Chrono Cross This! (Take Two, or Two Takes?!)

Welcome to the second installment of

Chrono Cross This!

Chrono Cross! Imagine a THIS stamped over a title! Go on, imagine it, I'll give you a moment.

You can find Part 1 Here, or down below in the next paragraph, or all the way at the bottom.

The Story So Far!

So, in my last trip back to Chrono Cross, I barely played the game at all. I went through a tower dream, got bossed around by Leena, heard a lot of foreshadowing of events to come (cat demons, dragon castle, talk of fate, alternate realities. The only thing they haven't spoiled, I feel like, is the only thing that semi-connects Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross and everything being one of a bajillion parallel worlds.) Then I slaughtered an entire generation of komodo dragons, and their mother, for THREE of their scales. Then I stopped after a CG cutscene that brought me to a parallel dimension (even though I "don't know it yet".)

So, where did the story take me from there? No place interesting yet, I can tell you that.

The Story Now!

So, strange guy on the beach told me to go back to town to find Leena because she was babysitting (but wait, she had just finished babysitting to come visit me! What's going on here?!)

Ok, side tangent.

It's difficult, I believe, to not play CC and compare it, to some degree, to CT. Story and gameplay aside, some of the expectations, or, lack of expectations, that this game seems to have about the player seems.. unsettling, to me. Do they really need to foreshadow as much as they do? If they're not going to make some crazy ass 'where the fuck am I?' moment (like coming down from the mountain after getting warped back in time in CT to see that, physically, you're in the same place, but it is CLEARLY not the same place, but it's real easy to put two and two together in a meaningful way and they don't really drag out the whole 'you're in another time', they just kind of roll with it and except that you figured it out and that it's ok and that it's a big deal but that it's sort of ok. In CC, maybe it's the same way, but it feels like they're trying to be a lot more coy about it. Why do they need to drop so many hints about what's going on? If you go back to dragon rock, where you had to pass through on your way down to the beach, there are completely different enemies there now. Then when you get to the village they give you like another three or four "oh, you're in a parallel world and in this world YOU'RE DEAD!" It feels like they could have done a much better job making the reveal that you're in another world and that you're dead there in a much more meaningful way, because it seems like it's something they wanted to be a story beat that would come as a surprise.

Sorry about that. Back to the story.

Sure enough, she joined my party already!

So, I stop by the dragon rock to fight my way back to the town (because of treasure and xp) and find out that there are completely different monsters here! Eh, I'm sure the local wildlife just switched out while I was unconscious and it's the exact same place. Right? I make it back to the village only to find out, long story short, it's not the same village! Well, it IS the same village, but it's different! All of the people are different! The guy that had caught a monster fish has no fish at all and can't catch anything for the life of him! The poet girl in the restaurant gave up on poetry and is all cynical! And the chef's wife is running the place while the chef went off on an adventure! And a great fisherman hasn't been a fisherman and now worships a voodoo doll, and had a friend that had a son that died 10 years ago! And there's a different village chief! And Serge's house is owned by someone else! And a boy in the village was attacked by a cat and then drowned a couple of years later! And.. this all feels super heavy handed. So heavy handed, in fact, that the girls in the village even like a necklace made out of rainbowshells, NOT komodo scales. I get what they're going for, and hopefully this is something that they don't continue to be so forceful about, but man does it feel kind of crappy right now. Maybe the problem is just that I like talking to random NPCs though and they don't expect that you want to do that.

So, I find Leena and she explains the whole story to me about how she used to like this boy, named Serge, that lived in the village, but then he died, and she doesn't know why she's telling me all of this (other than the fact that I asked...) and then she doesn't believe that I'm Serge and she tells me that I should go visit Serge's grave up on cape howl (because for some reason this boy is the only boy that ever died of drowning and therefore is the only one that gets a grave up on some cliff overlooking the ocean/sea.) She's also very insistent about this. Off to cape howl it is.

And he's in my party too!

So I get there, fight my way to the top, then I get jumped by three guys. Three guys that are after me because a mysterious "He" said I would be here. Why bother with "He" (they even put it in quotations, yes) when even if they SAID the guys name, I would have no clue who it was. This seems pointless. Well, we're about to fight when Kid, the Australian Sch-girl, I mean, the Australian girl, shows up. Her accent is so thick and constant it makes me long for the days of Ayla and Frog's original CT accents. In fact, almost EVERYONE seems to have some kind of crappy accent, and none of them are the same. Anyhoo, we fight the guys in what is a semi-tutorial boss fight about natural colors and weaknesses.

Then I win and go back to the village to rest. Where I then also go down to the not-a-fisherman-anymore and show him a giant tooth that the other-him gave me and explain the whole thing about parallel worlds to him, he doesn't believe me (or, rather, he does, but doesn't want to admit that he's been wasting the last 10 years of his life worshiping a voodoo doll.) When I go to leave the doll comes to life! It's name is apparently Mojo, and he has a dumb as shit accent too! He likes adding -om to the end of words, randomly, and drawing words out all the time. This is growing a bit infuriating, actually, and maybe I'll bitch about it in the next installment. Anyway, he senses a destiny and joins me. So, here I am, not even two hours into the game, and I already have 3 party members. There are going to be a LOT of party members in this game. I know that, and I could piece it together even if I didn't. I'm not liking the sound of that.

This guy is not yet in the party, but I have his head.

So, I leave the village, go up to this fossil dig site. While up there I lie to some soldiers about me being an exorcist and sure I'll take care of their problem. So I climb a ladder and find a talking, moving clown skull that tells me that it knows I'm dead too and that he can't remember anything but that maybe if he found the rest of his body he'd remember, so, I agree to help him out. I'm guessing he's going to be another party member. So, four-ish party members already. Really?

I fight some dodo's and some dingo's and some creepy plant things and steal a dodo's egg and some flower and then head back down and go off to the other side where I meet... SIGH

Solt and Peppor!

No really, those are their names, Solt and Peppor (and apparently they don't have wiki pages on the site.) One is a really tall skinny knight, the other is a fat, short knight, and the one named Peppor is forced to work the word "shake" into every sentence he utters. "Shake it to him!" "Let's shake it on out of here!" this is groan inducingly bad. Anyway, it's another boss fight (by the way, these are two of the guys that jumped me back at the cliff.) This is, again, more of a tutorial boss fight than anything as Solt tries to use black magic on me (because I'm white... these racist assholes), but all he does is turn my color alignment black, meaning that I'm now weak to white magic, except they didn't bring any white magic, because they're bumbling idiots. So we kick their ass. They were considerably easier than the two seperate giant dodo's I had beat up like five minutes ago, but whatever, they're trying to be played up as incompetent.

Then I keep on going and get to the other side of this canyon and stop just outside the town of Termina, which is where I was headed.

Impressions!

And this dog SHOULD be in my party.

All right, I'm talking kind of a mess of shit about this game (there's a lot to talk shit about so far, honestly) but I don't actually hate this game. I'm still playing it, and it's enjoyable enough. I just honestly have no idea if the game was written this badly or if the localization team for the game is the one that so thoroughly helped screw the pooch here. Why does everyone and their dog (I'm not kidding about that dog part, and I'll get to that in a moment) have some stupid accent? Is it because they figure there are so many f'ing characters in this game that if each and every single one of them didn't have some kind of accent that I wouldn't be able to tell who was talking at any given time?

As for the battle system. I'm not hating that either, and I understand it pretty well by this point, even if some of the decisions don't make sense and I don't understand WHY some things happen, just that they work that way. Why, in the middle of me attacking, does the enemy get to override me? Why do enemies sometimes get to take two attacks in a row? (Like the Dodo, that will spend a turn squaking at me, will spend another action squaking, and then as soon as my action window pops up, for just a split second, it then gets to attack instead of me getting to do anything at all?) I also don't entirely think it was really necessary for them to go to such lengths in this whole element thing. It's not bad, and maybe it will get more interesting later, but it just seems needlessly involved for relatively little pay off.

He'll be in the party too at some point I bet.

The party characters.. Boy oh boy. This is something that will piss me off to no end. When you have 30 some odd characters in a game like this, they don't feel cool, they feel wasted. I won't end up caring about any of these guys. Why should I care who Mojo, the talking voodoo doll is? He just woke up and joined my party for seemingly no reason. I know nothing about him other than he loves love and talks really badly. And I know the clown skull will be a dude if I can find his body. And the Chef that's off on a journey will undoubtedly be able to join me. And then I have Kid who I 'might' care about to some degree, but, I know the story there, so, not really. The other problem I have with this sort of comes from me being a completionist. While doing some wiki work and research I found out that I already missed recruit the dog with the funny accent. I don't know if I get a later chance to recruit her or if I already messed that up and I won't ever be able to get her now or not. I know that there will be characters in this game that if I do not do specific things for, I will not be able to recruit them. I hate that. So, I'm in a position here where I have to decide if I'm going to start the game over or not so that I can get the stupid dog. I'd just like to point out - I don't care about the dog because I care about the CHARACTER of the dog, I only care about the dog because I'm a completionist that gets annoyed by things like this.

The one saving grace to this game so far, or rather, the one thing that I haven't had any real issue with yet, is the music. The music in this game is legitimately good. The CT victory music remix is "ok" (I guess they wanted it to be like the FF victory music, so, I can put up with that) and everything else music wise has been fantastic.

I'll also say the game looks better than I was expecting. Most PS1 era 3D games hold up very poorly, but this game looks pretty ok. Sure there are jagged edges and everything, but, this is really good looking by comparison to stuff like FF8 or FF7 even.

Closing It Out!

Did I mention that the "my world" town mayor had his own image, and therefore, will probably also join my party?

For those of you that have played through this game before, or at least remember the game better than I do, should I restart the game to get the dog? I figure I'm not really that far in, so restarting now wouldn't be too big of an issue. Or can I still pick the dog up later? Should I really worry about collecting all of the party members? CAN you even collect all of the party members? I know most will be a pain in the ass if I don't use a character guide for them. But, if I did do a run through where I collected them all, I could fill out all of the wiki pages on the site about them (there are a lot that are missing still, and some that have almost no information at all.) I'll probably take a small break from the game while I wait to hear back about collecting all of the companions (including the dog.) Unless I don't hear anything, then I'll just go do a bunch of research on my own.

Anyway, thanks for reading (hopefully. I can't imagine this will be a popular blog series, the episodes are kind of long and a bit drawn out and I imagine people don't care much about reading about someone playing through a game, but, hey, maybe, just maybe) Hope you join me again next time!

Edit: Here's the link to Chrono Cross This! 1! In case you haven't seen it yet.

9 Comments
10 Comments
Posted by FateOfNever

Welcome to the second installment of

Chrono Cross This!

Chrono Cross! Imagine a THIS stamped over a title! Go on, imagine it, I'll give you a moment.

You can find Part 1 Here, or down below in the next paragraph, or all the way at the bottom.

The Story So Far!

So, in my last trip back to Chrono Cross, I barely played the game at all. I went through a tower dream, got bossed around by Leena, heard a lot of foreshadowing of events to come (cat demons, dragon castle, talk of fate, alternate realities. The only thing they haven't spoiled, I feel like, is the only thing that semi-connects Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross and everything being one of a bajillion parallel worlds.) Then I slaughtered an entire generation of komodo dragons, and their mother, for THREE of their scales. Then I stopped after a CG cutscene that brought me to a parallel dimension (even though I "don't know it yet".)

So, where did the story take me from there? No place interesting yet, I can tell you that.

The Story Now!

So, strange guy on the beach told me to go back to town to find Leena because she was babysitting (but wait, she had just finished babysitting to come visit me! What's going on here?!)

Ok, side tangent.

It's difficult, I believe, to not play CC and compare it, to some degree, to CT. Story and gameplay aside, some of the expectations, or, lack of expectations, that this game seems to have about the player seems.. unsettling, to me. Do they really need to foreshadow as much as they do? If they're not going to make some crazy ass 'where the fuck am I?' moment (like coming down from the mountain after getting warped back in time in CT to see that, physically, you're in the same place, but it is CLEARLY not the same place, but it's real easy to put two and two together in a meaningful way and they don't really drag out the whole 'you're in another time', they just kind of roll with it and except that you figured it out and that it's ok and that it's a big deal but that it's sort of ok. In CC, maybe it's the same way, but it feels like they're trying to be a lot more coy about it. Why do they need to drop so many hints about what's going on? If you go back to dragon rock, where you had to pass through on your way down to the beach, there are completely different enemies there now. Then when you get to the village they give you like another three or four "oh, you're in a parallel world and in this world YOU'RE DEAD!" It feels like they could have done a much better job making the reveal that you're in another world and that you're dead there in a much more meaningful way, because it seems like it's something they wanted to be a story beat that would come as a surprise.

Sorry about that. Back to the story.

Sure enough, she joined my party already!

So, I stop by the dragon rock to fight my way back to the town (because of treasure and xp) and find out that there are completely different monsters here! Eh, I'm sure the local wildlife just switched out while I was unconscious and it's the exact same place. Right? I make it back to the village only to find out, long story short, it's not the same village! Well, it IS the same village, but it's different! All of the people are different! The guy that had caught a monster fish has no fish at all and can't catch anything for the life of him! The poet girl in the restaurant gave up on poetry and is all cynical! And the chef's wife is running the place while the chef went off on an adventure! And a great fisherman hasn't been a fisherman and now worships a voodoo doll, and had a friend that had a son that died 10 years ago! And there's a different village chief! And Serge's house is owned by someone else! And a boy in the village was attacked by a cat and then drowned a couple of years later! And.. this all feels super heavy handed. So heavy handed, in fact, that the girls in the village even like a necklace made out of rainbowshells, NOT komodo scales. I get what they're going for, and hopefully this is something that they don't continue to be so forceful about, but man does it feel kind of crappy right now. Maybe the problem is just that I like talking to random NPCs though and they don't expect that you want to do that.

So, I find Leena and she explains the whole story to me about how she used to like this boy, named Serge, that lived in the village, but then he died, and she doesn't know why she's telling me all of this (other than the fact that I asked...) and then she doesn't believe that I'm Serge and she tells me that I should go visit Serge's grave up on cape howl (because for some reason this boy is the only boy that ever died of drowning and therefore is the only one that gets a grave up on some cliff overlooking the ocean/sea.) She's also very insistent about this. Off to cape howl it is.

And he's in my party too!

So I get there, fight my way to the top, then I get jumped by three guys. Three guys that are after me because a mysterious "He" said I would be here. Why bother with "He" (they even put it in quotations, yes) when even if they SAID the guys name, I would have no clue who it was. This seems pointless. Well, we're about to fight when Kid, the Australian Sch-girl, I mean, the Australian girl, shows up. Her accent is so thick and constant it makes me long for the days of Ayla and Frog's original CT accents. In fact, almost EVERYONE seems to have some kind of crappy accent, and none of them are the same. Anyhoo, we fight the guys in what is a semi-tutorial boss fight about natural colors and weaknesses.

Then I win and go back to the village to rest. Where I then also go down to the not-a-fisherman-anymore and show him a giant tooth that the other-him gave me and explain the whole thing about parallel worlds to him, he doesn't believe me (or, rather, he does, but doesn't want to admit that he's been wasting the last 10 years of his life worshiping a voodoo doll.) When I go to leave the doll comes to life! It's name is apparently Mojo, and he has a dumb as shit accent too! He likes adding -om to the end of words, randomly, and drawing words out all the time. This is growing a bit infuriating, actually, and maybe I'll bitch about it in the next installment. Anyway, he senses a destiny and joins me. So, here I am, not even two hours into the game, and I already have 3 party members. There are going to be a LOT of party members in this game. I know that, and I could piece it together even if I didn't. I'm not liking the sound of that.

This guy is not yet in the party, but I have his head.

So, I leave the village, go up to this fossil dig site. While up there I lie to some soldiers about me being an exorcist and sure I'll take care of their problem. So I climb a ladder and find a talking, moving clown skull that tells me that it knows I'm dead too and that he can't remember anything but that maybe if he found the rest of his body he'd remember, so, I agree to help him out. I'm guessing he's going to be another party member. So, four-ish party members already. Really?

I fight some dodo's and some dingo's and some creepy plant things and steal a dodo's egg and some flower and then head back down and go off to the other side where I meet... SIGH

Solt and Peppor!

No really, those are their names, Solt and Peppor (and apparently they don't have wiki pages on the site.) One is a really tall skinny knight, the other is a fat, short knight, and the one named Peppor is forced to work the word "shake" into every sentence he utters. "Shake it to him!" "Let's shake it on out of here!" this is groan inducingly bad. Anyway, it's another boss fight (by the way, these are two of the guys that jumped me back at the cliff.) This is, again, more of a tutorial boss fight than anything as Solt tries to use black magic on me (because I'm white... these racist assholes), but all he does is turn my color alignment black, meaning that I'm now weak to white magic, except they didn't bring any white magic, because they're bumbling idiots. So we kick their ass. They were considerably easier than the two seperate giant dodo's I had beat up like five minutes ago, but whatever, they're trying to be played up as incompetent.

Then I keep on going and get to the other side of this canyon and stop just outside the town of Termina, which is where I was headed.

Impressions!

And this dog SHOULD be in my party.

All right, I'm talking kind of a mess of shit about this game (there's a lot to talk shit about so far, honestly) but I don't actually hate this game. I'm still playing it, and it's enjoyable enough. I just honestly have no idea if the game was written this badly or if the localization team for the game is the one that so thoroughly helped screw the pooch here. Why does everyone and their dog (I'm not kidding about that dog part, and I'll get to that in a moment) have some stupid accent? Is it because they figure there are so many f'ing characters in this game that if each and every single one of them didn't have some kind of accent that I wouldn't be able to tell who was talking at any given time?

As for the battle system. I'm not hating that either, and I understand it pretty well by this point, even if some of the decisions don't make sense and I don't understand WHY some things happen, just that they work that way. Why, in the middle of me attacking, does the enemy get to override me? Why do enemies sometimes get to take two attacks in a row? (Like the Dodo, that will spend a turn squaking at me, will spend another action squaking, and then as soon as my action window pops up, for just a split second, it then gets to attack instead of me getting to do anything at all?) I also don't entirely think it was really necessary for them to go to such lengths in this whole element thing. It's not bad, and maybe it will get more interesting later, but it just seems needlessly involved for relatively little pay off.

He'll be in the party too at some point I bet.

The party characters.. Boy oh boy. This is something that will piss me off to no end. When you have 30 some odd characters in a game like this, they don't feel cool, they feel wasted. I won't end up caring about any of these guys. Why should I care who Mojo, the talking voodoo doll is? He just woke up and joined my party for seemingly no reason. I know nothing about him other than he loves love and talks really badly. And I know the clown skull will be a dude if I can find his body. And the Chef that's off on a journey will undoubtedly be able to join me. And then I have Kid who I 'might' care about to some degree, but, I know the story there, so, not really. The other problem I have with this sort of comes from me being a completionist. While doing some wiki work and research I found out that I already missed recruit the dog with the funny accent. I don't know if I get a later chance to recruit her or if I already messed that up and I won't ever be able to get her now or not. I know that there will be characters in this game that if I do not do specific things for, I will not be able to recruit them. I hate that. So, I'm in a position here where I have to decide if I'm going to start the game over or not so that I can get the stupid dog. I'd just like to point out - I don't care about the dog because I care about the CHARACTER of the dog, I only care about the dog because I'm a completionist that gets annoyed by things like this.

The one saving grace to this game so far, or rather, the one thing that I haven't had any real issue with yet, is the music. The music in this game is legitimately good. The CT victory music remix is "ok" (I guess they wanted it to be like the FF victory music, so, I can put up with that) and everything else music wise has been fantastic.

I'll also say the game looks better than I was expecting. Most PS1 era 3D games hold up very poorly, but this game looks pretty ok. Sure there are jagged edges and everything, but, this is really good looking by comparison to stuff like FF8 or FF7 even.

Closing It Out!

Did I mention that the "my world" town mayor had his own image, and therefore, will probably also join my party?

For those of you that have played through this game before, or at least remember the game better than I do, should I restart the game to get the dog? I figure I'm not really that far in, so restarting now wouldn't be too big of an issue. Or can I still pick the dog up later? Should I really worry about collecting all of the party members? CAN you even collect all of the party members? I know most will be a pain in the ass if I don't use a character guide for them. But, if I did do a run through where I collected them all, I could fill out all of the wiki pages on the site about them (there are a lot that are missing still, and some that have almost no information at all.) I'll probably take a small break from the game while I wait to hear back about collecting all of the companions (including the dog.) Unless I don't hear anything, then I'll just go do a bunch of research on my own.

Anyway, thanks for reading (hopefully. I can't imagine this will be a popular blog series, the episodes are kind of long and a bit drawn out and I imagine people don't care much about reading about someone playing through a game, but, hey, maybe, just maybe) Hope you join me again next time!

Edit: Here's the link to Chrono Cross This! 1! In case you haven't seen it yet.

Posted by StarFoxA

I would NOT restart the game to get one party member. There are over forty. My first play through I only encountered like 18ish, if that. The dog probably sucks anyway. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to get every character because the story branches in so many spots.

Posted by Vyse

Nice blog!

I haven't played the game in a long time, but I'm pretty sure you missed Poshul (or whatever its name is) at this point. It doesn't really matter though because there is no way to collect all the characters in one run through. When I played this game, I had a character recruitment guide with me the whole way and I still missed a ton of characters. What I suggest you do is just play the game and don't stress over collecting characters. You will get more than enough through the story and sidequests and it will probably be more fun in the end.

Posted by TobbRobb

Don't
Start
Over
For Poshul. Out of all the retarded party members, that fucking dog is the worst. It's bad in combat, it provides no story whatsofuckingever, and it has one of the worst "accents" in the game. Fuck Poshul.
Besides, you won't get all of the party members without NG+ing it anyhow. So getting Poshul now doesn't really matter for completions sake.

Posted by FateOfNever

It sounds like the general consensus is - don't start over. So I suppose I'll keep on keeping on while I listen to today's game of the year deliberations. So, should have part 3 up tomorrow. Then I'll be gone for the weekend and there won't be a new one until early next week.

Thanks for the advice everyone (even if it does bug me a little bit knowing that I missed a character, but, if I'm going to be forced to miss some any way due to the way the game works, then, might as well start getting used to it now.)

Posted by MiniPato

You're gonna miss a lot of characters.

And don't compare CC to CT. The game stands on its own and barely relates to CT. So the less you think about CT, the more you'll enjoy the game. I first played CC because I thought the game looked cool and it is one of my favorite PS1 RPGs. But I hadn't played CT before it so I never had an bias beforehand, also I played it when it released. And don't rag on the game for being silly at times, you're still early in, stuff is light and fun and it gets weird and dark later and quite frankly I enjoy the silly characters and weird accents. If you analyze the game as you play then you'll enjoy it less. If something happens that you don't understand storywise or why a bunch of characters join you for no reason, don't go "I DON'T GET IT EXPLAIN IT TO ME RIGHT THIS INSTANT!", just go with the flow and see where the game takes you. There are a lot of characters, some minor, some major, you're not gonna use all of them so don't get wrapped up with every single character having a pivotal role because not all of them do. And as you're still early into the game, the element system isn't as involved as it will get. Eventually you'll get like 9 levels of elements with stronger level elements requiring more attacks to reach.

Posted by FateOfNever

@MiniPato: The problem with not comparing it to CT is that the game is billed as (and very loosely at the very end of the game is) a sequel to CT. It may not have turned out to be as much of a sequel as they would have wanted people to believe it was when it first launched, and it may have been more of a sequel in Japan where they got Radical Dreamers as a direct sequel to CT. To not compare them would be to not compare a sequel to its predecessor. So it's going to happen. Also, in the same vein, I wouldn't be able to play a Legend of Zelda game without comparing it to the other Legend of Zelda games. If the game can stand on its own merits, that's great. But if the next Legend of Zelda game I play is worse than the last one I played, I can't not compare them. If it's a good enough of an experience that it makes me not care about the other one(s), then it's doing something right.

I don't mind the lightheartedness over all. What does bug me though is, why have I met, let's say, 5-10 different people in this one tiny continent that all have different accents, accents that aren't even shared among the general populous? Why is this girl Australian, this blacksmith and his wife semi-gruff-European, these other guys add CHA onto their words for no reason, this voodoo doll adds -om to words at random, these knights have an accent I can't even pinpoint, etc. etc. If it was just one or two guys, I'd probably shrug indifferently at it. The fact that so many characters have accents though, accents that don't see to correlate to anything, bugs me. In CT, for example, I understood why Frog had a weird accent. It doesn't make a lot of sense since no one else around him really talks like that, but I get why he has it. I get why Ayla talks the way she does, it makes sense to me even if it's not great. The fact that so much of the cast already has weird accents or ways of talking or whatever and for apparently no reason at all on any of their accounts, is obnoxious. Maybe if it was all voiced it would be less annoying because I wouldn't have to be the one changing the way I hear the voice in my head every. single. time. any of them talk, but since I have to read all of their lines and imagine what they sound like, I constantly am trying to figure out why the hell there are so many different dialects and accents and ways of speaking for such a small area. For example, if I went down to the local supermarket in a town of about a hundred people and ten of the people in this store of about twenty people all had a different accent, I'd want to know what the fuck was going on.

I guess the best way to try and say why it bothers me so much is that it breaks the world for me. I want to get drawn into this world, to see what this world that they created is, what it's like. But when I keep meeting individuals that break that immersion, or that world building, for me, it's frustrating. Especially when it seems like it serves no purpose at all.

As for the number of characters, I know that they don't all serve a purpose, and honestly, that's a problem. Why have so many different characters if they don't serve any real purpose? So I can have a very large roster to pull from? Instead of having 40 characters, 30 of which I can't stand and hate and that serve no purpose at all, why not just have 10 much better made characters that are more fully fleshed out? Characters that I will come to care about? In CT I care about saving Lucca's mother in the past because I care about Lucca and her family and her story. I care about helping Marle out with her relationship with her father because I care about that character. I care about the relationship between Lucca and Robo. I care about Frog and his history. I care about Magus because now I know where he's coming from. I'm fine with not every character not having a major role, but when I've already met two or three characters that I have a feeling will serve no purpose to the greater story at all, and will barely have their own stories to care about, or will have any emotional attachment to them... I wonder why.

Some games can pull that off. I really love the first few Suikoden games. They're fantastic, and they have huuuuuge character rosters (108 characters each.) But the game isn't so much about personal stories as it is about the greater conflicting war story, so it feels like the personal stories don't matter as much, but more than enough of them still get touched on them enough. In CC it just feels pointless. Maybe my opinion of it will change the further I get into it. Some characters seem like they 'might' matter. Glenn, for example, seems like he has a good story somewhere around him (even if the CT reference there is a bit hard.) Guile even seems slightly interesting, or like there may be some mystery to him to be had. Mojo? Mojo feels pointless. Poshul? Seems pointless.

I'm still going to keep playing though, and I'm giving it more of a chance than what I think it may seem like for as much as I'm harping on the game. But being a sequel to one of the greatest RPGs ever made, I want to hold it to high standards. I don't want to just give it a pass. Even if I wasn't holding it to that standard I'd still be kind of hard on it, especially because some of this stuff had a real easy fix. The accents, for example, had it just had a better localization and translation job done on it, wouldn't be an issue. Other stuff, like the over abundance of characters, is something that feels completely unneeded and something that could have been tighter and better refined. Not just so that I wouldn't have to worry about trying to 'collect' as many of them as possible, but so that they could better serve the story and have a purpose. Not to mention it sounds like they kind of didn't even know what they wanted to do with the characters at some point. I mean, Guile, at a point, WAS Magus. He was straight up Magus and was going to have his own story there and everything. Then they implemented so many other characters that they realized that having him be Magus was probably just going to be lost among the clutter and rather than fix the clutter, they just turned him into part of that clutter. That feels like shitty design. Letting go of a great idea for a mediocre one is something that shouldn't have happened. But maybe, at that point, I'm just getting into what Chrono Cross and it's story SHOULD have been, because it would have been better in my opinion, rather than what Chrono Cross and its story IS. Though what the story is is real fucking crazy and kind of convoluted at the end, but, I'll get into that when I actually get there in the game.

Posted by SpaceRunaway

Just wanted to say that I'm enjoying your take on CC. I love this game, and hold it on equal ground with Chrono Trigger, although it's by no means perfect, and having so many playable characters of little consequence is still dumb. I'd be interested to know if the speech inflections in the Japanese version are toned down a bit more. I can't point to anything specifically, but I feel like you may have seen a bunch of JRPG translations around this time trying to spice up the dialogue. This is something that I could have seen really bothering me once, but I think exposure to all the stupid things that the modern Dragon Quest translations do has kind of numbed me.

Also: Suikoden II is my favorite JRPG ever.

Also: Fuck Poshul. Punt that goddamn dog off the dock.

Posted by FateOfNever

@SpaceRunaway: Thanks! I'm also rather curious if the Japanese version is quite as bad on dialogue, or if this is one of those cases where the game fell victim to the early days of localization teams thinking that, for some reason or another (reasonable or not), they needed to spice up dialogue or add flavor to it because the direct translations didn't make quite as much sense/weren't as interesting. It definitely makes me appreciate the amazing job that most localization teams do these days on games (especially Atlus.)

I will say that, as I imagine it's not going to let up any time soon (I already know that Fargo has some kind of accent, and I can't imagine the remaining like 35 or so characters will suddenly have normal dialogue), I'm sort of bordering on finding the whole dialogue thing just hilarious because of how bad it is. Right now I think it's bothering me because every time a party member pipes up I just want to smack them and tell them to shut up or learn to talk like everyone else on this island.

And, to be fair, I do know that a lot of other JRPGs around this time have some pretty miserable dialogue. I couldn't even replay through Thousand Arms because of how bad the dialogue from the characters was; whether intentional to the original game or a result of the translating, I don't know, but it drove me crazy. And I'm positive there are more examples from this time period too of dialogue just being sub-par.

I also want to say again, I imagine I sound pretty harsh on this game so far, but part of that is me really trying to temper my expectations. I'm slowly coming around on the combat (some things still irk me, and I still think it has too many components to it going at any given time, but I don't hate the system, and it seems enjoyable enough.) I also recognize that I'm in the real early hours of a JRPG, which means almost everything is going to be really slow and drawn out and "not all there yet."

I think, in the end, what I want to sort of come to a judgement on is - how is this game as a sequel to Chrono Trigger, and how is this game on its own merits. So far, it's not doing a great job of standing tall; but in fairness, the shoes left by Chrono Trigger are the size of a giant and I don't think this game could have ever lived up to its predecessor even if it was a completely different game that tried harder to live up to the reputation. But maybe that's why it is the game it is, they knew they couldn't be CT and so they didn't even try, because maybe that would have been a worse game. I'm not sure.

I also plan on probably doing a rather large blog at the end of it all giving some more thoughts on what I liked, what grew on me, what I wish would have been different, if it was as bad as I remembered, or thought it may have been when I started, so on. I just finished playing about another hour of it and I literally spent the whole time just running around Termina talking to people. The only reason I stopped when I did was because I was starting to feel fatigued of just reading dialogue for a whole hour, not because I was finding it boring or anything, I just had no idea how much more running around talking I was going to have to do, but it seemed like at least another good ten to fifteen minutes and I had to call it break time.

Posted by FateOfNever

Cross This 3 is up today! Over around here somewhere on the Chrono Cross board. That'll be the last one for a few days while I go out of town. Also debating if I want to try and keep these up at about one every day, or if I should try and spread them out a bit more. But, at least for the time being, I'll probably try to keep them going at one a day unless there's a consensus that I should make them every two or three days or once a week or so on.