Celebrations are NOT in order
Hello again 1 More Castlers, other lurkers and people who don’t want to be identified as being an entity dependent on or associated with a website! Some of you may follow me on Twitter (shameless plug) and, if that’s the case, you probably know that I have recently completed for the first time in my adult life both games in the Chrono “Series”(Link to the Chrono Trigger review is in order). How you can call two games a “series” is a mystery, but that’s not why we’re here.
Here’s the series! Oh wait… It doesn’t exist anymore?
If you have played both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, you probably delved in deep issues. Defying and accepting faith, assuming the consequences of your actions, identity crisis, etc. Should you now reminisce on those complex themes, I urge you to check out 1 More Castle friend Jonathan Higgins’ (who you can follow on twitter) reflection on the plots and symbolism of these two games. (Spoilers, obviously)
In a world where all opinions are valid, I would salute Mr. Higgins’ detailed grasp of the subjects at stake in these two games. In fact, many people with whom I discussed these matters on Twitter (I like twitter, okay?) have brought very convincing theories about the events taking place in both these worlds. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that strange utopia where everybody’s theory is a sparkle of sunshine on the road to knowledge. In short, everyone seems to have missed the point. The ONLY lesson that can be taken from these two games: Never have festivals! Never have fairs! Never have carnivals!
In case I wasn’t clear enough.
Before I start listing my arguments, my editor would surely like me to remind you that, if you have not played the first hours of these games, some minor spoiler alerts are in effect. You have been warned. You’re just going to continue reading, aren’t you?
Let’s start with Chrono Trigger. It’s simple, really. Millenium Fair which is a celebration of the year 1000 A.D where the year 0 is… never actually mentioned in the game. Huh. Never noticed that. Anyway, it’s a festival. At this particular celebration, obvious nerd, complete with specs and steampunk look, Lucca wants to show off her skills. Since cosplay isn’t an option, she accidentally creates time travel. Protagonists travel in time, [yada yada yada], world is potentially destroyed then saved (after grinding, looking for secret items and other things that require game over and reload save).
OH NO! It’s too late…
As for Chrono Cross, you go hunt for scales to make a necklace for your lady friend, cross a dimension and upon being found lost and confused head to Termina, where everything begins. Why are you doing this? Because, this year, the Viper Festival might attract “someone you know”! Then you infiltrate a mansion, meet a cat… man… guy… thing who calls you a prequel… [yada yada yada]… 55 characters later, destruction potentially happens 20 something times but you “save the day” and finish the game, kind of. Maybe.
When voodoo dolls are nice, festivals are evil
Some “know-it-all” individuals are probably already boiling, waiting to post comments telling me that even if the festivals weren’t planned, the world would’ve ended. And how would you prove that, mister Ex-Soldier babbling tutorials to strangers? Unless I am mistaken, if no one is in the forest, the tree doesn’t make any noise while falling!
I’M NOT LISTENING!
Maybe some other examples would convince you. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap also begins with a Festival where the prize for the victor of a contest is to have a chance at releasing demons throughout the land. The correlation is a bit more obvious here, isn’t it? Do I need to mention that releasing evil creatures lead to possible destruction and a stoned Link?
Dude… Where’s my sword?
In the same category of evil people infiltrating festivals to cause destruction, we also find Dark Cloud 2. To add to the creepiness of it all, the evil-doers are clowns invading a town via a carnival. Finally, you can add Wild ARMs and Golden Sun: The Lost Age to the mix of games that I’ve played in which the fate of the world is decided at a festival. In fact, there’s a TV Tropes article on it. Festivals are the root of all evil! ALL OF IT!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! RUN AWAY!
Are you really surprised? With the kind of language you English-speaking people use for parties? Raising the roof? Burning down the house? Partying like there’s no tomorrow? Painting the town red? Getting it on? Party Pooper? All of these idioms are warnings, warnings that you ignored.
See? Someone was bound to do it literally!
Think back to the fairs, festivals, carnivals you have experienced in your life. Don’t they combine every element needed for complete world destruction? For example, I have nothing against people working there, but there does seem to be a higher ratio of shady characters during these events, not to mention more people in general. With so many neighboring towns coming over to visit and VIP people presiding, it’s as if there was a huge target over the town.
You have arrived at your target destination.
And, to be honest, security isn’t what it should be in these things.
Guards: The “life” of the party
But the most dangerous factor about these events lies in its romantic value. Festivals and carnivals are known to be great dating spots, even good events to meet someone. What’s wrong with that? Don’t you know most love interest in video games hold the key to world destruction with them? Chrono Trigger shows it perfectly with that pendant. In fact, 80% of RPGs seem to have this pendant and have it attached the to main female protagonist. Believe me, the lower your chance of meeting someone, the easier it will be to avoid world destruction.
This leads to destruction. You have been warned
So we agree that festivals are bad, yes? It goes deeper. Don’t be satisfied with small, unimportant first degree interpretation. The hidden message behind the “demonization” of festivals, fairs, carnivals and parties actually is: Never have fun. Fun is not allowed in video games and never should have been. Fun leads to violence, destruction, hatred, evil… Just think of all the other tragedies in video games that happen in “fun” places. The Gold Saucer incidents of keystone theft, the cancelled weddings, the fun puzzles in sunken ships, Team Rocket’s obsession with sliding floors and teleports (wheeee!), etc. Star Ocean 2 even sees it’s “Fun City (actual name)” attacked savagely by the Wise Men.
Look at them, plotting! Oh, wait… Wrong wise men.
Fun will annihilate the world one day, leaving nothing but a land of mutants and hungry humans. Video game developers are trying to warn us, by making games less and less fun as time goes by. They turn them into debates, social statements. They cut it down to boring gameplay and uninteresting stories. They’ve been doing it for years! And, that, my friends is why Chrono Cross isn’t considered as good as Chrono Trigger. The first game in the series was the failure, you should’ve never had fun. The sequel improved on the message to be conveyed. Life is tedious, repetitive, overly complex. You meet a ton of people, but how many of them are really useful to you? Are other just hanging on for the ride? Truly food for thought.
See you in two weeks! Have (not) fun!