The Let's Play Archive

Secret of Mana

by Ryushikaze, QB

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Original Thread: Watts has a Stupid Sexy Axe- Let's Co-op Play Secret of Mana!



Secret of Mana?

Secret of Mana is a Squaresoft game released in 1993 after its original development had to be halted because the system it was intended to be for- the Nintendo Playstation- was cancelled. Specifically, it was one half of a game that was to be developed as a release title for the machine. One half became this game, and the the other half became Crono Trigger, which might explain a lot of superficially similar elements, like the looks of the main characters, same screen battles, and the like.
The game is also the second in the Seiken Densetsu or Mana series of adventure games, the first being released for Gameboy, and known as Final Fantasy Adventure in the states. It's a gorgeous game with a pretty good plot, somewhat hampered by hardware limitations meaning the translation was seriously reduced in content and detail. Such was the way of things in the early 90s. The basic premise is that you're a young boy who finds a sword, gets thrown in on an adventure, and has to save the world. It's more complicated, but no need to get into that just yet.

This Commercial is a pretty good example of the 90s too

As a Cooperative Action RPG, it's a great game to make a friend stumble around quasi-blind in. So that's what I'm doing.

Quasi-Blind? Co-Op

So, one of the niftiest things about this game is that it supports up to three player simultaneous play. I'm playing the game with my good friend QB, who never got to play it growing up, and we are keeping her blind on most plot details until they come up. She's not looking anything up, and I'm not telling her anything if I can help it. I have played the game the whole way through a few times, but my last full playthrough was around a decade ago, and I'm not checking guides for directions, enemy stats, or anything. I'm going purely on memory. Sort of the one eyed man leading the blind. This is also going to be the first playthrough that I've done co-op start to finish. That might make it easier, or harder. We'll see.

So what are we in for?

QB and I are playing the game together, and recording our commentary as we play. I'm going to split our recordings up as naturally as I can into digestible videos for your enjoyment. We might get a third person in later to play, but that's up in the air.
For this first three episodes, our Microphone Audio occasionally gets overwhelmed by in game audio, which I could not change due to a screwup in the recording phase. In a few others, our records suffer from unusual errors, like recording zero system audio, or the introduction of random distortion into our audio channels that has no apparent cause. Please bear with us as best you can.


I know the plot, and QB doesn't check SA, but please put spoilers behind tags in case I decide to show her the thread. You can also freely discuss the rest of the series without tags, just leave upcoming plot/ boss details in the tags for now.


We're going through the game at a fairly brisk pace- we're through Undine's trial as of this post- and I'll try and post updates twice a week. That might go up or down depending on job schedules.

Persons of Interest: The Boy

The Boy, AKA Randi- This dude is the main character, he fights with a sword to start. As main character, he just gets weapons. That's it. But his physical stats make him a tank and he gets weapon experience super quickly. His reasons for adventuring are "A sword/ Old Man/ Luka told me to" AKA: I got kicked out of town and have nothing better to do. QB is going to be manning him for the game unless circumstances arise such that the boy isn't available in combat, due to being dead or what not.

Posts and Episodes
Here's a link to every post. Not all of them have interesting commentary or important information, but some do. If you don't want that, there's also a link straight to each video.

Episode 00- The Opening

Episode 01- None of the Work, All of the Credit

Episode 02- Such a Pretty Name for a Girl Video

Episode 03- Does no one want me? Video

Episode 04- Punch McMans! Video
Also Persons of Interest: The Girl

Episode 05- Low Rent Strongbad Video

Episode 06 - When was our last save point, again? Video

Episode 07- More Issues than X-men Video
Also Persons of Interest: The Sprite

Episode 08- "Run, Run!" "I'm Trying!" Video

Episode 09- Watts has a Sweet Ass Video
Also Persons of Interest: Watts

Episode 10- Puns Sans Frontières Video

Episode 11- The Dark Souls of Super Nintendo Video

Episode 12- Abandon all skill, Ye who enter here! Video

Episode 13- Moonwalkin' for the Win. Video

Episode 14- Okay, Sailor Moon Guy Video

Episode 15- Die, Tomato Man! Video

Episode 16- Remember when we were talking about your Fursona? Video

Episode 17- Three fire emojis out of Five Video

Episode 18- A Fishy! Kill it... Video

Episode 19- Why can't I equip Trash Can? Video

Episode 20- I'm going in a circle, you Asshole! Video

Magic Overview #1- The first three magic types, Undine, Gnome, and "Jinn".

Episode 21- Happy Friendly Mushroom Land Video

Episode 22- It has a Scenic Vista Video

Episode 23- Are we about to get wrecked by another fucking boss? Video

Episode 24- I'mma grind offscreen Video
Also Persons? of Interest: Flammie!

Episode 25- Throw the Icebox into the Trash Video

Episode 26- How does a Dog know Magic? Video

Episode 27- 'Die Monster!' 'You don't belong in this world...' Video

Magic Overview #2- Introducing the fire Spirit Salamandoer!

Episode 28- Trajectories aren't SCIENCE, Tim! Video

Episode 29- I like Fiery Death more, but Okay Video

Episode 30- Mana Seeds Ruin Christmas Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 1- All the shit we have so far! All the weapons we've seen up through episode 30.

Episode 31- That Wood Paneling is so Sexy Video

Episode 32- His Soul was Actually Suplexed out of his Body Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 2- Fire Palace Acquisitions

Episode 33- The Snowman Killed Secret of Mana Video

Episode 34 - I'm here to Beat Things up Video

Episode 35 - Take the Old Lady as a Human Shield! Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 3- NorthTown Ruins Exterior

Episode 36- Why is it Suddenly Cloudy in Here Video

Episode 37- It Seems that my Spinal Cord has been Severed Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 4- NorthTown Ruins Spoils

Episode 38 - The Oreo Cleaver Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 5- Imperial Castle Upgrades

Persons of Disinterest: Ghestar and Persons of Interest Update: Flammie! Geshtar is the first and least interesting of the four generals, and Flammie continues to be adorable.

Episode 39 - Hoist by my own Picard Video

Episode 40 - Californian Accident Video

Episode 41 - Her pet Abomination Horse Video

Magic Overview #3- The Shadow Spirit, Shade.

Persons of Disinterest: Jehk

Episode 42 - We can go up on The Thing Video

Episode 43- Sick Doughnuts for Days Video

Magic Overview #4- Meet Lumina, the Light Spirit.

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 6- Dark Temple, Light Tower, and catchup

Episode 44 - Broadcasting Live from the Past Video

Magic Overview #5- Blink and You'll miss Luna, the Moon Spirit

Episode 45 - I'm like Nine! Video

Episode 46 - Casual Murder Video

Persons of General Disinterest A list of most all of the NPCs in the game, with a couple left to come.

Episode 47 - I gave Evil Me what for Video

Persons of Being a Dick: I hate this guy

Episode 48- Where did your Cat go? Video

Magic Overview #6- She gets better I swear, it's Dryad, the Wood Spirit

Persons of Disinterest: Sheex Sheex is edgy, and holds the dubious honor of being one of the most pissant and one of the most frustrating bosses at different times in the game.

Episode 49 - We are Made of Rage Video

Episode 50 - 'Die Monster!' 'You might belong in this world?' Video

Episode 51 - People be all like Zombies on the Subway. Video

Episode 52 - My Dragon Says I can do whatever I please Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 7- Literally just the Sunken Continent

Episode 53 - Fuck Reading Video

Episode 54 - Stuck on a wall there wasn't Video

Episode 55 - Homophonic to a T Video

Episode 56 - I don't like that Verb Video

Episode 57 - Oh It's Tomato Dude Video

Episode 58 - Doing a Level Seven is its own reason Video

Episode 59 - This Guy really sucks Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 8- The Pure Lands

Episode 60 - First things first... I'm not dead yet Video

Episode 61 - Dark/ Fighting, Naughty Nature Video

Secret of Mana Weapons Roster Part 9- Shit we Missed

Persons of Disinterest: The Emperor, his Generals, and Dyluck

Episode 62 - A Good Run While it Lasted Video

Episode 63 -Magic Demo Video All the L7 and 8 magic for each sprite, including critical casts.
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