SNES The Vault


Super Nintendo
Secret of Mana

Votes: 75
Reviews: 14

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Reviewer: Justin Gilbert Date: Jun 15, 2005
The best game i have ever played...

Graphics: 10
I love the graphics. They are quite good for SNES if you really think about it ya know? The changing of weapons is pretty cool cause you can look at them as the character uses them.
And the BEST game on SNES that had amazing graphics for its magic skills.

Sound: 10
The music is pretty good I thought. And the sound effects are prefect... such as the magic skils... Fighting sounds when you hit an enemy... When you won... everything in this game seemed flawless for sounds.

Gameplay: 10
A very amazing game in itself... reasons?
1) The ring menu. It was quite a good thing for it on there I thought it added quite a nice touch.
2) Having the extra characters/the actual fighting system... for the people who seem to not be able to understand why the other 2 characters aren't doing anything... it's probly because you don't know how to set up the characters to be agressive... you have to do that in order for them to be fighters... and the ABS (active battle system) is awsome.

Overall: 10
I had this game a long time ago then it was sold... Now i have it again and I'm not getting rid of it ever! I love the game it deserves all 10's.


Reviewer: chodewick Date: Mar 30, 2003
This is a real RPG that beats out the rest. This game is a must play.

Graphics: 7
Pretty good graphics for an SNES game, I like the look of it, the graphics are compairible(I know its spelt wrong I just cant finger it out)to many Playstation games Like Breath of Fire III and Lunar: Silver Star Story(just giving you an idea of what it looks like)

Sound: 10
Great scores to match the mood and the classic sound effects.

Gameplay: 7
The game is kinda hard after owning it for 2 years I still havent beat it(of course I suck). The whole thing with having to go into a menu to cast spells and the fights are kinda difficult at first but its easy to get used to. The characters are lovable and i love being able to name them.

Overall: 7
Squaresoft puts out good RPG's and this is one of their better ones and I hope to beat it soon to see the story play out. It's a good game.

Good game, its worth at least a day of gameplay, but dont beat it before me i will be disappointed


Reviewer: EvlMnky Date: Mar 1, 2003
I have been playing RPGs for several years now, and I think I'm pretty good at them. When I started to play this game, I was very impressed. It has reasonable graphics considering the system, alright sound, and great gameplay, as good or better than a Link to the Past.

Graphics: 9
The graphics in this game are great for the SNES, and while they don't stand up to PS2 graphics, it's unreasonable to ask them to. They get the job done, you can see what is going on, and it can be very pretty at times.

Sound: 8
I don't really pay much attention to sound, because I'm usually listening to other music while I'm playing non-speech games. I guess it was all right, with appropriate music in appropriate places.

Gameplay: 10
I LOVED the gameplay in Secret of Mana. You get to move around and fight instead of the turn-based stuff where you get to attack once every five minutes. (It's not REALLY that bad in FF, but it seems like it in crucial battles.) You are left in charge of evading attacks and you can move around and attack at will. When you attack, there is a charge bar that brings it back up to 100% This means that you don't have to wait until the thing is full to charge again. You can just hit the enemy to throw him off while you heal or switch weapons. GREAT...

The members of your party are helpful, IF YOU KNOW HOW TO ACTIVATE THEIR HELP. I AM REALLY SICK OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING THAT THE PARTY MEMBERS DO NOTHING WHILE THE OPTION IS RIGHT THERE IN THE MENU. If you're experiencing this problem, just go into the menu and find the "action grid" option. This allows you to set the party member's distance and amount of activity by setting the character closer to "Guard", "Attack", "Distance", and one other I can't remember. The party members are really helpful, and you can equip them with any weapon you choose, instead of other, more traditionl RPGs like FFVII, where you could ONLY equip Barrett with the arm gun. Though, to be fair, you couldn't possibly equip him with anything else because his arm was his weapon....

Anyway, the gameplay is excellent.

Overall: 10
I liked this game overall because it had everything. It had: great gameplay, pretty good sound, a compelling story where you actually FEEL for the character, like in the beginning. I won't give it away, even though it's not a big secret and you find out within five minutes of gameplay...

Anyway, this game brought together many innovative elements such as non-turn based battles and I just wish Squaresoft was still making games like this (though I guess Kingdom Hearts would be kind of like this....hmmm)

What can I say, a great game.


Reviewer: BigUglyWench Date: Oct 6, 2002
Final Fantasy, Crono Trigger, and SoM are the best RPG games ever made for the SNES. Each is different because of its own unique style (except final fantasy because for FF1-FF9 the battle system is always the same). Some people may want to kill me for this but SoM was "ok" but not great. Its not what I expected for an RPG game.

Graphics: 8
The Snes didn't have the capabilities of graphics like some of the systems nowadays. But overall I gave it a 8 because the characters are different and you can see that by the graphics. Just by looking at them you can see their expressions when they are shocked tired or sad.I gave it a 8 because its not blow your mind away graphics yet its not like the Nes graphics where you have a blue blob for a character.

Sound: 10
All RPG's I've played have had great music (Except ff8 the music in that game sucked horribly). This game has some of the best music ever!!! Sometimes I would catch myself whistling to them when I'm walking somewhere. The music is very catchy and very nice. It fits all of the places possible. When you are in a cave you hear nice eerie music and when you are riding around on Flammy you have very light and quick music. Overall I gave it a 10 because this game has some of the best music around. If you really want good music search up on KaZaa "Secret of Mana Remix" its the best piece of music ever made i can listen to it for hours!

Gameplay: 5
Hmm lets see Graphics:9, Sound:10, GAMEPLAY:5?!?!? Trust me I have good reasons why it deserves a 5. This is the game's major flaw. The battle sequences are ok because you find your own battles but when you get in a battle if you are playing by yourself the other 2 people in your party DO ABSOULETLY NOTHING! They just sit back and stay in one place or fire off into the trees.
Another thing this game is horrible is the menu. I have defeated this game 3 times and yet I still have trouble with the menu especially in boss battles where its essential to know what you are doing.
The battles are the most important things in the game and yet Squaresoft managed to mess that up. :*(
Hmmm... Leveling up.... i have little to say about that... IT TAKES FOREVER!!!!!!

Overall: 7
Overall it deserves an 8. I felt that this was an ok game but not one of the best around. If you are looking for a good game play Final Fantasy 7, Chrono Trigger, or Final Fantasy 9. This game can't compare to any of these I have played in the past. If squaresoft would have put more thought into the battles and menu controls this game would have been better.

Replay Value: Replay value is so-so.... The first time i play it the game was fun but then the second time I played it I knew almost everything and then the third time i played it I felt like a soul-less zombie staring at my screen. Overall I give replay value a 7/10 because I felt that it wasn't that good of a game to replay over and over.
Characters: Characters in this game well they just suck... because throughout the whole game you have 3 characters and nothing more. You don't get additional characters to mess around with you only have 3. A game must have more characters to add a bit of diversity to it. This game doesn't have that diversity because it only has yes 3 characters. That's why I give this game a 4/10 for Characters.
Map Design: LOL THE MAP?!? You have got to be kidding me! THis game has one of the worse maps I've ever seen. The only things I can tell apart on the map is the deserts, the oceans, and the snow covered lands. When I am flying around on flammy I hardly know where to go because everything looks the same. All of the towns on the map look the same its horrible. I give this game's map a 6/10.

IF... you are looking for a good game to play this game might not be it for you. (Sorry Squaresoft) :p


Reviewer: Sir Sam of Sammy Date: Sep 9, 2002
Hey everyone! This is my opinions on what has to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time!

Graphics: 8
For Snes the graphics are pretty good. The backgrounds dont do much, but your characters have quite a bit of detail and the weapons are distinctive. When you've got a certain weapon equiped you can see the difference. All in all I gave it a 8 out of 10.

Sound: 7
A few catchy tunes. Not any that get stuck in your head sort of tunes, but still good. However, this is Snes so what can you expect.

P.S. Final Fantasy VII rules for sounds, but this is unrelated so thats why its a P.S.

Gameplay: 9
I love the gameplay. It allows multiple people to enjoy the game, something which most RPGs lack. Now I understand that sometimes you dont want back seat drivers telling you how to play your game, or what you should do next, I myself like to figure it out on my own. But if you want the excitement of an RPG and you have a good friend that enjoys them to; this is an excellent game for the two of you, or three. The option dials can get a bit confusing, for the average idiot *cough* *mutters* press right the dial spins right, you press left it goes left, a concept lost on some it seems. Well enough picking on the quote ""special kids,"" back to the game. The weapon system is nice, allowing you to work certain weapon expertise or eventually mastering every weapon. One fault in this game is the friendly CPUs if they are on computer controlled dont expect much help from them, they are more or less brain dead and wont help much so I recommend multi-player.

Overall: 10
Over all this is an excellent game one that I highly recommend. Although a bit cartoony it is a great game and will keep you entertained for quite some time, specially if you master every weapon for every character. Try it I promise you'll love it.

Black eyes, black hair, 5'11, I like walk longs along the beach and romantic dinner dates........ uh.. hehe..... wrong forum... *click*


Reviewer: ultra_cookie Date: Jul 18, 2002
It's everyone's favorite cookie again!
Or not...

Graphics: 8
This game had the classical Squaresoft looking 36-bit graphic details. While the graphics don't always prove to be the killer backbone to this game, everything else makes it worthwhile!

Sound: 9
BOOYAH! This game has some killa midis. What' not to like about the awesome Boss music in this game. I musta downloaded this tune like, 30 times. But really, the music is what you'd expect from any Squaresoft game!

Gameplay: 10
While the game takes a break from it's normal battle mechanic RPG cousins, it brings a new sense of fun with the ability to walk around and attack at the same time. Though the magoc casting can make the game entirely to easy at times, (Hence, when you just keep casting magic...back-to-back-to-back.) everything else about the game was awesome. Just imagine, it's up to 3 players! Booyah there too!

Overall: 10
Out of any game I have every played, I must say this game is on my top 3 favorite games of all time. Jeebs! I searched like, 15 pawn shops for this game a few years back. (Did I mention I found it too? Got it for a cheap $5!) If any of you have never played this game, then you either DON'T like video games, or you live on a strange forbidden island where you eat people, and like off of acid rain water which melts your THROAT!!!...ahem..thank you.)

Long live Vimm's Lair!


Reviewer: Mana Goddess Date: Jul 14, 2002
This is my absolute favorite game of all time. It was the first RPG I ever played, and it brought me to love the whole genre. I'm not the most articulent writer, so I'll just get on with the ratings.

Graphics: 8
The graphics in this game are phenomenal. A lot of people say that they really suck, but they have to remember that this is a Super Nintendo game, not a game for Playstation 2 or X-box or what have you. All of the sprites are extremely well done, and the settings are absolutely wonderful. Personally, my favorite place in the game is the Water Palace for this reason.

Sound: 10
The soundtrack conveys the mood VERY well. It has some of my favorite music of all time in it. Many people don't like to listen to video game music because they don't feel it's real music or whatever, but some of my favorite music has come from video games, and video game music covers pretty much every genre of music there is, so I don't see why people don't care about it.

Gameplay: 9
The gameplay is very unique. I feel that it's definately one of the high points of the game. The battle system is very unique, unlike most RPGs that are turnbased, Secret of Mana offers a unique system unlike any seen before. Instead of waiting your turn in random battles, the enemies are actually located at different areas and you actually walk up to them and attack. Also, you are able to gain weapon skills and charge your attacks, making them more powerful. Another unique aspect of this system is that different weapons have different ranges and do different things. For example, while the gloves are excellent for close-range combat and allow you to actually throw your opponent, the bow and arrows allow for a longer range and the ability to hit things higher up than you.

Many people find the ring menus confusing, but I don't see why this is so. It's simply a matter of getting used to them and knowing where the different menus are. It's really not complicated for someone with an open mind.

Overall: 9
Secret of Mana is a truly excellent game that incorporates many aspects for a truly unique game unlike any before. Unfortunately, it was translated by the infamous Ted Woolsey, which means that any similarities between the American script and the Japanese script are purely coincidental. Nevertheless, this is a true classic and should not be missed by anyone.

In closing, I would just like to say that while there are games that have better graphics or better sound or what have you, there are no games quite like Secret of Mana. Even its sequels, Seiken Densetsu 3 and Legend of Mana, don't quite measure up to the wonder that is Secret of Mana.


Reviewer: Brain_sore Date: Feb 26, 2002
I was opened minded towards these kind of games. A lot of people said that it was really good and a lot fun. The graphics didn't look too bad and it had the same game play as the Legend of Zelda series. Then I played the game...

Graphics: 6
Not too bad. But it doesn't have the touch that the final fantasy series does. Nothing real flashy.

Sound: 7
I'll give it a seven. I don't know. I don't like music in video games. I never listend to it. I'll be nice about it though.

Gameplay: 1
What can I say, when I have more than one character in my party, I expect them to actually do something. For the most part, they stood around and got slammed by the onslaught of monsters. I'm not even going to go into the menu system. Basically, they did everything they could to make it confusing and difficult. This...this is what kills this game.

Overall: 2
Maybe a few people think that this rating is unfair, but then I play an RPG, I don't really care about graphics and sound, I play for fun. Fun is the one thing this game doesn't have.

I wish I never wasted time on this thing


Reviewer: Omnitarian Date: Oct 1, 2001
I'm gonna be hated for this, but oh well. I really didn't find this game all that fun. A cautionary tale of sorts.

Graphics: Top Notch. These are some of the best graphics I've seen on the Snes, and everything is very bright and candy-ish, in a ways.

Sound: The Music Is extremely well done, every track sets the mood very well. The sound effects are very good, but not perfect.

Unfortunately, I also must cover...
Gameplay: I can not stand this game. It is way too unlinear, and it takes forever just to go up one level, which be prepared to do, as almost every area you go into is 3 billion % more difficult than your current. The menu is also impossible to use, and everything is just very blah. I also can't stand the characters in this game; they are way too generic. Sorry, But I can't stand this game!


Reviewer: Adam Date: Aug 30, 2001
This is my favourite game of all time. In my opinion the only games that even come close to it are FFVII and possibly FFIX. This game was very underrated and very much a sleeper hit when it came out. Most of the people who knew about it loved it and the rest didn't know what they were missing.

I first rented this game when I was about 9 years old. I had never played an RPG and mostly played side scrolling games. I couldn't believe how I got sucked into the game from the very start. The title screen with the explanation of the Mana Sword and the opening ""movie"" with the small story about the Mana Fortress to the opening scenes with the boys on the log over the waterfall searching for the treasure. I didn't need to even start playing to get sucked into the story. I saved my allowance for about 2 months to finally go and purchase the $95 game and I couldn't stop playing it. I honestly never found myself wondering how far off the end of the game was and I was even a little dissappointed when I noticed that I was getting near the end. This is the game that I compare all other RPGs to and very few have even come close.

Anyway, I'm pretty much done rambling on now and I just have to say that if you like Role Playing/Adventure games at all then this is one to definately check out. It's one of the best games and my favourite, despite the fact that many people have never heard of it.


Reviewer: Kain Vendragone Date: Aug 24, 2001
Graphics: The magic effects are nice,and they really did a great job on the powered-up attacks. Some games just make it into a palette swap of the normal attack,but here,you have some kickass animations!

Sound: Nothing too great,some catchy tunes ^_^

Gameplay: Rivalling Chrono Trigger for storyline,and Final Fantasy for everything else. If the FF series has a flaw,it's repetetiveness. One can only save the Crystals so many times. *shrugs* Chrono Trigger and Cross had wonderful,innovative storylines,but a lot of things were lacking... The party switch was nice,but FF takes the cake in weapons and armor.Marle could only use crossbows,and poor,mute Crono was stuck with a katana,no matter what color. SoM has the weapons,and the style to make them useful.

Overall: I would recommend this game to a veteran gamer without so much as a blink,but for a newbie,the menu-swapping and such can be so confusing...A classic. Put this with Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger and save them for our future generations,there won't be any more games like these.


Reviewer: Dan Date: Jul 8, 2001
Secret of Mana was an epic masterpiece from Squaresoft. The story line grabs you and pulls you in for an adventure quite unlike anything you've ever imagined. Yes, this game was later eclipsed by other games but everyone knows this title as a forerunner in the RPG world(juxtaposed to the Final Fantasy series). The visuals are decent for the time it was put out. You fight through lush grasslands and dark fortresses, which end up becoming more repetitive than impressive. The graphics for spells are above average, nothing fancy but it gets the job done. I, personally, enjoy the music in the game. It's upbeat when it needs to be and sullen/gloomy at the right times, which all contribute to the ability of this game to pull its players right into the scene. The real time, overhead combat was a refreshing change to the normal turn based combat, creating an entirely new style of gameplay and a change in standard turn-based strategies. Overall, Secret of Mana is definitely worth the time and effort.
If you enjoyed this game, try Secret of Evermore, Chrono Trigger, and Bahamut Lagoon(Japanese).


Reviewer: RayneVIII Date: Jun 21, 2001
I believe that they should have made Legend of Mana THIS GOOD!

This game is probley one of the greatest classic games ever made (close to chrono trigger.

Graphics: There are some places in the game where there are tileclashing, but that doesnt matter, the gameplay makes up for it.

Sound: The music is great, and when casting spells, the sounds are wonderful

Gameplay: One word, GREAT!

I give this game an overall score of 9 out of 10 because everything is great, just they could have put a little more effort in getting rid of the tile clashing


Reviewer: Thanatos Date: Jun 20, 2001
This is a great game. There are several great things about it. Chief among them is the storyline. It is, I will admit, very slightly derivative, but it gripped me and it'll grip you.
The music: many people thought this was one of the games weak (I mean ""not quite so strong"") points, but I disagree. Listen to the tunes when fighting a boss, after completing a dungeon and when my namesake appears (wonderfully eeire...).
The graphics are good. Just good. Nothing special.
The gameplay is fun. I REALLY like the magic system and the combat is fun and challenging - you have to wait after each blow before you can hit at full power, so you have to use some strategy and skill. And the boss fights are great, especially when you struggle to take in stats from a Level 0 Analyser spell, in the midst of spell and damage messages...oh so frantic...
The game isn't very re-playable (at least not for quite a while after you first complete it), but once is enough, and it's free (apart from the phone bill - so no complaining about the slow downloads - read the FAQ!)

A great RPG. You won't be disappointed.