Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates (ファイナルファンタジー・クリスタルクロニクル リング・オブ・フェイト Fainaru Fantajī Kurisutaru Kuronikuru Ringu Obu Feito ) is an RPG for the Nintendo DS developed and published by Square Enix. It is a prequel to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Nintendo GameCube. The game takes advantage of both the local wireless and Wi-Fi capabilities of the system and features voice acting.
Most of the gameplay takes place on the top screen. The touch screen shows inventory and status as well as stylus access for different weapon attacks. There are also special race-specific attacks in the game. By pressing the right trigger button, the screens will swap allowing enemies to be attacked by certain races just by touching them with the stylus. If done correctly, chained attacks can be performed.
- Clavats: formerly an all-rounder class, Clavats are now warriors. They have high attack, defense and HP, but low magic and SP. They wield swords and hatchets.
- Yukes: the Yukes remain a mage class. They have high magic and SP, but low defense, HP and attack. They wield staffs, and attack by firing purple orbs from the staves in a medium-range attack.
- Selkies: the Selkies have been changed into an archer class. Their SP and attack are very high, with average HP and magic, and low defense. They use bows. Selkies also have the unique ability to double-jump.
- Lilties: Lilities have changed from warriors into alchemists. They are capable of creating magicite in their pots, and using the pots for various special attacks and techniques. They wield hammers, maces, and more awkwardly, spoons.
As in the previous game, Magicite is required to perform spells, of which 6 types are available; Fire, Thunder, Blizzard, Cure, Clear and Raise (formerly Life). Unlike in the previous game, magicite is consumed when used and remains in the player's inventory between dungeons. In story mode, all characters have a shared inventory for magicites, as well as potions and ethers. Magicite, potions and ethers are used by selecting them from the touch screen, holding the X button to create a magic ring, and then releasing it upon its desired target. Magic rings can also be "locked" in position with the L button, allowing a character to cast multiple spells at the same time. Magic rings can also be piled on top of one another to create more powerful spells.
As in most RPGs, Ring of Fates features a level-up system, where defeating monsters earns experience points, and sufficient experience points raises a character's level, along with their stats. Ring of Fates features five stats: Hit points, Special points (used for special attacks), Power, Defense and Magic. Experience is shared between party members, with members of lower or higher level getting more or less experience. All races learn new skills after gaining a certain amount of experience, such as charged attacks.
Rings of Equipment can be bought or crafted at one of the four stores in the game. Players will find materials and scrolls in the various dungeons; bringing the required materials along with the scroll to the store will enable players to make over 300 different weapons, armor and accessories that change appearance depending on which race makes them. Unlike in the original Crystal Chronicles, the characters' appearance changes depending on what armour they are wearing.
In single player, the player controls a party of up to four characters. Unlike the original Crystal Chronicles, the characters are not created by the player, but are instead pre-created, with their own names and personalities. As the adventure progresses, the player meets four playable characters—one from each race. Characters can be switched by tapping their icon on the left side of the touch screen.
In multi-player mode, players creates their own characters, which remain separate from their single-player characters. However, the characters are visually exact copies of their Story mode counterparts, with the exceptions of the new Selkie female and Lilty male. The Yuke female is an exact copy of the male, modeled after Story mode character Alhanalem. Multiplayer always uses multi-card mode, with each player contributing their own character. It is also possible to play multiplayer mode with only one person.
There is also a Moogle Trade mode via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection; this is used to trade customized moogles the player creates. Also the moogle can be used to trade items with other players over Nintendo Wi-Fi by dropping items in the vicinity of the moogle. The other player can pick up the moogle and obtain the items it drops.
Ring of Fates is a prequel to the original Crystal Chronicles, taking place thousands of years beforehand, before Miasma plagued the world, during the legendary "Golden Age" where all the races lived in peace (mentioned in Crystal Chronicles), and when the Great Crystal, into which "all fates are etched", protected the people from the "malefic glow of the blood-red moon".
In the original Crystal Chronicles, the shards of the Great Crystal, shattered by the fall of the Meteor, are used by the numerous settlements throughout the land to ward off the Miasma, using myrrh to renew this effect when it wanes, and Rebena Te Ra is explored as the monster-filled ruins of one such settlement that was rendered as such almost immediately after the Meteor fell due to its close proximity to the Meteor's point of impact, while in Ring of Fates, the Great Crystal is complete, using memories as the source of its protective effect in much the same way that myrrh powers the miasma-repelling effect of its remnants, and Rebena Te Ra stands as an illustrious city and capital of the Golden Age.
- Yuri (ユーリィ Yūrī ) is the main protagonist in the game, Latov's son and Chelinka's twin brother. He is a fairly typical fantasy protagonist, who starts out uncertain of his abilities but becomes brave through the course of the game. He has some skill in magic, but it increases significantly when he is in the presence of his sister. Voiced by Mona Marshall in English version and Kumiko Higa in the Japanese version.
- Chelinka (チェリンカ Cherinka ) is Yuri's twin sister. Although she is never playable and almost never seen outside of cutscenes, she travels with the main party through every event, even those deep inside dungeons. She is scared of ghosts. She carries with her a mysterious crystal shard, which marks her as a Starsinger like her mother and through which she and Yuri can derive magical power. She loses the ability to speak when she activates her crystal's power to defeat Chaspel after he murdered Latov, and communicates telepathically, but regains the power of speech when Yuri is near death. She is in the party, but serves as a NPC. Voiced by Nami Kurokawa in the Japanese version.
- Latov (ラトフ Ratofu ) is Yuri and Chelinka's father. He brought up the twins on his own, and loves them dearly. He was formerly a knight of the King's castle who confronted Galdes and battled him. He is killed by Cu Chaspel when he attempted to protect Chelinka from him. Voiced by Paul St. Peter in the English version and Akimitsu Takase in the Japanese version
- Aleria (アーチェス) is Yuri and Chelinka's mother, a Starsinger who died prior to the story by Galdes' scheme. She has a younger sister, Melchess, who married Kolka. Voiced by Sayaka Kobayashi in the Japanese version.
- Meeth (ミース・クリム Mīsu Kurimu ) is a Lilty who serves as the cook for the village where the main characters live, although she has much more powerful alchemical abilities. Meeth is older than the children, but being a Lilty she is quite short—hence Yuri and Chelinka sometimes treat her like a child. She pretends to dislike this treatment, but obviously enjoys it. She used to tutor the King's daughter. Voiced by Sandy Fox in the English Version and Michiru Wada in Japanese version.
- Alhanalem (アルハナーレム Aruhanāremu ) is a Yuke, and is affectionately known as "Al" by Yuri and Chelinka due to his habit of ending his sentences with an "al" sound. Like all Yukes, he has impressive magical abilities and a tendency to scholarly pursuits. He once served as the "Mage Royal." Voiced by Keiichi Sonobe in Japanese version.
- Gnash (ナッシュ Nasshu ) is a Selkie who was brought up in the wild. Speaks in somewhat disjointed language to people, but perfectly to animals. His wild upbringing has given him impressive athletic abilities and proficiency with a bow. Voiced by Miho Hino in Japanese version.
- King Kolka Tawantyn (コルカ王 Goluka Ō ) The Selkie ruler of Rebena Te Ra, Yuri and Chelinka's uncle through their mother's sister Melchess. He is troubled since the day his daughter died. Voiced by Masaski Aizawa in Japanese version.
- Princess Tilika (テテオ王女 Teteo Ōjyo ) is the only daughter of King Kolka who died prior to the story due to Galdes' scheming. She is Yuri and Chelinka's cousin through their mothers, making her also a Starsinger. She is a mix of a Clavat and Selkie. Voiced by Etsuko Kozakura in Japanese version.
- Cu Chaspel (クー・チャスペル Kū Chasuperu ) is one of the game's main antagonists, possessing a monstrous appearance due to his mask and robes. He is one of the Lunites (those corrupted by the evil power of the moon,) and is the personal servant of the Lunite King. He was given the task to take Chelinka so his master can succeed in bringing the Red Moon to their world. He attempts to abduct Chelinka early in the game, and kills Latov in the struggle. Years later, Chaspel is defeated by Yuri. Voiced by Liam O'Brien in the English version and Mitsuaki Madono in the Japanese version.
- Lich (リッチ Richi ) a undead posing as Yuke to serve as Kolka's advisor, playing on his mind until Yuri's interference forces her to assume her true identity and Chelinka cast Life on her to make the undead witch able to be killed.
- Hierophant Galdes (教皇ガルデス Kyōkō Garudesu ) is the main antagonist of the game, and the Hierophant of Rebena te Ra. Galdes is the Lunite King, and plots to harnesses the power of the Great Crystal through a Starsinger so he can recreate the world in his image and rule it. Voiced by Michael Sorich in English version and Shōzō Iizuka in the Japanese version.
- Stiltzkin (スティルツキン Sutirutsukin ) A moogle returning from the GCN game. This time around he helps players through signs found throughout the game. He is the leader of a band of moogles who have the job of helping travelers.
Ring of Fates follows two protagonists named Yuri and Chelinka. Story elements include fraternal love, and recurring elements such as the four races and crystals, though the latter have a smaller part.
The story begins with Yuri and Chelinka observing their father, Latov, chopping wood, learning to work together when they couldn't chop the wood alone. Their mentors, Alhanhelm and Meeth both comment on their ability marred only by lack of experience. After being given the hatchet, the twins make their way to a nearby cave to find some treasure, confronting a ghostly image of a young girl their age. Soon after, the twins arrive with their father to the city of Rebena te Ra, where their encounter with a Behemoth was witnessed by Galdes, who sends his minion Cu Chaspel to retrieve Chelinka to be new Starsinger. In the confrontation, Latov is killed by Chaspel, resulting in a tremendous burst of power from the twins, repelling Chaspel and leaving Chelinka in a catatonic state. Yuri buries his father and thinks himself to be totally alone, as Al and Meeth are both missing. He then vows to never have to bury a loved one again and begins training with his father's sword while taking care of Chelinka. For an unknown span of time, Yuri trains alone, until Chelinka wakes up, mute but able to communicate telepathically. Yuri vows to protect her and then Yuri embarks on an adventure with Chelinka.
The pair then make their way up the nearby mountain of Vaal, where Al is being held inside a red crystal. After being released, Al suggests that they present their case to King Kolka of Rebena Te Ra, but are kept from him by the castle guards who claim another Yuke, also going by the name Alhanhelm, has served the king for many years and take Al as an imposter. Unable to gain an audience with the king, the group overhears an announcement about the corruption spreading through the Abyssus Forest, precipitated by a red crystal. Deciding to gather information on the forest to gain an audience with the king, the group enters the forest and encounters a Selkie boy under attack. After the defeat the monster, the Selkie introduces himself as Gnash, a wild-forest dweller. Agreeing to help Yuri cleanse the forest, Gnash joins forces with Yuri and defeat the source of the corruption, a giant poisonous flower. Afterwards, Gnash decides to remain with Yuri to return the favor of saving his home.
Upon returning to Rebena Te Ra, the party is allowed into the castle, only to find the king seriously ill at the mention of the twins' parents, and the Yuke claiming to be Alhanhelm refusing to let them speak with him. Al demands proof of the Yuke's identity, this tricks her into revealing she doesn't have even a rudimentary grasp of magic, evidenced by her fear at Al's threat to erase the memories of everyone in the castle. Al then directs the group to Real Cyel, an abandoned dam, where an artifact proving Al's connection to the king is kept. While exploring the ruins, the group stumbles upon Meeth, who has been trapped inside Real Cyel and driven to madness by isolation. Meeth recovers upon seeing the twins, and reveals to Al that she burned the artifact to stay warm, much to Al's dismay. Before they can leave however, the tunnel outside Meeth's room collapses, cutting off their exit. With Meeth's help, the five make their way out into a long passage leading outside.
Just as they reach the middle of the bridge, the glass ceiling above them shatters. Yuri, unwilling to let their lives end, invokes the crystal's power himself, stopping time and allowing the group to escape. However, the strain proves too much for Yuri, who begins to slip into cardiac arrest. Seeing her brother dying, Chelinka overcomes her muteness and cries out for help. The ghost of the red-headed girl appears and leaves behind a shimmering cloak, which Chelinka covers Yuri with, reviving him. Meeth and Al reveal that the ghost is that of Lady Tilika, daughter of King Kolka, who died during the calamity at Real Cyel. During the explanation, Meeth accidentally lets slip that the mother of the Twins was abducted by the Lunites, humans tainted by the moon's evil power.
After escaping Real Cyel, the group heads to the castle again, only to find Cu Chaspel in an assassination attempt on the king. The king is critically wounded, and Chaspel frames the group for the murder. The party is then imprisoned on Sinner's Isle (Which Alhanhelm mentions is also known as Mt. Kilanda, a location from the original game) where they fall into a dark chasm into a land inhabited by dead monsters and Carbuncles. While with one of the Carbuncles, it is revealed that they are in the land of the dead, and are forced to fight the reanimated body of Sir Latov. After his defeat, Yuri and Chelinka are able to say a final farewell to their beloved father, and are told by the Carbuncle that his soul will not fade into nothingness, but rather join the energy that encompasses the planet. The Carbuncle then tells Yuri that to understand the present, he can journey into the past during the disaster at Real Cyel. Yuri accepts and witnesses Lady Tillika being used as a sacrifice by Chaspel to bring the Lunite moongod down to the earth. Tilika repels the entity from "falling down" at the cost of her own life, much to the horror of the twins' parents who are present during the ceremony. The scene then describes Latov and Aleria's hiding away in their village with Al and Meeth, the birth of Yuri and Chelinka, and Aleria's abduction by the temple. The Carbuncle then transports Yuri and Co. back to Rebena Te Ra, saying they will meet again.
Upon arriving in the city, the group confronts the now possessed king, who is freed by the ghost of his daughter telling him to care for those who live, rather than dwelling on the past. The false Alhanhelm reveals herself as the Lich and mockingly challenges Yuri to try and defeat her. Chelinka then uses the power of her crystal to cast Life on the spirit, making it vulnerable to Yuri. From the king, the twins and their companions learn of the creation of the world and of the Lunites under Galdes, who is responsible for their mother's fate in his scheme to bring the Moon God back to Earth. They also learn that the crystals usually repel monsters, but when taken in by the allure of the moon they attract monsters, and make them vicious. In the end, the party goes to the Lunite Temple to stop Galdes, defeating Chaspel on the way. However, they are too late, and the twin's mother is consumed by the red crystal, allowing Galdes to become an omnipotent god capable of creating an infinite amount of worlds. However, even in this warped reality, Chelinka is always with Yuri, and together the two decide to attempt to stop Galdes, even if it is impossible. One by one the other party members remember the twins and life before Galdes's rise, and rush to their aid.
At the top of the Lunite Temple, Galdes is confident that Yuri is powerless without Chelinka, attempting to separate the two as they approach him. However, no matter how many worlds Galdes creates, Yuri, Chelinka, and their friends are still together. Forced into battle, Galdes is defeated by Yuri, but reveals that because of his godhood, he can undo his defeat and fight Yuri until he falls. However, Chelinka intervenes and transports Yuri and herself into the memory of the Great Crystal. In the crystal, Chelinka reveals she has the power Galdes sought, telling Yuri that she'll use it for him if he requests it. Yuri reappears in the physical world, with Galdes finding out too late that the twins used the power to condemn him to a permanent time-loop of his attempt to undo his defeat. As Yuri leaves, unable to break free, Galdes screams out in his mind for someone to free him from his ironic punishment. Although the world remains fractured, Yuri and Chelinka return home and try to continue life until the former feels the fatal effects of the crystal taking effect. Though he tells Chelinka to carry on for him, she sacrifices herself to save Yuri, turning into crystal herself.
Now alone, Yuri remembers the life he had as a child as an apparition of Chelinka rekindles her crystal, allowing Yuri to attempt to create a world in which he can live happily. He enters into his house to find himself returned to his child form, with Chelinka likewise and his mother and father inquiring as to what is wrong. He collapses weeping into his mother's arms with Chelinka, who reminds him that she said he'd be seeing her soon. Despite having a full recollection of what took place, Yuri accepts this world as an unbroken reality in which he can live the way he always wanted.
Story in multi-player
The story in multi-player mode is set in the new world created by Yuri and Chelinka, with no one having a full recollection (besides small fragments) of the events of the main story, other than Yuri and Chelinka (and possibly King Kolka.) The city of Rebena Te Ra is all but deserted (the only one's remaining being the guards, King Kolka, and his advisor, as its citizens have fled from the rising monster population. As more areas are beaten by the player(s) more people return to the city until it is completely repopulated by its original inhabitants. Eventually all the citizens return, with the exception of the Selkie blacksmith, replaced by Cu Chaspel, who claims to have undergone a "journey of self-discovery" and now runs the shop himself in a sincere (if strange as he cannot shake the habit of breaking into maniacal laughter) manner.
After the player(s) have defeated the Crystal Temple, the door to the king's chambers opens to Tilika being attacked by the dead spirit who impersonated Al. After the spirit's defeat, Kolka abdicates his throne to his daughter, much the surprise of all present, Tilika nervously accepts and is immediately accepted by the residents of the city.
Some major differences between the worlds found in story and multiplayer mode are present, such as Cu Chaspels new lifestyle. Others include a much happier King Kolka, an advisor who does not impersonate Al, though her real name is never given, and the lack of Galdes being present, asides from his appearance as a boss.
Some signs of connection with Yuri and Chelinka and their party members are also present. Al and Meeth still live in the Villa with the twins and their parents, and Gnash is also mentioned when Yuri spots an arrow taro on Al's head (apparently left as a gift.)
The world in which the GCN game takes place is also mentioned by a Yuke who describes a vision of a land where Miasma blankets everything and to venture beyond the protection of the crystals means death. However, whether the Yuke went to future, wandered into another world or dreamed the experience is left ambiguous.
The creation of a Crystal Chronicles sequel was announced at the E3 in 2004. The Game was first announced for Game Boy Advance. IGN called Ring of Fates one of the "key games" to look out for in 2007. In an interview, Ring of Fates director Mitsuru Kamiyama explained that single player mode is very "deep", and was a larger undertaking than the original Crystal Chronicles. Additional quests were added to the American release. Kamiyama noted that a feature he particularly enjoyed was the ability to see the character wearing and using the equipment that was purchased.
Aiko performs the ending theme, "A World with No Stars" (星のない世界 Hoshi no Nai Sekai ).
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The game has a special "Gemini edition" bundled with a stylized DS-lite. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates received the scores of 9 / 8 / 9 / 9 - (35/40) from Famitsu magazine. Nintendo Power gave the game a 7.0 out of 10, claiming it was "good, not great" and "Ring of Fates would be acceptable; for Final Fantasy, it is a major concern". Kane Ikin from Alchemy SBS Radio gave the game 3.5 out of 5 saying that "... It has a lot of excellent features but it really is a game best shared with a friend..." It was a nominee for Best Story by IGN in their 2008 video game awards.
As of August 8, 2008, Ring of Fates has sold 690 thousand units worldwide, with 380 thousand units sold in Japan, 160 thousand units in North America, and 150 thousand units in Europe.
- Young, Billy (May 10, 2007). Square Enix Holds Pre-Conference Meeting in Japan. rpgamer.com. Retrieved on August 31, 2007
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- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates DS confirmed for UK. GameSpotUK (2008-02-26). Retrieved on 2008-02-26
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "A few years after their departure, the Tipa caravanners start hearing tales of the world as it was in the days before miasma. Sometimes presented as legend, sometimes as a fairy tale, the main thrust of the tales remains the same. Whether mentioned by Stiltzkin or later by Mio, whether appearing as part of the annual Diary summary, or in the books hidden in Moschet Manor, the tales all point to the same conclusion."
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "Originally, the entire planet was bathed in the blessed aura of a great crystal that stood in the spot now occupied by Mount Vellenge. Touchstone of the Becoming, and keeper of all forms of Duration, the destiny of all humankind converged in this crystal. The role of the crystal at that time was simple: it protected the people with its glow. It was by the grace of memory that mankind could be inscribed in Duration while evolving in a natural state of Becoming."
- FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: Ring of Fates PAL Street Date Announcement (January 18, 2008). Retrieved on March 10, 2008
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "Then, one fateful day, a star fell from the sky. The Carbuncles still clearly remember the events of this dread day, and several others, such as Eleanor and Stiltzkin, have heard tell of it. The meteor crashed headlong into the great crystal, shattering it into smaller crystals and scattering the shards throughout the world."
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "The meteor was also responsible for bringing the Meteor Parasite to earth, a creature that spewed forth a toxic substance: miasma. Without the great crystal to protect the population, Miasma started to spread all over the world. Following the Carbuncles' advice, people built the towns and villages around the fragments of the original crystal."
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "Seeing the crystals weaken over time, they decided to start searching for myrrh to purify them. Thus were founded the first caravans. And so began the Crystal Cycle."
- Daujam, Mathieu (2004). "Secrets - Scenario - The Myth of the Original Land". Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Official Guide. piggyback interactive. p. 136. ISBN 1-903511-58-5. "With no miasma to tarnish it, the crystal shined brightly, a beacon for everyone who wanted to live in peace. Strengthened by such confidence and animated by such harmony, men and women were able to experience life in the fullest sense of the word. They were free to travel the world, explore new horizons, have unexpected encounters... and therefore create numerous precious memories. These memories, whether happy or painful, revealed the richness of human existence. They would spontaneously purify the crystal and ensure its perpetual renewal..."
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- IGN Staff (December 18, 2006). Nintendo DS 2006 Year in Review. IGN. Retrieved on March 28, 2008
- Square Enix (March 11, 2008). Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates Ships to North American Retailers Today (DS) Press Release. Square Enix. Retrieved on March 28, 2008
- IGN Staff (July 13, 2007). E3 2007: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates Video Interview. IGN. Retrieved on March 28, 2008
- Athab, Majed (August 16, 2007). Square Enix Game Soundtracks Dated. rpgamer.com. Retrieved on August 31, 2007
- Review: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates - EDGE magazine. Future Publishing. Retrieved on 2008-04-20
- Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Ring of Fates -Gemini Edition- (w/ Nintendo DS Lite Console). Retrieved on August 31, 2007
- GAF - News - Latest Famitsu scores - FF CC: Ring of Fates, Dragoneer's Aria
- Alchemy Game Review : Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
- IGN DS: Best Story 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-15). Retrieved on 2008-12-19
- Annual Report 2008. Square-Enix.com (August 8, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-12-20
- Official Japanese Site
- Original Soundtrack at Square Enix Music (Japanese)
- Official North American Site
- Official European Site