Chrono Trigger is far more than it seems

I think I’ll outline the thought process that leads to my observation that magic in fiction refers to the power of perception. This will make the results seem completely untrustworthy because the process is absurd, but this topic is already very woo so it should be fine. As I mentioned in a forum comment once, this is how all of my ideas initially appear in my mind before I pull my shit together and collapse it into something recognizably close to logically ordered verbiage. (This is a bad example of pulling my shit together, but it’s okay because the topic is more entertaining than important.)

On the Altrugenics forum, I took a brief look at Chrono Trigger and concluded that it included a lot of elements interesting to edenists. Particularly, melon-headed lizard people in the prehistoric era decide to drop Lavos (nuke) into a volcano (Toba) as a last-ditch attempt to eliminate the neanderthals, fomenting an ice age.

Later, I mentioned this obliquely in a VP thread. Realizing I might have to defend this assertion despite its obviousness, I started reading through the Chrono Trigger wiki.

The more reading I did, the more I realized that this game is secretly an artistic masterpiece of Gnostic mysticism. The clincher was when I realized that the Black Omen symbolizes the Babylonian Mystery Death Cult, which was created by Queen Zeal (whore of Babylon) in Antiquity (12,000 BC) and afterward floats over the earth siphoning Lavos’ (Lucifer’s) magical energy (loosh) to/from the core of the earth.

Maybe this is all obvious to everyone else but it came as a bit of a shock to me.

There is a heavy emphasis on genetics. An obvious example is that humans in the world of Chrono Trigger stand in for white Europeans, who occupy the same geographic location as their neanderthal ancestors during later epochs. Magus stands in for Mohammed, uniting the monster nations (miscellaneous brown people) and threatening to crush the humans in their ancestral homeland in the Middle Ages. Later, the humans defeat Magus and in the Present the monsters and humans are seen getting along pretty well. Magus himself is a relic of the elder race of enlightened wizards and pharaohs in Antiquity, just as Mohammed is rumored to have had red hair and a ruddy complexion. His religion is a self-interested heretical offshoot of the Lavos Death Cult.

The plot of Chrono Trigger is heavily involved with the element of Dreamstone, which stands in for the philosopher’s stone (alternately, the “prisca sapientia”). This is where the connections get truly interesting. The Dreamstone no longer exists in the Present, but the neanderthals have one in Prehistory, and Ayla (Esau) gives it away when Chrono beats her in a stew-chugging contest. This Dreamstone is used by Melchior to craft the Masamune sword, which is a magical weapon which can do great damage to Magus, Lavos, and the Black Omen’s mammon machine (I’ll let you figure that one out :-P).

Melchior is one of the three wise men from antiquity, the others being Gaspar and Balthasar, and I believe these men represent the three personalities of the trinitarian Christian god. Melchior himself represents Jesus, who gives the party the Sword that represents the Word of God (the Bible). He exists in the Present, which is an allusion to the Christian belief that Jesus came back from the dead and still lives.

Balthasar, the creator, has gone missing (and possibly also insane) but before this he created the Epoch (a vessel which has the ability to travel through time and space) and a few other interesting things like the Nu (starchildren?) and the Poyozo dolls which offer small bits of essential assistance along the way (angels?).

“All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu. This is the truth! This is my belief!…At least for now.”
— “The Mystery of Life,” vol. 841, chapter 26

I figure that’s relevant because of the logic of converging intuitions.

P.P.P.S. The “Starchild” in the middle row at the far right? If I ventured a guess … the root ancestor of all four guys on the left mixed with various humans? The original melon heads, the Atlanteans, the progenitors? This is Koanic’s wrinkle and I confess I have not thought much about this type – and clearly, he is a type. I don’t know guys, because all I am is a good guesser and maybe have a few dim racial memories about all of this.

Texas Arcane
Amazing Real World Averaging Yields Archetypes

(Koanic has speculated along similar lines IIRC.)

Gaspar represents the Holy Spirit, and he guides the party through the story and gives them hope, while keeping perspective on their bleak chances. He also introduces the party to Spekkio, a spirit who grants them the gift of magic. This is the point where I realized the nature of magic, which led to a rabbit trail of its own.

The eponymous key to the game’s plot is the “chrono trigger”.

This egg is one of two key items used to resurrect the protagonist Chrono, completing his reverse Behelit myth. Rather than sacrificing his friends to elevate himself, he sacrifices himself for his friends. This motif also appears in My Little Pony at the end of season 4, and is resolved in a similar fashion. The other key item is a clone, which suggests to me that the moral of the story is to praise the biological altruism of self-sacrifice, and suggest that the genes of such altruists will live on through the ability of their tribe to recreate them.

That’s all I’ve got for now but I’m sure there’s more to it. The thing to note is that if I’m correct, this suggests that the people who wrote this game had all of this worked out back in 1995.

About Aeoli Pera

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20 Responses to Chrono Trigger is far more than it seems

  1. Koanic says:

    It’s easier to tell the truth in archetypal art than to get all the details nailed down straight. You’d probably get vehement denial. Accidental accuracy and borrowing of mythic power.

    Mythic power is often powerful because it’s true.

    Still. W.T.F.

  2. podrag says:

    I love this thanks Aeoli!

  3. Koanic says:

    You should get in touch with the creative writer for the game and get his reaction to your interpretation.

  4. aranceelimoni says:

    Now, shouldn’t we find things like this short essay on the pages of, say, GameSpot, Gamasutra, and the like?

    In a culturally, socially healthy society we would, I believe.

  5. aranceelimoni says:

    I’d like to read an analysis of Final Fantasy VI, as well as The Last Express, by you.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I haven’t played the latter, but I’ll see if I can dredge up anything interesting about the former. I replay it regularly so the whole thing is held pretty well within my mind for analyzing. Still, don’t hold your breath, intuition doesn’t work well with others.

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  10. Rape says:

    I never thought to interpret Chrono Trigger this way.

    >Particularly, melon-headed lizard people in the prehistoric era decide to drop Lavos (nuke) into a volcano (Toba) as a last-ditch attempt to eliminate the neanderthals, fomenting an ice age.
    Minor quibble: I don’t think the lizard people had a choice. Lavos is a space alien, the lizard people didn’t do anything like summoning him.

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  13. MM says:

    (I’ll let you figure that one out :-P).

    no just tell me pls

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