Part 5: Zeal and the Ocean Palace
Having done our task in 6500,0000 BC we find ourselves in Zeal. First stop: Enhasa. Right after entering we can see some hidden stuff. On the left, we can see another Spekkio sprite used to indicate an event handler. On the right, we can see a fireball, which will show itself if we open the magical tome on the table. This spekkio is interesting, since there is no way of activating it; something that will become a trend in this place.
A little further on there is another book with a magical spell hidden underneath it. This time it's the water spell. The little Spekkio on the bed is supposed to be there, it's not a hidden sprite this time.
In Kajar we can find another Spekkio sprite which is apparently useless. We can also see another water spell book and, to the lower right of the image, another fire spell.
This one isn't really a "Look at this hidden stuff" moment, but more of a "Look at this mess" moment. Looking under the floor in the Land Bridges east of Kajar reveals an absolute shambles of a map. The tiles are placed randomly, the yellow tiles in the wall aren't supposed to be there and that single square of blue material is from the beds you find in Zeal.
Alright, now this one REALLY bugs me. In Zeal Palace there's a Nu hidden under the floor between Masa and Mune. As far as I can tell, you can't talk to it, you can't fight it, it doesn't activate any event handlers...it's just there. But if it doesn't do anything then why did they put it there? I think it might be to stop you walking between Masa and Mune, but surely the fact that they're there will stop you walking between them.
In the hallway that leads to the Mammon Machine we can see something sticking out from underneath the arch at the northern end of the hall. Removing even more sprites reveals...Leene, apparently. This is another sprite that apparently doesn't do anything. If it's there for a reason I certainly haven't found it yet.
In the hall of the Mammon Machine itself, we can take away the supports either side of the machine and (just) see that it continues off the screen. Unfortunately this grey machine is on the same layer as the orange background so there's no way of seeing what that grey machine actually is.
An interesting sprite change that got left in the game can be seen in the hallway leading to the sealed door. Removing the top layer of sprites shows that, originally, these stairs were carpeted. The untouched screen is on the right for comparison.
Also, a little further up on the same screen, we can find another Leene sprite hidden in the black. This one, however, is accompanied by a hidden 'female adviser' sprite who is hidden in the same space as the sealed door. The sprites to the left and right of Crono are always visible outside of the door.
The adviser sprite vanished once you unseal the door, so I suspect she was put there to stop the "Sealed with a mysterious energy" message appearing when you examine the door. As for why Leene is there...no idea.
When we next return to Zeal we must travel via Mount Woe. When we reach our destination we are able to find this strange pattern. It's not hidden material as such; it's the pattern that the fog makes around your characters as they traverse the platforms, I just felt it would be interesting to include it. It's possible to find other such patterns in the game, such as the domes in 2300AD and the overworld of 1600AD.
There's nothing else interesting for a while, so let's skip forward until the time we enter the ocean palace. Shortly after entering the palace we come across a room with a series of hexagonal platforms leading down. Removing the floor reveals that each platform hides a piece of terrain from the lift shaft, which the player enters having passed through these hexagonal rooms. The terrain is fully animated: the small red lights continue to pulse, even though they can't normally be seen. This prompts the question: Why is the lift terrain there?
In the room just before we go to meet the golem twins we can see that the hidden floor (left) shows a design which is quite different from the floor that was kept in the game (right).