Monday, May 4, 2020

Trials of Mana, Part 4 - Become Oozaru

Sweet summer night and I'm stripped to my sheets / Forehead is leaking and the AC squeaks.

Here's Kevin's stat tree. I'm probably going for God Hand as my final class, which is his Light/Light class. Sorta a Paladin-Monk type of class. Thing is, I never played as Kevin in Seiken Densetsu 3. When I first read about the game in the late 90's, I read all about the class system and how intriguing it was. The one class that jumped out at me, the one class that I wanted to go for if/when the game got ported over... was God Hand. I liked everything about it. The abilities, the theme, the name. So this has been a very, very long time coming.

That said...Death Hand is also a possibility, as the big uber-DPS meleer of the game. We'll see.

Jadd, the city occupied by beastmen, is now an actual stronghold with fortified walls.

Since this is where most of the characters congregate after their intros, you can run into a few of them here. Duran's being an ass, as usual.

Hawkeye is trying to figure out why the world's leaders all seem to be under some sort of weird mind-control where all they want to do is start wars. The answer lies with Goremand, Isabella, and Crimson Wizard, the unholy trio.

This guy warns us about the heightened powers of beastmen when they fight at night.

 Thing a half-beastman, Kevin has the same power as these guys. He too...can Become Oozaru.

Kevin stares at the moon for a while, but nothing happens. Looks like you have to get into a battle to trigger it. Unlike the intro fight, I can control it now.


Werewolf form is BAD-ASS. It looks like something out of Dragonball Z.

Kevin does a LOT more damage in this form, and is hands-down the strongest character at the beginning of the game when it's activated. It only works at night, though it isn't like he's any slouch during the day either. This gives me a strong reason to keep it night-time as much as possible, especially for bosses.

The next town is Astoria, which is a peaceful little hamlet. I can't get into the nearby Cascade Cave yet, so I'm doddering around here until something happens.

Behold! The first shop, and the first weapon upgrade. Actually had to go out and farm a bit of money for it, which was nice, and made it mean something when I got it.

This shop has a lot of armor on display. Just a great attention to detail here. It looks like a real armor shop, a fully-realized version of the same place in the SNES version.

Taking a moment to enjoy the view. Really liking the day/night cycle in this game.

Sleep at the inn to trigger the next event: A UFO abduction? GIVE BACK MULDER'S SISTER, YA GREY BASTARDS!

...oh, it's just Faerie. I chase her down, despite my nearly-instinctual fear of energy balls from playing Touhou 13: Ten Desires.

She's the first of the game's many elemental comrades. Has no spells, and has one shining moment where she throws everyone over a pit.

Faerie is very small, and her only fighting power is "hey! listen!"ing foes into submission. She starts by immediately insulting Kevin. You suppose he'll do? This man is the future Top DPS. Mind your manners!

Because this is Trials of Mana, they had to make Faerie sort of sexy. I can't believe I'm saying this. Would it have killed them to have one character wearing clothes?

The town gets trashed by beastmen...Kevin's former allies. It's a lot more stark now that you're seeing it in three dimensions.

Kevin is cut off at the pass when a wild Riesz appears!

Now I've got two party members. Being able to switch to Riesz at will is great.

Unlike the original game, this one gives you the option to play through the intros of your other characters. However, since no items carry over from it, and I saw all of the intros already, there's no point.

We get a quick shot of Riesz standing on a bridge, the last hope of Laurent. This WAS in the original.

Our next stop is Cascade Cavern, home to the first boss. It's trippy to see these goblin enemies from Secret of Mana in a fully-3D form like this.

Our heroes encounter Charlotte, the Midge Mastr. Unfortunately I didn't pick her as my third, so she doesn't join. She runs into this duo multiple times and asks to join them, which is really weird considering she never will in the game. It does everything except hold up a neon sign saying she's a party member...even though she isn't.

Here's the closest this remake gets to the top-down views of the original. Sorta reminds me of Wailing Caverns. Time to get some druid armor.

Finally, we arrive in the Holy City of Wendel, and it looks solid in this rendition.

The Priest of Light informs Kevin that he can not, in fact, bring Karl back from the dead.

"You mean the Death Devourer LIED?" says Kevin when reached for comment.

The priest more or less sums up the idea of reincarnation here. The soul lives on, though their previous life is lost and they won't ever return to that body or the people they knew.

Kevin is enraged at his father. He'll get revenge on the beastmen, one at a time, until he gets to King Ferolia and Goremand.

Faerie, it turns out, is a lot like a virus. She can't survive without a host, so if she ends up floating around by herself she'll expire before too long. That's why she likes to get inside people. Find out what makes 'em tick. Make some room to chillax in there.

...this isn't creepy at all.

Kevin is hellbent on getting revenge for Karl. He's right, he doesn't need a Mana Sword. His fists can probably out-DPS it anyway.

The Priest of Light explains the power of the Mana Sword.

"I don't give a care!" screeches Kevin.

Faerie lays down the law. If we get the eight elemental spirits together, she'll get them all to combine their powers and open the way to Mana Holyland.

Charlotte pops up (yet again) to beg our heroes to join the party. Why does this keep happening?

Our heroes just don't have room for a third person because I already picked one. It's why I'm not sure why we have another character popping up continuously like this. For a minute I thought she was actually going to join the group... like, I was wondering if I chose the wrong character.

Next stop is the Cascade Cave, this time to battle the force of nature known as...

...FULL METAL HUGGER. This thing is huge on the SNES and it's even bigger here.

The boss' most damaging attack is a rad beam attack. While it's doing that, it's a great opportunity to land some hits.

Here's the fight. With the ability to dodge, you can flawless victory on bosses in this game. You...definitely couldn't do that in the original. So far boss fights are more of a sweet music video than a struggle.

Editor's Note From Later: There are a few very tough fights in the game though, real difficulty spikes: The two times you fight Bil&Ben, the Genova wall face, and the couple of fights with Kilroy Death Machine Squads come to mind.

One thing I made use of in that fight: Hand Axes. These combat items were fairly useless in the original version of the game, doing low damage from a distance. In this version they hit quite hard, at the cost of stunning your character for several seconds. They're a good stand-in for hammering bosses, at least until we get some spells.

Lumina acquired. This won't benefit this particular party for a little bit. If I stick to the light path, eventually Kevin will be able to heal.

Learned my first passive/equippable ability. These are entirely new to this version. So far they aren't huge boosts, though maybe as the game progresses we'll see some heavy-hitter abilities.

Ludgar shows up and knocks our heroes off of a cliff. These beastmen are turning out to be real jerks.

The beastmen are on their way to invade Wendel. It's a race against time to stop them, next time on Dragonball Z!

...which is right now! Our heroes wake up in prison and look up to see some sexy calves.

Angela is here to save everybody. She's basically a naked valley girl in this game. She's also wildly overpowered, because...'s time for a revelation. I'm playing New Game Plus, and already beat the game as Angela. So she's a bit of a ringer for the other two. It's okay though, I'll leave her equipment at base-level and keep her in the back of fights for now so she doesn't trivialize my gameplay with Kevin and Riesz.

Angela rescues Kevin and Riesz from their prison cell, and we're off. It's worth noting that everyone gets bikini waxes in the land of Mana.

The next part is an escape from the castle with all three characters. In the process, you fight scores of...cute puppies, most of which are sleeping before you come along and wail on them.

There's a reason this damn game turned me off in 1999. God forbid you fight something besides cute sleeping animals, like, I don't know, humans. AKA the ONLY actual thing doing bad stuff in the real world.

Here's...this guy. He's as gnome-like as he is in the original. He's willing to fire us out of a cannon for a small fee. Only 8% of his passengers have died!

Here's his sister. She's still an arse. He's just a regular inventor, huh? What a loser.

The Golden Road is our next stop, as we hear tales of the legendary Lil' Cactus. He's a refugee from Legend of Mana who lurks all around the world and observes quietly. Find him in 50 locations throughout this game to get an assortment of prizes that are sometimes incredibly useful. For example, one of his rewards reveals every treasure chest on every map, which is a must-have for getting the 200 Chests trophy.

The Golden Road itself is similar enough to its original Super Famicom form, seen here:

Yep, same general look. However, being able to see the sky completely changes the mood. In the original, you can pretty much envision the sky however you want.

Need to get back to the SFC version shortly and do the rest of that one.

The next area shows off some impressive fire effects.

This leads us to our stopping point for now: The bridge of doom. This is where you fight those two Kilroys. I'll do more with this game soon, but for now it's time to get back to the SFC original and finish that up.

As an added treat, here's the first boss with Angela doing spell damage with farmed combat items. It's complete obliteration.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say if Godhand has been in your head for this long, you should absolutely go for it.

    I've also been really enjoying the shop designs. Especially their signs out front!

    I love all of these new 3D enemy designs.

    Yeah, why is Von Soir such a jerk?