The development team had a document outlining the plot in detail. This is the 4B and final revision of the plot.
Before the game
Belthasar comes to the future and builds Chronopolis in secret. He uses the Frozen Flame, its generator, and a Time Egg to resurrect friends and others. However, the effort to save King Zeal backfires; he loses control of the King, who escapes on his own will with the Flame and Time Egg.
King Zeal wants to create a new kingdom of Zeal, and recruits Dalton to gather old relics and technology. Dalton is of doubtful loyalty, as he was with Queen Zeal, but King Zeal doesn’t consider him a serious threat. King Zeal takes interest in Crono, Marle, and Lucca, and gives General Montcrief funds and cyborg implants (built by Dalton) to cause trouble in the present. Porre tries to reverse-engineer these to create other machines, such as the Chimera tank, but they aren’t skilled enough to make them functional.
- 1005 - Montcrief’s cyborg program releases its first candidate (Sorin) and sends him and Ingrus on a test run to assassinate the Chancellor. Lucca's prototype Time Egg backfires, sending the party to Chronopolis.
Chapter 1: Legacy of Zeal
- 11999 - While searching for Schala, Magus faints, is rescued by the First Village Elder, and gets Sargon to let people use his healing square.
- 11999 - Dalton retrieves the Silver Streak for King Zeal. Magus shadows Dalton but is defeated. Emphasis is put on the fact that Magus is much weaker than he should be. Magus is locked in stasis; he retains a dreamlike consciousness and begins reflecting on his past.
Chapter 2: Double Trouble
Having heard and observed the party, the Porre agent (Sorin) decides to quietly loot Lucca’s house to learn interesting stuff. He finds the Gate Key, and uses it to travel to Chronopolis (via the Telepod blue Gate). He downloads information about tank technology.
- 2305 - Belthasar greets Crono and friends. He shows them the Time Dispatch Chamber, a machine which can send people to any year in time, but not bring them back. He explains that the party’s arrival was due to the Temporal Catch, a powerful force field which diverts time portals to Chronopolis instead of the End of Time.
- 2305 - The party find the Porre agent and try to capture him, but they’re all caught in the Dispatch Chamber and return to 1005. They visit the Porre Camp. The agent waits for them to leave to enter the camp and fix the Chimera tank.
- 1005 - Montcrief attacks Guardia. The party fight off the invasion. The agent flees and loses the Gate Key. Lucca picks it up and they decide to go see if the Telepod Gate (or the one from the Medina) has somehow been reopened.
- 2305 - The party arrives in Chronopolis again. King Zeal releases monsters to test it; the party defeat them.
Chapter 3: Beneath the Azure
King Zeal resurrects Schala with the Flame’s power. He does this instead of simply preventing her from dying in the past, because he wants her to experience the same thing he has experienced.
- 2305 - Belthasar notes that the monsters were from the same kind as the ones from the Ocean Palace. He sends the party to 11995 B.C. to investigate the Palace ruins.
- 11995 - The party find Schala and King Zeal. Magus feels something is going on and frees himself from the stasis prison. He rushes to the Ocean Palace and is confused to find his sister now, even though he had already explored the place before and found nothing. To get rid of Magus, King Zeal picks up the Masamune, hurt him and escapes with it, “entrusting” Schala to the party for the time being.
Chapter 4: Murmurs of Red
King Zeal’s removal of the Masamune alters the timeline. In the Middle Ages, Cyrus and Glenn died as ordinary soldiers. Kasmir lived on to become a powerful Mystic illusionist instead of dying young. In 600 A.D., Kasmir replaced Magus as the Mystic leader. A bewildered Glenn returned from the Lavos quest and founded the Vanguard order to try and restore peace quickly. However, the war dragged on until about 650 A.D.
- 2305 - Magus and Schala reunite, while the party request to visit Glenn in 605 A.D.
- 605 - Glenn is found in the Dorino Field, preparing to raid the Mystic continent. Kasmir is defeated in the tunnel, but as expected by Glenn, it was just another illusion (Glenn had defeated multiple Kasmirs before but they were all fake).
- 605 - The party must track back to save two Vanguard, while Glenn continues the raid alone. He finds Vanguard and Porre troops discussing what to do with a small Mystic Den claiming to be fed up with Kasmir. The three Vanguard captains have differing opinions, and Glenn must side with one of them:
- Renault’s option: Help Porre raid the village
- This option will show Glenn giving into his distaste for the Mystics, and ravaging the village. Porre will give you thanks for helping them. In 1005 A.D., tensions with Porre will have backed down somewhat, while Medina will become unfriendly. Montcrief will have been reprimanded for starting hostilities and demoted to Lieutenant General.
- Luther’s option: Prevent Porre from raiding the village
- Porre will express incredulity at this course of action and will send forth some soldiers that Glenn will defeat. The Mystics will thank you and give you a reward. In 1005 A.D., however, you will find Porre to be much more hostile to you. Montcrief will be promoted to High Commander of the Armed Forces of Porre.
- Roget’s option: Declare neutrality
- This provokes a dismissive reaction from both sides. When it's over, the Mystic and Porre fighters will have been eradicated to the last man. The corpses are available for looting, and thus you obtain far more items than you would with either of the first two options. In 1005 A.D., both Porre and Medina will be unfriendly. Montcrief will be normal.
Chapter 5: Asking the Mirror
- 2305 - The party return to Chronopolis with Glenn. Magus joins them following a dialogue with Schala.
- 2305 - Belthasar remarks that the recent activities are starting to wear out the Chronopolis Dreamstone, so he needs his old Zeal notes to choose a new and better power source. He sends the party to 12001 B.C. with an incomplete but functional Time Egg (so that they can return).
- 12001 - The party learn about early Project Mammon, recover the notes, and avoid a patrol by Dalton.
Chapter 6: The Breaking Point
- 2305 - Having recovered his notes, Belthasar gives a speech on Dreamstone and King Zeal. He then decides that the Dragoon Tooth, a legendary Reptite artifact, is what they need to power Chronopolis. The Dragon Tooth is an artifact created by the Reptites after Lavos’ arrival to remember all their fallen comrades. It is a ceremonial totem partly made of Reptite bones and it is used to communicate with the dead. It's not particularly useful as such, but it can power Chronopolis efficiently due to its connection with the Black Wind (Black Energy in Japanese); Belthasar could modify it to channel energy directly from the "void".
- 2305 - The entire party depart to Prehistory, as Belthasar notes that they might need the extra hands for uncovering the Dragon Tooth if it requires a little work.
- 64999995 - The active party rescue Ayla while the other party find the “Dragoon Tooth”. They also find King Zeal, who followed the party around for some time and learned of Lavos’s presence in Prehistory. The reason he didn’t know it directly is because the Frozen Flame withheld the information from him, to keep (past) Lavos safe.
- 64999995 - King Zeal notes how he and Lavos are both in a contest for survival, and he will kill Lavos. Ayla is wounded, and the Frozen Flame dispenses the Dragon Tooth and the six party members through time while King Zeal attempts the Atash Kedah.
Chapter 7: An Emerald Dream Pt. I
The Dragon Tooth falls into a Gate leading to 3 million B.C., where the Frozen Flame recreates a bunch of Reptites from the bones that compose the Tooth. These Reptites then go to war with humans and the timeline eventually become the "Reptite timeline" as seen by the party in 1 A.D., 2302 A.D. and 1002 A.D. (Note: This information should be revealed in the Lucca/Robo chapter rather than this one.)
- 1 - Marle awakes to find Cedric and her ancestors, still sharing the planet with Reptites but on the verge of defeat. Cedric asks Marle to retrieve a child in Snaking Forest, and notes that some kind of magic portal has recently been opened in the Reptite territories. After retrieving the child, Marle explores Dinopolis, where the main power source of the Reptites is supposed to be, to try and locate the magic portal. She briefly sees a Xamoltan datacube (later carried by Yaluk in a sidequest) but is trapped by Cakulha, one of the Xamoltan time travelers, and puts in a prison. Cedric’s village is destroyed by the Reptites.
Chapter 8: An Emerald Dream Pt. 2 (this needs a distinct title)
- 2305 - Lucca and Robo arrive to find themselves in the midst of robots. They learn of the Reptite world's history: at some point in the future, Reptite scientists discovered that they were “corrupted” by the Frozen Flame in 3,000,000 BC (via their re-creation through it and the Dragon Tooth). This discovery deeply affected their society and worldview. All their certainties were suddenly called into questions, and they believed that they were inherently harmful to the planet due to their corruption.
- They eventually decided to relinquish their individual ambitions and free will to the Vision Serpent -- a central AI which would control them collectively and establish a society that would have a wiser vision of what is good and what is bad for the planet. Whereas the Vanguard are the embodiment of misguided zeal, the future Reptites embody the total rejection of desires and ambitions, for a "greater good".
- This is where the Robots come in. They are opposed to the plan (they can't be plugged into the Vision Serpent anyway) because they believe that free will and aspirations should never be relinquished, especially as they aren't even sure whether the Vision Serpent's guidance will actually be any good. A war occurs between the Reptites and the Robots.
- As for the Xamoltan time-travelers, they don't have the right to change anything historical in the timeline (like, going to the past to destroy the first Robot model or something); their only mission is to protect the timeline from changes, like the ones that might be caused by Crono's party.
- As you may have noticed, the Vision Serpent's mindcontrol is reminiscent of FATE's, thus furthering the parallel between the two and shedding a slightly ironical light on the Chrono Cross Dragon God. The implication is that Belthasar will gain the idea of the Records of FATE after he studies the datacube that Yaluk gives to the party.
- 2305 - So, the Robots enlist Lucca and Robo to raid Huacan Factory, where a non-Maverick AI is being developed to stop the robot rebellion.
- 2305 - In exchange, the robots give Lucca and Robo access to Dinopolis, noting that destroying the Vision Serpent will cripple the Reptites for good. They learn about Cakulha, Coyopa, and Yaluk, but never meet them as they seem to have already gone back in time.
- 2305 - Lucca and Robo destroy the Vision Serpent, a prototype Dragon God (this relation is hinted, not stated of course). Unfortunately, they can't go back in time since the portal too is destroyed, but this cripples the Reptites, effectively putting an end to the war. Lucca and Robo seemingly enjoy living with the robots, and spend the rest of their lifes there.
Chapter 9: An Emerald Dream Pt. III (this needs a distinct title)
- 1005 - Crono, Magus, and Glenn arrive in a forest. They head up a little and find a village (all one map) and Dinopolis, where a traveler blocks the entrance but is cordial.
- 1005 - They see Reptites doing a strongman contest. They battle a few and win, earning a dinner with the Xamoltan time travelers Coyopa and Yaluk.
- 1005 - Coyopa and Yaluk explain their history and ask where the others came from; they say outer space.
- 1005 - The party get elemental armor from a group who do not trust the Xamoltan.
- 1005 - When Crono meets with the religious leaders who doubt the Xamoltan, they'll reason that time traveling is going too far...that the Reptites have grown in harmony with the planet by restricting their ambitions, and that the time traveling seems to be a blind leap even if they set "non-intervention" rules.
- 1005 - The party sleep for the night. Glenn talks to Magus about not having a home.
- 1005 - The party find the Porre agent from Chapter 2, bewildered and thinking that he came to the wrong era. They almost fight, but decide to ally to figure out what's going on. His name is revealed as Sorin.
- 1005 - They go to Dinopolis. Magus detects a massive accumulation at the top of Terra Tower, and they break in.
- 1005 - Crono sees Marle's skeleton in a cell with the pendant and immediately kills two Reptites trying to reason with him.
- 1005 - King Zeal comes in and notifies Coyopa that Crono, Magus, and Glenn must also be apprehended, and that they're trying to disrupt Reptite civilization.
- 1005 - Crono and the others kill Coyopa. Sorin enters the portal to 64999995 B.C., and the party follow him.
Chapter 10: The Stain of Regency
- 64999995 - Sorin, Crono, Magus, and Glenn burst in to the crater a few minutes before the initial time warps. They reason that one of them must somehow prevent the Dragon Tooth from getting warped, and Sorin immediately jumps on the Dragon Tooth to avert the resurrection of the Reptites from the other side of the portal, in 3,000,000 B.C.
- 64999995 - The party must choose once more to save Ayla or attack Zeal. A few battles happen.
- 64999995 - Magus and Glenn are held back by a Light barrier, but Crono, being Light innate, is able to go through. King Zeal taunts Crono and talks about the Flame. It's such an illustrious shade of crimson...it represents the uncovered, unbound desire for more power and advancement. He notes that communicating with it has given him many new perspectives, and opened his mind to all sorts of things...but Crono knocks King Zeal to the ground, disrupting the spell.
- 64999995 - Magus and Glenn join Crono to try and finish him off. King Zeal leaves, but notes that the spell will partly finish, and hopes they enjoy the fire. Magus, Glenn, and Crono are severely wounded before they can escape.
- 2305 - Chronopolis picks up the signature of Sorin and the Dragon's Tooth, and an agent retrieves them with a Time Egg.
Chapter 11: The Founding of Guardia
- 1 - The screen cuts here in the new 1 A.D., where Cedric the Executor wakes Marle and they ride out to battle Antaeus of Porre. This time, Cedric Guardia is truely a brutal conqueror (and Arbiter of the Flame! but we don't know it yet), not the polite and ordinary "Cedric" of the Reptite timeline.
- 1 - Due to Marle's presence during the battle, the events are altered: Marle does something not very wise that draws the warriors' attention where it shouldn't have. The consequence is that Antaeus steals the Frozen Flame before Cedric can use it. Antaeus's body is charged with energy and he utters the already famous declaration:
- "A thousand fires have sparked within my mind! I see everything! I know all! And I know this: you must perish!"
- 1 - Marle realizes what she's just done and has to fight Antaeus in Cedric's place to fix history. She defeats him; Cedric grabs the Frozen Flame back and the troops surrender. A Chronopolis agent locates Marle and takes her back, noting that the Entity apparently created a permanent Gate in this era.
- 2305 - Marle finds Crono, Magus, and Glenn bedridden. She talks to Crono. Lucca and Robo arrive directly from the Atash Kedah scene. Schala is busy tending to Ayla in Prehistory.
Chapter 12: The Gray Forgotten
- 2305 - Belthasar informs the party that Cakulha is causing some crisis on Zenan mainland. The party may learn about the future political situation by browsing a computer: in the aftermath of a disastrous nuclear conflict in the 22th century, the nations of the world decided to unite in a Central Regime to prevent other tragedies. In reality, the Vanguard organization is almost synonymous with this regime: it controls most of it. Rebellions appear from time to time but are always easily crushed. In 2,305 A.D., the situation is different because of Cakulha. He joined the current (terrorist) rebellion and has managed to acquire a nuclear missile that they plan to use on a city of the Central Regime. Belthasar doesn't really know why Cakulha joined them, but the party must take care of him in any case.
- 2305 - The party make their way through the rebel base. Whenever there are no enemy around the party to hear him, Cakulha appears on a computer screen or hologram and ask the party ethical questions about changing time. He also reveals that his only goal in this conflict is to gather resource and acquire the means necessary to find Chronopolis by exposing its signature with a nuclear blast. He can't directly use the resource of the Central Regime, because he doesn't want to tell anyone about the Time Fortress and because they would have used him as a guinea pig if they ever found him. So he joined a non-xenophobic rebellion instead and tries to make them overthrow the regime. Cakulha in the missile base ridicules the world and the party for mucking in time, noting that dangerous, blind pursuits like this are like a cancer of space-time. After all questions are answered, one out of three possible outcomes for Cakulha is reached:
- 1. He commits suicide (normal rewards).
- 2. He is defeated in battle by the party (more EXP gain + some piece of equipment).
- 3. He tries to stop the missile launch but is killed by the rebels (more GP + some Elixirs or Megalixirs).
- 2305 - In the end, the remaining rebels manage to launch the missile regardless of Cakulha's fate. The party try to stop it with a computer but fail, but fortunately, Agent 12 hops in the Epoch 2 at Chronopolis and takes it out in the skies.
- 2305 - After returning to Belthasar, the party are told that a few rebel robots (including Proto 5-02C) actually managed to hear Cakulha and them mentioning Chronopolis, and that rumors of its existence are starting to spread on the mainland. Only the Vanguard of the Central Regime take this rumor seriously, as they already suspected that their founder Glenn was a time traveler.
Chapter 13: Animal Persistence
The party is saddened by Cakulha's fate (whatever it is) but Belthasar is just upset about the Vanguard searching the oceans for Chronopolis. The party decides to visit Ayla in prehistory.
- 64999995 - The party find Ayla wounded, but alive. Things are back to normal in prehistory.
- 64999995 - ...actually, are they? NPCs speak about a new leader among the Reptites. The party realize that the Xamoltan were three: Coyopa (killed in 1005), Cakulha (seen in 1 AD and taken care of in 2305), and Yaluk, the female leader whose fate is unknown.
- 64999995 - Somewhere (Singing Mt or a new location), the party meet with the Reptites. Yaluk is here, but reveals she doesn't want to fight. She ceased to obey King Zeal and plans to just live peacefully with the remaining Reptites, away from the humans, until her species die out (which is after her lifetime anyway). She dreams of a world in which Lavos never falls and the Reptites can leave in harmony with nature... but it's just a dream, isn't it? She also notes that she is sterile, like many Reptites were in her era, so the party doesn't have to worry about her having offspring in prehistory.
- 64999995 - Yaluk tells the party that she knows of Azala, who may have had a chance to save the Reptites, but was so selfish and absorbed with his war with humanity that he did nothing and was crushed by the events of Lavos's fall. His desire became almost self-destructive. Yaluk cautions the humans against a similar fate.
- 64999995 - If you talk to Yaluk a second time, the party tell her about Cakulha's death, but Yaluk's decision isn't affected.
- 64999995 - After all those emotional moments, I suppose something less distressing is gladly welcome by the player: a strong and stupid Ioka man named Kong challenges Ayla to be chief of Ioka, citing her incapacitation as weakness. He challenges her to a game of getting the most frogs from the Hunting Range.
- 64999995 - Ayla obviously cannot participate, but Glenn steps up to the challenge, comically scampering around to get more hides than the other guy. Schala proposes a party, and the party talk a bit at night.
- 64999995 - That night, Magus and Schala reflect on King Zeal. Schala reveals her sorrow, her feeling that back in the Ocean Palace when she woke up Lavos, she ultimately caused everything bad that happened since then and is in a way the actual responsible for every life that was suppressed because of it.
Chapter 14: The Glare of Midnight...
Belthasar thought he could handle the situation with the robots and Vanguard searching for Chronopolis, but he can't handle it any longer. Belthasar decides to clean up the timeline: if the party recover the "past" Masamune and put it back somewhere in 11,995 B.C., the Mystic War will revert back to its original state and the Vanguard will cease to exist to annoy Chronopolis. Belthasar reveals that King Zeal had given it to the real Kasmir in 605 A.D. (he put Masa and Mune to sleep too).
- 605 - The party arrive to find Zenan set back by fighting which recently subsided. They hear that Imps led by Ozzie, Slash, Flea are trying to overthrow Kasmir on the eastern continent.
- 605 - At the Mystic Den, the party help the Mystical Knights fend off some of Kasmir's troops. Ozzie tells the party about the Fortress of the real Kasmir, and everyone meets there.
- 605 - The Mystical Knights reach Kasmir first, and after an (offscreen) fight, Slash manages to take the Masamune from Kasmir's hands. The party arrive but have to track back to the entrance with Slash to rescue some Imps.
- 605 - In Kasmir's room, King Zeal appears and seemingly defeats Ozzie and Flea. He tells Kasmir that he needs his Mystics for a task, and takes the entire group.
- 605 - The party find the Imps dead and return to find everyone else gone. Slash believes Ozzie and Flea are still alive, and gives the party the Masamune.
- 11995 - Glenn puts the past Masamune in Beast Forest. The party mention in passing that a Glenn fighting with two legendary swords would have been awesome. They decide to go to 1005 to see how things have changed.
Chapter 15: ...And the Darkness of Noon
- 1005 - The situation has reverted to how it was at the beginning of the game, but with no Vanguard. The text in Porre changes to their legitimate griefs about Guardia statically holding all the wealth, etc. King Guardia is staging another meeting with Porre. Montcrief is present.
- 1005 - Marle and two party members decide to attend since the meeting is taking place immediately.
- 1005 - While at the meeting, Guardia Castle comes under attack from Porre, led by Dalton, as well as Kasmir and his troops from the alternate 605 A.D.
- 1005 - Guards seal the meeting room while Marle and the others rumble in the castle. The envoy and a representative of Medina maintain that they have nothing to do with the attack.
- 1005 - Masa and Mune arrive from Chronopolis (or Glenn's equipment if he's present) and say that the party has done a lot for them, so now it's their turn to help them. They go to battle the Porre and Mystic troops.
- 1005 - The party make it up to the top tower, where they find the portal that the monsters came from. They defeat Dalton, who is pushed out of a window.
- 1005 - The party return to the throne room to find King Guardia crawling to the throne. Marle rushes in.
- 1005 - King Zeal appears behind them on the throne of Guardia. He laughs at the turn of events and remarks that it's given him the opportunity to do some shopping in Guardia's treasury, showing the Sun Stone. Marle takes a shot at him, but he disappears and King Guardia dies. The guards get things under control.
- 1005 - Montcrief, apparently shocked, expresses condolences. Porre establishes a protectorate on Guardia, allowing Nadia to become Queen, but Marle delegates her powers to the Chancellor as she's still busy with chasing King Zeal through time.
- 1005 - Screen goes black and Crono wakes up at his house. Marle comes up and they share a scene about what happened to Truce before heading back to Chronopolis.
Chapter 16: Stop the Porre Lab!
- 2305 - The party return to Chronopolis, where Marle argues with Belthasar about saving her father's life. Belthasar reveals that he was soon to die anyway. He tells the party he's trying to locate King Zeal.
- 2305 - Belthasar breaks the argument by meeting arriving agents, who bring with them Cakulha (who lives now that history removed the Vanguard).
- 2305 - The party decide to check Medina 1005 to find and destroy the lab for revenge, but also in case they can rescue Coyopa.
- 1005 - Hutch tells the party Toma XIII has gone missing. They search at the sealed pyramid and find the door to something. However, they can't open it, and Hutch is worried about Toma. The party decide to go see the first Toma.
- 1005 - They bring him to 1005 A.D. and he opens it up. They enter and go down a few hallways to find a Porre lab conducting experiments. The lead researchers are Luccia's parents; she's there as a 10 year old kid along with her older brother (the man who would create Grobyc in CC). Anyway, they're trying to infuse humans with magic and Elements, and create monstrosities as a result. Toma attempts to bust out his descendant as the party fight some of their creations.
- 1005 - They eventually find Luccia and her parents, who confirm that Medina is not aware of their presence here. A monstrosity, apparently upset by the party's presence, comes out. The party defeat the monstrosity, which appears to be a mutated Coyopa. Luccia's parents tell her and his brother to finish their research and complete a new cyborg (the first Porre cyborg was completed only thanks to King Zeal's help and Dalton's technology).
- 1005 - The party take Coyopa's Xamoltan datacube from the parents, which will be translated by Cakulha and help Belthasar create Elements in the future for Chrono Cross, among other things.
- 1005 - Luccia's brother stupidly set the self-destruct sequence, thinking Toma had already done it. They take Luccia and her brother outside with the Tomas, but the parents don't make it. William Ishito shows up and remarks that Porre might form a Black Wind unit to replace the losses there, and that he'll join it to make sure things don't get out of hand. His 8 year old brother Norris is with him and notes that he'll join too, as he wants to be a hero. Ishito shrugs it off, and Toma goes to check out his museum before returning to 605 A.D.
Chapter 17: Once More Unto the Breach
This chapter is a strong opportunity to demonstrate Belthasar's philosophy that the end justifies the means, as well as the actual unreliability of Crono's party. Ultimately, this will show why Belthasar didn't work with most of them in Chrono Cross...
- 64999995 - Ayla, if the party decided to save her, heals.
- 2305 - Belthasar, flabbergasted, suggests the party strike at the Frozen Flame to lure King Zeal out for battle. He notes that in a few days, it will be one year exactly since the Ocean Palace incident, and that the party can strike at the Frozen Flame -- inside the Mammon Machine -- in the interim period between the Ocean Palace's destruction and the creation of the Black Omen.
- 2305 - Belthasar notes that Schala must be present to allow the party to get close to the Frozen Flame. Magus objects but relents once Schala demands she be allowed to go. Once Schala unseals the Mammon Machine, the party members will activate an Annihilation Energy Agitator, which will mix Annihilation energy with the Anti-annihilation energy of the Flame.
- 2305 - Striking the past Frozen Flame actually has more consequences than it seems: if the party change the Flame in some way, Guardia would disappear from history, as Antaeus would easily butcher a Flame-less Cedric! In that scenario, past Marle might still defeat Antaeus anyway, but Guardia might not dominate over the other tribes on the long term. The risk must be taken according to Belthasar, who slightly hints towards the fact that Chronopolis would still exist in a Porre dominant world anyway. Moreover, he reminds the party that they already destroyed one world, the Reptite one, and that they must not have remorse in destroying another one... because it is necessary. The party, as well as Melchior, are in a dilemma.
- 2305 - The party decide to risk it, and resolve to change history back to normal if the Flame changes and causes any problems.
- 12000 - The party arrive and access the main room through a back route. They get to the throne room and find the Mammon Machine.
- 12000 - Schala unseals the Mammon Machine and the AEA is activated. King Zeal arrives to taunt the party, but the Flame discards both the Machine and Schala in the Darkness Beyond Time to protect itself. A party member strikes at King Zeal, who drops his Frozen Flame.
- 12000 - King Zeal is temporarily stunned to learn that Schala has been sucked in, and the party approach the Flame.
Chapter 18: Born in Sin, Die in Sin
- 12000 - The Frozen Flame beckons and challenges each of the three party member to see if they can tame it.
- ? - Marle goes through Guardia Castle and witnesses humiliating moments in her past. In the center of the castle is Yakra. The Frozen Flame ridicules her for being too weak to deal with the hard realities of the world, and she falters.
- ? - Glenn goes through mountains and observes scenes of cruelty perpetrated by Cyrus. Magus appears and kills Cyrus. Glenn then kills Magus. Glenn goes to Cyrus's side, and Cyrus tells him to kill all Mystics as his dying wish. Glenn falters.
- ? - Robo enters a dome of the ruined future. He walks through scenes of his life, and regrets not being able to save his human masters from Lavos. The Flame torments him by calling him an in-betweener, caught between the world of humans and robots but unable to fully participate in either. Atropos later appears and says he is infected; he must fight Atropos to survive. He tries to help Atropos after beating her, but she springs back and cripples him; he falters.
- ? - Lucca awakes in her house, were she's ridiculed. Her science is merely a tool to be used by governments and those more powerful than her, and she'll never see the bright future she's creating. She sees a few scenes from her life, including Crono's rejection. The scene shifts to her house, where R-series blue robots are burning the orphanage. After killing them, she discovers they were piloted by children, and falters.
- ? - Magus enters what appears to be his lair. The Flame torments him by revealing just how many thousands of humans and Mystics died as a result of the war. Magus shrugs it off and keeps going, and after passing a few rooms with broken bodies of Mystics, he enters the next room to find Zeal Palace's throneroom; he finds Schala too. What appears to be King Zeal arrives and challenges Magus in battle; this is a new enemy. Magus defeats King Zeal. King Zeal appears to launch a fire spell, and Magus is forced to counter it. As a result, Schala dies, and Magus falters.
- ? - Crono appears in his house, and sees scenes of his life. He's then taking to a black area where he sees bodies broken upon the ground. The Flame ridicules him for killing scores of people across time, and notes that he's nothing more than an assassin. Lavos appears; Crono fights him, but falters.
- ? - Ayla, if available, appears in prehistory. She says "Home?" and scampers around before Reptites surround her. She wanders around and defeats them. The Flame taunts her for being a ruthless killer, but she echoes "law of earth. Win and live. Lose and die. No change law." (In the JP version it was the law of earth, not rule of life.) She's transported to a factory. No battles here; the Flame just ridicules her for not being able to even comprehend the future of life. She notes that life is simple; eat and live, love friends and lovers, and live for the betterment of the world. Defeated again in this little game, the Flame takes her back to prehistory. She wanders around and destroys more Reptites before confronting two Xamoltan. The Flame interjects that humans can never co-exist with other life. She asks if they wish to fight. They decline, and Ayla opts not to fight them. Ayla states that one must protect oneself, but that all life is precious. She is transported to a black screen, and approaches the Flame (which asks her how to arbitrate with Lavos) before hearing King Zeal object.
- 12000 - The party materialize back at the Ocean Palace, where King Zeal has recovered from his stupor and stops the party from accessing the Frozen Flame.
- 12000 - The party must battle the Frozen Flame.
- 12000 - After the battle, King Zeal exclaims that he'll take revenge, and withdraws through a portal with the Frozen Flame. The party returns to Chronopolis.
Chapter 19: The Dreamtime
At this point, the player can access a computer record in Chronopolis showing Project "Anabasis", the record of King Zeal's revival and escape.
- 2305 - The party returns to Chronopolis and finds that King Zeal recently attacked, capturing the Gurus and inflicting casualties. Agent 12 explains what happened, as does Mother Brain. The party and agents assume that King Zeal's next target is Gaspar, and decide to go to the End of Time.
- End of Time - At the End of Time, Spekkio appears and asks for a battle, just to entertain himself. He also requires Crono's presence (this is a convenience for the plot in the next scene). After the battle, Spekkio states that King Zeal didn't come here, and that Gaspar traveled to the far past a while ago anyway. The party (3 characters including Crono) uses the Gate left by Gaspar: it leads to the Dreamtime ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamtime )-- basically an indefinite era in the far past, when biological life didn't exist yet but weird spiritual phenomena were present in the forms of "Entity emanations" occasionally bursting here and there on the barren surface.
- Dreamtime - The party makes its way across the barren land fighting curious spirit creatures. Their magic is ineffective for some reason. Nevertheless, they reach Gaspar near a small crack, observing some of these strange emanations bursting. Suddenly, King Zeal appears from nowhere and asks Gaspar to join him in the recreation of Zeal; Gaspar informs Zeal that his magic is useless.
- Dreamtime - Crono, emboldened by this fact, rushes to attack King Zeal but is hit by the King's defense and falls into the planet's energies. King Zeal notes that'll come for Gaspar later. The party explains the whole situation to Gaspar, who then reveals that it was most probably Belthasar who revived King Zeal, as he already wanted to do that way back before the events of the Ocean Palace in CT.
Chapter 20: Dalton’s Last Stand
Zeal contacted Dalton as early as before Chapter 1, somehow gaining his support and asking him to gather old relics to prepare for the re-creation of the Kingdom of Zeal. So that's why Dalton seeks the "Silver Streak" in Chapter 1 and encounters Magus. It doesn't change history then because the relics are inactive without a power source. This allows us to put Chapter 1 in 11998 BC instead of 11999 BC without too much coincidences (since Dalton's action is directly caused by King Zeal in this scenario). Zeal actually intends to kill Dalton since he is well aware that Dalton would try to enslave the villagers and make himself the king of that new kingdom.
- 11995 - King Zeal is finally ready for the re-creation. He activates the relics with the Sun Stone and goes to talk with the villagers. The relics have been assembled into a bunch of defense systems in a fortress guarded by Dalton, and the final activation of the Sun Stone will raise the continents.
- 11995 - Its purpose would be to protect the new kingdom. The party passes through it in hopes of finding King Zeal. Instead, they see Dalton trying to navigate the complex maze that King Zeal had him create.
- 11995 - The party confront Dalton and find out that he does plan to overthrow King Zeal at the first opportunity. They try to talk Dalton into joining them, since they have the same enemy, King Zeal.
- 11995 - But of course, Dalton refuses and Magus then kills him. This recalls yet again the main theme of reconciliation, except that Dalton happens to be an example of a typical stubborn person who refuses to reconcile.
- 11995 - King Zeal departs with Melchior and Belthasar, and speaks with them en route to the villagers to put the Sun Stone at Sargon's house.
Chapter 21: Let us Part in Zealous Regret
- 11995 - At Sargon's house, King Zeal leaves the Sun Stone and instructions to Sargon and other people for the re-creation of the kingdom of Zeal. He explains he will then leave do "something else" (the Dream Devourer is calling him to the DBT).
- 11995 - The villagers seem happy about King Zeal's plan and don't care much about the Gurus, and even the few dubious persons are comforted by the fact that King Zeal will leave, i.e. they'll have all the good stuff (Sun Stone, etc.) and not the worse ones (no king, no dictatorship).
- 11995 - King Zeal even tries to convince Belthasar, knowing that Belthasar still partly yearns for the kingdom of Zeal (the reason he built the Epoch in CT was explicitely to return to his era, according to the Japanese version).
- 11995 - The party find the Gurus at the Commons and confront King Zeal at the North Cape. King Zeal talks about regretting that he was under some kind of Lavos influence, and admonishes the party to enjoy the remaining days of earth. He tells them to pursue him if they want to see the end.
- 11995 - King Zeal disappears upward into a huge distortion leading to the Darkness Beyond Time. A pumped up version of the Sun Stone "Son of Sun" named "CrimseSun" appears to battle the party.
- 11995 - The distortion remains as a vertical and gigantic black rift in spacetime hovering above North Cape. A weird composite tower seems to occupy its surface: this is the Spire of Telos (name borrowed from the first plot draft). This location will serve as both the "ancient flying fortress" of the game (like the Black Omen and Terra Tower in the previous games) and the final dungeon that we came up with in the previous plot outline (this will be the place with the discarded scraps of timelines, while the actual DBT, at the end of the dungeon, will be a totally empty and smaller place like it is in CC).
- The party can't access it yet due to a gravitational barrier (plus they need the Epoch to fly there), so they head back to Sargon's place where the Gurus remained to talk with the villagers.
- The party stop Sargon, who's furious and makes a convincing argument for recreating Zeal. A scuffle breaks out and the Sun Stone activates, but nothing happens.
- A voice is then heard saying he (the voice) sealed the Sun Stone's power. To the party's (and player's) surprise, the person appears to be Crono! He comes in with the inactive characters and speaks before losing a blue graphical effect and wondering how he got there.
- The full party and the Gurus then return to Chronopolis, leaving the people with a useless Sun Stone (it's a Moon Stone then! curious reference to CC).
Chapter 22: Dreaming Across Time
- 2305 - Back in Chronopolis, Gaspar brutalizes Belthasar verbally for creating Chronopolis and reviving King Zeal.
- 2305 - The party enters, and Gaspar explains that Crono was apparently infused with a small part (or copy) of the Entity's consciousness when he touched the emanation in the Dreamtime. As a result, he is still himself but not totally; he shows traits of the Entity without being the Entity (thus why his textboxes are visible, and how he managed to seal the Sun Stone). Gaspar comments that this is probably not permanent, but he is unsure of all the effects this will leave on Crono's mind and body.
- 2305 - Gaspar comment that something huge is probably happening in the DBT, but Belthasar says they should still take the time to repair things in the timeline to gain more power; this is the sidequest chapter. The Gurus present a Time Egg to help enter the DBT.
Chapter 23: Where Dreams go to Die
- DBT - Having finished sidequests (or not), the party enters the Spire of Telos with an Epoch powered up by Belthasar. Throughout the place, emanations explain Lavos's history and the "Arbiter of Time"'s role. The discarded scraps of timeline visited include:
- a cathedral
- a castle with an unknown ruler
- a fair
- a ruined computer dome
- a Zeal teleporter
- a robotics facility
- an unknown Zeal area
- DBT - Gradually, emanations of Lavos reveal the role of the Arbiter...Lavos's history and original desires...and the spurned Lavos's desire to end it all.
- DBT - At the final area, Kasmir and King Zeal are shown talking. Kasmir offers to delay the party while King Zeal goes ahead to the Dream Devourer. Three PCs remain behind to battle Kasmir in the cloud illusion.
- King Zeal is in front of the DD's "face", and reveals its wish of destroying the universe and his impending merging with it. Anyway, King Zeal comments that he is strong-willed enough to resist the merging, and wants to use the Dream Devourer power to recreate Zeal. The party have a heated argument.
- He is defeated in a climactic final battle, after which the Frozen Flame is taken by Crono and the Dream Devourer seems to shatter. King Zeal, before dying, tells them that the Dream Devourer is still alive.
- DBT - King Zeal apparently dies, and the Dream Devourer erupts in distortions, though still unseen. Everyone's thrown out except Magus, who goes up to find Schala atop what appears to be a Lavos spawn. He's thrown out at that point, too.
- 2305 - At Chronopolis, Belthasar and the Gurus reveal that they feel the planet's finished its business, since the Gates are closing, but Belthasar still wants to formulate a plan for the Dream Devourer. However, everyone must return to their eras to stabilize time.
- 2305 - Magus storms out in anger, leaving to an unspecified time period. The rest say their goodbyes and leave.
- 64999995 - In prehistory, Ayla shares a small scene with Yaluk and is last seen gazing over the peak of Singing Mountain.
- 605 - In the Middle Ages, Frog returns to a hero's welcome. Leene is eager to talk to him, and the scene ends as they prepare for a feast in his honor.
- 1005 - ?
- Credits roll.
- 230X - SCENE: Belthasar opens up Project Kid in Chronopolis at night.
- ? - SCENE: King Zeal is lying down in an undisclosed location. Magus enters and they share dialogue. Magus notes that King Zeal will tell him all the secrets of the dark arts to help him find Schala. King Zeal laughs.
- ? - SCENE: If you completed all the sidequests, the bonus scene appears.
- After all this, you get a Developer's room check message (if you didn't find it) and a save prompt for New Game +.
Other overarching plot points
The following points are mostly valid, although they're sometimes not 100% ironed out or are susceptible of being changed as the coding of the game advances.
Crono will speak in Crimson Echoes. He speaks in Chrono Cross, as well as in the official Chrono Trigger manga -- in which we have a huge glimpse at his personality. The only reason he didn't speak in CT was because he was the main character. Same for Serge; he's silent because he's the main character, and as soon as "Lynx" replaces him, "Lynx" becomes the one who doesn't speak.
The thing with CT:CE is that we don't have a main character. Magus, Glenn, and Lucca appear to be the most central characters in the plot; Marle gets a lot of attention too thanks to the 1 A.D. story arc; Robo may be a bit less important but has exposure in the future arcs; and Ayla fills the role of the optional character. Crono, on the other hand, is less developed because of his silent role. All he does (and he doesn't actually do much in the plot) is generic cardboard heroic stuff, even with the addition of the Entity connection stuff in Chapter 19.
Granted, even though his personality is shown in the manga, we would have to expand on it if we make him speak. We would have to create something that isn't already here. But isn't this the very point of making a sequel in the first place? To put the characters in new, different situations than the ones they've already experienced? We expand a lot on Magus and Glenn; we could do the same with Crono and explore the human being that's hiding being the simple "hero" stereotype.
Also, Crono's silence completely nullifies one of the biggest difference between this game's Crono and CT's Crono: the fact that he's married with Marle. They're in love with each other, they form a couple, yet it doesn't really affect anything because of Crono's silence. If Crono were to speak, this "love" stuff wouldn't be an unwelcomed addition; on the contrary, as long as we keep the current epid mood and stay away from cliché, cutesy love-story stuff, this Crono/Marle detail would fit perfectly with the game's main theme of "reconciling differences" and "personal attachment", and Lavos's original loneliness and quest for knowledge.
Glenn is secretly haunted with the feeling of having no place to call home. Indeed, he has been "lost" ever since 590 A.D. when his friend Cyrus died and he went into hiding in the wilderness as a mere frog-man. Then after the events of CT, due to King Zeal, he returned in an alternate 600 A.D. in which Cyrus was never a hero and the Mystic War still continues in 605 A.D., while people think he has delusional disorders due to his mumblings about the difference between his timeline and this alternate, Masamune-less timeline...
Most people accept Glenn overall since he does create the Vanguard (who aren't corrupted fascists until the future era), but a few still think his mind isn't exactly sane. Without the King's protection, people would have thought he was crazy when he appeared out of nowhere in 600 A.D. talking about the war being finished and Cyrus and himself being heroes, etc.
In the original timeline, Kasmir was killed early in the war (perhaps by the Hero Cyrus, though we don't need to specify) before he managed to master his illusory spells. In the modified timeline, Cyrus not-the-Hero died first and stuff changed so that Kasmir lived on and went to become Magus' successor.
Kasmir knows a spell that allows him to create illusions of himself. This way, tons of battles can have happened between 600 and 605, but everytime Kasmir was defeated it happened to be an illusion, while the real one has always remained safely away from the battlefields in his hidden fortress. Thus, in Chapter 4, it's also an illusion, and the real one is defeated only later in the game
Origin of Lavos
Lavos did not only evolve the human species, Lavos IS humanity. He represents the desire of evolution taken to an extreme. He wants to keep on evolving and improving himself continuously but too wildly: if we could ask him why he wants that, he'll probably have no answer to give. This is kind of the same thing for humans:
- Kid: So that's Terra Tower's final, true form... In the end, we're all the same... Everyone dreams of bein' greater, more powerful...
They want self-improvement, scientific progress, etc., but where are they heading to with all this? The same question can be asked for the Reptites and every other living beings too, but the game will focus on humanity because they're the ones who got in contact with the Frozen Flame. In CC, the humans are compared to Lavos; throughout CE we could hint at the reverse, that Lavos can also be compared to humans. The original Lavoids would have originated on a planet in which humanity was so advanced, yet so selfish and destructive, that they evolved into Lavoids (this would take thousands of millennias of course). In addition to what we know of the Lavoid life cycle, the humans would also fit somewhere in there, being evolved by Lavoids, but also becoming Lavoids. The Chrono planet basically risks the same fate if the humans don't take more responsability in their free will. In a way, I guess this cycle is comparable to the Hindo-Buddhistic notion of Samsara, the wheel of perpetual reincarnations.
Now, about the Frozen Flame's origins. Its creation was actually accidental. In order to evolve, Lavos just has to slumber in the planet's core, he doesn't need anything else. However, a piece of his shell splintered by mere chance and remained on the surface. Lavos never wanted other beings to use the Flame's power, so he wanted to retrieve it.
Lavos succeeded in recovering the Flame in 12,000 B.C. in the original timeline, when he tricked Queen Zeal into setting forth the conditions of the Ocean Palace disaster (yes, this is an adaptation of DBoruta's theory, we'll have to thank him hugely). After retrieving the Flame, Lavos simply destroyed it, or something, because he already has similar powers to it. However, in Keystone T-1, the same attempt failed because of Crono's intervention (in Keystone T-2, the TTI-fied Lavos pulls Chronopolis back in time to try a second time to retrieve the Flame, but that's after CT:CE).
Yet, simultaneously to these attempts, and all the more after them, Lavos also communicates with the person possessing the Flame, if this person is fitting or special enough. This person would be the Arbiter of Time, someone Lavos discusses with and gives a chance to stop his never-ending quest for evolution, i.e. the mediator between Lavos and the planet's inhabitants. Lavos will, explicitly or not, interrogate him about the meaning of life and their purpose in the universe (Lavos's and the Arbiter's purpose, which is the same). Whether the Arbiter can answer those questions or not, he will eventually have to make a choice: either merge with Lavos and join him in his quest to find the answers, or refuse to do so and possibly remain alive if they're strong-minded enough, in which case Lavos will still destroy the planet sooner or later and continue his life cycle anyway. King Zeal and Schala were the latest Arbiters. There were a certain amount of Arbiters before them too, and whether they fused with Lavos or not, they all contributed to add to Lavos's sentience and knowledge of things (Lavoids are all sentient, but this particular Lavos is even more...cognizant thanks to his contact with the surface species; there is a bit of the "Reconciling differences" theme in here).
The last point is the defeat of Lavos in Chrono Trigger. This has viciously altered Lavos' perspective on the universe. Instead of wanting to seek some metaphysical knowledge, he has given up and began to wish for the destruction of all space-time instead. In CT:CE, King Zeal is the Arbiter of Time. He's supposed to have the choice to not fuse with Lavos, and hugely prefer a new Zeal Kingdom actually, but he eventually goes into the Darkness Beyond Time. Although believing his fate to be a dark one, he discovers there that Lavos's mind is ruined in agony, and he aims to merge with Lavos and take over the resulting being with his own will.
At the end of CC, Serge uses the Chrono Cross to "heal" the Time Devourer. Whether it answers Lavos' questions or not, we again don't know, but the liberated Schala does seem to have grasped something deep about the meaning of life. This interpretation explains a lot about Lavos, and gives him some personality, while still keeping the focus on humanity and the struggle of free will and fate, as it is in the rest of the series.
King Zeal is so strongwilled and determined that he isn't really absorbed by Lavos. Rather, it's Lavos who is absorbed by King Zeal, thus resulting in a new entity controlled by King Zeal, who doesn't want to devour space-time but return in the timeline to... create a supernatural empire and conquer the universe... recreate Zeal... or maybe resume Lavos's quest for the meaning of life. We don't find out.
This idea also kind of shifts, in the end, the feeling of "ultimate menace" from Lavos to King Zeal, so if it's implemented badly it could make Lavos looks too much like a wussy emo puppet while King Zeal would possibly seem too incredibly powerful. Yet, having the DD absorbed into King Zeal and fighting it would sort of neatly wraps up many story arcs of the game, since Schala but also Cedric the Executor are supposed to be part of that TD (though Cedric is just "felt", not seen since it happened long before Schala).
(Added 2010) King Zeal, back in the days of Zeal, was an ambitious but measured man. Like Zeal, his philosophy was rooted in humanism. He praised consciousness, sentience, emotions, and all realms of the human experience, and valued highly the pursuit of dreams. This made him a natural fit as King; the entire Kingdom of Zeal was possessed by a great spirit to learn and discover.
Post-death, King Zeal's philosophy has been considerably embittered by the discovery that Zeal fell because of Lavos, and that humanity never produced such a beautiful civilization thereafter. In Zeal, there was Kajar and Enhasa; Kajar hosted those who wished to discover and build in reality, and Enhasa hosted those who preferred to dream and explore those ethereal realms. But in the modern world, King Zeal found people to be dominated by pettiness and consumerist cares, with dreams of more grand material possessions or simple procreation. And worst of all, the highest ambition of Zeal had been demonized in legend as overdoing it.
King Zeal consequently viewed most of the rest of humanity not part of Zeal as inferior. They possessed inferior minds, inferior curiosities, inferior passions, and inferior dreams. This ethically rationalized manipulation of these people and his own arbitration of the timeline to revive the Dream of Zeal, which was in contrast to the modern world's mediocrity. On a personal level, he remained a consummate human, with voracious curiosities in new experiences and a desire to taste all the spice of life that the universe could offer. But post-death, he held a lot of anger towards the world for its mediocrity; for the fall of Zeal; for the wasting of humanity's potential.
It's an unnoticeable but huge energy field set up by Belthasar around Chronopolis and which pulls temporal strain on it, basically turning it into the "the space-time coordinates of least resistance". With it, Chronopolis effectively replaces the End of Time (except it's not in a Pocket Dimension), and thus all the Gates that should lead to the End of Time lead to Chronopolis instead.
This explains why the party always arrive in the time fortress when they use a Gate or break a Time Egg, and why they sometime do it with more than 3 peoples. When King Zeal rampages Chronopolis near the end of the game, the Temporal Catch is broken and this is why the party can go to rescue Gaspar. It's then repaired when the 3 Gurus return.
This thing indirectly foreshadow something huge about Chrono Cross. This doesn't really affect the plot, but this should be kept in mind when writing dialogues: by the end of the game, Belthasar indeed possesses:
- the Temporal Catch (a system that seriously weakens the fabric of time on Chronopolis' coordinates),
- the Dragon Tooth (a direct connection with the energy of the void),
- the Frozen Flame (a direct connection with Lavos).
Combine all these stuff and you get... yes, the Time Crash! The Temporal Catch diminished the "resistance" of Chronopolis' coordinates so much that it resulted in a permanent "hole"...
<Expanded Main Ending
If you did all the sidequests
- Instead of remaining in Guardia, Crono and Marle decide to use the unused Time Egg to explore the dimensions affected by the Devourer, to see the extent of the destruction, to heal the people that were hurt and to help them rebuild their homes. Crono mentions that he said goodbye to his Mom and that she's okay with him leaving. Crono and Marle note that with Lucca helping to rebuild Truce and helping the orphans, Guardia will remain in good hands.
- So, they use the Time Egg at the Telepod exhibit to return to the Spire of Telos and reach the wormholes.
- The credits + the Magus and Belthasar cutscenes play.
- Then another cutscene is shown, with Gaspar, Crono and Marle discussing (in the Dreamtime?). Gaspar asks them how well they've been doing with the other dimensions, if they met Schala now that she'd been freed, and if they found the Chrono Break yet. At the end of the chat, Crono and Marle say their goodbye and leave, and Gaspar literally vanish. The dialogue would be more on the lighthearted side than overly mysterious or very important storywise (like maybe have Marle notes that Schala looks nice with blonde hair, etc.). However, one extra plot point we might hint at is Gaspar's new status: at that point in Chrono history, he may have finally merged with the Entity (hence how he knows so much, and how he vanished).
So, that's an idea. It gives more closure to several points, including Crono and Marle. Instead of the passive feeling of having them remain in a time that doesn't need them, we have a more dynamic feeling and we know they're not that sad of leaving (think Sam Beckett in the last episode of Quantum Leap). This also draws a subtle parallel with the actual state of the Chrono series: a large part of the gaming world has moved on, but the series still lives on in some form.
The downside in that ending is that we jump around between many separate story arcs (Guardia, Crono/Marle, credits, Magus, Belthasar, and Gaspar/Crono/Marle). CC is a major common link between all these arcs though, and we could allow the player to walk in some of the cutscenes to let them see the ending at their own pace. What do you think?
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