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CaissasDeathAngel House Lewis: Sanity is Relative from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Apr 29th 2012 at 11:39:34 AM

How on earth do we not have a thread for Secret Of Mana?

Available on the Wii e-shop, and I highly recommend it to anyone who does not own it. Absolutely superb game, even despite having been cut back enormously due to being on a cartridge rather than CD. Much as I'd adore seeing a finished full version, I still love the one we got.

I tend to take a gradual grinding approach to the game, trying to max out all characters with all weapons, and upgrade all spells to the max level as soon as I can. I tend to use the Wind Palace for spells, and Gaia's Navel for weapons. That said, I do tend to only use a few weapons in practice (spells I'm not fussy about - whatever's strong/cheap):

Boy gets the Spear as standard, the Sword as a secondary weapon and the Javelin for a ranged option. The spear hits harder than any weapon in the game, though has a smaller hit box than the sword, despite having a longer range. The sword is useful generally when the extra damage doesn't matter, and the javelin is essentially the spear but ranged.

Sprite has the boomerang as the primary weapon as its got a better hit box than the bow, which is unreliable (though when it is useful, it's very useful). Its primary melee weapon is the sword, when the boy isn't using it, with the bow being a secondary ranged weapon.

Girl uses the whip primarily, for great range and a solid strike. Works well in tandem with the spear, and at a slightly longer range the boomerang when used by the other characters. Her secondary weapon is the javelin (again, for working well with the spear in the boy's hands, and she uses the axe for melee scenarios.

That set up works well and gives me flexibility. You may notice the gloves not being used at all, that's because they're awful - they're suicide for the sprite or girl, and the boy's other options just outclass it. If given to anyone, it's the girl though as she seems to make a bit better use of them than the others.

Any other fans of the game here?

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
MoeDantes cuter, cuddlier Edmond from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
Apr 30th 2012 at 7:10:19 PM

Okay, what kind of abysmal cultural standards must we have that the Secret of Mana topic only has one post and is already about to disappear from the front page? Damn, I wish there were more older people here...

Secret of Mana is an undisputable classic of video gaming, truly a work of gaming literature. Yeah the plot may be cliche and the characters stock, but there is nothing quite like adventuring through the lush green forests, beating those weird rabbit-things, all while hearing that beautiful orchestral mix.

My approach is to try to be as strong as I can, when I can, although its not really a game where that's necessary—you can usually get through the game with all your weapons and spells at level 1 or 2 and a lot of the higher-level charge attacks aren't that useful, but damn are they satisfying.

I've also played So M's prequel, The Final Fantasy Adventure though honestly, I feel it isn't as good.

Also:

Available on the Wii e-shop, and I highly recommend it to anyone who does not own it. Absolutely superb game, even despite having been cut back enormously due to being on a cartridge rather than CD. Much as I'd adore seeing a finished full version, I still love the one we got.

Wait... WHAT?! Seiken Densetsu 2 was originally meant to be a CD-ROM game? Where heard this?

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Enlong Court Dragon from The Underground Facility Relationship Status: is commanded toŚ WANK!
Court Dragon
Apr 30th 2012 at 7:20:54 PM

See, originally, Nintendo was working on a CD-based addon for the SNES. When Squaresoft began work on Secret of Mana, it was intended to be a game for this new system. However, midway through the game's production, the addon was scrapped, and Squaresoft had to cut corners like crazy to fit the game into an SNES cartridge, necessitating a lot of lost content that we'll never see, even in today's era of remakes (the iOS port has some changed up script, but none of the extra stuff they had to cut)

This debacle began some of their bad blood with Nintendo that led to them jumping ship when Sony entered the game. It wasn't the only thing that caused them to stop working with Nintendo for a while (if it was, SD 3 wouldn't have happened), but from what I hear, it was the start of it all, or at least one of the earliest offenses.

As for Final Fantasy Adventure, perhaps you could give Sword Of Mana a shot. It's a modern-day remake of the first game for the GBA. However, while they were making the graphics newer and making the girl a full-on hero, they also excised the Final Fantasy elements in favor of Mana-series elements (cannon travel instead of a chocobo, the Elemental Spirits, etc.)

And, of course, if you have an emulator, Seiken Densetsu 3 is also a very nice game. I really wish it had been officially released in America, because that would have had a place of honor right next to Secret of Mana during my childhood, if it had been around.

edited 30th Apr '12 7:27:22 PM by Enlong

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MoeDantes cuter, cuddlier Edmond from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
Apr 30th 2012 at 7:31:18 PM

Okay, that's news to me. For a moment I thought dude was talking about how the original Seiken (as in, Final Fantasy Adventure) was supposed to be an epic 12-disc game for the Famicom Disk System.

I had actually heard about the Final Fantasy IV thing, oddly. Probably because this article covers both

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ssfsx17 crazy and proud of it
crazy and proud of it
Apr 30th 2012 at 8:25:52 PM

Man this song still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it

Kossage Mr. Smiles from Finland
Mr. Smiles
Apr 30th 2012 at 10:08:36 PM

I discovered Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3 via the wonders of emulation a few years ago, and they're very nice games. However, I prefer SD 3 over So M because SD 3 basically improved on everything So M did (and I like the fact how your party members end up affecting the plot and the finale). So M had its nice moments, though; Thanatos in particular and the emotional finale have stuck to my mind.

And who can forget Hiroki Kikuta's wonderful music for So M and SD 3? "Fear of the Heavens", "Meridian Dance", the flight themes as well as the track posted above (it makes me think of all those poor rabites the hero slaughtered) are some of the best music that the So M OST has to offer. I was really happy when fellow Finn Jonne Valtonen arranged a nice Secret of Mana suite for orchestra and choir for the Symphonic Fantasies concert. smile

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Court Dragon
Apr 30th 2012 at 10:13:13 PM

Yeah, I'll agree that SD 3 was better in many ways: More versatile teammates, more story focus, an interesting 3-way story. I think a lot of the improvements were because it started its life as an SNES game, with the limitations thereof in mind and prepared for.

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CaissasDeathAngel House Lewis: Sanity is Relative from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
May 1st 2012 at 3:57:15 AM

I really need to try SD 3 sometime. Obviously I can use an emulator, though I'd prefer an e-shop release.

It's certainly true that SOM isn't the hardest game ever, since Magic is really imbalanced - chain casting and using faerie walnuts as appropriate makes any boss a cakewalk really, though the fact that inns and walnuts are the only way to replenish MP (levelling up and post-boss recovery don't affect it) is annoying and somewhat limits its value for normal battles.

Sword of Mana has no challenge whatsoever, unfortunately. Great game, but one of the easiest I've ever played.

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
MoeDantes cuter, cuddlier Edmond from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
May 1st 2012 at 1:51:01 PM

I didn't really like Sword of Mana, but its been so long I don't remember why.

And for Seiken 3 ya might check into Repro Carts. I've heard the fan-translation has been released on a physical cart that way. I aim to pick up both it and Earthbound Zero one of these days.

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May 1st 2012 at 2:34:05 PM

Sadly, the most recent game in the series I've played was, IIRC, Dawn Of Mana, which was. . . bad. Bad enough I stopped playing it an hour in and returned the game for tradein value.

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CaissasDeathAngel House Lewis: Sanity is Relative from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
May 1st 2012 at 5:42:46 PM

Oh god, Dawn of Mana was horrific. I tried so, so hard to enjoy it. Put a couple of dozen hours into it. But no, it's truly bad. Which is a shame, because I do see potential.

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
Rotpar FUCKING COUCH BARD! from California Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
FUCKING COUCH BARD!
May 1st 2012 at 6:09:14 PM

Sword was terrible. I was hoping for FFA playing like Secret. Instead I got a game as clumsy as the original Game Boy title and a completely butchered storyline. Yes, Dark Lord was a pretty basic villain, having an over-elaborate backstory shoe-horned in did him no favors. And they completely fucked up one of the earliest Tear Jerker moments in a video game, Amanda's death, by having the peanut gallery show up to add their two cents AND the villains arrive to piss and moan over Medusa.

Oh, and the final revelation that the Mana Sword has no actual power, it was inside the hero all along? Fuck you Sword Of Mana.

It's a pity the game pissed me off so much, because I loved the idea of the heroine being an actual heroine rather then a Distressed Damsel.

edited 1st May '12 6:12:42 PM by Rotpar

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Recon5 Avvie-free for life! from Southeast Asia
Avvie-free for life!
May 1st 2012 at 6:19:56 PM

I couldn't really get into the original Mana game (though I watched my sister finish it) but I sank many hours into emulated SD 3. I have to say, however, that I regard Legend as the best of the series in almost all aspects except the main story (some of the sideplots were really special).

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Court Dragon
May 1st 2012 at 7:01:23 PM

I rather liked Sword. It was no Secret, to be sure, but I thought it was generally a nice remake of the first game. I rather liked the added characterization given to the non-hero characters, and I liked the inclusion of now-standard Mana-series stuff, like the Elementals. As for the "reveal"? Eh, hero's rhetoric. The sword most definitely has power, as seen in each game. They were just phrasing it in a different way.

And maybe it's me, but the remake, I thought, made a lot of the dungeon crawling less tedious and confusing. Or perhaps I'm just better at dungeon crawling than I was in elementary school.

Now, my least favorite is probably Children of Mana. Story aside, the dungeon crawling was just unbearable. Did they really have to make so many of the finish-level requirements "kill every enemy" or "kill a specific enemy (but it's random, and we won't tell you which one, and it's likely that you'll wind up killing it last)"? The story, as a backstory for the Mana Holyland, was pretty nice, but the gameplay just killed it.

edited 1st May '12 7:03:17 PM by Enlong

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Meophist from Toronto, Canada
May 1st 2012 at 9:30:33 PM

I liked Legend Of Mana.

Secret Of Mana was alright, but it had quite a number of problems.

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MoeDantes cuter, cuddlier Edmond from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
May 2nd 2012 at 6:53:38 PM

I liked Final Fantasy Adventure as a decent portable alternative to Zelda, but it was kind of clunky and is easily shown up by its sequel. Gotta say though, I never thought to grow a tree by planting a girl. What an effed-up ending.

I had pretty much the same problem with Sword that a person above did—I wanted it to be like Secret and it wasn't. Somehow it was just boring.

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Cassie The armored raven from Malaysia, but where?
The armored raven
May 5th 2012 at 6:06:45 AM

I only played SD-3, Legend and Dawn. About the latter, they should've named it to Damned

I think Legend has potential in itself though, and can use a remake, but preferrably not one by the company's own hands. Executives screw things up these days

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Court Dragon
May 5th 2012 at 6:31:04 AM

It's unfortunate that Dawn of Mana is apparently such a poor game. Children of Mana made that game's conflict sound so intriguing, with Malevolia essentially invading the planet, or whatever it was.

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Meophist from Toronto, Canada
May 5th 2012 at 6:46:17 AM

I think... Legend Of Mana has pretty nice world design. The world in that game is filled with wonder and magic; it feels like an incredible piece of fantasy.

Helpful Scripts and Stylesheets here.
CaissasDeathAngel House Lewis: Sanity is Relative from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
May 6th 2012 at 5:18:56 AM

It's such a shame that the whole series has basically been abandoned in favour of Kingdom Hearts. While, yes, the last couple of games have been atrocious, there's still a lot of potential there, especially with Secret Of Mana and SD 3 being so well regarded. A SD 3 eshop release to either the Wii or 3DS would be a good way of opening the door to a series revival, I'd say.

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
May 6th 2012 at 9:37:56 AM

[up] Yeah! So much potential from Secret of Mana, SD 3, and Legend of Mana. All of them show great potential for future games in the mana world.

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May 6th 2012 at 5:19:01 PM

I'd just like a decent official localization for SD 3.

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Court Dragon
May 6th 2012 at 5:22:25 PM

At least they seem to remember that SD 3 exists, what with the god-beasts showing up in Children.

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Desertopa Not Actually Indie
Not Actually Indie
May 7th 2012 at 7:10:58 AM

Secret of Mana is one game from my childhood I really can't go back and view objectively. It's the only game I played together with both my father and sister. I can't compare something like Seiken Densetsu 3 to something which was both a game and a family bonding experience.

...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.
Meophist from Toronto, Canada
May 17th 2012 at 2:16:53 PM

Been thinking about what could happen in a new Mana game.

I'm imagining you start in an empty world but you get artifacts you can place into the world to add places to it, Legend Of Mana-style, except this time it's done in a 3D world where connections are made automatically and you can travel between them seamlessly. You can go through story quests and/or fight monsters as you want, alone or with friends. Character power won't rise much over time, so you won't end up being outclassed if the other player has a lot of experience.

...Mostly I just like imagining its art. I guess it's also mostly just Legend Of Mana in 3D, but I think it has a lot of potential.

Helpful Scripts and Stylesheets here.

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