The more common criticism I hear of Chrono Cross as a follow-up to Chrono Trigger is that the ties that bind are weak. That Cross is a spiritual successor rather than a direct sequel.
Describing Cross’ story as “obtuse” would be generous. It’s a complicated mosaic of themes and ideologies, but the world itself is firmly rooted in what was introduced in Trigger (here’s a list to demonstrate).
The question of whether the heroes of Chrono Trigger are dead or not stems from a bit of uncertainty around the timeline proceeding Chrono Cross as well as the ghostly children in Cross’ Dead Sea. Today we’re going to look at what happened to each of the key players from Trigger and how they may be represented in the DIRECT sequel.
Schala has a very important role to play in Chrono Cross. The game’s events are centered around her imprisonment by the remnants of Lavos in the Darkness Beyond Time.
During the Ocean Palace Incident of Chrono Trigger, she was sucked into a dimensional distortion with the ruined Mammon Machine, ending up in the Darkness Beyond Time. There, presumably after its defeat at the hands of your party, Lavos found her and fused with her creating a new being called the Time Devourer. This abomination would someday have the capacity to devour all space-time.
She remained helpless until Project Kid — the plan to save Schala, was well under way. Through Belthasar’s probably machinations Schala cloned herself and sent a copy of the baby into the world to be found by Lucca (who at that point was running an orphanage out of her old house). Her mind at this point was being warped by Lavos.
Serge was eventually wounded by a panther demon. Schala heard his crying, and somehow caused a raging magnetic storm that blew Wazuki and the boy to Chronopolis. The storm also brought down Chronopolis’s defense systems, exposing the Frozen Flame to heal Serge who became its Arbiter as designated by the Prometheus Circuit. Schala then lay dormant until much later — when Serge ventured to the Darkness Beyond Time and used the Chrono Cross to free her.
Belthasar, Melchior & Gaspar
Of the Gurus of Zeal, only one has a well-defined fate.
Belthasar, the Guru of Reason, constructed Chronopolis, learned of Schala’s fate and orchestrated Project Kid — an elaborate plan to free her by splitting the universe in two and engineering the creation of an archipelago and its culture over thousands of years. Basically, he played god.
He ultimately achieved his goal, traveling to the modern era in the Neo Epoch to watch it unfold personally (which is why you meet him in home world’s viper manor). After the resolution Belthasar departed in the Neo Epoch for an unknown era. He may have returned to the future or have gone elsewhere to maintain a close watch over time to ensure a being such as Lavos never arose again. His destination was never revealed.
Gaspar, the Guru of Time, remained at the End of Time to watch over the eras and act as a guide to lost time travellers.
Melchior, the Guru of Life, was alive to attend the wedding of Crono and Marle. The Masamune is corrupted fifteen years later and he isn’t around to fix it, so it is assumed that he eventually died or vanished.
Everyone’s favourite singing robot meets his end when Lynx raids Lucca’s orphanage in 2015 AD. Lynx, working as FATE’s in-world proxy, sought to abduct Lucca to have her undo the Prometheus Circuit that was tying the super computer’s hands from using the power of the Frozen Flame. Gato was stored in the living room of the house, and hid in the corner as the house burned to the ground. He eventually dies there. You can have a short conversation with him in Chrono Cross after Serge goes back in time to ease Kid’s memories.
After 1000 AD, large excavations carried out on Central Continent revealed Reptite dwellings and possibly the Tyranno Lair itself. Analysts noted that the Reptite civilization existed long before the first human settlements were formed and that the Reptites had acquired the advanced skill of architecture before being recorded as “extinct” in the Ice Age.
The Reptites continued to prosper, eventually developing a philosophy of symbiotic relationship with nature. As the Reptites evolved over millions of years they became Dragonians and created vast cities. Their ultimate achievement was the creation of Dinopolis — a floating city headed by the Dragon God, a MACHINE that enabled control over the natural world.
Dinopolis was dragged into the Keystone Dimension as part of Project Kid; the planet somehow shunted it there to act as a counterbalance against Chronopolis, which had just traveled backward in time after the Time Crash. The resulting battle saw the defeat of the Dragonians. Chronopolis’ forces gutted the city and captured the Dragon God, whom they split up into six parts (the elemental dragons of Chrono Cross) and then used to terra-form El Nido.
The surviving Dragonians dispersed onto the new islands, where they mingled with the Chronopolis workers dispatched to populate the new paradise. Some become involved romantically with the humans, resulting in a new Demi-human species. The Dragonians also continued to revere nature religiously, without knowing of their true origins.
You might remember Mother Brain as a boss from Chrono Trigger. She was responsible for inciting a war between robots and humans that drove both to near extinction in the “Ruined Future”. This troublesome AI was eventually pulled into Chronopolis by our favourite Guru of Zeal.
Belthasar integrated the Mother Brain circuit in his designs to create the supercomputer FATE, an important part of Project Kid. Powered by the Frozen Flame, FATE defeated Dinopolis after the Time Crash and then oversaw the development and maintenance of El Nido for thousands of years. FATE would unsurprisingly follow the bonkers path of Mother Brain in the ruined future.
When Serge, Miguel, and Wazuki came the night of Serge’s panther encounter FATE restrained Miguel and also took advantage of Wazuki, whose mind had been damaged by contact with the Flame. The Prometheus Circuit was engaged that night, locking FATE out of its power source.
FATE later shaped Wazuki (Serge’s father) into Lynx, the supercomputer’s personal agent to roam the outside world. Lynx tried several times to unlock the Prometheus Circuit; he attempted to murder Serge, abducted Lucca and set fire to her orphanage, and finally switched bodies with the dimension crossing boy. The victory was short lived, as Serge soon traveled to Chronopolis and defeated the computer.
Robo had a much larger role after Chrono Trigger drew to a close. Specifically, he returned to 2300 AD, where he and Atropos XR lived a loving life together. That ending provided a quick glimpse of their happiness, as they sat upon a cliff and watched a rainbow.
When Belthasar arrived and constructed Chronopolis Robo apparently met with him and Lucca to discuss Project Kid. Robo volunteered to be a part of Belthasar’s plan to save time and was integrated into Chronopolis as the Prometheus Circuit.
When Serge contacted the Flame, Robo performed his intended function by locking FATE out from its power source until Serge returned. Robo then gave words of encouragement to the boy before being terminated by the supercomputer. Yes – Robo absolutely dies in Chrono Cross but he is probably safe and sound with Atropos after Chrono Cross concludes and the dimensions are unified to form the Ideal Timeline.
Lucca figures more heavily into the events of Chrono Cross than any of her peers. Upon her return from time traveling and saving the world from Lavos, Lucca settled down and continued to pioneer new inventions. She conducted research in robotics, artificial intelligence, and time travel eventually gaining the skill to forge a Time Egg prototype.
Circa 1004 AD, Kid came to the modern era as an infant, and Lucca found her while walking in the forest. A year later the Fall of Guardia occurred.
Once Porre assumed control of Truce, Lucca conducted business with their science section. She also started an orphanage, presumably for Kid’s well-being. At some point the heroes of time visited the orphanage as several sketches of them exist in a particular hallway.
Tragedy ultimately befell Lucca when, circa 1015 AD, Lynx and Harle raided the orphanage to kidnap Lucca and force her to release the Prometheus Circuit and allow FATE to access the Frozen Flame. During the attempt, Lynx set fire to the orphanage, presumably killing many children while destroying her scientific work. Kid escaped.
What happened to Lucca from there is a mystery. Lynx likely killed her when she failed to disengage the lock, though Lucca *may* have escaped. At any rate, she did manage to leave a letter with Luccia for Kid to read at a later age. Kid also kept the incomplete Time Egg along with the Astral Amulet found in Lucca’s possession. After Cross concludes Lucca is probably safe and sound though many unknown variables exist that might affect her situation.
Frog, Ayla, Chrono & Marle
After returning to 600 AD, Frog may or may not have reverted to human form. He is never shown as being human in any ending in which Magus lives, so it’s hard to say. Regardless, he probably afterwards lived a good life and died an honorable man.
Frog apparently had the Masamune passed down within Guardia Castle’s halls. During the Fall of Guardia in 1005 AD, it was stolen and used in the battle. It later became corrupt, only to reform after Masa and Mune (the dream spirits within the blade) woke up in Chrono Cross and transformed it into the Mastermune.
After the events of Chrono Trigger, Ayla is depicted as returning to 65000000 BC, marrying, Kino and settling down in Ioka. It is likely that Ayla then had to face the threat of the coming Ice Age, which could entail relocating the village to the caves. The possibility exists that her adventures through time were not concluded with her return to prehistory, evidenced by the kid’s sketch of her face in Lucca’s orphanage. In any event, Ayla proceeded to give birth to the future line of Guardia. She most likely died peacefully of old age in prehistory.
Crono apparently became the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Guardia, with Marle as his future queen. While the future seemed bright and cheery, a dark threat lurked to the south – the nation of Porre. Porre, which still exists in Chrono Cross, was a formidable, militaristic entity being led by former Chrono Trigger antagonist Dalton.
Their marriage was immediately followed by a scene depicting the destruction of the Kingdom of Guardia, set against the burning of Truce, the capture of the Masamune, and the slaying of the kingdom’s final defender. Porre’s new standing as a military power was confirmed in Chrono Cross, as mentioned in passing by Radius. It’s impossible to say whether Crono and Marle died as a result of the invasion or how their lives would have been after the fall of Guardia had they survived.
Lucca, Marle, and Crono are alluded to in Chrono Cross using the ghost children, but their appearance is shrouded in mystery. Their presence has prompted many to assume that they are the true ghosts of the team, having died prior to 1020 AD. However, this does not account for their appearance as youths. When they appear at the Dead Sea, they act irrationally, accusing Serge sharply of undoing their actions and condemning him for causing the destruction to appear again.
At Opassa Beach, they seem to know every fine detail of Project Kid. Lucca even talks to Kid as if she were the real scientist, detailing their life at the orphanage, Lucca’s hopes for the girl, and other notes about the quest. These are things Lucca, Marle, and Crono simply couldn’t have known about. Additionally, Miguel simply dismisses the ghosts in the Dead Sea as a “echo from ones fargone.” It’s possible that they aren’t the true heroes, but rather a figment.
Without speaking a word to the party, he departed at the Moonlight Parade to search for Schala in 12000 BC, and was last seen flying amid the peaks looking for his sister.
Chrono Trigger DS reveals that Schala and Lavos, before becoming the Time Devourer, experienced another stage—the Dream Devourer, capable of feeding on thoughts, memories, and dreams across time. Magus located Schala and tried to free her to no avail. Schala awoke long enough to tell Magus that his attempts were futile and no power could be used to save her. She wanted him to live out his life in other pursuits before the Dream Devourer would destroy everything. Magus protested but was sent away and eventually sacrificed his identity in abject frustration over Schala’s fatalism and predicament. He awoke in a forest, feeling there was something he should search for, and set out.
After the Ocean Palace Incident, Schala was consumed by guilt for letting Zeal be destroyed. The Frozen Flame, which had been used in the Mammon Machine, detected her guilt, unaged her to that of an infant (as well as turning her hair from blue to blonde), and sent her (and her amulet) to the modern era for a second life. There, she was found by Lucca and named Kid.
An aristocrat named Lynx came to power and wanted Lucca’s Time Egg. He killed her, and Kid ran off to fight him. Magus then saved her from certain death and looked after her until she became a teenager. He wore a disguise as “Magil,” a mysterious magician. Eventually they met Serge, raided Viper Manor, and Kid learned of her past life as Schala.
People have often wondered why Magus isn’t in Chrono Cross as he was a central figure in both the events of Chrono Trigger and Schala’s life. Well, it turns out that he was originally planned to be in the sequel.
When Chrono Cross was arranged for development, Masato Kato revised the Radical Dreamers plot and planned to include Magus as the enigmatic magician Guile (who is an available character in-game). As Chrono Cross took shape Masato Kato decided that it would be too difficult to represent Magus’s complex story among the rest of the game. It was cut.
Who knows what befell Magus from there, but if the Ideal Timeline was reached at the conclusion of Chrono Cross he may have actually been reunited with his sister. It would be sappy of me to assume, but I’d really like to think they had a happy ending.
Chrono Cross’ El Nido was shaped by the events and characters of Chrono Trigger. The cultural clashes between humans and demi-humans, the Porre army’s invasion, the worship and reverence of the Dragons, the insane nature of the FATE super computer – all of it is a repercussion to what was done in Chono Trigger. Next time you play through Chrono Cross try look look for similarities and you may be happily surprised.