Although many people seem to dismiss Secret of Mana (known in its native Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2) – at least when compared to its superior sequel – it does still have quite a bit going for it.
Seiken Densetsu 3 was released by Squaresoft in 1995 and an English fan translation came out in 2000. Only five years after the game’s original release there was a fan translation… That’s unheard of. And there are various translations available now, including German and French.
I absolutely love the graphical style of Squaresoft‘s Seiken Densetsu 3. It’s a masterwork of pixel graphics artistry. Everything in it, from the characters, to the buildings, to the items, and to the magic spell effects are all incredibly well presented and thought-out. These are definitely among the most iconic 2D RPG graphics ever made. And the people who made them deserve a round of applause from the rest of the gaming world for creating them. 🙂
One mistake I made when I first played Seiken Densetsu 3 was: I didn’t know where the magic spells were. This is probably a common mistake among first time players.
You have to press ‘down’ from the item menu ring to find and use your magic spells, and I probably played the first twenty levels or so without using my character magic at all. If you’re going to give this great game a try for the first time, don’t make the same mistake that I did. Press down to use your magic (and spirits) when the item ring is visible. Pressing up and down cycles through them. The same system as is used in shops for buying and selling. It does take some getting used to although you can quickly switch characters using the L and R buttons, which is useful in shops and essential in combat.
Probably the ‘deepest’ thing about Seiken Densetsu 3 is the magic combat system. Yes, you can hack away with swords and claw away with, erm, claws, but you can also bring up what they call the “Ring Menu” and cast magical spells. And – when you’re fighting against some enemies and bosses – it pays to know how to use magic well. Or you will get the stuffing knocked out of you… It’s all about using ‘buffs’ and ‘de-buffs’ – trying to counter the enemy by watching what he’s doing, and casting magic on your sword to create more damage. The combat system in Seiken Densetsu 3 is definitely more subtle than just ‘hacking away’. It is a fight to the death with devastating opponents in a game of wits, speed and magic knowledge!
Considered by many to be a Super Nintendo classic, but having never been released outside of Japan, Seiken Densetsu 3 (1995) has – in the past – been something of an enigma. A must-play game, but not available in English. That was: until an unofficial fan translation came out that changed all that.
Seiken Densetsu 3 is the third game in the Mana series (following Secret of Mana on the SNES (aka Seiken Densetsu 2), and Final Fantasy Adventure on the Game Boy (aka Seiken Densetsu)), and it is one of those games that I had played before (although not for more than a few hours, just to get a taste of it), and had planned to play more of, at some point in future.
I recently spent some time playing and grabbing the legendary Super Nintendo game Seiken Densetsu 3 and couldn’t finish until I had completed it.
To say that the experience was “good” would be an understatement…
Seiken Densetsu 3 is a truly brilliant game with a lot to offer games-players who love a challenge. And a good old level-grinder. And a visual treat. In fact, I had so much fun grabbing this game that I have decided to make a series out of the resulting screenshots.
This week I’m going to be publishing grabs of my adventure over the space of five days, showing the game from start to finish. I’ll also be writing about individual aspects of the game in each episode.
Don’t worry about spoilers. My grabs show only a fraction of the available game, played through with just one party. One of the great things about Seiken Densetsu 3 is that you can play with different party configurations and the storyline will change as you go. I’ll explain more about that over the coming week.
Few games deserve five whole days dedicated to them, but Seiken Densetsu 3 is a masterpiece of 2D graphical art, I think, from start to finish. Incredible boss battles; memorable music; brilliant interface; multi-language versions – I’ll look in more detail at these as the week progresses.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Squaresoft‘s Seiken Densetsu 3, by The King of Grabs.
Seiken Densetsu 3 Week
Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Nintendo [Part 1]
Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Nintendo [Part 2]
Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Nintendo [Part 3]
Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Nintendo [Part 4]
Seiken Densetsu 3, Super Nintendo [Part 5]