Remakes have become a fad over the past 5-7 years it seems. Whether it be TV shows, movies, or video games, the popularity is rising. They are remaking (rebooting, whatever you want to call it) Spider-Man for the 2nd time in the last five years for Christ’s sake. So I thought I would look at the Square catalog of games and ask myself a simple question, “What game do I hope they remake, and what game do I hope they leave alone?” Personally, I think we will see more remakes over the next decade, due to the projected success of the FFVII Remake.
This will be a two part post. I will focus on the first part of question in this post. So, which game do I hope that will get a remake? Out of all the great choices, and there are a lot to choose from, my answer would have to be Secret of Mana.
The reason I picked this game is simple, because the game is unfinished. The game was originally released in 1993, and was supposed to be a launch title for the SNES-CD add on, which eventually became the original PlayStation. There was initially much discussion at Square as to whether or not the game should be finished and released. The developers believed that too much of the game would need to be cut to fit on a cartridge, and ultimately that is what ended up happening. There were a many reported subtractions to the final game, the most notable being the story. The game originally had multiple directions for the player to take, in order to get to multiple different endings. Square used a similar idea a few years later with Chrono Trigger. According to translator Ted Woolsey, a large portion of the game’s script was cut in order to properly finish the English localization.
I have read articles where it is stated that 40% of the game was left on the cutting room floor, and I have seen estimations of 60% of it was cut. The fact is, we will never truly know what was supposed to be there and what isn’t. Secret of Mana writer and producer Hiromichi Tanaka has been quoted as saying the original script was supposed to have a much darker tone. I haven’t played this game in probably 20 years. However, I still look back on it fondly. I cannot remember the story to the exact detail, but I remember the gist of it. The action-style battle were fun, and so was the fact that you could play the game with a friend. The music is probably some of the best Square has ever put out. When I think of great soundtracks, games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, and Earthbound come to mind. Secret of Mana is right up there with those soundtracks, probably just a notch below them.
This game has great bones, and I think since there was a whole story written that got chopped to shit, it would be a great candidate to remake one day. This game doesn’t have the rabid fan-base that VII does, or even Chrono Trigger, so I know there probably isn’t much of a clamor out there for a remake, but I think that is exactly why the game needs a remake. The fact is, people won’t be let down by a remake of this game. There is almost no risk in taking the originally planned story, and putting it out there for the “first” time, so to speak. That would be my pick for a remake from the Square catalog, what would yours be? Let me know in the comments.