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"Out of all the fanmade remakes or sequels to the NES game Crystalis out there, this is the only one that's actually happening."

Presentation
Crystalis was one of my first and favorite games on the NES back in the early 1990s. I decided to make it an RpgMaker project, rewriting many parts of the story while preserving the main storyline, dungeons, events and gameplay. So it could be considered as an oldschool game and fan-made remake of the original game.
Please note that this project is a remake, not a copy. It is to the original Crystalis what Oath in Felghana is to Wanderers from Ys: new story, new art style, new gameplay, etc.

Background storyline
1987: Scientists working under the Velyagun Empire accidentally create thermonuclear weapons. The Empire plans to develop and use these weapons to wage war against the great countries of the continent, all fighting for technological superiority.
1997: Tension climaxes between the most powerful countries and over half of the civilized world is ravaged by thermonuclear war thus resulting in the Earth’s axis shift. The surviving groups of soldiers and scientists struggle savagely for domination. Experiments are run by mad scientists on various animals to create armies of mutants. And yet the population tries to rebuild villages and live as best they can.
2007: A young woman, Misae, alchemist Xevu's pupil, manages to create the first weapon that can rival with post-apocalyptic weaponry: an elemental sword that draws on the magical powers of the spirits. Under the guidance of her master, she'll travel to the four corners of the continent to gather the powers of the other spirits and fight the evil Empire.

Gameplay
-Similar to the original game (itself similar to The Legend of Zelda and the Ys series). You move in 4 directions with the arrow keys and use three other keys to attack, charge your sword's power level, cast spells and bring up the subscreen.
-Action RPG gameplay lets you and your opponents attack at close range or at a distance with various spells and magic attacks.
-You can level up, buy and equip armors and accessories, use various items in the subscreen, find key items to reach new areas and find new spells and new swords throughout the game.
-The game relies mostly on the fun of exploiting your swords' power levels' attacks and solving puzzles inside dungeons. Most enemies also have specific elemental weaknesses you can take advantage of.

Latest Blog

Ditching the world map? ...and other ideas.

While I was working on Halloween Wars I thought about several design decisions I took about Crystalis and questioned them. My first intent about this remake was to make it as close to the original as possible despite trying to enhance it gameplay wise.

And so I'm considering to get rid of the world map.
Right now the world map's purpose is to travel between the main areas and to give you a glimpse at unexplored, nearby locations.
The original game instead features large outdoor enemy-filled areas that link the main areas to each other. I'm leaning towards doing that as it would offer more in terms of exploration, puzzles, enemy variety and it could soften the difficulty curve.

I'd also like to remake most dungeons. Most of them are enemy-filled labyrinths and feature only one or two puzzles. The original game did that, but that is something I'd like to change.
I'd like to make the dungeons shorter but have each room be more significant by having one of the following purposes:
1- battle area (enemy filled).
2- gate (meet the requirements to advance further).
3- challenge (a puzzle of some sort or an exploration segment).
4- loot (a treasure chest).
5- boss.
6- save room.
I believe it would be better for every room to have a distinctive feature and be memorable.

I've also been wondering whether I should add new equipment or not. Instead of each piece being a simple upgrade of the last one, I'd rather have more pieces with unique effects that would be more or less effective depending on the situation. Players would toggle armor and accessory more often, just like they do with swords.

Recoding the battle system to clean it up a little would be nice.
I could also add sword combo attacks that have different speeds and ranges.
And allowing the player to turn without taking a step.

What do you guys think about these changes?

Posts

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Okay, so it's a remake of the first game but you play as the girl Mesa now? So it's really a complete re-telling, correct, or does it tie into the actual NES game. Either way, this looks very good. You've got the locations down, the cave scene where you originally started with the jumping dude, and the status bar on the bottom of the screen. I'm just confused to where this is going, since no mention of the frozen guy, or if he's even included this time.
Thanks for that first comment!
I've played Crystalis since I was 6, always loved it, and I wanted to make my own version of it.
This is indeed a re-telling, although some aspects were less modified than others (for comparison I could say this project is to Crystalis what Oath in Felghana is to Wanderers from Ys...)
For instance, the heroine is neither Mesia nor the hero (called Simea in the GBC version) but a girl called Misae.
Just for fun I slightly changed some names by playing on the japanese pronunciation (Zebu becomes Xevu, Sabera becomes Savella, etc.). I changed Draygon to Velyagun. That's a big, pointless change there (I just wanted it to be different).
There are some changes in the swords' attacks too. You'll see for yourself when the demo comes out ^^
As far as the scenario goes, most of the original game's walkthrough remains untouched (from the town of Leaf to the Floating Tower) except for some story elements modifications, altered mapping and level-design, a couple of new dungeons, new enemies and bosses.
Can't wait for this one, I love those old NES games.
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
497
Looking forward to it.
Thank you for your support ^^
Yes, this was one I had wanted remade (not the awful Gameboy Version) or at least a sequel. Finally I may have my dreams come true.
Thanks! I hope you'll all enjoy it.
There is a minor lag problem in dungeons right now. It only affects the camera's movements when moving on larger maps (60x50). I believe it might be caused by the amount of events taking place at the same time on those large maps. I'll try to fix it. Any tips?
Wow, that's simply all I can say. I've never played the original, but, I have read about it. And from what I've read and what I see from the screens you've captured the essence beautifully.

I'm truly looking forward to this one here. =]
I'm not sure what you can do about lag in 2K3. I know for the VX there are scripts you can use, but as 2K3 doesn't use scripts maybe there's a way to event the process? One possible solution, if a dungeon has a lot of events, maybe see which events you truly need and which ones you can sacrifice, or divide the dungeons into smaller maps so not so many events to a single screen.
I think I figured it out. Actually the problem is not the amount of events. It rather is that some parallel events in the database keep showing images (the HUD numbers). That makes perfect sense since there is always a fraction of a second of lag everytime an image comes up.
I can probably fix this with a switch that prevents the event from showing its image unless necessary (for instance when damage is dealt to the hero so the HP numbers can be updated)...
That's a very useful article. Thanks a lot.
The only lag I'm facing right now is on maps where big images have to be shown (i.e. the light effects in Velyagun Great Wall). But the lag is minimal and doesn't affect the gameplay so I might leave it like that.
It better be good. I LOVED Crystalis, I still have it on my nes. Also there should better be a part where you get to ride the dolphin! XD five hours later... And the gas mask! lol Na, I'm sure it's going to be great.
Thanks ^^ It's great to know that somebody else loved that game as much as I.
You'll get the gas mask for the Swamp dungeon near Brynmile (Brynmaer) but you'll only need it for the second half of the swamp. You'll also have to equip the mask later when going underwater.
And yes, there will be not one, but two levels with the dolphin ;)
Will you be able to walk diagonally? Diagonal walk and fast move speed were a huge part of what made that game imo. Crystalis was more fast-paced than Zelda and I liked it better for that and other reasons.
@flowerthief: That's a very relevant comment. In the NES game you can indeed walk diagonally and as you can see I want to make this game as close to the original as possible.
I tried to make the diagonal movement work in the database events, searched for tutorials, but the results were terrible. I'll give it another try, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to give it up.
Anyway the heroine's movement speed is set to Normal, which is pretty fast, and so is the gameplay. I hate sunday driver gameplays ;) Thank you for the comments.

EDIT: Just as I thought, it seems impossible to make a bug-free diagonal movement system in Rm2k3. The best eventing code I can write makes all hero touch- and hero collision-triggered events inactive (teleports, taking damage when running into enemies, etc.). I suppose we could fix it by writing a bunch of ID detection events, but it wouldn't be worth it in my opinion.
So I subbed to this, and decided to play through Crystalis again on a whim!

Couple things.

A: Are you going to make certain enemies immune to each sword? They took that out of the infamous GBC version, and even though it gets frustrating to switch swords a lot, it adds a lot to the game.

B: Are you going to expand on certain aspects of the storyline?

C: Are the original hero and/or Mesia going to make an appearance?

D: Are you planning on making some of the graphics based on the NES originals (town people, monsters, stuff like that?) I love the style you've got so far, and I'll admit, I'm just curious, but I do consider Crystalis to have some of the best RPG graphics on the NES.

Anyways, I can't wait to play! Crystalis is definitely one of my favorite ARPGs, and this looks great so far!
It's always a pleasure to answer such questions!

A) Shame on me, I forgot about foes' immunities. I honestly don't know if I will add immunities because I already programmed weaknesses (twice the damage from charged shots). I'll think about it. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for your other questions, they have mostly been answered already. Just take a look at the previous posts and Images section.

B) There will be additions to the original game such as new dungeons and enemies. The global storyline is the same yet I will edit many things. For instance all the main characters are more developed (check the Characters section for more information).

C) That information will remain confidential for now :P (basically, that means yes...)

D) Take a look at the Images section. I already ripped and edited the wyrm from the Windmill Cave and the caterpillar and fly from the Swamps. Other enemies and bosses will be ripped from the original game (expect a certain giant insect coming up soon) while some are completely original, such as the Recon Rat in Velyagun's Great Wall.

I hope you'll enjoy the demo (coming soon). Thank you for your comments :)
Currently finalizing demo 0.1. Maps and events are completed and beta-tested. All that is left to do now before the release is to draw a few mini-maps, add a little extra sidequest and make one last play test. In the best case scenario I will send the download tonight.

I was wondering if you guys would rather wait a little more in order for me to conclude Chapter II by making and adding the Amazon Tribe section which lets you consult the bestiary and fight an optional boss, but I figured it would take me another 2 or 3 weeks to do so... So I chose to release the demo right now.
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