The Let's Play Archive

Legend of Mana

by Mega64

Part 54: Commentary: 45

Seeing Double

I explained how Mana levels work previously, but the Mana Tree boosts the surrounding lands to max Mana levels. This is important because there are three quests that require max Mana levels, two of which are in Domina. This particular quest requires Shade to be at L3.

That said, this quest, while a bit amusing, is pretty underwhelming. It's just your doppleganger going around being a dick to Sproutlings and trying to raise an army of pumpkins, I guess as an excuse to reuse the pumpkin background from Bud and Lisa's fight.

That said, there's something charming about this game using an anthill in a threatening manner. Sure, Duelle could threaten to kill Teapo or whatever and it'd fit in fine, but with the more lighthearted quests like these, it's charming and fits the world well.

Pee-Wee Birdie

When you plant enough crops, Trent will give you the Golden Seed artifact, which gives you the Orchard. This is nothing more than a second Trent, one that can benefit from max Mana levels and thus grows crops much faster than Trent. This is handy since you can't boost both Home and Domina with the Sword of Mana. Or at least it would be if I ever actually bothered using any of the crops I plant.

Anyway, this quest is incredibly short and simple. The hardest part is actually getting it, as it requires both Salamander and Wisp levels to be maxed. Most of the stuff you need you'll simply find in your travels. The first four you can simply buy from the student upstairs. The Flat Seed is a bit rare, but if you're constantly planting things eventually you'll get one from Trent. Same with the Citrisquid. Rotten Meat is a fairly common drop from some enemies. Sulpher's probably the toughest one, but even then you'll surely run into a chest with one.

Yeah, this quest is rather underwhelming.

Drowned Dreams

I like Polpota Harbor. It has nice music, colorful backgrounds, and some interesting characters. People tend to forget about it because it doesn't really have a lot of quests like Domina and Geo, or because it isn't as memorable as Lumina. It still has its charm, though.

So this quest is a mystery of sorts. It involves the jewel thief Sandra, though like the Rubens quest it's not a part of the Jumi line but rather its own thing. Your job is to find the thief, solve the ghost mystery, and find out why the ship sank. No fighting a boss here, just talking to NPCs and finding the trigger that continues the quest.

When I first played this game, it took me a long time to even figure out how to get to this screen from the hotel.

Anyway, the ship had soldiers of Deathbringer looking for a weapon of some sort. The game never really goes into their side of the story. It just makes it even more weirder that Deathbringer, this emperor who ruled the world with an iron fist and is feared by many, is nothing more than a mid-boss in a Dragon Arc quest. I wonder what the idea was for that.

Oh yeah, and there's a bipedal nouveau riche fish with an over-the-top evil laugh who lusts after the local hotel dancer involved in all this, because he has a gem that lets him see underwater. Because it wouldn't be Legend of Mana if they didn't mix in something ridiculous to the proceedings. And of course, I love this game all the more because of it.

Anyway, the whole thing comes to a head, and it can be a bit confusing to follow. I'll break it down like so.

* You don't actually learn this during the quest itself, but the ghost was real. When you come back to Polpota Harbor post-quest and go to the bay, you meet Thoma talking to his brother Thona from the shipwreck.
* The ship itself is supposedly wrecked because of a siren's song, which is said to sink ships. This comes into play later.
* Sandra poses as Inspector Boyd when you meet Thoma in front of the hotel, and then changes to Thona during the flashback, stealing Basket Fish's gem. Everyone thinks the ghost was Sandra all along even though it really isn't.
* Seriously, Basket Fish is one of the craziest designs in the game, I mean he's a fish in a fucking basket that walks and cackles and everything.

So...we learn the truth about the shipwreck and "take care" of the ghost problem, even though Sandra managed to steal another Jumi core and Basket Fish somehow lost all his wealth from having this gem stolen for...some reason. I don't know how it works.

Summer Lovin'

This quest is nothing more than a breezy love story between two penguins who could never be together due to what they want in life. This story's pretty unique in that it ends with the woman encouraging her lover to follow his dreams of becoming a pirate while deciding to raise their unborn child by herself. It's not a story you see very often in a RPG, especially when the parties involved are penguins.

But who cares about penguin drama? The main draw of this quest is CRAB BASHING. Basically, there's 32 or so crabs to crush, and the more you crush, the better title you get. If you get everything, the crab expresses disbelief and everything. Also, if high enough, Valerie and her baby move into your house for...some reason. I guess she wants her child to live in a nurturing environment of crab bashing or whatever.

Legend of Mana's regular enemies include a lot of staples in the Mana series, but its bosses are mostly unique. So it's a treat when we run into the Fullmetal Haggar, which pops up in a couple other games and is probably most memorable for being the first boss in Seiken Densetsu 3. You even get to knock an eye out!

Plus it counts as crushing two crabs, which is always a plus.

A Siren's Song

Like in Polpota, it took me forever to realize this alley even existed, so I was surprised to find this quest here.

This continues the sunken ship part of Drowned Dreams. With Thoma learning a siren sank the ship, the rest of Deathbringer's troops want to punish a siren for sinking the ship. They don't really care who's responsible, they just want to punish someone. Fortunately, the one siren in Lumina decided to go to Polpota to visit a friend. Of course, the game doesn't actually tell you to go to Polpota, so you kind of have to figure that one out.

As I mentioned earlier, going to the bay after Drowned Dreams triggers a short cutscene where we run into the actual Thoma. This...really doesn't explain anything, but hey. Thoma then decides to stay at Polpota, where he mocks the pathetic bankrupt Basket Fish. All's well that ends well!

When we find Monique, we find out they captured the other siren. When wandering around, some soldiers will talk about locking the siren behind a Boink. If you explored Madora Beach a decent bit before, you'd have run into an area blocked by a Boink. Otherwise, again, good luck finding out where to go next!

It turns out the siren captured was Elle, the same siren responsible for sinking the ship. Elle is scared of sinking more ships and pissing off the soldiers, content to stay in her prison, while Monique is pissed about her friend being imprisoned, especially since she thinks the whole "siren songs sink ships" thing is bullshit. It's another discussion of freedom and such that this game likes to throw around.

Flameshe blocks the way into the cage. The trick is to go to the right edge of the screen and wait for her to disappear to hide from the sun, and then rush in before she comes back.

After that, you fight the most difficult, biggest bullshit boss in the whole game.

Tropicallo can be fucking deadly if you don't plan ahead. It takes forever to kill due to its gimmick of having to spawn new sections to lose health. The red one has a ton of health but is harmless. The purple one goes down by itself, but it has some incredibly powerful attacks. Its base attack after getting knocked down removed 75% of my health with just one hit. If you leave it attached, it'll cast lots of powerful magic.

My strategy is to hit the purple section from the left until it falls down, and then move all the way to the bottom-left corner of the screen to dodge its attack. Then I focus on the red part until it goes down. Repeat for five minutes.

This fight is very long, very tedious, and it's very easy to die if you're not careful. This is easily the worst boss fight of the game, and probably the only fight of this game that has some real difficulty.

Anyway, Elle becomes free even though she decides to use her freedom to stay in her cage. So yeah, we sure accomplished a lot there.