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Chrono Trigger Days#33: The Final Battle

Day 33 of Chrono Trigger and I complete the game. It’s a major difficult final battle which is tremendous fun, and then a very long set of closing scenes. The game ends as strongly as it began. I honestly cannot say enough good things about it. I can now understand why this was such a seminal game for so many people. It is a masterwork of JRPG design, plain and simple.  Spoilers within.

Having finished all of major side quests, it’s time to get down to business. I decide to take the Black Omen first. I land on it and work my way through the big fights on it. And there are lots of big, different fights with very different tactics. I accidentally take an elevator twice and have to endure its fights three times in a row. None of the fights are too hard, but it’s a steady challenge throughout.  I fight my way to a final room where I don’t see Lavos, but I do see two blue servants. One offers to sell me stuff, while the other offers me a way to escape.  When I say yes, a few fiend servants bring an ejector seat that springs me from the Omen. Hmm … I guess the point of the Omen is to help me level up to fight Lavos. I certainly got a ton of experience points for those fights.

My first stab at Lavos is to go to 1999. As we fly up, we again see Lavos break through the earth, but this time I decide to fight. The party agrees that the best thing to do is just fly the Epoch straight into Lavos. We do so, and get a beautiful view from the inside of the cockpit cut with a side-view of our ship zipping through a green-red swirling space.  We fade out and come back to the party lying unconscious in a green and black cavern-like structure.  The party comes to and realizes that the Epoch was destroyed.  We walk down to the end of the green space and that takes us to a new room in which we find Lavos.

The first phase of Lavos looks like a giant robot. It’s a type of battle I’ve seen before: two arms and a torso that all support each other. You have to take out the arms to be able to take out the torso effectively. It’s by no means easy, and there’s a lot of balancing of healing and attacking you have to do, but it has a feel I’ve seen before in this game, so it’s not surprising. I’m careful, so I get through it on the first try. Of course, that’s just the first phase of the Lavos fight. The armor disappears and we see Lavos’s true form. Lucca figures it all out now: Lavos is a parasite that steals the resources of a world and then sends its larvae to do the same elsewhere. The party gets righteously indignant and then the final battle begins.  And dear lord it is a hard battle. There are two pods that are healed and damaged by opposite types of attacks and the Lavos core has several different styles of attacks that do an insane amount of damage.  I die very brutally, and I see a CS where the world is destroyed as Lavos rises, and a series of directors in a command center watch as society collapses. The earth is destroyed and an end card says the world refused to learn.

I try the battle a couple more times, but it goes no differently — I’m just getting crushed. I decide to go back to the End of Time and see if the bucket approach is different. It is, in that I appear in front of the big Lavos form I saw earlier and have to fight through the equivalent of several previous bosses in sequence. Of course, I’m much more powerful now, so these boss battles aren’t very challenging at all. I get through something like six of them in a row and finally get into Lavos … to find myself right back in the green hallway again. Sigh. Guess there’s no way around this fight. At least this time I get a save point in the green hallway so that I don’t have to do any of the fight scenes again.

The final form of Lavos is a very challenging and fun battle. The strategy to beating it is a bit too complex for me to easily explain, but it ‘s a very careful juggle of different attacks, item uses (including critical shield potion use) and timed healings. I die something like 15 times, but I do finally get it. Major props to the game for having a genuinely interesting final battle. When I win, there are swirls of green and black as we presumably travel through time and then the screen fades to black.

Chrono’s name is being called, and I come to in Chrono’s room with a soldier waking him up to escort him to the execution. Huh? We cut to the castle where the King is demanding to know where his daughter is. Marle shows up to defend me, but the King and the chancellor simply talk about how she’s delusional.  She tries to defend us, but the King reveals that he knows we were saving the future. Oh, I get it, this was a prank. A major figure from each time period appears to thank us for the ways we helped them (e.g. defeating Magus, beating the reptites, etc.) Lucca shows up to explain that they came through the gates to get here, and the King reveals that they all of these figures are part of the royal lineage.  As thanks for what we’ve done, they are going to have a victory parade for us, and the King tells Marle to go and enjoy the fair.

We cut to the parade, which is the festival done with multi-colored lights strung all around. The lights are very pretty, and as we walk around the fair (in CS) there are dancers moving around in celebration.  When we go around once, I get control and head to the north. There, I see an open portal and the other members of my party Lucca says the gate will shortly close forever, and the people from other times have to go home. It’s farewell time. Marle tells Kino and Ayla to have good kids, because that’s her lineage, and Kino makes an almost off-color joke about Ayla’s energy. Marle kisses Frog and he wishes us well as he goes, desiring a short goodbye. Magus runs into the portal, and says nothing when he’s asked if he’s searching for his mother.  Robo says he will keep working in the future, but Lucca is very sad to see him go. She worries that now that the future is changed, Robo may not continue to exist. Robo laughs that off, but Lucca cries at the thought of Robo leaving, and even Robo gets oil in his optical centers as he steps into the gate.

With all the time travelers returned, Lucca says that she think that the thing that made the gates in at rest, and that’s it’s probably time to dismantle the Epoch. But as we talk , Chrono’s cat runs into the portal. Chrono’s mother follows, complaining that this is what happens when Chrono’s not around to help, and then the portal closes on her.  We still have the Epoch though, so the party prepares to head out to save her. As we leave the festival to get to the ship, we pass the King. He has a gift for her — a new bell for the square which is being lifted by balloons.  The king get lifted off the ground by the balloons once the bell is installed, and as he’s stuck, Marle says she has places to go and leaves. A guy comes out to fire off fireworks and the king asks for help, and the credits roll as the fireworks fire, the Epoch takes off, and all of the other party members in their various points in time watch the ship pass by in the sky.  We zoom out to the world with a “The End” card. There’s a final anime CS where we see Chrono and Marle get married, Ayla and Kino propose to each other, and a green haired knight invited back into the Middle Age kingdom.  And that’s the end.

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