The Let's Play Archive

Legend of Mana

by Mega64

Part 30: Commentary: Updates 21 - 25

Golem Go Make 'em

I rather enjoy how self-contained the world here is. Not only will you have constant run-ins with certain characters, but you'll meet characters who've had run-ins with other characters as well. A nice bit of world-building that reconfirms what you already know about the people you've met already (Niccolo is a dick, etc).

I find it interesting that the game tests you for this and not forging or pet raising. Granted, Golem making can be complex, but this is probably one of the few things the game itself actually explains rather well. Bomb's manual pretty much goes over everything you need to know to make Golems, though of course you need a FAQ to find out what weapon/armor/material combinations make the block shapes and type of block you'd want in a Golem. Still, at least if you experiment here, you can probably figure out how to replicate those results, compared to doing forging blind.

I guess it's that making a Golem takes a lot more understanding to do. Everything else is easy to start with, as you can simply pick a weapon type and a material and you have that weapon. For everything else, it's easy to start and do simple things, but it takes a ton of effort to fully understand how to maximize your equipment, pets, and planting. For Golems, learning how to start is more complicated, but it also ends up being much easier to master.

I think I pretty much went over everything in the actual update, so I won't repeat myself here. As I said, for once the game actually does a decent job going over this gameplay mechanic. It's definitely not as ridiculous as forging, at any rate.

Faeries' Light

Disclaimer: This is my favorite quest in the game. This is the quest that made me fall in love with this game. So forgive me if I gush a bit too much about this quest, but it's rather unique even as far as this game's quests go.

I mean, you're literally selling lamps to dogs to help a centaur score with a siren.

Lumina's probably the most memorable town in the game. It's always night here, but as mentioned, it's more established in a pleasant, peaceful way rather than depressing. The music does a great job setting the tone of this place. It creates a sort of atmosphere that's hard to describe, a city of twilight that embraces the beauty of night rather than the unknown fears usually associated with it. Everyone loves the night in Lumina, and it makes the town lively in a much different way than, say, Domina.

Gilbert's...interesting. He can be obnoxious at times, though he's harmless despite his constant musings for love. It's only fitting that his quest line can be one of the most obnoxious to do. That said, he's actually a stand-up guy here, trying his best to help a woman he barely knows, even if his intentions are less than pure (which I actually doubt, since Gilbert seems the type more enamored with love itself). Of course, he makes us take half the lamps while he buys the rest, and while I could've easily afforded to buy them all and end the quest right there, why would I deprive the LP of one of the coolest (and most frustrating to some) experiences of this game?

That, and the game won't let us buy them anyway, according to the thread.

You have to work to succeed in this quest by actually learning the Dudbear language. That means actually taking out a piece of paper and a pen, and writing down what words mean. Then, you have to decipher what the Dudbears are saying, and choose the appropriate responses. You can try brute-forcing answers by leaving and coming back, and you can skip all this to begin with by buying the lamps yourself, but those adorable little dogmen you couldn't understand before? You're striking up actual conversations with them (granted, with the game's limited Yes/No choices) and befriending them in order to sell them lamps. You're befriending people who fives minutes ago you couldn't even understand, and your character's become a rather decent salesman for someone with no experience.

It's much more like an adventure game than a standard RPG, and I like that the game sometimes embraces the more whimsical approach of adventure games in order to create a deeper setting. It gives you an excuse to spend time in this town and appreciate its unusual architecture and unique set of citizens.

So after we sell the lamps, Gilbert and Monique go out together and share their dreams.

I also really like this scene. Monique's always a little cautious and skeptical of Gilbert, for good reason, and remains so throughout the quest. Still, the two decide to sing about their dreams, and it turns out they want completely different things. Gilbert quickly decides to find someone new once it turns out neither one would compromise (and I do like that Gilbert isn't going to lie about his dreams, either), and leaves following a rather sarcastic remark from Monique being "heartbroken." I also like that, despite being aware of what an oddball Gilbert is, Monique still feels a bit down about being rejected because of her dreams.

Of course, that all gets fixed once the Dudbears rave about her lamps, thanks to our salesmanship. So everything works out in the end.

So yeah, I love everything about this quest. It's a great introduction to a wonderful area, does some great world-building, introduces you to some pretty diverse and entertaining characters, and shakes the game up by giving you something different to do. As I said, this quest is what made me fall in love with this game.

Niccolo's Business Unusual: Part 3

One of the bad things about the Niccolo quest line is that the middle three quests have nothing happen. The previous one had us go a waterfall and talk to a faerie, and the next one is a rather entertaining-yet-stupid conversation and nothing else. This one's the most tedious, as we have to navigate the Mindas Ruins. It's really a matter of finding the Flowerling and then finding a way out.

It did take me ten minutes to find the necessary Gate Flowerlings needed to find the way out, but other than that, there's really nothing to this quest. It doesn't even give much insight in Niccolo. It's just another quest where Niccolo is a dick to someone. And there's not even a reward for this quest.

Huntin' Du'Cate

This quest introduces a ton of different characters, including the adowable Sothewbee and his dopey woice. We also run into the entertaining and semi-competent duo of Skippie and Hamson, house-cleaners who actually can handle themselves well in an adventure setting. Plus there's the Wisdom Rosiotti, but he's probably the dullest Wisdom of the bunch, and certainly duller than the group we have here.

We also meet the Lilipeas. You know, the same race that took down a wyrm in the World History? Yeah.

As for finding Du'Cate, that in itself is a bit of an ordeal. You need to find a penguin to cast a spell on you so you won't get lost, navigate the jungle which in itself can be a pain, and then convince Skippie and Hamson to work with you to corner it. And after all that, the Du'Cate doesn't live up to the hype, as it's just the second stage of the monkey boss we first fought during The Lost Princess.

Nobody really wins from this quest, sadly. At least we meet a bunch of fun characters.

The Murmuring Forest

This image means that we've started the second of the three main quest lines, the Faerie Quests. This quest has surprisingly little to do with actual faeries, though. We'll learn more about it later, but for now, this is all you need to know:

Escad is a massive dick. Hell, almost everyone in this quest is a dick one way or the other. There's only one person I don't end up hating by the end of this quest line.

But seriously, he slaughters five faeries and then bitches at you not to start a war with the faeries. The dude is fucked up. Even the character diary mocks his sense of self-righteousness. But it'll be later when we'll learn why he's such a tool.

Other than that, not much else to say about this one. As I said, the faeries aren't actually important in the Faerie quest line, so no real need to pay attention to their stuff.