This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by email@example.com (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.
The player-namable hero is a child who grew up in the little village of
Potos, out in the middle of nowhere it seems. He was raised by the
villagers there, since his parents just left you in the care of the
village before they mysteriously disappeared. One day, while out in
areas which were forbidden for the townspeople to enter, he gets
separated from his friends and found a strange sword stuck in stone -
calling his name. He take the sword, but when he does, the area becomes
invaded with evil creatures who fight back against the villagers. Turns
out, the sword the hero took was protecting the town, and so, without
the sword and with the hero being held responsible, the townspeople
drive him out of town. The hero's adventures lead him into a long quest
which turns into a journey to save the world from an evil being named
Thanatos, who is trying to revive an ancient device of destruction known
as the "Mana Fortress".
The whole Secret of Mana series was Square Soft's first real venture
into creating adventure games instead of RPGs. In this game, the player
gets a variety of different weapons, and over the course of the game
have to improve them in order to get farther into the game. Your main
character will not alone on your quest, two others - a girl and a sprite
- will eventually join the party, and you can assign these characters to
being either computer-controlled or you can have up to two other people
playing the same game at the same time.