Beyond Time: The Darkness Beyond Time
Time-Error: (When a traveler enters the Darkness Beyond Time, they enter at the time* corresponding to the time-error of the portal they used to access it. When an event occurs in the Darkness Beyond Time, it affects only timelines which exist at time-errors after the time* at which the event occurs)
The Darkness Beyond Time is the "garbage dump" for pieces of timelines that have been cut off due to the effects of time travel. This is where the Time-Devourer is located.
Time-Devourer - The fusion of Schala and Lavos. It aims to devour all of the timeline.
Analysis - Each parent timeline most likely has its own unique Darkness Beyond Time, and very possibly, its own Time-Devourer that dwells within it.
"I assume there is a timeline where Crono & crew failed to defeat Lavos.
Which brings up a problem, or what appears to be a problem. What happens when the Time Devourer defeats Serge? If there is a timeline for each possibility... this would seem to lead to the Time Devourer being successful in its goal, for all it needs to do is fuse with Schala and it will consume everything, right?
Perhaps the DBT functions under another set of rules wherein the actions that take place there are 'final'?"
"The bad ending of Chrono Trigger addresses your first question. In every time-line that existed before Crono defeated Lavos, the Day of Lavos is not averted. 'But...the future refused to change.'
Secondly, the time-line of the Time Devourer in the DBT is completely separate from that of Serge and company. A good analogy is that the axis of the time-lines are perpendicular. Time does not pass in the DBT relative to the outside world. The timeline where the TD is completed only exists in the future of its own dimension, and the destruction of the universe will not occur in Serge's own future."
"I'm not exactly sure I understand what you're saying and I'm not sure I communicated properly what I wanted to say. Lemme try again.
Even if the two timelines are perpendicular, at some point in the DBT the Time Devourer will face Serge, correct? At that point, whenever it happens, there is the possibility that Serge loses. If the Time Devourer is successful in any timeline, this would mean the destruction of the universe. Thus, if there exists a timeline for every possible outcome, the destruction of the universe would be inevitable - if the DBT follows the same rules as other timelines.
Does that make sense?"
"I see what you're saying. The best explanation would be to say that the Time Devourer can only "devour" one timeline. It lacks the power to cross over to separate timelines (where Serge defeated it) and devour them."
"That isn't the case, because the Time Devourer is supposed to consume all space and time.
The Devourer of Time is a new life-form... Born out of the fusion of a life-form from this planet with Lavos, who nests on the far side of the dimensional void. In the far-off future, when the fusion becomes complete, IT will awaken... Then, the Devourer of Time will begin to consume all space-time continua... Despair and hatred... To return all things to nothingness... That is what IT desires.
This isn't too hard to understand, but I explained it rather poorly. I'll try to be more sensible this time.
If the TD existed on the same space-time as Serge, in the time-line where Serge had not yet defeated the TD (i.e. before the time crash), the TD would have an unlimited duration of time to mature and thus result in the destruction of all existence. If the TD experienced a passage of time as time passed in normal space-time, the TD would have appeared and destroyed all existence the moment Crono landed the death-blow to Lavos.
Thus, we conclude that time does not pass relative to the outside universe for the Time Devourer in the Darkness Beyond Time (the time axis are perpendicular).
The Time Devourer exists within the Darkness Beyond Time, which is a completely separate dimension from Home/Another. The TD experiences time as we know it, but not relative to Serge's space-time. At every instance on the TD's time-line in the DBT, it appears frozen in time from any point on Serge's time-line. An unlimited time may pass on Serge's time-line without the TD every appearing. The instant the TD reaches the maturity on its own time-line, it will instantaneously be manifested at all points on Serge's time-line, a scenario which never comes to pass. Even in the bad ending of Chrono Cross, the TD simply returns to its (relatively) frozen existence, and Serge may live out his life in peace.
All possible time-lines may be represented by separate dimensions. We don't know whether the DBT is common to all dimensions, or if there can thus be more than one TD. It would seem that if there are multiple Time Devourers, the destruction of the universe is a possibility. This is a topic requiring further discussion."
"This is what I was trying to get at. If the TD wins in one, it seems to effectively win in all. As you said, this hinges on whether or not there are multiple Time Devourers."
"As far as I see it, all the 'Timelines' (Lavos, Keystone 1 and Keystone 2) we actually play in are contained within one 'dimension.' Home and Another are the only separate dimensions we actually see, and we hear of the Reptite dimension that Dinopolis came from. The Darkness Beyond Time exists essentially above and beyond all the other dimensions, and as such it does not have any parallel dimensions in which alternate events and results occur. Therefore, if the TD is defeated there, that's it. It's gone."
Which, I think, is exactly the same as what everyone else has been saying, but I'm just checking.
"That is mostly correct; however, probability negates that and suggests that there is only one Darkness Beyond Time per dimension or dimensions that exist as branches of one another. Surely, if infinite dimensions exist, and one Time Devourer who could destroy them all could come about, would not the universe already be destroyed? That is why I believe there is one DBT per dimension or dimensional branch, and that timelines change and exist within a parent dimension. Crono never split the dimensions of the Keystone, or Another dimension, but simply rewrote time. Only the act of saving Serge somehow caused the dimensions to split, whereas the Reptite Dimension and Radical Dreamers Dimension are separate possibilities completely which do not branch directly from the others as Home World does from Another.
This is why I believe the word 'dimension' in the Chrono series should be thought of as representing more-so tangible universes than just possibilities."
"These are the possibilities that I can see to explain this:
- Belthasar was exaggerating slightly, or we're misinterpreting him; the Time Devourer can only devour its own dimension.
- The DBT is the same for all dimensions, and the TD only exists once within it. Serge defeated the one TD, so that's that.
- The DBT is unique to each dimension, and multiple TD's exist. Through some quirk of fate/probability, there is a 100% chance that if the TD is created, it will be destroyed.
- The DBT is unique to each dimension, and multiple TD's exist. One of them will eventually (along its own perpendicular time axis) devour everything. However, the timelines we see are not yet at that "time," and will exist until that "time." Since some form of "time" must flow for the TD, it can only devour timelines from a certain "time" on. We're screwed, but we'll never know it.
- The DBT is unique to each dimension, and multiple TD's exist. One succeeded in devouring all of reality. This game is just what would have happened if it hadn't.
Aside: The idea of a second, perpendicular time axis is the basis of my Time-Error theory, which helps explain possibility 4.
I explained it within this thread here.
To me, theory 1 seems the most likely. The possibility that a TD or similar beast could exist which would devour all dimensions and all continua coupled with infinite possibilities would seem to prevent the universe from existing at all. There must be some limit on its power."
"The limitation of the DBT per dimensions or directly branched dimensions is evidence by the fact that otherwise, infinite Lavoses and Schalas would be sent to the Darkness Beyond Time in conditions favorable for forming Time Devourers, meaning an infinite number would exist, and that eras from the Chrono series world float by in transparent spheres while one is at the DBT.
Lastly, dimensions simply cannot be transcended; under the word 'universe' they are the highest categories, universes in themselves which cannot be crossed or visited save by a Missing Piece responsible for the branching of a dimension off another or by an Entity/planet (the latter falls under the Time Crash, which itself is a total enigma). I believe that this effectively limits Belthasar's statement that the Time Devourer will consume all space-time; in all likelihood, it can only consume what exists in its own dimension and universe, as it seemingly has no way to access other dimensions. Additionally, it would be consuming an infinite amount if it were to devourer every dimension."
From: Beyond Time