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Video Game: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
The third game in this series of spinoffs from the neck-severingly popularFinal Fantasy franchise, which was released on both DS and Wii. Unfortunately, the Wii version was a straight port of the DS version, which lead to half the screen being taken up by the map. Gameplay is very similar to Ring Of Fates with only slight differences.Echoes of Time is more of a spiritual successor to the first game than Ring of Fates, as you create the main character and their teammates, selecting the name, race, and gender. The story starts with your character going through their coming-of-age ceremony in your little secluded forest village under the blessing of a gigantic crystal, when a young girl in your village gets Crystal Sickness. The village doesn't have a cure for this rare disease, so you have to go to town to get it. But everyone in town says that your village shouldn't exist...There is also an extensive multiplayer mode, which unlike Ring of Fates, can be played over the Nintendo WFC in addition to the local wireless. You can play with friends or join a party of random strangers, both in your country and worldwide.
After the End: The setting has only two population centers, a town and an isolated village. And the latter is actually populated by ghosts, bar your character and Norschtalen. There are a number of abandoned ruins and to the north, a barren wasteland of a valley, but no other civilization.
Artificial Stupidity: Your allies on single-player can be prone to this - while at times they can be useful, diverting enemy attention and other things depending on the AI Setting - most of the time they can also get in the way, such as killing enemies you want to harvest materials from, and calling them sometimes makes them do a strange jumping action that prevents them from being called. Adding to that, allies don't use abilities like the charge attack, and depending on the AI setting, don't use magic or healing.
Big Bad: Larkeicus. Although it doesn't become crystal-clear until the first runthrough of Fire/Ice Mountains.
Bittersweet Ending: The world is saved, and the hero returns home to the village. Entering the forest where the pond with the Crystal Core once was, the hero angrily throws the crystal received from Sherlotta at the beginning of the game into the water. In the post game, returning there shows that the crystal has become a new Crystal Core, and talking to Norsy reveals the cat Sherlotta possessed is still acting like her, suggesting she may be alive after all.
Boss Rush: An interesting variation where you can fight all the bosses of the previous game, and scaled up to be more of a challenge at that. A series of quests you can take play the trope straight, letting you challenge four, eight, or all of the normal bosses in the game in short order.
But Thou Must: Lampshaded by Norsy, regarding Sherlotta's tail. She asks if you agree with her that a person having a tail is unusual. You get one answer- "Not really." Norsy protests, saying that you only got one answer and that you should get 3. Then she asks you again if having a tail is unusual. You then get three answers... "Why?" "Nope," and "Seems normal to me."
Butt Monkey: The poor crystal activation device that Sherlotta threatens, hints at threatening, abuses, hurls at monsters, slams with excessive force into the ruins, abandons... admittedly, the device did try to kill the hero at first, which may be why Sherlotta is none too gentle.
"Please! I'M A PRECISION INSTRUMENT!"
Captain's Log: The main character keeps a journal of the events in the game, with editorial comments.
Cat Girl: Sherlotta, because she is actually possessing the body of a cat, her true body comatose.
Chainmail Bikini: Female Selkies get a lot of armour that is backless, midriff-baring, fitted with plunging necklines and so on. The Hand Wave about agility doesn't really work given that male Selkies generally have more covering outfits and they can double-jump just fine.
Charged Attack: Every class will get a charged attack for their weapons of choice, and at the high levels, an even stronger charged attack.
Selkies: Fragile Speedster (are the only ones who can naturally double jump, but the bows have the lowest damage of anything.)
Lilities: Stone Wall (highest HP, and decent damage, but shortest melee range and least MP.)
Continuity Nod: Artemicion, a moogle from the first game, makes an appearance.
Continuity Snarl: It's really ambiguous as to where and when this game takes place in the Crystal Chronicles timeline, as its locations don't match up with the original game or Ring of Fates and there is supposedly only one crystal left in the world.
Conveniently an Orphan: The hero. How s/he came to be abandoned in the woods is never revealed and has no bearing on the plot.
Cool Big Sis: Sherlotta has the personality when she starts traveling with the hero.
Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: The hero's, by design—the coming-of-age ceremony involves running a gauntlet in the forest and then fighting a golem set up by the villagers.
Dead All Along: All the villagers except for Sherlotta, whose real body was abducted, and Norschtalen, who arrived in the same time period as the hero.
Doomed Hometown: The hero's town was in fact destroyed thousands of years ago, Sherlotta and the spirits of the deceased citizens of the town built a new one so that the hero could grow up in a normal life.
Double Jump: Selkies can double jump innately. You can use a scratch card that lets any character double jump too, but its effects are temporary.
Eryll: "The Crystal Core is peaceful and loving and kind. *giggle* Kinda like you, Sherlotta."
Funetik Aksent: Larkeicus has a (thankfully) very slight German accent, changing his Ws to Vs.
Heroic Willpower: During the final battle, Sherlotta—the real one whose body has been comatose and used as a crystal vending machine by Larkeicus for 2,000 years—gets up and puts him in a chokehold after he expels her from her cat form and moves to kill the hero.
Infinity+1 Sword: Every class gets at least one (Lilties and Selkies get two since they have mastery in two types of weapons each). They require a significant amount of materials to craft (one item is a super rare drop from the secret boss you can challenge in the post game), and are actually weaker than most weapons until you level them up to Level 30, but when you do, they are the strongest weapons in the game, and have three empty customization slots, meaning they can be powered up even further.
Multi-Platform: Available for the Wii and DS. Both versions are the exact same game, to the point where the Wii version uses a two screen interface. While it means the two versions can play with each other, it's probably easier to just stick with the DS version. The only actual difference is that the Wii version has higher-polycount models, but since you're still playing on a small screen its hard to notice.
Mythology Gag: A little over half of the outfits you can craft are based off of the many Jobs that appeared in previous Final Fantasy games, from the iconic Black and White Mages to the slightly more obscure Scholar and Magic Knight. One of the highest level Male outfits is an Onion Knight outfit.
Some of them are shout outs to specific characters. The male versions of the Paladin Armor and Monk Gi are basically Cecil and Yang.
Sticking to Mythology within the Crystal Chronicles series of games, after beating the main game, you are granted access to River Belle Path, the first level of the very first Crystal Chronicles game, complete with health draining Miasma.
One uncommon enemy is a ghost that mimics Meeth's abilities from the previous game.
The best Clavat armor is Layle's jacket and goggles, in a weird, roundabout call forward (the game the bonus items was based on was in development since the first Crystal Chronicles game came out).
New Game+: Beating the game unlocks "Start+", which is where you can start a new game but with the same characters and items. It also unlocks Hard Mode, which is the same as Normal Mode but where all the monsters jump about 50 levels, as well as about twice as many accessible items (shops continue to add to their inventory, quest rewards change, and monsters drop some new items). Beating that unlocks Very Hard Mode, which just makes the monster levels jump again but with very few extra items available.
No Fourth Wall: One of the mercenaries for hire will only hire you if you meet his requirements. Said requirements are based on how many hours you've spent playing the game (he's got 100 hours). Another mercenary knows she's Lv.99, and mentions it. The requirement for hiring her is playing on Very Hard mode... which is not so coincidentally her favourite mode. Oh, and see But Thou Must above. Also, your character knows about the World Map. Sherlotta is confused when you mention it while talking to her.
One-Winged Angel: The final boss's second form is one. Said second form can take it a half step further by summoning a crystal body and temporarily inhabiting it, but this body can be destroyed, sending him back to his previous form and stunning him slightly.
Palette Swap: All the sprites (but the Clavat/Yuke girl) are from the previous game.
Unless you're playing as a Yuke, if you talk to Archimedon, he'll change your character's hair color. You can also do this with the other characters you've created to join in your adventure.
Nearly all of the monsters have at least one palette-swapped version. As does a(n admittedly small) number of armour.
Power Crystal: The ancient civilization was completely run by crystals, causing its collapse when they vanished. The Crystal Core is a form of Anti-Magic against these crystals because Sherlotta created it to thwart Larkeicus.
Stable Time Loop: The crystal cataclysm. The crystals vanished due to a shockwave that came from 2,000 years in the future, which was caused by Larkeicus, 2,000 years in the future, trying to prevent the shockwave.
Timed Mission: Multiplayer mode allows you to take on side missions for more experience and money. All of these have time limits and span multiple levels. The goal is to finish each one as quickly as possible.
Unwitting Pawn: The hero, being a decent and honest individual, decides to repay Larkeicus for his help in Eryll's cure. The tasks that Larkeicus asks the Hero to perform lead to the villagers disappearing.