#155 – Crystalis

Y’all sit down, everything’s gonna be alright.
You got this, befuddled hero.
Open up, jerk!






Am I wandering into sacrilege territory by not devoting more time and effort into Crystalis? Maybe. Crystalis is considered a cult classic by those who feel the Legend of Zelda is overrated โ€“ or so I’ve been told over in the GameFAQS review section. There is a wayward innocence about Crystalis, a feeling that maybe, just maybe, the game doesn’t know it’s a ripoff. It is a rip-off, but a well-constructed one, for the most part. Essentially, you wander from town to town, killing enemies (by charging up your sword), collecting items, and taking in the (quite lovely) scenery. I know I could do without all the odd level grinding, but I guess I shouldn’t expect much more from an action RPG released in 1990. While I enjoyed my time with the game, I’m not exactly sure what makes it so appealing to its cult fanbase. It’s a fun, relatively linear, hack-and-slash where you level up and try to save the world. The mechanics, graphics, music, and controls are all solid, but there’s nothing about this game that screams “underrated.” Games rarely scream at me anyway, but if this one were to provide me with an utterance, I’d like to think it would say, ” SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE! CRYSTALIS, GO!”


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15 replies on “#155 – Crystalis”

Nice blog, now following! (you can thank Nintendo Legend, above, for introducing me!). And yes, that really is a superb cover, I’d be tempted to buy it based on that. Then again, you shouldn’t judge a book (or game?) by its cover I suppose! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks NintendoLegend and RetroKing! Glad you enjoy the reviews! I’ll try to keep churning them out for everyone’s amusement.

Also, I understand “rip-off” is a harsh word, but it definitely is a mixture of Zelda 1 and 2 with a greater range of environments. Perhaps if I would have liked it more I would have called it a “love letter” to Zelda. Different strokes for sure!

Come on, you rated Dragon Warrior higher than Crystalis?

If you found the game too simple and linear, I have a feeling that you just didn’t go very far… It only gets better and is worth playing all the way through!

Sleepyweasel here again. ( I use this name because I do not have any of the accounts available. Not even a Google account!

Anyways, I loved this game personally. While it does have some elements of older games, I would say this game is a more polished version of those it emulates.

Better characters than the Zelda games, interesting plot and quests that revolve around more than *go into dungeon, get piece of triforce, repeat 8 times.*

Plus you get to ride a dolphin. A dolphin man… Come on.

If you didn’t play this for long then I can see how you would think it was just another action/RPG. Maybe give it another go you may find it will surprise you.


No worries, Sleepyweasel!

Yeah, I will have to give Crystalis another shot. It’s hard for me, though, when people tell me about RPGs or action/RPGs and say, “Yeah, just give it five-to-ten hours, then it gets really good!” Games should at least have an initial pull, even if it takes them awhile to get going. But yes, I will give Crystalis another shot.

And thanks for reading!

I don’t see how you can call this a rip-off of Zelda. The two games aren’t even the same genre. Zelda is an adventure/puzzle game in the vein of Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures Crystalis is a full action RPG with an in game story and and fleshed out characters. One game is an open world exploration experience, and the other is a linear story driver experience. The only thing they have in common is that you can shoot things and find items. In that sense you could just as well call it a Ikari Warriors clone. Sorry this is my favorite game of all time, gotta stick up for it ๐Ÿ™‚ This game was way ahead of it’s time. It was Secret of Mana before Secret of Mana was a thing.

@Timothy: I appreciate your passionate enthusiasm for your favorite game. Crystalis is a game I plan to re-review because I would love to spend some more time with it and see what all the fuss is about. This was early on in my quest, and my reviewing style/methods are much different now. Thanks for reading!

I agree. It is a ripoff. I disagree on it being just above average, though. I think Crystalis is better than the first Zelda (not that I think that it’s overrated), and this is just my own opinion. Even though I know the two are constantly compared, I spend zero time on video game forums, GameFAQs, what have you. I simply had a great time with Crystalis, and it will always be in my top 5 NES games. The amazing thing about it is that it plays like a true Zelda sequel even without being one. While I love Zelda II, that’s not exactly the common consensus. It plays just like the top-down NES Zelda sequel so many wanted. I found myself more directed in Crystalis than I would in Zelda, yet the game still felt open. I realize it’s linear, but the feeling of exploration and secrets still remain intact. I found the items more practical in use. I found myself enjoying it more. Different strokes, I suppose.

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