Square Enix producer Masaru Oyamada shares notes from recreating a legend.
This is Masaru Oyamada from Square Enix. I am the producer for the Secret of Mana remake.
I have been working on the Mana series since 2006, when I had the opportunity to work alongside series creator, Ishii Koichi, on porting Final Fantasy Adventure (Seiken Densetsu – Final Fantasy Gaiden) to mobile phone platforms.
As a fan, I first played Final Fantasy Adventure in 1991 and since then I have completed every game in this series and grew a passion for the franchise. I was one of many who felt great disappointment at there being no new Mana games after Mr. Ishii left the company. In 2014, when I was working on Rise of Mana, I had heard from many fans who wanted to play the previous titles in the series, but were unable to do so on current generation hardware. As such, I worked to remake Final Fantasy Adventure in 2016. Since then, there were many voices stating that they wanted to see a port of Secret of Mana globally, which now brings us to this remake.
Having finally arrived at release day, I look back over the development and I feel that the hardest challenge we had to overcome was recreating the world map that is used when flying on Flammie. We had to alter the basic system, as well as tweak the visual design, in order to convert the way the flat terrain was depicted from the original into 3D, and making sure that everything still fit together properly.
What I am most pleased with in the remake is the penultimate scene with the three heroes, just before they face the last boss. This was already a very emotional scene in the original game, but the remake enhances the drama even more with the new voices, 3D models and music, which is why I like it so much.
We invite fans who played the original game to indulge in your nostalgia, as well as enjoy the new elements, such as the interlude episodes that will let you see the story in a new light. There are also some nice little Easter eggs hidden in towns across the world which we would love to see long-term Mana series veterans pick up on!
This game was made with the incredible support of all the fans of the series. Everyone on the development team took care to leave in what made the original great, while also striving to make this a game that puts the Mana series on the map for many generations of gamers. As time continues to pass, we would love to see a new generation of players continue to remember Secret of Mana as one of their great gaming experiences.