Yeah, it’s a really old game, but Legend of Mana has a lot of mechanics that players diving into the remaster should prepare for. One of them is Artifact Placement for your map, just one of the many things that Legend of Mana is obtuse about.
WHY IS LAND PLACEMENT IMPORTANT?
The short explanation:
- Affects Mana levels of Lands
- Affects unlocking of Events
- Affects availability of Things in general
The longer explanations:
- Mana: Your Home will have an Orchard you unlock a little later into the game. You’ll also be able to obtain an Artifact to place for a second Orchard. The higher the Mana levels, the faster your produce will grow. Each Land has its own Mana value that can affect its neighbours
- Events: Several Events require specific levels of Mana. Certain events also require specific Lands to be placed, or have a number of them already on the map
- “Things”: The timing of Land placements can affect a shop’s inventory, especially regarding crafting materials. Distance affects both potential difficulty, as well as Pet availability, and monster levels for different drop tables
There’s also one Artifact that can only be placed on a water tile, so finding a spot flexible enough is important for min-maxers. Additionally, Artifacts can only be placed adjacent to one another.
In the game proper, you’re allowed to pick a starting spot as long as the square isn’t greyed out, but this is considered the most optimal: only two water spots, fitting the one mandatory requirement:
EASIEST SET UP
This set up is considered to be the most flexible, set up to be as easy as possible with access to:
- All Events
- All demi-human pets
- All levels of mineral and highest level possible weapon shop at time of placement
- Full Mana Levels for Orchard for fastest produce growing speed
Visuals for the map added for easier reference from this Legend of Mana Artifact Placement Guide. On NG+, this placement can become even better once you have access to Nightmare mode to increase monster levels for the rarer loot.
You begin the game with the Mailbox Artifact (Home), while you will be given the Colorblocks Artifact (Domina) when you try to leave to the world map. To get the Wheel, you will need to encounter Niccolo in Domina’s market. You will need to trigger his Event, Niccolo’s Business Unusual:
- Tell him you’re Not Afraid of the bandits
- Agree to help him
To obtain the Jade Egg Artifact, you will need to follow Elazul into Domina’s pub. You can choose to stick up for Rachel, or side with Elazul so that he joins you as a partner. If he leaves the pub, you can go out into Domina’s map, where after a short dialogue, he will join you no matter what you say. Rachel will give you the Jade Egg Artifact.
This placement is to enable the Broken Doll (Junkyard) Land’s Gnome levels to spawn Fernando the Narcissos as a pet. The Narcissos requires Gnome Level 3 (max).
You can opt to place down the Sand Rose (Duma Desert) and Torch of Coral (Madora Beach) before you place down the Firefly Lamp (Lumina). The Sand Rose’s placement will allow it to start with Dryad Level 2, while also giving the Medallion’s (Jungle) Land Salamander Level 2.
Torch of Coral will give Stone Eye’s (Lake Kilma) Wisp Level 3, to access Captain Dayang the Mad Mallard as a pet. Keeping the Firefly Lamp (Lumina) to later will upgrade its mineral shop to Level 2, and you can buy Level 4 weapons from its shop.
The Golden Seed (Orchard) gives the Broken Doll (Junkyard) Gnome Level 3, whereupon you can get yourself Fernando the Narcissos. The Trembling Spoon (The Underworld) raises Torch of Coral (Madora Beach) to Salamander Level 2.
This placement will allow the Skull Lantern (Norn Peaks) to have Salamander Level 2, bumping it up to Level 3 once the Dragonbone is placed. You’ll then be able to encounter Mambo the Tomato Man.
The Green Cane (White Forest) will give raise the Sand Rose (Duma Desert) Dryad Level, to unlock the Wimpy Thugling Event in the desert. On completion, you’ll get access to Tikkle the Sahagin.
There’s an alternative placement option, but it will not be covered in the interests of keeping it as simple as possible.
The placement of Moon’s Mirror (Tower of Leires) is to place a specific Land as far away from the Mailbox (Home) as possible to unlock a Level 4 Mineral Shop, and Level 7 Weapon Shop. The Rusted Anchor (Popolta Harbor) will give the Land a Level 3 Mineral Shop and Level 6 Weapon Shop.
You’d want to place the Frozen Heart (Fieg Snowfields) first, as the Sword of Mana (Tree of Mana) will give adjacent Lands Level 3 Mana levels. With full Mana levels thanks to the Sword of Mana, several things can occur:
- Unlocks the Seeing Double and Pee Wee Birdie events in Domina
- The Orchard can grow the best produce in the shortest time possible
- Guri the Goblin becomes available in Lumina, thanks to both Shade and Dryad at Level 3
- Elysia the Succubus becomes available in Fieg Snowfields from Shade Level 3
The Brooch of Love (Lucemia) will allow for the Tome of Magic (Geo) to be at the furthest possible point. The Tome of Magic’s placement gives the Land a level 4 Mineral Shop, and Level 7 Weapon Shop.
The Pirate Hook (S.S. Buccaneer) can be placed whenever you’re able; with only two water spots, the timing is not as crucial.
With that, you’re done! To reiterate, this guide is meant to keep the whole Artifact placement thing on the map as simple as possible especially if you’re unfamiliar with the other systems within Legend of Mana. At the very least, you’ll get access to all the important stuff and you can experiment in your own time.
If you want to read up on all the other potential orders, you can refer to the original text guide here.
For further reading, read our interview with producer Oyamada here about the remaster!