(Originally posted on my MySpace Blog on May 15, 2006.)
A new chapter of Chrono Trigger Omega has just been posted! Check that shit out!
Wait...you have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? Nor will most of you care, but I'll explain the short of what CTO is: a fan-fic that I've been working on for about a decade now, but was too lazy to put it on paper or print. Its a crossover amongst some anime, video game, and at least one cartoon most of you are familiar with. As I posted before, I've been on a creative streak lately and finally got around to getting my ass in gear getting things produced.
I'm looking forward to any CONSTRUCTIVE criticism I can get, so if you take the time to read it (and I so hope you do), I implore you to leave your comments here or better yet on Fanfiction.org where the continuing saga Chrono Trigger Omega will be posted. Inconveniently, to do that, you'll have to register with the site, but its free and won't take too much of your time.
What is CTO about exactly? That's where the story gets long
(Those that want to tune out at this point and go read my fan-fic are more than welcome to. I tend to run off at the mouth when I'm reminiscing, but I'll get to the point eventually. ^_^)
Chrono Trigger Omega
1996, Anno Domini. I was fresh out of high school and enrolled in a technical school when the video game company, "SquareSoft" (now called "SquareEnix" since Japan's two most potent RPG makers and former rivals joined forces two years ago) dropped a Role-Playing Game (or RPG) on our shores unexpectedly. Back then, RPGs came far and few between in the states, so the appearance of any was of great importance to the collective nerds of the United States. This game was "Chrono Trigger", a game that was produced under the wildest of circumstances. Way before Square and "Enix" had put down their swords and made sweet corporate love, they were bitter enemies. You know like "Nintendo" was with "Sega". "Capcom" and "SNK" too, although their union made for one of the greatest moments of my pathetic life. God, what happened to good old video game company rivalries? Seems as if every development house is making strange bedfellows nowadays.
Well, at least "Konami" and Capcom still hate each other. If those two pair up, what's next? A God & Satan collaboration?
Most game magazines of that time previewed Chrono Trigger as an import game, explaining it to be the most anticipated RPG to come around in a long time. The talent behind it was a dream come true for most Japanese gamers, with game developers from Enix teaming up with producers from Square to create an adventure that would be illustrated by one of the most popular manga artists of all-time. If I was Japanese, I would have been excited too: the creative teams behind the RPG series that causes Japan to shut down for a day ("Dragon Quest" - formally known stateside as "Dragon Warrior") and the ones that created the greatest RPG of all-time ("Final Fantasy VI") were combining efforts with the manga-ka that brought the world "Dragon Ball Zeta" (Akira Toriyama). Love it or hate it, there was a lot of promise in the dream project that was Chrono Trigger and it didn't disappoint.
But there was no chance of it coming to the US. Or so we thought.
SquareSoft changed their minds at the last minute and dropped limited copies of Chrono Trigger on our shelves later on that year, leaving scrubs scrambling to get a piece of the action. Needless to say, I was one of them. Playing through this epic of nonsensical time travel and mystical adventure, I rocked that game until I landed all ten endings and the "New Game Plus". What the latter turned out to be was a special mode that allowed you to start the game over as powerful as you beat it previously, making a second quest for alternate endings disgustingly easy and irresistibly fun. Every RPG should have this feature, yet too little to this day do. The game might not have been perfect, but it wasn't meant to be, having several endings that poked fun of the game and its creators as well. They wanted to make it a fun romp and they succeeded, bestowing up me one of the greatest gaming experiences that I can remember.
"It's About Time" was the catchphrase of the game, and not only did it echo the sentiments of the gamers around the world that were blessed with it, but the major plot of Chrono Trigger as well.
A subject that has been done to death, I know, but I've always been a sucker for it after all, "Time After Time" is a classic and "Back to the Future" is one of my favorite trilogies of all time. (Guess it goes to show what kind of tastes I have...) Chrono Trigger embodied the same kind of adventure and tongue-n-cheek humor that those movies had, making me feel right at home. "Crono", the quiet yet valiant hero was who you started with. On his small world, its New Years Day, 1000 A.D. and his village is in an uproar celebrating the turn of the century (although technically that wont happen for another year). The "Millennia Fair" - a carnival in honor of the special day - is in full swing at the north end of town and his single-yet-cool-as-hell mom ("Gina") sends you off to it with mad cash (if you play your cards right) and tells you to have a good time.
He goes to the event looking to his best friend and mad inventor, "Lucca Ashtear", but as fate would have it, he literally runs into a mysterious blonde named "Marle" and causes her to lose her pendant, which is very special to her. Once he helps her find it, she takes a shine to you and asks to spend the rest of the time at the festival with her since she's a "stranger" in town. You both go to the spectacle going on at the northernmost point of the festival and find Lucca and her equally mad-inventor father, "Taban", showing off their latest invention - a transporter.
Mishaps occur when Marle excitedly volunteers for the first test of a living person to go from one side of the transporter to the next. When the transport is underway, the pendant she's wearing causes the device to malfunction and a portal appears, pulling her into it. The usually stoic Crono is freaked out by this along with Lucca, Taban, and the other onlookers. However, our boy steps up to the task of getting Marle back wherever she's gone, picking up the pendant that she dropped in the transporter when the portal pulled her away. The same thing occurs and he's whisked away through the disruption in space and time with little concern to where he ends up, just as long as he can get Marle back.
Figuring out what the problem was, Lucca uses the pendant as a focus in the machine and send herself to Crono's aid and they both realize what they traveled through. Time itself - 400 years prior. With Marle nowhere to be found they both set out to find and bring her back to where they all belong.
And that where the fun starts, they eventually do get Marle back, but in doing so unravel the mystery behind her. They also meet friends along the way as their time-traveling days dont end there. "Frog" - a man changed into a frog-human through sorcery that at one time was once a knight. "Robo" - a robot in the wasteland of a future that our heroes slide to. "Ayla" - a cavewoman and leader of her tribe who assists Crono and the bunch when they discover the cause of the planets dismal future is in the distant past. And who could forget everyones favorite: "The Magus" - a dark individual who cursed Frog with his transformation in the first place and has his own agenda in the crisis that threatens the planet. Throughout the game, you make decisions that will affect the future and the overall outcome of the game hence the ten different endings found in Chrono Trigger. Early in the game, your even put on trial because of your actions at the Millennia Fair, so if you do play the game watch what you do there. ^_^
For me to go on about the game would take away all the surprises if you plan on playing it. However, if you want to know more without experiencing it yourself, Wikipedia has the hook-up:
The First Crossover:
1985, Anno Domini. At the tender age of 8, my best friend at the time, Robert Stiedley - introduced me to the joy of writing. Recently moving to Key West, FL as part of a naval family, I was going through the motions that any kid would that constantly had to pull up stakes just when he/she was just getting grounded where they were. On top of missing my old home in Jacksonville, FL and my old friends, I had just submitted myself to a TV series that would change myself forever.
"Robotech" would forever make myself an anime fan, although it wasn't the first anime I'd ever watched. I had been exposed to "Voltron" ("Hundred Beasts King Go Lion") and "Transzor Z" ("Mazinger Z") the year prior, and there was the plethora of cartoons that were developed domestically but animated by contracted Japanese studios. "Transformers", "ThunderCats", "M.A.S.K.", "Gummi Bears", and even the real American hero, "GI Joe", had most of their episodes produced from the land of the Rising Sun. The eps that weren't were probably fresh from their neighbors in South Korea.
Not only did Robotech have the same distinct style that Voltron & Transzor Z - displaying characters with big eyes, generic mouth movement, static frames of animation, and the trademark "speed lines" effect, but it happened to be a serial. Much like a soap opera set in space with giant transformable mecha and aliens, the story continued from episode to episode, unlike the episodic cartoons I was used to watching. The aforementioned shows all applied to that model. That series captured my imagination, but I was soon separated from it when we had to relocate to Key West only 45 episodes deep in a show that was 85 episodes long.
I made fast friends with Robert after moving to the "Southernmost Point in the Continental United States". Living in Naval Housing, all the kids were pretty close knit, and growing up in the age of ingeniously marketed toys (through animation, of course), we all had our share of "He-Men", "Robotix", "Jedi", etc. We, along with other friends, would come up with the most nonsensical story lines that would crossover toys of different franchises in an all-out war. Our favorite paring at the time though were "Joes" and Transformers - the staple of most young boys growing up in the 80s.
Apparently some other folks were on the same wavelength. At the time, Rob & I were avid comic book readers and when we caught an advertisement in an issue of Marvel's series that they were to the bring to pass the very idea we dreamed about, he and I 'bout lost our damn minds. "Transformers vs. GI Joe" was what they called it - a four-part miniseries uniting good guys against bad guys from both sides in a battle that would rock the planet. It rocked our world at least, although now that I think back about it, the story was pretty silly. The concept of the event became more exciting to me then the event itself, in the long run.
As for Robotech, I had a premonition that it wouldn't air in Key West, and I was horrified at the fact that I was right. The island only received one syndicated station from Miami at the time, and it was just my luck that Robotech didn't show on it. At least we got other cartoons, but even if we didnt, they all still aired on WGN (from Chicago) which was carried on Cox, our cable provider.
In 86, Rob had asked me out of the blue if I had heard of something called Robotech and I almost snapped my back, back-flipping. He picked up a few comics of the "Macross Saga" from the shop after finding the covers interesting. I commenced to run off at the mouth about what I remembered seeing of the series, which was most of Macross and the first handful of episodes from the second series, "Southern Cross". I didnt even know there was a third series called the "New Generation", but after Bobby found the treasure of our short lifetimes - "Robotech Art 1" - there was nothing about that series we didn't know.
"Art 1" was a guide to every chapter of the show and included artwork, character bios, and behind the scenes information about Robotech. Most importantly, it introduced us both to the term that would plague my existence to this day, "Anime" - or what they used to call "Japanimation". I still have a copy of that book, my third since I lost two others. I'm guarding this one with my life. ^_^
With the knowledge we had acquired from "Art 1" and the comics and inspired by the monumental event that was Transformers vs. GI Joe, we decided on penning our own crossover - "Robotech vs. Voltron". Robert, having already written short stories inspired by the original "Star Wars" trilogy & old school "Star Trek", was familiar with the pen, writing his own version of the crossover in no time, while I struggled with my own. However, I eventually finished mine, but it paled in comparison to how adult and graphic his one was. If you thought the story in Transformers vs. GI Joe was silly, then my version of Robotech vs. Voltron was fit for pre-schoolers. I'm really critical of myself, and despite the fact that I was nine but , honestly, anyone would have thought that stuff was terrible. Then again, I'm sure Rob would have felt the same about his own work at the time. We were just kids after all.
Although I'd moved several places since then, the writing bug had never left me, continuing to write short stories and more crossovers of my favorite franchises of the day. But when I reached my senior year in high school, I came to the realization that no matter what I wrote, none of it would ever spark the attention of anyone that would pour money into producing it. I mean, really, you know how much cash it would take to make an animated series with different characters from assorted properties. Every company behind every character would want a piece of the pie as well as charge a bundle to even license the use of them. For a while, I stopped writing altogether, thanks to my main inspiration for writing being DOA due to lack of confidence.
The Chaos Continues:
Graduating high school in 1995, and starting my education at technical college, halfway through my run at "ITT Technical Institute", I was exposed to the wonder that was Chrono Trigger. The production of that game was an amalgam in itself. Honestly though, the 1990s was a decade littered with crossovers especially in the video game world.
SNK (or "Shin Nihon Kikaku") had done it amongst its own properties when the company debuted an upgrade to their fighting game smash, "Fatal Fury 2" ("Garou Densetsu 2") called "Fatal Fury Special". There was nothing uncommon to a fighting game upgrade in those days, after all Capcom were the masters of it with the "Street Fighter II" series. What made "Special" so special, was that if you did well enough in the game, you would reach a special last boss at the end of your journey, namely "Ryo Sakazaki", a character from their other popular fighter franchise, "Art of Fighting" ("Ryuko no Ken"). Beating him sometimes took an act of God, but that was no surprise since the game was from SNK - a developer that was notorious for creating insanely difficult last bosses for their games.
Shortly after that the madness accelerated at SNK, having the last boss of the first Fatal Fury game, "Geese Howard", appear as the final obstacle in the sequel of Art of Fighting. This established a connection between both series and opened the idea to do more with the universe SNK had created with their fighting games. In 1994, the fighting game fanatics, myself included, were given something they had been hoping for since Ryo's appearance in FF Special.
"The King of Fighters '94" was SNKs first attempt at a major crossover, combining characters from Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, "Ikari Warriors" (yep the same game that was on the NES & in arcades), "Athena", "Psycho Soldier", and SNKs sports games all properties they've developed throughout the 15 years that the company had been producing titles. On top of that, new characters were introduced, including the games main character, "Kyo Kusanagi" - who would go on to become one of the most popular players in fighting game history. The roster of "KoF '94" was an eclectic mix, but one that worked as gamers around the world fell under the games uncommon charm. "KoF '95" appeared the following year and introduced another fighter that would be a rival for Kyo, "Iori Yagami" - a character that would become more recognized than Kusanagi himself.
As the KoF series continued, year after year, rival Capcom didn't sleep, upping the ante on the Crossover genre. Fans prayers had been answered when the company obtained the license from Marvel to develop games with their series. Not only did they create adventure games - based on different comics - for the "Super NES", they did the inevitable. "X-Men: Children of the Atom" was an over the top fighting game that broke many conventions that fighting games established and made gameplay simple and more accessible to the casual gamer. And of course, its cast were characters from the X-Men animated series of the mid 90s, even featuring the voice talents from the series. The following year, in 1995, Capcom introduced its sequel, "Marvel Super Heroes" and its roster sported more of the big names fans wanted to see. "Incredible Hulk", "Captain America", and "Spidey" were all in this time around, while they brought back "Psylocke", "Wolverine", "Juggernaut", and "Magneto" from "X-Men: CotA" for some more fun.
Now that I think about it, 1996 was the shit. There was Chrono Trigger. One of the best KoFs, '96 respectively, had debuted. But to top it all off, Capcom had finally dropped a gem on us about what would be the follow up to Marvel Super Heroes. Taking a queue from Fatal Fury Special, savvy gamers could use a powerful character from Capcom's Street Fighter II series - "Akuma" ("Gouki") - in CotA, by way of a code. In MSH, a secret sequence on the character select screen could unlock "Anita", a supporting character from another Capcom fighting franchise, "Darkstalkers" ("Vampire"). With the commotion that cause, folks starting wondering if an official crossover between Marvel & Capcom would ever come to pass.
Sure enough, "X-Men vs. Street Fighter" dropped in the fall of that year, and the handshake between "Ryu" (Street Fighter's lead character) and "Scotty" on the title screen said it all. Introducing a new, tag-team fighting system you could pair your favorite "Street Fighter" with the "mutant" of your choice and raise hell with other teams that stood in your way. Other crossovers between Marvel & Capcom arrived over the years, but the initial entry of "XvsSF" would always be the one that opened the floodgates.
If that wasn't enough, when I was exposed to the Japan-only strategy game series, "Super Robot Wars" ("Super Robot Taisen") in 1999, I almost passed out. The series started as a humble Game Boy game, bringing several casts from different anime mecha series together and weaving their plot lines into one big debacle. You had characters from "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam" working side by side with the old-school players of "Getta Robo", or "Evangelions" helping to defend the "Super Dimension Fortress Macross" from extinction. With each sequel, the series evolved and involved more franchises along the way, making this series the ultimate crossover in terms of licenses featured. After being exposed to all of these games, I couldnt help but think that maybe just maybe that my developing idea for a crossover, inspired by Chrono Trigger and an animated series that debuted in 1994 might not be such an impossible dream after all. Then hell froze over.
SNK and Capcom, industry rivals and producers of some of the most memorable 2-D fighters ever, decided to put down their dukes and collaborate on the crossover enthusiasts could only dream of. "Capcom vs. SNK" debuted in 2000 and I shed tears when I watched the first footage of it when it demo-ed at the Tokyo Game Show that year. The game wasn't perfect, but shortly after its success the true version of the game was announced. "Capcom vs. SNK 2" will forever hold a place in my heart, being my favorite crossover - period. It wasn't already enough that we had contestants from Street Fighter & the King of Fighters mixing it up, but folks from "Samurai Shodown" ("Samurai Spirits"), Darkstalkers, "Rival Schools" ("Shiritsu Justice Gakuen"), and "Garou: Mark of the Wolves" came to crash the party as well. It may seem that Im making a big deal about this, but to any fighting game fan "CvS2" was a huge event like when Marvel & "DC" crossed universes in their comics or if "C.S.I." and "Law & Order" were to team up for a movie or episode. BTW, check out "SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash" if you want to find another creative, non-violent spin on the franchise. That game is addicting.
Needless to say, I had fallen into "Crossover Overload". No matter what the outcome or what anyone thought, I'd start to write my fan-fic, "Chrono Trigger Omega", and post it somewhere where it might find a fan base. If, I'm lucky I'll get one dedicated reader. As for garnering the attention of fair-weather critics, well...the Internet is full of those.
After playing Chrono Trigger to a level of monotony, the idea came to me to write a fan-fiction sequel to it, using the events in the game as a backdrop. I couldn't fight the urge to do it as a crossover, however, and I was faced with the challenge to come up with a story line that would tie "CT" and several other properties that I was a fan of into a plot that worked and didn't seem half-assed. I wanted the characters that I used to be believable and have an appeal that would bring the reader back for more. The series would have to be part-epic, part-mystery, part-action-packed adventure, and all-seamless. It would test my ability to thread different concepts and casts together and make them seem like they belonged together in the first place. Easier said than done.
Right off the bat, I knew one of the first properties I wanted to use was "Gargoyles". Remember that show? I fell in love with it during my senior year in high school (1994-1995), especially with two prominent adversaries that would appear often "Lennox Macbeth" and "Demona". If I needed anti-heroes for my story, they definetly fit the bill. While Macbeth (based from the same historical figure in Shakespeare's play) is a tortured soul that has walked the earth far too long, Demona is a prejudiced, vessel of vengeance that strives for one thing - a world without humans. Oh, didn't I mention Demona is a gargoyle? And both she and Macbeth are immortal thanks to a magical bond between them. The only way that bond can be broken is if one can kill the other, and since they've mortal enemies throughout the years, you'd figured that would have happened by now. Macbeth has hunted her relentlessly for almost a millennia, but Demona continues to have the devil's luck when it comes to surviving. He doesn't want to kill her to prevent her diabolical plans of genocide - oh no, that would be too noble. The Scotsman only wants to put them both out of their misery once and for all.
I found them both to be some of fiction's finest characters and worthy of having their own series, something I wish Gargoyless creator, Greg Wiseman, was able to do before Disney pulled the plug on the series. I didn't know if I could do him or Demona & Macbeth any justice by using them in "CTO", but I'd damn sure try.
Being a fighting-game junkie, I couldn't write this crossover extravaganza without some appearances from cast members from my favorite games. Along with the dynamic duo from Gargoyles, "Felicia" from Capcom's Darkstalkers series is a major cast member in CTO. If I wasn't being too audacious already, I give her a last name "Pendragon" and tie her lineage to the king of Camelot himself. "Arthur Pendragon", much like his appearance in Gargoyles, will also show up later in this series, continuing a plot idea Greg Wiseman also wanted to try in a spin-off series. Other characters will cameo throughout the series either in the background or in supporting roles, not only from Gargoyles but also from Capcom & SNK titles past.
If you were wondering about anyone from Chrono Trigger being a part of the cast, you'd be right. But I'm keeping that secret until the fourth episode of CTO. Someone from CT actually is in the series early on, but to say any more would ruin some of the mystery surrounding that character so I can't embellish upon that either.
There are other series characters I plan on crossing over into CTO also, so keep on the look out. I wont ever drop them in and not explain them to those who dont know who they are or where they come from; but I won't bore you with too much back-story either. Otherwise, I might as well be writing biographies for each individual character, and that would take waay too long. There are a few original characters however, one of which stands as the main character of the first three episodes and helps to establish the plot. After that the series becomes ensemble-based, which was my plan from the beginning.
"Maximillian Ramnarine", or "Nightrunner" (his alias and the title of the first episode) is a piece of the complex mystery that I'm working to develop "Chrono Trigger Omega" into. Originally, he was a character in the last crossover I wrote in high school, "Star Trek: The Robotech Connection" a hapless guy based on me and thrown into impossible odds. If I'd continued that story, he would have developed into a capable and confident person, able to take on crises without breaking stride. However, for CTO, the version of Max that appears here, has nothing to do with that fan-fic, although his character is on the other side of the spectrum. World-weary, confident and cool he is at times, but he also has a fractured soul and haunted past. He lives in solitude and as a recluse, hiding from his destiny and possibly from someone in particular. When he meets Demona & Macbeth, all three will have an effect on the other, causing them to embark on a journey where they will face off with their demons once and for all.
Ramnarine, this time around is a lot less like me and is more of a representation of my affinity for the enigmatic character. He also is homage to my adoration for fighting games, having the fighting abilities of some of their characters. He can manipulate his own spiritual energy ("Rei" or "Ki") into ghostly blue flames, wielding them like Kyo Kusanagi & Iori Yagami from the King of Fighters series but in his own style based in "Jeet Kune Do". In episode one, he also reveals the ability to harness sound as a weapon, al la Charlie Nash & Will Guile of Street Fighter fame. Other abilities he'll exhibit or franchises he's connected to through the series will be Easter eggs for any reader that happens to know where they originated, and as a trivia nerd, I'll make sure to put any trivia that appears in "CTO" as an entry on my blog here at MySpace.com.
Any chance that this fan-fic will get seen or noticed by any of the right people fall in the odds of astronomical, so in the end I do it just for fun like any other fan-fiction writer. Hell, those odds are in line with the lottery, but say if I did win the lottery (and it'd have to be a HUGE amount), there are a few things I'd do to make CTO a real series.
Using a lot of characters and properties that have been discontinued or in limbo, CTO would be any company's chance to make money on those copyrights again. Kinda like recycling. Some of these characters haven't been fully realized or developed in animation or literature before, and to have the chance to do that would be an incredible honor.
I'd go about having the story published first, being followed up by a manga version - if I could find an artist willing and talented enough to do it. (My best friend, Shoji Ramuro, is such an artist, but he's pretty busy with the wealth of his own original stories that it would be asking a lot for me to burden him with mine. I wish I could illustrate CTO, but I have two right hands when it comes to drawing. Any "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" fans might get that joke). Then the manga could be the visual basis of an anime series, with the novels as something to build the screenplay from. Things reach a whole new level of "ridiculum" from here on out.
If I had my choice of anime studio, "Production I.G." would be tops in my book. After watching the "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" TV series and the movie work they've done, I'd buy stock in the company if I could afford to. On the subject of a director, there are so many out there that I couldn't stick to just one. I'd try to contract a few from both the U.S. and Japanese talent pool to lend their talents to the series. Shinichiro Watanabe ("Cowboy Bebop", "Samurai Champloo"), Bruce W. Timm ("Batman: The Animated Series", "Justice League Unlimited"), and Shoji Kawamori ("The Vision of Escaflowne", Super Dimensional Fortress Macross) are definetly on top of my list for the type of vision I'm looking to create for CTO.
The choice of lead character designer & animator would be tough, but if there's anyone that I'm big fans of, they are Toshihiro Kawamoto (Cowboy Bebop, "Goldenboy"), Yasuhiko Yoshikazu ("Mobile Suit Gundam", "Crusher Joe"), Akira Yasuda ("Turn-A Gundam", "Street Fighter Alpha 2"), and Haruhiko Mikimoto (Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, "Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket"). If I could land any one of those three on the production team, I'd be in heaven.
Then there's the voice cast. This one is a no-brainer: when crossing over characters, nothing wins over fans like bringing back the actors that helped make them famous. Using episode one of CTO as an example, this would be my fantasy cast list for it:
Shown in order of appearance:
(* next to actor/actress name indicates role reprisal)
- "Jade": Jennifer Lien
("Phenom", "Star Trek: Voyager")
- The Weird Sisters (Luna, Selene & Phoebe): Kath Soucie*
(Gargoyles, "Rugrats", "Invasion America")
- R. Maximillian Ramnarine ("Nightrunner"): Phil LaMarr
(Justice League Unlimited, "Mad TV", "Pulp Fiction")
- Wintersnake: Kevin Conroy
(Justice League Unlimited, "Tour of Duty", Batman: The Animated Series)
- "Xia": Sherry Lynn
("Wolf's Rain", "Tenchi Muyo!", Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)
- "Mysterious Voice" (in Nightrunner's Dream): Lisa Christie
("Chasing Freedom", Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam)
- Demona: Marina Sirtis*
(Gargoyles, "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Crash")
- Lennox Macbeth: John Rhys-Davies*
(Gargoyles, "Sliders", "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy)
- "Isis": Linda Larkin
("Runaway Bride", "Aladdin", "Kingdom Hearts II")
- "Katana": (Various)
- "Idrina": Cree Summer
("Inspector Gadget", "A Different World", "Batman Beyond")
- "Daisy": Kasey Buckley
("Fruits Basket", "YuYu Hakusho", "Blue Gender")
- "Ar.I.E.L.": Jodi Benson
("Pirates of Dark Water", "The Little Mermaid", "Grandia II")
I've too much time on my hands, but there's no doubt that I've thought this through right down to the voice directors. Andrea Romano is THE most prominent voice director in the business, so it would be foolish not to request her services, but there's another one I'd like to work along side her; Justin Cook, who is currently a dubbing director for the anime licensing company, FUNimation. He did such a great job on YuYu Hakusho especially with capturing the best takes and ad-libs the cast had to offer, that I know he'd bring a lot to CTO if brought on board.
When it comes to a soundtrack, I'm kind of torn. Either I'd go for something more conventional but with unconventional composers. If I went that route, I'd enlist the help of Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Turn-A Gundam, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), Tsuneo Imahori, ("Trigun", "Hajime no Ippo", "GunGrave"), Shigeaki Saegusa (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, "Astroboy" - 80s edition, "Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack"), Kouji Ishii ("Hellsing" - TV series), and of course, the original composer of Chrono Trigger, Yasunori Mitsuda. To have them all work together on this soundtrack would too much for the ears to believe.
The other idea for the music in the series is the further reinforce the theme of "deja vu", which is a big factor in the plot of CTO. Instead of composed music, I'd find the giants of remixing and re-introducing music, creating a soundtrack from the already existing scores of the featured properties as well as use tracks they've already created. Those musicians with the sound I'm looking for would be artists like, RJD2, DJ Shadow, 9th Wonder, MF Doom, Amon Tobin, Pete Rock, The Herbaliser, and the one and only Dan "the Automator" Nakamura. To hear music from the OSTs of Gargoyles, Chrono Trigger, Street Fighter, and even other anime scores re-spun would make my hair stand on end, and in a best case scenario, I'd rock both talent pools of musicians to give CTO a score no one could forget.
I'd envision the series to be presented at an "Original Video Animation" ("OVA"), being released on DVD or whatever format the future brings and in 60-90 minute installments. In addition, I'd load those videos with whatever extras I could think of since I'm an avid collector of DVDs and love it when there's commentary and behind the scenes extras on whatever I buy. I'd want CTO to have next to no content restraints and I'd be aiming for a more mature crowd from the start. After all, those who played CT or watched Gargoyles in the '90s are probably in their late teens or above by now (I'm almost 30 myself.). If it could air on "Encore Action Channel" (since they already air Anime series uncut), showing an episode on a month-to-month basis (with repeats, of course), I'd think that might be the best venue for the series to succeed. Originally, I thought "Adult Swim" would have been perfect, but they're limited on content thanks to the FCC. Besides, to hear some of my favorite characters curse (in moderation) would be to wild an experience to pass up. Not to mention, censorship works hand in hand in stifling imagination, and I wont want CTO to suffer from that, especially in its dialogue.
How could I think of all this and forget about the medium of a lot of Chrono Trigger Omega's source material video games. There would be no end to the possibilities of what could be done with CTO. Role-Playing games, fighting games, and adventure titles would be a few genres that this series could be made into, but I'd like them to go above and beyond what people expect of an anime being made into a game. I always liked what SquareEnix tried to do with "Full Metal Alchemist", making original stories to expand the series universe. I'd like games for CTO to do the same, and if it brought the creative minds of SquareEnix, Capcom, SNK, and others in the industry together, then something very special could come into fruition as a result. I'm not a big fan of "Kingdom Hearts" (gasp!) despite it being a crossover but it brought about a relationship between Disney & SquareEnix, something that might help if I had a shot at bringing CTO to life.
Its nice to have dreams, even though you know there's little chance of them coming to pass. I won't hold my breath for the powers that be to start knocking down my door to bring this about, but at least I'm ready if they do. ^_^
Now that I've bared part of my soul, I feel pretty naked. But seriously, thats a glimpse into my inspirations and muses for my crossover Chrono Trigger Omega. Thanks for reading this and I hope that you enjoy CTO, even more so than what you read here. I'm just surprised that I didn't put you asleep, but there's definetly plenty of time to accomplish that. Just kidding...
Thanks and enjoy,
A. Maximillian Russell (Soul Brother Ryusynoke)