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YMMV / Chrono Trigger

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  • 8.8: IGN gave the DS port this score exactly. UK magazine NGamer gave it 87%. Neither score was without controversy.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • This remark made by a blue imp when the party first arrives in Medina Village. It was removed from the DS retranslation:
    • In the DS translation, the Nu that appears randomly in the Cursed Forest says "Oh, stop that, you bad boy!" when spoken to.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Frog. Is his outdated Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe supposed to be an attempt to make him sound like he’s from the Middle Ages, or a lonely, scared man trying to put on a brave face by (poorly) imitating the way he thinks a hero should sound?
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    • 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 selfish.
    • Lavos's true nature lends itself to a lot of interpretation and discussion. Is it merely an animal acting out of survival instinct? Is it a cold alien intelligence with sinister plans for Earth? Is it an automated world-killing bio-machine fulfilling some ancient programming? Is it simply a being with thoughts so alien humans can't comprehend them?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • 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.
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    • The Golem Overlord is 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 experience points though, if you're fast enough.
    • Lavos' forms past the first one in the Ocean Palace. His outer shell is far more powerful than any of the forms fought at the end of the game, but if the player can get past it turns out that Lavos' later forms have the same stats as they did at the end of the game. This ironically means that the shell, which is normally the weakest of Lavos' forms, is actually the hardest one to defeat.
  • 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.
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  • Best Level Ever: Fiendlord's Keep and the Ocean Palace.
  • 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.
    • The Blackbird, full stop. This happens nearly immediately after the long and heavy atmosphere of the Ocean Palace, as well as falling for a trap by Dalton to get captured. At this point, you are unable to backtrack until this dungeon is completed. This dungeon is far easier than the previous dungeons via Developers' Foresight, avoiding an Unwinnable by Design situation.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Most peoples' endgame party will consist of Crono, Ayla, and Frog. Sometimes swapping Crono for Magus. Because Ayla and Frog are forced into the party at points near the mid-game, they'll often end up at higher level than the reserves, even with Leaked Experience. While nobody is really bad per se (especially since the DS port adds things to make Marle and Robo more feasible late-game), they often require the least amount of effort to get ready for the endgame. Plus, the three are a relatively balanced team. Most importantly, Ayla can give you megalixirs near the end of the game.
    • The first few chapters of a New Game+ will likely see all party members equipped with Berserker Rings to get through battles simply because all enemies (including bosses) die in a single hit.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Schala may be an NPC, but she's nonetheless one of the most beloved characters in the game.
    • His name is Gato, he has metal joints. Beat him up, and win 15 Silver Points.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Magus, with his forbidding, vampire-ish looks and Jerkass, revenge obsessed behavior. But he's just so badass.
    • Flea, who has an Attractive Bent-Gender with cleavage and a short skirt.
    • Queen Zeal counts, combining a modest bit of cleavage with Evil Power Is Sexy.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Despite Crono/Marle being the Official Couple and being fairly popular in its own right, a considerable portion of the fandom has held torches for Crono/Lucca.
    • Ayla/Queen Zeal is a disturbingly popular ship.
  • Fan Wank: The Chrono Compendium is a fan-site that takes all the many Epileptic Trees and tries to make some sense out of them.
  • Fanon:
  • Faux Symbolism: There was a lengthy essay out there that argues that Chrono Trigger is a retelling of The Bible. Masato Kato has denied this, especially when you take into account the Woolseyisms.
  • First Installment Wins: While Chrono Cross has its fans, Trigger eclipses it in terms of impact and influence.
  • Game-Breaker: This is why the game is considered to be too easy:
    • Crono:
      • Give Crono the Rainbow (70% critical hit rate) and Wrath Band (80% counter rate). Factor in that he can counter things like barrier changes and enemy revives and he becomes a killing machine.
      • For spamming the screen with death, Luminaire is not too shabby. Combined with the Golden Studs, which reduces it to a paltry 5 MP, or swap the studs for Prism Spectacles to trade efficiency for power. It is one of the go-to spells for clearing the room and even dealing damage to many bosses. If the enemies are immune, then your Rainbow will usually handle that.
      • Prioritizing Crono for Magic Capsules will make him a one-man wrecking machine. Not only will Life (Raise) act like Marle's Life 2 (Arise) due to the 999 HP MAX CAP, but Luminaire will also dish out the most single-spell damage in the game, with a 20.5x multiplier compared to Flare's 17.25x multipler.
    • Ayla:
      • She's got the highest Strength and Speed in the game (making her the party's best tank). Even better, she is automatically equipped with her own fists, making equipping her very cheap.
      • She can Charm enemy-exclusive equipment, early-to-obtain gear, or rare-to-obtain items such as capsules. If you face an enemy that appears only once or a boss, she is always on the front lines if possible. One reason she's a common choice for the Black Dream is how many enemies carry megalixirs.
      • Dino Tail/Frog Squash. Non-elemental damage that increases the lower Ayla's/Frog’s HP is. Keep them on the brink of death and they'll do 3000+ damage to everything on the screen every time they use it. And since they got very high speed, they'll probably destroy all enemies onscreen before they even get a chance to attack.
    • Robo should not be overlooked. Though the story may say that he doesn't learn magic, he nevertheless quite possibly makes even better use of Magic Capsules than Crono, with the ability to hit three elements, heal the whole party at once, hit every enemy on the screen with Laser Spin, and still hit hard physically even before his game-breaking weapons come into play. His biggest flaw is that he's slow, but that can be remedied.
    • Frog and Marle's dual tech Ice Water is a full screen nuke at the cost of 2 TP each, which makes it cheaper than Crono and Robo's Supersonic Spin (Crono pays 2 tp while Robo pays 3). When you first get it, it's a complete game breaker that lets you waltz through all the trash mobs in Fiendlord's Keep without breaking a sweat.
    • Speed increasing items in general. Normally, you cannot increase the speed of your characters by default, but increasing this stat makes you commit actions much faster. See below:
      • Haste Status, used by either Marle's Haste spell or auto-haste equipment like the Haste Helm. This makes the characters buffed with it twice as fast as normal. It's effectively an extra turn.
      • Speed Capsules, bar none, which permanently increases the stat up (Max = 16). Combine that with the Haste status and a lot of fights are winnable without worrying about the enemies attacking you outside of possible counter-attacks.
    • The Berserker Ring that you get early on in the game. Equip it to your highest attacker like Crono. While you cannot control the character and not recommended in a few cases, delivering 1.5x damage and reducing 1/3 of all damage will slice you through most of battles in the earlier game with ease.
    • Silver Studs and later Golden Studs. Knowing that your max MP is 99 and some spells use up to 20, these cut your MP usage by 1/2 (20 = 10) or 3/4 (20 = 5). Get three Golden Studs, and you can spam your most powerful techs with less care. You find one over the course of normal gameplay, and can steal more from a specific enemy (Flyclops) using Charm. 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 (1.5x damage). Put them on your best physical hitters, like Crono with his 70% critical hit rate sword or his shiny new 90% critical hit sword, or just on Ayla, and their attack commands start hitting as hard as other characters' spells. Then, if you start casting with them...
    • Falcon Strike (Ayla+Crono 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).
    • Pretty much the final weapons from the remake:
      • Magus' Dreamreaper will do 4x damage for critical hits. With an already high critical hit rate, combine this with the Dragon's Tear and he'll be dishing out a lot of damage per turn.
      • Lucca's Spellslinger can do more damage with a regular hit than Crono's critical hit if her current MP ends in 9 because it is not dependent on her attack.
      • Marle's Venus Bow does 777 damage on everything, which is decent damage to most enemies, but it even does that much to enemies with special defense. This includes bosses like Nizbel, the Black Tyranno, and Lavos, and the Metal Slime Wonder Rock (of course, you need to actually run into the Wonder Rock).
      • Robo's Apocalypse Arm with a base power of zero, but a critical hit deals 9999 damage. Then equip him with the Dragon's Tear, which greatly boosts the wearer's critical rate, and even the Bonus Boss becomes a pushover. Similar to Ayla's Bronze Fist, but Level 99 is not required.
      • Crono's Dreamseeker. 240 ATK and 90% critical rate. Self-explanatory, but you probably fully completed the game by then.
      • Lucca's armour in the port, the Elemental Aegis. Give her that and a ton of Ethers and she can solo Spekkio. The downside is that to get it, you need to find and kill a Wonder Rock.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • In general, there are a few encounters that, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot avoid fighting. This makes the backtracking in the early part of the game somewhat tedious, since you'll be having to fight trash mobs that can barely even scratch you while a stiff breeze could kill them several times just to reach a Gate. This gets a lot better once you're able to travel through time in the Epoch.
    • 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, 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. However, at least the frogs at some point can be one-shot by normal attacks; but the rats, mainly the Dire Rats, are annoyingly so fast that they always get the first move, which will somehow screw you over with some HP or MP lost, unless you've managed to max out everyone's speed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The often-repeated joke about gear from as far back as prehistoric times being better/stronger than items made in the future takes on a new level when you think of planned obsolescence. It's entirely possible that civilization up to Lavos' attack subscribed to this theory.
    • Algetty, the village of non-magical humans in 12000 BC is referred to as "the village of the Earthbound ones" in the English translation. Even though it was a coincidence, another RPG under this title was released at the same time.
    • Akira Toriyama's Only Six Faces art style means that Crono looks like Son Goku with red hair. Cue Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and the introduction of the Super Saiyan God form, wherein Goku's hair turns red.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Glenn and Cyrus. Especially in the port.
    • 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?
  • Hype Backlash: Given the tremendous amount of praise the game has received for many years, this was inevitable. Almost no one is going to say this is a bad game, but since most fans gloss over Chrono Trigger's notable flaws and the fact it is remarkably short for a JRPG has resulted in a lot of gamers disappointed with the game and confused as to why it is so beloved.
  • It Was His Sled: The facts that Crono can outright die and not be revived and Magus can be recruited instead of killed, not to mention isn't the Big Bad at all are an old hat for anyone that is even remotely familiar with the game, not to mention the former is one of the most remembered and discussed surprises of its era.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The most common criticism brought against the game, especially in the new millennium, when JRPGs and video games as a whole are expected to last for much longer than they did in 1995. However, even some of those critics admit that the tightly plotted story might make up for its shortness.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Magus, thanks to a mixture of being incredibly badass but having one of the more tragic backstories in the game.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Lucca is popularly shipped with most of the other playable characters, and even with some NPCs.
  • Low-Level Run: One of the games this is practiced with; it's possible to finish with a Level 1 Crono.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Magus was once Janus, prince of the Kingdom of Zeal in Antiquity, until Lavos destroyed the kingdom and sent Janus forward in time to the Middle Ages. There, choosing the name Magus, he became the leader of the non-humans, deceiving them and declaring war on the Kingdom of Guardia. By doing so, he sought to gain enough power to summon and kill Lavos. When Crono and the party disrupt this plan, Magus is sent back in time to the Kingdom of Zeal before Lavos destroyed it. Disguising himself as a Prophet, Magus used his knowledge of history to gain the favor of Queen Zeal, positioning himself to kill Lavos when it surfaces. When this fails, Magus can be recruited as a party member, recognizing he cannot kill Lavos himself. If recruited, he leaves the party to try to find his missing sister. Selfish and never truly turning good, Magus is nevertheless a brilliant, powerful and determined sorcerer that defied the Evil Overlord archetype with Hidden Depths.
  • Memetic Molester: Thanks to YTMND, the tune "Burn! Bobonga!" from the game has forever become associated with Brian Peppers, a sex offender from Ohio whose odd-looking physical deformities granted him memetic status.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm:
    • While the subplot of Marle and her father falling out with each other has its emotional ups and downs, there's one moment that doesn't really work: If Marle presents King Guardia with beef jerky, because it's his favorite, he'll scold Marle for giving him food high in cholesterol and accuse her of trying to kill him, worsening their already strained relationship. But compared to everything else in the subplot, it really seems like he's overreacting.
    • The SNES translation turned Slash's kiai when he bum-rushes you into an actual sentence — "Yes, indeed!" Try saying that to someone the next time you smack them around.
  • One True Threesome: With both Marle and Lucca being popular ship partners for Crono, it should come as no surprise that Crono/Marle/Lucca is seen as an outcome where everyone is happy. It helps that Crono/Marle and Crono/Lucca fans are usually very civil towards each other.
  • Player Punch:
    • Failing to save Lucca's mother from her accident. But if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again.
    • Failing to defeat Lavos. If the party gets knocked out, you’re treated to a cutscene where the entire world is destroyed by Lavos. Making things worse is that after the player sees Earth's surface ravaged from space, they hear Lavos' scream accompanied by the words "But... The future refused to change..." almost as though Lavos is taunting the player for failing to stop him.
    • The Ocean Palace Disaster, a.k.a. Crono's death, is approximately five player punches in a row. Magus tries to stop Lavos and fails, Crono dies, Schala disappears, Lavos awakens 14,000 years early and destroys Zeal, and then the Choose Your Party screen comes up without Crono in it, proving that, barring optional time travel shenanigans, he is indeed Killed Off for Real. Ouch.
  • Polished Port:
    • The Nintendo DS verison added new weapons, extra New Game+ sidequests, an an extra Bonus Boss, which ties this game to Chrono Cross. It also features the anime FMV sequences from the PlayStation version and polishes some the gameplay mechanics. The 2 scrapped material in the game, the Singing Mountain tune and a volcano dungeon, finally make it in the game in separate occasions. The localization also has been revised from the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version and correcting the inaccuracies it had (though a subsection of fans argue that the SNES localization had more nuance to it). The only major catch is that the game's audio takes a noticeable downgrade, due to the limitations of the DS's sound chip compared to the Sony-owned SNES one; thankfully, it's not as bad as with Game Boy Advance ports of SNES games.
    • After post-launch efforts, the 2018 PC version addresses many of the problems it had from its initial release. It features a UI and HUD that is much more controller and keyboard friendly by default, fixes the game's text font to be much closer to the DS version, an option to disable the smoothing filter, widescreen support, remastered audio, and features the extra content from the DS port.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The game received a PlayStation port which featured some extras the Super Nintendo version didn't have such as new anime FMV sequences, but the novelty wears off quickly as this version is marred with Loads and Loads of Loading, with the game having to stop to load between in-game menus and battles.
    • On February 27, 2018, the game was released on Steam. Unfortunately, it was, by all accounts, a bad port of the mobile version. Reviews of this port were "Mostly Negative", with complaints including horribly blurred and distorted graphics, the mobile touchscreen interface constantly being visible even when using a controller or keyboard, said interface being counter intuitive for controller or keyboard, lower quality FMVs, among other glaring problems. Due to the negative backlash on this port, Square Enix began working on patches in an attempt to rectify many of these issues and include features based on the criticism and feedback it received.
  • Robo Ship: Robo/Lucca. Especially if you interpret the strong resemblance of the lyrics of "Never Gonna Give You Up" to Robo's theme as intentional, even though it wasn't, and then take the lyrics of that song to represent how Robo feels about Lucca.
  • Sacred Cow: At least in the eyes of critics, fans, and popular gaming sites like GameFAQs. Some believe that it doesn't live up to its reputation. Most notably, former Senior Vice President Shinji Hashimoto disagreed at E3 2009:
    Hashimoto: Why does everyone ask about Chrono Trigger?
    ???: (paraphrased) The game was adored by fans.
    Hashimoto: That's not what the sales tell me! If people want a sequel, they should buy more!note 
  • 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 Toriyama's original character design for him is anything but, better resembling a mix of Kibito Kai and Piccolo Jr. 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, who tend to be depicted as much more attractive than their somewhat cutesy official art.
    • In-game, Frog is only half of Chrono's height and artwork of him is almost always Ugly Cute. Not in fan art.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Whooo! Let's race again, or do another strength test, or win another cat! Huh? Something about Lucca's machine? Who cares about THAT?!
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • Robo's theme sounds quite similar to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." It's an odd feeling being Rickrolled in the middle of a video game, especially when Robo's introduction misleads you into thinking it's a boss fight. It's especially funny because when Yasunori Mitsuda was asked about it, he said he honestly hadn't heard of Astley when he was composing the music for this game. This eventually came full circle with the "RoboRoll" mashup.
    • "Singing Mountain", an unused theme in the game's code (originally intended for a dungeon in 65,000,000 B.C. that was never completed and ultimately scrapped) later repurposed for a bonus dungeon in the DS port, sounds like a dead ringer for the Castle in the Sky theme, to the point where many have speculated that the song was cut because of the resemblance.
    • "Corridors of Time" strongly resembles "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project — best known in the '90s as the walk-on music for the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls.
  • That One Attack: Despite being one of the easiest of Square's RPGs on the whole, there's still a few devastating attacks:
    • Enemies and bosses that have HP to 1. Life Shaver (1 character) and Halation (all 3 characters). There is a small window where another enemy could follow up with another attack, so be sure to heal immediately.
    • MP Buster. This is not uncommon.
    • Various HP draining moves from enemies. The way some of those moves work is that it is dependent in your maximum HP, so even weaker enemies who have his move can still do a chunk of damage to your characters. This is why it is always a good idea to keep your character's health to near maximum at all times.
    • Enemies carrying Instant-Death attacks. Yes, enemies. Example 1: Ghaj will counter-attack with such move, so if you do not have a move that can do more than 1350 damage, Ghaj can kill one of your characters. Example 2: Hydraconda's instant-KO bite, which will KO each other first while draining the remaining HP, but once it is alone, you better kill it or else it will continously instant-kill your characters while draining the remaining HP the KO'd character had.
    • Lavos' physical attacks, Grandstone or just physical. It is enough to do over 1000 damage to low-defense characters.
    • Dream Devourer's Phamtasm. This move is powerful enough to do over 1000 damage to unprepared characters.
  • That One Boss: Similar to the above, but with bosses:
    • Masa & Mune, due to being an unexpected note  Wake-Up Call Boss that forces you to remember random information you gathered in the town earlier. Unless you're playing the SNES English version. At no prior point does this snippet of information become relevant, and it only ever becomes relevant again during the optional Boss Rush.
    • 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.
    • Giga Gaia. There are three targets to hit, with two of them (the hands) dual casting powerful fire and shadow spells to mess up your entire team. It becomes a joke after a hand is destroyed, but by how much damage a player is likely to take, they may only have one person attacking with the other two healing each turn. Plus, the hand you destroyed won't be gone forever.
    • If you decided to straight shoot the Black Omen first without doing any of the side quests, then all of the bosses in the Black Omen count, especially the 3-part boss gauntlet. The final part of Queen Zeal forces players to only hit her head as touching the hands kill you MP or leave your HP to 1. If you get her health to half, she will do Hallation (all 3 characters get HP to 1) and MP Buster (all MP gone for 1 character); not preparing to heal immediately afterwards and Zeal could use a hit-all spell, killing your entire team.
    • 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 possibly Marle), it's one of the game's hardest battles. Lavos' defeat in this situation (or at said palace) is followed by the special "Developer's Room" ending.
    • Lavos in the Ocean Palace is not quite a slouch; while he's intended as a Hopeless Boss Fight during an initial playthrough, he actually is beatable here and doing so unlocks the "Developer's Room" ending. However, even for a team who's gotten all the late game treasure, beaten the game and made their way through most of a New Game+, his heavily enhanced stats in this fight can still make him pretty studly and a tough fight. Thankfully, this only applies to his "outer shell" form, and the other two forms at this point have regular stats, since you weren't expected to win the first one.
  • That One Sidequest: The Lost Sanctum in the remake. To wit: A series of blatant Fetch Quests involving inescapable, scripted battles that reset; going up and down the same mountain at least seven times; and obtuse methods of progression, often exacerbated by event flags only triggering after talking to NPCs despite having all the items necessary to proceed. Many of the rewards are quickly outclassed by those found in the post-game dungeon, the Dimensional Vortexes.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The DS's retranslation and inclusion of a new Bonus Boss and secret ending inspires ire from some fans. Some of the changes were Frog's Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, some item/monster/tech names, and a bit of dialogue cleanup here and there. Locations were also remained, and a good number of iconic lines such as "but you're still hungry" and "did you just come out of the closet?" were replaced with much wordier variations. This guide tells everything that was changed from the SNES/PS1 to the DS versions. Not all of it is bad though.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Frog King seen in Frog's flashback might have made an interesting Bonus Boss, but he never shows up outside said flashback. Interestingly, unused battle data for the Frog King does exist in the game, implying that he may have been intended to be fought as a proper boss at one point, but for whatever reason (presumably time constraints) his fight was removed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: With how abnormally difficult the battle against Lavos in the Ocean Palace is (and considering when in the story it happens), you'd think being able to defeat him would result in an ending where Zeal was never destroyed and magic was still common, possibly existing all the way to the present. Instead, the ending is the same "Developer's Room" ending you get for beating Lavos at the earliest possible point in a New Game+.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Low tier
      • Magus. Sure, he's totally badass in-universe. His stats start out high, and he can max out attack and magic without using capsules/tabs. He can hit all four spell elements, and his shadow spells all look really cool. He's got great Magic and Magic Defense. But he gets no Dual Techs at all, his two Triple Techs are merely okay, and all of them just deal damage as opposed to adding a status effect in addition to the damage. There's lots of other ways to tickle the damage cap that don't involve three characters. On top of that, each of these Triple Techs requires one of the party members to sacrifice their accessory slot for an item to merely enable use of the tech. So if you like making heavy use of dual and triple techs, Magus' utility is surprisingly limited. Players who do use Magus like to equip him with a Golden Stud and cast Dark Matter constantly, trusting that he'll have an easier time staying on his feet than Lucca, players who don't point out that Dark Matter has a lower damage modifier than Lucca's Flare and Crono's Luminaire.
      • Robo has three main drawbacks - he's slow compared to the other tanky characters (Crono, Frog and Ayla), his magic defense is the worst in the game,note  and his magic power is weak as well. This is especially glaring late in the game, where bosses spend the majority of the fight using powerful full party magic attacks. If Robo is buffed up with Speed and Magic Tabs, he can be a powerhouse, especially in the remake when he's equipped with the Dragon's Tear and Apocalypse Armnote  but his low magic defense is still an issue and some players just don't like to bother with him.
    • Mixed Tier
      • When it comes to tiers, Marle is one of the most controversial characters in videogame history, with players disagreeing on whether she was low tier, high tier, or high tier for most of the game but low tier at the end. In short her issues are that she's a healer with no solo multi-target heals, a lack of offensive power in the late game, and the second worst speed in the game. Despite this, Marle's supporters and detractors can argue points and counterpoints about whether she's good or bad endlessly, as elaborated on below. If there's one thing they agree on, it's that you'll either have to put work into buffing Marle to fix her shortcomings, or buffing everyone else so you don't have to use her.

        In early game she's the only healer, a dual tech with Crono is the only team heal available, her magic damage is on par with Lucca's, she's the only source of water damage, she casts Haste, and her dual tech Ice Water is a Disc-One Nuke. By the late game however, Frog and Robo both have single tech team heals, and whereas while literally everyone else gets a powerful attack tech, she gets Arise/Life2 (which isn't even that useful - Crono's Raise/Life scales with his magic power and he can revive at 999 hitpoints with buffed magic). Even haste isn't as important as it was in early game due to Haste Helms and speed capsules. Players who dislike using Marle prefer to pump Frog and Robo full of magic capsules so that they can replace her as a healer - there's no corresponding way to raise Marle's offense since her damage is tied to her Accuracy, which can't be raised with capsules.

        Marle's defenders, however, point out that she has the highest natural magic defense in the game, to the point that when buffed with shell she can shrug off a Dreamless or Crying Heavens. She shares the best triple tech in the game, Lifeline, with Crono and Robo, one of the best double techs, Antipode III, with Lucca, and she has useful double techs with everyone. Many prefer equipping Chaos Helms over Haste Helms to prevent confuse and relying on Marle to cast Haste. Buff her with speed capsules and she can throw out healing spells faster than any monster in the game can damage the party.

        Her lack of end game offense was addressed in the remake where she was given the Venus Bow, a weapon that always deals exactly 777 damage, which isn't much in most circumstances, but does give her some utility against enemies with unusually high defenses - including the Final Boss. It also makes her indispensable for New Game +, as her fixed damage lets her cut a swathe through the Factory and Heckran Cave. On the other hand, the remake adds a female-only helm that includes auto-haste and protection from every status, which cuts into her late game utility yet again.
  • Values Dissonance: A number of developers in the "Dream Team" ending comment on the amount of crunch work they put into the game, joking about the amount of weight they lost and how much faster they've aged. In today's era of increasing awareness towards the serious harm to physical and mental health caused by crunch culture, such an environment would not be addressed so lightly.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Azala is apparently female, because she and Nizbel II are the only prehistoric characters who know what pronouns are. Reptites don't have Non-Mammal Mammaries, apparently. This isn't helped by Azala's gender not being referenced ever in the SNES version. Thankfully, Nizbel II settled the matter in the DS version.
    • 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 Crono and Lucca rescue Queen Leene. He spends some time brooding in his hideout until the others give him the Hero's Badge and reforged Masamune, at which point he decides to see what would happen if he went for it, and then commits once he has the Masamune before him and he's reflected on everything.
  • The Woobie: Frog, Robo, and Schala. In-game, Ayla woobie-fies Azala right before the latter dies, saying she won't forget her.
  • Woolseyism: Done by Ted 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 "Jakki." Similar to Tina/Terra, this is a case where the names that would've sounded "exotic" to Japanese speakers, but commonplace to English speakers, were changed to preserve the exoticism. Same goes for the Gurus' names, Gaspar, Melchior and Belthasar, which were "Gash", "Hash", and "Bash" in the Japanese version, but make a lot more sense in the English translation.
    • In a subversion of using an "exotic" name, Woolsey changed Marle's real name, Princess Marledia, to Princess Nadia. Also, Janus' Japanese name is Jakki, not Jackie, though it's likely Woolsey didn't know that as both names are written the same in Japanese.

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