CoT Part 12: Sword in the Darkness

The Masamune! (1000 A.D.)

Once Crono, Lucca, and Marle makes it back to 1000 A.D. they bee-line it to Melchior’s house to give him the dreamstone. Melchior wonders how the group managed to get their hands on dreamstone but he lets it go and announces that with these materials he can in fact restore the Masamune. He tells the three that it will take a while so they should get comfortable. Lucca offers to assist in the process and everyone heads into the basement of Melchior’s house. Crono and Marle look on as Melchior and Lucca process and activate the dreamstone in order to use it to repair the Masamune and everything seems to go off without a hitch.

After Lucca and Melchior finish everyone gathers back in the living room and Melchior presents the newly reforged Masamune in all its glory. After marveling at its beauty for a little bit, Marle suggests taking to sword to Frog.

A short trip through 400 years later, Crono, Lucca, and Marle arrive back at Frog’s hovel in the Cursed Woods. After being greeted by Frog once again, Crono presents the repaired Masamune to Frog. A lot of people might ask why Crono doesn’t just take the Masamune for himself and defeat Magus but unlike most Square games, the Masamune in Chrono Trigger is a European broadsword. The swords that carry Masamune’s namesake are usually katanas, which makes sense given that the historical Masamune was a famous Japanese swordsmith. Masamune even gets a shout-out in the classic sword fighting movie Highlander; Ramirez tells Connor MacLeod that his signature katana was forged by Masamune. So, it’s a little strange that the katana-wielding protagonist wouldn’t get the Masamune in Chrono Trigger, but the sword in this case is double edged and that’s twice as many edges than Crono knows what to do with. Once Crono offers the sword, Frog says that he must think things over and tells the group that they are welcome to stay for the night while he sleeps on it.

Buckle-up kids, it’s flashback time!

The flashback begins in Guardia Castle with the knight Cyrus telling the king and queen that he intends to leave on a quest to take back the Hero Medal back from the Frog King and see “that sword” with his own eyes. The king tell Cyrus that the kingdom needs him and Leene tells Cyrus that he must return because she needs him as well. Cyrus takes his leave and exits the throne room to be greeted by the other knights of Guardia as they bid farewell to their captain. Cyrus tells the group that he’s entrusting the kingdom to them. He then makes his way to the door where a young man with green hair awaits as Leene emerges to tell both Cyrus and Glenn to both be careful once more before they depart.

What I find interesting about this part of the flashback is impact that Cyrus has had on the Guardian military and the knighthood in particular. In this flashback (which presumably take place ten years before the events in 600 A.D.), Cyrus, who is the current knight captain, is the only one who is wearing full plate armor. The other knights are outfitted like regular troops suggesting that at this time, knights were essentially little more than elite foot-soldiers. By the time 600 A.D. comes around however, all of the knights are wearing plate armor similar to Cyrus’ with the current captain wearing a customized gold-plated version of that armor. It’s an interesting way to show Cyrus’ legacy and the effect he had on the order whether that was intentional or not.

The next part of the flashback takes place deep in a forest with Cyrus and Glenn battling some mystics and the Frog King. Cyrus handily defeats the Frog King despite being taunted and the Frog King relinquishes the Hero Medal before making his escape into the woods.

In the final part of the flashback, Cyrus and Glenn are deep in the Denadoro Mountains facing off against Magus and Ozzie and things look bad. Cyrus has been disarmed and Glenn is badly wounded. Presumably this is where the Masamune was broken. Cyrus was apparently successful in his quest for the sword but the pair was attacked by Magus himself before they could leave the mountains. Were they taken by surprise? Perhaps Magus knew that Cyrus would come for the Masamune and ambushed him when he least expected it, killing two birds with one stone by eliminating Cyrus and destroying the sword at the same time. It would at least explain why Frog still possess the hilt of the sword. Cyrus goes to the wounded Glenn and tells him to make a run for it while he holds off Magus and Ozzie. Cyrus then attacks Magus intending to engage him in hand-to-hand combat but is quickly defeated. He then tells Glenn again to run and take care of the Queen before Magus engulfs Cyrus in flames immolating him in his armor (rated E for everyone!). Glenn becomes angry but Ozzie just mocks him suggesting to Magus that he give him a more “fitting” form. Magus agrees that’s a good idea and strikes Glenn with a spell before he falls off the cliff into the river below.

Back at the present (the 600 A.D. present anyway), Frog looks upon the Masamune and recounts that it’s been ten years since their defeat at Magus’ hands and wonders if he has the strength to wield the Masamune and succeed where Cyrus could not. When morning arrives, Frog awaken Crono, Lucca, and Marle and tells them that he will go to Magus’ Castle to confront Magus but it will be a difficult quest. Before the group heads to the Fiendlord’s Keep however, they need to take a pit-stop at the End of Time to talk to Spekkio. The Master of War tells Frog that his element is water and comments about what a nice coincidence that a frog-man would be attuned to water magic. Once Frog know how to use water magic, the group heads back to the middle ages.

Now that their detour is finished, group heads to the cave where mystics have been seen entering the southern continent. However, once the group makes it to the caves reported location, they are met with just a sheer cliff-side and Frog once again falls into contemplation.

It’s Flashback Time 2: The Reckoning

The first part of this set of flashbacks takes place in the woods with a group of kids picking on a very young Glenn. The other kids run off when an adolescent Cyrus appears to put a stop to the silliness. Once the other kids are gone, Cyrus tells Glenn that he need to learn when it’s necessary to to stand up for himself but Glenn is reluctant to hurt others even when they are hurting him.

After a time skip, Glenn and Cyrus are both at Zenan Bridge and Cyrus says that he intends to join the knighthood. Glenn thinks that this is a great idea and that Cyrus will make a fine knight. Cyrus then suggests that Glenn come also given that he’s the better swordsman of the pair but Glenn turns him down fearing that he’s not brave enough and will lose his nerve in the heat of an actual battle.

Another skip sees Glenn back at the Denadoro Mountains facing Magus as he falls off the cliff after Magus’ spell was cast on him. Glenn is next shown (now in his frog form) unconscious on the bank of the river. As he lies there the Hero Medal is seen washing down the river before coming to rest on the bank next to the unconscious Frog.

Once Frog snaps out of his reminiscing, he turns to Crono and asks for the Masamune. Crono then lifts the sword and drives it into the ground in front of him and stands to the side. Frog then stands before the Masamune and proclaims that he now holds Cyrus’ hopes and dreams and now with the Masamune, he will defeat Magus. He then pulls the Masamune from the ground in dramatic fashion and slices at the cliff face revealing the cave that the mystics have been using to sneak onto the landmass. The group then follows frog into the cave and when the emerge from the other side of the cave they find themselves outside the gates of Magus’ Castle.

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