Released in 1995 and published by Enix and developed by Quintet, Terranigma is an Action RPG that’s very reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda series. Sadly it was never released in North America, but it was released in PAL regions, so there is an official English translation available. Quintet is known for other games like Soul Blazer and The Illusion of Gaia and shares similar gameplay with the two.
You play as the protagonist, the troublemaking Ark who lives in the village of Crysta, the only known village and nobody enters or leaves. There is a forbidden door that is closely guarded by the Village Elder, Ark finds the opportunity and opens the door and discovers a strange box. The box then casts a curse on the entire village freezing everybody but Ark and the Elder. The Elder informs Ark that to lift the curse, he must be the first to leave the and defeat the masters of the various towers strewn across the world. Defeating each tower breaks the seals on one of the various continents of the world (they’re the same as our continents) and makes them reappear in the world.
The game is your typical top-down SNES game like the other RPGs and The Legend of Zelda. Like the Legend of Zelda, the various dungeons and caves have various obstacles and puzzles that hinder your progression. Combat is also very similar to Zelda, but you have a few extra moves and you can perform magic. Like RPGs, killing the monsters give you experience and you can gain money.
The various dungeons strewn across the world either have tricky puzzles to figure out, or you go through a lengthy terrain and there are tricky obstacles and tough monsters to get through. Much of the game is difficult enough to make it not an easy stroll, but you can end up getting confused on what to do or where to go. While a walkthrough isn’t required, it’s very helpful.
Terranigma’s graphics are pretty good for a SNES game. As it’s a later release, the game takes advantage of what the SNES is capable of and the graphics are pretty comparable to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. While some of the dungeons at the beginning of the game are pretty sameish, after the world is unlocked, a lot of the game’s various regions are very well detailed.
As typical SNES RPGs from Enix and Square, the soundtrack is symphonic MIDI and there’s some pretty good tracks on there. The initial gameplay feels a bit repetitive, but after the world opens up, the soundtrack also diversifies to give you a more diverse experience with the various regions you now have to explore
Terranigma is a great addition to anyone’s collection who is fond of Zelda type games and looking into healthy alternatives. If you like challenging puzzles, fun boss fights, and a great story, then Terranigma is a great addition to anyone’s SNES collection.
Visuals (Or Graphics): 7/10.