Whether you’re familiar with the 1995 Trials of Mana original or those playing through the game for the first time, there will undoubtedly be some ramping up time as you familiarize yourself. The newly released remake sticks faithfully to the narrative of the original, but there are plenty of mechanical changes both large and small. As a result, we’ve put together a handful of Trials of Mana tips so you can jump back in without worrying about missing something!
Practice Dodges and Combos
Combat is where Nintendo has made the biggest changes. You now control your character in a fully 3D space where you can jump, dodge, use all kinds of attacks, and perform combos. You should take full advantage of all of these moves to succeed.
The most useful combo is a light attack followed by a heavy attack. This does a good amount of damage quickly while also knocking most enemies down so that you can continue attacking without fear of reprisal.
Most enemies have pretty clear animations that indicate when they’re about to attack. For more powerful attacks, the game will place a red icon on the ground to indicate where the attack will hit. Even though enemies telegraph their moves, they can happen quickly so don’t go into a long combo unless an enemy is stunned or distracted. You’ll get a big EXP bonus if the character you control avoids all damage in a fight, so dodging is a good skill to practice.
It’s tough to charge your heavy attack while avoiding enemies, so try charging your attack when you first see an enemy. The game will let you bring a charged attack into the start of battle, so you can unleash it on an unsuspecting enemy and get an advantage right as battle begins.
Check Every Nook and Cranny for Items
There are things hidden all over Trials of Mana, so explore every space in detail. Look for chests and sparkly spots that contain items and money.
As you progress, you’ll find a cute character named Li’l Cactus who provides lots of cool passive bonuses to things like shop prices and experience gain. You can also gain new passive abilities by talking to key characters, so make sure you talk to anyone who seems significant as often as you can.
Prepare Your Item Wheel for Each Area
To use items in Trials of Mana you must place them on the item wheel. The wheel can only hold 12 items at a time, so plan based on what you’ll need for a particular area.
Early on, ensure you’ve got healing items (Candy and Chocolate) and status recovery items (Medical Herbs) available. As you progress, add items that exploit the elemental weakness of an area. For example, in a fire dungeon you might want Ice Coins and Poseidon Claws.
Keep in mind that, no matter how many you have, items in battle are always capped at nine. Be mindful of how many healing items you’re using in longer boss fights.
You Will Need to Grind for EXP
Trials of Mana doesn’t require as much grinding as the original, but it’s still tough if you run through without grinding at all. As a general rule, try to stay at least two levels above the enemies in the area. Doing this will usually mean you match the level of the area’s boss.
Plant Every Seed You Find
Early in the game you’ll find seeds that you can plant in the pot at any inn to receive a random item. You can also use the seeds to heal everyone in the party for a small amount. Don’t do this. Every seed you plant increases the level of the pot which makes finding seeds more likely and increases the value of the items you get.
Day of Week and Time of Day Matters
Keep an eye on the day and time in the bottom-right of the map as it affects battle. Spells are stronger when their element lines up with the day of the week. Fire spells are stronger on Salamando Day, for example. Light spells are always powerful during the day (Lumina Time) while dark spells are more powerful at night (Shade Time). Don’t go into boss fights on the day or time that matches the boss’ element.
If you’re using Kevin, fight at night as often as possible since he’s stronger when he turns into a wolfman.
Use Dream Reeds to change the day while traveling or by staying at inns if you’re in a town. If it’s Mana Day, you can stay at the inn for free.
Here are the days and their corresponding element:
- Mana Day (free inn)
- Luna Day (moon)
- Salamando Day (fire)
- Undine Day (water)
- Dryad Day (wood)
- Sylphid Day (wind)
- Gnome Day (earth)
And that’s it! Best of luck on your new Trials of Mana escapades. Haven’t yet started? Make sure to check out our Trials of Mana Characters guide since you can only pick three of the six main characters to stay in your party.