(This is part of my journey going playing through 1995’s Chrono Trigger. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
Next up on the side quest journey is a trip to 2300 AD — and a visit to Geno Dome. This looks to be touching on the backstory of Robo, whose real name is Prometheus? I guess? At least we know scifi naming conventions are intact if the computer calls humans “fleshlings.”
Geno Dome is another one of those futuristic factories, although with much tougher robots than the Crono Crew encountered in the past. And apparently one of them has a little dolly. That’s adorable. It’s also a much trickier dungeon to navigate, with doors that have to be charged and conveyor belts to be reversed. I’m not sure we’re up to the challenge.
“How will players ever be able to figure out if this is a girl robot?” “Quick, paint her pink and put a bow on her even though that makes no sense in a futuristic factory run by machines!”
Atropos — the girl robot — says that “Prometheus” here was given a special mission to live with humans and study them. And apparently do mass gardening over 400 years, don’t forget that! After Robo beats her up, she comes to her senses (before shutting down) and says that Mother Brain rewrote her programming to DESTROY ALL HUMANS. Isn’t the way that always is?
So Mother Brain’s thing is that she says the planet will heal if humans are eliminated and the robots take over. Which they might as well, since the only humans left are moping around in domes doing nothing. At least these robots are showing initiative and zest.
And look! The ‘bots are putting humans on a conveyor belt and feeding them into a machine that turns them into little energy pellets. Dang, Chrono Trigger, you got DARK. The little screech when the humans are killed will haunt my dreams tonight.
In an epic showdown, the Crono Crew confronts Mother Brain — not Metroid’s floating brain in a jar, but rather a gorgeous hologram of the computer system. It’s seriously neat.
After a wimpy boss battle, Robo shuts down the factory for good — aww, those poor robots — and gets a couple of nice weapon upgrades for the trouble. No mention is made of any surviving humans in the factory, but we’ll assume that they made it and turned the place into a luxurious spa.
For a flavor refresher, we’re heading to 600 AD to tackled the Spirit of Cyrus side quest. In both 600 and 1000 AD, there’s rumors of ghosts and beasts and something haunting the northern ruins of an island.
To his shock, Frog discovers that the ghost in 1000 AD is that of his former mentor, Cyrus. He’s kind of cranky and sword-swingy at the moment, so there’s nothing to be done for him.
By bringing back some tools from 1000 to 600, the Crono Crew helps a carpenter get back on his feet — and he starts repairing the northern ruins, where Cyrus would take up residence. I love that the game actually makes you PAY the carpenter money to do his work, which, hey, more power to him.
Tucked away in the basement is Cyrus’ grave (for some reason). Not sure why his body got hauled to another continent and dumped down here, but we’ll assume that FedEx really messed up its delivery address.
Cyrus’ ghost pops out of the grave and gives Frog some much-needed closure. With the past lifted off his shoulders, the Masamune is able to be charged up to its full and amazingly awesome strength. We’ve gone Full Frog, people!