Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal (クロノアヒーローズ 伝説のスターメダル), or Klonoa Heroes: The Legendary Star Medal, is an action role-playing game developed and published by Namco and released only in Japan in 2002. It is the first game in the Klonoa series to combine both standard action-gaming elements with CRPG features.
Klonoa Heroes is set in an alternate universe from the other games. Here, Klonoa lives in his hometown of Breezegale and is setting his sights on becoming a true hero. The game begins with him and his friend, Chipple, trying to pluck a special flower, the Hikari Sakura (literally the Light Sakura or Light Cherry-blossom) from a tree branch. The flower is said to only bloom under special circumstances, and the person who possesses it will be granted good luck.
After getting the Hikari Sakura, Klonoa is informed by Popka, his small, dog-like friend, that several small monsters have taken up residence around his town, and Klonoa rushes to beat them back. Not long after defeating them, Klonoa decides to visit his friend, a priestess-in-training named Lolo, who informs him that more monsters have been sighted on Bell Hill, located just up the path from the shrine she is studying in. After promising he will come back safely, Klonoa makes his way to the top of the hill, only to be surrounded by several small, round creatures called Moos. Just then, he is rescued by a young man on a motorcycle who calls himself Guntz.
Klonoa later fights Guntz and regains the flower after his persistence earns the latter's respect. Klonoa returns to Lolo and its revealed that he wanted to give her the Hikari Sakura for luck in her training. Lolo is touched by this and bids her friends farewell as she goes off on her journey.
Klonoa and Guntz leave to pursue a bounty-hunting career, only to run into a large pangolin named Pango, a bomb expert, who joins them because he wants to cure his son, Borris, from the sleeping sickness. They all learn of a plot being conceived by a madman named Janga, who has joined forces with some of Klonoa's other villains, Joka and Garlen. Together, Klonoa, Guntz, and Pango must defeat Janga and put an end to his sinister plans.
Taking a unique twist on the normal gameplay of the Klonoa handheld games, Klonoa Heroes instead relies on the player moving Klonoa, Guntz, or Pango across the screen from a top-down perspective, having them defeat enemies and earn experience points in the form of Dream Shards (small, crystal-like objects) and gold, which is used for currency, along the way. Klonoa once again utilizes his familiar weapon, the Wind Ring, but this time the "wind bullet" he can fire from it can be either blue or red. Guntz's handguns and Pango's bombs work the same way. Characters can acquire different weapons throughout the game. Likewise, each enemy in the game is given a color affinity of either blue or red, and Klonoa (or the other characters) can deal more damage to them by attacking with the same color.
Restorative items can be either found in chests located sporadically throughout each level, or purchased from merchants in town. These items, when used, restore a portion of the character's hit points, as well as provide other small benefits. Characters can also "level up", which allows the player to place points of their choice in different statistics: such as attack power, defense, and agility. You can change the amount of points attributed to each stat at any time (when not in a section of a level).
Klonoa and his friends must travel through eight worlds separated into several small levels called visions. At the end of each world, the characters must take on a boss monster, a much more difficult encounter than usual, in order to advance.
World 1 - Breezegale: This world takes place around the formerly quiet town of Breezegale that has recently been overrun by monsters. Klonoa begins his journey here, chasing Guntz who stole his good luck flower. Guntz then invites him to join forces, and Klonoa agrees.
(Breezegale is also known as "the Village of Wind" in Phantomile.)
World 2 - Jugkettle Sea: An underwater world where Klonoa and Guntz meet a small fish-like creature named Karal, who informs them that his mother, Pamela, has gone insane after being exposed to the rays of the full moon and is terrorizing the nearby fishing village.
(Jugkettle is probably from "the Kingdom of Water" Jugpot in Phantomile.)
World 3 - The Ruins of the Moon: Klonoa and Guntz make their way into an underground mine where several people are being held captive by a mysterious man. The two split up, Guntz using Klonoa as a decoy, during which he gets captured. Guntz finds Janga, a mad cat who is using the prisoners to harvest nightmares, whom he has a vendetta against. After he and Klonoa get thrown in a jail cell, they are released by Pango. Guntz runs off to chase Janga, and Pango (who is trying to find a cure for his sick son) joins with Klonoa.
(The Ruins of the Moon is called as "the Moon's (Ruins?)" in original Japanese version.)
World 4 - The Sky Temple: A sacred temple where several priestesses live and worship the goddess Claire. Many monsters have since invaded, and it's up to Klonoa and crew to put a stop to them.
(The Sky Temple is probably from "the Kingdom of Tranquility" La-Lakoosha in Lunatea.)
World 5 - Volk City: A city inhabited by the Volkies, a society of war-mongers who feel that only might makes right. Klonoa and the group must navigate through their labyrinthian city in order to put an end to the disturbance, and investigate a covert agenda about nightmares and the moon.
(Volk City is from "the Kingdom of Discord" Volk in Lunatea.)
World 6 - The Moon World (Tsuki no Sekai): A world on the Moon where the characters chase Janga, attempting to stop his plans once and for all.
(The Moon World is possibly from "The Moon" from Phantomile)
World 7 - Lunar Base: Garlen's mechanical base of operations filled with turning gears and maze-like passages.
World 8 - Darkness of Nahatomb (Nahato no Yami): A world of nightmares governed by Nahatomb, an evil being who uses the very dreams of people as his power source. He is the last thing standing between Klonoa and becoming a true hero.
Klonoa: The primary character of the game who longs to become a true hero. During his quest to obtain the Hero Medal, Klonoa meets up with several interesting characters, and eventually gets caught up in a struggle to defeat a maniacal cat named Janga and rescue his friend Lolo. His special attacks include Tornado Attack and Thunder Hurricane. Klonoa cannot swim.
Guntz: A young wolf who has taken it upon himself to become Klonoa's rival. But in the Lunar Base, his rivalry and dislike for Klonoa melts away, revealing that Guntz really does care for Klonoa. Nicknamed the "Golden Death", Guntz is an expert marksman who rides around on a motorcyle. He prefers to fight with his trusty handguns Twin Fire, and his special attacks include Shinigami Fire (literally Death-god Fire) and Shinigami Rush (Death-god Rush). Despite revealing little about his past, he has a profound hatred for Janga, who used to work with his father, Butz. Guntz can swim well, as hinted in Jugkettle where he suggested to Klonoa that they catch the monster (Pamela) by diving and swimming. However, he gets seasick very badly, and seems to hate ships, boats, ferries, etc. for this reason. His motorbike is named Red Clan.
Pango: A large, pangolin-like man who happens to be a bombs expert. Klonoa and Guntz first meet him when he blows out the walls of the prison they are all held in by Janga. Because he feels Klonoa's cause is just, as well as to find a way to cure his son Boris from a mysterious sleeping disease, he joins him on his journey. His special attacks are Gigantic Bomber and Rolling Blaster.
Lolo: A young priestess who studies in the sacred shrine to the Goddess Claire. She is one of Klonoa's close friends. Though usually soft-spoken, her loyalty to her friends allows her to become heroic at surprising circumstances. Klonoa makes a promise to her early in the game to take care of himself and she would later become Klonoa's love-interest. Klonoa gave her the Hikari Sakura as a gift. She is kidnapped by Garlen and Janga but is saved by Klonoa at the end.
Popka: A small, dog-like boy who usually tags along with Klonoa, giving him advice whenever he seems to feel it is appropriate.
Granpa: Klonoa's Grandfather who lives with him in Breezegale. Despite his worrying nature, Klonoa always manages to go out and travel against his wishes.
Chipple: A boxing kangaroo who lives near Klonoa who wants to be an accomplished fighter. Despite his usual jovial attitude, he doesn't have much confidence in his abilities.
Karal: A young fish that Klonoa and Guntz meet in Jugkettle Sea and asked them to help his mother, Pamela.
Pamela: Karal's mother.
Momett: Showman that runs the Momett House in Jugkettle Sea, which contains a boss time attack.
Janga: A foul-mouthed, maniacal purple cat who refers to himself as "Poison Claws Janga" and seeks to harvest nightmares and use them for his own sinister purpose. He has employed Joka to do his dirty work, and works with Garlen to see that his plans come to fruition. Guntz has taken it upon himself to get revenge on Janga for what he did to his father many years ago.
Joka: A creepy-looking clown who works with Janga and makes trouble for Klonoa and his friends.
Garlen: A round man with a metal claw-like hand and an eye patch who seeks to build his own mechanical empire. He works with Janga to make sure Klonoa and his allies don't interfere.
Nahatomb: An evil entity who uses Garlen to carry out his deeds. Seeing himself as the only being worthy of being called a hero, he challenges Klonoa at the end of the game to prove his merit once and for all.
MedalsThe Medals theme of this game. These medals are awarded at the Sky Temple to those who believe that they can achieve the name of a hero (without considering those are in the plan of Nahatomb of course). Classified into five levels, Lunateans' medals upgrade as they show more of what a hero is. The levels are "Blank", "Bronze", "Silver", "Gold" and "Star".
On March 22, 2011, Namco released the full soundtrack for the game called "Klonoa Heroes: Legendary Star Medal Music Collection" which includes the full studio version as well as karaoke version of "Sign of Hero". Previously, fans could only listen to the downscaled GBA synthesized version. The song, as well as the entire soundtrack is now available on iTunes.
- It's unknown why this game wasn't launched outside of Japan. Some say it's because it was a very different game while others say it was due to having bad language and the fact that Janga is foul-mouthed, while in Japan is fine, in North America is inappropriate for children.
- Some fans speculate the Klonoa Heroes universe is Klonoa's actual homeworld. However, this has been neither confirmed nor denied.
- This games takes place in an alternate universe since Klonoa met Lolo and Popka in Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil and would meet Guntz in Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament.
- The games hints at Klonoa's feelings for Lolo.
- Official Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal Website (Japanese)
- Klonoa Heroes: Legendary Star Medal Music Collection
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