Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Game 15: Crystalis (NES) - Kensu, Master of Disguise

Taking the boat out of Portoa dropped me outside a boathouse that is mysteriously devoid of boats. Inside was Kensu, the last wise man, but he was less than helpful. I can't imagine how anyone else gets around the water. The boat I used to reach here disappeared and there weren't any others. No wonder I needed the shell flute.

I took out the shell flute, summoned the dolphin, and enjoyed a ride around the bay. I found a shrine (couldn't find anything to do at the time), a lighthouse, and a few cave entrances. The first cave was blocked by an invisible barrier.
Well thank you narrator
The town of Joel was found on a separate island, but didn't offer much in the way of useful information. Some plot points mentioned Mesia went to the other island, called Evil Spirit Island, as a sacrifice to the sorceress. So really, its only purpose is to point me towards the cave I was just at. After making the loop I found myself in a nearly deserted and dilapidated town.
Nice mindless zombie
A sorceress had come through and turned everyone into zombies... friendly zombies, not the brain eating types. I found Carl, the town of Joel's Mayor's brother, who blamed the current mess on an evil sorceress from Draygonia. Beyond the town was a fortress. Inside was a new type of enemy that I'm still unsure of how to kill. They're invisible stalkers, identified by a moving shadow.
How do I hit you?
At the end of the fortress I found Mesia standing in the middle of what I thought was a boss room. She said the sorceress was waiting in the back. Being the hero (and her repeating the same text), I headed off to face this monster only to find Mesia on a platform out of reach. I had been tricked! The only option was to drop down a pit, which put me back a few rooms.
"Go away?" Is that how you welcome your rescuer?
Once I made my way back, I interrogated the fake Mesia until she cracked. The sorceress, Sabera, one of the four generals appeared; she's decidedly the easiest of the first two. Weak against the fire sword, I used the level three spell to take her out almost immediately.
The sprite count limit really shows with this attack
The level 3 powers cost MP to use, so the only time I can really see myself using them are at bosses. The wind sword has a tornado wall that breezes past enemies too quickly to use. The fire sword has an area explosion that's more useful than D&D fireballs. The water sword has swirling snowflakes that have a good chance of hitting multiple times.
You think you've won, but you haven't
Like the first general, Sabera escaped, but not before making a dramatic escape with Mesia in tow. She left behind a broken statue. Her enchantment over the townspeople was broken, and as a reward from Carl I received the Eye Glasses. Looking in the manual I equated these to the X-Ray Goggles, which are supposed to let me "see through the secret storage room door." Well, not much of a secret now is it?
Secret door that's always been there, but not accessible until the right plot device is found
I stumbled into Kensu sleeping at the lighthouse, woke him with an alarm flute, and received the Glow Lamp. Using the lamp on the broken statue made it whole again. Placing this statue at the shrine dispersed a whirlpool blocking my egress to the next area.
Oh, was this the Angry Sea?
The next area was the town of Swan, which is controlled by the Draygonia Empire. Soldiers guarded the gateway to the next area, and won't let me pass. At least the ones in the town are less hostile.
Okay, I'm leav...why are you attacking me?
Stom was hiding out in a shack, and informed me that the last wise man, Kensu, was missing. I used telepathy and was told he was searching for something he had lost. The manual mentions a Love Pendant needed to learn the magic of disguise. Just what I needed to get past the guards.
Yeah, I just drag him off by the scruff of his neck once he stops teleporting
Well, I'm not sure how long it would have taken to find normally, but I remembered this was the hint I needed from Nintendo Power. The Love Pendant was hiding in discrete unmarked part of the underground river behind the castle of Portoa only accessible from the angry sea riding the dolphin.
For anyone still searching, it's right here
With love pendant in hand I quickly found Kensu... is what I'd like to write. In reality, I had no clue where he was. Telepathy only repeated the same "lost something" message. I searched the entire known world; backtracked to the very beginning once again. I searched everywhere. At least half an hour retracing my steps.
I suppose he does say where the Love Pendant is, too bad there's no hint about his location
At that point I did what any sane man would do, went crazy. I went through the towns paralyzing everyone. I'm not sure why I was doing this. But as soon as I paralyzed everyone in the tavern at Swan I found Kensu was there posing as a soldier.
He disappeared before I could use the amulet. It didn't take quite as long the second time around.  I found an extra girl in the party house (some rebellious teenagers setup a dance hall). I knew it was Kensu, but the Love Pendant didn't do anything. I had to paralyze her/him again, talk to him/her, and then I hurried to use the pendant. This time it worked. I don't think speed was a factor, but I wasn't taking a risk of him disappearing again.
No, I'm supposed to escort you there
I received the Change magic, which allows me to take on the guise of Stom, a random soldier, a woman, or Ahakana (the merchant I keep helping). I used the soldier disguise, and was admitted access to the next area. The town of Goa was locked down, which figures as it's the capital city of the empire. The castle was enclosed by a giant iron wall that shoots fireballs, so I looked elsewhere.
This is how I learned this disguise was Stom
Located to the southwest is Shyron, the final gathering place of the wise men. They instructed me to climb Mt. Hydra to retrieve the Thunder Sword, and provided a key to a locked gate. By this point I'm a bit sick of the dungeons that all look the same, and the step-by-step locked path I'm on. I quickly retrieved the sword I sought, and was teleported back to Shyron to speak with Azteca.
So, instead of preventing the end of the world, you waited for it happen before doing something?
After the plot updates it was back to storming the castle. My assault was cut short though as I received a message that Shyron was being attacked. I teleported back, but it was too late. Everyone in town was dead, the wise men were nowhere to be found.
I wonder if Akahana would be here if I left him as a statue
In their place I faced off against the third general, a ninja by the name of Mado. His attack was to turn into a ball and bounce around the room. Every now and then he'd stop and throw shuriken. I took him out without trouble with the help of the water sword's level three magic. He left behind a vital piece to getting through Goa castle, the Ball of Thunder. This second level magic destroys iron gates.
By destroyed he means kidnapped
Storming the castle took a good amount of time. The castle is separated into four sections where I faced off against each general; after each one, I met a wise man that refilled my health and magic.
Barrier is the only way I could get close enough to attack
The three generals were a lot more powerful. This translates to larger more frequent projectiles and increased speed. The first was easily dispatched by using the barrier spell (once I remembered I had it), which blocks projectiles. The second once again fell quickly to the same level three fire magic tactic. The third died to a final blow moments before I would have met my own demise.
Can't get much closer than this...
The final general had a special attack that would turn my character into a powerless slime. The only counter to this is an item, of which I only had one. Eventually I managed to avoid this attack, dispatched the general, and cured Kensu as well (who fell victim to the monster transformation). I was told the emperor already absconded with Mesia to a Pyramid, and I should use the back way to get out... there's a back way?
...the other side of the coin; I failed as the boss died
I received flight, which was needed to exit the back way. According to the manual there's only the Pyramid and the Tower in the Sky as the areas left unexplored. With this post out of the way, I won't feel so far behind in my updates as I press on towards the end.
Session Time: 2h57m (Total Time: 6h22m)


  1. Between the friendly zombies, the crazy hero paralyzing entire towns, and the boss that turns the hero into a slime (which he probably deserves after paralyzing so many innocent people), I'm not at all sure what to make of this game.

  2. True story: I've beaten this game. I know that I have because I wrote it down, along with the date I finished it, on a list I keep of completed games. However, I have absolutely no memory of having ever played it. None of the screenshots look familiar, and nothing you've written about has elicited so much as a "hmmm...that...sort of...seems like it MIGHT be something I played..."

    Nope. Everything in me is telling me that I've never played this game, despite the evidence that I have. Not only that, but although I usually enjoy your blog and like reading about games I've never played before, I'm finding it extremely hard to pay attention to these Crystalis posts and find my eyes just skimming over them without actually reading the words. Or maybe I AM reading them and just forget that I have? What IS it with this game?

    1. You've been cursed to forget everything about this game. It could be my writing style. I tend to skim over details of games I've played before. As I've grown more aware of it I've tried to counter it to ensure I'm giving proper descriptions.

      I suggest playing it again, it's fun, and short.