I’ve played the first hour or so of Chrono Trigger at least five times total over these many years of mine. But that’s all I ever played. The first hour–waking up in bed, going to the festival, losing Marle to some time vortex, following after her, the trial, eventually ending up in the future, which is all about being post-apocalyptic and tragic–is pretty dang near tattooed in my brain, and I have shoddy ROMs to blame. Yup, I used an SNES emulator way back when to catch up on some games I missed, and it seemed like every time I got to Arris Dome (or one of those domes) the ROM would crash. And so, I never got back from the future, and I’m guessing my in-game friends of Crono, Lucca, and Marle all died terribly of massive hunger and depression. Robo’s probably still there unless his robotic comrades turned him into scrap metal.
Hmm…no good way to transition from that.
Well, last week, during a heightened stage of insanity from wedding stress and worries about [detail redacted], I picked up Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS. It’s a cartridge I’ve been wanting to add to my collection for some time now, and I found it reasonably priced at $20.00. Even though it was a used copy, it still came with the poster that new copies were shipped with…so that’s nice. Granted, I won’t really be hanging it up, but bonus stuff is bonus stuff.
And the even better news is I’ve broken out of my Chrono Trigger slump. I’ve played about three hours worth of the game now and even made it to the end of time. Dun, dun, dunnn. From there, I time-traveled to the land of dinosaurs, which, if I may make the joke, is more accurately known as the land before time. I really do hope I can throw a Lightning Slash against Ducky “Bigmouth” Saurolophus because, as it turns out, one can only listen to her “Yep! Yep! Yep!” so many times. Lots of places to visit there, but no clear quest direction, and I’m not sure how to get back yet.
So I got some grinding to do though as these dinos are actually really tough against my LV 13/14s, and I have to wonder if I wasn’t supposed to go here first; I did head back to the original timeline beforehand only to discover the town and such overrun by goblins and beasts. Not sure what to do about that yet, but regardless, I’m just glad to be experiencing more Chrono Trigger than I ever did before.
Also, the normal day-to-day enemy battles are really tense, much more than any of the boss fights so far. I really like that and miss that feeling of uncertainty and timing and importancy on paying attention to health points and where the enemies are on the playing field. No offense, Dragon Quest IX, because I do love you, but I can just button mash my way to safety each and every time. Chrono Trigger is certainly a refreshing RPG experience, which is funny considering it’s 15 years old.