An RPG for the Super Nintendo. A game that, for many, epitomises what is right and good about console RPGs, and even in this age of FMV and 128-bit technology is still awe-inspiring in its design. It is brimming with fantastic art and effects, a compelling story, atmospheric music and characters you really care about (even when they seem to have a bit too little to say...).

This is probably Square's best ever all-round game prior to FF9. It's a toss-up between this and FF6. Personally, I prefer CT - it isn't held back by as much legacy crap as the FF series. The sequel is Chrono Cross, although, this doesn't have the same story (as per usual).

Easily one of the ten best console games of all time.

(Also, the only SNES game I've ever seen that contains a joke about oral sex. How they got that past Nintendo's censors I don't know.)

Chrono Trigger has become so popular after the virtual demise of the Super Nintendo system, that it is actually a valuable game. I was at Funcoland recently, trying to buy back a representaton of my childhood, and in looking through the catalogue there, found Chrono Trigger to be $49.99. Every other SNES game didn't go for any more than Twenty. (The system did not even cost me that much.)

I was quite astounded by this, but I am glad that people do value quality, even if it is eventually. It feels as if some artist became famous after his or her death, and we can only enjoy the work as a piece of antiquity. This is one game that deserves to be played.

Chrono Trigger is a 16-bit single-player console RPG. It was released for the SNES in Japan in March of 1995, then in America later that year. 1999 saw the rerelease of this game in Japan, this time ported to the PlayStation, with added FMV scenes drawn anime-style by Akira Toriyama. A year later a sequel was released on the PlayStation, called Chrono Cross. Finally, in 2001, we get the rerelease stateside in the Final Fantasy: Chronicles compilation, packaged together with Final Fantasy IV.

At the beginning of the game, Crono, our protagonist, wakes up to his mother's summons.

"Crono..."
"Crono!"
"Good morning, Crono!"

Today the Millenial Fair is open, celebrating the thousandth anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom. Crono rushes over, to meet his friend Lucca. On his way through the fair, he meets a beautiful young lady named Marle, who Crono readily agrees to spend the day with. They make their way towards the north end of the fair, where Lucca's device is set up.

Lucca announces to the crowd that her strange-looking machine is actually a telepod, that can transport people instantly over any distance. No one believes in the safety of such a machine, but Crono demonstrates, and proves its feasibility. When Marle attempts to transport, however, her pendant interfears with the process, and sends her to an unknown destination. Crono picks up the pendant and followes her.

He arrives in the middle of a forest, and after a short walk realizes that he is in fact in the same place, his hometown Truce, but has been teleported to a different time...

The story remains deep and engaging throughout the entire game, which lasts for anywhere between 30 and 100 hours, depending on how thorough you are. There is also a New Game + option, which allows you to play through the game again, with some differences that heighten its replay value.

The gameplay itself wonderfully balances simplicity and innovation. Over the course of the game your characters learn "Tech". These cover everything from special attacks to healing to spells. There are also Dual- and Triple-techs, which allow two or three of your characters to attack simultaneously, combining to form a greater effect.

This game even has wonderful music, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu. It is available separately on a three-disk soundtrack.

Chrono Trigger was developed and published by Square, and was released in September 1995 for the SNES, and rereleased with Final Fantasy IV as Final Fantasy Chronicles (with some minor unlockable features and some new FMV) for the Playstation on September 29, 2001. The cartridge is fairly expensive (although it's not particularly rare) due to collector demand, but Final Fantasy Chronicles is easily had anywhere video games are sold, and the ROM is readily available and runs perfectly, besides being a bit large. (Chrono Trigger was originally shipped on a 32-megabit cartridge.)

The above info is current as of August 28, 2002.

Chrono Trigger began development in 1993 under the name "The Dream Project," and it certainly had a dream team of RPG designers. Game designers Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy) and Yuiji Horii (Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest) were teamed up with the experienced composer Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and relative newcomer Yasunori Mitsuda (later Xenogears and Chrono Cross), as well as the famed character designer Akira Toriyama (Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest, and a little anime series called "Dragonball"). This combination of the biggest names in the biggest RPG series of all time worked on the game rather quietly, alongside other high-profile projects, until, in 1995, their dream was realized.

Chrono Trigger is the story of a fairly average (if somewhat taciturn) boy named "Crono" who lives in Guardia the year 1000 AD, and opens with him waking up and being seen off to the Milennial Fair by his mother and cat. After meeting up with Marle (who turns out to be a runaway princess) and being sucked into the past (600 AD, specifically) by his inventor friend Lucca's teleportation device...

...well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? Suffice it to say, there's an evil, unstoppable force devouring the world from within, and with the help of Lucca, Marle, a frog-faced knight, an amnesiac robot from the future, an overenthusiastic cavewoman with a limited vocabulary, and maybe a dark mage turned reluctantly to the side of good, Chrono has to prevent the events of 1999 AD, the end of the world.

Yuiji Horii's scenario design talent shows through in the designs of the different time periods. As you hop through time, you'll get to see a depressing post-apocalyptic future of 2300 AD, a just-slightly-different medieval past of 600 AD, an anachronistic prehistory in 65 million BC, and, perhaps most interestingly, the culture most responsible for the events of the past and future, in 12,000 BC, where a magical utopia hovers over primitives trapped in an ice age.

Chrono Trigger, at the time, was stunning for its innovations, as well as the RPG genre conventions that it eschewed. The game lacked a separate screen for battles, as well as lacking standard random encounters. Enemies were plainly visible, and the combat menus would simply come up over the normal isometric view whenever an enemy was touched (or, just as often, an invisible trigger was touched).

Combat itself was also markedly different. While the timing of the combat is the slightly modified turn-based combat of Final Fantasy VI, the special abilities are streamlined, yet elegant. Each character has eight special abilities learned by killing enough enemies for skill points, and skills from different characters combine into Dual (and later Triple) Techs. For example, Lucca's Flame Toss and Crono's Cyclone combine to make Fire Whirl, a version of Crono's Cyclone, only with trailing flames (and extra damage, of course).

Chrono Trigger was also, at the time, a graphical masterpiece. While many of the special effects are no longer particluarly special, the art itself is still impressive, as Akira Toriyama is clearly one of the masters of character design. (The poster art and promotional art, in particular, is quite stunning, and the US cover is probably one of the most memorable box covers for any SNES game.)

It was also one of the most replayable RPGs of all time. If you beat the game by going through the Black Omen, a new mode is opened up: New Game+. In this mode, you retained the levels and equipment from your previous save file, but restarted the game, with an extra portal directly to Lavos. Depending on what point you go into this portal, there are nine different endings (in addition to the three you can get in the normal New Game, for a total of twelve). Between all of these endings and all the side-quests to do, there's a lot of game in this game.

Chrono Trigger is memorable, even today, because of its simplicity and purity. The story is gripping, whether you simply follow the main storyline or wander off into the expository sidequests. The art is amazing, even if the graphics are dated. The musical score puts most movies to shame. The combat is elegant and simple. And all this in a game currently available for a widespread, inexpensive system.

A side note - There was a Super Famicom Satelliview sequel to Chrono Trigger titled Radical Dreamers, notable only in the fact that it tied up many of the loose ends in Chrono Trigger. The plot of Radical Dreamers was reworked (and the game itself was completely redesigned, as Radical Dreamers was a text adventure) into Chrono Cross, which is considered by most to be the true sequel to Chrono Trigger. There is also apparently a third game, rumored to be titled Chrono Break, in development. Little is known about it, as of January 24, 2004, and that name may indeed be a hoax or misunderstanding.

Chrono Trigger || Radical Dreamers || Chrono Cross || Chrono Break(?)

Sources: GameFAQs, Gamers.com, NymNet (http://www.sickduckprod.com/nym/)

Chrono Trigger is an excellent video roleplaying game for the Super NES from the masters of the art, Squaresoft. It features some of the best graphics and sound seen on the platform, especially in this genre. The music is fantastic, in typical Squaresoft style, but outdoes even other Square titles on the SNES. It features a somewhat unique approach to merging combat with the game in that enemies are typically either in plain sight before you reach them, or hiding behind some feature of the terrain - there are no completely random encounters, and the world map is a place of peace. Chrono Trigger is a fairly short game, representing only about 20 hours of gameplay if you play straight through, including all side quests.

Chrono Trigger was followed in Japan by a sequel called Radical Dreamers which never made it to the US. Radical Dreamers is followed by a sequel for Sony Playstation, Chrono Cross.

STORY

(Spoiler warning! You might want to skip this section entirely, though all events described in detail occur very near the beginning of the game.)

The main character, Crono, is a resident of 1000 A.D. The story begins with his mother awakening him on the day of the millenium festival, a festive celebration of peace. His mother reminds him that his inventor friend Lucca wants to show him her new invention. Traveling to the fair, he (literally) runs into a girl named Marle, who asks him to show her the fair. After spending a little time doing so, he visits Lucca's invention at the top of the fair, which turns out to be a teleporter. Unlike many of Lucca's (alluded) inventions, this one works, and Crono is safely transported from one transporter device to the other. Unfortunately, when Marle tries the teleporter, it reacts with her pendant and she is sent through a mysterious gate, leaving her pendant behind. Crono picks up the pendant and follows her, and is transported to a mountain. Upon returning to his village, he finds that he has been sent four hundred years into the past...

As the game continues, Crono travels not only into the recent past, but into the fairly near future, to discover that it is bleak indeed. The last tattered remnants of humanity are living in domes amidst a shattered wasteland whose very air is poisonous. He also travels to the distant past (and I mean distant) solving people's problems along the way in classic RPG style. In each time period, he makes new friends, who join him on his quest, which rapidly changes from retrieving his friend, to saving the world.

All in all, this game has thirteen endings, the greatest number I am aware of in any game. Each ending basically corresponds to defeating the enemy at a different point throughout the storyline. You must complete the entire game in order to get the "happiest" ending.

GAME MECHANICS

Moving Around

Chrono Trigger is a top-down, isometric-view 2D RPG. Terrain is laid out in blocks just large enough for a character to occupy, but movement occurs on a pixel basis. In general it is not possible to fall off terrain, except in specific and obvious locations. Leaving an area takes you to the world map, which is also laid out in a very straightforward fashion. One thing that separates Chrono Trigger from most other RPGs is that you are entirely safe on the world map - there are no random encounters. In fact, there are no random encounters anywhere in the game - all enemies are attached to a specific position or range of movement. All enemies which move are in plain sight and most of them can be avoided. Encounters with them are generally triggered either by running into them (or by them running into you) or by talking to them, but sometimes they are also triggered by encountering a seemingly unrelated enemy or by stepping someplace in particular, usually a choke point in the area.

When moving around an area, you may move in any of the eight primary compass directions. Holding down the B button causes you to run. Walking or running straight into a diagonal wall (or other impassable barrier, like the top of a ridge) causes you to slide along the wall in the way in which you would expect. There are also both stairs, and vertical climbing features like ladders and vines. You can run up and down stairs, but always go slowly on the ladders. Moving around the world map is done in two different ways. Primarily, you will be walking, which is only done in the four cardinal compass directions. There is no run feature. When you arrive someplace you can enter, its name is displayed above it on the world map, and you can press A to go in. While you can accidentally arrive at the world map, you never accidentally leave it. In typical Squaresoft fashion, you eventually get your hands on a flying vehicle, which lets you fly around the various areas of the game, and allows you to reach several otherwise inaccessible locations.

Time travel is the main theme of the game, and while you start out traveling through gates between times, you eventually develop the means to travel between times without them. This also lets you reach a time period for which you have no gate. Gates are opened with the Gate Key, an object which exists mainly to be stolen at one point in the game. After the first (and only) time you enter a gate with four characters, all gates not otherwise specified by the plot lead to The End of Time, a nexus that allows you to choose your destination in time freely. Some times have multiple gates which lead to multiple locations, and so this also allows you to move between continents.

Combat, Techniques, and Magic

The combat system is relatively straightforward, but it does have some interesting twists. There is a meter that fills up, at which point you can take an action. You do not have to command characters in the order in which their gauges fill, however; any ready character can act, or not act, and the game progresses in semi-realtime. Combat itself is a simple comparison of your attack power, mixed with the enemy's defense power, or vice versa. Attack power is a combination of your "power" statistic and the attack power of your weapon. Attack power defines damage. It makes no difference whether your weapon is ranged or not, as your characters will leap across the field of combat in order to attack enemies if they use a melee weapon. Some enemies will do this as well, while others must approach you in order to attack. Your characters are fixed on the field of battle, but (many) enemies move around. This is a major element of combat in that some attacks can hit enemies behind the ones at which you are aiming, and some of their attacks also progress along a line. Some of them will actually hit other enemies as well.

Combat is complicated by the presence of a system of abilities called techniques. At first these include only special attacks and magic-like abilities, but fairly early in the game you achieve the ability to use magic. Magic is a lost art that the game will tell you was taken away from humans because they abused it. Each character has an elemental affiliation which determines what type of magic they use, and thus what kind of spells they have. There is one exception; he has an affiliation but has some of the other types of magic as well. Spells and techniques alike consume MP, or magic points. Techniques are developed with the use of TP or Technique Points, which are awarded along with experience points (XP) and gold (G) when enemies are defeated. Not all enemies produce TP, but all enemies produce G and XP.

Some techniques involve the use of multiple characters. These techniques are learned by gaining sufficient TP while the appropriate characters are in the active party. All characters involved in a double or triple technique must learn the technique, and all characters' battle meters must be filled in order to use it. In addition, it consumes some MP from each participating character. These may take the effect of magic alone (such as a spell called Antipode, which involves fire and ice spells) or they may be a combination of magic and a physical attack. Each attack spell has three levels; a basic one which attacks one enemy, an improved version which consumes about three times as many MPs and attacks all enemies, and an "ultimate" version which consumes 20 MP (as opposed to 2 or 6 for first and second level abilities, respectively) and which does dramatically more damage.

Physical and magic power and defense are separate statistics. In addition, some enemies are immune either to physical attacks or to magic ones. Also, any combo attack which involves a physical attack and magic is considered to be a magic attack, and so cannot be used on an enemy immune to magic, nor should it be used on an enemy with especially strong magic defense. There are spells and objects which increase either physical or magical defense. There are some enemies which absorb certain types of magical damage as health, as well as some objects which confer the same ability on your characters.

Finally, there are spells which cause status effects. There are objects which you can get fairly late in the game which prevent all negative status changes, though a few boss characters can remove your status protection. These enemies typically do not cause many changes of status in any case. Your characters can be blinded, reducing their hit rate, poisoned, which causes them to lose hit points in lumps occasionally, or hit with an "HP Down" effect which slowly but steadily drains HP. Spells also exist to raise or lower physical or magical defense, to put characters or enemies to sleep (which they awaken from either in time or when attacked) or to "stop" them, which freezes them for a while regardless of damage. The most annoying status effect is confusion, which causes characters to attack randomly, though if the numbers are even they are as likely to attack enemies as friends. All status effects are curable through the use of the "Heal" item or spell. All status effects wear off at the end of combat.

Weapons and Equipment

Each character has a specific type of item. For example, Crono's weapon is the sword, while Lucca uses a gun. Like any RPG, as you progress you get more and more powerful weapons, sometimes by buying them and sometimes by picking them up. The most powerful weapons in the game are achieved through side quests, some of which can only be achieved when the only thing you have left to do is defeat the main antagonist. In general these side quests cannot be reached until you are significantly through the game and have gained the ability to fly around the map, and only one of them can reasonably be completed before the characters have reached around level 30. In general this means you will be spending quite a bit of money on weapons. Some of the best weapons have bonuses against magical creatures, or cause status effects. Weapons do not have requirements, besides that they can only be used by certain characters.

Armor, too, can only be used by the appropriate characters, but this is implemented much more loosely than weapons (only two characters can share weapons at all, and there is little overlap.) Mostly, only the males can wear heavy armor, and only the women can wear dresses. Anyone can wear vests or "mail", which is extremely significant because the armor that reduces or absorbs magical damage and which is absolutely critical to clearing certain parts of the game all takes one of these forms. Mail is the advanced form of a vest. Spoiler Warning! The vests in question are picked up from sealed containers that you can only open after a certain point in the game. You can get them in either 600 or 1000 A.D. However, in 600 you are asked if you want to open them, whereas in 1000 you simply open them. If you visit them in 600, and inspect but do not take them, then what would be a vest becomes mail. You can then go back to 600 and collect them again, as a vest.End Spoiler. Armor takes two forms, headgear and armor. While there are some armors which will protect you from elemental damage, there are pieces of headgear which protect you from status effects. In particular, the "Vigil Hat" protects you from all negative status effects, and has a high defense value as well. One of them is found near the end of the game, but you can also buy them if you complete one of the side quests, which is only accessible if you have talked to someone back in 12,000 B.C. and given them the proper answer to a question.

Besides weapons and armor there are also accessories. These generally either alter statistics, give you a new ability, or protect you from status effects. There are also a few accessories which make some extremely high-damage triple-character techniques (combos) available. One accessory ("Rage Band") gives you a 50% counter-attack rate, while another ("Berserker") increases your attack power and causes you to attack single-mindedly every turn. Each character comes with an accessory which provides a stat bonus.

Items

Chrono Trigger features a fairly typical range of items that will be especially familiar to any Squaresoft game aficionados. Tonics and Ethers, which restore HP and MP respectively, come in basic, "Mid", "Full", and "Hyper" versions. There are also the Elixir and Megaelixir which restore full HP and MP to one or all characters, respectively. Unlike many other games, however, there is only one item ("Heal") which cures status effects. This is a welcome change from trying to remember which item cures which affliction.

There are also power, speed, and magic "tabs", which improve the appropriate statistics by one point. Attack power seems to go up unevenly as your power statistic improves; it generally increases one for one, but sometimes a one point improvement in power results in a two point improvement in attack power. Your speed stat has two effects; it causes your battle meter to fill up faster, and it also determines who goes first based on how full your meter is at the beginning of combat.

Other than that, there are a number of special items which are basically keys to later parts of the game. For example, Marle's pendant is the first of these, and later it becomes the key to opening sealed doors and chests (as opposed to locked chests, which must be opened with the appropriate key.) Most of them are quest items that you have intentionally set out to find, and which are taken somewhere so something can be done with them.

New Game, or New Game+?

In an attempt to increase replay value, or at least to let you see all of the game's thirteen endings, Square added a mode that allows you to start the game with powerful characters, and most all of your items. Key items that are plot keys are removed from your inventory, and you are left with only the normal 400 gold that you'd ordinarily start with, but you get to keep everything else. You access New Game+ mode for the first time by having all of the characters in your party, including the one optional character. Once you have saved a New Game+, you can start another one from it any time.

CHARACTERS

With all of that explained, it is now possible to give a meaningful description of the game's main characters. Note that each of these characters can be named (up to five letters) when they join the party. Spoiler Alert! The last character listed is involved in a number of major plot points, but all of these characters are of course introduced during the course of the story, as are their elemental affiliations. Characters are listed in the order in which they are encountered.

Crono

Crono is a young redheaded boy who uses swords (he starts with a wooden one) and whose "element" is lightning. He lives in Truce Village in the year 1000 A.D. with his mother and a cat. He is the second or third-strongest character when it comes to combat, is involved in all of the most powerful techniques and combo techniques, and has one of the most powerful spells in the game (Luminaire, the ultimate lightning magic.)

Marle

Marle rapidly turns out to actually be princess Nadia of the Guardia kingdom, which includes the Truce village. She uses a bow and her element is ice (water, but with more damage.) Her pendant, a family heirloom, catapults us into the time travel element of the story, and plays a major part in the game.

Lucca

Lucca, who uses guns and whose element is fire, is a nerdy inventor girl who lives with her mother and father on an island that is part of Truce village. She's Crono's best friend. Her fire magic is absolutely indispensible fairly early on in the game.

Frog

Frog was a noble knight of the middle ages before he crossed the wrong wizard and got turned into an anthropomorphic amphibian. His element is water (of course) and he uses a blade, or in other words, just a different kind of sword. There's a couple of swords, in fact, that can be used by either Crono or Frog. He's a good guy but his psuedo-antiquated dialog (full of thees and thous) is pretty annoying. His attacks are very strong and he has a high critical hit rate.

Ayla

Ayla is an extremely strong woman from the prehistoric era. She fights barehanded and has no magic abilities, but is your strongest character in combat, doing the most damage and often hitting things that everyone else tends to miss. Her "cavewoman" dialogue is highly humorous.

Robo

Originally named R-66Y or Prometheus, depending on who you talk to, he also has no magic ability. His arms are occasionally upgraded (by equipping a weapon) and he has good attack power. His techniques are not as powerful as magic, but are sometimes more useful and tend not to use many MP.

Magus

Magus starts out as an enemy, and he makes significant contributions to the plot throughout much of history before you have the chance to add him to your party. His weapon is the scythe, and his element is shadow. He has the most powerful spells in the game, and not only does he have shadow magic, but he also has Ice2, Fire2, and Lightning2, area-effect elemental spells.

TIME PERIODS

(Warning: Spoilers Ahead. It's just not possible to meaningfully discuss this part of the game without them.) Again, listed in order of precedence.

1000 A.D.

Peaceful and sunny, no one needs to worry about monsters in 1000 A.D. unless they're walking through the forest to the castle (kind of strange, there) or going someplace people just don't need to be going. The first three main characters all live here, on the same continent even.

600 A.D.

Still pretty peaceful, but windy and perpetually foggy. There's quite a few more monster-infested locations than in 1000, and even getting to the castle is tougher. As you might expect, the towns are a little smaller.

2300 A.D.

In The Future, the planet is completely thrashed. The few people still alive live in deteriorating domes, surrounded by desert, ruined cities, and sandstorms that will start knocking down your HP if you spend too much time outside, eventually reducing it to 1. Everywhere you go there are monsters (including in parts of the domes that people don't use) and some of them respond only to magical damage. Besides the monsters (mostly mutants and giant rats) there's also a serious overabundance of hostile robots.

The End of Time

Going through a gate with more than three people results in you being sent here. It's basically just three fenced areas floating in space. An old man is here, and he provides you with guidance. This is also where you first get the ability to use magic, from Spekkio, god of war.

65,000,000 B.C.

The prehistoric age. Land masses are in different locations and the earth is covered either with lush vegetation or the occasional rocky mountain or volcano. Besides a few primitive people (who nonetheless have some kickass equipment they'll give you if you trade them some stuff that you get by defeating monsters, and who will take your money in exchange for tonics and such, or buy things from you) the residents of the land are reptilian. These "reptites" are fairly nasty characters, and the larger dinos are even worse, but they respond well to lightning.

12,000 B.C.

The dark ages, and also the time of magic. A feudal society in which those with magic keep those without crushed under their heel. The magicians live on floating islands in the sky while those without live in caves on the snowy land below. The queen (appropriately named "Zeal") of this era is responsible for the majority of the suffering that goes on in the game.

1999 A.D.

You need never go here, but this is the time when Lavos, the main bad guy, destroys the world as we know it. This is what you are trying to prevent, to change the future (2300 A.D. and beyond.) You can get here once you can get to the end of time, which results in a confrontation with Lavos, but unless you're level 30 or better, I don't suggest it. It takes a long time training to become that powerful the first time you get to The End of Time.

CRITICISM

Story

The story is absolutely excellent. Time travel is sort of a dead horse in most fiction, with generally goofy stories attached to it. This game actually uses it as an integral game mechanic with extremely good results. Also, though this is really only visible between 600, 1000, and 2300, you can see the evolution of towns (and devolution, in the case of 2300 A.D.) by flipping back and forth between times. Buildings get bigger, or become ruins, and so on.

Each character has some degree of back story. Some of them have a lot of it, especially once you get into the side quests. The back stories tend to be filled in through different time periods, as well, and several of the characters' stories are interlocking. Finally, the game decides who should say what based on who is in your party. Generally the most gregarious character who isn't Crono says something that's appropriate to them when something needs to be said. A single, non-customized line of dialogue is never just assigned to one of your characters.

The game has a number of highly humorous moments as well. For example, in one character's moment of apparent victory, Crono's music begins playing. He yells for it to stop, and his own theme begins. This sort of out of character moment is not uncommon in Squaresoft titles.

Graphics

The game's graphics are excellent. The use of color is not immediately clear in all cases, because the game's designers wanted to provide each area with a distinct look and "feel", but then you'll walk into a building and everything is richly depicted. The game is fairly low-resolution (high resolution mode on the SNES is not exactly suited to having a lot of motion) so player models are not very detailed, but they do look quite good and each has a good range of motion with sufficient frames to be smoothly animated. Background graphics are extremely detailed and attractive.

Sound and Music

Most of the game's sound effects are very good, although a few of them are also very annoying, in particular effects heard in 2300 A.D. Probably the highest compliment I can give them, however, is that they just became part of the game - they all seem to fit their circumstances well. The music, on the other hand, is excellent all around. It's eerie when it should be eerie, jubilant when the environment is festive, and generally stirring (not a word I generally associate with video game music) in between. This is not as big a surprise for a game from Squaresoft as from most publishers, however.

Play Control and Menus

There is not much to say about most RPGs when it comes to play control, except for Action RPGs, and this is not one of those although there are some action sequences and mini-games. The (very) few mini games are smooth, and they are plot points, so there is both little to say about them, and little I want to say about them. In general they are simple and straightforward. However, what I do want to talk about is the ease of simply moving around your environment. While it is only required on about four occasions, you can choose to run around, which greatly reduces the time it takes to get from point A to point B. Also, you are not restricted to moving in chunks as many older RPGs require, thus you can move diagonally, which makes the task of navigation much less painful.

The menu system is very clean, with highly descriptive icons (will anyone ever develop the same level of skill at ideogram as the Japanese?) and with item descriptions any time you point at anything that isn't equipped. Menus used in combat reopen with the same item selected as the last time they were open, greatly simplifying combat, as most of the time when you are fighting something, strategy dictates repetition. This addition is my favorite feature of the menu system.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Chrono Trigger is a 32Mbit (4 MB) HiROM cart for the SNES. It features 8KB of battery-backed SRAM for its three savegames.

In general I have found Chrono Trigger to be one of the most enjoyable RPGs I have ever played, and in my opinion it is the best RPG for the SNES, bar none. Every aspect of the game is excellent and it's not even particularly difficult to figure out what you're supposed to do and where you're supposed to go, at least most of the time. Possibly the only Video RPGs I've played that had a more engrossing story were Final Fantasy VII and Xenogears - but the latter of those tapers off badly in the second half of the game and besides - consider who made those games...

If you want a great RPG for the Super NES, there is no example more polished. If you like the Final Fantasy series, you cannot fail to enjoy Chrono Trigger.

Defeating Lavos final battle

Here are some tips to EASILY defeat Lavos final in the game "Chrono Trigger". Your party should be Crono, Ayla, and Robo and must be at least level 60 each. Equip Ayla with the accessory Frenzy Band and you will be amazed with the results (counterattacks). Why not equip it on Crono since he's so strong? That's coz he should be equipped with Prismspecs for optimum damage.

At level 60, I'm assuming you already have Crono's Rainbow sword and Robo's Giga arm. There are 3 entities that make up Lavos final: left bit, central body, and right bit. Do not be fooled by the central body. It is the right bit that you need to kill but its defense is so high that you'll barely scratch it. You must take out the left bit first, then the central, then the right bit.

All you need to do to defeat Lavos easily is use Crono's and Ayla's double tech called "Falcon Hit" over and over. The damage is tremendous (around 3,100 @ level 61). Use Robo to cast Heal Beam only when necessary (like after your party's sustained a high-damage spell--no shit huh?). Keep him idle while waiting for Crono and Ayla to be able to perform "Falcon Hit". Do not even attack with Robo--only when the right bit is all that's left and its defense is down.

The right bit will activate "Active Life" to respawn the left bit and the central body. Do not be alarmed, just keep on doing this routine; do not deviate from it. Soon enough Lavos is dead Lavos. With this technique you'll only need one megalixer to replenish your HP/MP (mostly need it for MP).

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