An Interview With: Mathew Valente, Musician for Chrono Trigger Resurrection
With Chrono Cross hitting the PSN today, I began to think about Chrono Trigger Resurrection, the cancelled ‘recreation’ project of Chrono Trigger. Today, I sat down with Mathew Valente, lead musician on the project, to answer a few questions.
What was your official job title?
I was the musician. I was in charge of remaking the music of Yasunori Mitsuda, keeping the feeling if the original music, but enhancing it as well. Nathan wanted me to do sound effects but I knew finding them or recording them was something I didn’t have the resources to accomplish so we recruited Xavier Dang for it, who was also thrilled to be on the team.
What was the overall goal of Chrono Trigger Resurrection?
The goal was to recreate certain specific scenes in full 3D as an homage to the original Super Famicom RPG Chrono Trigger. It was our favourite RPG and we wanted to pay it a fitting tribute. The intention was never to recreate the entire game, at least not with Chrono Resurrection.
How did you get involved in the process?
Nathan (project lead) and I had a bit of history. I was reading a particular gaming news site back in 2001 and saw that he was interviewed as he planned on recreating Chrono Trigger on the Nintendo 64 as a project to improve his programming skills. I managed to gain his contact info, and I asked if I could do the soundtrack for him. He knew me from some game remixes I’d done and enthusiastically agreed. That project no doubt failed, but in late 2003 I believe, he contacted me (he was working at Ubisoft Montreal at the time) and said the project was back on. Some of his coworkers were even on board. It turns out he wanted to do a demo this time, for PC, Xbox, and Gamecube.
And that demo was ultimately cancelled? Why?
Nathan contacted me online one day, saying he thinks someone was playing a joke on him as he received a cease and desist order email from a lawyer, who claimed to represent the owner of the Chrono Trigger property. He didn’t believe it until he received signed and official documentation in the mail. We gained a lot of attention when websites like Project Gamecube (now Nintendo World Report) and Kotaku reported that fans were doing something great with the Chrono property, after Square had been sitting on it the whole time doing nothing. Unfortunately it was our doing for releasing information on it so soon into the development process, I guess. After, Nathan decided to can the project at risk of being sued, but he decided to showcase the work done in one fantastic trailer.
How far did you get into the development process?
The demo as it is now, only contained about what I’d guess to be 30% of all intended content. Part if the oversold was done, Zenan Bridge, Crono’s house, Magus’ layer, and the End of Time. There were only a couple of enemies modeled, and only a few main characters. The user interface was a work in progress, and only one of 9 scenes done. The game’s beginning menu system consisted of a wonderfully modeled gear system that panned to different parts when you selected different sub menus, which contained music, concept and fan art that showed you this was a labour of fan love for a game that really deserves more attention. Of course there’s also some animations and model work that never made it in the demo, that i saw while visiting Luis in Montreal that also looked fantastic. (Luis Martins was a modeller and animator. He also redesigned the characters when early designs of Chrono Resurrection didn’t exactly follow Akira Toriyama’s art style.)
Anything else you would like to add?
I do want to reiterate a sentiment the trailer states. Throughout the years we have seen positive support from many people about this project. The support I still get from people on YouTube about the remixes I did us still very appreciated, and i thank everyone for it. And, for anyone who hasn’t played Chrono Trigger yet, there really is no excuse. It’s available on SNES, PS1, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii virtual console, Playstation Network, and pretty soon iOS and Android. So, do yourself a favour and play one of the reasons why many of the great RPG’s of today exists.
Thankyou very much for your time.
No problem, thanks for the interview!
To view the live demo of Chrono Trigger Resurrection, click here.
To view the official website for Chrono Trigger Resurrection which houses the demo video, screenshots and other information, click here.