Among the many topics that came up in Square Enix’s hour-long interview with Chrono Cross Director Masato Kato was how the game featured parallel worlds, compared to Chrono Trigger‘s time travel. When discussing its development, he noted that he was “approached to create something new” and decided to do “something different this time.” He then also explained about how the conceptualization stage is one of his favorite parts, though it can mean more frustration later on when trying to actually bring said concepts to life.
Here’s exactly what Kato had to say about the concept of Chrono Cross’ parallel worlds and how they came about to contrast with Chrono Trigger’s time travel.
I was approached to create something new. Chrono Trigger was based on time travel. So when I thought about doing something different this time, I decided to make a game using parallel worlds.
Basically, I hate repeating something I’ve done before. I like trying my hand at something new, something I’ve never attempted before.
In that sense, if I had to play a game or make a game, I wanted to see what I could construct with parallel worlds. I thought about what I wanted to do next. And it made clear sense to me to go with parallel worlds.
Kato also talked about the parts of game design and development he enjoyed most when discussing Chrono Trigger’s time travel and Chrono Cross’s parallel worlds. That also led to his joking about the frustrations that can also come up as a result.
The preparation stage before making the game is the most fun. “We could do this!” “I’d like to try that!” Daydreaming and coming up with ideas are the most enjoyable part. You don’t think about the hard work at that stage. You just impulsively and continuously expand your ideas. Like, “We could do this! Or, “This would be awesome!”
Then actually having to transfer that into data drives you to tears. “Whose idea was this?” “I wish I’d never suggested this!” “Stupid me!” Every single time I drive myself to despair having to actually make it.
There was a huge volume of character speech. There are two worlds, so two versions of each NPC each leading a different life. That’s what we had to create. I didn’t realize that when we were brainstorming. But I wound up driving myself to tears as I typed in all the text.
In the same interview, Kato also discussed how the game had 40 playable characters because he added “whatever [he] wanted on a whim.”
Here’s the full Chrono Cross and Radical Dreamers interview with Director Masato Kato.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.