The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 64: Cloche's Soulspace, Levels 3 + 4

Cloche's Soulspace- Level 3

Loading Excerpt- Collected Observations ERROR ERROR ERROR
Is dogged persistence a virtue? Is it really a good thing to never simply give up and accept that there's no hope? I mean any sane person would have surely given up on this girl by now. Still, he's providing me with a lot of amazing data so it's okay I guess.


There's nothing here...
What do I do?
...I don't know.
I wonder if it was voluntarily deleted, or...

Anyway I have to say a completely empty Cosmosphere level is a first for me. I mean it makes sense given circumstances, but it's crazy to see first hand.

Lady Cloche!?
What the-!?

Listen... this... that...
And... how... why...
What the hell is happening!?
This is interesting.
...It's so cold.
You're... Alice?
I'm so scared...
Wh-what happened!?

...This is great!
Anyway, good day to you.
Please, wait! Lady Cloche!

Interestingly the Cosmosphere just sent him to the fourth level directly. I'm wondering if it's the design intent of the Cosmosphere to do so after such a failure.

Hm, this is pretty crazy. I've never seen this before.
What just happened?
My theory is... the 3rd level of a Cosmosphere is usually a "Memory Field".
It consists of a vivid recollection of the past, of a memory of a traumatic experience, but...
For some reason, it was gone. It was automatically or...
Intentionally deleted... And that's basically very abnormal.
Anyway, looks like there was a Paradigm Shift, and you jumped to the 4th level. Sounds good, huh?
...Was that supposed to happen?
Who knows? This 4th level looks normal enough, but you don't know what's waiting for you, you know?
Please don't jinx it.
I'm not jinxing anything. I just said, "You don't know what's waiting for you." It could be good and bad.
It's just so vague...
Whelp.... I'm gonna excuse myself now. Good luck to you.
Hey. What's wrong?

I mean it's not like he's in my Cosmosphere.

Lady Cloche!? What are you wearing...
Cloche!? Who? I'm Reish. Reish Ryokuya.
But it doesn't matter. The question is, what the hell are you doing here!?
Didn't I already tell you never to come back!?
Yeah, but...
What are you trying to do!? You want to go into me and use me!?
No, I'm not gonna use you...
You're going to threaten me by finding out my weaknesses, aren't you! You scum! Jerk! Get out of here!
Lady Clo- I mean, Miss Reish, please stop! I'm not going to use you!
You're so annoying... Say it all you want, I'm not going to trust you.
Then, what should I...
Fine. It's my fault that I couldn't kick you out. Do whatever you want!
Lady Cloche!

This is all seriously amusing to watch.

Tell me about it. Plus, she says a different thing before every Paradigm Shift...
Yes, but I already told you. Don't let whatever she says get to you.
Well, it's interesting how she's rejecting so much. Good luck and do your best to advance.
What kind of guardian are you?
It's not a crime to be interested. Curiosity is the reason for the advancement of civilization.
Anyway, whatever happens, just be confident. You're still standing here alive after that attack.
It means that at least one of her personalities is still showing her need for you.
It's complicated as usual.
I'm sure you will come to understand it some day. Just do your best.

Anyway Croix or whatever his name is tends to wander like a baby duckling looking for its mother, and found himself at a bottomless abyss. What's worse I just know he totally doesn't understand the symbolism behind half this stuff.

What is that?
Hmm, am I just delusional... or was that a mirage?

He eventually found the thread of the level, though.

You! Didn't I tell you not to come!? Why are you here!?
Um, well...
Miss Reish, good morning!
Oh, good morning.
Are you supervising again? You're so devoted!
Of course. I'm trying to protect the traditions of this school.
That's fantastic! You will always have my respect! Good luck!

People in the Cosmosphere are all based on those from reality. The interesting thing is what happens when Reyvateils show up. I mean technically all Reyvateils are connected to each other through the tower, which can lead to some aberrant occurrences.

Ah, good morning Miss Miwa. You're here today.
Just for the time being.
That's great. I hope you will keep coming everyday from now on.
...Maybe, if I feel like it. I'm sure I won't give you any trouble.
You're pretty popular.
Well, I'm the valedictorian of this school, and I'm also the student body president.
I see...
Oh... oops! I need to review for class before it begins. There's no time to waste.
Ugh, I've wasted so much time because of you. Stop following me.
Oh... Lady Cloche?
*sigh * Where else should I go?

He decided to look around the school grounds for a while.

Let's head to the school grounds.
No one is out here... Hm? Someone is under that tree. Let's see who it is.
Huh? Who are you?
Amarie! What are you doing here?
Amarie? My name is Marie. You pronounced it wrong.
Um, yeah. So, what do you want?
Well, I'm looking for Miss Reish...
Oh, the student body president? She's in the middle of class.
What about you?
I'm ditching. Unlike her, I'm a failure.
Is Miss Reish really that smart?
Of course. She has no faults.

That's amazing.
Yup, so all the teachers are counting on her. Well, it has nothing to do with me anyway.
I see.
Anyway, if you wanna see her, why don't you go to the classroom?
Okay, thank you.

Well, that's all for today.
Oh, hmm...? Is it done already?
Oh, Miss Reish. I'm glad I found you.
You... are annoying. Why do you keep following me after I told you so many times not to?
Well, I don't have anywhere else to go...
I'm so annoyed! Why don't you go hang out in the city or something!?
Hm? Miss Reish, you were with him this morning, weren't you? Ooh, is he your boyfriend!?
Oh, of course not! Well, I'm glad! I didn't think you would date a boring looking guy like him.
...A-absolutely not.
Absolutely not! A boyfriend will only get in the way of your studies anyway!
Excuse me! Goodbye, Miss Reish!

I'm fine. Anyway, you need to leave the classroom, too. It's time to go home.
I got kicked out, after all...
Hey, you!
Oh Luca, it's you.
Whoa! You remembered my name? I'm surprised!
Yeah... it's a long story.
So anyway, are you Miss Reish's boyfriend?
No, I'm really not.
Damn, so she wasn't lying. If she was, it would've been the biggest scoop ever.
The biggest scoop!?
Yup, the biggest scoop! Top story, "Miss Reish is Dating a Dolt!"
Sounds like a tabloid.
Duh, what else would it be?
I mean it doesn't matter because it's not true anyway, but I think it's wrong to reveal your friend's secrets.
What? Friend? Who?
Well, you and Miss Reish.

Oh... really?
She's always studying and she never goes out. She would be boring to hang out with. We just can't relate.
...I see.
Everyone is saying it, and that's why she always goes home alone. She said that's what she wants anyway.
That can't be.
Well, that's what she said, so what else can we do?
Oops, sorry! I have to go practice with my friend for the school festival.
School festival!?
Yep. We perform and stuff. I sooo can't wait! See ya!
A school festival, huh?
Anyway, did Lady Cloche go home?

He went about his tried and true plan of wandering aimlessly.

Anyway, it's tiring to walk around aimlessly. I wonder if there's any place to rest...

And... Captain Leglius!?
Hey lady, watch where you're walking! You just ran into me!
What are you talking about!? You bumped into me! You owe me an apology!
Ha, you've got some nerve. You wanna make something of it?
Hey, wait a second!
Heh!? Do you really wanna do this?
You're still here!?
How 'bout you pick on someone your own gender!?
Yeah, alright! I'll go ahead and beat you up then!
Is that... all you've got!? Ugh!
*huff * *huff *
Are you... alright?

Yeah, you're fine... I'm glad.
You're the one who needs help. I can't believe you did that!
I... swore to myself to protect, Lady Cloche... I mean Reish.
Stop trying to act cool. You need to heal...
Got it!

Please heal this man!
Curall: Nooo problem! Let the healing concert begin!
Whoa, um, I'm getting better.
Curall: He should be fine now!
Thank you.
Yeah, thanks...
I'm serious about this! Don't cause any more trouble!
I'm sorry... but I'm glad you're alright.
Hmph... fool.
System Message: Cure Melody: Lv 2 "Curall" acquired!

I should do the statistics on how many songs are acquired through some form of violence on the Diver. Could be good for a chuckle.

That happens all the time. It's actually a good way to relieve my stress.
Relieve your stress!?
Did I say something wrong?
No, I just couldn't picture that coming from you. You look like you're always studying.
You're just like everyone else. I don't study all the time. I like to go and hang out, too.
But didn't you say that friends and hanging out only serve to interrupt your studying?
Luca said that! I never said anything of the sort.
But it's not like I can say that in front of everyone else, though...
Anyway, you're coming with me. But only because you've already come this far. Understand?

The karaoke shop. Do you even know what karaoke is? It's a place to sing.
Oh, I see.
I like to sing, so I come here alone sometimes.
Come on, let's get to it!

Do I sound old when I say that I can't stand the kind of crap music she was singing? I mean it's absolute trash with no redeeming elements.

Heh, she's a pretty good singer...
Hmm, which song should I pick next...?
You're gonna sing more!?
Of course! I just got started!
It's actually harder than it looks...
*sigh * I feel so much better.
I'm so exhausted...
You're a lot weaker than you look.
That's not why I'm tired. I didn't expect you to sing the songs you chose.
I like that kind of music. Is that so strange?
No, of course not. I-I just didn't think you knew them.
Well, I've never told anyone about this before.
Why not? I'm sure you'd make lots of friends.
...How can I tell them?

I'm an exemplary student. I can't tell people that I like that kind of music or that I like to sing.
People would lose faith in me if they found out!
I highly doubt that.
I feel even closer to you because I went to karaoke with you.
I'm sure everyone'll feel the same way.
But that's now how I'm supposed to act.
Everyone thinks I don't know how to have fun, and that I keep a wall around me. If I change that...
They might not like me anymore...
So... you were worried about that.
You act like you don't care about what anyone thinks of you, but I knew deep down you did.
Of course I do! I want to have fun with everyone! I want to go sing and party with them.
But I've been the goody little two-shoes who everyone counts on.

I know, but... don't you want to hang out with friends?
Then you need to be brave and do something about it.
Like what?
Well, what about performing at the school festival?
What?! N-no, don't even joke about that!
If you want to make a change, the only way it'll stick is if you go all in.
...Ugh, fine. I get it! I'll do it, if it makes you happy!
I was getting tired of living like this anyway. There's so much I want to say to the teachers, too.
I'm gonna spill everything!

I'm seriously sort of impressed that he perceived the solution to the set piece without needing help on it.

No, don't be. I had fun, too.
Anyway, I'll walk you home since it's getting late.
No, thank you...
Okay, I'll let you do that for me...
It'll be my pleasure.
I've always held back. I was an example to everyone who had high expectations for me.
It was kind of suffocating. I couldn't do anything I really wanted to. I couldn't voice my opinions.
I was only allowed to say the acceptable thing.
I see...
I realized when we were talking earlier that it was hard to hold everything back while I was growing up.
I can bear with it now, but I know I'll regret everything I didn't do.
I think I'm over it now. I want to surprise everyone by doing something crazy at the school festival.

I think that was maybe when he realized convincing the really repressed girl to go wild could possibly turn out to have dangerous results.

Hey, you're the one who talked me into it. If it goes wrong, and everyone starts to hate me...
You better take responsibility...
...It was your idea, right?
But, how am I supposed to take responsibility afterwards?
You can take me to karaoke when I'm stressed, or carry my bags when I'm shopping, or listen to my complaints...
That's all I have to do?
Of course not! Those were just examples. That's like 4% of everything. I'll use you until you drop.
...Okay. I'll be cheering you on at the school festival.
...Alright, well if you will excuse me, we're almost at my house.
Good night.
Uh huh. See you tomorrow...

Thanks... for today.
That's the first time I ever went with someone to karaoke. I had fun.
...I-I'm glad.
I'd like to go again sometime.

Hmm, she's actually opening up to you now. Who'd've thought? ...This is getting interesting.
You're really nosey.
What's wrong with being curious? Curiosity makes you smarter. You should try it sometime.
I'll keep that in mind. Anyway, I wonder what's gonna happen at the festival.
Who knows? Just don't mess up and turn it into a "festival of tears".
Why do you always talk to me like an old man?
Shut up! At least I don't say anything vulgar!
Yeah, yeah.

Heeey! You're that guy from the other day! Long time no see!
Oh it's you, Luca. Not really a long time, but I guess it has been.
Oh my Goddess, did you hear that Miss Reish is performing today!? Here's the program schedule.
Oh, yeah, thanks.
A lot of people didn't know about this. This could be, like, breaking news!
You're always talking about that.
Oh, Miss Reish is performing! It's gonna be such a surprise, the world might tip over!
(Then the universe might collapse if they found out what she is going to be performing...)
She's probably gong to do a flower arrangement or a reading, but the point is that she's participating!
(Was her choice going to be a bad idea after all!?)
What's wrong? Are you sick?
Oh, no. nothing. You're right, it's the fact that she decided to participate! Hahaha...
Uh huh! Oh, so do you wanna go see it with me?
Hm? Sure...
Alright, it's set!

Alright, alright, don't go so fast.
It might start soon, if we don't hurry!
Whoa, this is a lot of people... It's so dark in here.
Looks like we barely made it! I wonder what she's going to do...
It's starting!
You fools! I'm gonna sing until your brains rot! Are you ready!?
Miss Reish... She's going crazy...

Yeah that's an understatement.

Is this really happening...!?
Let me hear you louder, you fools! Wake up already!
Anything goes! Let's dance till the night ends, you freaks!
Wha-what the!? Ms. Ryokuya... You can't be...!
I-I'm going to stop this now!
I won't let you!
Shoowwww tiiiiime! I'll make you burn inside!
Oh Goddess! This is so cool! I've never been to a show like this!
Whooaa! What are you doing!? Teachers! Hold her down!
Crap! The teachers are coming! Everybody, run!

Damn, that was awesome! I didn't think the teachers were gonna come to stop it.
It would be weird if they didn't... Anyway, she was out of control...
That was so crazy! But it was awesome. I'm kind of surprised... I wanna go karaoke with her!
Yeah, please.
Hey, you! Croix!
Oh, Miss Reish, that was great!
There's no time for that right now! Run!
Wait, Ryokuyaaaa! What the hell was that, you fool!?
I just did what I wanted to!
Here, let's go!
Oh, alright!

It was beyond anything I had imagined...
Oh yeah? That was just the beginning. But it was interrupted by the teachers.
I'm sure they would...
I feel so good now! It was so exciting! I didn't know doing what I want to do was so fun.
It just made me realize how much I had been holding back.
I forgot who I am by trying to be an example for everyone...
I see... Well looking at how happy you are makes me happy, too.
Hehe... Thanks.
Miss Reish! That was so amazing! I didn't think you would sing that kind of music!
I fell for it... Please, take me to karaoke with you sometime!
Yeah, sure!
...That was impressive. You were kind of annoying to me, but I feel closer to you after what happened.
You were pretty unapproachable, but you're really not. Why were you holding back all this time?
Hehe, I don't know... But now I know that I never had to.
I need to be myself, and do what I want to do and take responsibility...

I'd rather live and do everything my way. I'm going to be the new me from now on.

You cleared level 4. After this, it's the end of the beginning.
That was just the beginning, huh?
Of course. You're still only standing in the doorway to her mind.
You're going to see the real her, and learn the real power of the Cosmosphere.
...You're scaring me.
This isn't even considered a threat. Just remember to be prepared for it.
...Yeah, okay.
Anyway, go do the Paradigm Shift already. We can talk after that.
System Message: Magic Holy Burst : Lv 3 "Volcanics" acquired!

Some day I need to work out all the bugs with my Dive emulator, so many scenarios I need to run.

The deeper we go, the better magic we'll acquire. Don't worry Lady Cloche, whatever happens, I'll protect you.
*sigh * I've always wondered where you get all that confidence from...
It's not confidence. I can't guarantee the results, but I'll never give up.
I just want you to know that.
Hehehe! No confidence...huh? Well, I don't want you to lie to me.
But I kind of understand what you're saying. It makes me feel like I can relax a little.
I'm glad.
Honestly, I'm so scared. I don't want you to come to the next level.
But a part of me thinks it's okay to show it to you.
...Well, that's it, so you're welcome to come back... if you feel like it.
Thank you very much.
Well then, I'm going into the Paradigm Shift.
...Looks like you guys are getting along.
Yeah, I think so.

Anyway back to the grind. Happy endings don't make themselves.