I'm slowly beginning to accept that Squeenix will most likely NEVER release Seiken Densetsu 3 on the Virtual Console. It's a game that, for anyone with a computer and the internet, is easily obtainable and in multiple languages, and while it certainly is a good game (better than LoM and everything after, in my opinion) it could've been loads better.
So... here's a thought, what if instead of a simple VC release of SD3, they made a direct sequel to Secret of Mana, via the Wii-Ware service? All they'd have to do to avoid screwing it up is just keep all of the same game play elements that made SoM1 fun and engaging:
The Ring Menu (it wouldn't be a Mana game without it!), 8 different weapon types and the ability to trade them between partners during gameplay, level ups for spells and weapons after repeated use, using the Whip to get across gaps and pits, riding Flammie around an immersive 3D world screen (NOT just picking numbers from a stationary 2D map screen like Children of Mana) and have the storyline pick up after SoM1, something like....
It has been 30 years since the legendary Mana Knight Rhandi, Princess Purim, and the Sprite Popoie destroyed the Mana Fortress and slew The Mana Beast, their progeny live on, unaware of their parents' triumphs or their sacrifices.
They are cared for by the Elder of Potos, an aging Sprite with orange hair who only tells them that their parents "died for a noble cause." One day, the young girl discovers mysterious ruins deep within a cave in the side of a nearby mountain. A spirit inhabiting a strange-looking mask lures her with promises of Magic that could bring her and her brother's parents back from the dead, but she must tell no one where she has been or what she has seen.
The next day, she returns to the cave and agrees to perform a ritual with the spirit of the mask, but something goes terribly wrong. The cave begins to shake and the girl suddenly feels her body being taken over. "Stupid girl! Grief is such a powerful tool for manipulation. At long last, THANATOS lives again! I'm going to crush this world... and YOU'RE GOING TO HELP ME! Buwahahahaha!!!!"
At home in Potos Village, her brother runs to his bedroom window, watching the mountain rise and break free from the earth. Suddenly a voice speaks to him from underneath the floor, "Son? Son? Can you hear me?" the boy cannot believe his ears, it is the voice of his father, Rhandi.
"What?! But... we thought you were dead! We thought you BOTH were dead!" - The confused young boy rushes to a square panel in the floor and pulls it open, revealing the source of the voice, a rusty sword: "We're not dead, son... and there's no time to talk. Your sister and your mother are both in great danger. We have to go... NOW!"
I honestly think something like this could work... a group of folks who used to work for Technos made River City Ransom 2 for Wii-Ware and from what I've seen that looks pretty awesome. And Square themselves made FFIV: The After Years which looks pretty much like a rom hack with some new story.
^Maybe if we could get some other SoM fans to comment on the discussion, Squeenix would take it into consideration.