The Crystal of the Desert

This is the ninth episode in the 80’s series and was first broadcast in Japan on November 26, 1980.

Hi! This is Astro. I found big trouble in the desert when I went to investigate a strange series of droughts. After a little help from a new friend, I stumbled across a huge crytal in the middle of the desert. Once again I met Atlas, who was living inside the crystal and was using it as a base.

Plot

Livian, princess of the crystal castle
Atlas presenting his crystal castle

Astro wakes up in the desert among plane debris, his energy cassette almost depleted, not remembering how he came here. A small robot in the shape of an animal gives him a new one, giving him enough strength to dig a hole in the ground and find fresh water for the thirsty animals. Then Astro remembers that he came here to investigate because the previously watery area had dried up to become a desert. The animal robot points him to a crater somewhere in the desert, where Astro find a huge crystal. It is impervious to punches and laser, but it opens to let Astro enter.

Inside the crystal, Astro finds a psychedelic environment, and soon meets a tall robot who guides him. Astro sees humans working on strange machines, and finally meets a woman robot named Livian, who tells him that the master of the crystal palace is Atlas. Atlas explains to Astro that his crystal creates lot of heat, and that he needs water to cool it; his humans slaves need water too. His goal is to be the master of all Earth, and then the universe, and he wants Astro to join him. Astro refuses and says he wants to leave, but Atlas dares him to find a way out.

While Astro tries to find an exit, Atlas oversees the final part of his latest project: a new body for Astro. However, in the meantime, Astro meets Livian again, who shows him a secret passage leading outside. She opens the way out in presence of Atlas, despite him explicatively forbidding her to do so. Atlas leaves the castle in a hurry to force Astro to come back. A battle ensues, during which Atlas’ electrical sword is damaged and rendered useless by Astro, and Livian is wounded by Atlas’ secret weapon and falls into Earth’s atmosphere and burns out. Atlas gets her back badly damaged, unclear if she is still alive. The battle between Astro and Atlas ends, with Atlas promising Livian he will rebuild her.

Trivia

  • For a few frames, Livian can be seen with three arms as she welcomes Astro in the crystal castle.

Differences between languages

FIXME I have no access to the Japanese version right now.

  • While Astro and the animal robot are walking at the beginning of the episode, corpses of animal dead from thirst are visible in the images. They are absent in the French version.
  • Atlas explains to Astro that he rebuilt Livian after Count Walpur Guiss dismantled her. In the French version, the origin of Livian is left unexplained.
  • At the end, the final battle ends with Livian being badly damaged. In the French version, she doesn’t appear at all and the battle ends because Atlas’ sword has been destroyed, leaving Atlas weaponless.