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We recently published an article online all about why we love Chrono Trigger. This blog outlines my personal experience with the game, and why it took me nearly 10 years to finally beat it.
I have had an on and off relationship with Chrono Trigger for years. The game received all kinds of accolades when it released in 1995, but I didn’t play it until about four years later. My first experience with the game was through emulation. I couldn’t afford the game in cartridge form, and by then the game had already become a rarity. I played about halfway through Chrono Trigger, but was far too enamored with Ocarina of Time to make it to the end.
It wasn’t until around 2007 that I made a realistic attempt to finish the game again. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were at a local flea market because we heard there were opportunities for video game collectors. We found the vendor we had heard rumors about, and among an impressive collection of games was a glass case of his especially rare titles. He didn’t have the case locked. Instead he simply had the door fastened shut with a screw. To get into the case, he had to pull out a screw driver, and remove the screw. We decided that regardless of the price, we wanted the copy of Chrono Trigger. We bought a few other things that he was happy to negotiate price with us over, but not Chrono Trigger. That price was set, and there was no debating it, which was fine because we were still able to grab the cartridge for under $50.
I took the game home and proudly proclaimed to my longtime Chrono Trigger fan friend that I would finally beat this game. He said I would never get around to beating it, so I bet him five dollars that I would. He re-iterated, “you’re not going to beat it,” but what he meant was, “I don’t care whether you beat it or not,” because he forgot about the bet the next day. I tried my best, squeezing in time between being a full time student and working full time. I was loving the game, letting battles run long just to listen to the battle theme, but then God of War II came out. I was fighting a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex with Ayla, but Kratos’ spat with the Zeus was too exciting to be ignored. I never got back to the game.
The following year, Chrono Trigger released on the DS, and I was determined to finally make it through Crono’s adventure. I excitedly bought Chrono Trigger for the DS the day it came out, and ripped through the game making it to where I had left off the previous year in only a day or two. I was doing great, well on my way to finally demand the $5 that my friend had forgotten he had bet me, when I inexplicably lost my motivation somewhere around the Ocean Palace.
A few months later, while battling some insomnia, I grabbed my DS and ripped through what were some of the best moments in the game on my way to the end. Crono’s unexpected death, something I am absolutely amazed was not spoiled for me during the 11 years it took me to play through the game, and the part where Robo is left behind for hundreds of years to restore the forest, which I think is one of the most interesting side stories of the whole game.
It took me far too long to finally make my way through the entire game, but I loved my extended experience. I love the time travel story, Akira Toriyama’s art design, the ability to combine attacks, the surprisingly touching moments experienced by each of the characters in both their personal and group stories, and the music perhaps most of all. It ranks among my favorite video game soundtracks of all time. It’s a timeless game that I think will always be appealing. It’s going to take a long time for Chrono Trigger to become a dated experience, which seems perfect considering the time travel nature of the story.
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