Corridors of Time Part 2: Strange Occurrences

The Millennial Fair (1000 A.D.)

Once Crono (finally) makes his way to the fair, things are in full swing. The fairgrounds are bustling with games and merchant booths. A logical first step is to do a little shopping. Demonstrating that the Millennial Fair is one of the most bad-ass fairs in existence, the merchant booths specialize in weapons and armor. One prominent booth belongs to Melchior the swordsmith who lets you peruse his wares and upgrade your wooden sword if you’re so inclined. Crono prefers katanas as opposed to the typical sword and shield combo typical of many RPG protagonists. Afterward Melchior invites Crono to check out his shop to the east if he’s ever across the sea.

As Crono mingles with some of the other fair-goers, a couple of them speak about the war against the Fiendlord hundreds of years ago and remind Crono to appreciate the current peace. One of the many things that I like about Chrono Trigger is how bright and happy the beginning is. In many games, particularly RPGs, you begin in a dystopia or you’re immediately under attack. Chrono Trigger on the other hand begins in celebration, the world is in a state of peace and stability. When the game begins, the largest conflict anyone is concerned with is the king not getting along with his daughter.

Many of the amusements around the fair revolve around getting “silver points.” You can earn silver point in a variety of ways including trying the strength game, where you can try to ring the bell and earn one silver point. Another way to earn silver points is to correctly guess the winner of footraces that occur continuously around the opening area of the fairgrounds. You can win 20 silver points if you correctly guess the winner, unfortunately Green Ambler will constantly ruin it for you. Once you do get your hands on some silver points, you can spend them at Norstein Bekkler’s Tent of Horrors where you can play some more games and win exotic prizes.

Once Crono has his fill in the opening area he heads to the northern section of the fairgrounds where he runs into (literally) another fair-goer and they knock each other over. The girl promptly apologizes and asks if Crono is OK before frantically looking around. Crono, being a stand-up guy goes to make sure that she is unhurt and she mentions that she dropped her pendant in the collision. After Crono finds and returns the pendant to her, she introduces herself as Marle and says that she’s new to the area. Despite your (ahem) bumpy start, Marle takes an immediate liking to Crono and asks if she can accompany him as they explore the fair.

With a new super cute companion in tow, Crono heads to the eastern part of the grounds and finds another silver point game. This game involves chugging “soda” as quickly as you can. I think that you can win five silver points if you can manage to chug eight glasses of “soda” but I’ve never been able to do it without the aid of a turbo controller so I guess that will have to remain a mystery. Near the chugging game, there’s a little girl who is upset that she can’t find her cat. Crono, being a cat guy himself will undoubtedly be keeping an eye out.

Beyond the chugging game is the musical entertainment for the fair. A group of entertainers has set up a prehistoric dance party where they play music reminiscent of the stone age. Crono and Marle can either dance along with the music or talk to the other people watching the show.  One little girl mentions that she also picked up some spare change by looting the Mayor’s place.

Heading to the other side of the fairgrounds, Crono and Marle run into an old man who tells the pair about the great lunch that his dear wife made for him and how eating it is going to be the highlight of his day. He’s been looking forward to that lunch all day.

It sure would be a shame if some cold-hearted bastard were to take if from him…

Near the old man, you’ll find a cat sitting all alone. Well, here is a cat all by itself and just across the square there is a little girl who can’t find her cat. Let’s see if these two things are related. Interacting with the cat will prompt it to follow Crono and Marle to the other side of the square, and what luck! It’s the cat that the girl was looking for. The cat takes its place next to its human, the girl is happy, and Crono scores some primo brownie points with Marle who compliments him on how sweet he is. Everyone’s a winner.

Heading back to the western side of the fairgrounds, Crono and Marle can take part in another silver point game. In this game, you can face off against Lucca’s sparring robot Gato and earn yourself 15 silver points for defeating him (it?). Once you step into the arena with Gato, it’ll sing you a jingle (Lucca seems to have quite a sense of showmanship) and the fight begins. Crono pulls out his trusty sword and Marle, seemingly out of nowhere, joins in and whips out a crossbow. I knew there was a reason these two got along so well. After a few turns exchanging blows, Gato surrenders, sings another jingle, and gives up the silver points.

If you are so inclined (or if you got beat up by Gato), Crono can take Marle back home to  rest up and introduce her to his mother. Marle and Mom have a pleasant conversation, Crono’s mom is excited that he has finally brought a girl home to meet her and she remarks that Marle looks awfully familiar. Perhaps she’s seen her somewhere before. After introductions are made, Crono and Marle can hang out for a bit and rest up in the bedroom. Which brings me to a question that’s I don’t know has been answered: Why is there only one bedroom in this house? Lucca’s house has two bedrooms. More importantly though, why is there only one bed? Does Crono’s mom just whip out a cot and sleep on that? Do they “hot bunk” and use the same bed in shifts? Is there a Murphy bed somewhere? Anyway, once Crono and Marle are done resting, it’s time to head back to the fair.

By the time Crono and Marle return to the fair, Lucca’s demonstration ready to begin. An announcement is made and Marle wants to go check it out. Before heading into the demonstration though, she wants to pick up a snack at the candy vendor. Crono waits patiently for Marle to make her selection because these decisions can’t be rushed. Talking to the candy vendor will reveal some more gossip about the princess and how hard she makes life for the king being such a rebellious tomboy. Once Marle makes her selection, they both head to the demonstration.

Given the state of technology in this world (they seem to be at about the steam engine), you might think that Lucca’s invention would be something like the incandescent light bulb or the telephone, but you would be wrong. Upon entering the demonstration area Lucca introduces the Hyper-Dimensional Transporter or “Telepod.” That’s right, Lucca and her father have figured out how to break someone down on an atomic level and instantaneously transport them between two points. Should be an exciting show.

Strangely, no one seems to want to volunteer to demonstrate the physics-bending power of the Telepod but since Crono is such a good friend he bails Lucca and her father Taban out and volunteers. With Marle cheering him on from the sideline, Lucaa and Taban power up the device and Crono disappears from the left pad and a moment later reappears on the opposite pad. It works perfectly. Marle is thoroughly impressed and volunteers to give it a try herself. Lucca throws some shade at Crono and expresses surprise that he would have such an attractive companion with him and Marle takes her position on the left pod.

Lucca and Taban start the machine up again and everything seems to go smoothly until Marle’s pendant starts to react with the field generated by the Telepod. Before the process can be aborted, a portal opens in-between the Tlepod’s pads and Marle is sucked in. Taban clears the demonstration area of spectators while Lucca and tries to work out what freak of quantum physics ripped a hole in space-time and devoured Marle. Lucca quickly works out that it must have had something to do with her pendant and remarks that she thinks that she’s seen Marle before. Fortunately, the pendant got left behind in the accident and Crono picks it up and takes his position on the Telepod intending to follow her. Lucca and Taban reactive the machine once again recreating the accident hurling Crono through the portal into parts unknown.

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