- When you first begin the game, talk to Crono's mom twice and she'll give you some money.
- The Soda Guzzling game is a good way to build up a lot of Silver Points early, especially if you have a turbo controller. There's a man in a tent over by Lucca's sideshow that trades your Silver Points for Gil. You can use the Gil to buy a Lode Sword from Melchior before you visit Lucca's sideshow.
- Killing Gato the singing robot is a slower, yet more cathartic way of building up Silver Points.
- Don't bother with triple techs, you can almost always do more damage in the same amount of time by sticking to double techs or single techs.
- Be nice to Marle at the beginning. Or don't, it doesn't really make a difference.
- Keep an eye out for sparkly blue things, they add to one of your characters stats if you pick them up. For an example there's one in the bottom right corner of the woods I think.
- Also in the woods, you can get infinite free Shelters by examining a bush. Not really worth it but helps at the beginning when you're low on money.
- When you get to the future, go through the sewer dungeon (it's later on) to get some nice equipment.
- When you get the ability to open the mysterious black boxes, go to them in the past first, say "no" to opening them, then go to the present and open them. You get an upgraded version of whatever was inside. You can then go back to past to open the black box. Although it should cause some kind of time paradox, you get to keep both the upgraded and original item.
- The code in Lucca's dream sequence is pressing the L, A, R, A buttons on the controller in that order.
- When you get to the cape in 12000 BC and are prompted to fight with someone, don't.
- Find a woman in Zeal Palace that has a plant next to her. She'll ask you if she should keep it or burn it. Tell her to keep it. If you missed her, you can find her in a fairly obvious location later. However, if you tell her to burn it, you'll lose out on a sidequest.
- Also in Zeal, don't forget to figure out the Fire-Water-Wind puzzles in the smaller towns. You'll lose the chance to do so at a given point.
- Use Ayla's charm on the bosses in the Black Omen. Also, go through the Black Omen in 1000 AD, that way you can go through it again in the past (and get the items you stole from the final few bosses again).
- Don't sell the Demon Hit (treasure in Ocean Palace), as even though it's not Frog's best sword it will be for the large part of a New Game+ (it's impossible to have Frog's best sword carry over to the beginning).
- Directly after the Ocean Palace, put Ayla in your party.
- Combined techs can break through strong defenses. You will come across enemies with max defense and be forced to use magic on them. One boss is a pain with her perfect defense.
- A certain enemy appears in several places in 65 Million BC when it rains and he drops great stuff to forge with.
- You're going to get asked at one point to open one special chest; a chest containing a weapon, or a chest containing armor. Take the armor.
For the DS version only:
After you beat the Ocean Palace, there is a new dungeon that opens up called the Lost Sanctum. It's a pretty awful sidequest to be honest - the best rewards you get from it are right at the beginning and right at the end. So if you want to do it, do it all the way through and as soon as you can so you can enjoy the benefits of climbing that stupid mountain over and over. The plus side is that you'll never have to do it again on new game + runs because there is very little value to gain from doing so.
The items of note are:
- Dragon Tear, which acts as a Hero Medal for anyone. I think it's either the first or second reward you get. Becomes very useful later.
- Valor Crest, which is an accessory for Ayla that gives her a 50% counterattack rate and increased crits. Turns her into even MORE of a killing machine.
- Champion's Badge, which is basically the Hero Medal combined with a Silver Stud, for Frog only. Versatile, at least.
There are some other decent armors and a good weapon for Magus but those are the ones I ended up using the most.
After you beat the game for the first time, you can keep playing (as well as starting a new game +) and the Dimensional Vortex opens up in a bunch of places/times. This is actually a pretty good addition, and it unlocks new ultimate weapons for everyone but Frog and Ayla. Some of them are pretty interesting (Marle's always does 777 damage, for example, which ups her usefulness in fights tremendously) while some, like Crono's, are pretty much just upgrade versions of their previous ultimate (in Crono's case, it's just like the Rainbow except stronger and with a 90% crit rate.) The one that is most notable is Robo's, which has 0 attack power, but does 9999 on a critical. Combining this with that Dragon Tear from earlier makes even the new final boss, which is unlocked after beating all the Dimensional Vortexes, a total cakewalk.
Other than that, it's pretty much the same with an improved translation. The Dimensional Vortex part also helps bridge the gap between CT and CC.