Strategy Session – Glory of Heracles, Part I

For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be taking a look at some strategies for Glory of Heracles, and the wonders that can be performed by a party of immortals. We’ll start off simple, taking a look at the characters you’ll have to work with, along with some of the basics of combat.

To start with, let’s take a look at the basic combat setup of the game. Characters are placed on a 2×5 grid, with the long side facing the foe. No two characters can be placed directly in front of or behind another, but putting ‘em side-by-side is actually a good idea, since some abilities only affect directly adjacent allies. Spell effects tend to affect either one character or an entire row, so there’s no need to worry about getting hit by an cross-shaped AoE spell the way you might in a tactical RPG. Aside from that, character placement depends a great deal on what you actually want each character to do, and there are more options than might be initially apparent.

The main character, for example, has a well-rounded group of stats, learns a wide variety of defensive and offensive abilities, and so can be played a number of different ways. For example, since his secondary weapon can be either a spear or a shield, he can be played offensively or defensively with reasonably equal success. Frankly, however, I recommend focusing on the defensive side with the main character, primarily because although other characters can equal or surpass him in offensive power, no other character really focuses on pure defense. The main character’s only real flaw as a defensive character is that he lacks a few useful defensive skills, such as High Profile, but this can be played around without too much problem.

Leucos, however, beats the main character at his own game. Probably the single most flexible character the party has, Leucos can play a huge number of roles in the party, including a few that she probably shouldn’t be able to. For a start, her incredibly high agility and naturally-acquired support skills makes Leucos a passable healer and a great support character, especially when coupled with bow attacks from the back rank. However, with Dual Strike and Dispatch, Leucos can make a solid offensive character as well, simply because she’ll be getting about three attacks to the rest of the party’s one. On the other hand, Leucos learns both Defend and Evade without requiring any additional equipment, meaning she’s incredibly hard to hit and can easily reduce the amount of damage she takes should something manage to connect. Combined with High Profile and a solid shield, Leucos makes a shockingly effective tank. Overall, Leucos’s only real issue is her overall low stats. Her HP and defense are decidedly below average, and her attack, as with every character, pales against the pure overwhelming absurdity of Heracles.

Although Heracles himself can be played offensively or defensively, thanks to some useful defensive abilities and some good equippable shields, it seems a terrible shame not to use that amazing attack stat. With an attack easily twice any other character’s and skills that allow him to deal piles of damage — albeit only to one monster at a time — Heracles should be front and center, ready to smash monsters with those ham hocks he calls fists.

Axios, however, is a little less certain. Like Leucos, he can play a number of roles, filling gaps in the party where needed. Although Axios isn’t a hugely powerful mage, he is a fine compliment to Eris, the more powerful caster, producing Dark Ether for her most powerful spells with practically every casting. The fact that Axios can carry a bow and attack from the back rank also helps, especially coupled with Dispatch and Axios’s solid strength. Still, Axios makes a passable frontline fighter as well. Although his defense isn’t as good as the main character’s, Leucos beats him at agility and evasion, and no one could match Heracles for raw offense, Axios’s reasonable agility and access to Critical, Dispatch, and support skills like True Friend make him a flexible and effective front line combatant.

And finally, we come to Eris. Eris is actually a bit of an enigma. Though her high intelligence, and low defense and agility clearly peg her as a rear guard mage, her strength stat is actually more than acceptable, especially when equipped with a scythe. Combined with some oddly powerful physical skills, Eris can actually hold her own in front line combat. On the whole, though, this is something of a risky proposition. Keeping Eris in the back rank, where she can blast away with the highest magical attack power available, seems the safer, and frankly more productive choice. Although Eris has more options than initially apparent, as with Heracles, she makes the biggest contribution to the party when focused on one single goal.

At any rate, that’s it for the playable characters. Next week, we’ll take a look at the various skills, abilities, and magic available to players, and how you can combine them to destroy the undead. Until then, insert cheesy closing line here!



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