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Video Game / Terranigma

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An Action RPG for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System published by Enix and developed by Quintet. It is considered to be part of a loose trilogy alongside SoulBlazer and Illusion of Gaia, although the three games are not officially tied to each other outside a few unused localized titles.note 

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth. After the forces of Light and Darkness fought a fierce war with no winners, all life was wiped out from the surface and the continents were sunk in the oceans. Life could only endure underground, where everything got covered by a crystal-like mist.


The story centers around Ark, a mischievous little scamp who, bored with life in the quiet underground village of Crysta (the only human village left) decides to ignore the orders of his village elder and Open That Which Should Not be Opened, which results in the entire population of his Doomed Hometown (except the Elder) turning into crystal. From there, Ark is then tasked with not only restoring his hometown, but also reviving the world above them.

This quest takes Ark to resurface all the continents and start the circle of the evolution of the species, from plants to animals and finally human beings. And from there, recreate all of human history, including events like the European discovery of the Americas or Edison inventing the light bulb, among many others.

A fantastically enjoyable game, but was generally crippled in sales due to being released in 1995, very close to the end of the Super NES's lifespan, as well as being released practically everywhere in the world except America due to the bankruptcy of Enix America and not being able find an American publisher due to the Nintendo 64 being right around the corner (it was already released in North America when Terranigma was released in Europe). The multiple themes of religion and death present in the title probably had a role too.


Known as Tenchisouzou (The Creation of Heaven and Earth), the original Japanese name of the game, it also got a short Manga adaptation by the same name.

The game contains examples of the following Tropes:

  • Absurdly High Levelcap: Level 50. Regular playthroughs tend to end with Ark in the 30-35 range.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers of Neotokio are enormous for a small town located on a small island.
  • After the End: Played with, as the game begins with Ark accidentally causing The End of the World as We Know It and gets sent out to fix what he had done, getting the world back into shape to how it was before. It's later revealed that Beruga had previously caused an End itself, before the End that Ark had caused. So the world had already ended, before ending again and being re-created.
  • All Just a Dream: The spirit journey in Astarica. Though it's unclear if it was a dream, since it could also be Ark observing what had happened in a previous lifecycle of the world.
  • Alternate History: Due to the Decade Dissonance of the game, it can be hard to avoid this occuring. Depending on what the player has Ark do or not do, history will change. Lying to Bell about his long-distance girlfriend dumping him will lead to him not inventing the telephone.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game begins with Ark having to resurrect the continents, then head to the surface world and create the plants, birds, and then mammals. And progressing through the game allows the player to head into more technologically advanced towns — starting at primitive huts and advancing so far that it reaches a future with robots and cures for all diseases. But all of these locations exist simultaneously on the world map. Justified in-game by suggesting that time itself isn't right.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The player can purchase a home in Loire and design it, though it doesn't serve much purpose. It's a free inn and save location, but given that purchasing the home cost so much more than an inn stay, it's unlikely to balance out. Ark even lampshades the purchasing of furniture because he says he doesn't have much use for it.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Continuing to try to show their work, the game still gets things wrong.
    • The game involves the recreation of the species, which is supposed to take millions of years, but seems to occur over the course of a couple of months. Metaphorically speaking, seven days.
    • Beruga mentions to have created a vaccine that would cure people of a deadly virus. But vaccines are useless once a person is already infected. All a vaccine can do is to train the immune system to kill the virus faster in the case of an infection occurring. A much more sensible scenario would have been to say that majority of people were already infected by the time the vaccine was completed, rendering it nigh-useless.
    • The ending reveals that Yomi is LUCA — the Last Universal Common Ancestor — of all lifeforms. Except that Yomi is multi-cellular, so that cannot possibly be true. Even if he were to be assumed to be the LUCA for Kingdom Animalia, he has bilateral symmetry, which only appeared midway through animal evolution.
  • Asshole Victim
    • Nobody really mourns the death of King Henri.
    • The world was better off with Dr Beruga dead. Both cycles of worlds.
  • Batman Gambit: The Elder manipulated Ark into resurrecting life and working on leading mankind's evolution far enough for one purpose: to resurrect Beruga.
  • Background Boss: Ends up subverted with Gossie. The enormous two-headed dragon looks menacing, but it's actually a friendly creature. The real boss are the Hitoderons, the small starfish monsters in the foreground, that are bothering the former.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Everything in the game occured because it was Ark's destiny to do so. Except the second half of the game involves Ark continually screwing destiny, which is implied to also be something predetermined. Half of Ark — assumed to be the dark half — technically exists beyond the scope of fate, allowing him to follow and change Destiny's path.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Underworld is on the inside of the surface world, which is why the Overworld can be seen curving away while Ark traverses to the towers. And he crosses over to the Overworld by jumping through a hole.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Sylvain Castle and Louran are filled with spirits of the deceased and zombies.
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded: The player has no choice but to open Pandora's Box, resulting in Ark and the Elder being the only ones not turned into crystal. The Elder chastises Ark for this, then sends him out to fix things. And later revelations prove that Ark was an even more tragic pawn case to begin with.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation
    • The Sylvain Castle has the four dolls circling Ark while singing the kagome, kagome nursery rhyme, but stop circling when the nursery rhyme ends. Ark has to attack the doll behind him, until they are defeated. The problem is that kagome, kagome is unknown to most non-Japanese players, so this entire nursery rhyme gimmick was difficult to translate, but there were ways to work around it.
      1. Creating an English nursery rhyme that uses the same number of characters as the original Japanese, leaving the rhyme to end at the same time as it's finished. Though this would be incredibly tricky to do, since the English language is more verbose when compared to Japanese.
      2. Writing an English nursery rhyme that is either as short or as long as necessary, then working alongside the coders to have the dolls stop in time for the text match their spin.
      3. Opt for a literal, word-for-word translation of the rhyme in question that created absolutely nonsensical lines to Western players, leave the dolls' spin-cycle alone and have them stop in the middle of the rhyme, and keep the clue on having to attack the one behind Ark in the last line, which no player would see because of the spin-cycle and translation being out of sync. This forced players to either perform trial and errors until they figure out the right thing or to stand for a long time, waiting for the rhyme to finally end and tell the player what to do. And this was the picked option. And the translation ended up being absolutely baffling anyway (the pivotal final line was translated as "Who's in the eyes of the one behind?").
    • The game consistently uses 'to arouse' and its various forms instead of the more commonly used 'to wake/to awaken'. While this is technically not wrong, the translators seem to be unaware that 'arouse' also has a sexual meaning to it. This did lead to inadvertently innuendo-laden dialogue, most infamously being Beruga's line.
      "I thank you for arousing me."
  • Boss Remix: The final battle theme Overcoming Everything has traces of the Setting off on a Journey and the Light and Darkness tracks mixed into it.
  • But Thou Must!
    • There is no way to prevent Ark from eventually opening Pandora's Box. While the player can choose to not break open the blue door and mess around Crysta, things will eventually run out and they have to open the door and unleash Yomi.
    • One late scene has Ark being asked which Elle he loves more. The Elle from the Underworld, who has been his childhood friend and love interest for years, or the Elle from the Surface, with whom he had been growing a connection with. While the player can choose to pick one of the girls, Ark overrides this by saying that he cannot decide that.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The stone Leim finds at the end of his test turns out to be a Starstone, an item Ark is required to collect during a later portion of the game.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Guarding. This skill is only required twice in the entire game, and those times are so far apart, the player has likely forgotten that guarding is even a skill. One is against the mud monster when escorting Leim, and the other is when the Final Boss uses their destructive field-filling attack, with guarding limiting its damage to barely anything.
  • City in a Bottle: Crysta has no exit and nobody inside seems to be aware that they are surrounded by a highly inhospitable environment just beyond a few trees.
  • Comic-Book Time: The game runs on something like this. Animals and people aren't born into the world, but get spawned into existence — explained by Ark 'resurrecting' them and not creating them. And the game seems to span only a few years, yet towns can gain centuries worth of technological development in a short time.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The two volume manga that was never released outside of Japan. It was being translated by Glacial Rebellion on Blogspot, until he decided to stop because of piracy concerns.
  • Collision Damage: Ark gets damaged when touching enemies. Can lead to quite some confusion at times because many enemies have weirdly-sized hitboxes.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the optional places Ark can resurrect before heading to the surface world is Mu, a plot-relevant location in Illusion of Gaia.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Beruga gets carved up by a propeller.
  • Cute Mute: Surface Elle has been unable to speak since the death of her parents and the acquired amnesia. Upon regaining her memories, she begins speaking again.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to SoulBlazer and Illusion of Gaia, though the latter had quite some darker elements itself.
  • Dead All Along: Servas turns out to have been a spirit or a ghost.
  • Decade Dissonance
    • Justified because most of the development occurs during the events of the game and gets influenced by Ark. The other inventions were either before the creation of the plane, which made the sharing of technology much harder, or it came from the previous world, being property of Beruga.
    • Freedom looks like a village around the 17th or 18th century in terms of technological progression, but is also the home of Perel, who looks and acts like a stereotypical black 1990s skateboarder kid.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The virus Asmodeus. This virus was what devastated the previous generation of humankind, from the world that Beruga had belonged to. Upon his resurrection in the current world, he uses it to wipe out almost every person in Neotokio.
  • Developer's Room: Neotokio has a building that houses the Quintet office. One of the developers Ark can talk to explicitly refers to the game as Illusion of Gaia 2.
  • Doomed Hometown: Crysta ends up rendered uninhabited because everybody inside of it was crystallized upon the opening of Pandora's Box. The first portion of the game involves Ark fixing the people of his hometown. The events of the game results in Crysta being destroyed a second time, since Ark defeated the creator of it.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: The dolls in Sylvain Castle perform one around Ark while reciting a nursery rhyme. The abovementioned translation issues resulted in this section being a lot more complicated for non-Japanese players.
  • Dub Name Change
    • Mostly averted in the English localization, though some places were shortened due to space issues. This did lead to the significance of 'Cristalholm' and 'Storkholm' to be lost because the former was shortened simply to Crysta.
    • Other localizations loved changing names all over the place. Elle was Célina in French, Melina in German, and Naomi in Spanish. The French version also changed the Elder into 'Agar', turned Loire into 'Anjou' and Freedom into the not-so-subtle 'New York'. The Italian version of the game was in English.
    • In general, the German localization by Claude Moyse not only loved changing names, for some reason turning Yomi into 'Fluffy', but also contained quite a large amount of invoked Woolseyism in it.
  • Dying Dream: Ark has one, where he takes on the shape of a bird and observes the world as it evolves.
  • Eat the Dog: Ark gets offended when a mountain goat suggests eating her dead husband, when she and Ark end up being snowed into a cave and need to survive.
  • Engagement Challenge: King Henri of Loire promises the hand of his adopted daughter Princess Elle in marriage to anyone who can manage to get her to speak again. Subverted, since he doesn't care for his daughter. He wants her to speak again and regain her memories, so she can tell him the location of Storkholm's treasure.
  • Escort Mission: Ark has to escort Leim through a test all lions have to go through.
  • Eternal Recurrence: An important plot device. The events of the game will occur differently each time, with one world's Ark performing his destined duty, only to die and have the other world's Ark perform his pre-determined role. It is heavily implied that the game's run is the first time that Dark Ark managed to get as far as he did — merging with the Light Ark, and not being killed off when his purpose of restoring the world was finished, and even destroyed his own creator. Despite being part of Dark Gaia himself, Dark Ark is not fully controlled by him.
  • Evil Genius: Dr Beruga.
  • Fission Mailed
    • Dr Beruga kills Ark after having been resurrected by him. Then Ark awakens, none the worse for the wear.
    • Upon collecting and placing all the Starstones, Ark meets the spirit of his lightside counterpart and gets killed. A cutscene shows that the two versions of Ark merged and got reincarnated into the same child.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Fyda has one while in Yunkou.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Due to gaining levels increasing Ark's power exponentially, and being even slightly underleveled leads to him only doing scratch damage to most enemies. While this is generally not too bad, the only place most players will feel required to have to do some extensive level-grinding is in Sylvain Castle — and that's merely because of invoked the boss, Bloody Mary.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Setting off on a Journey and the Wandering Spirits track.
  • Foreshadowing
    • The man near the pond in Crysta has him generally mention things that become important shortly after.
    • The Elder being Dark Gaia has foreshadowing, if the player takes a closer look to them. The Elder is the only one to not get crystallized by Pandora's Box opening. This could be written off as him not being in Crysta when it happened, but Ark was also exempt from it — with the eventual revelation that this Ark is a part of Dark Gaia, it makes a lot more sense. He also seems to have extensive knowledge of the outside and surface world, despite Crysta being basically a bottled location. He can telepathically talk to Ark and tell where he is, even when he's on the surface.
  • Freudian Excuse: Meilin refused to accept that Louran was destroyed and her parents were dead, so she created an illusion of Louran still thriving and hid within it, obstructing her grandfather, Meihou, from finding the town. She becomes vengeful and hostile towards Ark for breaking her illusion and forcing her to leave Louran for good.
  • Ghost Town: Louran.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Typical for Quintet, most of the bosses are these. The only aversion are the parasites that are plaguing the Ra Tree, as well as the Final Boss.
  • A God Am I
    • The Elle seen in the vision of Astarica. She drank something that was supposed to have killed her, but she managed to survive for a long time without food and water. She claims to have ascended godhood, and uses her abilities to kill the Royd and Fyda of the vision.
    • Ark is a heroic example. He helps create the plants, birds, and mammals of the world, and ends up guiding and encouraging humankind to expand their horizons through his actions and decisions.
  • A God, I Am Not: Ark doesn't believe himself to be god-like.
  • A God Is You: According to Yomi, Ark is what humans would call a god.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Anytime somebody dies, the screen turns black and might flash red. Quite surprising, considering the previous game averted this trope.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Partway through the game, Ark has to collect five Starstones.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Meilin chooses to help Wong because she has a crush on Ark, and she's angry because he doesn't like her back. He only cares for Elle.
  • Guide Dang It!
    • Yunkou has a sidequest that requires the player to traverse all the way back through the Taklama Desert and give a flower to a mute girl in the nomads' camp. The game does tell the player that 'flowers will cheer up a mute girl'. But the problem is that said mute girl in the camp isn't the only mute girl in the game. Princess Elle was mute as well, and showing her a flower won't fix her muteness.
    • Many players think that they are supposed to grind up at least 10 levels before fighting the heavily-despised Bloody Mary in Sylvain Castle, since Ark will generally cause mere scratch damage to her. What they are supposed to do is to use the various spell-casting rings to deplete most of her HP. The problem is that rings are only allowed to be used on specific bosses, nothing in the game informs the player which bosses those are, and easily forget that the rings are even an option because they are so rarely used.
      • An alternate solution is to equip a weaker Light weapon, since she's weak to that element. But this is the one instance in the game where this would be a smart thing to do, and given the limited space of the inventory forcing the player to throw away equipment to make room, meaning the chance is really high the player has thrown away the Light weapon ages ago, good luck figuring that out ahead of time.
    • The Final Boss uses an incredibly strong attack that will kill even a maxed-level Ark in a minute, unless the player guards. Guarding causes the attack to do mere scratch damage and lets Ark survive the attack, with the boss becoming vulnerable after their move finishes. Guarding was only used once in the game previously in a different boss fight, and even that boss fight could be completed without using guarding.
  • Happy Ending Override: Ark wonders what he was fighting for upon being 'killed' by the man he was sent out to resurrect. He wonders the same in the end game, when he realizes that he was fighting for a world he was never a part of.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Royd was a pompous jerk towards Ark during the events of Loire, but he became an ally of Ark's in Dragoon Castle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
    • Underworld Elle refuses to murder Ark, despite that being their mission. They instead choose to sacrifice themselves to keep him safe.
    • The events on the infiltration of Beruga's airship implies that this was done by Meihou, Perel, Roy, and Fyda.
    • Ark may have performed one in the ending.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted. There are many zombie children in Louran.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Beruga was sucked into the propeller of his ship.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The world requires a hero to restore the continents and further evolution.
  • Hollow World: The game begins in one, before Ark heads to the surface.
  • Human Popsicle: Dr Beruga. As well as any of the humans to whom he had granted 'immortality'.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Returning to Evergreen after resurrecting humanity, things have changed for the worst. And by expanding Suncoast on the Australian continent, it now features a zoo that has all the animals that have previously helped Ark in cages.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ark wants his carefree days in Crysta to return.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The mountain goat eating her dead husband in order to survive.
  • Immortal Hero: Ark supposedly dies three times over the course of the game, but keeps returning and being alright. This makes his 'death' after the defeat of the Final Boss all the more moving.
  • Impassable Desert: The Taklama Desert has a very precise path to follow, if one wants to make it from the East to the West side. The player must obtain the directions for the desert from a nomad in their camp before managing to go through.
  • Improvised Weapon: Several of the items Ark uses as spear or rods. Even a spiky plant branch.
  • Inn Security: Getting a free night at the inn means a plot event will occur.
  • Interface Screw: The Confused status ailment randomly rotates the directional controls, with a message popping up that Ark is confused. And every time this message appears, the controls are changed again, until the Confused status disappears on its own or gets healed.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: The player can throw pots at them, but most won't even react to that.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: Servas is blocking the bridge leading to the entrance of a cave, and refuses to move because he promised Nana to meet there. Ark continues the plot and learns that Nana died in a shipwreck while going to meet Servas, and she gives Ark a ring. Ark hands over the ring to Servas, who realizes that his girlfriend is long dead, and then disappears himself.
  • I Wrote Our Story: The Quintet building has a game designer claim to make a game with Ark as the protagonist.
  • Killed Offscreen: The drop in prices for Metal confirms that Wong, who was buying up all the available stock, was killed by Royd in Dragoon Castle.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Several famous people appear in the game with different names, like Sven Hedin as a traveller in Louran and Christopher Columbus as a prisoner in Sylvain Castle.
  • Leitmotif: Several of the important characters, though Ark is an exception to this.
  • Lost in Translation
    • Localized scripts tended to shorten the more detailed description and names from the Japanese version because of space constraints, and the font not being optimized for English. Some are minor things, like Sylvain Castle and Tower of Trials being shortened to 'Castle' and 'Tower', respectively. But the biggest offender was a change that resulted in losing foreshadowing. Crysta was originally 'Crystalholm', revealing it to be the Underworld version of Storkholm, and Magirock was 'Prime Blue'.
    • The building housing the Quintet office included an NPC that would ask the player questions about Quintet games, and if Luigi had hair underneath his knees, in the Japanese version. The quiz was removed from all localized versions, but the text remains present in the French and German versions.
    • Neotokio had an NPC that said, "Sorry! I can't speak English very well!". In the Japanese version, his Gratuitous English was written in hiragana. The joke was completely lost in the all-caps English script.
  • The Lost Woods: Norfest Forest. The player requires an item to make it through because it will play a sound and give a message, if they took a right turn. Unfortunately, the area is aggravating because the item isn't as helpful partway through because of a destroyed bridge, and there's also a dark section.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr Beruga. He became obsessed with the idea of immortality and created a cult following his goal, experimenting on people. Some were willing, others not so much.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dark Gaia was behind Beruga, who was behind Wong, who was behind King Henri.
  • Master of Illusion: Meilin can create illusions of people. The source can vary, as she sometimes requires to memorize a person's appearance to make a convincing illusion, while another time has her create an illusion that is born out of another person's heart.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Yomi means 'the Underworld' in Shinto mythology.
    • Ark can be referring to his journey being like Noah's Ark.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Ark is invincible after being damaged, but for an extremely short time.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Ark towards Meilin, Meihou, and Perel. Though he doesn't seem to give them a single thought after leaving them in the switch rooms.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    • Ark opens Pandora's Box, which ends up crystallizing everyone in his village, and also caused an apocalypse on the surface world. Upon fixing the people in Crysta, Ark is sent to the surface to fix that mess he caused, too. The game reveals that opening the box was something Dark Gaia had intended Ark to do.
    • Ark cures Princess Elle's muteness and she regain her memories. This ends up sparking the French Revolution.
    • Ark resurrects Dr Beruga. He turns out to be a mad genius that plans to eradicate any part of humankind he deems unworthy and kills everyone in Neotokio through a toxic gas.
    • Ark defeats Dark Gaia. This results in having doomed his homeworld, all of the people he ever loved, as well as himself.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Ark opening Pandora's Box actually caused the surface world to experience an apocalypse, which included killing Dr Beruga and saved the world from his evil plans. Except the player is only told this after being tricked into resurrecting Beruga in the new world.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Meilin gets used this way with her powers of illusion.
  • Nintendo Hard: Played with, as the game is overall pretty easy by more modern standards of games. The difficulty mostly lay in the fact that being underleveled even a little bit could mean causing only minimal damage to enemies, as well as the bosses of the game generaly including an odd mixture of weird hit detection and an "Instant Death" Radius that meant using an attack that gave only a few seconds of invulnerability or by having the boss deal damage faster than the player could heal.
  • Noah's Story Arc: The protagonist Ark is chosen to wield the powers of reviving the dead surface of the world, letting him recreate the plants and animals, as well as allowing humankind to flourish again.
  • No Place for Me There: Ark ultimately realizes he will not get to live in the world he is working so hard to save, and he and his old world are doomed to disappear in the end.
  • No Sneak Attacks
    • Averted when Princess Elle admits in a letter to Ark that she killed King Henri in his sleep, after remembering what he had done to her parents and their home.
    • Also averted when the Elder sends Underworld Elle to kill the reincarnated hero while he's a newborn. The intended assassin cannot get themselves to go through with it, though.
  • Not Completely Useless: The guarding ability. Pressing the R button has Ark hold up his weapon like a shield, which allows him to nullify certain missile damages and otherwise reduces damage taken to mere scratches. But most players end up making it through most of the game just fine, often not even realizing that this move even exists, since the only time this move is necessary to use is against one specific attack done by the Final Boss.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Taking a closer look at Dr Beruga's laboratory and airship filled with robots, they are actually fairly mundane technology. But he is one hell of a doctorate and biologist. He has cracked immortality, figured out how to resurrect the dead, and created such powerful biological weapons that they can kill off the entire human race.
  • Only Fatal to Adults: The only survivor of the Asmodeus attack in Neotokio is one little girl.
  • One-Winged Angel: As is typical for a Quintet game, the Final Boss has one.
  • Permanently Missable Content
    • Tons of civilization growth can be lost by doing certain things. Lying to Bell about his long-distance girlfriend dumping him leads to him not inventing the telephone, while opting to elect Louis as mayor of Loire upon the death of King Henri ends up stagnating Loire's growth completely. Even messing up the construction of the BigMick can lead to it never being properly created.
    • The continents of Polynesia and Mu can be resurrected while in the Underworld in the very beginning of the game. Failing to find their towers and raise them, those islands remain submerged.
    • Several Magirocks can be missed, if they are not collected before their location changes. And this includes a Magirock found on one of the optional continents mentioned above.
  • Pet Interface: Yomi manages the inventory of Pandora's Box, which holds equipment and items.
  • Physical God: Yomi claims Ark being something like that.
  • Pig Men: Ark fights a Pagan god, whose worshippers are a race of bipedal pigs. They are encountered again in Neotokio's sewers and in Beruga's lab and airship, indicating that they survived remaining hidden from the world, and are now in the latter's service.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The dress worn by Bloody Mary. Justified, she was a queen.
  • Pixel Hunt: Searching for the secret areas on the world map.
  • The Plague: The virus Asmodeus. Inhaling it leads to a swift death.
  • Playable Epilogue: Defeating the Final Boss leads to an incredibly sad example of one, with the credits only occuring once the player has Ark going to bed. As a gift to Ark for defeating Dark Gaia, he is allowed one final day in his beloved Crysta as he knows with, though the Elder no longer exists. Ark can talk to all of the villagers and even a resurrected Elle, though he now knows none of them are real people. Going to bed finishes this last day and lets Ark see his last dream.
  • Playing Tennis with the Boss
    • The second form of Dark Morph requires the player to hit their projectile back at him. This was likely an intentional shout out to A Link to the Past.
    • The first form of the Final Boss, though it has to be deflected at an angle instead of head-on.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: The newborn Ark begins to glow and rapidly ages up to the age he was prior to being killed and reincarnated, allowing him to further learn the truth and take on Dark Gaia.
  • Prodigal Hero: Ark lived happily in Crysta, until he accidentally opened up Pandora's Box and crystallized everyone living in the village. The only unharmed ones were Ark and the Elder, with the latter telling him to leave the village and fix it, as well as the surface world.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: If Ark really doesn't return from the last battle, Columbus' prophecy was true.
  • Rare Candy: There are potions that will increase certain parameters.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: Beruga is stated to be a Nobel laureate.
  • Reincarnation: Another plot device. Ark gets killed after obtaining all the Starstones, but reincarnates as an infant. And the game claims that this Ark reincarnates when the Lightside Ark dies, and vice-versa.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Beruga successfully unleashing the Asmodeus virus in Neotokyo and killing the entire population of the city save for a young girl has been compared to the Tokyo subway sarin attack that took place early on the same year that the game was published
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Beruga's glasses turn into this at times.
  • Scenery Porn: The images shown of Earth while its continents get resurrected.
  • Schizo Tech: The game covers approximately 2000 years of human and technological evolution over the space of a few years, so it's hard to avoid this. It also leads to the oddity of some cities advancing further than others.
  • Science Is Bad: Zig-zagged. On the one hand, technological and scientific progress allowed people to grow and prosper, coming up with new ways to keep in contact through long distances with the invention of the telephone and sharing knowledge through the use of air travel. But the other hand shows that it can lead to people like Dr Beruga gaining knowledge and power they tend to abuse. But the game makes it clear that science itself is more neutral — it all depends on how each person uses it.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Ark sealed into the body of a newborn, before awakening.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog
    • Late game revelations make Ark's actions appear this way. Ark is one of two chosen ones, and his quest of resurrecting the world and humankind was performing a role he had been doing in his previous life cycle, and many other cycles before that. Ark will always die at the end of his journey, since his death is necessary for his role to fulfill because the final step includes having to destroy his own world, as well as himself, to let the other Ark awaken and perform his role.
    • The ending. The world that Ark has worked so hard to save and improve is that of the surface, which he never was and never will be part of. And his goal of returning to a blissful life in his own homeworld after completing his duty doesn't pan out because his world is nothing but a gentle illusion. He gets one final day in it as a reward for his sacrifice, knowing that it's all faked.
  • Shout-Out
  • Small, Secluded World: Crysta is initially sealed off from the rest of the worlds. None of the villagers are even aware that there seems to be anything outside of Crysta, with Ark expressing surprise when the Elder opens a way out.
  • Social Darwinist: Dr Beruga wants to kill off the humans he deems unworthy to continue to exist, while granting the rest of them 'immortality' in the form of being undead monsters.
  • Spam Attack: Pressing the attack button repeatedly causes Ark to go into a flurry of jabs with his weapon.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal
    • Ark was able to talk to animals and plants, until humanity was revived. In the interim of three years since the resurrection of humanity, Ark lost the ability to talk to animals.
    • There is one crow wearing a hat in Sanctuary that actually learned to speak the human language. It says it has to, otherwise it wouldn't be able to sell anything.
  • Spiritual Successor: The successor of a previous successor to an ancestor.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ark and Elle get treated this way. She gets crystallized with everyone else when Pandora's Box gets opened, and the two get separated again when Ark has to leave Crysta and save the surface world. Elle gets sent to kill a newborn Ark, but cannot get herself to do it. She then chooses to sacrifice herself to keep Ark safe, with the only time she and Ark are shown as together again is in the final day Ark was granted, knowing that it's a mere illusion that will disappear.
  • The Stinger: After the credits have rolled, the screen cuts to Storkholm and a knock being heard at the door. Princess Elle comes in and opens it, then stares at whatever is on the opposite side, before she slowly walks out of her house. Theories have evolved around what Elle sees, taking the scenes of the credits into account.
    1. One theory believes that it's Lightside Ark, who was separated from Ark and sent back to the surface world upon the defeat of Dark Gaia, and gets reunited with his beloved. This theory gets problematic, if Dark and Lightside Ark are treated as separate people, because it implies that the love between Ark and Elle was not genuine, but a mere copy of Lightside Ark and Princess Elle's destined love. And that some guy the player doesn't know gets to be happy.
    2. Another theory believes that Ark's 'dying dream' of observing the world as a bird was real, and he was the one that knocked on the door. This theory is supported by the fact that the bird is last seen swooping down into a forest, with Storkholm being inside of a forest. Birds can be heard when the door is open, but this could be because of it being implied to be early in the morning. If this theory is correct, this means the gods decided to reward Ark by reincarnating him and letting him be with his loved one — as a bird.
  • Straw Character: Zig-zagged with the two political candidates running for mayor in the Loire election.
    1. Louis is a notorious, deadbeat drunk, but is also generous and does care for Loire a lot. Voting for him will lead to Louis sobering up and doing his best to run Loire as it has been, but this leads to Loire's growth stagnating and never advancing past old ideals. And talking to Louis shows that he eventually succumbs to drinking again because the pressure of being in charge becomes too much.
    2. Jean's ideas focus on using tax money to improve production, infrastructure, and technology. But he's dressed in smart clothes and wears glasses, and always believed that Loire wouldn't be able to advance under King Henri's rule. Voting for him will result in Loire being able to grow into a larger town and gain technological progress. And Jean asks Louis to work alongside him, which leads to Louis to sober up permanently.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss
    • The second form of Dark Morph and the first form of the Final Boss, due to needing to play tennis.
    • The second form of the Final Boss could be this as well. It flies around and remains out of reach, only getting close enough when the player has Ark turn his back on the boss. After the second time Ark attacks them with this little trap, it still doesn't wisen up.
  • Third-Person Person: Ark refers to himself as Ark. This could be a case of poor localization or in an attempt to bring across his slightly arrogant speechpattern from the Japanese.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Beruga directly references these, but points out that the robots he has built don't actually follow all of them. The only ones they follow is having to obey and protect him.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Louran is a properous and lively town in the middle of the desert. Turns out to just be an illusion created by Meilin, refusing to accept that the entire population of Louran was actually killed. The village remains overrun with zombies, until Ark manages to help Meilin accept things.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Done to a ridiculous extent after the Final Boss gets defeated. As compensation for Ark's trouble, he gets one last day in the illusion that used to be his life before dying. He then has one final dream, observing the evolution of the surface world.
  • Time Skip: One NPC in Lhasa mentions that three years had passed since the resurrection of humankind.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Dr Beruga destroys Neotokio upon releasing the Asmodeus virus.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Ark is the other version of the Legendary Hero, Lightside Ark. His world and friends are merely mirror images of the surface world, and it will all disappear upon Ark completing his journey.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The basic healing items actually count as this. The player may think that Ark's health is pretty low right now, and probably should be healed, but would much rather save the various sizes of bulbs because of the upcoming boss. Some players choose to stock up on Grass Pins to heal, instead of wasting a healing item before encountering the boss.
  • Treacherous Advisor: The Elder and Yomi.
  • Turbine Blender: How Dr Beruga ends up dying.
  • The Unfought: Despite being built up as a main antagonist, the player never actually fights Dr Beruga.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Magic in general is pretty useless to have around, since the player is more likely to want to save it for any boss battle. Except that majority of boss battles — except for the notoriously difficult Bloody Mary — automatically disable the ability to use magic, rendering it utterly useless. Which is a shame because some of the spells and elemental rings obtained are quite powerful. The player can use a Fire Ring on Shadowkeeper, the boss of the fifth Tower in the Underworld, which can almost finish it in one shot, though.
  • Video Game Geography: The Underworld and surface world are both toroidal. The player can get to the South Pole simply by travelling north from Greenland for a little bit.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Ark wonders this twice. The first time after he gets 'killed' by Dr Beruga, the man he was told to resurrect. And the second time when he realizes that he's been fighting for a world he'll never be a part of.
  • Waterfall Puke: Ark pukes up a mouthful after eating something bad.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the events on Dr Beruga's airship, nothing is ever mentioned again about Meilin, Meihou, Fyda, Roy, and Perel. Not even by Ark himself. The airship is seen crashing in Australia, so there's no indication if any of them survived. It's heavily implied that Fyda and Royd died, but the whole situation is overall pretty vague.
  • Where It All Began: Ark returns to Crysta to confront Dark Gaia.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Elder and Yomi want to have Ark killed, after he resurrected Beruga and collected all the Starstones.
  • You No Take Candle: All the NPCs in Yunkou talk this way.