Old School RPG Corner: Chrono Trigger.
(AfroGamers.com) In the first installment of Old School RPG Corner, we went into Paladin’s Quest and what made it an RPG worth playing. Now we’ll go into something a little more pleasing on the eyes even today: Chrono Trigger. Oh yes, RPG fans know this title and its typically in the same company as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
The first thing you’ll notice about Chrono Trigger is the artwork. You’ll never guess in a million years who did the character design for this—and Dragon Quest since the 1980s. If you said “Akira Toriyama” then I’ll have to try harder to stump everyone on the trivia front. Yes, Toriyama worked on this title and did an amazing job. While its his signature style, these characters don’t closely resemble anyone in Dragon Ball or his one shots. Its almost as if he put a little more effort into the character design than he did with Dragon Quest.
The storyline involves the main character, Chrono, the princess Marle, and his scientist friend Lucca attending the big Millennial Fair. Lucca is supposed to test her teleporting device at Fair when it makes the three of them disappear. It turns out that Lucca’s machine has a little more umph than expected because they are sent 400 years into the past.
Time travel is a reoccurring theme in Chrono Trigger since they end up in the country of Guardia in different time periods. In each time period they run into a character who will become a party member and have a story of their own tied into that time period’s story. Let me tell you, this game probably has the best roster of party members of any JRPG. Frog, Robo, and Ayla are all incredible characters. Marle is cool midway through the game. Chrono is awesome and if you can get Magus then you’re really cooking.
When I first finished Chrono Trigger I thought, “That was fun as hell! Wow!” Then I wouldn’t touch it again for years. It was after hearing other discuss the game that I found out there were different scenarios. Especially in the Nintendo DS version of the game. This blew my mind because JRPGs tend to be pretty linear story-wise. While there is an element of open world in the older JRPGs because you have to travel around the map, it’s an over world map and you’re mainly going to the next area to advance the storyline. You’re not actually living your character’s life like in a Fallout or Elder Scrolls.
That said, the extra scenarios turn out to be nothing special and you could basically beat the game without indulging it. However, if you’re a completist—which I’m not—you’ll want to do the extra scenarios.
Chrono Trigger is an incredible game that really has no flaws. If you’ve ever played one of the Super Nintendo Final Fantasy games with the wait meter and such, Chrono Trigger will seem very familiar. Its one of a very few Square titles that not only straddles sci-fi and high fantasy but you get some sword and sorcery in here too! That’s something that many JRPGs often avoid. So it gives a little of everything story and character-wise. The boss battles are challenging but fair and random encounters aren’t so numerous that the game becomes tedious. Chrono Trigger is just about a perfect RPG.
RATING: 9 out of 10 (Highly Recommended)
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.