The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 16: Chapter 15: Infelsphere

Chapter 15: Infelsphere

Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel
Things have just gotten stranger and stranger since we got to Gaea. Luca said she had a way to talk to Lady Cloche, which seemed like our only option.


It's me. Can I talk to you for a minute?
I'm sorry it's so late at night.
What's going on?
Actually, it's about Gaea... I might have an idea.
An idea?
Yeah. A way to find the clue to solve the mystery of Gaea...
So what's this idea?
Sleep with Soope as your pillow. You might be able to meet Lady Cloche.
What!? Soope... as my pillow?
Yup. That's how I met Lady Cloche back on Promise Hill. That's how I knew she was still alive.
Now that you mention it...

I thought it was just a dream at first, but it was so realistic...
And I clearly remember everything she said.
So what did she say?
"My mind values Law and Order" and "I'll fix the government."
Use Soope as a pillow and you can enter the virtual world. It also worked for Lady Cloche.
So, if you sleep on Soope, you might be able to meet Lady Cloche again, right?
Yeah, so please. I want you to sleep on Soope for me.
Well... Lady Cloche hates me. I don't think it'll work.
Whether that's true or not, I understand. Sure, I'll try.

I wasn't sure about it, but I decided to give it a shot.

...It's kinda embarrassing having you watch me sleep.
I'd feel the same way! Now come on, just hurry up and go to sleep.

And sure enough, as I fell asleep I drifted into another world.

After close investigation, you have been judged as not in accordance with the goals of the Infelsphere.
Therefore, sadly, you do not qualify to enter this world. Please go away.
Qualify!? What do you mean by that?
Wait a minute! Soope!

How was it!?
I'm sorry. It seems I don't qualify to be there.
I see. Soope said...
I guess you'll just have to go in.
I can't!
...Um, yeah, but...
But, I'm really scared...
Because I made Lady Cloche sacrifice her life. I'm sure she hates me.
I don't think she hates you. But I do understand how you feel.

Luca was afraid of what might happen if she went in alone again.

You would protect me, right?
Yeah... of course.
Then protect me from Lady Cloche!
Uh... um, how? Don't tell me...

You know there's little that's so awkward as sleeping next to an old girlfriend who was actually using you to infiltrate a creepy science lab.

This is serious stuff! No more heart racing!
But if Lady Cloche sees us like this, she might get even madder...
Then hurry up and fall asleep before she finds us!
But that's so hard...
You're going to protect me, right!?
Alright! Calm down so we can sleep...

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
Okay, so we're about to enter the Infelsphere. This is a soulspace shared between Luca and Cloche. To view scenes in the Infelsphere we need two things: Sphere Points and a Key. We get Sphere points along with Dive Points when we have both Luca and Cloche in the party, and we'll never be short of them realistically. We'll see how we get Keys later on in the update.

You've been judged as one who meets the purpose of the Infelsphere's existence.
Therefore, you are granted permission to take actions within the Infelsphere.
We got in! Looks like you had to be the one to go in.
The man there is not approved. Please leave immediately.
Wait a minute! Let Croix stay...
Soope, it's fine. Let Croix in too.
Lady Cloche!
Welcome, to my world.
Lady Cloche... I'm so glad... I'm happy to see you're safe...
Lady Cloche... You've alive! And you're somewhere in this land, right?

I'm glad I was able to confirm that you're alive for now. And that I can talk to you like this.
I'm happy too. That I can talk to you again. But from now on, Croix, you are with me forever.
Lady Cloche! Listen, there's something terrible going on in the world down there! Why is Gaea attacking our world?
That is to purify this world.
Huh...? Wait... Lady Cloche, are you...
From now on, this world will move towards a new order.
People will all be given an ID, and every action will be monitored by Gaea.
Depending on each person's acts, they will receive a citizen rank, which will then be publicly announced.
Crimes and illegal acts will also be monitored, and will result in immediate capture.
By doing this, the people's peace will forever be protected.
This system is the beginning to the rise of a new paradise.
Wha-whaaaaat!? What are you... Lady Cloche, what's wrong with you!?
This is bad...

Clearly being separated from her body was causing a serious loss of perspective on her part. We really need to deal with this fast, before she does something really bad.

By doing so, there will be no evil or conspiracy, forming a beautiful world.
But... There wouldn't be privacy or anything under conditions like that!
Oh, are you scared? Well, of course you must be.
It must be a hellish existence for people like you, who slipped through the law performing Dive Therapy.
But, I...
At the least, if I had one of my police angels judge you... No mistake, you'd be restrained and taken away.
And then, you'll end up at Gaea's correctional facility, doing labor.
Wh-why!? I didn't do anything wrong!
Your entire life itself is an infringement on the law!
My rule of this world by Gaea will certainly create a utopian society.
Yes, it will finally begin. The millennia of Metafalica!
Lady Cloche...
Luca... Let's go back. I don't think Lady Cloche will listen to anything we say right now.
...Y-yeah, okay... I'm sorry I made you come out here with me.

We couldn't even call that a chat...
...Oh. Well okay. Either way, the world seems to have expanded a little.

It turns out that the Infelsphere is the key to advancing in Gaea.

The world... expanded!?
She may have said all that, but she connected with you somewhere.

...Did it work?
Looks like it...
So I guess I have to go in too or they won't let you in.
I wonder what it means to be in accordance with the goal of the Infelsphere?
I don't know... I'm only sure of the fact that it has to be you.
How long are we gonna stay like this!?
Ahh, sorry!
I guess we'll just have to enter together then.
If you're fine with this, then I'm happy, too.
I mean, after all, I'm still worried about Lady Cloche.
I'm happy I can talk to her directly, in person.
...Oh yeah, I guess.

There's no reason for you to apologize.
At least now we have a place to ask Lady Cloche questions, so we have some light.

It turned out Soope was right, Gaea had grown.

Soopli: A new path has opened upppp!
A new path!?
Soopli: Yup yup! It was just a dense forest until just a second ago!
Soople: It was just a forest you could go into, get lost, and come back out of until now!
Sooplu: A new path opened up to a bigger place we've never even seen beforrrrrre!
Could that be because...
We talked to Lady Cloche!?
Talked to Lady Cloche!? What do you mean!?
Well, actually...
I borrowed Soope's powers to talk to Lady Cloche. And then...
I see...
It makes sense that talking to her gave birth to a new zone.
Come on, let's just go. I'm sure we can find more clues when we get there.
But it could be a trap. We have to be cautious...
Man, when you're this cautious, it just gets stupid after a while.
We have to move forward. We don't have much time.
Let's just go.

We left the village and entered another artificial forest.


Who's there?
Lady Cloche! You're okay. Let's go home now.
Home? Please don't be so stupid.
Lady Cloche...?
I am now a part of Gaea. The image of me you see now is just an illusion.
An illusion? Then... where can I go to see the real Lady Cloche!? Tell me!
Why talk about real and fake here? That's why I say humans are so stupid.
The land you stand on, the image you see, they're all part of me. Give it up.
Lady Cloche... please. Tell me how I can talk to you in person.
Lady Cloche... Everyone awaits for you return.
Wait for my return... Huh...
Then why not walk around to every corner of this land. Maybe you'll find who you're looking for.
You mean, the Lady Cloche who'll come home with us? Croix, let's go find her!

Lady Cloche didn't seem inclined to make this easy on us though.

My many emotions are here to protect me. It's what forms a person, right?
And deep inside this land, is the most important part of me.
The thought of letting you walk around in those dirty shoes makes me shudder.
...But, fine. If you want to go, I'll task you with trials. Go on if you can.
I understand. I will take on the challenge.
You seem confident. Did you know there's a trial here too? You can't go on unless you pass that.
There's a strong monster deep inside this forest. Go defeat that monster.
It should be easy to win against my emotions if you really do care for me.
...Alright. If we defeat the monster, then we can move on, right?
Yes, most likely.

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
So in each area of Gaea we need to clear a trial. This will provide us with a Sphere Key, which will allow us access to a new area of the Infelsphere. In this area, we need to reach a boss at the end while trying to avoid wandering Angel monsters. We don't have random fights in this area, so if we could avoid all the Angels we'd never have to fight. Realistically we'll run into one or two, though. The boss at the end is a tougher version of the normal Angels, and isn't a real threat.

Here it comes!

We handily defeated the angel that attacked, and got an odd key as a reward.

This is... a key...!?
System Message: Obtained Sphere Key: 1A!
How pretty, a crystal key. It's like a jewel!
There's something shining inside...
But I wonder where we use it? Maybe Soope would know...
Hmm, I'm not quite sure either.
Oh... That's too bad.

Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth
After we cleared the trial in the artificial forest, we were left wondering what our next move was. We returned to ask the leader of the village for information.


Pippippen: Yous call me?
Yeah, sorry. I wanted you to look at this.
System Message: You take our the Sphere Key.
Pippippen: Th-this be a Sphere Key duh! Where did yous get this!?
We got it in the new "world" that appeared.
So, what is this Sphere Key?
Pippippen: It be an item is told by legend in this world, duh!
So like I hears, yous can make this world expand by having that key.
How do we use it?
Pippippen: Even I does not know that far, duh...
You still are pretty useless.
Pippippen: I does not know what I does not know!

I decided the best bet was to talk to Lady Cloche. It had made the land expand last time, so maybe it would again this time.

What? I can hear you. You don't have to yell.
There's something I want to ask of you.
Oh, what is it?
I want to know what kind of lifestyle you lived until now.
Well that came out of nowhere. What's gotten into you?
You told me before. That there are so many difficult things I would never understand by watching from the side.
So I want to experience it too. I want to know how hard it is as a maiden, a job that seems so elegant to us.
I want to know what kind of struggles you had to suffer through.
Hmph... That's such a pious thing you say.
Lady Cloche... Luca is serious.
I see you take her side.
No, it's not that... It's just that I wanted you to hear Luca's wishes.

I'm going to deploy my memory out onto this Infelsphere so that you can experience it first hand.
A real experience!? You can do that?
Of course. This world is under my control right now. If I think it, I can actualize anything.
Wow... I see...
And I'm sure you'll have trouble if I just toss you in there, so I'll prepare a guide for you. He'll lead your way.

The guide she prepared was pretty strange. Her appearance and behavior really didn't match up.

Wha-ooh, a cute girl appeared!
She will offer to show you the world you wish to see, depending on your choices.
Thank you so much! Then please, can you begin telling us where to go?
Lollipop Sweets: Eh, don't you think that's too frank? If you bow down and beg on your knees, then I'll take you around.
Why would you...
Oh, it's okay if you don't want to. You can just go home right now.
...... No, I'll do it. Please.
Lady Cloche! Please, I beg you!
Lollipop Sweets: ...Hmph. Well if you really want, then I guess I could give you a tour. I hope you're thankful for me!
Y-yup! Thank you!

It turned out Lollipop Sweets knew how to use the Sphere Key.

Lollipop Sweets: Then let me get you ready first. Do you have the Key that you got from Soope?
Y-yes. I have it, but... What is that key for?
Lollipop Sweets: That's a present you get as proof that our hearts became closer.
Every time you and Cloche relate thoughts and allow your hearts to share a bond, a Key will appear.
Oh, so there's a lot of these Keys. But, how do I use them?
Lollipop Sweets: I will make a Keyhole for that Key appear in the real world.
A keyhole!?
Lollipop Sweets: Yup!
And by using the key on it, the world will expand. You can ask the Keyhole how you use the key.
Huh!? What do you mean!?

Hey, wait!
Ask the Keyhole...? I hope it's not going to be a monster...
Y-yeah... It's kinda scary. Anyway, let's go back to the real world.

We weren't sure what this Key was going to be, but as it turned out we didn't have long to wait.

Croix Lady Cloche! Are you alright!?
Did you come back to life!?
No, I am a part of Cloche who made Gaea. But I am only one persona of her.
I exist merely to appear here and resemble a Keyhole.
How does that work!?
The keyhole they were talking about in the Infelsphere... that's you!?
Yes, it is I.
I look just like the real thing, but I only exist from the power of Gaea.
Gaea's power?
Yes. An existence that gained form because Gaea "Sings". Just like Pippippen.
So, you're like a creation of Gaea's Song Magic?
I'm assigned to be the Keyhole, but I can do everything else, too.

Of course. I can even fight.
Here, I'll teach you how to use me as a Keyhole. Follow me.

It's hard to wrap your mind around the idea of traveling with someone across land which is also them in order to find something to bring their real body back to life. I can't recommend it, honestly.

Insert that key into my Installer Port.
Then, the Infelsphere that corresponds to that key will be unlocked.
But it's like the same as a life extending agent!
Yes, that's right.
I'm... gonna go over there.

Now hurry.
...Here it goes.
Very good.
System Message: Infelsphere Point Lvl 1 Determined Land has been unlocked.
Is that it?
Yes. You've just unlocked one new area in he Infelsphere.
When you find a Sphere Key, insert it into me.
Then, more and more of the world will be unlocked for you.
Then, let's enter the Infelsphere now.

Now that she was manifesting herself to accompany us, Cloche either needed or simply wanted to enter the Infelsphere the same way we did.

Well, if you're okay with it, I don't have to go.

No way was Croix getting out of this that easy.


Shh! Just go to sleep!

Our first real experience in the Infelsphere was an eye-opener.

Lollipop Sweets: Welcome! To Lady Cloche's Grand Bell Hall Tour!
Wha-wow! It's like we're on vacation!
Lollipop Sweets: Because, we should at least start it up on a good mood. The contents are tough, so we gotta cheer it up a bit now.
Th-that sounds kinda scary.
Lollipop Sweets: Huh? Oh, it's not scary at all! It's a simulation experience and all, but you get to be a princess.
What could be better than that?
Er... I guess that makes it sound kind of fun, but...
Lollipop Sweets: Yup yup! Don't worry about it! The dream of living in a palace! The Grand Bell Hall we all admire!
...And the harsh truth, is what you will see.
What kind of tour is this?
Lollipop Sweets: Well then, let's start!
W-wait a minute! I'm not ready yet...

Yeah. I hear the palace garden is about the same size as a small town in the Rim.
Wow... it's that huge.
The air is nice too. Maybe 'cause there's so much greenery. It's different from Mikry forest, but I smell green~.
Ooh, a pretty flower! I forgot what it was called. I've never seen this one.
Luca, we're not here to play around.
Hehehe, sorry~. It was so pretty, I couldn't help but be excited.
But... She lives in such a pretty place, so different from the Rim. She gets a meal every day, and wears such nice clothes.
There's nothing she doesn't have... What could Lady Cloche possibly complain about? It's so luxurious.

Huh? M-me...?
How many times must I tell you to refrain from going outdoors on your own. Return to your room immediately.
Uh, but, I was just taking a stroll around the garden...
This palace is open to the outside. Though Grand Bell security is perfect, what if you are attacked?
But, see, Croix's here too.
Have you forgotten your position?
(Er... What a nasty look. I got goosebumps...)
And to have been talking with a knight whom you have no knowledge of...
Huh? Oh, no, we were just chatting...
Hey, you, soldier! You will be punished later as well. I assume you knew that.
What!? What are you saying? Croix didn't do anything wrong!

But, no, umm...
It's okay, Luca. Don't worry about me. It shouldn't be a problem.
Arrr, fine, okay! I'm sorry. It was all my fault!
I'll go back to my room right now, so please settle this quietly... Please?
It seems you finally understand. Kid, return to your post immediately.
Yes, sir! Excuse me, sir!
I-I'm sorry Croix...
Don't worry. You be careful and do your best too!
*sigh *
Must say... recent soldiers need to learn their place.
Hey, you go back to your room too!
Y-yes sir!
Oh... but before that, can I pick a few of these flowers? It's so pretty!
Do you still not understand when I say, show restraint in your actions?
Why? It's just flowers...

If you mess up, we're the ones who suffer. You think you can take responsibility for that? Huh?
If you want flowers, I'll have people send them to your room.

Needless to say things weren't quite as I'd expected them, and they still had room to get weirder.

What's wrong with him... It's just a walk, and flowers. He's beyond strict. More like crazy.

Wow... A giant vase full. Yeash, that looks expensive...
Please be assured, all the thorns have been taken off.
I was okay with thorns. Did you arrange the flowers? You seem different, but... Lady Cloche, right?
Servants are not allowed to speak needlessly.

Lollipop Sweets: She is only acting a role. She may look like Cloche, but is not Cloche.
Another Lady Cloche?
Lollipop Sweets: Well, I guess you can say that.
I see...

There is only one place for a vase.
Erm, not like that. I mean, would it look pretty if I left it on the floor, or if I put it close to the window.
I believe you should place it where you desire it to be, Holy Maiden.
Huh? Oh, uh... I guess.
Now I will excuse myself.
W-wait, um, uh... What am I supposed to do?
Please relax freely.
But hm... I don't know what to do...
I believe you should do what you would like, Holy Maiden.
Err, but I can't go outside, right?
Yes. If you wish to leave, please make a prior request to Chancellor Alfman. When the request is permitted, you may leave.
Prior request... So I can't go out anymore today?
I believe the Chancellor will consider schedules three months ahead.
Th-three months!?

...I'm starting to feel dizzy...

Lollipop Sweets: You don't get it? You're causing her trouble. A servant isn't your friend.
And you're the Holy Maiden. You can't just decide to be friendly with one specific person.
Is that how it is?
Lollipop Sweets: Of course. If you accidentally show a private side of you and if that gets leaked, then it's really bad.

Uhm, it'll be lonely, but... I'm sure you have work to do too, so...
Who's there!?
Oh... Croix.
Luca, are you okay?
Yup. It's boring, but I'm okay for now.
It's like you've been caught.
I'm fine. I have her here.
My Holy Maiden, please close the window.
Uh... Lady Cloche?
Yup, but she doesn't have memories as Lady Cloche.
Her role is my servant right now...
Holy Maiden, please close the window.
Should I close the window?
Erm, if I don't I think she'll get scolded by that man like you did earlier... I think...
Please, close the window.

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
Every so often inside the Infelsphere we'll have choices. These will determine how the scene plays out and will cause us to be sent on alternate paths in Gaea as well. You'll see a good mix of choices that turn out well and choices that don't here. For now I'm going to sneak out.

...Alright! Let's sneak out!
A secret date! Lady Cloche was at the Fancy Shop sometimes too.
Oh yeah, you're right.
We're going to sneak away from that man and go play! Croix, help me! You're a knight. Don't you know secret passages?
Well, yeah... I know them but...
Alright, then let's get a move on!
My Holy Maiden, you are not allowed to go outside on your own.
Come on, Lady Cloche... I mean, miss. You're coming with us!
I said a secret date! Croix, we can bring her along too, right?
Well of course.
Come on, you know you want to go! Now you're guilty with me.
Come, come. Let's go from the window.

Everything seemed to turn out okay in the end.

Hahaha, I'm sorry. But I wanted to take Lady Cloche out with us too.
Lollipop Sweets: Tsk tsk! If they found you, you were going to be in so much trouble!
I'll watch out next time, sorry.
Lollipop Sweets: But... I admit it was kinda fun.
Anyway... I didn't think it was this bad. I expected a few restraints, but this is like living in a prison...
Lollipop Sweets: So? How's the dream life of a princess? If you want, you can stay for a year.
No thanks... I can't do it. I don't think I can manage to live like a person. I'll stuff up in three days.
Lady Cloche had to live such a troublesome life...
Lollipop Sweets: As long as you understand. I think you got to know Cloche a little better, so I'll give this to you.
System Message: Obtained Mindgem: Determined Land!
What's this...!?

Lollipop Sweets: And when you've gathered a few of these, the world completes, and you can move on to the next step.
And so, good luck collecting the gems!

Another change to Gaea...!?
Lollipop Sweets: That's right! Every time you get to know Cloche in the Infelsphere, the world of Gaea expands by a chunk.
But the type of world that appears depends on your decisions. Conversations with Cloche will determine the change.
Which means... Depending on our action and decisions, Gaea can become something completely different.
Lollipop Sweets: That's right!

We didn't know how much more work was ahead of us, we just knew one thing for sure: We had to save Lady Cloche from whatever Jacqli had planned.

Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: The Mind's Eye