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YMMV / Secret of Evermore

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  • Angst? What Angst?: The hero seems perfectly happy to go on a dangerous adventure in another world with no idea if he'll be able to get back home when he's done. In the opening minutes of the game, he winds up on a space station and is herded into an empty room by a strange robot, and finds a bazooka in a container. His reaction? Fire off a practice shot and exclaim "Cool!"
  • Anti-Climax Boss
    • Rimsala, the boss of the Great Pyramid. Its only way to damage you is spinning into you, and the four respawning statues in the arena cast Flash regularly, but they can be disabled for a time with any alchemy attack. The fight boils down to occasionally casting alchemy to keep the statues disabled while you wait for Rimsala to return to its altar so you can whack it a few times. Compared to its counterpart boss, the Minotaur in the Hall of Colosia, Rimsala is pathetic.
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    • Mungola, the Final Boss of Gothica. It's just a head poking up over a balcony that stays in place watching you fight the puppets that defend it, and occasionally it casts an alchemy spell like Fireball or Corrosion. Compared to the last other bosses of the region it's quite underwhelming, espcially since just two minutes ago you fought a dragon as a boss, and Mungola is much more lax compared to it.
  • Awesome Music: The entire game's soundtrack was LATHERED with some of the best orchestral works on the SNES, all composed by the great Jeremy Soule, who also went on to compose little stuff like The Elder Scrolls, Knights of the Old Republic, and Harry Potter music. This was his first video game soundtrack and it still holds up today. Ironically it was criticised at the time for being too subtle, atmospheric and dull compared to the melodic soundtracks of other JRPGs, Secret of Mana in particular, making it somewhat ahead of its time.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The appearance of Cecil Harvey in Gothica is a random cameo out of nowhere, and the implication that somehow the world of Final Fantasy IV is connected to Evermore raises a lot of questions. Which are never answered since Cecil is just a cameo and nothing about him is ever brought up once you leave his inn.
    • Mungola is shown briefly in the sideshow exhibition early in Gothica, so the player is probably ready to encounter it again later. But its appearance as the Final Boss of the region is an Ass Pull, when it suddenly is found in the castle as a minion of Camellia's evil twin — nothing previously had indicated she even knew Mungola existed or that they had anything to do with each other.
  • Cliché Storm: The four regions are themed after Prehistoria, Ancient Grome, Medieval European Fantasy, and Raygun Gothic, and hit almost every associated trope you'd expect from them: there's a Volcano in the jungle, there's a Great Pyramind and a city in the middle of a desert, there's a human chessboard inside a hedge maze, etc. It's not only likely intentional on the developer's part, it's also justified; Evermore is a world constructed from the imaginations of four people living in 1965 who created these worlds based on their own personal interests, so of course the worlds they imagine are going to be full of Hollywood History running on Rule of Cool.
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  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The Alchemy system includes a lot of Cool, But Inefficient formulae. A player will never need to level up anything but Heal, Flash, and Fireball for the first 80% of the game, then Barrier and Energize are all you need after that. They don't even really require grinding either. Usually spamming your offensive spells on a boss will level them just fine. Barrier and Energize last ridiculously long at level zero.
  • Crazy Awesome: The entire game wouldn't be as memorable as it is if not for the silly and insane creativity that went into it. Did we mention the robot toaster dog with the laser cannon on its back yet?
  • Cult Classic: The game was never released in Japan, has never been re-released, and came out in 1995, near the end of the SNES's life with the Playstation hitting stores and the N64 on its way a year later. Thus, it has comparatively little exposure. However, fans that remember it do so fondly. One reviewer offered the opinion that, unlike the other RPGs Square was putting out for the Super NES (Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy IV and VI, Chrono Trigger), Secret of Evermore wasn't some epic, grand quest with evil villains and a dark storyline. It was a comparatively humble game about a boy and his dog going on a fun adventure. As a result, even if it has a certain charm to it, it's far less memorable and impressive than those other games.
  • Demonic Spiders: Metal Raptors and Death Spiders in Omnitopia. The raptors are agile and difficult to hit, and the aptly-named Death Spiders can kill you with one bite.
  • Fridge Horror: The Game Over text becomes a subtle-but-effective case of Adult Fear once the realization sets in. As far as the hero's family and friends know, he and his dog went out one day much like any other... and disappeared without a trace.
    <Hero> and <Dog> did not come back.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Barrier makes the user immune to physical attacks for 45 seconds. The catch is by the time you get it, you can count on one hand how many enemies left in the game actually use alchemy, and they're all bosses anyway. Thus, you basically get an invincibility spell, and after completing Gothica and getting 10,000 Gold Coins from the King, you can easily afford to max out your inventory on ingredients for Barrier.
    • Fire Power. Uses two ingredients (Feather and Brimstone) that are easy to stock up on, instantly hits when you cast it, and it deals damage comparable to Nitro, the strongest spell in the game. The only catch is that getting it is a Guide Dang It!, but not too much of a problem.
    • Energize causes your weapon meter to automatically charge in only a couple of seconds, letting you spam powered-up attacks freely. Combine with the Neutron Blade for 3 or more hits of 999 damage. The only thing that stops it from breaking the game completely is that you only get it just before the final boss, so it only ruins that fight.
    • The toaster-dog comes very close if you leave it controlled by the AI. In addition to ludicrously high critical hit rates and a new ranged attack, the toaster-dog will also randomly counterattack with a full-power attack when he blocks/dodges. You barely need to do anything in the surface tubes sections: just let the toaster-dog take care of it.
    • The Crush spell. Despite how early you get it in the game, you can level it up for profit right outside of Nobilia. If you buy the ingredients from Blimp (who is a short boat ride away), it takes 36 Jewels to cast the spell. One Bone Buzzard (which is weak against it) drops 40 Jewels upon its death. As soon as Crush gets Level 1, you can still one-shot the Buzzards if you target 3 enemies simultaneously. Level it up to 9 (the 300xp per kill will likely skyrocket your xp levels too!) and you have an Alchemy Formula that can do the better part of a thousand damage per cast (keep in mind max damage is 999) and it is incredibly cheap to cast.
  • Goddamned Bats: Every flying enemy due to a convergence of game mechanics. They dart around randomly when not setting up an attack (and wobble up and down when they do) which, combined with the less-than-stellar hit detection and high miss rate, makes hitting them with any melee weapon (even thrown spears) difficult. Their attacks have higher priority than the player's, so wasted charge attacks and stunlocks are common. Best of all, they often respawn, making just firing alchemy and being done with it wasteful.
  • Goddamned Boss: Compared to other bosses, Sterling isn't out of place in terms of difficulty, but for the fact if you get close to it, it'll trigger an unblockable attack where it picks you up and drops you off the tower, forcing you to climb back up to it. This means you'll spend most of the fight trying to nail it with alchemy and spear throws afraid to get close.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • There's a way to get around the Verminator. However, you must remember not to try and use the door he normally blocks, or else you'll be stuck in his crates. Fortunately you can come back later in the game and kill him.
    • The Silver Sheath accessory is technically worthless since every sword-type weapon already has its bonus applied.
    • A little glitch involving the attack and defense buff spells and resetting the game can get your attack and defense stats well over sixty-five THOUSAND, as shown in this part of a Let's Play made by My Name Is Kaz and Medibot.
    • Infinite Call Beads! One square in Nobilia, if done properly, will yield infinite Call Beads (you can only carry 99 though) if you continue to push the button while standing there.
    • A glitch causes the Bazooka to have infinite ammo. No one minds.
    • If you release a charged attack just as you evade an enemy's attack, your charge meter won't deplete and you'll likely launch a second charged attack instantly.
    • Want to sprint all the way across the Desert without stopping? Get any weapon you have Level 3 skill with, charge it up full and then start dashing while still holding the charge button. It'll go back down to Charge 1 and slowly recharge to almost 2 and then stay there until you stop running or an enemy hits you or forces you to parry.
  • Mis-blamed: Contrary to popular belief, this game had nothing to do with why Seiken Densetsu 3 was not localized. For one thing, this game was developed in English to begin with, so it had no way of interfering with the localization of a game that wasn't. Seiken Densetsu 3 wasn't localized due to numerous glitches that the developers wanted to fix before they localized it, and with the Super NES dying, they decided not to bother; on this game's side, the team was hired specifically to make Evermore, have said themselves they probably wouldn't have been the ones put in charge of localizing Seiken Densetsu 3 if it was attempted anyway, and the working title for the game was just "Evermore" and then the "Secret of" was tacked on to cash in on the popularity of Secret of Mana. All-in-all, other than some similar gameplay elements and graphics, Secret of Evermore does not, and has not ever, had anything to do with the Mana series.
    • On a related note, many Japanese gamers felt disappointed because the game was never released in Japan, feeling they should have received this one in addition to Seiken Densetsu 3. As mentioned above, the development teams for the two games worked 100 % independently of one another, and Evermore was developed for the Western audiences to begin with. In other words, if there's anyone to blame, it's Executive Meddling within the Squaresoft HQ.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The monster Mungola first appears as a pair of sickly yellow eyes behind a curtain. They're the size of car tires.
  • Retroactive Recognition: This was the first game that Jeremy Soule composed music for.
  • Signature Scene: The battle between the Boy and the Dog (the former armed with the Bone Crusher) against Thraxx, which features prominently in the original commercials and on the box art and manual. Reviewers commented how cool it was to reach your first boss fight and realize you're fighting the battle all the advertising focused on.
  • That One Boss:
    • Doubling as a Wake-Up Call Boss, Salabog hovers over the swamp out of range of your normal weapons, and can only be damaged through usage of a leveled-up spear or alchemy. There's two major problems with this, the first being that unless you went out of your way to do it, you probably haven't had time to level up the Horn Spear you only just got, and the second being that this early in the game you only have three offensive Alchemy formulas and probably haven't leveled them up more and/or don't have the cash to stock up on ingredients for them very well. To make up for being out of reach, occasionally Salabog will snap its head forward to come in range, but this also hits you for some nasty damage, so get out of the way. Then, it regularly summons fireball minions to attack you and get in the way of your movement. Finally, Salabog has a lot of HP, 2000 — for points of comparison, the previous major boss, Thraxx, had 600 HP, and the final boss of the entire region, Magmar, has 1000.
    • The Verminator, a Rodent of Unusual Size that perches on a stack of crates (safely out of reach of most physical attacks), hurls potent alchemy spells including Explosion and Plague, and occasionally robs you of HP with Drain. You'd better either have leveled up your spear and offensive alchemy or be willing to use up some Call Beads.
    • The Bad Boy clones you fight in the Dark Forest. You fight three of them, each with a different alchemy. The first uses Crush, the second uses Storm. The third... uses Nitro, the most powerful formula in the game that will deal massive damage to you, and can kill you if you aren't fully healed.
  • That One Level:
    • The Desert of Doom. With the infinite sprinting trick, it can still take several minutes running through the desert at top speed to get across it. Without the trick you have to walk, which will take upwards of 15 minutes. 15 minutes walking across identical flat plains of desert, fending off Goddamn Bats while constantly healing to mend the desert's periodic health drain. The first thing most players are likely to do when they finally reach Nobilia for the first time is stock up on Amulets of Annihilation to pay for a ferry across the desert, because no one wants to cross back over the hard way.
    • The air duct sequence with the dog in Ivor Tower. The ducts and the rooms they connect to both need to be explored in different ways, and you can't really tell the layout of the ground floor rooms from this limited exploration, so trying to map them out yourself is a lot of guesswork. You have to find an invisible (until you're standing in front of her) old woman to get the key to the castle rooms for the boy to use. Finally, the mostly linear path to the exit is hidden behind a bookcase where you can't see the vent there due to the isometric perspective, so you'll probably find it by accident.
    • Don't know the trick to getting through the Dark Forest? Cancel all appointments, you will be in there for hours. And for extra fun, there are two secrets to find in there that require you to divert off the path through the woods itself. Have fun.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: When it was released, many fans hated the game for not being Secret of Mana 2, which was never released in the West. (Today, the existence of both a Fan Translation and an official localization means you can play both.)
  • Vindicated by History: Jeremy Soule's atmospheric soundtrack was not well received when the game first came out, as it was so radically different from what gamers normally expected from a JRPG, much more subtle and moody than the more melodic tunes you'd usually hear. Today it's regarded as one of the standout soundtracks of the era from a man who would go on to be a big name in soundtrack composition.
  • What Could Have Been: In a Nintendo Life interview with Brian Fehdrau, he stated that a sequel was briefly considered after release, but corporate suits shot it down since they believed the SNES was declining.

Example of: