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"CT's angst is interrupted just then, as two horse... men... things approach Teepo and Alf and menacingly say that they were wondering what 'their thieves' might look like. I'm guessing that a lavender powderpuff in a miniskirt, a pedophilic furry, and a cute baby dragon cerulean-coiffed crybaby weren't topping the list."
     -Ryan, Breath of Fire III Part 3

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Chrono Cross : Part 9
By Jeanne
Posted 05.26.09
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Welcome back to another crack-smoking round of The Game That Makes No Sense! Last time, some stuff actually happened. After several tedious rounds of dungeon puzzles, Cronabe and pals made it to the secret room in Fort Dragonia, where Lynx somehow used the Dragon Tear to switch bodies with Cronabe. At least, I think that's how he did it. During this same sequence, both General Viper and Steve were stabbed by Lynx (or Lynx in Cronabe's sexy young bod), and eventually the fursuit-wearing actual Cronabe was sucked into an Impressionist painting where he ended up in the home of a dark green House Elf. I know this sounds like the random shit I usually make up for the purpose of humor, but I swear, that's what actually happened.

On a somewhat related note, since I wrote the last Chrono Cross recap, the real life Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray. Yes, I know that's another sign of how long it's been since the last update. Not only is it strange that both the real Steve Irwin and this recap's Steve Irwin were both stabbed, but this marks the second namesake in the Chrono Cross recap who died in real life. The other one was my pug Gandy. And if we're dealing with the realm of fictional characters as well, the original Dobby the House Elf also bit it (SPOILER!!!). Either this is a creepy coincidence, or I somehow hold the power of life and death in my hands when I nickname characters in this recap. I think you should all be very nice to me, just in case.

So Cronabe (who still appears as Lynx to the rest of the world) is stuck in the painting with Dobby and as you would expect, he wants to get the hell out of there. Not that any of his alternative realities are all that appealing. As soon as he tries to bolt out the door, Dobby wakens from her nap to nag him about his lack of gratitude. I hope she isn't hoping he'll provide his thanks by any sexual means. Luckily, it's not that bad, but still not great: she wants to join Cronabe on his non-exciting non-adventures. Her reasoning is that she'll be able to escape the painting if she follows Cronabe. It looks like she's perceptive enough to identify Cronabe as the guy who makes shit happen in this game. Considering that she could just as easily have been all, "Hey, baby, looks like we're the only two people in this place -- let's repopulate!" I am very relieved that her goal is...not that.

I don't like where this is going.

It turns out that Dobby is able to open the "Tower," which I assume is the bong-shaped building that Cronabe saw earlier. After she announces this, the game's triumphant fanfare theme signals Dobby's official entry into the party. After I confirm her nickname, it's time to equip my party, allocate elements, and all that other fun shit. I'll skip right past the fifteen minutes I spend on this, except to point out a few things. First, Cronabe is now a black element and has Lynx's special elemental attacks. I guess elements are associated with the body rather than the soul. But he uses the Swallow weapon (that never stops being funny) rather than Lynx's scythe. So weapons are associated with the soul, not the body. Does that seem backward to anyone else? Also, Dobby has almost no elemental slots, and just one special move called Dopplegang. According to the walkthrough, she can transform into different monsters or use their moves or something like that, and she becomes more useful as the game goes on. Let's just say I'll take the walkthrough's word for it, because I'm not planning to keep her in my party.

The element makes them play this game?

To my surprise, the bong building is not the tower in question. If it's supposed to be Dobby's house, it's not in the correct location at all in relation to the door and save point. Way to go, game designers. I'm not even a full page into this recap and I'm already confuzzled. Actually, Cronabe and his tagalong must climb up the waterfall to find the tower. Only the base is visible, but I'm going to guess that the rest of it resembles a penis or a bong. Or both. As promised, Dobby opens the door. Inside, the camera sits directly above the room, accentuating its symmetrical and -- surprise! -- crack-induced nature. There are two levels with four doors on each level, and a plethora of phallic pillars thrust upwards around the circular chamber. Cronabe enters at the lower level, only to find our old friend Harle standing directly above him on the second level. Well, technically I don't think he can see her from where he is, but it's not like that annoying French accent belongs to anyone else. As for how and why Harle ended up here...who the fuck knows? It's not like anyone will ever bother explaining it.

I'm going to say right up front that Harle figures prominently into this recap, and I will go insane if I have to type out her thick accent and random French words. I have nothing against the French language, but this is ridiculous. Just imagine a Japanese fangirl who not only uses copious fangirl Japanese, but speaks in a thick Japanese accent as well. Since I doubt that Harle hails from the actual country of France, I think the comparison stands. Therefore, I'm going to take liberties when quoting her dialogue.

As soon as she spots Cronabe, Harle essentially says, "Shit, we need to get you out of here because I'm not done using you yet." Cronabe can respond to this cryptic statement with either "I'm not Lynx...!" or "Am I Lynx...?" I choose the first since he's, you know, not Lynx. I'm magical like that. Jumping down to Cronabe's level with no injuries whatsoever, Harle makes it clear that she knows about the body switch, but as Cronabe looks like Lynx and everyone in the universe is going to think he's Lynx, then that means he is Lynx. If he tries to resist this concept, "[reality] will kill [him]." Several text boxes of this pretentious crap later, Cronabe once again has a choice: "But I'm [Cronabe]!" or "I'm...Lynx...?" The second option is way too Shion for me, plus I don't buy Harle's dumbassery about other people's opinions defining who you are. If that were the case, I would be a 12-year-old gay British homo with a small wiener who whacks off too much, can't get any, has sexual issues, is jealous of Tidus, and hates women. Or maybe I really am that. IT'S ALL SO DEEP AND PHILOSOPHICAL!

When Cronabe sticks to his identity, he triggers another boring fauxlosophy-fest from Harle. During her monologue, she walks up and down pillars, disappears and reappears somewhere else, and performs other such mysterious and physics-defying actions. At least her teleportation skill is more useful than Lynx's. Speaking of which, shouldn't Cronabe be able to pull that silly crap now that he's inside Lynx's body? I wish I hadn't phrased it that way. Anyway, from Harle's blathering, I gather that the Dragon Tear is the answer to Cronabe's identity problem. Also, she wonders if this Cronabe is really Cronabe, since Cronabe died in the Other World ten years ago. I don't have the slightest clue what she means by this, and neither do you. Then, she shapeshifts into Cronabe and says, "Who am...I? Who You're not me. I'm not you. I am reality... You are..." This game really pisses me off.


Harle!Cronabe enters one of the four doors on the upper level. Dobby randomly informs Cronabe that he must correctly choose, "the door to reality." Jesus H. If he chooses poorly, he's trapped here with her for eternity or something like that. Not that she bothers to help him choose the doors or anything like that. The "secret" is that Cronabe must enter the corresponding door on his level. Luckily, he has me to control him, since he can't actually see Harle!Cronabe enter the different doors. Repeating this thrilling process several times leads Cronabe and the ladies to the next room. This one is just as drug-induced as the last, a description I shouldn't even need to specify anymore in this recap.

Actually, this room is pretty cool. Its walkways form an Escher-esque optical illusion, and a lever switches the illusion around in order to make the walkways lead to different places. The game designers could very easily have dragged this part out way too long, given their tendency to become overly enamored of their own cleverness, but it's actually fairly short and full of swag and easily-avoidable monsters. Let's take a moment to appreciate this microscopic bit of kindness on the part of the game designers.

Okay, that's enough. They'd get a longer moment if they didn't officially force Harle into my "partie." Oh, well. Maybe she has some awesome battle abilities that will make up for the incessant pretentious dialogue and fangirl French. The first battle I encounter proves this is not the case, at least in terms of pure attack power. Shocking, I know. Perhaps she's a fantastic magic user. Unfortunately, I won't be finding this out anytime soon. In other words, for the remainder of this recap (at least), she's dead weight.

I am so tempted to name her 'Sarah Palin.'

At the bottom of the room is a round hole that looks as if it would exit into the empty space below the floor. Surprise! It actually leads back to the real world, but only after several seconds of hallucinogenic screen effects. For some reason, Cronabe and his companions are dumped in the middle of the Hydra Marshes. But the waters of the marsh are clear and harmless, which is our first indication that we are in Cronabe's Home World, and not the Other World, where the waters are most poisonously poisonous. Still, just in case I'm confused -- or more confused than usual -- I have the opportunity to request an explanation from Harle. Which I do, because as we all know, I hate myself.

Translation of her response: "We're in the Hydra Marshes in your Home World." There's fifteen seconds of my life I'll never get back. She adds that she has no idea if the Hydras are still around. You'll remember that this question was never really answered in any of the previous recaps, since Cronabe didn't wipe out the endangered Hydra in order to save Steve, but the dwarves were randomly driven out of their marshy home anyway. Speaking of which, I don't know if I already asked this or not, but why do the dwarves carry shovels and mine stuff out of the earth if they live in the marshes? Oh well, I'm sure someone will "kindly" send me a very detailed e-mail on the subject.

And that substance is likely being abused by the game designers.

By the way, I am not trying to insult your intelligence when I remind you of previous events. From this point forward, the Two Worlds/No Plot is in full force, and I'm just trying to introduce as much sense as I can, if such a thing is possible. If I didn't provide links and explanations, you might have to go back and read my recaps. Yeah, there are worse things than me pointing things out to you.

Anyway, now that Dobby is now standing in a marsh that, despite its lack of poison waters, probably still smells like rotting plant life, she rejoices over her return to reality. Yeah, this place is awesome. In fact, Dobby gets so carried away, jumping around the moss-covered stumps like a demented rabbit, Harle becomes annoyed. Can you imagine just how irritating you have to be if Harle tells you to knock it off? Thankfully, this doesn't evolve into the most disturbing girl fight ever. Through many screens of dialogue, Harle manages to tell Cronabe to go to the place "Where Angel[s] Lose [Th]eir Way." For those of us without a deep-seated need to sound obnoxious, that would be Opassa Beach.

Given that I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing now that I'm back in the Home World, I guess I'll follow Harle's suggestion. Not that I get the controller back for another couple of minutes. First, Dobby has to ask five million questions about the beach, and Harle has to give her five million non-answers. Then, to top it all off, a greenish column of light appears in front of Cronabe for a few moments before fading. Dobby is all, "What the shit, dude?" Without finding out anything more about this mysterious phenomena, I gain control of my party again. What the shit, indeed. I'm actually kind of thankful -- if anyone had tried to explain what just happened, my head would probably explode.

On the way out of the swamp, Cronabe encounters some random chatty NPCs. "After we defeated the Hydra, the forest dwellers kept murmuring... 'The forest will die...' I can't get it out of my head!" one of them says. I guess that answers my question about the status of the Hydra. It doesn't answer why these random NPCs bothered to kill it though. Not that Cronabe thinks anyone needs a reason to off an endangered creature. Another guy tells Cronabe to talk to their leader about the Hydra. I don't do this. The Hydra's extinction will have to remain a mystery for now. Or forever, if I completely forget about this "plotline" and never follow up on it.

There's only one thing I know how to do at Opassa Beach: use the Astral Amulet to return to the Other World. Even though Cronabe tries to use the Astral Amulet repeatedly while standing in different locations, nothing happens. This makes me think I must have missed some obscure trigger somewhere else, or forgot some important detail about how to open up the dimensional vortex or whatever it's called. Losing my patience, I head over to Cronabe's hometown, Arni Village. This is the first time Cronabe has returned since the very first Chrono Cross recap, so if you give a crap, you might want to refresh your memory about the winners who live there. I'll do my best to help remind you, since I love the sound of my own typing, but I'm not going to be held responsible if I forget to mention some detail.

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