Chrono Cross Endings Guide: How to get every Ending
Chrono Cross has a lot in common with its predecessor - and also does a lot very differently. One similar element, however, is in the Chrono Cross Endings - which is to say, much as with Trigger, the game features multiple endings including a bad ending, a best ending, and a bunch of different finales in between.
As you’d expect, this page will contain spoilers for the game, but we’ll try to keep them as broad and as free of context as possible.
We figured it’d be important to cover this common question first - how many endings there are in the game. So, here’s the deal: there are twelve different endings total in Chrono Cross. Or eleven, if you count one ending which appears in two variations as one.
Regardless, there's twelve endings which were considered worthy of achievments in the new 'Radical Dreamers Edition' remaster of the game.
This is more than Chrono Trigger, but the format of the endings is quite similar - which is to say that there’s a couple of ‘main’ endings (a bad ending and a true ending), plus a bunch of non-canon endings that offer unique insight into the characters, world, and narrative of Chrono Cross - or sometimes are just there for the yucks as a cute gag. Unfortunately, none of these endings explain any further what happened to the cast of Chrono Trigger and how these two games are linked.
We’ll go into more detail below, but the two main endings are the Bad Ending, and the True Ending. The other endings are non-canon alternatives, but are worth seeing for the interactions and character moments they reveal - plus achievements, in modern versions of the game.
Another way in which Chrono Cross is similar to Chrono Trigger is how the various endings are achieved. Specifically, the ending of the game is always triggered by the same thing - defeating the Time Devourer, which is basically the game’s final boss. What matters to determine which ending you see is when you defeat the Time Devourer. Surprisingly, which characters you've recruited for your party doesn't make any material difference.
There’s two endings you can achieve just by playing through Chrono Cross naturally - the good and bad endings. Beyond that, the remaining endings can be achieved by playing the game again in the New Game Plus mode, and defeating the Time Devourer at earlier points in the game. NG+ is also useful for recruiting all Chrono Cross characters, as that isn't possible on a normal save.
In order to return to the Time Devourer in New Game+, you have to use the Time Egg on the portal found at Opessa Beach to travel to the battle. Just like Lavos in Chrono Trigger!
If you're playing Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, the modern remaster, that has one extra 'secret' ending - which is just a short text-based post credits scene. We list that below, too.
Here’s each of the endings, and exactly how to get them:
Play through the game, but use the Chrono Cross to beat the Time Devourer. Doing this requires manipulating the boss a little.
Specifically, you need to cast elements in a specific order in order to unlock the Chrono Cross element, which is separate from the other colored elements in the Element Weakness system. Go Yellow, Red, Green, Blue, Black, White - and then Chrono Cross. If you mess this up, restart.
Ending #2 - No Beginning and no End (Bad Ending)
Play through the game and beat the Time Devourer at the conclusion of Disc 2, but do not use the Chrono Cross; just win the battle by normal means. This will trigger the ending, where your journey is complete… but it was all for nothing.
Ending #3 - Developer’s Room
In New Game+, beat the Time Devourer as soon as you can, before Serge crosses dimensions. You’ll be able to hang out with NPCs representing the developers, who share anecdotes about CC’s development.
This also mirrors Chrono Trigger, where there was a ‘developer’s room’ players could access to talk to the game’s staff.
Ending #4 - General Kid
Defeat the Time Devourer after Serge crosses dimensions, but before the Viper Manor break-in. Kid becomes a general, and goes on to conquer much of the world.
Ending #5 - The True Hero
Battle and defeat the Time Devourer while Kid is out of action after the events at Viper Manor, in that window when you have the chance to recruit Glenn to your party. Characters end up in various new positions, not all of them positive…
Ending #6 - The True Hero (Alternative)
After Kid recovers, but before entering Fort Dragonia for the first time, trigger the end of the game by beating the Time Devourer - but without Nikki in the party.
Ending #7 - Magical Dreamers
To get this ending, defeat the Time Devourer After Kid recovers, but before going to Fort Dragonia - but this time, you must have Nikki and Razzly recruited, and have Nikki in your party.
Ending #8 - Serge’s Plan
Beat the Time Devourer after Serge and Lynx switch bodies inside Fort Dragonia. Lynx becomes beloved, but not everybody is happy with that…
Ending #9 - Pride and Honour
Travel to beat the Time Devourer right after you rescue Riddel in Fort Dragonia, but before following her to the Hermit’s Hideaway. Dragoons move to take on Lynx…
Ending #10 - The Record of Fate
In order to unlock this ending variation, after Harle leaves the party, go ahead and defeat the Time Devourer. After some interactions and revelations, Lynx can finally become FATE…
Ending #11 - Galaxy Night
For this Chrono Cross ending, wait until you beat Dario at the Forbidden Island. After this, but before Terra Tower rises skyward, go ahead and beat the Time Devourer. The next generation of kids are safe… or are they?
Ending #12 - Wicked Deeds
Once Terra Tower is floating, you can beat the Time Devourer to unlock this, arguably the darkest of the non-canon endings in Chrono Cross. The planet is changed forever, and is safe… but at what cost?
This ending is only available in the modern remaster of Chrono Cross, the Radical Dreamers Edition. It was discovered shortly after the game's release - we even printed it as a news story. To get this new secret ending, simply finish Radical Dreamers (you can follow our Radical Dreamers Walkthrough, if that helps), and then also finish Chrono Cross, obtaining Ending #1 on this list, the True Ending.
Once you've done this, you simply need to head to the main menu of The Radical Dreamers Edition, the menu where there's new music arrangements and you choose which game you want to boot. On this menu, select the credits and then let the credits play out to their conclusion without skipping. At the end of the credits, a short text-based story sequence will play out... and fans are still debating its exact meaning. .