Sword of Mana, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, is actually a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure. The remake serves to replace many elements from FFA that originated from Final Fantasy with traditional Mana series’ ones. Released after Legend of Mana, Sword of Mana draws heavily from systems used in Mana series games. The night and day system from SD3 is featured as is the forging and planting systems from Legend of Mana, and the ring menu system from Secret of Mana. Other new additions to Sword of Mana include replacing Hero’s partner Chocobo with the canon travel system, and the introduction of the 8 elemental spirits.
The only guide and maps you’ll need on Hero’s quest to protect the Tree of Mana
Though titled Final Fantasy Adventure, FFA was actually creator Koichi Ishii’s first title of The Mana Series. Perhaps originally anticipated by Square to just be a Final Fantasy spin-off FFA was titled Holy Sword Legend: Final Fantasy Gaiden in Japan. Not surprisingly the start of The Mana Series borrows quite a bit from the Final Fantasy series.
This is it, the final challenge for Hero. He knows the Tree of Mana lies at the top of the temple, and he knows he will find Julius and Girl there. It won’t be easy, but this is Hero’s fate as a Gemma Knight.
Inside the temple Hero finds new powerful enemies such as Ninjas, Devil Heads, and Elephants. These three foes also have a chance of dropping the most powerful armor for Hero; Samurai Armor, Samurai Helm, and the Aegis Shield. An easy trick is to have your item inventory full so there chest cannot drop the normal loot and only give you the equipment loot.
Hero knows he must head to the Cave of Ruins next which is in the crystal desert. Cibba tells him to seek Dr. Bowow as he can tell him where to find the cave. Rusty Sword in hand Hero sets off back to Ish in the crystal desert. Back in Ish upon speaking with Dr. Bowow he proclaims you must have the most powerful magic, Nuke, which is protected by Lich. He doesn’t exactly explain why (probably a translation issue), but it is so you can reveal the path to the Cave of Ruins. Dr. Bowow directs you to the Cave of Palmy Desert to the north.
After taking his fourth spill of the game Hero awakens, saved by Chocobo, in the town of Ish. Much to his surprise Bogard is laid up in a bed next to him. When he ventures outside Hero can find a weapon and armor shop that sells the Flame Flail and Sarah is standing, blocking his path. Speaking with Sarah reveals that Bogard broke his back trying to find Hero, spouting off that there was a boy named Hero that could save everyone. Sarah didn’t believe him at first, but once a Chocobo believed it too she had to believe. She sends you off to Dr. Bowow to visit Chocobo. At Dr. Bowow’s you’ll find he has recovered Chocobo’s leg and even upgraded them so Chocobo can walk on water now! Dr. Bowow officially renames Chocobo to Chocobot, and suggests you visit with Bogard next.
Back in Sarah’s house Bogard tells you that you are the new Gemma Knight and it is your destiny to obtain the Legendary Sword Excalibur which is “somewhere” in this world, thanks Bogard. Thankfully he gives you some direction and sends you to find Cibba who will know more. Using Chocobot to traverse the ocean and rivers now Hero quickly heads over to Wendel only to discover Cibba is not there, he has gone off to Lorim, which is also now accessible with Chocobot.
With the desert city of Jadd now peaceful again Hero sets off to the north through Mt. Rocks in pursuit of the pendant which Garuda took to Castle Glaive. Unfortunately the trail back to Castle Glaive is filled with a gauntlet of bosses Hero must battle through.
After talking to the townspeople of Menos it seems Amanda has left the town to rescue her brother Lester in Jadd. There is also one lone tale of a chocobo egg in the northern forest. Hero picks up a Wind Spear from the equipment shop and sets out.
Wandering into the northern forest area leads to a giant egg. While examining the giant egg, lo and behold it actually hatches a Chocobo right in front of Hero. This now confused Chocobo now believes that Hero is its mother. Hero can use this Chocobo to ride free from the danger of monsters. With his new partner in tow Hero now heads westward into the desert towards the city of Jadd.
Finally Hero has arrived in the sacred city of Wendel. Around Wendel you can find a weapon and armor store with a new suit of Iron Armor to pick up and while taking in the sights you may stumble across the Mysterious Man once again.
Inside the temple of Wendel the priest Cibba can be found, he recognizes Girl’s pendant and brings her to the center of the temple. Then the image of her mother appears. She tells Girl that she is part of the Mana Family. She is a Gemma, a sprout of the Mana Tree, which makes you a Gemma Knight.
Adventure begins with the story of the Tree of Mana and lays out Dark Lord’s plot for world domination. You are then given the liberty to name the Boy and the Girl. Next you find the Hero in the midst of a gladiator fight against a Jackal. After the fight we enter the gladiators’ chambers to find that Hero’s friend Willy has been mortally wounded after his most recent bout. Before passing he tells Hero that the power of Mana is in danger and he must find the Gemma Knight Bogard and warn him.
This is the first mention of the Gemma Knights, the ancient protectors of the Mana Tree who wield the Mana Sword (Excalibur in Final Fantasy Adventure).
You can speak to Amanda on your way out who will tell you she wants to get out and see her little brother again, don’t worry you’ll see both of them later in the game. Our Hero heads out to his next fight against yet another Jackal and after the fight escapes Castle Glaive. Once outside the Hero oversees a conversation between none other than Dark Lord himself and the evil wizard Julius. Dark Lord then chases our Hero over a cliff and he survives this long fall down a waterfall.