Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chrono Trigger DS: 12000BC Dimensional Vortex

The three Dimensional Vortex areas open up once you beat the game the first time.  You don't actually have to start a New Game + and get back to the end-game to get to them, however, you can just reload your save and have at it.  Two of the three locations require the upgraded Epoch to reach them anyway.

The Dimensional Vortices take you through a few random areas when you first go in.  Most of the areas you go through are recognizable locations from around the game, but included in the mix are completely new areas that have hidden chests with some new loot.  Once you get through this random sequence, you get to that vortex's area proper, and can run around fighting things and looting chests until you've done everything it has to offer.

Each Vortex also has an end area where you fight a boss, and the game will force certain characters into your party for these fights.  After beating that boss, the character that was forced into your party will get permanent stat boosts to Speed, Hit (Ted Woolsey translation master race), and Stamina.

After completing all three Vortices, you can go to The End of Time and select the bucket to trigger the new final boss battle and see the new ending.  It pops up a menu, so you can still go to The Day of Lavos if you so desire.

More details after the break.

The 12000BC Dimensional Vortex takes you through an area it calls the Frozen Cliffs, which so happen to feature the unused-up-to-this-point Singing Mountain song.  Here you can get these items:
  • Angel's Tiara - Equippable by female characters only.  Grants Haste and status protection, has the same defense value as the Vigil Hat, which is lower than that of the Prism Helm.
  • Regal Gown - Equippable by female characters only.  Reduces all damage by 1/3, has a lower defense value than the PrismDress.
  • Shadowplume Robe - New ultimate armor for Magus.  Magic Defense +20 and adds the Barrier effect.
  • Venus Bow - New ultimate weapon for Marle.  Has a really low attack value and appears at the bottom of her weapon list, but the attack value is irrelevant since it always deals 777 damage, regardless of defense, unless the enemy is completely immune to physical attacks like Spekkio.
The boss here imitates Marle, and likewise Marle is forced into the party.  Hope you've got that 777 damage bow!  It has a new ice tech called Icefall that hits everyone.  As per usual I'm max level and working on maxing out tab-related stats, so I didn't have too much trouble with it.

The whole area is confusing, to be honest.  I'm expecting this to be a theme.  Once you get in, you can't get out until you reach set points that aren't labelled.  The portal to the next area looks exactly like the portal out of the area, and you just have to take a shitty guess.  I already touched upon how the game design philosophy for Lost Sanctum differs wildly from the rest of the game, it appears as though the game design philosophy here is the same as Lost Sanctum.

I can't really comment on the difficulty other than to say that it's clearly not designed for max level parties.  Do I feel bad about not experiencing it at a level that's closer to the intended range?  No.  Not at all.

I have yet to go to the other Dimensional Vortex areas, in 1000 AD and 2300 AD, so we'll see what they have in store for us eventually.  I need to go revive Crono first.  Also, it remains to see if you can farm the permanent stat increase at the end of each Vortex.  I could potentially make Marle's damage much better than 777...

Edit (2014-12-21): Well, you can only fight the boss of each Vortex once per play-through.  Hopefully you can re-do the encounter on the next play-through...  Also, edited in some equipment names and their effects.

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