A young hero must save the world from evil magic by finding the four powerful swords that form Crystalis.


Crystalis is a top-down action RPG originally released for the NES in 1990. The game takes place in a world where a nuclear apocalypse took place in 1997. The survivors of the disaster built a powerful floating tower, with which to govern the world and prevent nuclear war from occurring again.

100 years later, humanity has reverted to an age where the ways of science are forbidden and the people rely on magic. However, the power-hungry Emperor Draygon revives the ways of science in conjunction with magic and attempts to gain control of the floating tower and its advanced technology.

The player character is a young man revived from sleep in a cryogenic stasis chamber. He is soon tasked with the quest to collect the four elemental swords so that the world can be saved. The main character is named by the player. If the game is started without giving him one, he will be assigned the name " SNK."


Crystalis plays a lot like the top down games in the Zelda series, but has more RPG elements. As the player defeats enemies, the hero gains experience points and money which can be used to buy new armor, shields, and various items. There are also spells which can be cast to heal damage, paralyze enemies, or shield from attacks, which require Magic Points. The level cap is set at 16. Gaining levels is required to beat the game, as enemies who are too strong will take no damage at all from attacks until a certain level is reached.

In combat, there is a meter at the bottom of the screen which represents the hero's current sword's charge level. In addition to close range stab attacks, the player can charge up the sword by holding down the attack button while standing still. Letting go of the attack button will release the charge, resulting in a ranged attack. It is possible to move around while still maintaining the current charge level. Each sword has three levels of charge available, but special items must be obtained and equipped to use the second and third levels, and the third level charge attacks require MP to use.

There are four swords used during the main game, representing the elements of Wind, Fire, Water, and Thunder. Although the swords have different strengths from each other, (E.G. the Wind Sword obtained at the beginning has the lowest attack power of the four) some enemies and most bosses have elemental immunities, requiring a specific sword be used to defeat them.

Game Boy Color Version

Crystalis was later ported to the Game Boy Color ten years later by Nintendo. Changes were made to the overall story, as well as the soundtrack. Some gameplay aspects were also altered, such as how elemental swords were used. In the original NES version, monsters commonly have elemental immunities that prevent certain swords from damaging them at all. In the GBC release, this immunity was removed, greatly changing the strategic element of the game. In this version of the game, the main character's default name is "Simea".