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Do you listen to music when writing?

Well, that’s a bit of an interesting story.

Prior to writing Steven Universe stories, I absolutely could not listen to music of any kind while writing. Even if was just lowkey instrumental/ambiance, for some reason it ALWAYS triggered my mind to imagine other stuff, which made writing all but impossible for me as long as there was noise around. 

So for 85-90% of my writing career, that answer would be a hard no.

When I started working on Gem Ascension, suddenly that changed. I still can’t listen to music where there’s actual singing involved (unless it’s just really subdued or aesthetic choir noises), but I found myself better able to write whenever I had some scene-appropriate BGM playing. Usually from video games.

There’s a few wonderful souls on Youtube whose entire channels involve posting BGM tracks of all sorts of different series (seen it with games, anime, and wrestling tunes at least) - in 30-minute loops

This is immensely helpful for me, as I write huge amounts of content and thus tend to be stuck in a scene for a good while. And my momentum would be broken up big time if the track ran out at its original time and shifted to something that completely throws the mood off. Having the tracks extended to 30 minutes makes that much of a difference to me.

I’m really not sure why now I’m able to listen to at least some form of music while writing when I spent nearly 2 decades not being able to do it at all. But there you go.

I’ve gone through MANY tracks from many different games, anime, and wrestling themes throughout my tenure of writing my Gem Ascension continuity, but I’ll say my go-tos are largely due in part to the tracks of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross (by Yasunori Mitsuda). 

Best of that pack for writing: Corridors of Time, Mystery of the Forest, Undersea Palace, Silent Light, Chronopolis (my default Homeworld scene music), Star-Stealing Girl, Death Volcano, and Edge of Death.

David Wise’s music was also just as much-used and essential to my progress. Choice tracks include:

Fear Factory, Aquatic Ambiance, Life in the Mines, Northern Hemispheres, Treetop Rock, Crocodile Cacophony, Forest Interlude, Flight of the Zinger, Mining Melancholy, Hot-Head Bop, Hot-Top Volcano, Jungle Falls, Darkmoon Caverns,

Koji Kondo gets an honorable mention, because Dire, Dire Docks was a VERY often-used one for me. As did Koopa’s Road, Mario Kart 64′s version of Rainbow RoadInside the Deku Tree, Forest Temple, Spirit Temple, Water Temple, Last End, Ikana Valley, and Stone Tower Temple (+ Inverted Version).

Super Mario Galaxy has an OST made for epic Steven Universe fics where off-world stuff is the focus. Buoy Base Galaxy, Space Junk Galaxy, Pipe Interior, and Ghostly Galaxy just to name a few.

And of course, I often used some choice Nobuo Uematsu classics from Final Fantasy. And also the Final Fantasy games after he stopped composing for them. Anxious Heart, FF7′s Main Theme, On That Day 5 Years Ago, Life Stream, Chasing the Black-Caped Man, Who Am I, Shinra Army Wages a Full-Scale Attack, If You Open Your Heart, The Birth of God

Stevidot scenes often had me using Tifa’s Theme and Serah’s Theme - Memory (the latter very shamefully).

I remember spamming New Bodhum for the scenes at the Crystal Temple/Steven’s house. Surprisingly the singing didn’t throw me off here.

Same can be said for Historia Crux and Plains of Eternity.

And yes, I have used tracks from Final Fantasies IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, and so on. But I’d be here all day listing those.

Hilariously, I recall special songs I had playing in 30-minute chunks as I neared the end of GA Act III: Super Mario World’s Ending Theme, Super Mario 64′s Staff Roll, Chrono Trigger’s To Far Away Times, Sonic the Hedgehog 3′s Credits, Sonic CD’s Sonic Boom (Ending Version) (one of the few exceptions where songs with singing didn’t throw me off)

But the very last track that played as I finished the original Gem Ascension trilogy? 

To the Moon - from Ducktales Remastered. Though honestly, I was cycling between that, the original version, and this amazing orchestral fan remix.

…. I didn’t expect that answer to be nearly as complex as it became. Uh, enjoy the music selection that inspired GA, I guess? :P

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Sabotage Studio, the team behind The Messenger, recently launched a Kickstarter for Sea of Stars, an RPG that takes place in the same universe as The Messenger. Those who checked out the Kickstarter (and helped it hit the funding goal) were quick to notice some influences on the game, and Sabotage Studio is more than willing to confirm suspicions. In an interview with Gamasutra, Sabotage’s Thierry Boulanger opened up about the influence from both Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG.

“Chrono Trigger is great because there wasn’t a transition when you got into combat, you just started fighting. In Super Mario RPG, you need to press the attack button and not just watch an animation when you attack. We wanted to have active input. When I was a kid playing any turn-based RPG I would always press the attack button hoping it would do something. I wanted our game to have that too.”

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I’ve never played Chrono Trigger or even watched a playthrough but somehow I know Wind Scene (600 ad).

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I vehemently refuse to refer to the protagonist of Chrono Trigger as Crono. That’s only his name because of character limitations on the naming system and i hope we one day get a proper remake if for no other reason than resoving this heinous crime.

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Ok so! As you may know, I’ve been doing a LOT of writing for ChronoTale as of late. (I currently have enough written to where the party has made to Mettaton’s battle!) So, I’m at a point where I just wanted…to kinda give an idea to where the story is currently headed n’ perhaps answer some questions if anyone had any? (Won’t try to spoil too much!) And perhaps address a couple things.

OK SO FIRST OFF I WANNA ADDRESS THIS SINCE IT JUST KINDA HAPPENED WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION-

In the chapter “Fight On, Undyne!” Lucca mentions that they met a robot that Marle named “Tangent” (as well as Robo). I simply added this character (she’s honestly an old OC I haven’t touched since like 2016 that I decided to bring back for this) to satisfy the whole “four or more people can’t enter a time gate at once” thing since I couldn’t figure out a good way to rewrite the plot so that Frog stuck around, so quickly scrapped that and I thought it’d be inefficient if I rewrote it to be that more than two people couldn’t enter a time gate at a time. So! My only other option was to simply add another character that they met in 2300AD. So! That’s why Tangent exists lmao. I should draw her sometime to show what she looks like.

So! Another thing I wanna address. Back when the monsters still roamed the Earth, they co-existed with the humans and the mystics (in fact, in this universe, the mystics are sort of a “sub-species” of monster. They’re very similar to the monsters, but they’re also kind of their own thing? Like, they’re mostly made up of magic very much like monsters and they can use magic as well, obviously. Hence why they’re a “sub-species” of monster.) since the beginning of the Zeal era, and possibly even before that. It may make sense why the Human vs Monster war even happened when you take into consideration that Queen Zeal was ruling over Zeal (by herself) when she declared war on monster kind. The “seven magicians” that sealed the monsters underground (below even the village of the Earthbound in the winter wastelands beneath Zeal) were Queen Zeal, Schala (against her will), Dalton, Melchior, Gaspar, Belthasar, and some other seventh NPC that I could give a random name to but I haven’t dwelled too much on that lmaoo but anyway. This also explains why the monsters have more advanced technology in present day. They were around when Zeal was a thing (since Zeal in canon Chrono Trigger had WAY more advanced technology than present day Guardia) and since they were deep below the surface when Queen Zeal and all summoned Lavos in the Ocean Palace which ultimately resulted in Lavos decimating the entirety Zeal, the monsters were not effected. (Since he was physically summoned by using magic and the power of the Mammon Machine, it was almost as if he was “teleported” there, so to speak. Then he returned via the Mammon Machine, so he didn’t have to go through the underground, though they did feel some shaking, almost in an Earthquake-type fashion). I also think it’s important to note that before the kingdom sealed the monsters below the surface, Janus tended to gravitate more towards the monsters than his fellow humans. The only human he felt comfortable around was, of course, Schala. So when they all banished the monsters underground, he was more or less more lonely since Zeal always had Schala occupied with the Ocrean Palace. So really at that point he pretty much only had Alfador. Fast forward several hundred years, now! Medieval Guardia times. Chara’s time. The year they fell down MT.Ebott was roughly around 590-ish. Before Glenn was transformed into Frog and before Cyrus died. Chara personally knew Glenn and often hung around him since they knew how he felt when everyone was mean to him. (Since they were also bullied and had a rough home life.) Glenn and Cyrus were the only humans Chara trusted and liked. Glenn and Cyrus even went far enough as to train Chara in sword fighting, despite them just being around 10 or 11 at the time. Chara considered the both of them to be more parental figures than their actual parents. Of course though, even with both of their support and encouragement, it unfortunately was not enough for Chara as they did attempt to take their own life by falling down MT.Ebott. Of course though, that didn’t work as they were found by Asriel and taken in by Asgore and Toriel. They did miss Glenn and Cyrus and felt bad they kinda abandoned the both of them but they did feel more safe with the Dreemurrs and around the other monsters than on the surface. (To the point that they would come up with the plan to consume buttercups and poison themselves so Asriel could absorb their SOUL and cross the barrier to take 6 other human’s souls to break the barrier and free monster kind with Asriel). It was shortly after Chara fell into MT.Ebott that Glenn and Cyrus went up against Magus. Think about that, Glenn, Cyrus and Chara all went missing roughly around the same time. Maybe a few days-ish apart. Even several years later, Glenn still doesn’t know what happened to Chara. They never told anyone what they were gonna do so neither Glenn or Cyrus knew what happened to them.

Chara does ultimately die when they consume the buttercups for their and Asirel’s plan and then dies for good when the humans on the surface kill the fusion between them and Asriel. What wakes Chara from death, however, is Crono’s determination when he falls into the underground. Through his determination is also the reason why they’re forced to be with him and can’t go farther than a certain distance away from him and because they’re bond to him and his determination is the reason why only he can see and interact with them. However, Napstablook and Mad Dummy can also see and interact with them because they’re ghosts themselves. (Mad Dummy, tho possessing a dummy, can see and interact with them because they aren’t fully corporal, hence why Mettaton can’t see or interact with them himself because he’s fully corporal with his robot body). Chara can also see the SAVE points because Crono is able to see them.

So, now that the sort of “backstory” is established, let’s move on to Lavos and touch a bit on him! First I wanna say that I took the liberty and sort of gave him a personality and made him more sentient than he’s implied to be in Chrono Trigger. His goal is no different than it is in Chrono Trigger: to devour the Earth for his own personal gain and then send his spawn out to other planets to repeat the process. One could argue that he isn’t really so much of a “bad guy” since he’s just doing what he needs to in order to survive, but what makes Lavos undoubtly lean more so towards an antagonist in this universe is his motives and the way he’s going about doing what he needs. He’s cocky, manipulative, he knows what he wants and he’s determined to get it done no matter what or else he could die. (One could still argue that perhaps he isn’t aware that what he’s doing is bad, per se. He just knows he has to feed off the Earth or else he’ll die). The reason Lavos is awoken while Crono and Lucca are in the underground is kind of similar to how Chara is awoken. Lavos was awoken once Crono entered the CORE. Crono’s determination is what awoken Lavos. He began to stir about and then by the time the party makes it to Mettaton and starts battling him, he breaks through the ground and enters the underground, which happens to be in the back of Asgore’s castle, by the barrier. He immediately recognizes the human SOULs for what they are and realizes that he can absorb said SOULs to become God-like and speed up his planet-devouring by a lot. Lavos does have a SOUL himself. He has an alien SOUL, which is dark purple in color. Alphys actually did resource on alien souls back when she was studying human/monster souls in the True Lab. When she thought her work with the fallen monsters and golden flower she injected with Determination was a failure, she found old research and notes on a creature living beneath the Earth left behind by the previous Royal Scientist (Gaster) and she read those and thought maybe perhaps if she can’t get monster souls to last, maybe she could somehow acesss this creature and try with its soul. She knew it was risky and could potentially end badly but she was desperate since she knew everyone was counting on her. So she went through Gaster’s old notes and research several times. What actually prevented her from even trying to summon Lavos to her lab to expirement on his SOUL was that the fallen monsters she had injected with Determination had woken up. So she turned her attention to them again. But of course, anyone who knows the story of the True Lab knows how that ends. But! The reason I brought this up is that once Lavos broke into the underground, Alphys knew almost immediately what was going on due to all the research she read and did herself. She retreated to her true lab to try and find a way to stop him before he broke out of the underground, or worse.

Lavos taking the human souls means he’s now the most powerful and determined being in the underground, therefore taking Crono’s ability to SAVE, LOAD, and RESET, which means if he dies in the underground….he dies for good unless Lavos decides to reload a SAVE file to before he gets killed.

(However, the SAVE, LOAD, and RESET functions do not work out of the underground unless a monster, or alien in Lavos’ case, were to absorb several human souls then they would have enough power to use those features out of the underground. Crono, being a human, cannot absorb other human souls, so therefore cannot ever be able to use these functions out of the underground.)

Even when Lavos leaves the underground via using his and the stolen human souls to shatter the barrier, Crono still doesn’t regain his ability to SAVE, LOAD and RESET since Lavos is considered the most powerful being. (In other words, only one being may posses this power at a time).

Lavos has three forms, just like in Chrono Trigger. Lavos breaks into the underground in his first form, AKA the one you see throughout most of Chrono Trigger. Once he absorbs the human souls, however, he takes the form of the humanoid creature you see and fight at the very end of the game, except with many obvious differences.

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With pods n’ all, he is able to escape the underground and start doomsday early.

And because the barrier is now destroyed monsters like Undyne, Alphys and Mettaton (and others) agree to help Crono, Lucca and the others to stop and defeat Lavos or else all life on Earth could come to an end.

So anyways I think that’s all I wanted to address at the moment, lmao. I kinda info dumped the HELL out of this but I think everything else beyond this point could either be considered a spoiler or has yet to be determined (lol no pun intended).

Anyway yeah! That’s it for now. Lmaooo hsgsbfdjsbdn I’ll probably make another submission once I work more ahead and figure more stuff out.

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replaying CT for the umpteenth time has given me more appreciation for chrono’s mom

the heiress to the local throne, a goth who has committed war crimes, and a fucking cartoon robot break into her house (she has never seen ANY of these people before in her life) and she doesn’t question this for a minute just “oh ok these are probably my son’s friends”

i guess that’s what happens when you give birth to goku

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More patron art because I got quite a bit of this to share. XD @shrekrek requested IF Sans dumping socks into the Socket Dimension as Papyrus looks on in horror. @vuristwo requested a sketch of Asriel from the Doused Flames AU as well as regular ol’ Undertale Chara. Funtime07 requested Photoshop Flowey, and @scolipendra91 requested UT battle sprites of Frog from Chrono Trigger and a Scolipede! :o

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