Secret of Mana (JP) is a SNES video game initially released by Square in 1993. It is often times considered one of the best games the system has to offer, and has been re-released for the Wii Virtual Console in Japan, North America and in PAL regions and the Wii U Virtual Console so far only in Japan.
In Secret of Mana, the player controls a character from a bird's eye view. It's similar to Zelda in that the battles take place in real time, though experience will be gained and the entire set up is reminiscent of Final Fantasy. The primary weapon you'll use is your sword. If the player wishes, he can rapidly attack with this weapon, though after the first swipe the subsequent ones will have much lesser attack power.
After attacking once, it's suggested that you get out of the enemy's attack range, wait just a second or so until you're "concentration" is 100%, which will deliver the most attack power (for example, if you hit a standard enemy in the beginning of the game, it may deliver 18 hit points, though if you attack again directly afterwards it may only subtract one or two heart points away from the enemy. The player is controlled via the d-pad, while attacks and standard commands are assigned to the face buttons.
Along with the main character, two others will join your party during the course of the game. The two of them can either be computer controlled or controlled by another character through cooperative multiplayer, though in order to have three players play at once you'll need to be in possession of a Super Multitap, which not many owned.
Only through the Wii's Virtual Console rerelease were everyone able to play with three players, which caused for much rejoicing among the fans of the game who didn't have a multitap. Also with the Virtual Console's version you're given the ability to choose between using a Classic Controller or a GameCube controller.
The game was very well received and has on numerous accounts been considered one of the greatest RPG's of all time. It graced the 86th spot on Nintendo Power's top 200 games of all time (for Nintendo video games exclusively), though despite this they originally gave the game an average of 3.65/5.00 when the game was first released in 1993. Multiple magazines gave the game an impressive score; Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it an A, Edge gave it a 9/10, and Game Informer gave it a 9.5/10. It's uncommon to not find the game on a list of "the best of the best".
- The game was featured on the cover of Nintendo Power V54. It also won "Best Theme and Fun (SNES)" in the 1993 Nintendo Power Awards.