The year was 1995. Square, best known for their Final Fantasy series, had a new RPG coming out. Its credits seemed impressive enough: Hironobu Sakaguchi (producer of the Final Fantasy series) as producer, Akira Toriyama (character designer for Enix's Final Fantasy-rivaling series, Dragon Quest, and for Dragon Ball Z) as character designer, Yuji Horii as scenarist (who was Dragon Quest's scenario writer as well), and even Nobou Uematsu of Final Fantasy music fame worked on it somewhat (though the mojority of the music was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda). With these people heading up the project, Chrono Trigger looked like it would be something special, and indeed it was.
Boasting graphics that put all previous games to shame, and, in the realm of Super NES games, is still most likely the best looking game, Chrono Trigger was the first Super NES game to actually display the maximum of 256 colors on screen at one time. No fancy polygons here, everything was in glorious 2D. Backgrounds amimated, with grass blowing in the wind, water flowing, and more (which is actually more than can be said for some modern 3D RPGs). Character sprites were detailed and quite nicely animated.
The story follows a young boy named Chrono (or 'Crono' in the English version of the game, due to a 5-letter limit on names), who meets up with a young girl at a fair in his hometown. The fair is to celebrate the new millennium, as the year 1000 just began. The girl, calling herself Marle, joins up with Chrono as they look around the fair. They finally arrive at a show in the fair that will change everything. Chrono's friend Lucca has constructed a matter-transporting device, and due to a strange reaction with Marle's pendant, she is transported back in time to the year 600 AD. Chrono follows after to rescue her, and so it begins.
Throughout the game, you'll meet up with 6 other characters that will fight alongside you to eventually save the world from a force that plans to destroy the future. One of Chrono Trigger's most unique and coolest features is the New Game + mode. After finishing the game, you can play through it again with all your weapons, items, and experience. Considering there are 12 endings to be seen in the game, this made things much easier. Another thing that became available after finishing the game is the ability to fight the final boss at any time. By defeating it at different points in the game, you could see different endings.
Chrono Trigger was in 1995, and remains today, one of the best and most respected RPGs ever created. And due to its New Game + mode and 12 endings, the replay value is practically limitless. Near the end of 1999, a few weeks before the release of the sequel, Chrono Cross, Square released an updated version of Chrono Trigger on the PlayStation in Japan. While most of the game remained the same, animated cutscenes were added at key points in the story. There is also special 'extras', which you can unlock by getting the different endings. Some of the things in here are a theater, which allows you to watch any cutscene you've seen already, a music test, to listen to any of the game's music tracks, and much more. This remake (or port) made it to North American shores on June 30, 2001, bundled with a newly-translated Final Fantasy IV, in a package named Final Fantasy Chronicles.