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Topics - Jormungand

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There are a lot of good minecraft servers out there, but few have a consistent theme. In a Chrono-themed server we could recreate locations from the series, such as the different eras, etc. I'm sure by now you've all seen the Enhasa recreation on youtube. Better yet, a server filled with compendiumites would be a nice change. Sometimes the conversation to be found on some servers is a bit... challenged.

Just a thought.

General Discussion / I have just released a game soundtrack!
« on: September 12, 2011, 04:54:43 pm »
You can stream it at:

I'd love to hear some reviews! I suppose I'd call the style a mix of Chrono Cross and Suikoden with a touch of Wild ARMs. It's definitely RPG-styled, anyway. I do consider Yasunori Mitsuda as one of my biggest influences, so if you catch a Mitsudan-like mannerism here and there, don't be alarmed. ;)

General Discussion / Vote to reboot Breath of Fire at Capcom
« on: May 26, 2011, 07:51:10 am »

First off, I have no idea how influential such a poll could possibly be. But as another poster said to me upon my skepticism: "it can't hurt".

Second, this is Capcom Europe, which adds further doubt. However, at the very least, you don't have to live in Europe to register and vote. I say it's worth a shot.

The poll is right in the middle on the home page under "Polls". You must register first. Accounts from other regions (like Capcom-Unity) don't work.

Currently Breath of Fire is behind Dino Crisis by a large margin (wtf?) but is in second place overall (out of 1100+ votes). So if you like RPGs, do yourself a favor and vote Breath of Fire!

I expect that Chrono fans should find themselves particularly sympathetic to BoF's plight; both it and Chrono are neglected franchises. So, a vote for Breath of Fire is a vote for Japanese RPGs.

General Discussion / Today in Wisconsin, history is being made
« on: February 17, 2011, 11:17:16 pm »
Likely some of you have heard about this. To summarize briefly, the newly elected governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker (R), put into motion a bill specifically targeting union member rights. He deliberately set a short timeframe (one week), to push the bill through so that little deliberation could be made over it. Essentially, the bill seeks to eliminate collective bargaining agreements for public sector employees. The bill was approved last night.

On Tuesday, massive crowds assembled at our state's capitol building in Madison to denounce Walker and his attack on state employees. The crowds remained throughout the day and into the night. On Wednesday, a still larger crowd descended upon the capitol. Today, an even larger crowd took to the downtown area to protest. Tomorrow will be the same.

A large part of those assembled have been teachers. Due to the significant called-in absences of teachers, all Madison public schools were closed on Wednesday, today, and will again be closed tomorrow.

Walker's proposal was expected to be deliberated upon and finalized this morning at the capitol building. However, due to the impassioned protests and hundreds of citizens and public workers speaking directly to the legislature, an unprecedented move was made: Wisconsin's Democrat senators fled the capitol building, and have long since crossed state lines into Illinois.

Of the Republican-controlled senate, only 19 Republican senators remain. A "quorum" of 20 is required for the proposal to be open to deliberation. Thus, by law, the proposal cannot go into action. Were the Democrat senators to remain, the majority Republican senate would have easily passed the proposal. However, no such action can be taken until the quorum of 20 senators is satisfied.

State police and national guardsmen were deployed to apprehend the fleeing senators to return them to the capitol--at gunpoint if necessary. The senators safely made it past state lines, and thus cannot be lawfully pursued.

It is expected they will not return until Walker's proposal is either significantly altered or altogether scrapped.

The proposal was made allegedly as an effort to balance Wisconsin's budget, now in a deficit of $137 million. However, the proposal is targeted specifically at union workers, seeking to eliminate all collective bargaining. This means the complete loss of benefits such as health care and retirement. This effectively undoes decades of union rights and bargaining, which has successfully allowed teachers and other state workers to have large shares of their insurance and retirement paid off. These benefits are essential as they off-set the obscenely low salaries of state workers, especially teachers.

Walker is, in fact, a criminal. Since being elected, his payouts to business-owners that supported his campaign robbed Wisconsin of more money than his tyrannical proposal could possibly recuperate by gouging the middle class.

Walker specifically stated that he will not negotiate with unions. He will pay the price. Not only will he likely be recalled after 366 days in office, but until he agrees to negotiate, his ridiculous proposal may not be put into effect.

I cannot understate the tumultuous climate here in Wisconsin right now. Especially in Madison, where I work as an assistant and soon-to-be teacher in an elementary school.

There are three very unethical and despicable acts perpetrated by Walker and the Republicans that must be brought to light:

1. Walker's million-dollar payouts to campaign-supporters while simultaneously declaring he wants to balance the budget.
2. During the legislative hearings, hundreds showed up to speak. After a certain number had spoken, Republicans stopped allowing people to speak their thoughts, claiming that most of what they heard were "just stories". This outright disrespect for democracy is sickening, and the Republicans must be held accountable for their unethical treatment of the democratic process.
3. Republicans called upon police and national guardsmen to track down the fleeing senators. Imagine if the senators were apprehended and brought back to the capitol at gunpoint and forced to deliberate the proposal. That would've have repercussions more widely-reaching than Wisconsin. Then again, this whole situation will likely be nationally examined closely in the coming weeks.

For more information, you can pretty much just google "Wisconsin" and you're likely to find an article about this. It's probably the most severe social climate I've ever personally been involved in, and it has very serious implications not only for my future as a teacher, but the future of all children who go to school in Wisconsin. We are (especially in Madison) a traditionally liberal and progressive state, and I'm sure hearing that makes you wonder how Walker got elected in the first place. I don't know, but I sure didn't vote for him. Wisconsin's citizens are now realizing the seriousness of this anti-middle class agenda, if they didn't already.

I want to end this post by stating my own political alignment: none. I don't like the two-party system, and I think it's going to destroy our country. While I believe the Democratic senators are essentially heroes for foiling Walker's plans, as are the 25,000+ protesters, it's frightening that we ever got to this point in the first place. Even with my rights as a teacher so threatened, I know it's my calling, and it's what I'm going to do. As a teacher, I hope to keep my students as far removed from the broken political machinations of this country as possible. I want them to grow up to change this country, bring down the party system, and establish a governmental model that is sustainable and truly representative of its citizens. The current model merely caters to two distinct parties, both which are plagued by agendas of the rich. I want my students to know they don't have to accept this, and can reject it wholesale. And my influence as a teacher will be far stronger than that of any politician; and those same politicians are powerless to stop me. They made attempt to degrade or even minimize the conditions of my profession, but for every concession they are forced to make in the face of overwhelming protest, my cause is enabled and empowered. Only so much tyranny will be tolerated by the people.

General Discussion / These kids will fail. (public education/autism rant)
« on: September 23, 2010, 09:47:45 pm »
I don't think I've ever written a rant topic out of the blue, on a subject that will doubtless seem entirely random to the majority of this post's readers. It's new for me, but I'm also hoping it will be cathartic. For never in my life have I experienced such frustration as I now do; and I'm really not someone who retains frustration like this for as long as I have. So, here goes.

Imagine you are taking a class, listening to the teacher, and jotting down notes, when all of a sudden... the guy next to you starts screaming uncontrollably. A support person arrives, doing his best to ease the person's frustration, but to no avail. In between fits of screaming and crying, there is whining, unintelligible vocalizations, slamming of body parts against the desk or chair in which the person sits, and laying down on the floor while the support person tries to get him to sit back in his chair. And while all that was happening, the teacher kept talking, so, sorry, you just missed several minutes of notes.

Now imagine you're 8 years old, possess a matching intellect and attention span, have sharper hearing, and have just been asked by the teacher to please read a book quietly at your desk for the next fifteen minutes. And right next to you sits a nonverbal child with severe autism. And he's about to have a fit...

Now, usually, what we tend to see in the media are clips and articles and soundbytes about "inspirational" young people who, despite their disabilities, overcome some arbitrary task set before them. Or, if we're studying at the university level, perhaps we are learning about autistic individuals with severe emotional problems, who might act out violently or demonstrate self-injurious behavior. Every now and then we might see an individual who seems entirely catatonic. All are issues encountered by those working with the ASD (Autistism spectrum disorders) population, and all are truthful. However, rarely do they tell the whole story. Because how often have you seen or read media about ASD in the regular classroom?

Ever heard of an 'inclusion model'? An inclusion model in public education is the idea that all children, regardless of their specific handicap, have the right to be in a classroom setting in the school they attend, and that adequate support must be provided. Seems noble, right? After all, why shouldn't a disabled child have a right to the same education as their nondisabled peers?

Unfortunately, no one thought it prudent to really look at inclusion before hailing it as God's gift to special education. I can think of dozens of kids who can and do benefit from inclusion, and for them and their families it's a wonderful model that unquestionably helps otherwise unsocialized children to build that base and develop interpersonal skills that will brighten their futures a thousandfold. But for every dozen of them, there's at least one case where not only does the child not benefit from inclusion in the classroom, but their presence therein actually penalizes their peers and damages their peers' education.

Certain individuals with ASD could be aptly described as communicably vacuous. They don't perceive emotions of their peers; or can't verbalize their frustrations; or can't communicate in a consistently decodable way. Anything sent their way as input is either not processed at all or, perhaps worse, reformatted into something negative or unpredictable as output. Almost like a broken machine. The problem is magnified at younger ages, where individuals even in kindergarten are already irrecoverably behind their peers in social and cognitive function.

Naturally, I'm not suggesting that these individuals are somehow evil. But is the classroom really the right place for them? Please see each case below, all of which briefly document real (anonymized) children in the K-5 range, and judge for yourself. They all attend different schools, and I have worked with each in the past. Remember that children like those below are the kind of kids that are in K-5 classrooms right now, and likely will be for years to come. Perhaps when your children or future children are of school age.

Case A is in first grade. A is severely autistic and nonverbal. A spends most of the day in the classroom, with scheduled sensory breaks and therapies. A attends all specials (art, gym, music, computers) with A's class. A does not seem to have any academic inclination; A only occasionally will correctly identify colors during trials, and this accomplishment is not consistent. A is not unable to recognize even a few letters from the beginning of the alphabet after repeated learning sessions. A cannot write A's name, nor can A trace writing that is generated for A. A can only scribble when given the opportunity to freely draw. When A becomes overstimulated, A enters a phase of loudly singing. This singing could last for a few seconds, or could last longer than an hour. The singing is clearly audible throughout the classroom. If agitated, A may cry loudly. A also has a habit of banging things on the desk, usually A's knuckles (to the point where they are callused and/or bleeding) or sometimes hard objects that will produce a loud noise. When transitioning to specials, A will frequently "go limp" and will have to be physically helped to stand. This may need to be repeated several times before A will walk. A needs constant supervision, as A will run suddenly, will put anything into A's mouth, will try to take food from others, and will behave in unsafe ways. A has no concept of danger and will dash heedlessly onto play structures, streets, etc. A will obsessively "click" A's jaw for an extended period of time. A may also scratch skin uncontrollably. A must always have an adult escort wherever A goes. This adult will not have the ability to assist other children during academics, snack/lunch times, specials, or at recess since A requires constant monitoring.

Case B is in first grade. When on medication, B is surprisingly functional. When B is not on medication, B becomes an entirely different person. This person seems completely dissociated. B will lay on the floor/ground and roll around despite verbal requests to stop. B will vocalize inappropriately including making threats to peers or saying things like "We're all going to die". Because B's medication is administered at home, it is unpredictable whether B will have a good day or a bad day. On bad days, B will require an adult escort to go somewhere safe (such as a sensory room or, if that is unavailable, the main office) where B will await pick-up by a parent.

Case C is in first grade. Though C possesses adequate language skills given C's disability, C is extremely challenging to engage in regular classroom activities. C prefers always to be secluded and read alone. C has difficulty with transitions, even with extensive foreshadowing. C is at greatest risk during recess or field trips, where C will go off on C's own in the blink of an eye. C must always have an adult escort wherever C goes. This adult will not have the ability to assist other children during academics, snack/lunch times, specials, or at recess since C requires constant monitoring.

Case D is in second grade. D is severely autistic and mostly nonverbal. Like Case A, D spends most of D's time with the class with scheduled sensory breaks and therapies. D communicates with a set of short, general-use words. D will occasionally use broken sign language in an attempt to communicate. D, when not allowed to do what D wants, will scream at the top of D's lungs at any given moment. Because D may not take interest in something for very long, D requires constant activities in which to occupy D. D's academic ability is pre-kindergarten at best. D is capable of tracing pre-generated text, but without guides cannot produce legible characters. D's fits of screaming may be accompanied by sinking to the floor, pinching or hitting those around him, or throwing objects in close proximity. D will also hit D's own chest and head. D will generally not take "no" for an answer and will continue to scream until D gets what D wants. At recess, D will throw rocks heedless of nearby peers. D must always have an adult escort wherever D goes. This adult will not have the ability to assist other children during academics, snack/lunch times, specials, or at recess since D requires constant monitoring.

Case E is in second grade. E generally demonstrates flat affect. E enjoys talking about E's own interests, but is rarely interested in others' affairs. E wants to have friends, but E is extremely pursuant of said friends--usually to the point of obsession. E will take "ownership" of a friend to the point where, if that friend wants to play with a different peer, E will act out violently in retaliation against the friend. Additionally, E may turn this aggression toward the friend of E's friend, as E may perceive them as a threat to E's friendship. E will have fits of rage including yelling, hitting, kicking, and biting. E is relatively high functioning in terms of academics, and possesses strong writing skills. E's only personal hobby seems to be video/computer games. All of E's self-narratives and writing content tend to be on this subject. During recesses, if E has not secured a friend for the day, E will walk around by E's self and fantasize verbally and physically. Often E will focus on a specific friend, and follow that friend around even if the friend is not interested in playing with E. Because E gets so violent, it is not encouraged to tell E to leave the friend alone (thought this would be the natural instinct of any sane person). Instead, E is to be followed closely so as to prevent any altercations from beginning in the first place. E must always have an adult escort wherever E goes. This adult will not have the ability to assist other children during academics, snack/lunch times, specials, or at recess since E requires constant monitoring.

Case F is in third grade. F has a generally abrasive personality, and will respond to prompts in abrupt phrases often indicating supposed helplessness ("I don't know how", "I can't do it") or frustration ("Don't keep saying that", "I can't take this anymore"). F's manner of speech is, as aforementioned, abrupt and devoid of "normal" inflection. F will vocalize objections loudly during class, and will resist any form of task set before F. F would prefer to draw than to work. F has trouble with all transitions, despite extensive foreshadowing. F will forcefully push and sometimes hit adults and peers. F will swear loudly ("What the hell are you doing?!" "I hate this @#$%ing place!") during class. This is usually directed at peers. F will also call peers names during group activities, usually because F does not understand the point of the activity, and refuses to listen to an explanation of the activity or the rules of the game. F operates at a low level of academics, but is capable of producing correct answers to simple questions if F can be convinced to perform the task. F is obsessed with Star Wars, and will fantasize verbally about Star Wars during class. F will not respond to verbal warnings to be quiet, obviously to the detriment of his peers. F also has a younger sibling who F will be aggressive toward (both verbally and physically). F supposedly responds to consequences administered by F's parent, but the reprimand generally will not remedy undesired behavior the next day at school.

The amount of resources going into these individual cases means severely less support (or none at all) for other children with special needs--including those students who require only moderate support to succeed. These kids will fail. They will fail because they are not special "enough", and must fend for themselves. The spectrum of special needs is extremely variable--some of these kids merely need their attention redirected, a little help getting started, or just an adult to enthusiastically ask them to read to them, and the adult can ask questions along the way. Most of these situations may require only a few minutes--often less--of the adult's time.

Even the "average" students will fail. They will fail because it's literally impossible for them to concentrate on schoolwork. Because they are expected to read quietly while the student next to them screams, cries, and bangs on their desk. Because they are expected to know that they aren't allowed to criticize the wrongful actions of certain individuals, because they have certain needs. Because they are expected to ignore the ever-increasing behaviors of certain individuals, and if they fall behind, it must be their own fault for not concentrating hard enough, not listening to directions, and not acting their age.

And, even those students who are far ahead--they may very well fail too. They will fail because they don't feel safe at school. Because they, of all people, should know better. You can't be critical of certain students, because if you are, they might hurt you. And if they hurt you, it's your fault.

Is anyone here a parent of a K-5 student? Ask your child if they feel safe in their classroom, or if they feel like they can concentrate. Even better, volunteer for a few hours to see for yourself. Know or have relatives who have children in the K-5 age group? Urge them to volunteer sometime to check things out. It's a terrible thing to say, but complaints from parents are the only way to fix this problem. CC Teachers are bound by inclusion to force these children into the classroom; the regular teachers are forced to tolerate it; the principal is bound by their district to not ever expel children with disabilities; and the districts are bound by uninformed lawmakers who haven't set foot in a classroom since they graduated, who believe special education covers a very specific kind of student and that more money is the solution to the problem of adequate support.

Is there a solution? Yes. Inclusion must be treated on a case-by-case basis. Many ASD children will benefit immeasurably from it. Some children will not, and these same children may diminish the quality of education received by their peers. It is these children who, if their goal is to become competent, functioning adults, must receive constant, one on one, intense therapy. They belong in an environment where they can succeed; an environment where their frustrations won't be exacerbated. That may mean at home; that may mean a facility specifically devoted to and equipped for supporting the needs of ASD individuals. It may mean a separate sensory/therapy facility on a school campus.

But never--ever--is the classroom the right place. Because we must not sacrifice the needs of our children, who have tremendous potential, in order to accommodate the needs of a single individual. And every time these certain individuals are placed in the regular classroom, sacrificing their peers is precisely what we're doing.

General Discussion / My original music
« on: August 20, 2010, 09:06:18 pm »
I've been composing for a decade now, and while I've been apart of many communities like this one, I rarely have shown off my works. Nowadays I'm just happy to share my original compositions, and welcome any comments or criticism listeners might have. Mostly I'd consider myself a composer of game music--although I equally enjoy writing for the concert hall. From 2007 to about April of 2010 I had been composing music for the games Horse Isle and Horse Isle 2. With those duties completed, I have three more games lined up--this time an entirely different kind of genre. I look forward to honing my skills and sharing my future work with the world!

Below I've linked three youtube videos, around 10 minutes each, that contain samples of my compositions. Some come from the games I've worked on, and others are standalone compositions. Again, I appreciate any comments/criticism you would like to share. Enjoy the music, and thanks for listening!

Music Demo #1 -
Music Demo #2 -
Music Demo #3 -

Project Site - currently offline
Chrono Break Conceptual Soundtrack

Archived .zip file - LINKS AVAILABLE AS OF: 01.16.2011
Host #1
Host #2

This project for Dream Splash III serves not only to produce a rough concept for what my vision of Chrono Break might be like, but also to promote one of the finest composers currently working in the field of video game music: Yasunori Mitsuda.

I find it alarming how many people--even fans of Mitsuda's work--are unaware of his post-Xenosaga output. The fact is, he has been an active composer for the last decade, yet few seem to have noticed. This project is a conceptual soundtrack for Chrono Break where I, serving as the "music director" for the fictional game, have selected compositions of Mitsuda's and matched them to a rough scenario draft. The scenario itself is presented entirely through a tracklist of an imaginary game music album.

None of the music sampled here is from Mitsuda's well-known work--i.e., Chrono, Xenogears, Xenosaga, or anything else from Square. I expect that most listeners will be unfamiliar with the source material. The origin of all tracks can be found in the files' audio tags.

There are 50 mp3 tracks around 30-50 seconds each, encoded at a low VBR. They are spread across four "discs"--none of which are complete. I leave it to the listeners to fill in the gaps. Originally I had intended to add character themes, but decided not to--again opting to leave it to the listener.

Furthermore, all Dream Splash III participants may use the scenario laid out here as a point of origin for their own projects. I think that most will find themselves particularly inspired by the music itself, even if the scenario concepts don't prove to be interesting.

Most importantly, since this project is mostly to promote Mitsuda's work, the majority of the music featured here can be purchased through the Procyon Store at Mitsuda's official web site. There are a number of other vendors from which to purchase the various soundtracks sampled here, so let me know if there's something in particular you are having trouble finding.

Enjoy the music!

(tracklist reproduced below for archival purposes)

d i s c . o n e
01   Prelude
02   Main Theme ~Time's Healing~   
05   Choras
06   Fairground
07   World Map -1026 A.D.-
08   Thief Hidden in the Black Forest
09   Everyday Encounter -Battle Theme-
10   Gift of the Seasons -Victory Fanfare-
15   Seaside Village -Laikk-
16   Fiserhman's Paradise
17   Traversing the Eternal Sea
23   Defense of Zenan Bridge
24   Porre's Counterattack
25   Grand Cathedral Manoria
26   Back Into the Gate

d i s c . t w o
01   Valley of the Shadow Beasts
02   Risky Encounter -Boss Battle-
03   World Map -440 A.D.-
05   Beneath the Summer Canopy
06   Village in the Mountains -Randel-
08   Faris Passage
09   Grave of Heroes
11   Guardia Castle -714 A.D.-
18   Mining Village -Hiraat-
19   World Map -1300 A.D.-
20   Living in Paradise -Montegray-
21   Medina Stronghold
22   Theme of the Holy Land

d i s c . t h r e e
01   Beyond the Reach of Time
02   Ruins of Zeal -10,000 B.C.-
03   Serious Encounter -Battle Theme II-
04   The Black-Cloaked Man Approaches
05   Ancient Forest -140,000,000 B.C.-
07   Decisive Encounter -Boss Battle II-
09   Cave of Wonders
10   Village of Memories -Palodium-
11   Girl on the Beach
12   El Nido Archipelago
13   Trials of the Dragon Tower
14   Battle With the Ancient Dragon
15   Wings of Time -Corridor of Dragons-
16   Remnants of the Future
17   World Map -3045 A.D.-

d i s c . f o u r
01   Proto Dome -1999 A.D.-
02   Apocalypse
03   Will of the Entity
10   World Map -99,999 A.D.-
11   Desert of the Demon God
14   Sunken Labyrinth
16   World Incarnation

General Discussion / Xenogears OCR remix album just released!
« on: October 19, 2009, 09:25:10 pm »
Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMixed, a remix album several years in the making, has finally been released! The album is divided into two discs: the "Human" disc, which features arrangements that emphasize more acoustic instruments and styles; and the "Gears" disc, which focuses on electronic music.

Here's a preview video and the vgmdb entry.

Enjoy! :)


Let me preface this by saying I have no delusions of grandeur. We all are aware of some recent gaming headlines where companies are seeming to actually start paying attention to their fans. But I've observed enough downfalls of fan efforts to have a realistic outlook on the matter. I don't expect anything, but I also can't expect nothing.

Chrono Cross' ten year anniversary is coming up soon. I don't anticipate news of a new Chrono any time soon, nor for at least another several years. (Although I do expect that Cross arrange album pretty soon, get crakin' on that Mitsuda)

[The Project]

The idea is something like a blog that's updated montly. The goal is not necessarily just to assemble random fan efforts--OK, that's part of the process. But the gestalt here is proving to SE the bankability of the Chrono franchise.

The content we'd deliver per update is variable and open to discussion. My thought on this is to show SE players' interest in the Chrono series while simultaneously hyping a possible new entry to the series:

- fan art, including characters environments that may have changed somehow and characters that may have aged
- fan arrangements & remixes, etc.
- (i'm not so keen on fan fiction, it doesn't seem appropriate for this sort of thing)
- conceptual art and music based on a new entry in the series that draws inspiration from previous games
- conceptual box art designs for a new entry in the series
- absolutely nothing to do with hacking ;)
- this is imperative: a list of people who bought something Chrono-related that month. I have no idea how many people would could get to actually comitt to this and for how long we could keep it up, but money talks louder than everything else unfortunately.
- and hell, why not a giant poll on the side that asks whether the reader would buy a new Chrono game? (the only answers would, of course, be "yes" ;))

Ideally, we get new contributors for each update, whether they're doing art, music, or buying stuff. Some might feel this overlaps with the Compendium, but the sole purpose of this project is to display interest in a new game.

[Then What?]

The important part comes next: SE gets mailed about each and every update. You might think this is crazy. But look at it this way: each month features new contributors, and (hopefully) new sales, which all represent potential buyers. Add it up over a few years and we could have a good solution to proving to SE that Chrono is worth their investment.

I should also point out that any email/mail needs to go directly to SE Japan. SE North America is absolutely nothing but a front for customer service here in the states. They aren't going to suggest to their parent company to make a new game. In fact, they'd probably just try to shut us down for something related to copyright.

Naturally, we'll need a volunteer translator. Ideally, we'd also mention the project to Masato Kato and Yasunori Mitsuda. Yeah, neither of them need to be sold on a new Chrono entry--but it would be great to let them know nonetheless.

Imagine each email looking like this:

"Dear [Square Enix],

The many fans of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Radical Dreamers have long awaited a new entry in the Chrono series. We are certain this series is one of Square Enix's most beloved franchise, and that it will continue to be a solid investment for years to come. Here is what your fans have done this month:

- x new box art for Chrono Break
- x new fan art sketches from Chrono Trigger
- x new fan arrangements from Chrono Cross
- x new tracks for the Chrono Break OST
- x fans have purchased official Chrono game, music, and accessory merchandise this month
- As of [current date], x people have comitted to buying a new entry in the Chrono series"

(Using "Chrono Break" is just provisional; we can call it whatever, it doesn't really matter... it just serves as an analog for a new entry in the series)

[Is this realistic?]

I know there will be several replies stating lack of practicality and other criticisms, and that's a good thing. Maybe this idea is horrible, but it may inspire someone else to thing up something better. Also, it would be best if we could get fans from all over the world to contribute, including fans from SE's native Japan. That means advertising the cause elsewhere. It also means trying to convince every single gaming news unit who interviews SE anytime in the future to try and sneak in a question about Chrono. ;)

This is also the perfect time to start getting SE's attention. Their plate is full for 2010 and beyond, with four Final Fantasy titles (three of which are next-gen), The Third Birthday, and more that's as of yet unannounced. That makes this a great time to start hinting that a new Chrono game might be a good investment for their future lineup.

As for my involvement, I will personally lead the mock soundtrack for the project if we actually have enough interested people. I'll also be the first to purchase some Chrono merchandise.

Please, I welcome all comments, criticisms, flames, and accusations of lunacy.

I know I don't need to ask who here wants a new Chrono game. But if we want to see one sooner rather than later, it's up to us to get the ball rolling. Shoot me down or cheer me (us) on; but do something. I think we're all ready for the next game. :)

Lavos, the Planet, and other Entities / The moon(s)
« on: February 15, 2009, 12:09:51 am »
Are the moons ever mentioned, either in the Japanese versions of any game in the series or Ultimania materials, with regard to anything EXCEPT the sixth and seventh dragons? It's something that just popped into my head after a recent CC playthrough.

Anyone who has played FFIV & VIII understands the potential significance of something as seemingly trivial as a moon ;). I wonder if Kato had anything in mind for the Chrono planet's nearest satellite(s)? That they are merely celestial objects mirroring the existence of the dragon gods is all we really get from the English versions of the games. But obviously they aren't just images projected onto the sky--they exist, and are apparently terrestrial. Their prominence in the night sky from the Viper Manor view suggests they are either really close to the planet, or really freakin' huge. Of course, more sinister plot elements notwithstanding, this makes for great scenery.

More fan musings to speculate on. There's probably nothing special about them at all. Maybe ask Starky?

Of course, the most obvious piece of fanfiction that would come from this is turning the moon into one of Lavos' many intergalactic pitstops; that in the main planet's prehistory, its moon was actually lush and abundant with life, but was sucked dry and left in desolation after Lavos had his proverbial way with it.

Then there's the second moon, smaller, closer, and blood red. Ever wonder what it feels like to stand in a desert of red sand?

This topic is to find out both what we want and what we expect to see. There's a lot of questions to be asked:

1. Would we see characters from the other games? Would the setting stay the same, or would the story take place elsewhere?
2. Time travel, dimensional travel, or (oh god) both?
3. Akira Toriyama or Nobuteru Yuuki? Or some new blood?
4. A huge team of playable characters like CC, or a smaller team like CT?
5. Battle transition for encounters (CC), or fight right on the field (CT)?
6. A battle system like the other titles, or entirely different?
7. Console or portable?
8. Is it possible that both CT fans and CC fans alike can be pleased?
9. Is there hope for another game in the first place?

Here's where I stand. I think the story will retain the same setting, but take place in a different time. I think some sort of cameos are a probability. As for time vs. dimensional travel, I don't know what we would get. I would prefer a return to time travel. With both, things could get absurdly complicated in a short amount of time.

I don't care for Toriyama; Yuuki's character designs are much better... and his work fits better into the artistic style of CC, which I would want to return. I would also like a smaller team of playable characters each with development at least to the equivalent to Kid. I also like fighting battles on the field, but transitions work just fine. As long as we can see the enemies on the field. As for the battle system, I expect something new. I like the customization aspect of CC, as well as the dual-triple techs of CT. I think a character-switch mechanic during battle would also be nice.

Console vs. portable... Console, please. Chrono deserves high production values and a big budget. Regardless of how much production is put into the game, the budget does not guarantee quality either way. Just as a high cost development cycle doesn't produce instant magic, neither does buckling down and putting out a retro-style portable title. The core gameplay will succeed or fail regardless of this aspect. Thus, I would prefer the greater, more detailed and theatrical experience since I believe (and I think most fans would agree) a Chrono game deserves an epic medium to tell its story.

Now the fun question: Can fans on all sides be pleased? Probably not. But certainly a new chrono game could do a lot to reconcile the differences. Regardless, I don't think the developers of a potential new title should concern themselves with pleasing the fans, as long as they stay true to the universe and give us another great experience. As for whether we can expect a new game... the frequency of speculation topics like this will only increase since CT DS' release. It'd be one thing if it would've been a straight PSX port, with no additional plot content. But since they went to the trouble, they must have known speculation would rise. It of course first depends on the series' bankability; and then, on the availability of the team. We already know Kato and Mitsuda's positive interest in this. I guess all that's needed now is for FFXI to finally die.

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