The Let's Play Archive

Chrono Trigger

by Quovak

Part 13: Lavos Beckons

Another delay and some octagon fog telling us to stop notwithstanding, we're plowing right through to the conclusion of Mt. Woebegon days. Having recently embraced the joys of mercantilism, this is a great time to learn some techs through taking on this mountain in the only way we really know how.

Time to punch an awful lot of rocks.

Rubbles have extremely high evade stats for large barely-anthropomorphized boulders, so our characters spend most of their time ineffectively attacking the foreground as though the fight were being depicted by Tim Buckley (though in fairness he would probably be more concise; this update is just barely under the SA character limit). The main objective in these fights is to defeat one before it runs away, hoping to escape from the Frog whose 12,600 years in the future mountain-slicing reputation pre-postcedes him, and as such we want to hit them as often and as quickly as possible. The easiest way is to diversify an attacking portfolio: Crono has ** speed, Frog gets the Berserker, and Ayla gets an accuracy boosting Hit Ring.

During this time the Rubbles have only a single attack, that being staring down Crono and preventing him from swinging his arms in particular ways. How exactly does that work, I ask you, and why does a spinning attack tap into your stockhold while a stationary attack does not? Wouldn't every faction in the world want to recruit these Rubbles as to defend against various threats? How does MP even work and parallels does it have to human experiences? Maybe I should go back to playable reasonable games that explain themselves.

Your move, Square. I don't recall you ever teaching me about the mysterious nature of auditing.

Anyway, a good setup and a bit of luck few save states later and we receive a nice showering of tech points, an absolute godsend as a way of making up for whacked ground. This dungeon isn't interesting enough to continue giving screenshots to, but during our climb Ayla can charm an AlloyBlade for Crono, a sharp contrast from his earlier single-metal weapons like the Steel Sword and one which increases attacking power from 30 to 67 (!). Robo, meanwhile, gets a "Big Hand", presumably used to cheer for his favorite active party members or, in 2300, his favorite team of rats. Go Hanovers!

After a while we come across a Rubble on this offshoot, and, while the others are one-try only, this Rubble will endlessly respawn as you leave the screen. There's a save point a few seconds back and a serious need to improve ourselves, so if we take a 3% of the Heckran II fight...

We can load ourselves up with every single (and Double) (but not Triple) tech in the game. I've decided to expedite my usual commentary, and I feel a need to make up for the downer note on which this update ends (oh, um… spoilers), so here's a brief and predominately context-less overview of every single tech in the game:


Cyclone has the description "Spin-cut nearby enemies", while Spincut isn't a Spincut and instead involves jumping up in the air and slamming down while remaining firmly oriented facing one way.

Slash is described as "Slash attack" and was supposed to be Wind Slash until a character limit interfe

Lightning is helpfully described as "Lightning attack", while Lightning2 is clarified as attacking all enemies. In the DS version the latter became "Lightning II", because everything must go and Square loves change.

Life is something I don't have because I'm writing a Chrono Trigger LP with my afternoons.

Confuse confuses people about how Woolsey got a job as a professional translator, since it involves hitting an enemy four times and inflicts no status effects at all.

Luminaire inflicts "Ultimate damage on all enemies" by shining elegant light in their eyes.


Aura is a Dan Aykroyd-inspired healing tech that allows Marle to suffer migraines from listening to too much Dan Aykroyd.

Provoke makes enemies attack Marle despite the tech description saying it makes them confused. It was renamed Allure for the the DS version, and somebody on the Chrono Trigger Wiki actually wrote these words:

Chrono Trigger Fans posted:

Both Allure and provoke refer to pulling a target's attention in one direction, as opposed to others. Interestingly, Marle has several techs that start with the letter "A" as well, such as Aura and Arise. Her other single techs almost always include the letter, "I", as with Ice and Ice II. It seems more than coincidence that her techs would all start with vowels, albeit, the same vowels. The letter A symbolizes love and affection, while the letter Isymbolizes ego, both of which may allude to some aspect of her personality. Her affection nature finds evidence in her ability to learn healing techs, as well as being the voice of reason when it comes to rescuing complete strangers or doing the "right thing". For instance, she is the one to first suggest questing to defeat Lavos. Additionally, it is her that suggests the party [CENSORED FOR SPOILERS], even when there is no clear motive for doing so.

Which is just stupid; that last sentence should clearly be written "It is she".

Ice attacks enemies with Ice while Ice 2 attacks all enemies with slightly more ice. Fun Fact: While the other three elements get ultimate magic abilities (Luminaire, Flare, and Dark Matter), Ice gets shafted and caps out at Ice 2.

Cure helps preserve the lives of our party via application of salt, nitrates, and sugar, and Cure 2 fully restores an ally's HP. There's never a bad time to use this since the game doesn't include a zombie effect, dramatically dating the gameplay as not having been made in the last three years.

Haste is a concept I remain unfamiliar with and doubles the speed at which an ATB gauge refills.

Life 2 revives allies and also restores their HP to full, and is something Marle learns despite never learning Life 1. We'll see that type of progression quite a lot.


Flame Toss is somehow non-magical (its original name is "Flamethrower" and it's acquired before Spekkio's help) yet involves the expenditure of MP. At least it was properly debited to her account.

Hypno Wave puts enemies to sleep by making them read a long list of tech descriptors in Chrono Trigger.

Fire and Fire 2 do some things involving fire. I'm engaged!

Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with petroleum or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon, and involves dousing the opponent in orange juice and unleaded gasoline.

Protect increases a characters physical defense. I've played this game dozens of times, including at Level 1, and I don't think I have ever used this tech.

Mega Bomb is apparently 1 million bombs and essentially the same thing as Napalm.

Flare allows Lucca to attract faraway attention if stranded in the wilderness by making red circles. Hooray.


RocketPunch punches enemies without the aid of rocketry.

Cure Beam heals allies and Heal Beam is more powerful despite Heal being less powerful than Cure.

Laser Spin is described as "Laser Spin". Not "Use Laser Spin" or "Robo's Laser Spin", just "Laser Spin." I want to take the time to thank Square's developers for including this highly useful text.

Robo Tackle is used to fish for robots, theorized by Asimov as keeping afloat the economy of someday Oregon.

Uzzi Punch "Hit(s) enemy w/ Multi-Punch", Shock "Damages all enemies w/ Max Shock", and Area Bomb is used to, according to the description, "Damage enemy w/ Meltbeam".

Moving on.


Slurp is a healing tech while Slurp Cut takes the healing tendencies and substitutes them with death. A hookshot or a panacea; it's honestly a pretty tough call.

Water and Water 2 do some different things involving not-quite Fire. In practice Water and Ice are identical, but I appreciate the attempt at diversity and the difficulty of implementing Aether.

Heal restores some more HP and makes the progression of Frog's healing spells go Slurp -> Heal -> Cure 2

Leap Slash is the exact same move as Crono's Spincut but with a less entirely misleading name.

Frog Squash is the singular example of a tech description saying something useful, and sees Frog summon a psychedelic non-anthropomorphic frog to squash overlay a 2D image on enemies, with the attack doing more damage the lower Frog's health (I believe this is measured as a percentage of his max, not just a number). This attack is very, very good.


Kiss helps Crono's owies to make them feel better while also curing statuses, like poison and confuse.

Rollo Kick involves taping caramel candies to her feet and making fiends regret their pancreatic failings.

Cat Attack is "A savage cat attack" that regrettably does not involve throwing cats.

Rock Throw "Stone(s) an enemy" without throwing rocks.

Charm is charming and by far the greatest tech I've said so far.

Tail Spin, according to TV Tropes, is a shining example of the "Diesel Punk" and "Barefoot Cartoon Animal" archetypes.

Dino Tail is the same attack as Frog Squash, but infinitely better 'cause of dinosaurs. Her next tech will have the dinosaurs get lasers and attack with laser eyes all like "Pew Pew Pew" and seriously mom I'm telling you come look.

Triple Kick kicks an enemy three times.

Dual Techs:


Aura Whirl makes Crono throw a multicolored prayer around the room in a series of concentric rings, similar to my recent experience at a methodist dance club after ingesting several grams of MDMA.

Ice Sword and its sequel would be rather hard to hold and probably quite fragile, though they probably sell at least some at a hotel in Quebec.


Fire Whirl is a "Flame Whirl attack".

Fire Sword was okay, but I thought Fire Sword 2: The Re-Firing made better use of the practical effects.


Rocket Roll's "Rocket Roll multi-attack" was a short-lived 80s television show about rollerblading hard rock space gangsters who encourage children never to use drugs.

Max Cyclone sounds like some sort of organization in another 1980s cartoon or the hero of some Duke Nukem style video game. "Gear up, kids. We need to stop Max Cyclone from destroying our fast food!"

Super Volt is far better than all those mediocre potential differences and continues the sense of having walked into a terrible comic book store.


X Strike is a strike that forms the Greek letter Chi, showing support for Frog's favorite Greek Organization.

SwordStream's newest album "Facing black dystopia" is a far stronger effort than their somewhat mediocre last effort, "Attack enemy with SwordStream"

Spire involves Frog implanting his sword in an enemy and using it as a lightning rod for Crono to cast some magic, making Frog's choice of very thick leather gloves understandable as more than just looks.


Drill Kick is a kick that is unfortunately not a drill.

Volt Bite involves Crono electrocuting Ayla so that she can attack enemies while electrified. Despite being directly attacked by her supposed partner, Ayla somehow isn't the least bit shocked. How ionic.

Falcon Hit is described as "Crono's Falcon Hit" in a depressing example of the patriarchy once again ascribing rightful ownership to men. Ayla throws Crono off the top of the screen where he appears coming from one side and swooping to the other, thankful for his world having the topology of a bow.


Aura Beam is an aura and a beam.

Ice Tackle "Attacks enemy w/ Glacier" and is incredibly effective over periods of several years.

Cure Touch somehow combines a beam with a long-distance spell to make… not that. It's actually Marle summoning fairy dust and Robo sending out a blue circle. Who knows?


Ice Water is a very underwhelmingly-named tech that involves sending a block of ice above an enemy in a bubble and then letting it drop, because bubbles operate entirely in that fashion entirely.

Glacier is a "massive ice attack" that is different from the Ice Tackle that "attacks enemies w/ Glacier". Translations!

Double Cure is literally just both characters using Cure 2. Tetra Cure would have sounded too extreme.


Twin Charm has Marle using Provoke, which distracts the enemy away from everyone else, to make it easier for Ayla to distract the enemy towards herself (?).

Ice Toss and Cube Toss are the same thing, with Cube Toss tossing a very distorted diamond that is in no way, shape, simulacra, or form a cube.


Fire Punch is punch that's been spiked with methanol and involves Robo throwing his fist, whereupon his fist explodes.

Fire Tackle is a controversial football strategy involving kerosene that probably also explodes.

Double Bomb is Robo's Double Bomb because the last few lines have failed to let women hold property (I'm serious; Frog, Crono, and Robo are the only ones who get possessive techs). Bizarrely, in game it's actually called "DoublevBomb", and it involves Lucca throwing a bomb at Robo where he puts it in his stomach and makes it double-explode.



Red Pin slightly undersells the effect of having Frog leap slash you while his sword has been set on fire. One Red Pin can be traded up for Guardia Castle or stabbed into a rock monster to cause excruciating searing pain - your call.

Line Bomb bombs enemies on a line. Lucca throws a bunch of bombs in the air while Frog flies through them in the exact same way that Crono does in Falcon Hit, though Crono has the better sense and doesn't stab five bombs.

Frog Flare deals "Ult. 2x damage / multiple" and is the exact same thing as Frog Squash except that the frog is red.


Flame Kick and Blaze Kick are basically identical except for the latter employing an anthropomorphic (non-attacking) cat.

Fire Whirl is already a tech Crono and Lucca were using from day one, because coming up with synonyms for fire is really hard (though, in fairness, Holocaust Whirl or Rapid Oxidation Spin would have been worse)


Blade Toss somehow incorporates Robo's Laser Spin by making Robo launch Frog off of his chest via laser (insert joke about Golden Sun).

Bubble Snap involves Robo getting into a bubble and suddenly being helium, floating above an enemy and then falling on top of them after moving past the idea of being helium. Despite having done nothing in this process besides "occasionally have mass", this move is "Robo's Bubble Snap" and costs him twice as much MP as it costs Frog.

Cure Wave is just a blue circle and the characters restoring health.


Boogie is the most absurd tech in the game, as Robo becomes a flying disco ball while Ayla practices ballet and the resulting visual onslaught causes enemies to be unable to attack for a brief amount of time. Like other status-afflicting techs, I've basically never used this once at all.

Spin Kick is Robo throwing Ayla while Beast Toss features Ayla and Robo throwing an enemy back and forth. The latter takes three times as much MP from Robo as from Ayla even though she delivers the coup de grace.


Slurp Kiss is a description from the least erotic romance novel ever.

Bubble Hit is the exact same move as Bubble Snap only not possessive this time.

Drop Kick is described as "Inferno Toss" and has nothing to do with flames, instead being a physical attack done with the help of a water user. Last but not least, we have the best assortment of techs and descriptions in the game:


And with that we're done. Remember when I apologized for my second update running long? Man, those were the long, long, long passed days.

Incidentally, you didn't get a soundtrack for that list because there's no background music here. Between the strangely music-less mountain, the omnipresent fog, the perpetual reminders of Crono's childhood trauma of once reading too many lists, and the depressing, barren, and melancholy atmosphere, we're basically inside whatever that game was called with the horror elements. I don't know, I'm sure I'll remember it soon.

The evil residents of this area give up a Pearl Edge, and by this point it's clear that the practicality of a given weapon has become a point against it. I'm waiting for us to find a sword made from the enamel of Faberge Eggs, the handle having been painted by Jackson Pollock onto a base of Agar and Brazilian Rosewood, wrapped in Wagyu leather for grip, Black Opal-tipped and Red Beryl-plated, gilded with the first gold discovered by the voyages of Cortéz and "sheathed" by handing it to a tuxedo-wearing Nery Castillo, the most expensive Ukrainian football transfer of all time according to this valuable source, wearing a suit of caviar and sipping Romanée Conti.

Then another foggily-remembered dark ascent later we'll get a slightly stronger sword where the handle's a Monet.

That's right, the game was Clock Tower.

It saddens me that Square only started selling replicas of things like Squall's jacket after this game had come and gone. I want a Time Hat with a portable cuckoo clock in it that loudly announces the time four times an hour and prevents me from going into establishments ever again.

Here we will find the Guru of Life!
This big cage?
What's happening?!

Robo's question relates to the cage of crystal suddenly disappearing from view, which is done solely to make the following boss fight uncluttered and then never adressed from then on. Here's A Boss!

Melchior has been imprisoned in Schrödinger's crystal on the edge of a crater and guarded by 1 billion Earths (Hey, it's like a Treasure game!) at the top of a frigid mountain only maneuverable by crawling on rusted chains which are further guarded by monsters and isolated beyond a cave also crawling with monsters in a barely inhabited wasteland with the entryway to civilization locked behind him and a minimal amount of fabric to stay warm. The strange hourglass-figured four-finger gremlin demon robot (?????) is absolutely brutal if you don't know what you're doing, but this fight largely serves as a checkpoint to make sure you've sought out things you'll need. In particular...

Red Vests and Mails rather trivialize this whole affair.

Because the hands offer no defense (either through stat increases or counter-attacking), it's much easier to just go crazy attacking the head until the whole assortment dies, taking one turn to charm a speed tab from the head. While we save Melchior through doing this, it does come with the downside of setting storage technology for Earths back by a few millennia. Even 16,000 years in the future, this is what it takes to store a bit:

Originally, the earlier references to Melchior were more oblique, making this the first confirmation that he and the Guru of Life were one and the same. In Woolsey's universe, however, Robo was simply the only party member to miss the heads-up, and his attempts to get the four to join into a congratulatory rendition of The Village People's seminal "YMCA" are regrettably unsuccessful as a result.

Indeed, I am Melchior. Have we...met before? More importantly, can you tell me anything about the Ocean Palace? I see...the Queen has degenerated to that degree... The more energy the Mammon Machine absorbs, the further the Queen degenerates. Her spirit has been stolen by the infamous immortal, Lavos.

You do know that Schala's been using the machine just as much as she has and that Lavos is a power source and more-or-less mindless space hedgehog, right?
I'm sorry, who's the Guru of Life here? Now, carrying on,

We must flee! The seal has been broken! The mountain will collapse!

"Break the Seal" was last update. This one is "The Guru on Mt. Woe" and "Lavos Beckons"; get with the times.
I don't like you.

Alas, our remarkable strategy of anti-chaining the peak to the Earth like underachieving undiscoverers failed to stop the crumbling of Woe Mt. (or was it the Mountain of Woe?). Instead, the chain links all simultaneously sever and the mountain crashes downward, which thankfully causes remarkably few problems for all concerned. I suppose it's a more interesting sawtooth than just having an offscreen rockslide and being unable to go back.

If the Mammon Machine is brought closer to him, he may awaken! We must hurry before it's too late!

How do you know this?

In case you can't tell, I tend to dislike sages/prophecies/etc as a storytelling device, because it always sounds as if they're making things up and it's very rare that the balance of intriguing, accurate, and useful is actually achieved. I don't care anymore, however, because we get to listen to the best track in the game again! This is the only other time it's going to appear.

VVV It's probably less imperative to listen to this now but it's still worth listening to because it's great VVV

Elder! Schala is here!

While I'm getting talking points out of the way, let me just say that the visual direction here is superb. There's a clear parallel between the Earthbound ones and the same-sprited people of the future, with the Earthbound Ones having brown and grey color palettes similar to Robo's faded beige and living in intentionally bleak caves. Their world is completely natural while Zeal is completely artificial and (intentionally) overdesigned, while Schala/Janus have an unnatural blue and purple to them that makes them stand out and immediately draws your attention. Additionally, the Earthbound Ones are haggard and world-weary while the Zealots are paragons of youth. The fantastic music comes in only after a whole dungeon of nothing but ambience, lending weight to the first time we've actually seen the two sides interact, and the tone of the music couldn't be less appropriate for the emptiness and despair we're made to see. There's an incredible incongruity to this scene that summarizes the era in an instant and it's one of the most memorable scenes on the cartridge, despite just being a couple of characters relaying exposition to each other in a cave. I love Chrono Trigger. This game is very, very good.

Stop degrading yourselves! We Enlightened Ones were once the same as you. The only difference is that we are under Lavos's control... Melchior... After the Mountain of Woe fell, I thought I would find you here!

Well, here or dead. It was a bit of a tossup in retrospect.

I've kept the Skyway open. Hurry! You must mother!

Tisk, tisk my dear. Your presence is required elsewhere!
Dalton! Leave her alone!
Ah! The geezer speaks! Silence, old man! You'll come to the Ocean Palace with me. Do anything funny, and Schala's dust. Got it?
The Queen's children all seem to have a problem with authority, don't they?

Shall we get going, Schala, dear? Your mother awaits!

In my Golden Sun thread I criticized Lemuria as an almost paint-by-numbers approach to this era, and now I feel is a good time to draw another comparison. In Golden Sun 1, our characters risked their lives for Sheba despite knowing nothing about her, while in CT we risk our lives for Schala despite knowing nothing about her… and having seen her plight, watched her save our lives, and heard her cries for help. Other things about this scene I love include the parallel between Marle and Schala (defying their obsessive parents and going to a darker world, trying to run away from a role they detest having to fill), the aforementioned visual balance that's only added to by having Dalton contrast with Janus and Schala as well, the masterful way we grow to hate Dalton by hearing him cut off Schala's theme, that we're told just enough to follow what's going on while being perpetually taunted with information Square knows we want (especially through Queen Zeal, who's masterfully built up through description and a single tantalizing glance)...

I haven't had too many punchlines for a while and I'm going to have even fewer as this update goes on. Do you think I need more? I've already written enough of those; here's another picture of a fish.

I'm all right. But we must save Schala, or else...
Impossible! Even though it's coming from YOU, Melchior...
If the Queen is allowed to fulfill her scheme, all life as we know it, is doomed! You're willing to challenge the Queen?

Actually we never said-
I'm so grateful!

You've done so much for us... ...and I don't even know your names!
You've already helped us. Let us return the favor.
What ARE you talking about?
Crono! We go now.
Wait, take this with you.

You were also allowed to carry a weapon with you when you were imprisoned?
Of course. Why wouldn't I be?
I don't know, I just always thought it odd that I was given my weapons when I was in jail.
Oh come now, Dalton and the Queen may be terrible power-hungry tyrants, but you wouldn't expect them to be unsporting.
Is that why you're still standing here even though Dalton was threatening to murder Schala if you didn't follow them to the Palace?
This hostage concept is really hard for some people, okay?

The Queen of Zeal threatens the world by awakening a power far beyond anyone's control. Schala and Janus have been kidnapped and are being forced to lay waste to the civilization which, flawed as it is, has sheltered them from the unrelenting cruelty of the world below. We have a brief window of time in which to repay the debt we owe to Schala, potentially stopping a destructive act we know can only end in ruin. If we fail, this era, its future, and all of humanity may well be lost to the folds of time. If we succeed, we can save a civilization and have a direct path to stopping Lavos once and for all. While we could run, such an action would undo all that we've fought so hard to attain. Clearly, there is only one things left for us to do.

Let's read some books. I always did like the Zeal pop-ups better than the ones at home.

Opening these books in the proper order triggers a secret passageway home to a Nu, again demonstrating their love of redundant commas, Taxi Driver mohawks, and fights. The apparently single-celled organism shows off some stylish mitosis and challenges us to a show-off that I intentionally avoided two updates ago, since powerful techs are vital to being able to survive. In addition to the element of narcolepsy, the Nu have two attacks each: one which reduces a character's HP to 1 and one which deals 1 HP.

Thankfully, our giant magical ice age sky dinosaur is more than willing to clip through the ceiling and offer his aid.

With aggressive multi-target tech use (particularly Frog and Ayla's low HP attacks, careful reviving, and a bit of luck patience, we can be rewarded with a Magic and Speed Tab. That's only half the reason we came here, however; the other half is that charming a Nu gets you this:

Unfortunately, this was one of the defective mops recalled from stores for being unreasonably sharp and even less reasonably not an actual mop. Stabbing the floors into submission proved an unpopular means of removing tomato sauce off them and they were thought largely to blame for the subsequent rise in domestic attacks.

Like most people who would singlehandedly start a Fight Club, the Nu has basically just been reading about how important he is. Despite that, this is actually far from unreasonable; Nu appear in every time period except 1000 AD and are basically identical throughout. A theory goes that Balthazar invented all the Nu and they were scattered to the different eras by [spoilery event here], but I prefer just rolling with them as deliberately unexplained. By the way, if you ever thought I typed too much about this game, this is a link you should click. If ever there were a cautionary tale about getting a Philosophy degree...

Book: Its power, which was beyond human comprehension, cultivated dreams... In turn, love and hate were born... Only time will see how it all ends.

Doing the same in the other flying village gets us a Black Rock and some text files. There's something not quite right about this description, but I'm going to hold off on explaining what that is until a major revelation later on (by which I mean literally the sentence before you fight the final boss. The pacing of that is also something I'll discuss).

Ha! There you are... I let the Prophet go, knowing he'd mess up sooner or later. But I've no use for you anymore. You're history!

This line seems predictably inconsistent with his guard duty, but Dalton is trying to set himself up for a power grab, and he's already getting a taste of the grand tradition of JRPG rulers doing nothing but sitting in ornate chairs and looking too important to disturb. Appalled at our entry past a Skyway he didn't bother to resecure, Dalton jumps down and kicks off another fight. It isn't going to be extremely hard.

Our 1.024×10^29 Dalton opponent spends the fight enforcing the idea that he's dangerous but not the most competent. His only attack is an Iron Orb which halves one's existing HP, meaning that it's impossible to die besides via the unorthodox strategy of tickling each other with a mop, and his high evade stat means that the battle can drag on a bit if you aren't using techs, but why would you not want to use techs, especially when we have a triple tech that dropkicks Richard Jordan Gatlings at the opponent? Dalton represents a different zeitgeist, and our time specter ultimately wins. Some fantabulous and no doubt endlessly amusing "punchlines" later...

An ending belch causes absurdly minor damage, which can trip you up if you were playing too carelessly. The end.

N...nooooo! I'm going to be immortal! I CAN'T be beaten now!

The disapproval of those viking skeletons on the wall notwithstanding, we decide to follow Dalton into the Ocean Palace. I highly recommend playing that Tindeck link up there. Go do that.

Schala! You dare to disobey me?!
All right, mother...
Oh...what bright splendor! The incredible power of Lavos!!!

Queen Zeal, despite having a great deal of actual power, takes her ceremonial duties just as seriously. Known for previous dramatic ribbon-cutting ceremonies, such as ringing in the construction of town hall by demanding every door be opened at once and the library by mandating that staff check out all of the books, at least we can say that Zeal is more proactive than Babi and about as sympathetic a character in her game.

Incidentally, despite having bested two bosses in a row, it's worth remembering that this is still a climactic dungeon and our characters are still at Level 1, and some last minute equipment upgrades do little to make up the difference. The Kaiser Arm, sadly, is scarcely better than the Friedrich Ebert Elbow or Karl Dönitz Leg, and Sonic Arrow hasn't been particularly good since '94.

This rather devious perspective puzzle far away from anywhere you'd need to actually be leads to an excessively-hidden Demon Hit, a weapon doubly effective against Magnesium-based enemies and thus presumably effective via blinding, murderous sparks. I'd make another joke about this being similar to a game made by Camelot, but I figure if I just describe that joke as part of what appears to be an off-the-cuff aside than it will seem more meta and people will appreciate me more. Then I'll describe
that joke ad infinitum until this thread becomes wrapped up in what is no doubt a cleverness singularity, or I'll get bored midway through an increasingly ramble description and get distracted as

We embody Melchior's dreams, sealed, within the knife...Now hurry, if you plan to confront the Queen. We're counting on you!

D...dark...force...wild energy...! Aughhh!
Th, the Mammon Machine! Your majesty, it's too dangerous!
Don't stop Schala! We're almost there... Immortality will be ours! Zeal will have the glory it deserves!

The elevator past the stairs past the elevator past the cave terrace elevators past the skyways is, like this dungeon in general, essentially an enemy gauntlet. The Bhargest/Jinn combo is a simple shield/shielded setup while the synchronized dancer Scouts can use Delta Attacks if you don't take out one color before moving on (yes, of course the colors correspond to elemental affinities; did you have to ask?), but the bigger concern is how the holes in this elevator flagrantly disregard basic safety in the hopes of saving a couple Gymnasiums on metal.

Next up on our tour of the always restrained Ocean Palace, the corridors of this building are decorated with some boiling but tasteful lava canals. Monuments to man's hubris always need lava; otherwise how do we know that people are playing with forces beyond their control? Ever been to the Burj Khalifa? Same story: flooded with lava. Ironically, it's the same with Ski Dubai.

(Also, slave labor; I'm more impressed with the Earthbound ones who built this to Zeal's specifications than I am with the Zealots who said "Now put the exact same statues over there.")


But this is the end! THEY will take care of you! Come, GolemTwins!

These wrist-joined Siamese GolemTwins are one of my favorite bosses, because fighting them normally, even at very high levels, will kill you in a couple of turns. This boss is designed around being exploiting and demanding that you exploit it, with clear as day telegraphing and a perfectly controllable pattern giving you just enough to figure the system out.

Like Magus, the Twins change elemental alignment upon being attacked, though they lack elemental resistances. If attacked by fire, they'll use fire attacks, if attacked by physicals, they'll use non-elemental attacks, etc, and they have a general-purpose move (the 55.8 Dalton Iron Orb) that reduces your current HP total by 50%. There are a number of strategies to be used here, but two elements almost invariably come into play: Timing attacks so that you can switch them to an element before they get a chance to respond, and using the Vests and Mails we got a few weeks ago. In this case, Crono and Ayla use Falcon Hit while Lucca sets up a generic Fire attack such that it's triggered the second Falcon Hit is done. The Golems get to attack using fire moves which heal or are nullified by Red [Clothing] as we also generate funds and goodwill for AIDS reduction, charm magic tabs, and experience the magic of pressing A.

W, what's this strange force? Could this be...Lavos's energy?! I've got a bad feeling about this... All my work will be in vain if I expire before I'm immortal! This is your lucky day! Bye-bye!

It's a bit late for that, Frog. They've been meddling with it for a solid few years now.
True, I probably could have picked a better choice of words.

What are you doing Schala?! I need your help here!
Crono, use the old man's knife to stop the Machine!

Ready, big brother!

T, 'tis... ...the Masamune?!

Th, the Mammon Machine!?
It's coming...!
N, no stop! That sword alone can't stop it!

Our non-cat power not having been enough, it's time to fight the final boss of the game. The Mammon Machine's secondary power to make the floor display stylistic patterns with unfortunate JPEG compression will provide a nice backing point, and while we remain at Level 1 we're surely powerful enough to-

Well, okay, he starts off fairly strong, but-



I swore long ago... that I'd destroy you! No matter what the price! It is time to fulfill that vow. Feel my wrath, Lavos!!

Unfortunately for Magus, his dramatic reveal allows the Queen to discover his violation of the Bald Prophet Acts of 12,496 BC, and thus, despite all of his prophecies having come true, he is exposed as a false prophet for committing the crime of actually having some hair. Sometimes I feel like Zeal's punishment methods are a little unfair.

Mother, please stop! This power can only end in ruin!
Get away from there, Schala! The almighty life force of Lavos lives in all of us... You are a part of it! You cannot change fate now! Oppose me and I will destroy you also!

I'm not exactly sure that's-

Unghh... I won' beaten! I survived the darkness to defeat you, Lavos! Take this, Lavos! Aaugh!!

Foolish one! Your measly power can't touch Lavos! This is from me to you! You shall enjoy eternal life... part of Lavos! Uwa, ha, ha, ha...!

Stand up, Crono! Ayla no like lose!
Aack...! Halt... Magus!
Errgh...! Ayla no lose! Start fight now!
Please escape... Crono! Humans can't hope to defeat it.
So! You are Crono. Why don't you do as Schala says, and run away, yelping in terror? Isn't your life precious to you? Mwa, ha, ha!
Schala... Are you all right?

And then, in the best part of the best part of the best part of the game, Crono takes matters into his own hands, as Lavos' Theme becomes an anthem of his struggle and resolve. Inspired by the knightly encouragement of Frog, empowered by Ayla's successful vendetta against proper grammatical tense, owing a debt to the enigmatic but endlessly captivating Schala, ready to stand for both his friends and former enemy, and fully prepared to face an all-powerful horror and, just as powerful, the cruelty, obsession, and delusions of man, Crono steps forward and reaches a hand to his mop.

You challenge Lavos with that battered body of yours? Mwa, ha, ha... See the power of Lavos and feel his wrath!

We must plan our escape! The Palace crumbles!
This bottom of ocean! What can do?

(This song is called Manoria Cathedral because it played there for 5/8th of a second, but this is its real time to shine.)

The last of my pendant's power will send you to safety. I know you can't forgive her but ...please don't hate mother, or our kingdom.
I'm so sorry! Now, off you go!
...... Crono......

Finally, Schala teleports us away, using a power that probably shouldn't be limited given that it can be recharged via the machine located fewer than ten feet away. Then everything begins to get worse.

Sorry Crono, looks like you got wh-

You know what, no. Saying that just feels like rubbing salt in the wound.