Rate the Chrono Trigger Characters!

by ZeaLitY, 00:22, 29 Dec 2004 (CST)

For the first editorial, the editorialists were asked to rate the characters of Chrono Trigger in any way they please, and offer commentary on their choices. Without further ado, let's hear the results, in reverse order!

Something All right! Ayla try!

7. Ayla

ZeaLitY: Hey, someone's gotta come in last. Ayla ranked seventh on my list for various reasons. Firstly, it was always a joy when playing Chrono Trigger to take different members of the party to particular situations and read their responses (such as Frog's "We haveth our own will" at the last battle with Lavos). Ayla never provided many things of worth in the dialogue department, with her grunts and simplistic statements often smacking of redundancy. Secondly, Ayla was denied a sidequest completely; while Singing Mountain may or may not have been the dungeon intended for a planned sidequest, its missing with any other character development she could have undergone. Regardless, she still tears it up with physical techs, but don't expect much emotional appeal -- or Ayla head go boom!

Radical_Dreamer: I decided to not give Ayla the bottom slot, a decision that will probably leave me without company amongst fans of the series. While hard to relate to because of her broken speech and insistance on using violence to solve any problem that came in her way, Ayla is not a mindless brute. She is the leader of one of two surviving tribes of humans, and the only one fighting against the more highly evolved Reptites. Though her brain is the most primative of the party members, she manages to grasp a surpising amount of what goes on, and manages not to go crazy, despite finding herself in situations far beyond what she could have any hope of being prepared for. And while most of the concepts used to discuss the other characters are beyond the scope of her experience, Ayla exhibits a respect for her enemies well beyond what could have been expected. Like Robo, she understood the value of life, including the Reptites, as shown in her conversation with Azala just before the fall of Lavos.

Peaceman: Why is it that Ayla has the least character development? She doesn't even have a sidequest!

Hadriel: 6) It seems ironic that Ayla's this far down my list, considering I'm writing a fan fiction about her (sorry about the delay -- homework had taken over my life.) Ayla isn't afforded too terribly much character development -- she possesses no sidequest, and no biological capacity for magic. But she does provide an interesting glimpse into what humanity may have been like in its infancy, aside from the broken English bit. Ayla is, in a sense, the ultimate nexus in the series, because her fate determines that of not merely her tribe, but all of the other main protagonists as well as all of humanity. She is the closest observer to humanity's fate, and its sheer darkness. However, despite the dark future Lavos has given her tribe and indeed, her whole race, she still chooses to stand and fight. In that vein, she has what is, IMO, the second-best line in the game, in spite of its grammatical deficiencies:

"Win and live. Lose and die. Rule of life. No change rule. Old man breathe, but dead on inside."

Plus, if you've got the time and fortitude, nothing can argue with a 9999 point critical hit.

Something Crono? What a nice name!

6. Marle

Radical_Dreamer: Only one party member left. Marle. While she usually had good intentions, she was oblivious to the effect her actions had on others. She refuses to consider the perspectives of others, and acts impulsively without thought to the consequences. While her incompetence does eventually set moving the events which lead to the world being saved, it required divine intervention on the part of the Entity in order for her to fully play her part. While Marle was important to starting the quest, for which she is due some recognition, she seems mostly to be important in that she gets the party to do things, rather than doing things for the party.

Hadriel: 5) I don't traditionally like ditzes at all, but Marle has a quality of character about her that removes her from that status. She was the first one to stir up the bravery, some might say recklessness, to take on Lavos. She is like the party's moral anchor, and as a healer, it fits. She has a certain sadness about her passion, though, much like Schala -- perhaps this is the reason for her being a Cold innate. She also does love Crono, with as much honesty as I've ever seen in a game.

ZeaLitY: Marle comes in sixth on my list due to a bad case of mediocrity. Ever the lover of Crono, she does seem shallow at times, and though her affection is deep, her behavior even elicits the label of "Idiot!" from Magus during the sidequest to save her father. Her techs are also mostly limited to healing; however, she is one half of the Antipode spell as a redeeming factor. In terms of plot, I would have liked to see something bad happen to her at least once to show some development, as she seemed somewhat static throughout; this isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering her character is one of much love and upstanding morals. And hey, she beat out Ayla.

Something After 400 years of
experience, I have come to
think that Lavos may
not be responsible
for the Gates.

5. Robo

Peaceman: I put Robo in front of Crono, since I just love the whole Geno Dome sidequest, where Robo breaks all his ties with the past to be with his friends (primarily Lucca).

Hadriel: 7) As obsessed as I am with things like Star Wars, it's surprising that Robo gets stuck on the bottom. It's mostly because I don't use him as often, but he has undeniable character traits that distinguish him as no mere automaton. He actually rather reminds me of Data from Star Trek: TNG -- searching for humanity's true meaning. He's the instigator of the Entity discussion, something truly surprising for a robot, simply because of its sheer philosophical complexity. Of course, by the end of the game, Robo is at least 800 years old, so he's had plenty of time to reflect.

In short, this is like asking me to choose my favorite film out of the Classic Trilogy -- a lot of hair will be ripped out in the process.

ZeaLitY: I ranked Robo fifth simply because I never grew attached to him that emotionally; he always seemed to do fine on his own, and even though his brothers trashed him, Robo nevertheless kept an optimistic spirit and always offered expertise and technical assistance to the party. His shining moment comes in the Geno Dome Sidequest, where he confronts the evil computer, Mother Brain, that supposedly created him. Another pinnacle of his stay with the party is the cultivation of Fiona's Forest and the offering of the Green Dream to Lucca; he thus plays an influential role in time and is an excellent friend to Mrs. Ashtear. While suffering in battle somewhat due to never getting his own Element, Robo nonetheless excels with some of his techs.

Radical_Dreamer: Robo takes the bronze on my list. Robo, like Magus and Frog, overcomes great hardship. When Lucca repairs him, the world he has known has been dead for over three hundred years. Soon after being reactivated, his brothers trash him, and later, when he returns to the place of his construction, he must fight to the death with his friend from centuries ago, and destroy his "mother". Throughout all of this, Robo maintains an important attitude, made more incredible by the fact that he is a robot. As the game progresses, he grows to love life more and more, and to realize the importance of life and the need to defend it. It is ironic, because he is not a living being himself, but he still overcomes his programming and inatimacy to protect and nuture life where ever he can, more so than most people do.

Something Looks like you need
my genius after all!


ZeaLitY: I ranked Lucca fourth mostly due to her inferiorities under my top three choices. As far as characters go, she's well-rounded; she is driven with an interesting personality and background, with a passion for science that arose out of tragedy and a chance to repair that problem in the past. Additionally, she befriends Robo, leading to much development between the two. Outside of plot, Lucca's no pushover either; she fuels the fire portion of the dangerous Antipode tech with Marle, and her scientific background affords her guns and even a couple of great suits from her father, Taban. She's got it all, and even figures into Radical Dreamers and Chrono Cross, proving a mainstay of the series. Hail to the chief, the modest Lucca Ashtear extraordinaire.

Hadriel: 3) I favor geeks, plain and simple. Loud, boisterous, and a complete genius, she's like the kind of girl I want to marry -- smart, but with passion. And she's cute under that helmet. Without her, they'd be absolutely NOWHERE. She really comes into her own at the end of the game. Who can argue with a gun that regularly does more damage than even the Rainbow and on a critical hit surpasses 3000 damage?

Radical_Dreamer: Lucca ranks in at fourth. With an intellect matched only by her ego, Lucca is an important ally to Crono throughout his quest. It is Lucca's inventions that enable most of the quest. She and her father built the telepod that started the adventure, and using the knowledge from that, she created the Gate Key, the party's only means of time travel until the discovery of the Epoch. She repairs Robo, and encourages him along his path to understanding life. Much like her red haired friend, Lucca always keeps her wits about her, and always finds a way to get Crono out of trouble when ever he should find himself in it. Without her intelligence, curiosity, and loyalty, the adventure never would have started, and the world would have been damned the ravages of Lavos' awakening.

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