Chrono Cross debuted to widespread critical acclaim in 2000 in North America. It is a sequel to the classic Super Nintendo JRPG Chrono Trigger, and one of the best JRPGs of all time. While many weren’t pleased with how it connected the two games, it offered a lot of innovation upon its initial release.
Its large cast of characters still stands out to this day. Most JRPGs offer a decently sized cast, but Chrono Cross offers a whopping 45 recruitable party members.
With the recently released Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers edition, now is as good of a time as any to break down the best characters in the game. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the best. What makes for the best Chrono Cross characters? It is important to look at a few things when deciding.
Stats are an obvious choice. It’s also worth noting what techs, or special abilities, they bring to the table. Finally, each character has access to an element grid that can be filled with magic to use against foes. Each spell can be used once per battle in most cases, so having access to many slots is important. Unfortunately, some characters aren’t given that many, and that can make them less viable.
Here are our picks for the best Chrono Cross characters to have in your party!
Fargo is automatically recruited as part of the main story. He’s worth using in battle thanks to his high strength and pillage ability. Who doesn’t love to steal loot? His elemental color is Blue, so stacking his element grid with water and ice-based elements will benefit you if you’re facing foes who are of the Red elemental variety.
Unfortunately, his late-game elemental grid offers few slots to put in really powerful elements. He also can take a beating to elemental-based attacks since he has a low magic defense.
Glenn is another character that can be easily missed if you’re not familiar with the game. At one point, Kid gets sick and you’re given the option to save her. If you refuse, you’ll go down a different path with different characters to recruit: including Glenn. He is easily one of the strongest characters in the game and the strongest Green innate character.
He has high strength and accuracy, so you know a lot of your attacks will hit. Eventually, you have access to the Einlanzer sword. When upgraded, it heals you, has increased damage and has a high critical rate. He’s a no-brainer, and honestly, his biggest con is his smallish elemental grid.
If we were basing this list of the best Chrono Cross Characters based purely on looks, Grobyc would be near the top. He’s a bionic weapon engineered to kill. He’s flashy and while his design is a bit 90s futuristic, it’s still cool. One of his techs utilizes his hair as a weapon in the most ridiculous way.
Other than looking cool, he has very high HP and physical power. He can also take a beating with his high physical defense. Most of his strengths end with his physical prowess, though. He lacks a large elemental grid and magic power, so accessorizing him to his physical strengths is a good way to go.
Guile, originally meant to be Magus from Chrono Trigger, is a really interesting character. When first recruited, he can be frustrating to use thanks to his seemingly small elemental grid and low accuracy. The more he levels up, however, the larger his elemental grid gets. This is different from any other Chrono Cross Character in the game.
Thanks to this inverted elemental grid, Guile has access to many high-level spells in later parts of the game. Pair that with his high magic power, and he can be quite unstoppable. The biggest letdown is his low accuracy, so it can be hard to build up his elemental grid to actually use those spells in battle. His techs only hit a single, enemy, but they do high damage, so don’t skip out on those.
Everyone’s favorite jester, Harle, can be a bit of a nuisance while you’re still Serge. Once you’re stuck in the body of Lynx, however, she becomes a formidable ally. She, like many of the best Chrono Cross characters, is a great all arounder. She is a badass mage with high stats and a huge elemental grid. It’s also hard not to fall for her fun dialect and sometimes sarcastic lines.
Her techs look cool as well as either dealing high damage or offering utility to the party. Her first and final tech hurt all enemies while her middle one raises the defense of the party and lowers the magic damage from enemies. Unfortunately, she’s only available for a limited time in the game.
Kid is the lovable, potty-mouthed thief who is one of the game’s biggest connections to Chrono Trigger. She is one of just a few Chrono Cross characters who has access to a tech that can steal items from enemies. If you use Kid, you should be using this tech. It will get you access to accessories and crafting materials that can sometimes be hard to find.
As far as fighting enemies go, Kid is pretty great at everything. She’s fast, has high accuracy, and deals a decent amount of damage. Her biggest downfall is that she’s not around for a lot of the game. When she is available, though, she’s a worthy addition. She’s also central to the story, so if you wanna see her perspective on things, keep her around.
Leena is an easily missable character. She only joins if you refuse Kid’s initial request to join your party three times. She’s worth recruiting, though. Leena is one of the best magic-based Chrono Cross characters, so having her in your party is extremely beneficial. She has very high magic and a large elemental grid, so she’s perfect in a caster-type role. Pair that with Maiden Heart, her tech that has a chance to restore all used elements, and she’s a powerhouse.
Not everything is golden with, Leena though. Like many caster roles, she can fall in battle quickly. She suffers from having both low HP and low defense. You can bolster those with certain accessories though. There’s always a way to make a character more viable!
Orlha is one of those side characters that have a small, but impactful story to tell as well as being a strong option for your party. She’s lost much of her family, and you’re able to reunite her with her sister eventually.
In battle, she’s a fierce fighter who can pummel enemies into submission. While she doesn’t have access to a lot of higher-level elemental slots, she makes up for it with brute strength.
Riddel is another Chrono Cross character who joins you automatically. While she, like Serge, has a White Innate Element, she’s still useful in a number of ways. First, she has very high magic power. Second, she has access to some very useful defensive techs. She can heal, cure status effects, and provide a boost to defenses.
Unfortunately, she can take quite a beating though. Her HP and defense are on the lower side. She doesn’t have access to any offensive techs, but her level 3 regular attack does hit all enemies, which isn’t seen often in the game.
Serge is a no brainer. He is the game’s main character, so of course, he’s going to be great in pretty much every aspect. His Innate Element is White. With his oar-like Sea Swallow weapons, he’s great offensively. Since his magic stat is on the higher end and his element grid is larger, he’s a good choice for magic usage, too. He’s able to learn double and triple techs to help team up with others and deal big damage.
When he gets put into Lynx’s body, he’s basically the same. Lynx, however, has a Black Innate Element. As far as Chrono Cross characters go, you don’t have him for very long. While you do, though, he’s a beast on the battlefield just like Serge. His first two techs mirror Serge’s.