Retro Head2Head

“Good Morning Chrono!”

Square Square
Square Cartridge Disc SquareEA
RPG Stereo Stereo RPG
Release: 03/11/95 1 Sec 6 Sec Release: 06/29/01
ESRB: K to A Yes No ESRB: Teen

Retro Head2Head: Chrono Trigger


Note: Load times were left in some spots to show the differences between the two versions.

“Good Morning Chrono!”  Welcome back for a very special retro Head2Head! This one features arguably the greatest RPG of all time, and that our friends, is Chrono Trigger! Just mention its name to anyone who grew up in the SNES era and you’re likely to receive a gigantic smile in return–not to mention a few good stories about how much fun they had playing it. Today we’re going to show you the differences between the original SNES version, and its port over to Sony’s Playstation console. So don’t waste another second, come on in and see which version walks away the winner of this timeless battle!


How we captured: Both of these games were captured in their absolute original state using S-Video cables. The Gamecube and Playstation 2 S-Video cables work perfect on these two earlier systems. As always in our retro Head2Heads, both original systems were used. 

Graphics/Sound: There isn’t much difference in either the graphics or sound categories. Chrono Trigger was originally released in 1995 on the SNES, and it’s safe to say that the more powerful Sony Playstation handled emulating the graphics perfectly. If anything, our rollover pics show the PS1 looking a tad sharper. Once again these two were captured at default capture settings; meaning that tweaking the sharpness on your T.V. set just a little, should render the graphics in both versions identical.

As for the sound, you would think the PS1 Disc would have blown the SNES cart out of the water, but the truth is each version sounds identical. This is most likely due to the fact that the PS1 is just emulating the SNES Cart so no upgrades were made. Remember, sometimes big things come in small packages and this holds true for the tiny SNES Cart which sports 24 megs of memory. It is important to note that the Playstation version featured a few animated cut scenes spread throughout the game. These scenes were not in the original SNES release and were actually impossible on the system.


Performance/Controls: Again, not much to report here. Both the SNES and PS1 Versions have identical controls. Chrono Trigger is a true masterpiece.  However, there’s not much going on in-game that would cause slowdown or any other performance issues. This gives us our second tie in a category in our Head2Head.

Loading: The loading category was the deciding factor with these two versions of Chrono Trigger. It’s unfortunate that the system with the cool new added cut scenes preformed so poorly with the load times. The Playstation on average took around 6 seconds to load a battle, a new area, and even bringing up your menu. These long load times are unacceptable and really take the awesome experience of Chrono Trigger down a notch. You know load times are bad when while playing, you fear accidentally pressing the Triangle button because of them. Here are a few samples of the load time we saw during our capture:

Load Times:

Sample Load Times SNES Load Times PS1 Load Times

Entering the first characters name:

Entering a town from the world map:

Entering a new area from within a town:

Entering a battle to the time of command input:

Entering the menu screen:

Sample 1: 1 secs

Sample 2: 1 secs

Sample 3: 1 secs

Sample 4: 2 secs

Sample 5: 1 secs

Sample 1: 9 secs

Sample 2: 7 secs

Sample 3: 3 secs

Sample 4: 6 secs

Sample 5: 5 secs

Sample Averages: 
Average: 1.2 seconds
Average: 6.0 Seconds

Rollover the image to see the differences.


Rollover the image to see the differences.

Rollover the image to see the differences.

Rollover the image to see the differences.

Rollover the image to see the differences.

Rollover the image to see the differences.

Conclusion, Technical Score, 2 Videos, and Staff Choice on Page 2.

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