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  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Dark Lich is the easiest of the final bosses owing mostly to the fact it's a slow moving wall of health that fires off spells on occasion, compared to the Archdemon or Dragon Lord who pose more of a threat. Never mind the fact that one of the heroes who's linked to it storywise can gain an attack skill that outright does max damage to the boss.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the disappointment that was the remake of the second game, many fans rejoiced when Square Enix announced a full-fledged remake of the third game built from the ground up instead of another Shot-for-Shot Remake like the previous two games. And then it getting revealed alongside an English release of the original game, ensuring that English-speaking fans wouldn't "miss" anything from a more ambitious re-imagining of the game, just pushed things even further.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • Any of the many, many boss themes.
    • Not just the boss themes; most of the soundtrack qualifies. While Secret of Mana is usually regarded as Hiroki Kikuta's masterpiece, truthfully the music from this game isn't very far behind.
  • Cliché Storm: In the nicest possible way. Even then, it deconstructs many of the character archetypes of the Mana series while going through its plot.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Polter Chests, one of the trap types, can be this early in the game. They have a ton of health, can be outright hard to hit, and can hit pretty hard in turn. And god forbid one drops a chest and you get stuck with another one...
    • Near the end of the game, there are a number of enemies that are essentially the mook version of some of the playable characters' final classes, and each of them can utilize the tech that the player class has. For example, the Nightblade can use Split-Image Slice (like Hawkeye's Nightblade class), and the Grislwolf can use Suzaku Aerial (like Kevin's Dervish class). These techniques are full-screen and can easily wipe out the entire party if they are at low health. This is a significant contributor to why fans are so fond of the Star Lancer and Night Blade classes, as both have the ability to silence enemies, preventing these attacks from being used.
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    • The aptly named Death Machines and nigh unbeatable packs of multi-healing Silverwolves and can give the heroes a tough fight.
    • Shadow Zeds copy your characters down to the last stat point, and they're affected by the same Health/Damage Asymmetry as your party, which lets them deal boss-killing damage to your party's still PC-level health. And it only gets worse if you used cheats or Level Grinding to strengthen your party past what they should have by then.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Riesz! When searching for any fan art of this game, expect to find more art of her than everyone else combined! (Her outfit in official art probably has something to do with it...) It could also be her status as the de facto badass of the game, given the fact that, in the day and age the game came out in Japan, there weren't a lot of 'physical' female fighters, and even less badass female royalty. Riesz really broke a lot of molds. Finally, the fact she shares what many consider to be the 'canon' story with Hawkeye helps. Her popularity was recognized during the E3 2019 Treehouse Live presentation for the 3D remake.
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  • Even Better Sequel: To Secret of Mana. The game improves on the previous game's graphics and mechanics, and manages a soundtrack of comparable brilliance with even more songs. It's also longer and far outstrips its predecessor in terms of replay value due to the fact that it takes at least three playthroughs to see even most of the game's content, and the presence of six playable characters and the class change system introduces literally thousands of possible final party combinations. Oh, and did we mention it features some of the absolute best sprite work on the SNES? There is a sizeable contingent of fans that regards this game as one of Square's finest achievements during the 16-bit era.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Even though Hawkeye already had a love interest, many fans prefer to ship him with Riesz. Their stories are related to each other, and the game put in some minor Ship Tease in there (nor does it help that Hawkeye's girlfriend basically has zero screen time). This was strengthened when Heroes of Mana revealed that Hawkeye's "girlfriend" is his mother's half-sister.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Despite what some websites say, Elliot does not become the next host for Dark Majesty. (Elliot is seen lying on the ground next to Dark Majesty when you first meet him.)
  • Funny Moments:
    • Trying to enter Duran's house with both Duran and Angela in the party grants you the following conversation (along these lines):
      Duran: Let's skip this one house, it's mine. I promised not to return until I defeated Koren.
      Angela: Aw, I wanted to see your room. But if you're hiding anything, like your porn c-ollection, I understand.
    Duran: (flustered) Oh, SHUT UP!
    • Infiltrating the Koropokkur Woods with Hawkeye.
      Hawkeye: I'm Hawk, but everyone calls me Papa Smurf!
    • Strangely enough, there's an X-rated magazine in Valsena's library. Read it with any of the characters and their reaction is: "... ... ... !!!". Except for Charlotte, that is — read it with her and you get the more comical reaction of "... ... ... ???"
    • If Hawkeye is your main character, you'll get this speech upon Trying to exit the Sanctuary of Mana
      Hawkeye: Deathjester! Are you the one who abducted the faerie?
      Deathjester: Oh, heavens no! If I had, I wouldn't be lollygagging around here! I'd be waiting behind you in ambush, preparing to take you with the element of surprise!
      Hawkeye: Hmm, should we walk back out, come in again and pretend you're not here...?
    • The Official Translation gives Charlotte Elmer Fudd Syndrome, and it is never not funny.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Due to a bug, accessing the menu while charging up a spell will make the spell charge when you are in the menu and the game is paused, meaning you can technically rapid-fire all of your spells without worrying about being interrupted. The enemies charge their spells while you're in the menu too, however, so this bug can also be used against you if you're not careful.
    • Using Hawkeye and Kevin in the same team, since they have double attacks. Their first skill (green bar) can be stronger than their last (red bar) when buffed with elements and Power Ups. If you picked their "darkest" classes (Nightblade for Hawkeye and Death Hand for Kevin), they tear even bosses apart. Add some more pain if you lower the enemy's defenses.
    • Counter Magic or Matango Oils (which has the same magic effect) render most of the Crimson Wizard's spells useless. It's only a game breaker in that one fight, but it's still fun to see the self-proclaimed world's most powerful wizard be unable to do anything but hurt himself.
    • There are some who consider Beiser's black market a game breaker itself, as the items purchasable potentially render many classes almost entirely redundant.
    • Tossing a Dark-oriented Hawkeye and a Light-oriented Riesz (with Nightblade/Starlancer being probably the most broken of the bunch) in the same party makes most of the game's second-half bosses a joke. Riesz can buff the party, while Hawkeye debuffs the bosses, effectively neutering their damage output. If the third character knows sabre magic, most boss fights will end in under a minute.
    • The spell Deadly Weapon or Lunatic (both used by Hawkeye as a Nightblade or Wanderer, respectively), when used by the player. Both reduce the target's maximum HP by a set percentage. The developers were clearly thinking of enemies using it against players when they made it (where it only knocks off a couple hundred HP max), but when Hawkeye uses it on bosses, it can be the equivalent of doing several thousand HP in a single hit (since the lost HP does not recover when the status wears off and most bosses do not heal).
    • Hawkeye's Ninja Master class gains the ability to multi-target his Shuriken ability. This means you have a fast-casting ability that hits all enemies on the screen, does significant damage, knocks enemies back, and lowers their evasion. All for only 1 MP. Fans have dubbed it the "1 MP Wonder".
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Chobin Hoods can use dart attacks that pause the action and are guaranteed to hit the target. Dart!!!
    • While Silverwolves aren't terribly dangerous on their own, they just love to spam Heal Light, and also have a move that severely reduces your attack power. If you don't have a way to boost it back up and/or lower their defense, you're going to be fighting them for a long time. Or not, if there are Grislwolves around too.
    • If you choose Charlotte or Kevin as the main character, much later in the game, you have Death Machines which almost always reduce the entire party's defense making even weak enemies dangerous and stronger ones downright mortal.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Excepting stat buffs and debuffs, the Standard Status Effects (specifically, Poison, Moogle, Shrink, Petrification, and Silence) don't stack with one another — the most recent one takes precedence. During the course of the plot, you get an item called the Minor Mallet, which either inflicts or cures the Shrunken status on your party. So, if a party member gets hit with one of the other statuses, two hits from the hammer (once to Shrink them, and once to cure it) will get rid of it without having to use any status curing items or spells.
    • It's not clear whether it's intentional or not, but the Warlock's "Dispel Magic" spell will, in addition to dispelling status buffs, cause enemies that absorb certain elements to no longer do that.
    • While transforming into a Werewolf, if Kevin is target of any attack or spell (this includes healing spells, by the way), he gets a ridiculous attack boost.
    • Whenever a monster takes a few seconds to realize that it's dead, sometimes doing a last hit (or a screen-encompassing tech) in order to do so; on the other hand, this also works to the player's advantage, as you can save a character from death if you can feed them some healing sweets before they drop dead.
    • Bringing up the menu can also cancel taking damage, which allows for ridiculously low-level speedruns for players with good timing.
    • Clearing a screen full of enemies when you're close to leveling up and then walking into the next screen bugs the way the game calculates levels and allows you to increase your stats beyond the soft and hard caps the game otherwise imposes on all level-ups.
    • Spells charge even when the radial menu is open, so you can start casting a spell, open the menu, wait a few seconds, then fire off the spell. That said, the enemies can do the same thing, so it still carries some risk.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A guy named Heath is captured by and eventually works with a Monster Clown. He even shares a game with a character called "Dark[shine] Knight."
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The game's sheer appearance in a Nintendo Direct at the time of E3 2019 shot its quotient up to unheard-of heights for the World of Mana franchise. Not only was the original game finally officially localized for English-speaking countries after spending over two decades with no word on it ever being officially released in English, the localized version would be released on the very day of the Direct as part of the Collection of Mana. On top of that, a full-on 3D remake was announced in the same Direct that would also be localized.
  • Mis-blamed: No, the game was not kept in Japan because of Secret of Evermore - its late release date as well as the amount of work it would take to get the game ready for an international release would have been too costly to produce and likely put the game's release date well after the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation were out.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Zable Fahr. Three demonic, gigantic clown heads that want you to be not alive anymore. Take a gander if you want.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Being hit with an attack that causes multiple effects... and not being able to do anything until you finish clicking through them. This can actually get you killed in some of the last battles.
    • Compared to Secret of Mana, the attack system is either this or an Anti-Frustration Feature, depending on who you ask. In Secret, you could attack at any time, but unless you waited for your stamina to recover to 100%, the attack would likely miss or not deal enough damage to overcome the enemy's defense (and at least in the SNES original, the game wouldn't tell you which). Trials fixes this by simply not allowing you to attack until your character is 100% ready, but this also makes the game feel slower if you're used to Secret's gameplay, especially if you're using a single-hit melee character like Duran or Riesz.
  • Self-Fanservice: In half the art Riesz's figure is shown to be on par with Angela's (who receives a startling low amount of fanart, contrast the similarly fanservicey Tifa).
  • That One Attack: Ancient Curse. Usable only by few end bosses (or Angela as Magus) it deals massive damage that can easily go over 300 even if you are protected by buffs and is one of the very few spells that pierces Counter Magic.
  • That One Boss: All of them have tendency to counter any spell or high level technique with their own specials.
    • Bil and Ben, Ludgar, and Darkshine Knight all qualify. To put it in perspective, Darkshine Knight will counter offensive magic (and conveniently enough, one of the two who have to fight him is a mage) with a full-party hitting attack. He can also pull them off without getting provoked. Two of these in a row will destroy your party unless you're over-leveled.
    • Ludgar during the first visit to Chartmoon Tower may come as a nasty surprise to players who likes to abuse Level 2 Techs. He reacts to these techs with one of his own and once he closes to death he starts using all-party variations of said attacks and potentially in succession if the player is careless meaning he can cause a party wipe faster than a recovery item can be thrown.
    • Dolan and Zable Fahr are considered the most difficult of the eight Benevodons. The former because aside from his all-round power, has a strong attack the temporarily reduces the party's max HP in addition to inflicting massive damage. With the latter, it has really strong attacks in addition to hitting the party with de-buff spells, and has the instant death spell that will kill a party member they are at a lower level than it, and odds are they will be. Thankfully, Zable Fahr has fairly low HP. Even the final class change of the game comes right before the battle, Zable Fahr is still regarded as the hardest of the God-Beasts.
    • Heath. Oh damn, Heath is a nightmare! Most fans agree that even if the Dark Lich is the easiest Final Boss, he's got the hardest penultimate boss. Not only is he a cross-class cleric/mage, he has improbable amounts of health, he knows debuff spells against your entire party which render your fighters invalid, can heal and knows all darkness spells, all light spells and three of the four possible summons for Riesz, which are all party-wide heavy damage in addition to inflicting mute (Marduke), poison (Jormungand), or Shrink (Freya). That is why it is commonly advised against choosing Charlotte or Kevin as the main hero just because of how hard this one fight is.
    • The Crimson Wizard can be made a joke by using a gimmicknote , but chances are you won't know that and will be bombarded by several magic spells with varying degrees of power cast from a very swift magician that uses Flash Step to get away from you all the time and can take inordinate amounts of punishment.
  • That One Level:
    • Chartmoon Tower is filled with some of the toughest non-boss enemies in the game. It doesn't help that the boss of it is pretty damn hard himself.
    • All of the six exclusive dungeons (Crystal Desert and Dragonsmaw, Night Cavern and Dark Castle, Jungle of Visions and Mirage Palace) are very long, have very few recovery points and chuck Demonic Spiders every now and then on you, not to mention the Boss Rush inside of each.
  • The Un-Twist: The Darkshine Knight is Duran's father. This is so obvious that he even calls Duran out for being too much of an idiot to notice it.
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