Koren, the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus is a young and extremely powerful wizard who serves as a major antagonist in the game Seiken Densetsu 3.
He is the right-hand man of the Dragon Emperor, one of the three available Final Bosses. It must be noted that in the original Japanese game, he is only referred by his title: Koren no Madoshi, or Guren no Madoshi, depending on the pronunciation. As the game was never released outside Japan, except for emulators, the translators chose to keep Koren as his name and to translate his title at the same time.
|“||I just wanted... to use magic... that's all. (sob) That old man Jose... he never could understand... so I ran away... The Dragon Emperor's spirit told me that I'd be the most powerful wizard that ever lived... All he wanted... You know what he wanted in return? All he wanted was a piece of my soul!! Just a piece! How could I have turned him down? But look what I've become without that piece. I'm a failure, I don't even deserve to live.||„|
|~ Koren (telling his story after being defeated)|
Sometime later, he met the spirit of the evil Dragon Emperor; who was defeated several years before the start of the game. The Dragon Emperor tempted Koren, offering to make him the most powerful wizard in the world, in exchange for a part of his soul. Koren accepted and became incredibly powerful. Yet, as he shared his soul with the Dragon Emperor, Koren began to share his malevolence and ambition, and was corrupted by Evil.
Now the Dragon Emperor's right-hand-man, Koren came back to Altena. With his newfound power, he quickly rose in rank, becoming the highest-ranking general of the Altenian army and the personal advisor of the Altenian ruler: Valda, the Queen of Reason. Koren was nicknamed the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus and his reputation grew to the point of being spread all around the world of Fa'Diel. Koren brainwashed Valda and used her to rule Altena. He had Altena declare war to the other nations, with the ultimate goal of seizing the eight Mana Stones, in which the God Beasts had been sealed millennia ago.
It must be noted that the game never explains whether Koren was truly "useless with magic", getting all his incredible power from the Dragon Emperor; or simply unable to use his power for some reason or another, with the Dragon Emperor merely unlocking it. For instance, Angela, the princess of Altena, who was also unable to cast magic, got her power unlocked by a great shock. Koren also uses magic when freed of the Dragon Emperor's evil influence. Koren's power is estimated on par with the Queen of Altena's, (the country's mightiest witch) and is certainly even higher as he could magically control the queen like a puppet. It seems strange that the Dragon Emperor could have given such power to someone who did not have any in his crippled state. However, there is only room for speculation.
About Koren himself
In terms of raw might, Koren is on an equal footing with Heath and Bigieu, (despite Bigieu being on a higher level) though he seems is more proficient in magic than the other two, being seen casting no less than fourteen different attack spells during the course of the game. (This makes him the character with the highest number of attack spells of the entire game, barring the three final bosses.)
Moreover, Koren masters six elements on the eight available with the same proficiency. (One must note that the two elements he does not master lack attack spells.) All this makes enough indication about the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus' tremendous magical might; in spite of him being only seen performing "classical" magical feats such as teleportation, magical movements, sight and talk where he is not physically present and mind-control, aside from fighting.
Personality-wise, little is ever known about Koren's true persona, but it is heavily implied that he deeply suffered both from his inability to spellcast and the contempt he endured. Given the utter self-loathing he displays at the end and his farewell to the protagonists, it becomes quite clear that he was a gentle and humble person.
As the villainous Wizard of the Crimson Lotus, Koren is far from being humble and gentle. On the very contrary, he displays great cruelty and pride, revelling in his victim's torment and mocking what they hold dear. Koren displays extreme contempt for weaker fighters. He enjoys toying with his victims and breaking their spirit to no end. He is seen playing a real cat-and-mouse game with Duran while lecturing him, and slowly taking him down with spells way below his usual level, instead of finishing him in one hit.
He apparently loves to fight, as he is seen laughing endlessly during the boss battle against him. He also seems to grow increasingly irked by the protagonists' constant meddling, first dismissing them as hopeless weaklings, and later "welcoming" them with an angry outburst. Despite this, he is a capable general who always leads his troops from the first line.
|“||You appear to take pride in being the number one swordsman of this castle, but you ought to learn the limits of your body.||„|
|~ Koren (to Duran)|
Seiken Densetsu 3
In the course of the game, the Three Great Evils (the Dark Prince, the Dragon Emperor and the Masked Mage) are in open conflict; all three of them wanting to unleash the eight God Beasts on the world of Fa'Diel. Each Great Evil has a second in command who manipulates the ruler of a nation to wage war against the others and find the eight Mana Stones, and a third in command who leads their armies of monsters. (With the Dragon Emperor giving orders to Koren and the Darkshine Knight.) They eventually manage to unseal the eight Mana Stones, while the playable party fights their armies and gathers the eight Mana Elemental Spirits, in order to defeat them. At one point, Duran confronts Koren again, during a second attack on Valsena, just as the wizard is about to kill King Richard. Koren merely teleports away, ignoring Duran's challenge.
When the party calls forth the Elemental Spirits' power to open a gate to the Mana Holyland, the volcano where the Mana Tree (the incarnation of the Mana Goddess) is located, Koren takes profit of their efforts to force the gate open. He then blasts the party into unconsciousness and flies to the Holyland on an Altenian flying warship, quickly followed by the other Great Evils' factions. In the ensuing battle, the primary antagonist of the storyline slays his two rivals and their servants.
If neither Duran nor Angela was selected as the primary protagonist of the storyline, the Dragon Emperor and Koren will be slain by the chosen Final Boss. Otherwise, after the party meets the Mana Goddess and obtains the mythical Sword of Mana, Koren abducts their Fairy guide and demands the Sword of Mana in exchange for her freedom. Koren casts a Death Spell on the Queen of Reason whom he no longer needs. He then uses the Sword to free the God Beasts, and unleashes the Dragon Emperor's armies of monsters on the world of Fa'Diel.
The party tracks down the God Beasts and manages to destroy them one by one. They then reach the Dragon Hole, the Dragon Emperor's lair, where they are sarcastically greeted by Koren, who sends a group of powerful monsters against them. The party successfully defeats the Darkshine Knight, who is revealed to be Loki (whose dead spirit was enslaved by the Dragon Emperor and trapped in a Dark Armour). The party confronts Koren and his evil lord, who is now fully healed. The Dragon Emperor wanted the party to destroy the God Beasts, so that their power would be trapped inside the Mana Sword, enabling him to absorb it and surpass the power of the Mana Goddess herself. However, the Goddess manages to thwart this scheme with the last of her strength. The Dragon Emperor then goes to the Mana Holyland, intending to destroy the Mana Tree, while Koren stays back to get rid of the party.
After a long and difficult battle, the party manages to defeat the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus, who comes back to his senses and tells them his story. Horrified by his evil deeds, Koren bids his farewell to the main character before committing suicide. After a moment of grieving, the party goes to the Mana Holyland to fight the Dragon Emperor.
|“||I humbled you before with my dark magic and I'll do it again! Have at you!||„|
|~ Koren (before fighting Duran's party)|
|“||My sweet little princess. Willing to die for her beloved country! I'll make it quick!||„|
|~ Koren (before fighting Angela's party)|
Koren (Level 48 . Life-Points 14718)As a boss, Koren is a formidable enemy, more than a match even for three characters of a level higher than his own, so never treat him lightly.
Koren masters the spells level 1 and 2 of the Earth, Wind/Thunder, Fire, Water/Ice, Light and Shadow Elements, which he can cast on one target or on all three. Even his low-level spells can be dangerous and his multi-target spells are much more powerful than the normal ones. When damaged enough, he will start casting Ancient: the most devastating spell available, which conjures MANY huge explosive meteors and deals crippling damages to the whole party.
Koren is very fast: he moves quickly, forcing you to chase him all over the arena, and spams spell after spell, being able to cast two (if not three) different spells in a row. The only way to harm him with magic is to cast a spell of the Element opposed to the last one he cast, otherwise it will heal him. Using magic against Koren is not advised though, as he will likely cast another spell before being hit and will then get healed.
The best way to deal with him is to increase your party's stats and to weaken him with as many spells and items as possible, before continuously attacking him with weapons and special techniques. It is best to decrease his magic power to weaken his attacks. Do not use too powerful techniques or he counterattacks with one of his mightiest spells. Also make sure to heal whenever a character's life points drop under at the very least 100. There are two tricks with which you are almost sure to win. 1) If you can cast the Moon Sabre spell on your characters, they will regain life-points by striking him with their weapons. 2) If you can use the spell Counter Magic or the item Matango Oil on your characters, every spell that Koren casts on them will be cast back at him and deal damage, (with the exception of Ancient and the multi-target spells).