For the number of characters I want to load, it just isn't going to happen. I'd be looking at over 50mb of images and trying to load a lot of that externally just creates a massive load time in the game. So not really a great solution unfortunately.
I will just go ahead and say that I know about the 3D stuff they are working on and it's not what I need. Again it's limited to drawing all 3D objects on one layer per extension object. Meaning the only way I can get a dozen animated 3D meshes on screen is to either have them all be in one layer (which means I can't have 2D environments being drawn in front of or behind them simultaneously), or have them in individual layers (as separate extension objects) and that kills performance.
So yeah, as I was saying, there is no 3D extension that can behave like an Active object only with 3D meshes/in-game renders of 3D meshes. There won't be one any time soon from the looks of it.
Now if you just want to have a 3D game, then by all means, this might be fine. But I want 2D environment with 3D animated meshes, and it just isn't happening.