CoT Part 27: World Revolution

The Final Battle (Dream’s End)

When morning comes, the party breaks camp and ready themselves for what’s to come. With no more side projects to complete it’s time to assault the Black Omen. Crono, Robo, and Magus board the Epoch and fly to the west toward the gigantic floating fortress which somehow exists in all time periods simultaneously to finally put a stop to Queen Zeal and Lavos. The group finds an entry way into the Omen at the bottom of the fortress which is guarded by a series of laser turrets. Apparently, Queen Zeal has been appropriating technology from other time periods. Once the turrets are taken care of, the group enters and immediately find themselves face-to-face with Queen Zeal. She taunts the team for their foolishness in continuing to oppose her now that she has achieved immortality. She then tells them that the Black Omen is the conduit through which Lavos’ limitless power flows before she summons the Mega Mutant to deal with the group and vanishes.

The Mega Mutant proves to be a tough foe but is eventually defeated and the party enters the Black Omen in an effort to catch up to Queen Zeal. The Black Omen is a grueling gauntlet full of dangerous monsters and mutants within vast complex. Inside the group sees further evidence that the Omen borrows from future eras in its construction with metal catwalks and high-tech weaponry alongside the more elegant trappings of the Ocean Palace. Unlike the Ocean Palace where the group started at the top of the palace and worked their way down, the group finds themselves this time starting at the bottom of the massive citadel and working their way up. As the group continues to make its way up the Omen, the group gets a small respite when they run into two Nus. One of the Nus offers to let the group escape by transporting them back to the entrance. This might come in handy if the group had bitten off more than they could chew, but the party has thus far handled the Omen reasonably well so far. The other of the two Nus allows the group to restock on some items that it sells to them. Once they complete their business with the Nu, it complains about how difficult it is to make a living there. The heart of the Black Omen maybe isn’t the best place to set up shop.

After stocking up on some provisions, the group continues on their way to the top of the Black Omen. As the team nears their destination however, the resistance against them intensifies drastically. First, the party runs into the Giga Mutant, an even more fearsome variant of the Mega Mutant that the party faced before. After the Giga Mutant is defeated, the ante is upped once again when the group encounters the Terra Mutant. Once the Terra Mutant is dealt with, it appears that they way to the queen’s chamber is finally open but one obstacle yet remains. As the group approaches the doorway to the queen’s chamber a Time Gate opens and one of the Lavos Spawn emerges this one older and more powerful than its Death Peak counterparts. Fortunately for the party, by this time they are experts at dealing with Lavos Spawn and the creature is defeated like all of the others. The way is finally open.

Inside the queen’s chamber, the Crono, Ayla, and Magus see versions of themselves and the entire party suspended in some kind of stasis pods. Past the strange pods, the group finds what appears to be a ruined Mammon Machine. With the entire Black Omen working as a gigantic Mammon Machine, apparently there is not much need for the previous model. Queen Zeal then appears to the group in front of the dilapidated Mammon Machine and helpfully explains to them that the figures that they see in the pods are their future selves slumbering in her hall. She then reiterates to the group that the Black Omen transcends both time and space awaiting the awakening of Lavos and she will now guide them to the depths of Lavos’ dream which for them will unquestionably be a nightmare. Queen Zeal then faces the group in battle directly attempting to put an end to their interference, however the three prove to be tougher than she anticipates. After a short fight, Zeal decides a better course of action would be to “feed” the trio to the Mammon Machine. The party then find themselves in a strange chamber with a pristine Mammon Machine which attempts to absorb their defeated forms and make them one with the Black Omen. Giving the group direct access proves to be a bad move however as they team manage to defeat the Machine destroying it once and for all.

Once the dust clears, Crono, Ayla, and Magus find themselves standing of the very top of the Black Omen, so high up that they can see the curvature of the planet below them. Queen Zeal once again appears above them and she is livid. She scolds the group for constantly harrying her attempts to rule the world for all eternity at Lavos’ side. Magus then challenges his mother, calling her a fool for thinking that anything lasts forever and pledges to put an end to her madness. Zeal, still only seeing Magus as the former prophet, can only seethe at his betrayal and decides to get serious and battles the group at the top of the Black Omen. Despite her more powerful form, Queen Zeal is again defeated but not ready to give up just yet. With one last ace remaining, Zeal calls on Lavos to intervene on her behalf. The sea beneath the Black Omen (in 12,000 B.C.) begins to stir as Lavos makes its way to the surface and Queen Zeal proclaims that the group will be annihilated and she will be immortal before vanishing once again. As Lavos begins to emerge at the surface, an enormous wave of energy envelops the Black Omen dissolving it as Lavos emerges.

When Crono, Ayla, and Magus come to, they find themselves face to face with Lavos’ monstrous form. Unlike the first time the party faced off against the world destroying parasite, Lavos this time decides to toy with the group somewhat in appropriating the style and tactics of adversaries that the party has faced through the different ages: The Dragon Tank, the Guardian, Heckran, Zombor, Masa and Mune, Nizbel, Magus, Azla and the Black Tyrano, and the Giga Gaia. Unfortunatly for Lavos, the creature forgot to upscale the strength of the opponents to compensate for the growth of the party so the team actually makes short work of the various forms that Lavos takes. Eventually, Lavos gives up the game and decides to fight the party itself and the true battle begins. This time, Lavos’ opening move of raining destruction from the heavens manages to hit the party hard, but fails to knock them out like their scuffle in the Ocean Palace. After a fierce battle against the monster, Lavos appears to be defeated when it’s “head” disappears and leaves a gaping hole in its shell, much like one of the Lavos spawns did on Death Peak. Magus isn’t fooled by such an apparently easy victory however and the group decide to enter the shell and see to it that the job is done.

Inside the cavernous shell, the party can hear the heartbeat and breathing of the beast confirming that there is yet more work to do in putting Lavos down permanently. Before the group descends into the inner chamber of Lavos’ shell, they decide to make a personnel change switching Ayla and Magus for Lucca and Marle. This journey will end how it began; with the original three who decided to make the fate of the future their responsibility. As the trio make their way deeper into the shell, they can hear Lavos’ heart rate increase and its breathing become more rapid until they find themselves facing their foe. The battle against the being inside the shell of Lavos is a brutal and long one, but eventually the Crono, Marle, and Lucca are victorious and the creature lets out a muddled cry as it melts away leaving only a small, vaguely humanoid form behind.

Upon seeing what remains of Lavos after defeating its outer shell and its inner form, Lucca has a revelation about Lavos’ nature. She suggests that Lavos has been harvesting the DNA and genetic material of the planet’s life forms and adding it to its own for eons in order to improve itself. Then, its spawn would to seek out new life forms throughout the universe and continue the cycle. Marle decides it time to put an end to the Lavos’ cycle of destruction and the three move to challenge the intergalactic parasite. The creature lets out another cry and all of them are enveloped in some kind of temporal field as the battle begins again. As the fight progresses, Lavos repeatedly seems to change the era in which the battle is taking place while at the same time unleashing powerful attacks on the party. After yet another grueling battle, the team manages to finally destroy the creature’s core killing the entire organism. As the field created by Lavos collapse around them, everything fades to white…

Sometime later, Crono finds himself in a familiar situation; having his slumber interrupted by a voice calling out to him. This time however, the voice is coming from a soldier from the castle. The soldier informs Crono that he is being summoned to the castle because his stay of execution has been waived. At this point Crono probably thinks that he should have settled down in 600 A.D. or 65M B.C. where he’s a little more appreciated. The soldier escorts Crono to Guardia Castle and brings him to the throne room before King Guardia and the Chancellor. The king the demands to know where Nadia is as if Crono hadn’t been asleep just 20 minutes ago. How is he supposed to know? Fortunately, Marle is still in the castle and immediately barges in and comes to Crono’s defense. As she does. The king then decides to consult with the Chancellor for a moment before the Chancellor tells Crono that his deeds have had a significant impact on the entire kingdom. Marle then tries to intercede on Crono’s behalf again before the king cracks and can’t keep up the charade any longer and tells them that he knows what they’ve been up to. Then Doan, the leader of the Arris Dome survivors from 2300 A.D., enters the throne room and gives the team credit for giving his people hope for the future. Once Doan has said his piece King Guardia XXI enters the throne room and thanks Crono and Marle for their part in restoring piece to the kingdom four hundred years ago. And just to top everything off, Kino enters on cue and tells everyone how they defeated the reptites!

Flabbergasted, Marle asks the obvious question: How did they all get there? Lucca then emerges from her hiding spot behind the king’s throne to reveal that she brought all of them there in order to debrief the king on what was going on. She also reveals that all of the participants are either ancestors or decedents of Marle bloodline, showing that Marle’s family has pretty much been running the world forever. Crono, for his part, doesn’t seem to be too upset that Lucca just pulled one of the most ambitious pranks in video game history on him. What a good sport. King Guardia XXXIII then announces that a victory parade will be held in honor of the group for their heroics and tells Marle to go and enjoy the final day of the Millennial Fair while the preparations are made.

That evening everyone gathers at the fairgrounds once again to kick off the Moonlight Parade, a celebration of both the party’s accomplishments and the final night of the Millennial Fair. Lights, dancers, and revelers fill Leene Square as Marle and Crono explore the festival. The duo find Crono’s mother amongst the crowd she expresses how proud she is of them, however she does wish that Crono would spend more time at the house and look after the cat. I guess there really is no pleasing some people. Nearby, Marle and Crono find Lucca’s parents, Lara is doing her best to get Taban to dance wither but he seems to be more interested in finishing his drink. Melchior has even stopped in for the festivities (dude get around quick!). He tells the two that he hopes that now there will no longer be any need for his weapons and is relieved that his days as a weapon smith will soon be over.

While chatting with people at the festival is nice, the real action is at the rear of the fairgrounds where Lucca’s Telepod still sits. Marle an Crono meet up with the rest of the party (and associates) to say their farewells. Now that Lavos has been defeated, the gates are beginning to grow weak and it is time for everyone to go back to their own eras. First up is Ayla and Kino. Ayla tells everyone how much fun she has had during their adventures. Marle reminds the two to have a bunch of healthy kids for her sake and Kino assures her that won’t be an issue given how much energy Ayla has. It takes a moment for some of the group to realize what he’s getting at but before he can cause any more embarrassment, Ayla grabs him by the scruff and ushers him into the gate. Ayla then turn back and blows one last kiss to everyone before heading into the gate herself. Next up is Frog and King Guardia XXI. Recognizing that Queen Leene is awaiting their return, the king enters the gate with Frog, feeling that farewells ought to be kept brief, move to follow close behind. Before Frog can enter the gate however, Marle stops him and plants a kiss on him. Lucca naturally, can’t resist an opportunity to make a princess kissing the frog joke. Frog has a good laugh and enters the gate heading back to 600 A.D. Next up is Magus, who takes the “short farewell” thing even more seriously than Frog. Marle asks the mage if he intends to search for Shcala but Magus departs through the gate before answering.

The last to leave is Robo. Before entering the gate, he pledges to continue to work hard to make the future a better place. Lucca however can’t hide her concern that since they altered the future so significantly that Robo might no longer have a place there. Robo does his best to put Lucca at ease but it doesn’t work and she scolds him for pretending to not care. Robo then tells Lucca that he is grateful for everything he’s learned over the course of their adventure. He then goes to step into the gate but instead collides with the Telepod because “oil” was obstructing his visual sensors. It’s probably safe to say that Robo will be fine.

Once all of the goodbyes are done, Lucca asks Marle and Crono if the remember the talk they had at the camp fire about how one’s life flashes before their eyes before death. Lucca tells the two of them that she believes that the “entity” is now probably at peace. Marle then remarks that it sure is easy to mess things up while one’s traveling through time which leads Lucca to then suggest that they dismantle the Epoch even though it will mean that they won’t be able to visit any of their friends. Before any final decision can be made however, Crono’s pet cat runs into the square followed by Crono’s mother. Crono’s mom then scolds Crono for not being around to take care of the cat before said cat runs into the gate closely followed by mom, the Time Gate then closes behind her before Crono can follow. After a brief moment of panic, the group makes their decision. Looks like the Epoch won’t be dismantled after all now that the team must search through time and space looking for Crono’s mom and his cat (hopefully she didn’t end up in 65M B.C. and fall dow that cliff though). At the same time, they might as well look in on their friends.

Before the three can head off, a soldier enters and tell them that the king is awaiting Princess Nadia in the main square. The group arrive in the square while the king is unveiling a new bell to celebrate the occasion. The king tells the group that he is very happy now that Nadia no longer has any reason to run off anymore and reveals Nadia’s Bell suspended in the air by a cluster of party balloons. Marle and the team run off while the king installs the bell. The king gets himself stuck while finishing up but Marle only laughs and tells her father she has to run. Taban then enters the square and instead of helping the king as he helplessly hangs off of Nadia’s bell, decides to set off some of his fireworks. The spectacular display is seen in the distance as Crono, Marle, and Lucca take off once again on the Wings of Time.

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CoT Part 26: The Sands of Time

The Fated Hour (6)

One the rise of the machines is halted, the party is just about ready to face Lavos, and all that remains is one last task. Gespar mentions a woman in the middle ages who is trying to restore a forest who could only be Fiona. Not surprisingly, when the group heads to 600 A.D. they see something fishy going on in the desert north of Porre. Frog, Robo, and Magus land the Epoch near Fiona’s Villa to talk to her and see what might be going on. Before they can speak to her about the gigantic sinkhole in the desert however, Fiona has some good news to share with the group; now that the war against the Mystics is over, her husband Marco has returned home safely. Marco then pledges to not leave home again now that the land is at peace. Turning to the subject of what’s going on in the desert, Fiona tells the group that everything that she tries to plant is dying before it can grow because of the monsters lurking in the desert.

Fiona has been trying to restore the area for some time. The land has been devastated during the last ten years presumably because this is where the bulk of the fighting in the war against the Mystics had taken place. She tells the group that she has a special tree that has been cultivated through the ages that she believes could restore the forest. Fiona is hesitant to try to plant the tree with the monsters still about, however. It seems very likely that this is even the same tree that the woman in Zeal Palace refused to burn because it was giver to her my Melchior, the Guru of Life. Perhaps that woman is even an ancestor of Fiona.

Naturally, the group agrees to look into the monster problem and a quick conversation with Marco reveals that the monsters in the desert are afraid of water. It’s a good thing we have people proficient in water magic. The team sets out to enter the Sunken Desert southwest of Fiona’s house and begin to clear out the monsters. In the deepest part of the Sunken Desert the party comes across a large creature moving though the sand. Robo seems worried about facing a monster powerful enough to move through sand like it does but Magus seems to recognize it. Perhaps he has some familiarity with the creature, or these are a band of monsters who fought on the side of the Mystics and now resorted to causing trouble in the desert? Regardless, despite Robo’s reservations, the team defeat Retinite and with all of the monsters dealt with, return to Fiona’s to inform her that she can continue her work. Fiona is of course thankful that the team took care of the monsters but fears that it will takes ages for her to plant enough trees to reforest the area. If only someone could help her… Robo instantly offers to help with Fiona’s massive project since he has the advantages of never getting tired or ageing. He tells the party that he can stay here and work while they go into the future and retrieve him after his work is complete. With everything sorted out, Robo begins his work and the group board the Epoch and travel to 1000 A.D.

When the Epoch arrives in 1000 A.D. the team finds where there was once a desert, there is now a vast forest. At the center of the forest, where Fiona’s Villa stood, is now a large shrine dedicated to her. The whole structure has a nearly religious aesthetic to it with the people inside even dressed much like nuns. When the party enters the shrine they are greeted by the caretakers of the shrine who inform the group that they give thanks to Fiona and Robo for restoring the forest after the war against Magus. Another of the attendants tell the group that they can see the “remains” of Robo in the inner sanctum. The group heads to the back of the chamber and find Robo resting on a large pedestal in noticeable disrepair. The group bring Robo down from the pedestal and Lucca reactivates the robot. Robo is confused as to where he is at first but cheers up when he realizes that his friends have finally come to retrieve him. He tell that group that even though it’s only been moments for them, a long 400 years have passed for him and he wants to celebrate long awaited reunion.

That night the entire party is camping out in Fiona’s forest. While Lucca is conducting some minor repairs on him, Robo decides to share a revelation he’s had during the course of his work. He tells the group that he does not believe that Lavos is the cause of the Time Gates. Robo now believes that some other entity wanted them to witness the events that have occurred during the time periods that they’ve seen or perhaps even wanted to see the events for itself, as if it were reflecting on the past. Ayla likens it to someone’s life flashing before their eyes before they die. Frog second’s Ayla’s notion suggesting that it could be some kind of reflection on significant events, both good and bad, as someone nears their end. Marle wonders if the same kind of thing will happen to them when it’s their time but Lucca is a bit more skeptical. Marle then asks Lucca if there is a particular time that she would like to return to if she were able. Lucca ponders the question for a moment before giving a half-hearted “not really.” Sensing that she may have touched a sore spot, Marle apologizes for bringing it up but Lucca blows it off and says that it’s just something that she doesn’t like to think about a lot.

Looking to change the subject, Frog points out that even if Lavos didn’t create the Time Gates, it’s fate is somehow bound to the one who did, given that Lavos has played a significant role in nearly every time period that they’ve seen. Magus then askes the obvious question of just who they think this entity is. Robo suggests that the entity is something greater than any of them and that they may not know until after they pass. Admittedly a vague and noncommittal answer. Once the group has reached this philosophical dead end, the party turns in for the night.

Late in the night, after everyone is asleep, Lucca awakens and finds her attention drawn to an area just outside the party’s campsite. Once outside the site, Lucca comes across an odd Time Gate unlike any of the others that they’ve come across. Lucca enters the Gate and when she emerges, finds herself in her bedroom. On the floor of her room she finds a journal entry dated June 24 990, the entry has Lucca complaining that her father has blown her off for a planned hiking trip so he could conduct some research. This entry seems to have inspired some hostility toward her father’s interest in science and machinery. Lucca then leaves the room of her younger self and begins to explore the house. In the kitchen she finds another document on the dinner table written by Taban reminding himself that the password to shut off his latest machine is his beloved wife’s name. Well at least he like to keep it simple unlike most password requirements that need 16 letters, at least one number, a symbol, and the blood type of your first love.

Eventually, Lucca makes it to the main room of the house and finds her mother and a much younger Lucca fussing over a large piece of equipment taking up most of the area. Lucca’s mother decides she is going to clean up the dirty machine a bit but accidentally activates it and her dress gets stuck in some of the machinery. Young Lucca rushes over to help, but the two of them together aren’t enough to free the dress and her mother is getting pulled into the machinery. Thinking on her feet, future Lucca goes to the device’s control panel and enter the shutdown password L-A-R-A before anyone gets seriously hurt. Once the machine is shut down, Lara and young Lucca manage to free her dress and then breathe a sigh of relief.

Sometime later, Lucca is back in her younger self’s bedroom emotionally drained and taking in what happened. She’s just saved her mother from the devastating accident that paralyzed her so many years ago. On the floor of the room, Lucca finds another journal entry dated July 2 where young Lucca recognizes the close call that occurred with the machine and this has prompted her to study up more toughly from now in so she’ll know what to do if there is ever another situation like that and they aren’t so lucky. Wait, where was future Lucca when young Lucca was writing this? No matter, with her work now done, Lucca re-enters the Time Gate to return to her friends.

When Lucca exits the Time Gate, she finds Robo waiting for her. Robo, somehow knowing what Lucca has been doing, remarks that event has been weighing heavily on her for a long time. Robo commends Lucca on how she’s always thinking of others then opens his casing and hands her a piece of amber. Robo tells Lucca that he created what is called the “Green Dream” from the sap of the trees in the forest and it has taken centuries and lots of pressure to make it for her. Lucca thanks Robo and is taken aback by the kindness of his gift to her then the two return to the camp.

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CoT Part 25: Church of the Machine God

The Fated Hour (5)

Now that things seem to be somewhat stable at Guardia castle, the group heads back to the End of Time to tie up any more loose ends. Robo observes that everyone seems to be much more cheerful now that Crono is back but wonders about something Gespar said about the “birthplace of machine” in 2300 A.D. Robo wonders if he too might have a hometown. Since they have nothing better to do at the moment, Robo, Frog, and Magus board the Epoch and travel to 2300 A.D. to search for Robo’s birthplace. Once in the future, the group finds the Geno Dome a large factory near where Choras stood. When they are inside the facility they find the way locked but Robo activates a nearby computer to see if they can gain entry. Before Robo can get very far though, a voice comes over the facility’s intercom and demands to know who is trying to enter their sanctum. The entity’s tone changes however when it recognizes R-66Y or as they call him “Prometheus.” The entity then acknowledges that he’s brought two “fleshlings” with him and welcomes the trio in.

Robo and the gang then find themselves travelling down a moving walkway down a long corridor. It’s no pleasant ride however, the mysterious voice comes back on the intercom and says that it would like to test the capabilities of the humans. Then, the group is constantly attacked by robots as they move toward the inner factory. After defeating several waves of aggressive robots, the group finally reaches the end of the walkway and are allowed into the main factory. When the group enters the factory proper, the voice comes over the intercom once again and commends them, then saying that it is looking forward to meeting them. No way that can be interpreted as ominous, right? As the group begins exploring the facility, the voice decides to chime in again, it relates how Lavos brought devastation to the world 300 years ago and at its current rate, humanity is doomed because of the despair that consumes them. Deeper in the factory the group comes across another computer terminal which Robo accesses. The terminal contains details about the factory including information on how best to move about. Once of particular interest is an entry claiming that one must collect two figurines in order to gain an audience with “Mother Brain” (not that Mother Brain, but could you imagine?). Odds are that the voice that keeps speaking to the group in the facility is that of Mother Brain so it might seem prudent to collect these figurines and speak with her.

As Robo, Frog, and Magus continue to explore the facility, they stumble across a chamber where people are being carried down a conveyor belt leading into a machine to be processed somehow. Frog and Robo are horrified by this and Robo runs to the nearby computer terminal in order to put a stop to it. The security on the terminal is too robust however and Robo says that they must shut it down at the source in order to stop it. Once they leave the room of horrors Mother Brain’s voice comes over the intercom system again telling them that the word would be at peace if it wasn’t for humans and wonders why they continue to struggle against their inevitable fate. With a new sense of urgency motivating them, the group gathers the two figurines needed to enter Mother Brain’s chamber and head toward the door. Before they can manage to enter however they are stopped by another R-Series robot.

The new R-Series greets “Prometheus” and Robo seems to recognize the robot and calls her (it’s painted pink and is wearing a bow so I’m going with it) “Atropos.” Atropos requests that Robo join her now that there is no need to pretend that he is on their side anymore. She claims that Prometheus was given a special mission; to live with and study the humans. Robo seems to be confused, but Frog is incredulous about this. Atropos insists that it’s true however, and wants Prometheus to help her eliminate the humans and go see Mother. She then then starts to move toward Frog and Magus but Robo obstructs her and asserts that he will not allow her to harm them. Atropos claims that Robo has been damaged and offers to fix Robo but he turns it around on her and claims that she’s changes and isn’t the robot that he knew before. Atropos then insists that Mother Brain has upgraded her so that she can eliminate humans more effectively and tells Prometheus to step aside and let her do her duty. He then corrects her, insisting that his name is “Robo” and refuses to move, this prompts Atropos to attack Robo. Frog and Magus try to intervene on Robo’s behalf but insists to them that he should handle this himself and prepares for a one-one-one duel with his old comrade. Atropos uses many of the same techniques as Robo but ultimately is no match for the more experienced robot and is defeated. As her systems are failing, Atropos seems to realize that she’s betrayed Robo and Mother Brain has manipulated her programming. She then gives Robo her ribbon before shutting down for good.

As the group approaches Mother Brain’s chamber, her voice comes over the intercom system one last time telling the group that the Lavos spawn will soon leave, seeking out new planets to feed on. This will allow this planet to finally be able to heal so long as there are no humans left and robots can dominate the world. So the group seems to be dealing with yet another rogue AI in its “destroy all humans” phase. Wonderful. The group places the two figurines on stands on either side of the door to Mother Brain’s central chamber and finally confront the program. Three monitors project a hologram of the AI program in the center of the room as it addresses the group. Mother Brain offers to “restore” Robo and dispense of the filthy humans in order to bring about her glorious metal future but Robo naturally rejects the offer. He tells her that his memories and friends are too valuable to lose and that he prefers to see the future that they bring about. In typical rogue AI fashion, Mother Brains scoffs at this and commences to trying to destroy all three of them. Robo, Frog, and Magus emerge victorious against the genocidal program allowing Robo to access the main systems of the factory, shutting it down for good.

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CoT Part 24: Over the Rainbow

The Fated Hour (4)

Once the group’s business is concluded at the Heroe’s Grave, Crono, Ayla, and Magus head west of Choras to the West Cape. At the edge of the cape, the group finds a headstone which reads that this is the final resting place of the “Great Explorer Toma LeVine” who died in 634 A.D. Remembering Toma’s request of Frog, Crono pours the spirits the group got from him on his headstone. A moment later Toma’s ghost appears to the group and offers them a friendly greeting. Toma then tells the group that he has located the Rainbow Shell, it’s on an island to the northwest of the cape called the Giant’s Claw. He warns the group however that there are many monsters and dangers there.

As if that has ever stopped them before.

Given the date on the headstone of Toma’s death, it seems that he (wisley) took his own advice and resisted the urge to peruse the Rainbow Shell too fiercley and seems to have lived a full life instead of dying persuing the chell. So good on him there. Once he has relayed the information, he bids the group farewell and his spirit acends intot the coulds as he toutchingly tells the group that ther is “No drink as fine as one shared in the companly of friends like you” as he dissapears into the great beyond.

In the present day, there doesn’t seem to be any trace of the island that Toma referred to as the Giant’s Claw so the group decides to take the Epoch back to 600 A.D. Once they arrive in the Middle Ages they find the Giant’s Claw and enter a cabe at the base of the mountain that takes up most of the small island. At the entrance of the cave, Crono comes across as crumpled piece of paper they assume was written by Toma refering to jumping in holes in order to progress deeper into the cave. No wonder he decided to abandon his quest for the shell. Crono and the gang decide to press on deeper into the cave and before long come across…Azala’s trhone room? Upne entering the familiar chamber the group quickly comes to the conclusion that beneath the mountain are the buried remains of the Tyranno Lair. It seems that more than just the ruins of the Tyranno Lair have survived to the Medeival Era, the caves and ruins are also occupied by dinosaurs and other creaters, toughened up by millennia of surviving underground.

Crono, Ayla, and Magus continue to fight their way through the caves and left over remnants of the Tyranno Lair until they reach the bottom level of the cave where they come across the Rust Tyranno, apparently a distant descendant of the Black Tyranno that the group faced in 65M B.C. and the final guard of the Rainbow Shell. After the team defreats the Rust Tyranno, they are free to claim the Rainbow Shell for their own. Unfortunately, even with Ayla with them, the shell is far too heavy for the group to lift and carry on their own. Ayla then suggests they could enlist the help of the “castle people” to move the shell and the group heads off to Guardia Castle.

Once the group is at Guardia Castle, the king is more than happy to help the them retreive the Rainbow Shell from the cave at the Giant’s Claw. The king even offers to keep the Rainbow Shell at the castle for safekeeping and keep it as a national treasure and royal heirloom before ordering the knight commander to see to it’s retrieval.

After the arrangements have been made regarding the Rainbow Shell, the group returns to the End of Time to check on the group members hanging out there. When the group talks to Marle, she once again expresses her delight that Crono is back in action but then wonders how her father is doing. Given the retrieval of the Rainbow Shell in 600, now seems like a pretty good time to check in and see if it’s still in safe keeping. Marle, Crono, and Magus then pile in to the Epoch and set course for Guardia Castle circa 1000 A.D. Upon arriving at the castle, the group lears that there are shenanigans occurring at the castle, naturally. The posted guards at the castle tell the group that the king is currently being tried for selling a royal heirloom. The team tries to have a look around to see if they can get any more information on what the heck is going on this time but most of the castle is sealed off while the trial is ongoing. Even the kitchen staff is being constantly shadowed by guards as they do their work. The team then decide to head up the tower leading and head to the courtroom but guards are posed outside denying the them entry. Marle demands to be let inside and the guards eventually relent.

Inside the courtroom is a familiar scene with the chancellor, serving as prosecutor, is accusing the king of selling the Rainbow Shell in defiance of a royal will written by King Guardia in 600 A.D. instructing that the shell be unveiled to the people during the Millennial Fair. The current king, denies even knowing of the Rainbow Shell’s existence but the chancellor turns it around and accuses the king of being greedy. Marle then enters the courtroom and goes to her father who then his daughter her that the chancellor is framing him. The chancellor scoffs at the accusation and says that if the king is in fact guiltless, then the Rainbow Shell should still be in the castle. Just produce it, and the king’s innocence would be beyond question. The chancellor then orders soldiers to remove Marle from the courtroom before moving on with the trial.

Once she is out of the courtroom, Malre and the team set out to recover the Rainbow Shell from the storage rooms in the basement. As the group enters the basement, they come across an injured soldier near the door. The soldier claims that he’s been bitten on the toe by a rat and that is why he’s out of commission. No wonder these things keep happening, the solders here have come a long way since the war against the Mystics. Further in the basement, the group overhears two familiar-looking snakes talking to each other about their “boss” framing up the king and getting revenge for a family grudge. The two snakes are dispatched by the group and Marle, realizing that there really is a plot afoot, leads the group deeper into the basement.

Back in the courtroom the jury is hearing testimony from a merchant claiming that he is the one that the king sold the Rainbow Shell to. The merchant claims that the king had a desperate look about him while he was conducting the sale before the king exclaims that he has never seen this merchant before. As the merchant concludes his testimony, the chancellor commends him for being so convincing, pleased that his plan is going off without a hitch.

In the basement, Marle, Crono, and Magus continue to fight through the same enemies that they faced at the cathedral in 600 A.D. After making their way through the basement, the team find the Rainbow Shell in the deepest part of the basement. Marle approaches the shell and finds a letter near it addressed to her. Magus, thinking that he’s being helpful, offer to burn the note for her but Marle decides to go ahead and read it first. The letter seeks to remind Marle about the importance of her family and encourages her to keep fighting on. The letter is signed by Queen Leene. After reading the note, Marle takes a shard from the Rainbow Shell to use as evidence proving her father is innocent of the crimes that the chancellor is framing him for.

While the group is making a mad dash back to the courtroom with the shard, the jury begins rendering its verdict. When the group makes back to the courtroom, the guards refuse to let Marle in prompting her to try to find another way in while Corno and Magus wait outside. Inside the courtroom, the king has been found guilty by a 4-1 margin. The chancellor orders the king be taken to the dungeon and declares himself the new ruler of Guardia on the spot. Because he apparently thinks he can do that and his claim to the throne won’t be immediately challenged by Marle. Speaking of which, before the king can be taken away, Marle is spotted behind the giant stained-glass window decorating the courtroom and smashes through it, landing in front of the judge’s desk and shows the room the shard from the Rainbow Shell exposing the chancellor’s plot.

The chancellor isn’t ready to give up on his revenge just yet and decides to take the more direct route. He swears that he will avenge his ancestors and transforms into Yakra XIII. Once the monster has revealed himself, Marle rushes her father out of the courtroom while simultaneously letting Crono and Magus in so they can aid her in defeating the holder of the longest grudge in history. Talk about not letting something go…

Although Yakra XIII proves to be much tougher than his ancestor, he nonetheless is defeated allowing their grudge against the Guardia royal family to continues for another four hundred years. Once the coast is clear, the king enters the courtroom once again and apologizes to Marle for being so stubborn. Malre also admits to not taking his feelings into consideration and apologizes also allowing the two to share a nice moment of reconciliation. The king then tells Marle about her mother’s last words which surprises Marle since the chancellor told her that the king was absent at the time, which seems like a pretty unnecessary and mean-spirited lie on top of everything else the imposter did.

Some time later everyone has gathered in the throne room where the king tells the group that they are free to come and go as they please but urges them to use caution and take care of Marle. Just then, Melchior enters the throne room and tells the group that he would like to make some armor from the Rainbow Shell. He then heads off to the basement before anyone can ask him how he knew about the shell or how he got to Guardia so quickly. Gurus are just mysterious like that. Marle, Crono, and Magus return to the courtroom to recover something that Yakra left behind before he vas vanquished and find Yakra’s key. Partway down the tower leading up to the courtroom the team comes across a locked chest which opens with the key and release the real chancellor. Old habits die hard apparently. The chancellor thanks the group for releasing him before rushing off to continue preparations for the “Moonlight Parade.”

When the group catches up with Melchior in the basement, he’s already hard at work studying the Rainbow Shell and working out what he’s going to do with the legendary material. He tells the group that he can either make one Prismatic Dress, which will provide significant protection to one person, or he can make three Prismatic Helms, each provide less protection but can be worn by anyone. The group decides to go with the three helmets and Melchior gets to work. After Melchior finishes and gives the group their Prismatic Helms, he notices that they also have a Sun Stone and claims that he can make something really great using both it and the Rainbow Shell. Not wanting to stop him while he’s on a roll, the group lets Melchior go to work and he produces some Prismatic Spectacles and the Rainbow, Crono’s most powerful sword (until the DS re-release anyway). Once Melchior is done, he allows himself to take some pride in a good day’s work.

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CoT Part 23: The Grateful Dead

The Fated Hour (3)

Once the group is back at the End of Time, a conversation with Frog reveals that he is also concerned about something Gespar mentioned. What caught Frog’s attention is the mention of a spirit of a “proud knight” haunting some ruins outside of the town of Choros. Frog decides that he wants to look into this supposed haunting and, along with Lucca and Magus, board the Epoch and travel to Choros in 600 A.D. The group then heads to the ruins to the north of the town. The group does indeed find a number of ghosts, but the ruins are in such disrepair that they can’t get very far before they have to turn back.

With their progress stymied, the group decides to head to the town’s tavern in search of some information on the ruins or a way to repair them. At the bar of the tavern the group runs into a familiar face. Toma is in town and tells Frog that he has found a significant clue as to the whereabouts of the Rainbow Shell, the item that he was hired by the elder of Dorino to find. He thinks that it might be on an isolated island but fears that something may go wrong during his attempt to retrieve it. Toma then gives Frog some spirits for safekeeping and asks the group to pour the spirits on his headstone if he’s right and something does happen to him. With that morbid quest accepted, the team goes back to the task at hand and starts asking around about the ruins. One patron at the tavern tells the group that the hauntings started nearly ten years ago after a beast was seen dragging something into the ruins. He suspects that the ghosts may be guarding some kind of treasure there. The group also runs into a carpenter who lives nearby that would be willing to help do some repairs on the ruins but someone has apparently stolen all of his tools so at the moment, he can’t do anything.

Now that the group has a promising lead on repairing the Northern Ruins, Frog and the gang decide to try to find the carpenter some tools that he can use to restore the ruins. The first place the group tries to look is in Choros circa 1000 A.D. Perhaps someone in the present is continuing the carpenter’s legacy. While searching the town, the group finds that attitudes about the Northern Ruins have changed little in the intervening 400 years. The current residents of Choros view the ruins with the same amount of fear and suspicion as their medieval counterparts. At the local inn the group finds another carpenter enjoying some drinks. After speaking with the group he allows them to borrow his carpenter tools but they have to go to his house and retrieve them from his wife. With his endorsement, the group heads to the carpenter’s residence to talk to the man’s wife and collect his tools. The carpenter’s wife grumbles about her husband’s drinking habits but is otherwise cooperative with the group and hands over the tools.

Once the group has the tools, they head back to 600 A.D. and return to the tavern to let the carpenter know that he can get started renovating the Northern Ruins. The carpenter eagerly accepts the tools and the assignment and heads to the ruins after collecting his apprentices. After allowing some time to let the carpenter team do their thing, Frog and the gang return to the ruins to check on their progress. The carpenter and his team meets the group at the entrance and tells Frog that they’ve done what they can so far, but need the group to clear out some more of the monsters in order for the to safely continue. Once the carpenter and his apprentices depart, the group goes about their task of reducing the number of monsters inhabiting the ruins.

After the group explores deeper into the ruins and eliminates more of the undead inhabitants, they return to the carpenter’s residence to inform him and his apprentices that the coast is now clear and they can continue their repairs. The carpenter is eager to continue their work but asks for an extra 2,000g to cover costs. Frog decides to hand over the money and the group of carpenters head back to the ruins to continue restoring the dilapidated building. By the time Frog and the gang make it back to the ruins themselves the carpenter and his team have finished their work. The head carpenter tells the group that there is still more to do, but until the last of the monsters are dealt with they have pack it in for now. Once again, Frog, Lucca, and Magus go about their work making the Northern Ruins save for civilians.

During the group’s extermination efforts, they come across a headstone in the basement of the ruins. Frog reads the inscription on the headstone and confirms that this is the final resting place of Cyrus. Frog then draws the Masamune to show his departed friend what he has accomplished so far and to his surprise, Cyrus’s spirit appears above the headstone. Cyrus thanks Frog for making the journey to pay his respects and commends his friend for becoming such a fine warrior and succeeding where he failed. Cyrus tells Frog that he can rest easy now knowing that things are in his capable hands and reminds him to look after Queen Leene before finally moving on. Once Cyrus has disappeared, the Masamune begins to shine and Masa and Mune emerge from the sword to address Frog. The duo tells Frog that his self-doubt has been holding him back up until this point and now that he is free from this doubt, his, and by extension the Masamune’s, true power can be realized. Masa and Mune do their fusion dance again and return to Frog now stronger than before. Frog declares that he will continue to honor Cyrus with his actions. The group then leaves the ruins to return to the carpenter’s house to let him know that he can now put the finishing touches on the ruins.

Now that the Northern Ruins have been totally cleared of any undead influence, the group pays the carpenter team to make one last trip to restore the ruins. By the time the group makes it back to the ruins the carpenters are done and the ruins are now open for exploration. As the group surveys the ruins, they come across a few more of the sealed chests and activate them with Marle’s pendant so that when they return to the ruins in 1000 A.D. they’ll upgraded versions of the treasure. Once the group is done, they travel to Choros in present era and find that now the ruins are held in much higher regard than they were previously. It seems that the work that the carpenters did in restoring the building, now called the “Hero’s Grave,” and the group’s clearing of all the beasties has significant rehabilitated the ruin’s image.

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