Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Despite not being as universally-loved as its predecessor, Chrono Cross is largely considered to be a worthy enough continuation of the Chrono franchise. Delving into what happens after Lavos is defeated in Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross resolves the dangling plot line of one of Trigger's most important characters...
... though it wasn't the first game to do so. Before Chrono Cross came Radical Dreamers, a visual novel with roleplaying elements that would form the basis for all of Chrono Cross. Previously restricted to Japanese gamers, Radical Dreamers has now been brought to the rest of the world, packaged together with Chrono Cross as Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition.
Though nowhere near as long as Chrono Cross, Radical Dreamers is still a relatively expansive game for what it is, and it has enough twists and turns to leave players confused. This guide will help you get through Radical Dreamers with a minimum of headaches while still hopefully enjoying the plot along the way.
Since it is a visual novel, Radical Dreamers is fairly simplistic in its execution. Most of the time you'll be reading text descriptions of what's going on and making the occasional decision. That said, there are a few mechanics that take Radical Dreamers above and beyond a simple novel:
- Your avatar in the game, Serge, has an unseen amount of health. If you make a poor decision Serge will take damage. if he takes too much damage he can die to traps or battles, ending the playthrough. You can get a rough idea of how healthy Serge is by speaking to Magil, a member of the team, while on the Terrace.
- Kid, the third main character and the party leader, grows and shrinks in affection towards Serge over the course of the game, depending on your choices. You'll receive a variation on the game's ending depending on how much Kid likes Serge when you reach the climactic battle. Generally speaking Kid likes it more if Serge keeps his opinions to himself and is more aggressive in battle. You can get a rough idea of how Kid feels about Serge by speaking to her on the Terrace.
- While exploring Viper Manor, the setting of the game, you'll occasionally run into random encounters against monsters. These can lead to damage if you're not careful, though how you proceed through each encounter can also endear Serge more to Kid. Random encounters are somewhat rare, though you'll likely run into a small handful during a playthrough, especially if you wander around too much.
- Exploration in Radical Dreamers is done via text options, and you'll never receive a map in-game. It can sometimes be difficult to find your way around if you get re-oriented while going down a particular passage and the directions become reversed. This guide includes a map that will help you navigate Viper Manor with a minimum of fuss.
Main Scenario - Kid: Le Trésor Interdite
1.) Approaching Viper Manor
As the story begins you'll be introduced to the three protagonists - Kid, Magil, and Serge, your character - and their task: Stealing something called the Frozen Flame from a man named Lynx. Upon approach the team will be attacked by a pack of Wildcats, and you'll need to fight them off.
This battle has two phases to it, and Serge will always get injured during the confrontation. If you defend yourself once and then attack you'll make it through with only a slight injury, and Kid will be impressed with Serge's approach to the fight.
2.) The Terrace
After the team gets past the Wildcats they'll be standing within Viper Manor. At this point the game branches out in two directions, to the left and to the right. Ultimately we want to go left, though there are a few things of note to the right:
- The first room is the Clock Tower. If you enter the Clock Tower you'll find an Old Crone who will offer to heal up Serge if he's sustained any wounds, assuming you speak the truth to her. Save the Old Crone encounter for Serge's future health if you wind up sustaining a lot of damage, as she'll disappear whether or not you choose to be healed.
- The second room is the Treasure Room. It's locked, but you should try to open it anyway, to save a return trip back here in the future.
- The third room, up the stairs at the end of the hallway, is the Chamber of Death. If you go in you'll be caught by a trap. You can get out by slamming up against the door. Anything else will get you injured and/or swiftly killed. There's a clue in here for later, but you don't need to come in just yet.
In short, check the Clock Tower if you're badly injured, check the Treasure Room to note that it's locked, and head back to the Terrace. You want to head left.
Read More From Levelskip
It is worth mentioning (if you didn't read about the game mechanics above) that every time you pass through this corridor you'll have the option to go out onto the Terrace. You can speak to Kid and Magil on the Terrace. Kid will give you an idea of how she feels towards Serge, while Magil will give you an idea of how wounded Serge is. If you're not sure how things are going, occasional visits to the Terrace are a good idea.
3.) First Intersection
Taking a left from the entrance will bring you to an intersection with three options:
- If you take the stairs you'll find another intersection. You want to head this way.
- If you go onward you'll find the Main Hall, a room with a large organ. You can't do anything here yet.
- If you take the side passage you'll find the Study. It's filled with books, and is important later. If you check it out now you can look around the room a bit, and someone will hear you rustling around. Choosing to evade them by hiding under the desk with Kid will give you a good idea of Serge's motivations for joining Kid and Magil on this expedition.
4.) Down the Stairs - Atrium
Going down the stairs will lead you to another split, to the right and to the left. Start by going left, to the Atrium. This ominous area quickly becomes dangerous, and Piranadons will emerge from the bloody pool that is slowly expanding to fill the room. Trying to attack the Piranadons or force your way to the other side of the Atrium will only lead to injuries and potential death, so turn around and leave.
On your way back from the Atrium the team will come upon a stone face hanging on the wall. This is the Mouth of Truth, and you can place a number of items in its mouth and see what happens. The results are humorous, but at this point useless. Still, you'll want to know this is here.
5.) Down the Stairs - Bedrooms
Leave the Atrium and return to the intersection with the stairs. Continue down the corridor and you'll come to a bedroom on your right. This is Riddel's Room. You can't do much here now, though if you do anything besides inspect the music box while you're in the room you'll anger Kid.
Continue down the corridor and you'll reach a dead end with a door. This is Lynx's Room. Look around inside and you'll find a Whispering Mirror behind a cloth. You can choose to ask it about either Kid or Magil; if you ask about Kid you'll learn about her past but anger her, while asking about Magil will lead to a prompt where you can further explore the room. Allow Serge to explore on his own and he'll find a tonic that can be used to restore some health.
Speak to the Whispering Mirror again - this only happens if you've already checked out the Treasure Room - and it will tell you where to find the key.
The Whispering Mirror tells you that the key to the Treasure Room is located in the Study, the side passage up the stairs from the Atrium and the two bedrooms. Once inside with this information you'll be prompted to choose from a large number of books. There are some funny text prompts if you check them all, though the option you want is the purple book on the furthest bookshelf from the door. Choosing anything else will only damage Serge's relationship with Kid.
7.) Treasure Room
Make your way back to the Terrace and check out the second door down the right corridor. The key will get you inside the Treasure Room, where the Frozen Flame is waiting. Whether you proceed cautiously or allow Kid to simply snag the Frozen Flame you'll wind up fighting the Gob Squad, a patrol of five oversized Goblins. This will likely be the lengthiest physical confrontation in the game, and how it goes seems to be random. Be prepared to take some lumps. (You'll probably want to save the Old Crone visit for immediately after this fight, as she's right next door.)
Defeating the Gob Squad will reveal that the Frozen Flame the team found was a fake. Nuts. Kid makes the most of the situation by grabbing a Hand-Shaped Plate off of one of the Goblins. You can take the Plate to the Mouth of Truth and place it into the head's mouth to drain the Atrium, opening the corridors beyond.
Beyond the Atrium you'll find another intersection. To the left is the Dungeon, though you can't get inside yet. To the right are stairs that lead to another right-left combination. To the right is the Guard Room; to the left is the Kitchen. Start with the Kitchen.
When you enter the Kitchen Serge will note the delicious smell wafting out of one of the cooking pots. You can choose to try the stew inside out, if you wish. Kid will ask how it was, and if you admit that it was delicious you'll regain some health, and Kid will try some out herself.
Once you've had the stew a mouse in a cage will plead with you to let it out. Kid, realizing that the stew probably contained mice, will storm out if she tried any. If she left you can choose whether or not to release the mouse; otherwise Kid will release the mouse on her own. Regardless of how the mouse was freed it will turn into a Griffon, though it proves too weak to attack you and collapses. In exchange for its life the Griffon will tell you the secret to escaping Lynx's magical snares: Turn right thrice, left twice, and right twice. This will be useful later.
9.) Guard Room
Inside the Guard Room you'll find another Goblin, though this one, going by the name Grismeld, is much more gentlemanly than the rest. Grismeld has the key to the Dungeon, though before he gives it to you he offers you some tea. Sit down with Magil and have some tea to see your health restored. (You need to work hard not to take the tea.)
Grismeld will ask you to weave a story. In most cases the story will lead to a sonorous tale about Grismeld's life. If you mention that the girl in the story went hunting for bugs and dipped a beetle in gold, however, Kid will go off on a bit of a tangent, and things will end humorously. Regardless, you'll wind up with the key.
(Do not offer to show Grismeld your 'secret photograph' of Kid if you get the prompt. Things end badly for your relationship.)
Go back up the stairs and head to the Dungeon. You'll find a ranting old man inside. Magil will comment that the old man is probably hiding answers to their questions behind a veil of shame and madness. Asking Magil more when he's obviously making references to Kid will irritate her; commenting on her dancing will similarly annoy Kid. Regardless, you need something to spur the old man's memories.
The old man will mention Riddel, which is the best clue you've got. Head back to Riddel's Room on the other side of the Atrium and she'll be inside. Riddel has no love for Lynx, and says that you'll need a mythical sword, the Einlanzer, to help the old man. If you go back inside after speaking to Riddel once you'll get a little more story from her.
(While you're here, check out Lynx's Room again. This bit is optional, but the Whispering Mirror has more to say, and things will get sad.)
Return to the Clock Tower on the right side of Viper Manor. The sword Kid found inside earlier turns out to be the Einlanzer. Grab it and take it to the Chamber of Death, at the end of the right corridor from the Terrace. Entering will trigger the trap; slam the Einlanzer into the ground to deactivate the trap. This will give the team a chance to look around the small room and find the Acacian Signet.
Return to the Dungeon and speak to the old man again. Kid will get very aggressive with him, though you want to let her have her way. She'll get annoyed if you try to stop her. The Old Man will give you a vital hint.
11.) Main Hall
Two quick notes before we proceed. First, once you enter the Main Hall, you'll enter the endgame of your first playthrough. Don't enter until you're ready. Second, once you go inside you can no longer save your game. Make sure you save just before you enter the Main Hall.
Return to the first hallway of Viper Manor and proceed to the end of the left corridor from the intersection. This will take you to the Main Hall, to the room with the organ. Kid will pull on the candlestick the old man rambled about, activating a mechanism that will sink the floor deep into the ground. At the bottom Serge will have a chance to ask about the Frozen Flame, and either option you choose will provide interesting information.
Down the final corridor the group will find themselves stuck in a Blood Circle, a trap of Lynx's devising. It contains three light barriers that will damage the party if they choose the wrong directions out. Recalling the advice from the Griffon in the Kitchen, you'll want to go right three times, left twice, and right twice. This will release you from the trap without taking damage.
At the end of the corridor you'll find the Frozen Flame, and you'll face off against Lynx. This battle seems to end in your favor regardless of your choices, though if you've built up enough affection with Kid over the course of the playthrough the ending will play out differently.
That's it! You've completed Radical Dreamers! Congratulations! Watch the credits play through and you'll unlock more game. That's right, there's plenty more Radical Dreamers where that came from.
Once you've completed the original scenario of Radical Dreamers you'll unlock the ability to find alternate endings to the game. Choose 'Continue' once the credits have rolled and you'll jump into a new game. As the new game starts you'll have the option to either go to sleep or stay awake; going to sleep unlocks the path to the alternate endings. Your first few actions will lock you into a storyline, so be especially careful when starting out if you want to avoid endings you've already seen.
To avoid spoilers - these stories range from tragic to trippy - we'll just touch on the most important decisions you need to make to reach each ending.
Ending 2 - Magil: Love! Folly! Elopement!
- Go to sleep
- Follow Kid and Magil
- Go to the Study
- Check the desk
- Go to Riddel's room and watch the ending
Ending 3 - Kid and the Sunflower
- Don't go to sleep
- Check out whatever Kid has spotted in the woods, or try to turn back after entering the manor and being prompted to choose a direction
- Let the story play out - it's pretty long, and your actions seem to lead to the same spot regardless of what you do
- In the end you can kiss Kid, stab Kid, or be stabbed by Kid, all three of which lead to different endings
Ending 4 - The Great Space Chase!
- Go to sleep
- Follow Kid
- Go to the Study
- Look at the paintings
- Go to the Treasure Room
- Go to the Clock Tower (you also have the option of coming here before the Treasure Room, and the game will warn you that things won't make sense if you proceed... though this scenario already doesn't make much sense)
- Go down the stairs outside the Study and the Main Hall and, uh, read on as things implode
Ending 5 - Homecoming: Felicia's Light
- Go to sleep
- Check out the light rather than following Kid
- Go to the Main Hall
- Investigate further
- Press the two white keys on either side of the extra black key on the organ
- Go downstairs to Riddel's Room for a bit of story
- Go to the Treasure Room
- Follow Kid's commands, then inspect the mermaid more closely to escape the trap that follows
- Head to Lynx's Room
- Return to the Main Hall and watch the ending play out
Ending 6 - Paradeus: The Mystery Mega-Weapon
- Go to sleep
- Follow Kid
- Check the Treasure Room and try to open it
- Go to Lynx's Room and ask the Whispering Mirror about the key to the Treasure Room
- Go to the study and retrieve the key (book with a purple cover in the far bookcase)
- Go back to Lynx's Room and look at the mirror, then go through the hole that appears
- Watch the scenario through, pitting Serge against a monster, until it ends and you regain navigational control
- Make your way through the rest of the game - the ending will be... different
Ending 7 - Death and the Realm of Shadow
- Go to sleep
- Follow Kid
- Go to the Study
- Look at the bookshelves
- Tell Magil to look inside the book he picks out
- Go to the Main Hall to watch the ending