Author Topic: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle  (Read 11852 times)

Specter

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The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« on: February 10, 2007, 10:57:26 pm »
While working on graphics for a Flash movie about the battle with Magus in 600 A.D., I became suddenly intrigued with the summoning circle Magus uses for awakening Lavos... in specific, it's design.



I hadn't really given a lot of thought to this particular artifact before (as I imagine most CT fans also haven't), but when I started looking at it closely and thinking about more I realized that this design seems very atypical compared with most artistic conceptualizations of magic/summoning circles (like, for example, this one from the Tales of Phantasia OVA). In fact, since most mystical floor-circles (regardless of purpose) are usually portrayed as little more than rings of glowing runic symbols and lines, Magus's circle stands out as very sharply different. Has any research been done into this, per chance?

Breaking the image apart, it has a LOT of distinct qualities. The most blunt visual detail is what looks like four fire-breathing beasts (winged horses? griffons? some other kind of chimeric or mythic animals? It's hard to tell), one in each major quadrant. This in particular baffles me when trying to figure out what the circle's design would have been based on; why draw these four creatures as central aspects of a summoning device? What purpose could such representation serve? I've wracked my brain, but the best guess I could come up with is that it's an oblique reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but even that doesn't seem to fit very well.

Then there's the fact that its segmented in a rather compass-like way: four cardinal directions coming from the center, and then markings on the outer circle (where what looks like red runes are written) for four additional directions (IE: south-west, north-east, etcetera). And if you think that's something of a leap of logic, look and see where traces of gold coloration are in the image. With the sole exception of the firebreathers' eyes, the gold hues are (a) in the very center, where they form a diamond shape around a sole red dot (interesting? possibly meaningful? I think so.), (b) on the outer edges on the circle (primary directions), and (c) lines within the embellished middle of the circle (secondary directions).

Whatever the meaning of the animals is, I'd have to guess it has something to do with this compass setup. For visual ease, I removed all the non-gold pixels from the image. Check it out:



Now I've always thought it kind of strange that Magus would be able to summon Lavos from way above ground with magic principles he'd learned himself, whereas in the Kingdom of Zeal it took bringing the Mammon Machine down to the ocean floor in order to awaken Lavos from its slumber. The (arguably) greatest magical device of the Kingdom of Magic... outdone by one man's summoning circle? Seems preposterous...

... but I wonder if there's any connection to this?


If we could look at the Ocean Palace from a directly overhead view... wouldn't it's layout rather strongly resemble this "compass" marked out in Magus's summoning circle, as well as some of the decorative elements near the center and middle? If we ignore the four mysterious beasts for a moment, the similarity is actually rather strong!

I won't say that I know enough about Chrono lore or summoning circles to make a full theory on this, but I figured I should get my thoughts and observations out so that they could be evaluated and other, more knowledgeable Chrono fans could see if there's anything useful or relevant. This summoning circle is very possible a critical piece of Chrono-series data that has yet to be fully explored, or so I think.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2007, 11:00:57 pm by Specter »

Jessica Ingmann

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 11:10:58 pm »
Th' beasts 'n Maou's circle 'r probably hippogryphs, seein' as gryphons dun breath fire.(...I think.)  I dunno if that helps any...  Also, I wouldn't say th' "compass" 'n Maou's circle strongly rememble th' Ocean Palace 'r vice-versa.  Jus' about anything can look like four points with a center.  ^_^;;  Bu' that's just my opinion.

ZeaLitY

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 11:17:41 pm »
I expect this topic to heat up tomorrow. I know what you mean about the other circles; they're usually pentagrams and runes. Someone could have gotten creative, or there is deeper meaning. We'll have to see.

Glennleo

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2007, 11:51:42 pm »
Very Interesting...(*scratches chin*)

I'll have to ponder this one for awhile. Nice find! I never thought to analyze that part of the game before.

Chrono'99

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2007, 07:20:54 am »
This does seem like it may be something meaningful. There are a Zodiac wheel and a summoning circle in Final Fantasy Tactics and people took years to realize there was a lot of symbols hidden in there (with even names inscribed in a made-up alphabet). Maybe this CT circle has some meaning too.

I don't know enough about Hindu/Tantric/Buddhist symbolism to make up some theory, but I think this circle looks a bit like a Mandala. Since Magus' Japanese name is Maou and Maou is a Buddhist concept, maybe there's a thematical relation.

AuraTwilight

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2007, 02:54:06 pm »
Wow, this is pretty cool. Nice one. Perhaps the beasts in the circle are there to represent Lavos, a horrible beast that brings destruction wherever it goes?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the Mammon Machine was being used to draw energy from Lavos at optimum efficiency, and Magus was probably trying to open a portal to his pocket dimension.

Zaperking

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2007, 04:16:17 pm »
^
Yes, but I think that those marks that look like the compass, and the points on the ocean palace, are used like an amplifier device that radars in to Lavos' exact position.
Otherwise i'd be pretty hard to know where you're draining energy from, and furthermore, if Magus hadn't done it properly, he'd probably summon in a giant amount of land and lava, whereever from Lavos would come.

As for those horses/beasts, don't they look a bit like dragons or something? Initially, I thought that they might have been sacrafices or some kind of other powerful beings that represent summoning/tracking, but maybe they are just symbolic x.x

Glennleo

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2007, 05:02:45 pm »
Somehow I think those may be depictions of the dragon on top of Magus's castle. I know they don't look exactly the same, but I've always wondered why there is a dragon atop Magus's lair.

It's probably just for decoration, or to make his castle appear more evil/sinister. But maybe there is a connection?


Kaktus021

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2007, 09:00:46 pm »
Well, this may just be me rambling, but if we do say that those four "creatures" are dragons, they do appear to meet the japanese description of a dragon. (Long body, 4 legs, etc.) In japanese lore, the appearance of dragons (and snakes) is though to be a symbol of natural disasters. (usually floods) Now this is probably a stretch, but if they are dragons they could be there as a depiciton of the disaster that Lavos would cause.

I have no explanation for the compass design or the number of creatures on the circle.

kennyj2003

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2007, 10:43:06 pm »
Heres a pic of the inner dragons, they kinda resemble the one of top of the castle, but i dont think the ones in the circle. Also I have always wondered what the second pic symbolizes. A 4 armed demon that has flames/torches in his hands.

Edit: Another thing that I had thought about. Could the third pic be a young "lavoid" before it grows or develops its shell. the mouth/head part resemble the adult form.

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 11:02:28 pm by kennyj2003 »

Magus22

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2007, 06:38:14 pm »
I have not noticed that before.

It may be a younger "lavoid" or perhaps another gender of some "lavoid"... I have no clue

AuraTwilight

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2007, 06:59:04 pm »
I don't see the resemblance. I think they're just supposed to be ordinary mythical creatures.

Glennleo

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2007, 09:18:29 pm »
Yea I don't think they are a direct tie to Lavos, but maybe with a little stretching it could work.

I'm still trying to figure out how dragons/mythical creatures might fit into the circle myself.

Magus068

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2007, 01:25:37 am »
Heres a pic of the inner dragons, they kinda resemble the one of top of the castle, but i dont think the ones in the circle. Also I have always wondered what the second pic symbolizes. A 4 armed demon that has flames/torches in his hands.

Edit: Another thing that I had thought about. Could the third pic be a young "lavoid" before it grows or develops its shell. the mouth/head part resemble the adult form.

Its possible that the dragon symbol has some sort of link to the Dragonian Magic... The 4 armed demon maybe link to the hindu god of destruction Shiva.

And as the young lavoid, I think it  is some sort of drone rather than an offspring of Lavos.

Deus Chisa

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Re: The Summoning Circle in Magus's Castle
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2007, 03:02:02 am »
Also, did anyone else notice that the fire the beasts are breathing looks something like another type of Flame, especially with that dot in the middle?