YMMV / Seiken Densetsu 3

  • Awesome Music: Any of the many, many boss themes.
    • Not just the boss themes; most of the soundtrack qualifies. While Secret of Mana is usually regarded as Kikuta's masterpiece, truthfully the music from this game isn't very far behind.
  • Cliché Storm: In the nicest possible way. Even then, it deconstructs many of the character archetypes of the Mana series while going through its plot.
  • Demonic Spiders: Near the end of the game, there are a number of enemies that are essentially the mook version of some of the playable characters' final classes, and each of them can utilize the tech that the player class has. For example, the Nightblade can use Split-Image Slice (like Hawk's Nightblade class), and the Bloody Wolf can use Suzaku Sky Dance (like Kevin's Dervish class). These techniques are full-screen and can easily wipe out the entire party if they are at low health. This is a significant contributor to why fans are so fond of the Star Lancer and Night Blade classes, as both have the ability to silence enemies, preventing these attacks from being used.
    • Others include the aptly named Death Machines and nigh unbeatable packs of multi-healing Silver Wolves.
    • Shadow Zeros take the cake, though. They copy your characters down to the last stat point, and they're affected by the same Health/Damage Asymmetry as your party, which lets them deal boss-killing damage to your party's still PC-level health. And it only gets worse if you used cheats or Level Grinding to strengthen your party past what they should have by then.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lise! When searching for any fan art of this game, expect to find more art of her than everyone else combined! (Her outfit in official art probably has something to do with it...) It could also be her status as the de facto badass of the game, given the fact that, in the day and age the game came out in Japan, there weren't a lot of 'physical' female fighters, and even less badass female royalty. Lise really broke a lot of molds. Finally, the fact she shares what many consider to be the 'canon' story with Hawk helps.
    • Self-Fanservice: In half the art her figure is shown to be on par with Angela's (who recieves a startling low amount of fanart, contrast the similarly fanservicey Tifa)
  • Even Better Sequel: To Secret of Mana. The game improves on the original game's graphics and mechanics, and manages a soundtrack of comparable brilliance with even more songs. It's also longer and far outstrips its predecessor in terms of replay value due to the fact that it takes at least three playthroughs to see even most of the game's content, and the presence of six playable characters and the class change system introduces literally thousands of possible final party combinations. There is a sizeable contingent of fans that regards this games as one of Square's finest achievements during the 16-bit era.
  • Fan Nickname: Any team that doesn't include any healing ability is referred to as a "suicide team," because any mistake can lead to a party wipe. They're also tremendously fun to play, because a lack of healing (usually through taking Dark classes) also means a lot of debuff spells and high damage output, leading to quick deaths both ways.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Even though Hawk already has a "girlfriend," many fans prefer to ship him with Lise. Their stories are related to each other, and the game put in some minor Ship Tease in there (nor does it help that Hawk's "girlfriend" basically has zero screen time). This was strengthened when Heroes of Mana revealed that Hawk's "girlfriend" is his mother's half-sister.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The scene with Lugar and the defeated Altenan sorceresses is a good clue about the types of attacks you want to avoid using when you fight him.
    • Also, putting the final classes in context with the backstories of each character really increases their significance. In most cases, the Light classes are more based on duty and/or idealized versions of certain figures in their lives, while the Dark classes are more based on obsession and/or the actual current situation of said figures.
      • For example, Duran's Light final classes, Paladin and Lord, seem to be based on his father Loki as a Knight of Gold. His Dark classes, Sword Master and Duelist, reflect the current situation of his father actually being the Darkshine Knight. Also, an early plot point in Duran's story is how he wants to learn magic so he can fight Koren on an even standing. Aside from Saint Saber, Duran can only learn sword magic if he goes Dark.
      • Carlie might even be a case of Break and then Corrupt the Cutie if she goes dark. Think about it, she's so madly in love with Heath, who is Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to the Masked Mage that she would walk down the same path as him willingly just to be with him. Her final light classes on the other hand, are essentially Carlie choosing which of her grandfathers she'll emulate.
      • Kevin's duality is more based on his human side with his Light classes, or his beastman side with his Dark classes.
      • Hawk's classes take a different spin of this trend. Keep in mind that the Desert of Scorching Heat was once a huge forest; the Wanderer and Rogue recall that time, while the Ninja Master and Nightblade reflect the reality of things.
      • Angela's Light classes seem to reflect a desire to emulate her mother, while her Dark classes are more based on her pursuit of magical ability, like Koren.
      • Lise's Light classes seem to be based on her motherly instincts, while her Dark classes may be more based on her role as warrior princess.
  • Funny Moments: Trying to enter Duran's house with both Duran and Angela in the party grants you the following conversation (along these lines):
    Duran: Let's skip this one house, it's mine. I promised not to return until I defeated Koren.
    Angela: Aw, I wanted to see your room. But if you're hiding anything, like your porn collection, I understand.
    Duran: (flustered) Oh, SHUT UP!
    • Infiltrating the Corobokkle Village with Hawk.
      Hawk: I'm Hawk, but everyone calls me Papa Smurf!
    • Strangely enough, there's an X-rated magazine in Forcena's library. Read it with any of the characters and their reaction is: "... ... ... !!!". Except for Carlie, that is — read it with her and you get the more comical reaction of "... ... ... ???"
    • If Hawk is your main character, you'll get this speech upon Trying to exit the Mana Holyland
    Hawk: Deathjester! Are you the one who abducted the faerie?
    Deathjester: Oh, heavens no! If I had, I wouldn't be lollygagging around here! I'd be waiting behind you in ambush, preparing to take you with the element of surprise!
    Hawk: Hmm, should we walk back out, come in again and pretend you're not here...?
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Due to a bug, accessing the menu while charging up a spell will make the spell charge when you are in the menu and the game is paused, meaning you can technically rapid-fire all of your spells without worrying about being interrupted. The enemies charge their spells while you're in the menu too, however, so this bug can also be used against you if you're not careful.
    • Using Hawk and Kevin in the same team, since they have double attacks. Their first skill (green bar) can be stronger than their last (red bar) when buffed with elements and Power Ups. If you picked their "darkest" classes (Nightblade for Hawk and Death Hand for Kevin), they tear even bosses apart. Add some more pain if you lower the enemy's defenses.
    • Counter Magic or Matango Oils (which has the same magic effect) render most of Koren's spells useless. It's only a game breaker in that one fight, but it's still fun to see the self-proclaimed world's most powerful wizard be unable to do anything but hurt himself.
    • There are some who consider Byzel's black market a Game-Breaker itself, as the items purchasable potentially render many classes almost entirely redundant.
    • Tossing a Dark-oriented Hawk and a Light-oriented Lise (with Nightblade/Star Lancer being probably the most broken of the bunch) in the same party makes most of the game's second-half bosses a joke. Lise can buff the party, while Hawk debuffs the bosses, effectively neutering their damage output. If the third character knows sabre magic, most boss fights will end in under a minute.
    • The spell Deadly Weapon or Lunatic (both used by Hawk as a Nightblade or Wanderer, respectively), when used by the player. Both reduce the target's maximum HP by a set percentage. The developers were clearly thinking of enemies using it against players when they made it (where it only knocks off a couple hundred HP max), but when Hawk uses it on bosses, it can be the equivalent of doing several thousand HP in a single hit (since the lost HP does not recover when the status wears off and most bosses do not heal).
    • Hawkeye's "Ninja Master" class gains the ability to multi-target his Shuriken ability. This means you have a fast-casting ability that hits all enemies on the screen, does significant damage, knocks enemies back, and lowers their evasion. All for only 1 MP. Fans have dubbed it the "1 MP Wonder".
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Porobin Hoods. Dart!!!
    • While Silver Wolves aren't terribly dangerous on their own, they just love to spam Heal Light, and also have a move that severely reduces your attack power. If you don't have a way to boost it back up and/or lower their defense, you're going to be fighting them for a long time. Or not, if there are Bloody Wolves around too.
    • If you choose Carlie or Kevin as the main character, much later in the game, you have Death Machines which almost always reduces the entire party's defense making even weak enemies dangerous and stronger ones downright mortal.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Excepting stat buffs and debuffs, the Standard Status Effects (specifically, Poison, Moogle, Chibikko (shrink), Petrification, and Silence) don't stack with one another - the most recent one takes precedence. During the course of the plot, you get an item called the Chibikko Hammer, which either inflicts or cures the Chibikko status on your party. So, if a party member gets hit with one of the other statuses, two hits from the hammer (once to Chibikko them, and once to cure it) will get rid of it without having to use any status curing items or spells.
    • It's not clear whether it's intentional or not, but the Evil Shaman's anti-magic spell will, in addition to dispelling status buffs, cause enemies that absorb certain elements to no longer do that.
    • While transforming into a Werewolf, if Kevin is target of any attack or spell (this includes healing spells, by the way), he gets a ridiculous attack boost.
    • Whenever a monster takes a few seconds to realize that it's dead, sometimes doing a last hit (or a screen-encompassing tech) in order to do so; on the other hand, this also works to the player's advantage, as you can save a character from death if you can feed them some healing sweets before they drop dead.
    • Bringing up the menu can also cancel taking damage, which allows for ridiculously low-level speedruns for players with good timing.
    • Clearing a screen full of enemies when you're close to leveling up and then walking into the next screen bugs the way the game calculates levels and allows you to increase your stats beyond the soft and hard caps the game otherwise imposes on all level-ups.
    • Spells charge even when the radial menu is open, so you can start casting a spell, open the menu, wait a few seconds, then fire off the spell. That said, the enemies can do the same thing, so it still carries some risk.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A guy named Heath is captured by and eventually works with a Monster Clown. He even shares a game with a character called "Dark[shine] Knight."
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Beast King.
  • Mis-blamed: No, the game was not kept to Japan because of Secret of Evermore - its late release date as well as the amount of work it would take to get the game ready for an international release would have been too costly to produce and likely put the game's release date well after the Nintendo 64 and Playstation were out.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Zable Fahr. Three demonic, gigantic clown heads that want you to be not alive anymore. Take a gander if you want.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Being hit with an attack that causes multiple effects... and not being able to do anything until you finish clicking through them. This can actually get you killed in some of the last battles.
  • That One Attack: Ancient. Usable only by few end bosses (or Angela as Magus) it deals massive damage that can easily go over 300 even if you are protected by buffs and is one of the very few spells that pierces Counter Magic.
  • That One Boss: All of them have tendency to counter any spell or high level technique with their own specials.
    • Bill and Ben, Lugar, and Darkshine Knight all qualify. To put it in perspective, Darkshine Knight will counter offensive magic (and conveniently enough, one of the two who have to fight him is a mage) with a full-party hitting attack. He can also pull them off without getting provoked. Two of these in a row will destroy your party unless you're over-leveled.
    • Lugar during the first visit to Moonreading Tower may come as a nasty surprise to players who likes to abuse Level 2 Techs. He reacts to these techs with one of his own and once he closes to death he starts using all-party variations of said attacks and potentially in succession if the player is careless meaning he can cause a party wipe faster than a recovery item can be thrown.
    • Dolan and Zable Fahr are considered the most difficult of the eight God-Beasts. The former because aside from his all-round power, has a strong attack the temporarily reduces the party's max HP in addition to inflicting massive damage. With the latter, it has really strong attacks in addition to hitting the party with de-buff spells, and has the instant death spell that will kill a party member they are at a lower level than it, and odds are they will be. Thankfully, Zable Fahr has fairly low HP. Even the final class change of the game comes right before the battle, Zable Fahr is still regarded as the hardest of the God-Beasts.
    • Heath. Oh damn, Heath is a nightmare! Most fans agree that even if the Dark Lich is the easiest Final Boss, he's got the hardest penultimate boss. Not only is he a cross-class cleric/mage, he has improbable amounts of health, he knows debuff spells against your entire party which render your fighters invalid, can heal and knows all darkness spells, all light spells and three of the four possible summons for Lise, which are all party-wide heavy damage in addition to inflicting mute (Marduke), poison (Jormungand), or Chibikko (Freya). That is why it is commonly advised against choosing Carlie or Kevin as the main hero just because of how hard this one fight is.
    • Koren may be made a joke by using a gimmicknote , but chances are you won't know it and will be bombarded by several magic spells with varying degrees of power cast from a very swift magician that uses Flash Step to get away from you all the time and can take inordinate amounts of punishment.
  • That One Level: Moonreading Tower. It doesn't help that the boss of it is pretty damn hard too.
    • All of the six exclusive dungeons (Glass Desert and Dragon's Hole, Cave of Darkness and Dark Castle, Jungle of Illusion and Mirage Palace) are very long, have very few recovery points and chuck Demonic Spiders every now and then on you, not to mention the Boss Rush inside of each.
  • The Un-Twist: The Darkshine Knight is Duran's father. This is so obvious that he even calls Duran out for being too much of an idiot to notice it.