Flashback Fridays: Secret of Mana

Hello everybody, welcome to another installment of Flashback Fridays. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what’s going on here, please refer to previous articles for more information. Today we are going to take a look one of the best RPGs to ever come out for a 16-bit console. The title that I am referring to is one of the first experiences that kept me up all hours of night, and quite possibly destroying my console in the process because of it, Secret of Mana.

It was late summer of 1993,  and while most kids were outside enjoying life, hanging out in the swimming pool,  or running for an ice cream truck, I was busy sitting in my room playing video games. Now while avoiding heat as much as possible by staying in an air conditioned house was definitely at the top of my to do list, the main reason my body stayed inside glued to a television screen was because a friend had just introduced a game to me for the first time called Secret of Mana. It was this strange little RPG adventure for the SNES that had a unique idea rarely seen in anything from the genre at the time (except for Zelda of course), a real time battle system. After playing through the first couple of areas or so I was instantly hooked, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The setup is quite familiar if you are a fan of these types of adventures. A group of three kids from Potos Village go looking for a treasure that is located in a waterfall near their home. As luck would have it one of the boys comes across a rusty sword sticking out of the ground, and after hearing a voice telling him to pull it out of the ground, he decides to do just that, and ends up unleashing a large amount of monsters unto his hometown in the process. After being banished from the village forever, our hero decides to go on a quest to clear his name, and eventually figure just what else this sword is capable of. The gameplay centers around moving from one area to another, finding treasures, obtaining special powers, and defeating bosses in order to become the hero that you were meant to be. Sounds simple enough right? Well, I’ll leave that one up for you to determine, enough said.

So what are my personal thoughts on the game you ask? I’ll give you a one word answer to that question, fantastic. Everything from the story and setting, to the personal relationships between each of the characters is all done with a certain level of finesse that it makes you really appreciate how much hard work and dedication went into the overall process to begin with. The controls were solid, the music was delightful, and each new area offered enough twists to them to keep the overall gameplay fresh and exciting. All of these elements combined together made for a truly incredible journey that I will never forget.

Secret of Mana was a classic RPG from back in the day that fans of the genre should definitely consider checking out.

That concludes my story on Secret of Mana, but if you have any fond memories of this game please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

Here is a gameplay video that I found for it, enjoy!