Chrono Ark Soundtrack, from the incomplete fan-made video game
February 10, 2013 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Alex Roe's Chrono Ark soundtrack is the most complete element of the fan-made sequel to Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross sequel video game, with almost 4 hours of music available to stream, or download for a price of your choosing. Some character and story design was done from 2009 to 2010, and some very basic gameplay was demo'd in a video in 2009, but the project has largely stalled.
posted by filthy light thief (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This is really good stuff. As far as a Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross sequel goes: God, if only.
posted by Sokka shot first at 3:08 PM on February 10, 2013

I guess this is where I mention the still surprisingly polished and ambitious (and very much dead) Chrono Resurrection.

Anyway, I'm glad that the Chrono games managed to resist becoming a franchise. They're both unique, interesting games that deserve to stand on their own rather than being diluted into a brand. Chrono Cross avoided being a sequel in any way to Trigger by just being the game Masato Kato wanted to make, not the game the fanbase wanted it to be. I like--and, more, respect--that. There are also lots of neat little parallelisms between the games, like how you can save a forest in Chrono Trigger, and you can destroy a forest in Chrono Cross. Pitchfork Pat of "those giant Final Fantasy articles" fame wrote a really good thing about Chrono Cross that talks about a lot of this stuff in depth. I also stole one of my absolute phrases for describing the sense of wonder good fiction can give you from one of his Chrono articles: "the marriage of mystery and revelation."
posted by byanyothername at 3:30 PM on February 10, 2013

Gosh, I played like two thirds of Chrono Trigger back in the day, fell in love with it, and (for reasons I can't recall) never managed to play further than that.

It is, of course, fully available for IOS these days and I plan to pick up a copy on my phone (because, the future) soon.

Also, byanyothername, is there any chance you can link to these Pitchfork Pat articles on Chrono and FF? I googled around and couldn't find anything.
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:41 PM on February 10, 2013

I'm glad that the Chrono games managed to resist becoming a franchise.

Don't look at the Wiki page on the Chrono series, or do, and hunt down Radical Dreamers, and get the fan-made language patch.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:23 PM on February 10, 2013

I would like to see a version of Chrono Cross that was completed, if that even makes sense. I always spent a lot of time getting Glenn both Excaliburs, so that he, Serge and Leah could use one of the only Triple Techs in the game, and also because Chrono/Ayla/Frog was the only correct Chrono Trigger Party.

I imported the Chrono Cross Soundtrack from Japan when I was in college, and I still listen to it from time to time. The opening theme song always makes me teary-eyed for some reason. The music in general was fantastic, especially the fact that the background music in one area and the background music in the same area in the other universe would be variations of each other.

Now I want to dig my PS2 out of the basement and see if my copy still works.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:30 PM on February 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Didn't like Chrono Trigger (it needed more Lucca, and less forcing her out in favor of characters I don't like), but fucking loved Radical Dreamers, and liked Chrono Cross. That tinny music box precursor to Dream of the Shore Bordering Another World is so rad.

Apparently, somebody on the team wanted Radical Dreamers to be included with the PSX port of Chrono Trigger or something, but Masato Kato (writer and director) didn't want it included because he didn't care much for the quality of Radical Dreamers. Madness!

I liked that Chrono Cross is less of a remake of Radical Dreamers and more of "in another world" re-telling.
posted by Redfield at 9:37 PM on February 10, 2013

sendai sleep master, the article is linked in the phrase "Chrono Cross." I probably should've picked another phrase to link from, sorry.

Radical Dreamers

Oh, yeah, I forgot about Radical Dreamers. That's another great example. Nobody has ever sat down in a room and said, "Hey, let's make Chrono Trigger 2," but people have apparently sat down in rooms and said, "Hey, let's make a text adventure loosely based on Chrono Trigger" and "Hey, let's make another RPG set in the world of Chrono Trigger but completely different in every respect." I genuinely like and appreciate that. I never want to see Chrono Trigger 2, but I like seeing the creative team members continuing to do their own thing(s).
posted by byanyothername at 10:29 PM on February 10, 2013

That is the thing that is wrong about all the fan sequels: Chrono Trigger is basically a complete story. I sort of think Chrono Cross is a sequel, where Chrono, Lucca and Marle discover the existence of a universe where their efforts fall anyway. So they learn to travel between universes to fix it, and Serge is a minor NPC in that adventure.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:15 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

So here's question: if I want to replay Chrono Cross, and I don't have a PS1/PS2 handy, do I have any options? I played through the complete game exactly once, right after it came out, and that was quite a while ago. As it's one of the rare JRPGs I've seen through to completion, it would be interesting to revisit it, but I have no idea what my options are.

...yeah, okay, I'll just look it up.
posted by Sokka shot first at 4:53 AM on February 11, 2013

Update: turns out you can totally download Chrono Cross from the Playstation Network. Sweet.
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:04 AM on February 11, 2013

I was really stressed about finals my junior year of college, so instead of studying I decided to revisit Chrono Cross over the weekend. But then I realized I didn't have a memory card. So I just played it through from start to finish in one sitting, broken briefly by naps.

I don't know if it's the nostalgia factor or the quality, but that game just feels good.
posted by mean cheez at 7:04 AM on February 11, 2013

So was Seiken Densetsu 3 ever translated and released in the states? I remember playing on a Japanese friend's Super Famicom in middle school; really fun game. (I also remember accidentally saving over a game that he had invested something like a hundred hours in. Sorry Ted!)
posted by kenko at 7:30 AM on February 11, 2013

Oh duh I'm getting my series mixed up; that was the Secret of Mana sequel. Oh well!
posted by kenko at 7:30 AM on February 11, 2013

As it made the transition from a games publisher to a crafter of experiences, Square realized that attaching stories, characters, and aesthetics to games that might be too challenging or complicated risked gumming up the experience.

This actually applies to Chrono Trigger as well, IMO. The game itself is extremely easy.
posted by kenko at 7:51 AM on February 11, 2013

Chrono Trigger is the perfect difficulty. RPGs are not a genre that does "challenge" (fair warning: not a fan of this) well. If something is too hard, usually the solution is to go run around in a circle doing the exact same thing for an hour or longer, then come back and do the exact same thing that got you killed before but this time you're Level 682 instead of Level 681. That's boring and stupid. Chrono Trigger was one of the first games in the genre to realize that that's boring and stupid and just not necessary, so instead you have skill sets you can combine in various ways and that always, always gets you through the game. I like that sooooo much better!

Also, Seiken 3 and Chrono Cross shared a lot of staff members (or at least an art director, if I remember right) so it makes sense to get them confused. I'm basically late for class or I'd look up exactly who did what because I'm a nerd who enjoys details like that.
posted by byanyothername at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

byanyothername: The guy you're thinking of is Nobuteru Yuuki. Most recently, he did Solatorobo (as well as its precursor, Tail Concerto), but he's also done designs for anime, too. He actually hasn't done too much, as far as I can tell. Definitely preferred his designs over Akira Toriyama's.
posted by Redfield at 11:25 AM on February 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pitchfork Pat of "those giant Final Fantasy articles" fame wrote a really good thing about Chrono Cross that talks about a lot of this stuff in depth.

I really enjoyed that writeup - I went into it expecting to be infused with an itch to replay the game based on a new perspective, and found out that my decade-and-change old memories were in fact spot on... Cross was a goddamn wreck of half-baked philosophy, ridiculous design choices (45 characters! none of them matter!) and terrible gameplay.

Of course, it doesn't help that CC came out in the states shortly after Planescape: Torment - which, in the arena of 'very text-based RPGs regarding the nature of identity and reality and destiny' just absolutely kicks CC's dick in the dirt.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2013

Damn beaten to the punch at the Torment mention (they might be doing an "enhanced edition" like baldur's gate and also a sequel with the Numenera setting though!).

Also isn't Final Fantasy XIII-2 a callback to the Chrono franchise? Chrono Trigger vibes all over.
posted by ACair at 6:02 AM on February 12, 2013

« Older (First) Man's (First) Best Friend   |   A free and curious woman! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments