The Reptite Room


Environmentalism is not an uncommon theme in video games, particularly role-playing ones, although admittedly it isn’t always explored in a realistic manner. For instance, in the early Final Fantasy games, restoring the environment is usually accomplished by restoring power to magic crystals. What I find interesting is how some games present the will of the planet as contrary, at least in some ways, to the goals of your characters. In Final Fantasy VII, for instance, the Weapons were created by the planet, originally to fight against Jenova, but later try to wipe out all mankind.

Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross do something similar with the extinction of the dinosaurs. In Trigger, Crono and his companions travel back to the year 65,000,000 BC, and they find that humanity already exists. Despite all these additional years, they don’t seem to be much more advanced in the modern age than we are. They live alongside dinosaurs and Reptites, which Robo describes as half human and half dinosaur.

I’m not sure his analysis can be taken as literally true, as the Reptites aren’t described elsewhere as being related to the hairless apes that eventually become the dominant species. It’s more that they have some human features.

Your playable characters fight on the side of humanity against the Reptites, who are led by a queen named Azala.

After they defeat her, her kind dies out in a meteor strike, which brings the parasitic life form Lavos to the planet and causes the Ice Age. One of the game’s many endings, which can be seen if you defeat Lavos but not Azala (I forget the exact requirements), has the present time dominated by Reptites instead of humans.

This is further developed by Cross, in which we learn that, on an alternate world where the Reptites didn’t die out, they instead developed technologically in a way that was more in harmony with nature than humanity did. Their crowning achievement was a biological supercomputer known as the Dragon God in a city called Dinopolis.

When Lavos draws the city of Chronopolis back in time to further his own ends, the planet counters by bringing in Dinopolis as well. Unfortunately, Chronopolis won the resulting war, and the Reptite descendants also became extinct. Interestingly, one of the participants in the foot race at the Millennial Fair in the year 1000 AD, Green Ambler, at least looks like a Reptite. Chronopedia proposes that it’s just someone wearing a costume, which is certainly possible, but I prefer to think he’s an actual Reptite with an unknown back story.

In the Reptite ending, Green Ambler becomes human. While the arrival of Lavos certainly isn’t the fault of humanity, and it turns out to be just as bad (if not worse) for them as for any other species, there is a general theme of human recklessness to be seen.

This entry was posted in Chrono Trigger, Environmentalism, Final Fantasy, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s