The Dark Prince (Dark Lord in Japanese) is a recurring villain in the Seiken Densetsu video games series, who appears in Seiken Densetsu 3 as one of the three available final bosses and in its prequel Seiken Densetsu 4 (known in occident as Dawn of Mana) as the central antagonist. He was a human king named Stroud who eventually took over the Underworld of Mavolia (the Mana counterpart of Hell) and became the Archdemon. He seeks to open Mavolia and unleash its evil upon the world of Fa'Diel, in order to rule both worlds as a god.
Although there is no visible link between the King of Evil of Seiken Densetsu 3 and the warlord of Dawn of Mana, aside from their goal, the game's programmers revealed that they are one and the same. Another Dark Lord, also named Stroud, serves as a major villain in Sword of Mana, the remake of the original Seiken Densetsu game.
The Dark Prince was at first a human named Stroud, ruler of the kingdom of Lorimar (called the Kingdom of Light in Seiken Densetsu 3), but for unexplained reasons everyone in the kingdom feared and rejected him. Because of this, demons from Mavolia came to see him with an "offer he could not refuse": If he were to open the Door to Mavolia, he would be turned into a demon and granted power over the world. Stroud accepted the offer and became a ruthless tyrant, likely corrupted by the evil forces of Mavolia.
Dawn of Mana expands the Dark Prince's backgroud, which was just alluded to in Seiken Densetsu 3. Stroud threw his baby brother Keldric (the game's primary protagonist) at sea to be the sole heir to the throne of Lorimar.
However, whether he did so before or after accepting the demons' deal is not explained. Fortunately, Keldric survived and was raised by the Tree Folk, protectors of the Mana Tree (the earthly avatar of the Mana Goddess).
What kind of man Stroud was before the demons' bargain, and especially what he did to earn his subject’s rejection is not known. If he threw Keldric at sea before, it could explain why he was reviled if that got known. It would fit the greedy and selfish nature he displays in the game, and Mavolia’s corruption increases the worst aspect of people.
As a villain, he displays in both games a very strong arrogance, self-centeredness and hunger for power, being cruel, hateful, violent, sadistic, stopping at nothing to gain supreme power no matter how many lives he tramples, and displaying no gratitude whatsoever for his faithful servants' work. Dawn of Mana shows him unhinged and vicious, while he has become much more collected, sarcastic and manipulative in Seiken Densetsu 3.
Dawn of Mana
|“||Do you really think I care about what happens to the World?||„|
|~ Stroud (to Keldric)|
Mistakenly thinking that Stroud wants to kill the Legendary Beast slumbering under the island, Keldric (nicknamed Keldy) and his childhood friend Ritzia set out to awake it. Keldric gets chosen by the Mana Tree itself and they meet the fairy child Faye, who joins the party, but they end up captured by Lorimar forces.
Stroud reveals that Illusia itself is the Door to Mavolia, and that Ritzia is the key to unlock it. Keldric confronts the tyrant, who got his hands on the fabled Mana Sword, but gets beaten and left for dead, only owing his life to Faye's intervention. Stroud later uses Ritzia to unlock the Door to Mavolia and fuses Ritzia with the soul of the Demon Goddess Medusa (called Anise, the name of her mortal incarnation, by mortals out of fear of her cursed name).
Keldric and Faye later flee Illusia and gather allies to wage war against Lorimar. Alas, the evils of Mavolia have spread all over Fa'Diel, and everyone in contact with a Thanatos Spirit (evil entities spawned by Mavolia) gets corrupted into a demonic version of their former selves called Grimslies.
This happens to Stroud, who remained in control, and is fusing with as many Thanatos Spirits as possible to increase his might. It is revealed when Stroud kills Medusa that he coveted her throne all along, with the ultimate goal of ruling both Mavolia and Fa'Diel.
Keldric manages to kill his demonic brother, but the only way to close the Door to Mavolia and save Fa'Diel is to destroy Medusa, who somehow survived Stroud's attempt on her life. Alas, killing Medusa would spell Ritzia's demise. Heartbroken, Keldric nonetheless confronts the Queen of Mavolia and sets free Ritzia's soul.
The first battle against Stroud is rather easy. The villain attacks mostly with sword strikes and special attacks, forcing Keldric to keep away, but he can also create two doubles of himself and cast powerful Ice waves that might turn Keldric into a snowman. Keldric must throw crates and barrels to stun Stroud and attack him with Fire infused strikes and Fire spells.
The second battle takes place after Stroud became a demonic Grimsly. He fights in the same way as before, but he is much more powerful and dangerous. He causes explosions of energy when he strikes and blocks all of Keldric attacks. Stroud will also spam Ice waves, and launch flaming strikes or jumping strikes. However, he is slow and his attacks are quite easy to dodge. Keldric must strike the rubbles towards his brother to stun him and pummel him.When defeated, Grim Stroud fuses with Thanatos Spirits and transforms into a huge demon. The battle becomes much harder, as Stroud is fast, powerful and relentless. He flies around and attacks with claw swipes, dashes, energy blasts, flurries of energy blades, flying energy balls, many vortex of darkness on the ground and a gigantic array of runes causing a devastating explosion of energy. Keldric must keep away from him and shoot arrows at him to stun him and pummel him. Destroying the flower-like Night Towers standing over the room deals heavy damage and stun him for long.
Between the games' events
Stroud, now known as the Dark Prince was destroyed, but his demonic soul still remained in Mavolia and became the new Demon God, the worshipped ruler of demons and the source of everything evil in Fa'Diel. As for Lorimar, it was turned into a desolated wasteland, enshrouded in an everlasting stormy night, where demons and monsters could dwell freely.
As he could still influence the world, at one point he trapped Shade, the Mana Spirit of Shadow, in a ghost ship guarded by a demonic phantom and released the God Beast sealed in the Mana Stone of Shadow: Zable Fahr, God Beast of Darkness and the most powerful of the eight. Zable Fahr then went on a rampage, destroying entire civilizations and unleashing chaos wherever it went, serving the Dark Prince's interest. But fortunately, the Mana Goddess managed to seal both Zable Fahr and the Dark Prince in Mavolia.
However, some powerful demons still dwelled in the Dark Castle (the former royal residence of Lorimar), protecting the Dark Prince's human remains and waiting for an opportunity to bring him back.
Seiken Densetsu 3
|“||The days of the Goddess worship are over. It's time for the demons to take their rightful place!||„|
|~ the Dark Prince|
Whether they chose to do it on their own or were in contact with the Dark Prince is not known, but the latter seems more likely as they come from Mavolia and Bigieu does adore the Dark Prince in more ways than one.
Bigieu took a human disguise and came to the thief guild of Nevarl (Navarre in the unofficial translation) under the name of Isabella. She manipulated the Thief Leader Flamekhan, persuading him to create his own kingdom and to invade the kingdom of Laurent (Rolante in the unofficial translation). Meanwhile, Jagan worked in the shadows, commanding the monsters of the Underworld and doing Bigieu's dirty work.
Their ultimate goals were to kidnap Elliot, the child prince of Laurent, whom they plan to make the Dark Prince's new human vessel; and to lift the seal of the Mana Stones, in order to release the eight God Beasts. However, the other two Great Evils of Fa'Diel (the Dragon Emperor and the Masked Mage) both seek to release the God Beast first. Each evil faction has a country under its control, which they made invade another country. By doing so, they all ended up lifting the seal on all Mana Stones.
Later, the game's protagonists manage to obtain power from all the Mana Spirits and to enter the Mana Holyland, where the Mana Tree is located. Because the three Great Evils' actions have drained almost all the power of Mana that sustains the world, the Mana Goddess can do nothing to help the protagonists except giving them the Sword of Mana. Meanwhile, Bigieu and Jagan have succeeded in bringing back the Dark Prince without sacrificing Prince Elliot, and helped him to get rid of the other two evil factions.
(This only happens if either the Ninja Thief Hawk or the Amazon Princess Lise were choosen as the primary protagonist. Otherwise, the game's final boss will destroy the Dark Prince's remains and prevent his resurrection forever, leaving his followers without anyone to worship.) The Dark Prince sends his followers to the Holyland, where they abduct the protagonists' Fairy guide and use her as an hostage to get the Sword of Mana, which they use to release the eight God Beasts.
The protagonists then set out to track down and to destroy the God Beasts before the Dark Prince can use them, but they unknowingly serve the villain's interests, as he wants the demons slain to channel their power into the Sword of Mana. The protagonists later go to the Dark Cave where they fight and destroy Jagan, and enter the Dark Castle where they fight and destroy Bigieu. They then meet the Dark Prince at last.
The gloating villain dismisses Bigieu's death as an "acceptable loss" and tells them about his goal to merge Mavolia and Fa'Diel and to rule both, with demons worshipped by the other races. He then absorbs the Mana Sword, planning to use the power of the God Beasts sealed inside it to rewrite the world's boundaries, but the Mana Godess manages to thwart him with her last strengths.
Angered, the Dark Prince teleports to the Mana Holyland, planning to settle his score with the exhausted deity, with the protagonists on its tracks. Unfortunately, they arrive too late and the Dark Prince has just destroyed the Mana Tree. The Goddess is dead and the Dark Prince is triumphant. He kills the Fairy and discards his human body, revealing his true nature of the Archdemon, standing on the tree's remains. The protagonists then engage the final battle and manage to destroy the villain once and for all.
The Fairy's spirit then merges with the remnants of the Mana Tree to resurrect it, and becomes the reincarnation of the Goddess of Mana. However, the Mana Tree will need 1000 years to grow again and to infuse the world with the power of Mana. Which mean that the world's denizens will have to learn live without it, ending this era for good.
|“||Hope. A petty emotion that cannot possibly save you! But enough talk... let the killing begin!||„|
|~ the Archdemon|
Archdemon (Level 50 . Life-Points 53499)The Archdemon is the hardest of the three possible final bosses. He is very powerful, very dangerous and he attacks relentlessly with countless tremendous moves. Make sure to have powerful characters over level 50 and plenty of curing, healing and resurrecting items, for he is a truly fearsome foe.
At first you will fight against his first form. He can use every attack from almost every element, depending on the colour he assumes, and he often unleashes a powerful special attack before changing his colour: When he is black, he uses Shadow attacks, including the hindering Black Curse, the dreadful Death Spell (which instantly kills its target if its level is lower than his own), and the very damaging Hell Cross; attack with Light. When he is brown, he uses Earth attacks (that can turn your characters into stone and must be cured) and Hypercannon; attack with Wind.
When he is greyish dark-blue, he uses Wind attacks which can confuse your characters (cure it) and Air Slash; attack with Earth. When he is red, he uses Fire attacks including Gigaburn; attack with Water. When he is dark blue, he uses Water attacks such as Ice Cradle. He can turn your characters into snowmen, so attack with Fire. When he is green he uses the Moon spell Body Change (which shrinks its targets and need to be cured), Half Vanish (which reduces the target's maximum life points) and Spiral Moon. Attack him with Wood. He can also use Counter Magic, which sends back your spells and deals damage for an undefined length of time. Most of his attack strike every target and deal very high damage so remain cautious.
Infuse your weapons with the magic he is weak against and use spells of the right element. His first form remains quite open to attacks so harass him continuously. Also try to decrease his stats and to increase your owns as much as you can. Try not to waste your healing items and your spells during the first stage of the battle, because the worst is yet to come. Never forget that if you attack him with spells of his current element, you will heal him.When half of the Archdemon's life-points have been depleted, he transforms again and become even more formidable than he already was. He is now able to deliver fasts and powerful blows with his arms and to make huge, unavoidable blades erupt from the ground below your characters. He also gains access to new special attacks: Demon Scream (which decreases its target's attack), Demon Breath and the level 1 summon Great Demon.
While these new attacks are not very powerful, the Archdemon now deals more damage and is less vulnerable to your attacks (even to the elements he is weak against). He also often casts the spells Power Up and Protect Up on himself, and he mostly uses his dangerous special attacks, that strike every character. Even worse, he is now also able to use his most devastating attack: Catastrophe, which deals crippling damage to the entire party.
Give everything you have and unleash your strongest spells and special techniques, while harrassing him continuously with weapons and spells. Be careful to heal whenever your characters' life-points drop under 200 and to attack him with the right element. Always keep an eye on your character's life-points.
Sword of ManaIn this remake of the first game of the Mana series (called Final Fantasy Adventure in Occident), which is set in an alternate timeline than the main one (formed by Dawn of Mana, Children of Mana, Heroes of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Legend of Mana and most likely Secret of Mana); one of the major villains is called the Dark Lord in reference to Seiken Densetsu 3, (although he is called the Shadow Knight in Japanese).
The Dark Lord is in fact a half-demon born from Lord Granz and the Demon Queen Medusa (who in this game is not the Demon Goddess), and that his birth name is Stroud (just like his counterpart). Contrary to Final Fantasy Adventures, he is portrayed as courteous, noble and somehow sympathetic, and demons are neutral.
The Dark Lord is the evil ruler of the Granz Realm who seeks to destroy the Mana Clan and take over Fa'Diel. He wiped out the village of the Mana Clan, hometown to the heroine, and ordered the hero to find her after she escapes, killing the hero’s parents who tried to reason him and sending the hero to jail after he refused.
The hero meets the Dark Lord again few months later, but he is effortlessly defeated and left for dead. Both protagonists eventually meet and ally, but the Dark Lord abducts her to search for the Mana Sanctuary, where the Mana Tree is located, to to save his mother's life with the Mana Power and establish the rule of demons over Fa'Diel.
It is later revealed that the Dark Lord was manipulated by his right-hand-man, the wizard Julius, to get into the Mana Sanctuary and claim the Mana Power for himself. Fortunately, the protagonists manage to destroy both villains.
When fought as a boss, the Dark Lord is pretty easy to defeat. He strikes with his sword and attacks by charging with his sword or by launching three waves of dark energy. His charge can paralyze the protagonists and his dark waves cause the Darkness status. The Dark Lord is highly resilient against magic, so do not bother with spells and instead keep harassing him with weapons. If the protagonists are of a high enough level, this boss will fall with very few troubles.
Brutal Mario (Hack Game)
Just Like the other two final bosses of Seiken Densetsu 3, the Archdemon was revamped and added into the unofficial, hack computer game Super Kitiku Mario, translated by Brutal Mario.As in the real game, the Archdemon is a highly powerful and dangerous enemy whose attacks depend on his colour. When red, he hurls fiery energy balls that cause flames to erupt from the ground where they land. Mario must get as far as possible form the fire or jump over it with the Floating Cloak. When greenish blue, he creates four bouncing watery bubbles that must be dodged repeatedly. When he is green, he casts a spell that reverses Mario's directions. When brown, he makes rocks fall from the sky. When black, he fires two very dangerous and very hard to dodge whirling circles of dark energy balls.
Mario must jump crouched between the dark balls to avoid them. Mario must grab a block that falls from the sky and use it to strike the Archdemon. When the Boss' life bar is nearly depleted, the rocks he makes rain will stay on the ground for a while, impeding the dodging of other attacks, and one of them will reveal a block when they disappear.When the Archdemon's life-bar is depleted, he assumes his second form and the battles becomes much harder. He becomes able to smash the ground with his arm, and make huge blades erupt from the ground. (The blade is seen before fully erupting, giving Mario enough time to dodge with the right timing.) Once again his attack depends on his colour.
When red, he hurls fiery energy balls from his fingertips that divide into two when hitting the ground and glide in opposite direction (Mario must dodge an then jump over it), then he summons two Unicorn Heads that charge at Mario and must be jumped on to be destroyed. When blue, he summons huge pillars of ice that appear in a mere second and are very hard to dodge. If Mario gets caught, he will be frozen and unable to dodge the following attack. When brown he joins his hands and fires a circling wave of rocks that Mario must dodge only when they come near him. When black, he creates four dark energy balls that explode into a huge pillar of dark energy one after another.
Mario must remain as far as possible from the ball that is going to explode or jump on a ball to destroy it. Mario must rebound on the blades and the Archdemon's hands using the Floating Cloak to jump on his head and deal damage.