Chrono Trigger has an extensive amount of side quests to do before the end of the game, and even if you spend a few hours going through all the time periods finding every last charmable boss, every tab and sealed chest, even the best weapons and armor for each character... you're still missing something. Chances are, if you played through Chrono Trigger normally, after beating the final form of Lavos, you'll be treated to a good ending of a midnight stroll of the Millennial Fair, culminating in Crono's mother jumping into the final time portal and being stranded, forcing the characters to take the Epoch through time once more. That's the ending you got, right? Well, if it was, you've only seen one out of 12 possible endings for Chrono Trigger. That's right; depending on the decisions that you made during your play through, and the point during the story at which you fight Lavos Core, you can see various conclusions to the game. This guide will give detailed descriptions on the requirements to see each ending, and what they contain.
Note: any ending that requires taking the path to Lavos via the telepod in the Millennial Fair can only be achieved in a New Game +, since the sparkle will only appear once you have already completed. Imagine playing it for the first time and fighting Lavos with a level 2 Crono equipped with a Wooden Sword. And that's why it's NG+ only. And, as a final note, this entire page is nothing but spoilers. We didn't mark them, because if you can't figure out that a page about the endings of the game has spoilers, we can't help you.
Seen these endings already? Get more on page two.
This is the first of 12 endings, and is the one briefly described above. To view this ending, you will need to fight Lavos from any entrance after restoring Crono back to life on Death Peak. This is the easiest ending to obtain, since you'll be fighting Lavos at the latest possible point in the game, and you'll have your strongest physical fighter back to help.
Upon defeating Lavos, the screen will fade to black, and you'll be treated to a scene oddly similar to the opening scene of the game. Except this time you're being woken up by a Guardia soldier informing you that your sentence of execution is about to be carried out. What an anticlimactic end, eh? The King seems to think you're to blame for Marle's "kidnapping", and the Chancellor agrees with him. Just as things are starting to look dire, Marle shows up and insists that Crono is innocent and that they had to save the future! But, the King already knows this! Turns out that Lucca brought people from the various time eras back to the Present in order to convince the King of Crono's innocence (It also would seem that they're all descendents and ancestors of Marle. Now there's a coincidence, don't you think? *cough*FF8*cough*) Officially pardoning Crono, the King lets Marle enjoy the last night of the Millennial Fair. Hooray!
After the nice walk around the fair with sparkly lights and dancers, you'll be free to move around and speak to various people, such as Melchior, who claims he likes it better when he isn't needed to make weapons. When you're all done with the main square, head on up back to Lucca's telepods. And so begins an emotional scene in which everyone returns through the portal to their own time, as the gate has grown weak. I won't spoil the details for you, but after everyone has gone, only Crono, Lucca and Marle are left. The variations on your actions towards the end of the game begin here.
If you took the Epoch into Lavos, and hence destroyed it, that will be the end of the time travel, and King Guardia will call for Marle to see a gift in her commemoration – a new bell named after her! After placing it upon the arch, Marle will be carried off by balloons, and Crono, the heroic savior that he is, jumps on to help, but they both get carried away (literally, not figuratively). And the credits roll over scenes of Crono and Marle observing the world from their heights.
If you took the long way around to fight Lavos, either through the Black Omen or via the warp in the End of Time, then after all the characters leave through the last gate, Crono's cat (cats, if you ended up getting more than one), will run onscreen, followed by his mother, who chastises Crono for not feeding the cat(s). Unfortunately, the cat(s) jump into the gate, along with Crono's mother, just as it closes, leaving them stranded in time! Well, you can't just leave them there, so the trio decide to take the Epoch through time once more - but not before King Guardia presents the new bell to Marle. Hoisting it up onto the arch, the King starts to struggle, which is bad timing, seeing as Marle insists that she won't sit around doing nothing, and leaves with Lucca and Crono in the Epoch. Taban enters with some fireworks, and ignoring the King's plea for help, sets them off into the sky – triggering the credits to roll with various scenes of the Epoch through time, and a brief look at the new lives of the other characters.
The only other variances on this ending include:
Saving Magus: This is a pretty notable variant. Obviously he won't appear if you choose to kill him, but not only that, instead of seeing Frog and the King and Queen on Zenan bridge, you will see Frog at the base of a waterfall being restored to his true form, followed by a scene in the castle as Glenn watches the Epoch fly past. However, you will see nothing of this if you destroyed the Epoch against Lavos.
The clones and Poyozo dolls: If you collected them for Crono, will appear briefly in his room at the start of this ending.
Cats: How are you gentlemen.
Either way, the credits will roll, and end up on a still of the world with "The End", and if you leave it long enough, Crono and Marle's love theme will play (If that's what it's called – you know which one I mean). Either way, you'll have to reset on this screen, or it'll be on forever.
The second of 12 endings, to view this one you'll need to defeat Lavos by any method after Crono is killed, but before restoring him back to life.
The ending begins with everyone waking up in the End of Time. You'll take control of Marle, so talk to the Elder, and he will inform you that the gate is weakening, and that everyone should return to their own time. Resilient as always, Marle tries to convince everyone to journey through time in order to save Crono, but everyone is heartless and leaves Lucca and Marle alone to travel back to the Present. But the Elder notices that they dropped something...
If you saved the Epoch, the following will take place: Back in the Present, Marle will take a stroll in the midnight fair, similar to "Beyond Time", but without Crono. You get to control Marle again and talk to various people in the fair (Including Crono's mother, who asks if you know where he is – way to make me even sadder, Square!) Up the stairs, you'll notice Lucca run towards the telepods, so follow her. Lucca and Marle will have a brief chat, and decide to dismantle the Epoch. But wait! A gate opens and out comes all of the characters, including the Elder! It's revealed that the item that you dropped was the Time Egg, and it can be used to bring Crono back! With a brief talk, all the characters leave through the portal again, leaving Lucca and Marle by themselves again, who decide to take the Epoch and follow them.
Before they take that opportunity, however, a soldier enters and tells Marle that the King needs to see her. So go back down to the main square (If you've read the other endings above this, I bet you can see where this is going). The King presents a new bell (Yup!) to be placed in the arch, but Marle won't help him with the bell again, and runs to the Epoch which takes off, leaving the King under the weight of the bell, again. Taban enters with fireworks, again, and ignores the King's cry of help, again, instead setting off fireworks... again.
The credits roll, and you follow the Epoch through time, showing briefly the characters in their new lives, exactly like the end of "Beyond Time". However, instead of staying on the still of the Earth and "The End", the screen fades and shows Marle standing alone by a single snowy tree. More credits roll, and after they're done, she turns to see a silhouette of Crono running towards her. Marle begins to run off into the distance, and the screen fades to black with "The End" printed at the bottom of the screen. No music plays this time.
If you did not save the Epoch, then as you gain control of Marle in the Millennial Fair, in the next screen above, you will begin to see the characters throughout the area. Talk to them, and they will run off to Lucca's telepods. Once you've seen all of them, go there yourself. Lucca and the others will decide to go through the now-time-machine telepod and save Crono, but Marle is to stay, as a soldier asks her to see her father – and guess what, he has a new bell that he wants to place on the arch. Lending a helping hand, Marle ends up holding the balloons, which carry her away, and the credits begin to roll.
Marle will land next to a lone snowy tree, and the credits continue. She turns to see a silhouette of Crono running towards her. Marle begins to run off into the distance, and the screen fades to black. There is no "The End" message, nor any music.
Once again, choosing to kill Magus shows Frog being restored. However, if you have the ending where you saved the Epoch, out of the portal will spill the Elder, Ayla, Robo and Glenn. And you get to see his face! Lucca and Marle will initially be confused by this strange person's identity, but as he leaves, realisation falls on them. If you didn't save the Epoch, however, you will not see Glenn at all. So, if you want to see him, don't save Crono or Magus, but save the machine from the future!
This is the Holy Grail of Chrono Trigger endings - and by far the hardest to obtain. There are two methods to get to this ending, and although one can be done in a standard game without starting a New Game +, it's only theoretically possible. Actually achieving it is a far different matter. For the conditions to reach this ending are as follows:
Well, now that you're almost in tears from reading the requirements, wouldn't you like to know why it's worth it? (The answer is yes.) After defeating Lavos, whichever painful way you managed, you'll wake up in the End of Time. If you look around, you can see various characters who are actually members of the production team for Chrono Trigger. They'll say various things, congratulating you on getting here, saying how much work they did, and even saying that if you thought that this was hard; get a load of Final Fantasy IV (Make sure to check out the sparkle in the southern-most time portal). When you've spoken to everyone (and everything) in the main room and the time portals, speak to the "Elder", and you'll have access to the room where Spekkio normally is. Here you see the final few members of the project, including our favourite Nobuo Uematsu! When you speak to all five of them, you'll be treated to the credits in super-speed, to commemorate the speed at which you completed the game. And that's it, ladies and gentlemen!
To get to this ending, you'll have to fight Lavos via the telepods (Oh noes!) immediately after returning from 600A.D.
After beating Lavos, you'll emerge at the Millennial Fair portal, so take a look around. People will claim that Marle is wearing a disguise, and then make a curious sound. Others will say she's dressing normally... but there's still a strange sound. Notice that it's only the children that think she's dressing normally. Anyway, head to the entrance of the fair, speak to one of the two people blocking the path, and Marle will become indignant and return to the Castle.
The King starts acting strange, and then claims to have found a 400 year old wedding video. How curious. Marle starts acting in a similarly strange manner, and Lucca begins to realise... but the credits roll in a black-and-white film style. All is revealed, and it would seem that Frog married Queen Leene in 600A.D, resulting in the Present-day people being frogs! As Marle expresses her shock at this, "The End" falls and then fades, leaving the player with a black screen.
This ending is made available as soon as you get to the End of Time. After speaking to the Elder and getting magic from Spekkio, examine the bucket in the corner, and it will take you to fight Lavos.
This is a relatively short ending. After Lavos has been defeated, the credits will begin to roll immediately, and a Nu and a frog will run up and down the screen, chasing each other while the credits go past. Their antics will continue until "The End", which has two sleepy Zs next to it. This is a fairly uneventful ending, but it's an ending nonetheless.
To get this ending, you'll need to examine the bucket in the End of Time as you travel back from 600A.D for the second time.
This ending begins with the credits rolling and Robo's theme playing in the background. Before long, you'll be taken through a portal, where you'll see Robo emerge in his own time, and yet things look familiar. A scene that resembles Crono's initial meeting with Marle takes place, and Robo and his new companion leave. After some more credits, you'll see the same scene that took place in the "Beyond Time" ending, with Robo and another (supposedly female, if you can attribute them a gender) robot sitting at the top of Denadoro Mountains. More credits, and Robo's theme fades...
The next scene has Tata on the throne, and his father beside him. The King and Queen are present, as are their royal guard. Without warning, Tata leaps up and charges out. We see him journey through Magus' castle, passing monsters. Eventually he comes face to face with... Crono, Marle and Lucca! Crono laughs and the screen fades. More credits roll, culminating in "The End". No music. Just reset once again. Six down, six to go. Or seven. You get the point by now.
The final six endings are on page two. Why not go see those?