The Rare Red Rock (65,000,000 B.C.)
Crono, Lucca, and Marle emerge from the gate leading to the prehistoric era…in mid-air and find themselves falling down a cliff-side. When they land, they find themselves surrounded by green reptile-men who move to attack the group once they are noticed. The group defeat the green men without too much trouble but reinforcements arrive quickly and they appear greatly outnumbered. Before the green men can attack a woman dressed in furs ambushes the reptiles and takes several of them out thinning their numbers for Crono, Lucca, and Marle. The group takes care of the remaining reptile men before the woman returns and commits a gross invasion of Crono’s personal space which Marle takes issue with. The woman clarifies that she likes anyone who is strong no matter if they’re a man or woman and identifies herself as Ayla. Lucca and Marle try to explain to Ayla that they are from the future and are looking for dreamstone.
Ayla is amused by their explanation of where they come from but confirms that she has lots of stones and that the group should follow her to her village where they’ll be eating and drinking and dancing. The group follows Ayla through a path out of the mountains where a quick trek to the east brings them to Ioka Village. After meeting the locals around Ioka, Ayla tells the group to head to the square north of the village for the big party.
Once evening falls, Alya gathers everyone at the square and announces Crono, Lucca, and Marle as her new friends and guests of honor and the party begins. Lucca and Marle dig in to the food and Crono decides to go mingle. As Crono chats with the other partiers he learns that the band wants their music to last many generations. Well good news for them, it remains pretty much unchanged until the modern era. Crono also talks to a young man standing away from everyone else named Kino who seems to be displeased and confused as to why Ayla would throw such a party for outsiders. Crono then goes over to talk to Lucca who is already drunk and gets him to try some of their booze which is apparently some strong stuff. Once he has some liquid courage in him, Crono then joins Marle and the rest of the revelers in some dancing around the bonfire.
After Crono and Marle are done dancing, Crono decides to talk to their host for the night. Ayla tells Crono about their enemies the reptites and their leader Azala. She also talks about the people from Laruba village who would rather run and hide from the reptites rather than fight them. Ayla thinks this is a bad idea since Azala would destroy both the Ioka and the Laruba just the same but Ayla has no intention of being defeated by Azala and the reptites. She then puts an end to any negative talk since tonight is about celebrating. Ayla then shows Crono the dreamstone that she has and explains that to her people the stone represents strength and leadership. She says that Crono can have her dreamstone if only he beats her in a drinking contest. Ayla and Crono take their places in front of the fire and are given gigantic bowls full of booze and the race is on! Crono manages to edge-out Ayla (all that practice chugging the “soda” at the Millennial Fair finally pays off) and the party continues into the night.
The next morning Crono, Lucca, and Marle are sleeping where they fell around the embers of the bonfire. The area is a total mess and Crono decides to wake up a very hungover Lucca and a seemingly just fine Marle. Either Marle didn’t drink or she can really hold her liquor. Given her rebellious nature, I’m guessing the latter. Once Lucca gets her bearings she realizes that the Gate Key has been stolen. After searching the immediate area for any clues, the group concludes that the thief must have left the footprints that they see around the square.
Footsteps! Follow! (65,000,000 B.C.)
Crono and the gang head to Ayla’s hut (who is also quite hungover) and tell her about the theft. Ayla immediately jumps to the conclusion that the perpetrators are the reptites and vows to aid the group in finding the key. While talking to some of the villagers around Ioka, the group finds out that reptites have been seen going into the forest to the south, no one has seen Kino since last night either.
Before heading south to the forest the group (now consisting of Ayla, Crono, and Robo) decide it would be a good idea to upgrade their gear. Unfortunately, the people of Ioka have not yet developed any kind of monetary system so the group must head to the hunting grounds to the north in order to find fangs, petals, feathers, and horns from various animals at the grounds in order to trade them to the shopkeeper. This turns out to be well worth it since the market in Ioka somehow has the best equipment found in any time period up until this point. They even have a better gun for Lucca! I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to justify this one.
Once the group is all kitted out, the head to the forest south of Ioka Village where the reptites were said to be heading. After they enter the forest, they immediately run into Kino. Ayla asks him what the heck he’s doing here and he admits to stealing Lucca’s Gate Key. Kino says that he was jealous of Ayla’s new friends so he stole something he fingered was valuable to them. Ayla then proceeds to strike Kino then lectures him that she likes him above all others and wants him to be better than this. Hold on, did Ayla just give a “I hit you because I love you” speech? After this horribly awkward moment Kino apologizes for taking the Gate Key but says that the reptites took it from him and went deeper into the forest. Ayla, Crono, and Robo head into the forest following the footprints left by the reptites until they reach a cave in the center of the forest which serves as the reptite’s home base for this area.
Ayla, Crono, and Robo make their way through the Reptite’s Lair going deeper and deeper into the ground fighting reptites and their allies until they finally reach the lowest level of the cave and run into Azala. Azala marvels at the Gate Key impressed that the “filthy apes” could create something so advanced. Ayla gets Azala’s attention and the two exchange some words before Azala comments that these “new” apes appear to be cut from finer cloth than the residents of Ioka and Laruba. Small praise coming from someone living in a hole in the ground. Azala then orders Crono to tell him about the Gate Key but Crono tells him to stuff it. Deciding that Crono needs more motivation, Azala sends his muscle, Nizbel, to rough up the team a bit.
Although Nizbel proves to be a challenge, Ayla, Crono, and Robo defeat Azala’s roided-out henchman and reluctantly returns the Gate Key. He does manage to direct a quip at the group about how the reptites will rule the world before leaving however. Robo examines the Gate Key and determines that it is undamaged before Ayla pukes all over the floor of the cave right before promising to never drink again (I assume).
Once the everyone returns to Ioka village, Crono and the gang say their goodbyes to Ayla who laments that they have to leave but lets them know that if they do return, they’ll be in for more fighting and fun. The group then head back to the Mystic Mountains to make the daring jump off the cliff into the Time Gate on their way back to 1000 A.D. Melchior is going to be for a huge surprise.