Previous Part: Introductions

Storyline text and attempted translations from...


トパーズの滝 Topaz Falls Topaz Falls

Based on signage seen elsewhere, that's the name of this location.

Two boys, one large and mean-looking with buck teeth, the other smaller and wearing a pointy hat, stand on a log bridge in front of a waterfall, while a third, with a bandana and an unlikely hairstyle, struggles both to keep up and to keep his balance. Music that wouldn't sound out of place in a cheesy cartoon plays (track 4 いつもいっしょ / "Always Together").

[BOY]『Hey, you guys,
 wait up! Whoa!
[BOY]:Hey! Guys!
 Wait up! Aaaaaah!

Ah, yes, the 『 mark instead of 「 for when player characters speak. I'll be keeping it, because why not.

The larger boy steps toward him.

ボブ「[BOY]の グズ!
 ボヤボヤしてたら 見つかって、
 村長に またおこられるぞ!
Bob: [BOY], you numbskull!
 If you're not more careful we'll get caught,
 and the elder will get mad again!
ELLIOTT:Shh! Be quiet!
 The Elder will find us
 here and he'll be mad!
 ここにきちゃ いけないんだぜ。
Ness: Yeah. Village rules say you can't
 come here. They say there's a ghost
 or something...
TIMOTHY:Yeah. We're not
 supposed to be here.
 There's a ghost around!

Replacing boring names with more exotic ones or implausible names with more believable ones are common enough in localizations, but it's not often that perfectly ordinary names are replaced with other perfectly ordinary names. Choosing longer names makes the change even more puzzling, since they take up more of the limited space available in the text boxes on the screen, and in the script in the game data.

ボブ「ふふん、大人たちも ようち
Bob: Hu huhn, the adults are a bunch of
 babies. They think that's going to make
 us too scared to come here.
ELLIOTT:Ha! Do you really
 believe that? People say
 that to scare us!

ふふん (huhun) is sort of a smug chuckle. We'll be seeing more of it and the related へへん (hehen) over the course of the game.

「でも、ばあちゃんが 昔 滝で
 光りかがやくものを 見たってさ
: But grandma said she saw something
 shiny by the waterfall back in the day.
 It's got to be some serious treasure!
 But I heard Grandma say
 something about a shiny
 object near the falls.
ネス「さあ、先をいそごう! Ness: Now let's hurry and keep going!  TIMOTHY:That must be some
 kind of treasure!
 We have to find it!

They turn to leave, but The Boy loses his balance again.

『あ、あ、おっ 落ちる! 『Ah, ah, I'm f-falling! [BOY]:Help! I'm falling!
うわあぁぁぁ‥‥ Whoaaaaaa......  Aaahhhhhhhhhh!

He falls off, as the other two make a token effort to look like they're trying to be helpful. The music fades out. They turn to each other, then hurry back the way they came, presumably toward the village.

Meanwhile, The Boy lands in a surprisingly shallow pond at the bottom of the waterfall. He seems none the worse for wear.

『Ow! Kh...
 Doesn't look like I can climb this.
 Wh-what now...?
Ouch! Phew..!
 No way to get back up!
 Now what am I going to do?

The music fades back in, and we now have control of him, but no menu access. As he continues on, a mysterious glow appears, accompanied by a voice.

『?? 『?? [BOY]:??

Further on, thick growth blocks the way east.

『The village is this way...
 but I can't get through like this.
[BOY]:The village is this
 way. I have to find
 something to cut through!

Luckily, there's a convenient sword sticking out of a rock in the water nearby. That should do the trick. As he walks up and attempts to take it, though, the light and voice make a repeat appearance.

 さあ‥ 剣を‥抜くのだ‥
 Come... draw out... the sword...
  Remove the sword...

The Boy looks around in confusion.

『だれ?‥なんだ、この剣は!? 『Who's there? ...what's this sword!? [BOY]:Who are you...and
 what's this sword doing

But he grabs the sword anyway.

『ん~~~‥えいっ! 『Nhhhhh... there! [BOY]:Urrrrrrrgh! Huh!?

It comes loose suddenly, knocking him onto his butt. An even brighter light follows. When it fades, a ghostly knight stands before him.

『Ugh! Too bright!
 Wah, wah, a, a ghost!!
: ......[BOY]......
 Take care of... the sword......
[BOY]:Ow! That light...
 so bright I can't see...
 Ahhhhh! A g...g...ghost!
  It is I who asked...
  the sword...

The ghost vanishes in another pulse of light...

 Wh-what, what?
 Ah! Th-the sword!!
 Say what?
 You mean this sword?..

...but then an even brighter burst of energy comes, apparently from the sword itself!

...which is what he's reacting to at the end there.

『どんどん光が消えていく‥ 『The light's fading away...   The brilliant light is
  gone in an instant.

Now holding the sword, he shakes his head a few times.

『‥む、村に かえろ! 『...b-better head back to the village! [BOY]:I have to get back!

The HUD and menu are now active. The Boy wields the Rusted Holy Sword (sounds important!) and wears Leather Overalls, and his stats point toward being a physical fighter type. The status menu also mentions something called "Mana Energy", currently 0, but we'll get to that later.

『剣で きれそうだぞ 『Looks like I can cut it with the sword. [BOY]:I can cut through
 with this sword!

Rusted or not, the sword cuts through the underbrush, opening a path to the next screen where a strange rabbit-like creature waits. The music fades out.

『うわっ こんなところにラビが!
『Whoa, what's a Rabbie doing here!?
 Th-this isn't safe!
[BOY]:Whoa! What's a
 Rabite doing in a place
 like this?

A more adventuresome tune starts up (track 6 少年は荒野をめざす / "The Boy Heads for the Wilds"), and we have our first taste of the action-based combat system. Fortunately, Rabbies (Rabites) are more playful than truly aggressive, tend to flee when hurt, and may also drop healing items in chests that The Boy opens by shaking them excessively before slamming them into the ground.

At this point, The Boy's attacks will inflict either 14 or 18 damage with a full attack gauge. Normally, you should wait for the attack gauge to recharge to 100% before attacking again, but since Rabbies only have 20 hit points, feel free to strike again early if the first hit did 18 damage.

Along the way, the following messages are likely to appear:

[BOY]の技レベルがアップ! [BOY]'s skill level up! [BOY]'s Weapon Skill up!
剣はLv1になった Sword is now level 1. Sword reaches Lv. 1

This allows The Boy to charge his attack up to use a level 1 skill for a +50% damage bonus, and also gives a small passive bonus to critical hit rate. Further levels enable more skills, each with its own animation, but they aren't available just yet. In the meantime, a few more kills should result in:

[BOY]はLv2になった [BOY] is now level 2. [BOY] reaches Lv. 2

Gaining a level also provides healing.

It's possible to run out of health on the way to the village, though it's unlikely to happen. Even if it does, The Boy just reappears by the rock where the sword was, and is fully healed as the voice speaks again.

  [BOY]... wake up...
  You must not
  fall down now...
『‥うう、なんてこった‥‥ 『...ugh, what a mess......   Oooh! What in blazes...?

It's always nice when the game watches your back until you at least get a chance to save.

There's also a sign pointing back the way he came, found in a location that turns out to be not far from the village.

  森への たちいりきんし
        ポトス村 村長
  Entry to forest forbidden
        - Potos Village Chief

It's a bit late for that. Maybe if The Boy slinks into the village quietly, no one will notice?

ポトス村 Potos Village POTOS VILLAGE

This location has an entry in the game's List of Place Names used to note where saves are. In the English version, this list is one of numerous things to use all caps, something that I've never liked but that happens strangely often in SNES-era games.

Things seem peaceful enough in the village, with the music complementing the atmosphere (track 7 夏の空色 / "Color of the Summer Sky"). Let's try talking to some villagers and hope they haven't noticed anything.

さっき 滝の方のそらに すごい
光が 見えたよ!
Oh my! If it isn't [BOY].
We saw an incredible light earlier
in the sky over by the falls!
Did you see that, [BOY]?
A minute ago something lit
up the sky near the falls.
なんだかあたしゃ わるいよかんが
I'm getting a bad feeling about it for some
reason. Better keep my fingers crossed.
I have a real bad feeling
about this...

くわばら (kuwabara) is literally a mulberry field, of all things, but here it's just something you mutter to ward off misfortune.

たいへんだ! とつぜん
Oh no! Monsters have suddenly
appeared near the village!
Haaaalp! Monsters have
surrounded the village.
Something's wrong.
いまは 村のそとに 出ない方が
What could have happened?
It's best not to leave the village for now.
We'd better stay inside!
また なにか わるさでもしたの?
The elder was looking for you.
Have you been getting into trouble again?
[BOY]! The Elder was
looking for you. What did
you do this time?
Hey, if it isn't [BOY].
Bob and Ness just came back looking
pale. Did something happen?
Oh, it's you, [BOY].
Elliott was pale and about
to faint. What happened?

Maybe things aren't all that calm and peaceful after all, and it looks like The Boy is already in trouble. At least he's not the only bit of gossip.

店に 見なれない男がいるんだ。
なんだか めつきがわるくて、
おっかない かんじだよ。
There's a man I don't know in the pub.
He's kinda intimidating, and I don't
like the look in his eyes.
There's a strange guy in
here. He looks kinda scary.
That customer's supposed to be a
knight from some country, but what
could he want from a village like this?
That guy seems to be a
knight from somewhere.
What's he doing here?

The man bears some resemblance to the ghost seen by the sword, but he's not feeling talkative.

旅の男「‥‥ Traveling Man: ...... MAN: ...

Ah, well. Might as well go see what the elder wants, as if it weren't obvious. Bob and Ness have already arrived.

 から 話しを聞いたところだ。
Elder: Ah, [BOY]!
 You're all right. I just heard from
 Bob and Ness what happened.
ELDER:[BOY]! You're not
 hurt! They just told me
 what happened.
Bob: Whew, you had me worried for
 a while there. Thanks for all the
 trouble, you klutz!
ELLIOTT:I thought you were
 a goner!
Ness: See, I told you I didn't want
 to take him with us. Bah!
TIMOTHY:I told you it was
 stupid to bring someone
 like HIM along!
 まったく このワルガキどもが!
Elder: Fools! Haven't I told you not
 to go there!? You little brats!
ELDER:You idiots! Weren't
 you told not to go there?
 そ!それは!‥いや まさか‥‥
Elder: Hm? [BOY]!
 What's that you have? ...
 Th-that's!, it can't be......
 What's that you have?
 ...Oh, no! It couldn't be!
ボブ「おおっ!? もしかして
ネス「なかなか やるじゃんか!
Bob: Whoa!? Don't tell me you
 found the treasure!
Ness: Hey, not bad!
 ELLIOTT:Cool! Did you find
 the treasure?
TIMOTHY:Way to go!
Elder: Oh, what have you done!?
 The Holy Sword has been drawn!
 I didn't think anyone could do that...
ELDER:What have you done?!
 How could YOU have pulled
 out the Mana Sword?
 It's impossible!
 全滅だって いいつたえを‥
Ness: G-gah! Th-the Holy Sword?
 I've heard of that. Legend says the
 village is done for if it's pulled out...
TIMOTHY:THE Mana Sword?!
 Legend has it that our
 village is finished...
村長「まさか [BOY]が
Elder: Who could have expected
 [BOY] to draw it...?
 ELDER:..If the sword is
 And here it is!
「伝説では聖剣が この村を
 それが いま抜かれてしまった。
: Legend holds that the
 Holy Sword protects this village.
 And now it's been drawn.
 It is said that the Mana
 Sword has been protecting
 our village from disaster.
 したんだ! だからモンスターが
Bob: You moron, what have you
 done!? That's why the monsters
 started going nuts!
ELLIOTT:So that's it!
 That's why all the monsters
 are attacking us now!

The Boy shakes his head in denial, but of course that doesn't do any good.

「おまえみたいな よそものが
 抜いちまったら おしまいだあ!
: Now that an outsider like you's
 pulled it out, we're done for!
 Why you, take this!
 How could an outsider like
 you yank out the sword and
 bring doom to us all!!

Bob starts beating up on him, demonstrating that he doesn't just look like a bully.

『Whoa, cut it out!
: Shut up!
[BOY]:Hey! Stop it!

The Boy backs away.

「まちやがれ! : Hold it right there, dammit! ELLIOTT:It's your fault!
『よせよう 『Quit it! ELLIOTT:You!
[BOY]:Please, stop!

Near the pub, the screen suddenly starts shaking.

うわー、地震だあー! Whoa, earthquake!   Waaah! Earthquake!..

Bob runs around like an idiot until a hole opens in the ground that they both fall into as the music fades out. The knight comes out of the pub in time to see it happen...

うわあぁぁぁ‥‥ Whoaaaaaaa......   Aaaaaaah...

...but The Boy finds himself facing a large mantis-like monster while Bob cowers in a corner. Dramatic boss music starts (track 19 危機 / "Crisis").

Bob: Whoa! M-monster!!
 Y-you've got a sword, don't you!?
 Do something!!
 You have a sword, don't
 you? Use it!

The Boy seems more confused than anything. Maybe he needs a little guidance.

Traveling Man: Hey! Can you hear me?
 Listen, stay calm and watch the enemy's
 movements closely! Catch it off guard!
MAN:Hey! Can you hear me?
 Watch how the monster
 moves before attacking!

There we go. The Mantis Ant has more varied and dangerous attacks than Rabbies, unsurprisingly. However, the game is still feeling generous about game overs, since running out of health just results in automatic (and unlimited) revivals.

Man: Hang on, I'll help you!
 Stay calm, gather 100% power,
 and aim carefully!
MAN:Hang on!
 I'll help you!
 Clear your mind, wait
 'till you have 100% power,
 and aim carefully!

And so, the battle cannot be lost. To help it go more smoothly, though, kill a few extra Rabbies for another level and enough money to buy (and equip) a Bandana beforehand. The extra defense and evasion make a significant difference. The monster also seems to use fewer nasty attacks if you stay fairly close to it.

Victory inevitably follows, with a nice explosion, a fanfare, and free healing.

『やったー! 『All right! Way to go!
剣のパワーが アップ! Sword's power up! Got Sword's Orb!

Weapon Orbs are a fabrication in the English version, but they do honestly make more sense out of certain scenes. When it's simply slaying a monster, or even opening a treasure chest, the weapon could plausibly absorb the energy directly, but when an NPC gives one to the party? It's difficult to explain exactly how they're doing that without invoking something like an Orb that would be able to contain the power in a portable form independent of the weapon itself.

Man: Well done!
 Just wait, I'll pull you up out of there.
MAN:You did it!
 Wait there, I'll pull
 you up.

Triumphant music (track 20 嵐の孤児 / "Orphan of the Storm") plays as he gets them out. Bob continues to be useless...

Bob: Ah-ah-ah...
 Leave me out of this!

...and runs off, leaving The Boy and the knight to share a dumbfounded moment before conversation resumes.

Man: ...that sword certainly seems to be
 the real Holy Sword. What a mess......
『What!? Wh-what should I do?
MAN:That appears to be the
 real Mana Sword.
[BOY]:Huh? What?
「世界にきけんが せまった時、
: The legendary Holy Sword is supposed
 to be drawn by a hero when the world is
 in imminent danger.
MAN:It is supposed to be
 pulled out by a knight in
 times of great trouble.
 きっと 聖剣に何かが
: But you're still too young.
 Something must have happened
 to the Holy Sword...
 Problem is, you're too
 young! Something must have
 happened to the Mana Sword.

Says who? Since when is age a critical factor for legendary magic swords?

『こ、これさしあげます! 『H-here, you can have it! [BOY]:Here! It's yours!
: No, it doesn't work like that.
 The Holy Sword has lost its
 power. You must revive it.
MAN:Sorry, but the sword is
 losing its power, and must
 be re-energized!
: Nobody can do so except for
 the one who drew the sword.
『Wh-what should I do...?
 Only the person who pulled
 it free can do that.
[BOY]:What should I do?
: ......we had best ask lady Rusa Luka
 at the Water Temple. She's watched
 over these lands for 200 years.
: She may know something useful.
MAN:Visit Sage Luka in the
 Water Palace.
 She's been protecting these
 lands for over 200 years.
 Listen to her advice.

A probable reference to the rusalka, a water nymph in Slavic mythology, which fits with her placement in the Water Temple and would also explain how she could have lived long enough to have watched over these lands for centuries. The extra 'u' in "Luka" comes from Japanese phonetics not liking multiple consonant sounds in a row, and stays because "Lka" doesn't work well as a name.

As all that sinks in, Ness approaches.

 村長が いえにこいってさ!
Ness: [BOY]!
 You're to come to the elder's house!
TIMOTHY:[BOY]! The Elder
 wants you in his house!
Man: Now, I have things to do, so I'm
 going on ahead. My name is Gemma.
 I'll be waiting at the temple!
MAN:Well, I have to be off.
 Oh, my name is Jema.
JEMA:I'll wait for you
 inside the Water Palace!

A probable reference to the Gemma Knights in other Mana games. Either way, it's a soft 'g' and is pronounced like "Jema", so that spelling makes sense, too. On a side note, keep in mind he said he'll wait at the temple, not specifically inside.

Jema leaves. Ness stays, but remains uninteresting except for that weird hat.

ネス「はやく行けよ‥ Ness: Hurry up and go... TIMOTHY:Get going!

The shop is closed, and most of the villagers are gone, so there's little to do but go see the elder. Ah, here's where everyone went.

: Elder! Are you just going to do nothing!?
: Right! We can't feel safe. Who knows
 when another monster might show up...
 We can't go on like this!
 There's no relief in sight.
Elder: ......oh, [BOY]!
 You've caused a real mess. That Holy
 Sword is the guardian deity of our village.
ELDER: ... Oh, [BOY]!
 You've really done it to me
 this time!
: It may be because that sword was
 drawn that the monster suddenly
 The reason why monsters
 have appeared is because
 you removed the sword.

An old woman gets in his face, and the music fades.

 [BOY]が 村にいれば
 またモンスターが くるぞえ!
: Of course it is! If [BOY] stays here in
 the village, more monsters will come!
VILLAGER:It's settled.
 We can't let [BOY] stay
 in the village anymore!
VILLAGER:If we do, more
 monsters will come after
「出ていけ! : Get out! VILLAGERS:Go!
「そうだ、出ていけ!! : Yeah, get out!!  Get out of here!
「出ていけ!出ていけ!! : Get out! Get out!!  Yeah, on your way now!

With each shout, The Boy falls back as though struck. Sorrowful music begins playing (track 39 君を忘れない / "I Won't Forget You"), a more downbeat remix of "Angel's Fear" heard on the title screen.

Elder: ...I'm afraid I have no choice.
 [BOY]. You're going to have to
 leave the village.
ELDER:I don't want to do
 this, but I have no choice.
 I'm going to have to ask
 you to leave the village.
 それで そうびをそろえて行くと
: There's a treasure chest in the basement.
 Use it to outfit yourself before you go.
 You can take what's in the
 treasure chest downstairs.

The chest downstairs contains 50 Rukh. There's also a girl there who has no idea what's going on.

: Where're you going, mister?
 Have a good trip!
Heading out? See you later!

By the time The Boy returns upstairs, everyone but the elder has left.

村長「やはり もともと よそ者の
 おまえを これ以上は 私でも
Elder: You were an outsider to begin with.
 Even I can do nothing more to shield
 you. Forgive me.
ELDER:I took you in and
 I raised you. But there's
 nothing I can do to help.
 Please forgive me.

The music fades as he continues.

 おまえは もう
 You probably don't remember
 this any more, but...
 I know I've told you this
 before, but...

A different sad tune (track 17 夜の魂 / "Soul of the Night") starts playing.

On a side note, you can skip this conversation, which will also skip changing the music. Whichever tune is playing when you leave the village will remain the background music here for the rest of the game, assuming you stop by at all.

 おまえは まだおさなかったころ
 この村に 母おやとともに
 どこからか やってきた。
 You, along with your mother, came
 to this village from somewhere
 when you were still a child.
 Your mother brought you to
 this village when you were
 just a baby.
 だが おまえの 母おやは
 すぐに ゆくえふめいに
 But your mother went missing
 before long.
 Soon afterwards, she
 私は みよりのない おまえを
 ひきとり きょうまで そだてて
 I took you in when you had no
 relatives, and have raised you to this
 day... but it's time to part ways.
 I took you and have done
 my best to raise you.
 But now we must part.
 きっといつか 母おやに
 あえるよう いのっているよ
 I pray that you'll be able to meet
 your mother some day.
 ......take care.
 I truly hope you can find
 your mother someday.
 ...Good bye, [BOY].

That money will buy some supplies, but the merchant isn't very nice about it.

 さっさと、村から 出て行けよ!
: The elder commanded it, so I'll sell
 to you, but hurry up and get out of the
 village as soon as you're done!
I'm only selling you stuff
'cause the Elder ordered
 使えよ!わかったら さっさと
: You've got to equip armor to use it!
 Go on and leave if you get the idea!
You have to equip new armor
for it to protect you!

The rest of the villagers aren't any friendlier. Maybe it's too bad the Mantis Ant didn't eat them. Ingrates.

  ( はい  いいえ )
: Are you ready yet?
  ( Yes   No )
Have everything you need?
  (Yes  No)
「村長のめいれいで おまえは
 もう 村に 入れられないんだ。
: On the elder's orders, you are no
 longer allowed into the village.
 Now get going!
You are hereby banished from
Potos village.
Now, get out of here!

Bah. Maybe Gemma will be more helpful.

Previous Part: Introductions

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