TSM Episode 615: Chrono Style

Chrono Cross and Xenogears, despite some shortcomings, preserve much of what is special about Chrono Trigger.
The Spirit of Chrono Trigger lives on in other games.

Download Link: Released 2020.12.07

Akademician and SiliconNooB engage in some long-form discussion on the topic of creative style in video games, before they review the latest updates from the site-wide playthroughs, report the news, and trudge miserably through a particularly large Plop.


  1. I am old enough that through my entire pre-adult life games all came with manuals. I would read the paper manuals before I played the game almost every time. That said, my used copy of Xenogears doesn’t have a manual. Digital manuals on the other hand I almost never read.

  2. I the death of the paper manual started when the Internet became accessable. I think maybe post-ps1 days. They started getting smaller during the ps2 and 360 eras. Now with smart phones its there at the flick of a finger.

  3. Early digital manuals were usually terribly inelegant: suspend your game to navigate a system menu to launch the manual which displays usually in an fixed-size scan that has to be scrolled in every direction in order to be read. It’s not a surprise that developers started building full references into the game in the form of both more expansive (and replayable) turorials, and ‘how to play’ menus in the game that include all the material which was once in a manual.

    This latter, when properly done, is probably the best option, and it can do some things that no manual could ever do. But I do miss the old paper manuals, especially the really nice, full-colour ones that were ubiquitous before companies started skimping in the PS1 era.

    In point of fact ALL of the PS2 games I ever owned had really nice manuals, and all my PS3 games had manuals too, until well into the life of that system when developers started leaving them out. Even SE didn’t try that on the PS3 until Lightning Returns (both XIII and XIII-2 have lovely, extensive, full-colour manuals). By the time the PS4 launched, the trend was regrettably well established. :(

  4. http://www.thegameisafootarcade.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Deadly-Towers-Game-Manual.pdf

    As I mentioned back in my review of DT, the manual is where you get the basic goal for that game. But that was, in fact, pretty common for NES games. MOST of them expected you to have read the manual in order to understand the basic gist of the story or point. They didn’t always have the data space for extended explanation in the game itself–often just an intro scene, if you were lucky (DT and Zelda and Metroid all did this amongst many others, if you waited on the start screen. DT does it badly! Metroid and Zelda do it well.)

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