Games I’m Thankful For: Part 1, Crystalis on NES

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and gaming, I’ve been thinking about what games inspired my passion for the industry. I’m confident that Crystalis for the NES is the game that started my appreciation for the medium.

I’ve recently discovered that Crystalis was inspired by Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, a precursor film from the group that would become Studio Ghibli, if I understand the history correctly. So, to be fair, my appreciation for games begins with that movie. You can clearly see the inspiration from the movie within the game.

But, more importantly, my gaming history begins with Crystalis. The game released in 1989 in Japan as God Slayer: Haruka Tenkū no Sonata and released in 1990 in US, one year after I was born. The game was developed by SNK on the NES and was outsourced to Technology on the Game Boy Color version which I’ve never played, nor will I based on reviews of the game. Crystalis recently released as part of the SNK Collection on the Nintendo Switch, so I’ll be able to play it again one day.

As I’ve mentioned before I never played any Zelda games on the NES, or any system for that matter, so Crystalis serves a similar purpose for me. I fell in love with games and RPGs specifically because of this game alone.

I didn’t play the game until quite a few years after it came out and I’m not entirely sure I ever finished the game on my own. My mom was the one playing the game most of the time. I just sat back and watched. I was amazed at the elemental swords, the different armor, and awesome music. I listened to the opening sequence before writing this and can vividly watch many sequences of this game.

Now, that isn’t to say I remember everything about the game, but I am appreciative for the game existing at all. I can say that the game definitely had an impact on my life and probably influenced my weird infatuation with the elemental weapons, attacks, and magics in a variety of mediums.

I loved going back to Crystalis in my mind and thinking about the importance of the game to my life. I think I’ll make this a “series” of sorts and write about influential games in my life as time goes on.

I’d love to hear what games inspired you to play games and how have they impacted your life.

Thanks for reading.

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