04. The Queen's Watch
So far even in three updates I've had plenty of people go, "Wow, I never knew that was in the game!" Now it's my turn, as I was never aware you could listen to the Chancellor on the other side of the wall and overhear something foreboding.
Oh well, I'm sure it's irrelevant. Anyway, the Cathedral.
The sisters say the same things as before, but if you talk to the organist with Lucca in the party, some random item starts shining on us.
A hair pin.
Remember that Coral Pin Faux-Leene was missing?
Looks like we have our lead.
Naga-ettes are a big step up from the rest of the enemies we've fought so far. In addition to a decent physical attack, they have a ranged attack that's weak but can inflict Slow.
They don't have that much more HP, but their physical defense is a large step up from the foes we faced so far.
However, they have low magic defense and are especially weak to fire attacks. Thus Lucca is invaluable here, as Flame Toss (and by extension Flame Whirl) can one-shot these foes.
The lair is deep within. Will thee accompany me?
So far today Crono has experienced teleportation, time travel, and a talking frog. Who also wields a sword. And speaks in a dialect that no other person speaks in during this era.
Very well, do as thee please. But I shall save the Queen.
You don't seem like a bad...uh, person-frog-thing... I mean...
Let's be serious here. A human-sized sword-wielding frog asks you to accompany him, who the hell says no? Of course we're going with him! We've got the same damn goal, after all.
What's your name?
This is our fourth character, and he has probably the simplest name of all.
Frog is buff.
Frog is generally a fan favorite, though his localization in the SNES version is very much a love-it-or-hate-it thing. Some love this version of Frog's over-theatrical demeanour and overcompensation of knighthood, others find his mangled, grammatically-chaotic Olde English accent distracting and feel it detracts from the core of Frog's character, preferring the DS translation or the Japanese version. I honestly have no preference myself, as I don't care enough about how the dialect is mangled and feel no matter the translation, Frog's character comes across fine.
Stat-wise, Frog ends up a slightly-better Crono. His critical hit rate triggers slightly less than 1/4 of the time, which is still higher than Marle and Lucca's. He uses the same physical damage formula as Crono, and while he uses swords, his is more of the large, two-handed variety over Crono's preference for katanas, meaning there's no overlap weapon-wise between the two.
We'll go into Frog's techs shortly.
Anyway, by playing the organ we unlock the entrance to our first dungeon.
It turns out there's a lot more to this cathedral than meets the eye.
This first room is rather large, with the sides having two rooms each while the center path leads further in.
First, let's explore the left side.
Only the women can wear this one, but it's a step up from the Bronze Mail.
This is basically a pin-up, since it's kinda vague.
Henches have a measly 49HP, but their physical defense is crazy high. However, their magic defense is crazy-low, and they're weak to all elements on top of that.
"Use Fire, you dolt" is a common theme of this dungeon. This is basically a tutorial dungeon to encourage you to use your damn techs by making the enemies take much less damage from swords and guns.
Frog already starts with Slurp, his first tech. This is a healing tech that does MAG * 5 + RND. It's the same formula as Marle's Aura, but it ends up weaker since Frog has a worse Magic stat.
Tech-wise, Frog ends up a jack-of-all-trades.
Also I couldn't not make this.
Frog's critical animation is especially flashy.
Also, here's the victory animations for Lucca and Frog.
There's no reason to buy the Iron Blade when you get this baby for free over here. It's even over double the attack power!
Also you cheese this by running below the spikes.
But this was more a makeshift holding cell for these poor guards.
They're hiding the Queen in the back. Please rescue her!
Also another Power Tab.
The other two foes here are Diablos (50HP, nothing special otherwise) and Gnasher (continues the "use techs gimmick", but instead of having high physical defense instead just has a whopping 90HP instead, though still weak to magic and fire in particular).
Next up, the right side has more monsters, though these guys are a bit different.
No need for them here!
You can even chat these fellows up.
And those 2 soldiers we caught look rather plump and juicy...
Now the Queen's captive, and the castle's in an uproar. This is rich!
The dialogue goes as you'd expect.
This guy will lead us to the last side-room here, and by far the most interesting one.
Courage and Pride
Somehow I don't think these guys are the real deal.
Why not rest in here until he's available?
The master, Yakra is very kind! I've decided to stay here. Now why don't you make yourselves at home, too!
Oh, what a relief!
So if we try to leave...
It ends as you expect.
However, we're not done here, as there's a small path to...
At the Bottom of Night
More monsters who aren't immediately interested in combat.
This is the guy that Guardia's at war against, and assumingly who these monsters are following as their leader.
Yet for hating humans as much as these guys do, their leader seems to be one himself. Hm.
The big get are these two items. The Defender adds +2 Stamina, so it essentially adds two defense, which...is really minor in the grand scheme of things. The +2 Speed from the Speed Belt, in contrast, has a much more profound effect and is probably our most useful accessory yet.
Things go as you expect.
Like the rest of the party, Frog can currently only learn two techs before being cut off. Slurp Cut, his second one, simply does a bit more than a third more damage than his basic attack, though since it involves dragging enemies to him it won't affect enemies stuck in place. Not very impressive, but it's extra damage.
But it also triggers Frog's first Dual Tech with Crono, the iconic X Strike. This takes the attack power from Crono's Cyclone and Frog's Slurp Cut, then increases each by 25% before adding them together with a random number. This will be your biggest source of damage for quite a while early on.
The second room is kind of a puzzle, though that's being charitable.
The northern section of the room has what should be an exit, but apparently it doesn't exist.
So you figure it's the same trick as the entrance to the Cathedral, but that way is also blocked.
No matter whether you start off going left or right, the path you take will instantly become a downward slope, meaning you have to circle the room back to the other path to get back to where the organ is.
The right switch is what lowers the spikes in the center.
The left switch adds more bats to avoid.
Mad Bats have average defenses but a measly 18HP. They can drain HP, though, so if you somehow can't down them in one hit then they can recover from that. Granted, if you can't kill them in one hit you have much bigger problems...
Slash (probably should've been Wind Slash but oh well) everything in a straight line, but unlike Lucca's Flame Toss it keeps going past the targeted enemy, meaning who you're targeting doesn't really matter other than the angle at which it goes.
However, this ability is Lightning elemental, and the damage is based off Crono's Magic stat. The formula is (LVL + MAG) * 4 + RND, so it won't be as effective in general as the PWR-based Cyclone due to Crono's sad Magic stat. It still has some uses, but more on those later.
Weapon upgrade for Frog, though considering we're almost done with the dungeon it's not too big a deal.
A Prayer to the Travelers
There's one last straight path with hard-to-avoid encounters before the save point right outside the end of the dungeon.
A Shot of Crisis
Gyah, ha, ha... It's useless to fight! No one will leave here alive!
Boss Battle 1
Meet the first boss of Chrono Trigger, Yakra. Average defenses, but with a hefty 920HP.
Your first instinct will be to simply spam X-Strike/Flame Toss until he dies. And if you're overleveled, you might get away with it.
However, Yakra will counter most attacks with this move, which damages the entire party. It adds up.
Yakra otherwise will seldom attack at all, and when he does they're only single-target, though NeedleSpin can hurt.
The trick is that if the character initiating the attack is close to Yakra, then Yakra won't do his counter. So while you can just tank and heal through this fight (which I ended up doing because maintaining the will to fight thanks to a frog's saliva is appealing gameplay to me), you can play the waiting game, lure Yakra in, and handle things that way.
Either way X-Strike all day every day.
Bosses have a pretty sick death animation too.
The King awaits. Let us return to the castle.
Yes, thank you so much. Please join us.
Works for us! Let's loot first.
Oh! Your Highness! As you can see, I am undamaged!
Meh, got a Mid Ether and a Chancellor. Kinda underwhelming loot, really.
We MUST create a criminal justice system in this Kingdom to do away with such fiends.
I failed to protect Queen Leene. I hath disgraced thee.
Frog saved the day, but to him that still wasn't good enough.
Nothing we can do about that now.
By the way, where is the girl who was mistaken for me?
Crono! Where did Princess Nadia disappear? She may still be there!
Anyway, nothing left to do but check to see if Marle just magically reappeared out of nothingness.
I can't recall it all... I was somewhere cold, dark...and lonely.
Go figure that being in a state of nonexistence may be a bad thing to experience.
Sorry, Crono. I didn't mean to deceive you.
Far Off Promise
I really enjoyed being with you at the fair. But if you had known my identity...
This is Crono we're talking about. The guy who's friends with a misfit scientist. The guy who jumped into a mysterious portal to rescue a woman he met an hour ago. You think Crono would have cared about someone's status or nobility?
The real Queen's safe, right? So let's go home, Crono!
Anyway, a lot of NPCs have whole new dialogue now.
Courage and Pride
Anyway, you've really helped me. Let me know how I can repay you.
You really could be my twin.
I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Um...never mind! I guess it's time to go!
What if there really was a conspiracy at work... :thunk:
Everyone has their critics.
Anyway Frog is still sulking right outside the throne room.
I shall depart for good.
Oh yeah Marle this is the sentient frog knight we've been hanging around with, no big.
Alas, we kneweth thee all too briefethly.
Froggy, you weren't such a bad guy either.
At least Lucca got over her fear of frogs. I don't know whether the constant frog slobber helped or hurt that process.
Courage and Pride
That was pure skill, you jerk.
Also let's watch the crew sleep.
Yakra was a patsy.
But since Magus's troops failed to kidnap Leene, they'll probably be back soon. If only Cyrus were here!
Marle really likes to pig out.
And I wasted my time whipping up a batch of that "Eyes Cream" dish she wanted so badly! Yuck!
Well, uh...good luck with that!
The cathedral's empty now.
And Frog has left the continent completely.
The townspeople have nothing new to say, so I guess we'll just go back to where this whole business started.
The Poly is new, with high HP and the ability to counter physical attacks, but its magic defense is low.
Won't show it this update, but Hypno Wave can set enemies to sleep. I have absolutely no idea on its success rate, though, as it's one of those things that doesn't have any formulas floating around on the internet.
Besides, it's time we go back to the future (which will totally be an update title one day).
Your Highness, er, Princess...we...
Well then, Marle... Observe!
Lucca! You're amazing!
Oh, um...I mean...
Well, if you say so...
This is also the point where Marle and Lucca start becoming friends themselves, which is always pretty nice to see.
It's a kind of portal, that takes you to the same location in a different era. Gates are very unstable, so I used the principal behind my Telepod device...
But why did this Gate suddenly appear?
Chrono Trigger doesn't really think too much about the physics and science of time travel, instead opting to keep things simple in favor of a stronger narrative. Works for me!
Next time, we get to see how we screwed up the future.
- Category: Chrono Trigger