Imagine you woke up one day, intent on going to see your friend’s new invention at the Millenial Fair. You run into, literally, a young girl about your age at this Fair, and she tags along all day, until eventually you’re able to see the invention. Turns out, your friend made a teleporter. So you volunteer to try it out, and it works as it should. But then the girl tries it, and it doesn’t work as it should. She disappears. So, being the gentleman you are, you follow her into the unknown.
Such is the opening of Chrono Trigger, arguably one of the best SNES titles ever. I remember playing the game when I was younger, and though I didn’t get far, the game left an impression on me. Enough of an impression to go back years later and completely finish the adventure. Completely as in, every sidequest, all the best weapons, armor, and everyone a high enough level that not much bothered me. Looking at the journey it took me on, I don’t blame me.
This game had it all – time travel, talking frogs, magic, an incredibly ambitious combat system, and one of the most amazing stories in video game history. Never before have I felt such a connection to a video game as when Crono sacrificed himself for the good of the world. Or when Robo got jumped by his “brothers”.
I still remember when Crono and his group made their decision in 2300 AD that they would go back and save the planet, no matter the cost. The writing was phenomenal, the music swelled, and I felt a connection to the characters, like we were all in it together.
All the locales visited, friends made, alliances forged… it all paid off in a battle for the ages against the big, bad guy himself, Lavos. Every iteration of the foe brought back memories from the bosses he impersonated. Bringing me back to that bridge where we fought the Dragon Tank. Back to that dungeon where we fought Azala and the Black Tyranno. Back to the Dome in the Future where we fought the Guardian. Until eventually, we had fought our way through everything, and finally enocuntered Lavos’ true form.
What made the game so great was that you truly felt the weight of your actions through the multiple endings in the game. For example, not defeating the Black Tyranno ends up turning the world into a race of Reptites, because Azala and the Black Tyranno weren’t stopped in the past. Or, by completing a certain series of events, you find out that Frog is actually Marle’s father!…in that specific ending. It is a game that allows for endless reinterpretation, and endless reimagining.
Put simply, this game is essential gaming if you consider yourself a fan of the RPG genre, and as far as quests go, it’s one you’ll never forget, even if you travel back in time.