Author Topic: Announcement: "Project Unity"  (Read 1323 times)

Lennis

  • Chronopolitan (+300)
  • *
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
Announcement: "Project Unity"
« on: May 20, 2010, 08:28:37 am »
Hello, all.  Looks like summer is finally upon us again.  Time to release our pent-up creative energies to give the Chrono franchise a much needed boost.  I have been lurking on these forums on and off for awhile now, reading much, posting little, and (sadly) contributing nothing.  I intend for this to change over the coming months.  With the beginning of Dream Splash III, I think the time is right to make an announcement about a project that has been a year in the making so far.

I've been thinking of a fan-fiction project to continue the Chrono series for quite some time.  A year ago, I began writing a chapter detailing a pivotal event of an alternate future that would resolve the events of Chrono Cross, among other things.  The prose was uneven and the plot didn't quite work out, mainly because I hadn't played Chrono Cross in years, but the action sequence that ended up on my computer screen clicked in a way I didn't expect.  Even now, looking at it gives me goosebumps in the fashion that I wonder how my fingers typed it.  It's not publishable quality by any means, but that little project gave me the confidence to think about the world of Chrono Trigger in a new way.

For many of us in the community, Chrono Trigger has become more than just a game, or a piece of 90's memorabilia.  It's become something much more profound - like remembering our favorite fairy tale from childhood.  Fairy tales are not as simplistic as one would believe.  They are stories with real power - filling us with wonder as children, and greater understanding as adults.  Most video game characters from the early days we only remember as sprites on a TV screen.  They had no real development other than their visual quality.  Lara Croft became more memorable because the evolving technology of video games allowed the character to express herself in previously unseen ways.  But Crono, Marle, and Lucca are every bit as real in our minds, despite having none of Lara Croft's advantages.  There is a reason for that, but it is an answer I don't know how to describe in the limited space of an Internet posting.  It is only through a larger effort that I or anyone else has a chance of doing so.  Some lucky souls have the gift of artistry in which they can draw that which makes Chrono Trigger profound.  We have seen many examples of this on DeviantArt in recent years.  More recently we have heard new orchestral arrangements by Dan Goodale that make us wonder if we might one day see Chrono Trigger on the big screen.  (Yes, they really are THAT good!)  I have no such gifts, which leaves me only the medium of literature to express my vision.

The more I thought about what form a new installment of Chrono would look like, the more I realized that what was most needed was a retelling of the original story - using the insights we have all gained over the years about what makes Chrono compelling.  And yet at the same time, it can also be "Chrono Break".  To tell the original story and a sequel to that story in the same work is not outside the realm of possibility in the world of Chrono.  Chrono Cross was never really resolved.  It ended on a decidedly somber note.  In my mind the fairy tale of Chrono Trigger has been left unfinished.  That is something that we, as adults, feel the need to rectify.  We have tried to do so in the form of fan-fiction and home-grown games, but the unevenness of those works (those that were finished) has made it difficult for our efforts to be taken seriously outside of the community (aside from Crimson Echoes, but that was a special case).  What I most desire for the community is a novel series that combines aspects of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and various fan projects that the community has produced over the years.  I call it "Project Unity" - a definitive fan fic that finishes what Squaresoft started fifteen years ago.

So why retell a story that is already beloved by almost everyone in its current form?  Because we have grown up.  Crono, Marle, and Lucca are no longer just sprites in our minds.  We see them as real people with real hopes, desires, and fears.  It's important to present them in a world that is just as real and developed as they themselves are.  (Crono's muteness is gone if you're wondering.)  Things won't be exactly as people remember them from the game.  The Guardia of the year 1000 is in the midst of an industrial revolution - roughly equivalent to America of the 1890's.  Crono and Lucca have a backstory in which they've already met Melchior prior to the Millennial Fair.  GATO is not a sentient machine.  Lucca does not yet have her iconic helmet.  And Norstein Bekkler's Lab is not to be seen at the Millennial Fair.  Some scenes are rearranged.  Some are completely different.  Minor characters from the game are expanded upon, and I introduce a few new ones.  But the core of the story is unchanged.  "Project Unity" is not a complete reimagining along the lines of Battlestar Galactica.  It's more like the difference between the Sega CD and Playstation versions of the Lunar games, for those who have played those gems.  "Chrono Trigger Complete" would not be an inaccurate description of what I'm trying to accomplish here.

To call this project ambitious is an understatement.  I don't know if I am the one best suited to write it.  I've never published anything in my life.  But I've decided I have to try.  This idea has endured in my mind for over a year, and it has been developed to some extent in the form of dialogue blocks, exhaustive notes, and a few completed chapters.  (GenesisOne has already seen some early drafts of the Millennial Fair chapters from last year.)  Now that summer is upon us again, I have the time to devote myself more fully to this project.  It's anyone's guess what level of completion I can manage by August, but it will not be a completed work by then.  I envision "Unity" to encompass four full-length novels at the very least, and for me to finish even the first by summer's end will be a stretch.  I don't do anything small. (as this post will attest) :lol:

I would like to ask ZeaLitY if this project would fall into the parameters established for the third Dream Splash.  I plan on writing it anyway, but I don't want to get in the way of other contributors playing more by the rules.  What say you, Z?

FaustWolf

  • Guru of Time Emeritus
  • Arbiter (+8000)
  • *
  • Posts: 8974
  • Fan Power Advocate
    • View Profile
Re: Announcement: "Project Unity"
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 04:43:55 pm »
Ooh! Ooh! Will there be a Guardia/Porre war with World War I technology? The alpha version of CT had WWI-style biplanes and it looked like Taban was working on some kind of assembly line technology.

I've always, always wanted to see that. If Square Enix did revive the franchise, they'd be at least partially justified in releasing a Chrono Tactics. "Choose your era! Choose the world's destiny!"
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 04:47:15 pm by FaustWolf »

Lennis

  • Chronopolitan (+300)
  • *
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
Re: Announcement: "Project Unity"
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 07:04:10 am »
The animosity between Guardia and Poore will certainly be addressed in the novels.  Guardia of the year 1000 is not as stable as the Millennial Fair festivities would suggest.  Guardia, as a country, makes the Soviet Union look small.  It is absolutely huge - spanning two entire continents in addition to several vassal states like Choras.  Imagine one country controlling all of North and South America, and also taking tribute from territories abroad.  Now imagine that country as a monarchy in the 1890's, and you have the Kingdom of Guardia in a nutshell.  Geopolitically, it is virtually impossible for a country that large to remain stable for very long unless the underlying culture is strong.  By the year 1000, that culture is starting to unravel.  To explain things more clearly, a brief (for me) historical summary is in order.

Guardia developed a powerful culture after its founding by Cedric the Conqueror - mostly due to the virtuous rule of Queen Anne after Cedric's death.  Known as "The wind beneath Guardia's wings", Anne came to be regarded as a divine figure, and this reverence turned into open worship after she died in the year 56.  The descendants of Anne and Cedric took their places as rulers without question, and many inherited magical powers from the magic-endowed Cedric.  But these powers grew less and less potent with every passing generation, and this weakness became known to the Mystics of Medina in the 6th Century, leading to the outbreak of war in the year 588.

Guardia suffered defeat after defeat trying to defend the southern lands, and the young but sickly King Aldren decided to take a queen from the south in a desperate attempt to maintain morale.  After a lengthy search, Aldren decided to take the hand of the daughter of the governor of Poore: Leene.  (Please don't laugh.  I'm not trying to be funny, here.  These are the names I'm stuck with. :oops:)  Although mainly a political decision to reduce Poore's historical animosity toward the north, Aldren also saw in Leene a spirit akin to Anne the Divine, and Leene indeed was descended from the great queen.  But as the Mystics advanced to conquer most of South Zenan, King Aldren's behavior grew erratic and Leene was entrusted with the majority of state affairs by 599.  When the Mystics launched a major attack in 600 to take the Span of Zenan (Zenan bridge), Leene had no choice but to take the field herself and drive the Mystic forces away from the prosperous north.  She won a stunning victory at the Span, then advanced on the city of St. Dorino to fight a decisive engagement against the main Mystic army.  Against all odds, Leene also won this battle, and the remaining Mystic forces were thrown into complete disarray.  A month later, the war was over, and Leene would thereafter be known as one of Guardia's greatest rulers.  For a long time, the animosity between Poore and the north would be largely forgotten.

But Leene would be the last Guardanian ruler to come from a southern province.  As the centuries passed, and Leene's accomplishments faded into myth, the wealthy provinces of North Zenan came to hoard the majority of the Kingdom's wealth, leaving the south neglected and envious.  The industrial revolution launched by Alistair Ashtear's (Lucca's grandfather) steam engine in 933 was slow to spread to the south and the difference in wealth between the northern and southern provinces became greater still.  By the year 994, open talk of secession was spreading though the cities of Poore, which led King Malcolm to sack most of the Poorian officials and replace them with northern loyalists to restore order.  This action only increased Poore's animosity and moved the secessionist movement underground, where it grew in strength until it would successfully break away from Guardia in the year 1000.

I am aware that Poore's year 1000 breakaway is something that did not occur in Chrono Trigger canon, but this event will add an interesting dynamic to the Marle/Malcolm storyarc, seeing that it takes place during the Millennial Fair (and Marle's quest to save the future from Lavos).  It is one among many additions I am making to flesh out the world of Chrono and make it believable and compelling.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 12:31:31 am by Lennis »

ZeaLitY

  • Entity
  • End of Timer (+10000)
  • *
  • Posts: 10593
  • Spring Breeze Dancin'
    • View Profile
    • My Compendium Staff Profile
Re: Announcement: "Project Unity"
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 06:25:46 pm »
Yeah, it definitely falls under the parameters.

Lennis

  • Chronopolitan (+300)
  • *
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
Re: Announcement: "Project Unity"
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 05:17:02 am »
Happy Memorial Day, everyone.  While I am hard at work trying to revise the opening chapters of "Project Unity" to a semi-finalized state, I will occasionally update this thread with more information on the new world of Chrono Trigger.  Today, I will share some insights on the history of Zenan Bridge, which in this story is called "The Span of Zenan".


The Span of Zenan is one of the wonders of the world; a relic from the ancient Zealian Empire so old that no one alive can even guess when it was constructed.  The Span is an enormous bridge built of unknown materials that stretches across the Straight of Cerale at its narrowest point, linking the continents of North and South Zenan.  The bridge is 526 miles long and half a mile wide, making it the largest structure ever built by man.  Its strategic importance throughout written history cannot be understated.  At one point, the Span was a city-state that controlled trade between North and South Zenan, with subsequently built communities and fortifications stretching across its entire length.  This bridge-nation existed for about three-thousand years until it was sacked by Cedric the Conqueror in 3 B.G. (before Guardia)  Cedric then used the Span as a beachhead from where he would begin his conquest of the south, a position he would not be dislodged from despite setbacks suffered at the hands of Antaeus Poore.

In the year 1 B.G., after the war between Cedric and Antaeus reached a stalemate, Cedric proposed a duel between himself and Antaeus on the Span to determine the undisputed master of the Zenan continents - under the condition that Cedric would not use the Frozen Flame in the contest.  But Cedric knew that he could still wield some of the Flame's powers even if he didn't have the artifact in his possession, and he treacherously used those powers to blow a hole in the bridge underneath his opponent's feet before he could even draw his sword, causing the heavily armored Antaeus to fall into the Straight of Cerale where he drowned.  To this day, the hole that Cedric made in the otherwise indestructible Span to defeat his enemy remains at the site of the duel, now covered by   a shrine in honor of Cedric's "achievement".  When Cedric unified the continents - beginning the Guardanian calendar (year 0) - Cedric rewrote history to paint himself in a more flattering light, saying that heavenly lightning struck down Antaeus in favor of the more virtuous Cedric.  Guardia has since called this place "Heaven's Scar", though many in Antaeus' homeland of Poore give it the more accurate monicker of "Cedric's Scar".

The Span would be the site of another major battle 600 years later, when Mystic forces under the command of Ozzimort (Ozzie) marched on the Span to gain a foothold for their final push into the heart of Guardia.  This marked the turning point in the Mystic War, but it would not be in Ozzimort's favor.  During the battle, a ferocious storm suddenly struck the Span, which by some miracle blew Ozzimort's army into the sea while leaving the forces of Guardia unharmed.  Ozzimort was forced to retreat to St. Dorino where his army would later suffer another crushing defeat by Leene, and this battle would prove decisive in ending the war.  A few historians would thereafter refer to the Span as "Ozzimort's Folly".

The Span of Zenan would continue to stand up until the "Day of Fire" in 1999 G.D., when the alien parasite known as Lavos awakened from its 14,000-year-long hibernation and launched pieces of itself into orbit to rain down thermonuclear and zero-point destruction across the entire planet.  Even the incredibly dense material of the Span could not withstand this assault, and the Zealian wonder that had stood for 700,000 years vanished into the sea forever.


"He who controls the Span controls the West."

   Cedric Guardia - 3 B.G.