Year of the RPG: Chrono Trigger

Kicking off the first game of the Year of the RPG with Chrono Trigger, a game originally released on the Super Nintendo in 1995 and re-released for original Playstation in 2001. Developed by Square (now Square Enix), this beloved role playing game with turn-based combat is often regarded as a classic game that has stood the test of time (pun intended) and demonstrates what a “good” RPG should be like.

AGC Chrono Trigger

Historical Background

Published by Square (now Square Enix) in 1995 for the Super Nintendo, Chrono Trigger became an almost-instant success upon its release. Often hailed as one of the best video games of all time (you can check out Red Metal’s fabulous long-form review and analysis here), Chrono Trigger introduced the video game world to such revolutionary concepts as multiple endings, plot-related sidequests, and deep character development, all of which would return in future RPGs, eventually becoming somewhat expected for games in that genre.

As the first game this year, it seems fitting to go back to a classic that embodies so many “standard” RPG traits and, if all the praise it to be believed, implements them well.

Character Profiles

Two adventurers will be embarking on this journey (alongside their brave companion NPCs, of course)..

AGC Chrono cast

One will be following the warrior teachings of one BadgersAndBowties, righting wrongs and bopping baddies on the head with a sword until peace has been restored in… the past? The future? Everything seems alright in the present year of 1000A.D., but Crono’s home country of Truce must be in some sort of danger, shouldn’t it?

But I digress.

After playing the game for a few hours, it doesn’t seem like play styles will vary very much, considering Crono’s class is that of a warrior, and Chrono Trigger has a turn-based battle system so we’ll play as every class in our party, but from what I’ve gathered from a few hours of play is that dear Crono is a typical teenage boy living at home with his mother, oversleeping as some video game heroes are known to do. As a side-note, I’ll be interested to see the parallels between this hero and a certain other hero who oversleeps and travels through time…

Anyway, he also appears to keep to himself, mostly, considering he only has one friend name Lucca, no brothers and sisters, and only his mother at home. So I’m sure he’ll be happy to pick up a few friends along the way… 😉

AGC Chrono cast

Unfortunately there were some crossed wires between myself and BadgersAndBowties and so we both didn’t establish an alignment before this post was scheduled to go up. Again, I’m not sure it matters in this particular game, but I’ll be trying my hardest to align my “Crono” (creatively named “Athen”) with neutral good.

AGC Athen

He believes that “what is right” is always the best course of action, even if it’s hard, and does not seek praise or recognition. He doesn’t lie, he keeps his promises, and follows rules to the point of them being “right.” He is loyal and respectful of authority as long as they follow his personal code, and puts the good of the many over the good of the few.

Time for the Festival of the Inciting Event

And with that, our heroes are off to the Millennium Fair! I’m sure nothing at all will go wrong.

The mailbox is open, and I’m checking it every day for updates from our heroes. If you’re on the adventure with them, let me know in the comments and I’ll know to keep an eye out for your writings, too!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~ Athena (and BadgersAndBowties)

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  1. I thank you for linking to my review, though to be honest, I’ll probably end up rewriting it at some point because I feel it wasn’t one of my better ones. It was an early review, and I therefore didn’t go as much detail as I do now.

    Either way, Chrono Trigger is a lot like Ocarina of Time in that it receives so much critical acclaim that a skeptic would question if it actually lives up to the hype. Actually playing it reveals that the hype is only barely an exaggeration. In retrospect, it wasn’t quite enough to snag one of my 10/10s, but it’s undoubtedly a masterpiece; the collaboration between Sakaguchi, Horii, Toriyama, and Kato really ended up producing something special.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course! Let me know if you write another one; I’ll link to that one as well/instead.

      I was a bit skeptical, and I definitely don’t have nostalgia glasses on when playing this, but it really is a great game and I haven’t found much fault with it. Even loading times; people complained about the PS1 version but I haven’t been irritated by them so far.

      I agree that the hard-hitting collaboration probably had something to do with the game’s quality and staying power!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chrono Trigger is a great game that I believe holds up fairly well. While you are a bit right in saying the playstyles are fairly similar (doing lots of damage), the fun strategy comes in using the combined attacks with the active party.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m really enjoying my time with it so far! Yeah I’m pretty stoked for some of the combos the party has learned!! I’m not usually a fan of turn-based combat, but this game does it very well and it feels very smooth, and is very fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh man, even just seeing the swinging clock in the opening sequence blasts me with nostalgia! One thing about Chrono Trigger that I always loved was just how bleak and dark the colors looked. While other games I enjoyed from my childhood were much happier looking (Secret of Mana, Link to the Past), Chrono Trigger took a turn for the bleak just as soon as you left the castle.

    And it all had that aging look to it, that dark industrial style… oh man, I just love that game!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine! Watching the opening screen and knowing it was originally on the SNES is really amazing, too. The entire art style is really well-thought out and implemented well, like you mentioned. It *is* very bleak, now that you mention it.

      it’s great! Like I said in another comment, I’m having fun with it and I was blown away when I saw the opening and a few cutscenes knowing that they were originally produced on the same system as, well, Mario Paint haha.


  4. Chrono Trigger is a game I haven’t finished from way back, but still plan to. I gotta see the ending.

    Regardless of finishing it or not, outside of Super Mario RPG, it was the first game that got me engrossed in the whole JRPG thing.

    What I do love that I think sets it apart from other games in it’s field are those darned team attacks. I rarely play games that do it as well as Chrono Trigger. And this goes without saying, awesome music as expected in this one.

    I love your parallels about Crono and other heroes that oversleep and travel through time. I quickly thought to myself, you’re right! That other guy starts off so many of his damn games sleeping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From what I’ve seen, I recommend picking it up again!

      I can see why!! If this was my introduction to JRPGs and turn-based combat, I might be a little more into both of those genres now! haha And the team attacks are phenomenal. Wow. Yes, the music is fantastic, as well. All from a SNES (originally), too!

      Right? Maybe it’s a sign of greatness… I’ll just tell myself that the next time I sleep through my alarm… haha

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I only just got around to this game a couple years ago, and you’re surely in for a quite a good time. I don’t have on the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia for the title though, so it didn’t (and doesn’t) pull much on the ol’ heartstrings. Anyway, it’s still a wonderful game, and I can’t wait to see how things turn out for you.

    [P. S. Wrong post for this comment, but as I’m typing anyway…I also want to play Fallout 3 this year, so I may try to time it according to your schedule. :)]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really enjoying it so far! Like you, I don’t have nostalgia glasses, but it really does seem to live up to much of its praise. Still not sure whether it’s the best game ever conceived as some claim, but it’s a fantastic game!

      [Always happy for companions along the way! That’s fantastic. If we stay on schedule, Fallout 3 should come up toward the middle of September. But I will keep you updated! Thank you for joining it!!! 😀 ]

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chrono Trigger is the first RPG I ever played. Final Fantasy VI is the second. I was absolutely spoiled for the rest of the JRPGs I played afterwards. This game is really good.

    Fair warning, though, this game is a lot more linear than most of the others on your list. There’s still a bit of opportunity to play Crono as a jerk in the really early game, but as it progresses you’re going to run into a lot more of the ‘but thou musts’ and would likely have less opportunity to play your alignments through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see how it spoiled you! I’m not really a huge JRPG player,but this game is really great!

      Yeah, I knew that going in; I’m not too concerned about it. I appreciate the warning, though! I think I’m past the part where Crono can be a jerk, and yeah, pretty much my options are yes I can do that or yes I can do that haha. But I don’t think that’s a strike against the game by any means!

      Liked by 1 person

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