Heroes of Mana is the second Nintendo DS title in the World of Mana series, released in 2007. It is, in fact, a direct prequel that takes place a generation before Trials of Mana, also loosely tying it with Dawn of Mana.
The game opens on the Five-Man Band on their ship, en-route to the kingdom of Ferolia, when their ship is shot down and they are separated. Crash landing in a forest, they are separated and discovered by a beastman patrol.
The game is Real-Time Strategy and is almost entirely touch screen based.
Heroes of Mana provides examples of the following tropes:
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses:
- Standard enemy monsters are about the same strength as your units. Type matching will almost always win the day against regular enemies. However, boss enemies are a different story. About 1 in 3 levels have bosses. Most are actually not that bad. However, some of the recurring bosses become extremely powerful later on in the game. Take Celestan, for example, the most frequent Recurring Boss in the game. His attacks do a very large amount of damage, first of all- he can kill most units in three hits in his later appearances. Also in his later appearances, his attacks have a 100% chance of confusing the unit it hit, which makes them simply wander around uselessly. His range is also obscene, reaching across 5 blocks or more. On top of that, his HP level is enormous- in the 3000s, compared to the average unit's 300-400. The only way to effectively defeat him is to summon lots of units and simply swarm him. Even surrounded by hordes of other units, it sometimes takes him minutes to die.
- Never mind the final boss. After going One-Winged Angel on you, she is the only creature on the stage. This should be fairly simple, but the boss will. not. die. The only real course of action is to summon all the units you can and swarm her. This would be fine except her attacks do enormous damage, and she also occasionally causes a massive explosion that heavily damages everything within a large radius of her. "Heavily" as in, either kills the units or puts their HP so low that another attack will instantly do them in. Also, by this point in the battle, you will likely have harvested all available resources, so if too many units die you will too. Not only that, but at the end, you have to send the main character in to attack. If he dies, it's game over, so all you can do is bring him in and hope you can kill her before she uses an enormous attack.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Not only is Anise involved with the plot of this game, it's also revealed that she exists in every world across The Multiverse as the evil counterpart of the Mana Goddess, essentially making her the biggest threat of the franchise.
- Hero Unit: Called Leader units, with an aura to boost troops and are very strong. You only lose if the main character dies, but losing others can lower your rank.
- Poor, Predictable Rock:
- Sometimes you will face almost whole levels of enemies who use only one type, or two types that don't complement. But there are some notable exceptions: The ninjas you fight are all Ground-type units, weak against Heavy units, so they back themselves up with Flying monsters (weak against missile, which is weak against ground...). Although on one level, they send out hordes of flying units and keep them separate from their main units, giving missile units a very easy time.
- Also on one late game level, 4 MacGuffins spew out units belonging to each of the four types. They can only be harmed by units that would be strong against them (ex: the flying mirror can only be harmed by missile attacks), but the other mirrors will send out monsters to attack those units, giving you a hard time.
- Prequel: This game is one to Video Game/Trials of Mana, one of the few games in the series that are explicitly tied to a previous entry.
- Put on a Bus: There's a good reason we never see the main characters of this game in Trials of Mana: they're traveling around TheMultiverse, hunting down every incarnation of Anise.