|Title Screen Demo|
As with most games, letting it sit at the title screen for a while shows a little something. In this case, it's some flavor text, three people standing at the base of a tree as large pink birds fly by, and, of course, epic music (track 1 天使の怖れ / "Angel's Fear").
Oddly, the Japanese version uses English text. While far from flawless, it's at least readable. Might as well clean it up and correct the grammar and word choice...
|IN A CALAMITY,
PEOPLE AWAITED FOR A BRAVE
WITH THE SWORD.
THE SWORD REVEALED THE POWER
OF ITS TRUE NATURE TO
RETRIEVE THE PEACE.
EXCALIBUR, KUSANAGI, AND
ALL THE OTHER SWORDS TALKED
IN MYTH, LEGEND, AND SAGA...
PEOPLE NAMED THOSE
SWORDS IN MANY WAYS.
THEY ALL MEANT ONE THING.
THE ONE AND ONLY...
THE SWORD OF MANA.
|In times of crisis,
the people awaited a hero
with the sword.
The sword revealed the power
of its true nature to
Excalibur, Kusanagi, and
all the other swords spoken of
in myth, legend, and saga...
People gave many names
to those swords.
they all meant the same thing.
The one and only...
Sword of Mana.
|DARKNESS SWEEPS THE
TROUBLED LAND, AS MANA'S
PEOPLE AWAIT A HERO WHO
WILL WIELD THE SWORD...
EXCALIBUR, HERALD, GIGAS...
THE BLADE HAS HAD MANY
NAMES, FOR IT HAS BEEN
CELEBRATED IN MYTHS AND
LEGENDS THROUGHOUT TIME.
BUT ALL OF THESE SPEAK TO
JUST ONE WEAPON:
THE SWORD OF MANA.
In addition to the obvious text changes, the backdrop also significantly differs between the two versions. Observe:
That appears to be the same source image, except with one zoomed in, blurrier, and apparently a bit short on sunlight.
Let's throw this in as a bonus. The simple and repetitive title music is not on the OSV.
|Welcome to the world of Legend of the Holy Sword 2.
Use the directional pad to select New Game
if starting from the beginning or Game File
if continuing, and decide with the B button.
|WELCOME TO SECRET OF MANA.
CHOOSE "NEW GAME" TO START FROM THE BEGINNING.
CHOOSE "GAME FILE" TO START FROM WHERE YOU LAST SAVED.
PRESS B-BUTTON TO START.
On starting a new game, the player must name the main character.
Normally, this sort of screen would be nearly identical between versions, just with a different character set, but...
...not so much. Over 170 characters reduced to 26 capital letters, with no sign of lowercase letters or even any punctuation. The added instructions might have something to do with it. While they may help anyone who didn't read or doesn't have the manual and can't figure out how to work the screen on their own, they're still missing an explaination of how to erase a letter once it's entered (use the Y button).
There's also plenty of room on the screen for at least a second row of selectable characters, even with the extra instructions.
Anyway, although the naming screen only allows entry of capital letters, names are just text data as far as the game is concerned, so editing memory to insert lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, or other symbols (using the game's text encoding, of course) works perfectly fine.
As long as you limit yourself to six characters of text, anyway. The game is set up to allow for names as long as 12 bytes, and the English text encoding scheme makes it possible to go up to 24 characters with certain combinations, but the game text isn't formatted with that in mind and will have display issues.
After naming The Boy, the introduction begins.
There are standardized names out there that don't show up anywhere in the game itself, or the manual as far as I can remember. To me, our hero is just The Boy, so his name will appear as [BOY] in the game text on this site. After looking into it further, the names are given in the Japanese manual, where The Boy is officially ランディ (randi, Randy). The remake spells it "Randi", possibly to evade potential unfortunate implications that don't really fit his character.
On to the story! We start with a black background and some suitably ominous music (track 12 闇の奥 / "Deep in Darkness").
|A long time ago......
a civilization that advanced through
the power of Mana flourished in the land.
|Using the power of Mana,
a civilization had grown
Pan across what looks like an advanced militaristic structure.
|In time, the people came to apply the
power of Mana to war, and an enormous
vessel called the Mana Fortress was born.
|In time, Mana was used to
create the ultimate weapon:
the Mana Fortress...
Pan up through what could be a power room in the structure.
|しかし あまりに 強大なその力は
|However, its excessive power
incurred the wrath of the gods, and a
Divine Beast was sent to the land.
|This angered the gods.
They sent their beasts to
destroy the Fortress...
Pan across a dark forest filled with dead trees.
|The furious battle between the fortress and
Divine Beast engulfed the world in flame and
poison, and Mana was lost from the land.
|A violent war rocked the
world, and Mana seemed to
Pan down over a valley with an enormous tree.
|Then the fortress was brought down
by a hero bearing the Holy Sword, and no
more was seen of the Divine Beast, either.
|Before all was lost, a hero
with the Mana Sword smashed
|The civilization had been lost in the war,
but peace again returned to the world......
|Though the civilization had
been destroyed, the world
was peaceful again.
Fade to black.
|Time flows on......
|But time flows like a
The music fades with a last bit of dissonance as the screen pans across terrain toward a log bridge by a waterfall...
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