When we think of storytelling games, we usually think of either Offline or PvE games. It is easier to convey a story when it can be pre-determined what the player or players will face.
Still, there are ways to include a rich story in PvP games like League of Legends as well.
League of Legends uses many different tools to let the players in on the story of the game and its elements. There are in-game clues like voice lines, descriptions, and visual designs.
For example, Mordekaiser has a special voice line against Leblanc saying “Ah, the black rose. I remember your petty manipulations.”.
From this, we learn that Mordekaiser and Leblanc have a shared history or that they were at least acquired at some point in their past.
League of Legends also has plenty of stories or more commonly referred to as “lore, pieces out of the game. The biggest out-game source for the story behind League of Legends is https://universe.leagueoflegends.com.
Here, you can find pieces of lore about champions, the League of Legends Universe, and even “alt-universes” like Star Guardians or Odyssey.
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Let’s start with the most basic in-game clues; designs. Character design is an important part of every piece of visual media and League of Legends is not an exception.
Each character will have unique elements that can inform us about them as well as themes shared with other characters that tell us there may be a connection between them.
To give some examples of the individual characteristics; the broken chains bound to Alistar’s wrists point to Alistar being some kind of a prisoner who broke free, and the angelic appearance of Morgana with her dark, corrupted design gives us a clue as to what kind of a being she is, the rocky body Malphite subtly hints at him being a rock and so on.
What about the shared themes then, what do they mean? Have you ever wondered why some champions have similar black and red military clothing? Or why do some have a unique, otherworldly appearance?
These similarities between characters are no coincidence. Those who have black and red dominated, militaristic designs are from the Noxus Region; a highly militaristic country with a grim sense of aesthetics.
The ones with otherworldly, mostly purple and blue designs are from The Void; a parallel realm within the League of Legends universe with alien-like, Lovecraftian creatures.
There are 13 different regions currently in League of Legends and all of them have different aesthetics and cultures.
Some regions even consist of species unique to them such as The Void that was mentioned earlier and the Bandle City, the homeworld of the little furry guys, yordles like Teemo and Rumble.
Voice Lines and Character Interactions
In League of Legends, every character has their own voice lines that tell us something about their personalities or their past.
There are also special voice lines that are triggered when interacting with specific champions.
First, we have the pick and ban voice lines where the champion states their urge to fight or disappointment to get banned.
That is… about all there is to it. It is a feature put in to entertain players during the picking stage. There are also the “game start” lines to which the same logic applies.
Then there are the “moving” voice lines that will play randomly when the champions are on move. These are kind of like champions murmuring to themselves.
For example, one of the moving lines of Sett is “Ionia… place was so damn quiet before I came along.” signaling he might live in Ioania but he has not grown up there.
They can also reveal a lot about a character like when Amumu says “Let’s find some friends.” it gives you an insight into his biggest desire, making friends.
Now, we are left with interactive voice lines. These are the voice lines activated when interacting with another champion or objectives. Interactive voice lines consist of the first encounter, attack, kill, taunt, taunt response, joke, objectives, and ability casting.
Since interactive voice lines give us information about not just the champions but also their opinions of and relationships with others, they are much more interesting lore-wise.
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Now, we are stepping into the actual lore world of League of Legends. At the website mentioned earlier, universe.leagueoflegends.com, you can find the up-to-date biographies of every champion included in the game.
On the biography pages of every champion, you can learn about; their personality and past, what role they play in the League of Legends universe, their race, their in-game role (mage, fighter, support, etc.), the region they are from, and other champions that are related to them.
The page is completely interactive meaning you can click on any of these and be redirected to the related page.
More so, short stories, cinematics, concept arts, fan art showcases, and other related content can also be found at the bottom of the biography page. The most interesting among these arguably are short stories and cinematics.
These two usually involve more than one champion and the context varies from them just going on an adventure together to having a show-off that will decide the fate of the universe.
Another great aspect of them is that through the champions interacting we can learn more about the characters they are both affiliated with.
Other Official Content
The official League of Legends lore content is not just limited to the sources mentioned above.
Vast information about the 13 different regions and their history is waiting for you to research, 5 different comic series are available free of charge, some enjoyable alt-universe content exists, and there is also an interactive map of the Runeterra where you can see the whole world of League of Legends.
If you ever get bored with the current lore or just are curious about the different spins taken on the backstory of League of Legends, the now reworked old lore might be interesting for you.
League of Legends had a complete story rework called the great retcon about 8 years ago but the older lore is still available at different sources.
It was considered a more unique story by the majority of players so it is unlikely you will be disappointed with what it has to offer.
Besides the old story, the champions and their lore are constantly reworked and rewritten.
While some champions that have gone under a rework more or less stayed the same lore-wise, some have had completely different stories before.
Especially champions like Ryze or Fiddlesticks who had substantial roles in the pre-retcon role can be very intriguing to learn about.
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League of Legends has various lore content appealing to any kind of player base. If you want to learn more about the story behind League of Legends, you can surely find a medium that attracts you.
Be it written sources, visual media, in-game clues, or other sources.