Saturday, December 11, 2010

Radical Dreamers (Super Famicom) - Pt 2

Get ready for the climactic PART 2 of the Radical Dreamers fun-fest. Our last episode culminated with Serge and company defeating the Mystical Gobbler Team, the Ginyu Force of Radical Dreamers. Now, they look for the Frozen Flame and finally meet the dastardly Lynx.

Here, I'll look at the remaining 33 and a third of the game.

See what I did just now?

Kid's a real bad-ass. Every time Serge has some injury, Kid has something worse and yet laughs it off. I know people like her in real life. Also... Hangovers? For a teenager, Kid gets into all kinds of shady business. I also know people like that in real life.


A non-vicious goblin greets us here. He has the in-fo, but he isn't as nice as he initially appears, and ends up bribing the good guys. Besides all of that...he's sporting bifocals. Really rocking the Hot Librarian look, he is.


Magil and the goblin banter back and forth, because Magil is a cultured immortal of high class.



Magil proceeds to describe the man... as well as himself.


Kid being a badass some more. And Serge references MOHAMMED ALI~! If Captain Hammer ever said the same thing... well, he wouldn't be talking about his fists.


 "The bee is my penis."


Here's Riddel...but we don't get to see her. Kid proceeds to do her best impression of Jack Bauer, which is a recurring theme in this game. DON'T CROSS KID! WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BOMB!

Here's Riddel. She doesn't look at all like the Cross version.


Magil speaks on Glenn. I like this...it actually continues something from Chrono Trigger. It is my belief that the Magus/Glenn story was one of the better things CT did. It's simple yet interesting and belongs in the pantheon of great Good Vs. Evil tales of olde. The best thing is, the player gets to decide the final outcome of that feud.


At this point I get Einlanzer, and have to use it to proceed through the dungeon. That third option is HILARIOUS. Why would the game even give such a ridiculous option? Reminds me of Fallout 3 and how practically every NPC interaction gives you like six choices of what to say/do. Makes things interesting.


More Chrono Cross music plays as our heroes take the Hellevator down to the Frozen Flame. At this point I think the game is departing from the Viper Mansion storyline of Cross. ...I wonder how many people out there are familiar with anything I'm talking about here. Hopefully a few.

This is a good look at all three characters. Serge looks more like Aladdin than like Cross Serge. Kid looks more like Cross Kid now, and Magil...well, he's just bein' Magus.

This is it... notice how it makes reference to Magil's mask? Magil became "Guile" in Chrono Cross. He also, evidently, lost the fact that he was Magus, since Cross avoided commitments to Trigger the way Al Gore avoided being associated with Bill Clinton in the 2000 election. Take a look at Guile, though:

That's Magus on the left, Guile on the right. Guile also flies the same way Magus does and attacks with Shadow spells. And he's Not Magus in Chrono Cross. At the last minute they yanked whatever storyline they were developing for him and made him just another generic character. Yes, Magus, who is Schala's brother... Schala, who is the very foundation of Chrono Cross's story. Argh. And herein lies the big problem with Chrono Cross. Part of it, anyway. An emblematic cross-section of it.


Here's another shot of Magus. Looks just like Magil, no? It really is a shame that Chrono Cross didn't preserve his character. Same goes for Glenn, I guess... though even more so, since Glenn was pushed in the demos for Chrono Cross. Almost makes the Chrono Trigger loving player feel kind of suckered. Enough about Chrono Cross, though. I played both it and Chrono Trigger one Christmas ago, and they were both fun. I just think Cross could have been more. Back to Radical Dreamers... the missing link in the Chronoverse.



Interesting. So Viper Mansion was built on top of some ruins of the Magical Kingdom. Obviously, all those islands crashed to earth after 12000 B.C., like the blue barrier ruins north of Medina. But I thought FATE retroactively went back and terraformed the El Nido Islands around 1000 A.D.? I guess FATE terraformed over fallen Magical Kingdom ruins.

L...Lynx-sama! Unlike Chrono Cross, he isn't a cat... he's a V for Vendetta style scary dude in a mask. I think.

It seems Kid has the Time Egg... and Lynx wants it.

Lynx murdered Lucca... you heard it here first. DAMN YOU LYNX! What happens next is... Lynx casts a web spell on Magil that incapacitates him. Then he fights Kid, and easily overpowers her. Then you, Serge, take him on in the big final battle. There's no way to win, and he beats you easily too. However, your actions in said battle determine the ending...I think. Namely, whether or not you protect Kid determines whether or not she lives to be in it. From what I understand. Amazing how helpless our heroes are once Magil is incapacitated.

This last scene seems to tie the Chrono-verse together...somewhat. And now...it's story time.






That's Schala, for those keeping track. She gets the reset button pushed on her life, much like a reincarnated Xenogears character.


The Time Egg shatters, and draws Serge into its universe momentarily. I wish I could explain this better... well, I will shortly.


This...is something else. During this scene, Serge and Kid basically face themselves, leading to Kid realizing she was someone else once before.

A bunch of Porre soldiers rush in at this point to get the Frozen Flame, and Lynx flees. Lynx really does his best to out-badass Magus on the way out.

Serge doesn't want to say goodbye to Kid, but now that she realizes who she is, she's leaving.

That lonely, one in a million expression of hers? I think I know what he means. I've seen it lately.




This short, mostly graphic-less game made me feel more about Serge and Kid than all of Chrono Cross did (nearly nothing). The unstealable treasure in question, I would say, is love. For Serge's part, it's awful watching something so important slip away and knowing you should stop it... but not knowing how or if it's even possible.



And just like that, Serge is alone in the woods.

Serge despairs. Judging from this pan-out shot, his despair can be seen for miles.

The book with the turning pages finally closes at this point, and the story is over. Now to speak on Chrono Cross's characterization a bit more. It may have done a bad job with the characters themselves, but there were some storytelling aspects, here and there, that I really liked. For instance, the end credits, with Kid walking in a modern-day metropolis. To me, that was a message to young people that we all have our own Schalas, out there looking for us somewhere. I don't even mean in a romantic sense, I mean in the sense of people forming much-needed bonds with one another. Or maybe the message is that we're Schala and Schala is us. Maybe it's beyond my scope to really analyze right now.


FIN.

The game is something like three hours long...maybe five at the most. I'm not bothering with the game's six or seven "other scenarios" for three reasons. One, I'm not sure if I can, since the game start menu is so bizarre and doesn't give a new game + option. Two, they have like 20 minutes of new stuff each, so there isn't much to miss. Three, they have little to no connection to the main story, and are mainly just jokes the designers did. Like one where Magil romances Riddel, and one where Serge pilots Mecha-Godzilla or something. ...four, I need to get to other stuff.

Now, in an effort to more adequately explain what happened, here's a synopsis I found.

The trio battle Lynx for the Frozen Flame, and Lynx gains the upper hand after trapping Gil with a powerful spell. He plans to acquire Kid's special gift from Lucca—a Time Egg, or Chrono Trigger. With a Time Egg and the Frozen Flame, Lynx boasts that he shall achieve control over time. Kid lunges at him, but Lynx easily parries her attack and wounds her. She desperately removes the Chrono Trigger from her back pocket. The Trigger shatters and causes a localized temporal distortion, leading Serge to see various scenes in history. Kid learns of her heritage as princess Schala of Zeal, a meek girl who was coerced to help awaken Lavos with her magical power. As Zeal collapsed, Schala was wracked with anguish and guilt for her role in the incident. Nearby in the Ocean Palace, the Frozen Flame felt her grief and changed her to a baby, sending her to the modern era where Lucca found her. It is also circumstantially revealed that Gil is in fact Magus, Schala's wayward brother who searched for her after battling Lavos in Chrono Trigger. Once the distortion subsides, an army from Porre—a large nation in search of the Frozen Flame—storms the mansion. Lynx withdraws as Kid, Serge, and Gil flee. Kid tells Serge that she is aware of her true origin, and knowing that is a treasure which cannot be stolen. She bids him goodbye before disappearing into the darkness with Gil.

Feel free to discuss in the comments section.

And here's Part 1, if you missed it. It doesn't have Captain Hammer, but it's good too.

4 comments:

  1. "Here, I'll look at the remaining 33 and a third of the game.

    See what I did just now?"

    Forget the repeating after the third?

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Almost makes the Chrono Trigger loving player feel kind of suckered."

    Kind of? ...at least the soundtrack is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was really entertaining.

    Don't know if you played Chrono Trigger DS, but they tried to retcon Guile not being Magus by making Magus lose his memories in the new ending. Whether that ending was canocial, or ehether Masato Kato was involved in creating it, I do not know.

    I'm hoping that, if Chrono Break is ever made, they'll reveal what happened to Magus. They made Cross to reveal what happened to Schala, and then left out her brother? With Trigger being remade twice in as many years (the DS and now Japanese phones) and Cross coming to the Japanese PSN, the possibility of seeing Break within the next decade is more likely every day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I never played Chrono Trigger DS, and didn't know that about Guile. Pretty interesting. It's too bad that a retconning would be necessary to begin with...

    I'd love to see Break. It's just a matter of "getting the band together" for it, I believe.

    Also, "33 and a third" = Leslie Nielsen reference. I had to pay some tribute.

    ReplyDelete