By Mr. Krystal
Creator/Admin of the Krystal Archive
Admin of Starfox-Online
Part II: Controversy
Wherever there is something popular, there will be controversy, and Krystal is no exception. She is at the heart of several Star Fox controversies. Some love her while others hate her. Still others don't know what the deal is. Hopefully, I can shed some light on the issues for each group. As you can probably guess, I'm a Krystal fan, but I will try to keep it as unbiased as possible.
Krystal and the Furry Fandom
Well, you probably figured this was coming eventually. Yes, Krystal is popular with those kooky furries. Once I explain who they are, you'll see why. Furries, or furry fans, refers to a huge spectrum of people with different beliefs and personal preferences. Common to all furries, however, is an appreciation for anthropomorphic (human-like) animal characters. That can range from talking animals like those in The Lion King all the way up to the type of characters you see in Star Fox games. Beyond this basic appreciation, the spectrum of interests is vast -- too vast for this article. Needless to say, some furries take their appreciation to whole new levels, levels where "appreciation" becomes "attraction."
It's a basic fact: Krystal was designed by Rare to be an attractive character, both to Fox and the audience playing the game, though they probably intended her to be less attractive to the latter. Nevertheless, Krystal was singled out by the furry community as one of the most attractive characters. Endless fanart (ranging from G to XXX ratings) has been created by this community. Some have even found Krystal to be the one exception to a non-furry's dislike of anthro characters, as humorously revealed in the common internet phrase, "Dude, it's cool. Everyone's furry for Krystal." Her popularity within the community likely has to do with the large number of Nintendo fans they have, as well as the relative rarity (read "non-existance") of such scantily clad or intentionally attractive characters in a Nintendo franchise.
For Star Fox fans who didn't want to be associated with the furry community, this attention was unwanted. Some didn't mind the character so much as the kind of people she often attracted to their Star Fox fan message boards. For some, Krystal became polarizing through the addition of furries to the Star Fox fandom. Of course, the opinion varies with each community. Some don't care. Others can be much more resistant to furries joining them.
But... I Already Have A Girlfriend
For fans of the Star Fox Nintendo Power comics, Krystal presented a problem. It was obvious at the time that Krystal would be Fox's love interest, but this flew in the face of the comic's story. Namely, Fox already had a girlfriend. Her name was Fara Phoenix, also a vixen. Actual games in a game series take canon precedence, so there was no going back. Fara officially stopped existing overnight. Just as there are fans of Krystal, there were lots of fans of Fara at the time, and they felt like an injustice had been done to them, taking a favorite character away as if she had never existed, very much in the same manner that Sonic fans never saw Sally Acorn appear outside of her cartoon/comic appearances.
Over time, however, the number of fans of Fara decreased relative to the masses of Krystal fans, so much so that it's rare to hear anything about Fara these days outside of an occasional fanfiction or forum post talking about favorite characters. Like Miyu and Fay, Fara may again make an appearance as an official character, but when is anyone's guess.
Ruining The Series
One of the largest ongoing arguments in the Star Fox community is whether or not Krystal ruined the Star Fox series. The issue revolves around Star Fox Adventures and the perceived decline of the license after that. Star Fox, for the SNES, was a massive success, as was Star Fox 64. Both games are held up as some of the best games of their time, and often some of the best games ever made. However, Star Fox Adventures, due to it's odd transition from Dinosaur Planet, barely resembled Star Fox games of the past. Other than the sparse usage of past Star Fox characters and some very simplified flight sequences, the only thing that made Star Fox Adventures a Star Fox game was Fox McCloud as the main character. Most people acknowledge Star Fox Adventures by itself as a well-built, though simple game. As a Star Fox game, however, it just does not compare. Hardcore fans were expecting a lot more Arwing and a lot less staff swinging. The story, while appropriate, had lots of plotholes and tacked on elements, both of which were undoubtedly the result of the game's complex origin.
The expectations of many fans were left high and dry. They may have let it pass, except that neither Star Fox Assault nor Star Fox Command lived up to their standards either, despite being much more similar to the originals than Star Fox Adventures. Of course, Krystal joined the series at that point, and, as mentioned above, stepped on the toes of another loved character established to hardcore fans. The result: Krystal was labeled as the reason for the Star Fox series' decline.
As much as I would like to show the logic on that side of the argument, I simply can't find any that holds up. Perhaps this is where my bias comes into play. Nevertheless, blaming a non-pivotal character for a game's (or game series') faults is like blaming the TV for a terrible sitcom. Krystal ultimately had nothing to do with whether or not a game lived up to standards, except perhaps if the person only measures a game's quality by which characters they like. The problem appears to come from the logical fallacy "correlation proves causation". That is, since Krystal was in the game that we don't like, Krystal is the reason we didn't like it. This cannot be established without further information about the situation. One cannot logically conclude that Krystal was the cause simply because she was there. Again, I haven't found any reasonable argument for this view, but if I have misrepresented it, I apologize.
Why She's Popular
I think we've established the reasons why one might hate Krystal. To finish up, I would like to focus on why she is so popular. It is my personal belief that of all the things that might make Krystal a popular or well-known character, the most influential one of all is her fur color. She is a blue fox. It's quite rare for any series, let alone Star Fox. I think that this simple fact allows Krystal to gain a foothold in people's minds even if they can't remember any other characters in the series. On top of that, she is one of the few female characters in the series, and one designed to be attractive. Since a majority of Star Fox fans are male, it's clear why she might at least be an interesting character to the typical Star Fox fan.
Her personality, for the most part, is one of kindness, though as seen in Star Fox Command, she can be quite stubborn and spiteful. She has shown resolve and courage in her actions, preferring to jump into a situation than run away from it. If Samus Aran hadn't been such a loner, I imagine their personalities would be nearly identical. Krystal has her staff weapon and psychic powers, two things not shared by anyone else in the series. Finally, she has also shown herself to be a quick learner and effective pilot once she joined the Star Fox team.
Most of these traits are typically considered positive. As different aspects of Krystal are revealed in future games, who can tell what they may mean to her popularity? Nintendo may choose to make her a villain, as they almost did with one ending of Star Fox Command. Additionally, many have expressed interest in Krystal's backstory, wondering what happened to her planet and asking Nintendo for a "Krystal Adventures" title. Only time will tell what Nintendo will do with her.
With that, I've covered Krystal's history and controversies. I hope you've gained some new insights into this interesting character. If you have questions or want to know more about her, try visiting the Krystal Archive where I have posted just about everything there is to know about her. If you still have questions, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you have enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it.
You can visit Mr. Krystal's website, Krystal Archive, to learn more.