Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was an odd, spinoff to the main series Final Fantasy games, released for the GameCube waaaaaaaay back in 2003. The game was an optionally multiplayer real-time RPG that tasked players with treading through a Miasma-filled world to collect Myrrh, which will keep their village safe year to year. As the game progressed, your team would journey farther out into the world, uncovering mysteries and eventually saving the world.
With Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered on the horizon, let’s take a look back at this memorable classic and what made it such a hit that it went on to spawn 5 sequels.
One of the most immediate challenges with this game was the required GameBoy Advances and Link Cables that were needed to play with multiple people. While all of the action happened on the TV screen, the GameBoy served a variety of other functions, essentially acting as a retro WiiU Gamepad. The problem? Finding 3 friends with their own GameBoy Advance and a Link Cable for each of them…
Despite these limitations, the game was a hit, scoring an 80 on Metacritic, with fans of the game ardently supporting it. the unique gameplay, team mechanics and custom characters were all points in the game’s favour, essentially creating a party RPG of sorts.
There were four races to choose from in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Clavat, Yuke, Lilty and Selkie. Each one handled differently and essentially acted as your class throughout the game. Clavat were the balanced class, capable of a little bit of everything, but largely dependent on a basic sword and shield style. As a gentle, farming race, they usually preferred eating fresh fruit to heal, and had a large farming community later in the game the player could visit.
The Yukes were a secluded, mystic race that actually had no physical form – they had ascended beyond it. Adept at magic, being a member of this race allowed you access to the Yuke capital immediately.
The Lilty were the strongest of the races, despite their diminutive size. Lacking much talent for magic, and with a taste for meat, they dealt the most damage.
Selkies were speedy and usually ended up as thieves. The most agile class, they moved quick, though they didn’t hit as hard as a result. Being a Selkie allowed you to read ancient Selkie text, as well as participate in a Selkie-exclusive minigame in their hometown.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles had a story centered largely around lost memories, including your own. As you progressed through the game, you would get more memories, which would help prepare you for a final encounter against the antagonist. Characters around you would be similarly impacted, as as you progressed from year to year, NPC’s interactions with you would change.
It was this dynamic game design that made the series so unique and interesting to newcomers. It was widely accessable to those who had never played a Final Fantasy title, and it appealed to those who desperately wanted a multiplayer role-playing game, despite the lack of the Gamecube’s online services.
With the release of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered coming in 2019, fans will be able to recapture that joy and newcomers can experience one of the most unique RPGs of a generation for the first time. Saddle up your caravans!