Thursday, December 16, 2010

Playing The Classics: Chrono Trigger: Vol 6

I loved that once you enter Lavos' shell, you can hear his heartbeat. Then as you creep further closer to him, the beat gets faster and faster. This game just continues to ooze atmosphere... until the bitter end.

Lavos showed himself and the final battle began. Right away he launched an attack which killed Crono and took Ayla down to under 100 HP. Marle was also hurt considerably. This definitely wasn't the last time he'd use this move either. However, this attack presented me with a useful and surprising strategy. I instantly fully revived Crono with Marle's Arise move (which revives and fully heals). As for Ayla, I kept her intentionally at that ridiculously low HP level. Her Haste Helm came as a great partner for her Dino Tail move. This didn't hurt the center body much but it took over 2,000 HP off both of his arms for a total of over 4,400 HP per turn. Very nice. With both arms gone, the battle got fiercer. He attacked not that often, but when he did, it was powerful. Luckily, the triple tech that I had, the only triple tech I had, the Final Kick, came in handy with it's 3,200 or so attack power.

I was successful and then a dialogue scene occurred. It was great seeing my characters determined to save their land. You don't get such a great sense of this from other games. Chrono Trigger definitely delivers on the epic-nature front. I love that the second final form of Lavos came with even more epic music and a totally new background. You just KNEW this was it... the final battle. It was now or never.

I continued essentially the same techniques as before. It became quickly obvious that the center had to be diminished first and then the right. This I learned based on it's attack patterns. I was using Final Kick a bunch but I found that using Crono's Luminaire, Ayla's Triple Kick, and having Marle heal and Haste, allowed me to take down Lavos for good. I felt so victorious at using a truly final, Final Kick in every sense of the name. Lavos went down like a chump. Suddenly the world began merging again as time flashed before my eyes.

Many smart movie scripts have 'bookends'. This is when the ending of the movie or script reflects and references the very beginning. I liked that after beating Lavos, I woke up in my bed, just like when the game started. Instead of being free and a little lazy, I was a warrior but I was apparently captured. I later found out that this was the 'standard ending' of the game. Ending 01, Beyond Time. I was excited to see where this would go. I laughed quite when I realized that the King was joking! What a nice surprise. A reunion of time at the castle. I'm glad to see the Kind wasn't being a douchebag for once. Then we had the Moonlight Parade. It was a nice touch. The lights reminded me of Christmas time so that felt appropriate considering what month it is.

I made my way north and I realized this was all bittersweet. My friends were leaving. First Ayla and Kino. I like how she threw his stupid ass into the portal and followed. I'm proud that she's the start of the timeline in this whole thing. It felt appropriate that she was there fighting till the bitter end. When Frog left, it was also quite nice. I enjoyed Marle kissing Frog. It was a sweet gesture to see the princess kissing a frog. I also thought it was appropriate for Magus to leave without saying a word. No sentiment for him. Very true to the character. Then came Robo...his oil tears blurring his vision. It was very poignant the whole lack of assurance in Lucca's heart that he'd still exist in the future. I hope he's a happy and productive robot in the future. He deserves it. Then when Crono's mother entered the screen... I just knew what was going to happen next. Her entering the portal was pretty hilarious. That moment started a great end credits sequence. Normally these can be a bit boring but Chrono Trigger's was epic, just like the entire game itself.

Now that I have completed it, knowing damn well I missed a bunch of side quests and alternate endings... I see why this game is so popularized and praised. It deserves every bit of it. From the first quest, till the game truly opens up, and through till the final battle with Lavos...the game is legendary. My game time was 25:25 without the Lavos battle, which was probably rounding me to 26 hours including the end credits. Every second was enjoyable. It was the perfect length for an RPG too. I also thought that the final chapter, the final sequence, perhaps because I went through the Black Omen, was a great lengthy finale. Many games these days have endings that are abrupt or too short. The ends don't justify the game and all you played to get there. This is most certainly not the case with Chrono Trigger.

Godspeed Crono! Now if only I could get a means to play Chrono Cross...the title song alone made me want to play that years ago, but as I explained in our first podcast (releasing very soon), it was not meant to be. Perhaps the future holds it for me, waiting for the tale of time to continue.

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