February 28, 2021
As its name implies, the Ice Country is a…country of ice. Todo Village is the only inhabited town on the map, not counting the recently built Scorpion Village that gets abandoned soon after Randi visits. The Ice “Crystal” Palace is the only one in the game that has neither a Mana Seed nor a Mana Spirit. The village exteriors are unique to this part of the world—plain brick architecture with stained glass windows. In-game maps come from Fantasy Anime, and are used with permission.
The developers may have had tall intentions for the Ice Country. A complex wilderness is present on World Map I, similar to the first part of the game:
But that was pared down for phase II:
The original idea may have inspired the Ice Country in Secret of Mana 2:
For III, more detail was added to the Scorpion village, locations were moved around, and some cosmetic elements were added:
For what it’s worth, the wilderness in the final game is one of the least developed areas, with some maps almost identical:
Flying Omelette mentioned a stairway to nowhere on the eastern end of Todo village. Above it is a strange white rectangle that’s the result of bad map editing. There’s actually a passageway past this rectangle. Sometimes, the developers would program scenery on one end of a map that would wrap around to the other end i.e. extending a pathway where there’d otherwise be no room. But this doesn’t line up with the exit on the left, so who knows.
Early shots of the village, with different decorative elements:
Translated by Sevon
How would you survive the arctic? A frigid continent completely covered in ice——Better bring warm clothes. The reason this continent is blanketed in snow remains a mystery, but maybe it used to have a normal climate? The mountain near the center seems like it would have something inside. The small (very small) building in the north looks like it might be of interest, too.
- Randi is greeted in Todo with ここはトド村っス。”This is Todo, the icy sea lion village!” Literally 海馬, it’s a reference to the steller sea lion.