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.
Did Magus's origins shape his villainous character in the middle ages? Or was he deliberately using a Machiavellian method to obtain power and defeat Lavos? Either way, it was rather petty.
Magus wanting revenge on the being that corrupted his mother, kidnapped and corrupted his sister, destroyed his home, and sent him over twelve millennia into the future with no way back is petty?
His actions are petty. Using Ozzie, who took him in as a means to an end, the entire race of fiends, who believe he's their messiah, as cannon fodder in a war that caused the deaths of hundreds of innocents, and killing what was basically Glenn's brother in front of him before mocking and then cursing him are undoubtedly cruel actions. What makes them petty is that: 1.Magus never intended to repay Ozzie and the rest of fiendkind for their services and sacrifices, and says as much to Ozzie when called out for his betrayal. & 2.By killing Cyrus in front of Glenn, he's put an innocent man through the exact same sort of tragedy he went through knowing neither posed any threat to him.
Crono and his allies are Well-Intentioned ExtremistVillain Protagonists. They can confront Lavos and stop the apocalypse as soon as they reach the End of Time for the first time, but instead choose to travel though time gathering more information on him to try and stop his rise to power in the first place. Not only do they fail, but there's no telling how many lives they've doomed to non-existence due to their interference in the timeline. I Did What I Had to Do indeed.
Though one of the alternate endings all but outright states that the reason that humanity won against the reptiles and didn't go extinct back in the prehistoric era is because Crono and his band went back and took out the reptiles, or at least, took out Lavos retroactively before it could cause the disaster that killed off the Reptites.
Crono and his crew would have also gotten squashed like bugs by Lavos if they had tried to take Lavos on the first chance they got instead of zipping around the timestream trying to find other ways to stop it. In fact, it isn't until after the Zeal section of the game that they even stand a ghost of a chance against it.
Ozzie barely qualifies as a boss, but in your first battle against him, he hides behind an impenetrable barrier until you hit a switch to drop him in a pit. In the rematch, while the first round ends with you dumped through the floor before you can do anything, a cat wanders in during the second attempt at the battle and hits the switch to dump him for good.
The Golemboss (Golem Overlord in the DS release), fought on the wing of a giant airship. Being afraid of heights, it doesn't attack you and runs away after a couple of turns. Killing it gives some nice tech points and exp though, if you're fast enough.
Badass Decay: Ozzie isn't especially intimidating even when you first meet him, but late in the game he's downright pathetic. In fact, the one time you actually fight Ozzie, he's accompanied by Slash and Flea, each of whom you've fought twice before, both times three-on-one.
And even saying that you "fight" Ozzie is a bit of a stretch there, as once you take out his two goons, he literally sits there and does nothing for the rest of the battle, simply letting you beat on him until the battle ends.
Breather Level: The Prehistoric Era in general can be considered this, at least until you enter Azala's lair. Both times you visit, it specifically comes after the Wham Episodes like Crono's trial, an After the End future, and the war in the Middle Ages.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Despite Crono/Marle being the Official Couple (on top of being quite popular on its own right), a considerable portion of the fandom ships Crono/Schala. There's also Crono/Lucca for those who feel bad for Lucca. Magus/Lucca and Magus/Marle are also quite popular. And let's not forget Frog/Lucca.
Marle's Haste spell, and auto-haste equipment like the Haste Helm.
Give Crono the Rainbow (70% crit rate) and Fury Band (80% counter rate). Factor in that he can counter things like barrier changes and enemy revives and he becomes a killing machine.
Ayla by herself. She's got the highest Strength and Speed in the game, can use a variety of very effective very low cost Double healing techs with other good characters like Frog. The only downsides are her lack of elemental attacks and pretty boring lines.
Also Dino tail.
Gold Studs! Get three Gold Studs to cut your MP costs, and you can spam your most powerful magic without a care in the world. This is incredibly easy to do as well as one enemy (Scouter in the SNES version, Flyclops in PS1) in the game gives them after they are Charmed. Combine this with Marle's Haste above, and you'll have a team that can spam Triple Techs like there's no tomorrow. Most bosses go down like chumps.
The Prism Spectacles dramatically increase the damage a character does. And we mean dramatically. Put them on your best physical hitters, like Chrono with his 70% sword or his shiny new 90% crit sword, or just on Ayla, and their attack commands start hitting as hard as other characters' spells. Then, if you start casting with them...
The DS version gives Robo an arm with a base power of zero...but a critical hit is guaranteed to deal 9999 damage. Then equip him with the Dragon's Tear, which greatly boosts the wearer's crit rate, and even the Bonus Boss becomes a pushover.
Falcon Strike (Ayla+Chrono dual tech). Low cost, learned relatively early, and insanely powerful. The only drawback is that it only hits on a horizontal line, but it is amazing how many enemy groups considerately line themselves up (including Lavos' final form).
Most [[Infinity+1 Sword final weapons from the DS remake). Lucca's can do more damage with a regular hit than Chrono's critical hit if her current MP ends in 9. Marle's weapon does 777 damage on everything, which is decent damage to most enemies, but it even does that much to enemies with special defence - including bosses like Nizbel, the Black Tyro, and Lavos.
Goddamned Bats: Those rats and frogs from the Lost Sanctum bonus dungeon. You cannot avoid fighting them. Considering that the whole dungeon is one giant Fetch Quest Ad Nauseum, you will fight them well over 30 times just traveling back and forth. It's not that they're hard... but you just cannot avoid fighting them, so it breaks the flow and becomes annoying very fast.
Robo's theme sounds quite similar to "Never Gonna Give You Up." It's an odd feeling being Rickrolled in the middle of a video game. It's especially funny because when Yasunori Mitsuda was asked about it, he said he honestly hadn't heard of Rick Astley when he was composing the music for this game.
Frog and Crono, to a lesser extent. The character that plays the Crono resurrection scene is determined by a priority list, presumably with the characters that are closer to Crono having a higher priority. Marle's first, Lucca's second. Guess who's third.
It's Short, so It Sucks : The most common criticism brought against this game. Though, even some of those critics admit that the tightly plotted story might make up for its shortness.
Its relative shortness works in its favour when you consider that the game has multiple endings; getting them all requires at least two playthroughs, possibly more if you're not leveled enough to defeat Lavos with just Chrono and Marle at the start of the game.
Jerkass Woobie: Magus, thanks to a mixture of being incredibly badass but having one of the more tragic backstories in the game. The fact that he's an Ensemble Darkhorse doesn't hurt either.
Memetic Molester: Thanks to YTMND, the tune Burn Bobanga (the one that plays during a prehistoric party) has forever become associated with being molested.
Most Wonderful Sound: The high pitched chiming sound that accompanies the up-swing of Crono's sword during a Critical Hit.
What sounds like a spark flying, then two more, followed by a low rumbling or gurgling, sounds really wonderful. It sounds weird to describe it like that, but you'd know how wonderful it sounds if you spent a long time fighting a boss you had difficulty with, as those sounds, accompanied by screen flashes, are indication that it's finally over. Keep in mind this game doesn't have victory music.
Self-Fanservice: Magus is drawn in fan art as a typical White Hair, Black Heart type (that is, in addition to his long white hair, he is also drawn very pretty), but Akira Toriyama's original character design for him is anything but. Ironically however, later games in the series imply that, despite Toriyama's design, he really is quite attractive. To a lesser extent, some female characters like Lucca and Ayla.
Magus, due to the constantly changing barriers, although thankfully he stops doing this midway throughout the battle. Depending on your party selection, he can be immune to your attacks up to half the time, and will likely always be immune at least one out of four.
Lavos qualifies if you choose to face him at the very earliest possible moment in a New Game+ (via the Teleporter at the Millennial Fair); since you're only going into battle against all three stages of Lavos with only Crono and Marle, it's arguably the game's hardest battle (and if you choose to go in with Crono alone, it really is the game's hardest battle). But Lavos' defeat in this situation (or at said palace) is followed by the special "Developer's Room" ending.
The Lost Sanctum in the DS re-release. To wit: A series of blatant Fetch Quests involving inescapable, scripted battles, going up and down the same mountain at least seven times, and not being able to progress without speaking to the right NPC to set off an event flag, despite having all the items necessary to proceed. The rewards are quickly outclassed by those found in the post-game dungeon, the Dimensional Vortex.
Hell, most of the rewards are outclassed by those found in the sidequests that were in the original game! That said, the inevitable, scripted battles DO allow for a lot of Level Grinding and Tech Point grinding, so it is somewhat helpful.
This is ironic because fans have complained there was little to no connection to Chrono Cross since the early 2000s; now that there is, they're complaining about it.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Marle is a particularly disputed one. She has the drawback of being a healer with no multi-target heals, and late in the game her offensive capability falls way behind everyone else's. Many players prefer to farm for Magic Tabs and pump Frog and/or Robo full of them so they have the magic power to heal effectively, and there's no corresponding way to raise Marle's offense. However, Marle has Haste and Life2, casts half of Antipode 3 (one of the best dual techs in the game), has tremendous natural magic defense and can wear the Prism Dress, which bumps her magical defense so high she can take a Dreamless/Dreamweaver to the face and keep smiling.
Flea, who looks like a woman but still takes great offense when the party assumes he's a woman. According to Flea, since power is beautiful and he's powerful, looking like a woman is appropriate.
Wangst: Frog bears regret over watching Cyrus die, and feels as though he's failed even after he helps Chrono and Lucca rescue Queen Leene. He gets over it, eventually.
What an Idiot: Apparently, Lavos's MO is to go to a planet and then harvest the DNA of living creatures to enhance itself. The problem with that plan? Entry into a planet causes a cataclysmic event that nearly wipes out all life on said planet. Lavos is lucky that enough humans survived to rebuild the planet. Unlucky that it wiped out all of the Reptitles before they could be used.
The Woobie: Frog, Robo, and Schala. In-game, Ayla woobifies Azala right before her death.
Woolseyism: Done by Woolsey himself, no less! Likely the source of Ozzie/Slash/Flea being named as such rather than their original condiment-themed names. Also, Schala was originally named "Sara" in the Japanese version; Janus was named "Jackie." Similar to Tina/Terra, this is a case where the names that would've sounded "exotic" to Japanese speakers (but commonplace to English speakers) was changed to preserve the exoticism. Same goes for the Gurus' names, Gaspar, Melchior and Belthazar (which were "Gash", "Mash", and "Bash" in the Japanese version, but make a lot more sense in the English translation). See the trope entry for more.
In a subversion of using an "exotic" name, Woolsey changed Princess Mardia to Princess Nadia. Also, Janus' Japanese name is Jakki, not Jackie, though it's likely Woolsey didn't know that, either (both names are written the same in Japanese).