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  -Part 1 :: [08.08.03]
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Chrono Trigger : Part 1
By Ryan
Posted 08.08.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
This is a public service announcement all the purists out there: This recap was written using the New and Improved™ version of Chrono Trigger. That's right, I subjected myself to the Playstation re-release, complete with tacked-on anime sequences and ungodly loading times, to better serve your growing recap needs. Take a few deep breaths and get over it, because this recap is moving on, with or without you. So then. Chrono Trigger.

The opening sequence for the PSX-ified Chrono Trigger is really Sumthing Speshul. Instead of watching a mind-numbing montage of scenes from the game, we get to see Anime!Versions of scenes from the game. I'm just thankful there aren't any speaking roles. I don't know if I could handle a SUBBED/DUBBED war breaking out seven sentences into my very first recap.

Through the point of view of UnidentifiedPerson in 1000 AD, we admire a photograph of the most random grouping of people I have ever seen in my life. (As a side note for those of you keeping score at home, the first photograph ever wasn't taken until the early 1800s.) UnidentifiedPerson examines every face in the photo, starting with CuteGirlwithOrangeHair, then NobleLookingFrogMan. NerdyGlassesGirl comes next, GiantRobot after that, followed by BeautifulBlondeBabe, and finally, SpikyRedhead. For all the people who have played Chrono Trigger, this is Highly Nostalgic. There is even Sad Music playing in the background to set the mood for the three people in the world who haven't. Then the music changes and we are bombarded with image after image of various combinations of the aforementioned people kicking various forms of ass. The fact that the five human characters out of the seven look like they stumbled out of an episode of Dragonball Z helps add to the random ass-kicking-name-taking effect. It isn't obvious that Toriyama Akira was the "mastermind" behind these Anime!Scenes at all. No sir. SpikyRedhead doesn't look like he's about to go SuperSaiyan on somebody at any moment either. Not one bit. At the end of the movie, we even get to see a Futuristic Spaceship blast into the horizon, Star Trek style. All in all, the opening video does wonders to set the mood for this action-packed game. And then I remember that I have about three hours of exposity game play to slosh through before I can get to any of that cool stuff. Damn you, Square.

 
I've got the urrrrrge, for Herbal!

After selecting New Game from the opening menu, I am prompted to name my main character. His original name is Crono. His parents must hate him with a passion, to give him a name as kooky and OddlyPlotSpecific! as that. I recognize him as SpikyRedhead from the opening movie and name him Punk to reflect his hairstyle. My good deed for the recap done, I press start and wait for the magic to begin.

Said magic is presented in the form of a coastal town materializing onscreen, complete with annoying seagulls flying spastically all over the map and screeching obnoxiously. Just before their brainless cawing can annoy me to the point that I throw my controller at the screen, I hear a wonderful, wonderful sound. Gunshots! Hunting season has officially started in Coastal Town! I scoot up to the edge of my seat and wait for dead seagulls to fall from the sky like diseased snow. Please, take a moment to savor that mental image.

Unfortunately for my twisted sense of humor, the 'gunshots' are actually the sounds of balloons being released from inside of the town. Because every time I let balloons go, it makes a shotgun-type noise too. Riiiight. Regardless of the source, the noise does drown out the birds just enough for me to keep my sanity as the screen centers on Coastal Town. The screen goes black, bells toll in the background, and the first dialogue of the recap rolls across the screen.

"Punk... Punk! Good morning, Punk!"

I find myself looking into Punk's room, our silent protagonist still snoozing in bed. I feel dirty. His mother says "Come on, sleepy head! Get up!" and throws open the blinds. The morning sun is shining so cheerfully, it throws her into a fit of exposition. "Ah, Leene's Bell makes such beautiful music!" she says. "You were so excited about the Millennial Fair that you didn't sleep well, did you...? I want you to behave yourself today!" She walks downstairs as Punk rolls out of bed, fully clothed, and does some morning stretches. Then he heads downstairs too.

"Finally!" Mom says as Punk tumbles down the stairs, even though she had only been off-screen for ten seconds, tops. "By the way, that inventor friend of yours... Uh...you know...! Oh, dear, I've conveniently forgotten her name!" she says, meaning that I get the chance to name another character. I recognize her as NerdyGlassesGirl from the opening movie, but because I don't think she's quite a big enough wanker to be named after Shion, Queen Wankress Supreme, I leave her with her default name, Lucca, for now. "That's right, Lucca! Don't forget that she invited you to see her new invention!" Wow, Mom must be wearing her Exposition!Apron this morning. At least I hope that's the case, because if this is how she acts normally, Punk is deserving of our unending pity.

After collecting his allowance, a whopping 200 dollars(!), from Mom, Punk decides to explore his hometown, Truce, in the fair kingdom of Guardia, before going to the fair. Most of the people in town ramble on about the Millennial Fair in one way or another, but one man decides to tell me that we've been having far too many earthquakes lately. He must have missed the memo that specifically marked today as "Exposit about the Fair Day!" Next to Earthquake!Man, I find a box that is "Sealed with a mysterious power." I make a mental note to come back once I meet this game's Mary Sue and her Mysterious Powers are awakened, unsealed, or revealed in some fashion, because, as a veteran game player, I know that the only way to get rid of one Mysterious Power is with the even more mysterious Mary Sue™ Mysterious Power.

Um... Please don't...
 

The only other thing worth noting in town is the house dedicated entirely to tutorials and exposition. "Hi! Do you know about our establishment?" a maid asks as I enter. When I reply in the negative, she says, "The game designers were too lazy to think of a Real Way to teach you all the skills you need to play this game, so they stuck a bunch of people in this house to give you all the information you'll ever need and then some in one mind-numbing dose! Think of it as a workshop for beginners!" The woman next to her tells me of the wonders of Weapons and Armor, and the children chasing each other around the table in the middle of the room tell me what the various buttons on the controller do. I'm sure that didn't sound weird or anything to Punk. I'm not quite sure what I'd do if some random kid told me that I can "use the Square Button to move the message window up or down!" I'd most likely back away slowly and look for an exit, using the "Circle Button" to "Dash" away when the time is right!

 
Ka me ha me...HA!

Upstairs, a bunch of men put me in various positions and tell me what to do. Seriously. One soldier makes me enter a battle screen and explains how the ranges of various tech attacks can allow me to hit more than one enemy if they are close enough to each other. Only he says it in a way that takes forty times as long and makes me crave morphine. Another man explains various status effects. His advice is very practical. So practical that I would classify it as 'Common Sense.' "Sleep. Lowers your guard. A good hit will wake you up again!" Thanks for the tip, dude. I'll be sure to beat the next sleeping person I see about the head with my sword. On my way back downstairs, I run into a woman who tells me that I'm welcome to take anything I find inside the house. I already did, but I'm glad I have your support! Wouldn't want to get the reputation of being a raging kleptomaniac or anything, now would I?

This status is also applicable while reading tutorials.
 

Punk finally decides to go to the Millennial Fair, because I need to advance the plot every once and awhile to keep the recap fresh because he is really excited to see Lucca's new invention. Punk walks onto the Fairgrounds, and I about die of a heart attack. This pathetic excuse for a 'fair' is nothing more than a full-life version of every recapper's worst nightmare, thinly disguised with balloons and cotton candy! There are...mini-games as far as the eye can see. Let me say that again, for those of you who didn't feel a cold shudder travel down your spine. Mini-games. As far as. The eye can see.

 
If that's all you've had to deal with in the last 400 years, I'd count your blessings instead of whining to random strangers about how tough life is.

I talk to a few people around the square, all of whom exposit about a war against a wizard 400 years ago. As I try to figure out what that has to do with a Millennial Fair, I realize that we never even got to have a Millennial Fair in 2000! Why is that, anyway? Oh yeah, the whole Y2K virus and fear of Armageddon thing. Never mind.

I think the euphemism you are looking for is 'I bat for the home team.'
 

For the sake of completeness, I even try my hand at a few of the mini-games before talking to the random people in the other square. The pain I put myself through to provide you with a quality recap had better be appreciated. The first game I try is not really a game at all, but more of a lottery where your chance of winning is one in four. I am supposed to predict the winner out of the four racers running in a big circle around the middle square. The person I pick, G.I. Jogger, comes in last. I break his legs and decide to try another game.

The second game I torture myself with is a test to see how fast I can mash buttons drinking game. Punk can't hold his drink because he's a little wanker, and therefore ruins the game for the both of us. So now the score stands thus: Mini-games from Hell: 2, Ryan: 0. Damn mini-games, bustin' up my rhythm. But I'm not bitter or anything.

As I walk away from the Drinking Game table, some random girl whines to me about having lost her cat. I decide to take a break from mini-games for a while and do the shortest Fetch!Quest in the game. Her cat is on the other side of the square, sitting there like an idiot. I talk to it to get it to follow me around, and lead it back to the little girl. She thanks me for helping her, and I continue on my merry way, having done this good deed as a random act of kindness, not because I think it will benefit me in some way or another later in the game. Hell, that same logic can be applied to almost anything Punk does in this game for other people. So, to save myself time in the future, I will refer to anything that Punk does for other people that will help me in the long run as a Random Act of Kindness™.

In an effort to do as much as possible before starting to play mini-games again, I decide to talk to the NPCs in the second square for awhile. I spot one across the square from me, and set out immediately to see what life-enhancing knowledge he can impart onto me. I only just make it to Leene's bell, however, when a blond girl in white harem pants runs into me and we both fall down. "Ouch, that hurt!" HaremPants exclaims, as if I it was my fault she ran into me. She probably doesn't even care that Punk bruises like a summer fruit, that self-centered little bitch.

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