Author Topic: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox  (Read 1921 times)

Zeno

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Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« on: November 18, 2013, 10:19:50 am »
Hi everyone,

I've been reading this site for about the past 6 years or so, and thought I'd finally make a forum account. Theories about the Chrono universe have always interested me greatly and I've spent a lot of time reading the amazing CC encyclopedia over the years.

Anyway, something that has always bothered me is that dratted Marle Paradox. I just had a random idea about it though, and I can't seem to find it in the Encyclopedia or in any forum threads (still, I apologize if it has been suggested before).

The theory is simple: visiting the End of Time is what causes a time traveller to disconnect from the timeline (and for TTI to begin to take effect), due to the effects of entering the point of least resistance in the space-time continuum.

Marle was a victim of the Grandfather Paradox early in the game - before she had visited the End of Time. But after the party first visits the EOT, the rules of TTI seem to start applying as they should. There are no more pesky Grandfather Paradoxes after the party visits the EOT. Perhaps there is something to this? Perhaps TTI only takes effect once someone has visited the End of Time? TTI involves a kind of 'disconnection' or 'severing' from the effects of a time traveller's original timeline, after all - maybe hitting the point of least resistance on the continuum is what causes that disconnection?

As a metaphor, I'm picturing a rubber band in my head. A rubber band connecting Marle to the timeline and subjecting her to changes made in its past. When time-travelling to 600AD in the beginning of the game, that rubber band stretches but stays intact. However, when she encounters a situation of Time Error (in the EOT) that rubber band permanently snaps. From then on, she now has Time Traveller's Immunity (as does the rest of the party, who visited there too). This would explain why the Grandfather Paradox only rears its head near the beginning of the game.

There is no direct evidence for this in-game, of course - and in all honesty I feel the Marle Paradox was probably a developer oversight. Nevertheless, it is fun to try and think of ways to patch the problem up. Could this explanation work? Or would it conflict with other things we know about time travel in the Chrono universe?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 10:12:53 am by Zeno »

Eske

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 03:14:11 am »
I like this idea, it is simple and it doesn't add too much speculation.  Essentially, your causality ends when you reach The End of Time.

The issue is that this leads to the Magus Paradox.  Marle vanished either because Leene's rescue was called off or because Frog was supposed to have literally saved Leene at the time Marle vanished. 

What about Magus? When his manner of defeat was changed in 600AD thanks to Melchior's reforging of the Masamune in 1000AD, Magus was sent to 12000BC, where he convinced Queen Zeal to banish the Gurus.  Melchior was imprisoned on Mt. Woe.  If he is imprisoned on Mt. Woe when the Mammon Machine becomes operational inside the Ocean Palace, then he can't be there (or have someone else, like Crono) pierce it with the Ruby Knife.  We know that this must happen because the Ruby Knife becomes the Masamune when it interacts with the Mammon Machine and we see the Masamune in 600AD before we see the events of the Ocean Palace in-game.

No Melchior, no Ruby Knife, no Masamune.  We know that the Ruby Knife being placed into the Mammon Machine makes it go haywire and disturb Lavos as a result.  Lavos appears, banishes the Gurus throughout time, along with Janus.  No haywire Mammon Machine, no Lavos appearance, no Janus (young Magus) banishment.  Following TTI, this wouldn't effect Prophet Magus, but would subject Janus to Time Bastard at the moment Janus was supposed to have time traveled.

But, going along with your idea: Magus, who has NOT been to The End of Time, would be the problem.  His existence wouldn't make sense from the moment he convinced Queen Zeal to imprison Melchior on Mt. Woe, so he should have vanished right then as Marle did when her ancestor's rescue was called off.

Pointing out a problem without offering a solution, however, wouldn't be professional (haha).  What if Crono and Co. time traveling to 12,000 BC "corrected" the paradox?  65million BC is obviously before 12000BC, so the Magus Paradox would not affect it.  We know that Crono and Co. are offered direct access to 12000BC from 65million BC.  We also know that the gates "age" - meaning that if you go from the present to the past and spend 1 hour there, you will find that 1 hour has passed in the present when you return.  Finally, we know that by the time we get to 12000BC, Magus already has a foothold there as a trusted Prophet of Queen Zeal.  Therefore, we can reasonably assume that Magus did all of his Prophet dirty work while we were messing around with the Reptites in 65million BC. 

As I said before, Magus appears, convinces Queen to banish Gurus - leading to: no Melchior, no Ruby Knife, no Masamune, no haywire Mammon Machine, no Lavos disturbance, no sending Janus to 600AD. 

But as soon as Crono and Co. appear, having had met Melchior already in 1000AD, their rescue of him becomes guaranteed, which allows Melchior to give Crono the Ruby Knife, and on and on until the Janus-enters-gate event is restored, thus re-justifying Prophet Magus's existence.

To summarize: Marle appears, rescue party for Leene dissolves, Marle vanishes with it, Crono and Lucca appear, rescue the Queen, Marle makes sense again.

Magus appears, rescue party for Melchior is now required but lacking, Magus vanishes. Crono appears, rescue party for Melchior has arrived, Magus makes sense again.

But why would Magus be able to reappear just because Crono and Co. were eventually going to save Melchior?  Marle didn't reappear when Crono and Lucca decided to rescue Leene - it doesn't seem to make sense.

Unfortunately, here is where the similarities between the Marle Paradox and the possible Magus Paradox end.  Marle's disappearance itself was the motivator for Crono and Lucca to save Leene.  If Marle reappears, Lucca assumes the Queen must be fine and they decide to go back home, then Marle disappears again.  They decide again to find the Queen, Marle reappears, they decide to go home and then Marle disappears again, and so on and so forth until they figure it out. 

Magus would disappear because he suggested Melchior's banishment to Queen Zeal.  Crono and Co. would arrive in a world where the Guru's rescue would be an eventuality, given Magus's advice to Queen Zeal that was carried out before our heroes even arrived in 12,000BC.  So, there is no bouncing back and forth between results like there is with Marle's situation.  Additionally, we know from Marle's example that disappearing due to an apparent paradox does not instantly erase everyone's memories of you (Magus's effect on 12,000BC would be seen by Crono even if Magus forced himself into a paradox just before their arrival and everyone in Zeal Kingdom would remember his presence there.)
And again, we are given direct access to 12000BC from the prehistoric era in the game without needing to travel ahead first to see the results of Magus's horrid miscalculation (Magus and the Gurus time travel event not happening would render much of Crono and Co.'s adventure impossible - which doesn't threaten them at all because they have been to the EoT and, by your idea, have had their causality strings severed.)


TL;DR VERSION:

Zeno's Theory:  No TTI before EoT visit.

Possible Problem:

Magus to 12000BC --> Melchior imprisoned, no Ruby Knife in Mammon Machine, no Lavos disturbance, Janus to 600AD interrupted.
If no Janus 600AD travel and Prophet Magus no TTI --> Marle Paradox-like Magus Paradox occurs

Possible Solution:

Magus to 12,000BC at Time X, becomes Prophet Magus and orders Melchior imprisoned at Time X+1, Prophet Magus vanishes
Crono to 12,000BC at Time (X+1) + N, is assumed to eventually free Melchior --> Prophet Magus reinstated




Zeno

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 10:05:46 am »
Wow, you are good at this. :) There's a lot here to think about... this will take me a while to mull over.

I think you're right about my idea causing a Marle-Paradox-like problem for Magus, although your solution to it is a good one!

I think it is a really interesting point (in its own right) that, in the game, Crono and the gang directly access 12,000 B.C from prehistoria. I hadn't thought about this before, but this was actually necessary from a game design perspective. If Crono and the gang were able to travel to later time periods before going to 12,000 B.C and correcting Magus's meddling, the later time periods would have reflected that meddling.

This would result in quite a different world. 600 A.D would be a timeline in which the Mystic War did not take place! Or at least, did not take place in the same form it took in the main timeline. Kato-san and co would have had to make rather large changes to the later time periods to reflect this kind of thing. It was a much easier solution for them to simply force us to go to 12,000 BC first and correct Magus's meddling (by rescuing Melchior). :D
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 10:08:34 am by Zeno »

ZeaLitY

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 01:44:38 am »
Well, with Flow principle, none of the Ruby Knife stuff would have happened in the original timeline to create the Masamune anyhow. The leading Compendium theory is just that Melchior had more time to finish the Masamune, since he wasn't banished and apparently didn't use the Ruby Knife himself in the flashback.

I'll get this theory added, too.

Xenterex

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 01:31:13 pm »
apple-low-gies for the necro, but I found reading this rather spiffy.

While the concept on the magus-paradox is interesting, I do see a bit of a problem in the flow regarding how the paradox would come to be it draws a direct connection that the ruby knife is the only catalyst that causes the Lavos-chain of actions that lead to Janus and the gurus flung through time  "No haywire Mammon Machine -> no Lavos appearance"

Magus didn't use a haywire Mammon Machine to summon lavos in 600 AD in the original timeline (to my knowledge anyway)  Not only could Magus simply recreate the means he was intending to use in 600 AD against Lavos in the absence of Chrono and Co. interference, what exactly happens to Magus in 600 AD is unknown. 

Sure, he might have been drained of power, and assumed killed, much like when Magus confronts lavos in 12,000 BC, but that isn't completely known.  It could be that Magus is just an element in a self-fufilling prophecy and his summoning Lavos in 600 triggers him to still get sent back to Zeal where his actions as the prophet are just a time-loop that doesn't influence the banishment of people through time at the fall of Zeal.


idioticidioms

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 06:13:56 pm »
Ah, this is interesting. I've been thinking about time travel a lot more lately, but haven't yet re-applied it to Chrono Trigger.

Time Travel didn't begin with the Marle scenario. That's where our linear story begins as we follow that, but the linear nature of time itself; in the Chrono world, stated that Marle had already been dragged to the past. In fact, Crono and crew had already been neck deep in the forging of the entire world before they had even been born.

The true start of time travel would be the fall to Earth that Lavos made in prehistoric times. It brought the future into the past because it threatened all of existence and needed the worlds strongest warriors to fight it; gathered from all time periods.

So, when Marle got dragged into the past; it was only to cement what had already been done and to give reason and incentive for Crono and Crew to follow and begin their journey. It begs the question of which came first and there is no clear answer for it; for those within the linear movement of time will not see how such is possible, while those outside of the flow of time are able to interact with all time periods and have their own linear flow of time.

These things already happened, so they are set to happen again. Such a being as Lavos; the evil from the skies; creates the instability in reality to allow such seeming inconsistencies that are never inconsistencies.

Magus was a temporary fulfillment; his involvement in Lavos' defeat was not set in stone; only his involvement in bringing Crono and Crew to that point. You have the choice of whether to kill him or let him join you when you find him; or you can just leave him be. He was never integral beyond that as he lay in the middle between hero and villain. Like Gaspar, his consciousness existed outside of the flow of time and he was able to wrap his mind around it perfectly, which was what allowed him to shape his own destiny and make his own choices.

These things could and would happen countless different ways but the end result would remain the same, hence why things were remembered differently than how they happened to Crono and Crew. If one is to consider the time rifts as a defense mechanism of the planet, as supplied by how the three Guru's and Magus become necessary to the advancement of Crono and Crew as they fight against Lavos. then one must also consider the application of different time lines and alternate universes, which became the basis of the rudimentary concept behind Chrono Cross.

There are no true paradoxes.

ThatGuy

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 09:56:52 pm »
So...

It seems to me there doesn't necessarily have to be a Magus paradox. There could have been nothing to stop Janus from being pulled into the gate even after Magus changed things. There could have been a ruby knife that turned into the Masamune for any other reason (like Masa and Mune doing something), or Melchior could have been freed by someone else.

Let's also not forget that in the original timeline the gates appeared, taking the Gurus and Janus, without the presence of the red knife.

Zaulche

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 05:50:27 pm »
I have been thinking about this myself. While the most likely answer is developer oversight in the Nadia paradox that is not much fun, so let the thought exercises commence!

I never thought of it that way, but the Nadia paradox being because they do not have time travelers immunity yet is an interesting idea. I also propose the following ideas:

01) The end of time is where the main characters learn magic as well. I could argue that it is creating a magical connection with the planet/dream/universe, what have you, that gives Time Traveler's Immunity. The Gurus exist in their new time periods regardless of what you do. Magus is a very powerful mage by the time he becomes the prophet. Schala ends up in darkness beyond time. Queen Zeal ends up existing in multiple timelines simultaneously. There are probably holes here, as I am sure I am missing people that would debunk this.

02) Once the party reaches the End of Time they are dimension hopping as much as they are time traveling. If you defeat Lavos before he emerges from the planet I think an elder from the future still shows up at the end. How is that possible? How can R66-Y return to his world as it existed after the apocalypse if it was prevented unless there was still access to the timeline when it happened. So in that respect Crono and crew could be dealing with a different Kingdom of Zeal than in the first timeline that led to the original events. Admittedly this falls apart a little with the Black Omen. Unless it can exist in all timelines and dimensions. That would imply it is existing outside space time. It is connected to Lavos though.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 03:36:10 pm by Zaulche »

ThatGuy

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 12:57:18 am »
^ I honestly think the elder from the now non-existent future showing up at the end was just shitty writing.

ThatGuy

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Re: Possible solution to the Marle Paradox
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 10:41:44 pm »
Hey I just read somewhere a different idea to solve the Marle paradox. If you have the pendant with you, it shields you from the changes in the timeline.

Of course, people waiting at the end of time aren't in the presence of the pendant... but they are when they rejoin time. So that could do it. Or it could be both, being near the pendant or at the end of time.