Note: Before continuing on, it may be beneficial for you to read the Chrono Cross Condensed Plot Summary, which explains the story of the entire game. This should answer most questions you may have related to plot.
What is this game about?
Chrono Cross is the chronological sequel to Chrono Trigger, and takes place in a new area in the Chrono world. Without giving too much away, it deals with the effects in history brought about by Crono back in the first game, and also ties up some loose ends. It follows a boy named Serge who struggles to understand his place and purpose in the world.
Why doesn't it take place in the same world?
It is in the same world, though on a set of islands that didn't exist back in Chrono Trigger. The developers stated that they wanted to introduce a host of new, invigorated areas into the Chrono series, and chose to create El Nido, the setting of the game.
Wait, I thought Chrono Trigger was about Time travel, why isn't this one?
Chrono Cross deals with plenty of time travel related aspects alone, but its main focus is upon the idea of dimensions. Think of parallel worlds.
Where is Chrono and the gang?
The game is set in 1020 A.D., meaning the Chrono group have all grown up. Chrono Cross doesn't go into too much depth about the fates of the old team, as the Chrono series creator wanted to leave that story for possibly another game. Presumably, Ayla and Frog died of natural causes in their home times. Without giving too much away, Crono, Marle, and Magus are currently missing or unaccounted for, though most assuredly alive. Lucca's story is explained, and the main three characters from Trigger do have a special role in the game.
- SPOILER* They appear as ghosts, though their exact nature is unknown, as Miguel relates that they are visions or memories long since passed. Regardless, they assist Serge on his quest.
An article exists at the Compendium which covers and speculates on the Fates of the Chrono Trigger Team.
Is that really Glenn?
No; they simply share the same name. Chrono Cross Ultimania (a guide in Japan) states that Glenn from El Nido was named after Glenn of the Middle Ages, but this isn't validated anywhere in the actual game.
Wait, the Masamune is evil?
Yes. Sometime in between 1000 A.D. and 1020 A.D., it became corrupted and stolen during the Fall of Guardia in 1005 A.D. The reason for its corruption is noted in-game after a boss battle with Dario.
What is the Dead Sea?
The Dead Sea is a temporally distorted area that comes into existence when the dimensions split in 1010 A.D. This answer will involve many spoilers; it is advised you finish the game before continuing. When Belthasar planned Project Kid, he traveled back to the 1000's and left Chronopolis to undergo the Time Crash, which hurled the institute 14400 years into the past. The entire Sea of Eden suffered these effects; in a sense, anyone who enters the Sea of Eden is actually walking 14400 years into the future, where Chronopolis exists. When the dimensions split, a new dimension called Home World came into being (a deviation from Another World). In Home World, the future was ruined. Now, if Chronopolis exists 10,000 years in the future from the reference point of people outside the Sea of Eden, and the future of Home World ends with the ruin of Lavos, what will people see in the Sea of Eden? That's right -- ruins and shattered landscape left after Lavos's destruction. For more information, please see Salt for the Dead Sea.
How is Serge not a Demi-Human but his dad is?
When Serge was treated by the Frozen Flame after being bitten as a child, his dad was corrupted by the Flame, allowing Chronopolis to psychologically control him. After full control of his mind was gained, he was morphed into a lynx characteristic of the panther that attacked Serge as a child.
Did Porre destroy Guardia?
Yes, in 1005 A.D. Under the command of Dalton, Porre launched a successful attack on Guardia, stole the Masamune, and maintained a militaristic empire. However, the Kingdom of Guardia may have rebounded after the defeat; see Kingdom of Guardia.
What are Elements, and how do they differ from magic?
The magic used in Chrono Trigger is the biological manipulation of the four fundamental forces of the universe -- fire, water, shadow, and light (or lightning). In Chrono Cross, the residents and ancestors of the El Nido archipelago were able to hone in on special power source in the planet's crust. They forged devices that could have an effect in nature, such as manipulating water to make waves. These devices can be sold and traded on the islands. Real magic, however, is mostly absent from Chrono Cross. Belthasar notes that he used it in the future while planning Project Kid and designing Chronopolis.
Where is Lavos?
Back in Chrono Trigger, when Crono was killed at the Ocean Palace, Schala was sucked into a dimensional distortion as the Palace collapsed. She remained in the Darkness Beyond Time, a sort of waste basket for overwritten timelines, until Lavos was properly defeated by the team of Chrono Trigger. Lavos arrived there after his defeat, and fused with Schala to remain living. The resulting being, the Time Devourer, had the capacity to consume all space-time once it matured. Belthasar devised Project Kid in order to free Schala and defeat Lavos once and for all. An evolutionary midpoint between the Time Devourer, called the Dream Devourer, is depicted in Chrono Trigger DS.
Guile = Magil = Magus?
Magus's current whereabouts in the Chrono series are unknown; he was last seen departing to 12000 B.C. to search for Schala. In Radical Dreamers, he came back to the modern era and disguised himself as Magil to watch over Kid. In Chrono Cross, he was meant to be a disguised character named Guile. However, the developers felt it would be too hard to represent his story amongst all the other characters, and Guile's backstory was removed. Magus is mentioned once in Chrono Cross in the letter to Kid from Lucca; he is called Janus, his real name. Thanks to Chrono Trigger DS, there is a possibility that Guile is a form of Magus; check this page.
What happens to Schala and Kid and Serge after the game?
The game is not specific on what occurs; Serge presumably loses his memory and is happy with Leena. However, the opening and closing FMVs that feature Schala's diary do feature a picture with Serge and Kid apparently in wedding garment. Additionally, the last entry is signed "Schala "Kid" Zeal". It is thus unclear if Serge went with Leena or Schala / Kid, or if Schala and Kid merged into one being. See Chrono Cross Resolutions article.
Are the ghosts really the dead main characters? If not, who are they?
Miguel calls them a distant echo of ones fargone. It is possible that Crono, Marle, and Lucca are dead during the time of Chrono Cross, and appear to the party as ghosts to help them defeat the Time Devourer. Their exact nature is unknown; see Salt for the Dead Sea.
Why does Miguel fight the party?
Miguel, captured the night the Frozen Flame healed Serge, is forced by Chronopolis to guard Home World's Frozen Flame, which is locked in the Dead Sea. He has no other choice but to fight. He also wishes to test Serge's resolution.
What is an archipelago?
An archipelago is a chain of islands. Zeal in Chrono Trigger and El Nido in Chrono Cross are archipelagos.
Where is El Nido?
No one knows for sure; it's a small set of islands perhaps off the coast of Porre.
What's the Time Crash?
The Time Crash was an experiment gone wrong in the time research institute Chronopolis. It sent Chronopolis 14400 years into the past and also caused Dinopolis to come into the same time period as a counterbalance.
Where did Dinopolis come from?
Dinopolis came from an unrelated dimension in which Lavos never fell and the Reptites were allowed to kill the humans in prehistory and grow to dominate the planet. They developed in sync with the environment, and eventually built Dinopolis, with a machine known as the Dragon God that could control nature. The planet pulled it in to counterbalance Chronopolis's being pulled back 14400 years because of the Time Crash.
How do I get into the DBT?
Play through Terra Tower, then use the Time Egg on a pink column of light on Opassa Beach in Home World.
What is a Tesseract?
A tesseract is a four dimensional cube, and also a common name for the Darkness Beyond Time in Chrono Cross. The proper name is DBT, though tesseract apparently appears in some places.
How come I can't get all the characters?
The game splits in two places. First, before Viper Manor, one must pick one character from three. Then, after Kid is hospitalized and waiting for Hydra Humor, one must pick whether to look for medicine or continue on with the journey -- different characters result from the decisions. To get all the characters, you must play a total of three games. The Chrono Cross, once you get it, allows you to call back any other characters you've ever used in a game by going to Sprigg's house through the Hydra Swamp. The following is from Daredevil, author of the recruitment FAQ:
Using your previous saves and a Continue+ game, I'll tell you the best way to get all characters by the end of one Continue+. Start with your completed game (I'll assume you took the Guile and "Leave Kid Alone" paths). Continue+ that into your game with Nikki, Razzly, Korcha, and Mel. Beat TD and overwrite your completed file. Continue+ that file now into your Pierre game. Beat TD and overwrite your completed file yet again. Finally, Continue+ that file into one where you still have Harle and beat TD. Now if you Continue+ that result into the one right before you beat TD for the first time and then use the Chrono Cross in Sprigg's world you should have all characters available to you.
Why does everyone seem to have a different accent?
To add flavor to the game, an accent system was used in which different characters would speak basic dialogue a variety of ways.
Why can an element or tech be used once during a battle?
Elements are devices that have a natural effect when used. Use of the Chrono Cross element can recharge them, but only in the final battle.
Why are there no dual techs?
Due to the number of characters and the difficulties involved, not very many dual techs were added, and only one triple tech exists.
Wait, why am I Lynx now and why am I a black innate?
Lynx just used the Dragon Tear on you, Serge, to switch bodies.
How is Serge going to kill Home World?
The very fact that Serge is alive in Home World somehow dooms the future. The exact reason is not specified, though a good theory indicates that the existence of Home World itself lends its future to ruin. See Salt for the Dead Sea.
Is Serge Magus?
Not by any stretch of the imagination! Guile was meant to be Magus, but this story was cut out.
Miguel is too hard!
Miguel is a tough boss, especially because Holy ravages the party. Even though he is a white innate, don't bring many black Elements, as he uses Anti Black. Just erode his HP with normal attacks and Elements. When he uses WeakMinded on someone, try to replenish that person's HP, as he will attack them with the HolyDragonSword immediately after. Trap HolyLight is also useful.
How do you beat Dario!?
Dario counters white Elements with a savage attack, and also hurts after black Elements are used on him. The simple and sort of cheap way to beat him is to not use white or black elements. Additionally, Dario desires to kill Riddel before harming any of the others. If Riddel has a Black Plate on (you can steal it from the Black Dragon; see the SS Zelbess sidequest), she won't die, and the fight will be a snap.
I can't beat Garai, how can I beat him?
There is no easy way around Garai. He attacks with WillBreaker, three physical hits, or tough white elements. Serge is at a disadvantage as Lynx; don't bring Harle into the mix, or Garai can easily kill two black innates. If you can manage it, use Strengthen and other techniques on Serge before pummeling Garai with strong black Elements such as Freefall. He will die eventually; just be wary of WillBreaker.
How do I do that Marbule side quest?
After you beat the Marbule Sage to get the Fiddler Crab that opens the Dead Sea, talk to Nikki in his room before battling Miguel. Once Fargo joins in Another World, take him to see his counterpart in Home, and you're all set.
How do I forge my own equipment whenever I want?
When Zappa joins your party, he'll give you the Smith Spirit, allowing you to forge even on the road.
Where is the Master Hammer I need for forging Rainbow Equipment?
The Master Hammer can only be bought in Home Marbule if you completed the SS Zelbess sidequest (see above).
How do I get the Rainbow materials?
Use a summon Element in a battle, and part of the items dropped will be 'Shiny' materials. These can be used to forge Rainbow equipment.