Part 96: Alternate Ending #1: The Programmer's EndingAlternate Ending #1: The Programmer's Ending
Welp, let's do this thing. The requirements for the first alternate ending is that Serge must be alone in the party and have not hopped between dimensions yet. The pink pile of shit Poshul cannot be recruited or it will skip to the next ending.
So yes, Serge has to solo the Time Devourer. This is...honestly not all that difficult at all, even for a fresh second playthrough. It just takes a bit of planning. Like, stocking up on healing elements and high end offensive spells. Also, having Serge equipped with the Spectral Swallow will make this go considerably faster.
The biggest thing is that Serge should have the Green Plate equipped. The Time Devourer will do nothing but spam Green elements for the first two-thirds of the battle. Having the Green Plate means that it will do nothing but heal up Serge for the vast majority of the fight.
So, what Serge should do is do a pair of Heavy attacks...
...and then fire off an element. The way stamina works in Chrono Cross is that if all characters (or just Serge in this case) are in negative stamina, it counts the same as the entire party defending for a round. This will cause all enemies (or just Lavoschala in this case) to get a turn. The stamina gauge is then instantly filled up for all depleted characters. Were we just to attack to depleted stamina with standard strikes, we'd just get a tiny bit restored from the enemy's turn instead.
Having Serge with the Spectral Swallow and firing off high end elements I was doing around 600-800 HP of damage each turn. The Time Devourer has 10,000 HP so it is still a bit of a slog but nothing too difficult.
After the Time Devourer's health goes down to around 33% it will stop using only Green elements and instead begin using THE PATTERN. Yes, it will do the entire PATTERN for you if you're too retarded to figure it out for yourself and don't interrupt it with other elements. This is where all those stocked healing spells were saved to be used. We just need to alter our attack pattern to include a healing element at the end of a sequence instead of an offensive one.
Once the Time Devourer is down to near death, it will thankfully resign to its fate that you are not using THE PATTERN and return to Green elements. The fight is basically in the bag at this point.
So long, Schala. Don't let the pan-dimensional door hit your overly wordy ass on the way out. I still don't know what the hell she was talking about in that post battle speech in the real ending...
Music: The Splendidly Grand Magic Troupe
"W-Welcome to the 'Development Room!'
"Th-This is where the development team gets to shake their thanks? to the players."
"What was that '?' for, Peppor?"
"S-Stop interrupting me. Just shake it and say your line!"
"Oh, that was terribly terrible of me!"
"Ahem... Be sure to talk to Peppor or me when you wish to leave."
"Th-That's the way it goes. You won't be able to shake it outta here otherwise. Well, have a good time!"
"Have a splendidly splendid time!"
So yeah, this is the Programmer's Ending. It is pretty much the same deal as the Developer's Ending from Chrono Trigger earned by killing Lavos with just Crono at the start of the game (or beating the super powered Lavos at the point where Crono is supposed to die in the Ocean Palace.) It is the only interactive ending of the game. We're free to explore about and chat with the developers of Chrono Cross as well as see some assorted weird shit along the way.
Alright, let's talk to these jerks... Let us begin with the ones loitering in the corridors.
Shuichi Sato: "Just kidding! (About the butt hairs) But let me tell you about my goatee. It's not like I dye the bristles, but there's some red hair mixed in there. See? Black hair, black hair, red hair, red hair, black hair, red hair..."
"I'm gonna hate this ending, aren't I...?"
Kanji Ooiwa: "What? There's something you'd like to discuss? Mix jello... with... and a bomber jack will appear... To place a rubber band on your cup...? What on earth are you talking about!? Listen, you're not getting any younger, so stop playing games and go spend some time with your daughter."
But my daughter is in school right now.
I like the cut of this guy's jib.
Hiroshi Uchiyama: "Rule #2! Work up a burning passion to make your idea into reality! Rule #3! Show love for your work! That's all! Rrrargh!"
"Rule #4: If you run out of development time, just cut what you could fit in. Do not shove 50 friggin' plot threads in the last ten minutes of the game."
This is my least favorite person on the entire development staff. Richard Honeywood, you are an awful, awful monster.
"Me wath the Rocarization Director, the Rocarization Programmer, and one of the tranthratorth. One interethting feature of thith game ith itth automatic accent generation abirity. Without thith thythtem all the text for the 43 main characterth wouldn'thave fit into the game, making an Engrithh verthion impothible! Me created an Engrithh auto-accent thythtem where we could jutht write the prain tranthration and reave it up to the program to convert it real-time into the 'voice' of whoever'th thpeaking at the time. Tho... Me am although rethponthible for all thothe funny thpeech impedimentth that we're thure drove you crazy! But Me bet you never realized they were auto-generated, right? Anyway, thee you rater, Sergeipoo!"
<punches Richard Honeywood in the face>
Music Arni Village ~ Home World
All the side rooms also have a slew of developers hanging out ready to chat. This room seems to be just full of miscellaneous jerks the rest of the staff hated.
Hikaru Anzai: "We all worked really hard on them, so be sure to watch them!"
Ko Arai: "Thank you for playing. I really mean it."
Kiyoshi Yoshii: "We're finally done. Aaaah, I can sleep in peace. Hey, you should get some rest, too, you know that? Good night...... and RESET...!"
Ha-ha. Very friggin' funny.
Masataka Hata: "You might see a power move you've never seen before. But I won't take responsibility if you see the words GAME OVER by doing so. Take care."
Dark Uchimichi: Pure darkness... Oh, how beautiful. Mwa Hahahaha hah..."
And the dickhead developer poisons your coffee, clubs your knee caps with a baseball bat, puts out a cigarette on your forehead, and coughs on you. If you talk to him again he'll heal all the stats. But, let's go find a room with less dickish developers...
This room seems to be mostly people that worked on the clusterfuck of characters in the game.
Hitoshi Oguchi: And a whole bunch of deadly ones! I'm sorry if they were over your head! I hope there was at least one character you liked. Well, see ya!
"I like me. The rest I could take or leave..."
Mika Nunokawa: "That's what I kept asking myself when I was drawing all of them... Oh well..."
You know it's pretty bad this is all the character artist has to say about the overload of characters.
Sentaro Hotta: "My memories of the summer of 1999... I was at the beach... in my dreams... It was a nice amusing dream, except... for the sea of blood. Heh heh... And lastly, here's some advice to all my friends, young and old! Don't cast any magic with your nose pressed against the TV screen!"
Yufuko Hatae: I did some battle effects and worked on Pip's design. I joined the team midway, but I feel good about what I accomplished. Some of my memorable moments were watching the sunrise and fireworks outside our office window, and a late night trip to the video store in Ebisu to rent "Flamenco." I need to add variety to my daily routine. Do you think we'll meet again?"
"Almost definitely not. Keep your porn rentals after hours to yourself, buddy..."
Music: Another Termina
This room just seems to be leftover developers too.
Kiyoshi Tsuchiya: " Keep on playing to find all the hidden field maps!"
I will give this guy props since there are a ridiculous amount of field maps (i.e. in-battle areas) that are used all of once the entire game. The Dead Sea alone has three maps that are only used a single time the entire game and one that is entirely optional to see.
Noriko Saito: "Chrono Cross is so much fun! There are so many characters to choose from!"
Tsuguharu Aoki: "Alright! Chrono Cross is complete! Good job, everyone! Good job, to me too! It was really great working with the Chrono Cross team. Teamwork is a beautiful thing. I was also happy about the average age of the team members being so high. Born in 1967, I'm starting to worry about my waist size."
Yoshiyuki Oku: I handled the battle animation, sometimes... I worked really hard, sometimes... I slept... (I am guess that is what happened when animating the dragon Time Devourer) sometimes... I was frustrated, sometimes... Well, I guess we're finished, or not...? Next time, I hope to improve the animation, or not...? In any case, I plan to live a lovely life for now."
Takashi Wakou: "Many people come and go. Which brings me to the following: "As long as time and space is in accord with me, then everything is fine." This is what the other me is saying. That's how I felt about this project. I'm glad I was able to meet the other me."
Music: Another Marbule
One more room of B-Lister developers of Chrono Cross. All the cool guys like Mitsuda and Masato Kato are in the VIP rooms upstairs.
Yusuke Kigoshi: "Phew... Looks like we finally made it. What kept me going was envisioning the expression on your face while you played the game."
"Just picture a kind of astonished look of confusion and annoyance for fifty hours."
Yusuke Kigoshi: "Did you enjoy it?"
"Of course I did!"
"No...that's not what I wanted to say..."
"It was awesome!"
"HEY! Stop putting words in my mouth!"
Yusuke Kigoshi: "Really... I'm glad to hear that! Thank you very much for playing. But I'm not too sure about the name Serge... Well, I hope you're looking forward to our next project!"
Yoshitsugu Saito: "......Anyway, there are so many sub-events in this game, you won't be able to see all of them the first time around. The course of action you take and the choices you make may reveal new events. Play the heck out of Chrono Cross!"
Hiroki Chiba: "Hello everybody! Just like in the original, I was in charge of the events for Chrono Cross. This time around, there were lots of characters (How many did you all get?) It was really a difficult task for me to come up with that many events. But since all the characters had their own unique personality and style, it made my work a lot of fun. Who did you all like? My favorite is... a secret."
Masahiro Kabe: "Thanks a lot for playing Chrono Cross. Hope to see you again, somewhere..."
Music: Jellyfish Sea
Noriko Mitose: "This music seems so distant, yet so close... From a fond dream, long ago... They remind me of a season. How I was able to meet and accomplish something. I hope to meet again. A message I leave behind... 'Thank you.'"
Welp, that is just about it for the first floor. You cannot go into the basement. The two side doors just warp you to the opposite side of the hall. There are two more guys standing at attention at the top of the stairs.
"Sammy" (Shigeto Matsushima): First off, congratulations on clearing the game and finding this room! I hope you've enjoyed the world of Chrono Cross and its strange... (Ahem!)... "unique" inhabitants. As our Localization Director, Richard, mentioned, this game would not have been possible without his auto-accent system. Having more than 40 main characters was a challenge to us, and it was hard to keep characterization consistent throughout the game. But overall, we managed to give each of them distinct characteristics, without sacrificing consistency in the common lines. The same lines you saw when you played with one party combination will appear differently if you take different members to the same location. Try it out! If you've enjoyed the game, send you donations to yours truly at P.O. Box... Just kidding!! But seriously, please tell your friends about this game, and invite them into the wonderful world of Chrono Cross! Thanks!"
"Hey, Honeywood told me to send you a message."
<punches Shigeto Matsushima in the face>
Someone got into Kato's special sauce...
So...the second floor is just a copy and paste of the first floor. But, it is filled with new people to talk to. Also, there is one key difference.
The door on the other end of the room is eternally locked. I recall this leading to all kinds of sperging speculation and bullshit back in the dark ages before people would just rip open games' code to see if you could resurrect Aeris or fight Sheng Long.
I believe there is an entire horribly written FAQ on GameFAQs dedicated to this locked door with nothing behind it and programming quirks in the Programmer's Ending rooms.
Tomoko Murakami: "What? He's too hairy? He's bald underneath that hat!? ............Heee! That's what I like about him!"
Yoichiro Hori: "It's important to push when you can't pull."
Kazuhiro Hasegawa: "There are many people in various places. You act differently towards many. You're always searching for yourself. What kind of "you" do you like? And what kind of "you" do you want to be? I hope you find the right "you." Good luck to you. ...... This is according to specification!"
Touro Ooshita: "Dad, mom, grandma, brother, sister, Oka-chan, Keiji-son, Shin-chan, Gorota, Nori-chan, Mon-chan, Shimamo-chan, ...Ummm, and everyone else... And to all of you who played Chrono Cross: I did it! Yeah! I did it!"
Yukio Nakatani: "Wait 2 more years... Just kidding."
"It's been ten years last month, chief..."
Ryosuke Aiba: "Don't tell me you... Nah, you wouldn't do such a terrible thing. ............ You didn't...did you...?"
"Dude, I could fill this entire mansion with the corpses of all the monsters I've killed. I stopped counting when I made it to a four digit body count."
Music: Time's Grassland
This room seems to be reserved for people who worked on the game's audio.
I'll get back to what this guy is talking about in a bit. There is another sound room on the other side of the area too.
Chiharu Minekawa: "Women must be strong and live vigorously. Are you strong?"
Yasuhiro Yamamoto: "I love Pip. That thing's so cute!"
'70s afro NPC... Best NPC...
"They're on the PS3 now, pal. You guys are really dating yourself with these references. Sheesh."
Yasunori Mitsuda: "Oh yeah, the soundtrack should be out by then, so be sure to go out and buy it! See ya..."
One of...two whole game soundtracks I have ever purchased. The other one being the OST for Nier. Of course that was about eight years ago. It is long out of print now.
Music: Between Life and Death
This next room is home to programmers who worked on the battle system. They're a wily bunch.
The shameful Japanese practice of binding new interns' souls to minor NPCs is an unfortunate practice that continues to this very day.
Talking to the Beach Bum in the middle of the room will lead to a battle.
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "Hello, people! I'm Katsuhisa, and I'm a programmer. Unlike the artists, musicians and scenario writers, etc., we programmers don't stand out that much I guess. So today I thought I'd teach you folks just what a program is! Hold on while I call some of my friends! Heeey yooouuu guuuuuysss!!!!"
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "Kazumi programmed the sections that display maneuver Polygon Models. Why don't you show 'em, Kazumi...?"
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "That was 'moving!' Who's next?"
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "Miya wrote the program sections that manipulate 'Effects'... His 'Effects' look like this..."
So, the neat little background details during battle sequences.
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "Mighty "effective" don't you think? And lastly, but not leastly, we have..."
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "He coded the "Special Effects" used in the battles, as well as the menu system's program. Go for it, Ohno!"
"I hate you all..."
Katsuhisa Higuchi: "Oh, and as for me... Well, I was responsible for the overall Battle Program. Why, I even wrote the data and functions that allow this image of me to talk to you like this! The artificial intelligence and logic of the monsters and other enemies was also written by yours truly. Thanks for listening to my long speech here. Oh, and I appreciate that you bought a copy of Chrono Cross, too! Well, until we meet again in some other game, take care and... SA~YO~NA~RA~~~!"
The battle ends...
Koji Ohno: "Boy, it sure was tough. Dealing with odd and even numbers... Huh? The flickering? Oh, it's supposed to be that way..."
Yoshiyuki Miyagawa: "I programmed the visual effects. Due to the magnificent work of the designers, the quality of was surprisingly excellent. I hope my programs will really add to the game so that you may further indulge in the world of Chrono Cross. I hope you feel your time playing this game was well spent. Please enjoy the extra features the second time around."
Tetsunobo Tsunoda: "Puuushu-mura-mura! Push! Puuuuush-Puuuuuush. See, I'm a little more pushy. No? Not at all...?"
Talking to the Fire Dragon will lead to another battle.
Toshiaki Suzuki: "It's no use! I'll never win...!"
"Uhh...I'll just leave you two alone..."
Alright, the penultimate room. This is a secondary sound and effects hang out spot.
Yoshihiro Takeshita: "Sounds like you had quite an adventure... It brings a tear to my eye... I have a small present for you... Pick one."
We can pick red or blue and it will change the lighting. Remember when colored lighting was all the rage...? Yeah...those were awful, awful gaudy times...
Takuji Anai: "I really worked my heart out, so it'd be great if you could play the game a number of times."
Yasuki Honne: "I went all out on the art. Phew... Momentum is a powerful thing. How about it, everyone? A long vacation? I guess not."
Yoshimasa Furukawa: "Burn it, freeze it, fly it."
Mizushi Sugawara: "To all you item collectors out there: Where you able to get them all? I'll be doing my best!"
The two demi-humans rocking out in the northern part of the room act as a juke box for all the music in the game. Which, is pretty spiffy. 48 tracks in all.
A weird anamoly in this room is Kid hiding in the shadows in the corner of the room. She'll periodically poke her head out and look around. You can chat with her whether or not she's visible.
"It ain't like I'm lookin' for someone to pickpocket or lookin' for loose change!"
"Geez, kiddo. Sorry about vanishing on you after your house burned down and stuff but...I mean stealing from video game developers isn't going to get you any money. You're better off mugging hobos. Cut it out."
"Tch... Fine... Here's a special treat... I'll change the characters' names for ya."
So Kid will alter any of the 44 potential characters' name (excluding Lynx. He can never get a name swap.) Which is a hair more convenient than that Nu in Belthsar's basement.
Oddly enough, if you have Serge equipped with the Spectral Swallow and check it out in the status screen...
...Kid will suddenly become visible. This too I recall lead to all kinds of retarded theories about some special rubbish. In all likelihood, the psychedelic effects on the thing probably messed with her shadow shader and caused it to bug out. But...
Music: Home Guldove
One final room left and we're done with this adventure in gabbing with the game's developers.
Takashi Kimura: "Heh. Just kidding. That's out of character."
Takato Ito: "It would make me so happy knowing that you enjoyed the game so much that you lost track of time... No, really!"
Yoshinori Ogura: "So sleepy..."
Ryo Tsurumaki: "Hello! I was in charge of creating the field map ID data and mask processing. If you ever run into problems like "It's so hard to get around on this map!" or "The character's clipping the chair!" It's my fau... cough... It's a feature! Huh? ID data? Mask processing? Ohhh... I hope to see you again, somewhere!"
"I was stuck inside that chair for like an hour! I thought I was gonna DIE!"
Masato Kato: "What kind of love and dream await you around the next corner? Have faith in tomorrow and live it your way... Good luck!"
I find it most fitting Masato Kato is represented by a space cadet rambling nonsense.
Well, that was all for the Programmer's Ending. Time to shake it on out of here...
"It's 'game over' once you leave."
"Geez...the hell is outside that door? A gas chamber?!"
"No...I meant like...the game would end..."
"Oh... Well, get your terminology strait. Sheesh! Yes, I wanna go."
"So, you've decided to shake it on outta here?"
"Please be careful! Next time we meet, the Shaker Brothers will win for sure!"
"Y-You heard the man. You better be ready! We won't lose!"
Music: Fragment of a Dream
That is one down, nine to go... Terrific...