RPG Hack Showcase: Secret of Mana Turbo (SNES)

Hack Showcases and RPG Hack Showcases are a series where I show off various game and rpg hacks. I try to stick with hacks that improve gameplay or add quality of life features, completely or partially change the plot and characters, along with additional content, dialogue, graphical and sound improvements. Non-rpgs I try to give a full run to, or at least enough for a solid review. Rpgs I will stick with titles that have enough changes in the beginning to show off, and when I can, show parts later in the games where more differences appear. There may be spoilers in the reviews and videos. Some of these I may stream fully in the future or play on my own. Reviews are open to later revisions due to bug and content updates or me playing them and finding anything new I wish to bring up.

Secret of Mana Turbo by Queue is a romhack with a number of quality of life options and more to really change your experience playing Secret of Mana. Seeing this hack is in beta, it’s not officially on RHDN yet, but the betas do work for playthroughs.

There is way too much to mention between changes, bug fixes, quality of life improvements and more, so it’s suggested to check out the readme file for the full listing. Just to name some:

Core “Turbo” Features:
– Removes stamina (attacking / running / blocking)
– Streamlines weapon charging UI
– Removes weapon charging klaxon
– Stairs don’t prevent running (but still slow you)

Changes to zhaDe’s New Gameplay Improvement (V0.18):
– Organized the patch selection menu
– Glove weapon has guaranteed enemy knockdown (was Axe)
– Whip has negative knockback (pulls enemies towards you)
– Boomerang moving attack executes quicker
– Added sound to Axe thrust
– Changed sound of Sword thrust
– Added diagonal thrusts to Sword
– Hold ‘A’ while charging to pause charging gauge
– Block button changed to ‘R’ and stamina use removed
– Damage and healing numbers disappear faster (split to its own option)
– Magic Recharge times greatly reduced, but still present to prevent spamming
– Magic Recharge made configurable in the patcher (Advanced Options)
– Changing direction while running requires gradual turns (no instant 180s)
– Added sound when selecting secondary weapon
– QuickSpell primary hotkey changed to ‘L’
– QuickSpell use doesn’t require direction holding
– QuickSpell use finalizes on ‘B’ press instead of release
– Can reset QuickSpell menu with ‘X’/’Y’
– Can still strafe while charging using ‘L’
– MP display only shows after obtaining Undine
– Split ally and enemy AI changes into multiple options
– Split spell tweaks into multiple options

With most romhacks, strongly suggested to check out the readme files for advice on the changes to hacks and any gameplay tips, especially with rpgs. Readme files for rpg hacks can contain additional gameplay advice, etc, and it’s worth subscribing to hacks you like on RHDN to keep up with updates for bug fixes, additional content, etc.

SO HOW IS IT? Turbo is an amazing collection of various SoM hacks put together into one cohesive package and it’s amazing the amount of options you have for gameplay, music, graphics, and quality of life changes! Loading up the program, the hack and the rom to load the changes into, gives you a huge assortment of options to change in the game. Many of them are pre-selected but there’s more to select too!  There’s way too many to list and get into so I’ll get into a few for each section.

Combat options include the turbo option which speeds up combat, blocking and how stamina works for running, not getting stuck on stairs and more. Holding the R button for blocking is another new option. You can also make enemies and your team recover faster after attacks, make them quicker and improve the AI for your team so they don’t always get stuck on objects.

Magic options include changing the way some spells work for casting them and the spells enemies use, along with changing their MP costs. The biggest is removing the ability to spam magic up to 999 attacks to put SoM more in line with Seiken 3/Trials of Mana. Now you have to wait a few seconds between magic attacks and wait for a sound before you can cast again.

Item changes include your team only using unique items. In other words, you can’t equip your party with all the same armor, which makes things harder, but also adds a strategic element in who do you want to have the better armor. Other weapons, items and armor are tweaked. A big change is the re-addition of later weapon orbs to bring your weapons up to level 9 if you find them in the Mana Fortress. With that, Neko and Watts can be added to the Mana Fortress as well. You can also change your item maximum from 4 to 7.

Various gameplay balances and quality of life stuff include faster text, changes to status aliments, the way enemies fight and more. This hack also has a new revised and cleaner script and some new scenes added too! Try to see what’s new especially if you haven’t played SoM in ages! Other various graphics were fixed and cleaned up, and a day to night cycle was added and being able to revisit some locations and adding Watts and Neko to some locations too. Check out the lovely new title screen too!

In conclusion, this suite of hacks is amazing and great job for everyone involved and I can’t wait to see what else is added!

GAMEPLAY VIDEO:

I GIVE SECRET OF MANA TURBO 4.5 OUT OF 5 MANA BEASTS!!

Links:
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=27890.0 – SoM Turbo RHDN forum topic

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