Not too long ago, forum member Sene posted a thread called Secret of Mana Challenges. In this he details a hardcore mode for Secret of Mana to make the game more difficult:
Sup y’all, been playing Secret of Mana for fifteen years (and probably completed the game as many times by now), and recently I picked it up again for the first time in a few years. However, it’s also probably about fifteen years since the game posed any real challenge to me, so in my madness, I decided to make up a Hard Mode – the deal is: no armor allowed, and no offensive Magic against bosses (e.g. no Sprite Magic, and no Lucent Beam/Fire Bouquet/etc – defensive Magic like Cure Water must be allowed, or the challenge is completely impossible). Additionally, no cheating (no blocking spells with Moogle Belt), and no Mana Magic for the Mana Beast (doing this in normal playthroughs is already super cheap). Complete the game under these terms, and you can officially proclaim yourself a SoM-veteran! (and life hater, I suppose)
So to sum it up:
– No Armour
– No Offensive Magic against bosses
– No Glitching
– No Mana Magic against the Mana Beast.
Challenge accepted, says Kassidy. I’ve started playing through the game in this manner and, I agree, it’s quite a bit harder than I expected. Not only that, but I’m video blogging / let’s playing / documenting the agony. Above is the first instalment of this series, with more to follow soon.