Author Topic: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements  (Read 6183 times)

1stoftheLast

  • Earthbound (+15)
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« on: October 18, 2008, 06:35:28 pm »
I enjoy these boards very much, but sometimes I think that posters fail to see game play and storyline as separate entities.  What I mean by this is that in any video game, game play is very important, and so sometimes aspects of the game must be tweaked with the understanding that it will have no effect on the storyline. 

Here is my point, do you think that the creators of Chrono Trigger intentionally limited the amount of magic elements to four to suit game play needs(not enough characters to reasonably fill the blanks, didn't want too big of a spell library ect.) and in Chrono Cross because they had more characters and a more powerful medium to tell their story, or for whatever reason they were able to create six elements?

Please respond to this thread if you have the time, I value everybody's opinion on these boards and recognize that I am by no means a scholar on the subject.  This is for personal nerd research, but please remember I see divisions between game play and storyline.  I'll post my opinion in depth if this heats up.

mav

  • Magical Dreamer (+1250)
  • *
  • Posts: 1331
  • Gentleman Waiting in the Train Station at Twilight
    • View Profile
    • The RPG Realm
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 09:41:10 pm »
Well, I'm no scholar either, so I'm sure my analysis is going to be pretty worthless, but I'll give it a shot anyway. During my first play-through of Chrono Cross I was a bit confused by the revamp of Chrono Trigger's magic system: the inclusion of elements and new innate colors, especially those that were clearly not related to Chrono Trigger's magic system, didn't make too much sense. I didn't attempt to make sense out of it: I just assumed that it was done to make a more enjoyable battle system.

I don't think the creators of CT intentionally limited the magic system to those four magic types (or innate colors): they easily could have given Ayla an "Earth" or green innate color, and it could have been sensible. Inclusion of different elements and spells could have strengthened game play. In fact, even if it wasn't the playable characters using some of the other elements (like green, and whatnot) there were enemies that could have used the spells understandably. I didn't find a natural reason for the use of Fire, Lightning (or Light), Water, and Shadow, other than the fact that they suited the characters well.

The inclusion of these new innate colors in Chrono Cross seemed like an easy way to differentiate characters, but the element system is what made the game worthwhile: with over 40 characters, we didn't want them limited solely to spells related to their innate color or personalities, we wanted the ability to have an edge over all our enemies in battles. For that reason I do believe that the magic system of Chrono Cross was done in that manner solely for game play. The elements made battles more complex and added an element of strategy to the game that wasn't done with Chrono Trigger.

So although the elements did have some effect on the storyline, in my opinion, Chrono Cross's magic system was set up almost entirely for game play.



I feel like I stated far too little with far too many words in this post...I might have to revise this, but I'd like to hear some of your take on the topic.

V_Translanka

  • Interim Global Moderator
  • Arbiter (+8000)
  • *
  • Posts: 8340
  • Destroyer of Worlds
    • View Profile
    • http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/v_translanka/
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 02:41:26 am »
We're told that they're both different, though the second probably still somehow consists of the first because the first is everything, as Spekkio says...That doesn't mean that the Cross Elements are any less important, they come from the earth, after all...

But, in regards to the point about relevance between game mechanics and otherwise...I think there's really just no reason. This is the analysis forum...there's no point in saying "it's just gameplay"...or else why bother analyzing any of it? I think there IS a line to be drawn, but that it's not really up to any of us to draw it if someone else has an even remotely plausible explanation...Especially since the majority of the analysis is intended so that people can create detailed fan projects.

1stoftheLast

  • Earthbound (+15)
  • *
  • Posts: 50
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 05:39:46 am »
Good points from both of you, thank you very much!  You guys both brought up things that I have overlooked.  Anyone else have 2 cents?

Boo the Gentleman Caller

  • Guru of Life Emeritus
  • Hero of Time (+5000)
  • *
  • Posts: 5165
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 11:01:09 am »
The magic that Crono and friends use in Chrono Trigger is each person's own magic (chi, aura, whatever).  In Chrono Cross the Elements are remnants from the Reptite Civilization, some form of technology that allows one to harness the magic of the planet and then cast it out.  Since the Elements are just pieces of technology, they don't need to be powered by the user's "chi, aura, whatever", thus the reason why there's no MP.

V_Translanka

  • Interim Global Moderator
  • Arbiter (+8000)
  • *
  • Posts: 8340
  • Destroyer of Worlds
    • View Profile
    • http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/v_translanka/
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 03:54:09 pm »
Which kind of makes you wonder about Summon Elements since they consume Star Levels, which can basically be seen as being a team-wide MP.

Xenterex

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 05:59:30 am »
NOTE:  This is a pretty lengthy read/rate.  For simplification, skip down to the end paragraph.

Quote
Here is my point, do you think that the creators of Chrono Trigger intentionally limited the amount of magic elements to four to suit game play needs(not enough characters to reasonably fill the blanks, didn't want too big of a spell library ect.) and in Chrono Cross because they had more characters and a more powerful medium to tell their story, or for whatever reason they were able to create six elements?

I would say that ct is kindof of the odd ball here.  Fire and water are fairly standard in most elemental systems.  Light and dark are here and there.  The unusual aspect of ct is to have wind acknowledged, but not a useable element.  My theory here is their element system is combining several into the 4 used as innate elemental magic.  Lightning is also 'heaven' and its counterpart is 'shadow'  the opposite of heaven is 'earth', but shadow is not earth magic.  Instead 'shadow' element is a combination of the other elements,  but I'd still say that in effect it represents or contains earth to be the counterpart to 'heaven'  Water also makes an appearance, but in two different forms, effective water and ice. Water is known for its free form, so to be utilized as ice, it needs a form that is solid, hard and rigid, much like earth. And wind somehow also fits into the mix.   

Now CT is fairly heavy in philosophy and religion, so I think its unusual elemental system was designed to utilize japanese elemental tradition, but not be limited and blatant about it.   CC on the other hand doesn't seem to have much thought into and I think it was thrown in to make the story 'work'

Having to merge a lost, and possibly not even existent timeline factor into your story is already a lame excuse, but having it shape the world and play such an impact on the end result weakens it more imo.  This is evident by the ambiguity of the purpose and reality of the system.  The incorporation of personal techs, lack of duel and triple techs and how monsters utilize the elemental grid system (which is supposed to be an aspect of technology) all leave alot of uncertainties to this system.  But apparently its not just game mechanics, as there is a part in the game where Kid's elements are taken, so it is apart of the story (esp in how the elements have to merge to obtain the ideal ending) 
My guess is that the thought crew for this went something like:

"So, we have a nifty point-attack system, but what are we going to do about techs?"
"Well, some characters will have their own"
"Yea, but its not going to be much of an rpg if the characters cant do more than attack"
"So, we give them magic, duh"
"Okay... so how's serge going to get to the End of Time?  And does he even have the potential to earn magic?  And what about the other trillion characters we have planned? Are all of them going to have magic potential to be unlocked by Spekkio?"
"Well geez, that sounds like a lot of work"
"Yea, it does.  Screw that, let's do something easy"

Another element to this weak setup is the history of Zeal itself.  They have elemental technology before they become consumed by Lavos.  Part of this is found in the Vests that are scattered through time in the game.  If zeal already had the tech, and discarded it, why need a non existent history to occur when the 'mastermind' already has the means to create such needed technology? Makes more sense to me to elaborate on an existing history than to make one up.  Take this quote from the encyclopedia entry on CC's elelements:

Quote
Elements should not be confused with the four fundamental elements of the universe, which compose all matter. These four elements, described by Spekkio, are the basic building blocks of the universe, while the Elements of the Dragonians are more derivate forces that represent aspects of nature

A few things set me off here that indicate how faulty the 'Elements' are:

1) Derivate.  A product obtained chemically from a raw material.  So, the Dracs took the basic magic elements, which are the fundamental building blocks of everything, and combined them to make new elements?  Wouldn't that just make shadow?  Its already been defined as being a combination of the elements.
2) Taking the form of derivate, and turning it into derivative: imitative work of another person and usually disapproved of for that reason.
This is the definition I hadn't intended to find, but I found it humorous and oddly fitting.

Next, I turn to 'nature'  Taking from wiki for its elegance:
Quote
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe.

So nature = universe.  So this whole derivation difference and whatnot is essentially a load anyway.  The patterns and forces that make up and control your universe are effectively your 'nature.'  In another take from the CC elemental article, its cites project Kid's use for the elements, in needing to combine them, and then add a 7th element as the means of repairing the torn dimensions.  Well, if fire, water, lighting and shadow make up and effect all matter in the universe, and a dimension is comprised of matter, then we essentially get the same results from combining true magic as opposed to the fake ones.  Which leads to my above conversation.  "well damn, if serge can't use magic, how are we gonna make this work out?"

So, assuming the plot of CC had had to be that way, ie, schala is forcibly merged with Lavos to create a being capable of destroying time, and needs the unity of nature combined with a dimensional element,  why not just have Magus do it?  Instead of saying "well damn, Magus is too badass for this story to work with this lame setup that we have to improvise on every other scene"  create a game like Radical Dreamers thats mostly text based, has Magus (guided by Bathasar) manipulate time/space sufficient that it places him in the DBT, combine his magical prowess, toss in a dimensional fabrication (if even needed at this point) have have Magus forcibly pull Schala away from Lavos with the additional powers of love and peace (which transcends everything anyway) and make everything right in the universe, particularly since you have the man who is supposed to be doing everything in his power to find his sister actually do so.  Happy, non ambiguous, ending. Woot woo.

NOTE: End paragraph here.

So long and short of it is, based on what I read from the article posted about elements in Chrono Cross, I'd say that the system is mechanically driven as a story obligation, or in longer, but simpler words,  it was necessary to tell the story, but because Chrono Cross can't use the same system as Chrono Trigger, (for story consistency and more,)  they came up with this setup.  Just another reason why I say CC can be fun, but it could've been a whole lot better.

V_Translanka

  • Interim Global Moderator
  • Arbiter (+8000)
  • *
  • Posts: 8340
  • Destroyer of Worlds
    • View Profile
    • http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/v_translanka/
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 08:34:24 am »
Lightning is also 'heaven' and its counterpart is 'shadow'  the opposite of heaven is 'earth', but shadow is not earth magic.  Instead 'shadow' element is a combination of the other elements,  but I'd still say that in effect it represents or contains earth to be the counterpart to 'heaven'

Wouldn't the opposing force (if you're even supposed to take into account such a system with the 4 prime Magics of the Chronoverse) of Heaven be Hell, not Earth? It seems to represent life, where Shadow so obviously represents death. I see it more like saying Light & Dark.

Water also makes an appearance, but in two different forms, effective water and ice. Water is known for its free form, so to be utilized as ice, it needs a form that is solid, hard and rigid, much like earth. And wind somehow also fits into the mix.

You...don't seem to really go anywhere with this...Ice is water's solidified form, yes, but it really only requires manipulation of temperature, much like you'd expect any varying degree of Fire-based attacks to be.

Now CT is fairly heavy in philosophy and religion, so I think its unusual elemental system was designed to utilize japanese elemental tradition, but not be limited and blatant about it.

I don't think it's more Japanese than many others...The four elements of Fire, Water, Wind & Earth I believe were also believed by the Greek to be the building blocks of the universe...And really, most RPGs, take inspiration from many cultures, not just Japanese...

Another element to this weak setup is the history of Zeal itself.  They have elemental technology before they become consumed by Lavos.  Part of this is found in the Vests that are scattered through time in the game.  If zeal already had the tech, and discarded it, why need a non existent history to occur when the 'mastermind' already has the means to create such needed technology? Makes more sense to me to elaborate on an existing history than to make one up.

Well, I just used this quote a while ago...didn't think I'd be able to use it again so soon, but let's see what we see...

Quote from: Zealian Man in Enharsa
The weapons and armors brought forth from the planet's powers of sky, dark, fire, and water were since sealed in the northern shrine on the Queen's orders.

He's speaking of the elemental weapons & armor, but when I first saw that, it immediately brought to mind the Chrono Cross Elements that likewise come from the planet...Interesting coincidence...

In another take from the CC elemental article, its cites project Kid's use for the elements, in needing to combine them, and then add a 7th element as the means of repairing the torn dimensions.  Well, if fire, water, lighting and shadow make up and effect all matter in the universe, and a dimension is comprised of matter, then we essentially get the same results from combining true magic as opposed to the fake ones...[blah blah blah]...why not just have Magus do it?

Even if you believe that any Shadow Magic caster could thus control all 6 of the Dragonian Elements just because Shadow Magic is essentially the fundamental building blocks of the universe (or at least part of a combination of a whole?)...the 7th element, the Chrono Cross, was created by combining two pieces of two universes. I don't think it falls within the realm of what Spekkio told Crono & Co. It holds the power to negate creation, after all...I think it's safe to say that Magus (or any other Shadow-aligned Magician) doesn't hold that sort of power (no, not even Magus' badass self)...
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 08:42:02 am by V_Translanka »

Xenterex

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2008, 11:32:29 pm »
Quote
You...don't seem to really go anywhere with this...Ice is water's solidified form, yes, but it really only requires manipulation of temperature, much like you'd expect any varying degree of Fire-based attacks to be.
...
I don't think it's more Japanese than many others...The four elements of Fire, Water, Wind & Earth I believe were also believed by the Greek to be the building blocks of the universe...And really, most RPGs, take inspiration from many cultures, not just Japanese...

Since both are dealing with my elemental theories here, i thought i'd pull from both at once here.  I did mention in regards to the japanese philosophy, about not being limited to, or being blatant (obvious) about its use.  While the Greek's did have Wind, Water, Fire, Earth, they also had a fifth, Aether.  Japanese philosophy and Chinese Philosophy also use a 5-element philosophy.  It could've been more than those,  but for the purposes of my comment, I think that for the system of CT, its essentially a mixture of those three, particularly since all three are 5-elemental base.

Incorporating this mixture could then lead to the magics of the game system, and possibly the personalities of its practitioners.  Let's set aside the water for a sec, and instead turn to Fire, as thats the one V_ used.
From a chemical reaction standpoint, fire is a reaction of heat energy and light energy.  There isn't, nor does Lucca, or any spell simply use 'heat' energy. The effectiveness or utility of 'fire' is not temperature alone.  Next, fire based spelled generally have two reactions: conflagration and explosion.  Fire 1, or even fire toss, or Fire Sword I'd rate as conflagration, maybe more, but those come mind.  Explosion then would be like Fire 2, and antipode and probably even Omega Flare.   In terms of physically producing these reactions, there needs to be a presence of air or other gasses involved.  Magical manipulation of said effects, probably then fall into the inclusion of 'wind' energy, which is a factor of the game, but not an innate element.  This occurs in other games, like dragon quest and grandia, that then classify said spells as fire & wind.  Lava spells are then an inclusion of fire & earth.

Now, does that actually apply to water?  Well no.  Ice, water and vapor are natural and effected by temperature.  However, chemically, they can be made more effective by the inclusion of more matter.  Ice gets colder with more molecules, and so on.  So if you combine a quantity of water with a portion of earth, can you magically make a spell more effective?  I'd like to think so.

Now, away from chemistry and back to some philosophy.  Imma try to keep this part brief as I tend to get long winded in my posts. >.<

Why do I associate Marle with Water and earth, in the case of ice, as opposed to just water?
Japanese classic elemental model, Water represents things that are liquid, and earth represents things that are solid.
Now from the standpoint of the greek model, water is primarily cold, and secondly wet, so then the inclusion of earth isn't apart of it.  So Frog, as the secondary user of water gets wet, and the primary user gets cold?  Makes sense, but I don't think that covers it.  Move the game ahead to Zeal to the books that open the secret chambers.  What's the script say to do?  Water calls wind, wind nurtures fire?  Nifty game idea, or borrowed chinese philosophy?  In chinese philosophy elements were considered 'phases' that interacted with each other. I'd say that covers how Spekkio talks of magic, and how you get techs and all that fun stuff.   Replace "Wood" with wind in the order of phases, and zeal's book order matches the chinese model, water to wood to fire.  In the Wu Xing, (chinese elemental model) Water has a mental quality, spontaneity, and a negative emotion, fear, or lack of will.  Both qualities also demonstrated by both water uses.  Marle is about as spontaneous as the characters get, while Frog has a lack of will to act on his own and face Magus until he's presented with the completed Masamune. 
Here, I mix the chinese and japanese philosophies. 
Marle is a princess that hates formalities, and titles, wanting a sate of say, formlessness? Like Sui.  Chi, earth, resists change, and represents solid things.  Removing metal from the Wu Xing model places Earth in the overacts position to water, much like how King Guardia tries to impose himself, and a lack of change, onto his daughter.  Marle's relationship to her father is 'magnetic' (another quality of Sui) or polarized, a love/hate relationship that is in tension as a apart of the story.  Later in the game, the two come into an understanding, or state of clarity (a mental attribute of Earth in Wu Xing) 

I could elaborate more, and get into more characters but suffice to say I think this covers what I was getting at with the ice being a solid form of water in conjunction with earth.

Quote
Even if you believe that any Shadow Magic caster could thus control all 6 of the Dragonian Elements just because Shadow Magic is essentially the fundamental building blocks of the universe (or at least part of a combination of a whole?)...the 7th element, the Chrono Cross, was created by combining two pieces of two universes.

I did make mention of the 'dimensional fabrication' to cover the Chrono Cross.  Also, i wouldn't say than any shadow innate would be suited for it necessarily.  I use Magus in particular because of his his affinity for all magic, maybe even unrivaled, particularly in regard to the comment Spekkio makes about him.  What could a supposed God of War possible learn from another magic user?  Well, perhaps how to separate/merge dimensions?

ShoeMagus

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 142
  • "We are...the dreamers of Dreams."
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 10:06:33 pm »
I know this topic is old (there's a nice handy warning) but I had some thoughts.

Xenterex you mention Wind "being acknowledged but not usable." I thought this too, but reading into mythology more and more lately made me reconsider. In "Metamorphoses" by Ovid, there is some mention in Book XV about Pythagorus and his teachings. It talks about lectures given by Pythagorus on "whether lightning is produced by Jove or by the winds that tear apart the clouds." It was always somewhat confusing that the Nu in Zeal Palace says "Wind" but then the animation for the books looks more like some kind of lightning or electricity.

Now it sort of makes sense, put into the context given by Ovid. It also puts the "Slash" tech in context and the statement of the old man in Dorino. "Lightning" is created by Wind. Now this grouping doesn't make too much sense unless you group it under the "Heaven/Sky" designation that the original Japanese appears to have included.

I agree that some elements (see what I did there? =) ) of the Chrono series should be regulated more to game play and less subject to analysis, but I'm not sure that the difference between the Trigger and Cross elements should be. I think its also important to keep in mind the apparent sources for Trigger's magic and Cross's. In CT, humans apparently picked up the ability to use magic via Lavos, tapping into those four fundamental forces we all know and love. The Cross Elements were from the Reptites. In some ways, the portrayal of the magic in Trigger comes off as being almost unnatural, another byproduct of the invasion of Lavos.

The Trigger Elements are still of course in existence with or without Lavos, but the way they are accessed is different. As for the addition of Elemental Colors in Cross (expanded from the system of four) you could argue that the extra elements in the Cross system are specific to the Planet itself while the original Four are wider forces governing the universe.

Just some more insane rambling on what is probably my favorite subject.

Edit: I just realized what was essentially wrong with my last paragraph. I wasn't really thinking too indepth about what the actual Cross Elements were (  :picardno ) so it kind of monkey wrenches things. In Trigger, the Heaven Element (I say it that way because it encompasses the entirety of it) includes techs based essentially on wind (Slash), lightning (1&2), and more vaguely "Light" or "Holy" (Luminaire). In Cross this is thrown every which way. Holy/Light styled attacks are stuck onto the "White" element. Wind themed attacks are in the Green Element (also present are things to do with greenery and plant life) while Lightning-based attacks are part of the Yellow Element (along with Earth).

I could guess at reasons why this was changed. Plants and wind as a pair make sense when one considers that more often than not a common image of wind involves trees and leaves blowing or making noise. Lightning and Earth as a pairing makes less sense. There is the rare phenomena (in real life no less!) of ground-to-cloud lightning.

So it is not simply an expansion, the old system with more. It would be interesting to see where in the Trigger system that Cross characters fit in. Some are obvious (Black and White). Some not so much. Again things like the Yellow and Green Elements (which really screw things over). The best guess I can think of is the way in which Elements are used and access these energies. I'd argue that the Cross Elements are energies directly tied in with the Planet itself, as opposed to Nature and the Universe at large.

Trigger's Elements represent forces of the Universe at large, present and essential everywhere. The Cross Elements are energies generated by the Planet itself. There's no "Green" on Pluto because there are no plants or wind/air (perhaps the Cross story suggests that in some way Wind or Wind energy is generated by plants). This makes some sense if one considers the nature of the Dragonians/Reptites and their more direct relationship with the planet.

Alternatively (and because I like to ramble), someone once suggested to me that the Trigger Elements are fundamental forces and magic is based on manipulating them, while the Cross Elements are not manipulating fundamental forces or energies but are interacting more directly with the physical phenomena they are creating.

This sort of flounders when encountering Cross Techs (which are cursed things), but right now I've rambled enough.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 02:16:06 am by ShoeMagus »

Xenterex

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 01:45:12 pm »
I hope I haven't come off as ignoring your post, Shoemagus, but I don't check the boards often, and while I did see you post much sooner than now, I've needed time to collect my thoughts and read over my posts to try and at least piece together some of my train of thoughts.

Since I posted here last I've noticed one strikingly different factor between eastern story telling (especially in games) and western Greek theater.  A lot of stories and story telling on the western world are greatly influenced by the model of Greek Theater whereas eastern isn't.  As such, I think that while many video game rpgs might have drawn from different cultures/cultural aspects, I think the associations I was trying to make with the greek model of elements simply isn't a factor anymore.

Does that invalidate anything I've posted previously?  Probably not, just another case of someone's fandom and zeal attributing too much to the game makers, or at least certainly over thinking things.

However, I do mention this because I think it also pertains to some of the things you've written about, Shoe.

Despite this, I still hold the sentiment (probably more so now) that the CC elements are a game mechanics gimmick that weren't thought out very well, and are a product of a chain of events in rushing ideas to met project deadlines.

ShoeMagus

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 142
  • "We are...the dreamers of Dreams."
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 04:31:19 am »
I didn't think you were. No worries. Magic tends to be one of my favorite topics of CT and CC so I was replying to what appeared to be an old topic anyway. I have had to learn to deal with that some people have lives outside of the internet.

Its kind of hard to gauge what influenced Kato and the other creators. Particularly in this instance. I have less knowledge on Japanese myth than Greco-Roman, so I can't be sure. But I thought it was important because there was mythological precedence for the association between Lightning and wind. Even if it wasn't specifically Greece that was influencing this particular aspect, it could be that his aspect of Wind is paralleled in the Japanese system. But I wouldn't know where to begin to dig for that.

Anyway, there had to be some sane reason to have "Wind" at Zeal, but to retain a lightning animation. It could be your Chinese pattern, or it could be the relationship wind has to lightning.

Now. Wiki says:

"Square began planning Chrono Cross immediately after the release of Xenogears  in 1998. Chrono Trigger's scenario director Masato Kato had brainstormed ideas for a sequel as early as 1996, following the release of Radical Dreamers.[24]  Square's managers selected a team, appointed Hiromichi Tanaka producer, and asked Kato to direct and develop a new Chrono game in the spirit of Radical Dreamers."

If Kato was brainstorming as far back as 1996, official plans got underway in 98, and it was released officially in Japan in 99. That's quite a long time to develop ideas. Now, it may have been a little rushed once things got underway officially, but that was a lot of time to brainstorm. I don't think it was a quick ploy to give all the characters magic, not when it makes so much story sense.

You cited Zeal's "elemental technology", but that was based on the Zealian (CT) sense of elements, not CC's. The vests, though called by color, all adhered to the CT system. There was no yellow vest (in CT) because the Zealians did not use that system. They were probably totally unaware of it. Because they had the capacity to utilize the four fundamental forces, all of their magic (including any elemental technology) is based on that.

The CC Elements are Dragonian, developing in completely different circumstances. Based on Dragonian understanding of the Planet. So that's what the CC elements relate to and are a part of. The Planet and the Planet's Dream. Instead of calling on the fundamental forces, they appear to manipulate real phenomena. They're related in some way to the four fundamental forces, but those things are related to everything. I think its also important that the CC elements are all dichotomous. Black and White, Red and Blue, Green and Yellow. CT elements lack this, the forces affecting each other and being part of each other as a whole (Shadow). The CC elements are in some conflict with each other.

I mentioned "there's no yellow plate in CT." There isn't. There is one in CC. And this is also important. Because you receive the plates for the CC elements from the Dragon Gods. The Dragons themselves are interesting, because in them is personified the split of the CC elements. I think ultimately CC elements are deeply related to the Dragon God. The dear Compendium itself says, "The Dragon God is the culmination of Dragonian  science, a machine built to control nature itself by manipulating derivate forces of the physical world." The Dragon God manipulated the physical world, based on the Dragonian understanding. It was split into these six pieces. The entry on the Dragon God even implies that the elements are based on the split, but I'm not so sure. I imagine the Dragonians differentiated these before and that it was this understanding that dictated they be split into six pieces. It keeps their power in balance.

I find the idea of "balance" important as well. The Chrono Cross itself, a "Seventh" Element, is based on dichotomy as well (Fear and Love, two different dimensions) but balanced and resolved. Its power to unite the two dimensions is based on the power of the six elements (and thus the Dragonians). On a minor note about balance, the Einlanzer (which seems to be Dragonian) balances out the power of the Masamune. Again, Cross is all about dichotomy and balance (which, due to their nature, the CT elements didn't fit right).

The point of all of this is that the CC Elements are intricate parts of the story. Though, like many parts of Chrono Cross, we're not sure how it relates directly to Chrono Trigger, it isn't just a nonsensical gameplay element.

Of course, there's the tricky question of CC Techs. What their nature is, how they affect the elemental grid.

But that's more than I can think about at the moment.

Xenterex

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2010, 09:07:04 pm »
Quote
If Kato was brainstorming as far back as 1996, official plans got underway in 98, and it was released officially in Japan in 99. That's quite a long time to develop ideas.

I guess that can be quite a bit of time to develop ideas, but how much of it was effective, and committed brainstormed?   Several game projects (not just rpgs) will commit at least half of that time, increase the amount of people in the thinking-loop, (utilizing a lot more man hours) and more importantly, collaboration of those ideas.

The point with me bringing up Zealean tech was to demonstrate the terrible redundancy and unnecessary convolution that is the Cross elements back story and the settings the game takes place.  The vests are an example of tech in the current trigger story that could be the possible product of non-Lavos based elemental manipulation, or as said in Zeal: "Zeal's advances steam from a new energy source, its power surpasses that of the elements[/i]  which, when also coupled up with the comment about the North Palace being sealed leads me to conclude that Zealean society, prior to the discovery of Lavos, knew about and could use the "elemental" tech that the Draconians "developed", making the events that transpire to create the elemental system of Chrono Cross with the draconian time-line merge and whatnot, completely unnecessary a product of Kato overlooking what was already there because what he was brainstorming: " my Chrono" (emphasis added)

I further alluded to this in my comments about the wind, being acknowledged, but not usable, though thanks to what you pointed out, there is effects of its use in even Trigger.  I'd like to say it's exclusion as a separate elemental property was for simplification in the elemental breakdown and tech combinations allotted to the characters something Cross shows more of the opposite with its increase in usable elements, but decrease in combinations and consistency in their properties, but that is more of a reverse bias to try to elevate Trigger to make Cross look bad.

Now, some of my sentiments are probably further misunderstanding in the cultural differences in East/West, but when you compare what is said from the creators of Cross, such as Tanaka and Kato, and what occurs with Cross (and what continues to change with Trigger in each rerelease) there is very large difference, coming off to me as further demonstration of a lack of effective brainstorming, collaboration and effective idea implementation. 

Now the story significance of what the elements of CC due for the story are alright, but the application of getting those applied to that game world and its characters comes off a second-hand gameplay gimmick designed to carry on some of the familiarity and customization of other games among a host of other factors which gives me the impression that the time the dev team wasted on trying to work in over 60 characters in the game and its story is made up by gleaning  from FF7 and Xenogears instead of Trigger.

ShoeMagus

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 142
  • "We are...the dreamers of Dreams."
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 04:18:33 am »
Quote
If Kato was brainstorming as far back as 1996, official plans got underway in 98, and it was released officially in Japan in 99. That's quite a long time to develop ideas.

I guess that can be quite a bit of time to develop ideas, but how much of it was effective, and committed brainstormed?   Several game projects (not just rpgs) will commit at least half of that time, increase the amount of people in the thinking-loop, (utilizing a lot more man hours) and more importantly, collaboration of those ideas.

The point with me bringing up Zealean tech was to demonstrate the terrible redundancy and unnecessary convolution that is the Cross elements back story and the settings the game takes place.  The vests are an example of tech in the current trigger story that could be the possible product of non-Lavos based elemental manipulation, or as said in Zeal: "Zeal's advances steam from a new energy source, its power surpasses that of the elements[/i]  which, when also coupled up with the comment about the North Palace being sealed leads me to conclude that Zealean society, prior to the discovery of Lavos, knew about and could use the "elemental" tech that the Draconians "developed", making the events that transpire to create the elemental system of Chrono Cross with the draconian time-line merge and whatnot, completely unnecessary a product of Kato overlooking what was already there because what he was brainstorming: " my Chrono" (emphasis added)

I further alluded to this in my comments about the wind, being acknowledged, but not usable, though thanks to what you pointed out, there is effects of its use in even Trigger.  I'd like to say it's exclusion as a separate elemental property was for simplification in the elemental breakdown and tech combinations allotted to the characters something Cross shows more of the opposite with its increase in usable elements, but decrease in combinations and consistency in their properties, but that is more of a reverse bias to try to elevate Trigger to make Cross look bad.

Now, some of my sentiments are probably further misunderstanding in the cultural differences in East/West, but when you compare what is said from the creators of Cross, such as Tanaka and Kato, and what occurs with Cross (and what continues to change with Trigger in each rerelease) there is very large difference, coming off to me as further demonstration of a lack of effective brainstorming, collaboration and effective idea implementation. 

Now the story significance of what the elements of CC due for the story are alright, but the application of getting those applied to that game world and its characters comes off a second-hand gameplay gimmick designed to carry on some of the familiarity and customization of other games among a host of other factors which gives me the impression that the time the dev team wasted on trying to work in over 60 characters in the game and its story is made up by gleaning  from FF7 and Xenogears instead of Trigger.

Hard to see what your argument is here.You're either saying that Cross elements actually existed in Zeal or that it would have made better story sense.

Neither argument really works though, the least reason being that no one had Elements (meaning devices that created magical effects) before the whole Chronopolis/Dinopolis thing. That's kind of a big deal. I mean, why didn't Crono and Co discovery any at the Northern  Palace when they opened it up? If you're making a consistent story, you have to be able to answer questions like that.

More importantly, why would the Zealians need them? The Zealians prided themselves on being innate magicians. Sure, they created strong "magical" items like the Swallow or the Guardian Helm or even the Tabs, but they don't need an item that can create a fiery explosion because, presumably, they can do that perfectly fine on their own. In fact, they can do bigger and better things if they comment that Crono and Co's magic (which was all about explosions) was primitive. It doesn't make any sense.

It makes better sense for the Reptites, who weren't innately able to use these cosmic forces, to develop technology to do something like that, especially more geared toward the forces immediately present on the planet. I mean, if you're willing to open up the dimensional idea, then it becomes a lot more easier to bring in something new than to retcon old bits of the story and reinterpret them.

The advent of Lavos in Zeal is an interesting topic in its own right. Harvesting Lavos' energy, its as if they discovered (in their minds at least) a new element (outside of the Shadow/lightning/fire/water system) altogether. A new energy force capable of anything (from time manipulation to imparting immortality). So they wanted to depend on and use this new power. Some preliminary testing (and just being around it), made the "Lavos Element" seem to be without limits whereas Zeal may have slowly been discovering limits of their past sources of power. It seemed like the next great leap forth. So yes, neglecting the old powers would have occurred.

Though I think the Queen was more concerned with keeping powerful artifacts like the Sun Stone and weapons of the North Palace out of other people's hands. But that's not particularly vital to this argument. The point is, I don't see how it could've somehow been CC elements.

Anyway, yeah they were probably taking inspiration from other sources (particularly FFVII materia). Customization is increasingly a big deal. But I think it works. I don't see areas where it was poorly thought out.


Xenterex

  • Guardian (+100)
  • *
  • Posts: 181
    • View Profile
Re: Chrono Trigger elements vs. Crono Cross elements
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 11:44:08 pm »
Actually, I'm saying both.  Story wise, I think things work much better to use connecting dialogue from Trigger to re-develop the elements used in Cross, which then offers better backstory to Trigger (and pre-Zeal history) rather than come up with something entirely different. 

Now your statements saying how this doesn't work are rather incorrect.  The key point being you're making the misconception that the information I say that could be used in Cross can't happen because it doesn't exist in it's entirety in Trigger at all.  The first problem with that, is that Cross wasn't intended to be Trigger 2 while it was being developed, so of course the entirety of details used in Cross aren't going to exist in Trigger.  To further reiterate that, can you claim the reverse (ie, the "consistent" answers to the questions you pose about the elements) for the reptites? 

As far as I've seen in the research I've done for the posts I make in this forum, plus the times I've played through both games, I haven't seen any instance of such information in Trigger to support their evolutionary development of 'elements' for Cross from the reptites.  What makes my suggestion work is that it does indeed have a direct connection to Trigger in its possibility (ie, the human race prior to the development of the Mammon Machine's link to Lavos) could have used technology reminiscent of the 'elements' used for Cross because its stated in Zeal that their "new power source" "surpasses that of the elements "  which from a dialogue standpoint indicates that if they didn't at least used that power themselves, they are at least familiar with it.  If they're familiar with it, then the whole entity splices time and space together to offset Chronopolis with a time line that just so happens to have the reptites survive without Lavos landing and magically develop this convenient plot element and game play mechanic.   Oh, and all of which, the Guru who set this up knew it would be that exact timeline merge to allow his convoluted megalomaniac plan to work.   

Additionally, you bear the wrong notion that every single technological advancement had to somehow be present in what little of Zeal Chrono and Co. saw.  That's not true, and it's not necessary to the story, so of course that isn't there.  Almost any magnitude of things could've been said about what is or isn't developed from Zeal (and it's Guru's) because the entirety of the events of Cross are the machinations of just ONE of those self same Gurus.  So here, you're reasoning contradicts itself.  Heck, despite having a flying craft the explore the world of Trigger, and what exploration is done in Cross, has been stated to still not be the entirety of that world.

Furthmore, I don't think that it characteristically makes more sense for the Reptite evolution to develop 'elements' in the first place because Azala was a psychic.  He wasn't some druid, shaman, whatever that manifested some stronger connection to the planet, he simply had mind powers.  From that trait it seems more reasonable, and consistent, to me, that Azala's decedents would further their development of psychic energy and technology   perhaps culminating in a utopia offsetting the magical pinnacle that is Zeal.

And one last nail to hammer here: From you
Quote
More importantly, why would the Zealians need them? The Zealians prided themselves on being innate magicians. Sure, they created strong "magical" items like the Swallow or the Guardian Helm or even the Tabs, but they don't need an item that can create a fiery explosion because, presumably, they can do that perfectly fine on their own

So why would Dalton bother making weapons on the Black Bird?  Why create golems?  Why mount lasers on the epoch if he has enough power to throw a few fireballs and mop up almost any that would stand against him?  Lasers, which coincidentally enough, turned the Black Bird into a fiery explosion.  Such a weird conundrum from what you tell me about the lazy inhabitants of Zeal that would just as soon as sleep their days away when a select few develop technology that doesn't require active use of magic to utilize.