Two things happen in the later part of Seiken Densetsu 2 — it seems like they’re hurrying things along, and the monsters get much harder. I think the hurrying is just due to development problems, and maybe that’s the origin of the slight enemy unbalance as well. But overall the flaws in the first half of the game are still there in the second half. It’s too bad; this could have been a much better game.
Anyway, last time I was heading back to the Fire Palace to return the seed and level up my magic to 4. For most of the bosses in this game I just levelled up magic and used it — this is a really cheap way to beat all the bosses and maybe I shouldn’t have resorted to it, but it’s fun to spell-lock the bosses and watch them die without being able to move.
After the fire palace we head to the Empire — as usual in RPGs, the Empire is not good. They are trying to restore the Mana Fortress to rule the world, but this would be bad news for everyone else. Fortunately there’s a resistance we can join.
The resistance base is in Northtown, where we learn that Dyluck (the girl’s love interest) is draining people’s energy — obviously he’s under enemy control. Unfortunately by the time we break into the castle it’s too late. He’s gone.
But good news! The Emperor wants a truce. The resistance is a bunch of idiots and actually accepts it, but we all get thrown in jail. Fortunately we escape, and then eventually after a few boss fights we get Flammie, the dragon that can fly us around the world.
Now the game gets hurried along a bit, as the last few seeds are all dealt with in short order, without a whole lot of story. I do remember Gold City from when I played this as a kid, with the great Empire city music.
Eventually we recover all of the seeds but one, which the Empire has already screwed up. They’re also invading an underground palace to try to raise the Mana Fortress. This is where the game’s difficulty shoots up a lot, but buying the best equipment from Gold City helps a lot. After the dungeon there’s even better equipment from Neko.
Afterwards, it’s time for the Pure Land, where we fight a ton of bosses and then finally get the level 8 magic and the power of mana.
Unfortunately the Mana Tree dies (and is the main character’s mom, or something), but fortunately the spirit is still around. Time to take on the Mana Fortress.
Thanatos has killed the Emperor and tried to take over things for himself, but Level 8 Saint Beam takes him out pretty easily, leaving just the Mana Beast left. Killing the Beast will split the world so that Sprite will no longer be able to meet the main character, but that’s a small price to pay.
This is kind of a bullshit fight because it involves sitting through a bunch of un-defendable attacks, and then casting Mana magic on the main character and hitting the dragon, and then repeating. It’s not fun, strategic, or anything else. But maybe that’s a good representation of the whole game.
There’s really no ending sequence to speak of.
I’m not going to say this game is overrated because it gets a lot of criticism, even on the Secret of Mana gamefaqs board. But it could have been a lot better. And I hope Seiken Densetsu 3 is.
Next up is Sword World SFC, but first is the oddball Fire Emblem Gaiden on my other blog.
SM3 is better, I think. My only big complain is the process of getting the final gear for the characters (not a spoiler). It is very grindy and very random getting all those Weapon/Armor Seeds, planting them and hoping to get the right pieces of equipment. A real moment-killer near the end of the game.
Boy, it's crazy that I got so far into the game, but never beat it…….. same can be said for so many SNES and PSX jRPGs…. but it's so good!