GAIA GENSŌKI
( Illusion Of Gaia / Illusion Of Time )
game Cover
game cartridge
ガイア幻想紀
©1993 Quintet/Enix
MARIKO OHARA / MOTO HAGIO / YASUHIRO KAWASAKI
Release: 1993-11-27 (¥9800)
Cartridge (Backup Ram) SHVC-JG
Role Playing Game

American Version
country
Released in America as
ILLUSION OF GAIA
( SNS-JG-USA )

European Version
European Version
country
Released in Europe as
ILLUSION OF TIME
( SNSP-JG-XXX )

Gaia Gensōki is an action/Role Playing Game developed by Quintet and published by Enix. The game tells the story of a young boy called Tim (aka Will) and his adventures that follow after he goes on a journey with his father to the Tower Of Babel. There, things don't really go according to plans and the boy wakes up later, in his house, with seemingly no memories of the events and no trace of his father. Tim decides to embark on the journey that will take him all around the world of Gaia and make new friends such as the cute Karen (aka Kara) and her pet pig and a mysterious dandelion girl called Lilly. Tim will learn about many mysteries, about the ominous approaching comet that may destroy the world, about his own psychic powers and how they in fact relate to Gaia. He will also learn about Freedan and Shadow, two of his alter-ego forms, and how to control and use their powers. Gaia Gensōki is an action/RPG and the gameplay is closer to Zelda than other traditional RPGs such as Final Fantasy, thus the action doesn't stop when the player encounters an opponent. Will levels up if he manages to defeat all the monsters and other creatures found in each area and this task is made easier with the monster finder radar he carries around. Interestingly, most of the areas in the game actually exist on Earth and Tim visits locations such as the Great Wall of China, Inca ruins or the popular Nazca lines.
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Gaia Gensōki is often associated to the Soul Blader series. Soul Blader (aka Soul Blazer) can be seen as a loose-knit and somewhat disjointed series by Quintet - it started with Soul Blader (aka Soul Blazer) for the Super Famicom in 1992, followed by Gaia Gensōki in 1993 and Tenchi Sōzō (aka Terranigma) for the Super Famicom in 1995.

Teaser text from the American version:
Journey into the Dark Side of an Ancient Civilization:
Radiating an ominous light in its path, the Chaos Comet threatens the existence of the planet. Battles erupt and a tentative peace is returned to the lands. Danger lurks as the Chaos Comet orbits and dreadful beasts lie waiting. In the Age of Exploration a boy named Will is born. Tragedy strikes during an expedition to the Tower of Babel separating Will from his father. Telekinetic forces awaken as Will returns top South Cape. Armed with his transformation abilities of two great warriors, Will must save the planet. Gaia, Will's guiding spirit, bestows magical powers and advice along his journey. With the help of his friends Will must battle relentless enemies and solve the puzzles of the ancien ruins. Patience and knowledge are essential to reunite this father and son.

Game's story from the American documentation:
THE COMET OF AGES
In a civilization so ancient that nothing of it remains today, the first great flowering of human knowledge produced remarkable breakthroughs in the sciences of biology and genetics. These nameless ancients used their knowledge to create new forms of plants and animals that would make life better on earth. Inevitably, some people twisted the science and molded violent beasts of war with hideous intelligence. The monsters terrorized the people and the civilization began to crumble. In the end, two forces fought over the earth, the Knights of Light and Darkness. The ultimate weapon used in that war was a comet that blazed with radiation and a strange light. The coming of the comet destroyed that race and mutated many people and animals into evil forms, which then hid in the deepest recesses of the world. In the ages that followed, from the time of the Egyptians and Babylonians to the Incas, the comet continued to return every 800 years. And with the return of this Chaos Comet came times of darkness, destruction and disease. Fragmented legends of the comet's effects and clues about its origin were passed down to the civilizations that followed. But as those nations rose then fell and time turned their works to dust, only a few treasures remained hidden in the most ancient ruins of the world.
Our story begins in the age of exploration, a time of great discoveries when brave explorers drew back the dark shrouds of fable and shed light on the ancient wonders In that time, a party of adventurers from the seaside town of South Cape set off to unlock one of the greatest of mysteries--the legendary Tower of Babel. Olman, the leader, led his fellow townsmen and even his son, Will, into the tower. But then something happened and the expedition was lost without a trace...except for one. Unfortunately, young Will couldn't remember what had happened, how he had been saved, or even how he had managed to return home after his ordeal. Even stranger was the fact that Will now possessed the power to move objects through thought alone.
The Illusion of Gaia follows Will and his companions as they seek the answers to the lost expedition. As they begin their journey, they don't suspect that it will eventually lead them around the globe or that the fate of the planet lies in their inexperienced hands. They'll have to learn and grow and mold their characters into the stuff of heroes as they face the monsters created by the comet in past ages. Not all of the friends complete the journey. Some may turn aside to discover new destinies. And along the way, help may arrive from unexpected quarters--from Gaia, the spirit of the earth, and Freedan, a powerful knight, and from the mysterious Shadow. But Will must go the entire distance, fighting every battle and returning to the Tower of Babel where he must attempt to end the plague of the comet and to find out what happened to his father. And where Will goes, you go as well.

Game Staff (Copied from the American version end credits) :

STAFF

Original Story
Mariko Ohara
Character Designer
Moto Hagio
Game Designer
Tomoyoshi Miyazaki
Game Director
Masaya Hashimoto
Main Programmer
Akira Kitanohara
Background Designer
Hasashi Yokota
Object Designer
Junichi Ishida
Hitoshi Ariga
Graphic Designer
Naoko Suzuki
Takahiro Ohura
Kouji Yokota
Sound Composer
Yasuhiro Kawasaki
English Text By
Scott Pelland
Tim Rooney
Robert L. Jerauld
Title Coordinator
Mary Cocoma

Quintet Staff
T. Harashimoto
S. Kita
K. Sugaya
T. Turu
R. Takebayashi
M. Tsuruno
Y. Sashida
M. Kobayashi

Enix Staff
Yukinobu Chida
Keiji Honda
Yasuyuki Sone
Art Direction
Hideki Yamamoto
Takashi Ootsuka
Technical Support
Sadao Yahagi
Kenjiro Kano

Enix America Staff
Tsuneo Morita
Paul Bowler
Paul Handelman
Jake Kazdal
Special thanks to
Dan Owsen
Hiro Yamada
H. Kuroda
A. Shigeno
K. Kuwabara
M. Sumita
Y. Sasaki
N. Suginaka
M. Kakizawa
A. Arai
K. Wakabayahi
Director
Masaya Hashimoto
Assistant Producer
Kazunori Takado
Producer
Shinji Futami
Publisher
Yasuhiro Fukushima

Copyright
1994 ENIX
1994 QUINTET
1994 MARIKO OHARA
1994 MOTO HAGIO
1994 YASIHIRO KAWASAKI
Licensed to Nintendo

Thank You For Playing


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Japanese Guide Book
Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guide Book
European Guidebook


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Documentation
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Gaia Gensōki is a gorgeous game. Graphics and sprites are big and very well drawn with hawk-like attention to detail. I also love the fact that enemy encounters are not round based but follow instead the formula set by others such as Legend of Zelda. And, ultimate delight, they are not random and once a monster is defeated, he is gone for good. I originally played this game in Japanese and, even if I missed most of the story plot, language was not much of a barrier. Puzzles are usually easy to solve (some of them are rather hard though but never stop you for too long) and the game is fairly linear and accessible. All in all, Gaia Gensōki is a great and very enjoyable game where every moment feels like it's been lavished with care and attention.




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