Description official descriptions
A young man named Crono is about to enjoy a carefree day: he plans to go to the Millennial Fair, where his friend Lucca intends to demonstrate her newest scientific invention: a teleporter. Upon his arrival, Crono meets a young girl named Marle, who volunteers to be the first to test Lucca's new device. However, Marle's pendant affects the teleporter's mechanism in a mysterious way, and as a result, she is teleported four hundred years into the past. Crono and Lucca quickly recreate the time portal and follow Marle. They find out that her unexpected appearance has created some confusion, and proceed to fix the error, which in turn leads to unforeseen consequences, eventually compelling the heroes to travel to different time periods and change the history of the world.
Chrono Trigger is a Japanese-style role-playing game in which the player takes control of a party consisting of up to seven characters, developing the combat skills of its members and managing their equipment. There are no random encounters in the game: all the enemies are either visibly walking on the field maps and can be avoided by the player, or are waiting to ambush the party. No enemy encounters occur when the player navigates characters over the world map.
The game utilizes the ATB (active time battle) combat system from Final Fantasy games as one of the combat style selections offered to the player in the beginning. The other selectable battle mechanic pauses combat whenever the player accesses the menu, effectively removing the real-time element and rendering the battles fully turn-based.
As the characters grow in power, their parameters increase, and they learn new "techs" - special powerful attacks and maneuvers which cost them magic points to use in battle. Techs may target a specific formation of enemies (e.g. a line) and can be used tactically depending on the enemies' positioning in combat. Characters may execute techs individually or perform double or triple techs, where each character contributes a tech which is combined with one or two others to unleash a powerful attack.
Once player-controlled characters acquire the ability to travel freely between time periods, the game's plot develops in a non-linear fashion. From that point on the player may opt to face the game's final adversary in combat and complete the story, or perform other plot-related quests. Depending on the moment of the story when the player decides to proceed to the final battle, the game may be concluded with thirteen different endings. The New Game+ option allows the player to start the game anew after having previously completed it, carrying over levels, techs, and equipment of the characters.
The PlayStation version features an anime-style introduction movie and cutscenes, a "movie theater" mode which allows the player to re-watch these movies and listen to the game's songs, as well as an unlockable bestiary, dungeon maps, and art gallery. The Nintendo DS version retains these changes and adds two new dungeons and a new possible ending that foreshadows the events of Chrono Cross.
- クロノ・トリガー - Japanese spelling
- 时空之轮 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 超時空之鑰 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 크로노 트리거 - Korean spelling
- Animals: Frogs
- Boss Fight Books games
- Chrono series
- Console Generation Exclusives: SNES
- Gameplay feature: Multiple endings
- Gameplay feature: New Game+
- Japanese Nintendo DS games with full English support
- Middleware: Cocos2d
- Physical Bonus Content: Poster
- Physical Bonus Content: World Map
- Theme: Time travel
Credits (SNES version)
103 People (97 developers, 6 thanks) · View all
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 93% (based on 101 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 533 ratings with 13 reviews)
The opening is at least effective at establishing that the protagonist is inexperienced and unprepared for the challenges ahead of him, though this doesn't really come to anything.
Perhaps the solitary moment that stood out was when the frog-guy's backstory was revealed. While it didn't really say a whole lot about his character, it was a legitimately moving moment.
I'll also say that the soundtrack is strong, with some catchy tunes here and there, particularly for boss fights. Having said that,
The tune for regular fights is pathetic, it's just an opening that doesn't go anywhere. Speaking of fights, they brought over that horrible Active Time system for Chrono Trigger, where attack orders are completely random and it's impossible to judge whether you'll get pummelled if you spend to long looking for the best attack, even in Wait mode. But here, it's made even worse by only having three party members active in one fight, which would make you think about who you assign abilities to except you can't even do that. The only way anyone gains an ability is by levelling up.
The fights just have no depth to them. All of the abilities are essentially the same swing of a sword but with a different elemental effect, and getting to them is a pain with all the identical names and the needlessly obtuse menu design. This should at least make one be able to make judgements as to which abilities are needed for each fight, but even that's hampered by the aforementioned lack of customisation meaning that, since only one person knows the healing spell, you'll only ever have one slot in the party free to assign, reducing any thought process on your part to trial and error. Each real fight has one and only one way of winning, but even that goes out the window as you get near the end, with some big bads making up their own rules as they go along. So basically, the only way to beat Chrono Trigger is to level grind excessively. Which is impossible because there are no random encounters.
And yes, those two moments mentioned above still stand. But apart from those, the game is pretty flat, just meandering around through contrived plot thread after out-of-left-field twist, leaving each before getting the chance to go into any narrative depth. The frog-guy is the only person here with even an implication of character development, other than that it's just the same re-used archetypes that are so done to death that the game's writer Yuji Horii had actually parodied a few of them in his earlier career(see also: Alena from DQ4).
The Bottom Line
The idea of Yuji Horii writing a game for Squaresoft should have been handled with more care and attention that was shown here. Chrono Trigger feels like it was made after a few scribbles on the drawing board with no real thought as to how the concepts would fit together.
Nintendo DS · by CrankyStorming (2913) · 2011
Chrono Trigger is by far one the best RPGs I've had a chance to play. With a cool cast of characters and an interesting storyline, you can't go wrong with this one. Now, I admit, it's a little dated, being originally released in 1995, but there are some subtle changes with bring new life into this seemingly worn out title. The most notable ones a huge variety of extras, including the game's entire amazing soundtrack, and all of the animated cutscenes which you can access at your own free will. I found the DS interface a lot more comfortable than the original because you can finally attack an enemy simply by tapping the touch screen rather than having to find them using the pointer, which often didn't move in it's intended direction. The added side missions were also quite fun, and offered a new ending which finally made some solid connection to Chrono Cross.
Something... Maybe not...
The Bottom Line
This game is a "must play" for any RPG fan. Now it doesn't really matter what version of the game you play, but the DS version is my favorite, and is the most accessible version at the time. The characters, storyline, gameplay, and perhaps graphics (though they are rather old and unchanged from the original) are just great, and the music quality will blow you away (they had Yasunori Mitsuda AND Nobuo Uematsu working on the soundtrack!). This game is a masterpiece and has stood the test of time (and travelled it!). If you're looking for a fun, entertaining RPG, this is a top choice.
Nintendo DS · by Idkbutlike2 (18) · 2009
Chrono Trigger is a Role Playing Game by Squaresoft, released originally for the Super NES in 1995. It was only released in Japan and USA. It was also re-released on the PlayStation, but again Japan and USA only (and I did never get any chance to play that version). We Europeans had to import carts for a ridiculously high price to get a change to play the game, but fortunately we found another way to do it, and I really fell in love for it a long time ago back then when I was about 14. Although nobody could understand me because not many people would have played it on their SNES.
Because CT was very successful, and because Square Enix just remade all older Final Fantasy games a ridiculous amount of times, they thought it would be a good idea to remake another game and that due to it's high reviews, and they had to remake Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS in 2008. In 2009 the game finally made it to Europe, officially. Although I'm often sceptical for those remakes (why can't them release originals instead ?), I can finally say that I'm a hardcore fan of a game that was released, so that's a good thing. A remake must satisfy two rules to be worth buying. First it must not ruin anything that was good in the original in any way. Second, it should add new content that is significant and don't feel displaced. Chrono Trigger DS does follow both of these rules.
Note that I assume you already have some idea about what Chrono Trigger is. If you don't, please check my review for the SNES version, which will go into details about how good the story and gameplay is. I will focus this review on the remake only.
First of all, I'm very glad that during gameplay the graphics and the sound are intact. The font had changed to become smaller (which is good because the screen is smaller too), but that's pretty much the only graphical change I've noted. And that's a good thing, because the graphics are absolutely awesome ! They are probably some of the best 2D graphics in the top-down perspective ever made ! Because most games stopped to use the top-down perspective after the PlayStation / N64 area came (games were either 3D, isometric or side-view 2D, which cannot be compared because not the same thing). The GBC was inferior to the SNES graphically so it couldn't compete with it, and the GBA would be the only competitor, but developers somehow forgot the way to do 2D top-down graphics between 1995 and 2001. The only competitor could be the Golden Sun games for the GBA which have awesome graphics. Being surpassed by only two games in 14 years is really some accomplishment not many games can claim.
The sprites are so detailed that they look exactly like on the artwork, and animate smoothly. Some of the best spells/techs are still absolutely awesome to watch. The backgrounds are detailed too, but they're not up to the modern DS standards, but anyway that doesn't matter because they looks very good. I'm very glad Square Enix did not remake this game with 3D graphics like they did for FF3 and FF4, because the DS have weak 3D capabilities, and they would probably end up with lame results. So thanks Square to have keep the original 2D graphics.
The only complaint I'd have is for the fake 3D in the motorcycle minigame. On the SNES that cheap fake 3D was the standard and the only thing the console was capable of in the 3D department, so there were nothing to complain about. But on the DS, it really looks horrible to have such cheap fake 3D when the console is able to render actual 3D graphics ! They should have quickly remade that scene using some true 3D graphics at least for the characters.
While the gameplay happens on the top screen, you also get a map on the touch screen which is nice. The menu has changed to a different interface that uses both screens, and after you get used to it it works very well, there is nothing to complain about that. You can access to the sub-menus directly by touching the screen on icons if you want. In battle you can choose between new and old interface, which is a good thing. I choose new because it frees the top screen from the battle menus. I remember it was an annoyance in the original how much the menu would hide some large area on the screen. Now it's fixed !
For the sound it's exactly the same as on the SNES, and I'm very glad about that. The FF5 and FF6 advance games really sounded like insults to their SNES counterparts with horribly aggressive instruments, and I'm very glad to see CT wasn't doomed to the same fate, because the soundtrack of Chrono Trigger contains not only some of the best game music ever, but some of the best music ever composed by humanity. You need external headphones to get good quality with basses tough, which is in my opinion preferable to the "aggressive slapping bass method" used in FF5 and FF6 advance. There is even 5 brand new pieces of music in the game, and this is awesome !
What is a very good thing to note is that they re-translated the game to get some things cleaned up and more detailed. The story of CT is really awesome while being simple enough. With the new translation it seems more clear at some places, but some items and tech were renamed weirdly. Overall I prefer the new translation for cut-scenes, but the old for items, tech and enemy names. That's somehow subjective tough.
Unlike the FF-advance games, the new content, other than the few improvements stated above, is really worth mentioning. The best content comes first : You get some awesome FMV cutscenes, and with orchestrated music ! This is SO sweet !
Then they added a new detailed bestiary with a list of what any enemy can do to attack you, a new arena where you can build a monster to fight against other monsters (for some reason I didn't find it that entertaining), and a bonus mode. This mode features original artwork of the protagonists, a music player, a big library of all items, equipment and all techs and combos with screenshots is available. Finally there is a list with all endings you completed with screenshots, and a view mode where you can explore all maps of the games with the touch screen and see the treasures you could have possibly missed.
That's not all, there is 5 new areas to visit, that are cool, don't feel too much out of place, contains new treasures and I won't tell more because it could be a spoiler.
The Bottom Line
Even 14 years later, Chrono Trigger is still the best game ever made in my opinion. In fact it should just as well be the best work of art ever made by humanity. Even if you played the SNES version countless times (I guess I beat it about 5-6 times) the DS version is worth a buy for the new content.
In most RPGs it's great to beat it once, but you have no reason to return doing the whole quest. At best you'll just load your last saved game and try to kill the final boss again to watch the ending again, or just go to some places to remember the good times when you were actually playing that game actively. But Chrono Trigger is an exception to that. Because cutscenes vary in function of who you have in your party, and because the battle system is so awesomely good while being very simple, and because not 2 battles engage the same way, the game is incredibly fun to play again and again even if you know everything already.
So in fact, everyone, from the guy who never played a video game in his life, to the hardcore fan of the SNES version and beat it 20+ times while being very sceptical to the remake, must absolutely get this game for the DS, to either discover or re-discover it. There is no excuse not to buy the game. Unlike the FF advance games, nothing that was good before was ruined, and there is actual new content worth mentioning. The new dungeons don't feel completely out of place like they did on the FF advance games. There is new FMVs and new pieces of music, and a bonus mode any fan of the game will love.
The only excuse you may have to not get this is that if you played the SNES version and hated it, then you probably won't like it more on the DS because it's the same. Even if you don't like Japanese RPGs at all, at least borrow this game from someone and see how you like it, because it's really the best of the genre in my opinion, so you may completely change your mind after seeing it.
Nintendo DS · by Bregalad (937) · 2009
|A small issue I have with this game.||Simoneer (29)||Sep 29th, 2010|
|Trivia disagreement||Joshua J. Slone (4656)||Sep 24th, 2009|
|The origin of the Rick (rocket?) Roll||J. P. Gray (115)||Jun 2nd, 2008|
1001 Video Games
The SNES version of Chrono Trigger appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Exactly one week after Chrono Trigger was released on the PlayStation in Japan (November 11th, 1999), its sequel, Chrono Cross, was released in Japan (November 18th, 1999).
Notice that the cover art shows Marle casting a Fire spell on Crono's sword; presumably a combo from the game. The only problem is that Marle cannot cast Fire magic since she uses Ice magic. Lucca is the only one who can cast Fire magic.
An unofficial remake/sequel to the game, called Chrono Resurrection, was planned and being developed by Nathan Lazur and his team. The game, which was to use the Nintendo 64 console and technology, had progressed to include a trailer, but on September 6th, 2004, the team had to cancel the project, due to a cease-and-desist letter they received from Square Enix, Inc.You can still visit the project's website, which includes the trailer, screenshots and interviews with the team, here.
Although the game was officially developed (and published) by Squaresoft, the development was in fact done by people from two companies: Squaresoft and Enix. If you check the credits, you'll see names like Akira Toriyama, the character designer of Dragon Warrior series, or Yuji Horii, Enix' producer.
Game Informer was going to put Chrono Trigger on its cover, but the cover was so amazingly well done, the artist thought that people would sell the magazine for profit. He pulled the cover back, and the cover was never released. Game Informer has the only version of this cover framed in their offices.
Millennial Fair race
At the millennial fair's racing stand, you can go faster than the runners just by walking. If you're running, you'll be able to run two turns while the runners do only one.
Nintendo DS version
The Nintendo DS version of the game marks the first time that Chrono Trigger has been released in any PAL territory. That's about fourteen years.
The game's engine featured an event tracking system, which was used to update the save screen's "chapter title", change certain characters' dialogue, and alter the maps to conform to the current point in the story. It was also used for checking bugs and consistency within the game.
If events happen out of order (if the cartridge's save RAM (SRAM) is corrupt, or if the player uses a Game Genie code to walk through walls and skip over certain events, for example), a creature called a Nu will appear in front of the doorway to Epoch's construction bay in 2300 A.D. and state that the Time Axis is out of alignment. Aside from this warning, the game will still continue, cheats/hacks included
The PlayStation version of Chrono Trigger was rather unique technically from other SNES-PS1 Squaresoft ports.
First, if you popped this CD into your PC, you'd find a file with the extension ".ROM". It's actually the Super NES version's ROM! The PS1 version uses the ROM for most of its data, while the game code is PSX data. Changes were mostly made to have the anime cut scenes play when appropriate.
While there is additional data on the disc, most of it is dummy data, but it shows (quite interestingly) that Square at first intended to fully port CT as a full-fledged PS1 game, but cut the project either due to lack of time, laziness, or both.
Those in Japan who pre-ordered the game received a limited edition holographic foil collector's card from Square, with each card having a piece of game artwork on the front: a character's portrait, the American box cover, the battle with Magus found on the inside of the American manual, or the flight in the Epoch.
- Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior (three characters from the game) take their names from the three wise men of the Bible. The characters Ozzie, Slash and Flea are, assumedly, named after rockstars: Ozzy Osborn, Slash (Guns 'N Roses) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers). A woman you speak to in the game refers to them as "Tone-deaf, evil fiends!"
- The Day of Lavos occurs in the year 1999 in Chrono Trigger - a very obvious reference to Nostradamus' prediction of the end of the world in July, 1999.
- If you talk to Doreen (the big-headed creature) in Ehansa (Kingdom of Zeal, 12000 AD) several times, he'll tell you: "Am I a butterfly who is just dreaming it is human, or a human who is just dreaming he is a butterfly?" This is a quote from a famous book written by the Chinese Daoist philosopher Zhuang Zi (also known as Chuang Tse).
- Anyone who played Chrono Trigger knows that one of the most important characters of the game is Janus, Schala's little brother. "Janus" was also the name of one of Roman gods - this god had two faces, and was therefore often referred to as "Two-Faced Janus". Later, this name became quite a common description of a person who can not be trusted -somebody who switches sides. Doesn't the name fit this Chrono Trigger character quite well?
- When you get the Programmer's Ending, one of the characters will say something like, "If you think this is hard, try Final Fantasy II!"
- If you go to the Millennial Fair's "Show tent" and spend 10 silvers points, you'll have a game where 3 soldiers, Vicks, Wedge and Piette, and they'll mix themselves up. Vicks and Wedge also are here in Final Fantasy 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (and possibly other games by Square). They are all characters from the Star Wars trilogy. And this mini-game isn't found only in Chrono Trigger. Actually, it already came out with Hanjyuku Hero, a strategy game made by Square just after the very first Final Fantasy.
- Biggs (sometimes named VIcks), Wedge and Piette, from the Fair tent, are all characters from the Star Wars trilogy. Biggs and Wedge were pilots who flew with luke(Wedge was flying the X-wing that helped the Millennium Falcon destroy the 2nd Death Star) and Piette was an Imperial officer who was quite prominent in Empire and Jedi.
- In the prehistory you meet a cave girl called Ayla. Interestingly enough, this character seems to be based upon the main character from the popular Earth's Children novels by Jean M. Auel, which are about a cave girl called Ayla. Much like the character from the books, Ayla is a good-looking prehistoric girl with blond hair who is skilled at hunting.
Many rumours surround the game since its development, due to its plot depth and seemingly unresolved ends. While some of these claims, such as a rumoured mountain area accessible in 65,000,000 B.C., were true, though only in the beta. Others are simply untrue.
For instance, it has long been held that at one time the traveler Toma and the princess Schala were intended to be playable characters, due to manipulation of the player character selection screen via Game Genie or Pro Action Replay codes. However, closer inspection and the aid of ROM hackers have revealed that while faculties in the code for an eighth character exist, the game is hardwired and designed specifically for the featured seven.
There is also no corroborating evidence from the beta version of the game released to stores or preview screenshots in magazines. Examination of the beta's code also establishes that no extra animations for Toma or Schala existed.
The memory card requirements on the back of the PlayStation box are wrong; a saved game takes only one block on a card, not two.
Why "Chrono"? Well, there couldn't be a more appropriate name for an adventure where the heroes travel through time: "chrono" is old Greek for "time". Zeus' father, who ate his children, just like the time "eats" everything, was called Chronos.
- 2009 – #3 Best DS Game of the Year
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- August 1995 (Issue 73) - Game of the Month
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #29 (Best 100 Games of All Time)
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - voted #15 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
- Game Players
- Vol. 8, No. 13 - 1995 - Best Role-Playing Game of the Year
- 2008 – Nintendo DS Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
Related Sites +
Chrono Resurrection Homepage
Unofficial sequel/remake of <i>Chrono Trigger</i> that was unfortunately cancelled in September 2004.
Chrono Trigger Shrine
A lot of information about Chrono Trigger, including a walkthrough with pictures
OC ReMix Game Profile
Fan ReMixes of music from Chrono Trigger, including the album "Chrono Symphonic"
Wikipedia: Chrono Trigger
Information about Chrono Trigger at Wikipedia
- MobyGames ID: 4501
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Satoshi Kunsai.
PS Vita added by Fred VT. Wii added by ResidentHazard. iPad, iPhone, tvOS added by Sciere. Android added by Kabushi. Nintendo DS added by Bregalad. DoJa added by Ms. Tea. PlayStation 3, PSP added by MAT.
Game added July 15th, 2001. Last modified September 30th, 2023.