The Rise of Porre
This article and its theories have been deprecated by Chrono Trigger DS, which revealed that Dalton is behind the Fall of Guardia. Congratulations to the proponents of the Porre-Dalton Theory!
by the Chrono Compendium
December 7, 2003
with direct quotations from
Oswego del Fuego
and contributing discussion by many others
Newcoming players of Chrono Cross inevitably find dialogue concerning something that takes most wholly by surprise -- that Porre is now a military power, and maintains a dominating presence in El Nido and Zenan continent. However, much more alarming are other comments in the game, that, when coupled with a disturbing cutscene on the Final Fantasy Chronicles version of Chrono Trigger and remarks from the Chrono series' main writer, Masato Kato, reveal the Kingdom of Guardia to have suffered a crushing defeat by the forces of Porre in 1005 A.D. Does not this monstrously contradict the latter stages of Chrono Trigger, in which we left the mayor of Porre a happy and generous man? How could the Kingdom of Guardia, supposedly having existed for more than a thousand years as the strongest and most well-established power on Zenan, fall so suddenly? There is no question that Porre defeats Guardia, as seen by the flag in the cutscene and because of comments by Masato Kato, the series' chief writer. There seem to be almost no good reasons for the events that have transpired, but before one blames Square for contradicting itself plotwise, one should acknowledge excellent explanations and facts surrounding the rise of Porre and the subsequent fall of Guardia that do well to rationalize these sudden events.
I. Did the Fall of Guardia occur in the Lavos Timeline? II. Did the Fall of Guardia occur in Keystone T-1? III. Causes of the Rise of Porre A. Porre Geography B. Porre Revolution i. Technological Introduction ii. Robo Study iii. Discontent Uprising C. Porre Elements i. Innate Magic? D. Porre Artifacts E. Porre Dalton
- 1 Did the Fall of Guardia occur in the Lavos Timeline?
- 2 Did the Fall of Guardia occur in Keystone T-1?
- 3 Causes of the Rise of Porre
Did the Fall of Guardia occur in the Lavos Timeline?
First, let us examine the Porre that existed before Crono changed time and the Fall of Guardia took place. Although we do not fully know whether Porre overtook Guardia in 1005 A.D. before the events of Chrono Trigger, it is reasonable to believe that it did not occur, as the Guardia line continued through 2300 A.D., as seen by Doan, the Arris Dome director's descendant. Thus, was Porre even a military power before Chrono Trigger took place? If it is not, it discredits the ability of Porre to have a 'rise' even further; however, after looking into a few Japanese translations of the original game, a breakthrough was made. The 'Beret' in the English version of Chrono Trigger had been shortened from 'Porrean Beret' in the Japanese original. Berets are inextricably linked with the military; this single fact alone confirms that Porre most likely had its own army even before Crono went on his quest. Nonetheless, this does not account for the happy mayor that exists after the Sun Stone sidequest -- something else does, however. It is a common fact that the military is often separate from civilian establishments; perhaps as there would be a mayor of Truce as opposed to a king of Guardia, there existed a civil mayor of Porre that did not have influence over the military. No less, some factors persist in suggesting the rise of Porre is unlikely. Mainly, Porre was seemingly a protectorate of Guardia during the Mystic War, and hid under the aegis of the knights of that kingdom. No clue is sgiven in CT that Porre is in any way expansionist or tyrannical, or hostile toward Guardia. In fact, there are numerous points in CT that suggest that Guardia and Porre are very friendly (the ferry between the two cities, the unguarded Zenan bridge, free passage of tourists and fair-goers between the two lands, the total lack of any mention of tension, and so on). The pre-Crono and post-Crono images of Porre are markedly different.
Did the Fall of Guardia occur in Keystone T-1?
This neatly works to disprove the fall of Guardia in the original timeline and also take into account the existence of Porre's military. Now that this is resolved, one must turn to why Porre did rise after Crono's changes. Unfortunately, we are first met with an interesting problem; recall that before Chrono Cross, an intermediary timeline (called Keystone T-1 on the Compendium, illustrated here and discussed at the article Principles of Time and Dimensional Travel) existed after Crono first saved the world in which Chronopolis was built (and later, sent back to 12000 B.C., thus causing the timeline in which Chrono Cross takes place -- referred to as Keystone T-2). The matter in question is whether Porre rose in this timeline as well -- that is, did Crono's actions alone cause Porre to rise, barring other influences that came about from the creation of El Nido? Although this is a somewhat minor point, it may explain better the rise, and thus deserves examination. Unfortunately, it is difficult to reach a solid conclusion. It is logical to assume that it did happen in Keystone T-1, simply because Chronopolis (or more specifically FATE) in Chrono Cross's objective was to preserve time as it had originally flowed until the future was reached. It thus is logical for it not to intervene in the events on the mainland -- which include the rise of Porre and Fall of Guardia -- so that history is not disturbed.
Chronopolis being of Porrean origin is not certain, however, no matter how ominous or threatening the term 'Central Regime' may sound. Who created Chronopolis, the descendants of Porre or Guardia? There is some support for Guardian origin. There a mention of Arris Dome in the Tower of Geddon. Since the Arris Dome was officiated by Doan, the descendant of Marle, it is logical to conclude that the Kingdom of Guardia survived the fall (which is supported by other evidence in Chrono Cross). The inscription on the Chronopolis statue, while not precisely word-for-word, is the very same sentiment expressed on Nadia's bell. However, it's possible that this is just a coincidence, and that the Arris Dome was built regardless of who officiated it. Conversely, the main support for Porre creating Chronopolis comes from the name "Central Regime," the government in the future. This terminology seems harsh, opting to use the word regime in place of government. This many simply be a translation quip, however. In any case, it's probably indeterminable who created Chronopolis.
Causes of the Rise of Porre
Now that Keystone T-1 is out of the way, and its possible implications have been addressed, we can move on to the many causes that have been inferred or deduced for the rise of Porre and fall of Guardia in Chrono Cross's timeline. Every theory, by the way, must pass the test of originating outside the normal flow of time, as dictated by a comment in the famous GamePro interview with the developers of Chrono Cross: "Porre had some kind of intervention or help originating outside of the original flow of history" (Masato Kato, chief writer). The theories include the following.
Geographical changes set in motion by Crono's meddling in time might have produced favorable conditions for the strengthening of Porre's military and formation of militaristic expansion. The main bastion of this theory is the presence of Fiona's forest, which is a substantial barrier between Porre and the northern regions of Zenan. This originates outside the normal flow of history in that it was caused by Crono's changes. With the forest there instead of a desert, Porre has now access to more materials and resources to fuel their war machine; plus this expansion would have integrated the province of Dorino in to Porre. And this brings us to Medina village. We know that Medina and Truce plan on building a port to one another. Porre was temporarily cut off from Guardian aid by the war of the Mystics and still felt sour about Medina as Medina did against humans before Crono fixed things. Porre [might have] felt betrayed by Guardia for having agreements with Medina. Other geographical changes may have been incurred by Crono, but this is by far the most prominent and may work towards Porre's rise. Additionally, in Viper Manor, a stained glass window appears of a woman. This may be Fiona, honored by those descended from Porre for the contribution of the forest.
The primary reason for Porre's uprising is their 'industrial revolution' and their advancement in pyro-technology -- rifles, pistols, cannons, etc. In Chrono Cross their arsenal has been strongly emphasized many areas including Home's Termina, where they have cannons all over the place. These technological wonders might have been introduced from the future by an intervening force, which would satisfy the requirement that the help originated from outside the flow of history. Nonetheless, the conventions of RPGs come into play here. For instance, in Xenogears, Fei takes a direct bullet to the chest and is only mildly stunned. However, in other games, player characters can be killed off by simple means. This brings into quest whether sword wielding fighters can continue to wage war against Porre's new guns. The most probably answer is that player characters can, but overall in established history, the guns would trump the swords. Nonetheless, this theory is somewhat trumped by the state of Guardia's forces in the modern era. They have blue uniformed soldiers similar to the Porre forces seen in Chrono Cross, and were also developing the Dragon Tank. This levels the technological playing field.
Leaving Robo at Fiona's for four hundred years had to really affect the timeline. After the forest is regrown and Robo is enshrined the church, the government of Porre could have "borrowed" the relic and studied it. That could explain the similarities in Grobyc's and Robo's abilities (rocket punch, lasers) and combined with androids like the Cybot from Fort Dragonia could explain the the leap in robotics Porre experienced. This would also satisfy the requirement of the force being outside the normal flow of history.
Another idea falling under this theory's heading is the idea of a revolution started by discontent citizens. As it stands in the world of 1000 A.D., most of the land's wealth is tied up in Leene Square and Guardia Castle; the city of Truce and its regents probably command the economy of the world and influence its politics. Porre, seeking a more equitable distribution of wealth, might have turned to militarism and aimed to take down Guardia. This theory does not satisfy the requirement of change originating outside the normal flow of history, though perhaps if someone instigated the revolution (see Porre Dalton theory), it's feasible.
This theory claims that Porre was a main proponent in the colonization of El Nido in 920 A.D. and onward, and thus was probably able to extract or import Dragonian elements to the mainland, which would have inevitably been equipped on the army, hugely strengthening it as a result. This theory can only work under Keystone T-2, as El Nido did not exist in the timeline in which Chronopolis was constructed. This also meets the 'outside-flow' condition. Also it is said that Luccia used to work in a lab in Porre. It is also said that while on El Nido she traveled to Fort Dragonia to work on and repair some of the robotics found within. It then stands to reason that perhaps earlier other scientists had explored the ruins and gained futuristic technology as a result, which also was brought to the mainland. This is probably why Porre has so many cyborgs and robots on its side during the present while before the Time Crash the only real robot in existence was Gato. Both of these could be said to be influences from outside the flow of time, as originally they came from the Reptite Dimension. Elements are the Dragonian version of magic to some degree, so initially they are from the other timeline. These new-found powers would certainly give Porre an edge over the rest of the planet, which had not been exposed to, nor prepared to defend against such forces.
Porre also probably went to war over the natural resources of El Nido. Porre is most likely the first nation from the outside world to explore El Nido, thus laying claim to the land. They discover some valuable natural resource (Elements). Guardia begins to feel threatened by this new power and begins to become interested in El Nido. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Porre easily destroys Guardia with elements and the various technologies to be found (perhaps creating Grobyc). In this way, an outside force does act upon Porre. The very existence of El Nido is an external influence on the planet!
Before one settles completely on the Porre-Elements Theory, consider that it could not have solely been the cause of Porre's rise if the fall of Guardia happened in Keystone T-1, as El Nido did not exist. However, as this theory is the most likely of the few viable ones, it is safe to say that among other factors this may have catalyzed Porre's rise significantly.
There is still some possibility that Porre studied innate magic as well, or at least enlisted Mystics in the cause. Remember that Porre gave its elite force the name "Black Wind," implying they had studied Mystic history and wanted to make a cultural impact (the full discussion is at The Many Mysteries of Magus). With this in mind, it is not altogether out of the question that some in Porre, or enlisted Mystics could use rudimentary magic. Still, nothing of the sort is displayed by the Porre occupation force in Chrono Cross.
Next in the way of theories on Porre's uprising is a collection of commentary that blame material pursuit on the city's militarism. Arguing that Porre's militaristic rise was caused by desire of power, supporters of this theory claim the want of several artifacts, including the Masamune, caused Porre's warmonging nature. Here follows explanation on why Porre would not have sought out the Masamune before the events of Chrono Trigger, and why this is possible afterwards.
Follow the order of events up until the point where Frog keeps the medal. It's safe to assume that Frog would never have gone after the other part of the Masamune (just judging from his attitude and actions), and even if he had, he would have been unable to find someone to fix it, as "Nary a soul remains to mendeth the Masamune". It therefore would not have existed in Guardia in A.D. 1005, the year Porre presumably overthrew the great kingdom. Now, it's possible that one of the motivations, perhaps even the primary motivation, for overthrowing Guardia would have been the temptation of gaining control of the legendary sword. If Marle and Crono had never traveled to A.D. 600 that fateful afternoon, the Masamune would never have been fixed and would therefore not exist to draw the Porre army to it, and Guardia may not have been overthrown. Whereas in the new timeline, Porre would seek out the blade. It is shown being stolen in the Fall of Guardia cutscene on the Playstation version of the game. Another interesting link exists between the two; Porre's flag depicts a Chimera, with the body of a lion, and the Masamune was originally named the Grandleon in the Japanese version. Considering that Porre possibly drew from other historical aspects for strength (see the Black Wind section in The Many Mysteries of Magus, perhaps Porre sought out to take the Masamune for this reason. Also, the sword did lie in southern Zenan (specifically, the Denadoro Mts) before Crono retrieved it; its placement in antiquity could fuel nationalistic desire. The resulting fall of the kingdom is what probably corrupted the sword. In addition, the Masamune may have brought out the evil in Porrean soldiers' hearts, causing further destruction. However, this depends on whether Masa & Mune fell asleep before or after the Fall of Guardia, resultingly allowing the sword to fall into unfit hands.
The riches of the Rainbow Shell might have also allured the nation. As last seen, it was sitting in Guardia's treasury. It too did not previously belong to Guardia's claimed land, instead hidden off the coast of Choras. The Sun Stone may have had some clout as well. It was in Porre for a brief period of time, but Crono jumped in and took it away, and now Guardia has it. If the possession were known outside the mayor's manor, some may have felt bitter that a power source was simply given to Guardia; this would cause ill sentiments. However, this stretch is tenuous. Porre had only recently found the treasure in the cave and taken it. No one in Porre spoke of having the Sun Stone for a long time. As far as we know, the stingy Porre mayor merely kept it because it was a precious treasure. No one knew what the Sun Stone did in any degree. Only people who lived or traveled outside the normal flows of time actually understood it's function. In conclusion, losing a glowing treasure is hardly something to want to fuss about. Still, Chrono Cross and era comparisons allow further development of this theory.
Porre Artifact Theory
Jono, Nickolz, Chrono'99
Chrono Cross and the events of Chrono Trigger suggest that Crono's meddling may have helped Porre gain technology or power it would not have had in the Lavos Timeline.
1. Crono's actions result in the introduction of a charged Sun Stone into the world of 1000 A.D. Following that year, Porre may have acquired the Sun Stone or discovered the past Sun Stone as well.
2. Cross notes that Porre is apparently excavating ancient ruins, which are the source of Grobyc's StrongArm device.
Luccia: I cannot believe dis...! It is an ancient super veapon. I do recall my brotter talking about dis. ...About a super veapon that vas excavated near an ancient ruin. According to him, dere vere not enough parts to complete it, but dis shows othervise. Dis vould have been Grobyc's exclusive veapon. I must bring Grobyc here. Grobyc: This-cannot-be... This-is-the-ancient-super weapon-that-was-in development-in-Porre. But-what-is-it-doing-here? It-looks-complete.
Perhaps these expeditions are motivated by legend of the Frozen Flame, or something else. In any event, this action may have somehow been caused by the adventure in Chrono Trigger; for instance, those who saw the Sun Stone in Porre may have been motivated to search for artifacts like it. Porre may have even found the past Sun Stone during its excavations. Comparing the maps of 2300 A.D. and 1000 A.D., the Sun Palace lies near Porre's former location. However, it is important to note that the world of 2300 A.D. is very continentally different from the eras of 600 A.D. and 1000 A.D.
In conclusion, these artifacts of Zeal can be construed as foreign to the timeline, a condition Masato Kato assigns whatever caused the Fall of Guardia following Chrono Trigger.
The Sun Stone? That is incredibly unlikely to have influenced the timeline. While it is a powerful artifact, there are several problems with assuming that it could have changed the course of history.
- First, even if Porre found the 1000 AD "Sun Stone" (to note, Crono & Co used the 2300 AD Sun Stone), it wasn't really the Sun Stone. It was a partially charged Moon Stone. The question is if the Moon Stone is like a battery (partially charge it and you can use the charge even if it isn't full) or if it is like a nuclear reaction (it has to reach critical mass before it does anything fun).
- Second, even assuming Porre obtained the Sun Stone, would they have even realized what it was capable of? People have known about lead for ages, but it was only after the discovery of radiation that we learned that lead is so good at blocking it. Likewise, oil was well known throughout much of human history, but only with the advent of the internal combustion engine was it even possible to apply oil for locomotive purposes.
- Third, its primary purpose in Zeal (and even for Crono & Co) was as an Energy Source. Thus, in order to utilize it, Porre would have needed to have been able to extract that energy (plausible, as Lucca was able to do so with 1000 AD tech), but it would have also needed such exotic energy. Give a rural tribal village in Africa a nuclear power plant and they'll have access to more energy than they can imagine, but that doesn't suddenly turn them into a regional superpower. Energy Sources have one purpose; to provide power for those objects that require it. Before the Sun Stone could have influence Porre, Porre would need to have developed technology that required levels of Energy that only the Sun Stone could have practically provided. However, Porrean tech appears to be fairly primitive, on a near steam-punk level. Their energy needs do not seem to necessitate a power source like the Sun Stone.
- Fourth, the secondary purpose of the Sun Stone is in its ability to form very nice alloys. Unfortunately, it appears that the only individual aware of this is Melchior. If Porre had Melchior working for them, then the Sun Stone becomes a moot point; Melchior is that influence outside the normal flow of time.
Zealian technology, on the other hand, is a very interesting possibility but I am afraid you haven't thought out the implications fully. Saying that Zealian technology is responsible for the rise of Porre is like saying that the answer to the question of "the chicken or the egg" is "coq au vin." The discovery of Zealian Technology must inherently occur after the influence that lead to the Rise of Porre; it cannot be that influence itself. If Zealian technology was sufficient to change the course of history and cause the Rise of Porre, then in the original timeline Porre must not have discovered it. The question is, then, what influenced Porre in such a manner that they discovered and began to unearth Zealian technology? Zealian artifacts could be construed as foreign to the timeline, but they cannot satisfy Masato Kato's remarks; they are effects, not causes. There must be some other influence foreign to the original timeline that even led Porre to discover the Zealian Artifacts.
It seems to have become common knowledge in 1000 A.D. that Crono and his friends traveled through time to defeat Lavos. Its possible that Porre felt threatened by the power of time traveling. They may have demanded more details about time travel and the gates, but were probably told "the Gates are closed forever, don't worry about it." Fearing that this perceived and misunderstood ability to alter time gave Guardia an incredible militaristic advantage, Porre began desperately amassing military power to effect a full scale invasion to crush Guardia and "ensure" its own survival.
The aforementioned theories form the mainstream; another theory exists, however, that was derived from the long hair of the man who slays the last Guardian defender in the Fall of Guardia cutscene.
As we last saw him, Dalton was cursing his luck as he disappeared into a black hole atop the Epoch. Could the power-hungry, maniacal Zealian general have played a role in the Rise of Porre? It's been observed that Dalton can use his magic even after normal Zealians have lost theirs, as he is an innate; perhaps he used this to impress Porrean commanders and assume some level of control. Dalton would certainly have the motivation; he would hold both a lust for power and a grudge against Crono and the team. Additionally, the man in the cutscene has long hair, akin to Dalton's.
In addition to providing military and technological leadership and advancement to Porre, Dalton also may have taught certain people Magic. Evidence for this comes from Radical Dreamers, where it's shown that ordinary people (e.g. Serge) can be taught Magic, and even Vera, who knows healing Magic, is known as the "Magic Chancellor" of Porre. Thus, being able to fight Magic with Magic would be a great boon for Porre. Add in Dalton, who, for all his pompousness, was still a military commander, and the regular use of guns and other technology, and possibly five years of preparations...I think Guardia would have been simply overwhelmed.
Still, the gate Dalton utilized to transport Golems was probably a spatial gate; this note and the farfetched nature of this theory work to discount it. However, it is still possible that some other time traveler may have instigated the Rise of Porre, as this would certainly fit Kato's definition that it was precipitated by a force outside the normal flow of history. This is covered in Fates of the Chrono Trigger Team. Other people with long hair who could have been present at the battle include Garai or Zappa, or even Radius and General Viper if they had hair fifteen years earlier.
Currently, these are the foremost explanations; as new commentary and theories are added, they shall be reflected here in this article. Although we still do not have solid proof of any single theory causing Porre's rise, we do know facts about its aftermath -- Guardia continues to exist as a region or petty state, and Crono and Marle possibly live -- although the evidence behind their survival is for another article on the Fates of the Chrono Trigger Team.
Thank you for reading! If you wish to comment on anything, whether in agreement or challenge, please do so. I'd like to give thanks to
- Everyone featured in this article, having contributed commentary or maps/charts.
- Everyone who has been involved with the Chrono Compendium positively, no matter how large or small their work.
- Squaresoft for creating Zeal and the vast depth of the Chrono series.
- You especially for reading this article. Although work to explain events is a noble thing in itself, its value is multiplied when others benefit from it or enjoy it; thank you for reading and if you have any questions, do not be afraid to ask.