RELEASED: October 20, 1995
AVAILABLE ON: SNES
After Illusion of Gaia, Enix commissioned Quintet for one last story revolving around creation and evolution. This game was called Terranigma. Determining that they had no chance on the North American RPG market wholly dominated by Square, Enix shut down their U.S. subsidiary indefinitely just before an English localization of the game had been finished, leading the expecting European audience to believe the game would be yet another Japan-only release by Enix. To the surprise of many, Terranigma did see daylight in both Europe and Australia, breaking the usual chain, and for once we got something to flaunt with. Terranigma came in much too late to enjoy any fundamental commercial success, but it turned out the best Quintet game ever and one of the best RPG's on the SNES.
Tales of Creation: Chapter V - The Alpha Game
In his ambition to break every rule, a consciously mischievous teenager named Ark manages to open a tightly sealed door in his grandfather's house, releasing an ancient power that not only curses his home village, but the whole world. Ark's grandfather sends his unruly descendant on a quest to resurrect the world, destroy this dark power and maybe grow up a little in the process.
|Just tell me one thing, though. Why do they|
all have to have the same hairstyle?
|Woohoo, a world map which you can actually|
explore. Changes all the time, too.
|I still can't believe there was nothing behind|
any of those waterfalls! What kind of adventure
game is this?!
|Funny how much he reminds me of the worm|
in Silent Hill 3.
The use of most magic is extremely clumsy, but also irrelevant - you usually have to resort to it only during boss fights since you might not be able to reach them physically, and the spells can't really miss since the boss is directly in front of you 90% of the time. All spells are consumable items - you can buy more spells from a Magirock Shop using gems called Magirocks, as well as a few gold coins, for currency. Item management was a huge issue in both preceding games - in Terranigma, it looks more complicated and uncomfortable than it really is. Pandora's Box, which you have in tow the entire time - a "little" artificial size difference between the Pandora's Box in God of War and the one in this game - serves as your menu, and the bat-like monster Yomi as your sidekick/navigational instrument through the initially confusing mass of maps, stats, settings, items, equipment and jewelry (magic).
|Hanging out with "Simba", in a plot setting|
that's actually ripped straight off The Lion King.
Terranigma offers up some good challenge - item management alone makes it a much easier and reasonable game to deal with than either one of its spiritual predecessors. However, the level design is so consciously confusing that you'll be in for a whole bunch of in-game hours just navigating the sumbitch. The bright side is that the enemies respawn each time you go to a different room, and grinding is not nearly as painful as it can be in many games with turn-based combat.
The occasionally extreme pacing problems and altogether crummy storytelling common to the series aside, Terranigma is a great RPG anyone into the SNES simply must check out. If you're a patient one, you might even be able to overlook the awkward pacing - hell, even appreciate it. I'll be back for seconds one day - that is something I haven't honestly said about any game in a long time.
+ Once again, a simple game with easy access...
+ ...Spiced up with a whole bulk of advanced options and development from "real" role-playing games
+ Ark reminds me of Yoda; walks real slow, but has some real awesome moves in combat
+ Finally, item management works...
- ...Magic doesn't
- Subpar telling of another good story
- A somewhat slow pace to everything
- Not good at explaining things
< 8.8 >