Author Topic: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books  (Read 5600 times)

wizzy0807

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"Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« on: September 15, 2013, 07:33:34 pm »
Hello Compendium,

I was recently selected as the author for Boss Fight Books' volume on Chrono Trigger. I am indebted to the monumental work of Chrono Compendium as I explore the game from multiple angles. This site is truly an amazing resource: the depth and breadth of curation of Chrono content is simply astounding.

The series for which I am writing was recently featured on Gamespot, which gives a brief mention to the work of the Compendium:  http://www.gamespot.com/features/boss-fight-books-explores-the-cultural-significance-of-earthbound-and-others-6414452/. The book itself is highlighted at Boss Fight's page here: http://bossfightbooks.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/chrono-trigger/. I have attached a picture of the book cover, which I hope you will enjoy.

Some forum readers may recall the completion of "Reverse Design: Chrono Trigger" by The Game Design Forum Staff: http://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php/topic,9858.0.html. I have been in touch with the TGDF and am doing my best to build upon the work of them and other dedicated authors.

I look forward to any input, discussion, and support you may have for the project as I continue writing. I am truly grateful to become a participant in the Chrono Trigger community.

Kodokami

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 10:12:01 pm »
First off, congrats on being selected! I hadn't heard of Boss Fight Books til now, and it definitely sound interesting.

I'm sure you've already read through a lot (and it can be a lot to comprehend at once), so if you have any questions, please ask! We'd love to help.

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 04:13:18 pm »
Thanks, Kodokami! And apologies for the delayed response.

I'm currently writing about the fandom of Chrono Trigger and I've been exploring this site in depth. I'd be interested in submitting some of the new Japanese materials I've discovered to the site, as well as possibly talking with some of the masterminds behind the Compendium (e.g. you as sole Director, xZeaLitYx as an Entity for example) if that would be permitted.

The Compendium has been an invaluable resource for my book (now at 38,000 words and growing!), and I want to give readers a taste of how meticulous and engaged the site and its users are with the legacy of the Chrono series.

I'd also invite any user who has questions, comments, or concerns to contact me and let me have it! I am doing my best to create my own fan work for the game, and I want it to be good.

Cheers!

ZeaLitY

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 04:42:55 pm »
I'll try to give a brief overview of the fandom history:

  • We're not sure about the online community pre-Compendium, except for the usual Angelfire sites, stuff listed here, or the Chrono Trigger Zeal Archive, which seems to have been one of the big ones.
  • Chrono Compendium started as an offshoot of a Chrono series discussion thread on OCReMix.org that I made in fall 2002 to show off a couple field maps I'd made through screenshotting.
  • The Compendium officially began around July 2003 on PHPNuke, by Ramsus; see it here. Ramsus is still here and has always coded and created the sites, secured hosting, etc.
  • Most of our site layouts are archived with other history at http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Chrono_Compendium:About.html
  • From 2003 to 2005, most of the analysis of the game's plot was done on the forums.
  • In late 2004, Geiger released Temporal Flux, the comprehensive ROM hacking utility.
  • In 2005, I created the idea for Crimson Echoes, a Chrono Trigger ROM hack.
  • In 2005, Agent 12 showed up and coded the colosseum, and in 2007, he coded most of Crimson Echoes's events.
  • In January 2006, we substantially finished the encyclopedia section of the Compendium.
  • Around late 2007 I think, Prophet's Guile was released, a short ROM hack about Magus, and secured 25,000 downloads in a single year.
  • In late 2008, Chrono Trigger DS was released and caused a big resurgence in activity.
  • In May 2009, Crimson Echoes received a cease & desist letter from Square Enix, which destroyed the ROM hacking community.
  • Since then, the site and fandom have both been in a slow dying phase as a new game has not been announced.

That's pretty terribly technical, but I suppose there really isn't that much fandom lore for the Chrono series. We missed most of the early organic stuff, as the site was made 3 full years after Chrono Cross debuted, and by then there wasn't much inherent forum community activity that you see for other original fansites, like Starmen. This was redoubled by the fact that the Compendium's original nature as a site for discussion of technical plot information attracted a lot of STEM majors (myself not included; English and Public Accounting here) who were atheists, left-wing, and amazingly socially progressive (often feminist allies), who policed sexism, etc. and got into debates about religion, which alienated more religious fans who posted here. (Fuck them anyway; I'd rather have a more dead forum than one in which anti-choice, sexist, climate-change denying Jesusfreaks compose some of the population.)

The main thing about the Compendium that's notable is that we're one of, if not the last big, organic fan site of a franchise to establish itself before the rise of Wikia. Everything these days is on Wikia, whether the Miami Vice wiki, the Vault (Fallout franchise wiki), etc., but the Compendium and my other project, QuestFan were some of the last to do it independently. In my opinion that confers an advantage; there's much easier integration of a forum community, and plus we can skirt Wikia's restrictions on copyright, allowing a hell of a lot more content. The dictatorship aspect has also let us finely control what goes into the encyclopedia (which IS a wiki) and make vandalism a total non-issue. So we're pretty much the last of the ancients here. Chronopedia exists, but most of their content is lifted from our encyclopedia. If a new Chrono game comes out, I've always been prepared to spring back into action and ensure this entire site gets updated so that the Compendium always remains, per our original mission, a "perfect" archive of all things Chrono.

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 05:01:08 pm »
ZeaLitY,

Thank you for your incredibly detailed history of the Compendium. "Technical" is great, by the way, in helping establish a timeline, as I'm sure you know having helped untangle the plot interconnections within the Chrono franchise.

I also appreciate you candid response on the character of the site: this will be enormously useful for narrating parts of the fan history of the game (I won't dare to attempt a comprehensive treatment on the topic!). Crimson Echoes is also an important part of that chapter, as is Prophet's Guile. The Coliseum rom hack gets an extra special mention later in discussing the Arena of the Ages for DS and its fundamentally un-Coliseum-like treatment. With your permission, I'd like to add a direct quote from you to this fan chapter when I get around to writing it.

In the meantime, as I noted above, I have discovered a few Chrono resources on my own. I have obtained a copy of the V Jump Player's Guide (partially scanned on the site), and that Japanese interview with the Dream Project (not currently scanned?) was enormously helpful for my book. I also found a copy of "Chrono Trigger: The Complete" (published by Shueisha in 1999 in the V Jump books series (see http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4087790428)). I did not see this featured on the merchandise page (did I miss it somewhere, perhaps?). I would be happy to submit scanned samples if you deem them useful.

ZeaLitY

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 03:22:38 am »
Yeah, no problem.

Wow, that one does seem like it evaded the radar. I thought maybe it was another version of The Perfect or the Perfect Bible, but it seems to be something else. Can you look through it and see if there are any developer interview sections, or possibly pages with isolated, clean character art?

Vehek

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 07:04:54 am »
In the meantime, as I noted above, I have discovered a few Chrono resources on my own. I have obtained a copy of the V Jump Player's Guide (partially scanned on the site), and that Japanese interview with the Dream Project (not currently scanned?) was enormously helpful for my book.
It's been scanned, along with the other, general staff interview, over in Material Requiring Translation. But if it's been helpful, does that mean you or someone else translated it? Or at least, got a rough idea of what's in it.

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 02:16:47 pm »
Vehek:

I have read through the interview in Japanese (and skimmed the rest of that V Jump guide), selecting materials that had relevance to my book, and either translating direct snippets or getting the gist of it to be included in my book. Some other segments that have been relevant to me have been the "Find Magus" game and its giveaways (I have an un-used copy of the game), and the Square timeline establishing the conceptual and game design roots of Chrono Trigger. I have not attempted a full translation of any of this.

I also neglected to thank the Compendium for hosting the Nuumamonjaa manga. While I found this difficult to enjoy, there's at least one comic in there that I found relevant to other themes I touch upon in my book.  By the way, I have seen the full title translated in several ways: "Dimensional Adventure Numa Monja", "Time and Space Adventures Numa Monjar", etc. I have not seen Nuu and Mamo's group "Nuumamonjaa" given any meaning. The anglicized transliteration of "Numa Monjar" ignores that fact that this is "Nuu" + "Mamo" (and not "Numa + Mon"), and also eliminates the relevance of the "-njaa" ("-njar") ending.

I believe this suffix "-njaa" is derived from the Japanese word "renjaa" ("ranger"). The Japanese "Super Sentai" franchise (here, the "Power Rangers") have featured rangers of all types. Many installments have abbreviated the "ranger" portion of the title into a suffix "-ger" or "-nger", to be attached onto a different word altogether. The most recent installment, "Juuden Sentai Kyouryuujaa" ("Beast-lectric Soldier Dinosaurger") illustrates the complexity of translating the compound "Nuumamonjaa" as "NuuMamonger" (and the concomitant pronunciation issues). In English, we'd probably form our own clumsy portmanteau like "Nulwala".

Translating between the two languages is a huge intellectual exercise, so again, I have not even considered translating a several page magazine feature, yet alone even a full chunk of text. More importantly, my book project is occupying much of my free time to write, so I can only afford to translate those sections of Chrono lore that have any relevance to the end product.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 02:30:52 pm by wizzy0807 »

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 02:29:42 pm »
Oh, and ZeaLitY:

"The Complete" is a streamlined update of "The Perfect" with the new FMV screenshots, but it is, in my opinion, not as good as its predecessor. The item illustrations are smaller, for one. And since there was no new game content in the PS rerelease save the FMVs, this book provides no new coverage. There are no bonus features.

Structurally, it beats "The Perfect", which was organized by time period (you run into 65,000,000 BC before you even get to 1000 AD walkthroughs). "The Complete"'s guide starts from the beginning of the adventure in 1000 AD. If I were a Japanese player in 1999 (our time), of the two guides I'd have preferred "The Perfect". But of course at the time of release it had the advantage of being in print, while "The Perfect" had been out of print for roughly 4 years.

There are a few pages that are somewhat interesting, including a V Jump ad at the end. Many of the other pages just juxtapose existing art to make a tableau of sorts (there's a shot of the Epoch headed straight for Lavos's shell, for instance). I can scan a few samples for you. At least the jacket cover, just for greater completeness in the merchandise section. Just tell me how best to submit such samples.

ZeaLitY

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 11:48:04 am »
E-mailing to zeality@gmail.com would work fine. That's interesting; I'll be glad to make the encyclopedia more complete by getting that information on. I'd also be a little concerned if 65KK jumped up and beat me in the face at the beginning of a guide, haha. Thanks a ton.

Kodokami

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 03:11:28 pm »
Heh, I'm definitely no mastermind (many of our members have been around much longer than I have), but I'll be glad to assist any way I can.

And wow, you found something even we didn't know of. Awesome!

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 03:50:30 pm »
I really should have looked here first, but it was very early in my research!

I simply searched worldcat.org and Amazon Japan for Chrono Trigger books and acquired whatever guides I could (I skipped the scores/sheet music, of which there were several). "The Complete" was among these guides. It was only later that I discovered the merchandise page here. Oops!

wizzy0807

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 07:37:14 pm »
Hello again, all!

I am pleased to announce that my book Chrono Trigger will be released in early April by Boss Fight Books. An e-galley is making some rounds as of today, and a brief, early sample is available at Kotaku.

A few bibliographic details: The print version will probably clock in at 190 or so pages of text, and the digital version's pagination will vary with display format. The book features new interviews with DS retranslator Tom Slattery, and with original translator Ted Woolsey, who also has written the foreword.

Scope of the book: Just to clarify things, the object of this nonfiction book's study is, in general, based on the text of the SNES version of the game, though references to the later editions and original Japanese text are included where useful or interesting. This book is not about the Chrono series, though brief references to Chrono Cross occur when helpful. This book is not meant to be encyclopedic, and has no pretensions to supplanting the great work of the Compendium. It is an exploration of the history and text of Chrono Trigger from a wide variety of angles (both English and Japanese), as well as a gamer's memoir of a golden age of RPGs. As the aim of Boss Fight Books is to focus on one game per book, Chrono Cross (and maybe even Radical Dreamers!) will have to wait for another day.

I am grateful to the Compendium for hosting many resources that were instrumental in my narrative. I hope that my book may have some new insights into the game, and can be counted among the many pieces of fan creation documented by this site.

Thank you,
Michael P. Williams
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 07:39:41 pm by wizzy0807 »

Kodokami

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 02:36:15 pm »
I've been looking forward to this. Less than a month away!

Dyxo Xinoro

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Re: "Chrono Trigger" for Boss Fight Books
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2014, 08:45:30 pm »
Hype? Hype.

Granted, the LAST time something Chrono related was released on April 1st...