Video Game Fail: Crimson Echoes

by Richie, January 6, 2012

Crimson Echoes

A few weeks ago, I reviewed squaresoft’s SNES masterpiece, Chrono Trigger, as the retro game of the week (If you haven’t read it, check the review out here) . The only other “Chrono” game to be official released was a non-direct sequel to Chrono Trigger known as Chrono Cross. Exclusively released on the Playstation, Chrono Cross was a damn good game in it’s own right. However, it didn’t completely satisfy gamers that were looking for more of a direct sequel featuring the cast from the previous Chrono game. Fortunately, a crew of fans were working on an unofficial direct sequel called “Crimson Echoes” based on the original Chrono Trigger game engine. Let me explain why is such a noble effort featured in this week’s video game fail.

Well, the fail isn’t the fault of the fans working on the unofficial game but rather it was Square Enix’s a.k.a. Squaresoft’s fault.  The Crimson Echoes team weren’t trying to release a standalone game or even charge fans to play it, they were simply modifying the original Chrono Trigger ROM with a new story featuring the existing characters. Essentially, it looked and played as if it were developed and released on the SNES right after the release of Chrono Trigger. The team spent 5 years developing this game and planned to release it around May 2009. By that time,  Crimson Echoes was 98% complete and featured over 30 hours of gameplay, 10 different endings and a brand new story with 23 chapters. In short, it had the same epic scope as the original Chrono Trigger.

Unfortunately for the Crimson Echoes team and Chrono fans around the world, Square Enix sent the team a cease and desist letter ordering that all development of the game stop immediately. This was completely unexpected given the fact that Square wasn’t really doing much with the Chrono franshise anyway. Also, the release of Crimson Echoes didn’t seem likely to hurt their sales. In fact, it probably would have spurred younger gamers to buy the original chrono trigger out of curiosity. In any case, Square Enix’s move blocked the game from being released and deprived a lot of fans from the chance to finally play a real sequel to Chrono Trigger. Fortunately for me, I was able to get hold of the leaked 98% complete version of Crimson Echoes. So far I’m very impressed by the story and the way the team managed to create a  new, yet familiar Chrono Trigger gameplay experience. Shame on you Square Enix…

(For more information about Crimson Echoes, check the team’s website out here)


    • Reply Cancel Reply
    • February 16, 2012

    Leaked version is the alpha. Beta is the one shown on the youtube videos CEMemorial.

    • Anonymous
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    • July 17, 2012

    Given the complete lack of any legal basis for Square Enix's C&D letter (game modding is well established to be completely legal), it's disappointing that the Crimson Echoes team pussied out by obeying it.

  • To the above:@datone: The first version that leaked was the Alpha, later the final release beta was leaked.@anon: Legal or not (and I think this is up for debate), it doesn't matter. Square has money, and these fans don't, so even if they lose a theoretical court case where Crimson Echos had money, in reality Square would either win through superior console, or by bleeding the team dry. and at the end of the day, it IS their intellectual property being modified, and I have a feeling that legal or not, in a civil suite they would take home the prize.It doesn't matter though; Crimson Echo didn't 'pussy out' so much as respect the wishes of a company they are fans of.And honestly we the fans have won in the end anyway, cuz CE got off the hook for the totally unlikely leak punishment, and we get to play the finished (mostly)game. Sucks for CE not really getting the accolades they deserve however.

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    • June 9, 2013

    It was a tough game, but worth playing. The real question is whether the C&D Letter was real or fake.Guess it doesnt matter in the long run.

    • Adam brown
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    • January 17, 2016

    What approach were goynydk

    • Adam brown
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    • January 17, 2016

    Yea? I just saw your post... Would you like to elaborate?

    • dumplump
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    • December 25, 2016

    They did not receive a C&D. It was just a publicity stunt for the game. Square doesn't give a damn about Rom mods. They cared about the 3D version because, at the time, it was more state of the art. People even called the Square Legal department number on the letter, and the department basically told them they never heard of crimson echoes. The entire thing was BS, and the tard Zeality basked in the fame it generated.

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