A lot of gratuitous
name changes (these are only the most noticeable):
- Epoch instead of Shirubaado (Gilbird?).
- Masamune instead of Grandorion.
- Luminaire instead of Shining.
- Tonic instead of Potion.
- Ozzie instead of Binegaa (Vinegar?).
- Ayla instead of Eira. (only a change if you pronounce the "ay" as ai, though)
- Tabs instead of Capsules.
- Most of the monsters' names are changed.
And, since the Japanese are generally less puritanical than us, some censorship:
- Flea's Vest is actually Flea's Bra.
- When you first go into prehistory, Eira challenges you to a "soup"-drinking contest. It's actually a sake-drinking contest. Now that hangover makes a lot more sense :).
- Similarly, Toma is always drinking sake, not "pop". The beverage he wants you to pour over his grave is also sake.
I guess this is what Square's president meant when he said translation required changes to cope with different cultures. It's strange that they decided to censor these parts of the game, while leaving the fact that Flea is a transvestite. That scene is more funny in the Japanese version, anyway, because he uses female speech patterns that have no equivalent in English.
Also, in their status pages, the characters have a neat stylized kanji character representing their element. It looks much better than the English writing, imho.
As for the annoying way the main character's name is spelled Crono rather than Chrono, there's no such problem in the original version: both are written Kurono. Strange decision on the part of the translators.
To be fair, the Square America team generally did a good job at accurately translating Chrono Trigger (Kurono Toriga) into English. I didn't notice any gameplay differences (Lucca/Robo's double bomb still does 4000 damage, muhaha), or dialogue changes.