The Hero Appears (600 A.D.)
After a pit-stop at the End of Time (now all of the gates take you to the hub at the End of Time rather than directly to the other side of the gate) to recharge and pick up Marle, Crono and the gang make their way back to Truce circa 600 A.D. The atmosphere in Guardia is somehow even more dour than when the crew left. Speaking to some of the people around Truce, it’s easy to see why. The war against the Fiendlord has taken a turn for the worse during the group’s absence. The enemy has been pushing hard and has reached the recently rebuilt Zenan Bridge and the King has been badly wounded in a recent engagement. There is a small light of hope among the people however, someone bearing the legendary “Hero Medal” has emerged convincing many that the Fiendlord’s days are numbered.
In an effort to get more situational awareness Crono, Lucca, and Marle head to Zenan Bridge to take stock of the situation. What they find is not terribly encouraging. The soldiers, being led personally by the knight captain, are managing to hold the bridge against the Mystics but their provisions are running dangerously low and no relief seems to be in sight. The knight captain says to Crono that they can’t last much longer without getting more food from the castle, so the group decides to head to the castle to see what can be done.
Crono, Lucca, and Marle arrive at the castle and and are told that the king is recovering in his chamber. Unfortunately, when the group head to the knight’s quarters to rest up they find the barracks are full to bursting with injured soldiers. With soldiers being forced to even lay on the floor there is no room for Crono and the gang to rest up in the quarters. One soldier tells the group that Magus command three fearsome generals. The group decides to go up and see how the king is holding up. When the Crono and the gang arrive, they find the king recovering in his bed with Queen Leene watching over him. Speaking with the king the group learns that the legendary hero that has appeared is a young boy who has headed to the traveled to the southern continent in search of a particular sword that can defeat the Fiendlord. Apparently, the hero appeared before the Mystics made their way to Zenan bridge. Perhaps the reason the Mystics have decided to be more openly aggressive is because they heard that someone bearing the Hero Medal appeared and is seeking out the only known means to defeat Magus?
Satisfied that the king will eventually pull through, Crono, Lucca, and Marle head to the kitchen to see about the food situation. In the kitchen, the group finds utter chaos. The cook is running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to keep up with keeping the injured as well as the troops on the front line all fed. A job that must have become infinitely more complicated now that the king is among the wounded. The group learns that the cook is actually the knight commander’s brother but the cook doesn’t seem all that eager to help out with the soldiers at the bridge. The cook’s wife then scolds him for being so petty but he initially seems unmoved. As Crono and the gang are about to exit the castle, they are stopped by the cook and he give Crono some jerky to give to the soldiers at the bridge. Nice to see that he realizes that if the bridge falls, the kingdom is in big trouble.
Crono, Lucca, and Marle arrive back at Zenan bridge just in time for the action to start. The knight’s lines are on the verge of breaking and the arrival of some much-needed provisions provides just the morale boost that they needed to hold on just a little longer. Just then the enemy decides to make one final push to take the bridge and Crono and the gang naturally offer to assist in holding the line. The knight commander gives Crono a “golden helm.” I always liked to assume that it was his helmet since the commander’s armor is also gold in color, perhaps to signify that Crono is in command. The group then heads into the fray.
The enemy forces are comprised primarily of spear-wielding skeletons led by one of Magus’ top generals Ozzie. The ancestor of the elder from Medina Village. The group makes quick work of the skeletons but Ozzie falls back before they can get to him. Once Ozzie is in his fallback position, he uses a necromancy spell to immolate the fallen bodies of some fallen Guardia knights and set their reanimated skeletons against the group (rated E for everyone!). Crono and the gang suddenly gain an appreciation for how hard the soldiers of Guardia have had it if this is the kind of thing they’ve been having to deal with for the last several years. After the second wave of skeletons is defeated, Ozzie escapes again to the other side of the bridge before stopping again.
Oh, did you think that using the reanimated skeletons of fallen comrades against you was an abomination onto nature? That’s cute because for his next trick Ozzie summons the scattered remains of all of the skeletons on the bridge and combines them all into a singular horror named Zombor. As soon as Ozzie sets Zombor against the group he makes good his escape to parts unknown and Crono, Lucca, and Marle prepare to send Zombor back to the deepest level of Hell that it came from.
Once our heroes have recovered from their traumatizing experience, they head to the village of Dorino which lies on the opposite side of Zenan Bridge. Strangely by the time 1000 A.D. rolls around there is no trace of the village remaining. At the elder’s house the group comes upon the village elder negotiating a contract with our old friend Toma to find an object called the “Rainbow Shell.” Toma says that he’s going to stop for a drink at the inn before heading off before leaving. Speaking with the occupants of the house the group learns the names of Magus’ generals, we know of Ozzie already but the other two are known as Flea and Slash. Seems that Magus is a fan of rock music. Another person informs the group that the sword that can harm Magus is called the Masamune and only the one who holds the Hero Medal can wield it.
After leaving the elder’s house Crono, Lucca, and Marle head to the inn to catch up with Toma. Once Crono tops-off his drink for him Toma tells a story about a monstrous frog that has taken up residence in the woods to the south. Toma’s information has proven valuable in the past, perhaps it’s something to look in to. A nun proclaims that the end of the world is at hand. It seems even in video games end of the world predictors can’t manage to be right. At best, she’s 1,399 years off.
While speaking with some of the other patrons of the inn, Crono learns some more valuable information about the Masamune: One man tells him that the sword is located deep in the Denadoro Mountains and is guarded by a terrible monster (to be expected). A woman tells Crono that a legendary swordsmith forged the Masamune many years ago. Yet another of the inn’s occupants tells of a rumor that Magus intends to summon some sort of terrible evil. That we do know for sure.
Once Crono, Lucca, and Marle leave the inn the head further south to the village of Porre stopping on the way at a villa occupied by Fiona. Fiona tells the group that her husband hasn’t returned from fighting in the war yet but she intends to look after the forest that they’ve been cultivating until he does. Boy I hope that works out for them…
The first stop the group makes once they get to Porre is the elder’s house. In the elder’s house the group finds two of the sealed chests that have been popping up. One persona informs Crono that the chests have been passed down through the generations and none of them have any idea what is in them. They also add that if Crono can manage to find a way to open them they’re free to take their contents. Awesome! Another occupant of the house tells that group that the hero is a young boy from Porre named Tata; a young girl at the house proclaims that she is going to marry Tata when they are older. The wife of the house tells the group that they could make a fantastic meal if only she had some jerky to use. Sorry ma’am but we gave all the jerky we had to the army.
Crono and the group then head to Tata’s house to see if they might be able to learn more about this legendary hero. Tata doesn’t seem to be home however leaving the boy’s father and grandfather who are both understandably proud. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the group is going to get any useful information here so they head to the town’s tavern.
At the tavern, the group finds more people expressing pride that the legendary hero hails from Porre. One waitress however expresses surprise that the hero turned out to be a naughty little urchin like Tata. Hmmm, it seems like something may be amiss here. Another tavern patron tells Crono about a frog-man who came in to the cavern recently mumbling about “Queen Leene” and the “Masamune.” I think we can take that as 100% confirmation that this “frog monster” is our friend Frog. Seems it’s time to go to these woods and see if we can recruit Frog to the cause.
At the entrance of the woods Crono and the gang finds a “No Trespassing” sign indicating that the group is in the right place. After fighting through some other frogs and well as giant snakes the group comes across some foliage hiding the entrance to a small hideout. After exploring the small hovel for a moment Frog appears and expresses happiness to see Crono, Lucca, and Marle. He quickly sombers up however when Crono tells Frog about the king being wounded. Frog declares that there is nothing that he can do and asks to be alone for a while he contemplates what he has learned. When Crono tries to comfort him, Frog insists that he is no hero and there is nothing he can do to help.