Illusion of Gaia (1994)

GaiaBox

A (very) loose sequel to Soul Blazer. The story is completely different this time: a comet approaches Earth and strange monsters appear. This isn’t our Earth, rather a fantasy version that sports similar landmarks as our world, but is different in many other aspects.

The similarities between both games lies primarily in the gameplay department. Another similarity to Soul Blazer is something I call a secondary creation myth. Secondary because your actions provide the momentum to recreate something that has been there before, but vanished due to some event in the past. The gameplay is pretty typical action-adventure stuff: go into the dungeons or catacombs, kill enemies and collect the quest tokens to advance in the game. Once every while you have to defeat a boss monster.

In between you have sequences of going through cities to find the one person who you have to talk to advance the plot. That part is pretty forgettable, as the writing is awful and makes following the story not much fun. It rivals soap operas in badness and in the end you’re even forced to endure a romantic relationship between your character and a highly annoying princess (not that the other characters are any better written or more interesting).

But despite the bad writing, it remains a fun game. The action adventure parts in the dungeon are fun and really addictive. Only one more level to beat, one more dungeon boss to root out. And the odd setting and overall story feels different enough from your run of the mill fantasy to make it interesting to follow. If the writing were at least decent, but you can’t get everything.