Chrono Trigger

Squaresoft - Tested on the SNES by Necron in 2001, reworked in 2019.


I have to say this... Chrono Trigger is, to my likes, the best RPG I've ever played. I swear that the number on its score has been well earned. CT is good practically every aspect: great sound, great music, great graphics, great everything! This is the icon of 16-bit role-playing..

Of course, you want to know: WHY? Well, Chrono Trigger, first of all, is the creation of the Dream Project Team formed by Yuji Horii (creator/producer of Dragon Quest), Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator/producer of Final Fantasy) and Akira Toriyama (manga artist, character designer in DQ and creator of Dragon Ball). When the 3 RPG gurus from the different 2 companies in Japan got together to make a game, one thing was clear: It had to be the perfect game.

This is what its producers, artist, programmers, and everyone involved had to know. Of course, when we have such a great artist, the producers of 2 of the greatest RPG series, and many back-up artists like the FF composer, Uematsu, or Y.Mitsuda as a lead composer (later, the Xenogears composer), the game was sure to be perfect, and a great success. And as you imagine, that's the way it is.

In Chrono Trigger, you get in the shoes of Crono, a kid of the year 1000 who meets a princess, Marle. The problems will appear when Lucca, Crono's childhood friend, accidentally makes Marle disappear with one of her many creations, the Telepod. Of course, no matter where Marle is taken, Crono will go to the rescue. And without knowing, an adventure through time will start, from just saving Marle, to finally save the world!

Chrono Trigger's Battle System is the infamous ATB (Active Time Battle) system, which has been the characteristic of the FF series since FF4. The greatest difference between the FF series and CT is, probably, where the battles are developed. While in FF, the game always changes from the map screen to the battle screen, the battle arenas in CT are in the map. The enemies roam the maps, like in (for example) SaGa Frontier. Of course, while in SF the battles are in a battle screen, in CT the counters appear in the map, and the characters engage combat right there. Besides looking very cool, this also makes things have more sense.

There are no random combats here, not even in the world map. But the arranged combats (all of the combats in the game are arranged) are more than enough. Another great, shining idea is the apparition of multi-character Techs. The Tech system in CT allows you to put more than one character (up to 3) in battle to combine their powers and execute a super spell. As every character learns more moves, they can combine more of them to make these spectacular moves. Of course, there are double techs with almost every possible combination, and triple techs go in the same way, being all in all 1 triple tech per triad. This system is inventive and so far no game has reused it, except probably in the Romancing SaGa/SaGa Frontier series, where they work it in a completely different way, not as shining or inventive as the one in Chrono Trigger.

The graphics, I have to say, where the best back then and I think they still remain great. Only the graphics in games like Seiken Densetsu or Treasure Hunter G surpass Chrono's, but of course it is unfair to compare, since SD3 or THG where made some time later, with better machines and all. Besides, Akira Toriyama's designs on characters, machines (like the incredibly huge Black Bird), are great, and they have the original Toriyama Touch, since the characters range from humans to imps, aliens, robots...

I'd have to mention some little resemblance to Dragon Ball Z characters here. For example, Crono looks a little like Trunks, while Ayla looks quite a bit like Bulma and A-18, and Magus looks definitely like Piccolo with long hair and an earring. But hey! Every artist's creations are under the shadow or they always resemble another character of the same artist, right? So that's how it is. Anyway, maps, characters, everything looks good in Chrono Trigger.

While the sound in CT is the same as in any RPG in SNES, including the infamous wind SFX, the soundtrack is delightful! Even though Nobuo Uematsu did some work here, the thanks should be given to Mr. Mitsuda, whose influences of hard rock and native sounds as Celtic and/or Arabian, have given him enough material to write a great soundtrack, with many, many songs. (I take a break here to say: sorry for using the word "great" so many times). This is probably one of the finest soundtracks in the SNES, only surpassed probably by FF4's or FF6's.

2019 thoughts

This was one of the reviews that had been published at RPG Xanadu without being released prior as a review of rpg worldwide. I especially like the overly hyped tone; this was a pretty common approach towards Chrono Trigger back in the day.

Chrono Trigger was eventually rereleased as part of a collection together with Final Fantasy IV for the PlayStation (good version with lots of loading times), on the Nintendo DS in a pixel perfect version (great version) and later on for steam (horrible loading times).

The series got successors with Radical Dreamers on the Super Famicom (JP only) Chrono Cross on the original PlayStation with was also a pretty legendary game. Sales, however seemed not good enough for Squaresoft, so they never released another game in the Chrono series.

Comment by DocOwer

Original Rating

Pro Contra
·Everything. Graphics, storyline, sound....this game is a jewel! ·Nothing.

110%

All in all, Chrono Trigger mixes precious gameplay, an ingenious anime-resembling storyline, spectacular music, and some of the greatest graphic designs in the story of RPGing. This game is perfect, just like intended.

(The rating of 110% was originally 11/10 on RPG Xanadu and it was the only game that received this rating back when the website was live)

2019 Rating

Pro Contra
·Graphics
·Storyline
·Variety and side missions
·Multiple endings
·The game is pretty short
·It reuses some assets from Final Fantasy VI

88%

I would agree to the original review that Chrono Trigger is a really great game, I could not grant such a great rating. It is still a classic, but especially the short playing time cuts a bit of the fun. Chrono Trigger is a legendary game that you can play for so many playthroughs, so go grab and enjoy it. But maybe not the Steam version.

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