The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 9: Chapter 9: Slums

Chapter 9: Slums

Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel
You know I really thought things were going to settle down now that we were back in Pastalia. I was wrong as always.

If you say so.
...There's so much of Cocona's stuff!
Oh, I'm sorry...
Don't be.
But Croix... I'm sure it'll be fine. It'll all work out...
Cocona is still alive.
A long time ago, I heard that...
I.P.D.s that are taken away aren't killed. They're held somewhere.
Mom told me.
So I'm sure Cocona is still alive. It's okay...

I know Luca probably thought she was being helpful but it's not like I can do anything even if I do know she's alive somewhere.

Um, hey Croix, can I take a walk around town a bit?
Sure. I'll go with you.
Huh? Oh no, I'll be fine! I won't get lost, even if I am alone.
Uh, is this like...
Is it 'cause of me? Don't worry! Go out on a date for as long as you want.
Oh, um, no, it's not that I want to go out on a date either, so... Um...
Oh? Really?
I mean, I really do like... Croix. But today, it's just...
Amarie, drop it. I'm sure she has her reasons. It's alright, go ahead.
Hehe, thank you!

Amarie was still suspicious.

What's wrong?
A well deserved day off, and a final reunion... I thought she'd want to spend it with you.
But there's something she'd rather do before that.
Croix! Your love life is in danger! You've become stale and boring!
Well, Luca's always liked me like that.
...Oh? Really?
She's pretty indifferent.
Err... But still...
I know! Why don't we stalk her!? Maybe we'll uncover a tremendous secret!
I'll pass.
Aww, how boring! Boring boring boring boring boring!
Fine then! I'll go after her myself!
H-hey! Wait a minute!

Luca had gone into the main city square.

Shh! We're gonna lose her.
A Dive Shop! After she leaves, we're gonna ask the shopkeeper a buncha questions!

We asked the Dive Shop owner what Luca had wanted. She was very evasive.

Hey, you know that girl in red that was here just now? Did she say anything?
Lelen: What? I can't tell you that!
It's okay, we're her friends. He's even her boyfriend, you know!?
You didn't have to say that...
We're concerned. So like, did she say anything that would make us worry?
Lelen: Worry...? Yes, but...
I knew it! So she was asking you something about that we'd be worried about!
Lelen: What!? W-wait a minute! That was a trick question!
(She was leading her... Heh, pretty good.)
Lelen: Anyway, I can't tell you!
I mean, first of all, you're a knight! If I told you, you'd kill me!
What do you mean? Now I'm really worried.

It was sort of a dead end.

Give it a rest.
Aren't you worried? You're her boyfriend! Even the Dive Shop girl was nervous!
She asked about something that the knights would kill her for!
So... you ready!?

We saw a familiar face at the Park.

Owner: I'm sorry. I understand what you're saying, but it's store policy...
Including the tax, this should be enough to earn the Gergo Grade A bonus item!
But now that you're telling me it excludes tax, I only get the Grade B...
With just 3 more Leaf I can upgrade to Grade A, see?
I'll give you 3 Leaf right now, so please change it to a Grade A.
Owner: Um, no, I'm sorry, I can't do that...
Huh? That's Lady Cloche... Isn't it?
Yup. There's no mistaking her.
I wonder what she's doing...
I'm busy right now...
What are you doing?
Anyway! Make sure you watch out for this next time!

Lady Cloche was not happy, she seemed to think she was undercover.

I'm trying to work undercover, so don't talk to me right now!
I'm sorry...
Well, it's pretty obvious who you are...
That's because you're talking to me!
If you left me alone, no one would have known!
Well anyway, Lady Cloche, have you seen Luca?
Luca? No.
This place was a bust, too.
What happened with Luca? Did she go off on her own again?
No, actually...

We explained the situation to Lady Cloche.

...What? No, that's not what I meant...
Let's go towards the main section of the city! Hurry!
Uh, but...
Croix, get a clue.
She wants to have fun... Can't you see that?

I will admit Amarie's good at gathering information.

So like, she's been asking around, looking for some Lift I or something.
No way...
Lift I is a Pastalia Verticave elevator...
Pastalia is vertically long, so there's a series of long-distance elevators ranging from Lift I to IX.
Lift I is the oldest, and it connects the Citizens District and Old Town...
But Old Town is now known as the Slums...
So what business does she have with the Slums?
And more importantly, the way to Lift I is full of monsters.
Come on, let's go!

We ran into Luca at Lift I. She was in trouble!


Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
Jamming is a special kind of enemy attack that impacts our Song Magic. It can increase costs, prevent us activating Red Magic, prevent songs from evolving, or do even more unpleasant things. The Harmonic waves will be noisy if you're being jammed, and when it clears they'll go back to normal. The best way to deal with jamming is to kill the most recent enemy that used a jamming attack, as only one can be in effect at a time.

Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth
I'd hoped to investigate on my own for a while, but Croix just had to get involved. Not that I was really unhappy about it, of course.

What!? You followed me!?
Not exactly. But if anything happened to you, I'd...
...D-don't worry. I was just gonna go out there and come right back...
If you're still going, then go already! This place is dangerous!
Lady Cloche!? Why are you here?
I'll explain later. Let's get on the elevator.

Croix wanted to know what was going on.

...I thought I might find some clues about where my little sister, Leyka is...
I'm going to a place called Jatra 1A.
I heard that a lot of I.P.D.s live there.
But... thanks. You came out here 'cause you're worried about me, right?
Of course.
...You're the best, Croix.
Wha- You know you're in public!
I mean... you can show your affection to each other however you please, but...
I hardly think now is the time or place for it!
...Hehehe, sorry.
...No way. It can't be...

We reached the Slums, and as I'd heard large numbers of I.P.D.s were hiding out there. The thing to keep in mind is that when they're not having an outbreak I.P.D.s seem perfectly normal.


So many I.P.D.s have been hiding here...
Lady Cloche, I beg you. Please pretend like you never saw any of this.
Reyvateil: Um... Who are you people and why are you here?
Oh, um, we aren't bad people! I just have a few questions to ask!

I asked around about Leyka, but had no luck. I shouldn't have expected it to be easy, given how much time had passed.

Reyvateil: I'm really sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Oh no, it's alright! I'm the one who should be sorry for disturbing you!
Girl: Ahhh!! Watch out!
Run away! Get clear! Reine's having a relapse!
What's going on?
Reyvateil: A breakout!? How many times have I told you not to get into fights?
Luca, wait!
We better go, too!

Sure enough one of the I.P.D.s was having an outbreak of symptoms.

That's an I.P.D. symptom alright!

We were forced to fight Reine, once an I.P.D. is having an outbreak there's few options.

I wanna try to see if I can help these girls!
What do you mean!?
It's only a mild symptom, so Dive Therapy...
Dive Therapy!? No, I can't allow that!
Why not!?
It is strictly prohibited by Pastalian Law!
But... this child's life is at stake here!
Luca... in Pastalia, Dive Therapy is unregulated. We should just contain her.
I just... I don't want her to end up like Leyka...
...Luca? This isn't like you...

I can't allow that!
Get out of my way!
I'm in charge here, and I'm the leading activist for the prohibition of Dive Therapy...
I can't let this slide.

Still, Cloche didn't stop me taking Reine.

I shouldn't have come along... *sigh *
Reine, it'll be alright. I'll help you...
(Luca's acting completely different...)
...If you were only looking for your sister, I would have helped you.
I needed to see this with my own eyes... I've been waiting for this day.
Let's hurry to the Dive Shop!

The hard part was convincing the Dive Shop to let me help her, really. I can't say I blamed her for being worried, given what could have happened to her.


Please let me administer Dive Therapy here!
Lelen: What!? B-but, that's illegal...
Please! I have to help her!
Lelen: But...
Don't worry! I can make it so that no one finds out!
Just pretend like I did it on my own without you knowing about it!
Lelen: Ehh...
Lelen: Uh... okay. But I won't be held responsible.
Thank you, thank you! Alright, follow me!
I'm creating a blocking range at default area, 0x07233d.
Starting the initial Grathnode wave packet at 5900Hmag/s, from 9000Hz.
Lelen: No way! Are you serious? That girl's gonna break!
At C-range scale, raise the wave packet by 150Hmag/s every time she ranks down.
If a critical down occurs, correspond with a D-Wave shock.
Lelen: Okay...
Oh, I almost forgot!

I had tasks for everyone though.

A doll!? ...Why?
Cuz I need it! I don't care what it is, just hurry!
But why a doll?
Either way, we have to trust Luca for now. Let's go to the Fancy Shop.

No, not that one!
Why not? It's cheap and it's pretty good quality.
That character is so two years ago! If you buy it, the shopkeeper will laugh.
Well, it's not like this is for you...
But we're the ones buying it!
Excuse me. Can we get one of those new items you received the other day?
Owner: As you wish. That'll be a total of 19200 Leaf.
This does come with the Pippen Strap campaign bonus item, correct?
Owner: Oh, yes... Of course.

...Lady Cloche?
What now?
You're enjoying this, aren't you?
Of course not! I'm helping to commit a crime!
This may not be a big deal for you, but it's a major risk for me.
I'm... A political leader...
Then why are you doing so much to help Luca?
When I look at her... I feel an overwhelming urge to help her...
Even when she's smiling, most of the time she's crying on the inside...
I mean, I don't know that for sure... but still.

I thought so, too. I've never seen her like that.
Anyway, let's hurry back.

They got back pretty quickly with the doll.

Pupu! Lu pupu!
So, what happens now?
I'm going to use Dive Therapy to suppress her I.P.D. symptoms.
...! You can do that?
I think so. A colleague told me she did it once, a long time ago.
The Grand Bell knows about this technique too, but they're keeping it a secret for some reason...
You need to hurry, right? So do it!
Oh, yes!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
So now we can cure the I.P.D.s we've contained in the world with Dive Therapy. This is a very simple process. We talk to the I.P.D., and respond to what she says in one of two ways. This will either increase or decrease the Tension level of the Reyvateil. We need to be within a certain Tension range after the fifth time we speak with them, or we'll need to start over. You can watch the Reyvateil, which sometimes gives you some idea what the right answers are. You can also, before any talk, either inject liquid grathnode or decrease the wave packet flow, which will either increase or decrease the change in the Tension meter. The basic idea is to get into the win range and then decrease the packet flow to ensure you don't leave it again nor pass it. That's really all there is to it, watch the video for an example. It always takes Leaf equal to 100x the I.P.D.'s level to attempt to cure them, and sometimes takes an item too.

I managed to cure Reine's outbreak.

I'm glad... Hehehe.
Whew... That's one less thing to worry about.
Lady Cloche, thank you very much!
Now that everything's in order, please excuse me. I must return before things get even more complicated.
But seriously, thank you for your help.
W-well, you know... I just...
I got dragged into your situation... I didn't have much choice.
...It did get my heart racing, and it was fun. Please keep this a secret.
Of course!
Well then...
Reine: Um, Lady Cloche!

But, I didn't do anything worthy of your gratitude.
Reine: You held my life above the laws you laid down yourself.
I'm so happy! So, um... well...
...What's wrong?
Reine: Well, I...
I'm a big fan of yours now!
Reine: Um, is it okay if I start a Lady Cloche Fan Club!?
Um... I'm sorry if you don't want one, but I really wanna make it!
I want everyone to know about your greatness!
Reine: ...Is there a problem with that?
N-no, I don't mind. Do as you like.
Well then, good day.

Reine... what are you gonna do with a Fan Club?
Reine: Well, we're going to help Lady Cloche whenever she's in trouble, of course!
I want to be of use to Lady Cloche, even if it's just a little help!
Alright! I'm gonna go back and tell everyone!
Again, thank you so much for today! Buh-bye!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
So now we've got two new systems connected to the cured I.P.D.s. The first is Cloche's Fan Club. This is simple as can be. Every Cured I.P.D. has some condition that, if we meet, will cause them to join the Fan Club. Once we've met the condition we go to the place it specifies in their data with Cloche in the party and they'll join. The function of the Fan Club won't be clear until later in the Phase. More obvious right now is Girl Power. Each of our Vanguard characters can be supported by one of our cured I.P.D.s in combat. This provides us a variety of benefits, like added elemental damage, extra action time, and more latitude in guarding. Higher level I.P.D.s tend to have better benefits. That's all there is to it.

Before Reine could leave, though, I asked her about Leyka.

Do you know anyone by the name of Leyka? She had an I.P.D. outbreak a long time ago... and got caught.
Reine: ...Leyka? Hmm... oh!
Reine: I've seen her name before! In the medical room at the I.P.D. Labs...
Leyka Trusomething... It was a rare name so I kinda remembered it.
That's right! Leyka Trulyworth.
Oh, Leyka...
Good detective work, Luca. I'll ask them subtly about it later.
How do you get to this I.P.D. Labs place?
Are you serious!?
Reine: Umm, well... I was too busy trying to escape to pay attention to the route...

I see... Well that's too bad.
But thank you! I'm happy to find even the slightest clue about Leyka...
I might have an idea.
What!? Really!?
Well, it's not like I know the place, but...
I know a guy who knows about everything that goes on around here. Can I ask him?
Yes, of course! Thank you!
Okay, I'll go ask him real quick.

Of course, in the meantime there were other things to deal with. We were invited to Lady Cloche's birth ceremony.

What's wrong?
Croix... What should I do?
It's almost... That day...
What are you talking about?
Hello, this is Croix.
We've received orders from Chancellor Alfman.
We are to return to the Grand Bell and begin preparations for the festival.
Croix, Luca, and... bring Amarie with you for now.
Report to me when you arrive.
...We didn't really get to spend any time alone.

...Let's just leave a message for her here.

Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: Celebration