The game begins with a morning setting of 1000 A.D. The opening map scrolls vertically across the ocean, then moves left to the site of the Millennial Fair, and then left again towards a small village. This is all set to the sounds of seagulls, the rush of the ocean waves, balloon fireworks, and the ringing of Leene's Bell.
Crono is being called to "wake up" by the voice of his mother. Still, he refuses to move until she opens up the window blinds to let the light in. She encourages him to behave before demanding her son to move out, to which he follows after her (and their cat) downstairs. She reminds him to not forget his invite to go see Lucca's new invention and to be back before dinner. And so, Chrono heads out to go enjoy the fair at Leene Square.
While at the festival, Crono accidentally bumps into the young girl named Marle. They quickly become friends and travel around the events of the fair together. During the demonstration of Lucca's Telepod, Chrono is magically transported from the left pod to the right, leaving Marle and the audience amazed. She's so excited and volunteers to be the one to be transported next. But as Lucca and her father Taban turn the machines on, Marle's pendant begins to glow strangely. The Telepod's energy reacts with the pendant, opening up a temporal portal in the middle which makes Marle vanish, but not before dropping her pendant.
With everyone mystified of where she went, Taban asks the audience to leave. Crono steps into the Telepod and takes up Marle's pendant, silently agreeing to follow after her. With her dad and Lucca both amazed at his bravery, she tells Chrono she's not sure where he will be sent but that it's the only choice. She gives him some quick advice to hold onto the pendant, as it may be the key to finding Marle. They power up the machine, transporting Crono away.