02. A Thousand Years of Partying
Guardia Millenial Fair
Enough introductory banter for now.
The Millenial Fair is underrated as a starting location, at least as far as anything involving this game can be underrated. This thing is filled to the brim with simple minigames and probably is the reason later FF games are chock full of them. You also get minor world-building, help establish the tone of the game, and get introduced to two other party members. And of course, the game lets you set your own pace here, as you can breeze through the plot options in two minutes if you want.
The area consists of two main hub screens and a few smaller side sections. For now, let's explore the area.
Hope it doesn't blow up like all the others!
And suddenly it makes sense just why Lucca and her family live way on the outskirts of town. They're not exactly respected folk in the village. It actually says a lot about Crono that he's friends with Lucca in the first place.
Spoilers we'll be hearing Leene's Bell this update.
This guy has his own sprite and everything. A small upgrade, and then a good one that's way out of our price range. I'm not buying anything yet.
I live on the continent to the east. Come see me sometime...
There are two continents to the east of the Truce/Porre continents. It'll be awhile before we see either, though.
This fair uses Silver Points as currency. You can exchange them for G at an incredibly terrible exchange rate, or you can spend them at the Tent of Horrors. Obviously we'll be doing the latter.
There are four ways to earn Silver Points.
You may have seen the lizard, cat, and two guards running around the square. They're racing, and the idea is to guess which won will win the race. It's free to play, but there's also no rhyme or reason as to who will win.
Supposedly this guy gives a hint as to who will win, but in my experience he's not any different than picking randomly. But maybe some of you know the mechanics of this race better than me.
If you do guess correctly, you get 20 Silver Points, the most any game can net.
There's also a couple shops here that I completely forgot existed. I guess the Truce Shop Owner is here after all. Or maybe he isn't, these merchants certainly aren't distinct from one another.
Revives are a bit interesting since they're supposed to be Athena's Water, something the DS translation gets correct.
Thank goodness things are so peaceful now.
I thought we're celebrating existing for a thousand years since Year 0, why do you gotta keep bringing your damn wizards into this nonsense.
Here's another mini game.
Hit it when you're farthest back and you get a pathetic one Silver Point. Pass.
Moving up we see this woman running around admiring the ground. Sure, OK.
Let's run into her.
She apparently doesn't think to look beyond her immediate area of vision, but alright.
Crono is a gentleman and talks to the woman, who's too busy panicking about her pendant. This actually matters since I'm playing Paragon Crono for this path.
Don't worry, I'll show off Renegade Crono in due time.
To progress, we need to grab the pendant and give it to the woman.
I came to see the Festival! You...live in this town, don't you?! I feel a little out of place here.
Yeah, like Crono's going to say "No" to this situation. Sure.
Guardia Millenial Fair
Oh, by the way... My name is, er...
Unsurprisingly, Marle is another playable character, and our first party member.
No, I did not miss any dialogue. Crono carries the proud gaming tradition of being a silent protagonist, meaning he's a protagonist who is silent. The game handles this by having other characters assume they heard Crono say things even though we don't hear him say anything.
The idea of the silent protagonist is to have the player project themselves into the playable character, though the effectiveness varies from player to player. Hell, even making Crono a silent protagonist in the first place was a point of contention during development, as sides were split on whether to make Crono talk before things turned out the way they did.
The problem with this idea is Crono simply does not work as a character for players to project themselves into, like you can for most western RPGs where your protagonists are blank slates for you to write your own stories with. Crono's pretty much set as a character, and honestly your actions have little effect on what kind of person Crono is, other than some stuff you can do during this fair.
That said, I still think making Crono a silent protagonist was a fantastic idea, because the storytelling does a solid job establishing Crono's character and motivations almost solely through his actions. Crono doesn't think and say, "I better make sure this stranger's OK first!", he just does it. You'll definitely see it more as the game goes on, but I honestly think Crono's one of the strongest characters in this game despite never uttering a single word.
Anyway, Marle. Marle is our Bow user, which means she relies on the HIT stat. Her damage formula is (HIT + Weapon Attack) * 2/3. Generally speaking, Marle's one of the weakest physical attackers, though that's still good enough to be useful in most encounters.
Her starting accessory, the Ribbon, simply adds +2 Hit.
Her Pendant is also now in our inventory, though it's a Key Item and thus doesn't actually do anything.
Marle's the healer of the party, but otherwise she's probably the weakest character in the game. She doesn't max anything besides HP, MP, and Magic Defense (though she comes close with Magic), and her later Techs are underwhelming compared to other characters', other than one specific buff spell she gets. That said, Chrono Trigger's a generally easy game as is, so Marle's still pretty useful to have around.
We'll go into Aura in a bit once I learn it.
Just between us, I heard that the King is distressed over his tomboy of a daughter! Just once, I would like to see how wild she really is!
Odd how we hear this immediately after adding this strange woman to our party...
The plot trigger to advance to Lucca's experiment is to simply talk to one of the NPCs in the center of the bottom section of the fair, but we've still got plenty to do!
We can eat this man's lunch, for instance. I mean, we won't, but we can!
This is such a terrible deal, we've already got over a thousand G and Silver Points are a pain to get.
There it is.
Marle's a bit more ditzy in the Japanese version, from what little I've read so far.
Time for Minigame #3.
This is basically a test as to whether you have a turbo controller or not.
You're awfully competitive, aren't you, Crono?
It's only 5 points, though.
Let's check out the east exit.
This is one of the music tracks Uematsu had a hand in. Of all his works, this is certainly one of them.
Anyway this is nothing more than a reason to do some goofy dance moves. This is also probably the second-best part of the fair.
What's number one?
Our last and best source of Silver Points.
I think that one kinda speaks for itself right there.
Gato's got one key difference than the enemies we fought earlier.
He can counter attack.
Marle's bow in action.
Also, he doesn't necessarily counter-attack the person who hit him. However, he also will fail to attack if he's out of range, so hopefully he'll wander off into the corner somewhere.
If Marle is at close range, she'll hit the enemy with the butt of her crossbow instead of shooting them. It still does the same damage, however.
Gato does have a singing attack, but it only does a single point of damage to one character.
And here is Marle's victory pose.
It sure was! Gato's the easiest way to rack up some Silver Points, especially later in the game since he doesn't scale with the party.
On the way out of the fair to heal, this guy tries to convince me to convince Marle to sell him her pendant. We barely know her though and this sounds kinda scummy anyway so no thanks.
Anyway, let's rest up and visit Mom.
Hi, I'm Marle!
Eh?! Marle? ...? I'm sure I've seen you before, dear! Now, where was that...?
Screw it let's go to bed.
Secret of the Forest
Before we return to the fair, I decide to grind a bit to get Marle her first tech. Now that we have Marle, we can fight the Avian Chaos from earlier.
All it really does is inflict Chaos, which doesn't really do much since it's a significantly neutered Confusion.
Also Marle doesn't want to visit the castle for whatever reason.
There we go. Aura is a basic healing move that heals MAG * 5 + RND HP. Marle's Magic is 8, so it'll heal for 40HP minimum, slightly less than a Tonic. Of course, this will go up as Marle's level and thus MAG stat does, and it's pretty cheap, too.
However! Now we go into one of the coolest parts of this game, Combination Techniques. Every character can learn three Dual Techs with every other character, based on which Techs these characters know. For example, since Marle knows Aura, and Crono knows Cyclone, together they combine into Marle and Crono's first Dual Tech, Aura Whirl, which simply casts Aura on the entire party (Crono's stats are meaningless for this move). This adds a bit into party selection once that becomes a thing and adds a lot more dimension to how battles work, plus it's also a gameplay method of showing characters bonding with each other enough to work together in battle to do some cool and flashy stuff.
There are even Triple Techs, where all three characters work together to do some impressive move, but those generally require knowing late-game techs, so it'll be awhile before we see those.
I'll do my best to show off every Single, Dual, and Triple Tech in the game. Speaking of which!
Here's Aura in action. Nice and simple.
Unlike Final Fantasy, where you have a set order you can make characters act (or mash Y to skip characters), Chrono Trigger gives you easy access to every character, so it's trivial to, say, have Marle wait in case you need her to heal while ordering Crono to attack.
This is mostly important though because in order to use Dual/Triple Techs, everyone involved in the Tech has to be ready to do it. Simply scroll past the Single Techs in the Tech Menu to get to the multi-tier ones.
Aura Whirl is going to be our only source of multi-target healing for awhile, so this is definitely an important one to have.
After that, I wail on Gato until he gives me ALL the Silver Points.
Now we're ready to be terrified.
There are three different mini-games, each with their own costs and prizes.
The 10 Point game is simply finding the right soldier between Vicks, Wedge, and Piette (one out of three ain't bad I guess, Woolsey...).
Guessing right nets you a Poyozo doll, which plays music.
The 40 Point game is "Do what the clone is doing!" with increasingly smaller time to input. Not too bad after a bit of practice.
Your prize is a clone. I guess it'll shut Mom up.
The 80 Point prize is a bit more elaborate.
Basically don't let the monsters reach you, and don't let your partner burn to death.
Our reward is a cat. Pet adoption is bizarre in the Chrono Trigger universe.
Now Crono has two cats.
Far Off Promise
If you interact with the Poyozo doll, it'll play this song. This won't be the last time we hear it, of course...
After winning the initial prizes, Bekkler will start giving us cat food instead for playing his games, with more points netting more cat food. This is how you get even more cats, because any cat owner knows that the easiest way to get more cats is to leave cat food out. At least that's how I've ended up with most of the cats I've had.
The clone simply does some expressions you can switch between, nothing more.
Guardia Millenial Fair
This is going to be fun! Come on, Crono!
Anyway, that's enough side stuff for now. Let's advance the plot and check out Lucca's sideshow.
Marle takes awhile, but Crono's a patient man and doesn't move an inch.
Sure, young lady.
Thanks for waiting!
OK now let's check it out.
Taban, of course, is Lucca's father. And Lucca is the purple-haired techie on the left teleporter. Also it's the year 1000AD and Lucca invented teleportation.
The audience isn't that optimistic about the promises of teleportation.
Anyway, let's greet Lucca.
Where have you been!? No one wants to try the Telepod! How about you?
Begin energy transfer!
AAAAAAA- huh. It...worked?
The lady just invented freaking teleportation, you could stand to be a little bit more impressed.
Uh, er, a thrilling display of science at its best, ladies and gentlemen!
...I could have died, you know...
Huh? Hey Crono, how did you pick up a cutie like her?
Behold, ladies and gentlemen, as this vision of loveliness steps aboard the machine!
Don't go away. I'll be right back!
wait why does SHE get a chance to say no, I mean you made me the freaking guinea pig for human testing but she gets to walk away, I tell ya...
Marle has no sense of preservation despite being our healer. I still don't know whether that's one of her best or worst qualities.
I mainly made this GIF because Lucca's eyeglasses adjustment is a cool animation.
All systems on!
Begin energy transfer!
A Strange Happening
What's happening? My pendant...it's...
...I get the feeling that wasn't supposed to happen.
At least this time one of Lucca's experiments only resulted in a person going missing.
The warp field seemed to be affected by her pendant...
What are we going to do now?
Nice touch, the Pendant is no longer in our inventory.
So, Marle has disappeared due to her pendant messing up the Telepod. Most people would be afraid to even interact with this device again, especially knowing Lucca's reputation and what just happened with Marle.
Most people don't have the courage and compassion that Crono holds, though.
Listen! I don't know where this machine is going to send you, but we haven't any other choice.
Won't they both be lost?
Crono's willing to get lost in time and space itself to rescue some woman he met a couple hours ago.
You know how I mentioned earlier that Crono doesn't need words to explain his character? His actions, his determination, the music speak more here than Crono would ever need to.
Begin energy transfer!
And so Crono goes to who knows where...
...into parts unknown.
...Maybe this was a mistake.
- Category: Chrono Trigger