Crystal Project – Spoiler-Free Hints for Rough Bosses

Stuck on a hard fight, but don’t want your hand held and don’t want to risk spoiling parts of the game you haven’t seen? No problem – my pointers don’t name names or ruin surprises.

Tips for Rough Bosses

Overview

No doubt about it, Crystal Project has more than a few rude bosses, much tougher than the fare you encounter in the classic JRPGs that inspired it. But you haven’t given up on the game completely – you plan to keep the adventure going, straight into the wonders of the unknown and unforeseen, without letting anyone grab the steering wheel and do it for you. All you’re asking for is some gentle guidance, a clue rather than a solution.

To that end, this guide uses cutesy nicknames for the bosses and, where applicable, their residences. If you’ve already conquered a boss described herein, you’ll enjoy a sensible chuckle as you recognize an old friend, but you don’t have to worry about reading ahead and seeing anything that gives away any of the game’s many, many secrets still waiting for you.

Headlicker

If you’ve played Crystal Project long enough to be interested in reading guides about it, you’re certain to have come across this sign:

Like all offers of this nature, under no circumstances should you allow the individual to lick your head. But unlike real-world encounters with serial killers, this nasty character’s got a convenient Off switch and he makes predictable use of it. Healing yourself for a numerical value equal to your current HP is an excellent way to shrug off bruises, and it gets better the higher your maximum health is… however, the Headlicker is the only head honcho who makes use of that spell, and for good reason: It’s an easy way to get yourself blown up in a single shot.

Cowardly troglodytes in the caves nearby make frequent use of this guy’s kryptonite, and they’ll teach you if you know how to ask. This is a great opportunity to learn about Cast Time, a core part of the game’s turn order mechanics.

Fishy-Horsey

Strap in for a second, I’ve got a story.

I recommended Crystal Project to a friend of mine, not just to entertain him, but in the hopes that he might talk about his favorite classes and combat strategies; maybe he’d come up with things I hadn’t considered. I was kind of disappointed when I checked in on him later and found him basically crippled and helpless, though he enthusiastically assured me he was having “maximum fun” playing the game while drunk after work. This was advanced intoxication, possibly to the point of qualifying for a Serbian driver’s license: His Rogue was poking monsters with a wand for double-digit damage, he was shocked when I told him he could press the Left button to bring up a turn-order summary during combat, and he was evidently having trouble reading the screen anyway since he expressed genuine confusion whenever he took damage or received debuffs.

So I was in complete disbelief when he said “Fishy-Horsey? Yeah that guy’s gotta be the easiest boss in the game.” Obviously I pressed him on this, to make sure we were talking about the same Fishy-Horsey, and we were. I then asked if he had encountered Headlicker yet, and he gasped, wide-eyed, and said “Bro, that guy was hard! I’m gonna have to come back to him later, sheesh!”

I told him an entirely true fact, which is that I gave Fishy-Horsey ample personal space after just two unsuccessful attempts on his life, and only came back to him much later in my journey, when I was crawling the globe and crossing any loose ends off my hitlist. He said “Well Fishy-Horsey was easy bro. I don’t know how, but I kept getting tons of free turns, back-to-back, and I just ripped him apart while he did nothing. Maybe it was a bug.”

Upon informing him as to the particulars of Fishy-Horsey’s unique and highly lethal debuff, he said “Oh so that’s what happened!” He thanked me for solving that mystery, then quickly added “I didn’t realize that debuff hurt you or anything. Actually I wish more monsters had it. The Shaman has a useless buff spell whose name I can’t remember, and I don’t know why anyone would use it, but I kept casting it on myself at the start of fights, hoping it would finally do something. Oh and there’s a bug with it, where it defaults to targeting enemies. It’s really annoying.” (I asked him what he thought this ability did, and his exact reply was a shrug and a weird look on his face, as if he found the question itself to be absurd. The very notion that people might read ability descriptions was alien and nonsensical.)

He was similarly shocked when I told him that he must have made impeccable use of the Shaman’s intrinsic 25% spell lifesteal, and that he was a genius for thinking of such a clever way to turn Fishy-Horsey’s doomsday device against him. He said “Shamans have WHAT? Dude, BRUH.”

So I guess the moral of this story is that Cherry Iced Tea vodka is a performance-enhancing drug, but only in gallon doses. They ought to teach us that in school.

Personal Fitness Trainer

Being able to turn off physical attacks or magic spells like toggling a light switch is a mean trick. You’ll really feel the burn when your healing abilities get squelched all at once, while the Coach here continues his onslaught unaffected by any restrictions placed on your party. He’s got no magic abilities of his own (should’ve stayed in school!), but he packs a method of healing himself that you wish you could use as easily, and it can only be thwarted by keeping your heroes healthy.

Somebody ought to invent a magic stick you could hit people with to make them feel better. Maybe that’s why police medics carry batons?

Garfield and Friend

Hapless everyman Jon Arbuckle isn’t the real threat here (even though he’s the one with a bone to pick), but he takes such good care of America’s favorite cat that it’s hard to make any progress. To make matters worse, Garfield keeps picking Jon back up every time you plant his face in the dirt, and when he’s not otherwise occupied, he’ll hit you harder than any other cat you come across.

But Garfield has a finite amount of lasagna in his tank, and you might prefer it if he spent that energy tending to the man of the house instead of breathing down your necks. Just make sure to have your guard up when he’s finally worn out and hungry – those claws hurt, but mercifully only one customer at a time.

Charizard

Good lord this guy is a jerk! His spicy wide-angle fireballs are bad enough, but he’s even more excited to spam that awful groin poke attack which is enough to make you wish he’d killed you instead. In fact, death might be quicker to cure…

Charizard here is surely a major reason why the local souvenir shop carries that pair of protective amulets, as he’s liable to greet you with a full party wipe before you get a chance to act. Once you survive his opening salvo, you’d better have a plan for neutralizing any further fire damage, but whoever’s in charge of that plan should take care to avoid drawing Charizard’s attention – if they’re dead (or worse) when it’s time to brace for impact, you might not be able to salvage the situation.

Even when he’s not aiming below the belt, his suite of physical attacks hit really hard. You’ll need to keep his attack power down, and his target’s armor up, and I suggest you make that at least a two-man job. To their credit, Monks can quickly shrug off a hit to the privates without anyone else’s help, but that doesn’t mean it’s painless.

Pikachu

There are few sources of Paralysis available to players in Crystal Project, and the only one that can be described as reliable is in Pikachu’s care. Keep your hands to yourself, or you’ll be on the receiving end of it. If you’ve got any equipment that mitigates lightning damage, now’s the time to break it out, and don’t fret if its defensive stats are sub-par.

You can’t fight fire with fire here, but you might be able to give Pikachu a taste of its own medicine if you’ve got anything that can bounce its spells back at it: Being immune to an attack might mean you take 0 damage from it, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to any status effects the attack causes.

It’s possible to attack a target without provoking its counterattacks, but that’s an ancient Chinese Japanese secret… for everyone else, you can get your hits in safely if the target is blinded, silenced, or otherwise unable to actually utilize whatever their counterattack is.

Noob Saibot

No more Pokemon references. Even now, when I could have appropriately called this one Shedinja.

Hit this guy as hard as you like, it won’t leave a dent any bigger than that of your gentlest tickle. Quantity over quality is the winning play here, so anybody that can score multiple hits per turn is good to bring along. Think twice before you commit to tanking any of its abilities which have the Variance property – take a close look at its Luck stat.

Unlike with Pikachu, anything you bounce back at Noob Saibot will slide right off, no matter how many buffs the spell says it’ll strip away. Nice try, though.

Spiderman

Your friendly neighborhood web-slinger knows better than to score kills by reducing your HP – his strategy is to just wipe you out all at once. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

He hopes you don’t know that when equipment says it prevents “Instant Death,” it doesn’t just work against effects with that specific icon and name. If something can cause instant death, these items will prevent that part of the effect from directly claiming the life of its owner. This won’t prevent any other effects that these horrible attacks or debuffs might cause, if applicable, nor will it prevent delayed Instant Death debuffs from being applied in the first place, but when the time comes to greet the reaper, your hero won’t drop dead.

Even if you don’t have enough of those party favors for everyone, you’ve still got time to rescue those who aren’t wearing protection. Man, wouldn’t it be great if you could make a Warlock’s Remedy spell multi-target?

Madonna

Headlicker’s ex-wife. She got custody of the kids, and lemme tell ya, they’re a handful.

Put them to bed first, then when Mama goes to undo all your hard work, have her medicine ready. You will only have one shot at this, so have it lined up when you tuck in the last rugrat, or you’ll have hell to pay.

Bad Dog

They put him in the Doghouse for burying the TV Guide there in the side yard.

You know the rules by the time you meet him: No biting, punching, kicking, screaming, or, get this, smuggling contraband, which apparently qualifies as a martial art now. Everybody in jail plays by these same rules, and that means anything that runs out of batteries is dead weight from that moment on, Bad Dog included.

Problem is, he can dance to the Jailhouse Rock all night long, so you’ll have to keep up if you want to wear him out (and I strongly suggest you do, because given the opportunity, he is fully capable of doing the same to you). Make sure to bring a backup singer who can stop your guys from running out of juice before the gig is done, a vocalist dedicated to patching up all the bruises Bad Dog dishes out in the process, and a drummer to spend the first act knocking the sense out of him. When you’ve made sure Bad Dog is completely out of material, your front man is finally free to finish the job…

But you’ve got one last hurdle: When the killing blow is struck, Snoopy pukes on the carpet, and that’s the end of the world. All your hard work will be for nothing unless at least one hero survives the impact; you can try to dodge it, you can try to take the hit and get back up, or you can stand in front of it with a confident head-licking grin on your face. But once the deed is done, you don’t get an opportunity to respond after the fact – if nobody’s left in your corner, you’ll end up right back in jail, and Bad Dog will be waiting for you.

Mr. Noodle

Now we’re getting into the big leagues. If you haven’t secured enough muscle yet, you’re gonna get overwhelmed no matter how good your strategy is.

In combat, Mr. Noodle is your last priority; the Muppets don’t waste any time in crawling all over you, and they have a habit of taking their target out of the game for a long while. Worse still, when they’re not tying you up, they heal as hard as they hit, and what hurts one Muppet might help another.

Your opening move here is to lock everybody down as hard as you can, for as long as you can. Then, the objective is to thin the herd. If you’ve got a lot of single-target nukes, don’t spread them out across multiple victims. If you can stomp out several at a time, then don’t worry if your attack trashes Oscar but tickles Elmo – use any means at your disposal to make the teams as uneven as you can, as early in the fight as possible. Mr. Noodle plus Grover is much easier to handle than Mr. Noodle plus Bert and Ernie. When it’s just you and the clown, you can finally breathe easy.

Note that the Muppets aren’t actually good enough to be considered bosses, for whatever reason, so they’re missing one critical immunity that you might be able to exploit.

Chef Boyardee

Any chef worth his salt (or MSG) knows the importance of a recipe. Boyardee’s shortcoming is that he lives by the rule “no substitutions.”

If the Chef doesn’t have a meatball in play, he’ll cook up another one, free of charge to you and at no cost to him other than his precious time. Now, I really, really need to underscore the dire importance of neutralizing the meatballs wholesale – if your plan involves eating one, the tiniest bite will quickly impress upon you the importance of changing plans, preferably to one where the meatball will be dealing “strictly no damage” as opposed to “heavily mitigated damage.” You won’t have to play guessing games with the meatballs, as they’ve inherited their creator’s one-track mind, but the parade of meatballs will continue until the Chef retires, so your defense against them must be persistent.

With a meatball in play, the Chef will then designate a taste-tester and helpfully enhance their dining experience with a bib. For players who have listened to my meatball instructions, this action will essentially waste the Chef’s turn. Otherwise, when the meatball left play, it almost certainly took your party member to the bathroom as it went, and the survivors really don’t have time to go check on them because they’re panicking about the next meatball.

If a meatball is in play and at least one of the Chef’s guests is still wearing a bib, OR if he feels festive and thinks you’re not paying attention, he will sing Happy Birthday. This will very likely result in your ejection from the restaurant unless every member of your party is at full health and the Chef’s magic power is dampened at time of impact.

Cunning culinary critics might think it’s a good idea to rob the Chef of his ingredients or to interrupt him before he starts singing. Be advised that Ettore Boiardi was an actual first-generation Italian American immigrant who lived through both World Wars and as such would have no trouble just punching your lights out. Dress accordingly.

Slap-Chop

Vince “Offer” Shlomi was embroiled in a gory fistfight with a prostitute in early 2009, ending only when both combatants were arrested. I was disappointed to learn that neither a Slap-Chop nor a ShamWow were used in the assault (or the preceding coitus). Friends, when you tell your date “You’re gonna love my nuts,” ensure that she is not currently holding your tongue in her teeth.

One of the Slap-Chop’s convenient features is that it requires very little physical power to operate, shredding all of its victims at the touch of a button, but its blades can’t cope with anything other than helpless vegetables. Targets that steel their hearts against lacerations won’t have much to fear from its unremarkable muscle. Additionally, anyone with the reflexes to duck away from its wild slicing and dicing will remain safe as long as they aren’t the focus of its wrath.

As for actually disassembling it, you’re gonna need to be patient. The Slap-Chop was designed to be bonked carelessly by idiots all over the world. Vince and the hookers he beats both have the same attitude about honoring refunds, though, so every scratch you put in it brings you one step closer to voiding its warranty for good.

Charlie Tuna

There is an excellent chance that you have come in search of boss battle guides specifically because of Charlie Tuna. I say this because I have several friends who have also played Crystal Project, and every single one of them has complained to me, very loudly and at great length, about Charlie Tuna.

This frustration is entirely warranted. He is unphased by all of the anti-physical countermeasures the player has otherwise found to be very reliable until this point. He ignores the game’s threat mechanics, which have been instrumental in managing every other fight. He can be counted on to re-apply his favorite buffs even more quickly than they can be stripped away. He is fast enough to act slightly more than twice as often as units with average speed, and his arsenal of special tricks don’t even cost him a turn. Finally, as if he needed the additional striking power, he’s got a version of the standard armor reduction debuff that’s over four times worse (and it can stack with the regular kind, by the way).

One quickly exhausts all avenues of defensive counterplay. Charlie’s clean hits are safely assumed to be (more than) lethal, even against the sturdiest sandbag the player can possibly construct, and he can’t be baited into biting whoever might be most convenient. There’s no hope of his stamina wearing out in a long fight, either. In the face of all this bad news, it’s hard to call his lack of multi-target attacks a weakness.

Well then, if Chuck’s so determined to throw caution out the window, maybe it’s time to accept his invitation to Hell. Forget about any defenses that fall short of being absolute – ignore options that aren’t guaranteed to negate a hit, prevent a kill outright from full health, or give your hero a precious second chance when they do go down. Use anything at your disposal to hit as hard as possible, or make Charlie reel harder from other hits. See how long he can keep smiling in the face of four angry microwaves.

Anybody else?

Nah, I covered all the tricky ones. The rest (and there are plenty more) are either so straightforward that their weak points aren’t worth mentioning, or so fearsome that no amount of cleverness will help you unless you’re a match for their sheer firepower. If you aren’t tough enough to take on the red-headed stepchild, his golden-haired camp counselor, or their pet pelican spider, they’ll be sure to let you know.

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