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Chrono Trigger DS Analysis HQ (Spoiler Spoiler, of course)

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Hopefully it's not too soon to start picking apart CT:DS' new ending. It answers several questions we've been pondering for years, but poses more, just as a fantastic bonus finale should.

Let's start off with the ending as recorded on Youtube for our viewing pleasure:

Question 1: Is this ending canonical?

For no reason other than preference, really, I'd propose that it is not canonical in the sense that Crono & co. actually saw these things, or any of the things in the dimensional vortices for that matter. This ending has no resolution from Crono & co.'s point of view -- there's no Moonlight Parade or discussion of what the heck they just saw, and what they saw was pretty significant. I think Crono & co.  are there just so the player can observe parts of canon that fall outside the scope of Chrono Trigger -- Kato's little treat for us Compendiumites. My main reason for supposing this is that Dalton's revelation is just too hamfisted for Crono & co. to be taken by surprise when the Fall of Guardia really does happen.

A more likely possibility, perhaps, is that Crono & co. really do go through all this dimensional mayhem, but their memories of the Dimensional Vortices and Time's Eclipse are simply erased by Schala. Notice that when Schala teleports the party out of Time's Eclipse, she leaves them with the words, "Dwell not on this." Is it possible she's literally commanding them not to think about what they just saw? And what better way to do that then zap a few neurons?

Question 2: There are two Maguses (Magi?), one I'll call Present Magus (the one in the party) and another I'll call Future Magus. What is the origin of Future Magus? How did he make it into Time's Eclipse?

When asking what the origin of "Future Magus" is, I should say, rather, at what point during Magus' experiences did he reach Time's Eclipse? There's conflicting evidence on this matter. First, he appears in the Prophet's cloak, which would lead us to believe this is Magus as he was as a member of Queen Zeal's court.

On the other hand, the Magus in Queen Zeal's court had a far harder edge to his personality. Compendium discussion has long pointed in the direction that Magus at that point in time was utterly bent on destroying Lavos and everything else was of secondary priority -- even saving Schala. The extra Magus we see in Time's Eclipse, however, is clearly consumed with the mission of saving her from a horrid fate. Therefore, I propose on the basis of Future Magus' personality that he is, indeed, Future Magus, one whose character has further developed since we last saw him step into the Millennial Fair portal during the Beyond Time ending. It was at that moment that Magus' quest to save Schala began, and not before.

However, the matter of the Prophet's cloak still bothers me and leaves this open to further speculation.

Question 3: Is Future Magus emo? Has Masato Kato resorted to emo of all things?

The question as I phrase it is silly, but Magus' final response to seeing his sister's fate reveals a serious personality change. Never before has Magus just thrown down the towel and given up on something. Magus as we've known him would thump his head against a wall until either it or his cranium collapses, but he would never commit existential suicide when confronted with a serious challenge. Both he and the gurus are resourceful -- there's got to be a way around the problem at hand, and indeed Belthasar proves us correct in Chrono Cross. Now, it's possible that Future Magus' experiences have instilled a fatalist attitude within him. However, I would like to propose an alternate interpretation of the ending for what it's worth.

As examined in Question 1, it is possible that Schala (or the Dream Devourer) has the capacity to erase memories. Could it be that it is Schala who erases Future Magus' memories and not Future Magus himself? We must pick apart the following lines:

--- Quote ---Magus: Hmph. If this is to be the way of things,
  then let me abandon all that was and fade away as well.
  Should a part of me even then remain,
  then perhaps that will be the birth of something
  new -- something with greater meaning than all this.

--- End quote ---

Next thing we see is Magus wandering around the Zenan Mainland (and it is the mainland being shown, because that's where Guile is from according to his status screen in CC) in an amnesiac state.

Magus never comes right out and says, "I'm going to erase my memories." He says, "...let me abandon all that was and fade away..."

I thought it was obvious at first that Future Magus was somehow destroying his own memories, actively crumpling them up and tossing them into some mental wastebasket. However, he does not use the word "destroy." He uses the word abandon. So let's examine the meaning of that word. Although it's incredibly trite, I'll consult Webster's dictionary:

1 a: to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent
1 b: to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in <abandon property>
3: to withdraw protection, support, or help from <he abandoned his family>
4: to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly
Abandon suggests that the thing or person left may be helpless without protection <abandoned children>.
Synonyms see in addition relinquish

The word "destroy" has an active connotation; the word abandon, on the other hand, has a passive connotation. He is not destroying his memories -- he is yielding them, relinquishing them...perhaps to the Dream Devourer's memory-annihilating powers.

This does not resolve the "emo" difficulty entirely, because Magus is still resigned and defeated. However, interpreted in this light the ending at least shows that Future Magus doesn't commit "existential suicide" as I had initially thought.

Question 4: Has the Time Devourer been renamed the Dream Devourer, or is this a transitional entity?

From the looks of it, the Dream Devourer is a transitional entity. Schala's hair is still blue, indicating that this...thing...hasn't had enough time to drain all her power. Also, the Lavos part of the being doesn't look a thing like the Time Devourer does in Chrono Cross -- the Time Devourer's Lavos component is smaller, more agile. This may be merely the first stage in  the Time Devourer's evolution.

Question 5 (courtesy of Dark Serge): Is the Dream Devourer even in the DBT? Or is it yet another new dimension? I.e., has the Darkness Beyond Time been renamed Time's Eclipse, or is this a transitional existence?

The name "Time's Eclipse" literally means...well, I'm going back to good ol' Webster for a definition of "eclipse."

a. The partial or complete obscuring, relative to a designated observer, of one celestial body by another.
b. The period of time during which such an obscuration occurs.
2. A temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light.
a. A fall into obscurity or disuse; a decline: "A composer . . . often goes into eclipse after his death and never regains popularity" Time.
b. A disgraceful or humiliating end; a downfall: Revelations of wrongdoing helped bring about the eclipse of the governor's career.

That probably muddles things further though. I'm not really sure how to proceed on this one.  :oops:

But what say you all?


ZeaLitY Questions

5. What's the nature of the new ending? Is it an outside vision of canon where Crono's actual trip isn't canonical but what he witnesses is? Does it really take place in the context of CT?

6. Postulate ways that Dalton could have achieved the Fall of Guardia.

7. What the hell is the Lost Sanctum? A dream emanation from the Dream Devourer, or somehow a cause of the Black Omen? (The Black Omen's creation takes place soon after Schala meets her end and starts merging, of course, depending on how this is viewed through Time Error, since it also depends on Lavos to die, and he hasn't yet in that point of CT's story)

8. What's the nature of the Reptite artifacts like the Prismastones and Dragon's Tear? What about the antagonist monsters who plan to kill these Reptites?

9. What's the canonicity of the Dimensional Vortex dungeons and Crono, Marle, and Lucca's fights with their inner selves? Why would those be in there for those characters and not the other ones?

10. Do you know the Muffin Man?

11. If we believe that the Dream Devourer is a pre-evolutionary form of the Time Devourer, the question remains -- how did Lavos survive to merge with her?

12. Can we assume that Magus's wake-up to Schala is the moment Belthasar took advantage of when planning for Schala to be awake long enough to create Kid? (This means Crono's presence pre-Lavos is non-canonical)

Dark Serge:
Very interesting.

But first of all: Even if they knew about Dalton and his scheme, it probably wouldn't matter. I see two options here:

A-They thought "What the heck- this is the guy we defeated like 3/4 times already, he poses no threat to us whatsoever" and they happily live on. Dalton, being underestimated, strikes with unimaginable force and somehow destroys Guardia.

B-They did know and were cautious, made several preparations, perhaps even calling Glenn to their timeline (disappearance of the Masamune), but it was still not enough. Dalton had gathered an army stronger then Guardia, and Guardia still fell.

Secondly, if this "new" Magus is the playable Magus but then in the future, would that mean if Magus goes with Chrono & other party member into the DBT, and gets sent away by Schala, he comes there later for the second time, but this time in the role of "new" Magus?

And another interesting question, is the Dream Devourer even in the DBT? Or is it yet another new dimension? I know they called it Time's Eclipse but that's basically the same as saying DBT.

Captain B:
 What drives Magus?

     Two things we know of, Lavos and Schala. pretty simple.

     Lavos: Well, he kicked his ass. woot. Time to go find Schala

     Schala: finds her but can't save her. She tells him she appreciates his work, but that he should just try to forget about her. It sounds to me like they're trying to make their peace with each other. Also, she calls him Janus. Take that, half of the "search for schala" fanfics out there!

     Magus is not emotional, and doesn't take much to heart. But he does take something to heart. These are the only two elements that can really do that. And fact of the matter is, here they are, and here is the blow they inflict.

     What is their effect? Magus gets a moment with his sister to make peace, she... ahem... encourages him...  to move on, and he leaves. Magus, after this, basically says "huh maybe she's right...  well, I won't remember her saying it anyways, but if I somehow regain my memory, I'll take that into consideration. For now though, I'm gonna help myself stop thinking about her...  about any of the stuff I've done...    not like she's going anywhere for awhile..."

I agree wholeheartedly that the Dream Devourer is possibly the first or second stage of an evolutionary process: we know that the Time Devourer was an evolved creature:

--- Quote from: Lucca, in Chrono Cross ---   As the palace collapsed around
   her, Princess Schala was sucked
   into a dimensional vortex along
   with the Lavos Mammon Machine.
   Schala and Lavos became unified
   into one even more powerful
   entity that would evolve into
   the Devourer of Time.
   Filled with the hatred and
   sadness of Lavos, half of
   Schala's mind became set on
   destroying all of existence.
   Yet at the same time, the
   other half of her mind
   desired to save the universe
   and to be rescued herself.

--- End quote ---
What we're seeing is likely the early stage: Schala still has some consciousness and the beast itself isn't in complete control. My theory is that since this is such an early stage in the evolution of this creature, Schala may have some control over it and perhaps this gave Schala the ability to erase memories.

As for Magus, this is where the confusion comes in, we don't know who this Future Magus is, or how he got there. Is it possible that he followed Schala? If he's truly bent on finding her, this may be the accomplishment of such a feat...so perhaps this is Magus from some other time line? One in which he was able to catch Schala directly after the Ocean Palace incident? The following quotes seem to shed some light on that:

--- Quote from: CTDS ---Voice: Here, Lavos is no more. This is the future in which we've defeated him.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: CTDS ---Magus: Whether that is the future of the world from which you've come, I do not know.
There are as many worlds as there are potentialities.
--- End quote ---
Does this Magus even know Crono and co? I can't tell.

Perhaps I should play CTDS before I make an attempt at theorizing...

I'm not really very good at all this theoretical stuff. Time travel, alternate universes, dimensions etc it tends to just go over my head. It took me a long time to actually understand the events related to Trigger and Cross, especially Cross. I still don't understand the ending of it, and what Schala meant. I've read the articles about it many times, i just don't get it.

Having said that. Does this new Canon material in anyway tell us what the fates of Crono, Marle and Lucca are? Can we form any new theories of their fates concerning the fall of Guardia? Does their momentary happy ending still happen? Or are they even more doomed now? I just don't understand it, all this stuff goes way over my head. Alone i will never figure it out...

The new material related to Magus is even weirder. Is he Guile now? It took me half a day of reading the compendium to understand that Guile could absolutely not be Magus. And now he is? Talk about a massive mindfuck o.o


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