The recent Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana propaganda from the pages of Famitsu magazine has provided new details on the story, battle system, and characters of Square Enix's forthcoming action RPG for the Nintendo DS.
Children of Mana takes place on the island of Illuja, which is located in the center of the world. And in the very center of the island stands the Mana Tree, a familiar staple of the Mana series. The Mana Tree has stood in the heart of Illuja since the beginning of time itself. The game begins shortly after a huge disaster of unknown classification hits Illuja Island, killing many of the island's residents. Three survivors happened to be children who had gathered at the base of the Mana Tree, and begin an adventure following the cataclysm. These three children are the heroes of the game.
- Frick: This young man is bright, cheerful, and capable. Several years before the disaster on Illuja Island, his life was saved by a wandering swordsman. This valiant act served as the inspiration for Frick to learn the art of swordsmanship himself. In the island's disaster, Frick's entire family was killed.
- Tumble: Before the upheaval, Tumble was a member of a wandering circus troupe in which she performed as a dancer and an acrobat. Tumble is very serious and responsible, which often gives the impression that she's far older than she actually is. Her brother and both of her parents died in the disaster.
- Pop: Pop is laid back, impulsive, and possessed of a child's fearlessness. He usually recklessly says whatever pops into his head, but despite his immature traits, he hates being treated like a child. Pop's mother died in childbirth, while his father was killed in the recent disaster.
Children of Mana retains the action RPG elements of the series' previous titles, and it will continue the tradition of allowing multiple weapons to be used. Three confirmed weapons are the sword, bow, and flail. The sword and bow function exactly as one might expect, as the standard short and long range weapons. The flail has a longer range than the sword, but it also has the added bonus of being able to grapple enemies and objects from a distance to pull closer to the user.
The game will have a main quest with a length of 25-30 hours, but it will also have side quests to supplement its length. It is currently 60% complete, and Square Enix is promising a release this coming winter in Japan. No North American release has yet been announced, but the company did recently trademark the name Children of Mana in the United States.