The Mana series, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu (聖剣伝説?, lit. "Legend of the Sacred Sword"), is a medieval-fantasy action role-playing game series from Square Enix, created by Koichi Ishii. The series began as a handheld side story to Square's flagship franchise Final Fantasy, though most Final Fantasy-inspired elements were subsequently dropped, starting with the second installment, Secret of Mana. It has since grown to include games of various genres within the fictional world of Mana, with recurring stories involving a world tree, its associated holy sword, and the fight against forces that would steal their power. Several character designs, creatures, and musical themes reappear frequently.
In 2003, the series comprised five games; since 2006, it has experienced a revival through the World of Mana campaign, with four new games released in the span of one year. As of 2008, the Mana series comprises eight console games and two mobile games, in addition to four manga and one novelization. The Mana series reception has been very uneven, with Secret of Mana earning wide acclaim, such as being rated 78th in IGN's yearly "Top 100 Games of All Time", and being highly praised for its musical score, while the games from the World of Mana series have been rated considerably lower. As of March 2011, Mana series titles have sold over 6 million units.
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... in Japan, is a Final Fantasy spinoff and the first game in the Mana series ... A remake, Sword of Mana, was released in 2003 ... and his sorcerer assistant, Julius, from destroying the Tree of Mana and dooming their world ...
... Fantasy Adventure — 87% Secret of Mana — 86% Seiken Densetsu 3 — — Legend of Mana — 73% Sword of Mana 72 out of 100 71% Children of Mana 65 out of 100 67 ... GameSpot referred to Secret of Mana as "one of Square's masterpieces on the SNES" ... Famitsu rated Legend of Mana at 31/40 and Heroes of Mana at 32/40 ...
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“As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after.”
—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (18591930)