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GameCareerGuide Feature: Narrative Review -  Chrono Trigger
GameCareerGuide Feature: Narrative Review - Chrono Trigger
October 29, 2009 | By Staff

October 29, 2009 | By Staff
More: Console/PC

In its latest feature, GameCareerGuide presents a student's look at the narrative of enduring '90s cult classic Chrono Trigger -- including a look at its characters, world, and successful and unsuccessful plot elements.

The RPG, originally released on the Super Nintendo in 1995, captured the imaginations of fans then; its popularity has persisted through a 2001 re-release on the PlayStation and a DS port, which came to market late last year.

The GameCareerGuide article, originally written for the IGDA Writers' SIG and GDC Austin -- learn more here -- takes a look at the characters and situations in the '90s classic.

Author Michael Brannan describes one particular strength of the game's narrative this way:

"This false climax (crisis) marks the first in a series that lets the player get inches away from completing their ultimate goal, but pulling them away at the last moment. This provides a very active overall plot arch with several moments of high emotion and periods of falling action while maintaining a visible goal throughout the vast majority of the game.

Chrono Trigger creates its tension not through the usual mire of ambiguity and slow, gradual revelation of mysteries, but instead provides a clear goal and builds tension by setting obstacles in the player's path toward achieving that goal.

Says Brannan, the highlight of the game is one of its most enigmatic character, Magus:

"Magus was an early villain and for a time seemed to be the game's final boss. Portrayed as the ultimate bad guy, Magus waged war on the otherwise peaceful kingdom of Guardia and was pegged as Lavos's creator when he supposedly summoned the monster to his castle. However, as Crono and co. later learn, Magus was more of a tragic figure, thrown into a dark and distant future from his homeland in the kingdom of Zeal and searching for his lost sister, Schala."

To read the rest of the exhaustive narrative analysis, head on over to the full feature at now.

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ray G
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This game was fun and the narrative was good. But I really have to agree with the writers that Chronos death not being permanent really took away from what could be. That was always why games like Phantasy star 2(where you lose a hot long-eared chick and you yourself with your entire party at the end O_O, I dont think we will ever see that again!), Front mission and FF6 had a deeper much more memorable impact for me. The attachment to the characters after all the time you spend with them really makes an impression after you lose them. None the less, Chrono trigger is still on my top 10.

Oh man did I mention the twins in FF4, man I remember wanting to cry T_T