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Glory of Heracles (ヘラクレスの栄光) is a five-part JRPG series that was developed by Data East until it folded in the early 2000s, then the license was picked up by Nintendo and developed by a second-party developer, Paon (who is composed largely of ex-Data East employees and bought the IP rights).

The first two games in the series, available on the Famicom are pretty much just straight-up Dragon Quest clones, although the complete and total focus on Greek Mythology (right down to using the proper Greek name of Greek mythology's legendary hero) was and is unique for the genre. The latest title, released for the Nintendo DS, includes light strategy elements, making the game feel similar to Golden Sun.

Games in the series:

  • Tōjin Makyō-den: Heracles no Eikō (Legend of the Fighting Demon's Lair: Glory of Heracles, 1987, Famicom) - Young Heracles goes to Hades.
  • Heracles no Eikō II: Titan no Metsubō (Glory of Heracles II: Titan's Downfall, 1989, Famicom) - Heracles is a legendary hero now and one of the Titans' offspring has declared himself to be the prince of darkness.
  • Heracles no Eikō III: Kamigami no Chinmoku (Glory of Heracles III: Silence of the Gods, 1992, Super Famicom) - Heracles has lost his strength for defying Zeus.
    • Heracles no Eikō: Ugokidashita Kamigami (Glory of Heracles: The Gods Began to Move - The Snap-Story, Game Boy, 1992) 1992 Gameboy. Zeus summons Heracles to prevent Cronus’s release.
  • Heracles no Eikō IV: Kamigami kara no Okurimono (Glory of Heracles IV: Gift from the Gods, 1994, Super Famicom) - You play as a body surfer.
  • Glory of Heracles (DS) (2008, Nintendo DS) - A group of immortals has lost their memory.

Tropes used in the series:

  • Action Commands: Entirely optional in the DS game. Doing short touch screen power-ups will boost your skills or magic notably though.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Atropos at the end of IV explains that those monsters you and Plato fought cannot be sealed again since Pandora's Box is now completely buried under the remains of Atlantis and that humans will have to now deal with them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The "Heroic Strike" skill in the DS game. Uses all non-dark Ether and all of the user's MP and barely does more damage than the Hero's personal super attack unless the ether is REALLY high. Then it hits a bit more, but is still far from worth the cost.
  • Beating A Dead Player: In the DS game, this goes both ways. When the enemies do it, there's no real point other than a non-fainted ally avoiding a hit. When the players do it, there's a chance of "Overkill" which turns Deader than Dead enemies into ether and potential MP.
    • In addition, some enemies have an "Undead" skill which forces you to Overkill or kill every enemy to win the battle or they'll keep reviving.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Plato is an ally in the 4th game
  • Bittersweet Ending: The DS game. The unseen implied epilogue is more upbeat though.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Look no further than the DS game... Heracles, Heracles, Heracles, Heracles... Did I mention Heracles?
  • Boring, but Practical: In the DS game, Multishot. A ho-hum skill that hits all enemies in the front or back rank. You'll use it A LOT.
  • Boss Rush: In the DS game. The hero and Heracles are on trial to prove whether they're capable of being heroes, and thus they're tasked to battle weaker versions of the game's bosses up to that point (four in all).
  • Cassandra Truth: A prophecy delivered by the actual Cassandra. Axios tries to use a loophole to listen to it anyway, but in turn her words just become unintelligible.
  • Cast from Hit Points: In the DS Game, trying to cast a spell from an overworked Ether Pool (or several in the case of Light Magic) can cause an Ether Reflux, which is a punishment for getting too careless with Magic.
    • If you weren't immortal, you could kill yourself several times over as the reflux damage can reach 10000+ while you still have only about 800 or so HP max.
      • Oh if only you can force an enemy to do that... would make some Boss fights a lot easier on yourself...
      • To an extent you can, thanks to ether traps and using up ether before they can act. Just not to the point of overload.
  • Character Class System: In the 4th game, you lose your body. However this also means you can transform into people you have met on your journey.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Orichalconium scrap you buy extremely early on in the 4th game becomes the key to open the final dungeon.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Typhon, final boss of the DS version, has four arms. Guess what? They're Undead. This one will take a while.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every foe's name is colored for each element: White for Light, Purple-Gray for Dark, Red for Fire, Blue for Water, Yellow for Earth and Green for Wind.
  • Crossdresser: The Hero in 3. Early on, you have to crossdress to advance the plot. After that, you can re-wear the clothes if you want to. And nearly always, nobody says a thing about it.
    • Leucos in the DS title is a woman who dresses like a man. Most people see right through it, though.
  • Dead All Along: In the DS game, the big laughing Heracles in your party is actually Iphicles, the real Heracles's younger brother, who died before the game. He came back to life with amnesia and believing himself to be Heracles, due to the Crasis and his grieving brother's wish to resurrect him.
    • The Main Character is also revealed to be this. However, his story is mostly covered in mystery until the end game. However, one very tiny reference in the Take That! listed below gives a hint to who he is.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The third game as well as the DS game.
  • Dreadful Musician: In the third game, if you mess up on the Harp practice, your instructor gets mad at you for being this. However, master the harp completely and you can play live for an audience for some quick money. By the way, there's no visual cues whatsoever, and you essentially must play the hardest lessons by YOUR (as in, YOU, the player,) OWN recollection.
    • In the DS game, some consider the main character's music skills to be awful and some politely note that he needs some practice. At the very end, he gets a little better.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Surprisingly, quite a few in the DS game. The two most notable: the real Heracles joining your party in place of his brother's ghost, Eris regaining her true form and the power that comes with it, and Axios fusing with Agon getting an enormous power boost from that.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: From the "Elemental Traits" entry in the Glossary: Light > Dark > [Water > Fire > Earth > Wind > Water]
    • Before you ask, I have yet to see a single Light attack spell
      • You, Leucos, and Heracles get one near the end of the game. It's pretty Badass and is likely a slight nod to Golden Sun.
  • Encounter Repellant: Sybll's Balm
  • Escort Mission: Happens quite often in the third game, where NPCs actually serve as (somewhat useful/useless) temporary party members. In the DS game, they're just along for the ride and are in no real danger.
    • Often times, they're even at a higher level then you and have skills you can't get barring cheating (you also can't mess with their equipment anyway...)
  • Extra Turn: Variations of this are in the DS game through a number of skills that let your allies attack outside of their turns. Enemies and bosses get skill and non-skill based versions of this.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: The big guy calling himself "Heracles" in the DS game, as well as the Protagonist of the third game.
  • Fight Woosh: There's the normal version and a red variant. The red one features tougher battles, which are likely to kill you if you aren't careful early on. Later, when you're much stronger, they're more like medium-risk Metal Slime fights.
  • The Fog of Ages: Glory of Heracles III is the earliest known video game to feature a protagonist who is an immortal suffering from amnesia. The plot element is used again in a later sequel, Glory of Heracles for the DS, where the protagonist is also an amnesiac immortal.
  • Forced Tutorial: Used to the point of ridiculousness in the DS version. The game interrupts you constantly to tell you what Status Effects are, even though any Japanese kid with even a passing knowledge of Dragon Quest should know how RPG mechanics work.
    • Though you don't have to sit through lengthy explanations. Tap B and move on.
  • Glass Cannon: Eris in the DS game. Her Intelligence is high, and her Strength isn't anything to sneeze at, but she can't take a hit worth a damn without some good armor. She's also fairly slow.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Seems to happen in the third game... then you fall into the underworld shortly after.
  • Greek Mythology: Gyeah, boyee!
    • Expect to kill most of the big names from the old myths in the DS game. Including some damn obscure ones.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The third game has your whole party fight the Protagonist's monster form (that you just beat) after being sent to the Underworld and defeating Hades. A Little time loop is added for good measure, you are forced to fight because you are condemned to by Chronos.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: In the DS game.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: In Glory of Heracles 3, the Protagonist is the Hero's father. Both are party members named by the player.
  • Magic Knight: Axios in the DS game. He even supes up his blade into a BFS with the "Magic Sword" skill. You and Heracles could be, but...
    • The main character is more like the Jack of All Stats, as his stats are pretty good, but never the best. And he doesn't really specialize in magic.
    • And Heracles is more of a RPG monk type, similar to Reion in the third game. He's the only one who naturally learns Powtesma though.
  • Monster of the Week: In IV, Throughout the game, with each major town you travel to, the townspeople are affected by the fiend who has taken over the location. Lethargy makes it so that Travel Wings cannot be made, Vanity makes it impossible for ships to be made due to being weighed down by accessories, Fear makes the Spartans unable to fight, Hate makes the Persians wage war against the Greeks by affecting the King and prevents the construction of the submarine. And some just are blocking the road like Pain.
  • My Name Is ???: The hero starts out this way in the DS game.
  • Mysterious Waif: Eris from the DS game.
    • She's also pretty sarcastic to people around her...
  • New Game Plus: A Survival Mode is unlocked when you beat the game the first time. From the second cycle onwards, you can set up upgrades, such as Double Cash (among other unknowns...), and (from an interview) certain areas are unlocked for further exploration...
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Justified, your characters are immortals who can jump off cliffs without penalty.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted: there's no less than 3 characters that call themselves Heracles, 2 of them being playable characters. For convenience's sake, the first one is a Silent Protagonist and goes by ??? until the player gives him a nickname that doubles as his real name for the rest of the game and the third is a NPC with a title of General Heracles.
    • However it IS a cause of concern for Leucos when you find out the Crasis' functions though...
  • Our Fairies Are Different: "Nymph" basically means "fairy" in these games' version of Greek mythology.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: Heracles in the third game, at least compared to his appearance in two. He still can't use magic but his physical stats are barely any better than the rest of the characters. Lampshaded by Reion but then justified since Zeus was against Heracles helping the mortals out and only allowed if Heracles gave up most of his strength.
  • Pandora's Box: Appears in the 4th game.
  • Physical God: It would be natural to see in a series like this.
  • Pun: A few subtle jokes about mythology pop up here and there. For instance:
    "Don't be a heel, Achilles."
  • Regional Bonus: Japanese publications, such as Famitsu, commented on how sluggish combat was in the DS game. Nintendo and Paon responded by speeding it up in the North American version.
  • Reincarnation: Based on the eschatology (Doctrine of the Afterlife/End Times) of Greek lore regarding the soul quite faithfully. All souls must undergo purification through drinking from Lethe to abandon their memories.
  • The Reveal: This series is built on this trope, as most of the characters are immortal and have amnesia.
    • In Glory of Heracles III, the Protagonist is Baor, a warrior cast from his Utopian village who also is responsible for many of the game's wrongs, including petrifying the inhabitants of Atlasia, kidnapping Oceanus' child so he can petrify the titan in order to make a bridge to his former village so the rest of world can mate with its perfect inhabitants, and hurting Mother Gaia (albeit unintentionally). After he's killed by Zeus for these actions, he goes to the Underworld where Hades revives him and grants him a new body in exchange for allowing Hades to send his own minions to the surface to wreak havoc. Reion is a descendant of Heracles on a quest to learn magic for future generations. Steira is a shrine maiden (real name Stella) in Oceanus' service. The Hero is the Protagonist, Baor's, son. And the Dark One is Oceanus.
    • In Glory of Heracles IV It is revealed early on by the Moirae that the Protagonist and Plato have had their threads of fate erased. Epipha however has just been reincarnated numerous times by cutting deals with Charon to not have her memories erased, she has been through countless iterations of life over 9,000 years, with her most recent incarnation as Palis, the attendant of the King of Greece. Also, Arlmoa was possessed by one of the evils of Pandora's Box, Revenge, and he can do the same thing you and Plato can.
      • It is also revealed that the reason why Atlantis fell was due to Ephipha's older sister telling Arlmoa the secrets of how Transmigration works.
    • In the DS game, the Hero is Daedalus' son and thus, Icarus. Or a marionette. Leucos is Piazza's half-sister who was granted immortality by Prometheus. Axios is a third of the titan Oceanus, the others being Arnos and Agon. Heracles is Iphicles, the REAL Heracles' brother. Eris is Prometheus' amnesic wife. And General Heracles is Daedalus, the Hero's father. Whew!
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: From the DS game, General Agon is first met under the name Noga.
  • Shield Bash: The hero can do this in the DS game.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few in the DS game. Including the reference below, there's also: "A secret to everyone", "Archanea? Never heard of it.", "How about a TKO from Olympus?", and when your naming your character, Leucos will suggest the name Pit as mentioned below.
  • Spell Levels: The game has three levels of spells in each set. For instance, the single heal spell is Pow, Powra and Powtes. For offensive spells, the effects changes the higher the level: the level I spell (the base) targets a single enemy, the level II spell targets a row of enemy, and the level III spell targets all enemies. Each spell also has three upgradable levels based on a minigame event in the touch screen, but that is extra and not really relevant to this trope.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Battles in the DS game utilize polygonal environments and spells, mixed with Digitized Sprites.
  • Surplus Damage Bonus: Overkilling enemies in the DS version restores some MP and ether.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Leucos in the DS game, although the game pulverizes the fourth wall to let you know that her disguise sucks.
  • Take That!: On the DS game, when it is first suggested the amnesiac hero comes up with an alias, Leucos suggests Pit. Axios' response amounts to, "What kind of name is that? It doesn't even sound Greek!". Doubly funny as the hero is Icarus, or rather a clone of him. It's complex.
  • Taken for Granite: One of your party members in one of the old games is a walking, talking statue. It doesn't seem to slow her down much.
  • Those Two Guys: Eudorus and Patroclus from the DS game, thought they're more like "that guy and that chick".
  • Theme Naming: From the DS version, the 3 parts of Oceanus. Arnos, Axios, and Agon. Notice that the last one doesn't have an "S".
    • Leucos, Hercules, Axios, and Eris. Bonus points if you name the hero something that ends with "S", too.
  • Time Skip: In 4, you and Plato jump 9000 years into the future after being thrown into Pandora's Box, Heracles is waiting at what is left of Atlantis asleep in stone
  • Title Drop: By Heracles in what is almost a throwaway line: "All I'm saying is the muscles don't seem to make the man theses days. So much for the glory of Heracles, eh?"
  • To Hell and Back: In the third game: outside of the first incident, there are holes to the underworld all over the place. Jump in, find a treasure chest, and hop on a geyser to pop right out.
    • In the 4th game, Hades sends the party to Tartarus, however unlike the 3rd game, there's a secret exit.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Axios in the DS game after fusing with Agon. He gets a massive power boost to go along with his new, muscular build, and his attack patterns- especially with a bow- display the confidence of a battle-forged warrior.
  • Unidentified Items: The 3rd to 5th games in the franchise have rusty items that need to be polished.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Orthrus in the DS game. The freaking thing multiplies itself each turn. The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, indeed.
    • Then again... it's copies are fragile and thus can be Overkilled for MP Recovery, but most players won't actually know they can do that by this point.
      • Then there's the Sphinx. Cast a spell, it mimics it. Attack it physically, it counterattacks. Expect to try this one over a few times.
  • Wham Episode: There's so many in the DS game, it's more of a Wham Train. Yet nearly every time, you'll likely walk in not expecting them.
  • Where It All Began: The Orichalcum Mines in IV where Pandora's Box was opened, even Arlmoa says to return to their bodies.
    Arlmoa: "(Hero), Plato, can you hear me? You will soon die. But that is the beginning of eternity! The pain of your wounds, the pain in your hearts... it is the price you pay for becoming eternal. This is crucial so you never forget it! Even if you forget all else, this you must remember! Never drink the water of the river Lethe! Lethe is the river of forgetting! Never drink it's water! Cross the river and return here! To this capital of wisdom and knowledge, Atlantis!! Back to Atlantis where your bodies are waiting! That is the beginning of eternity!!"