Crystal Bearers Touches Upon Themes Of Racism



The cover feature for this month’s Nintendo Power is on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, and it provides a fair bit of background information on the game’s theme and setting.

In a previous feature on Crystal Bearers, I pondered if Square would elaborate on the political and social standing of each race, now that the technologically-driven Lilties were the dominant race in the world. Considering they were aiming to tell a slightly more mature story than previous Crystal Chronicles games, one would hope they wouldn’t shy away from the idea of political conflict and racism. Thankfully, they aren’t.

In an event known as the Great War, the Lilties destroyed the Yuke Crystal, apparently wiping the Yukes from existence. The Lilties enjoyed newfound prosperity, became the world’s dominant race, and ushered in a new age of science and reason. Lower on the social ladder are the Clavats, who mostly live as peaceful farmers or servants, and the Selkies, who have become a class of carefree outlaws who tend to rebel against Lilty rule. Though the world is now more or less at peace, there are underlying themes of racial oppression and genocide—not exactly lighthearted stuff.

The feature goes on to confirm some things we already know, such as the fact that Layle is quite the rambunctious badass. Oh, and he’s 21. Hooray for non-teenage protagonists. The hot female Selkie everyone’s up in arms over is named Belle and has a knack for getting into trouble. Naturally, Belle + Layle = Fun For Everyone.

Crystal Bearers continues to play with my hopes. I’m cautiously optimistic because so far, the game has hit all the right notes on my personal measuring scale. On the other hand, it’s a little depressing to be well aware that a lot of these elements will likely not be fleshed out, since Itahana and Co. are obviously trying to remain within the boundaries of a T-rated game and not explore real-world issues on some deeper level like, say, Versus XIII.

On another note, Nintendo Power seem to think Amidatellion is male for some odd reason.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.