Hello, this is Grace, also known as Ecargmura. Here’s my review of Side Story Leon!
Contains spoilers for Crestoria, Destiny, Destiny 2, Hearts (maybe), and Persona 4 (Yes, you read correctly)
I had to make sure I was playing Crestoria and not Persona 4 when I was playing this side chapter. It reminded me way too much of Persona 4 with the talks of shadows and such. Funny thing is that Stahn’s Japanese voice actor, Tomokazu Seki, also voices Kanji Tatsumi in that game. That is probably one weird coincidence.
In this universe, Stahn and Leon are childhood friends and foster brothers since Stahn’s grandfather found Leon and raised him with Stahn and Lilith, Stahn’s younger sister. This is pretty much a huge change in Leon’s backstory for he was a troubled individual with family problems in his original game while Stahn’s backstory was pretty much the same—being a country boy living with his grandfather and sister. In the Crestoria universe, Swordians are talking swords in stories, which Stahn believes his current self to be one. Also, in this universe, Stahn is ‘killed’ by a certain…item-hating man from Destiny 2.
Anyways, this whole side story is basically Leon trying to find answers to restore Stahn. Apparently, he has become a knight because he wanted to, but then it extends to being a knight for Medagal because he has heard the King using Somatics, people who can travel into another’s heart and restore it to its normal self, for experimental purposes. Although Leon needed a Somatic, his good heart decides to help Kor, a Somatic, rescue the young Somatic children that Gadel kidnapped in exchange of him traveling into Stahn’s heart and restoring him back to normal. Unfortunately, Stahn’s circumstances is much more complicated because Kor cannot fix him. All they can do is find the man who attacked Stahn.
Honestly, I like this chapter a lot! I haven’t played Destiny or its sequel, but I think it’s a chapter that anyone would enjoy regardless if they played the original game or not. Leon and Stahn’s interactions are hilarious with Leon being the only one capable of talking to the Stahn sword and him not being able to resist barking back at Stahn’s quips, making him seem ‘weird’ to others for talking to himself or his sword. I feel like the writers put in Leon as Stahn’s brother/childhood friend was like fanservice for Leon fans because he’s a tragic character. I wonder how Destiny fans feel about Leon’s backstory in this universe. I’ve never played Destiny, so I don’t have certain attachments to these characters. I think Stahn being a sword is a humorous idea. From what I researched about Destiny, Stahn and Leon’s personalities aren’t much different from their original counterparts. I’m not sure about them as characters, so I hope someone that is an avid Destiny fan can tell me if this is true or not.
The Persona 4 aspects of this chapter come from the last quarter of the story where a presumed evil Stahn is roaming around and massacring towns. The way the portrait shrouded itself in a dark aura and declares that he was the real Stahn gave such vibes. Stahn even got into doubts and said ‘You’re not me!’ once. Fun fact, if you didn’t play Crestoria during the early months of its release, Shadow Stahn’s name is called “Uber Stahn”. In the current patch, it’s named “True Stahn.” Boring! The whole True Stahn incident had me anticipating him to say, “I am a shadow, the true self.” Because of the Persona 4 fight…I blasted “I’ll Face Myself”, the boss music for Persona 4 because I love the game very much. PLAY PERSONA 4.
Introducing Somatics into the Crestoria world broadens the universe since going into people’s hearts was the main gimmick of the plot of Hearts. It makes me wonder if they’re going to implement other aspects of Tales games like Gajumas (from Rebirth), replicas (from Abyss), seraphim (from Zestiria) and other important plot-relevant terms. I don’t really know how I feel about this, honestly. I do like how they’re expanding the world, but too much chefs can spoil a pot; I just hope the world building does not become too convoluted by the end.
The gameplay aspects are interesting. Kor (I still don’t like that name) is a boss in the story. Funny thing about that boss fight is that if you click on Kor’s model during the fight, his name comes out as ‘dummy’. Shing Meteoryte? Kor Meteor? Ladies and gentlemen, his real name is Dummy. I even have a twitter post showing it, which I’ll link here. Leon in this chapter has a special model that many might know as the EX unit. In the final boss fight of Leon’s side story, Leon is locked. As much as I groaned in Farah’s story about the fixed guest units in boss fights, this one wasn’t too bad. In fact, this is probably the only time the fixed party member DIDN'T die in the boss fight. What a miracle. Also, that Mystic Arte is GLORIOUS! The way the fire appears and Stahn’s spirit pops up behind Leon. Crestoria should do more of these special units. No wonder they made it an EX unit. It’s too good to be used just once. I want one so bad, but my luck in gacha is terrible.
Unlike most side stories where continuations feel like a new chapter in a character’s journey, this one has major foreshadowing. Leon will be fighting Barbatos in the future to restore Stahn back to normal. This would be a very interesting fight. Would Kanata and co meet Barbatos in the main story? Will he appear in another side story?
Now, I’m curious about Rutee and Kyle’s role in the universe. Rutee is Stahn’s (future) wife and Kyle’s mother. They have yet to meet each other in the game. Kyle is a unit in the game. Time travel has yet to exist in the game. How is this going to work out?
If I were to pick out any dislikes for this chapter, I would have to put the King. Man, when can we beat up King Gadel? I’d like to beat the crap out of him. He is vile.
Overall, I found this chapter enjoyable and a must-play for any Crestoria player. The interactions between Stahn and Leon make me curious about Destiny. I want to play it whenever I can, same with Eternia.