RELEASED: August 6, 1993 (Japan)
October 3, 1993 (N.A.)
WHAT IS SECRET OF MANA
Secret of Mana is an action/adventure game with RPG elements, originally released for the Super Nintendo. Like many RPG’s at the time, Secret of Mana uses the overhead view. Set in a world where “Mana” is fading, a boy finds a rusty sword hidden by a waterfall where he and the other children from his village of Poto’s are forbidden. Once he finds his way back home and defeats the Mantis Ant boss that is attacking Poto’s village, he is cast out for releasing the sword that is said to protect the village from monsters. During the boys’ adventures, he learns that the Empire is stealing the wills of the people of Pandora. What could the Empire be up to?
FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY
Once the Mantis Ant is killed in Poto’s village, Jema the Knight tells the boy that he is destined to become the Mana Knight and must restore the Mana Sword to its full power. On his journey in the opening quests, the boy meets up with a girl and a sprite. The girl is trying to find out what happened to her soldier boyfriend Dyluck and the sprite is trying to find his way home.
Later the group saves a small baby dragon named Flammie. King Truffle of Matango Village takes care of Flammie while the group continues their journeys. Once the dragon is mature enough he joins the group as a rideable mount.
STEEL AND SORCERY
While journeying the group finds other weapons and magic to help them along the way. Eight weapons (Sword, Axe, Whip, Spear, Bow and Arrow, Boomerang, Javelin and Glove) and eight magics (Water, Fire, Earth, Wind, Light, Dark, Moon, and Wood). Weapons gain new levels by collecting orbs from defeating bosses or from chests along the way. To add the orb to the weapon you need to visit Watts the Blacksmith. Each weapon changes in appearance with each max level gained. All characters gain weapon experience by using said weapon and killing monsters. Every level gained gives a new chargeable attack that is charged by pressing and holding the attack button, upon releasing the button a special attack is unleashed.
Magic is leveled similarly to weapons by instead of orbs, each mana temple has a mana seed. Once the seal is broken on each seed, a new level can be added to each magic elemental type. Each time a spell is cast, experience is gained for that element until 100 is reached and then a level is gained.
Traveling in Secret of Mana is done in three different ways. Walking is the first way to get around. It is also the best way to level both character experience and weapons/magic. The Canon Travel Centres bring you to key zones, but later on they shoot the group off to far away continents. Lastly our dragon Flammie drops down and whisks us off to anywhere that wants to be explored.
Like many of the RPG’s in the Super Nintendo library, Secret of Mana breaks new ground on controls and mechanics. The attack gauge is a new mechanic that made a stick and move fighting style instead of spamming the attack button. Secret of Mana was celebrated on its Ring command menu, amazing soundtrack, and its colourful graphics. Love for Secret of Mana is still being felt today with its remake in 2018 as well as it being released on virtual consoles and on the SNES classic.
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