Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Billy's Favorite (SCI FI) Retro Game! (Part 9 of 200)

Battlestar Week marches forward towards it's inevitable conclusion: the end of Battlestar Galactica. I had promised to do a "favorite SCI FI retro game" to fill a scheduling gap in our week, but then I though about the absurdity of doing something of that sort. Not because it is hard to do, quite the opposite, it's far too easy! A vast majority of video games are based on a science fiction theme. Despite the field being wide open to pick a sci-fi game, I was wracked with a dilemma of which to do! I looked back to see if there were any BSG games created and decided that it would be too difficult to hunt down a copy of the Battlestar Xbox game.

Stuck at an impasse I decided to jump ahead to the Super Nintendo era and speak of a very special game. Literally one of my top five favorite games. One that is inarguably rooted in science fiction and while it focuses on time travel as a main theme, it still has killer robots(!) and the entire destruction of mankind. So, what is this game? If you have not already guessed it's the seminal RPG favorite: Chrono Trigger!

Chrono Trigger is the brainchild of Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama and Final Fantasy papa Hinorobu Sakaguchi. It tells the story of Crono, a lively(and mute!) young fella who is caught up in a time-spanning adventure when his new friend Marle is shot back in time 400 years while using an invention created by his friend Lucca.

Crono, being the honorable lad that he is, jumps in right behind Marle. Thinking of only saving the girl(and maybe getting a little sumthin' sumthin' after) he lands in the year 600 AD ready to step all over every goddamn butterfly he finds.

Along the way Crono, Marle and Lucca run into a knightly frog named Frog and a badass robot named Robo. Yeah, not much imagination in that bunch. Robo hails from the year 2300 AD, where the world has been destroyed by Lavos. Lavos emerged from the ground one day in 1999 and pretty much wiped out the human race(just like the Cylons did to the colonists! eh, eh? oh...forget it). Crono and company make it their goal to decipher where and when Lavos first appeared on the planet and stop him from wrecking the place.

One of the great things about Chrono Trigger is that you can beat the game at several points along the way. Depending on when you beat the game you can actually see different endings. Some of the endings only have small changes, some are huge(beat the game at a early point of prehistoria and the present will be filled with anthropomorphic dinosaurs!). One of the hardest and most interesting endings is achieved if you beat the game as soon as you gain the ability to use Lucca's machine. It's actually a developers room where you can chat with people based on the creators of the game.

It's pretty sweet to be able to jump forward and backward in time, do something at one time period and actually see the results in another. Many of the side quests involved doing just that and it was a great incentive to do them. Usually I ignore the side quests but with the time travel component I readily searched out every single last one.

I would be remiss in my duties as a video game geek if I didn't GUSH about the music in this game. Composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the composer behind most of the Final Fantasy music, the music is simply fantastic. Classic themes that I could listen to forever. Despite being in midi format these songs are spectacular. Check these out:

Robo's Theme

Frog's Theme

I honestly could ramble forever about this game. But I won't. I will say this, it's out on Nintendo DS...right now. Buy it!

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