The mythology of Chronos in the World of Games
Also published in EGM Brasil #72
Time is an essential factor in our lives. Many try to escape the hours, ignoring the fact that by every moment we are getting older. The common concept of time is indicated by intervals or duration. According to the theory of relativity, time has been considered as a fourth dimension of the space-time continuum of the Universe.
It’s not hard to find the concept of time control introduced in games. There are many game characters that keep trying to achieve their goals, by manipulating the time. But after all, in mythological terms, where did all this came from?
Titan or God?
Chronos and Cronos are not the same “person”. In Greek mythology, Chronos was the personification of time. Often confused with the Titan Cronos, especially during the Alexandrian and Renaissance Period. According to the Orphic theogony, Chronos appeared in the beginning of time formed by himself. It was a being who had three heads: a man, a bull and a lion. He was represented as a man who ate his own son, in which we could understand the idea that it is impossible to escape time. We would all sooner or later be “consumed” by it.
Another explanation for this representation was the confusion with the Titan Cronos, who also ate their children for other reasons. In the case of Cronos, the youngest of six major Titans, son of Uranus, reigned among the Gods during the period known as the Golden Age. A prophecy said that he would be beaten by one of his sons. Thus, fearing that the prophecy came to fruition, he began to devour his own children when they were born.
Original Publication in EGM Brasil Magazine
Having total control – or not – of time, here it is a list of characters who faced this challenge during their adventures:
1) Prince of Persia
In the trilogy of the game, using the power offered by the Dagger of Time, the player has the ability to control time allowing the Prince to kick a few seconds, undoing some inaccurate movement; freeze time, by leaving the enemies and the action in slow motion; see part of his future, and also make their movements faster than their enemies.
2) Chrono Trigger
One of the most popular RPG games, Chrono Trigger fits a lot of the aspect of time travel. Crono and his friends must visit six different eras in order to repair everything that was messed up at other times, and so bring order back to the continuity of life of each one. They travel through the ages using Epoch – a time machine – or the portals that arise during the game. At this time the characters have to perform various events and challenges.
In TimeShift the player must travel through an alternate timeline, using their powers of chronological manipulation to save all. The game aims to reach a new category in shooter games: a game in four dimensions, the fourth being the tracking of time. As in Prince of Persia, players have the ability to put the time in slow motion, freeze enemies, or jump back in time to be able to conclude that something has gone wrong.
4) Onimusha 3
Maybe this game does not fit completely in control of the time category. However, it is hard not to put it in this list, because like it or not, Samanosuke travels 500 years forward swapping places with the French military Jacques – polygonal version of the actor Jean Reno – who ends up in the past. And it is this incredible journey through time and space that forms the plot of the game. Some of the puzzles are based on this difference in time, with certain events of the past influencing the future.
5) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Link couldn’t get out of this. Unlike the other protagonists, the hero does not use time machine or any dagger to control it. Already possessing the three main artifacts and performing the “Song of Time” with the Ocarina that Link receive from Zelda, the door to the Sacred Realm is open. There the hero finds the Master Sword, a sword able to banish all evil from Hyrule. The moment Link tries to wield the sword, his spirit is imprisoned for seven years. Thus, holding or placing the sword again into the Holy Kingdom, he goes or returns seven years. By traveling through time, Link learns more about the Hyrule of future and past.
6) Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
With the help of Professor Elvis Gadd, Mario and Luigi use a gadget that makes the two journey into the past. There they are faced with the baby version of themselves and have new adventures together. Thanks to black holes that the player finds from time to time in the game, Partners in Time is set in the past and present of Mushroom Kingdom and the passage between these two periods are frequent.
7) The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
This time Link has only 72 hours to save the world. The gameplay unfolds over these three days when the moon is approaching the city of Termina. Link must use the Ocarina to keep track of time and being able to “revive” the last three days again, while gaining enough skills to defeat the villain Skull Kid and the powerful Majora’s Mask.
[button type=”icon” icon=”paper”]Written by Matheus Pitillo.[/button]