Underrated/Unheard of Square Enix Games Collection – The Mana Series
SEO presents to you the Underrated/Unheard of Games Collection- the mana series. SEO (and it’s groovy community) shall report on and showcase fantastic games and series’s for you to try and, hopefully, treasure. Games which many may not treasure because they do not know of them. The few diamonds in the rough. Those games which deserve much more recognition. Indeed this collection shall grow and receive additions as they come along. All of them being games and series’s which are not as popular as many of the wonderful games Square Enix makes and has made but are just as great.
Nearly everyone who has played one of the many popular Square Enix games would agree that they had affected their lives in some way. Their stories have brought along rollercoasters of emotions. Their characters have touched our hearts in ways we never thought they would. Their music has become our lullaby’s. Their worlds have amazed. No matter how one was to look at it, Square Enix has brought along many games which were the best things in our life and shall be treasured forever.
Today/Tonight we present to you the first addition to the collection: The Mana Series
Final Fantasy Adventure
Known as Mystic Quest in Europe and Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden in Japan, Final Fantasy Adventure is the first game in the Mana series chronological release list. Released in 1991 in Japan and America, 1993 for Europe, it was the first game in this series and was a Game Boy game. Final Fantasy Adventure was a good old fashioned and standard role-playing game. It’s gameplay style is commonly said to be similar to that of the original Legend of Zelda game. Originally the game had been marketed at a Final Fantasy game, hence the name Final Fantasy being in its name, in Japan and North America but became it’s own independent game (and the beginning of a series) due to its more action based gameplay. The world in Final Fantasy Adventure is threatened by an evil “Dark Lord” who motives are to find the tree of Mana, the worlds source of Mana, to use it for his own personal hunger for power to rule the world. You, the hero, go on the journey to stop the Dark Lord from succeeding in finding the Tree of Mana.
Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana, or better known as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan, is the second game in the Mana series chronological release list. It had been released in 1993 in Japan and North America, then 1994 for Europe, on the Super Nintendo. It was nice action role-playing game and took on setting themes from the previous game in the Mana series, such as the wishes for control over Mana. You play as a young boy who gets into mischief with his friend’s by going to a waterfall, which their Elders had forbid the exploration of, to find treasure. The young boy discovers a rusty sword which had been lodged into a stone. The boy pulls it out after being tempted by a mysterious voice and as a consequence of such an action he releases evil monsters into the surrounding area of his village. His actions have him banished from his village as they believe it was a bad omen. A knight recognises the blade as the Blade of Mana and so encourages a boy to restore its power by visiting the eight Mana Temples.
Seiken Densetsu 3
Like the previous games, Seiken Denstsu 3 is an action role-playing game and is the third addition to the Mana series chronological release list. It had been developed for Nintendo’s Super Famicom in 1995 and was released in Japan, but sadly nowhere else. Thankfully the awesome translators and fans of the series have made an English patch for the western fans of the series. It is set when Mana is fading and peace no longer exists. There are 6 playable characters and their stories are grouped into 3 main sub-plots. These characters are Angela, Duran, Hawkeye, Riesz, Kevin and Charlotte.
Legend of Mana- Mana Series
Legend of Mana, released as Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana in Japan, is the fifth game released in the Mana series chronological release list. It came out in 1999 for Japan and 2000 for North America on the PlayStation One. For this game we have a member of our community, who is also our very own Admin for both sites, who will tell us what it is all about and, at the same time, will tell us what he received from it in his own personal experience.
WARNING! CONTAINS SPOILERS!
The main focus of this arc is the romantic relationship between Matilda and Irwin, and the resulting havoc it wreaks on the world. Nearly all of Irwin’s destructive actions are based on his relationship with Matilda, from stealing her power to Matilda refusing to stop him because she loves him and respects his decision, even if it means the end of the world. Irwin sums it up nicely at the end when he says he needs to be freed “from a spell named Matilda”.
In contrast, the conflict in this story arc arises from Larc desiring to be reunited with his sister, Sierra. The sole purpose of him helping to bring Draconis back into power is so that he can once again walk the mortal world, even if it means threatening the world with destruction. Finally, at the conclusion of the quest line, he decides to suffer through his punishment, even if it greatly delays his reunion with his sister.
The Jumi arc is probably the most complicated, but best implemented, symbol of the harmful effects of love. Prior to the beginning of this quest, Florina had sacrificed her own life for the benefit of her people. Had this continued, there would have been no conflict. However, Sandra, who had a close relationship with Florina, grew to hate the Jumi for sacrificing someone she loved for their own survival, and kidnapped her. Enter the hero, who, after the quest is completed, sacrifices his/her own life out of love for the survival of the Jumi. The consequences of this sacrifice are brought home to the audience when they see Bud and Lisa’s response to the hero’s supposed demise.
Sword of Mana
Sword of Mana, or Shin’yaku Seiken Densetsu in Japan, is the fifth game in the Mana series chronological release list. Released in 2003 in North America and Japan, 2004 in Europe, Sword of Mana was a complete remake of Final Fantasy Adventure for the Gameboy Advance. Features in the game had been reassessed and remade to work with the themes and directions the games later in the Mana series had taken. In the game you can choose the role of either a female or male lead and follow their storylines which are different to each other quest-wise, but still the same plot-wise.
I, The Dream, have played this game for hours and have loved everything about it. The characters hook you in and capture your interests. The plot is wonderful as there never seems to be a dull moment. You’re either grinning or feeling your heart throb at certain saddening scenes. The action role-playing element for battles is fun and makes EXP grinding a bit more entertaining with each quick animation and action. The sprites are lovely and I personally loved the art you would witness as you go along through the story. The different places and scenery you get to experience are just fantastic. To anyone very new to the series I would recommend that you give this game a go!
Children of Mana
Children of Mana, Seiken Densetsu DS: Chirudoren obu Mana in Japan, is the sixth game in the Mana series chronological release list. It was launched and made available for the Nintendo DS in 2006 for Japan and North America, 2007 for European players. It is a dungeon crawler and sets certain places in which the player will have to play in. You play as two orphan children, orphaned from an event seven years ago which had caused their loves ones to pass away, who seek knowledge on the events which had those close to them ripped away from the world.
Friends Of Mana
Friends of Mana is a light hearted online role-playing game for the mobile phone and is the seventh game in the Mana series chronological release list, being released in 2006. It has been released as an exclusive for Japan and at the moment there are no signs of possibilities that the game will be available in other countries.
Dawn of Mana
Dawn of Mana, better known as Seiken Densetsu 4 in Japan, is the eighth game in the Mana series chronological release list. It was released in 2006 in Japan and 2007 in North America. Sadly there was no release for Europe. By timeline chronology for the game itself, Dawn of Mana is set before Final Fantasy Adventure and hence is the first game in the series if it were to go by that order. It was released for the PS2 and is the first fully 3D game for the Mana series which uses the Havok Physics Engine to allow large amount of player-environment interaction.
Heroes of Mana
Heroes of Mana, known as Seiken Densetsu: Heroes of Mana in Japan, is the ninth game in the Mana series chronological release list. It is a tactical role-playing game which had been released in 2007 in Japan, North America and Europe. It is a game for the Nintendo DS and is a prequel to Seiken Densetsu 3. It was mainly made because of a wish to create a game somewhat like Age of the Empires and StarCraft. The game is nearly entirely touch based.
Circle of Mana
Circle of Mana is a game which had been released earlier this is year and is the tenth game in the Mana series chronological release list. It was released for Androids and iOS’s in 2013 (this year). Players are to defend the Tree of Mana using cards which features characters from previous games.
Overall the Mana series is a very entertaining series. Many would say it’s early games are much more enjoyable than later releases, some love them all. Try them out of yourself when you get that chance and let us know how it went!