After the events on Death Peak, our party automatically returns to the End of Time.
Crono is back and ready for action, and now we've got a full team of seven available. Crono is completely optional to have in the party now, and he doesn't have to be the lead character either.
I won't be using him too much though because of his lack of dialogue and because he's already learned all of his techs, while everyone else still has their ultimate to learn (besides Magus, who has another four techs to pick up).
Time to chat up Gaspar.
No, don't thank me. I didn't do a thing. I just gave you a place to begin...
This is a mistranslation in that he's telling Crono to thank his friends for bringing him back from death, but early in development there were plans for Gaspar to be the eighth playable character before those got scrapped, so this line still works.
I mean, Ayla and Epoch are best friends, so sure, why not.
Many paths lay open to you. You may use that bucket. Or fly the Wings of Time to "The Day of Lavos"... Or there's the Black Omen, which floats in the sky above your world. Lavos is somehow connected with it. It's up to you to decide when and where to fight Lavos.
The bucket is the simplest route, Epoch is the fastest route and changes the ending dramatically from the other two, and the Black Omen is the longest route since it requires doing a lengthy dungeon, but there's also some great gear there. Honestly we could probably beat Lavos right now, but there's still a good bit to show off first.
I will opt for the Black Omen this run, but will show off the Epoch ending later on as well, probably as the JERK capper. Note these variations also apply if you beat the game without saving Crono, even though technically the Crono-less endings are considered under a separate ending. Confused yet?
However, you will not be alone. I have had vague glimpses of events, people and places that will empower you...
At any rate, that won't be for awhile, as now we have access to some side quests that can get us both some cool gear and also cap off some story stuff.
Remember that sapling quest we could've done earlier? That's what this quest is about, and I saved it for later because it works better thematically for this stage of the game. It features one of the most iconic scenes in the game to boot.
We can resolve unfinished business with Ozzie. Bonus points for having Magus around for this one.
This one goes a bit more into Robo's origins, and the role of robots in 2300AD.
This concerns the Sun Stone we learned about in 12000BC. This is short and sweet, and thus what I'll be doing this update after I finish all the End of Time stuff.
This one has particular relevance to Frog, and involves exploring the areas on the eastern continent of 600/1000AD we didn't have access to until the Epoch upgrade.
Remember that Rainbow Shell Toma was hunting for? We can hunt for it instead, and resolving this actually triggers another quest.
This line in particular is infamous in how it confused pretty much everyone who played the game. The actual translation says to talk to your party members to learn more, though they just clue you in where to go for these side quests.
Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win... I am sorry that I must simply witness the coming spectacle from my vantage point here...
With Crono in the party, everyone has new lines to rejoice about Crono being back.
I can't believe this! I'm so happy!
Don't put us through that again!
Look at you... Ladies weeping over you right and left...
Now that Crono's here, everyone's cheerful!
Crono! Crono!! Crono!!
Anyway, each character also has secondary text related to these quests, or other things.
Marle's still concerned about her father, but we can't do anything about that quite yet.
It might be just the thing we need to defeat Lavos...
We have no way of knowing it, but the Sun Stone is protected in 2300AD. We'll stop by shortly.
It can't be...
Could it be Cyrus...?
You mean to tell me I have a birthplace?
This fills in some backstory for Robo.
Ayla, and 65,000,000BC in general, have no side quests, but there's some new armor we can snag.
Cretins! And they're still alive!? By the way, Ozzie had a hideout much like my castle...
This quest can be done even if you didn't recruit Magus.
There's not much to do in the Prehistoric Era, so let's get that stuff done first.
Rhythm of Wind, Sky, and Earth
First off, about that armor Ayla mentioned...
It's pretty expensive compared to previous items. Time to grind a bit of materials.
This gives an opportunity to show a Triple Tech I missed earlier. Arc Impulse combines Spincut, Leap Slash, and Ice 2 and boosts the damage of each by 25%.
This may also be the tech being used on the cover of the US version of the game, even though it's ice-elemental and not fire.
This is eight points stronger than the elemental mails, and also reduces 80% of fire damage. It's pretty decent gear, and it'll come in useful soon enough...
The other thing of note in this era is the Laruba Ruins.
People Who Threw Away the Will to Live
All that remains here is a napping Nu.
This Nu will rename your character if you so desire.
The first time you speak to him, you also get this rock. Now we can talk about the rocks.
There are five rocks that act as accessories. These rocks unlock Triple Techs for certain characters, and are the only way to use Triple Techs that don't involve Crono. For instance, the Silver Rock unlocks the Spin Strike Triple Tech for Robo, Ayla, and Frog. Equipping this with any of the three lets the tech be used in battle, assuming the characters have the prerequisite techs, of course.
We got the Black Rock back in Zeal, which unlocks a Triple Tech with Magus, Marle, and Lucca, though that one requires Magus's final tech and thus I can't show it off yet. The rocks give Magus two such Triple Techs and are the only team-up abilities he has.
This is a weird one, as it simply takes Frog's Leap Slash and quadruples the damage, ignoring Laser Spin and Tail Spin. Considering Leap Slash itself does 125% more damage, this results in this Triple Tech doing nine times the damage of one of Frog's physicals, which would be alright, but you're also using up Ayla and Robo's turns to do this and wasting a valuable accessory slot to use this in the first place.
I'm done with this era, so on to do our first side quest. For this one, you want as much fire-resistant gear as possible. Red Mail/Vest are musts, and the Ruby Armor is a nice third. I give that piece to Magus, since he has the highest magic defense and thus between that and the armor will take minimal damage from fire attacks. Then a Wall Ring on top of that to further boost that magic defense.
Our goal for today is the Sun Stone, which apparently is being guarded in 2300AD.
Off in this remote island, no less.
Inside is a small temple with the same architecture as the Ocean Palace, which makes perfect sense since the home of the Sun Stone was created in that era.
However, something that important must have a guard, so...
Boss Battle 2
Meet the Son of Sun. This guy's a bit different from the other foes we've fought.
First off, free Black Mail from Charming the main core. The smaller flames also have Elixirs.
The Son of Sun counters attacks directed at it with Flare, a very powerful fire attack that also happens to be Lucca's ultimate tech. In fact, the majority of attacks here are fire-elemental.
Both the sun and its five flames are essentially immune to damage. There's a gimmick to this one.
Hitting four of the flames will trigger a weak fire counter.
But hitting that last one will inflict damage to the main boss itself.
But of course it can't be that easy, so SoS periodically shuffles the flames around.
Finally, there is one attack that isn't fire-elemental, so you have to take some care here.
Not much, but a little bit.
It's not challenging at all, honestly. You need to either resist/absorb fire or have very high magic defense, which requires high levels. Then it's just slowly chipping away until the boss eventually dies.
After that, the creature retreats to the back of the temple...
...before transforming into the Moon Stone.
With the sun's energy, it could be recharged. But it'll take over 65 million years.
That...doesn't seem very sustainable as an energy source. Most people won't have millenia to wait for the stone to recharge to use its power.
We aren't most people, though.
There's an island in the northeast corner of the map, the only thing persistent across all eras, where the sun is always shining.
It's only 65 million years, no biggie.
That was easy. Let's grab our newly-energized stone and...
It's been gone for ages. Let's check out another time.
600AD has a Power Tab, and the stone is still here.
Did someone from this age take it?
1000AD, though, it's gone. The culprit may likely be from this era.
That thing is an eyesore.
Remember this guy, all the way back in the first update?
He kinda sucks.
Doesn't seem the type to just give us back the Moon Stone, no matter how much clucking we do.
Anyway, the solution to this one is quite clever. First, we're going to need to buy some jerky.
We need to go back to 600AD...
...and visit this woman, who wants to prepare some jerky for her family. Jerky we just so happen to have.
While we can sell it, we can also simply give it away.
This teaches a life lesson to the woman, one she intends to share with her children, and perhaps her children's children, and they may teach their children...
...and so on for four hundred years worth of children.
So, the mayor?
He's kinda cool.
Seems important to you folks. Why don't you take it!
One of the popular theories about this game is how our actions throughout the game don't really change history until we save Crono. Everything we do, from rescuing Leene, defeating Magus, defeating Azala, the fall of Zeal, would've happened regardless of whether or not we've been there. But after saving Crono, we changed history, and some of these side quests involve us actually changing history for the better, such as this one. Now Porre will be run by a friendly and peaceful mayor and be a strong ally for Guardia for generations to come.
[spoiler]The Chrono Cross retcon is such a lazy and half-assed rewrite...[/spoiler]
Anyway, we still need another 1300 years on this baby to get it going.
The Moon Stone has once again become the Sun Stone.
Back at Lucca's house...
...then, we'll just vacuum pack it into a cartridge...
Lucca's ultimate weapon. It has by far the highest attack value of any of Lucca's weapons, over double her next-highest, and it has a 40% crit rate as opposed to the 20% of her other weapons. It has a weird gimmick though where the actual damage dealt can vary from 1/10 of the damage to three times what it should do. Even with that variability, though, it's still insanely powerful and actually makes Lucca a half-way decent physical attacker finally.
As a bonus, we get the Sun Shades, an accessory that boosts damage dealt by the wearer 25%. Very handy.
The Sun Stone might be useful a bit later, but we'll worry about that when that's relevant.
Next time, eh, whatever.