Mystica is a textbook case of the concept and design being better than the finished product. That’s not to say that Mystica is an unsatisfactory skin, because it’s not – it’s a good skin — but considering how well-made some of the previous Fortnite Chapter 4, Season 2 Battle Pass skins have been, Mystica ends up being a bit less impactful than the others by comparison.
First, let’s go with the good. Mystica’s loading screen art (Crimsoonbloom Mystica, which can be seen in this review’s featured image is by Berry Verrine) is superb; the brilliant colors in both pieces pop and you can nearly feel the otherworldly, enigmatic heat which dances from Mystica’s flame-body.
Also, Mystica swimming with a shark under the ocean while her fiery hair billows beneath the water like some conflagrant seaplant is a striking visual that evokes a feeling of whimsicality that few loading screens can. Bravo to Christian Ward for the fantastic job on the underwater Mystica piece.
Mystica’s design, which is inspired by the oni from Japanese myth, and features her flaming, ethereal form suited up in yoroi samurai armor is also impressive and fits the Neo-Tokyo theme of Chapter 4, Season 2 perfectly.
The coloring of Mystica’s armor is where things get interesting; the green-colored armor, when combined with the pink of her face-plate and the tulip-petal-shape of her hair exudes an overall flower-like appearance. This notion is further reinforced by Mystica’s back bling, a giant, pink-and-violet-colored lotus blossom looking flower called the Remnant Blossom, which according to the in-game description is, “The last-living bloom from Mystica’s home.”
Flower-like appearance; Remnant Blossom black bling that’s pink-and-violet colored. Why does this seem so familiar? Is it because it looks strikingly similar to both The Herald and Bloom, two plant-based humanoid characters who are both suggested to be a part of the Pluxarian race.
Could Mystica be another instance of the Pluxarian race in Fortnite? Twitter user TheRagingReaper seems to think so, and offers an interesting theory.
Before we get into that however, I need to bring up one last point. Mystica’s set piece is called “The Luminaries.” According to the in-game description, Mystica is the leader and founder of The Luminaries. The Chapter 4, Season 1 questline, “The Ciphers,” also states, through Evie, that “If you want it, they’ve invented it, studied it, or preserved it in a specimen jar.” Kind of makes that “swimming with the sharks” loading screen seem a little less innocuous, doesn’t it? Before I go accusing Mystica of keeping great white sharks in giant, glass jars, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, according to her in-game description, she has “a luminary mind and [is] the last survivor of their kind.”
Now, back to TheRagingReaper’s theory – is Mystica, who is the last of her kind, actually a Pluxarian from another reality? Reappear connects the Pluxarian foliage, which had a strangehold on many parts of the Fortnite island when The Last Reality and The Herald appeared in Chapter 3, Season 7 to Mystica’s appearance and her Remnant Bloom back bling.
So as you can see, there’s plenty of intrigue and plenty to like when it comes to Mystica’s design and implied backstory. Unfortunately, Mystica’s in-game model isn’t as impressive or visually striking.
For starters, though Mystica is depicted as having a flowing, fiery mane in her loading screen art – that’s not quite the case in-game. In-game, she looks kind of bald. That’s not a problem in itself, but it’s just not what’s advertised. Instead of having flowing hair, the hair effect which Epic gave her character model just looks like she has a luminous, violet-colored egg for a head with some see-through, misty looking tufts attached to the top. It might seem like a nitpick but Mystica’s hair not looking like it was advertised in the art becomes distracting and had me secretly wishing the hair was more flowing and voluminous in-game.
This also brings me to the premise of Mystica as an alien visitor from another world that looks a lot like a plant-based oni from Japanese myth. Why didn’t Epic just make her an oni, which is essentially a demon or spirit associated with bad luck and violence in Japanese culture? There are already plenty of alien characters in the game. Being an oni would have both set Mystica apart from the myriad other “alien visitor” Fortnite skins and better fit the Chapter 4, Season 2 Neo-Tokyo theme.
It’s this disappointment which makes Mystica’s glider, Lost Meteor, an anthropomorphic meteor fragment with glowing eyes and horns and a violet-colored comet tail seem almost incongruous as well. While Lost Meteor is an interesting, well-crafter glider, just imagine how much more fitting it would have been to see Mystica ride some demonic-looking, ethereal samurai horse across the sky after leaping from the Battle Bus? Mystica’s harvesting tool, The Ashglow Blade, fits with the oni samurai theme, so why give her a meteor as a glider? Unless of it’s revealed in future chapters that Mystica actually is a Pluxarian, and there’s further development between she, Bloom and The Herald – I can’t help but think of what could have been with Mystica, rather than what we actually got.
Check out my previous Fortnite: Chapter 4, Season 2 Battle Pass skin reviews: