April Ryan


April Ryan

Infobox VG character
name = April Ryan


caption = April in "The Longest Journey" and "Dreamfall"
series = "The Longest Journey"
firstgame = "The Longest Journey"
creator = Ragnar Tørnquist
voiceactor = Sarah Hamilton

April Ryan is a fictional character from the best-selling and award-winning adventure game "The Longest Journey" (2000) and its sequel "Dreamfall" (2006). In the former, she is the protagonist, and in the latter, one of the three primary characters. In both games she is voiced by Sarah Hamilton.

Biography

Background

April Ryan is a human daughter of the White of the Draic Kin (Dragons), the mother. The identity of her father is unknown, although it isn't even quite clear whether the White Kin needs a partner to conceive a child. "Human" in this context means that despite her heritage, April is not one of the Kin herself.

Whether April was born in Arcadia or Stark is not known, but shortly after her birth in April 14 of 2191 by Stark reckoning, she was adopted into a normal human family that lived somewhere in the continental USA. However, theirs was not a happy household, since her adoptive father was often inebriated and beat her as a child. When not beating her, he simply neglected her.

The reasons for their mutual dislike have been uncovered in the end of the first game: when April's adoptive father (whose name has never been revealed) had gotten to hold April in his arms for the first time after adoption, he was so drunk that he stumbled and dropped her on the floor, which severely handicapped her and for some years gave the impression that she was never going to walk again. To suppress his guilt, he started ignoring her henceforth, but as she slowly recovered, he felt that she was mocking him and began to blame her for his own misery.

It has been speculated that during her recovery, April's imagination and love for drawing manifested themselves and that this is when she decided to pursue the career of a painter.

Despite April's bad relationship with her father, she has always been on good terms with her adoptive mother (despite her resentment, caused by the fact that her mother never tried to protect her from her father) and rarely had quarrels with her two brothers, Danny and Owen.

Upon reaching 18 years, April left her adoptive family forever, after having one last row with her father, wherein he was injured. Without a word of goodbye to her mother, April left for Newport, a big industrial megapolis. At this point the events of "The Longest Journey" start.

The Longest Journey

:"This section is a summary of "The Longest Journey" plot."

At the beginning of "The Longest Journey", April lives in the "Border House", a small boarding house for students, then located in the New Venice district of Newport, and prepares for the admission tests at VAVA, one of the biggest art academies in the world. She has a stable job as a waiter at the local café and two good friends: Charlie, who pursues a dancer's career and Emma, who plans to be a sculptor. The only things troubling her are her dreams.

In her dreams, April sees things like dragons, magic, and mythological monsters. Moreover, a man whom she knows as a local eccentric named Cortez – who is, in fact, the Red of the Draic Kin and therefore one of her blood relatives – tells her that her dreams are actually more than unsubstantiated images. Soon, she becomes aware of this, too, when the creatures and worlds from her dreams start "leaking" into the "real world".

The truth behind this is actually the disturbance of the Balance between Stark and Arcadia caused by the current Guardian of the Balance's departure from his position without naming a successor. April is one of the first humans to become aware of it, because (as Cortez informs her) she is a Shifter; a person capable of traveling between the two Twin Worlds. After some contemplation, April travels to Arcadia via a Shift that she opens with Cortez's help and lands in Marcuria, one of its largest cities.

However hard it was for her to accept the presence of an alternate dimension, she quickly manages to convince herself of its reality and even learns the true history of the Balance and the Twin Worlds from the local priests. To return home to Stark, she, being not yet fully in control of her Shifting powers, gets help from another Starkian, Brian Westhouse, who has arrived in Arcadia some years earlier.

Upon her return, Cortez informs her about the disappearance of the Guardian, which compromises the Balance, and of their common opponents, the Vanguard, also known as the Church of Voltec in Stark, who seek to reunite the worlds – disregarding the risks that go with this operation. In order to preserve the Balance and thus both Twin Worlds from imminent destruction, April must cooperate with Cortez and find both the old and the new Guardian, locate the "backdoor" entrance to their Realm and thereby save the worlds. Cortez also hints that April is a chosen one whose journey is foretold in countless prophecies.

April begins gathering information about the Guardians, who have presumably both been captured by the Vanguard, and about the Vanguard themselves. First of all, she gains access to the central police archives of Newport and with some help of an experienced hacker, Burns Flipper, finds out that the Vanguard Headquarters are located in Newport and that their leader is Jacob McAllen, who is later revealed to be the Green Kin. Meanwhile, the Vanguard capture Cortez; April, seeing this in a dream, unconsciously opens a Shift and flees to Arcadia.

While in Arcadia, April decides to search for the parts of the Stone Disc, an artifact vital for unlocking the entrance to the Guardian's Realm. As she finds out, the Disc consists of four parts distributed for safekeeping among four magical peoples of Arcadia, who would presumably gain nothing but death should the Balance be compromised, and of four sacred jewels called the Dragon's Eyes, each associated with one of the four Draic Kin. Since two of the Kin (Red and Green) permanently reside in Stark, Cortez has agreed to get their Jewels himself, but April is responsible for the rest.

April realizes that she has need to travel to the tropical island of Alais, where there is a possibility of finding one of the Draic Kin and getting more information pertaining the Disc and the Guardian's Realm from Alatien, a magical people famous for remembering millennia-old legends. She travels north of Marcuria and defeats Roper Klacks, an alchemist who trapped the wind with his spells, stopping every kind of sea ship traffic in the Marcurian region, and who is secretly a powerful agent of the Vanguard. On her trip north, she discovers the Banda, one of the magical peoples who have a piece of the Disc; by gaining their trust, April gets it into her possession. During a night in their sacred Spirit Dig, she is forced to confront her underlying doubts in herself as well as realize that she is not alone in completing this monumental task. She also hears that Charlie loves her, although she never finds out if this is true or not, despite things others have said that seem to support this. Upon returning to Marcuria, Vestrum Tobias, the head of the Sentinel Order, informs her that she is, in fact, the next Guardian and presents her with the powerful Talisman of the Balance, which she reluctantly accepts, for she is not ready to suddenly accept such enormous responsibility.

"En route" to Alais, the ship she has boarded in Marcuria is intercepted by a magical Chaos Storm; A desperate attempt to escape results in the ship's sinking and in April's being cast out into the middle of the ocean, with no land or people in sight. She drifts into the territory of the Maerum, the Merpeople, who save her and teach her to breathe under water - only to make her work for them as a gatherer of Tan'yen, a magical substance vital for their existence. April is able to convince the Maerum that she is the Waterstiller, a messiah from their prophecies who will reconcile them with their bitterest enemies, the winged folk of Alatien, with whom they share common, albeit forgotten ancestry.

The Maerum bring April to the island of Alais and after a long exploration of the ancient ruins of a common Alatien-Maerum city, she is able to find her way up into the volcano's caldera where the new Alatien settlement is located. She convinces the Alatien that she is their own long-awaited messiah, Windbringer. April finds out that the Blue of the Draic Kin is residing on the bottom of the sea near Alais and that both Maerum and Alatien are, in fact, his progeny.

Acting as an emissary, April manages to declare peace between two peoples. As a sign of gratitude, they present her with the second part of the Disc and a passage to the Blue Kin. The Kin is extremely reluctant to give any answers, but he willingly parts with his Jewel and even summons a Shadow Ship of the Dark People, who without causing any more trouble for April acknowledge her as the Wave (another messiah) and hand over their part of the Disc as well as a stellar map indicating the location of the secret entrance to the Realm of the Guardians, which is somewhere outside the Solar system.

With half of her task done, April returns to Marcuria and finds the city deserted because, in the meantime, the Vanguard have spurred the lust for conquest in Marcuria's neighbors, the Tyren, an aggressive and barbaric nation, who are now preparing to attack the city. Immediately upon her arrival, April is attacked by the Tyren's champion, Chaos Vortex, a mysterious terrifying creature somewhat resembling the Langoliers. She is able to get away through a Shift – once again unconscious.

Back in Stark, the Vanguard are already after her, now that they have Cortez. Led by Gordon Halloway, Jacob McAllen's right-hand man and the latest prospective Guardian, whom the Vanguard's experiments stripped of his nature, they take all April's friends hostage and threaten to kill them if she refuses to surrender herself. Emma provides April enough time to flee; April escapes, though Emma is shot. After a short but intense chase, April escapes Vanguard agents through yet another Shift and ends up in the mysterious House of All Worlds, between Stark and Arcadia, whose owner, Lady Alvane, calms April by telling her that Emma will be all right.

Shortly thereafter, April leaves the House for Arcadia and quickly locates the last missing piece of the Stone Disc in possession of Abnaxus of the Venar, who hands it over to her proclaiming her the Kan-ang-la (the Venar messiah) and leaves before the Tyren block all ways to the city. April recombines all pieces into a full Disc by using the ancient mechanisms of the Sentinel Enclave, where it was initially kept before being split, and escapes Marcuria through a Shift just before the Tyren attack.

In Stark, April recalls that Lady Alvane suggested using her talents to control her Shifting abilities, and tries to apply it by drawing a picture of what she saw in one of her dreams. Immediately, she is transferred to the very location in Arcadia that she drew; that is, to the "nest" of the White of the Kin. However, the Kin is exhausted by her previous battles against Chaos Vortex and dies shortly after April retrieves her Jewel. When she dies, the single egg in her nest hatches and a new White Kin is born, whom April calls "sister". Both leave the place immediately.

April, now fully in control of her Shifting powers, returns to Stark and visits Flipper, who hands over a fake ID card that will help her enter the Vanguard Headquarters and confront McAllen and Halloway. Up in the Headquarters, McAllen quickly forces April to hand over the Disc and the two Jewels and sets a mutant (probably a result of a failed experiment in Vanguard laboratories) on her for further intimidation. However, she manages to destroy the mutant. She is found by Cortez, who has just escaped the Vanguard custody. McAllen reappears and engages in a fierce fight against Cortez. Both assume their true dragon-like forms during this battle, wherein they apparently die after falling from the top of the HQ skyscraper.

Uncertain of what to do, April retrieves the Disc, now with all Jewels inserted into place, and visits Flipper again to discover what he has learned about the star map made by the Dark People. Flipper has indeed decoded the map and pinpointed the location of the Realm's entrance to be somewhere near the Morning Star space station. The Vanguard find and kill him. Flipper dies almost on April's hands.

April leaves the Earth on a space shuttle that passes the Morning Star "en route" to the space colonies. On the Star, she quickly finds out that Gordon Halloway and, probably, the missing Guardian are there. After some fiddling with the security, she frees Adrian, the twelfth Guardian. Together, they steal two space pods and travel through open space to the Entrance to the Realm, covertly followed by Halloway.

In the Guardian's Realm, April (separated from Adrian) has to face Three Trials to confront her darkest fears and prove that she is worthy to become the next Guardian. At first, she has to defeat the Chaos Vortex, which she is able to trap inside the Talisman of the Balance. She must then face her past and accept her adoptive father's apology for what he has done to her. In the end, she must find a way into the Guardian's Tower, which is surrounded by the bottomless void.

As she reaches the tower with considerable help from her avian sidekick Crow, whom she summons from Arcadia via a Shift, she tries to activate the elevator to the highest floor, but fails. Adrian appears and activates the elevator himself. On top, it is revealed that April is, in fact, not the next Guardian. Halloway appears and proclaims himself the new Guardian, but is stopped by Adrian, who engages him in a fight. Quickly recalling what she has learned about Halloway, April realizes that he has been split into two parts, the logical (Gordon Halloway of Stark) and the magical (Chaos Vortex of Arcadia), by the Vanguard. She releases the Vortex from the Talisman; thus reuniting both halves.

Gordon, ecstatic about being complete at last, realizes the wrongs he has done and pleads again to become the next Guardian, this time not to grasp the power over the Twin Worlds but to correct his previous mistakes. Both April and Adrian agree that he has indeed changed and grant their permissions. After that, April leaves the two of them to carry on with the Changing of the Guard ritual and leaves the Tower alone. This is the last time we see her in "The Longest Journey".

Dreamfall

:"April's tagline on the promotional posters: Rebel, Emissary, Chosen".

Ten years have passed since April Ryan has saved the Twin Worlds and the Balance. A lot of things have changed but it is evident that both Stark and Arcadia had seen better times. Stark has suffered a major world-wide systems crash in the Fall of 2209, which became known as the Collapse and allowed the rise of a worldwide police agency called EYE, or "Eye in the Sky", whose function is to know everything about everyone, much in Big Brother's dystopia-causing manner. In Arcadia, the Tyren have been driven out of Marcuria and systematically destroyed by the human empire of Azadi. In return for the "liberation", the Azadi have proclaimed Marcuria and the nearby areas their new province, imposing their religious regime and banning all magical residents of the city to reservations and ghettos in their efforts to create an exclusively human state. A similar goal has been expressed by the Vanguard earlier, but their connection is unconfirmed.

April Ryan now resides permanently in the Northlands of Arcadia. In the first years, she has been afraid to return to Stark and to her friends whom she has hurt so much; later, she lost her Shifting powers completely, possibly as the result of her fear of facing the Starkian reality. Now she is a respected member and one of leaders of the anti-Azadi resistance in Marcuria and the Northlands, known as the Raven to her allies and as the Scorpion to her enemies. She is feared for her almost fanatical ferociousness in battle.

At the beginning of the game, April is en route to Marcuria with a small band of devoted fighters to buy the winter supplies for the resistance's secret settlement hidden deep in the northern swamps. It should be noted that in "Dreamfall", the story is primarily narrated from Zoë Castillo's point of view and many episodes of April's journey remain unknown. The next time we see April is when Zoë finds her in Marcuria, after receiving countless messages from a mysterious girl's spirit residing in the Wire (future development of Internet) who pleads her to "find April, save April".

April has no need of rescue, as the supplies' purchase is going well and is almost finished, so she remains ignorant to Zoë's pleas to take an active part and help her discover the reason for which she is receiving these messages. Assuming that Zoë is a Shifter like herself, April assists her to return to Stark; before she does anything, Zoë simply disappears, since her own way to travel to Arcadia is different from April's.

April quickly forgets Zoë and her message and goes on to inspect the Tower that the Azadi have been building at the spot of the Sentinel Temple, after they razed it and banished all Sentinels from the city. Inside, she observes a conversation between the Marcurian Province Governor and a mysterious cloaked figure referred to as "Prophet". April decides to follow this "Prophet" and quickly finds a magical portal leading to an underground city below Marcuria. Eventually, she catches up with the Prophet, whereupon he vanishes and leaves her alone in a strange place that she defines as "a chamber of trapped dreams".

Next morning, although disturbed by Zoë's words and by what she has seen in the underground city, April is reluctant to become entangled in a new adventure to save the worlds once again, for she is convinced that she has made enough sacrifices for their sake already. She has a war with Azadi to manage and new friends to protect, but she feels uncertain of whether the past really has released her. She wants to visit Gordon, the thirteenth Guardian, in hope he knows the answers, but without her abilities to Shift cannot do so. Brian Westhouse, who has been traveling around Arcadia after Tyren have invaded Marcuria, meets April and suggests that she visits the White Kin, who has last been spotted in the Dark People's Library.

Leaving her friends in charge of the supplies, April bargains a passage on a Shadow Ship to the Library by presenting the Dark People with the last surviving copy of Roper Klacks' book, which he wrote after giving up his former villainous lifestyle and becoming a simple potions seller following his defeat by April. In the Library, she locates her "little sister", the young White Kin, and discovers that all other Kin have vanished from the worlds, perhaps having hidden themselves from something that is apparently after them. The White Kin says that April's Shifting powers are still hers, but inaccessible when April is alone. She then opens a Shift through which April and Crow, who has also been waiting in the Library, enter the Guardian's Realm.

Gordon confirms that April has indeed been freed from any obligations towards the Twin Worlds and the Balance, to which she replies that he has a purpose while she has not and that this is what's troubling her. Gordon can only suggest that she is free to seek and choose her own purpose. April leaves, although she is not as convinced as she hoped to be.

The Shift transfers her to Marcuria, where she receives a message that a "witch" has been caught on the central marketplace and, according to Azadi policy considering the magic users, has been transferred into the Friar's Keep, a sort of special prison for "magicals". From the description of "witch", April gathers that it must be Zoë and immediately sets off to rescue her.

On her way to Friar's Keep, she meets for the first time Kian Alvane, who has also been there seeking to speak with Zoë. The two of them have a heated argument considering Azadi politics. Kian feels impressed by April's personality. Both are unaware that the rebel leader ("The Scorpion") that he has been sent to assassinate, is in fact April.

April reaches the Keep. With a little help from Crow, she manages to free Zoë from her cell. She then infiltrates the Keep itself and escapes together with Zoë. In the resistance hideout, the two have another heated conversation and April once again refuses to get mixed with "saving the worlds". Zoë is enraged and leaves. Crow is also appalled by such attitude and officially becomes Zoë's new sidekick instead of April's. Soon thereafter, Zoë, Crow and Brian Westhouse leave Marcuria to search for the White Kin themselves. April concentrates on getting the supplies on schedule.

Some time later, April and her henchmen reach the swamp town of the resistance with the supplies. However, their triumph is diminished by the fact that Azadi have captured their allies in Marcuria and the leaders of the resistance do not allow April to hurry back to their rescue. What none of the "rebels" know is that Kian Alvane secretly followed them, forcing one of April's accomplices to cooperate and lead him to the "Scorpion". He still knows not "his" true identity.

April and Kian meet for the second time. Kian surprises April by showing idealism and understanding that she would not normally expect from an assassin. However, as April is about to believe in Kian's sincerity, several Azadi steam powered airships arrive at the swamps and drop off elite Azadi troopers. April and Kian are approached by the commanding Azadi officer; despite Kian's attempt to protect April, she is apparently killed by one of the footmen. Kian is then taken in custody for betraying the Azadi ideals and the entire rebel settlement, including women and children, is massacred.

Dreamfall conclusion controversy

Immediately after the release of "Dreamfall", April's death has been called in question as fans refused to believe in it. In the final sequence, the character Faith tells Zoë that she has "saved April", which can be a direct indication that she survives the events of the game. Moreover, immediately after being impaled by an Azadi spear, April falls down into the moor and her dead body is never found. Additionally, in "The Longest Journey", April gains the ability to breathe underwater, making an unnoticed escape possible. Another possible evidence that she is alive can be found in the "Dreamfall Soundtrack": in end of the last track, a ghostly voice prompts to "find April Ryan" and "save her". Lastly, it is suggested that Lady Alvane, the narrator in the first game, is April in her old age (see below for more details), and if April had died, Lady Alvane could not have existed.

The writers of "Dreamfall", Ragnar Tørnquist and Dag Sheve, commented that in terms of losing faith (a recurring theme in the game), April went further than the other two primary characters, resulting in her "actual death". Tørnquist, however, stressed the ambiguity of the term "actual death", refused to explicitly confirm her status, and added that "her influence isn't fully played out. It is her story, all the way through".cite web|url=http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/08/20/ragnar-t%C3%B8rnquist-on-dreamfall-faith/|title=Ragnar Tørnquist On… Dreamfall & Faith|author=Walker, John|date=2008-08-20|publisher="Rock, Paper, Shotgun"|accessdate=2008-08-22]

Personality

April Ryan (sometimes, along with her "Dreamfall" counterpart Zoë Castillo) is considered one of the most memorable characters in the history of adventure games,cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/longestjourney2wt/review.html|title="Dreamfall" review|accessdate=2006-12-14|author=Greg Kasavin|date=2006-04-18|publisher=GameSpot|quote=The Longest Journey introduced one of gaming's most memorable heroines, a smart and resourceful young woman named April Ryan.] cite web|url=http://www.gamepro.com/computer/pc/games/reviews/7526.shtml|title="The Longest Journey" review|accessdate=2006-12-14|author=Sean Molloy|date=2004-02-23|publisher=GamePro|quote=April Ryan is one of the strongest, most well-written, and most likeable heroines ever to point-and-click her way around a PC game.] cite web|url=http://www.gamelemon.com/article_30009.jsp|title=Top 25 Video Game Heroes of All Time|accessdate=2007-06-06|author=Mike Zeller, Vaga|date=2007-05-31|publisher="GameLemon Editorial"|quote=Of all the female characters in whose proverbial high heels I've had the pleasure [...] of walking in, both April and Zoe [sic] are definitely two of the deepest, most relatable, and most distinctive.] with some analysts going as far as crediting her for shifting the common vision of an adventure game protagonist from an Indiana Jones-like competent man to a more delicate and subtle, but nevertheless determined and talented heroine. Examples of this trend can be seen in many later games, most notably, Kate Walker ("Syberia" and "Syberia II"), Victoria McPherson ("Still Life"), and Ann Smith ("Paradise").cite web|url=http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,318/p,7|title="The Future of Adventure Games"|accessdate=2006-12-14|author=Marek Bronstring|date=2003-12-19|publisher=Adventure Gamers]

One of the traits that helped the player to identify and empathize with April Ryan - a much praised concept cite web|url=http://www.strangehorizons.com/2001/20010514/longest_journey.shtml|title="The Reluctant Heroine"|accessdate=2006-12-14|author=R. Michael Harman|date=2001-05-14|publisher=Strange Horizons|quote=What makes the game unique is the believability of the young heroine.] - was that she kept a diary. Unlike Zoë Castillo's diary, April's diary contains more self-revelations and allows much deeper insight in its owner's character and background, allowing the player to trace her personal development.

Character development

April starts off in "The Longest Journey" as an ordinary, 18-year old art student whose only worries are supposed to be parties, relations with boys, and school admission tests. At this point she expresses admiration and even some nostalgia for things non-existent in Stark, like dragons and magical forests, and even manages to draw inspiration from them for her artworks. Because of the poor home life of her adoptive family, she is very ready to leave her old life behind.

April eventually becomes aware of the alternate reality of Arcadia and displays an unusual amount of flexibility. She learns to accept it in a matter of days, even to the point that she accepts her "destiny" as proclaimed by Cortez, whom she eventually trusts completely.

At first, April has to suppress the fear aroused by her "destiny" and the often criminal things she must do to fulfill it. She soon finds pleasure in her journey, expressing pride in some of her accomplishments. The thrill of achieving her goals escalates later as she starts fulfilling the ancient prophecies of Arcadia, and once Vestrum Tobias proclaims her the next Guardian, she reluctantly accepts this new purpose in her life.

The sinking of Captain Nebevay's ship near Alais is the first blow to April's ego. No one dies as a result of her actions, however, and her self-confidence is quickly restored by her role in resolving the Alatien-Maerum conflict. A brief trip on the Shadow Ship is the climax of her development, wherein she accepts that she has changed a great deal.

April's return to Stark correlates with the second, most serious challenge of her belief in the destiny. With Cortez captured, Emma apparently killed, and no idea what happened to Charlie, April starts doubting herself. Lady Alvane is able to temporarily recompose her; to fully restore her confidence, she must send April to Marcuria, "to see people who accept their destiny." Despite her success in escaping Marcuria before the Tyren attack, April doubts herself and her powers.

This doubt is prolonged by April's grief over her biological mother's death, but fades away as soon as she finally acquires full control of her Shifting abilities. April decides to take action and goes to attack the Vanguard Headquarters, which quickly turns into a disaster.

Overwhelmed by Jacob McAllen's power, April manages to trick him by seemingly accepting her defeat, but is not able to get past his bodyguards and temporarily loses the Stone Disc. Cortez resurfaces, only to disappear again, apparently sacrificing his life for hers. By the time Burns Flipper dies by her hands, April is fully aware that her journey is not just doing great things for a higher purpose but that sometimes good people are hurt and killed by her progress. She then boards a shuttle to Morning Star.

Leaving Earth has also a symbolic meaning for her, as she leaves behind everything she has. This alienation of April from her world is continued in the Guardian's Realm, as she first deals with the enemies who pursued her before, represented by the Chaos Vortex, and later with her own past in the form of her adoptive father.

Interestingly, April summons Crow for help even though she is supposed to have separated herself from her past. Crow disappears as well. For the first time, April truly has nothing to lose by becoming the Guardian. Though she is apprehensive of becoming the Guardian, she is shocked by the fact that the next Guardian is actually Gordon Halloway. After having distanced herself from everything, she now has nothing at all.

In "Dreamfall", it is revealed that April has never returned to Stark, renouncing it as her home. Only her old friends, Charlie and Emma, interest her at all. Even after a decade, April feels that she has done too much harm to them to ever come back, despite Charlie and Emma's forgiveness.

By the events of Dreamfall, April has become a loner, preferring to take everything herself rather than exposing people she considers friends to danger. This is evident in the way she abandoned Crow for two years after their return to Arcadia and in the way wherein she treats her subordinates; always taking over the hardest and most dangerous missions herself. She has also become suspicious of everything that has to do with destiny, preferring to fight her own wars rather than the ones prescribed by fate.

April leads a small group of resistance fighters into combat, killing several Azadi soldiers herself in cold blood. Such an attitude regarding the lives of others is most likely a result of many years of war against the Azadi; it would have been unthinkable for the younger April to kill someone in this way.

Zoë's message disrupts the fragile balance of April's soul; she leaves to search for the Guardian. Ironically, despite her unwillingness to deal with the Balance again, she unconsciously hopes that she still has some purpose in the cosmic order. She is disheartened when Gordon tells her the Balance has no more need of her. Although she thinks this is what she wants, the realization depresses the listless April, who really wants to feel necessary.

When April meets Zöe and Kian, we are introduced to an interesting facet of April's mind. Zöe desperately wants April's help, because she believes Faith's message is part of a higher purpose or destiny, but April wants no part in the paths that others have set. This is why she repeatedly refuses to help Zöe or have her "save" her as per Faith's request.

It seems what April wants, however, is a life like Kian Alvane's, whom she meets outside of Friar's Keep. Despite the two being enemies, Kian chose his own path as Apostle willingly, and leads a life full of faith to the Six and the Goddess, while April is listless and detached from the world.

When Kian meets her again in the swamplands, he is taken aback by the revelation that April is the Scorpion. Rather than strike, he questions her and himself. This is cut short when Varmon interferes and attacks. In those final moments, April is resigned and accepts the apparently fatal strike, as if accepting that even a life full of abject faith like Kian's can grow to be questioned, and that death is the only release and freedom from her empty existence.

Powers and abilities

* April's most prominent and unique power is the ability to open Shifts between the Twin Worlds and other fragments of Earth left over after the Divide. No other human character in the games has so far expressed the ability to transfer oneself (and other individuals, such as Crow) fully from one world to another within such short time. Although she has lost control of this ability soon after she acquired it, it has been revealed that she has never lost it completely.
* Her second, less obvious power is that she is "strong in the Balance", according to many knowledgeable characters. This is probably the reason why she was mistaken for the thirteenth Guardian by Vestrum Tobias and possibly by Cortez. As one of the characters explained, every action of hers has positive effects for the Balance, meaning that she brings refreshing Chaos to where Order has been gathering dust for too long and relieving Order to where Chaos has been tormenting people for ages. Some examples:
** Hacking into and infiltrating the bureaucratic policing and security structures of Stark
** Freeing the Banda from terror of the woods (Gribbler) and thus becoming their messiah (April-Bandu-Embata)
** Defeating the alchemist Klacks, who has been trying to tame the wild force of the wind
** Stopping a war between Alatien and Maerum by fulfilling the prophecies of both peoples
** Bringing down the mighty Church of Voltec (Vanguard) that has had too firm a grip on everything in Stark
** Fighting against the strict and unforgiving regime of the Azadi in Marcuria and the Northlands
* Whether this can be considered a "power" or not, April is a "Wave" by the definition of the Dark People. They define a Wave as someone whose actions affect the entire universe, sending ripples through the reality. This is indeed what she has done in the end of the first game, wherein she alters the course of history.
* Benrime Salmin calls April an "Artisan", the title of the most powerful magic wielders in Arcadia who can shape magic with their wills alone. Although even in "Dreamfall", those magic powers still lay dormant within her, they are likely to manifest themselves in later games, if she is shown to have survived.
* Since her brief stay in an underwater city of the Maerum, April is capable of aquatic respiration, which is made possible by a symbiont polyp in her trachea.
* By 2219 (by Stark reckoning), April has become fearfully proficient with her quarterstaff earning a great reputation among both allies and enemies.

Lady Alvane

Lady Alvane is a wise old woman who lives in the mysterious realm known as the House of All Worlds. Countless speculations regarding her possible identity as an aged April has yielded the following points of argument:

* A much older Crow appears after her audience leaves, and refers to Alvane's role in the subsequent War of the Balance. They have an easy rapport, one that shows many years of familiarity.
* Crow implies that Alvane herself has been the "beautiful warrior princess" who led the War of the Balance, and several of the magical peoples' prophecies regarding April said that she would restore the Balance (presumably the events of "The Longest Journey") only to destroy it at a later date.
* In the root files for Lady Alvane accessible through [http://www.geocities.com/rescosoftware/ TLJ Viewer] , Alvane is referred to as "OldApril".
* On the former official "The Longest Journey" site there was a statement from Abnaxus that refers to "the Lady" leading them through the Veil, a role filled in the game by April as the Kan-ang-la.
* Tørnquist himself has been at some [http://www.ragnartornquist.com/blogger/2003/09/got-to-play-colin-mcrae-04-at-office.html pains] to keep Alvane's identity ambiguous, as in some non-English versions of "The Longest Journey" she is referred to as "April".

With the release of "Dreamfall", new questions regarding Lady Alvane emerged, even though she herself doesn't make any obvious appearance in the game:

* Considering that Kian Alvane's family name has never been uncovered prior to the release, but was revealed in course of the game, what is his connection to Lady Alvane?
* Considering how Crow switched allegiances after April had disappointed him, could it have been that he became Lady Alvane's "sidekick" just as he became Zoë's?

References


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