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Chrono Trigger: An Amazing RPG with One Semi-Major Problem (SPOILERS)

I could barely remember my first encounter with Chrono Trigger, came from an old flash game called Super Smash Flash, developed by McleodGaming. I was curious of the origin of the Crono, so I looked him up on websites to see what game was in. I have heard about the game being critically acclaimed in one issue of the Nintendo Power magazine, but initially, I wasn't interested and moved on to other games like Pokemon and other Nintendo games.

As the years scrolled by, I began to grow a fond love of Square Enix's games like Kingdom Hearts and Bravely Default, realizing how high quality their RPGs are. So I went back to try Chrono Trigger in an online emulator. What I experienced was very memorable, but the eventual slowdowns the game had on my laptop led me to stop playing Chrono Trigger entirely. That is until this year.

As I grew more fond listening to the game's soundtrack on YouTube, I always asked myself, should I get back to playing Chrono Trigger? I wanted to play the entire game to see if Chrono Trigger is really a game that deserves its extremely high praise. After playing through JRPGs like Undertale and MOTHER 3 last year, I wanted to give the game another go. And so I bought the game on the Wii Shop Channel and played through its entirety. Here is what I think.

Chrono Trigger is a truly amazing RPG. One particular aspect I noticed greatly in my second play-through was how much freedom you had with exploring the world around you. You could progress through the story or you could explore something else and play mini-games at the Millennial Fair again and that freedom always felt amazing Consistently, the soundtrack is amazing, the story is great, and the gameplay is very fun and varied as well.

What new stuff can I say about Chrono Trigger that hasn't been heavily analyzed by people yet? I do have one, but unfortunately it is a negative complaint. I do feel it is a very important complaint to address, I feel it needs to be shared for those that say it is a game ever with no major flaws whatsoever. Spoilers will be shown below, so I'll warn you if you have not played the game yet.

Through getting hints from Chrono Trigger guide I had, I learned that I actually missed the opportunity of obtaining Magus (a major character in Chrono Trigger's story) during the crash of Zeal's people. I also learned that there was a New Game Plus mode that I could earn if I beaten the Black Omen quest and then the Final Battle Chapter. New Game + lets you pass on your characters' stats in a new run, and so I decided to press forward and not restart the game, considering how much progress I made with character stats and how many hours I put into the game.

I was already at the Fated Hour chapter, where I had full freedom and had the choice to do the side quests in the game, but I chose not to because I felt my characters were powerful enough to progress through the story. Most side-quests were just weapon upgrades anyway. I decided to do the Black Omen chapter in 12,000 B.C., knowing that it would be at its weakest state.

It was extremely challenging to beat, but through knowing very well of my characters' moves, strategies, and abilities, I was able to beat the chapter with characters around the level 40s. It felt extremely rewarding to stop Queen Zeal's plans and fight the outer shell of Lavos, but then came the Final Battle chapter. When I was in Lavos, I prepared myself at the save point, equipping my characters with items that raise their stats to their maximum potential, ready to face what's coming next.



I fought Lavos' second form, and in its first turn it instantly killed my team. It led to another story sequence of the world being destroyed by Lavos. The game gave me a message of "The Future Refused to Change" and restarted to the title screen. I tried to beat the boss a few more times, but lost constantly. I realized that I'm semi-forced to do those side quests to make my characters more powerful to resist Lavos second form's first attack. That pissed me off.

Not being able to beat the game without doing the side-quests brought my amazing experience to a screeching halt. Story-wise, I already felt satisfied enough with the resurrection of Crono and the overall experience was already an exciting hype train for me to bother with the side-quests. And again, I already felt powerful enough to progress through the story.

And I am aware the side-quests do have some interesting non-filler stories to tell, but I also wanted to beat the game now just to get the conclusion done and play New Game+ to try to obtain Magus and explore all the possible endings. I thought the game would give you the freedom to choose any path you'd like, but not in this situation. There were many conflicting feelings around my head right now, that I stopped playing the game for a while.

Eventually, I did beat the side-quests and I was powerful enough (Around the level 50s) to beat the two forms of the final boss, but it was disappointingly pretty easy. I mean Queen Zeal herself was already very hard with her constantly putting my characters at 1 HP, putting me at a position to use my character's strongest healing move.

But compared to Queen Zeal, the true form of Lavos does not have as much threatening nor interesting attacks to make much of a challenge. I was hoping the final boss would be creatively similar to Magus, where you carefully choose magic spells and physical attacks to beat him, but it wasn't. It was pretty disappointing.

The story ending itself was very heartwarming, and seeing the characters leave to their appropriate time periods was sad to see. But after that, I honestly could only think of that moment where the game stopped me to do side-quests as the credits rolled. That moment still burns in my memory today. I'm not sure if I could play the game again for what I have been through.

Chrono Trigger is still truly amazing, don't get me wrong, but I'd place it behind MOTHER 3 and UNDERTALE as the 3rd best video game of all time even if it has one major flaw for me. I still recommend giving Chrono Trigger a try or another go if you played it before. I just don't feel that Chrono Trigger is the best game ever made as most people say because of one particular way of playing Chrono Trigger. That's just my story I wanted to tell. Let to know your opinion. Do you disagree on particular aspects? I really want to know!
 

JC Lately

Member
Yes I know, but I wanted to get the best ending, apparently you need to beat the Black Omen quest to unlock New Game+, and that's what happened for me.

I am like 75% sure you don't need to beat the Black Omen to get New Game +. Much of my teen years was dedicated to beating that game in every way and at every point possible, and I'm almost positive that the only requirement is beating Lavos. Black Omen, crash the Epoch, time bucket, the method doesn't matter.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
Every ending besides "The Future Refused to Change" unlocks NG+.

Plus there's a ton of spells or abilities you could have used to prevent total wipes. I remember playing a rented copy of the game and fighting Lavos before I knew what I was doing twenty years ago and beating it by healing over and over again, using buff spells and auto life abilities. Have no clue how the person got there so unprepared.
 

Nickle

Cool Facts: Game of War has been a hit since July 2013
Edit: This is about the DS version, you can ignore me.

My biggest problem was with the sidequests in the lizard sanctum. You have to travel up a mountain, talk to a dude, go down the mountain, talk to a dude, go up the mountain, get an item, go down the mountain, use the item, travel back in time, go up the mountain, get transported down to the mountain so you can get a banana for this fucking loser, go back up the mountain again to reach a dude who tells you to wait awhile before you come back again. I'm underexaggerating here, I swear you have to do it like 12 times in total. Painfully stupid game design.
 
If you're only in the level 40s by Black Omen, I'd say more that's about you rushing through the game and not necessarily a matter of just skipping side quests.

My biggest problem was with the sidequests in the lizard sanctum. You have to travel up a mountain, talk to a dude, go down the mountain, talk to a dude, go up the mountain, get an item, go down the mountain, use the item, travel back in time, go up the mountain, get transported down to the mountain so you can get a banana for this fucking loser, go back up the mountain again to reach a dude who tells you to wait awhile before you come back again. I'm underexaggerating here, I swear you have to do it like 12 times in total. Painfully stupid game design.

Are you referring to the Lost Sanctum? This was extra content added in the DS remake and wasn't originally apart of the game. I don't remember much details about it since I only played it once around the time the DS version came out, but I do remember it being pretty bad.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
My biggest problem was with the sidequests in the lizard sanctum. You have to travel up a mountain, talk to a dude, go down the mountain, talk to a dude, go up the mountain, get an item, go down the mountain, use the item, travel back in time, go up the mountain, get transported down to the mountain so you can get a banana for this fucking loser, go back up the mountain again to reach a dude who tells you to wait awhile before you come back again. Painfully stupid game design.

Yep, that's why it's not in most versions of the game and is an optional dungeon. Doesn't even have great equipment either.

The other optional dungeon added in the DS version is more fun.
 
My biggest problem was with the sidequests in the lizard sanctum. You have to travel up a mountain, talk to a dude, go down the mountain, talk to a dude, go up the mountain, get an item, go down the mountain, use the item, travel back in time, go up the mountain, get transported down to the mountain so you can get a banana for this fucking loser, go back up the mountain again to reach a dude who tells you to wait awhile before you come back again. Painfully stupid game design.

That's a bonus area added for the DS version, yes? The DS additions were completely pointless and didn't mesh at all with the original game.
 

Danny Dudekisser

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Yes I know, but I wanted to get the best ending, apparently you need to beat the Black Omen quest and beat Lavos inside the shell to unlock New Game+, and that's what I did and it happened.

So... you wanted a better ending but weren't about to be arsed with earning it?
 

Pilgrimzero

Member
My biggest problem was with the sidequests in the lizard sanctum. You have to travel up a mountain, talk to a dude, go down the mountain, talk to a dude, go up the mountain, get an item, go down the mountain, use the item, travel back in time, go up the mountain, get transported down to the mountain so you can get a banana for this fucking loser, go back up the mountain again to reach a dude who tells you to wait awhile before you come back again. I'm underexaggerating here, I swear you have to do it like 12 times in total. Painfully stupid game design.

Wasn't that added in the game in the DS version (or whatever I.E. It wasn't in it originally)
 

NeonZ

Member
That's a bonus area added for the DS version, yes? The DS additions were completely pointless and didn't mesh at all with the original game.

The Dimensional Vortex dungeons are fine, even if they use recycled assets. It's mostly the dino world stuff that gets annoying and repetitive.
 

Nickle

Cool Facts: Game of War has been a hit since July 2013
Yep, that's why it's not in most versions of the game and is an optional dungeon. Doesn't even have great equipment either.

The other optional dungeon added in the DS version is more fun.

That's a bonus area added for the DS version, yes? The DS additions were completely pointless and didn't mesh at all with the original game.
I thought it might have been a later addition, the rest of the game has pretty good quest design.
 

Soulflarz

Banned
CT is good. I can't say I remember Lavos being difficult at all, and have to agree with others in thread that yeah, you don't need to do everything to fight Lavos.
 

JC Lately

Member
The Dimensional Vortex dungeons are fine, even if they use recycled assets. It's mostly the dino world stuff that gets annoying and repetitive.

Aside from confirming the fanfic level nonsense that
motherfucking Dalton
is responsible for the fall of Guardia, I agree.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
This was the website I used to learn about New Game Plus by the way:

http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Chrono_Trigger/The_Fated_Hour



I may have heavily misinterpreted it.

Nah, they messed you up big time, it heavily implies that you need to do Black Omen to get NG+. I in fact found this guide while looking for stuff to talk about in this thread and figured this is where you got the misinformation from.

Black Omen is the longest, hardest bit of side content in the game. You did very well completing it actually, but its the bit you should do LAST. It's got some great story bits, and if you're in a grinding mood you can do it a bunch of times to get some good consumable items/exp. You would have honestly been better spent doing two or three of the other sidequests for your main party members.
 

Kyuur

Member
Never heard of someone missing Magus on the first playthrough, so yours was definitely an odd experience OP. Also as several others have mentioned, you definitely get NG+ from any non-Game-Over ending. Using a guide may have screwed you in a sense.

Not that CT doesn't have a problem here and there, but I don't think 99.9% of first time players are going to have these problems if they follow the regular ending route.
 
So I just want to check to make sure, you can beat Lavos at any point in the game to get New Game+? If so, then I kind of publicly humiliated myself then.

Never heard of someone missing Magus on the first playthrough, so yours was definitely an odd experience OP. Also as several others have mentioned, you definitely get NG+ from any non-Game-Over ending. Using a guide may have screwed you in a sense.

Not that CT doesn't have a problem here and there, but I don't think 99.9% of first time players are going to have these problems if they follow the regular ending route.
Well I thought defeating Magus on the cliff would get me to recruit him TBH.
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
So I just want to check to make sure, you can beat Lavos at any point in the game to get New Game+? If so, then I kind of publicly humiliated myself then.


Well I thought defeating Magus on the cliff would get me to recruit him TBH.

na lol, you can choose to recruit him easy peasy or fight him which spoilers
doesn't allow you to recruit him
 

ethomaz

Banned
New game + is unlocked just beating the game.

Lavos can be defeated without do side quests.

How do you miss Magus?

Well I see no issue here.
 

gwarm01

Member
Wait, the Black Omen changes difficulty based on when you attempt it? I always start with 1000 AD and work my way backwards so I can get the most EXP fighting all of the enemies over again.

Also, with Queen Zeal, that is what I saved my mega-elixers for.
 

JC Lately

Member
So I just want to check to make sure, you can beat Lavos at any point in the game to get New Game+? If so, then I kind of publicly humiliated myself then.


Well I thought defeating Magus on the cliff would get me to recruit him TBH.



You mean the part where the game actually gives you the option to not fight him? Huh.

Did you at least let Frog battle him one-on-one? For Cyrus!
 

SkyOdin

Member
To be honest, I find your complaint to be confusing. You cleared the Black Omen! The Black Omen is far and away the longest, the most demanding, and by far the most rewarding of all of the late-game optional sidequests in Chrono Trigger. In my experience, beating the Black Omen is the difference between the final battle being challenging, and it being really easy.

And yes, the Black Omen is completely, 100% optional. When we were kids, my brother and I beat the game first via the other methods, without the exp and gear from the Black Omen. It took a few tries, but it was possible. Rationing out the three Mega-Elixers we had to heal up after Grand Stone was essential. It was still one of the first RPGs we ever beat, which was really exciting at the time.

The Black Omen is a big, long grind with minimal story content. It exists as the game's one majorly challenging dungeon. I find it to be the least interesting of the various endgame sidequests, other than its variety of unique enemies and cool bosses. However, the story segments of the Fiona Woods sidequest or the Rainbow Shell sidequest include really important character development moments that are needed to see the conclusion of certain character's story arcs.

I recommend trying to fight Lavos after having done all of the other sidequests, but before going through the Black Omen. I think that gives a great balanced challenge.

BTW, if you reach the Lavos' interior via fighting its face, you can back out at any point and return later. You never need to refight through the Black Omen, since you simply save afterwards and explore elsewhere. Chrono Trigger doesn't let you save after a true point of no return. That is why the crashing the Epoch method of fighting Lavos doesn't let you save inside of its shell.

EDIT: I think the issue you had with Lavos may have been because you were under-equiped, not because you were under-leveled. Equipment is pretty critical in Chrono Trigger, particularly in the case of some of the ultimate weapons and armor, which have special properties that make them far more powerful than what simple numbers would indicate. The Rainbow Sword and Shiva Edge's special critical properties are a clear example of this.

Also, there is no way that doing the sidequests other than the Black Omen should have leveled you up that far. The Black Omen is the only significant source of exp after a certain point. I presume that you might have done some of the new stuff they added for the DS remake, which I don't know much about and got a lot of exp that way. But that stuff is completely not needed for beating the game.
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
Also a lot of people (I'm guessing) beat Lavos before doing Zeal because of how hard the latter is. It's like an annoyance that is still there.

Also interesting is that depending on when you beat Zeal it could still be there in the past. Also is available to steal those items (prism dresses, helmets) from multiple Zeals.
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
Yes, to confirm, any ending of the game that isn't "But the Future Refused to Change" unlocks NG+.

You can fight Lavos
In the Ocean Palace, after beating the Black Omen, crashing the Epoch into the shell, through the bucket at the end of time, or taking the right teleporter pad in New Game +.
and if you win any of those fights, you will get an ending. To get different endings you need to fulfill different criteria, most of which are only available in NG+. Some of the non-NG+ endings will have minor variations depending on what exactly you do in the game.
 
na lol, you can choose to recruit him easy peasy or fight him which spoilers
doesn't allow you to recruit him
I didn't know the concept of sparing was in this game until I realized at the Fated Hour chapter. I thought Undertale was the only one TBH.

He's partially the reason I got a bit frustrated at the game.

Wait, the Black Omen changes difficulty based on when you attempt it? I always start with 1000 AD and work my way backwards so I can get the most EXP fighting all of the enemies over again.

Also, with Queen Zeal, that is what I saved my mega-elixers for.
At that point, I had Double Techs that could fully heal my party members, so I had no trouble.

You mean the part where the game actually gives you the option to not fight him? Huh.

Did you at least let Frog battle him one-on-one? For Cyrus!
I didn't realize Frog was a rival of Magus up until that battle started. I just kind of had him in my party to grind up his levels more to catch up with other party members.
 

Kyuur

Member
So I just want to check to make sure, you can beat Lavos at any point in the game to get New Game+? If so, then I kind of publicly humiliated myself then.


Well I thought defeating Magus on the cliff would get me to recruit him TBH.

I actually kind of forgot that was an option to begin with. Might have been more neat if there was a little more validity to that choice, like Frog leaving if you recruited him or making Frog immediately resume his human form after killing him.
 

Kadmac25

Member
Chrono Trigger is still truly amazing, don't get me wrong, but I'd place it behind MOTHER 3 and UNDERTALE as the 3rd best video game of all time even if it has one major flaw for me. I still recommend giving Chrono Trigger a try or another go if you played it before. I just don't feel that Chrono Trigger is the best game ever made as most people say because of one particular way of playing Chrono Trigger. That's just my story I wanted to tell. Let to know your opinion. Do you disagree on particular aspects? I really want to know!

I can't say that I am a big fan at all of the Mother series or for Undertale since it is very similar. I think Chrono Trigger blows that series out of the water with its heartfelt story, graphics, and game play.

I remember when Earthbound came out when I was younger and the graphics turned me away. I remember looking at the screenshots and wondering why it looked like a five year old painted smiley faces on the characters. Never had an interest for it.

As I got older, I heard more people talk about it and I decided to give it a shot. I can definitely say the music and game play surprised me but not enough to even compare to Chrono Trigger ...or even Chrono Cross for that matter. Still, I can appreciate the appeal of the Mother series for some.
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
I didn't know the concept of sparing was in this game until I realized at the Fated Hour chapter. I thought Undertale was the only one TBH.

He's partially the reason I got a bit frustrated at the game.


At that point, I had Double Techs that could fully heal my party members, so I had no trouble.

It is okay now OP.

You see the gloriousness of Chrono Trigger.
 
Yes I know, but I wanted to get the best ending, apparently you need to beat the Black Omen quest and beat Lavos inside the shell to unlock New Game+, and that's what I did and it happened.
Black Omen wasn't required for NG+.

You can't even get the best ending until NG+ IMO. ;-)
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
There's literally dozens of RPGS where you can spare people and they join up with you. Every single Fire Emblem game (besides TMS) for instance. Most SRPGS in general! It's gotta happen at least a few times in Suikoden!
 
There's literally dozens of RPGS where you can spare people and they join up with you. Every single Fire Emblem game (besides TMS) for instance. Most SRPGS in general! It's gotta happen at least a few times in Suikoden!

I was mostly focused on Nintendo RPGs for most of my life. And I only played Awakening and Fates (the latter not completed yet). I'm sure there was some kind of sparing system in the games, I just didn't notice at the time of playing.

Wait, what?

Were you napping during all those flashbacks while reforging the Masamune?
Magus killed Glenn/Frog's best friend Cyrus, shattered the Masamune, and turned Glenn into a frog!
Did you not wonder why Frog was a required party member during the assault on Magus' fortress?

No I just briefly forgot about it.
 

JC Lately

Member
I didn't realize Frog was a rival of Magus up until that battle started. I just kind of had him in my party to grind up his levels more to catch up with other party members.

Wait, what?

Were you napping during all those flashbacks while reforging the Masamune?
Magus killed Glenn/Frog's best friend Cyrus, shattered the Masamune, and turned Glenn into a frog!
Did you not wonder why Frog was a required party member during the assault on Magus' fortress?
 
Yes, just beating Lavos in any available way nets you that NG+. You didn't have to do all the harrowing shit. The guide you used was bad about presenting that.

Magus can be added to the team by not fighting him.
 
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