Chrono Trigger : Part 2
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Last time, we met Punk, the mute-boy wonder. We also met his woman, M!Sue, and she disappeared and reappeared more times than Pamela Anderson's polygons. All of this was the fault of Lucca, Punk's best friend, because she invented the PlotFurthering! UmbrellaMachines which sent M!Sue into the past, where she caused all sorts of havoc because she looks EXACTLY LIKE her ancestor of 400 years. Don't worry; it's just as contrived as it sounds. I'm just glad nobody contracted bubonic plague or was burnt as a heretic. Thank God for small miracles.
So now we rejoin Punk in his quest to take M!Sue home. Conveniently enough, I saved right outside Guardia Castle at the end of the last recap, so I only have to walk two steps to trigger the next scene. I believe I just set some kind of record. The second Punk and M!Sue enter the castle, the Chancellor comes running down the stairs. As an interesting side note, the only change made to the Chancellor outfit over the past 400 years was a palette swap. The Chancellor of 600 AD wore brown, but the Chancellor of today wears green. He still has that ridiculous hat, though. Anyway, when the Chancellor sees M!Sue, he starts screaming like a ruffled nanny: "Princess Nadia! Are you alright?! Where have you been?" He makes a general nuisance of himself, and just when I thought I'd gotten rid of this guy, too. Damn it, Square, you just DID the Chancellor-is-up-to-something bit! Why must I suffer so?
M!Sue walks forward to try and console the lunatic that has thrown himself before her, but he jumps up and yells, "I heard you were abducted! We had soldiers searching for you!" M!Sue doesn't even think to say otherwise before the Chancellor sees Punk and proceeds to bitch him out. "Scoundrel!" he yells, "You're the one, huh? Kidnapping Princess Nadia!" Punk doesn't respond, because he can't talk, duh, but M!Sue finally finds her voice, for all the good it does her. "No!" she protests weakly, "Punk's..." The Chancellor is clearly on a roll here, though, because he interrupts the Princess to continue his own string of accusations: "Admit it! You confused her and tried to take over the throne! Terrorist!!"
At the sound of the word "Terrorist," a bunch of men in blue suits rush into the area, American flags waving, and start searching the area for Muslims. Finding none, they settle for Punk, whose Radical Hairstyle makes him an obvious Bad Guy. Thank God for stereotypes to aid our relentless search for homeland security. "S,stop..." M!Sue protests weakly as she holds out her hand to stop the guards from mauling Punk. Only with her sprite, it looks like she is motioning for the guards to come forward. Way to send mixed messages, dipshit. That's like naming your dog Stay. "Here, Stay! Come here, Stay! Come on, Stay, come here!"
To give me further reason to harp on the inadequacies of sprite graphics, the guards all run into Punk and, without moving their arms, they manage to knock Punk over and into submission. Thanks for making this scene so believable, Square.
The screen goes black after Punk is knocked out, and when the scene resumes, we are shown a large room with a stained glass window of a male version of the Blind Justice in the background. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is some type of courtroom. Oh boy! This must mean Punk is going to have a fair trial! ...Okay, so maybe he isn't. Still, at least they didn't skip straight to having him executed.
|Facial movement! *gasp*
In the foreground and along the sides of this room are rows of people chatting and making shocked faces at each other. I can tell that they are shocked because these people are actually part of the room's design, and are therefore animated. It's kind of sad that you have to have less than one dimensional character development to get facial animations in this game. But I digress.
The Chancellor introduces himself as the prosecutor and some random dude named Pierre claims to be my lawyer. Then the Chancellor launches into his opening statement: "Members of the jury, we now bring forth the defendant, Punk, who is charged with abducting the Princess Nadia." Punk walks forward and stops behind the stand in the middle of the room. "What shall we do with him? Fire, perhaps? Hang him upside down for a few years? Or... shall we employ the guillotine? You, the jury, shall decide his fate." Yeah right, I'll believe that when I see it. Somehow, I have a feeling that no matter what happens, the Chancellor is going to get his way in the end. Well, until Punk kicks his ass, at least.
Then the Chancellor returns to his spot next to the Judge's stand. "Punk, you are hereby ordered to tell the truth!" the Judge... orders. Normally, I would be outraged by the lack of choice in the matter, but because I know it would end up being an "are you sure you don't want to tell the truth?" thing until I finally cave, I don't give it much thought. Instead I wonder: since Punk is under orders to tell the truth, why don't they just ask if he kidnapped M!Sue? I can see it now...
Judge: Did you kidnap the Princess?
Punk: (shakes head)
Judge: Well, I think my work here is done. Who's up for a game of Dance Dance Revolution? I just bought a new dance pad from Lucca and I hear Gato has some rockin' new tracks this time around!
But Square hates me, so nobody thinks to ask Punk if he did it or not. Instead, the trial becomes an indirect examination of Punk's character and --surprise!-- the things Punk did at the fair have a direct impact on the outcome of the trial. Pierre steps forward and carries on a conversation with himself for a while: "Punk is charged with 'Premeditated Abduction of Royalty.' The question is, did he kidnap Princess Nadia? The answer? No, he did not. In fact, no abduction took place!" he says, while walking around the room like a drunkard, "The two met completely by accident. In fact, the Princess ASKED Punk if SHE could join HIM!" While this is entirely true, the Chancellor pulls some crap about Punk trying to get close to the Princess when they ran into each other. Because, as we all know, Punk is a man, and therefore an aggressive sexual predator. It's all about getting that penis pleasured by ANY MEANS NECESSARY! "The Princess then innocently followed you to Lucca's little sideshow," The Chancellor continues, "Whereupon you both disappeared! If that isn't a criminal abduction, I don't know WHAT is!" Get it? He's all into convicting Punk because of that Criminal Justice system the Chancellor in 600 AD started. I love the way these things come about, full-circle. Then, as an afterthought, he adds, "And I have facts that throw the defendant's character into question!" Such a smooth transition. The Chancellor is batting 1000 today.
Pierre jumps forward with an objection: "This can't have any relevance whatsoever to this case!" he cries. The Judge must be on the Chancellor's payroll, though, because he gives the Chancellor a chance to respond. And what a response it is. "Punk's character is at the very center of this case!" the Chancellor asserts. No circular logic there, folks. Please keep this excellent example of debating at it's finest in mind when arguing about Twoo Wuv!! in online forums.
Instead of sending the Chancellor an email full of cursing and poorly spelled words, like the run-of-the-mill forum patron would, Pierre keeps his cool. "We have nothing to hide." He says. Then he adds, two seconds later: "We have a witness. Someone who will vouch for the character of the defendant." Wow, that was quick, for somebody who thought the trial wasn't about Punk's character two minutes ago. Now I know why I'm paying this guy! ...Only I'm not really paying him, because he's court appointed. Sucker! I know my Miranda rights!
Anyway, Pierre walks to the door and produces the Little Girl from the Fair. "Nice man, he brought me my kitty. Thank you for being so kind!" she says, and walks back out. That was fast, and even so, Pierre has already resumed his pro boning: "Doesn't this fine young man deserve a medal?" he asks. Never mind the fact that he never introduced the witness and the Chancellor couldn't cross-examine her. For some reason, I don't think the real rules matter here. As long as the "kidnapper" gets his damn medal.
Then Pierre does something very mysterious. He walks forward and says to Punk, "Whew, looks like they're buying it." Then he returns to his perch next to the Judge. Um... okay? I'm sure the impromptu chat with your defendant didn't look suspicious at all, Pierre. Thanks. Anyway, the Chancellor hasn't said anything rude for a while, so he jumps forward and produces a witness of his own to belittle me in front of everybody. It is an old man. He claims I stole his lunch right off the table at the fair. And technically... I did. But I have a good reason why!
See, it was right after I had finished brutalizing Gato, and M!Sue was pretty low on HP. So I see this guy nearby, and he's pacing up and down along a little table. When I talk to him, he says, "No time to talk now, I'm just sitting down for my lunch," which obviously means, "I'm going to walk in front of this yummy chicken for the rest of the game," because that's exactly what he's going to do. So I ate the chicken. I was doing it for the starving children in Africa. And we got healed. So yes, I stole from the old and decrepit. So sue me. Oh wait, I'm already on trial. Never mind. Wow. Those were some serious sentence fragments. The Chancellor then tries to make some point about how M!Sue's fortune was tempting, but because I had the foresight not to try and pawn her pendant off on some pervy old man, his point is lost. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, wanker!