Dark Chronicle (released as Dark Cloud 2 in the U.S. and Canada) is a critically acclaimed Computer role-playing game developed by Level-5 and released by Sony Computer Entertainment on November 28, 2002 in Japan, February 17, 2003 in North America, September 10, 2003 in Europe and September 12, 2003 in the United Kingdom. It is the sequel to the game Dark Cloud, also for the PlayStation 2, and features some of the same "world-building" mechanics. New to Dark Chronicle, however, is the concept of time travel, which plays heavily into the game's storyline. Players control two main characters, Max and Monica, who come from the "present" and the "future", respectively, to foil the maniacal plot of Emperor Griffon.
Three of the most widely known features of Dark Chronicle are Fishing, Spheda, and Georama. Players can eat the fish they catch, or bring them in to weigh-in contests, or raise them in a fully-fledged "fish tank" feature and enter them in races.
Spheda, the name of Dark Chronicle's version of golf, is the Italian word for "challenge" (sfida). The engine for Spheda takes cues from the Hot Shots Golf series, though nuances such as the "golf ball" changing color with each bounce add an extra challenge to Spheda.
The town-building mechanic, called "Georama," tasks players with rebuilding destroyed towns using objects (such as houses, bridges and sushi stands) made from materials they buy or find in dungeons. Along with rebuilding the infrastructure, the town must be populated with inhabitants from Max's home town of Palm Brinks. The goal is to complete as many of the ten objectives for each map as possible for each Georama map. While some objectives are requisite for advancing the plot, most are optional and provide bonus items when completed. The theme of "rebuilding a decimated world" is carried over from Dark Cloud, but instead of using a magic stone, you use a large machine.
Other features include photography, an invention system, a powerful and customizable robot that can be used for a limited amount of time in battle, and the ability to recruit an NPC to aid you with various bonuses in dungeons (although it should be noted that these characters never "fight" alongside you in the traditional sense).
Another notable feature of Dark Chronicle and Dark Cloud is the focus upon weapon growth instead of the traditional focus on character growth (in terms of statistics). When monsters are defeated, they drop Absorption Points (ABS), which, when collected, raise the experience of the weapon that dealt the final blow. When a weapon accumulates enough ABS, it will level up and gain Synthesis Points. Synthesis Points are used to infuse a weapon with an item that has been "spectrumized," which results in the weapon gaining specific stats depending upon the item(s) that were spectrumized. Almost every item in the game can be spectrumized and synthesized to weaponry. Weapons themselves can also be spectrumized, but the resulting spectrumized weapon won't carry over much of its stats unless it's level 5 or higher. In this way it is possible to level-up one weapon, synthesize several things to it to boost desirable stats, and then spectrumize the weapon and synthesize it to another one. Weapons also have the capability to be "Built-Up." In order to be built-up, a weapon must meet certain criteria. In most cases, a weapon just needs to have at least a certain number of several stats in order to be built-up, though some weapons also require you to have defeated certain types of enemies. Some weapons can be built-up into more than one new weapon. When a weapon is built-up, it gains strength and starts over at level 1. Built-up weapons are much stronger than weapons that have not been built-up, and tend to earn more synthesis points when they level up.
Weapons also have a durability. Every time a melee weapon hits a monster, or every time you fire a ranged weapon, the durability of the weapon decreases. If it hits 0, then you can no longer use the weapon until it is repaired. In the original Dark Cloud, the weapon was destroyed and you could not get it again. This was lightened in the sequel - if the weapon breaks completely, you only lose some ABS.
Max and Monica, the protagonists of the series, can recruit non-player characters into their team by performing certain tasks in Palm Brinks. The characters are not controllable and do not appear on the battlefield, but through the Characters portion of the menu, the player can access a party member's special abilities. Some party members also have an influence on the battle, for example increasing certain drops or adjusting enemy behaviour.
Outside of dungeons (in the train and in Georama locations), these characters sell certain items.
(Because of the amount of characters being so long even by wikipedia's standards, I have added a link with them as the following;
The story takes place in a strange world, where magic and technology both exist. It begins with a girl running through a castle being chased by strange creatures. She uses a sword, grabbed from the display of a knight in a suit of armor, and defeats them. Rushing to the next room, she finds her father, the king, lying on the floor and a man fleeing with a cackle. We then are flashed to Max, a young boy living in Palm Brinks. Max is an inventor and worked for a while in his mentor's repair shop, Cedric. He takes off the night to go to a carnival, a popular event. Once there, his ticket gets snatched by a little red-headed kid. He gets the ticket back, but the red-headed kid told him a strange message before disappearing. Max, puzzled, heads off to the carnival. Having fun, Max ended up eavesdropping on Flotsam, the circus troupe's leader, and the Mayor discussing something unusual about a stone. When Flotsam spots him, he ordered his clowns to attack Max. In the middle of the circus ring, Max managed to ward off the servants of Flotsam with his wrench and escaped Flotsam's machine. With the help of Donny, his best friend, he managed to escape into a sewer.
Chapter 1: To the Outside World
Max learns that the clowns are looking for him, and he must flee the city if he wants to be safe. Using his new weapons (his wrench and Donny's gun), Max learns about fighting monsters and exploring. He adventures throughout the whole entire Underground Channel until he reaches the pump room. He then gets found again by Flotsam and his elephant Linda there. Unfortunately, Max's wrench bounced harmlessly off of Linda's tough wrinkled skin and his gun's bullets were absorbed. Max was just about to give up when all of a sudden, a man in a strange robot tackles Linda, grabs Max and exits the pump room.
Later, Cedric explains that he used his machine, the Ridepod, to fight off Linda, but in its condition, the Ridepod couldn't really fight any real monsters. In order for the Ridepod to be in its normal shape, Max must invent an energy pack for it using photos of three items: pipes, milk cans and a belt. Then, with the energy pack thought off, he must have the proper items to actually make it. After successfully creating the energy pack, Cedric allows Max to keep it the Ridepod and use it for battling Flotsam. And with this, Max controls it to walk through the shortcut Cedric opened to the pump room.
Once again, Max had a fierce battle with Linda. She was one tough elephant, but finally, Linda fell over, too tired to continue. Flotsam then disappears. Max, smiling with victory, went to continue on with the Underground Channel.
Finally, Max entered through the doors of the boss room. There, Flotsam appears out of nowhere, trying to persuade Max to hand over the red stone pendant Max wore. Max refuses and takes out his wrench and gun, ready to battle. The machine Flotsam used to attack Max appears from the ceiling and trudges over to Max. Flotsam calls the machine 'Halloween' and orders it to try to kill Max.
It was a hard battle. Halloween keeps shooting missiles at Max and barely misses him. But he manages to find the red eye as its weak spot. Using the bombs it shot out, Max carries and throws at the eye. While Halloween is stunned, Max uses it as an advantage and attacks the eye with his wrench. After doing this three times, Halloween finally explodes, blowing away Flotsam with it. Max then crosses the room towards the exit, where he found the very end of the Underground Channel, the exit that leads to the unseen world.
After seeing the sites the outside world holds, Max notices a red train appearing on the train tracks next to him. Cedric, waving to him, hauls him into the train, bringing Max futher into the wondrous outside world. While the train was running, Cedric explains the reason why Mayor Need closed the gates so nobody could ever come out.
There was an evil man named Emperor Griffon. Nobody knows why, but his goal was to destroy the world. But in order for him to accomplish this, there are certain special items he must gather. Flotsam, one of Griffon's advisors, was ordered to close the gates so no one could exit the town. With the gates closed, it would be much easier to find the 'stone' that Griffon was looking for. Flotsam then kept talking the mayor to look for this stone. That was why Flotsam kept following Max around.
Just then, a noise attracted Max and Cedric's attention. Both of them went outside to find Flotsam on an armed car, shooting the train's body. Max then gathered three bombs that Cedric has provided and threw them at Flotsam's car. Flotsam's car exploded, sending Flotsam to land on top of the train. Flotsam took off his clothing, revealing his underwear equipped with firecrackers. He threatened Max to throw a bomb at him to completely destroy the train.
All of a sudden, the red-headed kid that had stolen Max's ticket appeared behind Flotsam. Pointing at him, the kid transformed into a tall, long, red-haired girl dressed in knight's clothes, holding a sword. With great power, she uses her sword to chop away at the firecrackers and when she was done, she kicked the clueless clown in the *ss. While Flotsam flew through the air, she used her magic to throw fireballs at him. By the time the train went deeper into the forest, Flotsam was left behind. And that was how Max met Monica.
Chapter 2: Resurrection of the Great Elder
Monica reveals to Max that she is a warrior and a princess from the future. However, she warped back to the past in order to resurrect Jurak, the great elder of the forest. Why? She said that in the future, her forces were fighting off Griffon. Although his forces were losing, he erased many origin points of important places and people such as Jurak so that they never existed. As the train slows down to a stop because of obstacles blocking the path, Monica and Max both decided to head out into Sindain, a peaceful forest. While Cedric, Borneo and Erik worked together to heave the barriers out of the way, Max and Monica both entered Sindain. There, they found a lone house. They entered it to find three Firebits, a race of elfish creatures. They didn't know anything about Jurak at all, but they asked Max if he and Monica could find a girl named Holly for them. Although they couldn't get any important imformation about her from Conda, the leader of the Firebits, Max thought that Holly may be his missing mother. He remembered that his mother left both him and his father without a trace.
As they went outside, Conda told the two heroes that they must first find four of their missing friends. He thinks that they might've found the legendary Rainbow Butterfly and followed it, never to return ever again. As a useful tool, he gave the them a bottle filled with strong-smelling grape juice, a greatly favored drink of the Firebits. Max and Monica then headed out into the Rainbow Butterfly Wood, a forest filled with mystical forest creatures.
After journeying and fighting monsters with Max's wrench and gun and Monica's sword and magic, they stumbled upon Fish Monster Swamp. There, they found the four missing Firebits, all of them relaxing. Max gave a Firebit the bottle of grape juice and recieved a fishing rod (along with bait) in return, but despite this trade, the Firebits refused to turn back to their home in Sindain. With nothing to do but to fish, Max and Monica explored around until when they traced another path beyond the Fish Monster Swamp. There, they found a hurt giant, who introduced himself as Master Utan. After questioning him, Monica found out that Master Utan had been paralyzed from eating the fruit of the 'Holy One'. He said that he couldn't help but eat it because he was hungry and a tree of the poison appleds was right above him. Master Utan also said that the Holy One lived in the swamp, but the only way they could summon it was to fish it out with a poison apple as bait. Thinking this might be a clue to the brainwashed Firebits, Max used his new fishing rod and poison apple to lure out a huge purple fish. Introducing himself as King Marden, he admitted that he was the one that brainwahsed the four Firebits. After the demand of letting them go, King Marden said that he will in one condition: King Marden said that he had been a bit dirty lately (yes, even if he's a guy, he one of those people that cares a LOT about his appearance) and he wanted to become beautiful again. In order to be clean again, there's a fish called Priscleen that has the ability to clean his body. With the bait Max has and his fishing skills, he fished out the Priscleen and gave it to King Marden. Satisfied with his appearance, he granted their wishes and the Firebits were released from the spell. Afterwards, the 'Holy One' dived back into the swamp.
Back in Sindain, the seven Firebits were once again unified. Completely grateful with their help, the Firebits introduced Max and Monica to a machine called Carpenterion, the machine that can create towns and natural resources, such a water. Monica explains to Max that in order for Jurak to be revived, they must have certain conditions fulfilled, but to that, they must collect objects called Geostones. Conda explains that Geostones have the knowledge of the ancients and with these Geostones, they can surely resurrect the great elder. Monica taught Max about the red stone he has. She explains that there were stones called Atlamilla, stones that allow the chosen owners to warp through time and space. Max has the Red Atlamilla, enabling to transfer him 100 years in the future, while Monica has the Blue Atlamilla, the stone that can travel to the past. However, the two must still find Holly, so with Conda's words in mind, Max and Monica went futher into the Rainbow Butterfly Wood, with the help of Master Utan, who was finally free from being paralyzed and able to heave the boulders that blocked the rest of the woods.
It was hard and tiring work, but they managed to find these Geostones and able to unlock the tasks. Some of them include placing trees, houses, and even having people settle in Sindain. After a handful of instructions from Conda, they managed to control the Carpenterion to complete these tasks. After warping to the future, they finally saw Jurak, the great elder of the forest. Monica asked the great, old tree spirit if he remembers anything at all about Griffon, but Jurak claims that all is but a memory. However, he was able to give Max information about the Rainbow Butterfly. He said that in one certain spot, there is a pond where a flower called the Lafresia grows. The Rainbow Butterfly appears ONLY in places where the Lafresia grows. However, there are two special items that Lafresia must have in order to grow: 1) the Lafresia seed and 2) sundrops, the stone that speed up the growth of plants. Jurak uses his nostrils (yeah, I know, pretty gross) to hand over the Lafresia seed, but he says that the sundrops must be aquired from a Himarra, a sunflower monster found everywhere in the Rainbow Butterfly Wood. But by obtaining the monster badge box and restoring the tailor shop, Monica was able to purchase the only Himarra badge on sale. Finally, both of them warped to the past. Monica used the badge to transform into a Himarra (pretty cool, huh?) and talked to another Himarra. The Himarra claims that lately, there were so many sundrops that they came pouring out of its ears (do Himarra have ears???) so it gave Monica some of the sundrops. With these two items in hand, Max and Monica arrived at Rainbow Falls, a beautiful place with a gigantic waterfall roaring down and a waterfall arching over it. And just like Jurak said, there was a small pond in the center. Max threw both sundrops and seed in the pond. The flower that bloomed grew so that it almost seemed to touch the rainbow. A dangling white string hung in front of Max and together, Max and Monica both were pulled onto the flower. On the gigantic flower, they walked and explored awhile until when they turned around, a figure of a rainbow-colored, huge butterfly looked at them. The Rainbow Butterfly finally showed itself! (yay for the legendary creature!) All of a sudden, the butterfly swooped down, and Max and Monica had to duck in order to dodge it. Clearly showing that the butterfly wants to fight, Max and Monica readied their weapons.
It was a slow but instense battle. The butterfly shot rainbow-colored balls that poisoned anybody that touches it. It also shot a solar beam directly at the two characters. At first, nothing seemed to affect the butterfly. Not even Monica's magic would do the trick. but they eventually found out that the yellow-orange tentacles in the center of the flower attracted the butterfly. When all of the tentacles stood up, the Rainbow Butterfly would fly over to the tentacles. Pollen would pour out of the tentacles and divide the Rainbow Butterfly into seven smaller butterflies, each in its own color. At first, attacking random butterflies didn't work, but the two figured that they must affect the butterfly in rainbow-color order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple. Quietly and sneakily (ALL of the butterflies are sensitive to sound and movement) Max and Monica used their gun and magic to damage the butterfly. Whatever butterfly was affected would retreat. It was long work, but finally, all seven butterflies were hovering nervously above Rainbow Falls.
The butterflies flew towards the center and combined together, creating a blond-haired girl with a dress. Guess who she is??? It's Holly herself!!! :O She claims that the reason that she attacked them without meaning to was because of the evil that controled her. And this is her story of how she met the Firebits...
A long time ago, a small butterfly was caught in a spider web. It struggled to free itself, but its wings were completely stuck. Unable to escape, it was ready to die. Suddenly, two Firebits emerged from the forest and with a stick, they both sliced the web apart. The butterfly flew away, completely grateful for the Firebits that saved its life. Over time, it grew and matured into a full-grown butterfly. Because it had mystical magical powers, it has the ability to turn into a human. As a female adult, she came to live with a group of Firebits in Sindain, remembering that as a child, they saved her life. She wanted to stay and take care of them forever. However, there was a strange evil that controlled her body. Because of the evil, she was unable to live with them. With a tearful good-bye, the girl headed back to the Rainbow Butterfly Wood and ever since, she remained as the legendary Rainbow Butterfly.
Holly explained that she couldn't live any longer with the Firebits, but makes a request to Monica to deliver the Firebits a letter she wrote. With these last words said, she glowed and the seven butterflies flew away back towards the Rainbow Falls.
Back in Sindain, all seven Firebits teared up from the beautiful words of Holly of how she always would be part of their family (one of the saddest scenes ever). Conda, while sniffing, reveals that he, a long time ago, already knew that Holly was a butterfly, just by the way she smelled (how touching XD). Completely thankful for Max and Monica's help, they said that they would help them by traveling on the red train with them.
Finally, they decided to visit Jurak. Jurak claimed that memories still couldn't reach him. However, he said that the great sage Crest may be able to help them with Griffon. He's located in Balance Valley, the train's next destination. After returning to the past, Cedric, Borneo and Erik finally fixed the obstacle problem. Max and Monica boarded the train for Balance Valley, their next destination.
Chapter 3: The Sage Who Became a Star
The group was forced to stop at Balance Valley Station because there were more obstacles blocking their way. While Cedric, Erik and Borneo worked at the rocks, Monica and Max went outside to the beautiful Balance Valley. They noticed a lone house about 10 yards away, so they rushed over to the house, wanting to know if the owners of the house knew anything about the great sage Crest.
When they entered the house, an owl attacked them, thinking them as trespassers. After reasoning with the owl, he settled down and was asked if Crest was in Balance Valley or not. The owl answered that Crest had died a long time ago. Then, Max and Monica noticed a purple-haired girl lying in bed, looking entirely ill. The owl explained that ever since Crest passed away, Lin had been in shock and she couldn't move at all. Max and Monica rushed over to Palm Brinks and brought over Dr. Dell, Palm Brinks' most famous doctor. But despite their effort, Dr. Dell said that Lin had been affected by a toxic mist. If Lin isn't healed right away, in two or three days, she may die. Dr. Dell explained that there's no medicine to heal the toxic mist. Before they moved the stage of dismay, Monica finally spoke up. She explained that in the future, a great temple called the Starlight Temple was built in Balance Valley. The Starlight Temple was where all great sages gather. During the future time period, there was a famous chef named Lao Chao. Legends say that his most famous recipe was his miracle dish, a dish that can cure any sickness and disease. His restaurant, Lao Chao's Bistro, was built on one of the four plateus of Starlight Temple. However, the Starlight Temple was erased as well, so in order to rebuild the great temple and the restaurant, they must collect Geostones and use Carpenterion rebuild the future.
When once again looking over the valley, Monica explains that building the future might be tricky. She said that Balance Valley has four plateus. In order for Starlight Temple to be restored, the four plateus must be balanced. If too much weight was put onto one plateu, it would affect the whole entire valley and the plateus would be unbalanced. Equal weight on each of them would balance them out again. With these words said, Max and Monica set out on their journey along the steep Starlight Canyon.
Along the way, Max remembered a flashback about his mother. When he was little, when he got sick, his mother took care of him. She always assure him he will live when he thought he would die. And as the result of her comfort, he felt confident that he was able to live through sickness and hard times.
After collecting the Geostones, they finally restored the suspension bridge that connected the four plateus together, along with Lao Chao's Bistro. Smelling the delicious scent of dinner, they entered the restaurant. At the counter, they talked to the Chinese chef, who was Lao Chao himself (!). After requesting him for his miracle dish, Lao Chao said that he couldn't make it because one of the items for cooking it was the White Windflower. He said that a long time ago, it used to flourish in deep valleys and mountains. However, currently, it's extinct and he could no longer find the White Windflower. Max and Monica decided to go back to Starlight Canyon in the past to find this flower.
They finally arrived at Barge's Valley, a fairly small valley located at the end of Balance Valley. Max and Monica asked the condor that help carried them there if she had seen the White Windflower. The condor said that she cared nothing of the rubbish that they're talking about because she's worried about an issue on her own: she was about to feed her babies, but when she arrived at her nest, her babies were trapped in a mysterious blue hole. Monica explained that it's called a time distortion. When Emperor Griffon disrupted the flow of time, time distortions appear at ruined places. She said that there so many of them in the future, but they were starting to appear in the past as well. The condor promised that if Max and Monica could free her babies from the distortion, then she would find the White Windflower for them.
Both of them found a red sphere, the object that fell out of the distortion. Monica said that in order to disable the distortion, then they must place the sphere back into the void. However, they must use a stick or club because they weren't allowed to touch it with their bare hands. She explained to Max the rules of Spheda, which was the name of the process: Max must hit the sphere at a certain angle to place the sphere back where it belongs. When the void is red or blue, the sphere must be the opposite color. For example, if the void is blue, then the sphere must be red and vice versa. If both were the same color, they would repel from each other. And every time the sphere made contract with an object, it will change color, such as red to blue to red and so on. Max must use techniques to make sure the sphere is the right color, such as bumping the sphere from object to object. But he has only a limited amount of hits. If he hit the sphere up to the maximum and still not succeed, then both distortion and sphere will disappear. It was pretty confusing and pretty tough, but Max managed to hit correctly.
Mrs. Condor, finally noticing Max's hard work, bowed down and asked for anything to repay them for their help. As soon as she bowed her head, Max noticed that a white flower on her head. It was the White Windflower!!!! (how can a flower grow on a condor's head???) She gave it to the two and flew off. Before she flew off though, she gave Max a spheda club named Turkey. Now, Max was able to use an actual club instead of a stick.
After handing over the White Windflower over to Lao Chao, they finally recieved the Miracle Dumplings. They then teleported back to the past, went over to Lin's bed and fed her the dumplings. Waking up, she asked, "Is Master Crest training already? Why didn't he wake me?" The owl explained to Lin that he died by sacrificing himself to protect the legendary Moon Crystal. After so much reasoning and confusion, they realized that Lin has forgotten all of her memories. Thinking that she must've remembered Crest's death and doesn't want to remember it at all, the owl asked Max and Monica if they could take Lin along with them on their journey. Agreeing to this, they traveled to Starlight Canyon, hoping Lin's memories may be restored.
The group reached another valley called Yorda's Valley, the valley that contains the gigantic legendary tree, the Yorda, known for its holy power. While staring at the magnificent, Lin screamed and shook her head wildly. Max amd Monica rushed over to help her. A cutscene flashed in Lin's mind...
"Crest, why did you become a sage?" A purple-haired girl looked up at a blue-haired man smiling at the Yorda. The man looked down at his apprentice and replied, "Well...for attention, I guess."
"No! Don't you mean that you cared for your world?" Lin demanded, waving her arms around helplessly.
And there goes the great sage Crest with his story. He explained that when he was little, there were constant raiders that invaded his village. He wondered if a sage would ever come and answer the call to their troubles. Just then, a man appeared and killed almost all of the raiders. the rest of them running off.
"Are you a sage?" asked little Crest to the man. The man explained that he wasn't a sage. A sage protects his people just by being there, just by being right by them. And since then, the little boy grew up to the the legendary sage.
Lin screamed, shaking her head as a dark cloud bubbled around her brain. Then, a huge, dark creature expanded out of her mind, growing out of it until it reached full size. As Lin went unconscious, it landed on the ground and gave a mighty roar. After Lin was carried off and placed at the base of the tree, Monica explains that the creature, known as the Memoeater, was the one that devoured all of Lin's memories. Using the Ridepod, the creature was easily defeated. Lin then woke up and realizing that her memories came back, she said that Crest must be saved. And with this, they went back to Balance Valley.
Max and Monica advanced toward a lit-up tool shop. Monica said that this is the only shop that sells the Starglass. The Starglass is an hourglass that can traverse the person into the past. However, the only way to traverse the owner is to reflect upon a person's deep significance. Agreeing that it would help them save Crest, they bought the Starglass, traveled back to the past and continued on with Balance Valley.
Finally, the group reached the ruins of Cape Lighthouse, the lighthouse that used to look over Balance Valley. Monica then set down the Starglass in front of the ruins and with a bright glow, the group disappeared.
Lin and Crest gazed over the horizon, enjoying the view. The Moon Crystal glowed softly in the night, just like the twinkling stars above. All of a sudden, Lin shouted, "Something's there!" Just like that, a flying warship appeared in front of them. Two people investigated and took in the appearance of the lighthouse. One of them, a purple-haired man with red robes, smiled evilly and said, "So that's the Moon Crystal, eh? That must be the legendary crystal of the future. Jaming, go there and prepare the ship for capture. We're taking the crystal!" And with this, the mighty cannons of the warship shot a succession of bullets at the lighthouse, setting it on fire.
Max and Monica looked up and gazed at the lighthouse in flames. Monica gasped and exclaimed, "Gaspard?! What's he doing here?" Then, she said, "Max, we're going up there. Lin, stay here! Don't go anywhere!" Max and Monica raced off to the elevator that led to the top of the lighthouse while the present Lin stared up at the Moon Crystal.
When Max and Monica reached where Crest and Lin are, they walked toward the warship. Crest asked, "Who are you?" Monica replied that they'll explain later as she hopped onto the warship. She unsheathed her sword and pointed it at the evil man. "Gaspard! You are going to pay for both the Moon Crystal and the death of my father!"
"Killed? How hurtful." Gaspard took out his red sword and held it at his side. "You see, we had a fair fight. It's just that he wasn't strong enough to win over me." He then slashed his sword. Monica rushed over to him, raised her sword and brought it down over her head. Gaspard jumped aside and flipped over as she slashed at him again. He used his own sword and a moment of deadlock passed by. Then, he slashed at Monica, but she managed to jump back and flipped over. Both of them clashed swords and dodged as they both fought fiercly. Meanwhile, Crest jumped over to the Moon Crystal and prepared the attack. Lin grabbed a broom and held it close to her as Max protected her by battling away the evil flames that were coming at them. It lasted a long while, but Monica managed to defeat Gaspard. Monica then jumped from the ship just before a cannon appeared on the warship, aiming at the lighthouse. All of a sudden, the ship was hit by a blue beam. Gaspard looked over to see Crest chanting spells to the Moon Crystal. Furious, the cannon aimed at the Moon Crystal, trying to destroy it completely. Crest held his arms out in front of it as the cannon shot one bullet, which died down from an invisible barrier that was set up in front of Crest. It fired a second time, this time there was no wall to block its attack, so Crest then took the full blast. When Crest was seen covered in ashes, still in the same position, he fell down towards the ground. As time slowed down, the warship engine exploded and it started to go down. Gaspard ordered his assistant, Dr. Jaming, to retreat, so the warship disappeared.
Lin embraced Crest in her arms as he struggled to open his eyes. He looked up and said, "Lin, do not grieve for me. Even though I may pass away soon, you will continue to live. Carry out my will and become a legendary sage. You can do this task without me."
Despite Lin's protests and efforts to keep him alive, Crest took his last breath. With that, Lin screamed, "Nooooo!!" And that was when we are taken to the present Lin. Stroking her master's head, she asked him, "Isn;t the stars beautiful tonight?" She went on, talking about the good times they had. Although Crest's eyes remained closed, Lin felt that he was watching her above.
Back in the present, Max and Monica started to apologized to Lin that although they successfully restored the lighthouse, they weren't able to save Crest. Lin accepted their explanation and said it was all right; she will work hard to become a legendary sage, just like her master. After these words are said, she left, leaving Max and Monica nothing to do but go back to Balance Valley.
They were surprised to find the Moon Crystal above their heads when they went back to the Starlight Temple. And they were even more surprised when they found an old hag named Madame Crest next to it. "I have been waiting for you," she said to them. Extremely shocked to find that Madame Crest is the future sage Lin, they quickly recovered and asked Lin about any information about Emperor Griffon. With this, her servants bowed down as if praying as the Moon Crystal started to glow. Lin held out her arms and an image of a castle appeared on the crystal.
Lin explains that Griffon never existed in the future; in fact, he exists 10,000 years in the past! His great power was known to the people in the future. which was how everybody knew about him. In order to get rid of Griffon, they must jump back 10,000 years. However, their Atlamillas were useless because they can only travel back 100 years. But Lin said that perhaps, if it were possible, then they must talk to the scientists of Luna Lab, located in Vennicio. But the world's greatest research center was also erased, so in order to make the long jump, they must restore Luna Lab. Promising to visit again, Max and Monica teleported back to the past. Lin then looked at the stars and prayed to Crest to protect the two people that saved her life and inspired her to become the legendary sage.
By the time they reached the train, Cedric, Borneo and Erik managed to move the boulders out of the way and were ready to roll. The train went far enough to the Vennicio station, stopping because of the broken bridge. As the group once again worked together on that, Max and Monica walked toward the beach. The comforting ocean stretched outwards in front of them, the waves going back and forth. Before they could relax and play in the ocean's waves, a moaning sound was heard. Max and Monica raced toward a cave, hoping to find any clues about Luna Lab.
Chapter 4: Good-Bye Shingala
In Vennicio, the group meet Shingala, and Pau. Shingala is in pain and is crazed, flees into Ocean Roars Cave, with Max and Monica in hot pursuit. Inside the cave, however, they find Shingala, controlled by a device. Not wanting to hurt Shingala, they rebuild most of Luna Labs and ask Osmond for a way to destroy the device. He gives them the electric worm to feed to a fish, to feed to Shingala that will short out the device without hurting Shingala. Shingala was under the influence of Dr. Jaming, a scientist of sound. He uses Shingala's family against them, but fails. Realizing that he's being used for evil, Jamming comes over to the side of good, and decides to use his knowledge for good. In the future, Luna Labs has been rebuilt, and Jammings great-grandson is working with them. They begin work on the time-train, but first need help from Gundorada Workshop, which has been erased as well.
Chapter 5: Conflict of the Past and Future
Heading off to Mt. Gundor and Heim Rada. The group finds the end of the tracks and it raining embers. They enter into Mt Gundor to reach to top to stop the embers, where they meet Gaspard's flying battleship. Using the Ridepod, they are able to stop it, but Monica jumps on board as it is going down. Max follows them to the bottom of the volcano, but cannot advance because of a lava river in the way. He heads to the future where he meets with Agaris, who is old friends with King Reybrant, Monica's father. He gives Max the Fire horn which is used to split the river. Inside the depths of the crater, Max confronts Gaspard, who turns into a demon when Griffon uses his magic on him. Gaspard is revealed to have only done evil because he wanted to save his mother. Monica and Max head off to the workshop, where Max meets his mother. Max's mother went to the past to protect Max's father, as he was bearer of the Red Atlamillia at the time. It turns out, she is the leader of the group fighting Griffon, using their mobile command center and weapons system Paznos.
Chapter 6: When the two Eras Collide
Luna Labs has finished the time machine, modeled into a train the Ixion. The group heads back 10,000 years into the past, and confront Griffon. After a heated duel, the group appears victorious. However, it was a ploy Griffon used to steal the Atlamillia and use them for his ultimate goal, the destruction of time/space, and everything else. Monica and Max are forced out of Griffons palace, which appears in their time. The only thing that can defeat the barrier around the palace is the Paznos, but that requires they summon it to the past. Using the ancient ruins and the keys from beyond time, they preform the Chronos Union and summon Paznos, which transforms into a bi-pedal machine and easily destroyes the barrier around the palace.
Chapter 7: Palace of Flowers
Max and Monica head in, and are confronted by a strange woman, she pleads that they spare Griffon, for it's not his doing that he does the evil things he has. She asks them to remind Griffon of who he is by rebuilding the garden in front of the palace. After traversing the whole palace, and rebuilding the garden, the group faces Griffon. Using the Atlamillia's power, he is not easily defeated. However, he realizes what he has done, but it's too late. The Dark Elemental, the force controlling Griffon, has enough power to summon the Dark Meteor to destroy the world. Monica and Max are taken to the Dream Spiral, where they face ferocious monsters before taking on the Dark Elemental in a battle to decide the fate of the world. Destroying him before it's too late, the meteor leaves and the world is safe. Both sides rejoice, as the world is once again at peace. Griffon is reunited with his love and all is well again.
Chapter 8: The Forgotten Adventure
The final task Max is given is to find some Zelmite Ore in the Zelmite Mine. Need plans to make the Blackstone Railroad go around the world. The Mine itself is very dangerous territory. But Max managed to push through the mine, and found Monica. She rerecruits with Max. They meet Flotsam again. And he told them he teamed up with a more eviler enemy than Griffon, and then goes and gets revenge for the failure of the Circus Searchparty. After a long fight, he says to them that this new boss is going to kill them, then he blows up. There is still more pushing and shoving to do to get to the end. They finally make it to the end of the mine, and found the Zelmite Ore. And when they thought the mission was complete, the Dark Genie comes down and defends the Zelmite from Max and Monica. He then tells them about meeting Flotsam, and he starts to feel hungry. But, Max and Monica finished off the Genie, and he was killed. They both agree the mission is complete, and then they have a meeting with Mayor Need and he says congratulations and the Blackstone Railroad is now open to explore the world!
Graphically, Dark Chronicle departs from the style of Dark Cloud completely by using cel-shading. Other effects such as bloom are used, as well. The character models shared similar basic bone structures. Though the main characters had a higher polygon count than the supporting characters; 2500 to 3000 polygons as opposed to 1500 to 2000. Monster models had to be cut down in size because of memory limitations on the PlayStation 2. The game's graphics were created with Softimage 3D. Event scenes utilized the same models that were used in the normal gameplay, both of which were generated in real time. Because of this, even costume changes could be carried over from gameplay to events. Akihiro Hino, a Level-5 producer, stated that smooth transistions between gameplay and event scenes help increase the empathy for the game. Soft textures were used to create a uniform feel for the visuals and minimize the computer generated appearance of the cel-shading. Texturing was also occasionally used to emulate lighting. The game's production took almost two years. The CG production and game development occurred concurrently.
Dark Chronicle has been widely praised by reviewers from sites and magazines such as Official Playstation Magazine, GameSpot, and GamePro for its wide array of features, minigames, and gameplay elements. The game's graphics were generally well received, earning a 9 from GameSpot.com and IGN says "Dark Cloud 2 is arguably the best looking PS2 game out there, period".
A sequel was confirmed at a Level-5 event in 2003, yet, 6 years later, Dark Cloud 3's Status is currently unknown.
|This article is part of an ongoing project to give detailed descriptions of all games created for the PlayStation 2 gaming console.|