Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame Nomination: Chrono Trigger

Every week, we will present a new game to be nominated for the Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame. These nominations will occur every Monday and Friday, respectively. Our standards are just like the Baseball Hall of Fame: every game will be voted on by members of the staff, and any game that gets 75% of the vote – with a minimum of four votes – will be accepted – or thrown – into their respective Hall.

Game: Chrono Trigger
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Release Date: 08/22/1995
System Released On: SNES, Playstation, Nintendo DS
Genre: RPG

Who Nominated The Game: I did.

Why Was It Nominated: For me, one indication of a great game is whether I can keep coming back to a game over and over without getting bored of it. Chrono Trigger fits under that criterion. I’ve played every version, and I still love it to this day. While I did beat the SNES version, I didn’t get the chance to unlock all the endings on it. I did, however, unlock them all on the PS1 version, in spite of the loading times that version was riddled with. I would gladly do it all again (and am via the DS version), it’s held up that well through time and multiple playthroughs. You could say it’s sort of like comfort food, something I pick up when I’m in between other games in spite of my ever growing backlog. The fact that the DS version has new areas and a whole new ending to unlock, as well as the Battle Arena (though that’s more of a novelty than anything), just adds icing to the cake.

It was developed by a group dubbed the Dream Team, and the results showed how they got that name. Among them were two people who had a big hand in the Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu. The latter took over for Yasunori Mitsuda when he became too ill to continue with composing the soundtrack. There was also Akira Toriyama, widely known for his work on the Dragon Quest games and the Dragon Ball series, whose artwork helped the characters come alive through the 16-bit graphics. The two composers created an amazing soundtrack that both set the scene and also just as good a listen outside of context. I still think it’s a shame that Singing Mountain (it picks up at 1:00) never made it into the game in any official capacity until the DS version, though at least it did eventually get its heyday. The battles were seamlessly integrated, with the enemies right on the field for you to confront or flee from as you wished (though naturally doing too much of the latter could prove detrimental). Actual combat took place right where you run into them with no transition needed. In addition to each character’s individual techs, there were also combinations of two or three of those techs to form more powerful ones. Just about every combination of characters had combos available, making just about any party formation viable.

While there’s some linearity to the game by design, it also leaves room for various possibilities thanks to the time traveling aspect. Things you do – or don’t do – at the very beginning of the game (even seemingly minor ones) have some impact on a later event. Actions performed in earlier eras affected later ones in significant ways. These effects are evident in the environments and how other characters in those time periods act and regard your party. You can also get different endings depending on when and how you fight Lavos. The details in each ending can vary depending on whether you recruit a certain character, do the sidequest to retrieve another, and whether you did certain sidequests. In short, while one playthrough can be considered short by some standards, the game gives you plenty of reason to go back to it, with the New Game+ feature and 12 (13 in the DS version) different endings augmenting its replayability.

The game has inspired and spawned plenty of fan projects, a partial list of which can be found here. A symphonic version of the soundtrack that was designed as a movie soundtrack (no, there’s no actual movie) can be found here, and it’s just as much of an aural treat as the original. Sadly, some of the more ambitious and promising ones were squashed by cease and desist letters from Square, such as Chrono Trigger Resurrection, a 3D reimagining of the game, and most recently Crimson Echoes, which was an extensive sequel to the game. As protective of the franchise as they are, Square doesn’t seem too keen on actually doing anything with it (heck, they’ve yet to release Chrono Cross on the PSN outside of Japan) while blaming lack of sales of the DS port. But that’s neither here nor there.

All in Favour::
Aileen Coe: Considering how I gushed about it in my intro and nominated it, it’s glaringly obvious how I voted, and I’m not sure what more to say without repeating myself. But I can say that I can tend to flit between games (due to the sheer amount of choices out there and wanting to play them all) and either not beat them at all or beat them and then move on. However, this game is one of a few who managed to not only hold my attention long enough for me to beat it, but to keep coming back to it even after I’ve seen every ending. That’s a mean feat, and along with what I’ve outlined above would be why I feel it deserves the nod.

Aaron Sirois: I hate JRPGS. If you give me a game with the classic Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star style of gameplay, I’m going to get bored rather quickly, and leave the game less than amused. I’ve only been able to finish a small handful of them in my life, and a good portion of those were for reviews.

So, why would I vote YAY for Chrono Trigger?

Because I loved every freaking minute of it.

The story was fantastic, even if I was annoyed that Crono never spoke. Conversations differed depending on who was in your party, some of the twists were rather nice, and it kept me hooked from start to finish. The music is some of the best in any game. The combat was actually interesting and (GASP) challenging! Just about every JRPG I’ve played was a breeze. CT actually challenged me and encouraged me to be careful with my items. I couldn’t simply button mash my way through this one!

For all those reasons, and so many more, Chrono Trigger stands as a testament to how good a game can be, despite the limitations of its genre. That’s why I have to put in my vote for it to get in the HoF.

Sean Madson: In one hand, you had Hironobu Sakaguchi, the main mind behind Final Fantasy. In another hand, you had Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest artist, Akira Toriyama. And in yet another hand, you had composer Nobou Uematsu. It was a trifecta of awesomeness. How could their fusion of talents not produce something awesome? Though, that same trio also produced Blue Dragon, which was significantly less awesome than Chrono Trigger, but let’s not go there. What I’m really trying to get at is that I love this game.

Chrono Trigger was a pioneer for many of the concepts found in today’s RPG’s. First of all, the number of endings is staggering. There were at least a dozen which as goofy as most of them were, was far more than any other RPG’s that I can recall playing at the time. In order to unlock them, you needed to use another RPG staple, the New Game+, to import your beefed up characters into the new game to fight the final boss at different times during the story. You could also breeze through the rest of the game with relative ease if you wanted as well.

Obviously, features alone a good game does not make, so it’s a good thing that the presentation and gameplay were top notch as well. When you encountered enemies in the wild, you fought where you were, which eliminated needlessly long screen transitions. You also had a vast selection of tech skills that you could use in battle depending on who you had in your party, and they involved the use of multiple party members to execute in some cases. It was a blast experimenting with this. The time travel storyline was also fun and easy to follow, making this game a total package when it came to RPG’s. Especially during a time when they were rather scarce in North America. X Strike this one into the Hall of Fame.

Chris Bowen: Chrono Trigger was a perfect storm, and like the lightning in a perfect storm, it only struck once. The greatest RPG minds of all time – the creator of Final Fantasy with the two people most responsible for Dragon Quest – working together, along with two of the best music composers in video game history? Are you kidding me?

The result was magical. Chrono Trigger is on the shortlist of almost every “best ever” list, both by people that came in before Final Fantasy VII (when the JRPG fandom divided, for lack of a better term) and after. The game’s port in 2008 only reinforced for a new audience how amazing the game was, scoring universal praise from both of our reviews, and currently sporting a 92 average at Metacritic. Hell, Aileen and I have even debated whether to put Crono and Marle on our wedding cake, which is not only indicative of the effect this game has on people, but is also yet another example that my woman is better than yours.

Whether the game is good or not is, to me, not up for debate. Where I debated this is whether or not this game merited inclusion on how impactful it was. Chrono Trigger has left a definite mark on the genre, but has it impacted the industry as much as the Final Fantasy games of the era? I have some fundamental differences with a few staff members in that a game’s impact is more important to me than whether or not I liked it in regards to getting into the Hall of Fame, and it almost didn’t get in because of that. Simply put, Chrono Trigger hasn’t had the impact of, say, Final Fantasy VII.

But here’s my question: is that really Chrono Trigger’s fault? Critics see a “short” (20-25 hours, but more replay via the at-the-time revolutionary New Game +) game that didn’t take the industry by storm, but I see a game created by the best minds in the industry, minds who were given carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, and they created a masterpiece that has held up – by the standards of both personal and professional opinion – over multiple generations of gaming. They created something and gave it to Square Soft, while saying “now do something with it!”. Square Soft tried to do something – Chrono Cross – that didn’t succeed to expectations specifically because it wasn’t Chrono Trigger, but fans can be finicky. Then Square Soft became Square Enix, who received this gift and were told “now do something with it!”. Square Enix has since sat on their thumbs, doing nothing but porting over the game with few enhancements, while brutally beating down any and all attempts by fans to build on the first game’s success via cease and desist notifications (including one that was issued while a fan made “sequel” was literally at 99% complete, and had been worked on for years), while literally telling people that they would never get a sequel because fans didn’t rush out and buy the 13 year old port of a Super Nintendo game for the full DS retail price of $40.

Detractors say that Chrono Trigger doesn’t have quite the lasting legacy that other games in the genre have. Lord knows I almost did. But I think Chrono Trigger has succeeded despite the bumbling inefficiency of people such as Yoichi Wada and Shinji Hashimoto. It did something no one thought could be done: it had unrealistic and borderline expectations put on it, and it met them. Twice. Combine that with a cult, borderline fanatical following and what is arguably the greatest RPG of the 16 bit “golden” era, and you have a Hall of Fame selection that is easier than it should have been.

William Kaye IV: When it comes to 16-bit RPGs on the Super NES, Final Fantasy VI is my favorite. Bar none. But this game is a close second, a time travel story that (mostly) manages to do time travel correctly and proves entertaining from start to finish. The characters are all memorable, the battle system is fun, and the plot has some real weight to it (regicide, armageddon, the death of someone you would not expect to die, a talking frog, et cetera). At least, it does in the original play through. In New Game+, you are basically steam rolling everything in your path so the villains are no threat, but the entire point of New Game+ is really getting some of those dozen or so endings (some of which you can achieve within the first ten minutes of starting a new game). While I never got all the endings, the fact that I got at least half of them surely shows how much I enjoyed this game growing up.

All Opposed:

Mohamed Al-Saadoon: I might be branded as a traitor to all gamerkind with this one but…..I don’t see what’s so special about Chrono Trigger.

I never played it back in the SNES days so maybe a decade or so of RPG advancement dulled my senses to what the game achieved by the time I played it many years later.

The story, graphics and gameplay are all very good but I fail to see what made it so special that everyone waxes lyrical about it. The character designs suck (except for Frog, who’s awesome) but I suspect that’s because Akira Toriyama has whored out his art to every RPG ever made (and his patented “every female lead must look like Bulma” technique) and I’ve subsequently gotten some sort of strange “art fatigue” or something like that.

By the way, Chrono Cross was better. There I said it.

Alex Lucard: I never understood the love people have for Chrono Trigger. It’s one of those games I played through and found to be mediocre at best and then when the internet came around I was astounded to see the love the title had. Now granted, I found the RPGS on the TG-16 and Genesis, as well as the SSI AD&D PC RPGs to be more fun than nearly every RPG I encountered on the SNES.

I enjoyed that the game has a dozen or so endings as I liked the replay factor, but the battle system bored me, I never got into any of the characters and we’ve seen that when the game was re-released TWICE, sales were pretty underwhelming, proving to me that it’s only a small but vocally annoying subsect of gamers that are truly passionate about this. It’s called the “Earthbound” factor. At the end of the day, Chrono Trigger was an okay game that packed in every possible RPG cliche in the book into a single game but had multiple endings and the luck of both DBZ artwork coupled with the Squaresoft publisher banner to push the game into heights it really didn’t deserve.

Result: 5 In Favour, 2 Opposed, 71.4% Approval = REJECTED

Conclusion: Chrono Trigger falls just short of an induction by a minute margin. While most had something positive things to say about it, some felt it didn’t quite rise to the hype that it’s built up over the years due to a dedicated and vocal fanbase. I knew going in that it might have a tough time getting in due to the design of the process (and staff members who aren’t exactly fond of Square), but I felt it at least deserved a shot. While it does smart a bit to see the game come so close only to miss it by a mere one vote, I am glad it got as many yay votes as it did.

Next Week: We weigh in on a game that capped off a quadrilogy (or trilogy, depending on who you ask), carried a large asking price at time of release, and belonged to a series that’s now more of a multiplayer experience.



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13 responses to “Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame Nomination: Chrono Trigger”

  1. MC Avatar

    You forgot to mention Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest franchise, as a key member in the Dream Team.

    1. Aileen Coe Avatar
      Aileen Coe

      MC – Ah yes, you’re right about that. Not sure how that slipped through.

  2. Phil Avatar


    You didn’t notice the praise for CT until the internet was in full effect? GameFan (Not the modern iteration obviously) practically worshiped the ground the game walked on, other publications were also complementary for the most part.

    I agree about the nay vote though; I liked the game, but never desired to play through it again after completion, or even the new game+ feature for that matter.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Phill – I meant people around me at the time. Even people I knew with the SNES was pretty much using the Genesis for RPGs. Secret of Mana was probably the most common SNES title I actually saw people playing/buying/talking about, and that was for the multi-player aspect. Otherwise everyone who played video game RPGs, friends, family or strangers were glued to the Genesis and the three Phantasy Star games, Shadowrun, Sword of Vermillion, the Shining Force, multiple Dungeons and Dragons games and the like. Either that or they were on the PC with SSI titles, Wizardry and the like.

      The problem was that to the average gamer back then, the only RPG maker the SNES had (besides a very different and far inferior version of Shadowrun was Square and so if you didn’t like JRPGs or turn based games, the SNES was a very crappy system for the genre. Looking back in the early to mid 1990s, most RPG fans that had consoles were on the Genesis as it apeared to offer more RPGs than the SNES but also diversity from the standard turn based system. Even in college people were like, “The SNES? That had like SIX RPGs.”

      This is moot anyway because the actual RPG audience at the time, table top gamers, were mostly PC gamers anyway. Which makes sense because the PC gave you games where you actually role played instead of roll played – which is what they wanted. The sole exception was the Genesis Shadowrun which is why that game is still revered on a level far different from most other 16 bit RPGs as it was (and still is) the best tabletop conversion ever. It’s funny but back in let’s say 1995, if you asked someone who was into RPGs if they preferred Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star, they’d more than likely look at you and say, “Umm…Pools of Radiance.” The problem is most of today’s gamers (and most writers in fact) forget that the PC was the dominant choice for RPGs back then. However that audience has slowly drifted away and the average gamer today is primarily a console gamer and has either forgotten (or wasn’t alive for) what a juggernaut PC RPGs were back then and they mainly focus on said consoles from different eras. It’s unfortunate, but neither history nor actually looking at how a game, system or genre was actually viewed in its original time period isn’t very important to most “journalists.”

      Honestly, even today the only people I hear praising Chrono Trigger are random strangers on the Internet. It’s why I call it the “Earthbound effect.” it’s a small but highly vocal audience that tends to be very passionate about the game, which obscures the fact the numbers are actually much lower than one might expect – which is shown by the low sales for both re-releases/remakes of the game.

      That has nothing to do with the quality btw. Just that even working in the industry, I never hear people go, “Chrono Trigger – FUCK YEAH!”

  3. Christopher Bowen Avatar

    Alex, when other games like Final Fantasy IV were rereleased, it was a full remake. Chrono Trigger, they dumped a ROM hack onto a DS cart, and then went and charged $40 for it. It’s probably not totally fair to judge sales figures when Square shot themselves in the foot.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Bowen – I know that and you know that, but the average gamer on the street neither knew nor cared if it was an exact port or not. Most gamers don’t read the websites, know how to use ROMs or go by anything rather than the most mainstream of things. People saw the box, possibly recognized the game and passed on it. It just wasn’t a game that interested them. Thus the low sales numbers. So for Square, Chrono Trigger was a failure in terms of sales numbers and a game they ported exactly to sate the purists who would have bitched if the slightest thing was changed. Which is true of fans of any franchise, not just CT.

      Conversely, that should also tell you that Square itself cares little for the property itself…or at least has a different outlook on the value than a small group of gamers. Much like Creatures Inc. with Earthbound. Both are critically acclaimed games with a very loyal and fanatical (but small) fanbase and both have a company that doesn’t see the game being worth the investment to do anything with.

      1. Christopher Bowen Avatar

        Al – I would counter that by looking at the diverging reaction both companies – Creatures Inc. and Squeenix – took to fans working on their games. Mother 3 has a full, professional-quality English translation with a hardcover strategy guide, and Creatures – or the publisher, Nintendo, who is only the biggest combatant against ROMs out there – didn’t do anything about it (not sure if they actually blessed it or not). Meanwhile, Crimson Echoes – the not-quite-sequel to CT – was C&D’d at 98% complete (I think spitefully; everyone knew a team was working on a CT ROM hack), and they killed Chrono Resurrection as well. Obviously, they are within their rights to do that, but it’s kinda hard to say that they don’t see the IP being worth anything if they lawyer up anytime someone breathes the game’s name in a way they don’t approve of, when Nintendo, by some accounts, gave a wink-nudge approval to Starmen.net to patch their (still sold at the time) game.

        1. Alex Lucard Avatar

          Bowen – no, you can still find your franchise worthless to you financially but still be very protective of it. After all if you don’t, you lose the rights to it pretty easily according to trademark law. As well, remember that Chrono Trigger has been released stateside before so Square will legally have to be more responive to games that use a US trademark as well as man made games using said trademark and characters. Meanwhile, Mother 3 was never coming stateside and Nintendo of America didn’t have to (and still doesn’t) their trademark or copyrights on the English names and content of the game. I can tell you that NoA ignored the Mother 3 games specifically for those reasons. There’s nothing illegal about translating a game that will never make it stateside, especially if you don’t sell the patch, which is also why Nintendo has turned a blind eye to the Fatal Frame 4 english patch. This is similar to fansubbed anime and why you don’t see companies take action on those until a US release for the anime is announced. Nintendo’s lawyers are ravenous to be sure, but only on issues they can a) make money from and b) win quickly and easily. Basically Square-Enix is preventing someone from using their characters, trademarks and material in a fully 100% fanmade game – which is technically illegal to do. Nintendo is ignoring a fanmade translation and a non authorized strategy guide – both of which are actually legal. There’s very different issues in the eyes of the law.

          So it’s not necessarily a wink-nudge from Nintendo as much as it apathy towards something they don’t have fully protected in the US in the first place. I 100% agree with you though that Square keeps fucking up the legacy of Chrono Tigger and with each passing fuck up the game’s status or value in the VG community is just going to continue to plummet. At least it’s never going to be Sonic the Hedgehog bad though, right?

          As for Creatures Inc. they have a choice between caring about a game that will sell less than 50,000 copies stateside or making another Pokemon game with GameFreak, Ambrella or Chunsoft and sell well, add another two zeroes to the last number. They’re such a small company that they’re amazed anyone gives a shit about the Earthbound series because they’re too busy churning out Pokemon content to care.

          Phil – I agree with you looking back that the SNES and Genesis were pretty even in terms of both quanitity and quality. But as a kid, pretty much everyone I knew eschewed the SNES, which is the story you asked me to relate. ;-) The SNES RPGs were out there, but most of them didn’t have the print run or marketing needed to make the average gamer aware of their existence back then. Meanwhile since most of the Genesis’ RPGs were first party, Sega put a lot of time and money into marketing them and thus they were better known to Joe Blow out there. It’s definitely one of the reasons I focus so much on obscure or little known games these days – as I saw first hand how some of the best games of a generation were ignored by the rank and file.

          Also, there does seem to be one or two triggers as to whether you played PC or console RPGs in the 8 and 16 bit era. Basically your age (older gamers PC’d and younger gamers were on consoles, which is why consoles eventually overtook PC – PC gamers got old and stopped gaming while kids got older and will still “of gaming age” and grew up only playing consoles) and if you were a RPG table top person. Tabletop dice chuckers tended to stay on the PC since those video games more accurately stuck to those conventions while people who didn’t play things like D&D and Shadowrun or whatever stuck to the consoles. There are obvious exceptions to this, but this seems to be more or less the case.

  4. Phil Avatar

    Perhaps I was an exception, but I was more of a console purist in the eight and sixteen bit era, (As were my pals) yet also highly enthusiastic about the growing genre of action/rpg’s and traditional turn-based JRPG’s.

    That being said my time was evenly split between the Genesis (And I disagree a bit regarding the Genesis’ core audience, it was in good portion the growing Madden/NBA Live/NHL faithful) and SNES; I can’t say that one in my mind had a stronger RPG presence than the other. Even though I am no loyalist to Squaresoft, at that point and time they did have the more groundbreaking RPG’s in story and streamlined presentation (Both benefits and drawbacks to that) and the SNES had the premier console role-playing publishers of the age committed to the SNES; FFIV, FFVI, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Gaia, Link to the Past, and Ogre Battle is a pretty formidable set of titles in my view, and then others in a more supplemental tier such as 7th Saga, Lufia, Earthbound, Secret of Evermore, Brainlord, and Robotrek.

    That is only half of it however; as role-playing devotees we would page through EGM and Gamefan (and yes even Gamepro) fawning over all of the JRPG’s released or on the horizon for the Japanese market, wondering which we were going to get over on these shores, and when; even though they did not ultimately ever arrive just the anticipation and the attention span given makes an impression on which of the two consoles had a stronger prominence in the role-playing genre. With the aforementioned games, and then titles like Dragon Quest V, Dragon Quest VI, Tales of Phantasia, Fire Emblem, Front Mission, Secret of Mana 2, FFV, Mystic Arc, Ys IV, Ys V, Creation of Heaven and Earth, you get the idea. Whoever stated only six RPG’s may want to take a recount.

    Now the Genesis did have some good role-playing games, but it was a lot more sporadic and spread thinly over the lifespan of the system.

    I can name Phantasy Star II, III, and IV, Shining Force 1 and 2, Vermillion, Shining in the Darkness, Beyond Oasis, Landstalker, Super Hydlide, Crusade of Centy….

    Not a whole lot in Japan outside of the games that came stateside either, so our focus for JRPG’s had shifted more towards the SNES, and that is why some gamers back then will consider it the more role-playing oriented system.

    And yes, walking into Funcoland and bringing up Chrono Trigger would get the glazed over in awe reaction from a few people. It was to it’s credit a competent JRPG with a strong artistic direction and good soundtrack, but I still agree that it is not something that I consider hall of fame material.

    I guess I’d say that I personally was not partial to either system with respect to role-playing games, they were so few are far between in the grand scheme of things at that time that I was simply grateful for each release. (Including the Duo releases)

  5. Phil Avatar

    Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention Breath of Fire and Breath of Fire II among the SNES tally; you see, too many RPG’s to keep track of off the top of my head.

  6. Sean Madson Avatar
    Sean Madson

    Slightly off topic, but wouldn’t it be a smart business move to, at the very least, hand Earthbound off to another company like Atlus or NIS and allow them to localize it on behalf of Creatures Inc. and Nintendo? I know the SNES release tanked in terms of sales, but now that there’s an actual market for niche games and the fact that Super Smash Bros. is practically free advertising for the franchise, wouldn’t it be a good time to give it a second chance? They at least went through the effort to get the VC release ESRB rated, even though they never released it, so property must hold some value to them.

  7. Phil Avatar

    Sean: Ironically that might work better if it were rebooted for PSP, alongside several other existing similar games; there could be some consumer compatibility there. With the DS; I’m not really sure, and forget about doing it for the Wii.

    Alex: That is a solid point you make about the advertising aspect; I guess I never really contemplated it that way as I already was infused with the motivation to seek out the RPG’s from the get-go; if the publisher already had a good track record (And Square actually did back then; so did Sega) then the game pretty much sold itself with no need for advertising to convince me.

    Now that I think about it, I remember how strange it was the first time that I viewed the Final Fantasy VII commercial, like “What is this doing on broadcast television of all places?”

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Phil – that was my reaction to FFVII as well. I was a sophmore in college at the time and I remember people in my dorm basically saying “What happened to IV through VI? I don’t remember those in stores.” I also remember people swearing that those were Nintendo MADE games so they HAD to be coming to the N64 at some point.

      I think sometimes because we’re all so aware of the industry, we sometimes are blindsided by how little the average person out there knows. Either that or we assume because we know so much that it’s common knowledge rather than us just devouring every piece of gaming info for a few decades.

      Sean – You would think that, but Atlus has shown it does a really bad job of localizing when it’s a major title. Don’t get Bowen and I started on their localization of Ys I and II for the DS, or Shining Soul 1 & 2. Hell, even the localization of the Persona 1 remake was actually WORSE than the original heavily edited version we got a decade ago. So having Atlus do it might be a case of being careful what you wish for. As for Nippon Ichi, Earthbound doesn’t have enough boobs or sexual innuendos for them. Seriously though, another publisher would have to go to Nintendo and say they want to localize it and go through a bunch of red tape like what NIS did with Sakura Wars. The truth is no other publisher has shown interest in Earthbound, which again, is pretty telling about the actual popularity of the game vs. the percieved popularity due to a few loud people in the Internet. If one had, I’d know about it before most people just due to office chatter/idle company gossip. It’s like on staff when we had Charlie Marsh (Earthbound was his favorite game) and he jizzed himself on the staff forums over the ESRB rating and I point blank told him – “It’s not true. It’s not going to happen. At best, you might get it three years from now. Don’t get your hopes up.” It’s been three years. :-P

      Remember that there are a lot of games that were supposedly ESRB rated that never got the go-ahead for the VC like Pro Wrestling. Sometimes things just don’t come together for various reasons. I can state firmly why Earthbound didn’t, if only because Creatures Inc are part of the Pokemon conglomerate I’m part of – and that’s that testing/market research showed Nintendo would lose a lot of money on it. Even a virtual console release. And I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to lose money on a VC release. Combine that with the fact Creatures Inc. and Nintendo both would rather focus on their #1 money maker, and it’s just not going to happen. Hell, Nintendo of America is sitting on three full length Pokemon RPGs for the Wii and Fatal Frame 4 – none of which will ever be released stateside and those are actual franchises in the current conciousness of most gamers. NoA isn’t going to touch a franchise that is all but forgetten save for 1-5% of the gaming populace for reasons that make sense to bean counters and people who only think about profit, but you never know.

      I wish I could explain it. NoA’s decisions baffle me to the point of literal migraines from dealing with them. After five years I can’t stands no more. :-P

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