Author Topic: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide  (Read 11471 times)


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Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« on: April 23, 2018, 08:53:06 pm »
This thread is a reference for developing the Chrono Tarot (aka the Timekeeper's Tarot). I will document the card selections (made by myself and other Tarot Doctors), a rationale for each decision, ideas for how the cards should look, and other relevant information.

First, a primary source for understanding Tarot and its concepts:

additionally, there's wikipedia, and
Always keep in mind the classic Rider-Waite illustrations. While you are not strictly bound by these conventions, they serve as an ideal for how the cards should appear.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 09:22:43 am by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 08:54:21 pm »

Fool - Chrono (entering the Millennial Fair gate)
Magician - Norstein Bekkler
High Priestess - Schala (flanked by beast/girl zeal statues instead of pillars)
Empress - Queen Leene
Emperor - Azala (seated in her reptite throne)
Hierophant - Gaspar (in red Zeal robes, with chrono/marle/lucca/robo instead of acolytes)
Lovers - Crono & Marle (on the summit of Death Peak)
Chariot - Epoch (white and black exhaust streams)
Strength - Ayla (closing a sabertooth tigers mouth)
Hermit - Belthasar (in the future)
Wheel of Fortune - Time Gate (w/ kilwala, bullfrog, poyozo doll, cat, nu, doreen/dream species)
Justice - Frog w/ Masamune and Hero's Medal
Hanged Man - Robo (in Fiona's Shrine, or being repaired)
Death - Lavos (destroying Zeal, definitely not 1999)
Temperance - Melchior (repairing the masamune w/ dreamstone)
Devil - Magus (Ogre and Naga-ette in chains)
Tower - Mammon Machine (as outline, or w/ Ruby Knife in it, and lightning as seen ingame)
Star - Marle w/ Pendant
Moon - Dreamstone (w/ Queen Zeal's reflection)
Sun - Lucca w/ Sun Stone (+Wondershot?)
Judgement - The Chrono Trigger (on the summit of Death Peak)
World - Nu/Entity (with guardian soldier, reptite, mystic imp, enlightened one)


King of Swords- Masa & Mune
Queen of Swords- Mother Brain
Knight of Swords- Slash
Page of Swords- Dalton

King of Wands- Spekkio
Queen of Wands- Queen Zeal
Knight of Wands- a winking Flea
Page of Wands- Jetbike Johnny

King of Cups- Cyrus
Queen of Cups- Fiona
Knight of Cups- Toma (or Kino or Doan)
Page of Cups- Janus

King of Pentacles- King Guardia XXI
Queen of Pentacles- Crono's Mom
Knight of Pentacles- Ozzie
Page of Pentacles- Gato


Ace of Swords - Ruby Knife
Ace of Wands - Gate Key
Ace of Cups - Zeal Sapling
Ace of Pentacles - Rainbow Shell


2 of Swords: Magus at North Cape, fight or join? (cf 8 of cups)
3 of Swords: Atropos XR (confrontation or aftermath could work)
4 of Swords: End of Time
5 of Swords: captured in Zeal Palace
6 of Swords: opening the passage to Magus' Castle
7 of Swords: Yakra/Chancellor
8 of Swords: standing trial (the stained-glass depiction of justice should serve well here)
9 of Swords: Ocean Palace (Schala turning up the Mammon Machine?)
10 of Swords: Chrono's death (Lavos' blast as swords)
2 of Wands: choosing an artifact from the Blue Pyramid
3 of Wands: learning magic from Spekkio
4 of Wands: rescuing Queen Leene/Marle in 600 ad
5 of Wands: fighting Masa & Mune
6 of Wands: winning the Masamune hilt
7 of Wands: Battle of Zenan Bridge
8 of Wands: Blackbird
9 of Wands: climbing Death Peak
10 of Wands: the Chef (600 ad)
2 of Cups: Chrono & Marle (meeting under Leene's Bell, NOT Death Peak (reserved for Lovers))
3 of Cups: Campsite (post Fiona's sidequest)
4 of Cups: Frog's burrow
5 of Cups: flashback to Glenn's defeat, after being transformed into Frog
6 of Cups: Leene's Bell
7 of Cups: Enhasa
8 of Cups: Magus joins at North Cape (cf 2 of swords)
9 of Cups: Medina Village post Ozzie's Fort?
10 of Cups: Moonlight Parade
2 of Pentacles: red/blue beasts and mud imp
3 of Pentacles: Fiona's Shrine
4 of Pentacles: Porre Mayor
5 of Pentacles: Ruined Future Dome (or Algetty)
6 of Pentacles: saving Fritz (repairing Robo?)
7 of Pentacles: progressing through the Black Omen (Mt. Woe? Denadoro?)
8 of Pentacles: repairing the Masamune w/ Dreamstone (Melchior)
9 of Pentacles: Kajar
10 of Pentacles: Millennial Fair, ft Melchior and the woman
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 03:31:38 am by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 08:55:26 pm »
I shall now discuss rationales for these choices -- first the Major Arcana, then the minor arcana/suits in the next post. In the post after that, I will elaborate on my suggestions for illustration.

The Fool - Chrono. The Fool represents the querent. He is the protagonist of the journey, striking out boldly into the unknown. Likewise, Chrono is the avatar of the player. He doesn't hesitate to leap into the unknown and take on challenges, even if this turns out to be unwise. We considered making the Player the Fool (and Chrono the Magician), but I think Chrono is enough of an avatar that it works. Besides, Chrono's character is a better fit for the Fool, with his potential, courage, and (at times) recklessness.

The Magician - Norstein Bekkler. The Magician uses creative energy to unlock potential and make things manifest. Chrono could fit here, but Norstein Bekkler is a better choice. He plays the part, and he creates the clone which is vital for bringing back Chrono. His ability to manifest something as strange as a clone, his power to solve the party's dilemma, and his role in resurrection all point to the Magician. This is especially true because the Magician acts as a conduit between the heavens and the earth, and Chrono's resurrection alludes to this.

High Priestess - Schala. The High Priestess represents female divinity, the esoteric, and intuition. Schala certainly looks the part, she has great magical power, and she's enigmatic. She is directly connected to Magus' mysterious past, and her fate is one of the few loose threads at the end of the game.

Empress - Queen Leene. The Empress represents growth and nurturing of life. Queen Leene fits this role, especially since she is key to continuing the Guardian royal line.

Emperor - Azala. The Emperor represents male authority, order, rule of law, discipline, and power. Likewise, Azala is absolute ruler of the Reptites; capable of constructing fortresses, leading armies, controlling a Tyrannosaur, and governing her race. Her ability to enforce order on primal strength makes her an almost ideal fit. The one problem is that Azala is female, while the Emperor is male. However, this one contradiction can be permitted, since in all other regards she is definitely an authoritarian Emperor. She is certainly not a nurturing Empress, especially since her race went extinct.

Hierophant - Gaspar. It took me a long time to make this connection, but it is the correct choice (and it finally unraveled the Guru knot). The Hierophant represents spiritual leadership and communal traditions. While Gaspar looks like a Hermit, in fact he plays the Hierophant role to the hilt. He presides over the End of Time, which is a home base for your party. Throughout the game, he provides leadership, guidance, and information on what is happening and what to do next. He is the spiritual leader of the party, thus the Hierophant.

Lovers - Chrono & Marle. The Lovers is about relationships and desire. The whole adventure begins with a chance encounter between Chrono & Marle, Chrono risking himself to save her, and Marle defending his innocence. Throughout the story, we are given strong hints that there is chemistry between the two. They're not the only relationship -- there's also Lucca/Robo, Magus/Schala, Ayla/Kino etc. -- but theirs is the most prominent.

Chariot - Epoch. The Chariot is about motivation, decisiveness, and achieving victory. The fact that it is a vehicle is an obvious parallel with the Epoch, but there is more. The Epoch overcomes the obstacle of the sealed gate to continue your adventure, and it can crash right through Lavos' shell. Likewise, the Chariot can run over obstacles and break enemy ranks. The enhanced ability to travel through time and space fits well with ambition and energy of the Chariot.

Strength - Ayla. Strength, also known as Fortitude, is about taming one's primal energy and passions. By tapping into that raw energy in a disciplined way, you can get much more out of it. Ayla is primal energy par excellence, but she's not completely wild and out of control. She combines her raw power with discipline, morals, and a philosophical outlook. This can be seen at many points, such as her punishment of Kino, her leadership of the Iokans, and her frank views on the human/reptite conflict: "Win and live. Lose and die. Rule of life. No change rule." which is one of the best quotes from the game.

Hermit - Belthasar. The Hermit is about withdrawal from society, pondering, reflecting, and eventually re-emerging with new insights. Likewise, Belthasar lives a solitary life in the bleak future, with only a cybernetic Nu for company. While you can meet him in person, you cannot get much out of him. It is only later, after he succumbs to madness and/or death, that the party can reap the rewards of his solitary work and research (the Epoch, Poyozo dolls, insights into Lavos, etc.)

Wheel of Fortune - Time Gate. The Wheel of Fortune is all about luck and change. Likewise, the Time Gates send you on your adventure, and you have no idea when and where you'll end up. The card has several figures around the wheel, which should be replaced by the iconic characters I mentioned.

Justice - Frog. Justice is about fairness and impartiality. It's also about making painful adjustments to right wrongs and restore balance. Frog represents chivalry and fights for what is right. More importantly, he makes the difficult decision to let go of all his regrets, rejoin the party, fight Magus, and eventually make peace with Cyrus -- this definitely fits with making difficult adjustments to set things right. Frog wields the Masamune/Grandleon, and this is another powerful connection to Justice. The Masamune tests you in battle to see if you are worthy of it, regardless of who you are. And of course, there's that famous line -- "it's not who owns the sword, it's how you use it" which is concurrent with the concept of Justice.

Hanged Man - Robo. The Hanged Man is a card of introspection, inversion, suspension, and epiphany. It is about one's perspective being dramatically altered. Robo fits this to a T. When he is first activated, he is asked what he wants to do, and this comes as a shock to Robo. He spent his entire pre-1999 existence carrying out orders and following programming. Suddenly, his world is toppled, and he is in the paradoxical situation of being a robot with free will. He chooses to join the party as an assertion of his new identity. He breaks free of his old programming, even though he is viciously attacked by the R series and Mother Brain for doing so; likewise, the hanged man has an inverted perspective compared to everyone else who is upright. Another example is the Fiona's Forest sidequest. Robo spends centuries growing the forest, and is found in stasis in the shrine. He is suspended in limbo during this stretch of time, and this gives him unprecedented insights into the Entity.

Death - Lavos. Death is misunderstood. Yes, it can mean death and destruction, but it can also have the meaning of 'destroy and rebuild'. One has to burn away the dead wood so new shoots can grow. That's why I insist that this card not depict 1999 and its all-out destruction of the world. Instead, it should depict Lavos' fall in prehistory, or his intentional destruction of Zeal. In both of those cases, one way of life & civilization had to fall so a new one could take its place. The Reptites were destroyed so that humans could inherit the earth. Zeal was destroyed so the modern world could take its place. In either case, there is an ending which leads to a new beginning. Since Lavos plays this role in the world's history, he should be the Death card, notwithstanding the fact that Lavos is the villain and Death is not necessarily evil.

Temperance - Melchior. Temperance is about moderation and combining opposites to achieve synthesis. Melchior is a renowned smith of weapons and armor. There's also the juxtaposition between the fact that he's the Guru of Life, yet he makes weapons and equipment for battle. However, if you use weapons for the right cause, you can defend life, which is a synthesis between seeming opposites. His repair of the Masamune/Grandleon is another example of synthesis through careful work and the right proportions.

Devil - Magus. The Devil is another misunderstood card. He's not about being evil -- rather, he's about losing restraint, going to extremes, giving in to excess. The Devil is about power, carnal desire, and so on. Likewise, Magus seems like an evil villain at first, but he's more of an antihero. He leads the Mystics because he wants power, and he'll go to any extreme to save Schala and defeat Lavos -- even if that means joining the party who tried to destroy him. Magus' power, unorthodox methods, and extreme choices clearly identify him as the Devil. Besides, they match on an intuitive level.

Tower - Mammon Machine. The Tower is about tearing down falsehoods and punishing hubris. It is a dramatic downfall for overreaching arrogance and lies. The Mammon Machine is an ideal fit here. The Zealians deluded themselves into believing that living off of Lavos' power was a sustainable path. They were already on top of the world, and tried to siphon off even more power from Lavos in an attempt to attain immortality. For this overreaching hubris, their entire civilization was destroyed. The Mammon Machine, and the fall of Zeal in general, reflects the Tower.

Star - Marle w/ Pendant. The Star is a symbol of hope and guidance. Things may not be good now, but there is potential for the future. As long as you stay on the path, there will be help along the way. The pendant is the trigger that starts the whole adventure, and it becomes a boon later on, opening doors that previously blocked your path. It's like a guiding light, which is why it fits as the Star.

Moon - Dreamstone. The Moon represents the subconscious, imagination, intuition, the world of dreams, visions, and nightmares. Likewise, dreamstone has strange, enigmatic qualities. It can harness and store magical energy, including that of Lavos. It was used to forge the Masamune/Grandleon and the Pendant, but also the Mammon Machine. There's also that text in Zeal that describes the "strange red rock" with "powers beyond human comprehension" which created love and hate (implying that it caused humans to evolve or gain knowledge, like the pomegranates of the Garden of Eden). A substance with such dangerous power fits well with the Moon.

Sun - Lucca. The Sun is about science, reason, clarity, and optimism -- the opposite of the Moon. Lucca has a strong affinity for science, technology, and reason. She is the mastermind of the party, and approaches problems with vigor and intellect. She is an ideal fit. In addition, the card could include the Sun Stone, or maybe the Wondershot charging up a bright ball of energy.

Judgment - Chrono Trigger. Judgment is about forgiveness, making amends, moving on from the past, resurrection and healing. The Chrono Trigger/Time Egg is a perfect fit for this. It brings you back to the lowest point, and allows you to change things for the better. Once Chrono is back, the party can finally move forward and complete their quest. There is also a literal sense of judgment in that you must earn the Chrono Trigger's intercession by putting in the effort (getting the clone, climbing death peak, etc.) to prove your dedication.

World - Nu/Entity. The World is about the universe, of course. It's also about completion and coming full circle. The Entity, the spirit of the planet, fits with this, as does the Nu. In particular, there is the famous line: "All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu." That sense of alpha and omega, the complete circle, fits well with the World card. There are also figures in the corner, representing the varied aspects and qualities of the universe. For Chrono Tarot, I chose representatives of four major cultures from different eras: guardian soldier, reptite, mystic imp, and enlightened one.


A note about the Major Arcana: we wanted to fit all 7 party members and all 3 gurus, while still making selections that suited the meaning and style of each. The difficulty of this is what I mean by the "guru knot". Assigning Gaspar to Hierophant was the breakthrough.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 11:03:41 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 08:58:09 pm »
As for the Minor Arcana, I will mention the qualities of the suits:
Swords: air, intellect, debate, nobility/military
Wands: fire, energy, ambition, creativity
Cups: water, emotion, faith, love
Pentacles: earth, body, possessions, wealth

Aces represent each suit in its quintessential form. The court cards are self-explanatory.


From this, hopefully you can see the logic behind all the choices I made. I strove for some amount of moral balance -- Janus as page of cups makes that suit a little darker, while Masa & Mune bring a positive note to Swords. I debated a bit over Queen of Swords and Queen of Wands, but the correct choices became clear: the power and ambition of Queen Zeal fits Wands; the militancy, logic, and persuasiveness of Mother Brain fits Swords.

I also debated over the placement of Ozzie -- does his greater importance to the story, and his dynasty, warrant King placement or not? Eventually I decided to assign him as Knight of Pentacles. This way, each of the Mystical Knights gets a Knight card, and King Guardia XXI can be King of Pentacles. I believe King Guardia XXI's placement is correct due to his overall qualities and possession of the Rainbow Shell (the Ace of Pentacles). While Yakra/Chancellor was removed, he could still be used in the suit cards (update: now he is, on 7 of swords).

As for the Knight of Cups, Toma seems like the best choice, but the drawback is that all Cups royals would be from 600 ad. One of my ideas is equitable representation of the different time periods, especially prehistory and future, so that would be the main argument for Kino or Doan. With that said, I still lean towards Toma.


for the suits, I sought matches that also provided varied representation and logical connections. as always, the matches must be made with the meanings, rather than surface similarity, e.g. 5 of pentacles may resemble Manoria Cathedral, but it's a much better fit for a ruined future dome or Algetty. I also tried to maintain the theme of including 'full sets' (e.g. 3 gurus and 7 party members); this helped me decide on Zeal Palace for 5 of swords, Kajar for 9 of pentacles, Enhasa for 7 of Cups, and Blackbird for 8 of wands. this way, all major Zeal locations are included, and each with their own suit which fits their character (in addition, blue pyramid is 2 of wands). Additionally, I tried to create logical links between the cards where possible. For example, 3 of pentacles is Fiona's Shrine, while 3 of cups is the campsite afterwards. better yet, 5 of swords is the Masa & Mune fight, while 6 of swords is winning the hilt. Then of course there's representation of time periods, significant locations, and characters. While assigning Mud Imp & red/blue beasts to 2 of pentacles is not one of my stronger connections, it does represent the Algetty/Mt. Woe region. Various dungeons would fit 7 of pentacles, but it's important that Black Omen gets a slot. 7 of swords could fit a few different things (eg Kino stealing the Gate Key), but Yakra/Chancellor is most deserving.


Here I'll discuss the Suits in further detail:

2 of Swords: Magus at North Cape, fight or join? (cf 8 of cups). A conflict between two different sides, a decision that must be made, a situation that calls for discipline and introspection. There aren't many forks in CT, but this is one of them. You must decide to either settle the score with Magus, or let him join; there are rationales for each path, yet you must choose decisively and accept the consequences. The situation also fits the suit of swords.

3 of Swords: Atropos XR (confrontation or aftermath could work). A card of heartbreak, sorrow, of painful truths coming out. The situation between Robo & Atropos fits well here: betrayal, returning Atropos to her senses, and the tragedy of being unable to save her.

4 of Swords: End of Time. A card of rest and repose, recovering from battle, meditation. The End of Time serves well here, as a quiet place for the party to rest from their adventure and plan their next move. In a playthrough, the first visit to the end of time is a great stopping place after the madness of breaking out of jail and seeing the ruined future.

5 of Swords: captured in Zeal Palace. The themes are defeat, overconfidence, biting off more than you can chew. One of the few times the party is defeated is in the Zeal throne room, confidently challenging these powerful magic-users, only to be overwhelmed by the Golem (and that physical attack with orange shots is dangerous!). And Zeal Palace itself is characterized by hubris.

6 of Swords: opening the passage to Magus' Castle. a breakthrough, moving away from troubles, solving problems and making progress. Frog has finally stopped moping around and has taken the initiative, cleaving through the cliffside and opening the way to Magus. While you've made a breakthrough, there's still plenty of challenges ahead; Magus' castle awaits, but now you're on the way and ready to take it on.

7 of Swords: Yakra/Chancellor. The thief card, it refers to stealth, diplomacy, getting your way indirectly through deceit or persuasion, or guarding against such intrigue. There are a few different situations that would fit here, such as Kino stealing the gate key, or recovering your equipment on the Blackbird. However, Yakra/Chancellor is the most notable deceiver in CT -- the first Yakra kidnapped the Queen, and his descendant went all out, prosecuting you in a kangaroo court, lying to Marle, and framing the King. as despicable as he is, he's an important character, and should be represented here.

8 of Swords: standing trial (the stained-glass depiction of justice should serve well here). the theme is "damned if you do, damned if you don't", you're ensnared in a situation where you're being accused and censored, anything you say can be used against you, but you must persevere and act anyway. there could not be a better analogy to the Trial.

9 of Swords: Ocean Palace (Schala turning up the Mammon Machine?). nightmares, anxiety, mental anguish, negativity. this was a tricky one to assign, and the Red Gate would fit here. however, I chose the Ocean Palace, as it's a tense situation leading to calamity, with Schala experiencing turmoil as she turns up the Mammon Machine. there's also a sense of waking up from a bad dream, and the unsustainable hubris of Zeal will soon come to an end. likewise, while the worst will come to pass for the party, it turns out that the situation is still salvable. not a perfect analogy, but it works, it provides representation for the Ocean Palace, and segues into the next card...

10 of Swords: Chrono's death (Lavos' blast as swords). a nadir, despair, unavoidable disaster, the worst is over. Chrono's death fits thematically and aesthetically. while this is a very low point, there's still hope for recovery, as eventually proven by the game's namesake.

2 of Wands: choosing an artifact from the Blue Pyramid. a choice to be made between two viable alternatives. not as conflicted as 2 of swords, both choices are beneficial, but you have to settle on one. the best CT analogue I can think of is the Blue Pyramid -- both the Swallow and Safe Helm are excellent pieces of equipment, but you can only take one or the other. do you want a swift attack, or stalwart defense?

3 of Wands: learning magic from Spekkio. a strong start, getting positive returns, opportunities, a favorable exchange, but it's only the beginning. learning magic is a major step forward, the beginning of using much more powerful techs, which fits.

4 of Wands: rescuing Queen Leene/Marle in 600 ad. the foundation is in place, the first stage is now complete, but there's much more ahead. this is in parallel to completing the first quest in 600 ad -- it's an important victory, but it's only an introduction to what lies ahead.

5 of Wands: fighting Masa & Mune. serious competition, a contest or battle to test your mettle. Masa & Mune fight you to test your worthiness, and this is the first time you'll hear boss battle 2. you've fought bosses before, but now it's getting more serious, which reflects 5 of wands. there's also a nice parallel with the number of combatants -- the party and masa & mune in separate forms makes 5.

6 of Wands: winning the Masamune hilt. victory, an exchange of energy between the crowd and the champion. likewise, you've triumphed over Masa&Mune and attained the honor of possessing the hilt, while Grandleon for its part has found a worthy wielder. It also follows logically after 5.

7 of Wands: Battle of Zenan Bridge. under siege, standing your ground, perseverance; you're on the defensive, but you can fend off the opposition. the Battle of Zenan Bridge seems to fit best here: you hold off the Mystic invasion, and Ozzie doesn't seem to expect such resistance.

8 of Wands: Blackbird. swiftness, efficiency, events happening quickly, controlling energy to get the most out of it. the Blackbird is an engineering marvel by all accounts, capable of flying swiftly and gracefully. not only that, but this chapter consists of rapid events: getting captured, the Epoch gaining wings, defeating Dalton once and for all. I think it's important to represent the Blackbird, and other possibilities (time gate, epoch) are already trumps.

9 of Wands: climbing Death Peak. weary yet determined, you're on the home stretch, a little more effort will get you there. likewise, saving Chrono is an arduous process, and Death Peak is particularly challenging, but in spite of it all, nothing will keep you from the summit.

10 of Wands: the Chef (600 ad). overburdened, expending too much energy, losing sight of what's important. I had to scrape for this one, but the chef fits. he puts out alot of energy in running the kitchens, too much in fact. it takes the party to remind him of greater priorities, like helping his bro the knight captain.

2 of Cups: Chrono & Marle (meeting under Leene's Bell, NOT Death Peak (reserved for Lovers)). partnership, romance, the beginning of a relationship. this is the minor arcana equivalent of the Lovers, although there are different nuances; this card has more of a sense of initial meetings, as opposed to the decision and commitment of the Lovers. likewise, Chrono bumping into Marle under Leene's Bell is the beginning of their relationship, just as their reunion on Death Peak cements it. I thought the best way to handle the similarities and differences here is to assign Chrono & Marle to both, but differentiated by the two events.

3 of Cups: Campsite (post Fiona's sidequest). celebration, gatherings, abundance, emotional bonds. this fits the camp scene, with the party all together and discussing larger concepts. there's a strong sense of companionship, and also of celebration, since you've completed the sidequest and changed desert to forest.

4 of Cups: Frog's burrow. dissatisfaction, boredom, stagnation, being stuck in a rut. at this point, Frog has retreated from the world, staying in his burrow because he lacks the will and confidence to continue the quest. this fits the sense of stagnation and being stuck. while rest can be positive, this card is for when you're restless and not progressing.

5 of Cups: flashback to Glenn's defeat, after being transformed into Frog. setbacks, regret, loss, focusing only on the negative. this fits well with Frog's disastrous encounter with Magus. it seems like all is lost, even his human form, and it haunts him after. but just as in the card, all is not lost, and it's easy to lose sight of the remaining positives and the potential to pull through.

6 of Cups: Leene's Bell. reminiscence, nostalgia, the familiar, good things from the past. this was a tricky association, but I think Leene's Bell fits. its ringing marks the beginning, middle, and end of the game, serving as a memento to how far you've come, and how it all began while having fun at a fair.

7 of Cups: Enhasa. daydreams, fantasy, visions, aspirations, delusions. this is about creativity and dreams, which can sometimes run wild. what better connection than the city of dreams, Enhasa? not to mention the other references to the locations of Zeal within the suits.

8 of Cups: Magus joins at North Cape (cf 2 of swords). change in lifestyle, leaving things behind, striking out on a new path. your old life is not satisfactory, so you make a bold decision and embrace the new. likewise, Magus has spent the game seeking to battle Lavos on his own terms, 1 to 1, and generally regarding the party as an obstacle. in fact, he sees most individuals as either useful pawns or as enemies to be defeated. for Magus to join the party, even to take down a common foe, is a huge change. this fits the theme of abandoning one's old lifestyle to embrace the new and unknown.

9 of Cups: Medina Village post Ozzie's Fort. fulfillment, emotional satisfaction, happiness. I was a little unsure about this one, especially since there's more emphasis on individual happiness rather than communal. however, it's safe to say that when you change Medina Village for the better, there is a sense of emotional fulfillment -- the Mystics are no longer harboring a grudge towards humans, their society is run more fairly, life is happier for them overall. if you can come up with a better alternative, by all means let me know, but keep in mind that as a cups card, this is about emotional wealth rather than material.

10 of Cups: Moonlight Parade. abundance, achievement, shared happiness. this is 9 of cups +1, with a sense of lasting, communal well-being. there's also a sense of achieving a long-term goal, which makes it a perfect association with the moonlight parade -- a communal celebration to top off your (and the Planet's) victory over Lavos.

2 of Pentacles: red/blue beasts and mud imp. a balancing act, juggling, a precarious status quo that could easily be toppled. the Mud Imp's control of two equal and opposite beasts who are stronger than he is fits here. in a larger sense, it fits with the dungeon he's guarding, Mt. Woe, a chained floating mountain that is maintained only through the magic of Zeal. I wasn't sure about this one at first, but the additional parallel with Mt Woe confirms my choice. it also provides some representation to the Algetty/Mt. Woe region, easily overlooked in favor of Zeal, but in many ways just as significant.

3 of Pentacles: Fiona's Shrine? Manoria Cathedral? something else?. mastery, achievement, craftsmanship, bringing to fruition. likewise, Fiona's forest and shrine are accomplished through the decision and efforts of the party, and especially through Robo's commitment. there's also an aesthetic parallel with the shrine.

4 of Pentacles: Porre Mayor. material possessions, security, wealth, even hoarding and miserliness. the mayor of Porre is certainly secure in his wealth and status, but he also embodies the negative aspects of the card, at least until the party corrects his ways. it's also fitting that the Ace of Pentacles, the Rainbow Shell comes into his possession.

5 of Pentacles: Ruined Future Dome (or Algetty). poverty, hard times, out in the cold. the people huddled in ruined domes in the future, and the earthbound ones living in their caves far below the splendor of Zeal, both fit very well. I lean towards the future for two reasons: Algetty has a bit of representation in 2 of pentacles, and the future offers good opportunity for illustration, particularly the sealed doors (as an aside, the rider-waite illustration is one of my favorites)

6 of Pentacles: saving Fritz (repairing Robo?). generosity, charity, freely giving and taking. an important concept here is that assistance is offered willingly, no strings attached, and this positive karma can come back to you. likewise, rescuing Fritz from a wrongful execution leads to great discounts & service at the shop. repairing Robo would also fit here, since he contributes quite a bit in return for your help. however, Robo is represented elsewhere, unlike Fritz.

7 of Pentacles: progressing through the Black Omen. perseverance, patience, working towards long-term goals. success is on the horizon, but there are many obstacles along the way, and it'll take a slog to get there. likewise, the Black Omen is the longest dungeon in the game, it's full of robots, mutants, and aliens, but it's also full of useful stuff, and Lavos awaits at the end. other dungeons could fit here, like Mt. Woe or Denadoro, but the Black Omen is best; I also think it's important to assign the Black Omen somewhere, given its fairly significant presence.

8 of Pentacles: repairing the Masamune w/ Dreamstone (Melchior). apprenticing, craftsmanship, skillful and creative work. this is about applying yourself to a field, taking on a new project or commission, with strong potential. likewise, the party has retrieved Dreamstone, and Melchior has set to work on the Masamune/Grandleon. this is a new, ambitious task, probably the best endeavor he's taken on in 1000 ad. there's definite progress being made, which fits.

9 of Pentacles: Kajar. abundance, material wealth, financial security. this card is about having plenty, but in a material and somewhat private sense. in Zeal, the three main locations are the seat of government and magical power, the center of magical research and experimentation, and the abode of dreams. Kajar is a place of luxury, and of concrete, tangible work in magic, which makes for a good fit. of course, the abundance here is not shared with those living on the surface below, which again parallels the limited, private nature of this card as compared to the 10 of pentacles.

10 of Pentacles: Millennial Fair, ft Melchior and the woman. prosperity, fortune, inheritance, relations. This card builds on the previous; the wealth is now being shared for the benefit of all. likewise, Guardia is stable and prosperous, so that it can celebrate its thousandth year by bringing trade and entertainment to the people. there's also a sense of relationships here, and this is where Chrono & Marle first meet. finally, the illustration really lends itself to the Millennial Fair, and the rich elder could easily be Melchior selling his weapons, with the woman and other characters nearby.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 11:52:25 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 09:06:53 pm »
informal progress log, and alternative associations...

The various suit cards depict different scenes and meanings. I believe these can be matched up with various events throughout the game. This is mostly a frontier at this point, but I have some initial ideas.
*eta: I started out with just 6 filled in (10 of swords, 3/5/10 of pentacles, 5/10 of cups). now I'm up to 14, with the addition of 3/4/8 of swords, 2/3/8/9 of wands, and 4 of cups. hopefully I can get the rest.
*now up to 16, with 5 of swords and 8 of cups. I also decided that 10 of swords could either be Chrono's death or the Fall of Zeal.
*I've come a long way, with 30/36. However, more forks have opened up, and I've questioned a few earlier choices, notably 5 of pentacles (while the illustration resembles Manoria Cathedral, the meaning is better suited to a future dome). 5 & 6 of Wands could be fighting Masa & Mune and then getting the hilt, which would follow nicely, but there's plenty of other battles and victories to choose from. for 7 of pentacles, I'm leaning towards Black Omen, but there are other dungeons to trudge through. it looks like the 2s will be the hardest.
*further refining, and it's come down to the 'terrible twos'. I assigned 2 of wands to a rather obscure reference (blue pyramid), and I realized that both 2 of cups and Lovers can be Chrono & Marle, but split along two different circumstances (first meeting, death peak) which matches each. I made a rare change to the Trumps to accommodate this (assigning death peak to lovers rather than leaving both options). that still leaves 2 of swords/pentacles.
*finally, I've filled in the 2s. while there are themes of duality in CT, most of them are too large or small in scale (eg Zeal vs Earthbound, Acid & Alkaline). I realized that by specifying 'Magus joins' for 8 of cups, I can assign the *decision* to fight or join to 2 of swords. as for 2 of pentacles, I went with the Mud Imp's Red & Blue beasts. this is one of my weaker analogies, but it's the best I've come up with, and it also provides some representation for Algetty/Mt. Woe (which gets overlooked, and I've always liked the aesthetic there). now it's a matter of polishing and dealing with loose ends.
*I've got a mostly finished deck now, it's just a matter of narrowing down a handful of cards with alternate interpretations. I've made it further than I thought I would.
*I just debated over how to include the Blackbird. at first I thought 7 of swords, which would work, but I'd rather have Yakra/Chancellor there. then I thought of 7 of wands, although it would replace the Battle of Zenan Bridge, which also fits very well. I also considered referencing it elsewhere, such as page of swords/Dalton. then I realized, 8 of wands! my first thought was time travel, or maybe dactyls, jet bikes, or the Epoch. however, time gates and the epoch already have a Trump each (wheel of fortune and chariot), and the theme of fast movement and rapid events fits the blackbird just fine. the wands suit is also consistent with the Blackbird. so now I've got all major Zeal locations in the suits, each with a suit that fits their character, and without making any major replacements. hopefully I've untied the final knot.
*minor adjustments. I clarified that Robo could be portrayed in different contexts as a Hanged Man (since 3 of pentacles is Fiona's Shrine). I also confirmed my choice of Mud Imp & beasts for 2 of pentacles, since there's an analogy with his control of the beasts and Mt. Woe in general.
*finally filled in the descriptions for all the suit cards! all that's left is elaborating further on illustrations, which I've done for the Major Arcana thus far (10/17/2020). also did a bit of re-organizing, so that the order is consistently swords, wands, cups, pentacles (10/18/2020).
*I made changes to the recommended illustration for Hanged Man. At first I was set on Fiona's Shrine, but now I realize that the Future may work as well or better. it depends on my choice for 3 of Pentacles, which is also subject to change. (1/15/2021)


the following are entries with alternate interpretations, which have been (or will be) narrowed down:


Lovers - Crono & Marle (under Leene's Bell, or on the summit of Death Peak)
Death - Lavos (destroying Zeal or Tyrano Lair, definitely not 1999)


Knight of Cups- Toma (or Kino or Doan)


Ace of Cups: Zeal Sapling or Future Seed


5 of Swords: captured in Zeal Palace (Laruba burned?)
7 of Swords: Yakra/Chancellor (Kino's theft of the Gate Key? Blackbird? Prophet?)
10 of Swords: Chrono's death (or fall of Zeal, unless used for Death) (Lavos' blast as swords)
5 of Wands: fighting Masa & Mune (or dueling Spekkio)
6 of Wands: winning the Masamune hilt (or dragon tank, etc)
8 of Wands: time travel? riding dactyls? jetbike?
5 of Pentacles: Ruined Future Dome OR Algetty (Manoria Cathedral?)
6 of Pentacles: saving Fritz (repairing Robo?)
7 of Pentacles: progressing through the Black Omen? Mt. Woe? Denadoro?
7 of Cups: Enhasa (Frog King?) (9 of Pentacles: Kajar (if so, then 7 of cups should be Enhasa))
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 11:34:33 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 09:19:18 pm »
In the Major Arcana index, you will see suggestions for illustration in parentheses. Here I will elaborate on my thoughts.

Fool - Chrono (entering the Millennial Fair gate): Just as the fool boldly and nonchalantly steps towards the precipice, Chrono leaps through the Time Gate, not knowing where he'll end up.

High Priestess - Schala (flanked by beast/girl zeal statues instead of pillars): By using white & black Zeal statues, you can maintain a 12000 bc aesthetic while staying true to the original.

Emperor - Azala (seated in her reptite throne): Azala has quite a distinctive throne, which works perfectly for this card. The Emperor is traditionally seated on a throne.

Hierophant - Gaspar (in red Zeal robes, with chrono/marle/lucca/robo instead of acolytes): Given the Hierophant's sumptuous red robes, Gaspar's Zeal robes make a perfect fit. We should not use his typical end of time sprite, as it is misleading and looks too much like the Hermit. Chrono/Marle/Lucca/Robo should take the place of the acolytes, as this is your party when first meeting Gaspar.

Lovers - Crono & Marle (under Leene's Bell, or on the summit of Death Peak): Leene's Bell has alot of symbolic value in this game, and Chrono & Marle first literally bump into each other under the bell. It takes the place of the angel quite well. Alternatively, there's the reunion on Death Peak, which fits very well thematically and aesthetically; the tree would be the centerpiece of course.

Chariot - Epoch (white and black exhaust streams): White & black exhaust streams are a perfect analogy for the white & black sphinxes which power the Rider-Waite chariot.

Strength - Ayla (closing a sabertooth tigers mouth): The Rider-Waite card depicts a maiden closing a lion's mouth. The sabertooth tiger is a recognizable prehistoric species, which sets up a perfect analogy. An erupting volcano can take the place of the mountain in the background, further emphasizing raw power. Dactyls can fill negative space if needed.

Wheel of Fortune - Time Gate (w/ kilwala, bullfrog, poyozo doll, cat, nu, doreen/dream species): Since the Rider-Waite card depicts various creatures/beings surrounding the wheel, these can be replaced by the CT creatures/beings listed above. Each one has an iconic value in the game.

Hanged Man - Robo (Being repaired in the future, or Fiona's Shrine): Either one would work. Fiona's Shrine fits the aesthetic, but the future would make it easier to invert the perspective. Robo's decision to break free of his programming and join the party represents the inner awareness and altered perspective of the card, as does his insights into the nature of the Entity, so both scenarios fit thematically. The choice may depend on whether 3 of Pentacles is Fiona's Shrine or something else (Manoria Cathedral?).

Death - Lavos (destroying Zeal or Tyrano Lair, definitely not 1999): Reasoning is covered above. If the Fall of Zeal is depicted on the Tower, the prehistoric fall of Lavos would be the better option.

Devil - Magus (Ogre and Naga-ette in chains): these two mystic races would be good analogues for the man and woman. also, the mystics chose to follow Magus, just as the people under the Devil chose excess; remember to keep the collars wide to reflect that their enslavement is by choice.

Tower - Mammon Machine (as outline, or w/ Ruby Knife in it, and lightning as seen ingame): There are two different approaches here. One is to depict the Fall of Zeal, overlaid with an outline of the Mammon Machine. Alternatively, you could depict the Mammon Machine struck with the Ruby Knife and shooting out lightning (which happens during the cutscene in-game). Either way, you would capture the aesthetic and meaning of the tower. Maybe you could include Ruby Knife/lightning in the outline and bring it all together.

Moon - Dreamstone (w/ Queen Zeal's reflection): I'd recommend Queen Zeal's reflection in the stone, so that 1) she gets referenced in the Major Arcana, and 2) to hint at the dark side or "lunacy" of the Moon.

World - Nu/Entity (with guardian soldier, reptite, mystic imp, enlightened one): The World card depicts four different beings in its corners. These four characters equitably represent the world and its various time periods and civilization. While a robot is not included, this is not a serious omission as the Entity is dead or dying in the ruined future. The center figure could be a Nu, the planet, or both overlaying each other.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 11:31:17 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Trigger Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 09:21:13 pm »
Here I'll elaborate on illustrations for the Minor Arcana.

5 of Pentacles: Ruined Future Dome. We can set up a very nice parallel here with the Rider-Waite illustration. There should be a general background of indoor structures/machinery, perhaps with robots or humans taking the place of the poor. Clearly visible, but not completely filling the frame, should be a Sealed Door with 5 coins depicted on it. The coins could replace the mammon machine symbol, but shaping the glowing blue lights into coins may be even better. In either case, this would symbolically take the place of the stained glass.

10 of Pentacles: Millennial Fair, ft Melchior and the woman. As I said, the original illustration lends itself well to the fair. Melchior can take the place of the richly robed elder, with the eyewitness woman nearby, and the green-haired girl by the fountain (to take the place of the child). Perhaps the lost cat can replace the dogs. As for the background, the castle grounds can easily be transformed into fair grounds. The original placement of pentacles throughout the illustration may stand.

3 of Pentacles...

« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 11:12:40 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 10:24:58 pm »
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 10:27:43 pm by xcalibur »


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Re: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 10:27:53 pm »
That should be enough reserved posts. Feel free to reply below.


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Re: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 04:25:12 am »
Okay, I read this whole thing out, and it's pretty awesome how you got everything to fit. also makes me want to try this out using my fic characters. :roll:

Why do I keep having ideas? ._.


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Re: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 07:46:36 pm »
Heard about this project and it immediately had my attention, I looove tarot decks and the idea of one for Chrono sounds fantastic, so I spent some time reviewing the threads and submission guidelines for the tarots. Haven't seen anyone attempt to make a thread for Lucca/The Sun, started gathering references and looking at examples of the other finished cards. I feel kind of awkward just jumping in and making a thread so I at least wanted to express my interest here. I have a thread showcasing my art in the Fan Art forum if anyone wants to review my work.

I saw that Frog/Justice has a thread here, but I didn't see any finished card for him so I assume that's still on the table as well?


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Re: Chrono Tarot: The Official Guide
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 01:19:21 pm »
Haven't seen anyone attempt to make a thread for Lucca/The Sun, started gathering references and looking at examples of the other finished cards. I feel kind of awkward just jumping in and making a thread so I at least wanted to express my interest here.

Here you go! You've got your own Lucca thread. Feel free to post there with sketches and / or questions for references or ideas, and either xcalibur or I will help you out.

Feel free to check out the Strength and High Priestess cards we've made, and it should give you some point of reference for a bit of consistency, if not too much. (Meaning, feel free to illustrate as you usually do, and we can figure out how to make it "look similar" to the other cards with just key details, such as line-art. Don't fret over it, though, since I've realized I'm not even consistent with myself, lol.)

The only guidelines to follow are suggestions by Xcalibur (and, previously, Syna). Otherwise, feel free to do what you want!

If you feel you need any help, feel free to let us know, and we can even collab -- such as helping you with the line-art, flats, or background composition, etc.

I saw that Frog/Justice has a thread here, but I didn't see any finished card for him so I assume that's still on the table as well?
Yeah. In other words, it's all yours if you feel like working on it too. You don't need to ask, you can just work on what you feel like and what excites you, provided it isn't already finished.  :wink:

Although, you can definitely make suggestions to improve previously finished cards, so yeah.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 01:20:15 pm by tushantin »