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Topics - OriginalManFred

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Characters, Plot, and Themes / All Problems Solved.
« on: October 28, 2022, 04:38:51 pm »

Fred here!  Long time lurker and reader, but first time poster. Pity there isn't more activity here  particularly now after the release of Radical Dreamers Edition of Chrono Cross HD. Hopefully this topic of mine may garner some attention and help change that. How humble of me!  :shock:

I'm interested to read all points of view on my theorizing, especially as I'm not an expert per se, but I've read through most of the encyclopedia here. I am fairly certain I discovered something that has not been noticed or simply not acknowledged by this community as far as I can tell. I found this surprising.

Great remaster of Cross, IMO! I have on the PS5. My theories relate to this game—as I've just beat it again with three or four consecutive playthroughs. 

Quick background on me. First played and beat Trigger on SNES w/ school buddy in '95/'96 with that journey through time being among my fondest memories. Didn't get into Cross initially, but once I did later in the 2000's, I was so immersed that I partially credit the game with my decision to enlist in the US Navy to go sailing and island-hopping (without Korcha for sure!) in the Pacific. My journeys eventually even took me to Japan itself!  It goes without saying that I spent lots of time topside on my ship listening to the combined works of Yasunori Mitsuda on my MP3 player and getting lost in the Scars of Time. Ha!

I remember reading an article where one of the lead designers (could be Kato, but most likely Nobuteru Yūki who was in charge of characters) explained that the lack of use of playable Chrono Trigger characters was because of the fear that the gamer would then avoid the variety and focus on their familiar favorites once they are, often forcibly acquired. In a game built around the mammoth roster on the 3d engine, that would have been a big buzzkill for sure. I'm not sure I even disagree, despite loving Crono, Marle, Lucca, etc.

I found this all very curious, and it lead me to wonder if perhaps this decision came later in the process after the plot outline was decided. What I mean is, essentially, are the Chrono Trigger cast actually indeed involved (written in the plot) but deeply disguised? This would presumably have taken place much later in the actual coding/graphic design process, as opposed to, you know, the story/script phase, which is what most of us focus on here at Compendium.

Lets take a quick look at the characters!

The El Nino natives are governed by FATE and are essentially simpletons in a isolated (perhaps hidden) archipelago in the Southern Hemisphere. On paper, that doesn't exactly scream excitement for a new crew. The, arguably, more important characters are NOT. Who's from Zenan Mainland? Are their designs and behaviors consistent with Trigger's cast in more than superficial ways, such as with Turnip or Glenn (as being Frog-like) or Leah (Ayla)? These characters are throwbacks, sure, but they are essentially distractions as well. They are misdirection.

The Zenan Mainland Cast:

Kid - Sister-clone Schala, confirmed! Knows Lucca, but it's been awhile. LOL

Guile (Magil) - Magus, amnesia (confirmed in CT DS)

Luccia (Lutianna) - Lucca, in disguise to protect herself/loved ones & w/ "Lucca's letter" to Kid about a worry of revenge to be inflicted on time-travelers.  Suspicious, but totally consistent with the scientist who's orphanage was burned to the ground. It reminds me of Doc Brown's cautiousness in Back To The Future worrying about space-time continuum. She is hiding from The Entity.

Norris - Marle, undercover/infiltrated in both Porre and Viper Manor. (Wild "tomboy"—actions totally consistent w/ previous portrayal minus actual gender-swap.) Norris is not exactly uber-masculine, though. It looks like Marle, and her an Lucca still use projectile weapons.

Greco - Frog, eventual human form but w/ GREEN mask w/ Frog design, obsesses over fallen partner, Ghetz (like Cyrus), but finds peace.

Doc - Fritz, maybe? Or, Kino?

Orhla - This one is a different level of speculation. She's an El Nino native, supposedly. Doesn't quite fit! With that said... Physical powerhouse, intimate friendship with Doc, a Zenan Mainland character. Lives in the primitive human settlement, serves alcohol, dresses sexy but more modern... doesn't fully trust demi-humans. Her character arc is prominent, but it ultimately leads nowhere. Maybe she was tasked to show Serge and company the importance of family and tribe and the possibilities of the two dimensions. In an earlier draft, I can imagine Tia not being her sister... but her lover—Kino!

Toma the Explorer - himself

Skelly - Obviously, Norstein Bekkler, no? Nyak, Nyak, Nyak

Prometheus Circuit- Robo, confirmed.

Grobyc - Crono (a cyborg ["grobyc" spelled backwards] is NOT a robot, but a human with mechanical or electronic alterations) He lost his arm and was heavily damaged during the overthrow of Guardia Kingdom via Dalton. Single-spike hair.

Mojoy - Crono's clone-doll inspired. Only appears in Another World where Lavos was defeated by the heroes. (Red flames on head instead of spikes)

Belthasar - himself, confirmed.

Starky - This was tricky!  He's the Lavos Core species. Swallowed by the creature. His ship is the exterior, he's the center bit. Inside his ship, the left bit restores life (cryo-chamber), but the right bit is the energy source. Star Fragment, whatever. You follow? Review the game. A colleague of The Final Boss of Trigger is playable in Cross.

That may be it! Everyone else seems to be of El Nino origin.

Pip - This character, incidentally created by "Luccia", was introduced to indicate the evolving nature of advanced magic users. That's what initially sparked my skepticism. I said, well,  Lucca was Red, not Black. "It can't be!" Pip was a CLUE for the gamer. These characters are adults now, and adults evolve. Their changes even sort of make sense on a gut-level when you extrapolate their journeys into maturity and the events they may have lived through, including those we are ignorant to. Obviously, war has been brought to Zenan, and then there's this Time Crash thing.

Crono: Yellow to Black
Lucca: Red to Black
Marle: Blue to Yellow
Frog: Blue to Red
Magus: Retains Black Magic, didn't evolve due to amnesia
Robo: N/A
Ayla: N/A, or Blue for Orhla

Upon subsequent playthroughs, I challenge you to use Relief Charm and create a party of Grobyc, Norris, Luccia... or Groybc, Luccia, Greco and tell me you don't get Chrono Trigger vibes big time giving what we've seen of the characters as presented. With the right Element placement, even more so. It's more than just design and attributes (that's there too)... but their behavior, characteristics, and locations in the game are spot on. Crono, though not quite voiceless, also retains that spirit of strong, silent type. Use them to beat Chronopolis & Terra Tower. Evolved Trigger Humans vs. Mother Brain vs. Evolved Reptites! It's the payoff.

Look at the ages, as well. 26, 26, 28 (Lucca was always older).  Now, granted, in AD 1020, most characters would be in mid-thirties at least. But, if they were to be ahead of the curve & the heroes we all know them to be? Then they likely had gotten the ball rolling in AD 1010 at the time of the dimensional glitch w/ Serge's death and then time-travelled in Epoch w/ Belthasar to direct 1020 El Nino roster in Project Kid to Free Schala from the Time Devourer and solve all problems. That is my understanding. I'm a little fuzzy on some details where others may be a little more savvy. Regardless, wouldn't it be fairly simple to make a third game, Chrono Break, to reveal this, show the events from a Trigger-perspective, and close the loop with a rock-solid trilogy. El Nino's cast of youth (Serge, Leena, Korcha, Glenn, etc.) have to complete their own adventure without the greater knowledge, but the Zenan folk are supervising for sure. It could all be laid out for a subsequent game to tie things up and sort things out.

Do you think it's possible that too many of us speculated on the supposed DEATHS of the Trigger cast, and perhaps the outside characters brought a charm of their own? Too much charm? I don't know. But I never accepted the heroes as dead... not even Lucca. Classic rule of storytelling. No body, no death. All we know is from PS1 cutscenes is that Trigger had loose ends, Lucca finds mysterious time-baby, and war had been brought to Guardia. 'O ye, of little faith'?
They are alive. They are right there with Belthasar. You know I'm right.

Lucky I came along.   :lol:

[Original Post edited and improved upon 10/30/22. Extra snarkiness removed.]

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