Chrono Trigger 2 Promo Video
Ages ago, Andrew Vestal ran a feature on Gamespot about Chrono Trigger 2, which you can find here. Of particular importance is this line: "An old promo reel of Square's from mid-1996 contained footage of a "Chrono Trigger 2"; while much of that technologies appear to have gone into Xenogears, it's clear that Square has kept the franchise in mind." This is consistent with the revelation that Xenogears was initially begun as the sequel to Chrono Trigger, confirmed in this interview.
Many fans have searched for this video, but no one has to date found it. Vestal is a big name in the community, as he created square.net, also known as "The Unofficial Squaresoft Homepage" circa 1995, and he was arguably the most dedicated and knowlegable Square fan outside of Japan. When he lost his ISP, Square actually hosted his site for him for months. He eventually sold it and it became rpgamer.com, and then he founded the GIA. He unveiled FFIX concept art in early 1999, almost a year before it was officially announced. As such, most people have no reason to disbelieve Vestal's allusion to this 1996 promo video.
Guru of Reason FaustWolf took to Gamefaqs to ask about the video (see link here, and corresponded with wababuhloowap, who'd e-mailed Vestal before, getting the following reply:
From Andrew Vestal
date Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 2:09 AM
subject Re: Just a small question
Hide details 11/19/09
Sorry to take a while to get back to you. Since you took the time to track me down across the ages I figured that giving you as thorough an answer is the least I could do.
I do not have the promo reel in my possession - I heard about the contents from a developer who was working at Square during this time period.
However, it is definitely not just speculation, and Square has gone on the record as identifying a connection between the two games in the Chrono Cross Ultimania.
From the Japanese Wikipedia article on Chrono Cross:
Extremely quick and dirty translation...
"Chrono Trigger 2" and "Xenogears"
Xenogears originally began its planning and development as Chrono Trigger 2; after Xenogears was done being created the team regathered to make a sequel to Chrono Trigger, and the Chrono Cross team had a lot of the same staff as Xenogears. As a result, the game has many similarities, and the style of battle system is a sort of evolution of that in Xenogears.
Also, in the demo movie of Xenogears this line is used,
"So let love's blood flow! Like the seas of hell, it runs red and deep...!" (perhaps translated as Lynx's line, "Love is deeper and darker than the black seas of hell.")
This line does not appear in Xenogears' script, but was later used in Chrono Cross' script.
Furthermore, Lucca, a character from a previous game, appears in Xenogears as a guest, whose last bonus line makes a reference to the Silvard (Epoch) and such.
So, there you have it. :) It was actually fun to get back in touch with Ike again and track down the answer "once and for all." I am also glad that history has proven us both correct. Xenogears began development as CT2; when Xenogears was finished, much of the same staff still wanted to make a sequel to Chrono Trigger, and they made Chrono Cross.
Glad to help you finally put this mystery to rest. :)
ZeaLitY's note: The Chrono Cross Wikipedia page now points to page 482 of Ultimania, which is part of the Hiromichi Tanaka interview, which is this page in particular:
As it's on Material Requiring Translation, this page has never been translated, so any help would be extremely appreciated.
Our next move was to track down the trailer that the Chrono Cross line originally appeared in. GlitterBerri found it on this site. Refer to this link at around 0:38 when the red Transformers-like face appears:
The quality is abysmal, but you can make out that line.
The Chrono Cross line:
The Xenogears line:
All that's changed is some punctuation.
Connections between Cross and Xenogears
Have you ever noticed these similarities between Xenogears and Chrono Cross?
- Fei - The Contact, the person who made contact with the Zohar, which is part of the Deus System.
- Elly - Part of the "will" of the Wave Existence, created to help free itself from the Deus system.
- Wave Existence - A being from a higher universe that is trapped within the Deus system.
- Deus - A sentient weapon that contains the Wave Existence and is considered a "god".
Now Chrono Cross:
- Serge - The Arbiter, the person who made contact with the Frozen Flame, a piece of Lavos.
- Kid - Part of Schala, created to help free herself from the Time Devourer.
- Schala - A powerful human who has unwillingly merged with Lavos to become the Time Devourer.
- Time Devourer - A fusion of Schala and Lavos that threatens to devour all space-time (god-like).
There are also obvious links between Xenogears and Chrono Trigger, like Lavos and Deus and their "creation" of humanity, the theme of defying fate, etc.
- The Zohar and Frozen Flame are both powerful objects beyond human comprehension and both are carried in space at some point
- Miang and Harle, are both female and something something DNA and God
- Grahf and Lynx, both are a percentage of the protagonists’ father and both transform into something else. Grahf/Khan, Lynx/Wazuki... the new forms are not human anymore.
- Alice and Leena* both are female characters that are interested in the protagonist met in the beginning starting village, and both do not end with the main character. Both get neglected really hard in the plot.
- chuchu and Starky* both philosophical mascot goofy little critters from space that can become giants.
- The Elements and 4 Acacia Devas* theres like two generations of them in each game, and there are four of them. First generation of Elements: Jessie, Sigurd, Citan, Ramsus, with a second generation of those Sailor Moon Girls, and then for Cross, we get Viper, Garai, Radius, and Zappa, with a second generation of Karsh, ZOAH, Dario, and Marcy. We also get a Fifth person in the second generation who have potential to be part of them but just aren't (Elly and Glenn).
- Zeboim ruins and Chronopolis* Something something Science gone wrong
- Gazel Ministry and Mother Brain* Super computers... not from the current area, like the Gazel Ministry is up in space while Mother Brain is in the future.
- Both are about the mind, the unconscious in Xenogears and dreams in Chrono Cross
- Both games have cutscenes where the main character gets butt naked!
- Xenogears is a convoluted epic story about a love that transcends time and reincarnated lives, while Chrono Cross is also a convoluted epic story about a love that transcends parallel worlds .
There's a bit in Radical Dreamers where Kid and Serge can chose to eat from a pot they find in the kitchen. Magil declines, and shortly thereafter, it's revealed that there's an unsavory ingredient in the food. Not a major connection, but it was still interesting to see the theme appear in Kato's earlier work before getting further elaborated on in Xenogears.
Edit: Even the save points are important to the story. In Xenogears, they are Memory Cubes that were created by Solaris, the country that controls the world. In Chrono Cross, they are Records of Fate that were created by FATE, the computer system that controls El Nido.
No one has been able to find the promo video. If you can find it, it would be an incredible coup. It may have only been shown at a trade show in Japan, or something like that. Be sure to stop by this thread if you have any luck.