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Video Game / Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

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The third game in this series of spinoffs from the neck-severingly popular Final 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.

Surprisingly, both Sherlotta and the Undead Princess make an appearance in World of Final Fantasy, a Mon-centric Final Fantasy game, and Sherlotta is later chosen as a representative of the goddess Materia in Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb:
    • The series staple of Bombs appear in several elemental variants.
    • Larkeicus' golems will also begin to tick after taking a certain amount of damage, requiring you to finish them off quickly or get out of the blast zone.
  • Action RPG
  • 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. Although it's mentioned that the town is a hotspot for adventurers from other places, the only places within your reach are ancient ruins and the various spots on the largely-barren plain.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle
  • Anti-Magic: The Crystal Core evidently negates the effects of crystal magic.
  • Apocalypse How: Class One, Societal Disruption occurred when the crystals were wiped out.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The crystal fragments. Collect them all!
  • 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. However, you can now set their behavior to be aggressive, refrain from using magic, etc.
  • The Atoner: Veriaulde secluded himself in the Desert Ruins out of guilt for the role he played in Larkeicus' misdeeds (though he had no idea of his master's intentions until it was too late) and because he can involuntarily transform into a vicious monster.
  • Big Bad: Larkeicus. Although it doesn't become crystal-clear until the first runthrough of Fire/Ice Mountains.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The world is saved, but Sherlotta is now gone 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, with it being the very last crystal remaining in the world. 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.
  • 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.
  • Combination Attack: Magic fusion returns, but it's much simpler this time. The caster simply needs to overlap their casting marker with a set combination of spells to make a new one (e.g. Fire + Fire = Fira). For single-person fusions, the player needs to lock their first marker in place before attempting to cast more.
  • 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 they came to be abandoned in the woods is never revealed and has no bearing on the plot.
  • Dangerous 16th 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.
  • Deader than Dead: The villagers lose their corporeal forms and become ghosts. Then, they fade away completely... which is what they've wanted.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: When the hero visits town, several of the residents express shock at their claiming to be from the village in the forest and you can overhear one mother scare her daughter into good behavior by threatening her with the witch of the woods. The village is actually a ghost town.
  • 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.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Selkies can equip pirate hats and coats.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The Desert Ruins are full of highly lethal security devices. These include rolling laser beams, explosive golems, spikes that come out of the ground, spikes that slide along the ground, rocks falling from the ceiling, and spiked iron balls swinging from the ceiling... along switch tracks.
  • Eye Motifs: Eyes are heavily featured. The final gate in dungeons is a golden eye with a keyhole for a pupil, the lasers from the rollers are emitted from eye-shaped sigils, etcetera.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: The villagers tell you that you have to find everything out on your own.
  • Foreshadowing: Plenty. For example...
    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.
  • Glass Cannon: Yukes has less defense and HP, but the best ranged attack.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Selkies use paddles, in some cases directly taken from a boat.
    • Mechanically, all the Yuke-only weapons are considered Staves, but some of them are shaped like books or bells.
  • 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.
  • Jack of All Stats: Clavats has decent damage and range, also decent MP, HP, and defense.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The hero's crystal fragment triggers Veriaulde's transformation and harms Larkeicus, in both cases causing their bodies to smoke or steam.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: It's revealed that the hero is this to the whole village. Raising them gave the villagers respite from their long existence as shades. It also gave the technically-alive Sherlotta a feeling besides anguish after 2,000 years of her real body being a catatonic source of crystals.
  • Mad Scientist: Larkeicus has no sense of ethics whatsoever, experimenting on his poor apprentice to turn him into a monster, to say nothing of what he does to Sherlotta.
  • Mama Bear: Sherlotta is fiercely protective of the hero. So much so that her comatose body gets up to put Larkeicus in a chokehold when he threatens them.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: The AI is more advanced than in Ring of Fates. Players can set AI behavior to be aggressive, to refrain from spellcasting (as other party members will now cast spells even when not under player control), or to follow without acting.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The numerous mostly-identical self-destructing enemies that start showing up in the second half of the game, which are apparently created by the Big Bad.
  • 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 Plus: 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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: To repay Larkeicus for compounding the medicine for Eryll, the hero does a little amateur archaeology for him and fixes the ancient machines on Ice Mountain and Fire Mountain. This allows Larkeicus to activate the machines that night, creating a massive ominous tower in the wastes and shattering the village's crystal core. And the next day, everyone but the hero and Norschtalen have vanished.
  • 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.
  • No Name Given:
    • The protagonist is referred to in-game by whatever name the player gave them, but all outside materials refer to them simply as "the hero". When making an appearance elsewhere, Sherlotta just calls them "my kiddo."
    • Neither the village nor the town have a proper name—they're just "Village" and "Town" on the map.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: A frequent complaint of the large town's citizens, not that they do much to change it.
  • Obviously Evil: Larkeicus, c'mon.
  • 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 (except the Clavat/Yuke girl) are from the previous game, unless you're playing as a Yuke. If you talk to Artimecion, 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.
  • Parental Substitute: Most of the adults in the village for the hero, but especially Sherlotta.
  • Plot Coupon: There's quite a few of them.
  • 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.
  • Quirky Town: The hero's home village. Between a guy who gives all his vegetable seeds girl's names and cries when they're harvested, a former mercenary who can't control her son, and a big-sister figure with an inexplicable cat tail, it was an unorthodox place for the hero to grow up.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Veriaulde and the sentient crystal artifact are around 700 to 800 years old, while Sherlotta and Larkeicus are around 2000.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Larkeicus. When you kill him in the library, he starts smoking at the joints after a few moments and then gets up, fit as ever. He subjected his apprentice Veriaulde to the treatment first. Evidently he did it so death wouldn't impede his quest to revive the Crystals.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: If Larkecius hadn't built his tower in order to prevent the destruction of the crystals, said destruction would never have occurred in the fist place.
  • Sentient Phlebotinum: The crystal-finding artifact, although it quickly goes from sinister to Butt-Monkey after being defeated.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: A female player character can save one of the town girls from a pushy Casanova Wannabe by letting her pull one of these.
  • Squishy Wizard: Yukes has less defense and HP, but the best magic.
  • 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.
  • Super Swimming Skills: In contrast to the previous game, the hero and whatever allies they pick up can swim and even dive indefinitely despite their heavy equipment. An area in one dungeon is entirely swum.
  • 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.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Nobody in the village finds it odd that Sherlotta has a tail. Neither does the hero because they were raised by her since infancy. When Norsy tries to force you to admit that it's strange, there are no options to agree with her.
  • You All Look Familiar: All of the town NPCs are recycled from Rebena Te Ra's population in Ring of Fates.