6 Moments That Prove "Chrono Trigger" Still Rules 20 years Later

We all have that game, the one game that blew our socks off by showing us the true potential of games, the game that graduated us from the "I like games" school of gaming into the "Games are super cereal, amazing and now a SUPER important part of my life." 

For me, that game was Chrono Trigger. And, to celebrate its 20th anniversary here are, in no particular order, six moments that blew me away then, and blow me away now. You could say, these are the fondest memories I still have with what is my first true gaming love.

Naturally, beware of spoilers. You know, for a 20 year old game.

The Trial

Before Pheonix Wright, there was Pierre.
You are back home in the present after saving the princess in the year 600 A.D. and how are you greeted? Like a kidnapper! Like a criminal!

What made this scene so great? First, the fact that the time continued to pass in the present while you were adventuring in the past was something crazy; the world continued to live and exist even if you were not there to watch. This was a first in videogames (at least for 11 year old me).

But this is what really blew my 11 year mind: remember the carnival scene at the beginning of the game? Well, the game was keeping track of your decisions and waiting for this moment to make you accountable for them.

Did you try and sell Marle's pendant?
Did you eat the old guy's food?
Did you save the cat? 

I could seriously not grasp the fact that a video game was throwing at my face decisions that, while making them, seemed meaningless, but now I was about to face some consequences of the choices I made hours ago

After many playthroughs, I realized that even if all the juries said you where innocent you would still be thrown to jail. Looks like the Guardia judicial system is not as clean as it looks.

1999 A.D. "Day of Lavos"

I am not joking, I literally got goosebumps just by typing "Day of Lavos" up there. After the trial, you escape to the future and the big climax happens when you find a video of the "Day of Lavos".


This asshole literally rains apocalypse upon all of creation while the biggest doom inducing score that the Snes can play sounds on the background- The moment you watch this scene is the moment you realize who the big bad of the game is and how powerful he really is, I remember feeling genuinely terrified after watching it.

The Battle with Magus

Of course the only logical assumption after finding out about Lavos is that Magus, the evil sorcerer that is behind all the shit happening on 600 A.D., is the guy behind his creation.

You travel back in time to confront him and after fighting some rock star sub-bosses (Ozzie, Flea and Slash) you finally confront Magus.

The battle is hard as hell and I'll be damned if on my first play through I did not think that this was the big bad, the ending of the game. Of course later you realize you are just halfway through, when the battle ends a new portal appears and you are transported to the distant past.

Chrono's Death

I remember crying when this happened. That´s right guys, Chrono Trigger did it before Call of Duty made it cool.

Fooled by the second time into thinking that I was getting into the final battle of the game, instead of the credits I get the death of my main character, the realization of how utterly powerless I am against Lavos and the revelation that Magus is actually a good guy also trying to stop Lavos.

So yeah,  A LOT happens in just under a minute and damn, it was dramatic.


Of course you bring him back to life less than ten minutes later, but my tears where not yet dry and I already had him in my party again, but damn, this was traumatic for 11 year old me.

Fun Fact: you can actually complete the game without ever getting Chrono back to life. Of course doing so reveals how dead you are on the inside.

Getting Magus in your Party.

After Chrono dies, the fall of Zeal and the realization that Magus was actually the prince of Zeal you get to meet him again by going to the North Cape where you can either choose to fight him to the death or spare him.

If you did choose to spare him he would then join your party and help you bring Chrono back to life.

By 1995 this was absolutely impressive. First of all this is something you can completely miss, and second this is a choice that is left 100% to the player's discretion.

Not only is Magus a fascinating character but he is also one of the most powerful characters in the game. In one of the coolest details in Chrono Trigger, after recruiting him you are given the option to rename him: most people just went with "Magus" but some of us renamed him "Janus" while shedding a tear.

The Bonfire

Every single character in Chrono Trigger has his side quest and all of them are great. We are talking some Mass Effect 2 Loyalty Mission type of thing here, not just some filler material. The one with Robo was my favorite one.

You leave Robo at a cathedral so that he can help the nuns around there to build and nurture a forest. Of course, those 400 years, for you, are gone in an instant, but what is great about this mission is its conclusion.

Everyone just chilling around the fire while Lucca repairs the guy. A moment of peace on the face of the Apocalypse. 

Moments like this are what make Chrono Trigger truly stand the test of time, this is one of my all time favorites moments in gaming. 

Chrono Trigger is the game that changed everything for me, the first game that triggered a very deep emotional response for me, the one that showed that video games could be more than entertainment.  It is hard to say but maybe without Chrono Trigger I might have taken a whole different career path (I´m a game developer in case you didn't know). 

Happy 20th, Chrono! I´m looking forward to replaying you again sometime this year.

Additionally, don't miss this ridiculously adorable Chrono Trigger Alphabet by Dorkly.

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About Game_Brains

I make videogames. Superhero culture is the closest thing I have to a religion. Hopefully one day I will explore space, but meanwhile I´m happy replaying Mass Effect. I seriously want to achieve immortality, not joking on this one. My self appointed mission in life is to make the world a happier place. I´m a walking and talking self help book, also, I TOTALLY BELIEVE IN YOU.
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