Yup, another progress report for Chrono Trigger. Last night, thanks to the excessive use of the Dual Tech called Ice Sword and by stocking up my team (Crono, Marle, and Ayla) with fire-resistant armor, I was able to kick Rust Tyrano’s rusty butt, discover the Rainbow Shell directly behind it, and bring said treasure back to Guardia Castle. I expected some kind of reward right there and then, but was surprised to learn that I’d have to do some time-traveling to see if anything was to come of the legendary shell. Ah, this sidequest was not over yet. Back in the future, the trial of the century is happening; I won’t spoil what happens next, but it was a nice moment for Marle and her father, and as a reward, I got Melchior to make her a new dress from the Rainbow Shell.
Again, just like last time, I’m now at some crossroads. Here’s the list of Chrono Trigger sidequests available to do before taking on big ol’ smelly, the it of the hour, the not-so-lovable Lavos:
Ozzie’s Fort– Finished this one and even found the secret room that housed all the best gear for Magus, a dude I am so not interested in using. I tossed him into my party once for a few fights and then got rid of him. No Dual Techs? Get outta here.
- Northern Ruins – Thanks to Epoch, I found a ruined castle with the ghost of Cyrus in it. We fought, I did no damage to him, and the battle ended after a bit, with Frog trying to make contact with his old friend who was sadly having a case of the jimmy arms. That was it. Nothing else seemed to happen, and I’m not sure what it is we’re doing wrong–I figured having Frog in the party was the trick to getting this sidequest started. Guess not.
- The Sunken Desert – I went into the quicksand hole, cleared out some enemies, grabbed all items from the treasure chests, and then died fighting the skeleton boss there, the infamous Retinite. He’s kind of a boney jerk. Couldn’t figure out a good pattern to beating him, as physical attacks raised his defense and water spells lowered it, but by the time I got something going there I had to call it quits in order to heal up my peeps. And then mass destruction was dropped on our heads. Dead, dead, and dead.
- The Sun Stone – Haven’t even attempted this one yet. Not sure what exactly I’m supposed to do.
The Rainbow Shell– Just completed it last night. King Guardia’s Trial– Same as above, which seem to go hand-in-hand with each other. I picked the Prism Dress over the three Prism Helms. Hope that was a good decision. Wait. Why can’t Melchior make all the items? It’s not like the Rainbow Shell got used up to craft the dress. It’s still in Guardia Castle’s basement. I can see it. It’s right there.
- Geno Dome – I dropped Robo into my party, headed to that nasty vision of the future, and started this sidequest proper. Mother Brain–no, not that one–contacts Robo at the Geno Dome, curious about his human companions, and the gang begins exploring. I got pretty far into the factory, but then the game threw some switch puzzles at us, and I couldn’t really figure out where to go next. So I left and haven’t been back.
- The Black Omen/The Final Battle – SO NOT READY YET. Though I think I did accidentally stumble into the final fight once already. I fought Lavos for a good twenty minutes or so, getting pretty far down his line of changing battle formations, but he got us in the end, destroying the world yet again. Kind of worried that my party is still not up to snuff in terms of equipment and experience for the finale. Ugh.
Not really sure what to do. I’m still itching to see this game come to a conclusion, but a few of these sidequests are strikingly unclear. I know in my heart of hearts that I’m missing a ton of items and story bits by not tracking down every place and puzzle to unravel, but I think I am just going to fly to The Black Omen next and see what my group can do. Now, the true question remains: should I take it on in 12,000 BC, 600 AD, or 1,000 AD?