is on another world, or rather, on an alternative world. It was visited by many
important residents of El-Hazard during a series of strange and unusual events which
may never be fully explained.
Cretaria is actually the name of a nation or at least a city-state. However, the name of the actual planet on which the kingdom of Cretaria is located is never given, so whenever I use the world "Cretaria" in a broad sense, I actually am referring to the planet on which the kingdom of Cretaria is located.
Cretaria is very much like El-Hazard in that it boasts its own collection of geological marvels. While El-Hazard may have the Crystal Tunnels and the Hidden Valley, Cretaria has islands that float in the air.
Cretaria even boasts its own race of Bugrom. But instead of several sub-species, it appears that there is one dominant species of Bugrom whom resembles something of a giant termite or cockroach.
While El-Hazard has a very warm and dry environment for the most part, Cretaria seems to have a very cold and frigid environment with frequent blizzards and ice storms. Cretaria appears to also have two suns, while On El-Hazard, one sun is all that is visible.
Also, while El-Hazardian societies have taken a more agricultural approach to their economies with an emphasis on the river trade. The Kingdom of Cretaria is very much centered around industry and large factories litter the capital city. Military control is also very heavy in that the military controls most aspects of life, all under the orders of Emperor Dal Narciss the III.
Perhaps the biggest place to draw comparisons is in their ancient legends. While El-Hazard has the Eye of God, Cretaria has the mysterious Spring of Life, a device that promises great power to whomever unseals and controls it. This device is responsible for the prosperity that the Kingdom of Cretaria has had, and has caused tension between Cretaria and its neighbor nations of Volcania and Coctura. However, when the Spring is activated, it turns out to actually BE the Eye of God, or at least a copy of the Eye that was broken apart and scattered until the Spring could bring them back together.
After a major flirtation with total annihilation, something strange happened. It would seem that due to the activation of the second Eye, combined with the Spring, Cretaria's environment has been returned to a more temperate one and indeed, agriculture has become widespread and the factories have apparently shut down.
There are those out there who after watching the entire El-Hazard - The Alternative World series, will still ask the question of exactly what or where is Cretaria. Indeed, it seems that more questions are given rather than answered. Like how did the Eye of God happen upon this planet and why was it broken into pieces? What is Qawool Towles' connection to this planet if she is from El-Hazard?
There are a few possibilities that come to the mind of the author, any number of which are possibilities, but cannot be confirmed nor denied as being the actual answer. However, for your benefit, I will present a number of theories.
1. Cretaria is a world that was affected by the Ancient El-Hazardian wars when the Eye of God was originally used.
What this means is that sometime in the ancient past, the Cretarians became aware of the ancient El-Hazard technology. Perhaps victims of that war were sent to Cretaria and they revealed the ancient secrets. The Cretarians copied the technology and almost destroyed their own world as a result. Perhaps that is why the second Eye was broken apart so it such a thing could never happen again. However, much of the damage caused was irreversible and thus that is why Cretaria is the way it is today.
2. Cretaria is a part of El-Hazard.
Since the story of El-Hazard only focuses on one particular region of the planet, it is not entirely impossible to rule this idea out. Perhaps Cretaria is a nation on the other side of the planet.
This could go a long way of explaining Qawool's connection. She might have been a native of that region but was brought to the Alliance territories as a young child.
This could also explain the second Eye. If one nation on El-Hazard could build a weapon of such destruction, it is not impossible to rule out that someone else did too. Perhaps the ancient Cretarians and the ancient Alliance nation were the opposing sides in this ancient war. Perhaps they each built their own Eye as a massive final weapon, but in the course of the war, one was destroyed and broken apart and another remained.
3. Cretaria is Roshtara in the Future.
This is an interesting notion. Perhaps, Cretaria is actually where Roshtaria is, but somewhere in the far future. That could explain the presence of the Eye. However, there are several things that are still left unexplained to make this a satisfactory explaination.
4. Cretaria IS Roshtaria.
Or rather, Cretaria is an alternative version of El-Hazard. It is not a very large stretch of the imagination to consider this notion.
Think of El-Hazard, as the El-Hazard that is. Think of Cretaria as the El-Hazard that could have been. What if the war would have had a different outcome? Perhaps an even more cataclysmic one than what actually happened? The Eye of God explodes. The environment is ruined and it become perpetual winter. The Bugrom take a different evolutionary course.
Qawool might be the link between those two alternative dimensions. Though, what exact kind of link, will probably remain a mystery.
5. Cretaria is another planet somewhere in the far future.
This would seem to be the most satisfactory answer. It does allow for all of Cretaria's rather geological and spatial oddities to not conflict with what we know of El-Hazard's.
This theory is very easy to believe when one understands that crossing dimensions is not simply a matter of traveling great distances in space, but it also involves time as well. Therefore, it is very possible for our El-Hazardians to have traveled several thousand years into the future, but ended up on a different planet. The eye of God is capable of doing that very easily. (For example, Ifurita was transported to Earth, but some 10,000 years in our past.)
Cretaria may therefore shed some light on El-Hazard's own future. Perhaps the far off descendants of the Roshtarians once again activate the Eye of God and it goes horribly wrong, thus ripping a dimensional hole in time and space in which the Eye of God is sent through and crashes on this new world, shattering on impact and causing horrible environmental changes to this world. However, the technology was examined and thus converted to what is then named "The Spring of Life" by the natives of this planet.
Unfortunately, this still doesn't explain the link between certain people on El-Hazard and Cretaria. Nor, does it explain the events that led to the Eye of God supposedly ending up in this new dimension. In almost all cases, not enough information is give to give any one person's theory more credibility than another's and this subject may be a topic of great debate between El-Hazard fans for a long time to come.
Whatever the truth may be, it is sort of a moot point as the El-Hazardians who were sent there have returned to El-Hazard and I really see no future plans for them to return.