|The Kingdom of Zeal|
The Kingdom of Zeal. Clockwise, starting at top:
|Time period||Antiquity 12000 B.C.|
|Current ruler||Queen Zeal|
|Music||Corridors of Time|
The Kingdom of Zeal is one of the most important places in Chrono Trigger, as it plays a big part in the story line of it. It is in the time period of Antiquity (known as the Dark Ages in the SNES version)—more specifically, when the party arrives, 12,000 B.C.
It is never said whether Zeal had always been in the sky or had been raised to the heavens by the Enlightened Ones—what the Zealians liked to call themselves—though many believe the latter. However, being in the sky over the clouds of the harsh ice age going on below allowed the continents to grow grass, flowers and trees.
Probably from the beginning, the Enlightened Ones shunned the Earthbound Ones (their name for humans unable to control magic) and banished them to a cavernous village they dubbed Algetty. Zeal took pride in being the magical kingdom it was, and fostered its people's magic, investigated the planet they lived on and the curious things that happened on it, such as dreams.
The Nu, big blue creatures capable of living for millions of years, lived in Zeal: some kept them as assistants, some kept them as pets. Also, it is assumed that when Guru Melchior forged the Masamune, the two spirits of it, Masa and Mune, came into being. This is unsure. They also have a sister named Doreen, and they roam around Zeal. These are the only two kinds of mystics to be seen in Zeal.
The royal family is easily distinguishable by their trademark blue-purple hair—however, there is a rumor that they dyed their hair, and the actual color is blond. This is a valid point, since Kid (Schala's daughter-clone) and the Time Devourer form of Schala in Chrono Cross both have blonde hair.
The Magic Capsule (and, possibly, the Strength Capsule) was developed in Zeal.
Originally, Zealians used the everlasting power of the sun as an energy source. However, after King Zeal's death, the widowed, ever-nurturing Queen Zeal, along with her three Gurus, investigated to find a new power source to advance their kingdom, and found the power of Lavos.
 12,000 B.C.
This follows the original timeline. Not the altered one, in which people come from the future.
Lavos's power is a very strong thing. Its power is said to be full of hate and doom, though to poor Queen Zeal it was entrancing, and the being of Lavos began to absorb her until she was practically a human vessel channeling it in a way. In other words, Queen Zeal went mad.
However, the inhabitants of Zeal took no notice of her now strange behavior. Only the ones living at Zeal Palace did.
The Queen had two children: Schala, the elder, and Janus, who always moseyed around with his cat, Alfador.
Guru Belthasar, at her request, designed a machine that could channel Lavos's power. Guru Melchior made it out of a priceless red stone called Dreamstone. They christened it the Mammon Machine. Out of the same material he made a Pendant for Schala. With it, she could control the Machine. Dalton, Queen Zeal's power-hungry assistant, is her second-in-command. She began to make Schala activate the Mammon Machine for hours on end, exhausting her and putting her through pain.
Zeal used the Earthbound Ones to construct the Ocean Palace, an undersea structure poised directly above the location of Lavos in the planet's crust, with the intentions of harnessing limitless and intense power from Lavos, and to make their kingdom immortal.
However, when the palace is finished and Queen Zeal, the Gurus, Schala, some Zealians and a Nu go to the chamber where the Mammon Machine has now been placed, a move to prove to be fatal. When Schala refuses to activate the Machine, her mother shocks her and forces her to do so. And when she does, Lavos awakens. Janus rushes in and, because of the power of Lavos, a Time Gate appears under him, transporting him to the Middle Ages 600 A.D. Once in Lavos's realm, Guru Melchior is transported to the Present 1000 A.D., Guru Belthasar is transported to the Future 2300 A.D. and Gaspar, the remaining Guru, is sent to the End of Time. Later, it is unknown how, but Schala is transported to the Darkness Beyond Time.
In the altered timeline, in which the party is involved, several things change, though everything's essentially the same:
- Magus, in disguise as the Prophet, becomes Queen Zeal's second-in-command, replacing Dalton. He fools everyone into thinking he actually is a prophet, but only knows the events that will happen because he lived them as a child, as Janus. (See Magus for more information.)
- Guru Melchior is imprisoned in Mt. Woe.
- Magus and the party, once in Lavos's realm with Zeal and Schala, attempt to slay Lavos, but fail.
In both of these happenings, Lavos unleashes an attack: it strikes Zeal and Zeal falls to the ocean. Most die. As Magus says on the North Cape after the incident:
"Gone is the magical kingdom of Zeal, and all the dreams and ambitions of its people."
A tidal wave has submerged all but a small piece of one continent in water. After the disaster, the scarcely remaining Enlightened and Earthbound Ones live in a place called the Village Commons as one. There is one Nu. However, as time goes by, stories of Zeal are probably forgotten, as it is never mentioned in the future years. They were most probably discarded as children's stories.
In the alternate timeline, Dalton survives with the Blackbird, but this sinks into the waves (see Transportation below). The party can either recruit or kill Magus at the North Cape afterwards. Later, except for the Dimensional Vortex available in the DS version of the game, 12,000 B.C. becomes—basically—a non-playable site, as no story progresses there anymore.
Though most Zealians stayed in their own place and nary ventured below because of the weather conditions, transportation to the Terra Continent was provided by Land Bridges. Transportation up to Zeal was provided by Skyways. They, however, needed to access these to move between the floating islands of Zeal, which may lead one to thinking that most stayed on their own island.
Nearing the end of the kingdom, Guru Belthasar designed an airship called the Blackbird. It was probably only used for purposes of the royal family and those that served them.
After the Ocean Palace incident, Dalton seized the Blackbird, but the airship, under attack from the Epoch, fell to the sea to stay forever with its sunken land of origin.
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