Square Enix’s Mana series began in 1991 with a Game Boy title first localized as “Final Fantasy Adventure.” It was one of the best games available for the humble handheld in its early years, combining the Zelda formula with an epic storyline and a massive world with more acreage than Game Boy typically had. Two years later the sequel graduated to SNES and was given a more proper localized title as “Secret of Mana.” Again, it was one of the best games available for its system. The third Mana game would be even better than that, but Square declined to publish it outside of Japan.
After a string of flops in the mid-2000s the Mana series was declared dead, but as one of its biggest fans, I’ve always hoped Square would revive it someday. Lately they’ve been re-releasing the original classics, so it’s never been easier to jump in….Collection of Mana for Switch contained the first official US release of Trials of Mana. Then Trials of Mana was remade in full 3D earlier this year, and just this week, Playstation’s Legend of Mana was also re-released separately. That covers the good ones, so…how about some new ones?
We were hoping the re-releases were a sign, and our wish came true…Square is officially reviving Mana with some new stuff. During a “30th Anniversary” livestream this morning, they revealed that a new Mana game for consoles is now in development. It’s too early at this stage to reveal any real details, but it’s going to be a thing! Woohoo!
Square is also working on Echoes of Mana, an action RPG starring the entire cast of the Mana series up to this point. Everyone from Adventure, Secret, Trials and Legend is playable…sound excellent? Well, hold on…it’s a mobile title and worse yet, it’s microtransaction-driven. You can be assured you won’t get to play as most of those characters unless you pay up. Sorry ’bout that. This one has a release date of 2022.
And there will even be a Mana anime, based around Legend of Mana, coming out at some point. Legend of Mana: The Teardrop Crystal is its title, it’s being produced by Warner Bros. Japan and animated by Graphinica in collaboration with Yokohama Animation Lab.