The Dark Lich is a recurring villain from the Seiken Densetsu series, who appears in Seiken Densetsu 2 (known in occident as Secret of Mana) as the primary antagonist, and in Seiken Densetsu 3 as one of the three available final bosses. He is an unfathomably powerful, demonic warlock, who wants to overthrow the Goddess of Mana and rule the world of Fa'Diel.

To do so, he always tries (and succeeds) to set free an ancient dreaded power, sealed long ago: the Mana Fortress in Secret of Mana and the God Beasts in Seiken Densetsu 3.

About Dark Lich

Dark Lich is the most mysterious of the series' primary antagonists, for his origins are never explained, leaving much to speculation. What is sure is that he comes from the Underworld of Mavolia (the Mana counterpart of Hell), and that he always acts through a wizard who appears to be the game's main villain, while they are but vessels. Secret of Mana establishes that he needs such vessels to manifest on the world and strives to gain the mightiest possible. It also states that the wizards serving as his vessels sold their souls to Mavolia.

Dark Lich is a wraith-like demon and one of the three rulers of Mavolia, who seems to be a personification of sorts of Dark Magic, and feeds on people’s life-force. He is cruel, heartless, hateful, power-hungry, arrogant, callous and sarcastic, though surprisingly polite and while annoyed by their nuisance, can be appreciative of the heroes' deeds. He remains in the shadows and acts through proxies, manipulating heroes and allies alike to further his goals.

Secret of Mana

For ages I have been searching...for a human with the power to conquer this world... born in the shadow of darkness, and raised in the light of Mana. Dyluck is the one. I cannot wait any longer. My body has grown weak! It is time! Using his body I will take the Mana Fortress, and rule the world!
~ Thanatos

the heroes confront Thanatos

In Secret of Mana the primary protagonist, Randi draws the mythical Sword of Mana from a rock, unknowingly lifting a spell that prevents the monsters from Mavolia to walk the earth. The evil Emperor Vandole and his generals then seize this opportunity and proceed to break the seal on the eight Seeds of the Mana Tree. (the earthly avatar of the Mana Goddess)

By breaking this seal, the Emperor Vandole plans to gain control of the Mana Fortress, an ancient flying castle and ultimate warship, which was sealed away inside a sunken island. With the Mana Fortress under his control, Vandole would be able to take over the entire world. Randi and his two partners soon discover that Thanatos, a powerful wizard and one of Vandole's four generals, has plans of his own.

Thanatos works in the shadows, controlling the monsters and absorbing the life-energy of the citizens of the Kingdom of Pandora, turning them into mindless puppets. He also abducted and brainwashed Dyluck, the female protagonist Purim's boyfriend for unknown reasons.

Later in the game, the seal of the eight Mana Seeds is broken and Thanatos kills the Emperor Vandole whom he no longer needs. It appears that the evil wizard was the true mastermind behind the plot, and that he manipulated the Emperor and his fellow generals to serve his schemes. Thanatos reactivates the Mana Fortress and uses it to destroy the Mana Tree.

When the heroes invade the Fortress and reach Thanatos, the villain tells them that his current body is breaking apart and that he plans to take over Dyluck's stronger one, thus adding Dyluck's immense power (and all the life-energy that he had him absorb) to his own and becoming all-powerful. However, Dyluck sacrifices himself, forcing "Thanatos" to appear under his true spiritual form, the Dark Lich.

The heroes manage to destroy Dark Lich, but his action has caused the rise of another threat, the Mana Beast, whom the heroes must kill before it destroys the Mana Fortress, or else, the world will be destroyed along with it.

Boss Battle

Dark Lich (Boss)

Dark Lich (Boss)

Dark Lich is considerably powerful but not that hard to defeat if the characters' level, magic and weapons are sufficiently strong. Yet he can cause serious troubles if you let him have his way so attack relentlessly. Dark Lich has 6666 life-points and he masters every spell of the Shadow, Water, Wind and Earth elements at level 8. He can also cast Dispel Magic, which prevents its target from spellcasting, and casts effects that confuse, shrink, petrify, freeze and paralyze your characters, or turn them into harmless Moogles.
Dark Lich's victim

Dark Lich's most fearsome move

You will need many curing items to circumvent this. His attack deals huge damage so you need to heal often. When he disappears, his hands will phase through the ground, surrounded by flames and track you down. Avoid it at any cost, if one of your characters gets hit he will be knocked out and killed in a matter of seconds. When his head appears you can attack him with spells, do it quickly to end this attack.

Dark Lich is weak to the Light element, so cast the Light magic on your weapons, use the spell Lucent Beam, at level at least 6 and harass him without end. If you keep attacking him, he will fall rather quickly. You can also attack him with other spells, but weapons don't work when he is not fully materialized. Do not attack him with Shadow magic or you'll heal him.

Seiken Densetsu 3


Belgar in Heroes of Mana

The game was released after Secret of Mana, but its story is set millennia before the events described in it.

Long before the game's beginning, Belgar, one of the most powerful mages in the Holy City of Wendel tried everything he could to save an ill young girl, but to no avail. Belgar then began to study the forbidden Dark Magic, but the girl died too soon. Belgar's mind eventually became corrupted by the dark power and he kept studying Dark Magic, looking for a necromancy spell that could revive the girl, but people in Wendel began to fear him and to call him the Priest of Darkness.

At first, Belgar remained a benevolent mage, who kept Wendel neutral in conflicts and who served as a playable protagonist in the game Heroes of Mana. But Darkness ultimately corrupted his body and mind and he became evil.

The Priest of Light banished Belgar from Wendel, and the dark wizard swore revenge, vowing to conceal his face under a mask until Wendel was destroyed. He built the Mirage Palace in the Jungle of Illusions and raised an army of monsters of Mavolia, rising in ranks until he became one of the Three Great Evils of Fa'Diel, along with the Dark Prince and the Dragon Emperor. It is not known if the Dark Lich was born from his evil soul, if he fused with the demon warlock or simply got possessed, but from then on, he and the Dark Lich became one and the same.

In the game

And how I've waited for this day! Underneath this mask is all hatred towards humanity.
~ The Masked Mage
Masked Mage (sketch)

a sketch of the Masked Mage

The Masked Mage is the least mentioned of the Three Great Evils, as the character only hear of him when they meet him in person. (Or when they learn his death if he is not the game's final boss.) In the game, the Masked Mage is one of the three main antagonists, and he will be the final boss if the player choses Kevin the beastman prince, or Carlie the cleric, as the first of his three characters. If not, he will be slain by the game's chosen final boss. The three final bosses share the same goal and will act the same way.

The Masked Mage plans to unleash the eight dreaded God Beasts on the world and to use their power for his own gain. To do so, he needs to sacrifice eight souls, to break the seal on the eight Mana Stones that keep the Beasts sealed. He sends his faithful servant, the Death Jester, in the beast kingdom of Ferolia, in order to manipulate the beastmen's resentment against the human kind to wage war against the Holy City of Wendel.

Later, Death Jester abducts a young priest mage from Wendel named Heath, (who happens to be the Masked Mage's son) and brings him to his master. The evil wizard likely recognizes his son and brainwashes him. He then raises Heath's power to its maximum, and makes him his right-hand-man and his bodyguard.

When all the seal on the Mana Stones are lifted, the game's heroes reaches the Mana Holyland, where the Mana Tree is located, and gain the fabled Sword of Mana from the Mana Goddess. Then, the Masked Mage kills his two rivals and their servants, and sends Heath and Death Jester to abduct the characters' Fairy guide in exchange for the Sword.

The villains use the Sword's power to set the God Beast free, fulfilling the Mage's purpose. From then on, the Mage keeps the sword with him and patiently waits until the heroes destroy all the God Beasts, channelling their power into the Sword of Mana. After having destroyed all the beasts, the heroes reach the Jungle of Illusions where they defeat Death Jester, and later the Mirage Palace,where they confront the evil wizard.


the Masked Mage and Heath

A very pleased Masked Mage greets the heroes and tells them that the God Beasts' power lies in the Sword, and that he waited for them to absorb this power before their very eyes, which would make him mightier than the Goddess herself and would enable him to become the new god of Fa'Diel. Hopefully, the Goddess manages to cancel, or at least to restrain this power increase. Irked, the Masked Mage teleports to the Mana Holyland to settle his score with the exhausted deity.

The protagonists manage to defeat Heath, who comes back to his senses and tells them the Mage's story before dying. The heroes then track down their enemy in the Holyland, but they are too late; the Mana Tree is destroyed, the Goddess is dead and a new Dark God will soon rise.

The gloating Masked Mage kills the Fairy and turns into the Dark Lich to deal with the heroes, but he is ultimately destroyed, and the Fairy's spirit fuses with the remnants of the Tree to become the new Mana Goddess. Yet the power of Mana will need thousand year to rise again, ending for good the era that the characters knew.

Boss Battle

~ (a seriously irked) Dark Lich

Dark Lich (Level 50 . Life-Points 49846)

Dark Lich Battle

boss battle against Dark Lich

The Dark Lich is the easiest of the three available final bosses. You can deal with him without major trouble, but do not let your guard down, for he is still an extremely powerful foe with devastating attacks. Dark Lich casts the spells Power Up and Speed Up, whose effects are self-explanatory on himself, as well as the Wood magic which enables him to drain your magic-points with his physical attacks.

He also uses a spell that poisons your character and needs to be cured, and attacks with the strongest spells and special attacks of the Shadow, Light, Water, Earth and Wood elements. His special attacks are very damaging and strikes the entire party. Worse, some of his attack can turn your characters into stone or into harmless Moogles, which need to be cured. His most dreadful attacks are Death Spell, (which instantly kills its target if his/her level is lower than his own) Ancient (a devastating rain of meteors on every target) and Death Ecstasy, his most powerful attack: a spell which looks like Ancient, but in more impressive and much more damaging.

Dark Lich's main element depends on the background. If its dark, he mostly uses Shadow attacks and is weak to Light. If it's Watery, he uses Water and Ice and is weak to Fire, if it is a clear desert he uses Light and Earth and has no real weakness. If you attack him with his current element he will get healed so remain cautious.

Use Kevin's pressure point to increase your attack power and never hesitate to increase your stats and decrease his own. If you have Carlie and you can cast her Turn Undead spell, then the battle will be much easier. Use it without stop as it deals 999 damages on living-deads like him. If your characters are level 50 Death Spell will not work. Keep attacking him and use all your strongest spells and special techniques to deal with him quickly.

Dawn of Mana

Prêtre Masqué

Granz, the Masked Guru

Although Dark Lich never appears in this prequel set millennia before Seiken Densetsu 3, several references are made to both of his hosts. First the Thanatos Spirits: ethereal entities spawned by Mavolia that corrupts everything and everyone and turn them into demonic Grimslies, whose name is an obvious reference to Dark Lich's host in Secret of Mana. Then there is a character named Granz the Masked Guru, whose title evokes Dark Lich's host in Seiken Densetsu 3.

While there is no defined correlation between the entities of the game and the villain of its sequels, it could be assumed that they might be linked. Dark Lich might be born from the Thanatos Spirits, perhaps when they corrupted the Masked Guru, or be their avatar of some sort.

In the game, the evil King Stroud (who would eventually become the Dark Prince) sets out to open the Door to Mavolia and unleash its evil all over Fa'Diel to take over both worlds. The Masked Guru was once the lover of Anise, a human priestess who became the host of the primal Demon Goddess Medusa, who gets turned into a Grimsly by a Thanatos Spirit and is fought and killed by the game’s primary protagonist Keldric. (Later games retconnect Anise as an alias used by mortals to speak about Medusa without triggering her curse.)

Boss Battle

The battle against the Masked Guru is very long, and takes place within a tower that gets gradually destroyed by the boss' and Keldric's attacks. Keldric must chase his foe all over the tower and use the Wind Devices to reach the upper floors, while avoiding the falling debris whenever a wall is destroyed. The Masked Guru flies around the tower and uses powerful spells; like a blast that cause all negative status and a poison mist. When damaged enough, he starts fighting at close range with a sword or conjuring devastating meteors.

When the Masked Guru surrounds himself with a flaming barrier and starts casting Fire spells, Keldric must freeze his barrier with an Ice attack and strike him, to knock him out and pummel him. When he uses a frozen barrier and cast Ice attacks that can turn Keldric into a snowman, use Fire attacks. When the Masked Guru summons Floating Masks that fire dangerous beams, Keldric must destroy them before attacking the boss.

Brutal Mario (Hack Game)

The Dark Lich appears as a boss in the unofficial, hack computer game Super Kitiku World (also known as Brutal Mario) in which Mario has to battle several bosses from other game franchises, in Dark Lich's case Seiken Densetsu 3.

Sans titre

Mario fighting Dark Lich

The Dark Lich is fought in a place identical to the Mirage Palace and puts up a long and tough battle, divided into several stages determined by the screen's colour.
  • First, Dark Lich attacks by conjuring alternatively bolts of lightning, and four orange energy balls that charges at Mario one after another. Mario must wait until two hats fall from the sky, grab a block concealed inside one of them and use it to strike Dark Lich's head.
  • Secondly, the screen turns into the desert background and Dark Lich summons an angry-faced sun and several flying flames, that Mario must dodge until the sun drops the block needed to strike the boss. The problem is that the sun starts blasting below itself with fiery rays and Dark Lich's body disappears, leaving only his head surrounded by circling rocks to prevent Mario from grabbing the block.
  • Thirdly, the background becomes watery and Mario must swim to dodge the gigantic beam fired by two dragon-like head that appear on each side on the screen and the blocks of ice that float from the ground to the ceiling. The block needed to strike the boss appears in one of the bubbles that pops out of the ground.
  • Finally several icicles rain down and create several pits on the ground, then two parrallel bolts of lightning begin travelling along the ground and many fireballs erupts from the pits. Mario must dodge the lightning bolts, the fireballs and the pits, and grab the block that erupts periodically from the holes like the fireballs.