Secret of Mana: Redux

Pandora

Locations

Pandora

February 28, 2021

World Map Legend

Pandora is the most populated area in the Gaia Lowlands, and the only kingdom.  It has the same rustic feel as other locations in the area.  It’s home to Purim and Phanna, as well as an ineffectual king who can’t solve his witch problem.  The most notable landmark in Pandora is its Ruins, though it’s never explained what these are the ruins of… 

The following shots are likely tests for Purim. There’s a also distant possibility that Secret of Mana was intended to be like Trials of Mana later was, where you would start with one of the characters, and meet up with the others along the way. In this speculative case, these shots could be a solo Purim opening, and there are similar shots of solo Popoie in a different, unknown area. If you’re not captured by the goblins near Neko’s and meet Purim for the first time in Pandora, she has an unfinished dialogue sequence that may have been adapted from a solo exposition.

This overhead shot of Pandora during the IIa era shows the same spinning object on the map that’s by Northtown. Whatever it was supposed to be was cut before the game’s release, but it was here and also in Southtown.

Family Computer Magazine (May 28, 1993)

The graphics set here is the same early, more detailed one that you can see in some Potos shots.

Famitsu (May 28, 1993)
Famitsu (May 28, 1993)
Famitsu (May 28, 1993)

A very snazzy castle that I assume is Pandora:

Famitsu (March 5, 1993)

Compare to the final:

Pandora castle

This is the same armor shop as the final, just much larger:

Prerelease Pandora shop
Famitsu (May 28, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora shop
Hippon Super! (July 1993)

I’m guessing that this is early Pandora.  Note the snazzy tower at the top of the roof:

Prerelease Pandora
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: January 8, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora
Family Computer Magazine (February 5, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora
Family Computer Magazine (January 8, 1993)

The Pandora Ruins themselves changed.  The enemies were different, but this may have been during prototyping:

Prerelease Pandora ruins
Youtube: Cabbusses’s Retro Obscurities
Prerelease Pandora ruins
Youtube: Cabbusses’s Retro Obscurities
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora ruins
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora ruins
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Prerelease Pandora ruins
Family Computer Magazine (February 5, 1993)

This shot shows a different second floor for the Pandora Ruins.  There’s a door here in the final:

Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

Missing area:

Hippon Super! (January 1993)

The next shot was a very popular promotional photo, appearing in a lot of articles and ads. The stage room had a seal that appears throughout the Ruins.  There were also stairs behind the stage, indicating a lost second floor:

Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: January 8, 1993)

Note the lost Glove graphic; you’ll see many variations of it.  It was not used in the final release.  Here’s a shot of the Vampire appearing in a room with the Pandoran tileset.  It’s possible you were supposed to fight him here, but given that the Northtown Ruins are so similar, he may have just been shifted to later in the game.

Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Fighting the Vampire in the prerelease Pandora ruins
Source: Youtube: OKeijiDragon

Leaving Pandora in the IIa era:

Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

Further west, these shots align with the overhead map at the time.  Given its simple nature, this was probably just a placeholder until the final scenario was developed.

If I had to guess, I’d say this was a sign pointing you west to Kippo and north to Gaia’s Navel:

Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

Further north:

Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)
Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

And south:

Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
Family Computer Magazine (April 2, 1993)
Early version of the path from Pandora to Kippo and Gaia's Navel
V Jump Appendix (July 1993)

Kippo was moved north in III. The original way was covered over with tree pixels.

However, in the final game, Kippo is still due west of Pandora on the world map. This area was not redrawn on the map despite completely changing on the ground. If you land on Kippo, it magically moves you far to the north.

Kippo Village in the prerelease:

A prerelease shot of Kippo Village
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

Seems like the Item Shop had its own island at one point:

A prerelease shot of Kippo Village
The Super Famicom (March 5, 1993)