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History and Features of the Chrono Trigger Nintendo Dual System Re-Release
History and features of the Chrono Trigger Nintendo Dual System re-release
"I wanted it to be based on the original
Super Nintendo release rather than the Playstation version.
I thought we should look at the additional elements from the
Playstation version, re-examine and re-work them to make it a complete edition.
That’s how it struck me and I told the staff so later on.”
- Mitsuda Yasunori Chrono Trigger Ultramania interview (2009)On July 1, 2008, Square Enix co. launched a new website, confirming news about a new iteration of Chrono Trigger, this time making its debut on the Nintendo Dual System (NDS) on November 25, 2008 in North America — and for the first time since its birth — garnered both an Australian and European release in February 2009 (officially spreading Chrono Trigger outside Japanese and North American markets). By March 31, 2009, Square Enix co. sale figures recorded a total of 790,000 copies of Chrono Trigger were sold (with the majority of sales coming from Japan and North America).1 Three years following its release in Japan, the video game was re-branded as an "Ultimate Hits" title (the equivalent of a "Greatest Hits" distinction in North America) on August 4, 2011.
FeaturesWith the resulting migration to a cartridge-based dual-screen handheld device, various alterations took place outside of the “Classic” mode option — which simulated the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) release of Chrono Trigger — available for players anytime throughout the playing experience within the “Settings” menu. Not only did the change in storage media (back to the cartridge) remove load times that were present in the PS re-release, but the change in hardware also presented developers with the issue of screen size. This ultimately drove many players to choose the “DS” mode (a tailored experience for playing on the NDS) for the purpose of relieving top screen clutter.2 To the delight of many players, improved user-experience and interface design were emphasized in this re-release and resulted in the complete customization of game features, including the ability to tailor on-screen information, the option to remove “touch” functionality, as well as the choice to modify the control-scheme. In fact, the capabilities of changing a character's name mid-game and removing the PS release's animated cutscenes were also introduced features.
Among the changes already discussed, the following were also included in the NDS re-release: the ability to use a second screen for the reallocation of menu items and battle options, as well as the introduction of an ever-present map of the surrounding area; the addition of “Health” and “Active Time Battle” (ATB) bars over party members during battle; the establishment of 56 new additional items and 40 types of new enemies; the inclusion of a multiplayer mini-game area called “Arena of the Ages,” in which players raise and battle monsters; and the introduction of an entirely updated design for contextual menus, as well as navigational differences between the menus.
Masato Kato, (Story Planner of Chrono Trigger) upon hearing the news of Chrono Trigger's eventual re-release, was especially passionate about preserving the integrity of the original SNES version, but still wanted to re-examine and re-work the additional elements from the PS in order to create a complete edition.3 Mitsuda Yasunori, (Composer and Music Supervisor of Chrono Trigger) also felt it was integral to recreate the soundtrack as “a perfect replica of the SNES version.”4 That said, because the SNES version was made using older equipment that could only process eight sounds, it was not feasible to preserve the original sound.
"We search for sounds in the latest synthesizers that are as close as
possible to the original sounds and use them to create the music.
From the perspective of a composer, this is an unusually arduous task.
But if you think about the fan’s feelings, wouldn’t they be happier
if the music was just like they remember it from the SNES original?”
- Mitsuda Yasunori Chrono Trigger Ultramania interview (2009)A partial script re-translation was accomplished by Tom Slattery, who chose to remove Frog's earlier Elizabethan English dialect since it was impossible (due to time constraints) to apply this flair to the rest of the time period.5 The new script also restored elements — like mentions of breastfeeding and bisexuality — that were censored upon the SNES game's arrival in North America (see SNES Censorship and NDS Decline of Censorship), not to mention that numerous items' and locations' names were altered, among other discrepancies.However, what came with the most controversy was the inclusion of new quests and a new ending that ultimately raised questions of canonicity. These new sections — unlocked after beating and then reloading the game — are called “Dimensional Vortex,” “Lost Sanctum,” and “Beyond Time's Eclipse” respectively. Numerous complaints describe the “Lost Sanctum” as “forgettable” and “purposeless fetch-quests” that ultimately “detract from the experience.”6 Whereas the “Dimensional Vortex” and the new ending at least “offer additional challenges, new items, and story closure on several ambiguous issues directly relevant to Chrono Cross.”7
Regardless of the NDS-specific changes, the fact that this system is now in its tenth generation (with the New Nintendo 3DS XL) means that the playing experience is fundamentally different depending on which device you own — with the weight of the system varying from 7.5 to 12 ounces, screen display size ranging in diagonal length from 3 inches to 4.88 inches, and battery life lasting anywhere from 3 hours to 19 hours.8 The position of the hands also varies, and is extremely different from the experience of utilizing a SNES or PS controller — due to the latter's light weight and larger space for tactile maneuvering. Most notable however, is the lower resolution size when playing NDS and Nintendo DSi game cards on Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS systems — which can be overridden by holding down either START or SELECT when loading the game (ultimately reverting the game visuals to their original resolution). This is why it is highly recommended to play Chrono Trigger — and any other NDS game — on earlier versions of the system (in the case of Chronicles, the NDS Lite was utilized for conducting traversals).
 Results Briefing Session: Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2009. N.p.: Square Enix Holdings Company, 19 May 2009. PDF.
 Wilson, Glenn. "Chrono Trigger DS - Staff Review: Time Was Kind to This Port." RPGamer. RPGamer, n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015.
 Kato, Masato. "Masato Kato Interview." Interview. Chrono Trigger Ultimania Jan. 2009: 582-83. Print.
 Mitsuda, Yasunori. "Yasunori Mitsuda Interview." Interview. Chrono Trigger Ultimania Jan. 2009: 586-87. Print.
 "Inside Gaming - Interview with Former Square Enix Translator Tom Slattery." Interview by Michael A. Cunningham. RPGamer. RPGamer, n.d. Web. 28 July 2015.
 Bitmob. "Even Time Can't Unravel This Classic." VentureBeat. VentureBeat, 31 Aug. 2009. Web. 06 Aug. 2015.
 Anderson, Lark. "Chrono Trigger Review: This Perennial Time-travel Adventure Is worth Falling in Love with All over Again." GameSpot. GameSpot, 21 Nov. 2008. Web. 6 Aug. 2015.
 "What Are the Differences Between the Different Generations of Nintendo DS Systems?" eBay. eBay, 20 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Aug. 2015.
Chrono Trigger Plot Summary
A plot summary of the event of Chrono Trigger
[This is a condensed plot summary of the events that take place during Chrono Trigger, and later Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS. These events cover the main story ending that is regarded as canon. Images throughout depict various scenes that are discussed. The following is written by ZeaLitY (a dedicated user on the Chrono Compendium) on March 20, 2004.]
From the Beginning to the End of TimeChrono Trigger's story begins with the Millennial Fair of 1000 A.D., a celebration of the millennium since the founding of the Kingdom of Guardia. The protagonist, Crono, is awakened by his mother and proceeds to Leene Square, where the fair is being held. After accidentally bumping into a girl named "Marle", they quickly become friends and visit the main attraction of the fair, a teleportation device constructed by Crono's inventor friend, Lucca. An eager volunteer, Marle disappears when the demonstration goes awry and reacts with her pendant, teleporting her through a mysterious portal. Determined to find his new friend, Crono retrieves the discarded pendant and Lucca activates the machine once more, sending Crono through the same portal. He reappears in a forest grove, and upon finding a nearby town learns that he has traveled four hundred years into the past. At Guardia Castle, he soon discovers Marle dressed in royal garb, and she reveals that the queen of Guardia in this era, Leene, has gone missing. A search party found Marle, mistook her for the real queen, and brought her to the castle. A moment later, Marle vanishes once again and Lucca arrives, having created a device called the "Gate Key" that allows her to open nearby time portals. Lucca determines that Marle is actually the princess of Guardia in 1000 A.D., and that the death of her missing ancestor could cause Marle to never exist. With the help of a talking, humanoid frog called "Frog", Crono and Lucca discover that Queen Leene was kidnapped by the "Mystics" - intelligent animals and demonic creatures who worship the wizard Magus. They then rescue her, save Marle, and return to their own time.There, Crono is placed on trial for allegedly kidnapping Marle. Through the manipulations of the King's chancellor, Crono is sentenced to death, but later breaks free from his prison. While making his escape, he locates Lucca and Marle, and the three flee into a nearby forest, where they are cornered by royal soldiers. There, the king asks Marle to return to his side, but she refuses due to his ill consideration of her friends and personal wishes. The three adventurers then stumble into a time gate activated by Lucca's Gate Key, and escape to a future era. There, they are shocked to find a devastated world filled with the ruins of advanced technology. While investigating the interior of a large dome structure, they discover a video recording that shows the destruction of the worlds surface, caused by a creature called "Lavos" who had been dwelling deep inside the planet until the year 1999 A.D. Determined to stop Lavos before it can devastate the world, the group enlists the aid of "Robo", a robot from their ruined future. They find another time gate and arrive at the End of Time, where an enigmatic old man offers advice to the player for the games quest. Additionally, various time gates located here allow access to all eras significant to the storyline.
Forward to the PastCrono and his friends return to 1000 A.D., and soon discover that Magus apparently created Lavos during the Middle Ages. They return to 600 A.D. and learn that they must obtain a sword called the "Masamune" in order to defeat Magus, but that only the legendary "Hero" can wield it. After helping Guardia's knights defend against an assault from Magus' army, they climb the Denadoro mountains and discover from its guardians, Masa and Mune, that the Masamune is broken. It is soon revealed that the legendary Hero is actually Frog, who keeps the hilt of the Masamune, and that the sword was made by Melchior, a swordsmith living in Crono's time. Returning to 1000 A.D., Melchior informs Crono and his companions that he requires Dreamstone, a rock only found in ancient times, to repair the Masamune. The player must then guide the adventurers to 65,000,000 B.C. via a time gate at the End of Time in order to locate Dreamstone. From there, the party meets the cavewoman Ayla, who gives Crono the rock they require, after he wins a drinking contest with her. However, Lucca's Gate Key is stolen the next day by Reptites - advanced humanoid dinosaurs who are at war with humans, whom they refer to as "apes". Ayla helps Crono retrieve the Gate Key, and he and his friends return to Melchior's hut. With the aid of Lucca and Robo, Melchior repairs the blade, and Frog agrees to accompany Crono to Magus' castle and wield the Masamune against him.There, they fight Magus' generals - Ozzie, Flea and Slash, and an army of Mystics before facing Magus himself, who was in the process of casting a spell involving Lavos. Upon his defeat, he reveals that he did not create Lavos, but merely intended to summon it, and that the creature lies within the planet, siphoning its energy. The interruption of Magus' summon spell causes a massive time gate to open, swallowing Magus' castle and everyone within. Crono and his friends awaken in 65,000,000 B.C. once again, and after helping Ayla defeat the Reptites for a final time at their central fortress, it is revealed to the player that Lavos is an extraterrestrial life form that arrived on the world during this era. Discovering a new time gate at Lavos' impact crater, they visit the ancient, enlightened Kingdom of Zeal in 12,000 B.C. where they learn more about the creature. This floating kingdom had recently discovered Lavos, and seeking to drain its power, constructed a conduit for the energy known as the "Mammon Machine", and a facility to house it called the "Ocean Palace". A mysterious prophet in Zeal warns the kingdoms queen about the adventurers, and they are forced to return to 65,000,000 B.C., with the time gate they previously used. The gate is then sealed, and the adventurers are unable to return to Zeal via the time gate. They then go to the End of Time for advice and learn of the Wings of Time, a time machine constructed by Belthasar, a Guru of Zeal sent to the far future. Locating the machine in 2300 A.D., they rename it "Epoch" and return to 12,000 B.C. where they learn that the Ocean Palace is soon to be activated. Rushing to the facility, they witness Lavos awakening, who had been disturbed by the Mammon Machine. At this time, the prophet reveals himself to be Magus and attempts to destroy Lavos. He is ultimately defeated in the attempt due to his powers being drained.
Journeys Across TimeCrono then challenges the creature, attempting to save the lives of his companions, but Crono is killed, his body vaporized by the monster. Lavos then destroys the entire kingdom, transports its prince, Janus, to the Middle Ages, and sends the three Gurus (Melchior, Belthasar and a man named "Gaspar") to various places throughout time. Before the remaining party members and Magus can be killed, Schala (Zeal's princess), saves them by transporting each remaining person out of the palace to the only remaining human settlement, while she remains behind. However, Crono's friends have little time to grieve before Dalton, a former leader of security in the kingdom, arrives at the village and declares himself ruler of the world. Having saved the Blackbird (an ornate airplane) from destruction, he interns the party aboard and takes to the sky. Additionally, Dalton impounds the Epoch, and has his henchmen give it flight capabilities. The party soon escapes, and defeats Dalton in a battle atop the redesigned Epoch, which the adventurers then use to accidentally blast the Blackbird while they escape. Distraught over Crono's death, they meet with Magus, who reveals that he is Janus Zeal, and grew up in the Middle Ages waiting for a chance to get revenge on Lavos. He offers the party members the opportunity to settle their feud in a final battle, and informs them that Gaspar could possibly help bring Crono back. Should the player refuse to fight Magus, he then joins the party. Visiting the old man at the End of Time, the player learns that he is Gaspar, transported here during Lavos' destruction of Zeal. He gives them an egg-shaped device called the "Chrono Trigger", which he explains allows for a special form of time travel. Following his instructions, they soon use the device to visit the moment of Crono's death and freeze it in time, extracting him from the moment just before he would have been killed.With the team reassembled, the group visits Gaspar once again, who relates various issues affecting the world across the eras. He suggests that participating in these optional sidequests will help the party prepare for Lavos. Traveling to 600 A.D., they defeat a creature named "Retinite" who caused a forest to become a desert. To help cultivate the forest and ensure its survival, the party leaves Robo behind, and he spends the next several hundred years working to maintain the land. Returning to pick him up in 1000 A.D., the group holds a campfire reunion in the forest and speculate that the gates through time were created by an entity other than Lavos, who wished for the adventurers to travel through time and fulfill a specific purpose. After the group falls asleep, a mysterious red time gate appears, which Lucca enters. Traveling to 990 A.D., Lucca has the opportunity to save her mother from the accident that cost her the use of her legs. The incident prompts Lucca's younger self to take up an interest in machinery so that she can prevent any future accidents. Additionally, the party confronts the few remaining members of Magus' army in 600 A.D. His former generals, now realizing that he was only using the Mystics, attack the group once again, but are defeated in the battle that follows. In 2300 A.D., the journey takes them to the facility where Robo was constructed. There, they discover that the programming of his AI creator, Mother Brain, has become corrupt, and that she is using the facility as an extermination plant for humans. With much regret, Robo destroys both his creator and reprogrammed friend, Atropos, shutting down the facility's system. Later, in 1000 A.D., the party learns that the ghost of Frog's friend, Cyrus, is haunting ancient ruins near a town. Traveling there, Frog visits the grave he had constructed for his friend, and helps his spirit find peace, even if he did not kill Magus.
DS: The Lost SanctumIn Chrono Trigger DS, at this point, the party visits the Lost Sanctum - a swath of land containing a Reptite settlement form prehistory that became detached from normal time and exists in its own dimension. The party clear out monsters in search of inhabitants, and the Reptites are grateful. They offer more tasks for the party, who travel back and forth from a prehistoric Lost Sanctum, to a sanctum dating from the Middle Ages to accomplish their requests. They ward off prehistoric attacks and monsters, help a sickly child get better, find friends for a lonely Nu, and help complete a bridge in the Middle Ages sanctum to a haunted tower. They defeat the spirits in the tower and discover that the Reptites' "Heavenly Idols" are in fact statues of the party built by the prehistoric sanctum dwellers. Amused at their legacy, they depart and continue training for Lavos.
Preparations and ShowdownsOn another journey, the party embarks to find the Sun Stone, a mythical artifact once used as a power source in Zeal. They locate it in a lost stronghold of the kingdom, uprooted from the sea floor in 2300 A.D., but learn that its power has burned out. Taking it to 65,000,000 B.C., they leave it to recharge over the course of millions of years, but later find that it was looted in 1000 A.D. In order to coax it from its captor, the greedy Porre mayor, they travel to 600 A.D. and teach charity to his ancestor by giving food to him and his wife. With the Sun Stone secured, they soon discover another legendary artifact in 600 A.D. called the Rainbow Shell. Located in the underground remains of the Reptite fortress, preserved since its destruction in 65,000,000 B.C., the shell is too large for the group to remove, so they procure the aid of the Middle Age's King Guardia XXI, who stores the large shell in Guardia Castle. However, when the party returns to 1000 A.D., they find that Marle's father (King Guardia XXXIII) is being put on trial by his own chancellor for allegedly attempting to sell the shell, now a royal heirloom. Crono and his companions soon publicly reveal the chancellor to be a Mystic imposter, defeat him, and help Marle and her father put their differences aside.Finally, the adventurers infiltrate the arisen Ocean Palace, now called the "Black Omen", where Queen Zeal still resides having survived Lavos' destruction of her kingdom, only to become a puppet to the creatures power. The party defeats the corrupted queen and destroys the Mammon Machine at the heart of the palace, causing the entire facility to be disintegrated. A final confrontation with Lavos itself follows, in which the party first penetrates the creatures shell, and then discovers that Lavos has been harvesting DNA on the planet in self-directed evolution while absorbing the energy produced. Presented with the results of Lavos' controlled genetics, they confront its true form and finally destroy the creature.The actual ending of the game depends on when the player defeated Lavos, as well as some other choices that can produce minor variations. The first time through the game, team members say their goodbyes during the last night of the Millennial Fair and return to their own eras in time. Additionally, if Magus joined the party earlier, it is revealed that he now plans to search for his missing sister, Schala. After your party members return to their eras, Crono's mom accidentally enters the time gate at the fair before it closes, prompting Crono, Marle and Lucca to set out in the Epoch on another adventure to find her while fireworks light up the night sky.
DS: AftermathChrono Trigger DS contains a new interactive ending showing further aftermath of the travels. The party's observation of these events are non-canonical, but the events themselves are. On a New Game +, the party discovers three dimensional vortices that have formed in 12,000 B.C., 1000 A.D., and 2300 A.D. The vortices are damaged places of space-time containing fragments of several eras. Inside, they discover that Dalton fell into the dimensional vortex after his fight atop the Epoch, and is planning to return to the present age to raise an army in Porre and destroy the Kingdom of Guardia as revenge. After the vortices are completed, the party ventures to the Darkness Beyond Time (DBT), where they find Magus after having defeated Lavos. Magus takes them to the Dream Devourer, a fusion of the defeated Lavos and Schala, who fell into the DBT at the Ocean Palace Incident. The party futilely fight the Dream Devourer, which repels them. Schala then awakens and tells Magus he cannot save her, and that he should live out his life before she completes the fusion and destroys all space-time. Magus, totally dejected, erases his identity and awakens in a forest in an unknown time period, feeling he must search for something.