Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King bears the name of Square Enix’s cheerful action RPG series, but the gameplay in their first WiiWare title is a completely new direction for the Crystal Chronicles series. Fumiaki Shiraishi, who was once the lone programmer for the title, explains Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is “about building a city, not exploring the world.”
An English video demonstration started at the Castle City Chapter 1 where Leo walked around a mostly empty city. He spoke to fellow Clavat adventurers and responded to them with selectable commands. However, the game isn’t just about what King Leo wants. Each day Leo gets a detailed daily report showing dungeon exploring progress and what the heroes believe would make the town better. Sometimes all an adventurer wants is a “Level 15 Broadsword” and they happily tell Leo after purchasing the item. An icon floating over an adventurer’s head indicates if they are on their way to the weapon shop or not.
All of the actions done by the adventurers are governed by AI. You don’t control them during dungeons. In fact, Leo doesn’t leave the town. Actually, there isn’t even an outside world to explore! Dungeon progression is shown by a screen with a map of the surrounding world. Battle scenes aren’t in the game either, but they were before. Shiraishi mentions, “We spent months on the battle system only to scrap most of it.”
The focus of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is to manage the day to day operations of the growing kingdom and not whacking goblins with friends. On the upper left hand corner of the screen a crystal icon and a coin icon were placed adjacent what appeared to be an in game clock. Presumably, these are materials Leo needs to allocate to turn the blank plot of land to the bustling town shown in The Castle City Chapter 4.
At the end of the presentation a member in the audience asked a question a lot of us were pondering, “is [Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles] Crystal Bearers dead now?” Shiraishi promptly answered, “Sorry, I think you need to wait for a press release on that one.”
Also during the question and answer session Shiraishi explained Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King did not begin its life as part of the Crystal Chronicles series. They borrowed assets from a prototype version of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles as a cost saving measure.