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Video Game / Mana Series
aka: World Of Mana

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(The World of) Mana series (or simply Mana), alternatively-known as Seiken Densetsu (Legend of the Holy Sword) in Japan, is a series of (mostly) Fantasy Action RPGs by developed and published Square Enix.

It began as a spinoff in the tree-choppingly popular Final Fantasy series: The first game was a passion project by Koichi Ishii, but Square weren't interested in a new IP, so he finally got it greenlit as Final Fantasy Adventure. (It was literally titled Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden in Japan.) Likewise, the second game was originally going to be Final Fantasy IV, and then Chrono Trigger, then finally became a sequel to Adventure mid-development. The real Chrono Trigger ended up recycling ideas that Ishii and co. left on the cutting-room floor.

The games tenuously share a setting and usually center on the oft-threatened Mana Tree, which is the source of all magic in the world, and the mythical Mana Sword. Mana is played in real time, much like a Zelda game but with HP instead of hearts and AI-controlled teammates (when not controlled via multiplayer co-op). There are no battle screens or fight transitions, but other trappings of the JRPG genre are clearly present. Entries in the series include:

    Main series 
    Major spin-offs 
    Minor spin-offs 
  • Seiken Densetsu: Friends of Mana (2006, Java ME cellphones): A Japan-only game for cellphones. It ended service in February 2011.
  • Seiken Densetsu: Circle of Mana (2013, iOS, Android): A Japan-only card battle game. Discontinued service in September of 2015.
  • Seiken Densetsu: Rise of Mana (2014, iOS, Android; 2015, PlayStation Vita): A Japan-only Action RPG with gacha elements. It featured 8-player co-op. Service terminated in March of 2016.
  • Echoes of Mana (2022, iOS, Android): Free-to-play Action RPG featuring characters from throughout series. The game closed down in May of 2023.
    Other media 
Manga in the series include:
  • Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana (2000) Drawn by Shiro Amano, based on the game of the same name. Collected into a two-volume set in 2008.
  • Princess of Mana (2007): Five-volume work by Satsuki Yoshino, set 300 years after Children and 310 years after Dawn.

Novels in the series include:

  • Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana - Amata no Tsuchi, Amata no Hito (2000): Written by Hiromi Hosae. A novelisation of Legend.

Anime in the series include:

  • Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal (2022): From Warner Bros. Japan, animated by Graphinica and Yokohama Animation Lab. Based on one of the Story Arcs of Legend.

The fully-3D Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles have usurped the place of Mana in the Square Enix pantheon to some extent. SE erroneously began scrambling to find a different genre for the Mana series, such as the Real-Time Strategy Heroes and vanilla action game Dawn. The latter was very poorly received, especially in Japan, where it was titled Seiken Densetsu 4 and viewed as an unworthy successor to that name.

Mana's mobile efforts have been met with similar derision; although trademarks for Circle and Rise were both filed in English-speaking territories, they were never localized, and the reception was chilly enough in Japan that both lasted about two years apiece before being shuttered.

The franchise also had a crossover campaign in Last Cloudia which featured Randi, Primm, and Poipoi as possible summons. There were also Arks based on the first three games.

The Square USA game Secret of Evermore was often mistaken as being part of the World of Mana, especially in the days before the Internet was mainstream. While it was directly inspired by Secret of Mana, notably the ring-based menu system and combat mechanics, it doesn't have any of the Mana story elements in it, and magic use is measured by consumables rather than the traditional Mana Meter.

World of Mana includes examples of:

Alternative Title(s): World Of Mana