The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 62: Cloche's Soulspace, Level 1

Cloche's Soulspace- Level 1

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He came back. Human stupidity surely knows no bounds. Though this time did turn out slightly differently, thanks to some outside interference. Very troublesome.

You're here, again?
Th-that look again!? It doesn't look like anything changed...
Illegal intruder...
Croix! Can you hear me!? You won't die this time. It shouldn't even hurt.
...Gh... Huh!? You're right...
This is inside my dream. My thoughts win over Lady Cloche's in this world.
Tsk... How annoying! Then, one more time...!
Nothing happened!
Croix! Lock that Lady Cloche in a hold, while you have the chance!
Gr, wh-what are you doing? Let me go!
Nice! And now, I can...
Sublimate her...!

Luca!? ...Hey Luca? Was that really okay?
???: All that trouble from the very start. I'm worried about how this'll go.
And you are...?

Infel? Ah, Lady Cloche's guardian, huh? Nice to meet you.
...Nice to meet you.
What was that Lady Cloche about?
Most likely... it was a symbol of her "Mind's Wall."
...A symbol?
That's right. They exist all over the soulspace. Various representations.
If you plan to explore this world further, you'll see them for yourself.
...What's your name?
Croix. Croix Bartel.
Croix... I'll remember that.
Well, see you next time.
Wait, what am I supposed to do in this world?
Lady Cloche needs to craft Song Magic. But I don't know what to do.

...Follow my heart?
Now, can I do? I still have other matters to attend to. See you.
...Well, I guess I'll just walk around a bit.

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:

So, here's the basics of Diving. We walk around the Cosmosphere and enter areas to watch events. There is a certain point cost to enter an area. Once within, we might have to spend more DP and/or make some choices. Choices can change how much DP we get charged for an event or even just kick us out. After clearing certain events we get new Song magic. Some events just exist to progress the current level, and some are optional, but usually funny/interesting. That's pretty much all you need to know.

This is... a door?
Tower of Life.
Tower of Life...
A Reyvateil is connected to other Reyvateils and Magic Servers through this "Tower of Life".
This place is the border between itself and the others, so it's called the "Boundary Gate".
Boundary Gate...!?
Yes. Otherwise, other Reyvateils could easily access her mind. They use it to protect their individuality.
I see. So what is a Magic Server...?
...I see, so you are clueless.
hey, I specialized in spearmanship...
...So you're born to be a bodyguard. In a way, you're a true guard dog.
Whatever. I've got some time to spare anyway.
Reyvateils are able to form their emotions into various powers by singing. Like, shooting flames, or healing...

Technically, Reyvateils sing to get the Server to do its thing; whether it's blowing up or healing something.
It's not wrong to say that the "Tower of Life" acts as a connecting cable for the Reyvateils and the Server.
You're pretty knowledgeable about this.
Of course I am. Actually, this is just common sense. You're just ignorant.
...I see.
Are we done now? I don't have any time to spare.
...Didn't you say you do a minute ago?
It's just an expression. I hate men that don't understand that.
What an unfriendly person...

This guy has no idea what he's doing. I've not decided if the risk is worth the entertainment.

...A town, huh? I don't see anyone around. Maybe I just can't see them...
...How do you do?
Lady Cloche! Is this your Cosmosphere?
What are you doing here? No trespassing allowed. I order you to leave immediately.
But, Lady Cloche ordered me to come here to acquire magic...
Oh, I see. Very well. Do as you wish.
Whew. I don't know what I would've done otherwise. Anyway, it's so dark...
If you have a problem with it, please leave. Do you understand where you are?
Yes, I'm in Lady Cloche's world...
So you have no right to complain. Just concentrate on completing your task! Got it!?
I'm glad you're so understanding. Good luck.
Whoa! Wait a second!
...What is it? You're so demanding.

So, you want to explore, huh? Well, I don't want you stomping around my Cosmosphere.
If that's the way it's going to be, just hurry up and leave.

The right choice here is to act disappointed. She doesn't really want you to go, so acting like you're going to just give up and leave makes her take pity on you.

A low-ranked knight like me should never have tried to enter your Cosmosphere in the first place.
I tried my best to help Lady Cloche, but I think I reached my limit.
Sorry. Please, take me back to reality.
...Yes, ma'am?
You said you came here to help me, right? The least I can do is give you a chance.
Thanks, but no thanks.
You don't have any say in the matter! I said I'll give you a chance, so you must accept it!
Y-yes, ma'am.

And, it has been imprisoned in a haunted place.
...A haunted place?
If you really do care about me, you will go to that place, right?
So if you bring back the source and light up this world once again, I will find favor in you.
So, where is this place?
Bye bye.
Lady Cloche!?
*sigh * Crap.

So, what am I supposed to do?
Too bad I'm not here to help you. I also don't want you to explore this world.
Is that right?
Yup, the only person I want exploring this world is the unseen Princess on a white pony.
Princess? You mean, another woman?
...Does it matter who it is? I hate men who ask too many questions.
Whatever. So nobody wants me to be here...
Looks like it. If she does want you here, she has a sick way of playing with you.
...A child like you wouldn't understand. So don't ask.
In conclusion, you're not welcome here, but the reason is unclear.

That's just my fantasy. Cloche and I don't always share the same thoughts.
I see...
Well, it's not the end of the world. The first time usually goes like this.
She's letting someone into her spiritual world. It's natural for her to be wary.
Everything is up to you from now on. Anyway, I'm going now.
...Up to me, huh?

...Is someone there?

???: I know, it sucks. Why doesn't she let it out of the prison already?
???: Well, no that won't happen, because...
???: Oh, right! That's right... So does that mean it's gonna be dark forever?
???: It's so dark in here...
???: I know, it sucks.
Um, excuse me...
???: Whoa! You scared me!
???: Hya! You scared me, too!
You were just talking about the prison. Do you know where it is?
???: What are you going to do if you find out?
???: Are you gonna destroy this world after you find out?
No, that's not it. I want to shine light back into this world. You guys don't like it either, right?
???: ...Hmmm.
???: ...Huhhh.
???: Can we trust him?
???: I don't know, can we?
I'm serous. I'm here for Lady Cloche.

???: Oh well.
???: Oh well.
???: If he's lying, we will deal with him then.
???: We'll just punish him if it happens.
???: Well then, we will show you the way to the prison.
Thanks, you're a good help.
???: But, but, but... But...
???: Can he make it back?
???: Lady Cloche is pretty cruel.
???: Yeah, making you go there by yourself.
...I'll be fine. I'll be back.
???: Well, hopefully you'll be safe.
???: You're gonna see a ghost there, too.

I guess a ghost is one way to interpret this phenomenon. I mean it's wrong on every level but still.

So this is the prison? Pretty creepy. I wouldn't doubt it if a ghost does live in here.

!! Wha-what the-!?
...!? Is it gone? No, or...
???: ...Who is it?
Whoa! So there is something...!

???: Hello, I'm going to die soon. Please don't leave me... Wait, maybe I'll become one of you. Nice to meet you...
I'm alive. Hey, are you okay? Have you been trapped here? What's your name?
Lanternal: I'm... Lanternal. I've been here for more than a decade without food or water...
...I can't believe you're still alive.
Lanternal: How about you? You don't look like the prince who is going to save me...
I'm not a prince, but I will save you. Are you the ghost that everyone is talking about?
Lanternal: ...A ghost? I'm not dead. How mean. What did you come here for anyway?
I'm looking for the source of light. I heard that it's been imprisoned here...
Lanternal: Ah... haha... I see. So you are the prince after all...

I see... So you're the light for this world. So if I save you, this world will get its color back?
Lanternal: Nope. That won't happen. Sorry but I don't have any power left in me.
If I could only regain my power...
Is there some way to do that!?
Lanternal: Of course. If we could get to the "Tower of Life", I can get the power from the tower.
Alright, then I'm going to get you out of here.
Lanternal: ...You can't. You won't be able to open these iron bars.

I should really thank him for acting as catalyst to these circumstances, I wouldn't have expected this was possible.

!? Again!?
Lanternal: Huh? What are you talking about?
Can't you see it? The ghost?
I'm... I'm not a ghost. My name is... Alice.
...Alice!? You can talk!? Who are you?
Who are... you?
My name is Croix. I'm here to acquire magic for Lady Cloche... But I've just started.
Acquire... magic? I see... That sounds fun.
Who are you? You're not the ghost here?
My thoughts... are very far away. This is the limit... for your low level.
Are you... my friend? ...Or a foe?
...! Wait, I'm...

I hope I don't need to say you should say you're a friend.

H-huh...? The door... it's open!?
Lanternal: Amazing... The door... is open.
Thank you... Oh...
...She's gone.
Lanternal: This is unbelievable... You opened the door...
Well, it wasn't me but... Anyway, let's head over to the "Tower of Life".
Lanternal: ...Okay.

Now we get the first Song of the Brave Thunder line, "F.S.T.". This is a more powerful song than Holy Burst, and does lightning damage.

Luca!? What are you doing here? Did you Dive, too?
Hehehe, why do you think? Because...
I wanted to see you!
...Why would you say that now?
When else should I say it? I wanted to show Lady Cloche, too.
...Show her what?
Show her that you're mine. Hehehe... Hey Croix, wanna do something fun? There's a place to rest over there.
Wa-wait! You're acting strange, Luca!
No, I'm not. You're the one acting strange. We're always doing this and that kind of stuff.
So... Croix... let's do something fun, okay?
I can't deal with this... Should I run away?
Wait up, Croix!

The Luca that Cloche imagines.
...What? *huff * *huff *
Everyone that appears in this world is a part of Cloche's imagination. This is her spiritual world.
...So that means, Lady Cloche sees Luca like that?
That's too bad. Luca's not like that.
Oh well. Humans are made up of stereotypes and beliefs. They think they know, but they don't.
As you can see there.
That's true, but... I can't imagine what it's gonna be like from now on...

Lanternal, is this it?
Lanternal: Yeah, this is it! Ahh, I can feel the power...
I'm glad.
Lanternal: I'll be able to brighten this world if I stay here for a while.
So, why were you imprisoned? What happened?
Lanternal: I don't know. I remember that I used to light this world...
You can't remember what happened over a decade ago... huh?
Lanternal: Yeah, well I think it was 14 years ago. I was lighting this world freely.
The next thing I knew, I was imprisoned and my power was gone.
I see... Wasn't everyone confused by the darkness?
Lanternal: Well, they were fine. The residents here don't need light.
I'm just here to light this world for the people that come here from the outside world, like you.
Like me...?

That's true, but...
Lanternal: You see, I help the...!
...? What's wrong?
Lanternal: Croix, look out!
...Uh, hm?
Lanternal: ...! ...Are you... okay?
Lanternal! You saved me!?

Lady Cloche! Why are you attacking us!?
I didn't think you were really gonna find the source of light. I'll need to forcefully turn it off...
Lady Cloche, just wait a second! I don't understand what's happening...
Didn't you say you would let me Dive into your Cosmosphere if I could light the world?
Why are you attacking us?
You're not supposed to light up this world in the first place.
That's not what we agreed! Plus, it was dark because the light was stolen...
That's not possible!
Lady Cloche!?
I was sure that it was impossible. I knew for sure that you couldn't free the light from the prison!
But how did you do it so easily!? I hid it there so no one could find it...

Silly girl. Doesn't even understand. Hardly any smarter than he is.

Lanternal: So it was you! You trapped me in there! How horrible!
Why did you do that?
Why should I answer to you!?
Why would I let anyone invade my mind!?
Invade? You told me to come here...
I will not be fooled!
...Why are you so defensive?
Why!? How can you come in here to invade my mind if you don't even know the answer to that?
If you want to invade my mind, why don't you come up with your own answer!?
...The reason Lady Cloche doesn't want to shine the light...

This one's a little bit trickier. If you've been paying attention to what she's saying, it should hopefully be obvious that she's not afraid at all, she's angry and defensive. The right answer is that all beings are a threat to her. If you get it wrong she just kicks you out and you have to come back in and replay the scene.

That might be true.
The only thing I can trust is my own mind and the things I create.
I understand where you're coming from.
Even if they're nice to me, they're all out to use me.
That could be true.
You came here because you were ordered to by me. You're just looking out for yourself by using me, aren't you?
That wasn't my intention, but I actually am using you for one reason.
...See, you are trying to manipulate and use me after all.
I'm trying to use you... so I can get closer to Lady Cloche and heal her mind.
...What? Do you have a crush on me or something?
No, that's not what I meant.
I'm a knight who was ordered to protect Lady Cloche. I could just mind my own business and guard her.
It's also true that I want to become someone that Lady Cloche feels comfortable being around.

You're so full of it...
I know. Honestly, there are other reasons, too. It's cool to be friends with Lady Cloche.
I'd get a lot of respect as a knight, if I earned the Maiden's approval.
I want you to accept all the reasons above, plus my feelings toward Lady Cloche.
Little by little, as much as you can approve, I've already decided to be completely honest to you.
*sigh * I'm so exhausted from talking to you.
I'm sorry.
I didn't think you would avoid my attack, carry out my order, and bring the light back.
I was serious. I was gonna do whatever it takes to make you understand me.
...How can I not forgive you now?
I am an honorable Maiden, after all. I cannot break a promise I made.

Thank you.
However, promise me that you won't let anyone other than you enter this world.
I'm not ready to let anyone else see this world...
Certainly. I will do my best.
Don't forget that the world you see is still very limited. Don't be flattering yourself!
I understand that. Of course. I don't mind it at all.
Even if it's just around me, I'm happy to know that Lady Cloche is shining the light for me.
I-I didn't say it was for you. I'm doing it because it was a promise... That's all.
Yeah, I know.
...W-well then, I'm going to turn on the light now.

...It's getting brighter!
Just remember! I'm doing this to keep my promise!
If you betray or hurt me in this world, I'll kick you out immediately...
Yeah. I'll do my best so that won't happen.
...Well, do it.
Lanternal: Croix! Thank you!
Lanternal, good for you.
Lanternal: Yeah! I can do my job now, and also help you out!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:

So, we just learned Holy Burst Level 2, "Lanternal". This is a new piece of magic but not a new song. In order to sing Lanternal, first we need to start singing Holy Burst. At the end of the Player Phase Holy Burst will evolve into Lanternal if we've filled the Emotion Indicators past a certain point in the right category. Higher level songs are much more powerful but also cost more MP. One of the balancing factors of a lot of the most powerful songs in the game is that we need to spend several turns winding them up by evolving them. There's an extra type of evolution as well that we won't see until Phase 4.

A Paradigm Shift happened, though I suspect it was sheer dumb luck at work.

Oh, what a surprise. I didn't know that would provoke a Paradigm Shift.
Paradigm... Shift?
You don't even know what that is? It means that Cloche's mind has accepted you in.
Since you've been accepted, you are now able to go a little bit deeper into her mind.
It has nothing to do with reality, though.
So lighting this world was the reason for the Paradigm Shift this time...
I think that's mostly right.
Because of the Paradigm Shift, you will be able to go deeper inside and create stronger magic.
That's the whole point of Diving. The Diver and the Reyvateil will understand each other and acquire stronger magic.
I see. So what should I do now?
Go to the Stonehenge with Cloche, and have her go into the light. That will complete the Paradigm Shift.
Okay, thanks.

...I'll keep that in mind.

...Do I really have to go through this?
Are you scared?
No! But...
Accepting you into my deeper mind... Is that supposed to be a good thing for me?
Don't worry. Paradigm Shifts are solely created by yourself.
...So I accepted you into myself... I still can't believe it, but...
Let me tell you one thing. This doesn't mean that I completely trust you.
If you do anything suspicious, I will kick you out immediately.
So... I'm going in.
...Is it complete now?
Alright, alright, good job. That's it. You can go deeper into Cloche's mind.

Just hope that you can keep up with it...
Your true feelings will be tested the deeper you go in.
Can you really be Cloche's partner?
...I can.
Anyone could do it if it was only based on enthusiasm.
Well, let's just see how it goes. I'll just sit back and watch how much Cloche accepts you.
Do whatever you want.
Oh, I will, even if you don't insist. Anyway, you've completed Level 1.
Congrats. Next time you Dive, the world is gonna be at level 2.
The world might look exactly the same, or completely different. The only thing I can tell you is...
The world is going to be more cruel than Level 1, without a doubt.
If you think you're prepared for that, come back again.
Well then, goodbye for now. I'll see you again if it comes to it.
Yeah. See you later.

Gen: Keep Diving into her and you'll be able to craft stronger ones.
But crafting stronger Songs requires higher risks.
Just be careful.
Congratulations! Lady Cloche!
...Of course.
I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble by being so weak.
That's right! It's all because you're too weak!
I had to go through all that trouble and Dive with a commoner!
Now that you know, train harder.
...Yes, ma'am.

Next Time on Ar Tonelico 2: Mother