Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Legend of Mana

Go To

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 (1999) is the fourth game in the World of Mana series, and the only one released for the fifth console generation. It was originally developed for PS1.

This one was developed not by Koichi Ishii but his director, Akitoshi Kawazu (SaGa), and it's still the most peculiar entry. It's really just a collection of vignettes in contrast to the Doorstopper novels of Final Fantasy VII, Xenogears and their ilk. (To say nothing of the previous Mana titles.)

You control a nameless main character, pick their gender, then set off to roam the world of Fa'Diel. It operates like a dungeon crawler with some sandbox elements: You collect artifacts that you place on the overworld map, magically turning them into towns and dungeons. Various quests and events will occur in these places. Although some are melancholy, Slice of Life scenarios, there are three over-arching plots and several minor ones that crop up. You only need to finish one major arc to beat the game, but it is possible (though laborious) to see every single event in one playthrough.


The battles are similar to Trials, with a few quirks:

  • HP is restored at the end of each screen, making easy mode a breeze.
  • You can recruit one of various NPCs. It's similar to Chrono Cross (another bizarre sequel released that year) in that there is a wide variety of weird characters. Each have varying effects on the story and your party configuration. You can swap characters whenever you like (again like Chrono Cross), provided you know where to find them again.
  • You can instead have a mon join your party: either an animal (who you feed) or a golem (which you build).
  • Legend has one the deepest, or possibly just obtuse, crafting systems of any video game. A FAQ is mandatory. (To be expected from a Kawazu game.) Thesis-length documents on how to "Temper" items exist.

The hand-drawn art style offers a unique visual hook, and the score features some of Yoko Shimomura's less-known (but no less fantastic) soundtrack work.


It was re-released on the North American PlayStation store as a PSOne Classic on March, 22, 2011. The developers want to remake the entire series eventually, so if Trials does well, Legend will likely be next. On the 17th of February in the first Nintendo Direct in nearly two years, it was announced that Legend will be remastered with HD 2D backgrounds and an arranged soundtrack. It'll be made available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam on June 24, 2021.

Has a character sheet that could use some help.

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 Alternative Character Interpretation).
  • All Just a Dream: The philosophy of the Wisdom Pokiehl and the Sproutlings.
  • All There in the Manual: The game has a very detailed history, and you'll miss a few plot points without reading the books in your library.
    • Plus, like all Square Enix games, this one has an Ultimania guide that contains loads and loads of backstory that didn't make it into the game itself.
  • And I Must Scream: The toys in the junkyard were animated to fight in a great war. They are still alive, but all they can do is lie there and think about the war.
  • Arc Words: The Goddess is love.
  • 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 (or 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.
    • 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.
    • Depending on the quests you do, your character may end up doing things which are not inherently good. Like aiding Larc and Niccolo.
  • The Blacksmith: Watts appears once again, this time to teach you to be The Blacksmith.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Jumi Guardian/Knight relationships; just about all of the games' protectorate/protector pairs pretty much dive headfirst into this trope as well.
  • Broken Bridge: The game uses Boinks - a monster that teleports you when you try to talk to it (or in some cases, get too close to it) - to keep you out of areas you shouldn't be in. For example, Elle's cage is blocked by a Boink until the mission that introduces her starts.
  • Brother–Sister Team:
    • Bud and Lisa (though the latter was more or less roped into it).
    • 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.
  • Can't Catch Up: Your NPC assistants and pets unless you have an accessory equipped. Leveling NPCs is pointless anyway since their levels reset every game cycle.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Gilbert.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: the hero, many players think the male player character is female. Feast your eyes
  • Changeling Fantasy: Rachel hates her life and wants something more exciting; she eventually gets her wish when she switches bodies with a student at the Geo academy.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Sandra is perceived as this by those who aren't aware of her genocidal intentions against the Jumi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Sproutlings often utter Non Sequiturs such as, "The cow isn't anywhere...He's inside my mind."
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • As Flameshe explains to Elle, being yourself is the most important thing, and whether other people get killed in the process doesn't matter. Furthermore, doing something for the sake of someone else because you don't want to hurt them is wrong.
    • This goes straight into Broken Aesop territory as the Player Character is looked upon to solve the very problems caused by others' passivity. (Possible Accidental Aesop: "It doesn't matter what you do, the Chosen One is going to breeze through and fix all of your problems", perhaps?)
    • A girl's friend is dying and has already given up hope. The advice of Gaeus the Wisdom? "She said to let her die, so let her die."
  • 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.
    • Also, save points are statues of Sprite (the Squishy Wizard of Secret of Mana).
    • 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 Trials of Mana.
    • In the art museum, most if not all of the statues are of characters from Trials of Mana.
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight: 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.
  • Devour the Dragon: Sandra willingly sacrifices herself to let the Lord of Jewels eat her core to become more powerful.
  • 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.
  • Dub Name Change: Any character whose name came from a Japanese word.
  • 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.
  • Enigmatic Minion: The Lord of Jewels.
  • Encyclopedia Exposita: It's a game much more preoccupied with showing rather than telling, especially after you read the "World History" encyclopedia. It does just enough to suggest a teeming world.
  • Escaped from 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.
  • The Faceless: When Lucemia is floating, its face is facing away from the player, and when it falls, the head lands face down. We never get to see what it looked like.
  • Failure Knight:
    • Elazul lost his previous Guardian long ago; for that matter, we never even learn her name. When Pearl appears, he makes protecting her his everything.
    • 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 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.
  • The Four Loves: The arcs seem to be themed based on them.
    • Dragon Arc: Storge
    • Fairy Arc: Both Phileo and Eros
    • Jumi Arc: Agape
  • Frames of Reference: Alex wears round glasses that reflect his gentle and slightly nerdy nature. It's an act.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Bud's weapon. Mechanically, it's classified as a two-handed sword.
  • Flying Postman: The pelican, who can usually be seen hanging out in Doma, and also figures into several sidequests.
  • Full Motion Video: The intro and ending cinematics are FMV, as can be expected, but the game also uses embedded movie files to depict large creatures speaking with seamless animation in the background, such as Trent and Gaeus.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Larc, Alex (which is plot-relevant), and Elazul in Japanese (his original name was Ruri).
  • Geo Effects: Each land has an intrinsic mana value; good luck figuring out what that does without a walkthrough.
  • 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 be lost (well, sort of, anyway) if you make one tiny little mistake.
  • 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.
  • Hide Your Lesbians:
    • The manga made Alexandra male (all the time, with "Sandra" being a disguise) to make her Bodyguard Crush on Florina more "acceptable".
    • 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.
  • Hive Mind: The Sproutlings and Flowerlings. As the manual says, 'there are many of them but they are all one.'
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Invoked by the Faeries in the Gate of Heaven arc and the sirens during the Elle/Monique/Gilbert story arc.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Normal, Nightmare, and No Future.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: The difficult to describe braided triple 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!. Any weapons created this way can then be crafted into the body or logic block of an infinity +1 Golem.
  • 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 to make days pass 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 Crafting: You can create your own weapons (and via lots of farming and tempering, make Infinity +1 Swords, Spears, Bows, or whatever your Weapon of Choice is) and build your own robot golem to aid you in battle (and using those Infinity +1 Swords as ingredients, turn it into an unstoppable death machine).
  • Item Farming: How you gain all of your crafting ingredients, save for the scant few you find in treasure chests during each game cycle.
  • Jerkass: Escad, who is rude and condescending to everyone, including the player character, but especially to Irwin.
  • 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 always dies of old age regardless of what choices you made, meaning all the main characters from that arc will be dead.
  • Knight Templar: Lady Blackpearl.
  • The Legend of X: Lampshaded in Catchin' Lillipeas, when Hamson/Skippie each have fake quest starts named Legend of Hamson/Skippie as they run of to decide their own fates.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Inverted. Thanks to exploiting the Item Crafting system, it is possible to make a Game-Breaker Infinity +1 Sword, but no such equivalent exists for making magic instruments, which are used to cast spells. This means that when you start taking on Nightmare Mode, magic users will get left in the dust.
  • 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. One of the many manuals explains that in this world, humans' appearance change subtly based on their experiences, and these new traits can be passed on to their children. But most of the above are still completely separate species.
  • 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, who she believes are unfairly taking advantage of Florina, into extinction to save the latter 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.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: You can capture your own or recruit NPCs if the conditions are right.
  • Magic Music: Enchanted instruments conjure elemental spells when played; additionally, sirens can cause nautical disasters whenever they sing.
  • The 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 romance ones. Lord help you if you go through these quests on No Future mode.
    • Tropicallo 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.
  • Mathematician's Answer: In one subquest you have to convince the Geo Academy students to not boycott class. One student's excuse is that he thinks Adults Are Useless and especially dislikes those who only answer questions with "Yes" or "No". Those are your only dialogue options with that student.
  • 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.
  • Mirror Match: During one of the missions you undertake you are having to chase your Doppelgänger across town as they cause mischief. This culminates with a fight against them at the edge of town.
  • 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.
  • Nice Hat: The male protagonist's red floppy hat.
  • 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.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Most of the Bows attacks are in a straight line, though some of the special attacks there is some attempt to show the effects of gravity (and in others the arrows are apparently heat-seeking).
  • 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.
  • Old Save Bonus:
    • With a Final Fantasy VIII save file, your first monster egg will spawn a Chocobo.
    • With a SaGa Frontier 2 save file, you can fight a secret battle whose reward is the best sword from that game.
  • 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 Humans Are Different: The human race encompasses a wide variety of sapient beings: from the Little Bit Beastly to full on Civilized Animals, mythological creatures such mermaids and centaurs, and various others in addition to "ordinary" humans like the player character. Basically any sapient creature that isn't said to not be human — such as Sproutlings, Faeries, or Jumi — is human.
  • 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.
  • Palette Swap: Bosses such as Mantis Ant/Hegs Ant, Spriggan/Gova, the Iron Centaurs, the Jewel Beasts and the Du' family are all this. Any mook you hatch as a pet will also be a different color from the enemy monster (likely to be able to differentiate them in battle).
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The Penguin Pirate's secret password is "What", meaning you can accidentally give the correct answer when the pirates demand it of you.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • 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.
    • Additionally, any of the Cactus Diary entries are lost 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.)
    • 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.
    • The Heaven's Gate Arc is the hardest one of the three primary arcs to begin. A big part of this is that you can potentially miss out on it for the entire cycle if you go to the wrong level at the wrong time.
  • 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."
  • The 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: Zigzagged. It's subverted in that the problems underlying every arc are initiated because Love Makes You Evil. It's played straight in that the protagonist's compassion and love for the Jumi saves the entire race when they shed a healing teardrop crystal, and seemingly in Daena's and Sierra's motivations to help you in your final fight of their respective arcs. Interestingly, per The Cage of Dreams and The Legend of Mana events, the moral of the whole game seems to be, if the Mana Tree and the Mana Goddess are love, that The Power of Love is worth the risk of Love Makes You Evil.
    • 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.
  • Power Trio: The three dragons Jajara (Superego), Vadise (Ego), and Akravator (Id).
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: All that differs whether you play a male or female character is whether your male character's Nice Hat or female character's Improbable Hairstyle is mentioned in dialogue.
  • 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.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Lil' Cactus.
  • 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 an 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.
  • Screw Destiny: When Matilda says it's Irwin's destiny to destroy the world, Daena doesn't accept this, and tries to stop him. (Then Matilda tells Daena that is her destiny, too.)
  • She's Got Legs: Sandra. In one mission you run across a non-hostile Mad Mallard who gushes over them.
  • Shoot the Dog: Apparently, Inspector Boyd was a huge Sandra fanboy back when she was a Classy Cat-Burglar, but when she started killing Jumi, he became ashamed and decided to take her down before she went too far over the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: Pearl.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Mr. Moti, the dancing turban man who acts as your save point while visiting towns. According to the in-game encyclopedia: "He is everywhere, doing everything."
  • Simple Score of Sadness: Etansel/City of Flickering Destruction, the score that plays in the Bejeweled City.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The game's pretty far towards idealism, taking the point of view that if you're true to yourself things WILL work out right somehow.
    • Generally averted with the Heaven's Gate arc. Two of your allies WILL fight to the death, forcing you to pick a side (and attempting to stay neutral will have the ally with higher affinity with you turning on you). Then after you kill the Anti-Villain of the arc, he is reunited with his love in death. However, even though she wants to stay with him, he decides hes tired of all the crap he went through and chooses to reincarnate with no memories of his past love. The whole affair is rather depressing.
      • The manga has a much more upbeat ending. Daena and Escad do not fight to the death, and Irwin and Matilda become reborn as babies at the same time, with Daena and Escad choosing to raise them.
  • Space Whale: Lord of Jewels 1000 looks somewhat like a whale, and you fight him on an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield IN SPACE! Funnily enough the Lord of Jewels himself was some sort of fishman, and Lord of Jewels 999 was a faintly fish-like monster.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Dudbears. Their vocabulary is composed of very few syllables and only "Duba", their word for Dudbear, is part of a real language, being an African word for "bear".
  • Sucking-In Lines: The vast majority of super moves start with streams of energy pouring into the person using it.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side:
  • Swiss Army Tears: Played straight and inverted: a Jumi's tears can heal (and perhaps even bring people back from the dead), but crying for one turns you into stone.
  • Technicolor Death: Every boss has their own flashy death sequence in which they explode, disintegrate, melt, vaporize, etc.
  • Tech Tree: New ability and super-moves are learned from old ones.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The Jumi are all named after the jewels in their core.
    • The students at Geo are named after spices. You find out that Bud (and possibly Lisa) attended there for a while, too, but have since dropped out.
      • Speaking of Bud and Lisa, Lisa's name in the Japanese version was Corona, giving them theme naming as well.
  • To Hell and Back: The player character in the Dragon Arc and a subquest where you rescue a despondent organist from Hell.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Each major arc arguably has one.
    • The Jumi arc has Lady Blackpearl who, while not evil exactly, is perfectly willing to let one of her kind die if it means reviving the rest who had died over the years.
    • The Dragon arc has Larc, who has sympathetic motives, but works for an evil man who wants to rule the world.
    • The Fairy Arc has Escad. He has a MAJOR hatred of demons and Irwin in particular for taking Matilda's mana. He is a pretty big jerk to anyone who gets in his way and it is ambiguous how much of his hatred of Irwin is just jealousy that Matilda chose him over Escad.
    • Outside the 3 arcs, we have Niccolo. He is an unrepentant conman who drags you into his increasingly immoral schemes. And with your help, he scams another (admittingly unsympathetic) character out of millions and never recieves any comeuppance. Oh, and he's racist towards sproutlings.
  • Trauma Inn: Present in Domina and Polpota Harbor, and though you never use them as such, NPCs can be seen staying there and speaking to whoever is behind the counter saves your game.
  • 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.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Weapon of Choice: You can choose between:
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Averted, as it's only game over if all members of your party are dead, and even then, you can restart any battle at the beginning with a full super bar.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Larc, Alexandra, and Escad.
  • When Trees Attack:
    • Besides the Sproutlings and Li'l Cactus, one of your enemies is walking-tree-themed.
    • And then there's the goddess herself...
  • Wizarding School: The Geo Academy.
  • World of Weirdness: From talking teapots to lamp-selling sirens to a vain chocobo pretending to be a canary.
  • 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!"


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: