Author Topic: What if...?  (Read 783 times)

Nangbaby

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What if...?
« on: November 28, 2009, 03:01:19 am »
While these questions probably have been asked a million times before, I feel like asking it a millionth and one time.

Has anyone ever wondered what would have happened if Janus hadn't conveniently been placed near the Mystics when deposited in the Middle Ages?  What do you would have happened had Janus been dropped in the middle of nowhere with no one around?  Would he have been able to survive long on his own?  What if he had been thrown in Guardia instead and with other people?  Do you think he would have defected to the Mystics, given that strategically it would be better for his plans (they're magic using and thus more useful for him to get revenge against Lavos)?  Would he have done like he did in Zeal, hiding his magic power for his own protection when in public view?  Would he have worked to become a legendary hero in the eyes of the public and then use that status to his benefit?

While I love the way it happened in the game, sometimes I wonder "what if?"

Acacia Sgt

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 03:14:44 am »
I've once read a fanfiction that took this question and gave it a possible answer...

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/755016/1/The_Janus_Saga_A_look_on_another_one

Haven't read much of it, except for the first chapters or so, and the ending.

Now, as for my own answer, well, I'm not sure.

Lord J Esq

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 05:03:06 am »
He could still use magic, and was supposedly one of the most powerful magic-users in Zeal. At the same time, those purple robes don't lend themselves well to a life of manual labor. I suspect Janus only had one card to play: Leverage his magic to gain influence over others. It was all he knew how to do, and I suspect he'd have played it the same way no matter where in Entityland he might have been deposited. How history might have turned out if he'd landed in Royally held territory is another question.

Zipp Dementia

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 05:00:47 pm »
Janus has proved himself capable of adapting to pretty much any situation, even as a child. Think on the fact that he somehow, as a child, convinced the leaders of the mystics to rally around him.

He also knew about Lavos and how to summon him.  He hung around with the Gurus and had a lot of their knowledge, too.  Presumably he also knew about the power of the red rock, the dreamstone.

With this knowledge and his magical ability, Janus would've risen to power in any of the time periods he landed in.  In fact, the only two periods that would've given him trouble were 1999 and 2300.

In the former, Janus would be forced to fight Lavos as a child and would undoubtedly lose.  In the latter, he would find himself in a world with little food or warmth and such a world is a hard place for a well-cared-for Zealian royal child.  That Belthasar was able to survive in that place is a testament to the old man's will and ingenuity.  This scenario still poses some interesting points, though.  Being forced to live on nothing and facing the pain of human existence may have changed Janus for the better.  It's possible that he would've dropped his anger and hatred in such a situation and grown to become a kind and thoughtful leader of men.  With his magical abilities, he may even have been able to lead humanity to some kind of comeback against the devastation of the world, though the chance that the world would ever be able to sustain natural life again would still be slim.

What would happen when he eventually met Balthasar is uncertain.

Lord J Esq

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 06:46:09 pm »
We don't know at all that Janus is adaptable. We only know that he didn't die. We also don't know that Janus left Zeal knowing how to summon Lavos. It seems much more likely that he developed that magic over the course of his time in the Middle Ages.

Crono666

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 07:18:00 pm »
I think that no matter what era he ended up, Janus would still end up like he did in the game.
I think that by the time of the Ocean Palace incident, the damage to his mental well-being had already happen.
He was already a damaged person by the time Crono's group came to Zeal.

Echo

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 07:26:51 pm »
I think that, wherever Janus would have ended up, some kind of race, or some kind of species would have been there for him to use and manipulate to achieve his goals.

I also think he didn't know how to summon Lavos yet, he learned that later. That's because of the elaborate summoning circle and statues, and the spell easily backfiring when used.

Zipp Dementia

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 02:55:48 am »
We don't know at all that Janus is adaptable. We only know that he didn't die. We also don't know that Janus left Zeal knowing how to summon Lavos. It seems much more likely that he developed that magic over the course of his time in the Middle Ages.

I was a bit unclear about the summoning lavos bit. What I meant was, he obviously knew where to begin, because he does develop the technique later on.

As for adaptability, I'm not sure what else you call someone who, as I stated, is able to dupe the entire Mystic army. Later, when Janus ends up back in Zeal, he immediately takes disguise and dupes the entire Zealian court, including his mother, sister, and his younger self.  He's later willing to join your party when he recognizes that it's the best way to get to Lavos (and thus, Schalla).

How is that not showing adaptability?

Nangbaby

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 04:14:15 pm »
First of all, I am not well versed in Chrono Trigger fanfic, so I thank you, Acacia Sgt. I only read one chapter and it seems to be an interesting idea, so I'm going to have to read the rest of it.  Even if it doesn't develop in the way I think it would, I like to see alternate views.

Zipp, I find it interesting that you brought up the other time periods in which Janus could have landed, and I find the 2300 A.D. scenario you outlined very compelling.  It would be interesting to see what affect this would have on his mental and physical development, as it is an open question as to whether it would provide him with empathy or only make him even more bitter and solitary than he eventually became.  As an "enlightened" Zealian, would he see the condition of the world as a wrong that would need to be fixed or would the ruined state of the world be the inevitable outcome of messing with Lavos?  Would he leave the world to its own devices?  Would he see his fellow humans as survivors, or as dirty Earthbound people?

As some of the other posters insinuated, though, I doubt he would have been able to develop his magical talents as well as he did in any era or setting without the Mystics (the only other natural magic users).  As much as Janus used the Mystics, they undoubtedly taught him techniques or at the very least helped him refine techniques and skills.  I don't believe even a prodigy can live up to his potential if he doesn't have an environment to help him improve.  On the other hand, with 2300 AD at least, the enemies are actually weaker than they are in 12,000 B.C. (and some parts of 600 A.D.), although how much of this is a gameplay function or how much of this is canonical to the story is up to debate, so it's possible he more than hold his own.  But in the future, the best he could do is go around killing Lavos spawn.  Maybe he'd fight Mother Brain if he were to become attached enough to the human cause, but I doubt it.

That being said, I do agree that Janus is very adaptable, and I am not optimistic enough to believe that Janus would become a completely well-adjusted person no matter where he was deposited (although I'd argue that at least some of his unpleasant disposition was due to him being pampered).  However, the form that the manipulation would take and the lengths he would go to would differ based on what he had available to work with.  The question is do the other time periods have other races or groups who would possess the skills he would need to actually summon Lavos.  In the game, we aren't shown any other groups who would be capable of doing so.  Only in Zeal are there magic using humans, only in 600 AD and 1000AD are there Mystics, and only at the End of Time is Spekkio.  Of course, it's possible that there are some unseen groups that have these abilities, but working from what is presented in Chrono Trigger, it doesn't seem likely that he'd be able to even work toward getting revenge.  Since that's his primary motivation for most of the game, it makes me wonder what he would have done if that option were taken away from him, or at least made less accessible.

Now there is the question that if Janus has not been aligned initially with the Mystics, could Lavos even have been stopped?  After all, while Crono, Marle, and Lucca learn about Lavos in the future, it is only when they are deposited in Medina that they find information that leads them to think Magus is they key to stopping The Day of Lavos.  If Janus were to appear in other location or at any other time (except perhaps 20 years before 1,000 A.D. in Medina -- I can see him leading a second insurgency that the heroes learn of, then attempt to stop him), then how would they learn about Lavos to stop it?  If the entity made a gate to 12,000 B.C. and deposited the party there, they could learn that way, but obviously there'd be no Magus or Prophet there if he wouldn't attempt to summon it in the first place, which leads me to wonder how differently the game would have developed.  Would there have even been a need to go back to 600 A.D. or even 65,000,000 B.C.?

Edit:  I attributed the wrong posts to the wrong people.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 04:44:03 pm by Nangbaby »

Zipp Dementia

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 03:47:57 pm »
I actually think Magus would've been best off if he'd ended up back in the BC Era.  He would've been revered as a god by the humans, probably would've taken Ayla's place as chief, and had a chance to try and avoid the Zeal situation altogether or even attack Lavos when he first fell (not likely, though, as he buries himself pretty quickly).

Remember, though, that there were huge amounts of dreamstone available in the BC era.  Magus could've increased his powers by quite a bit by exposing himself to them.

Another question, though... isn't the "Red Rock," the Dreamstone, a creation of the Frozen Flame?  And thus, shouldn't it not have existed until AFTER Lavos fell?

Acacia Sgt

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2009, 04:55:33 pm »
I doubt ending in prehistory would have had an impact on Zeal as it is. They are millions of years separated after all.

And no, Dreamstone isn't a product of the Frozen Flame.

Andrelvis

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Re: What if...?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 05:37:34 pm »
I actually think Magus would've been best off if he'd ended up back in the BC Era.  He would've been revered as a god by the humans, probably would've taken Ayla's place as chief, and had a chance to try and avoid the Zeal situation altogether or even attack Lavos when he first fell (not likely, though, as he buries himself pretty quickly).

Would be interesting if he became chief of the Laruba before the reptites attacked their village. If then there happened to be strife between the two human tribes, the reptites could have a shot at surviving.