I love Chrono Trigger, and for the past couple months I’ve been playing a ton of Chrono Trigger on the DS. This page is all about the secrets that only a completionist has the drive to find. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll be adding to it as I come up with more interesting things to report. I’ll also answer any Chrono Trigger questions here.

Latest Update: Lord of the Dance

Update Log

Feb. 11, 2009: Added “Lord of the Dance” section.
Feb. 9, 2009: Added “Millennial Affairs” section.
Jan. 30, 2009: Version 1.0 posted. Added “Bosses” section.

Next up: “Odd Items.” My findings on two of the most unusual items in the game, Ozzie Pants and the Nu Arcana.

Lord of the Dance: Damaging “Invulnerable” Bosses

Son of the Sons, Round 2
The Son of the Sons is the boss that gives you the sun stone. You are normally supposed to defeat it by attacking one of its 5 surrounding flames, which does indirect damage to it. Earlier, I posted a way to beat the Son of the Sons by destroying all 5 Prominence (see below). Thanks to a few ideas from other avid Chrono fans, I’ve discovered another way to beat it–using one of the most obscure techs in the game, “Poyozo Dance.”

All physical attacks against the Son itself miss automatically (as well as any techs that do physical damage). This guy also has immunity to all 4 elements, so the only possible way to damage him would be with non-elemental, non-physical techs. According to The Mechanics FAQ by G*Paladin, there are two techs in the game that fit the bill: The tripple tech Poyozo Dance (requires Marle, Ayla, and Lucca + white gemstone) and Tail Spin (Ayla). Tail Spin only affects a small area around Ayla, so this one doesn’t work on the Son. Poyozo Dance it is!

Even though Poyozo Dance can damage the Son, he has a magic defense of 100, so it’s not exactly a quick battle. At most I’ve done just over 250 damage with it (more details in the Cyrus segment). It turns out that damaging the Son of Sons with Poyozo dance has essentially the same effect as doing indirect damage to it by attacking the Prominence. Once the Son takes about 2000 damage (out of his 12,000 life), a message says that the Son of Sons is losing its light, and you win the battle just like you would have the normal way.

Cyrus’s Ghost – Why I still can’t defeat it!
Before you repair the Northern Ruins, Cyrus’s ghost haunts the ruins in 1000 AD. He’s supposed to be undefeatable, which of course means that I made it my mission to try. He has the same basic characteristics as the Son of the Sons: all attacks miss him, immunity to all 4 elements, 100 magic defense. But there’s a twist: when you’ve attacked him exactly 6 times, the battle ends. Your party realizes that this guy isn’t going down, and they back off.

Well you know what’s coming. Let’s dance him to death… death #2.

Here’s the party I used against him, designed to maximize damage (** means maximum, 99 in this case):
Lucca: level**, magic**, strength**, Prism Spectacles
Marle: level**, magic**, strength**, White Gemstone
Ayla: level**, magic**, strength**, Prism Spectacles
(Prism Spectacles multiply your damage by 1.5)

The problem is that even with this extremely powerful party, Poyozo dance only does about 230-250 damage, and 6 attacks just aren’t enough to make it to 2000 damage. I also tried moving the White Gemstone to difference characters. It does the same damage if Lucca holds the gem and Marle has prism specs, but only about 150 damage if Ayla holds the gem and the other two have the prism specs. The Attack stat of each character doesn’t affect the damage either–I tried changing weapons with all of them (except Alya, who’s stuck with the Bronze fist).

Well what about Tail Spin? If you make Ayla the second member of your party, she’s close enough to Cyrus to actually use the tech. Unfortunately, it does almost exactly the same damage as Poyozo dance, about 230-250, even with prism specs and the best possible Ayla stats. If anyone figures out how to defeat him, leave a comment!

Special thanks to The Chrono Compendium and V_Translanka for directing me to the mechanics guide and inspiring me to start the challenge. We’ve got another discussion of Cyrus going on there as well.

Millennial Affairs: Things You Wanted to Try

Silver Points
I didn’t realize this before, but you can actually fill up your silver point card. 200 is the max. Surprisingly, different merchants even have slightly different ways of informing you that your card is full. I’m surprised they bothered putting this in.

All About Cats
You can get a total of 11 cats (6 downstairs, 5 upstairs) in your house by earning cat food from Bekkler’s Tent of Horrors games in the fair. I’m not positive exactly how it works, but it seems like you get a new cat once you raise your cat food beyond a certain number of grams (~100), and then you lose a bunch of food and the new cat appears. It takes a while, especially with that 200 silver point limit.

What happens when you get above 11? You can keep earning cat food from Bekkler, which is good since the cats run away if you don’t feed them (or so he says). But for some reason, you can’t just keep “filling up the bowl.” I’m pretty sure you’ll never get over 200 grams of food. Instead, if you are over about 100 grams of food, you have a chance of losing a lot of food as if you got another cat, but you don’t actually get the cat.

When you beat the game the “normal” way, a number of cats will follow Crono’s mom into the portal:

Unfortunately, only a maximum of 7 cats will chase your mom into the portal, and they’re all orange. I wanted to see all 11, especially the last purple cat, which I hope is Janus’s cat Alfador from Antiquity. One could argue that it’s not the same cat, because if you visit the Commons in Antiquity with Magus, the purple cat (who must be Alfador) goes crazy and follows you around, since Magus is its owner. The purple cat in Crono’s house does not respond to Magus in a special way. On the other hand, it is 13,000 years in the future, so maybe his memory of Janus is a little hazy.

Bekkler Bug
In the third game of Bekkler’s lab (which you become very familiar with if you’re going for 11 cats), you walk around near the back of the room and throw “beanbags” at the approaching monsters. You can’t go behind the beanbag-throwing line once the game starts. So you might be wondering, what’s Crono doing there in the center of the room?

Whatever you want him to do! …otherwise known as, “nothing useful,” but he’s there nonetheless, and can move around freely. The monsters have no collision, and (sadly) you can’t go into the gate area where the monsters come out. In one way it makes the game a little easier, because you can actually walk right through the beanbags and shoot them without turning or facing them precisely. However, it also makes the game harder, because you have to clear the left hand pillar while you’re trying to talk toward the left to hit the blue light.

This bug is kind of hard to trigger, but I’ve done it about 6-7 times. The most reliable way is to stand directly to the left of Bekkler’s face when you first talk to him, and the instant you hit A to talk to him, press up+left on the D-Pad and hold it while he moves around and laughs, then you can release it after that and choose the game. I think the key here is trying to walk away from Bekkler on the same frame Bekkler’s laughing/motion is initiated, and getting it to work may have something to do with the positioning of your character and the direction you try to move. If anyone finds a reliable way to get this to work, post a comment!

Bosses: The Ways You Weren’t Supposed to Win

Most of the bosses in Chrono Trigger are designed to be fought in a special way. Sometimes you are supposed to defeat the parts of the boss in a certain order, or target something in the environment, or use techs that the boss is weak to. Usually, the game makes the bosses very difficult to defeat unless you beat them the intended way, and the cinematic events are set up under the assumption that you will win the way you are supposed to. But what happens when you get strong enough that you can break the rules?

Suit Up!
As a huge Chrono Trigger fan and a curious game programmer, I decided to find out. For most of these bosses, all you need to see the “alternative” way to win is one of two weapons that deal 9999 damage on a critical hit. This includes the Bronze Fist for Ayla (which you get automatically when she’s level 96) and the Apocalypse Arm for Robo (found in the Dimensional Vortex). I’d also recommend getting the Dragon’s Tear for Robo and the Valor Crest for Ayla, since both increase the critical hit rate (both are found in the Lost Sanctum as event rewards).

Boss 1: Ozzie encased in ice
The fact that he has a defense of 255, a magic defense of 100%, and an automatic counter that hits all of your characters should be a clue that you aren’t supposed to take him down with damage. As you probably figured out, you are instead supposed to hit the four chains that surround him, each of which opens up a pit. The final pit opens under Ozzie, and you win.

Or not. Let’s throw 9999 damage his way and see what happens. After the attack connects, you’ll notice that he doesn’t counter with Barrier Bomb, and you can no longer target him. He’s technically been defeated, but there is no sound effect, no animation, and he’s physically still there. So you are forced to target a chain. Once you do hit the chain, the hole opens, beginning the next sub-battle, and he reappears as a possible target. This is kind of fun, since you get the satisfaction of beating him up 4 times before you are forced to target the final chain. Bombs away!

Note: The result is approximately the same with the version of Ozzie you fight in Ozzie’s Fort, shown below. Aww, why can’t we target him anymore?

Boss 2: Azala and the Black Tyranno
Until you beat Azala, the Black Tyranno she rides on has defense of 253 and a magic defense of 100. Normally, the battle goes like this: you beat Azala, the Black Tyranno lowers its defenses, you defeat the Black Tyranno and it disappears with Azala falling behind it, starting the cinematic.

Option 2- Ayla or Robo jumps at the Black Tyranno for a swift 9999, and another attack or two finishes off the rest of its 501 remaining HP. Even though you didn’t touch Azala, her death animation plays first. Then the Black Tyranno’s death animation plays. Immediately after, Azala reappears behind the Tyranno and falls like normal. This sequence ends up looking kind of strange, since you never touch Azala but she’s dying and moving around over a short time.

Boss 3a: Lavos Spawn 1 and 2
The Lavos Spawns on Death Peak have two parts, the shell and the mouth. The mouth has 4000 life, 127 defense, 50 magic defense, and the shell dies when you defeat it. The shell has 10,000 life, 253 defense, 100 magic defense, and a very powerful counter attack. Hmmm, I wonder which one we should target first?

The shell!? Of course, but only with 9999 damage. When you defeat the shell, it actually dies on its own, and you are left to fight this tiny disembodied Lavos Spawn mouth. It looks pretty funny out there on its own. This is a picture of the shell on its way out:

Here is the mouth without the shell. This is actually the Elder Lavos Spawn at the end of the Black Omen. It’s quite a bit tougher than the others.

Boss 3b: Lavos Spawn 3
What about the third Lavos Spawn, the one where you have to climb its shell to get to the top of Death Peak? Well this one works a little different. You can still target and defeat the shell first, but when you destroy it, the mouth dies instead! It doesn’t make a lot of sense given that the other Lavos Spawns do the opposite, but the programmers did manage to avoid a bug, so hats off to them!

Boss 4: Son of the Sun
This is the boss in the Sun Temple, who gives you the Sun Stone when you win. It’s one of the more unusual bosses in the game. The Son of the Sun itself is a large orb with an eye. All physical attacks miss it (followed by a flare counter attack), and all magic attacks do 0 damage since it has 100 magic defense. It’s surrounded by 5 balls of fire, each called “Prominence,” that have 254 defense, 99 magic defense, and 30,000 life.

What you are supposed to do is target one of the Prominence with a physical attack, and if you guessed the right one, the Son of the Sun will take damage as a result. If you guess wrong, you get hit with a counter. Every so often, the Prominence get shuffled around with a Roulette move, so you have to keep guessing. Once you do enough indirect damage to the Son of the Son, a message appears that says “The Son of the Sun is losing its light,” and shortly after, the Prominence die and the battle is won.

Of course I got to thinking, what would happen if you destroyed all the Prominence individually before the Son of Suns took enough damage to cause a victory? Would you still be able to damage the Son of Sons, or would something else happen? This task took a little luck and a good 15 minutes or so. With 5 Prominence at 30,000 life each, and enough defense that they are really only affected by the lucky 9999 damage crits, it’s slow going… even with Ayla, Robo, and haste on both. I also had to avoid hitting the “correct” Prominence so that the Son of Suns would take as little damage as possible.

Finally I pulled it off by taking out the last Prominence without destroying the Son in the process. The results were not what I expected. For about 10 seconds I was just fighting the Son solo, knowing full well that there was nothing I could do to it. Then all of the sudden, the battle just cut to the victory sequence, reporing my 3800 XP and 2000G, without saying “The Son of Suns is losing it’s light.” Somehow the game figured out that I’d won, even though the Son of Suns was still going strong.

Fun Stuff With Other Bosses
The Queen of Zeal’s final form is two hands and a face. The hands each have 28,000 HP, 255 defense, 99 magic defence, and very nasty counters (reduce MP to 0, reduce life to 1 HP). You’re supposed to figure out pretty quick that you target the face and leave the hands alone. Even though nothing special happens if you defeat the hands first, the point is you can, if you come prepared. I found it satisfying to destroy them because they are probably the two most dangerous creatures in the game IF you insist on provoking their counter attacks (particularly the left one).

The second form of Lavos and the Giga Gaia both have a body and two arms, and normally the battle goes alot better if you target the arms first. However, if you can dish out 9999 damage, it’s only optional, and both arms disappear if you defeat the body.

The Lavos Core has two pods and a body. The rightmost pod has 255 defense and 100 magic defence, but will lower its defenses if it has to resurrect one of the other parts. If you want to win fast to see some more endings, just ignore this fact and go directly for the right pod. Since it has 30,000 life, you can beat the final boss of the game in 4 hits.

More coming
I’ll post other secrets I’ve come across, along with some more low quality screenshots. If you have any questions about beating Chrono Trigger or anything completionist-related, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it!