Monday, December 15, 2014

Chrono Trigger: Beating Lavos With Just Crono

Disclaimer: SNES/PS1 item names used here.  DS-only players can deal with it.

So by now, it should be reasonably well-known that on a New Game +, if you use the sparkle on the right telepod at the Millenial Fair, you can fight Lavos at the earliest possible point in the game and get the developers' ending.  At this point, you only have access to Crono and Marle, so most people just go in there with them and don't consider trying to solo Lavos.

To be fair, they may not even know it's possible.  During the scene with the telepod, Marle actually leaves the party once you talk to Lucca.  You can then use the sparkle to go to the Lavos fight.  Don't talk to Marle after talking to Lucca, doing so will trigger the next part where she gets sent to 600 AD, and it'll be too late to trigger the Lavos fight.  You can verify that she's left the party by bringing up the menu, it'll just show Crono in your party.

Because I can, the rest of this is after the break.

The strategy, to be honest, looks eerily similar to the strategy for when you have Marle with you.  The main difference is, since Marle isn't present, you have to take a turn every now and then to use a recovery item.  Ideally, Crono should be level 99.  Having his Magic and Speed as high as you can get them will also help.

There are two viable sets of equipment, with your choice of accessories:
  • Rainbow
  • Prism Helm (DS: Master's Crown)
  • Moon Armor (DS: Saurian Leathers or Regal Plate)
  • either a Gold Stud or the PrismSpecs
  • Rainbow
  • Haste Helm
  • Nova Armor
  • either a Gold Stud or the PrismSpecs
The choice between a Gold Stud and the PrismSpecs is one of choosing your difficulty.  Taking the PrismSpecs makes the fight slightly easier than taking the Gold Stud.  My personal recommendation is the PrismSpecs.  The main difference is that since Elixirs are the perfect recovery item for soloing Lavos, using them to get MP back and having your health topped off as a side effect is a simpler strategy than having to hope Crono can survive one more hit before popping off an Elixir to refill his health, and top off his MP as a side effect.

Having the Haste Helm will give Crono his turn more often, which is pretty obviously desirable.  The Nova Armor provides status protection.  You'll be able to dish out damage faster with the Haste Helm/Nova Armor setup, but you'll also take more damage.  In the end, it's your call.

As far as stats go:

Crono maxes his Power through levelling up, so if you're max level then you should be set as far as using Confuse on the left bit is concerned.  Having the PrismSpecs alongside max Power means you only need one Confuse, without the PrismSpecs it will take two uses of Confuse.

With his Magic maxed, Luminaire will deal over 4000 damage, which the PrismSpecs will amplify to over 6000 damage.  This difference is visible during the fight, starting from the very first form, which takes two Luminaires with the PrismSpecs and three without.

As for Speed, well, why not have it maxed?  It means Crono gets his turn faster.  The Haste Helm stacks with max Speed, so in tandem Crono will be getting turns as if his Speed was 24, which is noticeably faster than 16 Speed.

The general strategy you'll use is:
  • First form: Hit it with Luminaire until it dies.  PrismSpecs make it two Luminaires, without them it'll be three. If Crono's magic isn't maxed, it may take more Luminaires.
  • Between the first and second forms: You can top up Crono's HP/MP with an Elixir if you so desire.  You can also take this opportunity to change equipment.
  • Second form: Hit it with Luminaire until it dies.  You will need to heal and/or replenish MP during this battle, so use an Elixir for that.
  • Third form: Standard "kill the left bit with Confuse and then wait for the core to drop its defenses" opening.  After that, use Luminaire and replenish HP/MP with an Elixir as necessary.  You may have to endure some hits from the right bit, and sit through some time warps, but all that stops when you kill the right bit.  Whatever you do, don't have just the left bit and the core alive, because they have a fairly strong dual tech that they only use in that situation.  Only the core's health matters, so if you kill it while the bits are alive, they'll die and the battle's over.  There's no pattern to the abilities that this form uses, so you just have to rely on killing the left and right bits as fast as possible to avoid all the nasty stuff, like having your status protection disabled.  You'll be able to survive Grand Stone, but you may want to heal up afterwards.
Once you're done and in the developer's ending, do remember that there is a battle in the developer's ending, and you can finish it with a single cast of Luminaire.  Curiously, the battle has rewards, even though you can never save them...

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