Chrono Trigger: Home Stretch

Having rescued Crono, I’m at the point now where all I have left to do is finish up any side-quests I feel like doing, then jump into the final battle.

I actually polished off a few of the side-quests before rescuing Crono, because I suspected that bringing him back might be the point of no return that leads into the endgame, but that turned out not to be the case. I was also worried about forgetting all the unfinished business I had all over the world in different eras, and was all set to lament the lack of a quest log in the classical JRPGs, but it turns out that Gaspar, the guy at the End of Time who you can go to for guidance about what to do next, keeps a list of what you haven’t done yet.

As for jumping into the final battle, this has actually been an option for most of the game. At the End of Time, where you have access to all the other portals, there’s a portal directly into a fight with Lavos. Apparently the ending you get varies according to what stage of the plot you’re at when you beat him. Now, if you try to fight him the first moment he’s available, obviously you’ll be severely underpowered, lacking the experience and equipment that the rest of the game brings. But I’m told that people have managed it, presumably by doing lots of extra grinding in the areas that are accessible beforehand. You’d really have to love the game to do that. Me, I’ve come to like the game, but one of the reasons I like it is that it’s largely grind-free. Just progressing through the story yields enough experience to keep pace with the difficulty curve without repeating fights. (So at last I have the reason that so many of the fights are avoidable: so you don’t have to repeat them if you don’t want to.) Also, rather unexpectedly for someone trained on Final Fantasy, there are no random encounters. Each dungeon has a fixed set of monsters, that don’t respawn unless you leave, at fixed locations, and the overland map doesn’t have any monsters at all. So, although you can grind if you really want to, the game doesn’t seem to expect it.

Which suits me fine. I intend to finish the game by weekend’s end.

1 Comment so far

  1. Mark on 6 Oct 2012

    There are, in fact, three ways to reach the final boss at this point in the game, and you’ll get a different ending depending on which one you choose.

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