Posted in Retro Gaming

Chrono Trigger: Showdown with a space tick

(This is part of my journey going playing through 1995’s Chrono Trigger. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

So here’s the thing: At this point, I’ve pretty much beaten most of Chrono Trigger, including the side quests — all except the Black Omen. The Black Omen is the big final dungeon of the game, and because CT does things differently than most JRPGs, it’s completely optional. We can go right to the end boss without doing it, and since the Black Omen doesn’t have much to offer in terms of storytelling, I’m not that interested in it.

And so the Crono Crew assembles at the End of Time for the great showdown with the space tick. I’m going with Ayla, Crono, and Frog for my boss-fighting party, all equipped with the very best gear that I can get them. No status ailments for me!

It’s to the final era of the game that they go: 1999 AD, the Day of Lavos. The giant tick erupts from the ground and a boss fight to end all boss fights begins! With all the gear, it’s not tough, just tedious.

After two forms, the crew chops Lavos’ head off and… hey, we won! Woohoo! We are the champions… of the woooooorld! Or, you know, not so much because the REAL boss is right behind the curtain. Inside the shell.

Inside the shell is, naturally, a giant robot. This *is* a JRPG, after all. Japanese game developers can’t help but put giant robots in everywhere, even if they don’t make sense.

Also — and this is just common sense, really — Lavos-the-robot shoots laser beams from its nipples. C’mon, we learned all of this in elementary science class, do we really need a refresher course on basic space-born parasitic biology and defense mechanisms?

As if I even needed to expend the effort to explain, Lavos’ final form is… a dorky alien in a spacesuit. That was hiding in a giant robot. That was in a giant space tick. This is the thing that destroys the world? I feel I can destroy him with the power of shame alone.

Once Lavos falls for good, the screen fades to black.. and then fades back in on Crono doing what he does best — waking up in his comfy bed. Only this time, instead of his mother, it’s a soldier telling him that his stay of execution is over. It’s time to face the music. DUM DUM DUMMM.

Aha, it turns out to be a clever ruse by Lucca to throw Crono a “congrats for saving the world” party. She’s wrangled in some of the figures from each of the epochs to say thank you for the Crono Crew’s efforts. So it’s off to the fair for the very last night…

…and a moonlight parade! I can’t help it, I’m smiling. It’s so dang cheery and a great way to bookend the game, going right back to the start of it all.

Unfortunately, with the world saved and all, the time gates are growing weaker and everyone has to say goodbye before returning to their own eras. My favorite part is when Marle, the princess, finally kisses Frog. And I’m totally not sniffing back manly tears when Lucca has to part with Robo, her best friend.

It looks like the adventures are over… and then Crono’s cat runs into the time gate, chased by his mom. Guess they need to go on another rescue!

And with that, the end credits to Chrono Trigger scroll as the Epoch flies across the different eras. It’s seriously a beautiful ending.

…and just the first of several endings, thanks to Chrono Trigger’s New Game+ mode. By beating Lavos at different points in the game in this mode, you’ll trigger a variety of endings. I don’t have time to do this, obviously, but YouTube has them all and the combined run times of just the endings is something like an hour-and-a-half.

Anyway, that’s it for this playthrough! Thank you for going on a journey with me through my favorite RPG of all time. I hope you enjoyed it as I did.

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