Poll

Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?

Crono
5 (25%)
Marle
1 (5%)
Lucca
2 (10%)
Frog
0 (0%)
Robo
1 (5%)
Ayla
11 (55%)
Magus
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Author Topic: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?  (Read 10011 times)

CelestialPhantasm

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 02:35:50 pm »
When I am playing as Crono, I more or less feel like I AM Crono- I don't really consider this to be "creative license", but I suppose that is relative... However, once he is no longer a mandatory character, he becomes, for me, completely superfluous. I can take them out of the party to have more companions who speak, and yet I am still there.

Otherwise, it works as a concept, which is perhaps why Serge never ceases to be the lead figure in Chrono Cross. Therefore, I don't even find it reasonable to compare Crono to the other characters.

I don't think Ayla's language is the principal problem. None of the characters have an extremely sophisticated vocabulary. More expository and individualizing text could have been conceived for Ayla and subsequently grammatically destroyed- We might have taken it less seriously because of this, yet the content would be the same. Ayla is a very simple character. This simplicity is also part of her charm, yet, as heirs of our western culture which has thousands of years of history of science, art and philosophy (even if many of our contemporaries are not the most cultivated people, Chrono-fans seem to have some level of education and spiritual openness), we have trouble identifying with this level of simplicity.  It also leaves little place for development as the amount of potential development seems to be relative to the existing complexity.  By Ayla's terms, ANY amount of change in her character (the aforementioned contradiction as a possible example) represents a huge development.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:38:38 pm by CelestialPhantasm »

Lennis

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2012, 11:27:42 pm »
I felt they could have done more with Ayla.  I don't count Crono since he's the silent protagonist.

I've seen some interesting arguments for Lucca.  I never really considered her due to her legacy role in Chrono Cross.  Looking back at the red-gate side quest, we don't know how Lucca is able to create a gate that goes directly to her house in the past.  We also don't know why she suddenly decided to do this.  I'm not sure we even knew her mother was handicapped before this event.

Mr Bekkler

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 04:57:56 am »
When I am playing as Crono, I more or less feel like I AM Crono- I don't really consider this to be "creative license", but I suppose that is relative... However, once he is no longer a mandatory character, he becomes, for me, completely superfluous. I can take them out of the party to have more companions who speak, and yet I am still there.

Otherwise, it works as a concept, which is perhaps why Serge never ceases to be the lead figure in Chrono Cross. Therefore, I don't even find it reasonable to compare Crono to the other characters.

I don't think Ayla's language is the principal problem. None of the characters have an extremely sophisticated vocabulary. More expository and individualizing text could have been conceived for Ayla and subsequently grammatically destroyed- We might have taken it less seriously because of this, yet the content would be the same. Ayla is a very simple character. This simplicity is also part of her charm, yet, as heirs of our western culture which has thousands of years of history of science, art and philosophy (even if many of our contemporaries are not the most cultivated people, Chrono-fans seem to have some level of education and spiritual openness), we have trouble identifying with this level of simplicity.  It also leaves little place for development as the amount of potential development seems to be relative to the existing complexity.  By Ayla's terms, ANY amount of change in her character (the aforementioned contradiction as a possible example) represents a huge development.

To feed my Lucca argument, I will disagree that Ayla has little development with a few key points.

I've already stated my position that she grows a lot during the course of the game. She has to deal with a lot of issues, namely being chief of a tribe that is barely surviving near the beginning of an impending ice age, with a whole other species trying to kill them.

To supplement this, I'll quote your earlier post and bring my point full circle.
The only seeming development on the part of Ayla is in the form of a contradiction- She affirms that the law of nature is: Strong live, weak die. (no change law).  She nonetheless extends a helping hand to the defeated Azala who, according to this law, has lost the right to live.  At the very least this makes Ayla a normal human, contradictory and prone to compassion (or sentimentality if you prefer)

However, it is also often difficult to distinguish between character exposition and character development. Perhaps Ayla always had this contradictory tendency. We don't know.
We do know that the law of nature is also the law of her tribe: the strongest is the chief. If she had a contradictory tendency, she wouldn't be chief. What I mean is the tribe would likely see sympathizing with something "weak" as a character flaw in a younger Ayla (pre-chief status). If she had a consistent habit of letting the weak live and contradicting the tribe's seemingly only law, I find it highly unlikely that she would have ever gained chief status. This leads to the most simple and logical explanation, her mercy/sympathy/pity toward Azala is actually character development. She's learning from the team and they're rubbing off on her.

With most of the characters, especially Frog, the development is more spread out. I posit that Ayla does not have any less development, it's just more condensed. Her screen time is saturated with story.

All we know about Lucca is that she's nerdy, into science, is better at fixing things than building them, and thanks to the red gate, that she possibly blames herself for her mother's accident (though this has no effect on her actions or personality).
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 05:00:25 am by Mr Bekkler »

CelestialPhantasm

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 05:56:28 pm »
To feed my Lucca argument, I will disagree that Ayla has little development with a few key points.

I've already stated my position that she grows a lot during the course of the game. She has to deal with a lot of issues, namely being chief of a tribe that is barely surviving near the beginning of an impending ice age, with a whole other species trying to kill them.

To supplement this, I'll quote your earlier post and bring my point full circle.
The only seeming development on the part of Ayla is in the form of a contradiction- She affirms that the law of nature is: Strong live, weak die. (no change law).  She nonetheless extends a helping hand to the defeated Azala who, according to this law, has lost the right to live.  At the very least this makes Ayla a normal human, contradictory and prone to compassion (or sentimentality if you prefer)

However, it is also often difficult to distinguish between character exposition and character development. Perhaps Ayla always had this contradictory tendency. We don't know.
We do know that the law of nature is also the law of her tribe: the strongest is the chief. If she had a contradictory tendency, she wouldn't be chief. What I mean is the tribe would likely see sympathizing with something "weak" as a character flaw in a younger Ayla (pre-chief status). If she had a consistent habit of letting the weak live and contradicting the tribe's seemingly only law, I find it highly unlikely that she would have ever gained chief status. This leads to the most simple and logical explanation, her mercy/sympathy/pity toward Azala is actually character development. She's learning from the team and they're rubbing off on her.

With most of the characters, especially Frog, the development is more spread out. I posit that Ayla does not have any less development, it's just more condensed. Her screen time is saturated with story.

All we know about Lucca is that she's nerdy, into science, is better at fixing things than building them, and thanks to the red gate, that she possibly blames herself for her mother's accident (though this has no effect on her actions or personality).

One can only speculate as to how Crono and the others influenced Ayla so drastically in such a short time, this is however an interesting idea (through their having spared Azala at their first encounter with her?). I also wonder if Ayla even considered her action as a contradiction. Perhaps she was motivated by her respect for Azala's strength as a leader instead of pity for her weakness. After all, Ayla owed her victory largely to Crono and their other companion in this battle (we don't know how exactly things happened in the original timeline).

The fact that we can have this discussion about Ayla proves to some extent your point about her development. However, I find this density to be very much the problem. She is simple, and there is one contradictory scene that puts this simplicity into question.

Your argument is also rather one-sided. You present Ayla dramatically as a leader of a people on the verge of change etc- which she is. On the other hand, you play off Lucca's character as 2-dimensional by dividing it into pieces without coherency. Lucca has the same struggle of many a creator. She is passionate for her work, and this passion threatens to not leave her much time for human interaction. Nonetheless she is a human and has the same social needs as everyone else. Her relationship to Crono is exemplary of this. Their friendship (and most of us should know that male/female friendships are never completely platonic) seemed to play a secondary role in her life, and it was only through Crono's death that she truly began to appreciate this attachment. Of course, if she would have wanted a more intimate relationship with him, this makes her a tragic figure as this desire remained unfulfilled.

Her relationship to Robo is a fascinatingly ironic facsimile of this dilemma. Lucca is at first drawn to him because he is a machine, and not a human. The irony is that Robo quickly reveals himself to be as human as any other of the heroes. When he consoles her after the red-gate event, it is clear that she appreciates him as a person and a friend more than as a marvel of technology.

After having lost Crono (to Marle) and Robo (to the future), Lucca finds Kid in the forest. By taking up this role of mother and nurturer, she develops a new side to her love of man and apparently finds some kind of balance in her life, dividing her attention between inventing and running an orphanage- thereby filling to a large extent that emotional gap.

So while you are kind of right about Ayla, I feel you hadn't really reflected much about Lucca's character. To be honest, I hadn't either until you proposed this argument.

Mr Bekkler

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 06:45:18 pm »
And that's why discussion is so great!

I agree I may have summed up Lucca rather hastily, but a few of your points stand out to me as questionable. Particularly regarding her relationship with Crono, I tend to disagree with most people who say there was a sort of romantic connection there. I don't see it in the game's text, and from what I can tell, there is more evidence suggesting that that Lucca isn't even romantically interested in anyone, except for Toma in the slideshow ending. She even encourages Crono in the beginning of the game when she sees he has a girl with him. I think she sees him with a more sibling-esque attitude, rather than a romantic one.

While your point about finding Kid makes sense (and builds on her character rather nicely) in the grand scheme, in the original release that never happened. She simply said goodbye to Robo and let the gates close. We could have a whole other argument about the insights revealed in Chrono Cross, but I haven't brought any of that up because the choices in this thread's poll are exclusively Trigger characters, and because it's difficult to speak of Chrono Cross and character development without someone getting mad :-)

I really feel like Lucca is the product of the Dream Team making this game have something for everyone. She's there for those who feel Crono is too "sporty" to relate with. A number of people grow attached to Lucca specifically because she reminds them of themselves. Part of this role is the consistency. If her character was to radically change in a given moment (to parallel the Ayla/Azala development), maybe gain a huge amount of confidence and become arrogant and reckless, for example, she would have lost that connection with those players. I'm not arguing that it's a bad thing that she shows little change, that's why she's so relate-able.

Lennis

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2012, 09:07:46 pm »
Maybe one thing that hurt Ayla's character development wasn't even her fault.  There are signs, through dialogue, that Ayla's world is changing forever.  The problem is that we don't see it.  Even when I played Chrono Trigger for the first time, I thought that rather jarring.  We really should have seen the snow begin to fall.

On the subject of Lucca, my view has always been that she has a sibling-like relationship with Crono, and I try to show that in my fiction through their friendly - and sometimes cutting - banter.  But it's also important to consider deeper character traits that may be hiding under the surface; something the character herself may not realize until exposed to an unexpected shock.  Consider what would happen if Lucca witnessed Crono and Marle in a passionate kiss.  Though she has never had romantic feelings for Crono before, she gets incredibly jealous anyway.  In this event, Lucca becomes very suddenly aware that her personal world has changed irrevocably and that a door has closed.  Assuming that Crono has been her only male friend, which is likely, her thinking would be that if she cannot be with him, then who could she be with?  Coming to terms with this would be an important moment in her character growth, but we can only guess in canon when this might happen.

maggiekarp

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2012, 03:28:58 pm »
Lucca seems pretty comfortable talking about attractive men, and actually seems surprised that Crono is hanging out with a cute girl, but we have no real way to tell for sure how many friends she and Crono had besides each other.


Also to chirp in on the argument of what kind of strength Ayla values: it's kind of out of the way dialogue, but they do say that Ayla found Kino as a baby and raised him. She says that the strong live and the weak die, but she clearly loves Kino and he's next in line to be chief if she dies, even if he says he's weak and wants to be stronger.

Maybe there's some subtleties we're missing in this culture, from the Ioka and Laruba disagreements to Ayla's own decisions. After all, the audience's language is the Reptite's language, not Ayla's first language.

Mr Bekkler

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2012, 04:19:27 pm »
True, we don't even know what she considered to be strength. I mean, yes, she was physically strong (and Kino wasn't), but I think her rule applied to the emotionally strong as well, though Kino was never one for will power exactly... unless it's another line about "love".

CelestialPhantasm

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2012, 06:05:45 pm »
The strength of Lucca's affection for Crono is made clear in his resurrection scene with Lucca present. As I already mentioned, a strong platonic relationship is almost impossible to maintain between members of the opposite sex- this scene therefore clearly has extra-platonic implications. Even if Lucca can find other guys sexually attractive and had, until the events of Chrono Trigger, been distracted enough from their friendship by her work, Crono remains her closest male friend and it took his death and subsequent return to make her realize how much she meant to him.  She then loses him a second time to Marle and the court of Guardia. She also loses Robo who, at first through his connection to her passion for technology, and then later through his loyalty towards the one who saved his life twice and helped liberate him, had quickly become one of her closest friends.

So, there is a lot going on here. Chrono Cross' added story content is a natural development of this.  If people are to complain, let them complain! Chrono Cross is canon.

maggikarp: This is the first time I have heard this idea of their having different languages. I just assumed that Ayla and the other Cavemen spoke poor Japanese (poorer than the Reptites). It would make sense that they have different languages; however, it seems unlikely that every human around would be able to speak it at all, when the only other persons who speak it are the enemy. Aside from that, Ayla would have first addressed Crono and the others in the normal human language and not in that of the Reptite's.

and Lennis: Obviously it is no character's "fault" that he is the way he is. Ayla's abrupt and questionable development is a direct result of choices made by the creators.

as far as Kino goes: While I am tempted to make jokes about his sexual appeal, there were apparently no stronger men around (which is why he would have become chief when Ayla died), and Ayla may have simply preferred to have someone rather than no one (emotional/physical desires) / reproduce with the strongest available mate (this idea takes on a darwinistic flavor)




maggiekarp

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Re: Which Chrono character has the least character development and why?
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2012, 07:27:57 pm »
maggikarp: This is the first time I have heard this idea of their having different languages. I just assumed that Ayla and the other Cavemen spoke poor Japanese (poorer than the Reptites). It would make sense that they have different languages; however, it seems unlikely that every human around would be able to speak it at all, when the only other persons who speak it are the enemy. Aside from that, Ayla would have first addressed Crono and the others in the normal human language and not in that of the Reptite's.

Technically she first greeted them by pinning Crono against the wall and humping him, and probably switched to Reptite when she heard them speak it. Aside from "Lavos", you also have the bobonga dance.