List the Plot Holes: The Narrative Failures of The Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross

Table of Contents for . . . 
Why Chrono Cross Sucks and Deserves to be called the Worst Game Ever:

Note: This entire post will contain spoilers for the Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross and its prequel game, Chrono Trigger.

The plot contradicts both itself and Chrono Trigger because:

– The red stone materials were never part of Lavos. This is explicitly shown in Chrono Trigger.

– Serge shouldn’t have been able to cross worlds in Lynx’s body.

– You never meet the Lynx of your world. It’s assumed that he was frozen in the Dead Sea…. too bad that he’s not there with the rest of them. I know, I checked.

– The necklace that Kid uses is the same as Marle’s. If Schala gave it to Kid and Kid was zapped into the future then how could Marle have ever gotten it? Furthermore, how could the events of Chrono Trigger have ever happened in Chrono Cross if Kid has that necklace?

– Schala has blond hair and wears a white dress. This is an absolutely stupid contradiction that just shows ignorance and laziness.

The suspension of disbelief required is absolutely ridiculous in this game:

– Serge never reacts to any given scenario even when characters ask him too. It’s hard to believe that he always reacts in the same shocked way over and over. The Silent Protagonist is a failure in this game because Serge is asked to give his feelings and can only ever reply with “…” as if that’s a satisfactory response.

– Kid pulls a knife on the Dragoons who come to take Serge into custody since he’s a mysterious intruder. They act as if Kid is in the right when she literally pulls a weapon on the equivalent of police officers.

– Kid uses Viper’s daughter as a hostage and yet is somehow said to have ‘saved’ her. Viper’s daughter wouldn’t even be in danger if not for Kid literally placing a knife to her throat and using her as a hostage.

– Kid magically forgets the switching of bodies. When next you see her, she’s helping Lynx (in Serge’s body) to cause a war that’s killing innocents by the thousands and comes to literally bomb your small group of escaped refugees with their war ships. Some of the refugees are sick and injured. Somehow Kid is unable to see the difference between a Serge who is amassing a massive army and killing hundreds of thousands of innocents to the Serge that she was camping and sharing stories with in the early parts of the game. All Kid is focused on is murdering Lynx (You in Lynx’s body) and doesn’t give a damn about the innocent refugees.

– You save a group of Faeries from fire-breathing mechanical Dwarves. You literally stop a genocide. Somehow, the Faeries blame the humans for everything with no explanation on how humanity had anything to do with Dwarves slaughtering Faeries in droves. This is like a sick joke on the very real problems of mass genocide that has unfortunately become more of a problem in recent years.

– Why would Schala save Serge but not a suffering and crying Magus in 600 AD? She saved Serge because she was reminded of Magus… instead of saving the actual Magus. Also, romancing the person who reminds you of your brother is… rather creepy.

The letter Lucca gave Kid makes absolutely no sense. The first part is about how imperative it is that Lucca essentially writes her last will in testament in hopes that Kid understands the dangers. The latter half consists of a good luck and that she’ll share important information with Kid later… despite the fact that this is suppose to be her last letter before her imminent death.

The destruction of Guardia and deaths of the CT cast do not even make sense. Some warlord from some other timeline came to help the goofey idiot from the Antiquity era. Some warlord is more powerful than Lavos? Really? That doesn’t even make sense. It isn’t even elaborated upon further. Just something we’re expected to believe. Furthermore, the darkness beyond time concept makes no sense. Why would people in the erased future want to come back when in CT they clearly expressed wanting to just die? Masato Kato obviously never had any real part of the story. I even doubt his claims of making the 600 AD era. I think he just robbed from Yuji Horii. It’s no surprise that Chrono Cross came up with a concept that was ripped straight from Dragon Quest 6.

The dialogue of the game is stale and uninspired. It becomes a bit pretentious at times since characters like Lynx never get to the point of what they’re trying to say. Even worse, when he takes the body, instead of focusing on his so-called goal to succeed in his objectives… he decides to go around doing stupid crap because he suddenly likes having “feelings”. Instead of being a serious villain, as he’s presented, he just goes on and on about feelings when he could have won. Fate does this while knowing that the Dragons are looking to usurp power to destroy him.

Seriously, the plot is abysmal. Then there are the characters. Abysmal dialogues with no emotion. It’s like trying to find character development from the pieces in a game of chess. It heavily relies on overused twists like “Luke, I am your father!”, despite the fact the twists just make less and less sense.

Apparently, Lynx is Fate, the supercomputer, but he’s also Serge’s father, and he’s also Serge’s nightmare about some panther that’s barely ever elaborated upon. Except… he’s a Lynx and he’s suppose to be Fate but he’s not Fate and… uh… yeah!

Oh and the CT gang are all ghost kids for… no apparent reason that’s ever explained in the game. They just want to remind you of how awful and evil the CT gang were for… defeating Lavos and saving the world. Because apparently, saving all of humanity was evil. Unless of course Kid kills or blatantly ignores the killing of innocent people, then it’s just Kid being innocently confused while she ignores Lynx (in Serge’s body) mass murdering thousands of innocents. Yup, the true love message of this game really made sense.

Then there was the Masamune. For no particular reason at all, it mysteriously ends-up thousands upon thousands of miles away from Guardia. CT3DS added some vague non-answer about Dalton and some overlord from a different timeline that was never elaborated upon. Apparently, it’s evil now because… um… yeah. Totally not an attempt to piss on Chrono Trigger even more. Some random evil spirit put Masa and Mune to sleep and suddenly it’s evil and is destroyed for no apparent reason to progress the game… Now, would you like to make excuses for the bad batch that Square Enix never recalled? Because Chrono Cross is honestly the worst game to ever have been created in all of human history. Let’s not even discuss Fargo and his music idol son who randomly gains the epiphany that Fargo is his father from a random cabinet in Fargo’s room that music idol boy should’ve seen around a billion times over.

The Astral Amulet:

Marle’s pendant, can be used to transport people throughout time and to other locations, gets powered-up by the mammon machine and, in CT, looks EXACTLY like the pendant Schala wears, functions the exact same as well. Marle’s family line is suppose to have passed down this pendant from generation to generation. Schala’s amulet, which looks exactly like Marle’s, is given and worn by Kid in 1004 AD in the ending and further on throughout Chrono Cross.

Now, assuming the Astral Amulet is the pendant Magus wears:

It is a plot hole. Because, first off, Kid is wearing it in 1004 AD. Magus made himself forget his memories in one of the ending. Assuming Magus remembers and visited Lucca and gave her the pendant, it still makes no sense because Kid is wearing the Astral Amulet in 1004 AD when Lucca found her. Plus, had Magus’s pendant from Schala been the Astral amulet, he would have IMMEDIATELY used it to get back to her in the falling palace and got her to safety, why didn’t he? Because he couldn’t. As stated before, Marle and Schala’s pendants around their necks look and function the exact same in Chrono Trigger therefore it can be HUGELY inferred that they’re the same pendant. And really, there is far more evidence proving Marle’s pendant is the same as the one Schala is wearing.

Don’t forget:

Schala uses the pendant on the mammon machine AFTER having given Janus a keepsake pendant. Therefore, Marle’s pendant is one and the same as Schala’s pendant which they both wear around their necks.

What is the plot hole?

Kid has it in 1004 AD directly from Schala, who was fused with Lavos in 12000 BC.

Marle’s family line never gets it -> Marle never is able to go back in time via Lucca’s machine because she never has the pendant -> Chrono Trigger never happens -> Lavos is never beaten by the Chrono Trigger team -> Schala never fuses with Lavos -> Chrono Cross never happens.

Dalton also would never have overthrown Guardia and Lavos was never stopped. Therefore, it is a huge plot hole thanks to the Chrono Trigger extra endings made by Masato Kato.

Let’s talk about the actual time travel:

The so-called “dimensions” don’t make any real sense. Here I’ll explain further:

If Crono and Co.’s actions send the previous timeline to the “darkness beyond time” then why didn’t Kid changing Serge’s future send the previous timeline in which Serge died to the “darkness beyond time”? Furthermore, where do these timelines actually go? In the beginning they tell you it goes to Chronopolis’s dead sea yet later on they say the “darkness beyond time”; Also, about Dinopolis, since it was made by the planet to counteract Chronopolis then why didn’t the planet make another Dinopolis when the first one fell? The planet was given credence beyond comprehensive power or human ability so why couldn’t it make another one? The argument that the Time Devourer was taking it’s power is moot because the game itself doesn’t say the Time Devourer was weakening the planet or even imply it. Just that it created separate dimensions. Now, you could say the Time Devourer is the reason that there were two dimensions of an existing timeline but again that makes no sense since Schala fused with Lavos in the past and wasn’t affected by the timeline of Crono and Co’s future going to the Darkness beyond time, thus Schala was already the Time Devourer before either Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross. So why didn’t Kid’s actions create the same result that Crono and Co’s actions did?

It’s obviously because Kid is a worthless mary sue character. Everything she does is ‘good’ but if any other character does it then it’s wrong. Somehow, Crono and the CT cast saving the world is ‘wrong’ but Schala wanting to destroy it is ‘understandable’ because she’s so blameless over the events of Antiquity. What were those events again? Oh yes, Schala caused a genocide to happen and killed 90% of the population because she didn’t want to disobey her mother. Go ahead, look at the cut scene if you think I’m lying to you. Schala chose to power up the machine knowing the risks.

Chrono Cross suffers from very poor pacing and worse than even that: a huge wall of text to ‘explain everything’ at the end of the game. And the explanations are pretty poor and inherently self-contradictory. At what point could Schala have fallen into the darkness beyond time? Furthermore, how in the hell could that even effect anything when it’s basically a realm of pure non-existence? Hell, the final dungeon doesn’t even make sense. It’s a tower that doesn’t exist with rooms that never were there in the first place. Just how godawfully convoluted and pseudo-intellectual can one game get?

About Masato Kato:

He wrote the script of Trigger, the story portions were already done by Yuji Horii. Evidently, this idiot got into a fight with Horii over the usage of time travel because he hated Horii’s fun use of time travel as a mechanic. Horii never worked with Squaresoft again – until the merger – and made his own time travel story, Dragon Quest 7, which was critically acclaimed in Japan.

Here’s where the focal problem with Chrono Cross started; Kato and others proclaimed Chrono Cross was the best game ever – as typical of his self-aggrandizing arrogance for people who know him personally – and he put so much effort into Chrono Cross that he decided to be director, scenario and script writer, event planner, and FMV storyboard. Does anyone see the problem? Sometimes, too much effort is too much effort. He worked himself to the bone, and the game became an incoherent mess to the point that there are still fanboys on Chrono Compendium trying to understand the story because the man never bothered to follow the basics of basics of storytelling.

Still, it’s acclaimed and people love it. It’s a hit or miss type of game, but that doesn’t necessarily make it bad, right?

Let us then continue to examine the career of Kato. He went from a fairly good achievement with Chrono Cross to… turning the Mana series into an incoherent mess that ended-up killing the franchise. The story didn’t make any goddamn sense and he went on and on with it. Turning a fun-loving game into fedora edgelord nonsense about nature.

During that time, he helped with the story of Baten Kaitos and it flopped badly reportedly because the story made no sense. Sands of destruction, after the Mana series, flopped because of the mixed feelings about the gameplay and because the story made no sense and remember Kato was screen writer for this too.

He then went back to supervising Chrono Trigger DS, living off his glory days, and made a terrible extra dungeon and an even worse scenario that made even less sense to Cross and Trigger alike. He previously said the rich guy with memory problems wasn’t Magus and then changed the story in the new ending to say it was Magus. None of it made any sense to either continuity since he had to argue against his own plot point as word of God to make that change.

Add five more story-driven writing FAILURES after that point:

A Crystalline Prophecy: Ode to Life Bestowing (2009): plot conception[7]

A Moogle Kupo d’Etat: Evil in Small Doses (2009): plot conception[7]

A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born (2009): plot conception[7]

Shiren the Wanderer (2008): scenario writer

Shiren the Wanderer 4 (2010)

And finally, Ninja Gaiden 3, the last game in which he could coast on his stolen glory from Yuji Horii by claiming to be the sole writer of Chrono Trigger. Ninja Gaiden 3 was a flop because of poor storytelling.

So, after Chrono Cross, we have a history of total and complete FAILURES by the man who created Chrono Cross, because he couldn’t write a decent fucking plot worth a damn. Moreover, Chrono Cross itself is riddled with so many self-contradictions within itself that fans set-up Chrono Compendium because they couldn’t fully make heads or tails of its terribad story without some fanon added to it.

The picture is crystal clear. Masato Kato is a joke and a hack writer and Chrono Cross is based on false pretenses. If you disagree, then do explain why every major and minor game he had a prominent story writing role in flopped because of bad storytelling. Every writer can have a one-off, but every game flopping since then? The message is clear. He was always a bad writer and Chrono Cross doesn’t make any sense. Chrono Cross fans just project onto it.

If you’d like to share plot holes that you’ve found within the Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross; please share them below.

8 thoughts on “List the Plot Holes: The Narrative Failures of The Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross

  1. Reading this makes me happy. Radical Dreamers is the true sequel to Trigger!
    Apparently Kato hated his work on that game.

  2. I had written an essay of a comment and my phone lost it.

    I just beat the game and have so many questions and even more rage.

    I legitimately need a support group to recover from this Charlie foxtrot.

    Please send help.

    • I wrote a fan theory on Serge’s connections to Janus on thematic analysis, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Honestly, people overhype this game a lot because most who talk about it probably played it when they were kids so it’s a special game to them.

  3. Let me be transparent here, I absolutely loved the game. Played it only once, in late ’90s early 2000’s. The atmosphere and the music really made the game for me. I guess, I am just a sucker for Yasunori Mitsuda’s music – absolutely love the soundtrack, even owned the original OST. Still listen to it on Spotify occasionally. That said, I am not going to defend the plot and say that it is consistent and coherent. But there is something mysterious and charming about some things not quite adding up, so this motivates fans to come up with theories, have debates, and keeps the conversation going – partly why the site you love to hate, Chrono Compendium, still exists. I was playing the game together with my roommate at the time, and it was fun to theorize and try to interpret and make sense of some the inconsistencies. It’s almost like we ignored the bad writing and the plot holes, and replaced them with our interpretation of the story that made sense. All in all, for me, the game adds up being more than the sum of its parts – something that, for example, FFIX failed to do for me.

    But I can totally see where you are coming from – you look at the plot, it makes zero sense, and then there is a large group of people who think it’s the greatest thing ever. I kinda feel the same way about a couple of Christopher Nolan’s movies, especially Inception. Surprisingly unimaginative, austere, sterile, with frustrating plot holes. Yet seen by many as an absolute masterpiece.

  4. Pingback: Negative Review: The Worst Game Ever, Chrono Cross! | Jarin Jove's Blog

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