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Video Game / Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers

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"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.

In recent years, references to this game have started becoming more common; Layle, Keiss, Amidatelion, and Jegran are available as playable characters in Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia and Layle in Pictlogica Final Fantasy.

This game provides examples of:

  • After the End: It's more like after after the end. The kingdom is technologically advanced, but also has plenty of ruins left over from a bygone era that may have been even more advanced.
  • A God Am I: Jegran starts thinking this way after his encounter with Blaze, using the power of a crystal reactor to boost himself to absurd levels of strength. Layle disagrees, even after getting his own massive increase in magic ability.
  • 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.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Both played straight and averted.
    • From the moment Keiss starts seeking a promotion any 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.
  • Anti-Magic: Althea's power seems to be undoing other magic. When Layle makes the train move faster with his power, her crystal reacts before she gets it under control. The Reveal occurs when Jegran tries to turn her to crystal, but fails when his power is blocked. She later uses her ability to fend off the Yuke curse on the Lilty Tribal Crystal, before the Yukes themselves undo it. It's first revealed when Amidatelion states that she tried to summon Althea with her power, but only ever gets things that are near the princess.
  • Asteroids Monster: Flans. They will split apart when shaken, but will also rejoin if you fail to defeat the smaller ones fast enough unless you shake the larger one enough that it becomes a small one.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: A second player can join in with another Wii Remote to help Player 1 in combat as an extension of Layle's gravity powers.
  • 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.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Althea, of all people, fires a warning shot before aiming dead set on a vigilante. Layle's insistence that Jegran should be put down instead of going through a trial with a foregone conclusion was not going to fly with her sense of justice. Unfortunately, Layle was right.
  • 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.
  • Brick Joke: Much later in the game, in the Yuke Sky City, which can only be reached by traveling through dimensions, a handful of the abducted sheep are present, and the locals comment on them.
  • Camera Centering
  • Catchphrase: Layle is fond of "Leave it to me!". By contrast, Belle repeatedly reminds us that "I'm a Selkie, I can handle it solo". Keiss, arguably, has a sarcastic "Nice going, Crystal Bearer!" aimed at Layle.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: That guy Layle and Belle steal a cart from early in the game? He's Blaze.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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. Lower the lift hook first, then distract him while the Selkies scramble to climb up.
  • 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. Part of the conflict between Layle and Amidatelion is that he doesn't want the Resurrection to restore the Yukes at the expense of the Lilties, while Amidatelion is willing to leave it up to "the will of the Principle."
  • Create Your Own Hero: Layle would have just continued being a lazy, low-income mercenary if not for Jegran hiring him to escort the Alexis II. Layle also wouldn't have had the chance to activate his Super Mode if Jegran hadn't done so first, since his power came from resonating with Jegran's crystal power.
  • 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.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Due to the vastly different English script from the original Japanese, several plot points from the game were not kept in English, including that Layle is a living crystal versus other Crystal Bearers who were not born as crystals. This change proved confusing come Layle's addition into Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, where English players were left scratching their heads at the issue of Layle's race.
  • The Empire: The Lilty Kingdom. One could argue that they've become progressively less evil since conquering the world centuries ago.
  • Energy Weapon: 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The crime that the Alfitaria guards hound Layle for over the course of the game? Using his crystal magic within the city walls. He never uses it offensively, only trying to catch Althea's ferret Mia. This leads to a platoon of soldiers shooting up Cid's workshop and a firing squad cornering Layle in the monastery. Even when he first ran, they sent military vehicles with heavy ordinance after him.
  • Free Rotating Camera: It's the rotate and tilt style.
  • 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. It's really so she can try to cure her father, which leads to her being kidnapped and the Big Bad going One-Winged Angel.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The process of "crystalization" is about as fun as is sounds. And the Big Bad has a habit of knocking over and smashing his victims.
  • Magitek: In the form of Steampunk powered by "crystal reactors".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Layle and Keiss, in keeping with the Squeenix tradition of Bishōnen.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Belle and her friends all wear clothing that shows off their midsection and cleavage. Belle herself combines Zettai Ryouiki and exposed midriffs, and has probably the largest chest out of the female cast despite also being one of the skinniest.
  • 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.
    • King Leo and Chime can appear as NPCs on the trains or at Cherry Checkpoint.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Jegran's final assault on the kingdom and using Althea's crystalized father as a power source, preventing his revival if it was even possible, wouldn't have happened if Althea hasn't stopped Layle from putting Jegran in the ground.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: None of the game would have happened if Jegran hadn't hired Layle to escort the Alexis II or stolen the crystals from its reactor after Amidatelion's attack, leading Layle to go on his hero's journey. And activating his own Super Mode by fusing with the Crystal Reactor is what led to Layle's own enhancement, ensuring Jegran's downfall.
  • Obviously Evil: The villains are pretty easily spotted from their introductions.
  • One-Hit Kill: Regular Tonberries have a very powerful knife attack that Layle can use as an instant kill against other enemies while having one captured.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • In true Final Fantasy fashion, the Big Bad has one during the Final Battle. He merges with the battleship and constructs a giant arm out debris.
    • Unusually, Layle gets one as well. In addition to acting as if his stats are all at max, it lets him fly and gives him a crystal surfboard.
  • Palette Swap: Many minor characters have recolored clothes. Most notable are male Selkies, who have one of two sets of bandana and vest colors. But amusingly, the shuttle platform attendants in Alfitaria are recolors of Althea with a different haircut and the addition of skirt armor plates and goggles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sky Cell: The Aerial Prison
  • 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.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: How do the soldiers deal with Layle trying to escape? By sending experimental weapons like tanks and Mini-Mecha after him, ignoring the innocent civilian driving the getaway Chocobo. It doesn't take, though.
  • 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 gets dangled over the side of the Lilty warship near the end.
    • Layle can do this to monsters and some NPCs, lifting them over his head while they struggle. In some cases, Layle can then force them to use any abilities they may have, such as Bombs throwing fireballs.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: This is essentially Belle's hiding spot. Layle is able to take the Crystal Idol from her more than once because it makes getting it away from her easy with his magic.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • One way to get money is to throw around NPC characters, who will drop money in the process. The ones who drop the most are Older Lilty Ladies and Lilty Noblewomen.
    • One way you can defeat skeletons is to keep them away from their skulls while Devil Hounds chow down on them.
    • There are medals awarded for getting a goblin stuck with its legs wiggling desperately, either in the ground ("The Tragedy of Y") or in the wall ("The Tragedy of K").
    • While combat at first seems like merely catch-and-throw, you can actually control a lot of monsters while Layle has them over his head. You can catch one Tonberry and use its One-Hit Kill attack on its brethern, have a Goblin Archer snipe its companions with its own arrows, and ignite and blow up Bombs by capturing one and using its fire breath.
    • You can knock off Yukes' helmets while in Sky City. They'll get annoyed and put them back on if allowed to, but you can also throw the helmet into the bottomless pit, making the Yuke sag in defeat.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Assaulting Alfitarian or Bridge Town citizens isn't a smart idea if there are guards around. They'll charge you and knock you over. And if you do this right after knocking over an NPC for their money, you'll even drop the money when you get body slammed. The Older Lilty Women will also broadside you after they get up.
    • The player can accidentally do this to themselves if they toy with the wrong enemies. Throwing three Kyokotsu Skeletons into each other will create a Gashadokuro, or two Bloodbones crashing close to a Lich will create the Lost Emperor.
  • We Can Rule Together: Jegran offers this to Althea. She understandably turns him down.
  • 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