Best Chrono Trigger ROM Hacks Of All Time

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Chrono Trigger brought together the talent of illustrator Akira Toriyama, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and Final Fantasy mastermind Hironobu Sakaguchi – and their gifted minds didn’t disappoint.

After years of watching Crono save the world, it’s hard to feel the same excitement I once did whenever I boot up this classic – but I’ve found a renewed passion for it thanks to ROM hacks.

These add new content and features to the game that revitalize the experience and remind me of the first time I played through Chrono Trigger.

Let me show you some of my favorites.


12. Chrono Trigger Coliseum

Chrono Trigger Coliseum Game screenshot

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Everyone knows the best way to test your might in a medieval fantasy context is to hit the coliseum.

Chrono Trigger Coliseum lets you do just that in your favorite SNES RPG.

It’s one of the most complex hacks around, featuring many challenging levels over three difficulty settings.

You can enter the coliseum by yourself or in a party, and you’ll get awesome rewards depending on how far you make it into the challenge. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of combat in CT if you plan on making it to the top.

The sole thing I don’t dig about this hack is that you need to play through about a third of the game to get to the coliseum.


11. Master Quest

Master Quest Gameplay

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Some hacks try to do a little bit of everything – and Chrono Trigger: Master Quest is one of them.

This little hack changes a bunch of minor things to give the game a facelift and increase the difficulty.

Some characters get changes to their color palettes to match their official artwork, including Magus, Flea, Dalton, and Heckran. You’ll also find more connections to future Chrono Cross events, and dialogue remains more consistent in style throughout the story.

It also reinstates a couple of tracks to the game’s soundtrack – namely the Battle 2 and Singing Mountain tracks.

Along with the base hack’s files, you’ll also find the Jr. version, which gives you access to all of these nifty changes but leaves the difficulty untouched.


10. Chrono Trigger Platinum

Chrono Trigger Platinum screenshot

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The original Chrono Trigger isn’t known for its high difficulty.

In fact, it’s pretty easy by most standards.

For this reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that difficulty hacks for the game are in high demand.

Chrono Trigger Platinum is one of the best, as it manages to increase the difficulty while preserving some balance.

Enemies will hit much harder now. The Uber-Mutants, Yakkra XIII, Queen Zeal, and a couple of others have had both their HP and offensive capabilities doubled, too.

Of course, this patch also removes most exploits from the game – so there’s no cheating these bosses.

What would be the point of a difficulty hack if you could cheat your way through?


9. Chrono Trigger Devolution

Chrono Trigger Devolution Game

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An obvious but still entertaining way of revitalizing an old classic is writing a parody – and ROM hacking offers a distinctly ideal medium for this humorous literary genre.

Chrono Trigger Devolution reads like a script for the abridged version of an anime on YouTube.

Characters are wacky and surprisingly out of touch with reality but manage to remain coherent with their original personality. The story remains surprisingly readable despite the cast descending into insanity.

It’s absurd, but I love it.

You’ll get a laugh out of it – and perhaps something more.


8. Chrono Trigger Hard Type (Lavos’ Awakening)

Chrono Trigger Hard Type (Lavos’ Awakening) Gameplay

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If you’re looking for a hack that’ll turn up the heat for your Chrono Trigger playthrough in a creative fashion, this is a must-play.

Lavos’ Awakening increases the game’s difficulty by rebalancing several enemies, moves, and items.

One fundamental change in this ROM hack is Dual and Triple Techs’ increased importance, which now deal vastly more damage than non-combo moves.

Teamwork between your characters is necessary to progress through the campaign.

This hack will be tough for everyone, even the CT veterans – but if you pay attention, you’ll be fine. Exploit enemy weaknesses and rely on Crono’s companions for the best results.

That, and maybe set the game to Wait mode, so you have some time to think.


7. Chrono Trigger 1.01

Chrono Trigger 1.01 Game screenshot

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If you’re looking for a discreet but meaningful general enhancement of your favorite Square game, consider Chrono Trigger 1.01.

This hack brings both general improvements and slight difficulty increases here and there.

Among other things, it expands tech descriptions, fixes a bunch of bugs, and lets you choose whether you want to play a standard or Low-Level Game.

On the difficulty side, you’ll find money more scarce and AI much sharper. Some enemies are way harder, but most of them remain relatively the same.

This version of Chrono Trigger also features some improvements and additions to New Game +, including a chance to fight the Octorider enemy.


6. Chrono Trigger+

Chrono Trigger+ Gameplay

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Chrono Trigger+ aims to create the “ultimate” version of Chrono Trigger – at least until Nintendo decides it’s time to release a new remake.

This excellent ROM hack restores cut content and makes progression through the game considerably less linear. It also adds a bunch of QoL improvements that you won’t want to let go of once you’ve tried them.

It restores the Octorider, Johnny, and the Frog King as enemies you can battle in-game, along with an entire Zeal dungeon that was previously missing. There are many other entirely new scenarios waiting for you as well.

You’ll also love the new guns and projectiles from Lucca, all reconstructed from assets found in the game’s files.


5. Chrono Trigger Bugfix & Uncensoring Patch

Chrono Trigger Bugfix & Uncensoring Patch Game

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As its name suggests, this essential hack aims to fix many bugs that surfaced after the game was released and remove all traces of censoring from Ted Woolsey’s English translation.

Among other things, this reinstates references to alcohol, prayer, demonic entities, and more.

You’ll notice a much more flirtatious Ayla, and Crono can even get a hangover at one point.

The hack also restores some text present in the original Japanese script that’s important in connecting the game to Chrono Cross without turning to the author’s creativity.

Another key feature is the removal of full capitalization for character names. No more weird-looking dialogue!


4. Chrono Trigger Complete

Chrono Trigger Complete screenshot

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Most of us fell in love with Chrono Trigger because of its incredible storyline and magnetic characters, but that doesn’t mean the script is without faults.

CTC seeks to clean it up and update it to modern standards of RPG storytelling.

It also expands it by combining the original Ted Woolsey translation with the extended script seen on the DS remake.

The hack’s creator took the liberty to implement extra scenes with different cast members to flesh out their characters. There are also more connections to Chrono Cross.


3. Schala Edition

Schala Edition Game screenshot

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Everyone has a different opinion on what the “best way” to play Chrono Trigger is.

For some, it’s the Schala Edition.

Besides cleaning up Ted Woolsey’s original translation, this hack adds some great little details in the script that highlight the differences between periods – especially the Dark Ages.

Another critical change is letting Schala escape from the Ocean Palace. Now, he’ll be alive and available for interaction throughout the rest of the story.

This patch also introduces new items, techs, enemies, and even dungeons.

Regrettably, the Schala Edition lacks a New Game+, but it remains a refreshing take on an old classic.


2. Prophet’s Guile

Prophet’s Guile Gameplay

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One of the best characters in Chrono Trigger is Magus, and I always wished he’d gotten some more screentime in the original game.

Prophet’s Guile answers my prayers by fleshing out this Dark Mage.

You might even find some sympathy for the devil within yourself.

It picks up right after the first fight against Magus in the original. You’ll take control of the boss after he’s sent back to 12.000 B.C. There, you’ll be privy to his rise to power – converting the queen and silencing all opposition on his way to becoming the Prophet of Zeal.

It’s two chapters long and an excellent self-contained addition to the base game’s storyline.


1. Flames of Eternity

Flames of Eternity screenshot

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Flames of Eternity is easily the most ambitious Chrono Trigger hack – featuring several hours of high-quality fan-made content bridging the gap between the original CT and its sequel, Chrono Cross.

This ROM hack is more like an entirely new game than a mere modification.

It features a whole new game’s worth of content – including new sprites, new music, new scenarios, and more.

The story, which follows Magus after Zeal’s collapse, is certainly not a work of literary art – but it’s still entertaining, and it’s a great excuse to re-connect with Chrono Trigger.

Flames of Eternity is the “finished” version of an older hack called Crimson Echoes – but controversy stems from the fact that the creator of FoE technically plagiarized CE, even though CE was shut down by Square-Enix.

ROM hacking can be a cutthroat business.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.