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Need I say more?

Holy fuck we’re playing Chrono Trigger!  We kinda picked this one up the other day, and have been burning through it whenever we get the time.  As a result, I haven’t been very good at blogging our progress.  I considered skipping it entirely, but hey, why wouldn’t I want the chance to quickly chat up one of the greatest games of all time?

Ed’s never played Chrono Cross, my favourite game of all time, even though he hears me rave about it all the time.  I’d like him to play Chrono Trigger first, to get a sense for the series and enough backstory that he understands some of the subtler plot points of Cross.  I gave him the DS re-release some time ago, but he never got past the first time-jump.  He said it just didn’t appeal to him, and I say that’s because he didn’t even make it to the beginning of the game.  After cracking off Lunar: Silver Star, his favourite RPG of all time, I decided to press for turnabout, and we started playing Chrono Trigger together.  I was hoping we could play the DS verison, but I couldn’t get an emulator to look good enough to play together.  I grabbed the PSX version too, but had completely forgotten about the horrendous loading times for everything.  After a few minutes it was more than I could stand, so we whipped out a SNES emulator and decided to go for the classic version.  It’s superior to the PSX version, in any case.

Oh, and Ed’s addicted now.  We’re both loving it, and we’re using every spare minute to rip through it, so we’re… pretty far.  Apologies for the lack of screenshots, I just figured out how to use the function effectively today, so most of this is just me summarizing Chrono Trigger in a wall of text, for reasons I myself don’t entirely understand.

Recap time!  And by recap, I mean synopsis of the first 3/4 of the game.  If you’ve never played Chrono Trigger, expect to be spoiled hardcore.  I almost feel bad posting this, but I’m supposed to be blogging all my gameplay, so…. Crono is woken by his mom, and heads to the Millenial Fair!  He runs into a girl named Marle, who has a strange pendant!  They mess around at the fair for a while, and then head up to see Crono’s inventor friend Lucca!  She’s showing off a new teleport device, and Crono volunteers to test it out.  Everything works as planned, but when Marle decides she wants to try as well, her pendant reacts strangely and she’s sucked into a portal.  Crono grabs up the pendant and follows her through the portal.

He ends up 400 years in the past, in 600 AD, where the missing Queen Leene has just been found.  Crono heads to the castle to see what all the commotion is about, and finds Marle there.  It seems that everyone thinks she’s the queen, so she’s playing along until she can figure out a way to get back home.  Suddenly, Marle disappears before Crono’s eyes, and Lucca shows up.  She’s managed to follow us here, and explains that we’ve gone back in time.  She’s deduced that Marle is actually Princess Nadia from their time, but it seems like something is changing history.  Queen Leene was supposed to be rescued, but since Marle showed up they’ve called off the search and the Queen has been killed.  As a result, Marle was never born, so it’s up to us to go find the Queen.

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The lovely Middle Ages

Various people mention the strange going-ons at the Cathedral to the west, so we head their first.  The nuns turn out to be monsters, and an anthropomorphic frog, named Frog, joins us to rescue the queen.  The party blasts through the cathedral, kills the monster that was impersonating the Chancellor of the kingdom, and rescues the queen.  Frog takes his leave of the party, and Crono and Lucca head back to where Marle disappeared to find her reappeared.  Once she shucks the disguise, the party heads back to the portal, which Lucca has coined a Gate, and returns to their own time.

Back in 1000 AD, Crono and Marle return to the castle after hearing the kingdom is in an uproar since Princess Nadia was ‘abducted’.  Once they arrive, though, the Chancellor arrests Crono for kidnapping the princess, and despite Marle’s protestations, throw him in the dungeon.  Crono’s trial for kidnapping turns out alright and he’s acquitted by the jury, but the Chancellor sentences him to 3 days in prison for running off with her anyway.  He informs the captain of the guard that Crono is to be executed, and that the paperwork just hasn’t gotten through yet, and leaves him in a cell.  Crono manages to escape his cell and scours the prison for a way out, and meets Lucca who’s broken in to get him out.  Before they do, the Chancellor sends the Dragon Tank after them, but they route it handily and escape.  Once back in the main castle, Marle comes to our defense and chases the guards away, but the King and Chancellor aren’t having any of it.  Marle re-joins the party, and we flee through the woods, finding a Time Gate as our escape route.

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Requisite Dragon Tank shot

Once through the gate, the party is in a desolate wasteland where mutated rodents and giant robots hunt the humans who live in domed cities.  The people are without food, so Crono and friends volunteer to head to the next Dome through the ruins to find food there.  In the next Dome, the people inside tell them that there should be a huge store of food in the basement, but they can’t get in because of the monsters.  The party volunteers to go down for them, and while searching the depths of the Dome, find out that they’re in 2300 AD, and that this barren wasteland is their future after The Day of Lavos happens in 1999 AD.  They find the food store has gone rotten after the refrigeration system went out, but find a seed to give to the people, in hopes that they’ll help it grow and make their own food.  Lucca also locates another Gate in a Dome further to the west, so we set off for it.

Once they arrive, they’re prevented from going any further by a large door that’s blocking their path.  A humanoid robot catches Lucca’s eye though, and after she spends some time fixing it up, Robo joins our team. He tells us that the door can be opened if they can restore power from the Factory to the north.  The party heads to the Factory, and despite some resistance from Robo’s ‘brother’ robots, they restore power and open the door.  Robo tells us that he wants to go with us and help save the world, and the four of them head into the Gate.

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Monsters from THE FUTURE!

The Gate deposits them in a strange place, called the End of Time by the old man who seems to live there.  Gates can only warp three people max, so here’s our in-game reason for parties of three.  He also introduces us to Spekkio, the Master of War, who grants all the humans magical powers.  Kick-ass.  The party heads through another Gate back to 1000 AD, and end up in the Mystic Village on the adjacent continent to where they live.  The Mystics, who are basically monsters, don’t like humans and give them the run out of town.  The party finds a group of Mystics worshiping a statue of Magus, a Mystic from the Dark Ages, who summoned Lavos to destroy the human race.  Well, there’s our bad guy. Heading east, they speak to old man Melchoir who lives on the southern edge of the continent, before heading to Heckran Cave in the north.  Inside, a magic-weak monsters tries to exterminate the party out of hatred for humans, but they defeat him and take a warp back to their home continent.  Once there, they head back to the Millenial Fair, and Gate back to 600 AD to confront Magus.

Magus is currently waging war on humans and the Kingdom of Guardia, so they just have to follow the bad guys to get to him.  Magus’ troops are storming the Zenan Bridge, but thanks to some quick fetch-questing from the party, the soldiers come back and defend the bridge while Crono and friends run the assault.  They meet Ozzie, one of Magus’ generals, who keeps using magic to summon undead soldiers, and they don’t waste any time on taking him and his creations down.

Once across the bridge, the party find out that the Legendary Hero has appeared to defeat Magus.  It seems like he’s a kid from a neigbouring town, and everyone is shocked that such a spoiled brat could be the Legendary Hero, but he has the Hero Pin, so who’s going to argue with that?  They find Frog in his hidden lair in the cursed forest, but he doesn’t seem to have any desire to rejoin the party, lamenting that he’s lost the Hero Pin and doesn’t have the legendary blade, the Masamune.  Wait, the same Hero Pin that Tata supposedly has?  Tata is supposed to be looking for the Masamune, so the party heads to the Denadoro Mountains, where it’s said the Masamune sleeps.  Tata makes a brief appearance, whining that the monsters are tough, but the party slashes it’s way through the mountains and finds two strange beings, Masa and Mune.  They challenge the group, saying that they’ll give us the blade if they’re defeated.  Crono and friends win handily, and the MasaMune brothers give us the broken blade of the sword.

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Lovely view from the Denadoro Mountains

The party heads back to Tata’s home, where he admits to being a fraud.  He hands over the Hero Pin, and with the pieces in tow the party heads back to Frog.  He’s still down in the dumps, and says they need the complete Masamune in order to fight Magus.  The party finds the hilt of the sword in a chest in Frog’s home, and read the word ‘Melchoir’ written on it.  They head back to the nearest Gate, jump back to 1000 AD, and hit up Melchoir, the swordsmith living on the continent near the Mystic Village.  He’s tight-lipped about why his name is on a sword from 400 years ago, but tells the group that he could repair it if he had Dreamstone, a red rock that was used in the ancient past.  Unfortunately it no longer exists, so that’s a dead end… or is it.

Back in the End of Time, the group checks out a previously unexplored Gate leading back to pre-historic 20,000,000 BC.  They’re overwhelmed by lizard-men right out of the Gate, but cavewoman jumps out and kicks enough ass that the party can defend itself.  The cavewoman introduces herself as Ayla, and although she doesn’t quite get the whole people-from-the-future thing, she brings the party back to her village.  They party the night away, and Ayla gives them the Dreamstone they need to fix the Masamune… except when they wake up, it looks like Reptites, the lizard-men, have stolen the Dreamstone and the Gate Key, leaving the party trapped in the past.  Ayla joins the party, and the group tears into the Reptite Lair to the south.  Most of the dinosaurs and lizards don’t like Lighting, so Crono’s magic skills clear the way with no problem.  The party runs into Azala, the leader of the Reptites, and although he sends a big ‘ol dino after them, Crono’s Lightening magic finishes the battle without trouble.  Azala drops the Gate Key and beats a hasty retreat, and the party can finally head back home after saying goodbye to Ayla.

Back in 1000 AD, the party heads back to Melchoir’s and gives him the Dreamstone, after which he reforges the Masamune.  With the legendary sword in their possession, it’s back to 600 AD to return the sword, and the Pin, to their rightful owner.  Yup, Frog.  Frog reveals through flashback that he was once human, the friend of a great knight who fought Magus with the Masamune, but was defeated and killed, while Frog was turned into… well, a frog.  Frog re-joins our party, this time for good, and they head to the Magic Cave to assault Magus’ hideout.

With the powered-up Masamune, Frog splits the mountain protecting Magus’ Castle, and the party heads inside.  The Castle is something of a Gauntlet, and the party is attacked by Magus’ three generals, Ozzie, Slash, and Flea.  If you don’t get the joke, you don’t listen to enough music.  After thrashing each of them soundly, along with 100+ other monsters in the Castle, the party makes their way to the top of the castle to confront Magus, the big bad.  He’s in the process of summoning Lavos as we speak, and after the party thumps him it seems like we interrupt the summon.  Magus is furious, but seems to want Lavos to stay asleep…?  Something wakes up though, and with a bone-chilling screech, the party is hurled through another Gate.

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Showdown time!

They wake up back in 20,000,000 BC, where Ayla found them and dragged them back to her hut.  Ayla’s out looking for Laruba Village to ask them for help fighting the Reptites, but it seems the that Reptites followed her and burned the village to the ground.  The Elder refuses to help Ayla, and she decides to head to the Tyrano Lair and take down Azala once and for all.  Crono and friends follow her to the Dactyl Nest and demand that they come with her.  Ayla can’t seem to argue that she’ll need the muscle, so joins the party again and flies off to the Tyrano Lair.

The Tyrano Lair is super-advanced, and it looks like the Reptites in this era are even more advanced than humans back in 1000 AD.  The party busts the villagers out of the dungeon, then climbs their way to the top to confront Azala.  Azala curses the ‘apes’ and their perseverance, and then hops on the Black Tyrano to destroy the party.  Too bad it’s never that easy, and the party mashes him and his pet.  Azala calls to the Red Star falling from the sky, saying that it will destroy the world.  The Red Star turns out to be Lavos, falling from space and crashing into Earth before burrowing deep beneath into the planet and feeding off it’s energy.  The party escapes the Lair and witnesses the incredible explosion as Lavos collides with the planet and burrows underground, leaving a Gate at the impact point.

The party hops through the Gate and comes out in 12,000,000 BC, in an Ice Age that’s rendered the world mostly uninhabitable.  Luckily, this is the age of magic, and humans live on floating continents high above the planet, linked to the surface by teleportation devices.  At least, the humans with magical powers do, while non-magic humans live in hovels dug beneath the earth to escape the cold.  The Kingdom of Zeal, lead by the Queen, thrives by drawing on the power of Lavos through machines that the Three Gurus created before they disappeared.  Schala, the princess, and Janus, the prince, oppose their mother, who is obsessed with drawing more and more power from Lavos and seeks immortality.  A prophet has also recently arrived and has the ear of the Queen, informing her of the future and even warning her of our arrival.  Schala uses a pendent, which looks just like Marle’s, to draw power form Lavos and open up sealed doors, including the one to the royal chamber.  Crono and friends follow her to investigate this talk of Lavos, only to be arrested by the Queen, who expects their arrival.  The Prophet takes them back to the Gate they came from, throws them back in, and has Schala seal it with her magic.

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Unrelated, but Ed and I both immediately chuckled at this. “Been out for years, Mary!”

Back in 20,000,000 BC, the party can’t use that Gate to get through to Zeal anymore.  Marle remembers that they saw a door in 2300 AD with the same seal on it as they saw in Zeal, so the party heads off to the future.  Inside the sealed door, they find Belthazar, one of the three Gurus of Zeal, and his final invention, the Wings of Time (cordially known as Epoch).  It’s a time machine, so now that they don’t need portals, the party blasts back off to Zeal.  The teleport stations to the floating continents have been disabled, but they find a village of non-magic humans on a corner of the continent.  The village guards the Mountain of Woe, a floating mountain that also serves as a jail to the Queen’s enemies.  She’s imprisoned another of the Gurus, Melchoir (?), on the mountain, and Schala implores the party to rescue him.  They fight through the Magic Beast Cave, and head up to the Mountain of Woe, where after numerous enemies, they fight the guardian of the mountain, Giga Gaia.  Once defeated, the party frees Melchoir from his imprisonment and escapes while the Mountain of Woe falls into the sea.

Melchoir informs the party that the Queen has completed the Ocean Palace, and is using Schala to draw ever more energy from Lavos.  He feels that this will end in the destruction of the world, and wants Crono and friends to destroy the machine that pulls power from Lavos, using a Red Knife he hands us.  The teleport stations back to Zeal are active again, so the party heads back to the Palace and, after fighting Dalton, the Captain of the Guards, teleport down to the Ocean Palace.  Schala is summoning more power from Lavos, so they don’t have much time, and the group tears through the Palace until they’re stopped by Dalton again.  After defeating his Golem Twins, the party bursts into the main chamber and Crono plunges the Red Knife into the machine.  The Knife, absorbing power from the machine and Lavos, becomes the Masamune, but it’s too late to stop Lavos from awakening.  The party fights Lavos but is defeated in no time, and the Prophet reveals himself as Magus, thrown here through time after our last battle.  He announces his intent to destroy the world devourer, but his power is no match, and Crono sacrifices himself to save the rest of the group.  Schala’s pendant teleports everyone out of the Ocean Palace, and Lavos awakens with a fury that shakes the heavens.  It destroys the Kingdom of Zeal, causing the floating continents to come crashing back to Earth, and sending the population to the same state as the non-magic humans.

Dalton shows up in the village and proclaims himself the new King of the world, steals the Epoch, and imprisons the party on the BlackBird, a huge flying ship.  The party, sans Crono, escape from the jail and manage to reclaim their gear, items, and money from Dalton’s flunkies by sneaking around through the air vents.  Once they find their way outside onto one of the BlackBird’s wings, they’re attacked by another of Dalton’s Golems who ends up running away.  Dalton himself attacks us from the Epoch, which he’s now outfitted to fly, but the party meets his attack and wallops him.  Dalton ends up sucking himself into another dimension accidentally, and the party regains control of the Epoch, which is now fully mobile.  Back on land, the group finds Magus by himself on a cliff, overlooking the once-proud Zeal.  He reveals that he is the boy Janus, and that after Lavos killed Crono, he, Schala, and the three Gurus were flung through time.  This explains their appearance in various eras, as well as what Magus is doing in 600 AD.  He challenges the party to fight, but Frog decides not to, since killing Magus won’t bring anyone else back to life.  Magus then joins our party, explaining that we’ll all need all the help we can get to beat Lavos, and the Gaspar, the Guru of Time, might know a way to bring Crono back.

20-03-13

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