Longing of the Wind
Our final quest is the one we could've done earliest, but I chose to save it since it makes for a great capper to our side quest run.
This Mystic seedling could revive the forest, but I can't plant it. Too many hungry monsters lurking about.
After telling the woman in Zeal Palace or in the Last Village to save the sapling, Fiona will have it in her possession, hoping to restore the old forest to its former glory. However, the deserts have some vicious monsters that need taking care of.
So let's take care of them!
A Strange Happening
The music here's a bit odd, but this is a two-screen "dungeon" so it doesn't matter much.
These guys resist Lightning and Fire, and though their physical defense is below average, they also have solid evasion.
They also have a measly 400HP so Magus or Marle can easily one-shot them.
These guys also resist Lightning and Fire, but have above-average physical defense and enough HP to actually survive an attack.
Not two, but still!
The enemies here also have their defense lowered if water attacks are used.
In the second of two floors, this thing pops up.
But how can one find a monster that roams the inner earth?
It basically pops up randomly, and we have to run into it to trigger it.
That's the simple part, now we have to actually fight it.
Boss Battle 1
Retinite is an interesting little gimmick. There are three parts to this guy. Each section is immune to all elements, with the core absorbing all elements besides water, and the top and bottom parts have very high defense and evasion.
However, the water gimmick still applies here, even if it does no damage outright. The idea here is to use water attacks to weaken the top and bottom parts, and then wail with physicals.
The trick is that these parts will drain HP from the core, and once the core's 1000HP has been burned through, then both parts will counter attacks by increasing their defense again.
But remember that the core absorbs non-water elemental attacks! Just spam whatever Lightning, Fire, or Shadow move you have to heal it back up. Area of effect doesn't matter either since both halves are simply immune.
Speed Tabs are worth their weight in gold. Always take an opportunity to grab one!
At any rate, after I freeze it a few times (I think multiple water castings stack, but I have no earthly idea and have not really tested this so I could easily be wrong here), it's time for the walloping.
And oh, do I wallop.
The attacks are nothing special, a chewy drain attack, sand cyclones, the usual fare.
The core will go away when the body parts are down.
Boosts Stamina by 6. This is useless unless you want to give Frog Squash or Dino Tail a nice damage boost.
Longing of the Wind
Time to deliver the good news.
I wish I could live long enough to see my wish come true!
So it may seem like that's the end of this quest. We killed the monster and done our deed.
Not quite, though. To really finish this, we need to bring in Robo.
We have to leave Robo here to work on the forest. He's the obvious choice since he's the only one that can actually survive long enough to see the forest to fruition.
So now we have Robo on the fields.
So while Robo has to work and wait for four hundred years, we don't have to! Let's see how well a job he ends up doing...
Nicely done, Robo!
The creature was placed in a shrine within the forest.
Looks like Robo is still around after all.
This is basically the spiritual successor to the cathedral from 600AD, except instead of worshipping the act of abducting royals, here they worship trees and robots.
Our friend has certainly earned those accolades.
Nothing really new here, but if you want some hats, here they are. Though honestly the first three are inferior versions of the Vigil Hat, and it may be worth buying those if you opted for the Prism Dress over the Prism Helms.
And there's Robo, who looks a little worse for wear.
Let's bring him back down, and...
Ahh... Crono, how nice to see you.
The effort was worth it! The forest has grown back!
Robo's survived the past [s]fifteen seconds[/s] four hundred years just fine, and he's waited so long to see us again, so...
The Brink of Time
And so we've come to one of the most iconic scenes in this game.
What do you mean?
I have come to think that someone, or something wanted us to see all this.
'Tis true that mortals do relive their most profound memories before death claimeth them. Yet those memories most often are sad ones.
Will that happen when our time comes?
I'm sorry, was that something I shouldn't have asked?
It's ok, it's just something I don't like to think about too much.
...so who is this Entity?
It is unknown, whose memories these are. It may be something beyond our comprehension.
First off, the scene itself is one of those moments where the entire party takes a break and talks about something bigger than all of them, trying to figure out exactly why things are happening the way they are. Is it really just a coincidence that the time periods we've traveled to are some of the most important moments involving Lavos? From its arrival in the Prehistoric Era, to the destruction of Zeal, to its summoning in the Middle Ages, and finally the apocalypse itself... And even our trip to the future was important in having us discover what actually happened, and eventually got us access to the Epoch.
So what exactly is this entity guiding us, if anything? Is it the Gurus? Some unknown diety? Some part of Lavos? Janus's pet cat Alfador? Or perhaps it's the essence of the planet itself, showing us its regrets and dying memories before Lavos sapped away all its energy. Honestly, it's probably the cat.
It's just nice to watch these people (and non-people) who have bonded and been through so much together take a moment of respite to think about why the things they're doing are happening the way they are.
There was something else to that, of course. Past regrets. Things you wish you could go back and fix. We've all had them.
If only I had done this...if only I could go back and do things differently.
The thing is, our party does have that power. They can go back and change their past mistakes, and in fact they already have in the case of Crono's death.
So what's one more?
The sole red gate in the game takes us to...Lucca's house?
Why did Lucca get sent here? I have no idea honestly, but I'd like to think of it as a "Thank you" from the Entity for her role in trying to save the world.
As for this moment...
We're a mere ten years in the past, when Lucca was but a child.
In the main room are Lucca's mom and Lucca. And also Lucca now.
!! Lucca! Enter the password! Stop this machine!
Normally, I only show one of these options, and leave the other option for JERK or for the other posters to show off, but it's pretty important for context to show off both paths here.
So what originally happened here...?
The machine dragged poor Lara along, until...
Lucca awakens again, with the notes having changed...
Lara was permanently crippled from the accident. That's why we never see her walk around, and why she harbors some resentment for Taban and Lucca's fascination with science.
This was also the turning point for young Lucca, who was a normal girl until the accident. She wasn't able to save her mother, and it drove her to learn more about machines, partly to help others, partly to atone for her mistake...
What can a kid really do? She was young and knew nothing of this stuff.
Robo awaits us when we return...
You could mount some treads on me instead.
Robo tries his best to cheer Lucca up...
And it leads to a sweet moment between the two. I really like the Lucca/Robo friendship in general, and is proof that Lucca's decision to pursue science did lead to a positive moment since it let her revive Robo in 2300AD.
...But as I said, this is just how it originally ended.
The Lucca now is not the Lucca of ten years ago. She has the technical knowledge to stop this thing, to save her mother...
Similar to other times in the game, you enter this with the controller. L A R A.
And so Lucca fixes her greatest regret.
We come back to Lucca's room once again. The right note is unchanged from when we first got here, but the other one...
Though disaster was averted, the incident still affected young Lucca enough to follow the science path her alternate-reality self did to prevent such things from happening. Both outcomes still lead to Lucca being the woman she is today.
But this one leads to a much happier result.
As before, Robo waits for us here.
At this point, both paths converge. The following dialogue is the same regardless of whether or not we saved Lara.
It took 400 years and a lot of pressure to make! I hope you'll find it useful.
The GreenDream is an accessory that grants a one-time auto-resurrection upon death, identical to Crono/Marle/Robo's Lifeline Triple Tech. You get this regardless of what happens with Lara.
And so ends this side quest.
The rewards weren't that great. A Speed Tab is nice, the GreenDream is alright, and the hats are there, but the loot wasn't anything to write home about.
But sometimes doing a quest is its own reward.
Next time, we're ready to tackle on the actual final dungeon and will soon make our way to Lavos...