The Zeal Archives

Mystic War: A Brief History [Book 3, Chapter 4]

The Zeal Archives
Mystic War: A Brief History [Book 3, Chapter 4]
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You’d think in a world of time travel, monsters, and magic, there’d be cause for excitement, but the grind of going from anomaly to anomaly has taken its toll on Nick T… that is until the party’s next destination is Magus’ castle! What dangerous horrors await within, and is its powerful master home? Hopefully not… In our world, T and G delve into the real-life Chrono Trigger trigger archives, [the Chrono Compendium](https://www.chronocompendium.com/), to try to understand more about the Mystics in the lore of Chrono Trigger. They discover… * Who the Mystics are… probably? As it turns out, there are some interesting differences in the English translations and the original Japanese. Plus, there’s a lot that’s never explicitly spelled out in the game * The history of the Mystics! We know they hate humans… why is that? Is that true? When do they show up, and why are there not more of them in the present (or any in the future)? * Personal opinions! Not so much a discovery as revealing some of the development that would have been nice to see regarding the Mystics. Editing, scripting, and podcast visual design by [Nick Terwoord](https://nt3rp.io). Special thanks to Square Enix for making that game that we love, Chrono Trigger ...and for not suing us. ## Episode Cast Alphabetically, by actor: * Dan Charrington (aka The Video Ninja) in the role of Ozzie * Manda Whitney in the role of Azala * Nick G in the role of his fictional self, and discussion host * Nick T in the role of his fictional self, Robo, and discussion host * Patrick "TrickyLove" Moylan in the role of Nizbel III * SMZeldaRules in the role of Lucca Ashtear ## Musical Credits * [00:00] Opening: [Inception](https://www.jamendo.com/track/1208449/inception) by [The ARTISANS Beats](https://www.jamendo.com/artist/464776/the-artisans-beats) used under [Jamendo’s standard license](https://help-licensing.jamendo.com/hc/en-us/articles/211293289-What-can-I-do-with-a-Standard-License-) * [02:16] 2spoopy4me: [ReMix: Chrono Trigger "The Dark Defender"](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03351) by [Pavos](https://ocremix.org/artist/9847/pavos) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [04:57] Getting out of a pickle: [ReMix: Chrono Trigger "Subterranean Opus"](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01450) by [zircon](https://ocremix.org/artist/4628/zircon) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [06:07] Subtle subterfuge: [Chrono Symphonic: Confronting the Mystic](https://ocremix.org/album/7/chrono-trigger-chrono-symphonic) by [sephfire](https://ocremix.org/artist/4587/sephfire) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [28:49] The battle commences: [Chrono Symphonic: Confronting the Mystic](https://ocremix.org/album/7/chrono-trigger-chrono-symphonic) by [sephfire](https://ocremix.org/artist/4587/sephfire) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [29:18] The battles… concludes? [ReMix: Chrono Trigger "The Dark Defender"](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03351) by [Pavos](https://ocremix.org/artist/9847/pavos) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [30:22] The reptite’s loss: [ReMix: Chrono Cross "Improvisation on a Moment Seized by Time"](https://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02311) by [DrumUltimA](DrumUltimA) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) * [31:02] A fate grasped by vile hands: [BadAss: Boss Themes: Volume III: The Dark Defender](https://ocremix.org/album/72/badass-boss-themes-volume-iii) by [pu_freak](https://ocremix.org/artist/9847/pavos) from [http://ocremix.org](http://ocremix.org) used under [ocremix.org content policy](http://ocremix.org/info/Content_Policy#If_you.27re_using_our_content_elsewhere_.28.22Terms_of_Use.22.29%E2%80%A6) ## Special Announcement: The Race Against Time [The Race Against Time](https://raceagainsttime.io) is a twenty-four hour marathon to do two things: raise money for charity, and beat all the endings of the greatest game ever made: Chrono Trigger. On August 14 and 15, 2021, we’re raising money for [Trans Lifeline](https://translifeline.org/)—a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis. Join the Nickscast family and friends as we embark on a magical journey to save the world of Chrono Trigger and our own _all_ while giving away fabulous prizes. [Donate now](https://tiltify.com/@theraceagainsttime/chrono-trigger-vii), or follow us on [the main site](https://raceagainsttime.io), [Twitch](https://twitch.tv/theraceagainsttime), [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast), or [Instagram](https://instagram.com/thenickscast) for more details. ## Additional Notes **Who are the mystics?** * Whether you call them mystics (SNES), fiends (DS), or Mazoku (Japanese - literally “demon race”), we don’t get a lot of backstory on who or what these folks are, let alone the war * Language used differently in English and Japanese * In the Japanese version, Humans call the Mystics “mamono”. In this context, “ma” translates to “evil / demon” and “mono” as “thing” * Maybe this is a hint towards the humans being kind of racist in 600 AD? Not referring to them as evil people (“majin” or “mazoku”) but just _things_ * “Ted Woolsley altered the dialogue so that everything seems more black and white. In the Japanese version, there were far more gray areas regarding the Guardia War. From what I have seen, Mamono refers to non-intelligent, animal demons. The Japanese have numerous names for demons. This is just one of them” * Three main options are presented by context as to how the mystics came to be * They evolved in parallel to humans; just another race in the world of Chrono Trigger that gained the capacity for intelligence and magic * Rapid evolution, like the humans, via the Frozen Flame (Chrono Cross) * Engineered by the people of Zeal to provide security on Mt. Woe… which lines up as 12 000 BC is the first time we see any of the Mystics * The ‘engineered’ theory adds a lot of anecdotal support when you look at the history that’s available… or if you extrapolate * The Mystic Army seems to have a sort of hierarchy, not mentioned much in game: * Leader (Ozzie, later Magus as a figurehead) * Elite (Ozzie, Flea, Slash) * Unique Warriors (Yakra, Zombor, Retinite) * General Army **A brief history of the Mystics** * The history presented here assumes that the Mystics were engineered; just more interesting that way. * Circa 12 000 BC * Mystics are engineered to protect Mt. Woe by humans in Zeal * Zeal falls * Mystics banded together to establish a settlement on the continent of Medina * Probably nocturnal until ~1000 AD (we don’t see Mystics in the daytime, generally, up until this point) * May have been feuds between humans and mystics as far back as here * Mystics had magic, and looked different, feared by humans * Probably started a long military tradition of magic warriors to protect themselves * Circa 600 AD - Before the arrival of Magus * Built up a lair on Medina to protect themselves and train magic * Someone of Ozzie’s race started to stoke up animosity between Mystics and humans * “Ozzie himself was known for wild tirades and savagery, and a growing attitude of resent for humans came to exist” \ “Ozzie preached a doctrine of vile hatred against humans, despite the likelihood that humans left the Mystics alone (as the Medina continent could not be accessed through normal means in the middle ages)” * Ozzie’s family has maintained leadership from 600 AD to 1000 AD (as is evidenced by the chief of Medina, Ozzie VIII) so this is plausible; more on that later * Circa 600 AD - Magus’ Arrival * Magus arrives and is adopted by Ozzie * Unclear as to why he did this: potentially because of Janus’ latent power? This may also be why he was dubbed ‘Magus’; as an indication of Janus’ power * “Even after his instatement as leader, Magus seemed to only truly fulfill a charismatic role as leader” * Unclear why Magus was accepted as a Mystic and not hated * An important element left out of the English translation: * “His main reasons for starting his war against Guardia were left out in the English version; however, in the Japanese version, he stated his intentions of gaining the power to immensely increase his chances of defeating Lavos. Seeing his strong magic and strange appearance, most people took him to be a Mystic himself.” * Circa 600 AD - The Mystic War begins * Likely incited by the Mystics (rather than the humans) * Humans had no means to access Medina; always presented as being on the defense * Mystics able to travel through the Magic Cave, raid humans * Guardia protected by Cyrus, Glenn, and the Knights of the Square Table * The King of Guardia sends Glenn and Cyrus on a quest to obtain the Masamune; the only weapon capable of breaking through Magus’ defenses * As we know, this backfired resulting in the Masamune breaking, Cyrus dead, and Glenn becoming Frog * “The Mystics came to accept a doctrine of extreme hatred against humans; this even extended to cannibalism, as practiced by Yakra and his infiltration squad at the Cathedral” * “Additionally, a monster known as Retinite was created and left in Fiona's Forest to ravage the area” * No idea why this is, but they did it. * Eventually the raids on Zenan result in the destruction of Zenan bridge * “Before the Mystics could step foot on the continent again, Magus summoned Lavos at his lair, effectively killing him in the process. This totally disrupted the Mystic war machine and dismantled the war effort, though hateful feelings toward humans would persist to modern times” * This is what happens if you don’t show up. Neat! * Which is good because… the humans don’t have magic; wouldn’t be able to compete. * “When Crono changed history, he launched an attack of his own on Magus's Lair, slaughtering several top monsters of the army. This weakened the remaining prejudices in modern times; later, a similar attack on Ozzie's Fort would totally eradicate the negative remainders of the Mystic War.” * Circa 1000 AD * “In the new city of Medina, the Mystics mimicked human architecture and daily life, while some radicals withdrew to Heckran Cave in rejection of civility” * Several other things change depending on how far along in the plot you are * The statue in the Square is replaced with one of Ozzie (and has less worshippers) after you defeat Magus * Everyone is happy (the music has changed) and there are no worshippers after you defeat Ozzie’s fort sidequest * Also, there’s a ferry to Medina! * ALSO also, Ozzie VIII gets demoted from chief to cleaner! * Beyond 1000 AD * It’s speculated that the remaining Mystics flea underground and end up inhabiting the sewers in the ruined Future * But in the non-ruined future, Medina still exists in 2300 AD and even has a scientist from there working … on a special project in Chrono Cross. **What would you have liked to see with the Mystics?** * Flea! But we’ll be talking about Ozzie, Slash, and Magus next episode, so kind of a cheat answer. * Where did they come from? Could we get like, a light novel or something on this? * If they were engineered, would have been neat to see that animosity between humans and mystics, reparations, etc. * Honestly, anything on that big time gap (12 000 BC to 600 AD) Mystics or otherwise would have been cool * Where did all the different lineages come from? Yakra, Retinite, Zombor, Ozzie, Flea, Slash… VERY different looking. * Was the Frog King a mystic? * Would have been cool to see the future of the Mystics? ## What is the Zeal Archives? The Zeal Archives is a monthly podcast exploring the A-Z of the world of Chrono Trigger one bit at a time—two parts audio drama, one part discussion podcast, one hundred percent love letter to one of the best JRPGs of all time! The Zeal Archives is published at [zealarchives.com](https://zealarchives.com) and [thenickscast.com](https://thenickscast.com) and can be found on most podcatching services. Please leave us comments, questions, criticism, or any other feedback at TheNickscast on [Facebook](https://facebook.com/thenickscast) or [Twitter](https://twitter.com/thenickscast).
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