Trials of Mana

Title Seiken Densetsu 3
Seiken Densetsu 3

Once, when the world was yet trapped in darkness, the goddess of Mana felled 8 incarnations of disaster that guided the world to destruction, the God-Beasts, with the Sword of Mana, and sealed them in 8 stones. And, as the darkness left, the world was created.

The goddess of Mana turned herself into a tree, and fell asleep. Many years passed…

Due to the actions of some who plot to unleash the God-Beasts from the stones, obtain power surpassing even that of the gods, and to make the world their own, conflict breaks out heralding the end of peace…

Mana is rapidly disappearing from the earth. Even the Mana Tree has begun to wither…



Developer Square Co.
Publisher Square Co.
Genre Action RPG
Players 1-2
Platform SNES
JP 30 Sep 1995
Platform Nintendo Switch
Collection of Mana
JP 1 June 2017
Worldwide 11 June 2019
Platform Nintendo Switch, Windows, PS4
Worldwide 24 April 2020

Seiken Densetsu 3 followed Secret of Mana September 30th, 1995 also on the SNES, but sadly never made it outside Japan. The translation was in process but abandoned. There is constant bitterness and speculation over the causes for this, including attributing it to Square USA choosing to develop Secret of Evermore instead (which was released before SD3) or the relocation of resources to make Super Mario RPG with Nintendo. Neither of these can be confirmed or denied, so it will most likely remain a mystery.

The game saw a great increase in storyline complexity over the previous title, with six characters to choose from in order to form a 3 member team. Not only did this mean 20 different possible combinations of characters, but also 6 different storyline beginnings and endings, grouped into 3 main story arcs. Whatsmore, the game included a Class Change system that allowed the player to further personalize their characters by guiding them toward the path of Light or Darkness, each with different inherent skills and stats modifiers.

Sadly the multiplayer aspect was reduced down to 2 simultaneous players. The game kept many of the aspects of the previous Action RPG including the ring-menu system, and added on a new stop-start battle system, skill enhancements depending on the time of day and the day itself, and storage enhancements.

The graphical side of things enhanced upon the already solid base of Secret of Mana, greatly increasing the detail of the players surroundings, as well as further detailing of the sprites. For the soundtrack Kikuta was once more called in to do the job, focussing heavily on providing a wide range of Boss Battle themes while still bringing his expert “story-telling through music” to every aspect of the game, once more making it one of the most loved soundtracks for the Super Nintendo system. Also, a small selection of themes were reprised and built upon from the previous game.

In spite not reaching the outside world many imported the game and fought through it for years with the use of numerous walkthroughs offering plot translation, and the game developed quite the cult following. Later in 2000, a team of fan translators led by Neill Corlett would successfully translate the game in its entirety and make available an IPS patch that would allow for owners of the original game to apply said patch and be able to enjoy the game in English. This has been marked one of the greatest achievements in fan translation for the system.

Together with Secret of Mana, this game is under heavy demand for a remake by the most avid fans of the series, and rumour had it that Heroes of Mana, the Nintendo DS Real Time Strategy title that preceeds the timeline of Seiken Densetsu 3 by 19 years, would include the game, but this was based on many a misinterpretation of the screenshots included in the press package for the game.