Chrono Cross: The Best Worst Sequel of All Time

Chrono Cross CoverChrono Cross is an excellent game, it is also a really awful sequel.

To celebrate Chrono Cross' release on the PlayStation Network, I'd like to take a moment to tell you that, yes, it really is a good game. How could it not be? Even though it was released in the waning years of Squaresoft's peak, the development teams still had a bit of magic left in them. But I'm also here to tell you that if you approach the game as Chrono Trigger 2, you will be incredibly disappointed.

And that's what I was back when the game was released: disappointed. As someone who has claimed Chrono Trigger as their favorite game for more than 15 years, it's hard for me to look back objectively on its sequel. So here's a bit of subjectivity for you.

But please, don't let me stop you from enjoying the game's re-release.

First of all, Chrono Cross takes your favorite characters from Chrono Trigger and craps all over them. Crono, Marle, and Lucca appear as ghost children who mostly just harp at you about messing up all their hard work; Robo is called the Prometheus Circuit and barely makes an appearance; Frog might be Glenn, but it seems the writers just sort of gave up on trying to make this connection; Ayla isn't mentioned besides a ham-fisted comment during the ending; and Magus was supposed to be in Cross, but the writers deemed his inclusion too complicated. Probably for the best.

Of course, Schala ends up being a pivotal character in Chrono Cross, but you have to keep in mind the only reason this even happened was because of a loose plot thread from Chrono Trigger. After helping out Crono and the gang, she disappears and is never heard of again. Most gamers didn't really notice, yes, she was a semi-major character late in the game, but we had Lavos to kill and time periods to save. Somehow, the writers for Chrono Cross deemed this dangling plot thread worthy of the sequel and shoved her into the last 10% of the game. Then when re-releasing Chrono Trigger on the DS, they added some tedious dungeons and a new boss to try and tie the two games together better. Waste of time, in my opinion.

Not only are the characters either absent or portrayed as jerks, but the whole setting feels off. Cross is supposed to take place in 1020, twenty years after the events of the main timeline, but absolutely nothing is familiar. The whole world of Chrono Trigger was explored, but we never see anything that resembles what was presented in Chrono Cross. I wouldn't have a problem with this most of the time, but why create a sequel to Chrono Trigger if you're not even going to leave some familiarity for fans to grab on to?

Even though the writers couldn't manage to fit Magus or Frog into the story, they still went ahead and created 45 (FORTY-FIVE!) playable characters. Chrono Trigger had seven. We got to know them all intimately by the end of the game. Chrono Cross had pirates and dancers and flower things and fairies and rockstars. Not only is the cast 100% new, but where did some of these ideas even come from? They sound like rejects from a Final Fantasy game.

In the end, both games are very good, but I'm just glad Chrono Cross is not called Chrono Trigger 2.

Chrono Cross kid


Chrono Cross is about

Chrono Cross is about alternate universes, so who is to say that the worlds in Chrono Cross are from when Lavos was beaten in 1000 AD? When Chrono and the gang defeated Lavos in 1000AD as one of the endings, the dark age had already happened as in magic collapsing in 12,000 BC, so there was time for humanity to recover, allowing technology to recover as it was in the beginning of Chrono Trigger. Another ending in Chrono Trigger was Magus going back to 12,000BC to take on Lavos before the collapse of magic. Since Lavos was the cause of the collapse of magic, that would mean if Magus was successful, there would be no dark age, or at least any time soon. So unless it tells us exactly what time line Chrono Cross is on (which I personally don't recall and is why I'm replaying it), we can't assume this is 20 years after the beginning of Chrono Trigger.

That game was an insult to

That game was an insult to hardcore Chrono Trigger fans like myself (I beat CT over 20 times since 1995, I still play from time to time). I still remember watching the demo back in 1999 and couldn't wait for it. In 2000, I bought it, beat it and was utterly dissapointed : no time travel, couldn't play any of the original cast members, fucked up storyline, too many characters with no depth whatsoever (quantity over quality). That game is just an ongoing trainwreck and every copy of that game is a blaphemy and should be destroyed. To me, CT and FF7 were the last great games Squaresoft produced, after that it was shit over shit. 1998 is when Squaresoft traded creativity over short term profits.

My only problem with your

My only problem with your expectations of Chrono Cross was your time travel comment. Time travel was for Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross is all about alternated universes.

The posts from Lord of

The posts from Lord of Spirits on this website talking about how much Cross failed sums up the game pretty nicely.

didun't reade

didun't reade


I know its hard to live up to Chrono Trigger, but Chrono Cross is MY favorite game of all time, beautiful design, amazing music, deep (and confusing) storyline. Not to mention its more like Chrono Trigger 3, seeing as Radical Dreamers came out prior to it's release (and it is a perfect sequel to that game). Also, while I rant, the battle system was rather entertaining, I loved the aspect of innate colors and morphing the battle field based on your play style.

I agree

Thank you. I love What you just said. Chrono Cross is my favorite rpg

I enjoyed this game, but

I enjoyed this game, but other than to boost sales - they really should not have tied it to the original. Going the final fantasy route and having completely unrelated stories would have worked.

Ah well!

The most disappointing thing

The most disappointing thing was the complete lack of a useful combo system imo.

Battle system

Yeah, I didn't really mention the gameplay at all because on its own I think it is really good. But yeah, if you were going in expecting awesome double and triple techs you will mostly be disappointed, too.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.