Well, it feels like I’ve progressed a lot in the game, and that’s what’s important, right? Da feelz??
Man…anyway. Despite all the craziness this summer has brought (dealing with storms killing the garden and a kitchen remodel on top of everything else), since my last MCT post, I have managed to play Chrono Trigger pretty regularly, getting in at least 15-20 minutes of a a day (during the week, anyway). And that makes me pretty happy. I doubt I’ll find any more time than that to get all timey wimey with this game before Labor Day, but you never know. Though I do know that you’re not here to read about my general life mishaps, so I’ll just get on with the post.
SPOILERS ahead! Fer sure.
We pick up with Chrono, Marle, and Lucca back in 1000 A. D. after saving Queen Leene and having a blast with Frog in 600 A.D. (Really, I miss Frog already.) While Lucca made a quick exit, Marle (a.k.a. Princess Nadia) outright dragged Crono to her home — Guardia Castle. And instead of a sweet/awkward meet the parents scene, Crono ended up being accused by the chancellor of kidnapping Marle!
In an utterly strange interlude (or maybe I just don’t play enough, uh…crime-based JRPGs?), Crono was put on trial, and I saw his case through to conviction.
In a move so treacherous it defied the spritely sprites before my eyes, Crono was found guilty (there were two questions to answer during the trial, and I guess I chose…poorly), bound, and thrown into jail.
Making things even worse was that there was absolutely no appeal process (foreign judicial systems, I tell ya)! Crono was to be put to death in three days, and that was that.
Only, that wasn’t that, because as soon as I gained control of Crono, I sought to break outta that joint! I wove my way through numerous cells, took down guards, scaled the castle’s walls, and even picked up a few items here and there. And in the way that only a JRPG could love, Lucca showed up, having infiltrated the jail with what I’m sure was steampunk-y magic! However she managed it, I was glad to see her, because on our way out, we faced off with a mechanical dragon controlled(?) by the chancellor. Though Chrono handled the battle easily, it was good to have Lucca’s extra firepower.
With the dragon-thing dispatched and the chancellor mostly defeated (though not dead, so I’m sure we’ll meet again), Chrono and Lucca met back up with Marle, because that’s how these things go, and the three escaped into Guardia forest. While evading the guards, a portal appeared! And that got a convenient “woohoo!”
Into the gate we went, only to land in…???
There was no time for confusion as Crono and the girls simply had to set about exploring this strange, new place. And this place was, in a word, desolate. Except for all the rats. So many goddamn rats. It was…the future.
And a bleak future at that in 2300 A.D. After perusing a lab and the sewers (joy of joys) and beating up on lots of rats, insects, and other unsavories, the gang made its way to a building (Arris Dome) in which was hiding a rag-tag (literally) group of humans that had survived some sort of awful event. They were desperate, starving, and pleaded to Crono for assistance. Yet somehow they had held onto a device called an Enertron, which restored HP and MP, so they at least had that going for them. But food, food is what they really wanted, which the group’s leader, Doan, claimed was stored in the basement. He also claimed that it was impossible for anyone to get, so boo hoo. Now, if he had taken the time to get to know Crono, Doan would have discovered that Crono wasn’t just “anyone,” so it was off to the basement to get food. After some more exploring, a lovely little boss battle with a robot guardian, and digging through rat carcasses, we found…seeds? Okay, sure. Seeds. So back to Doan and the other humans we went.
In exchange for the seeds, Doan gave Crono a key. Just…okay? What the hell did a key have to do with anything? Well, further exploration of the world of 2300 A. D. led to Johnny, The Man, in a lab numbered 32. But Johnny wasn’t just a man. Oh no, my friends, he was half fucking speedbike as well. (As if I needed a reason to like this game even more…) The setup was this: Crono’s new key went to a fancy car. Once Crono got said car, Johnny challenged him to a race. Hence, begin mini-game “Beat Johnny, The Man, at racing.” It took a couple tries, but eventually Crono did just that.
Great, 2300 A.D. was in the bag! …not. Bringing up the map revealed one more location I had yet to visit: another dome called Proto. Somewhere in there had to a portal, (I know, I know, they are “gates” in the game, but portals are so much cooler.) and I was going to find it come hell or high…robot?
Yes, in the Proto Dome, Crono, Marle, and Lucca stumbled across a poor robot in need of help. And Lucca, being the handy one, set right about fixing him up. Soon enough that robot, named “Robo,” was back to his old self, and he was, of course, christened a member of the team! For a time I said au revoir to Lucca to scour the grounds of the Proto Dome with Marle and Robo. (I have a hard time letting go of my healer [Marle] in teams.)
After completing a rather tepid jaunt through some mechanical rooms, which led to a nasty encounter with conveyor belts, a very cranky crane, and mastering the magic code “Zabie,” the gang faced off with a mean group of robots similar in appearance to Robo. Despite Robo’s protestations of Crono’s goodness and friendship, the other robots called him names and beat him silly.
As a result of that horrific scene (it was rather jolting to see Robo plead with them so sincerely only to have them crush him to a pulp – my eyes might have gotten a little watery), Crono and Marle proceeded to put on the smackdown on the meanies. After the battle, they took Robo’s remains back to the room in which they found him to see if he could be repaired. Lucca proceeded with the resuscitation.
Adding to the oft-jarring nature of the game’s story, once Robo was brought back to life, it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Instead, he had something of a manic-depessive attack in which he questioned his very existence! The scene brought about Robo abandoning his world to join Crono for good.
After solving Robo’s existential crisis, the group found the portal and jumped in…only to end up at the END (end, end) OF (of, of) TIME (time, time, time).
A discussion with this “old man” revealed that The End of Time was a place for a couple things. First, it allowed Crono to reach other eras within the game. Second, it gave Crono places to recharge his HP and MP. And third, it was the place to learn magic. (About goddamn time too, cause I was wondering when these kids were ever going to learn anything other than melee attacks.) And who better to learn magic from than a little beast named Spekkio?
Going a few rounds with Spekkio (Literally. You had to run around him.) gave each character their own magic — Lightning (Crono), Ice (Marle), Fire (Lucca), and Shadow (Robo). And, of course, he challenged us to battle, so fighting ensued, followed by defeat and celebration. And that was enough for me.
This is quite enough writing for one post, yes? Yes, this definitely puts a cap on this part of my mission…Mission Chrono Trigger! I’m at The End of Time and all is right with the world. Though, it probably isn’t. In fact, it better not be, because Crono’s still got a lot of adventuring left to do. Until next time, stay classy, San Francisco!