The emergence of Lavos, destroyer of the world, in Chrono Trigger.

At long last, the final battle. Lavos is one of the strongest creatures in Chrono Trigger, and, wonder of wonders, it has multiple forms. Like, many forms. There are several ways to fight this destroyer of worlds, available as soon as you arrive at the End of Time:
  • Via the bucket at the End of Time. This take you through the standard Lavos encounter.
  • Via the Epoch. If you use the Epoch to travel to 1999 once it has wings, you’ll automatically skip the first phases of the Lavos battle, against its shell - though you won’t be able to save.
  • During the invasion of the Ocean Palace halfway through the game. This version of Lavos is stronger than Lavos fought through any other means. Nevertheless, you can defeat Lavos this way... it’s just harder. Don’t expect to take this route before you’re on a New Game +.
  • Via the Black Omen. Defeat the string of three bosses at the end of the Black Omen and you’ll be shunted directly into the Lavos battle.
  • Via a special Gate at the Millennial Fair. This only appears during a New Game +.
In most cases you have to defeat Lavos in three consecutive battles, though you get a break after the first string of connected fights. 

Lavos channels the power of the Guardian, a boss from much earlier in Chrono Trigger.

First Phase

Initially appearing as you’ve always seen, Lavos starts off by calling upon the accumulated DNA of the creatures of the planet to determine its attacks. In essence, Lavos replicates the health and moves of many of the bosses you’ve already faced. These fights are almost universally easy, since, y’know, you’ve been there before. Here’s a quick rundown on how to defeat each one.
  • Dragon Tank - So weak it’s pitiful. A few physical knocks should take it out.
  • Guardian - Physical hits. So weak.
  • Heckran - Magic, magic, magic.
  • Zombor - Light or physical attacks should rip through this form in a hurry.
  • Masa & Mune - Just beat ‘em down.
  • Nizbel - Electricity to stun, physical attacks to kill.
  • Magus - Follow the elemental weaknesses and use the Masamune to lower its magic defense. Magus himself is the best counter for the first phase of this fight, since he has access to all four elements.
  • Azala and Black Tyranno - Wipe out Azala with Light attacks, then do the same to the Tyranno before it can charge up a Fire attack.
  • Giga Gaia - Take out the arms, then go after the body.
You'll receive a chance to heal up and change your party between each phase. Once you sweep through the all of boss phases the real fight begins.

The iconic form of Lavos takes on the party, battling over the fate of the world in 1999 AD


HP: 10,000 (30,000 in the Ocean Palace)

Despite what the previous battles may have hinted, Lavos is no pushover. If you try to fight this version of the great beast early in the game you'll probably get smacked down on the very first turn. Lavos uses the following attacks:
  • A needle attack against a single target
  • Chaos Zone, which can inflict Confusion on the whole party
  • An earthquake attack against the whole party
  • A rain of destruction from above, inflicting heavy damage on the whole party
Lavos begins every battle with a ‘rain from the heavens’ that inflicts a fair amount of damage, and will periodically use this attack again to mash your whole team. Assuming you survive the first attack, Lavos will move on to the rest of its attack pattern, shifting between needle attacks, earthquakes, Chaos Zone to Confuse the party, and additional rains of destruction. 

Your best bet is to go all out, utilizing your strongest Techs and Dual Techs as quickly as you can to annihilate Lavos’ fairly low HP. It doesn’t take that long to defeat this form, and Lavos is powerful enough that you shouldn’t waste time with lower-level attacks while attempting to preserve your MP. Equip Vigilant's Hats on your whole party and Chaos Zone will prove no problem.

The party enter Lavos's shell, one quick walk away from the final battle of Chrono Trigger.

The 'death of Lavos will leave a big hole in its shell, where its mouth used to be - and that hole remains there whenever you approach Lavos from the outside, meaning you're done with this first fight. Lavos isn’t finished yet, though, and when you enter the hole you’ll find a save point, a Gate back to the End of Time, and a northward path. This is your last chance to do other stuff in the game before the real final showdown. If you think you’re ready, though, by all means, run north to trigger the last two battles of Chrono Trigger.

If you attack Lavos with the Epoch you’ll wind up in this same spot, without having to face the outer shell. This is a one-way trip, as you'll find no Gate and no save point inside Lavos.

Deep within its shell, the inner Lavos fights the party a second time


  • 20,000 (body)
  • 8,000 (right arm)
  • 10,000 (left arm)
Looking just a little different this time around, Lavos is also a fair bit stronger. Consisting of a body, a left arm and a right arm, Lavos's inner self is ready to dish out some pain. It uses the following attacks:
  • Laser Beams, a powerful combo attack against your whole party (arms and body)
  • A raining field of destructive triangles against the whole party (body)
  • Dark Will, which can Confuse one or more party members (body)
  • Umbral Embrace, which can inflict Poison on one or more party members (body)
  • Dark Flame's Embrace, a powerful Fire attack against your whole party (body)
  • Single-target projectiles (arms)
  • Heals the main body (right arm)
  • An attack that may inflict Stop on a party member (right arm)
  • Curse, which removes status immunity from a single target (arm)
Lavos begins every battle with Laser Beams, a powerful attack against the whole party that is ridiculously strong against anyone without a decent magic defense. After this the body will hang back while the arms do most of the work, healing the body and striking your party. Laser Beams makes an occasional comeback to do most of the damage. Once the arms are gone the body breaks out some stronger attacks, most notably Dark Flame's Embrace, which can hit harder than Laser Beams if your party doesn't have any Fire protection.

Heal immediately after Laser Beams goes off the first time. That done, go to town taking out the arms, as they provide Lavos with an extra layer of offensive power that needs to go. Field attacks such as Luminaire and Flare are preferable, since you get rid of both arms at once that way, though focusing on a single arm to whittle it down more quickly is also possible. It doesn't really matter which arm you take out first, though the right arm has a bit less HP than the left. One party member will get with Curse during this phase, removing status immunity granted by equipment, so be ready for status ailments to slip through for the remainder of the fight.

Getting rid of the arms lower's the bodies defenses to killable levels, but it will also unlock a series of deadlier attacks. Your approach shouldn’t change a whole lot, but you’ll have to deal with occasional bouts of Poison and Confusion if your party members aren't protected with gear like Vigilant's Hats. Aside from the occasional use of the horrifying Dark Flame's Embrace, the battle against Lavos's inner form isn’t that bad.

... but it’s also not the end of Lavos when you win.

Moving endlessly through time, the Lavos Core engages the party in the final battle

Lavos Core

  • 10,000 (Central Pod)
  • 2,000 (Lavos Pod)
  • 30,000 (Lavos Core)
Absorbs: All elements (Lavos Pod)

The grand finale! Lavos now appears as an oversized humanoid alien, accompanied by a pair of Pods. The Lavos Core and its two Pods use the following attacks:
  • Single-target attacks (pods)
  • Heavenly Tears, a Light attack against a single target (Central Pod)
  • Diabolic Whisper, which inflicts a random status ailment on the whole party (Central Pod)
  • Demon Star, which cuts everyone's HP in half (Central Pod)
  • Grandstone, a powerful physical spell against the whole party (Central Pod)
  • Dreamreaver, a powerful spell against the whole party (Central Pod)
  • Curse, which voids immunities (Lavos Pod)
  • Heals all three enemies (Lavos Pod)
  • Evil Touch, which steals some HP from a single target (Lavos Pod)
  • Shifts time periods, changing the 'ultimate' attack used by the Central Pod (Lavos Core)
  • Resurrects the Central Pod and the Lavos Pod (Lavos Core)
You’re in for the fight of your life, but not in the manner you’d expect. Despite how things look, the Lavos Core is not the humanoid, but the pod floating on the right. The humanoid has low amounts of HP for what it is, and won’t take that many hits to kill. That said, the Central Pod is responsible for Lavos’s most powerful attacks, notably three ‘ultimate’ moves that change depending on the time period presented in the background. Defeating the Central Pod buys you some time to recover - but not for long, as the true target of the fight, the Lavos Core on the right, eventually resurrects both of the pods.

The fight runs as follows: 
  • First, take out the left pod. It has low amounts of HP, and though it absorbs elements it will perish quickly to physical Techs and normal hits. 
  • Second, go after the Central Pod. Maul it with Dual Techs as quickly as you can. Heal as necessary.
  • Third, wait for the Lavos Core (the right pod) to lower its defenses. This should only take a moment, and if you take long enough with the Central Pod it may lower its defenses just after you defeat the left pod.
  • And, fourth, hit the Lavos Core with the strongest attacks you've got. You'll have a few rounds to do as much damage as you can before it revives the Pods. Once it does the Lavos Core raises its defense again, and you'll need to repeat the process.
Aside from forcing you into this strict process of taking out the Pods before attacking the Core, this fight is fairly straightforward. As long as you have Vigilant's Hats equipped you won't need to worry about status ailments, and you should have plenty of items / strong Techs for quickly restoring lost health. Take your time, wipe out the Central Pod as quickly as your battle power permits, and chip away at the Lavos Core when it's vulnerable. The Lavos Core has 30,000 HP, so this will take a while. Good luck!

Destroying the right pod automatically destroys the other two pods if they’re still alive. It also brings the game to an end, earning you the Beyond Time achievement if you're playing the PC version (and if you went through the whole game to get to this point). Congratulations! You’ve beaten Chrono Trigger! Enjoy the ending!

The End of Chrono Trigger.

… now, can you do it again? Perhaps even with a single character? Chrono Trigger isn’t done with you yet. If you beat Lavos by travelling through the Black Omen, you’ll unlock New Game +. This mode allows you to restart Chrono Trigger but keep your team’s inventory and stats. This allows you to fight Lavos at various points throughout the game, and potentially unlock a variety of new (and sometimes very weird) endings. Have fun!

And if you own the DS or PC version? Oh, it’s just starting. There’s a whole other final boss you can take on… once you defeat some additional dungeons, that is. We'll move on to the first of them, the Lost Sanctum, in the next section of the guide.