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7 Hidden Plotlines Everyone Missed In Chrono Cross

PS1-era RPGs were known for their scale, regularly requiring multiple discs just to fit all of each game's content onto the system. But even by these standards, Chrono Cross is impressive for its sprawl.

The game sends you across time and space as you uncover the mysteries lurking beneath the El Nido archipelago's oceanic idyll, and there are plenty of sidequests, characters, and unique events to encounter along the way. Given just how much content there is in the game, it's no surprise that some of its coolest plotlines are tucked into obscure corners of its universe.

7 Kid's Backstory

Chrono Cross is full of hidden triggers for secret events, and one of the most impactful scenes in the game is locked behind a specific set of requirements. After Serge and Kid raid Viper Manor, Kid will be stricken with poison; you'll have to choose to save her while, later in the quest, ignoring the distressed fairy Razzly, which dooms the fairies to extinction.

Doing this properly results in a scene featuring Serge and Kid around a campfire as Kid recalls how her carefree childhood came to end when Lynx burned down her home and kidnapped her big sister. You learn a lot about Kid's motivations and how she sees the world in this scene… which makes it strange that it's so easy to miss.

6 Belthasar's Neo-Epoch

In Chrono Trigger, Belthasar serves as an important guide for the party; he reveals essential plot details and helps the group travel through time with his Epoch machine. While Chrono Cross's connections to Trigger are… a little murky, Belthasar's appearance in the game is one of the most solid links back to the 16-bit classic.

In Viper Manor, you'll encounter Belthasar in the library before battling Marcy. If you return to the manor later in the game, you can discover a secret room underneath the library, where you'll find a damaged machine that bears a close resemblance to the Epoch. This is the Neo-Epoch, and its presence explains just how Belthasar made it to this time period in the first place.

5 Leena's Realization

One of the first characters you'll meet in Chrono Cross is Leena, Serge's childhood friend, and possible love interest. But when Serge is thrown across dimensions into the timeline where he died as a child, Leena will no longer recognize you, and she won't believe you when you tell her that you're her old friend.

But you can recruit her at this stage, and by keeping Kid out of your active party for the next few sequences, you can gain access to a secret scene where this other Leena sees a mural that Serge and the original Leena made when they were kids. She'll realize that you're telling the truth, and muse on the nature of the separate worlds. It's a difficult scene to get, but it provides a lot of nuance to her character.

4 Guile's Identity

The remaster of Chrono Cross for modern consoles includes the visual novel Radical Dreamers, which is a sort of midpoint between Trigger and Cross; it was released between the two games for the Japan-only Satellaview peripheral, and it offers an alternate version of the raid of Viper Manor that initiates the PS1 entry's plot. If you beat both Chrono Cross and Radical Dreamers, you'll gain access to a secret cutscene after the end credits.

Well, "cutscene" is a misnomer – it's just a short piece of text. But it seems to nod to one of Cross's biggest mysteries, which is the identity of the masked magician Guile. Fans have long noted the similarities in appearance between Guile and Chrono Trigger's Magus, and this scene – enigmatic though it may be – might just confirm their suspicions.

3 The Poet's Book

Chrono Cross is one of those old-school RPGs that rewards you for immersing yourself in its world. If you talk to all the NPCs and thoroughly explore each area, you'll find all kinds of subplots and sidequests. One of the earliest ones is the Poet of Arni, an anonymous employee at a restaurant in Serge's hometown.

But after you cross dimensions and meet her counterpart, you'll discover that this other version of her gave up on her creative aspirations a long time ago. From here, you can switch back to your homeworld, collect her book of poetry, and give it to this other version of her. It's a brief quest, but one that ties into the game's contemplative themes.

2 Ozzie, Flea, And Slash's Reappearance

Speaking of Magus, his rockin' henchmen make a secret appearance in Chrono Cross too, though you won't be able to meet them on your first go-round. In Chrono Trigger, you'll have to battle against the trio as you fight your way to a confrontation with Magus; and once the latter joins your party, you'll face off with his former friends one last time.

In Chrono Cross, however, you can only encounter the trio on New Game+. They reside behind a door in the mysterious Bend Of Time, a pocket dimension that bears a startling resemblance to Chrono Trigger's End Of Time. Proceed through the door, and you'll be able to engage them in a battle – but just how they made it there remains a mystery. Perhaps they fell through dimensions as well?

1 Dario's Death

Early on in Chrono Cross, you'll meet the knights Glenn and Karsh, as well as Riddel, the lady of Viper Manor. All three are connected to each other and to a fourth character: Glenn's brother, Dario. In Serge's homeworld, Dario has recently passed away and the rest of the group is consumed with grief, but the circumstances of his death remain mysterious.

Later in the game, however, you'll be able to return to Viper Manor and initiate a quest sequence that sheds light on his death and reveals another tie back to Chrono Trigger, through the powerful Masamune blade. In Chrono Trigger, the sword is one of Frog's best pieces of equipment. But in Chrono Cross, it's become corrupted, and its demonic influence leads directly to Dario's death. It's a heartbreaking turn that emphasizes one of Chrono Cross's biggest themes: that time will ultimately change everything, no matter what you do.

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