Welcome to the second installment of
Chrono Cross This!
You can find Part 1 Here, or down below in the next paragraph, or all the way at the bottom.
The Story So Far!
So, in my last trip back to Chrono Cross, I barely played the game at all. I went through a tower dream, got bossed around by Leena, heard a lot of foreshadowing of events to come (cat demons, dragon castle, talk of fate, alternate realities. The only thing they haven't spoiled, I feel like, is the only thing that semi-connects Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross and everything being one of a bajillion parallel worlds.) Then I slaughtered an entire generation of komodo dragons, and their mother, for THREE of their scales. Then I stopped after a CG cutscene that brought me to a parallel dimension (even though I "don't know it yet".)
So, where did the story take me from there? No place interesting yet, I can tell you that.
The Story Now!
So, strange guy on the beach told me to go back to town to find Leena because she was babysitting (but wait, she had just finished babysitting to come visit me! What's going on here?!)
Ok, side tangent.
Sorry about that. Back to the story.
So, I stop by the dragon rock to fight my way back to the town (because of treasure and xp) and find out that there are completely different monsters here! Eh, I'm sure the local wildlife just switched out while I was unconscious and it's the exact same place. Right? I make it back to the village only to find out, long story short, it's not the same village! Well, it IS the same village, but it's different! All of the people are different! The guy that had caught a monster fish has no fish at all and can't catch anything for the life of him! The poet girl in the restaurant gave up on poetry and is all cynical! And the chef's wife is running the place while the chef went off on an adventure! And a great fisherman hasn't been a fisherman and now worships a voodoo doll, and had a friend that had a son that died 10 years ago! And there's a different village chief! And Serge's house is owned by someone else! And a boy in the village was attacked by a cat and then drowned a couple of years later! And.. this all feels super heavy handed. So heavy handed, in fact, that the girls in the village even like a necklace made out of rainbowshells, NOT komodo scales. I get what they're going for, and hopefully this is something that they don't continue to be so forceful about, but man does it feel kind of crappy right now. Maybe the problem is just that I like talking to random NPCs though and they don't expect that you want to do that.
So, I find Leena and she explains the whole story to me about how she used to like this boy, named Serge, that lived in the village, but then he died, and she doesn't know why she's telling me all of this (other than the fact that I asked...) and then she doesn't believe that I'm Serge and she tells me that I should go visit Serge's grave up on cape howl (because for some reason this boy is the only boy that ever died of drowning and therefore is the only one that gets a grave up on some cliff overlooking the ocean/sea.) She's also very insistent about this. Off to cape howl it is.
So I get there, fight my way to the top, then I get jumped by three guys. Three guys that are after me because a mysterious "He" said I would be here. Why bother with "He" (they even put it in quotations, yes) when even if they SAID the guys name, I would have no clue who it was. This seems pointless. Well, we're about to fight when Kid, the Australian Sch-girl, I mean, the Australian girl, shows up. Her accent is so thick and constant it makes me long for the days of Ayla and Frog's original CT accents. In fact, almost EVERYONE seems to have some kind of crappy accent, and none of them are the same. Anyhoo, we fight the guys in what is a semi-tutorial boss fight about natural colors and weaknesses.
Then I win and go back to the village to rest. Where I then also go down to the not-a-fisherman-anymore and show him a giant tooth that the other-him gave me and explain the whole thing about parallel worlds to him, he doesn't believe me (or, rather, he does, but doesn't want to admit that he's been wasting the last 10 years of his life worshiping a voodoo doll.) When I go to leave the doll comes to life! It's name is apparently Mojo, and he has a dumb as shit accent too! He likes adding -om to the end of words, randomly, and drawing words out all the time. This is growing a bit infuriating, actually, and maybe I'll bitch about it in the next installment. Anyway, he senses a destiny and joins me. So, here I am, not even two hours into the game, and I already have 3 party members. There are going to be a LOT of party members in this game. I know that, and I could piece it together even if I didn't. I'm not liking the sound of that.
So, I leave the village, go up to this fossil dig site. While up there I lie to some soldiers about me being an exorcist and sure I'll take care of their problem. So I climb a ladder and find a talking, moving clown skull that tells me that it knows I'm dead too and that he can't remember anything but that maybe if he found the rest of his body he'd remember, so, I agree to help him out. I'm guessing he's going to be another party member. So, four-ish party members already. Really?
I fight some dodo's and some dingo's and some creepy plant things and steal a dodo's egg and some flower and then head back down and go off to the other side where I meet... SIGH
Solt and Peppor!
No really, those are their names, Solt and Peppor (and apparently they don't have wiki pages on the site.) One is a really tall skinny knight, the other is a fat, short knight, and the one named Peppor is forced to work the word "shake" into every sentence he utters. "Shake it to him!" "Let's shake it on out of here!" this is groan inducingly bad. Anyway, it's another boss fight (by the way, these are two of the guys that jumped me back at the cliff.) This is, again, more of a tutorial boss fight than anything as Solt tries to use black magic on me (because I'm white... these racist assholes), but all he does is turn my color alignment black, meaning that I'm now weak to white magic, except they didn't bring any white magic, because they're bumbling idiots. So we kick their ass. They were considerably easier than the two seperate giant dodo's I had beat up like five minutes ago, but whatever, they're trying to be played up as incompetent.
Then I keep on going and get to the other side of this canyon and stop just outside the town of Termina, which is where I was headed.
All right, I'm talking kind of a mess of shit about this game (there's a lot to talk shit about so far, honestly) but I don't actually hate this game. I'm still playing it, and it's enjoyable enough. I just honestly have no idea if the game was written this badly or if the localization team for the game is the one that so thoroughly helped screw the pooch here. Why does everyone and their dog (I'm not kidding about that dog part, and I'll get to that in a moment) have some stupid accent? Is it because they figure there are so many f'ing characters in this game that if each and every single one of them didn't have some kind of accent that I wouldn't be able to tell who was talking at any given time?
As for the battle system. I'm not hating that either, and I understand it pretty well by this point, even if some of the decisions don't make sense and I don't understand WHY some things happen, just that they work that way. Why, in the middle of me attacking, does the enemy get to override me? Why do enemies sometimes get to take two attacks in a row? (Like the Dodo, that will spend a turn squaking at me, will spend another action squaking, and then as soon as my action window pops up, for just a split second, it then gets to attack instead of me getting to do anything at all?) I also don't entirely think it was really necessary for them to go to such lengths in this whole element thing. It's not bad, and maybe it will get more interesting later, but it just seems needlessly involved for relatively little pay off.
The party characters.. Boy oh boy. This is something that will piss me off to no end. When you have 30 some odd characters in a game like this, they don't feel cool, they feel wasted. I won't end up caring about any of these guys. Why should I care who Mojo, the talking voodoo doll is? He just woke up and joined my party for seemingly no reason. I know nothing about him other than he loves love and talks really badly. And I know the clown skull will be a dude if I can find his body. And the Chef that's off on a journey will undoubtedly be able to join me. And then I have Kid who I 'might' care about to some degree, but, I know the story there, so, not really. The other problem I have with this sort of comes from me being a completionist. While doing some wiki work and research I found out that I already missed recruit the dog with the funny accent. I don't know if I get a later chance to recruit her or if I already messed that up and I won't ever be able to get her now or not. I know that there will be characters in this game that if I do not do specific things for, I will not be able to recruit them. I hate that. So, I'm in a position here where I have to decide if I'm going to start the game over or not so that I can get the stupid dog. I'd just like to point out - I don't care about the dog because I care about the CHARACTER of the dog, I only care about the dog because I'm a completionist that gets annoyed by things like this.
The one saving grace to this game so far, or rather, the one thing that I haven't had any real issue with yet, is the music. The music in this game is legitimately good. The CT victory music remix is "ok" (I guess they wanted it to be like the FF victory music, so, I can put up with that) and everything else music wise has been fantastic.
I'll also say the game looks better than I was expecting. Most PS1 era 3D games hold up very poorly, but this game looks pretty ok. Sure there are jagged edges and everything, but, this is really good looking by comparison to stuff like FF8 or FF7 even.
Closing It Out!
For those of you that have played through this game before, or at least remember the game better than I do, should I restart the game to get the dog? I figure I'm not really that far in, so restarting now wouldn't be too big of an issue. Or can I still pick the dog up later? Should I really worry about collecting all of the party members? CAN you even collect all of the party members? I know most will be a pain in the ass if I don't use a character guide for them. But, if I did do a run through where I collected them all, I could fill out all of the wiki pages on the site about them (there are a lot that are missing still, and some that have almost no information at all.) I'll probably take a small break from the game while I wait to hear back about collecting all of the companions (including the dog.) Unless I don't hear anything, then I'll just go do a bunch of research on my own.
Anyway, thanks for reading (hopefully. I can't imagine this will be a popular blog series, the episodes are kind of long and a bit drawn out and I imagine people don't care much about reading about someone playing through a game, but, hey, maybe, just maybe) Hope you join me again next time!
Edit: Here's the link to Chrono Cross This! 1! In case you haven't seen it yet.