Christ Figure Comparison

The Most Likely Candidate

If you find the idea of Crono as a Christ figure far-fetched or overly imaginative, I can assure you, it is not. Christ figuring and Biblical symbolism have been used in novels and movies quite frequently for hundreds of years, and are still cropping up today. This corner of The Chrono Trigger Testament is intended to compare Crono to some of the more famous Christ figures from other novels and movies, most of which are taught as Christ Figures formally in college-level literature classes. Much like Crono, all of them rely on evidence that is subtle, and is rarely name-for-name and point-for-point, so it can be tough to spot. Enjoy!

Christ Figure: Captain Ahab
Source: Moby Dick (novel) by Herman Melville
Formally Taught: Yes.
Christlike Traits: Dies in a crucified position. Is betrayed by a believed-to-be loyal crewmate (unsuccessful betrayal). Sets the standard and is the leader of a whaling ship that is a microcosm of the world, much like religion is the standard and leader of world populations in terms of how they should behave and what they should do.
Trait Total: 3

Christ Figure: R.P. McMurphy
Source: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (novel) by Ken Kesey
Formally Taught: Yes.
Christlike Traits: Helps an oppressed group of psychiatric inmates (Israelites) rebel against oppressive staff (Romans, though in no further way parallel) , and becomes their inspiration and leader. Is betrayed by someone who was supposed to be celebrating for him. Is betrayed at a banquet in which he spikes cough syrup with alcohol, much like Jesus having his apostles drink wine at the Last Supper. Character who betrays him commits suicide thereafter (as did Judas Iscariot). Is given electric shock therapy for his inability to behave and becomes a vegetable (similar to sentenced execution by the Romans). Is approached by a schizophrenic man while awaiting his shock therapy who says, "I wash my hands of the whole deal" (as Pontious Pilate said to Jesus before sentencing him to death). Is friends with prostitutes, as Jesus was the friend of Mary Magdeline, a prostitute. Is also parallel to Captain Ahab.
Trait Total: 8

Christ Figure: Paul Atreides
Source: Dune (novel) by Frank Herbert
Formally Taught: Yes.
Christlike Traits: Is the prophecized savior of an oppressed people. Is betrayed by a believed-to-be-loyal comrade. Has divine visions in the desert. Saves the galaxy from a giant, oppressive empire (like the second coming of Jesus saves the world from the Antichrist in Revelations).
Trait Total: 4

Christ Figure: Neo
Source: The Matrix (movie)
Formally Taught: Not to my knowledge, but the topic of many websites.
Christlike Traits: Is the prophecized savior of an oppressed people (the rebels being largely parallel to the Israelites in that their home is Zion, the ancient name for Israel). Is prophecized by a character (Morpheus) who is later sentenced to die (though he is saved) much like John the Baptist. Is betrayed by a believed-to-be-loyal comrade (Cypher). Is the second coming of an ancient, revered hero (like the second coming of the Messiah during Revelations). Is dunked underwater and pulled out by Morpheus's (John the Baptist's) ship, much like Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. Dies trying to save others. Is resurrected. After resurrection, the first person to embrace him is the woman he is closest to, much like Jesus first appearing to Mary Magdeline after he returns from the dead. Saves the world (or begins to) from an oppressive empire that is driven by a being that moves from body to body, much like Jesus's second coming saving the world from the Antichrist, an oppressive being who moves from body to body. Minor conversational allusions such as, "You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ.". In the end, he flies up into the sky, much like Jesus returning to Heaven.
Trait Total: 14, perhaps more.

Christ Figure: Santiago
Source: The Old Man in the Sea (novel) by Earnest Hemmingway
Formally Taught: Yes.
Christlike Traits: After a long fishing ordeal, he walks home with a cross-looking hull on his back, sort of like Jesus trudging to his own execution atop Golgotha with his cross on his back.
Trait Total: 1

Christ Figure: Crono
Source: Chrono Trigger (video game) by Squaresoft
Formally Taught: No. Literary scholars generally don't analyze video games.
Christlike Traits: http://www.geocities.com/xathael/Crono.html
Trait Total: 21, excluding highly abstract suggestions. Also, unlike the aforementioned Christ figures (excluding Neo's affiliation with Morpheus and Cypher), Crono is surrounded by many, many characters in the game who are also similar to Biblical characters.

Now, I think it becomes pretty obvious that in order to deny Crono's role as Jesus Christ, you also have to deny the roles of numerous famous Christ figures (regardless of the fact that they're all formally taught as such) on the basis that they command FAR less evidence in their support. If Chrono Trigger was a classic novel and not a video game, you can bet that Crono would be famous for his Christ parallels, and probably more so than most (if not all) other attempts to establish such a complex character.

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