Crono thought he had a nice, ordinary day ahead of him. He'd been looking forward to attending his hometown's Millennial Fair to celebrate the dawn of the year 1,000 AD, he met a cute girl by the name of Marle, and even found time to help out his best friend Lucca as she peddled her newest cockamamie invention as a sideshow attraction.Then Lucca's teleportation device went out of control and sent Marle four hundred years into the past. Whoops.Released in North America in 1995, Chrono Trigger was the last hurrah for the golden age of epic JRPGs on the SNES, and the crown jewel in a hit series of Squaresoft games that included Final Fantasy VI, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, and others that no one bothered to market for Europe (although things have gotten better these days).After some jumping between the past, present, and future, Crono and company gain foreknowledge of the destruction of the world at the hands (claws?) of a giant interstellar termite dubbed "Lavos." The creature burrowed beneath the earth in the prehistoric era, and if Crono and his friends don't interfere, Lavos will rise again in 1999 to bring about a global apocalypse. To save the world, Crono and his crew travel from era to era via special portals and, later, a specially-outfitted airship to figure out how to stamp out Lavos for good. In addition to previously-mentioned eras, the group of heroes also visit the Middle Ages of 600 AD to rescue the land from an evil sorcerer, the dark and ruined future of 2300 AD where the disenfranchised survivors of Lavos eke out a precarious existence against genetic mutants and genocidal robots, and the mysterious Age of Magic in 12,000 BC where the inhabitants of the Floating Continent of Zeal attempt to harness the dormant power of Lavos for their own ends. Oh, and they also use the End of Time as a safehouse.Square followed up Chrono Trigger with two sequels: Radical Dreamers for the SNES (which has not seen the light of day outside of Japan, though a translated ROM is available online) and the sequel Chrono Cross for the PlayStation One. Trigger itself has a PlayStation port that added a number of brief anime cutscenes and a few plot modifications to get it in sync with the then-still-in-development Chrono Cross; this port also came with massive technical problems that generally make it a waste of time. Square Enix published a long-awaited Updated Rerelease in late 2008 for the Nintendo DS; this re-release retained the good parts of the PS1 port, retranslated the script to overcome the hurdles of both censorship and memory limitations present in the mid-1990s, and threw in some bonus dungeons and a new ending for good measure. This port even saw a European release in 2009.A fan-made interquel connecting this game with the events of Cross, known as Crimson Echoes, ended up receiving a cease-and-desist from Square Enix just as it neared completion. Square Enix's motives for doing so remain under speculation, but the game's ROM ended up leaking out anyway, so you can still play it.Please read before viewing:this page contains numerous spoilers from Chrono Cross, which are not labeled as such outside of the spoiler markers, so read carefully from this point forward if you don't want to have Chrono Cross spoiled. Please try to mark any spoilers involving Chrono Cross if you hide a spoiler from that game.Don't confuse this game with an anime about a nun and a demon.
Chrono Trigger has contained, does contain, and will contain examples of the following tropes:
Absurdly High Level Cap: Reaching the maximum level of 99 (**) is impossible in a straight playthrough. You have to grind a lot to reach it, and the best place to do this requires you to exploit the respawn of a group of enemies in a dungeon. You really only need a level of about 60 or so to beat the final boss reliably. And if you obtained the best gear in the game, even a level of 50 is enough to take the final boss down.
Abusive Precursors: Lavos manipulated the evolution of life on the planet as a form of energy harvesting.
Action Commands: One minigame, and a few tasks in the factory stages, require button input sequences in a certain amount of time.
After the End: The sucky future is what inspires the heroes to meddle with the timeline.
All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Averted. While the people in prehistory are rather simple-minded compared to later time periods, they aren't stupid or completely primitive; they're already showing the signs of a somewhat early form of currency and trade, for starters. Ayla in particular exemplifies the "simple but not stupid" statement above. Not to mention that the weapons and armor you can buy from them are stronger than the armor you come in with (from 2300 AD no less).
Alternate World Map: Drastic changes in continent arrangement take place over mere thousands of years. Not too surprising, considering the Eldritch Abomination lurking underground causing all kinds of earthquakes, Floating Continents that come crashing down, and an apocalyptic event that encases the world in continuous winter for centuries after. The only time periods that don't involve some kind of major cataclysm between them — 600 to 1000 to 1999 — all share the same continental layout.
Amoral Attorney: The fake Chancellor functions as one: bribing witnesses, twisting the facts, summarily executing people who are found innocent, etc.
Anachronism Stew: At least in the SNES version: Dalton uses the iconic phrase "We have lift-off, Houston!!" as he engages the modified Epoch for the first time. In the Chrono Triggeruniverse, there is no such place as Houston, but then, Dalton has an awareness of the fourth wall.
And Man Grew Proud: The destruction of Zeal. This probably set the species back 16,000 years.
Apathetic Citizens: The NPCs' blasé attitudes towards the Black Omen are justifiable, as it has been there as long as they can remember, and hasn't caused anyone any trouble. But the residents of Zeal would rather bask in their own luxury than be concerned about messing with questionable energy sources, or even about the simple idea that "what goes up must come down." Then the citizens of Arris Dome also don't care what you found in their basement, or that you risked your life down there. They're all starving, so unless you are bringing them food, they don't care what you are or what you did.
Apocalypse How: One inevitable Class 2, and the arrival of Lavos is probably a Class 1, all things considered. The ruined world of 2300 AD is the result of a second Class 2, working its way up to Class 4. And don't get us started on the Time Devourer...
Arbitrary Head Count Limit: Your party cannot have more than three people in it at a time. This is "justified" in-game that groups larger than three cannot make it through the time-warp without being spit into the End of Time, and they only have a single Gate Key.
Once they find the three-seater Epoch time machine, their destination is a time period which can't be accessed with the Gate Key. Afterwards, there are multiple instances where the entire party is present in an area other than the End of Time, but the game mechanics remain unchanged as to how many can fight together.
Ayla. Easily justifiable in her prehistoric culture; she explains that the strongest person in the tribe gets to be chief, be they man, woman, or child.
How Magus, a small, timid 10-year-old human boy, becomes the undisputed ruler of a horde of barbaric demons.
Attack of the Town Festival: The Millennia Fair in 1000 AD wasn't attacked, but the festival in 65,000,000 B.C. was ransacked by Reptites while everybody slept.
Autodoc: In the ruined future, there's a machine called an Enertron which heals all your wounds and can sustain your life*
Which explains why there's still people around in a future that has literally no food
... but still leaves you as hungry as you were when you stepped inside.
Automatic New Game: Chrono Trigger for the SNES has this with a clock pendulum showing up right when you turn on the game, then you're sent to the “Action/Wait” battle style selection before you name your main character. And then it's a stupidly long opening scene. But no file selection if there's no save data! And the DS version has an extra cutscene before the extra-long (due to the dual screens) pendulum/logo.
Lucca's best weapon, the WonderShot, deals random amounts of damage*
The DS version clarifies that playtime plays a role in determining the random damage
. Has the potential to be devastating, but is equally likely to make you switch to her second-best weapon, the weaker-but-more-consistent Shockwave. See the trope entry for more on Dual and Triple Techs.
Chrono's Shiva Edge, which is received in the Hero's Grave (present) after powering it up in the past, does four times the damage when it has a critical hit (this would be stronger than the final weapon's critical hit), is impractical because its critical hit rate is one of the lowest in the game, a mere 7%. It is more practical to just use the Rainbow, Chrono's final weapon, which does two times the damage but has a great critical hit rate of 70%.
The New Game + comes with a hitch: Frog's upgraded Masamune disappears from your inventory, as it's a plot-relevant item. Needless to say, when you get it back, it's reduced to a paltry 75 attack stat. It is prudent to keep the Brave Sword in your possession before you fight Lavos, especially since it's a one-of-a-kind item found on Death Peak and can't be bought earlier in the game.
Awful Truth: Bringing Lucca, Robo, or Magus to the final fight with Lavos yields this shocking fact: every living being on the planet has been shaped and cultivated by Lavos, who harvests their genetic material to evolve. Lavos then sends its spawn into space to repeat the cycle.
Background Music Override: As mentioned on the trope page, the Ocean Palace dungeon is probably one of the most memorable instances of this trope. There's also a section of Magus' Castle where the normal battle music is overriden by the minimalist dungeon music, and nearly every sound has an echo effect added to it.
Backtracking: Mainly the segment after getting the ability to open sealed doors and chests. Not especially onerous.
Bad Present / Everyone Is A Tomato: The Frog ending, which can be interpreted as either hilarious or horrifying. A grainy film projector shows Queen Leene walking down the aisle with Frog, turning Marle's family line into a weird bunch of frog hybrids. Ribbit.
Balloonacy: In the ending, Chrono and Marle get carried away by party balloons if you wrecked the Epoch.
An early puzzle involving spikes; the characters would've easily been able to see a way around.
In the Ozzie's Fort sidequest, it's near impossible to see Magus's equipment room, even though your party still can see it.
Big Damn Heroes: Lucca shows up to break Crono out of jail shortly before he's due to be executed. If you choose not to escape, she saves the day. If you do, she's still a big help.
Bizarro Universe: The "Tata, the Hero" ending flashes us back to the showdown at Magus' Castle, except this time, Frog is replaced with the diminutive Tata. In addition, Crono is now standing in for Magus, complete with Marle and Lucca as his molls!
In the Reptite ending, life goes on for the subjects of Guardia... except they're all Reptiles, Planet of the Apes-style.
Bonsai Forest: Those dense forests you see on the map appear to be made of very short trees when you're actually in them. It could be viewed as a graphical convention to go with the isometric perspective, of course.
Bonus Boss: One for each playable character, except Ayla. (They wanted to include an optional dungeon for her, but ultimately could not fit it in.) Some are added in the Updated Rerelease, namely the Dream Devourer and the bosses in the Dimensional Vortexes.
Boss Bonanza: The Black Omen, where you fight: Mega Mutant, Giga Mutant, Tera Mutant, Elder Lavos Spawn, Queen Zeal first form, Mammon Machine, and Queen Zeal second form. After that, you are automatically rocketed to yet another Boss Rush against Lavor —, although technically you don't fight it in the Black Omen.
Boss Rush: Lavos's first form. The first few "bosses" are pathetically easy, since they haven't scaled at all.
Bowdlerise: The US SNES translation did this a fair bit. For one, the drinking contests are all real drinking contests (i.e. alcoholic) in the original game.
Broken Bridge: Aside from the literal case of Zenan Bridge in 600 AD, trying to cross Lab 32 before investigating Arris Dome will trigger a never-ending loop of Random Encounters until you give up and go somewhere else. The unforgiving winds on Death Peak also qualify.
Similarly, no matter if you know exactly the right things to do to gain a not guilty verdict during the early trial, you still have to fight your way out of prison. Justified as it's under the orders of an Evil Chancellor.
Bystander Syndrome: Completely averted; Crono, Marle, and Lucca learn of their planet's fate in the distant, ruined future. It takes all of three seconds to decide that it is their problem. (You can have Chrono decide that it's not his problem at first. Lucca quickly takes care of that.)
Or Woman, even; if Magus is present for the fight with Queen Zeal, he'll tell her exactly why she's pathetic, then resolve to kill her out of mercy. Notable in that she has no clue that he's her son.
Marle tries, but she Can Not Spit It Out. By the time she gets a chance to talk to Dad again, she's got a better grasp of the situation and hugs him instead.
Canon Discontinuity: Radical Dreamers, the first sequel, was replaced by Chrono Cross, which significantly expanded upon and changed certain things, such as the fates of Magus and Schala. Although, a Chronopolis computer in Cross implies that the events of Radical Dreamers happened in an Alternate Universe...
Can't Drop The Hero: Played straight up until the end of the Ocean Palace, when Crono is killed by Lavos. Getting him back afterwards is completely optional, and even if you do, from that point on he can be switched out with other characters.
Cardboard Prison: When Crono is jailed at the beginning, you either trick the guards to escape, or Lucca will bust in and take out most of the guards. Did we mention they're both teenagers?
Character Select Forcing: Most of the game requires Crono to be at the front of the party. Robo, Frog, and Ayla also need to come along for a few dungeons during the plot, and while you're in the Blackbird, you can't switch characters at all.
Character Witness: In Crono's trial, how you acted during the Millennial Fair will determine your verdict. Later, during the King's trial, the Chancellor learns his lesson and instead calls forward his own cronies, who have been paid to testify falsely.
Various seemingly insignificant things you can do at the Millenial Fair, such as eating the lunch you find near Gato's arena, bringing back the little girl's cat, and trying to walk off before Marle finishes buying candy, will work for or against you when you're put on trial for allegedly kidnapping Princess Nadia.
Melchior manages to pull it off twice. At first, he seems like a mere merchant, but then it's revealed that he's the only swordsmith with the skills to repair the Masamune. Then, still later, it's revealed that he's one of the time-displaced Gurus.
The old man at the End of Time turns out to be another one of the Gurus. And he gives you the Chrono Trigger egg to resurrect Crono after his death.
Cherry Tapping: In a horrifying inversion, the game does this to you via the Nu, who can be either NPCs or Random Encounters. In battle, Nu will either deal ((Current HP) - 1) damage or 1 damage. So be prepared to be hilariously and humiliatingly killed by taking 1 damage while having only 1 hit point. Thankfully, there's a modicum of fairness in this skillset, as there are actually two kinds of Nus: one deals ((Current HP) - 1), the other 1, and they don't act planfully in unison.
Several of the end-game bosses and enemies have the ability to do this to you as well. Especially humiliating and noticeable if you're over-leveled, since most of their attacks would do scratch damage to you. Zeal in particular is rather annoying, because attacking her with an AOE attack would result in her casting ((Current HP) - 1) and MP-buster on you, leaving your character with only 1 hp and nothing else. She usually follows this up with a life-drain spell.
Zeal also has an attack called "Halation" which reduces your entire party's HP to 1. However, this can quite hilariously be used against her. If you happened to bring along Frog and/or Ayla, you can use their respective desperation attacks (Frog Squash and Dino Tail, respectively) to inflict massive damage, then have your third party member follow up with a megalixir.
Chest Monster: The unnamed enemies in Magus' Castle that are indistinguishable from Save Points until you touch them.
Combination Attack: Every combination of two characters (minus Magus) has three Double Techs they can perform together once they have the appropriate skills (a spin slash and a flame thrower make a burning spin slash, for example). And every combination of Crono and two other characters (plus a few other trios that require special accessories) can do a Triple Tech, although you probably won't use those that often.
Cognizant Limbs: A good portion of the bosses have multiple parts, such as: a head and two hands; a body and legs; a large main body and two bits; or a head, a wheel, and a body. Since these require many different strategies (some are easier if both parts die near the same time, some require the weaker parts to be killed before the main part is attacked, one punishes you if the little parts take any damage at all, etc.), it probably contributed to the lasting appeal of the game.
The inner workings of Lavos share the same textures as the mountain regions in the game.
Copy Protection: In the SNES version, if the game detects that it's running on a cartridge copier, the first Gate animation will loop endlessly. This was recycled for the DS version, though the detection method is obviously not the same.
Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Death Peak. And earlier, in the Guardia prison: you can hide in cutouts to sneak up on the guards and cosh them, instead of fighting.
Counter Attack: Equip the RageBand or FuryBand accessories. Some enemies also have their own counters, while bosses occasionally enter Counter Attack phases you can wait out due to the active combat system.
Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The Dragon Tank doesn't just vanish like most enemies. After you've defeated it in normal battle, it triggers a sequence where Crono takes a flying leap to the top of the machine and plunges in his katana for the final blow. This causes the whole bridge to explode.
Covers Always Lie: Pretty much everything about the cover is wrong. A pink-garbed Marle is shooting a fireball (even though she has water-based powers) to complete the Arc Impulse triple tech with Crono (wearing a cape) and Frog against the Heckran (can't even be fought when Frog is in your party) in a snowfield (while the Heckran lives in a cave). A Bonus Dungeon in the DS remake allows you to legitimately do what the cover shows, because you go to another snowy mountain area, where a Heckran-like monster lives. However, it's a snowbeast, so using the Ice-elemental Arc Impulse on him is a hilariously bad idea.
To be fair, the cover was based on the beta version of the game. It's likely a case of Squaresoft liking some concept art, and wanting to use it as the cover.
It's arguably a case of American Kirby Is Hardcore. The Japanese cover of the game is the group image used on this page. The American distributors probably wanted an action shot rather than a generic group shot.
Crapsack World: The Future. Not only are the last few remaining humans starving to death in decaying ruins, but mutants pounce on anyone traveling between shelters, and robots are systematically hunting down humans in order to recycle them in factories.
Crash into Hello: Marle. Free advice: talk to her first, then pick up her dropped necklace.
Crater Power: After a fashion. Lavos demonstrates its might by slamming into the Tyrano Lair, leveling the entire plateau and replacing it with a charred crater.
Creepy Child: Janus. He sullenly ignores your party, only to suddenly state "The black winds howl. One among you will shortly perish."
Critical Hit: Several weapons that don't require excessive effort to get have abnormally high critical rates, which can be increased even more with items.
Critical Hit Class: Ayla (and in the remake, Robo) eventually get the ability to do 9999 damage on a critical hit. Combined with luck-enhancing equipment, can reach Game Breaking levels (although if Ayla's powerful enough to get the ability, you're probably overleveled anyway).
Crystal Prison: Exiling the Guru of Reason to a mountainous wasteland wasn't enough for Queen Zeal. She also imprisoned him in a crystal on the highest peak.
Cursed with Awesome: Frog, cursed with his eponymous form, gains the ability to jump absurdly high distances and use his tongue as a grappling hook and healing implement. In fact, he delivers a Take That to Magus during their first battle, telling him that he actually enjoys his new form now.
Cutscene Incompetence: As stated in the entry, averted when Robo gets beaten up by the R-series in Proto Dome, as he didn't want to fight them himself or let Crono and Lucca/Marle fight them. But played straight in the prehistoric era when the party is "hopelessly outnumbered" by a party of 8 Reptites, when they'd just been able to defeat 5 of them moments before. Even worse when the party gets captured by Dalton (whom you'd previously defeated as a boss) and a few random mooks.
Especially flagrant in the new game plus, whenever ANYTHING successfully defeats or intimidates you in a cutscene when otherwise you could kill them with your pinky finger.
Cutscene Power to the Max: Practically everything Magus does before he joins the party, as well as the Masamune's power. Justified in Magus' case, as Lavos drains him of his power when he attacks it.
Darkest Hour: After the Fall of Zeal. Crono is dead, obliterated by Lavos, who knocked out your party with one attack and destroyed Zeal. Schala used her powers to teleport the rest of the party out of danger, but was caught in the Ocean Palace as it caved in. You've lost the Epoch, the time gate out of 12,000 BC is still sealed (and without Schala, there's no way to break the seal), the remnants of Zeal's army, led by Dalton, are trying to conquer what little remains, and the closest thing you have to an ally is someone you've been trying to kill for a large portion of the game. Things get better, but for a while it looked pretty dire.
Deader Than Dead: Crono, when Lavos disintegrates him. Of course, since the game is about time travel, "dead" and "gone" are not the same thing...
Decade Dissonance: The Kingdom of Zeal and the earthbound existing in the dark ages side by side. This is justified as the non-magic using Earthbound were forced to live on the surface by the people of Zeal, where they have to scrape out a living for themselves in the wilderness. A comment from an NPC in the Earthbound Village implies that things weren't always this way, but at the time of the game, only Schala and the Gurus treat the Earthbound Ones as equals.
Damage dealt by Frog's Frog Squash and Ayla's Dino Tail techniques increases as their users' HP decreases.
The Triple Tech "Grand Dream" requires your whole party to be at low HP to inflict maximum damage. What makes this technique the epitome of Awesome, but Impractical, however, is that the party required to use this technique is Marle, Robo, and Frog, meaning that if you can dish out maximum damage with this technique, Frog Squash is already primed to do the same, and the other two should be getting your party back on its feet.
One of the treasures gained from Robo's sidequest is the Crisis Arm, which has a similar effect listed. However, a glitch means that the weapon only reads the last digit of Robo's HP, meaning it does the same damage at 999 HP as at 9 HP. The DS version keeps the bug and gives the weapon a description that makes this more explicit.
Items which exist over multiple time periods obey causality (relative to themselves, at least; your intervention is another story). If you take an object from the past, it won't be there in the future, but the same item can be obtained twice by taking the one in the future first*
The game gives you a bit of a warning about this: if you try to take the item in the past, you'll get a confirmation message, whereas if you take it in the future, you just grab it
If you try and take on the Black Omen in 2300 A.D., Queen Zeal actually comes down and mocks the player party for failing to remember that the apocalypse already happened and attacking the Omen now would be pointless.
Speaking of the Black Omen, it obeys the same laws as items. It ceases to exist after you defeat it, but only in time periods further ahead. The Omen can, in fact, be explored three times, allowing three times the Charmed loot off of Zeal (however, the dev team Failed a Spot Check here; other than the fight against Zeal, all one-time-only events in the Omen remain completed when you go back in time, including bosses fought and Inexplicable Treasure Chests opened.)
The 12 endings you can encounter by actually defeating Lavos at the various points in the game.
In the Blackbird, your party is stripped of their gear, and taken prisoner. Ignoring, of course, the world shattering magic the characters possess, you are rendered helpless and have to resort to stealth to continue to get your gear back. However, Ayla has been ripping things apart with her bare hands until this point, and will be more than happy to continue to do so if she is in your party, though she does lack armor (and therefore takes more damage as a result).
Ayla is the only member of your party (with the exception of Robo, who has Sufficiently Advanced Technology) that doesn't wield some form of magical ability. This is because she "does not have the spark of magic" because you recruit her from prehistoric times, when man didn't have the so-called spark of magic.
Detectives Follow Footprints: Happens when your gate key is stolen by reptites. The section of the game is even called "Footsteps! Follow!".
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Crono and his friends discover an ancient, city-sized alien that has leeched genetic progress from and plans to destroy all civilization. Their response is to begin Level Grinding until they are of sufficient power to stab it in the face*
They are intelligent about it. After seeing the power of Lavos at his strongest, they decide to attack it at its weakest, and try to get it before it can leech godly amounts of power from the planet. They just get the wrong era, and then can't actually attack it in the proper era. It's at that point that they decide to stop it in any way possible, out of necessity
. Or bludgeon it to death with a mop... and the game's 13 different endings actually encourage you to travel through time to defeat it at as many points in time as possible.
Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Mainly the Black Tyranno boss, but other dinosaur-type creatures also have fire-breathing capabilities.
Disaster Democracy: With Zeal blown to bits and 90% of the planet's surface now underwater, the surviving Enlightened Ones have no choice but to throw in with the Earthbound Ones, who know better how to survive in the icy climate. The propagation of the races ends up diluting man's ability to wield magic, but at least their moral sense has changed for the better.
Items formerly unavailable until the endgame can be earned at the DS remake's Arena right after you leave the house, if you're patient enough.
The original game freely gave you them if you were just willing to grind for it. Right from the start, Crono can buy a Lode Sword from Melchior — the best available sword for the first three story arcs. And right after that, when you arrive in Medina village, there are overpriced items that are strong enough to take on the end-boss of the game. Usually, you wouldn't be able to afford it, but enemies in the Sewer Network of 2300 AD drop obscene amounts of money.
Do Not Go Gentle: All player characters bar Crono have a short one of these before the final final confrontation with Lavos.
Dragon Ascendant: Ozzie goes underground after Magus disappears and, for all intents and purposes, assumes control of his forces. Later, you can break into his fort and kill him, which pacifies his descendants in 1000 AD.
Frog (or Marle or Lucca) versus Magus at the North Cape, and Robo and Atropos at the Geno Dome. Both are optional.
It's possible to face Lavos with only Crono in New Game+. This is required for one of the endings.
The Dulcinea Effect: When Marle was sucked into the time portal at the beginning, Crono jumped in headfirst to save her even though they only met a few minutes before, though this is more due to Crono's inherent heroism than anything she'd said or done.
Dying as Yourself: Before dying, Atropos briefly shakes off Mother Brain's control over her systems.
Crono and company first embark on the (comparatively) simple task of retrieving Marle. Rather than receiving a congressional medal of honor for his heroism, Crono sees descending upon his brow an unmistakable guillotine, so the party haphazardly flees into a random Time Gate, uncertain of whether they can ever return. It ends up depositing them in the Future... and that's when Lavos enters stage right.
An Economy Is You: Exaggerated by the game design, which has most towns and settlements fully visible from the world map, rather than the traditional "step on map tile -> enter city" design.
Eldritch Abomination: Lavos, planetary parasite with powers over space-time. Fitting the Lovecraftian ideal even further, he's a source of immense magical power for an entire civilization.
Elemental Crafting: With the penultimate sword for Crono being crafted out of a... sparkly Rainbow Shell. His truly ultimate sword in the DS version is made of dreams.
Enemy Chatter: The enemies in the Sewer, as well as Dalton and his goons.
Enemy Mine: You can recruit Magus, and you shouldn't expect him to ever apologize for trying to kill you. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Enemy Scan: One accessory can display enemies' HP. Lucca starts with it. It doesn't work on bosses, however.
Equipment Spoiler: A merchant that can sell you scythes appears shortly before Magus offers to join the party.
Even the Demons Want Him: In a secret room in the Manolia Cathedral, you can find some monsters are worshipping a statue of Magus. It's... awkward.
Oh, great Magus, Magus the Great ♪ Your eyes are brighter than the stars ♪ Your long flowing hair, like waves atop the sea ♪ Even those miserable sunny days abate ♪ When we feel your seething hate ♪ Even brightened halls hold no fear ♪ Just so long as you are near ♪
Everyone Is Related: Would you believe that the Guardia Royal Family has basically controlled the same continent for over sixty million years? And that most of your party is related to them in some fashion? *
Evil Is Not a Toy: Lavos Is Not A Power Source. Trying to get energy from him might give you eternal life, but it'll also piss him off enough to destroy your civilization.
Evil Laugh: Stupid Ozzie. Also worth mentioning is the creepy, distorted laugh that echoes throughout Magus's castle. It also occurs in other places, like the Guardia Castle prison and Norstein Bekkler's tent.
If you interact with the evil throne in the Giant's Claw (which is actually the Tyranno Lair), the leading party member will indulge in one.
Evil Sorcerer: Magus appears to be this at first, but his motives are a bit more complex...
Exposed to the Elements: You have to wonder how well Ayla's holding up when you take her into the Ice Age, but then again, none of the other party members are adequately dressed for those conditions, and they never say anything about it either.
Expy: Since Akira Toriyama, an artist known for Only Six Faces and creator of Dragon Ball, was behind the character design this is to be expected. Crono looks like a red-headed version of Goku, Magus a grey-skinned Piccolo (though dressed more like Kibito), Ayla is Launch, Lucca is a teenage Arale, and Marle is Bulma. The animated Best Ending shows that Glenn is pretty much a green-haired Vegeta. Robo strongly resembles some versions of mech armors used by Pilaf or the Red Ribbon Army. Lavos's Second Form◊ also bears a resemblance to Cell's initial form. Also if you look at Melchior's sprite closely, you'll notice a few things: sunglasses, funny mustaches and beard, and he carries a staff. Now, which DB character is it who looks just like him? It's the Kamesennin/Mutenroshi.
Fantastic Racism: There are hints of it between the humans and the fiends (intelligent monsters). Darkly justified; in the Manolia Cathedral in 600 A.D, you can find a non-hostile naga-ette whose one line is to burp loudly and comment on how the remaining human prisoners in the room with her look very tasty.
Chrono Resurrection was a fan-made project to remake key parts of Chrono Trigger as a Nintendo 64Tech Demo Game with awesome 3D graphics and remastered music... but near the end of 2004, they received a Cease and Desist from Square Enix, and were forced to drop the project.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: And there's also Water (which counts as the same element as ice) and "Shadow." Lightning is actually a Bowdlerised version of the original Japanese "Heaven" element. The DS remake has sort of a middle ground, as Lightning has been changed to "Light."
Fission Mailed: Losing the battle against Dalton's Golem and Lavos, during his appearance in the Ocean Palace, has little affect against on the plot. In fact, 'winning' the Ocean Palace fight simply zaps you to the end credits.
Flunky Boss: Many, many bosses, including the Final Boss, have "Bits" that assist the boss in attacking, counterattacking, or defense, and often can be revived by the main boss. In the final battle, Lavos is disguised as one.
Foregone Victory: Both battles against Ozzie, unless you don't realize that there are other targets. There's also the Golem Boss, won't attack during your battle with it... because it's afraid of heights.
No more than three people may time travel at once, or else they go to the End of Time (which isn't as bad as it sounds, more of a limbo for time travelers).
Magus and his henchmen.
Dalton has four golems.
Four Lavos Spawn.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Robo's "Laser Spin" technique, various enemy attacks in 2300 AD, and some lasers that act as barriers to progress in the factory stages.
Friendly Fire Proof: Generally played straight with your party's devastating magic attacks, but some enemy attacks will strike other enemies if they're between you and the attacker. Heck, some enemies will attack and even kill their compatriots before even bothering to attack the Player Party.
Frogs and Toads: After his transformation, Frog went into self-imposed exile in the Cursed Woods, which is hopping with cute little amphibians. The evil Toad King used to hang his hat here, but cleared out after Cyrus and Glenn challenged him for the Hero Badge.
Futureshadowing: The Millennial Fair is swarming with these, such as the "Unga Bunga!" dancers on the east side who are performing Ayla's tribal dance from 65,000,000 BC. The most notable one is the swordsmith, Melchior, who recognizes Marle's pendant and implores her to "keep it safe!".
Futuristic Superhighway: Averted. To Crono, a two-lane highway is futuristic. It's also Johnny's private racing strip.
Gaia's Lament: No sun, no food. A simple yet insurmountable problem for Doan and his comrades in the future. Lavos' eruption blocked out the sun and choked the atmosphere with soot.
In the Dark Ages, the magical floating kingdom of Zeal used to draw renewable power from the Sunstone, but mothballed it in favor of the Mammon Machine's energy. (The Sunstone is now collecting dust on a satellite island.) The Queen also did away with the Gurus for preaching about living in accordance with nature and crap like that.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: When running around the Blackbird, special care must be taken to not be noticed, or you'll be captured and thrown back to your cell. If you have Ayla in your party, she will be able to engage in battle, although she is the only one able to do so. This is in spite of your characters' ability to cast magic, or in Robo's case, use his inbuilt laser cannons.
Yakra, the monster that haunts Manolia Cathedral in Guardia. Almost every generation after him has the same M.O.: disguise himself as the Chancellor, and attempt to kill the queen or king to put an end to the Guardia royal bloodline. In the 400 years between 1000 and 600 AD, they fail to pose a threat at all. That's Yakra for you!
Ozzie, whose descendant is the mayor (or janitor) of Medina Village in the present. The only difference is that somehow, the present Ozzie is purple.
Giant Hands of Doom: Queen Zeal, phase two. One of her 'hands' is particularly nasty and whittles a character's HP to 1, regardless of defenses.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: As stated in the entry, they become more numerous the further you progress in the game — the Cave Imp, Giga Gaia, the Golem Sisters, just about every boss fight in the Black Omen except the last two, etc. (Ironically, the literalGiant Space Flea from Nowhere is well-integrated into the plot.)
Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Zeal's destructon in 12,000 BC causes a tsunami to flood most of the world. Only a few survivors remain, bridging the divide between the 'Earthbound Ones' and the 'Enlightened Ones.'
Global Currency Exception : In 65 Million B.C., you can only buy weapons by trading animal parts, which the monsters drop instead of gold. (The item merchant, on the other hand, is very enthusiastic about your "shiny stone".) In 2,300 AD, meanwhile, while the merchants will take your cash (who else is there to sell to?), they will question its value.
Gory Discretion Shot: Lucca's mother was crippled 10 years before the beginning of the game by getting stuck on a Conveyor Belt-O-Doom. There is a sidequest that has adult Lucca teleport to that exact moment, and you get a chance to stop the machine. Mess up, though, and the screen will fade to black and then to an agonizing scream.
Grandfather Paradox: In the middle ages, Crono has to stop Marle from being erased from existence by saving the era's queen, her ancestor.
More specifically, Marle inadvertently causes the paradox when she appears in 600 AD: the guards mistake her for Leene, and take her back to Guardia rather than attempt to rescue the real queen. But since Leene is Marle's ancestor, her premature death causes Marle to wink out of existence once the Delayed Ripple Effect catches up with her.
Green Aesop: Subverted. The Kingdom of Zeal would've been fine if they'd just continued sucking energy out of the planet itself. It was only when they started messing with the cosmic abomination inside the planet that they found themselves on the path to destruction. But played straight with all the "this sapling/seed will save the environment" stuff across multiple time eras.
Touch, but do not open, a sealed chest in 600 A.D. before going to the same chest in 1000 A.D. to find an upgraded version of the item you'd find otherwise! A great trick the game only hints at by saying "the item is reacting to the pendant" if you approach it in the Middle Ages, when the obvious course of action is to open the 1000 A.D. chest first and then go back to 600 A.D.. Since not all sealed chests are upgradable you may already think you won't be given a confirmation as to whether or not to open the chest at all!
Getting the Gold Rock/Gemstone accessory requires that you put one specific character in the lead position of a specific, long-since completed dungeon to redo a specific encounter where the enemy randomly throws rocks at you. Your hints at this, from NPCs or elsewhere? Zero.
Hate Plague: The ability of Lavos and his spawn to inflict Confuse invokes the tendency of Eldritch critters to drive people to madness. This is of course reflected in the Mammon Machine, whose malignant aura perverts the brain of Queen Zeal.
The Masamune, originally a Dreamstone knife until it's transformed by the Mammon Machine, channels negative energy as well as bad. This is revealed in Chrono Cross, after decades of abuse causes the sword to degenerate. It even acquires a Hate Plague aura of its own.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The fight against the first Golem is a subversion in that it cuts you a little slack. The battle can be tough if you don't know what you're doing, but even without grinding it's not a Hopeless Boss Fight. However, since the plot requires that you be captured at the end of the sequence anyway, you won't be given a game over for losing. If you win, the game won't quite declare that The Battle Didn't Count (Golem stays dead), but all that changes plotwise is that Dalton takes you out with his Cutscene Power to the Max instead. So ultimately, the only real difference between victory and defeat is some XP (and maybe your pride).
Hello, Insert Name Here: Slight amusement can be found in naming Marle, Frog, Magus, and R-66Y (Robo) their "real" names, once you've played through the game and know what they are. The DS remake allows six-letter names for characters (memory issues limited the original to five letters), allowing people to name Crono as he was intended in the Japanese version ("Chrono").
He Who Fights Monsters: Magus. Think about it. As a child, he blocked out his magical power because he hated what it was doing to his mother and sister. After he was sent to 600 A.D., he embraced that same power in order to destroy Lavos, becoming much like his mother in the process.
The Hero: Crono through and through. He doesn't hesitate to go after Marle when she disappears, he readily agrees to save the world from a seemingly-omnipotent Eldritch Abomination, and he is the first person to disagree when the Melchior in 12,000 BC says that there's nothing that can be done to save Schala. Exemplified at the beginning of the game: When Marle's "pieces" tried to escape before being sucked into the time rift, Crono's "pieces" dashed right in.
Heroic Mime: Crono, of course. Though he does have his own text box in one of the "fake/funny" endings, and the other characters react to him as if he can talk when the player is offered choices to answer. Lampshaded when he's almost executed. "Any last words?"
The High Queen: Leene, and Marle acts like one when she's mistaken for Leene. Then there's Queen Zeal, naturally.
Holy Burns Evil: Magus's weakness to the Masamune. Not just when you fight him — in the Northern Ruins, if Magus is in your party, he will recoil behind his cape when the Masamune begins emitting light, not dropping back to normal until Masa and Mune are gone.
Holy Hand Grenade: Luminaire. Plus all the lightning spells are technically light elemental.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Lavos in its first appearance, unless you've somehow managed to max out your level or are in New Game Plus — Lavos is actually much more difficult in this encounter than any other, specifically because they wanted to make sure it killed you in a standard game. If defeated, you earn the game's hardest ending, the Developer's Room. (This ending can also happen if you beat Lavos before first fighting Yakra.)
Hyperactive Metabolism: You can cure HP, MP, or both in Guardia castle by ordering one of three dishes in 1000 A.D., and also regain all HP and MP by drinking "special water" in 65 million B.C. Whereas in the Crapsack World that is the future, you can sleep in a machine that restores all of your HP/MP, except it notes: "But you're still hungry!"
Hilariously you can still get the "But You're Still Hungry!" line even if you've just eaten a huge roast in the Castle and hopped on the time machine into the future to use the machine. Apparently the characters digested a whole pork roast in under a few hours.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: "This creature has executed its program. Please let him sleep. The switch is on his stomach."
Ozzie is another possibility, given that he encases himself in what looks like a large ice crystal when you finally corner him.
Identical Grandson: A necessary evil thanks to technological constraints — people and their ancestors and descendants are often just Palette Swaps of each other. However, in one case (namely, Marle's), this trope is used as a deliberate plot point.
The conveyor belts in the factory areas are understandable enough, but one has to wonder what they're doing on the Blackbird.
Played with in one of the sidequests. A pair of monsters spawn on conveyor belts. Before the batle menu pops up, the conveyor belts drop the poor Mooks into pits. The battle music slowly peters off and the party just stands there as if to say "Did that really just happen?"
Industrialized Evil: The dark secret in the bowels of Geno Dome: The robots are gathering up humans and placing them on a conveyor belt to be slaughtered. This process will continue ad infinitum (with digitized screaming to complete the picture) until you kill Mother Brain.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Actually justified, for once; like the Sun Stone and Forest Ruins, the black sigil boxes were scattered over the globe when Zeal fell in 12,000 BC, gradually re-surfacing over the eons. In some cases NPCs comment that the boxes have been passed down for generations and no one has been able to open them.
After rushing after Marle when she disappears in Lucca's Teleportation device, Crono unknowingly ends up traveling through time to the past. While you have no idea where you are until you speak to a few NPCs, saving the game at this point will give you the Chapter Title 'The Middle Ages'. Oh.
Though this is an extremely minor spoiler — if you couldn't figure out the whole time-travelling thing by the fact that you're in the exact same position you were in during the present, with Guardia Kingdom looking only slightly different, and your little marker that usually says '1000 A.D.' now changed to '?', and just by knowing the damn game you're playing, then...
Infinity+1 Sword: The Rainbow Sword, which criticals 70% of the time. The Masamune also qualifies when it gets its makeover. And the DS remake gives us the Dreamseeker, essentially Rainbow's big brother. It only does one more point of offense... but it criticals 90% of the time!
The DS remake also gives Marle an Infinity +1 Bow. The Venus Bow, when it hits, always does 777 points of damage. Against some Mooks with high defense, she can end up doing far more damage than anyone else (except Ayla's Infinity +1 Bronze Fists which she gets at Level 96...)
Informed Flaw: Everybody thinks Lucca and her father are a pair of incompetent mad scientists, most likely because Taban built a machine that ended up accidentally crippling his wife. However, we see Lucca invent different types of offensive weapons, hypnotic devices, and an item capable of controlling tears in the fabric of time. Meanwhile, Taban develops increasingly effective suits of body armor for his daughter to use.
Irrelevant Sidequest: Robo's sidequest. If you defeat Lavos and save the world, then the things that the party fixes fix themselves. If you didn't do that one sidequest, the ending would be every bit as good, whereas with the others you usually fix something that happened before the apocalypse.
Joke Item: The Mop. Win it from the Nu in 65,000,000 B.C. It's a weapon for Crono with an attack rating of 1 (lower than his starting weapon). There's no trick to getting good damage out of it and it doesn't unlock any secret techs or quests. It's just a mop.
Just for Pun: Ayla's healing tech is called "Kiss". In addition to the implications to fuel the hints of her bisexuality, it's clearly based on the whole "kiss it and make it better" phenomena. This is something little kids used to ask their moms to do for them — which makes the name Fridge Brilliance when you realise the implications that Ayla's pregnant throughout the quest.
Kangaroo Court: You're put on trial for kidnapping the Princess early on (when in fact you rescued her). This one is a subversion, though, because you can actually win the trial, though it's difficult (doing so nets you a few bonus items). But even if you're acquitted, you still do time for running off with the Princess... and the Chancellor twists this into an execution. The chancellor is really Yakra XIII wanting revenge.
Subverted when you go back to 600 and hear about the Hero, Tata, a young boy who has the Hero Medal. It's really Frog/Glenn's medal, which he abandons after getting beat up by Magus. Tata just finds it and gets hailed as a hero... but flees for his life once you follow him.
Kill All Humans!: The robots led by Mother Brain (notthat one) in 2300 A.D. decide that humanity's had its chance and failed, so the best thing to do is wait for Lavos and its spawn to leave the planet, take care of the last meatbags, and build a new android civilization.
Leaked Experience: Characters not in the active fighting party receive only 75% of the experience and no tech points.
Left the Background Music On: Dalton, when he modifies the Epoch. The time machine starts playing Crono's theme when engaged but Dalton quickly calls for a change.
Leitmotif: Not only does each time era, character, and geographic location share leitmotifs, you can match some of them up based on how they sound.
Chrono's theme is echoed by the 1000 A.D. Overworld Theme.
Magus's theme is similarly echoed by the 12,000 B.C. Overworld Theme and Schala's Theme.
Letting the Air out of the Band: During a brief moment in Ozzie's Fort when he winches up a pair of monsters like he did repeatedly earlier in Magus' Castle: the battle music starts up but since the monsters immediately land on a pair of conveyer belts that send them crashing back downstairs, it quickly grinds to a halt.
Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating Giga Gaia causes the suspension chain to snap on the Mountain of Woe, which collapses into the sea.
Load-Bearing Hero: Robo does this early in the game, though he is holding two automatic doors closing horizontally, instead of one structure falling vertically. Oddly, he doesn't actually leave any room for the other characters to move around him, but thanks to game mechanics, the other characters can simply walk through him.
Low Level Run: One of the games this is practiced with; it's possible to finish with a Level 1 Crono.
MacGuffin Title: The titular Chrono Trigger is a Time Egg that allows the characters to save Crono after he dies.
In a somewhat more meta example, the entire game implies that Crono and his friends are fulfilling the same role for the planet that the Time Egg fulfills for them: they are in effect a Chrono Trigger in and of themselves.
Magic Kiss: Ayla's Kiss ability heals your party members' health while confirming her Bi the Way interest in strong men and women.
Magic Knight: Five of the seven characters can learn magic, including sword-wielders Crono and Frog. Plus, Robo's laser abilities are as good as spells.
Mainlining The Monster: The Kingdom of Zeal used Lavos as a power source once they discovered it, instead of the sun energy they had been safely using for years.
Mayor of a Ghost Town: Doan, being the descendant of the Proto Dome's Supervisor (killed in the Bad Ending).
Magus also has mystical connotations, and is the singular form for the three Magi that visited Jesus in Christian mythology... who, in another case of Woolseyism, are named Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar.
Magus's two Japanese names keep this trend. Janus's Japanese name is Jaki, which basically refers to an evil imp, or small demon, and his title is Maou, which basically means "Demon King".
Metal Slime: The "Rubble" enemies found at Mt. Woe, which pose minimal danger to your party and yield a large amount of Tech Points. The only problem is they have obscenely high evade stats, and will always lock out all of your abilities other than regular attacks. This makes it infinitely more likely that you'll miss for five or so turns until they run away. Several other enemies follow similar patterns.
Mini-Game: Several are found at the Millennial Fair, naturally enough. Some involve wagers. One becomes mandatory for a sidequest late in the game, although the only cost of failure is 40 silver points.
Mirror Match: At the end of the Dimensional Vortexes in the re-release, Crono, Lucca, and Marle each have a battle against a shade version of themselves. It's not one-on-one, however.
Mistaken for Kidnapper: As soon as Crono returns from the past for the first time after saving the princess, he's arrested for kidnapping. This is due to the fact that the "Chancellor" is now a descendant of Yakra, due to the fact that, since you went back in time and stopped the original Yakra from impersonating the Chancellor, his broodlings took it upon themselves to finish what he had started. The "mistake" is merely actually an act of revenge.
Money Spider: Except in 65 Million BC, where the local equivalent of currency is dropped instead. (You can still spend G in that era, but it's only with one guy who is interested in trading for your 'shiny stone', and he just sells regular consumables.)
Multiple Endings: There are 12, many of which can only be attained in a New Game Plus. Perhaps the first game of its genre to use this to any significant degree. And variations on some of those depending on whether Crono is dead or Magus is in your party, and on the method you use to reach Lavos. The Playstation port and DS version throws in another one for good measure.
Namedar: Ayla's off-the-cuff name for Lavos [it means "big fire" in her dialect] evidently passes into the lexicon; Justified, however, as she is the chief of the only major human civilization at the time.
Ayla heads to the secret Laruba Village to gather reinforcements. Too bad the Reptites follow her there, setting fire to the whole village. No wonder the Old Man's pissed.
Ninja Prop: At one point, you're able to sneak through a place full of monsters as long as you don't make any noise. This includes touching the save point, as the little chime that sounds will also get their attention.
No Bikes In The Apocalypse: Played relatively straight. There are interstates and highways in the future, but nobody left to drive on them; in fact, the Labs are mostly composed of ruined streetlights and rusted-out cars. The party eventually borrows a turbocycle from Johnny, but require a battery to power it.
No Bisexuals: Averted — Ayla is clearly bisexual (she blatantly says she "likes" anyone who is a strong fighter, be they boy or girl). "Lucca is bisexual" is also a running gag in the Japanese version, and also in the DS version, which has been retranslated to be closer to the original. (Lucca denies being bi, however.)
Nobody Can Die: Toyed with, particularly in the scenes where you are chased by guards you cannot battle. Most humans will turn out to be monsters in disguise before you fight them. This becomes somewhat ironic in that major characters can die and many of the nonhuman enemies you are allowed to kill freely are shown to be sentient.
Nonindicative Name: The "Middle Ages" (600 A.D.) are in the middle of what, exactly? It falls between 12,000 B.C. and 1000 A.D., and, chronologically, is in the final 1% of the entire span of time seen in the game.
Optional Party Member: Magus. And you don't have to fix Robo in the sunken desert side quest or bring back Crono.
Orphaned Etymology: The years are expressed with BC and AD. The epoch of this system is apparently the founding of Guardia, but what the letters stand for in this world is anyone's guess.
Our Hero Is Dead: Crono actually dies during the course of the game. Of course, this being a game about time travel, it is entirely possible to bring him back. Or not, if you don't feel like it.
Our Founder: The ever-changing statue in Medina's village square. It starts out as a monument to Magus, then changes to Ozzie, of all people. It finally vanishes once Ozzie is taken out of commission.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: After Crono, Marle, and Lucca jump into the 2300 A.D. portal when Crono escapes from jail, the guards seem to forget about them, as later you can go to Guardia Castle and nobody will attempt arresting Crono. This is before the Chancellor is discovered to be Yakra's descendant, which makes it more strange.
This is addressed in the game. If you talk to the soldiers and other people in the castle after they stop chasing you out (around the time you can open the sealed chests, Marle must be in your party the first time), they'll say that the king pardoned Crono after being pleaded to by Pierre, and that only the chancellor really believes Crono is guilty to begin with.
Overrated and Underleveled: Magus. Somewhat justified, as his magic was drained by Lavos before he joins your party. And he is the only character you can recruit who can eventually cast from any school of magic.
Of course, once he finally learns Dark Matter (quite probably not until New Game +) and Crono gains Luminaire, Magus and Crono are veritable Bash Brothers, out-damaging most any other method of attack. While still leaving a space for someone to do some healing.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Magus disguises himself as a prophet in 12,000 B.C. by basically putting a hood on his cape. It doesn't even fully cover his hair. Of course, it still works, since no one in the time period would know who he was, and his past self is an eight to twelve year old child.
You can visit 65,000,000 BC as soon as you access the End of Time, several dungeons before you actually need to go there. In 65,000,000 BC lies the Dactyl's Nest, an area you're not supposed to visit until the second time you come to 65,000,000 BC. The enemies there give three times the typical amount of experience that battles in the next storyline dungeon do, at only a mild increase in difficulty.
There's also the Nu in the Hunting Range. It can't kill you, but you can kill it for points that you need to learn your characters' powerful techniques. It's somewhat difficult to find, however.
While taken aboard the Blackbird you can encounter mooks which, despite posing a minimal threat, still give more experience than their challenging recolors from the Ocean Palace.
On the Black Omen there is a hall which puts you against three enemies every time you walk through it, two of which will give you massive amounts of skills points but distract you from the middle enemy which has a very strong attack and they leave if you beat it first. However, once you're strong enough to beat them all before they can attack the place becomes and easy area to gain all abilities.
Finally, Mother Brain's fortress starts with a conveyor belt which has five sets of enemies, which reward a total combined XP of roughly 10,000, far greater than any other location in the entire game. It also gives a decent amount of tech points. A garbage chute at the end of the belt allows you to travel back to the beginning and reset the enemies, making it the perfect location to grind up to level 99 once you reach the endgame.
Personality Powers: The amphibious Frog is a Water innate and dark magician Magus is Shadow, and Crono, one of the fastest characters, is aligned with Heaven, Lightning, or Light, depending on version (original Japanese, SNES English translation, and DS remake translation, respectively). Inverted, however, with Lucca and Marle — the impetuous ("hot-headed") Princess is a Water/Ice innate where logical, scientific-minded Lucca sets things on fire.
Pimped-Out Dress: Leene's dress. Marle also sports one a few times, but she apparently wears her everyday clothes underneath it in case she feels the need to run off. In the Imagine Spot about why Marle vanished before your eyes, this is the standard gear for Guardia royalty.
Pistol Whipping: Marle whacks things with her crossbow if they're too close to shoot at.
Planar Shockwave: Fire2 and some other magic spells feature this as part of their visuals.
Planet Eater: Lavos, whose species crashes into worlds like meteors, burrows into the core, consumes energy for millennia while leeching genetic code from the strongest native life forms, then vomits its offspring into the void with an extinction event.
Plotline Death: Subverted, it's the hero himself. You don't even have to get him back. Played straight in the ending if you don't, though; the first thing Marle and Lucca do after taking care of Lavos and sending the other three or four characters to their home times is hop into the Epoch and head to "get Crono back".
Portal Network: The Gates and Pillars of Light linking the time periods via the End of Time.
Power Floats: Most of the characters hover while casting magic. Magus does it all the time when moving at any speed faster than a leisurely walk: his run animation is rather hovering above the ground by about a foot.
The Power of the Sun: The Sun Stone, which was used as Zeal's superadvanced power source until it ran dry and they turned to Lavos Power instead. The party can repower the Stone and use it to make Lucca's best gun and the stat-multiplying Sun Shades. It can also be combined with the Rainbow Shell to produce Crono's best sword and a set of critical chance-increasing Prism Specs. It's a very powerful item.
Precap: One of these plays if you leave the game on the title screen long enough.
Preexisting Encounters: Trope Codifier for jRPGs - all the encounters are pre-scripted and appear at the same point and with the same enemies every playthrough, and many are also avoidable and allow you to see their contents beforehand. On the other hand, quite a few battles are unavoidable ambushes set at fixed points (which respawn every time you change "screens"). Some rare enemies only appear at random, although it's still your choice to fight them or not.
Puzzle Boss: The Son of Sun and Lavos.. Ozzie is a rather pathetic version.
The Golem and Golem Sisters can be difficult if you don't know the trick to the fight.
Quirky Miniboss Squad: Ozzie, Slash, and Flea. They're different from others in that they're fairly competent.
Ragnarok Proofing: The Sun Palace and Sealed Pyramid — both relics of Zeal Kingdom — slowly unearth themselves as the continents drift.
Ramming Always Works: Well, sorta. Ramming Lavos with the Epoch only skips a slightly tedious replay of several earlier boss battles; the core is still alive. The endings change to reflect whether you do this or not.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Reversed. Marle uses ice magic but is extroverted and passionate; Lucca uses fire but is more cerebral and scientific. Possibly Red-haired Crono and Blue-haired Magus. In the DS remake, there are two bosses literally called Red Demon and Blue Demon who can revive each other. The only way to kill them is to beat them at the same time.
Reduced MP Cost: The Silver Stud cuts MP costs by half, and the Gold Stud reduces it to 25%. Not quite a Game Breaker, as spells can be very costly (most final techs cost a fifth of your MP, and all Magus's techs cost at least 8 MP), but it is one of the best accessories to have.
The Remnant: After the survivors of Zeal huddle together at the Last Village, Dalton arrives on the scene with several minions to declare himself the de facto King. Defeating him and blowing up the Blackbird results in the destruction of the last of Zeal's forces.
Sometime after Magus' defeat, Ozzie, Flea and Slash flee to their own castle, and Ozzie renames himself Ozzie the Great. After Ozzie's death, the fiends no longer hate the humans and both co-exist peacefully in the Present.
Ret Gone: Briefly happens to Marle by way of Grandfather Paradox in the first part of the game: She happened to land at the point where her ancestor Queen Leene had been kidnapped. Because Marle looks so much like her ancestor, everyone mistook her for their queen and called the search off, leading to Marle being erased out of existence shortly after her reunion with Crono. Fortunately, the queen had not been killed yet, so Crono, Lucca and Frog managed to save her and return Marle to existence.
Retro Upgrade: Robo, a robot from year 2300, can be equipped with stone arms you find in prehistory and they're the best weapons you can find (at the time).
Robo Family: Robo and his fellow R-series robots are never actually called "brothers", but they do share a bond — or at least they used to.
Robot Names: Robo is also known as R66-Y. Then we find out he was Prometheus, which is not on the list of standard robot names.
Rooftop Confrontation: Battling the Tyranno on top of Azala's castle, and later an outer space duel with Queen Zeal!
Rubber Band A.I.: Spekkio, who becomes more powerful when the lead party member's level reaches a level divisible by 10. Needless to say, you'll have a far better chance of beating him at levels 19, 29, 39, etc. than at 10/20/30.
Ruins of the Modern Age: Lab/Site 16/32 areas in 2300 A.D. along with bits of random destroyed buildings in the overworld. In contrast to the futuristic domes, these places look exactly like what a modern day city would look like.
1000 A.D. is Chrono Trigger's "modern world," with a mix of medieval and modern architecture: castle, modern military uniforms, refrigerators, and swords and guns together. On the outer edges of science and magic, there's even a robot and human cloning.
There are guns found throughout time. There's even a "Ruby Gun" in 65,000,000 BC. Clearly, Lucca set back firearms for millions of years by swiping the earliest prototype!
There are robot arms in 65,000,000.
From one walkthrough:
[600 AD, Tata and the Frog]: "Grab the Mirage hand. It's a nice weapon for Robo. Ponder why they've got robot parts laying about in the middle ages while you equip it on him."
Self Fanservice: Magus, and to a lesser extent, some female characters like Lucca and Ayla.
Sequence Breaking: It is possible to do one of the Fated Hour quests early. Thanks to some funky Event Flag checking, you can do the side quest to revive Fiona's Forest in 600AD the moment you reach the Kingdom of Zeal and tell a particular person to keep a plant. It's more challenging to do the side quest, but it lends itself to getting some of the best helmets.
Since Toriyama did the character designs, Crono looks like Goku (and wears a crown straight out of Dragon Quest in the animated ending cinema in the Playstation port), Marle wears one of Bulma's early outfits, and Lucca looks like Arale from Dr Slump.
Listen to the music played during the trial scenes. Then, listen to The Trial by Pink Floyd.
Lavos' 2nd form is likely a shout out to the Guyver series or the Super Sentai series. Not only does he look a lot like a Guyver, his chest blaster attack also requires him to literally open his chest to shoot the beam (much like mega smasher from the Guyver series) and it also happens to be his strongest attack.
Also, if you are playing the SNES version of the Rainbow Shell sidequest, when Marle and the others head down to the Guardia Castle basement, the snakes are named Dumb and Dumber. (In the DS version, they are Slither and Squirm).
The Knights of the Square Table are simultaneously a nod to Arthurian legend and to the game's development company.
Tata, the would-be Kid Hero in the middle ages, looks like a hero from in a Dragon Quest game, another franchise Toriyama did art designs for. His role derives from the Erdrick trilogy with his Hero's Badge mimicking the Erdrick Seal, and his 'quest' to defeat Magus parallels with the Edrick's quest to slay Baramos (and later Zoma). His idle sprite even walks perpetually in place like the sprites from the earlier DQ games did, when no other sprite in-game does this.
Robo is almost certainly based on Tik-Tok from Return To Oz.
Most notably, the one to resurrect the main character is entirely optional. Most of the game post-Zeal (even the Black Omen) can be considered a sidequest, since you can face the final boss very early in the game. That said, the sidequests are helpful for leveling your characters and getting their best weapons so you stand a chance of beating said boss on your first playthrough.) And at the very least, none of them feel particularly pointless.
The DS remake introduced the Lost Sanctum, two villages and two mountains full of Fetch Quests: Find an item, take it to the guy on top of the mountain, Fade Out to the village. Now climb the mountain again to talk to the guy again to figure out what you need to fetch for him next. You spend as much time traveling through the same four or five screens as you do on the rest of the game's sidequests combined. At least the rewards are usually worth it.
The Slow Path: Robo makes use of it in order to restore the forests back in the Middle Ages. He stays behind with Fiona to labor at reconstruction, as the rest of the party simply hops in the Epoch and zooms forward to 1000 AD when Robo's work is complete and their friend is enshrined as a hero (in a somewhat dilapidated state, but not beyond Lucca's ability to repair). He also uses his 400 year sojourn to try and reason out the puzzle of the Gates and their relation to Lavos, speculating the existence of The Entity being the party responsible for their existence rather than Lavos itself.
Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: In the SNES version, Azala says this: "Red Star... FALL!" In the DS version, however, this is different: "Damnable red star... Fall, why don't you? Stain the earth red!"
Start X to Stop X: Lavos' presence is what brings magic into existence on the game's world, but when Spekkio gives the team the ability to use magic (those who are capable of learning it, that is), they put it to good use against Lavos.
Status Buff: Power, Magic, and Speed stats can be permanently increased with items that can be found or stolen.
There's also Lucca's Protect, Marle's Haste, and Magus's Magic Wall spells, which provide a temporary boost to Physical Defense, Speed, and Magic Defense, respectively.
Status Buff Dispel: One of Lavos's attacks is "Curse", which removes characters' protection from status ailments. Works on protection granted not only by spells, but also by equipment, making the attack more effective than a standard RPG "Dispel" spell.
Suspicious Video Game Generosity: The save room in Guardia Prison is accompanied by an "owner's manual" detailing the weapons and weaknesses of a "Dragon Tank". Hmmm. Also, inspecting the Supervisor's unconscious body (also lying nearby) yields a whopping TEN Mid-Tonics. Hmmmmmmmmm...
Suddenly Voiced: In one ending, Marle and Lucca rate several guys from Chrono Trigger, and they'll inform you which are studs, and which are duds. When it comes time to rate Crono, the genuine article crashes the proceedings.
Take It To The Bridge: Zenan Bridge (once it's fixed, of course) hits all of the symbolic marks: the bridge is a bottleneck through which Ozzie's troops attempt to invade Guardia; a flashback between Cyrus and Glenn takes place on the bridge, as Cyrus announces he's going to become a knight; lastly, King Guardian XXI leads a procession across the water during the game's ending.
The Dragon Tank is fought on the connecting bridge between Guardia Castle and the prison tower. When the tank explodes, the Chancellor rushes in to make repairs, but ends up on hanging for dear life when the bridge collapses. How embarrassing.
Take Your Time: An interesting variation on the trope, due to the time-traveling nature of the plot. You can travel to several time periods both distantly before and distantly after Lavos's apocalypse, you can attack Lavos at nearly any point in the game after getting the Epoch, and one of the Gurus explicitly tells you to take as much time as you need to prepare for your confrontation with it. For once, time is not of the essence — but you only get one chance, so you'd better make it count.
Teaser Equipment: The first time you arrive at Medina, the shopkeepers sell weapons three tiers above what you'll currently be using, for 10 times the gold you'd expect. Justified in that the fiends of the village hate humans after losing a war 400 years ago. After you've changed history to make fiends no longer hate humans, the prices become more reasonable, but by then, the gear is outclassed.
Another example occurs at the very beginning of the game. The Guru Melchior is visiting the Millennial Fair and has a Silver Sword for sale. Unless you farm money for a long time, you won't be able to afford it until you've progressed through at least one more dungeon.
Temporal Paradox: One briefly causes Marle to disappear early in the game. And, according to Chrono Cross, the heroes create one when they defeat Lavos. Outside of the storyline, abusing the past/future mechanics to do the same event multiple times (take an item, beat the Omen) is also a paradox, since the first instance is now no longer possible in linear time.
Theme Music Power-Up: It's a pretty consistent bet that whenever someone's theme plays, they're about to have a Moment Of Awesome. Except when Lucca's theme plays, which means that everyone is about to have a Moment of Awesome.
Theme Naming: Ozzie, Slash, and Flea are named after rock stars in the English localization, condiments in the original Japanese.
Third Person Flashback: Justified. During the trial, all the flashbacks of what you did are in third-person..because they were actually coming from somebody else's descriptions.
Time Abyss: Lavos and its innocuous counterpart, the Nu.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: The cycling race in the future. Also, any time you need to escape from confinement (Crono's incarceration or after Dalton captures the party) there will be stealth elements. However in both of the escape attempts, you are completely free to bash your jailers' heads in (although for escaping Dalton, you need Ayla as she is the sole character to retain her weapons).
Unfinished Business: Frog's friend Cyrus lives on as a restless — and very dangerous — ghost after his murder, but Frog can help him rest in peace, recharging the Masamune in the process.
Universal Driver's License: Somehow, all of your party members are able to pilot the Epoch, including cavewoman Ayla. The Jetbike in 2300 A.D. also counts.
Un-Person: The reason why Queen Zeal declared the banishment of the Earthbound Ones after they cannot perform magic. Only the Philosophers and Schala don't agree with Zeal and treat the Earthbounds as equals.
Unsettling Gender Reveal: Flea, one of Magus' henchmen, is quite a bit offended when Frog introduces him as female. To make matters even more jarring, when asked about his/her gender:
Flea: Man or woman, it's all the same. Power is beauty, and I'm deliciously strong!
The player's party consists of an anthropomorphic frog, a self-aware humanoid robot, a cavewoman in a bikini-slash-cat costume, and — optionally — a world-threatening dictator who Looks Like Orlok. No one cares. Crono's mother has more to say on the odd ensemble of Crono's time-displaced sidekicks than the entire rest of the NPC cast, and even she doesn't seem too worried about them. Especially evident with Magus, as while people will now suddenly know whatever name you've chosen to given him, they pay no mind to him, even when he's the one they're talking to. This is somewhat justified, however, with that few have actually seen him and most people know him only by title and deeds, but not appearance.
It does get a bit ridiculous during Frog's sidequest where he talks with the ghost of Cyrus. Bring Magus along for that part and he won't even as much as comment on why the infamous leader of the fiends and known conqueror, not to mention his own killer, is tagging along with them.Magus himself just stands there like nothing's wrong and only reacts at the end by covering himself with his cape when the Masamune shines brightly as part of a power-up sequence.
There's also the Black Omen, but that's justified: since it appeared in 12,000 B.C. and stuck around ever since then, from the average schmuck's point of view, it's always been there.
Urban Segregation: In 12,000 B.C., magic users live on Floating Continent Zeal, while non-magic users live on the Earth. They both suffer the same fate when Zeal collapses into the sea.
Abandoned Laboratory: The Keeper's Dome. You can visit it on your first trip to the future, when Belthasar is still alive, but you won't get far.
Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The pathway between Arris Dome and Death Peak. The sewer actually runs between two continents. Sir Crawly runs the show down here, but he's a pushover.
The Alcatraz: Guardia Castle's prison & the Mountain of Woe. When Queen Zeal wants you gone, you stay gone.
All The Worlds Are A Stage / Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Lavos's first form is battled on a weird rippling blue surface, while his final form is confronted on a trippy hyperspace-like background that has terrain from past levels randomly appear on it. You're probably in temporal freefall at that point. Lavos' attacks vary depending on the background.
Hub Level: The End of Time takes on this role once it's introduced. For much of the game, you need to cross through it when going between time eras, it's got free healing and a save point, and features an endless source of advice in case you forget when you were going to go next.
It's All Upstairs From Here: Magus' Castle, comprised of several towers merging from a giant chasm. Played more or less straight with Ozzie's fort, as it really is a tower.
Levels Take Flight: The Blackbird. Culminates in battling Dalton on top of the Epoch in mid-flight!
Port Town: A ferry operates between Guardia and Porre. Once history is changed and relations with Medina thaw over, the ferry sails there.
Recurring Location: Crono visits the future site of Leene Square at the beginning of the game. In one of the optional endings, Robo is seen walking around a futuristic Leene Square; He and Atropos reenact Crono and Marle's Crash into Hello. In Chrono Cross, an apocalyptic Leene Square greets those who make it to the end of the Dead Sea.
Remixed Level: When you last leave the Tyranno Lair, it's reduced to a smoldering crater that is visible from space. Lavos' impact buries the castle underground, where it eventually becomes accessible again in 600 AD. Likewise, the Ocean Palace is seemingly nuked by Lavos, but is quickly transmogrified into the Black Omen. As to why it rises out of the sea... do you really need a reason?
Underground Level: The Giant's Claw, which turns out to be the resurfaced ruins of the Tyrano Lair.
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Black Omen is a gigantic, black floating castle, but once it's raised in 12,000 B.C., people in later time periods are rather blase about it, since it's been in the sky for hundreds of generations and no one sees anything unusual about it. Also, it's in no way required to fight the Big Bad, you can complete it three times in different time periods, and even entering it is completely optional.
In fact, the problems of the Present Day are seemingly 'insurmountable' for the main trio. Crono is a fugitive for the entire story, Lucca cannot reconcile hers and Taban's role in causing her mother's paralysis, and Marle's home life is hopelessly dysfunctional (with the Chancellor egging the King on from behind the scenes).
We Buy Anything: Even if we're in a time period in which we have no idea what this does, or it's obsolete.
We Cannot Go On Without You: Averted. Crono is killed by Lavos in the Ocean Palace, and you can finish the game without reviving him. In that particular ending, after sending everyone else back to their appropriate era, Marle and Lucca take the Epoch and set out to bring him back.
Weird Moon: It's always shining over Magus' castle.
Weirdness Search And Rescue: When the group first winds up at the End of Time, an old man there actually the guru Gaspar gives a basic explanation of the time travel system and latter keeps track of what you are supposed to do. Conveniently, this is the first time the party has a chance to time travel freely, rather than being pushed into the gates by outside events.
After it's invoked, your new-and-improved Epoch shoots down the Blackbird with one shot.
Marle says this exact phrase when the group is in the ruined future looking for a way home. This brings up a recording of the Day of Lavos.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Hey, whatever happened to Schala? Oh well, it's not important! Radical Dreamers was concieved just to rectify this, and due to Kato not being satisfied with it and the short amount of time it took to develop it, the Mind Screw that was Chrono Cross was created, with her playing and even larger role in it than in Radical Dreamers.
Another example introduced in the DS version: what happened to the Lost Sanctum and the Reptite survivors after 600 AD?
With Catlike Tread: A particular path in the sewers is covered in trash and stray cats which, if you step on them, will awaken angry fishmen in the water. Touching the save point also triggers an attack. (This is because they heard the *ding* it makes when you touch it.)
The World Is Just Awesome: In the canonical ending (defeat Lavos after the Black Omen appears), the credits scroll over the nighttime Moon Festival, rendered in gorgeous Mode 7. It gradually pans out to reveal the planet floating in space, this time unmarred by Lavos' eruption.
Worthy Opponent: In one of the extra endings, when Frog confronts Magus alone, Magus reveals his view that nobody is worthy to rule the planet. Apart from himself and his opponent.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In the dream project ending, a soldier representing Yukio Nakatani adds this.
Yukio Nakatani: Thanks for playing! Are you a girl?
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The original English script for the SNES and PS gave Frog an accent like this, even moreso than other characters in his era. Oddly enough, Frog talks normally in the flashback scenes to the time before his transformation, so it's possible that Woolsey intended the silly speech patterns to be one of the effects of the frog curse. The Japanese version did not have this, and the DS release, which featured a new translation, did not retain it. However, Frog still sounds more formal than he did in the Japanese version, like nearly everyone from the Middle Ages.
You ALL Look Familiar: Besides the hardware limitations in terms of character models, some of the official portraits for the main characters - specifically Crono, Lucca, Ayla, and Magus - strongly resemble members of Dragon Ball Z's cast, since the same artist worked on both projects.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Well, pale greyish-blue in Magus' case. Lucca sports purple locks, while Frog in his Glenn form has green hair.
Your Size May Vary: When you fight Lavos, he takes up about half the screen and seems to be about as large as a big house, certainly small enough to fit inside the Mammon Machine room at the Ocean Palace. However, his appearance in the Day Of Lavos recording and the cutscene prior to his fight display a city-sized Lavos splitting the earth. He left a small-continent sized crater after crashing on earth in Prehistory. The upgraded Epoch, which is almost as large as Lavos's battle sprite. may be crash landed through its shell inside of him. Its insides sprawl at least over four screen heights, certainly larger than Lenne's Square. And his first of two final forms is also about as large as he is on the outside.
A possible justification would be that, during battle, Lavos remains partially burrowed. Wherever Lavos Spawns are or not a proportional scaling of an adult Lavos and thus, validating or invalidating this justification, is also a hot debate topic.
Good morning, Crono, your sentence is being carried out today.