Although I’ve spent an obscene amount of time on video games as a kid, I still didn’t consider them as my primary source of entertainment at the time. I still preferred movies and TV shows to video games. But all that changed after I practically stumbled upon Chrono Cross.
A trip down memory lane
My early gaming years were pretty much a period where I picked games based upon their covers. I didn’t actually track any gaming news or read reviews much, but I still had enough luck to pretty much randomly pick games such as Final Fantasy VI and VII, the first two Suikoden games, Metal Gear Solid, Front Mission, Gran Turismo and many, many more. While I’ve played a lot of games that are objectively classics on consoles and the PC, the first game that had a major emotional impact on me was Chrono Cross. Since I leaned towards JRPG’s during the SNES and original Playstation era, I borrowed Chrono Cross from a friend on a fateful summer day. And I became a dedicated gamer that summer.
The reasons why Chrono Cross impressed me so greatly
Chrono Cross is the sequel to Chrono Trigger, a game generally praised as being one of the best RPG’s of all times. Chrono Cross was my first encounter with the Chrono franchise, but it clearly felt like something special right from its opening. And it felt like a dream come true, in more ways than one. A lot of it has to do with the fact that Chrono Cross pretty much looks, plays and sounds like a dream. Although I’ve played a lot of fantastic games, Chrono Cross simply had such an impressive mix of art, music and story that made me spend most of my free time sitting in front of a TV screen. It was a game where certain choices could turn enemies into friends, which was especially emphasized because the game was based on the concept of parallel worlds. The soundtrack is still regarded as one of the best gaming soundtracks in existence by many fans and even professional gaming sites. The game’s general art style is simply gorgeous and is one of the main reasons why it still looks like a beautiful game 12 years after its release. Certain images from the game may look like concept art, but are actually playable locations. But it was actually the secret developer room that sealed the deal for me.
The Chrono Cross developer room
Without spoiling anything story related, a player can access a secret developer room in Chrono Cross if certain conditions are met. The developer room actually contains short messages from almost all staff members that worked on Chrono Cross. It was the first time that a game made me realize exactly how powerful human imagination can be and gave me a chance to have a tiny little glimpse at what each developer team member felt when they completed their work on Chrono Cross. The messages varied in emotion from exhilaration to melancholy about the fact that it was all over. These messages made me want to learn more about the gaming industry in general and basically turned me into a dedicated gamer. And finally, here’s a note from the game left behind by Noriko Mitose, one of the many awesome individuals that worked on Chrono Cross:
This music seems
So distant, yet so close…
From a fond dream, long ago…
They remind me of a season
How I was able to meet and accomplish something.
I hope to meet again.
A message I leave behind…