Part 33: Episode XXIX: In Which...
"Man, you're nosy."
"Serge, honey... Did something happen to you...after we got separated in that long hallway...? Are you confusing me with someone else?"
"Hehehe. You were always SO forgetful. Remember that time in the hotel?"
"You said you took everything. But you forgot that video tape we made. I wonder if it's still there..."
"How do you know about that...? Aren't you Kid?"
"It doesn't matter who I am.. I'm here for you, Serge."
"See...? I'm R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-"
Music: Dimensional Breach
Our new feline demi-human hero has somehow misplaced his sickle at some point during the dimensional hopping interlude. But, he has retained his former body's old standby bladed boat oar.
Welcome to Act Two of Chrono Cross. I hope you like Lynx because we are going to be seeing a shit load of him. This whole body swap thing is not just a temporary limited gimmick for a little section of the game. It lasts for a good third of the adventure and that's low-balling the estimated duration. Our entire party up until this point is toast. We'll basically be starting out here from scratch.
First things first...perhaps we should get out of Vincent Van Gogh Dimension first. This very colorful acid trip is never directly named outside of saving a game here, but this is the "Temporal Vortex". We never really get explained how we ended up here other than plot fuckery. Oh well... Might as well have a look around.
The little tree hut is locked at the moment. As is the tower at the top of the hill. The odd...shell like thing in the middle of the lake is not actually anything of consequence.
What Lynx must do is run up on the little fruit tree branch above where he started. This will shake off a fruit that in turn falls onto the path below. As soon as it hits the ground, a creature will dart out of the earlier hut and make a beeline for the food. It leaves the door open behind it. Take a wild guess as what to do following this...
"Regretting my decision now that I've heard your accent..."
"Hmm... I figured you for another wanderin' spirit... 'ow many yearz has it been since a physical bein' wandered into this world...? Very strange indeed..."
"Ya mind of I go on a philosophical tangent 'ere?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?"
"Anythin' can 'appen as quick as a wink. Nobody knowz. Somethin' you 'ave today may be gone tomorrow. Just like this berry I'm 'oldin'. Important stuff, irreplaceable stuff: all these may come to 'arm with superlative eaze. "
"That is kind of an understatement if you'd known the day I'd had..."
"And wot'z frightenin' is... There be absolutely no meanin' to wot 'appens in our daily livez..."
Sprigg climbs to the top of its hut to continue its rant...
"No matter wot'z born, lost or changed... It'z beyond calculation. There be no one or nothin' watchin' over you... Such is life."
"Welp, I am now a cat. I am okay with believing there is no rhyme or reason to the universe... Because...otherwise there is some cosmic entity that decided I was better off coughing up hairballs... And I just don't want to think about that..."
"Uhh... Got a...couch or a mat or anything around that I can crash on...?"
"I gotta windowsill..."
"I hate my life..."
Some time passes and Lynx decides to bail on the nihilist goblin...
"I give ya a place to sleep, and you're leavin' without saying a word of thanks?"
"Thanks for letting me sleep on your non-corporeal trans-dimensional hut floor."
"I have a feelin' I can get outta 'ere if I tag along. Besides, ya won't be able to make it inside that tower alone. I'll open it for ya."
"What's in the tower?"
"You've never looked?"
"Never 'ery carefully. Besidez, I'm old and that be a long walk from me 'ut to there."
"How long have you been here?"
"Eh... I stopped countin' about a 'undred years ago."
And so Team Lynx gains its first member... Holy shit, Sprigg is a WOMAN?! Yeesh...
In any case, with Sprigg joining Lynx's entourage, the tower at the top of the area now magically opens.
Waiting inside the neon highlight spire is Harle. Bust out a baguette, folks...
"We don't have ze time to be dawdling here. We may truly get lost in time. I can't afford to lose you just yet."
"Hate to break it to you, but I'm not your boss..."
"You are no longuer Serge. You are Monsieur Lynx."
"I'm not Lynx! I remember I woke up this morning wood that didn't have an inch thick coat of hair around it."
"Oh la la!"
"...Alright, that came out wrong. The point is I'm not Lynx. I'm just stuck in his stupid furry body for the moment."
Harle leaps below...
"Who in zeir right mind iz going to believe you are Serge? C'est simple. If everybody, except for yourself, sayz zat you are Monsieur Lynx...zen..."
Harle teleports back upstairs...
"Zat iz who you are! C'est la réalité! If you try and go against réalité... Réalité will surely crush you. Réalité will kill you. And réalité will continue to go on az if not'ing ever happened... From yesterday to today, and from today to tomorrow. Réalité marches on... Leaving your crushed body behind..."
"Reality can river dance on this damned body all it wants. I am still Serge."
" Ooh la lah... So you insist zat you are Serge, oui?"
Harle teleports onto one of the support pillars and walks up it... She continuously does this around the room...
"You may be able to rewrite it if you use ze Dragon Tear."
"Great... Then we just go get another one of those..."
"How can you say for sure zis iz ze real you?"
"Well I had spend seventeen and a half years as not being a friggin' cat and then a couple hours as one sooooo..."
"I wonder if you ever really were Serge...?"
"Terrific... The crazy psycho-babble crap wasn't limited to the real Lynx..."
"A figure, a shape? A spirit? A soul? Where waz zis Serge?"
"What does that even MEAN?! Ugh... I knew I should have just stayed in bed when I made it back home..."
Harle teleports away again. She is replaced this time by a Serge doppelganger...
"Who are...you? You're not me. I'm not you. I am reality... You are..."
"Getting a headache..."
The Serge doppelganger wanders off in a random direction...
"One mistake, and you'll never make it back to the real world."
"Unless I leave the room, re-enter, and try again...right?"
"Aye. Such are the wayz of an uncarin' universe."
So, for this next portion all Lynx has to do is exit through the same door on his level as the Serge doppelganger in the area above/below. It is very simple.
Several identical rooms later...
"Let'z head back to reality."
"And how on earth do we do that...?"
"Just walk to the bottom of the room..."
"Oui... How do you think zat I got here so quickly?"
Welp, now we have Kid's replacement as female lead for the duration of Act 2. You didn't think we were going to escape from have a chick with an awful accent that was central to the plot, did you? Harle, at the very least, is significantly less moronic and tends to not get her shit regularly ruined by everything that looks at her funny.
Lynx, Harle, and Sprigg must now navigate an M.C. Escher painting to escape the Temporal Vortex.
Said abstract structure is inhabited by TotalChaos: Two-dimensional monsters hell bent on keeping anyone from escaping. Or just kind of milling about... The latter sounds better on paper.
TotalChaoses are not particularly difficult, especially with being in a lesser plane of existence and all. They mostly stick to mild physical attacks.
The only annoying thing about them is that they are time consuming entities to beat. Especially, since they have the ability to vomit out clones of themselves to prolong the battle.
They also can turn sideways. This makes it so their evasion stat is rocketed to 100% and all physical attacks become utterly useless. Where is a pair of scissors when you need 'em...?
Luckily, techs and elements can breach lesser dimensional beings' tricky defenses despite their lack of mass. Lynx is sporting GlideHook as his Level 3 tech. It's basically a fancier version of Serge's Dash&Slash with the innate shifted to Black.
His level 5 tech is slightly more...interesting... It's called Feral Cats. Remember how Lynx had feline shadows of himself?
It turns out he had a lot of those at his command...
Feral Cats summons his furry horde to scratch the hell out of whatever poor bastard happens to be sitting in the cats' path. I never thought I'd see a RPG hero that had a special move that was the equivalent of a cat lady throwing her babies at people... But there you go.
Harle has Moonbeams. This just hits the entire enemy force with a trio of flying Sonic Booms for Black innate damage.
She also has MoonShine (have you noticed Harle has kind of a lunar theme?) which basically casts the Chrono Cross equivalent of Shell from Final Fantasy on all party members for increased magic defense. A bit handy.
Sprigg... Sprigg is an extremely gimmicky beast all its own. You'll notice that Sprigg's element grid is ridiculously tiny. She also only has a single tech. This is because Sprigg fights entirely differently from everyone else in the game.
Sprigg has the unique ability to transform into most any standard enemy encountered in the game. She comes stocked with a standard stable of mostly early game enemies we've already seen. But, she can add to her ranks by defeating new enemies (though she must be the one to land the killing blow in order to do so.)
When she transforms to a new form she'll be limited to only basic physical attacks the enemy possesses as well as their unique tech skills. But, unlike regular elements, Dopplegang techs can be used an unlimited number of times so long as she has the stamina.
In all, Sprigg is pretty interesting but eh...really kind of a novelty at this point in the game. She can gain some ridiculously powerful forms later on (and some super boss special ones in New Game +) But, it's not all that great at the moment.
In any case, entering the hole in the ground at the base of the chaotic structure will open a portal out of this realm and cause the party to quantum leap out of the dimension...
Ya know, I'd play the shit out of a Quantum Leap RPG....
Another Radical Dream...
Sprigg Official Art - Sportin' the fantasy hobo chic look
Lynx & Harle Render
- Sprigg is short for "Spriggan". She gets her full name in the Japanese version of the game.
- Spriggans are creatures from Cornish folklore. They're ugly burly things that act as bouncers for ancient ruins and treasure as well as body guards for fairies.
Though never stated directly in the game, Sprigg is part of the Mystic race from Chrono Trigger. She's one of the very few that appear in Chrono Cross.