| Terranigma - Review
The world from birth to death... will you become its guiding star?
By: Mistress Nightshadow
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
Imagine the Earth four billion years ago... there was no life back then.
All you would have seen was just black ash, a thin atmosphere and a
glowing sun... Then one day, a small plant sprouted... creating the
first life on Earth.
Now just think... what would you do if you could control that plant's
destiny? How would you guide that single plant through life, and how
would you assist and guide all further life which sprouted from that
single plant? Have you ever wished you could control the destiny of the
Then come as Ark, a young, enthuisiatic, although at times dimwitted,
strongheaded, michevious and egotistic, lad who lives in what seems to
be the underground of the Earth, accidently releases Yomi, a... well,
cute pink furry thing with bat wings who happens to be a resident of
Pandora's Box... in the process causing great instablity within the
world and generally causing a lot of trouble. I guess it wasn't the best
career choice he had made, but with Ark's trademark 'to hell with it,
let's do it' attitude, it's going to prove to be one adventure you'll
won't regret taking all the way to the 13th hour... The adventure which
The game itself is very easy to get into the swing to... it plays much
like an action game. You can run, skip and jump just like most action
games, and there's no battle meters or times to wait to do actions. You
can do what needs to be done, be it flip that switch, hit that enemy
with magic, slice and die it, block incoming attacks, or if you're
feeling bored, throw everything but the kitchen sink at them [I'm not
kidding, sometimes you'll find yourself throwing pots, vases and the odd
rock at a few animals, monsters and people] whenever you're able to do
so. You'll find yourself tight-rope walking over chasms, climbing up
cliffs, swimming through rivers and jumping down waterfalls here... this
will require some skill on the control pad to stay alive.
|So Ugly, it Hurts.
The default controls for Terranigma are very easy to use, but for those
who don't particularly like pre-set controls, you can always customise
them, making it work however you want them to. Movement within the game
itself is very good, with the only stuff ups made within the game itself
probably due to the lack of your reflexes.
The equipping system itself is fairly basic, weapons are equipped to
determine attack strengths and any special properties such as fire or
ice on a weapon, armour is equipped to determine defense, you have items
equipped which can be used in various situations, and there's a seperate
luck modifier which determines how lucky you are. You won't see full
blown screens with to hit percentages or the like, but then again
Terranigma doesn't suffer without them.
The graphics themselves are very well done for a SNES, with the sprites
drawn and animated well, the cut scenes easily matching the best of the
SNES world at the time, and interestingly, most interactive items will
look exactly the same as the backgrounds until you try to interact with
them. Although this is a good thing in that it seamlessly intergrates
the foreground and background and avoids the 'obvious item' graphical
standout, it can also prove fustrating if you don't pay that much
attention. In some areas, you won't even realise that some of the rocks
are removable, or that some items on the floor are indeed important.
The music and sound are done quite well... the town themes will make you
feel like you're in a country or city town, bonus game themes will give
that fun feel to the mini-games you can play, dungeons will feel gloomy
and erry, and the Quartos will always make you feel at home. Sound,
although not bad in quality, can prove to be somewhat repetitive after a
|Scary ghost and a Dead guy
Particularly when you get lost. Although Terranigma has one of the most
original plots ever seen... controling the fate of the world from its
quiet beginnings is certainly something you don't see every day, but
unusually, it has very few people to nudge you along the storyline. It
has the non-linear feel to the game, with several sidequests which can
be done at certain points... even though the game itself is seperated
into fairly linear chapters. You will sometimes find yourself stuck at a
certain point in the game because you don't know what you need... or
what to do. Then again, it's fun sailing around the world and exploring
the nooks and crannys of each continent looking for strange and
interesting places and people if you're in need of searching. Secrets
abound the Earth... it could be said there are almost too many
secrets... You'll have a lot of trouble finding a lot of them!
Speaking of the characters, you will see throughout the game that you
feel like you're meeting miniature versions of many of the great
influences of history, and the events surrounding them are quite
intriguing... and how Ark learns, develops and reacts to them. You can
influence the progress of Earth for better or worse by refusing to touch
that weird contraption, taking part in an election, showing off a new
item to the right person, or to dare taste a brewer's first bottle of
wine. Terranigma allows you to do what no other RPG had ever offered
before.... to play around with the history of Earth! You could
accidently make Bell not invent the telephone, make the camera nothing
but a failed prototype or keep the Sunshine Coast of Australia a remote
and hidden secret you know...
And the game itself isn't quite a pushover either, despite what it first
portrays. In some areas, sheer power may be the key, but in others, it
is keen observation which will win you out rather than brute force.
Sometimes puzzle solving will be the key to victory, and in quite a few
cases, the true Ark style of just keeping on trying may pull you
through! Terranigma has difficulty of all kinds, and this will keep you
tied up for quite a while...
|Walk Beside the River
But despite all its faults, this isn't one game you'd want to let slide
by. Although it isn't perfect, it's quite amusing to play if nothing
else. For all those who haven't got a large amount of patence, I'd think
about picking a copy of Terranigma up first... it could drive you crazy
trying to find out which way to go. Anyone willing to take the time and
sit this RPG all the way through will find it something quite unique,
and an experience you won't be able to let go of soon.
Will you be that guiding star to lead life to and beyond the 13th hour?