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Thanatos (Secret of Mana)

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Thanatos (Secret of Mana)
Thanatos SOM remake artwork.jpg
Secret of Mana (remake) render
First appearance Secret of Mana (1993)
Latest appearance Secret of Mana HD (2018)
Title(s) Master Thanatos
Four Heavenly Kings (Shitennou)
Homeland Mavolia
Faction Emperor Vandole (officially)
His own (secretly)
Role Antagonist
Gender Male
Species Mavole
Other form(s) Dark Lich
Voice actor(s) Jpn: Jouji NakataSeoM HD/EoM
Eng:Jared Kjack SeoM HD
“Fools! Feast your eyes upon the power of the Mana Fortress!”
Square Enix Official Website

Thanatos is a major antagonist in Secret of Mana. He is a dark sorcerer who seeks to harness mana power for himself.


Thanatos was once an ancient sorcerer who sold his soul to Mavolia in order to gain immortality. However, in exchange for an immortal soul, his physical body would slowly decay, forcing him to abandon it for a more suitable one. No ordinary human would suffice, as Thanatos' spirit would tear them apart. Every few decades, there is one human born in the shadow of darkness. Only those bodies can contain the immense evil energy ever growing from Thanatos, as for each new body, his soul would grew darker at it feeds on hatred and destruction. Prior to the beginning of the game, the evil sorcerer joined the imperial army as one of Vandole's four generals, hiding his true motives to conquer the world for himself.


Secret of Mana[edit]

“A dark sorcerer entrusted by Emperor Vandole to help him claim the Mana Fortress. Thanatos has magical powers and performs terrifying magic in his pure spiritual form of the Dark Lich. Responsible for capturing Dyluck, Thanatos has a cunning plan of his own.”
Square Enix Official Website

Thanatos is first mentioned by the witch Elinee while sending Dyluck to him since she couldn't use her magic properly on him. Overhearing this Randi and his friends ask the old crone about the dark sorcerer, to which Elinee replies that he is a mystic knight from the Vandole Empire who will crush the Kingdom of Pandora from within. She then adds now that most of the townsfolk have lost their souls, the mighty magician will be unstoppable since all he would have to do is to storm the castle by attacking from the southern ruins. The wicked witch then proceeds to let her pet tiger feed on the trapped heroes while teleporting away. After defeating the beast, the old witch reverts back to her original self, asking for forgiveness. She explains that the magical herbs that grew around her castle kept withering, rendering her powerless. She then made a deal with Thanatos where she would exhange the souls of the pandoran citizens to keep her powers. She then informs the party that Dyluck has already been sent to the southern ruins.

After exiting the Witch's Castle and gaining the ability to use water and earth magic, the party heads to the Water Palace to seek advice from Sage Luka. She expresses her concerns over Gemma's silence from his latest expedition to Pandora and suspects that something happened in the ruins nearby. As they follow her guidance, they find a listless Pamaela in the village vanishing before their eyes and heading to the same destination. Upon reaching the structure's entrance, Primm's friend claims in a laconic tone that she's going to be sacrificed, then slowy walks toward inside the ruins. The main characters make their way toward the deepest part of the vetust structure where they find Thanatos atop a grand altar. The old wizard praises the trio for defeating Elinee and not being ordinary people for doing so. The evil mage proceeds to make Pamaela and Dyluck appear in front of the party, taunting them in the process. He then explains that while the girl has lost all of her energy and is now her faithful servant, the captain was a difficult one to crack and wonders as to why. Thanatos decides to absorb the party's energy but the heroes find themselves victorious after defeating the evil source. His source of human energy being destroyed, Thanatos remarks in a snarky way that Randi is now the new wielder of the Mana Sword tagging with pityful allies aspiring to save the world before leaving Pandora free from harm while keeping his two young hostages.

Thanatos is then briefly mentioned by Geshtar during the imperial ambush on the Sandship in Kakkara Desert where he was advised by the old sorcerer to be weary of a group of meddlesome travelers, figuring that he was referring to Randi, Primm and Popoi.

Later on, his name is invoked again by a Resistance informant in Northtown, saying that the Mystic Knight is part of the four generals directly under the Emperor Vandole's command.

He is next seen feasting on Primm's soul in a backroom to the Northtown Ruins altar where a manipulated Dyluck absorbed the girl's energy, sending it directly to his master. Before Randi and Popoi could do anything, Thanatos paralyze them with his magic while commenting on how strong her life force is. Suddently, a blinding light appear resurrecting the girl and allowing the other two friends to move again. The dark sorcerer deduces that Dyluck must have given her some of her life force which truly impresses him and gives him one more reason to keep the young commander into his grasp. He teleports himself out of the room while leaving his pet Vampire to deal with them. After defeating the nightmarish creature, the party return to the worship room but Dyluck is nowhere to be find. While Randi and Primm are bummed out by this realization, the fact that he is still alive gives Primm enough incentive to continue her search.

Thanatos resurfaces yet again after the party made its way to the Mana Temple by taking an alternate route going deep into the Underground City, the Grand Palace, then all the way to the Mana seed of wood where they discover a lifeless emperor lying on the altar. This turns out to be a ruse by the old sorcerer who used the Emperor to revive the Mana Fortress and double-crossed him to keep its ultimate power for him all alone. He flees the premises, leaving Fanha to dispose of the heroes as she sees fit. After vanquishing the general, the trio come accross with an empty shell of what supposted to be Geshtar, as Thanatos used ancient magic to create a living machine from his decaying body. Slaying the mechanical being causes the party to realize that what remains of the Empire activated the Mana Fortress, making the whole continent sink into the ocean again.

Dyluck is finally found deep within the Mana Fortress under Thanatos' spell yet again. The evil sorcerer reveals that his own body has reached its limit and needs another worthy vessel to house his spirit. As he couldn't take a normal human because his earthly envelope would tear apart, he went on a search for a human born in the shadow of darkness every few decades. It happens that Dyluck's body is one of them and is capable of augmenting his powers beyond comprehension. While the young soldier's powers were sealed as a child, he is no more than a puppet to Thanatos now and will be housing his evil soul and using the Mana Fortress to rule the world. The magic knight is suddently growing weaker by the minute and must now inhabit his new vessel before collapsing. Primm then lunges towards Dyluck as a way to prevent his possession going further attacking the evildoer in the process. The latter's body vanishes almost instantly but unfortunately, Thanatos's soul has become one with the major's body. Gloating about his newfound vessel, the possessed Dyluck tries to further his modus operandi, but suddently finds himself unable to do anything. An otherworldly but familiar voice resonates across the room, telling Primm to listen to it as it is Dyluck's spirit. His echo says that he cannot speak for too long since Thanatos's energy is too strong, but he knows a way to defeat the sorcerer. He reveals to the party that Thanatos was once an ancient sorcerer who sold his soul to Maviola in exchange for eternal life. While his spirit became eternal, his body slowly decayed and he must periodically find a new suitable host to possess. With each new body, his spirit grows ever darker as it feeds on hatred and destruction. Dyluck's spirit then apologizes to Primm, as he cannot join her in the mortal realm anymore and entrust Randi to take care of her. As he finishes his speech, Dyluck uses his last bit of strength to destroy his body, leaving Thanatos without a host and revealing his true face. Desperate to find an new host, the dark entity heads for the heroes in vain as he is eventually defeated.

Circle of Mana[edit]

Thanatos makes a cameo appearance in the online game, along with several Secret of Mana characters. He appears in 4 sets of cards.

Rank Attribute Name Classes Quote
SUR タナトス SUR 0617 タナトス.jpg
SUR 0618 タナトス.jpg
SUR 0619 タナトス.jpg
SUR 0620 タナトス.jpg
"Are you the Hero of the Holy Sword? At this level, what is the Hero of the Holy Sword...I can understand the myth."
SSUR タナトス SSUR 0625 タナトス.jpg
SSUR 0626 タナトス.jpg
SSUR 0627 タナトス.jpg
SSUR 0628 タナトス.jpg
"One of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Vandor Empire, Thanatos, will seize your opponent."
LGR タナトス[真] LGR 0325 タナトス 真.jpg
LGR 0326 タナトス 真.jpg
LGR 0327 タナトス 真.jpg
LGR 0328 タナトス 真.jpg
"One of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Vandor Empire, Thanatos, will seize your opponent."
LGR タナトス[栄冠] LGR 0329 タナトス 栄冠.jpg
LGR 0330 タナトス 栄冠.jpg
"One of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Vandor Empire, Thanatos, will seize your opponent."

Echoes of Mana[edit]

“A dark sorcerer entrusted by Emperor Vandole to help him claim the Mana Fortress. Thanatos performs terrifying magic in his pure spiritual form of the Dark Lich. However, Thanatos has a cunning plan of his own.”
Square Enix Official Website
Thanatos full EOM sprite.png

Thanatos was a drawable unit in Echoes of Mana. He had to variants.

Character Bond Dialogues[edit]

'You shall be my next... Wait, I have a better use for you.'

'Take a peak under this mask a be prepared to feel my wrath.'

'Want to see my true face, do you? Hmph. You couldn't handle it.'

'The sword's chosen hero, huh? Ha! And what makes one chosen?'

'Wouldn't you love my powers? Even monsters bend to my will!'

'This life energy! It's... Hmmm... Never mind.'

'Who could research ancient magic in a place as wretchedly happy as this?'

General information[edit]

Physical appearance[edit]

Thanatos is depcited as a tall, slender man with long purple hair. His artwork in the 3D remake shows him wearing a ankle length violet robe adorned with gold astronomical motifs, such as moons and stars. The hemline is decorated with spearhead patterns. He also wears a large flowy cape of the same color as his robe, on top of which two oversized spiky shoulderpads sit. His face is covered with a giant skull in which two lard horns stick out. In the center of his bony mask lies a crimson jewel. His chest is protected by a stylized exoskeleton which is covered on both sides by a red and gold stole.


The Mystic Knight is shown to be mainly power-hungry and self-absorbed throughout the game. More comfortable from behind the scene, He is usually seen playing the mastermind while letting his underlings do the dirty work for him. In fact, he has no qualms in betraying the Empire and using them as he sees fit. He used his cunning and diplomatic abilties to climb the social ladder and make himself one of the four great generals of the Vandole Empire. His sardonic nature is displayed multiple times, especially when crosses path with the heroes. Usually displaying a cold contempt towards his adversaries, his desperation to find a new host for is soul can be seen when Dyluck's spirit destroys his own body, preventing him to gain more power in doing so. Panicked by the fact that his soul cannot find anyone suitable for him he attack the main characters as a last resort to gain their bodies instead.


Thanatos is shown mutliple time to possess immense magical powers related to mind control, telekinesis and life leeching. He orchestrated the soul sucking experiment in Pandora as means of gaining more power and weakening the kingdom without direct intervention. He manipulated Elinee into sending him more life energy by telling her she would keep her magic as a bargaining chip. He did the same procedure in Northtown and tried consuming Primm's soul while preventing Randi and Popoi from moving momentarily. He used ancient magic to revive Geshtar's body to stall the heroes from stopping him activating the Mana Fortress. Finally, he is well versed in elemental magic and can also inflict multiple status aliments during his boss fight.


Thanatos' nature may be inspired by the Suel Lich from the Dungeons & Dragons Greyhawk Setting.


In Greek, Θάνατος (thanatos) means death. In ancient mythology, a being named Thanatos is the personification of death and mortality, and is the son of Nyx (night) and Erebos (darkness). Among his children are Geras (Old Age), Oizys (Suffering), Moros (Doom), Apate (Deception), Momos (Blame), Eris (Strife), Nemesis (Retribution) and even the Stygian Boatman Charon.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese タナトス
Spanish Tànatos
French Thanatos (SNES)
Thanatos (3D)
German Tantalus (SNES)
From the mythological Tantalus


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Thanatos (Secret of Mana).
Rabite icon EOM artwork.png Randi --"Whoa! What's a Rabite doing in a place like this?"
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