It was summer of 1999. Chrono Trigger fans had by now, practically given up all hope for a sequel to their beloved game. And then word came that Square had announced Chrono Cross. The fans were pleased, to put it mildly. Most, anyway... the other fans were appalled at the fact that the new game had a different artist than before (Nobuteru Yuuki), different characters, and was in Final Fantasy 8 style (polygon characters over pre-rendered background), as opposed to the 2D graphics of CT. Looking at the first screens and artwork, many felt they were in for a huge disappointment when the game was to be released. Of course, those specific fans, the ones that have played the game anyway, are feeling mighty stupid.
I admit that I myself was one of those nay-sayers for quite awhile there. After learning another tidbit, skepticism increased. That being the fact that Chrono Cross' plot was to be based on a little known game Square released years ago for the Super Famicom Satellaview service in Japan, called Radical Dreamers. (Learn more about Radical Dreamers here) The story of Radical Dreamers centered around Serge, Kid, and Yamaneko/Lynx, and a treasure called the Frozen Flame, just like Chrono Cross' plot does. Perhaps if people played RD and then CC, originality would be lost in the story, but for those that didn't, it wouldn't affect them. In the end, Chrono Cross was released, to those eagerly awaiting it and skeptics alike, and it lived up to the first game. With beautiful graphics, great character design, an intriguing plot, and a fun and innovative battle system, Chrono Cross truly does live up to its predecessor.
Chrono Cross was promoted to Greatest Hits status at the end of August, 2001. It earned a $20 price tag and ugly lime green GH packaging in this move. In the later part of February, 2002 it had a similar re-release in Japan, under the PSOne Books series.