Revisiting Chrono Cross (Part 13)

So after the party is saved by a giant white dragon swooping in and carrying them away as the Dead Sea collapses on itself we’re left with a few odds and ends to tie up before jumping into the newly reopened portal at Opassa Beach and following after Serge to find out what he’s been doing in our absence.  Mostly it’s just a matter of going and collecting a few party members that we missed earlier (my resolution to play through the game this time without a walkthrough has held up pretty well, but it was bugging me that I couldn’t remember how to recruit a few characters I knew were available during this section of the game, so I looked them up).

Starky1

This is a character you can recruit in Chrono Cross. Let me repeat that: THIS IS A CHARACTER YOU CAN RECRUIT IN CHRONO CROSS. (Image credit: Chronopedia)

A few trips to odd places around the map (including the bottom of the ocean to collect a piece of a spaceship) later, and we’re ready to get back to Another World.

Remember how things seemed really bad in Home World when we first got out of the dimensional vortex and learned about the Porre occupation of El Nido?  Well, it’s worse in Another World now, because we’ve moved from a dimension where the Porre occupation has been going on for years and most people are settled into that way of life, the invasion has just happened in Another World thanks to the chaos being wrought by Serge’s raging rampage of evil (everyone’s terrified of him, so let’s just enjoy the future prospect of getting Lynx back into his proper body and then having to deal with the fact that Serge’s reputation has gone to crap; our protagonist clearly can’t catch a break pretty much ever).

The party travels to Termina, where Porre soldiers now patrol the streets, and the formerly happy town is extremely subdued with hardly any civilians hanging out in the public spaces.  A brief stop by the town’s bar prompts recognition by the bar’s owner (I’m not sure, but I think the implication is supposed to be that because no one else was there to witness Lynx’s betrayal of General Viper in Fort Dragonia, the citizens who are loyal to the Dragoons think that Lynx is still on their side), which leads to a secret meeting with Karsh and Zoah, two of the Dragoon Devas.

There’s some confusion as Lynx tries to explain that he’s actually Serge trapped in Lynx’s body and Karsh explains that Viper’s daughter Riddel has been taken captive in Viper Manor by the Porre army, and then everyone’s on the same page and suddenly we’re friends with the Dragoons who spent the first portion of the game trying to hunt Serge down (to be fair, they were doing it because Lynx had ordered them to, and they didn’t yet know what bad news he was, but it’s still a little disconcerting).

We move on to a sequence that I think of as Viper Manor Redux: Electric Boogaloo which involves, among other things, fighting a giant cockroach named Roachester and beating up then befriending a Guldovan cook who has a case of Jekyll & Hyde syndrome.  Suffice it to say, the less said about this escapade the better.

Once all the dust settles and Lynx and friends escape with the rescued Riddel, everyone rendezvous at the burnt out Hermit’s Hideaway where the all the Acacia Dragoons join up before Serge and Kid arrive and make everything very unpleasant.  Kid is either very stupid or very brainwashed at this point, because she focuses entirely on the fact that Lynx, whom she has sworn to kill, is in front of her, despite the fact that her partner Serge is now dressed all in black and has been murdering people all across the archipelago.

Luckily, Fargo and his giant pterodactyl Polly swoop in and save everyone from certain doom (at some point, you just throw your hands up at the absurdity of the plot and run with it, because these kinds of left field saves are just going to happen all the time from now on).

And then Harle leaves your party forever.

Recruited Party Members

Starky – Starky is an alien from another planet.  While the inclusion of an alien is not outside the realm of possibility in a universe where Lavos is literally a giant space flea from nowhere, it’s at the moment where you recruit the little blue man that you say, “This game has gone off the deep end.”

Funguy – Funguy’s defining character trait is that he loves eating mushrooms.  Also, he’s really angry with Lynx for taking advantage of Funguy’s love of mushrooms by feeding him a magical mushroom that turns Funguy into a mushroom man.  As repayment for this terrible travesty, he swears to follow Lynx to the ends of the earth until things are made right.  Yes, this is a party member whom you persuade to join your cause through the power of hate.

Skelly – Remember that talking skull that Serge and friends picked up way back at the beginning of the game when they were first heading towards Termina?  By this point in the game, you can finally finish collecting the rest of its body, which restores the guy’s memory so that he runs off to see his grandmother in Termina.  Catch up to him there, and you can recruit a literal monster clown (who’s actually pretty pleasant) into your party.

Orcha – Orcha is from Guldove, and his two defining traits are the fact that he’s a cook, and he ate a magic seed that causes his dark side to emerge as the murderous Hell’s Cook at the sound of a special bell.  Beating him up before he’s about to eat (I guess?) Riddel causes him to have a change of heart and follow Lynx forevermore.

Grobyc – Grobyc is a secret weapon from Porre: a cyborg.  Besides Lynx he’s the strongest black innate character in the game.  He also was programmed with a few minor flaws in his directives, because he only obeys people who are stronger than him.  That means that (you guessed it!) after you beat him in combat he decides to be your friend against the orders of his direct superiors.

Karsh – Karsh is Zappa the blacksmith’s son and one of the Dragoon Devas.  He doesn’t have a terribly distinct personality, but he’ll get some development in a small sidequest in the near future.  His greatest defining trait is that he’s the strongest green innate character after Glenn, which means that you’ll only be using him when Glenn’s unavailable.

Zoah – Zoah doesn’t understand the concept of shirts, though he has mastered the use of helmets.  He also always talks in all caps, which is more endearing than you might think.  He’s another of the Devas.

Marcy – She’s only nine years old, and she’s terrifying.  Also, she’s Fargo’s daughter, which means that she has the distinct honor of being associated both with the annoying pirate family and the annoying Dragoon organization.  The game jokingly calls her the Diva of the Devas, but that seems like overkill.

Riddel – General Viper’s daughter and the one true love of Glenn’s deceased brother Dario.  She wears a pretty snazzy serpent head dress, but otherwise leaves no impression on me.

Viper – Remember when Lynx stabbed him in the back and left him to die?  He got better, and now he’s ready to help Lynx stop Serge.  Also, his ultimate weapon is shaped like an anchor, which is pretty cool once you get over how impractical the design would be for a real sword.

Fargo – Fargo has some kind of beef with Viper from way back, and he really wants to beat the old man to death over it, but he decides to set his vendetta aside in order to help Lynx out, because Serge and Porre are bigger threats than pretty much everyone else in El Nido.  His body type is described in the status screen as “macho.”

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