Square-Enix has been running a sale on its mobile games catalog for almost two weeks, but it’s been limited to the Google Play store until now. Between now and the end of the week, you can save a fiver on the iOS version of Secret of Mana [$7.99], which is usually $8.99.

Secret of Mana was originally released in on the SNES in 1993 and has since been re-released several times before landing on the App Store in 2010. It was never as overwhelmingly popular as Square-Enix’ flagship 16-bit RPGs, but it’s proven timeless and seminal in its own right, easily the most popular of the now long-running Mana series.

In its setting, plot, and mechanics, Secret of Mana was breezier and more lighthearted than many of its contemporaries. While Final Fantasy VI was offering self-serious steampunk dystopia, the trio of Boy, Girl, and Sprite were riding a dragon named Flammie.

It also made some smart concessions in order to balance its action-RPG combat with more traditional party management: customizable companion AI. It was rudimentary -- you could set each companion on a spectrum between attack and defense -- but it worked and, years later, I still enjoy setting up Byzantine party tactics in games like Dragon Age and Final Fantasy XII.

And the music! Dear God, I could spend hours wandering the Ice Country and listening to crystalline tones and perfect harmonies.

Last fun fact: a lot of the early development work that went into Secret of Mana was eventually re-purposed and laid the foundation for Chrono Trigger after the abortive SNES-CD add-on, designed by Sony before they started working on the PlayStation, fell through.

In any case, back to the present: Secret of Mana was recently updated to support Retina and 4-inch displays along with bug fixes for both the virtual and MFi controls. It’s not a Universal update, but it’s something.

Secret of Mana will be a cool $3.99 until Sunday, the 10th.

  • Darkenroll

    I remember this was one of the first and greatest co-op multiplayer games I ever played. :). I don't suppose this port has multiplayer though. Still a great game regardless.

    • pkmaximum

      Unfortunately no multiplayer, which is a major disappointment. Multiplayer was definitely the best part about this game.

  • Psac42

    Needs universal!

  • PoloBaquerizoH

    I try it on my Ipad and seems quite good for a fan, with the last update

  • Echoen

    Been available since Dec 2010. $3.99 is the lowest price so get it now or wait a couple of months again for the next sale.

  • C. Stubb

    What exactly -is- Mana's secret, anyways? They never actually allude to any sort of hidden mystery during the coarse of the game...

    • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

      What exactly is coarse about this game?

  • Zerol3onheart

    I think the only reason you should skip this game is if you're about to be evicted from your $900 apartment close to a White Castle and you're about to have your car repoed. You should also skip this game if you recently found out that your half merman and you have to return to MerTown or the Octopus People will kill everyone you love.
    If any of those things are happening, don't buy this game.

    • hamton

      Never laughed so hard haha brilliant

  • Dragontears969

    I just really wish they would come out with secret of mana 2/seiken densetsu 3 here in something other than translated roms.

  • Jetjet

    And now why don't updating Chrono Trigger with all the in-scenes expecting since years ?

  • http://andrewbadr.com/ Andrew Badr

    the Ice Country link is broken

  • Inaba-kun

    An awful port of a great game. I really wish Square would invest in some programmers who know how make games run well on iOS hardware. Either that or just use Unity instead.

    • Zerol3onheart


  • TJF588

    Was nearly sold on blowing my credit reserves, but then... iOS 7 required.

    Yeeahp, that's gonna hafta wait.