secret of mana

Pro tip: Get back in Potos Village

RPGs like Secret of Mana are big and complex enough that they seem to be just rife with little oddities and glitches that are waiting to be unearthed by the intrepid player.

Take, for example, the town at the beginning of the game, Potos. The boy character is tossed out of town fairly early on in his adventure and told never to return... at least not until he's done saving the world.

But, you can get around him. Or, rather, you can get through him. Just wait until you have multiple people in your party and come back to the village. Then press and hold Up while pressing Select. You'll cycle through control of all your characters and slowly inch your way through this gatekeeper.

Now why you'd want to do such a thing is beyond me, since the stuff in the shop is no better than you'd find anywhere in the world, and everyone still hates you anyway for dooming the village.

Oh, but make sure you have the Flammie Drum before you get in, or you don't mind resetting the game. That guy that's keeping you out? Turns out he's pretty bad at his job, but very good at keeping you in.

Pro tip: Keeping your magic levels maxed

In Secret of Mana, magic is handled kind of oddly. Every time you meet up with an elemental, you get access to their spells and then, in short order, you find its corresponding seed that you need to seal to complete part of the main quest. Each seed that you seal raises the maximum level of the spells you can cast, which makes them stronger, but to do that gets kind of tedious. You gain levels by simply using each of the elementals, but each additional level takes progressively more uses, and the new elementals that you meet start out at level 0. And that means you've got a lot of grinding to do.

But, let's assume that you do take the time to keep them all maxed out. What does that get you, other than the strongest casters in the game?

Excellent question!

Once your characters' skills with an elemental reaches the maximum of Level 8, weird stuff starts to happen. Their casts start to behave oddly, and just plain look cooler. You'll know when the effects go off because the game pauses for dramatic effect.

This works for defensive spells, too, but they're not quite as exciting to see in picture form. I haven't really bothered to find out if the spells get any stronger or not, because I was too distracted by their pizazz. But I don't really think it matters a whole lot. I just consider it a bonus for people who took the time to keep their guys in tip-top condition.

Pro tip: Secret of Mana's End Boss is a pushover

Spoilers galore in today's protip, so if you don't want a 15 year old game spoiled, don't click on this link.

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