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Rainbow Shell

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Rainbow Shell
Rainbow Shell.png
Artwork from Chrono Trigger
Japanese Name にじいろのかいがら
Equipment Type Key Item

Rainbow Shell (虹色の貝殻 にじいろのかいがら nijiiro no kaigara?) is a Key Item in Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. In both games, powerful weapons and items can be crafted from it.

Chrono Trigger[edit]

Rainbow Shell Sprite.png

The Rainbow Shell is a very colorful very large shell that can be forged into many useful and durable items. It can be found in Giant's Claw in Middle Ages after the defeat of the Rust Tyranno. Due to its size and weight, however, it cannot actually be lifted by the party (not even Robo is able to lift it), and is thus never actually added to the inventory. It is, however, carried back to Guardia Castle by the King's knights as a form of repayment for all the party has done to assist them (namely, rescuing Queen Leene and helping thwart the Mystic incursion at Zenan Bridge).

The Rainbow Shell in Giant's Claw

The Rainbow Shell is seemingly the fossil of an ancient, huge sea creature, compressed and refined by the unreal powers of Lavos's crashing into the planet. The result of this refinement is an incredibly strong and powerful mineral, imbued with elemental abilities and the subject of much myth and legend. It was apparently in the possession of the Reptites, whose Tyranno Lair was crushed by Lavos; the shell subsequently was reduced to a place of residence far below the planet's crust. It may have been visited by citizens of Zeal, or legends of it were passed through generations by the Iokans or Larubans; regardless, accounts of its power and beauty appear in Zeal's tomes, and even filter into the treasure hunting cliques of Middle Ages, evident in Toma's own desire to hunt the shell and the Dorino Elder's interest in it. Toma eventually located it in the Giant's Claw, which is the Tyranno Lair's second incarnation as an island that briefly appears in the Middle Ages. He was unable to procure the shell from its resting place, but in the Keystone Timelines, he informed Crono and the heroes of time of its location, after they poured a bottle of booze on his grave. It was subsequently recovered by knights of the Kingdom of Guardia, where it lay in its treasury for four hundred years, planned to be unveiled at the Moonlight Parade.

Rainbow Shell in the Vault.

The acquisition of the Rainbow Shell had a temporarily negative effect on the royal family, as Yakra XIII was able to forge documents detailing a transaction that supposedly entailed King Guardia XXXIII's selling the heirloom to a trader. The plot was foiled when a piece of the Rainbow Shell was taken from its resting place in the treasury, which was overrun by Yakra's henchmen. Marle finds a letter attached to the Rainbow Shell in the Present from Queen Leene, saying that family is permanent. The contents implied that at some point in her life she figured out that Marle was her descendant. She then removes a shard of the shell and brings it to the King's Trial.

This Prism Shard proved the King's innocence. Soon after, Melchior, probably the only person capable of doing so, assisted the party in creating new weapons and items for the party from the shell, including the Rainbow, Prism Dress, and Prism Helm. The Rainbow Shell's fate afterward is unknown, perhaps falling victim to the Fall of Guardia and being stolen by Porre.

Chrono Cross[edit]

The Rainbow Shell appears in Chrono Cross in the form of several fragments (19 in total), suggesting that in the previous years, the Rainbow Shell was indeed stolen from the Kingdom of Guardia and disseminated across the world, eventually arriving in El Nido. These Rainbow fragments are the highest weapons and armor grade material available, affording items of legendary quality. However, use is limited and probably confined to Serge's party, as the forging of such items requires the work of Zappa (and his dimensional counterpart working with him!) as well as the integration of shiny items imbued with elemental power and resulting from the use of Summons.

Rainbow Shell locations (Chrono Cross)[edit]

There are 19 Rainbow Shells which can be found; as well as 2 of which can be found by disassembling the Spectral Glove and the Betta Carosene weapons (both of which are found in Terra Tower near the end of the game for a total of 21 Rainbow Shells. The Rainbow Shells that can be found are listed below.

Found in chests[edit]

Enemy Drops[edit]

Enemy Steals[edit]

Found elsewhere[edit]

  • After finishing the mandatory events in Guldove (Another World), return to Arni and talk with the Poet (who works as a waitress) at the cafe. Use the Astral Amulet at Opassa Beach to enter Home World again, and visit the Arni cafe there. Talk to the Poet here to receive a Book of Poems to show the Poet in the other world. Get back to Arni [AW] and show the book to her, and she will give the party a Rainbow Shell.
  • A Rainbow Shell can be won as the top prize (10000 points) from the Casino compass roulette spinner game in the S.S. Zelbess's casino [AW]. Note this Rainbow Shell is only available in a first playthrough and becomes unavailable on New Game +. It might initially seem too difficult, but there is a trick to winning. Pause the game until the spinner's tip falls in between the south and west markers; unpause and quickly stop the spinner to hit north each time. Do this until you have received 10000 points.
One of the Rainbow Shell locations in Chrono Cross, though it cannot be acquired when the shopkeeper is present
  • If players search around the merchant's cart in Arni (Another World (the same area that the Shellfish Frame can be found in Arni (Home World)), players can find a Rainbow Shell. Unfortunately, the shopkeeper won't let the party take it, but players can receive it a bit later in the game after the events of Dead Sea as the town people of Arni are hiding at the chief Gonji's house.
  • At Termina's bridge in Another World, there's a viper churro salesman. When you visit this area, he hasn't set up his shop; but after the Viper Manor events, he'll want some feedback on his wares' price. Set the bar lower to about the 60-50g range. Later in the game, after events at the Tower of Geddon, he'll give you a Rainbow Shell for free.
  • At Earth Dragon Isle in Home World, after you jump into the quicksand pit and leave, talk with the foreman once again to be given a Rainbow Shell.
  • After defeating Dark Serge in Fort Dragonia (Home World), revisit Water Dragon Isle in Another World and talk to the same man who gave you the Sturdy Ribs key item. Note you must have already gotten the Sturdy Ribs to receive this Rainbow Shell.
  • After obtaining either the Chrono Cross (Item) or the Mastermune, find the bedridden Kid at Hermit's Hideaway (Another World) and try to talk to her with these items in your posession to be sent back in time to her orphanage. In the first room, rescue the kid behind the clock and talk to him again to receive this gift.
  • In the same orphanage, go to the second floor, right-most room, and defeat the. Search under the bed and a girl will run out who will give you a Rainbow Shell.
  • After finishing the Kid's flashback sequence in the orphanage; Radius will tell Kid that Luccia is waiting for her in her research chamber in Viper Manor. Talk to Luccia as Radius says to do, and after a story sequence, Kid will receive a Rainbow Shell.

Trivia[edit]

  • The shell is probably based off pieces of Ammonoidea, fossils of ancient sea creatures whose appearance is similar to that of a Nautiluses. These fossils are sometimes iridescent.