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Trivia / Secret of Mana

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  • Fan Translation: The "Enhanced" version of Secret of Mana uses a much more efficient system of text placement, allowing for a lot of text that was Lost in Translation to be added back in. However, most of the "lost" text was also made up out of whole cloth by the translator since he didn't have access to the original script. Among other things, the Cannon Travel Service menu now displays the names of the destinations rather than 1, 2, and 3. You can get it here.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Vandole is named after Vandole, a character previously mentioned in Final Fantasy Adventure. This led some to believe that the game was actually a prequel, but the katakana in Japanese is different (albeit using the rarely differentiated letters B and V), meaning the English translation is a coincidence. Averted in Sword of Mana, in which he is referred to as Vandole rather than Bandole in the Japanese release, but un-averted in the subsequent mobile phone remake.
    • Jema, however, is certainly named after the Gemma Knights and was a mistranslation. The remake does correct it to Gemma.
    • Similarly, people who are aware of R/L shenanigans in Japanese might look at the character of Geshtar and go "AHA! That's totally the same name as Emperor Gestahl of Final Fantasy VI, isn't it?!" Well, in Japanese, not at all: the SoM character is named ゲシュタール ("Geshutaaru", to be extremely phonetic about it), while the FF6 character is named ガストラ ("Gasutora"). However, it's very likely this is another Woolseyism, and it's Woolsey who actually did use the same name while flipping a letter; since "Gastora" (or even worse, if he became "Gas Store") wasn't a very impressive name for an emperor, Woolsey seems to have been creative in interpreting the kana and pulled in the more impressive-sounding name from the older work, which then stuck.
      • It's possible the name of Final Fantasy VI's emperor was intended to translate to English as "Ghastla" (i.e., punning on "ghastly"), however. The Japanese version of the game's soundtrack, bearing in mind the L/R issues, translates his name as "Ghastra". Regardless, the Woolseyism the Trope Namer went with worked well.
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    • Timothy is known as "Ness" in the Japanese version. This came out before EarthBound.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda moments occurred thanks to reviews found to be written by test players who spoiled some things about the game before it was released beyond Beta.
    • The things mentioned, and later removed due to size constraints, were the Ruby Armet (can be found via cheat codes), Mana-Drops (a mystery item called ??? in English and '...' in Japanese) that could cure all status conditions, heal all health, and recover all magic and a fourth character (one of 4 recruited NPCs that acted as stand-ins for a missing character during plot points, later removed but left in place with a cheat code they could be activated), but are broken bits that do nothing in the game even with a cheat code.
    • Lots of people spent hours, if not more, looking for the non-existent Sword Orb that would supposedly give you the level 9 sword upgrade. The cruel irony is that the level 9 sword is actually the reactivated Mana Sword, which you can't get until the final battle.
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    • However, there exists a glitch to get another Sword Orb (basically glitch your party into the start of the game and re-fighting the first boss), which gives you the Level 9 Sword full-time. You can find instructions for it here.
    • The existence of Level 9 weapon orbs, period, were thought to be a rumor until they were discovered to be extremely rare random drops from enemies in the Mana Fortress.
  • Speed Run: Available in several categories in addition to the usual any%note  and any% mostlynote  glitchless...
    • 2 Player Co-op/1 Player, 2 Controllers: Used to take advantage of several Good Bad Bugs that allows for Sequence Breaking.
    • Game End Glitch, also known as Magic%: Using the Barrel to bug the game into showing the "The End" message—this is possible as soon as Boy is kicked out of his hometown and can visit Neko.
  • What Could Have Been: One of the most infamous examples in the realm of video games. Essentially, Secret of Mana started life as an add-on for the SNES CD-ROM, and was designed to be one of the most ambitiously expansive games of the early 1990's to take advantage of the significantly higher data capacity of the CD-ROM format. However, when the Nintendo/Sony partnership that the SNES-CD hinged on collapsed spectacularly, Square was forced to release the game on a cartridge instead, cutting out roughly 40% of its content in order to make it fit on the much lower-capacity medium. For reference, CDs are capable of holding roughly 700 MB of data. The Secret of Mana cartridge holds sixteen. By all reports, having to strip this game down is what led to the schism between Square and Nintendo in the latter 90s and drove Square into Sony's arms. Reportedly, Chrono Trigger was based heavily on the leftover concepts that didn't make it through this phase of development (and was in fact the game's tentative title after it was decided it wouldn't be Final Fantasy IV). To this day fans lament the game we never got, and wonder what could've been had the game come out in its original design (and with Square's loyalty to Nintendo intact)... The very level of the game that we did get indicates how good What Could Have Been was.
    • Special mention should go to the English script, which may have suffered the most from the CD-cartridge transfer. Ted Woolsey himself later remarked that the localization "nearly killed" him, mentioning that "about 40% of the text" had to be "nuked" due to space restrictions.
    • The missing content is, incidentally, why there are many places on the world map where the game doesn't allow you to land even though they look like you should be able to do so there. It's almost as though the game is actually taunting us over the removed content.


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