Last month, the website Hardcore Gaming 101 graciously published a lengthy article I wrote on the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series. However, being my own worst critic, I can’t help but look back on it and see all the things I could have done better. I feel that the writing is a tad over par for me, having used the same phrases over and over, and it could be smoother in some places. Also, being one of the largest writing projects I’ve taken on, I wrestled a lot with what to include and what to leave out. Ultimately, I favored brevity and flow over detail, but I feel there are some things I should have found room for.
I feel like I want to revise the article at some point if I could, although it probably doesn’t make much difference. The series itself tends to be ignored, and I hoped that the article might turn some people on to it, but I get the feeling that not too many cared either way. Apathy is the worst reaction a writer can get. Someone could’ve at least had the decency to tell me it sucked (and that I sucked for writing it, etc.), but oh well. I wrote it because I wanted to, and because I felt that HG101 should have it covered. So, any revisions would be for the same reasons, and for my own posterity.
But for the time being, I wanted to address some of the issues here.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
An interesting aspect of this game that I neglected to mention was that each area has multiple iterations. When you return to an area in which the myrrh has regenerated, it changes, adding new and stronger enemies, and sometimes even opening up new paths and areas. New artifacts also become available. This is worth mentioning because it’s an aspect that was somewhat carried over into further games. Ring of Fates implemented it in its New Game+ and increasing difficulty levels. In Echoes of Time, you visit multiple versions of the same area in one playthrough. The Crystal Bearers has multiple iterations of its miasma streams, which I actually did mention in the article.
While I mentioned the multiplayer mode, and how it utilized the GBA linking ability of the GameCube, I didn’t talk about how that affected the gameplay. There’s a major emphasis on cooperation, as each player can acquire unique information on his/her own GBA screen, such as a map, and where items and enemies are located. There’s also a racing mini-game that can only be played on the GBA called “Blazing Caravans,” which was also included in Ring of Fates.
One interesting misconception about the first game is that it is indeed possible to use the GBA as a controller without having multiple players. You simply play in “Multi-player Mode” with only one player. This also allows you access to the Blazing Caravans mini-game on your own, but of course, you also don’t have Mog to carry the chalice for you.
Finally, there’s an odd little feature called “Moogle Paint” that lets you sort of customize Mog to a degree. You can spray paint him with either red, blue or green, and it supposedly affects what spells he casts when you attempt spell fusion. You can also use a scissors to clip his fur, which actually helps in hot areas like Mount Kilanda, because it keeps Mog cool, and he doesn’t get tired as quickly.
Ring of Fates
As mentioned above, Ring of Fates had its own version of the different iterations by allowing the player to start a New Game+, which increased the difficulty and changed some of the levels a little bit. It also brought back both the Blazing Caravans mini-game, as well as Moogle Paint. The latter, however, was just for fun this time around, as there was no moogle following you around in this game. In Japan and North America, there was a contest in which players could send in their moogle paint creations (which I think went on to become the basis for some armor in Echoes of Time).
While Ring of Fates did not feature online play as Echoes of Time did, it did have a minor online component in which players could trade items and moogles (which I think was how contest entries were submitted).
Also, there was a special edition Nintendo DS released in Japan with Ring of Fates artwork printed on it. It was bundled with the game, and called the “Gemini Edition.”
Echoes of Time
Just a quick error I wanted to point out: In the article, I mention that each of the four tribes can equip either of their previous weapon types in this game. But actually, any tribe can equip any weapon, so long as there aren’t specific restrictions. So, if you want a Clavat archer or a spear-wielding Yuke, you can equip them as you see fit!
The Crystal Bearers
This isn’t too big a deal, but in the article, I mention that The Crystal Bearers ends on a “cliffhanger.” But looking back on it, “cliffhanger” is a rather strong word. The story has adequate resolution and doesn’t overtly leave any loose threads. It’s hard to explain without spoiling it, but it does leave you with the impression that there was the intention of continuing the story (aside from a message that practically tells you as much).
So, those are the things I thought needed to be addressed. As I said, I might revise the actual article if I get the opportunity, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.