Half-Minute Hero is a RetrauxPuzzle Game / Eastern RPG for the PlayStation Portable.You are a Hero. The Evil Lord is attempting to cast a spell that will destroy the world. The spell takes thirty seconds to cast. Therefore, you have thirty seconds to Save The World.This is the cornerstone of Half Minute Hero, a game which condenses all of the standard RPG tropes into thirty frantic seconds of level grinding, side-questing and monster slaying. Do you rush through the map in order to reach the Evil Lord as fast as possible, at the risk of not being strong enough to defeat him? Or do you chance a time-consuming detour for that Infinity+1 Sword? What about that Quest Giver who could possibly open a shortcut for you? Or the Time Goddess, from whom you can (literally) buy more time? You'll need to think fast if you want to succeed; no-one ever said being a hero was easy.In addition to this mode (known as "Hero 30"), there are five other modes of play available:
Evil Lord 30 is a Real-Time Strategy game where you play as the Evil Lord, searching for a way to lift a curse on his beloved Millennia. In the process, you have to summon monsters to fight against the humans who stand in your way.
Princess 30 is a side-scrolling Shoot 'em Up where a cheerful princess is searching for items that could possibly cure her father's mysterious illness.
Knight 30 (which is only unlocked after the first three modes are beaten) is a Hold the LineEscort Mission where you, the Knight, has to protect a powerful sage so that he can cast a spell to wipe out all of the enemies in the area.
Hero 300, unlocked after completing Knight 30, is the climactic 5-minute finale.
Hero 3 is a 3-second extra stage unlocked after finishing Hero 300. It's as hard as it sounds.
Excuse Plot: You have 30 seconds to [do X] before your game is over. That's all you need to know, really.
Fanfare: A fast-paced, but epic tune, as fitting this game.
Graphics Induced Superdeformed: Somewhat parodied. Take a look at the concept art, and look how much detail is put into the character's clothings, accesories, etc.
Hello, Insert Name Here: The Hero, Evil Lord, Princess, and Knight are all nameable (when you play their respective modes), but everyone except the Hero has their name reset to its default during Hero 300.
Noble Demon / The Dandy: The "Beautiful Evil Lord". Despite his designation as an Evil Lord, he doesn't show much interest in committing any kind of evil.
Overly-Long Gag: It's fair to say that each level of an individual game within Half Minute Hero is based around the lampooning the same tropes as many times as there are levels.
Sequence Breaking: The games run in chronological order, but the first three can be completed in any order.
Shout-Out: The game is filled with them. For example, the item descriptions in the Goddess Room include references to Monty Python, One Piece, and plenty of others.
Talking Is a Free Action: The story dictates that the objective must be accomplished in 30 seconds, but the timer stops during dialogues and in towns (in Hero 30 Normal difficulty only).
If you use your desperation maneuver in Hero 30, giving the Time Goddess all your money without actually having enough to rewind time, then she'll still rewind time. However, time doesn't stop anymore, and when you get down to 10 seconds, you lose all of your equipment. Used carefully, it can win the stage. Used stupidly, well, there's always that "retry" button.
Action Girl: A few join the Hero and provide extra attack power.
Anime Hair: Especially in the case of the twins Kalfa and Polter. They each have hair shaped like one wing on opposing sides.
Arbitrary Head Count Limit: In "Another Goddess", you're limited to three allies, most of whom require payment to use their services. No such limit exists in Quests 19 and 30, where all of the characters you've met up to that point will lend a helping hand.
Bling of War: There are multiple pieces of golden equipment. In a subversion of the usual video game variety of this trope, they are really expensive but absolutely useless as equipment, just like real solid gold armor would be.
Bonus Dungeon: [PSP version] Quest 25 "Another Goddess" will likely not be available when you first reach it, as the stage will end immediately after starting. When you do get to access it, it has a completely different format than all of the other stages. The par time is 4'30" for a very good reason.
Cash Gate: In The Have-Nots, all the Random Encounter enemies are flat broke, and you have to perform various jobs to earn enough money to buy your way past a guard. That is, unless you can find another path...
Cerebus Syndrome: As fun as the game is most of the time, things get really bittersweet in the last two missions.
Cool Horse: Hero can get a horse in some levels, which allows him to dash without consuming HP. Also, Black Knight Lord Zain, in addition to wearing all black, and wielding a black sword, has a black horse.
Collision Damage: Battles are conducted by ramming the hero(es) into the enemy. Both parties take damage on contact, similar to Ys.
Deal with the Devil: One path has the Hero making a deal with a powerful demon and gaining huge stat and HP boosts. This power is granted for three more stages in this path, at the end of which the Hero's soul is due to her. The Time Goddess saves him from this fate (at a hefty price, naturally).
Notably, those four levels are almost impossible to die on. The devil is true to their word: you become damn near unstoppable.
The Dandy: In addition to the Beautiful Evil Lord, there's also Lord Dantes, who even sports a top hat!
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you're teleported to the start of the map with 10 HP and no further penalty. The only way to lose in most cases is to run out of time.
Forged by the Gods: The Brave Sword, along with the Brave Crown and the Brave Vest, which are all obtained in the last quest.
Fridge Logic: In-universe example: "The giant evil lord's weak point is his feet?! Why was Sebastian having such a hard time?"
Genre Deconstruction: Makes you wonder why you spend hours and hours grinding in almost any other RPG. Takes the Overworld Not to Scale trope and its apparent ultrafast travel to its logical conclusion, by allowing the hero to cross whole continents in less than 30 in-universe seconds.
Heroic Mime: Notably, Hero is the only one of the game's four main protagonists who exhibits this trope.
Hopeless Boss Fight: [XBLA/PC versions] The first encounter with Demon Overlord Hol (who appears at the same relative time as the PSP's Goddess of Judgment). Regardless of how much grinding you've done, you'll still get killed in one hit.
Indentured Servitude: One scenario has the player forced to enter into one of these arrangements via But Thou Must means. The town you're sent to is a scam with a system that makes it impossible to make enough money to leave, ideally keeping you a slave forever. Of course, your Timey-Wimey Ball abilities make the scam breakable.
Infinite Stock For Sale: Possibly averted in the multiplayer; you can set shops to have their stock limited to one item, forcing people to race for them.
Informed Equipment: Averted, despite the very low-resolution sprites. Your character can be reduced to his underwear if he loses his equipment or starts without any.
Metal Slime: A few maps have a rare monster in a specific tile that drops huge amounts of gold. The money is usually for an expensive piece of equipment in the same level.
Money Spider: Played straight in all but two quests: "The Have-Nots", where you can only earn money from completing quests (and even then, only up to 10 times each), and "Turtle and Hermit", the only quest without any Random Encounters at all.
Muck Monster: Lord Sludgy, as well as a few overworld monsters.
Non-Standard Game Over: A few instances can lead to a premature end of your journey, such as not breaking the dam in "Change the Current" to regulate the currents, or not giving the Goddess the money she requires to break your Deal with the Devil.
Timey-Wimey Ball: In some cases, turning back time resets events, like undestroying villages or reversing an avalanche. In others, turning back time does nothing, like making the mole coerced into causing earthquakes not reappear when freed. In addition, you keep your gold, exp, and items.
Justified in that you've got a goddess who controls time on your side, so naturally she'd rewind it in whatever way is most convenient.
This is actually critical at one point: If you pay her enough, the Time Goddess erases your Deal with the Devil, but not anything you did with the Devil's power.
Videogame Cruelty Punishment: If you try to go to the Goddess Statue without enough money to pay for a time reversal, you'll still get the clock reset to 30 seconds, but you'll lose all of your equipment after 20 seconds, and the timer no longer stops while you're exploring towns. Good luck trying to finish a level after that happens without doing a lot of Level Grinding beforehand.
Videogame Settings: Usually mixed and scattered throughout most the stages. There are some notable appearances, though:
Bubblegloop Swamp: Swamp and Witch contains sticky spots in the swamp that require a few attempts to get out of.
Green Hill Zone: Hero's Departure is set in a nice grassland, and has you start off killing fairly weak Grass Fiends.
With This Herring: You start the game with nothing more than the clothes on your back, are told the world is going to be destroyed in thirty seconds and find out that you're going to have to pay for the privilege of granting yourself the time to save the world. Does the king offer to help in any way? Ha, no.
The World Is Always Doomed: You can't seem to go anywhere without coming across someone threatening to destroy the entire world within the next minute.
Love Redeems: Millenia is responsible for turning him from an actual Evil Lord into a vain protector.
Made of Iron: Your Evil Lord can't be killed, but colliding with enemies will reduce the size of his mana circle. If it gets too small, he will only be able to summon weak monsters until the stage ends. Or you reset the time.
Morality Pet: Millenia is one of the main things preventing the Evil Lord from actually being evil.
Twin Stick Shooter: In the PSP version, the D-pad moves the princess and the buttons shoot in the four cardinal directions. In the PC version, the arrow keys move and SZXC shoot in cardinal directions. It's similar in feel to a twin-stick shooter.
Upgrade Artifact: The crossbow radically alters the Princess' personality to that of a slightly arrogant Action Girl when she holds it. The "Hard Material" and "Very Hard Material" make your crossbow more powerful.
After the End: The scenario begins with Noire killing the Time Goddess, ushering in two centuries' worth of darkness.
Sprint Shoes: Like Hero, Knight has a Dash ability. In his case, it depletes stamina instead of HP, and stamina regenerates quickly, so it's less of a trade-off. However, it does have the downside that if Knight completely runs out of stamina, he'll fall on his face.
Big Damn Heroes: When you lose the first fight with the Ultimate Evil Lord, you're teleported to a small island with no exit. Syldonix, the dragon you rescued in Hero 30, arrives shortly after to return you to the battle to try again.
Bishonen Line: A lot of the evil lords are pretty ugly and/or inhuman, especially the higher-level ones likes Noire and Overlord Hol. The Ultimate Evil Lord, on the other hand, looks like a more colorful version of the Time Goddess.
The End of the World as We Know It: For serious this time. The world will be destroyed in 5 minutes, and since the Time Goddess was killed, you don't get to turn back the clock at all. She gets better, but not until the ending.
Marathon Level: The world this time is a collection of compressed areas representing the continents of each main character. Each area has a hard time limit. At certain points in the timer, time freezes in each area and you lose if you don't escape it before then.
No Plot? No Problem!: Most of the game was composed of only Excuse Plot, but Hero 3 has absolutely no plot. It's just the Time Goddess daring you to beat this level.
Red Sky, Take Warning: In Hero 30, the sky gradually turns red as time runs down. Here, it's red all the time. That is, all the time when it's not purple which is an even more threatening situation.
Ridiculous Future Inflation: Since the world is going to end in such a short time, all of the vendors happily gouge their prices by 500% or more. Good thing all of the monsters in this mode are Money Spiders.
Up to Eleven: All right...so you've saved the world in 30 seconds...multiple times. Let's see you try to do it in just three.
Francisca was simply one of the many Evil Lords you fought in the last game with very little importance. Here, she's an ally and forges weapons for you.
Reaper Lord Lamde also has a much larger role in this game than he did in the first. He's responsible for manipulating Yusha into destroying the eight Elements, releasing the Evil Lords in the process. He also turns Yashu against Yusha.
Babies Ever After: Retroactively for Hero and Sasha. Sadly, "ever after" lasted only until the backstory for the game saw the barrier between the human and demon worlds breached.
Bishonen Line: At first, your opponents become more and more monstrous as the game wears on. However, this begins to reverse in the Ragnarok scenario; most members of the God Nine are humanoids, and the Venus Seven, who you fight right afterwards, are all Cute Monster Girls.
Bonus Dungeon: Global dungeons are scattered across the overworld that you can enter to gain some powerful items.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ragnarok ends on a depressing note, with quite a few sacrifices made. During the credits, the Time Goddess suddenly interrupts the roll and declares that it can't end this way. She turns time back, with the credits scrolling back as a rewind symbol appears on-screen.
Brutal Bonus Level: There's a Hero 3 quest in this game too, and once again gives you just three seconds to save the world. Even worse is the following quest and true final challenge of the game, ABYSS, which follows the standard format but is populated by fiendishly tough monsters and requires you to gather the maximum amount of gold possible before you can even face the boss.
The Cameo: Several characters return from the first game.
Cap: Level is capped at 255, HP is capped at 999, and gold is capped at 99999.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Enemies far above your level flash red, enemies that pose some challenge to fight flash yellow, and enemies far below your level and can be defeated by just walking into them flash blue.
Darker and Edgier: The overall tone of the story is far more serious than its predecessor, though there are still plenty of comical moments.
Dark Is Not Evil: Following Mestvolos's death, the demons emerge from the Dark World and make peace with the humans.
Death Is Cheap: Thanks to everything in the universe being comprised of the Timestream, fallen characters, both good and evil, can be brought back through proper manipulation of it. See Back from the Dead above.
Desperation Attack: When your HP is flashing, a skill activation will cause a "Hero Chain" where your party uses their skills all at once.
Demoted to Extra: Beautiful Evil Lord had his own chapter in the first game. In the sequel he has a purely supporting role handing out rewards for completing achievements. However, one of the rewards in question is him joining as a party member.
Don't Try This at Home: In Revolution, the Time Goddess will say this after you trip an Evil Lord Weapon with a banana peel.
In the last fight of Judgement, you are unable to be defeated, as shown by your HP staying at one despite walking through lava.
In the last battle of Revolution, you become invincible.
The Empire: The antagonists of the Revolution chapter.
Endless Game: Infinite Battle mode, where the goal is to defeat as many Evil Lords as possible before you run out of time. You get a title for defeating the final boss: Infinite Lord #100, but then it sends you back to start all over again on the first map with all your levels and equipment.
Evil Knockoff: Inverted with No. 30, an android replica of the Time Goddess. In spite of General Richter's intentions, she was so perfect a copy that she would only aid a hero. A good thing too, since the real deal has gone completely off the deep end during Ragnarok.
The major characters to the main characters from the first game. Yusha is Hero, Yashu is Evil Lord, Yushia is Princess, and Yuja is Knight with Coo as his Sage.
Cozain seems to be one for Grillade, at least in terms of the role he plays in the story (i.e. a persistent opponent who eventually goes through a Heel-Face Turn after being bested several times). Lampshaded with the Steam achievement unlocked through his recruitment; rather than a picture of him with Yuja and/or the rest of the heroes, it is a picture of Knight, Sage, and Grillade.
Yashu, due to a horrific misunderstanding caused by Lamde.
The Time Goddess goes insane during Ragnarok due to a dearth of Timestream energy caused by the God Nine, and sets out to destroy the world herself.
Faux Symbolism: Invoked. The boss of one of the last stages is a headless angel statue that's half deep purple, half gold, and its gallery description notes that "the artistic symbolism is too deep for you."
Foreshadowing: At the end of the first scenario, Yusha swears vengeance upon the one who betrayed him, and against fate itself. It isn't until the very last storyline that we learn that he was not being metaphorical when he spoke of getting revenge against Fate.
The last two Elements in Prelude are a Physical dragon and a Magical dragon, housed in matched towers. This is nearly identical to the Fork Tower scenario in Final Fantasy V. The special moves used by the dragons are Physic Holy and Magic Flare, a reference to the Holy and Flare spells earned in Fork Tower's physical and magical sides, respectively.
Heel-Face Turn: Francisca, Cozain, the 3rd Slaughter Daughter (aka Sach), and Asura Nadeshiko all end up joining the party, though Cozain and Asurako are optional and while Francisca joins the good guys early on, she doesn't become a full-fledged party member until the Ragnarok chapter.
Human Popsicle: Geezer is found in one on two separate occasions. Much like how in the first game Hero sealed himself in case the world needed him, he did so again such that a hero in need could revive him, guessing (correctly) that his time-shifted son would find him.
Knight of Cerebus: Reaper Lord Lamde. He's the one who causes you to take out the Eight Elements, which causes the Evil Lords who were sealed away, to break free, and he turned Yashu against Yusha.
Level Drain: Works a little differently in this game. The protagonists can grind without the help of the Time Goddess (very slowly), and the level they reach becomes the level they start at for any quests that are encountered, instead of just being reset back to level one after a quest.
Level Editor: A simple one is present for you to make your own maps and quests.
Light Is Not Good: The Gods in Ragnarok are colored in whites and golds, bear halos and white wings, and generally exhibit all the outward signs of holy, light-aligned deities. They also want to kill every last living thing on the planet.
Luck-Based Mission: Nothing within the quests themselves, but the slot machines in the casino are, of course, random.
Meet the New Boss: Not only do the Gods fought in the Ragnarok scenario also use a 30 second doomsday spell, but a few of them are near-Palette Swaps of Evil Lords seen in previous chapters. In fact, no matter what threat is currently being faced, from Elements to Evil Lords to Empire, the basic setup of the game remains the same.
Motive Rant: Yashu in Revolution and Ragnarok will always open the battle by reminding Yushia and Yuja of Yusha's "treason".
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Destroying the Eight Elements releases the seal on the Evil Realm, which contained all the Evil Lords that Hero fought in the past, and forces Yusha to start casting the Spell of Destruction involuntarily.
Nigh-Invulnerability: Yusha becomes completely invincible in quest 12. He can't lose HP from dashing or fighting, which is a bad thing, because the objective of that quest is to kill yourself in order to stop yourself from casting the Spell of Destruction.
Nostalgia Level: Infinite Evil Lord mode uses maps from the first game, with pretty much the same stage gimmicks as well.
The Notable Numeral: Nearly all of the major villainous groups in the game are presented this way.
Optional Party Member: Most of them come from Yuja's story. The other two can be found in the Demon's Maze global dungeon.
Pun-Based Title: Second refers to this being the second game, and a play on how you usually have seconds to finish a stage. The localized title keeps the pun and throws in some dramatic flair by calling it The Second Coming.
Rare Candy: One of the casino prizes is an item that instantly raises your global level by one. There's also the inverse; an item that lowers your global level. A later venue has upgraded versions that add/subtract three levels.
Running Gag: The Time Goddess always falls for the most obvious traps in the universe.
The Rival: Yashu becomes this to Yusha and his descendants.
Screw Destiny: The final storyline has our heroes take up arms against Fate itself.
Time Crash: In the final quest of Ragnarok, the Dark Time Goddess's ultimate plan, similar to Ultimecia's Time Compression, is to compress all of reality, past present and future, into a single crystal. An irresolvable time paradox that also results in a Time Crash occurs if you fail to stop Yashu from interfering in Yusha's duel with Metsvolos.
Undying Loyalty: Yashu to Queen Maria, and also the heroes' allies to the heroic bloodline.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Cozain at first claims he's attacking the party out of obligation, but with each defeat more of his rage and sorrow shows through. After Yuja defeats him, Zain's shade appears to soothe his son's soul.