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FFXIII's Character Growth Mechanic: Crystalium System

With each new Final Fantasy installment comes a new character advancement system; we've seen everything from the Materia system in Final Fantasy VII to the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X, when the standard level-up mechanic typically found in role-playing games disappeared.

Well, levels did return for Final Fantasy XII but it seems they're going away again in Final Fantasy XIII, as the upcoming FF may have a system reminiscent of the Sphere Grid from FFX. According to The Magic Box, FFXIII is going to boast the Crystalium system, which operates off of CPs (Crystalium Points). These points will be used to acquire new abilities and like the Sphere Grid and RPGs that featured a tree skill system, you'll need to unlock certain abilities before other, stronger ones become available. They use the example that all series veterans will quickly recognize; you will start with Fire, earn enough CP to gain Fira, and earn even more to finally gain access to Firaga, which is by far the most powerful of the three and hits multiple targets. We just can't wait to learn more because the gameplay not only appears fresh and surprisingly fast, the new growth mechanics are always interesting, too. Whoever says FF never innovates needs to have their damn head examined.  Understand the facts!

Oh, and we recently heard that a big announcement concerning FFXIII will arrive in a few weeks time during a special press event in Japan. The rumor is that it'll include the official North American release date...so stay tuned for that.

Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XIII

11/1/2009 9:32:43 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (30 posts)

Victor321
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 10:30:16 PM
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I am really happy at this news, as the Sphere Grid leveling system in Final Fantasy X is one of my favourites!

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kokoro
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 10:56:01 PM

yeah better than that license board crap from FF12

Last edited by kokoro on 11/1/2009 10:56:17 PM

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Kevadu
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:24:56 PM

I kind of liked the idea of the license board system myself. The problem was that the board was too small. By the end of the game all of my characters had learned everything (actually, they learned everything well before the end...) so there was no motivation to have different characters specialize in different things.

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Banky A
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 12:45:34 AM

Yeah like Kevadu said.
But it was still a sweet idea.

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chewy102
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:42:41 AM

Im sorry but in my opinion both the sphere grid and the license board give way to much freedom. They take away a characters originality buy letting you make anyone anything you want. I prefer characters that have a role to play in a group (examples- a bookworm that can use any spell but can't take a hit, or a guy that can flip a car or open a wall but can't use any form of magic) that allows the player to care for the game characters (I still get tears in my eyes when I listen to Airith's song). That way you had to keep everyone in your party alive to win. With freedom based systems you can just use the guys that look good (or H :>) and don't worry if one gets K.O.ed.

FF X was a damn good game but that sphere grid just made the characters overpowered. My first time playing it I took Tidus (spelling?) on to Auron's side early on and he became godlike for about 2/3 of the game. Id hate to have a party like that, no challenge in it. That's also why FF XII wasn't all that good. Everyone was just about the same in that game. Same weapons, spells, abilities, strength, speed, and feel, you didn't even have to play the game to beat it. Just set up a half decent gambit and all you needed to do was walk around an open doors, the odd chest, and go shopping.

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bridgera
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:07:39 AM

At least in FFX, they tried to have characters have certain pathes and started them out in different places. Clearly Lulu and Yuna were mages, Tidus Auron and Wakka were melee, and Rikku was a thief. I went through a good part of the game before my characters were overlapping in jobs.

FFXII had none of those distinctions, oh wait, every now and then a new character started 2 squares away from an old one... which resulted in.... no distinctions lol.

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chewy102
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 1:11:06 PM

Yeah the paths in the sphere grid was a nice idea, but it still was easy to overpower someone. It can be as simple as giving a good melee character a cure spell, or have an already fast and high accuracy low level character that won't get much stronger more strength in a few levels than they would ever get.

Freedom in leveling is a very good thing but not in a final fantasy game. FF games are about a group for individual people that are somehow brought together to defend something/someone or to go a give justice to the random villain that turns out to be just a rabbit compared to the main boss that just comes out of nowhere. I say keep freedom type leveling on games like Oblivion, or hav just the main character have freedom type leveling and the rest pre-set (Digital Devil Saga did that good)

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therabbitkinge
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:05:13 PM
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Hmmm this sounds pretty kewl I miss traditional leveling but I like the freedom of choosing how to level based on what you feel you need its got a nice feel to it being able to choose how you grow and when you'd like to ^_^ im all for it and if we get a north american release date im pre-ordering lol

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TheIllusiveMan
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:12:56 PM
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"They use the example that all series veterans will quickly recognize; you will start with Fire, earn enough CP to gain Fira, and earn even more to finally gain access to Firaga, which is by far the most powerful of the three and hits multiple targets."

But what about Firaja? lol

@kokoro, I honestly liked the License Board more, just my opinion. It allowed for more freedom in who had what, and after a while you can just massively rack up LP and get whatever you want.

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Qwarktast1c
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:16:45 PM
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if its like the sphere grid then i bet it'll be cool

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BigBoss4ever
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:21:15 PM
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standard leveling like old school rpg classic is the best and i want that the most, but i dont mind the grid like system which you can choose how you grow stronger, just like demon souls, you choose how you want your player grow.

an announcement date is awesome plus if the Jap version drops in a few weeks, i might just to pick it up for the heck of it. (and hopefully and miraculously, it can turn out that the Japanese version has english, french, italian, spanish language, just like the Bayonetta jap verson which i ordered from play-asia already for the 360 tho,sadly, i know; oh well, i just want awesome games with best quality after all)

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/1/2009 11:24:07 PM

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tes37
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:42:36 PM
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I have no problem with a grid system, but like some others I prefer leveling up.

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Jawknee
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:46:15 PM
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I thought the Materia and Junction systems were the best. Grids are welcome too.

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johnld
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:47:38 PM
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I never had a problem with any of the final fantasy games. I treat them as completely different games so i never got disappointed like a few people who were vocal about the changes in final fantasy games like 12. I'm really interested in this game and loved the sphere grid. I hope they do something about experience gain of non main party members. played star ocean and infinite undiscovery. It sucked when my main party gets destroyed and the backups were weak as hell. If they gained at least half experience like in infinite undiscovery then i'll be happy.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:50:59 PM

That was my huge mistake in FFVIII the first time around, I honestly never thought the game would just randomly choose 2 other characters for the final battle, and of course it picks the weak ones and if the strong ones die they get replaced by the weak ones, I didn't like that. There was just less of a chance for me to level everyone up and get their equipment.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/1/2009 11:51:18 PM

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Snaaaake
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 1:25:16 AM

Well world, same here, I focused on Squall(duh!!), Irvine and Selphie and my life was made harder with the battle with Ultimecia.

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johnld
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 1:46:56 AM

infinite undiscovery had a good leveling system in my opinion. the standby party gain half the experience compared to the active party. But they also had items you can equip that can allow the standby party to gain full experience. that way, all the characters were pretty close in level. Of course, the game had like more than 12 playable characters and sometimes allow you to have up to 3 parties at one time.

hahaha, i remember level grinding FFVII a long time because i wanted aeris to be my main healer. Then they killed her. the funny thing is that the item for her strongest limit break move is available after she died. The hell are you supposed to do with that, no gameshark use of course.

Last edited by johnld on 11/2/2009 1:49:21 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:48:51 PM
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I guess it doesn't matter, either way to be a big shot you will have to grind, wether it's for a level or for the crystal points to buy new stuff. The Sphere grid was tolerable, but I will still break my foot off in the ass of anyone who trashes the materia system. It was the best of all time, I'd just tweak it a bit to make it a little more complex.

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I_defenestrate
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 12:47:21 AM

Thumbs up for materia! Also my favorite of the series.

Last edited by I_defenestrate on 11/2/2009 12:47:31 AM

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___________
Sunday, November 01, 2009 @ 11:55:22 PM
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i hate it when games have a tree system as a upgrade.
like what MAG has, if you want to buy say a shotgun you have to spend points on things in the same class before you can buy that.
6 if memory serves me well, its a waste.
why should i have to spend 6 points just to have the option to buy it.
they should all be level based, as long as i have the right level, and enough points i should be able to buy it.

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johnld
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 1:54:01 AM

I agree with you on the level based on mag but thats a completely different kind of game. It should be by level, its an FPS game. Theres no need to add more depth to that system. Its not an RPG where you would want to decided which way you want your characters to go. I havent played mag yet, never got an invite. but if what you're saying is going to be in the final game, then that would be irritating. I want to be free to use any weapon i want to use given that i'm at the correct level. They shouldve have just issued upgrades to the weapons like more ammo capacity or something.

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eLLeJuss
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 12:38:58 AM
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Yes!!!!!! I love the sphere grid!!

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Banky A
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 12:46:24 AM
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Cool, similar to Sphere Grid huh?

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Snaaaake
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 1:28:43 AM
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Sphere grid was amazing, materia didn't made much difference because I'm the type who relied on technique and skill.

FFVIII system was weirdest, enemy level up as you do, you need to put magic into your stat to make yourself stronger and even at level 100 you'll still need the GF's junction.
FFIX has nothing beside the AP thing but it was an amazing game.

But hey that's just me, though I said everything above I still love FF to the max, I'm not an RPG fan but I'm a FF fan.

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Dancemachine55
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 2:02:35 AM
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Final Fantasy VII's level system is simplest to understand and is why I prefer that one of all. A level number, along with a number to represent attack power, defence, etc. was all I needed.

The junction system kind of annoyed me, but once I got used to it it was ok.

The FFX grid system was okay, but that again took more time to get used to.

FFXII I liked, but it really overpowered all my characters towards the end and it was kinda annoying to obtain the license for an item before using it.

So, the FFVII and FFX systems are my picks for best. If XIII can do an excellent mix of those or keep it as simple as VII, I'll be a happy chappy.

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Zorigo
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 4:32:54 AM
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as long is it works, is interesting enough for me and works overall, im still interested.

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reryan
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 2:25:00 PM
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To the people who are saying, "Final Fantasy is about having characters with clearly defined roles that fit their personality", I call false. What about Final Fantasy 1 where there are no distinct characters, just ones you name yourself, and you can choose any combination of 4 jobs; 4 white mages or 4 warriors if you want to. Or FF3 where again any of the 4 characters can be made into any job. Or FF5 which has the most complex job leveling system, arguably. 6-9 did indeed have characters with set weapons to equip and set abilities (other than 8) but often times, there were characters that were hardly worth using given that the main characters (cloud, squall, zidane) are so over-powered. 10 and 12 don't force you to use certain characters all the time, and they don't pump one character's stats way up to make another character not worth using. I like materia and I like Junction and I like traditional levels but also, sometimes i like to give Fran a katana and berserk her and watch her slice things up.

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Nerull
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:16:45 PM
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Maybe there's more to the sphere grid than what's described but having never used it it sounds near identical to the license board; buy an ability and it unlocks a couple more powerful related ones. Doesn't sound like anything revolutionary and certainly doesn't help dispel the idea that FF's re more or less the same. Unless a lot more impressive footage or features are shown later I'm really not excited over this one.

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sunspider13
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 5:27:40 PM
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I liked the sphere grid in FFX so this is welcome news. And hopefully that NA release date will come sooon.

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coverton341
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:14:55 PM
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I enjoyed the sphere grid and I think I may try and find FFX to pick up and play again with all this talk of it, but I am starting to look forward to this game more and more. I was never really on the fence about it but I was not ultra excited either, but I am getting that way now.

I honestly though, am in FFvXIII fiend mode. I want more info on that game and I want a release date, and a disc in my hot hands, and the list of wants and needs from Versus can go on and on.

EDIT: On a completely random thought that just passed through my head, although I rather enjoyed FFVIII I absolutely hated, with a burning passion so deeply seated in my soul no fire could extinguish, that blasted Junction system. That is all.

Last edited by coverton341 on 11/3/2009 12:17:40 PM

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