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Starting and continuing[edit]

To begin a new game, select Start from the title screen.

The game automatically keeps track of your in-game progress via the doors and trails you pass. If you recently lost or reset your system via the Reset button, selecting Continue from the title screen will usually let you try again from the last such point you crossed. If an area you passed does not allow for continues, the game will instead resume from the last place where it was allowed.

Note: attempting to select Continue after just powering-on the game will literally dump you into the start of the game with a name of "------". It seems amusing, but it's also a quick way to access the System Screen and reload from the backup files.

Pause menu and sub-screens[edit]

Pushing Start button during play brings up a Status Screen, showing your current condition, health, magic, attack, defense, and equipment such as your current weapon, armor, shield, and spell.


Enemies can inflict dangerous status effects on you, and these conditions will be noted in the Status Screen under Condition:

  • Normal
You are under no effects.
  • Poisoned
You will steadily lose health until the condition is reversed by an Antidote or the Recover spell.
Poisoning usually comes from direct contact with poisonous enemies (usually denoted by their red color).
  • Petrified
Your body is literally turned to stone, preventing you from doing anything. Unless you have a Fruit of Lime or the Recover spell, you are helpless for a few seconds. Note that if you got petrified during an attack motion, you can still deal damage to enemies foolish enough to run into your blade.
Petrification is a spell cast by certain enemies. It can be identified as a large swirl.
  • Paralyzed
Your body is stiff: particularly your arms. While you are able to move about and attack physically, you can't wind your arm back properly to perform charge attacks, preventing you from using magic bolts. You can take a Lysis Plant or use the Recover spell to relieve this.
Paralysis is a spell cast by certain enemies (and eventually yourself). It can be identified either as a pattern of rings or as an outward spread of puffs.
  • Cursed
Forbidden magic has literally turned you into a helpless slime. Little is understood about this condition, and the only thing that can restore you from a Curse is the rare Fruit of Repun. Otherwise, you are helpless.
Curse is a spell cast by certain enemies. It can be identified as a circle of small flames.
  • Drain
This is not a condition described by the Status Screen, but it nonetheless effects you. For each Drain spell inflicted upon you, you will lose 1MP per half-second, up to a maximum of 15MP. Unfortunately, the effect is cumulative for multiple hits.
Drain is a spell cast by certain enemies, usually in the late game and usually in bursts of four or so. It can be identified as a web-like projectile.

Pushing Select button during play brings up the Sub-Screen, where you can select your equipment. The subscreen has two pages; scrolling past the top or bottom will bring up the other page. To select an item on the screen, move the cursor over that item and press A button. Items in color have been selected. Pressing A button on a selected item de-selects it. An item is also de-selected if another item on the same row is selected; each row only allows for one item at a time to be selected. Pressing B button will allow you to drop an item if it's allowed; however, only armor suits, shields, and tools can be dropped (see Items for more details).

Saving and loading[edit]

Crystalis keeps an internal backup for saving progress. This is accessed via the System Screen, which you reach by pressing Start button while in the Sub-Screen. The game can keep track of up to two games at a time; you can choose to overwrite either of the two files. Progress is tracked like that of the continue feature. When you reload a game, your status is returned to that from the point you entered the area where you saved.

Saving is subject to the same restrictions as continues. If continues aren't allowed for a given area, neither are saves.

Note: the two save files are initially blank. Attempting to load a blank file will load you at the start of the game with a name of "------".


To progress through the game, you need to kill monsters to collect experience. All bosses within the game have a minimum level requirement to damage.

You start with 48 HP, 34 MP, and your Attack and Defense at 1 each. For each level, you gain 16 HP and (except at level 2) 17MP until each one maxes out at 255. You also gain one point in natural Attack and Defense (both statistics are augmented depending on your equipment).

Level Experience
to advance
HP MP Attack Defense Required for
1 30 48 34 1 1-1
2 60 64 34 2 2-2
3 150 80 51 3 3-3 Vampire
4 300 96 68 4 4-4 Swamp Insect
5 700 112 85 5 5-5
6 1200 128 102 6 6-6
7 1600 144 119 7 7-7 General Kelbesque
8 3500 160 136 8 8-8
9 5800 176 153 9 9-9
10 8000 192 170 10 10-10 Vampire (rematch)
11 10000 208 187 11 11-11 Sabera
12 20000 224 204 12 12-12 Mado
13 30000 240 221 13 13-13 General Kelbesque (rematch)
14 40000 255 238 14 14-14 Mado (rematch)
15 50000 255 255 15 15-15 Emperor Draygon
16 MAX 255 255 16 16-16 Draygon (2nd form)

In the GBC remake, the level requirement is removed, but attacking below the recommended level may be difficult.

Similar games[edit]

Crystalis shares elements with many other role-playing games, especially those where the player controls a single character.

The graphics and gameplay of Crystalis are between two famous games from a same series. Having been released later, this game is more advanced.

  • Dungeons are shaped like a more complex version of those found in The Legend of Zelda 1, but with scrolling screens; the battle system is similar, too.
  • Character attributes and the experience points system are more reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda 2, as well as the world geography and townsfolk dialogue.

Two other "Zelda clones" were released for the NES one year before Crystalis: Faria and Willow.