The Epoch, a time machine, launches into action and transports the party across the ages

The Wings of Time, 2300 AD

Crono and the team have been kicked out of the Kingdom of Zeal, and the only Gate leading back into that time is sealed. What’s to be done? You need an alternate mode of transportation through time, obviously, and there's a chance you've already met that mode's creator.

Use the Mystic Mountains to return to the End of Time, then head to 2300 AD and proceed to Arris Dome. The dome itself is of no further use, aside from resting up - though there's a nearby location that you may have skipped the first time through here: The Abandoned Sewers. They're an early-game dungeon, not terribly long, and east fodder for your party if you did ignore them during your first trip to 2300 AD. This guide will get you through the Abandoned Sewers.

The Keeper's Dome, an important location in 2300 AD of Chrono Trigger.

South of the other end of the Abandoned Sewers you'll find the Keeper's Dome. Go through the black, sealed door in the rear of the dome, then inspect the many glimmers that appear for the story of the dome's former occupant. The sealed door leads to the hangar for your very own time machine, the default name of which is the Epoch. You can change the name of the Epoch via the computer near the entrance to the Keeper's Dome. Run back into the previous hallway after naming the Epoch to find a Magic Capsule, then climb into your new vehicle and head a-blazing into history.

Time travel is now substantially easier, though as of yet the Epoch can’t move around. When you jump through time you’ll appear in the same spot in each time period. Still, it's all you need to return to 12,000 BC - and you can use the Epoch to open the many sealed black boxes spread throughout the game. Their contents will come in handy for the battles to come. You should also jump to 1000 AD and speak to Taban, Lucca's father, as he'll have a Taban's Suit and a Taban's Helm ready for her to wear.

One final thing about the Epoch: The ship will not just follow you through time. If you leave it behind and use a Gate to get around instead, you'll have to trek back to the era where you left it. Don't forget where you parked the Epoch! (And, in general, don't use Gates to get around anymore! The Epoch is much faster!)

Leap to 12,000 BC once you're done mucking about with the Epoch. You'll appear in front of the cave with the Gate that originally brought the party to 12,000 BC. Head northwest of here and you'll find a little hut, which takes you into a tiny settlement.

Terra Cave, home of the Earthbound Ones of 12,000 BC who have been condemned by the people of Zeal

Terra Cave / Algetty - Market
  • Zanmato (17,000 G)
  • Comet Bow (7,800 G)
  • Megablaster (9,800 G)
  • Megaton Arm (15,000 G)
  • Radiant Blade (18,000 G)
  • Luminous Robe (6,500 G)
  • Radiant Plate (8,500 G)
  • Radiant Helm (2,300 G)
  • Potion (10 G)
  • Mid-Potion (100 G)
  • Hi-Potion (700 G)
  • Panacea (10 G)
  • Athenian Water (200 G)
  • Shelter (150 G)
  • Ether (800 G)

  • Welcome to Algetty, home of the Earthbound. These folks know no magic, and so are forced to live down on the ground, away from the priviledged citizens of Zeal. Algetty is only available for a limited time, so make sure you give it a good once-over now, before moving on.

    There’s not a ton to do here, but you can purchase a bunch of new equipment in the first small apartment, and the last one before the bottom has a place to sleep and restore your health. The equipment is reeeeally expensive, so you may want to prioritize three characters and hold off on equipping the rest.

    Make sure you save before going through the bottommost passage. You're about to enter two dungeons, one short, one long.

    The team finds a Strength Capsule in the Mudbeast Den, a tiny dungeon in Chrono Trigger.

    Mudbeast Den - Enemies
    • Mudbeast - 830 HP
    This small area is quite straightforward. It’s populated entirely by Mudbeasts, powerful melee combatants that gain attack strength every time they’re hit. You want to use your strongest Dual Techs to kill them in as few hits as possible. If Ayla knows the Charm Tech she can use it to steal Rainbow Helms from Mudbeasts, a useful piece of equipment for all of your party members - and this is the only way to get them. The Mudbeasts will stop spawning after you beat the boss of this tiny location, so make sure you get all the Rainbow Helms you want before heading too far north.

    Look in the small chamber to the south of where you come in. On the right side is a Strength Capsule shining on the ground. To the north are two Mudbeasts, and beyond them… two more Mudbeasts. Such variety. That's it for the Mudbeasts, so if you want to farm Rainbow Helms you'll want to reenter Algetty and come back to refresh their numbers. Otherwise, head north. A boss is waiting.

    Crono, Robo, and Ayla battle the Imp and his two Mudbeasts, the guardians of the Mountain of Woe

    Mud Imp, Blue Mudbeast, Red Mudbeast

    • 1,200 (Mud Imp)
    • 5,000 (Blue Mudbeast)
    • 5,000 (Red Mudbeast)
    • Fire (Blue Mudbeast)
    • Water (Red Mudbeast)
    • Water (Blue Mudbeast)
    • Fire (Red Mudbeast)
    • Speed Capsule (Mud Imp)
    • Mermaid Helm (Blue Mudbeast)
    • Elixir (Red Mudbeast)
    Well, that didn’t take long. The Mud Imp and his two specialized Mudbeasts make a formidable team, but they’re as strong as they’re ever going to get at the beginning of the battle. They use the following attacks:
    • Restores health to enemy party (Mud Imp)
    • A kicked pebble at one target (Mud Imp)
    • An attack that may put one character to Sleep (Mud Imp)
    • A charge attack against one target (Mudbeasts)
    • A ground-shaking earthquake attack against your whole party (Mudbeasts)
    The Mudbeasts work in conjunction with the Imp, typically lashing out at one character at a time to do significant amounts of damage. Attack the Mud Imp and they’ll counter with an earthquake attack that does moderate amounts of damage. The Mud Imp will occasionally hurl rocks at your team, and on a rare occasion he may put one of your team members to Sleep. Every few rounds he’ll also heal his side of the battle collectively for 150 HP. Not a huge threat, but annoying.

    Pick one of the Mudbeasts and focus all of your attacks on it. You preferably want to go with elemental attacks - Water on the Red Mudbeast, Fire on the Blue Mudbeast - to maximize the damage inflicted. Go after the other once the first is dead, healing as needed. When they’re both gone the Imp’s defenses will drop substantially, and you’ll have an easy time wiping him out. (Though if you take too long he’ll just run away.) Overall, not a tough fight.

    Before you wipe out the Mudbeasts and the Imp, it's worth noting the items you can steal with Ayla's Charm Tech. If you're playing the original SNES version of the game then the Red Mudbeast is the only creature in the entire game that's carrying a Mermaid Helm, a nice piece of headware that halves Water damage. Be sure to grab it before defeating the Blue Mudbeast. In the DS and PC versions of Chrono Trigger you can also get this item in the Lost Sanctum.

    Return to Algetty to restore your health if that fight left your team hurting. Otherwise, climb the chain the Mud Imp used as a perch to find the next leg of your journey.

    A map of the Mountain of Woe, 12,000 BC, in Chrono Trigger.

    Mountain of Woe - Enemies
  • Bomber Bird - 250 HP - Charm Vajra Sword
  • Death Lily - 250 HP - Charm Smiter's Blade
  • Gargoyle - 260 HP - Charm Heavy Hand
  • Rubble - 515 HP - Immune to all elements - Drops / Charm Mid-Ether
  • Stone Imp - 300 HP - Charm Mid-Ether

  • What a cheery place. The Mountain of Woe is a dungeon of intermediate size, and shouldn't take you too long to complete. It's important to note, however, that the Mountain of Woe is a one-time location, and as soon as you complete it the dungeon will disappear. Make sure you grab everything you want before defeating the boss at the end.

    The party encounters a Rubble, a monster that lives on the Mountain of Woe in Chrono Trigger. Rubbles grant 100 TP when defeated.

    Upon climbing up to the Mountain of Woe you’ll see a creature on your right called a Rubble. Rubbles immediately lock your Techs and items, forcing you to use normal, physical attacks. They’re also highly evasive, so you will have a roughly fifty percent chance at best of hitting one. Critical hits are your best bet for defeating a Rubble. Rubbles run away after a few turns.

    You should always attack Rubbles, as each one is worth 100 TP. Unlike other enemies, Rubbles do not respawn if you leave and reenter an area, whether you killed it or not. Equip your best hitters with Berserker Rings to maximize your chances of defeating one. Ayla and Frog with the Masamune / Hero’s Badge work best. The rest of the enemies on the Mountain of Woe will perish quickly under a sustained Berserker Ring assault, so you don't really need to remove them when fighting something other than a Rubble.

    Directly north of the entrance are two Bomber Birds. They’ll turn into Stone Imps upon defeat. No big deal overall. Follow the path further north and west to find another Rubble, then go south from the Rubble and beneath a small, natural bridge to find a chest containing a Platinum Helm. That done, return to the entrance of the Mountain of Woe and take a left. This path leads to two more Bomber Birds, a chain that you can cross, and a new screen.

    The party battles some Gargoyles on the Mountain of Woe, a dungeon in Chrono Trigger.

    Head west in this new, larger area.  There’s a Rubble waiting. Kill it, then backtrack east and head north. Two Gargoyles block your path. They’re very easy kills with normal attacks - just make sure they don’t get the chance to reduce one character’s HP to one. North of the Gargoyles is a save point, and further north and to your right is a path to two chests, guarded by a Gargoyle and two Bomber Birds. The chests contain a Platinum Vest and a Shield Sphere. Defeat the nearby Rubble while you're up here.

    Turn west and follow the cliff’s edge. You’ll eventually find a chest containing a Barrier Sphere. You’ll have to defeat four Gargoyles to get at it. That collected, turn back, walk a short ways east, and go south along the west side of the cliffs. You’ll find a way up to a wide expanse, two Bomber Birds, and a chest containing a Lapis.

    The party fights Stone Imps and Gargoyles on the Mountain of Woe, a dungeon in Chrono Trigger.

    Head east along the rise until you across a chain. Two Stone Imps and two Gargoyles wait on the other side. Follow the cliffs southwest to fight two Bomber Birds and two Gargoyles. Continue south across another chain and look to your right for a chest containing a Barrier Sphere. Check the south of this section of the mountain for another Rubble, then head east. You may run into a pack of Gargoyles if you stick to the south side of the path.

    New screen. To the direct north is a chest containing a Lapis. To the east you’ll find four Death Lilies, enemies that can inflict Confusion but are otherwise quite easy. Check the section of island east of the Lilies to fight three Gargoyles and to find chests containing a Hi-Ether and a Barrier Sphere, then wander north. In the far north you’ll find another Rubble waiting. This is the last one, so hopefully you got your fill of TP.

    The party battles Death Lilies and Gargoyles on the Mountain of Woe, a dungein in Chrono Trigger.

    South of the Rubble are two Death Lilies and three Gargoyles, the lot of them guarding a Shield Sphere and a Shelter. Grab both, then head back north and make your way to the east, across a chain. After a quick skirmish with three Gargoyles you’ll find a save point. This is the only one on the Mountain of Woe, so don't forget to use it.

    The next screen has no enemies. Make your way along the path, grabbing the Time Hat and the Hi-Ether from the chests on the way, until you find a chain in the east that leads north. South of this chain you’ll find a sparkling Magic Capsule. Up the next chain you'll find the boss of the Mountain of Woe. Once again, you can't come back here once you defeat the boss, so make sure you've collected all of the treasure and defeated all of the Rubbles.

    The party prepares to face off against Giga Gaia, the boss and guardian of the Mountain of Woe in 12,000 BC

    Giga Gaia

    • 9,500 (body)
    • 2,000 (arms)
    Charm: Speed Capsule (body)

    This boss looks more intimidating than he actually is. Composed of a central body and two arms, Giga Gaia fights by combining the abilities of his arms into moderately-strong combo attacks against your whole party. It has the following abilities:
    • Revive defeated arms (body)
    • A healing burst for the body (left arm)
    • Water Surge, a Water attack against the whole party (left arm)
    • A single-target attack that cuts HP in half (right arm)
    • Gaia Magnade, a Fire attack against the whole party (right arm)
    • Doublehand Blaster, a Fire attack against the whole party (arm combo)
    • Dark Plasma, a Shadow attack gainst the whole party (arm combo)
    Giga Gaia’s attacks are Shadow, Fire, and Water-based, so equipping elemental vests that resist or absorb those elements will make this battle a lot easier. Note that you'll temporarily nullify the combo attacks by defeating one of the arms.

    You can approach this battle in one of three ways: 
    • Use your strongest Double or Triple Techs and target Giga Gaia’s arms one-at-a-time. This will rid the boss of its strongest attacks and give you more room to maneuver. This approach is a bit faster.
    • Use area attacks that hit both arms simultaneously. Once they're gone you'll have plenty of time to attack Giga Gaia's body.
    • Defeat one of the arms (preferably the right, since it heals the main body) and then focus all your damage on the body. The left arm can still hurt your party, but it loses access to combo attacks once the right arm is gone.
    Going after the arms separately is advisable as you can take one out more quickly than both, but it’s up to your team and overall strategy. Once the arms are gone, the body will begin to rejuvenate them - and be helpless in the meantime. (It will also restore the missing arm after a while if you only destroyed one of them.) Smash Giga Gaia's body whenever you feel safe and you will, eventually, take the whole thing down.

    The party frees one of the Gurus of Zeal, held prisoner on the Mountain of Woe, a dungeon in Chrono Trigger.

    You'll run into an old friend once Giga Gaia disappears, and after that you’ll watch a lengthy series of cut scenes that gift you a Ruby Knife. (This is a key item, so don't bother trying to equip it.) At this point you can use the Skyways to return to the Kingdom of Zeal, and your next destination is Zeal Palace... and beneath that, the Ocean Palace. Chrono Trigger is about to undergo some considerable changes.