Welcome to Friday Fortissimo—your one-way ticket to smooth sounds and nostalgic vibes. This week, in honor of its re-release on modern platforms, we’re celebrating the often overlooked Chrono Cross.
Chrono Cross is an interesting beast. It’s the sequel to one of gaming’s most beloved titles, Chrono Trigger, yet also a game that never fully lived up to its predecessor. Cross’s blocky, polygonal art style was a far cry from Trigger’s elegant sprites. Its combat was slower, its story was clunkier, and the experience as a whole was far less enticing.
And yet, there’s one place where Cross holds its own against Trigger, if not manages to surpass it. And that’s with its music.
Why Chrono Cross’s Music Is Its Greatest Asset
This week’s selection is “Sailing (Home World).” Like many tracks on Chrono Cross’s 67-song epic, the name here refers to one of the game’s dual worlds. You have protagonist Serge’s “home” world, and then you have “another” world, where much of his adventure takes place. Just like in Chrono Trigger, much of the fun of this game is hopping between timelines and seeing how events in one impacts the other.
But that all’s irrelevant to what matters most here. “Sailing (Home World)” is a jovial track that plays whenever Serge and crew take off in their trusty ship (a staple of any JRPG worth its salt). It harks back to the ending theme of Chrono Trigger, “To Far Away Times,” with threads of deep friendship, hard-fought battles, and bittersweet nostalgia. Much like its inspiration, it slaps.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross were composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, a legendary gaming composer who has proven his ability with a sterling track record of absolute bangers. Chrono Trigger wouldn’t be half the game it was without the swagger of Mitsuda’s music, and Chrono Cross would arguably be a skippable affair without it.
With tracks like this, though? Everyone with a PC, Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox should pick up this Chrono Cross re-release, if only to revel in Mitsuda’s greatness.
Am I biased? You bet I am. Am I wrong? Listen to the full soundtrack below, and judge for yourself.
Have a great weekend, y’all. Stay safe. Be healthy.