Era: 12000 B.C.
The Ocean Palace Incident marked the end of the Kingdom of Zeal, and caused a number of influential events across time. The Incident occurred during the activation of the Mammon Machine in the Ocean Palace; he Enlightened Ones had moved it there in 12000 B.C. to facilitate higher energy extraction from Lavos. The Gurus expressed dismay at this, but Queen Zeal was adamant in her desire for power. The citizens of Zeal rejoiced, claiming that they were soon to achieve immortality. On the day of the event, Queen Zeal, Schala, and the Gurus assembled at the Mammon Machine's fixture in the Ocean Palace. They activated the machine, which operated without error at first. Once it was raised to its limit, Lavos awoke and a temporal distortion engulfed the area around the Mammon Machine. Queen Zeal began wildly exclaiming joy as she took a position near Lavos; the Gurus, befuddled by the temporal flux, were soon swallowed up by other distortions. Melchior was transported to 1000 A.D., Belthasar to 2300 A.D., and Gaspar to the End of Time. Janus arrived just as they were disappearing, and he was gated to a period a few years before 600 A.D. Only Schala and the Queen remained; presumably, Schala used the last of her power to kill her mother or transport both out of the Ocean Palace and to relative safety. Things were much bleaker above the sea, however, as the awakened Lavos obliterated Zeal in a wild display of fire and destruction.
The effects of the incident rippled throughout time. In 600 A.D., what could have been an otherwise peaceful history was changed as Magus provided the spiritual leadership necessary for the Mystics to declare war on the humans. In 1000 A.D., Melchior survived with his skills in smithing. In 2300 A.D., Belthasar was allowed to continue work on his concept for a time traveling vehicle, dubbed the Epoch. And lastly, at the End of Time, Gaspar was afforded a careful watch over time. The strategic placement of the Gurus and the nature of the temporal distortions in the Ocean Palace itself suggest that The Entity may have had a hand in the event. It seems too coincidental for the Gurus to have conveniently ended up in eras paramount to Crono's later quest to save the world. The Ocean Palace Incident did radically alter the course of human history even excusing its temporal effects, as it resulted in the Fall of Zeal and disappearance of magic from daily human life.
Crono's quest slightly changed these events. The Prophet's banishment of the Gurus meant Melchior was not allowed to finish the mature Masamune; he gave the unfinished Ruby Knife to Crono for his own trip to the Ocean Palace. There, Crono would find the Gurus absent from the ritual, with the Prophet taking their place and Dalton guarding the main hall. In these Keystone Timelines, the events proceeded: Schala raised the Mammon Machine to its maximum with the Pendant, and Lavos was awakened (despite Crono's attempt to stop the incident; he plunged the Red Knife into the Mammon Machine). The Prophet revealed himself to be Magus, and tried to stop Lavos; he failed miserably, leaving Crono alone to fight the beast. Crono bravely stood against Lavos to save the others, but Lavos vaporized him in a beam of light. This bought Schala enough time to transport Crono's friends and Magus out of the Ocean Palace to dry ground. The Palace then transformed into the Black Omen, and Queen Zeal reigned from the skies, continuing the Ocean Palace Incident's legacy of destruction.
In the Ocean Palace Incident of the Keystone Timelines, after Schala transported Crono and his friends out of the Ocean Palace, a dimensional distortion swallowed her up and took her to the Darkness Beyond Time. There, a defeated Lavos merged with her, acquiring her power and beginning a long process of evolution that would result in the Time Devourer -- a being capable of consuming all space time. The Mammon Machine is said to have briefly appeared in the Darkness Beyond Time as well, though it was returned to the outside world (as it appeared in the Black Omen in Chrono Trigger). The chain of good and bad events at the Ocean Palace Incident is interesting; firstly, it caused the fall of Zeal. Then, it allowed the Entity to stage the salvation of the planet. Thirdly, it threw the entire space time continuum into danger after Schala was taken to the Darkness Beyond Time. The Incident stands as the single most influential event in the history of the Chrono series world.
Theory and Analysis
- Ocean Palace Incident (Theory on its Execution)
- Temporal Distortions (Who caused them in Chrono Trigger?)