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Topics - Chrono'99

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In 2006, the 6th issue of the Swedish magazine LEVEL published a very interesting 8-page-long feature about the creation of Secret of Mana, including never-discussed-before tidbits about the game's connection to Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy IV, straight from Koichi Ishii and Hiromichi Tanaka's mouths.

Seven years later, this feature has been scanned and translated in English by user Killer Bob so that non-Swedish-speaking fans can finally read it!

Here are the scans:

And here is the translation:

(Page 1)

The truth about Mana

Was Secret of Mana originally a part in the Final Fantasy-series? Was it actually developed for a Nintendo console that never was released? And does it contain a hidden fourth playable character? LEVEL has tracked down the two men behind Square's most mythical game. In an exclusive interview they tell the whole truth.

By Fredrik Schaufelberger (translated by Killer Bob)

(Page 2)

All the most beautiful stories begin with "Once upon a time..." In fairy tales, we get a whole spectrum of love, heroism and excitement served in an accessible and concise form. Who has not in their childhood been immersed in Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty? And who does not harbor an almost subconscious love for kidnapped princesses in soaring towers, amazing enchantments and "they lived happily ever after"-endings? During the 90s Square was the whole world's fairy tale-factory. Their games was to the brim filled with deep forests, magic swords, princesses to rescue and ancient beasts that lurked behind every corner. One of these fairy tales – perhaps the very best – was called Secret of Mana.

- I drew inspiration everywhere. We wanted right from the start that the game should have the same feel as a storybook for children, so I looked at lots of animated films and illustrations in western storybooks in order to get the right feel. Certain motifs and monsters I actually stole outright. Koichi Ishii chuckles content.
It's the summer 2006 and LEVEL asks him to remember the game he started planning 15 years ago. After working with the first Final Fantasy games Square offered him to create a parallel role-playing game series for the Game Boy. Seiken Densetsu – "Legend of the Holy Sword" – was released in 1991, and that year it was decided that the sequel would be a Super NES game. Ishii's role was initially only as a Director but gradually he took on more and more roles. He began designing enemies, animated characters, brainstormed the numerous puzzles and mazes and drew maps of the fairy world. Secret of Mana, or Seiken Densetsu 2, was built up more and more around his thoughts.

- I really loved working with Secret of Mana, as much as I love the finished game. There is so much of myself in it. I even designed parts of the game after my own childhood memories. There are enemies that come from my nightmares when I was a little boy.


The game's introduction is classic. White subtitles explains how the world for centuries produced the magical power of Mana and how the prosperity grew, before an empire became greedy and used the Mana to build a deadly weapon – the Mana Fortress. A great war broke out when opponents of the Empire tried to destroy the fortress and civilization was destroyed before a lone knight armed with the legendary Mana Sword alone succeeded in destroying the fortress. The world was in ruins, but peace prevailed again. Slowly but steady the people was recovering...

One day, a young boy is playing outside his home village. After a false move on a bridge, he tumbles down into the river and barely takes himself ashore.

(Page 3)

On his way back to the village, he stumbles across a rusty old sword that he without thinking picks up and takes with him. Little does he know that the weapon he just found is the ancient Mana Sword. Suddenly, their fates are linked, and he must now travel around the country in order to find the legendary Mana Tree and stop the new evil empire that is trying to resurrect the Mana Fortress.

Secret of Mana is during the initial hour a most traditional adventure game, based on a rather predictable story. The forests outside the home village Potos could as well been located in Hyrule, and those for the series characteristic little rabbits you meet looks like the slime from Dragon Quest, but with ears. It is only when the boy in the kingdom of Pandora encounter a strong-willed young girl, and decides to help her rescue her missing fiancé, as Secret of Mana becomes a game worth a mention in the history books. Because with a simple push on the Start-button on the second controller, can suddenly your best friend, brother, sister, girlfriend or any passerby construction workers be transported into the game and suddenly stand side-by-side with your character. And when the boy and the girl has ended up in an underground cave and meets the frisky little sprite, who also joins the group in the hope of being able to recover his lost memories, gaming history's most charming trio and the world's first and still best adventure for three players is a fact. This was long before Ultima Online and abbreviations like MMORPG was conceived, and role players rejoiced at the opportunity to help save the world together. But the fact is that Square never consciously planned to create a social game.

- The original idea was to have just three main characters, but the player would only control one of them while the AI controlled the other two, reveals Hiromichi Tanaka, who was the game's producer.

Tanaka began at Square at the same time as Hironobu Sakaguchi and also he was deeply involved in the early Final Fantasy games. Over the years, he would be responsible for the best games Sakaguchi himself had no time to be engaged in – like Xenogears and Chrono Cross – before he finally returned to Final Fantasy as a producer for part eleven. Today Tanaka's career is in other words about the online role-playing for hundreds of thousands of participants. But in the early 90s, he had not even arrived at the idea of an adventure that could be controlled by several people.

- The multiplayer-thing was a bonus, we had not at all planned it from the beginning, he continues. But we suddenly discovered that it was quite easy to program the ability to control all of the three main characters and realized that many players would probably prefer human teammates over computer–controlled ones.

(Page 4)


When Square started the development of Secret of Mana, it was for the CD-ROM player that was going to be released for the Super NES. But we know that story now – the whole CD-project was cancelled, but Nintendo's partner Sony took care of the technology they had started and developed their own CD-based console that they named PlayStation. When plans for Nintendo's CD-format went up in smoke, both Ishii and Tanaka were at first prepared to even throw the unfinished Secret of Mana into the fire. But the management did not want all the work already done would be in vain, so they instead asked the team to compress and rework the game so that it would fit on a standard Super NES-cartridge.

- Quantities, and now I really mean quantities of materials disappeared when the CD-format was discontinued, says Tanaka. We had to redo the game from scratch. I think almost half of what should have been there from the beginning had to be removed.

Thanks to the extremely ambitious original plans was Secret of Mana a game that constantly pushed the boundaries of what the Super NES console could handle. But the game suffered from recurring slowdowns so they were forced to exclude a lot of enemies, locations and story-segments that were planned. Square was furious at Nintendo for allowing suspend work with the CD player. There are even those who claim that the Secret of Mana-incident was the reason why Square in 1996 chose to dump their former partner for Sony.

- The development of Secret of Mana was both messy and incredibly stressful, says Ishii. When the CD-version was discontinued, we constantly had to fight against an inadequate hardware which failed to achieve the grand plans we had. It was a development period that went in constant uphill battle and I'm honestly surprised that the finished game did not become an unmitigated disaster.

- Many of the ideas we had for the CD-version came fortunately to use later, when we did Chrono Trigger, says Hiromichi Tanaka. In fact, the original version of Secret of Mana was not at all the same game as we eventually released. The first version of the game had for example a much darker tone.

(Page 5)

The different orientations of Square's games for the Super NES has often led to speculation about a fragmented company where development teams pulled in different directions. But there is equally as much truth in that the games, and the teams behind them, influenced each other. In the same way as parts of Chrono Trigger originally had been intended for Secret of Mana, was the latter a further development of Square's Super NES-debut Final Fantasy IV. It was when Tanaka, Koichi Ishii and the legendary programmer Nasir Gebelli investigated the possibility of developing that game's active time battle as they got the idea for their innovative combat system.

- Secret of Mana is in many ways the game Final Fantasy IV could have been, says Tanaka. Many of the design decisions we discussed during the development of that game was used in Secret of Mana instead. The whole game represents a direction we were considering with Final Fantasy IV, but ultimately avoided.

In Secret of Mana, all three heroes have their own stamina meter. Every time someone performs an attack, they must wait a short time before they can hit with full force again, otherwise it gives the attack only a fraction as much damage. In this way, the battles become like a real-time version of the Final Fantasy-system. Along with experience points and the often copied function of weapons and magic becoming stronger the more they are used, gave the stamina meter Secret of Mana a more RPG-like tone and separated it even more from all the soulless The Legend of Zelda-clones that around this time flooded the market.


Secret of Mana's perhaps greatest strength is how it with the simple logic of fairy tales makes even the most weird elements feel completely natural. Who can ever forget a place like the forest of four seasons, where newly blossomed buds and pink cherry blossoms are just a few steps away from the snow-covered trees and frozen ponds? Charming details like the heroes opening chests by lifting them over their heads and pound them into the ground, all the shopkeepers in the whole game dancing behind the counters or that the little cat Neko running around with a big bag on his back and sells items for unreasonable prices, makes you smile constantly. But despite the storybook framing the story never becomes childish, instead it is from beginning to end a beautiful fable about heroism, betrayal and true friendship.

- Compared with the Final Fantasy-series, I always felt that Secret of Mana was more my game, admits Ishii today. I was probably the biggest brain behind the world, I created it in my imagination and drew it up from scratch. It's probably silly of me, but sometimes I feel like I let other people visit my own world.

(Page 6)

The Mana Tree stands in the center of most events in the Seiken Densetsu-series. In the first Game Boy-game, it is the tree that needs to be saved, while in Secret of Mana it has received a more symbolic role.

- The Mana Tree is our interpretation of the cradle of life, it is there everything has arisen, explains Ishii. A tree is a great fit as a metaphor for life, with its widespread branches representing different choices, or the clear division between the trunk, branches and foliage which can be said to symbolize the various stages in life. Our fundamental idea was that we would create a world where everyone had the same origin and were a part of something bigger, where everyone had something divine in them. Sakaguchi-san also recycled that idea with lifestream in Final Fantasy VII.


Super Nes was equipped with two control ports. With a multitap, four could play. So why Square chose a middle road with three players in Secret of Mana has remained one of RPG-history's great unsolved mysteries.

- Well, this may not sound particularly romantic now, but basically, it was only about technical issues, sighs Ishii. We really tried with four players, but the hardware refused. Though at the same time, I wanted to simulate the feeling of playing as a family. Mom, dad and child. Three persons. And looking at it from that angle I definitely think we succeeded. Ishii leans back in the chair and laughs.

- I love cooperation in games. When my friends and I were younger we always sat and played board games together and I remember how much I loved the feeling that the game involved someone more than just me. I once thought that if those who played Secret of Mana would start to quibble comradely about who would play the guy and who gets to be the sprite, then we had succeeded.

Secret of Mana was never the perfect game. Above all, the artificial intelligence is legendarily poor, with a computer that often find it much more fun to get stuck in walls and run straight into fire-breathing monsters instead of doing trivial things like help you defeat the enemies. And it's because of that, the human cooperation becomes so important. Secret of Mana alone is absolutely not the same game as Secret of Mana with two friends. Every battle that could have become routine turns into a battle of life and death when you are sitting on the couch and yell at your teammates that they should come and help you out of the corner where three wicked hedgehogs bombard you with attacks.

- The reason why multiplayer modes in this type of games is so unusual is probably the issues with keeping the story exciting even when multiple people are involved, argues Ishii. But if you succeed with that, the experience can be fantastic, because when you collaborate you get drawn into the game in a completely different way. You live it.

- I miss these old games a bit, admits Tanaka. Before you could only play with people sitting next to you in the couch and it gave a completely different sense of community. Before the internet revolution we had to build our characters around the world. Now we are building the world around our characters.

(Page 7)


Today it is almost impossible for us to understand how desperate the situation of European console role-players was in 1993. We're talking about a time when the title Final Fantasy was considered obscure and experience points still was associated with Dungeons & Dragons - societies or similar deadly youth cults. Tobias Bjarneby* had his own RPG-corner in Super Power, importers bought every little cartridge with the Square-logo on it and university evening classes in Japanese was filled with resigned role players who realized that their only chance to enjoy all fantastic adventures was to make it on the Japanese own terms. Europe was the u-continent of RPGs and even if Secret of Mana was a golden exception when it was converted to the PAL-format, it took so long before the game was released that everyone with some sort of fascination for Japanese adventures already had imported the American version. Secret of Mana flopped and what could have been a historic turning point in Square's attitude towards the European market led instead to the company staying away from Europe for another four years.

*Famous gaming journalist In Sweden

Another unforeseen problem appeared also in the English version. Square hired their American frontman Ted Woolsey for the translation job, whereupon he took with him his wife and kid to the Square headquarters in Japan and got exactly 30 days to present a complete English version of the script. In addition to the time pressure Woolsey blamed his poor translation on the necessity to cut down the conversations and make them one-third as long as in the Japanese original, because of the font choice. But the hardcore fans became very upset, arguing that Woolsey's translation was completely wrong and that everything from the names of the items to the dialogue was totally incorrect. When Square moved from Washington to Los Angeles in 1996 Woolsey chose to leave the company. Unconfirmed rumors claim that RPG-fans in the U.S. organized a ten-day festival to celebrate the news. But neither a sloppy translation, poor AI or lost content means nothing when I take my first steps in the stream where the adventure begins, and see the grass swaying in the morning breeze, really feel the water that bubbles up between my feet and listen to the beautiful melody carried forward by the wind. The gray everyday with homework, laundry room times and macaroni with ketchup disappears, and is replaced by shiny swords, flying dragons, evil generals and forgotten continents. How a game with such obvious flaws so totally manages to take over my mind, I can not even answer. But I guess that is what is called magic.

Side note on the sixth page:


If Secret of Mana is the game we remember as Squares failed attempts to launch itself in Europe is the Super NES-sequel Seiken Densetsu 3 the sad consequences of it. After the lack of sales success, Square chose to not even translate the sequel to English and even today it is only released in Japan. Seiken Densetsu 3 was in many ways the perfect continuation of the series. Equally beautiful storybook aesthetics, six playable characters (though only three simultaneously) and a versatile, non-linear story that made a whole world wish that they understood Japanese. Instead, Square U.S. gave us Secret of Evermore, a game based on the Secret of Mana-engine developed by the company's American division and which is even today brought up as an example of everything that is disgusting with American RPGs. Technically, there was nothing wrong with it and composer Jeremy Soule's soundtrack belong to his best works. The problem is just that Secret of Evermore is a silly, unattractive and on all levels uninteresting rubbish game with a protagonist who mostly looked like Commander Keen. To top it all, it had no multiplayer option.

Hey guys, long time no see. I'm just dropping by to post something interesting I found in liner notes written by Hiromichi Tanaka for the "Seiken Densetsu Music Complete Book" (a compilation of all Mana soundtracks released in 2011 for the Mana series's 20th anniversary).

Quote from: Liner notes translation
[...]upon getting word from Nintendo that they were developing a CD-ROM adapter for the Super Famicom, we decided to start a project in a different direction from Final Fantasy IV, which at the time was in the middle of development and was touted as a next-generation RPG fitting the large storage capacity the new cartridges had. The development codename for the new project was Maru Island, and we were making it as a collaboration work with Akira Toriyama-sensei after we established contact through Shueisha. I frequently ran back to the office just to receive and look at the screen mock-ups that Toriyama-sensei did in the initial stages of the project.

Despite that, the CD-ROM adapter was never completed. Once everyone learned that the CD-ROM adapter was never going to see a release, they decided to abandon everything that had been planned for development since the very start, including Toriyama-sensei's contributions, and decided to revise the project in order to make it release into a ROM cassette. We said that we would wait for the CD-ROM to make a collaboration project with Toriyama-sensei, but when it was revised, it actually became an entirely different project with an entirely different direction. That was what later on was completed into the game we know as Chrono Trigger.

Thanks to the high speed of the ROM, it was possible to seamlessly make the action visible in the field without the need to make a transition into a battle screen. But in the end, the new RPG I wanted to start making — one that didn't have a command-style battle system (Motion Battle System) and tested the reflexes of the players — wasn't a title that existed at the moment.

Upon seeing that my goal was to make an action RPG, and learning that an ARPG was the next game we were going to make, I decided to make it into a sequel for Seiken Densetsu, so we reestructured everything to use the world setting we had already from the previous game, and Seiken Densetsu 2 was finally completed.

tl;dr: Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana both originated as the same original project, the original Squaresoft/Akira Toriyama collaboration, which was going to be a Super CD-ROM action RPG codenamed Maru Island. When the Super CD-ROM was scrapped, the collaboration was rebooted as Chrono Trigger while the action RPG concept was reworked as a Seiken Densetsu sequel.

So if you think the boy and the girl here:

look like the boy and the girl here:

maybe it's not a coincidence after all...

Source for the liner notes (be sure to read all of Tanaka's notes if you're interested in the genesis of the Mana series):

A federal class action lawsuit has been brought against Square Enix by a Final Fantasy XI player, seeking more than $5 million for what is alleged to be "unfair business practices, false advertising and unjust enrichment".

Digg it:

Submissions / Chrono Fan Fan Art
« on: June 20, 2009, 12:15:49 pm »
Aurora Anrui (Chrono Crisis, and probably Chrono Ark too):

Original designer: Lena Andreia / Angela Song

King Alphard Zeal (Crimson Echoes):

Original designer: me, based on the character created by ZeaLitY

Maia (Chrono Ark):

Original designer: Lena Andreia

Crimson Echoes wallpaper:

Aha, it's funny how my art of King Zeal is less polished than the other pieces... This is because I drew it as a rough sketch that wasn't meant to be colorized at first, but eventually I still colorized it for fun, without cleaning it first.

Characters, Plot, and Themes / Does Harle have a pendant?
« on: June 17, 2009, 07:20:01 am »
Look at her costume.

It could be a coincidence though, since Starky also has something that looks like the pendant yet his race doesn't seem to have time travel technology (according to his Neo Epoch quote).

After the Time Crash (Keystone T-2), FATE wants to avoid disrupting the timeline in case that would prevent the creation of Chronopolis in the future:

Quote from: Ghost in Chronopolis
   FATE has been manipulating the
   world of El Nido, in order to
   avoid any major change to the
   history it knows.
   If an event on El Nido
   influences the main continent,
   the year 2400, in which FATE
   exists, would change.
   This paradox could potentially
   lead to great disaster...

According to our theories, Chronopolis didn't exactly time travel; its space-time coordinates just slipped to the past. But then how can Chronopolis be built if its space-time coordinates replace those of its past counterpart? i.e. how can Keystone T-2 Belthasar build Chronopolis if the Time-Crashed Chronopolis already occupies the physical location that he wants to use?


Crimson Echoes / C99's playthrough
« on: May 08, 2009, 10:18:23 pm »
Alright, just played through the Prologue. I posted a bunch of bugs in the bug submission site, and I've kept some for here either because they're easier to show with pictures or because they might need feedback. (I suppose I should post here rather than the beta-testing subforum since the latest builds are private.)

Mapping bugs:

1. Priority issues (the top of Crono's hair; for the Hero's Gallery this happens under all the pillars)

2. Wrong tiles in front of Crono (you can see some fountain water):

3. The wall tiles on the bottom half of the screen (so on the left, down, and right) seem to be missing. They should have a brown line on their edge.

4. Priority issue on the white edge in front of Crono (same issue on the leftmost edge)

5. The solidity of Toma's Shrine should be moved north one subtile (to match the solidity of the other buildings of this type)

6. There's a solid tile on Crono's foot.

7. The bottom wall, the table and the woman should be moved up one tile because of the black bar partially hiding the entrance.

8. You can see the outline of other rooms on the right (first pic) and left (second pic):


1. I'm not sure, how difficult would it be to make the auctioneer use the right article?

2. "Walking Dead" situation: I bought a bunch of things in Guardia, Porre and Choras and I ended up in Medina with 9G. The return trip to Truce costs 10G, so I was basically stuck, with no possibility of progress, as there's no battle zone in Medina (there's one Green Imp in the auxiliary but he's too powerful and doesn't respawn). I managed to get the 10G by selling Tonics, but this situation could potentially be a showstopper of sorts. Maybe the return trip could just be free.

3. ...and if we make the Truce return trip free, the Choras trip should probably cost something or the Medina Ticket Office would go bankrupt really fast.

Red herrings

We have quite a lot of these in the Prologue, due to ideas from the demo that were never executed or due to plot revisions. Some of these lines don't necessarily have to be changed, but I'll list them all for information:

1. ???

2. Scrapped Epoch room

3. There are kind of obvious hints that Ozzie VIII got trapped in the Rock of Medina. Was freeing him meant to be a sidequest that was never implemented or is this just a humorous bit of backstory?

4. That book is in the Vanguard Library precisely. Were we meant to bring him the book?

5. Yeah, why did he flee here actually?


1. In the Mayor's Manor, remove the fake save point and have the guy near it say something like "Melchior's Hut is west of Medina. I repeat, west of Medina. You know, that village with Mystics in it?!" or something more humorous. This is a jab at people constantly asking about its location on GameFAQs.

2. Maybe Gato could be in Lucca's house? One of the two "balconies" of the main room would be a good spot.

3. Does she live IN the Cathedral? And also, should we change the year to some time earlier, considering Crono and Marle's wedding occured in that cathedral? It depends on when we want them to have gotten married ("a year ago" was 1001 AD in the old builds).

3. Is he talking about the guy selling things on the left (not visible in this pic)? That's not really a shop then. Perhaps he should moved to the Choras Museum (second pic) acting as a souvenir seller. We'd add a small booth in that empty room and adjust the father's sentence.

4. The Chancellor's appearance was removed at the end of the Guardia meeting. Was there an issue with it in terms of pacing or something else? The Chancellor not showing up even though the Porreans expected him seemed like a minor mystery, so I had made him appear at the end--ironically after the Porreans leave--to imply that he was just being late, but he doesn't appear at all in the latest builds.

Also, I'm taking notes concerning the weapons and armor that appear in the various shops and treasure chests, and we'll probably swap some names later on as it seems the names were allocated inconsistently in terms of cultural references. "Xocotl Suit" for instance is Mayan and should be used in the Reptite timeline rather than Porre. I also noticed a "Steam" Punch in Kasmir's Fort.


1. Sakura Taisen (aka Sakura Wars) 267 votes
2. Shenmue 249 votes
3. Okami 204 votes
4. Gotchaforce 189 votes
5. Xenogears 185 votes
6. Breath of Fire 180 votes
7. Rockman Dash (aka Mega Man Legends) 176 votes
8. Ogre Battle 174 votes
9. Chikyuu Boueigun (aka Earth Defence Force) 162 votes
10. Kowloon’s Gate 151 votes
11. Shinobido 141 votes
12. Demon’s Souls 123 votes
13. Rockman X (aka Mega Man X) 110 votes
14. Chrono 107 votes
15. Z.O.E 94 votes
16. Mother 92 votes
17. Romancing SaGa 90 votes
18. Senjou no Valkyria (aka Valkyria Chronicles) 87 votes
19. Justice Gakuen (aka Rival Schools) 82 votes
20. Medarot 81 votes
21. Subarashiki Kono Sekai (aka The World Ends With You) 79 votes
22. Shadow Hearts 77 votes
23. Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke 75 votes
24. Panzer Dragoon 72 votes
25. Baten Kaitos 69 votes
26. Infinite Undiscovery 65 votes
27. Lost Odyssey 65 votes
28. Wild Arms 64 votes
29. OZ 60 votes
30. Jet Set Radio 59 votes
31. Dewprism 58 votes
32. Ougon no Taiyou (aka Golden Sun) 57 votes
33. Another Century’s Episode 56 votes
33. Estopolis Denki (aka Lufia) 56 votes
33. Fire Pro Wrestling Spike 56 votes
36. Biohazard Outbreak 55 votes
37. Eternal Arcadia (aka Skies of Arcadia) 54 votes
38. Shirokishi Monogatari: Inishie no Kodou (aka White Knight Chronicles) 51 votes
39. Panzer Front 50 votes
40. Seiken Densetsu 48 votes
41. Front Mission 46 votes
42. Grandia 43 votes
43. Arc The Lad 42 votes
44. Bullet Witch 41 votes
45. Racing Lagoon 39 votes
46. Drag-On Dragoon 37 votes
47. Panekit 36 votes
48. Metal Wolf Chaos 33 votes
49. Tokimeki Memorial 33 votes
50. Famicom Tantei Kurabu 30 votes

For the top 15 titles, Famitsu actually contacted their publishers for comments but most of them answered through their PR, who obviously won’t say anything interesting.

In addition, Xenogears ranked 5th ( :shock:) and Baten Kaitos 25th. Curiously, no Final Fantasy appears on the list.

Quote from: IGN
Kitase-san is in London next week to promote Dissidia, and IGN is presenting you with an opportunity to field your questions to one of the key figures behind the Final Fantasy series. To put your query forward, simply tell us what you want asked in the comments section below and we'll pick the best questions to present to Kitase-san.

Oh, and before you ask points will be deducted for asking about a Final Fantasy VII remake.

This is kinda tricky. IGN might get a bit irritated if they see too many Chrono-related questions when they're primarily asking for Dissidia/FF13-related questions. But this is a great opportunity for us Chrono fans to hear Kitase's opinion. As has been discussed in another topic, mails to SE USA and SE Japan aren't read by any high-ranking designer and only get pre-written answers, so this interview with Kitase may well be the only opportunity we'll have in a while to hear something new and official about the Chrono series.

So if you want to ask Kitase about a new Chrono game, post something at IGN in the relevant topic. You have to register a (free) account though. I'm not posting a direct link to their news, because I don't want IGN to see we're all coming from a Chrono fansite. Just search for this expression in Google and you'll find it immediately:

975186p1 "A chance to put your questions to Square Enix's Yoshinori Kitase."

Once there, click on "Add Comment". Don't just post "When will a new Chrono game be released??" or something too simple. Try to back up your question with one or two interesting points, like "Since you've been a director on Chrono Trigger, do you...", etc. Here are few points you might want to point out in your question:

* Kitase was a director on Chrono Trigger.
* Chrono Trigger is regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.
* Square Enix recently ported Chrono Trigger to the DS.
* 2009 is the 10th anniversary of Chrono Cross' release.

Eh, I can't think of anything else. Throw in a question on Dissidia or FF13 before your Chrono question maybe, for good measure. Anyway, you know what you have to do now. Help the Chrono series!

Characters, Plot, and Themes / Taban and Lara = dead
« on: April 05, 2009, 09:29:51 pm »
I don't know if it's common knowledge, but this isn't mentioned in the encyclopedia so... Details in Lucca's orphanage seem to indicate that Taban and Lara are dead by 1,020 AD:

* Lucca's room is not a bedroom anymore.

* The bed in "Lara's" room is a single bed. It was the case in CT too, but that was because of graphical limitations; they could have made a two-person bed in CC if it was still Lara's and Taban's room. The children refer to that room as "Granny Lara's old bedroom" and "Lucca's mother's old bedroom".

* In the note for the L1-Triangle-R1-Triangle password, Lucca says "My father, Taban, would be proud."

* Kid says "Lucca... All my friends...They're, they're...!!" She doesn't mention Lara or Taban.

Characters, Plot, and Themes / Norstein Bekkler is in Chrono Cross!
« on: April 02, 2009, 04:44:08 am »
...or at least his mask is, in a well hidden cameo.

Thanks to utunnels ripping the CC background art, I noticed that a very familiar face appears in Home Guldove in the shop. Look at those masks in the picture I attached. The one at the left-most looks exactly like Norstein Bekkler. The other ones on the panel look like variations of him. Does that mean there are others like him out there? There's something written on the panel but it seems like gibberish ("Qestlo" or something). In any case, the mask on the left looks definitely like Norstein.

Crimson Echoes Beta Testing / Crono feedback
« on: February 17, 2009, 03:16:16 am »
In this topic, we speak about Crono. Because Crono...well, speaks. Do you think we captured his personality well? or at least what you imagined his personality to be?

For the record, he speaks in the official CT manga, and many artworks depict him smiling or sleeping, implying a carefree, brave-but-laidback attitude. We partially based his dialogues on these sources, though one of the key difference here is that Crono is married to Marle.

So, betatesters, how do you feel about Crono's personality and character development in Crimson Echoes?

Crimson Echoes / Truce Mayor's Manor CE version
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:09:00 am »
It occurred to me that people might not realize that we changed some Techs like Protect and Haste. Perhaps we could use the "tutorial" people in the Truce Mayor's Manor to give NEW information on the game compared to CT? One NPC in there could mention how Marle's Haste spell has improved and can target everyone rather than just one character, etc. We could also give other tidbits on the game that I think are not that well-known:

-In the shop menu, you can push Down on the first screen to change your equipment (this isn't just in CTDS!)
-In the item menu, push A twice on an equipment to see its stats and who can equip it
-Power does NOT matter at all for bow and gun users
-Push L+R to run from battles (this is one seems obvious but I swear some people don't know)
-If you're playing on Snes9x, please STOP right now and switch to Zsnes because it will most certainly glitch at one point

We would also need to add an NPC in Leene's Square or the Truce Inn to tell the player that the Mayor's Manor has new information to give, or something, otherwise people might assume that there's nothing new compared to CT and the first CE demos and might never actually visit the location. Thoughts?

Chrono Trigger: Prophet's Guile / Prophet's Guile parody
« on: February 01, 2009, 07:52:00 am »
Quote from: JusSonic
Author's note
Here I am working on yet another parody and this one is an interesting one too. This is a parody of the fan game that was made for Chrono Trigger that is called 'The Prophet's Guile'. It takes place right after Darth Vader's battle with the heroes at his castle and shows his rise to prophet hood in Hollow Bastion while he gets ready for his revenge on Tabuu.

Not all of the fan game can be shown in this and the game itself belongs to its respective owners. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Make sure to check out the clips on Youtube and/or play the game itself to understand 'The Prophet's Guile'.

There are 3 chapters. Well, can't say I read all of it...but it's always nice to see Prophet's Guile is still getting attention a whole year after its release.

Chrono Trigger DS Analysis / The Temporal Research Lab and... Project Kid
« on: January 03, 2009, 04:00:33 pm »
I haven't played the Dimensional Vortices (yet), but apparently there's a Temporal Research Lab in the 2,300 A.D. vortex, isn't it? Is there anything special there storywise? Who created this Temporal Research Lab? Could it be related to the Time Research Lab mentioned in Chrono Cross as being the precursor to Chronopolis (officially Chronopolis Military Research Center)?

Quote from: Chronopolis Chief in CC
   The Time Research Lab, which
   served as the foundation of
   this research center,
   appeared out of nowhere in the
   year 2300 and was headed up
   by the scientific genius,
   However, at the peak of his
   career, he simply vanished.
   We've continued his work
   and have come this far.
   Our work is almost complete.
   Well, it's about time
   I headed back...
   The experiment's about
   to begin...

It is generally assumed that when the Chief says "appeared out of nowhere", it's a figure of speech rather than something literal (as in, if no one ever managed to make successful research in time travel for 2,300 years and then Belthasar suddenly showed up and made himself known as a great time scientist, it can be said that his lab appeared out of nowhere even if it actually took a few months to be built). However, with the appearance of a "Temporal" Research Lab in CTDS, what should we assume now? Could Belthasar have built Chronopolis only after finding this Lab in the Dimensional Vortex and studying its technology? Could the Entity have created this vortex in 2,300 A.D. for the very purpose of making Belthasar launch Project Kid and save itself and the universe?

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