Legend of Mana (ntscus) (psx) [Any %] [Single Segment] [LoM: Dragon Storyline] [1:45]
Run Information
Completion Date May 26, 2015
State Published
Runner Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe
Tag LoM: Dragon Storyline
Internal Comments:
Comment State Information Checkpoint None

IGT: 1:45, beats the current SDA run by 4 minutes (IGT) and the run in public verification by 3 minutes (IGT).

Having some issues making the statID look nice, due to the 720x240 resolution of the game while using component cables.

Verification Thread
Run Comments

Welcome to the Legend of Mana.

Speed run Rules:
*Single Session
*Dragon Storyline
*Takes Damage to Save Time
*No Deaths

First, I'd like to thank the writers of several great FAQs, for without them, this run wouldn't have been amazing. This includes RCrowder for the Technique List, Myst Erik Ery for the Artifact Guide and Monster Drop Guide, and Nemesis and SeanKelson for their general walkthroughs. And also much help to Polsy who helped me translate some items from the Ultimania Guide. Though I've played this game over and over, all of these were necessary to push this speedrun to its limits.

Since my 1:49 run, I found some more changes to the route, leading to crushing some of the early game times. It depended a lot on luck, but I kept pushing until I got the luck I needed to make this run happen.

This game is played on a PS2 Slim (SCPH-70000) and run on Standard Disc Speed. Fast Disc Speed was not used as it breaks the ending and thus makes the in-game timer unreliable. It also has the potential for crashes and other issues. (I used to use a PS1.)

When playing Legend of Mana, you need to know the rules of the game. I'm going to be documenting a lot of them, both for future runners as well as for the viewer, along with some terms.

*Ability - These are quick actions tied to Triangle and Circle (in the US Version) or Square and X (in the Japanese version). These allow you to do things like counterattack, jump, and more. You start with 8 of these and earn more as you equip certain ones and win battles. You do NOT need to use them in battle, just have them equipped.
*AF - Artifact. These create the various lands of the game. I get these mostly from completing events, but a few are earned in other ways. There are 26 AFs in the game.
*AP - Ability Point. Each battle you complete earns you 1 Ability Point for the ability equipped.
*Battle Arena - This is the area you are locked into when you fight enemies in each area of the game.
*EXP - Experience Points. These help my character gain in levels. However, due to how the battle system works, it's mostly inconsequential for a speedrun.
*Land Level - The level of shops and enemies is determined by a few factors. First is the order in which a land was placed. The later, the stronger. Second is the distance from home. The farther (in spaces you have to walk), the stronger. Last is the mana level of the land, which is a combination of the land itself as well as any neighbors in the compass positions from it.
*Local Map - This is the 6x6 grid you choose to place your AFs on during the game and is a small portion of the world map (which is 24x24).
*Mana Level - There are 8 elements in the game: Undine (Water), Gnome (Earth), Salamander (Fire), Syphid (Wind), Lumina (Light), Shade (Shadow), Aura (Gold), and Dryad (Tree). Each area has various levels of the elements, from 0-3. As you place AFs, the levels of the land you placed and the areas around it influence each other. Every enemy has various strengths and weaknesses to the different elements, which influence its strength (level).
*RNG - (Pseudo) Random Number Generator. This determines what happens and when it happens, seemingly randomly.
*Stunlock - Hitting an enemy rapidly enough that they are unable to make an action. Easiest with two players, but possible with 1 player using certain weapons.
*Technique - These are the super flashy actions that are tied into the trigger buttons. During the technique, you are invincible. You start with 1, determined by the weapon you choose at the start of the game. You earn more based upon your weapon and ability choices.
*Weekday - A week in Legend of Mana is 6 days. The week runs as such: Salamander, Aura, Gnome, Jinn, Dyrad, Undine. Every time you move from one location to another on the World Map costs 1 day. Every time you leave an area (whether you leave manually or via a event complete), it costs 1 day. You can also advance days by staying at Cafe "Sorry, Carl!" in Geo. Unlike Seiken Densetsu 3, there is no Day/Night Cycle (which used the 2 missing Mana elements: Lumina and Shade).
*WP - Weapon Point. Each battle you complete earns you 1 Weapon Point for the weapon equipped.

*You always start with AF Mailbox when you start the game. This AF can be placed on any land space, as long as there is at least 1 land space touching it within the local map.
*Almost all other AFs have to be placed on land. The exceptions are: Sword of Mana (can be placed anywhere), Brooch of Love (can be placed anywhere), and Pirate's Hook (this HAS to be placed on water). Torch of Coral and Rusty Anchor have to be placed on a land space that is touching water in any of the 8 directions. This space can be off of the local map.
*You can place an AF next to any town AF at any time. Town AFs include: Mailbox (Home), Colorblocks (Domina), Tome of Magic (Geo), Flame (Gato Grottoes), Rusty Anchor (Polpota Harbor), and Firefly Lamp (Lumina). Other locations have to have their primary event completed before you can place an AF next to them (unless it can be placed next to another AF that is eligible). For example, to place next to Jungle, you have to complete Huntin' Du'Cate.
*AFs earned from events are grouped into Primary and Secondary AFs. Your eligibility for them is determined by whether you've already earned that AF and how many you have in your collection (the spindle you see in the lower right of the local map screen). If you already have the Primary but not the Secondary, you get the Secondary (assuming you haven't already gotten that as well). If you haven't gotten either and you have 0-2 AFs, you will get them both. If you have 3+ AFs, you only will receive the Primary AF. If you already have both AFs, you'll just a tempering metal, determined by the land's level.
*There are no AFs that are only Secondary AFs, so it is impossible to miss one that way.
*Not all events give AFs. If a event doesn't give an AF, you won't get any tempering metal either.

Nearly every enemy in the game that has the ability to make a drop (this is almost all enemies) have 8 different "slots", from which the game can choose for the drop once they are defeated. How many slots are actually checked (and which ones) depends on the enemy level, whether you got a "lucky" drop, or if you have the pet Polterbox with you. Normally you have access to slots 1-4. If an enemy drops money and/or experience, they are ALWAYS in slots 1 and/or 2. Other items including candy, weapons, and accessories are in slots 3-8. The chances of getting a drop depends on how many slots are available and can range from 50% (Slot 1 w/o Polterbox, Slot 3 with) down to just a scant 0.78125% (Slots 7-8 on a Lv 63+ enemy). For a very detailed guide on enemy drops, I recommend Myst Erik Ery's guide on GameFAQs.

Bosses don't have drop slots and always drop a set number of large EXP crystals and/or large lucre coins. End Storyline bosses (Drakonis, Irwin, Lord of Jewels 1000, Mana Goddess) do not drop anything.

It is indeed possible to fail a event and be able to continue on with the story. Not all event are able to be failed. Some you can fail by actions in the event itself, sometimes by starting another event. In a speedrun, I purposely fail Pokiehl: Dream Teller (Faerie Storyline) and Reach for the Stars (Jumi Storyline).

*Abilities are learned by having them equipped in battle. Each time you complete a battle arena, you earn 1 Ability Point for each button you have the ability equipped on. (The number of enemies in the battle arena doesn't matter.) So if you have it on both buttons, you earn 2 APs. Each new ability requires a certain number of APs on other abilities. For instance, in order to learn Counterattack, you need 8 APs on Defend.
*Certain bosses give 4 APs (per slot) instead of 1. These include: Mantis Ant, Du'Inke, Du'Cate, Du'Mere, Gorgon's Eye, Gova, Labanne, Tropicallo, Fullmetal Haggar, Orc, Jewel Beast (all iterations), Deathbringer, Kima, Akravator, Drakonis, Lord of Jewels 999, Lord of Jewels 1000, Irwin, The Mana Goddess
*Techniques are learned by a combination of factors. You need both Weapon Points and Ability Points. You also need to have the weapon equipped at the time both are finished in order to unlock the technique. So even if you have all the WPs acquired and swap to another ability while getting your APs, you will NOT learn the technique. However you can reequip the weapon for 1 battle to learn it.
*Some techniques are used with multiple weapons. The points between weapons don't add together (to my knowledge) but once one version is unlocked, they're ALL unlocked.

In order to trigger this event, you need to have completed the following:
*Completed The Crimson Dragon, Heaven's Gate, or Teardrop Crystal.
*Have placed 18 AFs on the local map. AFs in your spindle do NOT count.
*Enter Home, leave, then re-enter it.
*When you re-enter home, a cutscene will immediately play. This is your indicator that you've triggered Cage of Dreams successfully. Enter your house, then leave to continue the event.
*Final Note: If you have an event triggered that takes place in your workshop, such as Enchanted Instruments 101, you will have to complete that event before Cage of Dreams will trigger.

In the game there are 3 save bonuses for other Squaresoft games. In order to trigger them, you need to either go into Load Game prior to starting or go into the Save menu within the game proper, then press down on the D-Pad until you're over these entries.
*Final Fantasy VIII: If you have this loaded before Monster Corral, you get a Chocobo instead of a Rabite from your egg.
*Saga Frontier II: If you have this loaded and have completed both Ghost of Nemesis and Niccolo's Business Unusual and return to the Bone Dungeon, you will get Heishishorin from defeating Deathbringer II.
*Chocobo Racing: If you have this loaded and enter Polpota Harbor after having completed Catchin' Lilipeas, you'll get an FastestWheel accessory from Skippy.

There are some differences between the US and Japanese copies of the game, enough to make the separate categories of each other.
*Weapons were rebalanced between the Japanese and US versions. US versions have been severely nerfed. About the only exceptions are shop/starting equipment.
*Enemy HP levels have been tweaked. Some are higher, some lower.
*The face buttons have been flipped. Square <-> Triangle, X <-> Circle.
*The Japanese version features anti-modchip protection. This check occurs during the extra bouncing rabite screen before the introduction video. Amusingly, the anti-modchip message is very hard to read on a PS2 (it shows up properly on a PS1).
*The Japanese version features support for the Pocketstation, which was never released in the US.
*The Japanese version uses a slightly different text font and includes a TON more character choices (besides Japanese and English that is). A few boxes were tweaked between versions. A couple of text boxes in the US version require extra button presses that weren't needed in the Japanese version.
*A few characters had their name changed.

So with all of that crap out of the way, let's discuss the game proper!

I choose the female character because I can (gender makes virtually no difference, outside of some very minor dialogue changes). Imu is her name, because it's her name in the manga. 2H Sword is chosen for weapon strength.

I start with Lunge and Defend as my abilities. Rising Crush is my given technique because I chose 2H Sword.

Reasons for event choice: 3 AFs (Jade Egg, Firefly Lamp, Stone Eye). Firefly Lamp is a MUST HAVE in order to get AF Trembling Spoon.

I head to Domina to team up with Elazul. The babe Pearl is missing, and we need to find her. This is technically part of the Jumi Storyline, but it's a quick event for the artifacts I get. And since I need Firefly Lamp, this is important to do first.

Elazul for the most part is a pretty worthless partner. But I make due.

Boss: Du'Inke. Rising Crush is used during Du'Inke's techniques most for invincibility, but also because when Rising Crush connects, it stuns the enemy.

Learned Technique: Lunging Arc (4 2H Sword WP, 4 Lunge AP). Hits twice.

I side with Elazul because it's slightly faster.

Bonus Fact: –Completing this event first is what causes Sandra to be in the room before Du'Inke. If you complete another event prior to this, she won't be at Mekiv Caverns.

THE AMAZING AXE (Unofficial Event)
Reason for the "event" choice: Better weapon.

I return to Mekiv Caverns and use a Boink to get to a certain spot in the cave where I can fight 2 Goblins. They have in their 4th slot a 2H axe called Earthsplitter. This has an attack power of 31, which is WAY better than my current weapon. Being a slot 4 drop, it's a 1/8 chance that one of them will drop it. Luckily, I get it on the first go. I equip it (which automatically removes Rising Crush as a usable technique), put on Counterattack (on both buttons, to learn faster), and retreat from the cave to continue the run.

Learned Ability: Counterattack (Defend - 8 AP)

Reasons for event choice: AF Trembling Spoon is only available here. I need it to get to The Underworld.

I agree to help a man name Gilbert (or Edward as I like to call him...–FFIV joke) sell a bunch of lamps. The only buyers are a bunch of Dudbears that don't speak any English. It requires a crash course in the language, though I really don't pay attention.

Overall, nothing too exciting. Lots of talking and no combat. Though there is a couple of hidden adult jokes in the dialogue. :P

Unlike my 1:49 run, I do not purchase IronGloves here, as I now have a better weapon. So no money stealing from Gilbert this time.

Bonus Fact:– For those that didn't get my joke above, in Final Fantasy IV, the prince of Damcyan was named "Gilbert" in the Japanese version and "Edward" in the US version. Also, Monique is referred to as a princess at one point in conversation, which is what Edward''s love, Anna, would have been.

Reasons for event choice: Third member required for Ghost of Nemesis. It has to be a pet or golem. This is faster than getting a golem.

This is a pointless annoying event to make a Rabite my pet. Lovely. He's also a dingbat when it comes to finding food. Oh well.

Bonus Fact:– When you start a new game, if you were to pretend to load a game and the memcard has a Final Fantasy VIII save, instead of a Rabite, you''ll get a Chocobo.

I place the Trembling Spoon and head to The Underworld to begin the storyline.

Reasons for event choice: Part of the storyline. Required to get AF Skull Lantern and complete the next event.

After a surprise greeting from Larc, I head into the underworld to meet up with a man name Drakonis. But first, I must be tested. I agree to an evil ritual which opens access to the lower floors of The Underworld (why I would agree to this, I don't know).

Boss: Hitodoma. This boss is normally an obnoxious twat, but I somehow got very lucky. He's a horrible teleporter, but outside of a couple of evades, he was nice and died very quickly.

Learned Ability: Counterstrike (Counterattack - 6 AP)

Bonus Fact:– By starting this event, it makes The Blessed Elixir event temporarily unavailable, since you don't have a soul for the moment.

Before I start the next event, I not only lay out the Skull Lantern (required to do the next event) but the Stone Eye to bring my AF inventory down to 2. Otherwise, I would not get both AFs from the next event.

Reason for event choice: Part of the storyline. Required to get AF Dragonbone to complete the next two events.

During the event, we climb a mountain and fight a group of beings called Windcallers. I need to beat 3 of them in order to remove a barrier to reach Akravator. Later on some lessors show up, but Larc is all "you're pathetic" and one-shots the lot. About the only time he's useful this entire game.

Boss: Akravator.– This is one of the most annoying bosses due to the huge amounts of invincibility time it has. It's ability to quickly fly across the level can lead you to believe you hit it with a tech attack but no damage is taken off. It also LOVES to spam techniques one after the other. This is probably the most RNG dependant boss of the entire game. That being said, generous usage of Counterstrike made very quick work of him.

I also manage to pull off a very bizarre movement glitch after the boss fight. This doesn't affect anything, but just looks very funny. :)

Bonus Fact:– This event is one of only 2 places you hear the game's title theme outside of the title. The other is in the White Forest during Catchin' Lillipeas.

Before completing the next event, I go pick up my newly hatched Rabite. I take a half second to auto-name him "Rabite". If time wasn't of the essesence, I would name him "Buju". Dawn of Mana players will understand.

Reason for event choice: Required to trigger The Ghost of Nemesis.

A stupid event of a bunch of kids fiddling with stuff they shouldn't. I have to purposely leave the area during the first attempt at the mixture as the flowerling won't give over star sparkles the first time around. You don't need to get any of the parts of the mixture, just enter, leave, then come back.

Bonus Fact:– Bud, in case you are unaware, is one of the two sorcerers from "The Little Sorcerers" event (see Jumi Storyline).

Reason for event choice: Part of the storyline. Required to get the AF Green Cane to complete the next event.

Upon returning, I''m greeted by a big bad roar and a big bad dude that wants to kick my ass. However, thanks to the stupid Rabite, we fall into a trap and get separated. I have to find both Rabite and Larc to continue.

During my way through, I fight a pair of enemies called Dainslaif, which their slot 4 drop is the 2H sword Braveblade. While I didn't get it on the way to finding Rabite, I did get it on the way back, allowing me to cruise through the rest of the game. Like Earthsplitter, being a slot 4 drop means that I had a 1/8 chance of getting it from each enemy.

Equipment Change: Braveblade (ATK 37)
Technique Equipped: Lunging Arc

Boss: Deathbringer. This guy looks scary and tries to sound scary, but he can''t handle Braveblade.

Boss: Jajara. While the fight went mostly well, he did get off extra techniques, costing me about 30 seconds. The usually least trolly of the 3 troll bosses was, unfortunately, the worst one this time. I'm extremely miffed that all I had to do was breathe on him to end the fight when he used his last technique. :(

Bonus Fact:– If you return to where you fought Deathbringer, you''ll fight Deathbringer II, which is the combination of Deathbringer and the remains of Jajara. The benefit? If you completed the proper requirements, you'll get a bonus weapon and a cute little cutscene.

Reason for event choice: Part of the storyline. Needed to trigger the next event. I also get the AF Torch of Coral, which I use later on.

Larc wants to find Sierra and can apparently detect her scent. Somebody obviously has been sniffing too many panties. He gets what he wants, but leaves me with the boss battle.

Boss: Sierra & Vadise. Two against one-and-a-half. And the half isn''t much help. However, the power of Counterstrike is too strong. :)

Bonus Fact:– No matter what my response is to Vadise, I still have to fight him. What, I don't get a say in anything in regards to saving (or not saving) the world? Boo hiss. (Though then again, it IS partially my fault.)

Reason for event choice: To finish the storyline and allow me to do Cage of Dreams.

I play escort to Sierra, who certainly doesn't need any help in the fighting department. But how can she get around the Underworld even though she never received the Baptism? We could have seen a similar situation in The Fallen Emperor, but didn''t. After arriving at the bottom, we face Drakonis, who is a master of trickery.

Boss: Larc the Conqueror. Absolute pushover. Would have been slightly faster if both hits on Lunging Arc connected.

However, during the battle with Larc, Drakonis rises to power and The Underworld becomes The Flames.

The Flames is a mess of a castle that can lead you running around in circles if you aren''t careful. In order to get anywhere, you have to defeat 3 bosses, which seals up magic orbs, preventing floors from collapsing so I can reach the throne room.

Boss 1: Sky Dragon.– Goes down nice and quick. I took his breath away. :P
Boss 2: Land Dragon. Also goes down nice and quick. I'll enjoy some nice Dragon Steak later.
Boss 3: Zenoa. Simply put, Larc with a palette change. Nice of him to give me free access to his backside for a Lunging Arc.
Grand Boss: Drakonis, The Crimson Dragon. This guy has one of the WORST hit detections of a boss, especially considering its size. A combination of Lunging Arc and Vortex of Death made quick work of him though. THAT'S FOR FRYING MY POOR RABITE, YOU BIG MEANIE.

Bonus Fact:– This is the only one of the 3 storylines where you have to do some scrolling of the text after the boss battle is over. The other two are totally automatic until the THE END appears. This is likely due to some text being split between two text boxes in the US version, as this issue doesn't occur in the Japanese version.

I head over to Domina and meet up with Niccolo. This triggers Niccolo's Business Unusual, but I'm going to do Summer Lovin' first, so I have him for 2 events.

I lay out the Wheel, Torch of Coral, and Broken Doll AFs. The first two are needed for the next two events, and Broken Doll is laid out to cut down my current AF collection to 2, so I get both AFs in the next event.

Reason for event choice: Needed for more AFs to get The Cage of Dreams to trigger.

Which came first, the Penguin or the Egg? I try to chase down the answers while tiptoeing around not-so-crabby crabs.

Boss: Fullmetal Hagger. Giant crabs ahoy! Thanks to a well executed Lunging Arc, I managed to skip both eye gouging invincibility periods. He didn't stand a chance. XD

Bonus Fact:– That crab on the last screen (where the final conversation takes place)? He''s important to note for when you do REAL crab crushing for another event (not shown in any event in the 3 storylines). HE SEES ALL. And knows when you crush his buddies.

Before continuing, I lay out Tome of Magic and Rusty Anchor to bring my AF count down to 2 so I get both AFs in the next event.

Reasons for event choice: Needed for more AFs to get The Cage of Dreams to trigger.

Niccolo has a problem. There are bandits on the highway, so I decide to join him. First off, how does he find a wheel on the highway when the wheel IS the highway? Ok, whatever. At the Goblins, there is no difference in the choice; you still have the same result –- boss fight.

Boss: Mantis Ant. Basically is one-shotted by Lunging Arc and doesn't get to do anything. Poor Mantis Ant.


Bonus Fact:– Mantis Ant is also a boss in Secret of Mana. (Go watch that run, even if it''s not mine –- totally awesome game.)

I lay out the rest of my AFs and prepare to finish the game.

Reason for event choice: Required to receive AF Sword of Mana in order to win the game.

While I trigger The Little Sorcerers, I don''t need to do it. Instead, I head back to my workshop, find a bunch of mysterious people in there, get mad, count to 3, and then kick the lot out.

Bonus Fact:– Your answer to Pokiehl will determine how much conversation you hear.

Reason for event choice: Uh, to finish the game?!

Welcome to the glory and beauty that is the Tree of Mana. I love this level in every way, with the sound of the music, the lily pads, everything. The ascent is a blessing. After clearing the 4 corners of the Sanctuary of Mana, I arrive at...t...;
Final boss: Mana Goddess. – There are two kinds of love that a person can give. One form of that is tough love, which is what this goddess gives and needs. I show her my love - with the almighty power of Counterstrike! (Unfortunately, my attempt to use Lunging Arc to speed up the fight failed miserably. Lined up perfectly...just somehow bumped right on the analog stick and ended up facing the wrong way.)

Bonus Face: The song in the ending, titled "Song of MANA ~Ending Theme~" is sung in Swedish. Well, from the translation, a somewhat "Engrishy" Swedish.

Enjoy the ending people!

This run is Copyright (C) 2015 Nicholas "Sir VG" Hoppe and IMAMYTH Colosseum (http://www.imamyth.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/SirVG) and is allowed for downloading and private viewing. Permissions for hosting this run have been granted to Radix and Speed Demos Archive. Public viewing of this run is prohibited without prior permission from the creator. The selling or distribution of this run for profit in any way, shape, or form including (but not limited to) selling on eBay and television for profit is prohibited without prior permission from the author. Video hosting sites (i.e. YouTube, etc) may host this video in part or in full, as long as full permission is granted by the author. Any violation of the above listed may result in legal action. Legend of Mana is (C) 2000 Squaresoft (now Square Enix).

Sir VG, signing out.

"We came. We saw. We speed ran."