Author Archives: Chris Doucette

Chrono Cross Mechanics Pt. 5: Odds & Ends

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In this final article on Chrono Cross combat mechanics I want to touch on various Element effects that aren’t related to directly dealing damage or healing. With such a large mechanical “surface area” there are numerous opportunities to design situationally useful abilities that let the player and the AI manipulate the… Read more »

Chrono Cross Mechanics Pt. 4: Colors

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“Elemental” damage is a fundamental concept in RPGs: it gets pretty boring pretty quickly if your one attack is equally effective against all targets, so games will typically have several different categories of attack that are differently effective, giving you a slightly more interesting choice to make. In Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei franchise, exploiting elemental weaknesses… Read more »

Chrono Cross Mechanics Pt. 3: Elements

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Elements are all the abilities a Chrono Cross character has other than basic attacks and defending. They include everything an RPG usually categorizes as “magic” – attacks, healing, buffs/debuffs, status effects, summons – as well as consumable items and special mechanics like stealing items. In a game full of weird, unique… Read more »

Turning Points

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After 5 years of having a proper job, I’m working on a new indie RPG. As you know from reading my (apparently annual) posts on this thing, I’m interested in older JRPG combat systems, especially from series that have been dormant for 10-15 years. I recently replayed Xenosaga Episode I to refresh… Read more »

RNG Crush: Why I Hope Persona 5’s Main Character Is Allowed To Die

JRPGs rely on randomness to alleviate the fact that you spend a lot of time doing the exact same thing. Random damage values, random enemy behavior, random success or failure of special abilities all ideally help the game to create different situations for the player to react to, starting from the same… Read more »

Valkyrie Profile 2: Purify Weird Game

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tri-Ace’s Valkyrie Profile is weird even by JRPG standards. It throws out nearly every genre convention in order to tell the Norse story of Ragnarok in RPG form, much though it may deviate from the source material. The valkyrie Lenneth must prepare Valhalla for cataclysmic war by recruiting the worthiest dying mortals to serve as divine soldiers… Read more »