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/vr/ - Retro Games

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Greeting /vr/,
I want to talk about Terranigma with you. I have some questions about the lore after reading its tvtropes page (yeah, I know). Hopefully there are some people who know the game well here who can shed light on them.
To begin, the page raises two points which I don't believe are true:
>Ark seems to die three times in the game, only to be brought back, generically
I think that refers to after the resurrection of humans, when unfreezing Beruga and in Antarctica. But it was my understanding that he narrowly escaped death the first two times?
>Apparently, by opening Pandora's Box, you killed Beruga, stopped his evil plan and saved the world, but you learn this right after being tricked into resurrecting Beruga.
That would mean opening the box made the continents sink and seal the surface world. But that doesn't really make sense. Why need Dark Ark in the first place, then? Was it really just an accident that Ark opened it?
And either way, does the game's intro not show the surface being sealed, and Ak teasing the chickens in crysta afterwards (an event on the day before the start of the game)?
I have other questions, but I'd like your take on these two, first. Also, Terranigma thread, I guess?
I wish someone finished fan translating the manga but I can't even find the japanese raws.

If someone could help me with that I'd extremely appreciate it. One group was translating it to spanish but stopped midway, I was hoping I could finish the job but I can only translate from english.
>I can't even find the japanese raws.
Not sure if they even exist. Uploaded somewhere, I mean.
I guess anyone who cares about the game owns a copy of their own, but nobody wants to destroy theirs to provide raws.
The volumes are a tad too expensive to just buy them and scan them. But I wish someone would translate the thing, too.
>Ark death
Correct. He narrowly escaped death the other times.
Then he got "reincarnated" as a baby who speed aged.
But I can see how someone could count the first one a death... except it is not and you meet Leo later in the game. Might be that humanity was put in a statis state (like the underworld) and brought back instantly.
>Pandora's Box
Throughout the game there's a cycle of destruction and rebirth going on. The Elder may have let Dark Ark do that just to "destroy" the world another time. Meihou's interest in dark Ark comes from how he can act outside that loop. Light Ark is apparently dead (or sealed up by the former's existence or the Elder) and so is within the loop.

The game is full of plot holes like that.
You have to assume Yomi shares memories between his dark and light self for example.
I loved the game but I was a brainlet enough not to be able to comprehend the story fully. I found it fascinating though.
>The Elder may have let Dark Ark do that just to "destroy" the world another time.
But he'd basically let him do that for "good old times' sake", since it runs counter to his real purpose, i.e. stopping that cycle of destruction and rebirth.
I think the "opening Pandora's box caused the apocalypse" interpretation may simply be wrong. See the intro, and also the prolog from the manual (which states that a calamitous struggle took place in the distant past, scoured the surface of life and made the forces of light and dark fall into a deep sleep).
>Meihou's interest in dark Ark comes from how he can act outside that loop.
That is another big problem I have. I can't see how one might reconcile the fact that Ark (even Dark Ark, as some NPCs e.g. in Crysta allude to) might be fated to fight for the world's resurrection in an eternal loop and the fact that he is "outside the loop of fate".
I think you might be right that the game has plot holes, but maybe someone has another idea?
For example, I think it might be possible to interpret Ark being "outside the loop of fate" as "he does not die even when he 'should' have", i.e. plot armor of sorts.
Yeah, Ark even says "you've been with me on my entire journey" to the overworld Yomi at the very end. I guess the ending was written before they decided there would be two Yomis?
Many years ago when livestreaming video games was a new thing, I held a Terranigma stream for about 150 people. It was my first time playing. When I got to bloody mary I had the weirdest fight ever. We only did around 1-3 HP to eachother each hit. The fight ended up taking like 20 minutes to finish. Everyone in the stream was laughing and typing the lyrics to eye of the tiger.

That is my only memory of Terranigma.

I should play it again.
Some of it is because of the bad translation.
The problem is those who want to retranslate it today are just interested in removing "problematic" content like Machiko's cabaret and the accent the china folk have, instead of capturing all nuances lost from the translation.

Using magic and an outdated lightspear you can deal more, but there's only so much magirocks/prime blues to burn through that far and they still deal 9-10 HP with an awful range.
>Some of it is because of the bad translation.
I always suspected that this might be the case and wondered whether a more accurate translation would remove some ambiguities.
But I've been told the translation is very literal (thinking about Ark referring to himself in the third person, I can guess it's probably true), though there are some obvious giveaways it's bad in other ways ("I thank you for arousing me", even though "arouse" technically does have the intended meaning).
And you're probably right that whoever could manage a retranslation might mess it up in other ways.
The fact that it's generally tedious to use and it's not clear from the beginning in which fights you are allowed to use it doesn't help.
>I should play it again.
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I know you know, but still,

Anyway, when Ark resurrects humans, he falls "in deep sleep for three years", according to the Lhasa folk that take care of him.

I think Ark does die during the robot attack because Ark himself says "I should have been killed by machines when Beruga was awakened. But I didn't die. I was resurrected by Kumari and all living things." The "I didn't die" is a bit contradictory, but he does mention he was "resurrected". Meihou also says that Kumari arrived with Ark "terribly injured", so it seems he was barely saved from his death.

It's fuzzy whether Antartica constitutes a "death" for ark. He fuses with Light Ark, so in a sense his old self ceases to exist and is recreated as a baby, but Ark doesn't count it as a death when he muses about his journey at the end of the game.

I think that something on the oustide world, perhaps Light Ark's last stand, was what destroyed the world. Beruga's goal was eternal life, and he does mention that he went to sleep when the world "died", so it makes sense that to restore the balance the previous Ark had to destroy it all.

I don't think Darkside's Box has any power over the continents. You resurrect those via the towers. All the box does is freeze everyone in Crysta (maybe it just reverts them to the crystal beings they really are?).

Dark Gaia cannot create things on its own, this is why everything, even Crysta itself, is a copy of something in the lightside. Therefore the box must be a counterpart to the actual box you open at the end of the game, the box that contains the hero's spear. It makes sense since Darkside's box contains a weak cristal copy of said sword. Its only "power" was to provide Dark Ark with a weapon and guidance under the guise of Yomi so he may fulfill Dark Gaia's goals.

The game suggests that this cycle is unique. Maybe because of Dark Gaia copied the light hero to create its own. Or it may refer to Dark Ark rebelling against his creator.
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>but maybe someone has another idea?
Yes, that Dark Ark is outside the "loop of fate" because he does not belong to the cycle of rebirth everyone else, even Light Ark, is stuck into. Dark Ark's existence is new and it's precisely what allows Dark Gaia to get so close to winning, but also what allows Light Gaia to seal Dark Gaia without destroying the world (like what happened before the game starts).

>the bad translation
The translation is literal and Engrishy, but sand some minor name changes due to character limitations, it's extremely faithful to the original. You're not missing out on much and Japanese readers aren't going to come out of the game with any clearer understanding about it.
What you say is mostly how I understand it.
Someone or something "hit the breaks" during or immediately after the last stand which made it so the surface was sealed.
But when or how was the Overworld Box even copied if Dark Gaia's minions have so much trouble finding it? Must have been an earlier cycle(?)
>he does not belong to the cycle of rebirth everyone else, even Light Ark, is stuck into.
By that, do you mean that instead of being reincarnated as e.g. a flower when dying, he comes back in the same form instead?
Or rather that he never dies and is reborn at all? That he appears the very first time in the cycle you play during the game?
If it's the latter, some NPCs in Crysta seem to suggest the opposite (the girls in front of the weaver's house), and at the end of the game, Light Ark says "He (Dark Gaia) made you by copying me when he was first sealed", so he either has been around for long or Dark Gaia was sealed only once before.
>Bloody Mary
>1-3 damage

That was my first experience with the game.
Ended up savestating my way through, never bothered to fix it either.
So my fight with the final boss was about the same situation. Blocking its huge beam attack reduces the damage by a lot, but taking it straight up halves your HP every time it hits.
But at some point I just stopped blocking because I was in single digit HP and blocking DID damage. But if I didn't block, it halved my 1HP health... rounded up.

Love the game, fucking HATE its level system.
>But when or how was the Overworld Box even copied if Dark Gaia's minions have so much trouble finding it? Must have been an earlier cycle(?)
This is fairly easy to answer once you consider that Crysta(lholm) is a copy of Storkholm. Storkholm is where the lightside box was kept, and this is probably why Dark Gaia chose to copy that specific place, so that he could get his own box for his own hero. He still sends minions to find the original one because it contains the only weapons capable of defeating him.

As a side note, the game implies that the *beings* Dark Gaia copies to populate Storkholm come from other places. The guy who works at the mill is probably a copy from the Nirlake mill worker, for example. Maybe he wanted to copy people from all parts of the world for whatever reason.
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>Or rather that he never dies and is reborn at all? That he appears the very first time in the cycle you play during the game?
This is what I mostly infer, yes. I assume that the girls looking at crystal blue see the reflections of the light world ("You can see things reflected in crystal blue! I can see people and places I've never seen before!"). Your light Ark quote is followed by "No, not just you. The village of Crysta, too", which makes me think that when Dark Gaia was "first" sealed refers to the last time (current Light Ark's "first"), because why would Dark Gaia create Crystalholm during the very first cycle ever?

But still, even if there have been more Dark Arks in the past (which is likely too, the whole thing is deliberately vague), my main point would be that Dark Ark is outside the loop because as a crystal blue copy, he has no "lightside" soul, no soul that may reincarnate into the loop. One may even contest that he has no soul at all ("Your body, no all humans here are replicas made of [crystal blue]. When used up, the replicas regain their form and float like so", ie when crystal copies die they just become crystal blue rather than reincarnate; an ending NPC also remarks how he has no reflection).

By fusing with Light Ark, Dark Ark does gain a soul that gives him the ability to return to the real world (as a stork or whatever) to see Light Elle during the ending. One may even interpret it as if Dark Elle herself grows her own soul. Her parting words include "...seing you grown up, I understand now. We are all individuals. It's important to live naturally...", which may mean that seeing Ark become his own person she gains her own will, beyond the elder's enslavement. This may allow her to somehow return to her lightside original once she dies. I dunno.

But in regards to Ark, I do think that him being a copy lacking a "light" soul is what allows him to be outside the loop of fate, a loop to which even Light Ark is clearly tied to.
It could be that Dark Gaia in fact knew where the hero's arms were located. But then I don't get why the "real reason" Columbus was tortured was the fact that he found them and brought them there. The location would be known already, and I thought that's why. Maybe they hoped that he'd know how to get to them in Storkolm, instead?
>the game implies that the *beings* Dark Gaia copies to populate Storkholm come from other places
Not necessarily. Maybe the massacred villagers were once the originals living in Storkolm but got reincarnated somewhere else on the overworld after the massacre. But this would require a few years of time after the village was destroyed. The guy in Nirlake seems to have the same age, after all.
>I assume that the girls looking at crystal blue see the reflections of the light world
Either that, or they have fake memories ("you and Elle are going far away, aren't you?") inherited from their originals.
>Dark Gaia was "first" sealed refers to the last time (current Light Ark's "first")
Interesting. Never thought of that. Then you don't think either of the Arks sealed Dark Gaia multiple times? Are there perhaps more heroes?

But lately, I'm starting to think that a groundhog day scenario of the sort many fans imagine isn't the case at all, and the only "cycles" in the game are
a) lightside births new life - darkside destroys it - lightside births new life ... and so forth, without any implication that either of the Gaias are sealed by any of the Arks or whoever
b) people get born, live, die and are reincarnated
Neither requiring any cyclicity of time/history as many other fans seem to understand it.
Fun fact: You can leave the "vision" in Astarica by teleporting out with a BonePin, and even get the Starstone without finishing it by drinking a goblet Elle offers you.
TV Tropes says that you don't need to use the blocking mechanic until the literal last boss, which is a lie. I've found it to be super useful for avoiding fire attacks.

That being said I'm legitimately surprised NOA didn't publish this back in the day. It's an awesome game.
>it's extremely faithful to the original.
Not arguing that, they really tried to not censor anything (in the English version at least, and except for the Quintet quiz) but the translators messed up a lot of things.
For example when dark gaia gives his speech, he talks about a star in the english version while it's obviously the planet earth (same word in japanese 星) and some lines are a bad game of telephone.
It was by Dan Owsen of Nintendo of America but he said in interviews he was not very fluent in Japanese then and this time he probably did not have japanese developer support, he got better by the Oracle games but not much, and was replaced.

If you look closely at the credits, you will see it was done by NOA staff. Some random commentor on youtube claims he still has an "uncle at nintendo" who has an NTSC prototype only given to those who helped translating it with the European packaging (art book + guide)
But NOA then was no better than Sega or Sony, by 1996 the N64 was launching and they wanted nothing to do anymore with the SNES. Deals involving Tales of Phantasia (pre-redesign), Star Ocean, Metal Warriors, Zombies Ate My Neighbours, were cancelled left and right. Major games like Marvelous passed on.

Basically, at NOA translators wanted it but marketing and suits did not, and since NOE was still interested they got it.

NOE did not localize it on their own because they were not autonomous then and NOA discouraged them from hiring translators fluent in Japanese. In an alternate universe where this did not happen, more games might have made it to Europe at least. NOE was clearly interested in pushing the system as late as 1998. Interestingly the French translator of Terranigma who was a new NOE hire knew Japanese, so Terranigma was the start of NOE's independance.
>dark gaia gives his speech, he talks about a star in the english version
Are you sure it's not illusion of gaia? Because I don't think Dark Gaia ever mentions a star. Meihou and Kumari, however, mention a "star of darkness" which was not mentioned before this at all, and it's unclear what that is supposed to mean.
>NOA discouraged them from hiring translators fluent in Japanese
Is that how it went?
I once listened to an hour-long interview with Claude Moyse, who translated many SNES era games, among them Terranigma. He did indeed not know Japanese. After hearing that, I started to hate the guy much less, and instead begang hating the circumstances under which these translations were made.
That, and the suits who decided he should do "funny" "translations."
>an hour-long interview with Claude Moyse
It's in german only?
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Pic related.

As for the source about the policy against hiring fluent translators, that was supported by a few other interviews with Moyse like you said (regarding how he made up Secret of Mana text when he was flown to Japan to do it and the English translation was not ready) and some of the french folk.

That was really backwards of NoA to hold back NoE (they even do it today for games like Fire Emblem Fates or Professor Layton 4 when THEY decide what the European translators should cut and whether they will translate from Japanese or their English version) and one of the key strengthes of Sony and Sega is how their European branches were more autonomous which translated to far better support.
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>Interesting. Never thought of that. Then you don't think either of the Arks sealed Dark Gaia multiple times?
>I don't think Dark Gaia had been "sealed" before, precisely because of
the only "cycles" in the game area) lightside births new life - darkside destroys it - lightside births new life ... and so forth, without any implication that either of the Gaias are sealed by any of the Arks or whoever)
What you describe is the actual cycle. This is the only real cycle that's hammered over and over by the game. The first words of the game talk about this cycle and everyone repeats it. Darkside destroys things. I think Dark Gaia had to be sealed once it got the point where it attempted to establish eternal life, which effectively takes over Light Gaia's role in the cycle too. But Light Ark can only do so much, therefore Dark Ark (or rather, both combined) are the actual "legendary hero". That's what I think. But again, the whole thing is deliberately vague. I just think it fits. I do like the idea of multiple Light Arks, but I think only one really had to ever "seal" Dark Gaia.

But the translation is correct. It doesn't mention a planet or a star. The Japanese word they use here is 太陽, that's unequivocally sun. It's likely meant to convey that the Gaia Stone is the blue reflective surface that serves as the "sun" of the underworld. How Gaia Stone looks like may be related to some people calling it the "star" of darkness too.
Ark is a reincarnation of the protagonist from the first game. He is literally Jesus.
>I think that something on the oustide world, perhaps Light Ark's last stand, was what destroyed the world. Beruga's goal was eternal life, and he does mention that he went to sleep when the world "died", so it makes sense that to restore the balance the previous Ark had to destroy it all.
Beruga actually releases a deadly pathogen or toxin that kills every living thing (including Light Ark) while he freezes himself and waits out the Armageddon he started so that he could recreate the world in the shape of his ideals. He wanted to beat the cycle and beat nature and beat society and beat god. He killed an entire city like it was nothing, he probably did that on purpose because he thought he had technological superiority over everyone at that point and was playing god.
>Light Ark says "He (Dark Gaia) made you by copying me when he was first sealed", so he either has been around for long or Dark Gaia was sealed only once before.
he probably means during the events of SoulBlazer
>What you describe is the actual cycle.
And I think many people mis-/over-interpret the words from the intro to the point that they think the events of the game happened in a very similar fashion many times in the past, and will repeat many times in the future, instead of the intro describing a tug-of-war between two natural forces. The thories then bring problems of multiple Light Arks, Dark Arks, and so on.
The only thing which I think would not make sense would be multiple Dark Arks, but Light Arks might work.
But then even multiple Dark Arks are possibly implied by the Crystal Spear, and what the girls in Crysta say can be interpreted like that ("are you and Elle bound by a promise from an earlier life?", "you and elle are going far away again, aren't you? You never came back that time, too.")
There are also the nightmares Ark has, and I've heard the theory that this indicates "memories" or whatever from a previous cycle's end.
If there was more than Dark Ark, then Dark Gaia must have created him many times from the same blueprint (heh, blue). So while he wouldn't be part of the conventional "loop of fate", it would function similarly with him. Then the question is, is Dark Gaia insane? (Trying the same thing expecting a different result)
And how is Ark special? Still not in the circle of rebirths, but why did he not seal Dark Gaia the other times? And if he did, is the only thing that's special this case really that Dark Gaia never came so close to winning?
But most things besides the crystal spear, I can interpret in a different way. Maybe the crystal spear (why did it have to talk, seriously) has a copied "personality" from the hero's arms and basically says what the Hero Pike would say? I dunno.
I think the "eternal recurrence" theories have more problems than I can solve without rejecting that premise, but they do have a certain charm to them.
Yes. With Radio PARALAX, if anyone's interested.
Dark Gaia is not insane. Dark Gaia is actually your greatest ally. He's your dad and he helps you heal the world and sends you back home after he makes you kill him.
Well, he presumably took in Ark because Ark has no parents. So he might actually have been like a father to Ark.
But really, his actual plan was to kill you after resurrecting Beruga. Imagining that everything up to the end was his real plan instead is kind of funny, though.
I loved it when Ark refered to himself in third person.
I know the basics of japanese grammar but that didn't make it less funnier.
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Just finished playing Soul Blazer/Illusion of Gaia/Terranigma. What a rush of cycles about life and death.
>Imagining that everything up to the end was his real plan instead is kind of funny, though.
I don't think it really works as a story otherwise. The entire point is that eternal life and unchecked evolution/advancement and usage of technology could bring about as much disaster as any natural calamity or demonic god if not even moreso. Life has no context and meaning without death, Dark Gaia and Light Gaia exist as two necessary halves of the divinity that created that world. What is actually happening by the end is that Gaia realizes it can't control the destiny of living creatures without depriving them of freedom and inciting outrage. Instead of trying to control life and death and manipulate humanity into an ideal garden of eden state over and over, it makes the decision of a responsible parent and gives you the opportunity to give the planet it's own future, it learns to let go.

The reason Ark can do this is because he was the servant of the Master who was never part of the world as it was created, and he was a separate being from the Master/Gaia who was arguably inseparable from the world it created of itself. But when he is sent to Earth to become human he becomes something that was never part of the original plan.

Dark Gaia copies him during his first defeat, as a weapon to defeat the Light side, but then humanity goes and destroys the world without Dark Gaia's influence.

At this point Dark Gaia is left with the memories and copies of a world destroyed, and realizes that though destruction was always it's goal, actually achieving that goal voids the universe of meaning, and also that of it's own existence. Instead of destroying you, or destroying the world, or erasing life, instead it erases the cycle, and erases itself and it's own influence on the lives of others, without ever directly showing you the truth. Instead it prioritizes your future and the future of the planet above all else.

It was a story about love for one's child.
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>Ark fell into a deep sleep, and dreamt his last dream
>it was a dream of becoming a bird and seeing the world grow older...

The Soul Blazer trilogy might be some of the best RPG games ever made, these games resonated with me, man. It's amazing how all three games cover such simple themes but can be so fucking powerful because of that.
What do you mean the first game? Soul Blazer?
I agree !

but the Soul Blazer Trilogy aren't RPGs, they are Adventure Action games, like Zelda.

RPG =/= A Game with Level System.
>I don't think it really works as a story otherwise.
How so? You may say it would turn into a generic "stop evil guy from doing bad things" sort of plot, but how would it "not really work as a story"?
Anyway, you say both Light Gaia and Dark Gaia exist as two necessary halves. Necessary according to whom? The game talks of a balance of light and darkness, clearly. And you? If think so, too, you either contradict yourself later or think Dark Gaia did a stupid thing (because erasing something that is necessary seems stupid to me).
just because something is necessary at first doesn't mean things don't change.
No, but what are we left with when Dark Gaia is gone? Unrestrained creation? Even after Dark Gaia is defeated, Light Ark emphasizes that a balance is necessary
>but that's just, like, his opinion, man
Maybe. But I'm not sure Dark Gaia will be gone forever by being sealed, anyway.
>No, but what are we left with when Dark Gaia is gone?

Is it hard for you to understand that??
Truth be told, I really don't know what you are saying.
This headcanon is so far out there, it's certainly the most unique interpretation I have seen.
If Dark Gaia is dead, Light Gaia would presumably still do its thing, continuing more growth. NPCs in the game already muse if continued growth is the best way for humanity to progress.
Whatever Dark Gaia did to restore balance, humans would have to do now: making animals go extinct, keeping populations in check etc.
No. When Dark Gaia dies Light Gaia also dies. Only they don't really die they just cease to be conscious aspects of nature.

If humanity chooses to destroy themselves, then it is wrong to take that choice away from them as an outside influence.

>Whatever Dark Gaia did to restore balance, humans would have to do now: making animals go extinct, keeping populations in check etc.

you mean like real life
>When Dark Gaia dies Light Gaia also dies.
Says who?
>you mean like real life
Kind of, except in the world of Terranigma, Earth is more like a living organism and it's not at all obvious that it would survive if Light and Dark Gaia were gone, or that they even can go dormant for long in the way you describe.
>Earth is more like a living organism
you mean like real life
No, I don't mean that, so I think I'm out of that conversation if it's going this way.
At any rate, that was cetainly a unique way of looking at the game I hadn't heard before.
I think maybe you take things at face value too much and don't have enough background knowledge of the world's religious history and symbolism
When a game tells me that the planet posesses two souls, I take that at face value since it's a game, and the writers are free to make their setting so that the planet in the game literally has two souls.
The Gaia hypothesis is/was a thing in real life, but regardless of whether someone believes these things, I say "no" to "Earth is a living organism in real life."
I'm afraid you'll have to be clearer about what you mean to say if I misunderstood you.
It would be terribly convenient if we lived in a completely natural world with no such thing as divinity or spirits or ESP. It was my first assumption that such things were unlikely and the product of hallucination.

However, this is not the case. We do not live in a perfect world, we live in one that has a compromise and a compensation.

What you believe is wrong. I know that it offers you some sort of grounding or stability in your reasoning, but it's wrong. There are special things that happen in this world which you are probably never going to experience.
This was terrific. The gameplay was smooth if somewhat simplistic, the music was great and the story was probably the biggest thing about it. I just didn't like the difficulty curve, I feel it makes very little sense. And also that fucking not so obvious entrance in Louran.
So Ark is implied to be the reincarnation of the Blazer from the first game?
No, and this doesn't make any sense, Soul Blazer's cosmology has Kami/The Master on heaven, earth, and then Deathtoll in the World of Evil. Light and Dark Gaia are completely different, they are counterparts to one another and are both aspects of the same world.

Same deal with Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma, Terranigma's Dark Gaia is no comet that drops by every 800 years.

The writers of the games themselves have talked about this, and nowhere does the game imply that Ark is an angel like the blazer. Quite the opposite.

This is just people who want to make the game be 3deep5u instead of looking at what's actually there.
hence why I'm asking because that doesn't add up at all, seeing as yeah, the Blazer was a servant of the Master.
I'm pretty sure that's the same Master from Actraiser though.
>The writers of the games themselves have talked about this
[citation needed]
I can't help but wonder if there's anything actually preventing the Soul Blazer series from seeing release on the Virtual Consoles.
Ok, the game begins after light gaia has been "sealed". Dark gaia has defeated the champion of light gaia and essentially won, but victory was not all he thought it would be.

Dark gaia is bored and lonely and since he cant create anything, dark gaia copies previous occupants of the light world.

In particular, dark gaia copies the "hero of light gaia" as that human was the only one capable of stopping dark gaia(yes even though he failed)
Dark gaia created dark ark as a copy because he needed his own hero capable of reawakening the light world because he realized that without light there is no dark. There must be creation and destruction, otherwise there is nothing.

Dark ark then procedes to restore the light world and its life forms and in doing so reawakes light gaia. Once this occurs, the cycle can continue in its infinate loop, allowing dark and light gaia to resume their ever continuing cycle.

Once this goal is accomplished, dark ark is no longer needed, as he has no light counterpart, so dark gaia decides to get rid of him. The spirit of light ark shows up, fused with dark ark, and they become a perfect and complete representation of light and dark in one being, capable of going against both their masters. This allows ark to fight dark gaia and defeat him, effectively doing the reverse of what we saw at the beginning of the game. Now only the light "real" world is left and the shadow world has been taken away. With the removal of dark gaia, light gaia has no enemy, causing him to go back to "sleep" and allowing humanity to thrive/ die on its own terms without the interference of either gaia.

The reason ark "dies" at the end is because light ark was already dead, and because dark ark was never have supposed to existed in the first place, being a fusion of both beings, he "dies". With the destruction/ sealing of dark gaia, ark effectively killed himself for the greater good by freeing the planet from the constant warring of the gaias
TVtropes is great you fucking faggot.
I really don't think Ark is dead in the end

I think it parallels the first game too strongly if Gaia's last act was to send him home, for me to really consider it to be anything else

especially the fact that that music starts playing when they see each other

sure Ark gets to go home if he just gets to see Elle, but does Elle get to go home if she doesn't see Ark?
"Ark" is dead. Gaia flat out tells ark "i will give you one last night at your home" before we see the scene with ark at crysta. Then ark dreams of being a bird and gets to see elle again.

You could interpret the final scene with elle as light ark arriving at elles house, but i dont think so because light ark was dead(for real dead).

And because dark ark was made by dark gaia. All things made by dark gaia are copies and vanish with dark gaia.

Its left intentionally vague, but i see the story as a whole as being about self sacrifice and love for others.
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Kouji Yokota talks about this and explicitly mentions that Terranigma is different from the games that do show connections between them. Relevant to what >>4718530 claims, the connections actually start from ActRaiser, which is something quite obvious. The whole "trilogy" nonsense is based on beta names and HG101's wishful thinking.

This is exactly what the game conveys. If anything, he may return as a bird (a stork, which is a heavy symbol throughout the entire story). It is a story of self sacrifice, through which Dark Ark, who was created to do evil, refutes his destiny, earns his soul and becomes a "god" (as Yomi says). I think this is what allows him to return at the end in whatever capacity he does, he earns his place in the world he built.

"Muh blazer" is not an adequate explanation for Ark being alive when the game literally says that he will be dying at the end.
If it helps, when Miyazaki was asked about the ending, he pretty much said "well, whatever works for you". http://shmuplations.com/quintet/
>Are you saying that the conclusion of the final scene is left up to the player?
>As the creators of this game, we didn’t want to impose a single conclusion on the story–or better to say, we couldn’t even if we had wanted to. If the player chose the Overworld Elle, perhaps Ark is reborn and returns to Elle’s side. If he chooses the Underworld Elle, maybe he says farewell to Overworld Elle and is reunited with Underworld Elle after reincarnation. Maybe the player doesn’t like either Elle, and something different happens altogether. We left the conclusion up to the player’s imagination.
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I imagined that the bird came to the house of a reincarnated Ark and Elle and their daughter, Meilin.
Yeah, it was left deliberately vague. His use of reincarnation does imply that Ark dies and is reborn as the ending clearly shows, what happens after he's reborn and even how he's reborn is left to our imaginations. It makes the ending all that more special, I think.
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Now that's unlikely. Obviously, Ark and Elle would call their daughter "Fyda".
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Nah, Fyda would be their next door neighbor

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