Part 85: Episode LXXVIII: Serge and the Time Devourer of Terra TowerMusic: Dragon's Prayer
Welp, Belthsar's crazy non-existing space vanishes from err...existence...as soon as Serge and the others exit. The real path further into Terra Tower presents itself instead.
In the following chamber is the core of Terra Tower. It is err...a bunch of floating color coded crystals repeating THE PATTERN over and over and over. Hell if I know what they do, other than provide the least subtle display of THE PATTERN in the game. But...there it is...
Yellow-Red-Green-Blue-Black-White! DO NOT fucking forget it!
Following the Terra Tower core is yet another punk ass orb of +3 condescending preaching.
"What in the hell are you things even talking about?! There are trees everywhere. Like...all over the place! I've never been to a place that wasn't full of lush greenery. In fact, I think *this* dump has the least trees of any place I've visited so far. What's up with that?!"
So, they've stopped giving a shit and will just be resorting to copy and pasting palette swaps for the rest of these dumb filler robots. It shoots out green shit. Yadda yadda yadda.
Honestly...a fucking robot preaching about saving forests and going green... That's like a fucking dragon giving a seminar about fire prevention.
In any case, the death of the botanic advocate robotic guardian activates a portal to the upper reaches of Terra Tower. And friggin' FINALLY a save point. Good grief, that was forever.
Music: Tower of Stars
"Serge, up there... That must be the summit."
"I dunno. Knowing these stupid dragon things, there's probably something floating a half mile above the thing..."
"Look! Those two beams coming from either side... I wonder if they act as some kind of sealing device?"
So, long story short: we need to go fight two more palette swap bosses before this here door is gonna open up so we folk can mosey. Shoot...
Of course, the path to said boss is riddled with enemies. Wouldn't want to move too quickly now, would we? Sure, you can't see them here. But, just look at the pretty pictures and let me deal with the mindless slog behind the scenes.
At the end of the neon red path lays a teleporter to where the first of the dual boss encounters awaits. Since, just having it sit at the end of the path without fancy teleportation antics wouldn't be nearly dramatic enough.
This next boss doesn't even bother to make a speech this time. They worked real hard on the background art. That ought to be enough of a build-up, right?
Meet Gravitor. Yes, it is just a color swapped version of that old pro-wrestler robot from way back in Fort Dragonia. Yes, its counter-part on the other side of the tower is going to be the same exact thing with a whiter color shade.
The only thing this dark horse of an android has going for it is the OmegaBlack attack, which does hit for a very respectable 500+ HP of damage. But, that is easily countered by just having the squishiest party member (Kid in this case) wear the Black Plate.
Anyway, it'll be lucky to get off more than a single round of attacks in since Serge will absolutely ruin its day within one or two turns.
You know, the game stops leveling up at a very awkward digit. You'd think they'd make it an even 50 but...nope. In addition, this there is no BlackField or WhiteField to make a full set of broken elements.
Welp, that is one down. One to go.
A few minutes of backtracking alongside newly re-spawned enemies later...
The other side of Terra Tower's wing is, for unknown reasons, really windy. For equally mysterious reasons, there are several of those Terra Terror shade monsters standing at attention on the rocks lining the area. I guess the game wanted you to run against the wind to avoid them but...well, we're going to level up again in a couple minutes. This is the only chance to get a few minor stat bonuses in before then...
Anyway, it is the same exact story for the opposite end of the area. They even just copied, pasted, and mirrored the background. This is getting kind of silly low effort.
So, Luxator. Same song, different verse. It just takes slightly longer as Serge cannot just solo the thing instantly.
This one has OmegaWhite, which basically transports a party member into a meteor shower for 500+ damage. All the elemental themed droids have an Omega<element> attack. Most just died far too quickly to ever fire it off. Though, outside of Black and White, they're all pretty ho-hum much 200-300 HP damage affairs.
Welp, that's five out of f...wait...there's six elements, aren't there? What happened to Blue...?
Oh well. I'm not complaining. This place has more filler than the bulk of the game combined. With the destruction of the last two guardians, the summit of Terra Tower is now open to explore...
...that is after we defeat the Blue guardian. Goddammit!
"Did you things not get the memo that this story wasn't supposed to be set on Earth? We're on a planet where the oceans are so clean you can friggin' breath in parts of 'em..."
Hey, Blue Boss!
Kindly fuck off!
Thank you and goodnight.
Following that last utterly forgettable guardian's demise, the floor of this chamber pipes up with THE PATTERN once more whilst summoning the teleporter to the peak of this moody citadel.
YELLOW-RED-GREEN-BLUE-BLACK-WHITE! DO NOT FORGET IT IF YOU WANT THIS GAME TO HAVE AN ENDING!
The party is teleported to the peak of Terra Tower. I wonder which Dragonian architect has the teleporter to the top floor fetish.
Oh well...this is it... No turning back now! Just an ominous staircase that chews out humanity with every step between Team Serge and the final challenge of Dinopolis.
"Those who know the torment and joy of creation know also the pleasure and pain of destruction."
"Therefore, all that pass through here must be prepared to share the burden that I carry."
"Funny...I was expecting something a bit more... I dunno...impressive?"
"Being at the bottom of the ocean for a few thousand years mighta done a number on the place."
"What is that...?"
"Okay...? Is...something supposed to happen...?"
And so the Frozen Flame converts from its travel size to its full glory. Why a legendary relic that is a shard of a galactic space tick's shell has a travel size function is beyond me... But sure, why not?
"So this is the true Frozen Flame... Struth!"
"Neat. What did that thing even do again? I've lost track of all this junk supposedly legendary crap we've been tripping over all the time."
"Hold on! Don't touch it!"
Actually, it just flashes white for a few seconds and nothing really happens. Turns out this thing was a dud.
"Us humans ain't gonna let you have yer way any longer! C'mon! Show yer bloody self!"
The fused dragon god complies with the angry Aussie's wishes. Yes, it just floats in the air like that. It is actually...incredibly poorly animated compared to everything else in the game. I'm not sure what happened.
"In order to survive, all living things in this world fight desperately and devour those they defeat... Must one kill other living things in order to survive? Must one destroy another world in order to allow one's own world to continue? The wounded in turn wound and torment those weaker than they themselves are... There are only the killers and the killed... The sinners, who are judged, and the victims that do the judging... What meaning is there to such a world?"
"Oh my GAWD!! I. Do. Not. Give. A. SHIT! Shut up! GOD! Can none of you lousy demi-god things go more than three minutes without droning on and on about weak ass pseudo-stoner philosophy bullshit?! Good lord!"
"Whether there's meanin' to our lives or not...we still go on livin', you know! You've got no right to deny that!"
"I shall cleanse this blue planet of you filthy humans once and for all!!!"
Music: Dragon God
Note: This is the only time in the entire game this track plays, so you should probably listen to it. It's quite a great battle theme anyhow.
Time to face what I'd probably consider to be the final boss of Chrono Cross: The Time Devourer. Yes, there is one more boss afterwords but err...it is a...different sort of thing... And it has no boss music, dungeon, or inkling of build-up until ten minutes before you fight the damn thing.
The Time Devourer has the most HP of any enemy in the game at a whopping 15,000. So, any way you cut it, this is a bit of a slog for just its sheer mountain of health. The actual battle, like most in Chrono Cross, isn't all that difficult though.
I mentioned earlier the animation on this thing is kind of abysmal and...its physical attacks are mostly why I say this. It is like they couldn't be bothered to properly animate the token physical strikes every enemy possesses. So, what it does is sort of...float toward its target...rotate 180 degrees on its Y-axis...and sort of meekly wiggle its tail. It will then spin another 180 degrees on its axis to its starting position.
The thing is, it does this like three times in a row with rotating, attacking, returning to its default position, and rotating again to restart the cycle. It looks ridiculous.
On the subject of weaksauce battle animations, the Time Devourer only sports a single unique attack to its name. It will fly overhead and zoom past the whole party, hitting them all for a whole...75 or so HP of lost health...
Otherwise, the thing has access to every single standard Element in the game and will not hesitate to use them. UltraNova and BlackHole traps are particularly useful in this fight as it will almost definitely fire off at least one or two of either of those elements and they're the only ones that can dish out a decent hurtin'.
The Time Devourer has a bit of a gimmick going for it to spice-up the fight. After taking a certain bit of punishment, it will cast a portal that tears it and the entire party to a new area for battle.
Specifically, where its former selves once had set up shop. In shifting to new arenas, it will also shift its innate color to the corresponding dragon's domain. It goes in order...the Earth Dragon...
...the Fire Dragon...
...the Green Dragon...
...the Water Dragon...
...the Black Dragon...
...and finally, returning to where we began as its initial White innate.
YELLOW-RED-GREEN-BLUE-BLACK-WHITE! THIS IS THE LAST TIME I AM TELLING YOU, MISTER!!!
After taking the aforementioned 15,000 HP of damage during the course of the brawl across El Nido, the Fused Dragon God seems to fritz out and loses its corporeal form. Shame, that...
And that is the final Star Level the party will obtain during the course of an initial play through of Chrono Cross. Yes...they stop on 48 for no readily apparent reason. Sure, why not?
"Do you shut up any time soon as part of this destiny business?"
And thus the Time Devourer turns down its opacity to 25% and abruptly clips straight through the floor. Well, that was anti-climactic. But fear not!
Belthasar teleports into the area to spew some more exposition...
"...A temporary form that the real Dragon God uses in order to appear within this dimension. The actual Dragon God was consumed long ago, in the distant past... Integrated by the entity known as Lavos in a time on the other side of the dimensional darkness."
"Raise your hand if you're lost..."
"The Frozen Flame is a splinter from the extraterrestrial being Lavos. The one who connects with the Frozen Flame, in effect, links with Lavos itself. As the mediator between Lavos and living things, that one will gain extraordinary powers! By binding with the new seed of destruction... the 'Devourer of Time!'"
"What in blazes is a Devourer of Time!?"
This is the Frozen Flame itself speaking. Did anyone mention the Frozen Flame can talk...? No...? Well, the Frozen Flame can talk. If you'll recall that brief flashback or old buddy Miguel had to Chronopolis, yeah...that was the Frozen Flame speaking. Everything in this world is gabby.
Well, except for the Frozen Flame. It just has that line and fades away, never to be seen again -- a weak plot MacGuffin that accomplishes nothing to the end.
"Born out of the fusion of a life-form from this planet with Lavos, who nests on the far side of the dimensional void. In the far-off future, when the fusion becomes complete, IT will awaken... Then, the Devourer of Time will begin to consume all space-time continua... Despair and hatred... To return all things to nothingness... That is what IT desires."
"Just...to be clear... We're still talking about that big fused dragon thing we just kicked the crap out of...right?"
"No. That was the Time Devourer. I am talking about the Devourer of Time. Two completely different things..."
<throws hands up> "I bloody give up..."
"Here... Take this with you."
"That Time Egg will enable you to travel beyond space-time... The world is in your hands... Go! Release the life that is imprisoned..."
"Life that is imprisoned...? Aren't we supposed to kill this thing...? Uhh... I am *so* confused right now..."
And so, after taking that final plot dump, Belthasar fades away once more and is never seen again...
Meanwhile, the Time Devourer (the dragon one) slams into the core of Terra Tower and causes it to begin filling with water...somehow...despite the fact it is currently floating in mid-air...
Terra Tower begins violently shaking and falling apart...
"I don't think this old ruin can hold up the load of bullshit that was just dropped in our laps. She's a comin' down!"
Everyone rushes back to the boat...
Whatever was holding up Dinopolis in mid-air has apparently fallen asleep on the job as the thing crashes into the ocean.
Although the base of it is just dipping a small portion into the water, the entire structure immediately floods and spews sea water everywhere from the cracks in its foundation.
And Terra Tower morphs into its majestic final form. It's quite picturesque really. Shame that none of what just took place or caused that transformation will ever be explained.
"So that's Terra Tower's final, true form... In the end, we're all the same... Everyone dreams of bein' greater, more powerful..."
"We have come this far. All that remains is to defeat the Devourer of Time. Once we wipe the Devourer of Time off the face of this planet, it is all over! Hopefully everything will go back to normal again..."
"Man...I don't even remember what normal feels like..."
"You're wrong... Things won't even go back to the way they were! Destiny... 'Fate'...is dead! From now on, us humans have to choose our own way in life... We also have to take responsibility for the choices we do make. And somethin's gotta be done about the way we go on hurtin' and killin' one another! We've gotta settle our differences once and for all!"
"Yeah, sure... And next we'll fly a rocket to the moons."
"The issue ain't whether we defeat that bastard or not! I'm afraid that, dependin' on how we go about it, we could lose out on gainin' somethin' real precious... So the issue is the way we fight!"
"Alright, alright! I get it! I scribbled that stupid color combo on the back of my hand. Sheesh!"
"So where on earth is the real Devourer of Time?"
"My guess is the key to findin' it lies at that beach... That's where this whole thing started. It's also probably where this whole thing'll end."
"Evil cat... Evil supercomputer from the future... Evil dragons from another dimension... Evil parasite from beyond the darkness of time... Yea...I think I'm about ready for an end to this nonsense before we end up offing God or something..."
"Tch... What do ya think this is, mate? Xenogears?"
"Don't even talk like that! I've been avoiding dark rooms and chairs under spotlights like the plague for weeks!"
"How often does that come up...?"
"It only has to happen once... It only has to happen just once..."
The Frozen Flame
Terra Tower's Final Form