Here we are, over 65 million years in the past!
I guess the ground hasn't been invented yet.
A Shot of Crisis
Half human, half dinosaur... An unlikely life form.
These guys don't have much HP, but they do have high physical defense.
They have a bog-standard physical and bombs that can inflict Sleep.
They're weak to magic, though, so Fire Whirl and Laser Spin wrecks 'em.
As a bonus, Robo picks up his fourth Tech, which we'll show off in a moment.
Unfortunately, a lot more pop up. We could probably take 'em, but it won't be pretty...
Uh, alright then.
Four's a lot more manageable. I mean, Robo can kill them all in one hit anyway so if anything that mystery woman just cost us some experience and money, but I'm not complaining about the assist.
Do not upset her. She's rather agitated right now.
We're not looking for a fight!
So this mystery woman who just effortlessly took down those tough green monsters with pure strength has her eyes set on us now...
...but she seems to have other interests in mind. There's a dummied line for Robo to that effect.
Her...expressive abilities are also greater.
Crono, huh? Good name. Me? Me...
Meet our sixth and final party member, Ayla. She's an interesting one, to be sure.
Ayla suffers a lot from this translation. You see, as a person in a very early era, Ayla has three primary interests: fighting, drinking, and sex.
Take a wild guess which one survives in this translation...
If Marle were here, she'd freak out and tell Crono to get away from her.
In the original version, Ayla's pretty much implying she likes strong people, of any gender. So bisexual, at minimum.
Lucca freaks out a bit about Ayla possibly hitting on her, while if Marle were here she'd simply find it amusing. Ayla's certainly more of a larger-than-life personality than the gang's been used to so far. Her simple-mindedness catches them off-guard a bit, but it's also what makes her such a strong character.
You different, but strong too.
It's because I'm a robot.
Ayla's a simple person, but don't worry, she's not as dumb as her speech and basic interests make her out to be.
It is beyond her grasp.
We're from way after the day after tomorrow.
It's no use...
She's still a bit dumb, though.
We'd love to go, but we've got to look for the Dreamstone now.
Stone? Plenty stones! Here, there, at village. You take plenty.
Looks like we've got a lead on Dreamstone, and a chance to party as well. Might as well take it!
This area is very small, just three screens large, with this long path being the only one of note. There's a second Berserker accessory here if we wanted it.
These guys are pretty much the same as the Reptites, except with twice the HP and only basic attacks.
Spincut + Laser Spin = Max Cyclone. Similar to how Rocket Roll only uses Robo's stats, Max Cyclone only uses Crono's. In this case, it does double the damage of Spincut (which is itself double the damage of a regular physical attack), but within a decent radius of Robo. So it does some solid damage to multiple enemies, but it's also very situational due to relying on Robo's position. If Robo's near no enemies, you can't use it!
Robo Tackle uses a different formula than the usual physical attack formula, and one we'll see again next update. This one does not rely at all on Robo's weapon power, but rather prioritizes his level. The formula in this case is ((LVL^2 * 1/45) + (PWR * 16/9)) * 4.725 + RND. This can end up doing a lot of damage at high levels, understandably.
While most enemies in this era has high physical defense and low magical defense, these guys have standard physical defense but high magic defense.
Otherwise their marching skills are lackluster.
Crono come, Ioka village this way.
If you bother fighting the easily-avoidable Kiwala encounter, Ayla chastises you for wasting your time on such a dumb encounter. See, Ayla can be smart!
Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth
The overworld has some interesting atmospheric music, pretty cool stuff honestly.
There's a couple areas of interest that we'll be ignoring for now. One we'll explore next update, while the other one is late-game, though if you want to risk diving in early for some treasure you're more than welcome to.
But first, let's visit these huts.
Free HP/MP recovery here, which is handy.
Reptites have evolved to resist physical attacks, which is why the humans here are having troubles beating them.
It looks like Ayla has the stone we're looking for.
And also we need to gain her trust before we can really take advantage of this area.
This will certainly be useful information later!
When rain, rare monster appear!
We'll go into these in a bit.
Limited selection, unfortunately.
The last hut is Ayla's, but we'll go back to that shortly.
For now, there is one area I want to go ahead and check out.
The Hunting Rage is simply a large screen with monsters. It's an optional area.
The battle music is different for encounters here. Anyway, all three frogs have identical stats, standard defenses and low HP. Easy to take out.
The only difference is their drops, which are 2 X drops, including Feathers, Fangs, and Horns.
Since I put Marle and Robo together, they pick up Ice Tackle.
They have slightly higher HP than the frogs, but are also identical. They drop 2 Feathers and 2 Petals.
As for what those items are for, you'll have to wait and find out next update.
There is one more enemy here, though it only spawns when it rains and shows up in one of several pre-set locations, leaving when the rain stops. So if you want to find it, you better hurry.
It's our old friend, the Nu, and usually this will be the first time you meet one.
A perfect opportunity to check out our new Dual Tech!
This technique adds 50% more damage to both Marle's Ice spell and Robo's Robo Tackle technique, then adds the damage together. This is one of the highest-damage Dual Techs you'll have for this point in the game, so it's really nice to have.
Otherwise, same ol' Nu as before, down to the really nice TP bonus.
Which conveniently nets Marle her fourth Tech, Cure.
Defeating the Nu also gives you three of everything, which is nice. You know, when we can use these.
And the first time we beat the Nu in the Hunting Range, we get the Third Eye accessory, which doubles Evade. It's not terribly useful since most enemy attacks will auto-hit anyway, but it's not shabby either.
For 2MP, Cure heals MAG * 14 + RND. It's almost three times as powerful as Aura, yet still only 2MP. It's one of the best healing single techs in the game.
Anyway, that's all we've got to do right now, so let's get down and party.
Strong man. Crono! Friends of Crono. Marle, Lucca!
This is pretty much a bigger version of the prehistoric dancing area from the Millenial Fair. If there's one thing the present era got right about ancient humans, it was their love of partying.
Somehow I don't think Crono will be doing any singing.
Robo's a killjoy here, but Marle and Lucca are teenagers and thus are more than happy to enjoy a party with lots of free food and alcohol.
Our party's been working their butts off trying to save the future. Why not relax a bit and let off some steam?
Especially since, again, they're teenagers and there's plenty of [s]booze[/s] poi.
If Marle's in the party, you can dance. In the Japanese version, she's slurring her words and clearly drunk.
It's as bizarre as in the Millenial Fair.
If Lucca's in the party, you can chug some booze. She's also really drunk.
If Robo's in the party, you can watch him sulk in the corner.
Granted, it's not really obvious in this translation. The Japanese version calls this stuff "Rock Crash". You can probably guess why.
All in Ioka village fight. No fight, go to Laruba village. Don't know where village is. Always hide. Azala want to destroy Ioka AND Laruba.
The ancient people don't just party every day, though that'd be nice. They're actually in conflict with the Reptites from before, and honestly it's Ayla's leadership and ferocity that keeps her tribe alive, so things aren't really as peaceful in this era as they seem.
Meet Crono today. Good day! Eat, party, sing, dance!
After that, we get control of Crono again. But since we've exhausted everything else, let's talk to Ayla again to trigger stuff.
You want, you challenge Ayla! You win, then Ayla give to you.
We need to challenge Ayla to get the Dreamstone we came here for, so of course!
That said, this isn't a challenge of combat...
Party now, so eat! Crono and Ayla have soup race!
No, this is a drinking contest. Yes, Crono has to face the biggest party animal in the prehistoric era in a sake-chugging contest.
In a way, it's a test of Crono's manhood. He's good at a fight, but is he strong enough to hold his liquor? Can he excel in every aspect of life?
In another, more accurate way, it's a button-mashing mini-game that's pretty much an extension of a similar mini-game in the Millenial Fair. It's always neat seeing these little snippets from the fair pop back up as we actually travel those eras during the game.
Enough, Crono. You win, I give you rock!
Either way, Crono's clear love for getting drunk has prepared him well for this moment, and by honing both his fighting and drinking spirit, he defeats the Ioka Chief and wins the Dreamstone he needs to forge a sword for a frog.
This whole thing is bizarre and awesome and why this game is so great.
Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth
And now we see why they call it "Rock Crash"...
What? Liar! I was a perfect lady last night! But why does my tummy hurt so...?
Marle apparently shakes off her hangover like it's nothing. Lucky her.
I'm sure everyone did. There was a lot of people at that party, after all.
The Gate Key's been taken!
Without it, we're stuck here forever!
We're kinda boned now, but surely whoever stole it can't have gone far.
Ayla, meanwhile, is clearly sleeping off the effects of Rock Crash.
Too much soup! Sleep like stone. Burrp...
Sorry to wake you, but we've been robbed!
Wh, what? Must be Reptites!
Who else come?
For this next part, Ayla will join our party. That third slot has Marle for now, but I'll heavily rotate it for Tech/Dialogue reasons.
Next time, we check out our new party member, get into the trade business, and hopefully find the Gate Key so we don't spend the rest of the game partying and getting drunk.
...OK, honestly that wouldn't be so bad.