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This Was Chrono Trigger Creator Takashi Tokita's Favorite Character

"Chrono Trigger," a long-neglected Square Enix game known for its abundance of possible endings, came back into the conversation in 2022 with the release of a remake of spiritual successor "Live a Live" on the Nintendo Switch. As documented by Kotaku, the "Chrono Trigger" cast serves as one of the standout parts of the RPG, providing ample opportunities for players to bond with the personas they most relate to. 

As it turns out, even developers have their darlings. Fan sites continue to unearth information about the 1995 title from ancient interviews. One such account revealed "Chrono Trigger" creator Takashi Tokita's favorite character: Ayla (translation via shmuplations.com). The warrior, who leads Ioka Village, teams up with the time travelling crew in the 65,000,000 BC Prehistoric period.

Author Madeleine Philbrook considered Ayla an example of a character that shirks gender norms and stereotypes. Both Philbrook and Clyde Mandelin of Legends of Localization have discussed the ongoing debate over whether Ayla is bisexual, which stems from a conversation she has about liking both strong men and strong women. A different quality distinguished Ayla in Takashi Tokita's mind.

Takashi Tokita loved Ayla's personality

According to shmuplations.com, Takashi Tokita based Ayla's design in "Chrono Trigger" on Taiwanese singer Ouyang Fei Fei. However, he didn't favor her just because of her looks. "RPGs that have come out recently have all been so serious and dramatic, with many serious protagonists who shoulder heavy burdens," Tokita shared before zeroing in on what distinguishes Ayla. "Given the prevalence of characters like that, I wanted to try adding a simple character, one who lives by instinct (and those qualities would be good for gags and jokes, too)."

"Final Fantasy" developer Yoshinori Kitase, who served as co-director for "Chrono Trigger," talked about Ayla as a favorite in terms of "appearances." However, Tokita seemed to consider the characters' personalities to a greater extent when he chose Ayla. "Because there were fewer characters in Chrono Trigger compared with FFVI, it allowed their personalities to stand out more," he said in the interview collection.

Ayla mostly speaks in broken sentences, but her ferocity stands out despite that. Many of her lines encapsulate her dedication to take on any fight, including the commonly quoted: "Ayla fight. Ayla no run. Running worse than losing." Perhaps that's part of the simplicity Tokita had in mind.