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Where the Hell is the Secret of Mana Series?


Squaresoft are known for developing many great RPGs, the forefront of them being the Final Fantasy series. Without a doubt, FF has been Square's prime bread winner before the Enix merger, and even for sometimes after it. Among Square's great games, few of them spawned a series that could rival FF, with the exception of the Secret of Mana series, or Seiken Densetsu as it is known in Japan.

The Mana franchise was created first as a spinoff of FF. It was supposed to be an RPG game that challenges the genre's predominant turn-based style. The first spinoff was so successful it spawned an entire series; a series that was a clear second pillar for Squaresoft. Through both critical and commercial acclaim, the Mana franchise earned its place as one of the classic franchises of its time.

The Mana series can be divided into three categories. The first consist of the main numbered titles that propelled the series to fame, while the second is know as the World of Mana series which are a number of experimental titles that feature in the Mana world. Lastly, we get the spiritual sequels to the game, which, while influenced by the series and is owned by the company, are not headed by series creator Koichi Ishii.

Note that all critical ratings are from Gameranking.com, and that commercial performance is after some research from yours truly.

A) The Main Series:

This is composed of the first three titles in the series, as well as Sword of Mana, which is a remake of the first game. All of these games follow a similar action-RPG gameplay style that differentiated the series from many RPGs of the day.

1- Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden):

  • Released: Gameboy, 1991 Japan and NA.
  • Developed: Squaresoft.
  • Published: Squaresoft.
  • Critical Reception: 79.07%.
  • Commercial Reception: 700K with 500K in Japan.


After the decline of the series, Koichi Ishii left the ocmpany and formed new company Grezzo. Some of you might recognize the name as the company responsible for the Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask remakes. In fact, Grezzo have worked almost exclusively for Nintendo and its consoles, and have been doing a great job regularly.

Their latest game is a spiritual successor to the Romancing SaGa games of Squaresoft's past. It wouldn't be far of to imagine them making a spiritual successor to the Mana games as well. Even better, we can imagine a world where through Nintendo's help, Grezzo can develope a Mana gae for SE using the actal IP.

Grezzo actually doing anything with the game is for me far more likely that SE doing so, and if anyone can save the Mana franchise from mobile obsecurity, and even make amends for their mistake, then it is series creator Koichi Ishii himself.


The "Where the Hell is" is going to be a series where I discuss the decline and dissapearnace of game franchises that intrested me greatly, and now are gone. For a series to be covered, it needs to have three or more games, an unresolved conclusion or different storylines, and is a series I somewhat played. Please feel free to give me any feedback or recommendation, as I always try to write better blogs.

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About Lord Spencerone of us since 5:57 PM on 01.12.2014

Hello all, I am Lord Spencer, your friendly neighborhood royalty. Yes, the ancient bloodlines are letting absolutely anyone in these days.

Being the lurker that I am, I have been following Destructoid for more than four years. Well, its 3 AM where I live now, and I just plunged in getting HUGE in the way.

Here is hoping for a fun time.

Oh yes, here is a little more info about me that is probably not as interesting as I think it is:

-I owned and played about 1000+ games.
-I owned and read about 2000+ books (I counted comic books I read as a kid so this is not as impressive as it sounds).
-I absolutely love Legos.

Out of all the games I played, I only regret playing a few. I am a big fan of gaming, and thus I really like most of what I play.

Thanks to the excellent work of community member Dango, now I have a cool infographic of my top 20 games. This list is not my final one, but what I thought off at the moment. If you notice, they are presented in chronological order:

Oh, and here is a link to my blogs:
My Blogs