Author Topic: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?  (Read 880 times)

Atharyne

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Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« on: July 08, 2017, 02:09:43 pm »
I know I can't be the only one who has ever thought of this crazy idea but what if Chrono Cross was taken and using SNES graphics was redesigned as a SNES game?! WHAT? WHAT?! OH, YES I SAID IT!  :o Like Final Fantasy 7 being downgraded for the NES Chrono Cross SNES would be for the true old school gamers. So since I put the idea out there....how would I do it? I play games not make them so any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 03:39:04 pm by Atharyne »

Mauron

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 02:04:49 am »
The graphics would have to be more FFVI style than CT style, due to palette restrictions, and even then you might run into problems with all the playable characters. A swap menu might need to be text based instead of showing characters.

alfadorredux

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 01:42:07 pm »
I'm going to divide this into sections, because there's a lot to cover.

1. Visual Aspect

I would probably start by sketching out the first few areas of the game using a perspective closer to the 3/4 top angle used by most SNES-era RPGs (Fort Dragonia dreamscape, Arni, Lizard Rock, and Opassa should be enough to start with). A lot of the locations in Cross were drawn at a flatter angle that would be difficult to work with as tilemaps with constant-sized sprites (the upper area of Termina outside Zappa's shop is one of the worst, but there are others).

For the tiles themselves, you may be able to steal a few from Trigger--the Forest Maze from Prehistory has appropriate sandy soil and palm-like trees--but a lot more are going to have to be drawn from scratch. And then they need to be fitted together into maps.

Then you need some sprites. If you cheat and hard-code Radius as the third character in the dream sequence, you can get away with three full PC spritesheets (Serge, Kid, Radius) plus some Arni villagers (walking animations at most, set must include Leena) and a half-dozen monsters for the first stage of the game (up to Arni (Another)). The PC spritesheets need the usual basic animations (walk, run, attack, defend, cast, die, possibly climb and idle).

2. Audio Aspect

All the music would have to be downgraded to fit the SNES's limited four-instrument system. Not sure how many channels there are in the original, but there's going to be something somewhere that doesn't fit, and the instruments themselves are going to sound more synthesized.

Also, you're going to lose the vocal from the ending theme no matter what you do. The SNES was never known for being good at reproducing intelligible speech.

3. Programming Aspect

Where do I even begin? Cross's combat system doesn't entirely match up with any other JRPG ever, as far as I know. Even if you started with a Trigger ROM as a base (probably not a good idea), you'd have to reprogram the combat and Elements systems largely from scratch. In SNES assembler. That's likely going to be a major time sink.

The menu, with its quirky rotating pointer, is another thing peculiar to Cross. I think there was someone who produced a working version of that, some years back, so if you're serious about this, you might consider searching the boards on romhacking.net and see if you could find them. The Element grid support is going to need to be written almost from scratch (you might be able to reuse some stuff from the equipment system).

And you're going to run into various size and complexity limitations imposed by the SNES hardware. Mauron's already mentioned one. Plus, even with the video cutscenes reduced to sprite animations and a lot of the Element and enemy special attack animations simplified, I suspect you may also run up against the "how much can you fit in a cartridge" limitation. You may have to pare away everything that doesn't figure into the main plot, and then judiciously cram as many of the cut bits back in as you can find room for.

Alternatively, you could move to another engine and just mimic the SNES graphic style, although I'm not sure what the point would be, then.

In short, it's a really big project, and I can only wish you luck. If you want to know what you, personally, should try to learn to have the best chance of pulling this off, I'd look into the programming side.

chrono.source

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 09:41:57 am »
I like the idea, but definitely agree with the others that this is a huge undertaking, and basically making a game from scratch. You might have an easier time using other engines like RPG maker, game maker, etc, but it will lose a lot of fan base (I know from experience). If you are simply doing it for yourself, then that might be a slightly easier route to take.

DarioEMeloD

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 04:22:44 pm »
Also, you're going to lose the vocal from the ending theme no matter what you do. The SNES was never known for being good at reproducing intelligible speech.

It's doable, you'd have to compromise a lot on quality, but still...

https://youtube.com/watch?v=W3SA9LuqQgA

In any case, even if you shrink the whole game down, cut filler characters, and adapt the combat system to a more classic style, it's too much of a big project. Not impossible though.

justin3009

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 08:31:03 pm »
Actually, the quality of the voice doesn't have to decrease too teribly. It's intentionally lowered because it uses less space, otherwise, the SNES CAN handle up to 32000khz in audio quality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtPdlwFxsh4 - An old video from an unfinished project, but it definitely shows the quality difference the SNES can handle, even then, this is HALF the quality it can do. (Though, it definitely uses a lot more ROM space).

But yeah, most definitely MAAAY be a bit too big of a project unless it was split into two 8MB roms. Might be able to get away with that, but all the character sprites would legitimately destroy the entire ROM space. You'd DEFINITELY have to cut A LOT of characters out. There's no way around that at all.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 08:38:19 pm by justin3009 »

Schala Zeal

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 08:22:17 pm »
I did come across a C compiler called snesc some years ago

Here's snesc with the SNES/SFC SDK https://github.com/optixx/snes-sdk/

It would be neat to do something ambitious similar to Tales of Phantasia

DarioEMeloD

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 09:30:48 pm »
Problem is, there's no vocal track of CC's ending (afaik), only way of getting it is isolating the voice from the rest of the instruments, and even then the result is far from perfect. So you'd either have to put the whole song in there, or have someone else sing it all over again.

Nangbaby

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 05:57:53 pm »
It's topics like these that make me realize a Chrono Trigger engine would be of more use than dealing with the constraints of the SNES.

On the other hand, cutting down CC's cast is a welcome idea. Is there really any point to Funguy, for instance?
 Literally half the cast is fodder and one could easily pare down the playable characters to 18 without blinking and to a more economical 12 with creative editing.

Edit: As to not double post, I do remember someone experimenting with this idea years ago. They got to the point where they had sprites of Grobyc and two other characters. That person even recreated the element system in battle and uploaded a video to prove it. However, the video was unlisted to prevent prying eyes from looking at it.

Now I can't find the video at all. Does anyone else remember this?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 12:32:01 am by Nangbaby »

Mauron

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 02:25:21 pm »
I remember that video, but nothing was ever released, unfortunately.

justin3009

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 05:39:55 pm »
I think I remember that being stated as a lot of massive event editing and such but it wasn't an 'actual' battle system in the game so he just didn't release it as he felt it was pointless to continue that way.

Nangbaby

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 11:11:07 pm »
Ah, okay. Thanks for the clarification. While it was still an incredible achievement lost, at least I can rest easier knowing someone didn't have a CC battle system replacement working in CT that just disappeared from the Internet like that Goku sprite I continually complain about (it has been, like, 13 years at this point).

Mauron

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2017, 11:20:02 pm »
It probably would have been practical with some self-modifying code and teleport to boss room type battles. :/

Any number above 8 for characters would require graphics closer to FF6, where multiple PCs share a palette.

Nangbaby

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2017, 06:20:24 pm »
Well who, really, is needed for the  story?

There are the core four, Serge, Kid, Lynx, and Harle. Harle and Kid can share a pallete if designed carefully enough.

Who else strongly contributes to the story as a playable character and can't easily.be wriiten out as a NPC?

Nikki (of the three Viper Mansion candidates he is the most connected)
Radius
Razzly
Norris
Fargo
Sprigg
Viper
Karsh
Steena

So that's 13 right there.

Luccia is a borderline case, as is Glenn. Add Grobyc, Marcy, and Zoah. And you have 18.

However, we really don't need the Dragoons as playable characters. Yeah, it's nice to reunite Fargo with his family and to have them all on the same side, but it's not necessary.  Swap Glenn for Karsh,  so there's 15 counting the borderline cast.

White/Black
Red
Black
Blue
Green
Green
Yellow
Blue
Green
Yellow
Green
White
Black
Black

Four Greens is too mich, so Razzly's got to go. Sprigg's ability would be impossible to program, so down to 13, but there needs  to be a second Red element usee, especially since Kid woild be out of the picture for so long. Janice, Miki, or Draggy would probably be my three top.choices.

Yeah, I know this is all abritrary, but I'm just idly musing.

alfadorredux

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Re: Chrono Cross.... for the SNES!!?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 07:45:38 am »
Razzly can be written out as an NPC. (So can Viper, even if you include the rest of the Dragoons.) Swap the elemental orientation of a necessary character rather than add someone in just for the sake of having another red element user.