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- This guide is for the 1986 French game. For the 2011 South Korean game, see TERA.
Tera: la cité des crânes (Tera: The City of Skulls; in French, titles are always sentence case) is a role-playing game released in 1986 in France only. The developers used the pseudonyms "Ulysses" and "Lout". The game was published by Loriciels.
Tera: la cité des crânes is abandonware.
Tera is one of the earliest French-only role-playing games. One year later, Ulysses developed Karma, a spiritual sequel to Tera that uses the same engine.
Tera is one of the earliest French role-playing games, after Tyr Ann and Mandragore. Since Tyr Ann is a maze game with minimal role-playing elements, and Mandragore received an English localization, Tera: la cité des crânes remains the earliest French-only role-playing game.
The most innovative mechanic of Tera is that party members learn skills from each other! Eventually, the hero can become a master in all nine skills.
Tera: la cité des crânes (1986) features several mechanics reminiscent of older computer role-playing games; one the other hand, the original mechanics of Tera are seldom seen in later games.
With reference to older games:
- Tile-based, first-person navigation of a world consisting of an overworld connecting a limited number of dungeons, similar to The Bard's Tale (1985).
- Random generation of first-person dungeons (as in Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, 1981), but also random generation of world surface (more complex than in Ultima 0: Akalabeth, 1979).
- Turn-based, first person combat, similar to Wizardry (1981) and The Bard's Tale, but with less options.
- Party members of different classes, each to be recruited in specific locations, similar to Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (1985), but with more unique skills.
Anyway, Wizardry, The Bard's Tale, and the early Ultima titles show a clear influence from the pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons, but no element of the latter is present in Tera. Therefore, it is likely that all similarities are just coincidences, especially for the games released just one year earlier, in 1985.
Few games use a skill system in any way reminiscent of Tera 's one, where characters learn from each other. Perhaps, the most similar is Final Fantasy V, where characters can change job and keep one earlier skill.