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Webcomic / Crystal Heroes

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Crystal Heroes is an Urban Fantasy webcomic based on Eastern RPG tropes incorporated into a society not unlike our own. Basically, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to modern America.

The story follows Marina, a young woman going to Wyrmcaller University, which may seem like an Extranormal Institute, but is just a normal college in their extranormal world.

The plot starts when the university's librarians accidentally misplace a book she needed for a literature class into the Forbidden Section, an RPG dungeon, Magical Library-style built below the completely ordinary school library.


To undertake the quest to retrieve the book, she recruits her friend Isaac, a mages' rights activist; Garrett, a stoic jock with Hot Blooded Sideburns; and Ayanna, a shy girl who joins to live out her favorite video games.

The comic started in early 2017, and after a lengthy hiatus, returned in 2018 with a playable scene made in RPG Maker featuring full 16-bit style sprites and a first-person turn-based battle system.


Crystal Heroes contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Subverted. Marina readily charges into the dungeon but responds to the party's first battle by freezing up and bursting into tears.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The party's first battle is with a swarm of flying books.
  • Antimagical Faction: The dominant religion of Ramecia appears to be one, though they practice White Magic themselves.
  • Animesque: The art style has something of a 70s/80s shoujo look to it, especially after the...
  • Art Evolution: Probably due to the year-long hiatus, the art looks quite a bit different in the scene after the game scene than the one before.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: What Garrett is during gameplay.
  • Black Mage: Isaac, though he seems to prefer the term "elemental mage."
  • Black and White Magic: In typical Final Fantasy fashion.
  • Black and Nerdy: Ayanna.
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  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The religion of the setting itself involves worshipping a goddess, and the Christ figure is a stereotypical RPG party, but the trappings of the religion and its position in modern society resemble Christianity.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: With Marina as the tank, Garrett and Isaac as the damage, and Ayanna as the healer.
  • Distressed Dude: Marina decides to actually go in the dungeon when her boyfriend Tom goes inside to fetch her book and never returns.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Isaac joins Marina's party purely because he think's Garrett's hot and wants to spend time with him if he's going. Then grows to dislike him soon after, and states he would go for Marina's sake anyway.
  • Dumb Jock: Garrett. Or, at the very least, more concerned with parties and girls than his homework.
  • Dungeon Crawler: Both in the sense of what the plot is about, and in that the gameplay segment actually is one.
  • The Empire: The books in the library mention multiple, including the one that colonized Ramecia.
  • Everyone is a Super: One of the books in the library states that all humans are capable of using both white and black magic, most just choose not to, and some are better than others at it.
  • Expy: Garrett looks like if Kenshiro or Jotaro tried to dress and act like a modern jock.
  • Extraordinary World, Ordinary Problems: The plot is kicked into gear when the characters go into a Magical Library RPG-style dungeon to get a library book that Marina needs for a lit study class which got put there by a clerical error.
  • Faceless Masses: Background characters tend to range from nebulous silhouettes to literally faceless people.
  • Freak Out: Marina bursts into tears and tries to run away from the dungeon when the party badly loses their very first fight.
  • Genki Girl: Marina acts like one, anyway and Ayanna, to an extent, at least where her interests are involved.
  • Hair Decorations: Marina wears not one, but eight hair clips.
  • Hot-Blooded: Garrett switches between this and The Stoic on a dime.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Garrett has them, but they're drawn fairly realistically.
  • Inelegant Blubbering : Marina does this, complete with wailing and trails of snot, when the party's first battle goes poorly.
  • Low Fantasy: Low, low fantasy, almost to the point of Magical Realism.
  • Magical Library: Though it's implied that it's a pretty normal library by the characters' standards.
  • Manly Tears: Parodied when Garrett bursts into them while telling a story in which nothing particularly tragic happened.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Nobody regards monsters, magic, or dungeons as anything more than slightly uncommon to deal with. Nobody is surprised about their existence, and magic has been scientifically analyzed over the years, as opposed to being thought of as physically impossible.
  • Mysterious Past: Tom and Marina are stated to have been in an adventurer party together in the past, and imply that he did something to get hurt for her sake at some point, but nothing else has been revealed beyond that.
  • No Name Given: No one's last name has been mentioned so far. We do know, however, that Tom's starts with an S.
  • Opening Narration: Parodied. Not only does it make the setting look more like a Standard Fantasy Setting than it really is, it's also being delivered by an evangelist preaching on the university's campus.
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Played with. Though there's not much more to read than normal for this trope, the books the player can read in the library are stated to just be excerpts of single pages, rather than entire books.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Ayanna's staff is very clearly electronic in nature, and there are books in the library about the scientific study of magic as a biological process.
  • Retraux: Not the comic itself, but the RPG scene is done in a pseudo 16-bit style.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Marina. Though how sweet one finds her is up to personal interpretation.
  • Role-Playing Game Verse: The setting is intended to be a play on RPG settings. However, though the characters may refer to black and white magic, bosses, and dungeons by name, it's nothing so in-depth to make it a RPG-Mechanics Verse.
  • Significant Anagram: To drive home the "modern fantasy setting" point, Ramecia, the country the story takes place in, is an anagram for America, rearranged to sound more fantasy-y.
  • Shout-Out: Tom is introduced having a long argument on the phone about Scooby-Doo, even though the comic doesn't take place in the real world.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Or used to be one, anyway.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: The beginning of the library dungeon. Except, in a Medium Blending way, the video game moment is actually playable.
  • Turn-Based Combat: In the RPG scene.
  • The Quiet One: Ayanna.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: There was a deleted bonus page where Ayanna was shown to be reading yaoi underneath the book she's introduced reading.

Example of: