Early Translation Screenshots

The manual of the final US version has some screenshots showing some early work on the translation of the game:

The highlighted save file here says 'The Warlock's Castle,' while in the final it is known as 'Magus' Lair.' Note that Magus is known as Maou (the Demon King) throughout the first half of the game in the Japanese version. Warlock is probably a reflection of that as an early translation, before they decided to stick with Magus throughout the whole game.

In all of these screenshots, Robo is referred to as Robot and Ayla's name is OM2. If you were to compare the table of English characters in the translation, and the kana table from the Japanese version, you'd see that OM2 in the translation corresponds to the location of the kana for EIRA (エイラ) in the Japanese (Eira being the Japanese pronunciation for Ayla). Basically, it's using her Japanese name encoding while using the English character set:

This probably means that the default names hadn't been set yet when you're asked to name a new character.

On page 56 of the manual, a weapon called the Fleaver is listed. This is simply the Slasher(SOISOO-tou ソイソー刀) before they finalized its name.

Early Screenshots

These screenshots come from a series of prism cards that were made available to Japanese gamers who preordered Chrono Trigger for their Super Famicom. The prism side features scene or character artwork, while the other side offers some interesting screenshots of the game early in its development. Most likely, these shots are mockups, put together by hand using graphics from the game, rather than actual in-game shots. Therefore, they offer little insight into actual early development ideas; they were probably created by mockup artists who were given idea artwork or told what that scene would look like, and put together shots based on this. Either way, there are some very interesting points on some of these cards.

A big thanks to CuteLucca for providing the card scans!

Ayla's Card (original scan)

Nothing of major interest here; I'd imagine this was an artists idea of Crono and company flying in to the Tyrano Lair on the Pterans.

Crono's Card (A) (original scan)

Lab 16, as usual, but fighting Robo(s)? And Crono doing some odd kind of attack.

Crono's Card (B) (original scan)

The Dragon Tank sequence, much further up the bridge than it should be.

Dream Team Card (original scan)

Of greatest interest in this picture is the very different background for the Inner Lavos. This background exists in the sample ROM, and the final version appears to have been a last-minute change (probably to make it more organic, as this background seems very 'clean' and technical).

Frog's Card (original scan)

Nothing major; just your usual mockup style of wrong enemies in weird locations, characters in incorrect positions, and an uncentered camera.

Lucca's Card (original scan)

Nothing majorly different here, except the washed out backhround (which is most likely due to the scan/card print).

Magus' Card (original scan)

Basically nothing different.

Marle's Card (original scan)

The Blackbird Wing battles; the wing appears to be much smaller.

One Peaceful Day scene (original scan)

The main differences here appear to be the color changes, as the sky is reddish and the ground is a grassy green color. This could be blamed on the scan or the print, but Crono et al are their correct colors. Hmm...

Robo, Heavy Violence scene (original scan)

The Blackbird. Nothing really different.

The Silvard scene (original scan)

Although it can be primarily attributed to the fact that it is a mockup, it's interesting to note that King Guardia sits on a throne above the Judge. Two soldiers also replace Pierre and the Chancellor on either side.

Riding the Pterans scene (original scan)

This scene is, of course, all prescripted, with no enemies or anything like that. More than likely, the mockup artist used this piece of Toriyama art as a basis for the scene.

Battle with Magus scene (original scan)

Perhaps the most intriguing of all the screenshots. Featured here is an airship of sorts in dock where the Blackbird should be, while the Blackbird itself is flying in the background. What this airship is and how it plays in the game is completely open to speculation. Also note the extra buildings south of Kajar, and the skyway next to the water.

The Shining Pendant scene (original scan)

This scene is very obviously different; most notably are the extra NPCs and the already-open door (no organ).

Dungeon Fight (original scan)

Another of the most interesting pictures. Here are two unused (or perhaps, never used) enemies that are kind of like a cross between a Zombor and a Winged Ape. From their size they appear to be more like mini-bosses than anything else.

All Star Cast scene (original scan)

Queen Zeal looks decidedly different here, and of course, the character placement is off.

Forest at Night scene (original scan)

 

Special Tech Explosion scene (original scan)

Nothing changed from how this looks in the pre.