February 28, 2021
Gold City is part of the Empire, and its King (Manmon) recalls Queen Zeal and the Mammon Machine from Chrono Trigger. It has the same refined architecture (and theme song) as Northtown and Southtown, though it’s bathed in a golden palette. Certain dialogue foreshadows something bad happening to the island:
Although it’s not happening fast, the island is sinking more and more due to the weight of the gold. Eventually, it will fall into the sea. Some of our people knew this, and secretly went north to the Ice Country.
This never happens, but if we’re using Zeal as a parallel, that kingdom was destroyed as a result of its greed.
The main attraction in Gold City is the Light elemental, Lumina. She was imprisoned by the king to turn things into gold, but after you rescue her, his dialogue doesn’t change. In fact, you would expect that the town would notice after it no longer has its primary source of gold (Lumina herself says that the island will return to stone), but that doesn’t happen either.
A small amount of exterior changes occurred between IIa and III:
There’s many beaches throughout the world, possibly reserved for a planned ship. There’s one here in the northwest corner of the island. You may have been able to leave Gold City at one point and explore. There’s a pavilion in the southwest corner of town that goes nowhere in the final game:
The Light Palace has two bosses: Blue Spike and Gorgon Bull. Both have a nice bedtime story from the Fundamental Knowledge guide. The Blue Spike was made by culturing the cells of Elinee’s Tiger Chimera. The Gorgon Bull was a man who was obsessed with becoming powerful and drank the blood of a bull out of a skull cup. Both Gorgon Bull and the Minotaur are part human; in the Minotaur’s case, it’s the offspring of a male bull and a human woman. As if that weren’t jarring enough, it prefers human meat. The Bulls have a jumping attack that was not implemented:
- The Japanese word used in the island’s name is “ougon” (黄金), which is conceptually more impressive than just “kin” (金), the usual word for gold. Ougon has a strong association with Buddhist magic and alchemy.
- It’s open to interpretation whether the things on the island are gold or if the island itself is gold too.
- The kansai-ben dialect makes an appearance in the city.
- An NPC says, “What matters in life is…GOLD!!” This is watered down substantially from the Japanese script, “[I appreciate the things that matter in life]: a gold necklace, and a gold ring, and a gold bracelet…” This line features the unusual personal pronoun, “atai”, a shortened form of “atashi” (informal feminine). There’s a bit of wordplay here, as atai can also mean price/cost (値).
- Another NPC: “Alchemists can turn rocks into gold using Mana…” The word for alchemy here is “renkinjutsu”, which can also refer to making money by dubious means.
- As you may have guessed, Manmon is Mammon in Japanese.