|Developer(s)||Big Ape Productions, LucasArts|
|Publisher(s)||LucasArts (North America)
Virgin Interactive (Europe)
Bullet Proof Software (Japan)
Peter McConnell (consultancy) Herc's Adventures
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Herc's Adventures is the title of a video game released for the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn by LucasArts Entertainment in 1997. The PlayStation version was released internationally, but the Sega Saturn version was exclusive to North America.
The overhead, action-adventure format is similar to Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Up to two players can pick among three ancient Greek heroes; Herc (Hercules), Atlanta (Atalanta), or Jason, who are on a quest to defeat Hades and save the Goddess of nature, Persephone.
The characters pick up various weapons and items along the game, which includes: pepper breath against bees and wasps, frost breath that froze enemies, lightning which when hurled towards a target blasts it with electrical energy from the sky, spears, boar traps, flaming spears (used against the Hydra to prevent its head from reforming), bombs, an evil Pandora's box which when opened released rough weather, shrink doll which miniaturizes any target and laser gun from the aliens. Items include Circe's potion which turned the player into a pig to fit into small crevices, Medusa and Minotaur's head, the golden fleece (which opened the gates of Hades' underworld) and a lot more.
Gyros increased your health bar, and each hero had a second strength bar that depleted whenever your character ran or picked up and carried an object. Both your health and strength need to be increased by buying lessons from a strength trainer or finding red hearts throughout the game.
The challenge in the game was often involved in using the map in order to get to a god's temple, and learn what villain you need to defeat in order to grab one of the special keys needed to enter Hades palace.
Every time the players die, they are sent down to Hades' underworld and needed to fight their way to the exit in order to get a chance to continue. The more they die, the further back into the underworld they are sent, making it increasingly harder to fight their way out. However, after the fifth death, it's game over.
With the exception of the switch to and from the underworld section mentioned above, the game world is presented as an open, singular map, without any loading screens or transition intersticials between the areas that comprise it.
The game has plenty of cartoony humor. Your travels take you to ancient Egypt and the Amazon where you battle, among other villains, space aliens. At the end of the game when Hades is defeated it is revealed that he is really a giant robot, and the player's character is then allowed to wander through a recreation of a Lucas Arts Entertainment office where it's possible to see the men and women that created the game.
- Hercules (voiced by Dan Castellaneta): The muscular hero who wields a wooden club which he can hurl at enemies and is extraordinarily strong. At the start of the game, Herc can already lift huge boulders and houses, unlike Jason and Atlanta, who first need to upgrade their strength with an instructor through the course of the game.
- Jason (voiced by Wally Wingert): The Argonaut who wields a dagger and uses a slingshot for ranged attacks.
- Atlanta (voiced by Rachel Reenstra): The heroine who specializes in ranged attacks using her bow and a massive, unlimited supply of arrows. Her special attack is shooting enemies vertically with a rain of arrows.
- Zeus (voiced by Tom Wyner): Most powerful of all the gods? Maybe so... but in this particular case, his brother Hades has him at a huge disadvantage. He has beaten him at a game, he has Persephone, and he will, if he has his way, use plague and famine to despoil the pan-Hellenic world.
- Poseidon (voiced by Tom Wyner): The Sea-King will help our heroes on their quest to bring down Hades. He will send the heroes to face the Minotaur and give the heroes a key in exchange for the Minotaur's head.
- Hades (voiced by Castulo Guerra): The Lord of the Underworld will, if he has his way, rule a Nation of the Dead.
- Hera (voiced by Patricia Parris): For some inexplicable reason, Hera, usually described and portrayed in art as being stunningly beautiful, in this version is horribly fat and ugly. Just the same, she will help on your quest. The heroes must give her Io, the cow from Sparta, in exchange for a key.
- Athena (voiced by Lois Nettleton): Another goddess whose appearance and personality have both been distorted for this game. She, too, will give out a heroic task to prove your worth for her help. Athena will need the head of Medusa in exchange for a key.
- Dionysus (voiced by Michael Gough): Drunk out of his mind, as can only be expected, he, like Hera, Poseidon and Athena will give you a godly challenge. Once completed, he will reward you with a key. Dionysus will send the heroes to get the grapes of Lerna guarded by the Hydra in exchange for a key.
- Soldiers: A common sight throughout the game.
- Dryads: In mythology, dryads are lovely tree nymphs. In the game, there's nothing lovely about them, especially when they shoot the player with the pistols they pack.
- Cyclops: The famous one-eyed giants of Greek mythology. They're rather unintelligent, but that doesn't mean the heroes should go near them. They can grab the players and smash them into the ground.
- Bees or wasps: These insects attack anyone who comes close to their hive, but can be easily repelled by the "pepper breath".
- The Thief: This enemy is more of an annoyance than a threat, as he can snatch items from the player, including valuable items to be exchanged for a key, like the Golden Fleece or Medusa's head. He is encountered through the latter parts of the game.
- Kaldonian Boar (Calydonian in Latin): Just like the Calydonian and Erymanthian Boars of mythos, he's just a huge and incredibly ferocious boar, even by the standards of boars, but this one also has the habit of swallowing people whole, and spitting lightning.
- Minotaur: Unlike later games, which featured hoardes of minotaurs, in this one, just as in the original mythos, there is only one minotaur, and he, just as in the original mythos, lives in a labyrinth on the Island of the Black Bull, Crete. But there is no Theseus to fight him. This minotaur can be quickly defeated using his own weapon against him.
- Talos. The bronze giant from the classic Jason and the Argonauts myth. In this game, he's much smaller and uses bombs. When his helmet falls off, he bends over and picks it up, revealing vulnerable buttocks with a bullseye sign.
- Medusa.: This mythic gorgon lives in a secluded area and is very difficult to defeat. Aside from accidental falls through holes in her lair (which automatically kill the players and then transports them to the underworld), she can sap a huge amount of the players' life points if they are hit by her beaming stare (which turn the player into stone, albeit temporarily). Athena needs Medusa's head in exchange for a key. Also, Medusa's head is a powerful temporary weapon that can be used against enemies to turn them into stone, permanently.
- Hydra: The vicious many-headed monster who, in the game, haunts the garden where Dionysus' grapes are found. All weapons but the flaming spear seem to be ineffective against it. Using the flaming spear will stop the fallen heads from regrowing.
- Python: The giant snake who guards the tree where the Golden Fleece is found.
- Cerberus: The three headed dog guarding the entrance to the deepest bowels of the underworld. Cerberus can fire lightning or fire-like projectiles at targets.
- Hades: The final boss who, when defeated, is revealed to be a giant alien robot manipulated by martians.