Author Topic: A Bit of History on Square's Venture  (Read 24078 times)

ZeaLitY

  • Entity
  • End of Timer (+10000)
  • *
  • Posts: 10797
  • Spring Breeze Dancin'
    • View Profile
    • My Compendium Staff Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« on: January 09, 2004, 01:18:31 am »
While Chrono Trigger and Cross, to some degree by fans, are heralded as major works of art in the RPG genre, I find some of the history behind them interesting. Now, as legend attests, the Final Fantasy series was begun as Square's last attempt to remain afloat in the gaming world; its previous games had not fared well and Hironobu Sakaguchi was called in to make the first game in the series. It sufficed to keep the ship afloat, needless to say; Square's tenure continued well into the nineties.

However, it is in this period that Squaresoft became truly renowned. In the space of a few years, four exceptional games were released -- Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 6, Super Mario RPG (ok, that's debatable, but its still a groundbreaking game), and our beloved Chrono Trigger in 1995. It oft stands reason to strike that creating a new series on the gaming market is a risky venture, considering the tendency of fans to stick with originals, and the immense popularity of the Final Fantasy series. Squaresoft was well equipped to deal with this risky, creating a Dream Team of Final Fantasy's creator, Dragon Quest's main proponent, Yuji Horii, Akira Toriyama of the famous Dragon Ball series, and Yasunori Mitsuda, a young composer on the verge of achieving musical genius status. Doubtless, Chrono Trigger was a phenomenal hit, believed to be Final Fantasy's 6's rival and held by fans to surpass the game. It is a wonder that an upstart RPG gained such prominence.

This evokes the question of whether Radical Dreamers or Chrono Cross were planned at all while Chrono Trigger was being shaped; the likely answer is no, considering Radical Dreamers' short and vague plot and the time taken to release Chrono Cross. Cross itself was anticipated as the crown prince to the vast kingdom Trigger established, and although it received rave reviews by professional reviewers, some fans were left bewildered by the intricate plot (which is consistent, to the bane of Cross haters) and digression from Trigger's formula and feel when it hit the stores in 2000. This may explain why Chrono Break has not been, at this time, publicized or expected by the gaming community. While Cross was not the volatile explosion that Trigger had been, it nonetheless did draw a profit -- especially in the United States, where income was high -- otherwise, Break may have never been realized. SquareEnix has also encountered the usual set of delays associated with a company merger. The Final Fantasy series has been undisputed champion of the genre, and with solid standing and profit-making ability in the gaming world, it is very likely that Square will pull Chrono Break out of its hat in good time.

Unfortunately, the rabbit may be somewhat flawed, as the original team in Square has been dissolved. After Xenogears was produced, developers in Squaresoft departed to form Monolith Soft, which has successfully released titles in that series. This team of former Square workers includes the titan Masato Kato, who originally engineered the story of the Chrono series. There are rumors that perhaps this shall be the company to release Break -- this might be an interesting feat, if it comes to pass; Square is known for its negative perks, and a new team of developers may breathe fresh life into the series. Whatever the future may hold, it shall be scored excellently -- Yasunori Mitsuda has pledged his expertise to Chrono Break, commenting that he'd love to do the soundtrack.

Radical_Dreamer

  • Entity
  • Zurvan Surfer (+2500)
  • *
  • Posts: 2778
    • View Profile
    • The Chrono Compendium
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2004, 07:38:44 pm »
Nice article, but I believe that in the producer's ending, Nobuo Uematsu, is listed as part of the Dream Team, not Mitsuda. Personally, I like Mitsuda's work better...heh...

Morzas Merix

  • Iokan (+1)
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2004, 06:04:01 pm »
"The Final Fantasy series has been undisputed champion of the genre."

Uhm... you're just.. WRONG there.

Radical_Dreamer

  • Entity
  • Zurvan Surfer (+2500)
  • *
  • Posts: 2778
    • View Profile
    • The Chrono Compendium
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2004, 07:54:12 pm »
Morzas is right, the best selling console game in Japanese history is Dragon Warrior/Quest VII.

ZeaLitY

  • Entity
  • End of Timer (+10000)
  • *
  • Posts: 10797
  • Spring Breeze Dancin'
    • View Profile
    • My Compendium Staff Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2004, 08:31:59 pm »
In the United States, as well?

Radical_Dreamer

  • Entity
  • Zurvan Surfer (+2500)
  • *
  • Posts: 2778
    • View Profile
    • The Chrono Compendium
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2004, 09:59:40 pm »
No idea. The FF Series very well might be more popular over here, I don't have the numbers.

YbrikMetaknight

  • Squaretable Knight (+400)
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • I strike fast and disappear for years at a time.
    • View Profile
    • Chrono Compendium
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2004, 01:42:42 am »
Yeah, I'm pretty sure FF has outsold DW in the states.  However, DQ has definitely beaten FF out in Japan, and possibly overall.

Fist_Buzzsaw

  • Iokan (+1)
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2004, 09:53:04 pm »
Considering what they did to CT's characters and nations in Cross, I fear the worst.  Square/Enix is a corporation, and a merged one at that.  Corporations are not known for being nice, especially to fictional characters.  Here's how I break it down:

Ideal Crono 3:

1) Magus is finally reunited with Schala.

2) After the dimensional merge, it is revealed that although Crono & Marle died in the Home dimension, they lived in the Other one and are still alive.

3) Serge marries Kid, and the Cross gang are (at least almost) all OK.

4) There is a revolution that overthrows Porre and places the rightful King & Queen on the throne (almost impossible, but if France can do it, so can Guardia).

5) The new theme is space travel, with humans going out and fighting  alien scum in their own element.

6) The new team works from the heart, rather than just trying to make a quick buck.


Worst-Case Crono 3:

1) Either Magus or Schala dies before they can meet again.

2) Crono & Marle?  Well...they'll be happy in the afterlife....

3) Serge and the gang get the Sequel Treatment (poor bastards).

4) Porre is still in control, or there's an even worse Regime, or there's been a big cataclysmic war that has smashed civilization.

5) Don't bother trying to figure the plot out, since time, space, and dimensional travel are all lumped together confusingly.

6) The new team don't want a great game; they want their paychecks.


These are extreme cases, and highly marred by my opinions and the fact that my knowledge of CC is all derived from this web site.  But here's to hoping that the new team is more merciful and puts their hearts & souls into this game, rather than just cranking out a generic sequel to capitalize on the series's popularity.

YbrikMetaknight

  • Squaretable Knight (+400)
  • *
  • Posts: 462
  • I strike fast and disappear for years at a time.
    • View Profile
    • Chrono Compendium
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2004, 02:20:17 am »
Quote from: Fist_Buzzsaw
my knowledge of CC is all derived from this web site


Yay.  That makes me smile.  Hopefully you have a pretty good amount of knowledge on the subject.

But you should still play the game when/if you get the chance.

OathoftheTimeTraveler

  • Earthbound (+15)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
    • http://www.ffexp.com
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2004, 10:23:05 am »
In response to Fist_Buzzsaw, why does the ending have to neccesary be a cliche to be good? As long as it was done right, I could deal with any situation that was given to me.

Fist_Buzzsaw

  • Iokan (+1)
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2004, 09:08:01 pm »
Quote from: YbrikMetaknight

Yay.  That makes me smile.  Hopefully you have a pretty good amount of knowledge on the subject.

But you should still play the game when/if you get the chance.


Due to circumstances beyond my control, I won't be able to play the game for a long time.  This site is the next best thing.

Quote from: OathoftheTimeTraveler
In response to Fist_Buzzsaw, why does the ending have to neccesary be a cliche to be good? As long as it was done right, I could deal with any situation that was given to me.


You have a good point.  Crono's story can be likened to that of a classic tragedy, which is sometimes the best kind of story.  In fact, there was a (vaguely) similar premise in Rudyard Kipling's story, The Man Who Would be King: that of a man from a low strata of life becoming the ruler of a large territory, and then being killed in a revolution.  He's just another of the "Great Men (fictional or otherwise) Who Died Young".  In a way, you're right about a cliche "they lived happy lives therafter" being replaced by a more realistic end.

But the key phrase here is "done right".  The revolution seemed kind of forced, as if its purpose was to get the origional characters out of the way and make way for new ones.  What is more, I think I've found a plot hole (I'll make a topic about it once I've got some evidence).  Crono and the girls almost single-handedly won two wars and saved the world from an alien superbeing; I'd think they could do something about a revolution, cannons or no cannons.  Another thing about it is that their deaths in the revolution could have been a really great story, but wasn't.  All in all, I'm not impressed with the way Square handled the sequel transition.

Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a happy ending.  :)

urobolus

  • Iokan (+1)
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2004, 03:30:29 am »
My knowledge of CC is all derived from this web site.

Hence preventing you from making a fair judgement on the quality of the game...and thusly trivializing any opinion of it you might have, unfortunately.

CC was a beautiful game with a top-notch battle system, great music and incredible replay value.  To me, at least, the overall plot, once it got going, exuded a maturity that only began to materialize in CT's final stages--not to knock CT at all.  Though many will complain that it had too many characters, if you look at Serge, Kid, Lynx and Harle you will see that their development and involvement with the story makes them every bit as complicated and well done as Crono, Lucca, Marle, Frog or Robo.

The death of the former characters was not done sloppily--something you would realize if you actually played the game--and the tint of tragedy that it leaves only increases the drama and energy of CC.  Overall, to call CC's story blasphemy or to call it a bad game without having given it a fair chance is rather ridiculous--why do you think it got rave reviews?  Because when judged without bias, it is an excellent game.

DeweyisOverrated

  • Acacia Deva (+500)
  • *
  • Posts: 576
    • View Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2005, 02:46:09 pm »
Quote from: Radical_Dreamer
Nice article, but I believe that in the producer's ending, Nobuo Uematsu, is listed as part of the Dream Team, not Mitsuda. Personally, I like Mitsuda's work better...heh...


As far as my understanding goes, Mitsuda composed the music, Nobuo just kinda "overaw" it, then kinda threw it all together or something... maybe like a producer? Oversees everything but doesn't actually do the work.

ZeaLitY

  • Entity
  • End of Timer (+10000)
  • *
  • Posts: 10797
  • Spring Breeze Dancin'
    • View Profile
    • My Compendium Staff Profile
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2005, 03:22:10 pm »
He did a few tracks. Complete listing at http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Nobuo_Uematsu

SilentMartyr

  • Magical Dreamer (+1250)
  • *
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chronotrigger.info
A Bit of History on Square's Venture
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2005, 04:35:47 pm »
Quote from: YbrikMetaknight
Quote from: Fist_Buzzsaw
my knowledge of CC is all derived from this web site


Yay.  That makes me smile.  Hopefully you have a pretty good amount of knowledge on the subject.

But you should still play the game when/if you get the chance.


This site forced me to buy Cross. There were no threats involved.