Wednesday, November 18

GamesThirst Nostalgia: Secret of Mana


Secret of Mana (also known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2 or Legend of the Holy Sword 2) was released in Japan and later America in 1983, on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Later it was also re-released in 2008 on the Virtual Console. The game is a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy Adventure for the Game boy, although FFA was also re-released for the GBA titled Sword of Mana. The game was the first of many games to utilize a Ring Command menu, letting the player bring up the menu, and see all the items he had available, and could cycle through what he wanted with the D-pad and select it with A. This game's battle system was also very unique, for the time, as the battle would be fought Legend of Zelda style, walk up to an enemy and smack 'em. The characters would gain Experience and eventually level up as they killed enemies, and the more they used the spells and weapons, the stronger the spells and skill with there weapons would be.


The 3 characters the player could control were Randy, a swordsman who cannot cast magic, but gains EXP in weapons very quickly, Purimo, a runaway princess who learns healing and defensive magic, and Popoi, a sprite who has lost all of his memories, and will learn powerful offensive magic. The magic is learned throughout the game by friendly spirits called Elementals, physical representations of the eight forces of Mana; Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, Dark, Wood, and Moon, known as Salamando, Undine, Sylph (or Jinn), Gnome, Lumina, Shade, Dryad, and Luna. Each spirit is guarding a Seed of Mana. These Seeds contain the untapped power of the Mana Sword, and also has the power to awaken the Mana Fortress. There are a total of 8 weapons available, all of them are interchangeable between every character, each with there own EXP bar, for each character. The weapons are sword, spear, bow, axe, boomerang, glove, whip and javelin.



The story is simple and heart-warming, a trio of young boys disobey there elder and go in search of treasure at the local waterfall. The third young boy (Randy) slips and falls down the falls and finds he is lost. After being summoned by a ghost, he pulls a sword out of a stone at the base of the falls. Using the sword to forge a path home, through tall grass and small monsters called rabites, he returns home to be told that the sword he pulled out of the stone was really the legendary Mana Sword! After being banned from his village for drawing the sword and releasing monsters into the world, he goes to save the world from the flying Mana Fortress. Along the way, he gets saved by Purimo when he gets caught and almost eaten by goblins, and gets help from Popoi when he tries to save the Dwarven Village from a wild monster. They soon save the kingdom Pandora from an evil corporation called The Empire, who wants to resurrect the Mana fortress by releasing the power from the eight Seeds of Mana forcefully. Eventually, the Empire succeeds in raising the Mana fortress, and opening the path to the mana holy land, where the sacred Tree of Mana rests.


The tree is the source of all Mana and magic in the world, and if it is destroyed, all Mana would quickly fade. Of course, the Empire destroys it, unknowingly destroying there own shield. After the Tree reveals that the ghost that summoned Randy to the sword was his father, and the first Mana Knight to wield the sacred sword, also explaining that a giant creature called the Mana Beast will soon be summoned to combat the Fortress. However, the Beast has little control over its rage and will likely destroy the world as well, the three go to the fortress and confront Thanatos, the leader of the Empire and a powerful sorcerer who takes over peoples bodies by shifting his soul into another’s. After defeating him, they realize the Mana Beast has escaped and is now causing chaos. After using all of his remaining Mana, Popoi fades away after the killing blow is landed on the Mana Beast, which explodes into snow, covering the world. After returning Purimo to her kingdom, Randy returns the Mana sword to its stone, and walks away.


The game was extraordinarily well received all across the world, and as of February 2004, there has been over 1.83 million copies sold world wide. With music composed by Hiroki Kikuta, famous for his woodwind and percussion instruments, and directed and designed by Koichi Ishii, Secret of Mana was a epic telling of a fantastic story, filled with happy and sad moments, that we should all play again, if not for the music and the combat, for merely sitting back and listening to the story.


11/18/09 Allen Stewart


5 comments:

  1. The image at the top doesn't match, but otherwise I appreciated the overview of the plot

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  2. You must have made a typo. The game was released in 1993 not 1983.

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  3. Wow, I made the above image years ago. Cool to see it here, but no it's not the official game art ;) This was actually going to be fanfiction, but needing to make a living stopped me from making anything of it. There are only 4 characters here that were actually in secret of mana: Randi, Purim, Popoi and Jema. There is also Charlotte from Seiken Densetsu 3. All the others I made up.

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