Author Topic: The full effect of the Chrono Cross and how it ties up every loose end...(theory  (Read 3505 times)

Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
In a world where we have to accept that we will not be getting a new entry to the Chrono IP, I find myself thinking about how certain plot points (such as the fall of Guardia and the future of Zenan) could have a conclusion within mainline canon.  After making this my main focus, I realized the answer was right in front of me the whole time and developed a new theory (at least I have never thought of it before).

We do not really know what the full extent of the Chrono Cross' power really is, as it was never specified.  However many people seem to think that it only merges the two worlds from the game it is used in.  I have never been a fan of this as it creates more questions than it does answers, nor is there any indication that it would be limited to those two realities alone.  I mean, healing the scars of time with the Chrono Cross is enough to stop a creature that would otherwise devour every reality in existence.  Surely if it could do that, it would do more than just merge two realities and stop there.  No given what we know, and the description of what is given for the Chrono Cross, I believe it merges EVERY alternate reality into one single timeline.  It basically hits the reset button on all of existence, and rewrites reality in a way that everything exists in one timeline.  This is implied by the very description of the item noted by the ghost of Crono at the end of the game, "it can cross space and time and unify people's thoughts and feelings; transfer memories; draw on the sounds of the six colored Elements to produce a healing harmony, and combine the sounds of the world into one melody."

So how would such a massive merge take place though?  Well the CC is also said to, "heal the scars of time."  But what exactly is a scar of time to begin with?  The way I see it, a scar of time is where a timeline splits.  That means that everytime history is changed to any degree, there is a split where two outcomes exist.  One that was with interference, and one that was without.  Yes that means that while Chrono Trigger appears to be on one changing timeline, there is actually a split taking place and Crono and gang simply return the the altered version of the timeline they changed.  You just do not realize it, as you only follow the linear flow through time of Crono's quest and never venture between realities themselves (outside of the added DS content).  This is supported by the fact that Kid was able to save Serge, and the result was two timelines.  This is supported by the existence of the Radical Dreamers timeline confirmed in Chronopolis, and perhaps another split that is arguably the most important one found within the games...the existence of the Dinopolis Timeline.

The Dinopolis Timeline marks the very first scar of time in the history of the Chrono franchise.  Basically there is one reality where Lavos comes to earth and the humans become the dominant race, and one where he does not and the Reptites evolve with the planet and become the dominant race themselves.  So what caused this split though?  It was simply the sheer power of the impact Lavos made with the planet that tore through spacetime and caused this split to happen.  This is supported by the fact that in Chrono Trigger, when Lavos falls in pre history a gate is created in the impact zone.  I literal in-game feat that took place in front of our very eyes.

So with all of that, it is safe to assume that alternate timelines were being created behind the scenes in Chrono Trigger as well, we just never see them.  This also helps explain why Crono and gang have time traveler's immunity as well.  Because when they make a change in time, they are not returning to the timeline they came from.  They are instead returning to the altered version of that future with their memories in tact.  So if say the grandfather paradox were to take place, it would not matter because the time traveler would not have come from the same timeline that their decendent had died in.  They would simply be an anomaly existing in the new timeline.  There are other examples as well, but I think the point is clear.

So back to the Chrono Cross healing the scars of time... basically every split that happens is erased, as well as the cause of said split.  That means that Lavos never falls to earth and the events that kick off Chrono Trigger never happen.  In this new timeline, Lavos does not exist as he was the source of spacetime being thrown out of wack to begin with.  But that is not where it stops.  The idea is to MERGE all realities, as well as transfer the existence of beings from those realities into this new one to exist in this new single reality.  Merge memories and weave everything together in perfect harmony.  This is why Kid and Schala are implied to have merged as well.

So what happens to the Reptites and why are humans still around?  Simple really, they both existed in a timeline that is being merged so history is written in a way that both species evolve together.  The Reptites would eventually become Dragonians (which was the race pulled and left behind from the original dinopolis timeline to begin with).  After all, there is nothing saying that Dragonians were not present in the world at the end of Cross.  All we see is Serge and Leena on the beach, and later Schala searching for Serge.  Everything else regarding the world is open to interpretation.  It also confirms that while El Nido was created by FATE after the time crash, it too was written into the merged timeline.

Another major change that takes place would be that the fall of Guardia, Lucca's kidnapping, and Porre being militarized would have never happened either.  Porre would still have grown as a nation sure, but they would not have become the powerhouse they were in Cross for the same reason Guardia would not have fallen.  Dalton would have never raised his army in Porre as his existence in that period was another change to the timeline that would have been erased.  Furthermore Lynx would not have existed, so Lucca would be alive to raise Schala/Kid, which would lead her to become the version of herself we see in the credits.  Crono and Marle would have still met at the fair as well, and likely would have still gotten married as their meeting took place before they time traveled to begin with.

So where does that leave the events of Chrono Trigger, were they pointless.  Not at all, they were essential!  Without the events of CT, the events of CC would have never happened.  CT was simply the first half of a much larger narrative, even though it was never intended to be at the time of its initial release.  The fan games and Radical Dreamers still have their place as well, but under the assumption that we are playing the events of alternate timelines before the Chrono Cross merges them in the end.

In the end, everyone wins and we have closure regarding many potholes (such as Crono and Marle's fate) and people get their happy ending back for CT that was compromised with the events of Chrono Cross.  Everyone wins based on this interpretation of in game events.

So what do you think, does this theory make sense?  Are there any contradictions that I need to address?  Also I must note that this theory is based soley on canon events that take place within Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross.  Widely accepted theory and speculation is irrelevant, as this is a new interpretation from me of confirmed plot points within the mainline games with the intent of providing closure and a solid conclusion under the assumption that a new Chrono game will not be happening.  This is an ongoing theory and I will add tidbits from time to time to address things I may have overlooked as I speculate further.  With that in mind, if you have anything to add everyone is more than welcome to join this analysis and provide input.

Thank you all, and I hope you enjoy this new theory.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 08:40:28 am by Sheiken »

Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
This also adds context to the motives of Belthesar, as he would no longer be orchestrating all of the tragedies that took place in Cross just to separate Schala from the Time Devourer.  Instead he would have more of a, "for the greater good" type of agenda where he suspected the Chrono Cross would have healed the scars of time as well as save Schala...or it could just be an added bonus that he never really accounted for at all lol.

Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Regarding which time period Schala/Kid would exist in regarding the merged timeline.  Seeing as how she was born in Antiquity, but Kid was born in roughly 1004 AD as Schala's "daughter clone", she would have to exist in both time periods.  Schala in Antiquity is simple enough, but Schala as Kid gets a little bit more complicated on the surface.  However when considering that Radical Dreamers would be merged as well, it can easily be assumed that Kid will be born as a reincarnation of Schala (as that is what she was in the Radical Dreamers timeline).

froodo

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
    • About Me
Great hypothesis, i shared a translated version of your essay on my brazilian fanclub (on Discord), and some members raised a yellow light about it mentioning the concept of Zurvan (the Sea of Dreams, where, according to Schala, all dreams eventually return).

I could paste here some interesting answers but Google translate likes to mangle some slangs and abbreviations.

Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Great hypothesis, i shared a translated version of your essay on my brazilian fanclub (on Discord), and some members raised a yellow light about it mentioning the concept of Zurvan (the Sea of Dreams, where, according to Schala, all dreams eventually return).

I could paste here some interesting answers but Google translate likes to mangle some slangs and abbreviations.

In Chrono Trigger, there is mention of the possibility of an "entity" that may be guiding Crono and gang.  I believe this "entity" could be the spirit of the planet guiding our heros to not only save it from Lavos, but also to begin the sequence of events that allow the timelines to be merged with the Chrono Cross itself.  It is said that when the eggs we call "planets" hatch, a new universe is born.  However with so many timeline changes or "scars of time" being present, it could be possible that the birth of this new universe would be unstable without the unification from the Chrono Cross.


"Every single thing
in the whole of nature
is perhaps just dreaming
a dream of ``life''...

All of them are also
perhaps nothing more than
a dream dreamt by the planet
before it is born.

Oh, but yes...
Eventually all dreams
will return to Zurvan...
to the sea of dreams..."

If the "entity" is truly the spirit of the planet and we as people are dreams of the planet, then it would make sense that all dreams return to Zurvan, the sea of dreams when we die.  In a sense, Zurvan would be the "heaven" or "afterlife" of the Chrono universe and the "entity" or "spirit of the planet" would serve as the creator through its dreams.

At this point in Schala's speech, she could just be talking about lifeforms and our meaning of existence, which would have no bearing on the breaks in the timeline.  If you look a little deeper at the poetic meaning behind it all however, the "scars of time" created by Lavos could signify a nightmare of the planet.  The merging of realities and purge of Lavos/Time Devourer could also signify that nightmare coming to an end.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 01:45:41 pm by Sheiken »

Kodokami

  • Entity
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1110
  • Enjoy the moment!
    • View Profile
This also adds context to the motives of Belthesar, as he would no longer be orchestrating all of the tragedies that took place in Cross just to separate Schala from the Time Devourer.  Instead he would have more of a, "for the greater good" type of agenda where he suspected the Chrono Cross would have healed the scars of time as well as save Schala...or it could just be an added bonus that he never really accounted for at all lol.


Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
This also adds context to the motives of Belthesar, as he would no longer be orchestrating all of the tragedies that took place in Cross just to separate Schala from the Time Devourer.  Instead he would have more of a, "for the greater good" type of agenda where he suspected the Chrono Cross would have healed the scars of time as well as save Schala...or it could just be an added bonus that he never really accounted for at all lol.



LMAO, love the meme.  I know it is a joke (well played) buy for clarification...

Belthesar would have been clueless until after the conclusion of CT, where he would have conducted his time research in Chronopolis and discovered the Time Devourer.  Obviously he had nothing to do with Lavos smashing into the earth in pre history, or any of the events regarding the central plot of CT really.

But all this talk about people being dreams of the planet that are dreaming the dream of life, that will one day return to the Sea of Dreams kind of gets me thinking...

https://youtu.be/3RhxyHMs-w8

froodo

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
    • About Me
Anyway, the complete reply of one of the members of my Discord server (translated) follows:

Quote
I think the problem with this theory is that it is considering that the split caused by lavos falling on the planet and not falling on the planet is the same type of split that exists between home and another which does not seem to be since the reptites' timeline comes from a parallel universe whose existence does not depend on timetravel of any kind which differs from the split of keystone-1 to keystone-2 (names of the timeline in the image above) since keystone-2 only exists because of the timecrash.

Another observation in this theory is that Radical Dreamers events are observed in chronopolis as if Radical Dreamers were a parallel reality whose existence would be independent of Cross's universe.

What really gets me stuck with this theory is that I don't think that the split existing by a time travel results in two real and distinct temporal existences, the new timeline exists in the real universe while the old one is sent to Zurvan, despite the Chrono Cross restore the balance between the timelines I can't see how he would play all possible Zurvan timelines, which are imaginary, in one, so I always considered Home and Another two real timelines interconnected because of the kid project and not that one exists for cause of a split caused by a simple time travel.

-> I suppose the real timeline of the reptites could exist in the ideal timeline because of Chrono Cross since it is a real timeline and not imaginary but I discard this line of thought in favor of the real timelines that are unified are just the home ones and another since "angelus errare" interconnects only these two timelines directly and Chrono Cross is used at that specific point as designated by the kid project.

Basically
1 - Anything that exists in Zurvan is not part of the ideal timeline.
2 - Only the real timelines of Home and Another unify because of "Angelus Errare" and no other.

Quote
Ah right, what happens is that when we go to the past we mess up with the events giving Azala an advantage to win the war which makes Crono & co necessary to maintain the timeline in which Azala’s descendants are destroyed by Lavos. I simply assumed that Dinopolis came from a different timeline where Lavos never fell to the ground. Considering the end of Trigger 'Dino Age', it is observed that 'Crono' is a reptile and exists in a world very similar to the original timeline, while Cross’s reptiles supposedly evolved differently and more integrated with the planet , so much so that the technology of the elements they use is quite different from human technologies. Since the repeats of 'Dino Age' seem too similar to the way humans evolved in the original timeline, I simply assumed that Dinopolis is from a different timeline, but I suppose it is possible for 'Dino Age' to lead to the creation of Dinopolis eventually.

Theoretically, Lavos needs to exist in the ideal timeline, only he is defeated in 1999 before everything is destroyed, it needs to exist because Zeal theoretically would have existed magic is something inherent in the way that humanity evolved with Lavos' assistance.

Zurvan = Sea of dreams, is mentioned in the perfect end of Cross and Masato Kato mentioned it in an interview once (Link).

When I differentiate between real timeline and imaginary timeline I am making use of Zurvan. Real timeline is everything that exists in the universe in a material way while all the possibilities of timelines exist in Zurvan in an abstract way, in zurvan there are all dreams, imaginations, thoughts, ideas. When Lucca wonders at the end of the trigger about what happens to the timeline that is no longer allowed to exist, at the perfect end of the Cross, Kid says that they will return to Zurvan the sea of ​​dreams. So in the DS Trigger they give the name of the merger of Sara and Lavos of Dream Devourer, existing materially in a place that he shouldn’t exist he started to feed on Zurvan’s dreams, within the dreams the denied timelines, only that any real timeline that exists from a change it is always dependent on a denied timeline, as if there was a kind of "quantum entanglement" (for lack of a better word) between them, eventually devouring the timelines denied in Zurvan, Dream Devourer begins to devour time itself by becoming Time Devourer.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 06:26:43 pm by froodo »

Kodokami

  • Entity
  • Dimension Crosser (+1000)
  • *
  • Posts: 1110
  • Enjoy the moment!
    • View Profile
LMAO, love the meme.

Thank you, thank you  :lol:

Everything else regarding the world is open to interpretation.

When talking about the "unified time" at the end of Chrono Cross, I'm of the opinion that it's supposed to be up for interpretation and deliberately left vague. Schala calls to the player, not Serge, during her speech, so I believe Kato was trying to address us in his message; the ending is for us to decide.

But that doesn't necessarily unify the players who want a clear ending. So, we get great discussions like the one you're bringing up here instead!

If you look a little deeper at the poetic meaning behind it all however, the "scars of time" created by Lavos could signify a nightmare of the planet.  The merging of realities and purge of Lavos/Time Devourer could also signify that nightmare coming to an end.

I like the metaphor you have for the "scars of time" being the split timelines. It makes sense. Those scars being the nightmares of the planet is also repeated very similarly by Robo in Chrono Trigger. He and the others suggest that the Gates are the memories of some dying entity (the planet) reliving its past.

So yeah, I could see the true purpose of the Chrono Cross item being to mend these scars. What that means, exactly, I'm not sure. It's difficulty for me to believe it's an actual merging of all timelines into one "ideal" timeline, specifically for the same concerns Lucca writes of in her letter: What of the other futures that are discarded? The other people? Some things may be fixed but many other things are traded for that to happen. Who's to say the Reptite dimension with no humans at all is not better and more "ideal" than the One? Who determines what gets merged?

To me, this isn't "everyone winning". Even in the ideal timeline, Lucca's fears of someone going back in time for revenge, effectively undoing it all, could still easily happen (unless time itself is somehow sealed?).

I agree that we should try to base theories on as much canon as possible. Yet, this is difficult when the games contradict themselves even. Trigger describes time travel with the Grandfather Paradox... yet promptly discards it for the rest of the game. Cross, unfortunately, has several contradicting elements: For one, Crono and Marle are both presumed dead (as seen by their "ghosts") and alive (as Lucca's letter, written sometime while Kid is still a child—thus after the fall of Guardia—speaks of "her friends" in the present tense); (2) When was the timeline split? In 1006 AG, when Schala reaches out to Serge who then comes into contact with the Frozen Flame? Or when Kid travels back in time to 1010 AG to save Serge? (I prefer this answer, myself); (3) Said time travel incident is itself a paradox; Kid goes back to save Serge... who will later go back to save Kid?

Oh, I also agree that there's a split in time before 65 Ma BG, causing the Reptite timeline to progress and later be involved in the Time Crash. I'm not set on the idea that it was Lavos who caused it, however. While Lavos definitely has some temporal powers, recall that it's the Entity who creates the Gates. Lavos may simply have acquired her time magic from the Entity in the same way she absorbs all other life. Before creating a pocket dimension in which to reside, Ayla says that Lavos literally burrowed deep within the earth. Otherwise, why crash into the planet at all if she could create a temporal pocket at any point and not kill off the creatures she needs to feed from? I think Lavos couldn't use time magic at all before consuming it from the planet, and even then, never in a capacity to travel travel or create Gates herself (though it could be argued that it was Lavos who sent Janus and the Gurus into the future, just as it could be argued that it was her who beckoned Chronopolis into the past—my theory's not perfect either).

Quote
Basically
1 - Anything that exists in Zurvan is not part of the ideal timeline.
2 - Only the real timelines of Home and Another unify because of "Angelus Errare" and no other.

I'm not quite a fan of the idea that there's a difference between "timeline splits" and "parallel universes". They seem kinda the same thing? Chrono Cross suggests and CT:DS outright confirms—through Magus right before the Dream Devourer fight—that "there are as many worlds as there are potentialities".

But let's supposed that there are "real timelines". I'd argued that's it's only Time Eggs or similarly very powerful temporal anomalies that create them. I put together this timeline to showcase that (and also to help myself in understanding the Chrono series' confusing timelines).


(apologies for small font, zoom in if necessary)

We have several of these "real" splits.

  • In Pre-History, an unknown event causes a split. I believe this is caused by the Entity. In the timeline where Lavos never falls, we have the Lost Sanctum (Reptites, Dragonians, Dinopolis, etc.).
  • In Keystone 1, we have everything that happens in Chrono Trigger up to Crono's death. If we go with the multiverse idea, every travel to past would also create another unique timeline.
  • The Keystone 1 (orange) and Radical Dreamers (yellow) timelines are functionally on the same line; everything, including the party's many time travels, are the same, up to Marle's use of the Time Egg which causes the split and sets the resulting (yellow and blue) timelines in stone.
  • In Radical Dreamers, Crono dies, permanently. The game Radical Dreamers takes place here, of course. Just... don't think too hard about moustache-Lynx and where he is elsewhere.
  • In Keystone 2, Crono is saved by the Time Egg, and the party eventually defeats Lavos. Later, Belthasar and Robo develop Chronopolis, leading to the Time Crash.
  • Time Crash happens, Another World is created. Eventually, Kid travels back to 1010 AG with a Time Egg to save Serge. Don't worry about the paradox.
  • Home World is created. For some reason, Serge can jump across the pond to Another World. Here we have everything that happens in Chrono Cross, leading up to the Chrono Cross.

Everything after that is speculation and exactly why this thread was started! :D

What's everyone else think of Sheiken's ideas?


Sheiken

  • Porrean (+50)
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Very good points made by both of you, but there are a few things I need to point out.  Your input is proving useful and I feel by weaving our ideas together, we are on the right track to creating a new plausible theory based soley on in-game canon.  I will repsond with notes addressing points made in your quotes, and later update the theory with the new ideas weaved in as the discussion develops.

Anyway, the complete reply of one of the members of my Discord server (translated) follows:

Quote
I think the problem with this theory is that it is considering that the split caused by lavos falling on the planet and not falling on the planet is the same type of split that exists between home and another which does not seem to be since the reptites' timeline comes from a parallel universe whose existence does not depend on timetravel of any kind which differs from the split of keystone-1 to keystone-2 (names of the timeline in the image above) since keystone-2 only exists because of the timecrash.

Another observation in this theory is that Radical Dreamers events are observed in chronopolis as if Radical Dreamers were a parallel reality whose existence would be independent of Cross's universe.

What really gets me stuck with this theory is that I don't think that the split existing by a time travel results in two real and distinct temporal existences, the new timeline exists in the real universe while the old one is sent to Zurvan, despite the Chrono Cross restore the balance between the timelines I can't see how he would play all possible Zurvan timelines, which are imaginary, in one, so I always considered Home and Another two real timelines interconnected because of the kid project and not that one exists for cause of a split caused by a simple time travel.

-> I suppose the real timeline of the reptites could exist in the ideal timeline because of Chrono Cross since it is a real timeline and not imaginary but I discard this line of thought in favor of the real timelines that are unified are just the home ones and another since "angelus errare" interconnects only these two timelines directly and Chrono Cross is used at that specific point as designated by the kid project.

Basically
1 - Anything that exists in Zurvan is not part of the ideal timeline.
2 - Only the real timelines of Home and Another unify because of "Angelus Errare" and no other.

Quote
Ah right, what happens is that when we go to the past we mess up with the events giving Azala an advantage to win the war which makes Crono & co necessary to maintain the timeline in which Azala’s descendants are destroyed by Lavos. I simply assumed that Dinopolis came from a different timeline where Lavos never fell to the ground. Considering the end of Trigger 'Dino Age', it is observed that 'Crono' is a reptile and exists in a world very similar to the original timeline, while Cross’s reptiles supposedly evolved differently and more integrated with the planet , so much so that the technology of the elements they use is quite different from human technologies. Since the repeats of 'Dino Age' seem too similar to the way humans evolved in the original timeline, I simply assumed that Dinopolis is from a different timeline, but I suppose it is possible for 'Dino Age' to lead to the creation of Dinopolis eventually.

Theoretically, Lavos needs to exist in the ideal timeline, only he is defeated in 1999 before everything is destroyed, it needs to exist because Zeal theoretically would have existed magic is something inherent in the way that humanity evolved with Lavos' assistance.

Zurvan = Sea of dreams, is mentioned in the perfect end of Cross and Masato Kato mentioned it in an interview once (Link).

When I differentiate between real timeline and imaginary timeline I am making use of Zurvan. Real timeline is everything that exists in the universe in a material way while all the possibilities of timelines exist in Zurvan in an abstract way, in zurvan there are all dreams, imaginations, thoughts, ideas. When Lucca wonders at the end of the trigger about what happens to the timeline that is no longer allowed to exist, at the perfect end of the Cross, Kid says that they will return to Zurvan the sea of ​​dreams. So in the DS Trigger they give the name of the merger of Sara and Lavos of Dream Devourer, existing materially in a place that he shouldn’t exist he started to feed on Zurvan’s dreams, within the dreams the denied timelines, only that any real timeline that exists from a change it is always dependent on a denied timeline, as if there was a kind of "quantum entanglement" (for lack of a better word) between them, eventually devouring the timelines denied in Zurvan, Dream Devourer begins to devour time itself by becoming Time Devourer.


- On the notion that Lavos himself could not have caused the split, I can agree to this.  However there is another more plausible option that makes more sense and leaves the premise of the theory the same.  Lavos falls to earth and the events of CT unfold as we know.  As I said before, when history is changed new timelines are created, seeing how it is stated in Cross that there are as many timelines as there are possibilities it is safe to assume that there are more unknown realities aside from the 5 timelines that are directly confirmed in the games.  With that in mind, I cannot get behind altered timelines simply going to Zurvan rather than there just being a split based on both possible outcomes.  As I said in my last post, the refrence of everyone being dreams of the planet dreaming the dream of life and that all dreams eventually return to Zurvan more than likely points to where lifeforms go when they pass.

But I digress, the main issue here is what causes the Dinopolis Timeline.  It is stated in Cross that Lavos in Antiquity could sense that it would be defeated in the future and pulled Chronopolis from the future that it was defeated to that period.  This was due to their use of the Frozen Flame (a shard of Lavos) during the Time Crash incident.  Then the Entity (planet) pulls Dinopolis from the future of a timeline where Lavos never crashes into the earth to counter it.  So what I am thinking is that upon seeing what happens with Chronopolis, the entity itself splits the timeline before Lavos comes to the planet to allow Dinopolis to exist in the first place.  It was an action of self defense afterall.

- I would not take to seriously anything found in the New Game Plus endings as absolute canon.  For one, the ones in CT were made long before Cross was a thought.  And more importantly, they are not made to be taken seriously as the contradict the main plot itself.  An example of this is that in the General Kid ending, the Dragon Tear is now the Frozen Flame.  But the item in hand is still the Dragon Tear from the main game.  Also in Trigger we know of Time Traveler's Immunity, yet in one ending Marle is made to be a Frog.  So I would not put too much stock into the Dino Age Plus ending and the tech being the same as the humans.

A more accurate comparison would be the Lost Sanctum in the DS release and beyond.  The Reptites here are clearly more in tune with nature than their human counterparts in the same time period.

- The Radical Dreamers timeline is likely a split that takes place before Cross, and exists alongside the two we play in.  It actually makes sense that FATE would be watching it, because if its plans failed (and FATE did not die) it was another world it could make contact with the Frozen Flame.  Also remember that FATE could not direcrly influence Home World either, so the fact that the RD timeline was only being observed at the time does not mean it is any less of a split than Home World was.  It just was not a split that any of the characters in Cross were directly involved with.

- Kid never says deleted timelines go to Zurvan, Schala/Kid say ALL dreams go to Zurvan eventually.  This is right after calling all lifeforms themselves "dreams of the planet", which makes it seem more like an afterlife reference where souls go when they die.

- I cannot get behind the idea of only two timelines being merged, because there are 3 in total that actually show us interaction within Cross itself, even if you ignore the RD timeline entirely.  The Dinopolis Timeline is present and shows influence throughout the entire game.  It has become part of El Nido itself and if a merge of the two were to take place, Dinopolis by default would HAVE to be included.  The Dinopolis Timeline still has Terra Tower hurled back in time, but without a merge it has nowhere to go.  One could argue that the Chrono Cross heals that timeline as well, and Terra Tower simply remains untouched by the entity as there would no longer be a need to throw it back in time, but that would show influence beyond the two timelines we play in, which is my point.  I also do not see Zurvan being an option here, as Dinopolis would have already been written out by the logic within the quote.  So with that in mind, it is evident that more timelines are affected by the Chrono Cross than what we see.  It is completely logical for the other timelines to be affected as well.

LMAO, love the meme.

Thank you, thank you  :lol:

Everything else regarding the world is open to interpretation.

When talking about the "unified time" at the end of Chrono Cross, I'm of the opinion that it's supposed to be up for interpretation and deliberately left vague. Schala calls to the player, not Serge, during her speech, so I believe Kato was trying to address us in his message; the ending is for us to decide.

But that doesn't necessarily unify the players who want a clear ending. So, we get great discussions like the one you're bringing up here instead!

If you look a little deeper at the poetic meaning behind it all however, the "scars of time" created by Lavos could signify a nightmare of the planet.  The merging of realities and purge of Lavos/Time Devourer could also signify that nightmare coming to an end.

I like the metaphor you have for the "scars of time" being the split timelines. It makes sense. Those scars being the nightmares of the planet is also repeated very similarly by Robo in Chrono Trigger. He and the others suggest that the Gates are the memories of some dying entity (the planet) reliving its past.

So yeah, I could see the true purpose of the Chrono Cross item being to mend these scars. What that means, exactly, I'm not sure. It's difficulty for me to believe it's an actual merging of all timelines into one "ideal" timeline, specifically for the same concerns Lucca writes of in her letter: What of the other futures that are discarded? The other people? Some things may be fixed but many other things are traded for that to happen. Who's to say the Reptite dimension with no humans at all is not better and more "ideal" than the One? Who determines what gets merged?

To me, this isn't "everyone winning". Even in the ideal timeline, Lucca's fears of someone going back in time for revenge, effectively undoing it all, could still easily happen (unless time itself is somehow sealed?).

I agree that we should try to base theories on as much canon as possible. Yet, this is difficult when the games contradict themselves even. Trigger describes time travel with the Grandfather Paradox... yet promptly discards it for the rest of the game. Cross, unfortunately, has several contradicting elements: For one, Crono and Marle are both presumed dead (as seen by their "ghosts") and alive (as Lucca's letter, written sometime while Kid is still a child—thus after the fall of Guardia—speaks of "her friends" in the present tense); (2) When was the timeline split? In 1006 AG, when Schala reaches out to Serge who then comes into contact with the Frozen Flame? Or when Kid travels back in time to 1010 AG to save Serge? (I prefer this answer, myself); (3) Said time travel incident is itself a paradox; Kid goes back to save Serge... who will later go back to save Kid?

Oh, I also agree that there's a split in time before 65 Ma BG, causing the Reptite timeline to progress and later be involved in the Time Crash. I'm not set on the idea that it was Lavos who caused it, however. While Lavos definitely has some temporal powers, recall that it's the Entity who creates the Gates. Lavos may simply have acquired her time magic from the Entity in the same way she absorbs all other life. Before creating a pocket dimension in which to reside, Ayla says that Lavos literally burrowed deep within the earth. Otherwise, why crash into the planet at all if she could create a temporal pocket at any point and not kill off the creatures she needs to feed from? I think Lavos couldn't use time magic at all before consuming it from the planet, and even then, never in a capacity to travel travel or create Gates herself (though it could be argued that it was Lavos who sent Janus and the Gurus into the future, just as it could be argued that it was her who beckoned Chronopolis into the past—my theory's not perfect either).

Quote
Basically
1 - Anything that exists in Zurvan is not part of the ideal timeline.
2 - Only the real timelines of Home and Another unify because of "Angelus Errare" and no other.

I'm not quite a fan of the idea that there's a difference between "timeline splits" and "parallel universes". They seem kinda the same thing? Chrono Cross suggests and CT:DS outright confirms—through Magus right before the Dream Devourer fight—that "there are as many worlds as there are potentialities".

But let's supposed that there are "real timelines". I'd argued that's it's only Time Eggs or similarly very powerful temporal anomalies that create them. I put together this timeline to showcase that (and also to help myself in understanding the Chrono series' confusing timelines).


(apologies for small font, zoom in if necessary)

We have several of these "real" splits.

  • In Pre-History, an unknown event causes a split. I believe this is caused by the Entity. In the timeline where Lavos never falls, we have the Lost Sanctum (Reptites, Dragonians, Dinopolis, etc.).
  • In Keystone 1, we have everything that happens in Chrono Trigger up to Crono's death. If we go with the multiverse idea, every travel to past would also create another unique timeline.
  • The Keystone 1 (orange) and Radical Dreamers (yellow) timelines are functionally on the same line; everything, including the party's many time travels, are the same, up to Marle's use of the Time Egg which causes the split and sets the resulting (yellow and blue) timelines in stone.
  • In Radical Dreamers, Crono dies, permanently. The game Radical Dreamers takes place here, of course. Just... don't think too hard about moustache-Lynx and where he is elsewhere.
  • In Keystone 2, Crono is saved by the Time Egg, and the party eventually defeats Lavos. Later, Belthasar and Robo develop Chronopolis, leading to the Time Crash.
  • Time Crash happens, Another World is created. Eventually, Kid travels back to 1010 AG with a Time Egg to save Serge. Don't worry about the paradox.
  • Home World is created. For some reason, Serge can jump across the pond to Another World. Here we have everything that happens in Chrono Cross, leading up to the Chrono Cross.

Everything after that is speculation and exactly why this thread was started! :D

What's everyone else think of Sheiken's ideas?



- The merging of all the timelines would be the memories, souls, and realities of people all being weaved together in harmony.  This means that no one in particular decides what stays, goes, gets altered, etc.  It just happens in its most natural form.  One would assume that it would try to resemble the unaltered timeline as closely as possible, but without Lavos and with influence from the different timelines that existed beforehand.  And example of this is El Nido, which did not exist until after the Time Crash.  However having it manifest naturally may not affect the base timeline in an unstable way, so it was written in.  Also Kid being a reincarnation of Schala from the RD timeline rather than a daughter clone of Schala from Antiquity makes the most sense, and is also written in.  The Dragonians would still exist as they not only existed in El Nido at one point in time, but they could have simply evolved with humans naturally without Lavos killing them off.  Ayla even showed sympathy for Azala as Lavos was falling and Azala showed respect for Ayla in that same instance telling her to, "Take care of the planet."  So it is not hard to believe that it is possible for them to find peace.

So in short, everything is simply weaved as naturally as they can be.  Things that cannot be written in physically could exist in our minds through Legends and Folklore, much like the Chrono IP itself.  You are right that not everyone would win.  Lives that were once meant to be lived would change, and there is no getting around that fact.  When I said that, I meant us as fans win due to the sheer potential of such a merge.  But for those changed lives, it would not matter.  Be they merged memories, folklore, or physical manifestation they will all be weaved together in perfect harmony as per the Chrono Cross.  Time is not being fractured in this case, but healed in a way that would likely prevent anyone from messing with time again.

But if someone had to decide, it would have to be the Entity itself.  In which case all of those dreams that were changed and weaved into a new existence would remain within Zurvan, as they have always been nothing more than dreams of the entity itself.  No matter how you slice it, there is a dark side to the theory however.  But for the cast and characters we see in both games, we have closure.  That is the main point of a definitive ending theory afterall.

- Love the timesplit graph you presented, very good reference point.  I do feel the need to correct one contradiction you said though about Crono and Marle however.  The ghosts are only seen in Home World and Lucca's letter was written in Another World.  Home world is also the timeline that tries to recreate what Crono and gang changed in the future, before FATE intervenes in the Dead Sea (which I assume was only possible because the Dead Sea itself was unstable).  So I believe that when the split happens, they die and fail their quest in Home World.  Perhaps by butterfly effect, but either more changed than just the point of Serge being saved onward, or they were simply written out of existence.  Afterall Migeul does refer to them as "echos of a timeline that no longer exists."

Another possibility that supports them failing their quest is that under the assumption that they defeat Lavos in 1999 A.D., one of the changes that takes place in Home World is simply that they died in that battle.  This means they would have never had the chance to return to 1000 A.D. to begin with, but Dalton would still be war hungry as he was defeated before the split.  This could also be why the ghosts blame Serge for the future remaining unchanged in Home World, and how their work was "undone".  This could also be why Kid is nowhere to be found in Home World, as she was only born into Another World as a daughter clone (remember, she was a reincarnation in RD timeline).

Another World however is said to be the reality we play in Chrono Trigger, and in this timeline they are alive and helped Lucca make an Orphanage for children who lost their parents in the Fall of Guardia.  This is likely why there are so many pictures of them in Lucca's house, as if the kids met them.  They are probably organizing a resistance or rebuilding Guardia while having conflict of Porre.  Raidus refers to Guardia as "once peaceful" which could mean either destroyed or at war.  The castle fell and Truce burned, we know that much but we do not know much beyond that.  No matter the case, I believe Crono and Marle to be alive in Another World as there is nothing that suggests otherwise.

Thank you both for your input, very interesting stuff.  Talking lore is always a good time, and we all learn from eachother in the process.  I look forward to discussing this further.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 06:50:56 pm by Sheiken »