Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Trials of Mana, Part 6 - Teleroboxer

Good Lord, Liza is hot.

Our heroes arrive at Laurent, ready to liberate the place. This is Riesz's triumphant return after she was last seen crying outside this very castle at the end of her intro...Which they unfortunately scrubbed out of this version.

There's the original artwork, quite impactful. Well, she's back, with a vengeance.

Unfortunately the first person she runs into is Hawkeye, who she immediately spazzes out at, even though he clearly means no harm.

Hawk: "You've got to listen to me! This Isabella...she has breasts! Magnificent, succulent breasts! Round funbags! My all-male army didn't have a chance!"

Hawkeye then "flirts" with Riesz. Not sure if you can call it that, it's more like "I FEEL LIKE KISSING YOU NOW"

Riesz just sorta stands there. It's a weird scene, and off-putting. What usually passes for "romance" on the male side in these games is either A) Over-aggressive male "sexy boy" characters getting chronically rejected or B) Completely uninterested male characters who no-sell everything the women do obliviously. Hawkeye is...something else entirely.

He doesn't get chronically rejected, but he's still a bit of a creep. If he wasn't clearly in a relationship with Jessica, this stuff wouldn't seem so bad.

Riesz then gets all weird and apologetic. Let's just move on quickly.

At least Angela asks if Riesz is okay after Hawkeye's impromptu grope-sesh. She's...I don't know. I think we're supposed to get that she's flattered/interested.

All of this is gross

Honestly if you took Jessica out of the equation it'd be a little less gross, and if Hawkeye actually knew Riesz particularly well and had a reason to plant one on her, it wouldn't have to be gross at all.

Enough editorializing, time for THE HARDEST BOSS IN THE GAME. Well, until the postgame anyway.

The fight is accompanied by a funky fresh track. Not sure why this particular boss is so difficult. At least with a few extra levels and second-tier classes it's manageable, but if you get here still using tier-1 classes and lower-leveled it's a good way to get murdered. There's a lot going on in this battle and it feels like it belongs later in the game. Much tougher than it was in the original (unlike every other fight) due to the size of the room and the traps within it.

After that fight you're immediately thrust into another tough boss fight. This one could be even tougher than the previous fight, depending on your group composition.

I don't know, Riesz, you're the one who left him laying on the floor in the basement.

Bil and Ben fuse to become a Super Fusion Form! If this reminds you of something, it should: They're SD3's equivalent of Masa and Mune in Chrono Trigger, in yet another example of shared DNA. They're also the ultimate realization of the Dark Stalker idea from SoM, a ninja assassin that undermines enemy countries from within. Though Yakra in CT ALSO branches off of the Dark Stalker idea-DNA.

Feels like I've written a college dissertation on SoM's relationship with SD3 and CT at this point. They branched off of it the way the tier-2 classes branch off of the tier-1 classes in this game. And by extension you've got things like FFVII and Xenogears that branched off of them.

Another boss fight, another Riesz thumbnail. She's really hogging the thumbnails for this game so far!

Continuing on, we find ourselves face-to-face with...

...Isabella, who Riesz deserves to get revenge on for the destruction of her town-

-nevermind here's Hawkeye to steal the scene from her even though he isn't even in my party. Unfortunately his assassination attempt fails.

Hawkeye: "Can't...attack! Mind-control powers...too strong!"

Isabella: "...I'm not using mind control powers."

Hawkeye: "Oh. Damn you, succulent melons!"

Isabella takes off and just sorta lets the good guys have the castle back. Maybe she never had mind control powers at all!

Liza (w/ midriff action) tells Riesz to go with the other heroes and do what she can to stop the bad guys, things are fine here now. Watch out Liza, I think Hawkeye is still in the building somewhere.

Moving on, we rescue Neko from angry townspeople. It's weird how these people did nothing when possessed Nevarl troops had them occupied, but now that the Nevarl troops are back to normal and trying to apologize and everything is relatively good, suddenly the townspeople are all "WE WILL RISE"

Elsewhere, Jessica is still imprisoned. Luckily, Hawkeye's wasting no time getting over here to save her. Earlier I saw him chatting up some women in a random town, no doubt because they had crucial Jessica-related information.

Angela...might have a problem. She's been downing Faerie Walnuts like they're skittles, and we're running out now.

Our next stop is the Ghost Ship, which is a lot more of a dungeon than it was in the SFC version.

Much like FFVII had the Train Graveyard, this is another situation where your party is all spooked. Ghosts have made a comeback in this year's remakes.



This guy tried being a ghost and it was meh. 4/10 at best.

The curse of the Ghost Ship is basically It Follows. Or you could actually kill the boss and get rid of the curse.

Riesz gets turned into a ghost by default, then she gives the curse to Angela (hee)

If a couple gets the It Follows curse, could they just pass it back and forth? Not that it would matter because they'd be in the same place anyway during all of this and the monster would be on the way.

This is a good chance for my non-OP characters to get some exp and some real battles under their belt.

The only thing that would make this dungeon creepier is if it had the soundtrack from The Thing.

Ghost boss. "Fear me!" he says.

Even without my OP third character, it's an easy fight. The only tricky part is trying to hit the floorboard-blob when it's sliding around the room.

Shade is the fourth elemental in this one. It's cool that Shade and Lumina switched places with Salamando and Undine in this game. The order of elementals is the same otherwise, but it seems very different because of the couple of shifts.

Our heroes land on Beuca Island, and Kevin is horrified at the prospect of being trapped on an island with two women.

Actually he's horrified because this volcano is about to blow up. Though the island seems fine even after it does.

This island is a big step up from earlier areas in terms of enemy levels, so it's a place where low level players could hit a bit of a wall. It's also the fully-realized version of the Sea Hare's Tail island from SoM, except it isn't a giant turtle.

It even has the rudimentary village with teepees.

Count Dankula shows up to sass our heroes and talk about a villain that we aren't actually going to see in this scenario. Not sure why scenes like this were even left in because it just convolutes the story a bit when you've got three different storylines to keep track of but only one ends up being significant.

The volcano erupts, sparing Kevin from a lifetime of deserted island servitude to Riesz and Angela's every whim and desire. Unfortunately, this also means DEATH. Unless...

...egad! It''s the giant turtle that was supposed to be in SoM!

After the turtle spirits everyone to safety, they're overjoyed. Especially Kevin, who doesn't even know how girls work exactly.

At this point you go back to the Hero King so he can give you your next mission...and a flute to summon the turtle while at a beach anywhere in the world. You can go after the Fire and Ice crystals in any order...just like SoM. It's like we're playing SoM the way it was originally drawn up. In that game I'd usually go to the desert first, but in this game I do it the other way around.

This turtle is amazing. Probably the most charming mount/vehicle in any RPG. He was in the original version too, but I gotta say they completely captured his essence for this one while improving his look. He also has tremendous reggaetón music that makes it a joy to sail around.

Ice Country is our next destination.

This was Angela's starting area. Now it's populated by higher-level foes, leading to...

...another fight with bastardly Kilroys. This time there are three of them, and once again they're completely OP enemies.

This ends with me having to kite them around with Angela. The fact that even she's taking some serious damage here says a lot.

After that fight, which I can't believe isn't a boss, we reach the Ice crystal.

It's worth noting that out of the 5 or 6 game overs I had while playing this remake, 3 of them were to Kilroys. There's another room later on where you have to fight four of them, again it's just a regular fight, and again it's worse than most of the bosses.

Here's Undine. She may have relinquished heal spells to Lumina in this game, but she's still got some good abilities. Unfortunately Kevin isn't a beneficiary of this, and still doesn't have any spells or abilities. He might well have the longest wait of any character to be able to cast anything.

After that quick jaunt, I summon the turtle to head for the desert.

The desert is a MUCH bigger area than Ice Country, and has two towns in it.

The intermediary area between the towns (and the dungeon) is probably the biggest outdoor area in this entire remake. Unlike the SFC version it's one continuous area, which at least helps with getting lost (as do the maps this version mercifully has).

Captain Ducks make their long-awaited return here. It's always a dose of nostalgia to run into SoM enemies.

The second town in question is the Oasis of Diin. The game is throwing new equipment sets at you hard and fast at this point, and if money's an issue, you could probably skip all of the equipment from these desert towns and wait to get equipment from Mintos shortly.

On a final note, the music here in the desert is the outstanding Harvest November.



  1. With half of the kingdoms at war with the other half it's little wonder our heroes don't always meet under the best of circumstances.

    The island looks totally fine post-eruption!

    The screenshots in this post are particularly good.

    Harvest November is SO GOOD.

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