|JP||18 Oct 2006|
Seiken Densetsu: Friends of Mana was released in Japan on October 18th, 2006, as the second installment of the World of Mana Mobile series, with the mobile remake of “Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden” being the first installment. It takes place 10 years before the events of Legend of Mana for the Playstation, and is the first Network RPG in the series. There is a monthly fee to pay for the game of 525 yen (tax included, which works out at just over USD$4).
The game takes place 10 years after Legend of Mana, and sees many known NPCs return, as well as a graphical style heavily based on that of its Playstation predecessor. Most of the equipment in the game is obtained through fusion of basic elements items gained through quests (Marble, Wood, Meat, Fish, Ore…), and consists of Weapons, Armour, Decoration and Furniture. These items are dropped by monsters that will appear in certain areas, depending on the day and time of day. The Fruit production system also makes a comeback.
The player can choose from 4 available characters, known as Musicians, and a set of colour palettes. They are then given an ID with which to interact with other players via message boards and pet and item exchanges. (I am yet to confirm the possibility of co-op play.)
The game is often updated using the mobile communications network, allowing for new features to be added:
New character additions, including returning faces from Legend of Mana.
Changes in produce synthesis, ranking systems, and other game designs
Unlockable pets (including Sky Dragon, Shadow Zero and Chocobo)
Unlockable items depending on a players Area Ranking
Changes to the environment during certain dates (such as the town being covered in snow between December 20th and February 20th)
Date-specific quests that are only available during that time period
New downloadable towns and areas
Currently Friends of Mana is only available in Japan through Sharp’s 3G mobile, the SoftBank, and a demo of the game comes pre-installed with newly purchased SoftBanks 810SH, 811SH, 910SH and 911T, together with a demo of SD:FFGaiden. However, it is noted that although FFGaiden’s savedata will transfer from the demo to the full edition when purchased, Friend of Mana’s savedata will not.
The full list of compatible mobiles follows: