It is impossible to deny the impact that Chrono Trigger has had on the gaming industry as a whole. The game is still inspiring modern RPG designers and fans have been clamoring for a sequel for years. Its fantastic storyline as well as its loveable characters will keep it a favorite of RPG fans for years to come.
One of those fantastic characters in the game is Ayla. Ayla isn’t just a strong, smart, and confident woman who struggles with modern grammar. A lot went into her character design and there are secrets about Ayla that even some diehard Chrono Trigger fans don’t know.
10 Her Animal Connection
Ayla’s fur is more than just a fluffy bikini. Fans have noticed her name highly resembles that of the Tayra, a member of the weasel family that lives in the Americas. While Tayras in the real world doesn’t come in purple, some of their furs do have the same greyer color that Ayla’s outfit has in the Chrono Trigger AMVs.
9 Her Unused Club
All of Ayla’s official artwork depicts her with her signature club. However, all of her attacks in the game primarily use her fists — never a club. It’s easy to not think about when casually playing through the game but it’s one of the biggest inconsistencies in all of Chrono Trigger.
8 Her Bisexuality
That’s right, Ayla would be a part of the pride parade! Many players missed this bit of dialogue from the Chrono Trigger, “You strong, too. Ayla like strong person. Man, woman… both like!” This was changed when the game left Japan for the first time, likely to not upset more conservative audiences at the time.
Localization teams have long been known for making these kinds of changes but fans tend to prefer direct translations for their stories. Luckily, the dialogue was given a more accurate translation to the original text when it was re-released on the Nintendo DS.
7 She Was The Director’s Favorite Character
Parents only say they don’t have favorite kids but this isn’t always the game for game designers. In an interview in Famitsu back in March of 1995, Takashi Tokita identified Ayla as his favorite character in Chrono Trigger. He also claimed he added in the game for the potential humor she could add to the game.
6 Her Confusing Family Tree
Ayla’s family is beyond confusing in the Chrono franchise. Players have speculated she is either the parent of or the child of Leah from Chrono Cross, but the timeline is too confusing to confirm either option. It is confirmed however that Marle is a descendant of Ayla and her husband Kino.
5 Her Changes And Censorship
Ayla has faced a lot of changes and censorship to make her more palatable to general audiences. Her healing move was actually called Arousal in test builds of the game but was changed to Kiss later on. Her love of sake was also removed in US versions of the game.
There were also some issues concerning the… “jiggle physics” of certain portions of her anatomy during development (an impressive feat for sprite-based animation, anyway). The game’s producer, Kazuhiko Aoki, commented on it being too extreme and forced them to change her final animations for the game.
4 Her Design Was Inspired By A Singer
Takashi Tokita has confirmed that a large inspiration for Ayla’s character came from Ouyang Fei Fei, especially Ayla’s wavery hair. Ouyang Fei Fei is a Taiwanese-Japanese singer who had two number one songs on the music charts there — Ame no Midōsuji and Love Is Over. It’s likely Tokita was listening to her latest album at the time, Orthodox, during the development of the game.
3 The Meaning Of Her Name
In Chrono Cross, Leah says that Ayla’s name means “new song of land” while saying it is what she plans to name her child. This doesn’t line up with real-world meanings of Ayla’s names at all. In Hindu, the name means “born of knowledge” while in Turkish it means “halo of light around the moon.” In Spanish, the name translates closely to “Island” but in Urdu its meaning as “noble” certainly fits Ayla’s nature.
2 She Inspired A Playboy Model
Chrono Trigger might not have a rare Adult rating but pictures from Pamela Horton certainly should. Pamela is a Playboy Magazine alumni but not just for her time as Miss October in 2012. She also is famous for the notorious Bayonetta photoshoot Nintendo used as a promotional stunt. She has said that Ayla is one of her favorite video game characters of all time because she’s a “big badass woman who doesn’t care what other people think and is just really assertive and doesn’t let herself get pushed around.”
1 Her Literary Connections
Takashi Tokita has confirmed that Ayla received her name in honor of another fictional woman living in prehistoric times. The Ayla found in Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series also has blonde hair and a strong will just like Ayla in Chrono Trigger. The Clan of the Cavebear movie premiered in 1986, nine years before Chrono Trigger was released with enough time to inspire Tokita to check out the books.