Why Secret of Mana’s map presented the biggest challenge when remaking the classic action RPG for PS4

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Why Secret of Mana’s map presented the biggest challenge when remaking the classic action RPG for PS4

Producer Masaru Oyamada explains how fan outcry helped resurrect the vintage adventure

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.

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  • And, you know… Vita, too?

  • I can’t afford it this month (and can’t decide which format I want it on cos it’s not even Crossbuy) but I was enjoying watching a friend streaming it on Twitch earlier and will be Shareplaying it with them over weekend. Loved the original version in the 90s and really liked what I saw in the stream this morning. :)

  • It is really dumb that the game doesn’t even have cross-save feature!!!

  • Well the game looks like a really lazy effort from SE. The graphics are not good (I would really prefer HD sprites to these low polygonal and barely textured models), voice-acting is mediocre at best, and, according to reviews, they didn’t even fix the partners’ AI (the only major issue that the original had). The price is nonsense btw

    P.S. Beat the original last october on snes mini, and it was a blast

  • Had great fun playing it Shareplay earlier in 3 players. Graphics are fine. As much as I love well done pixel art, I was never fond of the original game’s work (the sequel was better) and I much prefer the character models here (which move much smoother than choppy HD graphics would have been… looking at you, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and your cruddy comic sprites). The only thing that’s really bugging is during play is the constant NOW LOADING screen between each small area. It really disrupts the flow and obviously the original didn’t have those. Anyways apart from that and some odd lil bugs here and there it’s a lot of fun. I’m not a Square fan and I can’t stand Final Fantasy and all that but loved Mana on SNES and love it here too.

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