Fates of the Chrono Trigger Team
by the Chrono Compendium
written by ZeaLitY
with contributing discussion from many others
Ever since the first few recipients of Chrono Trigger finished the game and viewed the cheery Moonlight Parade, fans have wondered what became of the original team that saved the world from Lavos and changed history for the better. The NPCs of the Chrono universe also became a subject of ponderance, as many wondered what happened to Schala and the others. When Chrono Cross appeared on the horizon, debate and theory intensified; while Cross did illuminate a few topics, it only deepened the enigma of others. As the Fall of Guardia, the corruption of the Masamune, and the creation of El Nido were inducted to the Chrono series mythos, the future lives of the original crew intertwined with the new history following 1000 A.D. and the other eras. The facts about their fates remain unclear; though general ideas, implications, and suggestions are present in hints about history or thematic presentation, the definite actions of the heroes of time past Chrono Trigger have never been directly revealed. In presenting this article, the Chrono Compendium aims to explore what befell the original team, and how their fates relate to the events of the world following their home eras.
The article will begin by covering NPCs with mysterious ends or direct appearances in later games. It will then proceed to the player characters in order of uncertainty, starting with Ayla and ending with Magus. The companion article to this piece is Chrono Cross Resolutions.
I. NPCs A. Dalton B. Doan C. Gato D. Gurus E. Johnny F. Mother Brain G. Mystic Warriors H. Schala I. Toma II. Ayla III. Frog IV. Robo V. Lucca VI. Crono and Marle A. The Fall of Guardia i. Swords or Guns? ii. Crono and Marle defeated? iii. Crono and Marle dead? iv. Did Lucca have a plan? B. The Ghost Children VII. Magus
- 1 NPCs
- 2 Ayla
- 3 Frog
- 4 Robo
- 5 Lucca
- 6 Crono and Marle
- 7 Magus
NPC stands for "non-player character," and is a term used to designate the various people who occupy the world of an RPG. While most Chrono Trigger NPCs presumably settled down and lived out their lives after the game closed, a few have interesting or unresolved ends.
Dalton arrived on the scene with a maniacal flourish in Zeal, and exited the stage in a wacky fashion. He is clearly last seen falling into the spatial Gate used to summon Golems atop the Epoch near the Blackbird; though this neatly ends his presence, what happened to Dalton?
Chrono Trigger DS reveals that he fell into the Dimensional Vortex, where he plotted revenge against Crono. Angry that he had been denied the power to rule over the Dark Ages, Dalton planned to enter the present age and raise an army in Porre to obliterate the Kingdom of Guardia—thus denying Crono his kingdom as well. He successfully invaded in 1005 A.D. and stole the Masamune. He's presumably still in power during the events of Chrono Cross, and Porre is consistently militaristic and even explicitly looking for the Frozen Flame, a relic which Dalton would have knowledge of.
Doan's future is an interesting one. On the surface, he seems to simply return to 2300 A.D., which would be fine save for a paradox involving this case and the question of his continued existence. The Doan paradox is a troublesome problem that forms one of the four main issues of time with Chrono Trigger's conceptual framework. After Lavos is defeated, the future should instantly become pretty and beautiful, and the ruined future timeline should disappear. Yet Doan is brought by Lucca after Lavos is defeated to 1000 A.D. for the Moonlight Parade. How did Lucca pull this off if Doan should no longer exist in his old form? One theory holds that Lucca took Doan back in time before defeating Lavos, but like other attempts at explanation, it is somewhat tenuous since Lucca can be in the party at all times. Regardless of how it was done, another point of speculation will arise once Doan returns to the future. Specifically, Time Traveler's Immunity and Time Bastard (as outlined in Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel) suggests that since Doan has time traveled, he will replace the version of him native to the bright and happy future. His existence in the future may be moot anyway, as the Fall of Guardia might spell the Arris Dome's preclusion from ever existing. Nonetheless, with the theories above considered, the old Doan would still return to the future, regardless of whether a person named "Doan" even exists in the new timeline.
Sadly, Gato meets his end circa 1015 A.D., when Lynx raided Lucca's orphanage to abduct her and have her undo the Prometheus Circuit. Gato was presently stored in the living room of the house; he was dispatched when it was set ablaze and cowered in the corner before ceasing to function. When Serge went back in time to ease Kid's memories, Gato briefly conversed with him.
The Gurus of Zeal
After Chrono Trigger, the Gurus presumably went separate ways. Belthasar's history is best known; in the new and happy future, he constructed Chronopolis, learned of the Time Devourer's fusing, and orchestrated Project Kid, an elaborate plan to free her by splitting the universe in two and engineering the creation of an archipelago and its culture over thousands of years. Though his plan smacked of megalomania and a tendency to play god, he ultimate achieved his goal, traveling to the modern era in the Neo Epoch to watch it unfold personally. After the resolution, Belthasar departed in the Neo Epoch for an unknown era. He may have returned to the future, or have gone elsewhere to maintain a close watch over time to ensure a being such as the Time Devourer never arose again. His destination was never revealed.
Melchior and Gaspar, on the other hand, have uncertain ends. Once Lavos was defeated, the Gates at the End of Time closed; in one ending without Crono, Gaspar simply remained there. This strongly suggests that after the events of Chrono Trigger drew to a close, Gaspar remained at the End of Time to watch over the eras and act as a guide to lost time travelers. A more interesting implication is found in Chrono Cross. The Bend of Time, an area appearing much like the End of Time and featuring portals connecting to enemy battles, features two resident Octo monsters. One acts with the authority of the God of War, suggesting it is Spekkio. The other refers to Janice with the title of "young lady," which is reminiscent of the speaking tone of an old man. While the idea that the End of Time became the Bend of Time is tenuous, at the very least these appearances can be considered a cameo. The nature of the Bend of Time is fully addressed in the article Beyond Time, along with the identity of its inhabitants. This leaves Melchior, the Guru of Life of the modern era. Since Melchior lived near Medina, it is possible that he avoided the uproar surrounding the Fall of Guardia in 1005 A.D. Nonetheless, the Masamune's corruption to 1020 A.D. subtly suggests that he may not be around to fix it. In any event, Melchior was alive to attend the wedding of Crono and Marle (which will be discussed in their section later in the article).
You might wonder why Johnny is here. After all, he only appeared for a short while as the hot headed street racer of the ruined future. Johnny makes a cameo in Chrono Cross; not many people know about it, since it is easily missed in the Dead Sea. Specifically, in the first set of city ruins, Johnny (his apparent corpse, rather) can be seen lying on the roadway beneath the Highwayman. Defeating the Highwayman makes him easier to see. His presence in the Dead Sea (which, if you recall, is a future in which Lavos destroys the world) seems to confirm that he was made before the apocalypse in Chrono Trigger. However, unlike his counterpart in Chrono Cross's Home World, Johnny survived the Day of Lavos and lived to race the mean streets with his Proto friends. Johnny presumably lives to see a new day after Chrono Cross wraps up and the future is restored.
In the new future, Mother Brain operated on the "Mother Brain" circuit, and presumably computed normally until 2300 A.D., when Chronopolis was constructed. Belthasar integrated the Mother Brain circuit in his designs to create the supercomputer FATE, an important part of Project Kid. FATE never achieved the insanity and corruption of Mother Brain in the ruined future, although FATE was spoken of as aspiring to one day reincarnate itself into a new species. Powered by the Frozen Flame, FATE defeated Dinopolis after the Time Crash and then oversaw the development and maintenance of El Nido for thousands of years. When Serge, Miguel, and Wazuki came the night of Serge's panther encounter, FATE restrained Miguel and also took advantage of Wazuki, whose mind had been damaged by contact with the Flame. The Prometheus Circuit was also engaged that night, locking FATE out of its power source. FATE later shaped Wazuki into Lynx, the supercomputer's personal agent on the outside world. Lynx tried several times to unlock the Prometheus Circuit; he attempted to murder Serge, abducted Lucca and set fire to her orphanage, and lastly successfully switched bodies with the dimension crossing boy. The victory was short lived, as Serge soon traveled to Chronopolis and defeated the computer.
The Mystical Knights is the name given to Ozzie, Slash, and Flea. While the bungling three appeared to be dispatched during the sidequest concerning Ozzie's fort, they appear in Chrono Cross at the Bend of Time to challenge Serge. The Slasher, Flea Bra, and Ozzie's Pants all make an appearance too. Once beaten, the formidable foes retreat to another time. Interestingly, Sprigg can doppelgang the three; when in Slash's form, she can do a triple tech with Kid and Serge called the Z-Slash.
Schala had the hardest time of any Chrono Trigger key player after the adventure wrapped. During the Ocean Palace Incident with Crono present, she fell into a dimensional distortion with the Mammon Machine, ending up in the Darkness Beyond Time. There, presumably after its defeat at the hands of the heroes, Lavos found her and fused with her, creating a new being called the Time Devourer. (The creature had a mid-evolutionary stage called the Dream Devourer.) Once evolved, this abomination would have the capacity to devour all space-time. Things were quiet until Project Kid, the plan to save Schala, was well under way. Through Belthasar's probably machinations, Schala cloned herself and sent a copy of the baby into the world to be found by Lucca. Her mind, at this point, was teetering on desiring to destroy everything as desired by the Time Devourer and wanting to save the world. Later, Serge was wounded by a panther demon; Schala heard his crying across the veil, and somehow caused a raging magnetic storm that blew Wazuki and the boy to Chronopolis. The storm also brought down Chronopolis's defense systems, exposing the Frozen Flame to heal Serge, who became its Arbiter as designated by the Prometheus Circuit. Schala then lay dormant until much later, when Serge ventured to the Darkness Beyond Time and used the Chrono Cross to free her.
At this point, Schala's fate becomes cloudy. Did she merge with Kid? What did she mean in that she would search for Serge? These questions are addressed in the article Chrono Cross Resolutions.
Toma's importance to the future lies not in his actions, but in his progeny. Toma XIII was his descendant in 1000 A.D., and this man later fathered Toma XIV, part of the Explorer Corps that delved into El Nido's mysteries and enigmatic regions. Toma XIV turned out to nearly be a doppelganger of Toma in speech and action, retaining his ancestor's flaky ways and penchant for misadventure. Toma XIV and his assistant Ash oversaw research at Marbule in Home World, which had been plagued by the Lagoonate dreams of the Black Dragon. Toma XIV gave Serge some advice before high-tailing it out when the Magical Dreamers arrived and the nightmares became real monsters. He later returned to help rebuild the village, and soon settled down with a Mermaid demi-human, apparently following in the footsteps of Fargo.
We begin analysis of player character fates with Ayla. After the events of Chrono Trigger, Ayla is depicted as returning to 65000000 B.C., and in the cutscenes of the Playstation version, marrying Kino and settling down in Ioka. It is likely that Ayla then had to face the threat of the coming Ice Age, which could entail relocating the village to the caves. The possibility exists that her adventures through time were not concluded with her return to prehistory, evidenced (with many other things, which come later) by the kid's sketch of her face in Lucca's orphanage. In any event, Ayla factually proceeded to give birth to the future line of Guardia. She most likely died peacefully of old age in prehistory, as the Reptites were presumably long wiped out by the freezing cold.
Frog most likely enjoyed the same fortunes as Ayla. After returning to 600 A.D., he may or may not have reverted to human form. This tenet of his future is problematic, as he is never shown as being human in any ending in which Magus lives. Notwithstanding, the possibility exists that he was able to reverse the curse and become human. Since the Playstation ending depicts him as a human being, Masato Kato probably intended for him to revert. Like Ayla, he probably afterwards lived a good life and died an honorable man; he too might have traveled to the future to visit Lucca, but no picture of him in the orphanage acn be clearly viewed (although there does appear to be a sketch with a green blob on it behind heavy fire during the orphanage burning sequence in Chrono Cross). Frog apparently had the Masamune passed down within Guardia Castle's halls; during the Fall of Guardia in 1005 A.D., it was stolen and used in the battle. It later became corrupt, only to reform after Masa and Mune (the dream spirits within the blade) woke up and transformed it into the Mastermune.
Robo had a much larger role in the affairs of time after Chrono Trigger drew to a close. Specifically, he returned to 2300 A.D., where he and Atropos XR got together in love and enjoyed life. The ending provided a glimpse of their happiness, as they sat upon a cliff and watched a rainbow. Later, when Belthasar arrived and constructed Chronopolis, Robo apparently met with him and discussed Project Kid with the Guru of Reason. Eventually, Robo volunteered to be a part of Belthasar's plan to save time, and was integrated into Chronopolis as the Prometheus Circuit. The weight of this decision is huge; it meant leaving Atropos and subjecting himself to the whims of FATE. When Serge contacted the Flame, Robo performed his intended function by locking FATE out from its power source until Serge returned. Robo then gave words of encouragement to the boy before being defiantly terminated by the supercomputer. Many fans contest that this is not actually Robo, but instead is a memory or personality copy. However, Chrono series creator Masato Kato has officially gone on record as stating the circuit is Robo. "Anyway, if you have played Trigger, then Prometheus should be very familiar to you. I'm sure a lot of players would make a similar 'big fuss' over the death of such a much-loved friend..." In any event, Robo is probably safe and sound after Chrono Cross concludes and the dimensions are unified to form the Ideal Timeline. His future there is discussed in the Chrono Cross Resolutions article.
Lucca figures more heavily into the events of Chrono Cross than any of her peers. Upon her return from time traveling and saving the world from Lavos, Lucca settled down and continued to pioneer new inventions. She conducted research in robotics, artificial intelligence, and time travel, eventually gaining the skill to forge a Time Egg prototype. Circa 1004 A.D., Kid came to the modern era as an infant, and Lucca found her while walking in the forest (as depicted in a Playstation version cutscene). A year later, the Fall of Guardia occurred. Lucca's involvement in this event is a mystery, as unlike her friends, she somehow survived the incident and kept her property. Once Porre assumed control of Truce, Lucca conducted business with their science section; she also started an orphanage (possibly before the fall), presumably for Kid's well-being. At some point, the heroes of time visited the orphanage, as several sketches of them exist in a particular hallway. The true importance of these sketches will be revealed in the next section. Moving on, during this period Lucca possibly contacted Belthasar in some form, though no evidence exists so substantiate this claim. She raised Kid to be a proper lady, and collaborated with Luccia, who at the time worked in Porre (presumably with her brother, who created Grobyc).
Tragedy ultimately befell Lucca when, circa 1015 A.D., Lynx and Harle raided the orphanage to kidnap Lucca and force her to release the Prometheus Circuit and allow FATE to access the Frozen Flame. During the attempt, Lynx set fire to the orphanage, presumably killing many children while destroying her scientific work. Kid escaped, leaving the only possible witness to Lucca's fate distanced. What happened afterwards is an enigma; the Ghost Children at Opassa Beach merely comment that the entire effort ended in failure. Lynx probably offed Lucca when she failed to disengage the lock, though Lucca may have escaped. At any rate, she did manage to leave a letter with Luccia for Kid to read at a later age. Kid also kept the incomplete Time Egg she fashioned, along with the Astral Amulet somehow found in Lucca's possession. Later, Serge traveled back in time to the night of the fire to ease Kid's memories; there, he saved several children who would have otherwise perished, and briefly saw Lynx and Harle in the upper storey of the house. The two brigands seemed complacent, suggesting Lucca had already died or escaped; this would imply that the two were looking out the window as they watched her flee in the distance.
After Chrono Cross concludes, Lucca is probably safe and sound, though many unknown variables exist that might affect her situation. These are addressed in the companion article, Chrono Cross Resolutions.
Crono and Marle
Crono and Marle's fates are intertwined. By the end of Chrono Trigger, they had romantically fallen in love; the Playstation version depicts their getting married soon after, with the entire town of Truce and several others in attendance for the ceremony. Because of this union, Crono apparently became the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Guardia, with Marle as his future queen. While the future seemed bright and cheery, a dark threat lurked to the south -- the nation of Porre, which had risen as a formidable, militaristic entity.
The Fall of Guardia
The principal, unknown variable in the future of Crono and Marle is the Fall of Guardia. The cutscene that ended the Playstation version of Chrono Trigger with their marriage was immediately followed by a scene depicting the destruction of the Kingdom of Guardia, set against the burning of Truce, the capture of the Masamune, and the slaying of the kingdom's final defender. Porre's new standing as a military power was confirmed in Chrono Cross, along with the downfall of Guardia, as mentioned in passing by Radius. What implications does the fall have for the two heroes? By marrying Marle, Crono apparently became prince (evidenced by his crown in the wedding). This established him as a member of the royal family, and perhaps next in line to become king. This fact verifiably anchors the two in or around Guardia as permanent fixtures of the kingdom. Secondly, we know that Guardia Castle was ransacked and that Truce (save for Lucca's house) was burned to the ground. Through Masato Kato, we also know that Crono and Marle might have been in some kind of incident during the fall, and that Porre probably had help from "outside the original flow of history." But these few facts are the only hard details known of the fall; even the fates of Crono and Marle are shrouded in mystery. We resort to theory to speculate on their destinties. How could Crono, Marle, and presumably Lucca, powerful warriors and users of magic, be defeated by the Porre army? What actually happened at the Fall of Guardia? Did they use swords or guns? Are Crono and Marle still alive?
Swords or Guns?
At the cutscene depicting the Fall of Guardia, we clearly see the last duel take place between two swordfighting men (one presumably with the Masamune equipped). The raging fire in Truce may have been caused by traditional fire weapons (e.g. Naptha).
Porre is shown to be completely oriented to using ranged firepower in Chrono Cross. Norris, the commander of the Black Wind, has also trained much of his life in using weapons, and the soldiers around Termina curse the outdated knights. The presence of raging fires in Truce at the Fall of Guardia cutscene may suggest the use of artillery or other modern incendiary devices. Nonetheless, fifteen years is ample time to switch weapons in the military, meaning swords still might have been used in 1005 A.D.
Crono and Marle Defeated?
This theory assumes Crono and Marle die in battle.
One of the most controversial tenets of RPGs is the death of players outside of battle. Characters who could take on an endless horde of enemies and are level 99 are nonetheless susceptible to death by plot necessity or convention. If we consider that the entire Porre army, armed with guns and cannons, assaulted the Kingdom of Guardia all at once, it is conceivable by plot convention that the heroes could be overwhelmed by ranged firepower. Guardia Castle would be shelled and the heroes would be might by a rain of bullets. This theory accounts for how the dated knights of Guardia could be defeated. Powerful beings in other stories are similarly susceptible to lucky strikes. One example is the Jedi from Star Wars, who, though possessing powers well beyond normal sentients, can be killed by normal means if unlucky or caught off-guard.
However, this theory does not jive with the ranged weapons of Crono and Marle -- their magic. Marle's Water attacks and Crono's Lightning could easily be used to attack enemies outside of personal combat range, and Luminaire could probably wipe out large portions of the army at once. Additionally, Serge and his crew face gun wielding enemies in Chrono Cross, and the battle system behaves normally (that is, they can use a sword again a gunfighter and succeed). Also, in another Masato Kato influenced game (Xenogears), the protagonist was shot by a revolver point blank and was only stunned. These problems cause this theory to rely on plot convention, which does not do justice to the strength of Crono and Marle. The one thing that might save this theory is Kato's statement about a force "outside the normal flow of time." This can be interpreted as a strong magic user from another era coming in to do battle, or a force of similar strength. Nonetheless, apart from the Gurus, Crono and Marle displayed power exceeding Queen Zeal, who was probably (apart from Magus or any historical figures in that civilization) the strongest magic user of normal history until the time of her death. Magus would have no motivation to effect the Fall of Guardia, which disproves his involvement.
It's also important to note that Crono and the others would have dealt with Dalton several times in the past, and may have considered him less of a threat than he really might have been. Dalton, soundly underestimated, could then strike with a surprisingly massive force.
This theory assumes Crono and Marle flee.
Perhaps the forces of Porre were able to turn the citizens of Truce against Crono and Marle. An anti-monarcy rebellion might have occurred in support of Porre's more modern and liberal state. The two regents, reluctant to fight and kill their own citizens, decided to flee when the invasion was staged. Lucca, on the other hand, might have accepted the change to stay behind (she has dealings with the Porre navy). This fails to take into account why Porre would ransack the entire city of Truce and slaughter civilians, considering under this framework the citizens would be on their side. It is possible, however, that the mysterious man who killed the last defender of Guardia was the doer of this deed.
This theory leaves their fate open.
Masato Kato noted that Porre had help from a force outside the normal flow of history. We can interpret this to signify that temporal attacks were used against Crono and Marle, akin to Lavos's distortions or the Entity's Gates. These would circumvent a pitched, magic battle.
Crono and Marle dead?
Given that Masato Kato states they probably were involved in some kind of incident, and that the lone defender of Guardia is shown being killed in the cutscene, it is logical to conclude that Crono and Marle were killed. Considering that in most governmental overthrows the former regents are hunted down and killed (compare to the overthrow of the tsars of Russia), Porre probably would have avidly sought them out if they fled.
Three things suggest that Guardia was able to rebound from this fall in 1005 A.D. Firstly, Radius speaks of Guardia as if it were still a sovereign nation. Secondly, Norris reveals when he approaches the Frozen Flame that Porre requires it to surpass the other strong countries of the world. Lastly, in the ending General Kid, Kid declares that the first order of business for the Dragoons is victory over Guardia, and then Porre. This suggests that Guardia did make a comeback, and that perhaps Crono and Marle are still alive and restoring the kingdom to its former glory.
Perhaps the most important evidence arguing for their continued lives is found in Chrono Cross; both pieces originate from Lucca. Firstly, in Lucca's orphanage, several drawings of Crono and the other heroes were made (perhaps excluding Frog and Magus). Considering that the drawings feature Kid, they were probably done after the Fall of Guardia, by the time she would be able to sketch (with other kids perhaps contributing with drawings). If Crono and Marle were dead, and Ayla and Robo had returned to their eras, how could the children know what they look like to draw them? One simple possibility is that the children used photographs. However, one drawing at the bottom of the wall appears to be of a Nu, suggesting that perhaps the heroes of time did visit one another (possibly through the Epoch, if it were not dismantled). Next, the second piece of evidence comes from Lucca's letter to Kid. Once again, its timeframe must be established. Since Lucca speaks of Kid's mannerisms, it had to be written after the Fall of Guardia (Kid would only have been one year old otherwise). Within the letter, Lucca speaks of her friends in present tense.
We still feel proud of the role we played in saving our world, and in how we were so freely able to change the flow of time.
I have had a constant dread in my heart that someone in our new future will travel back in time, just like we did, and try and kill or capture my friends and me.
It is certainly logical to assume that Lucca, when presently speaking of her friends, means Crono and Marle over Frog, Robo, Ayla, and Magus (since they have all returned to their respective times). This nearly confirms that Crono and Marle are still alive, perhaps in hiding or possibly assisting in reconstructing the Kingdom of Guardia (even if it is a derivative state of the larger nation of Porre). Only time and a new Chrono game will conclusively tell if they are alive.
Did Lucca have a plan?
In Radical Dreamers, Lucca and Kid desired to lay the Frozen Flame on the grave of a departed friend:
"I made a promise with my big sis... to get the Frozen Flame, and bury it for her..." "Bury it for her? Where?" "At her old friend's grave..." Kid looks down at her feet, continuing. "I was still little at the time, so I can't remember much of it... But there was this friend of hers who she'd grown up with, who died a while back. She said she wanted him to be able to rest with the Frozen Flame...
Lynx also declares that combining the Frozen Flame with a Time Egg would grant one complete control over time. Perhaps the friend is Crono, and Lucca intended to revive him? This stems from the fan idea that Radical Dreamers took place in a dimension in which Lavos was defeated without reviving Crono on Death Peak. With this idea in mind, it is a possibility that Lucca was working on a Time Egg in Chrono Cross before her death with the intent to use it to revive friends or act as a backup device in case her fears came true. In light of the evidence that Crono and Marle are probably alive above, the idea of reviving someone seems moot, however.
In Chrono Cross, three ghost children appear in the form of Crono, Marle, and Lucca at the Dead Sea and later at Opassa Beach. However, they do not arise in the form of teenagers or adults (how Crono and friends would have looked during 1000 A.D. and after), instead appearing as children. Their presence has prompted many to assume that they are the true ghosts of the team, having died prior to 1020 A.D. Their true nature inadvertantly has significant repercussions either way. For instance, if they are considered the real ghosts, it means Crono and Marle died after the Fall of Guardia and that Lucca too is dead in Home World. However, this does not account for their appearance as youth. Additionally, their lucidity and identity are questionable. When they appear at the Dead Sea, they act irrationally, accusing Serge sharply of undoing their actions and condemning him for causing the destruction to appear again. However, at Opassa Beach, they seem to know every fine detail of Project Kid; Lucca even talks to Kid as if she were the real scientist, detailing their life at the orphanage, Lucca's hopes for the girl, and other notes about the quest. Additionally, Miguel simply dismisses the ghosts in the Dead Sea as a "echo from ones fargone." GrayLensman, in the Salt for the Dead Sea article, suggested the possibility that they aren't the true heroes, but rather a figment of the earlier quest.
Under this idea, the ghosts have to do with the planet's dream. Crono and the others were part of the planet's plan to defeat Lavos. When the plan was thwarted, and the planet's chamions eliminated (in some way), figments of the heroes exist within the planet's consciousness. The ghosts are simply representations of the planet's memories. The planet is still calling the shots in Chrono Cross, remember that. Chrono Cross opens with "but the planet's dream is not yet over." The Entity displayed the ghost with exact purpose of guiding the new instruments of the planet's salvation.
The last unaccounted for hero from Chrono Trigger is Magus. Without speaking a word to the party, he departed at the Moonlight Parade to search for Schala in 12000 B.C., and was last seen flying amid the peaks looking for his dear sister. Chrono Trigger DS reveals that Schala and Lavos, before becoming the prototypical Time Devourer, experienced an intermediary evolutionary stage—the Dream Devourer, capable of feeding on thoughts, memories, and dreams across time. Magus located Schala and tried to free her to no avail. Schala awoke long enough to tell Magus that his attempts were futile, and no power could be used to save her. She admonished him to live out his life in other pursuits before the Dream Devourer would destroy everything. Magus protested but was sent away, and eventually sacrificed his identity in abject frustration over Schala's fatalism and predicament. He awoke in a forest, feeling there was something he should search for, and set out.
One of, if not the most popular player character of Chrono Trigger, Magus had all eyes on him as Chrono Cross neared its release. But before discussing his absence, let us first turn to Radical Dreamers. For those of you who aren't aware of the game, it was a text adventure written as a sidestory / sequel to Chrono Trigger and released on the Satellaview for the Super Famicom (the Japanese Super NES). Magus played a role in this game, which tied up a loose end to Chrono Trigger. Now, if you don't want to be spoiled, skip to the next paragraph. Basically, Radical Dreamers was about Schala; after the Ocean Palace Incident, she was consumed by guilt for letting Zeal be destroyed. The Frozen Flame, which had been used in the Mammon Machine, detected her guilt, unaged her to an infant, and sent her to the modern era for a second life. There, she was found by Lucca and named Kid; meanwhile, an aristocrat named Lynx came to power and wanted Lucca's Chrono Trigger Time Egg. He killed her; Kid ran off to fight him. Magus then came in and saved her from certain death, and looked after her until she became a teenager. He wore a disguise as "Magil," a mysterious magician. Eventually, they met Serge, raided Viper Manor, and Kid learned of her past life as Schala and fled into the night with Magus.
Radical Dreamers lends much to the character of post Chrono Trigger Magus, refining his power, grace, and charm, while maintaining his edge as one of, if not the most powerful magic user alive. When Chrono Cross was arranged for development, Masato Kato revised the Radical Dreamers plot and planned to include Magus as the enigmatic magician Guile. Presumably, Guile would accompany Kid and watch over her, probably with knowledge of her status as Schala's daughter-clone. His concept art depicted him as a dashing, handsome gentleman wearing flashy clothing and a mask to disguise his identity. Magus's younger counterpart, Janus (if your memory is clouded, Janus was Magus as a boy in Zeal) may have played a role in Chrono Cross too, as concept art appeared for him. However, as time wore on and Chrono Cross took shape, Masato Kato decided that it would be too difficult to represent Magus's complex story among the rest of the game. One possible drawback would be that if players felt that Guile were Magus, they'd simply use a party of Serge, Kid, and Guile all the time, neglecting to use any other characters. Also, Magus would react to the game's plot in a different manner than all the other characters, necessitating much planning and special dialogue. Eventually, Magus was cut from the game, and Guile became an independent person -- an enigmatic magician who traveled the world in search of enigma.
The captions read, going from the paragraph blurbs, left to right (bottom left, then top right, then bottom right):
The truth is we made more than 2 major designs for Arf's character, and we though it might be interesting to pursue these transitions. This is a young magic-user version, although his space in time influenced the story of the game to where it may have become a problem. Here is another long haired version, but we put his hair in a ponytail to distinguish him from Karsh.
A big thanks to Ren Cowart for providing a speedy translation. We owe him one!
When Magus was removed from Chrono Cross, his future became a complete mystery once more. Considering that Radical Dreamers is not part of the main Chrono Trigger > Chrono Cross continuity, the last we've seen of Magus is his scene Chrono Trigger DS, where he erased his memories. Where might Magus be during Chrono Cross? Chrono Trigger DS's story easily lends credence to the theory that Guile is Magus, lacking his identity. Intent on finding the "enigma" that he remembered, Magus cleans up his appearance and sets out to search the world in search of anything that might shed light on the mystery (including the Frozen Flame). He finds Serge's party and joins up, eventually accompanying Serge to fight the Time Devourer. Satisfied and perhaps able to reunite with Schala, he thanks Serge and departs.
Assuming that Guile is not Magus, a few notes have to be considered. Firstly, one must consider the nature of what happens in Chrono Cross. Essentially, Serge defeats the Time Devourer, frees Schala, and effectively unifies the dimensions. But at the end of the day, no one remembers what occurred. Going from this conclusion, if Magus were not aware of Project Kid or Belthasar's plans, he would have no earthly idea what happened to Schala or the entire set of events with the Time Devourer. Magus would be completely out of the loop, and unaware of the fate of his sister. This destiny seems harsh and unfitting. Nonetheless, without any supporting facts for either side, the opposite may be true: Magus may have observed the entire adventure. There may yet be some hope for him. At the end of Chrono Cross, Schala / Kid sets out through the eras of time to find someone. Some interpret her lines to mean that she is searching for her brother Magus. However, this is a bit of a stretch, considering Schala calls Serge by name before mentioning that she will look for this person. The full considerations are discussed at the Chrono Cross Resolutions article.
One theory holds that Kid's Astral Amulet is actually Magus's Amulet given to him by Schala in Zeal as a young boy. The Astral Amulet is a mysterious artifact from Zeal possessed by Lucca and given to Kid during her infancy. It consists of a piece of wood tucked in a purple pouch bearing the Zeal crest in gold and black. Now, consider that Cross's backstory was probably fleshed out before they decided to axe Guile's backstory as Magus. Is it perhaps plausible that Magus's amulet is the Astral Amulet, and that Magus, having knowledge of Project Kid or simply of Kid's existence, visited Lucca and gave Kid the amulet for her own safety. This possibility would not only explain the mysterious origins of the Astral Amulet, including its crest bearing the Zeal emblem, but would also neatly link the mysterious item with established Chrono canon. Thematically, it is also interesting to see Magus give the Amulet back to his sister (albeit in a different form). Lucca's speaking to him as the very personal Janus may imply that they became closer friends (and that the letter was written much later after 1004 A.D., which would be likely since she had to have had met Luccia by its writing). This theory could also imply that Magus did know of Project Kid, but simply remained in the shadows and let Belthasar do his work in freeing his sister without personally intervening.
The main issue with this theory is that the two items look nothing alike. For them to be the same item, the assumption that the concept art changed would have to be made. While the appearances of the Hero's Medal and Time Egg were changed between Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, it is difficult to simply write this off as a change itself. Another problem is in that Magus's Amulet is depicted as being worn around his hip, which precludes the possibility of the amulet being a small item that could be concealed on one's person.
Conclusively, Magus's fate remains unknown, as he is never seen in Chrono Cross. However, he is mentioned in Lucca's letter to Kid. Specifically, Lucca notes that Magus might be watching over Kid, and expresses greetings to him in the event that he is reading the letter with her. Sadly, he was nowhere to be found. Interestingly, the developers seemingly stuck an easter egg in that scene. If you watch the floor of Luccia's laboratory, you'll notice that a fourth player character shadow appears when the letter is read (a player character shadow is the black spot that appears under characters as they move about). No one stands above the shadow; it merely appears on the ground during that scene, and cannot be seen in the laboratory at any other time. Some contend that this easter egg is a reference to Magus, whose skills in blending into the shadows at will are discussed in Radical Dreamers.
Masato Kato and the team defied normal convention with Chrono Cross. Instead of rehashing Trigger's old system and world, he developed an innovating plot that worked directly off Trigger's repercussions, utilized a new section of the Chrono world, and added a colorful chapter to the mythos of the games. The only casualty of the jump from 1000 A.D. to 1020 A.D. is the gap of history in between, in which the important Fall of Guardia occurred. Kato noted that since the downfall of Guardia had little to do with the actual plot machinations of Chrono Cross, he left the details out for another time. But that "other time," a new chapter in the Chrono series yet to be written, has not yet come. The legend of Chrono Break continues to be fueled by fan hope and anticipation, and as other series from the SNES era are revived with new entries, hope for a new Chrono game intensifies. Some say that it is only a matter of time (no pun intended). However, should you wish to act as a "Chrono Trigger," and unleash your powerful will upon history to change it, do consider writing Square Enix a letter and letting them know you want a new entry. You can find a letter template here.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about the fates of several Chrono Trigger characters, and that you'll similarly take pleasure in the other articles of the site. 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 especially thank contributors to the Fall of Guardia mystery. Also, a big thanks to SilentMartyr for the Missing Piece scans. Translating them is the next step, and should prove just as interesting as viewing them. Also, thanks to Ren Cowart for quickly translating the captions on Magus's concept art page.
Lastly, thanks to Kishimoto Masashi for creating Rock Lee. The springtime of youth waits for no one!