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Illusion of Gaia – SNES

Illusion of Gaia – SNES

Platform: SNES

Developer: Quintet

Publisher:  Nintendo

Release Date (NA):  November 1st, 1994

Genre: Action RPG

Nerd Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Reviewed By: Earthboundmother

Picture 47

Most people have heard the old saying, “those who forget history are destined to repeat it.” Few of us realize that there is actually a game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that brazenly personifies this adage; Illusion of Gaia acts to jog our memories by having the player navigate the intense ruins left in the wake of various declining cultures while at once readily adding its own dynamic mythology into the mix. Gaia is one of the components of Quintet’s Soul Blazer Trilogy (the second part, after Soul Blazer and before Terranigma, both also for the SNES though the last in the trilogy was only released in Europe and Australia). Without any particular strings attached as the titles are very loosely connected to each other, “Part 2” stands easily on its own with its ample array of mysticism and excitement.

Picture 6

Will, Kara & Hamlet run along the face of the comet in an alternate version of the title screen.

Bad omens, approaching comets, missing explorers, foreboding dreams, assassins for hire, over-protective parents, alter-egos, young heroes thrust into action, unwitting royal heirs defecting from their kingdoms, loyal swine. All these weighty roles exist within the somewhat insular yet explorer torn, diverse world of Illusion of Gaia for the SNES.

I guess choosing this title for my maiden review at Nerd Bacon makes sense; I kind of envision it as being included in my “whirlwind tour of ’94” series of the more noteworthy RPGs in my personal collection that were all coincidentally released in – you guessed it – 1994 . More importantly… there’s a whole lot of bacon going on (not even kidding). You name it, this game has fired it up; pigs, assassins (yes, assassins), comets.

The “Action RPG” that is Illusion of Gaia rests on rails overall much like any turn based platformer, introducing new locations as they’re encountered as destinations upon a Mode 7 driven map (Mode 7 is that rad graphics assist that allows you to actively navigate on a 360 degree plain). It should be noted, however, that this doesn’t hinder the overall feel of adventure resting upon the horizon as actual game play is entirely action-based.

Good ol' Mode 7.

Good ol’ Mode 7.

The game’s intro is launched with the statement, “The world was in an age of exploration” and that comment does actually represent the game content well. Christopher Columbus is mentioned at least once so the game probably takes place sometime in the 16th Century.

Yes, The Nina, The Pinta & the Santa Maria were all there.

Yes, The Nina, The Pinta & The Santa Maria were all there. And that one guy.

This journey should be embarked upon with the full realization that there will be the occasional epic twist or two. At least one of these twists involves a tragic wafting of bacony goodness (oh, wait for it; the tie-in reference is one of the spoiler alerts of the Century… and I really couldn’t resist the mention given my venue. See Shocking Illusionary Moments in History at the pig tail end of this review for specifics).

Get the maps, nerves and tissues ready, tuck in, this is going to be an expedition that would have left Indy feeling like early retirement should have actually happened before history got real (Indiana Jones 4 notwithstanding).

Illusion of Gaia includes some noticeable ambiances when it comes to logging your data or just plain ol’ navigating the menu screens; game saves are logged as Diary Entries, which adds to the overall “Old World” feel of the game, as does the flute based (appropriate) save music; Yasuhiro Kawasaki acts as composer and truly plugs the gaming experience in with every note. There are no character themes present but when a certain refrain sounds, you know either the battle is on or that it’s time for a well-earned rest. This kind of queue based soundtrack is actually pretty hard to pull off well but there’s no forced drama anywhere in this score; rest assured at least one or two heart strings will be pulled upon liberally before journey’s end.

Hmm... I wonder which...

Hmm… I wonder which…

When you select “Start from beginning,” you are segued into a group of selections to customize things a bit before embarking; you may change sound and button preferences.  Mono is always a welcome option if (like me), you have a beloved old school television that you use to play vintage console games without them being pixelized to death by HD; I’m too lazy and broke to buy an A/V splitter right now so this is a great option for me.

The journey begins in a small school room in the seaside town of South Cape; in true journal based revelry, we are introduced to our main character, a young man named Will, through a short narration. Will introduces himself then mentions his plight accompanying his father, Olman the Explorer, to the infamous Tower of Babel a year prior,where the party apparently met with disaster yet he somehow made it back to the town alive. Will has no memory of the events leading back to his return but vows to become an explorer himself, someday and that he will meet his father.

Denial ain't the only river in Egypt.

Denial ain’t the only river in Egypt.

Their teacher dismisses the day’s lesson, and the four in attendance head to the “usual place,” a cave near the docks. Will’s three best childhood friends, Lance (who’s father also disappeared at Babel) , Erik and Seth chide him often about his “power;” after a short demonstration, it’s obvious that Will is a gifted kid. He has the ability to move objects when he spins his totem, a small flute he carries with him as a momento from his fateful journey to The Tower of Babel. Moving items with Will’s mind (if an item can be moved that is) is as easy as holding down either the L or R button (it doesn’t matter which one, there isn’t a difference aside from comfort preference).

Well, that says it all right there.

Well, that says it all right there.

Dialogue is color coded during this adventure which I found pretty original, Will’s remaining in a gold color, while others mix it up a bit. Will returns home (the house belonging to his Grandma Lola and his Grandpa Bill) after the evening’s activities to find an unexpected visitor named Kara, a young girl with a brave and intelligent pet pig named Hamlet. I should take care to note now that Hamlet is nothing short (snort?) of badass pork. The fate of the World is irrevocably changed by his hammy little actions so he deserves some mad props, friends. I send a sacrilegious Bacon Salute out to the little guy. He is (yes, I’ll say it) some pig.

Before the snail pie can even be set upon the dinner table, soldiers from the castle arrive and forcibly cart Kara off for running away; she is the spoiled yet good-hearted princess of Edward Castle and apologizes for her false claims to be a commoner before her exit. Will’s grandparents don’t seem too concerned about the fate of the girl as dinner is served soon after her royal “escort” off the premises (wtf).

Nothing that can't be resolved by a serving of snail pie immediately afterward.

Nothing that can’t be resolved by a serving of snail pie immediately afterward.

After a royal summons arrives at the house the following morning, Will sets off for the castle; the King has formally requested his presence so that he can bring him a crystal ring thought to be among the relics collected by his father’s party at the Tower of Babel. Will has no knowledge of this ring but decides to speak to the King face to face and explain the situation. Before he leaves, Will’s Grandma Lola teaches him a song that will obviously be significant as it is saved to the item menu’s collection as a hopping musical note; Will is able to use his trusty flute to play specific memorized or learned songs at certain times to trigger events in the story or gain entry to blocked off locations.

“Melodies” and other items may be accessed on the fly by pressing “Select.” What looks like a huge, time worn alter with many circular slots and four ornamental busts mounted on the sides appears and is where all in-game items are stored. Sacred Statues are collected after defeating the Bosses of the World’s ruins and are also stored in this area on tall stone pillars. Dark clouds ominously roll through the background of the area and add a bit of a spectral quality to rearranging items, which is helpful to do along the way.

Not ominous whatsoever. Are these items even in the game?!

Not ominous whatsoever. I’ll just set my items on that big alter over there.

One item can be equipped at once, including Melodies, Keys, Herbs and Jewels. Be cautious when equipping Herbs as they are SCARCE and remain the only way to heal your lead character besides designated save areas. I can’t stress it enough… if you aren’t threatened with immediate death, DO NOT  waste Herbs.

Nearby, upon the roof of the school, there is what appears to be a small ball of light; upon approaching this light, a stone doorway flickers into view with what appears to be a host of stars upon the other side. When Will steps inside, he immediately disappears from view and upon the next screen, we are introduced to Gaia herself, in the form of a great horned stone head that is placed upon a stone pillar in the center of a small room with chirping, contemplative music. This is the “Dark Space” and apparently, only a chosen few including our hero can see or enter the area.

Has this been here my entire childhood? Anybody? Should I go inside? Suuuuure, why not?

Has this been here my entire childhood? Anybody? Should I go inside? Suuuuure, why not.

This is accepted at face value by the main character and isn’t really delved into, which I find a little odd but is also one of the reasons I’ve given the score anything lower than a 9.0 on the Nerd Scale; some things you may want to see a couple in-game character discussions about just aren’t ever covered. For the complexity of the subject matter at times, a conversation or two would have been nice.

Yo. Not creepy at all.

Yo. Not creepy at all.

When a great horned stone head introduces herself as Gaia, aka The Mother of Earth for what is clearly the first time to our main character, this is simply accepted as fact by Will, not one bat of an eye. Perhaps this is meant to be taken as a subconscious act that the player alone is meant to be aware of. But, at least Will does speak and have his own dialogue unlike famous leading men such as Link or Crono who remain the ever silent type and allow the player to assume the dialogue by proxy.

Also in the town of South Cape, upon inspection of the bell tower atop the school, a Red Jewel is discovered; there is a pretty average looking NPC that you will encounter if you subscribe to the sacred motto, “talk to everyone.” He goes by the title, The Jewler Gem and claims that he not only controls the Seven Seas (wtf) but that he is a master of disguise. He asks that you bring him the world’s Red Jewels in exchange for items and power. This is one of the main side quests of the game and in doing so, healing items such as Herbs can be earned as well as actual character stat boosts. Because of Illusion of Gaia’s very linear progress, assume that if you miss a Red Jewel, then there’s no way to return and collect it; unless you’re really slacking, you won’t miss a power up or ability, but Jewel hunting will become a part of your adventuring routine so get accustomed to it!

At least one of the purchases on this list seems like a bad idea.

At least one of the purchases on this list seems like a bad idea.

Of particular note, on your travels, you have the ability to send collected Red Jewels directly to Gem before actually encountering him to save some inventory space; believe me, that’s something you’re going to want to do, especially when the Boss fights start getting really intense. By ‘raising’ a jewel while on the inventory screen, it flits off to be with Gem in a single ray of light thus freeing space and helping to rack up items and abilities that you will be awarded the next time you see the shape shifter.

Meanwhile back…

Pretty sure this is the place.

Pretty sure this is the place.

At Edward’s Castle, things don’t go well after the King realizes the ring is nowhere to be found and Will soon finds himself in the dungeon without hope for release.

Getting the royal treatment.

Getting the royal treatment.

Many of the game’s tenser situations involve the actual passing of time to represent exactly that; the nights spent in the castle dungeon drag on as Will voices his concerns. Prepare to enjoy a soliloquy that includes a lament about missing the interesting cuisine of his Grandma Lola as Will dines upon stale bread. I found that this was a good way to prompt the player to bond with Will and thankfully, a rescue attempt quickly presents itself.

So, you're telling me it's prison food. Gotcha.

So, you’re telling me it’s prison food. Gotcha.

With a cheery “oink,” Will notices that Kara’s pig has come bearing gifts (badass pork); he bears a note and a key to the cell. Kara promises in said note that he will be free if he is able to make it to her quarters and aid in her escape from the castle walls. To do this, Will must navigate the dungeons that his Grandpa Bill helped design but he is ready for the challenge.

Soon after using the key to unlock the dungeon, absolutely no guards to be found (wtf), Will finds himself pitted against some evil denizens in the dark (mainly bats, skeletons and tentacle eyes). There may be a momentary feeling of concern upon seeing the first enemy about Will being unarmed. But low and behold! This isn’t so! He has a flute! Behold the might of song as Will ruthlessly bashes monsters left and right with his musical instrument of destruction! Somehow, the flute as a weapon angle doesn’t seem that unlikely and actually proves fairly effective.

This is my BOOM stick! Actually, it's just a wood whim! FEAR ME.

This is my BOOM stick! Actually, it’s just a flute! FEAR ME.

Will has the ability to hit twice in rapid succession with his flute when the controller arrow is pushed toward an enemy just after he strikes; this is called the Jump Attack. This allows Will to quickly dispatch weaker enemies and he has it from go. He will also accumulate other Dark Powers such as the Psycho Dash which is a charge move that sends Will crashing into enemies to assault them and a Psycho Slider that Will can use to slide underneath certain walls to access formerly inaccessible areas.

Will also has the ability to block most projectiles (like the fireballs that the tentacle eyes lob at you, for instance) by spinning his flute with either the L or R button (like when he moved the statue in the small seaside cave for his friends). You have to be directly facing the projectile to try and block it but this is rarely out of the question with a little bit of discipline on the player’s part.

Getting into the spin of things.

Getting into the spin of things.

Your life meter is a series of spheres (say that three times fast). Depending on the strength of the monster or projectile that may hit you, several life points may be lost. Most often, a small enemy will take a large sphere down to half of one, and another hit for instance would deplete it completely. When all of these spheres are depleted, you lose a life or (when your lives are at zero), the game is over and you have to resume play from the last Dark Space you saved in. Pretty standard stuff. I’ll cover how lives are earned in just a sec.

After facing several hordes of monsters, Will locates another Dark Space. If you’re like me and are thrilled at absolutely any opportunity to save your progress, you will soon become accustomed to darting into any Dark Space you see as if your life depends upon it… because duh. Everything is trying to kill you. It is in this fateful Dark Space that we are introduced to the Dark Knight, Freedan, who also appears as a statue; he is in full armor and calmly holds a broadsword (at least what looks like a broadsword. I watch Game of Thrones. I’m good at swords).

When Will investigates the statue, Freedan introduces himself and it’s made clear that Will can assume other shapes. After not so much agreeing with the process, Will’s awareness wanes and is taken over by the entity of Freedan. It’s an unspoken understanding for the most part that Will is destined to do this and that he simply “gets it.” I tend to over-explain everything when I write (please tell me you’re shocked), so more power to him. He gets it, I get it, we all get it. But this game still isn’t getting a 9.0 from me.

You are now a fully armed Knight and this is the form you will be in most often in dungeons, ruins and other life threatening situations; the only opportunity Will has to shape shift back and forth between forms is in the Dark Spaces or at the end of a dungeon after all enemies have been vanquished. At these times, Will returns to his own form with at least some awareness that he’s been running around slaying things as the Dark Knight Freedan then goes on about his business. Very few characters see him transform and he isn’t ever really penalized for having an alter ego with a broadsword (still think it’s a broadsword) and long, flowing locks of blond hair.

I'm taller in real life.

Clearly, I’m taller in real life.

SPOILER ALERT:

Freedan isn’t the only alter-ego that Will gets to assume but the second entity known only as Shadow isn’t encountered until literally the end of the game just before the final battle. Don’t fret though. Freedan is every bit the warrior you’ll need to get Will in and out of the trenches.

The end of the game?!! Balls.

The end of the game?!! Balls.

Combat doesn’t vary that much between the two characters but there are some notable differences in their fighting styles.

This doesn't happen until The Great Wall of China... but enough talk! HAVE AT YOU!

This doesn’t happen until The Great Wall of China… but enough talk! HAVE AT YOU!

Freedan is (unsurprisingly) stronger than Will and has a much longer reach capability with his broad sword, allowing him to hit dungeon switches that Will can’t reach with his flute and so forth. Blondie can also deflect projectiles and telekinetically move objects with the L and R buttons but cannot slide under things, for instance. Some abilities the two will never share; in the way of navigating dungeons, the two will often work together as a one-man team, alternating back and forth throughout these areas in some fairly engaging puzzles that don’t work the brain too hard but remain entertaining. You never really get that “Oh, frakking not again” pang, it’s more like, “I’m not ready to go back to Will yet!”

I've so got this.

I’ve so got this.

When Freedan begins to get more powered up, he will receive a charge ability to send a powerful projectile that appears as a large spectral energy ball called the “Dark Friar” outward through his sword. Later, the Friar gets pretty serious and even spirals out to attack multiple enemies across the screen in a glowing pinwheel; at this point, Freedan is really just horrendously over-powered but at the time it happens, you’re so stoked about it, complaining just won’t enter your mind.

Cheap? What the hell is that supposed to mean?!!

Cheap? What does that even mean?!!

Illusion of Gaia’s very action-driven combat is extremely satisfying and seamless with a gorgeous feeling of urgency as you encounter foes. Almost zero frustration with the mechanics of the game will be felt (there’s some recoil with Will’s Jump Attack that needs some getting used to), quite the opposite, actually; the rapidness of swordplay as Freedan brandishes his broadsword (still calling it a broadsword) is pretty great, and a welcome change from bashing baddies with something you can play Jethro Tull tunes on. Dashing to and fro is also seamless and can be achieved with a simple double tap in a direction on the control pad, leaving other buttons free for items and charge attacks.

And your wise men don't know how it fee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-eeeels... to be thick as a brick.

And your wise men don’t know how it fee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-eeeels… to be thick as a brick.

The overall difficulty of the game is fairly high in my opinion, and has at least one steep jump at the Ruin of Ankor Wat that’s pretty sobering. The diversity of monsters is terrific, varying in every single area of the game from angry warrior statues (and I mean angry) to wobbly stone guardians without facial features. All enemies are described as creatures touched by the ancient light of a comet that corrupted their beings. When you clear an area of monsters, you are awarded a stat boost of some kind, either in your Defense or Strength. As you defeat these enemies, you collect Dark Gems; these are awesome because after you collect 100 of them, you get an extra life (so, like I was mentioning earlier, if you meet an untimely demise in an area, you don’t have to start all the way back at the last Dark Space, just at the start of the last area).

Fuck this place.

Fuck this place.

In a dungeon, when you hit the Start button, you can see a Monster Map as well as how many enemies and how many items there are left to collect; use full advantage of this screen throughout your journey as you won’t become as powerful along the way unless you set out to end every last baddie. Come on, they’re evil comet fodder. They all have it coming.

Gotta kill 'em all.

Gotta kill ’em all.

After Will reverts to his original form near the store rooms of Edward Castle, he encounters another shape shifter that whispers to him while in the guise… of a small bluish white flower. After transforming into her true shape, Lilly introduces herself as a girl from Itory Village who is (I’m not kidding) “protected by the Flower Spirit” (you can’t make this stuff up). She marvels at Will’s ability to change shape (pot calling the kettle…) as she’d witnessed (been spying upon?) his metamorphosis from Freedan into his current, regular form. Grandma Lola had sent her to rescue Will but… obviously (as her floral visage is noticeable several times as you’re getting jumped by monsters) Lilly wanted to observe Will/Freedan kicking ass for herself. Bitch. After receiving a message from her Village Elder telepathically, Lilly shifts back into a flower and flits away.

Will, true to form, takes everything in stride, not one bat of an eye to suggest he is unnerved by young girls transforming into flowers then disappearing back into the night. If anything, he may be completely dissociative, may suffer from delusions of grandeur  and PSD but at the core, he sure isn’t a whiner.

I JUST said that.

What are you doing here? Five words or less. Out. For. A. Walk. (pause) Bitch.

Will makes his way up to Kara’s room and the two make ready to depart for what is undoubtedly about to be the adventure of their lives.

Kara, here I come.

Kara, here I come.

On their travels, Will and friends will encounter Incan ships made of solid gold, crafty inventors, the mysterious etchings upon the Nazca Plains, sweeping gardens that hang mid sky, underground civilizations, The Great Wall of China, underwater palaces, forsaken lands… and Babel itself. Sometimes, making it into the History books means working your way into them, flute over fist.

Cha-ching.

Cha-ching.

The FUCK.

The FUCK.

Goddammit, Erik!

Goddammit, Erik! I’m going to die at the bottom of the ocean either getting blown to pieces or devoured by a lunatic vampire couple! You suck! Son of a-!

The look on your face just says it all.

The look on your face just says it all.

Before leaving you to your adventure, a few parting notes:

After one spare word of advice, I have included a small section on the few notable love stories of this stellar game and some of its more mind blowing moments. Illusion of Gaia has always been an unforgettable title for me, and these are only some of the reasons why.

Pro Tip (yes, I went there):

After collecting 50 Red Jewels as per Gem’s list of rewards, you will earn “My Dark Secrets” (in other words, The Jewler Gem’s “Dark Secrets”); believe me when I say… some things are better kept in the dark where they belong. But if you do insist on collecting all 50 Jewels, SAVE THE GAME  before you hand ’em all over. You’ll have the pleasure of confronting an extra Boss: Solid Arm, the first Boss from Soul Blazer. Do you get anything from this fight other than street cred? Nope. Enjoy!

Fuck this guy.

Fuck this guy. Oh, and… Ta-Da. Dark Secrets, my sweet time.

Love (his)Story”

Illusion of Gaia isn’t all cannibals, assassins and evil comets (well, it is but there’s other stuff too). It has its fair share of romance; time to shine a spotlight on the main, main squeezes featured in this adventure.

You really know how to show a girl a good time.

You really know how to show a girl a good time.

Will & Kara:

Kind of obvious that these two are destined to be together; boy hero meets stuck up princess turned heroine. Throughout the journey, we see Kara change from annoying spoiled tag-along girl to… not so annoying, mostly reformed spoiled tag-along girl? Regardless of how prissy and irritating she is, Kara is headstrong and damn funny to boot and Will pretty steadily falls for her as she stomps her little foot right into his heart. She’s the Light Knight to his Dark Knight and the term star-crossed lovers has never been so poignant (or literal) as with these two.

And here we go. Did that really only take over three weeks alone together on a raft?

And here we go. Did that really only take over three weeks alone together on a raft and a leg of Yak?

Get a Dark Space Rating: 3.0 out of 10. Sweet but not too sweet, bittersweet but not too bittersweet.  All things considered, just right.

Lance & Lilly:

You don’t really see the attraction at first, but eventually as the two spend catastrophe… after catastrophe… after catastrophe bonding, & Lance suffers a bout of amnesia cured by (you guessed it) their inseparable bond (gag), the Itory girl and the other missing explorer’s son settle down in the traveling raft town of Watermia (where they actually find Lance’s dad, the other missing explorer), effectively jumping party. Honestly, with all the sap going on here, you’re just happy to see them go merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily right the hell down in history without you.

Get a raft!

At least on a raft, it’s perfectly acceptable to hurl over the side.

Get a Dark Space Rating: 9.5 out of 10. Seriously. You both make me sick.

Grandma Lola & Grandpa Bill:

He builds terrifying, (mostly) inescapable, never ending dungeons, she makes pies ladled with whipped cream out of snails. Clearly a match made in the Heavens. These two take Will in after his father’s disastrous expedition leaves the boy orphaned and probably suffering from a little PSD. They’re humanitarians with a passion for long nights spent singing opera and eventually find their retirement spot in Itory Village, where Lola hails from. Thanks, Lola & Bill. We couldn’t have saved the World without you.

Oh, the good times.

Oh, the good times.

Get a Dark Space Rating: 1.0 out of 10. Aw.

Ever get the feeling... that you're about call SPOILER ALERT? -Yup.

Ever get the feeling… that you’re about call SPOILER ALERT? -Yup.

SPOILERS, OH GAIA, SPOILERS.

Shocking Illusionary Moments in History:

“Pork Gets in Your Eyes”

I promised that Hamlet was some pig. I spoke of his badass pork. His role in the great tomes of History. Sadly, even the greatest heroes and the very noblest of pigs have their day in BBQ. To save Will and his friends from certain doom at the hands (and forks and knives and fire pits) of a Tribe of starving Natives (aka cannibals though the game never calls them this), Hamlet sacrifices his own life by throwing himself onto the spit to be eaten in their place (badass pork). *Sniff-! Whyyyyyyyy?!! Whyyyyyyyy???!!!!* I will never forget the moment just before the tragedy when Kara comments to her small, stoic Ham Ham that he has a ‘far off look’ in his eyes or the utter horror that ensues after his brave, piggish act of courage.

To harshen the blow, there’s an off comment as Will observes the fire pit massacre that ‘The air is filled with the aroma of roasting Hamlet’. You’re even offered the chance to try a sample of the delicacy with little to no fanfare. Messed. Up. Another Bacon Salute to you, brave pig! One of the more notable “Did that just happen?” moments of any video game on the planet Earth. Hell, any planet. Every planet.

Goddammit Erik! TOOSOON.

Goddammit Erik! TOOSOON.

“Jackal Lantern”

So, you never really do get to know the apparently fiendish assassin called The Jackal along your travels through all 40+ hours of this game. You hear about Kara’s parents hiring the dude to track down and handle their runaway daughter, you think, “man, they suck as parents,” you’re over it. He wrecks Will’s grandparents’ house, you’re like, “what a dick,” you move on. But when you finally get to the end of the Pyramid near the veeerrrry end of the game, here comes The Jackal.

For being an all around pretty evil guy... dude was rocking that greaser look.

I’m thinking that Jackal guy HAD to have used some of the petroleum from the pyramid to style that hair. Musta.

Villainy incarnate, he descends upon Will and Kara to carry out his sinister job. In the depths of the huge Pyramid in the Hieroglyph room, the vengeful melodrama plays itself out. With very little dialogue exchanged (as Kara’s life is in clear danger), Will plays “Lola’s Melody” on his flute to open the way and when the statues in the room spew fire, The Jackal is literally torched alive. I repeat. Torched. Alive. And it isn’t quick. It. Isn’t. Quick.

My first reaction? ‘Uh-Wha?-EEEEEEEEE!!! No! No-no-no!!! Illusion of Gaia noooooooo!!!

His screaming form writhes upon the ground (yes, in its 16-bit glory) and gestures in futility towards Kara as he burns to death. Wut? I mean, you really don’t know the guy… but it’s pretty horrible. Illusion of Gaia will cut a bitch (or in this case, burn a bitch) to tie up loose ends. This is every bit its homage to each and every Indiana Jones movie (besides 4, which doesn’t really exist in my head) because there is a moment exactly like this one in each of them; where that one annoying bad guy gets his skin melted off for no reason besides that he’s a Nazi. … …Uh. Wait.

Harsh.

Harsh.

“Days of Future Past”

After the Final Boss is defeated and the credits roll, a group of children (presumably Will and his friends, including Kara) gather in attendance in modern attire in a school room. Here we go again. Thankfully, the feeling of futility is absent, no one is damning any dirty apes to hell and there is the cheery absence of modern ruin… for now. Wow. Deja Vu. Didn’t we just do this?

That's it kids! Review's history!

~FIN! Review’s history!

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

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6 Comments

  1. Speechless. Completely Speechless. Great article. I’m sharing this one on facebook..

     
  2. Nike Halifax says:

    Holy god, it’s like a master thesis. I’m lovin it.

     
  3. Thanks so much, NerdBerry! Worked hard on this one for sure; the final editing touches provided by The Cubist on my maiden voyage deserve serious laud as well. Feels great getting into the game here.

    Review number dos may not include 40 images (SO MANY SEARCHES) but man, writing the captions was fun! Cheers!

     
  4. Hey Earthboundmother… DEEP in depth review! Excellent job. I love the details and your total immersion into this game! Absolutely love it. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more of your reviews.

    This one looks pretty awesome too. I like the ample use of images, which really helped me get an idea on how the game really looks. Again, great job and I’m excited for review number dos.

     

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