So we all agree Chrono Trigger is amazing, and we all agree that it’s music is also amazing. I have considered replaying it for review purposes, but something something backlog too big blah blah blah you heard it all before. So I did the next best thing and watched Chuggaaconroy’s lets play of it. I remember a time when the most subscribed lets player on Youtube actually made videos for the fun of it as opposed to making them to cash in on fads. Yes I know he only covered this game last year, but we are talking about a game about time travel so… okay fuck it, I was just feeling nostalgic… and spiteful.
I decided to talk about one of the tracks I don’t hear mentioned quite as much because Chrono Trigger has so many great songs. I am willing to put this in my top 10 tracks from this game at least. Even in a soundtrack as fantastic as Chrono Trigger’s, this track stands out for its atmospheric effect. Most of Chrono Trigger’s songs tend to be effective at capturing one specific emotion, but this one captures multiple feelings.
Its most prominent usage is upon discovering Balthasar’s backstory. After being banished from the Zeal kingdom, he was pushed through a time gate that takes him 14,300 years in the future after the day of Lavos. 2300 AD is already a depressing time period within the context of the game, as it takes place after the cataclysmic day of Lavos where the earth is in ruins, food is scarce, and where sentient machines have taken over what remains of human society and are enacting genocide on the remaining humans.
What is especially tragic about Balthasar is that he was one of the few people who stood against the tyrant Queen Zeal in 12,000 BC, and he’s then sent to the far future in isolation. Cut off from all human contact and trapped in a time period where humanity is on the verge of extinction. He manages to keep himself alive for long enough to build a time machine capable of taking him back to his own time, but he succumbs to insanity before he is able to use the machine, and leaves behind his notes for anyone else in his position to use to avoid his fate.
The sense of despair and isolation in this track is present throughout. This track fits the tragedy of Balthasar’s situation, while also containing an air of beauty to it; an air of hope that the Epoch provides to Crono and his party when they find it. It also does fit the sense of wonder that one gets from opening the sealed doors with Marle’s pendant (hence the title), but it really fits this sequence the most, and brilliantly showcases the dark underside to this JRPG Masterpiece.
I mean, who would have though there would be a character who appeared in both Chrono games, and was treated better in the second one?
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