Reviewed By: Josh Bizeau

Computer Platform: Playstation
Produced by: Squaresoft
Price Range: $40
Learning curve time: 1 hr.
Age level: 12+
ESRB Rating: Teen

Genre: Roleplaying Game (RPG)
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Ah, Chrono Cross! Ever since I played “Chrono Trigger” (CC's '95 Super Nintendo predecessor), I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel. I even bought the soundtrack right when it came out in Japan last year! I can safely say now, though, that not only does “Chrono Cross” live up to my expectations, it surpasses them altogether!

“Chrono Cross” combines dazzling graphics (the best yet seen on the Playstation), mesmerizing music, an A+ storyline with great twists and turns, and over 40 wonderful characters to play! The most impressive graphics are the spell effects. I defy anybody to show me a cooler spell effect than "Meteor Shower"! The environments are gorgeously detailed and the many enemies you will fight throughout the game are very imaginative!

Screenshot of Lynx from 'Chrono Cross' The story revolves around a boy named Serge who --while leading his normal everyday life-- is suddenly caught up in a bizarre turn of events. He is teleported to a parallel world where he died 10 years ago. While trying to unwind this tangle of events, Serge is accompanied by many companions, and meets his foe, Lynx. But what is Lynx's connection to Serge? Why does Lynx care about what happens to him? You'll just have to play to find out.

The only things for a Christian to be concerned about in this game is the mild amount of language and the magical elements. While the language is certainly no worse than other Square titles like “Final Fantasy VII” and “VIII”, it may be offensive to some. The magical elements come across largely as simply fantasy, however as Christians use a discerning spirit.

Overall, “Chrono Cross” is a remarkable feet in interactive Role-Playing! But be warned, once you start playing, you WON'T want to stop! If you're looking for a solid RPG that will provide you with a good 40-50 hour adventure that you won't forget, look no further than "Chrono Cross"!

Year of Release—2000

First and foremost, if anyone has ever read C. S. Lewis's fantasy book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and then have read the other books in the Chronicles of Narnia series, they would most likely not be bothered by the magical elements of most rpgs. Why? Because this series was written by a Christian author and is in itself about certain Biblical events. I recommend that rpgers out there read this series to see what I mean. I play rpgs based on storyline, which in my book includes content, and most of Squaresoft's rpgs are relatively clean. Chrono Cross had a very clean storyline. In fact, only one part bothered me, and that was the off-hand reference to evolution. But this is when you remind yourself that it is just a game. I also wasn't really offended by how some of the female characters of the game were dressed, but that's probably because I'm a girl and I naturally don't pay that close attention. I think that Square soft should have done something about this though, due to the fact that other people are more astute than I. I enjoyed the various puzzles for both mind and reflex and I recommend this game for first time rpgers in my age group. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Jessica, age 15

…a large part of the story deals with the repeatedly disproved theory of “evolution”… Long ago, the ChronoCross story goes, the Reptiles ruled the world. Even if we ignore the blatant attack on Humanity's God-given position as ruler over the animals, we cannot as Christians turn away from the fact that these Reptiles “evolved” from prehistoric lizards into a super intelligent race that built cities and worshiped their own pagan Lavos god. It has been shown repeatedly that there is no way for such a complex social being as a Human (or a social reptile) to have developed from some crude animal. Only through God's grace were humans ennobled with gifts of mind and soul. Not to mention that these glorified lizards worshiped a satanic creature “Lavos.” Lavos is the undeniably a metaphor for Lucifer/Satan. He is said to have "fallen from the stars into the heart of the world," from where he controls and manipulates mankind's destiny contrary to God's plan. Indeed, he has possessed the lovely Schalla through a grotesque union and uses her body to tempt and confuse our hero.

It is the ultimate corruption of a mother figure into a demonic and evil force akin to Satan's first corruption of woman in Eve. Also, a fragment of Lavos is one of the most important objects in the game. “The Frozen Flame” is really a feather shed by the Fallen One. And yet instead of being an symbol of sin and betrayal against God, it is made up to be a source of infinite power that the hero must acquire and use. How can this be anything but an attempt to encourage our youngsters to themselves stand up against God's wisdom? Lastly and most importantly there is Fate. “Fate” is a gigantic computer that was built by humans to control their lives and destinies. Fate is the force that pulls the hero between worlds and affects the resurrection of Lavos. Instead of finding his calling through contemplation and prayer, the hero must obey this false idolized god, manufactured by his own kind. Nothing could be more insulting to Christianity: There is only the one true God, and he is quite clear that we should not worship idols. The game makes kids feel like building and idolizing a computer as a god is a reasonable thing. To have our fates decided by this machine rather than God's plan is therefore okay. This is perhaps the most dangerous of the game's messages because in today's society, computers (and computer games) have become such a large part of kids' lives that they might even be willing to listen to such a suggestion. As Christian adults, it is our duty to see that our children have the chance to experience the joy of finding and following God's plan through prayer and worship of Him - NOT some phony mechanical “Fate” that would seek to control us all.

With dangerous advances in “artificial intelligence” we humans are already very close to subverting God's order. Already important decisions are made with the advice of these number-crunchers in place of advice from God, and it is not long until we will deliver ourselves fully into the hands of Satan and some giant New Order machination. And this is just the tip of the iceberg - the highly sexualized female characters, the ugly emphasis on violence and destruction, the demonic characters (like Lnyx, a being disfigured by Satan into a cat-demon) and their witchcraft are so common place in games today, that it seems hardly worth mentioning. In summary, I would have to disagree very strenuously with the reviewer - There are so many messages from Satan throughout the story that any reasonable Christian will steer their kids away from this game. Nonetheless is is a very technically beautiful game and is addictively fun, and therefore all the more insidious and dangerous. My Ratings: [1/5]
   —Steve Schaffer, age 22

For starters, I shall do this comment from a strictly objective point of view. I, personally, enjoyed Chrono Cross, but not as a sequel to Chrono Trigger. While it is true that there are Chrono Trigger allusions as the Dead Sea, Chronopolis, and the sudden "here's the plot," as said by Lucca, at Opassa Beach at the end, the Chrono Trigger “aura” was not there for me. There was no temporal travel, no paradoxes that would erase the universe from existence, nothing of that sort. Only a bi-linear temporal model. Now then, let's get down to my actual comments on this review. Let's start with the first paragraph. I will concede that the music was very good. "Dead Sea ~ Ruined Tower" and “Dragon God” are among my favorites. But many of the other RPG fans with which I converse agree that Chrono Cross should not be interpreted as a sequel to Chrono Trigger, but as a side-quest. After all, the entire function of the game is to answer the question: "What happened to Schala after she saved Crono's friends from Lavos?"

Now, on to the second paragraph. Chrono Cross sacrifices plot and characterization for sheer characters. This is generally regarded as a bad thing by Xenogears fans, to which I am among the numbers. Both in-game and CG quality were about equal with Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX. But I would beg to differ on the quality of the spell effects. Many other games produced by Squaresoft have superior spell effect animations, even Final Fantasy VII - released two years prior to Chrono Cross. Knights of the Round was a very cool animation, but most of the other spell effects were still superior - Supernova, Ultima, even Comet2. On to the third paragraph. There are two central issues here. First, I shall discuss the direct Chrono Cross issue. One of the big “plot twists” features Lucca the Great being killed by Lynx. Game mechanically speaking, this is impossible. One Flare from Lucca would drop Lynx in a second.

One Forever Zero might drop Lucca to half HP. The second, more important issue is this: I have been browsing this site to… say… “broaden my horizons.” And I have seen many other games being criticized because of their general mockery of the faith of the Christian religion. Xenogears using God as the last boss, Pokémon's use of “magical badges and potions,” and so on. So why doesn't it bother anybody that Chrono Cross' plot centers around a boy who went to a parallel reality (go Quantum Physics) to find that he was killed in the past, then goes on to find that his death caused a rapture in the spacetime continuum? Or why doesn't a super-computer naming itself Fate and making allusions to Greek mythology while playing God with denizens of two realities bother anybody? For the fourth paragraph, then, I didn't find any vulgar language in all of Chrono Cross. Also, though I may be biased (I play D&D), but how does “magic” in a fantasy environment turn into "anti-God witchcraft?" On the final paragraph, I only really logged about thirty hours on Chrono Cross. On the same token, I also beat the game three times with New Game +. Just felt like stirring up some thought-provoking discussion.
   —Omniscient Sean, age 16, non-Christian

I agree with the reviewer… this is one of the best games made of all time. I still don't understand the objection to magical elements, as there is nothing counter-biblical about it. This game should have rated a perfect score. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Dave Jamison, age 22

Well, as usual, Square has released an AMAZING game. :) I'm not too far into it, but it's great so far. I love the lack of random battles! :) However, it should be noted that Kid should wear more clothes. Not sure why no one else mentioned this? Jesus said "Whoever looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery with her in his heart", or something like that. So, a great game, but Kid could look marvelous without that aspect! :) My Ratings: [3/5]
   —The Tyke, age 17

As always, Square has another winner on it's hands. I've been playing this game for upwards of 50 hours, and just made it to the second of the game's two discs. If you're into RPG's, this game is a sure bet. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Daniel, age 17

I absolutely love this game! I'm playing it really slow so it doesn't end, though I can't wait to see the new game + feature. serge rules! good review. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —kai, age 20

I have never come across an RPG that I've enjoyed more than this one. I admit that there are a few mildly questionable elements, such as the minor magic involved, but other than that there's nothing but solid story and enjoyable play. I heartily recommend this game to anyone who loved Chrono Trigger or who is looking for something new in their RPG's. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Spark, age 21

I agree completely with this review. Chrono Cross is right up there with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI on my favorite RPGs list. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Gregory Harlin, age 14

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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