Tag Archives: let’s play

Chrono Cross 10: The Ends

We missed these guysViper Manor is an integral part of Chrono Cross. And, befitting such a centerpiece of the game, there are three entirely different, entirely separate routes to Viper Manor. You can scale a cliff with Guile, fight through a forest with Nikki, or storm the front gates with Pierre. All three routes have their own puzzles and challenges, and all three routes come with one new party member and distinct treasures (of the more physical variety, though making friends with Pierre is still the greatest treasure of all). And, given selecting any route means excluding your other two choices, it is 100% mandated that you cannot see all the content Chrono Cross has to offer on one play through. Unlike Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross has a significant reason to utilize New Game+ and play through this multiple-choice adventure again.

And then there is the other significant branch in Chrono Cross: do you hunt the hydra for Kid? And if you choose the obvious “Route B”, and decide not to start an ecological disaster for the strange thief lady you just met…. Well… nothing happens. There is no alternate scenario, you just get a handful of different characters (two quickly/mandatory, one other eventually), and the normal plot of the game continues aplomb, just minus a trip across dimensions to a swamp. Oh, excuse me, the plot does not continue exactly the same, as there is a gigantic plot hole (or at least plot confusion) wherein someone apparently acquired hydra humor, but the hydra in a completely different dimension still died, presumably of natural causes. So, to make a long paragraph short: one “branch” is clearly the “real” plot of Chrono Cross, and the other option is just an excuse to hide some characters behind a choice that is proven to never have been a choice at all. And, no, you do not get a bonus dungeon out of the deal.

And, ladies and gentlemen, that is Chrono Cross through and through.

Keep it cleanDeptford hit the nail on the head during his guest stint: Chrono Cross is a game where “individual moments are great”. There has not been an update here where there was not at least something cool happening at some point. There may have been a boring haunted ship, but we got to use a magical luchador through it all. The Isle of the Damned may have been an annoying puzzle that was already outdated on the NES, but it came to an amazing climax with a ghost giant. Dragon hunting can get boring, but at least someone thought to include a rock opera in there. And, in today’s example, we have the fact that there are three whole separate scenarios with interesting locales, characters, and challenges in one branch of the game, and the next branch immediately after that has… Glenn as a consolation prize? It is a lot nicer to say that than “a fat lot of nothing”…

I cannot in good conscious call Chrono Cross a bad game. It is a game full of moments, all stitched together in a manner that make a lot of its other moments look terrible. The direction of the game is not great, and the plot barely holds together. But there are so many remarkable moments in between, it can all be forgiven. Lynx is a great visual design! Just don’t think about the thinly-veiled plot justification for “this cat man is a super computer and also your father” making absolutely zero sense! The resolution of Schala is something Chrono Trigger fans begged for for five years, so please don’t think too hard about the process of scientists in 2300 AD somehow forcing a space bug to birth a baby clone in 1005 AD on Lucca’s doorstop. It is ridiculous, but the only thing surprising about it is that the producers then didn’t try to paste on an even more ridiculous justification for Kid’s Australian accent (we know for a fact she grew up with Lucca in Guardia! Where would she even learn the word “strewth”!?). And, while we are on the subject of Chrono Cross somehow being good or bad because of its choices, consider the battle system, which is a germ of a good idea that simply never evolves into something that is consistent. How do you do the most damage in Chrono Cross? Playing with colors? Summons? Focusing on physical attacks? Who the heck knows. And I can certainly say this person that has devoted hours to the game has no idea. At least there aren’t any relevant super bosses!

Kind of familiarSo this is Chrono Cross. It is a mess. But is it bad? No, it has too much good to ever truly be bad. Chrono Cross is all over the place, but its marvelous highs justify its horrendous lows.

Oh, and the music is unequivocally, universally good.

… Except the battle theme, the song you probably hear the most…

Dammit! I’m going it again!

Even Worse Streams presents Chrono Cross
Night 10


Original Stream Night: August 2, 2022

Recruited this stream:

  • Guile
  • Macha
  • Doc
  • Pierre (in another timeline)

Random Notes on the Stream

  • Ajvark joins us for a revisit to Termina “like from Majora’s Mask”. No, it does not get mooned.
  • We’re going for Guile!
  • This is the path of least resistance… and Guile is pretty cool. Still no Magus, though…
  • Fanboymaster and I once again disagree on the merits of Final Fantasy 8 versus Final Fantasy 9 as we climb cliffs.
  • “The plan is there is going to be ten weeks of Chrono Cross, and then I’ll start Xenogears.” Guess what is next week, ladies and gentlemen!
  • Maybe wear a helmetAs we return to Balthy’s library, we discuss that other Let’s Play that is going on.
  • BEAT evidently did not read the Wild Arms 2 Let’s Play which features far too much twincest.
  • After the Viper Manor raid, you know you are a certain age when you say, “Do you want to hear my funny ICQ story?”
  • We recruit Macha and Glenn, and then head for… the exact same pirate ship we fought through the last time. No Hydra Marsh, no replacement for the Hydra Marsh.
  • Let’s talk about how many crappy Blaster Master games are out there!
  • I apologize for the fact that I did not rename Zoah to ZOAH on the previous playthrough.
  • We swing by Marbule and talk about the terrible Marvel comics featuring Aunt May getting laid.
  • “Is he strong, listen punk, he’s got radioactive spunk.”
  • Brave Fencer Musashi is suggested as a next stream game around the same time Kid comes out of her coma. Now we know what is going to be played next, even if it won’t be on the site next.
  • Caliscrub stops in just as we get Serge, Poshul, and Doc to fight Lavos.
  • They so angry!Is Lavos dead yet? We learn that Minecraft, Xenoblade Chronicles, and not much else is New 3DS Exclusive before finally seeing the “angry girlfriends ending” of Chrono Cross.
  • The finer points of Guilty Gear, Venom, and Dizzy are discussed as we finally recruit the last character on the stream, Pierre.
  • And, finally, the battle against Ketchop closes out Chrono Cross. Ketchop is not a lady piloting a giant old man robot.

Next time on Even Worse Streams: Let’s find religion!

Maybe next time

Wild Arms 3 Part 23: Luck of the Villainous

It looks like today is October 3, Nutrition Day. I’m going to eat a balanced diet of chicken breasts, chicken wings, and chicken drumsticks. It’s important to eat from all the different food groups, right?

Previously on Wild Arms 3: We met what may or may not be an elf, and she helped us get our Pikmin on.


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But now we are done with optional content and back on the trail of advancing the plot.


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Clive’s family gave us two potential leads. The gem mine is closer physically, but Fortune Gear is a potential Guardian shrine, and those dungeons have consistently reaped the best rewards across this quest.


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Word.


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The last Guardian Shrine felt empty, but, like two shrines back, this one likely has an intruder.


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Gonna have to exhume another god corpse…


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Dungeon/plot synergy! This room/platform serves no other purpose than to remind you that Clive got married here, and Fortune Gear is available for parties and bar mitzvahs. So let’s get this party started!

Chrono Cross 09: Final Boss(es)

Big ol' tickChrono Cross was always a complicated, labyrinthian mess of a game. From the focused infiltration mission of Viper Manor to the redundant and roach-infested remix of the intrusion a few hours later, Chrono Cross never quite knows when to let sleeping dogs lie. There is a dungeon exploring a vision of the future, another dungeon exploring a different vision of the future, and then we cap things off with a dungeon that is a vision of the future and the past (and a dinosaur). And at least one of those future dungeons (it’s the last one) ends with an epic, dramatic boss battle against a morphing opponent that is clearly intended to be the final boss.

And once you beat it, then you get to fight another, more complicated final boss.

We have not come today to roast Chrono Cross’s significant pacing problems. A gigantic dungeon followed by an arduous boss fight (and six extra boss fights in between) should never be followed by talking to ghost children on a one-screen beach before fighting a threat to the universe than cannot even get enough out of its own way to pull off a unique super attack. “Lavos” reeks of a slapdash final addition to the game, and the presentation of everything surrounding it screams of a universe where a bonus finale tying to Chrono Trigger was foisted in at some producer’s behest. We already fought Lavos, guys! And the fight was a lot more interesting last time! There might have been an alien astronaut in there or something!

But, while the final opponent of Chrono Cross is incredibly lackluster, the method of defeating her is not. The Time Devourer may be conquered one of two ways: beat it senseless, or weaponize the harmony of the planet. If you choose to slice and dice what’s left of Lavos, you will see the “bad ending”, but an ending all the same. However, if you acknowledge this is a hostage situation, and the person you are trying to save is, ya know, worth saving, you will be generously rewarded with a Schala/Kid-focused ending that provides a touch more closure. And wasn’t that the whole point of the adventure? To save Schala? I mean, it kind of came out of left field, but it did all line up…. Kinda…

Look at it goLook, it would be easy to be mad at Chrono Cross for trying to have its cake and eat it too with its complicated “real” fight against a dinosaur computer and then a puzzle fight against the true big bad… but you know what? I can count on one hand the number of JRPGs that, up to this very day, end with a boss fight that requires anything but a high strength stat. Are there interesting, intricate final bosses out there? Of course, but so many still boil down to “hit it harder”. The Time Devourer is something different, and, like the rest of Chrono Cross, that is interesting all by itself.

Even if it did mean that nearly everyone else on the stream never bothered to beat Chrono Cross “the real way” before…

Even Worse Streams presents Chrono Cross
Night 9

Original Stream Night: June 14, 2022

Recruited this week:

  • Technically we recruited Poshul again during New Game+, I guess

Random Notes on the Stream

  • Welcome to the final dungeon! Let’s discuss other PS1 final dungeons… except they’re kind of samey.
  • Ample Vigour joins almost entirely through groaning.
  • Look at me!Hulk Hogan kept the Pastamania Regalia. You cannot convince me otherwise.
  • Consider “I love the idea of incel Dracula” and other Castlevania spinoff concepts.
  • The final fighting boss appears as we discuss the possibility of a very bouncy King of Fighters JRPG.
  • What is the true nature of Lavos? Is it an astronaut that looks like a heart?… Or… something?
  • The redesign of Schala for Chrono Cross is discussed… but we all agree it is terrible.
  • We beat the game! We are playing it again! BEAT is playing Smash Bros again! My Switch told me!
  • Let’s fight Lavos all over again! And discuss how Final Fantasy 6’s Cyan is catfishing a woman from a cave.
  • And that’s it for Chrono Cross…. Kinda!

Next time on Chrono Cross: Let’s take a look back at the roads not taken.

It's her
Maybe we could go to the beach sometime?

Wild Arms 3 Part 22: How Does Your Garden Grow

I ribbon-promise that today is September 26, Abnormal Weather Day. The professor’s abnormal weather ran away from him, because it felt that the professor’s love was too much of a burden. For the sake of the professor’s eternal love for her, abnormal weather returns to Filgaia once every year.

Previously on Wild Arms 3: We met Clive’s family, and resolved to explore the nearby gem mine or Fortune Shrine.


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But remember Ricardo? No? He was the old man who noted a deep forest by Baskar. And, while Clive’s adoring wife and child gave us clues to plot-relevant locations, I am pretty sure this Ricardo guy is on the level. Did you see his hat? Kaitlyn doesn’t have a hat…


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So we ride! We were already at Jolly Roger at the end of the last update, so we’re pretty close to Baskar.


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You need a horse to jump that chasm by the forest. You can’t just wander over here when you are first visiting Baskar.


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And if you scoot around the perimeter of this forest, you can radar-up what looks like a town. Jackpot! Thanks for the tip, Ricardo!


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The Secret Garden? Let’s Burnett…