(SNES / Super Nintendo)

ActRaiser (SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Profile

A masterpiece of game design originally released in the early days of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, ActRaiser’s enduring popularity stems from its revolutionary combination of action and simulation-based gameplay.

Take control of the Master, a dethroned deity whose once-idyllic world has fallen under the control of the Evil One. Stripped of his divinity, the Master must somehow put an end to the Evil One's reign and rebuild this now-desolate realm.

Gameplay alternates between two modes: Action and Simulation. In Action mode, the Master must battle against impossible odds to pacify six lands. Pacifying a land unlocks Simulation mode. In this mode, the Master must oversee the development and repopulation of the territory he has reclaimed. In doing so, he will gain followers who gradually restore his godly might, empowering him to take back the next land and, ultimately, to defeat the Evil One.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Take control of the Master, a dethroned deity whose once-idyllic world has fallen under the control of the Evil One.

When I saw the review of this game in the Mean Machines gaming magazine as a youth I was quite literally heartbroken. My Megadrive was (technically, at least) no longer the most powerful console in the world. Nintendo's new machine was special - the...

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Back when the Super Nintendo launched in Japan — where it was of course known as the Super Famicom — it was accompanied by some truly remarkable titles. As a young (and loyal) Sega Mega Drive owner at the time, for me personally it was torture to see the likes of Pilotwings, F-Zero and

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User Comments (124)



Christopher said:

OMG! This game is very awesome! You can build your own towns, gain levels like an RPG, side scrolling like a Castlevania game, graphics and sound are great! This must come out in both the US, EU! I hope that this is a sign that, SOUL BALZER, BRAINLORD, and 7th SAGA will be released too on the SNES VC! ENIX made some of the coolest games in the 16 bit era! If you like action, adventure, RPG games, download this game!



Harthacnut said:

Apparently its out in Japan now, so fingers crossed it won't be too long down the line. Defintely one of the best SNES games ever...can't wait



aaron said:

I look forward to this coming to the US! I vaguely remmeber playing it years and years ago, but remember it was a good game!



Mendez said:

I really dunno what to expect from this. Maybe I should just play safe and download something else tonight...

__wooden ghosts


wooden ghosts said:

I own the SNES version of this; never really got into it. I think I got stuck about halfway through...



WiiLover said:

just downloaded this game, and the first level is so hard.
grrr but i'm loving it. Just need to kill the first boss.



deggs said:

yeah, this game was amazing back in the day. i'm really hopin for future square-enix titles like soul blazer, brainlord, a north american release of terranigma, robotrek, secret of mana and the nes dragon warrior series...

if they actually decide to translate games (though it isn't likely), i'd love to play 7th saga 2, dragon quest 5 and 6 and FFV in the original snes version...

still, this game does rock and I recommend it to anyone who loved the creativity of the early snes titles. it also had a sequel which i'm told was basically just a platformer.



Michael said:

Yeah it has no borders like most Snes games these days. Can't comment on the speed without having the NTSC to coompare it to. Now why cant megadrive games get the same treatment



Archie said:

I remember recording the music from this game to cassette tape when it first came out; I was so enthralled with it.

Can't wait for it to be released in Canada on Monday



DJ LINK said:

This game is more than worth the purchase. I have the original japanese cartridge which was well hard to play through. I later played the US version and it made a lot more sense and was a load more fun. I can't wait to go through it again!



johnsen6 said:

Is anyone else finding this game rock hard? I am having trouble with the tree that comes alive on the first level and he is the first major foe!



link64 said:

I am having trouble beating the bosses on this game but i can easily get thougth the rest of the stages which is just the opposite of castlevania 4 were most of the boses are Easy but getting througth the levels is hard.



michinmuri said:

One of the best SNES games ever. Proably should be in a top 10 list somewhere (in my mind it is). This game is very much worth the price. Get it ASAP and be WOWed!



-Regii said:

I gave it a shot because I heard a lot of positive arguments for it. It is really awesome and didn't disappoint me at all, though the game is very hard. Well, I hope some SNES-bombs like Super Metroid or Secret of Mana (Maybe even 2) will come out soon.

But THIS definitely IS a bomb. If you like Platform games, then download it immediately!

Greetings from GER



DEMON212 said:

I was incredibly skepticle about this game. It looked a bit weird and it was also looking dodgy as it's part Action Adventure like Castlevania and part Simulation like Sim City.

Now games like SIm City just don't work on consoles. Well, early consoles. They're really hard to play mainly because it's so hard to distiguish one thing from another. And control wise they're pretty bad.

So I was worried this would be a waste of 800 points. If you're reading this so far nodding along and agreeing with everything i've said, get the game.

You don't have to play the Simulation part of the game. You can choose between "Story Mode" which gives you both Action and Simulation. Or "Action Mode". Which as the name suggests, is all Action baby.

Bear in mind though, this game has no learning curve. It starts bloody hard and I can only imagine that it gets harder.



sam said:

Extremely happy with this game, very challenging in places (i have lost all my lives 8 times on one boss). Going between god mode to action mode is pure genius. I wish I had owned this title "back in the day". Worth every point.

__UKMF Diablo


UKMF Diablo said:

if you diddnt have a pc to play god games they were still well worth it on consoles.. thanks to populas on the MD and sim city on the ninty i could play god games in comfort of my bed.. but this one was extra special.. dont shun the god aspect of this game because you think its poorly done i think if youve never played a god game in your life this game helped bring out that side of you..



Asrugan said:

Just plain awsome, a great game. It's a shame they ruined the sequel making it a straight 2d platformer, and removing all the fun. Here's a franchise the I'd like to see picked up as a Wii title.



Adam said:

"Ben Johnsen (UK) - 15 Apr 2007, 13:22 GMT

Is anyone else finding this game rock hard? I am having trouble with the tree that comes alive on the first level and he is the first major foe! "

You probably already realized this since it was a few weeks ago that you've posted, but if my memory serves me correctly, the trees aren't a boss as much as a vehicle over some spikes. The first boss is a centaur and ducking in the far left and swinging wildly will take care of him fairly quickly with minimal damage. I haven't played the game through in close to a century, though so time may have made things a bit fuzzy.



Bland_Boy said:

People say this game is non-linear. This is a lie. It's pretty linear experience, but a great one!

This game even on normal-mode is quite hard(especially compared to todays games), some of the bosses are just impossible to devise a strategy to beat, unless you use magic(which is compulsory to beat some of these bosses).

I wonder how much harder it could be on "hard-mode" ? ;-0

Still, I'm loving this game so far...

One save file sucks though, as it means My brothers have to wait till I beat the game before they can play.



sam said:

How are you supposed to beat the final area with only one lot of lives and magic? You gotta fight all the bosses one after the other and they are much harder/faster than usual. As soon as I am out of magic I am out of luck. Has anyone beaten it? Give me some tips.



yoda31419 said:

Excellent, I can't wait for this to come out. Between this, a few others on the VC, and Mario Strikers, I've been feeling like I'm getting the shaft from NoA



link64 said:

As for this game being linear I think if you compare it to something like grand theft auto it seams linear but compare it to something like castlvania 4 and it seems like a non-linear game.



morphballer said:

It's definitely linear because there are places you can't access until you're at a certain level. On the other hand, you can access multiple areas at once if you have enough experience.



Adam said:

It's as non-linear as a platformer gets at this stage of the game. Honestly a gem in the SNES line-up. To help with the last bosses, figure out the best way to upgrade each town (including the use of bridges and sharing wheat and all that) to power up you character as much as possible. The only other thing you can do is practice and get to know each bosses' patterns. It's not unbeatable, just keep at it. Try to save the magic for the final showdown too where it comes in most handy.



Shrapnel09 said:

is it me or is the simulation mode so pathetically easy that it insults your intelligence? I mean the game is pretty cool and all, i like it overall. Its just that in sim mode they pretty much tell you what to do when something comes up.."teddy is lost give him some bread", "we need rain, make it rain".. kind of boring actually, just build in the direction of the monser's lair and move on, thats really all you need to do.

platforming is pretty average. nothing too special there.. music is AWSOME though, i will give it that. but all in all i would give the game a 4/5 for an above average platforming experience and a boring simulation mode. you know just because square made it doesnt mean its an instant 5/5



SKTTR said:

5 Stars! Everyone should know this game. Anyone should have played it.
The sim part is the best thing ActRaiser has to offer. It is not pathetically easy. There are many secrets hidden in the sim mode! Try to make thunder above the forest, rain on the pyramid or such things... there's pleanty to be found! Plenty surprises! I love this game! Music is GREAT!



Ross said:

i didnt know aout getting it... cuz it luks rather weird and the graphics look rubbish on the rpg section....



Drake said:

One of the first SNES games ever, and still one of the best. Gameplay's somewhat clunky, but magic helps counter that. Terrific soundtrack, great graphics, etc., one of the best VC games.



JNoodles said:

This is one of the best 'Platformer Sims' available. (If there are any others!)



link64 said:

Well the controls are better than castlevania you have to give it that.



Tennant said:

Downloaded this on a random, great game. Whoever thought of platforming and god sim in one was a genius. Highly recomended!



Kevin said:

I downloaded this after hearing so much good stuff about from everybody and I'm glad I did! What a great game!



CastlevaniaTest said:

The action scenes were fun and a little Castlevania-esque, but the simulation part of it was a little boring, in my opinion. It's too bad I didn't get as much of a kick out of it as others did.



I would play(download) this game only for the music in it but i already have it on cart too bad no other game comes close to this genre



Fearnavigatr said:

This is an interesting deal. I had never heard of it before the VC release in my entire life, and I was sceptical at first when reading about, having been a bit disappointed by several of the many existing 16-bit platformers before. Eventually I gave it a shot.
The platforming bits are pretty standard. Short sections, but totally sweet, and a good reminder of the better parts of the fourth video game generation.
The simulation, in my eyes, is a simple yet very charming feature. Nothing to glorify like a creation of Will Wright, but it's got what counts and makes this game very unique.

While I didn't find as much appeal to it as many people apparently did, I found it well worth my points. Not the return of Christ, but far from a disappointment.



TBoneTony said:

I have just downloaded it recenty and I can say that this is a deep and involving game.

May not be a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest games that I was hoping for but this is still a great RPG with Real Time God Sim and Platforming involved.

Well worth my 800 points



buffdude said:

Good game indeed, but I'm stuck on the snowy continent because I messed up the build direction.
The people up there can't build bridges and I haven't found any way of cancelling the current build direction.



Chronodin said:


You shouldn't have to cancel the direction... just give them a new one. Choose the building direction again, then lead them somewhere else. I can't remember if that's where you're supposed to or not, but when you go back to the town that learned how to build bridges, they'll offer you the knowledge to do so to share with others. That way you can teach other towns to build bridges.

Fantastic game... and in response to the linearity, it's linear in the sense that it guides you where to go, but you could technically jump around a bit in the order. It doesn't force you to go straight from one part to the next. Just points you in that direction.



Oddeye said:

I played this game for the first time on VC, and I really enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 stars because it's way too short!



Sabin said:

I didn't get to play this game during the snes generation, but I'm a huge Enix fan so I was really looking forward to this game. Maybe my hopes were too high but I'm a bit disappointed. The controls for the action part are not all that great, and the sim, while fun, lacks the depth of many other sim games of the time. The game is linear and quite brief. 800 points later and you end up with a mediocre platformer + a mediocre sim. If its action you crave, I'd buy Contra for SNES instead.



hawth said:

I never had a chance to play this back in the day so it's cool to play it now. I still remember first seeing it in Nintendo Power.

The platformer sections are quite good but I was disappointed by the mediocre sim bits. Blasting little dragons is just not fun.



Mendez said:

A fun game, it was definitely worthy of the 800 points.
Only thing I'm going to complain about is repetition of text in the Simulation sections.



FirebrandMustDie said:

I remember this game from way back, I read the review in Mean Machines, saved up my pennies and bought the import US version (had an adapter)....only to complete the whole game in two nights. I loved it but I breezed through it in about 12 hours.

I can't remember if it had any options to make it harder, did it?



Dazza said:

Andy - good old Mean Machines!! What a game, I think I imported the JPN version. Yes there are difficulty level options.



FirebrandMustDie said:

I loved Mean Machines, Jazza Rignall & Co.

Seen on Wikipedia "In the US/NTSC version, the Story Mode featured easier battles, while the action-only "Professional" mode (unlocked at finishing Story Mode), contains the Japanese difficulty level. In the PAL release, the Action Mode ("Professional" mode) is available from the menu screen right from the start."

So I got the easiest version!!



dark_moogle said:

My first VC game and was defenitly worth it. Fantastic concept of sim and action platforming acompanied by one of the best soundtracks of all time. Although I will say that the controls in the platforming levels do feel stiff and limited compared to other games in the genre (e.g. you cant turn mid jumping) which really adds to the games already cruel difficulty. However the god sim section of the game was really well done for an early gen SNES game, and it is a good starting point for people like me who were never into these kind of games due to their complexity. 4 Stars from me



darthmix said:

I remember getting this and Super Castlevania IV around the same time, and this game really suffered from the inevitable comparison. The action/god sim combo was a nice idea, but I can't help feeling that neither element really stands on its own, and aside from the absolutely phenomenal music the action levels are only decent. Actraiser II focused entirely on the action and was a better game for it. That would make a nice VC addition. Still, there are much worse games than this in the VC library right now.



TwinCross said:

Very fun, addictive, compelling, and unique. The only downside is that some of the platforming bits can be very tricky, but still a great game.



Drizzt said:

This is a great game and quite innovative. I downloaded this after a bit of research and heard few bad things about it. And wow it's quite a surprise. I'm quite impressed by it. It's reminiscent of Castlevania but adds in the whole Sim experience. I'm stuck on one part though. It's the part in Bloodpool where the villagers are fighting and I don't know how to stop it. For now I just left them to their fighting.



Glenn said:

One of the best RPG/ action games made on the SNES! Nothing bad to even say about this one. I hope they bring Orge battle to the wii virtual console, I love that game!



D00M said:

Top game, owned it back in the day as well.
A remake on the DS would be great.



Cally said:

This is a tough one to critique. Platformer+God-sim is pretty much the craziest proposition I've ever seen on paper, but the two really succeed in complimenting each other, as the fruits of your God-sim successes carry over to the platforming bits and that crazy last battle(s). The mechanics of the platforming aren't all that ambitious, and the God-sim portions are likewise rather simple, though the aesthetic appeal is certainly there and the writing is nothing if not charming. In short, I can't think of a better example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and what we have, as a result, is a unique and soundly-executed package. 4/5



Peksu said:

ActRaiser is a bit shallow game, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still really great. It blends two totally different game styles really well together. Yeah, the platforming is kinda clunky, but it's there. You gotta hand it to Enix for actually trying something different.



whalleywhat said:

I don't usually like to say graphics and sound are that big of a deal, but I think they're a big factor in my love of Actraiser. While the action and sim sections on their own are merely good, I think the art and music in the game and the pacing between the two styles are what makes it great. Personally, I like being able to platform for a while and then chill out on the sim stages. It makes you excited about each section when you start it. It's a shame there was never a TRUE sequel. Essential part of my library.



Garlyle said:

This was one of the first titles I downloaded on the VC. I had fallen in love with it as a child and still love it just as much now. It is also still a difficult game, even if it was actually made easier for North Americain release. There's really no game out there that has even attempted to follow its formula of platformer + sim...



AchubaNanoia said:

Back in the day when I had a SNES, I rented this game and after 1 hour, I went back and returned it.Of course, I didn't know better then .
Great game, looks and sound great. I found it rather easy, except for the last stage, and overall, it was over pretty quick, I finished it in about 3 days of casual playing. If you have the spare Wii points, go ahead and download it right away, but if you need more value for them, I'd suggest you buy games with more replayability.



Drizzt said:

It's a short game, but a great game nonetheless and really a lot of fun. I recommend this game. Action-simulation mixture really adds a lot of depth and it's very original.



WaddleWave said:

It's a great action-sim game. It becomes a challenge, and better, once you finish the game since you will unlock "HARD MODE!". In this mode you only play the side scrolling levels, thats great, you will have all the HP but no MP plus the enemies's attacks hit for 2 hp instead of 1 hp, so careful planning is at stake.




dude. thhe lest level of the game is impossible. you have to fight evry boss in the game in a row and you dont get healed or any extra lives.



stinssd said:

What a great title! A great mix of RTS + Action. After dl this game, I was reminded how I could walk through this game in my sleep, however. Thus, it's a good first challenge, but replay value is somewhat limited.



Brandex said:

Yeah, I can beat this game pretty quickly, even if I take the time to max the populations. Even so, it's one of my favorite games for the SNES and I'm glad I downloaded it for VC.



spuck said:

A very good game that has aged gracefully. Awesome music and funny god-sim parts. A bit hard in some places. Must have in every ways.



juhok said:

I read about the game being quite difficult, so I started playing in Beginner mode. In my opinion, it is a bit hard at first, but once you finish Filmore, it gets pretty easy on "Beginner". I also have to agree about the controls being a little stiff.

Nevertheless, ActRaiser's a pretty awesome game. Maybe not as deep as some titles but still worth it.



DjinnFighter said:

When this game came out, I had to buy it ! I didn't have the game before, but I knew it was great.

Great game, "unique". But, too short

Note : A lot of people say there's no Square-Enix game on VC... error



Jubblerbug said:

Its a good game, but the last level (fighting all the bosses again) is difficult. I haven't gone back to it since I got to that bit. I might give it a try again at some point..



CopyofCopyX said:

Yes, the last level isn't very entertaining, fighting stronger versions of the six main bosses again. Kinda like Megaman.
Surprisingly the final boss is quite easy.



couthedman92 said:

This game is one of my favorite VC titles. One thing though, how do you get/use magic in the platforming sections?



Tweek said:

This game kicks butt. The music in the first level sounds awesome, and the idea of building cities and killing monsters is a perfect mix. For 800 Wii points this is a must. Even if you aren't into the whole Sim's thing, the Platform levels are great!



Ricardo91 said:

I'm looking for a substitute simulation-type game to My Life As A King, since that game's too costly. Should I get this or Simcity? I'm thinking this.



Dormin87 said:

I must say, I was having my doubts about getting this, due to the sim part of the game. But thankfully, it's a truly great game, and I'm having a lot of fun with it!



Gravitywheel said:

I have always loved this game. It was truly something unique for its time. There really wasn't anything else that combined simulation and platformer elements in such a way. The sim parts are a little simpler than something like Simcity, but they are fun nonetheless. plus, they provide a break from the action while still giving the player a lot to do.



The_Bear said:

This game is FLAWLESS. Seriously, I don't usually praise games by saying that... but I have no beef with anything that they did with this game. I bought this game a long time ago, probably around 1994/1995. When I was younger I didn't quite understand the RPG/Sim City building and protecting the town part, so I didn't play this game that often.

A few months ago, I decided to bust this out on the SNES and give it a go. I became hooked. I beat the game in a few days and was so enthralled by it. The atmospheres, the music, the graphics, the gameplay... everything about it just was perfect to me. I really didn't find this game that difficult. I might try beating it on professional mode in the upcoming feature.

Needless to say, I gave this game a 5/5. I always try to push this on my friends to D/L it, but they never do. Haters, haha.



Ricardo91 said:

^If you like action/platformers and sorta like simulations, then the answer is Download. You won't be sorry! =)



MoogleMuffins said:

I can't believe some of the games I missed as a child, this is one of them. And I'll be honest with you I hate simulation games, but the simulation part of this game is just awesome. And the action levels, great too, especially the bosses. Damn hard though. Oh and before I forget this game probably has the best soundtracks I've ever heard let alone on the SNES.



Adroitone said:

It can get a little challenging later on, but nothing that will frustrate you or anything.



swordplay said:

I cant get into the forums, What game would you suggest between F-zero X
Legend of Mystical Ninja
Harvest Moon



couthedman92 said:

Actraiser is the best of those games, but Landstalker is pretty good too. I haven't played Harvest Moon and as for F-Zero X I don't really like racing games so I can't judge there. But whatever you do, stay far, far away from Legend of Mystical Ninja. You'd be better of using your $8 as toilet paper than getting that game.



ZBomber said:

Fun game with a great idea, but I could do without a few of the elements. 4/5, worth the download.



Mipsymoodle said:

Everybody always talked about how great this game was but I've never actually played it but it looked good so I got it anyway. It turns out that I love this game. I love BOTH gameplay portians. It's like Sim City mixed with a platformer. It's great. 5/5



Divock said:

The game is pretty original, well, it was back then, and still kinda is now. It's quite enjoyable, even for atheists (just joking around, don't kill me), because of the dual game styles, pretty graphics, and the options. I think the greatst perks of it would be the zooming into the area that you go to when you go to battle, and the IN-CREDIBLE music you listen to when you're fighting enemies. There are a few secrets and the difficulty starts easy and rises to hard. It's great. 5/5. Not the best on the SNES, but it's definetely worth a download.



Divock said:

By the way, I just beat the game. The game has a good difficulty curve that makes you WORK for your victory. Man, I feel like replaying it again now.



tatemon555 said:

ME WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



President_Leever said:

Pretty solid game that really shows its age with clunky controls, some generic looking sprites and a tedious sim interface. The soundtrack is a timeless classic though



256Bit said:

One of the best Super Nintendo titles and one of my all time favorite games ever. Gameplay, graphics and music are excellent, it's challenging and has really high replay value. Also, has anybody ever managed to get the highscore for every single city? I've looked up the strategy and it's mad how tricky it is.



StarBoy91 said:

I like ActRaiser. It's one of those classics that are so highly praised and lauded by others, and it's one of my favorites. The visuals and sound are very impressive, despite the fact that it was one of the very first games ever made for the SNES console in 1990. I wrote a review of it recently on BlogSpot. I love the town simulation acts of this game; managing cities is very fun. The platformer acts are nice, too, but I prefer the town simulation acts. My gripe with the game is that it's too short and easy to complete, but it's very fun while it lasts. I also like Professional Mode!, where it's a tiny bit challenging; with no continues and no magic.
I find it sad that this is the only Quintenix (Quintet/Enix) title on the VC. What are Square-Enix waiting for in releasing SoulBlazer? Don't tell me Square-Enix have forgotten the remaining Quintenix line-up of games; SquareSoft is not all that people want (even though they're good, too).



HolyBlade said:

The game has aged pretty well, but it's the soundtrack that will forever make it be remembered as one of the definitive SNES classics.

Another shot at Fillmore just to hear its glorious Castlevania-sounding synths and funky bass? Count me in.

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