Ring Ring Land is a portable minigame for Legend of Mana playable on the Sony PocketStation™. Its initial release was exclusive to Japan, though the game itself exists on the disc of other releases, only with the code in Legend of Mana that handled interfacing with it removed. It’s a "new" feature of the Legend of Mana remake for PlayStation 4, Steam, and Nintendo Switch.
For the uninitiated, the PocketStation is a Sony peripheral similar to Sega’s VMU released around the same time. It’s essentially a memory card that has a small 1-bit LCD screen and 5 buttons generally useful as directional buttons and an action button, with a 1-channel PCM speaker and IR blaster/receiver, powered by a coin cell battery. More or less think of a memory card having a baby with a Tamagotchi and ending up programmable as anything from a small gaming handheld to a universal remote. A modest roster of Japanese games came with PocketStation data on the disc, which could be uploaded into memory card blocks and interpreted by the PocketStation as game data. Despite plans to sell it outside Japan, Sony was unable to keep up with Japanese demand and those plans never came to fruition due in part to the American release of (and strong cutover to) the PlayStation 2. In effect, because the US is quick to adopt a new console generation and quickly loses interest in the previous one, they failed to release in time to grab the market that would have existed only a year earlier, where Japan, because they have much more lingering interest in the prior generation, was a market that still was gobbling them up two years into the PS2’s lifecycle when production ended. Some worldwide releases have fully intact code for their PocketStation integrations; others had key portions of it removed or otherwise intentionally disabled and can be restored via hacks, revealing as much as full translations; others had it removed entirely or otherwise left it in an unusable state. Most Americans know of it mainly as an artifact of Final Fantasy VIII due to Chocobo World being mentioned in the manual. However, back then, it was much harder and more expensive to import things from overseas, so while FF8 is one of the handful of games with the full code intact, few Americans ever got to enjoy it until the PC release. The PocketStation interface and many of its games are at least partially in English. Used units now are relatively inexpensive and easy to procure in working condition.
Ring Ring Land can be compared to the Pokéwalker from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver in that you send a pet monster into the game and that removes it from the roster in the main game, and playing it allows you to easily train your pet and earn rewards that can be transferred back into the main game. That’s where the similarities end. Ring Ring Land is a board game controlled by a reel system and populated with information from the source save file in Legend of Mana.
To play Ring Ring Land, you’ll need either the Legend of Mana remake for PS4, Switch, and/or Steam, or an imported PocketStation, a PC, some hardware to make them communicate, and either a downloaded copy of Ring Ring Land or, if you care about getting the most out of it, a functioning PSX emulator or modded console and a game hack. This guide will not cover the intricacies of either route, but suffice it to say that the former is going to be much easier and the latter is very much an enthusiast endeavor that can easily veer into questionable legality depending on your methods. I’ll just say for the vintage method I’d prefer everyone did it the hard way and there are plenty of resources on how to do it that way on the Internet that I’m sure you can find. Either way, this guide will begin when you have a way of playing, or if you’re just here to see what it’s all about first.
Once you have your method of play sorted, you’ll need to play Legend of Mana far enough to get a Pet). If all you have are eggs, you’ll need to hatch something first. The interface is accessible within the Monster Barn in Home‘s Monster Corral area.
To send a Pet to Ring Ring Land, head to the Monster Corral and into the Monster Barn. There will be a PocketStation icon (if you’re not familiar with this, it’s the white thing with the screen). Select that and then choose "Going out." This will either send a Pet and Ring Ring Land to the PocketStation, or if Ring Ring Land already exists on it, it will pull down your items and update it with your current Pet and progress. Using "Welcome" will download your Pet and loot from the PocketStation, and will delete Ring Ring Land from it until you send a Pet out again. To use the rest of this guide, you’ll need to send a Pet out or otherwise have an active Ring Ring Land save.
Be absolutely sure to save after all of these operations or your progress will be lost! It’s an interface between two non-networked systems and it’s not magic. This might be better in the remaster, but for the original, it’s up to you to avoid bitter tears.
Once you (otherwise known as "the player") have Ring Ring Land ready to go, select the title screen on the PocketStation interface, or start it up on the interface provided by the remaster. There will be a secondary title screen, and then beyond that you can choose "START" to start the game or "ITEM" to review your collected loot. Loot review will be covered later in the guide.
The player chooses a side to start on, with Home subsequently being placed on the far corner of that side. This is purely for the player’s preference in how they view the board and does not have a gameplay impact. The player can then select 1-3 Laps to customize their risk vs. reward. After that, the Pet is dropped at Home on the board. The player can then survey the board with the directional buttons to choose whether to take the high road or the low road based on what they find in either direction. They may also survey before each subsequent move to adjust their strategy for the tiles ahead. A Lap is completed when the Pet traverses the full figure-eight and arrives back at Home. The center tile connecting the rings will be traversed twice in the process and cannot be used as a turning point; the Pet will only turn at the corners to follow the path in straight lines. Once the player confirms the direction of travel with the up and down directional buttons as indicated by an arrow and the direction the Pet faces, the word "START" briefly displays over the screen and the game begins.
The Pet will start with 3/3 hearts, with current number of hearts indicated as the number next to the heart icon at the bottom right. Pet level does not grant any movement or combat bonuses. Everything in the game is controlled by one or more horizontal reels of numbers, generally 1-6 in a randomized repeating loop, with duplicate values scattered throughout. This simple band of black digits is a bit better than three digits wide, with a central square of inverted colors representing the current value. Your reel’s order stays consistent for each play session, but changes whenever a new game is started. Using the action button will stop the reel 2 or occasionally 3 spaces from the current central number, so keeping track of the order of numbers is important for strategizing. The reel will also stop on its own after several seconds, giving a time limit to the player.
This is really all you need to know to start playing, but if you’re looking for a deeper dive or come back later wondering what the heck you just encountered, that’s what the rest of this guide is for! Or if you just want to know whether it’s worth it, skip to the Mini-Review.
The board consists of a figure-eight of 31 isometric tiles arranged in two diamonds (hence the name, as the board is two rings). The short edges are thus 5 tiles from corner to corner and the inner strips are 9 tiles from corner to corner with the center tile (or overlapping corners) in the middle.
For the purpose of this guide, Home is considered "tile 0" since it’s not counted in the initial movement. "Tile 1" would be the first tile moved to if the reel fell on a "1" starting from Home, making all "even" tiles the corners and midway points of the board and "odd" tiles the spaces between them. If you move an even number of spaces for every move on the board, you will always land on a corner, the center tile, or a midpoint between them.
Choosing the high or low road is not a meaningless affair because of how the board is populated. Importing a Pet also imports information on the discovered Lands from the source save file, which are functionally divided into Towns and Dungeons. Playing early in the main game will show a rather bare board, but a highly progressed game will be full of special considerations on the tiles. Lands only fall on even tiles.
Ring Ring Land will place all available Towns randomly on the corners and center tile, with Home being placed by the player at game start for the game to work around. There are ultimately 6 Towns and Home, so none of them will compete for a position. Lands considered as Towns include Domina, Gato Grottoes, Lumina, Geo, Orchard, and Polpota Harbor. Towns will heal the Pet 1 heart for landing on them and are safe spots. If the Pet is at full hearts, nothing happens.
Home is a "special" Town whose effect differs by version. In the PocketStation version, simply touching it even in passing will heal the Pet 1 heart if needed, and landing on it exactly it will also increase the Pet’s max hearts by +1 to carry into subsequent Laps, though neither will activate when it counts as the finish line of the final Lap. This means landing on Home at full hearts will first increase max hearts and then heal 1 heart regardless of the value since there will always be something to heal. Passing Home at full hearts will do nothing. In the remake version, passing it remains the same, but landing on it will either refill all hearts, or if hearts are already at full, then and only then will it grant an additional heart.
Dungeons will be randomly placed in the 8 midpoints between the corners and center, or, if there aren’t enough Towns, will sometimes take a Town position. There are up to 19 Dungeons available at one time fighting for placement – more than enough to fill the 14 non-Home Land tiles of the board, if you could somehow manage to avoid Domina being the first stop in the game. Dungeons include Luon Highway, Mekiv Caverns, Lake Kilma, SS Buccaneer), White Forest, Ulkan Mines, Madora Beach, Fieg Snowfields, Jungle, The Underworld/The Flames, Norn Peaks, Bejeweled City, Lucemia, Tower of Leires, Duma Desert, Junkyard, Mindas Ruins, Bone Fortress, and Tree of Mana. Ring Ring Land has one nice little touch in that if the current save has The Flames active instead of The Underworld, that status will be reflected in the Dungeon placed, and the two are mutually exclusive (i.e. why there are only 19 fighting for placement despite there being 20 total representations). However, it does not track the state of Lucemia. Active Lucemia and fallen Lucemia are visually and functionally identical in Ring Ring Land and Lucemia is not removed from consideration after it falls despite its Mana no longer being shown in the main game. Dungeons are not necessarily safe spots and may contain a friendly Elemental Spirit, who will grant a Coin of their element, or a chest, which is most often trapped.
Event tiles can populate anything that would otherwise be a blank tile, most often sticking to odd tiles regardless of Lands, and are marked by a large, flashing question mark. Up to 3 may be placed, or none at all.
Any blank tile is an automatic battle, which will provide EXP and possibly an item reward. Every odd tile will for sure be blank unless it’s an Event tile.
All in all, an advanced main game will leave the board with 7 places to heal up, 8 potential reward squares, and 16 squares that are either battles or have 0-3 mostly beneficial random events carved out of them. That makes it essentially a coin toss whether you’re going to do battle if you’re simply hitting buttons and hoping for the best, but if you strategize, you can quickly reap good rewards by making it through more Laps. Conversely, the chance of battles is far greater in an early main game, making it much more difficult to complete additional Laps, but allowing for fast training even in one Lap with little strategy. It makes for an organic sense of progress and Ring Ring Land essentially grows with you, changing its purpose to better fit your needs as you gain experience in playing both it and Legend of Mana. Early on in Legend of Mana, EXP is going to be the hardest thing to gain, especially for Pets, and you won’t have facilities to really enjoy the item rewards Ring Ring Land provides. Once you’re in a more comfortable position in Legend of Mana, you have the option to bask in rewards instead, or to use your facilities to train even harder. It’s excellent design, almost poetic.
Movement is handled with the reel, and the number selected is the number of tiles your Pet will move in the direction it’s facing. Landing on a tile will activate whatever may be on that tile. Progression through the board is handled as movement forward, only turning at the corners to follow the path forward. No detours, no backtracking, no making any turns at the center. It’s about as straightforward as you can get.
Each Lap will give increased rewards for the increased risk of the longer play session. Lap 2 will give better rewards than Lap 1, and Lap 3 will give the best rewards. Selecting more Laps doesn’t do anything to increase rewards in earlier Laps; you have to make it through for the payoff and you can’t tap out early. A Lap is completed by reaching Home. Home also serves as the finish line for the final Lap. Make it to the finish line and you win!
When a battle ensues, a gravelly sweep will sound and a large "VS" will slide in from both sides and meet in the middle. The word "BATTLE" will slide down from the top as the background begins to flash and your Pet appears on the right opposite the opponent. Battles use a similar reel to movement, and your Pet will be presented with yours above its head as it winds up. However, the enemy will have its own reel running in the opposite direction, presented with the enemy winding theirs up at the bottom before both monsters and reels are presented on the same screen. Pressing the action button or waiting several seconds will slow both to a stop much like movement, though not necessarily in sync with each other, and once both reels are at rest, the dueling parties will state their number in a small word bubble. The higher number wins.
If the Pet’s number is higher, the screen with show your Pet with "WIN" in big letters bouncing out at you in sequence while the background flashes. Your Pet will be given an EXP reward of crystals that bounce in from the left (the opponent’s direction) followed by a screen of the value won and current total, and possibly an item reward, displayed as an icon for the type with one or more stars flashing above it.
If the Pet’s number is lower, the Pet will face away from you with a black "X" over a white background and the word "LOSE" drops from the top and slightly bounces once. The Pet loses 1 heart (the number will decrement and the heart icon will slowly flash a few times) and gains no rewards.
If the numbers match, it’s a draw and nothing is gained or lost. A large word bubble with both parties sharing the tail with the word "DRAW" zig-zagging its letters appears above the combatants.
Interestingly enough, this setup is intended to be friendly to the player, as Japanese media generally depicts the victor on the right, with roots in classical Japanese theater. Given the overall friendly tone of the game in general, and the game also defaulting the player to start from the right side of the board, it seems they wanted it to feel low-stakes.
Each type of monster is represented by a single "frontman" of sorts, both for the Pet and enemies on the board. Each monster type has an advantage against another type, which occurs in four distinct cycles. This advantage adds a +1 to all values in their battle reel.
Monster type representatives are:
Enemy type advantages are:
|Monster||+1 Bonus vs. Monster|
|Skull Beast||Chobin Hood|
|Chess Knight||Skull Beast|
|Chobin Hood||Chess Knight|
In addition, there’s a Machine Golem) boss upon reaching Home after 3 Laps. This boss generally uses a reel of 4-9, making it much harder to defeat, though it’s able to go as low as 3. The event is important enough you’ll see it spin down from the sky to approach your Pet upon reaching the finish line. If you win the battle, your Pet will be rewarded with two large EXP crystals and a 4-star Mineral or Bag. However, losing causes 2 hearts of damage rather than the normal 1. It’s not weak to or strong against any Pet type. Additionally, the player’s own Machine Golems are not eligible to travel to Ring Ring Land.
Elemental Spirits visibly float over tiles they occupy with a simple animation, and appear exclusively over Dungeons. Unlike in Legend of Mana, there’s no need to serenade and catch them here. They grant their Coin freely by showing you the icon and rating while standing next to it (they do not stand next to it in other areas). Elemental Spirits appear based on the Mana values of the Land in Legend of Mana and only appear when the corresponding Mana value is maxed at 3. If an Elemental Spirit isn’t visible on the Dungeon, a chest will be granted instead. Having an Elemental Spirit on a Dungeon makes it a safe tile. It won’t heal like a Town, but there’s nothing but benefit for landing on it.
Upon landing on an unoccupied Dungeon tile, a shining chest graphic will appear. Chests contain items. They also most often contain traps. If there is no trap, then the reward is simply given. Not all chests are trapped and disarming the trap in a previous Lap may carry over to one or more subsequent Laps.
When a trap is present, after the chest graphic displays, a spiny cartoon word bubble with "TRAP!" in the center will flash. Upon confirmation, three numbers will appear near the bottom of the screen. These are the numbers to avoid, as they will activate the trap! Selecting anything that isn’t one of those numbers will avoid the traps and provide the reward. Traps come in three types: boxing glove, bomb, and battle. No indication of which is offered before you trip it.
Boxing Glove Trap
Upon triggering this trap, a boxing glove graphic will shoot up from the bottom left or right corner and flash before going into a slight bounce animation waiting for confirmation. Activating a boxing glove trap will knock the Pet a handful of spaces back on the board, generally 4-5 spaces. You don’t get the item, but the chest will still be on that tile with the same numbers to avoid. Sometimes the offending digit will be disarmed and therefore safe, but not always. This is the most common trap type and does not damage the Pet’s hearts or exclude them from the loot. However, it puts additional tiles between the Pet and the finish line, which may mean more battles or other hazards. It also is not kind enough to stop the Pet at the corners; the tile count is purely numeric with no exceptions. The tile the Pet lands on will not activate and the player is free to move again immediately.
Upon triggering this trap, a dusty explosion with the word "BOMB!" in the center will blow up. A bomb trap will damage the Pet 1 heart. This does not grant the item. Thankfully, it seems to be the rarest trap type.
Triggering a battle trap will activate a battle using normal mechanics, with normal graphics and sounds. The chest item is not granted, but the Pet will earn EXP and potentially items as per normal upon winning.
Three types of event are known, each relating to an NPC from Legend of Mana. Landing on an Event square seems to produce a consistent result each time and Niccolo seems to be most commonly placed on the board.
Duelle the Onion Knight, bestower of the Chumpy) name, will increase the values in all your Pet’s reels by +1 for the remainder of the Lap. However, this bonus ends upon reaching Home, making it most useful if it’s early in the Lap.
Mr. Moti (PocketStation only)
Mr. Moti, notable dancing machine and man behind 90% of all desks and counters in Fa’Diel, will increase your Pet’s max hearts by +1 and heal 1 heart, just like landing exactly on Home.
Sproutling (remake only)
Just like Home itself is changed in the remake, so is the effect, and not only the effect, but the character, switching Mr. Moti for a Sproutling who will either heal all hearts or grant +1 heart if hearts are already at max.
Famed (or is it infamous?) traveling merchant Niccolo will appear and swap an item from your stock for a different item. If you have no items saved up, he’ll simply give one. In true Niccolo fashion, some have noted he’s not above exchanging a good item for a lesser one, though it seems purely random and the items he gives tend to be low-quality in general. It’s possible this is more to do with the greater number of low-quality items and that his selection of item to grant is itself purely random, as he can also give items of equal or greater value. Smile!
Rewards from battles and chests are rated in several tiers. EXP is measured in crystals much like Legend of Mana, while items are 1-4 stars. Rewards are generally increased in subsequent Laps, with EXP growing greatly, and item rewards being dropped more frequently and better items on offer as you go.
EXP crystals come in small (base value 1) and large (base value 10) upon winning a battle. Crystals can be mixed and matched. The possible base values are 1, 2, 10, 11, and, for the Machine Golem boss, 20. This base value is then multiplied by your Pet’s level and the Lap number for the final value. EXP is assigned even if the Pet is max level – it just won’t do anything for a max level Pet when it returns to Legend of Mana.
Pets do not level up while inside Ring Ring Land. However, the EXP they’ve earned is applied upon returning to the Monster Barn. Pets may level up multiple times depending on the EXP collected and will eat what’s in their feed box for the first level-up like normal. If the EXP earned is not enough to level up, they won’t. It’s up to the player to manage this.
Up to 50 items may be collected during play. If an additional item is awarded, the player can choose what to drop or to forego the new item. Items can be checked in lieu of starting a game in the main menu, which also displays the total count of them. While items are only listed by their type and rank, the game keeps data on the specific identity of each item as it’s awarded, which is revealed when the Pet returns to Legend of Mana, unlike other games that generate them on import.
Reviewing your collection of items is as simple as choosing the type and then scrolling through them with the left and right buttons. Items can be discarded by pressing the action button and then going through a confirmation screen (which mercifully defaults to "no"). The category can be exited with the up and down buttons.
Items come in four types: Mineral, Seed, Bag, and Coin. They’re ranked 1-4 stars based on quality. Coins are only ranked as 2 or 4 stars, as there are only two types (Silver and Gold). The following is a full list of possible items in the PSX version (the remake may have differences to be noted). Note that not all items have been confirmed to appear in a given circumstance and some may require unknown circumstances. "Normal means" of getting them are considered to be battle rewards and chests. It’s unknown whether Niccolo can provide items not accessible from those, or whether a particular item might be exclusive to battle drops or chests. However, battles are always available and chests are available as soon as you find your first Dungeon, providing reliable sources of procurement, where Niccolo may or may not be available during a course.
Minerals are your friendly Metal components for weapon and armor forging in the Equipment Smithy. They’re generally available through normal means.
|Star Rating||Item List|
|★||MenosBronze, ForensaIron, GranzSteel|
|★★★||VizelGold, MaiaLead, Orihalcon|
|★★★★||IshePlatinum, LorimaIron, AltenaAlloy|
Seeds) are your friend when growing Produce) to feed your Pets, color your Golems, and whatever you might do with forging. They can be fed to Trent in the Orchard or Home’s functionally identical and more immediately accessible Backyard Orchard. They’re generally available through normal means.
|Star Rating||Item List|
|★||Round Seed, Oblong Seed, Crooked Seed|
|★★||Big Seed, Small Seed, Long Seed|
Bags are a mishmash of basically everything else you can possibly get in the game, generally accessible through normal means. This is where you’ll find the other 20 of the 23 non-equipment item types in Legend of Mana that aren’t covered under the Mineral, Seed, and Coin categories. Here you’ll find the likes of Wood and Stone for forging, Produce and Meat for feeding Pets, and any number of odds and ends used for various crafting purposes. This table groups them in manageable pools that strive to avoid empty cells and retain a general sense of their purpose in Legend of Mana, as well as the way the game’s encyclopedia organizes them.
Segue into a Legend of Mana mini-segment!
Forging Materials covers the Primary Material designation (which includes Metal) and are variously suitable for the creation of weapons and armor (which also includes what other games would deem accessories). Basically, don’t overthink it too much. Legend of Mana is reasonable about what goes into a weapon, hat, or whatever else you might create. This column contains Wood, Stone, Hide, Scales, Bone, Cloth, and Aerolite in that order.
Mana Power covers Mana Stones and Mana Crystals. These are some pretty fancy items overall and a boon for forging. You’ll want a guide in your lap to learn how to best use them.
Pet Feed consists of Produce and Meat. These can be used for other purposes such as catching Pet eggs (which walk around like Sheldon of "Garfield and Friends"), smearing them on a Machine Golem to color it, and tempering (like basically all items, but why, though?).
Tempering Materials covers basically everything else. You can’t really do much with these items and their effects are at best esoteric, so get your recipe guide and sit down to enjoy the fruits of someone else crunching hundreds of hours of math and experimentation. These are, hopefully, in order (deep breath), Fangs & Claws, Eyes, and Feathers (which I collectively call "monster bits" even though Eyes are supposedly suspiciously detailed rocks), and Bottles, Vials, Urns, Pellets, Powders, and Pouches (which I deem mostly fit under "containers" and are mostly differentiated by how scary the contents are).
Back to Ring Ring Land.
If there are any complaints about where things are placed, please, absolutely make a correction.
|Star Rating||Forging Materials||Mana Power||Pet Feed||Tempering Additives|
|★||OakWood, BaobabWood, Marble, AnimalHide, FishScales, AnimalBone, ToppleCotton, JacobiniRock||Animal Meat, Bug Meat, Lizard Meat, Fish Meat, Bird Meat, Rotten Meat||Scissors, Little Eye, Acid, Stinky Breath, Moss, Baked Roach, Blackened Bat, Sulpher, Rust, Ash, Hairball, Needle|
|★★||HollyWood, EbonyWood, MapleWood, AshWood, FossilWood, Obsidian, GatorSkin, HalleyRock, AnkhRock||Firestone, Windstone, Earthstone, Waterstone||Diceberry, Loquat-Shoes, Pear o’Heels, Squalphin, Citrisquid, Peach Puppy, Apricat, Applesocks, Whalamato, Fishy Fruit, Rhinoloupe, Honey Onion, Sweet Moai, Spiny Carrot, Cornflower, Needlettuce, Lilipods, Bumpkin, Heart Mint, Spade Basil, Dialaurel, Gold Clover, Morph Meat, Demon Meat, Odd Meat||Poison Fang, Healing Claw, Zombie Claw, Vampire Fang, Sleepy Eye, Silly Eye, Dangerous Eye, Angry Eye, Blank Eye, Creepy Eye, Wicked Eye, Raven Feather, Clear Feather, Moth Wing, Flaming Quill, White Feather, Holy Water, Ether, Mercury, Ghost’s Howl, Electricity, Ear of Wheat, Poison Powder, Sleepy Powder, Knockout Dust, Grave Dirt, Mirror Piece, Wad of Wool|
|★★★||PedanStone, Coral, Emerald, Pearl, LapisLazuli, DragonScales, Fossil, Sultan’sSilk, VinekRock, TuttleRock||Sun Crystal, Moon Crystal, Glow Crystal, Chaos Crystal||Bellgrapes, Mangolephant, Springanana, Pine o’Clock, Boarmelon, Orcaplant, Garlicrown, Conchurnip, Cabbadillo, Cherry Bombs, Masked Potato, Rocket Papaya, Orange’opus, Dragon Steak, Magical Meat||Giant’s Horn, Angel Feather, Aroma Oil, Dragon Blood, Dragon Breath, Virgin’s Sigh, Messy Scroll|
|★★★★||DiorWood, Gaeus’sTears, NemesisRock, BiellaRock, SwifteRock, Adamantite, Fullmetal||Mush-in-a-Box||Sharp Claw|
Coins are NOT available from normal means, or Niccolo. They are exclusively given by their respective Elemental Spirit when visiting a Dungeon if an Elemental Spirit is visible. Coins are essential for forging magical instruments in the Instrument Workshop.
|Star Rating||Item List|
|★★||Wisp Silver, Shade Silver, Dryad Silver, Aura Silver, Sala Silver, Gnome Silver, Jinn Silver, Undine Silver|
|★★★★||Wisp Gold, Shade Gold, Dryad Gold, Aura Gold, Sala Gold, Gnome Gold, Jinn Gold, Undine Gold|
Ending the Game
If the game must be ended early, holding the action button allows you to choose "CONTINUE" or "EXIT" as core PocketStation functionality. All changes since the last successful play are lost. If you intend to come back to it later, it can simply be left for the screen to time out. You can then pick up where you left off instead of losing progress.
Losing the game happens when your Pet runs out of hearts. You’ll be presented with a black screen with the words "GAME OVER" in square letters vertically squishing and stretching in the center. All changes since the last successful play are voided.
Winning occurs by making it through all Laps. For 1 and 2 Laps, the game ends when your Pet reaches Home at the end of the final Lap. For 3 Laps, upon reaching Home at the end, the Machine Golem boss appears and must be fought. If the Pet is defeated, it loses 2 hearts rather than 1, which may result in losing the game. If the Pet survives the battle, the game is won, even if the battle is not. Upon winning, the camera pans up to two moving lines of black and white stars framing the word "GOAL!" and your acquired items and EXP total will flash before your eyes in quick succession, giving you basically just enough time to register what you’re seeing and read the numbers. All changes are saved.
Technical and Cheats
For Ring Ring Land to integrate with the US PSX version of Legend of Mana, a hack is required. While Ring Ring Land does reside on the Legend of Mana CD, the code that provides the interface in the Monster Barn was removed. The Japanese version of Ring Ring Land has no known differences from the US version, other than the most easily accessible hack making some minor text adjustments to the game select screen (going from "RING·ring LAND" to "RING RING LAND") and translating the Japanese symbols in the opening title screen to English ones. Despite this, the Japanese version is not accessible to the US version of the game.
The interface into Legend of Mana also is an all-or-nothing deal: when sending a Pet to the PocketStation, the entire game is uploaded into the required 6 memory card blocks (48kb total). When welcoming a Pet back to the Monster Barn, the entire game is deleted from those blocks, leaving them free. Unlike the Pokéwalker, Ring Ring Land cannot simply be left empty.
However, Legend of Mana is really lazy about keeping track of the Pet you put in Ring Ring Land, at least on PSX. You’ll need to save after sending the Pet and Pets can even be returned to entirely different save files. This can be used to trade Pets with friends or even grant a powerful Pet to a less advanced save. Whether the remake will fix this little oversight needs testing, but it WILL recognize when the same Pet is already in the barn if something gets out of sync.
This does NOT mean multiple instances of Ring Ring Land are able to be put on the same unit! Legend of Mana will detect that Ring Ring Land is already there and will simply download the items and exchange the Pet.
It’s also possible to do some save file hacking with the hardware normally required to enjoy Ring Ring Land on a real PocketStation outside of Japan. Items are stored as a single byte 0-255, though 84 values are unused in the PSX version. The hardware required and save file format and indexes are not provided in this guide. However, it did allow for the full list of items to be assembled.
So I guess if you made it this far, you’ve been flooded with all the info I could muster (or skipped down using the navbox or link; I won’t judge!) and are probably wondering if this whole mess is worth it or really as hard as it sounds, and the answer is it’s fun and easy!
The game may not have much for sound, but what little sound it has serves to highlight the important bits, acting as an indicator and doing a bit to get the excitement going for battles. The remaster versions might throw some music on top of it for flavor, but even if not, you’re not going to be annoyed by it.
The graphics are both cute and easy to read. There isn’t often a time when you don’t understand what you’re looking at. The only issue you might run into is when a Land in Legend of Mana is decidedly round and has to be crammed into a square tile in Ring Ring Land, and even then they did a lot of legwork to make sure the shapes are readable and the Lands are recognizable. The important features stand out in the limited resolution despite only having two colors to work with. Having recognizable shapes and silhouettes is an important design technique and Legend of Mana already gave a lot to work with when it came to making the transition from color to black and white.
For all the complexities of everything described above, everything is determined by the same reel you use for everything in the play session. You don’t need to know the intricacies to pick it up and play. I was able to hand my PocketStation to a friend and only made two corrections: 1) his reel in battle is the top one like is shown in the little intro, and 2) no, he wasn’t imagining the sound (he didn’t initially realize the PocketStation has a speaker on the back). He was enthralled with it without knowing anything going in and said "and that’s how it should be" before finally handing it back.
So I guess that’s his endorsement, but as for mine, it’s not only simple and fun, but also a great way to train your Pets, especially early on when Legend of Mana makes it basically impossible to do so any other way. And it’s absolutely something I take with me everywhere, because a single Lap is enough to entertain you through a drive-through or waiting while picking someone up. It sure as heck beats doomscrolling! It’s a game intended to be light and fun. Something to take on a school bus or commuter train that you can dive into without being disruptive that’s still quite engaging. Something to play in a park while watching your kids. Something to take on a work break. A cute little time-waster that’s more than a waste of time, that’s not going to get you riled up or leave you just mindlessly mashing buttons in boredom.
I foresee a lot of players of the remaster being won over by it quickly on its own merits. It goes beyond what most would expect from a small LCD game and beyond something that feels like you only play it because there’s nothing better. I sincerely hope they make it available via Remote Play for those of us with a Vita or the PlayStation phone app. It’s absolutely something that deserves to be taken with you wherever you go.
This information was partially sourced from GameFAQs users Destral and Okk, without whom there would otherwise be next to no information at all in English due to the obscurity of this game. It has been tested, corrected, and embellished into a document written from the ground up with my (Bluestarultor) own play experiences, observations, and research gleaned from YouTube videos, and offered to Mana Wiki (https://mana.fandom.com/) for their pages. For contact, leaving a message on my user talk is sufficient to grab my attention eventually, or else reaching out to me on The Fediverse https://tech.lgbt/@bluestarultor or https://mastodon.social/@bluestarultor. Significant contributions may be added to this section as well to provide proper credit for what’s sure to be a living document.
Credit where credit is due. This guide is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without acknowledging the sources. It is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without a link to the original document on Mana Wiki or the Blue Star Creations Blog. As contributions to the wiki are CC-BY-SA, this attribution is important to the license.