Sword of Mana (新約 聖剣伝説 Shin'yaku Seiken Densetsu , New Testament Holy Sword Legend) is an enhanced remake of the original Game Boy game Seiken Densetsu, which was released as Final Fantasy Adventure in North America and Mystic Quest in Europe. This remake was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
At the beginning of the game, the player is able to choose to play as the male lead or as the female lead, both of whom are named by the player. They each have a different quest, but their plots remain similar. Notably, the remake adapted many elements from the original game, which had their origin in Final Fantasy, and favored elements traditional to Mana games (for example, the chocobo was replaced by cannon travel). One notable exception to this are moogles, which do appear in the game. Sword of Mana was made to resemble the graphical style of Seiken Densetsu 3, but the artwork rather resembles that of Legend of Mana.
The ring system from Secret of Mana is featured once again, allowing players to choose various options on the field screen. The day-and-night system introduced in Seiken Densetsu 3 also makes a return. Much like Legend of Mana, players can forge weapons, plant produce in an orchard, and read recorded events in the game's "Hot House" feature.
Sword of Mana uses a real-time combat system somewhat similar to that of The Legend of Zelda. There are different times of day in which only certain monsters appear. Several weapons, such as swords, axes, spears, etc., are acquired throughout the game. Each weapon has an attack trait of either jabbing, bashing, or slashing. These attack traits help to determine damage done to enemies throughout the game. In addition to this, a deathblow gauge is included which, when full, allows a more powerful strike than normal attacks. A magical attack system is included as well, with elements such as light, fire, earth, etc., each affecting enemies in different ways. The form each spell takes and the area it can hit varies depending on what weapon the player has equipped; for instance, the sword produces a spike directly in front of the character, and the bow produces an arc like that of an arrow.
Both characters get a variety of sidekicks who accompany them throughout the game. These characters may be used by the player in battle or allowed to run through somewhat-configurable artificial intelligence (AI). These sidekicks are key characters of the story and often contribute significantly to character development.
Game Boy Advance connectivity
Although the game does not feature a formal multiplayer option, the Sword of Mana does contain the "Amigo" system, which utilizes the Game Boy Advance Link Cable to connect two players' savings together. This allows swapping of partner characters and magic cards used to summon the Mana Wisdoms. As the game's box information does not reflect this, a number of potential buyers were left confused.
In Japan, a special edition "Mana Blue"-colored Game Boy Advance SP was released, packaged with Sword of Mana and a carrying case. Those who purchased the game's soundtrack and strategy guide between August 27 and September 30, 2003, were given the opportunity to win a Cactus character cushion and a cellphone strap.
The game's music was composed by Kenji Ito, building on his previous score for Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden. Some of the 47 tracks were reworked versions of the previous game's songs, while others were entirely new. The soundtrack, Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu: Sword of Mana Premium Soundtrack, was released on August 27, 2003. The first edition included a bonus disc containing a single track.
|Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu - Sword of Mana Premium Soundtrack tracklist|
| Disc 1 (01:09:51)
|| Disc 2 (31:01)
|| Bonus Disc (01:59)
|Metacritic||72 of 100|
|1UP.com||6.5 out of 10|
|Famitsu||30 out of 40|
|GamePro||4 out of 5|
|GameSpot||7.1 out of 10|
|GameSpy||3 out of 5|
|IGN||7 out of 10|
|Nintendo Power||9.8 out of 10|
|X-Play||3 out of 5|
On the day of its Japanese release, Sword of Mana sold 87,491 copies, nearly one third of its initial shipment. It ended up as the 39th top-selling game of 2003 at nearly 278,000 units sold in Japan alone. It received fairly mediocre reviews upon its release, holding a 72 out of 100 on both Game Rankings and Metacritic.
- ↑ Sword of Mana - The Seikens. Seikens.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-21
- ↑ Craig Harris (June 30, 2003). Mana Blue SP. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-14
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Wollenschlaeger, Alex (August 24, 2003). Japandemonium - Vision Thing. RPGamer.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-07
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Enterbrain staff (2004). 新約 聖剣伝説 アンソロジーコミック (Japanese). Retrieved on 2007-06-21
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu - Sword of Mana Premium Soundtrack. Seikens.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-21
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Sword of Mana Reviews. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2008-06-21
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Sword of Mana (gba: 2003): Reviews. Metacritic.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-31
- ↑ Sifar (2003-08-29). SWORD OF MANA SALES DAY EVENT. individual.utoronto.ca. Retrieved on 2008-06-21
- ↑ 2003 Top 100 Best Selling Japanese Console Games. The Magic Box. Retrieved on 2008-06-21