It goes without saying that spoilers are involved in this rant.
I'm annoyed that Steena came into play so late in the game, for although her background is slim pickings, I absolutely adore her design. I find the color scheme quite striking, and her moves on the battlefield are so elegant! She's on my gigantic list of things to cosplay someday. Orlha was close competition simply for being a 23 year old left-handed "gladiatrix barmaid," but in the end I concluded that I really couldn't stand the way her pigtails flapped around whenever she used an Element. It reminded me far too much of a puppy having some sort of fit.
Ghost Kid Chrono had a real whopper at the very last minute. "Oh, hey, before you go fight the final boss, lemme lay this one on you. Lynx was actually ... YOUR FATHER!" Oh gee. This could have been something big, but they seem to have forgotten to tie up this point in the game proper and had to stick it in last minute text. Keep in mind that I love "The Empire Strikes Back," so what I expect when I hear something like this is an utterly miserable "NOOOOOO!" But that never happened.
There I was, hacking away at the Time Devourer, as I am often prone to muscling my way through big moments such as these. We damaged each other equally, but nothing was happening ... it just wasn't falling, and neither was I. The Trigger kids at the beach had said to use Chrono Cross, so I did, but nothing occurred as a result. I realized shortly thereafter that I was able to use it repeatedly, so I thought perhaps I was to cover the whole elemental field in it? After several attempts, I concluded that wasn't quite it either. (I didn't make this any easier on myself, for I had it set in level 8.) Big Elements? No change in the status quo. Opposing Elements? Doesn't seem to be doing much either.
I eventually became impatient and looked up an FAQ. As it turns out, you have to use all the colors of Elements in a very certain order, taking into account the Elements that the Time Devourer uses, while trying not to die. Oh. Okay. When was I supposed to figure this one out? The only time I can remember getting a clear view of the "song" in action was in the Terra Tower, where giant crystals played it at a very slow pace. How the hell am I supposed to remember that in the heat of combat? What cues am I given to learn that it's yellow > red > green > blue > black > white > Chrono Cross, and not some other combination?
It was kind of ... I don't know. I would have been there forever had I not looked it up, so in one way, it was a challenge that was beyond me. Yet in another way, it was just too damn easy. Once you manage to play the song (which I did in short order once I knew what the damn order was), the end is almost instantaneous. BOOM! Lavos, the entity that has screwed up time almost beyond gamer comprehension, suddenly disintegrates into sparklies and is gone!
I was thinking that I could cope with that, but then arrived a long mess of messages that I could not decide if I appreciated or hated. Just who is it lecturing me here? Is it Schala? Is it Kid? Is it that old B-dude who controlled us all? It almost doesn't matter, however, because s/he soon pulled up a trick that I hated when it appeared in Ocarina of Time's ending, and I hate it just as passionately in Chrono Cross'.
"You will lose all memory of
this whole adventure
and return to your own time.
But this time, you will be able
to live your own life!"
... bullshit! Are you saying that Serge did not live his own life? Circumstances seemed difficult to avoid, it is true, but there is no denying that (through me) Serge made his own choice to save Kid, save timelines, save humanity, etc. etc. etc. Was it the same as spending a lazy summer on an island where the main economy is fishing and the main hobby is collecting stupid scales for your girlfriend? No, but does that make it worse? Hardly. I would not give up the experience, and as Serge's personality is largely based on the gamer's own interpretation, I like to think that he wouldn't either.
You can't erase it. You can't take it back. You send Serge back as though it will make up for any of what he's had to do or sacrificed? Condemning him to a limited past is an insult, not a reward.
I am slightly mollified by the fact that despite this "promise" from Schala/Kid/Whomever, Serge seems to remember some of what happened, as he questioned Leena about the Terra Tower and FATE.
Can we assume that Shala/Shala clone named Kid reintegrated with each other at the end of the game? Why would Kid even want to? Are they still separate entities?
In conclusion: there are worse endings out there (FFX-2 comes to mind), I guess, but I'm still pissed off. I'm going to play it again anyway, and I shall get Glenn this time. This shall hopefully make me feel better. I shall find a way to shut Poshul up, like shoving a Heckran bone down her throat.
[Edit: Oh my God! My Mastermune! It is GONE! I didn't forge a Spectra Swallow for Serge because the Mastermune was so much more awesome, so now I'm back to a regular beginning Sea Swallow! Nooooooo!]
Other Geekery: We have cannibals in Lenaburg!?