I was shocked to learn that this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the popular SNES RPG Chrono Trigger. Not only did this fact make me feel old as hell, but it also made me so excited to revisit this old favorite and honor it here on Too Into It.
The game follows a brave boy named Chrono who lives in the fictitious village of Guardia in the year "1,000 A.D.". His best friend is Lucca, full time girl genius and part time style icon (Steampunk much?) who invents all sorts of cool shit. Chrono lives with his mom and cat at the beginning of the game, when he goes to the Millennial Fair in the town square and literally runs into a girl named Marle, a sweet girl with a dope pendant. They go see Lucca and her father showcase a teleporter they just invented. I won't spoil it but this gives them the ability to travel throughout time and what they learn on their journey propels them into using this newfound ability to save the world. Simply put, what starts as a simple "save the princess" trope quickly becomes something much more complex.
Chrono Trigger was one of my favorite games when I was a kid. My parents got my brother a Super Nintendo and although he is the one who turned out to be a lifelong gamer, the games played on that system were a shared experience. I'm not going to lie and pretend to be any real sort of gamer anymore, but those games still give me warm fuzzies to this day. And many people, even people like my brother who grew up and kept playing new games on new consoles, consider Chrono Trigger one of the best, in the company of other SNES games like Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 6, Secret of Manna, and Earth Bound.
But it's not all blind nostalgia. Chrono Trigger is beautiful game with rich plot, great game play, epic music, and memorable characters. The look and design of the game is, although comically retro by todays standards, a work of art. And as a kid, the scenes looked as massive and alluring as they were intended to be. Remember the outer shot of Magnus' Castle or the Land of Zeal? So cool!
I recently started replaying the game and it is just as good as I remember it. It is clever, interesting, and never boring. The time travel aspect debatably sparked an interest in me the first time I played it that has since become a common theme I adore and gravitate towards in all forms of media. And with that theme in the game, players are able to control the plot in ways other games fall short. Depending on what you do when- whether it be choosing to help out side characters or ignore them, or who you choose to play in your group- determines how certain plots turn out.
The game play is great and plays into this as well, with every character having a different magical ability based on elements and depending on who you choose to use in your group, they can learn different dual techs between multiple characters. This makes for interesting battle scenes where you can actually strategise and come out with different results.
And don't even get me started on the music. The soundtrack was mostly composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, except for a few tracks which were composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who composed music for Final Fantasy. Just listen for yourself:
So this month, in celebration of one of the greatest RPGs of all time, revisit the classic game Chrono Trigger. If you played it 20 years ago, hopefully you'll get the warm fuzzies I get. If not, I guarantee you will be glad you got to experience it now. Better late than never.