Before we take on our next dungeon, there's a couple optional things we can do now that we can leave this era with Ayla in our party.

Meanwhile, Ayla/Frog is the last character duo we haven't had in a battle yet, so pairing them up for the first time unlocks a couple of Dual Techs.

Slurp Kiss combines the two basic healing techniques of each character. Frog's stats are irrelevant, it simply heals twice as much HP as Ayla's normal Kiss does, except to the entire party, while also curing status effects. It's surprisingly solid considering how cheap it is and how it uses two fast characters.

Rollo Kick + Water. Once again, Frog's stats are irrelevant here, and the attack isn't even Water-elemental. It simply deals double the damage of Rollo Kick. Not bad, but Ayla's fourth tech alone will outdamage it once she picks that up, so it's not really that great.

Anyway, time to drag Ayla through time.

Like Robo, Ayla doesn't learn magic, but then that also means she's always learning Techs without having to visit Spekkio.

Ayla's also the last character we can bring to visit Crono's Mother.

Me Ayla.
Ayla... A young lady doesn't dress like that, dear!
But, Ayla like...
Say, "Yes, ma'am!"

Where do you think Crono gets that strength from?

Enough dallying around. If we go east of Ioka, there's a giant lava field surrounding a plateau with this bizarre structure.

Today's dungeon is the Tyrano Lair.

Tyran Castle

First off, the music is pretty stellar. This is one of the few tracks Uematsu contributed, and by far my favorite of his for this game.

The apes walk back and forth in vertical lines, but speed the hell up if you cross their path. Likewise, a Reptite lies within the skull, waiting to ambush you. If you see this coming, you can evade him and skip the battle.

Only the right path is accessible, so on we go. There's a few captives from Laruba in this jail, and if we wanted to, we can let them out right now.

I won't, but I can.

Slightly higher-than-average physical defense, and takes half-damage from Lightning attacks. That said, Lightning will stun them, so a nice Lightning 2 will make them irrelevant.

Looks like we found Kino!

Kino get back! Ayla save you!

This is one of those choices where the reactions are pretty unique for each character. Lucca questions why Ayla went in there, Marle is simply amazed at Ayla's feat, and Frog doesn't really know what to make of this, with a simple "Hmmph." I went with Robo's simply because it's my favorite of the bunch.

No matter. Kino escape with Laruba villagers!
What Ayla do?

Kino go too!
Kino no come. If Ayla dead, Kino new chief of Ioka!

Somehow Ayla's much better at breaking out of jail than breaking in.

After that, we go backwards, with Kino releasing the Laruba villagers if you decided to ignore them earlier.

Anyway, the main reason to rescue Kino is because he unlocks access to the majority of this dungeon.

Kino's not as dumb as he looks. Well, maybe he is, but he knows if anyone can defeat the Reptites, it's Ayla, Crono, and (insert third party member here).

Chrono Trigger in general has had some interesting dungeons so far, with 2300AD's Factory and Magus's Castle being highlights so far. In my opinion, though, Tyrano Castle is the most interesting dungeon yet, and probably even one of the better examples of dungeon design in this genre.

This first room, there are two encounters on either side. You can trigger them, or you can hit the obvious switches to send them to their doom.

The Volcanos have standard defenses, but their elemental defenses are interesting. They nullify Shadow, absorb Lightning and Fire, and are very weak to Water.

But that's not all. If you hit them with a non-fatal attack...

...they counter with an eruption on the enemy side.

Marle, Lucca, Frog, and Robo are all now close to learning their fifth techs. Well, Marle was until she learned hers, Haste.

Haste is generally powerful in ATB systems, and it's no different here. For this game, it doubles the target's speed, with the catch being that it never exceeds a speed of 24. This still means that even slow characters like Lucca or Robo will outspeed a non-hasted character with the max speed of 16. It also means 12 Speed is as good as 16 if you plan to use Haste.

There's a better way to get the Haste status than using Marle, but since we don't have access to that yet, this is still very handy to have whenever we use her.

The right branch leads us to this room. The left chest has the next tier of consumable, with Full Tonics healing 500HP each.

I keep forgetting to bring up consumables because I almost never use them.

The right chest is a trap door, dropping us to where the Laruba villagers were jailed...and it just so happens also where those enemies we dropped earlier ended up. And they aren't too happy to see us...

It's a neat little detail of reaping what you sow. Of course, if you ignore that trap chest, you also don't have to deal with any of that.

The left path progresses to the next part of the dungeon.

Remember what I just said about this dungeon being awesome? This room is why I'm a giant liar.

Basically, specific areas will teleport you to other areas. It's trivial to get to the exit, but if you want the treasures it's a giant dumb game of pixel hunting for the specific tiles to teleport you to other tiles.

Helmet upgrade for everyone. First since the Rock Helm from our first trip out here, still a mere +3 Defense upgrade.

There's a couple encounters here but whatever.

To reach the southwest corner, you have to approach this tile from the side. It's easy to overlook this by just going up from the eastern-most path.

And to further make things dumb, you have to entire this arbitrary tile in that southwest portion to get teleported to the northeast section and get the ultimate prize...another boring Meso Mail.

This room is garbage.

Lucca's next to get a Tech.

Protect is pretty lame, only reducing physical damage by 1/3. A turn spent casting this is a turn better spent nuking the opponents. At least it gives a pretty neat sprite to the person under Protect.

And like Haste, there's also another way to give people Protect.

The left button drops in some monsters.

Rock Throw is the next Tech in Ayla's parade of "Stronger Physical Attacks" techs, and it even leads to a new Dual Tech with Crono.

We need to hit this switch to progress.

Rock Throw does over triple the damage of a regular attack. However, some enemies are immune due to the animation this attack uses.

Spincut + Rock Throw. This does double the damage of Crono's Spincut, ignoring Ayla's stats. The big thing here is that it uses the straight horizontal line AoE, which is one of only two party attacks in the game to use that targeting. Not too shabby!

Immediately in front of us is a familiar face.

Noted. Thank you!

Let's go take care of Azala and-

...oh. Of course it won't be that easy.


Boss Battle 1

The boss's name is Nizbel II, though the Japanese version implies this is the same Nizbel as before, just more powerful.

...Which makes his declaration all the more bizarre (and true).

Anyway, this is a souped-up version of the Nizbel I fight. Lightning still lowers his defense.

However, other attacks raise it back up.

This time, he'll still attack after getting hit with electricity, though it's mostly rushing attacks, both single and multi-target.

Rock Throw works on Nizbel! Go figure.

And Nizbel II will still release electricity occasionally, raising his defense.

It takes more healing and requires Crono to stick to Lightning duty, but otherwise our party's grown enough that it's more than doable.

Tyran Castle

We actually have a bit more dungeon to go through!

The next area has three switches.

The middle one produces a save point.

Left removes the floor...

...and right drops monsters. If there's no floor, they keep dropping!

You have to interact with the skull itself to open it and unlock the switch to progress further.

r.i.p. Crono

That's the last of the dungeon, as we finally reach Azala. It's time to end this war once and for all.

Will it be the Reptites, or you silly apes who end up ruling the world?
Strong survive. Ayla strong. Ayla fight!


You'll soon become the best of friends!

Welp, no choice but to end this. Surely its bark is worse than its...

...oh. Oh boy.

Stain the earth...RED!

Mwa ha ha! With this Black Tyrano I can finally exterminate those filthy apes!

Boss Battle 2

Busting out the big boss music for this one.

The Black Tyrano has very high defenses, and is best ignored in favor of Azala.

Azala meanwhile has very high physical defenses, but low magic defenses. Ayla can't really do much here, so Crono and your third character are better off using their best magic attacks to plink away at her. Fortunately she doesn't have much HP.

But Azala does have psychic powers, because sure, why not.

The Black Tyrano meanwhile breathes fire and can chew a character for decent damage, draining HP from that character for recovery.

Upon death, Azala does a weak attack to deal HP sap, and we're left with the Tyrano.

At this point, the Black Tyrano drops to normal defenses, which lets us start burning through its massive 10,500HP.

It also starts this countdown.

Upon hitting 0, it does this nasty fire breath attack for massive damage.

I manage to kill it off right before it gets it off again.

And that's the end of the Black Tyrano, and the reign of the Reptites.

At the Bottom of Night

Listen, primates, and let it be known. We Reptites fought bravely to the bitter end!

Despite this bitter feud between two factions, there's a mutual respect beneath this between Azala and Ayla. They're sworn enemies, but also deep down respect each other for their strength in the face of defeat.

The burned out plains will slowly freeze, ushering in a long, cruel ice age.

Mwa ha!

Lavos...Impossible! that means...

...the red star is Lavos. This era is when Lavos first arrives on the planet. And of course this is also how Lavos came to get his name, due to the devastation he's about to cause.

Lavos's Theme

Luckily, Kino's here to save our hides for once.

All ride Dactyl!

Kino stands around like a doof before getting on, but Ayla has other concerns.

Absolutely not! The powers that be have spoken.
Ayla! Hurry!!!

Ayla reluctantly boards the Dactyl. not forget...

Future? What about future?

...and so Lavos arrives.

Ambient Sound - Wind

We're dropped off to this background, as our party works through everything that just happened.

Crono! We go where Lavos fall!

Lavos should be weaker now. Perhaps we can put an end to him?!

Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth

That leaves us at the ruins of the Tyrano Lair. Unfortunately, it seems Lavos has managed to burrow underground. However, all is not lost...

It appears that the immense energy that Lavos radiates alters time and creates Gates.

Our lead to Magus was a bust, and everything is resolved in this time period. We're out of leads now besides this one gate. Looks like this is our only option.

Also, at this point we can swap Ayla out, and she's now permanently in our group. For the rest of the game, we've got our full roster available!

Next time, we travel into the unknown once again. Perhaps this will bring us a new lead on how to handle Lavos? What fate awaits us beyond this gate...?

That's a story for next time.