Chained Echoes is a love letter to old-school RPGs. To this end, it borrows from multiple video games, films, and other popular anime shows to create its narrative. Some of the allusions are pretty heavy-handed, while others are more subtle in how the game delivers them.
These aren’t limited to referencing other RPGs; There are plenty of hidden moments and secrets in Chained Echoes that add a lot of depth and flavor to the game. Whether it be Final Fantasy references, Chrono Cross allusions, secret accessories, or just dialogue, you’ll want to pay close attention as you play the game.
9/9 Kylian’s Ultra Move References Final Fantasy 9’s Alexandria Castle
When in combat, your characters can use attacks known as Ultra Moves that deal massive damage to a single enemy or group. If you’ve used Kylian’s move, you might’ve noticed that it appears to be a Final Fantasy 9 reference.
Kylian sticks his sword into the earth, causing a massive blade to protrude from the ground, reaching far into the sky. The blade that comes out looks similar to the sword stuck through the middle of Alexandria Castle from Final Fantasy 9. It’s subtle enough to go unnoticed unless you’re familiar with the design.
8/9 Princess Lenne Is A Chrono Trigger And Valkrie Profile Reference
The main character Princess Lenne is a pretty obvious reference to Chrono Trigger’s Leene, but her last name hides yet another easter egg. You find out rather quickly that Lenne is a rebellious princess in hiding, and you soon discover her last name is Valkyria.
Valkyrie Profile is an RPG made by Tri-Ace, which we believe is the intended reference being made here with Lenne. Lenne’s Ultra Move looks extremely similar to the Nibelung Valesti finishing strike we’ve seen throughout every Valkyrie Profile game, so when you take that and her last name into account, you can see the thread.
7/9 The Alpha And Omega – Xenogears
The first quest in your log is almost certainly a reference to the beginning of Xenogears, an RPG released in 1998. In Chained Echoes, your first quest is called The Alpha, Not the Omega, which you will recognize instantly as a quote.
Deeper than that, this quote is used in the opening sequence to Xenogears, as the words “I Am Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and the End” crawl across the screen. It’s hard to miss, but it makes sense when you play Chained Echoes and begin seeing all the allusions to other games and anime.
6/9 Woken Up By Mum – Chrono Trigger
This reference will only be noticeable to those who have played Chrono Trigger. The game starts with one of our protagonists, Glenn, being woken up by his mother, and it plays out almost exactly as the opening sequence to Chrono Trigger does.
While Glenn is simply having a dream and is on an airship going to war, the intro is a nice homage to one of the greatest JRPGs of all time. It’s so similar to the scene from Chrono Trigger that you’d be forgiven for thinking Glenn’s Mum is about to give you an allowance for the Millennial Fair. Naturally, they save that nod for a bit later on.
5/9 The Devs Might Prefer Dogs
As you explore the world, you will encounter dogs and cats in Inns or just sitting outside in some towns and cities. If you go up to a dog, you can pet it. This will result in a swarm of love hearts appearing above the dog’s head. Doing the same and interacting with a cat will show you an angry symbol above the cat’s head.
There are some cats that show hearts to being petted, but there are very few of them, while every dog in the game will always offer you hearts and never be angry at the attention. We all know cats can be affectionate while dogs can be grumpy, so we see some hidden bias here.
4/9 Some Dialogue Choices Matter
There are some instances in the game where you can talk to NPCs and encourage or discourage them from doing something. At the start of the game, when Glenn is on the airship, you will encounter two of these NPCs. One is sitting next to some dynamite, claiming that he will use it and it’ll destroy the enemy.
If you tell him it’s a good idea to use it, he will aid you with the fights that happen shortly after. Telling him it’s a bad idea to use, however, will result in him deciding not to do it. There’s another instance of this in the previous room, where an NPC asked if they should run away. Telling him to run will reward you.
3/9 Life Thread Accessory
At the start of the game when you play as Sir Victor, you’ll find yourself in a hall where you will interact with three key characters. You will be faced with a choice when they introduce themselves. If you answer correctly, you will be rewarded with a helpful accessory to have early on.
The Life Thread accessory greatly increases your critical hit percentage, which is perfect for Sienna to increase her impressive damage further at the start of the game. This is one of the few missable accessories early on, so you’ll want to pay attention to the dialogues to get the right answers.
2/9 Sky Armors Are A Nod To Xenogears And Evangelion
While you could easily say this about any video game with a mech, it’s hard not to think of Xenogears and Neon Genesis Evangelion when you play through some parts of Chained Echoes.
Some of the color modifications you can get for your Sky Armors in Chained Echoes are called ADAM. These are the name signifiers for some of the mechs in Evangelion. Furthermore, these Sky Armors bear a striking resemblance to the mechs you see in Xenogears, but this comparison is a bit more subtle.
1/9 Termina Caves
The Termina Caves are one of the first locations you visit in Chained Echoes, but did you know that the name could be a reference to two very different games?
Chrono Cross is a sequel to Chrono Trigger, but it doesn’t enjoy the same lauded status as the latter. Termina is the name of a town you visit in Chrono Cross, which would make sense for Chained Echoes to be alluding to. There is also the possibility that it is a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which also has a town called Termina.
Next: Chained Echoes: All Characters Ranked