For CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITION players, this guide is about how to Clone Level 5 and 6 Attack Elements with Cuscus
There is a single enemy in Chrono Cross that is shockingly powerful despite its unassuming form. This enemy is the Cuscus, a little lemur-looking fellow in the Shadow Forest who has a curious attack pattern. Cuscus will always use the exact attack you do on them in retaliation. This includes the exact Elements you cast on them too. Thanks to the Element trapping mechanics of this game, this means that they are effectively infinite sources of trappable Elements… as long as they survive the initial attack, that is.
It’s important to know what you’re up against when Element trapping against a Cuscus, as its stats will determine how well (or poorly) it survives your attacks. As Another World’s Cuscus are too weak to use for Element trapping, we’re focusing on Home World Cuscus.
HP: 190 (F) to 210 (M)
Magic Attack: 10
Magic Defense: 0
Innate Color: Green
As you can probably imagine, you want a party that has very low Magic Attack to do this right. You also want to equip the weakest weapons possible, as you still have to build your Element grids up to use traps and Elements. Dreamer’s Scarfs/Sarongs/Sashes do help, obviously, but I’m not going to assume that you have access to those.
Your best choices for each Element are:
White – Pip, Starky
Black – Skelly, Grobyc
Red – Greco, Zappa, Orcha
Blue – Pierre, Korcha, Fargo, Orhla
Green – Glenn, Sprigg, Karsh, Turnip
Yellow – All Yellow innates, they all have low Magic Attack!
Stick each trappable Element as low on the grid as you can (so level 2 for level 5 Elements and level 4 for level 6 Elements). You will also want a Turn (Color) Element for each ally of the color of the Element being trapped equipped, and a Turn (Color) Element for each ally of the opposite of that Element’s color. Alternatively you can also use (Color) Field Elements, but these only work for the base four colors and not for White or Black. Place level 5 Elements to be trapped on characters whose innate color is opposite of the Element’s color.
You can “cheat” the Element grid a bit with Sprigg, as she is able to transform into enemies that might have level 5 or 6 Elements that you lack. This is especially handy for getting Black Hole early!
Obtaining Traps and Turn Elements
Obviously you need some Elements first to be able to do this! In Marbule (Another), you can buy Turn (Color) Elements from G’s Shop, which is run by the pink demi-human in the small pool just north of the entrance. You can buy trap Elements from Bro of G’s Shop, which is run by the pink demi-human standing beside the same pool. Bro of G does not appear until after the Ghost Ship sequence, which is well before you can start trapping Elements en masse anyway.
If you’re willing to hold out ’til the last dungeon, you can get (Color) Field Elements for Red, Blue, Yellow and Green from the bosses of said last dungeon. Of course, you can also get free copies of Black Hole and Ultra Nova there too, so if you’re not in any great hurry to up your arsenal, this might be your best bet. Personally I think the earlier the better when it comes to high-powered Elements, but that’s just me.
Cloning the Elements
Once you have your party set up, head to Shadow Forest in Home World and find a Cuscus wandering about. They’re pretty common, so that shouldn’t be hard. Eliminate anything that’s not a Cuscus from the fight (and try to have only one Cuscus left alive by the time your preparations are done). Here’s how the trapping portion of the fight should go:
1. Cast Trap (Element) on the enemy party for your chosen Element.
2. Cast Turn (Color) of the same color as the Element you’re cloning on the target Cuscus.
3. Guard until it counters with the same Turn (Color).
4. Cast Turn (Color) of the opposite color as the Element you’re cloning on each party member to get the field opposite color (or use (Color) Field if you have that).
5. Cast the Element you want to clone.
6. Guard until the Cuscus casts the same Element back at you to trap another copy!
7. Defeat the Cuscus to end the fight.
Some notes: Black Hole can cause instant death, so it can be worth it to leave two Cuscus alive for it. Element cloning gets harder as your Star level gets higher, as your sheer power starts to become overwhelming compared to the enemy’s own stats. That said, it should be doable until nearly the end of a second playthrough of the game as long as you’re very careful.
Finding Level 5 and 6 Elements to Clone
The real trick, of course, is actually having any level 5 or 6 Elements to clone! They are easy to get in small quantities, but tedious to acquire in large amounts normally. Here’s where you can find them “fairly” early on…
Inferno – Basically everywhere after a while, there’s a chest with one on the Isle of the Damned (Home) and Will’o’Wisps drop it frequently there too. You can get one very early by trapping it off of the boss Bunyip’s first form in Fort Dragonia (Another).
Deluge – Have Sprigg use it when transformed into Gerridae or SideSteppa.
Carnivore – Have Sprigg use it when transformed into Bulb.
Earthquake – Trap from Centaurpede in Hydra Marshes (Another) or Cybot from Fort Dragonia (Home).
Free Fall – Have Sprigg use it when transformed into TotalChaos. You can also trap it from the boss Bunyip’s second form at Fort Dragonia (Another).
Holy Light – Trap from SonOfAGun (boss in Fort Dragonia (Another)), Marbule Sage (boss on S.S. Zelbess), or find in a chest in the Tower of Geddon.
Volcano – Trap from Tragidienne in the Tower of Geddon or TutanShaman in Fossil Valley (Another).
Iceberg – Trap from GiantGloop (boss in Fort Dragonia (Another)) or Orhla (boss in Guldove (Another)).
Tornado – Trap from Tragidienne in the Tower of Geddon.
Thunda Storm – Trap from Marbule Sage (boss on S.S. Zelbess).
Black Hole – Have Sprigg use it when transformed into TotalChaos.
Ultra Nova – Trap from MegaStarky (boss on Sky Dragon Isle (Home)) or Sky Dragon (boss on Sky Dragon Isle (Another)).
Note that you can find 1 each of the Volcano, Iceberg, Tornado, and Thunda Storm Elements at Fort Dragonia in Home World by going through the Element areas of that location (normally you can skip them during the plot, but this is a good reason not to!). The only really hard Element here to acquire is Ultra Nova, as it has few sources prior to the last dungeon!