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Chrono Trigger

Experience Points .18: Chrono Trigger

Jul 11 // Ben Davis
It's not easy being green I absolutely love when games give us unconventional heroes. Chrono Trigger is full of them; apart from the three main protagonists, the party also recruits a humanoid frog, a robot, a cave woman, and even a villainous mage. But let's face it, the best character by far has got to be Frog. Frog is a very mysterious character at first. He sort of appears out of nowhere to help Crono and Lucca out of a jam, and doesn't really explain who he is, where he came from, or why he is a bipedal talking frog. But the party just sort of accepts this strange fellow and welcomes him into their midst without question. He is really good with a sword, after all! Later, it's revealed that Frog's real name is actually Glenn, and he used to be a human before Magus killed his friend Cyrus and transformed him into an amphibian. He has since dedicated his life to tracking down and defeating Magus to get revenge for the death of Cyrus, and probably to try and get his old body back as well. Frog is just all around cool, though. I love everything about him: his triumphant theme song, his victory animation where he flexes his surprisingly huge muscles, his fancy Old English accent, the way he hops around instead of walking, and simply the basic fact that he's a walking, talking frog wearing clothes and wielding a large sword. He's just the greatest! Moral dilemmas at the Millennial Fair Chrono Trigger is one of those games that makes the player very aware of their actions. Almost as soon as the game begins, the player is being judged, even when they're just trying to enjoy a lighthearted festival. Of course, they won't be aware of this until later on. At a certain point during Crono's adventure, he is apprehended by the chancellor of Guardia Castle for allegedly kidnapping the princess, Marle, and is swiftly put on trial. As the trial progresses, the player may quickly become overcome with dread when they realize their seemingly simple gameplay choices are in question. Remember that man's lunch you stole at the fair? Or the girl with the lost cat who you failed to help? Or the moment you bumped into Marle and then went to pick up the pendant she dropped? The player may not have thought much about these things at the time, but now these simple actions are being used as evidence against their character in a life or death situation. Now, in reality the choices don't actually affect much. Crono will still be thrown in prison and given the death penalty whether or not he's found guilty. Of course, I had no idea of this at the time. I figured I had completely screwed myself over by stealing lunches and grabbing dropped pendants, and I was starting to feel really bad about the way I had been playing. I was so used to being able to do whatever I wanted in games, without repercussion. Going into other people's houses and smashing all their pots? No problem! Taking money and items from their cabinets without their consent? Go right ahead! But now, in Chrono Trigger, I'm suddenly being judged, and I look like a complete jerk. Later, Crono finds out that the chancellor is, in fact, a fake and that the trial was a set-up. But even so, it still got me to think twice about every action I took in Chrono Trigger from that point on. You never know when some seemingly insignificant choice could have major consequences! [embed]295724:59448:0[/embed] Yearnings of the wind Chrono Trigger has an excellent soundtrack in general, but there's one song in particular that I love more than the rest. "Wind Scene" plays on the overworld map in 600 AD. I'm honestly not entirely sure what it is about this song that makes me love it so much, but hearing it always leaves me feeling peaceful and happy. Whenever I play Chrono Trigger, as soon as I get to the Middle Ages, I just sit around on the overworld and listen to this song play on a loop. It's just so lovely and mystical, I can't get enough of it. A few other songs come close, including the heroic "Frog's Theme" and the mysterious "Schala's Theme" (which was bizarrely sampled in a rap song by Wiz Khalifa... anyone remember that?), but "Wind Scene" is my comfort song. It never fails to lift my spirits. All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu If Chrono Trigger had a mascot, it would probably be the Nu. Nus are odd, round creatures found throughout the game. They exist in all eras, from 65,000,000 BC all the way up to 2300 AD. They can be merchants, enemies, assistants, and regular old NPCs. But what exactly is a Nu, anyway? The one found in 2300 AD is actually a robot built by Belthasar, programmed with his memories and left in charge of the time-traveling ship, the Epoch. So are all of the Nus robots? It's not really clear, although some of the other Nus the player can come across behave more like living creatures than machines. One example is my very favorite Nu. He can be found walking around the Zeal Palace, behaving very strangely and sidling sideways across a platform. He politely asks Crono to scratch his back for him. After a nice, satisfying scratch, a message pops up which says, "You discovered the Nu's scratch-point!" while a little victory tune plays (Oh good, I've been wondering where their scratch-point was the entire game!). This doesn't actually do anything significant, but it's still pretty much the best NPC interaction I've ever had. God I love those Nus! [embed]295724:59449:0[/embed] Screams internally This is the first time I've featured a sound effect as a noteworthy Experience Points memory, but this one definitely deserves praise. The sound of Lavos screaming is something that has stuck firmly in my mind whenever I think about Chrono Trigger. It's a truly terrifying noise; a high-pitched, bloodcurdling roar which lasts just a bit longer than one might expect. It's got this otherworldly quality to it, and it definitely does the job of making Lavos seem like a frightening, formidable foe. In terms of classic villainous sound effects, I'd put Lavos's scream just about at the top of the list, well above Kefka's laugh, Sinistar's evil taunting, and even the horrifying ambient noises of Giygas. It's a scream that says, "I will destroy you and everything you love," and that's exactly what he'll do should Crono and friends fail in their mission. The kingdom in the clouds The world of Chrono Trigger is relatively small compared to most RPGs, but the game makes up for that by having the player explore through several unique eras, each with its own distinct theme and alterations to the world. Starting in the present day, players can travel all the way back to prehistoric times in a land roaming with dinosaurs and cavemen, and up through the ages to the future world, a desolate wasteland of machinery and food shortages. But the most intriguing time period is the Age of Antiquity in 12,000 BC. When Crono and the gang first arrive in Antiquity, the world appears to be even worse off than the post-apocalyptic future. It's essentially an Ice Age, with a powerful blizzard covering everything with snow and ice and only a few scattered caves are present for shelter. That is until the party comes across a strange building known as the Skyway, which teleports them up into the clouds to the floating island kingdom of Zeal. Zeal is a kingdom created by magic as a way to escape the harsh winter climate. Only the Enlightened Ones, people who can use magic, are allowed in the kingdom, with normal folk cast away to live on the frozen continent underneath. Not only is Zeal a beautiful place, bright and sunny with a waterfall flowing down into the eternal blizzard below, but it's also full of secrets and strange occurrences. The kingdom is home to many strange individuals, books overflowing with magical power, and all sorts of neat stuff (not to mention an excellent theme song). A few buildings even have hidden passages which can only be found by players clever enough to solve a certain riddle. I bet it would be really fun to live in a place like Zeal, even though many of its denizens are rather snobbish, and in some cases, total assholes (I'm looking at you, Dalton!). Luckily, there are other much nicer people like Schala and Janus to balance out the snobbery. I'll just chill with them instead. The nature of machinery Chrono Trigger has a ton of lengthy, rewarding side quests, my favorite of which begins in the Middle Ages (and actually turns out to be two side quests in one!). A woman named Fiona lives in a barren desert wasteland, which used to be a thriving forest before enemies appeared and destroyed it. After defeating the fiend lurking in the desert, the party returns to Fiona, who is eager to start planting trees to restore the forest. Unfortunately, Fiona fears it will take ages to plant enough trees for the forest to return to its former glory. She certainly would not be able to finish the task in her lifetime, as it could take centuries. Overhearing this, the party's mechanical friend, Robo, kindly offers his services to help Fiona plant trees. Robo bids farewell to Crono and friends, and tells them to look for him in the future. Outside in the desert, Robo can be seen working diligently by plowing the land, sowing seeds, and even acting as a scarecrow (adorable!). 400 years later, the party arrives to find a huge, lush forest in place of the desert. In the center of the forest is a shrine dedicated to its robotic creator. Lucca reactivates Robo, who is pleased to see everyone again after hundreds of years, and proposes a party to celebrate their reunion. During their celebratory campfire in the forest, a second side quest begins. A casual remark from Marle leaves Lucca dwelling on her memories. Late at night, after everyone else has fallen asleep, Lucca steps out to open up a portal back to a moment from her past. It's a deeply personal, tragic moment where Lucca's mother gets caught in a machine, resulting in an injury that leaves her paralyzed. A young Lucca, powerless, must stand by and watch it all happen. But this time, future Lucca can intervene! Well, possibly. If the player is very quick and careful, there is a password to discover which can shut off the machine, saving Lucca's mother from a life without walking. This is actually very difficult to do correctly, though, so most players will unfortunately fail, leaving Lucca to watch her mother's accident all over again. Afterwards, Lucca returns to the present to find Robo waiting for her. If the past remains unchanged, the two have a touching conversation where Robo offers to donate his legs to Lucca's mother so she can walk again. Now, this may sound cold of me, but I actually prefer to leave the past as is and not rescue Lucca's mother, just because the cutscene between Lucca and Robo afterwards is so much better. It shows a funny, caring side of Robo where he offers to help make Lucca happier, and Lucca calls him a friend which he seems to be pleasantly surprised by. It's such a heartwarming exchange, even though it comes at a cost. Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario.08: Persona 4.09: Final Fantasy IX.10: Mega Man Legends.11: Rayman Origins.12: Metal Slug 3.13: Animal Crossing.14: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.15: Super Mario Sunshine.16: Final Fantasy VII.17: Nier
Chrono Trigger photo
But... the future refused to change
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Music photo
Music

Drift away with Chrono Trigger and Game Music Lullabies Volume II


Listen to a sample of 'Scattering Blossoms'
Apr 16
// Jordan Devore
[Disclosure: Jayson Napolitano, the producer of Game Music Lullabies Volume II, previously wrote for Destructoid. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into this news post.] "Aquatic Ambiance" w...
Chrono Trigger photo
Chrono Trigger

What is the most life-changing game you've ever played?


Mine involves a time machine
Jul 30
// Chris Carter
Although many people like to have a conversation about what the "best" game of all time is, the conversation about the most "important" game you've ever played in your life doesn't happen with the same frequency. Some games j...

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Weekend Playlist: Sweet Chrono Trigger remixes


Time traveling bass frequencies
May 17
// GRIMECRAFT
I was up very late the other night reading Mario Kart 8 reviews from all over the Internet. My excitement for this game can hardly be contained, and I'm looking forward to visiting my local GameStop this weekend to get my ha...
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The World is Square


Stay awhile and listen
May 11
// GRIMECRAFT
Boston-based VGM folk band The World is Square just released their sophomore album Stay Awhile and Listen, a followup to their 2012 album No Phoenix Down Can Save You Now. Featuring songs from Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigg...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 3 is out now


Have some free samples
Feb 04
// Darren Nakamura
Last year, Blake Robinson announced that he would be working on a three-part tribute to the legendary Square role-playing game, Chrono Trigger. Volume One of the Chrono Trigger Symphony released in August and Volum...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Chrono Trigger Symphony Vol. 2 is hot and ready


Blake Robinson's second Chrono album takes the fight to Magus
Sep 24
// Tony Ponce
Blake Robinson is in the process of reproducing the entire Chrono Trigger soundtrack into synthesized orchestral form, and the project started bearing fruit last month. For such a massive game with an equally massive score, ...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Gotta get back in time! Chrono Trigger Symphony is out


Grab the new fan album for eight bones
Aug 22
// Tony Ponce
I hope you enjoyed our little snippet of Blake Robinson's Chrono Trigger Symphony, because now it's time for the real thing! The first volume of the three-part fan symphony is live on Loudr and iTunes for $7.99, less than wha...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Sneak peek at Chrono Trigger Symphony fan album


First volume of three-part set releases tomorrow
Aug 21
// Tony Ponce
On August 22, 1995, Chrono Trigger released in the US and changed the RPG paradigm forever. Exactly 18 years later, Blake Robinson is paying tribute with Chrono Trigger Symphony: Volume 1, the first in a three-part set celebr...
Chrono Trigger Symphony photo
Chrono Trigger Symphony

Fan-made Chrono Trigger Symphony coming later this month


Blake Robinson is at it again
Aug 08
// Tony Ponce
Blake Robinson is a beast. Earlier this year, he produced a symphonic arrangement of the Super Metroid soundtrack. A couple months later, he did the same for Banjo-Kazooie. Now Chrono Trigger is up on the block. Does the man...
Gamer Apparel photo
Gamer Apparel

Sanshee brings new game-themed shirts to Anime Expo


Fire Emblem and more to hit online store soon
Jul 07
// Jayson Napolitano
Okay, I think I bought a girl's shirt. Cruising the floor at Anime Expo today, I saw and had to have this shirt featuring Gato from Chrono Trigger, but with the purple backing and pink font, I'm not sure it's meant for me. I'...
Chrono Trigger hip hop photo
Chrono Trigger hip hop

Sales of new Chrono Trigger nerdcore album go to charity


Go snatch Richie Branson's From Guardia With Love
Jun 02
// Tony Ponce
Last year, I discovered a nerdcore rapper by the name of Richie Branson, who laid verses atop anime tracks from Cowboy Bebop, Gurren Lagann, and more. He was also a very vocal proponent of bringing Toonami back onto Cartoon N...
VG a cappellas photo
VG a cappellas

The ecstacy of Smooth McGroove's VG a cappellas


Two months of Sonic, Chrono Trigger, DuckTales, and more
May 25
// Tony Ponce
I've tried my very best to avoid sharing too much of Smooth McGroove's kickass a cappella arrangements. Not because I think he's lost his Midas touch, but because I didn't want to be held responsible for making heads explode...
Chrono Jigga photo
Chrono Jigga

Chrono Trigger + Jay-Z = Chrono Jigga, and it's great


I got 99 problems but a Masamune ain't one
Mar 12
// Allistair Pinsof
Ever since Wiz Khalifa shamelessly ripped "Schala's Theme" for the single "Never Been," I've been under the belief that a Chrono Trigger mash-up album would be gold. Chrono Jigga, a Chrono Trigger mash-up that throws Jay-Z's ...
Chrono Trigger music photo
Chrono Trigger music

The Chrono TRIGGER main theme goes acoustic


TRIGGER! Not Cross! I'm sure of it this time!
Mar 12
// Tony Ponce
Despite the name of the damn game being plastered all over the video page, I mistakenly attributed Super Guitar Bros.' cover of "Time Scar" to Chrono Trigger rather than its sequel Chrono Cross. Well, now they actually relea...
Chrono Cross music photo
Chrono Cross music

Enjoy acoustic Chrono Cross music first thing in the AM


Super Guitar Bros. arrange "Time Scar" from the PS1 classic
Mar 04
// Tony Ponce
It's Monday. It's probably really f*ckin' cold outside too. Hell, I live in South Florida and it's a frosty low-40s out my window. You're gonna need a pick-me-up to get the week rolling. Luckily for you, the Super Guitar Bro...
Game Over, the poster photo
Game Over, the poster

Game heroes died so that you can have this poster


Hang brentalfloss' "The Game Over Tinies" up on your wall
Feb 26
// Tony Ponce
Did you guys get a chance to check out "The Game Over Tinies" in brentalfloss the comic? Once again, co-writers brentalfloss and Dan Roth and artist Andrew Dobson created an abecedarian comic of videogame character deaths -- ...
The Game Over Tinies photo
The Game Over Tinies

The alphabet of 'Game Overs' in comic strip form


Currently running in brentalfloss the comic
Feb 07
// Tony Ponce
Superfans of brentalfloss might be aware that he has his own self-titled webcomic. He doesn't draw it -- doodles are provided by one Andrew Dobson -- but he co-writes along with series creator Dan Roth. And whenever there's a...
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Chrono Trigger now available on Google Play


Just in case you didn't have it on half a dozen other platforms already
Oct 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
Square Enix has released Chrono Trigger for the Android platform to the Google Play store today, pretty much ensuring that anybody who has ever wanted to play the game can now do so. It is available for $9.99, which seem...

My favorite 4th of July videogame memory

Jul 04 // Chad Concelmo
A few years ago, I used to live in an apartment building at the foot of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. There was nothing really special about the place, but it did have one cool feature: There was a patio on the roof that you could access to relax in the sun, barbeque, or, in my case, play board games with friends. On July 4th, though, this rooftop patio turned into the place to be. Because it was on an elevated spot in the city, you could see for miles in all directions -- from the skyline of downtown to the beaches of Santa Monica. When it got dark and the fireworks started, you would literally be surrounded by hundreds of colorful and, frankly, magical explosions. It was a pretty amazing experience. On one particular 4th of July night, my friends and I went to the rooftop like we always did. We brought some stuff to drink and sat back in the patio lounge chairs, ready to have an incredibly great night. As the sun went down, others from the building started to join us. Even the rooftops of nearby buildings were starting to fill up. It was turning into quite the fun rooftop block party. After the first firework, everyone became silent. We all stared in awe as the bright orange and red colors burst into the surprisingly clear sky. Suddenly more fireworks began to go off, followed by more, and more, and more! Before long, fireworks were exploding from every single angle. As the night went on, the spectacle of it all only got more impressive. People were laughing and smiling, not believing what they were seeing. Then it started. Almost in perfect unison, the grand finales of all the firework displays began at the exact same time. If you know firework finales, you know that they are the most insanely awesome part of the show. Bursts of color and sound seem to never end, as all the remaining fireworks are lit, one after the other. Now try to imagine this happening with dozens and dozens of finales at the same time, all surrounding you at once. Needless to say, it felt like the world was coming to an end, one fabulous color explosion at a time. During the craziness, my friends and I looked at one another, speechless. It truly felt like we were caught in the middle of a war zone. A very happy, exuberant war zone, but a war zone nonetheless. All of sudden, amidst the beautiful chaos, it happened. Someone from another rooftop yelled something at the top of their lungs.  "IT'S THE DAY OF LAVOS!" I couldn't believe what I heard. Did he just ... ? Did he just scream ... ? YES, he did! He just yelled "IT'S THE DAY OF LAVOS!" in the middle of this out of control fireworks display. This man was my hero. And, boy, was he accurate. It really was the Day of Lavos. If anyone has played Chrono Trigger and reached the part when Lavos destroys the planet ... well, this night wasn't too far off. Once I realized what this ... this amazing guy said, I lost it. I started laughing and gasping and smiling from ear to ear. My hero. Anyone that would think to shout that phrase -- and so loud, mind you -- was officially about to become my new best friend. But I had no idea what roof the guy was standing on. I knew it had to be close, but Los Angeles is a pretty big city, and there were many nearby buildings to choose from. I had no idea who said it or where it was even coming from. I would never figure out who screamed that now legendary phrase. Dammit, I thought, there goes our Crono and Lucca BFF bracelets I already had picked out in my mind. Accepting I would never find him, I just smiled and enjoyed the rest of the show, content with knowing that someone that cool lives in the same neighborhood as me. As the fireworks came to a close, I knew that I would never forget this moment for as long as I live. It was just so cool ... and special ... and absolutely perfect. To this day, I still have no idea who yelled "IT'S THE DAY OF LAVOS!" from that rooftop. If you are reading this, Lavos dude (my forever nickname for him), please know that I think you are awesome. Really awesome. Even though I have no idea who you are, you are responsible for one of my greatest videogame memories. I think about you every 4th of July. If I ever get the pleasure of meeting you, I will have a high-five ready.
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This isn't a particularly exciting holiday tale. It doesn't involve an abominable snowman, or misfit toys, or an elf that wants to be a dentist. It is just a simple story about something that happened on one dark and unassuming 4th of July night many years ago. A night that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

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Count the game references in rapper Random's 'Epoch'


Jan 14
// Tony Ponce
Forever Famicom is the gift that keeps on giving! After releasing two companion EPs, rapper Random put the finishing touches on a music video for "Epoch" off the original CD. Sampling the main theme from Chrono Trigger, the ...
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[Update: Contest closed! Winners listed here.] Not only is it the 25 Days of Giving on Destructoid, but it's also the Winter of RPGs for Square Enix! Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI have all finally made th...

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The DTOID Show: Miyamoto's Retirement, Amalur's Lore


Dec 09
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! If you missed the live show today, Tara's out of town antique shopping or something, so we had New Challenger host and dear, beloved homeboy Anthony Carboni come hang out.  Today's topics include: 1. Is S...
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Chrono Trigger on iOS today: 'BEST.GAME.EVER!'


Dec 09
// Dale North
We wanted to remind you that Square Enix's lovely SNES time travel RPG is available on the App Store today for iPhone and iPod Touch. But instead of rambling off some facts you already know about the game, I'm going to give y...

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