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The Super Nintendo Action RPG You've Probably Never Heard Of

Nintendo's iconic Super Nintendo Entertainment System covered a huge swath of genres across its library of classic games. One of the genres that produced many of the finest titles on the system was action RPG. Popular gaming publishers from back in the day, such as Enix, Square, and Namco, released some of the top titles within that class of 16-bit adventures. The SNES' North American side of games was littered with some great turn-based RPGs, but a whole lot of love has been shown to the console's iconic action RPG endeavors.


One of the games that definitely falls into that genre classification is a title that some fans regard as one of the best action RPGs on the SNES. But if you've never indulged in importing non-North American titles over to your locale, then you probably missed out on it. The SNES action RPG in question is a cult classic that never saw a release outside of Japan, Europe, and Australia: Terranigma.

Terranigma is a well-reviewed SNES action RPG that never released in North America

Terranigma originally released in 1995 in Japan and made its way over to Europe and Australia in 1996. The defunct development studio known as Quintet is responsible for creating the game, and it also lent its talents to other SNES classics such as the ActRaiser series, Soul Blazer, and Illusion of Gaia


Terranigma's plotline follows a boy named Ark who makes a grave mistake within his home village of Crysta. Even after all of the warnings made by the village elder, Ark ends up opening a forbidden door that leads him to an item called the Pandora Vase. Due to his actions, a curse washes across Ark's village and freezes everyone within its vicinity. The village elder, who's unaffected by the curse, sends Ark out into the world to undo his error by unfreezing the village's inhabitants.

Ark's journey sees him exploring gorgeously animated environments from a top-down perspective. Like most action RPGs of the era, Ark engages in active combat against all sorts of fantastical creatures. Years after its original release, numerous gaming websites reviewed Terranigma and spoke very highly of it. Nintendo Life awarded the game with a perfect 10, VentureBeat scored it an 8.5, and Goomba Stomp even referred to it as the best action RPG on the SNES.


If you're interested, copies of Terranigma on eBay aren't too expensive as of this writing.