Filed under Seikens
What is an Aerolite? Well it’s a stony meteorite, and in Legend of Mana it includes some far out materials that you can either pick up from Shadow Zeroes, or from running around in Ring Ring Land. Here is what the game has to say about them:
Original Encyclopedia Entry
Aerolites are rocks that fall form the sky. They tend to have unusual and useful properties when used to make equipment.
Remaster Encyclopedia Entry
Aerolite refers to rocks that fall from the sky. They tend to have unusual properties that are useful when making equipment.
Just what are the unusual/useful properties they have? Well they all start with a bit of Salamander essence, and they lose one Salamander essence every time you temper them. It’s actually quite a useful effect, and you can use the energy from the drained essence to feed another essence you are trying to raise. You can even lessen the energy requirement for Salamander, and use the drained energy to feed directly back in to itself! But this isn’t a post about tempering, is it?
Whereas many primary materials in the game have names referencing locations in other Mana games (Topple Cotton and Menos Bronze as examples), the Aerolites do not follow the same naming scheme. So just where do their names come from?
Or probably more accurately, the people who discovered them! If you are one to go down Wikipedia rabbit holes, I’ve included links to all of these comets and people below.
Jacobini Rock – The localizers for Legend of Mana didn’t seem to realize what these names were referencing, as this one should have been spelled Giacobini instead. This one references the Comet Giacobini-Zinner, and was not discovered until 1900 by Michel Giacobini and observed again three years later by Ernst Zinner. The International Cometary Explorer was sent after this one in 1985 and it was also spotted by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter the same month. In 2025 this one will be its closest to Earth.
Halley Rock – This was the one that made me realize were dealing with comets. Everyone knows Halley’s Comet! It is the only comet regularly visible to the naked eye. It actually was not discovered by Edmond Halley (being discovered in prehistoric times) but rather Halley computed its orbit in 1705. It comes around every ~76 years or so. Look forward to seeing it in 2061!
Ankh Rock – Another one that went over the localizer’s heads (get it, over their heads?). This one references Encke’s Comet, discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1786 but named after Johann Franz Encke who computed its orbit in 1819. It is a very dull comet, reflecting very little light, but like all others has a big bright tail behind it when near the Sun. It will be close to the sun in 2023, and comes around regularly as the last time was in 2020.
Vinek Rock – Here is where the localizers were the furthest from getting the name. The comet referenced here is actually the Comet Pons-Winnecke named for its discovery originally by Jean Louis Pons in 1819 and its second sighting many years later in 1858 by Friedrich August Theodor Winnecke. Initially astronomers thought this comet would strike the Earth in 1921, and it has caused a number of meteor showers by getting quite close. This one actually came by recently in May of this year!
Tuttle Rock – They spelled this one correctly! Now, this aerolite’s name could actually reference a few comets, but I’m going to reference the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. It was actually independently discovered by Wilhelm Tempel and astronomer / Civil War veteran Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1865 and 1866 respectively. This comet comes by every 33 years, and causes the Leonid meteor shower whenever it shows up. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see those sights until May 20, 2031.
Nemesis Rock – Ok, so here is the odd one out. The exception that proves the rule, as it were. This one actually references a hypothetical star that orbits our Sun and supposedly caused a bunch of extinctions (through comet like meteor showers, there is the connection!). This one is kind of weird, and worth a look.
Biella Rock – This one almost gets the name right, it should reference Biela’s Comet. This comet was identified in 1826 by Wilhelm von Biela, and it promptly split in half and has not been seen since 1852. Though it has been destroyed, it still lived on as the Andromedids meteor shower, but it seems that may have gone away as well.
Swifte Rock – Like the Tuttle Rock above, this aerolite could reference a few different comets but I’ll choose to focus on the Comet Swift-Tuttle (like the Tuttle Rock above…). This one was discovered independently by Lewis Swifte and Tuttle on July 16 and 19 of 1862 respectively. This comet causes the Pereids meteor shower, which happens yearly between around July 17 and August 24. They aren’t very visible, due to occurring between dawn and noon, but sometimes they can show up before midnight.
And there you have it! The origin of Legend of Mana’s Aerolites, and a bit of information on each of the comets/astronomers they were named for. This news post made me feel like I was writing a school report.
Also, does this mean Shadow Zeroes come from outer space? Things to think about.