Crystalis: NES vs. GBC

One cult classic. Two completely different games.

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Crystalis Video BannerCrystalis Video ThumbnailRemember that time we played three different versions of Deja Vu? Of course you do. Or else. Sure, the core of the game was the same, but the little changes from one version to the next and the differing styles of gameplay and commentary kept thing interesting, right? (The correct answer is, “I love you, GameCola.”) Well, we’ve done it again—this time with a game whose version differences are perhaps best compared to the differences between Star Wars‘ original 1977 release and its 1997 Special Edition, where random things are changed for no reason, more detail is packed into the background, and Mado shoots first.

I am, of course, talking about Crystalis, a perennial favorite that we’ve barely stopped talking about since the first installment of the Crystalis D&Dcast, like, a year ago. Now our long celebration of The END DAY comes to a close with not one, but…whatever number comes after that…video playthroughs of this cult classic RPG. Behold!

First up, Alex “Jeddy” Jedraszczak plays through the NES version of Crystalis. In this playthrough, he reveals how the game was possibly influenced by Japanese anime, offers up scathing criticism of “classic” Nintendo game design, and picks a fight with a wall that lasts four minutes and almost gets him killed. This here’s just a sample; see Jeddy’s full Crystalis (NES) playlist for the rest.

Last up, Nathaniel “Me” Hoover plays through the GBC version of Crystalis. In this playthrough, he points out a host of curious changes from the NES version, upholds the proud GameCola tradition of talking about games other than the one he’s playing, and engages in such heroic deeds as paralyzing random townspeople for fun and hopping like a moron through a field. Refer to Nathaniel’s full Crystalis (GBC) playlist for the full playthrough, as this here is only Part…whatever number comes before two.

Enjoy! And with that, it’s time to find another game to talk about for the next year or so. Anybody heard of Deja Vu?

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About the Contributor

Since 2009

Nathaniel Hoover is almost certainly GameCola's most verbose staff member, and arguably the most eclectic. As administrator of the GameCola YouTube channel (GCDotNet), occasional contributor to every article category on the site, and staff editor, you're pretty much stuck with him wherever you go. Sorry.


  1. An interesting thing that I noticed while watching the credits… It seems that the Game Boy Color version of the game was an entirely Western endeavor. There are very few Japanese names, except for in the “Special Thanks”. So, it seems like it was done by fans of the original who wanted to open the game up to modern gamers, rather than the original team wanting a re-release.

  2. Thank you for these great playthroughs! Crystalis is my favorite game on the NES and your thorough comparison of the NES vs. GBC versions is fascinating. I like how you pointed out the good changes in GBC such as the extra details in environment art and animation, as well as minor level design changes to help teach the player about poison earlier in the first cave dungeon. Most people just focus on the bad stuff like music and how enemies are no longer immune to certain elements.

    It would be sweet if someday SNK (or a fan) could combine the best parts of both into an ultimate DX version!

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