Many of the newly-available destinations turn out to be pointless, at least for now, so let's start with one that isn't. A small village comprised of several grass huts sits on a large turtle-shaped island found south and slightly west of Kakkara, or west and slightly south of Matango. "Color of the Summer Sky" plays.
Curiously, however, we have our weapons out, even though there's never anything to fight here.
|: Heh, heh! This island is
a giant turtle's shell.
|This here island's really
a turtle shell!
|「ここは 世界の動きとは あまり
|: This place has little to do with the
goings on in the world, so it's very
calm and peaceful.
|NOTHING ever happens here!|
|: I was Vandole royalty, but then
it was like the emperor became
a different person......
: Fearing ourselves in danger, we fled
to this island. We feel safe here.
|I'm from the Empire. The
Emperor's gone nuts! I
escaped here with my family.
|: We can't forget about the luxurious
lifestyle we once had, but our lives
are far more important......
|I'd rather be poor and
One hut has a pair of young children.
|「わたしたちけっこんしてるの！||: We're married!||We're married!|
|: Age doesn't matter as long as you
have love, but the adults just won't
: So we eloped here!
|Age means nothing, as long
as there's love!
Adults just don't get it!
But the real reason to come here is in the larger central hut.
|: Such a small island doesn't
make for much business.
Maybe I'll go to a city somewhere......
: I can hardly get any merchandise on
this island except sea hare's tails......
: Huh? You want one of these things?
I was going to just throw them out.
Here, take it.
Obtained a sea hare's tail!
『It wouldn't do to lose this,
so I'll put it away...
|I'm not making it here...
There's nothing on this
blasted isle 'cept these
Sea Hare tails!
Eh? You actually WANT one?
Got Sea Hare's tail!
I'll keep it in my pocket.
Wasn't someone looking for one of those? Also note that it won't appear in your inventory, which seems to be the reason for that final line.
There's also an unreachable event here, activated by a specific value of an event variable that nothing ever sets. If the event variable were set to the proper value, the following messages would display upon entering the hut where the fugitive royalty live:
|（かきかけのにっきがおちている）||(An incomplete journal lies here.)||(Unfinished diary entry)|
|: ...it's over, they've finally found me....
The emperor is an impostor!
A demon's posing as him......
| ...My cover's been blown...
Some monster's using
the Emperor's body to
魔者 is a particularly interesting term. It appears nowhere else in the game text, and is quite uncommon in Japanese in general, so it's particularly difficult to pin down the meaning and connotations. 魔 is a ubiquitous difficult-to-translate kanji with a meaning of roughly "supernatural, and probably not in a friendly way" that comes up in terms like 魔法 (magic) and 悪魔 (demon/devil). 者 is basically "person", and tends to be both more literary and either a bit more humble or not quite as respectful (depending on who it's applied to) than 人, a near-synonym. And 魔人 (majin) is a standard term for human-like entities with superhuman (and generally dangerous) powers, which has been applied to everything from genies to Dracula. Other related terms include 魔物 (魔 + thing = monster), 魔女 (魔 + woman = witch), 魔獣 (魔 + beast = monstrous beast), and 魔神 (魔 + god = baleful god).
On the other hand, maybe it's just a typo. 者 and 物 are both commonly read もの (mono), and mixing up sound-alike kanji is possibly the most common kind of typographical error in Japanese. So perhaps it was just supposed to be 魔物 (monster) all along. Still, the text remains unused either way.
|(The journal cuts off here.)
『What could this mean...?
|(Text suddenly stops)
[BOY]:What does this mean?
Good question, kid. Compounding the mystery, higher values of the same never-modified event variable deactivate the NPCs here and change the music to "The Boy Heads for the Wilds", typically used in wilderness areas. Were there plans for the village to be abandoned after some unknown occurrence?
Optionally speaking to the king's attendant first adds this extra line to the beginning of the scene.
|: Oh! C-could that be!?
King Amur, Your Majesty!
He'll hand the tail to the king, at which point the scene continues the same way as speaking to the king directly.
|King Amur: Oh, is this that sea
hare's tail!? Let us try putting
it in the dry well at once!
|AMAR:It's a Sea Hare's
The screen brightens, and when the light fades, the once-dry pool is filled with gleaming water! "Sprite Child" replaces the music in Kakkara from now on.
|: Ohhhh! Water, water!!
Now our country is saved.
Thank goodness, thank goodness!
: Accept this as thanks!
It's held to be a legendary hero's belt.
I'm sure it will look great on you!
In return let me give you
|モーグリベルトを手に入れた！||Obtained the Moogle Belt!||Got Moogle Belt!|
The Moogle Belt is a reusable item that toggles Moogle status, similar to the Munchkin Hammer, if perhaps less useful given that Moogle wears off on its own. Still, the kingdom is saved, at least for now. The king still has misgivings, though.
|King Amur: If Mana keeps disappearing,
the well may dry up all over again......
: Is there nothing we can do beyond
praying that it doesn't happen......?
|AMAR:Mana brings the water
here. Otherwise our wells
would be dry.
Some distance north of Kakkara is what appears to be a large volcanic island, but we can't land there for now. Let's file that away for later investigation.
Shortly east of Kakkara is an odd feature. It looks sort of like a large tar pit with what appears to be another mana temple in the middle? We can't land at the temple itself, but landing nearby brings us to the shores of what, on closer inspection, doesn't resemble a tar pit so much as a viewport into space, with what seem to be planets and galaxies shimmering in a black field! There's a boat on the lake, if it can be called that, but trying to board gets us nowhere.
| 『Charon's Ferry』
Service currently suspended.
| "Karon's Ferry"
Out to lunch.
Okay, then. We'll try again later.
One last note while we're in the area. If we land in or near the C-shaped formation in the desert to the southeast, this will briefly take us where we first entered the desert before encountering the Sandship. The game divides the world map up with a grid to decide where you end up when you land, and cannon travel evidently uses the same data as Flammie, so there has to be a cell with the Sandship area as its destination for the cannon misfire to take you there, and this is that cell. However, now that the Sandship events are over, we're sent to the screen south of Kakkara immediately after landing, and can't re-explore that area.
|黄金の町||Gold City||GOLD CITY|
Directly east of the starry sea, and between Matango and the Ice Country (you may have passed by it before when traveling by cannon), is an island dominated by a gaudy city. The plot doesn't send us here until later, so we'll skip the dialog and other details for the time being. However, the item shop sells the best armor money can buy until close to the end of the game, for those with enough cash. Getting it now will make things go more smoothly for a while.
Considering the armor quality, it seems likely that you weren't orginally meant to be able to do business in this city until later on.
West of Gaia's Navel and south of the giant turtle, we find a castle along the shoreline of an island ringed with cliffs on all sides. We can land on what seems to be a pier, but soldiers block the entrance. Like on the Sandship, "Seaside King" plays.
|: This is Lemurian Castle,
of the Tasmanica Republic.
|This is the castle of
|: We've received intel that the Empire
is attemping to plant a spy.
: Just in case, no one is allowed
through here for now.
Sorry, but you'll have to leave.
|No one's allowed now!|
This is where Gemma's from, but it doesn't seem we can do anything here for now. Maybe later, then.
A small island south of Pandora holds a tall lighthouse. "Always Together" plays here, a track we haven't heard since the very beginning of the game, before encountering any monsters. Up several flights of stairs, we find a peculiar man spinning around on the roof.
|I'm the lighthouse keeper Piccard!
The seas are too stormy for ships to sail,
but I'm still keeping watch on the ocean.
There's an immense coral reef northeast
of this island, but the truth is there's a
continent there that sunk in ancient times!
What we know as the Mana temples are
set up as switches to make that continent
It's amazing what the ancient civilization
could do! Surely there are even more
incredible things beneath the continent!
|I'm Pecard, caretaker of
To the northeast is a
coral reef. Under it
lies a sunken continent.
The Mana Palace is really
a switch that will refloat
The power of the ancients
must have been incredible!
He may be named for Jacques Piccard, an undersea explorer from a family of adventurers. There's less likely to be any direct connection to Jean-Luc Picard, whose name is normally rendered as ピカード rather than ピカール.
Regardless, his dialog never changes at any point in the game, even when you might expect it to, and there's nothing else here or anything else to do here. The lighthouse might have been more important if sea travel existed in the game, but as it is, the only reason to visit is this minor nugget of information.
We might as well take a look here, too. The coral reef shows up on the map in two tones of violet, and certainly seems large enough to be hiding a sunken continent. There's also a structure in the middle that looks like a more elaborate Mana temple. Flammie can only land on the flanks of the building; neither the central tile nor the surrounding coral allow for landing. On closer inspection once on the ground, the structure definitely has the look of a Mana temple, and "Holy Intrusion" plays as well. However, there's nothing else here, and if we try to enter...
|『うっ！うごけない！||『Oof! Can't move!||Oh!...can't move!|
|なにか強い力におしもどされた‥‥||Pushed back by some powerful force......||Something's pushing us back!|
Another place to come back to later, then.
A lot of that was mildly interesting, but so far useless. For a change of pace, here's something potentially interesting that won't ever be useful. There are two places on the world map that have hidden faces in the terrain if you look closely enough. One is in the mountains southwest of Southtown. The other is in the middle of nowhere in the ocean near the northeast corner of the map, due north of the cannon by Southtown. We can't interact with either face in any way.
Well, King Truffaut did point us toward the mountains southeast of Matango, so it would make sense to investigate the area. There's a single tree roughly at the center that might indicate the peak, but we can't land there. Northwest of that is what looks like another Mana temple, with a small clearing in front of it, and north of northwest from there is a village right next to what looks like yet another Mana temple. We'll start with the village. Although it looks much like the villages in the Gaia Lowlands region, "Distant Thunder" plays here instead of the usual town music, giving it a different feel.
|ここは高山の村、マンダーラだよ！||This is the mountaintop village Mandara!||Welcome to the Lofty
Mountains! This is Mandala.
|You must be tired after climbing such a
high mountain, right? What! You came
here from the sky!? How shocking!
|I was impressed 'till you
said you FLEW here.
|Do you know about the Mana Tree?
There's a forbidden place somewhere in
the world called the Mana Holyland......
The Mana Tree is watching over the
entire world from the Holyland.
How grateful we are......
|The Mana Tree grows in
the Pure Land...
It is watching over us!
|Mana is what we call the energy that
sustains our world, no, the very universe.
But it is assuredly not limitless.
Sometimes people's hearts grow callous,
unable to see how precious forests and
trees, animals and sprites are.
And when this happens, Mana is soon
lost from the world......
|Mana sustains the cosmos...
...but is not infinite...
People no longer cherish
So Mana is fading away.
|A bit down the mountain from this village is
the Mana Temple of Darkness. Monsters
have moved in, and it's a real mess.
The entrance is like a cave, though, since
the temple was made by hollowing things
out halfway up the mountainside.
|Go down the mountain a bit,
and you'll see a cave.
Monsters are dwelling.
But it's the Palace of
|In the shrine at the summit live the
Great Sage Jach and his disciple Zico.
|Joch and his desciple Jehk
live on the peak.
Jach is another name that ends in the same sound as "Mach", and it has no obvious significance. The disciple's name may not mean anything specifically, but it does at least match that of a famous Brazilian football (soccer) player.
|Even the mountain path has been too
dangerous to walk lately! Is Master Jach
safe in the shrine at the summit?
|Monsters patrol the path to
Hope Sage Joch's okay!
|This village has the remains of a temple
from ancient times. Monks come to visit
it from all across the world.
|People from all over visit
our ancient temple.
The item shop has some new armor, but although it's better than what Northtown offers, it simply doesn't compare to what we can buy in the Gold City. However, the Ochu Ring remains notable due to protecting against Asleep and Poisoned. Watts is in town, too, inside the southwestern house.
|Watts: Whew, climbing all the way up
this mountain really tires a guy out!
|WATTS:Whew! That's some
Let's have a look at that temple, then. Up close, it looks more like the ruins near Pandora and Northtown than like a Mana temple.
|: At the summit lives the great
and mighty Sage Jach.
He meditates every day.
|The sage Joch lives high
atop the mountain.
|: Master Jach can be very fussy.
He's quite reluctant to meet with
those burdened with worldly desires.
|Sage Joch will not see you
unless you show him your
will to overcome yourself.
|: This temple has been here since long,
long ago... yes, since the battle between
the Mana Fortress and Divine Beast.
: There are, even now, recordings
from that time inside the temple.
They're the orbs in there, you see.
: Apparently, they used to be
| This temple dates from the
Mana Fortress war...
The orbs inside store
data from that period.
The ancients called them,
um, "Veedios," I think.
There are seven orbs inside the temple. Not all of them still work properly, and even some of those that do are entirely inconsequential.
|Lovey-dovey, my darling!
(Momoyo!) Catch my
burning heart! (Momoyo!)
| Oh, my heart brea-ks when
she's not a-round,
And I mi-ss her...
|...Question 7! Q~~!
Bingo, that's correct!
: Quite impressive, ma'am...
| ...Who was Abe Lincoln?
Correct! That makes you our
Others seem more important.
|: ...these days there's no end to trouble, what
with countries fighting over the usage rights
for what little Mana energy is still left.
: What a load of hogwash. Nonsense!
: H-hey! What are you calling hogwash!?
You've got some nerve!
: That's enough out of you, take this!
: What are you doing!? H-hey cut it—
| We must restrict the use
of Mana energy!
What utter nonsense!
We're using it up!
Ha! You can't USE up Mana!
Argh! You don't understand!
|It's time for the news. Early this morning,
Lorimar commenced missile strikes against
the northward-advancing Imperial army.
The Empire is expected to retaliate with
an all-out attack on the Lorimar Kingdom's
capital of Wendel within 24 hours...
| ...evening news. At dawn
Lorima launched missiles
at the Empire...
...which had threatened to
take Lorima's capital by
These names may look famliar from other games in the series.
|...would you look at this, viewers!
That is the Divine Beast of Mana!
Ah! The Aerial Fortress Gigant has finally
been destroyed by the Divine Beast!
It's going down over the ocean!
Ahhhhh! The Divine Beast is coming this way.
We won't be able to continue the broadcast.
Farewell, everyone, farew......
| THERE! You can see the Mana
Beast! Just moments ago it
hit the Fortress...
Oh! It's coming this way!
We're going off the...
This appears to be a reference to a flying fortess in the 1970s post-apocalyptic sci-fi anime Future Boy Conan. It's unclear whether that's supposed to be another name for the Mana Fortress. And, given the reference to a sci-fi anime and how hammed-up this feels, it's similarly unclear whether it's meant to be an actual in-universe news broadcast or just a recording of a thematic fictional work. We've got pop music and a game show, so why not a science fiction drama?
|マンテン山||Manten Mountain||Lofty Mountains|
Outside the village and up the mountain, track 21 風の焉わるところ plays.
It seems that the track's English name is "The Wind Never Ceases", but the original track name isn't so straightforward. 焉わる looks like a verb, and 風の[verb]ところ would normally translate to "where the wind [verbs]". The problem is that 焉わる isn't a verb any Japanese speaker seems to be familiar with. It's believed to be a Kikuta-ism (Kikuta being the composer), and even its pronunciation isn't known with any certainty. Most discussion agrees on いずくわる (izukuwaru), based on 焉んぞ (izukunzo), which apparently is used to indicate rhetorical questions when reading Chinese text in Japanese.
焉んぞ itself is more commonly written as 安んぞ. An example I've found is that the classical Chinese proverb 燕雀安知鴻鵠志 is conventionally written in Japanese as 燕雀安んぞ鴻鵠の志を知らんや. Roughly, that's "How can a small bird (metaphorically, a nobody) understand the aspirations of a large bird (metaphorically, a great person)? (It can't.)" And although I haven't been able to find the Japanese rendition of Kirk's line from Star Trek V, I could imagine something similar being used for "What does God need with a starship?". It's a question that seeks not to receive an answer but to make a point: An almighty being, like what the entity Kirk faces claims to be, wouldn't need a starship. And that makes these claims highly suspicious.
In any case, the only other place where 焉 is at all common is in the word 終焉 (shuuen, demise), leading to speculation that 焉わる might be meant as a something of a synonym for 終わる (owaru, to be over), especially given that the verb ends the same way. 風の終わるところ would basically mean "where the wind dies". But that doesn't quite seem to fit, and 焉 by itself doesn't have that sort of meaning associated with it. Perhaps, though, the track name was meant to evoke it, while also including the rhetorical effect of 焉んぞ. "Where does the wind go to die?" It doesn't. So maybe the English name had the right idea all along.
As the villagers said, the mountain path is crawling with monsters, specifically the Blood Pansy (Trap Flower), Bomb Bee, and Cockatrice (Eggatrice). Although Bomb Bees can sometimes set someone on fire, Blood Pansies remain easily the most annoying of these, as they'll often immediately fire off a spell that can knock a character unconscious. Fortunately, the Ochu Rings sold in Mandara prevent that stauts effect, reducing the tedium of climbing the winding trail up to the summit. Nikita may appear along the way if there aren't too many monsters on screen, but just duplicates the village's inventory at a higher price.
At the top is a cave, and inside, track 24 伝説 (Legend) plays. A strange energetic creature reminiscent of a large prehistoric bird is here, but where's the sage?
|: Hey! Keep out!
His Sageness is away.
: Sage Jach has gone to the
Darkness Temple. It's deep inside
the cave along the way here.
The Sage is out!
JEHK:Sage Joch went to the
Palace of Darkness.
You saw it on the way here.
Well, we did need to visit all the temples regardless. Now is as good a time as any!
Also note that it's not necessary to visit here yet. For now, it's just a place to get some guidance if you're not sure where to go next.
It seems likely that you were orginally meant to escape the Empire by sea, possibly even with other escapees on the giant sea turtle that in the final game is an unmoving island. Or perhaps you were meant to shipwreck there, then find another way to travel? It might help explain the unused events.
As previously noted, the presence of beaches on the world map that could have served as landing spots for sea travel further support the theory of having some way to sail. Even the final version's world map has visible beaches in the Ice Country, on the northwest shore of the Golden Isle, along the mountains northeast of Matango (which might be related to what look like unreachable cave passages but don't go anywhere), on a small island just off the shore of Tasmanica, at the foot of the mountains south of Mandara, ringing the volcanic island in the northwest corner of the map, and arguably all allong the Kakkara Desert. The most developed version of the pre-release map has an additional beach on a protrusion of land toward the eastern side of the northern coast of the Empire, as well as islands with beaches on the lake between Northtown and Southtown and off the coast west of Southtown (the protruding bit of land and both islands are all removed in the final game). Perhaps you would have been stranded on one of these islands until finding a way off?
I also doubt that you were orginally meant to reach Mandara by air, at least the first time there. Most likely you would have come ashore at the base of the mountains and made your way up on foot, possibly going through a cave system that no longer exists, if it was ever designed in the first place. Looking at the pre-final maps again, Mandara isn't visible from above and so may have been a cave town, assuming it existed at all. The clearing in front of the Darkness Temple hadn't been added yet, either. However, there does appear to be a larger open space around the summit, implying that you might have been able to land there after finally securing a means of air travel, and even the final game still has an unused landing zone defined for that sector that drops you off just a short distance from the sage's cave. It would have felt especially rewarding after having had to climb up all the way from the foot of the mountain on every visit until then.
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