- The Tears of Love and Hate
- The Dragon Emblem
- The Dragon Tear
- The Chrono Cross
- The Melody
- The Remaster-Exclusive Scene
Courtesy of New Game Plus, it's possible to get a whopping 12 endings in Chrono Cross. But ten of these – all of which require that New Game Plus file – are played for laughs or offer fresh insight into the world. Either way, they're most assuredly noncanon.
Of the two endings possible on a brand-new file, there's really no spinning the fact that one's uplifting and the other is remarkably not. Indeed, the "bad ending" is such a bummer (and so very easy to get) that there must surely be players out there in the history of the game who assumed it was the only ending and ran away from Chrono Cross forever.
Let's avoid that. Our guide will tell you how to get the best ending in Chrono Cross, also known as the "true" ending. It only takes a few key steps, but trust us, they're pivotal. Expect massive spoilers.
The Tears of Love and Hate
It would be an easy thing to tell you to get the ChronoCross key item near the end of the game and then face the TimeDevourer. But that's only the tail end of the path to the game's true ending. Instead, let's go down the line, step by step, to make absolutely sure you get what you're after.
Karsh hands the Tear of Hate to Serge (well, Lynx) after your party returns from Home World's Dead Sea. There's a long-standing joke about the flawless serendipity of Karsh, who was previously obsessed with ending "Ghost Boy", offering up an item with such a distinctly fitting name.
As for the Tear of Love, Serge gets this immediately after retrieving his body. Both of these items are obtained automatically, but we're noting them nonetheless due to the important role they'll play in your bid for the true ending.
The Dragon Emblem
With Karsh's Tear of Hate in hand, wait until the game allows you to head over to Guldove (Another World), and do so as soon as the plot permits.
Porre's taken a liking to the place, and you'll need to assist Orlha with the invaders. (We like to bring Norris along for irony's sake.) Thing is, helping the lady won't absolve Lynx's infamy in her eyes, seeing as she has no reason to believe he's actually another person altogether.
A boss battle ensues. Try casting Weaken and Diminish if you're having much trouble, and note that she's her Element is Blue. If you've got a Red innate on your squad, combine their arsenal with Lynx's significantly high physical strikes for a win.
You'll need the Sapphire Brooch key item in order to recruit Orlha later, once Serge is Serge again, and Orlha hands it to him herself here. Mind you, this is unrelated to obtaining the true ending, but there's some context for what the deal is after she's defeated.
Now, bring the Tear of Hate to the Shaman's Tower here in Guldove, showing it to Direa. After a conversation, she hands the team the Dragon Emblem, which allows them to enter the other Shaman Tower, over in Home World.
The Dragon Tear
With Dragon Emblem in hand, Serge and the gang can head over to Home World's Shaman Tower and get Steena, who will aid our cat-like hero in getting his real body back. She'll also fork over the Dragon Tear, a highly sought-after item on both planes of existence that happens to have broken into the Tears of Love and Hate in Another World.
The Chrono Cross
Take Steena along to Divine Dragon Falls (Another World) and she'll investigate the strange pedestals at the far end of the area's final screen. Now, place the Tear of Love and Tear of Hate on the pedestals to obtain the Chrono Cross.
Congratulations – you're good and ready. Just be sure to equip the Chrono Cross to your Elements Grid, or it won't do you much good in the battle to come!
Proceed through the remainder of the game, ending the machinations of FATE and challenging the Dragon God at the top of Terra Tower. Once you're able to warp to the Time Devourer's dimension, make sure you have at least one Element of all six types on your party. You're better off with several, and you're best off if you've got a ton of Level 1 Elements. The faster you can cast them, the greater your chances of making this work.
Given that this is the only way to obtain Chrono Cross' true ending, using the ChronoCross key item is surprisingly tricky work. You must play each of the six Elements in a very specific order without being interrupted. If the Time Devourer uses any Element color that isn't next in line, which is generally unlikely and not at all worth hoping for, your sequence is ruined, and you'll have to start the process all over again.
Little hints and nods are strewn throughout the adventure as to the order these need to be, but even back in 2000, most players had better luck finding out on the internet than putting it all together in their minds. Here's the exact melody, and remember, this must be precise:
That seventh and final action – using the ChronoCross Element – buys the Time Devourer even more time to drive you wild with an interruption. But sooner or later, you will prevail. The Time Devourer dies instantly, and the true ending to Chrono Cross is yours for the viewing. Well done!
The Remaster-Exclusive Scene
You may have heard scattered reports that Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition features a tiny bit extra for your trouble. This is true, but you won't find it through the game itself.
After beating both Chrono Cross and Radical Dreamers, the newly-localized 1996 visual novel that accompanies this remaster, play the credits from the main menu (where you choose between the two games and adjust visual settings). The credits are long, and skipping them aborts your effort. Stick with it and keep one eye on the screen for when the time comes.
We won't spoil what happens next, but it's been making longtime fans of both Chrono games very excited. Time will tell if it means a third game ever arises, but either way, it's a lovely touch that goes to show how much heart was put into bringing this classic Square Enix JRPG to life anew.
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