These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Chrono Cross
Alternate Character Interpretation: One fan theory speculates that FATE deliberately engineered the enmity between herself and your party via Lynx and his actions in order to motivate you to destroy her, both to free the Dragon Gods so they and the Time Devourer could be slain and to allow humans to make their own destinies, since she had realized she could no longer control or protect them from themselves. While unlikely, it does have a tantalizing resonance with Schala's Lavos-corrupted statement that she "love[s] you so much, I mustdestroy you!"
Alternative Character Interpretation: Most characters are prone to have many different interpretations due to most of them having strange accents and short screen time, especially the minor characters. Many fanfic authors either modify or remove the strange accent that belongs to a character.
Serge is a silent protagonist in the game, but in fanfics, many authors let him talk.
Anti-Climax Boss: By the time you get to the Time Devourer, chances are your party will be strong enough that attempting to defeat it through regular means will be a cinch; the boss preceding it is far more challenging. Of course, you'll have to do things a little bit differently to get the good ending...
If you play the DS remake and then this game back to back, the overarching message is that living beings should stop being bastards to each other.
The game would like you to know that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Although once The Reveal about the Pantheon telling you this hits, it's hard to tell how seriously we're supposed to take it.
Arc Fatigue: One of the plot's main criticisms, even by people that took the game on its own merits as opposed to a sequel, the story moves very slowly for most of it.
Ass Pull: Lavos being involved in everything. Even with the mention of Chrono Trigger's events, this comes out of nowhere.
Even more of an Ass Pull when you considered that two separate ports of Chrono Trigger had to involve massive plot recons to try and make this plot revelation work. Even then Lavos' sudden evolution to an unkillable god makes no sense and comes completely out of nowhere at the end of the game.
Of particular note would have to be "The Wind, Stars, and Waves", more commonly known as Nikki's Concert, which is an in-universe example, as well as real-life Awesome Music. This link is a Let's Play video of the scene if you'd like the story as well as the music.
Best Boss Ever: Let's give the game some love. Yes, the last few hours are painful, but the fight with FATE is excellent. And the Dragon God as well, even if the fight doesn't quite make up for Terra Tower.
Broken Base: Fans of Chrono Trigger in regards to this game, specifically whether it is a worthy sequel or deserves to wallow in Discontinuity. Is it an excellent game that brings resolution to the events of Chrono Trigger in a fun and inventive way, or an existentialist piece of crap with too convoluted a plot, too many characters, and too many unanswered questions?
Character Tiers: Despite being an RPG, has over 40 characters to choose from, so tiers were bound to arise, especially since some characters are worse than others.
Contested Sequel: The game was destined for this by being the only Chrono Trigger sequel. There are a lot of people who loved the mood of the game, the huge cast of characters, and the fact the plot seemed to delight in tying rather darkly into its predecessor. Needless to say, the other half of the Chrono fandom hates it for those exact reasons. Well, that and the epic Mind ScrewGainax Ending. Most of the fandom agrees that it's a good game in its own right, but the dispute as to whether it's a good sequel to Chrono Trigger is pure Flame Bait. The contested part lies primarily in the fact that the way it ties into the previous game doesn't make it feel like a sequel in the traditional sense due to the whole "multiple realities" thing, and the lack of time travel. The fact that it lacks all of the characterization of the previous game in ORDER to make space for so many characters is why it is despised by so many, when one of the major virtues of the original game was a small, tight-knit, well-characterized cast.
Critical Dissonance: The game has a fairly minor but notable version of this. Audience: very popular (was a Greatest Hits game) but incredibly divisive among Chrono Trigger fans. Critics: Unanimous praise (is one of a handful of games to get a perfect 10 from Gamespot, for instance).
Demonic Spiders: Dwarves are deadly when they get together and form a group.
Disappointing Last Level: Some people feel that the game loses track of where the plot is going somewhere after the Dead Sea area and never quite finds it again. Disc two is particularly bad; most of it is spent either wandering through Chronopolis or climbing Terra Tower.
8.8: EGM's Greg Sewart gave this game a 9.5 in a review that scored two 10s (out of three reviewers), denying it a Platinum Award (if the game receives a perfect 10 from all reviewers). To this day, Sewart receives hate mail from the fans.
Ending Aversion: The game pulls more plot threads out of its ass in the second disc than some games pull their entire length, and none of them are properly resolved.
Ending Fatigue: Disc Two, where each boss feels like the final boss, but inexplicably is followed by another one. Gnrgh. The entire second disc just feels like one Big Bad fight after another, and it can get very wearing. First, you fight Lynx/Dark Serge/FATE, who has been built up as the Big Bad for the entire game. But then he goes down, and the Dragon Gods do a Fusion Dance and become the Dragon God, who promises to ravage the world now that FATE, the thing sealing it away, is dead. Then, you go through the Marathon Level to end all Marathon Levels, kill the Dragon God, and that's it, right? Nope, now you have to kill the Time Devourer. And if you don't jump through a couple of Guide Dang It laden hoops, then you literally do not get an ending, just a little card saying 'Fin'.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Guile, given the theory that he is an amnesiac Magus as implied in the secret ending of Chrono Trigger DS. He is more popular than most of the optional characters.
As far as other playable characters go, Leena, Glenn, and Riddel tend to be the ones who get the most fanart when you don't count the obvious Serge, Kid, and Lynx.
Epileptic Trees: There's a theory running around the Chrono Cross fansites that Miguel's actually Crono.
Fanon Discontinuity: Though its gameplay was well-received, the plot irked many fans of the original game by heavily implying the deaths of its three main characters, and resolving the fate of Schala's disappearance by making her clone a blonde with a bad Australian accent. On top of that, the entire second half of the game consisted of a number of concepts (Chronopolis, the Dragon Gods, etc.) that were only vaguely explained, if at all, rendering it a Mind Screw by default. Compared to its predecessor, it's often considered a disappointment.
Some fans dislike CC enough to ignore the DS remake of CT, which includes new content that canonically ties the first game's story to the latter to the outcome seen in the latter game.
On the subject of CT, many fans were not pleased when the DS remake canonized Dalton as the agent for Guardia's destruction.
First Installment Wins: The game was doomed from the beginning not to be as popular as Chrono Trigger, one of the best-selling and beloved games ever made. While successful in its own right, it didn't even come close to the popularity of the original. Few people even know about Radical Dreamers (which is no surprise since it was exclusive to the Satellaview, an obscure Japan-only add-on for the Super Famicom).
Foe Yay: Buckets of it between Lynx and Serge—even considering the fact he has a good In-Universe justification for it (Serge being the Chosen One), Lynx's desire to swap bodies coupled with a good deal of his dialogue is often disturbing and uncomfortable. Made worse when you find out he's Serge'sfather—although a good case could be made he isn't even him any more, between being combined with a panther and FATE's transformation/mind-wiping; other than one or two veiled hints it isn't clear if he remembers their relationship at all. Also, Harle, who flirts constantly with you both pre- ("So you are Serge! You are even more sexy zen I thought!") and post-Grand Theft Me ("Would you choose to save the world or me?").
First off, there's a Bonus Boss, Dario, who, if fought normally, is incredibly difficult, and beating him nets you the Mastermune, arguably Serge's best weapon. note Technically, the Spectral Swallow is stronger, but the Mastermune has a higher critical hit ratio. However, the Mastermune does not carry over to a New Game+. However, due to a bit of Artificial Stupidity in his programming, it's possible to prevent him from ever attacking just by spamming the right kind of element every turn. This allows him to be beaten very early by sneaky players.
Second, completing that fight allows an optional character, Glenn, to claim the legendary sword Einlanzer. And then he can go to the other world and get another one. Which he then proceeds to use simultaneously. Glenn, a powerful character in his own right, eventually claims his Ancestral Weapon. From both worlds. The capacity to dual wield the Infinity+1 Sword makes him one of, if not the, most powerful characters in the game.
Serge can become one, or rather, the Mastermune makes him into one. It's incredibly accurate at all levels and its critical rating is through the roof, meaning most enemies will be dead before you even finish your standard attack limit. If that wasn't enough, Serge has a tech-combo with Game Breaker Glenn up there. Together they get reach upwards of 2,500+ damage with the right equipment. Only the final boss can handle that, albeit barely.
A more Boring, but Practical Game Breaker is filling the entire first level of your characters' element grid with cure spells. That way, a quick heal is never more than a single high-accuracy-low-energy melee attack away, and you should almost always be able to max out your HP with your spare element levels after a battle.
Beeba. Just as there are plenty of different mobs around, the turn system the game's based on makes fighting fast enemies very, very annoying.
"Leave it to Beeba! Beeba call friend!"
Schoolmates, with their high agility.
The TerraTerrors in Terra Tower, the penultimate dungeon. They're everywhere, actively chase you, and have a tendency to spawn Cytoplasms in battle, which endlessly use weak techs. At this point, none of the enemies can damage you enough to be a real threat, so getting into fights is tedious and pointless. It doesn't help that the game is suffering from serious Ending Fatigue at this point; these fights only serve to drag out an already-tiresome Marathon Level.
Goddamned Boss: The game has a Goddamned Boss Rush: the elemental robot-things in Terra Tower. They have quite a few hit points (and tend to spam healing elements at the worst times). They also love to spam status buffs and debuffs to turn the entire field to their elemental color, which sends the power of their elements through the roof. Combine this with Cross' already severe Ending Fatigue and you have a recipe for maximum annoyance.
Good Bad Bugs: Lord Viper goes into a secret room in the bar at Termina at one point to receive his level 7 tech, FlagBearer, and an accessory, the Dragoon's Glory. However, if you step into the hall right outside the secret room without going into the main bar area, you can go right back in. Then, if you examine the place where the flag used to be, you will get another FlagBearer and Dragoon's Glory. The tech is useless to get multiples of, but the accessory is probably he best in the game. You can do this to acquire enough Dragoon's Glories to outfit the entire party.
Hollywood Pudgy: The game has some pretty disturbing and unhealthy weight ranges for its characters. For instance, Janice's in-game body type is Plump, but really though, she's simply curvaceous.
She's listed at 5'7" and 104 pounds. Normal weight for a woman that height would be around 135 pounds or more; 104 pounds is freakishly thin. And she's not the only one. Miki is 6'0" and 115 pounds. That's the same height as Christian Bale and six pounds lighter than he was in The Machinist. More info can be found here.
Hype Backlash: Imagine, if you will, how much less Internet hate would be directed at this game if it hadn't been billed as a direct sequel to Chrono Trigger.
In Name Only: Cross is indeed a sequel to Trigger, taking place in the same universe, but it's just so far removed from its predecessor that some consider it this.
It's Easy, so It Sucks: The game also gets some flack for being pretty easy. Cross is only a little harder than Trigger. A lot of it comes from Serge, your main character, who is easily the most powerful character available and can't be removed from the party until New Game+. There's a few bosses that can be tough, but for the most part you can just plow through everything with little trouble. That being said, it is harder than Trigger, especially considering you can't grind in Cross.
Love It or Hate It: Barring the game's music, everything. The battle system is generally thought of as fun and unique or needlessly complicated, and the story you will either think is deep and well thought out, or nonsensical, slow, and full of pretentious Broken Aesops.
Moral Event Horizon: The Dwarves lose every shred of sympathy they may have garnered once they massacre the fairies on Water Dragon Island. Furthermore, their use of smog-spewing tanks shows that they're Not So Different from the humans that they hate and aren't nearly as harmonious with nature as they like to claim.
Most Wonderful Sound: Nothing beats starting up Chrono Cross and waiting a minute or two at the title screen, just to hear this. Aaaahhh...memories.
Nightmare Fuel: Guile's first tech, Wanda In, which teleports his magic wand inside his enemy's innards and pulls it back out.
In-game: Throughout the game, Serge has flashbacks of the demon panther that attacked him as a child.
Lynx can be a pretty intimidating villain. When he first appears in the game, he mentions that you "saved [him] the trouble of finding you"; that means he's been looking for you, and you have no idea why. This is probably even more terrifying for Serge, since Lynx is literally a walking nightmare to him. Then there's the scene in Fort Dragonia where Serge and Lynx switch bodies; they both end up crying in pain because of this. Even after this event, Lynx in Serge's body is able to drag Serge's name through the mud almost instantly. And that's not even going into when Lynx transforms into FATE...And even though the revelation that Lynx is Serge's dad comes really late into the game, it still delivers a lot of Fridge Horror in the end.
Also, when Lynx as Serge first talks. The fact that Serge never really said anything up to this point makes it creepy. Then his profile image◊ turns to this.◊ Nobody's safe.
The FMV where the dragons become the "Time Devourer" has the Green Dragon suddenly making this face◊ and biting the Sky Dragon.
Player Punch: For fans of the original Chrono Trigger, FATE deleting Robo will have them screaming at the screen in tears. Ditto the orphanage scene.
For people who had played it's predecessor, Chrono Trigger, these three words during a confrontation with FATE brought tears to more than a few eyes: "Now eliminating Prometheus."
To elaborate, Prometheus is better known as Robo, your Robot Buddy party member from Chrono Trigger. Now, up until that one scene in Chronopolis, Robo had not appeared in Chrono Cross at all. He was not mentioned at all. None of your party members have any way of knowing who he is. He appears out of nowhere, delivers two or three lines of dialogue, and is killed, while Chrono Cross's cast is probably wondering who this robotic voice is and why they should care. His death basically serves solely to piss off any Chrono Trigger fans who picked up the sequel, which is part of why some of those who liked the former haveissues with the latter.
On a related note, the new endings for Chrono Trigger DS that help tie the game in with Chrono Cross have inspired similar outrage, confirming that yes, Guardia will fall to Porre, and Dalton of all people has a hand in it. Not to mention strongly implying that Guile, a bland, masked magician in Chrono Cross who was originally intended to be Magus in disguise, was really an amnesiac Magus all along, robbing his story of any resolution.
Korcha, partly because he's such a good devil's advocate, and because he wears speedos.
To some of the detractors, most of the unnecessary characters. Like about thirty-five of them. Especially because a good number of them are mechanically clones of each other and thus serve to be simply checkmarks on your list of character recruitment.
Poshul too. The lisp and strange cutesy grammar in the English version probably doesn't help.
The dwarves. They appear to have been written to have sympathetic qualities, but their extreme bigotry, rampant hypocrisy (which the game NEVER acknowledges), and the outright murder of the fairies at their hands affords them absolutely no love. It doesn't help that if the player decides to bring Razzly along the second time they're met (which considering her involvement in the area the player is likely to do) causes them to get off scot-free for what they've done.
Scrappy Mechanic: The element grid to haters of the game, since the player is forced to rely on it to get through the game. They will criticize it as making the game's battle system needlessly complicated, not helped by the fact that game has multiple tutorials to explain it which the player can NOT skip.
While they were obviously meant to be shipped together, given Radical Dreamers, and the relationship itself was established over time, there is a slight problem: you're never actually required to let Kid into your party, and even if you do, she's absent for much of the game. Yet you're still supposed to see Kid and Serge as a true love that stands the test of time, while poor Leena gets to be the Unlucky Childhood Friend.
Kid is a unique example in that the player isn't initially forced to take her into the party. It's entirely possible to refuse her at several points and opt not to come to her rescue, but she shows up at all the major plot points anyway. The story justifies it by saying that she just follows you around because you're tough and can clear the way for her, but it mostly means she shows up at exactly the right time to make a dramatic speech and run ahead of you, only to end up imperiled and need to be rescued— at the player's discretion.
Tear Jerker: "The People Left Behind", from the soundtrack. It's the song that plays when you fight Miguel, Leena's father, trapped forever in the Dead Sea unless you kill him and unfreeze it, as well as the Bonus Boss fight against Riddel's possessed lover Dario. The song itself is an extremely melancholy melody that emphasizes how hopeless the situation is.
Composer Yasunori Mitsuda has reportedly said that he himself was brought to tears upon seeing exactly how the piece was used, particularly in the Dead Sea sequence and the associated nostalgic imagery from Chrono Trigger.
"Leaving the Body", played over Dario's grave, is quite poignant...and made all the better for foreshadowing its powered-up heroic remix, "Dragon Rider."
"Reminiscence". It plays at the very end of some of the Multiple Endings over a black screen, and also near the end of the Golden Ending when, after freeing Schala, Serge is returned to Opassa Beach next to Leena with no one but Serge remembering the quest, as if nothing in the game had occurred (maybe). But it also plays when Serge and Leena are talking the first time on Opassa Beach, just before he is sucked through the dimensional distortion (i.e. just before he will meet his soulmate Kid and leaves Leena in the cold), and again later when he comforts Kid after rescuing her from the burning orphanage.
Miguel and all of his white magic, but especially HolyDragSwd, which is so tremendously powerful it can almost one-shot anyone who isn't innately white. And he likes comboing it with WeakMinded, a magic-defense debuff. And if he manages to turn the field white...
Pretty much every element used by the Tragediennes. This is the entire point of them; if you can survive their initial volley of elements (and had the foresight to bring the right traps), you can acquire stuff like Volcano and BlackHole way ahead of schedule, essentially breaking the game wide open.
MegaStarky, otherwise a fairly easy boss, will smack the party with an UltraNova when his health drops far enough.
ExhaustGas, used by the Highwayman in the Dead Sea, blinds the entire party and is very accurate. You'd better have some BlackOut or Purify elements allocated, because you're not winning this fight with everyone blinded.
Dario's attacks are pretty much all crazy powerful, but special mention goes to one in particular. If you use any kind of white element in the battle, he'll counter with ConductaRod, a devastating black tech. Dash&Gash does way less damage than ConductaRod, but does it enough to One-Hit Kill a non-black innate character.
The Dragon God gets access to pretty much all the elements in the game, including nasty ones like BlackHole and UltraNova; when you add that to its already staggering magic attack, you've got a recipe for a party wipe. You can stop them with traps, if you know they're coming, but if you don't know about them, it's a long road back to Marbule.
ForeverZero, a tech that is insanely powerful and can easily kill white innate characters. Fortunately, it's a tech learned by a playable character. Unfortunately, it happens to be Serge with Lynx body and Dark Serge (Lynx) also has this tech and will use it against you. FeralCats isn't as painful as ForeverZero, but still hits hard.
Miguel, who comes with a full complement of white magic: devastating spells, buffs, debuffs, TurnBlack, and AntiBlack. And he's very good at comboing them for tremendous damage, as well as quickly turning the entire field white, which substantially boosts his already staggering magical power. And, once his HP gets low enough, he starts using HolyLight and MeteorShower. And the fight with him is preceded by a non-skippable, 3-4 minute Exposition Break.
Garai is the first one in the game. He has very strong attacks which do heavy damage to anyone. And to top it off, he is a White element, which is bad news for Serge who has recently been placed in his nemesis's body, giving him the dark element. This is probably the first boss that will wreck your main character.
The Hi-Ho Tank isn't easy either. The main threat comes from its ElementShot ability, which hits characters with their elemental weakness. Most characters can't stand up to two shots from it without healing, and it has several other attacks that are too powerful to shrug off. Also, it comes with two flunkies, who will repair the tank once it starts taking serious damage.
Polis Police deserves a mention. The second boss you fight in disc 2 at the entrance of Chronopolis. It's physical attack is something that you need to be careful, but the problem is it's second form where he starts using Bazooka, a tech that guarantees one hit kill, even with White innate characters. That is unless you know how to use Diminish.
The Dead Sea. It pulls off the hat trick of 1) a confusing area peppered with tough battles (including the Tragediennes - and you'll want to fight them to get overpowered elements), 2) That One Boss (the infamous Miguel), and 3) marking the point at which the game's plot begins to topple in on itself.
Terra Tower. At this point, Ending Fatigue is in full effect. Terra Tower is a long uphill climb to reach the Dragon God. It's swarming with TerraTerrors and has several Goddamned Minibosses, as well as a sizable Info Dump halfway up. Just to add to that, in a game known for Scenery Porn and awesome music, the backgrounds are dull and a large portion of the tower has no music, just generic ambient sounds like running water, which turns Terra Tower into an interminable slog. What were they thinking?
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The game suffers from this. A good quarter of the playable cast is closely tied to the plot and has absolutely fantastic storytelling potential, including one that was originally intended to be a returning character fromthe previous game and another intended to be the son of two chracters from the same. Other characters have interesting and engaging introductions that could've gone somewhere. But, to cram in the thirty-odd other cast members - including one-note and frankly ridiculous designs like the talking dog or sentient turnip - any connections to the previous game were dropped and characterization abbreviated. The end result is that barely anyone receives any character development past their introductions or, if they're lucky, a brief sidequest to unlock their Level 7 Tech. Then, with the exception of the male and female protagonists, they effectively cease to exist.
High Tier: Serge is so much stronger than any other character in the game that he borders on this. And you can't remove him from the party until New Game+ either. Glenn is also incredibly strong, especially with it's dual tech X-Strike with Serge. The only problem Glenn has is that you have to refuse to save Kid. And yes, if you don't do that he's Lost Forever.
Low Tier: Some characters, while not bad, get overshadowed by a better one. For example, there's nothing wrong with Orcha per se, but Zappa has mostly better stats, unique weapons, and actual plot relevance, which leaves Orcha on permanent bench-warming duty with Zappa around. And some characters like Sneff, Skelly, and NeoFio are just plain horrible.
Dwarf King: Is there no land on this planet where we can live in peace? Oh, Goddess of Fate, why are we dealt such a hand...
Kid: Yer mob literally just commit ethnic cleansin'. You seriously ain't trying to act sympathetic are ya? I just recovered from me death bed. I really don't wanna get sent back for my eyes rollin' outta my head.
Dwarf King: Are humans really the greatest species on this planet? These heretics of evolution, these destroyers of the planet?... Ugh...
Kid: Seriously, pal. You were just smashin' about with a soddin' smog spewing tank. I don't think that thin' popped outta damn turnip patch.
Dwarf King: Silence human. We are the ones dying! It is entirely your fault for having driven us out of our incredibly toxic swamp that was only being held together by a load-bearing monster from turning into an uninhabitable quagmire! Don't you see? You greedy humans and your wrecking of the environment caused us to mercilessly butcher another peaceful race so we could move into their much more vibrant and hospitable land to turn it into our new industrial stronghold. You monsters! Hi-ho!
Serge: Seriously, you're as sympathetic as the shit I took this morning. Have fun hi-hoing in hell.
Woolseyism: Not by Ted Woolsey, but it was translated in a way he would have done it.
Including retaining all the Woolseyized terms and names from Chrono Trigger — notable since the game was released around the time Squaresoft's US localization teams had begun to adopt a universal (and new) naming scheme for common elements (items, spells, etc.) in the Final Fantasy series.
For the English script, the localization team built in an on-the-fly accent generator that adds several dialects and accents for generic text and gives them to different characters. And they decided to put Kid in an Australian accent...