Terranigma is a Japanese action role-playing game released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game was developed by Quintet and was published by Enix in Japan. The game was released in Europe and Australia a bit later after Nintendo localized the game. The game was never released in North America. The game tells the story of the Earth’s resurrection and the progress of a boy named Ark.
Terranigma is a top-down perspective view game, which utilizes an action-based real-time battle system allowing the player to perform different techniques. There techniques that can be performed depend actually on the protagonist’s movement, such as running, jumping, attacking or using a combination of these three actions. All the attacks have their own damage level, although the difference is not that big.
Ark gains points with each victory he earns. These points increase his level and his maximum hit points, strength, defense and luck. The player can buy weapons, armors, healing items and spells. The player gets new types of magic if he defeats bosses and completes miscellaneous tasks.
The Earth is portrayed as a hollow sphere with both external and internal face. The external Lightside stood for growth whereas the internal Darkside represented decline. The two forces became God and Devil over billions of years. Primitive forms evolved to plants, animals and humans, while technology and industry, besides revolutionizing the world, took over it as well. A fight between God and the Devil was taking place more fiercely than ever. In their direct battle no one was victorious, but the surfaces of the two worlds submerged into the sea and the underworld was sealed away.
The game was developed by Quintet, a Japanese company, which designed ActRaiser and Soul Blazer. Enix was the publisher of the game and hired Quintet as a subcontractor thanks to their former experience with the mentioned games. The script was written by Tomoyoshi Miyazaki, the director and designer of the game, also founder of Quintet. The music was composed by Miyoko Kobayashi and Masanori Hikichi.
Terranigma was not only a game in Japan, but some other merchandise pieces were released as well, such as a guide book, a world atlas, a novel by Saori Kumi, a gamebook with artwork by the character designer and two volume of manga. A 32-page comic illustrating scenes from the game was released as well.
Terranigma received very good feedback from both press and players. No less than 317 votes on GameSpot rated the SNES version with a 9.2 out of 10, while the critics rated the game with a bit more disappointing 7.9.