The Hero System is one of the most important features of the Planner Scenario, serving as a counterpart to the Demon King System. Created by Supreme God Planner in order to give humanity an edge against the Demon King on desperate situations, legend says that when humanity is on the verge of extinction the hero will rise up to save the world from destruction. The Hero is always accompanied by the Hero Guide Cola, who assists them on their mission by providing information and advice, as well as informing them of anything important they might need to know.
Like the Demon King, the Hero is a specialized individual with great powers granted by the Gods. Only one can exist at any given time as well but, unlike their antagonistic counterpart, their term only lasts 7 years, from the age of 13 to 20. Once the Hero turns 20, they lose all their powers and they can't wield the Sword of Heroes Escudo anymore, as the blade is unusable by any human being besides the chosen Guardian Hero. The Hero is selected personally by Cola, who wanders around searching for suitable individuals. Typically, Cola will inform these individuals of their status as a Hero, their mission, and devote the first few years of their term toward training them. In the headquarters of the AL Church a historically important flower named Aconka Flower remains. This flower is usually closed, but blooms whenever a new Hero or Demon King is born to declare their term to the rest of the world. Unlike the Demon King, there does not need to be a Hero actively serving at all times, and there may be prolonged gaps between the terms of one Hero and another if Cola is unable to find a suitable candidate for the title.
The current designated Hero is the only individual that can wield the legendary Sword of Heroes Escudo. The sword is the main source of the Hero's power, and if anyone else tries to wield it the blade becomes impossibly heavy, unable to be even transported (the guide Cola can lift it, however). The sword functions with a limiter that reduces its power, with said limiter getting progressively weaker based on human mortality. The more humans die the more powerful the sword becomes, granting an absurd amount of power on higher mortality rates. The final rung on the "limiter" ladder grants the "power to kill God". This means that the Heroic Blade can strike down Gods, including even the Three Supreme Gods, but for this to be activated the population of beings with souls must be reduced to extremely low numbers.
While the Hero is considered a symbol of hope for regular humans that will rescue them from dire situations, in reality they are little more than a failsafe system designed to ensure that the protagonist race won't get completely exterminated, since such a scenario would not be amusing for the Creator God Ludo-Rathowm. In practice, the Hero will never be truly successful in their mission, as slaying the current Demon King would only result in a new one being appointed immediately afterward by the Supreme God Planner, resulting in a never-ending battle between the Hero and the Demon King that provides endless entertainment for the Creator God. In times of relative peace where the current Demon King isn't actively fighting the protagonist race, the Hero is more or less useless as there is no big enemy to fight or strengthen Escudo. Some Heroes are selected by Cola regardless in order to keep the facade of the system functioning normally. In these instances, Cola will often cause lesser problems for the Hero to fix in order to keep himself entertained, as he's not meant to fix the world's problems.
The system was originally created by Planner in the year 300 of the Ssulal Era, after Demon King Ssulal requested an invincibility field that would make her invulnerable to external damage. In order to give humans a chance to fight back if their numbers got too low the Guardian Hero was established as it would otherwise devolve into a boring one-sided slaughter.
Powers of the Hero
Unlike normal humans, the Hero has a variety of powers:
- Any attacks or special moves the Hero sees once, they will always be able to instinctively avoid in later encounters.
- The Hero will always survive no matter how deadly the situation. If they take damage that would otherwise be fatal to them, their Soul will instantly be replenished and a sacrificial soul will be taken in its place. The Hero is not immortal, however, and still requires any injuries they sustain to be treated in order to properly recover from them.
- The Hero usually has bad luck, but gains great luck in desperate situations.
- The Hero has a fixed Level Cap of 99. They also level up very slowly, but never lose the levels they have gained. These attributes remain in effect even after their term as Hero expires.
- The Hero is extremely attractive to the opposite sex. This effect is achieved by having the person's soul be immediately rewritten after meeting the Hero so that they are instinctively attracted to them, making it a form of brainwashing. Individuals who have fallen for the Hero remain enamored with them even after the Hero's term expires.
- The Hero will instantly lose almost all of their powers and their ability to wield Escudo the minute they turn 20.
The Heroic Blade: Escudo
Normally rusted and useless, the Heroic Blade Escudo is the one thing that limits the Hero's real power and potential. The Heroic Blade Escudo is fitted with a limiter that causes its power to vary based on global population and human mortality. When sufficiently strengthened, it gains the ability to pierce the Invincibility Field that protects Dark Lords from conventional forms of damage. Compared to the Dark Sword Chaos and the Light Blade Nikkou, the only other known weapons with the potential to perform similar feats, Escudo possesses numerous passive attributes that activate when used against a Dark Lord or the Demon King that further increase its effectiveness. These features include exponentially improving its wielder's strength and reflexes and rapidly draining any Dark Lord or Demon King struck by it of energy, significantly reducing the gap in power that traditionally exists between the creatures and humans.
The Heroic Guide, Cola, has a small pocket-watch compass with a needle that points to the current section that Escudo falls under, the area the needle points to varies in real-time based on souls in circulation and living humans.
Escudo possess five distinct modes of power, each tied to the global population:
- Dust Mode - 10% of humanity is dead, the sword is now usable. It's a good sword but has nothing special.
- Hesitant Mode - 30% of humanity is dead, the power to kill Dark Lords is unlocked.
- Instantaneous Mode - 50% of humanity is dead, the power to kill the Demon King is unlocked.
- Godly Friction Mode - 80% of living beings with a Soul are dead. The power to kill First Class Gods is unlocked.
- Tranquil Nirvana Mode - The number of lifeforms is reduced to a single digit. The Demon King and the Dark Lords must be dead as well. The power to kill the Three Supreme Gods is unlocked.
History of the Hero System
- SS300 - In order to balance Demon King Ssulal's request to give the Demon King an Invincibility Field, Planner creates the Hero System.
- NC901 - The Hero Quetabuno rises up during the Death Toll War, where 50% of humanity perished, in order to stop Demon King Nighcisa's genocide. While he's defeated by the Demon King, he manages to inflict a grievous wound that takes 40 years of his lifespan.
- GL0012 - The Hero Akira bravely attempts to defeat Demon King Gele. Because Gele had been warned about the system and subsequently created human farms to keep human population at an all time high, the Hero's power modes were still locked, leading to the Hero's crushing defeat. Gele sliced off his arms and legs and kept him as a pet. Eventually his soul reached 100% pollution due to the overwhelming despair.
- GL1000 - During the Demon King War, where Supreme Dark Lord Gi rebelled against Gele, the Hero wielding the Light Blade Nikkou allied with Gi and assisted him in his fight against the Demon King.
- GI0500 - The Hero, wielding the Holy Katana Nikkou, battles the newly revived Dark Lord Xavier. The Hero fatally wounds Xavier, and is about to land the final blow, when he turns 20 years old. With no powers to use, and in shock at this revelation, he is quickly turned into a fleshy paste by Xavier.
- GI0940 - During the RedEye Dark period in the Kingdom of Zeth, a large-scale invasion orchestated by Dark Lord RedEye, the Hero of the era wielding Nikkou manages to repel the Dark Lord's invasion, saving the country from annihilation.
- LP3 - The Hero Arios Theoman aiming for the still dormant Demon King Little Princess, storms the AL Church where she's currently taking refugee, defeats Dark Lords Satella and La Hawzel, but cannot bring himself to kill Miki.
- LP4 - The Hero Arios loses his powers as the hero upon turning 20 years old.
|This section contains spoilers from a game that has not been translated to English yet.|
Expand if you wish to read regardless.
- LP7 - The Second Dark Lord War takes place. No Hero has been selected yet, but Arios Theoman is de-aged using the powers of the Holy Gal Monster Serachrolas, allowing him to become the Hero once more. This time Arios will do anything to succeed in his mission to kill Little Princess. Trying to get the counter to go up enough so he gains the power to kill the Demon King, he gets in the way of the United Human Army on multiple occassions and fights against the Fuhrer Rance.
- LP8 - Arios fails once more. He's defeated by Rance and turns 20 again, losing his powers as the Hero and getting abandonded by Cola on the Monster Realm.
- RA04 - The Hero Calamity takes place. The new Hero Geimark begins a mass-slaughter in order to power up Escudo Sword and defeat Demon King Rance. Despite the attempts to fight back, 30% of humanity perished at his hands until he was ironically defeated by Rance.
- RA07 - The hero Geimark returns and climbs Rising Dragon Mountain in an attempt to defeat the Demon King but he was defeated and this time thoroughly destroyed.
List of Known Heroes
- The concept of the Hero and its powers are inspired by narrative conventions often assigned to the protagonists of fantasy stories, most prominently role-playing games.
- The name "Escudo" is derived from the Spanish word for shield, referencing the sword's role as the final safeguard for humanity during times of great crisis.
- Each of Escudo's five modes takes its name from characters used to denote small numbers in Chinese. While the numerals become increasingly smaller in value when placed in the order of the five modes they correspond with, they otherwise do not reflect the percentage of the global population needed to be reduced for each mode to be achieved. These characters are directly lifted from Buddhist terminology that, when placed in descending order from highest to lowest, roughly describe its foundational teachings.
- Dust (塵, chén) broadly refers to any physical object and is used in Buddhist writing to describe something which has become spiritually polluted by earthly desires. When used as a Chinese numeral, it denotes one billionth.
- Hesitant (逡巡, qūnxún) refers to a state of vacillation and is used in Buddhist writing to describe the impermanence of the physical world. When used as a Chinese numeral, it denotes one quadrillionth.
- Instantaneous (刹那, chànà) refers to a literal instant; the shortest possible measurement of time. When used as a Chinese numeral, it denotes one quintillionth.
- Godly Friction (阿摩羅, amala) refers to something that is pure, uncorrupted, and unchanging. When used as a Chinese numeral, it denotes one hundred sextillionth.
- Tranquil Nirvana (涅槃寂静, nièpán jìjìng) literally refers to Nirvana as a state of true peace, and is considered to be one of the three seals that make up Buddhist Dharma. When used as a Chinese numeral, it denotes one septillionth.
- During the early development of Rance X's story, a female Hero named Barbara with an appearance based on the character of Michaela Laswell from the Alicesoft game Persiom was considered to appear in the place of Arios. The idea was scrapped due to TADA, the director of the Rance Series, desiring to incorporate Arios into the story after failing to have done so in previous entries in the series. After this decision was made, the character of Almond Sharp was planned to appear as the Hero during the events of Rance X: Part 2 using the name Barbara as an alias, only for this idea to also eventually get cut.
- Plenty of people such as Rance can be self-proclaimed heroes, but they are not the same Hero designed by Supreme God Planner.