The toughest decision in Trials of Mana is one of the first you will make — choosing your characters. There are six potential characters in the game, but you can only use three in any given playthrough. To help you decide, we’ve put together some general tips on party composition followed by a full breakdown of each character’s strengths and weaknesses.
First Consider Character Narratives
Whichever character you choose first is the main focus of the story. You’ll control them in town and, for the most part, see the story through their perspective.
You’ll also get bits of narrative from and for the other two characters in your party. The three you don’t choose will appear as NPCs and the primary focus will always remain on the first character you select. Each of the six character narratives are paired with another, so you’ll see the most narrative cohesion if you choose one of these duos. The narratives are paired like this:
- Riesz & Hawkeye
- Angela & Duran
- Kevin & Charlotte
Consider Party Composition
There are obviously some characters who complement each other better than others. If you’re using Angela, who has powerful elemental attacks, you might want someone like Reisz who can buff magic attack. If you’re using Kevin, who has powerful physical attacks, you may want to combine him with someone like Duran or Charlotte who can add elemental properties to physical attackers.
Overall, the characters are designed to all work with each other to some degree. It’s impossible to choose a party that’s so bad you can’t complete the game. The only combination I’d strongly advise against is Charlotte and Angela because they both have very low physical attack and their abilities don’t complement each other well.
Duran is the second best physical attacker in the game and has the most defense. He can apply lots of elemental buffs to physical attacks, so he pairs well with melee characters.
He’s your standard JRPG protagonist soldier boy and is mostly upset that he loses a fight at the beginning of the game. Choose him if you love vanilla ice cream.
Angela is the most powerful mage in the Trials of Mana. Her spells do great elemental damage, but you don’t unlock them all until the midgame. She also has very low attack and defense so she pairs well with support characters who can provide her with buffs or debuff enemies.
Angela’s mom hates her because she can’t do magic well enough. Choose her if you too have failed your parents.
Kevin is the most powerful physical attacker in the game but has lower defense than Duran. He doesn’t learn many moves himself, so he’s best paired with those who can enhance him. Keep in mind you will have to change the time of day to night frequently if you want to get his full benefits in combat.
He’s a sad werewolf with a goofy hat who misses his dog and hates his dad. Choose him if you enjoy moody himbos with huge pants.
Charlotte is a healer who can uses elemental attack buffs and doesn’t do much damage. She pairs well with physical attackers, but she’s the most easily replaced character since healing items are plentiful and easy to use.
She’s the classic insufferable child with dead parents required to appear in every anime/JRPG. Be warned that her dialogue replaces all Ls and Rs with Ws, so Charlotte exists on the strongest uWu wavelength imaginable. Choose her if you know in your heart that you are baby.
A support character with decent and very quick physical attacks. Hawkeye learns ranged magic that can debuff groups of enemies or slam them with status effects. He pairs well with anyone.
There’s kind of a desert Robin Hood vibe with this guy. He steals from the rich, but he’s also got hot boy hair. Choose if you love direct, socialist action, and good hair care.
Reisz is a support character who’s a decent physical attacker and can obtain powerful party buffs or enemy debuffs. She pairs well with anyone.
Riesz feels responsible for bad things that happen to her dad and brother that don’t really seem like her fault. Choose her if you love poking things while being introspective.