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Secret of Mana (SNES)

89
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The SNES version of Secret of Mana appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Development

One of the first games announced for the then-announced CD-ROM addon for the SNES. Nintendo eventually gave up trying to get the peripheral off the ground after the deal with Phillips to make the drive fell flat. Square eventually released a tooled-down version, which pushed the SNES hardware constantly (hence the slowdown and lack of multiple enemies onscreen), and overall left Square bitter for having to go through the process of downgrading its game. This probably was one of the reasons Square decided to bail on Nintendo (and its then-upcoming N64 console) and take its multimillion seller, Final Fantasy VII, with it (which was first announced for the N64).

Ironically, Square signed the deal to bring the game to the PlayStation with Sony, which was the original partner for the SNES CD drive, but was publicly stabbed in the back by Nintendo with the Phillips deal. The CD drive technology that Sony had been working on for the SNES, was then used to create the PlayStation itself.

Enemies

Due to technical limitations, only three enemies can ever be on the screen at one time. Sneaky players can use this to their advantage and keep 'easy' enemies alive to block the spawning of more powerful ones. The merchant cat Neko, is also affected by this and may not always appear during busy combat.

Killroy

In the original Japanese version, Killroy has a chainsaw when fighting him the second time. In all Western versions, he is just a re-coloured version of the first encounter.

Multiplayer

Secret of Mana is quite possibly the first RPG game to support 3 Players. It is certainly the only one on SNES that does (along with it's sequel, which was never officially translated). A multitap is required for the third player.

Slime

The Slime bosses are the trickiest enemies in the game, not because they're difficult, but because they're so buggy. When fighting one of these bosses it's possible to slow the framerate to a crawl, freeze the game or in extreme cases, wipe the contents from your saved battery backup.

Awards

  • FLUX Magazine
    • Issue #4 - #40 in the "Top 100 Video Games of All-Time" list
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #77 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GamePro
    • Vol. 6, Issue 2 - Role-Playing Game of the Year 1993
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #74 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Big John WV, CaptainCanuck, PCGamer77 and WildKart

Contributed by MaiZure (114) on Feb 19, 2003. [revised by : CrankyStorming (2679), FatherJack (32402) and Patrick Bregger (107465)]. -- edit trivia