Part 20: Character Profiles: Nara and MaraCharacter Profiles: Nara and Mara
With our last chapter complete, we've got a couple of siblings with easily confused names to talk about. Since they're very different, we'll talk about them separately.
The younger and somehow more responsible of the deceased Edgar's two daughters, Nara makes her living telling fortunes. To make things more confusing, on the name front, her name is actually Minea in the Japanese version to her sister's Manya. In gameplay terms Nara is as much or more of a cleric than Cristo but the fact is that she's not a very good one.
The only thing I can say is that at least her NA manual art stayed with the same concept...
Although Nintendo Power seemed to think she was a girl with a nice personality, if you know what I mean. No wonder her sister's the dancer.
Why is Nara Good?
Like Cristo, Nara tends to be a fairly balanced character with some decent equipment choices. While her physical offense isn't great, she does have a great deal of luck, good wisdom, and decent MP. The Silver Tarot cards are an interesting extension of character into gameplay, and Nara actually has a line of direct damage attack spells in the infernos line. She's also got a lot of powerful defensive buffing spells if you can get her to use them.
Why is Nara Bad?
If she were your only cleric, Nara wouldn't be a bad character. Put up against Cristo however she doesn't get such a basic spell as antidote, doesn't get any multi-target healing spells, and only gets the basic revive spell. She gets only the most basic shields, and doesn't get any special weapons or equipment that Cristo doesn't. To top it all off, Nara is the slowest leveling character in the game, requiring fully twice as much experience as Taloon to gain an equivalent level.
Best Possible Equipment
Magma Staff, Dress of Radiance (Can use Metal Babble Armor), Iron Shield, Hat of Happiness
Of the two sisters of Monbaraba, Mara is the older, less responsible, and overall more fun of the two siblings. While other games might be tempted to make her into an agility based fighter (a la Alena), Dragon Quest went straight on ahead with making her an offensive caster who just happens to dance for a living to pay the bills while making her way through magic school.
This is something the NA Manual agrees about wholeheartedly, by the way, and as far as casters go Mara is actually a surprisingly good one.
We just won't talk about what Nintendo Power did to her.
Why is Mara Good?
First off, think speed. Mara is extremely fast and has a whole array of powerful damage dealing spells that she loves to pull out. She's the only character who learns stepguard in this version, gets an osmose spell of her very own, and she's got a good set of debuffs that attack the enemy's defense. She levels faster than anybody except Taloon and Ragnar. Also, she can turn herself into a freaking dragon.
Why is Mara Bad?
She must be from a French speaking nation, as she has fragile written all over her. Mara's got no attacking strength other than magic, she's usually got low HP (I pumped her up on Life Force Acorns), and her defenses are actually pretty terrible. She can get knocked out in the blink of an eye, and while she's a powerful caster she doesn't have the endurance MP wise that Brey does. She also doesn't get to use even the most basic shields.
Best Possible Equipment
Magma Staff, Dress of Radiance, Hat of Happiness.