Chrono Trigger

TITLE: Chrono Trigger
MAX LEVEL: ** (99)
ORIGINAL IDEA: Techniques, New Game +
LENGTH: 20-30 Hours
PLATFORM: Super Nintendo (1995), PlayStation (2001), Game Boy Advance (soon)
DEVELOPER: Square (Enix was involved as well)
GENRE: Traditional RPG

Many call Chrono Trigger the greatest RPG of all time. While I disagree with this completely, no one can say that it isn't one of the best, if the not the best, SNES RPG. It could have been longer, sure, but most SNES RPGs were about twenty hours to complete. It had a story that rivals many modern RPGs, only less enjoyable because of its brief length.

Not only is this one of the best games ever made, but it's also quite possibly the single rarest and most expensive RPG in the United States. I live in Spokane, Washington, and there are only two copies in the entire city, valley, hills, and all. Count yourself among the fortunate if you get a chance to pick up the SNES version of this game for under one hundred dollars. The PlayStation version, complete with FMVs, is available with Final Fantasy IV in a recently released Final Fantasy Anthology-style game called Final Fantasy Chronicles.

The damage/status ratio in Chrono Trigger is a little unbalanced. The maximum possible damage is 9999, while the highest possible HP is 999, and the highest possible MP is a mere 99. The maximum power of any stat other than HP and MP is simply **. That's okay, though. Unless you play through New Game + about ten times, you'll probably never see the number 9999 some up in the battle screen. In the normal game, your strongest Triple Technique (the one with Magus, Lucca, and Robo) will deal around 4500 damage, and your strongest character's attack will only deal about 800-1000 damage.

As we all know, every new Square game has an original gameplay element. In Chrono Trigger, it's called the Technique System. There are three kinds of Techniques: Techniques, Dual Techniques, and Triple Techniques. Techniques are basically just magic; each character learns them by gaining Technique Points with Gold and Experience Points after every battle. Dual Techniques are learned when two characters know a Technique that goes along with the others. Basically two characters perform a Technique at the same time. Triple Techniques are the same as Dual Techniques, only with the entire party of three. There are some special Triple Techniques that can only be used when a character involved in its use has a special stone equipped as an Accessory.

Though not really a part of the gameplay, the New Game + can be accessed after you beat the game and get one of the three basic endings. There are around thirty different endings in Chrono Trigger, all depending on, above all else, where you beat the final boss, and also whether or not you recruited the optional character, whether or not (BEGIN SPOILER) you revive the main character (END SPOILER), and whether or not you feed cats at the Millennial Fair. Selecting New Game + instead of just New Game will allow you to play through the same game with all of the equipment, Techniques, and items you had when you last completed the game, and all your characters are at the Level they were at when you last completed the game. The only thing you don't get is all the money you had. There are some endings that are virtually impossible to 'get' without using the New Game + option.

One revolutionary idea that Chrono Trigger began was cheat device codes. And lots of them. I have a good two pages of them (mostly from this very website).

The best two aspects of Chrono Trigger are story and soundtrack. If you're searching for a challenging RPG, search elsewhere, because this is one of the easiest RPGs ever made. But I hold true to the belief that Chrono Trigger's soundtrack is second only to that of Final Fantasy VII. As for the plot, it revolves mostly around time travel. For those of you who loved this game (this applies to almost anyone who's ever played it) there are two sequels, one of which is available in the United States. Radical Dreamers was a five hour RPG/Adventure game for the SNES, never to be seen here in America. Chrono Cross is a one of the many multi-disc masterpieces of 2000 for the PlayStation.

In conclusion, every needs this game. The cheapest, easiest, and illegalest way to do this is to download the ROM for your precious Snes9X, ZSNES, Snemulator, DreamSNES, etceteras. However, a ROM isn't truly a part of one's RPG collection. The SNES version of this game is going to be worn out with about a fifty-fifty chance of working when you place it into your Super Nintendo. Not only that, it's also one of the four or five RPGs that have increased in price instead of decreasing. It's around one hundred dollars to pick up the SNES cartridge of this game. You could get it with Final Fantasy IV in Final Fantasy Chronicles for your PlayStation for a mesely forty bucks, but I'd have to say that the best alternative would be to wait until it's release for the GBA. If and when this release occurs, you can play Chrono Trigger wherever you go as a flawless copy of the original SNES game.

Shadow of the Sun's Reviews
Chrono Trigger Reviews

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