Poll

If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?

Eliminate all the funny accents.
5 (3.1%)
Increase the game's difficulty.
8 (5%)
Give Zoah some clothes.
4 (2.5%)
Totally different battle system -- return to ye olde Active Time Battle System days!
9 (5.6%)
Fewer playable characters altogether -- a Final Fantasy VI-size roster can produce just the right balance between variety and character development.
40 (25%)
MORE cute comic relief characters -- the story's too depressing as it is!
2 (1.3%)
Greater involvement from the CT crew -- especially Crono, Marle, Lucca, Magus, and Robo.
45 (28.1%)
Make one or more of the following characters playable: Dario, Belthasar, Miguel, Garai, the small Fire Dragon, other (please specify).
6 (3.8%)
Better explain the underlying story using Compendium theory, and in a way that isn't so esoteric and cramped into the last minutes of the game.
22 (13.8%)
OTHER! (Please post what!)
19 (11.9%)

Total Members Voted: 152

Author Topic: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?  (Read 22389 times)

chrono.source

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #315 on: September 13, 2018, 11:54:32 am »
There should be multiple options for this as I would definitely check more than one box. Less playable characters, less info dump at the end, possible CT character involvement, all good options.

Redline57

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #316 on: October 18, 2018, 12:22:16 am »
I had 'the arguement' with someone. same age as me, tho i didnt play CT 2005, it was SO good it felt like i played it at age 8, thats how impactful it was.

I debated with someone who told me Chrono Cross was a better game and rated higher. I said you're wrong, every site rates CT higher all that jazz. The reiteration again, CT was original, CC was a sequel to a game we didnt get (radical dreamers) and felt like a generic RPG that tossed in CT words to sell more copies. The only good things for me (and this will change when i replay it, and then replay it again) were the music was good (cause it was right out of CT) and the FMVs were good for its age. But it was so lacking, you played it in a different mindset, the massive amount of characters was just filler. A mexican wrestler, I mean now you're just pandering. I understand that not every character is gonna hit ya the same way, CT had 7 characters, and even then you could argue they werent all pivotal if you played it the same way you played CC. But it could have been done differently. If the game had some better back story, if these people were legitimate friends...if the game were 200 hours long and was called "chrono trigger 8" or something, but it wasnt. The plot didnt tie in and was SO confusing. I for one tip my hat to Zeality and the crew for Crimson Echoes cause that game confused the shit out of me but I consider it probably my favorite game. CC sits somewhere below Final Fantasy 1 and Zelda 3.

PrincessNadia78

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #317 on: October 24, 2018, 01:23:55 pm »
I have to agree with you 110%. Iím playing CC right now and I do enjoy it as a game but there are WAY too many recruitable characters and like you said, the story is a bit confusing. I also have to agree that the team of CE did a wonderful job of tying the 2 games together.

I do enjoy CC, but I think of it more of a spin-off than an actual sequel.

CptOvaltine

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #318 on: October 28, 2018, 08:50:28 pm »
I'll have to respectfully disagree.  I think that Cross in itself is a wonderful game, but is also a fantastic squeal. Let me preempt this by saying I generally have a hate/hate relationship with sequels.

Most of the time games/stories are written without the knowledge that they are going to have a sequel, so they write fairly complete/epic adventures with (sometimes) open endings.  Because of this, we almost always end up with games that feature strong casts with some kind of god-like villain that's out to destroy the universe with ultimate power.  The heroic main cast then pulls out all the stops and barely destroys the god-villain sometimes by sacrificing themselves - which is all fine. Then the game sells well and everyone cries for a squeal. The dev team now has to figure out how to create an even badder god-villain (that never existed in the old game) with an even more powerful ultimate power that threatens to bring an even worse ultimate destruction.  Our band of heros now have to pull together even HARDER then before and pull out even more (all the) stops, sacrifice something even greater then the everything they did last time in order to one up the ultimate adventure story from before.

I call this the Marvel Syndrome.  Point being, in my opinion Trigger had one of those amazing stories that you really cant continue with the main cast without it being completely lack-luster or absolutely ridiculous. I think stepping away from the main cast and introducing a new location with a new crew was brilliant.  Then, they embark on a much smaller (in the beginning) personal adventure which grows and intertwines with Trigger in such a mind blowing way. I think it's the best kind of squeal, and really one of the only types that works for these kinds of stories.  Unless a game plans to be a series, and incorporates an overarching story which develops over the course of several games I don't think they work.

Now, my big complaint with Cross is while I think the way they tied the two worlds (and games) together is brilliant, it wasn't executed very well.  They spent a lot of time building the world, story, and lore in Cross, but then ran out of time, space, money (or whatever it was) at the end and just crammed a bunch of information into the last 3rd/ending of the game. I think Cross would have greatly benefited from being split into two parts, which would allow for a  lot of story and character elements to be fleshed out.  This also would have given the devs some room to expand the game world...possibly going as for to allow you to venture outside of El Nido. (Though I'm not sure how you would do this story wise.)  It also could have allowed for even more of a tie into Triggers world/story.

Just some thoughts.  If you can't tell I'm a big Cross fan. :D

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #319 on: October 28, 2018, 09:23:56 pm »
Quote
... They spent a lot of time building the world, story, and lore in Cross, but then ran out of time, space, money (or whatever it was) at the end and just crammed a bunch of information into the last 3rd/ending of the game. I think Cross would have greatly benefited from being split into two parts, which would allow for a  lot of story and character elements to be fleshed out.  This also would have given the devs some room to expand the game world...possibly going as for to allow you to venture outside of El Nido. (Though I'm not sure how you would do this story wise.)  It also could have allowed for even more of a tie into Triggers world/story.

Xenosaga had the exact same problem. Both games have stellar first discs, but by the time the second disc comes around, there's a need for explaining events that ends up being shoed in and leaves things sort of confusing. Several other SNES and PSX RPGs got the same treatment in the late 1990's, which is unfortunate and I think holds them back from being true masterpieces by today standards.

I could have totally seen a "part 1" taking place in El Nido, while a "part 2" opens up the rest of the world. They could have treated them as a new series, a la Trails of the Sky or something (where one game opens up things for the next set up). This is something I'd never even considered before.

I do think Chrono Cross was a proper escalation, if that makes sense. The Dreamer Devourer felt like a more cosmic threat, although I wish the game had done more to explain the how/why the Dream Devourer was such a threat.

My biggest complaint with Cross ties into the above plot-dumps, but also the fact that we have some unseen event in which post-Chrono Cross Schala "Kid" Zeal travels back in time and ends up being the individual who saves Serge. This is hinted at is so frustratingly vague. More frustrating, to me, than the entire "Balthasar did everything as part of Project Kid" deus ex machina.

But yeah, I freaking love Chrono Cross regardless. Amazing game.

Razig

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #320 on: October 29, 2018, 11:51:04 am »
The best way to improve Chrono Cross would be to remove Korcha entirely. Failing that, include an option to burn him alive. Slowly.

But seriously, I agree with the infodump thing. The game hits you with these absolutely massive walls of text which you can only read a few lines at a time. By the time you get to the end you've forgotten the beginning, but you can't read it again without replaying everything since your last save. That makes the plot seem even more convoluted than it already is. I think the game just needs a few more hours, a few more dungeons, to reveal the backstory organically. Show, don't tell.

Like Boo, I also have a nitpick with how Kid is destined to go back in time and save Serge from drowning, but for a different reason. Since that event obviously happened / will happen (otherwise there would be no Serge and no Home World), it means your quest to destroy the Time Devourer is destined to succeed, because there exists a future for her to go back from. This runs counter to Chrono Trigger's "no predestination" theme. If the series ran on predestination, then your second visit to 2300 AD should have shown a happy future, since you're obviously going to get around to beating Lavos at some point.

My last gripe is how vague the ending is. I know Kato wanted it to be a "draw your own conclusions" kind of thing, but there simply isn't enough information to draw any conclusion at all. Which aspect of each world will be kept in the merged timeline? Did Serge forget his whole adventure or didn't he? Did Schala and Kid merge into a single entity? What was all that business about inseminating planets and creating new universes? Give us something to work with!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 12:31:30 pm by Razig »

CptOvaltine

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #321 on: October 29, 2018, 03:40:55 pm »
Quote
Xenosaga had the exact same problem. Both games have stellar first discs, but by the time the second disc comes around, there's a need for explaining events that ends up being shoed in and leaves things sort of confusing. Several other SNES and PSX RPGs got the same treatment in the late 1990's, which is unfortunate and I think holds them back from being true masterpieces by today standards.

I've been playing through the Xenosaga series, and can confirm this...The last 1/4 of the game is pretty convoluted. I need to get back to it.

Quote
I could have totally seen a "part 1" taking place in El Nido, while a "part 2" opens up the rest of the world. They could have treated them as a new series, a la Trails of the Sky or something (where one game opens up things for the next set up). This is something I'd never even considered before.

It could be really interesting to see a series of stories that take place in the Chrono universe that take place over several games.  It would also be really cool to see all of those stories line up for a grand finale with each other.  Kind of like an allstar cast.

Quote
I do think Chrono Cross was a proper escalation, if that makes sense. The Dreamer Devourer felt like a more cosmic threat, although I wish the game had done more to explain the how/why the Dream Devourer was such a threat.

My biggest complaint with Cross ties into the above plot-dumps, but also the fact that we have some unseen event in which post-Chrono Cross Schala "Kid" Zeal travels back in time and ends up being the individual who saves Serge. This is hinted at is so frustratingly vague. More frustrating, to me, than the entire "Balthasar did everything as part of Project Kid" deus ex machina.

But yeah, I freaking love Chrono Cross regardless. Amazing game.

Totally agreed. It's greatest short coming was easily in the plot dumps at the end of the game and post DD. The true ending for Cross was always a huge disappointment. We're left with 15 minuets of epilogue that trys to cover huge swaths of story, but only vaguely eludes to any sort of resolution.  I enjoyed some of the other optional endings a lot more, like Kid becoming General Kid.  Those felt plausible, and were somewhat satisfying as a resolution.  They really needed one more disc, or perhaps one more full game to properly tell Cross's story.

If it were possible to take the original dev team and dev kit and remake/add to Cross with a new release I would really interested in what they came up with.  Sadly any sort of remake/addition/new game will likely be some kind of ARPG bullcrap with a shell of a story wrapped up in a high production budget.  Of course, they could always surprise me.  Octopath was a welcome surprise for us old guys that still love turn based RPGs.

Quote
The best way to improve Chrono Cross would be to remove Korcha entirely. Failing that, include an option to burn him alive. Slowly.

 :twisted:  Korcha...haha that dude always pissed me off.  Though there is something nice about having a character that you love to hate.  I also appreciated the fact that he was always the odd man out, and never seemed to gel with the group.  Kind of like they tolerated him for his boat, but otherwise he could shove off.

Quote
My last gripe is how vague the ending is. I know Kato wanted it to be a "draw your own conclusions" kind of thing, but there simply isn't enough information to draw any conclusion at all. Which aspect of each world will be kept in the merged timeline? Did Serge forget his whole adventure or didn't he? Did Schala and Kid merge into a single entity? What was all that business about inseminating planets and creating new universes? Give us something to work with!

100% agree! (see above rant) I have to believe that the ending, like the last 1/4 of the game, has to be a product of budget or time.  It just feels so incredibly rushed/lazy.  Even if he wanted it to be vague there could have been a way better execution. I guess I understand the motivation, the approach just seemed last minute.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #322 on: October 29, 2018, 11:15:37 pm »
Quote
If it were possible to take the original dev team and dev kit and remake/add to Cross with a new release I would really interested in what they came up with.  Sadly any sort of remake/addition/new game will likely be some kind of ARPG bullcrap with a shell of a story wrapped up in a high production budget.  Of course, they could always surprise me.  Octopath was a welcome surprise for us old guys that still love turn based RPGs.

Interesting enough, in about 2008 we were heavily researching Chrono Cross hacking. There's a proof of concept in that allows you to replace Guile with Magus or Magil (for the Radical Dreamers purists), and the mods include new portraits, character models, dialogue, and manipulated techs. We weren't at a point to which we could create new events, though.

https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/418/

Here's a few videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0aIPhJptI0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TG0r25AhkU

We had also completely rewritten Chrono Cross as a hack called "Chrono Cross: The Darkness Beyond Time," which was yet another interpretation of Chrono Cross with a branching storyline, a smaller cast, some major plot changes, and the return of most of the Chrono Trigger cast.

We also had written a prologue, which we hoped to release as a small, independent minihack, that took place in 1015AD after the fall of Guardia. It followed Magil, Crono, and several other character trying to stop Porre's world-conquering machine in what I think was the Another World timeline.

A few caveats about what I remember:
-Crono was a main character in the prologue minihack that took place after the Fall of Guardia, in 1015AD. He was a resistance leader and was now living with a false name 'Conor.' It ended with Crono being killed by Garai while stopping Porre's big bad evil machine, but the Home World timeline version of Crono never died and was eventually recruitable in one of the branching storylines (or it may have been all of them) at the Dead Sea.
-Marle, after the events of the prologue, would have infiltrated Porre and risen the ranks of the Black Wind unit. She would have changed her named to Delia. She had an outfit like Norris' and would have eventually been revealed to have infiltrated Porre to take them out from the inside. She would have largely replaced Norris' role in helping get the Hydra Humour for Kid. She was fully modeled and ready for insertion into the game, actually.
-Robo would have been a playable character replaying Grobyc. I don't remember details, though.
-Ayla would have been part of a new, now-mandatory adventure at Gaea's Navel and would have been a mandatory character replacing Leah. She was fully modeled and ready for insertion.
-Lucca was also planned to be a playable character, and she was also fully modeled and ready for insertion. It was revealed that she had died in one timeline but survived in another, and she would have replaced Luccia as a scientist with relation to Viper Manor. I can't remember the details, though.
-Magus would have been a playable character and would have, obviously, replaced Guile. He was also the main star of the 1015AD prologue.
-Somehow human Glenn from 600AD was recruitable, but I can't recall how we explained it. I remember we had him and Glenn from 1020AD would have both had incredible double techs, though.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 11:44:25 pm by Boo the Gentleman Caller »

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #323 on: October 29, 2018, 11:26:48 pm »
Sorry for the double post, but I found some of my old work on the project.

Here was the logo I designed!

Then there was a promotional poster.

Goddammit, I wish all that work hadn't been purged when Kajar Labs was shutdown in 2009. Fuck. How depressing that we lost momentum.

When we released that we simply didn't have the hacking tools ready to tackle Chrono Cross yet, we set it aside and began work on a new SNES hack.

The entire storyline was going to take place after 600AD and feature a new cast of characters and a soul-absorbing madman. The main character, Wittel, was Cyrus' illegitimate child and would have had him teaming up with a colorful cast, the only returning character being Frog (although Slash and Flea joined up). We did some proof of concept and character models, and we fully mapped out the story, but we never got into actually hacking it before the closure of Kajar Labs.

We tried migrating to a new forum (Verve Fanworks), but we lost all momentum and a lot of people didn't make the move away from the Chrono Compendium. Since we weren't all at a centralized location, there was no new blood and work trickled out and died.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 01:39:03 pm by Boo the Gentleman Caller »

chrono.source

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #324 on: October 30, 2018, 11:01:35 am »
You know I really wish I was around back then. Totally would've continued with this to help finish/polish/continue the Cross storyline as it definitely needed something else

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #325 on: October 30, 2018, 01:41:01 pm »
Yeah, we definitely needed doers. That's the problem with fangames - lots of people for idea generation, but not a lot of people will executable skillsets.

Even me -- I'm not a coder (much). I can write (and love to), but realized I didn't have any helpful skills beyond that, so I learned spriting and some texture manipulation. Even that's not the same as actually event coding.

Kodokami

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #326 on: December 13, 2018, 08:20:04 pm »
FIXING CHRONO CROSS

*Remove the Time/Dream Devourer*
99% of the game has nothing to do with this alternate form of Lavos. Not until after the defeat of the BBEG, the Dragon God, are we even told of her existence, afterwhich the only thing left to do is fight her. The Time/Dream Devourer can safely be removed without affecting the rest of the story.

What about Schala? Radical Dreamers explains her situation very simply.
Quote
Long ago, in a far off kingdom, lived a girl. Because of her power, the kingdom
had come to an end, crumbling under its own weight. Many became engulfed in the
temporal vortex that was created, never to be heard from again...

...But not the girl. She lived on, enduring a much sadder fate... Running from
her past and fearing her future, she wanted nothing more than to be swallowed
up in the surging waves of the vortex of time...

Hating what she'd done, refusing what she'd said or heard, to simply continue
living was her curse. But the stone, It had other plans for her...Turning back
the hands of her clock, scattering her memories, she was granted another
chance. Since the precious stone was in her possession, she carried with her
all its will and power. And so, she was born into this era, returning to
reality as a mere infant...

No more daughter-clone confusion. Kid simply is Schala, and she regains her previous life's memories from the Frozen Flame.

The lack of a Dream Devourer also means Magus isn't mind-wiped at the end of Chrono Trigger DS to become Guile, allowing him a much stronger role in the story, whatever that may be. Most likely reprising his role as Magil.

*Let Kid die*
Yep. Let her die by the hands of Lynx at Fort Dragonia. Not only does this make thematic sense with the rest of the game, it is also a point of character growth for Serge. That his choices have consequences, and that things are out of his control. Keep in mind, Kid "dies" very soon after Serge saves her from poisoning. What kind of effects does this have on the poor boy? Waving all this away,  with magical deus ex machina powers that Schala's pendant never had, is poor writing.

Afterall, there is a second Kid in Home World whom is never mentioned. After inadvertently meeting with or searching for this version of Kid, Serge could be set on a path of making things right. And this could be done in Lynx's body! Imagine the interactions between characters here.

*Tell Serge about Wazuki*
Info dumps bad. Worse is when key information about characters is withheld to the point that it's now worthless. When little Crono tells us that Lynx is Wazuki, all emotion that that revelations has is gone. We're way past the point in the game for us to really care. It would be much better for someone with closer relations to both Wazuki and Serge--say, Miguel?--to reveal that information, and at much more pertinent time. If Miguel tells Serge this information at the Dead Sea, it's much more impactful and emotional, and sets up the next immediate quest: Infiltrate Chronopolis and put a stop to your old man.


I have more ideas, but I'll get to them later.

CptOvaltine

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #327 on: December 13, 2018, 08:41:36 pm »
Kodokami....you just...just...blew my mind!  I love this, I think these additions/subtractions would absolutely enhance the story, and make a way more compelling narrative, all without really changing core elements of Cross's story.

Man...this really bums me out that we may never see anything like this.

Kodokami

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #328 on: December 13, 2018, 11:01:11 pm »
Thanks, CptOvaltine! And those words you used, "make a way more compelling narrative", I think that's more accurate with what I'm trying to say here. There are many game mechanics in Cross that could be improved or "fixed", but I'm more interested in the story.

*Complete Harle's character arc*
Chrono Cross has an incredible subversion in its story that I think is criminally overlooked/overshadowed. Throughout most of the game, we hear stories of the Dragons: Great gods who sealed an evil flame away and restored peace to the land. We are led to believe that the Dragons are the good guys, even being rescued by one and given their blessings. Yet that's all subverted the moment we defeat FATE and the Dragons reunite into their true self to seek vengeance on behalf of the planet. The planet vs the "spawn" of Lavos--again, subverting what is seen in Chrono Trigger. As a sequel, this is what I want to see!

It's the classic man vs nature, and we see it again and again in Cross--the dwarves, the hydra, the demi-humans. Yet, in the end, nothing is truly resolved. The Dragon God is defeated. Immediately, the Devourer becomes the focal point, a heretofore unforeseen threat, and all meaningful resolution of the man vs nature conflict is lost. Time is even reset, and while that could suggest a gift of second chances, it feels hollow.

Ideally, the Chrono Cross item should have been designed for use against the Dragon God as a proper resolution to the story's conflict. The dungeon of Terra Tower even sets us up for this! The game can still keep the same endings: Defeat the God in combat, and the resolution is unsatisfactory; you stopped the threat but didn't solve it. Use the Chrono Cross, however--an item of all six elements, of combined love and hate, a literal bridge between worlds--and true understanding is reached.

And who better to fill the role of Schala and give the end-of-game dialogue than Harle? A Dragon herself, yet one shown to be in constant turmoil. Born into both a human world and a Dragon one, she silently battles her role as a Dragon emissary and her budding affection for Serge. Harle should be the bridge that settles the conflict. And all the Dragons have a relic; why can't hers be the Chrono Cross?

Acacia Sgt

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Re: If you could change Chrono Cross, how would you do it?
« Reply #329 on: December 14, 2018, 12:05:34 am »
Well, those changes are certainly bold.

Hmm, I don't think I posted much here, and it was years ago, so... well, can't say I'd change much. Probably standard things like reducing the number of PC's. Though personally, I would still keep them around as NPC's. I feel that the big cast gives life to El Nido, their prescence and the stuff you can do with them. So yeah, I'd keep it all. So you would still do stuff like finding Skelly's bones, or challenging Janice at the Grand Slam. Big difference would be that instead of joining the party, they'd give some other kind of reward. If applicable, some would simply be temporary party members, like Korcha is during the Save Kid path.

One big change I'd do, however, is regarding the party reset after Fort Dragonia. I never liked that you lost your party members, and couldn't get them back after quite a long while. More so when the ones that become aware of the switch (if they were in the party during the Lynx boss battle) still don't rejoin for one reason or another. For certain things, it's a big loss of potential. Imagine what Glenn would say when confronting Garai, or seeing the Home!Dragoons frozen in the Dead Sea, incluiding himself. Or a big one, Leena having to fight against Miguel. Yet because they can't be in the party at the time, we never see what could've happened.

So what I'd do, is to avoid the party reset. Ideally, everybody would still be around, banished with Serge to the Dimensional Vortex. Though perhaps it'd be too much, even with a reduced PC cast. At the very least, it'd be the party members present to be banished with Serge. So up to two at most, one at least if Kid was in the party. With the reduced cast, it becomes manageable for all the possible conversations that could happen depending on party combinations.

As for what else... hmm, I'll get you back on this.