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Chrono Trigger Day#4, 5, and 6: Back to the Future!

Three short days on Chrono Trigger take me into a new time period, the future. It’s an interesting setting and there’s a lot of neat little narrative touches here. Combat gets engaging again with some nice special enemies and two new sub-bosses. I also get another innovative use of the core movement and combat mechanic. Chrono Trigger simply looks like a better game every time I play it. Spoilers within.

So I begin again in prison. There isn’t really much to do, but as I wander around, the game counts down the days to execution quickly. There’s so little to do and the days are counting down quickly (one every couple of minutes) that I start thinking that the interaction here is futile, and that I just have to wait for something to happen. But I realize I’m wrong when I start rattling on the bars of my cell. Eventually a guard gets mad, opens the cell and smacks me across the room. As the guard leaves, I realize that if I’m quick, I can sneak around him and escape. I rattle the cage a second time, sneak out, and then defeat both guards in the follow-up battle.  It’s quite nice that I actually needed to escape on my own here.

From there I fight my way out of the dungeon. It’s a lot of running across bridges and around cells, and a lot of easy fights. There’s a bunch of treasure hidden in cells that I don’t seem to be able to access, but I don’t give solving that puzzle much time and just try to find my way out. Along the way, I see a kid in a guillotine and I have the option of saving him. I do (this justice system seems flawed) and the kid tells me he works in the market and he’ll cut me a break. Eventually, I find my way to the entrance of the prison and Lucca arrives, coming to break me out, obviously a little too late.  Lucca knocks out the guy at the desk, and the unconscious guy drops a document. Reading it tells me that there’s a Dragon Tank, and that the way to defeat it is to destroy the head, since the head heals the rest of the tank. Useful info, and neat that I could have missed it if I wasn’t curious.

I leave the room and it’s one more bridge. Halfway across the bridge, the chancellor appears and he summons the Dragon Tank. Well, that didn’t take long.  I use my hint and focus my attacks on the head, and then take out the tank’s wheels and body. It’s not a hard fight since I know the trick, but I do take quite a bit of damage, and basically have to keep Lucca on healing duty to get through.  Once the Tank is destroyed, the chancellor and some goons come out to fix it, but the bridge collapses and the three of them form a human bridge over the new gap. I run over them and exit.

I’m back in the castle now, and guards see me and chase me. I have to avoid them, but I screw it up quickly and get surrounded. At that moment, Marle shows up and demands my release. The King then shows up and Marle and he get into a fight about whether Marle is a princess or a person first and what kind of freedoms she has.  She runs away and takes me and Lucca with her.  We cut to the forest, and there the guards start to block our way back to the castle or the map. I try to get around them for a little bit, but then I find a part in the bushes and run there.  That path leads to a clearing with a portal. We have no idea where the portal goes, and Lucca expresses concern, but Marle asks what other choice we have, and so the group enters the portal, and the spiral portal transition fills the screen.

We reappear in a place that looks like the future, with metal plates and walkways.  There’s nothing interesting in this building, so I exit to a new map. This is clearly a post-apocalypse world of craters and ruins.  I was in a dome of some kind. There’s another dome to my south and some ruins (Site 16) to the north — I decide to try Site 16 first. That’s a maze of battles against craters, healing plants, and mutants. There are also spectres who can’t be hit by anything except elemental techs — you have to figure that out on your own, which is pretty neat. There are also rats that steal potions from you if you can’t avoid them.  Along the way, I find some new silver weapons and level up my equipment. The battles are a little tough, but I get through them and get past the ruins.

It’s back to the map again, and this time I enter a dome on this side of Site 16. There are people in this dome, and they are impressed that we made it through Site 16. Talking to the dome residents reveals that they are running out of food and need to get more to survive. There is supposed to be food in the basement, but no one who goes down there comes back.  I take a second to rest in some device that heals me up, and then decide to see what else is on the map. On my way out, I talk to a resident who asks me if I’m really from the West. I say that I am at first, but then I start the conversation again and tell the truth. The guy then tells me that there’s a supercomputer that can go through time that could help us get back to our era.

I leave and notice there isn’t anything else to check out except the dome I didn’t check on the other side of Site 16. I re-enter Site 16 and have to fight my way back through it.  Once through, I head down to the southmost dome. There are survivors there, but they don’t really have anything new to tell me. These people are starving too. With nothing more to do, I head back through all of the fights and rat dodging of Site 16 one more time to get back to the dome I left earlier.

Once I’m there, I decide to go into the basement to see if I can help with the food problem.  There’s a locked door that I can’t open, and hallways that lead back through several rooms, including a room that’s just a set of beams with a dead rat as a warning against proceeding. Finally, I get to what looks like a storage room.  This launches the security system, which is a new sub-boss.  This is clearly what has been killing the residents. The boss is a center unit and two pods. The pods attack you, so you have to kill them first, but the center respawns them over time, so there’s a lot of careful attacking and timing. It’s a mildly hard and fun fight that I win the first time.

Once the boss is dead, we can enter the storage room. When we enter, Marle smells something bad, and it turns out on investigation that all the food here is spoiled. There’s a dead guy I investigate and we find a seed. We take the seed and on a whim, I investigate the guy again. This time, he has a note tells me the rat from before was not dead, and if I can catch it, it will give me the code to the door. I’m not sure exactly which door he means, but I figure getting any code is a plus. Again, I want to point out how much trust this game has in the audience. There was a pretty good chance that I would not have investigated the body again, and then I would have missed the plot point.

I head back to the beam room and the rat is waiting there. I have to catch it by literally chasing it around the screen and hitting A when I ‘m near it. If it crosses the maze before I catch it, it disappears and I have to leave the screen and try again. It’s a chase sequence in a JRPG, which in and of itself is pretty cool. The chase is very hard, mostly because the beams on the screen are a maze and it’s easy to miss a turn and get caught for just long enough for the rat to escape. It takes me like ten times, but I get the code from the rat. I’m supposed to use the code (L button + R button + A) to open the door. Unfortunately, it’s late, so I decide to call it a night.

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  1. MMoi says

    I hate this damn rat !

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