Nine centuries ago, the Mana Tree burned to ashes. The power of Mana lived on inside Mana stones, enchanted instruments, and artifacts. Sages fought with each other for control of these last remnants of Mana. Then, after hundreds of years of war, as the power of Mana began to wane, those who sought it grew scarce, and the world returned to peace. After that, mankind grew afraid to desire. Their hearts filled with empty emotions, and grew estranged from my hands. They turned their eyes away from my infinite power, and were troubled by their petty disputes. Remember me! Need me! I can provide you with everything! I am love. Find me, and walk beside me.
Legend of Mana is the first game in the World of Mana series to be released on the Playstation.Unlike the previous games in the World of Mana, which have a fairly straightforward story, Legend of Mana is much more of a Wide Open Sandbox. You collect artifacts, which you can place on a grid, magically turning them into towns and dungeons. Various events and quests will occur in the places around you. While many are one-shot deals, there are three major arcs and several minor ones that will pop up. You don't actually need to complete more than one arc to finish the game, but it is possible to do every single event in a single playthrough.Legend Of Mana plays more or less like Seiken Densetsu 3 with a few additional quirks:
It was released on the American Playstation store as a PS One Classic on March, 22, 2011.
This game provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob: One story arc gives us Matilda (normal), Irwin (somewhat normal), Daena (unusual spelling of a normal), and Escad (not normal)
Jumi names run like this as well, from Diana to Elazul. Justified in that their names are similar to the type of gem of which their cores are made. Diana has a diamond core, Elazul has lapis lazuli, Rubens has ruby, et cetera.
After Combat Recovery: One of the things that makes the game so easy is that you return to full hitpoints after killing everything in a particular screen.
After the End: At the start of the game, Fa'Diel is nothing but a desert wasteland, and the opening narration suggests that the world's civilizations destroyed each other in pointless wars to possess the remnants of Mana power that remained in artifacts. The player's actions can be seen as rebuilding Fa'Diel by planting the artifacts (or you could go with the grimmer Alternate Character Interpretation).
Artificial Stupidity: Your companions are not smart enough to coordinate with you or evade attacks, though you can influence the behavior of pets (through food) and robots (through logic blocks).
Battle Theme Music: In this game standard battles share the music of the area they take place on. However, there are four different Boss Battle themes, plus each arc villain (the Lord of Jewels 1000, Irwin and Drakonis) and The Mana Goddess have their own unique battle music.
Bilingual Bonus: The Main Theme's (Song Of Mana) lyrics are sung in Swedish, but said lyrics (nor their translation) never appear in-game.
Bittersweet Ending: Again, all three major story arcs. The world is saved, but at a very high price. Here's the breakdown...
Jumi Arc: The Jumi are alive and can cry healing tears again, but Alexandra is going to be exiled from the Jeweled City for a damned long time if not permanently, and there's nothing to say that the Jumi won't be hunted to extinction a second time.
Dragons Arc: The mana crystals are returned, the dragons come back to life, and even Larc and Sierra reunite...eventually. It's not clear in the epilogue how far in the future all of this comes to pass.
Gate of Heaven Arc: Irwin and Matilda are definitely dead, and depending on your choices one or both of Escad and Danea may be as well. Irwin also wants nothing to do with Matilda even in the afterlife. However the world has been saved.
Black and Gray Morality: Alexandra wants to kill all the Jumi to save Florina. Blackpearl expects and demands that Florina save the Jumi at the cost of her own life.
In fact, many of the characters are this. Irwin is seen by Escad as a monster for what he did to Matilda, but Matilda and Daena think differently. Larc knows what he is doing is wrong, but he continues to follow Drakonis in hopes of returning to the living.
Also,depending on the quests you do, your character may end up doing things which are not inherently good. Like aiding Larc and Niccolo.
Larc wanted to be one with his sister (it's why he made the Deal with the Devil); it's suggested in the Distant Finale that he at least eventually reunites with her.
But Thou Must: Averted most of the time, as you could refuse any NPC if you didn't want to play their subquest, but in the Dragon Arc you're not even given the option to refuse Vadise once said Dragon Lord takes over hell. (But then, you're the one that helped the Dragon Lord to power in the first place...)
In fact, you can kill (directly or indirectly) a handful of the major NPCs with a little willful mischief.
Canon Discontinuity: Square Enix says that this game no longer happened within the Mana universe.
Combos: Sufficiently long attack strings will drop full-heal items, as well as add damage. Since only a limited number of Weak Attacks can be strung together, and a single Strong Attack will always cause the combo to end, this leads to a number of Unnecessary Combat Rolls or Lunges.
Commonplace Rare: Ash is one of the best tempering materials in the game. Nothing drops it, and you can only find it in 3 treasure chests per playthrough.
Continuity Nod: Some of the Artifacts are actually event items from other World of Mana games, materials are still named after the (now-destroyed) cities in the rest of the series, and the final boss takes forms resembling monsters and Big Bad-types from the previous games.
Watts the dwarven blacksmith who appears in all the Mana games is a character here as well, as is the dancing merchant in the turban, Mr. Moti, who acts as your alternate save point.
In the intro, it's stated that nine centuries before the game begins, the Mana Tree was destroyed. This is probably a reference to either Thanatos using the Mana Fortress to destroy the Tree near the end of Secret of Mana, or a similar event that happens in Seiken Densetsu 3.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pokiehl and Nunuzac. They both act more silly than moronic, but the game has hints to their Hidden Depths. For example, the toy in the junkyard is begging Pokiehl to let him keep fighting. Or Nunuzac lamenting the thought of having to teach his students "true conjuration".
Nunuzac in particular looks like a carpet because he overloaded on magic while fighting a seriously nasty world-threatening opponent and trapped himself in his own conjuration circle in the process of saving the day. At least it apparently made him immortal, and he gets to show off his true abilities when he kidnaps a Sproutling and tries to trap it in the Dream Realm to keep it from creating the Mana Tree.
Deal with the Devil: Larc made one with Drakonis in the distant past; the player character is similarly made to serve Drakonis if they choose to trigger the Dragon Arc.
Defeat Means Friendship: At the beginning of the game, after you beat the naughty sorcerer Bud and his sister Lisa, Bud is so impressed by you he asks to become your apprentice.
Devour the Dragon: Sandra willingly sacrifices herself to let the Lord of Jewels eat her core to become more powerful.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The dialogue in the game accounts for some atypical situations. For instance, normally you complete The Lost Princess with Elazul as a partner. The developers prepared for the possibility of the player ditching Elazul and trying to save Pearl alone and created dialogue for such a scenario. The Flame of Hope also has other changes depending on the player's gender and if certain characters are with you (like Elazul). Having Bud or Lisa has a partner triggers alternate dialogue at Geo Academy. And so on and so forth.
Dialogue Tree: You learn about the history of Fa'Diel via one of these and the Onion Kid's tutorial is another; some of the dialogue also differs based on which gender you pick as your character.
Double Entendre: after the first Monique/Gilbert mission, Monique laments the fact that Gilbert wants a "much bigger lamp" and then complains that "size is meaningless, it's how it works".
When Kathinja threatens to petrify Gilbert, he claims that he's "getting hard".
Dream Land: You visit the dream realm three times: 1) to defeat a monster haunting Florina's dreams, 2) to save the Sproutling kidnapped by Nunzac, and 3) to see what happened in Matilda's childhood to make Escad hate Irwin.
Dueling Player Characters: Escad and Daena come to blows over disagreeing about what to do with Irwin. You're forced to take a side (refusing to take a side will have them choose for you), and the battle is to the death. No matter what, one party member isn't coming out of that fight alive. And then it's all made moot when, Daena's third option is outright rejected by Matilda and you're driven to kill Irwin anyway.
Additionally, Florina's current guardian ( Alexandra) believes that her previous one ( Blackpearl) was willing to consign Florina to sacrificing her life force to produce healing tears, and carries a huge grudge because of that.
Fake Pregnancy: A minor quest has a female penguin imply to her pirate boyfriend, who was about to go to sea for an extended period of time, that she had an egg. At the end of the quest, she says she was misunderstood and was only musing about the possibility of having an egg. Then, when he's out of earshot, she admits that she lied the second time and Just Wanted Her Beloved To Be Happy.
Fantastic Racism: Niccolo towards the Sproutlings, and many people towards the Jumi.
Foreshadowing: Talking to the NPCs give you lots of hints about what's going on, and a lot of your cactus' apparent non-sequitors that it makes post-mission only make sense in retrospect. "Seventh is Girl" (said at the end of "The Six Wisdoms" quest), for example, refers to Matilda, who takes the previously vacant seat of the Seventh Wisdom after she dies.
Guide Dang It: Big time. Several missions involve needing to talk to specific people in a specific order with little info about where you're supposed to go. And as for the god-slaying sword mentioned in Game Breaker, good luck figuring out how to make one of those on your own.
The placement of lands, including the original home site. The ideal setup for the aforementioned Item Crafting stuff. Endless numbers of sidequests which can become Lost Forever (well, sort of, anyway) if you make one tiny little mistake. The whole... damned... GAME is one giant Guide Dang It. For details, see the YMMV page.
Heroic Mime: The main character does not even seem to possess any real personality (save for any dialogue tree options), other than helping people and being absurdly stupid in the Underworld.
Hey, You!: The player character's default name, literally, is just "YOU". This is more than likely a Shout-Out to the character's original homophonic name in the game's original language, which incidentally makes this a real name and not just a hint as to what sort of name you should provide your character with. There is actually a way to replace this with a randomly-generated name on the naming screen - you can just hit the Select button to gen a new one.
The Ultimania guide lists the identities and genders of all the Jumi within the game (and a few that were removed). Alexandra is the only one listed Male/Female, as in BOTH. One is not a disguise for the other, as Alexandra actually changes forms; Alex is male and Sandra is female, possibly alluding to how alexandrite (the stone) changes color depending on the kind of light it's in.
Improbable Hairstyle: The difficult to describe braided ponytail worn by the female protagonist, called "hair pipes" in game.
Infinity+1 Sword: Or Spear, bow, etc... Unique in that these weapons have to be crafted using not crafting recipes, but honest to god techniques and patterns. Getting a weapon to 200 with a basic understanding of the rules isn't too hard. Getting a 999 power weapon is a flat out Guide Dang It.
In-Universe Game Clock: Time advances at the rate of one day per world traveled or entered, though you can also sleep in the Geo Inn as well.
It's Up to You: Seriously, how does anybody get anything done in Fa'Diel without the player character?
Hell, you even have to build the map! (Not as in you have to draw the map, but you literally create the world around you by plonking down the magical artifacts that create the towns and dungeons you quest in.)
Item Farming: How you gain all of your crafting ingredients, save for the scant few you find in treasure chests during each game cycle.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Elazul emerges as a far more likable character than his earliest appearances might lead one to believe.
Kill 'em All: Can potentially happen with the Heaven's Gate arc. At one point you must choose between Escad and Daena in a fight to the death. Whoever you side against will die, and if you try to take a third option one of them will turn on you. If you side with Escad, then leave him out of the party when you tackle the final dungeon, right as you reach Irwin, you will witness him blow up Escad. Then you kill Irwin and Matilda will die, meaning all the main characters from that arc will be dead. Averted if you side with Daena, or side with Escad and bring him to the final dungeon with you.
Like a Badass out of Hell: The player character every time they visit the Underworld (might as well install revolving doors); you also prevent the Dragon Lord successfully doing this once he takes it over.
Loads and Loads of Races: Hoo boy...humans, dwarves, elves, faeries, demons, mermaids, sirens (which are separate), centaurs, mummies, lizard women, chocobos, nagas, rabbit people, cat people, onion people, Dudbears, Jumi, people made of puzzle pieces, talking monkeys, talking teapots, talking penguins, talking walruses, talking pelicans, cavemen, mouse people, bird people, werewolves with dragon tails, gramophones with arms and faces, whatever the hell Rev. Nouvelle and Revanshe are...and that's not even getting into the monsters.
You can lose out on several quests if you refuse to take Bud and Lisa on as apprentices near the beginning of the game.
In one of your sidequests, your Cactus (who is responsible for Cactus Diary entries) runs off and you have to find him. If you finish any of your other sidequests in the meantime, they will not be recorded as complete in said Diary and you'll have to wait for a New Game+ to try again.
Hell, any of the Cactus Diary entries are Lost Forever if you fail to talk to Lil' Cactus before finishing another event. This can be very irritating for first-time players due to abruptly-ending events ("Mana Orchards" springs to mind) causing the previous event's entry to be lost, or even worse, the event "Lil' Cactus". Whatever you do, NEVER talk to Bud if you have a Diary entry waiting to be recorded. (Luckily, "Daddy's Broom" does not cause this same thing: while the cactus leaves, he also comes back before the event ends. Once again, however, failing to talk to Bud LAST will screw you over: if you don't, you'll lose Bud when you go back into the house to talk to Lil' Cactus, and he won't come back until after the event.)
In addition, anything in The Flames or Lucemia is lost forever once those areas are no longer accessible. Luckily for us, the game's cyclical nature means that "forever" lasts only until your current playthrough is over.
Lovable Sex Maniac: Gilbert, though the ladies that he hits on do express annoyance of his advances.
Love Dodecahedron: Irwin and Escad both have a thing for Matilda; Daena seems to have some form of feelings for both Matilda and Escad. It doesn't end prettily.
Love Makes You Evil: Larc (sold his soul to be as strong as his sister), Alexandra (pushing the Jumi into extinction to save Florina from dying), Irwin (plotting world destruction to free Matilda from her duties), and Escad (says he wants to kill Irwin because the latter is a demon, but comes off as wanting to Murder the Hypotenuse) all do what they do because of love. And Alexandra turned against the Jumi and hunted them to near extinction because she didn't want Florina to die and felt like the whole race was slowly and knowingly killing her.
Magic Music: Enchanted instruments conjure elemental spells when played; additionally, sirens can cause nautical disasters whenever they sing.
Man Behind the Man: The Lord of Jewels behind Sandra. Probably. The Lord of Jewels was conspicuously absent from the character profiles, and no one knows exactly what he wanted out of the whole deal.
The Ultimania guide states that he is a Star, and that he is using the Jumi cores to evolve into his final form. Supposedly he will also gain the power to create a crystal teardrop in the process. It is also stated that he is a man who loves beautiful things, and as he finds the Jumi beautiful he wants to help them, in his weird little way.
Man on Fire: Dragons can cause a burning status aliment that causes massive, continuous damage. (But you can do the same to the enemy with the right pet or magic.)
Freezing and Poison cause much the same effect.
Marathon Boss: Tropicallo. No matter how hard you hit the hands, the boss takes a fixed amount of damage, and it only takes damage when it regenerates one of his knocked out heads. On higher difficulties this will take forever. And if you're caught in the self destructing hand's attack (that fills the entire screen) start the entire fight over.
You have to go through this fight twice: Once for plot purposes, and afterwards for the most ridiculous Romantic Plot Tumor you can imagine. Lord help you if you go through these quests on NoFuture mode.
Tropicallo also has a younger brother, called Labanne. The only difference between both is that Labanne takes less damage to kill, and Labanne is fought on a much bigger screen so his self-destruct attack is much easier to dodge. For either of those bosses, the heads take morbid amounts of damage to kill on No Future mode. Anybody not using a weapon with over 500 attack power for Labanne, and with max attack power for Tropicallo is bound to get stuck on the bosses for quite a while. Hint: getting a weapon with over 300 attack already needs insane amounts of very precise tempering.
Meaningful Name: All of the Jumi are named after their gems, so if you pay attention you'll very quickly realize the connection between Alex the Gem Merchant, Sandra the Jewel Thief, and Alexandra the Jumi Knight.
Niccolo is named after Machiavelli.
Memento MacGuffin: Lisa's broom belonged to her magician father; when the Cactus accidentally throws it away, mistaking it for trash, this kicks off a subquest where you have to go retrieve it.
Mook Bouncer: Boinks teleport you to the location of their tails if you talk to them; Shadoles (but only in the sidequest where you have to save a suicidal NPC) return you to the bottom of hell if you so much as brush against them.
Multiple Life Bars: Both you and the enemies you fight can have layered health bars. The colors in order are blue, green, yellow, orange, then red, though characters with sufficiently high HP would have the colors alternate between blue and green numerous times before progressing to the others.
New Game+: Everything carries over except NPC levels and artifacts. You also unlock The Forbidden Tome, which increases the difficulty of the game (enemy HP and levels), in your library.
Nintendo Hard: Seriously. Yeah, the game got blasted for its ease. That's regular difficulty we're talking about. Try fighting Boreal Hound or Orc on No Future Mode.
Noodle Incident: A lot of the backstory, even if you bother to read the in-game encyclopedia, seems to have been lost in the mists of time.
Ominous Pipe Organ: A fair few songs have bits of it, but Lord of Jewels 1000's battle theme is all pipe organ.
The Omnipresent: The in-game character encyclopedia ascribes this ability to Mr. Moti, the dancing turban man who acts as your save point: "He is everywhere, doing everything."
Only Known by Their Nickname: Early in the game, Duelle will ask if your name is "Chumpy"; answering "Yes" will result in you being addressed as such by all of the NPCs for the entire game cycle.
Only Sane Man: Daena in the Heaven's Gate arc; Vadise for Dragon Emperor.
Our Orcs Are Different: Fa'Diel only has one Orc, and it's a sort of sharktopus sea monster. It was originally called Shore Grell in the Japanese version.
Pet the Dog: After the end of the Jumi story arc, Alexandra throws a note to the player just like the ones she'd been leaving during her cat and mouse jewel stealing, Jumi killing game. The note reads "Please take care of Florina for me."
Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Penguin Pirates. Their description in the in-game Character Encyclopedia reads, "Extremely proud of the fact that they are pirates, though they don't seem to act like pirates that often."
Player Guided Missile: Among the various area-of-effect types for elemental spells is the "Control" type, where the player manually guides a targeting circle to the desired area before igniting the spell.
The Power of Love: Subverted, as Love Makes You Evil, and it's Matilda's love for Irwin that makes her reluctant to act (but she's similarly bound by her duties, so she also refuses to leave them); by the end of her arc, Irwin has decided to reincarnate himself without any of his memories so that he doesn't have to deal with the tremendous mess that their relationship became.
Played straight, though, in the Siren subquest—Gilbert's fickle womanizing gets him turned to stone, but is redeemed when his original girlfriend Monique decides to rescue him. He mends his ways, and they get a Happily Ever After.
Unless you screw up the cure so terribly that he blows up. Yeah.
The Power of Rock: The right tune will charm the mana elementals into approaching you and drop a silver or gold elemental coin.
Remember the New Guy: If you don't complete the Jumi story arc, you'll see Belle the Dream Witch for the first time when she confronts Nunuzac after he traps the sproutling in the dream world. She doesn't get an introduction in her dialogue with Nunuzac and everyone (except you-the-player) seems to know who she is.
Robot Buddy: after completing a quest with Dr. Bomb in the Junkyard, he builds a Golem lab in you workshop so you can make your own robot buddies. Given that the creation uses equipment you can make in the other workshops, the robot buddy can become a Game Breaker if you use a Infinity+1 Sword in its genesis or "logic block" creation.
Sadistic Choice: Near the end of the Heaven's Gate arc, Escad and Daena come to blows. You get to decide who to side with, causing the other person to initiate a battle to the death. You can't even Take a Third Option: saying that they're both wrong causes the one you'd been nicer to through the story arc to flip out and try to kill you.
Sadist Teacher: Miss Kathinja has the reputation of one, since she's half basilisk and her glare can turn people to stone and she has a rather short temper.
The students are also terrified of Miss Thesenis, but that's probably more due to her mummified appearance and association with Necromancy than her personality.
Scenery Porn: Backgrounds are lovingly done in a soft pastel / watercolor style that's very easy on the eyes.
She's Got Legs: Sandra. In one mission you run across a non-hostile Mad Mallard who gushes over them.
However, the Heaven's Gate arc averts this. In the end, you will have to kill one of the two allies you have made when the two come to blows over differing opinions on the situation, if you try to avoid taking sides you will be forced to kill the one who you have generally sided with up to that point, and Irwin chooses to reincarnate himself without any of his memories after being reunited with his love simply because he is tired of the whole mess.
Two-Teacher School: Averted in Geo; the teachers even have different schedules depending on the day of the week.
Ultimate Blacksmith: Watts the Blacksmith teaches you how to become this for finding his hammer. Great, because, short of having someone else make and pawn it at the Junkyard, it's the only way to get that Infinity+1 Sword
Unwitting Pawn: Everybody not Alexandra in the Jumi Arc, but even she seems to be manipulated by the Lord of Jewels to some extent; both you and Larc are played by the Dragon Lord in that particular arc.
Vendor Trash: Most of the items for Item Crafting, though they don't sell for much; the valuable stuff is, alas, quite a bit more useful.
Wrestler in All of Us: The Grapple command gives you the opportunity to suplex any enemy in the game - if you're lucky, it can even work on bosses that are at least fifty times your size!
They even did the research on pro wrestling moves, some of the special moves with the glove are named after obscure wrestling moves. For example, one of them was called "Tiger Driver '91". Back before Kenta Kobashi started using his "Burning Hammer", the Tiger Driver '91 was the ultimate murderdeathkill pro wrestling finisher - although only smarks knew about it.
You Are Worth Hell: Found at the culmination of Irwin and Matilda's story. However, when she greets him in the underworld, he simply leaves her without a word, averting it at the last moment. The nature of this world's underworld as "Hell" is a bit ambiguous however, as it seems more in line with some traditional mythological depictions than the Judeo-Christian standard.
You Bastard: The Dragon arc pretty much exists to make you feel bad about killing everything that moves.
Your Soul Is Mine: Sandra the Jewel Thief does this when she steals the Jumi's cores. At one point, she even tells a victim, "Your core is mine!"