Magic (Elemental model)
An Elemental Model for Character Abilities
The members of the Chrono Compendium have developed a rigorous model describing the function of magic and elemental energy in the Chrono Series. The universe is controlled by the four elements, which act on a deeper level than the observable laws of nature. The power of the elements may be harnessed using magic or technology to produce indistinguishable elemental effects. The Elemental system of Chrono Cross is based off the four elements and produces non-elemental effects classified based on their physical properties.
However, some phenomena in the Chrono Series cannot be explained using this model.
- Lavos' apparent power is not consistent with the travelers' abilities. Lavos can withstand an impact with the surface of the earth with the same energy as 100 teratons of TNT, yet Crono's Luminaire damages it.
- Characters have physical abilities which appear to violate natural laws. â€œNormalâ€ humans achieve supernatural strength and speed.
- Characters without magical abilities can produce elemental effects and have inherent defense against elemental attack. Ayla's Tail Spin attack produces non-elemental magical damage.
I hypothesize that all supernatural abilities are based on elemental energy. Crono can become strong enough to fight Lavos as an equal in power because the makeup of the elemental energy in his body allows him to do so. In response to the stresses of his journeys, Crono's elemental energy adjusted to give him physical traits beyond the capabilities of his biological systems.
Physical energy (heat and light) is not the same as elemental energy. Physical effects only occur as a result of the interaction of the elements. Since the physical traits of powerful entities are predominantly determined by their elemental makeup, physical energy will not have a great effect. The impact of Lavos, though tremendous, did not necessarily have significant elemental energy. The type of energy which is released is more important than the quantity. A hydrogen bomb wouldn't hurt Lavos because negligible elemental energy is released, but Lucca's mega-bombs are based on elemental energy and have the potency to harm Lavos.
All supernatural physical or magical techniques are based on elemental energy. When Crono attacks Lavos with his sword, the force of the blow is defined by Crono's own elemental energy and elemental energy of his sword (forged by Melchior using magical means). Crono's attack is directed at Lavos' elemental energy in such a way as to cause damage. Any physical reaction is only a side effect.
The nature of a technique is determined by the form of the released elemental energy. The elemental effects of magic are based on a single element. Physical and non-elemental effects are based on a combination of all elements and are differentiated by how the elemental energy is directed.
Crono's Luminaire can damage Lavos because his attack is comprised of elemental energy and is directed at Lavos' elemental energy. The physical results (heat and light) are only insignificant byproducts. The other travelers can stand in the blast radius unharmed. Ayla can perform her Tail Spin attack because the elemental energy composing her body produces a non-elemental effect. Physical and Magical defense are two aspects of the same property, which is an innate resistance of all entities with significant elemental energy to elemental effects.
Physical death is meaningless. If Crono's physical body is damaged to the point that his biological systems fail, Marle can restore him while his elemental energy remains. Healing is simply the reinforcement of an entity's elemental energy. The Ocean Palace incident is a special case. There was no opportunity to resurrect Crono, and the blast that destroyed his body may not have been a standard magical attack.
Robo: If we're caught in that energy field, our molecular structure will be disrupted!
Lavos completely dispersed or absorbed Crono's energy.
The battle system doesn't offer any information on what injuries characters can sustain. I equate hit points with energy and not physical condition. Crono's physical state is determined by his elemental properties. As long as he has adequate energy, Crono's body will remain intact.
If Crono's physical body is disabled or destroyed, an information signature will be retained for a short time in his elemental energy. Healing will restore him to his natural state.
Supernatural phenomena may also be elemental in nature. Magus can transcend death (with his necromancy) by magical means.
From: Theory (Plot and Other)