The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 111: Luca's Soulspace, Level 5

Note, I'm putting my commentary on this in spoiler blocks since italics are for Croix.
This dive is possibly one of the most fucked up things in the game. Naturally, peak is voice acted.

Loading Excerpt, Personal Log C. Bartel

This all actually happened while I was still on Gaea, but I was too busy to record it then. So I'll set it down now, while I can still believe it happened.

I wasn't sure how much deeper into Luca it was ok to go, but I hadn't been kicked out yet.

 Note you can see the words "Critical Down" in there, as we know from before that's VERY BAD. 

Around this point I realized waiting for it wasn't going to work.

...Huh? ...... ...I see...nothing? ...... ...... ...... What... should I do....? ...... Heeey! Luca! ...... Luuuuucaaa! ...What is going on...? I better get out of here for now... ...... And I don't know how... ...What am I supposed to do... Luca! Luca!

Luca! Is that you...?
Croix... listen to me. You're right outside Luca's spiritual world.
What does that mean?
Luca had her Paradigm Shift and invited you into the 5th level, but that was just a trick. The 5th level is not prepared to take you in yet, and it never will be. That's how it's built.
You have to break down the wall to go to the 5th level. The wall... it's that wall with the roses. The rose wall wasn't taken down before you passed the 4th level. So you got through the 4th level, but you haven't met the prerequisite to go into the 5th. Then an unexpected error occurred and you fell here.
How can that...
Those roses. Those roses are holding the wall up now. Those roses were the traps. She hacked into her own spiritual world.
Why did she do that?
I don't know much about hacking, just that it's usually a bad thing.
Because Luca doesn't want you to go any further.
Why not!? I...
I really should have said "Ok I'll leave and never come back."
Don't yell at me for it. I don't think that way at all. But my other personality wants this, and that's who grew those roses.
Fine... I get it now... So what should I do now?
If I use this "Harvest Cane", I could help you out.
Harvest Cane...!?
Yes. It's a cane that can disrupt the rules of my Cosmosphere and make new ones.
 One of the big problems with the way cosmospheres are handled is we never get to see props. I gotta wonder what the harvest cane would look like. 
Why do you have such a thing?
That doesn't matter right now. I will use this cane to break the shield into the 5th level to go in there.
But... the 5th level isn't ready for me right? It better not be like that cubic world again.
I know...but this is the only way to get back into my Cosmosphere.
...So... I have no choice.
That's right. This all depends on your willpower. Just pray that it succeeds, alright?
Yeah... Okay.
Okay, ready...! Hahhhh!

Croix... I'm so glad. You got to escape from the eternal trap.
Is this the 5th level?
Anyway, I got off to a bad start. I didn't know I was going to be trapped before entering the Cosmosphere.
I know, but...that was the best way to describe "myself". All of my personalities will be putting traps all over my Cosmosphere. We don't reject those who try to come in, but once they enter, we will attack them with smiles. That is who Luca is.
You don't need to describe yourself like that...
Do you think so? I think it's pretty close to the truth. In fact, you were dropped into an eternal trap. It was Mizune who grew all those roses. How did she do that? Weren't you suspicious of her? And if not, then why are you of me? That is how I...Luca wants it.
You're Diving into a very complicated person. If you want...I recommend you stop here.
No... I'm going to be with Luca. I want to understand her more. I'm here because I swore to myself so.
...I see, fine. I will soon understand how hard it is to force someone to do something they don't want to do.
...Don't want to do?
Well, just don't think about it too much. Nothing will change even if you did. Anyway, if you can't take this wall down, there will be nothing else we can do. Let's focus on this now.

The roses you helped to grow have grown so strong, and the world is filled with confusion now.
I... I helped out for the good...
That's how life goes... Plus, what is "for the good"? Did you do it to get something in return?
...But that's just how the world goes 'round.

...! It's been possessed! We're too late.
The will of those roses has become so strong that they've grown a mind of their own.
Thorn Princess: Defend... with life...
...Defend with life... ...Defend with life?
Thorn Princess: Yahhhh!

Do you think you're allowed to attack me!?
Of course I do. This is not your world. This is my world.
You are...!
...You! ...So.. this is how it is... This is your world huh? No wonder you can do this.
That's right. What do you think? Isn't it pretty? The flower field that spreads to the horizon.
How long are you going to keep doing this "fake world"? This is already the 5th level. This is not somewhere that some made up world can stand.
Hmm? I thought you already knew. I'm revealing myself by making up all of these fake worlds. I'm the personality that controls Dive Therapy. I wouldn't be myself if I wasn't fake.
Personality that controls Dive Therapy...!?
Tehehe, that's right. So Croix, come play with me. I'll give you the kind of real therapy that you can't get on the 1st level.
Don't listen to her! If you do, you'll never get back to reality!
Shut up! I don't know where you're from, but don't you try and tell my guest what to do!
I'm here from a deeper level, so if we have to fight each other, I will kill you.
... Well, you're right... That's if I fight alone!
Thorn Princess: Tangle Junk!
Oh no!

Ow... ouch... It hurts...
She wasn't kidding. Being wrapped tightly in thorny vines looked painful.
Luca...Stop it!
I will if you will come play with me!
That's probably in the top ten "what the..." moments I've ever experienced.
No! Don't!
Gosh, you're so annoying! I can't even talk to him because you're so loud.
Okay! I will. I'll play with you. Just let her go.
No. I will let her go when I'm done playing with you.
... Fine.
Okay, so let's go to the field! I'll let you lie on me again!
...Like that?
Hehe, do you care about my outfit, too? Alright, I'll wear anything you want!
Croix... be careful!

Tehehe! These are all my customers!
Croix... you came for me! I'm so happy.
You look normal...
Well you said you didn't like my other one...
Is it that easy to change?
Well, for me it is. I own this world. There is nothing that I can't control in this world...
Anyway, that's enough tension for today. Play around all you want!
What do you say in this situation? Because I don't know.
Oh yeah, so I invited some guests today! I thought it would be fun.
How do you do.
Hey, Cro is here!
Lady Cloche! ...Cocona...!
Tehehe, what do you think? I got all the people you like! Well, today... Oh yeah! Let's make some Kururuku balls together!
Oh, that sounds fun.
But we don't have any ingredients...
that's why we're going to go get some Kururuku seeds! And... we will play a game too!
A game...?
Whoever has the least seeds will have to do whatever the person with the most seeds says!
Whoa... I'm nervous!
Hehehe! ...I won't lose this!
Everyone seems so excited...
But no perverted or painful orders! Meet up at the cottage in the mountain once you're done, and we will make the balls!
Okaaay! I can't wait!
Everyone break!
Hehe, see ya!
No! That's not fair! Me too!
I'll have to get some too!
H, hey, Luca! ...I shouldn't be wasting my time like this... ...Oh I know...! I'll get the most, and if Luca has the least, I can ask her to let the other Luca go... I better go find some Kururuku seeds.

I'm not sure I did the right thing here.

...This place is so crowded too...

Oh, Luca... Yeah, I guess.
Cool! Look! I got this much! My bag is so full already! Tehehe.
...A chance...?

I was going to grab her bag and then throw it as far as I could, but then I hesitated. I guess deep down inside I'm too decent to cheat like that. Or too stupid.
...? What's wrong, Croix?
No, nothing. Looks like you got a whole lot of them.
Tehehe! I wanted us to eat a lot of them. I know a really good recipe, and I wanted you to have a taste of it.
Even when she's being terrible and mean, she also seems so nice as well. I have no idea which is the real her.
Oh, alright...
So I ran around and got a bunch of them!
...Luca? Your knees are all scraped!
What!? ...Heh, hehe. Don't worry! I just tripped and fell. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going...
I can't wait till we get to eat them! Croix, good luck too! I'm gonna go look some more!
Yeah, I probably should have tossed it. Or maybe not, Luca would probably play the scratches on her knees and make me feel like I'd kicked a puppy.

Well, sort of. Do you know where Luca and Lady Cloche are?
I think Luca headed East, and Lady Cloche headed West.
I see...
Oops, I'm not supposed to be doing this! I need to go find some more!
You're so excited about this.
Of course I am! I'm gonna be number one, so I can boss you around.
Me!? Well even if you do, just go easy on me, okay?
It's okay! It's not gonna be that hard! I just want you to be my husband, that's all.
Obviously I need to have a talk with Cocona about the different types of love, if Luca's cosmosphere impression is at all accurate.
...That sounds pretty hard...
What!? Don't say that, boo! I'm so bummed out. Fine! I'm gonna be the number one!
Oh man... I shouldn't be wasting any time either. I need to find more seeds... ...Where would I go to find them...?

Who are you!?
I'm Luca, but I'm not from this world.
...A different world... you mean from another level?
Yep! I came along this long tunnel to ask you a favor.
I gotta admit this was surprising. Cosmospheres continue to surprise me.
Yep! Well let's go to the secret place first. You want a lot of Kururuku seeds, right?
Oh, yeah...

Whoa! I bet I can win the game with this much.
Yep! You have to win! Promise? And... defeat Luca!
What...? Wy are you...?
...Will you do me a favor?
Oh, sure...
I want you to save me. I've been trapped for a long time. I want you to come save me, but you're being stopped here. So I snuck through the tunnel to tell you about this.
I see...
Croix! Please! Win this and order Luca to have a Paradigm Shift!
That's what I'm trying to do... but I can't do that by just having the most seeds. I'm sure she knows a lot about this world, so she won't come in last.
Ugh! You're such a wuss! You're supposed to do whatever it takes to make that happen!
Yeah but...
"I already missed my opportunity to toss her bag of seeds. Sorry! I need to work on my confidence speaking with women."
I showed you where to get Kururuku seeds, didn't I? Don't you know of a "Give and Take"?
You don't sound like a little kid... Alright, fine. I'll do whatever I can. I was thinking about the same thing anyway.
Tehehe! Yay! Well, I'm counting on you! I'll handle writing the contract!

 Nice to see a use of "mature" that doesn't mean "sex". 
About the tunnel... So this place is connected with a different level...?

Lady Cloche... What are you doing here?
I'm here to look for the Kururuku seeds. I guess there's nothing around here.
Well, I...I don't even see a single Kururuku tree anywhere around here.
Oh, is that right? I thought I could just find them anywhere like rocks.
So... how many have you found?
I haven't found any.
...This is bad...
Did you just say something to me? This is just the beginning!
Oh, no... *sigh* ...What should I do...?

...What's wrong? Are you getting sick?
Oh, n, no! I'm fine! Lady Cloche, I think you should head to the flower fields to find the seeds. This place doesn't even have any plants growing. I don't think you will find any seeds.
Oh, really... Well I'll go somewhere else then.
Yes, you should.
Alright, thank you. Good luck to you too. See you later.
*sigh* ...She might be the last one.


Everyone! Hey, Luca! Cocona! Lady Cloche! ...Damn, I don't hear them. They could be inside! I better go see!

I'm coming in!
Don't worry, no one's inside.
Huh!? fire...
Haha, Cro! I knew you had a tendency to daydream, but I didn't know it was this bad!
You must be really tired...
Oh well, it happens! Okay, so let me see how much you got. We'll just count.
 I love the way she says that last sentence there. 
Oh, alright...
...Okay, so we have the total! The person who had the most is... Me, with 482 seeds! And the person with the least amount is... Lady Cloche, with only 3 seeds!
That's not fair! You know so much more about this place than we do! Boo!
That's right! I was just wandering around aimlessly at first!
I knew this was going to happen.
I made the wrong choice both times it appears. If only I could be as quick-witted as I'm quick in battle.
Hey, hey, quiet down! A promise is a promise! Lady Cloche, you will ahve to do whatever I tell you to!
I made a promise. So, what is it?
Hehehe! Alright then...

No! What are you doing!? Stop it! ...Stop it!
What are you-
Huh? I'm just playing around. I've always wanted to play master and slave.
Do you think you'll get away with this?
Hehehe, of course I do. This is my world. Besides...I know that you actually like doing this kind of stuff, Lady Cloche.
...Hm? Aren't you getting excited that Croix is watching?
I don't know about her, but I was not getting excited! Definitely not!
No...I'm just nervous because I'm embarrassed!
My trainer therapist told me that people who normally give out orders like to be put down like this. I heard it just brings out their submissive qualities that they can't show off in the real world... So it doesn't mean that you're weird or anything, see? degrading.
A person like me uses up those qualities because I'm always holding back in real life... So more of my domineering qualities tend to show up here. Don't you think we're like the perfect match!?
...Gh! My ruined. *sob*
Luca, that's enough! I can't watch this anymore...
Don't worry, Lady Cloche. The people here are all imaginary. I'll forget this when I wake up, too.'re allowed to explore your heart. Your title of Holy Maiden won't be marred, and no one will be hurt. You can do anything here. That's the kind of place this is...
Really? Is that true?
Yep! This is the place to break out of your shell. That's the whole point of coming here.
You better not be lying...
I would never lie to you! It's just that...I'm so scared.
I'm scared that you'd hate me if I lied. I don't want that to happen.
I want to be with you, Lady Cloche. I want to be the therapist who understands you. I would never do anything to you that you didn't really like... I promise.
See? Isn't it getting better?
...You're right.
Lady Cloche! Dammit...
This was, well, beyond awkward. I was actually grateful for the sudden cataclysmic interruption

How long are you going to be doing this! You're never gonna be able to get out of here!
What!? No... How...can this...?
This... this is! Cocona! Lady Cloche!
THey're already gone! They're just figments of Luca's imagination. Anyway, go find a way to Paradigm Shift while I stop this eternal loop!
Oh, alright! Got it!
No! Wait...!
Luca... let's stop this already. You can't change anything by doing this.
...Shut up.
I can't be satisfied by creating shallow relationships with people using Dive Therapy.
...I said shut up! What are you doing here anyway?
I... I'm going to be freed... by Croix...

Naturally I immediately rushed to try to help the Witch-Costume Luca. I hate to say it but I'm much better at taking orders than acting on my own initiative.

Luca! It's okay... I'm sorry for taking so long...
...I realized one thing.
This world is a complete imaginary world. Nothing will happen if it's not the owner's will. But, I found one loophole...
A loophole...!?
Yes... the umbilical cord that connects the imaginary world and my spiritual world... The imaginary world is made up from my knowledge and past experiences... The memory hole... A place I can't even control because it's so vivid in my mind... and that's the security hole...
The memory... hole...
You can't regulate a memory with so much impact. You can't arrange that memory to make an imaginary world. But...there is one place in this world...where that security hole exists...


How can you do this...? You're letting someone else know about your own security hole...!
I'm counting on him... I know... Croix will solve that problem for me... I believe in him... Ahh!
Don't you dare talk about it! I can't let this girl live... She will reveal all my top secrets. No... I'll have to kill her for self-preservation...
Stop! You can't kill yourself!
Why not? I'm just trying to defend myself. Is it that wrong?
You can't protect yourself by killing yourself!
She ignored her task of keeping our secrets. She just revealed a lot of facts about my secrets of this world. I wasn't going to let anyone into this level. That's why I made prerequisites that didn't make any sense. This world is filled with recipes for Dive Therapy. Recipes to enslave people. How could I share that with anyone else? These are my secrets for keeping my reputation. This girl forcefully let you into this world. I'm sure you already know what that means.
Luca was acting nice and friendly just a while ago then she was threatening enslavement and death. Does she always keep such dark feelings hidden behind her smile? I really should have just straight-up asked that.
Croix...! Take this "Harvest Cane" to the security hole!
Shut up!
This world will collapse...! The wall will too! Hurry! Take it!
Thorn Princess: Shut up!


...Thorn Princess..!
*huff* *huff*
I cut it off... Why didn't it work before...?
 You can try to cut the vines off before this, but it won't work. That's what the star at this location earlier is. 
I's because... *huff* *huff* The quality of this world is declining. The hole is getting bigger!
Did that Luca do this...

Hurry Take that cane and get tot he hole! I'll stop her here!
Oh, alright! I got it!
I won't let you!
Sorry, I'm assigned to be here... I will not let you go...!
I didn't even ask where the hole is... I need to find some clues about where to go.
Actually I didn't because I decided to try the weirdest place first.
Magic [Hidden Enchant: Lv 3A] "Thorn Princess" acquired!

I wonder if I used the cane here... ... I guess I just have to do it to know! Yahhhh!

: Won't let you...
Goro...! What is this...!?
: Important... key... Stay away...

Goro! What is this supposed to mean...!?
: Goro...? Who...? I'm the key keeper... Oh no! The world is...!
The world is...!?

Gh...! The chance is now..! Yahhhh!


The world... is splitting...!? Whoa!
: Ahhhhh!
Ugh... owww...
: Ow, owwww... ouch... ugh, what is this...
Goro...? Are you Goro!?
: What? yes? What are you saying?
Well...your personality was completely different...
: What the hell are you talking about!? The world is about to collapse! Go save Luca already!
Oh, alright! Let's hurry!
Magic [Super Potential: Lv 1A] "Reception Rumble" acquired!

Corix! Give me a hand! She won't stop moving around...!
No! I... I just want to stay pretty! I want to be someone that Croix expects me to be! I don't want to show him anything else!
Sure I don't want to show it to just anyone, but I'm betting on Croix.
That's your selfish mind! Plus, you seem to be forgetting something in all your excitement.
Croix's feelings. You don't know that he really wants to keep going. Plus, it's normal for anyone to back off after seeing this insane world.
Croix... Croix... are you going to be with me even after seeing this?
The world ahead of us will be nothing like what this is. It will be very cruel. You know, you can't just walk into that kind of world? Do you care enough about me to go through that?
Wait! You don't need to answer that now.
I don't want to show you anything, but I felt like I might want to just a little more. But I still don't want to if Croix isn't serious about this.
I don't want you to keep stepping into my world, if you're not fully committed.
If you still decide to keep doing this, then I'll let you, but that doesn't mean that I fully trust you. I will keep interfering with you in the next levels... I won't stop you here, if you still want to keep going.
Consider all of this and come to the Stonehenge once you've made your decision. I... will be waiting for you.
I really want you to be stop. That's my opinion.
But it's up to you to decide.
And I will go along with it.
Well, we will see you there.

This wasn't a hard decision.
Sorry this video is a bit low quality, after my computer died I had to re-setup my recording, and this is from before I had it just right.

Which one did you choose?
I... ...I'm sorry, Luca. I don't think I can handle that kind of responsibility.
Oh, good...
I see... Okay, Thank you for your honesty. I won't ask why, so don't worry. Anyway, if that is so... let's end it here.
I tensed up, ready for her to come at me with a knife. It was just scary word choice though.
This isn't going to ruin what we already have... This will only help us keep the relationship that we have.
Thanks for everything. I've never let anyone this far into my Cosmosphere. I feel like we've gotten so close. That's enough to make me happy.
Hopefully, we can keep being friends like we always have.
Yeah, me too.
: You're pretty understanding. Kind of surprising.
I can't just force her to. Plus... I can't keep protecting Luca because...
: No need to say the rest. This is because I will get jealous!
: I'm a part of Luca, of course I'll be jealous.
Oh I guess.
: Well I'm glad. I'm sure your decision will affect Luca in a good way, so just don't worry.
Alright, thanks.
: Croix, you should do your thing and protect the one you want to. A person can only protect one other person. So... If you have time to be here, go to that person's Cosmosphere.

I don't like the fact that she automatically assumed I had another girlfriend who has a cosmosphere. I mean, what if I was in love with Cynthia? Anyway, I didn't go with Luca when she joined the Sacred Army. If I really loved her, I would have gone to protect her. But does the opposite mean I really love Lady Cloche? I need some time to gather my thoughts. Judging by the way Luca was analyzing Lady Cloche in the cosmosphere, she's pretty interested in her. I hope they become good friends. I do feel bad about whatever was up with the kid Luca, but I can't do anything about it now so I guess I'd better hope that can get resolved without me. On the other hand, a lot of the problems seemed to be caused by Luca not wanting to let me in so maybe not having to worry about that will allow it to return to normal.