Secret of Mana is one of my favorite video games of all time. It was my gateway drug into the RPG genre, and even to this date, is a game I find myself often wanting to replay. One of the greatest things about Secret of Mana is that, through the use of the Super Nintendo Multitap, the game supports up to 3 co-op players.
About a decade ago, I was thrilled one day to have obtained the Multitap via the wonders of eBay; so I immediately planned to meet with my friend Chris and step-brother Mike to marathon the game in one day. We attempted and failed.
We knew we had to do it again, and this time we needed to step up our game. We needed to put less emphasis on grinding, and more on just getting the job done.
So we did. On November 17, 2012, the three of us met up again and played through the game. This time we publicized the event by broadcasting it online. Some people even joined up with us in person, including Chris’s brother Steven, who actually filled in for me at several parts of the game. We finished the game in under 12 hours, and damn was it satisfying.
And hard, too. Since we knew we didn’t have the luxury of being able to grind all our levels, spells, and weapons (yes, you have to grind all three separately in this game), we instead only focused on what we needed. Certain weapons never got used, and certain magic elementals were neglected entirely.
The road was bumpy. We definitely felt the effects of not being at the recommended level, for several of the boss fights. One particular battle was the one against the Evil Wall in the Pandora Ruins. There’s also the fact that we forgot to activate the Earth Seed (who forgets that??) prior to the battle, forcing us to go back and do so.
The most intense moment of all, however, was the final battle. The Mana Beast stood in front of us and laughed at our puny levels. We tried to push through with our level 0 Dryad Mana Magic, and were able to squeeze exactly that much damage to the beast: 0. We had to quickly change our strategy, and via suggestions from our friends in the chat room, we decided to use Moon Power instead. Suddenly we were dealing 999 damage to the beast and before long, it was vanquished. Which worked out great, since we had just run out of MP.
The playthrough was broadcast over twitch.tv and was actually a charity event to provide some further relief to those struck by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Our goal was $1,000, and while we only met a fraction of that goal, we’re still glad to have helped out.
If you want to watch the 11+ hour playthrough, here it is, for your viewing pleasure. Warning: We curse. A lot.
If you want to read more about Secret of Mana, check out my full review of the game.