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April Ryan is a fictional character from the award-winning adventure game The Longest Journey (1999) and its sequel Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (2006). In the first installment of the game, she is the protagonist, while in the second one she is one of the three main characters. In both games it is dubbed in the English version by Sarah Hamilton, and in Spanish, in principle it is doubled by Conchi López, and later by Ana García Olivares.
April Ryan is the human daughter of the Draic Kin’s White Dragon. It is not known who his father is, or if he even has. The young woman studies painting in New Venice, Newport (USA), in the world of Stark.
If April was born in Arcadia or Stark, it is not known; but shortly after her birth on April 14, 2191 on the Stark calendar, she was adopted by a family that lived in Kansas, United States. A momentous event in April’s childhood was a fall she suffered as a child due to her father’s carelessness, a fact that could have caused her a small disability, (something that does not materialize in the game.) This, as a result of that, He felt guilty, so he chose to ignore his daughter. However, as the girl recovered, she felt that she was laughing at him and began to blame her for her own misery.
Despite April’s bad relationship with her father, she has always got on well with her adoptive mother and has rarely had arguments with her two brothers, Danny and Owen. After turning 18, April left her adoptive family definitively, after having one last row with her father, where she was hurt when she ran down some stairs. Without saying goodbye to her mother, April left the farm and headed to Newport, an industrial metropolis on the East Coast. It is at this moment in his life when the events of The Longest Journey begin.
The Longest Journey
- This section contains text about the development of the game The Longest Journey.
At the beginning of The Longest Journey, April lives in the “Border House” apartments, a small student residence, in the New Venice district of Newport, and prepares for the VAVA admission test, one of the largest art schools of the world. In addition, she has a stable job in a nearby cafe to pay for her residency and studies and two good friends: Charlie, who wants to be a great dancer, and Emma, who tries to be a holographic sculptor. The only thing that disturbs her are her dreams, in which she sees dragons, strange beings and somewhat utopian places. Also, a man she knows as an eccentric local named Cortez – who is actually the Red Dragon of the Draic Kin and therefore one of her blood relatives – tells her that her dreams are actually more than unfounded images .
The real cause of all this is in the imbalance of the Balance of Balance between Stark and Arcadia caused by the departure of the Guardian of the balance of his position, without having occupied the position his successor. April is one of the first people to know this, because (as reported by Cortez) she is a traveler; a person capable of traveling between the Twin Worlds. After thinking about it, April travels to Arcadia through an open portal with the help of Cortez, whose destination is Marcuria, capital of Ayrede, the Reunified Country, located in Arcadia.
Despite her difficulty in accepting the existence of two parallel universes, April becomes convinced of reality, and learns the true story about the Balance and the Twin Worlds. To return to his home in Stark, not yet have the ability to open a way out, asks for help from another Stark resident, Brian Westhouse, who arrived in Arcadia fifteen years ago, despite having remained trapped in the limbo that separates both worlds for almost two centuries.
Upon his return, Cortez informs him of the disappearance of the Guardian, which compromises the situation of the Balance against attacks from his common enemy, the Vanguard, (also known as ‘Church of Voltec’ in Stark) who dreams of reuniting both worlds, ignoring the risks that this entails. To secure the Balance and the Twin Worlds from their imminent collapse, April cooperates with Cortez to find the old and the new Guardian, to locate the “back door” of the Guardian’s Realm and thus save both worlds. Cortez, however, hides from April that she is the one chosen for the journey that is mentioned in the prophecies.
April begins to collect information about the Guardians, who allegedly would have been captured by the Vangardia, and about the Vanguard itself. For this, April manages to access the files of the Newport police and with the help of the expert hacker Burns Flipper discovers that the Vanguard General Headquarters is located in Newport and its leader is Jacob McAllen, who later turns out to be the Kin. Green. Meanwhile the Vanguard captured Cortez; April sees the scene in a dream and opens a portal to Arcadia unconsciously.
While in Arcadia, April decides to look for pieces of Stone Disc, a vital artifact to unlock the entrance to the Guardian Kingdom. Soon discovers that the Disco is formed by four parts that are distributed between four magical towns of Arcadia for more security, in addition to other four precious stones called Eyes of Dragoon, each of which belongs to one of the Draic Kin. Since two of the Kin (Red and Green) live in Stark, Cortez decides to look for these jewels himself, while April must take care of the rest.
April realizes that she must travel to the island of Alais, where it is possible to find one of the Draic Kin as well as get more information about the disc and the Kingdom of the Guardian. April will obtain this information from the Alatien, a magical species famous for remembering ancient legends. She travels to the north of Marcuria and ends with Roper Klacks, an alchemist who is trapped in the wind, which prevents the inhabitants of Marcuria from any maritime activity. Klacks is also an agent of the Vanguard. On his journey to the north he discovers the Banda, one of the magical species that has one of the pieces of the disc. April manages to gain her trust and they give her the piece. She is invited to spend the night in the cave of spirits, and is forced to confront her subconscious as well as discover that she is not alone in her journey. He also hears that Charlie loves her. After returning to Marcuria, Vestrum Tobias, head of the Order of the Sentinel, informs her that she is the next Guardian and hands her the Talisman of the balance.
- This section contains text about the development of the game Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.
The sequel to “The Longest Journey”, which takes place ten years after the previous events, shows a dejected April, full of inner demons and without a specific direction in her life; for that reason, it chose not to return to Stark and to settle down in Arcadia, concretely in Marcuria. There, after the invasion of the city by some nearby barbarians, captained by the agents of La Vanguardia, they are rejected by the azadis who, in turn, take the city and try to establish their religion there, the only one they consider true. . Due to these events, April joins the rebels and tries, out of the law and violently, to expel the azadis from Marcuria and return to the city her former freedom.
At the end of the game, April is stabbed by an adam soldier and falls into the water, but it is unknown if she dies or not. In spite of the commotion that this event caused in the fans, Tørnquist chose not to clarify what happened, but it is presumed that, due to the importance of the character, April Ryan survives this aggression.
Controversy of the end of Dreamfall
After the end of Dreamfall, April’s death has been challenged by many fans who refuse to believe she has died. In the final sequence, Faith tells Zoë that she has saved April, which seems to indicate that April finally survives. In addition, immediately after being impaled by an azadí, April falls into the swamp and her body is not found. In The Longest Journey, April acquires the ability to breathe underwater, making it possible for her to escape. Another possible evidence of their survival is in the Dreamfall soundtrack: at the end of the last song, a ghostly voice whispers “find April Ryan” (find April Ryan) and “save her” (save her). Finally, Lady Alvane, the narrator of the first game, is supposedly April as a major, so if she had died in the swamp Lady Alvane could not exist.
The writers of Dreamfall, Ragnar Tørnquist and Dag Sheve, comment that in terms of losing faith (a recurring theme of the game), April went beyond the other two main characters, which resulted in her “true death” . Tørnquist, however, pointed out the ambiguity of the term “true death”, refused to confirm his status, and added that “his influence has yet to come to an end, it is his story from beginning to end.”.
More Facts about April Ryan
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