Radical Dreamers: The Unstealable Jewel

a.k.a. Radical Dreamers: Nusumenai Hōseki / RADICAL DREAMERS ~盗めない宝石~

created and published by Square in 1996, running on Super Nintendo
type: adventure, role-play
genre: Manga, Fantasy
perspective: other fixed camera
player options: single player
languages: jpn

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Game description from Romhacking.net:

Radical Dreamers is a visual novel set in the Chrono Trigger universe. It is a pseudo-sequel to Chrono Trigger itself, and is commonly referred to as the game that inspired Chrono Cross. This is true to a very great extent, but if you’re expecting CC on the SNES or anything even vaguely similar to CC, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. RD plays very much like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Text is displayed for a while, and eventually you will be prompted to make a choice based on the text. You navigate the mansion that way, you fight battles that way, and in fact, you do -everything- that way. So if reading isn’t your thing, then you’re not going to get much enjoyment out of the game. If you like to read, however, you’re in for a treat.

At the core of any novel - whether it’s pushed as a paperback or hardcover book, a PDF file on some website, or a game like this one - is its story and its writing. Demi’s team has gone through great pains to ensure that the writing is second to none; in fact, you could probably pass this off as a major literary work. I can’t imagine how many pages it would be if it were printed in book form.

The story is a good one as well, one that Cross fans will be familiar with. It follows Serge, Kid, and Magil through Viper Manor in their quest for the Frozen Flame. They go through a number of interesting rooms, encounter a number of fearsome beasts, and meet a number of interesting people. There’s the development of a relationship between Serge and Kid, there’s the mysterious past that Kid wants to get revenge for, there’s the ever-driving hunt for gold, gold, and more gold. On the whole, it’s quite a good read.

Combat, as I mentioned, is text based like the rest of the game. Serge does have "health" and you can "die", and the results of your actions won’t always go the same way each time. Each time you get hurt by anything, the game lowers Serge’s health a little, and eventually the text accompanying his state of being will alter as well to give you an idea of how badly injured he is. The whole system is nothing really groundbreaking, but it can work against you if you have incredibly bad luck. The game isn’t very long though, so hopefully, health won’t be an issue.

Graphically and aurally, the game ranges from decent to good. There are a few truly beautifully done areas in the game (most notably the study) but while most of the graphics aren’t really anything groundbreaking, they certainly suffice and get the point across. The sound and music fare about the same. Many of the tunes in Radical Dreamers were remixed for use in Cross, so some of them may be familiar while others probably won’t. Again, my favorite theme has to be the one that plays in the study.

All in all, if you like reading and you’re a Chrono fan, give Radical Dreamers a whirl. It’ll fill up an afternoon, anyway, and even if you’ve managed to get all three endings to the main scenario, there are still six or seven other sub-scenarios that you can read through once you’ve gone through the main for the first time. I haven’t played any of them, though, so I can’t say much about them, but I thoroughly enjoyed the main chapter.

Released only on the Bandai-Satellaview add-on for the Japanese SNES console. An unofficial English translation is available:
(cjlee001) - # 2006

Technical specs

display: raster

Authors / Staff


Masato Kato (director)


Yasuhiko Kamata (artist)


Yasunori Mitsuda )Composer)


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The Frozen Flame
Radical Dreamers: The Unstealable Jewel (Super Nintendo)
Radical Dreamers: The Unstealable Jewel (Super Nintendo)
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