Welcome to the Seikens, the site that covers everything from the Seiken Densetsu / Mana series; from latest news on game releases and developments to in-depth walkthroughs, information guides for class changes, gameplay and inventories, a detailed monster bestiary, an extensive official artwork gallery, and complete soundtrack listings and downloadable remixes.
We aim to bring you all you need to know, and more, about the series from Final Fantasy Adventure right up to the latest Echoes of Mana. Come join us on the Mana Series Discord where you can get in touch with other fans of the series for gaming help or just join in with fun conversation on any topic.
Just a neat little thing to show off here. It’s an advertisement found at the end of the September 1999 issue of “Game Gather” a Japanese magazine focused on Magic the Gathering and other card games. The issue is for September, but it would have come out on shelves a month or two before.
The red text on the right side of the ad is noteworthy, as it essentially translates to “Square’s First Entry into Trading Cards,” which I had not really thought about. So yeah, it turns out the first trading card game Square ever released was for the Seiken Densetsu series. Very cool. Now, I’m only talking about the Square side of things here, as Enix launched a Dragon Quest Monsters TCG in April 1999, predating this by a handful of months.
Here is the ad:
Isn’t that fun? I honestly never thought I would get to see something like this, considering how few people know about this game.
This ad is specific to this magazine, as far as I can tell, as it appears on the inside of the back cover using the magazine’s fonts and visuals. Whether the game was advertised anywhere else we may never know, unless I start buying random Japanese magazines from around that time. This issue also has a two-page spread about the TCG that I will post about sometime in the future when I get more time to look at it.
Here is my brief summary of everything that went on during the English stream for Echoes of Mana.
You can check it out yourself here: (link when it is on youtube)
Stream started off late… instead of 6:00pm PDT it started at 6:08, after Square Enix apologized in chat at 6:06 for the delay.
0:00: Gameplay is shown, no commentary yet. We see the character select screen and the story when starting a new game. Hawkeye’s story begins, Quilta (the heroine) rescues him from jail. Hawkeye has to teach her how to move around and fight (tutorial), however. After fighting some Ninjas (Nevarl Agents), Hawkeye and Quilta end up visiting Zable Fahr somehow, who is not very impressed. A battle ensues, some familiar sound effects are heard. Quilta summons Wisp, and we learn about special moves. Zable Fahr is out of here and Hawkeye too.
0:10: Two Square Enix streamers, Malcolm and Glacie appear on screen and introduce themselves. It appears they are about to start a mission. They start off with a list of what will be covered in stream, and a brief explanation of the history of the Mana series. Streamer doesn’t know which system FFA released on… or the Japanese name of the series…
0:14: Introduction to Echoes of Mana and its characters. Game modes are discussed: main story, event quests (side stories with Mana characters), training quests (getting materials), and tower quests (challenging content).
0:18: Social media campaign: Raffle I (indicates there may be more), running until 4/1 (link).
0:20: Pre-registration and potential rewards are discussed (link). Streamers try to figure out how to pronounce HACCAN.
0:24: Gameplay demo begins, it’s a story mission titled “Knights of Slight Stature” part of the “Beginniberry” quests it seems. Quilta and a little sheep character Baashear are in a town they are not familiar with. A bunch of new looking monsters run up. Duffle comes and takes the monsters out with her axe. They are apparently named “Knitwit” as answered later on in the stream.
0:28: “Grumpy Boy” Honeycomb shows up to discuss why the monsters showed up. Streamer reads “Rabite” as “rabbit”… chat corrects them.
0:30: Monster fighting quest starts, and the new characters are introduced a bit more in a cutscene.
0:32: Gameplay starts.
0:33: Gameplay ends, we get to see rewards and things.
0:34: Harvest screen is shown. This is where new characters are drawn from. They pull a gold “Serafina” the new name of the Legend of Mana Heroine. Next, they pull a gold 3 star Kevin. Apparently that was just a reroll, and they do it again and get a gold 3 star Angela.
0:36: Login bonuses are doled out.
0:37: 4 star real money purchase bundle is seen. The game appears to have a home town you can run around on when setting up parties, quests, etc. Stream pulls a BRB as the producers get ready to come on and answer questions.
0:39: Stream is back. They accidentally skipped trivia, so it’s coming up after the producers.
0:40: Masaru Oyamada (Mana series producer) and Akira Haruta (Echoes of Mana producer) are introduced and say hello.
0:41: Question time, answers are paraphrased below.
Question 1: When developing the gameplay/battle system, was there a Mana title that you wanted to specifically draw from, or were you wantintg to create something brand new completely?
Some areas of gameplay are referenced from the 2D battles of LoM, SoM, and SD3.
This is a smartphone game, so it does bring something new to the table.
Question 2: Is the vision of the game to eventually include as many characters from previous Mana games as possible, or is this title more focused on creating new adventures with new characters?
Focused on original characters adventure together with past characters.
A part of what makes this game fun is seeing the new characters interact with characters from past titles.
Question 3: Will the game support controllers at launch? I find it difficult to play action-based games on mobile touch screen, so controller support would really help!
At this point in time, there are no plans for this, but the game was designed to be easy to control.
Question 4: In Trials of Mana, each character had classes you could choose. Are they going to be released as separate characters? If not, how will you incorporate that mechanic into the game? Will there be class changes on the ToM characters?
They are going to appear as separate characters.
At the time of the game’s release there won’t be class switching characters, but look forward to them being added.
Question 4: Which of the Mana games is the most special to you? One that has particular memories?
Oyamada: Final Fantasy Adventure because it was the first game I cleared on my own and it holds a special place in my heart.
For that reason too, the main character of that game, Sumo, holds a special place in my heart, but I could go on about it forever so I’ll let Haruta talk.
Haruta: For me I really liked Secret of Mana the most, and especially the character Popoi.
Popoi is this fiesty and sassy character, but that is what makes them so cute, and at the very end of Secret of Mana there is a scene where Popoi goes their separate way from Randi and Primm and it has always stayed with me because it is such a sad scene.
Personally, I am just hoping that Randi, Primm, and Popoi will be able to reunite.
Question 5: This was my question! What kinds of new monsters are being added and how many classic monsters are returning?
For new characters, you can see that Oyamada has a plushie of a new monster called “Nitwit”.
Other than that one, there will be other new monsters and enemies that will appear in game.
And of course, familiar faces will make appearances including Rabites, Mushbooms, Mantis Ant, Full Metal Hugger, lots of favorites from past titles.
Question 6: Will there be any possibilities of crossover events with past Squaresoft/Enix IP?
We will see. We did collaborations for past titles we are still running. If there is demand for that in Echoes of Mana, we will consider adding them.
Question 7: Can you change the names of the protagonist characters?
Yes you can.
Question 8: What is your favorite story path in Trials of Mana?
Oyamada: I am a fan of classic stories, so I like the Duran and Angela stories as they are easy to get into and I really enjoy it.
Question 9: Which languages are supported?
English, Japanese, German, French, Korean, and Traditional Chinese.
0:54: Final messages from producers:
Oyamada: I have been looking forward to being able to release this smartphone game from the Mana series, we do have pre-registration going and a release is right around the corner. I hope everyone is looking forward to it as much as I am and are getting excited to play it.
Haruta: I would like to add, this title is really fun to play whether you are a Mana veteran or jumping in for the first time I think you’ll have fun. I am confident you will all enjoy it, pre-registration is available and please look forward to the game’s release.
0:58: Login rewards are not finalized, this is a development build all under development. Pre-registration awards are final.
1:00: Be right back for trivia.
1:02: Trivia time. It’s dumb.
Question 1: What was the first title for the Mana Series? Final Fantasy Adventure
Question 2: Where do you first see Hawkeye? In a prison cell
Question 3: Who is the first person to greet Quilto/Quilta in the first town you enter? Duffle
1:08: For winning trivia time, everyone got wallpapers. Find them in the Echoes of Mana Gallery once they’re available.
1:10: Next stream will show off co-op multiplayer. Stream is wrapped up.
1:14: Stream ends.
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Let’s hope things go smoothly here, and that the game is fun.
There are rewards handed out for the number of pre-registrations, and the numbers seem quite low compared to some other games I have seen. I feel that how the community does on this event will determine a lot about the game’s lifespan.
Ah, Mana Music Mondays, Do You Remember Me? It’s been over a decade. Back in the heyday of this site, from 2007 to 2012, I really felt The Calling to highlight some of the great Mana music tracks out there. I was posting tracks almost every week.
Those days aren’t coming back, but I’ve got a real Treat for you today. It’s a Day of Celebration. There are some real Revelations here that are going to Put Your Lights On and cause some Waves Within your understanding of the Mana universe. Let the Music Set You Free. Why don’t you and I take a trip to Anywhere You Want to Go, as long as it’s to the land of Final Fantasy Adventure / Adventures of Mana. I promise this eventually has to do with music (it already does actually, maybe you’ll catch on).
Well, All Right, time to get a Move on. Before We Go, there are Spoilers ahead if you haven’t played through Final Fantasy Adventure or Adventures of Mana yet. But I am sure that You Are My Kind, and already know this stuff by heart.
Dance Sister Dance
Our music track for today relates to the Girl in Final Fantasy Adventure. Remember her? She’s no Black Magic Woman, she’s The Healer. Here is a little run-down of her story for you up next.
Skip this if you want to get to the point, or if you Just Don’t Care.
At the beginning of the game, her knight, Hasim, has fallen, and she’s got No One to Depend On. That is, except for the Hero, a former slave who is now Free as the Morning Sun, with whom she pleads “Take Me With You“. Later on, Bogard tells the two to head over to Wendel. On the way, the Hero and the Girl accepted the Open Invitation to stay at Kett’s place. But the Hero awoke in the morning to find She’s Not There. So he goes Searchin’.
This Boy’s Fire
Turns out, he needs a magic mirror as Persuasion to get into the depths of Kett’s. It’s off to the Marsh Caves, where he meets a mysterious man who helps him out. With the Hydra defeated, the Hero gets a new spell and it Feels Like Fire. Back in Kett’s, the Hero found the Girl and defeated the Vampire who was ready to make her his Soul Sacrifice.
After finally making it to Wendel the mysterious man from before reveals his Evil Ways, he’s Julius! He kidnaps the Girl off Into the Night. So the Hero and Bogard take off after him; it’s Night Hunting Time. Shortly after, the Hero and Bogard made it to Julius’s airship, practically Breaking Down the Door to rescue her, but things go awry! Julius is on the attack! With Nowhere to Run, Bogard gets blasted off the airship, perhaps now he is Somewhere in Heaven for all we know. Julius proves too powerful, and the Hero just can’t Hold On either, so he plummets down below as well. The Girl is left alone with Julius… things have gone seriously Sideways.
A whole lot of story happens here, but the Girl isn’t involved so I’m going to Choose not to talk about it! I am Free to do as I please, after all.
Eventually, the Hero does meet back up with the Girl, but unfortunately she’s under Julius’s magic spell. And she casts her own magic spell too, reversing the flow of the waterfall. But the Hero gets blasted away AGAIN by Julius, but this Fortunate Son seems to have a knack for surviving. But he’s fed up with the adventure. He finds Bogard, bedridden, and doesn’t even say “Hope You’re Feeling Better“, he’s just ready to give up. Bogard manages to convince him to Try a Little Harder, and he’s back on track. The bonds of Brotherhood are strong between these two.
A whole lot more Adventure happens between here, as Everything’s Coming Our Way, including the end of the game.
Finally, the Hero makes it around the world and finds his way up the waterfall to save the day. At the end of the game the Girl goes through some Changes, you know Them Changes, and becomes Everybody’s Everything. She is her Mother’s Daughter after all. Time flows like a river, and history repeats Over and Over.
One of These Days I’ll learn to write more concisely.
Let’s get to the point.
Think back to the waterfall reversing scene. Do you remember the Girl’s famous line? The magic words that reverse the flow?
Klnka Imra Miryon Tin Qua
Of course you do, right? Well, that is what she says in the English and French translations at least (not sure about German). So, yeah, that seems like a load of nonsense doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem to be a simple Caeser cipher or any other cipher I tried. Did the translator mess it up somehow? Let’s take a look at the original Japanese text from that scene:
Say it Again, this time in a way that people who can’t read Japanese can understand it. I’ll write the Katakana in Romaji instead (it’s not perfect, but it’ll serve a purpose later).
oekomaba irito pemopabosa muwarata
Well, it’s definitely not the same thing… so what is it? Try saying it a few times and see if you can catch what is going on. Imagine a nice Latin beat with an organ, some electric guitar, and some rocking drums.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed a lot of strange italicized phrases in this write up. Those are all song titles actually, and I only included the recap of the Girl’s story above so I could shoehorn even more of them in. Pretty Smooth right? Tell Me, Are You Tired of it? Ok, I’m done, no more of that. I managed to shove over 50 song titles in. But why was I doing it, and whose songs were they?
Legend of Santana
They were all songs by the band Santana or that involved the band leader Carlos Santana in some way. And the reason I chose those songs is right in the article title up top, just in the wrong language. I should have written it en español.
You see, in 1970 Santana recorded a cover of a 1962 cha-cha-chá (a genre of Cuban music) by Tito Puente. That cover was of the song Oye Como Va, and it’s one of my favorite songs. It’s real good, it’s in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In fact, it’s real great. It’s on the Donkey Konga track list (but not the Japanese version). Oh yeah, you know I was rocking out in-game to this one back in 2004. In fact, this was the song I was the best at (either that or the one by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), I never missed a single note even on Gorilla mode. I was pretty cool, or at least that’s the Impression That I Get.
So let’s look at the lyrics to the song and the magic spell above together. I’m not going to translate them, because it doesn’t matter here. I’m also going to adjust some of the letters in the Romaji, because letters like B and V or R and L are sometimes interchangeable in Japanese, using the same symbols. B and P are also very related, as they are both plosives and use the same symbols apart from the diacritical marks (i.e., バ and パ; ba and pa). Same thing goes for S and Z as sibilants (i.e., サ and ザ; sa and za). Keep those in mind when looking below.
Oyecomova, Mi ritmo, Buenopa’gozar, Mulata
Hey, isn’t that neat? It doesn’t line up 100%, but it’s undoubtedly the same “words” just misheard perhaps. We can take things a step further, if you consider that sometimes words that end in R in other languages simply end in an A sound in Japanese (bosa to bosar) and that B and G share the same diacritical marks, the dakuten (those two little lines), which mean they make a “muddier” sound compared to the same symbols without.
But why Santana? Maybe someone on the team just really liked Santana. I don’t blame them, it’s a solid choice.
But you see, Oye Como Va has been covered by a lot of people. In fact, Chisato Moritaka, a Japanese pop singer, covered the song in late 1990. Interesting, considering Seiken Densetsu released in Summer 1991. But that’s just a coincidence, right? How do we know it was her version of the song, and not Santana’s that inspired the quote in the game?
Let’s read some commentary from the production staff that was included in the Japanese Advanced Knowledge guidebook for the game (I grabbed the Japanese text from here). Below is a comment from Yoshinori Kitase, director and producer at Square Enix, known mostly for Final Fantasy games and Chrono Trigger. His story with Square Enix actually starts with Final Fantasy Adventure, where he worked on game design and the game’s scenario. Here is what he said…
… and here it is translated… (thanks to Sevon for brushing up my translation)
The original story is by Ishii-san, but I also added my own interpretations and little details. I’m a big fan of Star Wars and the performer Chisato Moritaka, so maybe they influenced me…? I had a lot of fun this time around. -Yoshinori Kitase
Well well well, 見て at who popped up (Translator’s note: 見て means look). That settles it, I think, and some Japanese fans do as well. It also lends a lot of credence to the idea that “Jema/Gemma Knight” was inspired by “Jedi Knight” and the fact that Obi-Wan and Bogard seem pretty similar.
So there we go, let’s take a look at the actual music for this Mana Music Monday post. Listen to it and think about the words of the magic spell:
oe koma va i rito pemo pa bosa muwalata
You can definitely hear it, can’t you? It sounds a whole lot like it’s written there. This had to be a case of misheard/misremembered lyrics.
This version of the song is pretty fun. I definitely prefer Santana’s version, but there is nothing wrong with this one (well maybe those random yells that accompany the organ solo around the two minute mark). This is just a solid song no matter who covers it as far as I can tell.
So that’s the origin of the Japanese magic words in Final Fantasy Adventure, and a neat little jaunt into the ways the worlds of Mana and music flow together. I hope you found it as interesting as I did. I am still not sure about the origin of “Klnka Imra Miryon Tin Qua” but maybe one day I’ll figure that one out too.
It does share a suspicious amount of letters with the name Kaoru Moriyama… and that name just so happens to belong to the English translator of the game. Really makes you think, doesn’t it?
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There is a Livestream for Echoes of Mana coming up on March 18th!
You can tweet a question for the producers if you’d like, and they might answer it. I hope they pick mine!
Ask the producers your burning questions! 💡 Mana Series Producer Masaru Oyamada and EoM Producer Akira Haruta will answer your questions in an Echoes of Mana Livestream on March 18th! Post your question below by 23:59 (PST) on March 10th and it just might get picked! pic.twitter.com/osoQUMUoCR
In an update that is 13 years overdue (I scanned and cleaned these images in 2009), I have added all of the Secret of Mana Items and Equipment to the Gallery. These images are really great, and I love the amount of work that went into them for something you never see in game.
You can also head to the Items page or the Equipment page to check them out with context! It’s fun to see how the little sprites match up with the actual drawing.
It’s also fun(ny) to imagine the three heroes actually wearing some of these getups.