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"'Now, there are people who are trying to reawaken the Gigas,' she announces. 'You mean...The Valuan Empire?' Vyse guesses, since he wasn't privy to that earlier conversation. And even if he had been, he probably would still ask."
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 5




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Chrono Trigger : Part 5
By Ryan
Posted 10.27.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Last time, the Trio gathered up the Hero Merit Badge, the Masamune Blade, the Masamune Hilt, and the Dreamstone needed to combine the broken Masamune pieces, full of hope that a restored Masamune will be just what the doctor ordered to cure Frog's crippling self-doubt. Which will hopefully allow Frog to slay the Evil Wizard Magus. Which will presumably prevent the Evil Wizard from summoning Lavos. Which will probably prevent Lavos from destroying the world. Savvy?

Also last time, the party traveled to the Anachronistic Past and met Babs, Neanderthal Warrior Princess, out-drank her for a chunk of Dreamstone the size of a human head, and subsequently passed out. While the party slept it off, Kino pilfered their BBP Wand and somehow "accidentally" let the Reptites get it. Got it? Good.

So now, the Trio's search for the BBP Wand has led them to the Reptite Lair. As the Trio enters the anthill-type dwelling, Punk notices several weevil-type monsters milling about. The Weevils are fittingly named Evilweevils and, if left to their own devices for a spell, they eventually bore a hole through the ground, disappearing in a rush of noise and leaving a Trio-sized hole in their wake. Punk leads Rosie and Babs over to one of the holes and jumps in after its creator.

The party spins gracefully to a 3-point landing in a cave one level below the surface and grabs a Full Tonic from a nearby treasure chest before getting attacked by the Evilweevil and a Fly Trap plant. Punk and Babs use their superior fighting techniques to beat down the Evilweevil and Rosie roasts the plant with her fire magic, and after the monsters have been vanquished, the Trio hops in another hole.

Base jumpers, eat your heart out.
 

Nailing the dismount in another level of the cave, the Trio sneaks carefully around another Fly Trap and two Evilweevils to grab a Ruby Vest. When they try to sneak over to yet another hole in the ground, the Trio gets caught by one of the Evilweevils and they battle it up. The enemies die and the Trio leaps down the hole. They land in a large cave positively swarming with Reptites, and dash around playing exterminator, with Punk zapping the Reptites with Lightning and Babs and Rosie doing the dirty work. Further along the cave, the Trio encounters a whole army of genetically unsound monsters, such as the Megasaur, which is just a huge tub of dino with these little wings, the Winged Ape, which is just a huge tub of mammal with big wings, and Shiitake, a mushroom with eyes and legs.

I can totally envision Square's development team circa 1995, sitting all alone in a room brainstorming, when suddenly it hits them. Chrono Trigger's only perceivable flaw. The damn monsters aren't nearly fucked up enough. You may not know this, but the original monster set was only somewhere in "Dr. Seuss' Nightmare" territory. The ones we have now have more of a "Dr. Frankenstein's Genetic Grab-bag" feel. Which is clearly superior. Duh.

Bang! Stomp! Loot! Smash! The Trio tumbles into the cave at the underground anthill's rear at the exact moment something plot-relevant starts to happen. Amazing. Azala, a Reptite in a shoulder-padded pink dress who I'm going to call Dennis Rodman from now on because it's my prerogative, marvels at the BBP Wand and wonders how it is that "the Apes" could have made something so technologically advanced. Because he totally knows all about technology and is totally qualified, therefore, to determine this random object's level of advanced-ness. Why not, after all? It's the Anachronistic Past!

Babs dashes forward, ready to do a little negotiating with her fists for Dennis Rodman's pilfered prize, and Dennis Rodman notes that Punk and Rosie aren't like Babs. Because they aren't flashing lots of thigh? Because their clothes aren't made of roadkill? I mean, for somebody with such a capacity for closed-mindedness to group all humanoid mammals as "apes," Dennis sure is quick with the old up/down analysis of our heroes.

Whatever. Dennis Rodman holds the BBP Wand up against his simply fabulous ensemble, where it blends in imperceptibly, and demands that the Trio tell him what it is. They flatly refuse, and Dennis Rodman decides that they need some motivation. And, because Dennis Rodman is a devious mastermind with a hidden and no doubt nefarious plan and therefore has to live until his next plot point, the "motivation" manifests itself through someone else, specifically, an enormous Triceratops-type monster that walks on its hind legs and makes the screen shake when it takes a step. As the Triceratops s-l-o-w-l-y enters the frame, the party marvels at the amazingly sound workmanship hidden in the walls of their subterranean dirthole. I mean, wouldn't it suck if the whole thing came crashing down on them and everybody died?

 
Nine years old? Not me!

Of course, that doesn't happen. "Nizbel," as the Bipedal Triceratops is called, earthquakes his way on-screen to do battle with our heroes, and Dennis Rodman seeks refuge just off the bottom of the frame. Somehow, certainly due in no part to the endless parade of dinosaur monsters elsewhere in subterrainia, Punk realizes that his Lightning magic will whittle away at Nizbel the BiTri's defense and Babs and Rosie can attack the brute's HP. Barring the few times where N-to-the-wiggity-wiggity-what?-BiTri channels Punk's electrical magic against the party, he's very easy to beat and the party quickly sends him packing.

In an anticlimactic turn of events, the camera pans three inches to the south so that Dennis Rodman is revealed. He chucks the BBP Wand over his overly-padded shoulder and hightails it to his Volcano Fortress. Rosie dashes over to the discarded BBP Wand, analyzes it for two seconds, tops, and diagnoses that it's still fully functional. Babs lets loose an exceedingly feminine belch (She's still working the Poi out of her system? Yeah right.) in a vain attempt to have the scene end on a comic note, and a Black Screen ushers the party out of subterrainia and into Babs' hut in the Ioka Village.

Rosie, M!Sue, and Punk wrap up their goodbyes with Babs and Kino, who urge the Trio to come back for more Jurassic Lark anytime and apologize for being a wanker, respectively, and the Trio makes their way out the door, back to the Mystic Mountains, and to the top of the cliff overlooking the BBP. Without a second thought, they jump in. Wouldn't it be funny if Rosie had made some misdiagnosis and the BBP Wand had failed to work?

But really, the BBP opens wide to snatch the plummeting heroes as they pass, plunking them down safely at the Lugubrious Veranda of Intersecting Time-Space Continuums. All I can think as I sit here is that that would probably be the most surreal experience ever. Leaping off of a cliff in 65 Million BC, getting snagged in mid-air by a mystical portal, and continuing the fall all the way to the End of Time. Whoa.

Punk leads Rosie and M!Sue to the center square, where Old Man fruitlessly exposits to them that somebody who can process the Dreamstone to repair the Masamune is most likely chilling over by that village that's full of monsters. The party scorns Old Man for being so bad at being helpful, dashes over to the "Medina Village" BWP, and zooms into the sands of time. Or wherever it is they go when entering a BBP, exactly.

Fanwank version 5.0! What's the deal with Old Man?
He's clairvoyant.
He's got a strategy guide stashed inside his trench coat.
He's, duh, really the mystical Guru of Time and therefore knows these things.
The murky depths beneath the Lugubrious Veranda serve as a window into the various Time Periods, and Old Man can see what?s going on in all the eras. It?s very pathetic that the Trio?s exploits across Time are the only things worth his attention, really.

 

Once more, the Trio busts out of the only closet in Medina Village, and the joke is as not nearly as funny now as it was the first time around. Keeping as low a profile as possible, the Trio makes a break for the door and quickly heads west to Melchior's pad. Melchior uses his X-Ray vision to spot the Dreamstone in Punk's pocket (not like it would have been that hard to spot anyway, that shit is bigger than a human head) and joyfully exclaims that he'll repair the Masamune for the Trio. "HOW on earth did you get the Masamune... and the Dreamstone?" he starts to wonder, but then decides that it'd probably be better if he didn't even ask. Wise Melchior already knows that attempts at understanding this plot only end in further confusion.

As Melchior starts to head to his basement workshop, Rosie supposes that she could lend a hand too and follows him. Punk, mortified at the prospect of being alone with M!Sue, dashes down the stairs after them.

By the time Punk and M!Sue appear at the bottom of the steps, Sticky-Fingered Melchior has already situated the broken blade of the Masamune and the Dreamstone on a large table in the center of the room. Rosie is standing next to the Dreamstone, shaking her head and wondering how Melchior plans to fix the sword. Punk immediately takes it upon himself to dash about the room between Rosie and Melchior, eager to hear every bit of their oh-so-creative dialogue. That type of dialogue never comes, by the way, but both Melchior and Rosie eventually get fed up with Punk's annoying antics and essentially tell him to sit down and shut up. Which is priceless.

Anyway, Melchior pulls a book from the bookshelf along the northern wall of his basement workshop and informs Rosie that "to repair the Masamune, [they] must process the Dreamstone, and activate the sword." He sets Rosie to processing and takes the ambiguous "activating" for his lazy old self. Rosie considers the hunk of Dreamstone for a moment before heading over to the bookshelf and procuring a mug from its dark recesses. While she's doing that, Melchior absorbs (sprite for "picks up,") the sword and takes it over to his desk, where he reads a book to it. Or something. I don't know. It's not like Square spared any expense for animations in this scene. Case in point: Rosie never actually touches the Dreamstone as she's processing it. Instead, she raises her arms above her head like she's casting a spell and moves her arms spastically and some ethereal wind rustles her tunic.

 
Hands free? She's just that good. Deal.

Melchior eventually turns from his reading to tell Rosie that he's ready for the Dreamstone, and even though Rosie's only been at the processing for five seconds total, thanks to Punk's ADD antics, she claims to be finished, too. She scoops up the Dreamstone and the mug with a cleverly-manipulated "croquet mallet defense" animation and totes them over to Melchior's desk.

As Rosie plops the Dreamstone on the desk, she and Melchior resume their spelling/reading over the two objects. Soon enough, a white glow gradually consumes the screen, accompanied by a high-pitched buzzing noise. The white glow engulfs the entire basement, and when the colors return, we're back on the main floor of Melchior's hut.

Melchior apologizes for keeping us waiting, like the two minutes it took to repair the damn blade are anything compared to spending the past two recaps trying to tackle this kind of stuff, and he dims the lights and turns to Rosie so she can make with the Vanna White shtick.

Rosie pulls the sword out of thin air, and lemme tell ya, it's an impressive blade. I mean, the damn thing is as long as Rosie is tall. It also has wonderful balance, if the way she's teetering it on her twiggy arms is any indication, and if I know anything from watching trashy, American-made samurai movies, it's that the balance of a blade is vital. However, a quick sidebar, if I may, what's the deal with Melchior's brand of sword-smithery? Is it all hocus-pocus? Because there's no anvil in the basement workshop. No forge. That makes no sense, because what could he possibly have done to take a hunk of red crystal and a broken blad-- You know what? Forget it. Let's move on.

Uh... a little help here?
 

Everybody creams their shorts at the Implausibly Restored Masamune and, after pawning some of their outdated armaments off on the Implausible Swordsmith himself, the Trio makes a break for the Only Closet in Medina Village. In an effort to keep the layover at the Lugubrious Veranda of Intersecting Time-Space Continuums as short as is humanly possible, the Trio dashes straight for Old Man, who shares in his five seconds of Masamune-inspired creaming before reminding the Trio that Frog still chilling in the Middle Ages, just itching to get his hands on as fine an implement as that.

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