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Video Game / Dawn of Heroes

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Dawn of Heroes is a Turn-Based Strategy game for the Nintendo DS, developed by Wicked Studios and published by Majesco Entertainment in 2010. On the surface, it's easy to dismiss it as a Final Fantasy Tactics clone, with a 2-D map on the touch screen, rendered in 3-D on the top screen, except that you could only deploy 5 people at a time and the game for the most part prevents all members of one team from focusing attacks or actions on any one target, emphasizing strategy over brute force - most of the time.

The game follows the journey of Jiro and Reynald, a Khan and a Templar respectively, who take on odd jobs to make ends meet. A routine request to recover a tome from a haunted mansion turns into something bigger - but Jiro isn't concerned about prophecies and being a Chosen One, unlike Reynald. He's more concerned about their employer hiring two magic-users to take the book by force. After prevailing over their would-be assassins, and finding out that the two sorceresses had been duped out of their pay as well, the four of them agree to let bygones be bygones and set off after their ex-employer's trail. And so it begins...

Being a Strategic Roleplaying Game, the following tropes are present:

  • Action Girl: Quite a handful. You start the game proper with 2 magic-slinging girls, and after completing the 2nd act of the game a catwoman berserker who dual-wields axes and could resurrect herself joins up with you for free. If you have the gold you can hire more heroines to your cause.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Characters fall under 4 broad types, Attacker, Control, Guardian, and Support.
  • Anti-Grinding: New units join up at the same level of power as the rest of the team...
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit - Both sides usually start out with a maximum of 5 characters. Some characters, typically bosses and mini-bosses can summon allies.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Armor provides physical damage resistance and bonus HP, much more than shields, and like shields can have enchantments on them too.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: the doshu, in spades.
  • Beast Man: Cat-people, wolf-people, snake-people, bird-people - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Black Magic: The Necroxis class can damage enemies with his spells and can turn some of that damage into healing for his allies or for himself. Even his basic ranged attack nets him some HP back.
  • Blow You Away: Thanes, avian warriors, can propel allies a fair distance over terrain and enemies. Very useful in sending melee attackers toward the enemy's rear support characters before they charge in for the last few squares and strike. Jiro himself can use his Tornado skill (which has a huge area of effect) to pull enemies toward him.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Crusader can learn to heal allies by spending some mana and the same amount of HP the skill prescribes. Fortunately, the crusader starts with a skill that occasionally recovers life while attacking, and can learn a passive skill that always recovers life when it KO's an enemy.
  • Cap: The party's level caps at 25, beyond which they just earn gold and items.
  • Chosen One: Jiro, Reynald, and later the rest of their companions are known as such.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Reynald.
  • Combat Medic: Reynald. Starts out in a pure healing and support capacity, eventually learns to call lightning down on the wicked and literally charge his hammer strikes with electricity.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Some Guardian-types have the ability to drop some percentage of their defense, usually Physical, to increase damage output. This is usually mitigated by the armor and shield they wear, which reduces Physical damage. The Berserker's version is more dangerous, as it makes her more vulnerable to Affliction and Magical damage, uses less sturdy armor (less HP), and dual wields axes (even less HP and no bonus resistances). High-level Thanes actually gain an attack bonus the more physical damage they take.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jiro, Elfyra
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: A character with a defense of 99% against a certain damage type still receives 1 damage from an attack of that type.
  • Dual Wielding: seen with the Doshu (knuckles), Kensei (swords), Lurker (crescents), Sabretooth (axes), and Valkyrie (hammers) classes.
  • Escort Mission: There are missions where you have to prevent an under-equipped character from dying. He or she takes up one of your deployable slots, d'oh!
  • Giant Mook: There are some enemies that occupy a 2x2 spot on the map instead of the typical one square per unit. They often have dangerous abilities, but can be attacked by more than 2 characters per turn as a trade-off.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: used by any character that can equip Knuckles such as the Doshu and the Gothi.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: The good thing is you have full control over the escorted VIP.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Jiro pairs his sword with a shield. So do the Crusader and Zealot classes.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Guardian-type characters will usually have a move that takes the heat off of the less beefy characters in your party.
  • Kill It with Fire: Elfyra fight in this manner.
  • Large and in Charge: A lot of the act bosses and some mini-bosses are giant enemies that take up 2x2 square on the mao.
  • Large Ham: The Prophecy Belt.
  • Level Grinding: ...Do you have the appropriate enhanced gear for them? No? Back to that previous level, then.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Averted. Shields raise HP, reduce incoming physical damage, and some shields have a chance to cast buffs on their wielders, raising magic defense or lowering the armor of whoever its wielder strikes next.
  • Magic Staff: Used by many spellcasters to boost their spell damage.
  • No Experience Points for Medic: Averted. The party gains levels, instead of individual characters. Skills are learned by characters when the party level hits a certain number. Even characters you never use will learn new skills, and new characters' starting skills all depend on the party level.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Blue items are rarer to find after an encounter compared to green ones, and are twice as good compared to a similarly named green item.
  • Puzzle Boss: Later stages feel like this. Case in point - 4 enemies, 3 of which explode for massive damage and can revive one of its allies including their leader. Their leader can revive all of the fallen with one spell. All come back with 100% HP and MP and can use their abilities immediately. You have only 2 units, one of which is a VIP that must not fall during the battle. Your mission - defeat all enemies.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Jiro's company. Initially consisting of a human warrior and cleric, they are quickly joined by a jaguar-woman shaman and a legless, floating, dark elf/fire elemental sorceress - and this is still the tutorial. By the end of the first arc, a male human crusader joins them, and if the player has the money a blond warrior woman and a martial artist called a doshu can be hired.
  • RPG Elements: Your warband gains experience as they win battles, learning better skills and picking up gear with special abilities, which cannot be bought in towns.
  • Taking You with Me: If her level is high enough, Elfyra gains this as a passive ability upon losing all her Hit Points.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • When going after rogue mercenaries, they always will have more HP than your characters. Their 2-3 activated abilities are randomized, but the activation rate or percent effectiveness of their passive abilities are at least 50% better than your units of a similar class. For example: Your Khan can get up to a 20% chance to Sidestep a hit that deals physical damage. An enemy Khan on a money mission will have this evasion rate at 50%, and will still have more HP than your Khan. And this is supposedly the Normal encounter.
    • The scenario missions in the later acts can have units that move twice per turn, yet are not champions. It's not as bad as that one boss who can make your own units have the champion disadvantage and summon hard-hitting Elite Mooks.
    • The computer can use ally-only buffs on the caster. Your units of the same class, using the same buff, cannot do the same.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Zealots can throw their shields to inflict Physical damage, and have a 1 in 4 chance of disabling whoever they hit with it.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: allows bosses and mini-bosses to be repeatedly defeated for loot and experience, or maybe just for revenge.