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  • 8.8: EGM's Greg Sewart gave Chrono Cross 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 fans.
  • 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. For example, Guile speaks with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, but many fanfic authors make his speech more casual.
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    • One fan theory speculates that FATE deliberately engineered the hostility 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 her own (though unattributed) statement that she "love[s] you so much, I must destroy you!"
  • Angst Aversion: The deaths of characters from the original game are off putting to a lot fans, who criticize killing them as cheap shock value.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Time Devourer is no trouble at all, especially after the boss that preceded it. This is because defeating it is not enough to get the good ending.
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  • Anvilicious: The game isn't subtle at all about its Green Aesop and that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Humanity is only shown doing so once (killing Another World's Hydra and destroying the ecosystem). It's egregious when the dwarves commit genocide on the faeries, and somehow, the humans are to blame for that. If you play the DS port and then this game back to back, the overarching message is that living beings should stop being bastards to each other..
  • 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 include retroactive additions to try and make this plot revelation work.
    • The complex plot and often-decried Gainax Ending, as well. To summarize, the final stroke of Belthazar's plan was to provide Serge with two different versions of the Dragon's Tear from two different alternate universes so that this would somehow heal the rift in time, destroy the Time Devourer, and somehow merge the broken timelines into one. That last one is head-scratching on its own, as it never explains HOW timelines can be "merged" since many of the differences between the two are mutually exclusive.
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  • Awesome Art: In addition to a strong, distinctive aesthetic, the game has some of the best character models and backgrounds on the Playstation, and still look quite good today other than the artifacts in the pre-rendered full motion video cutscenes.
  • Awesome Music: Listen for yourself. Even those who don't like the game praise the soundtrack. It's even been called the greatest video game soundtrack of all time.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Guile is loved by many for some reasons: he looks badass with Power Floats, a powerful Black Mage, a versatile Fanfic Fuel, etc. However, Guile isn't safe from extremely scathing remarks for being a Flat Character, having a troublesome inverted element grid in the game plus low accuracy and slow stamina recovery, as well as his over-the-top flamboyant look. There's also the fact that he's still implied to be Magus, but the details are vague enough that he just comes across as a Magus wannabe.
  • Best Boss Ever: The fight with FATE is both excellent and cathartic. The Dragon God as well, even if the fight doesn't quite make up for Terra Tower.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • When Lynx is playable, you wander alone through a setting that first looks like an expressionist painting, and then heavily M.C. Escher-inspired illogical landscapes. It's by far one of the most unique levels ever played in games.
    • Chronopolis. Yes, it's basically a glorified Info Dump, but it comes after hunting down a Plot Coupon from each dragon, which was a mostly plot-free arc, so exploring a new area with lots of story is satisfying. And the music is excellent and the boss is fun to fight.
    • The Dead Sea. Not only do you get to play as Lynx, but you get to do it in a place with art to die for. You get to see waves standing still, the ruins of a future that was erased from existence, and get a good amount of plot exposition handled in about as straightforward and engaging way, even moreso if you bring the right characters along. Plus, you top it off by fighting Miguel in a battle set to "Prisoners of Fate". As far as RPG levels go, it's one of the best ever.
  • Broken Base: Fans of Chrono Trigger in regards to this game, specifically whether it is a worthy sequel or deserves to wallow in Fanon Discontinuity. Is it an excellent game that brings resolution to the events of Chrono Trigger in a fun and inventive way, or annoying nonsense with too convoluted a plot, too many characters, and too many unanswered questions? Then there's the things Cross does to beloved characters from the first game:
    • Chrono Cross players can largely be divided into two groups: those who were shocked and/or outraged upon learning that Crono and Marle had similarly been killed in the intervening years during the Fall of Guardia, or those who insist that the Ghost Children aren't their spirits but some sort of manifested memory, and the two characters are still alive somewhere. Similarly, the "Now eliminating Prometheus" (aka Robo) scene is either dramatic or a contrived, mean-spirited way of pissing on the fans of the classic game and its characters, especially since none of the characters in-universe even know who he was, but Trigger players would.
  • Character Tiers:
    • Serge and Lynx are among the top tier characters. Useful because you Can't Drop the Hero unless it's a New Game+.
    • Higher tiers in the first part of the game are Leena for being a good spellcaster with amazing techs, Kid for her stealing power, Glenn for his powerful attacks and dual tech with Serge, Razzly for being the best magic users, and Macha for having high and balanced stats across the board. A few others like Greco, Guile, and Nikki are all right. The rest of them aren't very good.
    • Higher tiers in the second part of the game When Serge is changed into Lynx include Norris who is a decent fighter, Harle who is good all around, Irenes, for magic when Harle would be useless because of her innate class, and later on Karsh for his power and strong weapons. Miki is also liked for her all-around power, Draggy for having excellent stats and stamina recovery despite being a newborn, and Fargo for having good power and being able to steal the rare Plate armors. Other characters like Zoah, Marcy, Viper, and Riddel, along with Steena, also do fairly well.
    • Later-game high ranked characters include Orlha for her incredible strength.
  • Contested Sequel: If Cross didn't bear the name "Chrono", it would be regarded as a visually-stunning RPG with great music. But CT is pretty much a sacred cow as far as JRPGs go, and Cross is extremely different in many regards, is vastly more confusing, and has controversial handling of what little Trigger content does return, so there are many people who outright hate it. There are relatively few players who deny that it's a good game, but whether it's a good sequel to Chrono Trigger is incredibly divisive.
  • Critical Dissonance: The game has a fairly minor but notable version of this. Audience: very popular in sales (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 instancenote ).
  • Demonic Spiders: Dwarves are deadly when they get together and form a group. Particularly their Hi-Ho Chorus attack.
  • Designated Love Interest: Serge and Kid can end up this way, depending on the player's choices. Much related media from official art to a photo in the Golden Ending's cutscene implying their marriage points to Kid being the female lead of the game and Serge's love interst. However, it's entirely possible to go through the entire game without even recruiting her. Even if you do, her relationship with Serge can easily be interpreted as platonic True Companions rather than anything romantic, which leads some players to think this way.
  • Disappointing Last Level: It's sometimes cited that the game loses track of where the plot is going somewhere after the Dead Sea, and never quite gets back on track. Disc Two is particularly bad; most of it is spent either wandering through Chronopolis or climbing Terra Tower, both of which are Marathon Levels.
  • Ending Aversion: The game pulls more plot threads out of its ass in the second disc than some role-playing games have for their entire length, and does not properly resolve most of them.
  • Ending Fatigue: Disc Two can charitably be called a glorified Boss Rush, where each boss feels like taking down the Big Bad at last, but is followed by another one, 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. 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. Oh, but don't think you can just fight and kill the Final Boss like you did for every other enemy in the game — no, 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 title 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 may not be as popular as the characters who majorly contribute to the story, but he can be assumed to be more popular than most of the optional characters. He is even given Kamina's shades to wear.
    • As far as other playable characters go, the first disc's favorite characters are Leena and Glenn. The second disc gives Norris, Orlha, and Riddel.
    • Harle has an immense fanbase.
    • Not to mention Dario, who, despite being That One Boss is still beloved due to having one of the most engaging subplots in the entire game and a really cool looking design.
    • Zoah, thanks to The Dark Id.
  • Epileptic Trees: There's a theory running around the Chrono Cross fansites that Miguel's actually Crono.
  • Fanon: Many fans believe that the dwarfs are actually responsible for the pollution of their land given their use of Steampunk and that the hydra was the only thing holding it back, hence why their land grew so polluted when the hyrda is killed.
  • 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. Compared to its predecessor, it's often considered a disappointment.
    • Some fans dislike CC enough to ignore the DS port 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 port canonized Dalton as the agent for Guardia's destruction.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Serge and Kid, which is also the closest thing to an Official Couple in this game. There's also Serge/Glenn (sometimes with Kid still included).
  • 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's father — 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?").
  • Game-Breaker: The game has two main ones.
    • First off, there's Bonus Boss Dario, who, if fought normally, is incredibly difficult, and beating him nets you the Mastermune, one of Serge's best weapons. note  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. 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 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 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.
    • Diminish. It halves all element damage. It makes a lot of bosses much easier to fight than they would normally be.
    • The elemental plates you can steal from the dragons. The black plate especially (though getting it is something of a Guide Dang It! to get. You have to wake up the Black Dragon before you can fight it/steal its plate which requires a rather involved sidequest. Otherwise you just take its treasure from its sleeping body.). Wearing one makes you absorb all damage from its respective element. FATE and Dario are some of the hardest fights in the game normally, but with the black plate equipped, at least one character is basically immortal. And this applies to any enemies which only use a single element, which is most of them.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • 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 final 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.
    • Tragediennes, a really annoying monster in the Tower of Geddon who have a lengthy spiel each time they are fought.
    • The Prehysterics in Gaia's Navel are not particularly difficult, but they can be extremely annoying due to the fact that their "JurasicBeat" [sic] move causes confusion, which is surprisingly difficult to prevent. The move is also a time-consuming animation that they spam nonstop throughout the battle. To top it off, they're found in an area where proceeding requires the player to kill all the monsters roaming around, so they can't be skipped.
  • 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 one of the better ones in the game. You can do this to acquire enough Dragoon's Glories to outfit the entire party, with plenty of extras to either sell for cash or scrap for materials.
  • He's Just Hiding!: A common fan interpretation to account for the off-screen deaths of Crono, Marle and Lucca. That the dialogue describing their current status is either implicit ("I'll send you to see Lucca!") or vague ("We no longer exist in this timeline.") does much to aid and abet such theories. Even if we're not told they're dead, are they any more alive after 10 years of nonexistence?
  • 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. Only five characters could be considered "overweight", four of which are muscular. Miki is the worst, with a BMI of 14.0. Full results here.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Fighting random encounters is a waste of time. You only get major stat boosts for fighting bosses. And boss battles are honestly very easy. (The main exceptions are Garai, Dario, and the now-infamous Miguel.) Serge is easily the most-powerful character available and he can't be removed from the party until New Game+ (at which point your characters are already over-leveled). Even if you run out of Elements in the middle of a fight, you can always rely on his weapon and most likely will not need to heal at all. The strategies for fighting enemies on Opassa Beach can be carried over to the final dungeon for the most part. It is still a little harder than Trigger, mostly owing to the Puzzle Boss and the fact you can't Level Grind.
  • Memetic Molester: SunOfAGun.
  • Memetic Mutation: If there's one thing people often remember to bring into a Chrono Cross conversation, it's getting wiped out by a fisherman as a plot boss. A fisherman with a massive magic light sword that will destroy you.
  • 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. Very nostalgic for fans of the original game.
  • One True Threesome: Serge/Kid/Leena and Serge/Kid/Harle. A less common example is Riddel/Dario/Karsh.
  • Player Punch: Several for fans of the original Chrono Trigger.
    • FATE: "Now eliminating Prometheus." 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 have issues with the latter.
    • Similarly, Cross suggests that the three main protagonists of Trigger (Crono, Lucca, and Marle) were all killed at some point between the end of ''Trigger'' and this game. It's supposed to come across as a shock, but, well... see Broken Base above.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Korcha, an obnoxious teenage brat who has entirely too many appearances in the early game. Nearly every single line of his is either trying to start a fight or whining about something trivial. Even more irritatingly, the game tries its hardest to railroad him into your party.
    • Pierre, for being extremely annoying and full of himself. He gets a bit better when his unique equipment is gathered.
    • Poshul, a giant pink dog that looks and talks like some mentally handicapped cousin of Scooby-Doo.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Suikoden is a game about building an army, and as you collect characters your castle grows. Valkyrie Profile is about recruiting great heroes for a war among gods, and you get well-paid for sending up well-developed characters. Radiata Stories uses its massive roster of unique characters to build one of the most living cities ever seen a JRPG. But in Chrono Cross there's no reason at all for this many people to tag along. Most JRPGs have one comic relief character, e.g. I'm so kawaii and my weapon is a potato and I can only inflict four damage. Cross has at least ten. It's a bleak, existentialist nightmare about waking up in a world where you never existed, and you're being followed around by a giant pink dog who talks with a lisp.
    • 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.
  • Shocking Swerve:
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: One of the plot's main criticisms, even by people that took the game on its own merits as opposed to a sequel, is that the story moves very slowly in the beginning. The final act of the game is treated as the opposite.
  • Squick: Poshul's second tech involves kicking... her dirty business at the enemies.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Serge and Kid. 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: the player is never required to let Kid into your party, and even if you do, she's absent for much of the game. Granted, you really have to go out of your way to avoid recruiting Kid, but you can do it. 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. This also goes hand in hand with All There in the Manual and No Export for You, in that in order to understand their relationship and why they even end up together in the unaltered timeline, you would have to have played Radical Dreamers, where they are Star-Crossed Lovers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Scars of Time", the intro movie music, sounds suspiciously like Stuart Hamm and Joe Satriani's "Flow My Tears", from the album Radio Free Albemuth.
  • That One Attack:
    • 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 Lynx who is mandatory is Innate Black. And if he manages to turn the field white...
    • For the same reason above, Garai's Triplecut and Willbreaker are devastating. Anyone who doesn't have White element, and even some who has, will either get their HP dropped to single digits or simply downed in a single attack.
    • 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. Without BlackOut or Purify elements allocated this fight becomes the pinnacle of Luck-Based Mission in this game.
    • 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.
  • That One Boss:
    • 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 a pretty tough fight. 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 Black element, his unique Techs can easily destroy non-White innate characters. There is no easy way around this fight and if you brought Harle you'll have to tread even more carefully...
    • Dario is so damn hard to deal with that most players wait for a New Game+ to fight him. If you don't know the exploits be prepared for a boss that hits like a truck full of bricks and has some of the most powerful techs that will rip any non-Black innate characters to shreds.
    • 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. Its 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.
  • That One Level:
    • 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 gets really complicated.
    • The S.S. Zelbess. It's not difficult; rather, it's boring. You're on the Zelbess trying to find a way into the Dead Sea, but Fargo manages to swindle you out of your boat, leaving you trapped on the ship until you find a way to get the boat back. In addition, there's also a fairly involved sidequest that has to be completed during this portion of the game; failing to complete it at a certain time makes the reward Permanently Missable. Oh, and the whole time, you get to hear this blaring over the speakers.
    • 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.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • You go from CT, where every character has unique skills that can be paired with others, to maybe eleven Double/Triple Techs in this game. With 40+ characters, that's all they could come up with? The Double/Triple tech system of CT is probably its most memorable mechanic: it had you switching up characters to see what cool stuff they could do.
    • The Element system is lackluster in comparison to CT, where you could combine spells with Techs for added effects, like lighting Crono's katana on fire or electrifying it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Because it would have been impossible to write unique dialog for over forty characters, they all recite the same dialogue. To mask this, they add a "filter" for each character which modifies the text boxes, so they'll say it in a valley girl accent or surfer dude dialect. It likewise would have been impossible to build over forty different kits. Every character gets a tiny handful of unique abilities, but beyond that they'll all be using the same generic spells (Elements). There are no Fire Emblem-type supports, and the party is further limited by the permanent inclusion of Serge/Lynx. That's not even addressing a severe imbalance between a chosen few characters and the rest.
    • Maybe HALF of the 40+ playable cast is actually connected to the plot. The others had potential to be strongly-compelling, including one who was originally intended to be a returning character from the previous game (looks like he was another victim of the roster bloat), and another who was intended to be the son of two characters from the same. You also have a hippie doctor having a crisis of faith, a wannabe cavalier with a fake accent, portly matron Macha, warrior maiden Steena, Nazi-with-a-heart Norris, and others. Even the obvious picks, like glam rocker Nikki, wind up as benchwarmers 95% of the time.
    • All the characters who can be recruited by Serge prior to the Lynx portion of the game are locked out from use. The amount of potential lost there is staggering. In particular, Leena will never be able to encounter her father and learn what happened to him because she can't be in the party at the point in the game where you encounter him.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The initial premise with Serge trying to uncover what caused him to die in an alternate timeline was a pretty interesting start, which (along with its contemporaries Final Fantasy VIII and Xenogears) sadly got lost in the metaphysical plot contrivances.
    • Chrono Cross speaks of an alternate timeline where the Reptites didn't get wiped out by Lavos, become technologically advanced, and replaced humans as the dominant species. Then that timeline fuses with the futuristic human timeline and chaos/all-out war ensues. But all of this is told through a text dump. Where's the raptors in labcoats going all Jurassic Park on sh*t? We never see any of that stuff.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Even by the standards of RPGs, this game has Loads and Loads of Characters, with a grand total of 45. It's inevitable that a few of these would show up.
    • 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 his dual tech X-Strike with Serge. The only problem with Glenn is that you have to refuse to save Kid instead of looking for her medicine. If you don't do that, Glenn is lost forever. Leena also is great in the early game (for having a high magic stat and a great grid, and the only decent choice for magic unless you forsake Glenn for Razzly)
    • 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 in a game with 40+ playable characters, "some" doesn't take long to become "most." And some characters like Sneff, Skelly, and NeoFio are just plain horrible.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The game was cursed from the beginning to never be as popular as Chrono Trigger, one of the most beloved roleplaying games on a system that already had a ton of beloved roleplaying games.
  • True Art Is Angsty: To fans of the game who feel its darker plot works in its favor, and criticize fans who complain about the deaths of the original's cast and the game's Happy Ending Override. This is one of the major points of contention between fans of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. Fans who criticize Chrono Cross for implying the deaths of Crono, Marle, and Lucca are told to "grow up" and accept these characters' fates, while praising the game for its "gutsy" and original storyline. Chrono Trigger fans have mostly responded by roundly trashing Chrono Cross and its fans. Oh, and you're not allowed to like them both.
  • Uncanny Valley: FATE. (Considering she's an AI, this is likely intentional.)
    • And SunOfAGun.
    • Mannequeens.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The dwarves are supposed to come across as a race who has been victimized by the excesses and the greed of humanity as a whole, and call humans out on not being able to live in harmony with nature. The intent is to make the player feel bad for killing them, but the fact that the dwarves were conducting an operation of ethnic cleansing on the fairies, while at the same time doing the same things they accuse humans of doing prevents them from getting sympathy. The fact that the game itself fails to see the hypocrisy of it all, in favor of putting all the blame on humans, (Even the fairies blame the humans, rather than the dwarves who are actively killing them) is a sore spot for many players.
  • Vindicated by History: Purely in regards to the fanbase, most critics and RPG fans always had quite a bit of praise for Chronos Cross. Most fans of Chrono Trigger however were incredibly harsh on the game due to being nothing like its predecessor, having very little connection with it, and an incredibly dark story. Today, while quite a few fans still prefer the original, Chrono Cross is looked upon much more favorably for its unique gameplay, memorable cast of characters, and being one of the best looking games on the Playstation 1.
  • Wangst: Most notably, Home World's Fargo and BOTH Vans.
  • 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 expanded upon 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...

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