Secret of Mana Redux




February 28, 2021

A printout of Purim's animation poses
A printout of Purim’s design with programming notes (September 22, 1992) 
Twitter: Shinichi Kameoka

A young girl who is the embodiment of strength of will and kindness. 

Koichi Ishii, the Art of Mana

Age: 17
Height: 5’4”
Weight 104 lbs.

Purim adds a strong feminine element to the game as the second main character.  Her name is usually rendered as Primm, but I’ve used the alternate Purim as it’s closer to her Japanese name, Purimu.  Purim is human but has pointed ears for some reason, a distinction that’s evidently not important in the world of Mana.  Her appearance is reminiscent of my boyhood video game crush, Marle from Chrono Trigger.  Like Randi and Chrono, Purim and Marle are more or less the same design.

What makes Purim stand out is her romance with the Pandoran soldier, Dyluck.  Character development and meaningful subplots are scarce in Secret of Mana, and this facet of the storyline adds some diverting flavor.  Once Dyluck ends up in the hands of Thanatos, a reversal of classic roles ensues, with the headstrong girl on a quest to rescue the vulnerable knight.

Purim greets Randi and Popoie on the sandship

According to the Official Setting Guide, Purim has had a very comfortable life, albeit one without a mother.  This worries her father Elman, as she would be expected to perform traditional female duties in a marriage that she never learned from him.  As a result, Elman wants her to marry into a noble family, so she’ll have servants doing those things for her and her husband.  He arranges for her to marry a disturbing palette swap of Randi’s friend Elliott but unfortunately, she’s far more attracted to the handsome young military officer, Dyluck.  The game does depict a servant at Purim’s home, who mentions the importance of this marriage in Pandora.

Randi meets her in Pandora as she storms out of the meeting with her arranged suitor:

PURIM: Stupid dad! I’ll decide things for myself!

(she sees Randi)

PURIM: Come on, get out of the way! Oh,! You–you’re that dope from before! …I really saw you in an embarrassing spot, huh? Oh, what’s that? You’re a swordsman? Carrying a splendid sword like that…[you must be]

RANDI: Huh? Well, um, this is, you see…

PURIM: That’s it! Why don’t you come along with me for a bit? I helped you out before, didn’t I? Now it’s your turn to help me out! We’re going to save Dyluck, who was sent to subjugate the witch!

RANDI: But, if I don’t go to the Underground Palace, then…

PURIM: Later, [do that] later!

Naturally, Elman panicked over the prospect of Purim marrying Dyluck, and concocted a low rent plan to rid her of Dyluck’s influence, as told by the king.  It was Elman’s suggestion that Dyluck lead the military expedition to defeat the witch who’s tormenting Pandora.  It’s not clear if Elman thinks this is a suicide mission, or if Dyluck will be too busy to marry Purim for awhile.  

She has no problem letting the king have it:

PURIM: Excuse me!?  Then that means that Dyluck went to the witch’s place because of something you planned with dad?  You tried to separate me from Dyluck!  I will never forgive you!

SOLDIER: Insolence!

PURIM: What of it? Fine, let’s go, Randi!

There’s alternate dialogue that happens if you don’t speak to Dyluck and Jema at the Water Palace.  In this case, the goblin village sequence isn’t triggered, and you meet Purim for the first time in Pandora instead of the conventional way.  This alternate scenario is the only way to see Purim’s arranged husband, and have her explain the situation to you directly if you visit her at home:

PURIM: My dad made arrangements with the king to have Dyluck dispatched to where the witch is!  What a jerk/how cruel!  I’m sick of this!  I’m going to look for Dyluck!  Until I find him, I won’t be returning for some time, got it?  I’m taking my leave from this castle (said primly).

The last line is certainly a mockery of her expected behavior. Of course, Purim’s primary motivation for joining Randi is saving Dyluck.  In the beginning, she may actually leave if she doesn’t feel he’s serious enough about Dyluck in addition to his own quest.  This willful nature has gameplay consequences as it hurts to be missing Purim during the Gaia’s Navel sequence. If she runs off to the Haunted Forest, Randi will find her there, and help her in fighting off some werewolves. If Popoie comes along and only Randi sees the reaper, Purim will say the rarest line in the game after the battle:

PURIM: Oh my, they really got you! Wait a second, I’ve got an item I bought from Neko…

This is the only time that a common inventory item is provided for free.

A captured soldier in the witch's castle

Purim eventually becomes the white mage of the team, though she can also cast the powerful Lucent Beam attack spell, albeit at a high cost. Unlike Popoie, she doesn’t have a spell that absorbs magic from enemies, and must be careful to conserve MP in the late game.  

Most of the romance subplot plays out in dialogue when Purim and Dyluck are in the same room, something that only happens four times.  The fact that these meetings are scarce helps create tension, especially since they’re inches away from each other before being pulled apart.  

There’s another dimension to their romance, and that is a quasi love triangle involving her friend Phanna, who’s also from Pandora.  Along with Dyluck, Phanna falls into the clutches of Thanatos, and expresses jealousy about Purim’s relationship with him:

PHANNA: I’m not going home!  I’ve decided to stay here and live together with Dyluck!  Fufu…Since you were always talking about Dyluck around me, sorry—I won’t be giving him back!

PURIM: That’s…!  You’ve gotta be kidding me! Phanna!

After being rescued, Phanna falls into a state of shock, but the two reconcile towards the end:

PHANNA: Purim!  I said some really awful things to you…

PURIM: No, it’s fine.  Your spirit was being controlled.  You couldn’t help it.

PHANNA: I…I guess I was jealous that you and Dyluck were so happy.  Somewhere in my heart that left a gap, and Thanatos took advantage of it, I think…Forgive me, please!

PURIM: Hey, Phanna, look at me…We’re friends, aren’t we?

Purim’s great tragedy is that she isn’t able to save Dyluck, though the events that transpire at the end of the game may ultimately be necessary to save the world.  Thanatos’ body has decayed to the point of death, and he has to possess Dyluck to continue living:

PURIM: Dyluck! Don’t let him do it!

THANATOS: Huuurgh…Guh, c-curses…Uguguguh, ge-buh…body…body is disintegrating!  Uuh……H-help me…groan…Y-you…ouuuuu….!

PURIM: Dyluck!  Just hold on, Dyluck!

Purim after the fight with Thanatos

Later on, Dyluck sends a telepathic message, perhaps imploring Randi to take Purim in now that he’ll be gone:

DYLUCK: Purim… we will never be able to meet again.  I’m sorry…but there’s no other option than to do this.  Randi, you’re there too, aren’t you…please, take care of Purim…

PURIM: Dyluck, no!  Stop!  STOP IT!!

It’s one of the many downers of Secret of Mana, but the game ends with a sense of hope, and that includes Purim’s future as well.

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