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Video Game / Glory of Heracles III

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The third game in the Heracles no Eikou (Glory of Heracles) series, a JRPG series based on Greek mythology. Subtitled Silence of the Gods, it is considered to be the best of the series, receiving a smartphone re-release in 2008. Like almost all of the games in the series, it was never released outside of Japan, though a fan translation for the Super Famicom game exists.

The story begins with a young man who awakens in a village, unable to remember his past. When a hole in the earth to the Underworld opens, the man falls in to his death… except he survives without a scratch, revealing that he is an immortal. After seeing a strange place in his dreams, the man sets forth on a journey, uniting with other amnesiac immortals and fighting the monsters emerging from the Underworld in a quest to rediscover their memories and the meaning of their shared dream. Meanwhile, as monsters plague the earth, the people of the world wonder why the gods have turned their back on humanity…

Glory of Heracles III is one of the first games to involve immortals with lost memories. It is also notable for its considerable amount of Foreshadowing compared to similar JRPGs of the era and for doing a certain major twist long before it was made famous by a different RPG.

This game contains examples of the following:

  • Ambition Is Evil: The people of the promised land, Eus, believe this. Hence why Lord Baor was kicked out.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Protagonist undoes the petrification of Oceanus, restoring the world's ocean currents, but the world has already been changed by his current self and past self's actions and will take many years to flourish once more. His past self's sins aren't forgotten and he is sentenced to Tartarus for his actions as Baor, but eventually absolves himself and is reincarnated as a child in a peaceful world.
  • Broken Bridge: Several times throughout the game, but subverted in the case of the literal broken bridge to Hermes's temple. The immortals simply exploit their Super Not-Drowning Skills to reach the cavern.
  • The Chosen Many: Prometheus granted immortality to three humans. Which raises questions when the party discovers a fourth immortal…
  • Crutch Character: The Protagonist is initially accompanied by a group of Pixies. Unfortunately, they're much more vulnerable individually than the Protagonist is, which is a problem for players who don't want to see any of them die.
    • Later, the Protagonist becomes the Captain of a troop of nine Spartan soldiers. They're much stronger and tougher, and will even take hits for the Hero if his HP is low.
  • Degraded Boss: Several bosses from earlier in the game appear near the end, with their stats unchanged from their original fights. And since the Protagonist has been transformed into a giant monster, he can easily wipe them out.
  • Developer's Foresight: Party members, both permanent and temporary, may ignore your commands if your Trust stat is low. The one exception is the monstrous Baor when he joins the party against Lord Albion, who will never ignore your commands because he is you.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Lampshaded by Reion, who comments on his own fascination with jumping from great heights.
    • Lord Albion is introduced by invading a peaceful village without bloodshed, then requesting an alliance with the King of Athens to fend off the monsters — under threat of conquering and enslaving the people of Athens if the King doesn't accept.
  • Exact Words: Prometheus tells the party that Zeus wiped the memories of all human immortals after discovering Prometheus had given immortality to three humans. Turns out that it affected more than just Prometheus's three chosen ones.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lord Albion becomes convinced the party has betrayed humankind for the monsters, turning against the party and becoming the Final Boss.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • The centaur elder turns the party into centaurs, believing them responsible for Kurin's disappearance. Ironically, this allows them to rescue Kurin.
    • Lord Baor was transformed into a giant, speechless green monster for his great sins. Which you experience first-hand.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Immediately after Themisios and Steia join the party is another dream where Steia is part of the party — but not Themisios, revealing that Steia is the third immortal rather than Themisios.
    • Steia learns water and holy spells, fittingly for a priestess of Oceanus.
    • At the isthmus south of Tantria, the party sees the child Dark One and the adult Dark One they fought on opposite sides of the isthmus, and wonder why they're drawn to it. The isthmus is the petrified third Dark One.
    • Though the Hero is built up as being Lord Baor, one major clue is the statue of Lord Baor in Vesvuvis, who is depicted as holding a sword. The Hero uses spears, not swords. But which character does join trained with swords?
    • The Hero asks for the party to give him a name. When the party encounters Lord Baor's wife in the Underworld, she calls out for her son, using the same name the Hero was given. Just how did the Protagonist give Lord Baor's son the same name that Lord Baor himself gave the child...?
    • One of the Protagonist's spells, Rockbe, is described as a black light surrounding the target of the spell. As the name suggests, it temporarily turns the target to stone — something the Protagonist's past self had a fondness for as well.
  • Gambit Pileup: A four-way pileup courtesy of the gods, as whoever's plan to deal with the harm caused to Gaia by humans works would become ruler of Olympus. Zeus wants to flood the world to wipe out all humankind, while Hades wants to do the same with monsters from the Underworld. Uranos wants to shelter humanity from the flood in the sky, but mostly sees the opportunity to gain power. And Prometheus granted immortality to three humans in the hopes that they would lift the petrification from Oceanus and restore the world.
  • Global Airship: Pegasus, which can fly around the world and to Heaven. And off of the world map entirely.
  • Green Aesop: What humans do affect more in the world than merely themselves.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Quite a few of them, including groups of pixies, slaves, and Spartan soldiers. Notable in that, since your party is only able to leap off of cliffs and walk through water without dying because they're immortal, having guest members prevents you from doing these things.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Athens has an ancient temple devoted to an unknown god that is locked and cannot be entered. It's Hephaesteus's temple, and can be unlocked with his Key. Not knowing how to enter it means losing out on numerous important spells, including the Hero's most powerful attack spells.
    • After the world is flooded, you're left with no apparent clue of what to do afterwards, especially as literally everything in the world save for Eus is inaccessible. The only thing that tells you what to do then is Reion's Journal, which is easily-missed at the very end of your inventory and never of much use prior, and even then you have to fly away from the world for a long time before you get any indication that you're going the right way.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: For the Protagonist and the Hero, the latter of whom asks the former to give him a name. The Protagonist's choice of name ends up being very significant.
  • The Hero: An unusual case. Since there are two nameless party members, the main character is referred to as "the Protagonist" while the second nameless immortal is "the Hero".
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Though any party member can learn to use swords, the Protagonist naturally starts off trained with swords. The statue of Lord Baor is also depicted with a sword, for good reason.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The Dark One. After several turns, it'll swallow up the Protagonist and Reion's ship.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Greek gods have turned their back on humankind as the world decays and monsters flood the world. It turns out that this is because the decay of the world is due to one human's actions, and is so severe that Zeus and Hades are outright plotting to Kill All Humans to save Gaia.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: Initially, stores that sell Travel Wings sell them for a whopping 65,335D — justified in-game by monsters that are preventing more Travel Wings from being made. Once you deal with the monsters, Travel Wings drop to a far more reasonable price… though this happens at the same time you gain access to the spell that serves the same function.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Lampshaded early in the game, when a grieving father not-so-subtly expresses his hopes that a thief will come steal away the last of his daughter's possessions, which you have to do in order to progress. Deconstructed when you have companions, however; Reion will What the Hell, Hero? if you try to take people's stuff, and going through with it will lower your allies' trust in you and make them less likely to heed your orders in battle.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Zeus inflicted this upon the three immortals, so that their actions would reflect humanity's true nature. It turns out to be not quite laser-guided, as it affected more than the three granted immortality by Prometheus.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: The Protagonist and Hero are father and son respectively.
    • Reion turns out to be a descendent of Heracles.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The heroes' attempt to revive Atlas ends up failing Prometheus's Secret Test of Character, prompting Zeus to flood the entire world. Nice Job Breaking The World, Heroes.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Immortal party members only faint when reduced below zero HP, and are revived at the end of battle. Most Guest Star Party Members will cheat death in varying ways. Averted for the groups of Pixies, Slaves, and Troops — each set amount of HP represents one of the nine, and losing that much HP results in one of them dying and the unit's max HP being reduced.
  • Noob Bridge: As immortals, the heroes can jump off of high ledges without suffering injury and march through water. The former ability is used a few times early in the game, with each use heavily suggested by the game, and can be used to shortcut through early dungeons. Later in the game, several destinations and dungeons can only be traversed by jumping off of cliffs, without any prompt to do so. Walking through water is necessary to reach Hermes's temple.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Averted for the immortals, who can survive mortal falls without as much as a scratch. Doing this is how the Protagonist discovers his immortality and a pasttime of Reion's. Jumping off of high ledges is required numerous times throughout their adventure. This obviously doesn't apply to the non-immortal Guest Star Party Members, who will protest if you attempt to perform a fatal jump while they are with you.
  • Point of No Return: After the events on Mt. Atlas, almost the entire world, including the temples you learn magic at, are temporarily inaccessible. Defeating Hades is a permanent one for that part of the Underworld, including the vendor of the Infinity-1 Equipment.
  • Plot Coupon: The blood of the three Gorgons, which have the power to undo petrification. Except the heroes aren't told what they were supposed to do with them…
  • Red Herring:
    • Partway through the game, the sun starts going crazy, with Heracles believing this is another effect of the calamity facing the world. It turns out to be merely Phaeston doing a terrible job of guiding the sun chariot.
    • The Hero, who is even clad in red armor. He appears ominously in the dreams, is found in the Underworld, and happens to be a fourth immortal after the others learned that Prometheus only granted immortality to three humans. Despite the "clues" hinting to him being Lord Baor, he is in fact one of Prometheus's three immortals and not Lord Baor.
  • Secret Test of Character: Prometheus refuses to tell the immortals why they were granted immortality, so he can see what they will decide to do. This leads to them using the Plot Coupons for the wrong purpose and failing the test, with dire consequences.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Protagonist gets the chance to stop himself from using the revival blood on Atlas, preventing the end of the world from happening.
    • The entire game is the Protagonist's journey to undo the wrongs committed and caused by his past self.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: The battle against your party in the Stable Time Loop, after the Protagonist is turned into the monster they fought and killed on Mt. Atlas and sent back in time. By not attacking, his party will wonder Why Isn't It Attacking? and stop fighting, breaking the time loop.
  • Stable Time Loop: Chronos creates one as punishment for Lord Baor, a.k.a. the Protagonist. After being turned into a giant green monster, Chronos sends the Protagonist back in time to Mt. Atlas, where he is the monster he and his companions defeated before reaching the summit of Mt. Atlas. Only by refusing to fight his past self and companions does the Protagonist free himself from the time loop.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Zig-zagged. The immortals can survive walking in shallower water perpetually, but the lack of oxygen will slowly drain their HP. Like the jumping-off-cliffs thing, non-immortal Guest Star Party Members will prohibit them from going through water.
  • Taken for Granite: The Protagonist's Rockbe spell temporarily turns its target to stone, protecting them from harm.
    • In the backstory, many Atlasians were petrified by Lord Baor, for knowing he did the same to one of the Dark Ones.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Zeus and Hades want to cause this, via flood and wiping out humankind with monsters respectively. When the heroes fail their Secret Test of Character, Zeus gets his way. It ends up reversed due to the Stable Time Loop.
  • Wham Episode: What follows the summit of Mt. Atlas. The world gets wiped out by a flood because the heroes trying to revive Atlas wasn't at all what they were supposed to do and the revelations that the Hero is the son of Lord Baor, the man responsible for all of the calamity facing the world — and that the Protagonist is Lord Baor himself.
  • Wham Line:
    • At the summit of Mt. Atlas, the party encounters a giant green monster that attacks them. The monster's name, Baor, is a Wham Line on its own.
    • Shortly afterwards, the party encounters Baor's wife, who cries out for her husband and son, calling her son by the name the Protagonist gave to the Hero.
    • Finally, there's Hades addressing the Protagonist as Lord Baor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Reion will give the Hero one if he attempts to steal people's possessions. Going through with it results in losing your companions' trust.
    • The party gets a few, from Prometheus for using the revival blood for the wrong thing and affirming Zeus's desire to Kill All Humans, and from Lord Albion for seemingly betraying humankind by refusing to kill the monster guarding Mt. Atlas.
  • Womb Level: The inside of the Dark One, after being swallowed up by it.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Uniquely, you can't stop yourself from initially using the revival blood for the wrong purpose.