The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 3: Chapter 3: Inner World

Chapter 3: Inner World

Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel.
We hoped to take the Souffle Axis train to Mint Block, but nothing ever seem to go smoothly. The Axis Courtyard was practically swarming with the Sacred Army.


Part of the Sacred Army. I'm getting some bad vibes from them...
Yeah... The air feels kinda tense.
I wonder what they're up to. I shall go confront them about it.
W-wait, Lady Cloche!
*sigh * What is it now!?
If you go out there now, you'll just get captured.
Isn't that why you're here? To save me from getting caught?
That's what I'm trying to do right now...

Just then something unexpected occurred.

It really is you! ...Oh! ...Oh my!
...What's wrong?
Huh? ...Oh, nothing! It's just... you know...
...I do?
You know...
It's just been so long, plus I didn't expect to see you here...
M-my mind wasn't ready... And so...
My heart's racing...
Yeah, well, since I knew you weren't supposed to come until tomorrow...
And I received an emergency mission and was close to Rakshek.
I-I see...
Yeah... pretty much.

N-no I'm not. But, I really am happy, though.
I just can't... look you straight in the eye yet.
What's wrong?
We're kinda lost here.
Oh, sorry.
Luca, let me introduce you. This is Cocona, the one I told you about.
Nice to meet you!
Oh, nice to meet you, too! So, you're Cocona? You're so cute!
If I remember correctly, you help Croix on his knight missions, right?
Uh, yeah, I guess...
Thanks for taking care of him all the time!
Oh, no problem...
...And, um...
That lady... there... Um, I may be mistaken, but...
I can't say this out loud, but she's...

Luca got a bit excited when she realized who Lady Cloche was.

Hey! Quiet down!
S-sorry... I'm always kinda like this...
It's alright, nothing happened.
Good day to you.
Oh... H-hi, hello!
So, you're Luca, Croix's childhood friend, and... girlfriend?
Wha-huh!? Girlfriend? I'm not even in his league...
Wh- what is it?
I-it's nice to meet you! I'm Luca Trulyworth!

Lady Cloche and Luca had some problems right from the start. I really should have seen this coming.

Oh, well... good for you.
So, what do you do? I assume you're employed.
Oh, yes! I work as a Dive Therapist!
...Dive... Therapist? Are you serious!?
Yes, ma'am! I tend to my customers' mental health and...
How filthy! What a shameless woman!
Dive Therapy is such an unscrupulous job, it's prohibited in Pastalia!
To let strangers come right into your mind? Aren't you ashamed!?
...Uh, um...
And how you say it without embarrassment...
A woman like you, and a Grand Bell Knight as lovers is such...!
It's a disgrace to the very name of the knights!
Be ashamed of yourself!
U-um... It's not... Unscrupulous...
I mean, some Therapists allow perverted things to go on, but... I...

...Oh... okay... I'm so sad...
Hey Luca, sorry to interrupt your depression, but...
That blue knight... The Sacred Army seems to be acting a little strange.
Did something happen?
Huh? Oh, yeah. Since yesterday, there's been a lot more knights around.
Something about the Sacred Army planning to govern this city or not...
Hey, isn't the Sacred Army like, your enemy?
Yeah, that's right.
So, isn't this maybe... Dangerous?
Our situation's not good, that's for sure. Luca, I need to ask you a favor...
Can you keep Lady Cloche hidden at your house for a while?
Of course, I'd be happy to! I mean... I'd love to say with you too, Croix.

Lady Cloche did not approve of this plan. I really didn't expect her alternative idea.

I would never be taken into the care of a shameless woman like her!
But at this rate, the Sacred Army will...
...I understand.
As a Holy Maiden, even I have pride to uphold.
I must learn strong enough Song Magic to obliterate the Sacred Army Knights...
I'm too weak right now is what you're saying, correct?
No, that's not what I meant...
Y-yes, ma'am!

What she said next was a very awkward thing to say in public in retrospect.

...Uh, excuse me?
...Wha... Whaaaaa!!!!?
Uh-um... Wasn't that quite a bold request...?
I, uh, kinda felt a little embarrassed listening...
What is embarrassing about it? I want to craft Song Magic for self-defense.
I understand that, but...
It's just, saying, "Dive into me!" in the middle of town is kinda... Haha...
Diving is merely the process of crafting Song Magic!
Your thoughts on it are only filthy because of the kind of job you have!
I-I guess... I'm sorry...
I'd rather Dive than live under your care any day.
But the true fault of this lies with Croix being too weak to begin with.
I expected you to be able to scatter the Sacred Army and protect me!
Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry...

There was really no use arguing about it.

Now, let's head to the Dive Shop immediately!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:

Now we're joined by a second Reyvateil, meaning both our front liners have a partner. Our magic powers up at double speed, and now we have to defend against attacks to either of them. So, different front line characters match up better or worse with Reyvateils. We either have a Bad, Normal, or Good match. Let's take a look:

As you can see here, Croix's got a Normal matchup with Cloche and Good with Luca, while Cocona has a Bad match with Luca and a Good match with Cloche. So, the way we need to go right now is Croix with Luca and Cocona with Cloche. When we've got all our options this will really inform our party choices. Also, this can shift during gameplay as plot events happen.

Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth.
She's going to get mad at me when she reads this, but I've really got to say it: I've never seen a train wreck quite like the first time Croix and Cloche dived. Things were getting bad before they even started.

I would like to start a Dive. Won't you help me?
Gen: Ah, a new face... No... I've seen you somewhere.
M-mister Gen!
Gen: Oh, hello there, Luca.
These're my friends. Won't you treat them extra nice for me?
I am not your...
We have to go along with Luca right now! Otherwise he'll find out!
Hi, I'm Croix, an old friend of Luca's. It's a pleasure to meet you.
Gen: It's nice to meet you, too... Wait, Croix...?

You know I'd really hoped to meet Croix again in Pastalia, not Rakshek, because I might have said something I didn't want to get back to him.

Wa-wait, Gen! I never said anything like that!
Gen: Oh? You didn't?
But you know, Croix, I'm quite envious of you!
Why is that?
Gen: For showing off your cute girlfriend and pretty partner like this!
It's not like that...
You there! How dare you rant about such foolish things! To begin with...
P-please, calm down!
Gen: You know, I swear I've seen you somewhere...
I-I'm so sorry, Gen! She just gets a little cranky sometimes!
Won't you explain to them about Diving now?
Gen: Huh? Oh, yeah, right.
I'm gonna give you a simple explanation, so listen closely, alright?
To Dive means entering a Reyvateil's mind in order to craft Song Magic.
Venturing into the mind can trigger events or stir emotions to create Songs.
But it is an adventure, and it can get dangerous. There may even be tests.
Overcoming these trials strengthens ties, which allows for stronger Song Magic.
Put simply, it's where a guy gets to show his good faith.
The more you think about her, the stronger the Song Magic she'll create.

Wha-hey, Gen! That's going too far...
Gen: Hahaha! I'm just kidding. You're so cute, I just want to make fun of you.
Err... Stop it!
Gen: Well, that's the gist of it.
So, just tell me when you're ready.

None of us had ever seen anything quite like what was about to happen.


This is the world inside Lady Cloche's mind...? It looks... rather normal.

Lady Cloche, why do you look like...!?
Who are you...? Illegal intruder...

I think that was an all-time record for the shortest rejection.

Gen: Hey, yo! Are you alright!?
H-huh...? Where am...?
Gen: A critical down occurred, so I had to conduct an emergency stop.
Critical... down?
It usually happens when the Reyvateil refuses to accept the Diver.
The Diver will die if you leave it alone, so there's an emergency stop.
Gen: Whoa! You set the record for shortest Dive ever! Rejected in 7 seconds!
This usually happens when the Reyvateil hates the Diver, but not this fast!
*sigh * Croix! Can't you take this a little more seriously!?
Um, I think it's because you don't trust Croix with your mind...
Are you trying to say... This is my fault?

Fortunately I had an idea.

Gen, can you get me ready for a Proxy Dive?
I'm setting up two Dive machines at default area, 0x015f3e.
Initial Grathnode wave packet at... let's see. 3800Hmag/s, from 21000Hz.
At C-range scale, raise wave packet by 30Hmag/s every x1 Rank down.
If a critical down occurs, then... I trust you with the follow-up!
I trust your skills, Gen!
What is she talking about?
Don't look at me.
So, you two are going to Dive into me. And once in there, you'll Dive again.
...What do you mean?
You can ask my guardian the details when you get inside.
Guardian!? What's that?
Gen: Just do it and you'll find out! Here we go!

Inside her mind, I guess?

Who are you!?
Oh! You're first timers, I see! I'm Goro, the guardian of Luca's mind.
Guardian? What the hell is a guardian!?
Uh... you don't know?
You can think of us as a sort of security system for a Reyvateil's mind.
There's at least one in every Reyvateil's mind, and they're all unique.
Some idiots Dive into Reyvateils just to make a list of guardians.
Oh, and I've heard that I.P.D. infections cause guardians to disappear.
I see...
Well, let's begin. Umm, today, we're gonna do a Proxy Dive.
A Proxy Dive is kinda like watching a dream within a dream... I guess.
When you got killed in Lady Cloche earlier, you almost died for real, too.
But what if even that was a dream...? Get it?
Proxy Dives are usually expensive, but Luca says it's free today, so yeah.
You better be thankful for Luca later.
Alright, now off to the Proxy Dive section!

Yup! You're gonna Dive in a dream. And off into the dream within. Like that.
Okay, get ready for the Dive. This'll be quick.
Won't you hurry up and do this already, please?
Fine fine! Then let's begin. Proxy Diiiive!

To be continued...