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  #121  
Old 08-19-2018, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChris View Post
"I don't care! All we have here are some penguins and a siren. . . and I'm some sort of sea mammal. A sinking ship ain't gonna do us any damage!"
Ha, I'd forgotten that line.
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  #122  
Old 08-19-2018, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jikkuryuu View Post
I'm fairly sure it's implied somewhere that ALL of the puppets in the Junkyard were Pokiehls, so I like to think at least some of wisdoms gained their wisdom through the bitterest path. Wisdom School being the School of Life.
I forgot to respond to this earlier, but I've been thinking about it for a while. I don't recall seeing any statements about the information in the spoiler, but the World History encyclopedia does make it clear that most (if not all) of the Wisdoms had fought in the conflicts described in the history. Given how those wars all seemed to work out, I can kind of see why the Wisdoms are the way they are; just hanging around being kind of useless is actually a huge improvement over waging world-destroying wars. Well, I guess Olbohnn, the guy who lives in the Underworld, was Escad's teacher, and we can see how that worked out, so great job, guy.

While reading the histories isn't necessary to follow the games stories, they do add another layer to the characters and places in the game. Many of the random characters and creatures in the game are referenced there, so it's interesting to see things appear that you've only read about, or to read a random entry that sort of explains the deal behind, say, that one weird doll in the Junkyard. Between the history and some of the quests, I sort of get the impression that this game basically takes place in a world that's suffering from PTSD. This impression is particularly strong whenever I'm dealing with the Wisdoms, the Junkyard, and the Dragon quests. Oh, and of course the big argument that Belle, Nunuzac, and Pokiehl have about the Mana Tree. It's an interesting twist on the setup to Secret of Mana (and many other SNES era RPGs): instead of a terrible conflict having taken place long ago in the past, long enough for people to forget the lessons they should have learned from it, Legend of Mana depicts a world in which terrible conflicts happened not all that long ago, sufficiently recently that people who fought in those conflicts are still alive and still trying to mentally process what happened.

There's a lot of weird things going on with this game, and parts of it are surprisingly melancholy.

In less consequential news, I just noticed that when you're at your home, the music changes in volume depending on whether you're inside or outside your house. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I've noticed it before, but this is the first time I've consciously realized it, after going in and out of that house dozens of times over the course of the game.

Also on the subject of little touches that I like, I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation for the way that the pond in the Birdcage at Madora Beach has a bunch of leaves floating on the surface; that's a nice little touch of realism that I don't recall seeing very often in video games.
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  #123  
Old 08-19-2018, 07:23 PM
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The way the lore is distributed in bits, pieces, and in encyclopedias, all diagetically, is another reason why I sincerely meant that this is the Dark Souls of Mana games. It is a sincere complement to a game that did it before From did.

Anyways, Diddle is a tadpole?! *head motherfucking explodes*
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  #124  
Old 08-25-2018, 08:53 PM
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I've done a couple quests in Geo now, and it's just reinforced my notion that this world is still dealing with too many recent tragedies. One of the students complains that they're being taught flashy but useless-seeming spells, at during his class Nunuzac gives this speech about how the best way to deal with an attacker is to tell them a joke and run away while they're laughing. Actually, the students complain about all of the teachers. I'm half convinced that the entire magic school exists to teach the students to use magic for goofy harmless purposes, rather than making terrible weapons and summon dangerous monsters from weird horror dimensions.

I think it's a great touch that the academy at Geo has different classes on different days of the week. The first time I visited, I just thought it was a cute touch, and resolved to check out the different classes if I happened to visit the city on a different day. Then I did Esmeralda's quest, which seems designed to ensure that you'll see the classes on all the different days. Well, if I was going to implement something like that, I'd probably find a way to make sure players see it all, too.

I've completed two of the three major quest lines, and I've just picked up the Jumi quests again. In some ways it's the most interesting of the three major plots, in so far as I'm a few quests into it and still not entirely certain what's going on with it. Sandra is easily the most annoying antagonist in the game so far, in part because she seems more competent than the rest; it might also be because unlike the other major antagonists, she causes trouble fairly consistently. Then again Escad showed up fairly often in the Faerie quests, but while he was a dink, he was a mostly ineffective one. And I was sort obviously helping the wrong dudes in the early Dragon quests, so maybe the recurring villain there was me.
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  #125  
Old 09-01-2018, 09:39 PM
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I've finished, and overall I found LoM to be a satisfying experience.

Two minor things I want to mention before I talk about the end of the Jumi quest and the end of the game. First, I'm really happy that Lil' Cactus got his own adventure, even if I did end up having to chase him all over the world. The second thing goes back to what Serephine said about the way the game distributes its story:

There were some characters where I had a hard time figuring out exactly what they were supposed to be. Diddle was one of them, obviously. Mark, the guy who runs the store in Domina, is another. Eventually I figured he was maybe just some kind of weird armored guy. Much later, in Geo, one of the students tells a story about their father, a legendary hero who received a magical suit of armor from some Locust King so he could fight a demon, but who was told he would die if he took off the armor. After beating the demon, he went home, forgot what he'd been told, and took off his armor, whereupon he ran around buzzing for a week and then died. Later still in the game, just before I went to the final dungeon, I went to all the town to talk to various NPCs and see how things had changed since the beginning of the game. When I got to Domina, Mark was upstairs in Rachel's room instead of manning the shop counter, and seeing him from different angles as he walked around, I finally realized that his armor looks like an insect carapace, complete with wings on the back. So maybe dudes getting magical cursed locust armor is a thing that happens pretty regularly in Fa'Diel?

Okay, so the Jumi quest. It's weird and it's not always obvious what's going on with it, but I think in part that's because it's the most original of the major quest lines. The Faerie quest involves weird arrested-adolescent drama and have a demon who wants to destroy the world. The Dragon quest involves fighting various dragons, and a dragon emperor who wants to rule the world. They're both based on stock fantasy tropes. The Jumi quest involves a dying race of jewel people, a jewel thief / serial killer who's causing that race to die off that much faster, features multiple characters who have multiple identities, albeit for different reasons, and revolves around the Jumi characters' fundamentally different plans for the future of their people.

I don't think the Jumi quest gets explained less than the other quest lines; if anything, I think it has more backstory and explanation than the other two. If it seems a little confusing and underdeveloped, I think it's because compared to the other two quest lines, it's harder to fill in the gaps with pre-existing knowledge. If you play RPGs, you probably know the traits and motivations typically assigned to demons and dragons in fantasy fiction and RPGs, but you can't fall back on that same familiarity when it comes to the Jumi.

In addition to being the most original of the bunch, the Jumi quest also had my favorite conclusion, and favorite final dungeon, out of the three major quests. I ended up taking Pearl with me at the end because I was certain that if I didn't she'd get ganked by Sandra offscreen and holy crap, did that ever turn out to be the right choice. The game does withhold some vital information from you when you're making that choice, though. For example, I don't think it tells you that Elazul will give you his fairly boss sword if you choose to go with Pearl, nor does it tell you that for the remainder of the quest, Pearl will transform into Blackpearl during boss battles. You know, just in case you wanted an NPC partner who wields a giant hammer and will allow you to constantly spam special attacks.

As far as dungeons go, the Bejeweled City is absolutely lovely, and I really liked its melancholy theme music. It also gave me a renewed appreciation for the game's lack of special battle music for regular encounters. There's something very affected about fighting monsters in that abandoned city while the same elegiac music keeps playing in the background. The dungeon was also less annoying to navigate than The Flames, although I was momentarily stymied before I realized that after using crystals to open the doors, I needed to go back to the rooms where I'd found them to get replacements. I'm not going to spoiler that because it's the single most bullshit thing about the Bejeweled City.

Also, I felt as though the ending to the Jumi quest was more involved, and more satisfying, than the actual ending to the game. I really loved the way that throughout the quest you go from being a sort of bystander to a series of mystifying events to being a crucial figure in the resolution of the conflict. Sacrificing yourself to save the Jumi, despite having very little connection with them except through your friendship with Elazul and Pearl, who give you multiple chances to walk away from them and their problems, is probably the most heroic thing you can do in the game. I suspect that the designers thought so to, since the final Jumi quest is the only one in the game where your character appears on the post-quest splash screen. Climbing a giant tree to fight a goddess's dark side or whatever seemed kind of anticlimactic by comparison, if I'm being completely honest here.

One other thing about this particular plotline that I think is a nice touch: The various Jumi appear in the Underworld after Sandra kills them, but after you kill the Jewel Lord and bring the Jumi back to life, they all show up in the Bejeweled City for the remainder of the game. It's the quest series which felt most consequential while I was playing it, and it's also probably the one which has the most effect on the state of the game world.
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  #126  
Old 09-19-2018, 03:26 PM
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While discussion in this thread has definitely slowed, I want to say I loved reading your impressions on the game, and the Jumi storyline in particular, and am glad you've enjoyed the LEGEND OF MANA EXPERIENCE
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  #127  
Old 09-19-2018, 04:53 PM
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What's next? =P
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  #128  
Old 09-19-2018, 04:54 PM
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...ALUNDRA 2.
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