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Video Peels Back Chrono Trigger's Secrets Layer by Layer

No tree, wall, or inn counter shall stop Crono as he seeks the truth about the world he lives in.

News by Nadia Oxford, .

When I first latched onto RPGs, I quickly learned to hate tables, counters, trees, and other fancy-looking obstructions.

These resolute sprites typically serve as barriers and gateways. Though you can logically vault over a counter or walk around a tree, that doo-doo don't fly in a sprite-based RPG. If a shopkeeper has their counter in front of a mysterious-looking door that the developers don't want you to access, you can't simply lift one leg over the other and proceed. Keep both your feet on the ground, Mr Hero.

"Cannot save the past and future. Trees in the way."

It was therefore easy for me to fall in love with "Off Camera," a YouTube series that breaks games' boundaries and shows you what's behind the curtain. Off Camera's dissections let viewers get a taste of what it'd be like to enter that mysterious Inn door you've wondered about all your life, or to grab the treasure chests merchants invariably store behind their counters. It also provides an idea of how a game's graphics are assembled.

The videos basically exist to quell my childhood belief that RPGs have hidden content tucked away in the cartridge, and I'd be able to see it all if only I could "push past this stupid cluster of bushes, COME ON ASH, they're as tall as your hips!"

So watching Off Camera peel back the layers of Chrono Trigger is a bit like finally letting your heart acknowledge that Santa Claus is dead. I'll deal, because this stuff is pretty cool.

Some of Crono's wall-breaking shenanigans include:

  • Walking from Janus's bedroom in Zeal directly into one of the game's endings.
  • Glitching out Lavos's "Red Star" graphic in the prehistoric era. You are not supposed to touch him, Crono. He is in space.
  • Robbing a shopkeeper for a heckuvalotta gold.
  • Walking on the 1999 AD map. If you break Chrono Trigger, you're legally required to take a stroll on the 1999 AD map. Dem's da rules.

The Off Camera segment also gives you insight as to how Chrono Trigger's developers made the game's gorgeous graphical effects. You'd be surprised how much work went into animating the outer rim of the time-travelling portal. Yes, that sliver-thin border that you probably gave zero thought to.

So. Now I know all of Chrono Trigger's secrets. However, despite my earlier statement, I will continue to believe there is a way to rescue Schala from the Ocean Palace, and that it somehow involves Magus' kitten, Alfador.

("Nadia, there's this whole game called Chrono Cross, and it—")

Quiet, you.

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Comments 10

  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #1 cldmstrsn 6 months ago
    Whoa! I actually watched this last night as it came into my youtube feed! I thought I knew everything there is to know about CT.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #2 Monkey-Tamer 6 months ago
    Go play Chrono Cross. I swear you won't cry your eyes out too much when you figure out what happened to some of the characters.
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  • Avatar for matt-b #3 matt-b 6 months ago
    @Monkey-Tamer Chrono Cross really is a great game in its own right...just pretend that the original sub-plot for Guile is still true in the game.

    Total spoilers in this link. https://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Guile.htmlEdited May 2017 by matt-b
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #4 cldmstrsn 6 months ago
    @mattb0527 Ya thats the only way I have ever seen his character especially after CT DS came out and it basically says that guile IS Magus. My party is usually Serge (Chrono) Guile (Magus) and Glenn (Frog/Glenn). My favorite party members in both games!
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  • Avatar for nadiaoxford #5 nadiaoxford 6 months ago
    @Monkey-Tamer I love Chrono Cross as a game, but as a follow-up to Chrono Trigger's story? Ehhh.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #6 Monkey-Tamer 6 months ago
    @mattb0527 I love them both. I don't get the either or crowd. It's like picking between steak or lobster for dinner. They're both great! I wish they'd make their way to Steam or see Chrono Crash finally come to fruition.
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #7 Vonlenska 6 months ago
    I love them both, too, but they are very different games. Cross is actually a wonderful sequel in some ways, in that it almost seems to be arguing directly against its predecessor, which is fascinating. Would've loved to've gotten a not-so-rushed version of the game, but c'est la vie.

    Everyone can agree that they both have the best soundtracks, at least.

    Also, using the elaborate floating cloud background for a like two or three pixel thick ring is actually pretty cool.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #8 SatelliteOfLove 6 months ago
    @Monkey-Tamer

    Chrono Trigger has no sequel. There's another unrelated Chrono game that's pretty damn great.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #9 link6616 6 months ago
    @SatelliteOfLove The chrono series is like final fantasy. There are no direct sequels. (and if they are we dismiss them as frivolous while apparently buying the after years multiple times)
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #10 SatelliteOfLove 6 months ago
    @link6616

    Exactly. It's better for everyone (especially Kato).
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