? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Draic Kin.
- Supervillain Lair: Roper Klacks' castle and McAllen's skyscraper and office.
- Surprisingly Easy Mini Quest: Getting the Stone Disc pieces kept by the Dark People and by Abnaxus.
- Taken for Granite: Roper Klacks favorite pastime is turning people into sentient statues.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Subverted. In this game, thirteen is a lucky number and an Arc Number.
- Time Dissonance: Again, the Venar.
- Title Drop: "You're about to take the first step on The Longest Journey of your life."
- Translator Microbes: Na'ven or Alltongue in Arcadia is a magical language that can be learned in a few minutes just by listening to it.
- Video Game Caring Potential: April has been named the best developed video game protagonist (at the time) for a reason.
- Violation of Common Sense
- You Can't Miss It: The mapmaker's directions in the delivery mission in The Longest Journey.