hide results

    Plot Guide by CMK TacTican

    Version: 1.15 | Updated: 06/24/05 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Seiken Densetsu 3 Plot Guide
    
               ########################################################
               #VVVVVVVVVVVVV//////////////////::::::::::::::::::.....#
               #VVVVVVVVVVVV//////////////////::::::::::::::::::......#
               #VVVVVVVVVVV//////////////////::::::::::::::::::.......#
               #VVVVVVVVVV//////////////////::::::::::::::::::........#
               ########VV//////########////::::########::::::..########
                      #V///////#      #///:::::#      #:::::...#
             ######## ##################/####::##### #########.####    ####
            #//:::.#  #///:::.###//:::.#:#//#::#..#  #///:::.#.#///#   #..#
           #//:####   #//:#########::###:#/:#:#..#   #//:#####.#//::#  #. #
            #:::#     #/::#////#  #:.##::#::##..#    #/::#.....#/:#:.# #  #
             #:..#    #:::######  #..##::#::...#     #:::#####.#::##..##  #
              #...#   #::.#////#  #..##::#:.##. #    #::.#.....#::# #. #  #
            ####.  #  #:..#########..###:#..#:#  #   #:..#####.#:.#  #    #
           #....  #   #....   ###...   #:#..#::#  #  #....   #.#..#   #   #
          ########    ##################:####::##### #########.####    ####
                      #////////#      #::::::::#      #........#
    #######   #############////#### ########:######## ########.######## ####  ####
    #///:::#  #///:::###///#//:#..# #//:::.#:#///:::# #//:::.#.#//:::.# #//#  #..#
    #//##:..# #//#######//::#::#. # #/::####:#//##### ###::###.#/::#### #//#  #..#
    #/:# #..# #/:#    ##/:#:.#:#  #  #::#::::#/:#     #.#:.#...##::#    #/:#  #..#
    #::# #..# #::#######::##..##  #   #..#:::#::##### #.#..#...# #..#   #::#  #. #
    #::# #. # #::#    ##::#:#. #  #   ##..#:.#::#     #.#..#...#  #..#  #::#  #  #
    #:.##.  # #:.#######:.#::#    # ####.  #.#:.##### #.#..#...####.  # #:..##   #
    #....  #  #....  ###..#:::#   # #...   #.#....  # #.#. #.. #...   # #...     #
    #######   #############::::#### ########.######## #.####.  ########  ########
                      #::::::::#      #:.......#      #.....   #
               ########::::::::########........########....    ########
               #////::::::::::::::::::....................            #
               #///::::::::::::::::::....................             #
               #//::::::::::::::::::....................              #
               #/::::::::::::::::::....................               #
               ########################################################
                                        _______
                                       (___O___)
                                        \..|../
    By Stephen Hsu                       \_|_/
    a.k.a.                               |VVV|
    CMK TacTican                         |\V/|
                                         |\V/|
    <stephen_y_hsu@yahoo.com>            |\V/|
                                         |_V_|
                                         /.|.\
                            (___________/__|__\___________)
                            <_____________________________>
                            (          |\\\V///|          )
                                       | \\V//:|
                                       |  \V/::|
                                       |   |:::|
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
                                       |   |:::|
    Legal Disclaimer                   |   |:::|                  (code: legaldisc)
                                       |   |:::|
    Introduction                       |   |:::|                   (code: tehintro)
                                       |   |:::|
    Revision History                   |   |:::|                    (code: revhist)
                                       |   |:::|
    The Story in a Mysterious Seed     |   |:::|                  (code: seedstory)
                                       |   |:::|
    Characters                         |   |:::|                   (code: charprof)
      Angela                           |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Koren)             |   |:::|
      Carlie/Charlotte                 |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Heath)             |   |:::|
      Duran                            |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Loki)              |   |:::|
      Hawk/Hawkeye                     |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Bigieu)            |   |:::|
      Kevin                            |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Deathjester)       |   |:::|
      Lise/Riesz                       |   |:::|
         (Close-Up: Jagan)             |   |:::|
                                       |   |:::|
    Nation-states                      |   |:::|                    (code: natstat)
      Altena                           |   |:::|
      (The) Beast Kingdom              |   |:::|
      Forcena                          |   |:::|
      Navarre                          |   |:::|
      Rolante                          |   |:::|
      Wendel                           |   |:::|
                                       |   |:::|
    Enemy Factions                     |   |:::|                    (code: foefact)
      God-Beasts                       |   |:::|
      Archdemon                        |   |:::|
      Dragon Emperor                   |   |:::|
      Masked Mage                      |   |:::|
                                       |   |:::|
    Notes on the Plot and Game         |   |:::|                   (code: gamenote)
                                       |   |:::|
    The Forcenan Forum                 |   |:::|                  (code: flamewars)
                                       |   |:::|
    Frequently Asked Questions         |   |:::|                     (code: tehfaq)
                                       |   |:::|
    Credits                             \  .::/                   (code: honorroll)
                                         \ .:/
    Contact Information                   \./                       (code: talk2me)
                                           V
    
        Codes are provided for your convenience.  Just hit Ctrl+F and type in the
    code to jump directly to the section listed.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    LEGAL DISCLAIMER                                                code: legaldisc
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    Seiken Densetsu and all related objects are property of SquareSoft, Inc. All
    other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This document is
    strictly unofficial and should not be construed as to be endorsed by
    SquareSoft, Inc., in any way, shape, or form.
    
    This document is Copyright (c) 2004-2009 Stephen Hsu.
    
    This document is protected by the United States Copyright Act of 1976 and the
    Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988. By using this document, the user
    agrees to be bound by the terms of this notice. This document may not be
    reproduced in whole or in part, electronically or in print, without the prior
    obtained express written consent of the author except for personal, private
    use. If in case such consent is granted, this document may not be altered from
    its original form by the user or any third party. This document may not be
    commercially exploited. Use of this document is solely at the discretion of the
    user. Reproduction of this document on any web site except
    
    GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com)
    Neoseeker (www.neoseeker.com)
    
    is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. This agreement is
    effective until terminated by the user. The user may terminate this legal
    agreement by completely destroying all copies of this document that the
    aforementioned user possesses. By using this document, the user agrees to hold
    the author free of any responsibility for loss or damage of any kind from the
    use of this guide.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    INTRODUCTION                                                     code: tehintro
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        Hello and welcome to the Seiken Densetsu 3 Plot Guide.  Seiken Densetsu 3,
    sometimes known as Secret of Mana 2, is the sequel to Secret of Mana but was
    never released in the United States.  From what little information that could
    be gathered, it appears that Square USA wanted to bring it over to the West but
    Square Japan canned the idea.  Remember that this was when Square was preparing
    to release titles such as Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy 6,
    as well as gearing up for the next generation consoles.  And that's only if we
    talk about RPGs that Square did.  It simply couldn't ask a significant part of
    its staff to send six months to a year to hammer out the many problems in SD3.
    Apparently Square Japan was very aware of SD3's multiple engine flaws and bugs
    appear far less acceptable in the West than in Japan.
    
        Thanks to the dedicated efforts of a team of translators led by Neill
    Cortlett, however, the game did finally arrive in the United States on ROM (and
    personally I think the translation team did a superb job).  The variable nature
    of the Seiken Densetsu plot cannot be experienced after only a single
    playthrough, however.  Thus it is my sincere hope that this plot guide will
    help gamers understand the rich and detailed story behind Seiken Densetsu 3.
    If you've only played through the game once, I strongly suggest that you take
    advantage of the ability to choose different parties and play through the game
    again with other character combinations.
    
        About myself: My name is Stephen Hsu and I am a college student, a physics
    major to be exact.  I'm a regular on the Gamefaqs.com boards, where I go by the
    alias of CMK TacTican (yes, that's an intentional misspelling).  As of this
    writing I am trying to immerse myself back into the game.  I have a younger
    sister, loads of college work, too many business duties, innumerable relatives,
    and no free time.
    
        Just so there's absolutely no doubt in your mind: From the very beginning,
    this FAQ has been a TEAM project.  Without the great guys and gals at the
    GameFAQs board, this guide would probably never have been written.  Please keep
    in mind that SD3 is a very complex game due to the variable nature of its three
    possible storylines.  Most of the credit should go to the people who worked
    hard on the guide without ever once complaining - they did this purely out of
    goodness of their hearts.
    
        This FAQ is dedicated to the memory of Chris "Kao Megura" MacDonald, the
    veteran writer whose documents continue to set the standards against which all
    others must be judged, even today.  Chris' premature passing was a great blow
    to gamers around the world; perhaps the best tribute we can offer is to strive
    to achieve his quality in our works.  Rest in peace, Chris; you've earned it.
    You were the best of us all, and there is none better.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    REVISION HISTORY                                                  code: revhist
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    Version 1.21 - February 27, 2009
        Minor fixes.  Probably the last update, as I've lost interest in FAQ
        writing.  Real life has a bad way of doing that.
    
    Version 1.20 - April 26, 2006
        Sheesh, I'm still working on this thing?  Added a few miscellaneous notes
        and fixed some errors.
    
    Version 1.15 - June 24, 2005
        Added more of Dragon Scholar's notes about the ultimate weapons of the
        Swordmaster and the Grand Divina.  Added Sephiroth1999AD's notes about the
        Dervish's throw techniques.  Added Skygor's various observations about the
        various classes.  Added Avsanti's views on the Hawk and Lise relationship.
    
    Version 1.10 - January 29, 2005
        Added Sephiroth1999AD's commentary to the guide about Hawk and Lise's
        relationship.  Added Smiley13's observations on the Darkshine Knight at the
        Ice Mana Stone.  Added TLaG's commentary on Koren and Valda.  Added Dragon
        Scholar's observations on the historical medieval knight and the historical
        Shaolin monk.  Added my own research into the historical gladiator.  Added
        some long overdue credits, including Demon Wolf and Kahran042.  Added a dib
        on Hawk and Jagan in Hawk's section.  Added Nadia's observations from the
        original game on Duran and Angela.  Added two notes that Richforce made in
        an e-mail to me.  Added more of Doublespell's old commentary.  And I do
        mean old - nearly all the "new" material in this here update came from the
        first thread, which was started back in February of 2004.  An especially
        big thanks to Subliminal Message for providing me with the archived topics.
    
        Reworked the ASCII, it should get along better with the GameFAQs document
        manager now.
    
        Also, the Forcenan forum is back!  Party!!!
    
    Version 1.05 - December 8, 2004
        Updated Dragon Scholar Ryu's e-mail contacts.  Added Thanatos the Great's
        notes (and his name to the credits) and herocatholic's notes to the FAQ on
        Mana game continuity.  Added Nadia's e-mail.  Added Neoseeker to the list
        of sites authorized to host this FAQ.
    
    Version 1.00 - November 29, 2004
        After working for nearly a year on this guide, it's finally at version 1.0.
        This version contains all the main sections, including the introduction,
        story, character profiles, nation profiles, enemy profiles, notes on the
        plot and game, and the FAQ section.  The Forcenan Forum, which was present
        in the beta documents, has been kicked out.  Woohoo, this guide is going
        public!
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THE STORY IN A MYSTERIOUS SEED                                  code: seedstory
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        "Mana!  The single most used word in the game... mana is disappearing, mana
    this, mana that, SHUT UP FAERIE!"
        - WhPlague
    
        Taken directly from the introduction of the game:
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Once, when the world was yet trapped in darkness, the goddess of Mana
    felled 8 incarnations of disaster that guided the world to destruction, the
    God-Beasts, with the Sword of Mana, and sealed them in 8 stones. And, as the
    darkness left, the world was created. The goddess of Mana turned herself into a
    tree, and fell asleep. Many years passed...
    
        Due to the actions of some who plot to unleash the God-Beasts from the
    stones, obtain power surpassing even that of the gods, and to make the world
    their own, conflict breaks out heralding the end of peace...
    
        Mana is rapidly disappearing from the earth. Even the Mana Tree has begun
    to wither...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        So far as Seiken Densetsu 3 is concerned, the timeline goes roughly as
    spelled out below.  Note that if an event is uncertain, it is followed by a
    question mark.  Bear in mind that, if you haven't played through the game
    enough times to know every character, you'll probably get lost in this section.
    Although Seiken Densetsu's storyline varies with each character, a detailed
    analysis leaves me convinced that each separate plot actually tells the same
    story.  More on that at the end.
    
        So far we don't have any official statements from Square as to what really
    happened in the game, so please remember that basically EVERYTHING here is
    strictly guesswork, albeit some very well scrutinized guesswork.  Whatever is
    included here was either pulled directly from the game or from what little
    information can be gleaned through various credible websites.
    
    ? bSD3 Before-SD3.  The ancient kingdom of Light is destroyed.
    
    ? bSD3 The Priest of Light defeats Belgar and banishes him from Wendel.
    
    20    Prince Richard and Princess Valda have an affair. (Maybe.  The game
          doesn't get into specifics.  However, there's a good chance that Angela
          was the product of this affair.)
    
    19    Angela of Altena born.
    
    17    Duran of Forcena and Hawk of Navarre born.
    
    16    Lise of Rolante born.
    
    15    Kevin of the Beast Kingdom and Carlie of Wendel born.
    
    18-13?Koren suddenly becomes the greatest magician of Altena.
    
    12    Prince Richard and Loki, Knight of Gold, set off to vanquish the Dragon
          clan once and for all.  They plan their attack according to a strategy
          devised by Don Perignon.  During this battle, Loki and the Dragon Emperor
          both fall into a bottomless pit.  Stricken with grief by this news,
          Loki's wife (and Duran's mother) Simone soon succumbs to an illness and
          dies, leaving her sister Stella to raise Duran and Wendy.
    
    10?   Carlie's parents die.  We don't know exactly when this happens; however,
          since Carlie has conscious memories of her parents, it probably happened
          when she was at least five years old.  Quite possibly around this time
          Prince Eliott (Lise's younger brother) is born; Lise's mother passes away
          from the delivery.  Eliott's probably around 8-12 years old in the game.
    
    10    The Dragon Emperor destroys Pedan.
    
    1?    Flamekhan brings "Isabella" to Navarre after a journey in the desert.
    
    6-0   Mana begins to disappear from the earth.  Lots of conditions are affected
          by this, most inconveniently all of them negatively: the Golden Road
          becomes infested by monsters, cold weather seeps into Altena, the oasis
          at Deen dries up, monster activity in the Cave of Waterfalls heightens,
          you get the idea.
    
    0     SD3 occurs.
    
    Early 0    The Beast Kingdom invades Jad/Astoria, aiming for Wendel.  Altena
               lays out its plans to seize the Mana Stones of other countries
               everywhere in order to strengthen its own magic, which is on the
               decline.  Sheesh, all this political intrigue just happens to occur
               at the same time, huh?
    
               Heath is kidnapped by Deathjester.
    
               Navarre invades and occupies Rolante.
    
               The Mana Stone of Water is unsealed by Altena.
    
               The Beastmen's invasion of Wendel fails.  Likewise, Altena's
               invasion of Forcena fails.  The Priest of Light raises another magic
               barrier around Wendel and falls ill doing so.
    
               The Amazon army retakes Rolante.  The Mana Stone of Wind is unsealed
               by the Darkshine Knight.  At this point Forcena begins to closely
               monitor the activity of all other nations.
    
               The Mana Stone of Fire is unsealed by Bigieu.
    
    Mid 0      Altenan soldiers attempt to raid the Moonreading Tower, but are
               beaten back by the Beastmen.
    
               The Mana Stone of the Moon is unsealed by Deathjester, possibly.
    
               The gate to the Holyland opens.
    
               Depending on which story arc you follow, any of the following three
               events could occur:
    
               1. The Dragon Emperor and the Masked Mage are executed; Bigieu makes
               Deathjester stay behind to deliver a message.  Koren is killed while
               defending the Dragon Emperor and the Darkshine Knight vanishes, free
               of his curse.  Heath recovers his mind.  Bigieu and Jagan take the
               Fairy back to Navarre.
    
               2. The Dark Prince and the Masked Mage are executed; Koren forces
               Deathjester to stay behind and deliver a message.  Bigieu kills
               Jagan and then herself.  Heath recovers his mind.  Koren and the
               Darkshine Knight, meanwhile, take the Fairy back to Altena.
    
               3. The Dragon Emperor and the Dark Prince are executed; Koren is
               killed defending the Dragon Emperor.  Bigieu kills Jagan and then
               herself.  The Darkshine Knight is freed from his curse.  Heath and
               Deathjester take the Fairy back to the Beast Kingdom.
    
               The villains trade the Sword of Mana for the Fairy's life.  At this
               point, the seals on the Mana Stones break and the God-Beasts are
               unleashed.
    
               With the defeat of seven of the God-Beasts, the heroes make their
               way to the lost city of Pedan.
    
    Late 0     The heroes fight Zable Fahr, God-Beast of Darkness.  Zable Fahr's
               defeat paves the way for a direct assault on the enemy stronghold.
               At this point, the Fairy realizes that the energy of the defeated
               God-Beasts gather in the Sword of Mana ... which is in enemy hands
               ... d'oh! (Seriously, Squaresoft, what were you thinking?)
    
               The main villain cuts down the Mana Tree, but in the end is defeated
               by the heroes.
    
               The Thieves Guild of Navarre is reinstated.
    
               Eliott and Lise return to Rolante.
    
               Heath returns to Wendel.
    
               Duran is ordained as a Knight of Gold.
    
    1000 pSD3 Post-SD3.  Mana has returned to the world and the events of Secret of
          Mana occur. (Possibly; see FAQ.)
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CHARACTERS                                                       code: charprof
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | ANGELA of Altena                                                            |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "What you will be reading from here on down is about Angela, the (hot and
    sexy) Princess of Altena."
        - ThundaSnake
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 5' 5" / 165 cm
    Weight: 106 lbs / 48 kg (Special thanks to Dragon Scholar Ryu who braved hell
            in order to ask a woman her weight.)
    Age: 19
    Gender: F
    Nationality: Altenan
    Weapon: Rod
    
        Angela is the princess of Altena and the (only?) daughter of Valda, Queen
    of Reason.  Since the Altenans are renowned for their mastery over magic, one
    would expect Angela to be a powerful magician.  Nope.  Despite the fact that
    she's probably had lessons since she could talk and that her mother is the most
    powerful magician in Altena, Angela can't use a speck of magic.  Her magic
    teacher is Jose, a veteran of the magic arts.
    
    <<<What she did in her story arc>>>
    
        When Mana begins to decline, Altena lays plans to invade other nations and
    seize their Mana Stones.  This is necessary to prevent winter from creeping
    into Altena.  However, the spell required to unseal a Mana Stone's power is
    cursed - it can be cast only if a life is tributed to it.  Angela is called in
    and Koren (the chancellor, for lack of a better term), informs her that she is
    to be used for the aforementioned spell.  A shocked Angela protests and is
    angrily cut off by the queen, who calls her a disgrace (for being unable to use
    magic).
    
        Angela escapes from the Altenan castle by divine intervention (okay, we
    don't know what really happened - she's teleported out, it seems.  Doublespell
    thinks that this might be her latent power awakening, as Angela does vanish for
    a variety of her full-screen spells.  I haven't got any better ideas.) From the
    Sub-Zero Snowfields she goes to Elrand, meets a fortune teller, and is told to
    go to Wendel.  Angela catches the last ship out, lands in Jad, and from there
    heads to Wendel.
    
        The Priest of Light tells Angela about class-changing and she agrees to
    give it a try.  Angela is probably the first of the selectable characters to
    have undertaken the quest to gain the help of the Mana Spirits.  The reason she
    does it, however, is not to help Mana; Angela is simply looking to win her
    mother's respect and admiration.  She believes that she can do this by beating
    Queen Valda to the Sword of Mana; of course, during that time nobody knew that
    Valda was under Koren's spell.
    
        In Angela's story arc, she and Duran most likely went to Dragon's Hole as a
    team and took down both the Darkshine Knight and Koren.  Or maybe Duran fought
    the Darkshine Knight alone, since the DS Knight is irrelevant to Angela's story
    arc.  However, since Koren is important to both of their stories, it's likely
    that Angela and Duran double-teamed him.
    
        Angela and Duran finish their business by killing off the Dragon Emperor.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Information>>>
    
        Angela's best friend/confidante is Victor.
    
        Angela studies (or studied) magic under the tutelage of Jose.  Jose tells
    Angela that he was a very powerful magician in his time, as well as telling
    Angela to concentrate more on heart than on the actual form of the spell.  In
    her introduction, Angela says that it doesn't bother her if she can't use magic
    the way the queen can.  However, this philosophy of hers changes VERY quickly.
    Nadia, who has access to the Japanese cartridge, says: "It would be nice if you
    could note that Jose really isn't a wuss as the ROM translation makes him out
    to be. He's actually rather annoyed with Angela and is glad to be rid of her
    when she ditches class."
    
        Square's website (after translating from Japanese, or mistranslating thanks
    to my nonexistent Japanese skills) states that Angela is seductive, passionate,
    and something of a showoff.  Don't think that age equals maturity, however; she
    is also spoiled, easily loses her temper, and pouts if she doesn't get what she
    wants.  She was raised without a parent's love.
    
        A bounty hunter of Elrand describes Angela as a "prank-loving little girl."
    Incidentally, Koren put a 10,000 Luc bounty on Angela after she vanished from
    the castle.  The irony, of course, is that you can march right up to the hunter
    as Angela, speak with him, and he won't know who you are. ^_^ After Angela
    escapes from Elrand, orders are given to kill her on sight.
    
        Of Angela's father we know practically nothing except that he might be King
    Richard - or Prince Richard, at the time this happened.  Their conversation
    during the first visit to Forcena does suggest something, but unfortunately the
    subject is never brought up again, so at best this is a conjecture.  From
    reading it, you'd think that either King Richard never got out at all, or that
    Angela's mere existence was kept a state secret of the highest level.
    
    Angela:  Your Majesty, I'm curious.  Do you know my mother, the Queen of
             Reason?
    Richard: !!!  What?!  You're Valda's daughter?!
    Angela:  (nods)
    Richard: I don't believe this ... Valda had a daughter?!
    Angela:  ... What?  What is it?
    Richard: ... No, it's nothing.
    Angela:  It's not nothing!  So stop hiding and TELL ME!
    Duran:   Hey, don't speak to the king that way.
    Richard: ... It's alright.  My princess, you will find out soon.
    (credits to TLaG for the transcript)
    
        Although Valda treats Angela coldly and almost diffidently, Angela at heart
    cares very much about her mother.  You can see this several times in the game,
    especially during important plot scenes.  For example, right after the bridge
    to Forcena collapses ...
    
    Angela: Sorry everyone... this is all because of me...
    Duran:  "Queen of Reason", huh ... What the hell is she thinking?
    Angela: Hey, don't talk about my mother like that!  Or would YOU like to find
            yourself at the bottom of this ravine too!?
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        Also notice how agitated Angela becomes when she returns to Altena chasing
    the Fairy and sees Valda unconscious.  Finally, she breaks down at the end when
    Valda mentions that she says a prayer to the Goddess every day, hoping that
    Angela will one day learn magic.
    
        Why is Valda wandering around in Dragon's Hole after the battle with Koren?
    Koren does mention that they are intending to sacrifice her to the Dragon
    Emperor; however, once Koren dies, his mind-control spell over Valda is broken.
    
    Angela: Give back my mother.  Now!
    Koren:  You know that's not going to happen, Angela dear, so why are you
            complaining about it?  Your precious mother is going to be the first
            sacrifice to the reborn Dragon Emperor!
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        Since the queen treating Angela coldly seems to have started when Angela
    was quite young, I'm heavily inclined to believe that Valda fell under Koren's
    spell then and that Koren was already Altena's mightiest wizard.  If so, that
    would make Koren significantly older than Angela.  Angela's story arc makes it
    very clear that Valda does indeed love Angela very much; she only acted the way
    she did because she was under Koren's spell.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Koren, Wizard of the Red Lotus
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Koren appears to be a native Altenan, but like Angela useless with magic.
    Angela says that Jose used to get angry with him.  One day, however, straight
    out of the blue he became Altena's mightiest warlock and the infamous Wizard of
    the Red Lotus.  One of the Altenan sorceresses speculates that he might even be
    as powerful as the queen herself.
    
        Koren himself describes what really happened in his death scene.
    
    Koren: ... I just wanted... to use magic... that's all... (...sob...) That old
           man Jose... he never could understand... so I ran away...  The Dragon
           Emperor's spirit told me... that I would be the most powerful wizard
           that ever lived... All what he wanted... you know what he wanted in
           return?  All he wanted was a piece of my soul!  Just a piece!  How could
           I have turned him down?  But look at what I've become, without that
           piece... I'm a failure... I don't even deserve to live...
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        And then he kills himself, with Dark Force of all spells ^_^ Unfortunately,
    there is no indication as to whether the events that Koren describes happened
    before or after Loki defeated the Dragon Emperor (see Loki's profile in Duran's
    bio for more information).
    
        TLaG did some calculations based off Koren's initial battle against Duran
    and found that Koren's intelligence is about the same as Angela's starting
    intelligence.  Mightiest wizard alive ... right ...
    
        Dragon Scholar Ryu, the resident Japanese expert, notes that Koren is not
    the wizard's name.  Rather, in Japanese he is simply referred to as "Kouren no
    Madoushi," or "Wizard of the Red Lotus." Neill and co. made a good decision to
    change his name to Koren, though.  Other characters underwent similar treatment
    from the translation scalpel.
    
        More on languages.  Japanese fansites typically refer to Koren as "Guren no
    Madoushi." Nadia and Dragon Scholar Ryu believe that this Romanization is the
    accurate one - according to Dragon Scholar, the dictionary definition of Guren
    is crimson lotus flower.  This is why Japanese fansites typically abbreviate
    him as Gurenma.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        More on the whole Angela relationship: in Angela's ending, she looks at one
    of the male characters and he asks, "Why are you looking at me like that?" The
    sentence defaults to Duran, then to Hawk, then to Kevin.  Angela then smiles
    and tells the him, "It's a secret!" In an all-girl party, though, she simply
    says to Carlie, "But you're too young to understand."
    
        Even more, credit to Nadia completing Duran's quest with the all-male party
    in her latest game: when the party makes a final stop in Altena after defeating
    the Crimson Lotus Wizard, Angela specifically tells Duran that she loves him.
    Note that in the translation, she stops short of telling Duran outright that
    she loves him.  To quote Nadia's posts:
    
        "The second screen, she says to Duran specifically... that she loves him!
        O_O I just kinda stared at the screen with a face very much like that, LOL
        ... 'Duran, da-isuke!'
    
        "I don't agree about 'You're so great!' being a substitute for 'daisuke'
        because every single instance where I've heard 'daisuke' (several times an
        episode in Cardcaptor Sakura, it would seem... ^^;), it's always meant to
        imply love, either for a person or a thing, and it seems to be used by
        girls or by guys referring to what a girl thinks.  Oh, and I don't
        necessarily mean romantic love, either..."
    
        Angela's Neutral class is Magician.  From there, she can branch out as
    follows:
    
                                                /--------------------------
                                               < Grand Divina (Light-Light)
                                              / \--------------------------
                                             /
                           /-----------------
                          < Sorceress (Light)
                         / \-----------------
                        /                    \
                       /                      \ /---------------------
                      /                        < Archmage (Light-Dark)
    ------------------                          \---------------------
    Magician (Neutral)
    ------------------                      /-----------------------
                      \                    < Runemaster (Dark-Light)
                       \                  / \-----------------------
                        \                /
                         \ /-------------
                          < Delvar (Dark)
                           \-------------
                                         \
                                          \ /-----------------
                                           < Magus (Dark-Dark)
                                            \-----------------
    
    Magician:
        Nothing special here, Angela uses all the basic elemental spells.
    
    Sorceress:
        The Sorceress is contrasted against the Delvar and is said to use magic as
    it was meant to be used.  Going the way of the Sorceress means making a
    conscious and voluntary decision to gravitate towards the Light. (For the life
    of me I CANNOT figure out how her tech relates to the Sorceress theme at all.)
    Her ultimate weapon is the Eternal Rod.
    
    Weapon: Eternal Rod
    Armor:  Dreamdevil Coat
    Helmet: Moonstone Tiara
    Item:   Sage Stone
    Tech:   Pink Typhoon (Best. Tech. Ever.)
    
    Delvar:
        The Delvar emphasizes the power of magic rather than its purpose.  However,
    the game does a really poor job of showing this.  In Sword of Mana, the Delvar
    is called the Delphi, which makes more sense since Delphi was the seat of
    Apollo's oracle in Greek mythology.  Her ultimate weapon, the "Celnunnos'
    Cane," was originally a Druidic weapon.
    
    Weapon: Celnunnos' Cane
    Armor:  Dreamdevil Coat
    Helmet: Moonstone Tiara
    Item:   Sage Stone
    Tech:   Star Attack
    
        Celnunnos is probably a misspelling of Cernunnos, the Celtic horned god of
    fertility.  In classic Celtic mythology Cernunnos was depicted as having the
    antlers of a stag.  He was born every winter solstice, married the Goddess at
    Beltane, and died at the summer solstice.  Cernunnos alternates with the
    Goddess of the Moon in ruling over life and death.  Roman paintings sometimes
    depicted him with cranes flying above his head.  This look was later used as an
    image for the Christian devil, although Cernunnos was not an evil deity.
    
        See the Archmage's entry for translation notes.
    
    Grand Divina:
        The Grand Divina is the holiest of all magicians.  Her powers are divine
    and she has mastered them to such a degree that she can cast two spells at once
    (hence her ultimate magic, DoubleSpell - shock 'em, freeze 'em, and burn 'em in
    a single casting).  Her best weapon, the Ganvantein, draws out the full power
    of its user.
    
    Weapon: Ganvantein
    Armor:  Myein Dress
    Helmet: Myein Crown
    Item:   Blizzard Hairpin
    Tech:   Spiral Rod
    
        Alert SD3 board member Nadia has suggested that the Myein items might
    actually be a mistranslation of Mayan.  Dragon Scholar Ryu, however, argues
    that Myein comes from the Greek word "to close."
    
        Even more alert board member Dragon Scholar suggests that Ganvantein might
    be Gambantein, a magic branch used by Hermod in Norse mythology.  He also adds
    as of version 1.20:
    
        "Gran Divina itself is probably Latin, in which case 'gran' means grand,
        but 'divina' is somewhat more difficult to pinpoint a precise translation
        for.
    
        Its ties with the religious term 'lectio divina' suggest 'reading' as one
        possible definition, while divina also acts as the root for 'divinatio',
        essentially divination. With this in account, Grand Diviner is a fairly
        accurate English name.
    
        In addition, the Divina's class change item can be translated as Book of
        Mysteries, which would seem to support a pattern."
    
    Archmage:
        The Archmage uses the power of the spirits and unlike the Grand Divina her
    powers are arcane rather than divine.  Supposedly her ultimate weapon, the
    Spirit Cane, can only be used with the permission of the spirits.  The Archmage
    can combine elemental attacks, hence the Rainbow Dust spell. (Also called the
    "psychidelic circles" by some ...)
    
    Weapon: Spirit Cane
    Armor:  Eremos Coat
    Helmet: Eremos Crown
    Item:   Blizzard Hairpin
    Tech:   Dancing Rod
    
        Again, Nadia has suggested that Eremos might be a misspelling of Elemos, in
    referring to Elemental.  If so, this is a small and natural mistake since the
    Japanese language does not have a sound for the letter "l", which is usually
    written as "r".  Dragon Scholar Ryu, however, believes that the translators did
    not make a mistake.  In short, it's a Greek word that roughly equates to being
    marooned or deserted, and is the root of English words such as eremite and
    hermit.
    
        Sometimes this class is called the Archimage, though I'm pretty sure that
    the proper spelling is Archmage.  This is disputed at the moment.  Are any of
    you readers skilled in linguistics and tracing word histories?
    
        Thanks to Skygor, light has been shed on the etymology debate:
    
        "The prefix archi- is exactly the same as arch-.  The 'i' is added with
         words that would make it easier to pronounce with.  E.g. anarchy and
         atheist both use the a- prefix meaning against with archy for ruler and
         theist for god.  The letter 'n' is added to archy, since it's kinda hard
         to say aarchy."
    
    Runemaster:
        The Runemaster draws out the full power of all the spells that she casts.
    Her ultimate weapon, the Rune Staff, balances order and chaos.  Like the
    Archmage, the Runemaster's spells are arcane in nature.  The Runemaster puts
    emphasis on power, hence Deathspell which kills in one hit.
    
    Weapon: Rune Staff
    Armor:  Rune Coat
    Helmet: Rune Veil
    Item:   Magma Hairpin
    Tech:   10-T
    
    Magus:
        The Magus supposedly took a turn for the worse when looking for the source
    of magic.  Her power is infernal in nature and can cause calamities (hence the
    Ancient spell, which brings a friggin' ASTEROID crashing into the Earth.  The
    female precursor to Sephiroth, perhaps?).  Her ultimate weapon, the Dragon Rod,
    contains the soul of a dragon.
    
    Weapon: Dragon Rod
    Armor:  Ancient Robe
    Helmet: Ancient Tiara
    Item:   Magma Hairpin
    Tech:   Hot Shot
    
        The name Magus might have come from Simon Magus, who is described in the
    Bible (in the Acts of the Apostles) as a miracle worker who was converted and
    baptized into the Christian faith.  He had ulterior motives, and that was to
    increase his magical power.  When Peter and John, traditionally considered two
    of the Apostles, happened to visit that town, Simon offered them money to grant
    him what he obviously considered magical power.  For this Peter gave him a
    sharp reprimand and Simon asked to be prayed for.
    
        Church authorities and ecclesiastical writers of the second century are
    unanimous in their condemnation of Simon Magus as the "Father of Heresies," who
    persisted in his conduct despite Peter's warning.  St. Justin of Rome describes
    him as a man who claimed to be a god.  Many legends later sprang up about Simon
    Magus; some stories say that he tried to ascend into heaven like Jesus, but
    that the prayers of Peter and Paul brought him crashing down. (The stones where
    Peter and Paul supposedly knelt to pray form part of the wall of the church of
    Santa Francesca Romana.) Of all these accounts, however, only the one from the
    Acts of the Apostles is considered authoritative.
    
        Attentive reader Richforce had this to add:
    
        "I read at dictionary.com that a Magus is not only refers to a sorcerer but
        also to a member of the Zoroastrian priestly caste of the Medes and
        Persians. The plural form, Magi, also refers to the three wise men that
        paid homage to the infant Jesus."
    
        Skygor notes that Magus is a Latin word for magician.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | CARLIE of Wendel                                                            |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "Don't diss Carlie otherwise you'll find yourself in the hospital."
        - Anemo
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 4' 4" / 132 cm
    Weight: 66 lbs / 30 kg
    Age: 15
    Gender: F
    Nationality: Wendelic
    Weapon: Maul
    
        Carlie is the granddaughter of the Priest of Light and as such enjoys great
    deference in the holy city of Wendel.  Wendel is a city of clerics and Carlie
    trains as a priestess.  Since she is half-elven, however, Carlie ages far more
    slowly than a normal human.  She's also a poor student; even though she's
    already fifteen, she looks much younger and can't read.  Go figure.
    
    <<<What she did in her story arc>>>
    
        When Mana begins to decline, the Priest of Light immediately notices the
    change.  Upon hearing that a mysterious light appeared above Astoria, he asks
    the warrior-priest Heath to investigate.  Carlie, however, overhears this
    particular conversation, gets all paranoid in the manner of the young, and
    decides that she has to save Heath.  The night after Heath leaves, Carlie, with
    the help of an ingenious young friend named Mick, uses a "Banekujako" to get
    out of the temple where she lives.
    
        Carlie lands hard outside the Cave of Waterfalls and is put into the local
    hotel by another of the playable characters (Angela, most likely).  She does
    run into Heath, but promptly chickens out when the Beastmen come onto the scene
    and hides behind Heath.  Heath takes out the Beastmen and then has the bad luck
    of being a game character and as such a prime candidate for a plot twist.  He's
    abducted by Deathjester; both of them disappear into thin air, leaving Carlie
    alone.  Boy, was that a mistake ...
    
        Carlie does make it back to Wendel, although she probably does not meet the
    Priest of Light. (In the game, having Carlie as the main character triggers the
    meeting with a seriously pissed Priest of Light.  Otherwise, she avoids going
    back to the temple.) Since Carlie probably didn't run into the Fairy, most
    likely she simply followed the main character into the Cave of Waterfalls and
    took a wrong turn, as shown in the game cutscenes (a funny cutscene, too ^_^).
    She could've joined the main character returning from the meeting with the
    Priest of Light, or alternatively joined the party much later down the line.
    Conspicuously absent from Carlie's storyline is any mention of class changing.
    
        Gamewise, if Carlie doesn't join your party at the Cave of Waterfalls, the
    next time that you run into her is in the Lampflower Forest.  After this point,
    she definitely joins the party.  Since the whole Lampflower scene is very
    important to Carlie's storyline, I'm pretty sure that it happened.
    
        In Carlie's story arc, she and Kevin most likely went to the Mirage Palace
    and delivered some smackdown to Deathjester and Heath.  This event is more
    important to Carlie's storyline than to Kevin's, but it almost definitely did
    occur.  Note that in the story, Carlie and Kevin KILL Heath.
    
        Carlie and Kevin finish their business by killing off the Masked Mage.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Information>>>
    
        Carlie is called Charlotte in the Japanese version of SD3; this was changed
    to Carlie in order to fit the six character-length maximum for English names.
    
        Carlie's parents were Leroy (the human) and Shayla (the elf who used magic
    to make herself human).  They died when she was young, though, and afterwards
    the Priest of Light took Carlie to Wendel.  Before that she had lived in the
    Flowerland of Diorre.  This is why Carlie vaguely remembers Diorre and the
    Lampflower Forest.
    
        Heath is like an uncle to Carlie.  Carlie's also overprotective of Heath,
    ironically, which shows in both her determination to find him as well as her
    dialogue with a boy in Wendel.
    
    Boy:    I'm a fan of the great priest, Heath!
    Carlie: What?!  Heath would never waste time with a kid like you!
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Heath, Warrior-Priest of Wendel
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Heath is a native of Wendel and its only citizen who somewhat resembles a
    soldier.  He's a charitable fellow, but serious when it comes to his work.  Due
    to recent fluctuations in Mana, he goes off to investigate mysterious sightings
    around Astoria and promptly gets abducted by Deathjester. (To give you an idea
    of where exactly Heath lies, he takes out three Beastmen no problem with a
    single spell ... which Deathjester calls the "weakest Holy Ball spell I've ever
    seen, but it has potential." Of course, Deathjester does pwn him for free ...)
    
        Heath is the son of the Masked Mage, Belgar.  He tried to save his father
    from the darkness in his father's heart, but apparently wasn't strong enough.
    
        Heath dies in all three story arcs; he sacrifices his soul in order to cure
    the Priest of Light's illness.  In the other two story arcs, Carlie demands to
    know what happened to Heath and Deathjester answers that Heath ended up
    wandering in a daze after the execution of the Masked Mage.  Gotta love those
    mind control spells.  Whichever story arc you follow, however, ultimately ends
    with Heath alive.  The Goddess gives her own life in order to revive him.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        According to Square's website, Carlie is the personification of what it
    means to be cute.  She is bright, talkative, and likable (to the other game
    characters, not to real life people).  She's also insatiably curious and thus
    tends to get involved in all sorts of trouble.  However, Carlie is also the
    superstitious type, which explains why she sometimes acts timid or cowardly.
    
        Carlie's quest is to find and rescue Heath.  Later, after the Priest of
    Light falls ill raising a barrier around Wendel, she also searches for a cure.
    This search leads her to the Lampflower Forest ("after a looong grueling trip")
    where she believes that the Elf King of Diorre can help.  Oh yeah, she got to
    the forest via Bon Voyage's cannon, not that anyone cares.
    
        Carlie talks with a lisp ("Waaah!  Shtop inshulting Carlie!"), although I'm
    not sure if it's something that the translators added.  This probably ties into
    the whole half-human/half-elven theme, though.  Oh, yeah, and she says that
    learning to read is too hard.  Carlie CAN read, but she does it one letter at a
    time.  A good example of this is in the library of Forcena, reading the class
    change manuals or the X-rated magazine:
    
    Carlie (reading the CC manual): C...L...A... I can't do this, it's too hard!
    Carlie (reading the X-mag): .....? (where everyone else's response is "...!")
    
        Nadia mentions that in the Japanese version of the game, Carlie speaks in
    katakana.  Dragon Scholar Ryu, however, thinks that Carlie speaks in hiragana.
    Since I'm not an expert in Japanese by any means, I'll dodge the question and
    instead refer the reader to their e-mails in the Credits section. ^_^
    
        Shayla was probably the daughter of the Elf king, since Carlie refers to
    him as her "Fairy Grampa."
    
        Carlie's Neutral class is Cleric.  From there, she can branch out as
    follows:
    
                                              /--------------------
                                             < Bishop (Light-Light)
                                            / \--------------------
                                           /
                         /-----------------
                        < Priestess (Light)
                       / \-----------------
                      /                    \
                     /                      \ /-----------------
                    /                        < Sage (Light-Dark)
    ----------------                          \-----------------
    Cleric (Neutral)
    ----------------                           /------------------------
                    \                         < Necromancer (Dark-Light)
                     \                       / \------------------------
                      \                     /
                       \ /------------------
                        < Enchantress (Dark)
                         \------------------
                                            \
                                             \ /-----------------------
                                              < Evil Shaman (Dark-Dark)
                                               \-----------------------
    
    Cleric:
        Your basic healing class.  Nothing special, Carlie's kinda like a Priest-in
    -training at this stage.
    
    Priestess:
        A cleric, with extra training and experience.  The Priestess has studied
    more of the healing arts, and can now heal multiple subjects in one casting.
    Her best weapon is a legendary flail known as the Mjolnir and contains magical
    powers.
    
    Weapon: Mjolnir
    Armor:  Kurikara Robe
    Helmet: Spiritus Ribbon
    Item:   Magatama
    Tech:   Jump
    
        Mjolnir is the name of Thor's hammer and means "Smasher" in the Norse
    language.  This hammer is described in Norse mythology as one that never misses
    when thrown, and it will unerringly return to its owner. (Yes, it's a hammer,
    not a flail.) Mjolnir had an enormous head and a short handle.  Because the
    hammer shaft was white-hot, even Thor himself had to wear magical iron
    gauntlets to handle the weapon. (Mjolnir is supposed to represent lightning if
    you haven't figured out already.)
    
        On an interesting side note, Mjolnir could be shrunk to hang around Thor's
    neck.  Maybe that's how the hammer design became such a popular item in Norse
    jewelry?
    
    Enchantress:
        The Enchantress can animate non-living objects and bring things to life,
    but is already straying from the Light.  Like the Priestess, she can heal all
    party members in a single casting.  The Enchantress is a summoner by trade;
    her best weapon, the Satan Flail, contains diabolical power.
    
    Weapon: Satan Flail
    Armor:  Kurikara Robe
    Helmet: Spiritus Ribbon
    Item:   Magatama
    Tech:   Dash
    
    Bishop:
        Highest and holiest of the clerics, the Bishop is connected directly to
    divine powers.  She has authority over the dead and can use most Light spells.
    The Bishop derives her power directly from divine beings and can destroy the
    Undead with a single casting.  Her weapon, the Judge Mentes, has divine powers.
    
    Weapon: Judge Mentes
    Armor:  Bishop's Robe
    Helmet: Bishop's Ribbon
    Item:   Moon Flower
    Tech:   ChopChop
    
    Sage:
        The Sage is the product of intense study on the part of the Light.  Unlike
    the Bishop, the Sage has no divine connection and thus learns no new spells.
    However, she does learn how to use her old ones far more effectively, able to
    both heal and enchant weapons.  Her Gigas Flail reveals its true power only to
    a person who has reached an extremity of knowledge.
    
    Weapon: Gigas Flail
    Armor:  Sage's Robe
    Helmet: Sage's Ribbon
    Item:   Moon Flower
    Tech:   BoomBoom
    
    Necromancer:
        The Necromancer is a "wreck of alignment," profaning life by her control
    over corpses.  She can heal, but is a more masterful wielder of Dark-type
    spells and powers.  The Necromancer is an especially adept summoner, and can
    majorly debilitate an opponent with a single spell.  Her best weapon is the
    Maul of the Dead, shaped like a skull and made from the bones of corpses.
    
    Weapon: Maul of the Dead
    Armor:  Undead Suit
    Helmet: Undead Ribbon
    Item:   Black Onyx
    Tech:   Craaaazy
    
        Skygor notes that the word "necromancy" is a splice of "necro" for death
    and "mancy" for divination.  This translates roughly into sacrificing an animal
    and then consulting its entrails for hints to the future.  Over time the idea
    has developed into the theme of a sorcerer who specializes in death magic, but
    classically such people would be considered priests or oracles.
    
    Evil Shaman:
        The Evil Shaman worships a dark god and controls infernal beasts from the
    underworld.  She can summon demons and incapacitate her foes with Demon's
    Breath.  The Evil Shaman delights in bending healing spirits to her will, and
    her weapon, the Juggernaut, represents the wheel that drags everything into
    chaos.
    
    Weapon: Juggernaut
    Armor:  Bitium Dress
    Helmet: Bitium Ribbon
    Item:   Black Onyx
    Tech:   HugeHuge
    
        Juggernaut is sometimes used as a title or an avatar for the Hindu diety
    Krishna.  It is also the name of an enormous idol drawn from the temple in
    Orissa on a high car with sixteen wheels for religious occasions.  It was once
    thought that fanatics would throw themselves to be crushed under the idol's
    wheels, but it is now known that death in the presence of a Hindu god is
    considered offensive.
    
        Dragon Scholar Ryu says that Bitium is more properly the Latin word vitium,
    which makes a lot more sense (vitium being the word for imperfection).
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | DURAN of Forcena                                                            |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "Try Duran out sometime, you may be surprised at what you find."
        - Twilight
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 5' 9" / 175 cm
    Weight: 154 lbs / 70 kg
    Age: 17
    Gender: Male
    Nationality: Forcenan
    Weapon: Sword
    
        Hot-headed, brash, impulsive ... Duran is a mercenary in the employ of
    Forcena's King Richard.  He is the son of Loki, the Knight of Gold, and Simone,
    both of whom died when he was young.  His aunt Stella raises him and his sister
    Wendy.  As you might imagine, Duran is a knight in training, and he's implied
    to be pretty darn good with that sword of his.  Unfortunately, there are some
    things that swords can't cut and Duran just happens to run into one of them.
    
    <<<What he did in his story arc>>>
    
        Duran's story begins with a victory over "Bruiser" to win a tournament that
    King Richard hosts.  That night on guard duty, however, a mysterious robed
    figure appears and infiltrates the castle, killing all the guards on duty.  As
    a guardsman, Duran promptly goes to investigate and runs into Koren, the Red
    Lotus Wizard of Altena.  After some smack talk, Koren proceeds to blast the
    living daylights out of Duran with a spell combo.  Duran lucks out; although he
    fades into unconsciousness, by then the guards have been alerted and Koren
    retreats.
    
        Duran, of course, isn't the type of person to stand for such a humiliating
    beatdown.  He speaks to the town fortune teller, who hints at class-changing
    and tells Duran to speak with Wendel's Priest of Light.  Duran decides that he
    might as well try, so he says goodbye to his Aunt Stella and leaves with King
    Richard's blessing.  Like every other main character, he ends up in Jad and
    later has an interview with the Priest of Light.  It is likely that he heard
    about Altena's planned invasion of Forcena while he was in Wendel, so Duran
    races back to Forcena and falls in with Angela along the way.
    
        Gameplaywise, if you don't have Duran as a party member then he appears in
    the Molebear Highlands prior to the rescue of Forcena.  This is probably where
    Duran joined the party, at least temporarily as his immediate concern is to
    stop the Altenan invasion.  Very likely he joins Angela permanently after
    speaking with King Richard and from then on he travels with the party.
    
        Duran storms Dragon's Hole alongside Angela and almost certainly confronts
    the Darkshine Knight.  They also meet Koren, and in all story arcs Koren does
    die at the end, taking his own life.  The Darkshine Knight battle is a lot more
    important to Duran's storyline than to Angela's storyline, however.  It's quite
    possible that Angela never even fought the Darkshine Knight and that it was a
    one-on-one match between Duran and Loki.
    
        Duran and Angela wrap up matters by killing the Dragon Emperor.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Notes>>>
    
        Square's website tells us that Duran appears to be a vulgar, boorish man.
    He has the air of a rough character and dislikes defeat. He's also undergone
    evaluation as a security risk.  However, Duran is also an honest man and
    respects the king of Forcena very much (seeing as how the king was a close
    friend of his dying father). He is quite patriotic.
    
        Duran's mother is Simone and his father is Loki.  Loki and Prince Richard
    went to exterminate the Dragon clan when Duran was only five years old and his
    sister Wendy probably just born.  When the news came back that Loki had fallen
    in battle, Simone, who was already sick, failed to rally and soon died, leaving
    her sister and Duran's aunt Stella to raise the two children.
    
        The tournament that Duran wins is the same one that his father Loki won in
    the past generation, defeating Prince Richard in the finals round.
    
        Although Angela has a crush on Duran, he's too thick-headed or preoccupied
    to notice.  There's a great scene after the rescue of Forcena where, if Duran
    is in your party, he begs his companions not to enter his house, saying that he
    swore not to return until he had defeated Koren.  At which point Angela, if she
    is present, teases him about hiding his porn collection. ^_^ Notice how Duran
    panics, totally out of character.
    
        Duran's motives are twofold: first, and most importantly, he wants to be
    the strongest warrior alive.  Second, he wants revenge on Koren for the way the
    wizard humiliated him back in Forcena.  He gets the second, at least, but after
    Koren's death speech (see his bio in Angela's section), Duran remarks:
    
    Duran: Victory ... somehow doesn't feel like it.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Loki, Darkshine Knight of Dragon's Hole
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Loki's story didn't end with him disappearing into a bottomless pit (might
    be Dragon's Hole) locked in mortal combat with the Dragon Emperor.  The Dragon
    Emperor resurrects him as the Darkshine Knight.  Loki himself explains it in
    his pre-fight dialogue against Duran in Dragon's Hole.  None of this smack talk
    occurs if you don't have Duran, by the way.
    
    DSKnight: Duran, give up. The Dragon Emperor has already regained his power...
              You cannot stop him!
    Duran:    Hey, who the hell are YOU to tell me I can't do something? I'm here
              to avenge my father!
    DSKnight: ... then you still don't understand... Duran, I am your father!
    Duran:    ...What... what the hell are you talking about!? My father is dead!!
    DSKnight: I fell into a bottomless pit, and nobody ever found my body... The
              Dragon Emperor thought I was a worthy competitor, so he revived me.
              Now I work for him. Duran... my son... come here. I haven't seen you
              in so long...
    Duran:    ... Father...? (approaches the Darkshine Knight cautiously)
    Faerie:   Duran! Don't!!
    DSKnight: (draws sword)
    Duran:    (jumps back) It's... it's a trick!!
    DSKnight: It's not a trick. You'll be safer on our side... Join us, Duran!
    Duran:    My father DID die! He was a Knight of Gold! He'd NEVER join the
              Dragon Emperor!
    DSKnight: Then it is settled. I'm sorry, Duran, but I must stop you at all
              costs...
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        The Darkshine Knight's life is tied to that of the Dragon Emperor.  In the
    two story arcs where the Dragon Emperor is not the main villain, after the hero
    retrieves the Mana Sword and runs across the Darkshine Knight, he explains that
    the Dragon Emperor revived him following their battle.  Also, the Darkshine
    Knight vanishes; without the Dragon Emperor's magic to support him, he can't
    exist in the world.
    
        Loki is HEAVILY implied to be a top-notch swordsman.  He defeated Prince
    Richard in the Forcenan championship, was a Knight of Gold, and even managed to
    impress the Dragon Emperor to the point where he was given a second chance in
    spite of being an enemy.  And if you've ever seen his Whirlwind/Vacuum/Eruption
    Sword combo in the game, you know just how quickly he can whittle away the
    party's life into the red.  Admittedly, this is all conjecture, but it's well-
    supported by in-game evidence.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Although Duran is a mercenary, he still owes allegiance to King Richard.
    
        Duran's Neutral class is Fighter.  From there, he can branch out as
    follows:
    
                                            /---------------------
                                           < Paladin (Light-Light)
                                          / \---------------------
                                         /
                          /--------------
                         < Knight (Light)
                        / \--------------
                       /                 \
                      /                   \ /-----------------
                     /                     < Lord (Light-Dark)
    -----------------                       \-----------------
    Fighter (Neutral)
    -----------------                         /------------------------
                     \                       < Swordmaster (Dark-Light)
                      \                     / \------------------------
                       \                   /
                        \ /----------------
                         < Gladiator (Dark)
                          \----------------
                                           \
                                            \ /-------------------
                                             < Duelist (Dark-Dark)
                                              \-------------------
    
    Fighter:
        Your basic fighter.  Duran swings a heavy iron sword.
    
    Knight:
        The Knight's heart and techniques are greater than the Fighter's, and he
    would willingly lay down his life to those whom he has pledged his sword.  He
    values honor and courage above his own life.  He can support his friends with
    healing spells, and he uses the legendary weapon Excalibur.
    
    Weapon: Excalibur
    Armor:  Dragon's Mail
    Helmet: Dragon Helm
    Item:   Dragon Ring
    Shield: Dragon Shield
    Tech:   3-Step Cut
    
        You already know this, but Excalibur was the sword that King Arthur drew
    from the lake to replace Caliburn, the sword drawn from the stone.  All stories
    agree that Excalibur was a gift from Vivian, Lady of the Lake.  Supposedly it
    had a double inscription on his hilt, one side saying "Take me up" and the
    other "Cast me away." Excalibur is actually a compound Latin word - in the
    original Celtic language, the sword is known as Caledhwych, "steel cutter." The
    Latin phrase is "ex caliburnus" - "transcending the word".
    
        Excalibur also appears in other Squaresoft games, most notably the Final
    Fantasy series, where it is almost always a powerful holy weapon.
    
        From Dragon Scholar Ryu:
    
        "Knights weren't exactly angels themselves, if we're going the historical
        route. Let's read a bit of information compiled by some students who had to
        do some homework.
    
        "'Knights believed in the code of chivalry. They promised to defend the
        weak, be courteous to all women, be loyal to their king, and serve God at
        all times. Knights were expected to be humble before others, especially
        their superiors. They were also expected to not "talk too much". In other
        words, they shouldn't boast. The code of chivary demanded that a knight
        give mercy to a vanquished enemy. However, the very fact that knights were
        trained as men of war belied this code. Even though they came from rich
        families, many knights were not their families' firstborn. They did not
        receive an inheritance. Thus they were little more than mercenaries. They
        plundered villages or cities that they captured, often defiling and
        destroying churches and other property. Also the code of chivalry did not
        extend to the peasants. The "weak" was widely interpreted as "noble women
        and children". They were often brutal to common folk. They could sometimes
        even rape young peasant women without fear of reprisal, all because they
        were part of the upper class.'
    
        Maybe that should've been Duran's dark class? The idea of a Gladiator
        almost seems tamer."
    
    Gladiator:
        The Gladiator lives for the sake of the fight, which he values above honor
    or trust.  He represents pure physical strength, in contrast to the Knight's
    spiritual power.  He doesn't use spells or shields, but can enchant his weapon
    for extra power.  His sword, the Levatein, is a symbol of betrayal.
    
    Weapon: Levatein
    Armor:  Dragon's Mail
    Helmet: Dragon Helm
    Item:   Dragon Ring
    Tech:   Whirlwind Sword
    
        Dragon Scholar Ryu dug up an interesting tidbit: the name of the sword is
    actually Laevatein (or Levatein as it's spelled in the game), which makes
    infinitely more sense as a token of treachery. (I mistakenly listed it earlier
    as the Leviathan.) The Laevatein was one of the four sacred artifacts in Norse
    mythology but was actually not a sword at all; instead, it was a staff created
    and used by Loki (and later swallowed by Jormungand).
    
        Gladiator is a Roman term which springs (probably) from the Latin word for
    the short sword, gladius.  The historical gladiator was often a slave who would
    duel in an arena for popular amusement.  Depending on the circumstances, a
    gladiator could fight another warrior, fierce animals, or more.  Arenas could
    even be flooded to allow for miniature naval engagements.  A slave who fought
    well might earn his freedom from the ring.  In personal combat, a gladiator's
    life was decided not by his opponent but rather by the crowd.  Contrary to
    popular belief, it was thumbs up which meant death for the vanquished.  Another
    interesting note is that the Latin word gladius is the same word for penis.
    Many gladiators had phallic "screen names" of sorts - one was named "Lord of
    the ladies" and another "He who is dexterous with many swords."
    
        ... So, you think the knight should be the Dark class?
    
    Paladin:
        The Paladin wields his sword in defense of the weak and lives a holy and
    austere life to maximize his power.  He uses the strongest Light techs as well
    as healing powers, and can empower weapons with the attributes of Light.  His
    weapon, the Brave Blade, is used only by the absolutely fearless.
    
    Weapon: Brave Blade
    Armor:  Hero's Armor
    Helmet: Hero's Crown
    Item:   War King's Crest
    Shield: Sacred Shield
    Tech:   Flashing Sword
    
        Brave Blade is a Squaresoft legend, not a legend from mythology.  In Final
    Fantasy V, the blade was offered to the main character if he believed himself a
    true hero.  Brave Blade was easily the strongest weapon in that game, but would
    lose part of its power every time the party fled from combat.  Brave Blade also
    appeared in Chrono Trigger where it was called the Brave Sword - it did double
    damage to magical enemies.
    
    Lord (or more accurately Warlord):
        The Warlord leads large armies and is himself an engine of destruction.  He
    has faith in his own abilities and fights for those who are dependent upon him.
    The Warlord concentrates more on the martial side of swordsmanship than its
    spiritual side, but he can mass-heal and support his allies effectively.  His
    best weapon, Sigmund, is named after a legendary hero.
    
    Weapon: Sigmund
    Armor:  Protect Armor
    Helmet: Protection Helm
    Item:   War King's Crest
    Shield: Adamant/Oath Shield
    Tech:   Magic Circle Cut
    
        Sigmund, son of Volsung and Hljod, was in Norse mythology the only person
    who could draw the magic sword Balmunk out of the tree Branstock.  This sword
    ensured victory in war and was much sought after by various people, but Sigmund
    refused to part with it.  For this his family was murdered by a man named
    Siggeir, but Sigmund avenged them after a long time had gone by.  Sigmund later
    became king of the Huns, but he was defeated in battle against a rival suitor
    named Lyngi.
    
        Odin, who had granted Balmunk to Sigmund, shattered the sword.  Sigmund was
    mortally wounded in the battle against Lyngi, but commended his broken sword to
    his wife and asked her to give it to their son when he needed a weapon.  When
    the boy Siegfried had grown, he would eventually avenge Sigmund's death and
    become one of the greatest heroes in Norse and German mythology.
    
    Swordmaster:
        The Swordmaster lives in darkness but hasn't forgotten his duty.  He is a
    true warrior who lives for the fight alone and shows complete mastery over his
    weapon of choice.  He can enchant his weapon with various elemental attributes.
    His best sword, the Ragnarok, can only be used by someone who has completely
    mastered swordsmanship.
    
    Weapon: Ragnarok
    Armor:  Master's Armor
    Helmet: Rising Moon Helm
    Item:   Master's Armband
    Tech:   Vacuum Sword
    
        Ragnarok hails back to Norse mythology.  It refers to the final battle
    between the gods and the giants (and the allies of both sides).  Ragnarok will
    occur after Fimbulwinter, three consecutive winters (the Winter of Winds, of
    Wolves, and of Swords) without an intervening summer.  The battle itself will
    be heralded by the crowing of the two cocks Fjalar and Gullinkambi.  In spite
    of the fact that this is yet to happen, Norse mythology gives great details of
    exactly what will occur in this battle.  Suffice it to say that all nine worlds
    and all the combatants will be destroyed by the fighting.  A new world of peace
    will be born from the ashes of the old with Baldr the Just to rule over it, and
    it is for this world that the gods and heroes fight.
    
    Duelist:
        Addicted to the thrill of combat, the Duelist wants nothing more than to
    crush his opponents to a pulp.  He gets his kicks from conquering an enemy and
    has the greatest offensive power of any class, able to add a Dark attribute to
    his weapons.  His weapon of choice is the Death Bringer, said to be lethal to
    both wielder and opponent alike.
    
    Weapon: Death Bringer
    Armor:  Skeleton Mail
    Helmet: Skull Head
    Item:   Master's Armband
    Tech:   Eruption Sword
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | HAWK of Navarre                                                             |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "Hawk's kind of a jack of all trades, which can be really fun to annoy the
    enemy with."
        - MeepleLard
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 5' 10" / 178 cm
    Weight: 150 lbs / 68 kg
    Age: 17
    Gender: Male
    Nationality: Navarrian
    Weapon: Dagger
    
        Smooth-talking brigand, friend of Eagle, and a favorite among the women of
    GameFAQs.com's message boards, Hawk is a member of Navarre's infamous Thieves'
    Guild.  Of his blood relatives nothing is known; however, he looks up to Eagle
    as an older brother, Jessica as a sister, and Flamekhan like a father or at the
    very least a close uncle.  Like his contemporaries in Navarre, Hawk is a thief
    in training.  However, he does harbor an unexpectedly romantic side.
    
    <<<What he did in his story arc>>>
    
        Hawk's story begins with a night raid on the city of Sultan.  Along with
    his three friends Ben, Bill, and Nikita, he breaks into a house and steals a
    cropload of Gil. (Go outside to hear Nikita brag about how much they stole that
    night. ^_^) But upon his successful return to Navarre, Hawk is in for a big
    surprise: Isabella announces that the Thieves' Guild is to be abolished and the
    kingdom of Navarre raised in its place.  A surprised Hawk betakes himself to a
    lone corner for some reflection.
    
        His suspicions are reinforced by Eagle, who states that ever since his
    father Flamekhan brought Isabella home from the desert, there have been strange
    and out of character happenings in Navarre.  Eagle goes to spy on Isabella and
    naturally Hawk follows.  The two of them catch Isabella with her hand in the
    cookie jar; i.e., with a spell on Flamekhan and deep in conversation with a
    person who obviously isn't human.  Eagle confronts Isabella and the mysterious
    figure disappears, leaving Isabella to clean up.  Isabella is only too happy to
    do so, and puts a mind-control spell on Eagle. (If this sounds familiar, it's
    because Valda and Karl had the same spell put on them.  Apparently mental
    domination is part of the standard villain package.)
    
        Forced to fight Eagle, Hawk manages to snap Isabella's tenuous hold with a
    heavy strike using the flat of his blade.  Isabella then finishes the job, by
    blasting Eagle with a spell ... and right then, the other thieves force their
    way inside.  Hawk is promptly thrown into jail for the murder of Eagle while
    Isabella clues him on a little secret: Jessica has been given a magic collar
    which will choke her to death if she learns the truth.  And of course, Jessica
    comes to interrogate Hawk (she believes that he wouldn't have willingly killed
    Eagle) and runs away with tears streaming.  Hawk's friend Nikita then busts him
    out of the jail, hinting that the Priest of Light in Wendel might know how to
    remove the collar.
    
        At this point Hawk's story converges with that of the other characters.  He
    goes to Wendel and somewhere along the line probably remembers that Navarre had
    planned to invade Rolante.  Hoping to catch Isabella there, Hawk journeys to
    Rolante and soon catches up with the party.  After the assault on Rolante he
    probably joins the party permanently. (The whole assault is important to Hawk's
    storyline as it reveals his primary objective, as well as letting the player
    know that "Isabella" was just a cover name and that the villainess' name is
    really Bigieu.) Gameplaywise, if Hawk isn't in the party then he shows up right
    in the thickest of the fight in the Rolante assault.  Later, he'll also appear
    in the Valley of Flames to rescue Jessica; if he's already in the party, then
    Nikita will appear in his place.
    
        Hawk and Lise infiltrate the Dark Castle together, forcing a showdown with
    Jagan and Bigieu.  As with the Angela/Darkshine Knight battle, it's open to
    question as to whether Hawk was present for the fight against Jagan, seeing as
    Jagan barely figures into Hawk's story.  The battle with Bigieu is important to
    both Hawk and Lise, though, so it's very likely that both of them were there to
    fight her.
    
        Hawk and Lise take down the Archdemon together.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Notes>>>
    
        Hawk was called Hawkeye in the Japanese version of SD3; this was changed in
    order to fit the six character-length maximum for names in the English version.
    
        According to Square's website, Hawk is a smooth, silky character, always
    cool, though capable of being serious and he has a romantic soul. Although it's
    hard to tell what he's thinking, as a friend he is truer than steel. Though
    rarely seen, he projects undeniable battlefield presence.
    
        Hawk's best friend is Eagle, whom he looks up to as a brother.  He also
    cares for Jessica like a sister.  Amongst the thieves, he seems to be closest
    to Nikita, Bill, and Ben.  Hawk also appears to know Flamekhan fairly well, as
    he remarks to Jessica that becoming a king is unlike the man he knows.
    
    Hawk:    ... Navarre Kingdom?  What is Lord Flamekhan up to?  He's always taken
             pride in being a thief.  Why would he go and do this all of a sudden?
    Jessica: Probably because it's for our own good.  We can't live here much
             longer ... Not since the wells began to dry up ...
    Hawk:    But "His Majesty, King Flamekhan"?  What the hell?  He hates monarchy!
             When I first heard that, I thought it was meant as an insult!
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        Squaresoft has an official art of the Hawk/Eagle battle.  In that art, Hawk
    is standing over Eagle's body while surrounded by ninjas, Flamekhan and Bigieu
    in the background. (And Flamekhan is conscious, it looks like.) What's really
    interesting is that Hawk's knives are bloodied and Eagle is bleeding away on
    the floor.  Perhaps Square originally intended for Hawk to kill Eagle?
    
        Hawk was scheduled for execution during his stay in Navarre's jails.
    
        Hawk's goals, like Duran's, are twofold: he aims to remove Jessica's cursed
    collar and to avenge Eagle's death on Bigieu, in that order.  Regardless of
    storyline path, the first goal is achieved before the Holyland ever opens.  His
    dialogue in the Holyland, however, shows that Hawk is still very concerned
    about stopping Bigieu even though Jessica is safe.  He also sticks with the
    party in the other two storylines, so it's safe to say that he remains with the
    party all the way up to the end.
    
        So when does Hawk join the party?  A good guess would be during the assault
    on Rolante.  Granted, Hawk appears in two scenes, but Nikita is there to fill
    for him in the second scene if he is already in the party.  And while Hawk
    watches over the recovering Jessica if he isn't in your party, Nikita watches
    her if he is, which tends to lean towards Hawk sticking with the party.  This,
    along with the character traits revealed in the above paragraph, lends some
    evidence to the assumption that Hawk probably joined the party permanently
    following the assault on Rolante.  Of course, this is entirely conjecture, as
    is the rest of this document, so take it with a grain of salt.
    
        Plenty of people have proposed that Hawk probably fought Jagan.  I for one
    disagree.  Hawk, of course, saw Jagan during the ill-fated confrontation that
    would lead to Eagle's death.  However, it was a brief sighting at best.  If I
    remember correctly, he does NOT recognize Jagan when the count appears at
    Bucca's imminent eruption.  For all practical purposes Jagan plays a very small
    role in Hawk's story.  Hawk really has no reason to tangle with Jagan beyond
    the "hey, we're on opposite sides" deal, so my conclusion is that Hawk did not
    fight Jagan.
    
        Obviously I don't remember correctly.  Avsanti has written in to note that
    Hawk does indeed remember Jagan upon Bucca.  I still stand by the idea that
    Hawk has no real reason to fight Jagan, though, since he reserves all of his
    rancor for Bigieu.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Bigieu, Infiltrator of the Underworld
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Bigieu is a servant of the Dark Prince and seems to be somewhat infatuated
    with him.  Of her past we know little; however, her skill with magic seems to
    rival that of Koren.  Unlike the Wizard of the Red Lotus, however, Bigieu has
    no widespread notoriety.  The Hawk/Eagle dialogue also mentions that "Isabella"
    came to Navarre only recently, so ... yeah, Bigieu was probably only very
    recently recruited or sent to act by the Dark Prince, right before the game
    started.
    
        Her undercover name while in Navarre was Isabella.
    
        She sacrificed Bill and Ben to unlock the Mana Stone of Fire.
    
        Bigieu is very devoted to the Dark Prince - one might say blindly devoted.
    Notice how devastated she is in the two storylines where he is killed.  Bigieu
    plainly says to the party that "the Dark Prince was my everything," and she
    even kills Jagan to prevent a bringing forth of an Underworld without the Dark
    Prince.  Note: This affection is not reciprocated.  The Dark Prince tells the
    party that Bigieu was expendable right after the fight that costs her life. At
    the end of the Bigieu battle, this is what she says:
    
    Bigieu: No ... my Dark Prince ...
    Lise:   Wait ... who is this "Dark Prince"?
    (Hawk might say something different, I haven't checked.)
    Bigieu: He was the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Light.  Hated and
            feared by everyone, he lived a life of despair ... until one day.  The
            demons of the underworld came to him with an offer he couldn't refuse.
            He destroyed his kingdom, and in exchange, the demons made him their
            ruler.  Power, and respect ... it seemed as if the Dark Prince had
            everything he desired ... but at the cost of his soul.  I wanted to
            bring back ... his ... soul ... ...
    
        Bigieu is a name given by Neill and co.  In the Japanese version, she's
    known simply as Bijuu or "Beautiful Beast." Note that she sometimes turns into
    a cat during her battle sequence in the Dark Castle.  Props to Dragon Scholar
    Ryu for the information.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Hawk's love interest, if she can be called a love interest, is Lise.  Their
    relationship really isn't a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, since Lise
    doesn't really flirt with Hawk and Hawk himself admires Lise's spirit rather
    than sees a potential girlfriend in her.  There's a great scene during the
    assault on Rolante if you have Lise in your party but not Hawk; Hawk explains
    his situation and begs Lise not to kill Bigieu.  Lise agrees, Hawk gets all
    impulsive and kisses her ... whereupon Lise totally freaks out. ^_^ There's a
    beautiful official artwork of all six characters entering the Holyand and in
    that picture Lise has her arm around Hawk's waist.  But I'd say that a brother/
    sister type relationship is as far as it goes.  Hawk already has Jessica for a
    girlfriend, remember?
    
        Hawk's Neutral class is Thief.  From there, he can branch out as follows:
    
                                          /----------------------
                                         < Wanderer (Light-Light)
                                        / \----------------------
                                       /
                        /--------------
                       < Ranger (Light)
                      / \--------------
                     /                 \
                    /                   \ /------------------
                   /                     < Rogue (Light-Dark)
    ---------------                       \------------------
    Thief (Neutral)
    ---------------                     /-------------------------
                   \                   < Ninja Master (Dark-Light)
                    \                 / \-------------------------
                     \               /
                      \ /------------
                       < Ninja (Dark)
                        \------------
                                     \
                                      \ /----------------------
                                       < Nightblade (Dark-Dark)
                                        \----------------------
    
    Thief:
        He steals, but he never lies.  Or at least he says he doesn't.
    
    Ranger:
        The Ranger communes with nature and follows in the path of his ancestors.
    He can identify monsters and set various traps, as well as using Moon magic.
    The Ranger is a good person to turn to for support; he uses the Crescent Knife,
    which is curved to allow for skinning.
    
    Weapon: Crescent Knife
    Armor:  Shijima Mail
    Helmet: Fool's Crown
    Item:   Wishbone
    Tech:   Flying Swallow Toss
    
    Ninja:
        The Ninja is the quintessential assassin, skilled in quiet killing.  He has
    some influence over nature and can use various elemental techniques to boost
    his attacks.  He also wields shuriken as weapons, but more often sticks to his
    trusty weapon, the Acala.
    
    Weapon: Acala
    Armor:  Shijima Mail
    Helmet: Fool's Crown
    Item:   Wishbone
    Tech:   Silhouette Slice
    
        Acala is Acalanatha Vidyaraja in the Japanese version.  Acalanatha, or Fudo
    Myo'o as he is sometimes known, is the Buddhist diety who removes obstacles to
    Buddhist practice.  Credits to Dragon Scholar Ryu for the information.
    
    Wanderer:
        The Wanderer has voluntarily separated himself from society and lives an
    existence communing with nature.  He knows the Ranger's techniques, and due to
    his intimate connection with nature can also use powerful Tree and Moon spells.
    His best weapon, the Orichalcon, was made from the metal of a fallen star.
    
    Weapon: Orichalcon
    Armor:  Phantom Cuirass
    Helmet: Wind Spirit Hat
    Item:   Lucky Card
    Tech:   Dance of Roses
    
        The Orichalcon is another one of the those Squaresoft weapons that keeps
    cropping up in game after game.
        Extra information from Matt620: Orichalcon is supposed to be orichalcum, or
    alternatively aurichalcum, a gold-and-crimson colored mineral from Atlantis.
    Supposedly it was as tough as steel, as strong as iron, and as malleable as
    gold, making it a very fine mineral indeed.
    
    Rogue:
        The Rogue looks out only for himself and will do anything to finish his
    job.  He is a violent character, though not an evil one.  His traps are more
    powerful than the Ranger's and his weapons are imbued with additional elemental
    attributes.  He also uses Tree and Moon magic.  His weapon, the Man Slaughter,
    has a wavy design to better help it slice through human flesh.
    
    Weapon: Man Slaughter
    Armor:  Silverwolf Pelt
    Helmet: Silverwolf Garea
    Item:   Lucky Card
    Tech:   Thousand Slice
    
        Like the Orichalcon, the Man Slaughter is a Squaresoft favorite.  In most
    games it's known as the Man Eater and deals double damage against humanoid
    opponents.
    
    Ninja Master:
        The Ninja Master is an advanced Ninja skilled in melee combat.  He learns
    no new techniques, but instead refines his old ones to attack multiple targets
    simultaneously.  Like the Ninja, he can use Shuriken and elemental techniques.
    His weapon, the Kongou Raken, is the most powerful ninja knife.
    
    Weapon: Kongou Raken
    Armor:  Wind Demon Mail
    Helmet: Stealth Hood
    Item:   Stealth Guard
    Tech:   Shadow Dive
    
        Okay, first off, Dragon Scholar Ryu says that it's Kon Gou Rakan and not
    Raken.  I'm heavily inclined to believe him since it clears up the weapon quite
    a bit and because I've received independent confirmation of this.  In Japanese,
    the Kon Gou Rakan was called the Vajra Arhat.  In Buddhist tradition, an Arhat
    is a semi-divine being below the level of a Bodhisattva.  Vajra is a Buddhist
    symbol for indestructible truth, so when put together the weapon is "the Arhat
    of truth." All of this from Dragon Scholar Ryu.
    
    Nightblade:
        The Nightblade is a professional assassin skilled at executing kills.  In
    addition to his ninja arsenal, he also uses poisonous mists and needle traps.
    The Nightblade uses a weapon called the Death Stroke, which looks like a long
    needle and has a sharp point ideal for delivery of toxins.
    
    Weapon: Death Stroke
    Armor:  Black Garb
    Helmet: Bloody Mask
    Item:   Stealth Guard
    Tech:   Split-Image Slice
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | KEVIN of the Beast Kingdom                                                  |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "But then again, he's probably the best one in the game for ass-kicking."
        - Veib
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 5' 7" / 170 cm
    Weight: 161 lbs / 73 kg (Dunno if this changes in wolf form)
    Age: 15
    Gender: Male
    Nationality: Beast Kingdom
    Weapon: Glove
    
        Kevin is the half-blood son of the Beast King and heir to his throne.  As
    werewolves are persecuted by the human community, from an early age Kevin has
    had instruction in the martial arts of the beast community.  He doesn't take
    his training seriously, however, and would rather spend his nights in the
    Moonlight Forest with his best friend, the wolf pup Karl.  His idyllic life
    might've continued were it not for the arrival of a strange visitor who claimed
    to be proficient in dark magics.
    
    <<<What he did in his story arc>>>
    
        The mysterious visitor is a harlequin who calls himself Deathjester, and as
    a demonstration of his power, he ... seizes control of Karl and makes him
    attack Kevin.  On that night, Kevin's lupine blood awakens for the first time,
    he transforms into a werewolf, and he swiftly beats Karl into the dust.  Upon
    transforming back into a more human-like form, Kevin mourns Karl's senseless
    death and digs him a grave.  He returns to the Beast Kingdom and slides into
    depression, hardly noticing the preparations being made to invade Wendel.
    
        As it is, however, Kevin overhears a conversation between the Beast King
    and Deathjester, learning for the first time that Karl was under a spell on
    that night.  Maddened with grief, Kevin attacks the Beast King and is promptly
    sent flying out of the castle with one retaliatory swipe.  He can't return to
    the Beast Kingdom, but he does run into Deathjester in the Moonlight Forest.
    Deathjester manages to deflect Kevin's wrath by informing him that the Priest
    of Light in Wendel may know how to bring Karl back.  So Kevin sets out for
    Wendel without a backward glance.
    
        Kevin most likely returned to the Moonlight Forest after the Beastmen's
    attack on Wendel failed.  He probably heard that Altena was going after the
    Mana Stone in the Moonlight Forest, though it's equally likely that he just
    wanted to exact revenge on Deathjester.  This is the only time that you meet
    Kevin if he isn't one of your party members, and it's definitely this time that
    he joins the party.
    
        Kevin and Carlie head to the Mirage Palace together, defeating Deathjester
    along the way.  They also fight Heath, although it's open to question as to
    whether Kevin is there or not for the battle against Heath, as Heath doesn't
    figure into his storyline at all.  Since Deathjester is important to both of
    the heroes, however, Kevin and Carlie definitely fought him together.
    
        Kevin and Carlie conclude their quest by killing the Masked Mage.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Notes>>>
    
        Square's website says that Kevin looks like an adult but has the heart of a
    child. Because of his poor speech, he is often misunderstood (... erm, right...
    didn't see that in the game...) Although he normally appears human, at night
    his animal blood can change his shape.
    
        Kevin's father is the Beast King, but his mother was a human.  Kevin never
    knew his mother.  The story that he was told growing up was that she fled from
    the Beast Kingdom, but in reality she died when Kevin was very young.  Check
    the Beast Kingdom entry in the Nation-States section for the exact dialogue.
    
        Kevin's best friend is the wolf pup Karl, who like Kevin also lost his
    mother.
    
        Although Kevin buried Karl, later you discover that Karl wasn't dead at
    all, and the Beast King later returned to dig up Karl's body.  This occurs only
    in Kevin's story arc and only if he's in your party (I think).  The Beast King
    explains:
    
    Beast King: The wolf pup's death was an illusion.  The dark magic was
                responsible ... yet you buried it anyway. You were quick to judge,
                as always. I later unearthed it myself.
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        Kevin is a martial artist, but he slacks off on his training.  His friend
    and rival Lugar, on the other hand, takes training very seriously.  During the
    quest for the Mana Stone of the Moonlight Forest, Lugar is beaten badly by the
    party.  Luna arrives in the nick of time to save Lugar; however, to do so, she
    is forced to reincarnate him as a baby.  Lugar's post-battle dialogue with
    Kevin highlights his motives:
    
    Kevin: Lugar ...
    Lugar: Kevin ... heir to the Beast King's throne ... words could not express my
           jealousy ... I would've given anything ... killed anything ... to have
           what you were granted by birthright ... but for myself ... a mere
           soldier without a drop of royal blood ... it was an unattainable dream.
    Kevin: ...
    Lugar: But you let it all go to waste, Kevin ... all your pacifist nonsense ...
           you let your martial arts training go to waste.  I couldn't allow that.
           I trained as hard as I could ... so that one day I could defeat you.
           But this ... THIS ... is the result ...
    Kevin: Lugar ... you strong enough ... enough to be heir ...
    Lugar: Kevin ... one day, perhaps.  Until then ... continue training ... don't
           let yourself become weak ...
    Kevin: ... Lugar!!
    
        Kevin ... has a speech impediment.  He talks in sentence fragments, but
    that could be something that the translators added in.  None of the other NPCs
    in the game react to him as though he can't speak properly. (Same goes for
    Carlie, by the way.)
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Deathjester, Harlequin of the Mirage Palace
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Of Deathjester's background we know nothing save that he is a harlequin.
    Like his more notorious cousin, Kefka of FF3, Deathjester is well-versed in
    dark magic (apparently including mind control).  He is a servant of the Masked
    Mage, but we don't know why he serves the Masked Mage or what his motive is.
    Deathjester ... isn't as developed as you think he'd be.  Heck, we don't even
    know where he ends up: he apparently survives in all three story arcs.
    
        He talks in a British accent, but that's almost certainly something that
    the translators threw in.
    
        If you haven't figured it out already, he's bluffing when he tells Kevin
    that Karl can be revived.  He's also bluffing when he tells Kevin that Karl's
    soul was a most delicious one.
    
        Deathjester isn't his Japanese name: in the Japanese version, he's known as
    Shi wo Kurau Otoko, the Death-Eating Man. (Thanks to Dragon Scholar Ryu for the
    information.) Deathjester can consume souls and he has a few of the Altenan
    sorceresses for dinner after their invasion of the Beast Kingdom fails.  He
    also sacrifices one of their souls to unseal the Mana Stone of the Moon.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Kevin's Neutral class is Grappler.  From there, he can branch out as
    follows:
    
                                           /----------------------
                                          < God Hand (Light-Light)
                                         / \----------------------
                                        /
                           /------------
                          < Monk (Light)
                         / \------------
                        /               \
                       /                 \ /-------------------------
                      /                   < Warrior Monk (Light-Dark)
    ------------------                     \-------------------------
    Grappler (Neutral)
    ------------------                       /---------------------
                      \                     < Dervish* (Dark-Light)
                       \                   / \---------------------
                        \                 /
                         \ /--------------
                          < Bashkar (Dark)
                           \--------------
                                          \
                                           \ /-----------------------
                                            < Death Hand* (Dark-Dark)
                                             \-----------------------
    
    * In the game, these two are interchanged; however, evidence suggests that the
      proper placement is the one given here.
    
    Grappler:
        A basic combat class.  Nothing special here.
    
    Monk:
        By Monk, the class means Shaolin monk, as opposed to the academic type of
    Western monks.  The Monk emphasizes technique and mental training, which allow
    him to class healing spells.  His weapon, the Aura Glove, is designed to not
    bleed an opponent upon contact.  Note further that unlike his Dark class, in
    the path of the Monk Kevin does not gain a new werewolf form.  This is because
    he chooses to achieve prowess by self-discipline and relentless training rather
    than berserker fury.
    
    Weapon: Aura Glove
    Armor:  Scale Uniform
    Helmet: Dragon's Mane
    Item:   Dragon's Bone
    Tech:   Whirlwind Kick, Tornado Throw
    
        Dragon Scholar did some research back in March of 2004 and posted this:
    
        "Interestingly enough, Shaolin monks (and it's blatantly obvious Square was
        mimicking Chinese monks rather than Japanese) originally trained in kung fu
        so they could fight off bandits who attacked their temple. To quote an
        article on the historical significance of the Shaolin temple, 'Protecting
        Buddhist temples, libraries and priests against bandits, rebels, and
        invaders would necessitate the use of force, which in the circumstances
        soon becomes viewed as justified. The development of warrior monks was not
        limited to the Shaolin Temple; Japanese temples also recruited bands of
        sohei, and Tibetan monasteries had their own bands of warrior monks who
        maintained order and protected the monasteries from intruders.'"
    
    Bashkar (or Berserker):
        The Bashkar embraces his werewolf heritage and its attendant fury.  He has
    no use for fine training but instead emphasizes raw strength.  His attacking
    power is therefore higher than the Monk's, at the cost of spell usage.  His
    Rotten Knuckle weapon has acidic claws.
    
    Weapon: Rotten Knuckle
    Armor:  Scale Uniform
    Helmet: Dragon's Mane
    Item:   Dragon's Bone
    Tech:   Water-Moon Slice, Bastard Slam
    
    God Hand:
        The God Hand is the ultimate martial artist, combining heart, technique,
    and body into a fighting machine greater than the sum of its parts.  Holy power
    is rumored to reside within his fists.  He can heal and draw out the power in
    a person's techniques.  His weapon is the Spiral Claw, whose odd shape lets it
    penetrate enemy defenses more effectively.
    
    Weapon: Spiral Claw
    Armor:  Byakko Uniform
    Helmet: Ivory Band
    Item:   Tohsei Armband
    Tech:   Byakko Shockwave, Stardust Bomb
    
        Byakko is one of four gods in Chinese mythology.  These particular four
    crop up everywhere in various anime, games, and TV shows.  Byakko is the White
    Tiger and is the guardian of the west. (Credits to Dragon Scholar Ryu)
    
    Warrior Monk:
        The Warrior Monk uses his mental power to draw out a special martial arts
    trick.  He is dedicated to the way of the true warrior, and fights for the sole
    purpose of discovering himself.  He also uses healing spells and a spell that
    makes his fists rasp MP from enemies.  His weapon is the Holy Glove, studded
    with holy silver tacks on the knuckles.
    
    Weapon: Holy Glove
    Armor:  Genbu Uniform
    Helmet: Darkshine Band
    Item:   Tohsei Armband
    Tech:   Genbu 100-Kick, Blow Impact
    
        Genbu is the Black Turtle and guards the north.
    
    Dervish:
        The Dervish has suppressed any sort of emotion and trained further than the
    Bashkar.  He dances in battle, and can cast a spell that drains his opponents'
    vitality away.  His weapon is the Gigas Glove, which can form blades from thin
    air and slash the enemy apart.
    
    Weapon: Gigas Glove
    Armor:  Suzaku Uniform
    Helmet: Ruby Band
    Item:   Demon Neckband
    Tech:   Suzaku Sky Dance, Veritubach
    
        Suzaku is the Red Sparrow (sometimes interpreted as a Phoenix), and guards
    the south.
    
        Sephiroth1999AD suggested that Veritubach could be an Engrish translation
    of Belly-to-Back, which is an amazingly descriptive name for Kevin's throw.
    (Really, watch it and you'll see.)
    
    Death Hand:
        The Death Hand sold his heart to evil for the sake of gaining pure power.
    His offensive power is extremely high and he concentrates on bringing the fight
    home to his opponents.  He has the uncanny ability to seek out his foe's
    weaknesses, and his ultimate weapon is the Skull Dissect, which cuts open the
    enemy's skull and sucks the brain out.
    
    Weapon: Skull Dissect
    Armor:  Seiryuu Uniform
    Helmet: Sapphire Band
    Item:   Demon Neckband
    Tech:   Seiryuu Death Fist, Dead Crush
    
        Seiryu is the Blue Dragon and guards the east.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | LISE of Rolante                                                             |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
        "It's your choice: A nice Riesz, or a badass Riesz."
        - Lord Zero
    
    Vital Statistics
    Height: 5' 6" / 167 cm
    Weight: 119 lbs / 54 kg
    Age: 16
    Gender: Female
    Nationality: Rolantic
    Weapon: Spear
    
        Lise is the princess of Rolante and commander of the kingdom's elite Amazon
    guard. (Also a cult favorite amongst male SD3 gamers.)  Brave, devoted, and
    determined, from an early age Lise has trained to be a capable warrior.  She
    leads the daily patrols around the mountain and is admired by nearly everyone
    in the castle.  But the castle that never fell to assault would soon fall
    easily enough to deceit.
    
    <<<What she did in her story arc>>>
    
        Despite the fact that Lise loves her little brother Eliott, sometimes she
    just wants to box the little tyke's ears.  And can you blame her?  Eliott,
    skipping yet another martial arts lesson, is accosted by two ninjas posing as
    traveling magicians, Ben and Bill (yes, the same Ben and Bill who belong in the
    Thieves' Guild).  They swiftly beguile the hapless Eliott with tricks and
    persuade him to take them into the basement, where the key to the wind resides.
    
        In the basement, Ben and Bill ask Eliott to deactivate the wind.  Eliott
    hesitates, but the decision is made for him when Lise stumbles onto the scene;
    Ben and Bill steal the crystal that controls the wind.  When Lise rushes out
    upon hearing of a supposed threat to the king, the two ninjas kidnap Eliott.
    Hmm, that wasn't hard.  Meanwhile, the ninjas of Navarre have released sleeping
    powder throughout the castle and Lise is left to fend for herself as nearly the
    entire Amazon army is put out of commission.  She makes it back to the throne
    room just in time to hear the king's last words and then flees the castle.
    
        Lise travels to Wendel in search of Eliott and then returns to a secret
    hideout near Rolante in order to plan on how to retake the castle.  It's more
    probable than not that Lise found a trace of Eliott in Byzel's Black Market.
    Here, she's told that someone with red eyes has just bought the latest slave,
    someone who claimed to be a prince.  At this point, Lise gets furious and pulls
    her spear on the guy. ^_^ But the Byzel scene does give an important clue on
    Lise's investigation.
    
        If Lise is not in your party, she first appears in Navarrian-occupied Palo
    and then in the Amazon hideout.  She probably stays behind to oversee assault
    preparations while Angela and Duran go off to find Don Perignon.  She might've
    joined the party during the assault on Rolante, but if not then she definitely
    joined afterwards.  Regardless of whether or not Lise is in your party,
    gameplaywise she goes off to search for Eliott after the assault on Rolante.
    It makes more sense for her to travel with the party, however, since their
    objectives are the same.
    
        Lise runs into red-eyed Jagan on the volcanic island Bucca, but he doesn't
    stay around for long.  Much later, she and Hawk storm the Dark Palace and Lise
    gets her fight with Jagan.  Again, we don't know if Hawk was present for the
    fight and storylinewise it makes more sense for it to have been a one-on-one
    between Lise and Jagan.  Lise and Hawk also run into Bigieu and kill her; both
    heroes are present for this battle.
    
        Lise and Hawk finish their tale by killing the Archdemon.
    
    <<<Miscellaneous Notes>>>
    
        Lise's name in the Japanese version is Riesz.  This could've been left as
    is by the translation team, though Lina-Chan probably changed it since ... Lise
    sounds a lot better than Riesz.  This is just my opinion, though.
    
        Square's site says that Lise seems like a mere girl, but she has a strong
    will and a sense of responsibility. She is very aware of her surroundings and
    can be very stubborn in her devotion to principle. She loves her father dearly
    and leads the corps that protects the country.
    
        Lise's father is King Joster, who is blind but wise or at least knows a lot
    of stuff.  Her younger brother is Eliott.  Lise's mother died giving birth to
    Eliott and Lise herself swore to be the mother that Eliott would never have.
    Lise and Eliott are virtually inseparable and Eliott looks up to Lise like he
    would to his mother.
    
        Alma is Lise's housekeeper.
    
        Eliott ... isn't exactly a nice kid.  He steals candy from other kids, he
    hides behind his sister's armor, he skips his training - yeah, this guy's a
    wimp alright.  He seems to learn a lot from captivity though; his dialogue in
    Lise's ending shows that he's much more mature.
    
        According to a little girl in Rolante, Lise looks like the Goddess, or at
    least how the Goddess is depicted in statue form. (Thanks to Marx for the
    correction, I thought it was an Amazon who said that.)
    
        Before Rolante was invaded by Navarre, Lise led the morning patrols around
    the castle.  Her mother used to do the same in the past.
    
        Lise is a virgin.  An Amazon in Rolante remarks that the Father of the
    Winged Ones only allows virgins to approach him, and since Lise is more likely
    than not the party member who dealt with the Father of the Winged Ones, she's
    therefore a virgin.  Although ... this entire conjecture is brought into a good
    deal of question by the fact that Flammie is a female, so ... dunno what's up
    with that.
    
        Lise's best friend amongst the Amazons is probably Eliza, but again that's
    just speculation.  Of course, Eliza does get a name, unlike all the other
    nameless Amazons who wander around the castle or the hideout.  Eliza is also
    the undercover waitress in Palo who tips off Lise to the hideout and the
    sleeping flowers in the mountain meadow.  From Nadia: Eliza in the Japanese
    version of the game is Liza (or Raiza).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Close-Up Profile: Jagan, Evil-Eyed Earl of the Black Castle
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Oh boy, another underdeveloped villain.  Jagan resembles a vampire in looks
    and he's definitely an agent of the underworld, but that's practically all we
    know about him.  He's also the fellow who bought Eliott from the trader in the
    Black Market of Byzel.  The plan was to use Eliott as the Dark Prince's new
    body.  Though why Bigieu would have Eliott kidnapped, sold to the slaver, and
    then get Jagan to buy him when they were already on the same side is beyond me.
    It's not like communication or transportation was any sort of problem.  The
    sole possibility which comes to mind, suggested by someone on the boards (whom
    I no longer remember; apologies for not giving credit where credit is due) is
    that the elaborate misdirection was done to throw off potential rescuers from
    tracking Eliott.
    
        In his own story arc, Jagan gets killed by the party in a battle at the
    Dark Cave.  In the other two story arcs, he's murdered by Bigieu.  For more on
    that, see Bigieu's profile in Hawk's section.
    
        Jagan is the name that the translators gave.  In the Japanese version, he's
    known as Jagan no Hakushaku, Earl of the Evil Eye. (Thanks to Dragon Scholar
    Ryu for the information.) Note that Hiel of Yu Yu Hakusho has a third Jagan eye
    which bestows special powers upon him - this is not coincidence. (Thanks to
    Dragon Scholar for originally posting this tidbit and Richforce for reminding
    me.)
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        For more on Lise's supposed relationship with Hawk, read Hawk's section.
    Lise isn't the romantic type to begin with, and she's a lot more preoccupied
    with trying to find Eliott and later restoring Rolante to have time for any
    sort of romance.  Besides, she's a princess and she freaks out when Hawk kisses
    her.  So, yeah, Lise and Hawk don't have anything for each other ... not that
    anyone will believe the author of this FAQ.
    
        Lise's Neutral class is Amazoness.  From there, she can branch out as
    follows:
    
                                                /---------------------
                                               < Vanadis (Light-Light)
                                              / \---------------------
                                             /
                            /----------------
                           < Valkyrie (Light)
                          / \----------------
                         /                   \
                        /                     \ /------------------------
                       /                       < Star Lancer (Light-Dark)
    -------------------                         \------------------------
    Amazoness (Neutral)
    -------------------                           /--------------------------
                       \                         < Dragon Master (Dark-Light)
                        \                       / \--------------------------
                         \                     /
                          \ /------------------
                           < Rune Maiden (Dark)
                            \------------------
                                               \
                                                \ /-------------------------
                                                 < Fenrir Knight (Dark-Dark)
                                                  \-------------------------
    
    Amazoness:
        Yes, it's Amazoness, not Amazon. (shrug)
    
        If ever there was a character steeped in Norse lore, it would be Lise.  The
    term Amazon, however, is Greek, and is a phrase that literally means "without
    breast." The Amazons were a tribe of fierce warrior women in Greek mythology
    who only interacted with men to bear children or otherwise in war.  The Amazons
    were descended from Ares, the Greek god of war.  After puberty they would slice
    off their right breast in order to facilitate shooting a bow.  Notice how Lise
    is flat-chested - coincidence? (And watch as CMK gets mobbed by angry Lise
    fanboys.)
    
    TLaG: Somebody obviously never took a close look at the Fenrir Knight art.
    
    Valkyrie:
        The Valkyrie is a legendary goddess of war who delivers souls to the halls
    of Valhalla in preparation for Ragnarok.  She can cast spells that enhance her
    abilities.  She uses the legendary spear Gungnir, wielded by none other than
    Odin himself.
    
    Weapon: Gungnir
    Armor:  Phantasm Armor
    Helmet: Pegasus Helmet
    Item:   Yadorigi Armlet
    Tech:   Vacuum Surge Spear
    
        In Norse mythology, valkyries are blue-eyed, blonde-haired maidens who aid
    the chief god Odin in picking out which newly slain warriors would enter the
    halls of Valhalla.  The valkyries rode through the air in glistening armor and
    swan feathers, helping to determine how battles turned out.  They also served
    Odin as couriers and their armor would sparkle on these errands, thus producing
    auroras.  In Japanese, however, the translation is "Warukyuure", which is the
    German word for valkyrie.  Dragon Scholar Ryu, to whom this tidbit is owed,
    suggests that it's a nod to Richard Wagner's The Nibelung Ring opera series.
    
        The original valkyries were Brynhild ("mail of battle"), Sigrun ("victory
    rune"), Kara, Mist, Skogul ("battle"), Prour ("power"), Herfjotur ("war
    fetter"), Raogrior ("god's peace"), Gunnr ("battle spear"), Skuld ("she who is
    becoming"), Sigrdrifa ("victory blizzard"), Svava, Hrist ("the shaker"),
    Skeggjold ("wearing a war axe"), Hildr ("battle"), Hlokk ("din of battle"),
    Goll ("battle cry"), Randgrior ("shield of peace"), Reginleif ("heritage of the
    gods"), Rota ("she who causes turmoil") and Gondul ("enchanted wand" or
    "Werewolf").
    
        It is extremely important to note that valkyries did NOT participate in
    active combat.  They merely sorted out the slain, determined victors in battles
    and wars, and escorted up the Einherjar.  Woe betide the valkyrie who made a
    mistake in her duties.
    
        Gungnir is the spear used by Odin.  Odin himself was not a warrior, but he
    was the patron chief of warriors who prayed to him before going into a battle.
    Incidentally, Odin appears in plenty of Final Fantasy games as an instant-kill
    summon attack.  Against enemies immune to death, Odin instead impales them with
    Gungnir.  In Norse mythology, Gungnir was forged by the sons of Ivaldi.
    
        The Yadorigi Armlet should be more properly translated as the Mistletoe
    Armlet, according to Dragon Scholar Ryu.  This is significant because the Norse
    god Baldur was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe. (Quick synopsis of Baldur:
    he was the favorite son of Odin and god of innocence and purity.  Baldur's
    mother Frigg made all living things swear not to injure him, but she overlooked
    the mistletoe, which was probably too young to take such an oath anyways.  Loki
    found out about this exception and fashioned an arrow out of mistletoe.  The
    gods amused themselves by throwing objects at Baldur since nothing would hurt
    him; Loki capitalized on this to help Baldur's brother the blind god Hod aim
    that arrow, which killed Baldur.  This event is the root cause of Ragnarok.)
    
    Rune Maiden:
        The Rune Maiden remains pure in order to maximize her attacking power.  She
    has little use for support and instead prefers to debilitate her opponents in
    order to guarantee her victory.  She uses a spear called the Pain Tooth, whose
    jagged edges inflict maximum pain on her enemies.
    
    Weapon: Pain Tooth
    Armor:  Phantasm Armor
    Helmet: Pegasus Helmet
    Item:   Yadorigi Armlet
    Tech:   Flying Heaven Spear
    
        Skygor notes that runes were the forerunners of the modern day alphabet;
    they originate from Norse mythology.  After being impaled upon the World Tree
    for nine days, Odin learned a rune per day.  Runes were used in fortune telling
    and magic; later, they were adapted to everyday use in Scandinavia and Britain.
    
    Vanadis:
        The Vanadis is a goddess of war who separates the soul from the body.  She
    casts spells that will enhance her performance on the field and uses a Light
    spear.  She can also summon Freya, the Norse goddess of fertility.  Her best
    weapon is the True Spear, said to be the only perfect spear in existence.
    
    Weapon: True Spear
    Armor:  Goddess Armor
    Helmet: Vanir Helmet
    Item:   Draupnir
    Tech:   Light Shot Spear (also Star Shot Spear)
    
        Vanadis is another name for Freyja (to be most correct, the proper term is
    Freyja Vanadis).  In Sword of Mana, this class is known as Odin for the hero
    and Vanadis for the heroine.  Freyja was the Norse goddess of fertility and
    lust, and commonly portrayed as a voluptuous blue-eyed beauty.  Legend has it
    that she continually wandered heaven and earth searching for her lost husband
    Odur (possibly Odin).  Freyja split the war dead with Odin; in Germanic tales,
    she and two other Vanir (fertility gods) moved to Asgard to live with the Aesir
    (war gods) after a war as a token of friendship.  Freyja is the daughter of
    Njord, god of the sea.
    
        From Matt620: Draupnir is a golden ring known as the Ring of Wealth.  Every
    eight days it would spawn eight golden rings of equal quality (though these
    rings could not self-replicate).  It was forged by the dwarf Eitri.  When the
    god Baldur met his tragic end, Odin placed the Draupnir on the funeral pyre.
    It was acquired by Hermod and handed to Sknirir to help woo Gerd.
    
        The Brisingamen is the item that unlocks this class.  In Norse mythology,
    Freyja wore the Brisings necklace, a treasure of great value and beauty which
    she obtained by sleeping with the four dwarves who made it.
    
        And yes, I'm pretty sure it's meant to be Vanadis and not Vanadies.
    
    Star Lancer:
        Cold, beautiful, pure as the stars in the midnight sky, the Star Lancer
    forgoes the conditioning of the Vanadis and instead concentrates on support.
    She can cast spells that enhance the abilities of all her friends.  She can
    also summon Marduke, the Babylonian god of creation.  Her weapon of choice is
    the Star Gazer, an icy lance that resembles a shooting star when cast.
    
    Weapon: Star Gazer
    Armor:  Polaris Armor
    Helmet: Stardust Helmet
    Item:   Draupnir
    Tech:   Falling Star
    
        Actually, it's Marduk, not Marduke.  Marduk literally means "bull calf of
    the sun" and he was the son of Ea.  He defeated the sea-dragon Tiamat during a
    cosmic war and created a new world order that included humanity.  Marduk was an
    important diety in Babylonian mythology and assumed a role much like Zeus, that
    of the chief of gods.
    
        Interestingly enough, an old Power Play scan claimed that the Star Lancer
    could heal allies.  Wouldn't that be a treat?
    
    Dragon Master:
        The Dragon Master acquired her skills fighting alongside dragons and has
    been baptized in dragon blood, granting her special power.  She uses spells
    that weaken her opponents in order to give herself an edge, and she can summon
    the legendary serpent of Midgard, Jormungand.  Her weapon is the Dragon Lance,
    which has a thin head that enables it to pierce between dragon scales.
    
    Weapon: Dragon Lance
    Armor:  Dragon Knight Armor
    Helmet: Rising Dragon
    Item:   Giant's Ring
    Tech:   Dragon Tooth Spear
    
        In Norse mythology, Jormungand is the younger brother of Fenris and the son
    of Loki and the giant Angrboda.  Odin chucked him into the ocean when he was an
    elver but eventually Jormungand grew so long that he could surround the world
    by biting his own tail. (Hmm, the Norse knew that the world is round?) During
    Ragnarok, Thor would blast Jormungand apart with Mjolnir but himself drown in
    the giant serpent's venom. (Notice how Jormungand poisons enemies in the game.)
    
    Fenrir Knight:
        The Fenrir Knight is a member of the Order of the Wolf, sworn to carrying
    the fight against giants.  She can decrease all of her opponent's abilities at
    the same time and can summon Lamia Naga, a profane mix of human and serpent.
    She uses the Giant Spear, made to kill giants with a single cast.
    
    Weapon: Giant Spear
    Armor:  Wulfhezein
    Helmet: Wolf Helmet
    Item:   Giant's Ring
    Tech:   Hundred Flower Dance
    
        In Norse mythology, Fenrir was the oldest child of the god Loki and the
    giant Angrboda.  The gods raised Fenrir in Asgard but only Tyr had the courage
    to feed him.  Fenrir eventually grew so large that no chain could hold him,
    though the gods tried twice.  Eventually the dwarves made a chain known as the
    Gleipnir (Lise's class-unlocking item, incidentally) which was forged from six
    special ingredients: the noise of a cat's footfall, a woman's beard, mountain
    roots, bear sinews, fish breath, and bird spittle (which incidentally explains
    why they're so rare nowadays.  Good work on the woman's beard, I say).  Fenrir
    distrusted the chain, which he was certain was magical.  As a safeguard, Tyr
    placed his hand in Fenrir's mouth.  When the wolf found that he couldn't break
    the chain after all, he bit off Tyr's hand and then began to howl until Tyr
    gagged him with a sword.
    
        At Ragnarok, Fenrir will finally break Gleipnir and swallow Odin.
    
        The Fenrir Knight's special summon is Lamia Naga.  Lamia Naga isn't a set
    character in mythology but actually a combination of two generic archetypes,
    the Lamia and the Naga.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NATION-STATES                                                     code: natstat
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Magic Kingdom ALTENA                                                        |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: North of the Sub-Zero Snowfields
    Territory: Altena Castle, Sub-Zero Snowfields, Snow City Elrand, Labyrinth of
               Ice Walls
    Citizens: Queen Valda, Angela, Koren, Jose, Victor, Darkshine Knight (later)
    
        Within the frozen wastes of the Sub-Zero Snowfields lies Altena, a kingdom
    sustained by magic.  It is situated in the far north of the map deep in the
    frozen Sub-Zero Snowfields.  Altena Castle itself, however, is a green, lush
    palace teeming with life.  It is kept temperate by the magic of Queen Valda and
    serves as home to the world's largest sorceress army. (Hmph, I sound like a
    travel brochure.)
    
        Altena's agenda is to seize control of all eight Mana Stones.  Probably at
    this point Koren doesn't yet realize that the Mana Stone of Darkness is gone.
    The goal is to unlock the gate to the Holyland and then seize the Sword of Mana
    in an attempt to stave off the weather.  Or, as Koren puts it, to unite the
    world in a glorious magic empire.
    
        Altena does commerce with Elrand; however, trade has slacked off ever since
    monsters began colonizing the Sub-Zero Snowfields.  The snowfields separate
    Elrand from Altena Castle.  Normally Elrand is also warm and balmy thanks to
    the Queen's magic.  By the time the game starts, though, it's blanketed with
    snow.
    
        By the time the game begins, Mana has already been in decline and the
    harbor into Elrand is nearly filled up with ice.  Also, Queen Valda's magic is
    apparently losing its battle against the weather since cold has begun to seep
    into Altena Castle.  The Queen's magic fuels a heating system that in turn
    provides warmth to the whole castle.
    
        As far as technology goes, Altena is the most advanced of the nation states
    in SD3.  Besides its elaborate heating system, it also houses the world's only
    known airship, the Gigantes.
    
        Altena also includes the Labyrinth of Ice Walls where the Mana Stone of
    Water is housed.  Queen Valda often visits this Mana Stone.
    
        Altena invades Forcena and later the Moonlight Forest in the course of the
    game; however, it gets beaten back each time.  The party stops the first
    invasion, while Lugar and the Beastmen defeat the second.
    
        Later in the game, Altena Castle suffers hostile takeover by a bunch of
    monsters that Koren and the Darkshine Knight bring in.  The magicians who
    survived the attack on Forcena and the Moonlight Forest get chased out of the
    castle.  Queen Valda, however, is trapped inside.  Gameplaywise, Koren and the
    Darkshine Knight take her to Dragon's Hole after trading the Fairy for the
    Sword.
    
        For more on Valda's possible affair with Richard, see Angela's bio.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | The BEAST KINGDOM                                                           |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: Within the Moonlight Forest
    Territory: Beast Castle, Moonlight Forest, Moonlight city Mintos, Moonreading
               Tower
    Citizens: Kevin, Lugar, Beast King, Deathjester (as a visiting dignitary)
    
        Secluded within the heart of the Moonlight Forest lies the Beast Kingdom,
    home of the Beastmen.  These stout citizens are weres, and can freely change
    between a human form and a wolf form at night.  Beastmen pride themselves on
    their abilities in hand-to-hand combat.  The hall of the Beast King serves as a
    haven for oppressed Beastmen everywhere.
    
        The Beast Kingdom is the newest of the SD3 nation-states, having been
    founded by the Beast King in the previous generation.  The Beastmen have a long
    history of receiving poor treatment at the hands of humans, similar to the
    Elves.  In the game, Kevin's introduction says that "one (Beastman) stood up
    for his people to make a difference." And founding the Beast Kingdom was the
    difference.  Although ... the Beastmen still hate the humans.  As do the Elves
    and Corobokkles, for that matter, while the Dwarves treat the humans with
    indifference - in SD3, the humans are a convenient measuring stick which the
    other races use to beat said humans for their numerous perceived shortcomings.
    
        The Beast Kingdom's agenda is to take revenge on humanity.  As Deathjester
    tells the Beastmen, they want the Mana Sword in order to wipe out the humans.
    Normally the Beastmen have a more honorable culture, however, their hatred of
    humanity is apparently a strong enough force that they would throw their lot
    with a person like Deathjester. (Although Deathjester nearly gets kicked out of
    the Beast Kingdom anyway in Kevin's introduction.) Over the course of the game,
    the Beast Kingdom aims to invade Wendel in order to reach the Mana Stone of
    Light.  To do so, it seizes Jad, razes Astoria, and then marches on Wendel;
    however, this invasion is turned back.
    
        Lugar is the commanding general of the Beast King's army and gloats about
    this to Kevin.  Lugar is also the one who stops the Altenan invasion of the
    Moonlight Forest before Koren can reach the Mana Stone of the Moon - not that
    it matters, since Deathjester unlocks the stone anyway.
    
        According to Kevin, Beastmen commonly wander into the forest as babies and
    are raised by the forest animals.  Sure implies a strong bond with nature, huh?
    
        As if that weren't enough, the Beastmen go into battle carried by giant
    birds.  A citizen in Wendel remarks on this and you can also see it during the
    Holyland sequence.
    
        The Beast King is an interesting study in character design.  At the start
    of the game, the player is given to believe that he wants revenge on humanity.
    However, there's a telling scene in Kevin's story arc that sheds more light on
    his motives.  Note: This dialogue can appear in two places - Kevin's ending, or
    alternatively atop the Beast castle if you play Kevin's story arc.  The latter
    has more dialogue that doesn't appear in the former, and these extra lines are
    marked in parentheses.
    
    Beast King: My son ... such anger, but without discipline ... (Open your senses
                ... observe your surroundings before making your move.)
        (sequence where Kevin and Karl are reunited)
    Kevin:      ... Beast King ... I ...
    Beast King: (Say nothing. This was undoubtedly for the better.) You were weak,
                ever since childhood ... perhaps because you lacked your mother's
                care ... (your mother died when you were very young, Kevin.  She
                never ran away as I'd told you.)
    Kevin:      (WHAT?!)
    Beast King: (It was part of my plan to build up your anger.) Anger is a
                powerful tool ... with it, you can overcome almost any weakness.
                Our race was once weak. (We had no home... we suffered at the hand
                of the cowardly humans.) Under my leadership, our anger has become
                our strength. (We are now an independent nation. Revenge against
                humanity was never my goal. I can forgive their actions... but the
                one thing I can never forgive is weakness.) Now you, Kevin, are on
                your way to independence.  Show me your strength.  Fight for what
                you believe in, Kevin ...
    (credits to TLaG)
    
        If you play Kevin's story arc with him in the party, the Beast King tells
    his son that Kevin is the link that will bridge the gap between humanity and
    the Beastmen.  From this, it becomes fairly obvious that the Beast King, for
    one, isn't interesting in exacting revenge from humanity.  He simply wants the
    Beastmen to be strong. (Of course, all the other Beastmen still want to wipe
    out the humans, and it's interesting that there are no Beastmen in Secret of
    Mana.  Maybe a war came around after all in the years between?)
    
        Moonlight city Mintos is apparently affiliated with the Beast Kingdom, as
    it is populated by Beastmen that describe themselves as pacifists. A Beastman
    in Mintos also remarks that Altenan soldiers did not give them any trouble when
    they passed through.  The citizens of Mintos appear to disapprove of the Beast
    Kingdom's belligerent stance towards humans, and instead hope that everyone can
    live in peace.
    
        It is always nighttime in the Moonlight Forest.  The Mana Stone of the Moon
    atop the Moonreading Tower keeps the forest shrouded in an eternal night.  I
    think this changes after the Holyland event where the Mana Stones shatter, but
    I'm not absolutely certain.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Grasslands Country FORCENA                                                  |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: North of the Molebear Highlands
    Territory: Forcena Castle, Molebear Highlands, Gemstone Valley Dorian
    Citizens: Duran, King Richard, Stella, Wendy, Bon Jour
    
        Forcena shines north of the Molebear Highlands as a city where honor,
    loyalty, courage, and knowledge are prized.  It is home to the dread Knights of
    Gold, the fiercest fighting contingent in the world of SD3.  Citizens of
    Forcena are typically well-natured and honorable, equally given to martial and
    scholarly pursuits alike.  From his throne, the benevolent King Richard keeps a
    vigilant eye over the whole world.
    
        Unlike many of the other nation-states, Forcena is moved by events and not
    an originator of them.  In the game, Forcena's agenda is to prevent open war
    over the Mana Stones.  Of course, before King Richard even realizes that the
    stones are in danger, he's already been invaded by Altena and nearly killed by
    Koren.  Forcena is also used as the party's base of operations in the quest to
    unlock the other Mana Stones.  Forcena protects the Mana Stone of Earth.
    
        The Cleft of the Earth marks the southern edge of Forcena's territory.
    Normally, Forcena is connected to the Golden Road by the bridge over the Cleft
    of the Earth; however, in the game, this bridge is destroyed early on in a boss
    battle.  Note that the Dwarves in the Cleft of the Earth are not affiliated
    with Forcena.
    
        Forcena has an elite fighting division known as the Knights of Gold.  Loki
    was once part of this group (see Loki's profile in Duran's section) and Duran's
    ending shows that he also is accepted into the Knights of Gold.  Although ...
    you have to wonder how good they are if Altena can just march right into the
    castle.  Later in the game, Forcena dispatches its army to actively suppress
    and monitor the movements of other nations.
    
        King Richard was once an adventurer in his youth.  He participated in the
    well-known battle where Loki and the Dragon Emperor both fell and also traveled
    to the now lost city of Pedan.  There's also a hint that he has something to do
    with Angela's history, but of course it's only a hint.  King Richard hosted a
    Fairy once, but that Fairy fell to the Dragon Emperor.  He is also the party's
    mentor on the subject of the Mana Stones, of which he knows a lot.  Richard
    became king shortly after Loki's fall.
    
        Forcena has a library where the party can read up on class changing, among
    a number of interesting topics.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Sand Fortress NAVARRE                                                       |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: Desert of Scorching Heat
    Territory: Navarre Stronghold
    Citizens: Hawk, Eagle, Flamekhan, Jessica, Ben, Bill, Nikita, Bigieu
    
        Like a mirage in the sweltering desert heat, one comes upon the desert
    fortress Navarre where it is least expected.  Within Navarre, the ancient and
    honorable Thieves' Guild practices its trade.  Navarre boasts an army of ninja
    assassins.  Though it doesn't have the raw military strength of other nations,
    only a fool would leave out Navarre in power calculations.  Navarre is overseen
    by Lord Flamekhan, himself an accomplished thief.
    
        Although the Thieves' Guild (sometimes known as the Desert Storm) robs some
    people dry (as Hawk's introduction shows), it's not really a bad organization.
    Think of it as being a Robin Hood-like band.  Hawk himself notes that the
    thieves only steal from the rich and corrupt, never the poor or honest.  And a
    ninja in Navarre says that they give away their loot to the poor - although by
    this time, Navarre is beginning to consolidate its power for its strike on
    Rolante.
    
    Ninja: Hawk ... have you been in the treasure room lately?  It's overflowing!
           I thought we were supposed to give it all away to the poor ...?
    
        Navarre's troubles began when Flamekhan brought Bigieu into the fortress
    after a sojourn in the desert.  Bigieu, under the guise of Isabella, slowly
    began to manipulate Flamekhan's mind.  Her plans were initially crashed by Hawk
    and Eagle, but in a truly brilliant move she managed to knock Eagle out of the
    picture and simultaneously frame Hawk - to the point where even Eagle's sister
    Jessica couldn't hear the truth from Hawk's own lips.
    
    Eagle: After Dad came back from the desert with Isabella ... that's when he
           began acting strange.  Coincidence?  I don't think so ... well, I am
           gonna figure this out if it kills me!
    
        Navarre under Bigieu has one goal, to unlock the Mana Stones in order to
    open the gate to the Holyland.  Bigieu puts all of the Thieves' Guild under a
    mind-control spell and uses the ninjas to invade Rolante.  The only ones able
    to avoid the spell are Jessica (already under a curse) and Flamekhan, locked
    away in jail.  If you wonder how that happened, in Hawk's intro one of the
    ninjas remarks that Flamekhan's health is on the decline.  Later, Nikita also
    somehow manages to get himself de-spelled when the ninjas pull out of Palo.
    
        Much later in the game, Bigieu and Jagan let monsters into Navarre.  We
    aren't told what they did to the ninjas, but it's obvious from Hawk's ending
    that at least some of them survived.
    
        Nikita comes from a race of merchant cats.  He's related to Chiquita and
    once had a romance with Josephine.  However, he became enthralled with the
    freedom of the Thieves' Guild and left them behind.
    
        Long ago, when the Desert of Scorching Heat used to be a forest, the
    Navarrian ninjas were once rangers.  Only when the forest was replaced by the
    desert did they start training as ninjas.  The oasis at Deen is the only bit of
    the forest that's left, and even that little bit is vanishing.
    
        Neither Sand City Sultan nor Oasis Village Deen are affiliated with the
    Thieves' Guild.  This is kinda obvious since in both villages you'll run across
    merchants moaning that they've been robbed blind by ninjas.  Also, Nikita takes
    Jessica to Deen in order to recover, and he'd hardly do that if the city were
    connected to Navarre, right?
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Wind Kingdom ROLANTE                                                        |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: Summit of the Skies
    Territory: Rolante Castle, Fishing Harbor Palo, Path to the Heavens, Summit of
               the Skies, Corridor of Wind
    Citizens: Lise, Joster, Eliott, Alma, Eliza, Merci, the Pink Bird of Palo
    
        Nestled in the forbidding crags of the mountainous regions, Rolante castle
    teems with life and vigor.  Rolante is home to the world's greatest Amazoness
    army.  And with the sheer cliffs and powerful winds providing an additional
    stalwart defense, Rolante is known as "The Castle that Never Fell." Within the
    massive walls one may find all manner of citizens practicing military or
    academic pursuits.  Rolante thrives under the rule of King Joster, a wise and
    experienced diplomat.
    
        Much like Forcena, Rolante is shaped by outside events rather than having
    any clear agenda of its own.  Early on in the game, Rolante is invaded by
    Navarre and overthrown by treachery.  After it is retaken by Lise and the
    survivors of the war, Rolante ... pretty much fades out of the picture.  One
    hears hardly anything more about it, except that the Amazons are kept very busy
    rebuilding their shattered kingdom.  Heck, you can't even get back into Rolante
    for the rest of the game.
    
        Rolante oversees a pretty wide territory, touching the ancient Kingdom of
    Light to the west and the ocean to the east, as well as encompassing the port
    city of Palo.  Rolante is also responsible for guarding the Mana Stone of the
    Wind.  The castle itself is situated high in the mountains and only a few
    screens short of the very summit of the skies.  Central to Rolante's defense is
    a key located in its basement that controls the wind.
    
        Rolante's army is composed of women.  The queen used to lead the army on
    patrols around the mountain and Lise herself took up that role before Rolante
    was invaded by Navarre, but the army pretty much gets cut to pieces during the
    invasion.  The game mentions that the loss is "staggering" and an Amazon in the
    secret mountain hideout remarks that the "world's largest Amazon army has
    dwindled down to what you see here."
    
        King Joster is blind but he can sense spirit traces.  Joster lost in his
    sight in an incident with the queen.  I can't tell if it was a battle or not as
    the dialogue is kinda vague (and grammatically unsound), so read and decide for
    yourself:
    
    Spinster: King Joster fought to save the late Queen with his life.  His
              injuries made him lose his sight ...
    
        Palo is a local fishing village.  When Navarre invades, its first move is
    to take over Palo.  Later, when the invaders withdraw, they leave behind a nice
    assortment of equipment that the shops sell off.
    
        Rolante protects the Father of the Winged Ones, a beast that the Goddess
    herself supposedly once rode.  See Lise's section for a bit more trivia about
    the whole Father of the Winged Ones deal.
    
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Holy City WENDEL                                                            |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    
    Vital Statistics
    Location: Between the Moonlight Forest and the Cave of Waterfalls
    Territory: Temple of Light, Holy City Wendel, Cave of Waterfalls
    Citizens: Carlie, Heath, Priest of Light
    
        Wendel - a city of sanctity, learning, and piety.  Wendel houses the Temple
    of Light and is the center for Goddess worship in the world of SD3; pilgrimage
    to Wendel at least once a lifetime is an important step in everyone's life.
    The city itself is neutral and has little interest in conflict.  Despite its
    negligible military might, however, Wendel wields enormous political and moral
    heft.  It is overseen by the sagacious Priest of Light.
    
        Even though Wendel does not threaten any of the other kingdoms in the game,
    the Beast Kingdom invades regardless.  This is because Wendel was built as
    close as possible to the Ancient Ruins of Light, where the Mana Stone of Light
    is kept.  Somehow Heath and the Priest of Light must have gotten wind of the
    invasion (possibly from Kevin?) and the Priest therefore raised a barrier to
    seal the Cave of Waterfalls.  After all, Wendel was originally founded to guard
    the Mana Stone of Light.
    
        Although ... you have to wonder how effective that would be.  Especially
    considering that 1. Beastmen ride into battle on giant birds and 2. Wendel is
    geographically easier for the Beastmen to reach than either Jad or Astoria, it
    really begs the question as to why the heck did the Beastmen have to invade
    either of the other two cities when their objective was Wendel itself all
    along.  It's not like Jad or Astoria are affiliated with Wendel.  Doublespell
    has suggested that the Beastmen did it for tactical reasons, much as Navarre
    took Palo during its invasion of Wendel. "When you are capturing a town, you
    must capture the seaports near the town otherwise they can call for help/get
    supplies/get their officials out more easily. The ninjas, having turned off the
    wind, could have used their airship to land on Rolante - but they took Palo."
    
        A cleric in Wendel remarks that travelers used to time their visits to
    Wendel so that they'd pass through the Cave of Waterfalls on Mana Holy Day.  On
    that day, monster activity would quiet.  Of course, with the recent chaos that
    Mana is in, now monsters are active all day, every day.
    
        Wendel has weapon and armor shops, but it's a neutral city.
    
        In the game, the Priest of Light notes that the goddess statues have been
    shedding tears of blood.  After the Fairy breaks the first shield around the
    Cave of Waterfalls, the Priest erects another one and in doing so falls ill.
    At this point in the game, if you return to Wendel you'll notice that the
    streets are completely deserted - Wendel's citizens explain that they had to
    turn away all visitors since the Priest fell ill.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ENEMY FACTIONS                                                    code: foefact
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God-Beasts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Okay, what are the God-Beasts?  While the game doesn't into specifics, the
    introduction does say that the God-Beasts are incarnations of disaster.  Also,
    the game doesn't get much more specific than this.  However, it is obvious that
    the God-Beasts are evil and implied that they are also very, very powerful.
    The most that you hear about the God-Beasts occurs after defeating Gorva upon
    the Ghost Ship; Shade explains more about the (as yet unnamed) God-Beast of
    Darkness:
    
    Fairy: If Shade is here, then the Mana Stone of Darkness is on this ship as
           well?
    Shade: No, that Stone is lost ... it doesn't exist anymore.
    Main Character: ?
    Shade: Centuries ago, people used the Mana Stones as a source of power, to live
           in peace ... Then war erupted, and the seal on the Mana Stone of
           Darkness was released.
    Fairy: Then ... the God-Beast of Darkness?
    Shade: Yes ... It wandered across the land, from country to country, like a
           dark plague ... subverting the peaceful energy of the other Mana Stones,
           using them as instruments of death.  The world had never seen such a
           catastrophe ... civilization fell, countless lives were lost ... the
           Mana Stone of Darkness has never existed since.  I've spent my days on
           this ghost ship ...
    Fairy: Whatever happened to the God-Beast of Darkness, then?  Why wasn't the
           world destroyed?
    Shade: Difficult to say ... one day, the God-Beast simply vanished.  Perhaps it
           left somewhere, satisfied that its job was done.  Perhaps it exists on
           another world somewhere, in the form of another Mana Stone.  Perhaps it
           is planning another disaster for this world.  Nobody knows.
    
        There are eight God-Beasts, each corresponding to a different element.  A
    book in the Forcenan library lists the names of seven of them, but for the God-
    Beast of Darkness you pretty much have to fight him to learn his name.  They
    are as follows, in no particular order:
    
    Mispolm - God-Beast of the Wood.  Looks like a giant pumpkin and has a pair of
    underlings who do more of the dirty work.  Found in the Forest of Wonders.
    
    Fiegmund - God-Beast of Ice.  Fiegmund looks like a giant dragon ... thing.  He
    uses ice-based attacks and will sometimes vanish only to reappear clinging on
    the undersides of the ice.  There's speculation by TLaG that Fiegmund is a
    Dutch word, but the closest translation that he could get was "cowardly mouth."
    Fiegmund is found in the Labyrinth of Ice Walls.
    
    Lightgazer - God-Beast of Light, obviously.  Looks like a giant scale-covered
    blob with an eyeball in the middle of its monstrously obese body.  Found in the
    Ancient Ruins of Light.
    
    Land Umber - God-Beast of Earth.  Looks ... um, kinda hard to describe.  He's
    got two enormous lobster-like claws on the front and a small face; you really
    have to see him for yourself.  There's speculation that the name properly
    translates to Land Amber or even Land Ambler.  Found in the Gemstone Valley
    Dorian.
    
    Xan Bie - God-Beast of Fire.  Comes in two parts, one a stationary rock furnace
    and the other a sort of liquid flame that morphs back and forth.  Xan Bie is up
    in the air so far as translations go.  Found in the Valley of Flames.
    
    Dangaard - God-Beast of Air.  Looks like a roc, a two-headed vulturish sort of
    creature.  Has talons and wings; one of his necks is orange, the other blue.
    The only connection found (thanks to TLaG) is from an old anime, Dangard Ace.
    Found in the Corridor of Wind.
    
    Dolan - God-Beast of the Moon.  Looks somewhat like a goat on crack, only he
    has paws and not hooves.  According to Dragon Scholar Ryu, Dolan also shows
    some similarity to Tsuki no Ou from the Shadow Skill anime series, minus the
    immortality under the moon part.  Found atop the Moonreading Tower.
    
    Zable Fahr - God-Beast of Darkness.  Made up of three distinct parts: two weird
    harlequin heads facing each other, then a third that appears after you've offed
    the other two once.  Zable probably means Sable and Fahr could be Fear or Fair
    or even Fire (though the last is a stretch).  Found in three different places,
    dependent on story arc: the Cave of Darkness, the Glass Desert, or the Forest
    of Illusions. (Shade tells you that Zable is NOT aboard the Ghost Ship.)
    
        After defeating a God-Beast, that particular God-Beast's power goes back
    into the weapon used to defeat it in the first place, the Sword of Mana.  Of
    course, the Sword is in your enemy's hands, so ... really, you'd think that our
    heroes should've figured this out BEFORE defeating all eight God-Beasts. (As
    Doublespell notes, however, it's not like our hapless heroes would have had a
    choice, since the God-Beasts were strengthening and had to be dealt with.)  Oh,
    and Zable Fahr can only be fought after defeating the other seven God-Beasts.
    Defeating seven of the God-Beasts causes the ancient city of Pedan to reappear
    in the timestream; once Pedan and its resident Mana Stone expert have appeared,
    Zable and the Mana Stone of Darkness can be located.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Archdemon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        The Archdemon, or Dark Prince as he is sometimes referred to, is a human
    whom the demons of the underworld approached to form a pact with.  He was once
    the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Light, but for some reason his own
    citizens hated him.  The demons of the underworld made him an offer; in return
    for destroying his own kingdom, they would crown him as their ruler.  This is
    why the Kingdom of Light is nothing more than a ruin in SD3.  No indication of
    when exactly this occurred, although it must have been quite some time ago.
    The Dark Prince mentions that the Goddess sealed him away "centuries ago," and
    centuries ago sounds like a pretty darn long time.
    
        The Dark Prince is based in the Dark Castle beyond the Cave of Darkness; do
    you smell a theme here?
    
        Jagan and Bigieu are the agents of the Dark Prince.  Also, Jagan and Bigieu
    arranged Eliott's kidnapping in order to provide the Dark Prince with another
    host body.  The Dark Prince also extends an offer to the party to serve him;
    predictably, our heroes spurn the offer.
    
        The Dark Prince killed the former Archdemon of the underworld.
    
        Jagan is an underworld vampire.  Bigieu, on the other hand, is less easily
    classified.  The closest description is shapeshifter - in her battle scene,
    Bigieu sometimes transforms into a cat and the way she wormed into Navarre
    shows that she's a master of disguise and illusion.  Also, note how her name in
    Japanese is Biguu - beautiful beast.
    
        The Dark Prince is the one who summoned the Mana Stone of Darkness from the
    Underworld.  Doing this cost him his life, but in his story arc Bigieu and
    Jagan revive him with the Mana Sword.  In the other two story arcs, Bigieu lets
    the party know that the Dark Prince's soul was sealed away into the void, and
    supposedly even the Sword of Mana is no longer able to help him.
    
        The Dark Prince is called Kuro no Kikoushi, or Young Noble of Darkness.  He
    isn't called the prince, though that's a moot point anyway since he's heir to
    the throne.
    
        The Dark Prince's agenda is to merge the underworld with the overworld, and
    he'd be in charge, of course.
    
        The last battle against the Dark Prince takes place directly in front of
    the dead Mana Tree.  Note that the Dark Prince situates himself directly on the
    Mana Tree's stump.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dragon Emperor
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        The Dragon Emperor.  Nobody knows exactly where the Dragon Emperor came
    from originally.  Of the three possible endgame villains, we know the least of
    the Dragon Emperor's backstory.  It is theorized that he is the head of a large
    and perhaps powerful clan of dragons, as this tribe is mentioned in Duran's
    introduction.  Prince Richard and Loki led a task force that defeated the
    Dragon Emperor, though the battle cost Loki's life.  The game doesn't say that
    the Dragon Emperor lost his life, only that he fell into a bottomless pit.
    
        Don Perignon planned the attack that defeated the Dragon Emperor.
    
        Although defeated, the Dragon Emperor lost none of his old power.  He could
    still revive Loki as the Darkshine Knight after the battle as well as making
    Koren the greatest wizard in Altena.  Added to that, he destroyed Pedan ten
    years before the events of SD3 - mind you, that's two years AFTER Loki gave him
    the beating of his life.  To give you an idea of just how bad it was, listen to
    this transcript of the Dragon Emperor's speech prior to the final battle:
    
    Dragon Emperor: Prince Richard and the Knight of Gold ... I believe they had a
                    faerie with them as well.  That Knight dealt me painful,
                    crippling injuries ... but I have recovered, and grown stronger
                    ...
    
        The Dragon Emperor is based in Dragon's Hole, within the Glass Desert.
    
        Koren and the Darkshine Knight work for the Dragon Emperor, Koren visibly
    within Altena, the Darkshine Knight as more of a shadow agent.  Koren works in
    Altena to eventually release Mana Stone energy while the Darkshine Knight runs
    errands where he's needed.  However, the game dialogue would seem to indicate
    that the Dragon Emperor destroyed Pedan himself.  The Dragon Emperor is also
    described as stronger and smarter than any human.
    
        The Dragon Emperor is called Ryuutei in the Japanese version.  Credits to
    Dragon Scholar Ryu for the information and to Lina-Chan and Nuku-Nuke for a
    correct translation.
    
        The Dragon Emperor plans to take the power of the Mana Sword for himself,
    in essence becoming a god.
    
        The last battle against the Dragon Emperor takes place on a courtyard in
    the Holyland.  Where exactly it might be we aren't sure, but it doesn't look
    like any place that the party gets to visit.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masked Mage
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        The Masked Mage, or alternatively the Dark Lich, was once a human by the
    name of Belgar.  Belgar was a priest of Wendel and unmatched in the healing
    arts - until one day when a girl fell sick with an incurable disease that even
    Belgar could not cure.  In desperation, Belgar turned to the dark arts looking
    for a cure.  He didn't find one in time to save the girl; even after her death,
    however, he continued to delve deeper and deeper into the necromantic arts.  At
    last Belgar learned a spell that could allow him to overcome death; with this,
    he challenged the Priest of Light but was defeated.  After the showdown Belgar
    went into hiding and set a mask over his face.  Note that the story you get
    from the citizen of Pedan says that Belgar challenged the Priest of Light; the
    story from Heath omits this incident.
    
        Heath is Belgar's son and he tried to save his father, but ended up under
    the Masked Mage's control himself.
    
    Heath: Long ago in Wendel ... there was a girl with an incurable disease.
           Light magic had no effect on it.  My father, Belgar, wanted to cure her
           at any cost.  So he began a long, intensive study of the forbidden dark
           magics ... Sadly, the girl died before he could find a cure.  But his
           study of dark magic continued.  In time, he found an incredible spell
           which could reanimate the dead girl.  The people of Wendel began to fear
           Belgar.  They even called him the "Priest of Darkness." Afraid that the
           city of Wendel would become cursed, the Priest of Light exiled Belgar.
           The darkness eventually took over him, twisting and corrupting his mind
           and body.  He has worn the mask ever since to hide his true self.  My
           magic was too weak to save him ... I became a victim of his evil plan...
    
        The Masked Mage is based in the Mirage Palace, deep within the Jungle of
    Illusions.  Apparently he's been hiding there ever since the Priest of Light
    defeated him.  At the very least, he's been holed up there for twelve years and
    likely longer, since the citizens of Pedan obviously knew about the Mirage
    Palace.  As to what the Masked Mage actually did there - well, check out his
    conversation prior to the final fight and judge for yourself.
    
        Deathjester and Heath work for the Masked Mage.  We know absolutely nothing
    of Deathjester's background.  Heath, however, seems to be serving under the
    Masked Mage involuntarily.
    
        The Masked Mage is called "Kamen no Doushi" - Masked Officiating Monk - in
    the Japanese version of SD3.  Props to Dragon Scholar Ryu for the information.
    In the ROM, you may notice that the Masked Mage's target bracket says Kamen no
    Doushi - a little oversight by the translation team.
    
        The Masked Mage's agenda - see the Dragon's Emperor's section and replace
    his name with Masked Mage.  Only the Masked Mage is nastier because he also has
    something against humans.
    
        The last battle against the Masked Mage takes places ... somewhere ... in
    the Holyland.  If you ask me, it looks like the Dark Lich's stage is in a place
    between reality.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOTES ON THE PLOT AND GAME                                       code: gamenote
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        So how does the story REALLY go?  This question is difficult to handle, to
    say the least, because the game allows a player to choose from six characters.
    Therefore, trying to piece together who did what is nigh near impossible. My
    personal analysis is as follows:
    
    -------------------------------[CMK'S ANALYSIS]--------------------------------
    
        Angela is kicked out of Altena Castle, winds up in Jad on the last ship out
    of Elrand, and eventually meets up with the Faerie after the mandatory Astoria
    sequence.  Left without much of a choice, the Faerie chooses her as the host.
    Angela then makes her way to the Temple of Light where she meets Carlie on the
    way; however, Angela refuses to let Carlie follow her at this point.
    
        From there, the story proceeds normally to the jail sequence at Jad.  While
    there's no way of knowing for certain who might've sprung Angela from jail, I'm
    HEAVILY in favor of it being Duran.  This would explain why Duran doesn't later
    attack Angela on sight when he returns to a Forcena under siege.  It also helps
    explain how Duran already knows Angela later on - of course, he could've heard
    about Angela from the Priest of Light like all the others, so this is still up
    in the air.
    
        Again, the story proceeds normally, except Angela is by herself instead of
    in a three-person party.  It stays this way until she meets up with Duran again
    on the Molebear Highlands - Duran is there to rescue King Richard, Angela to
    meet King Richard.  Together they manage to crash the party and rescue King
    Richard; at this point Angela also hears about the Queen of Reason from King
    Richard.  Duran joins the party.
    
        The party then heads off to Rolante.  Here, they meet Lise on the mountain
    and are instructed to find Don Perignon.  More likely than not Lise did not go
    with them, as she still has to oversee preparations for the assault on the
    castle.  From there the game continues normally until the party actually storms
    Rolante itself; here the party runs across Hawk, who joins it.  After the
    Rolante assault, Lise also joins the party.  So by the time the party leaves
    Palo, it already has four members.
    
        The game continues normally until the Moonlight Forest sequence, where the
    party encounters Kevin and Lugar.  Lugar's dialogue indicates that Kevin was
    the one who defeated him, so it's possible that the party simply watched this
    fight.  Regardless, Kevin joins the party at this point.  A little later, upon
    reaching the Lampflower forest, the party runs across Carlie, who may or may
    not join at this point.  Regardless, she definitely joins the party by the time
    it leaves the forest.
    
        The game then continues until the end of the Holyland sequence.  By this
    analysis, Angela must have drawn the Sword of Mana; however, it's a rather
    sticky point as to which villain actually took it from her.  If Angela is the
    hero, logically Koren and the Darkshine Knight would have ended up with the
    sword; however, this cannot be automatically assumed.  I personally like to
    think that all three villain factions left the Holyland alive and that Bigieu
    and Jagan took the Sword (in order to revive the Dark Prince); however, this is
    mostly conjecture supported by evidence that is highly circumstantial at best.
    
        The game continues until the assault on the three separate villain factions
    and their hideouts.  According to this analysis, each party member goes after
    his or her specific enemy.  Here's how it breaks down:
    
        Angela fights Koren.
        Duran fights Koren and the Darkshine Knight.
        Hawk fights Bigieu.
        Lise fights Jagan and Bigieu.
        Kevin fights Deathjester.
        Carlie fights Deathjester and Heath.
    
        Of course this is again guesswork, and I've already been challenged on this
    point by Sephiroth1999AD.
    
        In the game, the main villain flees to the Holyland.  Each of the three
    villains ends up in the Holyland by this analysis, where said villain is
    defeated by the characters specific to his story.  Again, this is conjecture
    with little to no evidence to support it other than the observation that the
    final battle stage for each villain is different.  With the threat to the world
    removed, at least for the time being, each party member then goes his or her
    separate way.  Fin.
    
    -------------------------------[CMK'S ANALYSIS]--------------------------------
    
        There are several races in the world of SD3, as follows:
    
    Elves - Your stereotypical elf.  Very long-lived, in harmony with the forests.
            Elves dislike humans and have gone into hiding ever since the marriage
            of Leroy and Shayla ended in tragedy.  Based in the Lampflower Forest.
            Their patron spirit is Dryad.
    
    Dwarves - Dwarves hide in the earth and mine precious minerals, forging them
              into weapons and armor.  They seem to be naturally curious and
              cheerful, though certain Dwarves may be leery of humans.  They are
              associated with Gnome.
    
    Corobokkles - Um ... smurfs might be an appropriate description.  Much smaller
                  than humans and apparently quite adept at concealment.  They live
                  in the Corobokkle Forest and also apparently have no love for
                  humans.  Sucks to be human, I tell ya.
    
    Fairies - Born of the Mana Tree, the Fairies guard the Sword of Mana at the
              base of the tree.  A fairy can also become the next Mana Goddess if
              she meets the heroes who believe in her.  They draw their power from
              mana; if they choose a host, then they cannot leave until the host
              dies.  Fairies are Corobokkle size, 'xcept they have wings.  They're
              based in the Holyland.
    
    Beastmen - Shapeshifters, changing freely from human to wolf form.  For this,
               they were persecuted rather harshly and have no love for humans.
               Their patron spirit is Luna; Beastmen are sometimes raised by the
               animals in the Moonlight Forest.  They are comparatively bigger and
               stronger than the average human.  See the Beast Kingdom section if
               you want more information.
    
    Cats - Not a lot of information on the cats.  Most of them, apparently, occupy
           themselves as merchants and do business with other races.  Nikita is the
           only cat who apparently tired of the merchant life and instead ran away
           to join the Thieves' Guild in Navarre.  They seem friendly enough toward
           humans.  No clue as to where they might be based.
    
    Humans - You already know how nasty this particular lot can become.
    
        You can buy Gunpowder from Watts if you're willing to cough up 3,000 Luc (a
    pretty insane amount) at that point in the game.  This allows you to skip the
    battle against Jewel Eater for the time being.  It's kinda pointless, though,
    since King Richard sends you back for Gnome anyway.
    
        Bon Voyage is known in the Japanese version as Bonboyaji, possibly a pun -
    it could be Bomb Oyaji, or Father of Bombs.  This is from a detailed look at
    Super Play magazine scans, by the way.
    
        The world of SD3 has at least three moons, one of them much closer to the
    surface than the other two.  You can see all three moons in one of Kevin's
    concept arts.
    
        Buskaboo is a friendly goggle-wearing ... giant turtle ... who lives on
    Bucca Island and transports party characters before one acquires Flammie.  If
    the Super Play scans are reliable, then the reason Buskaboo wears that huge
    flag on its back is to warn approaching ships.  I suppose that's also why he
    toots that horn of his - what, you didn't know that you could make Buskaboo
    honk?
    
        Why would the Darkshine Knight return to the Mana Stone of Ice when it had
    already been released by the Queen of Reason?  Smiley13 had this to say:
    
        "Then again, if the Stone's been released, why would the Darkshine Knight
        be there? Maybe he's just on his way to tap the power of Undine (he left
        the Wind Mana Stone unreleased while he went after Jinn). Or maybe he's
        just there to interfere with your quest to meet the eight spirits."
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THE FORCENAN FORUM                                              code: flamewars
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        Welcome to the Forcenan forum, where matters of hot debate crop up and are
    subjected to endless scrutiny.  The section code notwithstanding, the Forcenan
    forum is NOT a place to flame your peers but rather to hold civil debate and
    discussion on matters of the game which are vague or difficult to resolve.  All
    posts are reproduced as they were written, so you're responsible for your own
    spelling/grammar.
    
    <<<When did Koren first put Valda under mind control?>>>
    
        I'm of the opinion that it started when Angela was young.  We know that the
    Queen of Reason does care very much for her daughter at heart and the game
    mentioned that she started treating Angela coldly ever since Angie was young.
    TLaG, however, had this excellent point to make:
    
        "As for when Koren actually first subjugated Valda by mind control... I
        think the event had to happen somewhat recently in the plot line. If/when
        Duran and Angela first meet and Duran inquires about Koren, Angela mentions
        something along the lines of "He used to be just like me, completely
        useless with magic. Our teacher, Jose, was always getting mad at him...".
        The way this is phrased, it seems like Angela had to be old enough the
        recall Koren's struggles in study, and thus I would believe Angela was at
        least an adolescent at the time.  Also remember that Koren is working with
        the Dragon Emperor, and likely the emperor desires to be revived
        immediately. Judging by Koren's aggressive stance at the beginning of
        Angela's intro, it seems unlikely he merely waited around with his newfound
        powers for 5+ years- and I doubt the emperor would be willing to wait that
        long himself. Rather the declining Mana powers only recently allowed the
        emperor chance to channel powers through someone else."
    
    <<<What is Hawk's relationship with Lise?>>>
    
        No topic seems to hold quite the controversy of this one, or at least this
    is the point that seems to engender the most debate.  My point of view is that
    Hawk and Lise are casual friends at best.  At the very least they might've
    gotten to know each other well during their travels, especially if they took
    the Dark Castle alone.  However, there seem to be as many viewpoints as there
    are people expressing them:
    
        Sephiroth1999AD had this comment to make:
    
        "I can't remember if you've changed what you said about Lise and Hawk in
        earlier versions of the guide, but I still think that Lise likes Hawk but
        Hawk doesn't like her back. Well actually, he might even like her back, but
        he still refuses those feelings because he wants to remain loyal to
        Jessica, even though Jessica's a total jerk and treating Hawk like trash.
        Sure, Hawk kisses Lise and Lise's totally freaked out, but do you remember
        the scene after retaking Rolante? Hawk talks a lot about Jessica, then Lise
        says, 'Is... Jessica your... never mind, I understand.' and then she makes
        a sad face. I think this shows that Lise was interested in Hawk, but she
        realises that she doesn't have a chance with Hawk since Hawk's with
        Jessica."
    
        Avsanti adds:
    
        "Between that, Lise's apparent interest in Hawk's relationship with Jessica
        and perhaps the goofy kiss, my belief (which I imagine is about as
        objective as it can be, considering I'm dissecting fictitious characters in
        a SNES game from '95) is that there was definitely something there in the
        way of developer intent.  It's not exactly the traditional arrangement,
        since yes they're both already deeply obligated, but it's interesting.  To
        me, anyway, and hopefully to at least one other person, I'd hate to think I
        was sitting here getting all deranged on my lonesome."
    
        ... It probably just comes down to whether or not you like the Hawk-Lise
    pairing.  Don't get me wrong, I like it best out of all the possible relations
    in the game, but good scholarship demands objective consideration of all the
    facts at hand.  And inevitably different people will draw different conclusions
    from the same set of facts.  So go and form your own opinion!
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS                                         code: tehfaq
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
    Q. How do you explain your analysis, CMK?
    A. Piecing together various parts of the story in a logical fashion, coupled
       with truckloads of guesswork.  The reason I think Angela is the designated
       hero is because she's the only character in the game that you might not run
       across if you don't select her.  Angela's only in-game appearance (besides
       the scene in Jad) is in Altena Castle, and only if you have Duran as the
       main character.  This could mean that Angela wasn't involved at all with the
       events of SD3, but who likes that possibility?
    
       However, I'm pretty much alone in this line of reasoning.  Practically all
       the other people who worked on this FAQ would pick Duran as the hero if they
       were forced to make a choice.
    
       Afterwards, it's not hard to figure out that each character probably joined
       the party when you first meet him or her.
    
       There is a single piece of evidence to support the notion that all six of
       characters did join the party, and that's an official artwork of them
       entering the Holyland for the first time.  Avsanti says that this was the
       cover art for the original SD3 manual; it depicts Carlie, Duran, Angela,
       Kevin, Hawk, and Lise from left to right.  Lise has an arm around Hawk's
       waist.
    
       As for the villains, this is where evidence becomes really thin and (blind)
       guesswork takes over.  Personally, I like the idea that all three villains
       were involved up to the end.  Then it's just a matter of sorting out how all
       three of them interact up to the end of the game.  Of course, there's no
       evidence to support the notion that all three villains actually survived,
       but there's also no evidence that one of the villains outlived the other two
       and knocked them out of the picture.  Besides, by this point in its career
       Squaresoft was beginning to put more emphasis on tight, logically coherent
       plots (i.e. Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger).  Giving two main villains
       an abrupt, offscreen death sounds extremely deus ex.
    
    Q. Fairy, Faery, or Faerie?
    A. Well, the game uses Faerie.  I use Fairy for the sake of simplicity, since
       that's the spelling I'm most accustomed to. (sits back and waits for angry
       fanboys to send him hate e-mails)
    
    Q. How did the Dragon Emperor destroy Pedan AFTER falling into the bottomless
       pit?
    A. Uh ... LOOK, Deathjester's coming to make you the Masked Mage's number three
       henchman!  ... Actually, that's my way of saying "I don't know." It could be
       an oversight on Square's part, or that of the translation team.  It's not as
       big a plot hole as it first seems, if you stop and think about it for a
       moment.  As noted in the Dragon Emperor's section, in spite of his defeat at
       Loki's hands he still lost none of his former power.  If anything, he came
       back with a vengeance quite swiftly.  It is therefore entirely plausible
       that he destroyed Pedan, empowered Koren, brought back Loki as the Darkshine
       Knight, etc. all within the short space of two years.  The game doesn't get
       into specifics, however, so much of it remains in the air. (Hmm ... sounds
       like potential fanfic material.)
    
    Q. Are the Mana games related?
    A. They're related in the sense that the Final Fantasy games are related.  SD3
       supposedly takes place 1,000 before the original Secret of Mana; however,
       this point is still up in the air and is a subject of much debate on the
       boards.  I personally lean towards the interpretation that SD3 did occur
       prior to Secret of Mana, but many of the contributors disagree with me.  The
       reason that this is still a hot topic is because there are good arguments
       both for and against SD3 and SoM being in the same timeline.  Without
       e-mailing SquareEnix and getting a definite reply there's no way to know.
    
       SD3 is definitely unrelated to any of the other Mana games, however.
    
       Thanatos the Great had something extra to say on this point:
    
       "You say that if SD3 and SoM are related (and I have no problem with your
       speculation as to whether they are or not), the latter takes place a
       thousand years after the former. This cannot be the case. The Goddess states
       at the end of SD3 that Mana will return to the world in a thousand years.
       This indicates that SoM would have to take place far more than a thousand
       years later, as after Mana returns to the world the Mana Tribe is founded
       and grows, the Mana War (when the Mana Fortress was first built) takes
       place, the Fortress is destroyed for the first time and civilisation is
       destroyed and ultimately recommences, as narrated in the in-game
       introduction to SoM, before the events of that game occur.
    
       "Also, you say that it's definitely unrelated to any other SD game, but if
       it's possible that it's related to SoM it's just as likely to be related to
       Mystic Quest (the European and frankly better title of Final Fantasy
       Adventure)."
    
       To which herocatholic replied:
    
       "that's a game typo, not CMk's"
    
       ... I wasn't aware of any game typos.
    
    Q. What's with the Light and Dark system of class changes?  Why would, say, a
       Rune Maiden be darker than a Valkyrie?
    A. Are you ready for this?  Brace yourself; the Light and Dark system of class
       changing is really just a shoddy fan insertion.  I don't think the game
       itself ever mentions Light or Dark class changes.  And besides, the question
       is a perfectly valid one.  Why would a Rune Maiden be darker than a Valk?
       Why would a Ninja Master be more Light-aligned than a Ninja?
    
       Heck, even in the original SD3 manuals, class changes that are split by
       branch have the Light-Dark class change on the same row as the Light class
       change, and likewise for the Dark-Light class change.  We simply use the
       Light and Dark notation because it's ingrained by now.  Incidentally, scans
       from old Super Play magazines show the classes as labeled Bright and Dark.
    
       The scans describe Bright trademarks as being characterized by honor,
       holiness, healing, defensive power, self-strengthening magic, and adherence
       to lawfulness.  Dark characteristics include self-interest, necromancy,
       summoning, destruction, offensive power, enemy-weakening magic, and chaos.
    
    Q. Will SquareEnix ever release Seiken Densetsu 3 in the West?
    A. We can only hope.  Now that the first Seiken Densetsu game has been remade
       as Sword of Mana and that SquareEnix has announced a new Seiken Densetsu
       project, rumor suggests that SD3 will finally be brought West.  Keep your
       fingers crossed!
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CREDITS                                                         code: honorroll
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        Drum roll, please?  Here are all the contributors who have pooled knowledge
    to make this document a richer, better plot guide.  This FAQ simply would not
    be the same without their tireless work and generous spirits.  Some made many
    journeys through the game questing after a single priceless bit of information;
    others searched no less hard through the vast, uncharted Internet in pursuit of
    the same goal.  In many ways, this document represents the culmination of years
    of our painstaking research and combined work.  If I missed your name, by all
    means let me know!  Thank you everyone.
    
    TLaG (winner of the Loki Badge of Total Ownage):
        <rgm6@po.cwru.edu>
        Talks - THROWS Like a Girl, excuse me (sorry TLaG, couldn't resist).  One
        of the Big Three who contributed much of what goes into this guide, at
        least half of which wouldn't exist were it not for his work.  TLaG's many
        accomplishments cannot be fully noted here, but they include much dialogue
        script, various and sundry pieces of information, and besides which he's
        just that great a person to speak with.  He's been a steady source of
        encouragement when many of us have felt that it would be better to give the
        project up.  Bravo TLaG - the Loki Badge is well-earned.
    
    Nadia (winner of the Rabite Merit Award):
        <smarle@hotmail.com>
        The Lover of the Disgustingly Kawaii also finds a well-earned spot.  Nadia
        wins the Rabite award for her many well-thought and insightful comments on
        the game, as well as being able to describe the differences between the
        original Japanese version and the U.S. text.  She is the second member of
        the Big Three without whom this guide would never have been published.  Her
        unwavering support helped see the document through to completion and her
        contributions have doubtlessly enriched it greatly.  Many thanks, Nadia.
    
    Dragon Scholar Ryu (winner of the Forcenan Library Commendation):
        <TheDragonScholar@aol.com>
        Last but most certainly not least, Dragon Scholar Ryu rounds out the Big
        Three.  He wins the Forcenan Library Commendation because, simply put, he
        is a walking, breathing, posting treasure trove of information on the game.
        As the resident Japanese expert, his main contributions are in the fields
        of regional differences and translation notes.  He also deserves credit for
        the exceptionally high quality of his research as well as for being patient
        in spite of my many mistakes.  My hat goes off to you, Dragon Scholar!
    
        In Dragon Scholar's own words on e-mail policy:
    
        "Please note, all e-mails with embedded and/or attached pictures and/or
        files will automatically be refused and returned to sender. It's also
        generally better to put a specific subject on the e-mail, otherwise I might
        accidentally mistake it for spam. Whee, the 'simplistic convenience' of
        e-mail, neh?"
    
    Sephiroth1999AD:
        He always posted thought-provoking discussion on the story as well as doing
        detailed analysis of his own.
    
    Matt620:
        <Grails8827@aol.com>
        Matt620 contributed many useful tidbits of information and was kind enough
        to repost his material when I short-sightedly forgot to add it.  Ah, how we
        love the GameFAQs auto-purge ...
    
    Subliminal Message (winner of the Gold Goddess Statue award):
        <lueboard@gmail.com>
        For various contributions, as well as keeping a near-comprehensive archive
        of old threads that fell due to (my) forgetfulness.  Also for being a board
        spicer to us jaded veterans of Seiken Densetsu 3.
    
    Marx:
        He pointed out some errors that I had made earlier in the guide.  Also made
        a few important contributions.
    
    suicine girl (winner of the Angel Grail Motif):
        Resident Sword of Mana master.  She also kept the old topics alive in spite
        of general neglect, and thus saved much of the information that appears in
        this guide.
    
    Demon Wolf:
        He helped keep the first thread alive.  Also gets an honorary mention as
        the so-called "board spicer" of the message boards.
    
    Kahran042:
        Provided the answer to the question on how long ago Pedan was destroyed.
    
    herocatholic:
        Besides being a good party balancer on the SD3 boards, he also contributed
        a significant amount of material to the guide.  And even though I forgot to
        credit him in the initial release, he still kept contributing!  He's such a
        nice guy, isn't he?
    
    Richforce:
        <richforce@adelphia.net>
        Two details, one on the origin of the word Magus, and one reminding me of a
        similarity between Jagan and the character Hiel of Yu Yu Hakusho.
    
    Doublespell:
        For miscellaneous (but nonetheless astute) observations into the guide.  He
        also sparked some lively and productive debates on the threads which led to
        more material for the FAQ.
    
    Thanatos the Great:
        For his comments on the continuity in the Mana series, which is still a hot
        topic of debate.  Perhaps the Forcenan forum should be brought back ...?
    
    Urban Philosopher:
        He caught a (rather massive) typo in the guide.
    
    Skygor
        <dpgorski@yahoo.com>
        He added a good deal of material on the various classes that the heroes can
        change into.
    
    Smiley13:
        He made an excellent point on the Darkshine Knight in the Sub-Zero fields.
    
    Avsanti:
        <avsanti@hotmail.com>
        Thanks for various tidbits on Hawk and Lise, as well as finding the rare
        art of the SD3 heroes entering the Mana Holyland.
    
    Child of Mana website:
        http://childofmana.tripod.com/sd3main.htm
        Unfortunately Child of Mana is officially no more, but it still contains a
        good deal of useful information stored away in its archives.  Most of the
        Super Play information comes from scans on this website.
    
    Lilcorner website:
        http://www.lilcorner.net/sd3/
        Sadly, last I checked, it was deceased.  This is truly a pity, as most of
        the information for the class change descriptions comes directly from this
        site.  R.I.P.
    
    Mana Knight's SD3 website:
        http://mmxz.zophar.net/rpg/mana2/som2.html
        If equipment name conflicts could not be resolved, this was the source to
        consult.  It has very comprehensive item databases and is a good stop for
        any writer doing research into the game.
    
    Neill Cortlett:
        http://www.neillcorlett.com/sd3
        He programmed the American translation of Seiken Densetsu 3, without which
        only Nadia and Dragon Scholar Ryu would be enjoying the game.  And rather
        than taking the easy way out, Neill had to deal with a variable-width font.
        Congratulations, Neill.
    
    Nuku-Nuke, Lina-Chan, SoM2Freak:
        These three dedicated souls did the actual translating of the game, and
        they did a superb job of it too.  You know that great quotes such as "My
        friends call me Papa Smurf!" "When Carlie sleepy-sleepy, I saw a sparkle-
        sparkle" and "It's not alcohol, it's ... um ... holy water!  Yeah!" would
        never appear in an official translation.
    
    Microsoft:
        Okay, so it's popular to hate Microsoft.  But anyone who's ever played the
        Age of Empires/Age of Mythology games will discover that the boys who work
        for Big B. are VERY thorough about their research, and I used some of their
        work as mythology references.
    
    Squaresoft:
        Without Squaresoft, we wouldn't have this game.  With rumors flying that
        SquareEnix's next Mana project might very well be a remake of Seiken
        Densetsu 3, we'll be watching announcements closely.  Thanks for all the
        great memories, Square.
    
    CJayC:
        For hosting GameFAQs.com, your one-stop source for gaming information on
        the Internet.
    
    Leo Chan:
        For hosting Neoseeker.com, a great place for just about anything related to
        computers.
    
    ===============================================================================
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CONTACT INFORMATION                                               code: talk2me
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ===============================================================================
    
        My e-mail address is stephen_y_hsu@yahoo.com, just like it says on the
    header.  Be warned: if you e-mail me with information and it later appears in
    this FAQ, your name will appear in the credits section and your e-mail along
    with it UNLESS you specifically request for the e-mail address to be omitted.
    If you contributed something but don't see your name in the credits, please by
    all means send an e-mail and claim what belongs to you.
    
        I'm generally open to e-mail, even if it's as minor a matter as a spelling
    correction.  Please don't contact me about the other Mana games.  I probably
    don't know anything worthwhile about them.
    
        Anybody and everybody is welcomed to contribute to this document; however,
    if you want to assert a point, please back it up with evidence.
                       __
                      / /
      _              / /
     | |            / /
     | |===========/ /------------------------------------------------------,
     |O| | | | | |<-O>------------- stephen_y_hsu@yahoo.com ---------------/
     | |===========\ \----------------------------------------------------'
     |_|            \ \
                     \ \
                      \_\