Sea of Stars is an upcoming RPG prequel to The Messenger. It is the sort of project in which its inspirations are worn on its figurative sleeve. In this case, its tributes to Chrono Trigger appear via the means of its battle system, world map, and even music from Chrono Trigger and Cross composer Yasunori Mitsuda. During a preview event, Siliconera learned more about the “around 10” songs from Mitsuda and game’s influences from Sabotage Studio President and Creative Director Thierry Boulanger.
During the preview event, Mitsuda’s music ended up referenced early on. While showing off a quest that would send Valere, Zale, and Garl to an abandoned wizard’s lab on behalf of the pirate Klee Shae, Boulanger teased the first track. While wandering around the world map, headed to the location, the party passed Coral Cascades. Boulanger noted that is where players will hear the first track the Chrono Trigger composer made for the game.
Later, Boulanger elaborated when asked about the extent of Mitsuda’s contributions to the project. He said, “Some of [the tracks] have both day and night versions, which are counted as two separate tracks. Considering this, we are expecting around ten tracks from Mitsuda.”
During the 2020 Sea of Stars Kickstarter campaign, Sabotage Studio announced the Chrono Trigger composer would work on some songs for the soundtrack. At the time, it didn’t explain the potential extent of his work on the project. However, the developer did note that he and Eric W. Brown would both work on the game’s soundtrack. Brown also worked on The Messenger
As for other references, it calls to mind Chrono Trigger in other ways. One is its battle system. It features up to three characters in the fight at once like Chrono Trigger. It also involves turn-based combat that immediately takes place in the field, without being taken to a separate area. Characters have certain elements associated with them, such as Valere and her affinity with Lunar magic. The world map involves a zoomed out space, with multiple locations shown. When asked about its other influences on Sea of Stars, Boulanger noted, “In terms of narrative, there will be none, but its lessons when it comes to simplicity and taking a distilled approach to what is presented is present in a lot of ways when it comes to design, including in our previous game.”
Finally, Siliconera asked if there would be any opportunities to develop relationships between characters or work on any reputation, Boulanger explained players wouldn’t see that. However, he did suggest there will be be side quests for some people. He said, “While all characters have a rich backstory and some of them may hint at optional side quests for their personal closure towards the end of the game, there is nothing in the game akin to romance, gifting, reputation or relationship building.”
Sea of Stars will come to the Nintendo Switch and PC during the 2022 holiday season. Its Kickstarter campaign raised CA$1,628,126 from 25,589 people in 2020.