Part 71: Update Sixty Seven: Dimensional Vortex: 12,000 BC StyleUpdate Sixty Seven: Dimensional Vortex: 12,000 BC Style
Howdy, folks, and welcome back! Last time, we finished off the Lost Sanctum, which was great; we got some nice stuff near the end, and that's all I'm saying about that. Today, we're starting the other bit of bonus content, the various Dimensional Vortex dungeons that were added, so let's bounce.
Marle and Janus are coming along with Chrono to do this dungeon.
Marle is here for reasons, while I like having Janus around. Plus, he gets a nice bit of equipment here, so may as well bring him along, right?
I'm not sure if Janus has some sort of Spider-Sense telling him that or what.
Though, I'd like to see a Marvel What If? title where various heroes are replaced with Chrono Trigger characters.
Lucca could be Doctor Strange, Marle is Shadowcat, Robo could be The Thing, Ayla is Wolverine, Frog is Blade, and Chrono gets to be the Silver Samurai.
Janus gets to be Doctor Doom, of course.
So, for the next little bit, each screen transition comes with a darkening of the screen and some shaking, like time is freaking the hell out.
Before we get to the dungeon proper, we'll be going through some old-school areas. The music playing is whatever came with the area in question.
For this starting area, we're going through some Prehistory stuff, but with Pink and Slate Imps around.
They are dealt with accordingly.
These older areas are short, just little bites of the area.
Back here in the Cathedral, we've got to solve the puzzle again to get through to the next area.
Which, if you forgot, is to hit the skull switch on the left side, lower the spikes, and play the organ in here to make the door appear.
At least we're still in the same time period.
Janus, how you feelin' about us going through that bit of area?
Also, his Keep now connects to Mt. Woe. Sure, that works.
The enemies are all the same as they were the first time through, by the way. Those guys in the Cathedral had no idea what to do with a Dark Matter.
And if you remember how to dip and dodge the encounters before, you can do it again here.
Which I'm good with; the less than eighty experience I'd get from killing all the enemies here isn't worth it.
To add some impact to that statement, Chrono is about level 70. You can beat the game thirty levels lower than that without much issue, and if you're insane, you can beat the game with Chrono sixty-nine levels lower than that.
After a few old areas, we come to this nameless cave.
That portal will take us out of the Vortex, but not much reason to leave, since we haven't done anything here.
While there's a save point over here yonder.
Directly north of where we came in is the portal to keep going.
Which brings us to this new dungeon for the Vortex.
There are new enemies here, but not these guys.
But we'll move along. Now that I think of it, some of the enemies here and in the Lost Sanctum are shared, so we won't be meeting completely new foes.
This dungeon is similar to Death Peak, what with icy paths and climbing and being all frozen and shit.
There are also these cave openings, but we can't enter them. We'll see their use later.
There's also a fair bit of treasure scattered around here. I didn't get it all, but I think I got the two most important ones.
And if I didn't, well, someone will let me know, you'll all point and laugh, and we'll move on.
Up top here, we have some new monsters. New in that I'm showing them to you for the first time; I fought these fellows in the Lost Sanctum.
They have 1040 HP, absorb Shadow, and will get fucked up by most manners of attack. They have attacks other than Grudge, but...
That slope might look like a trap for an idiot, but it's actually the way forward.
I like the detail that Janus doesn't fall and freak out; he's very chill about everything.
See? He doesn't look scared or anything. Just more annoyed that this is what they have to do.
This part can catch you off guard if you don't know the gimmick here.
Despite looking like flat land, this is actually an icy slope that you'll zoom down like a cat on crack if you try and run forward. The trick here is to run up, keeping you in place, while moving left or right to keep yourself on a straight line to get to these safe areas.
However, if you don't land on the right spot, you'll be sent back down the mountain.
Annoying, yes, but nothing too imposing. We're back to the slippery slope and going to the left now.
Where we find this motherfucker.
What you're not seeing there is the +20 boost to Magic Defense, as well as the Auto-Barrier, in addition to it being Janus' strongest armor. I think it also makes cappuccino.
This place feels like a Chrono Trigger dungeon. I can't quite explain it, not properly at least, but this has the right feeling with it when you're playing.
Up the top of that ladder is this icy path, which you probably don't want to take.
As it deposits you right back here.
There's some trial and error here, but the path you need to take to get through is at the beginning and easy to get to. The others (and there's a fair few of them) all lead to various bits of treasure and fighting.
This cave is on the right side of that slippery slope area.
Which leads us to a Looney Toons style trap, where we play Wile E. Coyote and immediately run through the hole. Whether or not a train tunnel was painted here to fool us is up to debate.
For these guys, the Soul Stalkers, the little tentacled fellows, blast 'em with magic, as long as it's not Shadow. Physicals are effective, too, since they only have 900 HP.
However, the Chaos Mage has 1400 HP, absorbs Shadow, and doesn't take shit from magic (as pictured). But physicals do just fine at breaking their spines.
This is a copy/paste job of that cave from the Lost Sanctum that lead to the castle where the monsters wanted to eat the Reptites, and the treasures are all in the same spot.
Including a couple of nice consumables.
And a new weapon for Marle. I've been looking forward to getting this bastard the entire game.
If you don't know the trick with it, you'll see it in a second.
Just gotta find the right target to show it off with.
And this Chaos Mage volunteered. Thank you, sir.
777 might not seem like a lot, but remember two things; this is Marle, for one, and two, this damage is consistent. When using the Venus Bow, when Marle physically attacks, if she hits the target, it deals a guaranteed 777 damage. Sure, Chrono, Frog, Robo or Ayla can outdo that physically, but this is friggin' Marle. 777 isn't exactly a low number, and knowing it'll always do that is nice.
Basically, Marle will never change her weapon again.
The Dimensional Vortices aren't very long dungeons. We're coming up on the end of this one, actually.
With an area that...I'll just say it; it's boring to look at.
It's a wide open snowfield with these barriers here and there.
And Heckran's uncle wandering around.
With 4,000 HP and a Water absorption, as well as higher than normal defenses, these guys can be tough.
And with every attack you hit them with, their Attack goes up. However, they only have one physical attack and two magic attacks, so that's not quite as scary as it could be.
Oh, fuck it, here it is.
This is the only attack of his I saw this run. He also has Water II and a physical smack.
I'd like to be saying something interesting here, but I don't know how many of you actually read this commentary.
To the right there is where we'll enter the next bit of this area. This part isn't too long, but the barriers can make it a pain to get around.
I suppose the lower screen's map would come in handy there, now that I think about it.
Okay, so I brought Janus around just because I felt like nuking everything. Can you really judge me for that?
And Chrono can get in on the fun, too.
Anywho, that was our final challenge before the boss.
Stepping into that portal brings us to this cave area, oddly reminiscent of Lavos' innards.
The save point is to let you know shit is about to get serious.
And you can scoot on out of here if you want to void all the progress you just made.
Moving deep enough in, Marle pipes up here; if she's not in your party, she'll join up for this next part.
For the dungeon itself, she isn't mandatory, but she is for the boss fight.
Which takes place in Guardia Castle, on the top floor.
And in Marle's room, we find a second Marle.
Which freaks Janus the fuck out, for whatever reason.
This isn't the perky and friendly Marle that we know, though. She wants to fight.
To start things off, she shoots Chrono in the face. It does a fair bit of damage, too.
Being a copy of Marle, she doesn't give a shit about Water element. In fact, she absorbs it.
She also has high defenses and a couple of powerful attacks.
She's also weak to Fire and Shadow, which is another reason I brought Janus. I thought he'd have an easier time blowing her face off than Lucca would have, since it's Janus; he doesn't give a shit.
All in all, this isn't too tough of a fight; the Alabaster Shade has 16,000 HP, though, so that takes a minute to whittle down.
She also has her own Ice II ripoff, as well as her own healing spell. She doesn't use the healing spell in this fight, but it is there. This attack will blast off over 100 HP per character, even though all three have max Magic Defense; it does over 100 to Janus, too, despite his Barrier. She can also use her two attacks as counters to regular attacks.
And her physical strike can do a lot of damage. Then again, were I shot in the face with a crossbow, I can't say I'd take it very well.
However, this fight doesn't last very long. I pound her with my strongest attacks and Marle makes use of the Venus Bow most of her turns (I use Aura Whirl one turn to keep HP high).
And it pays off when she lands the final blow on her doppelganger.
After the fight, the Alabaster Shade approaches Marle.
And fuses with her, raising a few of her stats. I'm not sure what the boosts are, but her Speed is now maxed (it was at 14 before that fight), while her Accuracy is 31 (28 before) and her Stamina is 54 (48 before), but she did gain a level in that dungeon and I boosted her Speed to 14 with some Capsules.
But we fade to black...
...And we're done in there. One down, two to go.
Next time, we'll be visiting the Vortex in 1,000 AD, so stay tuned!
Oh, what the hell. BOLD a vote for who my party is; Chrono is required for the boss, and so I'm making him a required party member. You have until Friday, 7:00 PM, EST to get your votes in. The two characters with the highest votes will join Chrono!