The Gameplay in Chrono Trigger is similar to normal turn-based RPG combat, but with some changes. Battles start when an enemy appears on the map, and unlike most Final Fantasy games, the game doesn't go to a battle screen, but rather starts the battle right there and now. The player can Attack, use techs and items.
Techs are special in this game, because of Chrono Trigger's unique system. A tech can do damage to all opponents in a specific range, or all enemies on a line. Characters can team up for Double, even Triple Tech attacks. Techs cost MP like the majority of RPG games. Each character (with the exception of Robo and Ayla) is assigned a magical element at a point in the game, meaning they can use magic of that element and spells related to their element. Both Marle and Frog have the Water element, but Marle uses Ice-based spells, and Frog uses normal Water spells. New Techs and spells are learned with Tech Points, gained after battles.
The player can equip a weapon, of which each character has his or her own weapon type, headgear, armour and an accessory, all of which up some kind of statistic or give another effect.
In the field, unlike all Final Fantasy games before Final Fantasy VII, Crono can move in almost every direction. He can interact with his environment, and talk to characters as per usual RPG style.
Template:Spoilers The Story of Chrono Trigger revolves around a young boy named Crono from the town of Truce, who was going to visit his friend Lucca, who was giving a demonstration of her new invention at the Millennial Fair. While he was there, he met a young girl with the name Marle. The two went to see Lucca, and tried out her invention. When Marle tried it out, however, her pendant reacted, and created a Time Gate. Crono followed. He wound up in the Middle Ages, only to learn that Marle was mistaken for Queen Leene of Guaridia, but Marle mysteriously vanishes. Lucca followed Crono and told him that they had to correct history. Because everyone thought Marle was Queen Leene, they stopped looking for Leene when she was missing, leading to her death, and Marle therefor was never because Leene was her ancestor (see wikipedia:grandfather paradox). They did so, and returned to their own time. However, Crono was then accused of kidnapping Marle, who was actually Princess Nadia of Guardia. After escaping his prison, Marle and Lucca accompanied him to another Time Gate, this time, one that lead to the distant future. Here, they learned that an extraterrestrial named Lavos had destroyed the world. They agreed to change time and defeat Lavos together. They traveled through time and to various places, and met many people, including Robo the robot, Frog the squire, Ayla the cave girl, and Magus the dark wizard. Through all these events, they were able to study Lavos and eventually defeat it. Exactly what else happens depends on what the player does, as there as several side-quests in the game.
Crono is the silent protagonist of the game from the Present. His weapon is a katana. His element is Lightning. In the Japanese version his element is Heaven, but was changed to avoid religious criticisms (which is ironic, as Lavos's attacks Crying Heavens and Destruction Rains from the Heavens were unchanged).
Marle is actually Princess Nadia of Guardia from the Present. However, she escaped the castle because she was tired of her cloistered lifestyle. She wields a Bow as a weapon. Her element is Water, even though she casts Ice spells.
Lucca is a Machinist and scientific genius from the Present. She wields a gun as a weapon, and her element is Fire. She invented the Gate Key that would let the party travel back and forth through time at will.
Robo, aka R66-Y, aka Prometheus, is a humanoid robot from the future. He was programmed to destroy humans. However, he eventually broke down, and Lucca reprogrammed him. He attacks with his arms, and he has no element.
Frog is actually Glenn, a traveler from the Middle Ages. He grew up with his mentor Cyrus. However, one day, Magus attacked and killed Cyrus, and transformed Glenn into a frog. Frog was to become the Hero that would wield the Masamune and defeat Magus. His element is Water, and his weapon is a broadsword.
Ayla is the chief of the Ioka tribe from Prehistoric times. She is battling the Reptites. She attacks with her fists, and she has no element. Because her weapons are her fists, she doesn't need to be equipped with weapon.
Magus is first introduced as an evil wizard from the Middle Ages. However, he is actually Janus Zeal from the Dark Ages. He wields a scythe as a weapon, and his element is Shadow. Recruiting him is optional.
- Crono's mother
- Taban - Lucca's father
- Lara - Lucca's mother
- King Guardia
- Queen Leene
- Knight Captain
- Masa & Mune
- Atropos XR
The game's main villain. The extraterrestrial who crashed down from the stars in 65,000,000 BC, burrowing deep underground, and drained the world's life force to survive.
The Queen of the 'Enlightened' Zeal Kingdom.
Queen Zeal's henchman.
Ozzie, Slash, and FleaEdit
The three henchmen of Magus. Ozzie is Magus' second-in-command, whose small plots to destroy the party always fails. Slash is a Master of the Sword. Flea is a seemingly androgynous magician. It is interesting to note that they're all named after musicians. Slash being the guitarist of Guns and Roses, Flea the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ozzy the lead singer of Black Sabbath.
A beast who kidnapped Queen Leene of Guardia, disguising himself as the Chancellor. His lair was in the old Cathedral.
Leader of the Reptites. She wages a never-ending war with the lesser intelligent humans.
A computer program who created Robo and other robots.
- See also: Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version and Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time
Chrono Trigger was scored by Yasunori Mitsuda and veteran Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, with one track composed by both Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda. A sound programmer at the time, Mitsuda was unhappy with his pay and threatened to leave Square if he could not compose music. Hironobu Sakaguchi suggested he score Chrono Trigger, remarking, "maybe your salary will go up." Mitsuda reflected, "I wanted to create music that wouldn't fit into any established genre...music of an imaginary world. The game's director, Masato Kato, was my close friend, and so I'd always talk with him about the setting and the scene before going into writing." Mitsuda slept in his studio several nights, and attributed certain songs, such as "Outskirts of Time", to inspiring dreams. He also suffered a hard drive crash that lost around forty in-progress tracks. After Mitsuda contracted stomach ulcers, Uematsu joined the project to compose ten songs and finish the score. Mitsuda returned to watch the ending with the staff before the game's release, crying upon seeing the finished scene.
At the time of the game's release, the number of tracks and sound effects was unprecedented. The soundtrack spanned three discs in its 1995 commercial pressing. Square also released a one-disc acid jazz arrangement called "Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time" by Guido that year. In 1999, Square produced another one-disc soundtrack to complement the PlayStation release of the game, featuring orchestral tracks used in cut scenes. Yasunori Mitsuda also composed four new pieces for the game's bonus features which weren't included on the soundtrack.
Recently, Mitsuda arranged versions of music from the Chrono series for Play! A Video Game Symphony video game music concerts, presenting the main theme, "Frog's Theme", and "Outskirts of Time". He worked with Square Enix to ensure that the Nintendo DS port's music would sound close to the Super Nintendo version's.
Fans have heavily remixed the soundtrack, producing over 600 tributes and several cover performance albums released over the internet or sold at retail. These include Time & Space - A Tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda and Chrono Symphonic, the latter released by the remix website OverClocked ReMix. Japanese fans often sell their remix work in compilation albums popularly called "Dōjin" by Western fans. The soundtrack continues to appear in the set lists of video game concert groups such as the Eminence Orchestra and Video Games Live.
Chrono Trigger was released for the PlayStation together with Final Fantasy IV in the double-package Final Fantasy Chronicles. The new version featured anime cutscenes, which are played instead of usual in-game events in some places. However, the collection received a lot of haze because it introduced loading times and lag to the game.