But Thou Must: If not for this, Crono could have chosen not to wander around the festival with a pendant-wearing girl who bumped into him, thus avoiding a quest across time to battle unspeakable evils, his own death, and a few days in jail. He's also not allowed to bow out of Marle and Lucca's plan to Screw Destiny.
Crash into Hello: This is how he meets Marle. No matter how careful you are tip-toeing around the Square, this will always happen.
Decoy Protagonist: spoiler:If you don't revive him, Marle and Lucca take the lead roles for the remainder of the game. Even once he rejoins your party, his role in the plot is pretty much done. In a subversion of Can't Drop The Hero, he becomes a selectable character in the End of Time just like everyone else.
Disappeared Dad: No mention is made of Crono's father or what happened to him.
Dude, Where's My Respect? / Dude, Where's My Reward?: Following their adventure in 600 AD, Crono returns Marle to the present and it appears the story is over. Cut to Crono being tried for kidnapping and attempting to subvert the throne. Crono escapes the guillotine by a hair. The charges are never formally dropped, either, which is how he gets yanked back into custody in the game's epilogue.
The Dulcinea Effect: In fairness, nobody else at the fair was willing to step onto the telepod. As we later learn in 600 AD, time is of the essence in locating Marle, or rather, her ancestor Queen Leene.
Jack of All Stats: Typical among many other silent JRPG heroes, Crono is a well-balanced character. His physical damage is respectable, along with his speed, health, and defense. Because he can equip some very hefty weapons (including the Dreamseeker), he is one of the main tanks. Crono can also cast Raise on allies to revive them, and is the second-strongest offensive magic user.
Shock and Awe/Light 'em Up: Crono eventually learns lightning-based magic (changed to "light"-elemental, even if the spell is still called Lightning, in the DS Updated Re-release). It's supposed to be "Sky" or "Heaven", which is why he also gets revival magic and Luminaire, the über Holy spell. Light was likely the closest fit without actually using "Heaven".
Shonen Hair: It's surprising that he hasn't cut himself on that nest of hair.
One of Crono's friends from 1000 A.D. Lucca is very good with gadgets, a trait she inherited from her father, Taban. She discovered small pockets of distortions in time (which she dubbed "Gates") after an accident at Leene Square hurled Marle back in time to 600 A.D.
When the other R-Series robots trash Robo, Lucca (if she's in the party) completely loses it.
Upon finding out that Lavos is an Abusive Precursor that nurtured and manipulated humankind and its achievements for the sole purpose of feeding itself from them millions of years afterward, Lucca refuses to allow of her species' art and science to feed some alien parasite.
Ms. Fix-It: "It appears to be a humaoid robot... incredible. I think I can fix it." (!)
Later, when the party recovers Dreamstone to repair the Masamune, Lucca aids Melchior in fixing the blade. Likely, she lends assistance because of her savviness with technology, but also, in the smelting of swords, fire is needed and Lucca's element is Fire.
Ms. Exposition: It is Lucca who realizes Marle is a Princess and, when the team interfered with the search for Marle's ancestor, the paradox caused Marle to vanish.
My Greatest Second Chance: In a manner of speaking. If you do the sidequest to revive the forest, afterward, Lucca will go back to her childhood and have the chance to save her mother from being crippled by her father's invention. Of course, you can still fail.
Shipper on Deck: Interpretations differ on her own feelings toward Crono, but there's a little moment of note in 2300 A.D. When the party conceives their plan to stop Lavos and save the world, Crono can choose to be a wimp about it; Lucca takes him aside and eggs him into looking cool in front of Marle.
Smart People Build Robots: Right after returning from 600 AD for the first time, Lucca goes home and begins theorizing about how possible bipedal robots may or may not be. Later on, she manages to repair such a robot from more than one thousand years in her future. And in the ending of the Updated Re-release, we find out that she was the person who invented the precursors for those robots, possibly because of her meeting with Robo.
Squishy Wizard: Slower than most, and her physical defensive qualities are somewhat lacking.
Teen Genius: This 19 year old genius can fix a robot from a time period long after hers. That should tell you something.
Tested On Humans: Lucca seizes on the Millenial Fair to test out her telepod, marketing it as an "attraction" of sorts. Unfortunately, Lucca's reputation precedes her; no one's going to be caught dead near that device.
The princess of Guardia Castle in 1000 A.D., and daughter of King Guardia XXXIII. Fed up with the trappings of royal life (i.e. not being able to go anywhere without her father's approval), she runs off and bumps into Crono at the Millennial Fair. Her real name is Nadia, but she prefers to be called Marle.
Also, after Crono dies, she becomes hellbent to bring him back, along with Lucca. When the whole world is telling her "you have to let go", she says "screw destiny" one more time.
Crash into Hello: She first bumps into Crono at the Millennial Fair, dropping her pendant.
Crutch Character: While she's the main healer for the most part, all her healing techs are single target only unless they're combined with somebody else; for this reason, she tends to get ditched as a healer (and thus just plain ditched) once Frog and/or Robo's magic stats get high enough for their wide-angle heal beams to be worthwhile. Her Ice spells also become redundant when Magus joins, and earlier with Frog's Water magic to a lesser degree, given that the two are listed as the same element. Her Double Tech abilities are still quite useful. In particular, Antipode, which is combined with Lucca's fire to create Shadow magic.
Determinator: She refuses to accept defeat, loss, or sacrifice.
Dub Name Change: Her real name was Marledia in the Japanese version, making her chosen nickname a bit more realistically "on-the-spot".
Samaritan Syndrome: She's one of the friendliest people you'll ever meet, puts on no airs whatsoever regarding her rank, and her idealism is what leads her to declare that they should screw destiny and change history by opposing Lavos.
Spoiled Sweet: Marle has a few aspects of this. She could hardly be called shallow, but her sheltered upbringing has left her a trifle naïve, she nurses a definite sweet tooth, and she knows how to give orders to get her own way. And, if that doesn't work, how to throw proper tantrums.
Squishy Wizard: She can't take as many punches as the others. A funny sort of subversion is that she has the highest natural magic defense of anyone in the party, which makes her one of the easiest characters to keep alive in the final battle against Lavos.
A renowned warrior of the kingdom of Guardia, hailing from 600 A.D. He was placed under a curse by Magus, and has sworn to defeat him to avenge his best friend Cyrus.
Almighty Janitor: Cyrus admitted to him before he came a knight that Frog was always better with a sword then he was. However, he didn't become a knight then because he was afraid he'd "lose it" if he ever hurt someone.
An R-Series robot from 2300 A.D. (serial number R-66Y, real designated name (Prometheus) that Crono and friends find in the Proto Dome, abandoned by his creators. He joins the party after Lucca repairs him in order to help them kill Lavos.
Arm Cannon: He uses it in several techs. And in one case, "uses it" means "fires Frog out of it."
Fastball Special: He can throw Frog with the Blade Toss attack and Ayla with the Spin Kick attack. Frog can also throw him with a Bubble Hit attack, trapping Robo in a bubble, moving him over the enemy, and then popping it so Robo's heavy metal body lands on the monster.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Robo's other type of attack, fired from his body. Strangely, they're shadow-elemental.
Healing Shiv: His lasers can be tuned to Shadow-element implements of destruction, or healing rays.
Mighty Glacier: Has the highest HP of any character, yet moves quite slowly (although he has rollers in his feet, used in his Tackle attack). One of the sidequests he can undertake upgrades his speed, however.
Plot-Relevant Age-Up: During the Fiona sidequest, Robo spends 400 years re-cultivating the forest. His remains are stored in a chapel built in his honor. Once Lucca powers him up, Robo reveals that he has gained a new perspective on life.
The Red Mage: A particularly weird variation given that he is incapable of learning true magic and is rather slow and heavily-armored. However, he gets techs capable of causing fire, light and shadow elements that can hit multiple enemies instead, and very decent healing spells along with powerful physical attacks. The only hole in his abilities an offensive water technique. Everyone else, except for Magus, is restricted to a single element of magic.
Robo Speak: His text boxes include an electronic noise to indicate this. The Japanese version also has him speak in katakana, a common way to show mechanical speech.
A strong, burly, female tribal chief from 65,000,000 B.C. As one of the first humans, she is on-hand to discover Lavos' terrible destructive power. Among her achievements is notably the naming of the damned thing, as Lavos stands for huge (Vos) fire (La) in her language.
Also the only character to not equip weapons. Her "weapons" slots are her fists, which are periodically upgraded at level milestones. Needless to say, she's the party's strongest tank.
Pregnant Badass: Some of her comments, and her throwing up after Nizbel is defeated, implies that she is in the very early stages of pregnancy during the game. There is a debate, however, if the throwing up was because of morning sickness or if she was just hung over from the party the previous night.
Bi the Way: The DS translation seems to imply this for Ayla:
(to Lucca) Ayla: You strong, too. Ayla like strong person. Man, woman... both like!
Marle: Oh dear.
Seen by some in this line: "Me like strong person. Man, woman, both like!", and her Kiss and Charm abilities work on allies and enemies (respectively) regardless of gender (or lack thereof, in Robo's case).
Fastball Special: She throws Crono in the Falcon Hit attack, while Robo and Crono throw her in the Spin Kick and Drill Kick attacks. Frog is a borderline example with the Bubble Hit attack, as he traps her in a bubble, directs her over the enemy, and pops it so she can land on the monster.
Shout-Out/Name's the Same: Shares her name with the protagonist of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series, who was also a prehistoric woman. She lived less than a million years ago, however (you know, because there were no humans around in 65,000,000 B.C. in the real world).
Thanks for the Mammary: Does it unabashedly to Marle during Marle's sidequest. Ayla claims that Marle isn't "ready" to have her own kids yet (of course, Ayla was comparing Marle's chest to her own, so the bar is a little high).
Wife Husbandry: An unusual gender-inverted variant with Ayla and Kino. A random NPC says that Ayla found Kino crying in the mountains and raised him. He is also apparently sort of her boyfriend. Even more disturbing considering she seems to still have authority over him, and also seems to believe in corporal punishment. When she finds out that he stole Crono and his friends' stuff, she hits him in the face and admonishes him "No do bad thing! Bad thing not good!" in the same tone of voice one would use when scolding a child or a puppy. It's really rather disturbing if you think about it too much.
An evil wizard from 600 A.D. but actually from 12,000 B.C., worshiped by the monsters of Medina Town, and wielder of many forms of dark magic. He plans to summon Lavos, the being destined to destroy the world.
Casting a Shadow: He's the only magic-user in the game explicitly stated to be shadow-elemental. His ultimate spell, Dark Matter, is a particularly notable example of this, and his second strongest spell is a black hole.
Duel Boss: The second time around, if you choose to confront him with Frog in your active party.
Early Bird Boss: The first fight with him, it's an elemental magic reliant brawl, at which point few if any of your party members has their level 2 spells. Frog and Crono are forced for this fight, so Lightning and Water are covered, but you can't possibly cover all of the elements, since only Lucca can use Fire magic and only Robo can hit with Shadow element (and it's a rather weak spell against a boss to boot). Taking either could leave your healing a bit weak, and Magus can be a very hectic boss requiring constant healing, but taking Marle to better cover your healing will leave you only able to cast Lightning and Water magic. And God help you if you forgot to take Frog to meet Spekkio. At least Frog asks you how you learned said magic, so you really should remember and make the connection.
Enfant Terrible: The moment Janus was deposited in the middle ages, he was immediately seized upon by Ozzie and his cronies.... and still came out on top.
Fatal Family Photo: Opt to kill Magus. Pick up the item he dropped: an amulet. An amulet that, you'll recall, Schala gave to his younger self, which apparently he's kept all this time as the only memento of her that he has left. The amulet she promised would always keep him safe. Ouch.
Fire, Ice, Lightning: He uses these as his barriers, along with a shadow one he very rarely uses and you probably won't be able to damage. When he joins you, his three starting techs are the level 2 spells of these elements.
Right from the beginning, Magus' name keeps being dropped.
When he kills Cyrus and turns Glenn into Frog during Frog's flashback, the theme of Zeal Palace plays for the first time in the game. Later, it's revealed that Magus actually lived in Zeal Palace, as the child prince of Zeal.
Four Is Death: Guess how many bosses you fight in his castle. Come on, guess. Four.
He Who Fights Monsters: As a child, he blocked out his magical power because he hated what it was doing to his mother and sister. After he was sent to 600 A.D., he embraced that same power in order to destroy Lavos, becoming much like his mother in the process.
On the one hand, he was just a little kid when his mother went insane and caused him to be sucked into a time gate, which does not seem necessarily like jerkass-spawning experiences. On the other, he was raised by fiends since then, and they might have had some negative effect on him.
Master of None: In terms of his non-Shadow magic anyway. He starts with the level 2 versions of lightning, fire, and ice magic, making him very versatile for some of the endgame bosses. However, Crono, Frog, and Lucca will eventually learn stronger spells of their own elements. He's still the party's the master of Shadow magic, mind you.
Redemption Demotion: Magus is still very powerful all around, especially compared to Lucca and Marle, your other two dedicated mages, but he's weaker when compared to his boss fight. Justified in that Lavos drains his power when he tries fighting it at the Ocean Palace.
Retroactive Precognition: Magus is able to disguise himself as a great prophet after some accidental time travel knocks him over twelve thousand years into the past. It also helps that he landed in his home time period.
Stupid Sexy Flanders: Toriyama's design notwithstanding, sequels establish him as having good looks to match his royal heritage. When his disguise is accidentally removed in Radical Dreamers, even male lead Serge comments that he is quite handsome.
Colony Drop: The X factor which wipes out the Reptites, ushering in an ice age. Thus the reign of man begins. It's like a cooler version of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs in Real Life.
The Corruption: Lavos doesn't interact with individuals or take any notice of them, it just makes its power available to be drawn upon, and its power warps those who use it (both humans and entire civilizations) into wickedness (and in one case, physically as well as mentally).
Cranial Processing Unit: Subverted with Lavos' final form: a humanoid figure with two pods. Turns out Lavos' core is actually located in one of the pods, and the humanoid figure is just a decoy.
Crater Power: Left an impressive-looking crater in the spot where Azala's castle used to be. The impact completely leveled the surrounding plateau. The crater itself is roughly 20x bigger than Lavos itself; it made quite an entrance. And by the time the party reaches it, within minutes of impact, it's already burrowed underground. Damn thing moves fast.
Diabolus Ex Nihilo: It fell from the sky in ancient times and no one knows its true origins.
Duel Boss: Optional. You can fight it with Crono alone, but you can get the Golden Ending, regardless if you have Marle in your party or not when you go to the hidden portal to 1999 AD in the present time in the first available chance. If you go just after rescuing Marle in 600 AD, you get a different ending altogether.
Evilutionary Biologist: Bring the proper characters to the final battle, and they'll reveal that Lavos contains the DNA of all living things on the planet. Lucca in particular figures out why: Lavos has guided and directed the evolution of life on the planet. Why? Sentient, intelligent life makes for a better meal.
Hero Killer: It kills Crono at the Ocean Palace. Actually, it kills your whole party, and then kills Crono For Real.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Played with. While it will almost certainly be this way during your first run, it can be beaten at the Ocean Palace. New Game+ helps a lot.
Monster Is a Mommy: The party encounters several "Lavos Spawn" on Death Mountain. The characters don't talk about it (though Belthasar mentions that it is replicating, in his sparkly-light-diary-thingy), but it is definitely played more for horror than for sympathy: Lavos is planning to hurl its children into space so they can destroy more worlds.
Outside-Context Villain: A giant world-destroying parasite monster with magical powers falls from the sky in a massive fireball that causes an ice age. Not something that anyone on the planet was expecting.
Starfish Alien: Looks like a giant tick from Hell on the outside, with some more humanoid-looking components on the inside. And the actual piece that must be destroyed in order to defeat it is one of the Lavos Pods, rather than the humanoid thing in the middle that's dealing most of the damage.
Time Abyss: Lavos spent an unknown amount of time on the planet of its birth as a Lavos Spawn, followed by another unknown amount of time floating through space before crashing into the planet, then it spent 65 million years buried beneath the crust before being defeated by the party.
Save the Villain: As Azala dies, it is clear she was only trying to do what was best for her people. Ayla takes pity on her and even offers a means of escape, but Azala is resigned to her (and the Reptites') fate.
Her asking Ayla to "take care of this world" may indicate that the Reptites opposed humans because they thought that the humans' primitive mannerisms made them unsuitable as the dominant species. Ironically, Lavos, the most primitive-minded character of all, compensates for this by placing humanity on the evolutionary fast-track.
Leader of the magical civilization that thrived (and was eventually destroyed) in 12,000 B.C. She used the Mammon Machine to draw upon Lavos' power to keep the floating city alive. Has two children, Janus and Schala.
Abusive Parent: Extremely abusive and neglectful to Janus and Schala. Thanks entirely to Lavos' influence. As Janus says, "She's not our mother," indicating that she may have been less of a bitch before.
The Dragon: After the defeat and possible Heel-Face Turn of Magus, she becomes the primary human enemy and Lavos' main servant. Interestingly, Lavos does not seem to even acknowledge her, because Lavos is a force of nature, not a human enemy.
Dragon Their Feet: After being beaten the second time she teleports away laughing while Lavos awakens for the Final Boss Fight.
HP to One: Queen Zeal is fond of casting her Halation spell on your party, which makes this happen to everyone. Less commonly used when she transforms.
Immortality Immorality: She manages to achieve her desire for eternal life, at the cost of her sanity... and the lives of her children and most of her subjects... and the magic powers of the ones who survived... basically, everything but her body and her powers.
Dragon Ascendant: After defeating Magus, Ozzie becomes the new leader of the fiends. He sets up his own fortress similar to Magus's, and if you travel to Medina Village in 1000 A.D., you'll find them warshipping his statue instead of Magus's.
The princess of Zeal, Janus' (Later known as Magus) older sister, and original owner of Marle's pendant. A kind and gentle young princess who played a major unwilling part in the Ocean Palace incident.
And I Must Scream: What happens to her in Chrono Cross. To be precise, she is absorbed and possessed by Lavos, creating the Dream Devourer (And later, the Time Devourer). She tried her hardest to fight off Lavos' influence, but to no avail, and remained like this until Serge defeated the Time Devourer and used the Chrono Cross to free her.
Fighting from the Inside: After she was absorbed by Lavos, she tried her darnedest to fight his influence, to little avail. She did manage to create a clone of herself and send her to Lucca's timeline, though.
Fountain of Youth / Reincarnation: In Radical Dreamers, she is instead transformed into a baby by the power of the Frozen Flame, and sent to another timeline where Lucca found and raised her as Kid.
The Guru of Life (Melchior), The Guru of Time (Gaspar), and the Guru of Reason (Belthasar) who originally lived in 12000 BC. They try to stop Queen Zeal from harnessing the energy of Lavos. When Lavos is summoned, it sends the three of them along with Janus to different periods in time.
Badass Grandpa: Melchior in particular, since when you meet him at his home in 1000 A.D., it's sandwiched between a town full of hostile monsters and a cave full of hostile monsters. And this guy makes frequent trips to the mainland.
Chekhov's Gunmen: All three of them, if you traversed the Abandoned Sewers and entered Keeper Dome before you needed to. Twice for Melchior, though the second time it's already become clear that he's not ordinary.