Video Game: Class Of Heroes

In a World where children dream of growing up to become adventurers, their needs are catered to by a set of academies dedicated to providing guidance and teaching for the budding explorers. As a student of Particus Academy, you will learn the ups and downs of dungeon spelunking, with each quest solved and monster slain a step towards graduation.

It is with this premise that developer Zerodiv (and localizer Atlus) introduces to us Class of Heroes for the PSP. The game is a throwback to the old days of Dungeon Crawling and is heavily based on Wizardry. Two sequels have been released in Japan with class, balance, and interface tweaks. Three years after its initial release, the first sequel is slated to come to the US care of Monkey Paw Games, whose prior achievements mostly involve getting Japanese titles and a few English-language cult classics released on the Playstation Network.

This series provides examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Well, it is a school for adventurers.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The stores, oh so much. To give you an idea, the campus store ditches the "We buy your stuff at 50%". For most early game items you'll be lucky if you can get more than 10 coins.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted. Want a Diablon (devil-folk) Paladin (required alignment: good)? You can make one.
  • Breath Weapon: Diablons and Drakes have this as a racial ability.
  • Cat Girl: The Felpiers. They can be both male or female though.
  • Combination Attack
  • Cute Monster Girl: At least half of the female Playable Characters.
  • Dark Is Not Evil /Light Is Not Good: Nothing will stop you from making a Good Diablon, nor an Evil Celestian.
  • Dungeon Crawling
  • Fantastic Racism: A gameplay element - if two races who are distrustful of one another end up in the same team (e.g. Elves Versus Dwarves), their stats will be negatively affected. Conversely, if the two races like each other, they get a bonus to their stats. Certain items and using Gambits can negate this eventually.
  • Final Death: As in Wizardry, this game's spiritual ancestor, there are three stages of death: normal death, turned to ash, and "Lost". It costs thrice as much to bring a character back from ashes, but if that fails...well, let's hope you had removed that character's equipment beforehand!
  • Fire-Forged Friends: As you use up Gambits your students will grow closer to each other (possibly even overcoming Fantastic Racism!) and will earn stat bonuses when on the same party.
  • Five Races: Averted, as there are actually 10, including fairies, cat-people, dragon-folk, devil-folk and angel-folk.
  • Game Breaker: The Ragnarok spell in the second game. The basic Sorcerer class (and pretty much all the magic-oriented advanced classes) learns it before level 20, and the player can choose one of several beneficial effects to the whole party. 300% defense, 300% resistance, 300% attack, 300% Magic, a magic wall that will cut all physical damage by half and magic damage by a whopping 90%, completely refill your Team Attack gauge (fun to use to cast Magic Double and dealing 2x damage wih magic on the next turn) and the most baffling one - complete MP recovery for the entire party. Yes, by a measly 50 MP, you can recover all the MP of every character in your party (including other mages that will be hitting 500 or 600 MP by that point).
    • The Sorcerer class and their race specific evolutions as a whole. While your physical-based party members will be struggling to land hits, the Sorcerer will be hitting entire enemy squads regardless of number with their Bomb spell. With Magic Double, MP Double and the Ragnarok buffs, your mages will be dealing tenfold the damage your Berserker does to one enmy, except on the entire enemy group. And that's if your Berserker is equipping the most expensive axes you can get, while the mages don't need to equip weapons at all.
  • Item Crafting: A major source of equipment in this game is item crafting. You can buy from the campus store, but weapon and armor prices tend to be exorbitant. It's cheaper, especially if you have your own alchemist, to create your equipment from the stuff the monsters drop or base components which you can buy.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Both humans and Felpier, in different ways. Humans are the standard "neither great nor terrible in any stat", while the Felpier excel in Vitality and Agility, which are useful for all classes, at the expense of the extremely specialized Luck stat that mostly benefits thieves.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: Gambits, which use up the built-up "Tension" gained from completing quests and fighting.
  • Money for Nothing: Largely averted. Money is hard to come by in the beginning, and various items tend to lean on the expensive side. Later, when you party is completely pimped out, you can trade money for experience by donating it at the infirmary.
  • Nintendo Hard: Atlus refuses to localise games that can't reduce the player to a shivering, disheartened wreck. The tradition continues.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves in the game are closer to beast-folk, and their description says that they're good with languages.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: In the Japanese version, the Erdgheist are called Gnomes. In either they basically exist only on the astral plane, and need to possess a physical shell in order to interact with the material world.
  • Palette Swap: Many, many of the monsters.
  • Power of Friendship: If your team likes each other, they will get stat boosts.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Drakes. They are said to be arrogant, don't get along well with most races, and are best suited to melee majors.
  • Relationship Values: The longer a team works together, the more they will grow to trust one another. This becomes harder to do the higher the level of the characters in question, though.
  • Save Scumming: And how. There are two popular tactics that utilize save scumming. The first is to save before a pair of crossed swords (which initiate a battle with a chest as a reward) or a treasure chest. After either beating the enemies or opening the chest, you can save, reload, and the swords/chest will be there again to farm. The second tactic involves saving before donating to the infirmary for EXP to insure a character you want to change the major of gets the stat increases they need to do so.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Several tidbits were changed to make the second game much more practical and easier, like the MP system change (the tiered system being replaced with a basic "spend as you please" way) and several magic classes being merged together as the new Sorcerer - along with the borderline Game Breaker Ragnarok. Experience and Gold are far easier to obtain, and as a rule of thumb, the dungeons are slight less complicated and the enemies that happen to be far stronger than everything else in the dungeon are much rarer and usually only found in specific parts of the dungeons.
  • Shout-Out: In the English version of Class of Heroes 2, one of the random messages that shows up when you attack an enemy will sometimes be "(name) attacks the enemy like an ATAC for (number) damage!"
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Wizardry series, of which the game takes it's basic engine and tropes from almost verbatim.
  • Squishy Wizard: Erdgeists tend to make very good wizards and summoners, but because they don't have corporeal bodies, their HP are among the lowest of the ten races.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You'll grow attached to the characters you create, it's hard to see one die and fail to revive.
  • Whatevermancy: Getting progressively more extreme with each game. The latest of which includes Nurses, Idols, Tsunderes, Older Siblings, Younger Siblings and Magical Girls as classes.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Erdgeists and male Drakes have blue hair, whilst female Drakes have bright red hair. There's also the orange haired Dwarves, the green haired Sprites, and white haired male Diablons. The sequel's trailer shows that the Drakes have changed their colors, but both of them still have hair that fits this trope.