|“||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 featuring the Benevodons.|
The Benevodons (Divine Beasts) are eight highly powerful, destructive and demonic elemental monsters, who serve as major antagonists, bosses and a central plot device in the action RPG Trials of Mana, and later as recurring bosses throughout the World of 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 primeval Demon Goddess Anise when the Mana Goddess created the eight Spirits.
They spread destruction all over until the Goddess sealed them beat them with the Sword of Mana and sealed them in eight conic stones, which she placed under the Elemental Spirits' watch.
The demons' power still leaked out of their stones, but the Spirits purified it and turned it into benevolent energy.
In the game, the Great Evils of Mana (his 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 while they are recovering their might before they can gather and lay utter destruction 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 the last and mightiest one: Zable Fahr, the Benevodon of Darkness.
The first Benevodon is at level 29 and the seventh at level 40, Zable Fahr being at level 44. They all get healed by their element and can infuse the heroes' weapon with it to do so, which must be dispelled. Each one is vulnerable to an element, so it is advised to attack with the corresponding spells or items and infuse weapons with it. In the remake, the first will be at level 42, the second at 45, the seventh at 55 and Zable Fahr at 56. Their attacks can now be dodged, and are even telegraphed by red zones signalling their area of effect prior, but remain deadly.
They manage to destroy every Benevodon but this is in fact what their foe wanted all along. The power of all slain Benevodons 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 restrain this power-boost, leading to the final battle.
Dangaard, Benevodon of Wind21136 life-points make this bat-winged griffin with two heads bigger than the heroes the most resilient Benevodon. It is fought in the sky atop the White Dragon Flammie, the series' mascot. It is vulnerable to Earth and the perspective changes when it loses a fourth of its life.
Dangaard is not that hard to defeat but the battle is very long. It charges, roars and uses Wind/Thunder magic, buffing itself with Accelerate and Mental Boost and attacking with level 1 spell Cyclone, the level 2 spell Thunder Storm and the level 3 spell Stun Gust, mightier when cast on every target. Its deadliest attack, Air Rush hugely damages every hero.In the remake, Dangaard's heads can be targeted separately, and even knocked out to make them vulnerable. Its attacks are tricky to dodge due to the small arena. It strikes with its beaks and tail, and spams Cyclone and Thunderball.
Upon losing a fourth of its life-bar, it attacks out of reach for a while with Aerowind: a huge yellow beam which can be cast by one head or both, then Charge.
Land Umber, Benevodon of EarthLand Umber is the least resilient with "only" 9839 life-points, but this gigantic, spiky, floating, spiky, gem-incrusted stone golem is very powerful and can pose a serious threat. It is vulnerable to Wind/Thunder.
The heroes must beware it hands, for it stomps the ground with his fist, seizes one hero with one hand, or squeeze them between both. It uses the level 1, 2 and 3 Earth spells Diamond Shards, Earthquake and Stone Cloud, casting them on all heroes for greater damage. Its deadliest attack, Hypercannon, deals crippling damages to them all at they must get cured whenever they get turned to stone.In the remake, its hands act like separate enemies of the same level, and must both be taken down to break the spherical shield protecting its orange core, its weak point.
It punches the heroes in addition to physical attacks and can still cast spells when its core is vulnerable. When it gathers its power the heroes must knock it out to make it vulnerable, lest it devastates them with Hypercannon.
Fiegmund, Benevodon of WaterThis gigantic amphibian reptile covered with ice crystals has 11518 life-points, but it is not that hard to defeat. It can jump high to crush its foes, strike with its tongue and spit boomerang snowflakes. It is vulnerable to Fire.
It uses the level 1, 2 and 3 Water/Ice spells: Ice Smash, Spike Freeze and Cold Blaze, and can cast them on all targets to deal greater damage. Its attacks Frozen Crack, Icicle, and the deadliest one Ice Cradle strike every hero. The heroes must cured when turned to a snowman. When it dives underwater below the platform, only spells can reach it.In the remake, Fiegmund still jumps and stomps at the heroes, but jumps on the walls rather than diving under the platform, still only reachable by spells. It deals greater damage when jumping at the heroes from the wall.
When it conjures up to four giant icicles, the heroes must destroy them before he can cast Frozen Crack, which is here its mightiest attack and conjuring a ginormous mass of icicle at the centre of the stage. (Fire attacks are useful.) If they do, it gets knocked out and vulnerable for a while.
Xan Bie, Benevodon of FireThis giant, floating, horned bird-prey's head surrounded with huge flames has 11283 life-points. It is fast, powerful, and can turn its flames to a fiery tornado around itself or dissolve into flames floating flames around the arena that cannot attack or be attacked.
Xan Bie is vulnerable to Water/Ice. It casts Strengthen on itself and cast the level 1 Fireball, level 2 Explode and level 3 Blaze Wall, mightier on every target, along with Heat Wave and its deadliest attack Gigaburn, a veritable storm of explosions.In the remake, Xan Bie's flames are lava spheres and its fiery tornado move shields it and damages at contact. It must be dispelled by destroying the altars in its likeness. (Water is useful.) It respawns the spheres one by one. They must be dodged and Xan Bie will divebomb the heroes.
Later, the altars must be destroyed again to prevent it from casting Gigantaburn, then to dispel its tornado again as it now fires four Heat Beams at once.
Mispolm, Benevodon of WoodThis towering Halloween Pumpkin has 15408 life-points, and can prove annoying. The two carnivorous plants try to bite or swallow the heroes, but only the main body can be harmed. It spits Pumpkins Bombs and uses powerful Wood attacks like Grumpkin and the deadly Barrage Sting that strike every hero, or poison and sleep spells that must be cured.
Magic of little use as its weakness is Moon, which lacks attack spells. Worse, its Magic Barrier spell reflects attack spells and must be dispelled fast. However, weapons infused with Moon Magic restore their wielder’s health with each blow.In the remake, the carnivorous plants act like separate enemies of the same level. They can travel underground, cast spell and must be taken down to attack Mispolm, but they self-destructs in a huge explosion.
It never moves and lashes with whip-like thorny vines or casts Barrage Sting, two masses of spiky roots along the ground. Mispolm can be knocked out, with the pumpkin falling and becoming a target, but it respawns three carnivorous plants.
Dolan, Benevodon of the MoonWith 13351 life-points, this building-sized were-monster is one of the mightiest Benevodons. Wood Magic also lacks attack spells, but infusing weapons with it drains its magic.
Dolan mostly fights with claw swipes and stomping blows, but its Moon Magic is bothersome. Change Form shrinks the heroes, Half Eclipse halves their maximum life-points. His attacks Howl, Gravity Crush and the deadly Moon Spiral damage each one of them. It can boost itself with spells and cast Moon Magic on its claws to drain the heroes' life-points, so it must be dispelled.In the remake, Dolan can rend earth with its claw, stomps to hurl a wave of yellow energy and spams Change Form. Either its body, arms or head can be struck, though the head is harder to reach but more vulnerable. When it casts Moon Spiral, it conjures a miniature moon that must be destroyed before it unleashes a devastating purple beams all over the arena leaving a trail of energy on their wake. If destroyed in time, Dolan is knocked out for a while and becomes vulnerable.
Lightgazer, Benevodon of LightThis ginormous but weird-looking cyclops blob of variable colour is way more threatening than it looks, but not that difficult to defeat. It has 15225 life-points and is only vulnerable when materialized. It casts Magic Shield which must be dispelled and Healing Light, so every life-point it regains must be lost soon.
It can weaken the heroes and fire light spheres that deal minute damage but hurl then backward. It casts the level 1 Holy Bolt and level 2 Lucent Beam, mightier on all foes. Gush Blast and Shackles hugely damage all heroes, with the latter turning them to harmless Moogles which must be cured.In the remake, Lightgazer can teleport, and its eye it his weak point. It can rise high to crash on the ground, or charge violently and leave energy-infused orbs on its wake to explode shortly after. When it gathers its power, it must be struck repeatedly to knock it out and make it vulnerable, lest it casts Gush Blast, here its deadliest attack with sweeps the arena with a tremendous yellow beam.
Zable Fahr, Benevodon 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 heroes fight Zable Fahr in the Glass Desert (when the knight Duran or the mage princess Angela is the main hero), in the Jungle of Illusions (if it is the werewolf prince Kevin or the elven bishop Charlotte), or in the Night Cavern (if it is the ninja thief Hawkeye or the amazon princess Riesz); in short, where the main villain has his lair.
Zable Fahr is way more powerful, resilient and hard to defeat than the other Benevodons. It first manifests as the two devilish heads on the sides, who must be taken down to reveal the real demon, more human-like and feminine-looking who revives them both. Each devil has 5413 life-points, while the real demon has 10714. Attacking the devils after the core revealed itself is useless, for it always revives them with Reanimate.
The devils can spit fire, strike with their fanged tongue, swallow one hero and spit them back, dispel boosting magic and cast weakening curses. The core can summon Gremlins and Great Demons, and deal heavy damage to every hero with Southern Slice. 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. (Having the same level is advised.)
In the remake, the Devils’ fire breath and Fetid Breath reach sweep most of the arena. The core’s summons are at level 52 and must be destroyed, while the heads can combine their attacks. Each devil can cast Diabolical Blast, causing continuous gusts of wind to push the heroes into the other’s mouth, and the core can cast four Evil Gate spells at once. When the three channel purple beams into a triangle rune, the heroes must destroy the beams’ cores to escape the devastating Southern Slice. If they succeed, the demon is knocked out and vulnerable.
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.
Xan Bie, Land Umber and Lightgazer manage to partially manifest from their Mana Stones, but the heroes are able to beat them in their weakened state, forcing them back in their jail.
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 Gush Blast/Shackles combo that fires three explosive beams of yellow light and inflicts charm.
Children of Mana
The Benevodons reappear in this game, 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 games, 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.
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.
Trials of Mana
Heroes of Mana