Chrono Trigger : Part 4
1 : 2 : 3
Last time, Punk, M!Sue and Lucca used their newfound magical powers to slaughter a village of peaceful monsters and a giant monster named Heckran. As luck would have it, Heckran's final regrets netted the Trio a juicy bit of information that applied to their current mission: the monsters credit Magus with summoning Lavos in the year 600 AD as part of some grand and nefarious design that most likely ends in global domination. So, the Trio booked their tickets to the Middle Ages, figuring that if they can stop Magus, they can stop Lavos and save the future. In 600 AD, the Trio saved the Guardian Knights and discovered that there is a Legendary Hero who searches for the Legendary Sword which can slay Magus. Basically, the Trio is getting the grand runabout, because nobody in the time period has any idea what they're doing. It's like a century populated exclusively with teenage parents. I half expect a gym teacher with a bowl of condoms to stroll through the scene any second.
Anyway, fresh from the taming of Ozzie's raging bone monster, the Trio continues the search for the Legendary Hero. Immediately south of the recently rescued bridge Punk finds a little town that doesn't exist in 1000 AD. While some might take this to mean Punk probably has some moral obligation to tell the villagers to vacate the village before they get wiped out, I take it to mean that we don't have to set up any time-travel related fixes to long-standing problems. Go me! So, instead of chatting up the locals, Punk heads to the Mayor's house to witness the only thing worth witnessing in town.
As the Trio enters the room, a man dressed in mix-matched hides is accepting money from the mayor. Turns out the adventurer, Toma, is on the Mayor's payroll and the Mayor wants Toma to find the Rainbow Shell so he can show it off to all his gay slug friends. Or something. I'm just introducing the character over here. Toma leaves and Punk follows him into the bar where he learns about a mysterious forest to the south and that Toma is an adventurer and loves his booze. Scene.
Punk leads M!Sue and Lucca south of the village to a small cottage in the middle of a sprawling desert. The woman inside, complete with her own unique sprite, greets the party with her tragic life story. "My husband Marco hasn't returned from the war," she mopes, "But these woods mean a lot to us, so I'll guard them until he returns." Punk hasn't the heart to tell this poor pseudo-spinster that the forest she is guarding has already been reduced to desert, so after raiding her chests, her treasure chests, he leads the girls right back outside and to the town to the south.
After visiting a few houses at the very southernmost village on the continent, historic Porre Village, Punk eventually stumbles across a man who gleefully exclaims, "My son's the legendary Hero!" Punk talks to him again, expecting something a little more helpful, like where his son is or something, and is rewarded with the oh-so-vital, "It must have been all the oatmeal!" Face, meet palm.
Punk realizes that he isn't going to get anywhere with NPCs, and decides that he'll have to switch tack if he wants to get any useful information. ...Wait, don't we know somebody in the Middle Ages? A short guy in green? Carries a sword and has freakishly huge bug eyes? No, not Twink, I'm talking about Frog!
Even though he is outcast from society and lives in seclusion, Frog's Lair of Amphibious Angst isn't very well hidden, I mean, there's a path leading from town right to the entrance of his forest. The forest is populated with a multitude of scaly and/or slimy creatures, but they're easily avoidable at a run, so no big deal there, other than the fact that last I checked, frogs and snakes aren't in the same phylum of the animal kingdom, so I don't understand exactly why Frog Forest is filled with snakes. But like I said, no big. Behind the gauntlet of repfibions, there is a small clearing with a lone, discolored bush in its center. The bush rustles intermittently and actually conceals the ladder to Frog's lair. Hot melted butter on a side of crabcakes, I feel just like Nancy Drew!
The ladder leads down into a cute little bachelor pad (he's a frog, geddit?) with a thatched bed and some shelving, as well as a big oak table and acorn-shaped treasure chests. Even though we're in the forest, I guess it's okay to have modern conveniences as long as they match the
carpet/drape scheme surrounding environment. As soon as the Trio starts rifling through Frog's possessions, he drops from the ceiling, where he was just hanging, waiting for the Trio to arrive. Or something. Hell, he could have been installing mood lighting, for all I care.
Frog greets Punk with an overly friendly "'Tis thee, Punk! Thou art here to practice thy skill in swordplay?" M!Sue leans over to Lucca and whispers, "Hey, I think I've seen a porno like this before!"
With his greeting finished, Frog is content to flap his froggy throat thingy around while the Trio resumes ransacking his Pad. Their efforts are a little lacking, because one acorn chest doesn't open yet, so after a beat, Punk decides to talk to Frog again to see if he can find out where that damn hero is.
To Punk's query of: "Hey, do you know where the hell the Legendary Hero everybody and their brother is creaming their corn about?" Frog answers, "What? The King hast been injured?" ... What? No, dude, I want to know about the Hero. T-h-e. H-e-r-o.
But, the damage is done. Frog gets all melancholy because the King is injured and there "'tis nary a thing [he] canst do," and the Amphibious One quickly becomes inconsolable. He bids the party take their leave and retires to eat some comfort flies. God dammit, why is everybody in this game so useless?
|No, really. Why is everybody in this game so useless?
Out of options, I finally turn to my plethora of strategy guides which tell me that I am supposed to have headed toward the Denadoro Mountains, because, like, duh, that's where the Hero's Legendary Sword is! The guides also tell me that the villagers would have told me as much if I'd only thought to ask them. So, let's see here. The entire village knows the location of the ultra powerful sword that can end the evil Wizard's reign of destruction and they've known about it for some time and nobody save some random kid with a Hero Merit Badge had the bright idea to go look for it?
I think Magus is on to something. These people deserve to die.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Denadoro Mountains. When the Trio enters the scene, three monsters are sitting in plain view. Two Goblins are sleeping on the path and a Bellbird is hovering above them, with what else but a bell clenched in its claws. The Trio walks slowly between the two snoozing Goblins so as to avoid startling either them or the Bellbird, and confrontation is avoided. Farther up the path, the Trio is brought to a halt by the appearance of a young lad with spiked purple hair bearing a shield and a red cape. Hot on his heels is a Goblin, which the party easily dispatches while the Purple Headed Midget scampers away. After the Goblin is vanquished, an Ogan appears, which is basically a Goblin with a wooden hammer. When Lucca incinerates the Ogan's hammer with her patented "Flame Toss," the Ogan turns into a Goblin and is quickly vanquished. This was considered revolutionary gameplay at the time. Three cheers for technology.
After the battle, the Purple Headed Midget appears on a raised outcropping and, seeing as how the Trio pulled his bacon from the proverbial fire, figures he ought to warn them that the mountain is a dangerous place. Then he runs away. Hmm, wouldn't it be ironic if the Purple Headed Midget were in fact the Legendary Hero? Because most people would assume that a Legendary Hero would be a teenager, the ideal age for saving innocents and righting wrongs and killing wildlife. But here, on the mountain where we were supposed to find the Legen... you know what, I think you all get it. On with the mountain.
You are all aware of my love for recapping dungeons, so here's the highlight reel, TEEN POETRY STYLE~!!!:
Fight some monsters, make them burn!
Find some money, take a wrong turn.
Walk slow on a cliff to avoid some fights,
A rock-throwing bird gives several frights.
Sliver Accessories are super fab,
Pester Kilwala for a Magic Tab.
Gained some levels, killed with style,
Mile after freaking mile.
Save point here, let's kill the boss, nab some swag and then get lost,
Roses are red, and Goths are black, the Game designers are all on crack!
A futile attempt at something different -- only the people that know the game well enough to not need it recapped will get it. Angst. Anyway, in the time it took me to craft that masterpiece, Punk and his ladies hacked and slashed their way through the mountain and now find themselves in a large cave. Reverent Music is rolling in the background, and a little kid is rolling around in the foreground, pretending to be the wind.
When Punk approaches the sword stuck into the ground at the back of the cave, the little kid asks Punk if he has come for "the Masamune." Punk responds in the affirmative and the little kid calls out for his "big brother," Masa. Masa, another little kid, emerges from behind the sword and tells the Trio that they are buffoons for wanting to grab the Masamune. The first little kid, named Mune, pipes in with his two cents' worth, commenting that humans are silly because swords only are as good as their wielders, Legendary or not.
Mune asks Masa what they should do, and Masa replies, "The usual. Test them." The two children float into the air, spin around, and transform into creepy bald goblin things that look like they just flew off the cutting room floor for Dragonball Z. Yeah, I know. Totally groundbreaking in this game.
The Goblin!Masa and Goblin!Mune leap into dramatic fighting poses, signaling the beginning of a boss battle. Aside from some basic combination moves that have their way with M!Sue's waifishly-low HP, the twins aren't really much of a challenge and quickly fall. After the battle, they regroup for a little conference:
"Hey, they're pretty tough!" Mune remarks, and Masa replies that only Cyrus made it this far in their testing. I'd go into the plot holes related to Cyrus acquiring the Masamune, but the circumstances regarding Cyrus gaining the sword are never discussed again, and the only reason he was even mentioned is to set up the character for some upcoming flashbacks. So, everybody join me in a cleansing, "What-ever!"