Secret of Mana

From Before I Play
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  • The bar represents your swing strength. When you attack, it empties, and quickly refills. Basically, unless you HAVE to hit something, maybe to hiccup it, only attack when you are at 100%. The same bar also manages your dash, so make sure you don't get caught in a corner after an attack with no way to run.
  • Never buy anything from Neko unless you are in dire straights. He overcharges for everything, and you can get anything he offers from the current town.
  • Don't forget the Magic Rope. It makes the exit from some places very simple, especially in emergencies.
  • Offensive spells stack. Meaning, you can get back into the magic menu before the monster reacts to the previous spell, and before the damage pops up. Spamming spells will add up, and eventually, when you stop, all the damage comes in a massive burst. This is almost always the best method of boss killing.
  • With a few exceptions, all of the buff spells are downright useless. They last for far too short of a duration, and don't make that much of a difference to justify the MP spent. Blast something instead.
  • The elemental weapon spells can be quite useful, especially in certain areas (the crystal forest comes to mind). In addition to increasing damage done to enemies weak to that element, they can cause status effects, such as setting aflame or turning into a snowman.
  • As far as weapons go, using them increases your skill with them. You can charge up your weapon to the level of skill you possess with it. Problem is, most of the higher level charges are not worth the incredibly long time it takes to ready them. You usually won't go above a 4th level charge attack.
  • In the ACT menu, you can set the maximum level that you can charge your weapon attacks to. Do this on your AI partners, as otherwise they will spend half the fight doing nothing but charging, only to totally whiff their big bad double spin jump slash.
  • Pick two weapons you like, and stick with them. Same for the AI. There are 8 in the game, and some enemies are more susceptible to certain ones. If you use only 6, you will always have any situation under control. This also helps to make sure you reach the max weapon level with those weapons. If you need to control a specific weapon for some reason (for shooting something behind a barrier that your AI won't attack, for instance), switch who you are controlling, not the weapon you are using.
  • There a few areas of the game that just flat out suck. Be prepared for the Upperland, the Promised Land (I think it's called that), and the desert. Oh god the desert. Don't get frustrated, and just keep your head.
  • Expect to die on bosses, at least until you get the majority of your magic. Once you learn their attack patterns, you'll be fine. A glaring example is Spiky Tiger in a certain castle. He will do all kinds of crazy shit, like roll around super fast, and pin someone down and gnaw the shit out of them, doing massive damage. One of the harder bosses I can remember.

2018 Remake

  • It's a lot easier because your AI is more competent, but in turn you have less options to customize them. But you also don't have to wait on them to get unstuck because the camera isn't stuck to your party.
  • The remake soundtrack is a mixed bag since it was done by like eight different composers, change it back to the original (which is still touched up)
  • You can turn off the voice acting if you don't like it.
  • You can tell what character's ring menu you're under by the color of the cursor. Blue is Randi, Green Popoi, and Pink Primm (also the color the PS4 controller will glow if you're playing them). Although I think they patched in another indicator for this.
  • There's no cannon travel animation!