A map of the Sunken Desert, 600 AD, in Chrono Trigger.

Sunken Desert - Enemies
  • Hexapod - 1,000 HP - Drops Lapis - Charm Barrier Sphere
  • Sandrago - 400 HP - Charm Shield Sphere

  • The first step in this side quest is triggering it in the first place. To make the Sunken Desert appear you must first speak to one of the residents of Zeal. There are two ways to find her:
    • If you’re still wandering through the Kingdom of Zeal as a massive floating island, you’ll find the woman in Zeal Palace, in the southwest corner of the main area. 
    • If Zeal has already crumbled, you’ll find her at the Village Commons on the small island that constitutes the only major landmass left in 12,000 BC. 
    In either case the woman has a sapling. She's not sure if she should plant it or burn it. Tell her to plant it. If you tell her to burn the sapling you'll undo any chance of triggering this quest.

    The party prepares to enter the Sunken Desert, an optional dungeon in Chrono Trigger.

    Telling the woman to plant the sapling will make a new location, the Sunken Desert, appear in 600 AD. You’ll find it in the desert north of Porre, a short walk from Fiona’s Villa. Don’t enter without at least one character capable of using Water magic (Marle, Frog, or Magus). You can enter this dungeon relatively early, but the enemies inside are strong enough that you may want to hold off until after you've completed the Ocean Palace.

    There are two levels to the Sunken Desert, and the first is populated by enemies and chests. The two types of creatures living here, Vilepillars and Sandragos, will take a big hit to their physical defences if first attacked with Water magic. Soften them up with Water II or Ice II. After clearing this twisty-turny area of enemies you can find chests containing a Hi-Ether, a Lapis, an Aeonian Suit, and an Elixir. You can also find a Strength Capsule sitting in the sand on the left side of the room, though it can be a struggle to reach the thing. 

    The team spots Melphyx, master of the Sunken Desert in Chrono Trigger.

    Head to the second level via the stairs in the south. Upon arrival an enormous creature will begin popping in and out of the sand. This is Melphyx, the boss of the Sunken Desert and your target. Before attacking it, though, move around the room and pop open the chests in the sand. They contain a Hi-Potion, 5000 gil, a Turbo Ether, an Aeonian Helm, a Muscle Ring, a Hi-Ether, and a Memory Cap. Make sure you grab everything, as the Sunken Desert will disappear once you beat Melphyx and speak to a particular NPC.

    The party takes on Melphyx, the monstrous creature responsible for the Sunken Desert in 600 AD


    • 1,000 (core)
    • 5,000 (torso)
    • 4,800 (legs)
    Immune: Water (core), all elements (torso and legs)
    Absorbs: Light, Fire, Shadow (core)
    Charm: Speed Capsule (core)

    The Melphyx is similar to Zombor of many days past, though with a twist: it now has three body parts, consisting of the upper torso, the legs, and a Core. The many chunks of Melphyx use the following attacks:
    • Absorbs health from the core (torso and legs)
    • Sand Breath, which inflicts Blind on one party member (torso)
    • An attack that absorbs HP from one character (torso)
    • A laser attack that hits the whole party (torso)
    • Dark Flare, a Shadow attack that hits the whole party (torso)
    • Sand Cyclone, which damages one character (legs)
    • A chewing attack that absorbs some HP from one character (legs)
    • An earthquake attack against the whole party (legs)
    Melphyx's torso and legs periodically draw on the health of the Core to restore its HP, and once the core dies Melphyx begins to use more dangerous attacks. The key here is to target Melphyx’s other body parts without touching the core and deal as much damage as humanly possible before the Core dies. Use powerful, non-elemental Dual Techs to target Melphyx’s bits individually. 

    Like the other creatures here Melphyx’s defenses are weakened by Water attacks, so have one character cast Water II or Ice II periodically to drag it down to a manageable level. Water will not hurt the Core, so don’t fret over the possibility of accidentally killing it off. That said, Water also doesn’t hurt Melphyx, either, so avoid any combo attacks that include Water.

    (On the off chance that you defeat the torso and legs without defeating the core, it will run away. Coward!)

    The party sleeps the night away in a forest in 600 AD... and Lucca, unable to sleep, prepares to travel back in time on her own, to a very special day

    Fiona's Shrine - Nun Vendor
  • Clarity Cap (20,000 G)
  • Memory Cap (20,000 G)
  • Time Hat (30,000 G)
  • Vigilant's Hat (50,000 G)

  • Head to Fiona's Villa once you defeat Melphyx, and make sure you put Robo in the party. Speak to Fiona and Robo will offer to remain with her in order to replant the forests of the region, now that the Sunken Desert is no longer an issue. Robo leaves the party at this point, and if you really want to be a jerk you don't need to recruit him again. (Whether you do or not, though, you'll forever see Robo working the deserts in 600 AD, which is kinda neat.)

    Jump forward to 1000 AD. The local landscape looks quite different now that you've changed time, and if you visit the newly-created Fiona’s Shrine you’ll find Robo waiting atop an altar. Bring him back online to trigger a reunion. Before you do this you may want to speak to the second nun on the right, as she sells several powerful pieces of headgear.

    What follows is a weird jump to another time which can change a small, but interesting, part of the game. Without spoiling it, you need to enter a password on the machine in the middle of the house (inspect the wheel to your right to enter the password). The password is the buttons L, A, R, A, in that order, or L1, Circle, R1, Circle on the PSX version. The PC version provides an on-screen keyboard, and again, you want to enter 'LARA'. You don’t have much time, so enter the password quickly. 

    You’ll receive a Green Dream, regardless of the outcome of this horrible little interlude, as the Sunken Desert side quest comes to a close.