The Rainbow Shell is seemingly the fossil of an ancient, huge sea creature, compressed and refined by the unreal powers of Lavos's crashing into the planet. The result of this refinement is an incredibly strong and powerful mineral, imbued with elemental abilities and the subject of much myth and legend. It was apparently in the possession of the Reptites, whose Tyrano Lair was crushed by Lavos; the shell subsequently was reduced to a place of residence far below the planet's crust. It may have been visited by citizens of Zeal, or legends of it were passed through generations by the Iokans or Larubans; regardless, accounts of its power and beauty appear in Zeal's tomes, and even filter into the treasure hunting cliques of 600 A.D., evident in Toma's own desire to hunt the shell and the Dorino Elder's interest in it. Toma did eventually locate it in the Giant's Claw, which is the Tyrano Lair's second incarnation as an island that briefly appears in the Middle Ages. He was unable to procure the shell from its resting place, but in the Keystone Timelines, he informed Crono and the heroes of time of its location. It was subsequently recovered by knights of the Kingdom of Guardia, where it lay in its treasury for four hundred years, planned to be unveiled at the Moonlight Parade.
The acquisition of the Rainbow Shell had a temporarily negative effect on the royal family, as Yakra XIII was able to forge documents detailing a transaction that supposedly entailed King Guardia XXXIII's selling the heirloom to a trader. The plot was foiled when a piece of the Rainbow Shell was taken from its resting place in the treasury, which was overrun by Yakra's henchmen, and brought to the trial of the king by Marle. This PrismShard proved the king's innocence. Soon after, Melchior, probably the only person capable of doing so, assisted the party in creating new weapons and items for the party from the shell, including the Rainbow, PrismDress, and Prism Helm. The Rainbow Shell's fate afterwards is unknown, perhaps falling victim to the Fall of Guardia and being stolen by Porre.
The shell is probably based off pieces of Ammonite, fossils of ancient sea creatures whose appearance is similar to that of a Nautiluses. These fossils are sometimes iridescent.
The Rainbow Shell appears in Chrono Cross in the form of several fragments, suggesting that in the previous years, the Rainbow Shell was indeed stolen from the Kingdom of Guardia and disseminated across the world, eventually arriving in El Nido. These Rainbow fragments are the highest weapons and armor grade material available, affording items of legendary quality. However, use is limited and probably confined to Serge's party, as the forging of such items requires the work of Zappa (and his dimensional counterpart working with him!) as well as the integration of shiny items imbued with elemental power and resulting from the use of Summons. To forge Rainbow equipment, see Rainbow Equipment.
Theory and Analysis
- Rainbow Shell (What's with the pieces of Rainbow Shell in El Nido?)
- Rainbow Shell (Where did it come from?)