Heroes of Mana
|Heroes of Mana|
European cover art
|Genre(s)||Real-time tactical RPG|
Heroes of Mana, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu: Heroes of Mana (聖剣伝説 HEROES of MANA Seiken Densetsu: Hīrōzu obu Mana?, lit. "Holy Sword Legend: Heroes of Mana"), is a real-time strategy role-playing game developed by Brownie Brown and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS video game console. The game was released on March 8, 2007 in Japan and was released in the U.S. on August 14, 2007.
The game is a real-time strategy game (RTS) and is almost entirely a touch-based system. Players will summon monsters to fight alongside heroes in order to accomplish objectives such as destroying an enemy carrier or defeating all enemies in the area. Throughout the game players will unlock new units, spirits, and tips that will be useful in achieving victory. New equipment is obtained through completing story and bonus missions and finding it as hidden treasure. There are a total of 26 bonus missions, one for each mission of the story mode, as well as additional missions only available through the Heroes Ranking system. There is multiplayer wireless support, however the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service is restricted to downloading new maps and missions. Special items can be obtained by logging on the Wi-Fi Heroes Ranking system as well as by earning points through mission achievements such as fast times and most thrifty.
In the series time line, these events occur several years before the story of Seiken Densetsu 3.
The story begins with Roget, Yurchael, Qucas, Gemière and D'Kelli aboard their ship, the Nightswan, en route to the beastman kingdom of Ferolia to perform reconnaissance, when their ship is shot down by Ferolian Eagle Ships. After crash-landing in a forest, Roget and Yurchael find themselves separated from the others and are discovered by a beastman patrol while gathering supplies. After dispatching them, Roget and Yurchael are found by Qucas, Gemière and D'Kelli just in time to be surrounded by Ferolian troops led by Gauser, the king of Ferolia. They are saved, however, by news that Lowenburg is being attacked. The group use this chance to escape, only to run into a group of Peddan soldiers who, having heard nothing about their reconnaissance mission, turn on them. Following this ordeal, Roget and the others find the Peddan military destroying the castle. Unable to stomach his own countrymen committing such acts, Roget decides to save the beastmen with Yurchael and the others rallying behind him, thus declaring rebellion against their own country. They find out about "Operation Psi" which leads to the insanity of Inath, king of Pedda, who wants to take over all continents in Fa'Diel. They warn other countries in an attempt to save the world and are accompanied by the elemental spirits along the way. Finally, after encountering Roget's newfound brother, the Mirage Bishop, who wants Inath to succeed, they face off with Anise and prevail. Soon after the defeat of the Beast God, they depart for other realms, while Anise and Mana fight on still...
Roget — A young man in the Peddan army skilled with his sword who is forced to fight against loved ones at the cost of never returning home. His concealed emotions will never let anyone know he is quite lonely. His weapon is the sword. He has strong feelings for his girlfriend, Elena, and her brother, Juhani who was killed in Chartmoon Tower.
Yurcheal — A lieutenant of the Peddan Army and captain of the reconnaissance crew to Ferolia, he accompanies Roget on his journey to destroy the Peddan commanding general, Baxillios, and the prince of Peddan, Inath. He is calm and mysterious and no one can ever tell what he is thinking. His weapon is the bow and arrow, and he is a talented magician who is able to cast the Earth spell Earthquake and the Moon spell Half Eclipse.
Qucas — A wanderer who is a hired gun for the Peddan Army. He doesn't care what he has to do as long as he gets paid. He has already been hired for work in Laurent. He joins Roget on his journey to vanquish the Peddans who are in the possession of Esina's cursed mirror. He wields the Katar (कटार).
Gemière — A young woman who is quite taciturn. She is also the niece of the head chancellor of Peddan. She joins Roget on his journey to defeat the Peddan army, always willing to take risks. Her weapons are twin-daggers.Her teammates are usually the targets of her verbal grenades.
D'Kelli — A young child who is the only remainder of a minority race in the mysterious Jungle of Visions. Her sunny and happy attitude covers up that she was taken away from her parents at a very young age. Her special abilities allow her to blow on her horn to summon creatures: she is also skilled at magic, as she is able to use many offensive spells, including the Wood spell Poison Bubble.
Gauser — The king of Ferolia. He saves Roget and company many times before joining their party. Gauser is very serious and is always looking out for others. Though most beastmen have a deep hatred for humans, this doesn't seem to apply to him. When the Peddans attacked his country he lost many of his people and his entire kingdom. His weapon are claws. In Seiken Densetsu 3, he is Kevin's father and forces Karl, Kevin's pet, to attack his son. However, it was eventually revealed he was manipulated by a corrupted Belgar, but he dies before he can redeem himself.
Alma — An amazon of Laurent. She feels no need to express her feelings though under her tough exterior is a deep and thoughtful soul. She has deep feelings for Joster but set those feelings aside when she found out that her best friend, Minerva, had fallen in love with Joster. She helps Roget, hoping to reclaim her kingdom, Laurent, back. Her weapon is a wind lance. In Seiken Densetsu 3, she looks after Riesz after her mother dies giving birth to her brother.
Belgar — The Oracle of Shadows from the holy capital of Wendel. He joins Roget to help investigate the cause of the war and to find the spirits which are the only hope of destroying Esina's Black Mirror. He is deep and more thoughtful than the others and his knowledge is very valuable on many occasions. His weapon is a staff. In Seiken Densetsu 3, he is the final boss of Kevin and Charlotte's storyline. Since Heroes of Mana, he has been corrupted by dark magic and has become the Masked Mage.
Falcon — A Nevarlan who abandons her tribe when she found out that the Nevarlans have joined the Peddans in their quest to conquer the world. She is brave and fights for what she believes in. She joins Roget on his quest to restore peace to the land of Mana once again. She is very down-to-earth and is always up for a challenge. Her weapons are two longswords. She is the mother of Hawkeye, one of the main characters in Seiken Densetsu 3.
Loki — Known as "The Golden Knight", Loki is the most powerful warrior in Valsena. He will do anything and will make any sacrifice to protect Prince Richard. Loki is very kind and clever. Loki is very humorous and always likes a good laugh but when it comes to battle he is all serious. His weapon is a broadsword. He only uses Saber spells. In Seiken Densetsu 3, he is captured by the Dragon Emperor and is transformed into the Darkshine Knight, one of the final bosses of Duran and Angela's storyline. He is the father of Duran.
Valda — The princess of the snow-covered land of Altena, Valda is also young witch who has yet to learn how to control her magic. When under stress she tends to unleash a powerful magic attack that she cannot control. She is kind and gentle even though she has suffered many losses. Her weapon is a wand, and since she has a strong affinity for fire, water and air (she can cast Explosion, Spike Freeze and Thunderstorm) she is the party's premier magic user. In Seiken Densetsu 3, she uses her magic to keep her castle in a perpetual spring, and is even willing to sacrifice her daughter Angela to keep the spell going. Unfortunately, this implies that she has become a puppet of the Dragon Emperor whose minions slay her when they have no further need of her.
Celestan: An officer in the Peddan army and an old friend of Yurchael and Baxilios'. He will follow any order given to him, but his hedonistic tendencies do not lead to optimal results: this is something Baxilios and Inath have learned to factor in.
Baxilios: The general of Pedda and old flame of Yurchael's. She had mothered a child with him, but this child had died. Overcome with despair, she goes along with Operation Psi. She is even more skilled with a blade than Roget or Juhani: she uses water attacks on the party's first two encounters with her and darkness based ones in others. She is later possessed by Anise: her body and Anise's are fused together to create the Goddess of Doom.
Inath: The king of Pedda and a childhood friend of Roget's. He is very childlike in action and thought, yet he takes gruesome delight in war and death: these things entertain him more than anything else. He is very skilled at the light magic spells Holy Beam and Healing Light, making the prospect of engaging him quite daunting as he is able to charm allied monsters into attacking teammates and heal monsters on his own team. He is killed in the Mirage Castle by the unshackling of power from Anise's mirror.
Mirage Bishop: The lord of the Mirage Palace in Pedda and the elder twin of Roget. While Roget specializes in swordsmanship, the bishop wields dark magic spells such as Evil Gate. He is just as lonely as Roget: he implies that he and Roget were once the same being before they were twins. He had been corrupted by Anise's mirror and was later slain by it.
Anise: An ancient witch with power that verges on the divine. In ancient times, she had attempted to use a dark energy known as Psi to remake the world in her image: the Mirage Bishop states that the power of Psi had once transformed a world that was not unlike Fa'Diel into a twisted shadow of itself known as Mavolia. Baxilios believes that her rampage was a result of being denied an apotheosis by the Mana Goddess.
Heroes of Mana was first revealed in the September 2006 issue of Famitsu magazine and subsequently featured at the Tokyo Game Show. The staff for Heroes of Mana is composed of many previous designers of the series, including producer Koichi Ishii, writer Masato Kato, and character designer Ryoma Itō. The game was developed by Brownie Brown, who previously helped develop Sword of Mana.
Heroes of Mana was created as a RTS game to coincide with the other titles in the World of Mana project, which all offer a spin on the original Seiken Densetsu formula. Koichi Ishii stated that it was also to help expose Japanese gamers to real-time strategy, a genre that is relatively obscure in Japan, while simultaneously satisfying players abroad as an RTS for "casual gamers."
The game's score was done by Yoko Shimomura, who had also done in the Mana series with Legend of Mana in 1999. It was released on April 18, 2007. Some of the tracks were also a part of the 2008 compilation album Drammatica: The Very Best Works of Yoko Shimomura.
|Seiken Densetsu: Heroes of Mana Original Soundtrack tracklist|
|Disc 1 (70:59)
||Disc 2 (73:06)
Heroes of Mana has sold 50,000 copies in North America as of November 2007. In Japan, the game has sold slightly better, at over 98,000 copies as of November 2008. Initial sales were actually lower than those for Children of Mana, the other Nintendo DS title in the series. Koichi Ishii attributes this to the saturation level of the portable console in Japan, and to the overall lack of exposure the RTS genre continues to receive in the country.
Heroes of Mana received a 32 out of 40 by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. The game received a 6.5 from Nintendo Power for providing a great basis for an RTS but shoddy player AI. IGN gave the game an 8.0, or "Impressive", citing it as the first real time strategy game on the Nintendo DS (which it is not; LostMagic at least precedes it by over a year). However, reviews abroad were generally lukewarm, averaging 65 on Metacritic.
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