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Penumbra Crystallis is an RPG Maker MV game that is heavily inspired by series such as Final Fantasy, and borrows lightly from others such as Dragon Quest. Penumbra Crystallis tells the story of Vahn Vainstrong as he is gradually swept up into plot to drain the Crystals of the Elements by a mysterious entity known as Malacore that will take him and his friends on an adventure that spans the entire globe as they fight to protect the Crystals and the elements themselves.

Penumbra Crystallis was originally conceived as a remake of Blackmoon Prophecy with original assets and all Final Fantasy references stripped away. It has since evolved into a bit more than that, and while the story and world are very similar to what was featured in Blackmoon Prophecy, there are going to be many key departures along the way that will catch returning players completely by surprise, namely the story eventually veering off into completely uncharted territory. This game may have many of the same story beats as Blackmoon Prophecy, and many of them will unfold in the same way, but where you ultimately end will be so far removed from the later events of Blackmoon Prophecy that this is more than just a reimagining. Penumbra Crystallis takes the shell of Blackmoon Prophecy and makes something completely new out of it.

So, if you liked Blackmoon Prophecy, strap yourselves in! This game should not disappoint, and I hope to have the original game's fans all along for the ride on this weird journey!

What's with the name?
Penumbra Crystallis gets its name from two elements of the original games storyline, the Blackmoon phenomenon (Penumbra) and the Crystals of Element (Crystallis). The term "Penumbra Crystallis" will also appear in-game at one point too, so there's that!

How long is this game expected to be?
I'm still not 100% sure on the length of this game, and I apparently always spit out guesses that end up being wildly inaccurate. My games always seem to take you guys twice as long to beat than I expect, so maybe I'll play it safe and say that you'll finish the game somewhere between 30 and 70 hours.

How many characters are there?
There are nine playable characters. Of the nine, only five are returning playable characters from Blackmoon Prophecy. They are Hans (now a permanent party member), Nobumasa, Oalston, Vahn, and Vera. Who are the other four characters? Well, wait and see!

Is this game worth playing if I played Blackmoon Prophecy?
Absolutely! If you enjoyed Blackmoon Prophecy, then there's no reason for you to not enjoy Penumbra Crystallis. However, if you did not like Blackmoon Prophecy (or Blackmoon Prophecy II), this project is similar. Be warned, you probably won't enjoy this game if you weren't a fan of the Blackmoon Prophecy games simply because my method of story telling and gameplay design hasn't changed much from them. As for why it is worth playing? Well, onto the next point...

Just how different is the story from Blackmoon Prophecy?
You start off in Vahn's hometown instead of Branch Castle, so the differences are evident as soon as you begin. Within the first hour, you will discover that Hans and Vahn are no longer dragoons, Vera's already chilling at Branch Castle and is now from a different kingdom (Artalia, or Lindblum as it was called in Blackmoon Prophecy), the rivalry with Darius unfolds differently, and the Crystals of the Element are targeted in a much different way and for different reasons! And that's just in the first hour or two!

How many assets are original?
All animations, battle backgrounds, sprites and tiles are being made by yours truly. This is a huge endeavour, as I've never done more than the odd major edit here and there in the past. To make it an easier learning process for me, I've used the RPG Maker 2000 RTP and Final Fantasy IV and V graphics as heavily references and sources of inspiration. If you see a sprite or tile and say, "Hey, UPRC, that's a rip!", look a little more closely. I promise it's not!

Portraits for the playable characters are, as usual, original creations by RMN's Avee. He did such a good job for me in Blackmoon Prophecy II that I always find myself going back to him for my portrait needs.

As for side view monsters, they are by a Japanese artist named Monta which are free to use. I intended on finding someone to sprite side view monsters for me, but the cheapest offers I had were about $8 to $10 for even small monsters, which would just be way too much for me on my budget given how large I expect the bestiary to be. Still always open to offers though, so let me know if you're able to offer your services for less than $8/$10.

Music is from several sources. Some tracks that Brandon Griggs composed for Blackmoon Prophecy II are coming back, as well as a few unused tracks that he had sent me that never made it into that game. The rest of the game's soundtrack is by Bert Cole and YouFulca (the former is on Patreon, the later sells their tracks on their Japanese website). All music used is delightfully retro sounding.

Penumbra Crystallis Blogger Dev Blog

Latest Blog

Demo Release Date

The Penumbra Crystallis demo is tentatively slated to be uploaded on June 10. It may be a few days later than that depending on how testing goes. If I can't put the demo out there then, expect it before Sunday, June 13th.

Also, as always, you can check the following links for more frequent updates on the game since I don't post everything on RMN these days.

Dev Blog: https://penumbracrystallis.blogspot.com/
Discord Server: https://discord.gg/FtNhY8H


I kept putting off on clearing the original because I kept forgetting it while playing other games. So having a remake would be awesome for me :D
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
I kept putting off on clearing the original because I kept forgetting it while playing other games. So having a remake would be awesome for me :D

Good to hear, but it's going to be a while! After all, I've decided to put this off and make it in MV instead of VX Ace.
Good to hear, but it's going to be a while! After all, I've decided to put this off and make it in MV instead of VX Ace.

Good choice. Remember that it might take some time for MV to get custom scripts, battle systems etc. + the fact that old resources will be incompatible due to the new screen resolution.

For you, it's probably for the best though, since you're already quite busy with BMPII. I'm currently remaking a game myself, and let me tell you that it can definitely be a lot harder and take much more time than you initially think.

Some things are actually harder to remake than to simply scrap something and renew. Also, don't forget to take into account that BMP is a pretty huge game to begin with.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck!
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
The main reason why it's moving to MV, above all else, is the battle system. I'm much more comfortable tinkering with a default side view system than a scripted one.
I don't mind the wait too much. I'm waiting for BMPII more anyway. And the longer it takes, the more time I have to finish BMP ^_^
...UPRC - you sure you wanna remake this? I mean, what’s wrong with the original, besides you removing all those blasted Berserker Rings that you could get early on in an updated patch.

(Yes, I’m still mad about that. You took away my god powers and it made me feel sad...)
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
I know I could make it much better, that's why. :p

Lots of TERRIBLE dialogue, countless pacing issues, tons of balance problems. I started the original game in 2003, I've come a long way since then. Guaranteed, it could be a MUCH better game.
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
Guaranteed, it could be a MUCH better game.

(But it’s one of the best games that I’ve played here…)

I mean, the only thing that kind of seemed like it dragged a bit from what I remember were the sheer amount of locations that you had to go to and how many of those were seemingly pointless in relevance to the overall story, especially during the first half of the game. But it wasn’t like a serious issue like other games have or in the series, as the pacing felt just right, and the large amount of locations meant that as long as you fought every single random encounter that you had that grinding was basically non-existent, which was a good thing, since I don’t like grinding that much.

Either way, I didn’t think it was all that bad in terms of overall pacing and stuff. Character balance wasn’t entirely perfect, but you could still form a pretty decent team made up of seemingly anybody and still do just fine. I mean, f***, I had Bosche on my team for the longest time before I ended up switching him out for Jasmine and he was supposedly the worst character in the game - but I got out pretty good.

But it’s hard to complain since, you know, ten years is a long time and you’ve improved so much since then that to me this may be one of the best games ever on here and there’s really no need to remake it but for you it’s probably beyond ancient and doesn’t have that same new car smell that it once did when you were working and playtesting it from before all those years ago. I suppose that happens to all of us eventually… I mean, that’s why I’m remaking / retooling mine, as the original lacked most of the things that I wanted to implement back then.

Either way – I hope you’re ready for the long haul, because there’s no turning back once you hit that “new project” button...otherwise you're gonna see me post this on here afterwards!

(You don't want that, do you?)
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Either way – I hope you’re ready for the long haul, because there’s no turning back once you hit that “new project” button...otherwise you're gonna see me post this on here afterwards!

(You don't want that, do you?)

The good thing about this is that it would be at least a year away. ;)

This is a side project and, thankfully, gets to remain in stasis for a little while since MV isn't out. It will get more attention when Blackmoon Prophecy II is finished, but that's probably not until in the first quarter of next year sometime.
One of the faults of RPGMaker 2003 is the clunkyish battle system. Plus..as it's been said, this is a good game. A remake will get people that are scared of RPGMaker 2003 system/graphics/etc to try it out too. So if it happens at some point, I'm all for it. Not going to stop me from beating the RM2k3 version though.
hopefully this epic game will be done soon. :) because i'm really looking forward to playing it. ^v^
hey UPRC? i think yur work is awesome. :)
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
hopefully this epic game will be done soon.

It won't be. I'm starting it after Blackmoon Prophecy II, which is going very slowly at the moment (was struggling with something in it for a while that I only planned a fix for last week). It's also being made in MV, which I do not yet have.

Even then, it's probably just going to be a side project. After Blackmoon Prophecy II, I really want to make an original game. I don't just want to be remembered for fangames.
After Blackmoon Prophecy II, I really want to make an original game. I don't just want to be remembered for fangames.

Yeahhh…nobody really wants to be remembered for that.
I was actually planning on doing a Let's Play of the original & I'm really looking forward to seeing this remake. I remember some of the errors I found in the original (not to mention how difficult it was getting the Ultima Tome, starting with the Chocobo Races). Here's a list I archived from when I last played a few years ago (in case some of the things in this list got overlooked):

#1 - Various equipment that doesn't give an accurate stat boost (actual stat boost different than description says)
#2 - Weapon Sprites in Mt. Ordeals either missing or inaccurate
#3 - Murasame from Mt. Ordeals says aquired 'Masamune' instead of Murasame
#4 - Ami's augments function on Nobumasa'a augment switch (you forgot to make a augment switch for her)
#5 - Nobumasa's Shadow Step doesn't switch off when switching skills
#6 - When switching from Oaleston's Improved Comet to Exorcism, it says 'want to forget exorcism' instead of Improved Comet
#7 - Vera's Remora summon says 'Drain 100 MP' but doesn't absorb the MP
#8 - Even if you recruited Bosche in the 1st world, if you get to Garmonde before finding him at the Mithril Mine he's there & acts like you never meet him before (you should have set his 'gone' page to require the 'Bosche Joins 3' switch instead of the 'Bosche Rejoins' switch).
#9 - Accessory shop in Mohadmal village (3rd world) doesn't have a functional door (I duplicated the original accessory shop from the 1st world & added it to the 3rd world version & changed the teleport events)
#10 - Can't remember which dungeons but you can walk off of bridges & walk around in the air
#11 - The effects of Protect & Empower are reversed (Protect doubles Magic & Empower doubles Defense. Also, the 'Empower' skill does not inflict Empower. Also, the 'Berserk' skill actually removes Berserk instead of inflicting it.
#12 - When reaching the Dark Elf, his sprite & the Abaddon sprites are invisible, as if the Dark Elf switch is already on (I've corrected this by adding an event that turns that switch off when you enter the room them flips a new switch so the event only goes off once. Did this after beating him so I can't test it.)
#13 - In Sandy Point you have a guy block your access to the treasures until you complete the treasure hunt, but you left the right steps open, allowing the player to go around the guard (fixed this by adding a duplicate of the guard & changing his sprite to that of the guy who's positioned a few steps from those steps)
#14 - I can't remember this perfectly but you can sneak off to the Citadel & get thrown in prison by Zeul before speaking to one of the Grans that tells you to go there. There's some sequence breaking involved when the story reaches this point.
#15 - In the boss room in the Mithril Mine when Bosche rejoins you, there's an event in the room that memorizes a BGM & gives a message about a character & class that joins the party & requires the switch for chest 613 to activate. What's with this?
#16 - When defeating Orphan, his death turns the Kefka dead switch on instead. In fact, the whole switch arrangement with the Trophy Bosses seems messed up

Anyway, definitely looking forward to doing a Let's Play of the original as well as seeing a remake. You may have trouble implementing certain features if plugins haven't been made for them yet.
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
A lot of those were fixed, but it doesn't matter at all anyway since, whenever I tackle this, the game would be rebuilt from the ground up since it will be made in an entirely different version of RPG Maker. Hell, Mt. Ordeals was flat out removed entirely if I recall correctly. I'm still very busy with Blackmoon Prophecy II, which I'm planning on finishing "sometime soon", and then this game will merely be a side project. It will never be high on my list of priorities since, after all, the game already does exist. :p
Wait a minute - WTF – there’s a 3rd Blackmoon Prophecy now!? When the heck did this happen!?!?!? *re-reads through old posts* Oh… Oh…! So you’re turned the remake of the original Final Fantasy: Blackmoon Prophecy that you were planning on doing and pulled a Final Fantasy XIII: Verses on all of us and made it into the next installment into the series; you crafty b*tard, you…! (Also are you trying to be like the next J-Man and eventually make six of these things to catch up to him and his Phantasia series or something? Lol.)

Welp - I’m up for another installment! But…why drop the Final Fantasy namesake from the title anyway…? And does that mean that all of the borrowed Final Fantasy elements that have been prominent in the first two titles will be dropped from this one??? Either way, this has me feeling both intrigued and rather a bit nervous at the same time. But, I guess we’ll have to just find out and see what this is all about in due time. Besides - I trust ya!

Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
I don't have Final Fantasy in the title because the game sits in a weird place. Because of how I had the last game end, and with the sort of things I'm putting in this game, I don't really think it will "feel" like Final Fantasy in the strictest sense. Things like various abilities and spell names are all going to be there, and I'll be using all Final Fantasy music (all orchestral remixes and/or remasters).

It's a bit weird to explain, but I suppose it's mostly because space travel and interacting with other sentient humanoids in the same region of space play a big part in what I'm planning.

(Also are you trying to be like the next J-Man and eventually make six of these things to catch up to him and his Phantasia series or something? Lol.)

I honestly had no intention of doing this at all less than a week ago. I just realized that, every single original project I've tried to start since finishing Blackmoon Prophecy II crashed and burned. Some didn't even get to the point where I'd start working on them in RPG Maker. It was all really demotivating and I was wondering if it was a sign that there's just no steam left at all anymore, but then I had a random thought and started working on this out of the blue. I feel like there's still some story that I can tell, and I half feel like I have my own little mythos going on after the first two games that I can keep building off of.

I'm going to be a bit quiet with progress on this since I'm still very early in. I even need to wait until next week when I get paid to snatch up some Time Fantasy resources that will be integral to the game (the future pack), and I still have no idea how I'm going to visually represent some things like space travel (there's a god awful screenshot on here now that will probably be deleted once I get an alternative fourth image ready of literally anything else).

I told the Facebook followers that I'd be making some form of a post today with what I expect from this project, how I want it to look/play, etc. today at some point, so I'll probably make a blog post later on when I'm sitting at work with nothing to do.
dude you're a legend. the edit of the eyes makes the sprite look 100x better.