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The Details


Action RPG/Simulation
Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Long ago, you and your people built a peaceful land. Since then, your world has been taken over and inhabited by the evil Tanzra and his Guardians. Your once-tranquil land has become a breeding ground for monsters, Injured, you have retreated to your Sky Palace and have fallen into a deep sleep. Now, many years have passed and you have recovered from your injuries and slumber. You must punish Tanzra and restore the world to your people or lose their faith forever.

The Plot
Well you read it above, folks. A long time ago you, God, banished Satan (Tanzra) to the underworld. You then decided to have a nap of Godly proportions and many many centuries later you wake up and it's hit the proverbial fan. People ain't happy, there's demons, there's rivers of blood, plague, you name it.

So you've gotta get back to the business of being an omnicient, vengful, and loving spiritual being, and save some folks. Gotta start small though. They don't all dig you right now.

It's a neat idea for a plot and totally works in the same idea of the other games in this unoffical saga like Terranigma, Soul Blazer, and Illusion Of Gaia to a point.

As you go through the game you'll learn more about the needs, wants, and traits of the different people that live on the planet. The folks up north, they get cold. The folks in the desert, they dig music. The folks in the islands, they might have to deal with some jungle plague. Each area uses the same mechanics, but to different outcomes and effects. Some of the folks you meet up with are just gonna be faceless worshippers, but some you're gonna get to know pretty well.

Other than that though, it is pretty much a "beat the evil guy that's screwing everything up" scenario.



This was a super early SNES game but you wouldn't really know it by looking at the action sequences of the game. They've got a really nice design. Your character looks awesome, the enemies are well done, the backgrounds and areas in general look great. Again as I like to say "You can tell what's gonna hurt and what's gonna help just by looking." and that's a positive for sure.

The simulation sections of the game aren't quite as nice, but they also don't need to be. You're supposed to be looking down from heaven and things do tend to lose a little detail when your'e farther away. Still though you'll never look at something and have to attempt to figure out just what it is. You might wonder what it's for or if/how you can interact with it, but you'll never see a rock and wonder what that cow is doing all by itself up there in the mountains. Ya dig?



The music in this game is excellent. Like for real. I have the soundtrack from the cart itself but the orchestrated versions and I'll just put it on for something nice to listen to. You may have even heard some of the stuff in the random videos I've done in the past.

The music is intense, it's relaxing, it's chilling, it's invigorating and mysterious... and all when it needs to be. No track is out of place and no track overdoes any of the emotion that it's trying to boost up. Perfect soundtrack for sure.

The sound effects are also pretty danged good. Our characters "Ha!" when he attacks has a special place in my heart as this is a game I spent a LOT of time with back in the day. Some of the noises are super video game-y as well, and that's not a bad thing. Magic doens't sound super great and Enix/Quintet had a habit of using the same wind(?) sound in a lot of their games and it's pretty terrible. The explosion sound effects are brief and satisfying. I can't, off top of my head, think of any sounds that are out of place, annoying, or just bad... other than the wind sound.



You may have gathered, if you've read up till this point, that there are two segments to the gameplay here. We have a side scrolling action/platformer section where you control our creator and go down and beat up the bad guys, kill some demons, save the people, etc. These are pretty straightforward. Jump, attack, magic. Left, right, duck. That's your lot. Not a lot to worry about when it comes to what you can do. The challenge here comes from HOW you do it. You've got some Castlevania physics with your jumps and that which I've never really cared for, though they do feel right in games like this.

Stages can be fairly large and mazelike, or pretty straight forward and linear. Plenty of enemies to deal with, some of which are just fodder and others require a little more finese from you, the player. Platforming is not super fun and can give you some anxiety when you make a jump and don't know for sure what's down there... but again it doesn't really feel out of place. It's a good balance of what you're used to and comfortable with mixed with just some terrifying decisions you have to make and hope you don't screw up and die.

Make it to the end of the stage and it's boss time. These range from big ol' Minotaurs and little tiny wizards with some powerful magics. Beat them and you get to head back up to your Sky Palace and move on from there.

Along with that, you've got a simulation in which you, via your angel helper, control the movements of the people in the area you just cleaned up. It takes people that believe in you to grow your strength so you wanna encourage the people to move, expand, prosper and all that jazz.

You direct Angel Jones to utilize the forces of nature to change the landscape. Destroy trees and rocks, put out fires, cause earthquakes, melt snow and marsh land, all sorts of stuff like that. From there you decide which way you want the folks in that region to expand. Think of it like a Sim City without all those takes and water systems... but more terraforming. Oh and you've gotta kill demons as well.

While all this is going on, the people might shout up at you because they found something to help out in your tasks. Maybe it's an awesome bow for Angel Jim, maybe it's a mega crush (not kidding), maybe it's not magic for you to use in the action sequence, maybe it's something special to the area like wool or wheat, that they'd like to share with the other regions. So while you're directing the people, you wanna experiment. "What happens if I hit this thing with this force of nature? Hmm..." You'll never know till you try, but you wanna make sure you're not ignoring those demons...

See, Satan ain't too excited to see you coming back and messing up his plans for the comeback tour so he's gonna do what he can to keep your people from doing all the things you want them to. So he sends out some demons that Angel Charlie has to take care of. Some kidnap your folks, some destroy their homes and crops. Get the people to one of their lairs and they'll use some kinda laser (not kidding) to destory the lair and keep more demons from popping up.
Do this to all the lairs and you win!

Except no, you don't. See there's always another bigger badder bad guy waiting around in an area to cause problems. From there you go back to the action sequence and do all that over again with a more difficult/longer stage with a bigger badder baddie at the end.

Once you've finished up that second action section, you can hang out and help the people build more, maybe get some more life via the population of an area, or head on to the next region to repeat the process with all new stages, bad guys, demons, and challenges.

Of course once you're all done, you're not really all done... are you?


The Recap

I super dig this game. It's nice to look at, listen to, play, and just enjoy even though it can be balls hard at times. There's not a ton for replay value, but that's ok too. It's a game you can come back to after sometime, start up and just have a good time if you like a little challenge and a little mixing up of your gameplay methods.

This was a game I owned back in the day, I even had the sequel too (more on that later), and I wish I'd held onto them. They're great games, really and truly.

If you like Castlevania style platformers, you'll dig the action stuff. If you like Sim City, even if it's for Dummies, you'll dig the simulation stuff.

With tons of hidden things to find, things to try and great music you listen to while you do it, I consider this a classic for the SNES. If you look at the date you'll notice the game came out in 1991 so that even kinda makes it a launch title which makes it even more impressive. I'm bummed that the sequel didn't live up to the expectations, but we'll get to that another day.

Plot 7  Graphics 8  Music/Sound 9  Gameplay  9

Average 8.3

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