Ultimania Interview – Event Team

Posted By at 2:30 AM on Monday July 20, 2009


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Room No. 1

Event Team

“Our intention was to ensure the playability wouldn’t be exhausted after one or two clears.“

※The article to the right was organized based on the input of each staff member.


We didn’t want to take a step down from the quality of the last game.

—–What process was used in making an RPG like Chrono Cross?

“First of all, Kato (the scenario writer) writes down the flow of all the events, then each event director fills in the details according to his own image. Our RPG was created in this fashion, with many event directors having responsibility, but at the same time being at liberty to create using their own vision.“

—–Was it difficult to achieve consistency with so many people working on events?

“Certainly, at times when we tried putting everyone’s work together, we came across parts that wouldn’t mesh. This time around especially scene setup seemed to cause the most difficulty, and only in the end did consistency follow.“

—–By “scene setup“ do you mean the parallel worlds?

“Home World and Another World were, in reality, very complex. Even we had times when we mixed up where events were supposed to be taking place. *laughing* When these two people talk together, the scene goes one way, but when those two talk, they don’t have the same knowledge of the circumstances, so it goes another way. We had to pay attention to all sorts of things while setting up scenes.“

—–But it’s certain that the players’ enjoyment of the game increased due to the time you put in. It’s rare to find an RPG where the dialogue changes according to the party members.

“Chrono Trigger had a good reputation because of that, and we felt that even though the number of characters had increased, to take a step down from the quality of the last game would be a bad move. Only, the task of writing messages for all the party members was close to impossible, so we introduced an automatic speech generation program (->P.76). It’s the creation of Yoshii, here. It’s an exceptionally useful program that allows us to write one message, and then if the party members are changed, the message will be run through the program and adjusted to reflect the characters’ way of speaking.“

—–That’s quite the ground-breaking program.

“In order to work with the program, event directors had a mysterious way of writing messages. “‘Person 1’ saw that person ‘Ending Word,’“ etc. Then when you’d put it into the program, you’d get “Poshul saw that person!“ The program was wonderfully convenient, but it couldn’t cover everything. For detailed events, each message had to be written by hand. That in itself was an enormous a-mount of work.

—–Because of all the troubles that must have arisen due to it being a game with a vast amount of friendly characters, where did you get the idea of having 45 possible allies (including the protagonists) in the first place?

“Around the time we began development we had plans to do a short game where we were thinking you’d be able to recruit lots of allies and enjoy the variations in the messages and events. To top it off, we’d planned to have it so that you could befriend anyone in town. Using both the battle and the talk button, you’d gradually increase your number of allies. But we limited it at the extent you’d expect, first at 64 characters and then in the end it was decreased to 45.“

—–I think even that’s more than enough. *laughing*

Actually, we’d gone as far as talking about giving each character an ending. Each ending would fork into 3, depending on the conditions, resulting in 120 in all! … When talk turned to who was going to make all of these, the idea soon died out.“ *laughing*

—–Those endings disappeared, but the multiple endings that were a feature in Chrono Trigger were succeeded anyway.

“Around the time development was nearing its final stages we decided that it just wouldn’t be a Chrono game without the endings and began to work on them. The multiple endings consist of serious finales that wrap up the scenarios of the original story, but also some slightly comical endings and endings with hidden elements. We wanted to let the players do things by themselves. There are even dark endings.“ *laughing*

—-Which ending would you like the players to see most?

“If we have to pick one, it would be the ‘Development Room’. Most of the development staff make an appearance and talk about a variety of things.“

—–It was a surprise to see that “Reset!“ from Chrono Trigger’s Development Room had undergone a revamp. *laughing*

“We think the game has a lot of highlights, that included. Take it as a sign of our playful hearts!“

There’s a secret under Zoah’s mask.

—–Were there any rejected events or the like?

“There were several events that weren’t disarded, but just couldn’t be put in due to time constraints. We wanted to have events for all the allies. We had a variety of thoughts concerning Zoah, for example.“

—–There ought to have been a scene for the Viper Room, something more than just opening chests. *laughing*

“We might not be able to talk about the official game now, but there’s a secret under Zoah’s iron mask. It’s said that his face was once injured in war and now he hides the wound with an iron mask, but in reality he’s wearing it so as not to reveal his identity. Zoah‘s role was to be that of the prince of a certain country, secretly watching over the protagonists’ doings from the beginning. If you had chosen the forest route (Slash Route) when it came time to infiltrate the Viper Room, you ought to have been able to see an event shedding light on Zoah‘s true identity.“

—–Even with the elements you weren’t able to include, Chrono Cross is still an enormous game.

“To be honest, even we were suprised upon playing the completed game. In the beginning we intended for it to be possible to clear the game in 20 hours and then have players play through it several more times to see the multiple endings. However, when we put everything together, it just got longer and longer.“

—–If you’re trying to get all the characters’ Lvl. 7 elements, you can keep playing for ages.

“There are lots of things like that. For example, after you defeat the final boss, each character says a few words, but every character in the game has something to say. Since there are characters whose words are important, try to see them all if you can!“

—–Is that something one has to clear the game dozens of times to do? *laughing*

“Yep. *laughing* Well, it does become a little easier using the save data right before the ending.“

—–No doubt there are people who will read what’s written here and continue to play Chrono Cross for a long time.

“The save data trick above is a bit of a freebie, but even during the main story, if one gets all the characters, views every scenario fork, gets all elements to Lvl. 7, and watches every ending, well, we didn’t want the game to get old after 1 or 2 times, so please, play through carefully!“

Kiyoshi Yoshii – Main Program (Event/Movie/Related/Etc.) “In my opinion we were able to implement programs that rivaled even the quality of Final Fantasy.”

Hiroki Chiba – Event (Lizard Rock/Mt. Pyre/Gaea’s Navel/ Etc.) “Play through once and you’re missing out on half the fun! I want you to continue playing for 2 or 3 clears.”

Ryouji Uchimichi – Event (Viper Manor/Chronopolis/Terra Tower/Etc.) “Even within the same event you can change the expansion of the story just by mixing up the order of the characters.”

Yuusuke Kigoshi – Event (Termina/Fort Dragonia/S.S. Zelbess/Etc.) “I really put a lot of effort into the event with Nikki’s scene. That map is the only one that was made using 3D.”

Yoshitsugu Saito – Event (World Map/Guldove/Etc.) “Speaking of caverns that differ from world to world, there may or may not be a hole worth checking out on Earth Dragon Isle.”

Ryou Tsurumaki – Map ID Data Creation & Mask Processing “Upon entering the other side of the tree, check out the mask there (the process that hides the characters).”

Mika Fukawa – Character Concept Design “Karsh was tough to design. As having a regular pretty-boy would be boring, I was told to put him in hakama!”

Kou Arai – Scenery Graphic & Map Design “I designed the maps in such a way as to make sure they weren’t pretty yet difficult to understand.”

Tomoki Chiba – Map Modeling & Menu Design “The CG of the maps was all modeled in 3D and then the best angle was chosen to be the 2D pre-rendered shot.”


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