Magus (魔王 Maou?, lit. "demon king") is the tertiary antagonist and later, tritagonist of Chrono Trigger, and the dark mage waging war against the Kingdom of Guardia in 600 A.D. Magus was originally Janus (ジャキ Jaki?, "Jaki" in the Japanese version), the young prince of Zeal in Antiquity (12,000 BC). He is portrayed as brooding, potent, gloomy, and indomitably ambitious, especially in regards to finding his sister, Schala.
Magus and Janus look very different at first glance; where Magus had pale gray skin, Janus has skin typical of the other inhabitants of both the Kingdom of Zeal and average characters in other times. Both Magus and Janus share light blue hair; Janus, however, has shorter hair than Magus. Janus also has rounded ears, while Magus has pointed ears.
Janus is about the same height as the various Imps in the game, whereas Magus is the tallest playable character. Janus also has very little muscle, while Magus has a rather formidable muscle build.
Janus wears a light purple shawl and pointed boots of the same color. Magus wears a cloak (completely purple on the sprite, while the official artwork shows him wearing a red cloak), dark magenta leggings, gauntlets, boots, and a chest plate, which all appear to be made of leather. As the Prophet, Magus wears a hood over his head that is attached to his cloak that has orange trimming around the brim and collar.
Prince Janus was born circa 12,000 B.C. in the Kingdom of Zeal. He differed from his sister Schala in that he resembled his mother, who was cold and distant. He was mentioned as having stronger magic than Schala and his mother, but after a while, ceased to use it because of how his mother had changed. An introverted child, his only true friends were his sister and his pet cat, Alfador.
When Crono's party arrive in Zeal, they first visit Enhasa, here they meet Janus. He tells them that the "black wind howls" and that one among them will perish, and then walks away from the group. Later on, Janus and Schala converse. Janus mentioned the "black winds" again, and Schala says that she feels "the foreboding" as well, though she tells him not to worry about it. She then gives him an amulet, saying that it contains her prayers. If something anything ever happens to him, it would keep him safe. She says she wants to remain with him, but their mother has other plans for her.
Hearing this, Janus gets quite angry and says their mother is not their mother anymore. Although he looks like her, he is not the same from the inside. As Schala is then summoned by the Queen, she leaves him and asks for his forgiveness.
Later on, Crono and party are imprisoned. As Schala and Janus enter, and Janus comments on how they are idiots. Schala says that she wants to help them, although Janus thinks that they will not be of any use and does not want her to get in trouble if she lets them go. Schala says not to worry and that they may be able to help Melchior. Schala then frees the group and tells them to flee from the palace and save the Guru of Life, as he was sent to the Mountain of Woe for opposing Queen Zeal's plans.
However, when the Prophet then enters the room, saying that he needs to put an end to them. Schala asks him not to do anything to them, so he concedes but tells Schala that she must cooperate with him. He then asks the party how they arrived. They show the Prophet and Schala the Time Gate they came through. The Prophet takes them in the Time Gate and forces Schala to place a Magical barrier on it.
When the Mammon Machine was activated, it began absorbing too much power. Queen Zeal and Schala along with the three Gurus were the only ones at the Mammon Machine's activation. The Gurus warned about of a dimensional vortex, power humans cannot control, and they would be dragged into a rift in time, yet the Queen persisted in activating the machine. Soon, Janus entered the room looking for Schala. Suddenly, the six were transported in front of Lavos. Gates then appeared and transported Belthasar, Gaspar, Melchior, and Janus to different times. Belthasar was sent to the Future, Gaspar was sent to the End of Time, Melchior was sent to the Present, and Janus was sent to the Middle Ages. c. 580 AD.
In the Middle Ages
Janus was found in Truce Canyon by Ozzie, while Ozzie calls the fourth three Blue Imps. He and his Mystics would have slain him if Janus had not defended himself with magic, which human beings should not be able to use. Seeing how the boy's potential as being a greater wizard than himself, Ozzie took him in and raised him, grooming him to become the leader of the Mystics' army. It was during this time that he took the name "Magus," referring to his status as a powerful magic user.
During this time, he grew vindictive and vengeful against Lavos and was eternally concerned over the fate of his older sister Schala.
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.
At the height of the war, he faced Sir Cyrus and his squire, Glenn. Cyrus wielded the Masamune, the only weapon capable enough of breaking through Magus' magical barrier. Even with this, he was no match for Magus' powerful magic. He died in combat and the Masamune was broken. Glenn tried to avenge his best friend but was struck by one of Magus' spells and transformed into an anthropomorphic frog.
He was attempting to summon Lavos during the war, and while the Mystics believed it was to help them win the war, Magus' real intentions were to summon Lavos so he could take his revenge on it.
The Battle at the Fiendlord's castle
Eventually, after Frog gains the Masamune, the heroes go to confront Magus in his castle. After fighting through his minions, they fight and defeat him. After hearing that he was believed to be trying to create Lavos, Magus informs the heroes that he was only trying to summon him. Lavos begins to wake up, and Magus tries to use his magic to send him back to sleep. Even he was not strong enough to kill Lavos when he awoke. The space-time distortion generated by Lavos' premature awakening created a massive and unstable Gate, which sucked everyone and the Keep in, scattering them through time.
Return to Zeal
While the heroes were sent to Prehistory, Magus was sent back to his own time era. During this time, because of his knowledge of the future, Magus was able to convince his mother Queen Zeal that he was a powerful oracle, and called himself the Prophet. When he appears on screen at this point, he is wearing a dark blue cloak that mostly conceals his appearance, but if one looks close enough they can see Magus' face, boots and hair were show.
His aim during this period was to bide his time until the point where Lavos appeared and kill it. He sets himself up in Zeal as a counselor to the queen, waiting for Crono and the others to arrive from the future. He went through everything he saw as a child, going through the motions until the battle at the Ocean Palace would give him another opportunity to destroy Lavos.
When the heroes appear, Magus, out of spite for them, convinces Zeal that they are threats that have to be eliminated, leading to a battle with Dalton's Golem. Whether the Golem wins or loses, the heroes are captured. Schala, however, is able to convince him to spare them, leading to them being sent through the time gate they entered in, after which Schala seals the gate shut. The heroes later return using the Epoch and enter the Ocean Palace where Zeal is trying to harness Lavos's power with the Mammon Machine. Magus was also there, knowing that Lavos would appear. After Lavos breaks into the Ocean Palace, Magus throws off his disguise and tries to fight it, but is quickly overwhelmed. Somehow, he survives. After Crono is killed off by Lavos, Schala opens a time portal that allows everyone to escape.
He is not seen again until the Elder says that he was looking for someone at the North Cape. Here, he reveals he is Janus (via flashbacks). He then mocks Crono's team for being defeated by Lavos. the player can then decide whether to fight him or not. If you decide to spare him, he joins the party by force. Regardless of choice, he mentions that Gaspar could help undo Crono's death. It is assumed he joins the team in hopes of a much better chance as a team of fulfilling his revenge against Lavos, now that all six of the members are affected by the events.
If Magus was spared
Magus rarely inserts his two cents for the remainder of the game with a few exceptions. In the scenario where Ozzie attempts to rule the Mystics on his own and continue the extermination of humans, Magus informs him that he was merely a tool used to his benefit. This angers Ozzie and causes him to denounce his former mentor. When Ozzie is finally defeated, he states that the past "is merely a dream".
If you confront Queen Zeal with Magus on the team, the music will then change to his own theme for the entire fight. Magus will then insult Zeal for being a tool to Lavos and believing into the immortality scheme. Zeal, not recognizing Magus as her son from the future but as a false prophet, seeks revenge but was defeated by the team.
Upon defeating the Lavos Body within the shell, Magus and the entire party realizes Lavos's intentions: Lavos has controlled all of the events since its first encounter in the planet during the prehistoric times, especially all of life's evolution for its own chosen purpose (later confirmed in Chrono Cross). The party succeeds in defeating Lavos' true form.
When it is time to close the Time Portals, Magus doesn't speak a word when Lucca asks him if he was searching for Schala, hinting she is still alive.
During the DS version, if the party faces the Dream Devourer which Magus is present, he will react with shock upon seeing himself from the future. The Future Magus returned to free Schala from Lavos after discovering he was revived by absorbing Schala. The other Magus goes toe-to-toe with the Dream Devourer and is defeated. After the party "defeats" the Dream Devourer, Schala is able to send them to safety. After a brief conversation with the other Magus, Schala says that Magus cannot save her, no matter how strong he is, but tells him to live a better life. Schala then teleports Magus out of Time's Eclipse. Frustrated by this, Magus get rid of his memories while being teleported out and wakes up in the woods. He only remembers that he forgot something important and says he will find whatever it was.
As a boss Battle, he possesses much higher HP and is generally way more powerful than any playable character, given the general level at which he is encountered. When he's recruited, his HP takes a massive drop and must relearn much of his former magical arsenal, though all of his other stats take a considerable boost. Given a sufficiently leveled PC Magus, he could defeat any of his boss counterparts with ease, so it is safe to assume that the drainage of power he took from Lavos was only temporary and he went on to become even more powerful than he was before.
The Fiendlord's Keep
Magus is the first boss in the Fiendlord's Keep. He's easily the strongest enemy faced at that point in the game. The battle with him happens in two phases.
In the first phase, Magus is protected by his powerful Barrier spell, which is a stronger form of the protection offered by the Barrier Sphere, and also has a very high physical defense. Each time he is hit, he will respond with Barrier Change, a spell that allows him to randomly shift each elemental weaknesses while absorbing the elements that are not weaknesses. In addition to the barrier-shift, he will cast a spell that matches his weakness; Fire II for Fire, Lightning II for Light, Ice II for Water, and Dark Bomb for Shadow. Out of all the Barrier shifts, Dark Bomb is the only single-target spell. At some points in the first battle, he will cast Hell Geyser, less damaging than the barrier-shift spells, but it inflicts the Sap (HP Down) status. He will also use his physical attack, which does medium damage. Frog's Masamune is the only weapon that can inflict damage without causing Magus' magic barrier to change and lowers Magus' magic defense. Because of the need for diverse magic attacks in the first half of the battle and high physical damage in the second half, Robo is recommended as the third member of the group as Rocket Roll qualifies as a Shadow Magic attack and Triple Raid is extremely powerful.
The second phase is marked by Magus dropping his barrier so that he can charge up for his ultimate attack. Crono and team will have a few rounds to hit him with all the power they have. He will no longer counterattack during this phase. Before he casts his ultimate attack, he will cast a spell that does nothing to the party but signals that he is about to unleash the spell soon. On the next turn, he will cast his ultimate spell: Dark Matter, which will inflict a lot of damage, enough to wipe out a character if not in full health. The team has just a few rounds more to recover and do damage before he does it again.
The North Cape
After his identity as the Prophet was revealed, Magus awaits the party on at the North Cape. He, at first, mocks Crono for wanting to assault Lavos and the Ocean Palace. He will offer Frog - or the entire team if he is not present - an opportunity for revenge but if you choose not to fight him he joins the party. If Frog or the team takes him up on the offer, the second boss fight with Magus takes place.
Because his power was stripped away during the battle with Lavos, he can only cast Lightning II, Fire II, and Ice II. His defense is no longer boosted and he no longer has the Barrier shift. Even so, his magic attacks can still do a good amount of damage and hit all if unprepared.
If Frog is one of the three front-line characters and you choose to fight Magus, Frog will fight Magus alone. This match is much easier than having a party of three without Frog because players don't have to worry about massive healing as Magus' spells hit all every time. All that Frog needs to do is an attack with Masamune when HP is high and use healing techs when HP is low.
As a Party Member
He can be recruited anytime after defeating the Blackbird. He is found in North Cape (meeting him is still an essential part of the story). After a short argument (in which Magus mocks Crono for trying to fight Lavos), Magus will ask Frog if he wishes to fight, or the whole party if they want to fight him if Frog isn't a member. If Frog refuses (if he does, his reason is that he knows killing Magus won't bring Crono or Cyrus back), Magus will join the party as they start to leave, not actually giving them a choice of letting him or not. Regardless of choice, he tells the heroes that there may be a way to revive Chrono with the aid of the Guru of Time. Canonically, Magus was spared and recruited, however, he was mentioned in Lucca's letter to Kid in Chrono Cross. This is supported by an extra shadow in Luccia's room while the letter is being read, although this may be a glitch of some kind.
In one of the New Game + endings (achieved if Lavos is defeated before fighting Magus), Frog is seen going to confront Magus, while he is preparing a ritual, the purpose of which remains unknown, although he states his fight with Frog will decide the fate of the world. The two then battle each other, the fighting happens off-screen. After that, a figure with a cape is seen standing on top of Fiendlord's castle, but it isn't known if it's him or Frog.
Other AppearancesMagus appears in Radical Dreamers as Gil, a shadowy and handsome member of the Radical Dreamers thieving group. He is depicted as masked and mysterious, though gentle and cultured. He has the ability to slip in and out of the shadows of the night at will. Magus as Gil was also slated to appear in Chrono Cross. However, as the development of the game progressed, designers decided it would be too difficult to integrate his complex story into the plot. His character, renamed Guile (Alf in the Japanese version, possibly in reference to Magus' former pet cat Alfador), was thus altered to remove his Magus identity and was left in with no back-story, existing merely as a competent magician seeking enigma in the islands of El Nido. Missing Piece includes a number of discarded character designs for Guile, including one which is more-or-less analogous to Magus' appearance in Chrono Trigger (cloak, pointed ears, etc.), as well as one in which he appears as a teenage boy. As it stands, Magus is only mentioned in a letter to Kid from Lucca, in which she assures Kid not to worry as "Janus" is probably watching over her. Gil appears in Chrono Cross only in an easter egg designating the events of Radical Dreamers as having taken place in an alternate dimension. In the English version of this easter egg, Gil is referred to as "Magil".
When Magus joins the party, his HP takes a massive drop from his former boss forms, but his damage-dealing ability increases. He fights using a scythe as a weapon. His overall function is as a Black Mage type character (dealing damage with magic), but his physical stats are still higher than those of magically strong characters, such as Marle and Lucca. He is the only character in Chrono Trigger besides Robo that uses techs of different elements (and has at least one tech of each element), making him more versatile. His own unique Shadow damage techs are among the most powerful in the early game. Dark Bomb is the only level one spell that can hit multiple enemies and is stronger than any level two spell. His Dark Mist does the same strength as Dark Bomb but hits everyone on screen. However, his Dark Matter, while very powerful, is not as strong as the other final level 3 offensive spells in the game like Luminaire and Flare. Black Hole can be useful against some of the nastiest regular enemies in the game, especially the Iron Maidens in the Dimensional Vortex in the DS version.
Magus, battle wise, works well independently and his Moveset reflect this. The only tech he has that helps his party is Barrier, which is best used on someone like Robo or Ayla. He is the only character that does not have any Double Techs (one of his main drawbacks). He is also the only character that cannot learn a Triple Tech naturally, mainly with Crono; his triple techs, Omega Flare and Eternal Darkness, require the use of special stones, such as Black Gemstone.
Because Magus' element is Shadow, he is vulnerable to Light elemental damage, though as a boss he did not have this vulnerability due to his barrier changeability.
Magus has a base critical hit rate of 10%.