Our next trip on the Nostalgia Train brings us to a true SNES treasure. While this beloved system had many memorable games, it’s truly an experience to play this classic. Chrono Trigger is regarded as one of the best RPGs of all time. With a rich story, easy-to-grasp gameplay, and an outstanding soundtrack, it’s no wonder this title always seems to end up at the top of any “Greatest Games of All Time” list. What else would you expect from the creators of Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and the Dragon Ball series? Seriously, all of the stars aligned on this project - complete with the musical genius of Yansunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu.
While not overly complicated, Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece with outstanding graphics, multiple endings, and a New Game+ option that will keep you playing time and again. Originally released on the SNES in 1995, this JRPG favorite has been re-released on the Playstation, Nintendo DS, and it’s available for mobile download. If you’ve never gotten the chance to play, you are in for a treat.
Hopping into the Epoch
In 1000 AD, it's time for the Millennial Fair, and our hero, Chrono is enjoying the festival. Lucca, his best friend, shows off her latest invention when things suddenly go awry. Something strange happens to Lucca’s volunteer, Marle, and the three are thrown through time on an epic adventure. What starts as a search and rescue mission turns in something much more as Chrono and friends stumble across a shocking discovery. With the future in imminent peril, Chrono, Marle and Lucca must come up with a plan to save the world!
Finding the Chrono Trigger
Like most RPGs, Chrono Trigger is a sprawling adventure, but this journey takes us through time. Players guide a three-person party through various dungeons, trials and towns in search of information or treasure. What’s unique about this game is the use of time travel. The main objective is to ultimately stop the apocalypse, but there are so many intricate plot details that create a wonderfully lighthearted, yet poignant narrative. Most of the mechanics are the same as other RPGS, but with unique designs. You encounter enemies directly in the field, and with minimal transition time, the fight begins. Player position actually effects the battle. Enemies move around and characters can be tossed across the screen. It makes for some interesting strategy changes, especially when trying to hit multiple enemies with one attack.
There’s a total of six playable characters and one secret character. Like most RPGs, you have complete control of your party’s equipment. The party’s stats and abilities increase as they fight battles, which increase in difficulty over time. As characters level, they gain access to new abilities called Techs. While Techs and magic spells are character specific, Chrono Trigger adds a new twist.
Characters can combine their turns to form Dual Techs and Triple Techs. It's important to try out different party combinations in order to discover all of these unique abilities. These special techs pull the efforts of two or more party members to create devastating attacks. It's debatable whether or not the Dual or Triple Techs are worth the cost, but that really depends on how you want to use your party.
Multiple Endings and New Game+
Besides battling bosses, there are plenty of side quests, secret missions and puzzles players can tackle across the different time periods. While these objectives are like many other great RPGs, Chrono Trigger created concepts still used in games today.
After playing through the game once, the New Game + option appears. This allows you to retain most of your items, (provided that they are not directly involved with the storyline) levels, and techs to use at the start of a new game. The New Game+ option is pretty incredible, especially if you are a completionist gamer. Of course, this option is very helpful for anyone who wants to experience every single hidden ending that Chrono Trigger has to offer! There are thirteen in total and each is unique to how you defeat the game. The DS version expands upon the New Game+ idea by adding an additional dungeon and an optional final boss. With so many side quests and secrets, Chrono Trigger keeps giving players reason to pick up the controller again.
Chrono Trigger: A Journey Through Time
Chrono Trigger is an innovative RPG that paved the way for future genre classics, but it's very hard to capture the same magic. A truly remarkable tale of friendship, love, and sacrifice, this game has a solid plot that leaves a mark in my heart. It found a way to marry literary genres together into one epic story with heart-pumping action, touching and silly moments, and many surprise endings. Supported by an enchanting soundtrack and amazing graphics, considering the designer and the time period, it is a privilege to play this game. With so many positive elements, Chrono Trigger certainly does earn a spot on every "Greatest Games of All Time" list.
So what do you think? Have you played Chrono Trigger? What's taking you so long!!! How about Chrono Cross? Or perhaps Final Fantasy? Let us know in the comments below!
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