Overlooked: The Red Gems of Illusion of Gaia

Image from Flickr User: Shawn S
Image from Flickr User: Shawn S

One video game I absolutely love, that it seems no one has actually heard of, is “Illusion of Gaia” for the SNES. I adore this game, and it gives me no shortage of distress that it’s not available for download on the new Nintendo consoles. ‘Tis a huge shame. Good thing my SNES still works…. Well, in addition to having an interesting story and being a lot of fun to play, this game has its own secret, an extra level that is only unlocked once you collect all fifty red gems.

I have played this game countless times, but for many years, I was never able to get all the gems, and frankly, there was no excuse, considering the game actually came with a mini-guide that gave you tips on completing the game, not to mention the location of every red gem. Yes, some gems are impossible to obtain once you progress far enough into the game, but once again, if you just stick to the guide, you should have no trouble finding them.

Mostly. Pretty much all of them aren’t too difficult to locate. You find the majority of them, as far as I remember, lying around certain locations, while some require other actions on your part, such as one I believe you get once you give this woman enough apples. Another one is terribly boring to get, as it requires you to leave an area and return repeatedly until a fisherman has a pot next to him. Once he does, you can get a gem from this pot, but it can take quite a while before the pot actually appears. There was really only one gem that gave me a huge amount of trouble, however, and that was this particularly hidden one that was supposed to be in this hidden shrine-like building in this one town that the guide insists was a real place, but which took me a good decade and maybe more before I finally slipped into this hidden alleyway and was able to locate it. (I was really starting to believe they were making the whole thing up, but as further proof of its existence, I have the video for how to find it below…. Actually, this video contains all red gem locations. This one’s at about 6:00)

Video from Youtube User: TheGreenNu

Well, I did finally manage to gather up every red gem, and once you reach this desert town towards the end of the game, you give all your gems to this merchant, and this allows you entrance to a very frustrating secret level. This level has some pretty troublesome enemies, and I find the place to be rather creepy, as well, mainly due to the odd portraits of the guy with the weird ‘stache in the background, whoever the heck he is. It took me a long time just progressing through this place because it was so darn tough, and I kept dying and having to start over again from the beginning. And then, once you do manage to get all the way to the end, you reach a bizarre boss called Solid Arm, whom I hear is from another game the developers made. The video of this level, including the secret boss is below. The secret level starts around 1:50.

Video from Youtube User: Chay Ateah

I gave up once I reached this boss, as I was dreadful at fighting it, and if I recall correctly, I died pretty quickly, but it was pretty cool finally seeing the secret level of a game I have loved for so many years, and it’s nice that one, final challenge remains that I hope to complete one day. If you haven’t played this game, I highly recommend checking it out, if you can figure out how to actually do so, and if you already own it, collect those red gems, darn it! And tell me if you manage to actually beat Solid Arm, because I just can’t.

Solid Duck

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    That’s something I miss in most modern games. Secret levels to unlock and explore! Rarely happens anymore since game making is so expensive, but miss it all the same! Is Illusions of Gaia similar to Secret of Mana? Might need to track a copy down if it’s as good as you say.


    1. duckofindeed says:

      I’m not sure if it’s like Secret of Mana, but I do know that it is awesome. I’d definitely recommend it. I miss secret levels. It just feels like developers have gotten lazy nowadays. The cost of games is no excuse because they charge us more to make up for it, but it sometimes feels like we get less.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hatm0nster says:

        You’re right, it’s not an excuse. With all the broken games shipping these days it’s even less of one. Personally, I think dlc killed the whole concept of secrets and unlockables. After all, why hide something in a game when you can just charge someone for it?


      2. duckofindeed says:

        And now that consoles connect to the Internet, I can’t get the full version of Hyrule Warriors without it. But, I refuse. I don’t know why, but I refuse to connect my console to the Internet. I miss the old days when games were simpler….


  2. trinidy says:

    This is by far one of my favorite games, I have managed to defeat Solid Arm though it was many years ago, he is one of the bosses from Soul Blazer which is the 1st game in a 3 part series, Gaia is the second, Terranigma is the 3rd


    1. duckofindeed says:

      I never managed to defeat Solid Arm. He was simply too tough for me. I heard about him being from Soul Blazer. Is Soul Blazer worth checking out?


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