The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series is a Final Fantasy sub-franchise made exclusively on Nintendo consoles. The series is based on the original game, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, which was released in 2004. At E3 2005, it was announced that a series of games would be released based around the world of the first game.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is the original game released for the GameCube.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates is a prequel of Crystal Chronicles released for the Nintendo DS. It follows the tales of twin siblings Yuri and Chelinka.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is a sequel for the Wii available only through WiiWare. It takes place directly after the original game when the Miasma has cleared up and the young King Leo begins to restore his Kingdom. Discontinued.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time is a sequel to Ring of Fates. A game for both the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS, it follows the tale of a girl named Sherlotta and a mysterious crystal.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord is a sequel to My Life as a King for the Nintendo Wii available only through WiiWare. It follows the daughter of the former Darklord, the villainous Mira, who protects the Dark Crystal in her tower from heroes. Discontinued.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is a sequel for the Wii, taking place long, long after the original Crystal Chronicles. It follows the adventures of the heroic crystal bearer Layle.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is a remaster of the original 2003 game, released for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS and Android devices.
Two manga adaptations based on the series have also been made. Neither have seen an official release outside of Japan.
- (ファイナルファンタジー・クリスタルクロニクル はてなきそらのむこうに, Fainaru Fantajī Kurisutaru Kuronikuru Hatenaki Sora no Mukō ni?, lit. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Beyond the Endless Sky): A three-volume manga based on the original game. Art by Ryunosuke Ichikawa.
- (ファイナルファンタジー・クリスタルクロニクル リング・オブ・フェイト 4コマアンソロジーコミック, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates 4-Panel Anthology Comic?): A manga based on Ring of Fates.
Themes and elements
All games in the Crystal Chronicles series take place in the same world, though at different periods of time, as with the Ivalice Alliance project. One main aspect involves the four tribes of the Crystal Chronicles universe: Clavat, Selkie, Yuke, and Lilties, all with different physical aspects and unique traits. Another creature that commonly appears are the Carbuncles, based on the summon from the Final Fantasy series, Carbuncle.
The series also has several recurring characters. Stiltzkin, the traveling moogle, is the only character to appear in every installment to date. Lich has made a few appearances as both a character and a boss. There are also four recurring locations thus far; Kilanda Islands, Rebena Te Ra, River Belle Path, and Alfitaria.
In terms of gameplay, the Crystal Chronicles games differ greatly from the main Final Fantasy series, and are more action and multiplayer-based. There is also a recurring mini-game, Moogle Paint, where the player has the option of painting a moogle.
Several recurring themes include:
- Crystals are usually a main part of the story and revolve around a piece of the Great Crystal or the Great Crystal itself.
- In Crystal Chronicles, shards of the Great Crystal protected everyone from the Miasma. In Ring of Fates the main antagonist Hierophant Galdes is trying to obtain the power of the Great Crystal. Crystals are also part of peoples everyday life, one specifically Chelinka held when she was born plays an important role in the life of her and her brother Yuri. In My Life as a King a shard of the Great Crystal grants King Leo the power of "Architek" to help rebuild his Kingdom. In Echoes of Time, the village that the Hero inhabits, the crystal keeps the villagers in the physical realm. In "Crystal Bearers", four crystals (one for each tribe) represents the tribe's lifeline; evident when the Yukes disappear when the Yuke Crystal is destroyed.
- Family plays a role in the life of the main characters.
- In Crystal Chronicles characters receive letters from family members and the players reply to the letter effect the type of gifts they receive from family members. In Ring of Fates the story revolves around the relationship between the twin brother and sister, Yuri and Chelinka. In My Life as a King the story deals with King Leo relationship with his father, the former King, King Epitav. Also, the relationship citizens have with their families help in the reconstruction of Padarak. In Echoes of time, the Hero has close knit relationships with the whole of the village and with its leader Sherlotta.
- Memories sometimes play a large or small role in the story.
- In Crystal Chronicles, many characters start to forget things or in some cases lose huge chunks of their memories, such as the case with the Black Knight. In Ring of Fates, Yuri and Chelinka must help heal the soul of their father with his memories of the past. In My Life as a King, King Leo's memories of his old kingdom are what help create the buildings using Architek. Some buildings that he has never seen before are created with the help of the Moogle Brothers' memories of their old homeland. In Echoes of Time, memories surface as flashbacks when the Hero places a fragment of the crystal in the pool, and when Sherlotta reveals her story.
While Square Enix has stated that the Crystal Chronicles games take place in the same world, it has not been made clear how they are connected, though there have been a handful of hints.
Ring of Fates takes place during the Golden Age, where all the tribes lived in peace, and when the Great Crystal protected the people from the "malefic glow of the blood-red moon". Rebena Te Ra stands as an illustrious city and capital of the Age, a mingling place for all peoples. At some point during the following 8000 years, an age of prosperity was born when the Clavat scientist Larkeicus creates technology powered by special crystals dubbed Crystal Cores. Despite the initial prosperity, the Crystal Cores started to disappear from the world. Using the power of the crystals, Larkeicus saw a magical explosion in the future that was destroying Crystal Cores. He discovered a way to become truly immortal using the crystals, and spent those 2,000 years building a tower to locate and eliminate the source of the explosion. The woman Sherlotta, also rendered immortal by Larkeicus's experiments, ends up thwarting his plans and reveals that his own actions cause the Crystal Cores to die out.
The Golden Age is forcibly ended across the world when a meteor strikes and fragments fragments the Great Crystal, setting up the events of the original Crystal Chronicles. The meteor carried an alien lifeform dubbed the Meteor Parasite, which spreads poisonous miasma across the world. Monsters are immune, but towns, villages and other settlements throughout must be protected from the ill effects of miasma by fragments of the Great Crystal, which generate a barrier that miasma cannot penetrate. The crystals' effect last around a year before they must be recharged with the liquid myrrh obtained from "myrrh trees". Due to its close proximity to the Meteor's point of impact, Rebena Te Ra becomes a monster-filled ruin. The players, members of the the Tipa Caravan, eventually defeat the Meteor Parasite, ridding the world of miasma.
My Life as a King and My Life as a Darklord takes place shortly after Crystal Chronicles and portrays the world as free from the effects of miasma as kingdoms are rebuilding. My Life as a King shows a previously-ruined kingdom slowly rebuilding itself, while My Life as a Darklord shows the newly-crowned Darklord Mira creating a haven for monsters before forming a peaceful alliance with the other races.
One thousand years after Crystal Chronicles, by the events of The Crystal Bearers, the balance of power has changed. In the intervening years, the Lilties and Yukes engage in a war that eventually results in the extinction of the Yukes when their tribe's Crystal is destroyed. Magic begins to disappear, and the world begins to run on mechanical technology powered by crystals, fragments of the shattered Yuke Crystal. During this time, the Crystal Bearers begin to emerge, as people with magically-infused crystal shards in their bodies, giving them powers. The story ends with the Yuke Crystal being restored, rescuing the balance between races and removing the powers from nearly all Crystal Bearers.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
Creation and development
The series was created by Akitoshi Kawazu. The original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was released on August 8 2003, and was the first Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy VI, for the SNES in 1994, to be released for a Nintendo console. While doing this, the creators tried to make Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles a unique game, separating itself from other Final Fantasy games.
At E3 in May 2005, two games, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates for Nintendo DS, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers for Wii, were announced as part of a sub-series to the Final Fantasy series, sharing common themes and based on the world with the original game.
Though four games have been released, and two in current development as of May 2009, since the announcement of The Crystal Bearers, the game's release and details about the game are very scarce. The first new trailer since 2007 was released with the Wii version of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time in January 2009. In November 2008, in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly stated that the game had been "quietly cancelled", though Square Enix responded saying that they fully intend to release the game. Crystal Bearers was released on December 26th 2009.
- Akitoshi Kawazu — Executive Producer of the Crystal Chronicles series.
- Toshiyuki Itahana — Character designer for the Crystal Chronicles games; director of The Crystal Bearers.
- Kumi Tanioka — Music composer for the Crystal Chronicles games.