Video Game: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
aka: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Crystal Bearers
"Well then... Fun times ahead."Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is the first true Wii game in the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles subseries of the of the blood-boilingly popular Final Fantasy franchise (the others being WiiWare games or ports of Nintendo DS games). It was first announced at E3 in 2005, soon after the release of the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube, but didn't actually see release until 2009.Only loosely connected to the other Crystal Chronicles games (as is the norm for the series), Crystal Bearers takes place in a Dungeon Punk world where one of the four "tribes" of the Crystal Chronicles setting — the magically-inclined Yukes — disappeared many years ago. The world is now dominated by the Lilties, living alongside the Clavats, and the Selkies (as ever) tolerated, at best. Magitek pervades the setting, with the ubiquitous crystal reactors powering everything from electric lights to airships. Disrupting this peaceful, ordered life are the eponymous crystal bearers. The last vestiges of true magic in the world, crystal bearers are people with some part of their body made of crystal, giving them the ability to use one particular type of magic. Vastly more powerful than the average person, they're treated with fear and distrust by the general populous.Enter our protagonist, Layle. A Clavat and a crystal bearer with power over Gravity, he works as a mercenary doing whatever job for whoever pays. While providing security for an airship, he encounters a mysterious Yuke that appears out of a portal in midair. This starts a long series of events that threaten the upheaval of the Lilty-controlled world and worse. Together with his partner, a Selkie named Keiss, and freelance adventurer Belle (another Selkie), Layle has to contend with the Lilty High Commander Jegran, the princess Althea of the Lilty kingdom, and the mysterious Yuke Amidatelion, all of which are pursuing their own goals for their own reasons.In gameplay terms, Crystal Bearers is primarily an Action Adventure game with some RPG Elements, compared to the straight-up Action RPG of previous games in the series. Layle uses his gravity powers primarily as a form of Telekinesis, allowing him to grab and lift, drag, throw, or otherwise mess with damn near everything in order to defeat enemies and progress through areas. Also more of a Wide Open Sandbox than the earlier games' relatively linear dungeons; exploring the world and finding all the random cool stuff to do is half the content of the game. Despite this, the game also has a strong narrative, giving you plenty of reason to continue the story as well as play with all the cool stuff scattered around.
— Layle, summarizing the plot of the game
This game provides examples of:
- After the End: It's more like after after the end.
- The Alcatraz: The Aerial Prison. True to its name, the entire fortress is floating above the desert at an altitude high enough to make the drop lethal. And even if you manage to escape your cell, make it outside and make the jump without dying, all you've managed to do is land yourself in the Prison Sands, another desert prison situated directly beneath.
- Aliens Steal Cattle: Used with sheep.
- Brick Joke: Much later in the game, in the Yuke Sky City, which can only be reached by traveling through dimensions, a handful of sheep are present, and the locals comment on them.
- Ambition Is Evil: Both played straight and averted.
- From the moment Keiss starts seeking a promotion any Genre Savvy player is expecting him to betray you, but he's your buddy all the way.
- Jegran, however, plays this straight, letting his ambition consume him.
- Asteroids Monster: Flans.
- Layle's first scene involves him being bored on a mission to protect an airship, which naturally causes a massive attack of monsters not a minute later. His response? Jump off the escort craft toting a massive gun to take out them all himself midair, not hesitating a moment even when the gun is knocked out of his hands, and simply grabs and fires it with his powers while still plummeting to the airship.
- Blaze, who claims to have taught Layle everything he knows about using his bearer powers, had ridiculous villain potential despite showing up halfway through the story. He's a pyrokinetic loon with extensive scarring around both eyes and a voice that oozes Ax-Crazy.
- Barrier Maiden: Althea is a Crystal Bearer with defensive abilities, this saves her from Jegran, and later protects the Lilties' tribal crystal from the Yukes' ancient curse.
- Bare Your Midriff: Belle and the other Selkie females seem quite fond of this.
- Beach Episode: Complete with a minigame that consists of bikini-clad Selkie girls playing Ass Kicks You with each other.
- Body to Jewel / Taken for Granite: Jegran's power.
- Bottomless Pit Rescue Service: Part of Layle's power. Fall into a hole (and it'll happen a lot), and he'll automatically fire a beam off to snatch hold of the nearest ledge.
- Camera Centering
- Catch Phrase: Layle is fond of "Leave it to me!". By contrast, Belle repeatedly reminds us that "I'm a Selkie, I can handle it solo".
- Chekhov's Gunman: That guy Layle and Belle steal a cart from early in the game? He's Blaze.
- Continuity Nod:
- Leo and Chime from My Life As A King appear as NPCs.
- Two of the moogles from the first game, Stiltzkin (who gave the tutorial) and Archimedon (from the Striped Brigands) make appearances.
- Also, one of the library sculptures is a crystal chalice, and several of their paintings are locations (or the map) from the first Crystal Chronicles game.
- Red crystals always seem to be a good indicator of The Dark Side.
- Controllable Helplessness: At one point, you're on a catwalk overlooking a large holding cell full of Selkies. The Big Bad is also in the cell, attacking them. You have a limited amount of ammo to throw at the Big Bad before you're forced to watch helplessly as the situation resolves itself without further input from you. However, this trope can be subverted if you find the right object.
- Cosmetic Award: Medals, which you get for everything from advancing the plot to playing minigames to finding items, but don't actually do anything. Some of them range through gold, silver and bronze, "rewarding" you for completing the objective multiple times or with high scores.
- Cosmic Keystone: The four tribal crystals, which acts as the source of life for each of the four races. The ancient war ended with the Lilties and Yukes each trying to destroy the others' crystal, the Lilties succeeded, and the Yukes were doomed to a state of non-existance.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Layle. Some things are justifiable, such as when he picks up more than one item at a time with telekinesis. The only reason you can't do that is limitations of the technology, even taking into account that two players can manipulate one item on the screen each. But the barriers? Why are those only used in cutscenes? The C button is just sitting there unused; make it the shield button!
- Dances and Balls: A rhythm game to see the princess.
- Deadpan Snarker: Layle, in spades. The title of his character theme is actually "Snarky Tough Guy"!
- Differently Powered Individual: The Crystal Bearers.
- The Empire: The Lilty Kingdom. One could argue that they've become progressively less evil since conquering the world centuries ago.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: The Lilty have a royal family, and the king has taken ill (at least that's the cover story), so the princess has to lead the kingdom.
- Evil Is Hammy: Blaze.
- Fanservice: Loads of it, especially that the Selkies are mostly dressed for the beach. Also of note is Keiss in a uniform. Or just Keiss in general.
- Don't forget the Panty Shot of Belle early on right before she and Layle go into the cave. Okay, technically it's more like lace underwear than panties.
- The entirety of the Beach Episode. From Belle changing into a tiny bikini, to her getting into a turf war with other (well-endowed) ladies, to her getting into a game of ass-based chicken, to Layle having to retreave something she has tucked away and being mistaken for a pervert, the entire segment is full of it.
- Fantastic Racism - A deep prejudice against Crystal Bearers, people born with he ability to use magic in a time where magic is all but dead outside of Magitek. Bearers are deeply mistrusted, their abilities feared, using their powers inside the Lilty capitol city is a crime, etc. Layle himself goes from "valuable mercenary" to "hunted criminal" because of one act of magic in the city. Oh, and no Selkie has ever been a Bearer. Take what you will from that.
- Fantastic Slur: "Onions" for Lilties.
- Free Rotating Camera
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Scarecrows that protect crops with Eye Beams and cows that fire jets of laser milk from their udders when disturbed. The latter can be used as an attack by the player, at least until the cow runs dry.
- Gravity Master: Layle.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: One of the ways Layle can damage enemies.
- Hated Hometown: Keiss, upon visiting his home, reluctantly says "home sweet home... I guess." He's not on good terms with the local leader.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Amidatelion and Vaigali.
- Human Resources: Jegran is able to turn people into crystals which can be used to power Magitek.
- I Need No Ladders: Layle will walk up to ladders, poles, and other climbable things, and then use his gravity powers to vault himself straight to the top (or bottom). Makes one wonder why he even bothers.
- Informed Ability: Apparently, Selkies can handle it solo.
- Joker Immunity: Almost subverted; Layle uses his gravity powers to try and crush the Big Bad into the ground, but is interrupted by the princess' insistence (at gunpoint, ironically) that he must answer for his crimes instead.
- Literally Shattered Lives: The process of "crystalization" is about as fun as is sounds.
- Magitek: In the form of Steam Punk powered by "crystal reactors".
- Mr. Fanservice: Layle and Keiss, in keeping with the Squeenix tradition of Bishōnen
- Mythology Gag: Several, mostly involving music.
- At the start of the Unity Ball scene, the random guest whose outfit Layle steals is first seen walking through the hall, humming a very familiar tune.
- All of the dances at the Unity Ball are remixes of songs from the original game.
- The BGM for Moschet Manor, the level where you slaughter a monstrous dinner party (first the guests, then the Tonberry chefs, then the hosts), becomes a formal ballroom dance.
- The game's ending theme (Starry Moonlit Night in English, Hoshizukiyo in Japanese), which was originally a sad and thoughtful tune with lyrics about missing home during a long journey, becomes a peppy, upbeat Riverdance-style jig.
- The music of Veo Lu Sluice is remixed as a tango, but by far the most easily recognized. The soundtrack CD of Crystal Bearers didn't even bother giving it a different name.
- Obviously Evil: The villains are pretty easily spotted from their introductions.
- One-Winged Angel: In true Final Fantasy fashion, the Big Bad has one during the Final Battle. Except it's really just more of an arm. Layle looks like he has one, on the other hand.
- Pimped-Out Dress: The Lilty ladies, particularly Althea in the last half. Her dress actually has sparkles sewn into the pattern.
- Pink Means Feminine: Most of the swimsuits worn by major characters in beach segment are pink.
- The Plan: The only reason Amidatelion was able to board the Alexis was because Layle used his powers to pull her out of the portal. Though Layle eventually decides to help her.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Jegran uses his Bearer power to turn people into Crystal, shatter them, and use the shards as power sources for the crystal reactors. Before he appeared on the scene, though, the only source for crystal shards were the remnants of the shattered Yuke Tribe crystal, the slow consumption of which is gradually destroying the Yukes, so that wasn't all sunshine and roses either.
- Pretty in Mink: The Selkies of course, and Layle and Belle have fur trimmed jackets.
- Red Right Hand: The ostracized Crystal Bearers are recognizable as such for having a small part of their body crystallized. The Big Bad has a literal Red Right Hand that he hides under a lion-motif gauntlet.
- The Reveal: Jegran can't hurt Althea because she is also a crystal bearer, likely from the accident where her mother died.
- Scenery Porn: Plenty of detailed scenes, and that's taking into account the graphics are actually held back to shorten the loading times.
- Stocking Filler: Belle
- Super Mode: Layle gets one for the final battle, complete with Sky Surfing.
- Telekinesis: Layle's main power, which is technically gravity based.
- Thinking Up Portals: Amidatelion's power, though it's treated like Summon Magic.
- Tranquil Fury: Layle, while attempting to kill Jegran after the latter kills Amidatelion and then attempts to kill Keiss as well.
- Tron Lines: Some of the ruins.
- Unwilling Suspension: Althea.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: This is essentially Belle's hiding spot.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: It not only lets you toss old ladies around. They encourage it by giving you the chance to rob them.
- You can rob anyone by hurling them, actually, but old women carry the most money on them.
- Wreaking Havok: A more limited form than most, but Layle's main form of attack is flinging objects at things with his gravity powers. Or just picking them up and flinging them around.
Alternative Title(s):Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Crystal Bearers, Crystal Bearers
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord Franchise/Final Fantasy Final Fantasy Adventure