The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 17: Chapter 16: Mind's Eye

Chapter 16: Mind's Eye

Loading Excerpt- The Melody of Metafalica, C. Pastalia, L. Trulyworth
I have to say, having done it, I really cannot recommend living as a disembodied soul in a giant floating continent. Croix and Luca were working hard to try and find a way to bring me back to the real world, and different aspects of my being were working hard to annoy them as much as possible.


Lady Cloche, what is this place?
This is a world of books. The world's knowledge is all gathered here.
But it doesn't really seem like there's much here.
I wouldn't leave such important books out! They're in the book room.
Oh, of course.
But that book room is what's bothering me now... I want you to help me.
There's so many books in there that I can't organize them anymore...
There had to be a reason for you to end up here. Can I ask you to do this?
If it's just organizing, I don't mind doing it.
Really!? If you lie, I'll drop you from the land!
You have to be exaggerating...
That's how badly I'm troubled. I'm counting on you.
Sounds like you're hiding something from me...
Don't think about it. Start moving. Go on.
The book room is in the back. I'll leave the rest to you!
I have a really bad feeling about this...

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
Melancholia features a sliding block puzzle. We need to move books from their starting positions over to the bookshelves. It's not particularly hard, you just need to avoid pushing a book pile somewhere that you can't push it back out of if you need to, or you'll need to have Cloche reset the stacks. Watch the video for one possible solution, though there's likely plenty more.

I didn't expect there to be this many books... Geesh.
Well, at least we're done. It's fine.
Yeah, I guess. Let's go back to Lady Cloche.
What!? You cleaned up that mountain of books already?
Yup. It wasn't that bad since we worked on it together.
I see, together...
I hope you can keep the place clean. We can come help... Sometimes.
Thank you. Yes, I'll organize the books as well as my feelings.

After all this they still didn't know how to save me, though, and I wasn't entirely sure myself.

Luca, do your best!
Yup. Just leave it to me!
By the way, Lady Cloche. If you know, can you tell me...
What is it?
What am I supposed to do to save you?
You must unlock the Heart of Gaea.
Heart of Gaea...?
It's the Core of this world, and the crystal that my heart resides in.
Where is this thing!?
I don't know.
...I see.
It's about yourself, but you don't know?


We all returned to the Infelsphere, as there was so much more to see.


Lollipop Sweets: Welcome to heart throbbing Royal Land, an attraction where you can experience the life of a Holy Maiden~!
...No matter how you say it, it doesn't sound fun to me anymore.
Oh, I see you're starting to learn something then. But what you saw was only the beginning.
What!? It was...?
It's barely nothing. I mean, you don't know anything about the official duties during the rest of the day.
Official duties...? Oh, your work. But for that, I think I have it harsher.
Because you're either writing something at your desk or making speeches, right? Either way, it's not physical labor.
Alright. If you insist, official duties it is. And it's what you call easy work sitting at the desk.
Though, I hope your mind can bear only sitting at the desk and working... Hehe.
Wh-what's that supposed to mean...!?
Oh, and, it'd be distracting to have someone there while you're working, so I'll take care of Croix.
Lady Cloche!?
What!? W-wait...
Lollipop Sweets: Come on come on, hurry up! Or else the Chancellor's gonna get mad at you!

I have to stamp all of these papers?
Move your hands before you move your mouth.
But... There's some that I don't really understand what they're talking about.
You don't need to know.
Ah, here, stamp this one first. These files need immediate attention.
Oh, yes sir.
Ah! It's... not dry yet.
It should be dry by the time we get to the scene.
It's a permission form to suppress the I.P.D. outbreak in the Slums.
I'm going to leave. You better finish your work.
I-I'll go too!
I have the duty of seeing it through since I stamped the papers!
...Hmph, fine. If you want to see reality, I'll show you.

Reyvateil: Lonely... Hate... Won't forgive...
Th-this is...!
What are you surprised about? You just stamped the permission forms yourself, Holy Maiden.
I... I passed this kind of motion...
It's what's necessary for the world.
And if we let the I.P.D. roam, there'd be even worse damage. Suppression and capturing is a correct policy.
But... That doesn't mean...!
It's a little thing to prevent a greater one. I tell you time after time.
...! Another fire!?
Looks like there's a tough I.P.D. agent out there. The fire's gonna spread all over town and kill quite a few people.
So, which one do you want to go see?
The I.P.D. containment scene? Or the city's damage control.

To the city... It's this big of a fire. We have to protect the injured people and extinguish the fires first!
Holy Maiden! You mustn't come to this dangerous place!
Ah, Mr. Leglius! What are you doing! Hurry, put out the fires!
At this rate, the damage will spread to the residences! We have to put the fires out fast!
Yes ma'am. Understood!
Croix! Help guide the people to evacuation! The Slums have complicated roads, so people will get left behind!
Everyone, please! Lend me a hand! Water... Bring the water!

Good work. Report on current situation.
Because of the Slums' complicated path ways, the fires have destroyed much of the buildings in the city.
However, the quick fire extinguishing and evacuation guiding kept the human damage low. Croix, report the details.
Most citizens successfully evacuated. It's just... A mother and child escaped too late and...
The mother died immediately. It seems she was directly hit by the I.P.D.'s Song Magic. The child... survived but...
His injuries look pretty bad.
Oh no...! But... it's such a little baby...
Holy Maiden... Your clothes will get dirty.
I don't care about clothes!
This baby... He didn't do anything wrong! His future is still ahead of him! ...But...
It must hurt, you must be suffering... I'm sorry... I'll get help right now!
Medic squad! Please take care of him! Try to get help to him immediately!
Medic squad! There's a girl here with light burns as well. Get treatment!

No! Burns don't heal that easily, and they'll leave a scar. You're a girl, so you need to take care of yourself.
Why would a little kid like you do such a reckless thing, jumping into the fire?
You leave that to the knights...
Because... I couldn't just leave them. There were people in danger, right in front of me.
Y-you're... Could it be...?
Holy Maiden, please don't cry. It's thanks to you that we help the damage to a minimum.
Thank you very much, my Holy Maiden.
Now come little girl, hurry and get yourself treated.
Okay. Excuse me, Holy Maiden.

Lollipop Sweets: The actions you just took were exactly the same as what Cloche did in the past. I guess things like that happen.
So you mean, what I just did was...
Lollipop Sweets: Yup, Cloche did the same thing.
I see. Lady Cloche... It kinda makes me happy.
Lollipop Sweets: I don't know what you thought of Cloche before this, but it looks like you found something to sympathize with.
Either way, good job. Here's your reward for today.
System Message: Obtained Mindgem: Conqueror's Heart!
A Mindgem... Thank you.

Lollipop Sweets: Oh! Congrats! You've just completed the first level!
Lollipop Sweets: Yup. Simply put, Luca and Cloche got to understand each other enough to clear the basis of the first level.
So I assume... In order to get to know her even deeper, we need to go to the second level?
Lollipop Sweets: That's right!
Anyway, that's the end of the first level. There's a ritual for completion, so come to the Sphere Gate!

We didn't even know what the point of the Infelsphere was, but if any progress was to be made we were going to need to advance in it.

There you are.
Lollipop Sweets: Arriving now!
I'm sorry I'm late. So, what am I supposed to do?
Lollipop Sweets: I want you to tell Cloche what you felt. If something happens inside your heart, then the gate should naturally open.
Okay... I will.
So how was it?
It was really tiring...
I'm sorry... I can't do it. I wouldn't be able to live 3 days in this life.
Honestly, I think my own job and life was a lot easier than this.
What the people usually see is elegant, but I didn't know there was so much control behind it, without your will...
Yes, that is my role. What I say is all taken as the Grand Bell's policies.
And I really understood how painful it was to not be able to talk to anyone.

Being a Maiden... is such a harsh job. You can't tell from the side, so it's even worse. No one can understand...
...But you understand now.
So I feel a little better.
...Lady Cloche...
This is...!?
Lollipop Sweets: The gate to the next world is open! They got to know each other, and that opened the gate from the first level.
Now, let's go. You now know enough of what I wanted you to understand here.
Lady Cloche...? You're coming too?
Lollipop Sweets; Well of course. This is a place for you to understand each other.
You'll both go on to the next world.
I see... Hehehe. It feels nice.
...I agree.

Moving on to Level 2, Relationship.

Lollipop Sweets: Now, the two of them took a step closer. But further obstacles await them in the next world.
...Hey, are you on Luca's side? Or...
Lollipop Sweets: Who knows? We don't know that.
I mean it's true, this world does feel like there's contradictions...
Lollipop Sweets: Yes. Contradictions. It feels like my existence doesn't match with the reason for this world's existence.
I don't know why it's like that though.
I don't quite understand, but...
Lollipop Sweets: Well, it's fine. We don't need to know. Either way, what I'm about to say is more important!
We can be of help in the real world from now on too.
...Song Magic?
Lollipop Sweets: That's right!
Use us well!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
We just got Combo Magic. To activate Combo Magic, we need to repeatedly raise the Psych level in combat until our Reyvateils go into Synchronity. We can't actually do this until later in the game so I'll come back to this when it's possible to do. Combo Magic is ridiculously powerful, that's all you need to know for now.

Loading Excerpt- Personal Logs, C. Bartel
Gaea's such a strange place, we could wander here forever and not see everything. Today confirmed we definitely don't have forever, though, we saw Jacqli again. I really don't get her at all.


Oh, what a coincidence meeting you here.
Well, goodbye.
Hey, are you after the Heart of Gaea?
...Hmhm. Looks like you're working hard at gathering information.
Keep doing your best.
What is the Heart of Gaea?
Let's see. I guess the best way to describe it would be, that Cloche girl's soul.
Just like your souls have a physical body, she has a physical form, too.
That's the Heart of Gaea.

Creates Songs? You mean...
Simply said, Gaea is the tune of her Song Magic.
While she sings, Gaea maintains itself. When she's done, it disappears.
Are you done with your questioning? I'm going now.
What are you going to do with her heart!?
Don't worry. Nothing bad, that's for sure.
I don't trust you.
...I never lie. I don't want to become like you untrustworthy humans.
What did you say?
Anyway, I'm aiming for the Heart of Gaea for my own personal goal.
If you have time to worry about me, why don't you focus on your own goal?

Who the hell even is Jacqli, anyway? She's right, though, we've got more important things to worry about than her.

Yeah, you're right. We need to find it as soon as possible.

Anyway Lady Cloche had another ordeal ready for us. She's certainly not making this easy.

National treasury? Is this where your treasures rest?
I've gathered everything from personal secrets to useless junk in here.
It's strange... I have so many memories it annoys me. So I locked them all up in those chests.
So there's a bunch of treasure chests...?
Yes. It's gotten to the point where I can't even fit offerings in there.
It's scary trying to imagine that.
It is scary. I don't know what's what. I should've kept the important things.
You see, 5 of the chests in here have an Orb inside.
I tried looking for it, but it's just... I put too much stuff in there.
So here's the point. I want you to find the 5 Orbs in the chests.
I accidentally put nearby monsters in there, so too dangerous for me.
I'm so sure it was not accidental...
Oh, I'm not forcing you to look for it.

...Really? You really are troubled...?

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
The Cobble Box is a set of connected maps full of chests. The chests will either have items, money, a monster, or one of the five Orbs. You'll only find one of the Orbs per map, so once you've found one move on. One of the chests has 99 Pippencuits in it and I'd suggest tracking it down too, since that's a very handy reward. There's no random fights until you have cleared the challenge.

We eventually managed to track down the Orbs.

Thank you! You really found them all for me...
I'm glad... I'm so glad.
It's a Sphere Key!
System Message: Obtained Sphere Key: 2A!

So we returned to the Infelsphere. We had no idea what might be waiting for us on level two.


You will get to know and relate with each other even deeper on this level.
Hey, back on the last level, I heard something strange from Lollipop Sweets...
Something strange...?
About the world contradicting...
I mean, we don't even know why this world exists. And what it means to be the "qualified"...
Yeah, I thought about that too. We're here as a means to talk to Lady Cloche, but what's the real purpose?
Oh, excuse me. I forgot to talk to you about that.
This world is used to deepen and strengthen the bond between the two "qualified" thoroughly.
The bond between the qualified...?
I see... Since they got to understand each other, they were able to create a Combo Magic in the last level...
It's programmed for you to pass levels and get involved with each other deeply, to gain connection on a deep level.
So we'll eventually have to learn each other's hardships and secrets...
That is up to the two of you.
So, what's this contradiction...?

Lady Cloche!
Why ask about that? I thought you were here to experience my daily lifestyle.
If you don't want to do it, I'll just have you leave immediately.
Okay. You're right. It doesn't matter what this world's purpose is, because I'm here to learn more about you right now.
Well, you're honest today. Then let's being the rest of it, as you wish. Here's the guide for this level.

Y-yeah... Nice to meet you too.

So Luca. I remember you said you didn't agree with the Grand Bell's government policies.
Y-yeah... I said that!
They increase the I.P.D.s purposely through plans, but on the outside, they catch them saying it's regulation...
And in actuality, they were trying to use them... I can't forgive that.
Yes, I agree.
But, did you think that didn't hurt us either?
Well that's...
You're not clear enough.
Croix, maybe she thinks it didn't hurt your heart to suppress an I.P.D. outbreak either.
I-I didn't think that. I heard that there were situations he was under... And...
Situations and suffering that you would never know... That kind of stuff exists in politics.
But it's a ruler's role to not show that in your expression.
It's harder to tell you to understand.

Yes. It is a difficult situation. A little experience might make the distance between us even greater.
But if that happens, it makes it easier on me to end our relationship here.
N-no, that won't happen! ...I'll go. Take me, I want to know.
I always wondered about this. It always lurked in my heart. So I want to know.
If there's anything I can understand... I think I might be able to get closer to your feelings.
...Oh, alright. MonSun Girl, please take her.
MonSun Girl: Understood. Then let's go.

...Wha-ahh, that scared me. You can't yell at me the moment I get here.
And with that scary face... It scared me at least 3 times a normal one.
What are you mumbling about. I've been calling you so many times. Who's fault is it that you were daydreaming?
Oh, you were?
(MonSun Girl... You're so mean, sending me into a situation like this...)
I believe the Holy Maiden must be tired from her daily work...
You, shut up, if you try to act up, I'll have you fired immediately.
I'm very sorry.
Wh-what, you didn't have to yell at her for that...!
Let's return to the story. About the new proposal you brought up, it's declined.
This. You brought it to me the other day.
U-uhhm...? What is this thick stack...
"A new plan for Metafalica to cancel the I.P.D. amplification project"?

L-Lady Cloche wrote this?
You've got a good point here. I was quite surprised myself when I read it. Pretty good for a little girl like you.
"In place of canceling the I.P.D. Amp Project to set up a magic troop for the war against the Goddess..."
"We should aim to unite the wills of each individual, in order to create a stronger magic."
"We should publicize that war against the Goddess is unavoidable, thus the power of the I.P.D.s are necessary..."
"Recruit voluntary soldiers, grant them residency in Pastalia with guaranteed pay and train alongside the maiden..."
"First, we will attempt to spread this intent through periodic visits to the I.P.D. resident quarters..."
(Err, I don't understand the details. There's so much stuff written here...)
But you see, we can't pass this.
Wh-why not? It's a good plan, right?
It's not bad. But it lacks certitude.

There's too many factors that can sway the result by the individuals' will and emotions.
Emotions can change with just a simple thing. Though, if it changes towards a good way, it's got a huge effect.
But, as a leader, I can't put all the lives of the people of Metafalss at risk of a lan with such ambiguities.
W-well that might be true, but...
Listen. We're entrusted with the lives of one million citizens.
We have to keep thinking of a more sure method to save as many people as we can.

But... I just can't agree with it...
Increasing and hunting the I.P.D.s with such a selfish plan... And all just to use them as weapons.
It might be fine if they knew the truth and volunteered themselves to do this for Metafalica...
But if they find out the truth later, they'll be so shocked.
You have a point, but we do this only because we concluded that this is the best plan out of the many we've tried.
We can't just change plans suddenly. It's too dangerous.
Especially, exposing the truth that we've kept hidden won't fly. We just have to make up our minds and bear it.
We stabilize the I.P.D.s with neutralizers after their outbreak.
Their registries get changed, but we guarantee their shelter and food.
But when you can't handle them anymore, you'll kill them in the end. That's just messed up!
I can't agree with it!

Listen! You might be able to reveal the truth we've covered up, and repent your sins and feel all better after.
But what about Metafalica!? What about the people's hopes, the only light of salvation from this decaying world!?
This world is coming close to its end. If we don't hurry, we'll end up in an even more hopeless situation.
You want to spit out the just argument and have everyone die?
And... Those who died victim to this plan died for nothing!?
If Metafalica doesn't become reality because of your selfishness, how were you going to replay for their deaths?
Just because you want to be free of guilt, you can't force everyone into your wishful thinking.
It's a ruler's job to carry the blame, get dirty, and even if you know you're going to hell, you shut up and smile.
If you understand, cool off your head. Don't get swayed by emotions.
Your shoulders carry the lives of everyone in this world.

It was pretty good for a girl like you. As expected I should say, from the talent I found.
I'll think about the periodic visits that you wrote about in the paper. That's a good idea.
If you show up every once in a while, the I.P.D.s should be more willing to cooperate with you when the time comes.
You know, as much as you resent it, you might be pretty good with politics.
I-it's not like that...
You don't have to be modest. Well, it's all thanks to my education I guess.
I'll be expecting another interesting plan. Even I want to minimize the sacrifices. See you later.
I'm very glad for you, Holy Maiden. I know you've been hoping for the visits since before.

It's me.
Croix! Since when were you there?
I was actually here since the Chancellor yelled at you out of nowhere. I couldn't hear the whole conversation though.
Oh... Looks like I've made you wait a pretty long while then. Sorry.
Nah. I couldn't come out if I wanted to, and I thought he'd find me if I moved, so I just couldn't do anything.
I see. ...Hmm, but that was kind of unexpected.
What was?
I thought the Chancellor was just a scary kind of man, but he thinks pretty seriously about Metafalica.
Yeah. We knights talk about it often, that Chancellor Alfman is actually a real devoted Metafalica believer.
Even if you go to hell... Huh...
Oh, sorry. It's nothing. I was just thinking a little.

I-it still doesn't mean I agree! But...
I understood that Lady Cloche thought a lot, and tried everything she could...
It was too hard for me to understand just by looking at it, but still.
MonSun Girl: Well, that's as expected. Why don't you take this opportunity to start studying a little more?
They say, if you don't use your brain, it only gets stupid. You might forget how to read if you live on like that.
You're so rude, geez!
MonSun Girl: I'm not criticizing you. I'm just mentioning the truth.
Either way, it seems you were able to share certain feelings.
MonSun Girl: Your image of Lady Cloche should be different from before and after you say this even. Isn't that so?
...Yeah. I think I was only looking at the suppression and imprisonment of the I.P.D.s this whole time.

I knew nothing, and only criticized her the entire time...
MonSun Girl: ...Hehe. A good sign. Then I think it will be worth giving you this.
System Message: Obtained Mindgem: First Ring!
Luca; This is... a Mindgem!
MonSun Girl: Since you're somewhat aware of Lady Cloche's true feelings and her real intentions now, I'll give that to you.
Thank you!

Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: A World of Shadow