Cannon Travel Bros.
February 28, 2021
An odd tribe of hairy people…Koichi Ishii, the Art of Mana
“I wish we [had given cannon travel] a proper name.”Hiromichi Tanaka, ibid.
Height: 161cm or 5’3″
Weight: 75kg or 165 lbs.
The Cannon Travel Bros. help you get places with a mounted gun that looks to be out of the 19th century. How you can launch out of a cannon, travel hundreds of miles at several thousand feet, and still be recognizable when you land is a question that can’t be asked. The game doesn’t launch you in a perfect arc; instead it gets you to where you’re hovering over your destination and then drops you vertically to your landing spot.
There’s quite a few of them, according to one cannon man’s wife:
My husband has so many brothers. Sometimes, I don’t even know who’s who!
The ROM has far more Cannon Travel locations in its memory than what’s used in the game, though most of them go nowhere. Here’s a screenshot from a program that my colleague zhaDe put together:
Neat, huh? The memory locations on the right are all of the coded Cannon Travel routes—the first string is the point of departure and the second is the destination. Any route with an “x” next to it is unused
The strange thing is that almost every unused route starts or ends near the Pure Land. The distance between all of these locations is constant, so this was probably a testing scheme.
There’s actually a few unused routes that may be of interest:
A route from the Upper Land’s cannon travel center to Pandora.
A route from Matango’s cannon travel center to Todo.
A route from Matango’s cannon travel center to Potos. (the unused text in the ROM strangely identifies Pandora as the destination).
A route that starts and ends at the same spot: the cannon travel center in the Upper Land. This is the only one that’s deactivated in a long block of routes that are actually used. Other than a lost quest where there wasn’t enough gunpowder to get you somewhere, this was probably just for fun.
A route that launches you from southwest of Northtown to the exact part of Kakarra that you land from Matango’s cannon.
A route where you’re launched from the ocean south of Mandela to the waterfall near Southtown. This is the cutscene of the Mana Fortress crashing. They used a cannon trip and changed the camera angle en route.
A route that launches you from the coast south of Kippo and lands you south of the Upper Land cannon travel. This is the opening cutscene, using the same technique as above.
In case you’re wondering what happens if you land in the ocean…strange things. You usually end up at the closest actual landing spot, but often you fall through the waters to the debug room. Maybe that’s Mavolia?
- In Japanese, the brothers often speak in a manner that’s suggestive of the Kansai-ben dialect.
- Also exclusive to the Japanese script is each brother’s unique laugh. In no particular order: