The Heroes in Returners are based on well-known fictional characters or historical figures. As Returners is developed by a Korean company, a lot of Heroes in Returners are from east Asian history, so the names of quite a few Heroes might be unfamiliar to those who don’t know as much about the history of that region.
The game gives you some brief lore of the Heroes in the Story tab of each Hero, but the Story tab does not tell you everything. If you want to learn more about the Heroes as they appear in history, as well as their status in the game, check out this Heroes History.
The Hero that will be discussed in this article is Taejo, a 4-star Ranger.
■ Taejo in history
Taejo is based on King Taejo of Joseon, who is a significant figure in Korean history. Taejo is not actually a name, but is instead a title given to a king who has established a dynasty. Taejo of Joseon established Joseon, one of the dynastic kingdoms that existed on the Korean peninsula, and his real name was Seong-gye Yi. Born in 1335 to a family of military officers, Yi was known for his exceptional archery and horse riding skills even in his youth. The Divine Archer, which is the name of Taejo’s ultimate skill in Returners, is an epithet people gave him for his extreme talents in archery, and his normal skill Deadshot also validates his archery skills.
One fun fact is that Jumong, another Ranger Hero based on a historical figure in Korean history, means “a skilled archer” in the East Asian language. Both Jumong and Taejo are considered the top Rangers in Returners.
Before Yi became the first king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea, Yi was a respected military commander in the Goryeo Dynasty, which was on the verge of collapse when he came into power. Yi rose to power after multiple heroic victories against foreign invaders such as the Red Turbans and the Japanese Pirates (Wakou). However, in 1388, the king of Goryeo recognized that Yi’s influence was growing too fast and sent him to a mission that was doomed to fail.
He was chosen as the leader of the invasion against the Liaodong Peninsula, China. Recognizing that the invasion was a hopeless endeavor that would cost many lives, he disobeyed the king by turning his army back at Wihwado before reaching the Liaodong Peninsula. It was a coup that marked the beginning of a new dynasty in Korea. After dethroning the king and installing a new king as a puppet monarch, Yi fully seized power as the de facto ruler of the kingdom of Goryeo. Finally in 1392, he established a new dynasty called the Joseon Dynasty. The Joseon Dynasty was the last dynastic kingdom before Korea became a republic. The Joseon Dynasty lasted for about five centuries.
■ Taejo in Returners
Taejo is considered one of the must-have Heroes in the mid and late game. He is used frequently in both PvP and PvE among the players in Platinum and up. Taejo has higher ATK compared to other Rangers, and has the second highest ATK among all Ranger Heroes next to Kunoichi.
Taejo is especially powerful against Supports. His preferred targets are Supports and his first skill Deadshot can deal 1.5 times more damage to Supports. His other normal skill, Windrunner, and his ultimate skill, Divine Archer, can bypass a target’s defense, making Taejo a hero specialized in burst damage.
Taejo can be summoned with Gold when you have 840 or more Adventure Stars, or can be summoned with 3,000 Bluestones if you have not met the condition yet. You will have to clear all stages up to 28-10 with 3 starts to get 840 Adventure Stars, meaning that Taejo cannot be summoned with Gold until you enter the mid to late game.
Summoning Taejo during the early game with Bluestones is a good choice. Taejo will be a good carry hero during early on and will give you a boost in the League and in Adventure stages.
Taejo is a good hero in both PvE and PvP. He cannot jump from one enemy to another like Kunoichi does, but Taejo can deal burst damage with his skills. He can eliminate an enemy support quickly thanks to the extra damage from Deadshot, and he will target Support heroes first, which often ensures the doom of the rest of the enemy team.
He is often paired with Jumong as they have matching tags, and is he one of the frequently recommended heroes for Specter Chase floors 13, 14, and 15. Taejo is the hero you should consider Transcending to 7-star before other heroes when you don’t have enough Rare Relics.
Taejo might not be a globally well-recognized figure like William Tell or Alexander the Great, but he is one of the most significant individuals in the history of Korea. He was a warrior with superb archery skills, a brave hero who saved his country from foreign invasions, and a king who overthrew a corrupted dynasty and established a new one. Learning the lore of the heroes you use in Returners and how the historical facts were incorporated into the game mechanics can be a small way to entertain yourself outside of gameplay and possibly make the characters more interesting.