End Boss Month #28: Chrono Trigger

I apologize that this entry is a day late. I normally have written this entries after returning home from work in the evening, but I had a social engagement last night that kept me out for the whole evening. But to make for that, both yesterday’s and today’s entries will be posted today. We’re almost at the end, folks. I’m not about to skip an entry now.

Priorities, ladies and gentlemen. Opportunities like this don't come every day.
Priorities, ladies and gentlemen. Opportunities like this don't come every day.

But as for this belated entry, I’m sure that a lot of people here will likely be familiar with the subject. It was, after all, the entity at the core of the myriad shenanigans in Giant Bomb’s most recent Endurance Run. Today, we’re looking at Chrono Trigger’s very own Lavos.

Let's do the Time Warp again!
Let's do the Time Warp again!

In basic terms, Lavos isn’t particularly complex. It’s hard to say of it’s even truly sentient. A being from space that crashed into the planet in the prehistoric era of the game’s world, it sleeps for eons until a fateful day in 1999 A.D., when it finally awakens, causing mass destruction and robbing the planet of the majority of its life. Afterward, it presumably takes a hike, in search of the next luckless world on which to feed like a spiny Galactus.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, it causes more trouble during 12,000 B.C.; an age that is otherwise dominated by a stark class division between “enlightened,” magic-using humans that live in the floating kingdom of Zeal, and their magic-less brethren, forced to live in squalor in earthbound caves. The reach of Lavos’s essence corrupts the mind of Zeal’s ruler, turning her into a lunatic bent on seeing Lavos’s awakening. When our heroes briefly face off with Lavos in this era, things end badly; the game’s protagonist Crono is killed; annihilated by Lavos’s power. (But he can get better.)

So in general, bad things happen when Lavos is involved, and it’s up to the player’s party to undo the damage. And with the power of time travel, there are plenty of options available when it comes to confronting Lavos. The player can confront it directly by traveling to 1999 through either the Epoch or the End of Time, and take it on as he awakens, or by completing a run through the Black Omen; the floating dungeon of darkness and doom that Queen Zeal summons from the ocean’s depths after her nation is destroyed.

Whatever path is decided on, however, fighting Lavos is a test of endurance. First, there’s its hard candy shell, which mimics the forms and attacks of bosses fought throughout the game. And then inside, where Lavos’s creamy center resides, there’s two more forms. And its final form is particularly deceptive. Throughout the game, the player encounters bosses accompanied by two assistants, or giant hands, or other assisting pairs. Kill the core, and the assistants follow. In Lavos’s case, however, the central figure of its final form is not the actual core. It’s one of is “assisting” bits. And before I figured this out, my first battles with Lavos really dragged on. In my defense, I was young and naive.

Still, with Lavos’s defeat, the timeline remains safe from harm. On the other hand, the DS version of the game offers up an extra ending in which Lavos isn’t the final boss, but rather just part of the final boss. Combined with Schala, this being, the Dream Devourer, is meant to better connect the game to Chrono Cross. But frankly, I personally loathe Chrono Cross, and will therefore choose to not discuss this particular incarnation beyond a clumsily inserted, fleeting reference near the end of this entry.

Once again, my apologies for missing the chance to post this yesterday. But as I said, End Boss Month will continue with a second entry posted later tonight. Until then, however, I imagine that I’ll be getting a lot of hate over that Chrono Cross crack.