Chrono Trigger - Cause and Mass Effect

Chrono Trigger - Cause and Mass Effect

You can take the red pill. Or you can take the blue pill.

Or, you know, you could always take the green pill.

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Great article Liz! And I think you make an interesting point about how trying to save Lucca's mom was more emotional than Aerith dying

My first favorite game, one that I've actually played from start to finish multiple times (I've completed very few games even once), and has a soundtrack I still listen to regularly:

Sadly, I am horrible at completing RPGs... I think I've beaten FF1 and Deus Ex: HE and that's it. My problem is exactly this cause and effect system. I'll realize (too late usually) that I missed helping someone, or saving something and I'll restart. I could walk through the starting scenarios for most of the combinations in DA:O but don't ask me about the last fight against the blight.

It's good to know I can blame Chrono Trigger for this... hehe. I is definitely a very well built game. I find a lot of modern games seem to have a hard time making you be invested in the characters you're controlling, or interacting with. I cared with Aerith died... but more so because she was my primary healer than any attachment I had to her personally. Heck, I was sadder during the scene of Red XIII at Cosmo Canyon... Maybe it was the music.

Kross:
My first favorite game, one that I've actually played from start to finish multiple times (I've completed very few games even once), and has a soundtrack I still listen to regularly:

If you like the OST, I would highly recommend Chrono Symphonic.

With decisions you make in the past influencing the progression of events in the future and more than a dozen possible endings, Chrono Trigger offers one of the most sought after features of any video game - replay value.

Players want replay value but it seems increasingly that developers do not. They don't want players to still be playing their last game when they release their next one.

I should really find a way to play Chrono Trigger. Always hear good things about it.

Mortuorum:

With decisions you make in the past influencing the progression of events in the future and more than a dozen possible endings, Chrono Trigger offers one of the most sought after features of any video game - replay value.

Players want replay value but it seems increasingly that developers do not. They don't want players to still be playing their last game when they release their next one.

You'd think the growing use of DLC would have that going in the other direction (at least a little bit). After all, if they didn't stick around for the base game it's less likely they'd come back for DLC.

Damn, it has been way too long since I last played chrono trigger. Lost the cartridge very long ago and never quite got around to finding an alternative to play it again. I'm going to have to fix that sometime.

Mortuorum:

With decisions you make in the past influencing the progression of events in the future and more than a dozen possible endings, Chrono Trigger offers one of the most sought after features of any video game - replay value.

Players want replay value but it seems increasingly that developers do not. They don't want players to still be playing their last game when they release their next one.

I am not nearly as confident that many players really want replayability in their games. Too many games aren't even finished if you look at the stats given from developers when they are given. Using BioWare as an example they list only 36% player completion rate for Dragon Age: Origins, yet you see a lot of people saying how important those choices are, but that still leaves 64% of the people that didn't finish the game and I can't see all 36% of the people who beat the game completing it multiple times.

Engadget Link

Now I don't have a link for this part, but I have only seen estimates ranging from 15% to 25% of people completing games.

runic knight:
Damn, it has been way too long since I last played chrono trigger. Lost the cartridge very long ago and never quite got around to finding an alternative to play it again. I'm going to have to fix that sometime.

I know that feel. Fortunately, the DS and PSN releases were quite cheap.

Sanunes:
I am not nearly as confident that many players really want replayability in their games. Too many games aren't even finished if you look at the stats given from developers when they are given.

Trophy rarity on PSN is a fairly decent indicator. For a niche title like Danganronpa, the trophies earned by completing the game will have a much higher earn rate than their equivalent in a big-ticket title like Final Fantasy XIII or Battlefield 4.

I remember playing this game back in the day and being excited about this being the future of gaming with it's 16 possible endings(with some alternating paths through the storyline itself). Here we are 20 years later and games are struggling to give us just 1 worthwhile ending. It seems aside from sandbox games or mmo's(with no ending), games are as limiting as ever when it comes to storyline.

I really can't praise Chrono Trigger enough. The battle system was awesome with its combination attacks. The time travel cause and effect angle was very well done with actual consequences that made a difference. And the characters that mattered to you. Still one of my all time favorite games. I only wish that square was still capable of this level of magnificence.

The best part is, you can get every ending and branch through the magic of New Game +
You can even do stuff like solo hardmode Lavos with the mop once you've played through enough.

Dang, really throws me back. That was a fun game and there's not really any other game like it, either. That was a great read, Liz. I always picked Magus survive personally, he's so useful as a party member.

Kross:
My first favorite game, one that I've actually played from start to finish multiple times (I've completed very few games even once), and has a soundtrack I still listen to regularly:

I cri everytiem...

Ah, the best J-RPG ever made in my opinion and while its story isn't all that mature it hits you right in the feels... Its like the Never Ending Story.

And there is no such thing as boring power-leveling and endless grinding.

One of the best games of its time, still one of the best in its genre, and a reminder of how important closure is to a great game story, and game experience.

Which only serves to remind me just how few games actually offer closure these days...

Chrono Trigger is one of my absolute favorites. I replayed it relatively recently.

I always liked the many ways and different times you could fight Lavos. You wanna fight Lavos? Yeah just touch this bucket. Or crash the Epoch into him. Or wreck his stuff millions of years ago after fighting Queen Spaceface.

Great game.

Oh geez Liz. This shit is why we love you. Great stuff.

Sanunes:
I am not nearly as confident that many players really want replayability in their games. Too many games aren't even finished if you look at the stats given from developers when they are given. Using BioWare as an example they list only 36% player completion rate for Dragon Age: Origins, yet you see a lot of people saying how important those choices are, but that still leaves 64% of the people that didn't finish the game and I can't see all 36% of the people who beat the game completing it multiple times.

Well, maybe I'm an old fart, but I don't find the "new" re-playability of games as enticing as it was in this game. I suppose you can attribute that to me not having as many games to play back then, but I would still rather replay this now than DA:O. And my nostalgia goggles can only account for so much of that.

You didn't have a completion bar saying "hey you missed something", you WANTED to go through again to relive just a fraction of the wonder this game made you feel.

Then again, nostalgia goggles.

That game. So many endings. So many choices. And the trial, where the verdict was influenced by your actions in the first 10 minutes on the game (yes, I ate the old man's lunch).

"Often hailed as one of the greatest SNES games of all time" correction Its is undeniable the greatest SNES game of all time and in the top ten greatest game... MAY THE HEATHENS WHO DISAGREE BURN ETERNALLY IN HELL-FIRE. Also great article Lizz...and off to replay Chrono trigger

Does the ability to choose from a finite set of paths make a shit game any better? I think not, unless you're the type of vain person who lends way too much gravity to random selections simply because you were the one who executed them. Not because they led to any unique or extraordinary gameplay experiences, mind you, but simply because you as the player were granted free will to make a choice. By this criteria, games like Depression Quest and Social Justice Warriors might just be amazing.

Christ, this uncritical celebration of "making big choices that have an impact" is like a lazy man's version of the current obsession with sandbox gaming. All you need to do is press a fucking button instead of spending the time to build something. More often than not, this is a mechanic employed to conceal a lack of real freedom and to present the appearance of depth where it doesn't exist. At least linear games are honest about their faults.

Wow, I feel silly. I played Chrono Trigger once, and I don't remember most of what is described here. Saving Lucca's mom? Nope. Being able to turn Frog back into a human? I remember the ending movie showing he was human again, but I did have Magus, so...huh? I don't remember any of these choices mattering like this. The only choice I remember is where and when you beat the boss. Depending on when you beat him--or if you do something different at a certain point now that you can time jump after beating the game--you get a different ending.

I guess I should pull out my DS and dust this game off.

I still need to play Chrono Trigger, and now I can because I found the DS version in a OP shop, so try and top that.

Is it as good as the original though? Anyone here know? From what I've looked up it doesn't seem to be any different besides the screen size and something about translations.

Nazulu:
I still need to play Chrono Trigger, and now I can because I found the DS version in a OP shop, so try and top that.

Is it has good as the original though? Anyone here know? From what I've looked up it doesn't seem to be any different besides the screen size and something about translations.

They put in the anime cutscenes from the PS port and added some (poorly-done) bonus dungeons. Other than that and a few interface tweaks to take advantage of two screens, the game is untouched. :)

Shadowsetzer:

Nazulu:
I still need to play Chrono Trigger, and now I can because I found the DS version in a OP shop, so try and top that.

Is it has good as the original though? Anyone here know? From what I've looked up it doesn't seem to be any different besides the screen size and something about translations.

They put in the anime cutscenes from the PS port and added some (poorly-done) bonus dungeons. Other than that and a few interface tweaks to take advantage of two screens, the game is untouched. :)

Thank you very much. Surprised to hear it has cutscenes, so that's interesting. May I ask why the bonus dungeons are poorly done?

Sniper Team 4:
Wow, I feel silly. I played Chrono Trigger once, and I don't remember most of what is described here. Saving Lucca's mom? Nope. Being able to turn Frog back into a human? I remember the ending movie showing he was human again, but I did have Magus, so...huh? I don't remember any of these choices mattering like this. The only choice I remember is where and when you beat the boss. Depending on when you beat him--or if you do something different at a certain point now that you can time jump after beating the game--you get a different ending.

I guess I should pull out my DS and dust this game off.

I don't remember any of this either. Played it when it came out on DS, got the best ending from what i remember. I liked it but i never understood why it was so loved. Crono was a mindless mute and i never took much of an interest in any other characters and i barely remember any of the story.I'd still take most FF games any day of the week.

There's actually three iterations of Medina. The town square is the best place to see them in action.

When you first get back from 2300 AD via the End Of Time, the Mystics (fuck the DS and its "fiends") can be seen giving homage to a statue of Magus (who apparently fought a war against humans four hundred years ago; all we've seen of him so far in the story is a couple of mentions and a shrine in the Cathedral) - and yes, (almost) everybody hates you and charges too much and someone tries to kill you in the shop for good measure.

Beat up Magus though, and the statue changes - the Mystics now worship Ozzie instead (and one of his line is Mayor!). Which is not only funny, but a hint that defeating Ozzie in Magus' castle wasn't the end of him.

Once you get control of the Epoch at the end, go to 600 AD, fly to what's now Ozzie's fort, and relocate to 1000 AD, and guess where you end up? Medina, clearly founded and developed by Ozzie and his descendants. Finishing the Great Ozzie changes Medina again; there's no statue at all, Ozzie VIII is now just some lackey, and the Mystics have no beef with anyone. The only Mystics in 1000 AD who never hated you - the first ones you met falling out of the cupboard, who are aware of the war in the past but totally over it - are now likely the ones in charge.

It's all these touches that help make the game as wonderful as it is. (And yeah, the thing with Lucca's mother is one of the only two times I've ever cried at a video game - and Aeris wasn't the other one.)

Sniper Team 4:
I remember the ending movie showing he was human again, but I did have Magus, so...huh?

Was that in one of the cutscenes then? Can't speak for those in the DS version. The DS version may have made a change/introduced a glitch. As far as I know, 2 of the endings show frog as human, only if you have killed Magus, don't forget, you may have spared Magus on one playthrough, and killed him on a newgame+ playthrough and seen the ending for that playthrough. Then again, this is my snes version, ps version experience.

As for Lucca's mother, you may have missed the forest sidequest? It is a sidequest, and it doesn't give you much for items, and isn't super-obvious.

The only SNES era game to even come close to Chrono Trigger is one that never had an official release in the west. I've played the fan translation... Romancing SaGa 3. It's if anything, even more full of choices, replayability and missable optional quests. Perhaps the most replayable JRPG of all time.

Chrono Trigger is however more forgiving and easy to play, there's less need of a FAQ to make sure you don't miss something. The greater complexity and replayability of Romancing SaGa 3 comes at a price, Chrono Trigger is much more approachable.

I could mention a handful of other SNES RPGs that are very good, and have lots of fans, but none of them really compete with these two, no not even FF6.

I'm 34 and I think it's telling that through all the gaming devices I've owned over the past 18 years since I've first played it, there has never been a point where I didn't own Chrono Trigger in some form. It has consistently been in my top 5 games list and has the distinction of being the game that introduced both me and my brother to rpg's. Three guesses as to our favorite game genre. The game is a classic that every gamer should try at least once. To this day, I 've patiently waited for a direct sequel, preferably one starring the descendants of the original characters as they have their own time travel shenanigans.

pressfarttocontinue:
Great article Liz! And I think you make an interesting point about how trying to save Lucca's mom was more emotional than Aerith dying

I have failed to save her the first time. Spine chilling. So I said: "fuck that", loaded and really saved her.

Mortuorum:

With decisions you make in the past influencing the progression of events in the future and more than a dozen possible endings, Chrono Trigger offers one of the most sought after features of any video game - replay value.

Players want replay value but it seems increasingly that developers do not. They don't want players to still be playing their last game when they release their next one.

If they launch the best game ever no one will buy anything else.

Still, stroy replay where you can save in the crucial points is cool. Replay where the new things are equipment with bigger numbers are bullshit.

Nazulu:

Shadowsetzer:

Nazulu:
I still need to play Chrono Trigger, and now I can because I found the DS version in a OP shop, so try and top that.

Is it has good as the original though? Anyone here know? From what I've looked up it doesn't seem to be any different besides the screen size and something about translations.

They put in the anime cutscenes from the PS port and added some (poorly-done) bonus dungeons. Other than that and a few interface tweaks to take advantage of two screens, the game is untouched. :)

Thank you very much. Surprised to hear it has cutscenes, so that's interesting. May I ask why the bonus dungeons are poorly done?

One of them (the Lost Sanctum) is basically just a long series of boring fetch quests. The other (the various Dimensional Vortexes) is a set of kind-of-randomly generated dungeons. That one at least has some payoff in that they added some stuff to link it to Chrono Cross that I won't spoil, but YMMV as to whether that's worth it. Either way, none of it is as engaging as the sidequests that the game already has.

Shadowsetzer:

Nazulu:

Shadowsetzer:

They put in the anime cutscenes from the PS port and added some (poorly-done) bonus dungeons. Other than that and a few interface tweaks to take advantage of two screens, the game is untouched. :)

Thank you very much. Surprised to hear it has cutscenes, so that's interesting. May I ask why the bonus dungeons are poorly done?

One of them (the Lost Sanctum) is basically just a long series of boring fetch quests. The other (the various Dimensional Vortexes) is a set of kind-of-randomly generated dungeons. That one at least has some payoff in that they added some stuff to link it to Chrono Cross that I won't spoil, but YMMV as to whether that's worth it. Either way, none of it is as engaging as the sidequests that the game already has.

Thanks again. Sounds like the shameless extras some games get in a long run. If I really get stuck into the game though I may want to do everything for the sake of it, though I usually don't bother when things get too repetitive.

Favorite game ever (as the avatar should indicate). I've replayed it more times than I can count. I've got the Wii virtual console version and revisit it every year or so. It's less about trying to see all the endings (at this point, I have the one I think is 'right' and play toward it with only occasional variation) than it is about experiencing the wonderful characters and great soundtrack again.

 

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