Monday, August 5, 2019

Sword of Mana, Part 3 - Dark Hour

Today's episode is massive, as I make substantial progress. Here I take on Count Lee, slay the two-headed dragon, visit Wendel, and... get kidnapped.

Our heroes confront Count Lee over- Aw, son of a bitch!

"I killed him," she says. "And I'd do it again too!"

Count Lee doesn't care about the butler! All he cares about is getting some of that sweet poonani.

Vampire fight time, as Count Lee transforms. This guy looks just like his Secret of Mana incarnation.

This is the first real boss battle of the game, in that it's the first one to really be difficult. I keep a distance with the bow and pelt him with arrows. In the original you're supposed to use the whip.

He has a lot more animation than the vampire in Secret of Mana did. This game is much closer to Seiken Densetsu 3 in terms of visual fidelity.

He still attacks with swarms of adds, specifically bloodthirsty bats. Interesting thing here is that instead of summoning them like in the original, he actually breaks apart into the swarm this time.

Ganon could only turn into one bat, so he ain't got shit on Count Lee!

Count Lee goes back to normal and the ghost of Granz appears to talk to him about being a better man in the future.

Because his bride escaped, but also because he just may have gotten his soul back, regretting his past actions. It's a new day! A new man! A NEW COUNT LEE!

...he then runs off when he detects that a woman in a nearby down just started her period. Godspeed, Count Lee. Godspeed.

Time for the Boy and the Girl to have a heart-to-heart talk about everything.

The stage is set: Our goal is to defeat the bastardly Dark Lord.

"Do you hate me?" "I hate Dark Lord!" didn't answer the question.


He finally answers. That was less of a heart-to-heart and more like one heart, Brit expressing her feelings while Boy goes on and on about Dark Lord. Maybe he should just marry Dark Lord!

I like the blue color scheme at night in this game. The day/night cycle is another similarity with Seiken Densetsu 3.

Here's another refugee from the later games, Tonpole. This cave is what we know as the Marsh Cave from FFA. That's right, this is AFTER Count Lee in this version. Must be because I was playing as the Girl, who was kidnapped during this section. Not sure if the order of the dungeons would be switched if playing as the Boy.

In here, we find the whip, as is tradition. It's worth noting that you can stockpile level-ups in this game and "claim" them one at a time. Each time you do it's a full HP/MP heal. This means stockpiling levels is a viable way to completely gimp the game, as you can fully restore your MP at will. Haven't needed to use ANY items yet (HP candies, MP walnuts, etc) either. This version of the game is very, very easy compared to the other versions of the game, and compared to the Mana series in general.

The two-headed dragon (hydra?) looks a lot more imposing. Brit whips it into submission!

Recorded the fight. The boss music isn't bad at all. I'll probably record more boss fights from here on out, at least the ones that are particularly fun.

I was excited about this for about one minute. These spirits are new for this remake, and each one gives you a couple of spells. This replaces the fairly generic set of spells from the original FFA. Problem is, these spells are generic too...either that or not useful.

Undine gives you two spells: One is a bubble that makes you silent when walking, so enemies that are hearing-based (like bats) won't see you moving around. Problem is, you can't attack or do anything while bubbled. Wat? Second spell is the same generic energy ball attack spell I already have, except it's blue. It's a different element, obviously, but I was hoping for a new animation. If all of the attack spells in the game are going to be the same energy ball, just different colors...meh.



I take some time to whip a statue to build up whip levels. This significantly powers it up with minimal effort. A turbo controller could level your weapon to 99 overnight. This game is so breakable, which is funny because it's already a complete cakewalk.

The next goal is the Holy City of Wendel, which means travelling along the beach. As far as RPG beaches go, this is a pretty nice one, especially for the GBA.

Down the shore, she battles the devastating tandem of Crab People and Duck Soldier. If these helmeted ducks weren't already iconic to me from Secret of Mana, I would think this was pretty weird.


Oh, here's Watts. He's no quitter!

He gives you the Sickle. I was wondering where that weapon was. So far this is so different from FFA that it could easily be considered a completely new game.

If you play as the Boy, instead of just finding Watts you have to rescue him first. This involves going through the Abandoned Mine from the original FFA and fighting Ankheg (seen here), which is still a bunch of spheres rather than an actual centipede. In that version of the story, the Sickle drops from enemies in the mine.

You can temper weapons to make them stronger, if you have the right...uh...vegetables for it. I don't have any of these mysterious veggies and I don't know where they are. Luckily the game is so wildly easy that there's no need to actually upgrade your weapons. You can keep your veggies, game!

The Holy City of Wendel is impressive in this version. Usually it's a fairly generic town. Here it actually looks like a holy city.

Bogard is here! He's the Jema of this game, I've concluded.

Meanwhile, The Boy whines and whines.

That's Cibba? He's...uh, not really what I expected.

There are times when swearing is called for, and "darn it" just doesn't cut it here. Damn censorship!

Bogard must have watched the news at some point this week. Or this decade

Brit is SASSY.

Just then, The Boy gets thrown back into the room by Julius and Dark Lord, who followed us here. Cibba recognizes Julius by his old name, Vandole.

Dark Lord is very polite, like the ALL YOUR BASE guy.

Bogard stands up to the bad guys! Yeah Bogard!

Bogard tries to lure Dark Lord into a one-on-one fight, but he isn't going for it because he could just leave and bomb the town instead. He's got us by the balls!

Meanwhile, Vice President Julius creeps everyone out. Of course, they kidnap The Girl here, as is tradition. In FFA, The Boy had to rescue her. In this, she rescues herself because you're playing as her.

Again, dude, stronger language MAY BE CALLED FOR.

Dark Lord goes Full Borg.

They're Mana Women now. It's 2019!

Julius is all like "Here in the Granz Empire, we torture"

Dark Lord is like "we don't torture"

I'M GETTING MIXED MESSAGES, how evil are you?

He mentioned that other game, in a large exaggerated wink to the audience.

After the bad guys leave, the maid explains that Dark Lord is actually an honorable guy under the surface. So in this version of the game Julius is the one pushing all of the vileness?

Someone sabotages the engine room. But who? (Who? WHO?)

It's Count Lee's sometimes-squeeze, busty milk wench Isabella. The last time we saw her, her and Britty were locking The Boy out of a room.


" bed."

What kind of a game IS THIS?

Julius, as usual, has one goal: Getting into the Mana Sanctuary so he can make love to the Mana Tree. He hasn't found the key yet, which seems to be the conundrum of the hour.

::Julius turns to the audience and gives a large exaggerated wink::

During the present state of emergency, Julius starts giving orders.

He then gets Britty alone and beats her up. DARK LORD SAID NO TORTURING!

He wants to meet the Mana Tree as a "mere woman". See? He wants to boink the tree. This game is ridiculous.

Meanwhile off-camera, the Boy and Cibba fought through the airship and are now breaking through the windows. We're on the other side of the coin here. THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE.



What will happen next?




  1. The crabs look less shifty in this game and more depressed.

    It's a shame about the various ways the game doesn't excel and it leaning so hard on the Legend of Mana style, because they did a lot of interesting things with this version of the game.

    That's the end? Drat!

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