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Visual Novel / Crystalline

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Crystalline is a comedy-centric, fantasy adventure, visual novel with an intricate romance system. Developed and published by Pixelfade Studio, best known for their previous work Ace Academy.

While studying in the library late at night a university student is magically transported to another world. Teaming up with a magical warrior he quickly encounters he sets out to find a way home. Along the way he encounters other characters willing to help and becomes involved in a sinister plot.

The following Tropes are present in this Visual Novel:

  • Actor Allusion: The protagonist thinks Leanna's singing voice is good enough to go big on the internet, a nod to Amanda Lee's YouTube channel.
  • Advertised Extra: The Heroes Of Esaria are featured in the opening video in a manner similar to the main group but only four of the five actually appear in game and of those only one is relevant to the plot.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Despite being on a different planet everyone speaks "Common" (English), lampshaded by the player character early on.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Kara is mostly interested in Zack but comes on to Leanna a few times and, despite it being mostly just to tease her, both do seem a bit into it.
  • Ambiguously Gay: At the inn in Hearthpoint, our heroes need information from a minor side character named Artan Hunt. Initially they come up with the idea to have a woman flirt with him to get the information, but Kara is unsuccessful despite her attractive figure. But then Zack is able to get the information out of Artan, and he's described as red-faced and giggling and staring after Zack longingly. The protagonist is confused as to how Zack got the information from him, but Artan might be attracted to men.
  • Batman Gambit: The Elementals needed someone from Earth to defeat VOID, as Earth born humans are apparently able to use all elements easier. However they lack the power to communicate with one. So they transport the protagonist to Terra and rely on the fact that he'll want to seek a way to go home and this will lead him to their temples. They can then charge him up with the power he'll need to win.
  • Beach Episode: With much Fanservice provided by Leanna and Kara. Mostly unintentionally on Leanna's part, Kara...not so much.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: The protagonist and Leanna finally have a very romantic first kiss at sunset on an island floating high in the air. This is Leanna's First Kiss and, depending on the player's chosen back story, may be the protagonist's as well.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The premise.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Lampshaded as shopkeeper tries to sell Leanna some literal Chainmal Bikinis.
  • Cult: Of Shadowmages, VOID.
  • The Dark Arts: Known as Shadow Magic in-universe, it's an outlawed form of magic from the kingdoms of Terra due to it's instability and association with less than trustworthy individuals.
    • Dark Is Not Evil: Still, shadow magic isn't inherently evil, it's just more accommodating to it than the other elements. Unilaterally banning even harmless shadow magic is what caused the plot's conflict to begin with.
  • Dating Sim: An unusual example, as you can only pursue a romance with one female character (the other women are either comparatively young or are attracted to someone else), but in exchange the romance is much more fleshed-out and builds more slowly than other dating sims that give you a choice of multiple characters to date.
  • Elemental Powers: Terra's magic is based on the four classical elements plus Shadow.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: The main objective of the player character is to be able to return to Earth. However, when the player does get the chance to go back to Earth, the player can choose either that or to go back to Terra instead.
  • Everyone Can See It: The PC and Leanna telling the party they're a couple is met with a complete lack of surprise.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Essentially how Shadow Transmutation works: The magic crystal gets a massive increase in power output but could explode at any moment.
  • Final Boss: The VOID cult summons a creature called the Shadow Prime Vanquisher, and this creature is the final battle in the game.
  • First Girl Wins: Confirmed by the devs that the first girl you meet, Leanna, is the only romanceable character. In the game itself, there's a very good reason why this is the case: Amelia is young enough that the other party members will discourage the protagonist from expressing interest in her, and Kara is strongly implied to be attracted to Zack instead. That leaves only Leanna as a) around the protagonist's age, and b) single.
  • Fission Mailed: Casting all your energy during the final battle with the Shadow Prime Vanquisher causes the protagonist to lose control of that energy, and at first it looks like he dies so the player might think that was the wrong choice...but it was actually the right choice, as you wake up in the ether plane and can choose for the Elementals to either send you back home to Earth or send you back to Terra. That said, casting all your energy will end poorly for real if you didn't do well in the temple trials or combat mini-games earlier.
  • Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Amelia warns that simultaneously casting four elements at once could possibly kill the hero and should be avoided. He needs to mix all five together to save the day.
  • The Gift: The protagonist quickly begins to rival Leanna as a swordsman. Once he finally manages to cast his magical skill grows by leaps and bounds as well. The magical skill is at least partly due to the Elementals granting him their power however.
  • God Guise: The Elementals were worshiped as gods when (while being very magically powerful) they are more like high ranking bureaucrats from Etheris Terra. It's unclear whether they set up the religion/s or if it was an accident.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You can name the protagonist.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Complete with a peeping option that ends surprisingly well.
  • Humans Are Special: Or rather humans from Earth are special. Earth born humans apparently can master use of all five elements far faster than humans from Terra, which is why the Elementals need one.
  • Internal Death Squad: The Cloaked Brotherhood as a whole counts as joining the group is forever and leaving is strictly forbidden. We learn later that Kara's dad was part of the group and thus why he's more than likely death, as well as Zack being a member due to a confrontation with them midway through the game.
  • Jiggle Physics: One only needs one look at Kara to understand why this is here.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The main characters almost always wear the same outfits. The only exceptions are swimwear for the Beach Episode, towels during the Hot Springs Episode and Leanna's Wolfsden armour.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Leanna. Specifically, she's a class known as a "Mage-Knight", so she's skilled with her magic and with her sword.
  • Magical Society: One of the first things you get to see in the game is the university where they teach magic.
  • Magic Eater: The pango species live off absorbing magical energy.
  • Magitek: The magic crystals that give the game it's title power everything from trains to street lights to guns.
  • Mind Manipulation: Shadow magic is capable of enhancing one's negative desires and influencing that person.
  • Multiple Endings: There are several endings, depending on what choices you make, how well you do in combat and in temple trials, and whether your relationship with Leanna is platonic or romantic.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Cloaked Brotherhood
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The mayor of Raven Pass reacts this way when he finds out that his treasurer brainwashed him into forcing heavy tax hikes onto his citizens.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: An organisation called VOID is unlikely to be friendly. The Shadow Prime Vanquisher even less so.
  • Non Standard Game Over: A few of the endings might count as this, as they cut the story short early. For example, you get "Ending A" if you go back home the very first opportunity you get, which is after the water temple.
  • Older Than They Look: Played for Laughs in the case of Amelia, who is eighteen.
  • Parents as People: Leanna's parents may be old fashioned, but her father's concerns are more nuanced than just Stay in the Kitchen traditionalism. He's honestly afraid something will happen to his daughter and thinks the safest place for her is at home. When he sees just how dedicated she is to being a Mage-Knight, he relents and gives his blessing. While he's still not completely on board with it, he's still trying.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A quick nod to Breaking Bad appears towards the end of episode two.
    • A segment of Zack questioning the MC about their intentions with Amelia, as a shout out to to Chris Hansen's "Why don't you take a seat over there" from Dateline should the player express approval for Amy to dress more skimpily.
    • Broodman Waine as a shout out to Batman, the music even shifts to something reminiscent of The Dark Knight.
    • There's an early shout out to XMen when one of the Mage Academy's teachers is a wheelchair bound bald gentleman named Professor Exavier.
    • In a shout out to PixelFade's previous work one of the Heroes of Esaria, Ex Zee, shares his name with a pop star from ACE Academy.
  • Starter Villain: Your first encounter with the VOID cult is a treasurer who is brainwashing the mayor of Raven Pass into passing heavy taxes.
  • Trapped in Another World: Within the first minute you're transported from New York to Terra, an unknown world similar to medieval Earth with magic, for some unknown reason.
  • True Companions: The main characters become this. The point at which the protagonist, Leanna and Amy insist on going with Zack and Kara to confront the Cloaked Brotherhood really drives home how close they've all become.
  • Wretched Hive: Wolfsden, to the point that Leanna feels the need to change to avoid looking like law enforcement.