Chrono Trigger Unglued Featurette
ZeaLitY: We're releasing this feature hot off the heels of episode twelve, which came out a couple weeks ago. Magus22, a Compendium forumer, took the initative to interview Clovis15 (who helms the series) about the fantastic credits sequence and other fine points of engineering the series and flash movies in particular. If you're a fan of the series, read on. You can view the credits below before the interview. Take it away, Magus22!
Episode 12 Credit Sequence
1. So what is the story behind the credits?
When Cryo originally enlisted me to handle animation for CTU, as you know, there were no credits. I said there should be credits, but Cryo was actually at first opposed to the idea feeling they were unnecessary. I should point out this is more because at the time Cryo wasn't aware of my animation abilities and his own Flash abilities as he himself will claim are very limited and thought it too difficult to attempt. After Episode 11 of CTU came out, he pretty much assumed I knew how to do anything I thought up.
The summer before I took over was when Paranoia Agent was aired on Adult Swim. I knew there should be a credits sequence, but originally my first ideas weren't exactly grand. Originally I was going to do a scrolling text movie style credits set to a portion of the song from Castle of Dr. Brain.
That was actually a midi recorded over high grade synth equipment. It is the original audio file to the theme song to an old Computer Adventure game heavily based on Logic Puzzles known as Castle of Doctor Brain.
2. I have thought in the past that MIDI was somewhat limited in abilities and attributes. How was this possible?
You need a 2000 dollar sound card. Professional Artists even use midi files in making music CDs you know.
3. What made you change your mind about that song ending for the credits?
Well, I then saw a flash that I am about to show you. I am a man that likes to draw my stories out, sorry.
I didn't make this. This came out as I was working on Episode 11.
Monkey see, Monkey do. Anyways, I knew I wanted to do something animated. But I didn't know what. At the time I was remaking the parts of CTU-11 that Cryo had animated by hand because it was easier to replace it than to maintain it.
For the record, Cryo and I are friends.
4. I am sure it makes life easier in these situations to know the person like that. How'd you proceed from there?
Well, while prepping sprites from scratch, I noticed that Crono's laughing sprite reminded me of something. It looked a lot, at least to me, like one of the people laughing during the Paranoia Agent opening. In the opening you have many people in horrible situations, all of them laughing hysterically. That's when I got the idea to parody the CT characters to the opening to Paranoia Agent.
It took me two days to make it. Unfortunately it took me one week to get the song. But this was a good thing as it taught me by hard knocks all I know about the program Audacity. The song as it appears in Paranoia Agent does NOT exist on the sound track. It has “extra parts” all throughout. My crash course in Audacity was cutting out the extra parts without making it obvious to the listener.
After doing this I was able to save space in all of my flashes by not using complete sound files, but rather repeating sound loops where as Cryo would throw in entire songs.
5. What was the basic program for the animation of the CT sprites?
I have used only three programs in all of this - Macromedia Flash MX, Audacity, and MS Paint. Flash is a vector based two dimensional animation suite.
6. I see. I'm using 3D studio max for my opening movie to a Chrono Break idea of mine.
Very nice, I hope it turns out well. Flash is the primary tool used in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends too. It IS a professional animation tool. Hence the $2000 price tag. Flash is an all in one studio. I could probably produce a new episode of Chrono Trigger Unglued every 1-2 weeks if I felt like it.
7. I wouldn't put it past you too. Did it take a great deal of time to think up the credits sequence?
Actually, I had a copy of the opening to Paranoia Agent that Cryo got for me and I made it up as I went along. The only parts I had thought up in advance were the following;
- I knew I wanted to reference the death of Lucca at the hands of Lynx.
- And I knew I wanted to reference the destruction of Guardia.
Both of which are rendered Paranoia Agent style. The other stuff I just thought up along the way. I got the idea of Belthasar standing in front of Earth on the Day of Lavos because in the Paranoia Agent opening there's a scene of the Old Man standing in front of Earth laughing as many nuclear bombs go off on Earth. The custom laughing sprites of Belthasar were made in Flash too by the way. Oh yeah, and that isn't Magus's normal laughing sprites. His normal laughing sprites looked too much like crying, so I made an all new laughing sprite set for him to fit the theme of the ending better.
8. Could you offer any advice to the gamers here about the Flash program you have and what you do with it?
It's a PROFITABLE hobby to take up. You can even make games in it if you learn the programming part of it. Very COMPLEX games.
Great; thank you so muchm Clovis. You put much time and effort into all of this, and on behalf of the Chrono Compendium, I thank you!
You're very welcome.
ZeaLitY: It looks like we can expect more hilarity and quality flash from Clovis and his assistants. It's wonderful that a skilled flash animator is concentrating on a Chrono Trigger spoof. New episodes in the series will be posted here as soon as they're released; I can't wait! Thanks for reading. Until next time!