Chrono Cross Least Characters Run

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Welcome to vivify93's Chrono Cross Least Characters Run! Now, the guest of honor...

A while back, I got the urge to replay Chrono Cross, but this time I wanted to do something a little different. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to do a play-through of CC while only getting the theorized mandatory characters—only 16 individuals—for the purposes of documentation. Four or so days after I accomplished it, I decided I wanted to present my findings to the Chrono Compendium, who I think would appreciate it a lot.

Be warned that there are spoilers abound! With that in mind, let’s start at the end of my Least Characters Run. (LCR)

This is the final list of characters I had as I was standing outside Home World’s Opassa Beach for the last time.

In order of recruitment, I had…

  • Serge
  • Guile (You can pick between him, Nikki, or Pierre, of course.)
  • Sprigg
  • Radius
  • Norris
  • Karsh (Zoah’s still a choice here, since both he and Karsh are forced onto your team eventually.)
  • Orcha
  • Grobyc
  • Riddel
  • Viper
  • Fargo
  • Marcy
  • Zoah (Or Karsh if you picked Zoah!)
  • Leah
  • Steena
  • Starky

My guest characters were…

  • Orlha (Anyone who can join in the Fort Dragonia dream sequence is an option here.)
  • Kid
  • Korcha
  • Lynx
  • Harle

The bulk of the characters join Lynx.

With the surface scratched in the form of the lists, we need to delve deeper.

LCR-related recruitment findings

Leena and Poshul will join your team if you decline Kid. There is absolutely no way out of this, so you have to accept her there. But you can’t just leave her in Guldove to quickly advance the plot, or Macha forces Serge to accept Glenn onto the team. I’m not sure if you can decline him if you have more than two characters on your team, but my guess as to why the developers made Glenn a requirement on the “don’t save Kid” path if you have less than three characters, is due to the “head, body, and tail” puzzle in Fort Dragonia.

On the “save Kid” path, Korcha joins Serge and the Viper Manor guide to look for the Hydra Humour, but he leaves afterword, and can be declined at the next recruitment opportunity. This means that the “don’t save Kid” path is effectively closed off to you in an LCR.

If you’ve declined and actively avoided recruiting everyone, you should only have Serge, Kid, and the Manor guide before Lynx and Serge swap bodies. Kid, however, isn’t required at all for the rest of the game. You can leave her to rot in her coma if you want.

The last required character that has a little trickery to recruit is Starky. He actually is mandatory; you can’t enter his spaceship to get to Terra Tower unless he’s on your team. Everyone else, for the most part, is pretty blatant in whether you need to recruit them or not.

Event-related findings

This first one is a big one; for the longest time, everyone assumed that accepting Irenes’ offer to join the team was mututally exclusive to accepting her request to find someone who could talk to Home World’s Fargo. I can safely say that this is completely and utterly false! I accepted Irenes’ request, but declined to recruit her. During the Dragon Relics quest, when I brought Another World’s Fargo to talk to his counterpart, the “save Marbule” side quest started just as it would’ve were Irenes on my team.

To that up sum it up, you do not need Irenes on your team at any time to save Home World’s Marbule. You merely need to tell her you’ll find someone to talk to Home’s Fargo. She doesn’t need to join at all if you don’t want her to, and whoever began spreading the information that she is required for anything was false.

Also, more of a quick note here, but you don’t need Luccia on your team for her to invite Kid to her lab to read Lucca’s letter. After going back in time and rescuing her from the burning orphanage, Radius will tell Kid regardless that Luccia wants to see her.

General recruitment-related findings

I’ll try to make this quick.

  • Poshul can no longer join neither Lynx nor Serge after the body switch.
  • Kiki's father in Home World doesn't offer the Shark Tooth if you've spoken to his Another counterpart beforehand, meaning you can lock yourself out getting Mojo.
  • Mojo also has a cutoff time; Kiki's father in Another World ignores the Shark Tooth after you've returned to Another World for the first time as Lynx.
  • Greco and NeoFio can join Lynx.
  • Luccia cannot join Lynx.
  • You can lock yourself out of recruiting Luccia. If you save Kid from her coma after Chronopolis, then go to read Lucca's letter, you'll never be able to recruit Luccia if you haven't yet.
  • Miki can join Lynx or Serge anytime after the “save Marbule” concert. It was once stated there’s an “extremely short window of recruitment time” for her, which I found to be false.
  • Irenes, however, disappears after said concert, so there is a cutoff for her.
  • There’s also a cutoff for Sneff, too. Not sure when it is, but he was gone after the concert.

Anyone else either has no cutoff time or has yet to be tested. In particular, I’m not sure if Mel has a cutoff or not. I don’t think she does, but I could be wrong.

Overall, I recommend an LCR if you’re bored of Chrono Cross and want to try something new. It’s far, far easier to fully outfit a team of 16 compared to a team of 44. A word of wisdom, though—remember that since Zappa never joins, you don’t get the Smith Spirit or Prism equipment.

Thank you for reading; I’m glad to have helped the community!

Original GameFAQs topic is here. Original Chrono Compendium topic is here. Credits to Vehek for clearing up Poshul and Mojo's cutoff times.

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