Chrono Trigger is regarded as one of the best games on the Super Nintendo, and one of the greatest games ever, period. While the Playstation 1 sequel Chrono Cross is a decent game on its own, it pulled a series of dick moves by systematically destroying everything players accomplished in CT. Thanks to info from Cross (and also Trigger re-releases), we've learned that pretty much every hero from the SNES classic went through something awful just after the end credits.
Even the two main characters weren't safe.
A blossoming romantic relationship is implied throughout the entirety of the game between the silent protagonist Crono and the adventurous Princess Marle. One of possible endings of the game shows the two of them accidentally floating off together whilst holding on to balloons, which would be nice if it weren't also terrifying. Slightly better was the ending shown in the PS1 port, which included a wedding scene for Crono and Marle. All in all it was a bog-standard super-happy JRPG ending. And you know, sometimes that's okay.
So where does the worm turn? Well, about five years after the conclusion of Chrono Trigger, Crono and Marle are killed in a war with the neighboring country of Porre. This was even shown briefly in a cutscene created for the DS port of the game.
The departed couple later appear as ghosts inhabiting the Dead Sea in Chrono Cross, where they blame you for undoing everything they did in the first game. And they were sort of right!
In that same DS ending, there's another disturbing reference to the fate of the beloved knight Frog. The key image here being that of a burning village, piles of dead bodies and a sword stuck in the ground. The legendary Masamune belonged to Frog until it disappeared during the war.
We can only assume that this means Frog was killed and his weapon was stolen like a common loot drop. Though we can't rule out the possibility that he went crazy and murdered a bunch of innocent villagers.
Then there's Lucca.
Unlike her two friends, the genius inventor survives the destruction of their kingdom and goes on to build a home for wayward children. Because nothing gold can stay, this orphanage is of course razed to the ground. Lucca herself is captured (and likely killed) by Chrono Cross' villain, Lynx.
Though we don't see Lucca's fate on-screen, the same can't be said for poor Robo...
The adorable Rick Astley-loving robot is brought back in Chrono Cross as an intelligent A.I called "The Prometheus Circuit." Unfortunately, Robo is destroyed within minutes of his re-introduction by an enemy called FATE (one of the enemies in Chross), meaning that he was brought back and killed solely to make the bad guy look tough.
The only character who manages to escape having their life ruined by the ports & sequels is Ayla, and that is most likely because she lives in 65,000,000 BC which is set away from most of the new material. Let's just assume for consistencies sake that she was horribly murdered offscreen by a dinosaur, a la Newman in Jurassic Park.
Though otherwise excellent, the plot of the 2013 Tomb Raider was not the draw. Marooning Lara and all her friends on an isolated island was more or less an excuse to put the rebooted heroine through the ringer. While the game begins firmly rooted in reality, it eventually pulls an Indiana Jones and goes full-blown supernatural by the end.
It becomes clear that the powerful storms that stranded Lara on the island in the first place were summoned by an ancient Japanese queen named Himiko. The Big Bad wasn't after Lara, but instead her friend Sam, who just so happened to be a descendant of said royalty. As is tradition with evil island ghosts, the endgame involves cultists capturing Sam and Himiko attempting to possess her kin. It's up to a fresh-faced Lara to save Sam by shooting a bunch of grown men in the head with a bow and arrow. Success is inevitable, and so Lara helps Sam rid her body of the spirit and escape the island.
As grimdark-tinged ast his reimagining of Lara Croft may be, at least it has a happy ending. Until it wasn't.
See, the latest Tomb Raider comics are based on the reboot, and were intended to bridge the story gaps between games. They're written largely by Rhianna Pratchett, who is also lead writer of the games; they're about as canon as you can get. In the final arc leading up to 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider, Sam is still having a rough time. After behaving erratically and getting tossed in a mental institution, it is revealed that Himiko partially succeeded in possessing Sam, and is now able to influence her actions, up to and including murder.
The series ends with Lara promising to free Sam from Himiko's influence once and for all... and that's it. The storyline is completely dropped, thanks to the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider, which takes place in Tibet and has nothing to do with the events of the first game. There's another comic series coming out, but its purpose is to So while Lara is dicking around in Asia, Sam is wasting away in a nuthouse with a superpowered ghost that is gaining more and more control.
The happy ending to the 2013 adventure is essentially undone and the pieces are never picked back up. It's not clear who got the shorter end of the stick; those who played the game and don't know that the ending is meaningless, or the fans hardcore enough to read the comic that went nowhere. We can only assume the next comic series will hate its readers even more -- maybe Lara will finally hire that butler and lock him in the freezer like you did in Tomb Raider 2.
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