The Let's Play Archive

Chrono Trigger

by Quovak

Part 22: Bonus Update, Part 2: Chrono Trigger DS

Chrono Trigger DS makes an effort to polish what was new for the Playstation port and present Chrono Trigger in its definitive form, and by and large it rather impressively succeeds. The anime cutscenes are now optional, and the setting can be switched any time (though it still shows them side by side with the in-engine version, and I still think it should be either-or). The game lets you decide how closely to want it to mimic the feel of the SNES and, while I have my own bias about the translation, I'll fully admit that the new version offers clarity the original lacked. My only real complaint is we aren't given a choice as to which translation we use; were that the case, this would easily become my go-to version of the game.

Little things, like the character naming screens, are given nice facelifts, with a new option for accented letters and the character limit increased from five to six. Crono, while a fine name, was clearly not what he's meant to be called, but thankfully the DS allows us to update this and give him the name he deserves:

There we go.

Unfortunately, we dive right into the matter of the translation, since the first line sees an iconic introduction (used in its original form to advertise this port, in fact) made clunky. The obvious defense is that this was not a fixing up of Woolsey's translation but an independent one from the ground up, but Woolsey's was clearly deferred to at times (most notably, Ozzie and the others are still rock stars, not condiments) and the idea of translating as though in a cultural vacuum strikes me as fully bizarre. This isn't meant as a polemic, just my opinion, but it is unequivocally right.

That said, they still kept some Woolsey-esque dialogue even when cutting out Woolsey, and 600 AD is honestly better as a result. "Show us your stamp collection" becomes "You're not fit to lift a sword", but they kept the "Eyes cream" line and made the chef "Master of Kitchens". The chancellor gets stuffed in a "bag of coin" and talks about a "stricter" justice system, not just making one at at all, and in general the lines are both clearer and more interesting than they were when they were written in a month. Sadly, of course…

Frog is ruined. The line was originally "My guise doth not incur thy trust", and it's here that my main issue with the translation comes to light.

As I've said repeatedly, the DS translation is "better" by almost any standard you could apply; descriptions are clearer, tone is more consistent, conversations fit together better, and it's closer to the Japanese by far. The original translation needed fixing; too many things didn't work and actively dragged the game down. One thing that did work, however, unequivocally, was that Woolsey's translation was memorable and made things feel larger than life.

The DS script neuters these characters. Frog's buffoonery is almost nonexistent, which makes his few outbursts seem out of place, and instead he's flattened to a much more traditional chivalric hero we've seen many times before. Marle and Ayla are toned down considerably, and Magus becomes almost comical due to trying to make his lines sound dark and mysterious but also crystal clear.

Does this ruin this version? No. The script is fantastic and the characters so well rounded and incredible that a bit of flattening doesn't hugely hurt. As I said, this is my opinion; I don't want to imply that this translation failed or shouldn't have been done. I think Woolsey's style perfectly matched a world where human-proportioned soldiers can stand right next to a bug-eyed cartoon chancellor and where the philosophers of an enlightened magic kingdom can help you to fight with a mop. When the script is sanitized, I personally think that the game loses some (again, I'm not trying to overstate this, that some is like .005%) of its appeal, and I don't think a game like this benefits from a little more consistency as much as it benefitted from higher highs if also lower lows.

Whatever, I enjoyed the redone script far more than I expected, and I'd probably feel the opposite had this been the version I'd played fifty times. I wish they'd let us play with the original, if only to see how well they cleaned it up, but it's hardly a deal-breaking move. There are actually other things to talk about than this, though, so time to move on.

The interface is much neater, and there's now a quick menu and map (or, in battle, command lists) on the bottom screen. It's a great way to use the DS functionality without shoehorning in stupid things (blow into the microphone to make Crono talk!) that nobody actually wants, but you're also able to just use the face buttons even when playing DS mode. High marks.

Sadly, elemental alignment is now represented with bad clipart, but that's literally the only problem with the new UI that I have.

OK, back to translations. Tonics are Potions, Tabs are now Capsules, and Revives are the absolutely stupid Athenian Water, which not only doesn't tell you what the item does but makes no sense within the context of the game. Alright, I'm done. No I'm not.

I do need to emphasize, really, that this translation's very, very good. Lines like this really hammer in the idea of Nadia being controlled by her father and thought of as nothing but an extension of the figurehead state, and it makes Crono into almost a whipping boy for their anger at the damaging of the facade. When playing this version, I actually took notes on practically every third line in the game and my thoughts on why one version's good or bad, but nobody wants to read that and I don't want to accept that what I just said is probably a lie.

Honestly, there are a million small things I could about.

I could tell you that Marle is given a "Bronze bowsword", or that the Enertrons now leave you "just as hungry as before". That Antipode is now "Antipode Bomb" and doesn't simply attack. That Slash is now Wind Slash. That the man who hates fairs now loves fairs (although that one's on Woolsey). That the labs are now sites. That running is now the default and you hold a face button to walk. That the "chapter names" given to save files are changed.


That Balthazar's fully embraced as a mad man.

That naming conventions are wondrous.

That Tata has lowered his vocational standards but is now an Electrical Beast.

That I am in fact able to make a worse running gag than when I named people after Golden Sun, and that ASCII is not as bad a limitation as everyone might like to think, though I want games to let me name characters using the Bell.

That the DS imported the PS1's awesome attract mode, which managed to be an incredible piece of work that also spoiled every surprise in the game. Have an embed.

That most of the changes in script I've discussed are back to their original form, including Ayla puking and talking about Marle's breasts.

That Balthazar's fully embraced as the best, and a mad man.

That melodrama's not that hard to write.

But ultimately that it's still Chrono Trigger, and it's awesome, and it's a great port that I highly recommend.

That said, there is more to talk about. Besides the new ending, two new things were added, with neither of them being very good. The first, the Arena, is an attempt to add online multiplayer to a game made in 1994, and to address the problem of CT not being as tedious as most RPGs.

They look so sad...

I really dislike the Arena. For one thing, it doesn't fit with the established CT universe at all; The End of Time is a big deal while this dimensional rift is completely ignored, and the amount that these characters know about the mechanics make it feel transparently gamey. Beyond that, it doesn't feel integrated; this is completely sectioned off and there's no way to accomplish something during the normal course of the game without constant micromanagement and frequent interruption of the main quest.

To train a monster, you need to send it off somewhere and let 10 minutes pass, then return and feed it Arena-specific items to manage its stats and the like. Actual combat, then, is spent simply watching the blobs stare each other down in the hopes that your numbers are big enough to win. The rewards for this game eventually become somewhat existent, including an arcana that sometimes reduces enemy HP to 1 and some items which boost your critical chance, but this isn't the type of game where those things are incredibly helpful and you'll get more than enough from the other sidequests as it stands. The game is designed such that thoroughness makes you an invincible god and characters stop being balanced when you get far enough for that not to matter, a setup which makes new rewards and the multiplayer both pointless, particularly since it's fully divorced from your skills at and knowledge of the actual game that you bought.

I decided not to sink the time into fully showing this off, and the time I saved doing that I instead put to good waste doing the bonus dungeon. This proved to a bad move for us all.

After Dalton's "defeat", a new cutscene shows new time gates opening in 600 AD and 65,000,000 BC. This new dungeon, the Lost Sanctum, is really a series of sidequests designed to resemble those MMOs all the kids are spending time cash on these days. Yes, it's all fetch quests and grinding, but Square can pull off MMOs. The genre's hugely popular and successful, and borrowing from modern successes is a fine way to spruce up old games, so how hard could they screw it all-


Now, I've decided this update is bonus content to an LP that's more-or-less done, which in turn I've decided gives carte blanche to put little effort in and move on with life. The dialogue in this segment is almost impressively uninteresting, and even the game script on GameFAQs has this gem to say:

Game Script posted:

Q: Why didn't you add the Lost Sanctum's script?

A: Well, I just don't feel like doing it at the moment. It's way too tedious and boring, and I just beat it not too long ago, so I'm still sick of it. Don't worry; I *do* plan to add it sometime in the nearby future. Nothing anybody would want to read happens there anyway.

So yes, we're certainly in for a treat.

First, let's get our bearing with the handy (if at times over-literal) maps now a fixture of the lower screen. The upper-left door is the entrance, with exits being the northeast ladder and south passage. The doorways are all inaccessible, and will be the whole time we're here.

To the South is a forest, leading to a(nother) mountain pass. We'll come here in a bit, and you'll wish we had not.

To the north is the brownest of forests, and a needlessly circuitous route to, what else, a dead end.

Our first mission, completely unmentioned and not in line with anything else in the game, is to kill all the enemies we find. Once we've done so, the characters notice this star sapling and, shocked at the existence of small trees around larger trees, decide to head back to the "village" to process this wonderful sight.

There, a small town of Reptites now thanks us, shows us their wonderful table cave, and enlists us to perform menial errands in exchange for quite useless rewards. For this first one, we're given the Dragon's Tear, which, yes, is indeed something seen in the Chrono Cross plot. Needless to say, Square is making attempts to subtly plant the seeds of what has will be their past sequel's plotline, while still taking care not to mess up the central progression of the game. Just kidding, it slightly increases your critical hit chance. None of this sidequest connects to the story at all.

We do the same thing in 600 AD, revealing a cabal of still-alive Reptites who've chilled out forever while humans first froze and then thrived, never having ambitions to wander outside of their cave (dimension? I don't understand how the gates work and neither did Square.) The 600 AD ones gives us a Megalixer, which by this point is slightly less rewarding than not playing this sidequest at all. I know you think I'm being needlessly harsh before things have really begun, but things are about to begin.

One Reptite (in Prehistory) wants us to find a mythical hammer that apparently won't exist for 65,000,600 years. Because asking for things like the scrolls from the Library of Alexandria is a reasonable thing to ask someone who just saved your town, we have no problem agreeing to this and proceed to do so in a perfectly logical way:

First, we go to the forest maze to the south and pick up some sand.

We then rub some sand on this plant, because that's how plants grow. Magus can summon water with his mind.

Because that tree grows, the future Gold Ogre, who loves only exactly [past number of trees + 1] trees, comes and brings a Gold Hammer in the medieval circuitous path.

When we fight him, we get the gold hammer of "legend", or find that the Reptite wasn't very particular about what legendary hammer he'd accept. In return, he gives us 100,000 G, which could probably have let him just buy a gold hammer had he been willing to ever go outside.

You may notice that the logic there is utterly detached from reality and more or less requires a guide. This is still a step up from what this sidequest is soon to become.

Right nearby, a Reptite requests that we find a magic Prismastone to help her dying daughter not be dead. Cure spells costing MP and items not existing in Square's mind(s), we instead need to climb to a mountain, as the flying time machine needed to get here can apparently no longer fly.

First, we fight a Nu.

Then climb a mountain path. The music here is Singing Mountain, a track found on the original cartridge but never used in the game, and the only positive thing about the ordeal ahead.

This path is (almost!) completely linear and exists solely to waste time, as evidenced by its windy nature and frequent encounters. Keep this in mind, and admire modern JRPG design at work.

Anyway, we anticlimactically pick up the stone that's just here and then walk back down, with all the encounters the same. I want you to do me a favor and write down (really, go find a pen) your guess as to how many times this mountain path needs to be climbed.

Seriously, do it. Write down a number. I'll keep writing text you can read in a non-time-sensitive fashion as you choose, so in a weird and non-accurate manner of speaking I'll wait.

In exchange, we're given two of each "capsule" (i.e. tabs) and then, not content, asked to do the exact thing again. A moving illustration of insatiable desire in a world of plenty, the Malthusian Catastrophe will sadly not come soon enough. Okay, you get the idea; I'll try to keep this brief so you see why I'm hyping this down.

Because we couldn't leave the stone on that table or at a house or outside or something, we instead put the stone in their cave shrine, in the hope of getting it in the future and bringing it back so there's two. Unfortunately, entry in the future not-as-past past is blocked to those without functioning limbs, so we first have to go through that circuitous north forest to prove we can do, like, a thing.

So we go here, then come back, then travel through time, then put a pair of rocks together, then give it to the guy, who gives us a Dragon Arm which is nowhere near as cool as it sounds.

Now we go to 600 AD, where we're told we should fight the Nu Guardian. Despite the guardian being right there, he again doubts our use of actual limbs and warps to the top of the path.

After a fair bit of climbing, the ladder ends up being out, and we get to climb back down again.

So we get some vines…

Then climb up, decide it won't work, climb back down, warp back to Prehistory, climb up, lay the vines, climb back down, go to 600 AD, climb vines that survived an ice age just fine, and finally get to the Nu. Every step in that process is required, and the party won't build the bridge in the past if they haven't decided it won't work in 600 AD. For those keeping score, the mountain path count is now nine.

Then we fight him and then climb back down, where the Reptite gives us a Nova Armor we already have.

Next, this guy in 600 AD wants to build us a bridge provided we do all the work. What we need to is find some steel, a hammer, and lumber, the absence of all three of which suggests that this Reptite might not be equipped to build a bridge.

The steel is found in a cave to the west of the forest (to the south), but only in 600 AD. The lumber's found from the one tree we're allowed to be told was cut down, but only in 65,000,000 BC. The hammer is gained from talking to the same guy we gave it to, lest you thought that these quests were self-contained and thus avoidable if you didn't need the rewards. Note that, to travel through time, we must exit the sanctum and go to the Epoch; we can't simply do so at will.

Once we get items, we find that the bridge apparently takes time to build. We need to check on its construction, which demands that we (wait for it) scale that same mountain path.

To the left of the Nu at the top is a copy of Guardia castle, apparently existing at the top of this mountain because castles you can get to are lame. Turns out, the Reptite merely slipped and was dangling over the edge for the better part of a week while the Nu didn't help.

This might be the least interesting conversation I've ever seen in a game.

The Nu from a screen away offers to help but needs food, so we climb back down the mountain (a two tall-screen path with unavoidable fights, I just want to have you recall) to get food because using our items is hard.

Then head back up the mountain, give him some food, and wait five seconds until he wants more. Specifically, the Nu now demands something yellow, and yellow food apparently doesn't exist. We could go to the chef in the castle or use our time machine to fly across the ridge, but instead we must journey back to 65,000,000 BC, requiring a climb down the mountain, but of course.

In Prehistory, we can fight these… things to get a banana, then go back to 600 AD and climb up the mountain again.

Okay, having to climb up the mountain these five hundred times is appalling, but I think what's really annoying about it is just how artificial it is. Chrono Trigger is a game about connections; everything relates to everything else in ways that aren't apparent at first blush, and most of the sidequests in the vanilla game involve exploring and tying up its assorted loose ends. Even if you'd never played this before, it would be immediately apparent that this section was added awkwardly onto the side of an existing game. It has nothing to do with the game's feel or structure at all.

This is a huge missed opportunity. The one problem with Chrono Trigger's sidequests was that they were all at the end; a system like this with a mission-based structure and multiple tiers of rewards could have opened up early on and been something small you come back to between major events, with a steep difficulty curve but powerful rewards giving you an incentive to try tackling it early and a clear sense of progression as you're able to do more and more. The game world had plenty of opportunities to involve the dozens of NPCs and locations in new and interesting ways, or at least make the dungeon feel somewhat organic by making you go places you'd already been to (e.g. Guardia Castle's prison) and cross between various times. Instead, you have to tackle this in the very home stretch of the game, and it's all concentrated in the same few uninteresting areas such that doing it's merely a chore. It absolutely screams low-effort, which is odd considering the otherwise extremely high effort put into the script and interface, and which is completely at odds with the stellar and purposeful design at which the rest of the game still excels.

Our reward is a still unbuilt bridge.

Now, we go back to Prehistory (climbing down the mountain), get the stone, climb up the mountain, put down the stone, climb down the mountain, come back to 600 AD, climb up the mountain, pick up the stone, climb down the mountain (while admiring the blatant reuse of what we did for the Sun Stone, of course), go back to 65,000,000 BC, and use the now brighter stone to see in a cave we otherwise wouldn't go through, because a Reptite asked us to see if some things might be bad.

When we do, we see that some Mystics built themselves their own Tyrano Lair and are now talking about wanting to kill Reptites off. We fight them, and then the worst thing in this whole entire update occurs:

This is a jump cut. After climbing that mountain a good twenty times, the game saves us a much shorter walk through the cave and instead promptly warps us back here. It will continue not doing so for the mountain, which we're not yet done having to climb.

Fuck you, Square (well, Square-Enix). Fuck you.

Okay, no, seriously Square, you're not even making an effort to disguise that you hate your consumer base and actively don't want your games to make sense or be fun. We're well past the point where this thing can be blamed on incompetence, and it's seemingly moved into hatred for people who like your old games and somehow looked forward to more Chrono Trigger over whatever you wanted to let Toriyama (Motomu, not Akira. That's this guy) design.

Better, our reward for all this is the Judgment Scythe, a weapon for Magus which…


Yes, the weapons we actually get from these sidequests are worse than what came from the ones that were actually fun. We do get decent rewards later on, but the game still doesn't need them, and the whole thing just comes off as desperate with how hard they attempt to make new items count. I feel the rewards should have been mostly cosmetic/goofy and exist outside the logic of the game, like some new techs which do ridiculously game breaking things or some alternate costumes or scenes. It still wouldn't really have fit the game, but it would have worked better than trying to shoehorn ideas which really don't work. There's also the option of not adding content if you don't have a clue what to add. Let that be a segue to this part: a dungeon we've done twice before.

See, I said that the Tyrano dungeon was the one I liked best in the game, but that wasn't an invitation to have us do it three times. This actually isn't the Lair, only looking just like it, as well as featuring the same exact enemies who were (are) defending it both times. Perhaps we interrupted a simultaneous siege when we fought our way through in the first place, or perhaps this sidequest is awful I hate it please die.

This battle isn't terribly hard but is actively unfun. The two have completely different resistances and will be revived with full health if they're dead for one turn, so you'll essentially kill them both two or three times until you get their deaths to coincide. After they're dead, we're again strangely warped to the village, where we get a Valor Crest which increases critical rates. If you haven't already begun seeing a pattern, this and elemental resistances were the only things Square(-Enix) could think to add onto new things.

Fighting those monsters triggers the bridge's completion, at the top of the mountain in 600 AD (we were in Prehistory).

Once we check it out and climb down the mountain, an exhausted Reptite says something is wrong and implores us to climb up the mountain. We're asked to fight some things in the castle the bridge now connects to, which involves even more boring fights and repetitive halls. Look at the right angled discolored sky tiles next to that mountain and tell me there was effort at play here at all.

Anyway, another linear retread of a dungeon we've done twice (Magus' and Ozzie's Lairs) leads us to fight Cyrus' Ghost, because they'd run out of things to recolor and figured by this point no-one cared.

Turns out, the Reptites will have made statues of us because we helped out with these tasks, and the present Reptites opt to just go with this and give us the Champion's Badge, which is this:

It… ups criticals, but only for one weapon, which already has an item (the Hero's Badge) to improve it in much the same way. This is the end of this sidequest, though there is one other things these Reptites can do provided we're willing to mess with random drops.

A creature which is essentially a Rubble has an infinitesimal chance of appearing in these DS dungeons, and if you defeat it you can get a Lumicite, which in turn can be refined into an armor for Lucca. The armor, the Elemental Aegis, resists all elemental attacks, and moves Lucca from not all that useful to rather incredibly good. I did this for the sake of completion, but it's really not worth it at all, and I'm ready to move on to… well… more new dungeons on the DS.

This is a terrible sidequest, by far the worst I've seen in a game that was otherwise good. It's a perfect illustration of why this genre being stuck in the past would actually be an improvement, and, to paraphrase a poster in a previous thread, it makes Golden Sun look like the non-bonus parts of Chrono Trigger.

Now, you may point out that this sidequest isn't worth being upset or critical over, since it is strictly optional and relatively easy to ignore. Neither players nor characters are forced or even coerced into helping the Reptites, and, on my end, a pure-text summary found through reading about it alone would probably have sufficed.

Those excellent and salient points being acknowledged, I originally planned to show killing off Reptites with all of the techs in the game. Alas, this didn't work out, since the game keeps tight control over your party the few times there are some to fight. I then planned to create a cathartic expression of anger in a Pollock/Kandinsky inspired display of the Reptites being immolated in the sun, but changed my mind on that too since I didn't want to spend G on paint. Instead, I decided to leave a letter on the table in that cave, which will hopefully offer sufficient catharsis for us to never again move onto heights:

My Letter posted:

Dear Reptites,

We are quite sad and upset.

Crono/Felix/Dongsñ/Jesus, et al.

Upon beating the game, we first get some incredibly hard to see concept art, then a brief coda of time gates appearing as though this were Golden Sun 3. The gates will be there throughout New Game Plus, and replaying up to the Epoch's new wings (or just loading the save file where you killed banished Lavos) lets you fly to and tackle them in case you're not sick of this game. While nowhere near as bad as the thing we just saw, these dungeons are boring at best. We can tackle them in any order, and we'll start with the one in 12,000 BC.

This is a great rift in time's fabric. There is no stability whatsoever here.

The way a vortex works is that a new "dungeon" is created by stitching together 5 rooms from a possible 8, seven of those eight being rooms we've already explored and the eighth being a "new" patch of flooring or maybe some grass.

In this case, the eighth is a place known as "Strath", and it lets Ayla claim an item which gives her auto-Haste and status immunity. The rest are just hallways with fights in them existing to waste all our time, and can well be ignored.

After that "dungeon", comes the new Frozen Cliffs, a fairly straightforward semi-maze of cliffs, where things freeze. We can explore around and get fairly good items, like a weapon for Marle which always deals 777 damage and an Auto-Barrier-and-Shield (1/3 reduction to all attacks)-granting gown. This is also where I finally get the Lumicite Shard.

We then fight a palette swap of Heckran, finally allowing us to recreate the original cover fifteen years after its release.

Eventually, we arrive in another cave and Marle becomes our first party member.

And we learn how to make things mysterious: Color them brown. This insight brought to you by a multimillion dollar studio, long considered one of the finest there was.

The problem with content like this is that the rewards needed to make it worthwhile also make it trivial, and there's nothing much they can use to reward you besides further trivialization. Our reward for effortlessly trouncing ourself is… even higher stats, and with that the first vortex is done. No, I don't have a clue what they were going for here, but I'm going for again moving on.

Vortex #2 is structured the same exact way, with randomly chosen rooms from earlier in the game existing in a fake play at substance, with the new one being a boring waterfall with nothing of interest to show. Also included in this mix, however, is this:

And Square(-Enix), now you're just mocking me.

The post-cave dungeon is a lava cave which likely took some interns precious minutes to design, and which yet again contains items which are simultaneously overpowered and unhelpful since this game allows you to break it by default. After this, we get to another hazy cave, and Square remembers that the point of this content was pretending to retroactively foreshadow CC at all.

Dalton! You survived!
It's been quite some time, hasn't it? Did I startle you with my brilliant reappearance?

Not even a little!? Well, who asked you? If it weren't for you, I'd have been the ruler of an age all my own! You robbed me of everything I'd worked so hard for! My wealth, my home, my loyal underlings… You took it all away! It's unforgivable! So come on! Have a taste of the suffering I've endured because of you!

Dalton, stylized as "Once-King Dalton" because that described him for maybe a day, has a bunch of our techs he's renamed and may have been a challenge had the game not just given us things like a weapon for Magus making critical hits four times as strong or a Crisis Arm ripoff for Lucca based on the last digit of her MP. He still ends the fight with a burp.

I'll raise the greatest army the world has ever seen in Porre, and use it to wipe your pitiful little kingdom off the map! Heh heh heh… Ah hah hah hah hah!
Did you actually know our names? It seemed like you just thought of us as intruders and never put much thought into it besides finding us a thorn in your side. How do you know when we come from or that Guardia and Porre will exist? How are you traveling through this dimensional rift when you have no particularly special powers and were in no way privileged to any special knowledge in Zeal? How did your power grow so dramatically from sitting around in this cave? Why do you want revenge against me when I was dead the whole time you were being overthrown? Where are your golems? Why is your plan to overthrow a kingdom that has nothing even remotely to do with what you wanted or why you were stopped? How are you planning on raising this army and are you considering that this may have been tried before? Do you have any particular military knowledge which might enable you to conquer a kingdom you literally know nothing about beyond that it might one day exist? If you can travel through time why not go back to a month or two after we left Zeal and rule it then? Where are we and what is this dimensional rift supposed to represent? Isn't it a remarkable coincidence that everyone except you and Schala remained in our native dimension when they scattered through time? Did you leave our dimension or is this vortex just poorly explained? If Lavos can send things through dimensions couldn't it send itself out of the dimension it's trapped in as soon as it gets there and fight us forever until we eventually die? Why are you announcing your military strategy to the people you hope to defeat? Have you read the Golden Sun LP? What prevents me from telling the king to keep tabs capsules on Porre and stop the occurrence of exactly what you just described? What incentives do you have to offer the equivalent of suburbs to convince them to take up arms against their king? Do you have any actual plans for what will happen after you've accomplished this feat and a Rocky Horror song hangs above your head? Will you be able to militarize the ferry? How will you keep an army loyal to you in victory if your plan is to destroy everything and you haven't considered an endgame for your scheme? If Lucca makes a bunch of Chrono Triggers then why won't people bring me and the king and everyone else back to life when they find out we're dead? Are you starting to realize flaws in your wonderful plan? Please answer these questions; I'd like to understand.
The dog yelps.
Oh well. I bet he doesn't succeed.

After this, we're treated to more brown and a fight that's supposedly hard but that I just defeated by using some techs. I'm ever in awe of good JRPG design.

Third verse being largely the same as the preceding stanzas, we go to Vortex #3 and pass through some mostly-old rooms finding absurd things, like this crown which boosts damage like mad and shields you from status effects and a Robo arm that makes normal attacks do nothing and criticals do 9999 (remember what every other item we've found is able to do).

After this we get what's honestly a pretty cool idea, where we're quizzed about the kind of pedantic shit I remember with wrong answers punished by fighting some Nus. The questions are a strange mix of simple (the name of Magus' sister) and obscure (the name of Cyrus' attack against the frog), but on balance it's a nice way to remind you that you care way too much about Chrono Trigger, without punishing you too heavily if you don't. After that is a maze!

Enough maneuvering on one-way conveyors lets us find Note () and the reason why network security's something to use. After this maze, we find at least a slight respite, with something vastly nicer:

Stealth sections! Can you tell how much I love (love (Love)) the things in this game?

Upon entering the password of things being round, the door locks behind you and the three (/four) you're not playing as have to rescue them, hence why I switched teams completely before doing so and can keep playing as the group that's fairly good.

A few battles and a quick boss fight later and Robo unlocks their door.

After that, it's just another hazy non-maze cave and a battle with Lucca and her reddish best friend. Now that all those vortexes are "finished", a new portal opens at the increasingly cluttered End of Time, allowing us to go to Time's Eclipse. Alright, Square(-Enix), moment of truth, time to foreshadow a game from 2000 and hopefully make any sense:

Whether that is the future of the world from which you've come, I do not know. There are as many worlds as there are potentialities. A new foe has arisen here, in this endless expanse that is Time's Eclipse. It feasts upon thoughts, dreams, and memories. Do not think to meddle here. This enemy is my affair.

Grr… I've not finished with you yet.
I believe I told you…not to interfere!
Let all that once was fade into oblivion! I welcome the end of existence.
No, Schala! Free yourself from its spell! Please… You must open your eyes!

Yeah, I think I preferred this scene when it was in Chzo and also TLA.

Schalavos boasts a frankly absurd amount of HP, and the combination of both sides being overpowered makes this fight surprisingly fun. In phase 1, she responds to physical attacks by stealing MP, while phase 2 has her respond to everything by inflicting Confusion and absorb all elemental attacks. If you've played through by this point, you probably won't have much trouble due to the insane amounts of damage you can deal, but it's a suitably climactic fight albeit one which still doesn't offer a single iota of sense.

Anyway, as soon as we win the game decides that we actually lose, and the characters are knocked unconscious for the rest of the game. I'm switching other Magus back to the Magus portrait now that no confusion should arise (he said in jest).

It was I, after all, who wished it — wished from the depths of my sadness and despair that all that was would be erased. The strength you wield now cannot free me. No, perhaps it is better said that no strength can. So as long as you lean upon the crutch of power, this world's sorrow can know no true end. Return to your own time now. Dwell not on this.

Janus…thank you. But I am the girl I was no more. Live, and be strong.
But, Schala—

What purpose, then, does this existence serve? Hmph. If this is to be the way of things, then let me abandon all that was and fade away as well. Should a part of me somehow even then remain, then perhaps that will be the birth of something new—something with greater meaning than all this.

Who…who am I? What's happened? I…I don't remember anything. There was something… something I needed to do. Something I needed to…to find. I must find a way to remember. I will.

Honestly, I could make an attempt to explain that, but this is already their attempt to explain an attempt at explaining a question in this game, so I don't feel that's a courtesy Square(-Enix) deserves. For beating that boss, Crono's given a slightly more ultimate weapon, this one with a 90% chance of critical hits over the Rainbow's mere 70%. The PS1 version awkwardly tacked on two more FMVs to its main ending, and the DS relocates them here. The two play right after each other, offering nothing but a tacked on "fuck you", and, while I still want to emphasize that this version is really quite good, I also want to emphasize that I no longer want New Square(-Enix) touching old games:

It's still better than the port to iOS. One update left.