Kokiri Greens, Sega Blue Skies, and they’ve changed the shadows in Crystal Chronicles

Have you ever performed that YouTube recreation, the place you scan by means of limitless movies of the unique Crystal Chronicles on GameCube, clicking and holding the TV distant buttons, dragging backwards and forwards, attempting to work out what precisely had modified within the opening degree River Belle Path? It is good enjoyable!

It’s important to get used to the fast acceleration of that scanning pimple alongside the time bar, however as soon as you have bought it down it feels good, and the buttons on my Sony distant have a pleasingly matte and rubbery top-feel, then a satisfyingly crisp click on to them. Click on-and-maintain, then a fast launch! This time, on a very good comparison video of the newly launched remastered Crystal Chronicles. And I knew it. Not solely does the GameCube one have darker, richer cloud shadows that dapple and drift throughout the panorama, however it additionally has an entire layer of smudgy shadow solid by its bushes and paths and partitions. The environment’s all modified. Within the waterfall clearing the place you combat the crab boss, initially it was moodily half-eclipsed in a darkness solid by the encircling bushes, whereas within the remaster it is all simply limply even. I feel the lighting basically is completely different, the entire thing slightly paler, possibly slightly cooler? Username ‘Rami’ within the YouTube feedback agrees!:

the PS4 model appears good, however the lighting is rather a lot cooler than the GameCube. If it had been tinted with extra of a greenish-yellow, simply barely, I feel it might be fairly excellent. (o^^o).

(I gave his remark a like).

My automotive’s within the storage by the way in which. It has been there for 3 weeks. Seems it wasn’t the timing chain in spite of everything, so now they’ve to seek out somebody who’ll peel again the engine to examine the valve-cylinders one-by-one. So I have been on-foot rather a lot, and was so excited for Crystal Chronicles I would mainly written an article about it earlier than it was even launched, thought-up while I walked round, powered by a foot-fall engine that generated limitless trains of phrases a couple of recreation world I would at all times thought of one of the lovely ever created.

The opening degree specifically – which is a pleasure simply to say! ‘River Belle Path’ – at all times appeared to have captured just-so a sort of riverside vibe: grass embankments and stone-wall bridges and pebble-shoal water edges – a faculty journey to Snowdon. However it additionally captures a sure strolling power, a form of path-ness itself, with the adventurers’ working gait across the river’s meanders and bends tempered by the slower, steadier knees-up climbing tempo of the one wielding the chalice. A phenomenon caught and sealed in digital, as exactly as a kind of hyper-specific place phrases that Macfarlane collects in Landmarks, like ‘bugha: a inexperienced bow-shaped space of moor grass or moss, shaped by the winding of a stream (Gaelic)’.

Perhaps extra particular, as a result of there’s additionally the introduction spiel in an Irish accent, then Kumi Tanioka’s degree theme, in order that the entire degree is accented, haunted with story and a way of melancholy that’s so stunning so early on. Type of how the extensively understood Sega Blue Skies are a lot about what’s occurring beneath them. As a teen I would commonly go to an old-style HTML web site referred to as (now deceased), the place you would obtain plenty of the GameCube’s standout music on .mp3 – together with River Belle Path, additional firming up this particular, compound psychological reference of recreation really feel and color and music. On reflection, I am unsure I ever even performed by means of a lot of the unique recreation correct, however I sure-as-heck deliberate an entire article on Crystal Chronicles primarily based on my recollections of River Belle Path!

I ought to make a disclaimer right here; I’m closely biased in the direction of these form of inexperienced, grassy game-spaces. Opening cities and overgrown ruins. The pastoral idyll of a JRPG hub discipline, or a kind of lushly unkempt wilds of a post-human world.


Initially then, I simply in contrast Crystal Chronicles to itself, having fun with the sport of spot-the-difference. Questioning whether or not it was simply the overall crispness of the HD model that took away among the comfortable, impressionistic cohesion you get with low-resolution and 480p. Or whether or not the readability of among the new textures – draped incongruously on low-polygon fashions – drew consideration to their thin-ness, their surface-ness; in comparison with the evocative, suggestive shorthand of an older recreation display bathed in shades of blurry greens.

However fairly quickly I am clicking by means of the Dulux web site’s inexperienced color swatch. Peppermint recent. Zatar Leaf. Pharaoh’s Gem. Evaluating grass textures between completely different video games. Citing two chrome tabs side-by-side on my laptop computer display, to match the color palettes of River Belle Path and Ocarina of Time’s Kokiri Forest – which is at all times the zero level, the usual, the pure – confirming the similarity of their earthy, naturalistic tones. The way in which each have floor textures scuffed with patchiness and path edges. Fringed with yellows and ochre that give each areas a moss-ness and a softness fairly completely different to the vivid Ghibli greens of Breath of the Wild.

Then (after all) a YouTube video of Skyward Sword’s Faron Woods, to remind myself of the way in which its greens are speckled and flecked by mint and jade and teal journey blues; like broccoli leaves in Dad’s backyard. And the shush shush of Skyward Hyperlink’s footfall, and the way in which it offers carpet-y fullness to the flat texture of Faron Woods’ ground. And all of the browns and bark peppered with pinks and gold in order that the entire world feels brightly, calmly enchanted.


Which is just like the Mana sequence! With its dreamily surreal emeralds and pinks and purples! And did not they lately launch a Mana Assortment? And so I purchase the Mana Assortment on a whim, mainly persuaded by the (shamrock) lushness of its thumbnail, and I load up Secret of Mana, simply to fill my display with its greens and run round them. Slicing by means of the grass and bushes in that game-y method that looks like connection, a kinetic short-hand; tangible, pure abundance.

, my piano instructor as soon as remarked that chords had been ‘fragile’, that even one word modified in a 6-finger splay might change every part; you drop a thumb and hit the important thing and now it is a major7 and every part sounds slushily romantic. I really like that specificity of high quality, of felt impact: why it issues that the shadows are completely different. However I additionally love understanding simply how it occurs. To not drily dissect, however as one other mode of engagement with these recreation areas I really like, recreation areas that really feel like an extension of – and an appreciation for – the pure: a playable reverence, a celebration.

Anyway! The Crystal Chronicles remaster is out (since August!) and the shadows are pallid and the lighting’s flat and the load-times are obnoxious and the assaults really feel poot-poot weak (I feel they had been at all times poot-poot weak, to be sincere). And Donna Burke sings the music weirdly now. Worst of all, you possibly can’t even try this correct Crystal Chronicles factor of happening a joint multiplayer caravanning journey with your mates. However! I do nonetheless fairly prefer it. It is fairly and low-effort and hypnotically easy in a method you possibly can simply play alongside Zoom educating periods.


However I’ve positively loved occupied with it, evaluating it. To the unique, to different video games. Having fun with the potential power of distinction between two issues, like pressure in a string.

Peering on the detailing of the grass within the embankments. Turning the voices off within the menu to revive that extra silent, dreamlike high quality, unbroken by assault cries. Toggling the music and scribbling concepts: Tanioka’s rating offers occasions a heightened sense of which means and function fairly completely different from the indifference of quiet nature. Flicking by means of Google Picture searches of Golden Solar hues, of Enslaved and of Braid. Then taking these ideas for a stroll at some point, and noticing that the tree fashions in Crystal Chronicles are a bit like sycamores in the way in which their foliage is bunched in half-dome cloves, like leaves of leaves. And now I am unable to unsee it.

Not that video games have to be something greater than the enjoyment they provide within the second. However I suppose all the remaining is simply a part of the way in which I play video games, and luxuriate in video games. And video games are only a method I see issues and see issues and care.

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