Illusion of Gaia
In 1994, Enix was no longer localizing Dragon Quest, nor even releasing it in the USA, however, they did prroduce and release this sequel to the game Soul Blazer - Illusion of Gaia. I dunno why but it seemed in 1994-1995 they were pushing this one hard.

In Illusion of Gaia, you play a young teen named Will who lives in an oceanside fishing village playing with his friends. He lost his father who traveled to the tower of Babel years ago, and lives with his grandparents. One day he meets Princess Kara who lives in the King's castle. Because Kara wanted to live like the "commoners" a bit, see it from their side, he gets prosecuted with kidnapping her and thrown in the dungeon, which is where he starts his journey through multiple historical places in earth's history - in a very....well, I call it the "Sepia Toned Earth Momma 90's" style. You know, all the music is bongo drums and flutes, the story takes place all overr the world, and the story in this is surprisingly deep and jarring.

Anyway, Illusion of Gaia gets overshadowed by the bigger JRPGs on the system such as Chrono Trigger and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but I'm giving it it's fair due here. Personally, it's one of my favorites.
QVC & Blockbuster - My Experiences
When I was a kid, I used to dial sequentially through the channels on on our TV to find all the channels that were not in our channel lineup. One of the channels I found was QVC (I also found VH-1 and CMT that way too but I'll talk about those later). Periodically I'd watch QVC just to see whose on and what they are selling, because I think sometime in the early 1990's, they did a good job of hiring entertaining PEOPLE. So if you did not want to buy (like me) you at least had some interesting entertainment watching a salesman act like a goofball. But there was NOBODY more goofey than this weirdo named Jeffrey. Jeffrey looked like a rich 80's dude, probably in his 30's, but he acted like a bloody kid almost. In touch with his inner child, a total creepo, I did not know, but this dude was always funny when he was on.

So one day I'm flipping through the channels and stop on QVC and on there there is a Super Nintendo, and in it, some new game called "Illusion of Gaia". While this was one of Jeffrey's less as goofey sales-pitches it did seem the game had a lot of hype, and it seemed that it was "popular" - or so he said. Having freshly gotten Super NES myself at this point, I decided the next time I was at Blockbuster video I'd pick it up and rent it.

So I did...

I recall renting this over a weekend when I had the house to myself, same weekend I was also playing with my new Electric Guitar (Red Kramer Focus 3000) and figuring out The Cars Heartbeat City record on it. This game was every bit as good as the manchild on QVC said it was. Compelling story, excellent graphics, great soundtrack - though "World Music" is not really my cup of tea, and the gameplay did not suck. Actually, it seems around the time of the SNES was when the industry was FINALLY batting 100 every time on gameplay and graphics. To me it was the last truly exciting era of gaming.

I think i played that first round up to the famous double-sided Sky Garden....some kind of strange cross between a David Maculay book drawing, with a strange, almost paradoxical vibe of being "modern" yet "ancient" at the same time.

The second time I rented it - yeah, I came back for more. I made it to the ruins with those big robots that spin their arms like a lawn mower blade and those ghoulish old man heads thtat float around. And then, I stopped renting video games, guitar took over my life.

Another girlfriend I think got this for me for Xmas back in 2003. I played that one and beat it a few times. I wish I'd taped it would have made good YouTube material. In 2009, I sold my SNES and all the stuff with it to a co-worker for about $200 and moved on with life. I just did not feel like dedicating space around my TV for a console I only really liked a handful of games on nenough toplay them frequently enough to justify owning the console.

Currently I have Illusion of Gaia on a SNES Emulator on both of my Wiis and on my "BastardPie" RetroPie, as well as on a couple of my retro-computers and on modern emulator. I just don't feel the need to buy the game anymore. Ultimatley, that's something I'm still coming to terms with - there will come a time where Emulation is the only option I have, like when I'm too old and gray to get up and wander over to put a cartridge in the NES. And when that time comes, I'm willing to accept it, I'm just not there yet with the other platforms.