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Just Finished Chrono Trigger

nlfortier

Esturia Games
Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
111
I just finished Chrono Trigger for the first time and I have to say, this game was amazing from start to finish. I generally prefer CRPGs because I enjoy exploration and most JRPGs simply don't encourage non-linear exploration of the story and the world. One of my favorite things about this game was how the world opened up once you obtained the Epoch. There was so much optional content and it felt like the game really rewarded me for exploring its world. Are there any other JRPGs from this era that capture the same spirit of exploration?
 

Falksi

Arcane
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
8,776
Location
Nottingham
You need Shining Force 2 in your life. Far more interesting combat, nice big world to explore (there's Mithril hidden all over the place in both towns and the overworld, and you need as many pieces as possible to kit out your first team), and whilst the story isn't anywhere near as emotional, it's a far better paced and fun game all round. You've also 6 optional characters to find, and 4 missable ones on top of that too. Oh and you also need to find various items to unlock better classes for various characters.

Final Fantasy 5's latter game offers a decent amount of exploration, but not to the level of CT. Again, much better combat though and the job systems is very funky.
 
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Duraframe300

Arcane
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
5,888
I'm kind of surprised seeing Chrono Trigger praised for its exploration and *so much* optional content, especially if we are talking the SNES version.

I mean, I get the wonder of the epoch, and what optional content there is, is excellent. But it really isn't much, especially compared to other JRPG's. Nor is there a lot of exploration other than what you already visit in the story. For the optional story bits you even backtrack a lot as well. (Which is where the wonder of the time travel comes in)

Chrono Trigger is a tight, well designed JRPG experience and the OP and others here make it sound like a SAGA title.
 

Falksi

Arcane
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
8,776
Location
Nottingham
I'm kind of surprised seeing Chrono Trigger praised for its exploration and *so much* optional content, especially if we are talking the SNES version.

I mean, I get the wonder of the epoch, and what optional content there is, is excellent. But it really isn't much, especially compared to other JRPG's. Nor is there a lot of exploration other than what you already visit in the story. For the optional story bits you even backtrack a lot as well. (Which is where the wonder of the time travel comes in)

Chrono Trigger is a tight, well designed JRPG experience and the OP and others here make it sound like a SAGA title.

I make you bang right about the first bit, but I get why folk get suckered into the illusion of exploration.

When you first play it the small changes to each time-zone as you progress make it feel like anything is possible. Once you've played it a few times you realize thet you're actually quite restricted, and it's all pretty scripted though. It's more the promise of what the Epoch and different zones offer than what it actually offers IMO.

Not sure I'd call the game "tight" though. The 2nd act is padded out to fuck with over-simplistic, dull combat. Constantly having to fight the same battles again as you move between time-holes is annoying as fuck.
 

nlfortier

Esturia Games
Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
111
I'm kind of surprised seeing Chrono Trigger praised for its exploration and *so much* optional content, especially if we are talking the SNES version.

I mean, I get the wonder of the epoch, and what optional content there is, is excellent. But it really isn't much, especially compared to other JRPG's. Nor is there a lot of exploration other than what you already visit in the story. For the optional story bits you even backtrack a lot as well. (Which is where the wonder of the time travel comes in)

Chrono Trigger is a tight, well designed JRPG experience and the OP and others here make it sound like a SAGA title.

Once you obtain the fully functional Epoch there is so much you can do (spoilers ahead). You can fight Lavos right away if you want or you can explore each time period and do the many side quests. You can save humanity from an evil genocidal computer. You can reforest a desert. You can help repair Marle's relationship with her father. You can help put to rest the ghost of a fallen knight. You can resurrect your dead companion. That's a ton of optional content for a SNES RPG from the 90s.
 

Duraframe300

Arcane
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
5,888
I'm kind of surprised seeing Chrono Trigger praised for its exploration and *so much* optional content, especially if we are talking the SNES version.

I mean, I get the wonder of the epoch, and what optional content there is, is excellent. But it really isn't much, especially compared to other JRPG's. Nor is there a lot of exploration other than what you already visit in the story. For the optional story bits you even backtrack a lot as well. (Which is where the wonder of the time travel comes in)

Chrono Trigger is a tight, well designed JRPG experience and the OP and others here make it sound like a SAGA title.

Once you obtain the fully functional Epoch there is so much you can do (spoilers ahead). You can fight Lavos right away if you want or you can explore each time period and do the many side quests. You can save humanity from an evil genocidal computer. You can reforest a desert. You can help repair Marle's relationship with her father. You can help put to rest the ghost of a fallen knight. You can resurrect your dead companion. That's a ton of optional content for a SNES RPG from the 90s.

See Falksi

I'm fully aware how much there is to do in Chrono Trigger. Having 100% it 15+ times over the last 19 years (~10 on SNES and 5 on DS+ versions). And no, compared to bigger proponents it isn't. Their high quality, yes. But in pure amount of content it won't take you too long. Nor is there actually that much to explore. (And the optional locations aren't that big).

And again, a lot of it is backtracking and already combined with the story. Like resurrecting your dead companion sounds and is cool, but you're already directed by the story to it and tbh it's just another state to finish the game/fight Lavos in.

BUT let me stress this here: That's not a bad thing.

First off, codex favourites like Fallout 1 aren't any different in this regard. Secondly I'd rather have a side-quest about a seed leading to a short QTE that saves Luca's Mom rather than 3+ additional 50 floor dungeons. Quality > Quantity.
 

nlfortier

Esturia Games
Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
111
I'm kind of surprised seeing Chrono Trigger praised for its exploration and *so much* optional content, especially if we are talking the SNES version.

I mean, I get the wonder of the epoch, and what optional content there is, is excellent. But it really isn't much, especially compared to other JRPG's. Nor is there a lot of exploration other than what you already visit in the story. For the optional story bits you even backtrack a lot as well. (Which is where the wonder of the time travel comes in)

Chrono Trigger is a tight, well designed JRPG experience and the OP and others here make it sound like a SAGA title.

Once you obtain the fully functional Epoch there is so much you can do (spoilers ahead). You can fight Lavos right away if you want or you can explore each time period and do the many side quests. You can save humanity from an evil genocidal computer. You can reforest a desert. You can help repair Marle's relationship with her father. You can help put to rest the ghost of a fallen knight. You can resurrect your dead companion. That's a ton of optional content for a SNES RPG from the 90s.

See Falksi

I'm fully aware how much there is to do in Chrono Trigger. Having 100% it 15+ times over the last 19 years (~10 on SNES and 5 on DS+ versions). And no, compared to bigger proponents it isn't. Their high quality, yes. But in pure amount of content it won't take you too long. Nor is there actually that much to explore. (And the optional locations aren't that big).

And again, a lot of it is backtracking and already combined with the story. Like resurrecting your dead companion sounds and is cool, but you're already directed by the story to it and tbh it's just another state to finish the game/fight Lavos in.

BUT let me stress this here: That's not a bad thing.

First off, codex favourites like Fallout 1 aren't any different in this regard. Secondly I'd rather have a side-quest about a seed leading to a short QTE that saves Luca's Mom rather than 3+ additional 50 floor dungeons. Quality > Quantity.

That's probably a fair assessment. Each of the sidequests are pretty short and require backtracking already explored areas. It could be that the optional content just feels more meaningful here because of the way it impacts the characters. That said, prior to playing Chrono Trigger I played FF5 and I felt way more railroaded in FF5. That's been my experience with most JRPGs from this era. It feels like you aren't rewarded for exploring the world, instead you are expected to go from point A to B with no real choice on where to go or how to proceed.
 

Duraframe300

Arcane
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
5,888
I just finished Chrono Trigger for the first time and I have to say, this game was amazing from start to finish. I generally prefer CRPGs because I enjoy exploration and most JRPGs simply don't encourage non-linear exploration of the story and the world. One of my favorite things about this game was how the world opened up once you obtained the Epoch. There was so much optional content and it felt like the game really rewarded me for exploring its world. Are there any other JRPGs from this era that capture the same spirit of exploration?

Just wanted to mention, if you ever decide to play Chrono Cross just be aware that while it's a very good jrpg, there's a lot of things different to Chrono Trigger, both in gameplay and from a narrative point of view. IMO, it's still a hidden gem though.

And while clearly a sequel to Chrono Trigger, that connection is not a big focus (but does play a big role) so you sometimes have to connect the dots yourself and additionally even had stuff cut because of time constraints.

...Also Masato Kato (CT writer) had an emo-phase post-CT so don't expect Chrono Trigger to have a happily ever after ending in canon.
 

Falksi

Arcane
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
8,776
Location
Nottingham
Chrono Trigger seems to have a magic about it which seduces players more than almost any other game which I've known on their first playthrough. The constant fresh elements thrown at you for the first act is fantastic, and some of the game carries some great emotional weight (Frog's story is a corker).

But I've also found it one of the worst games to replay too. The combat is just incredibly simple and dull, with only the last few hours offering any challenge. Once you've shattered the illusion of exploration, you realize that there's a ton of backtracking masked as "different time zones" and charming the best items from various beasts offers almost as much for far less effort.

It's a bit like when you pop your cherry with a dirty tart pissed up on a hot Summer night. It feels amazing, and all you wanna do is tell everyone about it. But when you sober up and have another go without the instant hit of freshness and charm to woo you, the cracks start to shine through and you notice her fanny stinks.
 
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Duraframe300

Arcane
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
5,888
IMO, it's still a hidden gem though.

What are you talking about?
It's easily one of the most popular and successful JRPG's ever made
Hardly a hidden gem

?

It was Square's 5th worst selling game on ps1. Selling less than Parasite Eve and only more than Xenogears. And while reviews were high, it garnered bad word to mouth among those who played it. To this day (and it was much worse during the 2000's) a lot of casual gamers don't even know Chrono Trigger had a sequel, while being fully aware of Trigger.

I mean it depends on your definition, but it definitely doesn't fall into the *most popular and successful rpg* category.
 

DJOGamer PT

Arcane
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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,321
Location
Lusitânia
It is in the list of best selling JRPG's - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_Japanese_role-playing_game_franchises
And as you can see it's not in the lower half of the table

But I should have emphasized the popular part
Because I don't know about you, but I still remember some 10 years ago browsing the net for JRPG's and it didn't matter what site I visited, what forum I read, what video I watched or what /v/ thread I shitposted in
On the subject of classic JRPG's, Chrono Trigger was always one of the highest recommendations (even more so than FF7 it seemed)
 
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mogwaimon

Magister
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
1,079
the only manner in which Chrono Cross could be considered a 'hidden gem' is that there's a lot of resentment towards it for not being as good as Chrono Trigger and thus there's a lot of people who would actively try to dissuade you from playing what is still a pretty good 90s JRPG. I had good times with both games as a kid so I can't really fault either game TBH
 

perfectslumbers

Scholar
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
756
Are there any other JRPGS designed as tightly as Chrono Trigger, or at least close to it? Feels like every jrpg has terrible pacing and tons of random encounters, or 20 hour long tutorials or whatever.
 

Viata

Arcane
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
8,332
Location
Water Play Catarinense
Chrono Cross is a great game and one of my favorites from Squaresoft games. I can understand why people dislike it since it is supposed to be a sequel to CT, but since I never put CT in any pedestal(it was a nice game for me, but that was it), I found CC to be an amazing game. Though I do hate the fact that Squaresoft thought the next step to CT was to include a fuckton of playable characters who hardly have a background story.
 

Ninjerk

Arcane
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
14,180
Are there any other JRPGS designed as tightly as Chrono Trigger, or at least close to it? Feels like every jrpg has terrible pacing and tons of random encounters, or 20 hour long tutorials or whatever.
Not sure how it holds up today, but I remember having quite a bit of fun with Seiken Densetsu 3 (Mana series) when I was a teenager.
 

Saark

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
1,952
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
Are there any other JRPGS designed as tightly as Chrono Trigger, or at least close to it? Feels like every jrpg has terrible pacing and tons of random encounters, or 20 hour long tutorials or whatever.
Probably Terranigma. Its not turn-based combat, so plays a bit "faster" and more like your regular zelda-esque action adventure. Has the same "your choices dont really matter" feel as Chrono Trigger, and it play around with timelines and such quite a bit, although in a more linear fashion. Overall one of the most enjoyable SNES titles I've played, together with Soul Blazer.
 

Ash

Arcane
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
4,741
Chrono Trigger is mediocre as fuck and the most overrated RPG of all time, if it even is an RPG at all (no). Pick any other 90s Squaresoft game at random and it's almost certainly going to be far, far better.
It gets plenty right in the set dressing (e.g art, story), but as a game it is the finest filter to determine who has standards and who does not, as it is kindergarten levels of engagement, depth, challenge and complexity. There is barely a game there at all, just the illusion of one.
 
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