|“||When the world was shrouded in darkness, the Goddess of Mana drew forth the Sword of Mana to smite the eight Benevodons, monsters of destruction. She sealed the horrors inside the eight Mana Stones, bringing the realm back from the brink.||„|
|~ The segment of the introduction of Trial of Mana|
The Benevodons (Divine Beasts) are eight highly powerful and destructive elemental demons, who serves as a central plot device in the video game Trials of Mana. They later reappear as recurring bosses in the Mana series.
Trials of Mana
The Benevodons are the demonic alter-egos of the eight Elemental Spirits of Mana, who were created before the world was fully formed, probably by the primal Demon Goddess Medusa when the Mana Goddess created the eight Spirits. They spread destruction and misery all over until the Goddess sealed them in eight conic stones and placed them under the Mana Spirits' watch. The demons' power still leaked out of their stones, but the Mana Spirits purified it and turned it into benevolent energy.
In the game, the Great Evils of Mana (the Dark Majesty, the Dragon Lord and the Masked Mage) want to unleash them and use their power. To do so, they order their servants to manipulate one nation against another and start a worldwide war, draining the Mana Power which sustains the world of Fa'Diel in the process.
The three factions eventually manage to lift the seal on each Mana Stone, by sacrificing one soul per stone. Then, the heroes (in fact three of the six available) start a quest to save Fa’Diel. They defeat many of the Great Evils’ servants, gain the eight elemental magic from the Mana Spirits and reach the Mana Sanctuary where the Mana Tree, the physical incarnation of the Goddess, is located.
Unfortunately, the Mana Goddess has lost almost all her power and cannot help them. She gives them the holy Sword of Mana, but one of the Three Great Evils (the one selected as the Final Boss, through the choice of the main hero) gets rid of the other two and his servants coerce the heroes to relinquish the Sword. The villains then use the Sword to set the Benevodons free, forcing the heroes to track them down and destroy them before they can gather and join their might to lay utter waste upon the world.
The heroes can fight the first seven Benevodons in any order they want. (They are found at the same place that the Mana Stone imprisoning them once were.) However, with each Benevodon slain, the monsters in the dungeon where the next is found gain two levels, including the Benevodon itself, meaning that the next demon will be harder to reach and to defeat. Then they have to find and to defeat the last and mightiest one: Zable Fahr, the Benevodon of Darkness.
They manage to destroy every Benevodon but this was in fact what their foe wanted all along. When a Benevodon is slain, its power is transferred into the Sword of Mana, left free for the villain to absorb to surpass the Goddess' power. However, the Goddess uses her remaining strength to cancel or at least to restrain this power-boost, leading to the final battle.
Dangaard, Benevodon of WindAt level 29 and with 21136 life-points, this two-headed, dragon-like griffin is the Benevodon with the lowest level but the highest life-bar. It is fought in the skies, with the heroes riding Flammie: the White Dragon of Mana and the main mean of transportation in the Mana series. The scenery changes whenever Dangaard loses 1/4 of its life points.
Dangaard is not hard to defeat but the battle is very long. It charges, roars and of course uses Wind/Thunder based attacks, including the level 1 spell Air Blast, the level 2 spell Thunder Storm and the level 3 spell Stun Gust, which it can cast on every target, making it mightier.
Its most dangerous attack, Air Rush deals huge damage to all heroes. It uses the self-explanatory spell Accelerate and casts Thunder Magic on the heroes' weapons to make physical attacks heal it. The heroes must cast Earth Magic on their weapons and use every Earth spell they master. If they lack Earth magic, there are corresponding items. Attacking it the normal way makes the battle much longer.
Land Umber, Benevodon of EarthContrary to Dangaard, Land Umber is very powerful not that resilient, being at level 37 and having 9839 life-points This gigantic, floating, spiky stone golem can pose a serious threat, so caution is advised. It can squeeze one hero with his hand, or crush them between its fists before tossing them violently on the ground.
It uses Earth based attacks including the level 1, 2 and 3 spells Diamond Shards, Earthquake and Stone Cloud. The spells he casts on all heroes at once get mightier. Its most powerful attack, Hypercannon, deals crippling damages to each hero.
The heroes must get cured whenever its attacks (mostly Stone Cloud) turn them to stone. It can also cast Earth Magic on their weapons to be healed by their blows. They must cast Thunder magic on their weapons and use every Wind/Thunder based spell and corresponding item they know.
Fiegmund, Benevodon of WaterThis enormous amphibian reptile is at level 31 and has 11518 life-points. It can jump high to crush its foes, strike with its tongue and spit boomerang-like snowflakes. It uses the level 1, 2 and 3 Water/Ice spells: Ice Smash, Spike Freeze and Cold Blaze, and can makes them strike all targets. Its mightiest attacks: Icicle, Frozen Crack and the most powerful one Ice Cradle, strike every hero at once.
The heroes must get cured one gets turned into a snowman. When it dives in the water and appears below the platform, only spells can reach it.
Just like the others, it will cast Ice Magic weapons to heal itself when it gets struck, which needs to be dispelled. Fire Magic must be cast on weapons and Fire spells or the corresponding items are the best bet against it.
Xan Bie, Benevodon of FireThis floating, horned bird-prey’s head surrounded by big flames is fast, and can turn into a flaming tornado or dissolve into floating flames around the arena that cannot attack or be attacked. It is at level 35 and has 11283 life-points.
Xan Bie can cast a spell to increase its offensive power and has many dangerous attacks. Its three spells are Fireball, Explode and Blaze Wall, which he often casts on every target. Its most powerful attack is the very dangerous Gigaburn.
Of course, it also casts Fire Magic on the heroes' weapons to heal itself. Infusing weapons with Ice Magic and using Water/Ice spells and items deal most damage.
Mispolm, Benevodon of WoodThis huge, demonic Halloween Pumpkin is at level 33, has 15408 life-points, and can prove rather bothersome. The two carnivorous plants on its vines try to bite or swallow the heroes, but the main targets remains its body.
Mispolm spits Pumpkins Bombs, cast poison and sleeping spells that must be cured and casts Wood attacks like Grumpkin and the devastating Barrage Sting to strike every hero. It casts Wood Magic on weapons to heal itself when struck. Using magic is of little use as Mispolm is weak to the Moon Element that lacks offensive spells.
Worse, it can cast Magic Barrier to reflect back any spell at the caster so it must be dispelled quickly. The best strategy is to infuse the heroes’ weapons with Moon Magic and attack repeatedly, which damage it and replenish their life-points.
Dolan, Benevodon of MoonAt level 39 and with 13351 life-points, this ginormous were-monster is one of the most powerful and dangerous Benevodons.
It fights with claw swipes and stomping blows, and of course Moon Magic. Body Change shrinks and must be cured, Half Eclipse halves maximum life-points, and Howl, Gravity Crush and Moon Spiral deal damage to all heroes at once. The latter two are devastating, which coupled with Half Eclipse can be deadly.
There is no offensive Wood Magic accessible, so it must be struck repeatedly with Wood infused weapons. When it casts Moon Magic on said weapons, it is healed by strikes, and when it casts it on itself, its claws drain life-points, so dispel it quickly. His boosting spells must be dispelled.
Lightgazer, Benevodon of LightThis weird-looking cyclops blob of variable colour is much more threatening than it looks, but not that difficult. It is at level 40, has 15225 life-points and is only vulnerable when fully materialized. Not only can it cast Light Magic on the heroes’ weapons to heal itself, but it casts Healing Light on itself, so every life-point it regains must be lost quickly.
It can weaken the heroes and fire light spheres that deal minute damage but hurl backward. It casts the level 1 Light Based spell Holy Bolt and level 2 Lucent Beam, on one target or all. Its attacks Geyseblast and Prisoner deal huge damage to the whole heroes, with the latter turning them into harmless Moogles and needing a cure. Shadow Magic must be cast on their weapons and Shadow spells or items must be used repeatedly.
Zable Fahr, God Beast of Darkness
|“||Humankind tried to harness the energy of the Mana Stones to bring peace to the world. However, they soon fought over control of that energy. Dark forces took advantage of this and soon the world spiralled into an all-out war. The seal on the Darkstone was broken and the creatures of Darkness, including the Benevodon, brought the world to the brink of destruction. [...]It has been many years since then. The world recovered, but the Benevodon is not gone for good.||„|
|~ Shade, Mana Spirit of Shadow about Zable Fahr|
When the seven other demons are slain, the party will encounter and fight Zable Fahr in the Jungle of Illusions (if Kevin or Carlie is the main character), the Glass Desert (if Duran or Angela is the main character), or the Dark Cave (if Hawk or Lise is the main character); in short, the place where the main villain has his lair.
Zable Fahr is by far the most powerful, resilient and difficult of all Benevodons. It first manifests as the two demonic heads on the sides, who must be taken down for the real demon to appear and revives them. The side heads have 5413 life-points each, the central one has 10714, and the demon is at level 46. The central head is the main target. Attacking the others after it appears is useless as it always revives them. The secondary heads can spit fire, strike with their fanged tongue and swallow one hero.
All can cast the Shadow spells level 1 Evil Gate and level 2 Dark Force, on one or each hero, and the fearsome Annihilate which instantly kills lower-level targets. They can dispel buffs and weaken the heroes, and cast Shadow Magic on weapons to get healed by strikes. Zable Fahr's main head can summon Gremlins and Great Demons, and deal heavy damage to every hero with its special attack Southern Slice. Higher levels than its own are mandatory to escape Annihilate, and healing spells and items must be used often. Light magic, items and Light-infused weapons are as usual the best bet but caution is advised.
Children of Mana
The Benevodons reappear in the game Children of Mana, set a few years after Dawn of Mana and Millennia before Trials of Mana. In this game, the world of Fa'Diel is plagued by a scourge called the Mana Surge, in which the power of the Mana Tree expands throughout the world with disastrous results. The Surge fuses the eight Benevodons into Malevodons (Demonic Beasts), fought by the protagonists Ferrik, Tanber, Poppen and Wanderer.
When the Malevodons are defeated, the protagonist can visit the sealed Benevodons and ask for advice. In the end of the game, they decide to seal away the island of Illusia and turn it into the Mana Holyland. Oddly enough, the Benevodons appear as benevolent forces in this game and no mention is made of their seal. This could be rationalized knowing that while sealed their power is turned into benevolent energy, and that the Benevodons appearing in the game might be manifestations of it, returned to their violent ways when fused and sealed back when their fused form is defeated, but nothing can be known for sure.
XangarThe first boss of the game is a fusion of Xan Bie and Dangaard, manifesting as a giant flaming bird. At first, Xangar is invulnerable and the heroes can only dodge its attacks, until the Mana Goddess choses them as her champions to restore the world and sends them the Sword of Mana. Xangar flies around, mostly out of reach, and attacks by diving or by sending orbs of wind that can be deflected back, homing flames, and a fire pillar that move along the ground. It must be attacked when it flies at contact.
GalemA fusion of Lightgazer and Mispolm, manifesting as a cyclopean monster covered in leaves. Much like the recurring boss Aarghus from The Legend of Zelda, Galem divides the leaves covering it in bush-monsters circling around it to form a shield, and the heroes must use the flail like a hookshot to grab the monsters and destroy them, before attacking Galem with the sword. Galem attacks by making vines erupt from the ground and by emitting glowing light. The battle is quite easy since Galem seldom attacks.
ThaydolA fusion of Zable Fahr and Dolan, manifesting as a three-headed, giant humanoid; Thaydol stands in a hole at the centre of shifting sands that permanently drag the heroes toward it, greatly hindering their movements. They must attack with the bow and target its central, rhino-like head, while dodging its attacks.
The battle can be a considerable challenge as Thaydol attacks relentlessly, preventing the heroes from adjusting it, and its attacks are pretty damaging. It attacks by swiping its claws, stomping the ground with both hands, breathing many purple fireballs and spawning monsters that must be destroyed. From time to time, it might plunge the battleground in darkness for a while, so that its attacks become harder to dodge, as the protagonists can only see in a small circle around them.
LandmundA fusion of Land Umber and Fiegmund manifesting as a bipedal, dragon-like Kaiju with a face on its belly; Landmund is fought on a frozen land, making the battleground slippery and impeding the heroes' movements. It moves slowly but its attacks are pretty damaging and tricky to evade, if easy to telegraph. It can perform a long-lasting roll-out attack, stomp the ground to make icicles raining around it, hurl blocks of ice that cracks upon landing, and breathe green clouds of toxic gas. The best weapon against Landmund is the flail, and it is best to attack if from behind and get ready to flee when it prepares an attack.
Heroes of Mana
The Benevodons also appear in the prequel to Trials of Mana called Heroes of Mana, this time as allies of sorts. The heroes can create a shrine dedicated to the first seven Benevodons (since Zable Fahr is still lost in Mavolia) so as to call them forth as summons. However, they make no mystery of their malevolence and only agree to help because they do not want anyone but them to devastate Fa'Diel, even trying to escape at some point.
When summoned, they manifest from their seal and launch a devastating attack across the world that strikes every enemy on the screen. Dangaard fires many red thunderbolts that cause explosions and inflict the paralysis status. Land Umber makes giant streams of lava erupt from the ground and inflict petrification. Fiegmund casts Icicle, causing a rain of giant ice spikes that inflicts freeze. Xan Bie casts Gigaburn, causing a stream of huge explosions that inflicts burn. Mispolm sends many vines ending with a spike that erupt from the ground and inflict sleep. Dolan fire a gigantic beam of yellow moonlight blasting anything on its path and draining life-points. Lightgazer casts a Geyseblast/Prisoner combo that fires three explosive beams of yellow light that inflict charm.
Rise of ManaTwo Benevodons are featured as bonus bosses in the mobile phone game Rise of Mana, in which two protagonists from warring species of the Spirit Realm, the divine Rasta and the demonic Daruka, must share a body and learn to cooperate in the physical planes. The demons are all fought in a floating space.
Mispolm bites the heroes with the carnivorous plants on its vines, plants its vines on the ground to make countless thorny vines erupt around the heroes, and causes a rain of Pumpkin Bombs. Its attacks are pretty damaging and hard to dodge, so caution is advised. Fortunately, it is very open to attacks, enabling the heroes to pummel it without end.
The most powerful Benevodon is a considerably dangerous foe with many life-points, so the greatest care is advised. Its three heads attack in turn, and the heroes must focus on the one in charge until it switches places with another, repeating the process until the demon meets a grisly end. The main face fires purples rays from all sides at once that are difficult to dodge. The blue side face fires blue-green energy balls that fly and all dive towards the heroes. The purple side face fires three golden energy spheres that blast the heroes with greenish waves.
Three Benevodons are fought as bosses in the unofficial hack game Super Kitiku Mario, translated as Brutal Mario, namely Xan Bie, Lightgazer and Zable Fahr.
Xan Bie surrounds itself with four flames and hurls them at Mario one after the other. When all four flames are gone, it turns blue and Mario must jump on it to knock it on the ground, to push it into the pool of water and deal damage. The Benevodon then charges at Mario followed by four flames, which he hurls one after another, and surrounds itself with flames it hurls like before. Mario must knock it into the pool two more times to get rid of it.
Lightgazer bounces on the ground to crush Mario, and once in a while fires three eyeballs in different directions below him. Mario must dodge until it fires a turtle shell that charges along the ground, to knock it, catch it and bounce it into the demon’s eye. Striking its eye makes him disappear and reappear later. When hit enough times, the Benevodon becomes red and faster until struck again. It then becomes greenish blue again, and becomes golden yellow before dying when hit two more times.
Zable FahrThe battle against Zable Fahr is very similar to that of Trials of Mana, taking place on a very small platform and facing first the demon's two secondary heads before fighting the three altogether. The blue secondary head on the left of the screen mostly attacks by biting with its demonic tongue, on which Mario must jump to deal damage.
The other head fires an arrow-shaped energy blast that Mario must strike with his Cloak to reflect them back. Both head can also spit a continuous stream of fire that can only dodged by crouching. When Zable Fahr's real head appears, Mario must jump as high as possible so that the head on the left will harm the main one with its demonic tongue. The real face attacks by making huge coloured crosses of energy fall from the sky, (an obvious reference to the attack Hell Cross in the real game) make Bob-Ombs fall from the sky on a parachute and by casting a spell. Knocking the Bob-Ombs while they are descending apparently also deals damage.