Chrono Trigger by Michael P. Williams
ISBN 13: 978-1-940535-01-2
Foreword by Ted Woolsey
When Boss Fight Books first gave fans the chance to vote for the game they most wanted to read a book about, they chose the epic time travel RPG Chrono Trigger.
Featuring new interviews with translator Ted Woolsey and DS retranslator Tom Slattery, Michael P. Williams's book delves deep into connections between Crono’s world and ours, including Chrono Trigger's take on institutions such as law and religion, how the game's heroes fit and defy genre conventions, and the maddening logical headaches inherent in any good time travel plot.
From the Magus dilemma to the courtroom scene, find out why many consider this game the high point in the entire role-playing genre in this in-depth examination of Chrono Trigger, a ton of fun and a true work of art.
Michael P. Williams is a writer, researcher, and Japanese specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. He has taught English in Fukushima City, Japan, and he lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Recommended in Kotaku's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide
"At once an autobiography, an enthusiast’s ode to the early years of gaming, and a coming of age story of boy-meets-cartridge." - Ted Woolsey
"If writing about video games had always been this good, we'd be having very difficult discussions about the medium right now." - Nintendo Life
"The strength of this book comes from his desire and ability to look at the social codes, the basic assumptions, that enabled specific forms of development for the game he is analyzing. This comes in various forms ... that get to the heart of the material hardware restrictions and symbolic linguistic decisions that ultimately determined the shape Chrono Trigger took for the Anglophone world." 8.3/10 - Paste
"You had me at a 194-page book on Chrono Trigger." - Kill Screen
"Williams leads the reader through an exploration of the game in a warm, joyful manner. His keen attention to detail makes trivial elements of the game, for instance Frog’s archaic speech patterns, worthy of deep reflection and contemplation." - Barn Owl Review
"The book makes me want to dig for the box I know contains my copy of Chrono Trigger and all its siblings. ... Isn’t that what these books are all about? To not only remind us of why we love these games, and make us want to play them, but also to render them new again?" - Cartridge Lit
"Fascinating." - Dial H for Houston
"Anyone who has nostalgic, deeply personal feelings for a favorite game should be able to find something to relate to." - RPGamer
"Instead of feeling like a flat lecture, reading the book almost becomes a conversation ... [W]ith each and every page you fully understand the love the author has for his source material and how excited he is to be sharing it with his readers." - Nintendojo
"As a love letter to the game and the indelible mark it left on him, Chrono Trigger succeeds mightily. Anyone who loved the game at any age will instantly be transported back to that time in her life, with the added bonus of leveling up in historical knowledge and empathic engagement with a meticulous, passionate author." - Foxing Quarterly
"Williams did a great job. He remarkably balanced everything in the book while showcasing the right amount of personal insight, technical data and trivia to keep the reader engaged page after page." - 4 Color Rebellion
"In between similar engrossing academic explorations lie insightful tales of the possibilities and impossibilities of capturing the magic of adolescence." - The Austin Chronicle
Party Like It’s 1999: Japanese Retrofuturism and Chrono Trigger - related article by Michael P. Williams in The Appendix
More Reviews: Goodreads