It is a very good time to be a Mana series fan. In addition to new games appearing worldwide, older entries are getting remakes and remasters. In some cases, we’re even seeing them for the first time. The next big project? The Echoes of Mana mobile game that includes original and returning characters. To better understand how it works and what people can expect, Siliconera spoke with Producer Akira Haruta about the project.
Jenni Lada: How long has Echoes of Mana been in development, and how did the COVID-19 pandemic influence its progress?
Akira Haruta: Echoes of Mana has been in development for about 3 years. While maintaining communication was difficult at times due to the pandemic, it did not affect our development progress.
Which Mana games most influenced Echoes of Mana’s characters, combat, and stories?
Haruta: This is a title with an all-star character roster, so the characters and story are influenced by all of the games. For combat, we did reference Secret of Mana, Trials of Mana, and Legend of Mana, all of which have 2D action just like this game.
How did you decide which Mana characters should show up in Echoes of Mana at launch?
Haruta: As mentioned earlier, since this is a game with an all-star character roster, we tried to feature characters from many different games across the series. You’ll also be able to use enemy characters from past titles as playable characters, such as the Dark Lord. You’ll see that we’ve made great effort to offer a well-balanced selection of characters that includes enemies as well.
However, there are also many characters we still want to include but haven’t been able to yet, so we plan to keep adding them through future updates.
Echoes of Mana is a title that will have both original content and returning worlds, monsters, and characters. How did you create it in a way that ensure what is new fits in with what is old? Did you encounter any challenges while doing so?
Haruta: Regardless of whether they were original characters or returning characters, we were always conscious of each character’s personality and characteristics. For example, if rough-around-the-edges Duran and kind-hearted Randi were to meet, would they become friends? Or would they fight? We thought about how things would unfold based on their individual characteristics.
What will the gacha rates look like for Echoes of Mana and how will you keep the free and paid elements balanced?
Haruta: While we won’t be announcing specific drop rates until release, what we can say is that you can obtain characters as well as equipment called “Memory Gems” through the gacha summons, and you can also obtain some of the characters and Memory Gems as rewards for progressing through the story, or through in-game events. So, I think you’ll find that you can enjoy the game without having to make in-
Of course, we’ll also be distributing Spirit Crystals, which you can use for summons, as rewards, through login bonuses, and more.
What kinds of events do you have in mind for Echoes of Mana?
Haruta: Events that allow you to obtain lots of rewards to help you power up your characters, and more.
How do you think Echoes of Mana and its development could influence future Mana games?
Haruta: I would love for it to become a place for Mana fans to gather. Whether they’re someone who has played Mana games in the past and tries out Echoes of Mana, or they’re someone completely new to the series and plays the previous Mana games afterwards, ultimately, I hope Echoes of Mana will become a place where both new and old fans can enjoy the game together.
Since this is a game with an all-star character roster, and it’s a mobile game that can easily be picked up and played at any time, I sincerely hope that it can becomes a special place for Mana fans to come together.
Echoes of Mana will come to Android and Apple iOS devices. Pre-registration is now open.