Crono Meets Marle
In 1000 A.D., a teenager named Crono from Truce attends a fair made to celebrate 1000 years since the Kingdom of Guardia's founding. While at the fair, he meets Princess Nadia, or Marle, who is the immediate heir to Guardia. Crono and Marle participate in a demonstration of Crono's friend Lucca's teleportation device; a reaction between it and Marle's pendant, handed down for generations, causes a time Gate to open and transport Marle to 600 A.D., the middle ages. Crono immediately follows using the pendant, and discovers that Marle has been mistaken for the Queen of Guardia of that era (Queen Leene had been missing prior to Marle's entrance, and the search party mistook Marle for her). While visiting Marle, Crono watches her vanish; Lucca, after entering the area via a Gate Key (device that can open Gates), explains that Marle's ancestor's never being found causes this (On a side note, Lucca is almost surely wrong here, as her explanation contradicts all other instances of temporal transforms in the Chrono series. Marle's detainment was most likely an action done by the Entity to start Crono on his quest). Crono, Lucca, and a knight who is in the form of a frog together rescue Queen Leene; subsequently, Marle reappears in Guardia castle. Crono, Marle, and Lucca depart for 1000 A.D.
Lavos is Discovered
Lucca immediately heads home, while Crono is instructed to take Marle home to Guardia Castle. Once arrived, Crono is charged with kidnapping the princess and placed on trial. He is found either guilty or not guilty, and sentenced to three days solitary confinement with possibility of execution. With the aid of Lucca, Crono breaks out of jail and battles the Chancellor of Guardia; after winning the fight, Marle joins the party and the trio escape into Guardia Forest. Cornered, they duck into a Gate in a meadow nearby. It speedily warps them to 2300 A.D., in which a battered, ruined world exists. Curious of that era, the trio trek to various futuristic domes and flattened cities (called Labs) and eventually ascertain from a video recording that a giant being, called Lavos, that hibernates beneath the planet (more on this in the forthcoming Lavos article) surfaced in 1999 A.D. and destroyed the entire world. Unwilling to let this pass, Crono's party swear to battle Lavos. While journeying in 2300 A.D., they meet a damaged humanoid robot. Lucca repairs the mechanical man, named Robo, and attempts to return home through a Gate in the Proto Dome, in which Robo was located. A door blocks the way, causing Crono, Robo, and either Lucca or Marle to venture to a nearby factory to restore power to the deactivated doorway. The party then goes through the Gate.
The End of Time
Due to the Conservation of Time Theorem (see the article Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel), Crono, Marle, Lucca and Robo end up at the End of Time, which is presided over by an old man. The man gives a bit of hope to the party, who are eager to defeat Lavos; before leaving, Crono and friends visit Spekkio, the so-called 'God of War' who also lives with the old man at the end of time. Spekkio imbues each member with magic ability, and afterward provides magic to new members (for the technics of this process, see the forthcoming article on Magic). All Gates connect to the End of Time, the old man states. The party then leaves through a Gate that takes them to 1000 A.D., but to a continent other than the one in which the Kingdom of Guardia is located. The party enters Medina, the town of the Mystics, a race of warlocks and monsters that warred with the humans in 600 A.D. under the leadership of the mage known as Magus. The party must battle a Heckran monster to return to Guardia, and during his final speech the party learns that Magus supposedly created Lavos in 600 A.D. Crono's party then travels to 600 A.D., and finds the Kingdom of Guardia under serious attack. After warding off the Mystics on Zenan Bridge, they learn that a special sword, the Masamune, is capable of defeating Magus. They ascend the Denadoro Mountains to retrieve the swords, and do battle with spirits residual in the blade. After winning, Crono receives a broken piece.
Reconstructing the Masamune
The party then visits the abode of Frog, the knight who helped them save Queen Leene. They receive from him the other piece of the Masamune. In order to repair the blade, the party seeks Melchior, a smith that lives in 1000 A.D. He instructs the party to find Dreamstone, the material used to forge the sword. The party travels to 65,000,000 B.C. and learns that the chief of a village of humans (Ioka Village) engaged in war with a race of sentient beings half-dinosaur, half-human has the mineral in question. Ayla meets the party instantly by fending off Reptites, and invites Crono to a party. By successfully drinking more soup than Ayla, Crono receives the Dreamstone. However, the Reptites undertake a midnight raid on the villagers, stealing the Gate Key. Kino, Ayla's mate, stole the Gate Key out of jealousy for Crono's party, but later surrendered it to the Reptite raiders. Crono's party seeks out the item in question by infiltrating a Reptite hideout within a forest; on this journey, they encounter the Reptite leader, Azala, and coax her forcefully into giving up the Gate Key. Afterwards, the party returns to 1000 A.D. and has Melchior repair the sword. After having it taken to him in 600 A.D., Frog joins the party to avenge the death of his best friend, Cyrus, who fell to Magus in 590 A.D. (It is revealed in a flashback that the squire Glenn was turned into Frog in that event as well). Together, they sojourn to Magus's Lair, and defeat his top knights -- Ozzie, Slash, and Flea. After battling with Magus himself, the party and Magus are devoured by an unfathomably huge timewarp caused by the summoning of Lavos he had begun prior to fighting the party. Also, it is here revealed that Magus merely summoned Lavos, and that the notion that he created the beast is false.
The Magical Kingdom
The party is thrown to 65,000,000 B.C., while Magus is catapulted to 12,000 B.C., the dark ages. After a Reptite attack demolishes the village of Laruba and concludes with the capture of Kino and other villagers, Ayla and Crono's party opt for a direct assault on the stronghold of the Reptites. After a lengthy battle to Azala's quarters, a fight ensues in which Azala is defeated and his Tyrano defender squelched. Lavos descends at this point (note: Azala did not summon him), pushing Azala's fortress far underground. Crono's party decides to fight Lavos immediately, as he would be weak, having just landed. The party finds a Gate at the impact point, and enters it to reach 12,000 B.C., a time beleaguered by an ice age brought about by Lavos's impact upon the planet. While there, the party finds a teleporation center that leads them to the ancient kingdom of Zeal, composed of several islands floating in the sky, and housing tomes on magic and various elemental sources of power. The party travels through Enhasa, city of sleep (in which a child-prince informs the party that one among them will soon perish), Kajar, city of magic, and lastly reaches Zeal Palace. Here they observe the Mammon Machine, which is used to extract energy from Lavos. Plans for the moving of the machine to a palace under the ocean surface are announced, and the party later battles the evil queen of Zeal, who is aided by a prophet. Schala, sister of the child-prince Janus mentioned above, pleads with the prophet and successfully brings about the sparing of the party. Crono and team are banished from the era, and the Gate by which they came is sealed.
The Ocean Palace
At the End of Time, the old man informs the party that a sage in 2300 A.D. was working on a machine that could travel through time. Crono forthwith enters that era, and receives the Epoch from the sage -- albeit his passing away and memory's containment in a being known as the Nu. The party returns to 12,000 B.C. via this machine, and explores a cave that houses members of the human race that cannot use magic (called Earthbound) -- as opposed to the magic-users of Zeal. They notify the party of a guru of Zeal's banishment to a floating mountain nearby, and the group departs to this landform to rescue the man. After defeating a guardian, they find the man Melchior (which later elaborates on a peculiarity of the game -- this will be explained at the North Cape). Melchior recognizes that the moving of the Mammon Machine to the undersea palace will result in ruin, and gives the party a Ruby Knife (later becoming the Masamune in the grand scheme of time) to destroy the Mammon Machine with. Schala enters briefly, but is abducted by the Queen's aide, Dalton. Crono and his team use a Skygate at Zeal Palace to infiltrate the Ocean Palace, and battle their way to the grand hall in which the machine is interred. Crono thrusts the knife into the Mammon Machine, but Schala reveals that this shall have no effect. Lavos, awoken by the machine's draining effects, appears (this and other phenomena are explained in the forthcoming Lavos article).
The New World
The prophet immediately reveals himself to be Magus, and tries to defeat Lavos. He cannot; Queen Zeal stands atop Lavos and the creature begins sucking Magus and Schala towards his maw. Crono bravely sacrifices himself; before the Ocean Palace collapses, Schala transports the remaining party members and Magus out to the main continent (note that what transpires in the Palace after this moment is directly responsible for the whole of Chrono Cross's plot). Lavos annihilates Zeal afterward, causing a tidal wave to engulf most of the land. Magus and Crono's party awaken to find that the Earthbound (those who cannot use magic) have left their cave and are mingling with survivors from Zeal in a place called Last Village. While conversing with the Elder, the party suffers an attack from Dalton, Queen Zeal's former aide. The party is detained upon a flying ship known as the Blackbird, built by the guru Belthasar. Dalton has stolen the Epoch as well, and orders the construction of wings and a flying system complete with weapons. The party manages to escape from prison and battle Dalton; they regain control of the Epoch afterward, and errantly shoot down the Blackbird. After returning to the ground, the party finds Magus gazing across the sea from the North Cape of the remaining land. Magus reveals that he was Janus, and that he lived only to seek revenge on Lavos. Also revealed is that Melchior, Gaspar (the old man at the End of Time), and Belthasar (builder of the Epoch), the three gurus of Zeal, were originally scattered across time by the Ocean Palace incident that occurred before Crono intervened in time (a villager later remarks that this timeline's Melchior and Janus disappeared involuntarily, confirming that they are preserved in history). Magus joins the party, and offers hope for reviving Crono. While leaving the era, they witness the rise of the Ocean Palace into the air, which is now called the Black Omen and is ruled by Queen Zeal.
The Salvation of Crono
The party return to the End of Time, where the old man (Gaspar) declares that Crono can be revived by the use of a device called the Chrono Trigger, or Time Egg. In order to do this, however, the party must have a clone of Crono to replace him with. The party travel to 1000 A.D., and at the Millennial Fair, acquire a clone of Crono. They then sojourn to 2300 A.D. as instructed by Gaspar, consulting the memory of Belthasar for instructions on reviving Crono. The party is told to climb Death Peak, a geological formation caused by the eruption of Lavos in 1999 A.D. and the breeding ground of Lavos. At the peak of the mountain, the Chrono Trigger shatters and transports the party to the instant before Crono's death in the Ocean Palace. His body is swapped with the clone's, and Crono is extracted to Death Peak. Upon returning to the End of Time, the party are given knowledge by Gaspar of several sidequests that will empower it against Lavos. Firstly, the party ventures to 600 A.D. to restore a forest ruined by one of Magus's creations or associated Mystic monsters known as Retinite. The party enter the desert that is encroaching upon Fiona's Forest, and defeat the beast. Robo decides to stay and till the land for 400 years. After picking him up in 1000 A.D., the party camp in the forest, and have a discussion involving the quest. It is here that Robo proposes the existence of an Entity that shaped the quest of Chrono Trigger in order to destroy Lavos (said Entity is most likely the planet; see the forthcoming Entity article). After the discussion, Lucca finds a special Gate that allows her one chance to save her mother from losing her legs in 990 A.D.
Following this quest, the party and Magus decimate Ozzie, Slash, and Flea's hideout in 600 A.D., eradicating hatred towards humans by the Mystics in 1000 A.D. Next, the party discovers that a crazed AI is exterminating humans on an island in 2300 A.D. Robo is revealed to have originated in the island's facility, and told his purpose was to watch humans. A female robot called Atropos attempts to destroy him due to her brainwashing by the crazed AI (known as Mother Brain). Robo succeeds in fending her off, and eventually defeats Mother Brain -- receiving his greatest weapons in the process. Following this event, the party search for the Sun Stone, a stone charged with solar energy that once powered Zeal. They defeat a monster called the Son of Sun in the Sun Temple of Zeal in 2300 A.D. (it rose off the oceanfloor apparently) and locate the Sun Stone. Recognizing that its power has left it, the party deposits it in 65,000,000 B.C. to charge. Finding it stolen by the Porre mayor in 1000 A.D., they instill kindness in the Porre leadership's family by giving free jerky to the Elder's wife in 600 A.D. After the Sun Stone is returned to them by a benevolent mayor in 1000 A.D., it is fully charged by 2300 A.D. and used to make useful items by Lucca.
The Royal Family
Once this quest is complete, the party, with Frog, venture to 1000 A.D. to find that Cyrus, the fallen knight and friend of Frog, is restless and haunting his gravesite. Through hiring carpenters, the party repairs the gravesite, locate powerful weapons and armor, and make peace with Cyrus -- resulting in a boost in the power of the Masamune. Following this, the party decide to look for the Rainbow Shell, a priceless mineral formation sought by the legendary explorer Toma. Toma instructs the party to seek it in an island called the Giant's Claw in 600 A.D. While exploring, the party realizes that the Giant's Claw houses the Tyrano Lair -- Azala's headquarters, buried by Lavos when he impacted upon the planet. They battle his Tyrano one last time and locate the shell, employing Guardian knights for extraction. Lastly, a return to 1000 A.D. finds the King Guardia of that era under trial for selling the Rainbow Shell. The party locate the shell deep within its treasury, and eventually prove that the evidence presented by the Chancellor's prosecution is false. The Chancellor reveals himself to be Yakra XIII, whose ancestor abducted Queen Leene in 600 A.D. The party defeats Yakra XIII, resulting in the ending of Marle's dispute with her father and the construction of unbelievably powerful weapons, done by Melchior using the Sun Stone and Rainbow Shell together.
The Final Battle
Nearing the end of their quest, the party enter the Black Omen and battle in its corridors to reach Queen Zeal. She contends in a fickle manner at first, and later tosses the party into the Mammon Machine (how this is possible even after the Mammon Machine's apparent destruction is explained in the forthcoming Lavos article). After destroying it, the party encounters Queen Zeal atop the Black Omen. Defeating her leads to a confrontation with Lavos; the party bravely fights the parasite, eventually destroying its outward functioning organs. Crono and his team enter the shell to find an alien creature within that has collected the DNA of all creatures on the planet. Concluding that Lavos has cultured the growth and evolution of the human race for his own biological gain (elaborated in Cross -- see 3000000 B.C.), the party battle once more. Following this, Lavos morphs into his true form, derived from the best possible combination of the gathered DNA. He at last succumbs. The party return to 1000 A.D., where King Guardia jests that Crono still must face execution. It is then revealed that he has been informed of the valiant quest of Crono, and the party are celebrated in the last day of the Millennial Fair. Lucca remarks that the Entity is now at rest, and each guest and party remember returns to their own era. Before the Gates close due to their purpose's removal (that of existing to allow the travelers to defeat Lavos), Crono's mother and cats enter the Telepod Gate. Crono, Marle, and Lucca use the Epoch to locate her.