The sequel to Chrono Trigger pissed off a lot of fans. It’s a very different beast compared to the original, but it has a unique charm that makes me want to stick up for the game. Getting the good ending, though? I can’t defend it — this is so arcane and complicated, it is impossible to unlock without a strategy guide. How anybody figured this out, I have no clue. And it’s the only way to get an actual ending! The ‘bad’ ending just cuts to black after you defeat the boss — one of the most mystifying moments in an already baffling game.
To defeat the boss for real, you have to ‘play’ an instrument by casting different elemental magic. You have to match the colors that appear and ‘play’ a pattern by casting magic, and hoping the enemy final boss casts the correct magic type to complete the pattern. Yes, this ending relies on predicting the random AI behavior of the final boss. Instead of beating up the Spawn of Lavos, you have to play this extremely weird game. And it isn’t explained anywhere!
Max Payne 2
Max Payne 2 ends with the tragic death of Mona Sax, an assassin-for-hire that develops a steamy relationship with the former vigilante and current detective for the NYPD. Her death seems inevitable — but it is possible to save her in a non-canon bonus ending. Sure, she’s canonically still dead, but you can enjoy a little alternate history happiness for the saddest gun-toting man in the Big Apple.
To get the ending, you’ll have to beat the game three times — once on standard difficulty, then Hard-Boiled, and finally on New York Minute. The game is already pretty hard, but New York Minute cranks up the challenge to an insane degree. You already died in about a split second in the original game. In New Your Minute, you’ll get blown away in a nano-angstrom. It’s an absurd challenge where you’ll be desperately clinging to every pill bottle. You’ll have to give those Quicksave / Quickload keys a workout.
Remember the most aggravatingly hard endings to earn on the next page.