This article is a list of endings for Chrono Trigger and its remakes.
Methods of Ending the Game
No matter what, all game endings revolve around fighting Lavos. The manner in which you face it and the point in the storyline in which you do changes the ending you see.
There are multiple ways of fighting Lavos:
For all but the Ocean Palace, winged Epoch, and Telepod fight modes, there is a Gate that appears in Lavos' interior, granting you a respite before fighting the core.
List of Endings
These endings are listed in the order they appear in the in-game ending browser of Chrono Trigger (DS) with the exception of the bad ending, which is listed first.
Method: Any except Ocean Palace, then lose to Lavos
This ending allows you to witness, in real-time, the events recorded on the computer in 2300 AD. Lavos erupts from the ground and sprays flaming spines into the air, which rain down, causing untold destruction. The view shifts to a command center in Arris Dome, where the administrator (assumed to be an ancestor of Doan) watches helplessly as the computer monitors the destruction. The military gives up and flees, and Lavos' fire consumes the world. After this, the world then becomes grey and lifeless, with a sentence appearing on the screen in a large font that reads, "But... the future refused to change."
Method: Any except Ocean Palace, defeating Lavos after re-acquiring Crono using the Chrono Trigger.
We get a scene similar to the start of the game, where the bell rings outside as Crono is awoken in his bed, this time by a soldier. He informs Crono that his stay of execution has been canceled. He goes to Guardia Castle to meet with the king, and Marle pleads on his behalf. However, the king has been made aware of their quest thanks to Lucca. They are then met by a group of people from across time—Kino, King Guardia XXI, and Doan—revealing themselves to be Marle's ancestors and descendants.
Afterward, everyone attends the Moonlight Parade on the last night of the Millennial Fair. Crono, Lucca, and Marle can move around and visit with people in Leene Square. Afterward, they go to the northern square, where the rest of the group awaits near the Telepods, preparing to return to their own times. And with the Gates closing for good, they will likely never see each other again. Ayla returns to Ioka Village, Frog/Glenn returns to the Middle Ages, Robo returns to his Future, and Magus (if you have him) says he will go off in search of Schala.
The PlayStation version and all releases afterward include additional anime cutscenes for the Beyond Time ending created by original character designer Akira Toriyama's Bird Studio and was animated at Toei Animation.
There are multiple variations to this ending.
Ending 1a: Float Away
Method: Use the winged Epoch to reach over Lavos
If you use the Epoch to avoid Lavos' cannons, the closing of the Gates means that there is no way to travel through time any longer. Crono and Marle return to the square to see the King hanging up Nadia's Bell. Crono and Marle help him but get stuck holding the balloons that were transporting the bell. With Crono hanging onto the balloons and Marle in his arms, they float off into the night sky as the credits roll.
Ending 1b: Follow that Cat!!!
Method: Use a different method than the winged Epoch
After saying goodbye to their friends, the Gate begins to close, leaving Crono, Lucca, and Marle in the present. At the last second, however, Crono's cat comes running around the corner, chased by Crono's Mother. She dives into the Gate after the cat, which promptly shuts behind them. Without a moment to lose, Crono runs off to board the Epoch to chase after her.
Ending 1c: Save the Chancellor
Method: Save / don't save the Chancellor from Yakra XIII
This does not change the ending of the game.
Ending 1d: On that Day, 10 Years Ago
Method: Save Lara Ashtear from being crippled in the accident in the year of 990 AD
This timeline change affects the rest of the game afterward, with Lucca's mother Lara walking around their house doing chores instead of just sitting in her room. This also applies to the ending. If you did not save her legs (or never completed that side quest), Lara will sit quietly by the fountain, with her husband, Taban, trying to cheer her up. If you did save her, she is up and about, begging the now-exhausted Taban to dance with her.
This does not change the ending of the game.
Ending 1e: Revenge for Cyrus
Method: When Frog and Magus face each other on the North Cape, either fight and kill him or spare Magus' life
In the canon ending, Frog spares Magus' life, as killing him will not return Cyrus. Magus joins the group for the rest of the adventure, leaving at the end to search for his sister. However, if you choose to fight Magus in a one-on-one battle and defeat him, Magus' spell that transformed him into a half-human / half-fiend will wear off, but not until the end of the game. (That is, after going through the Black Omen.)
After defeating Lavos, Magus' magic wears off, and Frog turns back into Glenn, who is a tall, muscular man. This is because he aged ten years while in his fiendish form. He bids farewell to the others, preparing to return to the Middle Ages. Lucca and Marle use the opportunity to remark on how handsome Glenn truly is, wishing that he could stay around longer.
If the player defeats Magus in the one-on-one battle but defeats Lavos before the Black Omen by using the bucket or telepod Crono, Marle, and Lucca board the Epoch, and one of the scenes shows Frog transforming at the base of the waterfall in the Denadoro Mountains.
This does not change the ending of the game.
Method: Any except Ocean Palace, defeating Lavos after Crono's death but before re-acquiring him
Everyone, save Crono, wakes up at the End of Time. Gaspar tells them they must return to their own times, as Lavos' destruction means that the Gates will soon shut down, trapping them. Marle wants to go back in time to save Crono, but Frog, Robo, and Ayla all wish to return to their own time periods. They leave quickly, too quickly in that Gaspar does not have the opportunity to tell them about the egg-like item he wished to show them. (If you acquired the Chrono Trigger prior to beating Lavos, this part is skipped.)
Marle goes to the Moonlight Parade, which is now being held in her honor. She and Lucca go up to the Telepods to reminisce about their adventure. Lucca muses over how she thought Lavos made the gates, but now believes she was wrong. (If you did not wreck Epoch, Lucca says that they should dismantle it.)
Suddenly, the Gate opens in midair, and Robo, Ayla, Frog/Glenn, and Gaspar come exploding out of it. Apparently, the other three were pursuing the Guru, asking him to give them the "time egg." He flees back through the gate, the others running after him. Marle demands to know what is going on, and they tell her that the time egg can return Crono. Depending on whether or not the Epoch has been destroyed, she uses either the Gate or Epoch to go after him, leaving her father hanging with the new bell.
If you acquired the Chrono Trigger before defeating Lavos and crashed the Epoch, then characters leave the Chrono Trigger behind, abdicating the mission to bring Crono back. Marle walks around the Millennial Fair alone, finding Ayla, Robo, and Frog at the site of Leene's bell. They follow Marle to Lucca's Telepods. Marle asks Lucca how everyone else got to the year 1000 AD after returning to their own times before the gates closed. Lucca reveals that she converted the Telepod into a time machine. Lucca activates it and Gaspar appears. Gaspar brings the Chrono Trigger with him. Lucca and the others go with Gaspar to bring Crono back, leaving Marle behind to spend time with her father. Marle helps the king hang the bell, but gets caught in the balloons and floats away, landing atop Death Peak.
The scene ends with Marle standing next to the tree atop Death Peak as the sun starts to rise. She sees a familiar silhouette in the distance. She runs off the cliff and into the sky toward him.
Method: Right Telepod (at the beginning of the game) or Ocean Palace
The most difficult ending to achieve, it can only be won by defeating Lavos at the very beginning of the game using only Crono and possibly Marle or by defeating the double-powered Lavos at the Ocean Palace.
You return to the End of Time, except that there are now people and creatures all over the place, representing the development team for the game. Gaspar invites you to go around and meet everyone who helped develop the game. You can walk around and they will introduce themselves, say funny lines, quote poetry, what-have-you. The eight Gates on the upper platform lead to eight time-themed rooms (Earthbound cave, castle, town hall, etc.) with more members of the development team in them. Several pull pranks on you, like forcing you into one last boss fight or pretending that they are going to reset the game.
North Gate (Present, House):
North-East Gate (Prehistory, Jungle):
East Gate (Antiquity, Ocean Palace):
South-East Gate (Middle Ages, Fiendlord's Keep):
South Gate (Antiquity, Earthbound Village):
South-West Gate (Present, Prison Tower):
West Gate (Future, Factory):
North-West Gate (Prehistory, Ioka Tent):
After visiting all the rooms and meeting all the team members, Gaspar will open the door that used to go to Spekkio's room, allowing you to meet the "Dream Team," the individuals responsible for the creation of Chrono Trigger, most appearing as themselves:
Talking with Sakaguchi-san on the far right, he will thank you for playing the game and completing it so fast. As a reward, he will make you a member of the Dream Team and display the credits in an appropriate manner. The screen then goes black and the credits scroll by in just a few seconds' time, revealing the ending card.
Ending 4: The Successor of Guardia
When you return, you will arrive at the Millennial Fair, where everyone believes Marle is wearing some sort of costume. She goes to the castle to discover that her entire family is now half-human / half-frog creatures, and so is she! She hops and ribbits, just like her father. Apparently, due to circumstances not revealed in the game, Frog was emboldened enough following the fight at Manolia Cathedral to express his true feelings to Leene, which led to him becoming the progenitor of Marle's family line. The scene ends with a projector showing a movie of Frog and Leene being married at Manolia Cathedral. It pans down to Marle, who is horrified. She ribbits one last time before the end card.
Ending 5: Good Night
This ending is a frog, a Kilwala, and a Nu goofing off, playing tricks on one another while the credits roll. The Nu tries to sleep, but the frog keeps bothering it, even stealing the Z's over its head. When the Nu is away from the Z's, a Kilwala walks up and falls asleep under it. Angered that his prank back-fired, the frog falls asleep with the other two. There isn't much to it.
Ending 6: The Legendary Hero
This ending re-enacts the game's opening, where Crono bumps into Marle, in a futuristic setting. The role of Crono is taken by Robo, and the role of Marle is taken by Atropos XR. Robo drops out of the Gate in Leene Square in 2300 AD. Atropos walks up and the two bump into each other. It then shows the two of them sitting together on a mountaintop, looking at the horizon.
The story rewinds 1,700 years earlier, where Tata is planning on confronting Magus and bumps into Crono and his friends. His father is bragging to the king and queen and all the knights of Guardia. Finally, Tata sets off. He goes to Fiendlord's Castle but is accosted by fiends. It does not show how he manages to get by them, but he does make it to the throne room. Sitting on the throne is none other than Crono, and Marle and Lucca walk from behind the throne. They raise their weapons as Crono starts to laugh.
Ending 7: The Unknown Past
This ending shows the characters doing things in their own time periods after the fight with Lavos.
Ending 8: People of the Times
A slide show ending, showing the characters alone or in groups.
Ending 9: The Oath
Method: Defeat Lavos after returning the repaired Masamune to Frog, but before defeating Magus in 600 AD.
The party is hanging out at Lucca's house after defeating Lavos. Lucca is working on Robo. After some dialogue, Frog stands up and walks toward the door. Marle asks what he is doing, to which he replies (uncharacteristically), "I've some business to attend."
Frog heads to Magus' castle. He singlehandedly defeats Flea, Slash, and Ozzie. Then he heads down to Magus' lair, exchanges some dialogue, then the battle is joined. The scene ends with a silhouette standing on top of Magus' castle, though it is not clear whether the silhouette is Frog or Magus.
Ending 10: Dino Age
This ending means that you took Ayla with you to fight Lavos and that Azala and the Reptites never died. This changes the entire timeline. The opening of the game is re-enacted—Crono attending the Millenial Fair, bumping into Marle, seeing Lucca—except that every human is now a Reptite, and the Green Ambler is now wearing a human disguise.
Note: This reality seems to be acknowledged in Chrono Cross as the homeworld of Dinopolis and the Dragonians (descendants of the Reptiles) before they are pulled into the story's main reality by Chronopolis as a result of the Time Crash.
Ending 11: What the Prophet Seeks
Method: Use the right Telepod, bucket, or Epoch after fighting the Black Tyranno, but before witnessing Schala enter the Ocean Palace. Alternately, fight Lavos after being kicked out of Antiquity by the Prophet and before fighting him in the Ocean Palace.
Frog goes to Manolia Cathedral, where he sees the statue of Magus. This is followed by several scenes featuring Frog, Magus, and Schala. The events of Zeal play out without Crono and the others interfering. Frog, now forever cursed to be half-human / half-fiend, makes the most of his new life. The others return to 1000 AD where they enjoy the rest of the Millennial Fair, including Ayla beating the guy at the drinking game. Magus descends into the Ocean Palace. Knowing that he might meet his death, he proceeds forward to destroy Lavos once and for all.
Ending 12: Memory Lane
This ending features Lucca and Marle reviewing the various male characters in the game, saying what they really think about them. This is where you will get to see Crono say his only two lines of dialogue in the game.
The end card drops abruptly, Marle surprised at the sudden ending. They then take the time to review all the different male characters during the game:
Crono interrupts, angry that their "friendly little slide show" turned into this. The three-run off together.
Ending 13: Dream's Epilogue (DS, iOS/Android, and Windows exclusive)
Method: Finish the encounter with Lavos in the Ocean Palace, finish the Dimensional Vortex in all three time periods, talk to Gaspar, then use the bucket Gate to travel to Time's Eclipse and defeat the Dream Devourer.
Alternatively, you can finish the main game and reload your save after defeating Queen Zeal (Boss) in the Ocean Palace, allowing you to use the gate inside of Lavos' shell (if you saved there) and flying the Epoch to the Dimensional Vortex in the year of 12,000 B.C., year of 600 A.D., and and the year of 1000 A.D. You still need to use the bucket Gate to travel to Time's Eclipse.
This ending is a sneak preview of Chrono Cross. The Dream Devourer is actually Lavos after having absorbed Schala. In the fight, Magus will appear, but the Dream Devourer will brush him aside. Schala will come back to her senses, telling him that he will need something more than might to defeat it. Schala opens a time portal in space-time, flinging Magus through (presumably to late 1000 after the millennial fair) and wiping his memory.