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Series / Legend Heroes

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Legend Heroes is 2016 Korean Tokusatsu series. It combines Super Sentai mecha battles with the Henshin Hero tropes of Kamen Rider, all while theming itself after Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

People named after warriors of myth are handed Legend Changers and are told to bet their dream in the aptly named Dream Battle. Whoever should defeat the other one hundred warriors can have their wish fulfilled. Those who are defeated and have their Legend Changers destroyed lose their dream and memories of Dream Battle. Throughout the Dream Battle, Liu Bei and those close to him do their best to navigate the Dream Battle and protect the city as more and more Heroes appear to practically crop up daily. Meanwhile, a dark, grinning figure looms in the shadows with their own agenda...

Legend Heroes is available for simulcast (complete with English-translated Closed Captioning) on it's official Youtube page.

General Tropes:

  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: This incarnation of Lu Bu and Diaochan might be the first one to not have them romantically involved, since he's a tiny hexagon thingy and she's a little girl. They do become something akin to best friends, however.
  • Action Girl: Gongsun Zan.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's implied, but never confirmed that the Dark Warlords are inherently evil Hero Pieces as opposed to creations of Zhang Jue or Sima Yi.
  • Anti-Villain: Cao Cao, arguably.
  • Apocalypse How: Reality (heaven and earth realms) is tied to Royal Seal, which is running out of energy. Without it reality goes poof.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Dark Pentagon.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Swarms of small energy bats that can combine into a massive one act as part of the Rainbow Event's test.
    • Legend Hero Zhang Kai can summon these and launch them at foes.
  • Bad Boss: Mi Zhu was once this to Zhang Fei. Also Zhang Lu to Yu Ji.
  • Big Bad: Zhang Jue.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Zhang Jue and Sima Yi.
  • Big Good: The Mother Computer.
    • Also, Legend Hero Hua Tuo is revealed to be Liu Bei's sensei and the previous champion of the Dream Battle.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Gun-shin-il-che. note 
  • Canon Character All Along: The idol LINA is actually a Gender Flipped Yuan Shao.
  • The Chosen Many: According to Xu Shu, there are at least one hundred Legend Heroes.
  • Character Death: Wang Yun and Xu Shu.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: There are very few Legend Heroes that aren't jerks out for power, destruction or selfish wishes.
  • Co-Dragons: Dark Warlords Xu Chu, Xu Huang and Zhang Liao are this to Cao Cao and Sima Yi.
  • Combat Medic: Legend Hero Hua Tuo's suit design invokes this.
  • Conflict Ball: The whole point of the Dream Battle is for the Legend Heroes to fight each other. Their reasons for fighting vary; Some don't even want to fight at all.
  • Dark Action Girl: With Gongsun Zan being the sole exception, the few female Legend Heroes we see in-show are by no means on the side of good.
  • Death of Personality: Zhuge Liang states that if an Angel pours their life energies into an Angel Piece and possesses their Warlord, the warlord's consciousness is snuffed out permanently.
  • Demonic Possession: The pieces Sima Yi implants into people overwrite their host entirely and can't be extracted through normal means like with Zhang Jue's Unwitting Pawns without hurting the host.
  • Expy:
  • Fantastic Racism: Zhang Jue wants to Kill All Humans to turn Earth into a world only for Angels.
  • Flechette Storm: Legend Hero Hua Tuo flings acupuncture needles at his foes.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Liu Bei and Gongsun Zan, the protagonist duo and siblings of Dong-Wong-Kwan. Liu Bei is a foolish All-Loving Hero while Gongsun Zhan is the responsible Aloof Dark-Haired Girl.
    • Also, Sun Ce and Sun Shangxiang, the Gang-Dong-Kwan siblings. Ironically, while Liu Bei and Sun Ce get along just fine after the initial hiccups, the two girls just snark at each other at best.
  • Forced into Evil: The Lu Bu Hero Piece is forced into becoming a Dark Warlord by Zhang Jue under the threat of Diaochan's death.
    • It's soon revealed that ALL of the undead Hero Pieces are this, only controlled by Zhang Jue's joystick-pad.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Mi Zhu Brothers; More specifically, Li Jue and Guo Si. These two become Legend Heroes and harass Liu Bei varying degree of effectiveness.
  • Good is Not Nice: Cao Cao.
    • Also to a lesser extent, Zhuge Liang.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Played With. The Dream Battle is designed so that The strength of the victor's dream can sustain the Earth and Heaven Realms for 300 years. Otherwise, both realms cease to exist.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Li Jue and Guo Si in Episode 49 alongside Mi Zhu and Han Fu dogpile Legend Hero Sima Yan in their civvies in an attempt to grab the Angel Piece for a weakened Zhuge Liang. They get Taken for Granite, but not before Mi Zhu manages to snag the Piece and send it Zhuge Liang's way.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Xu Shu uses up her life energy protecting Liu Bei from an otherwise fatal attack by Dong Zhuo.
  • Hope Crusher: If a Legend Hero is defeated, their dream is utterly crushed. Some take this even further, though.
  • Hope Spot: Whenever a Legend Hero loses the Dream Battle, a golden vision depicting their dream appears before them, only to brutally shatter into pieces before they lose consciousness.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In most historical accounts, Lu Bu is seen as little more than "The backstab-y guy." In Legend Heroes, the Lu Bu Hero Piece is depicted as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at best, and an innocent Unwitting Pawn to Dong Zhuo and Zhang Jue at worst.
  • Humongous Mecha: Legend Machines are mecha summoned for Final Battle.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Unlike Super Sentai, it handwaves the destruction because Last Battle covers the area with force field of sorts that stops time for anyone who is not Legend Hero and repairs damage caused.
  • Joke Character: Legend Hero Pang Feng. Aside from being able to fire a Stink Bomb and Fartillery, all he can do is spread party favors around. Cao Cao is less than amused.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Cao Cao sees himself as this after Dong Zhou kills Wang Yun. See Knight Templar above.
  • Just a Machine: Zhuge Liang is of the belief that all Legend Heroes see Angels as mere tools for the Dream Battle. Then he meets Liu Bei.
  • Knight Templar: Cao Cao transitions into one after the death of his mentor Wang Yun at the hands of Dong Zhuo, believing that evil should only be destroyed and that people that do bad even once are by default irredeemable.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: People that lose the Dream Battle forget about their participation in it.
  • Loophole Abuse: To become a Legend Hero, you need to have the same name as a legendary figure. Nothing says you need to be born with that name though.
  • Meaningful Name: All Legendary Heroes are named after warriors of myth, particularly those involved in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
  • Merchandise-Driven: In similar way as Kamen Rider or Super Sentai nowadays. The toy line includes Legend changers, Hero Pieces and assorted figurines.
  • Mighty Glacier: Legend Hero Wang Lang. Hits like a rhino. Sturdy as one, too.
  • Mind Rape: Losing one's dream upon defeat. Some variation of this trope is also applied by some Legend Heroes like Zhang Lu.
  • Mood Whiplash: A usually lighthearted show with some very dark moments. Extra points to #24/#25, which is mostly about father and son reconciling thanks to Liu Bei and Xu Shu. Then Don Zhuo enters the picture, beats up the father, eliminates the son from Dream Battle and kills Xu Shu.
  • Mooks: Tao Troops, one of Zhang Jue's experiments.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Legend Hero Xu Chu's suit design invokes this. He's also quite the Jerkass.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zhang Jue uses the Dark Pentagon to resurrect eliminated Hero Pieces with dark magic and implant them into Unwitting Pawns to drain other people's Hero Power.
  • People Puppets: Zhang Jue uses a gaming-pad filled with evil magic to control the zombie Hero Piece Warlords.
    • The Dark Warlords are people implanted wth tainted Hero Pieces already bent to Sima Yi's will.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Lots, though the Mi Zhu Brothers are the most prominent.
  • Take Over the World: Yuan Shu's goal.
    • Sima Yi's, too.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Power is another common reason to join the Dream Battle. Avoiding police, executing one's own justice or simply having power itself.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Cao Cao goes out of his way to try and convince Liu Bei that people that perform wrong even once are undeserving of sympathy.
    • Zhang Lu is a believer in this too, thinking that people's dark sides are their true sides. He gets better.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The show seems to be geared firmly towards Idealism and the idea that people are inherently good at heart, despite Cao Cao's Cynical outlook.
    • Oddly then that in the Finale, Liu Bei acknowledges that his wish of simply making everyone happy is unrealistic as-is.
  • Smelly Skunk: Legend Hero Pang Feng.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Legend Hero Imperial is this for Liu Bei at first, as the Golden Hawk Dragon residing in the Golden Piece is a destructive Blood Knight entity that will possess and eventually take over a weak owner. Eventually, He tames it into a proper Super Mode.
    • Later on, Legend Hero Kaiser for Cao Cao.
  • Sissy Villain: Zhang Jue.
  • Stock Footage: Of the initiation of Final Battle and summoning the Legend Machines.
  • Stopped Caring: Those that lose the Dream Battle typically enter a lethargic fugue while directly opposing (or ignoring) the dream they once fought for. Case in point: Gongsun Zan loses interest in martial arts entirely once LINA eliminates her. Though there are exceptions to the rule.
  • Super Mode: The bond between Liu Bei and his Hero Pieces summons the Golden Hawk Dragon, which allows Liu Bei to transform into Legend Hero Imperial...if he can control it.
  • Take a Third Option: At the end of the Dream Battle, Liu Bei realizes that his wish to just make people happy is unrealistic and instead wishes for an end to the Dream Battle. After being told that the Battle is necessary for the sake of maintaining both realities VIA winners' dreams, Bei convinces the Motherboard to end the Dream Battle in exchange for feeding on smaller dreams and wishes espoused by Humans as compensation.
  • Taken for Granite: Legend Hero Sima Yan petrifies people he drains Hero Power from.
  • That Man Is Dead: Once Wang Yun dies, Tae-O discards his former name and takes the name of Cao Cao.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Played With in Episodes 35 and 36. Legend Hero Ji Ling eliminates Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Ce; thus winning the Dream Battle and making his wish of being the Emperor of the world a reality. Instead, it turns out that Zhang Jue had supplied Yuan Shu with a bomb that put everyone into a coma and transferred the Heroes' concioussness' into Shu's; basically trapping them in Shu's daydream instead. Zhuge Liang rescues the heroes and helps them escape, with help.
  • The Dark Arts: Zhang Jue dabbles in this, typically along the lines of powering up Legend Heroes antagonistic to Liu Bei or controling undead Hero Pieces with Hypno Trinkets.
    • Sima Yi is more literal with it, wielding dark versions of various Angel magics.
  • There Can Be Only One: The Dream Battle can only grant one wish.
  • The Unfettered: Cao Cao has no qualms about destroying the Legend Changers of Legend Heroes that abuse their powers, despite knowing full-well that this results in not only losing the Dream Battle, but also the possible death of the Hero Piece in the process. He also doesn't hesitate to kill Dong Zhuo despite Liu Bei's attempts to persuade him otherwise.
  • The Speechless: The Lu Bu Hero Piece can only scream with pure rage or say some variation of "ku" or "ka." He never says actual words on-screen.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite his treatment of him, the Yu Ji Hero Piece refuses to leave his master's side.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Happens to the point of becoming a Running Gag.
    • Firstly, Zhang Jue manipulates random people with chips on their shoulders into becoming Legend Heroes.
    • Then, Zhang Jue uses the Dark Pentagon to resurrect eliminated Hero Pieces with dark magic before implanting them into Unwitting Pawns.
    • Then, Jue himself was this to Sima Yi, who decides that he has failed too many times and offs him for his trouble.
    • Then, Cao Cao is convinced by Sima Yi to absorb the power of the Dark Pentagon to win the Dream Battle. He's actually being groomed as a body for Sima Yi to absorb and use to gain a wish from the Royal Seal, as Angels are inelligible.
  • Verbal Tic: Legend Hero Hua Tuo tends to add "Nyan" to the end of his sentences. Because y'know...Cats.