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Illusion of Gaia

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Title Screen

Illusion of Gaia

Also known as: Gaia Gensouki (JP), Illusion of Time (EU)
Developer: Quintet
Publishers: Enix (JP), Nintendo (US/EU)
Platform: SNES
Released in JP: November 27, 1993
Released in US: September 1, 1994
Released in EU: April 27, 1995

CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

The second part of a spiritual "trilogy" including Soul Blazer and Terranigma, Illusion of Gaia is a straightforward action-adventure game with RPG elements. The game is heavy on the common premise of exploring and reviving a dying world like its spiritual "relatives", just... a bit less so than they are.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Unused Items

Unused items yay!

Items that aren't found anywhere in the game. They also work for the most part. You can write their value to 7E0AB4 to replace the first slot of your inventory with them.

  • Iog-note.gif 05 - Incan Melody: Description: "Told by father to go to Incas with melody." Oddly, its name is "Inca Melody" in the inventory, but if equipped it's called the "Incan Melody". This seems to be an early/alternate version of the Melody of the Wind, as attempting to use it gives you exactly the same message, and there's no corresponding unused song in the data. If used in the north house in Itory, it generates the message "The Mayor's expression changed!" and sets an unused internal flag.
  • Iog-diary.gif 15 - Blue Journal: Description: "Journal found by fireplace." This gives you the option to choose between three different topics: "Tower of Babel", "Mystic Statues", and "Great Wall of China", but the text for them is nothing more than repeating the "chapter title". The text when using this item indicates it's Lance's father's, and given this and the subject matter it was probably supposed to be obtained at Watermia.
  • Iog-gold.gif 1B - Bag of Gold: Description: "Prize from Russian Glass". Obviously, this was supposed to be the prize for winning the drinking game. Evidently you were supposed to buy the four Kruks at one point; in the final game, you're given these beasts right off for winning.

Most of the invalid values are also replaced with Mystic Statues. They have no graphic nor description and don't do anything.

Unused Graphics

Early Final
Not quite finished, there. Mushroom!

Loaded into VRAM in the inventory is what appears to be a very rough, early version of the Mushroom Drops item. The design is the same, but is little more than a sketch, with no real detail.

Early Final
How pleasant. Oh, cheer up, statue.

Likewise, these... things, which appear to be rough early versions of the Mystic Statues, are also loaded into memory on the inventory screen. It's unknown if this was their intended purpose, but they're right next to the statues in the data.

Before After
Kinda bare. Flowers!

For some odd reason, the Gorgon Flower you obtain in Angkor Wat is stored in two pieces; the plant itself and the flowers on it are separate sprites. Though this appears to be because the plant and petals use different palettes, it's also possible the plant, sans flowers, was intended to be used elsewhere.




Some blue slime, smoke, and flames, also loaded into memory on the inventory screen. These come right after Will and Freedan's Dark Power icons, meaning they were almost certainly intended as a trio of powers for Shadow, who otherwise only gets any abilities from the Aura flame item. The slime seems to correspond to Shadow's ability to morph into liquid, and the flame may be the Phoenix used in the final battle. The smoke's purpose is unknown, however.

If the "known abilities" bits are set to include Shadow's non-functional abilities, these icons appear next to the placeholder ability names mentioned below.


Small 8×8 filler/placeholder tiles which, oddly enough, bear a striking resemblance to Kirby.

Zoom! Hey, what's that?!

Sprites for Shadow flying and looking to one side.

The first one is used if Shadow is launched from a ramp and the second one is used when he's sidling along a narrow ledge. In the final game, he never has a chance to use ramps and there are no narrow ledges around, so these go unused.

Unused Text

A few bits of text are rendered unused by the simple fact that there's no actual way to talk to certain people outside of cheating.

First world problems.
Neil's father: You can't
go wrong by taking over
the Rolek Company.

During the Euro sequence, you can speak with Neil and his mother, but there's no legit way to actually reach his father, so this line is never heard.

You don't say?
This is a green apple.

Also in Euro. While it's possible to speak with this woman normally, talking to anyone from behind the counter will result in them scolding you, and the man at the counter effectively blocks you from speaking to her that way, either. Nevertheless, she does have something to say.

IOG DifficultLillyText.png
Lilly: I shouldn't say
anything bad about
Will's cousin, but
this inventor...

While this isn't unused, most players will never see it in a playthrough because they'd need to talk to Lilly before Kara finishes walking in Neil's Cottage. There's no way to talk to Lilly from the left side of the table, and Kara blocks her from the right side after she's done walking, which isn't much time at all. As a result, the player needs to run extremely soon after gaining control to see it.

Japan International

Partially-translated names of Shadow's special abilities, following the names of the Will and Freedan abilities (at 01E640 and 01E6C0 in the US version). They would have appeared on the Style menu as Shadow gained abilities, and can still be seen by manually setting Shadow's got-ability flags, 7e0aa3=07.

Akira Ageta

This name is present numerous times in the ROM at offsets 00037FF0, 000D7FE0, 00137FE0, 00157FE0, 00197FE0, and 001FFFE0. It's often found before "Quintet". This person isn't listed in the credits of any version of the game, but it's possible they had a hand in its development.

You need to jump to
continue, but you must
stop once in a while...

There are many cracks in 
the Pyramid. He who 
looks down on the block 
floor will sink...

This is a fight to the
finish. Act before you
are acted upon...

Part of a huge body of dialogue and code for unused advisor NPCs. Seems to be an early concept for Dark Space denizens, eventually replaced by Gaia and statues. Like Dark Space statues, the advisors grant special abilities, but the text uses old ability names: Psycho Crusher for Psycho Dash, Psycho Flier for Dark Friar, and Spin Dasher for Spin Dash. In the US ROM, advisor data is found from 09a090 to 09a914.

Stage Select

There is code for a debugging NPC in the the US ROM at offset 0BEE20. The NPC is present in other versions of the game including the early US build and some European versions but at different addresses. When talked to, the Debug Man gives Max HP, 127 STR+DEF, and all special abilities, then offers a Stage Select dialogue tree to teleport the player to any location in the game.

To enable the Debug Man in the US ROM, use the codes 0C82FD20, 0C82FEEE, 0C82FF8B to have the Debug Man outside the school, in place of the unimportant NPC who usually spawns there.

(Source: Raeven0)

Illusion of Gaia Debug 001.pngIllusion of Gaia Debug 002.pngIllusion of Gaia Debug 003.png

Hello! I am Debug-man!
Where you go?
To do:
See what story flags, if any, are flipped by each option.


Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
Great Wall First screen of China's Great Wall.
LAST GAIA LOOK Start of the ending sequence.
EDOWA-DO Edward's castle, first visit, on the walkway to Kara's room. Camera isn't properly vertically locked.
Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
Itorie Middle of Itory Village. Triggering the conversation with Will's grandparents seems to softlock?
HOME OF MOON TRIBE Home of Moon Tribe. Lily seems to be displaced, and will snap into position behind you after you move a little.
Underground castle Near the end of Edward's Castle Prison.
Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
City of Euro First arrival in Euro.
Native's Village First arrival at the Native Village.
Desert Village Dao First arrival at Dao.
Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
INCA Entrance to Ruins - Start of Larai Cliff.
HANANOMIYAKO First arrival in Freejia.
DAIYAMONDO Entrance to the Diamond Mine.
Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
Sky Garden First screen of the Sky Garden, next to the "Drop off the cliff..." Moon Tribe NPC.
Palace Entrance to Seaside Palace. Camera isn't properly vertically locked.
Mu Entrance to Mu.
Choice Destination
Others View the next page of results.
Angel Village First arrival at Angel Village.
Native's Village First arrival at the Native Village, seemingly identical to previous option?
Dao First arrival at Dao, seemingly identical to previous option?
Choice Destination
Quit "Bye bye!"
Pyramid Entrance to Great Pyramid.
Watermia First arrival at Watermia.
Ankor Wat Entrance to Door to Ankor Wat.
Ok! See you again!

Unused Music

A simple snippet of the title/main theme, with slightly different instrumentation. Possibly intended as a short "victory" fanfare after completing major events.

Sky Deliveryman

An unused NPC in Watermia who calls himself the Sky Deliveryman can take Will to South Cape via a flock of birds. The route from Watermia to South Cape is fully functional, complete with a unique overworld sprite of Will being carried by the birds.

IOG UnusedOWBirds.gif
I'm the Sky Deliveryman.
My tame birds will take
you to distant towns.
Do you want to
go to South Cape?

If "Quit" is chosen:

OK. In that case,
use them later.

If "Go" is chosen:

Come here, birds.
We're taking this person
to South Cape!

The birds drop you by the docks in South Cape.

IOG SouthCape BirdSpawn.png

Change the value at address $0cb49f to $47 in an unheadered USA ROM to replace the NPC at Watermia's entrance with the Sky Deliveryman.

(Source: Raeven0)

Unused Code

Several features and mechanics were programmed but not implemented in the released game.

  • An elaborate final boss fight is fully coded in a proof-of-concept state. It resembles the Dark Gaia fight, but is longer and more intense, and would have used unique graphics that aren't in the final game. The code relies on game engine features that didn't make it to release, which suggests that it was recycled and scaled back to create Dark Gaia due to engine limitations.
  • All of the special abilities support upgrades. The upgraded versions do more damage, and additionally the Aura Barrier creates more shields and the Spin Dash lasts longer. The upgrades can only be accessed through save file hacking.
  • An unused NPC in Watermia owns a flock of birds that can transport Will to South Cape, complete with a unique overworld sprite of Will being carried by birds. There is also scripted world map movement for the flight from South Cape to Watermia as well as between Euro and Freejia.
  • A difficulty setting is partially implemented and can be accessed by save file hacking. In the final game it only changes the damage, knockback, and duration of some projectile attacks.


Islands belong to the sea.

This more standard RPG-ish island map is technically present in-game, during the "attract mode" prologue, but it's rendered in Mode 7 and shown so low that it's virtually impossible to make out any details. Moreover, only the bottom three islands and the island with Babel Tower on it are even visible at all normally. Interestingly, the top two islands seem to feature towns or castles, using a more elaborate version of the graphic normally displayed for these on the in-game world map.

But it's all grey...
Barely unused park/shrine.
01 01

The city shown in a strange Mode 7 cutscene at the end of Angkor Wat is considerably larger than what can normally be seen and includes a number of hidden details, like a Japanese shrine and various signs and logos. Viewing the whole map reveals that it is actually a depiction of the area around Shinjuku station in Tokyo, the biggest train station in the world. It is fairly accurate; there is a well-known shrine in that location, and the big street on the right is Yasukuni-dori. The names on the signs are also parodies of real-life Japanese department stores (e.g. "Yotohashi" instead of "Yodobashi").

Regional Differences


Japan US Europe
IOG JPN Enix Screen.png IOG Enix Screen.png IOG Europe Enix Screen.png

The Enix logo was changed among versions.

Japan US Europe
Gaia Gensouki.gif IOGTitle.png IoT-title.png

The Japanese release had a fully animated title screen. Known as Gaia Gensouki (ガイア幻想紀, roughly translated "The Gaia Fantasy Chronicle"). Since the game was released under a different name in Europe, the title screen was changed once again to reflect it. Unlike Illusion of Gaia, Illusion of Time does not have the Earth move in its title screen, making it look bland in comparison since it doesn't leverage the buildup of the title music.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Moai.png IOG-Moai.png
Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Sphinx.png IOG-Sphinx.png
Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Stonehenge.png IOG-Stonehenge.png
Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Crystal Skull.png IOG-Crystal Skull.png

All objects used in the opening sequence, except the Tower of Babel, were given a different palette.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Angkor Wat.png IOG-Angkor Wat.png

Angkor Wat was also changed in the opening sequence, both in graphical details and palette.

Japan US/Europe
What the heck is "Banri Castle?" Fix one mistake, make one mistake.

With a lot of areas being renamed in the international versions, it stands to reason that the world map would be modified accordingly. To fit in the longer names, a few trees were removed around the Moon Tribe Camp, the Natives' Village, and outside Neil's Cottage. Curiously, despite fixing a few obvious misspellings ("Cotage", "Nasca"), the American version introduces one of its own, changing the correctly-spelled "Angkor" to "Ankor".

Japan US/Europe
IoG-Gaia Gensouki2.gif IoG-EdwardsCastleNA.png

Some tiles are different in the international versions. For example, the background in Edward's Castle had animated clouds but less detailed floor tiles in the Japanese version.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Itory.png IOG-Itory.png

The background and clouds were also changed in Itory Village. Unlike the similar change in Edward's Castle, both versions have animated clouds.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Great Wall.png IOG-Great Wall.png

The background at the Great Wall of China was altered as well.

Japan US/Europe
Religious symbolism? That'll never do! So much better...?

As if it wasn't obvious enough that the "school" in South Cape is actually a church, the statue on the back wall was a large cross in the Japanese version.

Japan US/Europe
GaiaGensouki Viper.png IOG Viper.png
Japan US/Europe
GaiaGensouki ViperRefight.png IOG ViperRefight.png

The Sky Garden boss, Viper, was changed from a bird to a bird-statue hybrid for international versions.

Japan US/Europe
IOG Proto SecondMSReceive.png IOG SecondMSReceive.png

When you first receive the second Mystic Statue, the color for it is incorrect in the Japanese version. If you pause after receiving it, it will show the correct color.

Japan US/Europe
IOG Proto SidePlaneCutscene.png IOG SidePlaneCutscene.png
Japan US/Europe
IOG Proto RearPlaneCutscene.png IOG RearPlaneCutscene.png

In the Japanese version, Will is completely missing from the side view of the plane in the scene after landing on it. Oddly enough, he does appear in the rear view, but he uses his side view sprite. Lance's sprites, Erik's sprites, and the plane itself are also slightly different between versions.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Fountain.png IOG-Fountain.png

The fountain in the Ocean Palace is called the Fountain of Blood in the Japanese script, and the liquid in the fountain is a brownish-red color rather than the dark grey of the international versions.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Mansion.png IOG-Mansion.png

The secret mansion is a lot darker in the Japanese version.

Japan US/Europe
Gaia Gensouki-Earth.png IOG-Earth.png

The image of the Earth in the ending was changed in the international versions.

Japan US/Europe
Gai Gensouki-Ending.png IOG-Ending.png

In the international versions' cityscape in the ending, the horizon's color gradient was revised to appear more oval toward the left and right edges of the screen. Additionally, three of the six stars are not there anymore. As the removed stars were either in or very close to the areas that were edited, it might have taken too long to reconcile them convincingly with the updated color gradient.


Japan US/Europe
IOG Proto SkyGarden Switch.png IOG SkyGarden Switch.png

The switch on the right is missing in the Japanese version. If you're quick enough, you can hit the left switch and get past the barriers that come up, causing you to be stuck and forced to reset the game. The international versions added the switch on the right so you can get out if that happens.

Japan US/Europe
IOG Proto EuroRofskyBook.png IOG EuroRofskyBook.png

Rofsky's book in Euro is in a different location. Since interacting with the book, not the man, brings up its text, the man over the counter doesn't say anything from this side.

  • The default button for accessing the Item Menu was changed from X to Select in the international versions.
  • The text speed is considerably faster in the international versions.
  • The first boss, Castoth, was made considerably more difficult in the international versions. In the Japanese original, all you have to do is attack its head repeatedly, but in the international versions you first have to attack and disable both of its hands before the head becomes vulnerable. This makes the fight much longer and more dangerous.
  • Similarly, the Vampires are harder in the international versions:
    • You have 240 seconds to complete the fight in the original Japanese version. The international versions reduces this by almost half, down to 140 seconds.
    • In the original Japanese version, they move slower and their attacks are more varied, but easier to avoid.
    • All of the female vampiress' attacks do 2 damage instead of 1 in the international versions.
    • The male vampire drops skull-shaped bombs that leave trailing explosions, and he has a spiraling orb pattern when attacked.
    • When the male vampire is alone, he will shoot three small homing orbs.
    • The female vampiress causes spikes to appear, which obstruct your path and can be destroyed, and she has the same rotating orb pattern when attacked, except the orbs are much smaller.
    • When the female vampiress is alone, she shoots 8 small fireballs in each cardinal and intercardinal direction.
    • Their combined attack is also different, with the Japanese version having a wide slow-moving vertical beam and the international versions having a large, fast-moving ball that heads towards the player.
  • For whatever reason, the male vampire's face sprite was also given a bit more detail.
  • The earthquake attack can be used to stun bosses in the Japanese version. This is not possible in the international versions.
  • Herbs fully recover your health in the Japanese version, but they only recover 8 HP in the international versions.

Copy Protection

To do:
Check if anything notable happens when Gaia Gensouki is run on a PAL SNES.
US Europe
IOG CopyProtectionScreen.png IOT CopyProtectionScreen.png

Illusion of Gaia and Illusion of Time display these copy protection screens when attempting to play them on a PAL or NTSC console, respectively. Gaia Gensouki does not feature any such protection and will run on a PAL console at a lower framerate.


  • When choosing any of the highest level file menus (Play, Copy, etc.) in the Japanese version, the screen goes black briefly. This was removed in the international versions.
  • In the international versions, after moving the cursor over the file to select, the camera scrolls to the corresponding location on the world map that the file was last saved in.