Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers was released in late 2009 in Japan and the US, and early 2010 in Europe. This game takes place long after the other Crystal Chronicles games, where the Yuke Tribe has disappeared from the world after a great war with the Lilty Tribe. Select people, known as Crystal Bearers, are able to wield various powers, however the Lilty Tribe has deemed them dangerous and outlawed their use in the Lilty Kingdom. But a surprise attack on the Alexis airship by monsters and a lone Yuke named Amidatelion will show that the world isn't as peaceful as it may look. It's up to Layle, Belle, and Keiss to find out her intentions and also to uncover a conspiracy to overthrow the Lilty Kingdom.
Best time: 3:56:35 by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe on 2014-07-15, done in 17 segments.
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There were four crystals, and together they formed one principle. And thus the world was created...
Speed Run Rules:
* Done from a Clean Save (New Game)
* Takes Damage to Save Time
* Kicks the Final Boss' Ass
* Saves the Princess. No, she's not in another castle.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (phew, long title!) is the 4th FFCC game on the Wii, the 2nd on disc. Unlike the other FFCC games, instead of using deformed characters, it uses more realistic models. It also doesn't use any gimmicky multi game/system features like the original with the GBAs or Echoes with the Wii/DS multiplayer funkiness.
The story follows around Layle and Keiss, a pair for hire who start the game escorting the new Lilty Airship Alexis II on its maiden voyage. But as all good RPGs go, shit happens. Monsters begin to appear and attack the ship. Keiss is a pussy and wants to run away, but good old Layle grabs a big gun, goes into a suicidal leap, and starts blowing shit up. HELL YEAH.
The game takes place about 1000 years after some great war between the Lilty and the Yukes, in which the war brought about the apparent end of the Yukes. However, they were only sent to a dimension between existence and oblivion. Now they're back, ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum (and they're all out of gum!).
I heard about this game via the E3 videos in 2006, but initially didn't pay much attention, since I wasn't much into FFCC at the time. However, in the last few months before its release, when the trailers started coming out, I was very excited. I jumped onto the Japanese version when it came out (Nov 2009) and loved it from the get go. I only played the first 15 minutes (equivalent of Segment 01 of the run), but had to stop due to a huge language barrier. Once the US version came out in December (some places were selling it a week earlier then street release), I hit the ground (and the game) running. Initially I figured that I was gonna wind up with about a 7 hour run, so I was going to segment it for that reason. v1 quickly chopped the time down to about 5.5 hours, a good starting point. I took some time and looked over the run and through threads at GameFAQs, and then began developing my v2 run. I found a lot of tricks on my own and redid parts in order to get what I needed for equipment. v2 brought me down to around 4.5 hours, an impressive improvement, since I was initially estimating about a 15 minute improvement. Yeah, that was more than 15 minutes alright.
I was hoping some FAQs would come up, but nothing had, so I waited until I could get a copy of Brady Games' strategy guide on the game before working on v3 (Yes, I bought a strategy guide, you got a problem with that?). The guide helped me to come up with a couple minor inventory changes, helped me find 2 of the 3 myrrh fragments I collected (I found the one in Moogle Woods on my own by accident) and overall provided the final streamlining I needed.
Finally, just a hair over 1 month after its (early) release, I finished up v3 with an awesome segment 20. Rejoicing, I was.
And so for 3.5 years, the game videos sat on the SDA page, lonely, until Zewing picked up the game himself. With new strats, he managed to beat the run...single-segment. Obviously, this could not stand. It was time for Layle's Revenge.
Using info from Zewing, I managed to pull within 5 seconds of his single-segment time with my v4. Impressive for not having played the game for a long time, but obviously not good enough. For v5, it was time to pull out all the stops. No holding back. YOLO strats had been activated. And victory was sweet. The run was accepted to SDA in November 2013.
After a fine performance during Crystals For Life 2014, my desire to play with the game some more grew. The biggest thing was figuring out about the warps, mostly in regards to where they were, when they can be used, and if they would save time. I found out two would be usable for the run, saving MINUTES. And thus new attempts began.
The vast majority of the improvement came from the two warps. Out of the 5 minutes of improvements from the SDA run, about 3.5 minutes came from the two warps alone. Unfortunately this skipped two of my save points, meaning my already torturously long Aerial Prison segment grew in size. Lovely.
One more note before I begin - cutscenes are NOT skippable. Not on NG, not even on NG+. What a bonehead move by Square Enix. Granted I'm sure that without them, the time would probably be under 1.5 hours. ^^;;
Segment 01 (0:13:48)
One trick I learned was that the options for stuff like subtitles (your entertainment) and camera control (my sanity) are tied into the save file so these can be set without wasting in-game time.
This is a mostly straight forward sequence. There are things you can do in NG+ to speed it up a little bit, mostly during the time when you fly the Alexis II.
Segment 02 (0:37:10)
I prove in this sequence that Layle is a pickpocket with a mean streak. The majority of the gil I acquire in this segment comes from a poor little clumsy girl, who we later learn is Princess Althea (explains why she has so much Gil to drop!). I also pick up my only myrrh fragment from the goblin fight. It's a mandatory fight, but man, it goes quick, especially when you throw them at each other!
Segment 03 (0:44:16)
This segment is simple and kinda boring - I simply run halfway across the world to go visit the obligatory Final Fantasy character, Cid. Time was saved from the v3 run by not doing the Eastern Wildlands Campaign and also a new shortcut through the incinerator (thanks to moooh for this shortcut!). I combined this with the Cid section to save some time (combining Segments 03 and 04 from my v3 run), since building the amulet I found out is no longer mandatory. Chest collection, however, still is.
Segment 04 (0:48:09)
Having finished my business with Cid, I run back across the world to reach the Vineyard. On the way, I save a woman in distress for something that will come into play in segment 07. Time saved from my v3 run due to skipping the myrrh fragment.
Segment 05 (1:03:04)
Amazing, bizarre, and crazy stupid vine room fight. The battle against Bahamut was badass too (Although the Goblins are evil sword thieves, but at least their actions didn't cost any time).
Segment 06 (1:06:43)
I grab the spice here as well as the UMA News, and then it's basically talking to Vaigali.
Segment 07 (1:16:58)
The Butt Bumping game is something I never really understood how it worked, but it doesn't matter as I found you can fail and still continue. I'll have to try harder next time to win Belle's heart <3. At the finish, I talk to the Mail Moogle for an extra letter, which is from the girl I saved in Segment 04. This earns me 100 Gil.
Segment 08 (1:28:44)
The train sequence is a lot of fun. The real goal is to get 9999 points, done by dodging all guards, kicking the soccer ball (not throwing the kid as I did here), returning the card, kicking opening up the chest, and grabbing the balloon for the kids. However, since this is a speedrun, I went with the fast, reckless strats. I used Zewing's strats for the first car, while the last car is a new strat I came up with, as the change in car 1 prevents me from simply riding the moogle cart to victory as in my v3 run.
The time at the end of this segment is higher than my old v3 due to moving the save point from Grassland Station to Clock Plaza.
Segment 09 (1:35:22)
Not much to discuss here. Layle picks more pockets and then creates a noisy ruckus in a library. Such a bastard.
Segment 10 (1:42:44)
No more running around. It's CHOCOBO TIME. Wark? Or Kweh? What do you hear and think Chocobos say?
Segment 11 (1:50:05)
"Layle, I'm willing to give up my kingdom to save my father."
"HAHAHA! Who do you think you are? The Princess?"
"I am! Why do you think I can say that?"
"Whatever, I'm sure the real Princess is in other castle."
Segment 12 (1:52:50)
Time saved from my v3 run by skipping the Samurai Goblin fight and better grabbing of the chest in the tree.
Segment 13 (1:58:10)
I collect a TON of shit here and get a fantastic sequence. It was virtually flawless, especially given the difficulty of juggling chest collection and unmasking Goldenrod (who has some difficult to grab hiding spots). Cut out the myrrh fragment here as well. I also moved the UMA News reading to a later segment.
Segment 14 (2:28:16)
This is a LONG segment. First a boss fight against Blaze (who you see as early as Segment 02, if you pay attention), who's not as tough as he thinks he is. Then you have a flying chase sequence, followed by a being chased sequence. Good Blaze fight, despite the game's attempts to screw me over with the controls. Poor boy was p0wned, then met his end. Oh well. He deserved it...the prick. Chocobo chase was amazing. And the Behemoth escape can go fuck itself.
I also moved the save point to Moogle Woods Station, to prevent having to watch the cutscenes over and over if I screwed up or got bad luck in the next segment.
Segment 15 (2:34:21)
Due to massive changes in the rest of the run, I had to make sure I had enough money and all 8 UMA news prior to this segment. The reason being is that I actually do my accessory builds here, rather than the Grassland Station area (before going to Aerial Prison). There is some randomness to the builds, as each accessory has 3 variations. The one I wanted was the Hope Pearl (instead of the regular Pearl) which has a Damage Taken -1 bonus. And now only did I get that, I also received luck on a second accessory (Health Restore in Battle at a rate of 1HP every 10 seconds, something not really useful but still cool to get).
The rest of the segment is the same after reading the UMA News and building.
Segment 16 (3:26:08)
This segment went from a simple little dance to being the longest segment in the run. This is a combination of 3 segments in my old runs (which was Segments 17-19 in the v3 run). The reason for this change was due to 2 warps taken.
The dance was an awesome (and a little bit glitchy) sequence. It's too bad that I get one dance in there...and it's not my favorite. If you look carefully, you'll see the lovely Chime at the dance. If you choose her as a partner (or any other Selkie), you'll get to do the Selkie Tango to the tune of "Veo Lu Sluice", which is from the original FFCC. Since I only did this in my v1 run, I ripped that part of the video, encoded it, and put it on my YouTube account. Not only will you get to see me tango, you get to see a tango master (perfect sequence). Oh yeah.
After the dance, I purposely head back into the Queen's Garden to take a warp. I can actually go straight from there to the Selkie Guild instead of the old route, which saved about 2 minutes. The old route was taking the train from Grassland Station to Costa Faguita, and then running from there through High Tide Cove to reach the Selkie Guild. The warp's drop point is a bit weird at times though, I've had it dump me in at least 3 different locations. Luckily I got a relatively good location so I didn't have to go far to continue on.
The Aerial Prison segment is probably my least favorite segment in the game. No, not because some Selkies die, but because the stupid Selkies don't. Seriously, they have really goddamn stupid AI in that sequence. They love to try to lift open the impossibly large door instead of taking the crane all of 2 feet from them. Yes, they're that stupid. Vaigali is the only one with special immunity to becoming crystallized, because plot. You do receive a medal for saving all 25, but good luck with that.
After escaping Aerial Prison, I take my 2nd warp to get from there to Lett Highlands. This saves about 1.5 minutes. Much like arriving in Selkie Guild, I've been dumped in a few different locations (and even directions) so it takes a second to get my bearings before I head off to Victory Monument.
Also, my thoughts on the Althea confronts Jegran sequence after the 2nd resurrection (aka the old Segment 19 notes):
"Layle, what are you doing?"
"I'm killing Jegran before he becomes anymore evil!"
"Layle, stop it!"
"No! He might become the final boss!"
"STOP IT NOW, LAYLE!"
"Dammit bitch, if he knocks you out and dangles you from a crane thousands of feet in the air, don't you blame me now!"
Segment 17 (3:56:35)
In the 30 minutes of this segment, I have the following playable sequences:
1. Run to the train (about 30 seconds)
2. Waggle the Wiimote furiously for about 20 seconds (it's tiring to do it hard enough for the game to accept)
3. Hold the analog stick on the Nunchuck all the way to the left or right for about 5 seconds.
4. Complete the ship jump (about 5 seconds, if you do it perfectly)
5. Four Phase Final Boss fight (just a few minutes)
So I play probably about 5 minutes of the 30 in that segment. Yeah. Really. But I must say, that is the BEST run though of the final battle ever. While no "Bullet-Dodging Legend (328)" medal this time due to game trolling (seriously, I wasn't hit once!), still an extremely quick board. And the final boss fight? Absolutely SICK. You know the cannons from phase 3? You can rip them off and use them in phase 4 FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE. Jegran didn't know what hit him.
Playing though and speed running The Crystal Bearers was a fun experience for me. I enjoyed my time with this and hope you enjoyed watching. Thanks again to moooh and Zewing for new strats and to Zewing for the motivation to improve my old run.
This run is Copyright (C) 2014 Nicholas "Sir VG" Hoppe and IMAMYTH Colosseum (http://www.imamyth.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/SirVG) and is allowed for downloading and private viewing. Permissions for hosting this run have been granted to the Speed Demos Archive website and YouTube channel. Public viewing of this run is prohibited without prior permission from the creator. The selling or distribution of this run for profit in any way, shape, or form including (but not limited to) selling on eBay and television for profit is prohibited without prior permission from the author. Video hosting sites (i.e. YouTube, etc.) may not host this video in part or in full, unless full permission is granted by the author. Any violation of the above listed may result in legal action. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is Copyright (C) 2009 Square Enix.
Sir VG, signing out.
"We came. We saw. We speed ran."
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