How does Chrono Cross Connect to Chrono Trigger?

How Does Chrono Cross Connect to Chrono Trigger?

Chrono Trigger was one of the biggest JRPG hits of the 1990s, and debatably in all of gaming history. With a combination of lovable and distinct characters designed by Dragon Ball’s own Akira Toriyama and a massive, time-spanning story, it remains ingrained in the collective consciousness of the gaming public to this day. Comparatively, Chrono Cross wasn’t quite as much of a smash hit as its predecessor, with a primary complaint from longtime fans being just how different it was. It’s still a great game in its own right, though, and with the release of its HD remaster, the Radical Dreamers Edition, it’s a great time to learn that for yourself.

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If you’re just coming into Chrono Cross for the first time with little-to-no knowledge about it, you’re probably wondering: how does Chrono Cross connect to Chrono Trigger? Well, there’s a problem with that question: the answer is both really, really complicated, and also frustratingly simple. 

How does Chrono Cross Connect to Chrono Trigger?

Anyone who has played Chrono Trigger knows that its story plays pretty fast and loose with the space-time continuum, which complicates this, as there were a series of very specific actions taken by Crono and company across the timeline that lead to the events of Chrono Cross. Listing all of these actions would take more paragraphs than I’m sure you’d want to read.

At the same time, the direct actions and lineages of Crono and his party actually have a fairly limited impact on Chrono Cross’s story, so while there is a lot of metafiction to all of this, it all just kind of boils back to a singular point. 

That singular point is the existence of Belthasar, the sage who constructed the time machine Crono’s party used, the Epoch. When Crono’s party changed history by stopping the emergence of Lavos, they changed the iteration of the future that Belthasar ended up in. That’s the only real connection here; Belthasar is building time machines in a halfway decent future rather than a completely desolate one. Belthasar has his own stuff going on completely independent of Crono and his life, and that’s what forms the major plot thread of Chrono Cross.

There are a few incidental cameos and references to Chrono Trigger you can find throughout Chrono Cross, but those are better saved for you to discover on your own as fun little surprises. Or, if you’ve simply never played Chrono Trigger, that’s fine as well. Knowledge of that game’s story is not required to understand Chrono Cross.

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Daniel Trock
Since the first time he picked up a controller as a child, Daniel has been a dyed-in-the-wool gaming fanatic, with a Steam library numbering over 600 games. His favorite pastime, aside from playing games, is doing deep dives on game wikis to learn more about their lore and characters.