So over on the Japanese side of the web, there was a great site called “Death Queen Ward” that unfortunately went down back in July. The site started out as a “Village” in 2002, upgraded to a “Town” in 2009, later a “Ward” around 2013, and now it is back in “City” form as of 2022. When the site went down, I reached out to the owner over Twitter and that seemed to have spurred them to rebuild the entire thing to bring it back.
So, what is it? Well it’s a great repository for all things retro Square, mostly within the Famicom and Super Famicom era. So Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, and the original Trials of Mana fall right in place. The owner of the site, the Mayor Queen, has an extensive collection of merch and print media from that era along with a very impressive Phone Card collection. Trials of Mana in particular has some very rare and very expensive phone cards that I have opted out of collecting, just to save my sanity (and wallet).
It’s a very cool site, the new layout is particularly stylish, and it will be critical in helping me with my own rebuild of the Merchandise section here on Seikens whenever I can find time to get around to it!
I wonder where Death Queen City will go in the future… Death Queen District? Death Queen Metropolis? Maybe someday we’ll even see a Death Queen Ecumenopolis.
Just look at that beautiful collection right there. At least one of all 150 cards and the mysterious turn order card; I still do not know its origin. I have sealed booster packs, sealed starter decks, a plastic wrapped booster box, and I finally got my hands on a box of starter decks. As far as I can tell, the starter boxes were never plastic wrapped but all 12 starters inside are. If there are any other Legend of Mana Card Duel items out there in the world I’ve never seen nor heard of them, so I am calling this 100% complete.
It has been a long time coming. I first bought some of the cards back in 2004, completed my collection of individual cards in 2015 (you can read about that journey here), and finally in 2022 my collection is at a point that I am very satisfied with it.
18 years after I learned about the card game, it’s finally done. Children have become adults in that time (not me apparently).
23 years after the card game’s release, it’s finally done.
Well… I still do want a few more copies of cards like Rosiotti… send me an e-mail if you’re selling.
Well, maybe just a little bit anyway. You see, the Merchandise section is kinda ugly and quite outdated. I have plans to add more content in the future and spruce the place up, but for now it’s better than nothing! A few details may be wrong or out-of-date here and there, but still, it’s good to have it back! I found the old merch section files on the FTP, and it seemed a shame to let it sit there unknown and alone! After all, I created 232 individual images of Mana merch to put the section together. I must have had a lot of time on my hands back in the day.
Ah, good times.
Up for preorder on the Square-Enix store, you can find three Mana Music Boxes for sale. They’re pretty expensive, and the shipping is pretty high as well, but it’s pretty cool these came to the North American Square-Enix store.
In the Legend of Mana Card Duel section of the site (It will get its own area on the menu sometime soon) you can now read some information about the methods with which players would get cards.
The Booster Packs page has very little information, because despite owning a number of them I have never opened one and don’t actually know what to expect! I did include some nice images of the sides of a booster pack and a booster pack box.
The Starter Decks page has a ton of information on the other hand. It has some nice images of a starter deck, but also goes way in-depth talking about what comes inside these decks. By watching some old videos of myself opening these, I was able to determine some interesting things: 1) there are at least two types of starter decks and they come with different amounts of certain cards, 2) cards are put into the starter decks in specific orders so it’s easy to know what is coming up next, and 3) there appear to be some cards that will never show up in a starter deck. So, if that is the case, how did I complete my collection without opening booster packs? Well on this page you can follow along and see what cards I got when and how I got them.
Maybe someday in the future I’ll open some booster packs and starter decks and record it, if anyone is interested.
Look forward to more Legend of Mana Card Duel information in the future!
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I made a post about this years and years ago now (about 14 actually, where does the time go? link here), so you may have heard of this before.
I am willing to bet, however, a lot of fans of the game still have no idea this ever existed.
Legend of Mana Card Duel released in 1999 along with Legend of Mana, and the “Making of Mana” book actually has some comics with characters from Legend of Mana playing with the cards. I’ll have to scan and translate that someday.
The entire set consists of 150 different cards, broken into 5 separate types: Lands (27), Monsters (40), Support cards (40), Characters (40), and Items (19). Players would build two decks, the main of which would consist of between 40 and 60 cards, with no more than 4 of each copy. The other type of deck is discussed below. Cards exist in holofoil, rare, uncommon, and common rarities. The holofoils here are unique, in that it’s essentially a separate rarity; there are only 10 possible cards that can be holofoil and they will never not be holofoil. Some of the rare cards are actually much more rare than holofoils. Another painful thing about holofoils, is that they have a lot of factory defects. I counted that around 50% of holofoils have some sort of problem with their cutting.
Lands exist as both an Artifact and the land they represent. A large portion of the game revolves around playing lands in a grid to mimic the land make system. In total, there are 4 lands for fire, water, earth, and wind, there are 2 lands each for wood, metal, light, and dark, and 3 other neutral lands. The breakdown of rarity is 1 holofoil, 5 rare, 9 uncommon, and 12 commons. Although, whether the lands can actually be considered “rare” is debatable (see below).
Next up are the Monsters, 6 for each of fire, water, earth, and wind, and 4 each for wood, metal, light, and dark. The rarity breakdown by element is seemingly random, with some elements having more rares than others, and elements like water having no rares at all. Each one has a power and toughness level, in addition to some abilities that tend to trigger when they are flipped face up. You see, the monsters are played face down onto the lands and wander around on them, waiting for a group of characters to challenge them to battle. With some smart bluffing, you can catch a character group off guard. The rarity breakdown is 1 holofoil (a Chocobo), 12 rares (all bosses), 13 uncommons (bosses and regular enemies), and 14 commons. The art depicted on the card is typically a bunch of sprites from the game, but all the demi-human monsters have their hand-drawn art displayed.
Support cards are basically “spell” cards from other games. NPCs like Nunuzac may help you summon monsters, while Kathinja Sensei might straight up destroy another character. Here, a variety of NPCs offer their help to you. The NPCs follow the same elemental breakdown of the Monsters, but differ slightly in rarity. The rarity breakdown has 2 holofoils (Treant and a Lilipea), 11 rares, 14 uncommons, and 13 commons.
Character cards are very interesting in this game. They actually have a completely separate back to them compared to all of the other cards, because you would need to create a “Character deck” (of 8 cards) while playing. From this deck, you would create a team of 3 characters who can equip various items (up next) and set out to fight against Monsters on the Lands you have set up. The characters available here are quite interesting, your team could consist of something typical, like the Heroine, Niccolo, and Bud, but you could also have a team of a Rabite, Matilda, and Cap’n Tusk. Different characters have “synchro” effects with others (Skippie and Hamson make a good team for instance), and different rules about what items they can use. Here is where the rarity breakdown gets crazy. In total there are 6 holofoils (Hero, Heroine, Blackpearl, Elazul, Elle, and Sandra), 5 rares, 8 uncommons, and 5 commons.
The final type of cards are the Items. These consist of both Weapons and Magical Instruments. There are 11 weapons (just like in the game) and 8 instruments (1 for each element, 2 of each type). These can be equipped onto a character, and using the Mana that your Lands have created, you can activate different attacks or spells to buff up your characters. The rarity breakdown goes 7 rares, 7 uncommons, and 5 commons (all weapons).
The cards were available in two different forms: A “Starter Deck” of 60 cards and in your typical “Booster Packs” with 10 cards each. I’ve never actually opened a booster pack, although I own a number of them (and even a sealed booster box with 15 of them stored within). The starter decks aren’t really what they might seem. I opened that pile of them because they actually come with a random assortment of cards… mostly. As far as I can tell (after opening around 15 of them) every starter deck comes with the Male Hero card (making it a very common holofoil), and you seem to have a chance at getting any other card as well. There are quite a few rares I never saw when opening these decks, however, but that could just be due to sample size. The weird thing is, the starter decks come with a lot of rare land cards, to the point that the rare lands are actually more common than a lot of the uncommon ones. The only actual rare land, however, would be the single holofoil land, the Mana Sword/Mana Tree.
For those of you who want to collect the cards, good luck. They’re not that easy to come by, and purchasing singles is definitely not going to happen. There are maybe only two Japanese websites that even mention this card game, one of them is just a list of cards (with a few details wrong) and the other explicitly states the site is not for selling/trading. Typically, only starter decks show up on auction sites, and you could get away with one for about $25 on a good day. Boosters are much more rare, but I’ve paid around $15 for those. You may also find a few random assortments of cards for sale, but they tend to only include a few commons and uncommons, something that would easily be found inside a starter deck.
I actually have a complete set of all 150 cards, and I’m only one card away from having a second complete set (if you have a Rosiotti please let me know/give it to me). I’ve collected these cards since around 2004, and I did not complete my collection until around 2016. Overall, my entire collection is around 1500 individual cards (~680 commons, ~480 uncommons, ~270 rares, ~60 holofoils), a few unopened starter decks, a decent number of unopened boosters, and even a sealed booster box. Based on that sample, I think I have a good idea of what the rare cards are.
Rare card seekers should look out for: #28 Hitodama, #34 DuCate, #41 Iron Centaur, #52 Vanadise, #56 Jajara, #68 Putty, #74 Rosiotti, #87 Tote, #96 Olbohn, #118 Elle, #125 Rubens, #126 Tusk, and #138 Spear (of those only Elle is holofoil). Those also happen to be cards I would love to get more duplicates of. I also have one card that I’ve got no idea where it came from. It’s a cheat-sheet for the turn-order of the game, and it has a plain white card back to it, very unprofessional seeming. Whether this came from inside boosters (never opened one) or was available at a release event or some kind of tournament, I’ll maybe never know.
Anyway, that’s my in-depth writeup about this card game that few people actually know about. I wonder how many people have actually played a game with these cards. Were there ever any tournaments back in the day? All my searching online over the years leaves me thinking that we’ll never really know.
If you want more information on the game, as well as the most in-depth and complete card list on the internet, you can check out the new page I created just for this game!
I hope to have add scans and translations for the cards and rules in the future. But seeing as this is the first page added to the website in nearly a decade, don’t be surprised if it takes a good while.
When I started writing these merchandise posts, I didn’t take into account just how many various items there were remaining. I’ll show off or mention the bulk of them in this post, but there will be a final post just before the release of the Legend of Mana remaster that goes over my absolute favorite merch.
Alright, starting with the above image, I’ll go through things left to right. I also included another picture of a Rabite plush, with the original tag that hangs of its tail for completion sake.
Pearl and Elazul Figurines and Jumi Music Box. The two figurines there, Pearl and Elazul, came along with the purple music box in the Square Millennium Collection version of Legend of Mana released in 2000. Opening the box reveals some text, which states “Dear Pearl & Elazul, Florina”, and then plays a snippet of the game’s title theme. I would not really classify the Millennium collection, nor these figures or music box as especially rare, but you’ll still probably have to spend maybe between $60-$100 if you’re interested in picking one up. Be aware, the little colored “jewels” on top of the music box tend to fall out and disappear.
You can listen to a recording of the music box below.
Flat Magnet Set. The next item, directly under Pearl and Elazul, is a small flat magnet set. This item has “NOT FOR SALE” plastered on it, and has punch out magnets for the Hero and Heroine, Niccolo, and the game’s logo. I’m not exactly sure what the process of obtaining these magnets would be, but the magnets say “PRESENTED BY DOKIDOKI BOUKENJIMA” on them, which is a store, so I assume it would have been a preorder bonus. As for a price, I have no real idea. I have two of these, but they’re not particularly amazing so I wouldn’t bother paying much. I paid maybe $5 for each.
Rabite Mousepad. Not much to say about this one besides it is quite rare. I’ve only ever seen this one for sale, and I got it for a steal, only $15, but I definitely would have been willing to pay much more due to how uncommon it seems to be. I bet there are a number of them out there absolutely ruined from years of use. There also exists a leather Rabite mousepad, which I sadly don’t have (and I think I’ve lost all photos I had of them as well). At one point in 2010, around 6 of them appeared online for auction, but I never ended up bidding on any at that time. If you’ve got one, and you’d like to get rid of it, please let me know.
Rabite Phone Lanyard. Once again recycling the pewter Rabite Necklace design, this braided leather lanyard is really cool. I own two of them, the pristine one seen in the image above, as well as a busted up one that I actually used back around 2006. The leather is all frayed, the coating of the metal pieces is worn away revealing shiny brass underneath, and I really regret using it after a while because I could not for the life of me find another one for years and years. Finally, maybe two years ago, I picked another one up for $10. You can actually find two of these listed rather easily on auction sites now, one for around $50 and one for an insane $300 for some reason.
Stationary Set. Yeah, this is an odd one, isn’t it? The only one of its kind I’ve seen, and I don’t remember what I paid for it. I’m not unsealing it, so I’m not entirely sure how many sheets/envelopes are inside along with the stickers. It’s a very slim package, so there can’t be more than just a few of each. It has a ¥1000 price tag on the back.
Legend of Mana Manga by Shiro Amano. The five volume manga set was also re-released in a two-volume set many years later. I haven’t picked up a copy of those two yet. I’ve got a postcard as well, featuring the Hero, “Toto”, munching on some Boarmelons. The manga is really quite a fun read, so seek it out if you’ve never been through it before. I quite like the way they handled the artifacts in the story.
Non-Pictured Items. In the following area, I’ll just include some details about items that I unfortunately don’t have on hand at the moment to take photos of. This list is probably non-exhaustive, as I’m sure I’ve forgotten something (besides the cool stuff coming up in the next post…).
Postcard Book. It’s a book full of postcards. I’ve seen the books as well as separate cards for sale online. Not very rare at all, and probably not the most noteworthy item.
Magnet Puzzle Book. This one is really cool, I need to pick up a second copy of it so I can actually get some use out of it. This comes with a bunch of magnets of various characters from the game, as well as two “puzzles” which are neat art from the games broken into small pieces. All the pieces are square, so it’s not really that much of a puzzle. The cool thing about this is that it comes with a so-called “Eternal Calendar”. It comes with magnets for the days of the week (with elementals on them) and then numbered day magnets with produce from the game on them. You can rearrange these dates around on your fridge or a bulletin board or whatever you want to stick magnets on, and have a cool little calendar. These are not hard to come by, and I think usually you can find one for between $30-$50.
Finally, I’m not going to go into much detail on the more mundane items, but of course there is the soundtrack to the game (as well as a smaller soundtrack released as a preorder bonus) and the arranged album called Promise, along with who knows how many other albums that have some Legend of Mana music added on. There are various guidebooks, the most notable being the Ultimania guide, but what I’d recommend picking up would be the Making of Mana book if you’re interested in all of this merchandise stuff. It’s a really cool book and I wish I was more fluent in Japanese to read more about what it’s got inside. There are even some t-shirts, I believe they exist in Rabite, Lil’ Cactus, and Niccolo varieties. I have a really beat up version of the Rabite shirt somewhere, and I believe I paid all of 25 cents for it.
Anyway, let me know if you think I forgot anything, but also check in on the next post where I’ll go over the absolute best of the Legend of Mana merch.
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Ok, you must be thinking to yourself, “Sheexy is just here making stuff up now”.
Golden Rabites? A Zippo lighter? A wooden Zippo lighter? Some weird combo of a phone card and a zipper? Ok fine, I can believe those, but a screwdriver?
That’s just too much.
Well yeah, but it is real. And it comes with a Square branded battery.
You see, the new Legend of Mana remaster comes with “Ring Ring Land” built into it. Something that we never got to see overseas. But in Japan, Ring Ring Land has always been part of Legend of Mana. You just needed the right memory card peripheral to play it.
In Japan, if you used a PocketStation along with Legend of Mana, you’d get to play Ring Ring Land. You send your pet on an adventure around a board that is populated by lands you’ve placed in Legend of Mana, and they fight things with numbers and can win you cool items.
I bought this PocketStation (missing its lower cover) off an auction site, and it had Ring Ring Land installed on it already. That little Chobin Hood is doomed to forever be stuck in Flash RAM. Only booted up when I feel like looking at that interesting little game that was fairly unknown outside of Japan I’d suppose.
That’s one really neat thing about the remaster, that they didn’t just abandon Ring Ring Land forever. But it’s quite a bit cooler to have a micro Mana game you can carry around with you though.
Anyway, we were discussing screwdrivers and batteries right?
So, this little set was actually not for sale, and it was apparently a preorder bonus to help people keep their PocketStations alive. These things are very very common; I’ve seen an entire crate of these things sell on an auction site before, and no I didn’t bother bidding on it.
The merchandising for this game never ceases to confuse and amaze me. Here you have a really nice looking little package, covered in Rabites, with one of the necklace Rabites (but not pewter anymore) hanging down on what is supposed to be a zipper pull.
The little cutout in the middle there is actually a phone card. Something highly useful and collectible in Japan, but otherwise quite foreign to many people.
Why was this combo made? I don’t know, but it’s actually pretty uncommon to find anymore. I’ve seen the phone card listed on its own a few times, but usually you’ll find the whole combo together. Price? Maybe $30 seems to be what I’ve seen it go for. Strangely, phone cards by themselves are quite popular among different collectors in Japan. Trials of Mana has a ton of phone cards from 1995 that regularly go for around $300 or more, and I’ve given up on ever collecting those as the competition is quite steep.
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Now here is a real rarity. I have only ever seen this up for auction once, and I made sure to win it.
It’s painted terracotta, and I’m terrified I’m going to drop it or otherwise break it someday. I need to get it mounted in some kind of museum quality case or something. I’m absolutely not joking here. I think I paid around $120 for this one, but I’d honestly pay a lot more for one if they’d ever show up on auction again.
There is not much to say about this one, it’s already obvious this is one of the coolest things to ever be made.
Edit: As of late June 2021, one of these has appeared on Japanese auction sites. It’s currently listed at around $200 or so, and it has a busted up arm with missing fingers, and is in overall poor condition. What a shame!
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