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Hiromichi Tanaka talks about his work on the original Chrono Cross

chromo cross remaster

Hiromichi Tanaka, has taken to Twitter to reflect on his work on the original Chrono Cross game for Sony’s PlayStation system. The game was originally released in Japan in 1999 and was seen as yet another revolutionary JRPG from Square, pushing gaming visuals and engrossing storytelling. The company has now released Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition on Nintendo Switch and it is a remaster of the original, featuring HD 3D character models. refined music, and a host of other features. Here’s what Mr. Tanaka had to say about his work on the original game for Square:

“Congratulations on the completion of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition!” Tanaka writes. “Looking at the footage shown during the announcement, the aspect ratio reminded me of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, so I hope you’ll all go and play the game on a massive IMAX screen.

Jokes aside, I hear that making the remaster was a real struggle because not all the resources remained from the development of the original. We started managing all development data on internal servers from the time of Chrono Cross’s development, so all of the data was perfectly saved on the servers at the time. I would imagine that the issue must have come afterwards, when the game’s data was moved onto magnetic tape to make space on the servers, and perhaps it ended up being lost as the company moved location several times.

Anyway, the resources for areas that I worked on – GUI elements and the full frame data for cutscenes – were all saved in parts of the server that were allocated for personal storage, so they were preserved perfectly when I left the company 10 years ago. Well, it has been almost a decade since then, so I have no idea what the situation is like now!

For most of the titles I’ve worked on, I was the sole person working on the GUI. The GUI design from Chrono Cross is one of my favourites, and I would consider it to be some of my life’s finest work.

For example, during battle the skill commands spin and fly in on a metallic plank. Back in the day, I used ray-tracing software on a Macintosh II (they wouldn’t buy me one of the new iMacs) to create the material for the plank and the model data for the crystals on each end that differ by element, and then spun the graphic manually as I rendered it frame by frame. On modern-day hardware, I’m sure you’d be able to render it in real time…

Anyway, it seems that the GUI has also been given the high-res treatment in Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s changed.”

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