A mercenary swordsman hailing from the mountainous land of Forcena and son of the Golden Knight Loki, who famously aided King Richard in felling the power-hungry Dragon Emperor. Duran sets out to become the strongest warrior in the world after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Altena's Crimson Wizard.
Anti-Hero: Starts off as one since his goal for starting his adventure is to get even with the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus because he's mad about getting beat up. Ends up finding a lot more reason to fight along the way, however
Idiot Hero: If Angela is in the party with him, she'll display feelings for him and he'll never pick on them. If the Dragon Emperor is killed by the other villains, the Darkshine Knight will try and tell Duran that he is his father, and Duran doesn't even pay attention.
It's Personal: He's desire for revenge on the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus. His pride was wounded, but he's also mad about how the other knights the wizard hurt.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: A plot point at the start of Duran's quest. He wants the Sword of Mana so he can defeat the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus, who Duran was not able to stop when the latter attacked Forcena. Averted in the actual gameplay, however, since all of Duran's possible classes end up learning magic of some kind.
Magic Knight: In the Final Fantasy tradition of Magic Knights, Duran's spell specialty is giving elemental attributes to weapons. More apparent in his dark path, which eventually can have him learn every "Saber" spell except Saint Saber, which he can still pick up on his light path.
Mighty Glacier: Duran gets this label sometimes, although a little unfairly as his swing reset timer is the same as the other characters. The main reason is probably because he doesn't strike twice per attack like the other two males, who use daggers and bare hands respectively. It's also due to his recovery stance is much more obvious than the other two males, though this is actually useful as it's a sign when to back away from an enemy. His starting agility stat is lower than the rest of the cast, but due to bugs it doesn't do anything for any character other than Hawk anyway.
The daughter of the Queen of Reason and princess of the magic kingdom of Altena, Angela failed to show any sign of magical prowess during her childhood. When her mother decides to make up for this by choosing her as the sacrifice for a powerful spell, she makes a break for it.
Black Mage: Unquestionably the best offensive spellcaster in the game.
Glass Cannon: She can be difficult to keep alive, but she has an almost unrivalled damage output.
"My, what are young girls thinking these days, running around dressed like that?"
Well Done Daughter Girl: As mentioned above, she feels neglected by her mother. Her main motivation for going along on The Quest is to gain the power of magic from the spirits, and to get the Sword of Mana, in order to force her mother to at least acknowledge her as something other than a failure.
Kevin is the son of the Beast King, and thereby the prince of the Beast Kingdom. His mother disappeared around the time he was born, and as he grew up he associated with his fellow Beastmen less and less, preferring the company of a wolf cub he names Karl. However, he discovers his own Beastman strength when Karl attacks him and he kills the cub in of self-defense. Overhearing that the Beast King had orchestrated his wolf's attack on him, he attacks his father in a rage only to be swatted aside with ease. Denied his revenge, he sets out to find a way to bring his only friend back to life.
Healing Hands: Can pick this up on one of his Light-Side class routes.
Hulk Speak: Oddly, the full-blooded Beastmen don't talk like this.
Lightning Bruiser: Especially with his attack bonus at night, almost to Game Breaker status. He has high attack power, probably the most defense and HP, his attacks come out quick and his Power Attack rips through early game enemies, and finally, he has a double strike for his normal attack, letting him build his Power Attack gauge extremely quickly. Upon class change into the Light side, he can learn Pressure Point, which raises his, and only his, attack. He falls juuuuuust short of being a Game Breaker.
Wrestler in All of Us: With the sole exception of his starting class, all of his classes learn some kind of throw technique in addition to their normal tech.
Carlie is half-elf, half-human, and was raised in the Holy City Wendel by the Priest of Light. She idolizes Heath, a fellow cleric, and is somewhat obsessively protective of him, enough that she sneaks away after him after he's called off on a mission. When she witnesses him being captured by Deathjester, her journey begins.
Holy Hand Grenade: Her Bishop class gains the Turn Undead spell, which deals more to them than anything else in the game (making it a good class for her and Kevin's end games since the players faces a lot of undead in them). It even works on bosses if she's a higher level then them.
Verbal Tic: Carlie is very childlike, 'n shtuff, in her shpeech, m'kay? (This is a localization change in the fan translation for her Katakana use in the Japanese version.)
White Mage: Carlie's specialty is in healing spells and other light-aligned magic. While other characters can dabble in healing abilities, none have the capability to do it as well (or as early) as Carlie.
Hawk comes from a much more humble lineage than his fellow protagonists. As a member of the Navarre Thieves Guild, he steals from the rich and gives (some) to the poor, and is very happy with his job at that. Soon after the Guild takes in a young lady named Isabella, however, the guildmaster Flamekhan decrees that the guild will turn from petty thievery to all-out raiding and invasion, starting with Rolante. In trying to get to the bottom of this personality change, Hawk is framed for the murder of his best friend, Eagle, and locked away, threatened with the death-by-curse of Flamekhan's daughter should he tell anyone what he knows. Saved from his cell by his cat friend Nikita, Hawk begins his own quest for vengeance.
Bishounen: Put him and Angela in the same party and she will flirt with him. She'll also remark that he's 'cute' (complete with a heart) if she confronts him in Rolante.
Chivalrous Pervert: He'll try to charm the ladies at every chance he gets, asking Lise or Angela out in Jad and striking a pose while telling the Altenian soldiers "not to get so excited". But the worst transgression he ever commits is giving a Lise a (not entirely unwelcome) peck on the cheek if she confronts him in Rolante.
Dub Name Change: Originally named "Hawkeye". Like Carlie/Charlotte above, this ended up being shortened to fit the namespace.
Flechette Storm: The Level 2 Tech for his Ranger class is "Flying Swallow Toss", which consists of him spinning around and tossing knives at all enemies on the screen. Alternatively, his Ninja class can use the Shuriken skill, and if he takes the Ninja Master class, learns how to target all enemies at once with it.
Holy Hand Grenade: His Rogue class' Silver Dart skill, best thrown at zombies & demons.
Master of None: Until a class change, if he's not the main character, then his damage is pretty lacking. His only saving grace would be the double-strike letting him build his power attack faster, but the attack itself does damage on par with a normal attack unless his attack is raised a couple of times, making him fall into this trope for early game.
Most of Lise's class outfits qualify, to some extent or another. Although in-game they appear to be something resembling armour, artwork reveals them to be various tunics and skirts that show off a generous amount of skin.
The Dragon Emperor
An evil dragon with no specified origin in this game (Legend of Mana reveals he's the current ruler of Mavolia and that his name to be Drakonis in the English version and Tiamat in the Japanese version) baring that he waged a war and was believed to have been killed by Duran's father Loki. He in fact survived and turned Loki into his servant the Darkshine Knight. Wants to become a god and make life a living hell for everyone in the world.
A God Am I: This is about as far as his characterization goes. Is he a real Physical God or just an egomaniac dragon? Never explained.
Granted he makes those boasts after taking the power of the Sword of Mana and the 8-God Beasts, and he just destroyed the Tree of Mana, offing the world's equivalent of God, so he's not really exaggerating, he is a god by that point.
Fools... Go ahead and run to your deaths... not unlike the last two who challenged me. Prince Richard and the Knight of Gold. I believe they had a faerie with them as well. That knight dealt me painful, crippling injuries... but I have recovered, and grown stronger.
Card-Carrying Villain: Unlike the Masked Mage and the Dark Prince, he has no motivation for wanting to conquer the world beyond the fact that he's evil.
Deal with the Devil: he made one with the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus, taking a piece of his soul in exchange for making him the most powerful wizard in the world. Unarguably he fulfilled his end of the deal, but it's speculated that him having a part of the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus's soul caused his evil to corrupt him.
Informed Ability: Talk to some of the townsfolk and the they claim the Dragon Emperor is stronger and smarter than any human. While the plot implies he's extremely powerful even without the Sword of Mana and the power of the God Beasts, he doesn't get enough screen to time live up to the latter.
Load-Bearing Boss: Paths where he isn't the Big Bad reveal that since his power was keeping the Darkshine Knight alive, if he dies, the knight dies with him.
Our Dragons Are Different: He can assume a small humanoid form, can revive the dead, turn a no talent mage into a death machine, and that's about all we know about his initial powers.
Koren(fan shortning of Japanese title)/Wizard of the Crimson Lotus
An Evil Sorcerer that serves the Dragon Emperor, who attacked Forcena at the start of the game and nearly killed Duran. He boasts to be the strongest wizard in the world. turns out that he was originally a no talent attempt at a mage and he was abused by his teacher
The Dragon: A particularly ironic case given that he is The Dragon to an actual dragon, whereas the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus himself is human.
Dub Name Change: In the untranslated script, Koren is not his name, but rather, he's known as "Kouren no Madoushi," or "Wizard of the Red Lotus".
Freudian Excuse: Like Angela, he had no inborn ability to use magic whatsoever. The Dragon Emperor offered to make him into a powerful wizard in exchange for a piece of his soul. The Wizard of the Crimson Lotus got all the power he wanted, but after his defeat decides life isn't worth living without that part of his soul and kills himself.
A powerful warrior serving the Dragon Emperor. Is in fact Duran's father Loki, who was injured fatally by the Dragon Emperor, but seeing value in him as a minion, he revived him as his servant. His mind-control breaks after his death.
Duran, I am your father. Is pretty much an UnTwist by the time reveals it, but Duran is too thickheaded to pick up on it. If the Dragon Emperor isn't the Big Bad, he tries telling Duran but dies mid-sentence, and Duran still fails to pick up.
Originally a human mage that was a healer, but ended up resorting to forbidden magic to save a patient, leading to his banishment. The dark magic he used eventually corrupted him and caused him to desire revenge on the world.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If his faction fails in its bid for power, based on your character choice, the victor forces him to deliver a message to you, and when he does he makes the comment that he's going to take this opportunity to run.
Took a Level in Badass: Deathjester easily overpowers him at the start of the game. Post corruption, when fought as a boss, he's stronger than Deathjester.
Tragic Monster: he left to try and save his father from the darkness corrupted him, but that simply resulted in him being kidnapped by Deathjester and brainwashed.
The Dark Prince(fan translation)/Dark Lord(literal translation of Japanese name)
Formerly the human successor to the Kingdom of Light(Dawn of Mana reveals he had already become The Emperor despite the fan translation interpreting the word successor to mean that he hadn't inherited the throne thus the translation to Dark Prince), but for unstated reasons he was hated and feared by his subjects(though his attempt to drown his little brother Keldric in Dawn of Mana's backstory may have had something to do with it). This led to him making a deal with the demons of Mavolia(called the underworld in the fan translation), gaining power in exchange for destroying his old kingdom(namely by opening the door to Mavolia). After the deal he went on to kill(or so he thought not that it mattered since his little brother Keldric killed her himself soon after as the Final Boss of Dawn of Mana) the previous Archdemon(Anise/Medusa according to Dawn of Mana). He aims to join the human world with Mavolia so he can rule over both and force humans into worshiping him and the demons. His demons were sealed away by the Mana Goddess prior to the game's events(by closing the Mana Gate again right at the end of Dawn of Mana). He dies trying to complete the opening of the Mana Gate(at the hands of his little brother Keldric right after supposedly "killing" the previous Archdemon in Dawn of Mana) and The Earl of the Evil Eye and Bigeu hold his remains and plan to find a host for his resurrection and attempt to open the Mana Gate (which now opens not just to Mavolia but as of Children Of Mana it also opens to the Mana Holyland as well).
Satan Got the position after killing his predecessor. After being killed by his little brother he was replaced by the Dragon Emperor as shown by Legend of Mana who the Dark Lord ends up reclaiming the position from in the Hawk/Lise route.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Generally considered to be the strongest of the three Big Bads despite having the second highest health(most likely because of his One-Winged Angel form and resistance towards attacks from magic users aside from Hawkeye and Lise's stat lowering attacks).
Take Over the World: Has that as a clear goal, as opposed to the Masked Mage and the Dragon Emperor that seem more interested in destruction than anything else.
The Dragon to the Dark Lord, responsible for change in actions of the Navarre Thieves Guild and the death of Eagle. Plans to bring the Dark Lord into the world, but beyond loyalty, she's also in love with him, though it's sadly one-sided as he sees her as little more than disposable minion.
Despair Event Horizon: Goes into this if you don't take the Hawk/Lise route, in which case the Big Bad of your route destroys the Dark Lord's remains, ensuring he can never be resurrected. Not wanting to face a world without her beloved, she murders The Earl of the Evil Eye when he tells her he plans to try stealing the Sword to merge the two worlds anyway, and then after delivering the exposition to you, kills herself.
Yandere To the Dark Lord. If he's the Big Bad, she states that he lost his soul while among the demons and hopes to retrieve it, though exactly what that means is unclear.
Jagan(fan shortning of Japanese title)/Earl of the Evil Eye
A vampire like entity working for the Dark Lord, he kidnapped Eliott to use for unspecified reasons(despite assumptions by some of the players Eliott does not get possessed by the Dark Lord and is seen face down next to the Dark Lord upon the Dark Lord's ressurection).
Flat Character: We get pretty much no information about his background or his motivations, aside from him being a servant of the Dark Lord. Of course considering his willingness to merge Mavolia even after the Dark Lord's remains are destroyed outside of the Hawk/Lise rout he's probably not loyal to the Dark Lord.
Powerful elemental monsters that were sealed away by the Goddess at the creation of the world, and they threaten it once again when they break free after the villains release the energy from the Mana Stones.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The player will discover that killing a God Beast directly sends all its Mana energy into the Mana Sword...which you gave to the villain to keep them from killing your Fairy Companion.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: It is explained that, when they first awaken, they are relatively weak, but as you defeat them, the remaining ones grow stronger (and so do the monsters in their respective dungeons). So in a way it is justifying why Zable Fahr, always the final God Beast you fight since the other seven have to killed before you can access it, is That One Boss.