Lavos came to Earth with the intention of draining its energy so that it could produce genetically enhanced spawn, which would then continue the cycle on other planets. In the North American version of the game, it is claimed once in the series that Lavos directly influenced all technology and life on the planet, evolving the planet's life forms to cultivate it, and make itself stronger. However, the line is absent in the Japanese version.
Despite it originally just being in translation, in Chrono Cross, it appears this actually is the case as a large portion of the game involves many layers of time line event controller which all end at Lavos. In the original timeline, Lavos slept for millions of years, gaining power until 1999 AD, when he emerged and put the world into an apocalyptic state. However, because of the interference of many of the characters, he was summoned at two other points in time—12000 BC and 600 AD. While traveling in 2300 AD, Crono, Marle, and Lucca see a video of the Day of Lavos which occurred in 1999 AD, and decide to prevent it somehow. Magus is also after Lavos for destroying his home era of 12000 BC.
Lavos has three different forms. The first form is the outer shell, which resembles the Peluda, a mythical beast in French mythology. The second form consists of a large humanoid form with two arms. The third and final form is Lavos Core, consisting of three parts: a humanoid center, and two floating 'bits'. Apparently, the absolute core of Lavos is one of these bits, since it can revive its other parts and destroying it defeats Lavos.
While the natural "dreamstone" is a substance responsible for the first evolution of human beings from animal apes to sentient creatures, it is revealed in Chrono Cross that Lavos is responsible for the creation and advancement of the actual modern human species. Upon impact, a splinter of Lavos's shell broke off. This becomes the focal point of Chrono Cross, the Frozen Flame. Lavos is also the final boss in Chrono Cross, except in the form of the Devourer of Time, the result of the defeated Lavos assimilating Schala in the darkness beyond time.
As A Boss
The player fights Lavos twice in Chrono Trigger. The first time is in the Ocean Palace. Here, it is significantly stronger and faster than usual, and possesses three times as much HP. Unless the player is using New Game +, they are usually defeated quickly. Lavos appears a second time at the very end of the game, when the player goes to the year 1999. Here, it is the first of three final bosses, the next two being its inner forms. However, this stage can be skipped by going to 1999 via the Epoch, rather than the Gate in the bucket.
Before Lavos begins to fight the players with its normal powers, it tests them. Lavos imitates certain bosses fought by the player throughout the game, copying their stats and attack patterns exactly. Lavos becomes:
- Dragon Tank
- Guardian (with Pods)
- Zombor (with upper and lower bodies)
- Masa & Mune
- Black Tyranno (with Azala)
- Giga Gaia (with both arms)
After passing all these trials, Lavos will go on the offensive, using its own abilities. Once its hit points have been exhausted, the mouth will fade away, allowing access into the shell.
Inside the Shell
Here, Lavos' body is revealed. It has two arms, and if one arm is destroyed, the body's defense goes down.
A good way to defeat it is to use Falcon Strike (Ayla and Crono's dual tech), while Frog heals with Heal and Cure II. Having Frog and Ayla really helps too, because if you are really low on health, Slurp Kiss really helps, with at least 450 health regenerated to each party member.
Use Falcon Strike over and over again. Have Frog heal. If you are very low on health, use Slurp Kiss. If you really can't use Falcon Strike, have Crono use Luminaire repeatedly.
When the body is destroyed, it fades away, revealing the Core.
Cast off from its physical trappings, the Core is free to use the unparalleled power available to it.
There are three parts to this form, the Lavos Pod, the Center Pod, and the Lavos Core. Lavos attempts to fool the player by hiding itself inside one of the pods beside it, using the center portion as a disguise. The real Lavos is inside the right-hand pod, evidenced by it having a higher HP and being able to resurrect the center body.
The Lavos Pod heals the Center Pod's health. If it is destroyed, the Lavos Core's defense goes down. It acts as a shield, absorbing all elemental damage.
The Center Pod is the main power of the battle. The Lavos Pod heals the Center Pod's health, and if destroyed (much like the Lavos Pod) the Lavos Core's defense goes down. It is the Center Pod that uses the most devastating attacks.
The Lavos Core hides the true essence of Lavos. It is able to resurrect the pods if they are destroyed. Destroying the Lavos Core will destroy the pods as well.
It was named "Lavos" by Ayla, a word she made up from the root words "La" meaning "fire" and "Vos" "big" in the Iokan language. Lavos' true name (if it even had one) is unknown.