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In Chrono Trigger, during the caveman period, Ayla sees the fateful meteor falling from the sky and calls it "La Vos", which is apparently caveman-ese for "big fire." But the only people around to hear it were the party, and Kino.

Somehow in the year 1999, millions of years later, when the destroyer erupted from beneath the earth, everyone knew it was called "Lavos", but there's no way this name was preserved through all this time. (It certainly doesn't appear to be in circulation in Chrono's day, as even Lucca, the smartest person in the party, didn't know the word until watching the recording!) By the modern age, not to mention the future, no one speaks caveman-ese anymore, and no one knows about Lavos lurking beneath the earth, as they appear to have been entirely unprepared for its emergence.

So where did the name come from? Is this ever explained in a non-handwave manner?

  • Didn't the Kingdom of Zeal reference him as Lavos? The name wouldn't have to be preserved either, because time travel. – Ryre May 31 '18 at 23:49
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Is this ever explained in a non-handwave manner?

Not really.

The only explanation I can provide, is by using a real world example - Latin. Like "Caveman-ese" Latin is a dead language, but that doesn't mean it isn't still studied. Additionally, stories from ancient times might also hang around, but only as myth and legend. It's possible that this is what happened with Lavos.

[...] even Lucca, the smartest person in the party, didn't know the word until watching the recording.

Lucca is incredibly smart, but that doesn't mean she can't be ignorant of certain information. (I mean, you might have trouble getting a robotics engineer to come up with anything scientific about the dinosaurs).

As for the recording itself, the file is titled "Visual Recording of the Day of Lavos". At this point, it's clear that the possibility of my "theory" can be a little more concrete. The legend of the meteor; labelled "Lavos" in Caveman-ese, does actually exist, and was not, in fact, a dormant chunk of rock after all. The scientists of the time label it as such, and the whole thing comes full circle.

While the team are more directly involved with the events, and yes, only certain people are present for the "naming" of Lavos, when it first crashes to earth, it doesn't mean that Cavemen don't talk. And I'm pretty sure that a lot of people would have noticed the impact, if only indirectly.

Other than that, there is not much else to explain the link.


EDIT: After going back and playing the game, it is demonstrated that then name "Lavos" is carried throughout the timeline, most likely by the Gurus of the Antiquity Era (12,000 BC). They develop the Mammon Machine to siphon power from Lavos. When you rescue Melchior from the Mountain of Woe, he informs you that

"Lavos sleeps deep underground, consuming the energy" of the planet and that if the Mammon Machine is brought any closer to him, he could awake.

Source

So, at the very least the name "Lavos" has carried up to this point (which could be explained by my previous point). Then, when the Mammon Machine is activated, this creates the time rifts that Chrono and the party use to travel through time - Janus is sent to the Middle Ages, Melchior is sent to the "Modern Era" (1000 AD), Gaspar is sent to the End of Time, and Balthazar is sent to the "Future", or 2300 AD. So, in-game, that means that there is someone that knows the name "Lavos" in each time period.

  • Ayla names Lavos in 65,000,000 BC
  • The Gurus refer to Lavos in 12,000 BC
  • Janus (aka Magus) knows of Lavos in 600 AD
  • Melchior knows of Lavos in 1000 AD
  • Balthazar knows of Lavos in 2300 AD
  • Gaspar knows of Lavos at the End Of Time

This is fairly "hand-wavey", to simply place one person in each time period with knowledge of the creature, but it demonstrates a "knowledge" that spans "all time".

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  • There are also indications that Lavos is capable of affecting the minds of sentient beings on the planet surface, at least in the right circumstances (like when they build a Mammon Machine to siphon off some of its energy) – Shadur Feb 5 '19 at 6:27
  • @Shadur yes, however that doesn't really have much to do with the name given to the creature. The wiki states that its true name is unknown, implying that the name is simply the name given to it by Ayla and her people. – Ben Feb 5 '19 at 8:15

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