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Children of Mana

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Children of Mana (聖剣伝説DS チルドレン•オブ•マナ Seiken Densetsu Dī Esu Chirudoren obu Mana) is the first game of the World of Mana compilation, and was developed for the Nintendo DS by Nex Entertainment under the supervision of Koichi Ishii.

In the middle of the island of Illusia stands the legendary Mana Tree. Several years ago, a great disaster took place at the base of the tree and many lives were lost, leaving the main characters as orphans. A brave young boy and girl used the Sword of Mana to save the world from the disaster. Now, years later, the main characters set out to investigate the details of the event that took so many loved ones away from them.

GameplayEdit

Unlike previous games in the series, Children of Mana is a dungeon crawler, and the majority of the gameplay takes place in selected locations. These areas are reached by the player selecting them on the world map, and travels to them from the safe area of Mana Village by using Flammie. The primary objective in each location is to clear the dungeon of monsters and the boss, like most dungeon crawlers. Progress is made between each zone by the player finding an item called a Gleamdrop, then carrying it and placing it in a pillar of light called a Gleamwell. The player must repeat this process on each floor until the last floor is reached, where the boss lies. Dungeons can be returned to later by accepting missions from townsfolk, in which the dungeon itself can be slightly altered: the player's starting position may be different, the number of floors can increase, and the monsters contained may change.

Battle systemEdit

The game retains the real-time battle mechanics of previous games in the Mana series. The environments also retain interactivity with weapons and items seen in certain Seiken Densetsu titles. New to the series is the Dual-Weapon system, which gives the player the ability to wield two weapons at once on the X and A buttons. The game sports four weapons with their own unique purposes, abilities and effects on the environment. Each weapon has standard normal attacks, special attacks, and fury attacks. The fury attacks are the strongest and require a full Fury Gauge to use, which is filled by striking enemies with standard attacks and taking damage from enemies. Unlike Seiken Densetsu 3, the weapons in Children of Mana can be wielded by any character, also, unlike previous games in the series, there are only four available weapons: sword, flail, bow & arrow, and hammer. Each weapon allows for a different fighting style and for other secondary uses, such as the hammer's ability to smash pots, boxes and spikes, or the bow's use as a harp which mesmerizes nearby monsters.

The eight Elementals return to provide the characters with magical spells. Magic serves offensive purposes by unleashing element-themed attacks upon enemies, as well as supportive purposes by imbuing the character's attacks with their magical element, for example. Unlike previous games where a gamut of magical abilities are available to the players at any time, only one Elemental's powers are available at any time in a dungeon. The player chooses which Elemental "to take with them" while they are in a town. In combat, the Elemental can be summoned by holding and releasing the B button. It will then respond according to the players reaction: waiting a few seconds will cause the Elemental to use a powerful magic attack, while walking up to and touching the Elemental will bestow benefits upon the player, such as regained hit points or having their weapon take on characteristics of that Elemental's affinity. An Elemental's level can be raised to 2 or 3 by equipping Gems, which allows for stronger magical abilities.

MultiplayerEdit

Children of Mana features a cooperative multiplayer mode that can support up to 4 players at once. The game only uses local wireless, and does not support Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection online services. The multiplayer mode does not allow the players to save their progress in the game while playing in it, although experience and items received can be saved later after leaving the multiplayer party. The player hosting the session is able to keep the progress data after multiplayer is finished and can continue the story onwards; however, the other players will find themselves back where they started in their own games, with only the additional stats and items gained while playing multiplayer. Items directly related to the story, such as weapons like the flail and hammer, cannot be obtained by anyone but the host. There are, however, a few items that can only be obtained as bonuses by playing through stages using this mode.

PlotEdit

SettingEdit

This installment of the series takes place in the world of Fa'Diel on the island of Illusia where, at the center of the island, stands the famous Tree of Mana. Several years ago, on the island of Illusia, an event known the "great disaster" took place at the base of the Mana Tree and many lives were lost. During this event, a brave young boy and girl used the Sword of Mana to save the world from disaster. Now, years later, a group of orphans sets out to investigate the details of the event that took so many loved ones away from them. The player must journey through the rest of Fa'Diel's five continents of Jadd, Topple, Wendell, Ishe and Lorimar to complete the game, traveling to the other continents by riding Flammie from place to place using the Flammie Drum.

Playable charactersEdit

See also: List of Children of Mana Characters

Ferrik: A 15-year-old boy who is said to be brave, bright and cheerful. He lost his parents and sister in the great disaster. After having his life saved by a knight, he has been honing his skills with the sword. Ferrik's weapon of choice is the sword. He has an average build stat-wise, but he does excel at weapon combat.

Tamber: A sixteen-year-old girl, with a sense of truth and justice, and an air of maturity about her. She lost her parents and little brother due to the great disaster. Tamber's weapon of choice is the bow. She excels with agility, and has higher than average capabilities with magic.

Poppen: A 9-year-old boy, who is stubborn and fears nothing. He lost his mother at birth and his father in the great disaster. Poppen's weapon of choice is the flail. His physical stats are poor but his magical abilities are superior to all the other characters.

Wanderer: A traveling merchant and a member of the Niccolo tribe. Wanderer's weapon of choice is the hammer. He is a brute, with the highest ratings for physical stats such as attack and defense, but does poorly with magic.

StoryEdit

The game begins with the setup of a framing device: the events which are to take place are presented as a story being told by an unknown narrator to an equally unknown audience.

After an introductory scene consisting of a conversation between the player character and another resident of the village, the player decides to see Tess, a Mana maiden, and provide her a gift before she heads to the Mana Tower to offer prayers to the Mana Goddess. Tess asks the player character to give the results of her plant research to Moti, the village mayor. While there, Moti is visited by Watts, the king of Ishe. During the ensuing conversation, a minor earthquake strikes the village and the large stone which stands in front of the Mana Tree, cracks. Everyone wonders about the ominous development when Nana, a fellow Mana maiden, rushes back to the village. reporting that the Mana Tower has been swallowed by a large pillar of light, with Tess still inside. Everyone wonders what to do before the player character decides to rescue them.

With the assistance of one of the Mana Spirits, the player character fights through the tower, which has become both physically muddled and infested with monsters (due to the energy levels of the surrounding pillar being strong enough to warp the space within). Eventually, the player character reaches the top, finding Tess. However, before they can leave, a strange avian creature appears. Threatening their safety, the player character tells Tess to hide before attacking the creature, only to find that it is somehow impervious to harm. Suddenly, a shining sword appears in the sky before falling to the tower roof. The sword pulses with an energy that removes the creature's protection. Now able to damage the bird, the player character fights and defeats it. Following its subjugation, the sword pulses with energy again, splitting the bird into its two component beings which fly off.

As Tess and the player character approach the sword, a disembodied voice is heard, expressing surprise at the defeat of a malevodon. A dark portal appears, from which emerges a tall, pale man wearing black robes. He attempts to take the sword, but is repelled by its power. Initially shocked, he proceeds to muse that this is the Goddess' attempt to "fix" what is to come. When Tess and the player character ask him what he means, he states that Mana power is beginning to surge and that it will eventually engulf the world, causing it to "wither away". He then mockingly wonders if they are capable of stopping the oncoming disaster before disappearing. With nothing else to do, the player character takes the sword and, together with Tess, returns to the village.

Back at the village, Tess and the player character tell Moti and Watts what happened at the tower. Moti wonders if it has anything to do with the evil realm of Mavolia, the entrance to which was sealed away during the Cataclysm, but quickly decides that, whatever the cause, something must be done about the three additional pillars of light that appeared when the pillar engulfing the Mana Tower was quelled. Having been chosen by the holy sword, the player character volunteers to dispel these new surges. In order to get to the foreign lands, Moti gifts the player character the Flammie Drum, enabling them to summon the legendary winged beast Flammie.

Now with transportation, the player character visits the three lands where the mana storms rage, facing new enemies and gaining new allies with each success: at Topple's Star Lake, they face a cycloptic creature covered in foliage and, upon its defeat, are greeted by a vision of the great tree spirit Treant, who grants them one of his branches. At the Fiery Sands of Jadd (which are inaccessible until the player character uses the power within Treant's branch to quell the sandstorm raging within), they face a three-headed beast and, upon its defeat, are visited by the great land spirit, Gaia, who grants them a stone containing his power. Finally, at the Ice Citadel of Lorimar (which is initially surrounded by a barrier that only the combined powers of the Branch of Treant and Stone of Gaia can dispel), they face a two-faced creature comprised of ice and stone.

After defeating it and freeing the two benevodons from which it was comprised, the black-robed man appears again. He is impressed with the player character's proficiency in wielding the sword and its power and divulges more information regarding his plan: long ago, people attempted to harness mana energy by sealing it in orbs. When the Cataclysm hit, they were trapped underground. The black-robed man plans to find these orbs and release the massive amounts of mana energy contained within all at once, completely engulfing the world.

DevelopmentEdit

A Seiken Densetsu game for the Nintendo DS was announced just prior to the Japanese launch of the handheld system in late 2004. The following spring, a trailer for the World of Mana compilation was shown at E3 2005, but the project was kept mostly under wraps by publisher Square Enix. The new installment, now titled Children of Mana, was not revealed as a separate game until that September.

Although Children of Mana was published by Square Enix, it was developed by Nex Entertainment. The game also features an opening cinematic by acclaimed anime studio Production I.G. The game was designed and produced by Koichi Ishii, and directed by Yoshiki Ito. Characters were designed by Nao Ikeda and Ryoma Itō, and its story was written by Masato Kato. Passing up the opportunity to utilize the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Ishii's aim was to create a multiplayer experience similar to that of Secret of Mana in which players could enjoy the game with those close to them, as opposed to playing with people far away. Furthermore, the developers decided upon a randomly-generated dungeon crawl mechanic to make Children of Mana a "fun-for-all action type game."

The music for the game was composed by Kenji Ito, Masaharu Iwata, and Takayuki Aihara. The Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana Original Soundtrack features 33 tracks spanning two discs. It was made available exclusively for paid download on the Japanese iTunes Store on May 9, 2006.


GalleryEdit

External linksEdit


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article is at Children of Mana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Wiki of Mana, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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