It's time to start the adventure. You have before you six characters. All of them are ordinary people who, with training and experience, will become the saviors of Mana. Pretty cool, huh? Read up on information for each of them before choosing, and try to form a balanced team that uses the characters who sound most fun to you. Also, you should be aware that the difficulty of some of the final encounters of the game varies significantly depending on who you choose as your leader. To avoid spoiling some of the final encounters for you, we have simply divided the characters up according to how difficult their corresponding final boss is. Note that this is relative difficulty; Carlie and Kevin's final boss is still a challenging opponent.
- Carlie may also be known as Charlotte. Half-human, half-elf, Carlie is not the strongest fighter. She is, however, a natural healer, and the only character in the game qualified to fill in as a White Mage. Carlie is an excellent support character. If she is anywhere in your team, you should expect gameplay to be much quicker and easier due to her healing abilities. Carlie's main stat is Spirit.
- Half-human and half-beastman, Kevin is a very strong fighter. He relies almost completely on his physical abilities to defeat enemies quickly. He also tends to have very high HP, and has the potential, with certain Classes, to become a healer. At night, Kevin becomes a werewolf. His strength increases dramatically, although none of his other stats change. Kevin's main stat is Vitality.
- Angela is the stereotypical Black Mage, although Black Sorceress might be more appropriate. Out of all of the characters, she is the only one guaranteed to fill all twelve of her Magic slots with Magic abilities. All of her Magic is destructive, covering six different elements. With only a few exceptions, she will bring most boss fights to a quick close by exploiting their elemental weaknesses. However, her physical attacks tend to be weak. Angela's main stat is Intelligence.Also, if you want to have a easy time CHOOSE angela.
- The brave swordsman, Duran could be considered the Fighter. He is easily the strongest character in the game, although he is a bit lacking in Agility. His Magic is Saber Magic, which essentially means that he is capable of attacking and inflicting elemental damage with physical attacks. His presence can make boss fights very short indeed, but he can be a liability at times due to his lower evade rate. Depending on his Class, he may or may not be able to equip Shields, which raise his evasion and may offer other forms of protection as well. Duran's main stat is Strength.
- Hawk may also be known as Hawkeye. Hawk is a thief. He is easily the fastest character in the game. He holds double weapons, which mean that he can deal two hits with every attack, allowing him to unleash Techs at a very fast rate. He also has very diverse classes, giving him some of the most unique and useful magic in the game, and allowing him to be very powerful all-around. Hawk's stat is Agility.
- Lise may also be known as Rise or Rieze. Lise is Princess of the Amazons. She is arguably the best all-around character in the game, with strong physical attacks and also useful stat-altering Magic. Her Classes also have Summon Magic, allowing her to deal good amounts of damage with Magic. Lise can be a harder character to master for beginning players, but she is a welcome addition to any team. Lise does not have an emphasized stat.
The Rest of Your Team
When selecting your full team, keep in mind strengths and weaknesses that your party might face as a whole. For example, any party without Carlie will have to rely mainly on items for healing, and will face a much slower, much more difficult game. For this reason, I highly recommend placing Carlie somewhere in your party if this is your first time playing.
However, if you want to be able to kill monsters more quickly and don't mind using more items at the start of the game, you might consider replacing Carlie with either Kevin or Duran. Both of these characters are good fighters and have the ability to learn multi-target Heal Light if they become the right class (Warrior Monk for Kevin, Lord for Duran). Therefore, at the end of the game they will be able to heal almost as effectively as Carlie.
Another thing that is good to know is that if Carlie is your 3rd character, she will join your party before the point where you usually obtain your 3rd character. In other words, never choose Carlie as your 2nd character; choose her as your 1st if you want to follow her storyline and choose her as your 3rd if you don't want to follow her storyline.
The beginning of the game is different for all six players. Below are the individual walkthroughs for each character.