Note: This’ll contain massive spoilers for the story of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of An Elusive Age. This’ll also be much shorter than other analyses as its fairly innocuous and based on circumstantial evidence. Purely fun guesswork instead of concrete clues within the game.
Note: This entire post will contain spoilers for the Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross and it’s prequel game, Chrono Trigger.
The plot contradicts both itself and Chrono Trigger because:
– The red stone materials were never part of Lavos. This is explicitly shown in Chrono Trigger.
– Serge shouldn’t have been able to cross worlds in Lynx’s body.
– You never meet the Lynx of your world. It’s assumed that he was frozen in the Dead Sea…. too bad that he’s not there with the rest of them. I know, I checked.
– The necklace that Kid uses is the same as Marle’s. If Schala gave it to Kid and Kid was zapped into the future then how could Marle have ever gotten it? Furthermore, how could the events of Chrono Trigger have ever happened in Chrono Cross if Kid has that necklace?
– Schala has blond hair and wears a white dress. This is an absolutely stupid contradiction that just shows ignorance and laziness.
The suspension of disbelief required is absolutely ridiculous in this game:
– Serge never reacts to any given scenario even when characters ask him too. It’s hard to believe that he always reacts in the same shocked way over and over. The Silent Protagonist is a failure in this game because Serge is asked to give his feelings and can only ever reply with “…” as if that’s a satisfactory response.
– Kid pulls a knife on the Dragoons who come to take Serge into custody since he’s a mysterious intruder. They act as if Kid is in the right when she literally pulls a weapon on the equivalent of police officers.
– Kid uses Viper’s daughter as a hostage and yet is somehow said to have ‘saved’ her. Viper’s daughter wouldn’t even be in danger if not for Kid literally placing a knife to her throat and using her as a hostage.
– Kid magically forgets the switching of bodies. When next you see her, she’s helping Lynx (in Serge’s body) to cause a war that’s killing innocents by the thousands and comes to literally bomb your small group of escaped refugees with their war ships. Some of the refugees are sick and injured. Somehow Kid is unable to see the difference between a Serge who is amassing a massive army and killing hundreds of thousands of innocents to the Serge that she was camping and sharing stories with in the early parts of the game. All Kid is focused on is murdering Lynx (You in Lynx’s body) and doesn’t give a damn about the innocent refugees.
– You save a group of Faeries from fire-breathing mechanical Dwarves. You literally stop a genocide. Somehow, the Faeries blame the humans for everything with no explanation on how humanity had anything to do with Dwarves slaughtering Faeries in droves. This is like a sick joke on the very real problems of mass genocide that has unfortunately become more of a problem in recent years.
– Why would Schala save Serge but not a suffering and crying Magus in 600 AD? She saved Serge because she was reminded of Magus… instead of saving the actual Magus. Also, romancing the person who reminds you of your brother is… rather creepy.
The letter Lucca gave Kid makes absolutely no sense. The first part is about how imperative it is that Lucca essentially writes her last will in testament in hopes that Kid understands the dangers. The latter half consists of a good luck and that she’ll share important information with Kid later… despite the fact that this is suppose to be her last letter before her imminent death.
The destruction of Guardia and deaths of the CT cast do not even make sense. Some warlord from some other timeline came to help the goofey idiot from the Antiquity era. Some warlord is more powerful than Lavos? Really? That doesn’t even make sense. It isn’t even elaborated upon further. Just something we’re expected to believe. Furthermore, the darkness beyond time concept makes no sense. Why would people in the erased future want to come back when in CT they clearly expressed wanting to just die? Masato Kato obviously never had any real part of the story. I even doubt his claims of making the 600 AD era. I think he just robbed from Yuji Horii. It’s no surprise that Chrono Cross came up with a concept that was ripped straight from Dragon Quest 6.
The dialogue of the game is stale and uninspired. It becomes a bit pretentious at times since characters like Lynx never get to the point of what they’re trying to say. Even worse, when he takes the body, instead of focusing on his so-called goal to succeed in his objectives… he decides to go around doing stupid crap because he suddenly likes having “feelings”. Instead of being a serious villain, as he’s presented, he just goes on and on about feelings when he could have won. Fate does this while knowing that the Dragons are looking to usurp power to destroy him.
Why the Serge is Janus theory clears away plot contradictions, nicely intersects with the plotlines, and how both Chrono Trigger DS and the main game of Chrono Cross clearly validate the likelihood of Serge being Janus. I present to you Revisiting the Serge is Janus Theory, a.k.a. The Most Disturbing Chrono Cross Theory Ever.
About Me and my disposition towards Chrono Cross:
If you’re familiar with my previous work, you’ve probably heard of how stupid awful Chrono Cross is by my many attempts at bashing the plot. Some of you may be thinking “Why the hell does this idiot spend so much time hating on a video game? Why can’t you get a life, loser!” and to that I say . . . you just can’t argue against my genuine criticisms because they’re the harsh truth. You use ad hominen to bash me because you can’t stand the fact that I’m right. In fact, every single time I engage with this fanbase it’s either they resort to bashing on Chrono Trigger because of their own laughable insecurities and pretending Chrono Trigger’s fame is somehow to blame for the legitimate hatred of Chrono Cross or the fanbase quite blatantly doesn’t even address the criticisms and claims I’m somehow a “troll” or being rude for taking the time and effort to post 10 to 20 minute videos to highlight my legitimate criticisms. Chrono Cross fans just can’t stand the fact that I’m right about the Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross! They can’t stand the fact that Masato Kato is a shit writer. That’s why they highlight age-old reviews that video game companies pay or give incentives to get high ratings on even back then in the early 2000s, that’s why a good chunk bash Chrono Trigger, that’s why they use nonsensical fanon that has nothing to do with the content on the Chrono Cross discs like the Chrono Compendium, and that’s why they refuse to engage with my criticisms. After all:
- I stick to the main plot of Chrono Cross in my criticisms and judge solely on its own merits. The only time I point out inconsistencies with Chrono Trigger is when the plot of Chrono Cross specifically relates to a plot point in Chrono Trigger.
- That’s why these people can’t defend this completely awful dumpster fire of a video game that is Chrono Cross. They cover their eyes and ears and whine about “trolling” whenever legitimate criticisms are brought to them as a way of safeguarding the unsalvageable mess of trash.
- Over the years, it’s become clearer and clearer that Masato Kato is a shit writer who was never serious about storytelling. Evidently, he’ll whine and shit on Yuji Horii for how Horii made time travel in Chrono Trigger and try to steal the man’s work and claim it all as his own when all he did was write the script of Chrono Trigger (i.e. the dialogue, for those of you who ignorantly don’t know what a script is) and he’ll steal the hard work of Soraya Saga to claim that he wrote her parts of Xenogears, and then maybe he’ll shit all over Ninja Gaiden’s plot by writing Ninja Gaiden 3, but he sure as shit won’t ever be a great story writer. He’s no Yuji Horii. Yuji Horii has gone on to create masterpiece after masterpiece and proves his talent with his hard work. His time travel stories, while a bit nonsensical in some parts, are still far above the shit writing of Masato Kato. In fact, every parallel universe story from other series are way better than Masato Kato’s shit writing and I’ll be making a blog post highlighting games that delve into alternate universe storylines in the future.
My contempt for Chrono Cross burns metaphorically as hot as the surface of the sun. I have nothing but loathing for the Worst Game Ever. However, after my initial stint on Gfaqs, I have never once taken the bait and acted destructively as Chrono Cross fans. Evidently, many of these people claim Chrono Cross is about empathy, compassion, and love for those of us who are different and yet they fail to embody all these lessons when anybody criticizes their precious little pile of bad writing. Do you feel angry at me for speaking honestly and truthfully about my opinion? I’ve received so many “F U” comments in various forms and been insulted for “trolling” for simply specifying point-by-point facts in which the game fails as a narrative. Indeed, this so-called “compassion” that this game purports to give its fans is proven wrong throughout social media websites: Gamefaqs, Reddit, JRPG Facebook Groups, and so forth. Ahem, you can see my youthful antics in full galore, I feel kind of bad about it now, but it doesn’t excuse the personal insults that were thrown my way back then. Anyway. over and over, it’s insulting personal attacks, arguments of being too superior to me to challenge my views, or criticism of Chrono Trigger as if that somehow makes Chrono Cross’s failings better — Hint: It doesn’t! My experience has increased my confidence that Chrono Cross fans simply defend the indefensible and they know it. They don’t argue to challenge my views, because I am right. Chrono Cross is the Worst Game Ever created in all of Human History!
However, I’ve deigned a boon for these insufferable fans who clearly have no valid argument to defend the Worst Game Ever, and decided to absolve them of their agony in loving such a stupid, pathetic, and piece of crap game by sharing a fan theory that was originally told to me by a close friend who finished the game and informed me that Serge was Janus and how Lucca’s Letter was the ultimate proof. Taking this theory to heart, I had inquired about it on gfaqs forums as an early teen only to find myself rebuked by frankly illogical arguments made from dumbass Chrono Cross fans who are so stupid that they use Chrono Compendium instead of the game’s content itself. After finishing Dragon Quest XI (y’know, a superior game from a more accomplished developer and story writer like Yuji Horii) and thinking of how much better Final Fantasy IX is to the shitpile that is Chrono Cross (y’know, since Hironobu Sakaguchi is also a more accomplished and superior story writer and developer than that fucking idiot Masato Kato) I couldn’t help but think over how — as much as I hated to admit it and as much as I had wanted to deny it — well . . . The Serge is Janus theory fixes all plot holes, makes the plot more sensible and uniform, changes utterly ridiculous events that Chrono Trigger fans especially hate into events that seem perfectly plausible and legitimate, and the content Masato Kato added in the Chrono Trigger DS helped make it possible in a . . . subtle way.
To be clear, the Serge is Janus theory predates both myself and the friend who mentioned it to me. In fact, many diehard Chrono Cross fans or fans who had freshly completed the game had taken away that Serge was somehow Janus due to time and dimension shenanigans, but were never able to curtail the arguments of naysayers. Well, CTDS has provided a possible theory, and to be honest, it seems to have been staring fans and haters in the face for awhile now.
Onto the Serge is Janus Theory By Jarin Jove:
You may be wondering, why would I do this? Why would I make the time and effort to go into an in-depth analysis to prove myself wrong about Chrono Cross’s plot after rudely bashing its fans, creator, and the content of the game itself and making it quite clear that I absolutely hate the game? Because I don’t want to be a destructive asshole who ridicules with personal attacks like the aforementioned Chrono Cross fans, I want to constructively destroy and combat The Worst Game Ever and prove, once and for all, why it deserves to be called the Worst Game Ever!
Noteworthy Timeline events to keep in mind:
1004 AD – Lucca finds Kid and makes the orphanage.
1005 AD – Guardia Falls. Overlord from another timeline helps Dalton to destroy Guardia with the help of an Overlord / Emperor who time traveled.
1006 AD – 4-year Old Serge is Attacked by the Panther.
1010 AD – Kid saves Serge from drowning in Home World while the other Serge dies in Another World.
1015 AD – Kid orphanage burned down and Serge saves her as Lynx burned it down.
For this theory, I make five key assumptions about the plot and Masato Kato’s own story at face value:
- FATE is a supercomputer capable of predicting the future, acting on those future predictions, and all its subsequent actions are based on this logic and have a singular purpose that is being fulfilled as Balthasar intended.
- Janus was willing to do absolutely everything to save Schala, no matter what the cost. This is a completely reasonable and almost wholly obvious assumption. Kato himself claims to have written the Zeal Arc and much of Chrono Cross is based on Zeal with the endgame apparitions in Chrono Cross saying it all began in Zeal.
- Serge loves Kid. And since Kato said this was really a boy meets a girl story, this is a fairly innocuous assumption that is repeatedly defended within the content of Chrono Cross itself through Serge’s actions in the game’s story and by many Chrono Cross fans themselves who claim as much about the story and how great the ending is when depicting the love between Serge and Kid.
- The Time Bastard Theory — in brief, the theory that two alternate selves can’t exist in the same universe after going back in time to change the future and that each universe creates only one person per universe as these universes diverge — has been debunked by Masato Kato himself in Chrono Trigger DS. The shocked expression of Magus in your party and his recognition of Schala being trapped provide ample evidence of this in the added secret ending of Chrono Trigger DS, which will be shown below.
- Lucca’s letter was left by the developers on purpose and wasn’t an accident. The context of her intimate knowledge and familiarity with Janus gives significant in-game evidence that Janus did join the party in the Chrono Cross timeline. The letter strongly implies that he grew so acquainted with Lucca and likely the others that they even casually talk to him using his real name. Lucca is so confident within the letter that she makes it clear that Janus will definitely always protect Kid. She uses his real name out of endearment and familiarity.
Now, after thinking over how to begin the topic, I feel it is best to just dive right into the theory itself. Please be sure to keep those five assumptions in mind as the basis for the conjecture and implications within the parameters of this theory. Onward to poisoning everything you love about your precious piece of shit through constructive feedback and theorizing! >:D
First, let’s start with Masato Kato’s added content in Chrono Trigger DS, which shows us a Magus from another universe discussing how he’s from a timeline where they’ve already beaten Lavos and he’s unsure if the dark presence ahead will be your future timeline or not. The Magus in your party does react to him and is shown to be genuinely dumbfounded by the existence of another version of himself.
Note: For this review, I’ll begin with a spoiler-free portion and then go into spoilers after a warning.
Dragon Quest 11 is an absolutely amazing experience. I’m surprised how much I enjoyed it. It’s a fairly cookie-cutter good versus evil story, but the manner in which they utilize the cliches feels surprisingly organic and original. I’m quite pleased with everything and I have no complaints about the interface or gameplay at all. I sank 123 hours into this game and I’m quite pleased to say that it never got boring, there’s so much content to have fun with, and I cannot recommend this game enough! Definitely get Dragon Quest 11, if you’re interested in purchasing it or are choosing between it and other games. From what my brother and a close friend tell me, it’s far better and feels more complete than Final Fantasy 15; they both played and beat both games recently and unfortunately, Final Fantasy 15 doesn’t really have much in the ways of coherent structure and half the game you basically have to watch or buy other content for. Dragon Quest 11 is a complete game with so many side-stories and sidequests that give a wealth of content. No stupid paywalls and no DLC scams like other games. I’m so happy that this game was released overseas. It’s a phenomenal experience. If you want a complete game without any nonsensical DLC scams or wish to support games that go against such scams, then please consider supporting games like Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
Notwithstanding, this game is fantastic on its own merits. Here are some reasons why, from its weakest components to its strengths:
Music: 8/10. Quite possibly the sore spot for some people. The music is unfortunately the MIDI version which just doesn’t sound as good as the Symphonic Suite. If you played Dragon Quest 11 on Steam like I did, then there are mods to replace the MIDI files with Symphonic music which makes the game sound far better. I played the game on MIDI since I didn’t mind too much, but definitely consider using the mod if you really can’t stand the MIDI format of music.
Gameplay: 11/10. Hyperbole’s aside; It’s Dragon Quest 8’s gameplay on steroids. There are so many fun skills and combined attacks from pep-up (the Dragon Quest 11 name for the tension system that first began in Dragon Quest 8) that it never gets boring. The gameplay feels fast-paced as it isn’t slow by any stretch for turn-based games and you can even have characters move around the grid; even if it does nothing and is only cosmetic. The skill tree section seems a bit reminiscent to Final Fantasy X, but I would say it’s more similar to Digital Devil Saga 1-2, except it’s done way better than any of those three games. Unlocking new skills allows for all sorts of amazing benefits and actually feels like meaningful milestones within the combat itself unlike in Dragon Quest 8 where the moves barely did anything and didn’t even kill weak monsters.
You collect skill points as you level-up and you’re able to change them if you feel you’ve made a mistake by speaking to a cleric at a Church. The skills themselves look amazing on screen and there aren’t any slowdowns or unpolished attacks from what I played. Some Team Supermoves have a few short cut scenes but they go by quick and offer to further the exhilarating atmosphere.
Story and Plot: 9.7/10. The plot and story are done amazingly well; this is particularly surprising for a game with a cookie-cutter good versus evil theme. This game really shows that it isn’t always the specific style of story that disinterests people, but rather the manner in which it is shown to us. Everyone in the game had believable character motives, plotlines intersected in shockingly engaging and interesting ways, and – while the beginning is a tad slow – it really picks-up and is a blast from beginning to end once the third party member joins. Some plot elements which I had assumed was oversights in the very beginning were later either clarified exceptionally well or specific characters were heavily alluded to having different character motives for their actions than what I had thought was the truth behind their motives. And please don’t be confused on this point, the perspective of these characters is at first shown to be one-sided, but then more story info and a clearer explanation from the characters themselves help to explain why actions that seemed like oversights were actually very well-developed and understandable actions from their points of view. I love when games do this. Dragon Quest 11 does this incredibly well. I still have some gripes related to the early portions of the game, like the Dragon Quest 11 Hero being so forgiving of certain actions taken by Heliodor, but that’ll be explained in the spoiler-section of this review.
Characters: 9/10. Four of the party members; Sylvando, Erik, Rab, and Serena get an amazing wealth of character development during major sections of the game’s story. Some of which isn’t until deep into the plot, but its handled beautifully and well worth the payoff. I was a bit taken aback by how much I could empathize and love this cast of characters and I couldn’t help but compare it to previous games. What really surprised me though was even side-character villains like Jasper have some of the best character motivations and development; I was honestly stunned. He seemed like a typical henchman and then they give you an inner look into his life and an explanation on why he became what he was. Veronica, Jade, the main villain, the Superboss (yes, the Superboss of all people), Hendrik, and the King of Heliodor get really good background character motivations. They all feel as enriching as Dragon Quest 8’s cast. So, they’re either really good or adequate, but they don’t really feel like they grow as characters like the aforementioned four others. Please don’t mistake my words, they’re not bad characters. They’re really good static characters, but they don’t feel like they develop beyond their background histories. They’re still very fun and enjoyable; they definitely enrich the story, but it seems primary focus was oriented more towards Sylvando, Rab, Erik, and Serena.
As is usual for Dragon Quest, if you spend time talking to NPCs, like I do out of fun, background characters like Veronica and Serena’s parents, Erik’s fellow thief Derk and other background characters later revealed, and Rab and his background history are fairly well-developed characters in their own right. It really surprised me and it really enhanced my enjoyment of this game. I had initially felt it was lame to be playing yet another Good Versus Evil / Light Vs Darkness story so typical in JRPGs and even more so in WRPGs, but to my chagrin I changed my mind after awhile. The characters were so developed and their trials so engaging within the scope of a really interesting plot that all I had left was a really enjoyable and fun experience.
I can’t help but compare this experience with Dragon Quest 8. This game’s cast far outshines Dragon Quest 8’s cast of characters. I was genuinely surprised, since this cast is much larger. With respect to comparisons, I would say that while Dragon Quest 8 had really fleshed out backgrounds and really fun party chat which helped flesh out the characters even further in their stories, it didn’t translate to the cut scene stories of the game which felt like a lot of their characters centered around their pasts or – with one particular character – a single conversation in their past being a defining moment for them which didn’t really make sense to me. Dragon Quest 11’s cast is just done far better than that to me. I would say this cast is second only to Dragon Quest V’s cast, but Dragon Quest V still remains my favorite and I’m obviously heavily biased in that regard. Heh. Erik, Rab, Serena, and Sylvando — like the Dragon Quest V cast and the Dragon Quest 9 side-stories — provide the best of both games along with an enhanced version of Dragon Quest 8’s gameplay that improves in every way.
Extra Content: Hands down, this game has some of the best extra content ever. Three extra dungeons (albeit rehashed designs), a litany of extra side-story quests for Post-game, an extra ending for beating the Superboss of the game, and 20+ extra story after you beat the Final Boss.
This is the quintessential Dragon Quest game and offers the best that the series delivers on. It definitely deserves Game of The Year, if nominated. I hope it gets such an award, because it absolutely deserves to. If you’re considering purchasing this game, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t have any dlc scams, it’s a complete game which you can spend 120+ hours on, and it has a really challenging and fun Superboss fight. Definitely consider purchasing Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
Overall, phenomenal game and I definitely loved it. The beginning was a bit slow up until the third party member showed up where it really got the ball rolling, the extra content is great, and the plot is written incredibly well and always manages to remain engaging and interesting. Thus, I’d rate it a 9.7/10.
Overall Score: 9.7/10.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR DRAGON QUEST 11: ECHOES OF AN ELUSIVE AGE AND OTHER DRAGON QUEST GAMES BEYOND THIS POINT.