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The Heroes of Maple

Heroes of Maple is the second blockbuster in MapleStory. After Gelimer's defeat, the Black Mage recruits Damien to further his goals, and it is up to the Heroes of Maple to stop him.[1]

Synopsis

Etc Yellowish Green Mushroom Cap Spoiler Alert!

The details below contain SPOILERS, you may want to view this after completing the storyline in-game.

Act 0 - Freud, The Last Record

Freud and Afrien in Act 1(Heroes of Maple)

Freud and Afrien in their last moments

After the Black Mage was sealed, Afrien who had taken the curse was left in a snowy island, which was later known as Slumbering Dragon Island. In his seemingly last moments with Freud before the curse takes over, both made a pact with each other that they will always be together and their descendants will meet him the the future. As a measure to prepare their meeting with their successors, Freud imbued his consciousness in Afrien.

Freud setting aside the Abraxas

Freud setting aside the Abraxas

However, by the Prophecy Sanctum in Nihal Desert, Freud had a future vision, in which he viewed to be still dark. The impending threat he foresaw is that the commander of the Black Mage will destroy the World Tree. He eventually set aside the flying relic Abraxas together with the residents of the sanctum, hoping that his friends and successor will find it and succeed. He also viewed that his successor will be a great magician as him.

Act 1 - Slumbering Dragon Island

The story begins a 100 years later, where Freud's successor Evan set off on his quest to find answers.

The Demon Army was present in Slumbering Dragon Island, guarding it from intruders. Evan and his Onyx Dragon Mir managed to avoid the guards and continue their journey to find Afrien. Along the way, he noticed that the creatures on the island were brainwashed by someone. He also encountered one of the penguins, a companion of Lilin who managed to escape from the army. Getting into the situation, he agreed to save her. After braving through the snowy terrain (though annoyed at Mir for leaving him behind and making him climb the ice cliff himself), they spotted masses of the Demon Army on the island.

Along the way, both are blocked by a huge spider. Evan provoked it to come down from the ceiling to fight, only to enrage it and cause the ice floor to collapse and Evan fell to another location, separated from Mir. He ponders on how to get to Mir and thinking back to his parent's advice (which does not help much) Somehow, Aran and Shade were also in the cave had witnessed Evan's action behind the scenes. Aran smashes through the ice wall fights the Demon army to free her companion Lilin, only for Evan to awkwardly enter the fray. After dealing with the rest of the Demon army, one of them still held Lilin as hostage. Luckily Shade makes a surprise attack from behind and Mir reunites with the group. Evan exchanges greetings to the other two heroes and agreed to help him.

Both advance forward and have to deal with the spider, the same one that blocks Evan's path. Shade comes up with a solution by using his spirits to drag the spider down, making it vulnerable for them to attack easily. After the spider battle, the player will have the option to choose whether to kill the spider (and it's children) or spare it. Shade opts to spare them with reasoning, while Aran advises to kill them before they pose a threat.

They finally managed to find Afrien, frozen but still alive and fighting Damien's infection ability. Evan then met Freud's spirit, whom he had earlier set his consciousness within Afrien and both he and Mir converse with their ancestors. Through them, he learned about the upcoming threat: the commander of the Black Mage will soon swallow the World Tree. Freud assured Evan that he will not be alone in the quest and his new friends will help him. However, it was interrupted by the arrival of Damien, the commander that was predicted to be the main threat. Aran have a brief scuffle with Damien but was knocked back by his blade. Afrien uses the last of his strength to get the group to safety, proud to see Mir's growth and kept Freud's promise.

Though Evan and Mir were upset about Afrien's sacrifice, they have to save the mourning for later as the craven was about to collapse. All of them managed to escape the craven in time before the entrance was blocked. Despite the loss of Afrien, which upsets Evan and Mir the most, they have to move forward and fight the approaching danger.

Act 1.5 - Reunion of Heroes

In order to gain strength to defeat Damien, Evan and Mir decides to visit the other 3 heroes, who were currently having their normal lives.

Demon and Damien

Demon encountered his brother Damien again the first time after several years. Learning about the true events that happened years ago, Demon tries to convince Damien to stop his meaningless actions, only to be struck down by Damien.

Act 2: Abraxas: The prophecy’s sanctum

Evan and Mir were waiting for the other heroes in the proposed meeting place; Nihal Desert, though they were running late. A flashback shows after escaping the ice cave in Slumbering Dragon Island, Aran have to catch up with Evan later as Maha had taken damage from Damien's attack. Shade decides to go with her to help and heal Maha, promising to meet him later.

Evan was disappointed by the fact that the other heroes have not arrived yet, lamenting at the fact that he was not good enough to be Freud's successor. During their search for the ancient ruins, Evan fell in a sinkhole (close to the situation when he fell in the ice cave). Surprised by the fact that the ruins were in the undergrounds of the desert, Evan explain the brief history of the ruins and the god Abraxas before continuing their exploration. He was blocked by the guardian of the ruins and Mercedes joins the battle. Evan ask for permission to pass, much to Mercedes annoyance. The guardian gave Evan a riddle 'What is long in the morning, short in the afternoon, and long again at night?' (Answer: A shadow), in which Evan answers correctly and gets a free pass.

Mercedes was still fuming over Evan's attitude, commenting that he was still a long way to be as same as Freud, though Evan have no hard feelings towards her. Accidentally activating a trap, Evan, Mir and Mercedes fell into a net trap. Luminous and Phantom made their arrival, even though they were bickering over who has taken out the most monsters. Walking through the ruins, they encountered some murals, which shows the recorded history of the world and the Black Mage. In one of the murals they found, it was about the heroes sealing the Black Mage. Phantom and Mercedes complained that the murals does not look like them and noticed the bottom right part of it was erased (which actually depicts Shade). The last ruins they discovered was the prediction Freud had saw "When the battle of the end approaches, the wolf that is released from its shackles will devour the World Tree.".

The group ended up in another trap. Making use of the riddle that the gatekeeper have asked, Evan instructed Luminous to make a shadow from a statue, with Phantom copying his skill to form another one, which reveals a hidden stairway for them to escape the trap. They managed to reach the exit, but the door won't open. Mercedes translated the message "You can't take what is not yours". Luminous argues with Phantom again as Luminous accused that Phantom took something from the sanctum. This eventually reveals that Evan and Mir were the ones that took them, forcing both of them to surrender the treasures. They finally made it to the ancient relic, with a timely arrival of Shade and Aran to complete the group.

Evan activates the Abraxas

Evan activates the Abraxas

Evan starts up the airship with his magic and escape from the Demon Army. Their efforts to recover the airship "Abraxas" was worth it as Freud, in form of his memories and conscious appears within the airship. He explains the plans he set in the past, the airship and welcomes Shade back to the team. The heroes decided to make Evan their new leader, making Evan nervous about his new position but resolved to do what he could.

After the heroes managed to get the Abraxas, Damien continues to carry out his plans, though Arkarium struck his raw nerve by showing his mother, who was frozen in time (actually an illusion).

Act 3: Unfamiliar World

Concept Art of Heroes in Act 3

Concept Art of Heroes in Act 3

Through the airship, the heroes minus Shade made it to the other world, where the Transcendence stone was located. Mercedes and Phantom disguised themselves as visitors and attends a private party in an art museum. In the air vents of the museum, Luminous was called as a standby to help Mercedes and Phantom when needed. Phantom got the information about the exhibition and the stone during the party. Through the presentation about the stone by one of the professors who found it, they were able to confirm that it was the Transcendence Stone they were looking for. Evan gave instructions to Mercedes and Phantom to get the access cards to the exhibit. Once successful, Evan commands Luminous to temporarily shut down the lights to make an opening for Mercedes and Luminous to get to the other room unnoticed. Unfortunately, the trio got spotted by another visitor who was following Phantom as she was attracted to his good looks, making Mercedes to take drastic measures by revealing and pointing her bow guns, much to the shock of the other two. Due to this, the alarm was sounded and the trio have to change tactics to get to the stone.

Once they found the stone in one of the exhibit halls, Luminous felt a negative effect of the stone due to it resonating with the power of the Black Mage that was residing within him. A few minutes later, Luminous insisted to the group that they cannot take the stone with them. He later explained that the substance of the stone was capable of taking the power or worse, controls a Transcendence being. However, this sparks up an argument in between Luminous and Phantom, which escalated into a full scale fight, much to Mercedes annoyance on the worst possible timing. Both Phantom and Luminous have a brief brawl until Mercedes stopped their fighting but Damien crashes down the glass roof of the exhibit.

In the Abraxas, Aran and Evan stayed behind to watch the ship. Much to Evan's dismay, the operation he initiated was unsuccessful and the group took a long time to arrive. He later discuss with her about Shade's condition, which was a hindrance to him to come with them. Evan promises that he will handle the situation once this is over but they were attacked by the Demon Army, whose main objective is to destroy the airship and outnumbered both heroes.

In the museum, Luminous, Mercedes and Phantom encounters Damien and attempts to stop him. However, they were defeated easily by Damien and lost the stone. Without a choice, they escape the musuem while fighting the Demon Army Forces. Eventually, much to their horror, the airship was taken down.

Act 4: Damien

Damien kills

Damien seemingly kills Arkarium

Back in the island, Damien's army was double crossed by Arkarium. Damien was trapped by Arkarium's powers and realizes that he was deceived all along when Arkarium reveals that the image of his mother was actually and illusion. Despite the huge setback, Damien have already swallowed the World Tree by using the power of the Transcendence Stone and seemingly kills Arkarium.

Back to the other world, Evan discussed with the heroes on the outcome and Shade uses a hologram to get into the situation. Evan theorized that since Damien took a power that is far beyond his, he must be at an unstable state right now. Therefore it was their only chance to stop Damien and take back the transcendental stone. Even though Luminous stated that the transcendental stone is a dangerous substance, but its power is like double-edged sword, which they can use to fight against the Black Mage. 

In the final battle in the Fallen World Tree, Evan have to take two heroes with him. Along the way, they were saved by Demon who decides to deal with Damien himself. Demon reaches the highest point of the tree first and told the truth to Damien about their race's fall;

"Their pure-blood ancestors enforced impractical experiments to obtain the power of a transcendental being for hundreds of years. This is the reason why Masteria is the wasteland that it is today.The tragedies that our race faced was because of our desire for excessive power. This is the reason for the desolation and ruin of Masteria, and their nomadic life due to the loss of our home. Their father knew of the disaster those experiments would bring and opposed them, but was eventually isolated until his death."

Demon again tells Damien to end his ambitions but was too late, Damien was consumed by the power of the stone and strikes his own brother. By the time Evan and the heroes reaches to the submit, Demon was seriously wounded and they have to fight the corrupted Damien. At the end of the battle, Evan attempts to take away Damien's source of power, the sword. However, he was swallowed as a result and rendered unconscious.

Devil Spirit tempting Evan

Devil Spirit in the form of Mir confronting Evan

Evan found himself within the black mass, which was actually an amalgam of the vindictive demon spirits attempting to take Evan as his next host. The spirit takes in a form of Mir and attempts to tempt Evan by offering him power, to the point that he will a great magician as Freud. He was almost drawn to its offer until the real Mir tries to wake him up, with its voice reaching out to his master. In the end, Evan overcomes the spirits temptations and break out of its illusions. 

Heroes of Maple - Brother's Farewell

Demon leading Damien's dead body away

Evan woke up in the end unharmed. Demon recovers his energy long enough to tell the heroes about the black mass and decides to destroy it to prevent the same tragedy of his race. However, he was held back as the amalgam exposed that if he was destroyed, Damien will die too. Damien already have accepted this as his end, with Demon finally killing him as he already knew there was no turning back. With the amalgam destroyed, Damien dies and his lifeless body was carried away by a heartbroken Demon.

Alice thanks the heroes for saving the world, but the life energy was mostly drained. As it might take too long for the world tree to recover from the damage, Alice spreads her power to restore the world's vitality.

Mural of Heroes and World Tree

Mural of Heroes and World Tree

Nienheart surveys the sanctum for any damages and encounters his sister, Lilin. Despite having not seen each other for a long time and have some arguments about their ideas and paths, they still agree to one thing; no matter the time era, the world still needs heroes. The sanctum then reveals a new recorded history; the 6 heroes saving the World Tree.

Credit Images

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==References==
MapleStory

Black Heaven Black Heaven The Heroes of Maple Heroes of Maple

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Cross Brigade Cross Brigade Masteria Through Time Masteria Through Time

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