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A bit of history for you. In 1996, Square Soft (now Square-Enix) released Chrono Trigger, a phenomenally successful RPG for the Super Nintendo. A sequel to Chrono Trigger was in the works for a while, but not in the way people might have expected. Rather than another console RPG, the sequel surfaced in the Japan-only Satellaview add-on for the SNES. This little device allowed players to download content and games, in a remarkably prescient precursor to current trends for home consoles, over ten years later.

One of the games Square released for the Satellaview was Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Houseki (The Unstealable Jewel). This is actually a Visual Novel, with mainly ambient music and dark, mysterious background images. Although there are no controls other than hitting the A button to select choices, there is a sort of pseudo-battle system involved, where the player must select actions to battle enemies, despite not having any visible Hit Points. It is possible to die this way. (And many, many other ways as well.)

The story involves a trio of bandits, the titular Radical Dreamers, consisting of Serge, the protagonist, who follows Kid, a young girl with a short temper, and Magil, a mysterious magician, as they break into Viper Manor, home of the imposing Lord Lynx, on a quest to steal a treasure called the Frozen Flame. On the surface, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Chrono Trigger... except that we later find that Magil is actually Magus from CT, on his search for Schala. Yasunori Mitsuda, who composed the much-lauded soundtrack to CT, also composed the music for Radical Dreamers.

Fast-forward four years to 2000 when Square's Play Station era was well underway. A full-blown sequel was announced for the PSX, called Chrono Cross. However, rather than being a brand-new game, it built off of elements from Radical Dreamers. This included plenty of shout outs, such as Viper Manor, Lynx, and the Frozen Flame, and lots of remixed music, including the main theme (which became the Alternate Universe theme, as opposed to the Chrono Trigger main theme which was the Home Universe theme). The creators have said that RD is a sort of (yet another) alternate dimension to the Canon Chrono Cross. In fact, in Chronopolis the party can actually find a terminal that repeats the introduction to RD verbatim and the characters comment on it. In addition, the ending theme is called "Radical Dreamers: Le Tresor Interdit", a rough translation of the full title of the original.

RD contains one "main" story and, once it's finished, the ability to branch it off into seven wildly different stories which range from poignant to ridiculous.

Three years later, in 2003, a fan translation was created, allowing English-speakers to play Radical Dreamers for the first time on an emulator. The translators did their best to keep as many Chrono Cross aspects as they could, including the English names and Kid's Australian accent.

More info on The Other Wiki.

This visual novel provide examples of:

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