Unused Treasure Chest
In Guardia Inn, to the left of the clerk behind the front desk, is a treasure chest, normally inaccessible. However, if you use the walk through walls code to get behind it, you'll find the chest has quite a bit of money in it:
This is slightly odd, because every other inaccessible treasure chest has nothing in it. The idea that it may have been used as part of a development test seems unlikely, since in the sample ROM, this chest contains nothing. Reasons for its existance are open for speculation.
Chrono Trigger was translated by having the whole script dumped in text form, translated to English, then reinserted with as much compression as possible. The means that any text leftovers that may have been in the original Japanese ROM were also translated, including lost locations, items, and characters.
Starting at 0x06f200 in all the English/Japanese final and the proto roms are all the location names in the game. (Note that you'll need the English or Japanese Thingy Tables to view the text in the game, since it does not use standard ASCII, as well as using substring text encoding) Perusing the English list, you'll find some strange locations that don't normally appear:
|Gobb's house (1000)||ゴブの家|
|Eternal repose (1000)||泳遠のいこい亭|
|Breakwave Pt. (1000)||さざなみ亭|
|Robot village (2300)||ロボット村|
|Ayla's tent (65m)||エイラのテント|
|Chanting Mt (65m)||歌う山|
|North Keep (Zeal)||北の封印宮|
All the locations are grouped by their time period, except for a few random ones at the end. From this we can guess the time periods these 'lost' locations are from, except for Exoskeleton, which appears at the end of 12000 BC, but at the start of the 'random' locations. The Exoskeleton (or the more accurate Japanese 'Outer Shell of Lavos') was most likely the overworld location to enter Lavos's shell after defeating his first form. Chanting Mt should be easily recognizable to almost everyone; it has commonly been referred to as Singing Mountain (as translated from the OST), and much of it is left in the sample ROM (although it is very buggy).
Odd Credits Text
In the final, from 0x3DA200h to 0x3DA9FF, there is a block of ASCII text containing the credits. There are a few things that make this odd though. First of all, it is stored as plain ASCII, standard computer encoding, while all the rest of the game uses the encoding unique to the game. More oddness at the end:
First, the text, The End. 'The End' does appear at the end of the credits, but as a large golden graphic, not as plain text as the rest of this. Immediately after we have text for 65m, 600 AD, and 2300 AD. Why are there era names here, and why only three? The next part may answer it: 2300 AD overwrites halfway into NANASHINO GONBEIDESU ('nameless' in Japanese). The nanashi's continue, ending with a similar THE END. Most likely, the era names were held over from an earlier version that used that text somewhere, possibly in the credits (remember that in the Epoch ending, scenes from 65m [Kino & Ayla on dactyls], 2300 AD [good future with Robo and Atropos], and 600 AD [Leene and Frog/Glenn]). Purely conjecture here, but perhaps originally when these scenes were shown, this text displayed to show the era. If that's the case as well, then maybe the original scene order was 65m -> 600 AD -> 2300 AD, instead of ending in 600 like in the final. Well, I like the way the final turned out. =) The 'nanashi no gonbei desu' phrases were probably place holders for the future names of playtesters and such for the credits. This text does not appear in the pre.