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Chrono Trigger by Square Enix

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E10+
  • Mild Fantasy Violence
Chrono Trigger is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
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  • Platform: Super Nintendo , Vintage Software
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Category: Role-Playing

Product Details:

A young man is transported into the past, altering the course of history and the outcome of the future. He has to find his way home, but first he must travel to the outer edges of time to repair the world's chronology. On the way, he encounters strange friends and foes, utilizes incredible devices and vehicles, and penetrates and neutralizes the fortresses of the past, present, and future. A paradox has been created. If he does not restore the order of time, nothing will ever be the same. He is the one who will become a hero. He is Crono.

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This pre-owned product has been carefully tested, and is guaranteed to work. If you are not completely satisfied, simply return the product within 7 days for your money back. Product may not include original box and instruction manual. Item pictured may not be exact item received.

Chrono Trigger

by Kimberley Wallace

Release Year: 1995
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Released For: SNES, PS1, Nintendo DS, Wii (VC), iOS, Android

Welcome to another installment of The Essentials, our weekly feature that showcases the finest games to grace our interactive medium. These games have set a high bar, and can be considered "required reading" for any video game fan. We've already looked at a slew of memorable titles such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, BioShock, Doom, Final Fantasy VII, and more.

This weekend, we're looking at one of the industry's most beloved role-playing games: Chrono Trigger.

Released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, Chrono Trigger's development "Dream Team" was a who's who of RPG development. It included the grandmasters of the Japanese RPG, Dragon Quest's Yuji Horii and Final Fantasy's Hironobu Sakaguchi, as well as Dragon Ball designer Akira Toriyama and maestro Nobuo Uematsu (working with a rookie composer named Yasunori Mitsuda). Together, this team developed what is now known as one of the best RPGs of not just the 16-bit era, but of all time.

You can name any number of RPGs that introduced important innovations to the genre. Chrono Trigger didn't change the direction of RPGs, but it had some interesting ideas that enhanced them. Things like double and triple-techs were novel, and the New Game+ feature was incredibly impressive but those weren't the hallmarks of Chrono Trigger. Rather, this game remarkable for its ability to hit every note as high as possible.

Chrono Trigger has you saving the future from the scourge of catastrophic creature called Lavos. Along the way, you collect a rag-tag bunch of heroes in an adventure spanning from pre-history to "the end of time". Crono visits locales like 65,000,000 B.C., a hot world filled with jungles, volcanoes, and dinosaurs. In 12,000 B.C., Crono visits the floating kingdom of Zeal, constructed using the help of magic. Despite the fact that each "world" is the same physical place, the differences in time make them all feel unique.

Time travel fits so well into the exploration and stoyline that it feels like the scenario designers thought of everything. At one point, the party comes across the moon stone, a dull rock that has the ability to be the sun stone...assuming it's charged. Since you have a time machine, you may think you can just charge the stone in the sun over the course of millions of years, but the answer isn't that simple. When you try that solution, you return to the future to find the stone gone. However, the mayor's house in 1000 A.D. sparkles with a shining light. Unfortunately, the mayor refuses to tell you anything. You can only find what you seek when you do a favor for one of the mayor's ancestors in 600 A.D., who then promises to teach her children to be charitable. Return to the future, and the mayor is much kinder and allows you to retrieve the fully charged stone.

The fantastic cast is also changed by your journey through time. Every character - from the brilliant Lucca to the valorous-to-a-fault Frog, sees things change in the winds of time. They all have lessons to learn : Robo works tirelessly for 400 years to turn a desert into a forest, learning about humanity and growth. History can even be changed - be it saving Crono from a terrible fate or simply changing things so that Lucca's mother can walk around again. Through these changes (combined with the New Game+ system) Chrono Trigger introduces one of its greatest aspects: multiple endings.

Unlike many of the multiple ending we see in games, Chrono Trigger's aren't simple variations based on the small choices you've made. Instead, how and when you beat the game becomes even more important. With New Game+, you can challenge Lavos at any point, and your progress in the story when you face the beast is what determines which ending sequence you see. They range from bad (Lavos destroys the world and the message "But... the future refused to change" flashes on the screen) to strange (if you win multiple cats at the fair, Crono's mom will chase them all into a time gate) to cool (one ending has you talking to avatars of the developers of the game in a special room).

All of this cool stuff doesn't even to take into consideration the meat of Chrono Trigger's gameplay: the combat. You don't have to put up with random encounters; turn-based, active-time battles occur in the same space you are exploring. Characters have basic attacks, but also learn unique techs, which includes magic spells and special maneuvers. In a fun twist, party members can work together and combine various techs for even more versatility. For example, the ability "Antipode" results when the characters who know ice and fire spells join forces. Frog and Crono combine their sword slashes for "X-Strike." It goes beyond dual techs, too; three characters can team up for visually impressive triple techs that are ridiculously powerful and visually impressive. Executing these moves can be a bit of a gamble, since you need to let enemies attack as all of your party members' battle gauges fill, but the payoff is well worth it.

Aesthetically, Chrono Trigger was breathtaking for its time. The sprites are big and environments are vibrant, and even hold up well today. The anime cutscenes introduced with the PS1 version of the game manage to put Akira Toriyama's designs front-and-center. Composer Yasunori Mitsuda's gambit (telling Square executives that he needed to compose a game or he would quit) paid off, because Chrono Trigger's soundtrack is one of the most memorable in any video game. Tracks like Robo's Theme and Frog's Theme perfectly encapsulate the characters.

Chrono Trigger introduced many novel concepts with time travel, multiple endings, and New Game+. Even more than that, every pore of the game oozed quality and thought; each piece fit with every other with laser precision. When you go back and play your favorite games of yore, most of them have glaring issues with their user interface or just don't feel they way they once did. Chrono Trigger is not one of those games. Despite being nearly two decades old, the "Dream Team" crafted a game that stands the test of time.

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    Rated 5 out of 5 by from As time passes by, still my favorite game ever The day begins with a bell clanging off in the distance. You open your eyes to find your mother standing nearby. She pulls open the drapes to let the sun cascade in, and reminds you not to sleep too late, that you have a fair to get to. You jump out of bed, head downstairs, greet your cat, and head on your way. Little do you know what's in store for you. A trip to a fair, a day of entertainment, turns into a remarkable adventure, over landscapes and time, meeting new people, finding things and making discoveries. Solving problems small and large, and in the end, the future of the world itself. Chrono Trigger, at its core, is an RPG, with many elements you'd expect to find in most any RPG. You have your magic, your swords, your armor, your experience points, all the core aspects that one would expect. Your party, as you progress, can be made up of three people, although you'll have a wide variety of members to choose from by the end. Each of the members that can make up your party have their own particular strengths and weaknesses. They have special attacks, special moves, and combinations with other characters that can only be formed if you have certain members in your party. Who you choose to make up your party, and the style you choose to approach battle with, is entirely up to you. All enemies are visible on-screen, and whether to engage in an encounter or avoid it is most often left up to you. When you engage an enemy, the creatures will spread out on screen, as will the members of your party. Battle takes place in a turn-based manner, similar to many other RPGs, with turns being based on a battle meter that fills up at a rate related to one's statistics. When it's your turn to attack, you're presented with a number of different choices. You have your normal attacks and normal spells, of course. Regarding spells, some attack only one enemy, some attack a group, and some have other properties. For instance, in battle your characters and the enemies will be moving around on screen. Depending on where you and they are located, certain spells have different properties, such as being able to attack all enemies on a given straight line. Likewise, enemies may have attacks based on this, such as being able to pick you up and throw you if you get too close. All of these factors are things you will have to take into consideration in a battle. Regarding this game's story, that's one thing that should be taken into particular note before heading off into the game, particularly for people with a vast supply of RPG experience. The story in Chrono Trigger is the height of what one would call cliche. The beginning of the storyline is actually given away in the game's manual itself. From your "save the princess from a monster" mission, to the "save the world from destruction by a horrible creature," to most other things in between, nothing is going to surprise you, no plot twists, nothing unexpected. If you like "deep" plots, things which make your mind ponder and keep you attached by how riveting they are, odds are you're going to find Chrono Trigger a spectacular disappointment. This isn't to say the story is bad, as I'll be going into in a moment. Just, if that's what you're expecting from a game's story, you're not going to like this one. That aside, however, Chrono Trigger doesn't try to hide the fact that its story is cliche, and just works with what it is that it's trying to do. After all, what's so wrong about wanting to save a captured princess? It's alright to save the world from destruction, even if the person destroying it doesn't have some convoluted reason for doing so. It's perfectly alright to like a character who doesn't say a word through the entire game. As well, the large part of Chrono Trigger's storyline is based around time travel. That is, while you start out the game in 1000AD, you'll be traveling back to prehistoric times, ahead to an age of machinery, and everywhere in between. Instead of getting caught up in all sorts of issues that would arise from "real" time travel, Chrono Trigger just goes with a simplistic take on it, and works with what it's doing. Tell someone to plant a tree in the past, and there will be a forest there in the future. Make someone's ancestor generous instead of stingy, and their descendant will be generous as well. Stuff like that, where one isn't particular concerned with how things would "really," play out, just a more simple "cause and effect" view on things. Again, if you're looking for some complicated, thought-provoking take on time travel, you're not going to find it here. So, that's the story and presentation of Chrono Trigger in a nutshell. Either you think it's dull and boring and have lost interest, or you have no problem with it and want to move forward. The graphics in Chrono Trigger are absolutely stunning. While the general world map that you move from area to area on is nothing particularly special, once you enter an area, things really start to shine. Forests are full of dense trees, small shrubs, little touches and details here and there. Beautiful palaces decked out in carpets and draping, shelves of books and tables and everything all around. Derelict ruins, with holes and cracked walls, torn carpets and spirits. Barren frozen wastelands with snow whistling overhead and ice-covered trees. There is a large variety of different areas you'll encounter and explore, each full of beautiful scenery, intricate little details, and everything just blends together. As well, the music fits the areas perfectly, lending mood and feeling to wherever it is that you're exploring. Whether it's lively up-beat music, morose and downcast tones, snow and ice, or wind whistling through trees, everything fits perfectly. Music changes to fit the mood: battle music is quick and driving, and there's just a wide variety of different things you'll encounter, which add greatly to the feeling. What really makes Chrono Trigger stand apart from other games, though, isn't so much that it does things differently, or does things that haven't been done before or anything like that. What it is, is that everything that it does, it does to perfection. Again, it's not going to try to surprise you with its storyline, or come up with a battle system that's dramatically different from anything that had been done before or anything like that. It takes what it does, tweaks it to fit how it works best in the game, and it produces an adventure that is just a dream come true. If you're looking for something new, something different, something surprising, again, you're probably going to come up short here. If you just want something that does what it does, and does it well, you're going to be very happy here. The other thing that really makes Chrono Trigger special is the depth of the game. In theory, you can "beat" the game a few hours in, without experiencing the large majority of the storyline. Or, you can skip the side stuff and just make your way quickly through. You can just stick with a core group of three characters, and never try anyone else out. You can be happy with just one ending, instead of seeing what else there is. Essentially, you can trample over the roses, instead of stopping to smell them. If you take the time, however, there is much to see and do, and many different ways to go about doing it. Whether it's simply getting a different look at battle by taking along different characters who have different styles, or as dramatic as getting a completely different ending to the game, there are many reasons to stop, explore, discover, and do it many times over. While you can only have three characters at a time, again, there are many different choices for who can make up that group of three, and who you have can impact the game. From something as simple as getting a different dialogue from someone you meet along the way, to opening up a completely new sidequest, there are many reasons to take different groups of people through the game. The other thing is that there isn't just one ending to the game. A variety of things can adjust little things about the endings, or give you completely different ones. Things such as who you talked with, what you said, what sidequests you completed, or at what point you beat the game are all going to have different effects on your ending. There are around a dozen completely different endings for you to experience, giving you plenty of reason to play through this game many times over. Even if you're not trying for something as large as a new ending, just going through with people with different fighting styles, and different dialogues with characters, can give a completely new look on the game. Even once you beat the game, you'll have many reasons to go back through and play it many more times. Not just because of the differences though, but also simply because, it was fun and you'll want to do it again. Even if you do it exactly the same way you did the previous time, it's still very enjoyable.
    Date published: 2015-06-22
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