Chrono Trigger used time travel really well so that your actions in the past affect the world in the present and future.
Compared to today’s huge open world games and MMOs with no fixed narrative, though, Chrono Trigger is actually pretty linear. Some of the choices actually do matter, though.
Magus is initially presented as one of the main villains in the game. Depending on your actions, you kill him or he joins you as one of the good guys.
Magus came to mind after reading this passage in Atomic Habits:
Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.
Like Magus, time will be your ally or your enemy.
However you define success, you’ll get there based on your habits over time. We’re not in Chrono Trigger. You can’t change the progression of time, but you can change your habits.
The tiny things compound over time. That goes for tiny good things and tiny bad things. If you want to make a big change, there’s a tiny chance that you can make a giant change overnight. Otherwise it’ll be that tiny positive change over and over. Time becomes your ally and works in your favor.
Another great book about small things is The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. While we often think about good and bad habits, what if you just stay neutral? Stay on a level course. The Slight Edge emphasizes that stagnation over time can end up negative:
You know what you need to do to stay healthy and feel fit and live a long life. Get your heart rate up, a little over normal, for twenty minutes, three times a week. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. And it’s easy to do.
But it’s also easy not to do. And if you don’t do it today, or tomorrow, or the next day, you won’t suddenly drop dead, and you won’t suddenly put on twenty pounds, and you won’t suddenly lose all your muscle tone.
The next time you face a small choice, imagine that choice propagated over weeks and years. How does that affect your decision?