General Game Information
How to Play
Let's cover the basics. The Secret of Mana blends two types of games: action and RPG. On the action front, in the Secret of Mana all your actions happen in real-time unless you open up a menu or pause the game. Hit the right button, and you'll swing your sword. Very simple. On the RPG front, your characters gain experience and will become stronger as they gain levels. You can equip items that will increase your ability to deal and receive damage. You can open a menu in the middle of a hot fight, and all the the action will stop while you browse through various menus. From here (I'll cover them all later), you can do things such as change your armor, weapon, select a spell to cast on yourself or an enemy, and so on. First, here are the controls for the game:
So what is this action gauge I mentioned? It's the little box at the bottom of the scree than contains a percentage. The percentage is used in two ways. First, if you attack with a weapon at 100%, the attack will do full damage. If you swing when the percentage is lower, the damage you do will be negligible. This prevents you from simply pinning an enemy down and killing it without giving it a chance to attack. The second use is in running. You can only start to run while the gauge is at 100%. If you stop running, you will be forced to walk and the gauge will start to increase back to 100%. Lastly, if you hold down the attack button as the gauge hits 100%, you will begin to charge up for an attack with your weapon. This is represented by a growing bar in the box. Once the bar grows the full length of the action gauge, if you release the attack button you will unleash a powerful attack with your weapon. The higher a weapon's level, higher you can charge up an attack. See the leveling page for more information about leveling up weapons.
When you hit either the X or the Y button, you will open up an individual character's menu ring. You can switch between menu rings using the up and down direction buttons, and scroll through the options in the menu using the left and right directional buttons. There are three rings common to each character: items, weapons, and options. In addition, the girl and the sprite have an additional menu ring from which you can select magic to use during battle. From the item menu, you can select consumable (candy, medical herbs, etc.) or non-consumable (such as Flammie's Drum or the Magic Rope) items to use in battle. The weapon ring allows you to switch weapons on the fly. If you select a weapon that another character is currently using, that character will exchange his or her weapon with the character whose menu you're using. The options menu contains several submenus, so many that you'll have to go here, the menus subpage, to read about them all.
When you open up treasure chests dropped by enemies, you might either receive one of two items specific to that enemy, or you might activate a trap. There are several kinds of traps, and you seem to encounter progressively worse ones the higher your level is. Here they are:
Many bad things can happen to a young boy waving a sword around and running around the world with a princess and a magical faerie creature. All these statuses will likely happen to you as you play the game: