One of the most critically acclaimed Japanese roleplaying games was released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo when Square released Chrono Trigger. It was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999, and the Nintendo DS in 2008. Almost all outlets and gamers agree Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest adventures in gaming. I had not played it until now… would I agree? Strap in for some time travel during this Chrono Trigger review!
Chrono Trigger Plot:
The game begins in 1000 AD, in the medieval kingdom of Guardia. Crono, a quiet and reserved young man, is awoken by his mother on the day of the Millennial Fair, an annual event that celebrates the kingdom’s prosperity. As Crono attends the fair, he meets a young girl named Marle, who becomes separated from her group after disappearing through a strange portal. Crono follows Marle through the portal and finds himself transported to 600 AD, a time of great conflict and political unrest.
As Crono and Marle explore this new (old) time period, they meet a group of rebels led by a man named Frog, who is on a quest to defeat a powerful sorcerer named Magus. Magus, it turns out, is attempting to summon Lavos, a being that has the power to destroy the world. Crono and his friends join forces with Frog to stop Magus and prevent the summoning of Lavos.
During his journey through different time periods, including prehistory and the distant future, Crono and his friends meet other allies, including a robot named Robo and a powerful prehistoric warrior named Ayla. Together, they travel through time, fighting powerful enemies and uncovering the truth about Lavos and its connection to their own world.
Together, the group travels through different time periods, including the present, the future, and the past, as they try to uncover the mystery of what is causing the strange events that are occurring throughout the world. They eventually discover that an evil entity known as Lavos is the cause of the strange occurrences and that it plans to destroy the world. The group also encounters a group of cultists who are working to resurrect Lavos and bring about its destruction of the world.
The group eventually comes up with a plan to defeat Lavos by going back in time and preventing it from ever being awakened. They travel to the point in time when Lavos first emerged and engage in a final battle to defeat it and save the world.
In the end, Crono and his friends are able to successfully defeat Lavos and prevent its destruction of the world. The game concludes with a series of different endings depending on the player’s actions throughout the game, ranging from a happy ending in which the world is saved and Crono and his friends return to their own time, to a more tragic ending in which they are unable to prevent Lavos from destroying the world.
Overall, Chrono Trigger is a classic role-playing game with a compelling story, memorable characters, and a unique time-traveling gameplay mechanic. It is considered a classic of the genre and has gained a loyal following since its release.
JRPGs are all about character arcs and immersive storylines. Let’s take a look at the playable characters in your journey to return to your time period and stop Lavos from destroying the world.
Crono – He is a young swordsman who lives in the kingdom of Guardia. He is a silent protagonist. Crono is kind, and brave, and is always willing to help others in need. He is a skilled fighter and is able to wield a variety of weapons, including a katana and a mace. Crono is also able to use magic and is able to harness the power of the elements to unleash powerful spells and abilities. As he travels through time with his friends, his fate is left to the player as there are multiple endings for the destiny of Crono.
Marle – She is a princess from the future kingdom of Guardia and is introduced as a carefree and energetic young woman. Marle possesses the ability to control ice and has a close relationship with the main protagonist, Chrono. Throughout the game, Marle learns to take responsibility for her actions and becomes a strong and capable leader. Despite her royal status, Marle is down-to-earth and always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Lucca – She is a young, energetic girl who is always full of energy and enthusiasm. She is a member of the Acacia Dragoons, a group of knights who protect the kingdom of Guardia. Despite her young age, Lucca is a skilled warrior and is always ready to defend her kingdom. She is also a close friend of the main character, Crono, and often helps him on his adventures. Lucca is a kind, compassionate person who is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Robo – He is a robot who was created by a scientist named Dr. Lucca in the year 2300. He is a member of the main character’s party and is a powerful ally in battle. Robo has a strong sense of justice and wants to help others, but he also struggles with understanding and controlling his emotions. He eventually learns to embrace his emotions and becomes more human-like. Robo is a skilled fighter and has a variety of abilities, including the ability to repair himself and other machines. He is a valuable member of the party and plays a significant role in the game’s story.
Frog – also known as Glenn, is a knight from the Middle Ages who was turned into a frog by the wizard Magus. Despite this transformation, Frog remains a brave and skilled warrior, and he joins the game’s main protagonist, Crono, on his quest to save the world. Frog is known for his loyalty, honor, and sense of duty, and he wields a powerful sword called the Masamune in battle. He is also a skilled musician, and he plays the lute to lift the spirits of his companions. Frog’s ultimate goal is to find a way to break the curse that turned him into a frog and reclaim his human form.
Ayla – She is the leader of the Ioka Tribe and is a skilled warrior, using her fists as her primary weapon. Ayla is known for her brash and blunt personality and is often seen as a tomboy. Despite her tough exterior, she has a kind heart and is fiercely loyal to her friends and allies. She is also fiercely protective of her tribe and will stop at nothing to defend them. Overall, Ayla is a complex and multifaceted character who is a valuable ally in the quest to save the world.
Magus – is a powerful magician and the main antagonist of the game, initially seeking to use the power of time travel to destroy the world. Magus is revealed to be the prince of the kingdom of Zeal, who was cast into the distant past after a failed attempt to defeat the entity known as Lavos. Magus is cold and distant, but eventually comes to understand the error of his ways and joins the party in their quest to defeat Lavos and save the world. He is known for his powerful magical abilities and his ability to summon powerful creatures.
Chrono Trigger Gameplay:
For my Chrono Trigger review, I had the pleasure of playing the Nintendo DS version of this JRPG classic which comes with quite a few perks. I was blown away by the opening video which had beautiful animation and got me excited for my upcoming adventure. While the SNES version of Chrono Trigger didn’t have the animated video, the PS1 and DS versions did and I think it was an excellent addition to the experience.
As I’ve stated many times, I typically don’t take note of soundtracks unless they are incredible. My Chrono Trigger review was blessed by many impressive and fitting soundtracks throughout my journey that made the adventure special. My YouTube Show, “The TigerChainsaw Show” features musical guests, and many of them choose to perform covers of Chrono Trigger songs, and I can see why. They are beautiful pieces of music.
Chrono Trigger’s combat is a bit unique in that it is partly turn based mixed with an action meter. You’ll be able to control three characters on screen and select the actions for them to perform whether it’s attacking, magic, defending, items, or escaping. Each character that you control will have a meter and when that meter is full, you can choose an action for them. Meters will fill up at different speeds depending on the stats you have for each character. Items can improve the speed, giving you more turns before your enemies can retaliate. The Chrono Trigger battle system requires quick thinking and there were times when I had to preplan my first three moves before walking toward a boss. Battles in Chrono Trigger can be a bit chaotic but there is a science to them. Combining your attacks with other characters is key to defeating extremely powerful foes.
The time travel aspect of Chrono Trigger is pretty neat. During my Chrono Trigger review, I traveled throughout time, each period has unique features and it was fun to see how civilization advanced or crumbled depending on what period. Once you get the ship to travel through time, it was fun to explore. Each period will have a few quests that you’ll partake in to move the main storyline along. One weird mini-game that made its way into Chrono Trigger was the bike race in the future period. At first, I was nervous to partake in it, but I was able to win each time I did it. I’m not sure what it has to do with but it was a strange inclusion.
I loved the twist with Magus joining your party. That’s an aspect that you don’t see much in JRPGs with one of the main villains joining you to defeat a greater evil. Throughout most of the game, you believe you need to stop Magus only for him to join your party (if you choose not to fight him). He’s powerful too, so it was nice to fight alongside him instead of taking him on. Another thing that shocked me was the “death” of Crono. About 75 percent through the game he is killed by Lavos. It’s up to you to properly bring him back or accept his death. This is where Chrono Trigger receives such well-deserved praise. There are multiple endings, ranging from disaster to reviving Crono where everyone lives happily ever after in their time periods. It gives Chrono Trigger an immense replay value.
My main party was Crono, Frog, and Ayla. Ayla was extremely powerful with her physical attacks. I also liked the way she spoke which was in cave woman. Once Crono died, I used Magus, Frog, and Ayla for my final party. I regret to inform you that I did not receive the best ending and Crono remained dead in mine, but I did defeat Lavos and the party was making promises to find a way to revive Crono, so not all was lost. It may surprise you that I barely used Lucca, Robo, or Marle. I barely touched these characters and I know of a few pals who hold them dearly.
Graphically speaking, Chrono Trigger still holds up beautifully to this day. The sprites, dungeons, and landscapes all are timeless. They will immerse your imagination as you explore forests, caves, and castles. It was a treat to play Chrono Trigger, and it didn’t wear out its welcome. The game can be beaten within a reasonable time. It’s fairly straightforward with your next mission, so you won’t need to look at a guide much. There’s not a ton to complain about, especially in the DS version. The dual screens are very helpful as one will map out every dungeon as you move along while showing stats on your characters.
Chrono Trigger’s final boss, Lavos can be difficult if you are not optimized properly, but with steady grinding, you’ll be able to beat him. I had to grind for a few hours near the end to make sure I could defeat him. Overall, Chrono Trigger is one epic time-traveling adventure that I recommend to everyone.
Well, this is embarrassing! I don’t have any memories of Chrono Trigger from my childhood because I never played it until this year! I was able to get the Nintendo DS version from a good friend on my Twitter feed who was selling off his collection for great prices. Once I bought it, it took me a few months to get around to it but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit worried that it was too overhyped but I found that the praise for the game was mostly warranted. I didn’t have any issues grinding and for the most part, I didn’t use a guide except for a few bosses on how to beat them if I was struggling.
Chrono Trigger Review Score:
My Chrono Trigger review took a long time to get to but it was well worth it in the end. It’s considered a classic and for good reason. The soundtrack, combat, time-traveling mechanics, and plot all work well together to create a wonderful JRPG. Is it the greatest of all time? No, but it’s a can’t miss experience for lovers of video games.
Chrono Trigger scores a 9.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Chrono Trigger review? Who was your squad that you rolled into battles with? What was your favorite character from the game? Where does Chrono Trigger rank among the greatest JRPGs? Which ending did you get? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Chrono Trigger, I’d love to read them.