Masato Kato returns to the beloved game Chrono Cross with Complex Dream, a crossover event in the free-to-play traditional RPG Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space. The question gamers will inevitably ask is if it’s a venture worth traveling to different dimensions for, or is it one that can simply be ignored? I was pleasantly surprised by just how expansively detailed this event is, and can see it appealing to nostalgic Chrono Cross fans as well as those enjoying the extensive world of Another Eden.
Once players update Another Eden and complete the main story through Chapter 13, they can access Complex Dream through the Records menu’s Symphony section. Complex Dream offers multiple difficulty tiers depending on players’ current progress in the story and their resulting party levels, so everyone can play it while not feeling unchallenged. After choosing your preferred difficulty level, the event’s prologue begins in earnest.
Complex Dream centers around an alternate reality called Another World where Aldo and company failed to prevent the Beast King from taking over the present timeline of Another Eden‘s world. This alternate reality not only results in both Aldo and his sister Feinne being lost and presumed dead, but somehow draws characters from the Chrono Cross universe into Another Eden’s. It isn’t long after traveling to this new reality that the party encounters both Harle and Kid of CC fame, and a new adventure to try to figure out how the alternate reality came into being begins. The protagonist of CC, Serge, also joins the fray later on, with antagonist Lynx serving as the main adversarial force throughout the event. CC fans will also be delighted to learn that the strange and lovable alien Starky also makes an appearance.
Players must choose between traveling with either Kid or Harle at the beginning of Complex Dream, which will impact and alter later story scenes accordingly. It’s a tough decision to make, though I ultimately went with Harle for my initial playthrough. Similar to Chrono Cross, Aldo and company will travel between the two dimensions to complete story quests. Complex Dream is comprised of a prologue and three main story chapters, with a wealth of optional sub-events to peruse depending on who is or isn’t in your party. I was thoroughly impressed by how much content there is in the event. As a CC fan, I also loved the little homages and further insight the sub-events gave into the CC characters, particularly Harle and Starky. Select music tracks from Chrono Cross feature throughout the event, fitting nicely with the musical score of Another Eden in surprising and pleasant ways. Character designer Nobuteru Yūki returns to supervise the new character art for the Chrono Cross characters, which fits wonderfully with the visual aesthetic of Another Eden.
I wouldn’t say the crossover’s story is quite on the level of CC‘s overall writing, but seeing the returning characters is all sorts of fun and nostalgic. I loved the little touches of insight we got into the CC characters throughout Complex Dream. Harle in particular has some truly great moments, and I loved her friendship with Another World’s Altena. The reactions everyone has to suddenly being in an alternate reality is pretty spot-on for both games, and I had to laugh at Aldo’s whole, “Well, that’s a thing that happened” mentality given the space and time adventures the crew so often gets into. There’s plenty of nostalgia for Chrono Cross fans here, and its further exploration of the game world and themes makes this the first crossover event from Another Eden that I’d truly recommend AE players check out.
Battles in Another Eden should be pretty standard stuff by the point you’re able to access Complex Dream. Serge, Kid, and Harle can equip Elements from treasure chests during the event that allows players to customize their movesets, stats, and abilities, but they otherwise follow the same equipment and skill tree format as any other Another Eden character. Overall, the turn-based system doesn’t change much from what’s encountered in the rest of Another Eden, but with the inclusion of battle areas called Zones from Chrono Cross. Certain skills that have elemental properties will affect the Zone, making for weakened or strengthened attacks when using other moves with elemental attachments. It adds another layer of strategy to the fights, and I found the addition felt right at home during the event.
Upon defeating the final boss of the event Serge joins the party officially, along with either Harle or Kid depending on who you initially chose. Players can opt to play through Complex Dream again through the New Game+ option to gain access to the other character or see events they may have missed out on initially. There is even an option to not pick Kid or Harle in New Game+! The difficulty can also be changed at any time to help reflect players’ progress in the main story. The wealth of content and replayability featured in the event is quite impressive.
There’s a lot of fun nostalgia to be had throughout Complex Dream if you’re a CC fan. I personally loved the layering of more lore that the event provides to Another Eden overall. I even appreciate that the event provides a bit of “wiggle room” in how players further explore Another World given how seamlessly its inclusion ties into the rest of the game. I certainly wouldn’t mind if another CC crossover event took place later on down the road given how strong this one was. Complex Dream is definitely a dream worth perusing if you’re already playing Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space.