This is primarily a retelling of the plot of Chrono Trigger. There are a few things that Jeremy adds to it; however, I think he didn’t do enough to move passed a novelization of the game.
Some commentary is added when things don’t make much sense. Jeremy brings in a few fan theories about the game, and I think he does a good job of explaining what is right and wrong about them. The different endings, including the DS version endings, are talked about.
What doesn’t work for me is the humor. Jeremy tries to inject some jokes into the book; I found them to be a little hit and miss. I guess I don’t share his sense of humor. I also noticed several minor spelling errors. This didn’t detract from the narrative, but they are noticeable.
What I liked
I think having a novelization of Chrono Trigger is a good idea. I like the things that Jeremy focuses on and how he retells the story, especially when he points out the weird things that happen in the game.
Specifically, whenever a character appears immediately after an event. Like Melchor does during the Rainbow Shell side quest. You can imagine that he gets told off-screen, but he gets there quickly.
Jeremy explains each of the endings and how you can get them. The DS endings are also talked about. I liked this because I’ve never played that version of the game. There are also a few other differences between the SNES and DS versions.
It was fun reading the descriptions of the endings I had forgotten about and seeing why I couldn’t get specific endings. No matter how many times I’ve played this game, I’ve never been able to get all the endings.
I think the book is very good when Jeremy starts talking about some fan theories. He does an excellent job explaining why he either agrees or disagrees with them. I wish there had been more of this, but it is nice that they are here, even if it is only in a few places.
Lucca’s technical ability is also talked about. I agree with Jeremy on this one. Strangely, Lucca can build a time machine, robots, and guns in the year 1000. You have to remember that this isn’t our world, but it does feel strange.
Jeremy does ask how Lucca hasn’t taken over the world. This was an instance where I liked his humor. She probably could have done so. I also liked it when he wondered about the guns you could find in other periods like 65,000,000 BC. This was something that I questioned when I played the game recently.
I never remember questioning these things when I was a kid. Of course, I used to pretend that sticks were guns, so I was probably more open to weird stuff in video games.
What I didn’t like
There are several attempts at jokes in the book. Some are funny. I like it when Jeremy questions how things are happening in the game or how people know about events that just took place. However, there are a few jokes that get run into the ground. Like when something slightly scary or gruesome happens, Jeremy will point out that the game is rated E.
This was funny the first time, less funny the second, and annoying by the end of the book. This could just be me. I didn’t think that most of the jokes were funny.
It would have also been nice if there was more of a focus on Jeremy’s experience with the game. I kept thinking back to how the Boss Fight Books are written. Corridors of Time reminds me of those books but doesn’t have the personality.
There are also several minor spelling errors in the book. It is noticeable enough for it to be a minor problem. This is a self-published book, and it looks like MS Word’s spellcheck failed him.
The Problem with the Plot
I wanted to single this part out because I think that Jeremy touches on something very interesting. It concerns our heroes’ motivation to try and stop Lavos. Except for Magus, there isn’t a reason for them to be doing any of this.
Lavos destroying the world doesn’t impact their lives very much. I like how Jeremy breaks it all down.
Crono, Marle, and Lucca are all from the year 1000. They will be long dead by the time Lavos emerges in 1999 to destroy the world. You’re meant to believe it is out of a sense of duty or an attempt to keep the world from being an apocalypse. However, it won’t affect them if they just go home.
Frog is from the year 600. He never went to the future and only joined the party to save Queen Leene and avenge his friend. Once he’s done that, he doesn’t have a reason to keep fighting. He does get a side quest, but he might have gone to Cyrus’ grave anyway.
Ayla is a neanderthal from 65,000,000 BC. She has enough to deal with already! Lavos helps her by blowing up the Azala’s castle and preventing the Reptites from eating all of them.
Robo doesn’t have much of a reason to care. When you find him in the year 2300, he has been shut down for a while. It is in his programming to help humanity, but if Lucca hadn’t repaired Robo, he wouldn’t know the difference.
Magus has the most motivation to defeat Lavos. He is doing it for revenge, not because he wants to save the world. Getting him as a playable character is also totally optional.
Jeremy suggests moving Chrono, Marle, and Lucca closer to 1999 would make more sense. It would give them more of a reason to want to prevent Lavos from destroying the world. If they were from the year 1990, then it might matter when they go to 2300 and see the world be destroyed.
Knowing that everyone they know would die in 9 years would be more impactful. It wouldn’t give much of a reason for Frog to join them aside from friendship. Ayla would probably still go along. She likes to fight!
Despite the problems I had, this is a fun book! I did enjoy reading it when Jeremy got into the fan theories and the differences between the SNES and DS releases. The section on getting the different endings was also nice.
The problems that I have with the book are minor. There isn’t anything that would cause me to say, “don’t read it.” It is an excellent book about a game that I enjoy.
If you get a chance to read the book and are a fan of Chrono Trigger, then give Corridors of Time a chance. It is a fun book.