Why I don’t want a Chrono Trigger sequel

Chrono Trigger has been my favorite videogame for most of my life. The only thing that can really be said about it is that it’s perfect in every way; wonderful battles, some of the greatest characters of all time, an involving and memorable story, innovative gameplay; it genuinely has it all. And one of my greatest wishes has been to see another sequel, a, hopefully, more direct one. Chrono Cross was a beautiful game, but I’ve never really associated it with Chrono Trigger. The atmosphere was completely different. So, another sequel has always been my dream, one to carry on the story of Chrono, Lucca, Frog, Marle, Robo, and Magus. I’ve hung on every word about various Chrono title copyrights and website domains, and have repeatedly been disappointed. However, I did a lot of contemplating and beard-scratching after the recent Chrono Bind trickery, and came to a sacrilegious realization. I do not want a new Chrono Trigger sequel; as a matter of fact, it’s probably one of the last things I want.

Part of what makes Chrono Trigger so wonderful for many of us is nostalgia; it can take us back to a simpler time in our lives, when all we had to worry about was if you could beat Lavos from the first portal and what time Saved by the Bell came on. All of us who have entered the real world, moved out of our parents place, gotten a 9-to-5, and paid bills want to remember a time when we had no responsibilities whatsoever, if only through a pixelated image on a screen. And this is my main reason for not wanting a sequel; it would never be able to capture the feeling that Chrono Trigger is able to give me, and that’s what I truly want. I want a further adventure in this 16-bit wonderland, and a modern sequel would not be able to give that to me; it would give me the same characters, but they wouldn’t be the same sprites that I love; they’d be beautifully rendered 3D images. It could be an outstanding game, but it wouldn’t be what I want. Even worse, it could stain the legacy of the original, making bad story decisions that affect how Chrono Trigger is remembered. I’m not saying that I’m afraid of change, but I firmly believe that it would lose something extremely important in the transfer: its soul.

There’s also the technical aspect. The people who created the game have moved on. Of course, some have stayed with Square Enix, but most, including the famed Hironobu Sakaguchi, are doing other things. It would be vital to, at least, have the developers who had a big hand in the creation of Chrono Trigger; if not, a sequel could miss the mark completely. But the chances of getting even a semblance of the original crew to return are slim at best. And, in my eyes, that is a big part of making a sequel. I don’t want a reboot of Chrono Trigger; it doesn’t need one. My feeling is that, if handled by a different team, it could easily be treated in that manner, rather than carrying on the legacy of an amazing game.

And the final reason I don’t want a Chrono Trigger sequel? It will be a disappointment, no matter how amazing. I’m sure we’ve all had someone tell us, over and over, to go see a movie; that it’s the funniest/scariest/greatest movie of all time, and you’ll love it. After weeks of this, you finally give in and go see it, and it’s just okay, even if it truly is the funniest/scariest/greatest movie ever. It is exceedingly rare for anything to live up to large amounts of hype. And a direct sequel for Chrono Trigger has had the hype machine running on it for 17 years. When I imagine it, I conjure up an image of the greatest game that has ever been, or ever will be, made; it’s a game that will destroy all my previous notions of what makes a good game,  and there’s no way it can live up to that.

I have played Chrono Trigger at least once a year since I first picked it up in 1996. I have purchased it for almost every system that you possibly can. I love this game as if it was my sister, and I’ve known it longer than either of them. And that’s the reason I don’t want a sequel. As much as I’d love to return to the mystical time periods with Chrono, I don’t want to run the risk of tarnishing the memory of playing this game, pulling all-nighters so I could beat it once again and return it to the video store on time the next day. It reminds me of a time when I was a different person with different cares, and I think all of us need to be reminded of those days once in awhile. And Chrono Trigger does it perfectly, even without a sequel.