Decoding Jewel Thief Sandra’s Letter – Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal

Posted on October 22nd, 2022 by Dr. Sheexy
Filed under Children of Mana, Dawn of Mana, Legend of Mana, Merchandise, Seikens Articles, The Teardrop Crystal

Oh no! Sandra left a secret message, and we have to decode it to figure out what is going on!

Luckily, Li’l Cactus here has the key!

Hey, that’s not a key! That’s the silver pendant from the World of Mana campaign that Children of Mana and Dawn of Mana released under. 
The Mana Sword looks absolutely tarnished, though! It practically turned back into the Rusty Sword at this point.
Take better care of your stuff, Li’l Cactus!

Oh, you have a nice clean one too. That’s cool I guess.
But what does this have to do with Sandra’s note?

Oh, I see! According to the Art of Mana book, the Mana Sword is inscribed with text in the Fa’Diel language. It apparently says “There is love in Mana. There is Mana in love.” very interesting!
Let us take a closer look at that lettering.

Looks like it actually says “Love is in Mana, Mana is in Love”!
We can clearly see the letters A, I, and N repeated a few times within half the phrase. From there, we can make a few assumptions and the letters seem to fall into place nicely.
Say, I wonder if the letters match anything in Sandra’s letter?

We’re getting somewhere! Using what Boyd said, we know she was talking about the Flame of Hope and she must have signed her name, Sandra. Things start to fall into place again!

We’ve got it! How cool is it that they are still using that alphabet over 15 years later?
Keep your eyes open for more text in the anime (Li’l Cactus appears to be using it in the first episode, and Reverend Nouvelle’s book has a lot)!

Here are all the letters we know so far, for your convenience!

And here is Sandra’s note rewritten, just for good measure. Special thanks to Sevon for lending a steady hand for the writing in this post, my chickenscratch would have left us all wondering what was going on.


Mataxia over on The Mana Series Discord reminded me that this was covered in one of the older books! I probably saw this a long time ago, but forgot about it as I don’t have the book on hand anymore. Thanks Mataxia for the image!

Long time Seikens forum member, Kimiko, had a lot of luck figuring out Li’l Cactus’s diary from episode 1 in the comments below!


Kimiko also found that Nouvelle’s book title appears to just be part of the common “Lorem Ipsum” filler text. I kind of expected that, but it’s good to have confirmation! Thanks Kimiko!

6 Responses to “Decoding Jewel Thief Sandra’s Letter – Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal”

  1. Kimiko Says:

    Anyone have some success with L’il Cactus’s ep.1 writing yet?
    I can make out “two little sorcerers” in the middle of it, but not much else.

    The shop sign seen before Elazul and Shiloh visit Rachel again says “weapon”, so there you have the W for the chart.

    Found a world map from Dawn Of Mana online that confirms the W and gives the U (Illusia) and J (Jadd)

  2. Kimiko Says:

    Okay, the first three lines of L’il Cactus’s ep.1 diary entry are
    After that I’m half guessing, but I think it goes
    Wish L’il Cactus wrote as clearly as Sandra so we could have definite letter shapes >_<

  3. Kimiko Says:

    Unfortunately, rev. Nouvelle’s book is probably just filler text. The title reads “neque porro quisquam // est qui dolorem ipsum quia”, which is from the common Lorem Ipsum.

  4. Dr. Sheexy Says:

    Kimiko that’s awesome! Thanks for figuring it out.
    I was reminded the alphabet actually showed up in one of the books associated with Children/Dawn of Mana. So now we have the full cipher.
    All this sleuthing for nothing! But at least it was fun.

    I kind of figured Nouvelle’s book would be Lorem Ipsum, thanks for confirming!

  5. Kimiko Says:

    Ah, I thought there should be a full alphabet somewhere, but couldn’t find it. Figures it was in some old bonus material.

    As for L’il Cactus’s diary text, I checked and it’s exactly the first two lines of the entry for the Little Sorcerers event in the English version of the game.

    The two pages shown of Nouvelle’s book don’t seem to be exactly the usual Lorem Ipsum, but have enough Latin(-like) words that it’s probably from one of its many variants. It would be surprising if they had actually put that much meaningful text in there.

    Sorry for not hanging out with y’all on Discord. I thought I’d check it out, but it first wanted to know my private phone number. Nunyabidness >:(

  6. Dr. Sheexy Says:

    Huh, that’s weird. I’ve never had to use my phone number on Discord and it says I don’t have one attached to my account.
    Might have been a more recent change? I’m not sure.

    It’s pretty slow on the Discord server, just like the forums used to be!