Interesting Facts

Meaning of the Name

First of all, lets start with the meaning of the word "Terranigma". I'm guessing that a fair few people already know about this, but here goes anyway. Terranigma is actually two different meaning words combined into one. The first word is 'Terra' which is a Latin translation of the word 'Earth'. Therefore it is referring to the planet Earth. This one word, Terra, is where we have derived a couple of words all assosciated with Earth, for example :

The second word is 'Enigma'. I guess it would have been stupid to call the game Terraenigma as nobody would have agreed to it's pronounciation. Anyway, 'Enigma' means mystery. A riddle that puzzles someone or something. Hence the word enigmatic - a mysterious quality. The obvious conclusion here is that 'Terranigma' means 'Mystery of the Earth', which fits the bill as this is what the game is about.

Meaning of the Hero

Ark. He's the hero of the game, and although a bit mischievous, he's a good bloke. But what is the connection here ? We all know about the tale of Noah's ark, but does that have anything in common with our red-headed hero ? Maybe. Noah's ark was famous for surviving a huge change in terrain, which is applicable in the game. The ark was also known best for carrying the animals. Ark, in the game saves the animal kingdom and can even talk with them for half the game. An Ark is another name given to a chest or a box. The most famous would be the 'Ark of the Covenant', and the 'Ark of the Testimoney'. It is a wooden coffer containing tables of Jewish law. Not that you really care, I suppose. It is from here that we derive this joke, one of such ludicrous poor quality, that it might stop you from reading the rest of this file. Here it is: "Did you hear about the film where Ark was stuck in Zue, and didn't know where to go next ?" "Yeah - Raiders of the Lost Ark." Groan. I don't know who made it up, but they deserve a good shoeing. Anyhoo, you can make up your own mind as to whether or not you believe this, but Noah's Ark played a big part in the resurrection of the Earth, animals and human population, just like the hero Ark did. It's up to you to decide...

Meaning of the People

A lot of people don't actually realise that Terranigma's economic growth is closer to reality than what meets the eye. The important people in the game that made inventions that we use today in reality, such as the camera and telephone actually have their real names, albeit slightly changed.


You help Bell with the invention of the telephone. In the game he gives up on his invention after he gets dumped by his girlfriend, due to the lack of hearing from him. After turning  into an alcoholic for a short while, he vows to finish his invention, in order to save other people from the same fate. He invents the 'telephone' on the basis that other people can keep in touch with their partners and not succumb to the same fate as his. Exactly whether this is true or not is unknown.

In reality Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) was a British Scientist, who patented his invention, the telephone, in 1876. He later experimented with a type of phonograph and in aeronautics. He also invented the tricycle undercarriage.

In Depth Background:

Bell was scottish born, and was the beat many hopeful scientists to the creation of the telephone. His upbringing had a great influence on his career. His father was a successful teacher of deaf-mutes and had invented a code of symbols called Visible Speech to help them learn. Bell aided his father in his work, and also taught speech and music as a student teacher at a boys' school in Edinburgh. In 1870 Bell moved with his family to Ontario, Canada, as he was suffering from tuberculosis from which both his brothers had died. He soon recovered, and went to Boston, Massachusetts, where he set up a school for teachers of the deaf. Bell was made a professor at Boston University, but he still continued with his electrical experiments. He found doing all the work himself too difficult, so he enlisted help from a skilled electrician called Thomas Watson. Together they proceeded with the experiments. Bell connected up a transmitter, a device which converted sound waves into electrical waves, to a receiver, which picked up electrical signals and converted them back to sound. They finally achieved success in 1875, when Bell heard a sound made by Watson coming through the receiver. The first spoken sentences were heard the following year when Bell spoke into the transmitter and was heard by Watson in a separate room. This is the part you play in the game - hearing spoken words from a separate room to Bell The Bell Telephone Company was founded in 1877, the first of its kind. Bell continued to experiment and invent. He helped develop the gramophone record, and financed flying experiments. The promotion of teaching the deaf to speak was still one of his chief concerns. He became an American citizen in 1882, and died in Novia Scotia.


You also help Eddy with his invention. Eddy is the inventor of the light. There isn't much of a story behind it in the game like above, simply took quite a few dangerous attempts.

Eddy is named after Thomas Edison ('Eddy'son). In reality, Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was a US scientist and inventor. His first ever invention was an automatic repeater for telegraphic messages. Later came the carbon transmitter. This is quite interesting as it was used as a microphone in the production of the telephone. In the game Bell and Eddy live next door to each other. In reality they were inventors whose inventions were linked with each others. Coincidentally, they were both born on the same year. He then went on to invent the phonograph, the electric filament lamp (which was the concept in the game), a new type of storage battery and the kinetoscopic camera - an early form of cinematography. He aslo anticipated the Fleming thermionic valve. I guess you could say he was a clever chappie.

In Depth Background:

Edison was an American who can justly be called the world's greatest inventor. At the age of 12 he began selling newspapers on a train, and still found time to experiment with chemicals and print a newspaper in the luggage compartment. Edison's first invention, when he was 16, was a gadget that sent telegraph signals automatically by being connected to a clock. He next invented an electrical vote-recording machine, but politicians refused to buy it because it would interfere with their traditional counting methods. In 1869 Edison arrived in New York and found a job in a stock-ticker firm. The stock-ticker was a telegraphic device used for reporting prices, in this case of gold. When one day it broke down, Edison not only repaired it but improved on it in several ways. His employers were so pleased that they offered him a large sum of money for his patents. This money enabled Edison to set up a workshop, where he improved both the typewriter and the telephone. His most famous invention was perhaps the phonograph, later to be called the gramophone. This consisted of a revolving cylinder around which he wrapped a sheet of tin foil. Edison then placed a needle in the centre of a diaphragm (which was a stretched flat piece of material) that vibrated when hit by sound waves, causing the needle to move on the tin foil. When Edison spoke into the diaphragm the machine repeated his words. Undoubtedly one of Edison's most important contributions to society was an improved electric light bulb, which could be used for offices and homes. After trying hundreds of materials to find the most suitable filament, he finally used carbonized thread, which caused the bulb to glow perfectly. The development of a motion picture camera and later the connection of a phonograph with a camera, for talking pictures, were among other numerous achievements. Edison received many awards for his work.


In the game, Hedyn is a traveler that you encounter in Louran. Later he writes a journal of his travels that inspires other to travel.

Hedyns real name is Sven Hedin (1865 - 1952), a swedish explorer which travelled around a lot in central Asia. He was a good drawer and his pictures is still of good use when it comes to orienting in central Asia. Today, the Hedin-medal in gold is being dealt to the research of exploring not-that-well-known areas.


In the game Matis is a famous painter, whose talents are recognised by Rich from Britain and then distributed around the world. He used to like painting for the fun of it, but now has lost his enjoyment of the art due to it being for money and demand.

Matis is named after a famous painter called Matisse. In reality, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a french painter, sculptor, illustrator and designer. His work concentrates on designs that emphasize curvaceous surface patterns, linear arabesques, and brilliant colour. He is most renowned for his painting 'La Desserte' which I don't think I need to translate...!


In the game Rich is simply a wealthy Englishman who lives by himself. He is generous with his money, proved on two occasions, with Matis' painting and the rebuilding of Nirlake.

In reality - I don't think he exists. I think he was made up in the game and called Rich because he was rich. Without a surname to go on, it would be impossible to find out about him. The only person that could be slightly matched to Rich in the game is Richard Branson, the British self-made millionaire. Of course this wouldn't be the ideal match as all of the other people featured in this section were born in the same period of time, roughly between 1845 - 1860, whereas Richard Branson wasn't born until 1950.


Keinz plays the role as economic forecaster in the game, and tells you how far the town you are in has evolved, and whether or not it has progressed sufficiently.

If you are familiar with economics/ history you will notice that the economist Keinz is a real person. Keynes (the real spelling) is the most famous and influential economist of the 20th century. He single handedly created the economic policies now known collectively as "Keynsian economics," since he wanted to prevent another great depression from ever happening. Want to know how influential Keynsian economics are? Well all of modern economics is based on it, and the U.S. economy is based in its principles. his policies of course have been modified and mixedd with more classic principles recently and economists like milton friedman oppose some of his main points but none the less he made a huge contribution to the field. Thanks to scnunez for that information.


In the game Will is the inventor of the aeroplane. All there is to mention is that it took a few near fatal attempts before success.

Will is named after William Edward Boeing. In reality, Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) along with his brother Orville Wright (1871-1948) were US brothers who pioneered powered flight. Inspired by Lilienthal's gliding, they perfected their piloted glider in 1902. One year later, they built their first powered machine, and became the first to make a successful powered flight, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Thank you to Casey for his correction there.


In the game Marily is a worker for Madame Papilo. Annoyed at the slave labour, low pay and the fact that the clothes she makes are too expensive for people to buy. She therefore leaves Papilo and starts her own shop, which is instantly more popular. She makes cheaper clothes so that more people of the lower class can sample her products. I am still researching into this to see if there is a real-life fashion designer with a name similar to Marily.


In the game Mick is a cook experimenting with beef. After trying it in numerous different ways, he puts it in a bun, thus inventing the burger. He goes on to open his own restaurant called something like Micks burgers. How original.

In reality, I think it must be the obvious. I personally believe, with no real background, that Mick's burgers are a take-off of the most famous burger bar of all, McDonalds. If you think about it 'Mick' and 'Mc' are very similar sounding. Both are to do with burgers. If you don't think I'm right then fine. Everyones entitled to their own opinion.


In the game Stoma is a famous food taster, his food opinions are legendary. It is said that whatever food passes his tests of appearance, fragrance and taste instantly becomes famous. He is the reason, in the game, that tinned sardines and burgers became famous.

In reality, again I think there is no such person, but that Stoma is actually a shortened version of 'stomach'. This would fit the job description ideally, as food and stomach are kind of linked. I could be wrong of course, but like I said, if you don't want to believe me then don't.


In the game Columbus is a famous explorer who searches for new land. We all know who he's based on, don't we?

That's right, in reality Columbus is Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). He was an Italian navigator and explorer. His Spanish name is 'Cristobal Colon'. He made four voyages to the new world and in 1942, he reached San Salvador Island, Cuba and Haiti. From 1493-96, he reached Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. In 1498, he visited Trinidad, and the mainland of South America. From 1502-04, he visited Honduras and Nicaragua. Of course, he is known world-wide as the man who discovered America.


Temjin's role in the game is small, but interesting. He plays a selfish rich chap whom you meet in Louran. That's it really, he asks you what he should do with his dosh when he dies, and you tell him to either give it to you (!) or take it with him to his grave, which activates a little secret (see secrets section).

In reality, and this is purely a hypothesis, I believe Temjin to be Genghis Kahn. Why you ask? Because his real name was 'Temuchin'. Hmmmmm. Anyhoo, Genghis Kahn (1162-1227) was a Mongul conquerer. He founded a great empire which extended across most of Asia. The name 'Genghis Kahn' actually means 'Very Mighty Ruler' and Temuchin gave himself that name when he became the leader of the Mongols. The Mongols were a scattered group of barbarian tribes who lived in the region of central Asia now called Mongolia. At the age of 13, Temuchin became the chieftain of one of the smaller tribes, but quickly succeeded in conquering many others. He then called together a meeting of all the Mongols and proclaimed himself ruler. The Mongols were warlike by nature, but up to this time they had done their fighting mostly amongst themselves. Genghis Kahn turned them into one large, well-organised army. It was the most effective army at the time, but also the most savage. Wherever they went, the Mongols spread terror and destruction, sometimes slaughtering whole populations of cities which would not immediately surrender to their control. By the time Genghis Kahn died, the Mongol Empire included all of central Asia, and parts of Persia, India, Russia, and China. It was one of the largest land empires in history.


In the game they play some gimps who live in tents (North of Louran) who don't really want to talk to you until they find out that you've talked to Haydn then htye 'open up to you' or summink. The Quattro's and residents of the Caravan could also be described as Nomads.

Reality - pretty obvious stuff but what the hell. Nomads are people who wander from place to place and have no permanent home (like the Quattro's - down Conspiracy !!!). They usually travel within certain general areas according to the seasons and the supply of food. Hunting Nomads, such as the pygmies of Africa and Asia, follow the animals that they kill to eat. Pastoral Nomads, such as the Bedouins of North Africa, drive their herds of camels, goats, sheep and horses from one patch of grazing land to another. There is not enough vegitation to set up permanent farms. Nomads generally live in tents or some other equally simple type of shelter, and carry few belongings with them.

Meaning of the Places

Even the places in Terranigma have references to real-life places. Here's a few examples :

Airs Rock

In the game, Airs Rock is a huge rock in Australia. In reality, it is called Ayers Rock, also found in Australia. It is known as being the world's largest monolith, an ovate mass of pinkish rock in Northern Territory, measurin 335m (1,100ft) high and 9km (6 miles) round. It is referred to as Uluru as the Aborigines, and is also known for the spectacular view of sunsets / sunrises that you can see from atop it.


A country in W Africa, bounded by the north by Burkina Faso, east by Togo, south by the golf of guinea, and west by the ivory coast.


An Asian desert divided between the Mongolian People's Republic and Inner Mongolia, China; 800km (500 miles) north-south, and 1,600km (1,000 miles) east-west. It is rich in fossil remains of extinct species.


In the game, a town in Europe. In reality, the longest river in France, rising in the Cevennes at 1,350m (4,430ft) and flowing for 1,050km (625 miles) first north, then west until it reaches the Bay of Biscay at St Nazaire, passing Nevers, Orleans, Toures, and Nantes. It gives it's name to the departements of Loire, Haute-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire, and Saone-et-Loire. There are many chateaux and vineyards along it's banks.


In the game, this is the place in Tibet where you wake up after Eklemata. The great Kumari lives there. In reality, Lhasa is also known as 'the forbidden city' capital of the autonomous region of Tibet, China, at 5,000m (16,400ft) with a poulation of (1982) 105,000. Products include handicraft and light industry.

Indus R

In the game, a bridge made of elephants for you to cross. In reality, Indus R is part of the Indus Valley Civilization, a prehistoric culture existing in the northwest Indian subcontinent about 2500-1600 BC. Remains include soapstone seals with engravings of elephants (hmmmm...) and snakes.


In the game, you cross through this area to get to Louran, basically a river you need to cross. In reality, this is called Yangtze-Kiang, former name for Chang Jiang, greatest Chinese River.


In the game, this is the mirror village of Crysta, where Ark came from. The King of Loire killed all the villagers to get the legendary treasure from this town, only Elle survived. The treasure turned out to be the Hero Armour and the Hero Pike. In reality, Stockholm is a capital and industrial port of Sweden; population (1986) 663,000. It is built on a number of islands. Industries include engineering, brewing, electrical goods, paper, pottery and textiles (hmm... the weavers?).


In the game, a desert where you find one of the five starstones. In reality, the most well known of deserts in the world. It is the largest desert in the world, occupying 5,500,000 sq km (2,123,000 sq miles) and covers a large quantity of Africa.


In the game, a small island that you resurrect (see secrets page) in the midst of other small islands. It's only function is to get a free nap, although you'll be toasted in the morning and it'll say your Macho Appeal has gone up by 10 or something (this has no significant effect). In reality, it's a geographical zone. Most of the islands in the Pacific Ocean are divided for the sake of convenience into three geographical zones - Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Polynesia is the easternmost section and contains some of the more remote islands. the region can be outlined by a vast triangle (I think it's a triangular(ish) shaped island in the game) whose points are Midway in the north, New Zealand in the south west and Easter Island and Salay-Gomez in the east. Other islands within this area include the Cook, Ellice, Hawaiian, Marquesas, Society, Line and Tonga Islands, and Pitcairn and Samoa. The word Polnesia means 'many islands'. Most of the islands lie south of the Equator. Many of them are peaks of drowned volcanoes thrusting above the surface of the ocean, but others are mere atolls or coral reefs. Most of them are covered with luxuriant vegetation, which flourishes in the hot climate and heavy, seasonal rainfall. The Polynesian people are believed to have sailed to the islands originally from India and other places on the Asian mainland. They are a tall, well-build, athletic people with light brown or reddish brown skins and straight or curly hair. They are expert house and boat builders, and, probably because of the pleasant conditions under which they live, are somewhat easy-going. Their fishermen build pirogues, canoes with an outrigger float to keep them steady. Polynesians are superb swimmers and divers, and are fond of music, singing and dancing. Before many of them were converted to Christianity, they believed in ancestor worship. About one million Polynesians speak between them some 60 related dialects. The major language groups are those spoken by the Hawaiians, Samoans, Tahitians and the Maoris of new Zealand.

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most frustrating things about Terranigma, as it is an area of land (situated in South America) that you cannot access, even though it shows you the names of the places when you fly over it. You can find more info about this in the rumors section. In reality, Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa. It is a port and the capital of Cape Province. It is also the legislative (law-making) capital of the Republic of South Africa. The administrative offices of the Republic government are in Pretoria. With it's suberbs, Cape Town has a population of about 800,000. The city is dominated by Table Mountain, and lies on the South-West coast of Africa. The city was founded in 1652 as a supply base from ships going to and from the East. Its excellent harbour has made it an important trading centre. Its importance in east-west trade grew once again after the Suez Canal was closed because of the Middle East war in 1967.

Of course, there are many other places such as Greenland, NeoTokio (Tokyo), New Zealand, Balklands etc. But most of those are obvious. Still, if the demand is great enough, I'll add the lot in.