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Author Topic: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition  (Read 1687 times)

Northerner

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Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« on: June 10, 2018, 07:22:51 am »
http://www.filedropper.com/chronotriggerusanew

This project initially began back in March of 2017 as an attempt at fixing some plot details that annoyed me, namely providing a reason the Zenan Bridge was broken on the first trip to 600 AD, an unspecified amount of jerky feeding a large contingent of soldiers and also being stupidly expensive, things like that. I had too much free time and as I did this I decided flat out rewriting the dialogue, though not the story, would be a fun exercise in our richly expressive English, as well as a method of passing time.



Once I started, I got too lazy to stop, and about a month and a half later I found that I had altered almost every single line of dialogue up to immediately after Magus joins the party. But then I decided it was pretty arrogant to think I could do this better than it already was, and stopped. Every couple of months, typically in my cups, I'd run through the whole thing and think how much better it actually did feel to me. I'd change some line of dialogue and forget about it for some time.

Along with my initial reason, my purpose was not to rewrite the story, but to emphasize and refocus the themes already present, provide for more consistent characterization, remove generic, cliched dialogue that no person would ever actually say (Though being a JRPG, that simply cannot be done completely.), and add a greater depth to the relationships between characters and to the events we bear witness to in this story we so love.



Though I don't think of it as fan-fiction, some plot details are altered to benefit a more cohesive and impactful narrative. At times though, it is to create a inferred lore, or to expand upon what lore is already there to work with.
Three sources were compared constantly in it's creation: The original English script, the DS script, and the hopelessly literal re-translation from the Chrono Compendium (Though a fantastic reference for a line's original intent!) By far it is closest to the original English script, though Crono's trial is taken almost directly from the DS script. That required little change. By far the most changed are the Middle Ages and the Kingdom of Zeal.

There are some parts that are currently empty, being the Jet Bike Race and the dream immediately following the fight with Magus. They won't be empty forever though.


Let's take a quick look at Robo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN9J6vmL82w

As he was originally presented to us, Robo was very much an under developed character, despite there being quite a lot to work with. Like the rest of the living in 2300 AD, Robo too, is a victim of Lavos. Perhaps more so than anyone else in 2300 AD. Upon reactivating, he has lost everything and everyone he ever had. The English scripts deeply neglect Robo, and the original Japanese script grants him something below C3P0 in relevance and transforms him into something more like Jar Jar Binks by saying stupid shit without stopping. Ever.

Many, I hope, will recognize some aspects of the above video being derived from a scene from Terminator 2. A deleted scene, one that should not have been. Applied to Robo, it is taken in the opposite direction. Robo, being Prometheus, was meant to consort with and mingle about living people. Having lost all, would not the possibility of turning things off, shutting down new feelings, become a fervent wish? For a robot, it is not a question to be left to philosophers but a legitimate, physical temptation to tangle with. Couple of switches, screws, and buttons and it would be done.

But, let's not have him ask for his memory wiped, that's too obvious and generic. Besides, few would actually want to lose bad memories at the price of good ones.

Enter Zeal.

Kajar fully explored: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43TCsRdXHII



"Brevity is the soul of wit." said Shakespeare. But to the great and noble people of Zeal brevity is an unspoken (In being unspoken, they might in fact say that's part of the problem!) denouncement of the certainty that they will reach immortality. For them it is the beginning of ostracization. To not ornament your pronouncements is somewhat uncouth, a tactless implication that there is some kind of need to not make ones worldly thoughts drawn out and fully explored when they believe they will quite literally have all the time in the world. The people of Zeal have seen a continent rise, can work what are more or less miracles, and no doubt have accomplished other assorted wonders. Is it so far fetched for them to actually believe they can unravel the secret of immortality? I would have liked to have taken the general verbosity of Zeal further still, but limited space in the dialogue banks present real, impassable barriers.



It is most evident in Belthasar. Consider please, the actual despair of going from Zeal to the misery that is the 24th century, the Forsaken Age.

Keepers Dome before pendant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7YtQZxCkhk

After Pendant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vACwQfDI2A



Zeal is a land of vibrant and contrasting colors, more flamboyant than any other period the party visits. Appropriately, the enchanting thing about Zeal is not only in what is said, but in the contrasts of what is not said. They display a natural curiosity yet seldom question the direction they are going or what exactly are the moral foundations they have built their kingdom upon. It is the dreams yet to be realized that the people of Zeal concern themselves with, and not the things behind them or even around them. Not often, anyway. Gone is the generic and boring trope of using the Earthbound Ones as slave labor. This was barely elaborated on in the original script and was not at any not point actually visually encountered and affirmed. Something that bland and richly malicious is not needed to establish that Zeal is headed down the wrong path. It is replaced instead with something perhaps even worse but certainly not as loud, a callous apathy. The Earthbound Ones are now beneath contempt and are simply seldom thought of at all.

Magus at The North Cape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L9d_Bbv8OQ

And because I'm a tease, the party confronts Magus in 600 AD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFENruc09SY

More to come...

Thoughts so far?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 01:40:00 am by Northerner »

Kiyoshi Aman

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 12:30:09 pm »
"Denied the release of it is funeral"? ;)

Could use some editing passes (as in, by an actual editor).

Northerner

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 04:14:13 pm »
"Denied the release of it is funeral"? ;)

Could use some editing passes (as in, by an actual editor).

It certainly does. I wouldn't call it complete. There are still numerous little nuances that like that, eg. many names are still in the all caps format, simple punctuation errors (Especially overuse of ellipsis), and a few areas just feel like they need a complete revision, namely Azala's death and a lot of post Magus middle ages.






Chronosplit

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 05:14:15 pm »
I'm honestly intrigued by the premise here.  Though I do love how CT's narrative is mostly to the point and focused, there were times when working on my project when I noticed there were some elements that could do with work far beyond it.  I might be giving this a run in time, I'm curious about what's been added in.

(side note: this recent wave of CT hacking here is looking better all the time!)

Mauron

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 07:09:39 pm »
It feels like a faithful expansion of the game to me. Keep it up.

Quote
(side note: this recent wave of CT hacking here is looking better all the time!)

I'm a fan of this too.
Mauron wuz here.

Northerner

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 01:32:33 pm »
The original post has been updated with a video.

But, for the lazy, I'll also just include it here:

Let's take a quick look at Robo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN9J6vmL82w

As he was originally presented to us, Robo was very much an under developed character, despite there being quite a lot to work with. Like the rest of the living in 2300 AD, Robo too, is a victim of Lavos. Perhaps more so than anyone else in 2300 AD. Upon reactivating, he has lost everything and everyone he ever had. The English scripts deeply neglect Robo, and the original Japanese script grants him something below C3P0 in relevance and transforms him into something more like Jar Jar Binks by saying stupid shit without stopping. Ever.

Many, I hope, will recognize some aspects of the above video being derived from a scene from Terminator 2. A deleted scene, one that should not have been. Applied to Robo, it is taken in the opposite direction. Robo, being Prometheus, was meant to consort with and mingle about living people. Having lost all, would not the possibility of turning things off, shutting down new feelings, become a fervent wish? For a robot, it is not a question to be left to philosophers but a legitimate, physical temptation to tangle with. Couple of switches, screws, and buttons and it would be done.

But, let's not have him ask for his memory wiped, that's too obvious and generic. Besides, few would actually want to lose bad memories at the price of good ones.

More to come...

Chronosplit

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 08:45:49 pm »
I'm actually impressed about how that video read, I really didn't see some of that coming.  I must say this has real potential.

At the end of the game I ended up judging Robo as a little closer to Data from Star Trek, due to the emotions reference (though it was a throwaway comment that wasn't in the original script, I put that and the Fiona sidequest together in my mind).  The idea of Robo having a learning computer ties into the idea I had too, and I'm already beginning to enjoy Robo from this.

EDIT: also just noticed, "the gates right outside."  Should be gate's, right?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 09:14:40 pm by Chronosplit »

the_E_y_Es

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 07:55:01 am »
I'm going to be honest here, I don't like it. Lucca and Robo share the same speech pattern. If you remove the names from the dialogue boxes you cant' tell them apart. Expanding the story/dialogue is cool, but make sure the characters retain their individuality.

Chronosplit

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 09:26:53 am »
I'm going to be honest here, I don't like it. Lucca and Robo share the same speech pattern. If you remove the names from the dialogue boxes you cant' tell them apart. Expanding the story/dialogue is cool, but make sure the characters retain their individuality.
I agree with that point actually.  Granted Robo was meant to interact with humans, but personalities are very important in this case.

andrewclunn

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 11:33:39 am »
I'm very curious how you handled Dalton.  He would be the bane of any script edit meant to take the story and characters more seriously.

Northerner

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 03:46:28 pm »
I'm very curious how you handled Dalton.  He would be the bane of any script edit meant to take the story and characters more seriously.

Dalton was and is a constant source of frustration for this thing I am doing.

Right off the bat in the original script he is introduced with exactly the kind of annoying dialogue I set out to fix. He asks the guards if the Black Bird is all good, they answer in the affirmative, then he says "Of course it is, you idiot!" Why even ask the question? Did he really take the time to come all the way from the palace specifically to check in on this giant piece of machinery that he apparently knew was all hunky dory anyway? Did he make the trek specifically to admonish these random no one in particular guards?



The idea of him threatening to kill Schala when the Mammon Machine will not do the things they want without her had to have been delivered straight off the short bus. Probably by someone who also hit their head exiting it. Whose mother forgot to strap on their helmet that particular morning. It defies any possible explanation other than lazy writing or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and I simply cannot wrap my brain around it.

To add insult to the injury this very stupid thing does to the players suspension of disbelief, the positioning of, and the actions taken by the party sprites in response to this, specifically the fact they draw and then put their weapons away after Dalton's sprite turns to them in response, render it visually distinct that this is the only thing he could be doing, so I'm unable to just explain it away by altering the dialogue in such a fashion to imply he is doing something else. :banghead:



Thankfully, despite his presence, the fight against him in Zeal Palace, and his lines in the Ocean Palace permitted him to not take away from the seriousness of a very major plot event.

I tried so many different iterations of him post Ocean Palace. None of them really worked. The fact that he breaks the 4th wall in such a fashion that is visually distinct again does not make this easier. Though I am mostly satisfied with what changes were made to his appearance in the Village Commons, In the end, much of what he says on board The Black Bird is not significantly altered.



There's only so much that can be done. Dalton's behavior is so consistently inexplicable and dumb all you really can do is fix what you can, then roll with and try to play off of what you can't and hope for the best.

I'm going to be honest here, I don't like it. Lucca and Robo share the same speech pattern. If you remove the names from the dialogue boxes you cant' tell them apart. Expanding the story/dialogue is cool, but make sure the characters retain their individuality.

This is, to an extent, intentional. Robo is clearly closer to Lucca than any other, and it is another element that is meant to play off of
the learning computer quality. It is in keeping to their parting ways in the best ending in the original script, wherein Robo tells Lucca what she taught him, and as is intented, a strengthening of character themes already present. It is going to be contemplated and elucidated upon much more deeply in the scene after Lucca travels back in time and saves her mother. That's not in there yet.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 01:50:06 am by Northerner »

andrewclunn

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 10:34:21 pm »
So you just have Dalton threaten to kill Janus instead, right?  No, don't spoil anything for me.  I'll be interested to play this when it's ready.

Northerner

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2018, 01:36:15 am »
Enter Zeal.

Kajar fully explored: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43TCsRdXHII



"Brevity is the soul of wit." said Shakespeare. But to the great and noble people of Zeal brevity is an unspoken (In being unspoken, they might in fact say that's part of the problem!) denouncement of the certainty that they will reach immortality. For them it is the beginning of ostracization. To not ornament your pronouncements is somewhat uncouth, a tactless implication that there is some kind of need to not make ones worldly thoughts drawn out and fully explored when they believe they will quite literally have all the time in the world. The people of Zeal have seen a continent rise, can work what are more or less miracles, and no doubt have accomplished other assorted wonders. Is it so far fetched for them to actually believe they can unravel the secret of immortality? I would have liked to have taken the general verbosity of Zeal further still, but limited space in the dialogue banks present real, impassable barriers.



It is most evident in Belthasar. Consider please, the actual despair of going from Zeal to the misery that is the 24th century, the Forsaken Age.

Keepers Dome before pendant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7YtQZxCkhk

After Pendant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vACwQfDI2A



Zeal is a land of vibrant and contrasting colors, more flamboyant than any other period the party visits. Appropriately, the enchanting thing about Zeal is not only in what is said, but in the contrasts of what is not said. They display a natural curiosity yet seldom question the direction they are going or what exactly are the moral foundations they have built their kingdom upon. It is the dreams yet to be realized that the people of Zeal concern themselves with, and not the things behind them or even around them. Not often, anyway. Gone is the generic and boring trope of using the Earthbound Ones as slave labor. This was barely elaborated on in the original script and was not at any not point actually visually encountered and affirmed. Something that bland and richly malicious is not needed to establish that Zeal is headed down the wrong path. It is replaced instead with something perhaps even worse but certainly not as loud, a callous apathy. The Earthbound Ones are now beneath contempt and are simply seldom thought of at all.

Magus at The North Cape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L9d_Bbv8OQ

And because I'm a tease, the party confronts Magus in 600 AD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFENruc09SY

andrewclunn

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Re: Yet Another Chrono Trigger Hack: A Premonition
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 08:21:02 am »
A small recommendation.  I always thought the near complete absence of children in Zeal should be justified.  After all progeny are the comforting trappings of legacy for those facing their own mortality.  What need have the people of Zeal, who will surely taste of everlasting life, for such temporal corporeal solace?