It’s been more than 20 years since Chrono Trigger was released for the Super Nintendo and all these years later players are still talking about this amazing game that has stubbornly refused to release a sequel. One of the most compelling features of this video game that was ahead of its time was the staggering number of endings that players could unlock depending on how they played.
After 20 years players are confident all the endings and secret endings have been unlocked and revealed. As with any game there are some endings that are better than others, and some that are notable even to this day.
10 Ending 2: Reunion
The overall story is that Lavos is defeated and Crono is dead. Marle wants to save him, but the other team members decide to return to their own times and Marle does as well. Later the team is chasing Guru through time to get the Chrono Trigger that could bring Crono back. The ending finishes with Marle on Death Peak seeing a familiar figure in the distance that she runs to, suggesting they succeeded and he’s alive.
The ending ranks low because it seems odd the team would just leave Crono to remain dead and there’s no explanation why they would suddenly be chasing Guru through time in an effort to save him later. To get this ending, defeat Lavos after Crono has died, but before using the egg to bring him back.
9 Ending 1: Beyond Time
The standard ending of the game, Crono wakes in bed similar to the beginning of the game, but instead a soldier tells him his execution is to be carried out. Marle pleads with the king to spare him, but it turns out the king has been told of their heroics by Lucca. After the Millennial Fair the team meets at the gate where everyone returns to their own times and the gates close forever.
It ranks low because the amount of variations to this ending is ridiculous and it’s easy to accidentally get something different. To get this ending defeat Lavos anywhere except the Ocean Palace, but after Crono is brought back with the Chrono Trigger. Use a guide to avoid making the little choices that can hijack it along the way.
8 Ending 7: The Unknown Past
In this ending the player has just defeated Lavos and things suddenly spring forward to show each of the characters in their own time periods. Crono, Marle, and Lucca return to Medina, Kino and Ayla are contending with Reptites, Magus stands alone looking out to sea, King guardia XXI is preparing to attack Magus, Frog leaves his house, and Robo runs back and forth across the screen.
It feels abrupt and skips a good chunk of time explaining what happened after defeating Lavos, which is why it doesn’t rank higher. To get this ending use the right Telepod after getting the Hero’s Badge, but do so before going to Ayla’s party.
7 Ending 6: The Legendary Hero
This ending sees things have changed in the future drastically as Robo and Atropos XR have replaced Crono and Marle’s roles in a futuristic setting. The ending backs up more than a thousand years to when Tata vowed to take on Magus, but arriving at the throne he’s confronted by a seemingly evil Crono, Marle and Lucca.
It’s an interesting ending but does a poor job of explaining what’s going on. It’s theorized that Crono got stuck in the past, becoming the new Magus and Robo and Atropos XR became the heroes of the story somehow. To get this ending use the right Telepod in 600 AD, but do it before getting the Hero’s Badge from Tata.
6 Ending 11: What The Prophet Seeks
In this ending Frog finds a statue of Magus in the Manolia Cathedral. Afterward Frog, Magus, and Schala are seen doing a number of different things with the events of Zeal Kingdom such as Schala summoning Lavos without the heroes getting involved. Frog accepts his new life as a hybrid and the other heroes live out their days, while Magus enters the Ocean Palace to face Lavos.
It’s an interesting ending that does a good job showing what happens if the heroes never appeared during key events in history. To get this ending use the right Telepod or the Epoch after facing Azala and Black Tyranno but before Schala enters the Ocean Palace. Alternatively defeat Lavos after getting kicked out of Antiquity, but before the Ocean Palace.
5 Ending 10: Dino Age
This fun ending shows what happens when the heroes mess with historical events. The game shows the beginning of the game playing out again, except everyone is a Reptite instead of a human. This is a result of the heroes never stopping Azala or creating the events that led to the Reptites destruction meaning they took over the world and wiped out humans. It was a clever butterfly effect-type ending that stuck with players for a long time.
To get this ending use the right Telepod before fighting Azala, but after confronting Magus.
4 Ending 4: The Successor Of Guardia
This quirky ending shows Marle getting strange comments from townsfolk about her supposed costume. Once at the castle It’s revealed her family are hybrid human/frogs like Frog and Marle ribbits and hops around like they do. Apparently Frog married Leene which led to Frog becoming Marle’s ancestor, introducing hybrid blood into the family.
Some found the ending funny, while others were disturbed by the dual nature Marle must now live with. To get it, simply activate the right Telepod after the 600 AD trip before the heroes go to the End of Time.
3 Ending 3: The Dream Project
This ending is notable because it completely shatters the fourth wall. After defeating Lavos the player finds themselves in the End of Time and the makers of the game, represented as various characters, interact with the player. They’ll play pranks, have great one-liners, thank you for playing, and even put your name in the credits.
Getting this ending is brutal as the player must defeat Lavos using only Crono at the beginning of the game or by defeating Lavos when he’s twice his normal strength in the Ocean Palace. It’s a major challenge either way and easily the hardest ending to achieve in the game.
2 Bad Ending: The Apocalypse
This is by far the easiest ending to get, but arguably one of the more interesting in the game. The player simply needs to fail the fight against Lavos in 1999 AD and witness the end of everything.
Lavos appears in 2300 AD and peppers the world with flaming spines. At a command center a character known as the Director watches the world be consumed by Lavos’ fire and the military try to flee the chaos. After the destruction a chilling caption appears “But… the future refused to change.”
1 Ending 9: The Oath
The best ending by far has to be the one the game’s creator argued is the most canon. The heroes have defeated Lavos and are enjoying a quiet day at Lucca’s while he works on Robo. Frog suddenly walks out saying he has “some business to attend.”
Later Frog is seen battling his way through Magus’ castle before confronting the man himself. While the credits roll players can hear the sounds of battle before it goes quiet. The last thing that is shown is a silhouette standing on top of the castle’s battlements. Players 20 years later are still debating who it was that won the battle.
To determine for yourself, you need to take the Massamune to Frog after it’s repaired and then defeat Lavos before fighting Magus in 600 AD.