By Brad Cook
A horde of Luchorpans appears. Your steadfast soldier steps into their path, dealing damage as fast as possible while the crafty Black Mage next to him casts spells that harm multiple creatures over a wide area. The surviving Luchorpans face the wrath of the pair of archers waiting further down the path. Not content to give the monsters a chance to slip by, you quickly place a blue power crystal between the bowmen, giving their attacks greater range and allowing them to start firing sooner.
The downside of your latest move is the near-depletion of your Gil, the currency that allows you to purchase and upgrade units and power crystals. If any of the Luchorpans escape your gauntlet, your last chance to stop them will require summoning an Ifrit, a demon whose attack on the remaining monsters will likely wipe them out. However, that decision will cost you crystals from the coffers that youre protecting against the monsters onslaught. Any Luchorpans that survive their march to the end of the path will each take a crystal; if your stores reach zero, you will have failed your mission to protect Ivalice.
Like the computer game Hordes of Orcs, Crystal Defenders is a strategy game in the tower defense mold, except youre in charge of an army, rather than a series of turrets. Before each of the games more than 200 waves commences, use your 30 strategy points to deploy new units and power crystals as well as upgrade existing ones. Each move also costs Gil, which replenishes as you defeat monsters during the attack, allowing you to alter your strategy mid-level.
Youll know what type of monsters are attacking next, so plan carefully: for example, soldiers deal a lot of damage, but theyre helpless against aerial targets. Likewise, each of the three types of power crystals bestows a different boost to all units within its sphere of influence. Once per wave you can summon an Esper, such as the aforementioned Ifrit, whose powers will turn the tide of the battle in your direction. It will cost you a certain number of crystals, however.
You begin the game with 20 crystals, which are not the same as the power crystals that you can deploy on the battlefield. The monsters want your crystals, and each one that survives the level takes one of your crystals. If your coffers reach zero, the game ends.
To get your feet wet on the battlefield, try W1 mode, which features simpler maps and eschews the use of power crystals. In W2 mode, the action becomes more intense, but you can place power crystals for an added advantage. They are expensive to upgrade, however. Will you opt to put your resources there, thus giving all nearby units a boost, or will you spend your Gil on making individual units more powerful? Hurry, 20 Nightshades are about to descend on your position.
Pay attention to obstacles when placing units. Soldiers, White Monks, Berserkers, and Thieves are useless when behind obstacles of any size, while large obstacles prevent Black Mages, Time Mages, and Archers from launching their ranged attacks.
|Soldier: He can deal strong attacks against single targets, but his range is limited and hes no use against flying monsters.||X||X|
|Black Mage: His powerful spells affect multiple creatures across a wide area, but their recast time is long.||X||X|
|Archer: Her arrows can strike air and ground targets from afar.||X||X|
|White Monk: Like the soldier, he can only fight ground targets. His attack is weaker than the soldiers, but he can affect multiple monsters with one blow.||X||X|
|Time Mage: His spells slow down all attackers across a wide range.||X||X|
|Thief: She doesnt fight, but she steals extra Gil from any defeated monsters within her range.||X||X|
|Berserker: His abilities are similar to the White Monks.||X||X|
|Dragoon: Hes slow, but his powerful attacks affect air and ground targets across a wide area.||X|
The Power Crystals
- Red: Boosts attack power
- Blue: Boosts attack range
- Yellow: Boosts attack speed
|Phoenix: Doubles the armys attack power and range for the rest of the wave||X|
|Ramuh: Deals powerful damage to all monsters and reduces their speed for the rest of the wave||X|
|Ifrit: Damages all monsters on the map||X|
|Carbuncle: Eliminates all monsters resistances to your attacks||X|
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