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SkyHunter95

Fixing Krystal

3 posts in this topic

SkyHunter95    0
SkyHunter95

Despite her popularity, Krystal is easily the most divisive, most controversial character in StarFox. She is worthy of criticism, as the adaption of her character is a far cry from perfect, but I think she gets more scrutiny than she’s earned. The issues with her character I think are easy fixes, and I also want to talk about how the better parts of her character can be adapted to work better. I will be going into depth so this will be quite…long…

Her contribution to the World/Setting:

What we have: Adventures brought in weird magic, and shows Krystal dressed in rather primitive garb. However, doesn’t necessarily mean she herself is primitive. We know nothing about Cerenia, (Put lots of pins in that). Krystal having powers? That isn’t that out of nowhere in StarFox, in fact: weird Fantasy or Paranormal elements have been in StarFox long before Krystal showed up.

Examples: In SNES, (Route 3, Meteo 2) there is a weird bird-like creature that appears in the asteroids and sends you into a warp that abruptly ends the game. In Adventures, it’s similar to when the warpstone sends Fox through a warp. Warping in StarFox has always seemed to involve a strange surreal otherworldly dimension. There are also strange static-shaded objects that attack the player in SF64 during warps (Sectors X, Z, and Meteo). James Mccloud appears as a ghost in SF64, and guides Fox out to escape Andross’s subterranean base as it explodes. In terms of powers; across his appearances, Andross has insanely powerful telekinetic powers, can shoot lasers out of his eyes, can shoot lightning from his fingers etc. Krystal having to use a staff to shoot fire, ice, and project shields isn’t that much of a stretch.

How it can be better: Whether this is done through a sequel or a reboot, adapting Cerenia, and some Dinosaur Planet lore to fit the StarFox universe isn’t hard. There are ruins all over on Titania and Venom in SF64 (and later Assault), maybe they relate to Krazoa Palace, and the Cerenians, there are dozens of ways to write some interesting ancient space-civilization stuff in there. I think the most obvious way to fit Krystal in the universe, in a way that benefits her character, and Andross as a villain, is establishing that Cerenia was destroyed by Andross. It was vaguely implied in a cutscene in Adventures where Krystal seems to recognize Andross’s spirit shortly before he trapped her in that crystal prism. (Put a pin in that).


Role on the team:
What we have:
I think the Telepath role in Assault works, it was something that Krystal could do since the original Dinosaur Planet after all. The ability is something that she can do that no one else can, it’s just that it was severely underdeveloped and underutilized. Occasionally Krystal points out obvious weak points to bosses, dialogue: “I can feel it, the weak point is that center spot!” against the first Aparoid boss on Fortuna, “The weak point is at the top!” on Katina’s boss, or against the Aparoid Queen: “Fox, blast that red section!”. Other times where her telepathy is used; She senses an enemy squadron waiting for them on the other side of a door on Fortuna, senses targets within the base interior on Katina, and “Senses faint brain patterns” when the team sees abandoned Wolfens adrift on Mission 5 Meteo. The big time her telepathy is used, is during the cutscene right after Mission 5. She interrupts everyone while they were talking to General Pepper, to tell them that she was sensing a distress signal from planet Sauria. It had her totally shifting the entire scene from celebration of success, to a sudden rise of more danger. It would have been great if there was a lot more of that with Krystal.

How it can be better: Krystal’s use of telepathy in-gameplay has minimal effect, it is essentially the same thing as what Peppy does, only Peppy uses intuition to examine a situation rather than having powers to examine something. Many people didn’t like that Krystal essentially hijacked Peppy’s role, having her in an Arwing while Peppy was on the Great Fox didn’t help. I think there are ways to have them both knee deep in the action, the word “replaced” should be avoided. Nobody’s replacing Peppy, she’s just a new asset for the team.

Say in a game similar to StarFox 2 (The kind I’m hoping for), it would be cool if the player is allowed to pick 4 pilots from an expanded team of roughly 8: Fox, Falco, Slippy, Peppy, Miyu, Fay, Fara and Krystal. (going into detail on the others is a post for another day), Krystal’s special; is that she can tell the player when and where enemies will show up ahead of time, perhaps a blue glow appears as the outline of the enemy type at the location on the map where they are likely to appear. Essentially, Krystal can telepathically sense thoughts from across space, this might be a bit of a stretch. We can probably also keep Krystal giving Fox obvious warnings on bosses or enemies ahead, probably swap around with Peppy doing similar.

Remember when I mentioned Cerenia? We know nothing about what it looks like, we can easily assume it was a technologically advanced civilization similar to Corneria, but their technology is almost more mystical. We already know Krystal’s staff is powered by crystals that the player has to gather, so it uses a fuel source. Perhaps this is the basis of most of their technology. On top of that, perhaps Cerenians’ use of telepathy goes hand in hand with their technology, ESP basically. Krystal being the last of her kind would be a huge boon to the team if that were the case, especially if Venomians were after it. (Something I’ll bring up later).


Her plot, her mannerisms, dynamic with the team and character interactions:
What we have:
Cerenia was literally only mentioned in the manual, most of Krystal’s backstory being raised by Randorn, and her quest to save Dinosaur Planet (now called Sauria) was utterly cut. It was mentioned she was looking for her PARENTS, only for all of that to be utterly abandoned the moment Krystal is trapped, and it is never brought up again, ever. As I mentioned earlier, Krystal adds tiny tiny bits to the plot using her telepathy, other than the one shift to danger leading into mission 6 in Assault, other than that, she sorta takes a backseat sadly.
In terms of her interactions, in Adventures, we see her as friendly and kind, speaking to a fallen Earthwalker, and being more than willing to help. She defiantly tells-off Scales the moment she met him, and also declares “We will never kneel to you!” When Andross is re-awakened, although it wasn’t revealed to be him quite yet, at least not to Fox, AKA, the Player. Later in Assault, she retains being fairly sugary sweet, and becomes almost of a mommy figure. She softly scolds Slippy or Falco. “This happens because you’re reckless, be more careful!”. She is at least able to disagree with Fox, when he was going down to the surface on Katina to investigate the mystery on Katina-base, she says “By yourself? It’s too dangerous, I’m going too..” sadly, he tells her that he wants them in Arwings as cover, and she doesn’t have anything left to say. She became very passive compared to Adventures, where she promptly snatches her staff away from Fox to fire wildly at Andross. Although, she did seem proud of her combat abilities on foot, like dialogue: “I’m becoming an expert marksman, aren’t I?”, “I won’t be beaten by the likes of these things.”
Krystal can be sweet and friendly, but she needs to have some feistiness to her too. She does retain some of this whenever Panther hits on her, she either ignores him, or sarcastically blows him out of the water. Even saying “As long as I’m covering Fox..” in an angry tone. A nice case of her defiance, and her loyalty to Fox, but that leads us to another problem, I’ll get to that in a sec…  We never learn anything about what really motivates her, only that she seems to care about the team, care about others, and Sauria. Some more dialogue: “We WILL save Sauria, just you watch and see!!” “Poor beautiful Sauria, they won’t get away with this.” “All we can do is hope for their safety!”. Of course, most of her screen time is taken up by her practically throwing herself at Fox. She is obsessively romantic over him and it overshadows the entire rest of her character by a pretty wide margin. Although, the best part of that downfall to her character, is that she does reject Panther a bit, she even convinced him to tell them where Pigma was… the idea was good, but we could have gotten much more dialogue banter that leads her to tricking Panther’s one-track-mind into helping them.

How it can be better: Adapting her backstory with Randorn (as brief off-screen events) could do her wonders, her homeworld was utterly destroyed by Andross; the big villain of the universe. Andross wanted to research their unique psionic powers, and upon finding a way to gain this power, he had them wiped out to keep them from aiding Corneria in the coming Lylat War. Krystal, once aware of this, knows that she is all alone and has nowhere to go or be. Fox is the first person she meets (Adventures timeline), and is perhaps the only person she trusts at first. He introduces her to the StarFox team, and she suddenly now has friends and family. Krystal shouldn’t mommy the team members, but she should be sensitive to when they are in danger, and desire for their safety. I’m not against her romance with Fox, but her romantic implications with Fox should either be drastically reduced or ousted altogether. The fans can take care of that… She can still be defiant and headstrong in the face of villainy. Krystal could become very important whenever Cerenian technology or cosmological phenomenon come into play.

Cerenian technology could have refined warping or shielding technology. For example, if a shield protecting Corneria fails, the team, and their other friends could find a way to make a shield from Cerenian tech. Krystal alone has access to it. Remember that Crystal that turned her into an infamous damsel in distress in Adventures? Imagine if those were some kind of interface for Cerenian technology; one that puts users in suspended animation and can be dangerous and painful for untrained users. Perhaps Krystal uses that very thing to create a shield and project it over the planet, similar to what her staff can do.

The overview here, is that elements of Dinosaur Planet can be adapted to fit the StarFox Universe, and keep Krystal from appearing out-of-place. Using some of those elements, and what was done well in Assault to better justify her presence, give Krystal something to do, and a doorway through which she can affect the plot, or gameplay much more than she did. Treating her backstory, and the fact she is last-of-her-kind should be integral to her motivation, and interactions with other characters.

 

 

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NickFox    7
NickFox

GGreat points. I would add Katt to star fox, and having krystal develop a  friendship with her would be a great character development  chance for both of them.  i would go further than the 8 member idea. i would go up to 10, with katt and bill being the 9th and 10th  options. the more team variables the more replayability.  having  different members could also  gives you  different strength in different areas.  for instance having falco, katt and Krystal on your team could increases your defense and sped of your arwing.

as for cerenia, i would have the ruins of it be a place we could travel and build on the backstory, which was basically hinted at the beginning of Adventures and just.. dropped thereafter

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SkyHunter95    0
SkyHunter95
On 3/15/2019 at 3:09 PM, NickFox said:

GGreat points. I would add Katt to star fox, and having krystal develop a  friendship with her would be a great character development  chance for both of them.  i would go further than the 8 member idea. i would go up to 10, with katt and bill being the 9th and 10th  options. the more team variables the more replayability.  having  different members could also  gives you  different strength in different areas.  for instance having falco, katt and Krystal on your team could increases your defense and sped of your arwing.

as for cerenia, i would have the ruins of it be a place we could travel and build on the backstory, which was basically hinted at the beginning of Adventures and just.. dropped thereafter

I think it might be a little hard having Katt and Bill directly on the team, 8 is a lot as is, and Fara hasn't been on the team in-game except in an unreleased scrapped version of SF2, but Bill and Katt were both playable in StarFox Command. So I think it would be cool to have those two as bonus playable characters, along with Lucy and Amanda from Command.

As for Cerenia being a world where a mission can take place, that would also be super cool albeit dark, since it would probably be a smoldering dead-world. We do also have Zoness being ruined by pollution, and Eladard in SF2 ruined by Andross's factories, so Cerenia being populated by nothing but half-buried Rome/Aztec'esc city buildings, and statues that resemble Krystal would be chilling and telling.

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