The Zeal Archives
The Zeal Archives
Dec 24, 2021
Curios and Trinkets: The Small Things [Book 3, Appendix A]
Play • 39 min

No Chrono Trigger? No, we’re back in the past, before the initial experiment! T has been putting in some late nights, but to what end? (a portal machine, we covered that) And do we know who has been stealing parts from the office? It’s all coming together, as is their lovely Final Fantasy 6 audio drama!

T and G discuss… well, honestly, a lot of our favourite moments big and (mostly) small from the game, including dredging up past unsolved mysteries (and alluding to future ones)! Also, they talk a little bit about what a more direct Chrono Trigger sequel might have looked like, and what it means for a game to be a spiritual successor of Chrono Trigger (if that means anything at all)!

Editing, scripting, and podcast visual design by Nick Terwoord. Special thanks to Square Enix for making that game that we love, Chrono Trigger ...and for not suing us.

Episode Cast

Alphabetically, by actor:

  • Ari in the role of Terra, and her fictional self
  • Artimage in the role of Emperor Gestahl
  • Dan Murray in the role of Kefka
  • Nick G in the role of his fictional self, and discussion host
  • Nick H in the role of “the Boss”
  • Nick T in the role of his fictional self, soldier, narrator, and discussion host
  • Nick Z in the role of his fictional self, and “Old Man”

Musical Credits

Additional Notes

Memories: What are some of your favourite small bits?

  • Chrono Trigger is a game of moments, really cool moments. What are some of your favourites of some of the smaller moments and details?
  • For example:
    • All of the items have official artwork
    • The Kilwala piano player learns more music as the game advances
    • You can get clones of all the characters, and they clones appear in time-appropriate locations
    • Crono has a useless weapon you can charm from Nus, the Mop
      • Actually ties into the OVA: “The Nu and Mamo believed they could recruit Fiends into their gang by offering free mops”
    • The rocks / triple techs!
      • Don’t even know if these are explained in game; several you find through the course of the game. Others are much harder to find.
      • Gold Rock: On Denadoro mountain after the Masamune has been repaired
      • Silver Rock: The naming Nu at Laruba ruins
      • Black Rock: In the secret room in Kajar
      • Blue Rock: In a half hidden chest in Giant’s Claw
    • The Nagaette Bromide
    • Fighting enemies on the map
    • Crono’s sword colours
    • Visible secrets on the map

Curiosities: The many unsolved mysteries

  • Stories don’t need to tell us everything... but as consumers of media (and in an age of transformative media, like this podcast) it’s interesting to ponder and try to flesh out unanswered questions!
  • Such as:
    • What is the deal with Norstein Bekkler?
    • ...And why do they have clones?
      • ...And how real are the clones??
    • What was the Blackbird built to protect?
    • Why did Belthasar build the Epoch in the first place?
    • What was Zeal like before the King passed away?
      • We know that the Earthbound Ones and Zealots lived more harmoniously before the Mammon Machine… but what was that like?
    • Why was Fritz about to be guillotined?
    • Where have all the mystics gone (in 2300 AD)?
    • How did Gaspar get all the materials at the end of time?
    • What is Spekkio, and how is it the master of war??
  • What’s your favourite unsolved mystery of Chrono Trigger?

What is the Zeal Archives?

The Zeal Archives is a monthly podcast exploring the A-Z of the world of Chrono Trigger one bit at a time—two parts audio drama, one part discussion podcast, one hundred percent love letter to one of the best JRPGs of all time!

The Zeal Archives is published at zealarchives.com and thenickscast.com and can be found on most podcatching services. Please leave us comments, questions, criticism, or any other feedback at TheNickscast on Facebook or Twitter.

Links

Transcript

Part 1 

 

INT. COFFEE SHOP

 

The ambient noise of conversation, steam, grinding beans, and clinking cups slowly fades into prominence. Everything is fuzzy as it feels like we’re waking from a dream.

 

A voice cuts through the fuzz, and echoes in the mind.

 

NICK Z

(concerned)

T? T? You ok?

 

NICK T

(alert)

Oh! Sorry about that, I must have dozed off for a second. What were you saying?

 

NICK Z

(super casual)

It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. What uh, what’s going on?

 

NICK T

(distant)

Going on?

 

NICK Z

(patiently)

You… almost fell asleep? Right now? Are you feeling alright?

 

NICK T

(inattentive)

Oh sorry. Yeah I’ve been [yawn] staying up pretty late. Losing a lot of sleep.

 

NICK Z

Any particular reason?

 

NICK T

Oh absolutely! I’ve been working on this secret project, and I’m really excited about it.



NICK Z

(jokingly)

Well uh… you gonna let in your good friend, Z, on the ol’ secret.

 

NICK T

(hesitantly)

...I can’t. I promised I wouldn’t.

 

NICK Z

(backing off)

Alright, alright…

 

NICK T

(apologetic)

I promise I’ll tell you about it as soon as I can.

 

NICK Z

Nice. Well, I’m excited to hear more about it. Speaking of secrets… do you know what’s going on at the office?

 

NICK T

(deflecting)

At the office? No? I mean, what do you mean?

 

NICK Z

You remember how I was telling you about those missing parts at the office?

 

T takes a sip of coffee and almost spits it out.

 

NICK T

(suspicious)

Hmm-hmmm.... I think you’d mentioned something like that.

 

NICK Z

It feels like it’s been so much worse since then! Having to constantly sign items out and in, mandating we all enter and leave through the same entrance… no out-of-hours office access… I even heard a rumour about installing a metal detector and security at the entrance.

 

NICK T

(doubtful)

They wouldn’t put in a metal detector. That’s ridiculous!

 

NICK Z

It’s what I heard! And I work late so I am not a fan…

 

NICK T

Security though? That’s pretty serious if they go through with it...

 

NICK Z

Yeah, right?

 

NICK T

Wait, what does any of that have to do with secrets?

 

NICK Z

Well, they’ve gotta know who it is, right? I mean, we deal in A.V. equipment, and there’re tons of cameras around the office. There’s no way equipment is getting stolen by some random person: it’s gotta be an inside job!

 

NICK T

Uhhhhhh…

 

The coffee shop’s front door jingles as it opens, and G stomps through the hallway to the group. He drops his back down on the table, shaking nearby cups and saucers.

 

NICK G

[venting noises]

 

NICK Z

Hey G! Is uh… everything ok?

 

Nick G pulls out a chair and reluctantly sits down.

 

NICK G

(short)

No. Nope. Fuck no.

 

NICK T

O...k. Do you want to talk about it?

 

NICK G

(sincere)

It’s just… [sigh] Ok. Do you ever get the feeling like… you’re stuck? Like your life just isn’t going where you want it to go, no matter what you try?

 

NICK Z

No.

 

NICK T

Yes.

 

NICK G

(sarcastically)

Thanks guys.

 

NICK T

(facetious)

No I get it, sometimes it feels like your life is stuck in second gear.

 

NICK G

(annoyed)

Oh god

 

NICK Z

(jokingly)

When it hasn’t been your day… your week, your month, or even your year?

 

NICK G

(frustrated)

Damn it. Come on guys!

 

NICK T

Sorry! It was too perfect. You do know that we’ll be there for you, right?

 

NICK Z

Yeah!



NICK G

(annoyed)

Could we be serious for like, just one moment?

 

NICK T

Yes. For sure. Yes, I’ve felt like that too. I don’t know what to tell you, the only thing I know, based on what I’ve read, is to try to find happiness with where you’re at, and to accept that… but damn that’s been hard to take.

 

NICK G

Right?!

 

NICK T

Like I’m much more likely to get angry and try to fight to find a way to fix … whatever the problem is. And probably crash and burn.

 

NICK Z

(boasting)

I don’t find it that hard…

 

NICK T

(annoyed)

Z!

 

NICK G

(annoyed)

Z!

 

Nick Z turns away as he sips his coffee.

 

NICK Z

I’m just sayin’... [sips]

 

NICK G

It… it just feels like there’s got to be more to life than this, you know? Working to barely break even… I want to get ahead. I want to thrive! It always feels like I’m behind.



NICK Z

(philosophical)

Even when it feels like we’re behind… it can be important to try to put things in perspective.

 

NICK G

(deadpan)

What perspective?

 

NICK Z

(philosophical)

Like… even though something got you upset before you got here, you’ve still got us! And we got you a coffee. It’s not a big thing, but it’s something that shows that it’s not all bad.

 

Nick G takes a sip of the coffee.

 

NICK G

(understanding)

Yeah… I guess that’s true. [sips]

 

NICK Z

(philosophical)

Yeah! And it’s small moments—little details like this—those are what make an otherwise boring and frustrating life into something remarkable.

 

NICK T

(jokingly)

Something you’ve been working on for a book, Z?

 

NICK Z

(jokingly, leaning into it)

Well, actually, I’ve been working on this story set in a pseudo-medieval setting…

 

NICK Z

[chuckles]

 

NICK T

[chuckles]

 

NICK G

[chuckles]

 

The laughter breaks the tense air for just a moment.

 

NICK Z

But seriously, G—what got you all frustrated?

 

NICK G

(hesitating)

Oh… uh…

 

G’s phone begins to ring a familiar tune. G quickly picks his phone off the table to take a closer look.

 

NICK G

(disappointed)

Shit… it’s work. I’ll have to get back to you. Gotta run!

 

G hastily throws his jacket back on and picks up his bag from the table.

 

NICK T

Hey, we’re still on to work on the audio drama later, right?

 

NICK G

Should be, yeah. Text me the details.

 

NICK T

Alright, later G!

 

NICK Z

Bye!

 

The bell rings again, but with a dreamlike echoing quality as the audio fuzzes again.

 

EPISODE DISCUSSION

(To be transcribed)

 

Part 2 

 

INT. A SMALL RECORDING STUDIO

 

Nick T, Nick Z, and another voice actor are huddled around different microphones and recording equipment. It is eerily, but unsurprisingly, quiet as the acoustic foam softens any and all noise.

 

A small amount of white noise slowly fades to a voice over a sort of radio or PA system.

 

NICK T

Alright, let’s take it from the top. I’ll play the pre-recorded segments, and try to cue you when it’s time for your lines. Got it?

 

NICK Z

Isn’t that a bit complicated?

 

NICK T

A bit, but it’s the only thing I could do to make this recording work. Are both of you ready?

 

NICK Z

Ready!

 

ARI

Ready!

 

NICK T

Alright, here we go!

 

Nick T hits the ‘record’ button on the instrument panel, and the tape deck slowly gets up to speed preparing to record the next take...

 

 

Final Fantasy 6 - The Audio Drama: Part 3 

 

Terra is tossing and turning in her sleep, fitting about as she endures vivid nightmares about what happened to her under the influence of the slave crown.



INT. KEFKA’S NIGHTMARISH LAB

 

Jacob’s ladders, drills, and other unpleasant tools are at the ready.

 

KEFKA

My sweet little magic user...! Uweee... he... he! With this slave crown I'll practically own you!!

 

TERRA

No! Get away from me!



EXT. BURNING VILLAGE

 

Flames roar all around, men, wo men, children, all screaming as swords clash. Terra unleashes a terrible fire beam burning her victims.

 

KEFKA

Uwee, hee, hee! Good! Burn up everything!



EXT. A MILITARY CELEBRATION

 

A large crowd is gathered, and a man speaks proudly addresses an empire over the loudspeaker.

 

GESTAHL

We stand on the brink of a major breakthrough! In the days to come, we'll witness a total revival of Magic!

 

The crowd cheers.

 

GESTAHL

It is our destiny, and ours alone, to take this mystic force and claim what is rightfully ours!

 

The crowd cheers louder.

 

GESTAHL

With our new-found power, nothing can stand in our way! Hurrah!!! Long live Emperor Gestahl!

 

There is uproarious applause and saluting. 

 

INT. A WELL KEPT HOME IN A MINING TOWN

 

Terra is unwell, but is finally waking from what seems like a horrible nightmare. Sweat drips down her face. A familiar Final Fantasy 6 theme begins to play in the background.

 

TERRA

[tossing and turning, nightmare noises, various intensities and durations]

 

TERRA

(weakly, confused)

Where am I?

 

OLD MAN

(surprised)

Whoa! And I only just removed your crown!

 

TERRA

(wincing)

...head… hurts…

 

OLD MAN

Easy! This is a slave crown… the others had complete control over you while you were wearing it.

 

TERRA

(weakly)

I... can’t remember a thing...

 

OLD MAN

Don’t worry. It’ll all come back to you… in time, that is.

 

NARRATOR

A mysterious young woman, controlled by the empire, and born with the gift of magic...

 

TERRA

My name… ...is… Terra...

 

OLD MAN

Impressive! I’ve never heard of anyone recovering this fast…!

 

Barking dogs approach, followed quickly by hard rapping on the door.

 

SOLDIER

Open up! Give us back the girl and the Empire's Magitek Armor!

 

The two wait in silence, and the rapping continues.

 

SOLDIER

I said open this door! We want that girl! She's an officer of the Empire!

 

TERRA

(confused)

Empire...? Magitek Armor...?

 

OLD MAN

Look, I have to get you out of here! I don't have time to explain!

 

The old rushes towards a back corner of the room.

 

OLD MAN

Over here!

 

The old man reveals a secret exit after sliding aside some room decor.

 

OLD MAN

Make your way out through the mines! I'll keep these brutes occupied!



TERRA

[sound of agreement / understanding]

 

Terra runs as fast as she can away from the building, and slams the door. Outside, we can hear muffled voices...

 

SOLDIER

She’s up there!

 

The dogs continue barking but make their way away from the main door as they chase a new target.

 

OLD MAN

[sigh of relief]

 

 

Part 2: Part 2 

 

There is another knocking at the door… both in the audio track, and a different one in the real world. Nick Z presses a button on the PA.

 

NICK Z

Uh… it looks like we’re almost at G’s cue?

 

NICK T

Hold on a second, maybe that’s him at the door?

 

The music track continues for a bit in the background as T goes to answer the door. Before he has the chance to open it, Nick G quickly swings it open, slams it behind him, and locks the door. He remains firmly in place, holding the door shut out of caution.

 

NICK T

(jokingly)

Took you long enough! We were just about to get to your cue.

 

NICK G

(urgently)

We need to get out of here… er, I need to get out of here. Now.

 

NICK T

(confused)

Is this some sort of bit?

 

NICK G

(quietly)

No, and there’s no time to explain.

 

NICK T

O...k?

 

NICK G

(quietly)

I did it. I finally quit this shithole.

 

NICK T

[confused noises] Uh… huh…

 

There is a pounding on the door and we can hear a voice muffled through the doorway.

 

BOSS

Get out of there you son of a bitch! How dare you!

 

NICK T

(curious)

G, what did you do?

 

NICK G

(insistent)

I promise I’ll explain later, just get me out of here first!

 

NICK T

Alright, uh… great recording everyone! Thanks Z, Ari!

 

Nick G and T slip out the alternate exit while the boss continues to pound on the door and fiddle with the lock.

 

ARI

What just happened? Are things always this chaotic?

 

Nick Z hesitates for a while.

 

NICK Z

Ehhhhh… yeah.



EXT. RAINING ALLEYWAY CONNECTED TO INTERIOR CITY ROAD

 

The metal door from the office swings to a small alleyway littered with garbage. It’s pouring rain, but fortunately T pulls out a small umbrella reducing the harsh rain to a gentle patter.

 

NICK T

(concerned)

Ok, what’s going on? What happened?

 

NICK G

(avoidant)

Like I said, I quit.

 

NICK T

(worried)

The boss is really riled up, it must have been more than that.

 

Nick G is walking away, splashing in the big puddles as cars drive past in the distance.

 

NICK G

(avoidant)

I don’t know what to tell you.

 

NICK T

I was talking with Z at the coffee shop today and he mentioned that the boss has been really irritable lately, really cracking the whip as far as security goes.

 

NICK G

Yeah, and?

 

NICK T

And I was thinking that, when you started getting me those parts, and when parts from the office started going missing… those two times sort of line up.

 

NICK G

You trying to say you think I stole them?

 

NICK T

No! I mean, I don’t think you stole them…

 

There’s a brief pause.

 

NICK T

...Did you?

 

There’s another long pause, a car drives past.

 

NICK T

Answer me!

 

Another pause.

 

NICK T

Oh shit… it was you! You’re the one who's been stealing parts from the office.

 

NICK G

(insistently)

You don’t understand.

 

NICK T

(angry)

What the hell! How could you do that? This has been going on for months!

 

NICK G

(insistently)

You don’t have any idea!

 

NICK T

(upset)

Why didn’t you say something?

 

NICK G

Do you want me to say sorry? Is that it? Well I’m sorry! I fucked up!

 

NICK G

I’m sorry, ok?! I fucked up!

 

NICK T

(belligerent)

You sure fucking did!

 

Nick T begins to storm off into the rain.

 

NICK G

Wait…

 

Nick T stops in his tracks.

 

NICK T

Why the hell should I?

 

NICK G

Just give me a chance to explain.

 

A car splashes through a puddle on the main waterway.

 

NICK T

Get on with it.



NICK G

[takes a deep breath] Do you ever think about what happens to all the things that don’t sell? All the parts I brought you? All that inventory can’t just be thrown away or recycled. There’s a lot of toxic shit in it so it requires a specialized kind of disposal. And normally that would all work out because a percentage of everything we sell goes to pay for that disposal.

 

There’s a rumble of thunder in the sky.

 

NICK G

But what if it doesn’t get disposed of properly? What if it instead goes to the lowest bidder, and someone like the boss just pockets the difference? A bidder who just burns it all or lets all the chemicals leach into the earth, or water?

 

NICK T

Wait, are you saying that the boss was skimming off the top and letting all our old junk poison the planet?

 

NICK G

That’s exactly what I’m saying.

 

Nick T’s stance softens a bit.

 

NICK T

But if you’ve been stealing the parts, isn’t that just doing him a favour? He gets to keep all the profit then.

 

NICK G

You’d think that, but this whole scheme only works when all the &ldqu…

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