I’m happy to report that I’ve made further progress in Chrono Trigger, a game I had hoped to have completed in 2011 and am now resolved to see ended in early 2012. And I’m almost there, I think. Maybe. I dunno. Seems like the game is explicitly telling me to go take Lavos down now and at the same time offering half a dozen new sidequests to do before the big final battle. Crono is at some crossroads, in short. But before all that happened, I did make it to the top of Death Peak, and all I got to show for it was a good friend back. Well, that and some new gear, but let’s talk about not walking diagonally for a bit.
Death Peak has two tricky parts to it. The first involves climbing up a snowy hill and hiding behind trees to avoid being blown back to the overworld map by huge gusts of icy wind. This took me over ten times to conquer, and each time my gang of heroes was tossed off the map I’d gasp a little. Eventually I began cursing at my 3DS and threatening to throw it out a window; Tara is a witness to all this, too. See, the problem is that you can’t run diagonally in Chrono Trigger, only up, down, left, and right, making moving quickly an arduous task. And you have to line up your party directly behind a tree when the wind picks up while continuing to press up to prevent from sliding downhill; maybe this was easier on a SNES controller, but the circle pad on the 3DS is too slippery and, conversely, the 3DS d-pad is too stiff. If only they could run at an angle instead of having to stop, feet planted firmly in the snow, and then change direction, and then change direction yet again. You have only seconds to get to tree safety. It was frustrating, and I was pleased to reach calmer winds on the subsequent screen.
But then, just a little ways further up Death Peak, you have to traverse across a slippery bridge without falling off, going from the far right of the screen to the far left in one fell swoop. It’s not easy. Again, a lot of blame falls on the stiffness of the d-pad and the slipperiness of the circle pad. Or maybe I just suck at walking. In truth, when I step onto ice or slippery terrain in real life, I become a 96-year-old man without a cane, moving in inches, eyes straight down, always in fear of falling and hurting myself. I have a history of slipping and hurting myself, so there’s that excuse. Eventually, I was able to make it across and release the breath I was holding. The rest of Death Peak was moderate, and I can’t really talk about what happens thereafter as the story details are extremely spoilery, but things get better despite the constant looming Lavos.
Back at the End of Time, Crono and the gang are tasked with putting an end to our little fire-loving alien beast thing. Or doing a number of other tasks, of which I’m not sure how many are vital or even interesting. I started one, heading back to the medieval ages to deal with Ozzie, Flea, and Slash for a second time. I think I took them down for good, but I was kind of under the impression that since [spoiler name] is now part of the gang they’d want to join up and help us fight the good fight. Alas, it didn’t work out that way, their stronghold got raided, and they disappeared into darkness. For good? Don’t ask me.
Call me crazy, but I think I’m ready to take on Lavos now. Unless someone nudges me towards a specific sidequest. My team of Crono, Marle, and Ayla is pretty top-notch, and I’m interested in seeing how different of a fight this version will be compared to the first time I tried to take him on. I’m so close, guys and girls. Wish me luck, or tell me to go somewhere else. Otherwise, it’s time to save all the times.