Black Omen

The side quest that isn't really a side quest:
Previously, the Ocean Palace had risen from the ocean to become the Black Omen, floating in the air. It appears in every era, except for 65,000,000 B. C., because it didn't exist back then. You can enter it by flying under it using the Epoch, except in 2300 A.D., because the Day of Lavos would have already passed by then.

The Black Omen exists out of time - if you pick up an item in 1000 A.D., it's gone in 600 A.D. and 12,000 B.C. Certain enemies, and the three final bosses, remain. If you blow away the Black Omen in 12,000 B. C., though, it's still blown away in later time periods. There's an amount of enemies that have something very nice to Charm. Be sure to bring Ayla with you, preferably with the Charm Top equipped.

Like I said before, there are some enemies that can be fought only once, others will reappear. Bosses will not reappear, except for Zeal, the Mammon Machine and Zeal again at the end.

So anyway, fly under the Epoch and hit A once the text 'Black Omen' appears. To return to the Epoch you'll need to interact with the shiny dot beneath you - it isn't a tab. Upon nearing the entrance, six Laser Guards attack. Destroy them, and head inside the building. Queen Zeal appears! It's a pity you can't kick her sorry hiney immediately, as she summons a Mega Mutant, which you'll have to take care of first.

Boss: Mega Mutant

The Mega Mutant is comprised of a body and a head, and is the easiest boss in the Black Omen. And because it is the easiest one, just unleash some strong Dual Techs to lower this one's hit points quickly. It should really be no problemo, but don't forget about its variety of attacks (status effects)! However, if you seem to have major trouble with it, then that is a sign that you shouldn't even be here yet.

4600 HP off the top of the Mega Mutant and 3850 off the lower part will net you 900 experience points, 50 tech points and 1500G. If you have Ayla with you, be sure to have gotten that Vigil Hat by Charming the lower part.

Onwards. You'll find two Incognitos; to defeat them, wait until they reveal their faces and become a Peeping Doom, which has much lower defense than when they're covered by the shield (just like the Blue Shields in Guardia Castle). After exterminating them, go to the next area. It won't reappear. You kill it once, and it's gone.

Here are two Martellos, but they can be ignored (if you stay away from them). Upon continuing, two Goons (Charm for a Nova Armor) will fight you. After those, you'll encounter another Martello that comes with two Synchrites (Charm for a Gold Earring). Once you're done, go to the right to find a Save Point. After saving, head into the next area. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

While working your way through the hall, two pairs of two Panels (Charm for a Speed Tab) attack. Be sure to get those rare Speed Tabs, there aren't many of those! In the next section, a Boss Orb and two of his Side Kicks invite you to combat (don't attack the Side Kicks when the Boss Orb is around), and soon after that you'll have to get rid of another group of them, and then another one. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

In the following area, you'll find two Metal Mutes, and after that, a set of two Metal Mutes and two Flyclopses (Charm for a Gold Stud). After getting rid of them, follow the path, use the warp-pod and arrive at a large elevator. Hit the switch on the left to go down. On your way, you'll randomly fight enemies, either two Goons, four Ruminators (Charm for Mega Elixir) or two Cybots (Charm for a Power Meal). It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

In the next area, some kind of simple maze, is a bunch of enemies. If you do not wish to fight them, don't press the B button because it's programmed in such a way that you'll fight enemies only when you're running. Or something.

While going through this part, pick up a Mega Elixir right from the stairset. Also don't forget the 30,000G left of the exit, and go to the next section of the palace. Here, don't step on any of the blue squares, or you'll fight two Ruminators (left) or two Flyclopses (right). At the intersection, follow the right path, leading to a chest with a Magic Seal. After defeating the Synchrite and Martello (hardly avoidable), go through the entrance to arrive in another hall. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

Six chests: Elixir, Vigil Hat, Nova Armor, Mega Elixir, Mega Elixir, Haste Helmet. Whoop! There's a Save Point here too; use it. Talk to the two Nus; the left one will let you shop, and talk to the right one to return to the entrance (or say 'stay' to stay here). Interact with the wall in the back to uncover a door.

Follow the path and fight the Tubster (Charm for a Power Tab). Be sure to stockpile those Power Tabs; head back to the Nu's place and return to find that the Tubster has reappeared! In the next hall, you'll find two Cybots and an Incognito (three of them if you fight it). At the far side, there are four Ruminators, and behind them is a chest with a Zodiac Cape. To continue, follow the Ruminators into the entrance on the right. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

Go to the right. You'll find a Boss Orb and two Side Kicks, as well as two Goons and a Flyclops (behind them is a chest with a Mega Elixir), and a group of two Boss Orbs and four Side Kicks. Oh, you can avoid Boss Orbs and Side Kicks by quickly dashing through the place while they have their eyes closed. Go into the next area, and pick the Power Seal on your way. A battle follows: two Flyclopses and a Tubster. There's a Martello with a Cybot in the back, too, as well as a partially hidden chest in the lower-right corner. Be sure to nab the Speed Tab out of it, then go left. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

From there, go all the way to the left again. You'll find another chest with a Speed Tab. After getting it, go into the entrance. Walk onto the platform to get warped to another part of the palace, which is not an elevator, but another one of those mazes.

First, go all the way to the left. In the center, you'll fight two Blobs (Charm for a Magic Ring) and two Aliens (Charm for a Magic Tab), unless you stay close to the upper platform. At the far left side, go down to find a chest with an Elixir, then go up. Follow the path, until you encounter four Side Kicks. A Boss Orb will join them if attacked, but you can also avoid them. Work your way through the maze 'til you encounter two chests. Open them to find a Speed Tab and a Mega Elixir, as well as two Aliens that are hiding between them. Head into the entrance. It won't reappear. You kill it once, and it's gone.

To the left is a Save Point. Use it. Go up, after which the Giga Mutant appears.

Boss: Giga Mutant

Being basically a beefed up version of the Mega Mutant you've sent to Captain Explosion before, the Giga Mutant isn't a real threat either. Fortunately, the Giga Mutant's HP are relatively very low. Just like with the first Mutant, release some powerful Single and Dual Techs and preferably target-all spells. OH, and don't even think about using physical attacks; both parts feature maximum defense against those.

Status-protective equipment is helpful, as Giga Mutant features a variety of status ailments, and also 'Life Shaver', which reduces HP to one. However, this unlocks the potential of techs like Frog Squash, so if you have them, make use of them! Just watch out for its attacks (especially 'Shining Bit'). As for the rest, just attack, heal and repeat. Simple, correct? Right then.

The top has 5800 HP, the bottom has 4950 HP. Defeating Giga Mutant will result in the acquisition of 1500 experience points, 80 tech points and 2000G. If you want to Charm, then the top offers a Wall Ring, while the bottom has a Hit Ring.

After you've beaten the Giga Mutant, go north, into the warp. Step in it to teleport to an elevator; hit the switch on the right and you'll randomly have to fight Goons, Ruminators and Cybots (or no- one). Once you're up, head into the entrance. It will reappear no matter how many times you kill it.

You'll then fight two Synchrites. After beating them, work your way through the area until you find two bats blocking your way. If you touch them, you'll fight two Goons. Although it is possible to avoid them, it's hard. After defeating the two Tubsters that you're going to meet too, follow the path and open the door. It won't reappear. You kill it once, and it's gone.

Inside the next area, there are four Panels. Be sure to Charm Speed Tabs off them before you defeat them, then open the chest on the left platform for yet another Speed Tab. By defeating those Panels, a Save Point comes into view - be sure to have taken note of that too. Then go north to, not ANOTHER one!! It won't reappear. You kill it once, and it's gone.

Boss: Terra Mutant

Have a few things in mind while fighting the Terra Mutant. The first thing is that physical attacks should NOT be used. Also, do NOT attack the lower part at all as that is a waste of your time and strength; when the top goes, the bottom decides to leave too.

Some bad thing here is that the head absorbs from the lower part for about 1000 HP. Also dangerous are, as with the other Mutants, the various status ailments it can inflict. I would use Crono and Lucca, let them use *Luminaire and *Flare, and have a third character (preferably someone with high speed and equipped with an Amulet or something) cure and if needed, use Heals, until the battle is over.

The upper part has 7800 HP, lower part has 20,000 HP. Remember, you don't need to defeat the lower part. 2000 experience points, 100 tech points and 3800G will be your prizes. If you want to Charm to get even more prizes, snatch a Muscle Ring from the head and a Power Seal from the tail.

After getting rid of the last Mutant, open the two chests for a White Rock (left) and a Mega Elixir (right). Then return to the Save Point and save again. Then go up, up all the way, up until a Gate appears, which teleports you.

Boss: Lavos Spawn

This Lavos Spawn is not as weak as those you've fought on Death Peak, but this one isn't too hard either. Of course, don't even try to push, climb or attack the shell (so don't use target-all techs): doing so will result in a VERY painful counterattack.

The Lavos-baby uses 'Lavos Spawn Needle: Disorder', the real threat. It hits everyone and does a lot of damage. 'Destruction Zone' does the same for less damage, and 'Water Rise' and 'Dark Bomb' hit a single character for medium-to-high damage. I suggest to have two characters use a strong Dual Tech each round, while a third characters only heals (e.g. Crono and Frog use Spire each round, while Robo uses Heal Beam).

The head is good for 10,000 HP, and the shell has 13,500 HP. Only the head needs to be smashed to pulp for the word 'victory' to become appropriate. Once you defeat this boss, you'll be rewarded with 2450 experience points, 120 tech points and 2500G. As an added bonus, you may want to get the Haste Helmet from the head using Charm (highly recommended!), and maybe the Safe Helmet from the shell, too.

Exit north again and you'll be attacked by five Panels. Again, be sure to swipe Speed Tabs off them, then defeat them to reveal a Save Point on your left! After using it (and it is really advised to do that, mister), go north. You'll find clones of you and your flunkies (except Magus) left and right.looks like Zeal's been doing some homework! Speaking of Zeal, go north and she'll appear. Soon after that, a couple of fights commence.

Kill the baddies
Once you trigger this battle, you can't return. You'll have to stick to the chosen party for the following three consecutive boss battles, so be careful now. Have at least someone to heal (Robo with Heal Beam and high magic stat, or Marle), and Ayla for Charm might be preferred too.

Boss: Zeal

Zeal starts the fight with Hallation, an attack that reduces HP of all your characters to one. Yes, she'll use this quite frequently. On the other hand, with only one HP, I highly recommend to use the 'Low HP = greater damage' techs (Frog Flare is the best to use, but Frog Squash and Dino Tail may help here too) to inflict lots, LOTS, o' damage.

Besides Hallation, Zeal will frequently absorb some magic points, as well as an orange balls attack, which the Golems also use. That attack won't do too much damage, so you don't need to heal fully after Hallation. In other words, don't waste Mega Elixirs that will be needed in upcoming battles.

Actually, Zeal's not too hard now. She has 12,000 HP, and you'll receive a Mega Elixir for defeating her. You can also Charm her to get a Mega Elixir. In fact, you can do that twice! After you beat her, she'll toss you into the Mammon Machine, without having the time to heal.

Boss: Mammon Machine

There are two phases mister Mammon can be in, one in which the "Mammon M. modifies all energy." and one in which the "Mammon M. stands still." The machine starts by modifying energy, and after that it'll stand still, and after that repeat. Now, I'm sure you've got no idea what the hell I'm talking about, so read on!

If you attack the machine while it's modifying energy, then it'll either raise its attack power (if you've used a magical tech), or raise its defense power against physical attacks (if you've used a physical attack). So, it's best to start with a couple of strong physical attacks, and once they don't do much damage anymore, use magic. If you have Frog, equipped with the Masamune, the Masamune will absorb some HP when Frog attacks physically. In the end, the Mammon Machine will release its stored energy, of which the damage depends on the damage you did using magical techs. See now why you should use physical attacks first? Right then.

After this, the Mammon Machine will stand still. All stats (attack and defense power) of it are reset, so you can attack in any way you want to. The machine will use 'Point Flare' in this phase, but that isn't very strong. Note that Frog's Masamune doesn't work now, so just use your most powerful techs. After a while, the machine goes back to phase one again.

That is all. Sounds easy, yes? Deplete 18,000 HP to be victorious. You can Charm the boss for a Mega Elixir. Immediately after the battle, you'll encounter.

Boss: Zeal

After the battle, you'll find yourself on top of the Black Omen, and Queen Zeal appears yet again to form a more deadly enemy. She now consists of a head and two hands. If you have Magus in your party, he'll utter some lines, and his music will play during the fight! Otherwise, you'll get to hear the hard boss music, which isn't too bad either.

If you attack the left hand, it'll counter with 'Life Shaver', that is HP to one. Attack the right hand will result in the famous 'MP Buster', which reduces magic points to zero. The hands have a HIGH amount of HP, and are also nearing maximum defense. So, don't try to get rid of those hands, and as with the Lavos Spawns, the use of target-all spells is not recommended. The head is your target here, and only the head.

Zeal (her head) has three attacks: 'Dark Gear', which is the most powerful target-all Shadow spell, 'Skygate', the most harmless target-one Lightning spell, and 'Hexagon Mist', a Water spell that hits all. The hands have laser attacks, but those are so weak that you should laugh at them.

The best strategy to use here is to attack the head using strong Dual Techs, and healing when necessary. Actually, that is all. If you want to Charm the Prism-gear, do it carefully. Mega Elixirs are a good thing to have in this battle, too.

The head has 20,000 HP, the hands each have 28,000 HP. If you want to play dangerous, Charm a Prism Dress off the left hand and a Prism Helmet off the right hand. The head offers a Mega Elixir, which is always useful.

Right after defeating Queen Zeal, she'll attempt to summon Lavos. Alas, she's successful, after which both Zeal and the Black Omen disappear. You'll have to fight the first forms of Lavos now.

  - Having gone through the Black Omen to defeat Lavos (rather than killing Lavos without going through the Black Omen), you will have opened up the "New Game +" feature. To know more about the New Game +, its features and the like, click here.