Time Gates in Chrono Trigger
With the exception of only one, all Gates connect the same geographic location at two different points in time.
- Leene Square, 1000 AD ↔ Truce Canyon, 600 AD
- Guardia Forest, 1000 AD ↔ Bangor Dome, 2300 AD
- Proto Dome, 2300 AD ↔ Medina Village, 1000 AD
- End of Time, ∞ ↔ Mystic Mountains, 65M BC
- (Fiendlord's Keep), 600 AD → Near Ioka Village, 65M BC
- Tyranno Lair Crater, 65M BC ↔ Cave in Antiquity, 12000 BC
- Fiona's Shrine, 1000 AD ↔ Lucca's House, 990 AD
- Gate in Bucket (End of Time) ↔ Apocalypse, 1999 AD
- Right Telepod, 1000 AD → Time's Eclipse (Lavos Fight), ?
- Gate in Bucket (End of Time) ↔ Time's Eclipse (alternate timeline), ?
- Time's Eclipse (alternate timeline), ? → Darkness at The End of Time, ?
After the Proto Dome Gate is crossed by four characters, the Gates to Medina, Proto Dome, and the Mystic Mountains are available at the End of Time. In order to make the other gates accessible, they must be used after these gates have been unlocked for them to link to the End of Time.
The Gate in the Mystic Mountains does not have a corresponding geographic exit in another time period, at least not in-game. In Chrono Cross, it is discovered that this Gate is one of the oldest in existence, as it permitted Leah to travel from her own time in Prehistory to Gaea's Navel, only to return there at the end of the game.
The Gate in Fiendlord's Keep is a temporary Gate, created by the premature awakening of Lavos. It grows to massive proportions, swallows up the Keep, and flings the heroes across time. It deposits Crono and company in Prehistory, near Ioka Village. Magus, however, is sent to sometime prior to the Gate's opening in Antiquity.
The Gate in the bucket at the End of Time takes the group directly to the fight with Lavos. This battle starts with the semi-final fight against Lavos' shell. Once they make it inside the shell, there is another Gate that allows them to return to the End of Time to recuperate. Afterword, the bucket Gate will return them to the inside of Lavos' shell. If the Dimensional Vortex is completed, the Gate in the bucket will instead take the travelers to the Time's Eclipse.
The red Gate at Fiona's Shrine is a Sidequest after completing the Sunken Desert. Using it, Lucca travels ten years into the past to prevent the accident that leaves her mother unable to walk. This is the only sidequest in the game that can be failed without ending the game. The only difference it makes is whether or not Lucca's mother, Lara, is able to walk for the rest of the game.
In a New Game Plus, the fight with Lavos is available immediately. Once Crono and Marle go to Lucca's demonstration, there is a spark in the right Telepod that can be activated to create a Gate that travels directly to the fight with Lavos, and is one of the ways to see the director's ending of Chrono Trigger.
In the Nintendo DS version, there are other time Gates in the years 600 AD and 65M BC that lead to the Lost Sanctum. Likewise, there are Gates in 1000 AD, 2300 AD, and 12000 BC that lead to the Dimensional Vortex.
An very interesting occurrence with the time Gates is that an unstable Gate tends to send someone to a certain period of time before that Gate becomes active in the game:
- When interacting with the Pendant, the first time Gate sent Marle to before the Middle Ages' Gate's opening. Marle had been found in Truce Canyon some days or weeks prior to Crono's arrival, given how she had already been set up in place of Queen Leene, yet Crono entered the Gate mere moments after Marle did.
- The unstable Gate in the Fiendlord's Keep flings Magus to some months prior to the Gate in Antiquity opening, giving him some time to establish himself as the Prophet.
- When Janus and the Gurus are pulled into the temporary time Gates at the Ocean Palace, it sends them to different time eras prior to the time Gates in those time periods opening properly, even though the event happens in-game.
- Janus arrives in Truce Canyon in / around 580 AD, some twenty years before that Gate would open in parallel time.
- Melchior arrives in Medina Village some unknown years prior to the year 1000 AD.
- Belthasar arrives in the Future many, many years prior to the year 2300 AD. He is alive when the group first visits the future but dies of old age prior to the group's arrival to take the Epoch.
- Gaspar is known to have lived in the End of Time for an unknown period (what felt like an eternity to him) prior to the group's arrival.
after the following the destruction of Lavos while the return of the heroes to their native time eras, the time Gates began to weaken and begin to close.