The Writing Journal (withloveonly) wrote,
The Writing Journal

Not Quite a Manifesto

Hi I'm gonna be obnoxious for a moment here.

Why I Like Magus/Frog
And Why You Should Too

I've been playing a lot of Chrono Trigger lately and I've realized there's no fandom for this. I ship the fuck about it. Here's why, and here's why you should too.

Let's talk about the characters first.


In 600 AD, he was once a Squire to the super special shiny awesome knight known as Cyrus who is basically Proto-Zack in that he's so amazingly fantastic but you only learn about him from second-hand accounts because he was dead before the game started in a noble sacrifice, and instead you get his best friend as a PC who is a bit lamer and constantly trying to live up to his dead friend's reputation.

Oh Em Gee. Glenn and Cyrus were SO gay for eachother. I am not even kidding.

Despite Cyrus being SO AWWWEEESOME Glenn was actually not too shabby himself. In fact, he avoids fighting back when bullied because he's worried that HE'LL hurt the other kids. Even so, he seems happy to live in Cyrus's shadow.

Unfortunately, he's also not as awesome as Magus.

When Cyrus went against Magus and his three Generals (CYRUS YOU MAY HAVE BEEN COOL, BUT SMART YOU WERE NOT.) with Glenn in tow, the predictable happens and Cyrus gets killed. Stricken with grief and probably TRYING to get himself killed, Glenn attacks Magus and, needless to say, gets his ass handed to him. Because Magus is kind of a huge douchebag, he thinks it'd be funny to teach Glenn a lessons and curses the young man, who later wakes up with the body only a furry could love - an anthro frog. Horrified at what he's become and his failure to avenge his BFF/Totally-heterosexual-life-partner, Glenn takes on the name Frog and denies his whole life before this, devoting himself ENTIRELY to the tasks that Cyrus left unfinished - aka protecting the Queen and finding the legendary sword Masamune.

Because that's healthy.


SO ONCE UPON A TIME, in like 12,000 B.C., there was this super awesome FLOATING KINGDOM IN THE SKY. SERIOUSLY. HOW COOL IS THAT SHIT. FLOATING MOUNTAINS. And less I not be clear? FLOATING MOUNTAINS. It's called ZEAL and the people are all magic users and super advanced and shit and basically got the whole toga-wearing godlike beings thing going on on their FLOATING MOUNTAAAAAIN.

Hey, hey, notice how in 600 AD, the next available time period to get to, there is no floating mountain kingdom and no sign there ever was one, and magic-using humans are pretty much entirely unheard of?

You know nevermind I'm sure that's not relevant.

Anyway, Queen Zeal has two kids, kay. There's the elder daughter, Schala, who is basically super amazing at everything and beloved by all, so talented, so wonderful, so benevolent and kind, oh god look at her you're gonna cream yourself just being close to her. She's got a bit of an antisocial loser for a little brother, though. His name is Janus. Okay he's not that much of a loser, and in fact he's said to even be stronger than Schala, but his own power frightens him so he has denied it and hidden it away, leaving him to just do some creepy-ass predictions like telling you one of your party is gonna die soon. Seriously, that's the first thing Janus says to you. Endearing. Hey does this story sound a bit familiar at all?

Unfortunately for Janus and Schala, their mother is a little bit on the side of BATSHIT INSANE and is obsessed with harnessing the power of Lavos. You know, that time-devouring BIG BAD of THE WHOLE GAME. (You may have thought it was Magus up until this point. YOU WERE WRONG.) Because that can only go well, right?

Remember how that floating kingdom ain't there no more? Three guesses as to why and the first two don't count.

During the course of this adventure, Chrono dies (YES, THIS GAME KILLS THE MAIN CHARACTER. It's okay he gets better.), Schala sacrifices herself so that you can all escape before the underwater palace is destroyed, and Time cries and tears apart from the strain of everything, gates opening left and right willy-nilly. Janus was last seen falling INTO one of these gates.

Scared, alone, after having just watched the only family he cares about possibly DIE, Janus ends up about a decade or so before 600 AD in monster infested mountains. Shockingly, HE GETS FOUND BY MONSTERS. Three very familiar monsters, in fact. Ozzy, Flea, and Slash. You may remember them from such previous encounters as Magus's three generals.

I'm sure you all see where this is going by this point.

Janus changes his name to Magus and harnesses his inner power of Jerkass, using that to fuel his magic with one single-minded goal. SUMMON LAVOS. KICK LAVOS'S ASS. What could possibly go wrong, right?

He becomes a rallying point for all monster-kind since he's not 100% human or somethin, and he's got GINOUUURMOUS MAGICAL POWER. Look at the size of it. Known as the fiendlord, he wages war on Guardia kingdom, which is where you come in with your first time jump to 600 AD. Guardia is getting its ass handed to them without Cyrus, and it's up to Chrono and Co. to save the kingdom.

Okay so I have this theory. If you have Magus in your party in 600 AD, everyone will still talk about the defeat of the fiendlord and how he is clearly GONE FOR GOOD. Even if he is standing right behind you. NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE THIS FACT. Now obviously it's due to limited script and Magus being an optional character, but I have a far better idea. Magus? Kind of just a figurehead for OZZY'S conquest of Guardia. When you fight at the bridge? You fight Ozzy, not Magus. You only face Magus when you GO TO HIS CASTLE. Don't get me wrong, Magus grew up to be a jerkass, and I have no doubt that he'd torch human villages wholesale without a second thought if it would complete his goal. He's one pragmatic motherfucker. But I can't help but think that you know, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN MAGUS FOR A REASON. Because OZZY'S the one who is all "LET'S TAKE OVER THE WOOOORLD." while Magus is more "Sure whatever, MUST SUMMON LAVOS FOR REVENGE."

Flea, Slash, and Ozzy are the ones waging the war under the umbrella of Magus's power. Magus? Probably couldn't care less.

After going back and forth with him for a bit, they manage to convince Frog to join their quest, get the Masamune, and march over to Magus's keep to defeat him. They did not make an appointment. Had they made an appointment, they would have known that Magus had the whole evening blocked out for summoning Lavos. The heroes, at his point only known him as the FIENDLORD, think that he is summoning Lavos to use his power. Because no one can freaking talk to eachother in this game, they interrupt the ritual for a boss battle and the magic goes kittywhumpus, creating a Gate that everyone falls into.

Landing their asses in 12,000 BC, with no Magus to be seen. But hey there's this nifty floating kingdom, where the heck did that come from?

Yeah, Magus's life is a stable time loop. In 12,000 BC he masquerades as a Prophet, since he's already lived this shit and knows how it goes. He tries to get Chrono and company thrown out several times but as I said before, this is a stable time loop, and try as he might even HE can't defeat Lavos and gets his ass handed to him, having to watch his sister die TWICE.

Aces plan, Magus.


Honestly, a LOT of what makes me love them is weighted entirely on having them interact as much as humanly possible at every oppertunity, which is easy to NOT do. Also, my own headcanon.

I have the best headcanon. FYI.

Obviously at some points, you are REQUIRED to make them interact. IIRC, Frog insists on being in your party when you storm Magus's keep. Since his vengence is kind of the point, it makes sense. However, wandering around Zeal you don't HAVE to have him. Personally, I always throw his ass in there. Especially for any point you run into Janus. Why? So I can argue that Frog sees how Magus grew up, because you can bet Frog would notice the eerie similarities with the man who he had previously utterly demonized. While Frog is a bit - okay WAY more than a bit - bullheaded, he has shown value in the greater good. He IS capable of seeing the big picture, and I fully believe this would be about where he would start seeing Magus as a person instead of THE FIENDLORD. In short, I like to force Frog to allow Magus into his monkeysphere.

He has an axe to grind for certain, but there is a certain point - ESPECIALLY realizing that Magus has been trying to defeat Lavos, the time/space eating monster that Team Chrono is trying to fight as well - when revenge is simply futile. The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy, but a useful potential ally at the LEAST.

The real kicker is after you wake up from the Ocean Palace being destroyed and Chrono dying in 12k BC. After a short stint against Dalton (the biggest Douche of the uuuuuniveeerse) you now have WINGED Epoch and can fly and shit. Oh and one of the available weapons to buy now is this badass scythe and one of the surviving humans mentions some creepy guy up at the North Cape.


Magus is there, standing in the wind that seems to only affect his sprite.

That? That's magic. Magus uses it to summon dramatic wind constantly. Also during this scene, Magus is teetering on the bleeding edge of a complete screaming mental breakdown. Seriously, reread that shit he had to go through knowing that he basically obsessed over that moment and revenge for it FOR AGES. And then got a chance to go back and 'change it all'. AND THEN FAILED.

He expositions at you for a couple moments, basically spelling out OH HAI I'M JANUS AFTER YEARS OF MENTAL ANGUISH AND BITTERNESS you know in case you haven't already figured it out. Again, I always put Frog at the head of my party for this. Anyway because Magus is a jerkass, he insults your dead friend a bit, too. Obv, they're going to get offended, and tell him to shut his trap.

Here's where you get your tickybox as Magus throws back his cape dramatically, passing you a note in class saying "Do you like me? You wish to fight me? [_]Yes [_]No"

Of course, if you choose yes, I think you get some sweet bling and Frog gets to be human again. I don't know for certain though because I've never done it. Oh, then he gives you hints for how to revive your friend even though you TOTALLY JUST KILLED HIM. Don't you feel like a jerk.

ON THE OTHER HAND. If you choose 'no', well. I'm lazy, so I'm just gonna C&P the script from here.


[He sheathes his sword]

Frog: Taking your life will not restore Crono or Cyrus theirs.


[As the party walks back...]

Magus: Wait.

[He walks over to the group]

Magus: I'll accompany you.

Frog: Are you mad!?

Magus: I said the fool was dead. I did not say his death could not be undone.

Frog: Of what do you speak?

Magus: Gaspar, the Guru of Time, knows the way to restore those streams of time that have been diverted from their proper courses.

Also Magus is one BAMF, even if he's a little nerf'd since he's no longer a villain, so NOT ONLY do you get his power to aide you, but you don't have to feel bad when he helps you out. To bring up FF7 again, it's like getting Vincent in your party. Harass him then leave, and he'll run after you trying to act like he's not crying for acceptance. Ha.

Also that way if you ever go back to the common area of the last surviving town, his pet cat Alfador will follow you around if you've got Magus with you. Awwww.

Past this point, my party is -unless I REALLY need to level a lot of the others - Frog/Magus/WHOEVER IS LOWEST LEVEL. I love all the characters so I don't completely neglect any, but I do have a not-so-secret fondness for Frog and Magus and them together so I always keep them in the party together. Also it makes scenes like Frog being told what a great guy he is for defeating the Fiendlord that much more entertaining when MAGUS IS STANDING RIGHT BEHIND HIM. Imagine for a moment if you will the little smirk on Magus's face as he probably makes some offhand comment of "Yep, WHAT AN AMAZING KNIGHT."

One of the sidequests is also freeing Cyrus's spirit from the guilt and hate weighing it down. With this, you get a fantaaaastically gay exchange between Frog and Cyrus's ghost, but also Frog buries that axe finally now that he's gotten closure. This lets you level up the Masamune too, bonus! Doing this, it's hard for me at least to imagine that Frog wouldn't at least ATTEMPT to forgive Magus for his actions. That's the whole point, right? Forgiving yourself, and others.

Learning to live AKA HERE'S WHERE I SQUEE

Now if you want you can totally go the Magus-as-a-villain-molesting-Glenn thing, and hey more power to you, but that's actually not what I find squeeable about this. What I love about them is the overarcing message of forgiveness, as I previously mentioned. Sometimes people are put in fucked situations. Sometimes people make bad decisions. Sometimes you have to forgive them, because we want ourselves to be forgiven.

I always see their friendship as, in the beginning, one sided from Frog's perspective. He HAS to see how similar the two are, and how vengence consumed and weighted him down, that he wasn't able to unlock his true potential until he let it go. He's bullheaded and a meddler, of course he's going to try to help Magus see this as well. Magus is probably all "Fuck you I'm a villain, we're only working to the same goal by coincidence." while FROG is the one going "WE HAVE SHED BLOOD TOGETHER IN BATTLE, WE'RE FRIENDS. SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS."

Fanfic is few and far between, but here's what I've scrounged across the net.

Threshold by paperiuni
A frog, a sorcerer, a porch, a sword, and a conversation in the dark. PG
(Written for me in Yuletide 2008. Squee!)

By the Fountain Cool in the Greenwood Shade by JackofOne
Frog is willing to forgive Magus -- and Magus can never forgive him for that. G
(Illustraits perfectly about the concept of forgiveness that I love about them.)

Icy Beginnings by ShinraWeapon
Yaoi. Can one night change things between Magus and Glenn? M
(Exactly what it says on the tin. From what I understand, this is a well-known fic, but I didn't find it until just recently.)
Tags: metalicious, pairing: magus/frog, series: chrono trigger

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