Chrono Trigger (JP) is a role playing video game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that was originally developed and published by Square in 1995. The game is critically one of the most notable video games for the SNES, and is one of the highest acclaimed RPGs of all time, gracing the top spot or near the top spot on multiple occasions.

Like most RPGs, the game stars a group of fighters on a quest to save the world. The game was developed by a team who worked on the Final Fantasy series and the Dragon Quest series (the latter being freelancers). Yasunori Mitsuda also helped on the soundtrack, though had to pass the job onto Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu after becoming ill.

While the game was initially released on the SNES, a port was made for the PlayStation and the Nintendo DS. In 2011, it was released on the Wii Virtual Console.


The game begins in 1000 A.D. The protagonist of the story, Crono, and his new friend Marle, are transported back to 600 A.D. due to an accident concerning a science experiment.

During that time period, Crono finds himself agreeing to rescue Queen Leene, who had been kidnapped by monsters. With the help of Lucca, Crono and Marle are able to get back to their own time period.

More time-jumping inevitably puts them into the distant future where they find that the world has been almost completely destroyed by an entity called Lavos. Knowledge of this event sets Crono and his friends on the long journey to build up their skills, jump back and forth through time, meet new allies, and finally confront Lavos. They plan to defeat the monstrous entity and save not only the future, but the past and present as well.

Chapters and Events

The entire game is divided up by different chapters or events. The chapter name is listed in the save slot when the player saves or continues the game. The separate chapters are as follows.

1. The Millennial Fair
2. The Queen Returns
3. The Queen is Gone
4. We're Back!
5. The Trial
6. Beyond the Ruins
7. The Factory Ruins
8. The End of Time
9. The Village of Magic
10. The Hero Appears
11. Tata and the Frog

12. The Rare Red Rock
13. Footsteps! Follow!
14. The Masamune!
15. Magus' Castle
16. Forward to the Past
17. Unnatural Selection?
18. The Magic Kingdom
19. Break the Seal!
20. The Guru on Mt. Woe
21. What Lies Beyond?
22. Lavos Beckons

23. The New King
24. The Time Egg
25. The Hero's Grave
26. The Green Dream
27. Ozzie's Fort
28. Geno Dome
29. The Quest for the Sun Stone
30. The Rainbow Shell
31. The Fated Hour
32. The Final Battle


Traversing Chrono Trigger's world map can be done at a rapid pace, allowing the player to go where he or she wants. The game's dungeons and towns are scaled down on the world map, though once the player enters one, its true size will be revealed.

One of the dramatic departures from a regular RPG is the fact that there are absolutely no random encounters as there are in Square's previous efforts. Instead, a battle will begin once the player moves the character into an enemy sprite. The ensuing battle will be a basic battle against the enemy, and possibly multiple others. Some enemies, however, will hide right before a character passes by and then ambush them.

During a battle, players are given access to both physical and magical attacks, as well as using his various items in possession. Both enemies and playable characters have a set amount of hit points, and being attacked will cause those points to go down. If they hit zero, then that member will be forced to leave the battle and any other battle until he or she is revived. Once, or if, all characters are defeated, then the "game over" screen will appear.

The "Active Time Battle" selection screen

Like many RPGs made by Square at the time, Chrono Trigger uses a similar battle system first implemented in Final Fantasy IV called Active Time Battle. With this system, each character has a timer that will restart once they take action. Once the timer gauge is filled, they'll be allowed to attack, heal or whatever the player wishes.


There are many characters that exist in Chrono Trigger, many of whom were not even given names. Only seven of the characters are playable.

(See also: List of Chrono Trigger characters and List of Chrono Trigger enemies)

Playable characters

Picture Name Magic type Era of origin




1000 A.D.




1000 A.D.




1000 A.D.




600 A.D.




2300 A.D.




65,000,000 B.C.




12,000 B.C.

Weapons, Armor, & Items

There are a number of different weapons, helmets, armor, accessories, and items the playable characters can wield, wear and use in the game. While some can be used by any of the seven playable characters, there are some that only certain characters are able to use or equip. For example, Crono can only use swords, Marle can only use bows, Lucca is restricted to guns, Robo can interchange his arms, Magus only wields scythes, and Ayla can only rely on her fists. Frog also uses swords but they are a different type than the ones Crono uses.

(See also: List of Chrono Trigger items, which also includes weapons and armor)

Eras and the World Map

Chrono Trigger relies heavily on the concept of time travel, so the characters journey back and forth through different eras. The World Map changes slightly depending on the time period. The eras include 65,000,000 B.C. (Prehistoric), 12,000 B.C. (Dark Ages), 600 A.D. (Middle Ages), 1000 A.D. (Present), 1999 A.D. (The Day of Lavos), 2300 A.D. (Future), and The End of Time.

(See also: List of Chrono Trigger locations, which also includes the eras)




(See main article: Chrono Trigger/quotes)

Nintendo DS version

The Nintendo DS version was announced prior to E3 2008 via a Japanese magazine. Square Enix opened up a countdown page to an apparently unannounced video game. The theme of the page, coupled with the fact that the URL featured "ctds", was a good indication that it meant Chrono Trigger DS. The DS version also marks the first time that the game was released in PAL regions.

Mode 7 technology

The race against Johnny uses Mode 7 graphics

In Lab 32, the player races against Johnny. The graphics during the race uses the 3D-style Mode 7 graphics. The highway, ground and cityscape background appear to move in three dimensions. This is the only time Mode 7 is used in Chrono Trigger.

Player's Guide

Nintendo of America published a Player's Guide for Chrono Trigger the same year the game was released. The Guide gave full details for completing the game and also provided character and enemy data. For more information, see the main article: Chrono Trigger Player's Guide.


  Main article: Chrono Trigger/gallery


External links