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Humanoid Robots and the Teenage Geniuses who Love Them

Enter Proto Dome, and pound the meager robot resistance you find. Rest up in the Enertron and head upward. You'll come across a dilapidated robot here. If anybody knows anything about Lucca, they know that her biggest fetish involves giant mechanical men, so of course she jumps at the opportunity to try to fix this one.
Lucca is able to successfully repair the robot (probably uploading some naughty programs into his behavioral hard drive while she was at it), which they cleverly christen "Robo". They also discover they can't reach the gate because the power's out, but it's out only enough to keep the door from functioning, other electric devices, such as the Enertron, work fine. Robo offers to escort Crono and one of his ladies north to the Factory to turn on the generator and get that door open. If you want offense, pick Lucca. If you want extra healing capability, Marle's your gal. I chose Lucca because... well, I just did, dammit.
Enter the Factory, and have Robo bang on the keyboard here. This will remove the laser blocking the conveyor belt. You'll have two elevators to choose from. Take the elevator on the right first.
There will be three ladders to choose from, a ladder on the left, middle and right. Take the one on the left first and enter this dark room. You can't see your characters here, but if you make your way to the upper-right part of the room, you'll find an invisible treasure chest that contains a Mid Ether.
Now backtrack a bit and take the middle path. Here you'll find the Robin Bow, which is a pretty sweet weapon for Marle. Be sure to equip it on her if she's in your current party.
Now for the right path. You'll have two choices here. Either stand on the conveyor belt and get hit by the robots, or try to run to the left and avoid them. If you hit the robots, you'll have to fight a fairly tough gauntlet of battles, but if you run to the left, you can avoid the battles altogether. I like to run. Wait until two robots close to each other pass you, then run to the left as fast as you can. If you do it right, you should be able to get to the next ladder just before the next robots hit you.
Either way you go, you should eventually make it here (If you were hit by a robot, it may be worth your while to go right to the middle "island" and grab the treasure you missed). Anyway, now take the exit shown in this picture.
Work your way up to this branching path, and go to the right. Grab the treasure chest here and enter this room.
Here you'll find some treasure, and, more importantly, some crane control codes that will come in handy very soon.
Take the left branch of the path now, and you'll make your way to the crane control. After the sound of the tone, enter the codes you JUST LEARNED by pressing buttons on your controller. Don't remember them? Go back to the code control room and look again, or just look at the picture JUST ABOVE THIS ONE. Still don't get it? After the beep, either press "B, then B again", or press "X, then A". These will remove two barrels, one which has impeded your progress, and another which will open a shortcut back to near the entrance of the Factory.
Now, go down the ladder and to the left, through the path that was opened up to you when the barrel was removed. You'll find another Bolt Sword, as well as learn another code. Be sure to remember this one. XABY.
Now return to the entrance of the Factory (you may want to make a quick trip back to Proto Dome and heal up and/or switch partners while you're here), and take the elevator on the left.
Go down a floor in the elevator, and work your way up to the northern part of the room. Kill the Acids/Alkalines, and play with this computer until a hatch opens up. Now make like food and go down the hatch.
Continue along the path here until you come across this room. There's a treasure chest on the left and the right, both containing excellent equipment, so don't forget to grab them. Now play with the computer and shut down all the laser barriers. You'll have to fight some more Acids and Alkalines, but that's no problem, right?
Going down one more floor, you will find this computer. Remember that code I told you to remember? Dammit, then scroll up a bit and look. After the tone, press "X, then A, then B, then Y". If you did it right, the door will open. If not, try again. If you still can't get it, maybe you should stick to tiddlywinks.
Press this switch and all hell will break loose. After an escape that even Indiana Jones would be proud of, you'll realize that the elevators have been shut off. Good thing there are all those hatches and ladders, eh?
Climb up the ladder and make your way here where Robo will be greeted by his powder blue buddies.
But like all friends, these guys will stab Robo in the back and basically destroy him, leaving Crono and whichever girl he's with to fight them all. Marle is probably more useful here than Lucca, since if you only have Crono and Lucca, you cannot heal except with items. If you have Marle, have Crono use Cyclone, which can hit three robots at a time. Marle should use Aura as necessary. If you have Lucca, Crono should still use Cyclone, and Lucca can either use Flame Toss to speed up the battle, or use Tonics. Really, Marle's much more useful here.
After winning, you'll find Robo pretty much kaboomed. Why Revives work in battles but not in cut-scenes, I'll never understand, but you decide to take Robo back to Proto Dome to see if he can be fixed.
While Marle is passed out (drug overdose?!), Lucca and Robo will have a touching conversation as he is being fixed.
After Robo is better, he'll realize that he's worthless and with no purpose in the world, so he'll decide to tag along with Crono and try to save the world.
The four of you can now access the gate. Hurray! You'll also be able to hang on to your shorts. Hurray! Destination? Adventure!

Item Checklist

Mid Ether (Factory Chest)
Robin Bow (Factory Chest)
Ether (Factory Chest)
Mid Tonic (Factory Chest)
Mid Ether (Factory Chest)
400 G (Factory Chest)
Shelter (Factory Chest)
Ether (Factory Chest)
Bolt Sword (Factory Chest)
Shelter (Factory Chest)
Titan Vest (Factory Chest)
Hammer Arm (Factory Chest)
Plasma Gun (Factory Chest)

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