How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel nostalgic, happy, old? Does it make you feel anything at all? I think we should talk Secret of Mana because that game was great.
It makes me feel happy because Secret of Mana was a very good video game that felt massive. It makes me feel nostalgic because it has a soundtrack that just hits me directly in the centre of the medulla oblongata of all of my feels. It makes me feel old because Jesus Christ I am old. The game came out 20 years ago and I was 12 years old when I first played it.
The weird thing is this: I remember being slightly disappointed with Secret Of Mana when I first played it. It was my first JRPG and I was very confused. I didn't understand that I needed to wait for my weapon to reach 100% before striking again. It felt loose to control. The 'dungeons' felt under-designed. I basically wanted another game that was exactly like A Link To The Past. I'm still waiting for that game 20 years later, but with Secret of Mana I got something different entirely: I got something that felt significant, massive even.
One crazy thing I just found out: as a result of a super short turnaround time, a large portion of Secret of Mana English translation was cut. In hindsight it might have been the best thing that happened to the game. The worst, bloated excesses of most JRPGs are nowhere to be seen in Secret of Mana: the story is lean, the dialogue is sparse. The story plays out in-game for the most part and so much is suggested, the player is allowed to fill in the gaps, exposition is non-existent.
Which makes perfect sense. Most JRPGs retell the story of a young boy saving the world from an incredible, overwhelming world-ending threat with the help of his friends. We don't need much more than that. I can't remember a single line of dialogue from that game, but I can never forget the characters and how it felt at the end when the little sprite flickered as a ghost after I took down The Mana Beast. There are no words.
Thanks to this great thread for reminding me of the anniversary.