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When these six destinies entwine, their world will be born anew...
Art from the Super Famicom release 

When the world was shrouded in darkness, the Goddess of Mana drew forth the Sword of Mana to smite the eight Benevodons, monsters of destruction.
She sealed the horrors inside the eight Mana Stones, bringing the realm back from the brink.
Weak from rebuilding the world, the Goddess changed into a tree and fell fast asleep for years.
However, the forces of evil sought to free the Benevodons to gain control of the world.
They started a terrible war to further their plot and destabilize the kingdoms. Peace was at an end.
Mana itself began to disappear from the world and the Mana Tree to wither...
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Trials of Mana, long known as Seiken Densetsu 3,note  is the third game in the World of Mana series. It was released for the Super Famicom (though pointedly not the Super Nintendo) in 1995. Trials of Mana was infamous for being the first Mana game to not receive an international release, though fan translations did exist via emulation. An official export was an incessant request from fans for over two decades; on June 11, 2019, twenty-three years, eight months and eleven days after the game's release in Japan, Trials in its original 16-bit form was announced for official release worldwide in English, French, German and Spanish as part of a Compilation Re-release (Collection of Mana) on the Nintendo Switch—to be followed by a full-3D remake on April 24, 2020 for the Switch, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.

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The Mana Tree is dying (again), so the Mana Goddess sends her faeries to the world below to find someone worthy of restoring it. All but one perish en route due to the steady loss of magic, and the remaining Faerie settles for the first schmuck it can find. Naturally, he/she happens to be the latest incarnation of the Mana Knight.


Trials plays like a souped-up version of its predecessor, Secret of Mana. The percentage meter, which limited the frequency of melee attacks, is gone. Secret's charged attacks have been replaced by Limit Breaks (or "Techs"). The Tech meter builds with each successful hit on the enemy. Each character has a unique weapon type, and there is no leveling up spells or weapons like in Secret. (A wise choice, because the Level Grinding in Secret was tedious.) You can also store items in your backpack and switch out which items you want on your item ring. This increases your survivability, as you can now carry more than nine healing items with you as you travel. However, to retain challenge, the game doesn't allow you to access this menu if enemies are on-screen.

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In a departure from the rest of the series, Trials revolves around six characters of which any three can make up your party; your first choice determines who in the Big Bad Ensemble you eventually take on. Each comes with a unique set of skills, made more complicated by divergent class progressions: Your teammates start the adventure in a default job, but have opportunities to pursue Light and Dark paths later on.

Storywise, it would later get a prequel in the form of Heroes of Mana.


Provides examples of:

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    A 

  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • In both versions, the level cap is 99. The second class change occurs at level 38, which is designed for a player to reach it with minimal amounts of grinding. By the time you reach your main character's final boss, you won't even be close to level 99 in either version of the game.
    • In the original game, all of your stats apart from HP stop increasing at level 50, so once you hit 999 HP, experience points become useless. Also, enemies stop leveling with the party once they reach level 50, which should give an idea of just how absurdly high this cap is.
    • In the 2020 remake, your HP and MP can go up to quadruple-digits and triple-digits respectively, so it's still useful to level up. However, even with the Experience Booster from New Game+ that quadruples your earned EXP, you'll still only be around level 85 by the time you get to the Final Boss of the main character's story, so the cap of level 99 is still absurdly high.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: In the 2020 remake, characters can perform a dodge roll in midair at full speed, even from a straight vertical jump. Completely unrealistic, but necessary to keep the game from being frustrating.
  • Adjective Noun Fred:
    • Many of the location names follow a format that uses a title followed by the place's name in the fan translation. Castle City Jad (officially translated as Jadd Stronghold), Grasslands Kingdom Forcena (Valsena, Kingdom of the Plains, in the official translation) Magic Kingdom Altena (Altena, Kingdom of Magicians, in the official translation), and Sand Fortress Navarre (Nevarl Fortress in the official translation), to name a few.
    • Molebear Moors. No prize for guessing what kind of wildlife you encounter here.
    • Dragonsmaw is called Dragon Hole in Japanese. It's a ruddy big hole, and there are dragons in it.
  • Aerith and Bob: Hawkeye, Eagle, Belladonna, Lord Flamekhan... and Bil and Ben. Would you believe it's the last two who pose a genuine threat?
  • After-Combat Recovery:
    • The party members fully recover HP and MP after boss battles. This does not apply to normal battles, though fallen party members are still revived with 1 HP in those cases.
    • In the 2020 remake, Riesz gets an ability which recovers seven percent of everyone's max HP after a battle ends.
  • Alien Sky: Kevin's story begins under a full moon and two smaller new moons, in a forest kingdom of eternal twilight.
  • All for Nothing: Downplayed and not really focused on, but roughly the first half of the game. The party did get stronger through their trials and many of them unlocked powerful magic from bonding with the spirits, but their explicit goal of using the spirits to unlock the portal to the Sanctuary of Mana is undone by the fact that it fails when Faerie tries, and when she tries again, she reveals it only worked because others did, in fact, use the spell to activate the Mana Stones...which also means the Benevodons' seals are on the cusp of breaking, and mana is reaching its limit, which the party was trying to prevent.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • The area connecting Valsena to Stonesplit Gap is called Molebear Moors in the official translation.
    • The full name of the harbor town of Palo is Palo Port in the official translation.
    • On Beuca Island, a village of peaceful Tomatomen called Tomato Town acts as a pit stop for the heroes, where they can rest and buy items.
    • Hero King Richard gives the party the Ferry Flute, used to summon the turtle Vuscav to travel across the ocean.
  • Alliterative Title: The books on the Ghost Ship's bookshelves are called Death Diary, Curse Column, and Blood Book.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The Mirage Palace makes you go through a gauntlet of illusions based your previous adventures to even reach the front door. The remake's Bonus Dungeon meanwhile attempts to torment our heroes by being made of corrupted, apocalyptic versions of everyone's hometowns.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: After their hometown gets ransacked by foreign armies, your hero sets out to become strong enough to avenge it. (Barring Charlotte, who originates from the neutral city of Wendel). Circumstances eventually see these cities liberated, some sooner than others.
    • Jadd is seized by the beastmen as a staging point for their Wendel invasion. It serves as the gathering point for the heroes in the beginning. After the Priest of Light's second barrier shoves the beastmen out of Wendel, they give up on taking the city and withdraw; presumably even Goremand's magic can't pierce it.
    • Valsena is scouted by the Crimson Wizard, who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake before Duran causes enough ruckus to force him to withdraw. He comes back in time with an army of magical constructs for a full-scale attack, but you arrive just in time to thwart it.
    • Laurent is enslumbered by somnoa powder and the Nevarl army attacks in full force, leaving several casualties behind, King Joster included. The debilitated Amazon army withdraws, then manages to enlist Sylphid's help to reverse the invasion strategy and retake the Citadel.
    • Altena, Ferolia and Nevarl are in the process of being corrupted from within, via the Crimson Wizard, Goremand and Belladonna's manipulations, respectively (though in Goremand's case, the beastmen were itching for a fight with the humans and he merely pointed them at Wendel). Only after the chaos that ravages the Sanctuary of Mana do you get a chance to oust one of the invaders, based on your main character of choice; said character's primary antagonists wipe out the remaining competition for you.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: After you beat the remake for the first time, your quest to stop one of the main villains from killing the Mana Goddess is immediately halted once Anise shows up to destroy the world.
  • Always Night:
    • Duskmoon Forest, also encompassing Mintas, Chartmoon Tower and Ferolia (Moonlight Forest, Mintos, Moonreading Tower and Beast Kingdom in the fan translation, respectively) lies under the influence of the Moon Mana Stone which causes it to always be night, and therefore the Beastmen are always werewolves. Since Kevin switches to werewolf form at night, this is his preferred terrain.
    • Two of the dungeons, Mirage Palace and Dark Castle, are constantly enveloped in darkness. This doesn't count as moonlight, though; Kevin gets no bonus.
  • Amazon Brigade: The kingdom of Laurent (Rolante in the fan translation) of which Riesz is the princess, and the kingdom of Altena of which Angela is the princess. The former warriors are even called the Amazons.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The remake offers a brand-new character model for each class, up to a total of 9 per character.
  • Annoying Arrows: Hawkeye's traps, in particular, the "arrow" trap. Tripping the booby trap on a chest might also trigger it.
  • Another Side, Another Story:
    • Out of six playable characters, you can only choose three to build your party for any given playthrough, and only one can be the Mana Knight (which grants him or her additional screen time and also determines who the final boss will be). The remaining three become NPCs who you may or may not cross paths at various points. Thus, every playthrough with a different party combination can become Another Story.
    • Another thing to consider is each character has a rival who is also the Big Bad's right-hand man. Rivals have an adversarial relationship with at least two main characters (e.g. Goremand orchestrates the murder of Karl, then makes off with Heath).
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you're at a loss about to where to go, just look for a spring and jump on it. (It's like a cannon except that it shoots you straight up rather than to another location.) You can use the Mode 7 view of the land to take a look around. You can get a general idea of where the nearest town or castle is. Alhough springsteppers return in the remake, the addition of event markers means you don't need to scope out the world, and they are instead used to get to high ledges (save for the one in Charlotte's story).
    • When riding on Flammie, the game is helpful enough to show a text box which lists where you're supposed to be going to further the plot. This alternates with a box telling you where you're at, making it easier to find your way around.
    • Mintas. For once, the inn at a tiny village which doesn't see much traffic is priced accordingly, rather than being expensive based on its importance to the plot.
    • Class-changing. Unlike in most JRPGs, there are no takebacks in the 16-bit version, and the fruits of your labor may not become apparent for a while. The remake adds a third class change, along with the ability to reset the class changes entirely with the Goddess Scales.
    • The 2020 remake has numerous features that either remove something aggravating, or keeps the player from being penalized for what their AI characters do. There are assorted bonuses acquired for clearing away on-screen enemies with precision: the biggest bonus is awarded for not taking any damage in a fight. It only applies to the human-controlled character, not to AI characters who took damage. This is to prevent the player from losing the experience bonus through no fault of their own.
    • AI-controlled party members don't take floor damage when running around aimlessly, such as from the flame jets and lava in Fiery Gorge or the poison clouds in Gem Valley. They also aren't affected by statuses that such terrain would cause, like Burn or Poison.
    • In the remake, if you have multiple injured characters, lots of low-value healing items like candies and are not in combat, you can use the "full heal" option, which consumes the exact number of items needed to heal your party to full all at once.
    • Six of the Benevodon dungeons contain chests with the elusive ??? Seeds to upgrade to Class 3, and a few unique enemies therein drop them. Also, the first six planted in the item pot will guarantee one of each type of item, but will be randomized afterwards.
    • Characters level up much quicker compared to the original game. Chances are that you'll be around level 38 by the time you reach the Mana Shrine to first go after the Sword of Mana, which is the level you'll need to be at to unlock a Level 3 class. Completing the event here is also when ??? Seeds start to become available to make that second class change even easier.
    • The player is no longer penalized for leveling up past level 18 or level 38 without taking the corresponding class change. Stats increase automatically on level up and stat points can be saved for as long as the player wishes.
    • Any Li'l Cactus encounters found in Crystal Palace, Night Cavern or Jungle of Visions count towards each other on a save file. That way, you don't have to go back through the same endgame dungeon to complete the sidequest to find Li'l Cactus fifty times. In addition, none of his encounters can be permanently missed; any dungeon that you only go through once (like the Ghost Ship or Beuca Island) never has a Li'l Cactus encounter.
    • In the Ghost Ship, the remake allows you to swap out which character is "cursed" and removed from the party, thus ensuring you don't screw yourself over by accidentally cursing your most valuable party member (a frequent complaint in the original).
    • The remake allows you, for a modest price, to reset both your classes and your stat upgrades if you later decide you don't like how you built your characters.
  • Anti-Magic: The "Anti-Magic" spell, of course; it removes all magic effects. "Counter" boomerangs all magic back onto the caster, which proves fatal to specialized mages like the Crimson Wizard.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The captain's log, or Captain's Dieary as it's called in-game, in the captain's room of the Ghost Ship contains an ominous message instead of being an ordinary captain's log.
    "deathdeathdeathdeathdeath
    deathdeathdeathdeathdeath
    deathdeathdeathdeathdeath..." *eeek!*.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
    • Your lead character accumulates only two companions in their party. Despite each character having their own backstory and conflicts, there is still a central plot-line which ties it all together. It seems like they only join your party in order to get to Wendel more quickly.
    • If your third party member is Charlotte (who joins in a predetermined location), then someone who was not chosen as a party member will be the one to release you from jail in Jadd. Unfortunately, he or she will inevitably be a little too slow in boarding the ship to Maia, and is left stranded on the pier.
  • Archnemesis Dad:
    • The Crimson Wizard explains to Valda that to open the gate to the Mana Sanctuary, a cursed spell must be used to release the energy of the Mana Stones; the spell will kill its caster. Valda agrees that Angela should cast it, saying she's the shame of the Royal Family for not being able to use magic. Angela can't go back because she knows that she will be sacrificed, so she's got no choice but to run.
    • Kevin overhears the Beast King, telling Goremand that now that his son can turn into a werewolf, Goremand's job is done. Kevin is furious that the Beast King, his father, used Goremand's magic to make Karl attack him! He smashes through a wall and puts you in control. When Kevin attacks the king after a short conversation, he is slapped right out of the castle. note 
  • Artificial Brilliance: In the remake, the computer actually cheats in your favour. If you have an element saber or a spell from Angela or Hawkeye that the enemy is resistant to, they won't use it. The Benevodons even weaponise this by casting a saber that they absorb onto your physical attackers - specifically the ones dealing the most damage.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Because of changes to the AI, it's no longer possible to fine-tune your party's behavior by ordering them to stay out of combat. While you can order them to support another party member, this doesn't significantly affect their behavior. Have fun keeping a mage like Angela alive when they keep running headlong into hand-to-hand combat. This gets a bit of help in the 2020 remake, as it's now possible to set a character to "Protect Only," where the character will stay out of the fight and focus entirely on casting support spells. Of course, this just introduces its own layer of Artificial Stupidity, because said character won't even fight back if they're directly attacked.
    • While they're normally pretty good at dodging Area of Effect attacks, when bosses and enemies throw out multiple Area of Effect attacks, the CPU might get a bit confused.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Level 2 and 3 Techs in the original game. While they do have awesome attack animations, a lot of late-game enemies and some bosses will answer them with an equally devastating Tech in return—which, if it's something which hits the whole party, can easily spell a Total Party Kill. (This is to prevent spamming.) Furthermore, Hawkeye and Kevin can strike twice with their Lv. 1 attacks, which negates the Lv. 2 attack boost; even more so if they have saber spells, which stack with Lv. 1 attacks but not the higher ones. When fighting an immovable boss character, the ability to strike from anywhere in the arena is not as important as raw DPS output. (Note that none of this is true in the remake, where high-level Class Strikes are awesome and practical.)

    B-C 

  • Bad Moon Rising:
    • The beginning of Kevin's story. On this fateful night, we see the meeting between the Beast King and Goremand, followed by the awakening of Kevin's werewolf form.
    • The fight with Dolan takes place on the roof of Chartmoon Tower, with a humongous third moon hanging in the background.
  • Badass Cape:
    • The Crimson Wizard (his full Japanese title, Wizard of the Crimson Lotus, is shortened to Koren in the fan translation) is very proud of his cape. He even works it into his official title.
    • Eagle's cape and shoulder pads are nothing to sneeze at. Hawkeye gets his own cape if you pursue the Dark-Dark path.
    • Heath dons a black cloak after being corrupted by his father's energy.
  • Balance Buff: The original release gives you one point per level to balance between six stats. Points to INT or SPR (or DEX in Hawkeye's case) grant you new skills to work with. The remake give you one point (occasionally two) to balance between five stats, and you attain new skills and stat boosts based on how many points are put into each. Unlike the original release, you have to diversify if you want to learn skills of various elements e.g. Angela needs STR to learn Salamando's spells or STM to learn Gnome's spells.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: The Nevarl ninjas occupying Laurent are defeated using the same tactic they originally used to drive out Laurent's Amazon defenders - controlling the winds of the mountain to spread sleep-inducing pollen through the citadel, knocking most of the defenders out.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: All three potential villains are actively involved in the plot, resulting in a lot of overlap. The battle at the Sanctuary of Mana whittles the rogues gallery down to one: The remaining stragglers make a final appearance to inform the Mana Knight of what transpired here.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Ghost Ship, Chartmoon Tower and Mirage Palace. Zombies, sexy vampires, werewolves, and ghosts galore.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Each big city has one, along with Ferolia. Each of the villains also resides in one. Even Drakonis has a throne room built into the fixtures of his caves.
  • Big First Choice: The first character the player picks for his party determines which of the three routes the game takes at the end, including which group of villains the heroes have to face.
  • Bittersweet Ending: No matter who the heroes end up beating, the final boss murders the Mana Goddess before you can get to him, leaving behind the Faerie to become the new Goddess. It's stated that it will be a thousand years before Mana fully returns to the world. On the plus side, the world is saved, and a few remaining threads are tied up, at least. (Angela and Kevin make peace with their parents, for example).
  • Black Market: Beiser is a merchant city by day, and black market by night.
  • Blind Seer: Joster, King of Laurent is blind, and has seer powers that allow him to do things like sense when his children are in the castle and hear the future on the winds.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • On reflection, Lv. 1 Techs. They may just be a glorified melee attack — but they won't be countered (see below), can be enhanced by elemental sabers, and can still hit multiple enemies if they are bunched together. Even better, Hawkeye and Kevin have double-strike capability. (Hawkeye wields two daggers, Kevin delivers a one-two jab and uppercut.) The one-two punch carries over into their level ones. So they deal out the same damage at a faster rate.
    • Hawkeye as a Ninja Master gets the ability to multi target all his previous spells. This lets Shuriken hit all enemies, lower evasion/accuracy, cause knockback, and deal good damage, all with a fast cast time and costing only 1 MP. Fans call it "The One MP Wonder".
    • Angela's Dark-Dark class, the Magus, gains no new elemental spells but has the highest INT of all her classes. This turns her humble level 1 spells into fast-casting low cost powerhouses.
  • Bonus Boss: Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce to one of the best villains to have ever graced a Mana story. A monster whose legendary viciousness and severe lack of remorse have left him miles ahead of even the most celebrated of bad guys. He’s cute, he’s fluffy, he’s going to pluck out your eyes with a rusty penknife…it’s the Black Rabite! Boasting the highest amount of HP you can have in Trials, there's a reason the final boss theme plays when you enter his cave. Sadly, this boss was only approachable in the Duran/Angela storyline, and in an easily-missed crawlspace, to boot. The remake makes the Black Rabite available to fight on all storylines, which allows for more interesting party configurations and strats.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: Regardless of the dungeon you unlock at the end (Dragonsmaw, Mirage Palace, or Dark Castle), the decaying Sanctuary of Mana is the site of the final battle.
  • Boss Rush: In the last dungeon, a trio of bosses return to harass you some more. The lineup will differ depending on the quest you've chosen. At least you don't have to fight the Benevodons again.
  • Bowdlerize: The 2020 remake edits Angela's Pink Typhoon attack to remove her mooning and shaking her butt at enemies. This is particularly strange because unlike the original SNES/Super Famicom version, her class outfits are actually modeled rather than simply being a Palette Swap, and her Dark Classess (especially Magus and Spellbinder) are downright Stripperiffic. So it's perfectly acceptable for her to walk around virtually naked, but god forbid she shake her ass.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The 2020 remake grants a few very powerful chain skills, but only after accomplishing a great feat like defeating the Bonus Bosses. At least the skills carry over to New Game+, so they're useful there.
    • Defeating the Black Rabite gives the "Obsidian Power" skill, which reduces the MP costs of all spells to zero in battle. But the Black Rabite is Level 83, has the game's strongest skills by far, and is the game's hardest Bonus Boss. In order to fight it, you have to have beaten the final dungeon of your main character's story leading up to the last dungeon that all characters share, outside post-game. By the time you're strong enough to defeat the Black Rabite, you won't really have anything left to use it on.
    • A skill you get from Anise the Witch grants infinite item use in battle. Not only does this allow you to cover any holes in the party's line-up, it allows for infinite amounts of healing too. The only thing deflating it is that Anise is the second-most powerful entity in the entire game (surpassed by the Black Rabite alone), and you have to beat her on Hard mode in under two minutes to get this skill. And Anise is the only boss in the entire game that has more than one form, since she gets Scaled Up into a dragon after beating her human form. If you can beat Anise in less than two minutes on the game's hardest difficulty, you could already break the game in half as it is without the need for infinite items.
    • Finding Li'l Cactus all fifty times grants a skill that gives 200% to everyone's CS gauge at the start of battle, along with the Cactus Ring that fills the CS gauge while the equipped character walks around. Bare minimum, it's going to take the entire game to find Li'l Cactus in all fifty spots, and you'll probably have to use a guide. It'll at least let you clear out trash mobs pretty quickly with the right characters if you can use the skill, but the game is over by the time this can happen.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Loki and Heath are forced to follow orders from their masters, Dragon Lord and Masked Mage, respectively.
    • The True Queen, Valda, who is Angela's mother. It becomes clear by the final act that Valda has no control anymore; she is acting under the influence of the Crimson Wizard, who is secretly serving one the "three evils", namely the Dragon Lord.
    • The ninjas and thieves of Nevarl are under the control of Belladonna and Malocchio (his title in Japanese, Earl of the Evil Eye, is shortened to Jagan in the fan translation).
  • Broken Bridge:
    • The Altenish invaders trap you on the bridge and command their Machine Golems to attack you; when you win, the invaders bail towards Valsena while the golems self-destruct on the bridge. It never gets repaired at any point afterwards.
    • At the heroes' request, the Faerie undoes a barrier spell at the entrance to Cascade Cavern. However, it turns out the shield was put in place by the Priest of Light to keep the Beastmen out! By the time you return from Laurent, the Priest has Faerie-proofed his barrier, so it's safe to say you won't be returning to Wendel. Flammie can still land you there, but the only land route is locked down.
    • On the way to the Dwarf City, you can instead head south as a matter of curiosity. Unfortunately, the merchants of Beiser have been tipped off about the upcoming invasion by Altenish forces, and aren't allowing any foreigners into the city at present.
    • Many doors in the game can't be unlocked without supernatural help. You need Lumina to enter the Dwarf City, Sylphid to spread pollen over Laurent, Gnome to open a cave on Beuca Island, Salamando and Undine to open a path to Mintas (for whatever reason), Luna to get into Lampbloom Woods, and Dryad to reveal a path in the Jungle of Visions.
    • The Mirage Palace is invisible to the naked eye. It won't appear until you have a magic mirror in your possession, won by defeating Zable Fahr.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Altenish by the end. With the Mana Tree dead by the end, the mana and magic will cease to exist for at least a thousand years.
    • Averted with any magic-casters in your party in the Epilogue. While the post-credits cutscenes acknowledge the fallout of the villains' actions, playing the Epilogue brings your party back to before the final boss battle.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: Cascade Cavern is filled with water, and has waterfalls on both the exterior and interior.
  • Cave Mouth: A stone dragon's head serves as the entryway to the Dragonsmaw, as well as its namesake.
  • Chainmail Bikini: As expected, Angela and Riesz show off more skin if you select their Dark classes.
  • Character Development: It is highly recommended that you play the three routes with both of each route's central characters (Duran/Angela, Kevin/Charlotte, and Riesz/Hawkeye) for this purpose. It doesn't hurt that each pair tends to complement each other's abilities well.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: Your first character sets out on a journey to save their homes, and stumbles across a faerie and two others heroes who've been wronged.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: And, of course, it doesn't go off until you've accomplished all you've needed to and you have a ticket off the island. Malocchio is there, but he doesn't bother to attack and assumes that all three of you will perish in the eruption. He leaves after that, and Vuscav evacuates you before it erupts.
  • Chokepoint Geography:
    • The Big Bad's fortress is inaccessible by sea or air. The Mirage Palace is separated by the Jungle of Visions outside of Pedda (Pedan in the fan translation), the Dragonsmaw lies at the center of the Crystal Desert, and Dark Castle resides on a craggy island, only reachable via the Night Cavern.
    • The party gains transportation earlier than they do in Secret. The world is yours — so long as there's sand. Almost every town resides near a beach or riverbank, but just reaching it is almost a puzzle in itself; Ferolia and Lampbloom Woods are the hardest to find.
  • The Chosen One: It turns out there is a prophecy about the mana stones that even say three heroes will save the world... of course, it turns out it's not naming anyone specific, your heroes (especially the main character) are the chosen ones simply because they were in the right place at the right time.
    • The Chosen Many: Technically, anyone could have been the chosen one - During Angela's backstory, she sees a fortune teller who tells her to go to Wendel. A person nearby points out she told him the exact same thing too, when all he wanted to know was if his child was going to be a boy or a girl. Charlotte also says "Wow, evewyone wants to see gwandpa all of a sudden!" if she's chosen.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How the Faerie manages to revive the heroes after a (seeming) total party kill by the final boss, who gloats that only the Mana Sword could harm him. The Faerie insists that the sword wasn't destroyed; rather it exists in the hearts of the three warriors. Emboldened, the party is restored to full health and is suddenly able to inflict damage on the enemy.
  • Climbing Climax: You will find the Dragon Lord and Dark Majesty not in their throne rooms (they've vacated), but on the highest peak of their headquarters. The Masked Mage teleports you and the Tainted Soul to the roof of his manor to duke it out.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: Certain abilities in the remake suffer from vague or misleading descriptions.
    • The Flourish ability reads "Damage increased by 30% when hit by critical hit". What it actually does is increase your damage by that amount when you land a critical hit.
    • One ability says it restores two percent of each character's maximum MP in battle every five seconds. It actually restores two percent of each character's maximum HP.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: An unspoken variant (at least in the original) — the occasional pre-eruption tremor from the volcano on Beuca Island serves to add a bit of urgency to the fact that you're supposed to be finding a way off the island before it erupts. Mercifully, there is no time limit; there's even a town with stores, as well as a totem pole that acts identically to a golden Goddess Statue, providing both free healing and saving! This becomes more pronounced in the remake, as your party members keep freaking out about the volcano after every other combat, despite there still not being a time limit.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The lava surfaces in Fiery Gorge will only hurt you if you stand on them, and even then they only do around 15 damage per second, which is easily healed.
  • Cool Airship: Altena has a seriously badass-looking blimp. In addition, the Beastmen travel by giant hawk, and the Nevarlan raiders... have a boat with a bunch of balloons tied to it, of all things.
  • Cool Mask:
    • The Masked Mage lives up to his title.
    • Hawkeye's Nightblade class sports one. And some of his equip-able armor is of the Cool Mask variety.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Only in the 16-bit version, where it is only two players, vs three in Secret of Mana. There is a Rom Hack that enables three players. Multiplayer was dropped for the remake due to it being in third-person vs top-down and the developers trying to focus on a solid single player experience.
  • Counter-Attack: An evil moment is when fighting knights, werewolves, and non-stationary bosses (like Bil & Ben) who counter your screen-filling Techs with ones of their own. Good luck surviving the Darkshine Knight on your first try after you thought you were invincible raiding entire screens with your special attacks for no MP cost.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Trials of Mana is an incredibly colorful game, and almost all of the enemies are cute: Ghouls have large eyes and practically define Ugly Cute, the dragons are little pudge-pops. However, they will still kill you, and the world is full of Blood Magic, Human Sacrifice, and plenty of violence.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Charlotte rams into Heath right at the start of her story.
  • Crosshair Aware: In the 2020 remake, the area of effect that an enemy's skill will have is displayed as a dark red area on the ground, with a secondary light red area filling up towards the edges of it. Once the light red area reaches the edge of the dark red area, the ability will fire off. Many bosses have giant area-of-effect attacks that cover the entire arena; the only way to stop these is by destroying some secondary object to cause the boss to stagger before the attack can fire off.

    D 

  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Kevin and most of the beastmen have dark skin and light hair.
  • Dark Is Evil:
    • Zable Fahr is the Dark Benevodon, wielding darkness out of malice, unlike the good-natured Shade.
    • Dark Majesty is the primary antagonist behind Belladonna and Malocchio, and he has a fitting name.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The default control scheme in Trials is the inverse of Secret of Mana. While in the former game B was the Attack/Confirm button and A was Dash/Cancel, in Trials it's the other way around. Players coming right from Secret are liable to hit the wrong buttons when trying to attack.
  • Damsel in Distress: Belladonna fitted Jessica with a cursed necklace which will tighten and choke the life out of her if she learns the truth about Eagle. Once the cat's out of the bag, though, Belladonna has Jessica and her father thrown in jail as insurance against Hawkeye; Jessica's imprisonment is because the curse prevents any brainwashing.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: You can use darkness element spells and weapons, and the darkness summon spirit Shade is not evil, though the Benevodon of darkness Zable Fahr is. Your characters' class alignment can become dark (or dark-dark), which is just a fancier way to say that the classes are more offensive based and enfeebling in their specialties. Even their descriptions are up to the player. The Nightblade: a ruthless remorseless coldblooded murderer who revels in the act of stealing lives, or an assassin who preys upon the villainous, corrupted, and nonredeemable in the dark? The Death Hand: a brutal, tasteless savage who turns to internal turmoil for the sake of limitless power, or a wielder of a well kept secret martial art that makes use of unorthodox but effective means to swiftly ensure quick and painless death on opponents? You decide.
  • Darker and Edgier: Even for a series whose theme is all about a cute and charming fairy tale aesthetic meshed with very stark and mature story elements, Trials of Mana was and is the only installment that marked where the mature elements were at their highest. Human sacrifice? The want of those of the underworld wishing to take over the world of the living? Warfare that veers on near genocide? This isn't even including equipment and spells described in overseas guide books and official materials. A suit of armor made from the bones of demons feared to bite into its user's flesh and turn them into bloodthirsty murderers? A mask reminiscent of serial killers meant to scare and unleash the killing instinct? A skull themed glove with pointy finger claws meant to rip and tear at the head of the opponent? A spear made for obscene amounts of collateral damage and to remind people of the threat of violent giants that once terrorized the world in the past? It's there.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Duran, Charlotte, and Riesz have nothing but fond memories of their late parents, whereas Angela and Kevin had to flee their kingdoms after defying their parents, and Hawkeye is in the same boat with his parental figure (who unbeknownst to him is actually his grandfather).
  • Death Mountain:
    • Heavensway and the Gusthall (Path to the Heavens and Corridor of Wind are the fan translated names, respectively) both provide a steep, treacherous climb for the heroes, with the latter being linked with the former.
    • Beuca Island (Volcanic Island Bucca in the fan translation) is a dormant volcano which you climb and then descend into.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Very early in the game, every playable character except Charlotte is stuck in a town. While there, Angela can be seen asleep in the inn if she is not the main character. Since Angela is implied to be naked in bed, she will get angry at you and call your character a pervert if you wake her up. However, if the main character is Riesz — the only other female main character that could speak to Angela at that time — Angela will only express annoyance at being woken up. This extends to the remake where a cutscene plays out if a male character approaches Angela, but she sleeps through any attempt by Riesz to converse with her.
    • The third party member is usually recruited via jailbreak in Jadd. However, if the player selected Charlotte as the third party member, she joins much earlier in the Cascade Caverns. Should this happen, one of the three possible party members not chosen by the player will be in the jail cell instead of Charlotte. The foresight comes from an extra scene where this character gets left behind when the heroes flee the town; if Duran is the character left behind in this manner, he'll berate the heroes for abandoning him when they meet Duran in the Molebear Moors much later.
    • There is a hierarchy for certain cutscene reactions. For instance, when facing the Altenish mages in the Stoneslip Gap, they prioritize Angela first (the runaway princess who has a price on her head), then Duran (the knight of Valsena that the Crimson Wizard encountered); if neither are present, they declare the party to be Valsenan spies and try to kill them anyway.
    • In the SNES version, when the party stays at an inn, they all shift into their respective "sleeping" animations. In normal gameplay, the only thing the player sees of these are the characters' heads peeking out from under the sheets of the beds. However, not only are the rest of the characters' bodies there, they're wearing underwear that changes color depending on the character's class.
    • Should you have enough money, you can simply agree to the outrageous price quoted by Watts and buy the nitromyte from him. If you do, Hero King Richard will tell you about a shortcut to the boss room by way of a strange statue, which does nothing if you went through the dungeon in the normal way. You still get the Mana Spirit, but you'll skip the rest of the dungeon. In the 2020 remake, there's an achievement for getting the nitromyte this way called "Throw Money at It".
    • In the original SNES release, the battle with Karl in Kevin's opening is a Hopeless Boss Fight that Kevin has to lose before transforming into a werewolf. In the 2020 remake, this could have potentially taken hours to clear, since Kevin's level carries over from previous playthroughs on New Game+. So the battle is just changed to Kevin's tutorial fight, and he now has to win.
    • Riesz's Tragic Keepsake is her mother's green ribbon. Before class changes, it's the bow in Riesz's hair. After class changes, the ribbon is tied on Riesz's left wrist, showing she's still wearing it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Not only do you kill the eight Benevodons (note that the Japanese characters used to represent this are the same ones used to represent the Mana Beast in the previous game. The Japanese name, Shinjuu, translates to God-Beast, which is what the fan translation calls the Benevodons), ancient evils that predate the world, but the final boss has the combined powers of all eight of them, and the Sword of Mana, which is what sealed them away in the first place and was used to help create the world.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After Angela flees Altena, the Queen's forces post wanted signs about her. Except they don't include a picture of her, and — being a Medieval European Fantasy with no mass communications — no one knows what she looks like, with some envisioning a little girl. This allows Angela to walk around in broad daylight, talking with these people and learning about her fugitive status, with none being the wiser.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: You can customize your team to your liking, even going so far as screwing yourself out of any healing magic or other desirable buffs by, say, picking Hawk, Riesz and Angela. None of them ever learn any health restoration, ever. Such teams are popular in self-imposed challenges, since any mistake can mean a party wipe. They also deliver high damage and serious debuffing capability, allowing them to bring quick death to the enemy, as well.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: If Angela is the third party member, she flirts with a beastman guard to get him into her cell before locking him inside.
  • Distressed Dude:
    • Elliot is a minor character in Hawkeye/Riesz's path, and the younger brother of Riesz. He gets captured and sold into slavery by the Nevarl thieves during the raid on his castle. Much later, the party learns of Elliot's fate from a slave trader, but Elliot has already been sold to a gentleman with red eyes (hinted to be Malocchio).
    • If Charlotte is in your party, she overhears a sailor mention that the Priest of Light has put up a new, stronger barrier around Wendel to maintain its neutrality. But he used a lot of energy in the process, and has since fallen ill. The only cleric who can heal him is Heath, and it seems he's gone missing...
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • Everybody's hometown gets invaded, either by the baddie for various nefarious reasons, or the heroes themselves in order to kick the bad guys out.
    • Poor Astoria. The quaint river village is doomed to get pummeled to pieces by Ludgar, no matter what.
  • Doppelgänger Attack:
    • Did you really expect Goremand to fight fair?
    • Grand Diviner's Doppelganger spell is called Double Spell in Japanese. The spell is not, as its original name suggests, a doublecast but instead splits Angela in two, doubling the enemy's pain, hence the name change for the localization. This is also the Nightblade's skill.
  • Double Entendre: When playing Hawkeye's intro, if you talk to one of the guards at the door of the throne room, he says about the Laurent Amazons "I bet they're all cute ladies. I want to poke them with my dagger." Think about it.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Trials stands for the trials the protagonist must go through. It also contains the prefix "tri-", which stands for either the three story routes or that its the third game in the series.
  • Double Unlock: In the 2020 remake, magic spells work this way. You have to give the character proper stat points to access the spell, then also have the Mana Spirit of the spell in your party before you can actually use it.
  • Downer Beginning: All the characters get off to a troubling start, and they go off on their journey to set things right.
  • Dracolich: Dragon Zombies. You encounter them in the Dragonsmaw. More ominously, they also appear in the Mirage Palace, implying that the Masked Mage has reanimated the slain Dragon Lord's troops.
  • The Dragon: There are three pairs for each of the three overlords—Goremand and Heath for the Masked Mage, the Crimson Wizard and the Darkshine Knight for the Dragon Lord, and Malocchio and Belladonna for Dark Majesty. Because they get more screen time than their bosses, they're also better developed characters.
  • Dragon Rider: Flammie the dragon acts as a Global Airship for the party.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The Marathon Levels listed below. They have very few recovery points and chuck powerful enemies at you quite often, plus the Boss Rush inside of each of them. There are no gold Goddess statues after the Benevodon (just headless ones), only a long, hard slog back to civilization if you run out of restoratives/MP.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Bil and Ben, master ninjas. These two are fought twice: first in Laurent and again in Burning Sands. At the start of the battle, Bil & Ben will fuse into one body. Strangely, this is when they are at their weakest.
    • Zable Fahr. The one on the right tends to use all the Shade-taught magic like Evil Gate and Dark Force. The one on the left tends to use physical attacks. Once you've destroyed both heads, a third, center-facing head will appear while the other two regenerate (just like you would if you used an Angel's Grail). At this point the battle shifts a bit, as the center head is the target you have to destroy to end the fight. You can still destroy the other heads, but they'll just regenerate.
  • Dual Wielding: Hawkeye dual wields daggers. Kevin dual wields gloves/claws/fists (if you want to call them that).
  • Dub Name Change: After a fashion. The fan translation ran into a problem with the length of the character names: the game only allocated space for six letters/characters in any given player character's name. When Neill Corlett tried to change this, he discovered that attempting to lengthen character names caused a multitude of other bizarre issues. Rather than spend months trying to hack away at this one problem, Corlett and his team decided to simply shorten two of the names of the characters to fit in six letters (Duran, Kevin, Riesz/"Lise" and Angela being good to go already). So it was that Hawkeye was shortened to "Hawk" (which worked well anyway with his friend Eagle), and Charlotte became "Carlie", an uncommon diminutive of Charlotte (but one that was still very fitting for the character). As a result of the amount of time that the fan translation was the only English version available, it's fairly common to hear people call the characters in question "Hawk" and "Carlie". The official release manages to get around this restriction; this includes using a smaller and narrower variable-width font for a lot of in-game text, including character names.
  • Duel Boss: In the 2020 remake, some characters have to fight a boss one-on-one to earn a sphere for the fourth class change. Duran has to battle the resurrected spirit of his dead father, Loki the Golden Knight; Angela has to fight a shadow version of herself; and Kevin has to fight his father, the King of the Beastmen. And while each boss shares your character's moves, they can do things that the player can't, such as Shadow Angela spamming multiple spells in a row with no charge time, or using a Class 4 attack.
  • Dug Too Deep: The Dwarves mention that Watts went missing while investigating something strange in the latest tunnel. Turns out, what he was investigating was the Jewel Eater, a giant mole-like creature.
  • Dump Stat: The Super Famicom version isn't balanced correctly. Every stat has a purpose, but not all of them are vital. And the least-important stats are gimped even further due to bugs.
    • Dexterity for everyone but Hawkeye, who uses it for some of his spells. This is due to it being poorly-implemented: The idea is that for every point of Dexterity you gain, your Evasion Rate also goes up by 1%. This would have made it useful for character like Angela who are made of glass. But instead, the game takes the base Evasion of your character class into account, so it ceases to matter. It's often speculated that it increases your chances of Mercy Invincibility i.e. executing a short animation sequence of attack-proof frames when struck, which is technically different from a "Miss". So the point of the stat might not be entirely lost, we just don't know. The 2020 remake removes this stat entirely, with Hawkeye learning new skills in his other stats.
    • Luck should increase a character's critical hit rate. But again, it wasn't implemented properly. Its only real use is evading traps from chests, which usually aren't that big a deal anyway since you can more-easily heal outside of battles, which is when chests appear. The remake has Luck determine the damage from thrown objects, something a ninja (like Hawkeye) would specialize in.
    • This is generally averted in the remake, but not so much because everyone wants high stats across the board and more because there are skills attached to the stats they're raising. Riesz will have little reason to raise her Intelligence until the endgame when she gets her summon spells, but what little reason there is has to do with the fact it will unlock her mental buff or debuff to give her various skills that improve her buffs. If Angela she wants the ability to regain MP without items (a valuable quality early-to-mid-game), and later the ability to shoot fireballs, she has to invest in strength.
  • Dungeon Town: Altena, Valsena, Ferolia, Nevarl, and to a lesser extent Laurent. These are actually a pain in the ass to navigate in the tutorial, let alone once they fill up with enemies: Empty Room Psychs, staircases to nowhere, and a forked road to the boss which has a one-in-two chance of bypassing the healing statue entirely. Your lead character is given the opportunity to map out their base in the prologue; you should take it.
  • Dying as Yourself: Heath and Darkshine Knight, the latter of whom is actually Duran's father, regain their senses upon defeat. Alternatively, if the Dragonsmaw is infiltrated by enemy forces, the Darkshine Knight announces that he, too, will soon disappear, since the Dragon Emperor's magic was the only thing keeping his zombified body alive.

    E-G 

  • Early Game Hell: Starting off as Charlotte or Angela (or both as your starting duo) is notoriously tricky. What keeps Charlotte from being useless is that she has a heal spell; Angela has magic that takes out most of her magic pool, freezes her in place, and is too impractical to use on anything but bosses.
  • Easily Conquered World:
    • Beastmen are remarkably effective against whole cities. Unless you're Duran or Kevin, bumping into the Beastmen here will prompt some of them to ask if you're trying to pick a fight. This results in them trashing you with a single hit and you waking up in the inn with 1 HP so it's not recommended. The remake has a single beastman who asks if you want to fight: accept his challenge, and he'll clean your clock.
    • Citadel Laurent, AKA "The Castle That Never Fell." Well, that's tempting fate, isn't it? The Nevarlan thieves are too cunning to attack directly, instead spreading a sleeping pollen which puts the Amazons' lights out. The King is struck down in his own throne room without any resistance whatsoever. The Amazons take back the castle because the thieves never figured the former might use the latter's own tactic against them.
  • Empty Room Psych: Every room in the Chartmoon Tower (Moonreading Tower is the fan translated name). Behind one door is the staircase; the other three are enemy nests.
  • Epic Rocking: The soundtrack contains a few very long tracks, with "The Sacrifice, Part Three", at 8:05, and "Return to Forever", at 8:39, taking the cake.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Quite a few, including the Priest of Light and Malocchio. Two of the main villains (Dragon Lord and Dark Majesty) are addressed by title only. However, Land and Heroes of Mana retcon their real names as Drakonis and Stroud (the latter also being the name of a very different character in Sword of Mana), respectively. Belgar is the name of the once-noble priest who degenerated into the Masked Mage.
  • Evil Costume Switch:
    • Heath's monochrome costume while in the service of the Masked Mage.
    • Your own characters can undergo this when picking the Dark Class Changes.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Masked Mage is also referred to as a Priest of Dark, in opposition to the Priest of Light, who exiled him in reaction to the Mage dabbling in the dark arts.
    • Each of the six playable classes has a counterpart monster line, that has most of the same moveset (with later Underground Monkey versions sporting the skills from the upgraded classes, usually of the Dark line). Duran has Knights, Angela has Magicians, Kevin has Werewolves, Charlotte has Dark Priests, Hawkeye has Ninjas, and Riesz has the Bee Lancers.
  • Evil Overlord: The Dragon Lord for Duran and Angela, the Masked Mage for Kevin and Charlotte, and the Dark Majesty for Riesz and Hawkeye. They all seek to liberate the magical forces that bind the world together and destroy humanity.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Crimson Wizard, The Masked Mage, and Heath, Charlotte's playmate and supposedly her mentor. The former's a Smug Snake who loves to boast about his magical superiority, and the latter two are actually The Dragon for their respective bosses.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The three evil factions (Ferolia, Altena and Nevarl) are all fighting for the Mana Sword, and are in fact a greater danger to each other than the PC group. This all comes to a head when the path to the Sanctuary of Mana becomes open for the villains to invade; all three factions come in well before your party does because your party needs to waste time to find a means of transportation up into the Sanctuary of Mana. Who comes out on top is dependent on your party: if Riesz or Hawkeye is the hero, the Nevarl thieves will have already killed the Dragon Lord and the Masked Mage. If Kevin or Charlotte are the hero, the beastmen will have killed the Dragon Lord and Dark Majesty. If Angela or Duran are the hero, then the Altenian forces will have killed the Masked Mage and the Dark Majesty. From then on, they focus entirely on the player party.
  • Evil Weapon: The Mana Sword is an artifact sought after by the evil nations, as it is the key to reaching the Mana Sanctuary. The lead villain hopes to pervert the sword by committing evil acts, turning it into an instrument of evil. Ultimately subverted when the sword resists the villain's attempt to wield it.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Eventually, one will come out on top; the victor will be the side most actively involved with the primary character. By extension, this also determines how the finale will play out in terms of dungeons.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Ultimate equipment, along with the Lv. 3 class changes, only be obtained via seeds dropped by specific enemies. Even if you can't wear it, you can still sell it for a lot of money.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Your team can go from the Burning Sands to the Frostbite Fields without so much as a coat. Originally averted as Angela comes close to freezing to death in the latter, but played straight when she can waltz right through it later in the game.
  • Exposition Fairy: The Faerie needs to hitch a ride inside your head, since there's not enough Mana left for her to stay alive outside of it. Fortunately she isn't too intrusive, and usually only speaks in cutscenes or if you clobber a boss. Not having Riesz in your party changes the Faerie's dialogue just a bit, as you need someone to help you get acquainted with the "Winged Defender", a.k.a. Flammie.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Tomatomen are fatalistic about the imminent volcanic eruption, saying it's not their place to defy nature.
  • Fake Longevity: In the original, this was due to technical limitations. Dungeons and the overworld had to be rendered in sections, long animations, especially if you were using a magic-heavy party, pauses between attacks, and of course, much more experience points were required to level up. This was largely removed in the remake.
  • Fallen Angel: Dark Majesty. The Masked Mage's backstory is also riddled with this, both of them falling into evil after deciding if they were going to be treated as evil, they may as well go all the way with it.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic:
    • If you stop at a Trauma Inn during the day, you have the option to be awakened in the evening or the following morning. This is helpful if Kevin is in your party or you want to shop at the black market, but it is rarely a requirement for progressing through the story. (You need to visit the Night Market to get the Minor Mallet.)
    • Picture this: A boss fight is just around the corner, but it's daytime, and Kevin is more powerful in the moonlight. The answer is the Dream Reed, which will immediately shift the world from day to night or vice-versa.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • At one point in the game, you need to get some Nitromyte to get to your next destination, Valsena. The only person who has any is Watts the dwarf, who offers to sell it for an obscene price. Normally, you're supposed to beat a boss, get a Mana Spirit, then get the Nitromyte from the Watts as a reward.
    • There is a meeting taking place in the Amazon hideout to discuss how the soldiers will retake the Citadel. The Elder there explains that he's not really a strategist so he can't help—but they could look for Domperi, who lives in Koropokkur Woods (everyone there is tiny). Supposedly his advice led Prince Richard to victory against the Dragon Emperor. The only problem is that Koropokkur don't trust humans. In order to disguise yourselves, you need to find the Minor Mallet, only available in Beiser. Thankfully, a cannoneer saves you the trouble of going all the way out there, but it's a one-way trip.
  • Final Boss: Comes in three flavors, depending on which hero is chosen as the main character.
    • Duran and Angela: The Dragon Lord. A tyrant thought to have been slain by Duran's father Loki, but was just hiding. He's been marshaling his dragon armies to try and take over the world again, and he revived Loki as his servant, the Darkshine Knight.
    • Hawkeye and Riesz: The Dark Majesty. A Lucifer archetype and prince of the underworld who wants the living to pay for their "sins".
    • Charlotte and Kevin: The Masked Mage. A fallen cleric who bathed himself in dark magic, losing any semblance of humanity he once had, now drunk with power and wanting to destroy the world out of a twisted logic.
  • First Town: Astoria. Well, it's the first town common to all of the characters if they're the leader. Most of them have to make a pit stop in occupied Jadd before they ever reach Astoria, with the exception of Charlotte. It's also the first town shop-wise, as Jadd is under a curfew and can't sell you any weapons or armor.
  • Flashback Effects:
    • Before recruiting your teammates, each tells their story in a Deliberately Monochrome cutscene.
    • Charlotte gets one even if you didn't select her as a teammate at all.
  • Flunky Boss:
    • Grapplavine's main gimmick is summoning various insect creatures to fight you.
    • Malocchio starts off with a couple friends backing him up: A succubus and a werewolf, which is thematically appropriate. Kill these two off as fast as you can, or the three will quickly overwhelm you.
    • The Black Rabite. Using any spell or any Technique above level 1 will result in this happening. He can summon Lv. 99 Demons all day long.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: "Intolerance" and "Political Pressure", two tracks that play whenever something ominous is going down.
  • The Gadfly: Domperi messes with the party upon their entrance to Koropokkur Woods. He hides his identity when they say they're looking for him and makes them look elsewhere, claiming he doesn't know where Domperi is. After the party speaks to the other Koropokkurs, the last of them mentions seeing Domperi outside, then Domperi reveals himself. He says he technically didn't know where he would be because he was walking around in various parts of the village, and thus didn't know where he would be at any given moment.
  • Gainaxing: Female characters in the remake have a little bit of bounce if they're showing cleavage (especially Angela). And so does Sylphid.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: During Altena's attack on Valsena, the Valsenan soldiers tell you not to waste your time helping them, they can pray at the Goddess of Mana Statue to recover. Praying at one restores your health to full.
  • Get on the Boat: The only way to travel anywhere until you get more reliable means of transportation (first ocean travel via Vuscav, then air travel via Flammie) is by boat, the cannon or, in Kevin's case, swimming the entire distance from Ferolia to Jadd. Evidently he gets sick during long boat rides.
  • Gemstone Assault: The Diamond Shards spell, as its name implies, features shards of diamond piercing its target. It can be used by either Angela or enemies.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The very first boss, Fullmetal Hugger, is a giant, evil crab.
  • A God Am I: All three Big Bads, once they've absorbed the energies of eight Benevodons and taken the Sword of Mana, declare themselves to have overtaken the Mana Goddess in terms of power.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Valda has gotten it into her warped brain that Altena isn't quite overpowered enough — that her kingdom is entitled to each of the world's Mana Stones. When glimpsing the full scope of her plans, Hero King Richard spits back, "True Queen!" with maximum irony. The truth of the matter is a bit more complex. Altena depends heavily on magic just to survive on their frozen continent, and with the Mana Tree threatened, so is the supply of mana that keeps their country going. Of course, unsealing the mana stones and freeing the Eldritch Abominations stored in each one is probably the worst way to solve that problem, but you can thank the Crimson Wizard for giving her that idea.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny:
    • The Golden Goddess statue will replenish your HP/MP, unlike the silver statue which merely saves your game.
    • Hero King Richard and the Knights of Gold have made a reputation for themselves around the world.
    • The Golden Road is a major thoroughfare for merchants traveling between port town Maia and Beiser's black market. Since the monsters took over, hardly anyone travels it, and it's starting to get overgrown with weeds.
  • The Good King: Hero King Richard, the ruler of Valsena. Besides having a 100% Adoration Rating to his people, the Hero King is also helpful on your journey by telling you where the Mana Stones can be found. Duran greatly respects the Hero King, both as a leader and as a father figure, since Richard was a close friend of Duran's father Loki the Golden Knight.
  • Great Offscreen War: All that's mentioned about the Dragon Lord is that he led a large clan of Dragons that Hero King Richard fought a war against. The details of it are unknown, but the Dragon Lord was apparently enough of a threat to the World that a faerie was sent to aid Richard. (Despite what you might expect, this is not the conflict covered in Heroes.)
  • Green Hill Zone: The Rabite Forest south of Jadd is a peaceful introductory area which lets you really get acquainted with the combat system in this iteration. Since you flee Jadd under the cover of night, the Rabites are sleeping at the moment, which means you don't have to fight them. Unless you're playing as Charlotte...
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: After being ambushed by Ludgar in Cascade Cavern, you awaken in a jail cell, with 1 HP to your name. Luckily the enemy was too dumb to strip anything like your equipment and items. There's one guard on duty, and he is easily bamboozled into switching places with your cellmates: Duran taunts the guard into attacking him inside his cell, Angela teases the guard by asking for help taking her clothes off, Kevin threatens to call his dad, Hawkeye will pick the lock on his cell and claim they left it unlocked the entire time, or Riesz will claim to hear digging from behind the wall in her cell.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • To make the fairy appear, the player has to have their hero spend the night at the inn. However, there's a Healing Spring pretty close to the town, and it's not hard to get there without taking damage even if very low on hit points, so there's little reason to stay at the inn. As there's no indication in said town that going to sleep at the inn will advance the plot, a player can be stuck right at the beginning with no in-game indication as to where they should go to advance the plot.
    • The game doesn't mention this, but certain spells can't be learned unless you've leveled up particular attributes. Hawkeye learns new moves by leveling up his AGL and LUCK, but dumping points into his INT is useless. However, Duran (the no-frills tank) must raise his SPIRIT at least a little if he wants to learn his Paladin moves, which require MP to use. The requirements aren't always intuitive, and you may waste a level or two trying out new combinations before you see a result. Thankfully, the game rewards every spell you've missed along the way (without any fanfare, just a quick message box) once you meet the requirements. The remake's Training menu shows you exactly what you need to learn your abilities.
    • Class changes in the 16-bit version:
      1. Unfortunately, the only time the game tells you what level is required for a class change is in an easily-missed book, so you could see a confused person coming back to a Mana Stone repeatedly after each level trying to class change.
      2. Getting items for the second class change isn't hinted at nor are you told where you can reap them, meaning first-time players frequently don't even get them. Keep in mind, seeds are only dropped by certain foes, and that enemy must die last in order to drop a chest. (Though it's typically the strongest monsters in the Dragonsmaw/Mirage Palace/Dark Castle.)
      3. There's no telling which class you'll end up with when you harvest a "???" seed, either. You can sometimes get a vague sense of whether it triggers a Light or Dark promotion. ("Forbidden Book" and "Bottle of Blood" are self-explanatory, but Hawkeye has his pick from a selection of dice that don't really signpost their alignment.) Naturally, the seeds don't drop items that can't be used by people who aren't in the party. But aside from that, it's guesswork. And the items themselves can be consumed in battle. So don't accidentally use the wrong one on an enemy, or it's gone; you'll have to farm another one. (If you already know which items do what, you can spend the undesired ones on enemies to inflict potent status effects.)
    • In Dragonsmaw, there is a hidden little alcove in a straight north-south corridor where the Black Rabite awaits. You can only pass through the wall once the Crimson Wizard is dead. It's pretty well-hidden and out of the way, and there's no indication anywhere in the game that this even exists, so there's no incentive to go poking around in there again.
  • Gusty Glade: Gusthall is filled with statues that blow wind in different directions, and their movement can be controlled with switches. Does it really count as a glade if it's half made out of caves, though?

    H-I 

  • Hailfire Peaks: Beuca Island contains a huge underground spring. A good thing, too, since Vuscav is able to swim inside and ferry you off before the mountaintop blows!
  • Harping on About Harpies: There are harpies hanging around Heavensway who can drop status effects. But they'e guppies compared to Harcypete who can buff and debuff, wield wind magic, pick up your characters and then throw them to the ground, knocking them unconscious.
  • Have We Met Yet?:
    • If you take Angela or Duran's path, the party will run into a younger version of Hero King Richard of Valsena, or Prince Richard as he was known at the time, in Pedda, which is a since-destroyed town brought to the present by a temporal abnormality.
    • If Duran is leading the party, you also run into his father, Loki, in the town of Pedda, just before the battle in which he's going to die. Duran tries to convince his father not to go, but Loki goes anyway. And just to wring a few more tears out of the player, Loki comments that he hopes his son "turns out to be a fine young man like [present-day Duran]."
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Class change is a thing that exists In-Universe instead of just a gameplay mechanic. In fact, Duran's entire (initial) motivation is to be able to get strong enough for one of these.
  • He Knows Too Much: Your next destination after leaving Maia is the Stonesplit Gap, which is the only route in or out of Valsena. Unfortunately, the party runs into a squad of Altenish soldiers and their machine golems. Their presence here is supposed to be a secret, so they decide to kill you rather than compromise their invasion of Valsena. You might think having Angela in your party would mitigate this, but you'd be wrong: the soldiers have orders to kill Angela on sight.
  • The Heavy: Each main Dragon (those are the Crimson Wizard, Belladonna and Goremand) is the one pushing the plot and doing the legwork for their Big Bad.
  • Hidden Depths: With the exceptions of the Dragon Lord and Malocchio, all of the villains get fleshed out, well-developed personalities and back stories.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • Lumina explains that the dwarves are using reflective rocks to create illusions. While this doesn't make it any clearer to those of us who aren't light spirits, Lumina messes with the light to 'move' a rock formation which had been blocking the Dwarf City entrance.
    • Koropokkur Woods is a village of small people hidden among Rabite Forest, and is visited when the party needs Domperi's help to free Laurent from Nevarlan forces.
    • Dior is the hidden village of elves in Lampbloom Woods, which is difficult to navigate—except at night, when the light of the flowers guides the way to the village.
    • The Ancient Capital Pedda exists in some kind of weird temporal flux: It's just empty ruins when you first arrive, but staying at the inn warps you back in time to the first Dragon War.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Regardless of which characters you choose, their 'angry' sprite is pretty expressive.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: The kingdom of Nevarl is guarded by these, and Hawkeye can become one.
  • Holy Burns Evil: At least the Mana Sword proves too hot for the main villain to handle, and they soon pay for their treachery.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Whoever the main villain is, their flunkies will inevitably hold the Faerie ransom in exchange for the Mana Sword. Your foe absorbs the Sword's energy, along with the life force of the Benevodons, to become super-powered.
  • Hufflepuff House:
    • Like Tasnica in Secret of Mana, there's a nation on our side which is attempting to help us save the world: Valsena, whose Knights of Gold are busy keeping the peace up north.
    • Also, just because the Amazonian army was devastated doesn't make them any less formidable: one of the girls mentions dressing up as a waitress and hanging around Nevarl pubs to track troop movements.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Niccolo. The cat pops up several times during Hawkeye's story to break him out of prison, lend him a hand vs. Belladonna, and safeguard Jessica so Hawkeye can go about his mission without checking up on her.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: The Crimson Wizard and Belladonna pose as Evil Chancellors of sorts to the north and south. They work independently to provoke fighting with their neighbors. The Crimson Wizard reveals that he hypnotized the True Queen into becoming a warmonger, and Belladonna prostitutes herself out to Lord Flamekhan. By the time Eagle and Hawkeye notice something's amiss, she now has mind control powers over the entire ninja clan, including Bil and Ben, and Eagle is brainwashed soon after.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "Isle of Oblivion" isn't a tourist trap. It lies in the middle of the world. It is the center of all Mana energy — and that's where the three enemy nations converge for a fight to the death.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: The Faerie has a bit of trouble remembering that humans can't fly.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The days of the week are named according to the Mana Spirits, thus affecting the strength/weakness of their corresponding magic. It's also free to sleep at an inn on Mana Day.
  • Inconsistent Dub: The official Trials of Mana localization borrows from the localization of Heroes of Mana, given the latter's status as a prequel. However, where Heroes kept the names of the spirits Jinn and Wisp, the Trials localization used Sylphid and Lumina, their names from Secret of Mana and its remake.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    • Most of Ferolia, even Ludgar to a degree.
    • This may be subverted after all; if you challenge any beastman during the Jadd raid, they knock the hell out of your character (except Duran, who seemingly is the only one smart enough to notice picking a fight isn't a good idea now) with a single attack, and to add insult to injury, they aren't even in their wolf form. For most characters this is literally right after the first trek through the overworld, and the beastmen sent to raid Jadd would logically be pretty tough. By the time you trade blows with them again, you'll have already reclaimed a kingdom from a clan of ninjas as well as fought ghosts and elemental beasts many times the size of your character, so it may be something along the lines of Can't Catch Up on the part of the beastmen; they can go toe-to-toe with the forces of Altena and Nevarl on equal standing, but by this point your team is just much stronger than them.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The equipment sold at Pedda is considered the best in the world. It is the best equipment that you can buy from a shop, but two higher tiers of equipment can be obtained from Rainbow Item Seeds.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: A good number of them, only available through planting Gear Seeds in the original, and possible by planting nearly any sort of Seed once you've reached your third class in the remake (with Rainbow Seeds having the highest odds). Doing so may randomly bestow any one character's best weapon, best helmet, best armor or accessory with best raw defensive stats.
  • Inn Security:
    • Twice. Sleeping at an inn is required to make the faerie appear, and later on, a "free" boat ride results to the heroes getting trapped aboard the Ghost Ship.
    • Sleeping in one room in the middle of the Ghost Ship will make monsters spawn and attack you right away, and you don't get the recovery you were expecting.
  • Interface Spoiler: The game leads you to believe that opening the gate to the Sanctuary of Mana and acquiring the Sword of Mana will be the game's big finish. It's somewhat undermined by the fact that unless you've spent an inordinate amount of time Level Grinding, you're nowhere near the level needed for your second class change, and at that point in the game, have no way of getting the MacGuffins needed for it anyways.
    • The remake's revamped experience curve remedies this somewhat: you should indeed be in your mid-thirties by the time you reach the Sanctuary (still no way to get the items early, though). On the other hand, the existence of a new third class change, that the game tries to keep secret, can be figured out as soon as you notice that fourth Limit Break hotkey, or that conspicuous empty space in the equipment screen where two more skill slots could go...
    • A more minor one. In the remake, once you get the Lil' Cactus ability that lets you see the number of treasure chests in an area, if you keep seeing chests even after filling that out, you'll know they're Mimics.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Chikeeta and Josephine earn a living as traveling salescats, and they prove to be just as shrewd as Secret's Neko. The real kicker, though, is a couple of ghost merchants who will sell you the weapon and armor upgrades aboard the Ghost Ship.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Chartmoon Tower is filled to the brim with staircases, some of which don't even help the party reach the top floor.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The protagonists have a much more personal vendetta against their respective Big Bad's servants than the Big Bad themselves.
    • Goremand uses his magic to turn Karl feral, forcing Kevin to kill him in self defense. He then kidnaps Heath right before Charlotte's eyes.
    • The Crimson Wizard massacres Duran's squadmates and utterly humiliates him, leaving his pride and self-confidence shattered. Meanwhile, he's also responsible for brainwashing the True Queen of Altena and turning her against Angela. Duran also has a personal connection with the Darkshine Knight, who turns out to be his corrupted father.
    • Belladonna not only took over Nevarl and murdered Hawkeye's best friend Eagle while framing him for the deed, but she also personally oversees the attack on Laurent and the murder of Riesz' father and Elliot's abduction.

    J-L 

  • Just Like Robin Hood: The Thieves Guild of Nevarl at the beginning. Doubly since the Wanderer and Rogue class allude to when Nevarl wasn't a desert.
  • Justified Save Point:
    • The HP/MP replenishing statues of the Mana Goddess are tributes to the deity, usually placed in the vicinity of Mana Stones to ward off outsiders.
    • There are one or two save points in the penultimate dungeon. The Mana Goddess statues there are headless, representing the villain's hatred of her. They also don't refill your energy.
    • The Goddess is a human totem. The Tomatomen of Tomato Town do not worship the Mana Tree, but they have a HP/MP restoring totem pole, regardless.
    • The Masked Mage keeps his own save statue at the nexus of his base (it's shaped like a skull).
  • Justified Tutorial: If you're new to the game, it's possible to die here. The game won't let you game over, though:
    • Starting up Duran's quest line, the first thing you'll notice is that it's a callback to previous characters in the Mana series. It's also the most meta of the starting scenarios, and it seems that Duran's the one you're expected to start out with. To begin with, just like in Final Fantasy Adventure, we start out with a gladiator battle, except he's not a slave. Valsena also has a large library which gives a good bit of information for players, particularly regarding the class changes.
    • Kevin's combat tutorial comes when he is forced to fight Karl. The original game gives you a Hopeless Boss Fight because Kevin can't bring himself to kill Karl, gets a Fission Mailed for his efforts, then comes back in wolf form and finishes him off. The remake just has the initial fight, has Karl knock him down afterwards, and Kevin transforms and finishes him in a cutscene.
    • Hawkeye's tutorial is his match against a brainwashed Eagle, and while Hawkeye doesn't kill Eagle, Belladonna is more than willing to finish the job and blame him for the deed.
    • Our introduction to Riesz sees her out patrolling on the cliffs above Laurent accompanied by her retinue. After winning, Riesz takes a moment to to wax introspective about how more monsters are appearing lately.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: The heroes can become blonde (or blonder) through class changes, too. Charlotte, Riesz, and Kevin are already light-haired, but Angela and Hawkeye are both dark-haired, and their class-changes with blond hair are both dark-dark.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • At the start of Kevin's story, Goremand influences Kevin's best friend Karl to go rabid and attack, forcing you to put him down. Or so it appears, anyway. The end of Kevin's story reveals that Karl survived the attack, albeit barely, and only when the Beast King dug him out of the shallow grave that Kevin dug.
    • Ludgar and his men destroy Astoria for no reason other than it was on the way toward their real target, Wendel. If you return to Astoria later with a full party, every character will take umbrage with the deed. Especially Kevin.
  • Killer Rabbit:
    • For some reason, the area around the Mana Tree is lousy with Rabites and their derivatives. Level 30 Rabites can suddenly put up a fight, and King Rabites can call other Rabites. King Rabites also have a full screen attack (Rabite Rainstorm) which actually hurts, doing well over 100 HP damage.
    • The Black Rabite. It looks like a black version of one of the cute and weak enemies found at the beginning of the game upon first glance, but it's actually a demon-summoning, magic-spamming, deadly monster. In the 16-bit version, in appears in the Dragonsmaw, which can only be unlocked in Duran's and Angela's route. The remake, however, makes the Black Rabite available in all story routes.
  • Kill One, Others Get Stronger: While the Benevodons can be fought in any order (with the exception of one which is always fought last), killing one will mke the surviving ones and the monsters that live in their lairs grow in power by a few levels in order to keep them challenging. The Faerie Hand Waves this by claiming that the Benevodons are growing stronger with the passage of time, even though Take Your Time is clearly in effect for the entire game.
  • King Mook: Harcypete is a scaled-up version of the Harpies you encounter in Heavensway. Two of the Benevodons, Dolan and Lightgazer, resemble a werewolf and one of those Beholder enemies in the Jungle of Visions, respectively.

    L-M 

  • Lady Land: Laurent and Altena. Both armies are comprised of all-female soldiers, though Laurent still retains a male monarch. It's not made clear if King Joster was the regent before his wife passed away, though it was clear Minerva was the leader of the armed forces, and in the ending Riesz ascends the throne as Queen Regent. We also learn that the Crimson Wizard's original motive was to show up his female classmates at Altena. Once the red-haired stepchild of that realm, he's now the world's most powerful sorcerer.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: With the winds turned off, Laurent can't be retaken by the Amazons. You need the power of Sylphid to spread the thieves' pollen and knock them all out, a fitting end to their treachery.
  • Late Character Syndrome: In the original game, unless you go out of your way (or just plain hack your save) to get it sooner, you won't be able to get the 2nd class change until just before the final boss's lair. The remake makes the items that allow the 2nd class change available when the Benevodons awaken or lets you carry the class change items from a previous save if your on New Game+.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The party narrowly misses a clash between the Dragon Lord, Masked Mage, and Dark Majesty in the Sanctuary of Mana. It must have been one hell of a fight, as the resulting bloodbath leaves their armies and the Sanctuary in tatters. Only Goremand, the Darkshine Knight, and Belladonna live to tell the tale; Belladonna and the Darkshine Knight take their own lives as penance, while Goremand just shrugs and beats a hasty retreat! (Though he admits his chances of escape are slim to none.)
  • Lethal Lava Land: Fiery Gorge lives up to its name as a cavern of fire and lava. (No actual damage from convection, though.) Subverted with the Seaside Cavern, because even though it technically takes place inside a volcano, both the environment and the enemies instead give off a water theme.
  • Level Scaling:
    • Chest traps scale to your level, not the level of the enemies that drop them. A Lv. 18 or Lv. 38 Chest Monster is no fun at all, and a bomb trap, which does several hundred damage to everyone in the party could result in a party wipe. Especially if you're coming out of a tough fight.
    • This is the whole gimmick of the Benevodon hunt. After you defeat a Benevodon, the others become more powerful and the level of the enemies surrounding them also increases. This necessitates a bit of leveling up throughout the process just to stay competitive.
  • Life Saving Misfortune: The protagonist after staying at the inn at Astoria will notice the Faerie flying about and get up to head deeper into the Rabite Forest to investigate. Soon after meeting the Faerie and bonding with her, the protagonist will return to Astoria to find it razed to the ground.
  • Light Is Good:
    • Lumina is the light elemental Spirit, and is firmly on the heroes' side.
    • Notice that Riesz has blonde hair and blue eyes, and won't stand by while her kingdom is invaded by Nevarlan forces.
  • Light Is Not Good: Lightgazer, the Benevodon of Light. Also, there are several enemies which use Light-based attack spells to destroy your party.
  • Limit Break: Three levels of them, the second and third being learned after the class changes. The second and third limit breaks are different depending on the class chosen.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • Early game, the physical attackers do tend to be more powerful than the casters, who need a meat shield to tank hits for them while they stand immobile to cast. Late-game, pure casters do outdamage pure hitters. But most of the main characters end up being some kind of Magic Knight anyway depending on which of the upgraded classes they chose.
    • In-Universe, Duran's motivation to get the Mana Sword is because the Crimson Wizard handily defeated him in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Literary Allusion Title: A few songs, such as "Where Angels Fear to Tread" and "Long Goodbye". "Return to Forever" is probably a Shout-Out to the jazz fusion act of the same name.
  • Living Structure Monster: Zehnoa, one of the bosses, is a demonic fireplace/furnace that attacks by spitting enemies out of its fire, casting Salamando's magic and activating several traps. The remake can also expel gusts of wind to blow you into said traps.
  • Load-Bearing Boss:
    • Fighting Gorva on the deck of the Ghost Ship. This has the effect of freeing the dark spirit, Shade, from captivity. The heroes are nonplussed to discover that Shade is the only thing keeping the ship from vanishing. The Ghost Ship disappears from under their feet, stranding them on the shores of a volcanic island.
    • After you beat Belladonna, her section of the Dark Castle collapses, and the party flees across a connecting bridge to the next tower. If Hawkeye is with you, he'll stand over the gap and announce that vengeance is his at last.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: When the main character draws the Sword of Mana mid-way through the game, the song "Delicate Affection" plays throughout the whole scene. In the remake, the scene is cut in half and ends with the abduction of Fairy, so the entire song is not heard in-game.
    • "Reincarnation" is only briefly heard in the original as the heroes leave the Sanctuary of Mana on Flammie after defeating the final boss. It becomes a Cut Song entirely in the remake.
  • The Lost Woods: Lampbloom Woods and the Jungle of Visions are maze-like forests. And the Sanctuary itself is maze-like, even changing its layout later in the game.
  • Lost World: The Shimmering Ruins and the Jungle of Visions. Somewhere deep in the forest, the Masked Mage is assembling his army like a regular Colonel Kurtz.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Duran, the Darkshine Knight is your father.
    • Heath, the Masked Mage is your father.
    • Charlotte, the Elf-King is your other grandfather.
    • Angela, Hero King Richard is your father. Alluded to in the original game, but confirmed in the prequel.

    M-N 

  • Magic Knight: Duran's Edelfrei class. He can imbue his and the other party members' weapons with magic. His Paladin class only gets the Holy Saber imbuement in addition to a healing spell, but it's quite useful against Zable Fahr, the Benevodon of Darkness. The Duelist class can cast Dark Saber, which is not quite as useful in the long run, and the Lord class is just a healer in plate armor. The other character who exemplifies this trope in Trials is Riesz, who gets summon spells and status magic (her Light classes are more about buffing the other party members, while the Dark classes cast debuffs on the enemy).
  • Magikarp Power:
    • This seems to be the characteristic of the Light path. The Dark classes spit out a higher volume of attacks and maximum strength levels. The Light classes, comparatively, have little to offer until about ten hours later, when Light-Light finally yields big dividends — especially in the final areas of the game. Hawkeye's first Light class, Ranger, is really underwhelming: No buffs/debuffs, no elemental attacks, and mediocre stats across the board. If you survive long enough to promote him to Wanderer, he'll learn Counter magic — effectively neutering the Crimson Wizard, who won't be able to lay a finger on your trio. It gets ugly real fast.
    • Charlotte is a Squishy Wizard who at least has the ability to cast heal light early on, whereas Angela is also a Squishy Wizard who... starts off with no magic (or at least, magic that you can use more than a few times). Even if Angela is your secondary character, she's a liability until she levels up a few times and eventually gets promoted.
    • Angela's Mysticist class is rather unimpressive compared to the Sorceress class, but taking it allows her to eventually gain access to the Rune Seer class, which has a spell capable of delivering 999 damage to any enemy at her level or lower. Yes, even the final bosses.
  • Marathon Level:
    • All of the story-exclusive dungeons: Crystal Desert and Dragonsmaw for Duran and Angela, Night Cavern and Dark Castle for Hawkeye and Riesz, Jungle of Visions and Mirage Palace for Kevin and Charlotte — are very, very long. To reach them, you must first comb through an alien landscape (Crystal Desert for the Dragon Lord, Jungle of Visions for the Masked Mage, and Night Cavern for Dark Majesty), defeat the Dark Benevodon and a sub-boss, scour the dungeons for three past bosses, and then fight the dungeon boss.
    • In the 2020 remake, you have the post-game dungeon Anise's Stockade. The dungeon is composed of several past locations with new layouts, on top of a few dungeon-exclusive segments, which includes a room full of teleporters on homogeneous platforms. While there are no bosses, the dungeon remains rather long to cross, and Magic Rope does not work. Thanksfully, there is a teleporter in the middle of the dungeon to allow you to get out and refill on items, and there are a couple of save points for those who want to take a break, and while Magic Rope doesn't work, a large number of outside areas allow you call Flammie to leave the dungeon and re-enter it.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Two of them.
    • The spell Lunatique reduces the target's maximum HP by 20%. It's very good when used at the beginning of boss fights, where it can knock off upwards of 10,000 HP.
    • On the enemies' side, there's Moon Spiral, which deals damage while carrying the same effect as the spell Lunatique to your entire team. This makes the select few bosses having access to this move all the more dangerous.
  • The Maze:
    • Labyrinth of Ice and Duskmoon Forest are maze-like, but not as complex as some of the other mazes in the game.
    • Lampbloom Woods requires that you visit it at night, which signposts the exit with glowing flower bulbs.
    • Chartmoon Tower offers up a game of "Hunt the Staircase" with each floor.
    • Dragonsmaw is a web of similar-looking caverns that loop on themselves, with dragon statues blocking the paths to the Crimson Wizard. Detours open up once you've located and killed the past bosses lurking around the cave.
    • Just getting to the Mirage Palace is a hassle. The jungle is a Zelda-style maze (listen for the chime), leading to Zable Fahr and a chest containing a magic mirror which reveals the Masked Mage's location. The courtyard is protected by a Portal Network leading to various puzzle rooms. The palace itself is smaller but no less confusing: false switches, deadfalls, and a disguised door.
    • Late in the game, the Sanctuary of Mana is struck by an attack from the Big Bad, now supercharged with the energy of all eight Benevodons. The straightforward path to the Tree is now a lot more convoluted, with broken columns and branching paths of lily-pads placed to confound you. This is a good as time as any to level grind.
  • Meet the New Boss:
    • The Masked Mage is heir to the previous game's Thanatos, with a similar boss form and attack animation. The Lich, along with Dark Majesty and Goremand, is a recurring foe in the Mana series.
    • If you look closely, each of the main adversaries has a component or two of Thanatos. The Masked Mage is a necromancer who kidnaps/brainwashes a loved one of the game's white mage. Dark Majesty shares his body-stealing ways. The Dragon Lord converts a fallen warrior (Geshtar in the original, Loki in this one) into an undead knight. Belladonna is also a pro at mass hypnosis.
  • Mirror Boss: The Darkshine Knight is a former Golden Knight, Crimson Wizard is a hopeless student of magic who fast-tracked his abilities due to outside influence, Heath is the orphan ward of Wendel's top priest, Ludgar is the sneering Beastman general who somehow thinks the throne is rightfully his (in contrast to Reluctant Ruler Kevin), Bil and Ben are, or at least used to be, laid-back master ninjas, Heath is fully fledged summoner in addition to his necromancer abilities, granting him all of Charlotte's dark magic.
  • Mirror Match:
    • Kevin and the Ferolian troops all share the same werewolf sprite (albeit differently-colored). The latter use the same Techs as Kevin's top-tier classes. Needless to say, this gets very confusing if he's on your team.
    • Each class the heroes can take has a enemy parallel. Duran has knights. Angela magicians. Kevin with werewolves. Light Charlotte are potos, while dark Charlotte shamans. Light Hawkeye with Chobins and dark has ninjas. Finally, Riesz has the bee women and goblins.
    • In addition to Shape Shifters (mostly harmless balls of wax that morph into various monsters), you may encounter their Underground Monkey equivalent, Shadow Zed. Secret of Mana vets will remember these as the clones of Randi's party who you fought in Joch's cave. They'll mimic your class changes along with your special attacks. The problem is that they aren't affected by Health/Damage Asymmetry; their attacks do the same boss-killing damage as yours, to your party's still PC-level hit points. If you have Dark classes in your lineup, and the Zeds decide to mimic them (and you didn't bring along any characters who can Silence enemy spells), just flee. You can't win.
    • Angela has one in the remake as a Duel Boss. Her enemy is part of the trial she needs to pass to obtain her Class 4 item, fighting a shadow version of herself.
  • Monster Clown: Goremand looks like a jester, but he serves the Masked Mage and eats peoples' souls.
  • Monster Town:
    • Beuca Island plays home to Tomato Town, a tribal village of Tomatomen. Unlike their brethren scattered about the island and elsewhere, these guys are peaceful and fork over equipment and health.
    • Moonlight City Mintas. If you're playing as Kevin, you'll no doubt recognize this village: it's the place in Kev's intro. The town is full of peacenik humans and pacifist werewolves.
  • Monstrosity Equals Weakness: Despite the large number of huge, monstrous bosses in the game, by far the hardest fights are against the human-sized villains.
  • Mook Maker: Zehnoa. A living doorway which spits out assorted mooks for you to fight, apparently from the pits of Mavolia (Hell) itself.
  • Mordor: Three varieties. Dragonsmaw is a blasted wasteland which is shrouded in pale mist. Dark Castle is lashed by a perpetual storm, resting atop an unscalable mountain. Mirage Palace takes the cake, though: the whole estate sits atop a lake of blood-tainted water, with skulls bobbing up and down in it. You can only visit one per playthrough, though.
  • Motive Rant: The Dragon of each plotline gives one after being defeated.
    • Duran/Angela: The Crimson Wizard initially didn't have the ability to use magic at all. He traded half of his lifespan to the Dragon Lord in exchange for unparalleled magical power. But in the end, it was nothing next to the power that the heroes wield. After he's defeated in battle, the Crimson Wizard even laments the fact that his sacrifice was All for Nothing.
    • Hawkeye/Riesz: Belladonna reveals that His Dark Majesty was a prince who was locked in a tower when he was young, based on a prophecy that he would turn evil. It ended up being a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy when the prince turned evil because of the mistreatment he suffered. Belladonna just wanted to open up the heart of His Dark Majesty a little, but failed to do it in spite of all her efforts. Folks who played Dawn of Mana would understand that Belladonna's quest was futile against such an overwhelming prick.
    • Kevin/Charlotte: Goremand averts this. Nothing about his backstory is explained, and he doesn't have a reason why he's such a jerk; he just is. However, Heath/Tainted Soul reveals that the Masked Mage was originally an ally of the Priest of Light who grew corrupted by dark magic. Heath hoped he could turn the Masked Mage, his father, back to the light. But Heath failed, and he laments his own weakness before he fades away.
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • A role shared by the Priest of Light and the Faerie. The Faerie explains that she is last of her kind who lived peacefully in the Mana Sanctuary, until the world's Mana began fading. The faeries set out from the Sanctuary to restore the balance with the help of the chosen hero, but only one survived. She then urges the protagonist to take her to the Holy City Wendel. The Priest of Light lacks the power to fix the party's problems on his own, but he gives them a history lesson on the Mana Sword and the eight spirits. He then mentions that Cascade Cavern may hold one of the spirits you seek.
    • After booting the Crimson Wizard out of his kingdom, talk to King Richard and he'll give you the 4-11 on where the remaining spirits can be found, along with their respective Mana Stones.
  • My Name Is ???: The ??? Seeds are needed to get the items necessary to unlock the second class change. Since the party will likely reach the required level around when they reach Pedda, chests dropped by one type of enemy outside the city, Beholders, will always contain ??? Seeds.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: The levels for class changing are specifically delineated at 18/38. You'll start encountering class-changed enemies (a few with full-screen Techs) at level ten. Your party also has to fill a Tech gauge before unleashing their special attacks, but enemies of the exact same class can slam your party with their abilities right off the bat (they will also frequently use them as counterattacks after you hit them with a spell).
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The Faerie can sense the presence of a nearby spirit, which usually means that the spirit's soul has been absorbed by the dungeon boss.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Whichever of the villains ends up being the Big Bad will succeed in seizing the Sword of Mana for themselves, awakening the eight Benevodons, absorbing the power of the sword and those 8 benevodons into themselves to elevate themselves to godhood, and killing the Goddess of Mana before the heroes are finally able to defeat them.
  • Nerf:
    • There are fewer special moves (owing to the Lv. 7 percentage meter being replaced with the more streamlined 1-2-3 Tech meter). And the Lv. 3 Techs can provoke a nasty response from enemies, most notably the werewolves and knights.
    • Each spell will have its own casting time before it will actually take effect. This adds some degree of challenge, as it prevents the ability to cast chain-spells like in Secret of Mana (which was really just a glitch which allowed you to always do the max damage possible, rendering all boss fights frivolous).
    • Minmaxing is thoroughly discouraged in both games, and the remake takes it further. In the original version, the game will not let you put points into the same stat if it grows too much compared to the others. In the remake, abilities and spells are spread between stats, so you can't just focus on one to get them all. For instance, Angela has to spread her points across all her stats if she wants to learn her spells instead of dumping them into Intellect and Spirit. note 
  • New Game+: But only in the 2020 remake. You carry over your items, equipment, money, linked abilities, and experience/level with each character. Also, clearing the game for the first time earns the "Love of Mana" ability, which gives triple experience points when equipped, and you'll also earn stat-boosting abilities based on which characters you've cleared the game with.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • By chasing after Heath because she was worried about him, and calling out to him at a crucial moment, Heath focused his attention on protecting Charlotte, leading to his capture.
    • In breaking the seal in the Cascade Cavern, the Faerie opened up Wendel to invasion, forcing the Priest of Light to risk his life saving the town.
    • Saving the world from the Benevodons has the unforeseen side effect of sealing their combined powers in the sword of mana, giving the Big Bad more power when they absorb it.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: One of the NPCs in Maia, Matelo, is a self-proclaimed paranormal expert, but the townfolk all think he's nuts. He spends his nights on the pier, keeping an eye out for the fabled "ghost ship". Your party encounters his ghost inside the Captain's quarters on the ghost ship. Elated at having finally become a ghost, he plans to scare the crap out of his friends back home, then passes his curse onto the lead character before leaving.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Beastmen, including Kevin, are all martial artist werewolves.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: Averted during regular cutscenes, where the heroes will be wearing their class change outfits. Played straight during the heroes' credits scenes, where the heroes are all wearing their starting outfits whether they were in your party during that playthrough or not (all six potential party members are shown).
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Duran vs. The Crimson Wizard.
    • Kevin vs. his father, the Beast King.
  • No Fair Cheating: Shadow Zeds don't just mimic your appearance. They even copy your current stats. So if you've used a cheat code to make your Strength/Intellect ten times as high as your class can go, say goodbye to your party.
  • Noob Cave: Cascade Cavern, the first dungeon, doesn't pose much of a threat, despite only two party members being present upon entry. Charlotte is the exception if she isn't chosen as the main character; she joins inside the cave even if she's chosen second. If chosen third, she will join here instead of in Jadd's prison.
  • Notice This: In combat ready mode, all playable characters turn to face their foes no matter how they move.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: No matter who the Final Boss is, he will bask in his apparent victory, as they have just slain the Mana Goddess and is certain there is no one else with the power to oppose them. Naturally this is followed by a declaration of This Cannot Be! when the heroes manage to kill them.
  • Number of the Beast: On the Ghost Ship, one chest contains exactly six hundred sixty six lucre. Shortly after opening it, you're ambushed by Imps.

    O-R 

  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The clash between the three villain factions in the Sanctuary of Mana. A three-way battle between Ninja, Wizards, and Werewolves, and we players only get to see the aftermath of it.
  • Older Is Better: Ancient Capital Pedda is the best place to shop. Short of the Gear Seed items, their weapons and armor are second to none. This is discussed in-game, as an NPC there says that Pedda's superior weapons and armor make the city a target of the Dragon Lord. Chikeeta and Josephine are on hand to sell their own cheaper products, and they discuss the inventory of the shops there.
  • One Curse Limit:
    • An exploitable bug. Using the Minor Mallet will make your team miniature, replacing whatever status effect they have, and using it again will invert the miniature status effect turning them to normal. This does not work in the remake, where the Minor Mallet has been turned into a key item that's used automatically when entering Koropokkur village and leaving it and can't be used manually.
    • It's also invoked by the plot with Jessica — she was cursed to die if she learned the truth, but that made her immune to magical brainwashing later on.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Annihilate spell, which is known by certain enemies and can be learned by Angela if she promotes to the Rune Seer (Dark-Light) class, will always do 999 HP worth of damage if the target is at the same level as the caster or lower; if the target is at a higher level, it will fail. If the target is a party member or normal monster and the spell works, they're screwed; for bosses it's simply a heavily damaging attack.
  • One-Winged Angel: All three potential final bosses assume a vastly more monstrous form just before battling the heroes. His Dark Majesty takes it a step further by transforming a second time halfway through the fight.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Following your adventure on Beuca Island, Richard welcomes you back and informs you where the other Mana Stones lie. The problem lies in getting there as no ships sail to those places. Richard hands over the Ferry Flute so you can ride Vuscav. This means you don't have to use ships or cannons anymore. That said, the spiel by King Richard makes it seem like you can go anywhere at this point, but it's not quite as simple as that. Realistically, there are only two dungeons you can visit: Fiery Gorge and Frostbite Fields. The others are closed off until you get the next spirit.
  • Orcus on His Throne:
    • Each of the villains lounge around in their hideouts and let their minions do the work — until they're either killed by one of the other enemy factions or the heroes storming their fortress. In fact, you don't even meet them until you've completed their respective dungeons. Dark Majesty wasn't totally idle behind the scenes, though: He's the one who raised the Dark Mana Stone from the Underworld. He also sacrifices his first body to rip open the Sanctuary entrance. The reason he doesn't confront you is because he's waiting for his cronies to resurrect his form.
    • The original Japanese name for one of the bosses in Legend of Mana fought in the Underworld is identical to the name of the Benevodon trapped inside this stone, hinting at a link between the two games after all! (The boss doesn't look much like its namesake, though, and the name was changed in the North American release, so aside from a similar case of Dual Boss, there isn't any way you'd know it - you don't even get to see the Mana Stone).
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The Dwarves here look like a cross between a Wookie and a teddy bear with glowing eyes, wear Viking-style helmets, and speak like Old West prospectors.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The Beastmen, who are a race of their own but very clearly inspired by werewolf mythology. They transform at night, gaining a sizeable attack bonus. This includes Kevin.
  • Palette Swap:
    • In addition to learning new abilities, each class alters the color of your hair and outfit—at least in the SNES and Super Famicom release. But fret not: The status screen shows a detailed image of your new attire, as does the official art. However the 3D remake makes use of actual models.
    • For the most part you're lucky if you even get that much for the different weapons in the SNES and Famicom version. However like the character models, the 3D version gives each weapon a unique 3D model.
    • Chikeeta and Josephine both use the same sprite as Niccolo, but their fur is slightly different. This is lampshaded by the hero who mistakes them both for Niccolo.
  • Palmtree Panic: Beuca Island, in addition to being volcanic, is tropical and filled to the brim with palm trees and other tropical plants.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: To talk to the human-hating Koropokkur, the party uses a magic mallet to make themselves as tiny as them. They still look absolutely nothing like Koropokkur (except possibly Charlotte). It turns out they weren't fooling anybody, the Koropokkur were just playing along because it was funny.
  • Party of Representatives: Each party member hails from one of the various countries involved in the war for the Sanctuary of Mana, and they're even paired by who-is-invading-who:
    • Altena vs. Valsena (Angela and Duran)
    • Ferolia vs. Wendel (Kevin and Charlotte)
    • Nevarl vs. Laurent (Hawkeye and Riesz)
  • Pause Abuse: It was discovered that the charge-up time between selecting a skill or spell and its actual execution continues to elapse even when the player accesses a menu. Thus, the player can select a spell then switch to the menu so the character doesn't take damage before the spell executes. However, this also works on enemies preparing spells to attack you with...
  • Permanently Missable Content: In the remake, Watts the dwarf can grant you the Blacksmith Chain ability that improves the stats granted by your equipment by 5% during battle, but will only do so if you fork over 5000 lucre to buy nitromyte from him, something you only get one chance to do per playthrough. This is easy to miss since you'll need to spend some time grinding to make that kind of money if it's your first playthrough, and you get the nitromyte for free later if you don't buy it off him. Thankfully it's not that important of an ability overall and you'll invariably have enough money to get it from the second playthrough onwards in New Game+ if you want to see all the plotlines and characters.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • The Jungle of Visions is the earliest equivalent, and a good place to stock up on seeds.
    • The Sanctuary of Mana is the place to visit for cheap EXP gains. Following the invasion by Nevarl, Beastman, and Altenish forces, the realm is overrun with Shape Shifters that reap 900 EXP each. (In the previous game, it was Griffon Hands.) Unfortunately, they don't come out to play until just before the last boss.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: An Enforced Trope. Hawkeye and his feline pal are the only thieves seen doing any stealing: Under Isabella's influence, the thieves' hideout of Nevarl is gearing up for cavalry assaults on whole cities.
  • Portal to the Past: With seven Benevodons gone, the heroes find themselves at a loose end, until they warp back in time and explore Pedda before its imminent destruction. A prophecy is written in stone, which an old man will happily translate for you; the tablet foreshadows the death of the Mana Goddess at the hands of the antagonist, but it also predicts that three heroes will rise up and avenge her. A scholar in a nearby building has a lead on where the last Benevodon can be found.
  • Prestige Class: If you earn enough experience and talk to a Mana Stone, you have the option to pick the Light or Dark path when (i.e. Light-Light, Light-Dark, Dark-Light, or Dark-Dark). Like the previous games, this one allows you to allocate points to various stats when you level-up. There is a limit to how much your stats can grow at first. But you'll notice a huge stat boost when you get promoted. The old maximum becomes your new minimum when you change classes.
  • Promotion to Parent: Riesz became this to Elliot in her prologue after their parents were killed.
  • The Psycho Rangers:
    • The Benevodons act as evil counterparts to the elemental spirits.
    • The Shadow Zeds, which act as a Mirror Boss by copying your party members, right down to having the same stats.
  • Punny Name: The captain's log on the Ghost Ship, which simply has the word "death" repeated several times in a row, is called the Captain's Dieary.
  • Rare Candy: Serums in the remake, which can be grown from item seeds and give the character using them a permanent boost to one of their stats.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Angela's prologue has her accidentally teleport into the aptly-named Frostbite Fields wearing nothing but a highly Stripperiffic leotard. Less than five minutes later, she's too cold to take another step, and passes out. The only reason Angela survives is because she was found by a villager and brought to safety before she froze to death.
      • After Angela escapes, she becomes a wanted fugitive with a bounty on her head. However, since this is a Medieval European Fantasy world without mass communication and there's no picture of Angela on the wanted posters, nothing ever comes of this bounty. Since Angela rarely left the castle as is, few people even know what she looks like, especially outside of Altena. Angela even points out the fact that she can walk around in the open because of these factors if the party returns to Altena and she's not the main character.
    • The first time Duran goes up against the Crimson Wizard, he gets curbstomped. Duran's never faced anyone who uses magic before, he himself doesn't have any magic to use, and the Crimson Wizard doesn't graciously let Duran get a few hits in for the hell of it; he teleports away every time Duran tries to strike him, just flattens Duran without a second thought when he's humored enough, then leaves the scene when he realizes the commotion caught the attention of the rest of the guards. Thanks to Duran's report, when Altena commences a full attack, it's a bloodbath; better-trained Valsenan soldiers and Altenish mages are strewn about the battlefield everywhere.
    • Once Hawkeye decides he no longer wants to be part of his band of thieves because of their growing corruption, they don't graciously let him leave; they try to have him killed. It didn't help that he was framed in the murder of one of their own after he had to use his weapon in self-defense. When he returns to the gang as a hero trying to stop the end of the world, only two of Hawkeye's former gang members side with him; the rest are all Mooks who have to be cut down.
    • Kevin can transform into a werewolf and kick major amounts of ass, but he can't control it. The first time he transforms, Kevin kills his beloved pet Carl (or so he thinks, as it's just an illusion created by Goremand), and spends the rest of the game hating his power.
    • Both Kevin and Charlotte are Half-Human Hybrids whose genetics give them significant abilities (impressive strength for Kevin, and Child Prodigy magical abilities for Charlotte), but also cause a fair share of problems. Both of them have some sort of brain deficiency as a result of being a mix of two species, with Kevin talking in Hulk Speak (not helped by his spartan upbringing cutting off potential for interpersonal relationships) and Charlotte having both the body and mindset of a child despite being chronologically fifteen.
    • Riesz is a formidable fighter, but she's not a One-Man Army. When raiders invade her kingdom, kill her people and kidnap her brother, she has to run in order to find help, and even when she tries to retake the citadel she recognizes that a frontal assault on equal footing would be an exercise in futility. She also never gets a chance to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, instead having to find ways to stop the plans of the Big Bad while putting her kingdom's reconstruction on hold.
      • The fall of Laurent also qualifies. Treacherous crags, harsh winds, multiple attack routes and angles compounded by only a single way in or out? Neither Belladonna nor Riesz entertain full frontal as a valid assault tactic, and only by exploiting tactical advantage (subterfuge by the Nevarlans, home-field advantage by the Laurent insurgents, use of biological agents by both sides) is the citadel made to fall.
    • The fight against the Benevodon of Wind takes place in the air. Why would a Benevodon that can fly stay in one place and let a ground-based party fight it with swords, spears, etc? Short answer: it wouldn't, and it only fights them directly when Flammie gets involved.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • As well as the Mana series' "Mana Tree" theme, two of the boss themes ("Nuclear Fusion" and "Black Soup") borrow snippets from the final boss theme of Secret of Mana, "Meridian Dance" (the main melody and the intro, respectively).
    • The track "Electric Talk" contains a call back to both "Into the Thick of It" and "Did You See The Sea" from Secret of Mana if you listen to it long enough.
    • "Meridian Child" also vaguely hints at the track "Meridian Dance" from Secret of Mana.
    • "Long Goodbye" is an expansion of the track "Close Your Eyelids" from Secret of Mana.
    • The track "Secret of Mana" can be considered both a Shout-Out to the international name of Seiken Densetsu 2, as well as a stylistic call back to "The Child of the Sprite Tribe", a track from that game, albeit in a minor key.
    • "Angel's Fear" is the same track in this and Secret of Mana, only here the music is slower and more mournful, and the second part is a lot more delicate - which is appropriate considering that it was the opening theme for Secret of Mana and here it's the theme that plays in the final area.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: Shortly before the final battle, the skies above the Mana Sanctuary darken and turn red.
  • Redshirt Army:
    • King Joster is killed by ninjas from Nevarl, who invade Laurent on Belladonna's orders. Only a few members of the world's strongest Amazon army survived.
    • The Crimson Wizard kills a shift of guards and attempts to invade Valsena's Castle. Only Duran survives a direct encounter with him.
  • Raised by Wolves: After mortally wounding Ludgar, Kevin pleads with the Mana Spirit Luna to save him, so she revives Ludgar as an infant. The pup then disappears into the woods to be raised by wildlife, to the alarm of the Faerie. But Kevin reassures us that this is normal for beastmen.
  • Remixed Level:
    • Certain sites, such as Gusthall, Labyrinth of Ice, and Fiery Gorge must be revisited in the game's latter half after the party sets out to reap the eight Benevodons.
    • The Sanctuary of Mana is visited twice. Later on, the path to the Mana Tree is blocked by debris; finding a detour might take a little brainwork.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Half the cast. Angela is the princess of Altena, Riesz princess of Laurent, and Kevin the prince heir to Ferolia. Charlotte also counts, as her maternal grandfather is the king of the elven people of Dior and her adoptive grandfather is Wendel's Priest of Light.
  • Rule of Three: You have three heroes; there are three invading kingdoms, creating three unique final scenarios with three unique final bosses.

    S-T 

  • Scenery Porn: Hell, the entire game, why not. It's considered by many to have some of the finest graphics on the Super Famicom.
    • Heavensway features a view of the ground and sky in certain places, showing the green foliage below and the blue sky above. Sometimes, the ground can be obscured by clouds due to the altitude.
    • The journey to fight the Dark Benevodon will contain some, regardless of which path you pick.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Whoever you selected as the main character is going to be the one that ends up hosting the Faerie. Whoever you selected as the second character is going to join you outside the Cascade Cavern, and whoever you selected as the third will join you after they bust you out of the Beastman-occupied Jadd's dungeons. Selecting Charlotte as your second or third character kinda throws that off (if chosen and not the hero, she always joins you somewhere between where the other second and third choices join), but the dev team thought of that: If Charlotte's on your team and thus you already have three characters by the time you get locked up in Jadd, the person in the other cell who busts you out will be a fourth hero who never joins your team (if Duran's not on your team, it'll usually be him), and your party leaves the person behind when they escape on the ship, but fortunately the person is able to escape the city off-screen.
  • The Scrappy: invoked While Kevin is amused by Domperi's antics and Riesz tolerates him, even they have limits to what they can endure from his trolling. The other party members hate his guts, especially Charlotte.
  • Seppuku:
    • Heath and The Crimson Wizard kill themselves after their defeat at the hands of the heroes.
    • Unless your protagonist is Hawkeye or Riesz, the Navarl faction loses big in the Mana Sword sweepstakes. Dark Majesty loses his corporeal form in exchange for opening the way to the Mana Tree, but his enemies steal the body and destroy it before he can be properly revived. Malocchio insists they can still keep to the plan by taking back the sword and unsealing their underworld armies, but Belladonna is unable to go on without her love. Rather than live in disgrace, she murder-suicides herself and Malocchio.
  • Shields Are Useless: Thanks to a bug in the original Famicom version, Duran's shields do nothing. This carried over into the official localization in Collection of Mana. However it was fixed for the 2020 remake.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The area around Nevarl and the Dragonsmaw's outer reaches (Burning Sands for the former, Crystal Desert for the latter) are filled with sand, including sand dunes that push the party downhill.
  • Ship Level: The Ghost Ship, where Shade is recruited and you temporarily lose one of your party members due to a curse.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bil and Ben. If you're from the UK, the name instantly screams out "weed"!
    • The Guardian enemies in the Jungle of Visions have Breast Fire and Rust Hurricane as special attacks, just like the granddaddy for all Super Robots.
    • The Gigantress (wielded by the Crimson Wizard) holds the exact same Japanese name as the Mana Fortress from Secret of Mana (Gigantes) and is likely to be its Start of Darkness.
  • Sinister Scythe: Goremand. The hooded statues adorning the walls of Dark Castle are also sporting these.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Angela is strongly hinted to sleep in the nude when you visit the inn, lying on her stomach showing her Toplessness from the Back. In fact if she's not your main character, it's possible to stumble across her at the inn at Jigrad, where she'll call you a pervert if you disturb her when playing as any of the male characters.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Altena and the surrounding environs.
  • Speed Run: Taking advantage of several bugs makes it possible to beat the game in about four hours.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Is the Amazon Princess supposed to be named "Lise", "Liese", "Riese", "Reis", or "Riesz"?note  The fan translation ultimately went with "Lise" for readability, while the trailer for the Steam release of Million Arthur: Arcana Blood, in which the character cameo'd, finally gave us an official spelling: Riesz. The official versions of Trials also use Riesz.
    • Bigieu was likely originally either Bijou ('jewel' in French) or Bijuu ('lovely beast' in Japanese). Or both, as they're phonetically identical in katakana. The official localization changes her name outright to Belladonna.
    • Ludgar, whose name works out to 'rugaaru' in katakana, is a semi-pun on loup-garou ('werewolf' in French). The fan translation used Lugar.
    • And then there are the locations — Forcena/Forthena/Folcena/Valsena, Rolant/Rolante/Laurant, Navarre/Navall/Nevarl, Jad/Jadd, Pedan/Pedda, Althena/Altena (each one's last translation is the official translation found in Heroes of Mana and the Switch port of the 16-bit version).
  • Squishy Wizard: Charlotte and Angela, with an extra helping of squishy in Angela's case. Both of them can't take many hits from enemies. Charlotte's a White Magician Girl and Angela's a Glass Cannon.
  • Stab the Sky: Your lead character does this after pulling the Mana sword out of the root of the Mana Tree.
  • Storming the Castle: We have met the enemy. It's time to take the battle to his home address. You can't enter the Crystal Desert, Night Cavern, or Jungle of Visions (apart from the countryside surrounding Pedda) until the Mana Sword is robbed and taken to the villain's respective hideout.
  • Stripperiffic:
    • Practically the entire female population of Altena, especially Angela. Nobody freezes to death because Altena is kept temperate due to magic, but Angela comes close to actually freezing to death after being chased out of the castle. Laurent's Amazons also fit this to a lesser degree except Riesz, who is in full armor, though in official art she still has a very low-cut chestplate and doesn't wear pants.
    • The official art of Riesz's fenrir class on almost puts anything Angela has to shame, as it's just a bikini with a wolf hide cape, but Angela still wins the award for the most Stripperific outffit in the game. In her Magus class, she's wearing a thong, along with a cape, breastplate, and thigh-high boots.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: Duran and Angela's story is heavily implied to be the canon path of the game, with Duran himself as the Mana Knight:
    • While it's the player's choice as to whether or not Duran is even in the party, he is the only protagonist that uses swords, making him the ideal wielder of the Mana Sword, and his design was influenced by the main heroes of the previous two Mana games. He's also the most prominent character on the title screen, and when starting a new game is the default selection for the first character. The 2019 E3 trailer had him be the first character to appear before the other protagonists, and the demo had him chosen as the protagonist alongside Riesz and Charlotte.
    • Angela is connected by Altena being used by the Crimson Wizard to attack Valsena and further the Dragon Lord's goals. He also manipulates the True Queen into sacrificing Angela, giving her a much more personal grievance against the Crimson Wizard than even Duran. Finally, Angela is heavily implied to be King Richard's daughter, which further tightens the connection between herself and Valsena. Finally, the title screen for the 3D remake places Angela side-by-side with Duran (with Duran positioned slightly in front).
    • Duran and Angela undergo more character development over the course of the game than the others, whose characters are more static (especially Riesz and Hawkeye):
      • Duran begins as brash, arrogant, and prideful. He sets out from Valsena as much because of wounded pride as any other reason. However over the course of his path he becomes much more noble and self-sacrificing, and less concerned with his own power.
      • Angela is a selfish Bratty Teenage Daughter. Given her royal upbringing she's also a bit conceited and condescending towards those she views as below her class. The story exposes her rebelliousness as a front for her own feelings of inadequacy resulting from her failure to learn magic and her mother's cold indifference. She also loses much of her snobbish and classist attitude, and like Duran her motives become less selfish and more selfless as the story unfolds.
    • Of the six kingdoms Valsena, Duran's homeland, has the most plot relevance. While Laurent must also be liberated and the player's actions put Wendel at risk, they're only visited once by the plot after the prologue, while the three attacking kingdoms only play a significant role in their own story branch, and are otherwise not visited. However Valsena serves as something of the player's base of operations in the hunt for the Mana Stones in all three story paths, with the player returning frequently to advance the plot and King Richard acting as the player's main Mr. Exposition and advisor alongside Faerie.
    • The King himself was once bonded to a faerie, which sacrificed her life for him during the war against the Dragon Lord. Given the significance of the appearance of faeries in the world, this further adds to the implications that the Dragon Lord may indeed be the main Big Bad of the game.
    • The Dragon Lord's faction is always the first of the three beligerent factions to arrive at Oblivisle, ambushing you just as the portal opens. The Crimson Wizard reveals they have been actively following you in expectation that you will open it for them, which is very much the actions of a Big Bad. The Dragon Lord's puppet forces in Altena are also encountered more frequently while attempting to activate (or having activated) the Mana Stones. The other two factions by contrast are more passive, and only react to the opening of the portal after Altena has already begun their invasion. Additionally, they are more focused on their secondary goals (harvesting souls for the Masked Mage or preparing a vessel for His Dark Majesty's resurrection) than actively attempting to access the Sanctuary.
    • While Peddan highlights His Dark Majesty's descent into villainy and gives you the most information about him that doesn't come straight from Belladonna's mouth, and while it's located near the Masked Mage's home base, the Dragon Lord gets talked about the most, as he is a clear and present danger to Pedda. Additionally, the past versions of Loki and Richard are found here if going down the Dragon Lord's story, but the only thing Riesz, Hawkeye, Charlotte, and Kevin get is the prophecy changing to refer to the Big Bad specific to the route, which the Dragon Lord gets too on his own route.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The Sanctuary of Mana gets hammered pretty bad. Upon your arrival, the landscape is still verdant, with the only enemies being Rabites. In subsequent visits, the Sanctuary has already begun to wither away, and the wildlife is replaced with creepy Shape Shifters.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • If you liked the party from Secret of Mana, Duran, Charlotte, and Angela make good replacements for Randi, Primm, and Popoi. (Though unlike in Secret, Duran can learn his own magic, and Charlotte can switch to offensive magic.)
    • Chikeeta and Josephine. Given that they're the same race as Niccolo, expect racketeering and sky-high prices. Oh well, a cat's gotta eat.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • If you are given a gold statue (which saves your game and heals your party), you will need it. It usually means there is a painful boss fight just around the corner.
    • There's a chest right before the boss Zehnoa which contains 3 poseidon claws, letting you add the water element to your attacks. Since you haven't met Undine yet, these are likely the only way to exploit the fire-type boss' weakness, unless you stocked up on items in Beiser or did some Level Grinding with Hawkeye as a ninja to learn his Water Diversion attack.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • An interesting case. It's a subversion of how things worked in Secret of Mana. In that installment, the heroes obtain the Mana Sword and power it up by reforging it with orbs gathered from defeated bosses. This time around, you are forced to give it to the villain almost immediately after obtaining it, and you discover that, as you slay the Benevodons, the sword gets stronger.
    • Also, in Secret of Mana, the only person in the whole world who used it for anything purposeful was the Mana Knight. In Trials of Mana, not only do none of your characters use it themselves, it seems the villains are both capable of using it and can also destroy it!
  • Take It to the Bridge:
    • Once you beat the first batch of Machine Golems, the Altenish soldiers run away, and we get one final 'screw you' from the last robot: the Golem self-destructs, taking out the bridge to Valsena.
    • When you corner Belladonna in Fiery Gorge, Belladonna threatens to throw Jessica off a bridge and into the fire. If Hawkeye is on your team, then Niccolo will appear and hurl a dart at Belladonna's head, saving Jessica. If Hawkeye isn't on your team, then Hawkeye will appear and save Jessica. Once Belladonna withdraws, Jessica gets taken to the nearest town by Hawkeye/Niccolo to recover.
  • Take Your Time: The only thing in the game involving any kind of time limit is The Time Trial challenge against the True Final Boss in the remake. Other things you might expect to involve a time limit, such as being stranded on a volcanic island that is supposed to be on the brink of erupting, or dealing with 8 newly awakened Benevodons that are threatening to destroy the world, can be dealt with at whatever pace you wish.
  • Talk to Everyone:
    • Domperi won't spill the beans on Laurent until you've found all of the huts and spoken to their inhabitants, nor will he even reveal his identity until then.
    • During the Mirage Palace segment, the party reawakens in Astoria (or do they? — like everything the Masked Mage touches, it is unclear what is real and what is not). The townsfolk are all mute and loitering around the same areas as before, apart from the merchant... talk to all of them, and the merchant reveals himself to be a ghost; he attacks you in the same house where the party first materialized.
  • Taunt Button: Vuscav the Turtle has a horn which does nothing except amuse a button-mashing player.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Hawkeye and Eagle are both Nevarl thieves named after birds.
    • Von Boyage, Von Jour, and Mercie all use variants on French words and phrases for their names, with the German word "von" thrown into the mix with the official English translation of the male members of the family. All three run the game's cannon travel system.
  • Third-Person Person: Charlotte speaks in third person in the fan translation. She instead speaks like a young child in the official translation.
  • Trap Is the Only Option:
    • The heroes decide this after the faerie is kidnapped. It's obviously a trap, but they don't have any choice but to go.
    • Shortly afterwards, the heroes are put in another such situation, though they don't realize it until later: by slaying the Benevodons, they're sending the monsters' energy into the Sword of Mana... which they had surrendered to the villains in return for Faerie's life. The alternative was leaving the Benevodons to gather their powers and wreak mass destruction, however.
  • Turtle Power: Life's a beach. Vuscav, a giant turtle wearing scuba goggles and a racing flag, can take you anyplace that is accessible by coastline, where the party can play the Ferry Flute to summon him. He's also equipped with a ship's horn which can be sounded with the A button, but it's purely aesthetic. "Inexplicable" sums him up best.
  • Turns Red:
    • Grapplavine. The fun starts once you've beaten on him a bit, and out pops out some kind of Venus fly trap with eyes.
    • Zable Fahr takes the form of two demonic, disembodied heads who resemble jesters. The attacks they use are weaker than some of the monsters in the path leading up to the fight, albeit made-worse by the clowns lowering your stats. After you kill them, a third feminine head appears; she revives the other two heads and starts spamming Dark-based spells. The combination of the female's attacks and the debuffs from the remaining two heads can prove deadly.

    U-Z 

  • Underground Level:
    • Stonesplit Gap is a cave that initially connects Valsena with Maia. Duran is able to pass through there to get to Maia at the beginning of his storyline, but later on, Altenish forces destroy the bridge, requiring the party to use Von Boyage's cannon.
    • Daria is also known as Gem Valley. As its title implies, it's a gem-filled valley filled with caves, and is close to where Gnome, the spirit of earth, is found, though it's accessed much later than Gnome's location.
    • The Dragonsmaw is the Dragon Lord's expansive underground lair.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • This occurs if Hawkeye/Riesz is your player character and support character. It's also teased if you have Riesz in your party but not Hawkeye: During the battle to retake Laurent, Hawkeye will ask the party to spare Belladonna's life until he can lift her curse. Riesz agrees, and Hawkeye will plant a kiss on her cheek in gratitude, causing Riesz to freak out. That said Hawkeye is a rather sleazy Chick Magnet at all times, and his main love interest in the story appears to be Jessica if he is the main character.
    • Duran and Angela. She eventually falls for him if they're both playable characters. Too bad Angela Cannot Spit It Out and Duran never notices.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Whatever you do, do not use a Magical Rope in the Dark Castle. You'll be deposited back outside, but have no way of getting back in.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • It was released in the West in June 2019 in the Collection of Mana multigame pack (along with Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana). This also had official translations into English, Spanish, German, and French; this is the only game in the collection to have a Spanish translation, as only the other three languages are available for Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana.
    • A version of the game is set for an early 2020 release that overhauls the graphics and combat system to be more in-line with eighth-generation gameplay mechanics.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Some areas of the 2020 Updated Re-release switch from a conventional Third Person 3D perspective to a 3D side scroller. It first comes up at one of the ports (complete with a treasure chest obscured by the scenery in the background). However some parts of Wandara Woods turn into a Super Mario Bros.-style platformer, complete with platform jumps either to advance or to reach treasure chests.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Energy Ball. In theory it should up your critical attack rate, but because of a programming bug critical attacks are practically non-existent. Same goes for spells that affect agility or hit rate, for the same reason. While DEX and everything that affects it has been erased in the remake, Energy Ball was renamed Moon Energy and actually works.
    • Averted by Angela's Rune Seer skills. Stone Cloud will petrify every single normal enemy who isn't resistant to earth damage, which equates to instant death. For enemies who are immune to earth, there's Stun Gust which silences the enemy in addition to doing massive damage. Silence may not sound that useful, but a number of regular enemies in the game react to Techs and spells (such as Stone Cloud or Stun Gust) with powerful abilities that can trash the party, making them effectively immune to anything but normal attacks. Silence stops those party-wiping reactions.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Some of the Dragons and every Big Bad gives one of these upon defeat.
  • Villainous Harlequin:
    • Goremand has a harlequin-like appearance, serves the villainous Masked Mage, and enjoys devouring the souls of his enemies.
    • Zable Fahr. How fitting that the darkest of the Benevodons would be three Monster Clowns.
  • Virgin Power: Supposedly, the Winged Defender only allows virgins near him, which is why only the Amazons can guard him. Actual events in-game may throw this claim into dispute (for one thing, the Defender turns out to be a girl).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting:
    • Belladonna morphs into a big cat when you fight her.
    • The Shapeshifters are a bit of a joke since they just take a blue-tinted shape of enemies you've fought before, but don't have any of their special attacks. Shadow Zeds are another problem entirely. Rather than mimicking enemies, they mimic your party members… and have full access to their Techs.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Fullmetal Hugger. Most first-time players fall victim to this guy. He'll slap you upside the head and let you know that bosses cast undodgeable attacks and you better heal after every last one. And if you picked an all male team, chances are Jewel Eater will be this too.
    • Harcypete has the nasty habit of keeping away from your party while casting potent spells. Without the help of coins, magic, or claws the fight can become quite a chore. In the remake, it's also your introduction to interruptable super moves that bosses will use henceforth.
    • Zehnoa can be quite difficult for underleveled players as he is a Mook Maker, casts some really strong spells, and if one is unlucky the mooks (which happens to be Shape Shifters) will morph into something that will constantly Poison the party.
    • The Machine Golems fought in the Frostbite Fields or Bil and Ben in the Burning Sands will make short work of players who abuse Level 2 Techs. Keep in mind that these bosses tend to counterattack with a Tech or magic of their own if struck by a Level 2 Tech or a magic. While Bil and Ben are doable, as they might focus in a single character with Shadow Menace, the Golems are not, they will utterly destroy a party using Level 2 Techs by counterattacking with all-party high level spells and you fight three of them at same time. Players should take these battles as a warning that spamming Level 2 Techs or magic will not work on bosses as well as it did in the last game. The remake also has these Machine Golems self-destruct for lots of damage, so you can't get careless.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Four out of the protagonists have easy bosses at the start of their respective paths whose only attacks only deal high single-digit damage and most of who tend to move slowly. Duran has the Copper Knight/Bruiser, Hawkeye has Eagle, and Riesz has the Needlebeak note . Kevin's own starter boss, Karl, starts out as a Hopeless Boss Fight until Kevin assumes his werewolf form. note  Out of all four of these bosses, Duran's is the easiest, since the Bruiser is slow and his range isn't too tough to stay out of most of the time. Even if you die to them, you can't lose since you'll be revived to keep fighting against them.
  • Warrior Prince: When Hero King Richard fought the Dragon Lord, he was not yet the Hero King — he was merely Prince Richard. In Duran and Angela's route, the party can meet him as Prince Richard in Pedda, just before he departs for Dragonsmaw, due to the city's temporal flux, and he thinks the party's reference to a Hero King is referring to his father. Richard says that Valsena's then-current king, his father, is too old to fight and that he's only the prince of the kingdom.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Lampshaded during Angela's opening scenario right after the fortune teller tells her to go to Wendel and seek advice from the Priest of Light. A nearby male NPC complains that "this fraud" told him the same thing despite his question being whether or not his next child would be a boy or a girl.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Mostly. There are a few flat jackasses (mostly Malocchio, Goremand and the Dragon Lord) but the three villainous nations have legitimate reasons for their actions (the homelands of two of them are becoming inhospitable, and the third has a generations-long history of being discriminated against by humans) and most of the villains have tragic back stories or motivations.
  • Wild Take: The look on the characters' faces whenever they fall down a pit (or they get hit with a Death Roulette spell) is priceless.
  • Winter Royal Lady: The Queen of Altena, who has both a figurative and literal ice queen. She's concerned with the prospect of magic, and has no patience for her magic-less daughter Angela.
  • Word Salad Title: Many of the music tracks have these kind of names. Hope Isolation Pray? Faith Total Machine?
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Machine Golems are fought twice, first in a pair and later in a trio.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: There's a reason it's called Heavensway. You can even see the curvature of the earth!
  • World Tree: The Mana Tree is the source of Mana in the world in the entire series, and Mana is shown to be the reason magic is able to exist.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Bil and Ben entertain Elliot, but in the remake he doesn't actually turn off the wind until they chuck explosives at him.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Played with. If you didn't pick Charlotte as your third party member, you'll pick up your third after being thrown in the Jadd prison upon defeating the first boss. Subverted if Charlotte is your third party member, in which case your party is already full and your would-be fourth member just helps you break out of jail and is left behind when your party sets sail for Maia.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: The first rule of RPGs holds true, in that all the useful information is at the pub. You can find every potential party member except Charlotte at the tavern in Jadd Stronghold, but nobody actually joins your party until later.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Half of the protagonists are exiled during their intros. Subverted with Duran, who chooses not to go home until he defeats the Crimson Wizard, but can visit his hometown freely anyway after Valsena becomes accessible again; he simply refuses to enter his house. In Riesz's case, her exile is due to her kingdom being occupied by a foreign power, but even after Laurent is liberated, she decides (if she's in the party) to keep adventuring rather than take the throne until she rescues Elliot and deals with the threat to the Mana Tree.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Hope you weren't too attached to the Mana Tree; it gets destroyed regardless of which villain prevails, and despite the heroes' best efforts.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the remake. Thought the game was going to end after you defeated one of the three main villains? Anise says otherwise.


Alternative Title(s): Seiken Densetsu 3

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