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  • Nightmare Fuel: A few kinds. Audio, in the form of The Curse (and Ceremony quickly turns into this given whom it becomes associated with over time); plot-wise, in the form of Geshtar the MechRider being turned somehow into a "living magical mechanism" (MechRider 3) by Thanatos - just what that entails and what actually took place in the process of this isn't detailed, but leaving it up to the player's imagination makes it so much worse; more plot with regard to why Thanatos has to pull Grand Theft Me every so often - Dyluck explains in the Japanese script that although your enemy's soul is indestructible, the bodies he takes over are definitely NOT, and they start to break down once he takes over - for a super colourful, adorable NES game, Secret of Mana is almost startlingly creepy when you think on it for a while.
  • Awesome Music/Hiroki Kikuta: Widely considered as one of the best soundtracks ever.
  • Complete Monster: Thanatos is considered by many to be one of the most vile villains in the entire Mana series.
  • Game Breaker: Casting the right offensive spells on a boss not only inflicts far more damage than any of your physical attacks, doing so also stuns it until the spell is finished casting, during which time you can cast another spell and so on until the fight's over. It's telling that That One Boss is the last one you fight without magic.
    • This works the same way when enemies cast spells on the player characters. Except the baddies don't do it every other second...
      • If you're lucky. The penultimate boss likes to SPAM YOU.
      • The iPhone port increased the aggression levels of all enemies and won't hesitate to combo and spam spells on you.
    • This gets taken Up to Eleven once you get Luna's magic: Not only can the Sprite spam-cast anything s/he wants, you can then drain the MP from the surrounding enemies to completely refill your reserves. Even the ones you just obliterated, if you're fast enough.
  • Goddamned Bats: Drops, especially fire and ice ones.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Using the Moogle Belt or the Imp Hammer causes you to remove or receive that condition, yes. That's not the bug, this is the bug: in between the three seconds it takes for the item to take it's effect you're invincible. Like, to, let us say, The final boss' charge attacks, effectively making him a lame duck except when he's in front of you (WHICH IS ALSO THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN ATTACK HIM) but his weak magical attacks make it impossible for him to kill you what with your overpowered player party and the cup of wishes, royal jellies, candies, chocolate bars and all the Undine Magic you have.
  • Hell Is That Noise: It has some of the creepiest music ever heard on a 16-bit game.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Thanatos. Period. What happens to Geshtar cemented it for this troper. When you do something that freaks out your lamia naga henchwoman you KNOW you're a bastard.
    • The man has some truly dick lines in the original-flavoured game - for example, taunting the heroes after dropping them into the room with the Chamber's Wall along the lines of 'oh, you can all freak out freely; after all, no one knows you're here'. And after all is said and done, and you've defeated the energy-slurping demon wall...? He calls you a second-rate/unimpressive Mana knight. Thanatos is a troll.
      • His response to Purim's freakout over his possessing her boyfriend is particularly bastardly, to wit: "Give Dyluck his body back!" "I am Dyluck."
  • Player Punch: A minor one, in the form of the main character finding out that his mother had become the Mana Tree, his father was the ghost he saw at the falls at the start of the game, and that he was the last of the Mana Tribe... all moments after the Mana Tree was destroyed. This is coupled with a (rather short) Heroic BSOD, naturally.
    • Coupled with a PLAYER BSoD in some cases. "His mom's a TREE?"
    • Randi's face is very akin to the face the player is wearing at the time of that reveal. Gotta love expressive sprites.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Where to begin? First there's the unprecedented stunning visuals, the music, and the fact that a fair chunk of the game's plot was recycled by Final Fantasy VI, the fact that it pushed the hardware of the SNES to it's absolute limit... Let's just say everything that made this game great was quickly forgotten.
    • The "Action Grid" lets you program the combat AI of your party members. One of the first games to let you do this.
  • That One Boss: Varies from player to player. The Dark Lich is the biggest dick in the damn game in this troper's opinion. His A.I. is the most bastardly thing ever. Just - don't attack him when he's Kilroy Was Here-ing out of the floor, it's done to bait the party and he can Kill They Ass VERY easily if they hang around his damn hands. Trust me on this one.
    • This troper's best friend referred to that phenomenon as 'getting lich slapped.'
    • Also? Goddamn Spikey Tiger. Spikey was a serious pain, as it could cause immense damage, moved very quickly, and most of its attacks knocked you unconscious, leaving you unable to attack. It could also cast fire magic, against which there is no defence. And since you don't have magic yet, you can only fight with your physical attacks.
    • Lime Slime. It's friggin' huge, taking up most of the screen, and touching it hurt you; also, it had a pretty high magic defense, so your favored strategy of spell-spamming wouldn't be very effective.
  • The Untwist: After learning that Randi removed the Mana Sword from the stone, Jema informs him that only The Chosen One should be able to do that. Jema tells you that since Randi is so young, it must be a mistake, and he was only able to remove the sword because the power of Mana had weakened. Guess what? Randi is the Chosen One due to his heroic parentage! Never saw that one coming!
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: The gender of the Sprite is a fiercely debated topic to this day. The English version says he's male, but it's less clear in the original.
    • In the German translation, the Sprite is actually female and is referred to as "the little kobold girl" (die kleine Koboldin).
      • The JP version is - well, Japan has a lot of gender-neutral pronouns. The sprite uses 'oira' as a personal pronoun, and that one's usually used by guys... but tomboyish girl characters will use it as well so - yeah.
    • Popoie has no official gender in the original game, period. The JP guidebook lists the kid's gender as unknown.
  • Woolseyism: Understandable, since the poor guy had a month - or less - to translate the game and the programmers utterly refused to change the text's width or just couldn't, leaving him with not a lot of time and even less space.
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