There are tons of guides out there that provide step-by-step instructions for how to place each artifact to ensure that you get everything – every quest, every pet, every shop, etc. But few actually explain the underlying systems that make these placement guides work. This guide aims to demystify the systems that govern artifact placement, so you can understand how these placement guides work and so you can make informed decisions about how to place your artifacts when playing on your own without a guide! This guide DOES include a map of artifact placements that will get you everything, but note that it is mostly being used here as an example.
Why Do I Care Where My Artifacts Are Placed?
Artifact placement affects:
- the level of monsters (which affects what loot the monsters can drop)
- what inventory you can find in shops (very important for tempering and forging)
- which events you can get
- which demi-human pets you can find
There are two systems that decide these things: land level and elemental level. Land level affects the first two points (the level of monsters and shop inventory). Elemental level affects the last two points (which events and pets you can find) plus it can also alter the level of certain enemies within a particular land, as well.
Let’s talk about each system in more detail below!
Land level is a hidden number that represents how “difficult” or “advanced” the land is. It decides the average level of the enemies found within that land – when you pause the game during combat, you can see the level of the enemies you are fighting, and land level is the primary way the game decides what level the enemies should be.
Land level also decides what items are sold in any shops within that land. This is why the same shop might sell items of MenosBronze on one playthrough and items of GranzSteel the next – it’s because you placed the land differently each time, causing the land to have different levels in each playthrough.
Calculating Land Level
Land level is assigned to a land the moment you place the artifact, and it never changes after that. You can’t change the level of a land by placing new artifacts around it – this is quite different from elemental levels.
The basic equation for land level is:
Land level = distance from home + total number of artifacts placed (including this one)
This is probably pretty unintuitive, lol, so let’s use an example:
This map shows one of the most popular “completionist” layouts (credit to legendofmana.info for the layout and the fandom wiki for the images I used to put this map together).
The numbers over each location represents the order in which you place the artifacts. Order matters (and we’ll get into why in just a moment).
So let’s talk through some of the first land placements on this map.
The 1st artifact placed is the mailbox, which creates Home. It is 0 spaces from Home (since it *is* Home). The land level of Home is 1 (first artifact) + 0 (0 spaces from Home) = 1.
The 2nd artifact placed is colorblocks, which creates Domina. It is 1 space from Home. The land level of Domina, then, is 2 (second artifact) + 1 (1 space from Home) = 3. Note that Domina will always have a land level of 3, because it will always be the second artifact placed, and will always be 1 space from Home.
The 3rd artifact placed is the wheel, which creates Luon Highway. It is also only 1 space from Home. The land level of Luon Highway is going to be 3 (third artifact) + 1 (1 space from Home) = 4. So, as you can see, order matters – both Luon Highway and Domina are right next to Home, but Luon Highway has a higher land level because it was placed later.
We’re going to skip over a few lands now. But, in case you wanna follow along, the next few lands placed are Gato (land level 6), Mindas (land level 6), and Ulkan (land level 8).
The next important land level to point out is the one for the Junkyard, which is created from the broken doll artifact. It is the 7th artifact placed. Important to note is that it is considered to be 3 spaces from Home – 2 horizontal and 1 vertical. When counting distance from Home, you must always count a path that moves between adjacent lands – you can’t count a diagonal path. So the land level of the Junkyard is going to be 7 (7th artifact) + 3 (3 spaces from Home) = 10.
Hopefully these examples have given you a fair idea of how land levels are calculated!
So why do you care what level your shops have? The most important reason is for forging and tempering weapons. Some of the most important and commonly-used items in tempering can only be obtained from material shops of a certain level. If you plan to temper any weapons, you’ll probably want to have at least one material shop of every level.
Across the entire game, the following 6 lands have shops that are affected by land level:
|Ulkan Mines||Bottled Spirit||Y||Y|
|Geo||Tome of Magic||Y||Y||Y||Y|
There are also shops in two other lands (a seed shop and a jewel shop in two of the later game lands), but these are not affected by land level and will always have the same inventory no matter where they are placed.
The inventories which appear at each land level are:
- MenosBronze : 3-4 land level
- ForenzaIron = 5-9 land level
- GranzSteel = 10-13 land level
- LaurentSilver = 14-17 land level
- WendelSilver = 18-21 land level
- VizelGold = 22-26 land level
- IshePlatinum = 27+ land level
- Level 1 : 3-10 land level
- Level 2 : 11-15 land level
- Level 3 : 16-24 land level
- Level 4 : 25+ land level
Let’s find the land levels for each of the 6 lands with shops from the map above, and determine what items they will have in their shops!
- Domina will always have a land level of 3 (because it’s always the 2nd artifact placed and is always 1 space from Home). That means it’s going to sell MenosBronze equipment, and the material shop will be level 1.
- Gato has a land level of 6 (4th artifact placed + 2 spaces from Home). So it’s going to sell ForenzaIron eapons, and it will also have a level 1 material shop. Gato doesn’t have an armor or instrument shop.
- Ulkan Mines has a land level of 8, so it will sell ForenzaIron weapons and armor. It doesn’t have an instrument or material shop.
- Lumina has a land level of 14 (11th artifact + 3 spaces from Home), so it will sell LaurentSilver equipment, and will have a level 2 material shop.
- Polpota has a land level of 24 (20th artifact + 4 spaces from Home), so it will sell VizelGold equipment, and will have a level 3 material shop.
- Geo has a land level of 27 (23rd artifact + 4 spaces from Home), so it will sell IshePlatinum equipment and will have a level 4 material shop.
As you can see, you have to make efficient use of all the material shops available in the game in order to get one of each level – there are only 5 material shops, and 4 levels. It’s quite possible to make sure you get one of each, even if you’re not using a guide (I usually do so). You’re guaranteed to have a level 1 shop in every game because Domina is always land level 3, and getting a level 4 shop is fairly easy – just make sure you place your last town far away from Home and late in the game. However, you need to be careful about how you place your mid-game towns in order to ensure that you get a level 2 and a level 3, especially since the range of land levels that provide a level 2 material shop is so low.
If you’re not too concerned about a “perfect” layout for your lands and just want to make sure you get all the shops, there’s a super easy method for doing so:
- Find place on your map where you can place all your artifacts in a line that is 9 spaces long, and where the end of the line is 8 spaces from the beginning. This is most easily done by running your line along the edge of your map. The line will need to turn one corner – this is totally fine. You will need to ensure that the line is never broken by water.
- Place your home at the beginning of this line. Place Domina in the next space. The material shop in Domina will be level 1.
- Place 3 more artifacts in a line next to Domina – you may place any 3 artifacts except the Flames or Firefly Lamp.
- Place the Flames as the next artifact in line. This will be the 6th artifact on the map, placed 5 spaces from Home, giving it a land level of 11. The material shop in Gato will be level 2.
- Place 2 more artifacts after that – anything except the Firefly Lamp.
- Place the Firefly Lamp in the next space. It should be the 9th artifact placed, 8 spaces from Home. This gives Lumina a land level of 17, and a material shop at level 3.
- Continue placing artifacts wherever you want – just make sure you leave a spot open next to Lumina. Watch for the rusted anchor (Polpota Harbor) or tome of magic (Geo) artifacts – make sure you keep at least one of these in reserve to unlock the last material shop. You can place the other wherever, if you would like.
- Once you have at least 17 lands already on the map, place either the rusted anchor or tome of magic in the spot next to Lumina as the 18th (or more) artifact. This will result in a land level of at least 25, since this will be at least the 18th artifact placed and it will be at least 7 spaces from Home.
- You may wish to wait you have at least 19 lands on the map before placing either Polpota or Geo to provide your level 4 material shop, because creating the land with a land level of at least 27 will also mean that the equipment shops are the highest available level.
The hardest part of this process is finding a continuous line 9 spots long that always moves further away from Home. It cannot loop back on itself. If you’re having a difficult time visualizing what this might look like, take a look at this map:
These are all paths that fulfill our requirements. They’re also by no means the only paths that do – there are several other options on the map, I just didn’t mark them because it was getting too busy. The diagonals are a particularly easy way to make this happen!
And if you ever run into a problem where you can’t proceed with building out your “line” because the spots next to your most recently-placed land aren’t available to place new artifacts, you’ll need to head into your most recently-placed land to do at least one event there – you can’t build next to a land until you’ve done at least one event in that land.
The elemental levels of each land are visible from the map – if you select a land, you can see the 8 little spirits that run along the bottom-left edge of the map, each with their own three-piece “pie” underneath. The number of “slices” in each pie indicates how much of that element is in that land. You might also notice that each artifact has its own elemental levels, visible when you select that artifact.
In case you’re unfamiliar, these are the 8 elements, so you can tell which little spirit symbol is which:
- Wisp represents light and is the one that looks like a cross between a white flame and a fried egg.
- Shade represents darkness and is the black one that looks a bit like a bat.
- Dryad represents nature and looks like a palm tree.
- Aura represents gold/wealth and looks like a gold statue.
- Salamander represents fire and looks like a flaming red lizard dude.
- Gnome represents earth and looks like a gnome in a green hat.
- Jinn represents air and looks kind of like a chubby light blue elf wearing a yellow shirt and hat.
- Undine represents water and looks like a blue mermaid.
The elemental levels of your lands can unlock certain events and provide access to demi-human pets. They also affect the levels of the monsters in that land.
Calculating Elemental Levels
Placing a new artifact adds that artifact’s elemental levels to every adjacent land. In addition, the new land gains elemental levels from all the adjacent lands that have already been placed – you have to add up all the elemental levels of each adjacent land, and then half them (rounded down) – the resulting levels are then added to your new land.
How does this work in practice? Well, let’s take a look at our example map again:
To start, we’re placing Home.
- The mailbox has elemental levels of 1 Wisp, 1 Dryad and 1 Gnome.
- There are no other lands on the map which can affect Home or which can be affected by the placement of the mailbox artifact, so Home will only have the elemental levels of its artifact – 1 Wisp, 1 Dryad, and 1 Gnome.
Next, we place Domina.
- The colorblocks have 2 Aura and 1 Salamander.
- Now, we want to sum the elemental levels of each adjacent land and add it to our new land. Our only adjacent land is Home (1 Wisp, 1 Dryad, 1 Gnome). Now we halve each level, giving us 1/2 Wisp, 1/2 Dryad and 1/2 Gnome. Since we’re rounding down, this means Domina doesn’t get any elemental levels from adjacent lands. Domina’s elemental levels are 2 Aura and 1 Salamander.
- Home gets the elements from colorblocks – that means Home’s elemental levels change to 1 Wisp, 2 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander and 1 Gnome.
Next up, we place Luon Highway next to Home.
- The wheel has 1 Dryad and 1 Gnome.
- Once again, our only adjacent land is Home (1 Wisp, 2 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander, 1 Gnome), which gives us 1/2 Wisp, 1 Aura, 1/2 Dryad, 1/2 Salamander and 1/2 Gnome. So Luon Highway gains 1 Aura from Home, resulting in elemental levels of 1 Aura, 1 Dryad and 1 Gnome in total.
- Note that Domina doesn’t have a direct effect on Luon because it’s diagonal, which does not count as being “next to” the new land. However, Domina did have an indirect effect on Luon because Home only had 2 Aura from the colorblock artifact!
- Home also gains the elemental levels from the wheel, so now Home’s total elemental levels are 1 Wisp, 2 Aura, 2 Dryad, 1 Salamander and 2 Gnome.
Now we’re placing the Gato Grottoes next to Luon Highway.
- The flames artifact has 1 Salamander and 2 Jinn.
- Like when we placed Domina, our only adjacent land – Luon Highway – has no elemental levels above one, so halving them means Gato won’t get anything from Luon.
- Luon gets elemental levels from the flame artifact, so now Luon’s elemental levels are 1 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander, 1 Gnome and 2 Jinn.
- Note that the 2 Jinn doesn’t “cascade” anywhere – you might think that, since now Home has an adjacent land with 2 Jinn, it might gain 1 Jinn because every land gets half the sum of the elemental levels of each adjacent land, right? But unfortunately not – after a land has been placed, it can only be affected by artifacts that are placed immediately adjacent to it. The placement of Gato cannot affect Home because they’re not next to each other, no matter what it does to the elemental levels of Luon Highway.
Next up is Mindas Ruins, in the last slot next to Home.
- The ancient tablet artifact has 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander and 1 Gnome.
- Our only adjacent land is Home again, so we’ll 1/2 Wisp, 1 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1/2 Salamander and 1 Gnome (half of Home’s elemental levels) to Mindas Ruins, which gets us a total of 1 Aura, 2 Dryad, 1 Salamander and 2 Gnome.
- Home gets the elemental levels from the ancient tablet artifact, so now Home’s total elemental levels are 1 Wisp, 2 Aura, 3 Dryad, 2 Salamander and 3 Gnome.
- Note that Home is now “finished” – all of the adjacent spaces around Home are now full, so nothing can affect Home’s elemental levels anymore.
Finally, we’re going to do something a little bit different from the listed map – instead of putting the Ulkan Mines next to the Mindas Ruins, we’re instead going to put it above Luon Highway and next to Domina (in slot 26).
- The bottled spirit artifact has 2 Aura and 1 Gnome.
- We have two adjacent lands this time – Luon Highway (1 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander, 1 Gnome, 2 Jinn) and Domina (2 Aura, 1 Salamander). If we add these all together, we get 3 Aura, 1 Dryad, 2 Salamander, 1 Gnome, 2 Jinn. Now we halve them all and round down – this nets us 1 Aura, 1 Salamander and 1 Jinn. We’ll add this to the Ulkan Mines elemental levels, so it now has 3 Aura, 1 Dryad, 2 Salamander, 2 Gnome and 2 Jinn.
- When we add the elemental levels of the bottled spirit to Luon Highway, it ends up with elemental levels of 3 Aura, 1 Dryad, 1 Salamander, 2 Gnome and 2 Jinn
- When we add the elemental levels of the bottled spirit to Domina, it ends up with elemental levels of 3 Aura, 1 Salamander and 1 Gnome. No elemental level can be increased past 3 – that’s why Domina’s Aura level isn’t 4.
An Elemental “Exploit”
Be warned that this section contains very minor spoilers for the end of the game. Also, this isn’t really an exploit – it’s just a result of how math works. But it’s pretty OP, lol.
You might have noticed something interesting about the layout of the map we’ve been using as an example – as you build out this map, you’re creating a set of 4 “squares” around a central space – the 20, 21, 23 and 26 slots are clearly being left unfilled until the very end, even though it takes quite a bit of effort to do that.
The answer is in artifact number 19 – the Sword of Mana. The Sword of Mana artifact is the only artifact in the game with full elemental levels – it has 3 in everything. This means that, once that artifact is placed, every adjacent land is suddenly completely full on every elemental level.
Now, if you’ll recall from our set of examples above, it’s possible for an artifact’s elemental levels to affect lands that aren’t adjacent to it – this is what happened when Domina passed an Aura level onto Luon Highway through Home. This worked because colorblocks has 2 Aura, so Home gained 2 Aura, and one of those Aura was then passed along to Luon. However, this only worked in one direction – Domina affected Luon’s elemental levels, but Luon did not affect Domina’s. This is because Luon was placed after Domina. It’s an inevitable effect of the way the game determines a land’s elemental levels; this indirect effect on non-adjacent lands only applies to lands that are placed later.
So what does this have to do with the Sword of Mana? Well, when you place the Sword, all the lands adjacent to it get full elemental levels – in our example map, the lands in question are: Domina, Duma Desert, Fieg Snowfields and Lumina. Now, let’s say we want to place a new land in slot 20. The only adjacent lands are Fieg and Duma – slots 22 and 24 haven’t been filled yet. But that’s fine, because Fieg and Duma both have 3 in every element. This means that, when calculating the elemental levels for our new land, we get to add together the elemental levels of each adjacent land – so, 6 in every element – and then halve them, to get 3 in every element.
So on the surface, it might appear that the Sword can fill the elemental levels of 4 different lands – one above, one below, one left and one right. Except, as we can see here, by making smart use of the elemental levels system, we can actually get full elemental levels for 8 lands – one in each slot diagonal to the Sword, as well. But only if you place these four lands after placing the Sword.
Which Lands Really Matter?
While land levels and elemental levels can often matter, they don’t matter for every land, especially if you only care about unlocking certain things with the land placement system. So, for your convenience, here’s a quick rundown of which lands contain things that are affected in some way by land placement:
- Home/Orchard: the rate of fruit growth is affected by elemental levels.
- Event: Shade 3
- Event: Salamander and Wisp 3
- Note that it is impossible to get Shade, Salamander and Wisp all to 3 without placing the Sword of Mana adjacent to Domina.
- Technically Domina also has shops, but since it’s impossible for Domina to have a land level other than 3, that doesn’t really matter.
- Gato Grottoes
- Shops: weapon and material (see land level section for more details)
- Demi-human pet: Chobin Hood at Dryad 3
- Lake Kilma
- Demi-human pet: Mad Mallard at Wisp 3
- Ulkan Mines
- Shops: weapon and armor (see land level section for more details)
- Demi-human pet: Narcissos at Gnome 3
- Shops: all (see land level section for more details)
- Demi-human pet: Goblin at Shade and Dryad 3
- Duma Desert
- Event: Wimpy Thugling at Dryad 3
- Demi-human pet: Sahagin at Dryad 3
- The pet and event are the same thing – you get access to the pet from the event. Also, there is a level requirement for Wimpy Thugling to trigger, so if it doesn’t happen when you get Duma Desert to Dryad 3, try returning at a higher level. Make sure you do not complete Teardrop Crystal before completing this event. Do not bring a companion or pet with you when trying to trigger this event.
- Polpota Harbor
- Shops: all (see land level section for more details)
- Fieg Snowfields
- Demi-human pet: Succubus at Shade 3
- Norn Peaks
- Demi-human pet: Tomato Man at Salamander 3
- Shops: all (see land level section for more details)
- White Forest is a common farming spot for rare types of wood used for forging, making a higher land level and high elemental levels (especially Dryad) very useful.
- The Bejeweled City contains the only repeatable boss-level mob in the game, making it a popular spot for farming experience. A high land level and high elemental levels are useful for this purpose.
That's everything we are sharing today for this Legend of Mana guide. This guide was originally created and written by Martyr of the Burning Sphere. In case we fail to update this guide, you can find the latest update by following this link.