Hello! This is Grace, also known as Ecargmura, back with a new review! Today, I’ll be focusing on Side Story: Cress!
The review contains spoilers for Crestoria, Phantasia and Dawn of the New World.
What I find interesting is that Crestoria has side stories just for the crossover characters in an original setting with original stories and backstories. However, some characters still adhere to their backstories from their games. For example, I said in my previous review that Cress runs a dojo in Crestoria, like he does in Phantasia.
These side stories mesh pairs from previous games and put them in one team. In this side story, Cress, Mint, Emil and Marta are one team.
The side story starts after chapter 1. Cress recovers from the wound that Vicious gave to him in Chapter 1, stage 12. Afterwards, he is investigating monster attacks that have become more frequent after Kanata and Misella defected from Dalchia. As Cress starts to investigate, two traveling mercenaries request to come along due to their lack of food and money. They are Emil and Marta from Dawn of the New World (Knight of Ratatosk in Japanese). Cress accepts help and then they fight monsters. Soon, they encounter a large monster—most likely the alpha—with a young woman who looks to be in danger. She is Mint, the heroine of Phantasia. In turns out, the monster wasn’t attacking her—it was saving her. What’s even more shocking is that the monster is no ordinary monster; it’s Mibaru—the previous owner of Cress’s dojo. The monster was the one Mibaru was trying to fight off but then he became that monster. The cause? Cody Hjuger—Kanata’s father. Yes, Kanata’s trash of a father sold Mibaru to scientists for experimentation.
It seems that in the further depths of the Crestoria world, there are scientists who research and experiment on humans by implanting their souls into monsters. It turns out that Emil is a test subject as well. Instead of the usual human soul into a monster body—he has the souls of several monsters inside of him, which caused them to fuse into an entity called Ratatosk.
Eventually, Mibaru wishes for death for his monster’s body’s blood is the cause of the monsters’ frenzy. Soon after, the actual alpha causes another monster frenzy onto Dalchia. The party stops them. Mibaru then helps out but then gets killed by the villagers. After his funeral, Cress, Mint, Emil and Marta (and Ratatosk) form one group and leave Dalchia in order to stop the experimenting.
When I witnessed this story, my ire for the Dalchia villagers increased. I absolutely despise these villagers. First, they kill Mibaru (albeit unknowingly) and then they try to pin the blame on Cress. Ugh. They are so awful—beyond redemption. The cruelty of the world is even shown when villagers thought about using their vision orbs to condemn Cress of something he didn't do. It shows that vision orbs are heavily abused in the world yet no one seems to realize that yet. I’m glad Kanata and Misella left. They don’t deserve to live in such a shoddy place. I’m glad that Cress finally left with better company. Good riddance to you, Dalchia villagers. I don’t want to see your annoying mugs again. Cody is still trash. Not only did he sell children, he even sells adults! Ugh. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cody was in cahoots with the main antagonist of the story. He is scum.
The main characters for this side story are a bit similar and different from their original counterparts. In Cress’s case, he vows to get revenge for someone important to him after they die and then he rescues Mint. The same happens in both Crestoria and Phantasia. In Phantasia, Cress loses his whole village and his parents that ran a dojo and then vows to get revenge on the people who did it…but then he gets thrown into jail after his relatives snitch on him. He meets Mint and rescues her from jail. Mint is still the same sweet and proper lady she was in Phantasia. Only this time, she works for a church compared to the original game where she seemed to have been a nomadic cleric (I haven’t played all of Phantasia, but that’s what I assume). Cress and Mint still get along very well in both games.
In Emil and Marta’s case, they are much different from DotNW. In their original game, Emil and Marta were strangers that met by chance. Here, they are childhood friends. Marta still thirsts for has a crush on Emil in both games. Emil’s case is very different. In his original game, Emil was the idle personality of Ratatosk who took on his current appearance from a young researcher named Aster. Here, Emil is a reserved human boy who had Ratatosk implanted into him. I think choosing to put them in a story about monsters is very fitting given how DotNW is basically Tales x Pokemon. Smart move, Bamco.
Overall, I like the portrayals of the characters here because they still stay true to their original counterparts.
No game mechanic was unlocked during this side story, so I’ll be brief with this. THE BOSS IN STAGE 4-11 WAS HARD. You’re basically stuck with your usual party but Cress is locked at level 30, so you can’t use support. I’d advise to put in your best 3 characters for this fight. Another advice: put non-light elemental characters in either 3rd or 1st slot because the monster usually attacks those two first; make sure they have good defense as well. The monster hits like a level 60 unit despite only being level 25. Also get characters that hit multiple times; they are lifesavers for this fight.
With how experimentation is now a part of the plot in Crestoria, it makes me wonder how will it be executed. Will we meet a scientist? Will Kanata and friends meet a test subject? Is one of them such?
I also wonder if these side stories will get continuations, or if it will focus on the same group but different perspectives. Since Cress’s story about getting revenge on the monster finished on a bittersweet note, I wonder if we’ll come back to this group anytime soon. I’d like to see Mint, Emil and Marta’s perspectives later on.
What are your thoughts on the inclusion of side stories?