The Illustrated Story of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (Nintendo DS)
The hero sets off into the dark forest surrounding the village, battling the hordes of monsters that lurk there.
Finally, after defeating the last mighty beast, the hero steps into a clearing in the forest. A beautiful crystal floats in midair, and sitting on top of it is Sherlotta.
A Young Clavat Warrior
Kaishaku has just had another bad dream. It is the usual same dream, one where an old man is following a young girl who is trying to protect the village crystal. The girl’s name is Sherlotta, and today she is waiting for Kaishaku to complete his coming-of-age ceremony, where he is put in a fighting test against some forest creatures and a hulking mechanical beast. As Kaishaku’s ceremony is over, his friend Eryll comes to congratulate him and invites everyone to the party. However, she suddenly swoons down to the floor unconscious. After her friends put her to bed, Sherlotta confirms that it is a case of the crystal sickness. Although there is a chance that she can be cured with a potion, the ingredients are located out of the village and the village law clearly states that no one for any reason can set foot out of the village and the forest surrounding it.
The Crystal Sickness
As the villagers become more worried about Eryll’s sickness, the elders decide to send the young warrior for the cure to the nearby town as he is now old enough to handle the trip. In the town, Kaishaku gets to know some people, as well as visit some of the shops that help him to improve his equipment. He also recruits a wizard named Seiberg to join him in his quests. Together, they eventually visit the library where Kaishaku meets the same old man that he saw in his nightmares! The old man, whose name is Larkeicus, agrees to prepare a medicine for the sick girl back in the forest, in return for a favour naturally. Kaishaku must still get the main ingredient, by going into the aqueducts and fighting the huge Buffasaur monster.
With medicine in hand, Kaishaku returns to the forest and Eryll recovers. The next day he returns to the town in order to return the old man’s favour, though not before dyeing his hair and wearing a kitchen pot on his head for protection. Larkeicus reveals that he is an archeologist, and he wants the boy to go to the Ice Mountain and restore the pieces of the ancient ruins that he will find there. The mountain is full of perils, but Kaishaku and his companion manage to successfully activate the ancient artifact at the top of the mountain. The next stop is the Fire Mountain, where they pretty much do the same thing, ending with a fight against a giant spider.
Where are the villagers?
As Kaishaku goes back to the village for the night, things starts to turn bad whilst everyone is sleeping. Larkeicus activates his own artifact, which, through the other newly activated artifacts, sends forth a strong light towards the forest village, causing the crystal to shatter. As Kaishaku wakes up in the morning he finds most of the people in the village missing, with only Eryll and Norshtalen to brief him of the terrible news. And a tall tower has just appeared out of nowhere. Kaishaku and his party go to the library once again. There, they are confronted by Larkeicus who, after getting a sound beating, tells them that he is in fact immortal.
After the old man escapes, Norshtalen suggests to Kaishaku that he should go searching for a hint in the desert ruins. The party have to overcome more traps as they search for the key to the inner chamber of the old temple ruins. Trapped inside far away from society for many centuries they find Veriaulde, who at first turns into a monster through the power of the crystal but after coming to his senses tells them his story about how he was used as an experiment. His master, Larkeicus, had discovered how to use the power of the crystals to operate his machines, changing the world’s way of life forever with his technology. Then one day the crystals started disappearing, bringing forth the downfall of society. Soon after a new crystal, the crystal core, appeared in the forest, and it was then that Larkeicus put Veriaulde in a new body. At the end of his recollections, Variaulde then gives Kaishaku a tool that will help him to find the broken pieces of the crystal.
Related download: veriaulde.zip (1K)
Crystal Core Fragments
Kaishaku starts going around the land looking for the various pieces of the crystal. He finds one in the aqueducts, and one on the Ice Mountain after fighting against a massive frog. Another piece is found lying on the Fire Mountain. With every piece found and returned to its place in the village, Kaishaku starts having flashbacks, one of the recent coming-of-age preparations and one as far as when as a newbord he was found by Sherlotta abandoned in the forest. The team then go back to the village to find out what new weapons and armour has arrived. As the crystal starts increasing its power with every additional piece, the villagers start reappearing one by one. The final two crystal shards are found in the library and in the ruins.
As the final piece of the crystal is placed where it belongs, something strange happens. The crystal is absorbed by Kaishaku as it becomes one with him. With the power of the crystal, he then starts to see the world as it really is. At this point our confused hero is told that the village and its villagers were only an illusion for him whilst growing up, made possible with the crystal’s powers. After all the crystals had disappeared some two thousand years earlier, the crystal core appeared in the forest. This spelled its doom, as Larkeicus attacked the village, killing everyone in sight. This was all for nothing, as the crystal did not have the same powers as the other ones, and thus useless for the old man. Sherlotta has also become immortal in the process, and she tells Kaishaku to join her in her attempt to stop Larkeicus from activating his time machine as the villagers’ spirits prepare for their departure.
Related download: crystal-core.zip (1K)
The Ghost in The Graveyard
Sherlotta comes out of the forest with a really nasty attitude. She snaps out at everyone she meets, although she does not participate in the actual exploration, instead leaving the fighting and puzzle solving to be handled by Kaishaku and his friend. Their first stop is in a graveyard, where they go to collect an ancient artifact that will help them to reach Larkecius’ tower. The artifact however has a will of its own and at first attacks them, but is later convinced to join the group and aid in their quest. The artifact cannot work on its own however, so it suggests that they go to the library in order to find out some more information about the location of a staff that will make the artifact complete.
With information gained from the library, the keen adventurers then recover the staff from a mine, after fighting against a giant lizard protecting it. With the full artifact in hand, Sherlotta instructs them to go back to the ancient gates and activate them with it. In the meantime, Kaishaku recruits another member in his team, who is a decent red mage, although it seems that she prefers to talk about fashion rather than adventuring. At the top of Fire Mountain, Sherlotta activates the first device, showing us all of her unsubtle manners. The device shines a strong light towards the bridge’s gate. Similarly, on top of Ice Mountain they activate the other device.
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Time for Fireworks!
Our heroes go to the now fully activated gate, and Sherlotta produces thousands of crystals with her powers, which she then channels through her new artifact friend and through the gate to produce a handy bridge to the tower. As they cross the bridge, the three adventurers start having a taste of Larkeicus’ contraptions as they are attacked by his mechanical beasts whilst navigating through the various traps. Once at the base of the tower, Sherlotta starts talking all serious and sentimental. She must have something in her mind.
Kaishaku and the rest of the team start climbing the long way up the tower, fortunately using a number of lifts, but unfortunately all of them are filled up with monsters. After numerous encounters with the enemy’s army they arrive at the top. However, the first thing that they see up there is an inanimate Sherlotta. To their amazement, Sherlotta tells them that that is her true self, with the Sherlotta that Kaishaku has known since his childhood being only a manifestation of her strong will. She reveals that she was captured by Larkeicus to be used in his experiments for immortality because of her ability to create crystals out of thin air. Sherlotta also recalls how her life had changed when Larkecius attacked the village in the forest, and how she had used Eryll’s cat as her host which she has now grown into. She then orders Kaishaku to kill her, and thus stop her from creating more essential crystals for the old man and so defeat him.
Related download: tower2.zip (2K)
Doing A Very Simple Thing
Larkeicus is convinced that by killing Kaishaku he will prevent the crystal core from reappearing in the past, and the final battle ensues. Although he is defeated once again, Larkeicus extracts his power from the crystals that Sherlotta keeps producing against her will. He turns into a really ugly monster, and although he dies again fight after fight, after some time he starts getting the upper hand on the young adventurers. At this point, Sherlotta in her true self gathers all her forces, driven by her love for Kaishaku and attacks Larkeicus. She summons the crystal core at the very top of the tower that Larkeicus has built to stop his demise, thus draining the life away from him.
Kaishaku destroys the crystal, and all of its creations start to disappear. Sherlotta gives him her farewell with the smile of a proud parent, Larkecius turns into dust, and the tower turns into light particles, drifting away into the air. The world is once again a happy place without any of its inhabitants knowing what just happened. In the end, we see Kaishaku return to the forest, where he puts the crystal that Sherlotta had given him at the end of his coming-of-age ceremony before wandering off into the foliage.
Related download: ff-echoes-ending.zip (2K)