Secret of Mana Redux

The Evolution of Secret of Mana’s World Map


The Evolution of Secret of Mana’s World Map

February 28, 2021

While it seems like the classic 16-bit RPG map, Secret of Mana’s world has eccentricities that complement the source material. It features a massive amount of empty space and placeholder locations, much of which hints at unrealized plans for further content, or simply a way to augment a vast world in the face of technical limitations. Some places are meticulously detailed, others barely hint at what awaits you when you land (sometimes intentionally). But any map where you can ride Flammie in blazing Mode 7 glory is a winner.

Various preview maps exist, each showing a different stage of development. My shorthand code for each map is here:

I – First prerelease map
IIa – Scoop Guide Map
IIb – Later version of the above
III – SNES map
IV – 2018 map

World Map I

The earliest known map represents the state of things around late ’92/early ’93, though it still showed up some time later. You’d have to look carefully to follow how things developed from here, but as we see on the Locations pages, a lot of places were simply moved around and visually finessed for the final release.

Square Power Book (Dengeki: April 9, 1993)

This version seems to be ripped from the game, implying that it was at least partially coded. In fact, screenshots exist of many of this version’s cut areas.

A prerelease map from Secret of Mana
The Super Famicom (March 5, 1993)

  World Map IIa

This next one comes from a “scoop guide”, a small book dedicated to teasing games:

A prerelease world map from Secret of Mana
Scoop Guide (Family Computer Magazine: April 30, 1993)

According to, an accompanying caption reads:

Below, you'll find the world map of Seiken Densetsu 2. Did you notice that it differed slightly from the map we'd previously shown off in this publication? There are more continents than before, and it seems there are more mysterious locations.

The Lost Continent was covered up, but this map is the same one from the Japanese manual:

A prerelease world map from Secret of Mana
Seiken Densetsu 2 Manual

World Map IIb

A later version of this map exists.  They were still working on this concept well into 1993. In fact, the sources were released shortly before or even after the game’s Japan release. Note the absence of the Lost Continent.

Marukatsu Super Famicom (June 11, 1993)
Special Thanks: Clyde Mandelin

A clearer version:

Hippon Super! (July 1993)

A higher resolution copy, sadly spread across two pages in a Dengeki supplement:

Dengeki Map Guide: Part 1
(September 10, 1993)

Promotional videos close to the game’s release show that this map was coded and playable.  The globe seems to have been coded here too:

Youtube: OKeijiDragon

World Map III

The final world map, sadly cut down:

The final world map of Secret of Mana
Fantasy Anime

World Map IV

The 2018 remake map:

The world of Secret of Mana's 2018 remake

2 thoughts on “The Evolution of Secret of Mana’s World Map

  1. It’s amazing how much work had been done and changed from March 5th 1993 to April 30th. Roughly 2 months changed the map so much.

    1. Indeed, though it’s hard to tell how much time elapsed between when the maps were constructed and when they appeared in magazines. You’re certainly right that the developers were working feverishly to get the job done.

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