Review: Songs for a Hero: The Legend of the Hero

What started as a joke on the internet has become one of the best and funniest national games. Remember, or get to know, the Legend of the Hero

The year was 2012 and the brothers Castro, Marcos and Mateus from the channel Castro Brothers, were successful with satirical music from games in the series “Um Joystick e um Violão”, releasing parodies of songs known to gamers, with the lyrics altered to make references to famous games such as Dragon Quest Caboclo and, eventually, there were even participations specials like Anderson, from the group Molejo, and Tsubasa Imamura, a Japanese singer who covers Brazilian songs, among others.

Until one day, they released an original video, with a story and character never seen before and a song that put, sung from the hero's point of view, all the weird things we're so used to seeing in platform games, like the floating platforms, enemies that drop coins when they are killed or that change color as they grow stronger. Everything we thought but never really paid attention to in these games was exposed in a fun way and with an animation that reminded the games from the Monster World franchise (here in Brazil, better known as the Turma da Mônica games).

Of course, this left everyone watching the video with a question: What game was that? For which platform? When would it release? Well, all these questions and requests maybe made the Castro brothers wonder if it wouldn't be possible to actually make that game happen. And the game really happened after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The game was born from a partnership with the creation studio Dumativa Game Studio, who made and distributed the game for the PC, Linux and Mac platforms. The campaign started with an initial goal of R$ 125 and, in 60 days, they raised more than double the original forest, reaching R$ 258.587,00 and 6112 supporters, being one of the record-breaking campaigns in Brazil. After the release of the game, the game even received a DLC called The Legend of the Dead which featured songs sung by Detonador, the “disciple of the metal god” leader of the band Massacration played by singer Bruno Sutuer.

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The Hero of this Song

Legend of the Hero is a 2D game that pays homage to games from the 8 and 16bit eras, such as Legend of Zelda and Wonderboy in Monster Land, in metroidvania style, where the player explores different levels collecting items, defeating enemies and talking to NPCs. The game's differential is due to its musical part, which was transported directly from the original idea of ​​the video to the game.

At every moment, every action and encounter with bosses, the game “sings” the situation in a humorous and satirical way, exposing the hero's doubt about the things that happen around him. Each action or part of the scene triggers the music that is interpreted by the voice of Marcos Castro, in Portuguese, Matheus Castro in English and by Bruno Sutter in the DLC “A Lenda do Mortos”. There are more than 3.000 stanzas during the game.

The story takes place in a Kingdom where a Hero (as our character is called) has a dream in which he receives a call for help from a Princess who has been captured by a Terrible Villain. However, none of the inhabitants of that kingdom know of the existence of a princess or believe in her, even disdaining her mission. The Hero goes through Mountains, Caves, Forests and other very colorful and detailed scenarios, with a fight against a boss at the end of every third act of the stage.

hero legend
Die vile creature! I'll rip your hide...

To help him, he will collect spells, an item that allows him to become intangible, a climbing hook, and other superpowers. In the end, he discovers that there is a much greater mystery behind the Terrible Villain, why everyone in the kingdom speaks through noises and why he can speak normally and the Princess's identity that surprises the player and continues a new series of stages with a new character.

The platform gameplay is efficient and fulfills the game's challenge well, being easy to master and well explained during the tutorials. One button you attack, one you jump and holding the attack button makes the Hero use a fireball. As you progress through the game, you still have access to a shield, a dash and a climbing hook, the latter being the most difficult to master and use correctly, especially when you must use it to climb and escape from. something at the same time.

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Boss battles are challenging and you'll have to understand attack patterns that repeat two or three times before the boss changes color and becomes more aggressive. If you've seen the original Hero Legend videos, you'll get a preview of the bosses you'll face in the game, like the Serpent Queen, who is the boss of the first stage.

Throughout the levels you still have to collect medals and musical notes, as well as chests that provide points and coins. With the coins you can buy equipment like potions and crystal pieces that increase your magic bar, needed to use powers like intangibility or heart pieces that increase your maximum health, besides increasing your score.

The game also has achievements that make jokes or references to pop culture, such as the Super Skirt Jeans, when you unlock the superpowers of the Hero, Dr. Dolittle, win by doing “cute no doguinho” and the Taca-lhe Pau, which you get by picking up all the coins during a stage with a cart. However, the biggest pop reference of the game is due to the skins that the game offers based on Brazilian youtubers.

You can play, buying the skin pack, with famous content creators from Youtube Brazil, like Jovem Nerd and Azaghal, Cauê Moura, BRKsEdu, Felipe Neto and Felipe Castanhari or Rato Borrachudo and Galo Frito. Each one has a custom sword, but the effect is just aesthetic and doesn't alter the gameplay or even the game's music, but they were made as a thank you to the support given by these youtubers to the game's launch.

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Let's ask for a skin from Juan

Minimum and Recommended Requirements

As a 2D platform game, The Legend of the Hero is absurdly light and runs on virtually any computer, allowing for a fluid experience with no dropped frames. Despite that, the game is very beautiful and colorful, so if you are looking for a good game, light and fun, this is an excellent alternative:

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Minimum requirements:

Operational system:Windows 7 or Higher
Processor:Intel Pentium 4, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8GHz
Memory:2 GB of RAM
Video card:Radeon X600 XT or GeForce 6800 GT
DirectX:Version 9.0c
Storage:1 GB of available space
Sound card:Intel Pentium 4, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8GHz

Recommended Requirements:

Operational system:Windows 10
Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0GHz or AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz
Memory:4 GB of RAM
Video card:Compatible with DirectX9.0c and Shader Model 3.0 or higher. (256MB)
DirectX:Version 9.0c
Storage:1 GB of available space
Sound card:Intel Pentium 4, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 1.8GHz

The Hero's Skills

As you progress through the game, the hero gains new and unique abilities and special equipment that he acquires along the way to the sound of some music that questions his existence or the unusual situation he is encountered in, such as the fireball music inside the trunk. For starters, he has a sword and a shield.

The Shield protects against any standard enemy projectile attacks such as fireballs or stones, but it won't have to protect against larger enemy attacks such as bosses. The sword stays the same throughout the game, but you can learn new techniques from the hero by going to the village dojo and paying the fencing master, so you can do more sword swings and get a better combo.

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the evolution of the hero

You'll also learn a double-jump move and a dash, which can be used both on land and in the air. They combined help you to cross larger chasms, jump onto platforms or dodge enemy blows. The hero will also learn to dive, and then he'll be able to swim and get to places he couldn't before, but he has a breather bar and, as you imagine, he'll die if it runs out.

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As equipment, it has a hook that can be thrown forwards, upwards or diagonally and is used to reach higher places, a boomerang launcher that can be used to attack monsters and solve puzzles, and a potion that lets you intangible and makes it go through bars or hits from enemies. Learning to use these talents and equipment is what will make you overcome the stages of the game.

The most classic legend

Legend of the Hero is the oldest legend: the princess is in danger and only a knight in shining armor can come to her rescue and save her from the terrible villain. In the foot of this knight, you'll explore a colorful world filled with all kinds of creatures and monsters that stand in your way to victory. The land the knight inhabits contains all of the traditional game settings that this genre has long popularized.

You'll face giant snakes in ruined castles, fight angry monkeys in lush forests whose canopies block the sun, fight hungry bats and angry spiders in hot, steaming caves marked by lava rivers, and try to stay warm atop snowy mountains. Basically, any environment ever featured in a 30-year-old platform game has found its way into the Legend of the Hero and it's so comforting and nostalgic to go back to these familiar places after so many years.

Similar to other side-scrollers, the levels let you jump over bottomless pits, pits filled with sharp arrows, moving platforms and other obstacles known to players to reach the end of the level. Each stage consists of three levels plus a boss encounter and can be replayed at any time. This allows you to find any of the game's main collectibles that you may have missed, such as musical notes and special badges that grant extra lives.

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Haven't I been here before?

While most of these items are found in plain sight, others are tucked away in hidden corners that can only be reached after gaining power-ups later in the game that help you bypass bigger traps and higher cliffs that hide new paths and even secret bosses.

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Replaying stages is also a great way to get enough gold to buy health and magic upgrades from the village shops, considering their prices are quite high. Potions can also be purchased with special effects, such as increasing the character's defense, regenerating health and increasing attack power. I didn't really need these items because the game isn't that hard, but given the amount of coins left over for fallen enemies, it's good to have something to spend and be prepared for any eventuality.

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The Power of Pixel Art

At first glance, Legend of the Hero doesn't look much different from any modern retro game that does its best to take nostalgia and encapsulate it in the game. It looks like it would fit perfectly in the Mega Drive or Super Nintendo library. The game has all the trappings of a retro indie title. The visuals are done entirely in pixels, but they were used to create a very beautiful picture of a fantasy realm.

Many of the bosses also have amazing visuals, rendered in a level of detail suitable for these big, evil creatures. The back areas of the game do a fantastic job of using pixels to create depth and animation, and the lighting and glow effects used during the darker levels are really amazing.

The developers really knew how to use modern technology to make these old looks really dazzling and brilliant. The only problem with the graphics is that some art features are too good, namely spike pits, monsters and traps that integrate so well with the rest of the environment, which makes you think “Wow! I didn't see it and now my health is down!"

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What really sets the game apart from other independent platformers is the ingenious direction of the soundtrack. A Legend of the Hero is a complete musical, in which the knight sings everything the player tells him to do. And mostly it's dynamic too. If you take the wrong path or repeat an action, the Hero will sing it to you. Try going left when you have to go right.

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Beautiful lighting and no ray tracing

The character will sing as you run and jump, will change the songs sung when he fights the monsters he encounters, the special power-ups he collects, and evaluating boss monsters before battle. Everything is sung in, as revealed by Marcos Castro, in 3.000 thousand stanzas divided into canonical, generic and others that will react to the hero's movements.

The Hero is the only voice that sings during the main game, which is a shame because I would love to hear the bosses sing their own songs during their encounters. The songs are catchy and themed around the kind of world you're exploring. The jungle stage is more rhythmic, the underground levels use a lot of smaller notes and the desert stages have a Middle Eastern feel.

The Legend of the Hero soundtrack is charming, funny and entertaining in a way that lived up to the original video and gave players exactly what they asked for. The game often draws players' attention to the inherent silliness of older games, without falling prey to a very common pitfall of games that try to honor 8/16-bit era games of “I'm going to add this outdated mechanic that no one likes and make a joke about how nobody likes it!" and in the end the joke gets boring and people still don't like that mechanic.

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A beautiful work of art by Dumativa

Gaps in the Hero's Armor

However, the main mechanic and the main attraction of The Legend of the Hero also ends up being an Achilles Heel of the game. You want to listen to the songs, pay attention to the lyrics and pick up the references and jokes in the song, and in the early levels that's easy to do, but as the game progresses, with more enemies and more stuff happening on the screen, or you try not to die or you try to listen to the song.

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The way is, when the music starts, to stand still and listen, but sometimes you can't. The background effects sound at the same volume as the music and there's nothing you can do. Maybe the way is to look for the songs later on the internet and listen to them calmly, because the game makes you not to pay attention to them and you end up missing some things that would be really cool at that moment.

Again, just like in Kaze and The Wild Masks, in all of my gameplay I didn't find any bugs or issues throughout the entire gameplay time, but if you visit the Steam Community Hub you'll see lots of requests for help and support for things like crashes, achievements that don't get released, and DLC that don't starts correctly. Of course, everything is answered by the Dumativa studio and, sometimes, even by the Castro brothers.

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Monkeys don't bite me! And stop throwing rocks!

The controls work well and, as the Hero himself sings, he "jumps five meters and doesn't hurt himself when he falls". He could just walk a little faster, but it's not a real problem. Sometimes you feel that having a little more speed would help you jump higher somewhere, but this is offset later by the double jump and dash.

Damage detection, especially on bosses, can seem a little unfair at times, as you're pretty sure you're in a position where you'll escape a hit, but get hit. This is sometimes a problem with the enemy's hit box which is a little bigger than what it looks like and at other times it's because he walks slowly. Again, this can be made up for with the dash, but as long as you don't have the move, you end up feeling like you've taken a coup de grace.

Now, don't expect the game to be the most challenging experience of your life. The game has a good learning curve and a difficulty that increases gradually, but it won't reach the level of games like Megaman 2, for example. It will be as difficult as a Sonic game at best. There is nothing that will make you frustrated and drop control on the wall in Legend of the Hero. What takes more work are, sometimes, a few jumps that, paying attention, you will be able to win calmly.

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The biggest difficulty I've had, as I said above, is to control the direction of the climbing hook in more hurried moments, but other than that, there's nothing that's difficult to win. By learning boss patterns, you can get past them without taking any hits.

Review: songs for a hero: the legend of the hero | 170f2cd7 legend4 | married games reviews | indie, linux, macs, pc, singleplayer | hero's legend
Several jokes like this during the game

It is good or not?

Nine years after its release, Legend of the Hero is coming to its definitive end with the Full Edition and yes, the game is very good. You grew up in the 80's and 90's and miss that time when games were simpler, with a silly story that only involved saving a princess and going after her "happily ever after", without a dark gothic atmosphere. lets it down, then Legend of the Hero will be great for you as it takes those fun elements of classic games and modernizes them to deliver a very familiar and innovative experience at the same time.

If you like platform games and want a game to pass the time, with big colorful sprites and beautiful scenery to enjoy, then The Legend of Hero definitely has everything you are looking for. These are familiar scenarios from many other platform games, with everything you're looking for and an additional: the musical part that is not just that complement of the game to put you in the right atmosphere, but it is part of the game and instigates you to revisit the levels again looking not only for the secrets and items you missed, but also to listen to the songs you missed along the way.

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In addition, the game also received a free DLC that continues the Hero story called "Beyond the Legend" and that continues the character's legend after the victory over the Terrible Villain and features a new character called just "The Adventurer". This character is of great importance to the Hero's story and takes him to places where new mysteries are discovered and old ones are revealed.

There is still a new free DLC that will be released called “De Vacation with the Hero”, which will be focused on songs with samba and pagode and would have the participation of the singer Anderson Leonardo, from the group Molejo, but was eventually replaced by one of the members of Dumativa, and will be given to those who bought the game, along with the DLC “Legend of the Dead”, the skin pack and a second hat skin pack that will be released along with this new DLC, to form a Complete Edition.

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As nine years have passed since the release of the game and Dumativa was committed to always releasing patches for it and, just now, they are releasing one last DLC to close the adventure, it is unlikely that we will see a Legend of Hero 2 anytime soon. Also, it's not necessary. The game was born from a moment of creativity by the Castro Brothers, which delivered something that, at least I have never seen elsewhere, and now it has its place in the gaming world.

Do we need a second game that will make the Hero come out singing again? What will he sing about? The jokes about classic game mechanics have already been made. Are you going to talk again about being able to walk only in two directions? The Legend of the Hero in 3D? It is not necessary.

More games within the Legend of the Hero universe would be welcome for sure, but if you want more of the Hero, there's even a board game, t-shirts, Hero figures and monsters, and a behind-the-scenes book about the game. sold in shop of the Legend of the Hero. I'm sure it will be enough. The Hero of this song saved the Princess and defeated the Terrible Villain, so let him enjoy yours happily ever after. End.

Review: songs for a hero: the legend of the hero | 36a8ae90 legend3 | married games reviews | indie, linux, macs, pc, singleplayer | hero's legend
And they lived happily ever after

Legend of the Hero is available for Windows, MacOs e Linux on the official website. It will soon receive versions for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. If you want to buy, take the opportunity to buy now, because when the definitive version is released, everyone who bought it won the upgrade for it for free!

Review: songs for a hero: the legend of the hero | c6bc9b00 legend1 | married games reviews | indie, linux, macs, pc, singleplayer | hero's legend

The hero's legend

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Producer: Dumativa Game Studio
Distributor: Dumativa Game Studio
Platforms: PC, MacOs, Linux
Note: 9/10


  • Beautiful handmade art with large and detailed sprites;
  • Excellent sense of humor throughout gameplay;
  • High replay factor;


  • It could be a little more difficult;
  • The stage action disrupts the music;
  • The hook can be bad to handle;

So, did you like The Legend of the Hero? Did you know the video at the time of release? Would you like to see more games in the Hero universe or a sequel? Leave it there in the comments and enjoy to read more about indie games on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.