Hero must die. is a Japanese RPG developed by Pyramid. It was originally released on mobile phones in Japan in 2007, and an enhanced remake by Nippon Ichi Software was released on PlayStation Vita in 2016. A port for Play Station 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam titled Hero must die. again released in February 2020, marking the first time the game was released outside of Japan.
The player takes on the role of the eponymous Hero, and the story begins with the Final Battle against the Big Bad Guille. Ultimately, the battle is won, but at great cost, as the Hero is killed while landing the final blow. In recognition of his deeds that saved the world from Guille, however, the Hero is given one last gift from Heaven: he is allowed five more days to live.
Since Guille's demise doesn't solve all of the problems that plague the land, the player is tasked with helping people, including their allies in the fight against Guille, while searching for their long-lost love and putting their final affairs in order. As time passes, the Hero will grow progressively weaker, forcing the player to rely on the aid of others as their life ebbs away. Finally, at the end of five days, the Hero will pass away, at which point the game ends with a funeral attended by the people the Hero aided in his final days.
No relation with Heroes Must Die.
- 2.5D: The game is played from a side-scrolling perspective. This also goes for the Vita version and its ports, which use 3D graphics.
- Art Evolution: The original mobile phone version of the game used an art style reminiscent of seinen manga,◊ while the Vita re-release has character designs that are more cartoony and cutesy.
- As Long as There Is Evil:
- Although he isn't active, Guille does revive in his throneroom for a boss fight if you visit it. Beat him again and he practically recites this line verbatim.
- Depending on choices, he may not respawn at all during gameplay, and choices affect how soon he respawns after the hero dies.
- Cap: You start with your gold capped out at 99999. One of the sidequests involves repairing a church that costs almost three times more than you can carry.
- Continuing is Painful: If the Hero loses all of his HP in a fight, he will be forced to rest for six hours, burning through valuable time. If the entire party is KO'd, you will also be forced out of the dungeon.
- Critical Existence Failure: Regardless of your physical condition, you will drop dead at the stroke of 6:00 AM on Saturday.
- Damsel in Distress: Guille had kidnapped your beloved to force you to fight him alone. With Guille's defeat, one of your tasks during your final days is to find her now that she is safe. Who she is isn't known, however, since neither you nor your assistant Thomas can remember, so another thing you must do with your remaining time is find out who it was you were trying to save.
- Deconstruction: Of JRPGs. Instead of beginning when the hero starts his journey and working his way up to defeating the Big Bad, the game works in reverse, starting from the Big Bad's demise and making the hero lose his strength over time.
- De-power: You start the game at the peak of your strength. As time passes, however, you will grow progressively weaker: you forget your most powerful spells, your most powerful weapons and armor drain your dwindling stamina, and you become increasingly reliant on your allies.
- Downer Beginning: Good news, the Big Bad is dead. Bad news, so are you. More good news, the gods have seen fit to let you live. More bad news, they only give you five days.
- Downer Ending: In playthroughs where you don't accomplish anything of consequence, the story ends badly. In one of the worst examples, the Kingdom falls sixteen years after your passing due to rebellions from the nonhuman races.
- Healer Signs On Early: The first character to join your party at the beginning of the game is Thomas, an elderly steward who knows healing spells.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Water beats fire, fire beats wind, wind beats water.
- Endless Daytime: As an additional reward for defeating Guille, the gods have seen fit to ensure it is always sunny, no matter the time of day, during your final days.
- The Night That Never Ends: This is followed by five days of night after the hero passes away. Things go back to normal afterwards, though.
- Enemy Mine: The humans, Sylvans, and Abyssians were all united in the war against Guille. After the Demon Lord was laid low, however, the long-standing animosity between these peoples becomes an issue once more...
- Fantastic Racism: A major issue that the kingdom is still dealing with. Yona even goes so far as to refer to non-humans as "scum" under her breath. She will also force you to kill the Half-Human Hybrid Demon Children if she's in your party.
- Fighting a Shadow: It's revealed that Guille was killed a number of years ago, well before your fight with him killed you. His return from the dead, and subsequent returns, are due to his armour possessing individuals with strong enough sorrow.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: The Bloodsucker Brothers will run away after a set number of turns, forcing the Hero to track them down again unless they can kill them quickly.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: What the cycles are implied to be.
- The Hero Dies: It's right there in the game's title! It's also the literal translation of the game's Japanese title, Yuusha Shisu.
- Jerkass Realization: As you inch closer to death, the citizens’ dialogue goes from complaining about what needs to still be done to your face, to realizing what you’ve done and how hard a fate it must be knowing that you’ve died and are only temporarily alive because a divine power allowed you to be.
- Magikarp Power: When first recruited, Yona is quite weak. If you take the time to train her, however, she will quickly grow as strong as the Hero was during his fight with Guille.
- Money for Nothing: Thoroughly averted. You start out with your gold capped out, trivializing almost everything you could possibly want to buy. At the start. There’s a significant number of things that are worth buying, and some sidequests are very expensive to finish, to the point where you need to meet the cap a number of times over if you want to do everything.
- Multiple Endings: There are over fifty different funerals that can be held for you at the end of the game, depending on who you helped, how much good you did for the world before dying, and how many people attend.
- No Ontological Inertia: Subverted. Guille's monsters are still out and about, they've just been scattered as a result of his demise. In addition, without a singular enemy to unite against, the various peoples of the realm struggle to maintain unity as civil conflicts brew.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: It is entirely possible to become weakened to the point that you only have one health point and one mana point.
- Our Demons Are Different: The Abyssians look like Big Red Devils, but they are noted for being kindhearted. Actual demons, on the other hand, are not so nice.
- Scoring Points: At the end of the game, a tally of how many people attended your funeral is taken, as well as how many mourners were left in tears. The better you do in the game, the more people will attend, and the more people will be heartbroken at your passing.
- Sprint Meter: The Hero's stamina is something that players will need to keep an eye on: failing to rest and trying to push through fatigue will increase the rate at which the Hero weakens.
- Standard Hero Reward: Subverted; the hero is going to die soon, so marrying the princess had to be called off. Can be double-subverted if you choose, however.
- Timed Mission: The game is one long timed mission, since the player is given five in-game days (ten hours in realtime, at most) to do as much good as they can before the Hero dies.
- Warp Whistle: The Wings of Nostalgia item allows players to teleport to the nearest settlement. The Hero, Vivi, and (potentially) Yona also have spells that allow them to teleport, although they have their limits.
- We Used to Be Friends: The mercenary captain Zoro was a Friendly Rival to the Hero during his quest, but began to despise him after Guille's defeat for "taking all the glory", despite the fact that the Hero's beloved would have likely been killed if the Hero hadn't come to the final battle alone.
- With This Herring:
- Inverted. The Hero starts the game with the Infinity +1 Sword, as well as the Infinity +1 Armor, but he gradually loses the ability to wield them. They won't got to waste if Yona's on your team, however.
- Also inverted in that your reward from the king for saving the entire kingdom is... a simple fishing rod. Downplayed in that he already has all the gold he could possibly want, and marrying the princess had to be cancelled due to his limited lifespan.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If you fail to complete sidequests for certain characters before dying, they will have some stern words for you at your funeral.
- Your Days Are Numbered: You have five days to live. Use them wisely.