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Glory of Heracles (ヘラクレスの栄光) is a five-part JRPG series that was developed by Data East until it folded in the early 2000s, then the license was picked up by Nintendo and developed by a second-party developer, Paon (who is composed largely of ex-Data East employees and bought the IP rights.)

The first two games in the series, available on the Famicom are pretty much just straight-up Dragon Quest clones, although the complete and total focus on Greek Mythology (right down to using the proper Greek name of Greek mythology's legendary hero) was and is unique for the genre. The latest title, recently released for the Nintendo DS, includes light strategy elements, making the game feel similar to Golden Sun.


Tropes that the series utilizes:

  • Action Commands: Entirely optional in the DS game. Doing short touch screen powerups will boost your skills or magic notably though.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The "Heroic Strike" skill in the DS game. Uses all non-dark Ether and all of the user's MP and barely does more damage than the Hero's personal super attack unless the ether is REALLY high. Then it hits a bit more, but is still far from worth the cost.
  • Beating a Dead Player: In the DS game, this goes both ways. When the enemies do it, there's no real point other than a non-fainted ally avoiding a hit. When the players do it, there's a chance of "Overkill" which turns Deader Than Dead enemies into ether and potential MP.
    • In addition, some enemies have an "Undead" skill which forces you to Overkill or kill every enemy to win the battle or they'll keep reviving.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The DS game. The unseen implied epilogue is more upbeat though.
  • Boring but Practical: In the DS game, Multishot. A ho-hum skill that hits all enemies in the front or back rank. You'll use it A LOT.
  • Cast From Hit Points: In the DS Game, trying to cast a spell from an overworked Ether Pool (or several in the case of Light Magic) can cause an Ether Reflux, which is a punishment for getting too careless with Magic.
    • If you weren't immortal, you could kill yourself several times over as the reflux damage can reach 10000+ while you still have only about 800 or so HP max.
      • Oh if only you can force an enemy to do that... would make some Boss fights a lot easier on yourself...
        • To an extent you can, thanks to ether traps and using up ether before they can act. Just not to the point of overload.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Typhon, final boss of the DS version, has four arms. Guess what? They're Undead. This one will take a while.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Every foe's name is colored for each element: White for Light, Purple-Gray for Dark, Red for Fire, Blue for Water, Yellow for Earth and Green for Wind.
  • Crossdresser: The Hero in 3. Early on, you have to crossdress to advance the plot. After that, you can re-wear the clothes if you want to. And nearly always, nobody says a thing about it.
  • Dead All Along: In the DS game, the big laughing Heracles in your party is actually Iphicles, the real Heracles's younger brother, who died before the game. He came back to life with amnesia and believing himself to be Heracles, due to the Crasis and his grieving brother's wish to resurrect him.
    • The Main Character is also revealed to be this. However, his story is mostly covered in mystery until the end game. However, one very tiny reference in the Take That listed below gives a hint to who he is.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Patrocolus was a male character in The Iliad.
    • Frankly, there's a lot more things that the series changed. All things considered, it's more like they did the research, but they just played around with it.
      • For instance, they used the Trojan Horse as a battering Ram to get into the city... then again you already did screw up the Trojan War anyway.
        • In the Glossary, they're willing to acknowledge their discrepancies. Example: "The Trojan horse might make a nice gift for someone."
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: The third game as well as the DS game.
  • Dreadful Musician: In the third game, if you mess up on the Harp practice, your instructor gets mad at you for being this. However, master the harp completely and you can play live for an audience for some quick money. By the way, there's no visual cues whatsoever, and you essentially must play the hardest lessons by YOUR (as in, YOU, the player,) OWN recollection.
    • In the DS game, some consider the main character's music skills to be awful and some politely note that he needs some practice. At the very end, he gets better.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Surprisingly, quite a few in the DS game.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: From the "Elemental Traits" entry in the Glossery: Light > Dark > [Water > Fire > Earth > Wind > Water]
    • Before you ask, I have yet to see a single Light attack spell
      • You, Leucos, and Heracles get one near the end of the game. It's pretty Badass and is likely a slight nod to Golden Sun.
  • Encounter Repellant: Sybll's Balm
  • Escort Mission: Happens quite often in the third game, where NPCs actually serve as (somewhat useful/useless) temporary party members. In the DS game, they're just along for the ride and are in no real danger.
    • Often times, they're even at a higher level then you and have skills you can't get barring cheating (you also can't mess with their equipment anyway...)
  • Extra Turn: Variations of this are in the DS game through a number of skills that let your allies attack outside of their turns. Enemies and bosses get skill and non-skill based versions of this.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: The big guy calling himself "Heracles" in the DS game, as well as the Protagonist of the third game.
  • Fan Translation: The '80s-to-'90s games were not localized when they were current. However, as January 2012, there are fan translation patches for the first three numbered entries in the series (the two NES games, one of the SNES games), as well as a Gameboy spinoff called Snap Story. Furthermore, fans made their own patch for the DS game before it was confirmed for localization.
  • Fight Woosh: There's the normal version and a red variant. The red one features tougher battles, which are likely to kill you if you aren't careful early on. Later, when you're much stronger, they're more like medium-risk Metal Slime fights.
  • Forced Tutorial: Used to the point of ridiculousness in the DS version. The game interrupts you constantly to tell you what Standard Status Effects are, even though any Japanese kid with even a passing knowledge of Dragon Quest should know how RPG mechanics work.
    • Though you don't have to sit through lengthy explanations. Tap B and move on.
  • Fridge Brilliance: In the DS game, the final boss has a very One-Winged Angel appearance. The scenario writer, Kazushige Nojima, who worked on the Go H series in the past, also worked on Final Fantasy 7, 8, and Kingdom Hearts. He noted in interviews that he wanted a very old-school kind of story for Go H 5, and the series itself is quite classic in nature. Essentially, he's killing off all of that stuff he had rather mixed feelings for from Square in the form of the characters. This may just be WMG, but it's still food for thought.
    • A less tinfoil hat example again involves the Take That. If that reference wasn't intentional, given the story context and ending, then that was one serious case of chance working in the right way to foreshadow the hero's identity.
  • Genius Bonus: In the DS game, the herb that cures Poison is called Mithridate. This is named after Mithridates VI of Pontus, who was said to have built up an immunity to poisons.
  • Glass Cannon: Eris in the DS game. Her Intelligence is high, and her Strength isn't anything to sneeze at, but she can't take a hit worth a damn without some good armor. She's also fairly slow.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Seems to happen in the third game... then you fall into the underworld shortly after.
  • Greek Mythology: Gyeah, boyee!
    • Expect to kill most of the big names from the old myths in the DS game. Including some damn obscure ones.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The third game has your whole party fight the Protagonist's monster form (that you just beat) after being sent to the Udnerworld and defeating Hades.
  • Level Up Fill Up: In the DS game.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In Glory of Heracles 3, the Protagonist is the Hero's father. Both are party members named by the player.
  • Magic Knight: Axios in the DS game. He even supes up his blade into a BFS with the "Magic Sword" skill. You and Heracles could be, but...
    • The main character is more like the Jack of All Stats, as his stats are pretty good, but never the best. And he doesn't really specialize in magic.
      • And Heracles is more of a RPG monk type, similar to Reion in the third game. He's the only one who naturally learns Powtesma though.
  • My Name Is Question Marks: The hero starts out this way in the DS game.
  • Mysterious Waif: Eris from the DS game.
    • She's also pretty sarcastic to people around her...
  • New Game+: A Survival Mode is unlocked when you beat the game the first time. From the second cycle onwards, you can set up upgrades, such as Double Cash (among other unknowns...), and (from an interview) certain areas are unlocked for further exploration...
  • No Export for You: Until the DS game, the only way to have played the series in English was with fan translations of 2 and 3. Sadly, it looks like the cellphone remix of 3 is not coming overseas either.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted: there's no less than 3 characters that call themselves Heracles, 2 of them being playable characters. For convinence's sake, the first one is a Silent Protagonist and goes by ??? until the player gives him a nickname that doubles as his real name for the rest of the game and the third is a NPC with a title of General Heracles.
    • However it IS a cause of concern for Leucos when you find out the Crasis' functions though...
  • Our Fairies Are Different: "Nymph" basically means "fairy" in these games' version of Greek mythology.
  • Physical God: It would be natural to see in a series like this.
  • The Fog of Ages: Glory of Heracles III is the earliest known videogame to feature a protagonist who is an immortal suffering from amnesia. The plot element is used again in a later sequel, Glory of Heracles for the DS, where the protagonist is also an amnesiac immortal.
  • The Reveal: This series is built on this trope, as most of the characters are immortal and have amnesia.
    • In Glory of Heracles III, the Protagonist is Baor, a warrior cast from his Utopian village who also is responsible for many of the game's wrongs, including petrifying the inhabitants of Atlasia, kidnapping Oceanus' child so he can petrify the titan in order to make a bridge to his former village so the rest of world can mate with its perfect inhabitants, and hurting Mother Gaia (albeit unintentionally). After he's killed by Zeus for these actions, he goes to the Underworld where Hades revives him and grants him a younger body in adition to immortality. Reion is a descendant of Heracles on a quest to learn magic for future generations. Steira is a shrine maiden (real name Stella) in Oceanus' service. The Hero is the Protagonist, Boar's, son. And the Dark One is Oceanus.
    • In the DS game, the Hero is Daedalus' son and thus, Icarus. Or a marionette. Leucos is Piazza's older half-sister who was granted immortality by Prometheus. Axios is a third of the titan Oceanus, the others being Arnos and Agon. Heracles is Iphicles, the REAL Heracles' brother. Eris is Prometheus' amnesic wife. And General Heracles is Daedalus, the Hero's father. Whew!
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few in the DS game. Including the reference below, there's also: "A secret to everyone", "Archanea? Never heard of it.", "How about a TKO from Olympus?", and when your naming your character, Leucos will suggest the name Pit as mentioned below.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Surprisingly averted for the DS game. It looks the part, but outside of menu screens, it's all 3D.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Leucos in the DS game, although the game pulverizes the fourth wall to let you know that her disguise sucks.
  • Take That: On the DS game, when it is first suggested the amnesiac hero comes up with an alias, Leucos suggests Pit. Axios' response amounts to, "What kind of name is that? It doesn't even sound Greek!".
  • Taken for Granite: One of your party members in one of the old games is a walking, talking statue. It doesn't seem to slow her down much.
  • Those Two Guys: Eudorus and Patroclus from the DS game, thought they're more like "that guy and that chick".
  • Title Drop: By Heracles in what is almost a throwaway line: "All I'm saying is the muscles don't seem to make the man theses days. So much for the glory of Heracles, eh?"
  • The Toblerone: Look no further than the DS game... Heracles, Heracles, Heracles, Heracles... Did I mention Heracles?
  • To Hell and Back: In the third game: outside of the first incident, there are holes to the underworld all over the place. Jump in, find a treasure chest, and hop on a geyser to pop right out.
  • Wake Up Call Boss: Orthrus in the DS game. The freaking thing multiplies itself each turn. The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, indeed.
    • Then again... it's copies are fragile and thus can be Overkilled for MP Recovery...
      • Yes, but that's the first time a boss does something of the sort. It gets players by surprise and not everyone understand the trick on the first go.
      • Then there's the Sphinx. Cast a spell, it mimics it. Attack it physically, it counterattacks. Expect to try this one over a few times.
  • Wham! Episode: There's so many in the DS game, it's more of a Wham Train. Yet nearly every time, you'll likely walk in not expecting them.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: Consider THIS, the timespan it was prominent in (and translated), the relative oddball-ness of the series (well, in less serious situations that is), and look at this cover and consider your party in 2. It might just be guessing, but is it so farfetched to imagine a bunch of kids watching cartoons, later growing up to check out some Greek history, and making a game about it because they were inspired by a certain cartoon?
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