God Is A Teenage Boy: Review of “Terranigma”September 29, 2009
Terranigma is a game that was released on the Super Nintendo that was developed by Quintet, which was published by Enix (now SquareEnix) and Nintendo subsequently released the English, French, German, and Spanish languages in PAL Territories, which quite simply put, this game was not released Stateside. It is also the Spiritual Successor of Illusion of Gaia which is ALSO the Spiritual Successor of SoulBlazer. Still with me?
The plot for the game of Terranigma tells of Earth being a hollow sphere and it having two “faces”: a LightSide and a DarkSide. LightSide basically represents growth and the flourish of life while DarkSide represents the decline of everything. It is an ongoing continuation of cycles that eventually those cycles are called “God” and “Devil”. You play a mischevious young boy named Ark, who lives in DarkSide, who later sets off a set of consequences that ultimately follow to resurrecting the world to it’s former state.
In terms of gameplay, Terranigma is surprisingly easy to pick up and play. It is a real time action RPG and different actions call for different attacks. As for guarding against attacks, it is mostly useless as it only blocks projectiles and not physical attacks so most of the time you are running through monsters and hoping that attack kills them. At a later point in the game, you can use magical Rings and Pins that either do damage, heal you, or prevent status changes but in order to use them, you must exchange them with a rare item known as “Magirock”. As for Bosses, they can range from the incredibly easy(fighting a bunch of palette-swapped mooks) to Nintendo Hard(fighting Bloody Mary herself), which is a nice change of pace, but ultimately, it’s kind of weird. Almost every choice that you do in a city changes the course of history. Voting for a progressive leader in a town makes the town grow, while choosing a conservative leader stops the town in it’s tracks, so if you’re the type to shoot for 100% Completion, choose wisely.
The graphics for Terranigma are really not that bad, really. At different points of the game, you can see everything being resurrected, from the creation of Australia and Ayers Rock, to the eventual rise of the Humans, it’s all 16-bit eye candy. The sound for Terranigma is not bad also, as a “Creative Soundtrack” was released that featured all the songs from the game, plus a couple of them that were rearranged to sound more modern, which is now hard to come by due to the game itself being a little old.
Overall, Terranigma is a truly underrated game that could have easily been a classic if it wasn’t so region restricted. It’s a deep game with innovative gameplay. I would honestly love to see this game either re-released on the Wii’s Virtual Console or remade into a DS Game.