Secret of Mana Fan Makes Wicked-Cool Animation of the Climactic Final Battle

Secret of Mana Fan Makes Wicked-Cool Animation of the Climactic Final Battle

Three kids versus the end of the world.

Secret of Mana is a classic SNES action-RPG that still kicks up a lot of nostalgic feelings for fans. One reason people hang onto their memories of the game is because the final battle, a struggle against a gigantic dragon, is still epic. The showdown is so ingrained in one artist's memory that they memorialized it in a 2D animation.

Benoit TRANCHET, a Montreal-based set designer and concept artist, recently uploaded "Secret of Mana—a 2D Animated Tribute" to their YouTube channel. It depicts the last moments of the game, wherein the hero Randi awaits the world-ending onslaught of the Mana Beast from the very top of the Mana Fortress. While Randi waits, his friends use their magic to revive the Mana Sword, the only weapon capable of damaging the Beast. When the monster shows itself, the fight is on.

Unfortunately, that's where the video stops. I'd love to see Benoit animate the entirety of Secret of Mana's final boss battle, but it probably won't happen: the one-minute clip alone took up 17 months of their free time. You can visit Benoit's ArtStation account for a breakdown of the animation, plus lots more art and fanart. You might also want to look at the Instagram belonging to Mariano Frumento, the musician who put together the mix for the animation with the help of sound designer Oliver Smith.

The thing I like most about this animation is it depicts the actual strategy necessary to beat the Mana Beast. Primm, the girl who accompanies Randi on his journey, does indeed have to cast Mana Magic (alongside Popoi, the sprite) in order to revive the Mana Sword. Primm also casts "Lucid Barrier" in the animation, which prevents Randi from taking damage as he goes face-to-face with the Mana Beast. It's not necessary to cast Lucid Barrier when going up against the Mana Beast, but when a four-winged apocalypse dragon is breathing nuclear fire in your face, it's not a bad idea.

The animation's arrival is well-timed. Trials of Mana, another game in the Mana family, was recently released. Mana nostalgia is stronger than ever, and fan projects like the above animation will continue to fuel it for some time to come.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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