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. However, they soon discover that their kingdom is declaring war on the rest of Fa'Diel and are using the mysterious Mirrors of Esina to fulfill this agenda. Roget and his friends decide that they have no other option than to defect from Pedda in order to defend the other kingdoms.
The game is Real-Time Strategy and is almost entirely touch screen based.
Heroes of Mana provides examples of the following tropes:
- Artifact of Doom: Esina's mirrors or better said Anise's mirrors, Esina being Anise backwards and all.
- Bittersweet Ending: Roget has defeated the Goddess of Doom with the Sword of Mana and shattered Anise's Mirror, saving the world. But sadly, he lost all his loved ones along the way (his former best friend Juhani, his fiancée Elena and his twin brother the Mirage Bishop.). In addition, the Peddan defectors don't have a home anymore as Pedda is in ruins as well as being stuck in a time warp thanks to a time distorion. They resolve to travel to the other dimensions to take down all other versions of Anise who are still out there. Also, this chain of events leads us all to "Trials of Mana" where the Mana Tree begins to wither.....
- 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 Goddess of Doom. After going One-Winged Angel on you, she is the only creature on the stage. This should be fairly simple, but she 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 Roget 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 Roget dies, but sometimes, there are chapters where you can lose if other leader units or ally units die if they are important to the plot of the chapter in question and if not then losing anyone else can lower your rank.
- Hot-Blooded: Gemière.
- New Game+: When you finish the game and continue, you will be sent back to the beginning but with all your equipment still there which will make playing through faster and easier the more times you do it.
- 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 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 The Multiverse, hunting down every incarnation of Anise.
- Scenery Porn: Not surprising since this is a Mana game and not to mention it's the prequel to "Trials of Mana". Fa'Diel is quite beautiful However, the same can NOT be said about the Mirage Palace or the Sea of Chaos which are not the most comforting places to see.