Final Fantasy XI: Crystalline Prophecy Hands-On Tour

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This April, the developers at Square Enix along with Masato Kato, one of the original script writer for Final Fantasy XI (and who also did work on Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Cross, and Chrono Trigger), released A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode to Life Bestowing . The content has been available for download since the end of March and was made playable in April after the version update. While not as expansive as some of the full-featured expansions that came before it, Crystalline Prophecy is the first of a trilogy of download-only, mini-expansions that Square Enix is pursuing in order to bring a number of loose threads in the game to an end.

To get a general overview of this content, the Ten Ton Hammer staff went on a tour of A Crystalline Prophecy and what we found will certainly make veteran FFXI players ecstatic. The content begins for characters that are level 30, but by the end of the Crystalline Prophecy players will be expected to have a full party of level 75s to take on the end encounters.

For players that just tinkered with Final Fantasy XI when it was originally released, many of you probably remember the rendered cut scene featuring a small boy and his sister being attacked by monsters in the middle of a war. The Crystalline Prophecy acts as a sort of conclusion for that story that occurred twenty years prior to the events in the original game.

When a player originally purchases the content for Crystalline Prophecy, they’ll be treated to a rather lengthy cut scene that sets the scene for players to begin their next round of content. To make a long cut scene short, the player is basically one of a handful of individuals in the world that see – and remember – the appearance of a giant crystal in the sky. The crystal bursts and pieces rain down throughout the world. It’s then the players task to go and find several of these objects and return them to, by way of a weird time warp, the young boy that players originally saw in that initial FFXI rendered cut scene.

On the tour, I was also shown another cut scene that showcases an epic battle between a variety of beastmen and a contingent of Mithra that are defending a walled city from attack. In standard Final Fantasy style, the cut scene is rather lengthy, but the battle is interesting enough. I had to blast my way out of the battle, and turned those beastmen into mush in no time.

Along with the new content, the update also includes three new customizable armor pieces – Nuevo Coselete, Royal Redingote, and Mirke Wadecors - that are somewhat novel to the FFXI environment. Once you receive these armors, you then have a list of 20 supplemental attributes. Two of these attributes can then be selected and added onto the armor set. Depending on your playstyle or job, you can then specialize your gear to the way you’d like it to be.

Another intriguing new addition to Final Fantasy XI is the item augmentation system, which allows players to modify their items by choosing a particular piece of equipment to be augmented, and then defeating a monster that spawns almost immediately after choosing the piece of loot to be augmented. While this may not be extremely practical for low level players, end game characters will certainly take advantage of any extra gear they might have lying around.

All in all, A Crystalline Prophecy seems to hold a variety of new content for the well-versed FFXI player, but for those individuals that haven’t had the time to devote to reaching level 30 in the MMO, this may not be the downloadable content for you. Stick with Ten Ton Hammer for your FFXI news and previews. We should soon see some new information from the next mini-expansion, dubbed A Moogle Kupo d’Etat.

The Ten Ton Hammer staff would also like to thank the Square Enix team for providing us with this thorough tour.
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