In the original Japanese game, he is only referred by his title: Koren no Madoshi (the Crimson Wizard or the Wizard of the Crimson Lotus). The game being only available in Japan, the emulator translation keeps Koren as his name.
|“||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 with the prospect of becoming the most powerful and influential wizard in the world, in exchange of a piece of his soul. Koren accepted and became incredibly powerful, yet, sharing his soul with the Dragon Emperor corrupted him until he became as malevolent, ambitious and ruthless as his lord.
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 spread everywhere in Fa'Diel. Koren brainwashed Valda and started ruling Altena through her in secret. He had Altena declare war to other nations, with the ultimate goal of unsealing the eight Mana Stones, in which the God Beasts are sealed.
About Koren himself
Koren is on par with Heath and Bigieu, though he appears more proficient in magic, casting no less than fourteen attack spells during the story. (This makes him the human character with the most attack spells of the game.)
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 might; in spite of him only performing "classical" magical feats such as teleportation, magical movements, sight and talk where he is not physically present and mind-control, aside from fighting.
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 make her do as he pleased. 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.
Koren original personality remains unknown, but it is heavily implied that he deeply suffered from the contempt he endured due to his inability to spellcast. 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 a villain though, Koren is the diametric opposite of gentle and humble. He displays great cruelty and pride, revelling in his victim's torment and mocking what they hold dear. Koren displays strong contempt for weaker people. He revels in toying with his victims and breaking their spirit. He is seen playing cat-and-mouse with Duran, lecturing him and slowly taking him down with weaker spells instead of finishing him in one hit.
He apparently loves to fight, as he is seen laughing endlessly when fought as a boss. He also grows increasingly irked by the protagonists' meddling, first dismissing them as hopeless weaklings, before "welcoming" them with an angry outburst. Despite this, he is a capable general who always fights in the front 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).|
Koren personally led an attack on the royal castle of Valsena (Forcena in the unofficial translation), where he effortlessly defeated Duran: the kingdom's best swordsman, the son of the Knight of Gold who defeated the Dragon Emperor at the cost of his life and one of the six playable characters. Duran barely survived and swore to become powerful enough to find, to fight and to kill Koren.
At the same time, Koren planned to use Angela, the princess of Altena and another playable character, who was also unable to perform magic, as a sacrifice to lift the seal on the Mana Stone of Water. (Each Mana Stone needing a different sacrifice.) He made it appear as a decision of the Queen of Reason herself, and a distraught Angela, using magic for the first time of her life, fled the palace.
Seiken Densetsu 3
During 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. Koren sends the witches warriors of Altena all across, who send two Machine Golems after the party, destroying the bridge to Valsena. He and the Darkshine Knight search for the Mana Stones. The party prevents him from sacrificing Valda to unseal the Mana Stone of Water, and he uses fallen soldiers instead.
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 Mana Sword, Koren abducts their Fairy guide and demands the Sword 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).|
At level 48 and with 14718 life-points, Koren is a formidable enemy, more than a match even for three characters of higher level. He 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 low-level spells are painful and multi-target spells are mightier than the normal ones. 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 ones in a row.
The only way to harm him with magic is to cast a spell of either the same element or the opposite of his last attack, 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 boost your party and to weaken him with as many spells and items as possible, before harassing him with weapons and special techniques. It is best to decrease his magic power to weaken his attacks. Make sure to heal when life-points drop under at least 100.
Do not use too powerful techniques or he retaliates with a deadly spell. When low on life-points he starts casting Ancient: the deadliest spell, which conjures MANY explosive meteors and deals crippling damages to the whole party. If you cast the Moon Sabre spell, your characters regain life-points when striking him with weapons. And with the Counter Magic spell or Matango Oil item, every spell that Koren casts are reflected back and deal damage, (with the exception of Ancient and the multi-target spells). With those tricks, victory is almost certain.
Rise of ManaKoren, Bigieu and the Death Jester make cameo appearances in the mobile phone game Rise of Mana. They serve both as bosses and allies fighting alongside the heroes, even against themselves. They can be faced individually or altogether.
This game features two protagonists from warring species of the Spirit Realm, the divine Rasta and demonic Daruka, who are sent to the physical planes sharing a body and forced to cooperate. In the end, everything is revealed to have been a successful plot of the Mana Goddess herself to bring peace between the two species.
When fought as a boss, Koren hovers over the ground flanked by two dangerous machine monsters. He is fast, powerful and resilient, and casts dangerous spells. You must dodge his attacks and pummel him at close range, but spells also work against him. The two machines deliver whirling blows and turn their head into cannons. Koren uses Fire Magic to conjure two fireballs on each side that blast purple beams, or to conjure from the sky a fireball that causes a huge explosion. He uses Water/Ice Magic to conjure blue circles on the ground, causing huge icicles to erupt from them before they vanish in a circle of blue vapour. He uses Wind/Thunder Magic to conjure many thunderbolts at once.
When fought alongside the other two, they form a considerably dangerous team that unleash long-range and close range combos. Be very careful and dodge and counterattack rather than rushing blindly.
Circle of Mana
Like pretty much every character of the Mana series, Koren is playable in the card-based roleplaying game Circle of Mana. Here, the characters are played as cards to save the Mana Tree from monsters, and can gain power, equipment and Class Changes. Several cards featuring him are available, each evolving following a distinct path.
Lord of Vermilion III
Koren, Bigieu and Death Jester make cameo appearances in the crossover arcade strategy game Lord of Vermilion III, which features collectible cards and battles in open space while controlling units, consisting in characters from many Square Enix games. They serve as powerful units who fight with their spells from the game.