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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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  -Part 5 :: [07.15.04]
  -Part 6 :: [09.30.04]
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  -Part 8 :: [12.31.05]
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"'Hey, this is nice out here,' Yuna suddenly says, looking around. Prompted by Rikku, Yuna elaborates, 'People out enjoying nature--it's very peaceful.' Yuna clasps her hands behind her back and thrusts her rack out, beaming. 'Sure is,' Rikku agrees, taking in said rack."
     -Sam, Final Fantasy X-2 Part 4




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Chrono Cross : Part 6
By Jeanne
Posted 09.30.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
In our last adventure, Cronabe picked up a shitload of crackpipe characters, neglected to save Steve from her Mary Sue coma, and got a lot of battering via the Plot Point Mallet regarding Fort Dragonia. In other words, not much really happened. Well, prepare yourself, because this hour of gameplay is one exciting ride. Ha, you guys will believe anything.

As you should recall because it hasn't been that fricking long since I wrote the last part, Cronabe had a tough time navigating the poisonously poisonous Hydra Swamp in Another World. Since I'm starting a fresh gameplay session and don't have ten million other annoying side trips to make, I take the time to find the protective gear that -- surprise! -- protects Cronabe and his friends from their undoing. I do this off camera because it is not important and I think there's plenty of filler in this hour already.

While winding their way through the maze of green water, haze, and poisonous plants, Cronabe stumbles across another piece of Skelly's stupid skeleton. This time, it's his spine, which means that Skelly was at no point in his life an RPG heroine. Since I wasn't expecting to find anything remotely story related in this part, I scramble to start recording this obviously essential dialogue from Mr. Clown Skeleton himself and end up missing half of it. I think he said something about posture, which he connects to the woman who raised him -- yup, his grandma. This is phrased as a gigantic revelation, but we've already met the woman, so it's not. "I bet she's worried sick..." Skelly whines. Yeah, pretty much. I'm sure showing up at her house as an animated clown skeleton will fix her right up, though. Seriously, this game.

A little further into the swamp, Cronabe and friends stumble upon a couple of green alien dinosaur monsters discussing a treasure chest in the middle of the pond. According to them, it contains a magical flower that only grows in poisonous green sludge. I bet it smells great, like the stairwell at an anime convention. "...Finally, it be ours! All because the Hydra be extinct now! Muah-hah-hah!!!" one of the monsters exults. If this flower is still around, even though the swamp is chock full of monsters like these talking dudes, the Hydra must have gone extinct, like, yesterday. Or the monsters are all dumb. Which I can believe. But they found the flower faster than I did, so what does that say?

The monsters philosophize some more regarding the mean humans who "destroyed the ecosystem that kept the water clean" and made the Hydras go bye-bye. I love when monsters discuss the state of the environment. Also, I totally thought that people hunted the Hydras to extinction and the waters became poisonous when the Hydras were no longer there to keep them clean. Either I wasn't paying attention and just made all that shit up, or someone in the game is lying to me. The monsters jizz themselves over being the most powerful creatures in the swamp now. Glenn wonders to himself, "What are those two talking about...?" Never mind that the two alien dinosaurs are the most coherent characters we've met thus far.

At this point, the two learned monsters spot the party intruding on their private political discussion. Not noticing the protective gear (probably because it appears to be invisible), they decide that Cronabe and the others are weak and helpless from the venomous poison. Monsters, no matter how conversational, are still all violence-obsessed bastards. Their attack saves Cronabe the trouble of chasing them down and killing them for fun. It's a win-win situation!

 
Such a primitive form of date rape.

Though of noticeably different sizes on the main screen, the monsters look identical in battle. I wish I could get paid for being that lazy. This battle is about as difficult as making Tidus whine, and before you can say "My old man?" it's over and Cronabe has claimed this mysterious and magical flower for his own. It has the masculine name of "Life Sparkle." Hey, wait a minute!

That's right, the Life Sparkle is the necessary item for recruiting Luccia's gay flower, NeoFio. So it's back to my favorite location, the Viper Freaking Manor. I know this place like the back of my hand now, which, as you all know, is saying something. On the balcony Cronabe pulls the Life Sparkle out of his pants and waves it over the pond where NeoFio floats blossom-up. NeoFio pops up, looking like a bizarre Anne Geddes creation. I realize that's redundant. It picks out Cronabe as its master, which no awakened character/creature from a video game has ever done before, and as quick as that, I have another useless member in my group. Hooray!

NeoFio immediately joins all my other unused characters in that big, empty, sad room where shitty characters go to rot. With my luck, NeoFio is going to be the unexpected kickass character in the game and now I'm screwed. I think I'll take my chances.

Time to progress the plot! Hee, the "plot." I crack myself up. Anyway, the group boards Speedo's former boat (again, not the one in his pants) and heads toward the foggy area in the middle of the ocean. Because that's what the walkthrough said to do. I don't know, I thought I was supposed to go to Fort Dragonia. Is this foggy thing blocking it? You can tell how much attention I'm paying to the little details here.

After entering the cloud bank, we get a close-up of the side of a large ship, complete with moving oars. Cronabe's puny boat slides up next to this much more impressive vessel, as Glenn and Biotch wank about how this must be the ghost ship. Well, if it is, those ghosts have excellent rowing rhythm. Glenn thinks that the best course of action is to climb aboard this potentially haunted ship. Biotch agrees because their boat can't navigate in the fog. Does she think the ghosts can help them or something? Well, it's not like the others picked her for her brains.

This particular plan doesn't go so well. As soon as the party reaches the deck of the ship, a group of live pirates surrounds them in gangrape formation. "Make way for Cap'n Fargo...!" some random guy yells. The cap'n, made much more fearsome for being named after a city in North Dakota, arrives in all his shirtless, neckerchiefed glory. He also has a ponytail and a homosexual mustache. I think it would be safe to say this pirate is of the ass persuasion. "Arg! Ya seem ta be a bit young for one of Lynx's subordinates," Fargay lisps, obviously unaware that it's "ARRR" not "Arg." Or maybe this is Square's typical way of breaking all the clichés. Anyway, it's apparent from Fargay's statement that while heroes can be any age, there's a limit for villains. Has this guy ever met any teenagers before?

Glenn wants to know what the mean butt pirates are going to do with his nubile young flesh. He's this close to ripping off his trousers and screaming, "Fine, have your way with me, you bastards!" But Fargay is playing hard to get until he knows just what these pesky kids are up to. Some non-character-portraited pirate accuses them of trying to get to Mount Pyre because he saw General Viper's and Lynx's ships nearby. Well, he's right, even though his logic is a bit lacking. "Are ya tryin' ta deliver them a message? Is that it!?" Random Pirate shrieks in rage, like OMG, a message. Dude, chill. Glenn calmly informs this psycho that they are trying to hunt Lynx down, not have furry buttsex with the guy. Fargay wants all the dirt, girlfriend.

After the Black Screen of Exposition, Fargay says, "I see...So that explains why you're after Lynx." Well I wish he'd fill me in. Now that he knows he has no competition, Fargay gets all concerned about the pretty young mens. He goes off on how evil and dangerous that jerk Lynx is. "He's a monster... A cold-blooded monster... An incarnation of death..." Dude, Lynx isn't that scary. Unless you consider him a furry.

Fargay has apparently had some...encounters with Lynx in the past, which have left him bitter and jaded. To prevent Lynx from finding him and making him cry, Fargay has had to disguise his ship as a ghost ship. Oh, come on, it's not even that spooky. Use some of those fake spiderwebs or something.

Holy crap.
 

Fargay is ultra worried about his newfound boytoys, so he wants to make sure they won't get their asses reamed by Lynx. Instead, Fargay is going to ream their asses for them. As a test of skill or something. Right, Fargay, we totally buy that. At Fargay's command, a random ass pirate heads below deck (so to speak) and...comes back up. Alone. Suddenly, Cronabe and the others are drawn into battle with three suits of armor. I don't know if the bodies are shrouded in invisibility cloaks (which still wouldn't explain why they didn't show up on the main game screen) or if they are magically animated. And when I'm fanwanking the designs of some throwaway monsters, you know I'm one can shy of a six-pack.

 
PENIS!

For some reason, beating up these completely non-threatening suits of armor doesn't prove to Fargay that these kids can take on Lynx. "Just loosenin' ya up!" Fargay TMIs. "Time ta get serious!!!" Oh crap. I hope they censor this. Fargay calls out someone named Polly. To my surprise, "Polly" is a giant pot-bellied pterodactyl and not just a coy name for Fargay's penis. See, it's funny because pirates have parrots and this is like a big, reptilian parrot. Still not talking about Fargay's penis. Polly divebombs the group and once again I'm fighting a battle to prove my worth.

Apparently I'm worth about as much as Tidus in the bedroom, because Polly hits hard and makes me cry. I think I screwed myself over by not doing the Save Steve! quest. You see, in Chrono Cross, you really only gain levels (or "stars") after boss battles. This is where the big stat gains happen, with much more limited stat gains from fighting peon battles. Because I skipped one or two boss battles by skipping that quest, I am now at a much lower level than I should be. I'm sure I will make up for my shitty stats with my awesome gaming talent. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Unfortunately for Glenn, he gets wiped out in Polly's final attack and misses out on all those stat bonuses. Shit on a stick. Well, I'm about as excited as Squall in the girls' dressing room at the prospect of repeating all that, so Glenn will just have to take one for the team. After the battle, Polly lets out a string of "gya"s which a random ass pirate translates to a promise of a future meeting. I can hardly wait. Of course, the ass pirate is probably just pulling that translation out of his, well, ass. Much like your average game translator.

Real translation: Don't drop the soap. Trust me.
 

Fargay is still not convinced that Cronabe has any swallow talent. I'm talking about his weapon -- jeez, you guys. He declares that these two strapping lads have got his "blood boilin'" and he's all ready to take care of them himself. "Jolly ho! Up and at 'em!" he flounces on the battle screen. I think that line more than speaks for itself. The good news about my party is that Glenn is no longer dead. The bad news is that he has one HP. So I have to waste one of my valuable healing elements on his wussy ass. God, just think if I had a useless character along.

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