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  Game Name:
Enix / Nintendo
Release Date:
Japan: October 20th, 1995
Europe: December, 1999


Terranigma - Creation of Heaven and Earth  (Tenchi Souzou for those critical of Japanese names which translates to "Genesis") is a little known gem published by Enix and Nintendo (Developed by Quintet). Some say that this is the last of a trilogy of two other games: Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. Each we're produced by Enix and share a similar gameplay. This is not true, however, each of the games are loosely tied. Terranigma was released on October 20, 1995 in Japan, December 19, 1996 in Europe, and the game was unfortunately not released in the United States.


Game Intro Story

The planet possessed two souls. An external face and an internal face. Lightside and Darkside. 46 billion years since the planet's birth, growth and decline circle in two wills. At the will of Lightside, new life is born. At the will of Darkside, ice ages descend. Lightside wills intelligent beings. Rapid progress takes root. Darkside's will breeds fear and disharmony. They came to be called "God" and "Devil".

Terranigma, or "Genesis", refers to the resurrection or "creation" of the world as we know it, thus Terranigma tells that story through a compelling Action-RPG storyline like none other. The lead character, Ark, who is introduced as a rather obnoxious character in a town called Crysta, leads as the playable character in the story. As the troublemaker he is he opens a door that the Elder of Crysta has told everyone not to open and Ark releases a secret that no-one but the Elder knew. After most of the people in Ark's village are frozen the Elder beckons to Ark, telling him that he must resurrect the continents of the world to unfreeze the villagers. After quickly climbing five towers and defeating the trials of each he resurrects the continents on the 'new world' and is then sent by the elder on an epic quest to revive the continents to flourish.


Terranigma is an Action RPG that really lives up to the name. Like in any other RPG you assume the role of a main character and travel the world adventuring, exploring, and completing quests. In Terranigma, however, there are not any turn-based battles. While there are still levels, statistics, and experience points, you fully control the combat that Ark must ensue. And unlike some games of the Genre, Ark can attack with five different maneuvers, thus giving the player a freedom of variety as in an action game.

The gameplay is fairly in-depth and consists of puzzles that made me scratch my head a few times. The enemies can become rather repetitive but since Terranigma has more freedom in the gameplay, it's not as repetitive as seeing the same enemies over and over again in a turn-based RPG. Throughout the entirety of Terranigma, Ark uses a Spear which he first found in Crysta that has the special ability to continuously heal Ark, but only in the underworld in which Crysta is located. You are not limited to one single weapon however. There are multiple spears to be found and as each one is discovered, Arks physical attack power increases substantially.

Magic use in Terranigma is slightly different from other RPGs of the time. Spells take the form of Spell Rings which are created by taking the Magirocks found throughout the world to a Magic shop and having them cut into rings.

I give the gameplay: 9/10


The graphics in Terranigma are little short of innovative for its time. There are particular cut-scenes that even show the world from a 3-Dimensional prospect. The top-to-bottom scrolling theme for walking in the overworld leaves a bit to be desired however. The idea for it the theme was interesting but a bit overshot. However, this is one of only a few flaws consisted in the entirety of Terranigma.

All of the graphics created for Terranigma work well together. There are no extreme problems with character to object size comparison and the sprites are extremely smooth. There are also quite a few animated graphics such as boiling pots in some kitchens.

I give the graphics: 8/10


The musical score of Terranigma is rivaled only by scores developed and played for games such as Final Fantasy. There are beautiful tracks in this 32-bit cartridge that should not be overlooked by any gaming music fan. The sound effects are impressive as well. The hacking, slashing, jumping, throwing of objects. Each sound effect portrayed for each action goes well with the action itself. The music and sound of Terranigma is more impressive that many games for Super Nintendo, especially for its time.

I give the sound: 10/10


While the gameplay makes Terranigma very exciting and gives it some form of replayability, there is not a whole lot to do straying from the storyline other than simply leveling up and collecting Magirocks. Thus the replayability of Terranigma is not as high as some of the other ratings.

I give the replayability: 7/10


Indeed Terranigma can be a bit of a brain-buster, yet not enough to really irritate the player or anything. The longest I was ever stuck on something was about 30 minutes and that's not bad considering that I've been a gamer since gaming wasn't cool. The only aspect of challenge that lacks is the basic enemies. The bosses on the other hand can be fairly difficult, but fighting the regular enemies is cake, especially if you know how to avoid being attacked.

I give the challenge: 7/10


The value of Terranigma is mainly based on the nostalgia of the gamer. Personally, I really enjoy Action RPGs. To this day, Illusion of Gaia is my favorite game and both IOG and Terranigma are highly valuable of me. This reviewer gives the value of this rare gem a 10.

I give the value: 10/10


Each aspect of Terranigma is either above average or simply amazing. And its for that amazement I believe it deserves the 8.5 I've given it for it's gameplay and incredible value.

I give Terranigma: 8.5/10


In conclusion, I believe that this game is one of the reasons why Squaresoft and Enix joined forces to create SquareEnix and the largest RPG empire on the planet. Both companies seem to have the same grasp on what an RPG is truly supposed to be and I know that games like Terranigma are the fathers of this idea!

Written By: Sabur
Date Submitted: May 28th ,2007

Click Here to see other things Sabur has sent in.



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