Crossing over with Square Enix
Chrono Cross came out back in 1999, making it literally decades since fans have had a chance to replay the game. Rather than just doing a quick-and-dirty port of the game, Square Enix set out to offer a remaster for modern platforms. Turns out a lot more work had to go into this project than you might thing!
In a dev blog from Koichiro Sakamoto, Producer of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, we get a lot of insight into just how challenging of a remaster this was. In particular, this era of games can cause quite a headache when dealing with remasters. You can read a bit about that in the blurb from Sakamoto below.
For example, original PlayStation games – especially late-era games like Chrono Cross – really pushed what the hardware was capable of. Developers used their technical knowledge and skills to overcome barriers that hardware presented them with, which makes it difficult to break that code down and analyze what it’s actually doing.
It is at least typically easier to port original PlayStation games than PlayStation 2 titles (the chip inside the PS2 is really unique, and difficult to emulate well), but 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.
That meant across the start of development, it was impossible to recreate the original version of the game across multiple platforms. 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.
The entire dev blog goes into much more detail on the work that had to be done to get this remaster up to snuff. You can find the full piece here.