posted 5 Jan 2011, 00:40 by Thomas Vale   [ updated 5 Jan 2011, 00:42 ]
After I finished "Xenogears" which is one of the best games I've ever played although it had it's flaws, I began thinking on what will be the next rpg to play.

After checking some of my snes games, I finally decided to play "Terranigma". That's mainly because of several things like :

1) I've never finished any "Enix" game in my life. (A shame, isn't it?)
2) My last 2D rpg to finish was FF4 when I replayed it long ago. (I just love 2D)
3) Many people and sites keep recommending this game, which gave me the feel it's a good game that got underrated heavily.

So I started the game to meet a good looking intro for a snes game. Saying something about Dark Gaia and Light Gaia and some other unexplained stuff (As in 50% of games intros). Well, I have to say I hate most of action rpgs but Terranigma's intro was good enough to make me continue. But I knew from the start that this game won't give me much fantasy. I don't know why but it gave me that feeling.

* Story :
At the start you begin in a calm village (As in 70% of rpgs :p ). You are Ark a teenager who seems to have alot of potential. His world is composed of his small village only "Crysta". He was born not knowing what lies after it. In his village there was nothing much to do than eating and sleeping (Boring :S ). But there was that blue door which the elder (The wise old guy of 60% of stories) told you not to open. So as you've expected Ark and his friends open that door to know what lies beneath which leads to the start of...... one of the most thin stories ever in japanese games (I think it's so suitable for an american movie).

I finished that game in nearly 14 hours, I was amused in only about 3 or 4 events. I really liked Elle which was Ark's GF. Although she was there in little amount of scenes but she added alot of emotions in every aspect. I guess she's why I won't give the story a big zero. Even the hero showed nearly no kind of personality at all but for 2 scenes near the end.

The main concentration was on gameplay not on story so we ended up having some great characters designs getting ruined with the cut down story scenes. Characters like Ryod and Fyda were cool but they nearly have no intention to add to the story at all but for a sentence or two every hundred years!

At least this time it's not the usual theme of "Save the world", even it wasn't so different. "Ressurect the world" was the goal this time, since Ark is supposed to ressurect an already dead world.

5.5/10 (I think it's more than enough :p )

*Gameplay :
The game kinda shines here, and I say kinda because there are still some flaws here. You control one player here and run, jump or roll to slash your enemies with your strange staff/javelin weapon. That weapon is nicely used in several ways which makes you want to discover all it's moves. And if it's not enough there is a good magic system based on Magi rocks you have to collect. Magic has different elementals and there are also some summons.

But gameplay isn't always about slashing and running. The game is full of some cool puzzles everywhere. Some of them are so hard and some are so repetitive :p . Pushing objects or throwing others was a part of the solution most of times though.

Main flaws : 
1) I nearly didn't have to use magic at all, as the regular attacks were more than enough most of the time.
2) Although the weapon's attacks were different you reach the point of boredom fast. Since most of them are easy to discover and are easy to execute.

7/10 (Imagine a staff/javelin version of devil may cry in 2D)

*Graphics :
Awesome, one of the best looking games on snes. Better than "Chrono trigger" in some areas too but doesn't the smooth animation of "Bahamut Lagoon" for example.

Nice effects are used every where and alot of colorful tiles are everwhere. Maybe except the Ra tree quest area. But some times you can really get bored of repetition of tiles in different places.

All sprites are neat and you can understand how your characters are supposed to look like. Since the sprites are in a size similar to that of "Chrono trigger" sprites.
Mode 7 effects are used perfectly too in many places(Specially in the ending). And there are some 3D into 2D sprites (Ala Donkey kong country games), but they aren't many.

Also the ressurection cut scenes are very good really for snes limits.

8/10 (I'd have given it 10 but for the repeated tiles and other flaws)

*Sound :
Average. Sound effects are your regular good sfx any snes game can do but I can say it's better than most of the older games.

For the music it's hard to say. I never got bored of any theme, but for the boss battle one. Most of other music were well done but not square quality, but I still can't remember them after I close the game.

My favourite was Elle's theme.


*Replay Vlaue :
Well if you want to make all the side quests and find all magi rocks then go for it. Else don't and I say it again "don't" ever touch this game twice.

The story isn't worth it at all, but for the last quarter which is still not that inspiring.
I play rpgs for stories, so that's why Terranigma didn't leave a mark in me like some other rpgs.


The official artwork of that game is some what good. There's a manga too I recommend you see all the official artwork specially after you finish the game first.
There was also a comic based on it with a european style which looks so so bad. Run from it as if it was hell.

Final Score : 6.5/10 (I took the average)

Side note : Terranigma is the third game of the "Soul Blazer" series. But the games are loosely connected so don't worry about it.

*******Memorable moments : warning spoilers ahead

1) Elle asking Ark to promise her to return, before he goes to upperworld.

2) Elle sacrificing herself to let Ark live.

3) Ark meeting his light side

4) Ark blaming himself for opening the door the elder asked him not to open, thinking that it would've stopped Elee's death.

5) Ark's final day in Crysta before his death.


Last thing : check the bad comic and some scans of the official art here