Crystal Chronicles Basic Guide

Beginning

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is an action RPG for Game Cube. It was originally a one-time spin-off game, but later gained several titles set in the same world but different time periods. The game features a single player and multi player modes, and while just about everything in the game can be done in both modes the multi player mode is widely regarded as vastly superior as long as you have the means to set it up. Up to 4 players can play the game simultaneously.

To play the multi player mode a separate GBA and a GC-GBA link cable is needed for each player. Only the single player mode is played with the traditional GC controller. It bears noting that this stands and is doable also while playing the game on the Wii, as Wii has the capability to play GC games as well as its own.

There are no experience points and levels in the game, gaining strength happens by crafting or buying better weapons, armor and accessories for yourself, and character-specific stat ups are gained by obtaining treasures and/or artifacts within the game's dungeons. Treasures are stat-up bonuses only usable within the dungeon it's obtained in, artifacts are stat-up bonuses you gain at the end of the dungeon and are permanent.

While the game doesn't feature very many direct shops where you buy items only with the game's currency gil, there are also various crafting shops that require you to bring in specific items as materials for making the equipment requested.

Playing the Game

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The flow of the game is rather simple. The story flows in years, and your goal is to gather your Crystal Chalice full of Myrrh. You need four drops of Myrrh, each gathered from a different dungeon, to get to the end of the year - note that you are directly ported to the year-ending sequence once you've received your last drop, so be sure to finish any business you have before entering your final Myrrh-dungeon. You start each year in the starting town that you get to name yourself.
Once a dungeon's Myrrh drop has been gathered, it will not gain more Myrrh until after 3 years has passed. Entering a dungeon during the time there is no Myrrh available from it doesn't take up any of your available time for that year even if you complete the dungeon.

Between dungeons and cities, you enter the world map. You cannot move freely, only point which location you want to enter and your caravan will take the shortest route available and head for your destination. At every 'node' (crossroads) on the map that you cross there is a certain possibility that an event will happen. These events are largely progress reports and trade requests from the Caravans of other cities and towns, but include your Caravan meeting other travelers as well.

Regions of the map are separated by Miasma Streams. To cross a stream your Crystal Chalice must have the same element as the element of the stream is currently. The element of a certain stream changes every year, and cycles through all the basic elements in a period of four years. See the miasma stream page for more details.

The Crystal Chalice is important for other reasons than just for holding your myrrh for you. The crystal on top of it protects your caravaners from the deadly Miasma around the world. Stepping into the miasma unprotected means that your HP is constantly depleted, only within the crystal chalice's area of protection are you safe from this effect. In the single player game, your companion Mog will carry the chalice at most times and follow you automatically. In multi player mode, one of the players must always carry the chalice.

Character Creation

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There is no set main character in Crystal Chronicles, instead you must create one yourself. You can create up to 8 characters in a single save file, and all characters are usable in both single and multi player mode. The only difference that from among these characters only one can be active at any given time in single player mode, while in multi player mode up to 4 of them can be at use at a single time.

The game has four races to choose from, those of Clavat, Selkie, Yuke and Lilty. Each player character comes from a family with a certain job, like Fisherman, Tailor, Alchemist or Rancher. To see the lits of all jobs for families and what effect they have on your game, see Families. Each family includes the caravaner (player character), a mother and a father and two siblings.

Each race has certain traits unique to them, as well as weapons and armor only they can use. Clavats are all-rounders, Selkie quick fighters with a lower charge time for Force attacks, Yukes have a lower cast time for spells, and Lilty are another well-rounded race, just with a different focus from the Clavatian flavor of it. No name suggestions are given for player characters, although each race/gender combination had a marketing name. You can see the details here.

You can create a new character any time on the world map as long as you have a slot free for them, but it bears noting that a you repeatedly clear dungeons they become stronger than before, and it is entirely possible to create a character well into your game's save file, after which you fail to clear even the easiest dungeon available to you due to their high difficulty. This means that your character cannot gain more stat bonuses to make clearing dungeons easier. It might be recommended to fill up your character roster as full as you intend to make it and use all characters regularly to keep them within the range where beating dungeons is possible for you. What exactly this point is depends on your level of skill in not taking any damage.

Battle Basics

Battle is very simple in Crystal Chronicles. A stands for attack, and pressing A for a long time will make you execute a Force attack. Other than for Attack, you can set the A button to correspond to various spells or usable items in your possession or to defend. The active command set to A can be changed with the L and R buttons.
B is for canceling actions, picking up or throwing down items, opening treasure chests and such.

When in single player mode, X commands Mog to either pick up or put down the Crystal Chalice, and Y is set for main menu. In multi player mode these two buttons (as well as Mog) are missing. In exchange, you can access your own personal menu by pressing Select. It bears noting that in both single and multi player mode you can't move or otherwise command your character. What makes this more complicated in the multi player function is that time doesn't stop while you navigate the menus, so your friends will have to be on guard for any enemies that happen by.

It bears noting that before entering a dungeon (where all battles happen), you have to set your available commands. Attack and Defense are the only ones there by default, but you can add any magic (providing you have magicite available) and items. If you fail to fill up the slots before entering a dungeon they fill up automatically with magicite and consumables you find within the dungeon.

Multi-Player Mode

As mentioned previously, playing the multi player mode requires each participant to have a GBA and a GC-GBA link cable. Up to four players can play simultaneously.

Crystal Chronicles is peculiar in that each save file and each character in said save file can be used in both single player and multi player mode. Which mode the save file is loaded in depends on your own choice before loading it, and said choice is presented to you each time you load a save file.

Characters for additional players in multi player mode are made exactly the same way as in single player mode, although via the GBA screen instead of the main display (likely your TV). However, in addition to creating new characters or using old ones from the same save file, you can import a character from a different memory card (and naturally, a different save file) for playing in multi player mode. Once you're done playing with the imported character, you can transfer the progress they've made back to the original save file.

Since each character is controlled with a separate GBA, this gives certain advantages for the multi player mode over single player mode, considering how each character has an additional screen of their own. At the start of a dungeon every player is given a different map of the area, and depending on their personal goals the people with various maps can share their information or use it to their own advantage. The different maps are regular map showing the way ahead, a treasure radar and an enemy radar. This feature is completely missing in single player mode.

For each dungeon each player is given a certain objective to fulfill. This can range from using a certain kind of magic to not making certain actions or picking up many items. You get points for executing the right type of action, or alternately lose points for executing the wrong type of action (in this latter case, your points start out at max instead of from 0 like with the other type of objective). At the end of each dungeon during the artifact selection, the player with the most points gets to choose their artifact first from among the treasures presented for choosing. Thus, the player who consistently gets the most points results in having a better character than the other player(s). Whether the players choose to cooperate in fulfilling these objectives (and obtaining artifacts) or to be competitive about it is completely up to them.
This feature exists in single player mode too, but it hardly has any effect on gameplay there, considering there are no other players present who could gain points as well.

Abilities

There aren't very many abilities available in Crystal Chronicles. You have your basic attack and defense naturally, but other than that your only other weapon ability is your Force attack. The Force attack you have available for the moment depends on which weapon you have equipped.

There are also spells available. Each spell requires you to have the corresponding magicite in your inventory. To cast the spell of the magicite, move your command selection to the magicite you want to use with L or R and press A like you would for a Force attack. Magicite isn't consumed with use, but you cannot bring magicite outside of the dungeon you found it in. To gain a spell permanently available to you you must find an artifact called a magicite ring, naturally of the corresponding magicite.
Other than for the basic spells available from magicite, there are stronger fusion spells available. In single player mode your companion Mog sometimes casts magic, but whether you are able to fusion spells with him is not guaranteed. In multi player mode you can time your spells with your friends and gain easy access to the stronger ones.

In addition to Attack and Defend, you must set items to have other commands available. Switching through these commands happens with R and L. The other commands include Magicite and Magicite rings (ie spells) and various items.

You can find a full list of all abilities here.

Items and Commerce

Items can be picked up from dungeons and bought or crafted within cities. In addition, there is a chance your family sends you items with their letters that you receive at the end of each dungeon you recover a drop of myrrh from. You also get items from your family at the start of each year should you talk to them in the town and their happiness level with you is high enough.

To craft an item, not only do you need gil and the material items for it, but also the appropriate recipe. Recipes can be found within dungeons.

To find a list of all items, see here. To see a list of the crafting scrolls, see here.

Stats and Their Meanings

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Crystal Chronicles has very basic stats for each character. These stats are Strength, Magic and Defense. Strength corresponds with the power of your physical attacks, Magic with the power of your spells, both healing and attacking, and Defense determines your defensive strength.

In addition, the number of the memories you have for the character determines certain aspects of the gameplay at the end of the game's story.

Status Abnormalities

There are 10 different status abnormalities in Crystal Chronicles. These are Burn, Freeze, Shock, Slow, Haste, Paralysis, Curse, Poison, Petrification and Death.

Burn appears as flames dancing on your character. You receive periodic damage and your defense is lowered. Freeze encases you in a block of ice and you cannot move. Shock paralyzes you in place, likewise preventing you from moving. With Slow your movement and attacking speed decrease and with Haste they increase. Paralysis is almost exactly like Shock in that it stops your movement with electricity. Poison decreases your HP periodically, Stone is yet another status that disables your movement, and curse cuts all your attributes in half temporarily.

Death means your HP has reached 0 and you cannot act. In single player mode dying means a game over, while in multi player mode you can still revive as long as one character remains alive. In multi player mode all characters need to die to reach a game over.

Blazing Caravans

In addition to the main game, a mini-game called Blazing Caravans is available. To play it, you need matching sets of Mog Stamps. To see more of the game, see here.


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