The Chrono Trigger is a "time egg." A mysterious device completed by the Guru of Time, it allows one to restore lost timelines. But as Gaspar admonishes, the end result is only as much as the effort put into it.|
In the game, Marle and team used the Chrono Trigger to rescue Chrono from untimely death. But there were some pretty strict prerequisites. First and foremost, it took a whole lot of work to get to Death Peak, the place where the egg shatters. Second, they needed a "clone" of Chrono, or rather, a large doll. The purpose of that was to replace Chrono in that moment. It's not enough to just snatch him from danger; if that were to happen, Marle and team would never have any reason to save him, and thus would begin a classic time paradox. But the biggest restriction is that the Trigger creates a time freeze, giving you a brief period of time to correct something in one froze moment. You can't go back and warn your former self not to invest in Enron. You can't stop a loved one from developing cancer. All you can do is save something in a frozen moment.
I've often thought about what I would change if I could go back. As Calvin said, "My life needs a 'rewind and record' button." There are many things I would stop if I could go talk to my former self. I would tell Andrew to shut up and stop complaining about Tennessee. I'd say, "There's nothing you can do. You're going to move and that's that. Learn to appreciate the things in Tennessee." Or I'd tell my parents, "Don't bother building that house; it's just going to burn down anyway. Just sell the place and move back home now. No need to waste all that time and effort." Maybe I'd just cut to the chase and say, "Kill yourself now. It's not going to get any better with time."
But that's not how a Trigger works. You get a moment and that's it. A moment frozen in time. What would I do with that moment? Here are a few examples of what's possible. I could go to the barrier reef, grab Steve and replace him with a clone, and bring the Crocodile Hunter back to his family. I could go back to when my house burned and recover something just before it becomes a pile of smoking rubble. I could even do something as mundane as grabbing a harddrive before the head crashes and replacing with an already-corrupted drive. I could probably stop the death of any single person, or rescue any single item, but that seems to be the limit.
There are many possibilities, but what would I choose? I can't think of a single moment in time that means so much to me that I would use my only chance to save it. It seems like all of my mistakes in life have been more of a process than a single instant. There's no single moment I want to save; just mistakes I want to correct.
If you were given a Chrono Trigger, what moment would you choose to save?