by GrayLensman & ZeaLitY
February 7, 2004
All excerpts taken from the "Dead Sea/Sea of Eden FAQ", posted on GameFAQs. This article aimed to refute most of the FAQ to prepare for the Compendium's own Salt for the Dead Sea. Please keep in mind that the FAQ in question uses the old date of 7600 B.C. for Chronopolis's placement in time, whereas the true date is 12000 B.C.
Part 3: Serge and The Destruction of The World
Theory 1: Descendants in Home World (by "bubbblebobby2000")
When Serge survived in Home World, his actions there could have unconsciously caused some major repercussions down the timeline into the future in 1999AD, nullifying Crono+co's effort in defeating Lavos. Let me just state an example. Albeit its silliness, it does get the point across. In Home World: Serge lives. One day, he unintentionally match made Kiki + Lolo in Arni village. Kiki + Lolo eventually got married and spawns off descendants. And one of their descendants name, Nono, was a general in 1999AD. When Lavos appeared in 1999AD, Crono+co time time warped to it and fought it. But before Crono+co could kill it, General Nono, descendant of Kiki + Lolo, made a silly decision to fire some weapons straight at Lavos. The weapons killed Crono+co, but not Lavos. Now that Lavos had no one to kill it, went on to destroy the world like it did in Chrono Trigger. Hence the bleak future reigned in Home World. In Another World: Serge died. Since he did, he never match-maded Kiki + Lolo. Nobody matchmade them. So they never got married. And General Nono was never born. And the silly decision of firing weapons to kill Lavos was never made, and Crono+co never died. So Lavos was successfully destroyed. And the bright future reigned in Another World. Weak Areas 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT) This theory actually depends on the very fact that Crono+co will be there in 1999AD to defeat Lavos. But for those who have played Chrono Trigger knows that this is an unwarranted assumption. Lavos could have been beaten at anytime from 12000BC â€“ 1999AD.
Zeality: I believe this theory is weak in that it depends on a minor ripple through time, and has no implied basis in the script. In Chrono Trigger, several such ripples are undoubtedly made as the team leaves its footprints in time, yet this causes no major alterations (save for the rise of Porre, possibly caused in part by the presence of Fiona's forest). This would depend on a possibility in the future causing the Dead Sea, and possibility alone -- even if it is certain -- does not cause the effects of its realization to manifest themselves. It is the present time to Serge, and his theorized progeny's killing Crono has not happened yet; thus, the Dead Sea would not yet exist.
Theory 2: Contact with the Frozen Flame (by "jason79")
The game also blames the Dead Sea's creation on Serge, although we know it's rather a sequence of events now made possible due to his living presence. So, the question is, what possible events could have been precipitated by his living that would result in the Sea of Eden turning into the Dead Sea? The obvious first event would have to be that the Flame can now be unlocked. Serge was made the arbiter of the Flame in 1006, when he first came into contact with and was healed by it. Unfortunately, we don't have enough information to extrapolate at this point exactly how the unlocking of the Flame would lead to the pre-emption of Crono's defeat of Lavos. But that will wait. Let's just go with the idea for now that Lavos' defeat had suddenly been nullified." Weak Areas 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT) We are not sure exactly how the unlocking of the Flame would lead to the destruction of the world.
Zeality: No basis whatsoever; one could equally assert that Guile's left eyebrow may cause the destruction. The Flame could also similarly be accessed by FATE before Serge became the Arbiter; this theory would depend on Serge having the desire or knowledge to use the Flame for ill ends, an objective protected against by FATE.
Theory 3: Lavos and Serge (by "One That Was")
Description 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)~ (editor's notes: This theory was added in very late. So it did not spark off a lot of discussions for "One That Was" to be able to refine it. I will post exactly what he posted on the GameFAQs message board.) Here are the events as they happened in each world, and an explanation on how it effects Serge and Lavos's survival. Another World 7600BC Chronopolis/Dinopolis Appear. Battle ensues, Chronopolis Wins. 1000AD Crono and Crew Time Travel into the future, 2400AD 1003AD Serge is Born 1006AD Serge Bitten By Panther Demon, Healed by FF, Becomes "Arbiter"/ Chrono Trigger 1007AD-1009AD Lynx Created to Kill Serge 1010AD Serge Drowned - Time Split Occurs 1011AD-1019AD Sea of Eden still exists. 1999AD Crono and Crew Kill Lavos. 1999AD (Day of Lavos occurs) Guardia Dome is first to react to the coming of Lavos. Arris Dome is under Gaurdia Rule. (THEORETICAL) 2300AD (Original CT Timeline) Crono and Crew View Day of Lavos on Computer in Arris Dome. 2400AD (New Future) Chronopolis Thrown Back in Time to 76,000 BC Now in this Dimension, Because Serge Died in 1010, The Frozen Flame is Stabilized and doesn't cause the Formation of the Dead Sea. Also, because Serge is Dead, the Immediate Death of Crono and Crew isn't necessary. Because Crono and Crew haven't been killed yet, they still may have an impact on Future events. For example, they might lead the rebellion against Porre and Reinstate Guardia Kingdom, which allows Guardia Dome and Arris Dome to exist in the Future. Which in turn, allows Crono and Crew to see the coming of Lavos on the Arris Dome Computer. No Gaurdia Kingdom, No Arris Dome. So, Because of Serge's death, Lavos Gets killed and isn't allowed to exist, period. All this happens in the "True" Dimension, Another World. Home World 7600BC Chronopolis/Dinopolis Appears. Battle ensues, Chronopolis wins. 1000AD Crono and Crew Time travel to the future, 2400 AD 1003AD Serge is Born 1006AD Serge is bitten by Panther Demon, Healed by FF, Becomes "Arbiter"/Chrono Trigger. 1007AD-1009AD Lynx Created to Kill Serge. 1010AD Serge Almost Drowns. Lavos/Schala Intervenes, Serge is saved. Time Split occurs. 1011-1019AD Frozen Flame goes Haywire (THEORETICAL). Dead Sea is formed. 1999AD Crono and Crew DO NOT kill Lavos. Day of Lavos occurs. Gaurdia Dome/Arris Dome Don't exist. 2300AD Crono and crew arrive here, but DO NOT see the coming of Lavos. Arris Dome does not exist. 2400AD Chronopolis doesn't exist. Natural time gets messed up, Formation of Dead Sea occurs in 1011-1019 (THEORETICAL). Now in this Dimension, Because Lavos intervenes and causes Serge to live, The Frozen Flame becomes unstable and causes the Dead Sea to Form by taking parts of the "REAL" future as well as the "Dead" future and clashing them together. Also, The formation of the Dead Sea Causes Lynx to Try getting in by aiding in the death of the CT crew, and Killing the Acacia Dragoons as well. In the Attempt, Lynx Dies, so Serge is still able to live. Because Crono and Crew are no Longer Present, Porre Takes over, Guardia is Never Reinstated, and Arris Dome never exists. Which causes Crono and Crew of 1000 AD to never see the Coming of Lavos in 2300 AD, and so, Lavos is allowed to Live in the Home World Dimension. In this way, Serge acts as The "Chrono Trigger", and causes the natural Flow of time to change, allowing Lavos to exist, even if it's only between the Dimensions. Assumptions 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)~ 1. Crono and Crew defeated Lavos in the year 1999. 2. Crono and Crew have a big Impact on future events, after 1020 AD. 3. Crono and crew are not Dead in Another World. 4. Guardia Kingdom Become Guardia Dome in 1999 AD, and Arris Dome is Ruled By Guardia. Inconsistencies 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT) Here I'm going to list any inconsistencies that I can see in my own theory, and arguments to defend against them, if any. 1. How Can Chronopolis exsist in Home world 7600 BC, and yet not exist in 2400? Well, because in the "REAL" dimension, or Another World, Chronopolis does exist, and the Dead Sea Only exsists after Lavos' intervention in Another World, Chronopolis exists up until the Time Split actually occurred. The Time split created a few inconsistencies in time, and soon after it occurred, The Dead Sea Formed because of one of these inconsistencies. (editor's notes: refer to Section 6 Dead Sea for some theories on the formation of the Dead Sea.) 2. If Crono and Crew are alive in Another World after 1020 AD, then Why Does Lynx Say they're Dead. And Why Do the Ghost Children Say they are Dead? Lynx can say all he wants to say. It doesn't Change the Fact that He's the bad Guy, and can we really trust him? About the Ghost Children. They only appear in 3 places. A - The Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is in home world, and according to the Theory, they are in fact Dead in Home World. B - Opassa Beach. Also in Home World. C - Terra Tower, Another World. Keep in Mind that they Only appear in Belthasar's Library in Terra Tower. Belthasar says himself that the "Library" is actually a space out of time, ie a separate Dimension from Another World. So in truth, they are appearing in a 3rd Dimension, Not Home World. 3. Chrono and Crew MAY not have defeated Lavos in 1999 AD. But then again, they may have.... 4. Guardia Dome Might Not Have been an actual Place in CT. I'm Basing this off of memory, so unless someone Knows For sure whether or not it is, this is THEORETICAL. 5. Crono and Crew may not play an important role in the natural Flow of Time, ie Reinstate Guardia Kingdom. This is ENTIRELY THEORETICAL. It relies on future events that we can't possibly know of. 6 The Formation of the Dead Sea is something that nobody knows for sure about. This is merely a theory on how it may have formed, not fact. Again, THEORETICAL. (editor's notes: But as I read it, I found some small problems with it. "One That Was" states that in 2300AD, in Another World, Crono+co gets to see Day of Lavos in the bright future, yet in Home World, Crono+co do not get to see the Day of Lavos. I am not sure if this is an inconsistency here. Secondly, it was not Lynx who said Crono+co were dead. It was Miguel who did.)
Zeality: Firstly, the dimensional split does not extend into the past, but rather goes from 1010 A.D. forward. Thus, events predating this year are unnecessary in the timelines presented. It is also apparent that this theory hinges on the notion that the Frozen Flame causes the Dead Sea, without apparent explanation. The Home Timeline is incorrect; Lavos in no way causes Serge to live -- that was purely an act of Kid, as according to Belthasar's plan. It is said that Lynx attempts to kill the Crono team and the Acacia Dragoons, yet failing in this regard allows Serge to live. Firstly, what do those organizations have to do with Serge? Secondly, there is no basis in the script for FATE attempting to kill the Crono team. In addition, the theory does not concur with the script's direct implication that the Dead Sea became such exactly on the split of the dimensions in 1010 AD.
Also, whether Crono views the Day of Lavos record in the Arris Dome in the future or not is irrelevant. This is impossible anyhow, as the entire ruined world and the timeline it resided on are banished into the Tesseract. The Grandfather Paradox is excused from the Chrono series; it is thus not necessary for Crono to view the Day of Lavos even if its origin has been eliminated by him, as time travelers retain their memories. Basic plot fact derails this theory quickly.
Theory 4: Binding with the Time Devourer
(by Chrono Cross Ultimania Guide)
SCRIPT: "The one who connects with the Frozen Flame, in effect, links with Lavos itself. As the mediator between Lavos and living things, that one will gain extraordinary powers! By binding with the new seed of destruction... the "Devourer of Time!" â€“ Belthasar SCRIPT: "In the far-off future, when the fusion becomes complete, IT will awaken... Then, the Devourer of Time will begin to consume all space-time continua..." - Belthasar What did Belthasar mean when he said "binding" with the Time Devourer? This is what is said in the Chrono Cross Ultimania Guide, under the section that explains the story: "Home World is the irregular world that FATE was unable to control. In this world, the Dead Sea exists instead of the Sea of Eden. This is because, in the future on the time axis which Serge survived, is the other future where Chronopolis does not exist. That is to say that the scene that one can see in the Dead Sea is just waiting to happen. That is the meaning it portrays. And the scene that was developed in the Dead Sea, is the true form of the future that Crono and company should have avoided (=killed), the future that was destroyed. In other words, it is indicated in this place that, in the case if Serge were to survive, the world will probably be destroyed. "This is related to Serge being and "Arbiter." At the point in time when Serge continues to survive, and at the point in time when Serge visits the Dead Sea, because the possibility of him being absorbed into the Time Devourer and landing the world to destruction is high, this vision of the future is born. But, the future that is shown in this place is a fluid-like and highly unstable. The Dead Sea's form will transform to what form the future takes, according to Serge's actions hereafter. "The fusion of the Time Devourer becomes complete, when the one who can free the Time Devourer, the body of the Arbiter is absorbed into in. Because of this, when Serge survives and does not free the Time Devourer, the world will lead to destruction in the near future. But, even if Serge dies, the Time Devourer nesting at the darkness of time continues its fusion, the world will still be eventually destroyed in the far off future. As long as Serge does not free the Time Devourer with the Chrono Cross, there will be no future." Weak Areas 21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT)21:40, 19 Aug 2004 (CDT) POST: "Miguel": "We know that Serge defeats (or at least seperates) the Time Devourer at the end. If this is so, he didn't merge right? Therefore this means no bad future. Therefore, how was the Dead Sea even there if the future it came from didn't exist?" As we all know, Serge did NOT merge with the Time Devourer at the end of the game. (Who in the right mind would do that? =P) If that's the case, that means the future should not be devoured by the Time Devourer. And the Dead Sea should not appear as it is.
Zeality: This holds that Serge shall be fused with the Time Devourer via the Frozen Flame and his Arbiter status, and the very possiblity of this occurring causes the Dead Sea to form. However, problems arise in the hard fact that possiblity does not cause events, and causal loops do not exist in the series. In addition, there is no basis for Serge merging with the Time Devourer. See the Axioms & Corollaries article; 'Flow Principle.'
4. Time Split and Science
SCRIPT: Lucca: "As Schala fell through the time gate in this condition, she heard your crying echoing through time... That is when her story and yours began to intertwine... It is also when the past and the future began to intersect, and when the world became divided into two..." This muddies everything again. Was it in 12000AD when Schala fell into the time gate? Was it in 1006AD when Serge's pitiful crying touched Schala's heart?
Zeality: The crying essentially occurred in 1006 A.D.; note that this was the first key movement of Belthasar's plan, and the label of the beginning of the dimensional splitting can be applied here: the circumstances surrounding that crying are directly responsible for the events that caused the split in 1010 A.D.
4a. Time Splits and Quantum Mechanics
Zeality: Speculation no longer required; check Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel. Ockham's razor has slit this section's throat.
5. Perpetuating Time Loop
One point brought up during the discussion in the Dead Sea / Sea of Eden thread was the existence of Chronopolis in a continuous time loop. POST: "bubblebobby2000": "dun forget CC was never scientifically correct to begin with. If Chronopolis was drawn back in time to 10000 years ago, and it exists till 2400AD and then it gets drawn back again in an infinite loop, Chronopolis can never exist at all. (the Chronopolis walls will rot, decompose, and crumble so fast, you'll never get to see it exist for even a nanosecond)" Assuming that Chronopolis existed in the Sea of Eden in 2400AD, and Lavos pulled it back to the exact same spot in 7600BC, then the timeline would look something like this. Lavos pulls Chronopolis +<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<+ | | | | V Chronopolis exists in Sea of Eden | ---o>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>+>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>o---- 7600BC 1020AD 2400AD And Chronopolis would keep going round and round and round. But since Chronopolis is a physical building, there was no way that it could exist in an infinite loop without it dilapidating under climate influences. However, a very good argument was put up to resolve this perpetuating time loop paradox. POST: "jason79": "Something else that some people apparently are still confused on: Chronopolis is not in a self-perpetuating timeloop. Chronopolis is built sometime between 2300~2400AD; it is NOT found in the Sea of Eden where it landed in the past. This is as old a paradox as the Grandfather Paradox. Chronopolis is a physical building; given enough time, it will decay to nothing. If it were in such a loop, where it's summoned to the past, survives from 7600BC back up to 2400AD, and gets summoned again, the rest of the world would see Chronopolis instantly turn to rubble and ash, because for the world, that period of 10,000 years only happens once; but for Chronopolis, it lives that 10,000 years over and over and over. But that would result in a paradox, which we know did not happen. Therefore the only logical conclusion to draw is that sometime after Chrono Cross, something happens to wipe out any possible evidence of Chronopolis's fate so that the scientists in 2400AD perform their actions exactly as they did the first time. If they decide to do something different, because they saw what would happen to the city, then they might not perform the experiment, and then we're really in a paradox. Or, if you like, imagine that Chronopolis is built in an entirely different area in 2400AD, somewhere away from the Sea of Eden, so that there's no way they could find out about their fate; then there's no chance of a paradox, even if Chronopolis still existed there. But the point is that the Chronopolis we see in Chronopolis has already been summoned once; whatever else happens, it cannot be summoned to the past again, period." If, like what "jason79" mentioned, Chronopolis was originally built in an area far away from the Sea of Eden, then no perpetuating time loop will occur. But even if it was built and drawn back to the same spot, the loop can be easily resolved by annihilating Chronopolis and rebuilding it later, as shown in the diagram below. Lavos pulls Chronopolis +<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<+ | | | | | Chronopolis Chronopolis Chronopolis| V exists annihilated built | ---o>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>+>>>>---------------->>>>>o---> 7600BC 1020AD 2400AD
Zeality: To Serge, the observer, Chronopolis exists during the first run of Keystone T-2. It is there; it is possible that it could exist in a Time Loop in the future, but nothing is certain. Thus, it would not automatically rot; similarly, a man in 990 BC may have possibly killed Serge. He shall not automatically die. Everything is also stabilized by the observer, as said in Chronopolis. From one outside of time, perhaps if nothing existed to fix time, Chronopolis may be in an infinite loop. However, Serge is in the timeline, and Chronopolis is tangible and real. Though Chronopolis may exist over and over again, to Serge, this is the first 10,000 years its had to endure; these effects are thusly not manifested. In addition, if Project Kid essentially works for the first time, the Time Crash is no longer needed; the changes and saving of Schala wrought by Serge are ingrained.
6. Dead Sea
Year of Formation of the Dead Sea Three pieces of conflicting evidence: SCRIPT: Marge: "Back then, that place wasn't called the Dead Sea...Yes, I believe they called it "Sea of Eden" ... That was 14 years ago." Was it 1006AD (14 years ago)? SCRIPT: Radius: "The Dead Sea... That ocean was called the Sea of Eden until 3 years ago..." Or was it 1017AD (3 years ago)? SCRIPT: Miguel: "For 14 years... It wasn't like this when I got here, though... An incident that occured 10 years ago, transformed it into the Dead Sea." Was it 1010AD (10 years ago)? Most of us on the Dead Sea/Sea of Eden thread agree that the Dead Sea was formed exactly 10 years ago, immediately when time split into Another and Home World. The reason being, Miguel, who lived in the Dead Sea for 14 years, actually knows what happens in there, and hence his credibility is the highest.
Zeality: Marge comment: Understandable. She only had contact with the Sea of Eden fourteen years ago.
Radius comment. Understandable. The Dragoons personally experienced the Dead Sea, perhaps even contributing to its name.
Miguel comment: Understandable. He was captured in 1006 AD, and interred in 1010 AD.
6.a What led to its formation
Zeality: This section is nullified by the statement by Masato Kato that the Dead Sea is the ruined timeline Crono averted by killing Lavos, and a reflection of destruction that Serge causes. We'll still criticize theories, though its unnecessary...
Lithosphere Investigation Report and Company 2400 are both addressed in Compendium analysis; it shall appear in a forthcoming Dead Sea article.
Theory 1: Prometheus-Day of Lavos Theory
Okay, as we can see the Dead Sea is in a bit of a mess. It is clear that it comes from sometime in the future. It is also clear that it does not belong in the eastern part of El Nido, that someone/something has pulled it back. Now... I believe this is part of 1999AD and it was Prom who pulled it back. This "pulling back" only applies to Home, since it is Home's past which is threatened by the Serge/wrecked future paradox. Naturally Prometheus (or Robo if you want to call him that) would want to prevent the ruined future, as well as the resulting paradox. (Because he is "buddy buddy" with mankind) How could he accomplish this? He would snag "Lavos/unspecified threat" before it surfaced in 1999AD (accidently pulling some of the surroundings with it - hence Leene's Square and the city) back to the Sea of Eden in 1010AD, at the point when it became a threat to history (due to the division of the timelines happening at that point), which would of course destroy Home's CP as short change in the bargain. And seal the Flame off for good in Home... Hence the Dead Sea is part 1999AD Truce City, part 1010AD Chronoplis.
Zeality: This has no factual basis or evidence in the script. Robo was integrated into the circuits of FATE well after 1999 A.D., and it is wholly unlikely that he had any temporal powers at all. The wrecked future causes the Dead Sea, yet this theory proposes that in order to avert the scene present in the Dead Sea, Robo pulls Lavos from 1999 A.D. and the area around him to the Sea of Eden -- which creates the Dead Sea! This is essentially a causal loop. Though one may assert that the destruction of the Dead Sea was real in the future, and merely seen in the Dead Sea prior to Prometheus' pulling the bleak future to create an actual Dead Sea, this is needless complication.On a minor note, the eruption of Lavos was located in front of Heckran Mountain.
Theory 2: Floating Chronopolis (by "Halbarad")
My own personal theory (not supported by much in the game, (unfortunately) is that Chronopolis originally existed in both worlds simultaneously; in other words, if you knew exactly how to enter and leave Chronopolis correctly, you could enter from Home and leave into Another. After Serge contacted the Frozen Flame (of which there is only one, not two), Prometheus locked out all access to the Flame, except to the Arbiter (Serge). FATE became frantic at this point, as its power source was disrupted. However, it had enough resources still at this point to 'maintain the status quo' in both worlds. When a moment of quantum uncertainty occurred involving the Arbiter (Serge's death/near-death by drowning 10 years ago) occurred, the imbalance created threw Chronopolis and the Flame totally into Another (leaving Miguel in Home, probably through the actions of FATE). The gap left by the departing Chronopolis in Home was filled by random bits of space-time -- from the 'darkness beyond time' perhaps -- which happened to be from the nullified timeline in which Lavos destroyed the world in 1999 AD. These components solidified into what became known as the Dead Sea. (This is the event 10 years ago that changed the Dead Sea, which Miguel mentions). With the Flame and Chronopolis (and FATE) on one side of the dimensional rift and the Arbiter on the other, an imperfect balance was created that held both worlds steady for another 10 years, when the actions of Kid at Opassa Beach in Another, coinciding with Serge's presence there in Home, caused the formation of the Angelum Errare and the rest, as they say, is history (or is it?)
Zeality: This theory is critically flawed in that the dimensional split occurred long after Chronopolis was built as a tenet of Project Kid; Home and Another did not always exist, and for the formation of the Dead Sea itself is attributed to the future of Chronopolis in the Home dimension. This theory is nearly correct in asserting that Chronopolis is taken completely into Another, yet flawed in that there are indeed two Frozen Flames and that the Dead Sea ruins probably feature Chronopolis. Also, attributing the appearance of the ruined timeline that Crono averted to happenstance is weak. Lastly, Serge became the Arbiter in 1006 A.D., yet the dimensional split occurred in 1010 A.D. -- well after his Arbiter status and the resulting imbalance would have set him at odds with the Another, which retained Chronopolis and the Flame.
Theory 3: Time-tunnel (by "bubblebobby2000")
This theory, the Prometheus's Time-net, and the Space-Time-Fold theory makes a very important assumption that explains why the Dead Sea only occupies the area as big as the Sea of Eden was. The assumption is that in 2400AD, when the Counter-Time Experiment failed and the Flame went out of control, a circular dimensional vortex was created. The size of this dimension vortex was equivalent to the size of the Sea of Eden and the Dead Sea, like that: +------------------+ | | | +++++ | | + +| | + CP +| | + +| | +++++ | | | +------------------+ Let's reduce the size of the huge map above to this: [ o] The '[ ]' represents the Chrono Cross map, and the 'o' represents the size of the small Sea of Eden. When the dimension vortex was opened up, it created a time-tunnel that connected itself back to 7600BC allowed Chronopolis to slip backwards to that time. The size of the time-tunnel, was of course only as large as the small Sea of Eden was. Time tunnel ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]--------------[ o]---- 7600BC 1010AD 2400AD Time splits in 1010AD. The time tunnel was duplicated up to the point where it splits. So we should have something like this: Time tunnel ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]--------------[ o]---- (Another) 7600BC 1010AD 2400AD [ o]--------------[ o]---- (Home) ^ V oooooooooooooooooooo Rightfully, everything should have been duplicated at 1010AD. The Dragon Gods, Chronopolis, Dinopolis, even Kid, Harle and Lynx. But Serge's survival actually nullified Crono+co's efforts, in effect causing Day of Lavos to occur in 1999AD. Time tunnel ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]----[ o]-----[ o]---- (Another) 7600BC 1010AD 1999AD 2400AD o o o o DOL Ruins [ ?]----[ X]-----[ X]---- (Home) ^ V XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Because everything was duplicated in 1010AD, Chronopolis, in the small Sea of Eden was also duplicated. And the time-tunnel that was duplicated in Home World drew a chunk of the ruins back from 2400AD. Of course the size of the ruins drawn back was only as large as the small Sea of Eden was. Now then, we have a paradox. Chronopolis was being duplicated in the small Sea of Eden in 1010AD, and the ruins were getting pulled back to the small Sea of Eden in 1010AD. This causes the two different slices to smash together, causing the 'Time Crash', messing up everything together to form the Dead Sea.
Zeality: This theory is wounded by the nature of the gates Lavos is able to create. In Chrono Trigger, we witness that disruptive instances of time travel caused by this being are transitory; the gate at Magus castle and the ones that occurred in the Lavos Timeline's Ocean Palace are temporary. Thus, this Time-Tunnel, which would appropriately be the gate by which Lavos pulled Chronopolis to 12000 B.C., would be a textbook case of the nature of time traveling done by Lavos. I'm also not sure if this theory purports that the Time Crash is the product of Chronopolis being mingled with its ruins in the future; we know from the script that the Time Crash was simply the effect of the failed Counter-Time Experiment, and nothing more -- save that it provided Lavos a chance to pull Chronopolis back. Lastly, the notion that Chronopolis retains temporal links with the future, evident in FATE's great effort to avoid changing its former timeline's history, simplifies the matter by proposing that once Chronopolis is ruined in the future by a set event, the Sea of Eden essentially reflects and becomes that slice of ruined future.
Theory 4: Prometheus Time-net (by "jason79")
This theory is the merging of theory 1, Prometheus/Day of Lavos and theory 3, Time-tunnel. There are some slight differences though. In the original world (Another World), instead of the time-tunnel being in effect, what happens is that Lavos pulls Chronopolis back from 2400AD. Lavos pulls Chronopolis ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]--------------[ o]---- 7600BC 1010AD 2400AD Time split in 1010AD. Remember that Home split off from Another, so they have identical pasts up to 1010AD, but I think I'm safe to say that Home's Chronopolis is no longer dependant upon a Chronopolis being summoned from the future, because it's in effect a duplicate; only Another's Chronopolis is dependant upon being summoned, because it's within a self-perpetuating timeloop governed by the limits I stated above concerning the lack of knowledge on the scientists' parts. Think of Home's Chronopolis as a temporal orphan, if you will. Lavos pulls Chronopolis ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]--------------[ o]---- (Another) 7600BC 1010AD 2400AD | | | duplicated | V V ----[ o]---------[ o] However, the problem comes in when Home's Lavos tries to summon as well. He's pulling from the same space-time coordinates as his Another counterpart, but he's gonna get a devastated chunk of the future instead. The logic continuance of this line of thought is that, when that chunk of future hits, it's going to be in 7600BC, at the same time as the duplicate of Chronopolis. This is indeed the Time Crash, because we have two separate slices of time literally crashing together, the result being the Dead Sea. The problem with this is that we now have a paradox. Home's Chronopolis is no longer dependant upon whatever's summoned from the future, but Serge and the rest of El Nido are dependant upon Home's Chronopolis creating the islands, populating them, and surviving long enough for Serge to come into contact with the Flame; that last is necessary in order to remain temporally consistent with what we know Home's future will become. Obviously that's a problem, and equally obviously we know it didn't happen. The game explicitly says the Dead Sea formed 10 years ago, i.e. 1010AD. Let's say Prometheus somehow has control of some power (we'll say it's the Flame for now). Let's also assume that somehow, Prometheus can detect the slice of future that's being summoned to the past by Lavos. It's then plausible that he extrapolated the likely outcome (Chronopolis and the dead future resulting in the Time Crash), realized that this would create a serious paradox, and decided to use the Flame in order to snag the slice of future on its way to the past. We can assume that Chronopolis in 2400AD was built in the same place as it appeared in 7600BC, that it never moved around physically. So, when the city is summoned by Lavos, it only moves through time, not space. All Prometheus would have to do is effectively throw out a time net (or use the Flame as a temporal magnet, or whatever explanation floats your boat) and catch the slice of dead future before it can continue on to 7600BC. Lavos pulls Chronopolis ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo V ^ ----[ o]--------------[ o]--------------[ o]---- (Another) | 7600BC |1010AD 2400AD | | | duplicated | V V ----[ o]---------[ o][ X]--------------[ X]---- (Home) ^ V XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Lavos pulls ruins Caught by Prometheus in 1010AD
Zeality: This theory is flawed in the same aspects as are the theories it combines; in addition, Home Dimension's Lavos summoning Chronopolis in the future has not happened yet. It is simply a matter of possibility, and possibility alone carries no weight in the Chrono series. Provided Serge had died and we were given the chance to see how the future of Home Dimension played out, perhaps this may have been fathomable; nonetheless, to the observer, the future is unwritten -- precisely how Serge is able to exercise free will under the plan of Belthasar and mend time. Lastly, Lavos would have no need to summon Chronopolis back in the future of Home Dimension anyhow; the destruction the parasite intended to occur in 1999 A.D. would have happened.
Theory 5: Space-Time Fold
Imagine El Nido as a flat slice of pancake and you look at it from the side view. You should be able to see something like this: +------------------+ | | | +++++ | | + +| | + CP +| | + +| | +++++ | | | +------------------+ -------------------- <- El Nido sea (sideview) Imagine this plane and flat pancake representing a point in time in the Chrono Cross universe. Then if we stack up several slices of El Nido pancakes of different times on top of each other, we get to see a 'timeline' like this: -------------------- past -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- -------------------- future The Sea of Eden or the Dead Sea is at one same place in the El Nido seas. They exist in different dimensions, but they exist in the very same location. +------------------+ | | | +++++ | | + +| | + CP +| | + <-++----- Sea of Eden (circular area) | +++++ | | | +------------------+ ------------+-----+- ^ Sea of Eden (circular area) Now let's imagine that we have the timeline from 7600BC up to 12400AD. And let's draw it out by laying many slices of pancakes on top of each other. Let's also mark out some of the major events in the timeline necessary to explain this theory. For convenience sake, I have marked out the areas inside and outside the Sea of Eden with a numbered label. -01---------+01---+- 7600BC -02---------+02---+- -03---------+03---+- -04---------+04---+- -05---------+05---+- -06---------+06---+- -07---------+07---+- 1010AD -08---------+08---+- -09---------+09---+- -10---------+10---+- -11---------+11=C=+- 2400AD Chronopolis established. -12---------+12=C=+- -13---------+13=C=+- -14---------+14=C=+- -15---------+15=C=+- -16---------+16=C=+- -17---------+17=C=+- -18---------+18=C=+- -19---------+19=C=+- -20---------+20=C=+- =C= indicates Chronopolis Once you can convince yourself that you can look at the timeline this way, we can pretty much start discussing the gist of the theory: In 2400AD, a counter-time experiment fails, Chronopolis (and Dinopolis) was hurled back into the past. The counter-time experiment did something to warp time and space, causing Chronopolis to appeared to have been yanked back into the past. -01---------[01---]- 7600BC -02---------[02---]- -03---------[03---]- -04---------[04---]- -05---------[05---]- -06---------[06---]- -07---------[07---]- 1010AD -08---------[08---]- -09---------[09---]- -10---------+10---+- 2300AD Chronopolis starts to build. -11---------(11=C=)- 2400AD Chronopolis established. -12---------(12=C=)- -13---------(13=C=)- -14---------(14=C=)- -15---------(15=C=)- -16---------(16=C=)- -17---------(17=C=)- -18---------(18=C=)- -19---------(19=C=)- --- indicates ocean -20---------+20---+- =C= indicates Chronopolis  Space-Time Fold 1 () Space-Time Fold 2 Anytime before 2300AD, when someone from outside the Sea of Eden walks into the Sea of Eden, he/she will go 10000 years into the future. When someone from inside the Sea of Eden walks out from the Sea of Eden, he/she will go back 10000 years into the past. Anytime after 2400AD, when someone from outside the Sea of Eden walks into the Sea of Eden, he/she will go 10000 years into the past. When someone from inside the Sea of Eden walks out from the Sea of Eden, he/she will go back 10000 years into the future. Say for example, you are a research in Chronopolis 2400AD. If you walk out of the Sea of Eden, you go back into 7600BC. If you live in 1010AD and you walk into the Sea of Eden, you walk into 11010AD. This applies to light, sound, and molecules and any other particles. This is the formula: Outside Inside If X<2300AD X X+10000 years If X>2400AD X X-10000 years Since the space-time-fold affects light, then it 'appears' that Chronopolis was pulled back in time this way: -01---------+11=C=+- 7600BC -02---------+12=C=+- -03---------+13=C=+- -04---------+14=C=+- -05---------+15=C=+- -06---------+16=C=+- -07---------+17=C=+- 1010AD Serge dies -08---------+18=C=+- -09---------+19=C=+- -10---------+10---+- 2300AD Chronopolis starts to build. -11---------+01---+- 2400AD Chronopolis. Counter-Time Exp. -12---------+02---+- -13---------+03---+- -14---------+04---+- -15---------+05---+- -16---------+06---+- -17---------+07---+- -18---------+08---+- -19---------+09---+- --- indicates ocean -20---------+20???+- =C= indicates Chronopolis As you can see, it looks as though the slices 01-09 inside the Sea of Eden were 'exchanged' with the slices 11-19. -01---------+11=C=+- ^ ^ | +---------- year inside Sea of Eden = 2400AD | +---------------------- year outside Sea of Eden = 7600BC -11---------+01---+- ^ ^ | +---------- year inside Sea of Eden = 7600BC | +---------------------- year outside Sea of Eden = 2400AD As I have said, the space-time-fold affects every smallest particle in the world. So if an earthquake occurs here at slice #15, -15---------+05---+- it will affect slice #05 inside the Sea of Eden. The original Chronopolis inside the Sea of Eden slice #15 is left unharmed. In other words, no one from the future can 'see' Chronopolis existing, except after slice #20. But this is beyond the discussion here. Now, the above figure actually shows the Another World timeline. Let's look at Home World's timeline. In Home World, Serge is killed by Lynx but saved by Kid. Serge's survival is the key to the destruction of the world. In particular, Serge wakes the Frozen Flame and binds or merges with the Time Devourer. The Time Devourer completes its form, and awakes somewhere in the future to devour time. In order to avoid paradoxes of Serge not being able to live and hand the Frozen Flame over to it, Time-Devourer awakes after 11010AD and swallows everything into nothingness. The key thing here is that space-time-fold does not affect the Time- Devourer. -01---------+11=C=+- 7600BC -02---------+12=C=+- -03---------+13=C=+- -04---------+14=C=+- -05---------+15=C=+- -06---------+16=C=+- -07---------+17=C=+- 1010AD Serge supposed to die. -08---------+18???+- -09---------+19???+- -10---------+10---+- 2300AD Chronopolis starts to build. -11---------+01---+- 2400AD Chronopolis. Counter-Time Exp. -12---------+02---+- -13---------+03---+- -14---------+04---+- -15---------+05---+- -16---------+06---+- -17---------+07---+- 11010AD Time Devourer wakes here. ?18?????????+08---+? ?19?????????+09---+? --- indicates ocean ?20?????????+20???+? =C= indicates Chronopolis ??? indicates non-existent future Thus, when the Time-Devourer consumes everything from 11010AD onwards, all slices that belong after 11010AD (slice #18 onwards) disappears. No more time exists after the year 11010AD. In addition to that, the Time-Devourer also consumed the space after 11010AD. This should have caused the slices #18-19 inside the Sea of Eden to be empty (Darkness Beyond Time). But by some form of unexplained unstableness that disallow the existence of 'emptiness' in the Sea of Eden, parts of what the Time-Devourer swallowed gets sucked back into it, forming a mess of things fused together to give us the Dead Sea.
Zeality: It is stated that:
- Belthasar: IT will awaken...Then, the Devourer of Time will begin to consume all space-time continua... Despair and hatred... To return all things to nothingness... That is what IT desires.
It is blatantly suggested that the Time Devourer will devour reality itself, and not only time and space beyond the date of its awakening. Other than that, this theory is harmonious with the Chrono series, though it may be a simpler effort to hold that Chronopolis simply has temporal connections with the future, rather than implying that it exists in a perpetual future state -- a fact unbacked by the script. Lastly, this implies that the space-time continuum isn't ruined at the point of the Time Crash, since time still apparently flows in the future. This is a possibility, but the vague nature of the Crash denies any detail.
7. Salt for the Dead Sea
Theory 1: The Dead Sea Absorbs Adventurers (by "Miguel")
It is also possible that Robo wanted to protect the Flame from Viper, Lynx and Porre. What better way to protect Home's Flame than to hide it in a sea that slowly absorbs any adventurers that enter it?
Zeality: How might Robo have any control over where the Frozen Flame exists anyway, especially in a ruined, frozen timeline? He is an immovable circuit within Chronopolis, whose Home World equivalent was destroyed in the formation of the Dead Sea in 1010 A.D. Unless Robo has specific motives and dimensional powers, this is impossible. There is also no basis in the script for this physical phenomenon; Serge appears to be fine as he treks through the Dead Sea.
Theory 2: Fluidity of the Dead Sea (by "bubblebobby2000")
The Dead Sea is a highly unstable place. Call it 'fluid' if you wish. If Serge decides not to approach the Frozen Flame, then the bleak future will be unable to exist. And the Dead Sea will revert back to the way it was, ie. Chronopolis. Three years ago, in Home World, the Acacia Dragoons decided to approach the Frozen Flame (remnants of the swallowed up Chronopolis ruins) in the Dead Sea, they unconsciously was trying to prevent Serge from accessing the Frozen Flame in Home World, in effect reducing the chances the Time-Devourer from awakening in Home World. Hence the dimension in the Dead Sea might have reverted to Chronopolis for a while, crushing the bodies of the Acacia Dragoons with whatever that came into existence for that short period of time. Once they were dead, the Dead Sea reverts itself back to the dead future form.
GrayLensman: This theory deals with fluctuating probabilites, and is thus irrelevant. From an external observer, i.e. a time traveler, any timeline is static. Only when a time traveler introduces new "randomness" does the timeline change. Of course, we know that the timeline did not start out with the time travelers changes. A new, yet still static, timeline is instantly created.
8. Dead Sea Evaporated
Theory 2: Miguel as a Guardian (by "Halbarad")
When Serge died/lived, the space-time continnum in Home World was changed; the Dead Sea, which was filled with a bit of space-time from 2400 AD/Another. When the future was changed by Serge's survival (to the destroyed timeline of pre-defeat CT), that bit of space-time was still drawn from 2400-the only problem was that instead of Chronopolis, it drew bits of the ruined world of 2400 AD pre-defeat into Home World- this would also explain why it was composed of random fragments of buildings thrown together. I'm guessing that the draw would have been temporary; it says that Miguel was set as the guardian of the Dead Sea (he had previously been located in Chronopolis) with difficulty. I admit it does not say what the difficulty was, but it could be that the Dead Sea would dissipate without some sort of influence to hold it in place. (pure speculation I know, but so is some of y'all's stuff.) Thus when Miguel dies, there is no longer any influence holding the Dead Sea together (remember, FATE still can't directly interact with Home, as it has no access to the Flame yet); when Miguel dies, the Dead Sea disperses as it would have done 10 years previously had it not had a guardian.
Zeality: The primary problem with this theory is the question of how the Dead Sea existed for the intermission between its creation and the placement of Miguel in as the integral guardian. Miguel would have to be an actual part of the Dead Sea and be present from its creation forward for this concept to be temporally sound, and this is not the case. Miguel himself remarks that FATE shall destroy the Dead Sea and Home World's Frozen Flame.
9. In The Unified Timeline
Theory 1: Unified Timeline (by "skane")
Yes, Serges' existence would have brought about the day of Lavos as he enabled FATE access to the frozen flame, but remeber that after he does this he became irrelevant to FATEs plan (she tries to kill him after all). From this point on Serge existence ensures that Lavos will be beaten. Also, in the original time line (i.e. crono trigger), Schala was not merged with Lavos (that only happened because stupid crono shoved a sword in Lavos' eye). The entity threating the Chrono Cross world is not Lavos but the Schala/Mammon Machine entity, so the ''Day of Lavos'' itself is no longer a threat because the creature responsible no-longer exists. The references to it in Cronopolis come from Belthasars own memory (as he says in Terra Tower he rbought knowledge of the past into the future). So the situation now is Lavos has become a different entity, and the Day of Lavos had been replaced by the threat of the Time Devourer destroying the timeline itself. Since Serge and co defeat the being in the Tesseract, outside of time, the only affect it has on the timeline is to remove the threat of the Time Devourer. Now, with FATE the Dragons, and Schala/Mammon entity gone, there is nothing left to threaten El Nido. What does this have to do with the unified time line? the worlds split because Schala reached out to Serge before she was consumed by the Mammon Machine. By destroying that being Serge has also destroyed the split in time, if Schala was rescued she didn't need to call out, but she only called out because she needed rescuing... a self-refrancing cycle starts. The two time lines will converge now much like what was seen in the sea of Eden with a destroyed time line. Since Serge is alive it must be Another World which is destroyed, but since half his party came from there the destruction of that time line would kill them. That cannot happen so the only other alternative is for a new line to start (from the point where Kid saves Serge, 1010) which includes everyone recruited into the party. So in this line, the Dragoons will not be dead, BUT Dario will still have been possessed by the Masamune in place of Garai, who will have died just as he did in the original home time line. The only people who would have any clue that the changes were there would be those who fought alongside Serge and each one of them would have a place in the new time-line. For example, Orlha may go home to find Tia still alive or the faerie village would not have been destroyed by the dwarves etc. This also means that the Dragon gods would still exist in thier split forms though. That happened before the timeline was first split.
Zeality: This theory is not temporally sound; time and time again it has been proven that the Grandfather Paradox is excused from the series' mechanics. How would Chrono Cross even be possible if Crono had eliminated his ever seeing the Day of Lavos record, which was responsible for Trigger? Causal loops are thankfully absent from the series; thus, whether Schala calls out to Serge to initiate the adventure is irrelevant once the dimensions are unified. This theory also makes several shaky plot assumptions, such assuming that the ruined future is caused by FATE having access to the Frozen Flame (amazing, considering FATE had access to the Frozen Flame for a good 8620 years before the events of the game occur); this is also dependent on possibility, rendering it critically flawed.
Theory 2: Radical Dreamers Timeline (by "Miguel")
I believe that the timeline that results from Another and Home merging is the world of Radical Dreamers. Now this has been dismissed before, due to the following reason: The diary in Chronopolis mentioned RD, yet it was written before the RD world would have taken place. However, I believe otherwise. That diary? I think it was Belthasar's. This is possible - he lived in 2300, and the diary (from 2400AD) mentions "grandfather's closet." Now, all we heard of the diary was a little bit of RD's opening text but I have a sneaking suspicion that Belthasar had written "instructions" of some sort within that journal that wasn't included in the computer records. These "instructions" would naturally involve his descendant going to CP and direct/influence the order of things within Cp to lead up to the world which Belthasar could only have envisioned... Now I know there is a lot of controvosy over whether B can see the future or not, but remember - He has been in contact with the Flame. And Schala (with the powers of Lavos) is within the Flame. Use your imagination people...! Surely Belthasar couldn't have pulled off this whole escapede without help from other sources?
Zeality: Unfortunately, the Radical Dreamers dimension was labeled an alternate dimension by Serge's party at Chronopolis, and the diary proves that it did exist before the unification of the dimensions. Thus, it being a result is temporally impossible.
10. Other Theories
10a. Temporal Intertia
We all know what inertia is, right? It's the tendency of an object to remain either at rest or in motion. But this is a little bit different a notion. Current physics, relativity, and quantum mechanics have given us a much better view of the universe itself, and have revealed a few peculiar aspects of our universe. We live in what's called a space-time continuum, three 'dimensions' of space, one 'dimension' of time. I don't remember the exact details, and I certainly don't want to try to get into them here, but there is evidence that space and time are like two sides of the same coin. There are certain aspects of space which have a corresponding temporal equivalent, and vice versa. This gave me the idea that, if we have spatial inertia, why not temporal inertia? With that question in mind, let's re-examine the sequence of events I fondly call 'The Marle Paradox.' 1000AD: Crono meets Marle. Marle has pendant. Pendant messes with Telepods, opens a Time Gate, and Marle lands in 600 AD. Let's follow her for a moment. Sometime after she arrives, Guardia soldiers find her, mistake her for the missing Queen Leene, call off their search for the queen, and take Marle back to the Castle. This is the catalyst for the paradox, because the moment the soldiers find Marle and call off the search, history has been changed. We can easily conjecture the outcome: Leene is not found, Leene dies before bearing children, thus no descendants, and thus no ancestors for Marle. Thus no Marle. Uh oh. Which now means Crono doesn't meet her, her pendant doesn't interfere with the Telepods, Marle doesn't travel back in time (since she no longer exists at this point), the search for Leene is then not called off, and we're back to the original history in which Leene is found and eventually bears children. This is an infinity loop; because of its very nature, this sequence will oscillate back and forth between past and present forever. Not good. Fortunately, this is not how things worked out. We know from playing the game that Crono and Lucca work to restore the original history, and they are successful. The problem, though, is the logic here. All three of the children landed in 600 AD as a direct result of Marle's pendant. Keep in mind that had the pendant not been involved, none of them would have ever seen 600 AD. But when history is suddenly changed, only Marle is affected. Some people have argued that this is because only Marle was a descendant of Leene. This is logically unsound. We're dealing with time travel here, not genetics, and until we have evidence to the contrary, logic is the only way to approach this. That in mind, logic dictates that not only should Marle disappear from 600 AD, but so should Crono and Lucca! Yet they don't. Why not? It's because of Marle that they're there in the first place. If she's no longer born in the future, then the pendant would never have been brought near the Telepods, and the Gate would never have formed. Obviously, Crono and Lucca don't disappear. So, working from the assumption that this is a valid story, there has to be some explanation for why they didn't disappear. The answer is temporal inertia. Remember that Marle arrived before Crono, who arrived before Lucca. Also, remember that Marle was born in approximately 984 AD, while Crono and Lucca only recently were affected by her presence. This means that, when Marle accidentally changes history, she will be affected by the time change sooner than Crono and Lucca. My theory is that Crono and Lucca would have disappeared, but they restored history before that happened. Temporal inertia explains how they were able to remain in 600 AD long enough to correct the timeline. If we were to witness Marle's departure from 1000, after however long it took for the soldiers to find her and call off their search, we would see an instantaneous change in 1000, because as far as 1000 is concerned, 600 is done and gone. But from 600's point of view, the time change is yet to occur. Because Crono, Marle, and Lucca are in the past, they are not affected by the time change right away. But as I said above, they will be affected, and Marle is affected first, because she is directly related to Leene. Imagine the time change as a linear event, passing through the four centuries between 600 and 1000. We would see it reaching Marle's birth before it reached the moment her pendant influenced the Telepods. This explains why Crono and Lucca didn't disappear right when Marle did. Of course, if we waited around long enough, we'd see Crono disappear too, and a moment later Lucca. However, while the time change is changing history, Crono and Lucca have however long it takes for the change to travel from Marle's birth to when she met Crono to restore history. Otherwise, they'll get stuck in an infinity loop. If we're vague enough about the amount of time Marle spent in 600 before Crono arrived, and about the amount of time it takes for Crono and Lucca to find Marle and then rescue Leene, they have enough time to find Leene and restore history before the time change erases Marle's influence in 1000 AD. Once the timeline is restored, the paradox is no longer a threat, which means neither Crono nor Lucca will disappear, and which means Marle should reappear, just as she did in Trigger. The idea of Crono, Marle, and Lucca lasting for an unspecified amount of time and then disappearing, as opposed to disappearing instantaneously, is my idea of temporal inertia. They effectively resist the change in their temporal momentum, but they ultimately can't resist the change.
Discussion For and Against the Temporal Inertia Theory
GrayLensman: In Chrono Trigger, any change to the past results in a new timeline being created instantaneously. Your theory suggests that once a change is made to the past, the future timeline will gradually change to accommodate that change, but this is just not the case.
In 1000 AD, the Mayor of Porre is greedy and obnoxious. By giving his ancestor the jerky in 600 AD, a new timeline is created where he is generous. When the travelers return to 1000 AD, the Mayor doesn't gradually become nicer. The new timeline instantly expressed itself the moment Crono made the change in 600 AD: the Mayor was always generous.
In 600 AD, Robo chose to stay in the past to help Fiona replant the forest. When the travelers warp to 1000 AD, the forest does not slowly appear. This is an even better example because the forest is not replenished in 600 AD, but years afterwards. The new timeline, containing the changes made by the travelers in 600 AD, and Robo over four hundred years, already exists in 1000 AD.
The list goes on and on. Every instance of time travel in the Chrono series behaves in this way.
Igloo Bob: Hm, I'm not certain, but I believe you misunderstand the temportal inertia theory. Temporal inertia does not state that the entire timeline changes slowly, as you suggested, but rather, in situations relating to the grandfather paradox (i.e. anything that you do in the past that causes you to be unable to either exist/travel back in time at the point you do later in history), we don't see the changes affected in that particular time zone instantly. The best example is what jason79 used when he wrote the theory, the Marle situation at the beginning of the game. When Marle goes back into the past and prevents her ancestor from being saved, she disappears as a result of that, which means we absolutely know that the grandfather paradox is in effect. According to traditional theory on this situation, we know that either (1) time will either go into an infinite loop or collapse from the stress of the paradox, or (2) a new dimension will split off from the original, so we in effect have two dimensions, one where Marle exists, the other where she doesn't.
However, we know that neither is the case. Obviously, time did not loop or collapse, and if the changes created by Marle were instantaneous and created a new dimension, we now have issues, as we have to assume that every change in the past, which directly conflicts with what Belthasar later says about dimensional split in Cross (that to split the dimensions actually has nothing to do with changes in the past, but rather is only effected by change by an outside entity. In Cross's case, it is Schala's interference that gives Serge a 50/50 chance of life and death, and splits the dimension).
So operating from the assumption that Trigger is logically valid, we have to find a reason why time does not go into a temporal loop. The easiest solution is temporal inertia. Notice that when Crono goes back to 600AD, he comes after Marle does but before the search for the Queen has time to affect it's course that eventually leads to the temporal loop. This tells us that the portals are "aging" for lack of a better word, and that each portal is not linked to an exact time, but rather starts at a certain time, and continues through time aftewards. This is proved undoubtedly by the fact that once the kindgom of zeal is destroyed, Crono can never go back to the point before it was destroyed. Every time you visit the dark ages after that, you are taken to post-destruction dark ages.
So while Lucca and Crono are trying to figure out what's going on, Marle is being found by the soldiers, and the search for Leene is called off. Crono warps back, and finds Marle, and then she disappears. The reason Marle disappears while Crono does not is because she is directly related to the events, while Crono and Lucca are only indirectly related. In other words, imagine time as a straight line, with us having an omniscient view. We see Leene have a daughter, then the daughter have a daughter, and onward similarly, until Marle is born. Then 16 years later (that -is- how old she is, correct? In any case, it's just a minor detail, and doesn't substantially affect the theory), we see her meet Crono. The only logical assumption we can make is that the time change is not instantaneous, or Crono would never be able to go to 600AD at all! So when Marle disappears, but Crono does not, we know that the time change affects her sooner, because she is more closely related to the changes. Whatever speed the changes are made at, we know that 380-some years-worth of changes have already been affected in the timeline, and that after the final 17 years before Marle would meet Crono have passed in changes, we will be stuck in the time loop.
However, this does not happen. Crono manages to save Leene before his time is up, and so he does not disappear. This sets everything in the timeline back correctly, and Marle is restored. Even at this point, we are given more proof that the changes in time are not made instantaneously, as Marle is not waiting for Crono and Lucca upstairs, but actually reappears around the same time Crono comes up the stairs. Had the time change been instantaneous, she would've re-appeared as soon as Crono defeated Yakra.
So while Crono does not disappear and a time crisis is averted, we know that eventually, had he not saved the Queen in time, he would've disappeared as well. However long it takes for the final 16 years of changes to affect the past is how long Crono has. He is able to resist change longer than Marle, but ultimately, neither he nor Lucca is immune to the time change.
GrayLensman: The temporal inertia theory requires that changes to the timeline only appear after some interval of time. Slowly and not-instantly have the same meaning in this context.
Furthermore, the grandfather paradox, if it applied, does not only pertain to time travelers eliminating their own existence or their ability to time travel in the first place. If, for example, Crono were to warp 400 years back in time to 600 AD, his very presence affects all things within his future light cone from that space-time coordinate onwards. Even if Crono only appeared in 600 AD for a nanosecond, the gravitational force of his mass would have disturbed every subatomic particle in an area of space 400 light-years in radius by the time of his return.
It doesn't matter whether the new Crono, influenced by these wide-ranging changes to the past, will still travel through time as before. The new Crono is not the same person as the original. Even if the only difference is the energy level of one of his electrons, the grandfather paradox comes into effect. The original Crono no longer exists, and could not have made the original change to 600 AD.
The events of Chrono Trigger and Cross require that changes to the past creates a new, distinct timeline, and that time travelers are shielded to changes to their own pasts. The grandfather paradox isn't a consequence of irresponsible time travel. It is a rule which would make every instance of time travel in the series impossible. If the grandfather paradox applied, the laws of physics would have to prevent time travel of any sort (except perhaps outside the originators past light cone).
You cite the example of Marle's disappearance, because this theory was specifically tailored to explain that event, but temporal inertia cannot be applied to any other instance of time travel in the series.
We know that changes to the past result in a new timeline, but the original is sent into the Darkness Beyond Time. In Serge's case, special circumstances resulted in both timelines being preserved as separate dimensions. If the creators intended Marle's disappearance to be an example of the grandfather paradox, it contradicts everything else in the series.
This explanation contradicts every other event in the games. When the Porre Mayor's ancestor is given the jerky, he is instantly changed. There is no waiting period. If the grandfather paradox applies to the Chrono universe, Magus' escapades in Zeal as the Prophet become impossible, as well as every other instance of time travel.
I challenge you to, while maintaining that the grandfather paradox exists, explain any other event in Trigger or Cross with the temporal inertia theory.
12. A Proposed Story Outline
Zeality: This timeline is flawed in several places; I shall not elaborate, but for example, it claims that the Frozen Flame was splintered off in 1999 A.D., which contradicts the script's reference to it descending with Lavos. My Chronology FAQ is taken directly from observable game events and script, and may prove a better scientific and referential timeline.
In conclusion, this faq proposes that it is a marker of the several loopholes of Chrono Cross. Through logical, simplistic, and rational explanations, we find once again that the game is largely devoid of plot holes.
The old FAQ image: