FO & Sethra Rant About GBC Crystalis Changes

by Flying Omelette & SethraShnoo

Editor's Note: This is an archive of several posts FO and Sethra made about the pointless and desecrating changes made to the GBC version of Crystalis from the original NES version.

FO: For anyone who's played Crystalis on the NES, remember towards the end, when that guy in the town of Sahara gives you a clue about Stom's Rabbit? Then you change into Stom and talk to the rabbits on the prairie, and one of them realizes you aren't really Stom, but gives you Deo's Pendant, anyway? They've completely changed this part!!!! WTF?!! Instead, the guy who gave you the rabbit clue in the NES version now asks you, "If you see Stom, tell him I have some of his possessions." So I changed into Stom, and talked to him again, and he gives you what is essentially the same item as Deo's Pendant, only now it's called Stom's Pendant!! And if you talk to the rabbit, he mistakes you for Stom (unlike in the NES version where he knew you weren't really Stom), and just gives you a Magic Ring! What the hell...? WHY did they change this?! I know this probably isn't that important to the gameplay, but it is to Crystalis fans who savored every moment of this game's plot! In the NES version, Deo was a very special rabbit, and it was sad that he knew Stom was really dead. But in this version, the rabbit has no clue. In fact, we're never even told his name is Deo! Was this how it was in the original Japanese Famicom version of Crystalis, or is Nintendo futzing up the plot! This may seem like a minor thing, but it's kind of like doing a remake of The Empire Strikes Back, and having Luke learn his Jedi powers from the Ewoks instead of Yoda!

And I swear this game's difficulty has been REALLY dumbed down. Often you're told exactly what to do, whereas you weren't in the NES Crystalis. Remember how some items were hidden in grass or water, like Akahana's Statue, the Love Pendant, and the Kirisa Plant? Now they're in treasure chests out in plain view! In the part with the Queen and Fortune Teller, when you go through the door in the Queen's chamber, they actually show her walking around back there, so there's no mystery. And why was Azteca's name changed to Tamalic? Was Tamalic his name in the original Japanese version, and had been changed to Azteca, and Nintendo decided to go with the original name? Or are they just futzing around again!?

Another thing...remember how some treasure chests were fake and would attack when you get close? Now you can tell the difference between fake and real treasure chests (they look slightly different), and they do not attack unless you absolutely try to open them. You can touch them, or walk past them, and they don't move. Why was this changed? I used to like fighting them in the NES version to build money quickly. But now that's impossible because you have to take a hit to get them to move and become vulnerable to your sword. And that doesn't add challenge, since you can't be harmed by them if you simply don't try to open them. And since you can easily tell the difference between real and fake chests, there's no real chance of accidentally opening a fake one.

Also the soundtrack is completely different. There is ~no~ excuse for this! While not quite as good as Magic of Scheherazade, Crystalis still had one of the best NES soundtracks I've ever heard. The pyramid theme, and the opening and ending themes still haunt me to this day. This, much like MoS, is one of the few soundtracks on the NES that actually evoked emotions. (Remember that really sad-sounding song when you entered the destroyed town of Joel?)Well, that's all gone. None of this music is really any good, and none of it is emotional at all. The game also has a completely new opening. I really much preferred the old opening, that showed the holocaustic world, with mutated monsters and a glimpse of the tower. It's still one of my favorites to this day. I also loved that part where the computer starts up and you input your character's name. Well, that's all gone. Emperor Draygonia looks like a Vampire on the packaging and and title screen, but he doesn't look like a vampire in the game. To me, he looks like a caped knight, clad in green armor. I never pictured him as looking like a vampire (there's already a vampire boss in the game, for crying out loud!), so why was he drawn this way, with no armor, black robes, and not even that funky horned helmet that is sort of his trademark?

Oh, yes, another part that was changed...In the NES Crystalis, I remember that you couldn't get the Warrior Ring from Akahana's friend until AFTER beating the Fortress of Goa. Even if you changed into Akahana and went to the person who had it, he wouldn't give it to you. But now you can get it anytime after you reach the area of Goa. Again, why was this changed?!

Overall, the game seems easier, too. I got much farther in one day than I can get in a couple of days when I play the NES version.

Even though I still think this is a semi-decent RPG/Adventure game for GBC, if you really want to play Crystalis the way it was meant to be played, I strongly recommend finding an NES and tracking down a copy over this abomination!

FO: Okay, I made a slight error, here. They DO mention the war in the game's opening, but other than that, there's not much evidence of it, or the effects it had on the people in the world, in the rest of the game.

I also read the story in the NES Crystalis game manual, and it sounds very much like Nintendo's interpretation in the GBC game. However, it's inconsistent with parts of the story in the actual NES game. Especially the parts about Draygon and the Tower. But that's really nothing unusual for the stories in game manuals to be somewhat inconsistent with the actual game plots. Albert Odyssey's manual has numerous discrepancies, which is odd because it's a Working Designs game.

FO: Now, this has REALLY pissed me off! The whole entire final area of the game has been changed! Instead of finding the Emperor at the end of the pyramid extension, there's a whole new, pointless area, with a high-tech looking background and enemies, and you fight DYNA here (which was the final boss of the NES Crystalis!) Once you beat DYNA, Mesia appears and gives you Crystalis and THEN you go to the tower to fight the Emperor! And the tower is all fucked up!! The layout is much different! Now you can go through those doorways, which the enemies came out of in the NES version, and I'm totally lost because all they do is warp me around to other doorways! In the NES version, you had to beat the enemies as they came out of the doors, and once they were all gone, a stairway to the next level would appear. As you climbed the stairs, alot of the backstory was revealed! Well, this is all fuckin' gone!!!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought in the NES version, the people built the tower to try to oppress evil. But it backfired on them when people realized the tower could be used as a weapon to control the world, and began fighting over it. The Emperor was attempting to gain control of the tower for himself during the course of the game. (Am I right about this, or did I misinterpret or has my memory failed me?) Well, in this version, the Emperor already has control of the Tower and uses it to stage attacks all over the world. I thought that was why the Emperor kidnapped Mesia in the NES version...because she was one of the scientists who created the tower, and he thought she could lead him to it. I remember people in Sahara telling you they saw Draygon and Mesia together (but that was also removed.)

I thought the pinnacle of the game's plot in the NES version was to destroy the tower so that NO ONE else would ever be able to use its powers for evil, again! Even though Draygon was defeated, the threat would never truly be over until the tower was destroyed, for someone else like Draygon could arise to try and take control of it, again. But now, in the GBC version, the whole game's plot is just, "Defeat the Evil Emperor and Save the World!" This story has been totally mutilated and tossed out the window! This is not a port, this is a remake, and a bad one at that...

FO: I beat this game today. The new ending sucked, too. Another thing I just now am beginning to realize...this version practically deleted all references to the nuclear holocaust that ended the world in the NES version!!! I remember Sethra telling me they didn't change the story, but they did! That element is completely gone! I also remember how, in the NES version, the true purpose of Crystalis was that it was a key of sorts that deactivated the tower when it was placed in the computer. That part was removed, too. I just don't understand this! What were they thinking, and why would they make all these drastic changes?

Sethra: I hated it, too. I beat it in only a few days. It definitely was easier, and not just because I know the game very well. I can't beat NES Crystalis that fast in that timeframe. One thing that seems to have changed...I remember in NES Crystalis some weapons would be ineffective against some enemies, but I didn't come across any enemies that were invulnerable to any of my weapons. Maybe I just always used the right weapon at the right time. But if not, then they definitely dumbed that down. And I heard that Nintendo was rewriting the game to give it a more "complete" ending. How? How could the ending to NES Crystalis be more complete than it was? When you saw that tower going down in the background, you knew it was over...but if anything seemed "incomplete", I think it had only been to leave room for a possible sequel (which, sadly, we never got.) I also didn't see how the new ending was any better. It was just typical and predictable. And the music sucked.

Sethra: Well, I just confirmed it. The thing with certain enemies being invulnerable to certain weapons was taken out. I did an experiment to prove this. In NES Crystalis, I used the warp code to get out of the Tower in my save file and return to the area surrounding Leaf. I used my thunder sword on the blue slimes in the field. When you do this, you'll hear that "ping" sound you hear when the enemy is invulnerable to your weapon. The slime will also double its size. The same thing happens with the red slimes in the cave. But on Game Boy Crystalis, if you use the thunder sword on these slimes, they still double their size, but they can be defeated with it in a few hits!

FO: Apparently, 1up has a page about the differences between the NES and GBC versions of Crystalis, and they claim the final boss fight of the GBC version had been cut from the NES version because of limited memory space.

What the fuckity fuck fuck?!? I don't know if they just made that up or if they got that information from someplace else, but it's complete and utter bullshit. The final boss fight of Crystalis WAS in the NES version, but it came earlier in the story. The people who made the GBC version screwed it up and for some reason, had you fight DYNA before Emperor Draygon. If people had actually paid a lick of attention to the story they'd know WHY you fought Draygon earlier. It wasn't because of some out-of-memory problem, it was because you had to stop him from getting ahold of the flying tower.

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