I’ve recently been re-watching/catching up on old episodes of Parks and Recreation, and I just watched an episode titled “The Bubble.” In the show, “the bubble” is described as that special time at the start of a new relationship when two stranded souls decide it’s time to get to know each other. While the couple is in “the bubble,” nothing can intervene (though it may, and usually does) to destroy their happiness, excitement, and ecstasy.
This is where I am with Chrono Trigger – in “the bubble,” and by god, I don’t want anything to ruin it!
But maybe I should back up, because it’s been awhile since it was all Chrono Trigger up in here.
Hi, my name is cary, and I’m playing Chrono Trigger for the first time. This is my new game project for 2015 (and part of 2016, more than likely), and this is my first progress post of the series that’s aptly title “Mission Chrono Trigger” (because, yes, I am that creative). Last year I played my first ever Pokemon game, Pokemon LeafGreen, and I had a ridiculously fun time with it. So I’m rolling with that “first time playing” theme again, only with a different game. Thanks to the voting blogosphere, that game is Chrono Trigger. I’ll be posting monthly updates on my progress with the game, and welcome any comments, advice, and general thoughts along the way.
Are we all up to speed? …Excellent.
And there’s just one more thing to get out of the way: for the sake of portability, I’m playing an emulated version of the Chrono Trigger on my tablet. It’s not the most ideal situation as (a) I know the game could be glitchy or odd, as some emulations can be, and (b) my relatively “new” tablet is already showing its age and lately has been especially temperamental when games are involved. Both, either, or neither of these could affect how things go. On the flip side, the emulator lets me save the game at any time – no struggling to find save points equals a happy me!
Also, I guess I should say !SPOILERS! as this series will be rife with them.
Now, what of this Chrono Trigger…? Well, getting back to “the bubble,” my first moments with the game have been wonderful. Not knowing anything about the game beyond some very vague memories of its opening, I’ve had a grand time just traveling and learning. Can’t say I’ve made a ton of progress, but things don’t have to go fast at first. In fact, the slower, the better…ahem, with the game. Alas, I digress.
After the opening credits and the “name your character” screen (I’ll be sticking to everyone’s chosen names for this playthrough.) the game opened with Crono, our red-headed hero, being admonished by his mother for waking up late. It was only with the littlest bit of hesitation that Crono got out of bed – from then on I would remain at his helm. So I headed to the downstairs of Crono’s home, did a little wandering and talking, and scored a little gold in the process. Apparently Crono was to go meet a friend, his only friend, who remained nameless thanks to his, frankly, hapless and rude mother, at some sort of fair. A fair you say? As in balloons, hot dogs, and rides? Once I heard that, I was all about blowing my joint asap.
I managed a little bit of map travel and set to mind the name of Crono’s hometown – Truce – as well as the date – 1000 AD, both of which had to be important otherwise they both wouldn’t have kept showing up. But my sights were set on this fair, the Millennial Fair, as it was called, which sounded like as good a place to be as any.
As often happens with me new games, I ended up spending way too much time at the fair doing not much of anything exciting except learning about movement and action in the game. Am I complaining that there was no “fun,” lengthy tutorial about which button does what? Oh hell naw! Like I said, it’s just me, Crono, and “the bubble” – and having directions about what to do and where to go would have just mucked up everything. At the Millennial Fair I learned what entrances and doorways might look like throughout the game. I learned that if you get a spot where Crono can’t move any further, he’ll shake his head. (I love this and now wish it was present in more games.) I learned how to interact with people, buy and sell, and pick up items – all part of the vital knowledge needed for any game. Eventually, though, it was time to figure out how to move on with the plot, and bumping in to a girl named Marle was just the ticket.
Marle and Crono became best buds in no time flat. We traveled around the fair again, and we even stopped to do some dancing (which I had previously discovered all by my lonesome earlier – no one likes to dance alone in public). But it seemed that our main goal was to meet with a girl named Lucca (possibly Crono’s only friend in the world) and her father, who together had built a time machine! (That’s when the game’s title kinda clicked…Chrono Trigger. Has a better ring that Time Machine, also with less H. G. Wells.) Father and daughter were showing off their machine at the fair, but sadly and maybe rightfully, no one dared to try it.
While Crono trusted Lucca, I didn’t at first, and I left the scene to travel around the fair one more time, just to see if I needed to absolutely do anything before I left (worrying that I might not be able to return, y’know, with as wibbly wobbly as time machines are).
I’ll tell you right now, I didn’t play any of the fair’s games, mainly because I didn’t want to exchange the little money I had for fear of losing it. But I did learn about a special pendant that Marle possessed. So maybe that had something to do with all the time travel? Only one way to find out. I headed back to Lucca and her magical machine.
Indeed, the pendant was important, and it was therefore time to see of Lucca’s machine actually worked. In no time at all, and with help from a big, blue portal, Crono was off into the wilds of time. And he ended up…! In a forest. Um…okay?
And that’s where I’m currently lingering, with Crono, learning the ins and outs of battle in the Guardia Forest. And what a nice battle system Chrono Trigger has! Took me a minute to get used to the set up, but it’s basically a turn-based system with the action taking place right then and there – no moving to some sort of battle screen with the good guys on the left and the bad guys on the right. I like it. Yes. I like it a lot.
So I think me and Crono are going to get along fine. It’s a bit slow going right now, but “the bubble” remains. Hopefully we can take this relationship to the next level next time, if I can figure my way through this forest, that is…