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File:HalfMinuteHero 9237.jpg

Time waits for no man.

Half-Minute Hero is a Retraux Puzzle Game for the Play Station Portable.

You are a Hero. The Evil Lord is attempting to cast a spell that will destroy the world. The spell takes thirty seconds to cast. Therefore, you have thirty seconds to Save the World.

This is the cornerstone of Half Minute Hero, a game which condenses all of the standard RPG tropes into thirty frantic seconds of level grinding, side-questing and monster slaying. Do you rush through the map in order to reach the Evil Lord as fast as possible, at the risk of not being strong enough to defeat him? Or do you chance a time-consuming detour for that Infinity+1 Sword? What about that Quest Giver who could possibly open a shortcut for you? Or the Time Goddess, from whom you can (literally) buy more time? You'll need to think fast if you want to succeed; no-one ever said being a hero was easy.

In addition to this mode (known as "Hero 30"), there are five other modes of play available:

  • Evil Lord 30 is a Real Time Strategy game where you play as the Evil Lord, searching for a way to lift a curse on his beloved Millennia. In the process, you have to summon monsters to fight against the humans who stand in your way.
  • Princess 30 is a side-scrolling Shoot'Em Up where a cheerful princess is searching for items that could possibly cure her father's mysterious illness.
  • Knight 30 (which is only unlocked after the first three modes are beaten) is a Hold the Line Escort Mission where you, the Knight, has to protect a powerful sage so that he can cast a spell to wipe out all of the enemies in the area.
  • Hero 300, unlocked after completing Knight 30, is the climactic 5-minute finale.
  • Hero 3 is a 3-second extra stage unlocked after finishing Hero 300. It's as hard as it sounds.

A sequel has been announced under the title Yuusha 30 Second/Half-Minute Hero Second set for release in Japan in August 2011. Siliconera has reported that a translated version will be released in the UK in October 2011. All has remained quiet so far.

Tropes that apply to Half-Minute Hero as a whole:

  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Lampshaded and parodied throughout the series. Even if the shop is abandoned, hero leaves money there.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Each of the game modes have its own protagonist, though Evil Lord shows up in a few others.
  • Arc Number: Guess.
  • Badass: Each protagonist is this in one way or another.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Noire, the game's Big Bad.
  • Exact Time to Failure: It's right there in the title.
  • Fanfare: A fast-paced, but epic tune, as fitting this game.
  • Graphics Induced Super Deformed: Somewhat parodied. Take a look at the concept art, and look how much detail is put into the character's clothings, accesories, etc.
  • Meta Girl: The Time Goddess.
  • Miser Advisor: The Time Goddess again.
  • Noble Demon / The Dandy: The "Beautiful Evil Lord". Despite his designation as an Evil Lord, he doesn't show much interest in committing any kind of evil.
  • Overly Long Gag: It's fair to say that each level of an individual game within Half Minute Hero is based around the lampooning the same tropes as many times as there are levels.
  • Rainbow Speak
  • Retraux: Most of the game's graphics are low-resolution sprites, but there are a few modern images shown in cutscenes.
  • Running Time in the Title
  • Saving the World: Frequently.
  • Say It with Hearts: The Time Goddess, yet again.
  • Sequence Breaking: The games run in chronological order, but the first three can be completed in any order.
  • Shout-Out: The game is filled with them. For example, the item descriptions in the Goddess Room include references to Monty Python, One Piece, and plenty of others.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The story dictates that the objective must be accomplished in 30 seconds, but the timer stops during dialogues and in towns (in Hero 30 Normal difficulty only).
    • If you use your desperation maneuver in Hero 30, giving the Time Goddess all your money without actually having enough to rewind time, then she'll still rewind time. However, time doesn't stop anymore, and when you get down to 10 seconds, you lose all of your equipment. Used carefully, it can win the stage. Used stupidly, well, there's always that "retry" button.
  • Timed Mission
  • Troperiffic: Arguably what the game is most about.
  • Word Salad Title: The Xbox360 port is called Half-Minute Hero - Super Mega Neo Climax.

Tropes that apply to Hero 30:

  • Acceptable Breaks From Reality: Some standard video game examples are Lampshaded in the post-quest summaries, such as a carpenter fixing a bridge with just a hammer or a soldier recovering from serious wounds by taking medicine.
  • Action Girl: A few join the Hero and provide extra attack power.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: In "Another Goddess", you're limited to three allies, most of whom require payment to use their services. No such limit exists in Quests 19 and 30, where all of the characters you've met up to that point will lend a helping hand.
  • Bag of Spilling
  • Barbarian Hero: Donovan, the bandit leader.
  • Bling of War: There are multiple pieces of golden equipment. In a subversion of the usual video game variety of this trope, they are really expensive but absolutely useless as equipment, just like real solid gold armor would be.
  • Bonus Dungeon: [PSP version] Quest 25 "Another Goddess" will likely not be available when you first reach it, as the stage will end immediately after starting. When you do get to access it, it has a completely different format than all of the other stages. The par time is 4'30" for a very good reason.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Larrie.
  • Broken Bridge: "I broke the bridge so no one can interfere with me!"
  • But Thou Must!: Lampshaded when you meet the Time Goddess for the first time. She says, "Has there ever been an RPG that begins when you say 'no'?"
  • Camp Gay: Older Brother(?) . . . if he's a man.
  • Cast From HP: Hero's Dash ability. It speeds you up and prevents random encounters, so in a game where time is critical, it's certainly worth the HP loss.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: As fun as the game is most of the time, things get really bittersweet in the last two missions.
  • Cool Horse: Hero can get a horse in some levels, which allows him to dash without consuming HP.
  • Collision Damage: Battles are conducted by ramming the hero(es) into the enemy. Both parties take damage on contact, similar to Ys.
  • Deal with the Devil: One path has the Hero making a deal with a powerful demon and gaining huge stat and HP boosts. This power is granted for three more stages in this path, at the end of which the Hero's soul is due to her. The Time Goddess saves him from this fate (at a hefty price, naturally).
    • Notably, those four levels are almost impossible to die on. The devil is true to their word: you become damn near unstoppable.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: If you die, you're teleported to the start of the map with 10 HP and no further penalty. The only way to lose in most cases is to run out of time.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Evil Lord Dantes mentions destroying the bridges around his castle with his 'Electrical Thunder'.
  • Determinator: The Beautiful Evil Lord. Even if you defeat him in battle (which takes ridiculous amounts of grinding), he still refuses to stop the spell until he gets Millenia back.
  • Dual Boss: Kalfa and Polter, Evil Lord Gemini.
  • Dual-Wielding: Barbara carries two spears with her to combat.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom: The Spell of Destruction causes one of these. And takes thirty seconds to cast. Best start running...
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "My name is Knowsall XXX! Everyone calls me Professor!"
  • Flunky Boss: About a third of them.
  • Fridge Logic: In-universe example: "The giant evil lord's weak point is his feet?! Why was Sebastian having such a hard time?"
  • Genre Deconstruction: Makes you wonder why you spend hours and hours grinding in almost any other RPG.
    • Takes the World Map trope and its apparent ultrafast travel to its logical conclusion, by allowing the hero to cross whole continents in less than 30 in-universe seconds.
  • Global Airship: Can't have a console JRPG without one! Only in this case, it doesn't prevent random encounters and it's actually a dragon.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Bandit Trio.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck: "Darn you to heck!"
  • Heroic Mime: Notably, Hero is the only one of the game's four main protagonists who exhibits this trope.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: [XBLA version] The first encounter with Demon Overlord Hol (who appears at the same relative time as the PSP's Goddess of Judgment). Regardless of how much grinding you've done, you'll still get killed in one hit.
  • Human Popsicle: In the ending, the Hero asks to be sealed by the Time Goddess at the cost of everything he acquired on his journey. He is awakened 400 years later by the Sage from Knight 30 in response to the Ultimate Evil Lord's revival, thus starting Hero 300.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted, despite the very low-resolution sprites. Your character can be reduced to his underwear if he loses his equipment or starts without any.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A lot of them. "This is a large battle axe. Wielded by cute little girls more and more these days."
  • Level Grinding: Extremely accelerated compared to other role-playing games. It's not unusual to gain a dozen of levels within a minute.
    • That said, you will have to grind to get some of the Titles.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The Time Goddess complains how her only outfit is unsuitable for the snow-covered northern region.
  • Loin Cloth: One piece of body gear. When Hero gets it, the Time Goddess asks if he's cold.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The Beautiful Lord went nuts after Millennia was kidnapped.
  • Metal Slime: A few maps have a rare monster in a specific tile that drops huge amounts of gold. The money is usually for an expensive piece of equipment in the same level.
  • Money Spider: Played straight in all but two quests: "The Have-Nots", where you can only earn money from completing quests (and even then, only up to 10 times each), and "Turtle and Hermit", the only quest without any Random Encounters at all.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: A few instances can lead to a premature end of your journey, such as not breaking the dam in "Change the Current" to regulate the currents, or not giving the Goddess the money she requires to break your Deal with the Devil.
  • Nostalgia Level: See Shout-Out, below.
  • Not So Different: The final boss tells Hero, right after he defeats him, that he isn't so different from the Evil Lords.
  • Olympic Swimmer: If Hero doesn't have a boat, he'll just swim across the ocean.
  • 108: The number of evil lords you need to defeat to unlock Quest 25: Another Goddess
  • Palette Swap: A few Evil Lords on the southern continent share sprites with earlier Evil Lords. Lampshaded for all its worth.
  • Powerup Mount: The horse, and later on Syldonix the dragon.
  • Random Encounters: There are actually a couple of quests without them, and it's a problem because you need them for money and experience.
  • Restart At Level One: As a side effect of the Time Goddess using her power to turn back time, the hero's level is reset to 1 after each level.
  • Shout-Out: Lots. There's even a retro-themed level with graphics reminiscent of the original green-screened Game Boy and a boss named CATS. (And yes, it does reference that meme).
    • Not to mention the Turtle Hermit.
    • The secret/hidden mission "The Two Goddesses" changes the "Hero 30" logo to "Valhalla Knights 30", and the enemy in this mission is not a Dark Lord but the other game's Goddess of Judgment.
  • Sprint Shoes: Hero's Dash (see Cast From HP above) and the horse (see Cool Horse above).
  • Temporal Paradox: If you retry a stage you've already cleared, you're limited to using only equipment you got before reaching that point. The Time Goddess notes that taking items from future stages will cause a time paradox. Trying to play the stage anyway will start you with no equipment.
  • Theme Naming: The Bandit Trio are named Larrie, Mo and Cully.
  • This Cannot Be!: Many evil lords, when defeated.
  • Time Keeps on Ticking: Hard difficulty keeps the countdown running inside towns.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In some cases, turning back time resets events, like undestroying villages or reversing an avalanche. In others, turning back time does nothing, like making the mole coerced into causing earthquakes not reappear when freed. In addition, you keep your gold, exp, and items.
    • Justified in that you've got a goddess who controls time on your side, so naturally she'd rewind it in whatever way is most convenient.
      • This is actually critical at one point: If you pay her enough, the Time Goddess erases your Deal with the Devil, but not anything you did with the Devil's power.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you try to go to the Goddess Statue without enough money to pay for a time reversal, you'll still get the clock reset to 30 seconds, but you'll lose all of your equipment after 20 seconds, and the timer no longer stops while you're exploring towns. Good luck trying to finish a level after that happens without doing a lot of Level Grinding beforehand.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Quest 29. 'Nuff said.
    • You can avert this by holding back on the last zombie for a few seconds.
  • With This Herring: You start the game with nothing more than the clothes on your back, are told the world is going to be destroyed in thirty seconds and find out that you're going to have to pay for the privilege of granting yourself the time to save the world. Does the king offer to help in any way? Ha, no.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: You can't seem to go anywhere without coming across someone threatening to destroy the entire world within the next minute.

Tropes that apply to Evil Lord 30:

Tropes that apply to Princess 30:

Tropes that apply to Knight 30:

Tropes that apply to Hero 300:

  • A God Am I: Noire.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If you lose the first fight with the Ultimate Evil Lord, you're teleported to a small island with no exit. Syldonix, the dragon you rescued in Hero 30, arrives shortly after to return you to the battle to try again.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: For serious this time. The world will be destroyed in 5 minutes, and since the Time Goddess was killed, you don't get to turn back the clock at all. She gets better, but not until the ending.
  • God in Human Form: The sage is actually a mortal incarnation of the Time Goddess.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sage.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted again. You start with no equipment (having lost it all in the ending of Hero 30) and have to fight your first few battles in briefs.
  • Marathon Level: The world this time is a collection of compressed areas representing the continents of each main character. Each area has a hard time limit. At certain points in the timer, time freezes in each area and you lose if you don't escape it before then.
  • One-Winged Angel: Noire.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: A variation, as the band all lived in different eras and never previously lived at the same time, save for the Evil Lord.
  • Time Keeps on Ticking: Just as in Hero 30.

Tropes that apply to Hero 3:

  • No Plot, No Problem: Most of the game was composed of only Excuse Plot, but Hero 3 has absolutely no plot. It's just the Time Goddess daring you to beat this level.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: In Hero 30, the sky gradually turns red as time runs down. Here, it's red all the time. That is, all the time when it's not purple which is an even more threatening situation.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Since the world is going to end in such a short time, all of the vendors happily gouge their prices by 500% or more. Good thing all of the monsters in this mode are Money Spiders.
  • Up to Eleven: All you've saved the world in 30 seconds...multiple times. Let's see you try to do it in just three.