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Arliel: Crystal Densetsu
European cover art
|Genre(s)||Turn-based fantasy strategy|
Crystal Warriors (アーリエル クリスタル伝説?, "Arliel: Legendary Crystal") is a turn-based fantasy strategy video game for the Sega Game Gear handheld system. It was released by Sega in Japan in 1991 and North America in 1992. The animation was done by Kugatsuhime, a Japanese video game company.
The player forms a party of up to nine units to fight in each level. The player starts on one side of the map and an enemy force of up to nine units occupies a castle on the opposite side. The player must defeat the enemy force or move a unit on to the enemy castle entrance to complete each level. Each level has terrain features which form bottlenecks or change the speed of units. The player controls specialized units belonging to a particular elemental group and most of the strategy revolves around the element of a given unit, its speciality and positioning. Each element is weak to one and strong versus another in a rock-paper-scissors system. Fire elemental units are strong against wind elemental units, while wind units are strong against water, and in turn water units are strong against fire. Earth-based units have no particular strengths or weaknesses to other elements. However, with the exception of the Princess(s) and Emperor Jyn the Earth-based units are all mages or healers and have a low base defence, making them vulnerable to combat units.
Whenever a player unit attacks an enemy unit or vice versa, a battle occurs. A battle consists of two rounds where the units can fight with melee weapons, spells or monsters. The attacking unit strikes first in each round.
Each unit acquires four experience points for defeating an enemy. Each time the unit gains ten experience points it increases in level, acquiring higher stats, with a maximum level of 9. Units can also defeat and "tame" monsters (which are also assigned an element) on each level, and use them in battle. Monsters, though very weak, are useful to avoid elemental weakness - a Fire Lord, for example, could tame a Wind monster, and use it in combat against a Water Fighter, thus flipping the elemental advantage.
New units, weapons, armour, and spells can be bought in towns along with information on the nature of the next level, which may affect the player’s choice of units.
The game included a two player mode which was made available by connecting to another Game Gear via a Gear-to-Gear cable. One player started with Princess Iris and selected eight other team members from the recruitable characters found during the single player game. The other player started with Princess Cham, an evil counterpart to Iris, and could select eight other team members from the standard Jyn forces (not the warlords, Grym or Emperor Jyn). Any map could be selected as an arena; teams started on a fortress and the opponent's team members were revealed in the same way as the single player version (by combat or spell). To win the player had to defeat the entire opposing force or take the enemy fortress.
The game follows the adventures of the Princess Iris of Arliel. The evil Jyn have overrun her father’s lands and stolen three of the four elemental crystals used to keep the peace. Her quest takes her through the lands of Arliel to fight the Jyn’s elemental governors and reclaim the crystals before defeating Emperor Grynn and his mysterious overlord.
Aside from the introduction (and closing) there is no plot development in the game.