February 28, 2021
The betrayal of his subordinates led to the death of the Emperor. I suppose that’s karma…Mara in the Grand Palace
Mara is a reclusive widowed crone who lives in the Empire’s Southtown. Her eccentric nature is known throughout town:
Mara, who lives on the edge of town, is an oddball. It’d be best if you didn’t get involved with her.
Another NPC tells us of her attachment to a box; this detail was left out of the American release:
Old lady Mara’s always carrying a small box. I wonder if there’s a precious treasure or something in there?
When Randi first meets her, she’s meandering outside of her house, and when she sees visitors approaching, she quickly retreats inside. However, thanks to Jema’s way of getting around, she knows exactly who’s dropping by:
MARA: … yee hee hee hee…I know who you are.
MARA: You’re Jema’s friends, right? Me, I’m actually a Tasnican spy. Yee hee hee. Previously, my husband was, too, but he got ahold of one of the Empire’s secrets, and while he was on the run they… *sob* I’ll get vengeance for my husband. I took over for my husband (redundant in Japanese), and that’s how I ended up hiding out in an Imperial city.
Mara tells Randi how to sneak into Northtown, but her little box turns out to be of great importance. In Gold City, he’s tipped off that the key to the Light Palace there was stolen by a spy who was executed by the Empire. Randi has to do some brainstorming, but eventually he thinks of Mara, and returns to see if she knows anything about the key.
MARA: My husband tried to steal a secret key from the Gold Isle…but he was done in by the Emperor…Here it is. I’ve kept it packed away in a little box…precious memories of my husband, but…He gave his life for this key. If I just keep it without using it, he won’t be able to rest in peace…I’ll give it to you guys. Figure it’ll be some delayed justice. Yee hee hee hee…
Other than a cameo towards the end of the game, this is Mara’s last scene in Secret of Mana.
- Mara tells Randi that the password to the Northtown sewers is 634. This is “goroawase” for Musashi, as the latter is pronounced similar to how 6-3-4 sounds in Japanese, when said in a row. Using this sort of wordplay is not an uncommon way of creating secret codes and passwords.
- Mara’s Japanese name, Marikuto, is a reference to malikto, a spell in Wizardry. That game was a major influence on early Square developers.