Trials of Mana asks an interesting journey of you, if you’re patient.
Setting is nailed here and it’s clear early on the game is a journey of the truest nature. In the world, you’ll see such environments as monarchical cities, ice caves, rolling deserts and even a forest forever shrouded in night, to name a few. They’re not anything to write home about in terms of graphical fidelity, but they sure are colourful. A gorgeous, remade soundtrack also plays as you travel, immersing you further. Enemies you face here never get any explanation but their character design is at least plausible for the environment they’re in. You’ll revisit and go through these areas multiple times throughout your 25 or so hours with the game. Sometimes it feels like needless backtracking. Others it’s visiting newly unlocked areas in environments. Oh, and you can use a turtle as a ferry. It’s all part of the journey, for better or worse.
Another fun and great takeaway from Trials of Mana is that it feels more focused on character than narrative. At the start of the game, you choose your party of three. I went with Duran, Angela and Hawkeye because I felt they complimented each other best. Duran, the noble wannabe knight, Angela the mage empress and Hawkeye, the rogue thief. This stuff writes itself.
Each of these characters have their own motivations unique to them. Duran is a passionate, arguably aloof soldier that yearns to defeat the Crimson Wizard and defend the King he’s so undyingly devoted to. Angela was cruelly banished and almost murdered by her Queen mother. Hawkeye on the other hand, just wants to protect his dear friend Jessica who unwillingly is wearing a Necklace that could kill her at any moment. The stories are cheesy and quite trope-filled of course, but these were still a delight to watch play out.