Children of Mana gets delivery date

Nintendo DS action role-playing game from Project Mana should hit Japanese stores in February.

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TOKYO--Square Enix's much-beloved action role-playing Seiken Densetsu games (most familiar in the US as the series springing from the Super Nintendo's Secret of Mana) seem to come few and far between, so fans will no doubt be pleased to learn that the first installment in more than two years is scheduled for release in early 2006.

Square Enix today announced that Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana has been scheduled for a February 23 release in Japan, with a price of 5,040 yen ($42). No American release has been announced for the game yet.

Seiken Densetsu DS is apparently related to the original Game Boy release from 1991, which was released in the US as Final Fantasy Adventure and remade for the Game Boy Advance as Sword of Mana. The game will take place on the island of Illusia, known for a huge Mana tree that has been present since ancient times. According to legend, Illusia was once the center of a catastrophe that spread around the world, causing death and chaos throughout the globe. However, the world was saved thanks to a boy, a girl, and a holy sword.

At the outset of Children of Mana, years have passed, and the world has returned to peace. Players will take control of three children--a young swordsman named Frick, a boy named Pop, and a female dancer named Tumble--and embark on a journey to discover the secrets of Mana.

Seiken Densetsu DS: Children of Mana features a number of big-name staffers working on it. Producer Kouichi Ishii has worked on previous Seiken Densetsu titles, as well as Final Fantasy I, II, III, and XI. The game's scenario is being handled by Masahito Katou (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears), with character designs by Nao Ikeda (Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance). Kenji Ito (Romancing Saga series) will serve as the game's music producer, with assistance provided by Masaharu Iwata (Fantasy Zone, Ogre Battle) and Takayuki Aihara (Ridge Racer series, Soul Edge).

While Seiken Densetsu DS will be a handheld game, it will feature animated sequences courtesy of Production IG. In addition to working on film and television properties like Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1, Production IG has provided animation for numerous games, including Tales of Legendia, Namco x Capcom, and Surveillance.

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