There's no way the Chancellor can reach us here.

Like we're in another world.

Somehow I get the feeling this era is going to be quite different from the last time we time traveled.

Mystery of the Past

This large door has the same mysterious insignia and music as the chests in Guardia. Somehow I don't think we'll get behind this today. Nothing to do but leave, I guess.

Ruined World

So...first thing to notice is, uh, the world's kinda destroyed a bit.

Yep, between the music, the very brown palette, the numerous craters and ruined buildings, it's probably safe to say something bad may have happened here.

Of course, we just got here, so there's no indication when we are. [s]But staying outdoors will sap our HP after enough time, so we better find shelter soon.[/s] This is wrong and only a dumb rumor and I'm a dumb person for believing this for 20+ years without testing it myself.

Good enough, I suppose.

The interior is pretty bleak, and the people seem worse for wear.

Sure do!

You call this money? Oh well, I have some good stuff.

I'd say so. Nice new gun for Lucca, and the armor is an upgrade for everyone.

The beasts there don't react to weapons, like guns and swords.

You know, Crono's gotta be starving right about now. Nothing but prison water for the past three days.

The "beasts" references one specific type of enemy, and considering this "Lab" is the only other place to visit, we'll come across this soon enough.

Similar yet distinct. Honestly, there's no guarantee we're even on the same planet anymore. Who knows?

Probably one of the more iconic moments in this game. I mean, if I had to choose between instant sleep and instant food, I'd choose the sleep in a heartbeat.

In the Japanese version, these are Ruins. There's nothing really suggesting this was a lab other than the freaky-looking enemies. But hey, I suppose that's good enough for me!

Dome 16's Ruin

This area is only two screens large and is mainly an excuse to throw some new enemies and gear at you before you hit the next story point.

The Octopods can drain HP and have high HP, but also have low physical defense. They're weak to Lightning, but their high magic defense cancels that out.

The Meat Eater is slightly weak to Fire, but otherwise is standard besides lowish HP. They can heal all enemies for a good amount, though, so they should be first priority.

Lucca's second Tech is Hypno Wave, which can inflict Sleep on all enemies. As far as I know, there's no trace on the hit rate for this anywhere on the internet, and I don't feel compelled to find out myself. It's cheap though, and may be handy in a pinch.

The Berserker is an accessory that gives the wearer Berserk. This boosts damage by 50% but makes the wearer uncontrollable, having them use only physical attacks. In addition, it also gives the wearer Protect, which reduces physical damage by 1/3. It's a very useful accessory, only hampered by the fact that you'll pretty much never fight anything so tough that you'll really need it. Since I want to keep enemies alive to show off their attacks, this won't see much use in my playthrough.

The rats scurrying around aren't enemies, but they'll steal Tonics if you touch them. Meh.

Marle gets her own Lode/Silver weapon here. If you missed the one in the prison, you can get another Lode Sword for Crono in this dungeon too.

Craters live up to their name. They have low magic defense but halve fire damage. Cyclone can one-shot them anyway so it's probably the better option over Slash.

Shadows are the enemy that one NPC warned you about. They are completely immune to physical attacks, which means your only options are Slash, Flame Toss, and Fire Whirl. However, they have only 1HP, so if the attack affects them, they will die.

Finally, the Mutant. This guy oddly is weak to Dark magic, but otherwise its most notable stat is its massive 300HP. It takes awhile to burn one of these guys down, and it doesn't help they can also drain HP. They're a tad scary to tangle with.

Marle's second Tech can inflict Chaos on a single enemy. Again, no clue what the success rate is.

With that, nobody can learn any more Techs now until we progress the plot to a certain point.

There's no boss or anything, so we quickly make it to the next part of the map.

First, Lab 32.

Slightly weak to Dark attacks, but otherwise nothing of note beyond hitting slightly hard and their laser ball attacks.

Trying to progress just triggers more of these guys. It's not worth it.

And no way we're going to the sewers.

This is actually a bonus area, and I'll probably go ahead and explore it next update. It's kinda odd.

Instead, the NPCs suggested we check out Arris Dome, so off we go!

People Who Threw Away the Will to Live

Just the music exudes hopelessness and despair.

We came from the laboratories to the west.
W, what?!

Say again!?
You're joking!?

Our arrival is now the talk of the dome.

I haven't seen him since...


I see... Not that I really care...


A time portal? What in the...? Well, guess we can get our own information using our computer!

If someone told me they came from another time, checking the computer probably wouldn't be my first instinct. Chances are this was probably awkwardly translated, though.

Some more hints as to future areas.

Unfortunately those sealed doors are explosion-proof. There's got to be another way...

This kid sells the same stuff as the Trann Dome guy, except no Mid Tonics, oddly enough.

It's what that guy who walked to the other dome used to say.

Anyway, let's chat up with who seems to be the leader here.

In the basement, there's a huge computer and a storage center for food. But we can't get through 'cause of the robot guards. It's a pity.

Giant robot guards, you say? Consider it done.

Of course!
But no one's ever returned from there.
Gotta try, right?

Careful, now. And come back alive.

When things are as hopeless as they seem to be here, any bit of initiative and drive will get some interest.

The first room has the right entrance sealed off. Guess we'll come back to this later.

The left path has us navigating girders over more ruins.

Also someone made a statue of a rat. Sure, why not.

Warning. Anyone within the vicinity of the stock room will be attacked!

Pfft. So we get attacked by some puny robot. How bad can it be?


Boss Battle 1

Crono! What's going on?!
Marle! Let's go!

The Guardian is the hardest foe you'll fight yet. It's the first of a few three-section bosses you'll fight in this game, and the gimmick involves a classic Final Fantasy staple.

Counter attacks. If you attack the Guardian, it counters with a rather nasty Delta Attack that does massive damage to the party. So, uh, don't attack the Guardian.

The trick is to kill the Bits first. They've got bog-standard defenses and 200HP, so you can burn them down relatively quickly. Their attacks aren't too bad, either.

If you attack the Guardian with one Bit alive, it has a different counter which still hurts, but is only single-target.

Once both Bits are dead, then it's time to go on the offensive.

Guardian will do nothing but countdown from 5. At this point, you want to take out as much of its 1200HP as you can. It's immune to Fire but otherwise has average defenses.

Upon 0, the Bits are revived and you'll have to deal with them again.

Once you've got the pattern down, there's nothing really to it.

So, time to see what's beyond.

Prison Tower

Eh... A tad disappointing, really.

Everything's completely rotten. The refrigeration must have failed.


I like how Marle's completely unphased by a man's corpse at this point. She honestly hasn't been in much danger so far, being gone for most of both 600AD and the prison escape. You'd think she'd be a bit more freaked out, but Marle's got a surprisingly stable head on her shoulders.

A seed? Do you suppose it could grow in a place like this?

Looks like the seeds are the only food left around here.

The rat is more than just a statue! It knows the secret of this dome. Catch it!

So that rat statue is, uh, not really a statue after all.

People Who Threw Away the Will to Live

Shhh! It might run away

This is slightly annoying to do since the controls don't handle corners particularly well. If the rat does escape, you can always reload the room and try again, though, so it's more a nuisance than anything.

Squeek! I give up. I'll tell you everything, squeek.

Don't make any mistakes, or you'll be sorry!

That last line is misleading, as nothing bad happens if you mess up. Rather, the Japanese version says this'll be messed up if you changed the controls (something you can do in this game by the way).

Anyway, hold down L&R and press A to activate this switch. This was the bane of early emulator users, since they couldn't register all three keys at once. Not only that, but the fog layer here used to obscure the playing area, so you had to manually disable the layer to see what you were doing!

Emulation has come a long way.

There's a few new enemies in this area.

Rats are fragile, with low HP, no magic defense, and a massive Darkness weakness.

Meanwhile, the Bugger will do nothing but shoot down rats. Its Japanese name is "Mouse Hunter", so that sounds about right. Otherwise, slight Lightning weakness but halves Fire damage.

These Bugs are apparently Machine-type. Not that it really matters, of course. Otherwise, nothing special.

While that first room was rather linear, this room is massive and has a variety of routes to make it seem even bigger.

This switch unlocks the right door, which we obviously can't access yet. Damn doors teasing us everywhere.

Our destination is the left door, which we loop around from the left to reach. The Proto 2 enemies also pop up here.


Anyway, looks like we've found our next lead.

You might wonder why we just don't come back the way we came. That's because the guards will still be there, so we can't actually wait them out. Besides, it's more fun this way.

You might also wonder how Lucca managed to figure out how to navigate this futuristic computer so quickly. Well, she's Lucca.

That would be Proto Dome, I believe.

Seems simple enough. Go through Lab32, and we should be back home in a jiffy!

For some reason this part bugs me, as it makes Marle seem a bit ditzier than she really is. Surely they could've found a better way to bring up this next part than "Marle decides to push a random button."

So yeah, watch this:

If you can't see it, here's a summary.

Lavos's Theme

On an ordinary peaceful day in 1999 A.D., this giant hedgehog creature suddenly emerges from below the ground...

...and rains destruction upon the entire world. I guess we now know what happened here.

It never really came up before, but these three just had to know that something terrible happened to this world. I imagine they were all too afraid or too Crono to say it out loud, though.

But now, they have to face the reality here.


Marle, understandably, completely breaks down upon learning the fate of the world. Lucca's struggling to come up with words. Crono's still trying to comprehend the magnitude of what he just witnessed (or he's imagining eating some jerky when he gets home, give him a break, he hasn't eaten in days).

To me, Marle sounds less like her optimistic, can-do self and more completely desperate in finding any way possibly to prevent the world from reaching this fate. You'd almost say she's in complete denial if not for the fact that, well, we've mastered time travel.

So maybe this is possible...

It was a stroke of luck that we were sent here through that Gate.

Marle and Lucca are incredibly shaken up and are desperate to fix things. They want to do what they can, but they're scared and unsure of what to do.

Crono's quiet, but he's also the confident one. He's the foundation of the group, the selfless hero, and you damn well know Crono's ready to save the world.

Crono's Theme

Let's take a second and do some more research on Lavos' activities back in our time period!

Until now, this has been nothing but silly time travel vignettes to bring a sense of whimsy. But now, we've got our overarching goal for the game. We have to find a way to stop Lavos.

We don't know how yet, or really anything about our foe, but we've got three plucky young teenagers with the will to do good, and this is a jRPG, so good enough!

And Crono's Theme still plays as we backtrack through this area. It's a really solid scene all around, and it does a great job setting the tone for the rest of the adventure.

But for now, we've still got one plot line to resolve.


Well? What did you discover?

Who cares, where's the food?!
This is all we could get...

You don't know how long the Enertron'll hold out. Those seeds might be your only hope.

The Final Day of the World

You're strange... You're different from us...

We'll try growing the seeds...

Heading for Proto Dome? Go by way of Laboratory 32, and take this with ya.

It's a key to the Jet Bike in lab 32. I used to ride it when I was young. Hope it still works...

With that, we're finished here.

But he left me precious gifts! The seeds...and our child.

We've learned some terrible things, seen the despair and isolation the future holds.

But we've brought hope to a people who had none, and it's that hope that will hopefully bring a peaceful change to the future.

So next time things get goofy.