Many of us may know of this character from the Star Fox series. A few may even recall her non-Star Fox origins. Appearing in three of the games, Krystal's impact isn't as significant on the series as it is for the series' fanbase, considered the primary romantic focus that revolves around main character Fox McCloud. Many fans have written stories or drawn pictures to reflect their own view of the two characters' relationship...if not one between her and the fan(s).
Returning to her role in the games, as I've mentioned before, her role to me seems so insignificant that it's hard to believe there's that strong a fanbase. Her initial appearance -- Star Fox Adventures: Dinosaur Planet -- introduces her and promptly places her in the role of a damsel in distress, with only a brief playable part in the beginning. Then there was Star Fox Assault, where she was introduced as an official member of the Star Fox team, but seemed no more effective than the other teammates, often being someone Fox had to keep rescuing. Finally, Star Fox Command takes her relationship with Fox and presents it as a major plot point, causing Fox to force Krystal off the team and in turn making her bitter towards him for most of the game. This game features many different endings, most of which presenting different possible fates for Krystal.I'm not big on Krystal.
I won't deny there's a mild charm to Krystal's design, but I hold a disliking to her for pretty much everything else.
I've once made the analogy where Krystal in the Star Fox franchise was like Shadow in the Sonic franchise, by which I mean their respective introductions seemed to mark a negative turning point for each franchise. The difference is clear, however; while Sega continued to work with Shadow and present him as a primary role in a lot of later games (including one of his own), Krystal always felt like something of an afterthought. It was as though they were given the character to use and they weren't entirely sure what to do with her, so an active role was mostly played down. Perhaps part of the reason could be the wish for Fox to remain the primary player character, but I think this almost forces her to play a particular role in order to complement Fox.
And dear God, the role she has to play.
When you look through some of the character artwork of Star Fox Adventures, you often see her in...that particular outfit, sporting her staff. Some poses are a little suggestive, but in most cases she seems like she's supposed to be fairly capable. And of course, one picture shows Fox holding Krystal as though she were just rescued from some nonspecific danger. As much attention as Krystal may have gotten at that time, her presence and purpose didn't really seem to justify the hype.
Then you look at artwork of Assault, where she's gotten a uniform and became part of the primary team. This artwork...I end up facepalming when I see it. She's seen posing in certain ways -- yes, mostly seductive-looking ways -- sometimes with one of the games weapons from the on-foot sections. This is the role of "I am the attractive woman of the team" portrayed so blatantly, it almost feels offensive to look at in my opinion.
There isn't much to be said about the artwork of Command, apart from her appearance being a little more neutralized. (Most of what you may see or hear of Krystal will be in-game.) Amazingly though, this game has more significance for Krystal than the other two, as there's a story regarding her tenuous relationship with Fox. But even the game doesn't have a straightforward answer as to how that ends up, and since there wasn't a new Star Fox release since then, that fate is still unknown. Again, it feels like Nintendo and/or Q-Games weren't sure what needed to be done with Krystal's character.
Whatever the case, all three games present Krystal as the romantic complement of Fox, and there isn't much else special about her other than the fact that she is female.
Krystal's role in itself is one of the reasons I'm not a fan of her. But another reason I'm not so big a fan of hers may be the fact that so many other people are
. It sounds like the most "Hipster" response, but I want you to think about it this way: look up Krystal on deviantART and see if you notice a running theme.
. . . . . .
To say I'm a little tired of the depiction would be something of an understatement, seeing as it just keeps going. The fact that the character art from the official games made the initial impression to begin with just makes it worse. That role Krystal plays is taken to a whole new level -- she's not just a female, but more or less a blatant sex object. I won't go any further into it than that, but it just makes me dislike Krystal that much more.
It's a shame, because with what her character information initially suggests, there could have been something more significant about her than that...and knowing this missed opportunity is my third reason for my disliking.
Let me tell you some story:
Krystal was born on Cerinia, a planet outside of the Lylat System. At one point her home planet was completely destroyed; the cause was unknown, but both of Krystal's parents were killed in the process. Hearing of this, Krystal decided to explore space and hope to find answers as to what caused the disaster.
Does any of this sound familiar? No? That's because this is never referred to again.
During her search she receives a distress call from Sauria, which leads to the events of Star Fox Adventures, and you may already know how she ends up from there. She's rescued by Fox, becomes part of the team and helps stop an invasion of "Aparoids," and is later ousted from the team for the sake of "safety" by Fox before things get complicated thanks to a new invading force, the "Anglars."
What frustrates me is that once Fox ends up in Krystal life, her initial motive just seems to vanish. The death of her parents, the destruction of her planet...they no longer seem to be important. And we're never given answers as to why that is.
The backstory in itself sounds like an awesome basis for a game in itself, but unfortunately it's wasted on the likes of a minor character role, and one that's just a eye-candy complement to the actual main character. And it doesn't even sound like Fox was offering to help Krystal find her answers either, which makes the situation twice as meaningless.
And that's why I eventually ended up made this.My version of Krystal.
I had thought often about a portrayal of Krystal that I could actually get behind, but it would involve a style and lore that it sounds like no one would take up. Basically, Krystal would start to realize her personal mission was never fully completed, with the Sauria crisis and her run-in with Star Fox pulling her attention and interest away. Essentially, Krystal would be the one that decides to leave Star Fox, in order to return to the search she was on that long while ago. Her hunt would be much more difficult now that many years have passed, but she learned a few new things in her past adventures to get her off on a good start. Either way, she's made it a conscious choice to do so on her own, and she's not afraid to enter danger if it means finding the answers she's been seeking all this time.
Initially, when I thought of this, her attire would have actually been similar to that of Samus's Varia Suit, but I eventually gravitated towards something that borrows from her other appearances in a way that would make her look genuinely cool -- like someone who can actually take on challenges by herself. Her staff needed to be her primary (and perhaps only) weapon, seeing as she's supposed to be proficient in its use. In addition, with her supposed role in the Star Fox team as a "telepath," I feel like one should just go the whole hog and present other mental-based abilities for her to utilize. The most blatant would be precognition, or "foresight," where she'd be able to avoid incoming dangers with greater ease. Whether one could go as far as levitation or psychokinesis might be questionable, but who knows? Clearly none of the developers seem to.-- Malamite Ltd.