With its sweeping storyline, vivid graphics, and real-time battle system, the beloved SNES role-playing game is still regarded as a classic of the genre, even after all this time.
Originally released in 1993, Secret of Mana returned with its remake on Playstation 4 and PC earlier this year, but now it’s time to take a step back into the classic original.
In this week’s Throwback Thursday let’s take a look at five things you may not know about one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
1. The beginning of Final Fantasy
Although Secret of Mana is seen as a classic in its own right today, the game was originally conceived as another entry in the Final Fantasy series.
It was designed as a sequel to the Game Boy action-RPG Final Fantasy Adventure, and was originally advertised in the USA as Final Fantasy Adventure 2 before being renamed at the last minute.
2. CD of Mana
Secret of Mana was originally designed as a launch title for the SNES-CD, an ill-fated hardware collaboration between Nintendo and Sony that would have enabled the SNES to read CD-ROMs.
When development of the add-on halted, the Secret of Mana development team had to refit the entire game to work on the standard SNES model, cutting large sections of the game in the process.
3. Hammer to fall
In the English-language version of Secret of Mana, you’ll face a giant robotic boss known as Kettle Kin. He may sound like a kitchen appliance, but this mechanical meanie wields two giant hammers that can crush your party in mere moments.
But, Kettle Kin was actually even more imposing in the Japanese original, in which he was armed with a pair of oversized chainsaws that he used with deadly efficiency.
4. French following
Although the 1990s were a golden age for Nintendo role-playing games, relatively few were localised for European audiences.
Secret of Mana was an exception, however, and the excellent translation made the game a cult classic in France, where it’s often described as one of the greatest games of all time.
5. The Gebelli Code
One of Squaresoft’s (now Square Enix) prominent programmers, Nasir Gebelli, hid a secret code in Secret of Mana.
In order to use the code, you must equip a weapon and hold down L and A on controller 1. Then, you’ll need to press R 39 times, release the buttons, and then tap R one final time.
Your fingers will most definitely hurt after that ordeal, but if you’ve performed the sequence correctly the game will freeze and the word “NAS” will appear in the status bar. Voilà – code cracked!