The Black Omen, the final dungeon of Chrono Trigger, floating ominously above the landscape of 600 AD
Chrono Trigger owned by Square-Enix. 
Images used for educational purposes only.

The Black Omen

- Appearing in the sky once you have control of the Epoch, the Black Omen is basically the final dungeon in Chrono Trigger. (Though not necessarily the last one you’ll play if you own Chrono Trigger DS.) It appears in every time period save 65,000,000 BC, and you can access it via 12,000 BC, 600 AD, and 1000 AD. This essentially allows you to complete the Black Omen three times per play through.

- You can get to the Black Omen by flying the Epoch beneath its hovering bulk. Upon landing you’ll have to face six Laser Guards; a quick blast of Lightning II will take care of them.

- Immediately inside…

The Mega Mutant, the first boss (and one of the first enemies period) in the Black Omen

Mega Mutant

The battle against the Mega Mutant can range from mildly annoying to utterly exasperating, and it all depends on your equipment. If you’re wearing stuff that blocks status ailments, such as a Vigilant’s Hat, it will only be capable of inflicting small amounts of damage on a regular basis. Otherwise it will batter your team with attacks that cause confusion, sleep, and poison. Very annoying. Equip at least one character with a Vigilant’s Hat so you have somebody who can heal your other characters, then bombard the Mega Mutant’s upper half with your strongest Dual Techs.

- You’re right by the entrance, so if you need to heal, now’s a good time to head outside and use a Shelter. Otherwise, continue north. Straight ahead are two Shieldsmen. Wait for them to drop their shields before attacking. East of them and in another room are two Martellos, straightforward turret enemies that you can destroy howsoever you like.

- North of the Martellos you’ll face two Fangbeasts. These are among the most annoying enemies in the Black Omen, as they can instantly cut your HP in half, use otherwise powerful attacks, have lots of HP, and absorb Lightning and Shadow. Double Techs are recommended. Further north is another Martello accompanied by two Synchrites, moderately tough robots that are fairly unremarkable. To the right of this battle is a save point.

- The next room is guarded by two Panels. These rather meh enemies are remarkable in that they can be Charmed by Ayla for Speed Capsules. Oooo. Try and steal these before killing the Panels, as they will not respawn once they’re defeated. Two more Panels wait further to the north.

- In the next area you’ll come across a Watcher and two Nomads. The Watcher will, following in the tradition of Rubbles, disable your Techs and items. Kill the Nomads before they can escape and you’ll earn a bundle of TP. There are two more of these squads to the north. This screen is one of the best places in the game to finish off your collection of Techs, as these enemies will respawn if you leave the screen and return.

The party takes on the mechanical guardians of the Black Omen

- The next screen is patrolled by Metal Mutes. Other than absorbing Lightning attacks, they’re not that tricky. North of them are two more, accompanied by a pair of Flyclops. They’re highly resistant to most attacks, but they also don’t have a ton of HP, and thus aren’t too tough.

- Past here you’ll find an elevator. Go down it and you’ll face four Hydracondas, slow creatures that can do a ton of damage if they get too close. Target them one-at-a-time and they’ll attack each other to restore their HP. You’ll also face two Fangbeasts on the elevator, and after them a pair of Cybots that will spend most of their time confusing your team. You can easily avoid all three battles by running to the edge of the elevator and waiting until you reach the bottom.

- In the next room you’ll start off facing a Watcher and two Nomads. Another identical squad waits to the right. Follow the path until you see stairs leading northward; look to the right of the stairs for a Megalixir. Dead ahead is a Synchrite and two Flyclopses.

- The path in the next room splits; you’ll find Hydracondas on the left and Flyclopses on the right. Dead ahead are a Watcher and two Nomads. Here the path splits again, and if you go right you’ll find a Magic Crest. There are familiar enemies to face on either side as you head for the northern door.

- The next corridor is strictly for resting. The Nu on the left will sell you a variety of restorative items (even Turbo Ethers!), while the Nu on the right will offer you a way to leave the Black Omen without having to walk back. The chests here contain an Elixir, a Vigilant’s Hat, two Megalixirs, Nova Armor, and a Haste Helm. Check the northern wall decoration after saving and healing to find a path onward.

- To the west in the next room is a Blubber Hulk, a powerful melee combatant that will counter virtually every attack. Use your best Dual Techs to bring it down quickly. This Blubber Hulk makes a good farming point, as it can be Charmed for Strength Capsules.

- Two Cybots guard the next room, and past them a Shieldman. Further north is a stream of Hydracondas that you can avoid if you’re very careful. They guard a Zodiac Cape. East of here is a Watcher and Nomad combo, and beyond them a Flycops and two Fangbeasts that protect a chest containing a Megalixir. Two Watchers and four Nomads wait in the far right.

- Head south in the next room, looking on the left side of the path for a Power Crest. Two Flyclopses and a Blubber Beast wait, and past them a Cybot and a Martello. At the bottom right corner of this passage is a chest containing a Speed Capsule.

- To the west is a chest containing another Speed Capsule. Beside the chest is a door that leads to a teleporter. It will take you to a new area. Follow the path north and west to find two new enemies, Narbles and Ghajes, Narbles counter magic attacks with MP Buster, while Ghajes counter physical attacks with instant death. Otherwise, they sit there and do nothing. Charm the Ghajes for Magic Capsules.

- To the west and south you’ll find a chest containing an Elixir. Follow the path north and east to find a Watcher and four Nomads. In the far north you’ll find two more Ghajes, as well as chests containing a Speed Capsule and a Megalixir. Through the exit you’ll find a save point, and… well, that should be hint enough.

The Giga Mutant, the second boss monster in the Black Omen

Giga Mutant

Hey, this looks familiar. The Giga Mutant uses many of the same attacks as the Mega Mutant, especially in the status ailment department, but it has one weird change from its lesser kin: the Giga Mutant is almost totally immune to physical attacks. You must use magic-based Techs if you want to kill this thing in any sort of reasonable amount of time. Problem is, hitting the Giga Mutant with Techs will prompt it to absorb the MP of the user. Assault its two parts with your strongest moves - Luminaire, Flare, Dark Matter, etc. - and annihilate it before it can drain too much of your MP. Strictly elemental Dual Techs such as Marle and Lucca’s Antipode Bombs are a good choice; otherwise, stick with strong Single Tech moves. Annoying, but not that difficult.

- Backtrack to the save point to recuperate, then plow onward. You’ll shortly wind up on an elevator. It features the usual assortment of baddies that you’ve seen plenty of times already in the Black Omen, though you can’t avoid the battles this time. Two Synchrites wait at the top, in the next open area. Further north are two Fangbeasts…

- … two Blubber Beasts…

- … and four Panels. The Panels guard a chest containing a Speed Capsule. Destroying the Panels will make a save point appear. Save up, because when you head north…

The Tera Mutant, the final Mutant in Chrono Trigger

Tera Mutant

Sigh… don’t worry, this is the last one. The Tera Mutant bears an obvious resemblance to the other two Mutants, but there’s one big difference: you should never attack the bottom half alone. Doing so will prompt it to use Lifer Shaver, reducing the attacker to a single HP. Ouch. Target the top half with your strongest magic attacks or magical Dual Techs (once again, physical attacks suck) until it goes down. The top half will occasionally siphon health from the bottom, and may kill it; if not, the bottom half will die on its own when the top is gone. Not a terribly difficult fight so long as at least one member of your team is protected against confusion.

- Check the chests to the right and left of the battlefield for a White Gemstone and a Megalixir, run back to save / recuperate, and venture onward. In the next room…

A Lavos Spawn makes an appearance near the tail end of the Black Omen

Lavos Spawn

C’mon, another boss? This thing is a stronger version of the creatures on Death Peak and has a few different attacks, but it’s otherwise handled exactly the same. Avoid the shell, use single-hitting Dual and Triple Techs on the face. It doesn’t have a ton of HP, and will die rather quickly. Shrug?

- In the next room you’ll find five Panels. You know how to deal with them by now. Once they’re gone a save point will appear, and a way north will open. You’ve finally reached the end of the line, so save up, heal yourself, pick a solid team, and prepare for a looooong series of boss battles. (If you want some additional dialogue and an awesome set of music during one fight, put Magus on your team. Frog with the Masamune can also be useful for one fight, but he’s hardly a necessity.)

BE WARNED! What follows is one of the routes through which you can encounter Lavos, and if you beat the next three bosses you’ll automatically be thrown into a fight with the parasite. If you don’t think you’re prepared to take on the final boss (though if you can get this far into the Black Omen, trust me, you can fight Lavos), turn back now. On the plus side, if you go through the Black Omen to fight Lavos, you'll unlock the New Game + option when you beat the game.

Queen Zeal finally takes on the party herself in the depths of the Black Omen, standing in front of the ruins of the Mammon Machine

Queen Zeal

This battle is more annoying than it is difficult, because Zeal begins every fight with the move Halation, which will reduce everyone to a single HP. Ouch. Use a Megalixir, a Lapis, a healing Dual Tech or something to get your HP away from one, then start mashing her with your strongest Dual Techs. Zeal is more annoying than she is dangerous, and it’s only when she uses Halation that you’re in trouble.

Once she’s done…

A formidable opponent in its own right, the Mammon Machine takes on the party in the core of the Black Omen

Mammon Machine

The sprite was just too cool not to make it into a boss. The Mammon Machine constitutes one of the weirder fights in the game. For the majority of the encounter the Mammon Machine will take your attacks against it and turn them into stat bonuses for itself: magic attacks will increase its overall attack, while physical attacks will increase its defense. The latter gets so bad after a few whacks that normal strikes do virtually nothing to the Mammon Machine. After a while the Machine will release its energy as a painful (400+ HP) attack to everyone, then settle back to normal. The only way to stop this attack is to have Frog attack it with the Masamune, absorbing its energy as health. Thereafter it will use the occasional Point Flare attack on one person, and will eventually start charging up again. Beat it down with strong attacks. Shrug? Weird, weird fight, and not very difficult.

A good thing, too, because the next one is a doozy…

Queen Zeal calls upon her Lavos-given powers and takes on the party one last time atop the Black Omen

Queen Zeal

Now it gets tough. Queen Zeal appears as a face and two hands, and all three parts of her will assault your team with a variety of elemental attacks. Unfortunately, you can’t dispose of the hands - the left will counter every attack on it with Live Shaver, while the right will counter with MP Buster. Using an AOE attack will, in essence, hobble the attacker. Your only recourse is to focus your attacks strictly on the head, utilizing your strongest single-striking Techs and Dual Techs to smack away Zeal’s HP. Standard attacks aside, the only thing you really need to watch for is the occasional use of Halation to drive everyone’s HP down to one. A lengthy battle, thanks to Zeal’s high HP, but not that tricky so long as you avoid the hands altogether.

Once Queen Zeal crumbles… well, just watch. The final battle begins!