Chrono Trigger (Japanese: クロノ・トリガー Hepburn: Kurono Torigā) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995. Chrono Trigger‘s development team included three designers that Square dubbed the “Dream Team”: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Square’s Final Fantasy series; Yuji Horii, a freelance designer and creator of Enix’s popular Dragon Quest series; and Akira Toriyama, a freelance manga artist famed for his work with Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball. Kazuhiko Aoki produced the game, Masato Kato wrote most of the plot, while composer Yasunori Mitsuda scored most of the game before falling ill and deferring the remaining tracks to Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game’s story follows a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe.
Square re-released a ported version by Tose in Japan for the PlayStation in 1999, later repackaged with a Final Fantasy IV port as Final Fantasy Chronicles in 2001 for the North American market. A slightly enhanced Chrono Trigger, again ported by Tose, was released for the Nintendo DS on November 25, 2008, in North America and Japan, and went on sale in Australia on February 3, 2009, and in Europe on February 6, 2009. The game was never released in PAL territories before the Nintendo DS version.
Chrono Trigger was a critical and commercial success upon release and is frequently cited as one of the best video games of all time. Nintendo Power magazine described aspects of Chrono Trigger as revolutionary, including its multiple endings, plot-related sidequests focusing on character development, unique battle system, and detailed graphics. Chrono Trigger was the third best-selling game of 1995, and the game’s SNES and PlayStation iterations have shipped 2.65 million copies as of March 2003. The version for the Nintendo DS sold 790,000 copies as of March 2009. Chrono Trigger was also ported to mobile phones, Virtual Console, the PlayStation Network, iOS devices, and Android devices.
Video Source – Retroware
Chrono Trigger takes place in a world familiar to Earth, with eras such as the prehistoric age, in which primitive humans and dinosaurs share the earth; the Middle Ages, replete with knights, monsters, and magic; and the post-apocalyptic future, where destitute humans and sentient robots struggle to survive. The characters frequently travel through time to obtain allies, gather equipment, and learn information to help them in their quest. The party also gains access to the End of Time (represented as year ∞), which serves as a hub to travel back to other time periods. The party eventually acquires a time-machine vehicle known as the Wings of Time, nicknamed the Epoch. The vehicle is capable of time travel between any time period without first having to travel to the End of Time.
Image Source – www.deviantart.com
Chrono Trigger‘s six playable characters (plus one optional character) come from different eras of history. Chrono Trigger begins in AD 1000 with Crono, Marle and Lucca. Crono is the silent protagonist, characterized as a fearless young man who wields a katana in battle. Marle (Princess Nadia) lives in Guardia Castle; though sheltered, at heart she’s a princess who enjoys hiding her royal identity. Lucca is a friend of Crono’s and a mechanical genius; her home is filled with laboratory equipment and machinery. From the era of AD 2300 comes Robo, or Prometheus (designation R-66Y), a robot with near-human personality created to assist humans. Lying dormant in the future, Robo is found and repaired by Lucca, and joins the group out of gratitude. The fiercely confident Ayla dwells in 65,000,000 BC. Unmatched in raw strength, Ayla is the chief of Ioka Village and leads her people in war against a species of humanoid reptiles known as Reptites.
The last two playable characters are Frog and Magus. Frog originated in AD 600. He is a former squire once named Glenn, who was turned into an anthropomorphic frog by Magus, who also killed his friend Cyrus. Chivalrous but mired in regret, Frog dedicates his life to protecting Leene, the queen of Guardia, and avenging Cyrus. Meanwhile, Guardia in AD 600 is in a state of conflict against the Mystics (known as Fiends in the US/DS port), a race of demons and intelligent animals who wage war against humanity under the leadership of Magus, a powerful sorcerer. Magus’s seclusion conceals a long-lost past; he was formerly known as Janus, the young prince of the Kingdom of Zeal, which was destroyed by Lavos in 12,000 BC. The incident sent him forward through time, and as he ages, he plots revenge against Lavos and broods over the fate of his sister, Schala. Lavos, the game’s main antagonist who awakens and ravages the world in AD 1999, is an extraterrestrial, parasitic creature that harvests DNA and the Earth’s energy for its own growth.
In AD 1000, Crono and Marle watch Lucca and her father demonstrate her new teleporter at the Millennial Fair. When Marle volunteers to be teleported, her pendant interferes with the device and creates a time portal into which she is drawn. After Crono and Lucca separately recreate the portal and find themselves in AD 600, they find Marle only to see her vanish before their eyes. Lucca realizes that this time period’s kingdom has mistaken Marle for an ancestor of hers who had been kidnapped, thus putting off the recovery effort for her ancestor and creating a grandfather paradox. Crono and Lucca, with the help of Frog, restore history to normal by recovering the kidnapped queen. After the three part ways with Frog and return to the present, Crono is arrested on charges of kidnapping the princess and sentenced to death by the current chancellor of Guardia. Lucca and Marle help Crono to flee, haphazardly using another time portal to escape their pursuers. This portal lands them in AD 2300, where they learn that an advanced civilization has been wiped out by a giant creature known as Lavos that appeared in 1999. The three vow to find a way to prevent the future destruction of their world. After meeting and repairing Robo, Crono and his friends find Gaspar, an old sage at the End of Time, who helps them acquire magical powers and travel through time by way of several pillars of light.
Their party expands to include Ayla and Frog after they visit the prehistoric era to repair Frog’s sword. They return to AD 600 to challenge Magus, believing him to be the source of Lavos; after the battle, a summoning spell causes a time gate that throws Crono and his friends to the past. In prehistory, the group battle the Reptites and witness the origin of Lavos. They learn that Lavos was an alien being that arrived on the planet millions of years in the past, and began to absorb DNA and energy from every living creature before arising and razing the planet’s surface in 1999 so that it could spawn a new generation. In 12,000 BC, Crono and friends find that the Kingdom of Zeal recently discovered Lavos and seeks to drain its power to achieve immortality through the Mammon Machine. However Zeal’s leader, Queen Zeal imprisons Crono and friends. Though Zeal’s daughter Schala frees them, the Prophet, a mysterious figure who has recently begun advising the queen, forces her to banish them from the realm and seal the time gate they used to travel to the Dark Ages. They return next to AD 2300 to find a time machine called the Wings of Time (or Epoch), which can access any time period without using a time gate. They travel back to Zeal for the Mammon Machine’s activation at the Ocean Palace. Lavos awakens, disturbed by the Mammon Machine, and the Prophet reveals himself to be Magus and tries to kill the creature. Crono stands up to Lavos but is vaporized by a powerful blast, after which Lavos destroys the Kingdom of Zeal.
Image Source – kotaku.com
Crono’s friends awake in a village and find Magus, who confesses that he used to be prince Janus of Zeal. In his memories, it is revealed that the disaster at the Ocean Palace scattered the Gurus of Zeal across time and sent him to the Middle Ages. Janus took the alias of Magus and gained a cult of followers while plotting to summon and kill Lavos in revenge for the death of his sister, Schala, but when Lavos appeared after his battle with Crono and his allies he was cast back to the time of Zeal and presented himself to them as a prophet. As Crono’s friends depart, the Ocean Palace rises into the air as the Black Omen. The group turns to Gaspar for help, and he gives them a “Chrono Trigger,” an egg-shaped device that allows the group to replace Crono just before the moment of death with a Dopple Doll. Crono and his friends then gather power by helping people across time with Gaspar’s instructions. Their journeys involve defeating the remnants of the Mystics, stopping Robo’s maniacal AI creator, addressing Frog’s feelings towards Cyrus, locating and charging up the mythical Sun Stone, retrieving the Rainbow Shell, and helping restore a forest destroyed by a desert monster. The group enters the Black Omen and defeats Queen Zeal, then successfully battles Lavos, saving the future of their world.
If Magus joined the party, he departs to search for Schala. Crono’s mother accidentally enters the time gate at the fair before it closes, prompting Crono, Marle, and Lucca to set out in the Epoch to find her while fireworks light up the night sky. Alternatively, if the party used the Epoch to break Lavos’s outer shell, Marle will help her father hang Nadia’s bell at the festival and accidentally get carried away by several balloons. Crono jumps on to help her, but cannot bring them down to earth. Hanging on in each other’s arms, the pair travel through the cloudy, moonlit sky.
Chrono Trigger DS added two new scenarios to the game. In the first, Crono and his friends can help a “lost sanctum” of Reptites, who reward powerful items and armor. The second scenario adds ties to Trigger‘s sequel, Chrono Cross. In a New Game +, the group can explore several temporal distortions to combat shadow versions of Crono, Marle, and Lucca, and to fight Dalton, who promises in defeat to raise an army in the town of Porre to destroy the Kingdom of Guardia. The group can then fight the Dream Devourer, a prototypical form of the Time Devourer—a fusion of Schala and Lavos seen in Chrono Cross. A version of Magus pleads with Schala to resist; though she recognizes him as her brother, she refuses to be helped and sends him away. Schala subsequently erases his memories and Magus awakens in a forest, determined to find what he had lost.