SFC Game 5 – The Glory of Heracles III Part 3 (Final)

Whew, this game takes a huge difficulty leap at the end. But I’ll get to that later. When we left off last time, we had reached the place that appeared in our dreams, and a few pieces of the puzzle start being filled in. It seems that a man named Baor used the Medusa’s head to turn these people to stone, but it’s not clear why, or where he went. The people of the area seem to regard him as a hero, although he was chased away from his original home.

When you do finally reach the exact place in the dream, you get an unexplained vision:

Who is the mysterious woman?

The next part is a fetch quest which I’ll skip over — we need to find three “blood masses” of the three Furies in order to revive Atlas. It’s not made entirely clear why this needs to be done, but you’re working with King Albion to get this done. We also manage to get the means to call Pegasus, and can now fly around the world. The graphics are annoying, though. I think they were trying to simulate the world being far below you, but it’s all blurry and makes flying around a chore.

It shimmers as you fly

 Along the way, there is a strange boss fight against Baor, although he’s a titan that doesn’t talk at all. Is this the Baor we heard about? The mystery deepens! Finally, we reach Atlas and try to use the blood to revive him.

Not holding up anything?

However, Prometheus comes down to stop you during it, and seems upset that you didn’t do what you were supposed to do (of course, he never explained exactly what it was we were supposed to do). It’s too late now, Zeus is ready to destroy the world with a flood (recalling the myth of Prometheus and Decalion). The flood gets us just as Hercules is returning with our memories. Surprisingly, the entire world is actually destroyed except for one town:

The shops are all gone!

Fly around for a while and find nothing, then we get sucked into the underworld. This is where there’s a huge spike in the difficulty of the game, something I never like to see. You go from reasonable progress to doing 1 damage to bosses and having them attack you for 90% of your HP, sometimes with attacks that hit everyone. From here to the end, boss battles become about luck, stat buffing spells/items, and exploiting a bug. Even regular encounters can wipe your entire party out if you’re unlucky.

This is also where the big plot surprises and twists come; I’m going to leave that for now and finish talking about the gameplay so I can put the plot stuff under a spoiler button in case anyone wants to play the game for themselves (there is a fan translation).

Hades and mininons

The next fight is against Hades, and you have to fight him alone. He comes with two guards that are easy to kill, but revive each other, and Hades can order them to block him. If both of them die, Hades will resurrect them. Hades starts out mostly by draining your MP each round, and then will finally start to attack you once he’s done with that.

The way I beat him was to start with two uses of an item that increases defense. With that, the minions do 1 hp unless they get a critical hit (which ignores defense). I equipped a sword that does double damage for 1 mp, used the Silver Ring to get two attacks per round, and then started wailing on Hades. When my MP got low I used Blue Nectar to restore it. It was still touch and go because the minions will sometimes help Hades with buffs and you can always get criticalled, but I did manage it eventually.
The next real boss is the final one, who has three forms:
The last boss

Once again this represents a huge leap in difficulty. All your attacks do 1 damage, and he can do more than your max HP with a single hit and use huge damage spells that hurt everyone. You can see my poor results above. To win this I had to grind up to level 40 to learn the “heal all” spell for the main character and Reion, and also use what I assume is a glitch.

There is a spell in the game that is supposed to kill the caster but then add his stats to the target. It doesn’t stack. However, the caster can use it on himself, in which case it just adds the base stats. In this case it does stack, so if you cast it 4 times you have quadrupled your strength, speed, and intellect. You can get items that use the spell. With this plus “one more” for two actions, you can do a huge amount of damage. Even with this it still took a few tries to beat him because you can get unlucky with his moves and die before you can buff or heal.

Here’s the plot details, although I would not recommend reading them if you have any intention of playing the game.

The reveals at the end are pretty neat. It turns out that Baor used the Medusa Head to petrify Oceanus and create a land bridge to try to better the humans’ lives. This caused harm to Gaea. Eventually Baor was cursed to lose his memory and change his form, along with his spouse and children (i.e. the main characters). Hades turns you into a Titan and forces you to walk around in the underworld — you can escape, but then through Chronos’ meddling you get put back to the point where the party fought the Baor titan on the mountain. The only way to pass this point is to defend until the heroes stop attacking you. Now everyone gets their memories back, and you realize what the ultimate goal is; to restore Oceanus with the three blood masses. Once this is completed, Gaea is healed, and the shape of the world goes back to normal Earth, and Zeus will not destroy the world….for now. Unfortunately Baor has to work off his sins in Hades, so during the credit sequence you see him pushing a rock around in the underworld with skeletons watching over him. Until the end of the sequence, when he’s reborn back onto Earth as a child.

Overall an enjoyable game. Review in a couple of days, then it’s on to (sigh) Maka Maka.

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