Illusion of Gaia
Illusion of Gaia is an action role-playing game developed by Quintet and published by Enix for the SNES on 1993-11-27. You play Will, an orphan with psychokinetic powers living with his grandparents in a small coastal village. He finds a girl in his house who soon turns out to be a princess running from an unwanted arranged marriage. Will helps her avoid the marriage, but finds himself caught up in an epic quest to save the Earth from destruction by having to visit important ancient locales like the Great Wall of China, Incan ruins, and the Nazca Lines.
My middle school friend Kevin rented this game, and I watched him play it for the first few stages of the game until he had to return it. Later, I bought a used copy and tried playing it myself, only to become bored with it. I let a friend play my game and he made it through most of the game before also becoming bored. Finally, while wanting to find more SNES music to appreciate, and knowing that actually playing a game tends to make me like it more, I decided to play through the game and beat it.
I own this game and have beaten it.
Best Version: SNES
— This section contains spoilers! —
- Over all, the game is a fun action RPG.
- The game has some really nice graphics and animation.
- Being able to turn into a more powerful knight is a fun addition.
- While not as impressive as the soundtracks being produced at Square, Yasuhiro Kawasaki's music is professional and fitting.
- The developers drew Will and Freedan's sprites without mirroring, so you remain right-handed when moving left, a nice touch.
- The game has a fantastic manual.
- Will uses a flute as a weapon... lame.
- The story's basic concept is interesting, but the game implements it poorly. I was left with little idea of what was going on most of the time.
- The non-player characters that follow Will around through the cities are uninteresting and look goofy.
- The game is entirely linear, often forcing you forward with no option to revisit previous areas.
- The red crystals, while a nice addition to the game, are hidden in such ridiculous locations that they force you to search every single area of every map to find them.
- A large percentage of the enemies are unidentifiable and boring. For example, one enemy is just a chain of shiny spheres that moves around.
- Your weapon has a huge hit box, often hitting enemies that weren't visually touched by your weapon making combat easier than it should be.
- While I like the system of constantly rewarding the player with minor improvements throughout the game, the fact that every reward is planned takes away a lot of the excitement. It also makes it impossible to grind for more power to get through more difficult areas.
- Several of cut-scenes are really drawn out and dull, there's actually a part in the game where you have to wait in line for several minutes with nothing happening.
- While I love the idea of using various ancient cultures, the designers often mix cultures haphazardly, like having lamassu and shedu (from Mesopotamian mythology) in the Incan and Egyptian regions.
- The bosses vary wildly in difficulty. The bird boss is far easier to defeat than the first boss you face.
- The American release appears the have been renamed to purposely look like a Zelda title with the same lettering and intonation.
- Allowing the D-pad to clear dialogue boxes at the end of a conversation is especially annoying, and often results in missed text.
- The final boss rush is obnoxious. You're not allowed to heal in between battles, and, if you die, you pretty much have to reset since you restart the entire boss rush with only 50% life!
The North American box art is well-painted, but it shamelessly rips off the style of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in order to confuse players that it is related.
|English (America)||Illusion of Gaia|
|English (Europe)||Illusion of Time|
|Japanese||ガイア幻想紀||Gaia Gensoki||The Gaia Fantasy Chronicles|