Frog – A Character Examination (from the game “Chrono Trigger”)

So today, we’re talking about the character Frog, and his life which revolves around the events in the Kingdom of Guardia.

We’re talking about a frog?
Not a frog. Frog.

Oh-kay. Frog is a character from what?
From a game called Chrono Trigger.

Okay, wait. What events in the Kingdom of Guardia?
Good, I see that you’re curious now. Well, Frog was part of the Kingdom of Guardia, and he was a knight, a skillful swordsman – the best in the land actually – and a bodyguard of sorts of Queen Leene.

Hold on.
Yes?
So, Frog is actually a frog?
Well, yes and no. He looks like a frog but not in the normal sense. He walks on two legs like humans, and uses his arms like humans. More like a human-shaped frog.

How did that happen?!
Ah, I like the sudden enthusiasm.  I’ll get to that part soon. First let me tell you how it all started…

The Origin

We first meet Frog as a boy, in a forest, surrounded by 4 bullies. He’s being taunted, mocked and even beaten by them. That was until Cyrus showed up. Cyrus was an older boy, and he chases the bullies away and helps Glenn out. Yes, Glenn is the real name of Frog before he became a frog.

After Cyrus chases the bullies away, he notes that Glenn is too soft and doesn’t fight back. Glenn, with tears in his eyes, says that he can’t and won’t fight back. He can’t hit others, not even his bullies.

Years go by, Cyrus and Glenn grow in friendship. The future for Cyrus becomes clearer, he plans to join the Knights of the Square Table, under King Guardia the 21st. He asks Glenn to join him but Glenn refuses saying that he couldn’t possibly be a knight, even though Cyrus acknowledges the superior swordsmanship that Glenn possesses (Cyrus himself was one of the best).

Cyrus’s star continues to rise. He becomes knighted as Sir Cyrus and is now the Knight Captain. He bravely defends the kingdom against her enemies, especially her chief foe, Magus.

One day Cyrus sets out to fulfill a desire of his to retrieve two legendary artifacts. One is the Hero’s Medal, a sign of courage and the other is the Masamune, a legendary sword.  Glenn accompanies him on this adventure. It was a perilous adventure, and it proved to be fatal.

The Tragedy

Cyrus finds what he was looking for, but Glenn loses his best friend to a gruesome death. In the course of their adventure, Cyrus and Glenn come face to face with Magus and his right-hand man, Ozzie. Cyrus’s swordplay is no match for the dark sorcery of Magus. The Masamune is broken during the fight, and Cyrus is at his wits end, with Glenn next to him.

Glenn can only watch as Cyrus is engulfed in flames conjured by the magic of Magus. The last words that Cyrus has for Glenn is to protect Queen Leene.

Ozzie taunts the helpless Glenn, and suggests that Magus give him a more “fitting form“. Magus obliges, saying that “there is always time for some fun” and turns Glenn into a frog.

Frog passes out and wakes up later, lying on the ground. Magus and Ozzie gone. Cyrus dead. And the Hero’s Medal and a broken Masamune lying in front of him. Things are never going to be the same.

The Present

10 years has passed. No one knows about the events surrounding Cyrus and Glenn. Everyone thinks they just disappeared. But Frog is still around, living alone in the forest, always on the lookout for Queen Leene.

But the kingdom’s enemies are still on the prowl. Magus is still waging his war to seize control over the land.

The audacity of the enemy peaks when they kidnap the queen. Frog is frantic in his search for the missing queen. Along the way, he meets some friends who are also there to rescue the queen (these are the other characters in the game who play a vital role in Frog’s story). Frog’s new friends, Crono and Lucca accompany him to find the queen.

The newly formed trio cut through a host of monsters and find the queen being held by a hideous creature. They kill the monster and rescue the queen.

Queen Leene is safely returned to the palace, and back to her rightful place at the King’s side. The king and queen are indebted to these heroes and can’t thank them enough. But Frog, being overcome with guilt for failing to protect the queen from being kidnapped, leaves the palace never to show his face again. Here’s the point where the weakness of Frog starts to show.

Frog, Crono and Lucca

The Struggle

Frog’s response was a long time coming. It was not a spur-of-the-moment reaction, but it was one that was a result of deep regret and self-loathing. He regretted Cyrus’s death and he felt responsible for it, which weighed him down with guilt. He was not the official bodyguard of Queen Leene, so it’s not a case of a failure to fulfill his duties. This guilt was festering for 10 years.

As a result, he exiled himself to his home in the forest. He threw away his Hero’s Medal and went into a shell. He wanted to defeat Magus, but he knew he couldn’t without the Masamune. However, even if the Masamune was repaired, he deemed himself not worthy to wield it.

While Frog was brooding in his forest home, the enemy was advancing. Even the king got severely injured in battle and was confined to his palace.

Through it all, Frog was unaware of what was going on. And he would have remained unaware if it wasn’t for his friends who showed up. Crono and Lucca were also on a mission to defeat Magus and they needed Frog.

Though Frog was delighted to see his friends and shocked to learn of the king’s injury, he still asked them to leave because without the Masamune, they had no chance against Magus. It was impossible to repair the broken sword as Frog, in his archaic way, said “Nary a soul remains to mend’eth the Masamune.”

But Crono and Lucca found a way to repair the sword. After an adventure of their own, they presented to Frog, a Masamune that was whole again. After seeing the sword, Frog considered, for the first time in years, on facing Magus.

The Redemption

Frog and his companions stood at the base of Magus’s lair. With a newfound confidence, Frog wields the Masamune and makes a declaration to “slay Magus and restore honor“.

With the help of his friends, Frog is able to finally face off against Magus. Though the chances seemed slim even with the Masamune, Frog is able to defeat Magus, although he couldn’t kill him as he wished. The game takes them on a different path, but Frog’s personal journey to fight his past demons has begun.

Frog’s story arc comes to a poignant end when he visits Cyrus’s grave. Frog is once again reminded of the past hurts when Cyrus’s spirit appears before him. He thanks and commends Glenn for all that he has done and for how he has grown. Before Frog can respond, the spirit disappears and Frog is left with a tinge of sorrow.

Frog holding Magus at sword-point

The End

Thus ends the story of Frog, in a way. He does help his friends save the world from doom. But that’s another story.

Even after all these years I still remember this character for his honor, his loyalty, his courage, plus he has an amazing and regal sounding theme song.

There’s lessons to learn as well, to not be paralyzed with guilt and shame, especially if it’s unwarranted. The guilt and shame led Frog from taking any forward steps, and being where he needed to be, and doing what only he could do.

His story also shows the importance that friends can play. Without his friends, he probably would’ve remained in his shell.

That’s it from me. What did you think about Frog?
………

Hello?
Zzzzzz…..

Oh, you’ve gone off to sleep.

Check out Frog’s theme music!

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