(This is part of my journey going playing through Chrono Cross. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
I think I’ve mentioned before that it’s a slight irritation that Chrono Cross often makes confusing allusions to Chrono Trigger without being explicit — or making sense. Such as Lynx calling Serge “the Chrono Trigger,” Guile being Magus, or Glenn obviously being a Chrono stand-in with the name of another character from CT. It’s like… poop or get off the pot, as my mom would say. Either be connected or not. This quasi-relation helps nothing.
In any case, Serge and company pick up several new recruits in Terminus (including Glenn, who’s going to be a main character in my party) and head off to a fort to follow the general and Lynx as they, too, seek the Frozen Flame. Motivations for everything are super-murky at this point, but hey, it’s a direction and we need to travel somewhere.
Harle continues to be a major pain in my behind, as she both flirts with Serge and acts as an antagonist in service of Lynx. Here, she burned to the ground the home of Glenn’s foster father (but he’s OK, so rest easy tonight).
I backtracked to Viper Mansion to pick up Luccia and some other odds and ends. I do appreciate that there is some purpose to these places after they’re done being setpieces.
Around this point in the game, we got a little boat that let us go explore the small archipelago of Another World. Among the sights that we found was a “ghost ship” that was, in actuality, a pirate ship. That gets boarded by a real ghost ship. Such are the complexities — and coincidences — of Chrono Cross.
The pirate ship ended up being a somewhat lengthy side dungeon with a whole lot of unskippable combat scenes. Nothing too tough, just annoying, especially considering that Steam’s version of Chrono Cross suffers from random speed fluxuations (slowing down, speeding up). Eventually the boat was cleared of enemies and we even gained a new companion, Pip the Definitely-Not-A-Pokemon. (But he totally is a Pokemon.)
So Kid’s OK, I guess, without me having to do anything to help her. Glad that unnecessary crisis is past!
Happily, this means that she forks over her amulet, which lets the party travel between the Home World and Another World settings. This is going to come in handy to get the protection needed to head to Fort Dragonica.
As you might expect from other games with this dual-world mechanic, Chrono Cross welcomes you to explore the differences between the two worlds and use one to achieve something to help in the other. One small example is learning that a waitress from one world is really into poems, while her counterpart in the other world has given up on her dream of poetry. You can end up inspiring that second waitress with the first one’s book of poems, which nets you a nice goodie.
And speaking of goodies, I spent waaaaayyyy too long in the Hydra Marshes working to get a second Recover All magic element. These are great spells, as they heal your whole team, but both of the ones I’ve gotten were not that easy to attain.
Getting the protection we needed for Mt. Pyre meant clearing out the Water Dragon Isle of an infestation of comically coned dwarves. And what thanks do we get for all of this hard work, I ask you?
Yup, that makes sense. Thanks, JRPGs, for kicking me after I put in a hard day’s work of heroism.
And speaking of JRPG tropes, here’s another installment of Everyone Has A Sob-Worthy Backstory, starring Kid. Apparently she grew up in an orphanage led by Chrono Trigger’s Lucca, for some reason. And then it got burned down by Lynx and she lost her sister and boo hoo.