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Photos of the Chrono Trigger Nintendo DS Box and Its Contents
Photos of the Chrono Trigger Nintendo DS box and its contents
[The following is a complete documentation of all ephemera encased within the Nintendo Dual Screen (NDS) re-release of Chrono Trigger. Discrepancies and similarities between physical materials such as guide books, manuals, posters, storage media, and media containers, along with trends — especially between the various video game iterations — will be discussed. Beside each description is a high-quality image of the document in question.]
General Comments about the Packaging for the Nintendo DS re-release of Chrono TriggerThe first-run copies of the NDS iteration of Chrono Trigger are indicated by a sticker on the front of the packaged shrink wrap. These stickers indicate that they come packaged with a limited-edition poster — which is the same poster found packaged in the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) release. Other copies released after this initial point, retracted the limited-edition poster and, as such, it is a unique artifact.
About the Version Used in this ProjectThanks to Greg Philbrook's donation, a first-run copy (which includes the limited-edition poster) of the artifact was utilized for the traversal, interview, and further examination of the NDS re-release. This complete artifact was important for the player for the purpose of reviewing game mechanics and controls, as well as gaining a more in-depth knowledge of this iteration as a whole. It was made known to the player which version this was, and the history and culture intrinsically attached to it.
Nintendo DS Box Contents
▹ One Nintendo DS Game Card
▹ One instruction booklet
▹ One one-sided complimentary poster
Nintendo DS Box, FrontThe box features artwork from the original SNES release of Chrono Trigger (that is also present in the form of a companion poster for both releases). Below is the publisher's logo "SQUARE ENIX" and the ESRB rating "E10+" (Everyone 10+) — which is noticeable because of the rating's distinction between the first two iterations. These ratings were "K-A" (Kids to Adults 6+) and "T" (Teen), respectively. Along the side of this box, is the NDS logo.
Nintendo DS Box, BackThe back liner reads: "The RPG of the Ages Returns. When a newly developed teleportation device malfunctions, young Crono must journey though time to rescue a mysterious girl from an intricate web of past and present perils. Enhanced with dual-screen presentation, stylus controls, and a host of great new features, the classic tale transcends time once again!" Two captions read: "Bonuses include brand-new dungeons and a multiplayer area," and "Timeless gameplay feels fresher than ever before!" Above each of these captions are images revealing the gameplay and dual-screen capability of the NDS. The images are, (from left to right) first a battle scene (with Ayla, Crono, and Frog) against Azala and her pet the Black Tyranno from the Prehistoric era, a scene of Marle, Lucca, and Robo in the Epoch, and lastly, artwork of Frog, Marle, and Crono is depicted. In the top right corner, an icon states that "Wireless DS Multi-Card Play" is an in-game function between two players and requires both players to own a copy of the video game. Below is an official Nintendo seal, a Nintendo logo, and a Square Enix logo. Lastly, the ESRB rating is specified further: (Everyone 10+, Animated Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol).
Nintendo DS Game Card, FrontThe following is a standard Nintendo game card and measures at 1.4' x 1.3' x 0.2' in size with a weight of 3.5 grams. This game card reiterates information displayed on the box.
Nintendo DS Game Card, Back
The reverse of the game card is standard and blank.
Nintendo DS Instruction Manual, FrontThe front cover is minimal in aesthetics, much like the PlayStation (PS) re-release instruction manual — with only the Chrono Trigger title logo present amidst a white background. Similar to the NDS box, the left side of the instructional manual is embellished with the NDS logo.
Nintendo DS Instruction Manual, BackThe reverse side is blank, except for the presense of detailed information pertaining to Square Enix, which reads: "SQUARE ENIX, www.square-enix.com, Published by Square Enix, Inc., 999 N. Sepulveda Blvd., 3rd Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245."
Nintendo DS Instruction Manual, ContentsWhen compared to the PS and SNES booklets, this manual stays true to the original SNES guide, utilizing the same table of contents imagery and character artwork (never depicting any of the cutscenes from the PS re-release). This manual is also far more colorful and vivid than the PS booklet, in a way reflecting the same atmosphere present in the original SNES instruction booklet. Although similar to the original in these aspects, this iteration is, by far, the most vague in its descriptions of events and characters, and only mentions a few of the items and tech moves featured in the game. There is also no walkthrough segment. These trends directly coincide with the abandonment of video game hint-lines as the Internet is an even greater repository for video game knowledge.
Nintendo DS PosterIncluded inside the box, in conjunction with the manual, is a complimentary poster (an exact replica of one of the poster's featured in the SNES release — which has also been displayed on the front of the NDS Chrono Trigger box).
Additional Nintendo DS Re-release ArtifactsThe following is a 2009 Japanese guide that was available to players at the time of Chrono Trigger's NDS re-release. A number of translations have been completed by members of the Chrono Compendium. It has been compiled in three Adobe PDF files down below. Please allow adequate time for the file to download.
▹ Chrono Trigger Ultimania Part 1 (2009) (pdf, 108 MB)
▹ Chrono Trigger Ultimania Part 2 (2009) (pdf, 50.2 MB)
▹ Chrono Trigger Ultimania Part 3 (2009) (pdf, 93.2 MB)
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Decline of Censorship
Contains information regarding the decline of censorship featured in the NDS version of Chrono Trigger
Shortly after the introduction of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994, Nintendo of America decided to abolish many of its game content guidelines that brought much censorship to video games localized from different regions. This decision allowed consumers to make their own choices concerning the video game content they deemed suitable, be it for themselves or for those under their care. Since this massive change, the only truly established rule is that — along with their competitors, Microsoft and Sony — “Nintendo does not sell or license games that carry the ESRB rating “AO” (Adults Only).”1 Oftentimes, video games in today’s market have their content altered by their respective developers. It is only seldomly that Nintendo of America chooses to interfere with a game’s content.
Later, in March 2005, the ESRB created a new category for its instrumental rating system, called “E10+” (Everyone 10+). This category sought to distinguish between family-friendly video games (deemed appropriate for children of at least six years) and those that may include more suggestive themes, but would nonetheless be too mild for the “T” (Teen) category. Many games were subjected to this decision, either forced into the “K-A” (Kids to Adults), later named “E” (Everyone) category, or the “T” rating.
Chrono Trigger experienced the same fate, first being rated as a “K-A” title on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and later finding itself labeled as a “T” title when bundled with Final Fantasy IV for the PlayStation (PS). Due to these significant changes, it is conceivable that some gamers were never exposed to Chrono Trigger during the PS re-release era. It has been shown increasingly that, in the words of Jay Campbell, "the number of parents nationwide that are aware of the ESRB ratings and using them regularly when choosing games for their families continues to grow with each year. In fact, not only are more parents using the ratings, they are using them more often than ever before."2 In fact, “parental confidence in the ESRB ratings has never been greater.”2
As such, the ESRB rating categories and content descriptors influence the buying behaviors of consumers, especially parents, and even have the ability to fate a video game to popularity or obscurity. By allowing for an intermediary rating, more content could be deemed acceptable for a game without carrying the burden of a “T” label. As a matter of fact, the “E10+” label is easy to overlook as distinct — it is nearly identical in presentation to the “E” rating. With this added leniency, along with the abolishment of previous Nintendo of America game content guidelines, Nintendo Dual Screen (NDS) Chrono Trigger translator, Tom Slattery, decided to bring back some of the Japanese cultural artifacts lost due to previous censorship.After an extensive analysis, it is apparent that Slattery freed barriers on alcohol use and sexuality, sometimes utilizing uncommon or formal words to refer to such topics — presumably as a means of employing ambiguity in order to further safeguard younger gamers. Slattery also kept intact the preceding censorship of profanity and religious themes. However, at the same time, retranslation of item names led to the introduction of new elements from Japanese culture, specifically the mentioning of Buddhist deities, demons, and heaven. In the end, it was these new additions from Japanese culture that were articulated to North American gaming communities during the Chrono Trigger NDS re-release.
 "Customer Service - Nintendo Buyer's Guide." Nintendo. Nintendo, n.d. Web. 28 July 2015.
 "Awareness, Use and Trust of ESRB Video Game Ratings Reach Historical High-Point Among Parents." Entertainment Software Rating Board. Entertainment Software Association, 29 May 2006. Web. 28 July 2015.