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Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers have been fixed by moders.

KiteGr

Member
For fun, imagine me talking in a YongYea voice.

After the less than Stellar release of the "remastered" Chrono Cross, people found out, that beyond updating a few textures and images, and adding some basic quality of life futures, the game ended up actually playing worse than the original. This is especially sad, as this marked the first time ever the game was going to be released (officially) in Europe with Europeans having no alternative (legal) way to experience this lost gem.
Hope is not lost however as Modders have taken up to do what Square didn't and put some effort into this remaster. Two mods in particular drew my attention are the ones that took up to fix the two most major problems with it, and by them I mean the framerate and the Unupscaled FMVs beyond the oppening.

The mods described are:
Snooty A.I. Upscale that replaces all FMVs with their upscaled versions.
isa FPS Hack that unlocks the framerate.

Here is a video where we see them in action.

I don't know about you, but this convinced me to finally buy it. Not on consoles of course!
 

Barakov

Member
God bless the moders.
tim curry no GIF
 

KiteGr

Member
how incompetent was the team behind this?
Well. The new character models, textures and portraits look very good.
However! All those are surface changes.
They didn't bother with any gameplay changes or aditions like they did with the Saga remasters.​
The only music they seem to have updated is the Tittle song.​
The only FMV they seem to have updated is the opening movie.​
They updated the script, but also they censored it.​
They added cheats...​
IMO they most likelly lost the source code, as it usually happen with those old Squaresoft games.
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
Oh wow, the modded version looks damn good. Really showcases how fantastic the art direction is.

Even the vanilla version holds up great but yea, the modded version definitely looks superior.
 

poodaddy

Member
I don't understand why their PS2 remasters are fantastic, but all of their PS1 ports are trash?
They probably hadn't yet instituted an official policy of code documentation for posterity during the PS1 era, but perhaps, seeing that digital licenses were bound to become ubiquitous in the future, they realized the need for the establishment of a proper "library" of source code for their many valuable IP's sometime during the PS2 era.
 

TexMex

Member
How is it some nerd on the internet is able to fix broken releases from massive well funded developers weeks after release, every fucking time? Fire all of these people and hire modders, especially for these phoned in “remaster” projects. It’s the same story, every time.
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
How is it some nerd on the internet is able to fix broken releases from massive well funded developers weeks after release, every fucking time? Fire all of these people and hire modders, especially for these phoned in “remaster” projects. It’s the same story, every time.
That's one the great mysteries of remasters/emulation:

Why don't publishers/developers just reach out to people in those communities and work some kind of deal? The instances where it's just one guy who went and cleaned up the code, etc. Just work a deal out and release the superior version of the game. Just bizarre that this never seems to happen. Not sure if it's legal/copyright stuff, or pride, etc.

I feel the gaming community would really appreciate that; modders and developers working hand in hand for these remasters. It'd be cool.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
That's one the great mysteries of remasters/emulation:

Why don't publishers/developers just reach out to people in those communities and work some kind of deal? The instances where it's just one guy who went and cleaned up the code, etc. Just work a deal out and release the superior version of the game. Just bizarre that this never seems to happen. Not sure if it's legal/copyright stuff, or pride, etc.

I feel the gaming community would really appreciate that; modders and developers working hand in hand for these remasters. It'd be cool.
Too much drama, not enough professionalism.

Also, they know they'll do the work for free anyway.
 
How is it some nerd on the internet is able to fix broken releases from massive well funded developers weeks after release, every fucking time? Fire all of these people and hire modders, especially for these phoned in “remaster” projects. It’s the same story, every time.
That's one the great mysteries of remasters/emulation:

Why don't publishers/developers just reach out to people in those communities and work some kind of deal? The instances where it's just one guy who went and cleaned up the code, etc. Just work a deal out and release the superior version of the game. Just bizarre that this never seems to happen. Not sure if it's legal/copyright stuff, or pride, etc.

I feel the gaming community would really appreciate that; modders and developers working hand in hand for these remasters. It'd be cool.
I mean it isn't really a mystery.

It comes down to a few factors like time and resources.

How long does a developer have to meet a deadline and what else are they working on at the time. Also the need to officially support something compared to an unofficial fan mod that doesn't require as much QA testing and support. They don't reach out to people in those communities, because they don't have professional resumes and in the cases where they do or maybe the product can at least review someone's work, that person might not have time and are only doing this in their spare time and have a full-time job.

Basically, it's just not as clear-cut as one would think, but I do think with industries adopting remote work, this might become more and more prevalent. Remote gig work and remote contract work e.t.c.
 

Teslerum

Member
They updated the script, but also they censored it.
They didn't *update* the script by any stretch of imagination. If they did the least they could have done is update the terms used by both CT and CC to the modern CT script.

They didn't do that at all (Though there's a fan mod now too).
 

Shifty1897

Gold Member
That's one the great mysteries of remasters/emulation:

Why don't publishers/developers just reach out to people in those communities and work some kind of deal? The instances where it's just one guy who went and cleaned up the code, etc. Just work a deal out and release the superior version of the game. Just bizarre that this never seems to happen. Not sure if it's legal/copyright stuff, or pride, etc.

I feel the gaming community would really appreciate that; modders and developers working hand in hand for these remasters. It'd be cool.
I think XSeed ended up doing this with their PC ports of Trails of Cold Steel. They got the modder who fixed Dark Souls on PC and a bunch of other games, Durante, who is really passionate about Trails, and had him consult on the port of 1 and 2, and hired a port studio he founded to handle the port of 3 (and 4?).
 

TexMex

Member
I mean it isn't really a mystery.

It comes down to a few factors like time and resources.

How long does a developer have to meet a deadline and what else are they working on at the time. Also the need to officially support something compared to an unofficial fan mod that doesn't require as much QA testing and support. They don't reach out to people in those communities, because they don't have professional resumes and in the cases where they do or maybe the product can at least review someone's work, that person might not have time and are only doing this in their spare time and have a full-time job.

Basically, it's just not as clear-cut as one would think, but I do think with industries adopting remote work, this might become more and more prevalent. Remote gig work and remote contract work e.t.c.

I think in a lot of cases that’s true but not with stuff like this. This thing came out less than two weeks ago and is fixed by people on the internet in their free time, so I struggle with time and resources being an issue in this specific instance.
 
I think in a lot of cases that’s true but not with stuff like this. This thing came out less than two weeks ago and is fixed by people on the internet in their free time, so I struggle with time and resources being an issue in this specific instance.

"fixed" is an interesting way of putting it. Does it work well across multiple PC configurations causing no issues at all?

Does it work on consoles?

I think it is easy for us to sit here and say that someone who worked on a multiplatform product is "lazy" or less talented because a PC modder released a mod that works on PC (without exhaustive red tape in the QA process).

Does that mean that this was a well-made product? Certainly not, but I don't think it is as cut and dry as that (in terms of just hire these modders).
 

TexMex

Member
"fixed" is an interesting way of putting it. Does it work well across multiple PC configurations causing no issues at all?

Does it work on consoles?

I think it is easy for us to sit here and say that someone who worked on a multiplatform product is "lazy" or less talented because a PC modder released a mod that works on PC (without exhaustive red tape in the QA process).

Does that mean that this was a well-made product? Certainly not, but I don't think it is as cut and dry as that (in terms of just hire these modders).

No one said it was cut and dry but as the consumer how they get from A to B is irrelevant to me because I’m the one paying for the product. So when you talk about time and resources I don’t care because one, if they needed more of either - don’t release it. And two, yes, I do think that if any one person is able to resolve this issue as a hobby - be it on one platform or all of them - in two weeks - Square Enix should be able to as well. This is a company worth two billion dollars and thousands of employees here. Money and resources are things they have. You’ll forgive me for expecting something at least par with what an enthusiast did in his apartment.
 
No one said it was cut and dry but as the consumer how they get from A to B is irrelevant to me because I’m the one paying for the product. So when you talk about time and resources I don’t care because one, if they needed more of either - don’t release it. And two, yes, I do think that if any one person is able to resolve this issue as a hobby - be it on one platform or all of them - in two weeks - Square Enix should be able to as well. This is a company worth two billion dollars and thousands of employees here. Money and resources are things they have. You’ll forgive me for expecting something at least par with what an enthusiast did in his apartment.

I mean then you shouldn't take a stake on the details at all then. Just your overall opinion on the project.

Money and resources are something they have, but then maybe the product ends up needing to be more expensive and the question becomes is it worth it if it isn't a full scale remaster/remake.

Like I said, I'm not speaking to the quality of the product, which appears to be bad. Just saying it is a bit silly to say, "oh they could have hired said modder and they could have done it easily."
 
Well. The new character models, textures and portraits look very good.
I disagree.



This wouldn't look good on anything past Dreamcast. And even there would already be low-tier because they haven't added any facial animation tech. Or detailed hands. Not even proper shadows.

Textures are low res. Portraits... okay but nothing to write home about.
IMO they most likelly lost the source code, as it usually happen with those old Squaresoft games.
They say they didn't lost it all but it was incomplete:

(..) we faced an additional challenge when it came to Chrono Cross, as the game program and graphical data weren’t preserved in a complete form. (...) We had to pore through the data that had been preserved and play through the original game ourselves to work out what was missing and restore it.
Source: https://blog.playstation.com/2022/0...dical-dreamers-edition-remastering-a-classic/

Might be bullshit though, because there's plenty of lies in the interview regarding what they did with the backgrounds, basically saying they did a lot when they didn't and also some crazy talk about 3D data being lost so unable to re-render them, which is true for games like FFVII, FFVIII and FFIX, but doesn't really apply to Chrono Cross as a whole.
 
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From the comments of the mods:

"So looking at this further and what effects it has in game. I have come to the realization that this code is most likely framebuffer upload settings from various video plugins. Cause having played through over 70% of the game after applying this, the menu and Text boxes would flicker. Which was a common problem in petes opengl plugin on epsxe unless you had it set to full. IE 02, where 01 would be partial, So I'm guessing that on the upper level the wrapper they are using is reporting a custom video card to this emulator and not fully utilizing your system. And why some people might not see a change after applying it.
We will see what SE's official fix looks like when or if it comes to anything other than the switch."

"I used the patcher and it is now just a black screen when the game starts. there is audio but that is it. windows 11 / NVidia 2080TI. I'm going to fool around with it and see if i can fix my issues. Thanks for the patch anyway though, I'm glad its helping most!

it is an HDR issue, i have to turn HDR off to play. I dont think its a patcher issue, game used to work with HDR. Weird. - edit - it is definitely auto HDR feature causing the issue, when that setting is turned off it works fine. If you want me to delete this just let me know but id like to leave it up incase someone else runs into this.

You can leave HDR on, just disable fullscreen optimization and no more black screen"


that's just one of the mods
 
Like I said, I'm not speaking to the quality of the product, which appears to be bad. Just saying it is a bit silly to say, "oh they could have hired said modder and they could have done it easily."
I'm a designer specialized in both security documents and old school graphic restorations. Mostly for print but I think I could do the job better than what's being presented even if I couldn't resort to AI and had to work fast. I could achieve that via batch and touch-ups set up as "drafts" but anything more than that would take me quite a bit of time, and I know better professionals for "doodling" things over.

If I was to do this with time and planning, I would probably upscale it via AI, then paint it over. But I could also do some parts of the work in 3D and then paint over or get creative on the texture side of things. There's lots of ways to reach the end result given time.

Let's say you have to remaster this game in roughly a year. According to this dump it has a little over 400 backgrounds and some are repeated bar some modifications/changes. Even if there weren't shortcuts that could be taken and everything had to be done from scratch, let's say each designer/illustrator is able to do 1 background per week, which is very conservative because a lot of these backgrounds are variations of the same theme. Year has 52 weeks, 8 artists could do the work easily.

You could get away with 6 people. Even less than that if compromises were made.


This project seems like it had one artist, and not a very tech savvy one considering the results and what got past. That said, I would be demotivated as well if I was stuck with this alone.
Basically, it's just not as clear-cut as one would think, but I do think with industries adopting remote work, this might become more and more prevalent. Remote gig work and remote contract work e.t.c.
True, these days they could even have hired people on Fiverr to remaster the backgrounds.

Consistency would probably suffer but god that would come out cheap for them.
 
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LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
Companies putting out efforts like this deserve as little money as possible for that project. Either do what seems easy right or pay the community and appreciate.
 

MiguelItUp

Gold Member
It was absolutely hysterical seeing Chrono Cross hitting 15-20 fps on a PS5. Such a horrible "remaster", insane how modders can out do the devs, lol.
 

Faust

Perpetually Tired
Staff Member
Well. The new character models, textures and portraits look very good.
However! All those are surface changes.
They didn't bother with any gameplay changes or aditions like they did with the Saga remasters.​
The only music they seem to have updated is the Tittle song.​
The only FMV they seem to have updated is the opening movie.​
They updated the script, but also they censored it.​
They added cheats...​
IMO they most likelly lost the source code, as it usually happen with those old Squaresoft games.
What was censored?
 

Teslerum

Member
What was censored?
Certain *problematic* lines were changed.

For example:



Also changed a charachter's accent and so on. Contrary to what KiteGr said, they didn't really *update* the script in any real fashion, so terms weren't adjusted to fit the official modern Chrono Trigger translation.

*It's censored in japanese as well btw. Which may be one of the first times this has happened.
 
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I'm a designer specialized in both security documents and old school graphic restorations. Mostly for print but I think I could do the job better than what's being presented even if I couldn't resort to AI and had to work fast. I could achieve that via batch and touch-ups set up as "drafts" but anything more than that would take me quite a bit of time, and I know better professionals for "doodling" things over.

If I was to do this with time and planning, I would probably upscale it via AI, then paint it over. But I could also do some parts of the work in 3D and then paint over or get creative on the texture side of things. There's lots of ways to reach the end result given time.

Let's say you have to remaster this game in roughly a year. According to this dump it has a little over 400 backgrounds and some are repeated bar some modifications/changes. Even if there weren't shortcuts that could be taken and everything had to be done from scratch, let's say each designer/illustrator is able to do 1 background per week, which is very conservative because a lot of these backgrounds are variations of the same theme. Year has 52 weeks, 8 artists could do the work easily.

You could get away with 6 people. Even less than that if compromises were made.


This project seems like it had one artist, and not a very tech savvy one considering the results and what got past. That said, I would be demotivated as well if I was stuck with this alone.

True, these days they could even have hired people on Fiverr to remaster the backgrounds.

Consistency would probably suffer but god that would come out cheap for them.

I think the problem is they wanted to put this out as cheap as possible to maximize (in their minds) how many people would pick it up.

let's say you add 7 people at ~70K a piece, that adds a minimum of 490k dollars to the project.

Let's assume you think this sells 250K copies at 20 dollars apiece, you're looking at 5 million in revenue... and 30 percent of that goes to Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Valve... That leaves you at 3.5 million minus marketing costs and development costs. Increasing your dev costs by 500k is a tough sell.
 
I think the problem is they wanted to put this out as cheap as possible to maximize (in their minds) how many people would pick it up.

let's say you add 7 people at ~70K a piece, that adds a minimum of 490k dollars to the project.

Let's assume you think this sells 250K copies at 20 dollars apiece, you're looking at 5 million in revenue... and 30 percent of that goes to Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Valve... That leaves you at 3.5 million minus marketing costs and development costs. Increasing your dev costs by 500k is a tough sell.
Yeah, part of my thought process while writing that is that I think total team going into this was either 4-6 people otherwise multiple people coming and going on a part-time/between projects capacity.

An artist costing 70k per year is sadly not the norm, 35/40k is more realistic for the "foot soldiers", so the art director would be the only one reaching those high figures. 3D specialists also tend to earn more. But you're still right.
 
Seems like SquareEnix is
puts on :messenger_sunglasses:
outmoded.

Oh and nobody gives a shit about Chrono cross so obviously it didnt get the FF10 treatment. It is amazing they did this much.
 
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Fbh

Member
Nice, maybe in time someone will make something like the moguri mod for this and it might become worth it.
From the comments it seems like it's not perfect but already much better than the crap Square put out.

I'm a designer specialized in both security documents and old school graphic restorations. Mostly for print but I think I could do the job better than what's being presented even if I couldn't resort to AI and had to work fast. I could achieve that via batch and touch-ups set up as "drafts" but anything more than that would take me quite a bit of time, and I know better professionals for "doodling" things over.

If I was to do this with time and planning, I would probably upscale it via AI, then paint it over. But I could also do some parts of the work in 3D and then paint over or get creative on the texture side of things. There's lots of ways to reach the end result given time.

Let's say you have to remaster this game in roughly a year. According to this dump it has a little over 400 backgrounds and some are repeated bar some modifications/changes. Even if there weren't shortcuts that could be taken and everything had to be done from scratch, let's say each designer/illustrator is able to do 1 background per week, which is very conservative because a lot of these backgrounds are variations of the same theme. Year has 52 weeks, 8 artists could do the work easily.

You could get away with 6 people. Even less than that if compromises were made.


This project seems like it had one artist, and not a very tech savvy one considering the results and what got past. That said, I would be demotivated as well if I was stuck with this alone.

It's crazy how low effort it all is.
For a paid product I'd expect more than them to just pass the backgrounds through a basic AI upscaling and calling it a day. They seemingly did zero retouching afterwards. It all just looks like one big smudge.

 

Teslerum

Member
For a paid product I'd expect more than them to just pass the backgrounds through a basic AI upscaling and calling it a day. They seemingly did zero retouching afterwards. It all just looks like one big smudge.
It's not even good upscaling. They most likely just used Waifu2x and didn't search for a better solution. Not even mentioning training an AI for this purpose which you'd expect them to do if they invested some effort.

And its not like Square can't do better. They redrew backgrounds for the Legend of Mana remaster and the Upscaling work in the SAGA Frontier remaster is miles ahead of this:

 
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It's crazy how low effort it all is.
For a paid product I'd expect more than them to just pass the backgrounds through a basic AI upscaling and calling it a day. They seemingly did zero retouching afterwards. It all just looks like one big smudge.

Pretty sure they used waifu2x free online tools on every image.



Ridiculous.

And I can confirm by doing this that the image is slightly stretched vertically in this version as well (to which I stretched the images I did, but doesn't fare well for the product).
Seems like SquareEnix is
puts on :messenger_sunglasses:
outmoded.

Oh and nobody gives a shit about Chrono cross so obviously it didnt get the FF10 treatment. It is amazing they did this much.
FFX wasn't a good remaster either.



They did some changes to art throughout (hands with fingers, new models, better textures here and there) but not in a consistent way so I don't think it enhances the game at all. It always lives in some uncanny valley where the HD version of a game has worse facial animations than the game did back in 2002.

Specially poor if you consider what other companies are doing with their remasters, like the faithful upgrade Xenoblade was on the Switch. FFXII was comparatively better too in part also because of what they didn't do.
 
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