Sword of Mana
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2013)|
|Sword of Mana|
North American box art
|Developer(s)||Square Enix Product Development Division 8
Sword of Mana, originally released in Japan as Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu (新約 聖剣伝説?), is an enhanced remake of the original Game Boy game Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden, which was released as Final Fantasy Adventure in North America and Mystic Quest in Europe. This remake was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
At the beginning of the game, the player is able to choose to play as the male lead or as the female lead, both of whom are named by the player. They each have a different quest, but their plots remain similar. Notably, the remake adapted many elements from the original game, which had their origin in Final Fantasy, and favored elements traditional to Mana games (for example, the chocobo was replaced by cannon travel). One notable exception to this are moogles, which do appear in the game. Sword of Mana was made to resemble the graphical style of Seiken Densetsu 3, but the artwork rather resembles that of Legend of Mana.
The ring system from Secret of Mana is featured once again, allowing players to choose various options on the field screen. The day-and-night system introduced in Seiken Densetsu 3 also makes a return. Much like Legend of Mana, players can forge weapons, plant produce in an orchard, and read recorded events in the game's "Hot House" feature.
Sword of Mana uses a real-time combat system somewhat similar to that of The Legend of Zelda. There are different times of day in which only certain monsters appear. Several weapons are acquired throughout the game. Each weapon has an attack trait of either jabbing, bashing, or slashing. These attack traits help to determine damage done to enemies throughout the game. In addition to this, a deathblow gauge is included which, when full, allows a more powerful strike than normal attacks. A magical attack system is included as well, with elements such as light, fire, earth, etc., each affecting enemies in different ways. A class system is also featured in which players can level up one out of five jobs once the character's experience points reach at a certain point. Similarly to Secret of Mana, players can also switch to control an accompanied party member during combat. The form each spell takes and the area it can hit varies depending on what weapon the player has equipped; for instance, the sword produces a spike directly in front of the character, and the bow produces an arc like that of an arrow.
Although the game does not feature a formal multiplayer option, the Sword of Mana does contain the "Amigo" system, which utilizes the Game Boy Advance Link Cable to connect two players' savings together. This allows swapping of partner characters and magic cards used to summon the Mana Wisdoms. As the game's box information does not reflect this, a number of potential buyers were left confused.
Development and release
On April 24, 2003 Square Enix announced three games were coming to Nintendo systems, including Sword of Mana for North American release and European release to follow. IGN listed the game as one of the top ten most anticipated Game Boy Advance games of 2003. The game was shown at the 2003 Nintendo Gamers Summit.
In Japan, a special edition "Mana Blue"-colored Game Boy Advance SP was released, packaged with Sword of Mana and a carrying case. Those who purchased the game's soundtrack and strategy guide between August 27 and September 30, 2003, were given the opportunity to win a Cactus character cushion and a cellphone strap.
The game's music was composed by Kenji Ito, building on his previous score for Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden. Some of the 47 tracks were reworked versions of the previous game's songs, while others were entirely new.
The soundtrack, Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu: Sword of Mana Premium Soundtrack, was released on August 27, 2003. The first edition included a bonus disc containing a single track.
|1.||"Prologue ~Awakening Story~"||プロローグ～目覚めゆく物語～||1:57|
|2.||"Rising Sun"||Rising Sun||2:09|
|3.||"A Boy's Dream"||少年の夢||2:23|
|8.||"Battle 1 ~Believe in Victory~"||戦闘1～勝利を信じて～||1:59|
|11.||"A Girl's Admiration"||少女の憧れ||1:57|
|14.||"Royal Palace Theme"||王宮のテーマ||1:28|
|15.||"Placing Thought Under Investigation"||想いは調べにのせて||1:05|
|17.||"Chain of Fate"||運命の鎖||2:01|
|18.||"Under the Starry Sky"||満天の星の下で||1:12|
|19.||"In Search of the Holy Sword"||聖剣を求めて||1:59|
|23.||"Temptation of Doom"||深淵の誘惑||1:41|
|24.||"Lost World Signpost"||迷界の道標||1:52|
|25.||"Infringement of Time"||時の侵食||1:51|
|28.||"Sprint to the Future"||未来への疾走||2:43|
|30.||"Battle 2 ~Touched by Courage and Pride~"||戦闘2～勇気と誇りを胸に～||1:56|
|33.||"Time of Determination"||決断の時||2:35|
|39.||"Epilogue ~A New World~"||エピローグ～新たなる世界～||2:29|
|1.||"Grateful Memories"||Grateful Memories||4:45|
|2.||"Pure Smile"||Pure Smile||3:33|
|3.||"Rainy Tears"||Rainy Tears||4:39|
|5.||"Lost Scene"||Lost Scene||4:10|
|6.||"Hold Your Heart"||Hold Your Heart||4:52|
|7.||"Ever Promise"||Ever Promise||4:23|
|1.||"Rising Sun ~ Endless Battlefield Premium Arrange Version"||1:59|
On the day of its Japanese release, Sword of Mana sold 87,491 copies, nearly one third of its initial shipment. It ended up as the 39th top-selling game of 2003 at nearly 278,000 units sold in Japan alone. It received fairly good reviews upon its release, holding a 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, and a 70.26% on GameRankings.
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