Mana (universe)

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Secret of Mana logo.

The Mana universe is a fantasy universe and video game series created by Koichi Ishii at Square, although later releases have been the work of Square Enix. The games differ from many other popular fantasy RPGs by having a stronger emphasis on action, and the art style is less serious and cuter.

The universe's title in Japan has always been 聖剣伝説 [Seiken Densetsu], The Legend of the Sacred Sword, but Squaresoft of America released the first game in the series with a Final Fantasy, while Squaresoft Europe called the same Mystic Quest. The second game was titled Secret of Mana in America, and subsequent titles kept with the Mana convention, sometimes even being adopted in Japanese titles. They also released Secret of Evermore with a name similar to Secret of Mana, but the game has no relation to the series.

My first experience with this series was Secret of Mana. A middle school friend had rented the game, and he and I played it after school for about a week before he had to return it (with a costly late fee). Another friend later bought the game, and I played it with him. He eventually beat the game. I later bought the game myself and beat it. It was only after being such a huge fan of the game that I sought more information about it that I learned it was actually the second game in a series that consisted of three games (at the time). I didn't have a Game Boy, so I couldn't play Final Fantasy Adventure, and I didn't have access to a Super Famicom to play Seiken Densetsu 3, so, for many years, I had no other contact with the series. After SNES emulation became possible, and a translation patch of Seiken Densetsu 3 was made, I tried playing the game, but had a hard time getting into it. Later, I played and beat Final Fantasy Adventure and was really impressed at how much foundation was made with that game that was carried forward into Secret of Mana. The series has grown a lot since then, but I still haven't played any of the other games.


Video Games

Released Title Initial Platform Rank
1991-06-28 Final Fantasy Adventure Game Boy 2
1993-08-06 Secret of Mana SNES 1
1995-09-30 Seiken Densetsu 3 Super Famicom
1999-07-15 Legend of Mana PlayStation
2003-08-29 Sword of Mana Game Boy Advance
2006-03-02 Children of Mana Nintendo DS
2006-10-18 Friends of Mana J2ME?
2006-12-21 Dawn of Mana PlayStation 2
2007-03-08 Heroes of Mana Nintendo DS
2013-03-05 Circle of Mana iOS
2014-03-06 Rise of Mana iOS
2016-02-04 Adventures of Mana iOS
2018-02-15 Secret of Mana 3D PlayStation 4





In Japan, the series usually uses a very heavily weighted sanserif kanji for the game's logo. It is sometimes colored or texture. The series does not have a logo in the USA, where each title features a unique title.


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