Chrono Cross Resolutions
by The Chrono Compendium
With direct quotations from:
- chrono eric
and contributing discussion from many others.
When Chrono Cross concluded, it wrapped up a grand adventure involving many of El Nido's residents, two parallel universes, and a threat to the space-time continuum itself. The world was saved, but what became of the heroes? The ending raised more questions than it solved in this regard, as Schala spoke of the planet and alternated between Kid's voice and her own. Serge was also sent back to forget the entire adventure in 1020 A.D., yet somehow, Schala noted she would "look for him." To top the mysteries off, the unified dimension proposes the question of the chronology of its history. Which history was used? Was Home World simply made the new history of the world, since Serge lived, or was some kind of ideal balance struck between the two former dimensions? These questions and others continue to persist long after Chrono Cross's release, rendering the state of the world following the adventure a mystery. The theories and conjecture are numerous, no matter where their roots lie -- in Belthasar's motivations, Schala's designs, or logic and strict analysis. With Chrono Cross Resolutions, the Chrono Compendium aims to explain the fates of the Chrono Cross team and the world following Cross as best as can be done.
The article will first speak on the Unified Dimension, the impact of the Sea of Eden and the Time Crash, and a possible history of the new timeline. Then the article will shift gears towards character coverage. The companion piece to this article is Fates of the Chrono Trigger Team.
- 1 The Ideal Timeline
- 2 Character Fates
- 3 Alternative Theory
- 4 Conclusion and Thanks
The Ideal Timeline
Chrono Cross ends, presumably, by restoring the dimensions to one unified world.
The basis for this conclusion lies with Schala, who says:
Time, which has been divided, will be unified again now.
However, the melding of two timelines causes problems. For instance, which timeline, that of Home or Another, is allowed to continue as the real history of the world? Or can the unification be taken literally to mean the two timelines merge? This scenario also raises questions. Consider Fargo and the S.S. Invincible. In Another World, Fargo became a sea pirate after an incident with General Viper, while in Home World, he was unable to come to grips with the ordeal and turned into a spineless casino baron. If the dimensions merged, which history would become final? In any case, three clear possibilities have emerged for this scenario.
The dimensions weren't unified, but rather Schala never interfered with time in 1006 A.D., preempting the events that shaped Chrono Cross's history. Time then proceeded normally from 1006 A.D. on, resulting it a new timeline whose details are unknown (apart from the fact that Serge lived, and he and Leena still are friends). The new timeline would proceed like this:
- Serge bitten by panther demon.
- Wazuki and Miguel brings Serge to Marbule, and there Serge was healed by the witch doctor.
- Serge never drowns (since Lynx was never there), and the world never divides.
- Serge continues with his life, except he finds that one day he falls unconscious at the beach. And then he wakes to find that he has in his mind a set of memories from some other Serge in some other world. This other Serge is the Serge who once lived in Home World and defeated the Time Devourer. Note that under the Time Bastard theory, the Serge indigenous to the Ideal Timeline would be replaced by the one coming in from Home World / the Darkness Beyond Time. Everyone would have their memories erased following the unification, consistent with what Schala had predicted. The exception is Serge of course.
The worst problem with this idea is that Kid would have never been created as part of Project Kid. Even this stipulation is debatable; perhaps Kid might have still come in to the world. At any rate, these points are so far removed from the original idea that they are almost moot, as Chrono Cross leaves much to be desired in terms of explaining its resolution. While ideas like Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard can be applied to these possibilities, it's tenuous to do so because so little is known.
Somehow, the Chrono Cross was able to rewrite history taking the most optimal elements from each dimension and combining them. In this scenario, the Acacia Dragoons would live, but so would the Hydra; Marbule would be restored, but Fargo would remain an independent, self-made pirate without regrets. This theory is troublesome, as who is to determine what is good or bad in each dimension? The Chrono Cross would have to have a complete awareness of history and human emotion from 1010 A.D. onward in El Nido. FATE could provide something like that, but FATE was destroyed by Serge prior to the resolution of the game. Additionally, the Records of FATE weren't working in Home World anyway.
Since Serge is depicted as being alive at the end of the game, Home World's history could have been used as default. Serge only lived in that dimension, as he was absent from Another starting with the time of the dimensional split.
Dimensional Travelers' Immunity
My theory is that since every event is somehow tied to a character on your team that a 'dimension travelers immunity' would rule that dictate what gets chosen for example Fargo the pirate joins you so in the final version he is a pirate. the guy in Arni isnt a fisherman because that scenario leaves no room for Mojoy who would have dimension travelers immunity.
The second is a little more complex it involves the question as to how the history is rewritten after the merger and all the paradoxes it creates; my theory is best explained by a drawing:
_____1010_____1020_____ here is the timeline in Chrono cross \__________ _____1010_____1020_____ and here is the currently accepted final outcome
But what if... The dimensions only fused in 1020 and were still seperate until then.
This way requires no rewriting of history, and simply merges the two in 1020 A.D. Everyone without dimension travelers immunity is unaware of the occurrence.
The problem is the members could be from either world, so the events associated could be either version (they could contradict each other).
For example, Radius is the chief of Arni in home world. But a member from another world may see things differently, because in their memory, Radius is a hermit during the time. Pirate Fargo may not have any idea on what the Grandslam is; he (and his crew) may not know Janice and Sneff. And if the crew live a different life, their families or the people they used to know may have been living a different life was well, causing chain effects.
The Time Crash
Setting the mystery of the unified timeline aside, we now turn to the Sea of Eden and the Time Crash. This topic is important because it has a large effect on how the ideal timeline would turn out. Specifically, these hard questions must be asked: Would Chronopolis exist in the new world, since the Time Crash would not happen in the future? What about Dinopolis; would its effects be felt? These questions are deceptively simple on the surface, judging by the ending. After the Time Devourer is defeated, Serge clearly returns to El Nido on the beach, where he meets Leena. This establishes that El Nido was terraformed and settled as had been done before, and by extension, also felt the influence of the Dragonians and endured the same basic history up until 1020 A.D. Under this logic, it's a given that Chronopolis still went back in time, considering its workers were the first settlers of El Nido. But without a necessary Time Crash, how is this contradictory situation possible? The time travel rules laid out in Chrono Trigger provide a possible framework.
Time Crash Shift
GrayLensman extensively wrote this for the Salt for the Dead Sea article. Taken from there, here is the theory concerning the Time Crash:
The Time Crash was completely unlike standard forms of time travel.
- Chronopolis and Dinopolis contained many more than three entities, violating the Conservation of Time theorem.
- A three-dimensional region of space, containing a vast area of the earth's surface, was transported. This is opposed to Gate travel, where the horizon of the Gate acts as a portal from one space-time to another. Gates displace their spherical volume in normal space-time -- they do not envelop a region of space and transport it through time.
- The area of the Sea of Eden was still linked to the cause and effect of the future. Unlike normal time traveling, where travelers are not affected by changes to their past world line, the Sea of Eden changes along with the timeline. In Home World, the Day of Lavos still occurred and Chronopolis changed into the Dead Sea, reflecting the ruin of the future.
The conclusion is that the region of the Sea of Eden containing Chronopolis in the Chrono T-2 dimension and Dinopolis in the Reptite dimension did not time travel at all. Rather, the counter-time experiment created a space-time warp which brought the space-time coordinates of the area surrounding the Sea of Eden in 2400 A.D. into conjunction with the space-time coordinates of the Sea of Eden in 12,000 B.C. The substance of Chronopolis and Dinopolis was not transported through time; a region of space-time in 12,000 B.C. became that same region in 2400 A.D.
The edge of the Sea of Eden was separated from the space-time of 2400 A.D. and connected to the space-time of 12000 BC. The Sea of Eden and the rest of the world both moved forward through time at the normal rate so that in 1020 A.D., Chronopolis was in 11,020 A.D. The boundary of the Sea of Eden anomaly allowed an entity to travel 10,000 years into the future. Passing through this boundary is exactly like time traveling through a Gate or in a vehicle. Time is Conserved and travelers become immune to timeline changes.
In 2400 AD.., I image that the Time Crash would appear as if the area of the Sea of Eden collapsed into a singularity. A hole was made in space-time, and the edges of the hole were pulled in to fill the void. In 12,000 B.C., the future Sea of Eden space would expand from a singularity, enveloping the past Sea of Eden.
When the timeline was changed so that the Time Crash did not occur, the Sea of Eden in 12,000 B.C. remained unchanged. The version of the Sea of Eden which contained Chronopolis was sent into the DBT. However, the boundary of the Sea of Eden behaved like a Gate, even though the space-time anomaly no longer existed. Any entities which crossed the boundary from the future Sea of Eden into the 12,000 B.C. world were protected from changes made to the timeline. Each time an entity crossed the boundary from the Sea of Eden in the original timeline, that same entity appeared at the boundary in the new timeline. The settlers of El Nido appeared out of thin air at the edge of the Sea of Eden. If and when the entities returned to the Sea of Eden in the original timeline, the new versions of the entities were sent into the DBT, in accordance with the Time Bastard theory. Since the outside world was identical in both timelines, the new versions of the entities ceased to exist just as they crossed the conceptual boundary of the Sea of Eden, maintaining the illusion that anomaly was still there. Thus, El Nido was constructed and settled by humans and Reptites, even though Chronopolis and Dinopolis no longer existed in the past.
An unfortunate consequence of this theory is that any entity to ever exit the anomaly must appear at the boundary of the Sea of Eden regardless of changes to the timeline. It is not known how many entities exited Chronopolis/Sea of Eden/Dead Sea after 12,000 B.C. (in Another World only), but they would end up wandering around the new timeline. Some of these entities would eventually be sent into the DBT as a result of the Time Bastard theory if they originally time/dimensional traveled. Maybe Schala could have just sent them all into the DBT. This problem could be potentially far-reaching.
Tracking Time Traveler's Immunity
As stated within theory, the main point of concern is the Gate Effect, which must be resolved as the same basic principle behind it (Time Traveler's Immunity) is what enables the theory to work in the first place. Specifically, the Gate Effect states that an entity who crosses in or out of the Sea of Eden effectively time traveled, and that these actions are protected under Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard. These theories are fully outlined at Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel. This means that even though there's no Chronopolis in 12,000 B.C., the settlers still appear at the boundary of the Sea of Eden and move to El Nido, as their original crossing their boundary was an act of time travel (going 14,400 years into the past). Similarly, since Dinopolis's entrance to the world also probably qualifies it as an act of time travel, it should appear. Farther along the line, problems arise. We can attempt to track each entrance and exit in the Sea of Eden. Keeping the theory of Time Bastard in mind, we can also trace those effects.
- Several fighter jets cross the boundary to do battle with Dinopolis; later, many settlers empty into El Nido with Records of Fate to set up paradise.
- Wazuki, Miguel, and Serge enter the Sea of Eden
- Wazuki and Serge both exit
- Miguel would be stranded 14,400 years in the future.
- Wazuki would kill Serge, and then enter the Sea of Eden to be reshaped as Lynx.
- The Dimensions split by Kid, who travels from 1020 to 1010 in Another World.
- Lynx and Harle would conceivably enter and exit the Sea of Eden to venture to Lucca's house to abduct the scientist. It is possible that he remained on the outside world during this time, however.
- Lynx could conceivably enter and exit the Sea of Eden as he went about his business duping Porre and the Acacia Dragoons. In Home World, he would enter with the Acacia Dragoons, who would never return.
- Serge would enter and exit the Dead Sea of Home World.
- Serge would enter and exit the Sea of Eden in Another World, as would Lynx enter; the Dragon God would similarly make an appearance and exit, though Lynx would never re-emerge (as he was defeated).
- Serge, Starky, and others would enter the Sea of Eden to affix their anti-gravity device to Korcha's boat.
- Serge would return from the Darkness Beyond Time to Opassa Beach, qualifying as time travel.
Now, under this close adherence to Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard, Kid would arrive in the world in 1004 A.D., and the new version of Serge would be replaced in 1006 A.D. by the boy who had just been healed by the Frozen Flame. Wazuki would similarly be replaced by a version corrupted by the Frozen Flame, though no FATE would mean his corruption could not be taken advantage of. Nonetheless, if radio waves or other methods of communications are similarly protected by TTI, they might still emerge and direct Lynx in the world. Miguel may sadly get the shaft here; the new version would simply be shunted to the Darkness Beyond Time. Later, in 1010 A.D., Wazuki would be replaced by Lynx, emerging from the Sea of Eden. Again, with no FATE to control Lynx, he may simply be befuddled, though his sadistic nature may still spell trouble for others. Later, if Lynx and Harle entered and exited the Sea of Eden before 1015 A.D. originally, the present versions of Lynx and Harle (as she would exist from coming in from the DBT during her creation) would be replaced by the versions exiting the Sea of Eden with the mission of abducting Lucca. Once again, since no FATE link might exist, the two may simply wonder what happened to Chronopolis. These versions might in turn be replaced by the ones from 1017 A.D. Much later, in 1020 A.D., the new version of Serge would be replaced by the one who came in from defeating the Time Devourer. This old Serge would be exempt from any future changes, since his personal history and time traveling is the most current and up to date of any version. However, Kid may be shunted out later in 1020 A.D. at the time of the original Kid's venture to split the dimensions.
The Unification Fixes Things?
This causes a myriad of questions and effects. Wazuki would be precluded from continuing his life, and would instead by replaced through Time Bastard by his later self as Lynx. Harle would also exist once more, and would conceivably be free to live on her own until the time the Dragon God returned to the Darkness Beyond Time after being defeated by Serge atop Terra Tower. This would cause each Dragon God to disappear to the DBT, including Harle, who originated from that area. In the future, Kid would be replaced by her old self, resulting in a loss of all Kid and Serge achieved while traveling together. And this does not even attempt to take into account the Schala / Kid merging inquiry, which appears later in this article. If anything, these cases are supported by the ending in that it appears exactly how Serge left it before Chrono Cross. The two converse on the beach just as they did before, which suggests the old history (with Lynx and the other sorrows) still exists.
Considering that the above framework would not only ruin Wazuki's life again, but would also result in the Chrono Cross Kid's nullification through Time Bastard, it appears harsh and unfit for the ending of the game. This suggests that the Time Crash Shift theory may be bunk. However, it is very possible that the unification of the dimensions simply changed things and rewrote history sufficiently to nullify these time travel effects. Chronopolis's effects would still be felt, as El Nido would still be founded, but any traveling following the split would be simply tossed out and the affected parties would be free to live their lives. Wazuki might not turn into Lynx; Lucca's orphanage would not be burned, and Harle may or may not exist at all. On top of all these complications, Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard also function for dimensional travel. If Serge took Home Van across the dimensions, then in the Ideal Timeline, is the new Van replaced at some point in 1020 A.D. by this Time Bastard-protected person? Are we really going to negate this ideal, dual-existence fused new person to preserve the dimensional bastard? This needlessly complicates things further, making the idea that the dimensional unification smoothed everything over.
Summarily, at present, it is impossible to precisely gauge the nature of the Ideal Timeline. Ideally, people would be free to live independently of past actions and cases of time travel. Further elaboration (perhaps in a new Chrono game) is needed to pin down what does and doesn't happen. The fundamental question will also have to be addressed by the game -- that is, if Chronopolis isn't required to come back in time, why does El Nido still exist? Hopefully more information will be made available in the future.
A Proposed Timeline
This timeline represents what may happen in the Ideal Timeline. Since virtually no information exists on the ending of the game, this is not necessarily canon information:
- From the perspective of the time-line, once Serge defeats the Time Devourer, it is as if it never existed.
- When Belthasar warps from Zeal to the new timeline, he does not discover that Schala had been absorbed by the TD, and he does not start Project Kid.
- In 2400 A.D., FATE and Chronopolis were never built, the Frozen Flame lays dead on the bottom of the ocean, and the counter-time experiment does not take place.
- Lavos does not create a temporal distortion connecting Chronopolis to 10,000 years in the past, and the planet does not do the same for Dinopolis from the Reptite dimension.
- In 12,000 B.C., Chronopolis and Dinopolis possibly fight due to a Gate effect, but it is probably unlikely.
- Because the temporal distortion surrounding Chronopolis acts like a Gate, Chronopolis' residents appear in the Sea of Eden due to TTI and begin to terraform and colonize El Nido as if FATE and Chronopolis still existed. The same goes for Dinopolis, meaning Elements still might be developed. In 2400 A.D., the people who would have worked at Chronopolis mysteriously dissappear due to Time Bastard.
- The Records of FATE never work, except perhaps according to preprogrammed instructions. Elements may or may not have be developed.
- Serge is born in 1003 A.D.
- Schala does not create Kid, but she may appear in 1004 A.D. due to TTI.
- Whatever happened to Guardia in 1005 A.D. hopefully doesn't occur.
- In 1006 A.D., Schala does not create a magnetic storm, and Serge does not go to Chronopolis. Wazuki does not become Lynx and Miguel is not imprisoned in the Dead Sea.
- In 1010 A.D., Wazuki does not attack Serge and he does not drown. The dimensional split does not occur.
- In 1015 A.D., Lynx does not attack Lucca's Orphanage (if it exists) or abduct Lucca.
- Kid probably still becomes a Radical Dreamer, if just by choice alone, based on a cutscene at the ending depicting her in her thief clothes sailing on the sea.
- In 1020 A.D., the new version of Serge disappears due to Time Bastard. The original version of Serge (protected by TTI from warping to the DBT) is sent to Opassa Beach by Schala. Serge's dimension crossing adventure does not occur. What happens to Schala and/or Kid is covered below.
Keep in mind that this timeline represents an ideal situation.
We now turn our attention to the fates of the key players of Chrono Cross in rough order of importance. The above section may have implications on their destinies.
Memory of the Journey
But before going on, we must first consider: who remembered Chrono Cross after it took place? Schala noted that Serge would forget his memories of the adventure, and perhaps by extension that the others would too. Additionally, only three people fought at the Darkness Beyond Time, meaning if history were changed on the outside, the party members still in the real world would be changed as well to new versions without any knowledge of the adventure. Who remembers the journey after it is all said in done?
We can rely on a few observations for this inquiry. Firstly, when Serge returns from the Darkness Beyond Time, he mentions some aspects of the quest to Leena, suggesting that instead of having his memory "wiped" of the data, it's simply being locked away akin to amnesia, perhaps able to be retrieved through psychiatry in the future. In this manner, Serge would forget the adventure so that he could more easily blend back into his normal life. The reasons for this are shaky; undoubtedly, Serge grew as a person while traveling to save time, and denying him his memories and experience would deny him growth. Since nothing definitive is given on the subject apart from Schala's promise, it is possible that Serge did remember, and that his muttering about FATE can be considered evidence supporting this idea. But that leaves the rest of the party, not counting Kid. Would they remember? The principles of time and dimensional travel dictate that if the party members were in the real world with time being changed externally in the past from the Darkness Beyond Time, their personal histories would be rewritten and they would have no knowledge of the change. This sounds somewhat harsh, as they are also being denied their growth, but unlike Serge's case, we never see what happens to them. Three more stipulations apply:
- Time Traveler's Immunity would ensure a version of them would appear in 1020 A.D. at Opassa Beach due to the Gate Effect. However, this Gate Effect would rely on acting on the foundation of two dimensions, and the dimensional unification only leaves one.
- The characters at the Darkness Beyond Time with Serge all talk about what they plan to do in the future, suggesting they remember.
- The characters at the Darkness Beyond Time would also being exempt from having their history rewritten.
With these facts in mind, it is conceivable that a few characters (the ones Serge brought with him to the Darkness Beyond Time) could remember the adventure, but the rest would largely have no idea it ever took place. Though this seems harsh, the nature of the dimensional unification might at least leave their actions intact by creating a world with the best possible outcome. One interesting tenet of this situation is that Magus, unless he were in an extra temporal location or in contact with Belthasar, would have no idea what happened to his sister after the quest ended.
Belthasar's fate after Chrono Cross is uncertain. After a certain point in the game, he repaired the Neo Epoch, his personal time travel vehicle at Viper Manor, and departed. He later appeared to Serge with illusory magic at Terra Tower before bowing out of the stage altogether. Where he goes afterwards is a complete mystery. It is possible that he retreated to spectate the battle between the Time Devourer or Serge, or returned to the future to monitor the progress of time after his changes had been invoked. He might also leave to avoid getting caught up in the dimensional unification, perhaps going to the End of Time to watch the events from afar. In any event, it is apparent that Project Kid occurred precisely because Belthasar had a vested interest in the state of the space-time continuum. It is not out of the question for him to return to the future and assume a role akin to Gaspar, ensuring that no further temporal aberrations occur.
Tia and Orlha
Tia and Orlha are a special case; either version is missing in both worlds. It's uncertain which would end up back in El Nido, and which would be away (since they were separated by their parents).
There's also the old theory that they're dimensional equivalents. They appear to be dimensional equivalents of each other, but at the same time exist as independent people. For instance, instead of, say, the dimensions splitting Van into one who paints and the other who looks for cash, the dimensions might split one person into the normal Van and another into Cliff, a completely different person. This is possibly the case with Tia and Orlha, who knew of each other but at the same time "never met" until Orlha crossed the dimensions with Serge and visited her "sister." Since the two share this special status, it is unknown how they would exist in the unified dimension (since only one version of the "Orlha / Tia" personage could continue existing). Since Tia does die in Home World, Orlha has a better chance of being the true version of herself and living in the Ideal Timeline, with Tia perhaps an anomaly resulting from an imperfect dimensional split. Notwithstanding the conclusion, Orlha will probably at least remember her sister from the adventure.
When Robo was last seen in Chrono Trigger, he was sitting on a cliff with Atropos XR happily living out his life. Later, he volunteered to be an integral part of Project Kid by fulfilling the role of the Prometheus Circuit (yes, it was him, as confirmed by Masato Kato, series plot creator). After holding the Frozen Flame from FATE for years, he was finally terminated in 1020 A.D. in front of Serge and his adventurers. Though this is a grim fate for Robo, it does not necessarily happen after Chrono Cross takes place and the dimensions are unified. As stated in section 1, Chronopolis is probably not built in the future; even if it is, Project Kid would not be undertaken and no Time Crash would occur. This means Robo could continue living with Atropos in the ideal timeline, free from obligation and his duty to Belthasar.
Serge and the Team
After Cross concludes, Serge returns to the modern era, supposedly without memory of the incident (see section 2.1 - Memory of the Journey). Under the framework spelled out there, most of the team would exist in their normal lives naturally, perhaps with improved situations due to the nature of the dimensional unification. Serge's fate is interesting, however. On Schala's desk, seen in the opening and closing cutscenes, a photo exists in the upper right corner. This photo depicts a man and a woman seated. These include Kid (or Schala, or some variant; see the section below) and Serge in wedding uniform. The identity of the two people in the picture was debated for some time until Missing Piece scans were obtained. One depicted Serge in a wedding saris (an outer garment worn chiefly by women of India and Pakistan, consisting of a length of lightweight cloth with one end wrapped about the waist to form a skirt and the other draped over the shoulder or covering the head). View the picture below...
(The captions on either side in the original scans read, "[Character] in Wedding / Ceremonial Dress")
Apparently, after the adventure, Serge and Kid were wed (we can reasonably conclude that the woman depicted is Kid, as it appears under her concept art in Missing Piece). What happens beyond this marriage (or perhaps shortly before) is an enigma, however. It is possible that he lived out his life in the 11th century with Kid. The identity of the girl he married is impacted by the situation addressed below concerning Kid and Schala. On we go...
Schala and Kid
The most persistent mystery of the ending of Chrono Cross is the fate of Schala and Kid. The conclusion of the game is hopelessly ambiguous, and both character seem to appear in the closing. Before mulling over possible solutions and outcomes, let us first review the facts to form a logical foundation for analysis.
- Kid and Schala are independent persons, the former being created through unique conditions.
- Schala and Kid seem to both be present at the Darkness Beyond Time when the Chrono Cross is used.
- The following text appears:
Serge...! Don't go yet, Serge...!!! It's alright. Everything is alright now. Time, which has been divided, will be unified again now. The time for farewells has come... You will lose all memory of this whole adventure and return to your own time. But this time, you will be able to live your own life! We alone do not have the power to heal the world's woes, or to solve all its mysteries. And yet, even then... It was bloody good knowing ya, mate! Thanks for being born '"you,"' Serge! I guess now's the time to say, '"see ya later, mate!"' But... I'll find ya... Sometime, somewhere... I'm bloody sure of it! No matter the time period, no matter the world ya live in, I'll find ya! I'm sure... I am sure I will find you... ______________________ Thus the curtain closes on another tale. An eternity has passed... Fleeting dreams fade into the distance... All that is left now Is me and my memories... But I'm sure we'll meet again, Someday, you and I... Another place, another time. It's just that we might not realize That you are you and I am me... Let us open the door to the great unknown, Come across another reality, And live another today... Even when the story has been told, Life goes on... Until we meet again, Take care of yourself, my friend... Forever yours, Schala "Kid" Zeal
- Serge returns to Opassa Beach with supposedly no memory of what happened, with Kid nowhere in sight.
- A picture exist on Schala's desk of Kid and Serge married.
- In various endings, Kid still seems to exist as a unique entity, appearing at the dock in "General Kid" and "The True Hero."
With these observations in mind, we have the following questions:
- Did Schala and Kid unify into one being, as evidenced by the diary-signing 'Schala "Kid" Zeal'?
- Where did Schala, Kid, or both go after the events came to a close?
- Who married Serge; Schala, Kid, or the unified being?
- What does Schala mean that she will search for Serge (or someone else), when she should know exactly where he is (1020 A.D.)?
With these questions and observations in mind we can begin analyzing and creating a framework. By far, the heaviest question is whether Schala and Kid merged into one being or stayed the same. The evidence for the former is found in Schala's signing her diary with the "Kid" nickname and also speaking like Kid at the Darkness Beyond Time. Since no definite conclusion is given, let's explore frameworks for either case.
Schala and Kid Don't Merge
Let us discuss what might be the case if Schala and Kid don't merge. The evidence pointing in favor of this scenario are the cut scene depicting Kid sailing by herself (which we do not know takes place before or after the game) and the lack of hard, visual evidence that the merger takes place.
Where did they go after the dimensional unification?
Under this idea, Schala's lines about searching for someone could be interpreted to mean that she is looking for Magus, her brother, who she probably knows to be looking for her. This would adequately resolve Magus' absence from the story; he was going to be in Chrono Cross until the developers judged his storyline too hard to integrate and simply made Guile an independent person. Meanwhile, Kid would remain in El Nido. This possibility is supported by the endings, in which Kid seems to stick around after the Time Devourer is defeated. Presumably, Kid and Serge would again meet.
Who would get married?
Kid and Serge would wed, while Schala searched for Janus throughout time. This is supported by the nature of the photograph on the desk in the closing and opening cutscenes. It is not a clear, crisp photo, but rather appears to be a daguerreotype, most likely suiting it to the technological state of the world in 1020 A.D. The only issue is, how would the photograph come into Schala's possession? This is remedied by the possibility that perhaps Schala visited them or attended the wedding, and kept a keepsake. Schala's search for Janus explains the person walking around a modern day city looking for someone in the ending cutscene.
Concerning her signing the diary "Schala "Kid" Zeal," keep in mind that either woman could sign in this manner. Lucca notes in her letter than someday, Kid will know her "true name and heritage." This suggests that Kid's proper name is Schala Zeal.
This wraps this framework up. The only rough spots include Schala's speaking in Kid's dialect at the ending, owning a photograph of Kid and Serge's marriage, and searching for Janus despite the context of her words suggesting she would search for Serge. This framework is finally supported, conversely, by Masato Kato's statement in the Procyon Studio interview:
"But I think this really concludes everything, once and for all. Or... I guess maybe you could say that with this, Kid and Serge can finally begin their true "journey." Heh heh.. (the meaning behind this statement, including my suspicious little chuckle, lies within the ending of Cross... so please look forward to it.)"
The Argument Against
- Kid is vehemently against the idea that she IS Schala, and Lucca says that Schala would have wanted it that way. This suggests that Kid is, in fact, her own being, independent of Schala, and that Schala would respect this. This is a bit tenuous, since we don't hear Schala say this herself; however, given that Kid and Schala are similar, Kid's opinions would be somewhat akin to Schala's, no? Either way, I think Schala would take a benevolent view of Kid's identity, and allow her to be her own person, if possible.
- I don't think that Schala, having experienced aeons of suffering after fusing with the various entities in the Darkness Beyond Time, would forcibly merge herself with Kid, if she could prevent it. And we're told that Kid is a copy of Schala, not a part of her, so it may not have been necessary for them to fuse at all.
- Belthesar is very careful in his dialogue when he appears in Terra Tower. He states that it is Kid who traveled back in time to save Serge at Opassa beach, creating the dimensional split, and that it was Kid who called Serge across the dimensions. He also states that Kid traveled from ten years in the future to accomplish both aims, from the year 1127 A.D. Given this, I would say that the entity known as "Kid" must still exist in the future, and is capable of autonomous movement.
- Some of the strongest evidence against the idea of Kid and Schala existing as independent beings appears in the credits of the "good" ending: in this ending, we see someone with a more feminine appearance than Kid's at Opassa beach, presumably to summon Serge into the other dimension. Also, the journal is signed "Schala 'Kid' Zeal". But I don't think these two things mean that Kid and Schala have become one. Rather, I think they mean the exact opposite!
Remember, we're dealing with events ten years in the future. In 1117 A.D., about the time that Chrono Cross takes place, Kid is only 16, and she's a pretty headstrong youth. It's fair to assume that by 1127 A.D., Kid has grown and come into her own; many people have similar experiences as they grow up. This would explain why she would appear so different without necessitating her merging with Schala.
As for the journal... it is wholly possible that Kid, having no real name besides "Kid", would eventually come to terms with her identity as (at worst) Schala's clone, or as her daughter, and take on Schala's name. But this would still allow her to retain her own name. Lucca alludes to this in her letter to Kid. Also, if they didn't merge, Schala would have no reason to take on Kid's name, since she was never called by it.
Further, we see Kid traveling in her thief's costume some time after the events of the game. To me, this suggests that someone with Kid's persona is traveling with some intent, which goes along with the idea that Kid finds Serge after the events of the game. I don't know whether she is leaving El Nido or returning to it, or whether she is just traveling through it (since a large vessel is needed to traverse the currents to leave the archipelago at certain times of the year). Simply put, we don't know where Kid would have been left after the final battle. Everyone else would have returned to where Serge found them, with some variances, given that they would then be in the Ideal Timeline.
However, this raises a question: where is Kid? She never appears in Home World; even when we visit Guldove in Home World, her place in the clinic has been taken by Orlha's sister, Tia. We are never told what became of Kid is Home World; for all we know, she was killed by Lynx and Harle. That, or she's on the mainland. Given this, it's safe to assume that Kid returned to either the mainland or El Nido, and began to search for Serge. After all, there's no reason for her to forget everything; in fact, it would create a paradox, since it's a future Kid who is supposed to create the dimensions and save Serge.
Schala and Kid Merge
Here is what might happen if they did merge.
Where did she go?
Schala "Kid" Zeal's destination is apparently a mystery. She notes that she will search for Serge, though it should be obvious to her that he is in El Nido at 1020 A.D. She also has a photograph of her marriage with him, which also is inconsistent with a need to search for the hero. However, this can be remedied by a somewhat stretch of an idea. Perhaps at the time of the diary's entry, Schala and Serge had long since been married, and Serge had died. Schala's entry would suggest she believes in reincarnation, or that perhaps Serge fell into some kind of temporal or dimensional distortion, and that she must find him. Or, she simply could be reflecting on the search as if she were reading from her diary.
One possible idea of the above two theories is that, whether or not Kid survives, Schala is shunted to another dimension apart from the Keystone Dimension (the name given to the universe in which the main Chrono Trigger > Chrono Cross continuity occurs). This theory relies on the Darkness Beyond Time possibly being multidimensional, a scenario explored in Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel. Under this idea, Schala, at the end of Chrono Cross, would be thrown to a different dimension. She would still search for Serge, hoping that some version of him might exist in the world. This explains the person walking around a modern day city looking for someone in the ending cutscene. This theory does not exactly take into account the presence of the wedding photo on Schala's desk. That can be explained away if one simply considers the photo to have been taken during the events of Chrono Cross, and taken by Schala as a keepsake. This theory does resolve how Serge and Leena could continue loving one another in the Keystone Dimension, and Serge and Schala / Kid could marry in a new dimension.
Unfortunately, this theory is negated by Masato Kato's comments on the ending movie depicting Kid in a modern day city. Continue reading...
At the end of the game, we see what appears to be Kid sailing the seas on a boat. Who is this person, and where are they going? There is nothing definitive concerning this mystery. The simple answer is that it is meant to represent Kid arriving at El Nido, as she did before Chrono Cross to search for the Frozen Flame and exact revenge upon Lynx. An alternative theory is that it depicts Kid / Schala leaving El Nido. However, this is not consistent with the search for Serge and the white gown that a possible "Schala "Kid" Zeal" wears in another cutscene.
The True Ending Meaning
Masato Kato divulged the true meaning of the ending movie in his interview for Chrono Cross Ultimania.
"I thought that was the perfect material to use to give meaning to a parallel world. In each independent parallel world there would be respective developing stories. If we did it that way, people at home could use the experience of Serge in the game’s worlds to think about the reality of their own world. Maybe somewhere in our world there’s a Kid, and surely someday we will find and meet. For a long time I’ve wanted realizations developed from games to not just stop with the game, and now I feel I’ve done it right. There’s a message that comes after the ending movie finished, and I hope that all players will understand these words that have come from my heart. That’s what I’d love to have happen."
Masato Kato intended Serge's realization that things were different in Another World and his meeting of Kid to provoke players into thinking about their own world. The movie was a way of provoking thought from the players; in this sense, that city can be designated as in "our" dimension, presumably Tokyo. As a result, this movie holds no real canonical importance for Kid and Serge, but is rather a thematic stroke aimed at players. For that reason, the ending of the game probably establishes Kid and Schala as different people. Schala goes off to regions unknown, while Kid promises Serge that she will find him in the real world. She apparently does and they wed, and later on, Kid reads from her diary (as Serge does Radical Dreamers) and reflects on the journey. In the end, we know Kid and Serge presumably reunited, but the fates of Schala and Magus are still an enigma.
The above effectively concludes the known facts and analysis concerning Schala and Kid's fates. However, one more facet of Chrono Cross's resolution remains untouched... Leena's predicament. Signs point to a long relationship between Leena and Serge; they are confirmed boyfriend / girlfriend by a third party in Arni, have known each other since childhood, and even speculate about having children and living together. It thus seems harsh and somewhat inconsistent for Serge to run off and marry Kid after the events of the game, especially considering that Serge returns to Leena upon Opassa Beach. Notwithstanding, the Home World Leena is absent for most of the game, and Schala may have had her mind set on Serge for a long time (she saved him from the panther demon by causing the magnetic storm, after all). Still, it is unclear how the Leena situation could be completely dissolved in favor of Kid after Chrono Cross concludes. Barring Leena's outright unfortunate death, something would have to change, or the photo would not be of Serge from the Keystone Dimension (or Serge at all, though this goes against concept art).
Even if it were meant for the version of Leena who grew up without Serge, the Fortune Teller's advice may hold true for the real article:
It says, you will not find a boyfriend for a long time. Fortunetelling is such a merciless thing...
By evaluating concepts of Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard, chrono eric and Eske proposed an alternative theory, based on a few key assumptions:
- Dimensional Traveler's Immunity and Dimensional Bastard effects exist, but don't apply to the timeline after the unification of dimensions.
- Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard are not preserved in the traditional sense after the Ideal Timeline is created, except for very unusual cases.
- Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard will be preserved if the travel spans either side of the unification point.
The following quote about the Chrono Cross is also salient to their theory.
Crono on Opassa Beach says:
It has the power to cross space and time and unify people's thoughts and feelings... It has the power to transfer memories...
Their theoretical basis is the following problem:
- The Chrono Cross unifies dimensions. For all characters except Serge and his companions who defeated the Time Devourer, fusion took place. Van X in Home World and Van Y in Another World become Van XY in the Ideal Timeline.
- Characters who return from the Darkness Beyond Time are either 100% X or 100% Y, and this is inconsistent with the Ideal Timeline's fusion.
Thus, they propose that with Crono's knowledge, and with the impossibility of rigidly enforcing TTI, TB, DTI, and DB on the characters of Chrono Cross following the split, the Chrono Cross transfers memories or essence to any XY members of the Ideal Timeline, and the originals become Dimensional Bastards. Let's apply this to certain characters:
Serge XY is created at the unification point. Serge from the DBT does not re-emerge in the timeline as per our theory. He is eliminated. Serge XY does not disappear due to TB as per our theory. He regains his memories because of the Chrono Cross.
Our theory predicts that Belthesar will emerge in 2300 AD and see a bright and shiny future as usual. He would not find that Schala is bound to the Time Devourer and he would not start the sequence of events to initiate Project Kid (even though everything associated with Project Kid is still preserved under TTI in the past). However, the Belthesar from during the game could possibly have escaped to the End of Time to watch the events unfold and still exist as well. (The former would inevitably be a Time Bastard.)
Robo would never partake in Project Kid and would presumably live out his life with Atropos in 2300 A.D.
- Miscellaneous characters
According to our theory, everyone would become fused with their counterparts at the unification point and would not remember the adventure as Schala predicted. However, it's possible that the Chrono Cross could transfer their memories to at some point. It would seem a shame that they would miss out on the personal development they underwent during their quest.
- Dragon Gods
The Dragon Gods are a mysterious case. It's possible that the Dragon Gods would all exist within the El Nido archipelago until 1010 A.D. FATE's power over them is transferred across the boundary of the Sea of Eden, and this is normally protected by TTI. But after 1010 A.D. TTI events that happened in one world but not the other are not preserved. So presumably the Dragon Gods would be free to become the fused Dragon God once more after the unification point and Terra Tower would reawaken. This is what is most predicted by our theory. What significance this has for the fate of the El Nido islands is unknown.
Harle was created in 1004 A.D. before the unification point. At the unification point she becomes Harle XY. (50% Harle X/50% Harle Y). Harle Y in Home World dies in the Dead Sea in the game, but this does not happen in the Ideal Timeline. Since all TTI/TB events after the split are not conserved, our theory predicts that Harle XY continues on living her life freely; an ideal situation, if you will.
Kid is an interesting case and requires further analysis. When Kid traveled back in time to save Serge it was a time travel event that spanned the unification point but it also assisted in creating the dimensional split. Let's see what happens to Kid in the Ideal Timeline:
- Dimension X: Kid (X) time travels to the past to save Serge
- Dimension K, Kid (X) Emerges at Time X, young Kid (X) exists in the past
- ---> SP ---->
- Dimension Y: Kid (Y) does not time travel
To slightly modify Eske's numerical example. Dimension K/X has a value of +1, -1 = 0. Dimension Y has a value of 0. All matter is conserved.
After the reunification, Kid XY exists after the RU point but does not disappear due to TB as per our theory. That means that Kid X appears before the RU point, but she is not extra information until the RU point. This means that at the RU point is when she would be TB'd away. Depending on the true origin in time of the dimensional split, which Cross is hopelessly ambiguous about, this could mean that Kid does not save Serge from drowning, which is important for the next character - Wazuki/Lynx.
Dimension K, Kid X appears due to TTI but is sent to the DBT and does not save Serge ---> RP ---> Dimension XY: Kid XY does not disappear due to TB as per our theory
Dimension K/XY numerical value - 0. Matter is conserved.
So, because Kid does not appear to save Serge from drowning, and because Serge is obviously still alive in the Ideal Timeline, this means that Wazuki/Lynx never attempted to kill Serge by drowning in the first place. This means that either Wazuki never transforms into Lynx, or he does but is not guided by the RoF. The transmissions of the RoF would stop transmitting at around the time of the original split due to TTI not being preserved after the unification point. This leads to the following sequence of events.
- Predicted sequence of events for the "Ideal" timeline
- All story-related events up until the split would be subject to TB/TTI, including Serge and Wazuki re-emerging from the Dead Sea.
- After the unification point in 1010 A.D., the Records of Fate would suddenly become inactive, because their transmissions are not preserved by TTI/TB. Events pertaining to the lives of normal people would presumably proceed similar to Home World.
- After 1010 A.D., Wazuki would presumably not turn into Lynx as a biological terminal for FATE because FATE no longer exists, or he might but would not be controlled by FATE since the RoF transmissions don't exist. He would not attempt to kill Serge. Lucca would not be abducted and the orphanage would not be burned.
- It was Lynx that manipulated the Porrean government and the Acacia Dragoons, not the Records of FATE. Without Lynx around, Porre would not invade El Nido and the Acacia Dragoons would still rule the islands.
- In 1020 A.D., Serge regains the memories of the adventure. The Kid/Schala that is probably on the mainland likely also remembers the adventure, and seeks Serge out in El Nido. This would explain why they would get married in the future, because why would they if she didn't remember as well?
Conclusion and Thanks
If anything is to be learned from this article, it is that the ending of Chrono Cross is very ambiguous and hopefully shall be clarified in a new Chrono series game. The known facts—that Kid / Schala and Serge marry, and that the dimensions are unified—only raise numerous further questions and inquiries into the details of the resolution. I hope this article has provided viable possibilities for the ending of the game, despite the fuzziness of the topics covered. Time will tell if these events (along with the Fall of Guardia) will be clarified by a new game! Until next time!
Acknowledgments and Thanks
This article was created based on discussions held at the Chrono Compendium beginning in 2003. We are indebted to everyone who has participated in analyzing and discussing the Chrono series. Much of the discussion was finalized, rewritten, and presented in the article by ZeaLitY.
For this article, I'd like to thank GrayLensman for being around to bounce ideas off concerning Schala towards the end of the writing process. A big thanks goes to Arkard as well, who translated the captions to Kid and Serge's wedding pictures in Missing Piece. Also thanks to all the new fans of the site. In the last week (February 2006), we've attained a level of popularity not seen before.
Lastly, thanks to Kishimoto Masashi for creating Rock Lee. The springtime of youth waits for no one!