I've been wanting to create this post for some time now. I've scoured the old boards and, although I'm sure there is a thread like this one, I couldn't find one in a reasonable amount of time and decided to create my own. Every spring I begin to get that itch to play Chrono Trigger. I first played it in the Spring of 1996 and ever since I get this nostalgic feeling as the weather warms and my heart begins to thaw from the winter. I have so many fond memories - memories that are fond, yet bittersweet - that remind me just how far away my childhood is. I've been wanting to share my own memories of Chrono Trigger for some time, and I'm sure many of you have memories that you'd like to contribute to the community. With no further adieu, I begin my own tale...
What is a "Chrono Trigger?"
I first heard about Chrono Trigger in the winter of 1995. I was 11 years old any my best friend David had been playing the game with his older cousin. We sort of looked up to this older cousin, who was an RPG aficionado. I had never played an RPG before, so David's descriptions of the game were far from my own mental image. I remember riding in the back of his parents mini-van as he described the events of 2300AD: "And you find this robot named Robo, and the future is all dark with acid rain and all the people live in these giant, rusty domes. When you find Robo he's all messed up but you fix him and he joins your team." I couldn't comprehend a 3/4 point of view, so I was picturing a Castevania/Mega Man-esque sidescroller with a more in-depth storyline. The more David told me about this game the more my interest grew.
In early 1996 my mother and I were at the local Giant Eagle grocery store. They had a small movie rental section, and lo and behold! There I saw Chrono Trigger for the first time. The game looked amazing and, seeing that I had just borrowed a friends SNES, I begged my mom to rent it for me. It was a Thursday, and the rental was for 5 days. I begged my mom to let me play it that night but she refused, telling me only that I could play it on the weekend.
That Friday after school my sister was cheering at a basketball game. I begged my parents to let me stay home and finally start playing Chrono Trigger, and finally they relented. I fixed myself a pizza pocket-like snack (my school sold these half-circle pockets of thin dough full of diced pepperoni and cheese, it was similar to a pizza pocket but much greasier; I loved them and my mom found them at a local super market, but they only came in bulk bags of about 20 or 30), and sat down to play the game.
The introductory scene blew my mind. The sound of the gulls and the ocean, and Morning Sunlight gave my a strange feeling that even now returns (in nostalgic form) when I hear it. It was a mystical melody, and I played that game well into the night. By the time the night had ended, I had spent hours on end in the Millennial Fair and has gotten to the Crono's imprisonment. The next day I played again and, upon reaching the 2300AD, I found myself frustrated by my own inability to catch the darned rat. I grew frustrated and put the game down for a few hours. When I came back I easily caught the rat, but found myself once again stumped: the Guardian in 2300AD was the first boss I was unable to tackle. It took me dozens of tries before I finally defeated him. I remember both Lucca and Marle were dead and Crono was on the verge of death the time I finally won.
By Saturday evening I was in the Factory and it took hours. Between the XABY puzzle (which pushed the limits of my logic) and the conveyor belt/moving barrels puzzle, I was exhausted and sick of the Future by the time I reached the boss battle against the R-Series brethren. I then continued on and reached the End of Time. There I remember having to go around the room three times and I was completely incapable of doing it correctly. An hour or more passed, and even after my mom confirmed my understanding of clockwise and counter-clockwise, I couldn't do it. I was on the verge of tears and gave up for the night.
I figured it out the following morning. It was Sunday. I don't remember how far I got, but I remember that my mom made me go to bed because it was late, and I left the game on because I couldn't get to a save point. The next morning was Monday, as before I left for school my mom was helping my make my bed and she nearly kicked my SNES. I asked her to be careful. She ended up accidentally tossing a pillow onto the SNES, which caused the cartridge to become dislodged. It not only reset the game, but I lost my save file. I was devastated (and a bit mad at my mom).
From Then On...
She let me re-rent it time and time again. Finally, that summer, she surprised me. The Giant Eagle supermarket was going out of business, and she bought Chrono Trigger from the store for a measly $5. The game was used but the box was in mint condition and sealed in plastic wrap (although the instruction booklet was quite messy with wear and tear). I returned from a week-long summer camp to this wonderful surprise.
Best. Mom. Ever.