Revisiting Chrono Cross (Part 4)

Lynx2

There’s definitely shades of Darth Vader in this character design. Also, check out Lynx’s abs; combined with the loose fit of the sleeves, you really have to wonder about the cut of that shirt. (Image credit: Chronopedia)

Our introduction to Lynx involves leaning pretty heavily on the fact that he’s a six foot tall cat man who’s clearly aware of way more than anyone else in the room.  He appears alongside General Viper from a secret room behind Viper’s desk where a crystal that’s apparently not the Frozen Flame sits (the fact that it’s not the Frozen Flame doesn’t stop it from giving Serge a pretty wild vision of a lot of crazy things including some kind of futuristic city, explosions, and also Lynx himself).  Viper’s kind of perplexed that anyone would break into his mansion to steal the Frozen Flame, seeing as he doesn’t have it, but Lynx saunters out and makes it eminently clear that this whole escapade has been his trap for Serge.

Kid also has some history with Lynx, but he doesn’t seem to care that much about her, and brushes off the fact that she wants to kill him without much concern (Lynx and Kid have a bit of history, though it clearly means more to her than it does to him).

What’s interesting about Lynx here is that we honestly have no idea what his motivations are.  All we know is that he’s a demi-human (as we’ve been traveling around, we’ve been getting hints here and there that there’s an entire subclass of El Nido inhabitants who are mistreated simply because they’re not fully human; no, I don’t know where they came from or why they all seem to be anthropomorphized animals; my best guess is that they’re an offshoot of the Mystics/Fiends that Magus led in his war against Guardia during the Middle Ages), and he clearly holds everyone around him in contempt.  It would make for an interesting story to deal with the motivations of a villain who belongs to an oppressed group, and in a roundabout way Chrono Cross will tackle that story idea, although it’s not quite what you expect (for anyone who’s already played through the game, you know just how convoluted things will get before we’re done).

Harle1

I usually imagine harlequins as wearing more of a motley pattern, but we’ll overlook that since Harle’s one of the few consistently interesting characters throughout the game. (Image credit: Chronopedia)

Nonetheless, Lynx does all the things a good villain should do at this early point in the story: he’s surrounded by mystery, he’s scary (there’s one cutscene where the camera takes Serge’s perspective and watches Lynx advancing towards you; even though it’s just his polygon model and not a pre-rendered scene, it’s pretty unsettling), and he presents a legitimate threat to our heroes (we finish his introductory scene with Kid passing out from poisoning after Lynx grazes her with a throwing dagger).

Accompanying him is the ever mysterious Harle, a woman who dresses in a harlequin’s outfit and seems to have an almost psychotic infatuation with Lynx (though she’s not opposed to flirting shamelessly with Serge when they first meet).  There’s actually quite a bit about her that invites comparison with Harley Quinn, the Joker’s perennially abused lover from the Batman franchise (although Harle comes off as slightly classier since she’s inexplicably French rather than having Harley’s iconic Jersey accent), but it’s probably best to save that analysis for a later post once we’ve learned more about this character.  For now it’s enough to say that she’s pretty much just there to add mystery and make Kid jealous (which is also kind of inexplicable, since Kid and Serge aren’t even romantically entangled at this point in the story).

Next time things will finally open up as the heroes escape from Viper Manor (if it feels like this section of the game seems kind of interminable, then you’re in good company; I was really ready for a new locale by the time my party threw themselves over the balcony into the sea) and retreat to Guldove, where we get to decide what to do about Kid’s poisoning.

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