One of the last great titles on the SNES was one that RPG fans had been waiting for with white knuckles. It was a game that was helmed by RPG greatness – both the creators of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest – and in an era where the SNES was on its way out, to be replaced by the 3D Playstation, the game stood to keep people in 2D land just a little longer.The game, of course, was called Chrono Trigger. Find out why it rocked after the jump.
Chrono Trigger combined all of the greatest elements of RPG gaming at the time. It was a smooth combo of experience, leveling, equipment management and character development. And it didn’t hurt that it was developed by Squaresoft, the predecessor to the greatest RPG maker of all time, Square Enix.
What made the game stand out though, was its immersive story line. You were Crono, a normal kid who, through a series of bizarre events, become a heroic time traveler, with the always important task of saving the world from destruction. It was one of the first games to deal with time travelling, and certainly the first that allowed your actions in different times to have severe and irreversible effects on other time periods. Fix a bridge in the past, and it’s usable in the future. Need an oar that hasn’t been around for a million years to fix an ancient sword? Go back a million years and find it!
As the story progressed, you were introduced to a slew of memorable characters, including your initial friends Lucca, an inventor that invents the technology that allows you to time travel and Princess Marle – an overly optimistic royal. You also meet – among others – a Robot from the future, a Frog warrior, whose story is one of the most memorable in the game and a cavewoman named Ayla. Each time period has its own distinctive visual style and music, the latter being one of the best parts of the game. The soundtrack here – even though it was done in 16-bits – is one of the best in RPG gaming.
Though Crono never really speaks in the game – it’s done from a silent hero perspective – the other characters have more than enough to say and create some very memorable moments. The cool part about all of these characters is that you meet them in all different times in history. Sometimes you have the choice to take them along with you or leave them behind. While you can beat the game at numerous different times throughout your journey, doing so could potentially leave someone behind in another time, or leave someone in distress in a place you’ll never be able to get back to! Your actions lead to one of the games 12-or-so endings, and each one has its own tale to be told of how the world and your relationships turned out. A time traveling RPG with 12 multiple endings? Unheard of in its time, but Chrono Trigger pulled it off wonderfully.
The game had many iterations – first on the SNES (the definitive version), then on the Playstation and finally on the Nintendo DS. The DS added animated cut scenes which add a little drama , but strangely after the scene plays out in animated form, you watch it again in 2D, sprite form. It’s neat to”see” the scenes as the characters would though.
If you haven’t played this game, and you’re an RPG fan, I would seriously recommend you try it. It’s a staple in RPG history and even spawned a sequel – Chrono Cross. Try it and let us know what you think!