Author Topic: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final  (Read 1139 times)

Ven

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I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« on: February 09, 2012, 12:03:31 am »
I'm a story writer, not a programmer. I have some great ideas for a final installment of CT, mostly a re-work of the original with additional story.
Not just concept ... but game-play design as well.

Do I have a chance SE?? I would do it for free!  :)

I think if I could submit my ideas they would be impressed ... Chrono Trigger Final


Mr Bekkler

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 01:25:57 am »
Do you have any examples?

Ven

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 07:58:13 pm »
Well I think SE had the right idea with their DS port, you can't go wrong with the original, and simplicity is best.
Unfortunately their execution just wasn't good. Instead of improving/concluding the story, they just added superfluous content.

So here's my premise and what I bring to the table...

When Lavos was defeated and merged with Schala to become the Time Devourer, it destroyed all timelines leading to its defeat.
Essentially, the Time Devourer created a time-loop that erased Chrono and the gang's efforts in CT.

How can Chrono+friends overcome this time-loop?

Marle was in possession of The Pendant when Lavos was defeated.
Unlike the other characters who, because of the time-loop, have no recollection of the events in CT (they just re-live the same timeline over again) ...
The Pendant caused Marle to be unaffected -- she is the only one to remember everything!

So how does CT Final build on this idea?

The game begins just like old times ... "Good Morning, Chrono!"

Chrono wakes up in his bed in Guardia 1000 AD and heads off to the Millenial Fair, exactly like he did in CT.
Marle waits for him in Leene Square, and the adventure begins.

But wait, isn't that just like playing the same game over again?

Yes, exactly! ... that's the idea, the same game replayed, but with some improvements, some changes, and a more emotionally satisfying ending.
Let me explain.

CT players can be more or less divided into two categories -- those who have played CT before, and those who are playing it for the first time.

1. For those who have played CT before and want to replay it (possibly many years later, like I did) ...
    What could be better than replaying mostly the same game, only better, with a more developed ending?

2. For those who never played CT, Final allows them to experience the original story while playing the new game at the same time.

So if you played CT back in the day, you could re-live the original (and loved) story again, like Marle, but also experience it anew, like Chrono?

Yes.

And if you never played CT, you're in the same boat as Chrono, only Marle is there to fill you in on what you need to know?

That's right!

A lot of people love CT, but some who are more tepid towards it complain they don't always know what to do, where to go next.
Can you imagine never being able to find the secret entrance @ Manolia Cathedral, then finally giving up on the game?

Marle is there to help.

Ok ... this sounds interesting, tell me more. What exactly would be new about this game?

First, the technical changes:

1. Dialogue -- some character dialogue would change, since Marle already knows the story. Seems obvious, I hope.
    Another small but interesting idea would be ... what if the other characters "feel" like they remember things, as you progress deeper into the story.
    This could come out in dialogue a little ... not much of a change, subtle, but could enhance the experience.

2. Difficulty -- CT is the best RPG I've ever played, my favorite, but no game is perfect.
    One of the two problems I have with this game is that it is too easy IMO for a game of its magnitude.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think there is any market appetite for serious grinding games like FF1 in this day and age,
but a little more of a challenge would enhance the "awe" of this game, in my opinion.

Possible solutions? ...
*I really like the idea of not being able to revive fallen characters during battles.
*Make the enemies equivalent of 1 level higher, except the heroes start the game at same levels as CT.
(these are brainstormed ideas, open for discussion, along with others, in an attempt to make the game more challenging, but not ridiculous).

3. Graphics -- personally I'm happy playing CT or a possible CT Final w/ the original SNES graphics,
    but I understand that market appetite (and $$'s) would be stronger for an updated game,
    and game designers / programmers would be more interested in this approach as well.

Imagine CT Final as the debut game for a new system ... just don't mess with the original music!

You said something about deeper changes ... a more emotionally satisfying ending?

The only other problem I have with CT is the simplicity of its ending.

You progress through the story, and there is a lot of depth and complexity, which reaches its height in 12,000 BC with the Kingdom of Zeal.
But there is a lot left unsaid at the end of the game, and there is no resolution regarding Schala.
The game devolves from an emotionally and thematically complex masterpiece into a simple "kill the bad guy" final battle.

My solution:

Before the final battle with Lavos, Chrono+friends become aware of the time-loop and the existence of the Time Devourer.
They realize they have to save Schala, and not only beat Lavos, but defeat the Time Devourer as well.

The catch is they cannot leave the final battle with Lavos without re-setting the time-loop!
Imagine it this way ... you beat Lavos and want to go back to heal up and save your game but ... "Good Morning, Chrono!" / game over.

No, they must complete a new chapter between the Ocean Palace and the final battle with Lavos,
something that allows them to proceed directly from Lavos Core to the Depths Beyond Time.

This makes the end of the game the most difficult of all ... you would need to complete as many of the side-quests as possible and level up,
in order to beat Lavos and the Time Devourer back-to-back.

What happens when you fight the Time Devourer? Is it the same as CC or the battle with the Dream Devourer at the end of CTDS?

No, the battle would be different, here is a really cool gameplay idea I have, and makes the ending so much deeper.

Once you weaken the Time Devourer to a certain HP, Schala is able to separate herself from Lavos. This happens in battle, no cut shots.
Imagine the words on your screen: "Schala separates from Lavos" and you see her physically do exactly that on screen.

Now ... even cooler ... at this point, you gain the ability to attack Lavos with Schala -- in fact, you must attack Lavos with Schala if you hope to win!
Chrono and the gang are not strong enough to defeat Lavos's final form ... only Schala's spells are strong enough to materially damage him.

.... And then it gets even deeper.

When you use Schala to attack Final Lavos, she not only weakens his HP, but also her own, allowing Lavos to re-absorb her.
You see the words on your screen: "Lavos and Schala become one again". And you see them combine again on screen, no cut shots, it happens in the middle of battle.

How do you finish the battle?

Schala must sacrifice herself in order to defeat Lavos. Every time she attacks him, she weakens his defense, hurts her own HP, and gets re-absorbed.
This repeats x amount of times, until the last time you attack with Schala -- the last of her HP is gone, and she dies.

At this point, she has weakened Final Lavos enough that your party can defeat him once and for all.

And unless you use Schala during the battle and she sacrifices herself, you cannot win the game.

And when you defeat Final Lavos?

There is a scene where Schala dies (technically she lays dying during the rest of the battle).
Thematic elements regarding the fall of Zeal and her people are touched on, etc. and etc.

I would personally like a longer epilogue ... rather than all the characters going home at once,
you can take them back to their time individually, and each have something important to say as you part, goodbye.

------------

Well, I hope people like some or all of these ideas. There is more to it than this, but this "treatment" gives you an idea.

Now open for discussion.

(DISCLAIMER: CT is the IP of SE, but all additional ideas are my intellectual property, thanks)


« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 08:05:45 pm by Ven »

Mr Bekkler

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 09:54:44 pm »
Oh, good luck making that!

Ven

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 10:12:01 pm »
Ha, you sound doubtful!

What do you think of the ideas?

Kodokami

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 01:06:21 am »
Magus would be so pissed. :lol:

These are some neat ideas, though personally I wouldn't enjoy another final battle with the Time Devourer, especially if Schala dies. Chrono Cross largely suggests that the TD must be defeated in a specific way (with the Chrono Cross item) for Schala to be freed. That was the whole point of Belthasar's plan. Of course, I presume these ideas of yours would completely null the second game. Eh, I dunno. An "expert mode" or something would be nice for Trigger.

Mr Bekkler

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 07:28:06 pm »
I'm not going to say they're "bad" ideas. I just can't see what you would do with them or how you would go about making this version of CT. Also if SE actually did something like this, marketing an old game as a new game, without saying that is basically just is a remake of the old game and not a sequel, it would make a lot of people angry. If it were real, would I play it? Yes, but honestly I would rather just play an all-new game. That's just me though, no offense.

Lennis

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 10:29:45 pm »
I'm already working on something similar to this, only in a novel format.

A few of your ideas tread close to what I have outlined, but are not quite the same ideas.  Schala sacrificing herself is certainly an element, but that does not happen at the end of the story.  Quite the opposite.  Saving Schala is the key to everything.  If she isn't saved, well, let's just say that there are fates worse than death.

And lets face it, Schala dying would be a really downer ending to the Chrono series.  It would beg the question, "What was it all for?".  Remember that Schala promised Serge that she would see him again in another time and place.  How would she make that happen?  Maybe she has a plan?


Tactless

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 10:45:05 am »
Ever since I watched the end credits to Chrono Cross the first time I've been fascinated with the idea of a collection of short stories consisting of different iterations of Serge and Kid throughout time and space interacting with eachother and piecing together the true origins of their relationships, within their respective dimensions at first but at some point communicating interdimensionally. Kind of like in The Fountain but not as vaguely established. It could probably be done in written medium but I think an OVA or animated film would be more fitting for the type of story being told.

I'm not so sure about a lot of your ideas, especially Schala dying because it honestly kind of flies in the face of what CC was all about. But you should definitely keep writing and focus on the most solid ideas you do have; this reminds me a lot of the advancements made in CTDS, and those to me felt a little half-baked but you could probably totally outdo what SE did.

Ven

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 04:04:32 pm »
And lets face it, Schala dying would be a really downer ending to the Chrono series.  It would beg the question, "What was it all for?".  Remember that Schala promised Serge that she would see him again in another time and place.  How would she make that happen?  Maybe she has a plan?

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. But I don't think death is always a bad thing, in fact in some circumstances it can be quite liberating. Imagine your humanity has been taken over and you are being used to destroy the universe. Hmm ... I think death would be noble in those circumstances. Your party kills Final Lavos, and Schala is laying on the ground dying, she manages to thank you for freeing her right before she passes away.

Of course, Schala has to die for the ending to be meaningful IMO. I think that's why the ending to CC is so vague and meaningless ... it was decided that Schala had to be saved, but it doesn't really fulfill the story at all. When you deal with themes in writing, you must carry them out to their final, most powerful conclusion. The Kingdom of Zeal represented a society that reached untold heights and could only destroy itself -- which it inevitably did. Schala is not immune from that,,,,all of Zeal had to eventually suffer the same fate. From a thematic standpoint, it was inevitable, and then butchered by the CC team. Oh well.

A couple of other responses:

Quote
If it were real, would I play it? Yes, but honestly I would rather just play an all-new game.

I think a lot of people replay CT -- so replaying an updated version of the same but different game would be no different (and actually better) than breaking it out years later on emulator, or the DS/PS versions. Yes, I do realize that there are fans who want a NEW game, something entirely new ... but it is it realistic? I don't think there's any story material there for a new game IMO. I think this is why it never happened, there was no interest by the creators. Kind of like they thought "we're done with this". And I think if someone did attempt to make a serious new CT sequel, you'd find that it would be inferior to the original, basically superfluous material. Just my opinion.

Quote
Chrono Cross largely suggests that the TD must be defeated in a specific way (with the Chrono Cross item) for Schala to be freed. That was the whole point of Belthasar's plan. Of course, I presume these ideas of yours would completely null the second game.

I think it can be written in a way that makes CC an alternate reality from CT. I don't want to ruin CC for people who love that game, I know some played it before CT and prefer CC, so an alternate timeline theory could allow it to remain cannon. But IMO the two games are really not connected. CC was in fact an original story, and the links to CT were added on after the fact for marketing purposes. I don't think it's fair to constrain future CT works because an entirely separate story was tacked on for purposes of money, and at the same time I also would not think it fair to just dismiss CC because it has its devoted fans too. Let the games stand on their own merits, IMO!

Tactless

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 05:53:34 pm »
Quote from: Ven
Of course, Schala has to die for the ending to be meaningful IMO. I think that's why the ending to CC is so vague and meaningless ... it was decided that Schala had to be saved, but it doesn't really fulfill the story at all. When you deal with themes in writing, you must carry them out to their final, most powerful conclusion. The Kingdom of Zeal represented a society that reached untold heights and could only destroy itself -- which it inevitably did. Schala is not immune from that,,,,all of Zeal had to eventually suffer the same fate. From a thematic standpoint, it was inevitable, and then butchered by the CC team. Oh well.

I think it can be written in a way that makes CC an alternate reality from CT. I don't want to ruin CC for people who love that game, I know some played it before CT and prefer CC, so an alternate timeline theory could allow it to remain cannon. But IMO the two games are really not connected. CC was in fact an original story, and the links to CT were added on after the fact for marketing purposes. I don't think it's fair to constrain future CT works because an entirely separate story was tacked on for purposes of money, and at the same time I also would not think it fair to just dismiss CC because it has its devoted fans too. Let the games stand on their own merits, IMO!

You're wrong on both counts. CC's ending was not vague and meaningless, assuming you meant the text monologue at the end of the game after you defeat TD with the Chrono Cross; it's Schala's monologue to Serge, and the healing of the time-space continuum after distortions from the events of CT. And its links to CT weren't just "linked on"; the game has just about everything to do with CT (Zeal especially), albeit revealed a little later in the game, not to mention that the game had even more connections to CT in its initial development stages.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 03:33:59 pm by Tactless »

Mr Bekkler

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Re: I want to write the story -- Chrono Trigger Final
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 11:50:07 pm »
Quote
If it were real, would I play it? Yes, but honestly I would rather just play an all-new game.

I think a lot of people replay CT -- so replaying an updated version of the same but different game would be no different (and actually better) than breaking it out years later on emulator, or the DS/PS versions. Yes, I do realize that there are fans who want a NEW game, something entirely new ... but it is it realistic? I don't think there's any story material there for a new game IMO. I think this is why it never happened, there was no interest by the creators. Kind of like they thought "we're done with this". And I think if someone did attempt to make a serious new CT sequel, you'd find that it would be inferior to the original, basically superfluous material. Just my opinion.

You're entitled to it. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.