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Chrono Trigger – Video Game Review

Chrono Trigger – Video Game Review
Book Name: Chrono Trigger
Publisher(s): Square
Formatt: Super Nintendo (SNES)
Genre(s): Fantasy RPG
Release Date: 1995

This time, I would like to present homage to one of those precious few videogames that marked a whole era of gamers around the world: Chrono Trigger (released in 1995), one of the best RPGs on the Super Nintendo, a console that was incredibly prolific in that genre.

Throughout the years, many games have centered their plots in an imminent apocalypse that the player characters must avoid, whether by righting the wrongs that would give way to it or, usually, through the more expedient way of killing whoever it is that wants to unleash said apocalypse. There are a few games where the end of the world wasn’t avoided, showing the hardships that the few survivors must endure, or the lengthy process of setting right whatever went wrong. However, as far as I know, Chrono Trigger is the only one that gives the player to confront either possible course, depending on the choices made throughout its story.

The game’s story is, at least at the beginning, quite simple: our main character, Crono, goes to the fair that has been organized in his village in order to celebrate the arrival of the year one thousand. There, he meets a cute young girl, who is sent to the past after one of the fair’s inventions catastrophically fails. As any hero worth his salt would, Crono will risk life and limb to save her.

As his travels take him and his party to many different eras, they discover the cause of the disruptions on the time-space continuum: Lavos, an unimaginably powerful creature that fell to the world millions of years ago, unleashing a cataclysmic devastation that wiped out the dinosaurs’ advanced civilization and ushered the rise of mankind. If they don’t do something to stop it, it will emerge again on the year 1999, marking the end of the world. This same creature has partially awakened before, destroying the glorious Zeal Empire (this world’s Atlantis equivalent) for trying to take its power for themselves.

As in most RPGs, as the plot advances we will meet many other characters, some of whom–like the rebellious princess Marle or the dark wizard and former antagonist Magus–will join Crono on his quest to prevent Lavos from awakening, others just to aid or hinder that quest. What all of them have in common is how endearing they are, thanks to the marvelous character design by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama. It’s them that advance a story that doesn’t loosen for a single moment, filling us with emotion even when we take a break from the main story and decide to explore the many different eras.

The graphics are also worthy of mention, being remarkably fluid for its time. The many different landscapes, from lush jungles to devastated cities, are incredibly vivid, despite being made with a technology that today would be considered quite primitive.

Despite so many points in favor, the game’s true charm comes once we get our hands on the Epoch, a machine that will allow the party to travel to any place and time, giving the chance to skip the storyline and face Lavos directly. With the chances this opens, we can make choices that will radically affect the game universe. It’s based on these, as in the time and method we use to face Lavos, that one of the thirteen different endings (quite an achievement for that time) is shown.

As I have already said, this is a game that marked an era. With a solid story, endearing characters and a world that seems to jump out of the screen, it has deservedly earned its place as one of the best RPGs of all time. Should a whiff of nostalgia take the best of a gamer, I can think of far worse choices than Chrono Trigger to indulge it.

Note: This article is a translation made by me of an article I wrote for the Spanish online magazine Nosolofreak.


One Comment

  1. Avatar Autumn2May says:

    It also has an amazing sound track. My husbands cell phone ring is Frog’s Theme. 🙂

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