Legend of Crystania: The Motion Picture (はじまりの冒険者たち レジェンド・オブ・クリスタニア, Hajimari no Bōkenshatachi: Rejendo obu Kurisutania, literally "First-time Adventurers: Legend of Crystania") is a 1995 animated motion picture and considered a sequel to Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, which was released three years later. The movie follows Redon who is from Da’nan, a small region that borders the sealed and sacred lands of Crystania, known as the land of the Gods. When Redon is lured into Crystania by the evil god Barbas he learns of the current struggles of the land that were set in motion centuries prior when outsiders from the land of Lodoss set foot on the island.
After Mizuno finished the seven Record of Lodoss War novels he went on to write a number of spin-off novels and side-stories, one of them being Crystania. Plans were made to adapt the first novels (chronologically) into a movie and a subsequent OVA series to wrap up the story of Ashram, Pirotess and the Marmo people. Production of the project was halted when one of the producers was arrested on some charges, leading to the team eventually rushing the production on a limited budget. The result is somewhat inconsistent animation quality and a shorter series than planned; arguably too short to adequately tell the story of multiple novels.
The movie is an adaption of the novels The First Adventure: Legend of Crystania and Crystania: Legend of the Gods’ King I. From 1996 to 1997 the three part sequel series Legend of Crystania: The Chaos Ring was released.
After a long journey over sea Ashram, Pirotess and the Marmo people reach new land, but an enormous green scaled wall called The Gods’ Wall protects the land. Suddenly the voice of the Gods’ King Barbas speaks to Ashram and tells Ashram he will give him and his people access to the land, but in exchange Ashram must give up his body to Barbas. Ashram accepts and the party comes ashore the land beyond the Wall, a land known as Crystania.
Centuries later, elsewhere on the island, in a region called Da’nan, Madam Aderishia informs Lord Haven, ruler of Da’nan, of the Deputy’s plans to usurp his position, but Lord Haven does not wish to act against the usurpers yet because a war will hurt the harvest season. That night Obier tries to assassinate Lord Haven, is defeated, but is spared by the lord for his fighting skills. Subsequently the Deputy’s men shoot fire arrows through the window, killing Lord Haven, his wife Meira, and set the house on fire. In his dying moments Haven tells his son Redon to flee. Outside, the Deputy’s men pin the assassination on Obier.
Chased by the Deputy’s men, Redon, his friends Kwairde and Nasare and Madam Aderishia flee until they reach The God’s Wall. Redon’s group cannot get past the God’s Wall and Redon strikes it with his sword out of frustration. Suddenly, Redon hears the voice of Barbas who promises him the power he needs to avenge his parent's death. A path through The God’s Wall opens before them, which the party takes. Unbeknownst to them, Obier and his young mage friend Raifan follow them. The Deputy’s men, however, do not.
On the other side of the wall the group encounters Rumiss, one of Crystania's gods, who tells them this is no land for humans. Rumiss shies away when he senses the presence of Barbas. A human captain and a band of Lizard Men, followers of Rumiss, appear and attack the party. The party struggles, but Obier steps in to help and also gives Redon his father's sword. The party manages to get away to a safer area, where they spot red lights coming from the sky, landing in a distant place. Aderishia and Raifan, the group's magic users, immediately feel a sense of malevolence.
Elsewhere, a man by the name of Garudi and an elderly man called Muha are looking for a woman known as “Sheru”. In a cave two parties, a group of Rumiss followers led by Rio oppose a group of Direon followers led by Boakes, for the dark elf Sheru that Boakes' group protects. Redon's group arrives and decides to help Boakes' group. The human captain from before recognizes Redon's group and tells Rio they are “the intruders”. Much to the surprise of Redon's group, Rio's men morph into lizardmen and Boakes morphs into a lionman. The battle is won by Boakes group in part due to Aderishia and her magic. In the distance a group led by Sir Rome observe the magic and recognize it as magic from a foreign god. They view this as a disturbance and Rome orders his men to gather the Protectors of the Seal.
Later, Boakes shares some of Crystania's history with the group. A long time ago gods were at war and the defeated gods took refuge in Crystania. There, they had to give up their bodies and sealed their souls with the land's animals. The god Rumiss used a snake, the god Direon used a lion, Feness used a fox, etcetera. The god Rumiss was appointed to protect the land from any outsiders and created The God’s Wall, which has the appearance of a snake's skin.
People are bestowed with a force of the animal god they follow. The animal god one answers to also determines the nature of someone's mission in Crystania, hence why followers of Rumiss, the God who is tasked to protect the land from outsiders, are so bent on eliminating Redon's group, “the intruders”. Nasare points out Sheru is said to be from outside Crystania, but gets no response.
Aderishia asks Boakes about the red lights they witnessed earlier. Boakes explains it has to do with the Gods’ King Barbas. Barbas “unfortunately” fused himself with the tiger, the strongest animal in Crystania. He resides in Dayton Castle in the Berudia region, where he commands his tiger followers and the Shadow Cavalry. He calls his legion the Supreme Force and he plans to conquer all of Crystania. He is no longer an animal god, because he has obtained a human body (Ashram). This made the other gods powerless against him, hence why he is referred to as the “Gods’ King”. Various groups of humans, known collectively as the Fang of the Animal have banded together to oppose Barbas.
Unbeknownst to the party, Sheru has been spotted by henchmen of Muha. Boakes and Sheru take the group to a nearby Fang of the Animal-occupied village. Later, the village gets attacked by two groups led by Garudi and Rio. Barbas himself appears and wipes out the entire village, including most of Garudi and Rio's men, only to demonstrate to Redon the power he could give him. In the wake of the destruction a giant worm attacks the survivors and Redon, Sheru and Rio fall into one of the worm holes. Sir Rome suddenly make an appearance, morphs into a bear, and attempt to take Aderishia. Garudi intervenes, strikes Rome who then flees, and kidnaps Aderishia and Raifan. Boakes and Kwairde are also taken captive. After the battle, Fang of the Animal members Grib and Jenoba plan a counter-attack against Barbas.
Inside the worm hole Sheru gets attacked by a tigerman, but is saved by Rio, who dies shortly after due to the many wounds inflicted on her in the fight. Sheru shares some of her history with Redon; the human host for Barbas is actually her lord Ashram. Centuries ago Ashram, Sheru and their people arrived at Crystania. At Ashram's suggestion, his men built homes, farms, set up a town and constructed a castle beyond the town where his body now rests. For 300 years Sheru has waited for Ashram to wake up and though many of Ashram's followers have lost hope, Sheru has always remained hopeful.
Redon asks Sheru if she knows a way to defeat Barbas. “Maybe,” Sheru responds as she shows Redon a large ring called the Ring of Chaos. She tells Redon that Ashram's strong soul has always tried to resist Barbas and Barbas has had difficulties suppressing it. In fact, whenever Ashram attempts to break free Barbas' right-hand aide Mahu uses the Ring of Chaos to suppress Ashram. Sheru theorizes if it can work against Ashram, it should also be possible to make it work for him. Redon proposes Sheru to fight Barbas together, but Sheru declines. Suddenly, Redon's horse Grabia appears. Now on horseback, Redon manages to convince Sheru they should fight Barbas together and the duo rides towards Dayton Castle. Sheru informs Redon of the four opponents that await there; Garudi, Muha, Shadow Cavalry captain Brasto and Barbas himself.
Inside Dayton castle Muha informs Barbas Fang of the Animal forces are approaching the castle. Garudi displays his captive Aderishia, who is immediately recognized as a threat by Muha. Elsewhere inside the castle Boakes, Kwairde and Raifan try to break out of their prison cell. Outside, the Fang of the Animal force, led by Grib and Jenoba and assisted by Obier and Nasare, overtake a Berudian town and continue onward to Dayton castle.
Redon and Sheru have reached Dayton castle, but cannot seem to find a way to actually get inside it from their position; a cliff towering over the castle. With Sheru and Redon still on his back, Grabia suddenly starts sliding and leaping down the cliff, eventually getting Sheru and Redon on a bridge of the castle. The final, highest, leap, however, cost the horse his life. On the bridge, Garudi attacks Sheru, but is thwarted by Boakes, Kwairde and Raifan, who have managed to escape their prison cell. Garudi morphs into a sabretooth tiger and Boakes in a lion. The rest of the group hurry deeper into the castle.
Outside, the Fang of the Animal have breached Dayton castle. Shadow Cavalry captain Brasto challenges Obier to a duel. As Obier accepts, Jenoba and Nasare continue deeper into the castle. Elsewhere in the castle, Redon, Kwairde, Raifan, and Sheru are running, still on their way to Barbas' throne room. Unbeknowst to the others, Sheru stops and presses a hidden button opening a secret door. Aderishia is being held in Mahu's room, who theorizes he may become even stronger than the gods of Crystania of he can have a force of Rada's power through Aderishia. Outside the room Redon, Kwairde and Raifan meet up with Nasare and Jenoba. The group manages to break into the room, but Mahu threatens to do Aderishia harm if they make a move against him. From behind Sir Rome and some of his men grab Aderishia and eliminate Mahu. In the course of the action the floor beneath them crumbles and Sir Rome, with Aderishia, fall. During her fall Aderishia calls for Rada to bestow her friends with the strength they need to bring peace to Crystania. Sir Rome and Aderishia are not seen again in the movie.
By now, Sheru has finally met with Ashram's body, still under the control of Barbas. She attempts to use the Ring of Chaos, but fails and Barbas delivers an invisible blow, pushing Sheru back against a wall. Redon and his group arrive. Redon asks if the man he sees before him is Ashram, but the man responds he is Barbas. Barbas explains he still intends to give Redon the power he seeks and does not want to give it to anyone else, as all the others are useless. In turn Redon must kill Sheru. Redon declines; every living thing has a purpose, nobody is useless in his mind. He does not want to kill Sheru either, who he has begun to view as a friend. Barbas is enraged and attacks Redon. Sheru uses the moment to throw the Ring of Chaos towards Barbas. Though Barbas halts the Ring, its power is unleashed, weakening Barbas and allowing Ashram to regain control over his body somewhat. Barbas uses all his power to fight against the Ring's force, and as a result parts of the castle begin to crumble.
Meanwhile, Obier has defeated Brasto and is reunited with Raifan. Boakes is about to lose his fight against Garudi, but due to Barbas power the floor near them crumbles, and Garudi falls down.
Ashram, in another brief moment of control, calls Sheru by her real name - Pirotess. He now holds the Ring of Chaos in his hands to suppress Barbas even further. He orders Pirotess to strike his body now, but she hesitates. Redon strikes Ashram, but without success. Ashram explains his sword cannot defeat a power this strong. Barbas regains control of Ashram's body, grabs Redon and attempts to crush his skull. Ashram urges Pirotess to grab the Demon Sword “Soul Crusher” and strike him now. Pirotess finally obeys, takes the Demon Sword and pierces it through Ashram's body, killing Ashram and defeating Barbas. In his final moments Ashram thanks Pirotess.
In order of appearance.
- Lord Haven
- Lady Meira
- Lizard Captain