Secret of Mana Collectibles
January 2, 2022
Given its era, Secret of Mana had less merchandise, guides, memorabilia and promotional publications than other games. If you weren’t in Japan at the time of its release, your options were even more limited. The 2018 remake didn’t offer much either. Nevertheless, most items have been tracked down, and this handy guide catalogs everything known. The exception are cases where Secret of Mana popped up in mainstream magazines. While most are not on this page, the results of a valiant effort to list them all can be found in Further Reading.
The items shown are mainly from the collections of ManaRedux, Dr. Sheexy, BahamutArk and bluebomber. We’re grateful to DEATH QUEEN CITY for providing a database of its own for Japanese items. The demand for SoM merch far exceeds the officially licensed supply, and there are quite a few unauthorized peripherals out there of varying quality. We’ve done our best to identify genuine goods, so please let us know if we messed up somewhere.
|Rarity Factor (as of now)||Explanation|
|1||More or less common. Can easily be found on eBay or a similar site.|
|2||Less common than 1. Can still be found on eBay or a similar site.|
|3||If it’s Japanese, it’s likely going to require a trip to a Japanese source, but it should still be available. Might show up on eBay once in a while.|
|4||Rare or at least not common. Comes up on Japanese sites (if it’s Japanese), but you’ll have to wait a bit.|
|5||Anything with a 5 is scarce and if you find it, you should think about getting it.|
Action Figures (3)
Phone Card (5)
That’s the best image I could find of the Seiken Densetsu 2 phone card, from a Japanese auction site. What’s a phone card, you say? Grab a comfy bean bag chair and let me tell you of the days of old…
Pop-up Storybook (3)
Postcard “Fan” (5)
A postcard that’s also “uchiwa”, or a fan to keep you cool. Essentially a useful item that you can attach a stamp to and send it on its way.
Our good friend Hiro explains shitajiki, or “pencil board”:
It’s actually a uniquely Japanese office/school item originally made of celluloid but nowadays made of plastic. Often printed with company logos or manga characters/scenes. It’s like a sort of blotter. It prevents impressions on the desktop or adjacent pages of a notebook made by pencils or pens.
A retro t-shirt with the game’s cover for its design. This is not easy to find—don’t fall for uncollectible contemporary knockoffs. It’s even rarer in the original plastic. I vividly recall folks wearing Nintendo t-shirts like this back in the day.
Secret of Mana Cartridge (1)
Secret of Mana PAL Cartridge (1)
Secret of Mana Collectors Edition (3)
Secret of Mana PS4 (1)
Seiken Densetsu 2 Cartridge (1)
The included manual can easily be found separately. It has unique development screenshots as even the manual was finished before the game was.
Seiken Densetsu 2 Collectors Edition (2)
Seiken Densetsu 2 PS4 (1)
Seiken Densetsu 2 PS Vita (1)
Store Promotional Video (5)
One of the rarest SoM collectibles, this was a promotional VHS that played in stores that sold the game. While the tape runs two hours, it likely played a clip over and over until it needed to be rewound. The nature of the tape is still being researched, but it’s thought to contain unique beta gameplay footage.
VJump Video (5)
The source of the one minute promotional clip that’s been floating around forever. Actually getting the video is nigh impossible.
Adventure Guide (2)
One of Square’s official strategy guides. The highlight are some adorable cartoons that teach players how to fight every boss. Also has a pullout poster with game info in Japanese.
Art of Mana (1)
Available in English, French, and Japanese, Art of Mana features artwork and insight on the Mana games that were available through the book’s release. Most of the material has been released before. We discussed this publication at length with our friend Rhett Whittington.
The Book of Mana [Part 1] (3)
Technically a Dengeki supplement, The Book of Mana features original art of the characters and some locations, in addition to a detailed walkthrough. Outside of the game itself, it’s the only contemporary depictions of some characters.
The Book of Mana [Part 2] (3)
More of the same. You need both supplements to get all of the art.
Complete Strategy Compilation (2)
This guide was released at the same time as the game in Japan, and comprises Square’s full strategy tips.
Fundamental Knowledge Compilation (2)
The companion to the Complete Strategy Compilation, the Fundamental Knowledge Compilation features scores of external lore that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s one of the largest sources of information for SoM: Redux.
Map Guide: Part 1 (4)
Another one of the many magazine supplements that was published at the time of the game’s Japanese release. This one comes from Marukatsu, and features maps of all of the game’s locations. It also features some unique art, and a labelled prerelease map that reveals that more locations were at one point intended to be accessible via Flammie.
Music Promotional Pamphlet (5)
Official Game Secrets (1)
While it doesn’t approach the quality of Japanese offerings, this was the tip book for American gamers. It’s the sort of thing we had before anything you wanted to know was one FAQ away.
Official Setting Material + Strategy Guide (1)
Square’s Japanese guide for the 2018 remaster, this one features examples of the new 3D art, as well as extensive strategy information. It also features an interview with the developers, and more on the game’s background. Some of this clarifies plot points that weren’t fleshed out in the SNES era.
Ogopogo Examiner (3)
Square’s bygone newsletter, this issue previewed Secret of Mana among other things.
Scoop Guide #1 (4)
The first of three Scoop Guides released with Family Computer Magazine. These were detailed promotional guides with tons of official art and development screenshots months before the game was released. This one features some of the earliest promotional materials on Secret of Mana.
Scoop Guide #2 (4)
A few weeks after the first Scoop Guide came the second one. More very early versions of game areas.
Scoop Guide #3 (3)
The final and largest Scoop Guide. Features detailed information on gameplay and hundreds of prerelease screenshots. Seems to be more common than the other two.
Sheet Music Book (3)
Square Power Book (4)
A great collectible, not only for Secret of Mana fans but retro Square fans in general. It provides a timeline of Square games up until that point, with features on games that were in development or released at the time of its publication. There’s also interviews with Square employees and photos of the offices. For SoM, there’s a lot of development screenshots, and a fairly clean copy of the first prerelease map.
Strategy Guide (3)
A fairly ordinary strategy guide published by The Super Famicom magazine. If everyone else was, why not them?
Strategy Guidebook Volume 2 (3)
Yet another strategy guide in the form of a magazine supplement. Family Computer Magazine released this shortly after the game’s Japanese released, and followed up with a second volume shortly thereafter.