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The world is facing dark times, to say the least.

The Dark Lord's empire has near-total control of the world, he's only searching for the Tree of Mana to complete his dominance of the world, and the protectors of the tree and the Mana Tribe devoted to it, the Gemma Knights, are nowhere to be found. It seems that the Dark Lord's plans are all in place.

[[SpannerInTheWorks Except for one slave caught in the Dark Lord's gladiator pens.]]

This player-named slave, and his friends Willy and Amanda, have dreams of escaping from these pens -- Willy to meet up with the Gemma Knights, Amanda to see her brother Lester, and the player-named slave just wants freedom -- though when the pits end up costing Willy his life, the slave agrees to look for Bogard, last of the knights, for his friend.

Things quickly spiral out of hand, as the newly escaped slave quickly finds himself at the epicenter to prevent the Dark Lord's final victory.

Originally a GaidenGame for the [[RunningGag pigs-flyingly popular]] ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, it instead became the first game in the ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfMana Mana]]'' series. This is why there are several elements of the former series (like Chocobos, Moogles, and a standard inventory system) present, while several of the latter (Cannon Travel, Mana Spirits) are absent -- many of the latter weren't actually introduced until ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', when the series split from the ''Final Fantasy'' franchise.

It was eventually [[VideoGameRemake remade]] thrice -- the first as ''VideoGame/SwordOfMana'' in 2003 to retroactively remove the ''Final Fantasy'' elements and make it more in line with the original game's immediate sequels, and the second in 2006 much more faithfully for mobile phones [[NoExportForYou (but only in Japan)]]. A third remake was released in 2016 for [[IOSGames iOS]], [[AndroidGames Android]], and UsefulNotes/PlayStationVita for the series' 25th Anniversary. This 3D version includes minor gameplay updates from ''Sword of Mana'' and is [[MarketBasedTitle retitled]] ''Adventures of Mana'' in Western markets, but is otherwise far closer to the original game, taking fewer liberties than ''Sword of Mana''.

''Final Fantasy Adventure'' is known in Japan as ''Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden'' (''聖剣伝説 ~ファイナルファンタジー外伝~''), and in Europe as ''Mystic Quest'' (not to be confused with [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest a similarly named SNES game]]). Also not to be confused with ''[[VideoGame/MakaiToshiSaga The Final Fantasy Legend]]'', which is a whole ''other'' can of worms (a thinly DolledUpInstallment of the first ''[[Franchise/SaGaRPG SaGa]]'' game, as it's known in Japan).

!!This game has examples of:

* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: The game can be beaten below level 40 with the right tactics and equipment; more than that just makes it easier. The level cap is 99, which takes many wasted hours of grinding since the final boss might as well just fall over at that point.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts: Watts might be the physical incarnation of this trope -- see OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame.
* AmbiguousGender: For some reason, the citizens of Ish refer to the Chocobo as female in ''Adventures of Mana'', although the local, friendly MadScientist and the hero both refer to it as male. This [[InconsistentDub inconsistency]] didn't exist in the original text. Until the UsefulNotes/PlaystationVita release, where the chocobo is consistently referred to as female.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:It turns out to be Julius.]]
* BittersweetEnding:
** [[spoiler:The hero, after losing just about everything, finally defeats Julius, but the Mana Tree is destroyed after the battle. The heroine, as the sole surviving member of the Mana Tribe, must stay and become the new tree, and the hero is the sole Gemma Knight left to protect her. Sure, the land is at peace, but remember, the heroine is the only one left who can become the object that keeps the world stable.]] And all of this is set to possibly the saddest and most beautiful 8-bit music in existence. ''Goddamn.'' A glimmer of hope appears at the very end of the credits, though, with a shot of [[spoiler:the seedling of the new Tree]].
** [[spoiler:It is implied that the parents of ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'''s hero are the hero and heroine of this game. However, in this game, the heroine became the Mana Tree before any serious relationship happened so how the birthing happened is anyone's guess]].
** [[spoiler:At the end of ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' that seedling of hope is literally incinerated, with AscendedFridgeHorror confirmed in ''VideoGame/LegendOfMana''. The world descends into chaos and the hero's quest was ultimately AllForNothing which pushes this more objectively to a DownerEnding in retrospect.]]
** [[spoiler:The last we see of the hero, he is sneaking away from his Chocobo after reuniting it with its real mother.]].
* BodyguardCrush: It's implied at the end of the game that the hero fell for the heroine, which makes the ending even sadder.
* BreakingAndBloodsucking: You get a free room at the Kett Tower, [[InnSecurity too bad no good ever comes of a free inn in a video game]]. You wake up to find that the girl is gone and clues send you to the marsh to find a magic mirror. The mirror reveals that the staff are monsters serving the vampire Mr. Lee, who snatched her in the night and stuffed her in a coffin.
* ChainReactionDestruction: The first thing you fight, dies in that way.
* ChargedAttack: There's a meter at the bottom of the screen that automatically charges; the amount of charge determines how much power your attack or spell has. Moreover, choosing to improve your Will score upon level up increases its speed -- by the end of the game, the meter fills up so fast, your max charge attacks go from AwesomeButImpractical to cornerstones of your offense.
* TheChosenOne: The girl you rescue at the beginning is the final scion of the Mana Tribe, and [[spoiler:becomes the Gemma of the Mana Tree when the original one dies]].
* DarkerAndEdgier: This is surprisingly dark for a Game Boy game.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: The guy named "Dark Lord" sure sounds like the BigBad, doesn't he?
* DragonWithAnAgenda: Julius. [[spoiler:Eventually DragonAscendant.]]
* DueToTheDead: [[spoiler:Lester goes into mourning after you kill Davias, and stays in Jadd to play requiem for his sister.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The nods to the ''Final Fantasy'' series, especially the Chocobos.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: {{Excalibur}}/Xcalibur (the Mana Sword), given to you about four screens before your final showdown with [[spoiler:Julius]].
* EvilSorcerer: Julius.
* FireIceLightning: Three of the four attacking magic are under these elements. The last one is NonElemental.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: You can fling yourself across the screen and hit enemies anywhere on a straight line from you with a fully charged sword strike -- but you still can't jump or squeeze your way past many obstacles.
* GetOut: Bogard throws one of these against the hero after the latter saying he can't save the world. This being right after [[spoiler:their raid on the airship to save the heroine failed and they both got thrown out from midair]].
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Several bosses are really just there to interfere with you -- part of the goal of the remake was to shoehorn them into the plot.
* GuideDangIt: The figure-eight palm tree puzzle. Many gamers have said it took them years before they figured out the solution.
* HelloInsertNameHere: Originally it was just Hero and Heroine officially, although screenshots in the English version instruction booklet call them Sumo and Fuji respectively. This caught on to the point that the ''Adventures of Mana'' translation changed these to the in-game default names, but the Japanese version still dryly dub them Hero and Heroine.
* ICannotSelfTerminate: [[spoiler:Amanda]] can't while undergoing her curse... [[spoiler:forcing [[MercyKill you to kill her]]]].
* ILied: [[spoiler:A heroic example. Marcie the robot offers to throw you to safety when the Tower of Dime starts to collapse, and says that she will jump the gap after throwing you. She tosses you over the gap, but then admits that she lied, she can't make the jump, and she knew you would waste time trying to save her if she had told you earlier.]]
* InterchangeableAntimatterKeys:
** Invaluable in this game. They are also very cheap, so many should be bought before each dungeon. However, if you run out, getting more can range from easy to very difficult depending how far you are from a Skeleton room or the nearest item shop.
** Mattocks, used for clearing rocks, are similar, but the [[EpicFlail morningstar]] obtained late in the game makes them obsolete. Fortunately, they are dropped by a common enemy that is present in most dungeons that you need them.
* KaizoTrap: The bosses can still deal damage during their death animations, so it's actually possible to die ''after'' defeating them. In fact, if you're a melee-type character, you're almost guaranteed to take damage from their giant death explosion, which can kill you if you were an inch from death when you killed them.
** Averted in the ''Adventures of Mana'' remake, the game renders the Hero immobile during the Boss’ death animation and the explosion doesn’t go any further than the foe’s body; the Kaizo Trap is no more.
* LordBritishPostulate: The citizens of towns actually ''do'' have health and can be killed. However, unless you are at a high level, it takes a very long time. They also regenerate as soon as you leave the screen, and make you listen to their talking message the moment they die.
* LoveAtFirstSight: The ''Adventures of Mana'' remake makes the Hero’s affection for the Heroine much more obvious and shows it much earlier than what it was hinted at in the original game.
* MadeOfIron: You tend to advance the plot by falling from great heights, then getting right back up or at most after a short rest.
* MagicMusic: Lester's music clears up the poison gas blocking the path from Jadd to Glaive.
* MascotMook: While many elements of the series weren't added until later, the game does have Rabites (though they weren't actually named until ''Secret of Mana'').
* MeaningfulName: The [[spoiler:vampire]] early in the game is called [[Creator/ChristopherLee Mr. Lee]].
* MercyKill: The hero is forced is perform one on [[spoiler:Amanda after she is poisoned by Medusa and slowly begins transforming into one herself]].
* TheMole: Oh, that friendly man who helps you out at a couple of points? [[spoiler:Julius, trying to get closer to the girl.]]
* MosesInTheBulrushes: Julius is a villainous version, as [[spoiler:the sole survivor of the evil Vandole empire]].
* NeverSayDie: Averted for a game on a Nintendo system; a Game Boy game released in 1991, nonetheless (during the iron-fisted, censorship-happy era for Nintendo). Were Nintendo's censors' [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar radars]] off or something?
* NiceHat: Since he's a monochrome PaletteSwap of the [[TheRedMage Red Mage]] from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'', the disguised [[spoiler:Julius]] also has his famous [[PimpDuds Pimp Hat]]. Betrayal has never looked so stylin'.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: ''You'' benefit from this twice -- perhaps ''because'' you're just a slave, Dark Lord and Julius don't really put that much effort in ensuring your demise.
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:Julius, once again, embodies the trope.]]
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: While Watts is a bit more proactive than his brethren, he's no different (charging you for goods in the middle of the dungeon you agreed to help him with). In fact, he's even worse in that particular regard; later on he charges you a lot of money for equipment he makes out of the silver you risked your own life to get for him, probably because he knows you can't continue the game without it. Adam Smith [[AdamSmithHatesYourGuts would be proud]].
* PermanentlyMissableContent:
** One treasure can only be reached if you use a fully charged attack with the Flame Whip. It's not necessary to beat the game, but it can be left behind.
** Many treasures in this game are permanently missable the instant you reach the Tower of Gemma (the last dungeon), since there is no way back to the overworld after the bridge from the Tower of Dime collapses. However, the final dungeon contains enemy-dropped items and equipment that surpass everything else in all categories, so it isn't really a big deal. It isn't possible to carry all of the unique equipment in the game at once anyway.
* PetTheDog: When [[spoiler:Julius]] betrays the hero, he thinks to ask, "Why did you help me, back there?" [[spoiler:Julius]] responds that he wasn't sure whether or not the girl ''the hero'' was trying to save was the one ''he'' was looking for -- meaning at the very least he can show some bit of altruism.
* PointOfNoReturn: The end of the Tower of Dime. Be sure to stock up on keys before you finish this dungeon.
* TheProfessor: Bon Voyage, who reappeared in ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'' but was dropped from ''VideoGame/SwordOfMana'' since his main accomplishment in the storyline was the [[{{Cyborg}} Chocobot]], is known as this in the English translation of ''Adventures of Mana'' (which unintentionally makes Marcie's [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep reference]] to her creator confusing). In the English translation of ''Final Fantasy Adventure'', he was known as [[UnfortunateNames Dr. Bowow]].
* RobotBuddy: Marcie, in the Tower of Dime. She heals all of your MP whenever you ask, making her the most valuable NPC ally.
* SpannerInTheWorks: The main character is a nobody that turns out to be the one element Dark Lord (and later Julius) cannot account for.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Certain names were given different spellings or were retranslated between ''Final Fantasy Adventure'' and ''Adventures of Mana'', such as Iflyte to Ifrit and Marcie to Marcy.
* ThreeQuartersView: A hybrid of this, side view and an overhead view.
* {{Unwinnable}}:
** If you save and leave the game at certain points while out of keys, you can load and be stuck between two locked doors with no way out. Running out of keys in the final dungeon will also leave you screwed, as the last place to buy keys was two dungeons ago and cannot be returned to. The game actually goes to certain lengths to avoid this problem -- keys are only required to progress ''forward'' in a dungeon; you can never become trapped in any area this way. Also, most dungeons have certain rooms populated with Skeletons and Bubbles. If you kill enough of them, you will find that the Skeletons drop Keys and the Bubbles drop Mattocks. In the final dungeon, skeletons are your '''only''' source of keys, so it is a good idea to keep track of where they are.
** The map is on a grid, and eventually you can travel around on the sea when you get a Chocobo. There is one (maybe more) square on the map in which there is no land at all, just sea. Do not save here and turn off the game, as when you start it back up, you can't start riding the Chocobo, so there has to some land for you to stand on. Otherwise, the game will just crash and you have to restart your file.
** It is technically possible to save your game into a permanently unwinnable position with poison. If you save the game with 1 HP and poison, no matter what your stats are, you will instantly die as soon as you load the game. The HP check comes ''before'' the input check, so no matter how fast you are with the buttons, you ''will'' lose. Also, poison damage depends on your stamina; high-stamina characters take more damage from poison in general. So to be safe, '''do not ever save while poisoned'''!
* TheVirus: Medusa's poison works like this... poor [[spoiler:Amanda]].
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Despite being a named character and the Hero's best friend, Will is not given a unique appearance in ''Adventures of Mana''; he is a generic gladiator slave/warrior, akin to the ones seen many times later in the game. His extremely small role apparently couldn't grant him special treatment.