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Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Release date(s) 1990, 2000
Genre Action Role-playing
Rating(s) ESRB- E (Game Boy Color release)
Platform(s) NES, GBC

Crystalis is an action Role-playing video game produced by SNK in July 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Nintendo later bought the rights to Crystalis and released it for the Game Boy Color (GBC) on June 26, 2000 with a modified storyline, new music, and some other minor modifications in gameplay (Perhaps most notably, in the GBC version monsters are no longer immune to certain swords--a common and often complained about occurrence in the NES version). The re-released Crystalis was developed by Nintendo Software Technology (NST).

In Japan, Crystalis is called God Slayer: Haruka Tenkou no Sonata (God Slayer: Sonata of the Far-Away Sky).

On the NES, Crystalis utilized the MMC3, a standard Memory Controller that allowed access to more than 64kb ROM.

The game's story appears to be heavily influenced by that of the Hayao Miyazaki anime film Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, as well as some aspects of the art design (for example, the giant insect boss in the swamp appears almost identical to the giant bugs seen in the movie).


Crystalis takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where the aftermath of a global thermonuclear war has reverted civilization to a primative, medieval state while populating much of the scorched Earth with fierce mutant creatures. What little remains of humanity lives in small, isolated enclaves, while a man known as Emperor Draygon (who controls the world's last remaining military power) is attempting to conquer what's left of the planet. To this end, Draygon is attempting to enter the Tower, an ancient weapon of mass destruction created to "oppress evil", but which would actually destroy all mutant and human life if activated.

The player takes the role of a young 20th century boy, cryogenically frozen for 100 years, who awakens to this world and, assisted by 4 sages, gradually learns that he is the destined savior of humanity who's purpose is to seek out another cryogenically frozen survivor (a girl known as Mesia), reassemble the 4 components of the legendary sword "Crystalis", and together defeat Draygon and destroy the Tower before it can end what remains of life on Earth.

Full plot outline

On October 1, 1997, a war breaks out across the world. During the fighting, the Earth's axis shifts, and mutant creatures begin to appear. The survivors realized that the war caused the shift, and vowed never to cause war on such a scale again. They erected a monument in the sky to "oppress evil forever."

Over the course of 100 years, the mutant creatures began to take over large portions of the world. The survivors, meanwhile, have fallen back to more primitive times. Small villages dot the landscape, hidden away in valleys and mountain passes that are still safe from invasion by creatures. Magic, meanwhile, has crept back into the world, and magical swords and other trinkets exist. Medicine has faded to herbalism, and religion has reverted to superstition and animatism.

In these small villages, rumors of The Tower, which was meant to oppress evil, grew sinister. Rumors appeared, suggesting that the Tower would destroy humanity if evil returned to their lands.

Only one hope remains, the Crystalis, a powerful sword that can only be formed from the four Elemental Swords.

Over the course of the game, the nameless hero (Nameless only in the NES version; in the GBC version he is named 'Simea') searches for Mesia, a girl from his own time, who was also cryogenically frozen 100 years earlier.

His journey across the Earth takes him from the village of Leaf to deep swamps, over the icy reaches of Mount Sabre, across the ocean on the back of a dolphin, to an island inhabited by zombies, to Shyron -- the last great city of the world, to the fiery imperial fortress of Goa, and into the southern deserts where the Tower hovers in the sky.

The Hero battles the four servants of the Emperor Draygon -- General Kelbesque, Sabera the Witch, Mado the Warrior, and Karmine the Wizard -- before confronting Emperor Draygon himself in a desert Pyramid.

In his quest, the Hero is aided by four sages -- Zebu, Tornel, Asina, and Kensu, who provide him with new items and powers throughout the game.

After defeating Emperor Draygon, the Hero ascends to the Tower in the Sky, where he is reunited with Mesia, receives the Crystalis from Mesia, and battles with the Tower's computer system DYNA, to save the world.

Crystalis is often considered an unheralded classic RPG of the 8-bit genre.

External link


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