Creation and influences
From left to right: the daughter of a fairy king, a tin robot (top), a monster man (bottom), an inventor girl, the male protagonist, a demon king, a primitive girl, and an old sage
The characters of Chrono Trigger were designed by Akira Toriyama based on sketches from the story planner Masato Kato. The development team wanted a diverse cast to reflect the various eras visited by the player; while working on the in-battle actions of the game, they decided to include a playable character that was neither human nor robot. Kato drew sketches for a cast of eight playable characters, comprising a male protagonist, the daughter of a fairy king, a tin robot, a monster man, an inventor girl, a demon king, a primitive girl, and an old sage. Pig and monkey characters were also considered. Six of the initial ideas were reworked by Toriyama, while the old sage character was scrapped and the monster man replaced with Toriyama's own frog man design.
In addition to the artwork for the main cast, Toriyama designed the non-playable characters and the monsters of the game, though Hironobu Sakaguchi contributed the idea of the singing robot Gato. The development staff studied all the drawings Toriyama made for the game and tried to be as faithful to his lighthearted style as possible. In particular, humorous names were chosen for several characters. The staff noted that this kind of humor would have been impossible in the Final Fantasy series. Some of the names used in the English localization of the game were inspired by Biblical characters, including Belthasar, Gaspar, Melchior, and Magus. However, Kato did not especially have the Bible in mind when writing the story and was not aware of the names created by the translator Ted Woolsey.