In the classic SNES SquareSoft role-playing game, there is a moment soon after beating the game and staying through the credits that you learn that a new game mode has been unlocked in the form of New Game + allowing you and your beefed up characters to have a second chance at kicking Lavos’s ass early on.
How early you might ask?
Well, if you recall the Millennial Fair, there is one piece of scenery that causes all of the fun in the game, Lucca’s telepods…You know, the reason that Nadia (err Marle) is transported into 600 AD and the game’s complex storyline begins. THOSE telepods.
Anyways, what normally happens at this point in the game is Lucca asks you to test out the telepod and you magically transport from one side to the other, then Marle gives it a try with disastrous results as her inherited necklace causes a malfunction that sends her 400 years into the past. What shows up in New Game + is a time travel portal on the right telepod where it essentially lets you bypass the entire game and makes you show up in front of Lavos himself.
In this fight, at least as I remember it, it was my sole Crono versus each form of Lavos. We’re talking the initial rock-covered-bug outside, the space alien inside, and the smaller alien behind that one. This wasn’t so bad when I was playing the game on my third playthrough considering I had Crono pretty well maxed out with the best gear and two great accessories. I do recall giving it a try on my second time around and just having my ass handed to me.
The reward for all of this hard work? Oh only one of the most memorable game endings of all time!
When you finally strike Lavos down for good, you’re transported to the end of time setting but instead of the usual suspects inhabiting the area, you’re met with a few new names, all of them had their hands in making Chrono Trigger a reality. This area acts much like the regular end of time with the area to the left providing multiple transports to take you to different areas, an area that Epoch used to take up is replaced with a black space that you can run through to…talk to a barrel.
Once you explore everything there is to see, the room that Spekkio used to inhabit is replaced with a room that contains the sprite versions of the big five people who made the game including Akira Toriyama and Hironobu Sakaguchi. The only one who doesn’t get his own sprite is Nobuo Uematsu who actually insults you with a backwards sentence followed by “Now get a life!”. I never felt right about that, I mean, the guy whose job I ensured just told me that I don’t have a life. Way to thank your fans, ass.
My favorite bits of this ending would have to be the mean ‘reset’ joke by Tetsuya Nomura (yes, THAT Tetsuya Nomura) that has him tricking you into a ragequit by making you think the game reset like when you’d do the L+R+Start+Select on most Square games, and the bit where the credits are shown at a fast forwarded rate to keep inline with how quickly you finished the game.
This is probably one of the most memorable moments in gaming for me if for no other reason than I REALLY felt like I accomplished something by getting this ending. The only thing that comes close to that sense of accomplishment was defeating the Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII, but that’s another story for another Save Point down the road. I hope to see you there.