Today, Square Enix just released a developer diary for Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered. Filmed in 2018, the ‘Inside’ featurette video features interviews with the 2003’s original release staff, producer Akitoshi Kawazu and art director Toshiyuki Itahana. The world of Crystal Chronicles is filled with poisonous vapor called the Miasma, which kills anyone it touches. Fortunately, fragments of the Great Crystal could ward off the Miasma. Thus crystals become the central element of this game — both in terms of story and gameplay.
Kawazu had the following to say regarding the crystals:
I first had to come up with a game system where four players could share the same screen. With four people running around freely, they could easily wander off screen, and you need to see everyone, so I had to think of a concept that would keep them all together. We thought about having that in the middle as a crystal, but we felt it would be a bit dull to just carry crystal about. So the team in charge of writing the story decided that the party, would not be carrying the crystal itself around, but that their job was to collect something that came out of the crystal.”
Therefore in the story, you are tasked to travel across the world in a caravan to gather myrrh, energy from magical trees that are used to power the crystal fragments. Meanwhile while exploring dungeons, you are confined to a safe zone created by the myrrh energy. If you play the game alone there will be a Moogle companion that carries around the myrrh vessel for you. But in co-op, you and your friends will have to carry it yourselves. Managing where to put the vessel when fighting monsters and bosses becomes the trickiest part of Crystal Chronicles gameplay mechanics.
Itahana adds, “Although the characters’ movements are restricted by the poison air surrounding them, you have to really think how to work as a team within the safe area.”. Kawazu continues, elaborating how they decided to make the crystal, our journey to keep it powered, and the danger of Miasma itself as a symbol of “bonds” between people and of memories. Kawazu went further into the villages and towns in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered:
There are many different villages and towns in the world, and they all have their own caravans. Sometimes these caravans fail in their task and their village crystal will lose its power, leading to that village being destroyed. And you actually encounter a ruin of such a village on your journey. In that scene you come to understand a lot why through the gameplay, and feel how the world is on the brink of destruction.”
Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition didn’t just add online multiplayer and cross-play functionality to the originally local co-op only title. It also will include new and updated features, such as high-definition visual, newly-composed soundtracks, 13 new high-difficulty dungeons, and Mimic mode where you can change appearance to characters from other Crystal Chronicles spin-offs.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is due out as a digital-exclusive for PlayStation 4 and Switch on August 27th. It will also be available for mobile platforms on the same day worldwide. Have you played it on the Gamecube before? Tell us what you think of this rerelease in the comments below.