[[quoteright:189:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GaiaGensouki_3452.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:189:Psychic KidHero and friends can [[BatmanCanBreatheInSpace breathe in space]].]]

An ActionAdventure game with RPGElements for the SuperNintendo, developed by Quintet. Enix (now SquareEnix) published the game in Japan, and Nintendo published it worldwide, with release dates of November, 1993 (Japan) and September, 1994 (North America). It was released in Europe in April, 1995 [[MarketBasedTitle under the title]] ''[[MarketBasedTitle Illusion of Time]]''. The game revolves around the adventures of Will, a boy with PsychicPowers who winds up having to SaveTheWorld from an ancient evil that wiped out the legendary civilizations of the past. The game never met the levels of success that ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' or ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' did, probably I'm because it is short, but it is still well-remembered by many.

''Illusion of Gaia'' describes its setting as the "age of exploration". In practice, it's that special blend of MedievalEuropeanFantasy and VictorianBritain that {{Eastern RPG}}s are fond of mixing up, with an extra dash of the Victorian plus an emphasis on [[LandmarkOfLore Landmarks of Lore]] and explorers. The father of [[KidHero Will]], is one such explorer. Father and son went on an expedition to {{the Tower}} [[TowerOfBabel of Babel]], but a ''completely mysterious something'' went wrong and only Will made it back home. How, he doesn't know, but it did awaken his psychic potential, whatever it was.

Aside from the ESP, Will is an [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent ordinary schoolboy]]. At least, he is until the day he meets two people - Gaia, the [[WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers spirit of the earth...]] er, [[MotherNature "source of all life"]], and Kara, a [[RebelliousPrincess runaway princess]]. Before long, Will is on the run from Kara's sovereign parents and trying to stop a [[CometOfDoom doomsday comet]] under Gaia's direction, all while trying to reunite with his missing father. Will's [[TheHerosJourney journey]] takes him through an assortment of (16-bit renditions of) real-world sites, such as [[{{Mayincatec}} Macchu Picchu]], the [[AncientAstronauts Nazca lines]], [[TempleOfDoom Angkor Wat]], the [[FarEast Great Wall of China]], and [[PyramidPower Egyptian pyramids]].

Is the SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer''. Considered part of a trilogy which also includes ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}''.
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!!This game is an example of:
* AdvertisedExtra: The descriptions and marketing of the game, and even the ''instruction manual'', all give the impression that Lance, Erik, and Seth had larger roles in the game than they actually do.
* AllThereInTheManual: As literally as you can get. The manual actually has a ''walkthrough'' in it, including Red Jewel locations and help for most of the GuideDangIt moments.
* AllUpToYou: Will has a large entourage of {{sidekick}}s; none of them ever participate in the actual gameplay (until the FusionDance at the end), but they manage to show up everywhere Will goes nonetheless.
** Lilly acts as an ExpositionFairy of sorts during [[ThatOneLevel Mu]]. Not so much in The Great Wall.
* AmbidextrousSprite: Will's third form, Shadow, only.
* AncientAstronauts: Subverted. Including the Nazca Lines suggests this trope, but the spaceship is replaced by a [[FloatingContinent flying city]], and instead of aliens there are {{Sufficiently Advanced|Alien}} {{Mutant}}s.
* AnimeHair: [[spoiler: The Jackal, of all people,]] has a blond, spiky, and ridiculously tall hairdo.
** Some might have interpreted it as aztician-styled hair ornament, due the readability of the sprite itself.
* AntiGrinding: The only way to increase your maximum health, attack power or defense is to clear all of the enemies from a room in a dungeon, at which point one of the three stats goes up. If you completely ignore the enemies and just rush through, you still get the power-ups anyway, discouraging a LowLevelRun.
* AnyoneCanDie: Subverted when it's revealed that [[spoiler: Seth isn't actually dead.]] Played straight later on, with [[spoiler: Hamlet's]] death being a major surprise.
* ArtificialGravity: Seen on the Sky Garden, where you can jump off the edge and wind up walking upside-down on the underside with gravity pulling everything upward.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The game states that the comet causes rapid evolution by [[spoiler:speeding up time]], so that organisms mutate faster. However, organisms cannot evolve, only populations -- once your chromosomes combine, you're stuck with that DNA. Granted, this ''could'' potentially work if it was ''mutating'' the organisms, similar to radiation, which is probably the original intent. [[spoiler:Of course, in that case, it would not be the biological superweapon the spirits claim it to be,]] since it's extremely rare for radiation to result in positive mutations.
** Another biology fail: The game claims that a camel's hump contains water. It does, in the sense that all organic matter does, but it's a storehouse for fat.
* AstralFinale: How do you deal with a CometOfDoom? You go into space and kick its ass, of course.
* {{Atlantis}}: Actually Mu Continent, the Pacific Ocean equivalent. The developers were found of depicting Mu in their games; it appears again as a side quest in ''Terranigma''.
* [[spoiler: BackForTheDead: Hamlet, who was left behind in Edward Castle when Kara ran away with Will, unexpectedly turns up much later in the game and accompanies what's left of the party to the next destination, an impoverished village that has lost many to the labor trade. He ends up performing a HeroicSacrifice to prevent the remaining villagers from starving.]]
* BattleCouple: Jack and Silvania, the Dual Boss [[UnholyMatrimony vampires]] of Mu.
* BetaCouple: Lance and Lilly. A subplot features their relationship blossoming, which gives Will reason to go to the Great Wall Of China when Lilly [[spoiler:temporarily abandons the group after Lance confesses his feelings to her]].
* BigBad: Dark Gaia, the malevolent entity using the comet for its own ends and Gaia's antithesis.
* BittersweetEnding: As foreshadowed earlier in the game, [[spoiler: the comet's light has an unnatural effect on the evolution of the planet ''itself''. By defeating Dark Gaia, Will and Kara stop the cycle of destruction, [[NoOntologicalInertia enabling the world to assume its proper shape]] (real-life, modern-day Earth of the 1990s). Will and Kara go there to live new lives, with no memory of their adventures or feelings for each other.]] Happily, [[spoiler: Will and Kara vow before returning to Earth to find each other - and the final scene of the game shows Will, Kara, Lance, Erik, and even Seth (but not Lilly, for some reason) together again, in a modern-day school.]]
** Furthermore, while the people of the Earth are happy, [[GreenAesop their lack of awareness of the spirit of the earth makes it sad]].
* BlackKnight: Will is the Knight Of Darkness, but his Freedan form is a more direct embodiment of the trope, being a broad-shouldered knight in strong, black armour with a broad sword and long, flowing blonde hair. A subversion of the current use of the trope, though not as originally written in ancient legend, since Will is the hero.
* BlindIdiotTranslation:
** There's this thing called context, and the translators had '''no clue about it'''. No clue if the subject of a sentence is singular or plural, no clue if a character is speaking aloud or thinking to themselves, sometimes no clue who's doing the speaking. Some more accurate translations in areas containing particularly bad grammar (as well as the censorship issues encountered in {{Bowdlerise}}) can be found here http://www.terraearth.com/illusion-of-gaia/translations/.
** There are more than a few proofreading fails, like when Kara is referred Karen (as she was in draft of the translation seen in the beta), or the spot where "violinist" was misinterpreted as "violent".
* BlondGuysAreEvil: King Edward is implied to be a less than benevolent ruler who gladly makes use of his power to invade other countries. There's also the fact that he's willing to have a child thrown in jail for not bringing him what he asked for. Oh, and we also have [[spoiler:the Jackal, a ruthless mercenary who spends nearly the entire game chasing after Kara on her father's orders]].
* BonusBoss: Solid Arm, a.k.a. Metal Mantis, the first boss from ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer'', [[spoiler: the true form of Gem the Jeweler.]]
* BookEnds: The game begins and ends with a scene of the hero and his friends at school.
* BossRush: The end of the game forces you to fight every boss you've faced so far in succession, though you can still heal and save after a couple of them. At least the earlier ones are easier now that you're (a) using Shadow, (b) more powerful and carrying more health, and (c) presumably better at the game than you were when you first fought them all.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Slaves are never called slaves, they are laborers or servants instead. References to the [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal tribe]] eating people were written out to the point that players might not suspect they're a cannibal tribe. Most suggestions of polytheism are obscured.
-->Kara: "It's as if we've become spirits[[note]]gods[[/note]]..."
* BraggingRightsReward: You gain absolutely ''nothing'' for collecting all 50 red jewels aside from access to the BonusDungeon and its BonusBoss. Oh, and you have to fight him using Will (instead of the stronger Freedan or Shadow) so it's probably a longer fight than most of the others put together.
** Since you have [[WhatTheHellHero to reveal the whereabouts of an escaped slave to an incredibly sinister hooded slave trader]] to get all 50 gems, you could say that this is just LaserGuidedKarma!
* CallingCard: The Jackal carves a picture of a...well, a jackal, to mark the places where he's been.
* CatchAFallingStar: Double-subverted. Neil uses his airplane to save Will from freefall, but only on the second pass.
* ChekhovsGun: An NPC in the Pyramid tells you that the hieroglyphics room is rigged with a sound-triggering booby trap. Just before that level's boss fight, [[spoiler:Will sets off this trap by playing his flute, killing the Jackal who had taken Kara prisoner.]]
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience (goes hand in hand with DarkIsNotEvil): Subverted for most of the game, then [[DoubleSubversion double-subverted]] at the last minute.
** The RainbowSpeak also works like this with character speech. Will's text is yellow, [[PrincessesPreferPink Kara's]] is pink, Lance's is green, Lilly's is blue, Erik's is orange, Seth's is purple, and Neil's is gray. Everything else uses white text.
* ControllableHelplessness: There's nothing you can do to get out of the prison cell in Edward Castle faster, even though you can walk around and examine things. The same is true of the shipwreck sequence.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: To say that [[spoiler: Rolek]] engages in shady activities is to say that the ocean is damp. That said, it may be because [[spoiler: Neil's parents were replaced with demons]].
* CrapsaccharineWorld: On the surface it's a typical 90s [=JRPG=], all bright colors and friendly neighbors, but there's impending doomsday, famine, slavery, and human trafficking lurking around every dark corner. Pointed out in-game that the nicest looking towns tend to have the seediest underbellies.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The names of most of Will's transformations and attacks indicate that his powers are [[CastingAShadow darkness-based]].
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler:The Jackal, who's been chasing after Kara for the entire game, spends his last moments crawling across the floor after her as he's ''burning alive''.]]
* DemBones: A couple of the early enemies are versions of this, with much more dangerous flying skulls turning up later on.
* [[DefrostingIceQueen Defrosting Ice Princess]]: Kara, who gains a great deal of humility the longer she spends away from the castle.
* DescriptiveVille: Many towns are ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. South Cape is located on a southern cape. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freesia Freesia]] is full of flowers. Watermia is built on a river.
* DifficultyByRegion: In the Japanese version, herbs fully recover your health. Also, you don't have to [[spoiler:attack the first boss's hands to hurt him]], and the earthquake attack can be used to stun a boss.
* DifficultySpike: Mu, where the blobs and skeletons of previous levels are suddenly and unexpectedly replaced by rock-hard enemies that can become temporarily invincible, teleporting monsters with homing shots, a water depth puzzle, and a [[ThatOneBoss particularly difficult]] DualBoss. Ankor (sic) Wat is another spike, though mercifully there isn't a boss at the end of it.
* DwindlingParty: A (mostly) non-fatal version. Will's group grows to six members at some points, but they leave one or two at a time as the game nears its conclusion.
* DreamMelody: Will has his grandmother's lullaby, which turns out to be the key to revealing her village of origin and an identifying call. Also, a couple dungeons have background music that turn out to be versions of other melodies.
* [[spoiler: EarthAllAlong: After defeating the comet, the world assumes its natural shape, which is that of present-day Earth.]]
* EasyAmnesia: Lance suffers this after a shipwreck. His family has bad luck with this, [[spoiler:as his missing father turns up half a world away with IdentityAmnesia courtesy of a different shipwreck.]]
* EleventhHourSuperpower: The Firebird ability from Will's [[spoiler: Fusion Dance]], as well as the ability to travel into space to stop the comet.
** [[EleventhHourRanger Tenth Hour Ranger]]: Shadow himself.
* EndOfAnAge: As the spirit of Angkor Wat foretold, Will is destined [[spoiler:to usher in the modern, industrialized world. He has mixed feelings about leaving the world as he knows it, and players will likely sympathize with the fantasy world giving way to life as we know it]]. The closing narration points out that the new world may not be as open or as wild, but it has good people in it, and that makes it worthwhile.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: The CometOfDoom that drives the plot is responsible for the fall of many of the civilizations whose ruins Will explores. Will has to prevent it from happening again.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep / NoNameGiven: Your opponent in the drinking game is simply called "The Opponent".
** The Jackal is also never referred to by any other name.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Subverted to hell and back with Kara, who occasionally causes quite a bit of trouble with her spoiled attitude [[CharacterDevelopment until she grows out of it]].
* EvilCounterpart: Dark Gaia to Gaia.
* {{Expy}}: The Flasher enemies that appear in Mu are pretty much identical to the Wizzrobe enemies in the [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Legend of Zelda]] series, attack pattern and all.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[spoiler: Hamlet]], then later [[spoiler:the Jackal]], both of which get ''burned alive''. The latter's is particularly gruesome.
* FetchQuest: The journey to Mt. Kress is one of these, as there's nothing about the quest or its objective that seems relevant to finding Mystic Statues or advancing to new areas. And when you ''do'' advance, you wind up going to Ankor Wat on another fetch quest... only this time the game doesn't even tell you that it's a fetch quest.
* FloatingContinent: The Sky Garden is a small one of these.
* FollowThePlottedLine: Will's journey is fairly linear, although he does have at least an idea of where to go next.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Will's original band of friends form one of these.
** Will - '''Choleric'''
** Lance - '''Sanguine'''
** Eric - '''Supine'''
** Seth - '''Melancholic'''
* FusionDance: The endgame, where Will's friends and the spirits of those who love and guide him join with him to power up his final form.
* GaiasVengeance: Inverted in that ''Illusion of Gaia'' is conscious of the GreenAesop, but Gaia is helpful, not vengeful.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: The scene where Will is trapped on a raft. He gradually gets more and more hungry and the narrative tells us that Will's feeling weak from hunger. Look up at his health and you'll see that he's gradually losing health, too.
* GeniusLoci: The game appears to subscribe the the Gaia Hypothesis concept of the Earth as a living organism. [[spoiler: Organisms exposed the the comet's light mutate, and the Earth is no exception. This ends up being the explanation for why the game world is unlike the real Earth.]]
* GhostLights: Will [[ISeeDeadPeople talks to dead people]] quite a bit. They take the form of tongues of spectral fire.
* GiantHandsOfDoom: The first boss attacks with these and FrickinLaserBeams.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Bosses seldom have much in the way of context. The major exceptions are the vampires and the final boss, who are discussed quite a bit in advance of their actual appearances.
** Sand Fanger is mentioned ahead of time if you happen to talk to the right NPC in Watermia, though it's described more as a dangerous beast than a malevolent antagonist.
* GuideDangIt: Finding the fifty red jewels, almost half of which can be LostForever.
** The red jewel in the fisherman's pot is a double example; the manual ''has'' a guide, which tells you that's where the jewel is, but it fails to mention the condition for the pot appearing -- it's [[RandomNumberGod randomly decided each time you enter the area]].
* HealingCheckpoint: Save points also restore your health.
* HealingHerb: The game's only healing item. Not to be used lightly, since there's a strictly limited number of them in the entire game.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Viper (the Sky Garden boss), and the vampire couple both help you get to the top of the Tower of Babel.]]
** [[spoiler: BonusBoss Solid Arm compliments Will's strength upon defeat and (seemingly) transports him back to the Tower Of Babel to save the world.]]
* HeKnowsAboutTimedHits: At the beginning of the game, Seth tells you to stand in front of the statue and use the L/R buttons.
* HeroicBSOD: Poor Neil briefly goes through this after [[spoiler: his parents are revealed to be [[DeadAllAlong Moon Tribe spirits]]]].
* HeroicSacrifice / SomeoneHasToDie: [[spoiler: Hamlet the pig allows himself to be cooked and eaten so a village doesn't have to starve. A retranslation of the game from the original Japanese makes his sacrifice make more sense. The tribe was cannibalistic, eating it's own people to survive, and hamlet kills himself so that the tribe doesn't eat the party... Or more of their own.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: The opponent in the [[RussianRoulette Russian Glass game]] drinks the only remaining (and therefore fatally poisoned) glass rather than forfeit the game. It turns out he's [[SoapOperaDisease terminally ill]] and [[TheLastDance trying to go out with a bang]] while putting his family on easy street with his winnings.
* HumansAreBastards: The game occasionally likes to remind you that humans destroy the environment, mercilessly kill each other, and think themselves superior to giant man-eating fish. Furthermore, while the ending does show you saving the human race, it does take pains to remind you that "(T)he Earth was the only one that looked sad."
* HundredPercentCompletion: Collecting all fifty red jewels grants access to the game's BonusDungeon.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Will apparently bashes in his enemies' brains with a ''[[InstrumentOfMurder flute]]''.
* IndianBurialGround: The major dungeons in the game are all ruins of ancient civilizations.
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: Will can carry no more than sixteen items, and as you fill those slots with precious, finite Herbs, freeing up space for new quest items gets tricky late in the game. The 50 Red Jewels seem like a headache waiting to happen, but fortunately they can be sent off to the Jeweler at any time.
* InvisibleToNormals: Itory Village is like this, invisible to the human eye until a song from the village is sung (or played on a flute, in Will's case).
* ItMustBeMine: Kara is drawn to the ring worn by the Incan Queen's mummified corpse. [[spoiler:As the reincarnation of the Light Knight, [[ChekhovsGun she needed that ring to be able to get inside the Tower of Babel]].]]
* JewsLoveToArgue: Rofsky and Erasquez, those [[AmbiguouslyJewish Einstein-looking]] old men in Euro, are supposed to bicker and trade insults with each other but the translation butchered their dialogue even worse than it usually does.
* KidHero: All of the protagonists appear to be in the neighborhood of 12-15 years old. Will is a bit taller than his friends, so presumably he is a little older, but definitely no older than 15. Will's cousin Neil is the only exception, appearing to be in his late teens or early twenties.
** Lilly celebrates her 15th birthday at one point in the game, so it can be assumed that the ages of the other kids are in that area. Erik is likely the youngest, and Will is just a tad taller, so possibly older.
* LandmarkOfLore: The game's dungeons include real locations like Angkor Wat, Nazca, the Great Wall of China, and the Great Pyramid, as well as mythological locations such as Mu and the Tower of Babel.
* LaserGuidedKarma: It's implied that many of the comet's victims were horrible people who effectively lost their own souls through their evil deeds. Case in point, [[spoiler:Neil's parents]], who have been using their company as a front for the slave trade in Euro.
* LawOfOneHundred: Collect 100 DP to earn an extra life (up to 9), allowing you to respawn in the same room when you die (albeit not at full HP).
* LegacyBossBattle: With Solid Arm, a boss originally from the first game in the series, ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer'', who's [[GuideDangIt only fightable]] if you [[GottaCatchThemAll collect all fifty Red Jewels]].
* LostForever: The game's [[FollowThePlottedLine highly structured plot]] results in several points where the characters take one-way trans-ocean trips, making backtracking to collect items you might have missed (mostly those Red Jewels) impossible. The last of these occurs around the midpoint of the game, so after that you can actually skip something and go back for it.
* LoveAtFirstNote: Grandpa Bill mentions that this is how he fell in love with Grandma Lola.
* MaamShock: Queen Edwina is appalled when Will innocently refers to her this way. Not the most polite way to address a ''queen'', Will...
* TheMaze: Mountain Temple. The manual even suggests drawing a map as you explore the area.
* MessageInABottle: Will and Kara find one...while adrift at sea themselves. You eventually get a chance to help the people who wrote the note when you storm the Diamond Mine and set them free. In return, they give you a healing song (for Lance's memories).
* MusicalAssassin: Again, Will and his flute.
* MysteriousMercenaryPursuer: The Jackal chases Will throughout the game, but only shows up once near the end.
* NeverSayDie: "It's horrible when someone loses their life" and similar dodges abound.
* NiceHat: Your opponent for Russian Glass wears one.
* OneOfTheseDoorsIsNotLikeTheOther: In some areas, there appears to be no door at all, but paying careful attention to [[spoiler: the wind, or else the sound made by striking,]] reveals the secret.
* OneWingedAngel: The FinalBoss has two forms.
* OrganicTechnology: The endgame reveals that [[spoiler: the comet is a LostSuperWeapon created by an ancient civilization that mastered biotechnology and altered organisms to suit their needs. Shadow is another one of their products.]]
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: A whole colony of them live in a secluded place underground. They apparently die if exposed to sunlight for too long, and they're rumored to be the form into which humans will evolve.
* PaletteSwap: Most enemies have more powerful versions with a different colour scheme (and sometimes different attacks), but it's most noticeable in the Sky Garden. There, every enemy on the underside is a tougher PaletteSwap of those on the overside.
* PhantomZonePicture: Ishtar's paintings are lovely to behold, but have the unfortunate side effect of trapping their models inside them.
* PinkGirlBlueBoy: The ''staff credits'', of all places, seem to be written like this.
* PlatformingPocketPal: Lilly's dandelion transformation ability lets her take cover in dungeons by hiding in Will's pocket.
* PlotCoupon: The Mystic Statues. You GottaCatchThemAll, but they don't do anything gameplay-wise.
* PrincessesPreferPink: Kara seems to be a particularly egregious example of this trope, seeing as both of her parents wear blue.
* PutOnABus: Seth, who disappears abruptly when a giant sea creature attacks the Ghost Ship. He does reappear briefly later on, but in dialogue only, [[spoiler: as he transformed into the same creature that sank the ship]]. Eventually, [[spoiler: all the characters [[DwindlingParty leave the party forever]], and only Will and Kara see the quest through to its end]].
* PsychicPowers: Will's friends make a big deal out of his telekinetic powers early on. He also has some sort of ill-defined, seldom used predictive power [[spoiler: that serves as a red flag in the Russian Glass game, and makes whatever wire you pick to disarm a bomb automatically correct]].
* RainbowSpeak: Every named character speaks in a text color different from the default blue-white text, as do a few nameless, but prominent, characters. The color of the speech text also largely depends on the character in question.
* RansackedRoom: After Will and Kara escape from Edward Castle, they return to South Cape to find Will's entire house completely trashed.
* RebelliousPrincess: Kara, who appears to have made several unsuccessful attempts to run away from Edward Castle before the start of the story.
-->"I too am a prisoner -- in a [[GildedCage prison of silk and gold]]."
* RegionalBonus: Beyond the increased difficulty, the international versions of the game have bug-fixes and graphics alterations. Some are for {{Bowdleri|se}}zation purposes, but others add flavor to the game. For instance, the second boss went from run-of-the-mill giant bird to winged Babylonian-style statue.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFajPdNlRjQ#t=1m16s Here for those, who want to see the bird in action without the statue on its head]].
* ReincarnationRomance: [[spoiler: Will and Kara, apparently.]]
* RetGone: Defeating Dark Gaia erases the comet from history, reversing the damage it caused.
* RussianRoulette: The Russian Glass game. [[spoiler: Your opponent is [[DeathSeeker playing to lose]].]]
* TheSacredDarkness: Will's powers use Gaia's "Dark Energy", and there are no negative connotations associated with them. Not that there aren't bad darkness powers; the FinalBoss is called "Dark Gaia".
* SchrodingersGun: When presented with multiple choices, Will guesses correctly thanks to his psychic powers. No matter what option the player picks, the outcome is the same.
** Early in the game, Will is asked to pick a card. No matter what the player picks, it is the right one.
** Later in the game there is a WireDilemma, but both wires are the right one. The bomb only explodes if the timer runs out ''and'' you haven't beaten the accompanying DualBoss yet.
** The Russian Glass game ''does'' have a wrong answer, but you're given a chance to back out if you try it, unlike the safe glasses.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Getting rid of the comet.
* ShapeShifting: Will has two different forms (apart from his usual one) he can assume, and Lilly can transform into a dandelion seed.
* ShoutOut: Several to Enix's other SNES games.
** The dog that rescues you is named [[VideoGame/SoulBlazer Turbo]].
** The Skeleton head enemy from VideoGame/ActRaiser is in Angel Village.
** The Moon Tribe looks like a spirit enemy from SoulBlazer.
** Just watch a LetsPlay of ''[=ActRaiser=]'' and count the number of enemies, themes, and other such goodies that were later used in ''Illusion of Gaia''. For example, a statue that is somehow connected to a CrystalDragonJesus and its form being used to get through a level. Heck, even many of the sound effects are re-used between this game, ''VideoGame/ActRaiser'', ''VideoGame/SoulBlazer'', and ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}.''
* ShowDontTell: Will narrates the story in some of the more plot-heavy bits, but the translation has an unfortunate habit of turning his narration into dialogue and his dialogue into narration. It's particularly confounding in the raft sequence, in which it magnifies the StrangledByTheRedString aspect of Will and Kara's romantic relationship.
** The unintended StrangledByTheRedString thing continues into the ending, [[spoiler:where lines that were meant to refer to Will and Kara's ReincarnationRomance continuing into the future were misinterpreted as referring to their meeting at the beginning of the game, when neither of them found anything interesting about each other.]]
* SpaceElevator: The TowerOfBabel. [[WildMassGuessing Possibly.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Angkor Wat is spelled 'Ankor Wat' in the game.
** For humans, it's 'Erik' rather than Eric, and 'Lilly' rather than Lily.
* SpinToDeflectStuff: Will's flute can block incoming attacks by spinning it. But then again, he does have telekinesis.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Soul Blazer'' (to the point where a leaked early translation was titled ''Soul Blazer: Illusion of Gaia''). And ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}'' is one to this.
* StrappedToABomb: Happens to Erik at one point, in one of the [[DualBoss more]] [[TimeLimitBoss frustrating]] [[ThatOneBoss boss fights]].
* SwissArmyHero: Will has three forms he can change between.
* SwordBeam: Your EleventhHourSuperpower is functionally this. Sort of like in [[VideoGame/ActRaiser another Quintet game]], and even more like the [[VideoGame/SoulBlazer Phoenix magic]].
* SupremeChef: Grandma Lola, probably - as often, the translation is inconsistent. ForeignQueasine is also involved. Her signature dish is snail pie, but Will thinks it smells delicious and Grandpa Bill ate four slices. On the other hand, she made some soldiers sick with a different pie, so it could be that she's a LethalChef and Grandpa Bill just has very unusual tastes.
* TakenForGranite: An effect of exposure to the comet encountered in the Natives' Village (and referenced in Mu).
* TeamPet: Hamlet, Kara's preternaturally smart pet pig.
* ThreateningShark: There is a tense moment with a school of sharks during the shipwreck, but it turns out that [[ImNotHungry they're not hungry]].
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Of the [[TwoGirlsToATeam two girls on the team]], Lilly has a [[OneOfTheBoys boyish attitude]], while Kara is stereotypically feminine and under-prepared for the rigors of adventuring.
* TookAShortcut: {{Muggle}} secondary characters can and will show up wherever the plot demands, no matter what extraordinary abilities Will has to use to achieve the same results. One of the kids that is established as being rather weak (both physically and mentally) is able to walk in through the very same door that Will had to use spin-dash jumps to reach. Lilly, at least, can turn into a dandelion seed and drift past any danger; but the others have no such capabilities.
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler: The Jackal. He's killed by a booby trap triggered by Will's flute in a cut-scene just before the actual boss battle of the Egyptian temple.]]
* UrbanSegregation: The town of Freejia, with a well-to-do neighborhood facing the road... and a very poor slum and a slave market on the other side.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You want all the Red Jewels? Hope you're okay with telling a slave-trader where his escaped slave is hiding. At least you can take comfort in knowing that you'll soon break into the slave camp and free all the slaves, presumably including the one you turned in.
* WaitingPuzzle: A puzzle early on has elements of this. One room in the Larai Cliffs has a floor of gold tiles, and when Will plays his flute, one tile glows. Will must then stand on that tile for several seconds before a door opens in the southern wall.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Seth, who is left behind in South Cape with Lance and Erik until all three suddenly show up on the Incan Gold Ship, then apparently gets eaten by the giant sea monster that destroys the ship. [[spoiler:He's not exactly dead, though, having turned into the same sort of sea monster. He's eventually able to communicate a message to the party explaining that this means he cannot return to them.]]
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: [[spoiler:The approaching comet grants humanity amazing power, causing them to be driven mad and change into demons.]]
* YinYangBomb: [[spoiler:In the end, Will (the Knight of Darkness) and Kara (the Knight of Light) perform a FusionDance to become a souped-up version of the Dark Knight Shadow, with a new move, the Firebird.]]
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