Terranigma Is a video game -type action-RPG developed by Quintet . It is published on Super Nintendo by Enix in 1995 in Japan then by Nintendo in 1996 in Europe and in February 1998 [ref. Necessary] in France. Terranigma tells of the adventure of Ark, a young man in charge of resurrecting the surface of the Earth, destroyed as a result of a battle between Good and Evil.

Game System

Terranigma is an action-RPG in top view. To fight the Ark hero is able to run, jump, attack or combine these actions to initiate new moves 1 . Some attacks are more effective against some enemies (especially against flying monsters) but most often do the same damage. Ark can also parry the projectiles but this does not protect him from other attacks.

The hero gains experience points by defeating monsters that allow him to increase in level, and hence his characteristics (life, strength, defense and luck). There are no points of magic, instead the player has Magirocs that he must exchange at the store against magic rings. These can only be used once and again become Magirocs to exchange the store after use 1 . Ark finds new magi in the various places he crosses or completes quests and unlocks new types of magic rings by advancing in adventure, usually by beating bosses.

It also has equipment and objects to help it, which it can find or buy throughout the game. Some have a particular effect (eg climbing rock walls or breaking rocks), others Must be given to a non-player character, but most serve only to reinforce the hero.

Terranigma has a world map in mode 7 , which simply serves to Ark to move between different places. The map takes the form of the Earth although the places to visit are fictitious, but often inspired by real places.



In Terranigma , the Earth has two faces: one side of light at the surface, which represents progress and a dark face in the underworld, which represents the decline 2 . These two forces (God and the Devil 3 ) struggled for millions of years, while life appeared and developed on the surface. The fight culminated in a final battle in Antarctica, which overwhelmed the continents and sealed the underground world. However, neither of the two forces emerged victorious.


A young man turbulent, Ark Crysta lives, the only village of the underworld 4 . After opening a forbidden door, he discovers a magic box inhabited by a benevolent demon, Yomi. The opening of the door, however, froze all the villagers except Hagar, the dean of the village. He explains to Ark that he must resurrect the continents from the surface to save the villagers. After traversing the five towers of the underworld, the continents of the world of light reappear and the villagers are healed. However, the Elder teaches Ark that he must go to the surface and resurrect living beings. With much sadness, Ark bids farewell to his friend Celina and leaves for the world of light through a dimensional crevice.

Once on the surface, Ark realizes that the Earth is desert: the soil is arid and the plants (the only forms of life present) manage to push hard. In Amazonia, he heals the giant tree Ra of the evil that afflicts it, restoring life to the vegetation. This allows the hero to continue his journey and eventually resuscitate birds, wind, animals and ultimately humans.

In a dream, Agar warns Ark that he must henceforth help humanity to develop, which he realizes by participating in the construction of cities or the discovery of new inventions. During his adventure, he meets Celina’s twin sister, Princess Celina, as well as a copy of the village of Crysta. This princess is the adoptive daughter of the King of Anjou, who became mute as a result of a traumatic event of his childhood. Ark manages to cure her, and they become friends as they go.

Finally, Ark awakens Yvan, a scientist who survived the destruction of the world by cryogenising. He explains his vision of paradise, a world where all the insignificant lives would be killed by a virus and everyone else would be immortalized by being turned into zombies 5 . Rebounded, Ark tries to attack Yvan but is massacred by his robots.

Agar then tells him that his mission is now over and he can die in peace. Ark had to resurrect the Earth to allow Dark Gaia (the Devil) to dominate the world with the help of Yvan. However, Ark is saved by Kaver, the priest of Lhasa whom Ark met during his adventure, which teleports him outside Yvan’s laboratory. He explains to him that he must look for the five stones of stars and place them at the South Pole in order to invoke the chosen one. In doing so, Ark meets his double light, with Dark Gaia has used to create Ark, killing the 6 .

Ark is reborn thanks to the spirit of light (Light Gaia) as a baby and is gathered by the Princess Celina. He is however removed by the other Celina, guided to the surface by Yomi to eliminate someone who threatens Crysta. Finding that it is Ark, she refuses to attack him, and sacrifices himself to save his life by killing Yomi. Ark, an adult, is contacted by Kaver to join him and Ark’s other companions to fight Yvan, who has already used Asmodeus to kill the inhabitants of Neo-Tokyo. They both manage to defeat Yvan and Ark returns to the underworld to destroy Dark Gaia. As a result of his victory, Ark realizes that the underworld and all its inhabitants (including himself) will disappear, although it is suggested that ” They will reincarnate. Ark goes to bed for the last time and dreams of being a flying bird across the world. In the epilogue, the Celina of the surface is in her house, when one knocks on the door. She hurries to open and the game ends.


Terranigma was conceived by Quintet , who had already developed other games where the hero recreated the world as ActRaiser or Soul Blazer . The Enix publisher hired Quintet as a subcontractor to perform an RPG action , due to Quintet’s experience in the field and the welcome of their previous games in Japan 7 . The theme of creation was chosen to contrast with the destruction of the enemies of other action games and make the player think about his actions 7 . Terranigma is the last play of the trilogy formed by Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia, containing some references to each of the two sets 8. Terranigma n ‘


Overview of received ratings
media Note
Famitsu ( JP ) 30/40 10
Joypad ( FR ) 88% 11
Player One ( EN ) 90% 12
Notes Aggregators
media Note
MobyGames 84% 13

Terranigma sold 200,000 copies in Japan 14 . The release date in France (February 1998 [ref. Required] ) was highly criticized by critics for whom the game should have been released two years earlier and not after the release of Final Fantasy VII . However, the quality of the game is unanimously recognized 11 , 12 . Joypad says the game is “interesting, fun” and that “fans of Zelda will be satisfied” 11 . For Player One, the game is excellent and technically perfect, both for music that graphics 12 . Thereafter, Terranigma was described by Jeremy Parish of 1UP.com’s Retronauts podcast as the Quintet Super Nintendo action-RPG with the best reputation, noting the quality of the gameplay, music and deep themes of the story. Kei Kubodi magazine gamefan portrayed Terranigma like the best game Quintet and one of the most memorable songs of the SNES 7 .


As in Illusion of Time , many characters inspired by real people appear, although most have modified names that do not formally identify them.

  • Bell invents the phone
  • Columbus is an explorer who has discovered America
  • Wil invented the plane as Wilbur Wright but did not have a brother
  • Matis is a painter with a name similar to Henri Matisse
  • The city of Anjou (in France) takes its name from the French historical territory of the same name. It is called Loire in the American version, like the river.


It is generally considered the third and final episode of the series consisting of Soul Blazer , Illusion of Time and Terranigma . Nevertheless the games have never used the same license name and have no direct links between them, although there are references in Illusion of Time , such as the Turbo Dog 15 or the Soul Blazer boss , and Terranigma , where a developer talks about Illusion of Time 2 16 .

Development Team

  • Game Designer  : Tomoyoshi Miyazaki
  • Script Writer  : Tomoyoshi Miyazaki
  • Screenplay : Reiko Takebayashi
  • Planner  : Takeshi Tsuru
  • Programmers: Akira Kitanohara , Shigemi Kita , Megumi Tsuruno , Kyosuke Achiwa
  • Graphic Designers  : Naoko Suzuki , Kazuteru Sugaya , Toshiaki Yamada , Sadao Kobayashi , Keisuke Yasaka (Image Works) Katsutoshi Segawa (Image Works) Akira Baba (Image Works), Wataru Yanagawa , Ayano Koshiro
  • Sound Composers: Miyoko Kobayashi , Masanori Hikichi
  • Staff Quintet  : Kazunori Takado Takashi Shichijyo, Naohito Suginaka Yutaka Sasaki Noriyoshi Akiba, Masami Fujita, Yuko Miyata, Atsuko Muro, Takako Ochiai, Kunihiro Hirabayashi Mitsunori Yoshida Masami Okubo Kenichi Kobayashi, Hajime Watanabe
  • Art Direction: Kamui Fujiwara
  • Enix Staff  : Keiji Honda
  • Rebuilding: Tomoyoshi Miyazaki
  • Producers: Shinji Futami , Jun Toda , Masaya Hashimoto
  • Executive Producer: Yukinobu Chida
  • Publisher  : Yasuhiro Fukushima

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