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The characters of Enix's 1996 epic tale of creation and history, Terranigma.

Characters can broadly be separated into two categories: those who are important to plot advancement but irrelevant to setting advancement, and those who are the converse.

  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Over the course of the game, you will encounter Christopher Columbus, Alexander Graham Bell, Wilbur Wright, Thomas Alva Edison, and more.
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Due to the sheer amount of Plot Twists and Reveals in the second half of the game, this page will contain unmarked spoilers

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Underworld characters

    Ark 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ark.jpg
An irresponsible and carefree teenage delinquent who spends his days loafing around in Crysta, unaware that he's a key player in the eternal struggle between Light and Darkness.

  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: A killer robot packing missiles is no match for Ark's sturdy pike.
  • Artificial Human: Like all the inhabitants of Crysta, he is not really human, but a copy made of crystal blue. His original self is the Legendary Hero who sealed Dark Gaia's powers a long time ago.
  • Back from the Dead: Several times. The Dark Morph doesn't stop him and neither does Beruga.
  • Badass Cape: Ark has a really nice-looking traveling cloak that he sadly doesn't wear except for when he's traveling the overworld.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Ark can motivate the invention of devices such as the telephone, the camera, and the hamburger, as well as nudge towns from humble thatched roof beginnings to modern metropoli.
  • Big Eater: Ark will happily devour anything, even if he retches it up afterwards.
  • Blade on a Stick: Fittingly, Ark uses humanity's oldest weapon as his personal arm.
    • Simple Staff: His other weapon of choice, and the one he's depicted with in official art. Ark also uses glaives and sectional rods, so his weapon family could be summarized as polearms.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Elle of Crysta. He projects this onto Elle of Storkolm in the surface world.
  • Crystal Weapon: Ark's first weapon, the Crystal Spear, which has the unique properties that it speaks to him and also restores his health while in the underworld.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: The Ark from the Lightside died before the events of the game started. Gathering the Star Stones by his grave manages to summon his spirit.
  • Friend to All Living Things: All animals and plants adore Ark and recognize him as their savior.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The game begins with Elle waking him up from a nightmare.
  • Item Required to Proceed: Leaf flippers in the Ra Tree, a Magical Anchor in the Nirlake Caverns, Sharp Claws at the Great Cliff ...
  • Leitmotif: Surprisingly the only major character without one.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The R button on the SNES pad turns his spear into a cross-shaped shield when held down. Situationally useful, but only essential when fighting the very last boss.
  • Meaningful Name: References to Noah's Ark and the Ark of the Covenant are both applicable.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ark just has to open Pandora's Box. (Interestingly, opening the blue door in the Elder's house is the sole case where But Thou Must! is averted in-game). Strike one.
    • Then he cures Princess Elle's muteness, sparking the French Revolution. Strike two.
      • Later still he revives Dr. Beruga and Neotokio is wiped off the map. Strike three.
  • Oblivious to Love: Yomi often has to explicitly point it out to him if Elle is not involved.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Applicable to the Pandora's Box and its contents. Darkside and Lightside.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: And plant. But he sadly loses the ability to understand them in the interregnum between Chapters 2 and 3, although they can still understand him.
  • Spiky Hair: Similar to his great RPG contemporary, Crono.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Elle. Both of her.
  • The Chosen One: So very much.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The Playable Epilogue, in a bittersweet way. After Dark Gaia's defeat, everything he created in the Underworld begins to crumble, including Crysta and Ark himself. However, Light Gaia uses her power to restore Crysta for a day, so at least Ark can spend his final moments in peace.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: As an individual of Darkside, Ark does exactly as Dark Gaia requires. But Light Gaia has other plans.

    Elle of Crysta 
Ark's childhood friend in Crysta and apprentice to the local weaver, Elle is a kind, thoughtful, responsible, and loving girl.

  • Artificial Human: Like Ark and everyone else in Crysta, Elle is not a "real" human, but a copy made of crystal blue. Her original self is Elle of Storkholm.
  • Back from the Dead: During the Playable Epilogue, Light Gaia revives her for one day as a farewell gift to Ark. They both die that night, but not before she tells Ark that they will meet again in their next life.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In an utterly heartbreaking way. She kills herself protecting Ark from Dark Yomi's treachery. It's the first time he's seen her in the past few years, and he can't do anything but watch helplessly as she sacrifices herself for his sake.
  • Human Popsicle: Turned into one at the start of the game.
  • I Will Wait for You: When Ark is about to leave for the Overworld, Elle promises him that she will wait for his return and will receive him with a smile. Sadly, she doesn't get to keep her promise.
  • The Lady's Favor: Elle makes a cape for Ark that has her feelings woven in. Notably, it occupies one of the special armor slots in the armor room and is required to progress into Tower 5 in the underworld.
  • Leitmotif: It's telling that Elle's Theme is an arranged version of the wistful, bittersweet, melancholic "Sadness", but it also contains hopeful strains skillfully woven in.
  • My Girl Back Home: To Ark, of course. She stays in Crysta, but he thinks of her often during his journey.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Elle warps Yomi and herself out of existence. This is in no way foreshadowed by the game, nor is it ever explained how she has this power. She just does it because the plot requires it.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ark.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Sweet, ladylike, and one of the best weavers in Crysta.

    Yomi 
A strange, sarcastic creature held captive inside Pandora's Box. After being freed, he becomes Ark's companion and inventory manager.

  • Bait the Dog: He is Ark's snarky adventure partner, and looks like a pink, floating Pikachu. He's also one of Dark Gaia's minions, has powerful magic on his own, and tries to use it to kill Ark.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dark Yomi actually an agent of Dark Gaia, and is planning on getting Ark killed as soon as he finds the Legendary Hero.
  • Exposition Fairy: He introduces Ark to the inventory system. He also gives off some tips during several dungeons.
  • Raymanian Limbs: His little wings are detached from his body.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Light Yomi. Ark treats him as if he was the same Yomi he met in Crysta, and thanks him for being by his side during all his journey, despite Light Yomi only joining him for the final battle.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's a flying, round pink blob with ears and a cute little puffy tail.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: Ark sometimes acusses him of being this, but he's actually very attached to Yomi.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He was supposed to kill Ark right after he resurrected Beruga. However, Yomi thought that letting him live for a bit longer would lead them to the Legendary Hero, and then he would be able to kill both of them, so he spared Ark for a while. However, he didn't count on all the living beings on Earth calling out to Ark and restoring him to his adult size. He also didn't anticipate that Elle would sacrifice herself rather than hurt Ark.
  • Walking Spoiler: You can tell by the number of spoilered tropes that he plays a bigger role than managing the inventory system.
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    The Elder 
The leader of Crysta and the only one who knows the secrets and the world beyond the village. He sends Ark on a quest to resurrect the overworld.

  • Big Bad: Dark Gaia himself, the soul of the underworld and the spirit of destruction.
  • No Name Given: In Crysta, he is simply known as "the Elder". Humans of the overworld have given him a name: "the Devil".
  • Evil Old Folks: The spirit of destruction who wants to cast the world into chaos, he spends most of the game in the guise of an old man.
  • Parental Substitute: He's the closest thing Ark has to a father figure.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He has very little patience for Ark's mischief.
  • Wasteland Elder: He's the elder of Crysta, a peaceful cozy village in the middle of the Underworld.
  • Walking Spoiler: As you can guess by the number of spoilered tropes, the Elder keeps a secret or two.

Surface Characters

    Princess Elle 
The mute daughter of King Henri of Loire, the overworld Elle is a sullen and depressed woman whose asocial front is a shell to protect her from trauma of childhood and the heavy burden on her shoulders.

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Astarica vision. In it, Elle is the Human Sacrifice of an ancient ritual that is meant to bring humans closer to gods. And indeed, the ritual grants her strong magical powers. It also turns her into a sadistic demon that kills everyone in her path. This scene comes out of nowhere and doesn't affect her characterization in the rest of the game.
  • Break the Cutie: King Henri has her village's inhabitants exterminated down to the last woman on Wong's instigation. A careful player can piece together Dark Gaia's intent at work over the course of the game, in an attempt to pre-emptively forestall the destined hero of Lightside meant to defeat it.
  • Cute Mute: When Ark first meets her. Some servants compare her to little doll, beautiful but silent.
  • Damsel in Distress: Quite a few times.
  • Dumb Struck: The trauma of losing her parents and hometown rendered her unable to speak.
  • Engagement Challenge: Princess Elle is the prize. Prospective suitors include Ark and Royd.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Fostering for Profit: Elle probably senses that King Henri is doing this with her, which explains her cold, withdrawn behavior.
  • Head Swap: Inverted. The sprites of both Elles share the same head (though palette swapped), but their bodies are different.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: How Elle justifies repeatedly leaving Ark, that she would only be a burden to him.
  • Leitmotif: Identical to Elle of Crysta's.
  • Palette Swap: Of Elle of Crysta. So obvious that even the normally clueless Ark immediately comments on it.
  • Princesses Rule: Subverted with such alacrity by the game that one suspects plot shoehorning.
  • Rebellious Princess: Fatally, even. She murders King Henri. Though in her case, her rebellious streak is more than justified.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Played With. Elle assassinates King Henri, her adoptive father, after the truth of the Storkolm Incident comes to light. She had nothing to do with the deaths of her biological parents.
  • Sole Survivor: Of Storkholm's slaughter. King Henri kept her alive so she could tell him where the treaure was hidden.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ark. Both of him.
  • You Killed My Parents: Done by Fyda on King Henri's orders of all people, though there is no indication that Elle resents or even knows of this.

    Leim 
A lion cub whom Ark meets after resurrecting mammals. Leim must prove himself worthy of ruling over the animal kingdom by surviving the trials of the canyon.

  • Affectionate Nickname: He refers to Ark as "Big Guy".
  • Androcles' Lion: To Ark's immense relief in the Neotokio sewers.
  • Chek Hovs Gun: After completing his trial, he finds a beautiful shining gem. Ark encourages him to keep it as a memento of his victory. It's one of the Star Stones needed to summon the Legendary Hero.
  • Interspecies Friendship: It helps that Ark Speaks Fluent Animal.
  • Leitmotif: Leim's Theme is adventurous, inquisitive, upbeat, and playful, reflecting how Leim treats his test of character as a game and vacation.
  • Rite of Passage: He's in the middle of his when Ark meets him.
  • Troll: Like a bratty little brother, Leim has no qualms with lording it over you when he wins a race up a cliffside. Oh, and those collapsible rocks that form the only way to proceed? He will ditch you and force you to redo two screens of the dungeon if you don't keep pace with him.

    Lord Kumari 
The spiritual head of Lhasa, Kumari has reincarnated many times in the Earth's history and serves as another guide to Ark.

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Expy: Of the Dalai Lama.
  • Light Gaia Was My Copilot: The people of Lhasa consider him a living deity. When Ark awakens after reviving humanity, Kumari tells him that he has been asleep for three years and that he has lost the ability to communicate with plants and animals. There is no possible way Kumari could know this, yet Ark never questions it. Kumari also brings Ark back from the brink of death in chapter four, and can communicate telepathically with Ark like the Elder.
  • Mr. Exposition: Kumari brings Ark up to speed at the start of chapter three.
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    Fyda 
A knight of Loire and guardian to Princess Elle, Fyda attempts to bury the demons of the past by immersing herself in her present duties.

  • The Atoner: Fyda attempts to make up for her past mistakes by her single-minded devotion to Elle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Thrice for Ark in Dragoon Castle.
  • Cool Big Sis: Her relationship with Elle settles into this.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Fyda executed Elle's birth parents on King Henri's orders.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Ark can help her get over it, or silently judge her.
  • Foil: To Royd. In Beruga's airship, she works together with Ark to navigate past an obstacle.
  • Hidden Depths: Fyda's fever dreams in Yunkou reveal a deep-seated guilt complex over the Storkolm Incident. While steely enough to kill, she is never heartless about it.
  • Killed Offscreen: Her mission to Beruga's airship is her last.
  • Knight in Shining Armor
  • Lady of War: Fyda accompanies Ark on the final assault on Beruga's airship.
  • Leitmotif: Plays upon your very first encounter with her at the Loire Inn. Fyda's Theme tells you that she's sincere, honorable, devoted to her charge, and surprisingly thoughtful.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Yomi teases Ark about being dazzled by Fyda's looks. Royd is smitten at first sight. Fyda, for her part, is entirely indifferent.
  • Opponent Switch: Fyda interrupts Ark before his duel with Royd to take Ark's place.
  • Orphaned As Backstory: King Henri raised her, but nothing is known of her parents or what happened to them.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Royd.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The dilemma Fyda wrestles with:

    Royd 
Arrogant and self-assured, the unscrupulous mercenary Royd cares not a whit for love, honor, or friendship, seeking Princess' Elle's hand in marriage solely that he might enrich himself. Or so it seems at first ...

    Meilin 
—>A mischievous child who has the power to create illusions of people and places. Ark meets her in Louran after her grandfather Meihou asks him to look for her there; she and her parents lived there until their untimely death.——

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