Chrono Trigger is a popular role-playing video game developed by Square (now Square Enix) and released in 1995. The game features a unique time travel mechanic that allows players to explore different time periods. Here’s an overview of how the time periods work in Chrono Trigger:

  1. Present: The game begins in the present, which is the year 1000 A.D. in the game’s timeline. This is the default time period where the main characters reside, and it serves as the starting point for their adventure.
  2. Prehistoric: Through time portals, the characters can travel to the Prehistoric era, which takes place 65 million years in the past. This era is inhabited by primitive creatures and features lush forests, caves, and a volcanic landscape.
  3. Middle Ages: The Middle Ages era occurs in the year 600 A.D. and is characterized by the presence of medieval kingdoms, castles, and knights. The political landscape is turbulent, with wars and conflicts between different factions.
  4. Future: The Future era is set in the year 2300 A.D., a dystopian time period where civilization has declined. Players will encounter futuristic technology, ruined cities, and a bleak atmosphere dominated by robots and hostile creatures.
  5. Antiquity: The Antiquity era takes place in the year 12,000 B.C. It features the advanced civilization of Zeal, a floating kingdom with powerful magic. Players will explore the grand palaces and encounter mystical beings and powerful sorcerers.
  6. The End of Time: The End of Time is a unique location that exists outside of regular time. It serves as a hub where players can access various time periods and make important decisions that affect the game’s outcome. Here, players can also interact with non-player characters and receive guidance.
  7. Lavos’s Era: Towards the end of the game, players gain the ability to travel to the era when the game’s main antagonist, Lavos, first arrives on Earth. This era is a desolate wasteland and serves as the final battleground for the game’s climax.

Throughout the game, players must travel between these different time periods, completing quests, solving puzzles, and interacting with characters to progress the story and ultimately prevent Lavos from destroying the world. The time travel mechanic adds depth and variety to the gameplay, allowing players to explore different eras and witness the consequences of their actions across time.

Types of Time Travel

In Chrono Trigger, there are several methods of traveling through time. Here are the different ways the game allows you to move between the various time periods:

  1. Time Gates/Portals: Time Gates are the primary method of time travel in Chrono Trigger. These portals are scattered throughout the game world and serve as doorways to different time periods. By stepping into a Time Gate, the player’s party is transported to a specific era, allowing them to explore that time period.
  2. Epoch (Time Machine): The Epoch is a time-traveling airship that the player acquires during the course of the game. It allows the party to traverse through time freely once they have obtained it. The Epoch can be used to land in specific locations in each time period, providing a more flexible and direct means of travel.
  3. Teleporters: In certain areas, there are teleporters that can instantly transport the party between different locations within the same time period. These teleporters are typically found in dungeons or other important locations, providing a convenient way to navigate within a specific era.
  4. Gates of Time: The Gates of Time are monumental portals that are crucial to the game’s storyline. They are enormous portals that connect different eras and are key to unlocking certain events and progressing the plot. The party often needs to activate or interact with the Gates of Time to trigger significant story developments.
  5. Wings of Time: The Wings of Time is a powerful time-traveling vessel that the party obtains during the later stages of the game. It is an upgraded version of the Epoch and allows for more precise and extensive time travel. With the Wings of Time, players can visit any era they have previously accessed and can even revisit specific events they have already experienced.

These various methods of time travel provide different degrees of flexibility and accessibility, allowing players to navigate the game world, experience different eras, and solve puzzles that require actions across time periods. They add depth and complexity to the gameplay and contribute to the game’s overarching time-traveling narrative.

Changes through the Time Periods

In Chrono Trigger, traveling through different time periods allows players to witness various changes and developments that have occurred across the game’s timeline. Here are some examples of the types of changes you can expect to see in each time period:

  1. Prehistoric Era (65 Million B.C.):
    • The land is lush and filled with primitive creatures.
    • Dinosaurs roam the earth, and the landscape features volcanoes and dense forests.
    • Human civilization has not yet emerged, and tribes of humanoid creatures inhabit the land.
  2. Middle Ages (600 A.D.):
    • Kingdoms and castles dominate the landscape.
    • Political tensions and conflicts between different factions are prevalent.
    • The influence of magic is strong, and knights and wizards are common sights.
    • The presence of mythical creatures such as dragons is prominent.
  3. Present (1000 A.D.):
    • This time period serves as the starting point for the game.
    • It features bustling villages, towns, and a developing civilization.
    • The player’s hometown of Truce and the Kingdom of Guardia are significant locations.
    • The political landscape is relatively stable, with the Kingdom of Guardia reigning.
  4. Future (2300 A.D.):
    • Civilization has declined, and the world is in a state of ruin.
    • Ruined cities, dilapidated buildings, and desolate landscapes are prevalent.
    • Robots and hostile creatures are the primary inhabitants.
    • The remnants of advanced technology and machinery can be found.
  5. Antiquity (12,000 B.C.):
    • The era of Zeal, an advanced civilization that harnesses powerful magic.
    • Floating cities and grand palaces characterize the landscape.
    • Mystical beings and powerful sorcerers reside in Zeal.
    • The society is highly advanced, with technology surpassing other eras.
  6. Lavos’s Era:
    • This era represents the time when the main antagonist, Lavos, first arrives on Earth.
    • It is a desolate wasteland, devastated by Lavos’s destructive power.
    • The final battle against Lavos takes place in this time period.

As you progress through the game, your actions and interactions with characters in different time periods can also create ripple effects and cause changes that impact the storyline and the fate of the world. This non-linear narrative and the ability to witness the consequences of your actions across time is one of the key features that make Chrono Trigger an engaging and immersive game.

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