Oct 12 2011
NES cult classic: Crystalis
Hi everyone. Burgertime here with my first blog for RGR. I thought I would take a look at one of the games that was given to me as a gift almost 20 years ago by my Cousin.

Crystalis, or God Slayer: Haruka Tenkū no Sonata as it's known in Japan, was published in 1990 by SNK, these days known for games such as King of Fighters and Metal Slug. The game starts out with a description of the "End Day", October 1, 1997. Civilization is destroyed due to war and the world becomes overrun with monsters. However, the people who survived build a tower in the sky that can be used as a weapon to prevent another war and the world destruction from happening again.

The main character wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 100 years after the war to find a world lacking in technology (aside from the machine he just awoke from). Instead, magic seems to of taken it's place. As you continue through the game you learn that Draygonia Empire still has technology and wants access to the tower in the sky so they can govern the world through force with the use of it's weapons. To battle the Empire, and stop them from taking the tower, your hero must collect 4 elemental swords and bring them together to form the sword "Crystalis".

This game takes the action RPG route in an overhead view much like The Legend of Zelda, except without the screen by screen scrolling. Experience and money are also giving to your character, with the highest level you can reach being 16. By most RPG standards that's a fairly low number, and if you're watching the damage you do to your enemies between levels, you'll notice a significant difference. The amount of EXP (EX in the game) you have to get for each level spikes each time, so you're not likely to stick around the main area grinding.

You have your normal attack and item buttons, and there's a lot of items to equip. Not only will you have your 4 swords to equip, but 8 different swords and shields. The section of your inventory designated for items as 24 spaces, and to round it all off there are 8 magic spells. These range from healing, all the way to changing your form.

Ultimately the battle mechanics revolves around the elements of your swords and finding which elements and attacks will kill the enemy or break barriers in dungeons. If you're not using the correct weapon, a "ping" sound can be heard when you attack, and the enemy won't take damage. Your sword has 3 power levels as indicated by a force meter. The first level can be reached right after getting the a sword. The second requires getting an elemental orb, and the third level comes from a bracelet that replaces the orb in your inventory.

There was eventually a remake to this game on the Gameboy Color, but sadly, they took a great game and messed it up. The collision detection is off, every enemy can be hurt by all the swords instead of certain elements, and all of the music was changed.

Oh, how could I of forgotten the music? This game has some fantastic music that deserves to be up there with the all the classics. An orchestra such as the one that plays for Video Games Live would have a big hit on their hands if they played the music from this game.

This game can be found for fairly cheap for the NES, with the GBC version going for higher. I think mostly because of a smaller distribution of carts. It's best played on an actual cart rather than through "other means" because there are problems in the graphics and sound through those means, at least with me. Definitely give this game a try.


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