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I like the thesis of this blog post analysing Chrono Trigger’s game design, which I take to be: “So why the hell would anyone choose to use such a restrictive format to get a point across? Precisely because it is so restrictive. Being forced to process your message through such a form forces you to be clever and artful in how you go about doing it.”

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    Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPGs ever.

    If you’re interested in my personal favorite of the genre, though, check out EarthBound. A truly underappreciated classic.

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      I found the follow-up article on Chrono Cross even more fascinating as it discusses how even though it failed badly as a sequel it still in its meandering way presented the player with more meaningful choices and compelling questions: https://socksmakepeoplesexy.net/index.php?a=cross

      Cross frequently takes elements from Trigger and either runs with them in strange directions or simply makes them darker. Trigger (or at least the English version) states that Lavos has been the guiding force of human evolution; Cross expands on the concept and goes on to explain that humanity, as the “children” of Lavos, are abominations of nature and incapable of existing in harmony with the rest of the planet. Chrono Trigger’s story is about saving the world by changing history; Cross says that it’s impossible to create a new future without, in a very real sense, murdering the old one.

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        You’re right, this is an even more interesting article. I enjoy Chrono Cross as it is something different and love The Radical Dreamers for being something different yet again. The strong point of the Chrono series always has been the lore and Cross adds lots of depth by adding a lots of cool ideas.

        But then again, I love the lore of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, yet completely fail to explain the plot in less time it takes to actually watch it (+ End of Evangelion).

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        Been enjoying playing this on my iPad. Thanks for posting the write-up!

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          I found the iPad interface pretty annoying, to be honest.

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            Totally agree. However for me gaming is about 99.999% opportunity and convenience. I do not have an SNES or whatever, and I do not game much from my computer. On the very rare occasions when I do, my choice isn’t going to be to run an SNES emulator to play Chrono-trigger, so awful controls and all I’m still enjoying experiencing the game for the first time on my iPad :) Just like Grim Fandango and a host of others.

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              Chrono Trigger on the Nintendo DS? 😀

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          A pretty insightful article. I haven’t yet read Chrono Cross. I too have become a little tired of the JRPG repetition and sometimes I give up after a few hours.