Crystalis by SNK (the Neo Geo guys) is considered quite a cult classic by retro gaming fans. Released during a time when role playing games that did not have “Zelda” or “Final Fantasy” in the title simply did not sell well, SNK still pushed forward. The Nintendo Entertainment System went kind of dark with the storyline though. Maybe that is why Nintendo changed it quite a bit when they released a remake of Crystalis for the Game Boy Color, about 10 years later.
Yep, in the original the storyline was along the lines of a global nuclear war decimating the planet. You awaken from a cryogenic sleep that lasted about 100 years. As luck would have it, you are the only that can save the world as it has changed in the aftermath of destruction. The evil Emporer Draygon has taken over the tower that was supposed to keep bad stuff from happening again. He is now on a rampage to conquer the world.
In the Game Boy Color version though, the story goes like this. Emprorer Draygon has built a tower of military might and is using it to take over the world. You are now in control of a hero that was prophesied to save the world.
Now, which version sounds cooler to you?
The port to the Game Boy Color has the same effect on Crystalis as it did Super Mario Bros. The screen is smaller so it requires a bit of reworking. Nintendo didn’t really bother with reworking stuff that mattered (they focused on the story and sound) so you will be fighting bad guys that can attack, and often do, from off screen. They also removed the ability of enemies being immune to certain swords in your inventory.
While not perfect, the changes made to Crystalis do make it a bit more palatable for gamers of the time. I mean, we can’t have them playing a game that follows the aftermath of death and destruction.