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The logic of the time loop has bugged me for years. Someone help me out here, I think I've got something horribly wrong.

  • Two thousand years prior to the events of the game, Garland arrives in the past. The Four Fiends revive him as Chaos, and he uses his newfound powers to send the Fiends into the future, to send him back to the past.
  • Shortly thereafter, the Light Warriors arrive. Chaos slaughters them.
  • A while later, the Fiends begin their rampage.
  • The Light Warriors slay Garland in the Temple of Fiends. The Fiends send Garland back in time to become Chaos and send them to the future.
    • Troper here. Recap says the original Garland requested to be made their ruler, and sent the fiends to the future after they changed him to Chaos. The Chaos defeated in-game was at the "end" of the loop, and yes didn't change anything. Obv other paradoxes remain.
  • The Light Warriors slay the Fiends, and travel back to the past.
    • This is, to my knowledge, the correct sequence of events, but one thing has been bothering me ever since I first heard about it. If the Light Warriors slay Chaos after he sends the Fiends to the future, how does that break the time loop? If they killed him before he sent the Fiends to the future, it would certainly break the time loop - no Fiends means no deus ex machina for Garland means no Chaos. But the text suggests that he had already sent them to the future by the time they arrived. Relevant line:
    ''From here I sent the Four FIENDS to the future. The FIENDS will send me back to here, and the Time-Loop will go on."
    • Unless this is Time-Travel Tense Trouble, I can't see how killing Chaos at this point will make any difference. I am, however, the only one who I've ever seen confused by this. Am I merely misplacing the order of events, or is there something else I'm not getting? Oh, and please mark any Dissidia spoilers, should it happen to come into this.
  • It has been a while since I played the game, but as I recall you re-fight the Four Fiends before you fight Chaos. So you actually stop the timeloop by defeating Chaos. And odds are if you were defeated by Chaos he probably would've revived the fiends and sent them to the future... Timeloop continues.
    • Ugh,haha, that's crazy, because that means the Heroes existence in the future, as they are, to begin with relies on a variable occurrence of those selves in the past i.e. they DO exist ESPECIALLY if they were defeated.
  • The above timeline needs to add that Chaos revives the Four Fiends after defeating the Light Warriors to send them 1600 years into the future (their rampage begins 400 years before the start of the game). Technically, the Time Loop can also be broken if the Light Warriors are killed before all four fiends can be killed - since it's established that the Fiends can revive Chaos and Chaos can revive the fiends, they could win if there's at least one fiend active (to drain the orbs/crystals) to revive Garland and create Chaos.
  • The time loop is broken because Chaos is dead. As Chaos, he will live for 2000+ years having infinite rule (note that you never kill him in the future, but he wants to punish you for killing him when he was human). Without him corrupting the world, the world reverts, supposedly civilizations that would have fallen due to his reign (1600 year reign, where the fiends arrive) survive and other heroes kill the fiends that were sent to the future. The political and social climate is so much better in that future that Garland himself meets the Light Warriors on their return and it is implied that he never became evil in this timeline. Furthermore, no one even knows who the Light Warriors are because the problem they were sent out to solve never existed in this timeline.
    • Double check the FF 1 recap, but hey: Do the fiends only resurrect Chaos, or can only Garland be resurrected to be changed into Chaos?
  • I believe based on the text in-game that the time loop only worked because the Fiends have the ability to revive Garland/Chaos and vice versa, meaning that if Garland or any of the four Fiends are killed in the future, they will be revived in the past, and if they are killed in the past, Garland can easily just go back in time and start the process again. Now, after being transported to the past but BEFORE killing Chaos, you fight and kill the four Fiends once again, and in the time loop, this would be easily fixed by Chaos and/or Garland reviving them, but because you already killed the future versions of the Fiends and Garland, and you also kill Chaos before he revive them, you break the time loop because both the past and future versions of Chaos and the Fiends are now dead, preventing their resurrection.
    • I might be talking about Time Traveller Immunity here, but by that explanation, the time loop is isolated to Garland, especially if he is defeated, but reanimated by his other future fiend reincarnated self. The heroes are ejected from this so-called time loop by that very interference as they can't be everyhwere for as long as the fiends and Chaos can.

  • Other questions come to mind. For instance, how do the Four Fiends go on a rampage in the past, after they were sent to the present? Wouldn't this series of events simply result in Chaos being around for 2,000 years? And how in the world can this cause time to repeat?
    • The simple answer is: It was the third console RPG ever, and it was an era of Excuse Plots. It makes about as much sense as most of the NES era games.
    • I just go with Timey-Wimey Ball. Makes about as much sense as anything else. Though to clarify a few things:
      • It may be Time-Travel Tense Trouble, as you fight the fiends all over again in the past. Of course, they respawn, which may be some more Time Travel muck-up.
      • Did Garland/Chaos say he sent them to the present, or just to the future relevant to his time? It seemed to be that several of the fiends were around for years (Hundreds, or so) before the big Garland Get-Together. He may have sent them into the future, but a few hundred years before the events of the main game.
    • Of course, none of this really solves anything. So Timey-Wimey Ball it is. Or A Wizard Did It.
    • If nothing else, I can explain the time repetition—it's not a Stable Time Loop, but rather the variety of time travel that gets bandied about a lot in Final Fantasy VIII's crazy fan theories. That is to say, you don't travel through time, you undo time, like rewinding a VHS tape and taping over it. Garland went back into the past the first time he "died" (though apparently not on later runthroughs of the cycle, or a) the plot would never happen, and b) there'd be a zillion copies of him in the past.) Every single runthrough, you survive long enough to travel back to the past yourself, and although he defeats you, he has to live through those thousands of years all over again and take another crack at you in the hopes he can kill you before you can time-travel again. What's interesting is that before he time-traveled in the first place, he couldn't have been the leader of the fiends—so that means we have partial Rubber-Band History, with different sequences of events both leading to you and him existing and fighting each other. (Come to think of it, that's also why he couldn't just kill your parents before you were born—you were fated to come into existence in some way.) As for the Fiends, maybe he sent them to the future that would have come about if he had won, and his losing erases that entire future with the fiends inside it (just like how Heroes speculation insists Peter must have erased Kaitlyn (sic?))
    • Here's how I understood it: Garland was originally from 20XX years in the past. Because of fear of death, he thought about this time loop plan and traveled to the present of the game, became part of the royal guard, kidnapped the princess and was defeated by the light warriors. Then he was sent back to 2000 years in the past by the fiends, turned into Chaos by the fiends, sent the fiends themselves to the present so they can send him back in the first place. He then kills the light warriors and after that rules as Chaos for as much time he desires (but is obviously still mortal or else he would not need a time loop) and sends himself back to the present as Garland, so he can start the time loop. He then becomes part of the royal guard, kidnaps the princess, gets beaten by the warriors... That would explain why killing Chaos stops the time loop. With Chaos dead, there would be no Garland in the present because Chaos is Garland and Garland came from the past.
    • I don't know if this was only in the Dawn of Souls version onwards, but Garland did say something like "In 2000 years I shall know none of this, but I shall be reborn here again.". I see it like this:
      • Garland arrives in the past
      • The Four Fiends give him some of their combined power, turning him into Chaos.
      • Chaos!Garland uses this power to send the Four Fiends to the present.
      • The Light Warriors arrive from the present. Chaos!Garland kills them.
      • Over the course of 2000 years, the power of Chaos keeps Garland alive, but it eventually runs out, or fades away slowly, rendering him human again. The passage of time also erodes his memory of the events, and he eventually lands a job in Cornelia as a Knight.
      • Driven by inherited memories of the endless cycles, Garland turns rogue and kidnaps the princess.
      • Garland is killed by the Light Warriors, but is revived and sent back in time by the Four Fiends.
      • The Light Warriors slay the Four Fiends and then follow Garland back in time using the Crystals.
      • After a number of cycles, by a fluke, the Light Warriors defeat Chaos and the cycle breaks.
      • The above theory doesn't make sense because it implies Garland was never born, but has always existed inside the time loop. If this were the case, then breaking the time loop would cause Garland to stop existing, which doesn't happen according to the ending.
    • The way I see it is, Garland in the present doesn't remember becoming Chaos simply because he didn't become Chaos yet. He was born a few decades before the present, grew up like any other human, became a Cornelian knight, and was blissfully unaware of the Stable Time Loop his older self perpetuated until he became a part of it. After sending the Fiends away, Chaos couldn't interfere with the world without risking breaking the time loop, which is why he was hidden for most of the game. It's possible he conquered the world in the future once the Light Warriors had traveled to the past, either via time travel or The Slow Path.
    • As described in the NES version, it makes absolutely no sense because Chaos created the fiends and the fiends sent Garland back in time. The flow chart of this is Garland is Born —> Garland is Defeated —> Entities That Don't Exist Yet Send Garland Back —> Garland Becomes Chaos —> Garland Creates Entities —> Garland Sends Entities Forward —> Entities Send Garland Back...and so on. There is no discernible origin, so really one can make all kinds of guesses. The simplest two are either that it was an error and the fiends predate Chaos, or that the temple always had time travel magic independent of the fiends and in subsequent loops said fiends simply reduced Garland's suffering.
      • Chaos and the fiends bringing each other to existence without a discernible origin sounds like a classic ontological paradox to me.
    • I took it to mean the Fiends had the ability to time travel at their leisure and/or to pursue the heroes, as they had access to the various crystal powers, ahem, allowing them to do so. More strongly I really just figured the effects of the Heroes in the past might actually draw the Fiends back to points in the past because they were restoring the inert crystals, and then therefore existed as conventional history knew them to. wrd moar timeloop waht.

  • Well, this is kind of a bigger issue. So it's easy to assume the Demon Fiends could survive for 200 years tearing havoc on the world to keep up the Stable time loop. Right, Magic = Longevity. But why wouldn't Chaos HIMSELF live for 2000 years and tear havoc on the world himself? The time loop keeps ocurring for as long as he wins the final battle in the past, and if he won, he's probably alive, and if he's alive, can't he just go on and kill the Heros, under the skin of Chaos, RIGHT AFTER they killed Garland? That would keep the Loop up, and he would have an easy victory. Of course we wouldn't have any game, but...
    • This troper understood it this way. The Fiends aren't long lived because they are magical or have magic. We have a Lich, a Demon, a Dragon and a eldritch squid being. They are "super" natural beings who ubercharged a mere human. By their powers combined Garland is the godly being Chaos for a while, but cannot maintain that strength. By time the heroes are born, let alone you fight him, his memory's shot and has reverted physically to something not much better than an old man.
    • Or the Sky Warriors defeated Chaos specifically because he was wreaking havoc. They were cursed in the process of taking the monster out. Then Garland was born, and trained specifically to take on summons/godlike creatures. When he was slighted by the Conerian royalty, he kidnapped the princess and upon being defeated made a Deal with the Devil to become He Who Fights Monsters. If he succeeded the first time in defeating the "Light Warriors," whatever they would have been called at the time, there would have been no need for the time loop. If Chaos still lived through the entirety of the 2000 years, it would also negate the ability to have the loop exist. Had he been active, would he have let the puny humans train a summon killer to prevent another instance of Chaos or similar rising?
    • If we take Dissidia's Reports as canon, this may make some sense. According to said reports, nations like Lufenia and Onrac were very militarized before their respective falls. Garland in particular was raised as a weapon by Lufenia to defeat the many monsters being summond and used to wage war. Who's to say that Chaos wasn't one of the monsters that Garland killed or sealed? It would be poetic, if nothing else. Alternatively, Chaos had already been killed or sealed by one of the nations (I.E. Lufenia's Sky Warriors) before Garland was born, and he is the source of the Power of Discord that Garland was infused with. I know, I know, using Dissidia canon is a retcon at best, but it does offer a plausible solution to this question, at least.
    • Technically this is, what I think of as player discretion retcon. Well, retcon for others after playing mounds of rpgs. Anyway even when I first played FF 1 I assumed Chaos to be an elite evil power, not quite attuned to your "average" physical destruction, whatever the scale. Also, learning that Chaos was actually infused into Garland and doing its best with it's host, it probably had to bide it's time for a perfect one-shot.

  • Why do the Light Warriors need to go back into the past in the first place? In the present time, they've defeated the four fiends and brought back the four crystals of light. The world is already saved, the fiends are gone, everyone can live happily now. Why change history, especially when it might end up erasing everyone they've ever known from existence?
    • It's implied that Chaos's time-loop was throwing the universe out of balance, somehow. Slowly corrupting the space-time-continuum into a spiral of anger or something. That, or the Warriors decided that if there was a chance that they could reverse the grief already caused by the Fiends, they may as well take it.

  • A relatively minor question. If the Lefein Honor Guard was going to assault the Temple of Fiends/Chaos, why did they park their airship in the area that became Ryukahn Desert to assault the Temple? That would have required a canoe and boat to get from where they parked the ship to their destination. For that matter, where is the canoe and ship they used? Wouldn't it have made more sense to land the airship closer to their destination?
    • Who said that was the airship they were using? It seemed to me that the light warrior's airship was a relic which had been left undisturbed ever since Tiamat first cast down the Lefein empire. As for the honor guard's transportation, it was probably destroyed by some villain or other or shoved back into the ocean.
      • I think one of the surviving Lefein mention that. At the very least, I know it was stated in the old Nintendo Power Players' Guide.
    • Is there any evidence of Dragoons? Even in the bestiary? In general I favor Dragoons when I can.

  • Were the Piscodemons really evil nefarious sorcerers who pilfered the mystical Crown from the Western Keep. Or were they merely trying to prevent Astos from gaining more power?
    • Total WMG here, but I've always gotten the impression Piscodemons are powerful powerful magic users, but have actually relatively weak will power. With Astos's evil presence and will they were probably compelled to do his bidding, linked by evil like-mindedness. srsly.

  • What exactly did cause the stable time loop to be broken? What did the Light Warriors do differently from every other cycle that resulted in their success in the cycle we play in the game?
    • They won, that's what happened. Not being flip there—that's really what it comes down to: maybe they used a different strategy, maybe they let the White Mage have the Masamune, or maybe they just got the one critical hit they needed to win the day... whatever it comes down to, the result is that this one time, they won the battle. In essence, its the exact opposite of Evil Only Has to Win Once — in this case it was Good that only had to win once.
    • Totally. Their initial, original existence set them up to break it using there own, haha. Citing Time Traveller Immunity (even if they are heralded as heroes) the set up a point in time by defeating Chaos before they travel back and defeat past Chaos too. Assuming the defeat in the past undoes all that history, they could, in theory, be slung back to the point after which they defeated Chaos in the present and slightly before or after they travelled back in time. Depending.

  • I'm in the mood to really bait a troper with something that has horribly bugged me since Day 1 (and Final Fantasy ONE pun intended): A Garland is generally a nice flower thing to wear or decorate with, so why ith is it the name of one of the most tenacious villains of Final Fantasy? Give me a break! Tbf, I hail from days where the official greatest villain name (besides Vegeta or Frieza or Hildegarn or Majin Buu or . . . .) is LucaBlight.
    • A garland also frequently comes in the shape of a circle - which could very well represent the time loop he had created and maintained.

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