So...what do we have here?

Hercules No Eikou IV (Glory Of Hercules 4) [Role Playing Game]


Japanese Game Box Front

What a cute doggy...hey, wait! What are you do--

This Dog Body Is Nice, But I Need A
MAN Body With A MAN Tan!

-General Information-
Version: Japanese
Year: 1994
Publisher: Data East
Developer(s) and Others: Data East
# of Players: 1
# of Saves: 4 files for saves
Estimated Market Value as of 06/15/2007: $10 - $20 (U.S. Dollars, USD)
Other Info: None

This is a great RPG...made by Data East... who would've thought, huh? While some of the more popular RPG games published by Data East like the Metal Max series hogs all the limelight, where do titles like Hercules No Eikou IV go? They kinda fall into obscurity. While the series once had many similarities to the fabled Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) series, it eventually evolved into something that could stand on its own two feet.

The game involves you using a mighty mythological hero who isn't much more than any other youth of his era. He goes to school and trains with his peers to be a great warrior. Life seems pretty uneventful until you hang out with your friends atop a tower with a magnificent view of the ocean; Evil storms your village and the sun dies down with a fierce dark storm trekking in its place. Men, women and children are slain where they stand and the remaining survivors attempt to run for their lives. You wade your way through sewers, caves and eventually make your way to an ancient underground facility. Your intrepid team marches further below the earth's surface until they get separated by a cave-in. You and your best friend are stuck with their mentor and follow him into a strange room that opens once the destruction ceases...revealing a mysterious, elegant chest.

Plagued by curiosity, your crew decide to open it...and your teacher becomes possessed by unholy spirits! You and your friend don't know what happens until it's too late and end up getting knocked unconscious and tossed inside the chest, which just so happens to be "Pandora's Box". As you fall in, you spiral into another dimension which robs you of your human body and you can only roam the land as a spirit manipulating other forms but having no body of your own.

This game utilizes an odd "transfer" system that allows the main character and his best friend to become different people (the main character starts the game as a dog after he loses his original body) and they develop many different powers whenever they meet various different people and/or animals and such. While the game looks fairly simple in terms of graphics on the surface, the game actually utilizes some impressive special effects such as rain and snow and realistic day/night changes, even in combat. You can even spot shooting stars depending on the time and the game uses a similar map style as FF3/6 when traversing the world map. An added plus is the fact that you can toggle between this map and a map with a completely overhead view! Speaking of combat, most backgrounds look neat and have something animating in them (Not static like many older RPGs) and enemies animate too. The game put a slight "3D" feel to it when the screen scrolls from one enemy to the next and the spell effects really work well with this game.

The audio is quite good, and their are numerous gameplay mechanics which make this game even better. The best thing about this game is probably mastering the tons of abilities and classes. You see, each class has a certain set of abilities you can master, based on the persona you choose to manipulate...and there are 105 personas and even more abilities, so you won't run out of things to do in this game for a good while. The game also introduces some interesting vistas and clever puzzles, not to mention a feasible story. Once again, it's a good game...though I feel that it needed to be more difficult. As of this writing, the game before this one on SNES/SFC (HNEIII) has been fan translated.

- Written by Vyse the determined -

Game Screenshots

Title Screen The fine locals of the village. Your protagonist can launch several elemental attacks before he loses his body. Some special effects, like this one, are just downright awesome. You fool! Why did you open Pandora's box!? Next time we should post a note or something... This dog is stronger than it looks...still, I want my elemental attacks!

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