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Chrono Cross is not a sequel to Chrono Trigger

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Sep 19th 2011 at 9:06:31 AM

Obviously this thread is full of spoilers. You have been warned.

So I just finished playing these two games, and frankly just had to go and rant a bit about Chrono Cross. Namely, the fact that they marketed this game as a sequel to Chrono Trigger, yet in reality it is no such thing. Not only does Cross not even feature the character that the game is named after beyond him showing up as a weird ghost, the game erases my beloved Chrono Trigger characters from all of existence. I mean, its one thing for your characters to get killed off, or for the bad ending to turn out to be the canon one, but this is on a whole different level. Its like the story of Chrono Trigger never actually happened, so all the time you invested playing the game was pointless in the end. Also, other details really bugged me, like how Schala's hair was turned blonde just to make the whole ridiculous Kid = Schala's clone thing work, the fact that they basically shoved Lynx onto the sidelines just to make you fight Lavos in the end, and the fact that the series main selling point (the Time Travel) was removed from the game.

All in all, Chrono Cross is really not a sequel to the Chrono Trigger game, but to its spin-off, Radical Dreamers, and they should have marketed it as such. Its a shame too, because I can think of some kickass scenarios for a proper Chrono Trigger sequel. For instance, what if we had a game starring Magus as the protagonist, with the story involving his attempts to rescue his sister from wherever it is she ended up after Zeal fell to ruin. Heck, you could even have him team up with his younger brat self (because I think that a time-travel clone like that was something that both Chrono games really missed out on). Or how about making the game based around Dalton stealing your time machine and messing with history? Heck, any sequel involving Chrono and the gang would have been better than what we got.

lalalei2001 Relationship Status: -not set
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:12:55 AM

Chrono Trigger's DS remake connects the games more thoroughly.

edited 19th Sep '11 9:13:04 AM by lalalei2001

The Protomen enhanced my life.
Beorc Ridley and Ridley from hither and yon Relationship Status: I know
Ridley and Ridley
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:13:38 AM

I haven't played Chrono Cross (and would kind of like to, just to form my own opinion on it) but personally, just from what I've read it seems that regardless of how it stands on its own, it was a really poor way to handle a sequel.

This probably counts as a complaining thread, though. =/

Welcome to th:|
Enlong Court Dragon from The Underground Facility Relationship Status: is commanded to— WANK!
Court Dragon
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:16:41 AM

[up][up] It also makes me believe that there is a timeline where the Trigger cast has a happy ending (due to knowing where Dalton is going to raise his army), and that Cross happens in another timeline where they don't go into the bonus dungeons. ("There are as many worlds as there are potentialities")

I have a message from another time...
Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:45:33 AM

This is not, at present a complaining thread. There's lots of reasons given for why the OP doesn't consider it a sequel.

Complaining threads are the ones that contain little to no thought, just bitching. If you can talk about what you didn't like, why you didn't like something, or what you think should have been done, it's not mindless complaining.

edited 19th Sep '11 9:45:40 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:48:43 AM

Honestly, Cross' plot is a mess and they probably shouldn't have killed off the old cast they way they did (although the ending creates the possibility that their deaths were Cosmic Retconed).

On the other hand, a Crono-centric plot would have been too much like Trigger for my tastes.

edited 19th Sep '11 11:30:58 AM by lrrose

JotunofBoredom Left Eye from Noatun
Left Eye
Sep 19th 2011 at 9:48:50 AM

The guy who wrote and directed Chrono Cross doesn't consider it a sequel to Trigger either, just a spinoff in the same world.

Oh and Cross does feature Robo(Prometheus), only he's immediately killed off and doesn't really even appear on screen due to the fact that his AI has been downloaded onto a computer system.

And really, the general bad writing is a much bigger issue than anything Cross could do to offend or ignore Trigger.

Umbran Climax
Sep 19th 2011 at 10:42:18 AM

My problem with the game is the thematic one: Chrono Cross basically takes the underlying theme and tone of Chrono Trigger, and craps on it. There is virtually never a good reason to retroactively undue a prior story's happy ending.

Home of CBR Rumbles-in-Exile: rumbles.fr.yuku.com
Barrylocke Reaching the Future, the hard way from Thracia
Reaching the Future, the hard way
Sep 19th 2011 at 10:57:03 AM

It's a shame, because I really like Chrono Cross. But I do think that the story choices weren't the best, especially since there aren't that many connections between the 2 games (well with CTDS theres a few more but still)

Taking a break from FE1, for the FE8 draft instead
Sep 19th 2011 at 2:53:16 PM

I vaguely recall a reference to Chrono Cross having started life as a completely independent script. The connections to Chrono Trigger only being added later on. Any truth to this?

Home of CBR Rumbles-in-Exile: rumbles.fr.yuku.com
Sep 19th 2011 at 2:54:03 PM

Chrono Trigger's DS remake connects the games more thoroughly.

In one alternate ending that raises more questions than it answers and even retcons both games again.

Seriously, Masato Kato is the reason why I am glad we've never had a third game. That he used the DS remake as an excuse to introduce more of his hate of the original game and its cast to promote his own stupid official fanfic is more than enough of an excuse.

Sep 19th 2011 at 2:57:37 PM

[up]Pardon my ignorance but who wrote the original game anyways?

Apocalypse: Dirge Of Swans.
Sep 19th 2011 at 3:01:18 PM

I don't think people give Chrono Cross a chance because of the Chrono Trigger letdown. I admit that while playing it I thought of the game as more of a standalone title, though.

JotunofBoredom Left Eye from Noatun
Left Eye
Sep 19th 2011 at 3:11:30 PM

But they'd have to give it a chance in order to be let down by it.

[up][up]Masato Kato was the lead writer of both games I believe.

Umbran Climax
Zendervai Visiting from the Hoag Galaxy from St. Catharines Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Visiting from the Hoag Galaxy
Sep 19th 2011 at 3:13:25 PM

[up][up][up] (Ninja'd) Masato Kato. Much of the design team for Chrono Cross was the same as Trigger. The massive difference in feel might have something to do with the boom of dark and convoluted jRPGs around the time like Xenogears and Final Fantasy VII.

Personally, I treated the two games like the Suikoden series, just with looser connections. The games are connected, yes, but it isn't a single ongoing plot but instead two seperate plots with consistent background elements. And the Planet's history was completely warped between the events of the two games, so that is an ingame justification for any differences.

edited 19th Sep '11 3:13:59 PM by Zendervai

Not Three Laws compliant.
Sep 19th 2011 at 3:15:18 PM

[up][up] Exactly. Well, that and word of mouth.

Zennistrad from The Multiverse Relationship Status: I don't mind being locked in this eternal maze!
Sep 19th 2011 at 3:36:34 PM

I personally would have had a lot more respect for Chrono Cross had they not decided to kill off the entire main cast of Chrono Trigger.

Yeah, that's a good way to treat the game that made this game possible. There's no way that could possibly piss off the fanbase, right?

NativeJovian Jupiterian Local from Orlando, FL Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Jupiterian Local
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:03:15 PM

Hey, look, this thread again.

a) Chrono Cross does not kill off the Chrono Trigger main characters (except possibly Robo — depends if his AI was copy/pasted or cut/pasted). Nothing indicates that they are dead. Porre took over Guardia, yes, but you could just as easily assume that the CT cast were off having other adventures when it happened, or are leading La Résistance against Porre occupation, or basically anything else you like, rather than assuming they're dead and lambasting Chrono Cross for "killing" them.

b) Chrono Cross does not reverse Chrono Trigger's main theme. Chrono Trigger is about seeing a Bad Future and saying Screw Destiny. Chrono Cross is about seeing a Bad Past and saying Screw Destiny. I mean, seriously, the Chrono Cross party murders Fate. Really. It's a big boss battle and everything. It's hard to get more heavy-handed than that.

c) Chrono Cross obviously isn't a direct sequel to Chrono Trigger, but it's plot hinges on the two hanging plot threads left by Chrono Trigger: 1) What happened to Schala? and 2) What about the Time Paradox caused by preventing the Bad Future by killing Lavos after you decided to kill Lavos because you saw the Bad Future? So the stories are definitely related by more than just setting.

d) Chrono Cross stands perfectly well on its own merits. The fact that it doesn't mean your definition of what a Chrono Trigger sequel "should" have been does not make it a bad game — or even a bad Chrono Trigger sequel. "It wasn't what I wanted" and "It's bad" are two completely different things.

Really from Jupiter, but not an alien.
JotunofBoredom Left Eye from Noatun
Left Eye
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:12:56 PM

[up] Okay, on point d, are you referring to the story or the game as a whole?

Umbran Climax
NativeJovian Jupiterian Local from Orlando, FL Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Jupiterian Local
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:16:40 PM

Both.

Really from Jupiter, but not an alien.
JotunofBoredom Left Eye from Noatun
Left Eye
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:24:43 PM

Yeah. I think the game as a whole depends on what you think of the battle system(I can see why people would both like and hate it), since the music and graphics are widely considered some of the best of its generation.

The story though? It's perfectly capable of failing on its own merits.

edited 19th Sep '11 4:25:02 PM by JotunofBoredom

Umbran Climax
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:34:58 PM

[up] Just wondering, how does its story fail?

edited 19th Sep '11 4:35:27 PM by WarlordofFryingPans

YoungMachete from Dallas
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:37:19 PM

The story itself, in my opinion, isn't offensively bad, but the way it's delivered is. Huge goddamn text dumps, terrible pacing, and no unified focus. I mean, pretty much half the plot is delivered to you directly before the final boss, and the actual method to beat the final boss is a great case of Guide Dang It!.

"Delenda est." "Furthermore, Carthage must be destroyed." -Common Roman saying at the end of speeches.
Sep 19th 2011 at 4:42:10 PM

[up] Good point... thankfully I had a Brady Games guide and the Chrono Compendium by my side while playing the game tongue

edited 19th Sep '11 4:42:22 PM by WarlordofFryingPans

JotunofBoredom Left Eye from Noatun
Left Eye
Sep 19th 2011 at 5:11:06 PM

Both major plot points and thematic elements are extremely sparse through most of the game only to suddenly be dumped onto your head by the truckload.

Heck, one part of the final dungeon is a character randomly teleporting you into a time/space anomaly and then explaining everything ever.

And then after the final dungeon three ghosts show up for no reason and you need to talk to them to understand everything else ever.

The main plot point that gets the story started is a major plothole, specifically that Belthasar built FATE after somehow finding out that the Time Devourer would destroy the world. But finding out about the TD is impossible because FATE is the only character in the game with clairvoyance.

This itself is a plot event horizon that ensures the story should never have actually happened, but wait there's more.

Belthasar's plan(did I mention that Belthasar planned EVERYTHING? because that's what the game expects us to believe) involves things he can't possibly influence, like the Chrono Cross which is made from technology in an alternate dimension where Belthasar doesn't even exist(the CC is made from the dragon tears, but the dragon tears were made by the people from the reptite dimension).

Hell, the fact that the reptite dimension even got involved was a completely separate turn of events involving their sentient planet being able to invent a dimension where Lavos doesn't exist. What is this I don't even.

The stuff with Schala is completely out of the blue and assumes you've played Trigger. Also Schala randomly decides to make some random baby(Serge) into the TD's random Arbiter because he was crying after being poisoned by a random panther demon(At first I thought the panther was Lynx time traveling or something, but no. It is in fact a regular panther demon. Think about that for a sec)? I guess those (probably millions of) other crying babies in the mean time just didn't want it hard enough.

Oh, how come when you give Kid the finger and tell her you want nothing to do with what's happening the game shoehorns you into the story again anyway? Only this time Lenna joins because.... she just kinda does.

Can I please stop now? This is getting kind of tiring. Maybe I'll do a post about the characters and/or choice and consequence later, but I really don't wanna keep going down the list of bad plot points. It's making me sad.

edited 19th Sep '11 5:14:56 PM by JotunofBoredom

Umbran Climax

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