The Lofty Mountains
February 28, 2021
It’s difficult to say whether there were lofty plans for the Lofty Mountains, the highest elevation in the world. They’re a natural divider between the Gaia Lowlands and Tasnica, and their inhabited areas are difficult to reach. These include the town of Mandala, the Palace of Darkness, and Sage Joch’s shrine. An Ancient Temple that’s similar to the Ruins in Pandora and Northtown exists here, bringing Mana disciples from around the world for meditation and study.
Take a look at World Map I:
Other than the placement of the mountain and the location of Mandala, It seems that this concept was more or less set. Even the caterpillar forest in the bottom right and the waterfall on the left were present at this point. In Phase II, it was similar to III, but locations had not been placed yet:
Based on the World Map, more paths were likely; the Palace is much closer to Mandala on the ground than it is on the map. There’s a beach at the bottom of the mountain, meaning you may have been supposed to sail there and climb up at one point. In fact, this Japanese magazine article all but confirms it:
Translated by Sevon
What awaits at the summit of the continent's tallest peak? Assuming that the grey areas are mountains, you could safely assume this is a perilous precipice. This mountain range stands between where the protagonists start in the Gaia Lowlands and the castle on the western side. It'll be a tough climb if you have to visit this place before meeting Flammie. There's probably a huge dungeon inside the mountain.
- The Lofty Mountains are called Manten Mountain in Japanese.
- In the SNES script, the meditating citizen of Mandala says, “Oouum…oouum…”, but on the Super Famicom, it’s the more traditional Buddhist recitation, “Namu…namu…”
- The song that plays in the Veedios appears to be original! Retranslated:
So lovey-lovey, my darling! (My peach!)
Catch my burning hot heart! (My peach!)
- All of the Temples (or possibly shrines or sanctuaries) in Japanese were made into Palaces for the SNES release. For example, the Water Temple became the Water Palace. However, Mandala’s Temple remained a Temple.
- The Japanese script features a poetic speech given in the Mandala Temple. It was only vaguely referenced in the American script:
What we call Mana is the energy that sustains this world–no, the entire universe.
However, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that it is infinite.
There will be a time when the hearts of men will grow wild, and they will cease to see the preciousness of the forests and trees, the beasts and the spirits.
If it comes to that, Mana would be lost from the world in the blink of an eye…