Crystal Dynamics

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Background

Crystal Dynamics is an American video game developer that was founded in 1992 by Judy Lang, Madeline Canepa and Dave Morris. Its first title was Crash n' Burn for 3DO. In 1998, it was acquired by Eidos Interactive and became a subsidiary. After Square Enix started to acquire Eidos in 2009, the company would later march on as a subsidiary of the former company. The company is best known for games such as the Gex series and Legacy of Kain series, and is the current developer of the Tomb Raider series since Tomb Raider: Legend. In May 2022, Embracer Group made a deal with Square Enix to acquire the assets of Square Enix Europe, which includes Eidos-Montréal, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix Montreal.



1st Logo (October 4, 1993-March 24, 1994)

Crystal Dynamics (1992).png

Logo: We see a starfield along with the Earth on the right and a glassy transparent surface below. Various CDs are seen flying around the Earth and we pan into the planet. The camera then suddenly moves away as the transparent surface is revealed to be the company's logomark, with the Earth seen in its middle and the stars shooting away. The logomark spins, turns purple, flashes and the name "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" zooms out below. The logo then collides with the screen, causing a flash that brings up the still logo. The logomark consists of two arcs, resembling a "C" and a "D". The C-shaped arc has four rods coming near the top, and the D-shaped arc has a comb-like jarred figure. The stars vanish away along with the Earth before the logo ends, and the name shines. After the logo gets done, a menu would appear with two selections which are the game's name and "PREVIEWS".

Technique: CGI animation; this was one of the first high-quality FMV video game logos.

Music/Sounds: A rock fanfare with drums and whooshing sound effects.

Availability: Rare. It was seen on the 3DO game Crash 'n Burn (1993). A still version is shown on earlier copies of the 3DO game Total Eclipse (1993).


2nd Logo (1994-1995)

Crystal Dynamics (1994, Source - Later print of Total Eclipse).png

Logo: On a black background, we see just text reading "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" in an Eras-like font with "CRYSTAL" in black outlined in white, and "DYNAMICS" in white.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The beginning of the game's intro theme.

Availability: Rare. It was seen on later prints of the 3DO game Total Eclipse. It was also seen on the Crystal Dynamics line-up promo from 1995 on a Gex disc if you wait for the title card.


3rd Logo (1994-November 1996)

Crystal Dynamics (1995).png

Logo: Against a blue metal background with black and white CGI lines, we see some clips from previous Crystal Dynamics games near the bottom edge of the screen. Then the crystal word "CRYSTAL" appears moving near the right edge of the screen, and the camera pans to move it. The clips transform into the word "DYNAMICS" below "CRYSTAL", also in the same font as above.

Technique: CGI.

Music/Sounds: Nine drumbeats followed with a proud 17-note tune, then a sound of glass taps.

Availability: Rare. Seen on Gex for all platforms, Blazing Dragons, and other games through the era for PlayStation, Saturn, and PC. This logo can be usually seen still when you're playing Gex on the PSP.


4th Logo (1994-January 24, 2001)

Logo: On a black background, a laser writes the word "CRYSTAL" in the same font as before. When the laser finishes writing "CRYSTAL", the word "DYNAMICS" appears also in the same font and formed with fire. Then the text flashes and forms. The text reads "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" and looks similar to the 2nd and 3rd logos.

Variants:

  • Beginning in 1996; the logo turns completely white after the flashing.
  • There is a still version of this logo (the text on an oval-like shape with "CRYSTAL" in white on black and "DYNAMICS" in black on white), with Gex (the mascot of the company until 2000) behind the logo. It was seen on Gex 64: Enter the Gecko for Nintendo 64.
  • A second still variant without Gex was seen on Gex 3: Deep Pocket Gecko (the GBC version of Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko) for Game Boy Color.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds:

  • 1994-1995: A THX-like sound with laser sounds, closing out with a piano theme
  • October 31, 1996- 2001: Synth sounds of a laser drawing, then a humming.

Availability: The original version is rare and was found on early 3DO games like Off-World Interceptor. The later variant is much common and can be seen on Crystal Dynamics games including Gex 2: Enter the Gecko and others. On publicity for Gex 2: Enter the Gecko and some games, the gecko Gex wearing his sunglasses was seen as in the Gex cover accompanied by the "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" text. This logo can be still seen on the PSP. The logo was also available on VHSs about their catalogue.


5th Logo (Gex 3 variant) (March 23, 1999-July 24, 2000)

Crystal Violin (1999, Source - Playstation release of Gex 3- Deep Cover Gecko).png

Logo: We start with a circle outline on a black background growing to reveal a shot of a blimp promoting Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, with Gex kids on a blimp. Then, as the blimp flies off, we look straight to a model ship on water, with the Crystal Dynamics logo on the model ship as seen on some covers of some Crystal Dynamics games. The camera slowly pans to reveal it, with birds flying over the ship. The Crystal Dynamics logo accompanies the gecko Gex with sunglasses.

Technique: It's all CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the game.

Availability: Can be only seen on the PlayStation version of Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, the last game in the Gex franchise. Also appeared on the Nintendo 64 version.


6th Logo (October 31, 2001-March 3, 2009)

Logo: On a black background, we see a large metal device come in via 3 parts on hydraulic tubes, coming from off-screen from the bottom, top, and right in that order. The screen visibly shakes after each part comes in, along with purple electricity running through it and dust coming off from the impacts. A tube connects to the left side, twisting the nozzle as a blue liquid runs through the clear section of the tube, and white light runs through the cracks. The camera, which was zooming back before, zooms in instead as the machine pieces reveal a "D" shape in a rippling solid and steam runs off it briefly. A final machine comes from off-camera to stamp a tilted "C" inside the bottom left corner of the shape, steam coming off it as well, and a spark creates a white outline around the logo. "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" slides in below from both sides and waves a bit as the "CD" combo shines with purple electricity.

Variants:

  • On Soul Reaver 2 and other series, the logo turns red at the end.
  • On Project Snowblind, a static field crosses the logo.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: The sounds of machinery slamming and the other actions. A heavenly chorus plays during the light shining from the cracks and a "woah" sound plays when the text slides in below.

Availability: Seen on Mad Dash Racing and Project Snowblind. The red version was used on Legacy of Kain games during the era.


7th Logo (August 10, 2010-)

Logo: We see the text "CRYSTAL DYNAMICS" in the same font as the sixth logo appear still.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on recent Crystal Dynamics games such as current Tomb Raider games and the game Marvel's Avengers.

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