Illusion of Gaia aka Illusion of Time:
I cannot state enough how and why this game is so awesome…
The game was originally license for the Super Nintendo by Quinlet/Enix in 1994, no body know’s the position of Quin-let so it’s assumed this name just died out of existence for one reason or another.
Illusion of Gaia today is considered to be a hidden-gem on the “Super Nintendo”, it’s only now getting the attention that it deserve’s for being one of the greatest game on the “Super Nintendo”.
The main protagonist is a young boy named: Will
The adventure begins in small town called “South Cape”, the young boy Will set’s out to track his farther down, this will lead young Will on his adventure around the world where he will be visiting many location’s which are mostly small town’s and dungeon and also making new friends on his adventure’.
Young Will also be finding many mysteries and the secret’s of the statue’s he will be collecting on his journey in order to save the world from certain doom, this journey will eventually lead the young boy Will back to the Tower of Babel.
Young Will was originally with his farther in the Tower of Babel but some how transported back to South Cape, this is never explained how or why this happened but it has been theorized that the “Magical Flute” the Will found at “Tower Babel”is linked the spiritual being known in the game as “Gaia” it’s mostly likely that “Gaia” that transported young Will and erased his memory of the event’s that transpired at “Tower of Babel” that lead to his farther’s sudden death and to protect Will so that he can carry out the important quest giving to him to save the world when he found the “magical-flute” which could also be the reason why Will’s farther is dead by setting off a trap that was designed to protect it.
The “magic-flute” can access a “portal” which opens-up into some form of “dimensional-space” where the young Will can communicate with the being known as ‘Gaia’ AKA ‘Mother Earth’ this is a spiritual being that will help Will on his journey and grant him powers and restore his health and save the game, she is also a big part of the game, but saying that she is nothing more than stopping point mostly for the young Will to complete the Dungeon’s and sometimes tranformed into Freeda and be granted new skills and powers.
What I found unique about the game is how some of the scene’s feel cinematic which add: Drama, excitement, danger and thrill to the game and awesome sense panic!!!
When combined with the music scores I never thought “2D Sprite” game would get my heart pumping before every boss fight, “Illusion of Gaia/Time” does this so well that may not mistake this for a game made in 1994 as these elements are used in todays modern games, thinking about that “Illusion of Gaia/TIME” in some way’s was ahead of it’s time. I would like to believe this as an innovated moment in gaming history that was sadly over looked due other things happening in the gaming world at the time in the 90’s.
If you would like to get a sense of what this game is like: This can be best noted in the “Flying City” when you defeat the last boss only to sky jump on to a plane and crash-land into the ocean and find yourself in the”under-water-city”, that is the home to vampire’s which were slumbering one point in there coffins like beds but are now awakened due the approaching Meteor that will destroy the world.
One of the most interesting scene’s I have come across in the game is the boat raft scene: After you defeat the first boss in the game Will drops onto a ‘Golden Incan Ship’ that is then later destroyed.
The young boy Will and his companion Kara are left adrift on a raft for almost a month, this might actually come across as boring but actually it does something interesting you see: The bond and relationship between the two characters (Will and Kara) , it’s not something you would get to see normally in most RPG’s or any other type’s of games so to me this scene is really interesting.
One thing I really like about this game is how easy it is to control the protagonist ‘Will’ and how the controls work when your exploring town’s and dungeons or defeating monsters or killing bosses, little is needed to get used the controls, plus once you have mastered the controls, I find myself enjoying the game even more when I go back and play the game, I have played this game from time to time over the years the game just gets better and better more times I play it. Maybe I am just sucker for straight up hack-slash games but “Illusion of Gaia/Time” nails what hack and slash should be.
Also the game is so well “polished” for 2D sprite game for it’s time. The towns and level design’s are amazingly detailed and thought-out which is not something greatly appreciated in 2D games.
Gamers really should experience and take note of because this game and the world “Quinlet / Enix” has created in 2D is truly timeless epic classic.
What else stands out from Illusion of “Gaia/ Time” for me is the music: The music scores are the best I have heard in any video game, I recommend anyone to check out the music on YouTube please check “South Cape track” you will have a blast it really fit’s the town of “South Cape”.
It just goes to show how much of an impact this game had on me over the years since playing this game as child in 90’s and now in my 20’s there I am still talking about it.
It is such a shame “Illusion of Gaia/Time” did not get the visability that it should of had it really is a stroke of genius for a game made in 1994 which was over-looked due the popular trending game from that time period “Donkey Kong Country” which came out about the same time as “Illusion of Gaia/Time”.
Reason why I hold this game so high because in many ways pushing everything to it’s boundaries. The scope of the game to me is such a step-up from the “Soul Blazer” series even though I have been told this game is part of a trilogy of ” Soul Blazer” and the second game in the series.
To me Illusion of Time/Gaia will always be a one of a kind game.
The game also remind’s of the Zelda series, I find the journey and not the ending is the appeal to both games and probably why I like them so much because you get see so many different places and this is probably another aspect of “Illusion of Time/ Gaia” I really like so much.
I have been told this game has a cult following even though I have not found much on this cult on the internet if it does exist I can see why: There is something ghostly, eerie and spiritual wonderful about the game.
I would recommend this to any retro gamer or anyone who is a game fanatic or JRPG gamer because Illusion of Time/Gaia is just amazing experience, the game has few fault’s it’s hard and can be challenging but this adds to the appeal of the game if you want to play something that is going to push you then Illusion of Time/Gaia will not disappoint.
Illusion Gaia/ Illusion of Time: The most underrated game ever made should be one of the world’s best games of all time because it really is a fun experience, I highly recommend this game to gamer’s and retro gamer’s an those who love JRPG’s because “Illusion of Gaia/ Time” will not disappoint.
10/10 from me.