It would not be shocking if you had never heard of Another Eden. The free-to-play mobile and PC RPG has quietly existed in those often-overlooked spaces for a number of years, helmed by industry veteran Masato Kato as its scenario director and script writer. With Another Eden, Kato has long been poking at the periphery of titles like Chrono Trigger — where he served in much the same roles — with little allusions and references, like having a frog swordsman named Cyrus as one of the principle characters. In its next update, Another Eden takes a larger step past that periphery into an actual collaboration, as the title officially crosses over with the criminally underrated Chrono Cross in a new special event.
Kato, who also wrote and directed the 1999 PS1 sequel to Chrono Trigger, has been eager to give Cross it’s first real collaboration since its release over two decades ago. Yasunori Mitsuda, who composed the iconic soundtrack to Chrono Cross is also involved with Another Eden, making the team up only make sense.
The three protagonists of Chrono Cross — Serge, Kid, and Harle — travel to another parallel world in Another Eden, which itself is a story about traveling parallel worlds.
“The concept was that the Chrono Cross characters wander into the world of Another Eden and start a new adventure,” Kato said. “However, I wanted to use the music from Chrono Cross as-is right from the start, so I created the opening in a way that it would overlap with Chrono Cross in terms of image. I don’t like to do it that way, so I usually don’t do it, but this time it was special.”
The legacy of Chrono Cross is a somewhat complicated one. As a sequel to Chrono Trigger, considered by many to be one of the best video games of all time, Cross took a number of risks and differing-directions with the path it walked that did not hew to the path or tone Chrono Trigger set. The end result is a highly divisive with dozens of playable characters and a totally different identity from the original.
I’ve always wanted to ask Kato what he, as a driving force behind both Trigger and Cross, thought about the strong and sometimes aggressive delineation between the fanbases. This finally gave me that chance.
“Ever since release, Trigger fans have said ‘This isn’t the Chrono I know’,” Kato said laughing. “I’ve always said that this isn’t Chrono Trigger 2, it’s Chrono Cross, and that’s what we wanted to create. I think Chrono Trigger fans can enjoy Trigger, and Chrono Cross fans can enjoy Cross, and I’m happy with that.”
Kato described the core of Chrono Cross as a story about parallel worlds, which is why the collaboration with Another Eden made sense, even if the workload for Kato himself is not comparable.
“I’d like to give myself kudos for all of those playable characters, diverging stories [in Chrono Cross] – there are as many stories as there are players. In this crossover, unfortunately, we couldn’t reproduce the same amount of content,” Kato laughed, “but I’d like fans to enjoy it as a crossover project.”
“Another Eden was created as a time travel title that’s different from Chrono Trigger, created with a passionate young team that loved Chrono Trigger as kids,” he explained. “It’s still a work in progress, and I think it’s a new step forward as a time travel game. There are crossover stories with Persona 5 Royal, the Tales of series, and now Chrono Cross, and we are constantly making new strides and challenges. The game will only get better from here on out, so I hope fans will look forward to it.”
With the rumors of a new remake for Chrono Cross circling around, I asked Kato what he thought about the idea, especially in light of Square Enix doing so for other PS1 RPG.
“I hear many fans asking for a revival, and I personally hope to see the visuals updated to a modern one. I’m just an outsider now though, so I don’t have any say in it,” he said, once again laughing.