Author Topic: Chrono Cross Remake - Conceptual Novelization - The Great Experiment  (Read 777 times)


  • Chronopolitan (+300)
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Hello, everyone.  Been quite a while since I posted here.  Since the release of the Radical Dreamers edition of Chrono Cross, which I plan on playing through this summer, Chrono has very much been on my mind.  I am still working on my Chrono Trigger novel project off and on, but the further along I get on that, the more I realize that I need a solid narrative grasp of Chrono Cross in order to continue.  The reason being that the events of my Chrono Trigger series actually take place after the events of Chrono Cross, due to what Schala/Kid does after her spirit is freed by Serge and she transcends into a higher state of being.  Not to give too much away, but Schala/Kid basically resets time and everything goes back to the beginning.  Everything will transpire the way it did before until a certain point is reached, that point being called the Chrono Break, from which things will begin to diverge slightly from how they did in the original timeline, and create a possibility in which everyone can be saved and live out a full life in what I call the Ideal Timeline.  While this would seem to involve only the Chrono Trigger cast, events will transpire in which a few characters from Chrono Cross will get involved as well, and their involvement is critical to how the whole Chrono saga ends.  So, Chrono Cross has to be tackled in full narrative format to set up the tale I really want to tell.

I'll be honest, novelizing Chrono Cross is a project I long feared to be impossible due to how complicated the tale is and how it was presented to us in the original game.  Some aspects of the story remain head-scratchers 23 years after the game's release, and I'll admit that some of it still eludes me today.  It is for that reason that I call this a "Great Experiment".  But these characters deserve the best treatment I can give them, and if there is any possibility that I can tell this tale in a way that is easier to follow than the original game, I want to try.

It is important to note that this will not be a one to one translation of the original game.  (Hence the "Remake" moniker.) Some events will come completely out of left field, though I intend to follow the main events of the original game as closely as I can and include some of the original dialogue where it is workable.

Talking about the project itself, the biggest change from the original game is that it is no longer strictly Serge-centric.  Serge remains the story's protagonist - as he must be - but the story is no longer solely about him and the terrible hand fate has dealt him.  It is also about the characters who have the strongest emotional connection to Serge and how they deal with the hand fate dealt them, as well as with the unspeakable dangers facing their world.  To this end I use a narrative concept I call the "holy trinity", in which all the major events of the story revolve around one (or more) of three characters.  It is a classic technique we see in numerous franchises of pop culture, like Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Matrix.  Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.  Luke, Han, and Leia.  Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka.  Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus.  I look at Crono, Marle, and Lucca in the same way.  For Chrono Cross, the holy trinity must consist of Serge and the two characters who have the strongest emotional connection with him: Kid and Leena.

We know how important Kid is both to Serge and the larger Chrono mythos.  All we really know about Leena is that she is close to Serge, maybe desires a deeper relationship with him, and has a philosophical way of looking at the world.  Elevating her to holy trinity status requires her character to be expanded upon to where she is nearly as important to the story as Serge himself.  Fortunately there are a number of subtle clues in original canon that suggests she might have been intended to play a larger role in Chrono Cross, but for whatever reason that role was left on the cutting room floor by the developers, and we are left to wonder what might have been.  I have decided to take those subtle clues and run with them.  The trick to making Leena's elevation work is to make sure her story compliments Serge's story without completely overshadowing it.  To this end, we will see that quite unlike the original game, Home Leena and Another Leena are not clones of one another, but are shown to be very different people because of what did or did not happen to Serge 10 years ago.  This in turn shows how important Serge is, in that his presence or absence can have a profound impact on someone's life.

Other characters will have moments of great importance and provide aid to the three mains, but they will never be quite as important as the holy trinity.  Using this narrative structure helps keep the original game's rather large cast manageable and the story more focused.

Getting into the narrative itself, Serge and Leena now both have last names.  Serge Krayton and Leena Lawson.  I also decided to start with the dream flash-forward sequence from the original game and use it to help establish why Serge is important beyond his role in splitting the world in two.  He can see things before they happen in his dreams.  Dreams are an important theme for Masato Kato, so it is important to make that front and center for his protagonist.  The flash-forward sequence is a bit rough compared to the rest of my written material at this point and will probably undergo a lot of revisions still, but most of what follows after is solid enough to probably make it through to a finalized state.  The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that I am working on the first two volumes (books) at the same time because the first part of volume two takes place around the same time as the beginning of volume one, only from Home Leena's perspective.  Volume one will probably cover everything between the komodo scale hunt and the events at Ft. Dragonia.  Volume two will flash back to the day the Angelus Errare appears at Opassa and follow things from Home Leena's perspective for awhile.

Included here is everything I have written in full narrative so far: the first two chapters of volume one - told from Serge's perspective, and the first chapter of volume two - told from Home Leena's perspective.  As always, any feedback is appreciated.  Playing fast and loose with established canon is always a bit risky, so if I'm making a critical mistake I can't easily work around I need to know.  I hope everyone enjoys these.