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Video Game / Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates

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A spinoff of the foot-impalingly popular Final Fantasy franchise, and the first Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game for the DS. Unlike the first game, its main mode of play is a story-mode with lots of dialog and pre-made characters. The story follows a pair of Clavat twins named Yuri and Chelinka, whose hometown is attacked and Chelinka falls into a coma. When she awakens, she has lost the ability to speak. Together, they set out on a journey to help Chelinka regain her voice, find their childhood teachers Alhanalem and Meeth, discover why their home was attacked, and learn the purpose of a unique crystal they own. All while trying to stop an ancient prophecy from destroying the world.

There is also a multiplayer mode, which is more like the first game. You create your own character, selecting name, race, and gender, and set off on fetch quests through dungeons you've cleared in solo mode. Also like the first game, you can do this on your own or with nearby friends over the DS's local wireless.

This Game Provides Examples Of:

  • 24-Hour Armor: Yuke helmets. Al threatens his imposter that if he makes good on their deal, she will have to remove hers and reveal her true face to the world. (That said, the twins have seen him without his before under unspecified circumstances.)
  • Action RPG: Like the original, gameplay consists of hacking and slashing through dungeons in real time.
  • After Boss Recovery: The game heals your party's full HP/MP after boss battles.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: The Realm of the Dead is described as a place where wounded souls rest and heal before moving on. Latov is trapped here by the manner of his death and the unresolved traumas from the Temple's crimes and is shortly thereafter corrupted by the Lich.
  • A God Am I: Galdes
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: One of the missions in multiplayer mode involves this.
  • Alternate Universe(s): During the primary confrontation; apparently, you'll confront the Big Bad, no matter what — only minor details (like location) will change.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The party gets to "???" by way of not escaping a volcano and are informed that they are in the Realm of the Dead. But the Carbuncle also tells them that they don't belong there, and the place can be accessed in multiplayer mode after beating Sinners' Isle.
  • And I Must Scream: "My power can undo this! Over and again!" He can do that all he likes, but it all leads to the same end. You almost have to pity him when you hear him think Help me...
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your partners AI is phenomenally stupid, making them much more of a liability than anything else. They rarely move, don't attack often and if an enemy is lining up an attack at them, most of the time they will not get out of the way. Their self preservation is atrocious, as they will not get out of the way, even if their HP is critical. A particularly egregious example is their ineptitude in platforming, as they cannot time jumps and will often kill themselves trying to get to you if you're on a far away platform. You will waste a lot of raise magicite on them in the later boss battles, which can get rather infuriating.
  • Asleep for Days: A mild form of this after the battle with Lich. King Kolka invites the party to get some sleep in the palace. When they walk out, it's already sunset and the King's troops have already nearly conquered the Temple. Al is embarrassed, but Meeth brushes it off.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Most bosses have a red crystal somewhere on their body. The goal of most battles is to hit that spot as much as possible without getting hit by whatever special attack the crystal allows the monster to perform.
  • Bad Moon Rising: It's even the tagline on the back of the box! It's hard for a blood-red moon to be anything but ominous...
  • Ban on Magic: Crystals are banned after the timeskip thanks to the emergence of crimson crystals (actually a result of the Temple's experiments). Some of the townspeople express disbelief while others commend the Temple's action. This eventually becomes a problem for the magicite seller because people associate her product with crystals.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Non-blackmail variant in discussing Princess Tilika.
    Aleria: She's a sacrifice to your god?!
    Chaspel: "Sacrifice" is such a harsh word. "Catalyst" sounds so much nicer.
  • Blatant Lies
    Moogle: How wonderful it is to meet you by chance, kupo.
  • Bonus Dungeon: River Belle, the first dungeon of the original game, is unlocked after beating this one.
  • Butt-Monkey: Arguably, Stiltzkin. Over the course of the game's beginning, he's been slammed by a door, lost a ton of money from the Magicite Tutorial's expenses, and was almost cooked by Meeth.
  • Call-Forward: Some zones are covered by poisonous mist, and require a party member to carry an aptly-charged Urn to cross safely. Crystal Bearers and the Chalice, anyone?
  • Cast from Lifespan: The twins' crystal power. Chelinka uses it at the cost of her soul, and Yuri uses it at the cost of his longevity.
  • Charged Attack: The Focus Attacks, which are tied to the specific weapon being used. Some weapons will shoot blasts of energy, others make you leap to the target and perform a powerful attack.
  • Cloudcuckoolander ... Basically, all of the party characters. And about 85% of the NPC population too.
    • Special mention goes to Gnash, who has forgotten his own name. Granted, he was abandoned in the wild as a very young child.
  • Chew Toy: Alhanalem. Between Chelinka's glomps and Meeth's pots, he takes quite a licking.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Naturally, the final cutscene on Sinners' Isle is of the volcano there erupting.
  • Combination Attack: Basic magic spells can be stacked on top of one another for added effect (two Fire spells make a Fira {or Firaga with proper timing} attack, and spells of different elements can be combined to create a Gravity spell). The basic elements can also be combined with a Charged Attack for an elemental strike.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The appearance of Lich is a nod to her role in the first game.
    • Two of the moogles from the first game, Stiltzkin (who gave the tutorial) and Artimecion (from the Striped Brigands) make appearances.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The game ends with the Yuris and Chelinkas from every reality to prevent the tragic events of the game, bringing back their parents to grow up as a normal family.
  • Corrupt Church: The Crystal Temple as run by Galdes. The temple fanatic's complaint about the entrance fee is relly just the tip of the iceberg. The Temple's edicts becomes increasingly oppressive as the game goes on, and the temple serves as the final dungeon. However, King Kolka speculates that the original priesthood were well on their way to being moontouched even before Galdes turned up as they became more obsessed with power and scheming than carrying out their work.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene
  • Cute Mute: Chelinka, after a certain event. She can still talk, but she can't vocalise her thoughts. She eventually gets her voice back, though.
  • Damaged Soul: Latov's soul is filled with anguish and rage in the afterlife, thanks to the Lich. Yuri and the others are able to put him to rest.
  • Death World: Sinners' Isle (a.k.a. the Kilanda Isles from the original) is a volcanic hellscape. The party are exiled there after being framed for an attack on King Kolka.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Villa is attacked by Cu Chaspel early in the game. Although the buildings are left intact, everyone's peaceful life there is destroyed and Yuri is forced to live essentially on his own for some years until Chelinka becomes conscious again.
  • Double Jump: Selkies.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Selkies can equip pirate hats and coats.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Only scripted obstacles and doors with keys, of which are few, are unpassable. Most of the room puzzle's purpose is to materialize or move platforms to reach points that are just out of reach. Not only can your chatacters jump on each other, but you can stack any item to make a ladder. And most of the items you find are cheap rubbish you can buy for less than 5 gil at the shops. Do the math.
    • Selkies; while they cannot double-jump or use ziplines when holding a key, they can just throw the key against a wall, make it bounce on their head, and run on the zipline as if it was a tightrope while balancing the key on their head. Someone sign them up for circus already.
  • Empathic Weather: The game opens on a classic dark and stormy night as an ominous figure in cloak and mask approaches the Villa, cluing in players that however cute and lighthearted the next few scenes are, this game is going to be intense.
  • "End of the World" Special: Starsingers are a somewhat limited form of this. Yuri and Chelinka fulfill the trope more literally in the end.
  • Evil Chancellor: The imposer Alhanalem is keeping King Kolka in depression and ill health. She's really the Lich.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Played for Laughs near the end of the game when one townsperson realizes with a shock that Galdes and Cu Chaspel do not look or act anything like clergy.
  • Fantastic Racism: The workshop-keeper does not like Yukes.
  • Flash Sideways: Shortly before the Final Battle, Galdes shifts everyone to a world where he killed Kolka and became ruler of the city. Most of the NPCs either praise him listlessly or resign themselves to tyranny, but a few of them question if this was really what happened.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The temple bell in Rebena Te Ra chimes the hour, but can affect people's minds as well. The Selkie who warns the twins away from Old Town stops and tells them they should go on in after it chimes.
  • Free-Range Children: Latov teaches Yuri and Chelinka how to use a hatchet in the first scene. He then allows them to play in the monster-filled caves on the Villa's property. Later he lets them run around Rebena Te Ra on their own (although he probably expected them to keep to the main areas and not the overrun Old Town). At this point, the twins are still roughly six years old.
  • Friendly Ghost: The ghost who appears to Yuri and Chelinka several times has no ill intent, despite Chelinka's instinctive terror. She later helps them by giving them her cloak when Yuri has collapsed and is freezing from overuse of his powers. It's in the later incident where they learn it's Tilika, the deceased princess.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending sequence. Chelinka's Heroic Sacrifice to heal Yuri of his mysterious illness causes Yuri to become Unstuck in Time, and after wandering around for a little bit, the collective Yuris and Chelinkas of all the parallel universes Cosmic Retcon the events of the game from ever occuring, because Magic in this continuity works based on alternate universes.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Al tries to convince the guards that he's the real one by pointing out "Alhanalem" is a man's name and the current chancellor is a woman. This fails to impress because they aren't familiar enough with Yuke culture to tell one from another—in fact, they weren't even aware their Alhanalem was a woman in the first place.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Meeth is prone to doing this, particularly to Al, with either her ladle or her pot.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Crystals are usually varying hues of blue and green, most prominently the save points and Chelinka's personal crystal. Red crystals are universally malevolent. All boss monsters have one which seems to power them, but what's really bad is when a person gets put inside one.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The way to defeat the final boss, by locking magic spells onto the circle. Subverted in that you do get instructions, but only after you fail several times.
    • How crafting with gems work. The are easy enough to use by themselves. However if you actually look up how they work you would have never guessed.
  • Hailfire Peaks: One level where you'll have to chose between running over lava that burns you or ice that freezes you in a slightly lengthened period of time. You need not worry about doing large amounts of backtracking if you decided you don't like the path you chose. The ice path is side by side with the lava.
  • Happily Ever Before: The game is set an indeterminate time before the original, but seems to be centuries before. Otherwise Yuri and Chelinka might have been expected to use their power against the Meteor Parasite and its miasma.
  • Heroic BSoD: Chelinka after Latov dies, and Yuri during the ending.
    • Meeth is in one too when you first discover her after the Time Skip.
  • Heroic RRoD:
    • Yuri falls victim to this when he uses his power to stop the falling ceiling in Rela Cyel.
    • And in the ending, he starts slowly dying after overuse of his crystal powers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Several.
    • In the backstory, Tilika performs one to save Latov and Aleria from the collapse of Rela Cyel.
    • During the game itself, Latov takes a deadly spell aimed at Yuri and dies.
    • Both of the twins try to do this for each other at different points in the story. The other always undoes it with their powers—even in the ending when Chelinka makes herself vanish to save Yuri.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Lilty and Selkie duo in Rebena Te Ra have apparently been selected to be this in Galdes' Villain World. Their Cool Big Sis figure is highly indignant that she wasn't chosen herself.
  • Idiot Hero: Yuri as a young child, to a ridiculous degree. That changes when things turn bad for him and Chelinka.
  • Informed Equipment: Inverted. The shopping quarter of Rebena Te Ra has a platform to see how the new armor and helmet looks on the characters. The portrait icons always remain the same, however.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Meeth beats monsters with a ladle, and her charge attack is to mow them down with her pot.
  • Ironic Echo: Chelinka likes to tease about being the big sister due to being born a few minutes before Yuri. When she sacrifices herself for Yuri, he tearfully says she didn’t have to be the big sister for once.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Galdes and Cu Chaspel refer to those they capture (or intend to) as their "specimens" and "it." They're talking about Aleria, Tilika, and Chelinka.
  • In Their Own Image: The Lunites are trying to take over Rebena Te Ra and put it under the influence of the crimson moon. They plan to do this by harnessing the power of Starsingers to rewrite reality so that the moon and its evil were never separated from the earth.
  • Jump Physics: Selkies can double-jump.
  • Limited Loadout: Magicite and restorative items are carried in "pockets" on the right-hand side of the bottom screen. Initially, the player starts with a maximum of ten for each, which means you'll be leaving a lot of magicite laying around in dungeons. Extra pockets are obtainable as treasure, however, and can also be purchased when you find Artimecion's shops.
  • MacGuffin Super-Person: Chelinka is pursued by the Temple for her crystal abilities. Yuri might be of value to them too, but Chelinka is the only one who can make the crystal shine on her own. Tilika and Lady Aleria were also this, with tragic results.
  • Made of Evil: The moon. Long ago, the crystals sequestered all that was evil there and cast it off into space, but it still has the ability to influence people on the world below. The Lunites' goal is to undo that it was separated and rule over the world of evil that would create.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: You can select which character is leading the party from the lower screen, and each one has a special ability that are used to progress through dungeons. Enemy attacks automatically target whoever is leading. This also applies outside of battle with the item crafting shop; weapon scrolls will be designed for whichever character hands it over (a scroll will give a staff to Alhanalem, but if Yuri is the lead, the same scroll will produce a sword, etc).
  • Magikarp Power: Unlike most games in the series, Lilties begin this one as a support class, with slow attacks and only moderate power. It's arguable where the exact turning point is, but if leveled up fully, well, it quickly becomes apparent why they ruled the world.
  • Magitek: Rela Cyel served both as a dam to control the water levels of Lake Cyela and a research center for crystals and magic. When the party winds up in the past (on the day of its collapse, specifically) many of the puzzles involve magic and machinery. Alhanalem irks one worker by describing the control rods as "magical fantastical."
  • Nerf: In the first game, all classes could easily be played as close range fighters, with Lilties being the most brutal. In Ring of Fates, while Yukes can still be played as melee characters, Selkies are now archers and Lilties are largely a support class (though with enough leveling, that changes).
  • The Malaproper: Pre-timeskip Yuri asks if someone is a "clair-voyeur" (rather than clairvoyant) and when given permission to walk around town, declares himself and Chelinka to be "practically adulterous" (adults).
  • New Game Plus: Can be done twice. Also allows access to the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted.
    Yuri: Go? Didn't Papa tell you to go before we left?
  • Not So Above It All: The temple guards are silent and menacing... until the temple fanatic starts demanding to be let in and refuses to leave. Then they start begging for someone to get this crazy woman away.
  • Odd Friendship: Meeth and Gnash hit it off right away.
  • Offscreen Inertia: The ending implies Galdes gets stuck trying forever in vain to cast the same spell to undo his defeat, saying "My power can undo this! Over and again!". We hear him think "please.. someone.. help .. me", but that's probably just for the audience's benefit.
  • Older Than They Look: Lilties. Meeth in particular seems younger than most due to her childish mannerisms, but she's really in her thirties.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The final battle theme and scenes with Lunites in general.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The initial scene of a hooded man approaching the Villa is given context after the fall of Rela Cyel: Cu Chaspel bringing a squadron of temple goons to abduct Aleria.
  • Papa Wolf: Latov. Tragically, it doesn't work.
  • Parental Bonus: The following conversation.
    Young Yuri (on being allowed to explore The City alone): We are practically adulterous.
    Latov: Erm, not quite.
    • A few minutes later, Yuri accuses a merchant of being a clair-voyeur.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The red crystal that extracts power from the Great Crystal is powered by Tilika, and later, Lady Aleria. Galdes and Cu Chaspel intend to use Chelinka for the purpose.
  • Prenatal Possessions: Chelinka was born holding the crystal whose powers she and Yuri share.
  • Prequel: The game is set ages before the original Crystal Chronicles. Thus, there is no miasma yet, and Rebena Te Ra is the thriving capital of old rather than a monster-infested ruin.
  • Psychopomp: Carbuncle, who appears in the Shadowland (the dungeon known simply as "???" when its title appears) is the keeper of the Realm of the Dead. He helps the party look into Latov's memories so they can heal his soul and sends them to the crystal cavern under Rebena Te Ra after they complete their task.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: A secondary ability of Star Singers. When they alter reality to finally undo all the harm the Lunites did, Yuri and Chelinka can remember the original timeline—nobody else does, though.
  • Running Gag: Chelinka bear-hugging Al.
  • Scenery Porn: The Crystal Chamber beneath Rebena Te Ra. It has no encounters, no treasure, and no save crystal—it's just a long walk over a sea of beautifully glowing crystals.
  • Serious Business: Stiltzkin and the other moogles treat their placement of hints and tutorials like a top-secret espionage operation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "All work and no play makes Jack a dull mog."
    • The equipment seller sends the party off to the final showdown by saying "Have fun storming the Temple!"
  • Super Drowning Skills: Running through shallow water is okay. Anything above the head is fatal. Latov really should have given Yuri some swimming lessons....
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female Yukes are distinguished by their style of clothing rather than physical features.
  • Time-Compression Montage:
    • The game moves forward several years in a single cutscene. The twins' age is still ambiguous, but they go from five-ish to somewhere between eight and ten.
    • You get it again after the final boss fight when Yuri is dying.
  • 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.
  • Underwater Ruins: Rela Cyel. In the present it is proper ruins (Al notes that the roof won't hold under the downpour and the final cutscene of the dungeon proves him right) but still has some functioning control rods that can empty flooded rooms. The party later visits Rela Cyel in the past when it is intact, but the mechanics of the dungeon are largely the same.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Now you didn't just let those moogles that waited all those years ... met by chance for nothing did you?
  • Verbal Tic: Alhanalem the Yuke has a habit of ending every sentence with words ending in emphasizing the "al" (written in text a la "physicAL), and his Lilty partner Meeth ends a lot of hers with "e" sounds. Alhanalem and Meeth end their sentences with "de aru" and "desu", respectively, in the Japanese version.
  • Visible Silence: The temple guards on the first visit to Rebena Te Ra. Unlike the stroppy palace guards, they simply stare menacingly at Yuri and Chelinka.
  • Wild Child: Gnash, who has been living alone in the woods since a sickness struck his hometown.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: An early scene has Latov, Yuri, and Chelinka watching the ignis fatui that hover over Lake Cyela — the ghosts of the people who died there when the Rela Cyel facility collapsed.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: King Kolka believes that no matter what parallel universe he is in, he will always lose his family and have to live on his own. But Yuri and Chelinka bring her back when they create the new world at the end of the game, as revealed in Multiplayer Mode.
  • You No Take Candle: Gnash.
    Oh! Way out! Still have time! Make escape!