Following reports that beloved PlayStation RPG Chrono Cross may have a remaster on the way, another unrelated official news item is helping to boost Chrono nostalgia even more. Chrono Cross gets its first crossover event ever by appearing in mobile JRPG Another Eden, which begins on December 9th.
Of all the games in the world that Chrono Cross can appear in, Another Eden is probably the most appropriate choice. Officially titled Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space, the free to play adventure is a collaboration between Masato Kato and Yasunori Mitsuda, who both worked on Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. If you’ve played Another Eden at all, you’ve probably noticed a number of parallels with the Chrono games, ranging from the thematic (it’s a time travel game, fine) to the specific (there’s a talking frog named Cyrus, and a character , who looks suspiciously like Lucca by the name of Dr. Ashtear).
But this crossover event goes beyond cheeky references. “Complex Dream” takes place in a parallel timeline, where another Eden hero Aldo fails to defeat his opponent, Beast King, and introduces Chrono Cross characters including Serge, Kid and Harle into Aldo’s world. A piece of promo art shared with the announcement suggests that we may also see people like Lynx, Glenn and Starky. Kato writes the story where Mitsuda composes new songs and remixes old favorites. And the crossover event will include multiple endings, voice actors for Serge (Ashton Frank), Kid (Sheena May) and Harle (Shazia Nicholls) and introduce new fighting mechanics from Chrono Cross such as Star Levels, Elements, Combo Techs and a New Game + mode.
Chrono Cross, which will appear anywhere in the year 2021, is a pretty big deal considering how quiet the Chrono series has been since Cross’ release in 1999. It was certainly a big deal for Another Eden game director Daisuke Takeshima , who tells me that he had been discussing a possible Chrono collaboration with his colleagues since Another Eden’s launch in 2017.
As Takeshima relates, Another Eden was created for the purpose of “reproducing the ‘good old RPGs of our youth’ on modern devices with content that is released regularly and without time constraints, allowing players to play at their own pace.” And Kato and Mitsuda’s involvement set the pump in motion, both internally and by associations, ensuring that a number of Another Eden players were already Chrono fans.
From there, it only required a pitch to Square Enix, who said yes. Again, the involvement of Kato and Mitsuda was critical, and Chrono Cross character designer Nobuteru Yuuki was willing to come on board to oversee the new designs.
“I also like to think that Another Eden’s previous crossovers, which were developed with tremendous respect for crossover titles in terms of story and game systems, helped make this crossover happen,” Takeshima adds.
But with the weight of the Chrono franchise and the distance from its original release comes some hefty expectations. It’s the first time we’ve seen Serge and the company in two decades, and the Chrono games often top the list of “best RPGs” and even “best games ever”. In addition, the team needs to make sure that people who have not played the 20+ year old RPG but love Another Eden are able to understand what is going on. So yes, says Takeshima, he is excited, but he also feels some pressure.
“Chrono Cross has a lot of dedicated fans, and I’m a fan of the Chrono series myself,” he says. “No matter how hard we worked on the crossover, I always felt we could push further.
“This story is written by Masato Kato himself, and the characters, combat system, music and direction were all created carefully and meticulously by our development team, who have great respect for Chrono Cross.”
A particular challenge, Takeshima notes, is the difficulty of bringing Serge, a silent protagonist, into a world where he is no longer controlled by the player and therefore should have some dialogue. “In this crossover, he comes across to the world of Another Eden and has his own lines,” he says. “Fans may find it uncomfortable if he talks too much, but if he has a lot fewer cues than Kid and Harle, he might not stand out, so it was a tough balancing act.”
He later adds that another challenge was to incorporate other Chrono Cross elements that were unknown to Another Eden, such as elements and field effects, while remaining true to the original. On the other hand, Takeshima says the character design was “relatively smooth” despite the challenge of adapting Chrono Cross’ characters to Another Eden’s distinctive art style.
“The proportions are different from the original, and the 3D design had to be incorporated into 2D, but I think we did well to duplicate the characters given the limitations,” he says. “We had Mr. Yuuki, who designed the original characters, to oversee the 3D rendering of the cinematic trailer for this crossover. We put a lot of care and respect into the rendering, and he approved the first draft without any feedback, so that’s something. , we are proud of. ”
One question Chrono fans may have when entering Complex Dream is exactly how “canon” the events that take place are for the crossover characters. Both Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger make use of alternate timelines and “other” versions of places and characters, raising questions of reality and truth and possibility. Takeshima suggests that the same themes are likely to come into play again in the crossover.
“In universes that allow time travel, history changes and parallel worlds, it’s hard to say what would be considered ‘canon’ or ‘true’. I think one of the good things about the Chrono series is that there are as many stories as there are players and there are many theories to be made.
“In Chrono Cross, these many branches of history are actually all ‘canon’, and it is not up to us to decide what is canon or not, as each player’s experience is different. In Another Eden’s world, a parallel world exists in the crossover ‘Complex Dream ‘. I look forward to hearing what everyone’s interpretations are for Serge and the world building in this crossover adventure. ”
Another Eden x Chrono Cross screenshot
An even more immediate question that fans might have, especially after all the rumors last week, is whether this could be Square Enix’s end to an announcement of a remake or remaster. Takeshima hopes so, but he does not know. He works for Another Eden developer Wright Flyer Studios, not Square Enix, but tells me he’s a “big fan” of the Chrono series, who has been waiting for new Chrono content just like the rest of us, and is happy to be a part of bringing the game back in crossover form.
His response to my query about a possible Chrono Trigger crossover with Another Eden in the future comes with a similar urge not to read too much into things. But given the fervor with which he and the team pursued the Cross-crossover (Cross-over? Sorry, I want to see myself), Takeshima’s love for Trigger may indicate optimism for more Chrono in Another Eden in the future.
“Chrono Trigger is a beloved title and it is true that many fans have asked for a crossover. Personally, I have played Chrono Trigger many times along with Chrono Cross. I have many fond memories of it, so I wholeheartedly sympathize with those who want the crossover to happen, even if the decision is not mine alone.
“I do not want to make everyone’s hope up to expecting anything – what I can say now is that I hope as many people as possible can enjoy the Chrono Cross crossover.”
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.