CoT Part 20: Dear Friends

The Time Egg

Once the Black Omen appears over the ocean Frog, Magus, and Marle decide to get the heck out of Dodge and take the Epoch to the End of Time to consult the Old Man and consult him on how to get in contact with the Guru of Time who Magus thinks may have a way to undo Crono’s fate. When the group arrives at the End of Time, the Old Man immediately notices that Crono isn’t with them and asks after him. Marle catches the Old Man up on recent occurrences which prompts the Old Man to honor Crono with a song which he calls “Memories of Crono.” Given the tenor of the song, the Old Man is greatly saddened by Crono’s passing but tells the group that he can’t be of any aid to them in their endeavor to bring Crono back. Marle then asks him if he knows anything about the Guru on Time or his whereabouts. The Old Man asks what she could possibly want with the Guru of Time and Marle tells him that she’s heard that he might have a way to bring Crono back. The Old Man then skirts the subject, telling Marle that she is not the first person to want to reverse death but adds that Crono must be very happy to have such dedicated friends.

Thinking that this line of inquiry has led to a dead-end, the group goes to leave but the Old Man calls them back. He says that he does have something that may be of use to them and shows them what looks like a gold egg. The Old Man calls it the “Chrono Trigger” and advises them to speak to Belthasar who may know a way to “hatch” it although doing so may not necessarily bring the results they want. He tells them that the Chrono Trigger represents potential and getting the results that they desire will require action and dedication. He can make no guarantees, but if they keep Crono in their hearts, they just may get what they want.

Magus then puts two and two together and declares that the Old Man is himself Gespar, the Guru of Time. Gespar pulls an Obi-Wan Kenobi and declares that people did use to call him that long ago. Before the group finally heads out to find Belthasar, they decide to take Magus to see Spekkio and see if he can awaken any hidden power within the wizard. Spekkio for his part, concedes that he can’t really tach Magus anything he doesn’t already know and admits that he probably could learn a thing or two from him. Well, it was worth a shot anyway.

With the Chrono Trigger and a heaping helping of hope, the team board the Epoch and takes off for 2300 A.D. to head for the Keeper’s Dome. Upon arriving, the group finds the Black Omen hovering near Death Peak and Bethasar’s residence. Once in the facility, the group finds the main room empty. They do find that if they activate the main computer in the center of the room, that they can rename the Epoch if they desire. The group then head to the back of the facility and finds the Belthasar/Nu resting next to the door leading to the Epoch’s hangar. When they approach Belthasar he tells them that Death Peak contains a power that could restore the slain to life however that person’s existence must be of the upmost importance. Given that Crono has been the tip of the sword in the quest to save the world from global destruction, I think we have that part covered. The Belthasar/Nu also tells the group that in order to properly pull off this feat, they will need some sort of double to stand in for the slain person, presumably in order to not disrupt the past with the person’s sudden disappearance affecting everything that happens afterward. Belthasar tells them that if they want a suitable double, they should seek out Nostrom Bekkler. He tells the group that Bekkler is a pretty big fan of fairs, so if there is one going on somewhere, he’s likely to be there. We may know just the place.

Once aboard the Epoch again, the group heads to 1000 A.D. to head back to the Millennial Fair. Upon emerging in the present day, the group once again sees the Black Omen hovering ominously over Melchior’s cabin. It would seem that the Black Omen is either somehow folloing the Epoch into whatever time period it goes to or it somehow now exists in every time period simultaneously. Also, it’s pretty interesting that Melchior lives in the same approximate location that Balthesar set up shop next to Death Peak (where Lavos emerged) almost 1300 years apart. And both of those just happen to be near where the Ocean Palace/Black Omen is located. Is it all a coincidence, or does something draw all of these things to this one spot on the planet? Given that Melchior’s home is literally in the shadow of the Black Omen, the group decides to make a pit stop and check in on the swordsmith see how he’s holding up. Melchior seems to be taking everything is stride as well as he can but wonders what the appearance of the Black Omen portends. Nothing good most likely.

After checking up on Melchior, the group then heads to the Millennial Fair to find Bekkler and see if he has what they need to switch out Crono. When they reach Bekkler’s tend, he tells them that he can provide them with a double but he wants them to play a game of miming with them. The better Marle does mimicking what the Crono double does, the less money he will charge once the game is over. She makes a valiant effort, and Bekkler decides he’ll part with the Crono double for about 5,000 gold and he has the double sent to Crono’s house. Lucca, Magus, and Marle then head over to Crono’s house to pick up the double where they find Crono’s Mother tending to the bedroom. When she sees the group, she asks Marle how Crono has been doing and Marle can’t help but lie and tell her that Crono is doing just fine. Marle asks to borrow the Crono double and naturally she gives her permission and as the group is leaving tells them to “Stay out of trouble.”

Trouble is the one thing they won’t be staying out of.

After a quick pit-stop at Lucca’s house to pick up a new piece of gear for her that Taban has put together, the group boards the Epoch and heads back to the Keeper’s Dome in 2300 A.D. The team heads back to the rear of the facility where the Bethasar/Nu resides and shows him the double of Crono that they managed to get from Bekkler. Belthasar tells the group that the double will do quite nicely and the team is now ready to attempt to climb Death Peak. Belthasar tells the team that his Nu entity will now execute one final program in order to help them get to the summit. He then sends three smaller programs which are transported to the mountain to offer aid to the group. After the program is executed, Belthasar asks the group for one final favor, now that it has served its purpose, he asks that the group permanently shut down the Nu construct which houses his consciousness and let it rest. Marle reluctantly obliges the Guru of Reason and shuts off the Nu construct ceasing its flow of time forever.

With all the preparations made, Ayla, Magus, and Marle head to the base of Death Peak to attempt to reach the summit and bring back their boy. Soon after entering the area, the team runs into the first of the three programs that Belthasar sent to the mountain. The program advises the group to stay behind the trees in order to avoid being blown off the mountain by high winds and then helpfully turns into a tree for them to take cover behind. The group then strategically avoids further winds gusts and makes their way further into the mountain. The group continues to make their way further up the mountain that his hostile to them in both environment and the temperament of its residents. The mountain itself is a cold, icy, and rocky wasteland where the only life to be seen are the monsters that constantly ambush the trio as they make their way further and further up the craggy slope. Just when the group seems to be making some headway, they run into something even worse than groups of marauding creatures; a Lavos spawn. In addition to the regular monsters that occupy Death Peak, it seems the group must also contend with the young of the world-destroying parasite waiting to mature enough to find planets of their own to feed off of. Fortunately, the young are not nearly as formidable as their parent and the combined efforts of Ayla, Magus, and Marle are enough to destroy the creatures before they can devastate any other worlds.

While making their way further up Death Peak, the group finds a small cave and encounter a second Lavos spawn and when it’s defeated the team finds themselves facing a small exposed cliff. Fortunately, there is another of the Belthasar programs at the edge of the cliff with advice to help them avoid falling off and ending up back at the foot of the mountain. After the group successfully navigate the cliff, the group runs into the third and final program. Unlike the other two programs though, who offer specific advice for getting though specific popsicles, this one only offers an opaque “Push the shell. Climb the shell.” There was bound to be one eccentric one in the group I suppose. As the team approaches the summit, they run into the third and final Lavos spawn. When the trio defeat the final obstacle blocking them from the summit of Death Peak, the head of the monster disappears but its shell is left behind allowing the group to use it to climb up a nearby ledge so then can continue on revealing after the fact what the heck the last program was talking about.

With the last of the Lavos spawn out of the way (the ones directly in their path at least) Ayla, Magus, and Marle finally reach the summit of Death Peak. The summit itself is a narrow, jagged peak with a solitary, dead tree on it. Once at the top, Marle offers a prayer which causes the pendant (now carried by Ayla) to react. Marle then pulls out the Chrono Trigger which seems to be draw energy from the pendant. After the Chrono Trigger draws enough energy from the pendant, it begins to float into the sky before exploding into many pieces. Marle is devastated when the Chrono Trigger shatters with Ayla also expressing disappointment that their quest has apparently failed. Overcome with frustration, Marle screams into the wind before collapsing in the snow. However, just all seems lost, the sun is eclipsed by some sort of object and when the peak is swallowed by darkness Ayla, Magus, and Marle find themselves back in the bowels of the Ocean Palace with Lavos, Queen Zeal, and Crono all apparently frozen where they are. Magus makes the observation that they are in a frozen moment in time right at the moment before Crono’s death. The group then takes the opportunity to move Crono out of the path of Lavos’ destruction and put the double in his place. Once the deed is done, the group appears back at the summit of Death Peak and Crono is placed under the tree, after a moment Crono awakens confused but unharmed. Marle then embraces Crono admonishes him for his actions and warning him to never to pull something like that again. She then attempts to catch Crono up on what has happened since the Ocean Palace but can’t seem to finish one thought before moving to the next as Crono silently takes the moment in, as he does.

Once everyone is gathered once again at the End of Time, Gespar congratulates the group on successfully bringing their friend back. He then explains to the group the various ways in which they can confront Lavos; by using a special gate to transport directly to Lavos, or using the Epoch to travel to 1999 and attacking as the creature emerges, or by going through the Black Omen. Gespar also tells the group that he has seen several glimpses of various events that they can intervene in that that may prove to be beneficial to them and the world that they are trying to save.

The group is assembled and the world is in imminent danger, you know what time it is:

It’s side quest time!

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