Melchior, Gaspar, and Belthasar, the three Gurus in Chrono Trigger, are named after the three Wise Men who visited Jesus Christ after his birth.
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Five items were left unused in the game's code:
There are three songs left unused in the game's code. The first two, "Battle 2" and "Singing Mountain", are the most famous of these due to their release on the Chrono Trigger OST. The other is "Rat-a-Tat-Tat It's ... Mitsuda".
Massato Kato stated in a Chrono Trigger Ultimania interview that he and Yuji Horii intended for Crono to stay dead after the Ocean Palace scenario. The party would have to then retrieve a version of Crono pre-dating the Millennial Fair to complete the quest, and then return him to his home time, bitter-sweetly knowing he would go on to die at the Ocean Palace. Square deemed this too depressing and had them write the clone plot device to save him.
In the Japanese version, Robo has a unique speech; he speaks with bits of katakana in his sayings and has trouble with pronunciations. Most of the robots talk in all katakana, with the exception of Johnny.
Akira Toriyama's promotional art for Chrono Trigger was based on beta screen shots of the game.
At the time the game was translated into English, there were very stringent requirements regarding adult content in games. Scenes in the original Japanese version that involved alcohol had the script altered so that your character was drinking soda, and in some cases, having soup.
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Despite his gigantic outward appearance and the scope of his power, the core of Lavos is surprisingly miniscule. In the final battle the player is led to believe the center creature is the core, but the true core is actually on the right, mirroring the appearance of the left Lavos Pod. It will continue to revive the center and left Pods until the Core itself is defeated.
Hironobu Sakaguchi commented on the New Game+ feature, saying "Wherever we could, we tried to make it so that a slight change in your behavior caused subtle differences in people's reactions, even down to the smallest details ... I think the second playthrough will hold a whole new interest."
The English translator of Chrono Trigger, Ted Woolsey, had no help from a translation team. Instead, he memorized scenarios and looked at drafts of commercial player's guides to put dialogue in context.
There are several chests behind shop counters in this game, only reachable by cheating. Most contain random junk, but the chest behind the counter in the Truce Inn contains a whopping 57,342G.
Chrono Trigger was originally licensed to be released under the Seiken Densetsu franchise and was given the working title "Maru Island."
Masato Kato, the game's main story planner, took liberties to avoid the game from feeling repetitive with the time-travel concept, since this required going back and forth between the different time periods. He explained that he did not want the game to feel like "a long string of errands."
Masato Kato devised the system for multiple endings because he could not effectively branch the story out to multiple paths.
Yasunori Mitsuda came on board to compose the music for Chrono Trigger as he was good friends with story planner Masato Kato.
The character Frog was introduced to give the game a sense of humor. Frog was conceptualized from one of Akira Toriyama's sketches.
Most interesting about the battle system was the use of the in-game graphics rather then a pre-drawn background for the battles. The monsters used a lot of memory as previous Square RPGs used pre-drawn monster sprites instead of ones on-screen.
Hironobu Sakaguchi asked Ted Woolsey to localize Chrono Trigger for English audiences with a deadline of 30 days. Woolsey was disappointed with this time-budget commenting that he preferred a timeline of about 75 days and that he felt rushed completing the translation. He later commented however that Chrono Trigger was "one of the most satisfying games he ever worked on or played."
Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yuji Horii, and Akira Toriyama all first conceived the game in 1992.
The original development team consisted of 50 to 60 members.
Kazuhiko Aoki offered to produce the game in 1993. He met with Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama where they spent four days together discussing ideas for the game.
Yasuhika Kamata cited Ridley Scott's 1979 film "Alien" as his inspiration for the game's graphics and lighting effects.
Gaspar was intended to be a playable character, but was cut early in development.
The End of Time concept was created to give the player hints. The developers were worried that the time-travel concept could confuse players and get them stuck, needing to refer to a walkthorugh to advance progress.
The music composition was an interesting challenge for Yasunori Mitsuda. He threatened to leave Square due to low pay if he could not compose music when Sakaguchi offered him to compose Chrono Trigger. Mitsuda slept in his studio for several nights trying to finish the soundtrack, a computer hard drive crash caused much of the music data to be lost, and Mitsuda contracted stomach ulcers from being overworked and had to be hospitalized. Nobuo Uematsu stepped in to help finish the music.
After being released from the hospital, Yasunori Mitsuda returned to Square to see the completed game before its release. Mitsuda was crying after watching the finished scene as he was so emotionally moved by the final product.
Magus: If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh.
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Magus: You got whacked 'cuz you're weak.
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"The Mystery of Life"
They call me Gato
Frog: Lower thine guard, and thou'rt allowing the enemy in.
Connection to Other Media
Two soldiers called Vicks/Biggs and Wedge appear in Chrono Trigger, as employees in Norstein Bekkler's Tent of Horrors. This a reference to both ''Star Wars'' and ''Final Fantasy VI''. A V-Jump issue in Japan humorously state that after Tritoch made them disappear in Final Fantasy VI, they ended up in the Chrono Trigger dimension and were found by Norstein, who gave them their new jobs.
In the North American version, the three bosses that you fight in Ozzie's tower are named after famous musicians. these are Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath, Slash from Guns n Roses, and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers. There is even an NPC that states "they're tone-deaf, evil fiends."
The character name Ayla is a reference to Jean M. Auel's series of books about a woman in prehistoric times called Ayla.
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Norstein Bekkler's laugh is the same as Kefka Palazzo's laugh from Final Fantasy 6.
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