Adventures of Mana is in a tricky situation. It’s a modern remake of both Final Fantasy Adventure, for the Game Boy, and the Game Boy Advance’s Sword of Mana. While all three are based on the same game, things changed between iterations. Sword of Mana removed Final Fantasy connections in favor of fostering stronger ties to the Mana series and expounded on the original story. However, by allowing people to choose the gender of their avatar, it also altered Final Fantasy Adventure’s story slightly.
While we don’t have official trailers or plentiful details, Square Enix’s Adventures of Mana website is filled with screenshots from the forthcoming game. By comparing these images to stills from Ballerscuba and Jeatkid let’s plays, we can better compare what elements of Sword of Mana and Final Fantasy Adventure may have made the cut. Spoiler – since players are locked into a male hero as their avatar, it looks a lot like the original Game Boy game.
When it comes to the introduction of the Dark Lord, Adventures of Mana mirrors Final Fantasy Adventure. The introduction, in which the Dark Lord and Julius are discussing how to reach the Mana Tree and the hero overhears, seems to be perfectly recreated.
But, the introduction of the heroine appears to differ in each entry. Adventures of Mana seems to combine the meetings from both Final Fantasy Adventure and Sword of Mana. In each case, the hero comes in to save the day. Hakim doesn’t appear in that initial Adventures of Mana screenshot, but the heroine also doesn’t seem as self-sufficient as she did in Sword of Mana. She has a more formal look, as she did in the original appearance, rather than one of a warrior.
Other introductions seem to vary when it comes to similarities. When the hero and heroine meet Bogard for the first time in Adventures of Mana, it seems to mirror his Final Fantasy Adventure introduction. The Adventures of Mana screenshot shows the hero and Watts meeting at a mine, but the Dudbears are nowhere to be found. It remains to be seen if the two meet because of a search for silver or mythril.
There’s one area in which Adventures of Mana doesn’t seem to pull straight from the original source material, and that’s with the battle system. It seems very similar to Sword of Mana. The UI is laid out in a similar fashion, and the sword slashes bear quite a resemblance as well.
Given the close resemblance to Final Fantasy Adventure, I wonder if this means Adventures of Mana won’t feature a cameo from Sword of Mana’s Li’l Cactus. The character appeared in both Legend of Mana and Sword of Mana, chronicling the heroes’ adventures if they keep him apprised of their adventures.
At least we’ll still have Chocobos. In fact, the hero appears to meet the Chocobo the same way in Adventures of Mana as he did in Final Fantasy Adventure. It hatches from an egg right in front of him.
Adventures of Mana will be coming to Apple iOS and Android devices in North America and Europe. It will also be released on mobile devices and the PlayStation Vita in Japan.