Jamar Ramos on one of his favourite games, Chrono Trigger

Jamar Ramos is a friend of mine and he recently published an article on Chrono Trigger as part of a Favorite Video Games series:

There is so much to love about Chrono Trigger. First, it subverts three video tropes that I hate:

1. The damsel in distress — Yes, Chrono Trigger’s inciting incident is Marle being pulled into the time portal. Once you rescue her, however, she’s a member of the party and never in danger again (unless you fail to level her up). No women are under threat from a BBEG. Everyone is in danger because Lavos threatens the world.

2. Fetch quests — Lawd, I loath fetch quests. Especially fetch quests that amount to nothing but a crappy item you’ll never use and can’t sell. Chrono Trigger is technically full of fetch quests, but they matter. You must fetch a piece of dreamstone to repair the Masamune sword for Frog. You must search the Blackbird to find your gear after it’s stolen and your party is taken prisoner. You have to get a doll that looks like a party member to…well, I’ll keep that spoiler secret.

3. Bloated party roster — I said in my Final Fantasy 3 review: “Out of the fourteen characters, I love half of them.” Bloated rosters hurt RPGs. Too many characters to keep track of and level up, and many get lackluster backstories. They’re just flat characters. Chrono Trigger has six mandatory party members and one optional party member. Seven is a manageable number of party members, and you must use them all.

Despite being a Dragon Quest fan and having been so close to actually playing a Final Fantasy game, I haven’t played Chrono Trigger yet. But I know of its stature and it’s on my list. This article might have bumped it up a little.

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