The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 66: Cloche's Soulspace, Level 5 COMPLETE

Please Enter Authorization Key
Seriously? Tiresome.
Authorization Key Accepted, user FAKE_ADMIN. Commencing system reload.
There, that all seems to be in order. You know, I wonder how all this would have gone if that dumb guy had chosen properly instead of falling for that creepy girl in black. Computer, load simulation environment, restart point Cosmosphere, Cloche Level 5.
Simulation loaded.


I mean does anyone actually dress like that anymore? Where does she come up with these?

Lady Cloche, or is it Miss Reish again?
I hate you!
Ouch! What was that for!?
I wish you never came here! I hate you!
Wait, please!
That was random... And it hurt...

Yeah. How did you know?
My daughter's always talking about you. I see, you are cute, just as she said... Hehehe.
What did she say?
Anyway, come on in. Cloche is waiting for you in her love sick mood.
Love sick mood? Well... thank you.
Come this way.
Hm, so this is Lady Cloche's room...
Cloche! You shouldn't throw things at your friends!
Why did you let him in!?
You were looking forward to seeing him, weren't you?
Hey! Don't say it like that. He might take it the wrong way!
Plus, you're all dressed up already. I can tell that you're excited...
It doesn't matter. Just go away, Mom!
Okay, okay.
This is a nice room...
Um, you look great... in that outfit.

N-nothing really... What are you preparing for, anyway?
Today is the summer festival, so I was gonna go.
...You've got a problem with that!?
No, I don't... It's just that your mom told me that you were waiting for me...
Who was waiting for you!?

Well, if it's okay with you, I'd like to go with you.
Why would I go with you!? I'm not going!
Alright... I'm sorry. I was kind of excited to go to the festival with you.
Well, I wouldn't mind if you can do one thing for me.
What is that?
I'm... I'm afraid of crowds. I need you to protect me.
If you will hold my hand the entire time, you can come with me.
That's it? Of course I can do that.
So... will you take my hand?
Sure. Let's go.

Some people never learn. I like to call them stupid people. But I repeat myself.

Which one is it!?
Go away! Leave! Get out of my sight!
I just hate you! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, Croix!
Ugh... I'm confused. Which one is it?
I should go downstairs for now...
I'm so sorry, Mr. Croix. She's so spoiled.
It's fine, but what's going on? What's wrong with Lady Cloche?
She's trying to face her problems. She was seriously distressed about you coming here, too.
You said she was waiting for me in a love sick mood, didn't you?
Anyway, Mr. Croix, please grab her heart for me.
That doesn't sound right...
And listen to her problems, and free her mind.
Um, okay...

It's annoying because I make fun of this idiot but he's sometimes frighteningly perceptive. Also he did kick my ass pretty badly.

It's a problem that she can't resolve by herself. That's why it's here... according to Infel.
...Anyway, I need to go find Lady Cloche.
Oh... I remember now! Infel! Infel! Are you here?
Oh, shut up already. What is it?
Who do you think you are, calling my name like that? Come back in a million years, or give me 20 Leaf.
...That's actually pretty cheap.
So, what do you want?
I'm gonna be pretty straight forward about this. Were you the Maiden 400 years ago?
...! Wh-what are you talking about?
I saw your statue at Promise Hill... Along with a statue of the Maiden of Fuero.
Oh, what a coincidence!
You were talking about a "Princess on a white pony" once. Is it her?
Oh, hm, did I say something like that?
...Are you gonna keep denying this?
It's better that some things remain a mystery!

If he's got time to worry about things like that, you'd think he'd spend it on doing something useful.

This damn kid is coming from deeper in the Cosmosphere, I'm sure of it. It's strange though because it doesn't actually feel like one of her personas per se.

Oh, is that Alice...? What's wrong? Are you lost?
I'm all alone. I'm so lonely...
Oh I see... You're alone too, huh? I'm alone too for now. Do you want to look around with me?
Alice, that's a shooting game. Have you ever played one before?
...Do you want to try it?
Welcome, heh heh heh! If you shoot the toy, you get to keep it! Would you like to try?
We'll give it a shot.
Much obliged. Now whose turn is it?
She's going.
Hmmm, what a cute little girl, heh heh heh. But you still can't cheat.
Use this gun, and shoot the target. Here you go.

Alice! You're not supposed to shoot him!!
Listen here, you brat! What the hell is your problem, anyways!
...Oh... I'm sorry.
I won't forgive you! Your prize today is punishment!
Crap... Alice, run!
Gah! Wait!

Aren't you tired?
Anyway, that was pretty bad. You shot the guy right in front of you, instead of the target.
I did it on purpose.
Alice, what did you say?
I shot him on purpose.
Why would you do that!? That was just a BB gun, but what if it was real?
I-I'm sorry...
I wish it was real... I'm sorry it was just a BB gun...
Alice...? What the hell are you saying...?

Forgive you?
Okay, okay. I will. Just stop crying.
*sigh * ...What is going on? Who are you? You keep popping in and out of nowhere. What are you to Lady Cloche?
...I wanna go home.
...Fine. It's getting late. Sorry for interrogating you.
I want to go home... but my house is really far away. I can't make it.
I'll take you home. Don't worry.
Really...? You can take me there?
Yeah, of course. Can you show me the way?
Just a little further...

We're almost there, but... we can't get there.
...Is it that mirage over there?
How are we supposed to get there?
We can't...
Hey, Alice!
...She's gone again. Who is she?

...What? Who do you think you are calling my name? I'll need to start charging you for that.
Sorry. I wanted to ask you something. You know who Alice is, right? What's her story?
If you're right, she was made up by Lady Cloche, too. What is she?
...I don't know either.
I've been thinking about it too, but I can't find a clue within my great knowledge.
...I see.
I'm sure you'll find something out once you go deeper.
You make it sound so easy...
I can't Dive, so you have to Dive for me and solve these mysteries for my own curiosity.
I'm not here to Dive for you.
Oh, really? What a bummer. You're so into Cloche. I want a tenth of your attention.
...Into her? That's not the right way to put it.
...You're not supposed to point that out!

You would think this next part wouldn't be more funny the second time but it is.

Lady Cloche, there you are. I was looking for you.
Croix... Do you want to go to the festival with me?
Of course...
I see... I want to go with you, too.
Okay... I'm glad. Well then, let's go together.
Lady Cloche, you're not making any sense...
It might sound contradicting to you, but it all makes sense to me.
You probably won't even understand...
That's not true. Please, let me hear it. We might be able to solve something.
...Really? You will help me solve it?
I'll do anything I can to help you.
Anything? So you'll do anything I say?
Yes, to the best of my ability.
...Okay, then put this on!
Is this a...

I can't imagine how little self-respect he has to have not immediately left when this happened.

Yes, it is. Alright, let's go to the festival.
W-wait! You want me to go like this...
Oh? Didn't you say you will do anything I said?
Well, yeah but...
I... love you, Croix. I really do...
Why are you saying that all of a sudden? What's wrong?
It's not sudden. I... don't know when, but I've been starting to like you a lot.
I just couldn't tell you through all our messy times... But now that you're on a leash, I feel like I can.
I love you, I really do. I wanted to tell you for so long. I wanted to tell you how I feel...
Oh... Croixbaby on a leash... You look so cute.
Lady Cloche! Calm down.
Oh, I'm as calm as I can be. Now I can go to the summer festival with my love, Croixbaby.
Like this!? No, it'll look too weird! I mean it!
It's not weird. You look great in it, little Croixbaby. Now, let's go!
D-don't pull on the leash so hard! I'm coming, I'm coming!

I didn't mean to go out with her like that.
Oh, you're so disobedient. You might get thrown out for the night like a bad pet!
Like a pet!
Don't you get that this isn't funny?
Sh-shut up! I'm just letting you know, since you're so slow!
Yeah, yeah.

Okay, this is too weird. Everyone's looking at me.
It's not weird. Everyone's looking at you because you're so cute.
Trust me, that's not why they're looking. This is... really weird.
You're weird. Hurry up, let's go look at the shops!
Wait! We should both calm down first!
I'm gonna let myself loose and let's talk this over.
Let me just...
Ack! Stop pulling so hard! I can't... Breathe!
How cute! You're trying to get off your leash...
I'm not letting you go. And why should I, when I love you so much?
Why can't you say that when I'm not on the leash? What difference does it make?
It makes all the difference in the world.
I just don't get it!
You will soon enough. Now, let's hurry up. The festival will end soon.
So... where should we start?

Oh Luca, it's you. Are you having fun, too?
Of course. Anyway...
You two look so cute together! I'm a little jealous.
Hehe, don't we? He's my favorite pet. I know it sounds stupid, but I'm obsessed with him.
Haha! Good for you! Maybe I should get one of them, too...
I highly recommend it. Croixbaby is so cute... I'm so in love with him. He makes me happy every day.
Man, that's so rad. I gotta get one for sure!
Luca!? I'm not a pet! Plus, nobody says, "rad" anymore...
Anyway, I'm leaving now! Take good care of Croixbaby, okay?
Alright, see you later!

I meant exactly what I said. Just look at you.
This is too weird! What's the point in coming here together if I'm on a leash?
What are you so unhappy about?
I'm not telling you to bark like a dog, or walk on all fours, am I?
I just have you on a leash. ...You're making a big deal out of nothing.
You seem... agitated.
...Well, duh.
Uhm... hm... fine. You can...
You can hold my...hand.
That'll make you feel more like we're on a date, right?
Oh yeah! Well then...

You know they say insanity is repeating the same action and expecting different results.

Whoa! Don't push me so hard! I'm backing off.
Ow! The collar...
Hold on! I can't go back any farther than this! Ouch! Ah! You're hurting me.
If you want me to go away, take the collar off first!
No! If I did that, you might run away!
Just tell me what you want...
Oh, look, a shooting game! Wanna play?
A shooting game? Sure...
Welcome! 100 Leaf a turn.
Hmm... this brings back memories. I played this once, when I was a little girl.
I actually did something really terrible... but I look back on it fondly now. Hey, old man, one turn please.

I see. So that's the solution then. Heh.

Just point at the target and shoot!
Alright! I'm going to get that Pippen stuffed animal...
Oh, it's not that easy...
Ugh, I can't do it. I only have one shot left...
Tuck your arms to your side, and relax your shoulders...
It's easier said than done! Why don't you do it, and show me how.
Watch and learn.
Old man, we're just swapping! I'm gonna let my cute Croixbaby take my last shot, okay?
That's fine by me, but I ain't never seen anyone let their pets play before.
We're so in love. We eat and walk together all the time. I want him to play this game with me, too.
Okay, okay. Stop bragging, and play it already.
Croixbaby, good luck!
...Here goes.
You did it! Yes! You got the Pippen!
I love Pippen! I knew you'd do it! I love you! I'm so happy!
Damn... you got one. Just take it away!
...I'm happy for you, Lady Cloche.

I don't think anyone has ever been so degraded for something as simple as Song Magic.

Until no one is watching.
That could take forever!
Shut up! What do you want me to do!? I want to flirt with you in public!
What does that have to do with the collar?
Oh! Lady Cloche is here, too!
Greetings, Lady Cloche. I didn't expect to see you here.
Oh, Cocona and her dad, good evening. You guys are here too, huh?
Hahaha, well Cocona begged me to bring her.
Well Dad said he wanted to sleep through the festival! That super sucks!
You never change.
Lady Cloche, you're not by yourself today?
Nope. Today I'm with my lovely Croixbaby.
Wow! You guys look so cute together! I want a pet that I can treat like that.
I'm not a pet!
Well, you look like a pet. You have a collar on and everything.

No, no! He's my pet! Croixbaby is at a difficult age. Please ignore him.
Now Croix, apologize to her!
Ouch! You don't need to hit me!
You're supposed to act like a pet in front of people! I just told you that a second ago!
But I don't understand! Why can't you just tell me why you want me to do this!?
Ughh! You're so annoying! This is my plan so we can hang out together! What the hell's your problem anyway!?
My problem is that this is obviously weird!
You know what!? I don't wanna be with you if this is what it takes!
I'm done playing "pet"!
No... the leash...
Your collar broke!
If I'm gonna go out on a date with you, we're gonna do it right.
Huh!? So he is your boyfriend!?
No, that's not true! Stupid Croix, what do you think you're doing!?
Lady Cloche! When did you...?
What a surprise! Lady Cloche has a boyfriend!
No, no, no! He's not my boyfriend!
Calm down!

Just calm down...
Don't touch me! Go away!
Lady Cloche!

I can't imagine how it took that long for him to freak out.

Is Lady Cloche here...!?
She came home and locked herself in her room. Did you guys get in a fight?
It's a long story... Excuse me!
Lady Cloche!

This level's Cloche wasn't there, it's that silly guardian instead. I guess that's what happens when you don't have a mind guardian.

Lady Cloche... What are you wearing?
I'm not the Cloche from this world. I'm from a deeper world.
Deeper world? You mean from a higher level Cosmosphere? What are you doing here?
I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do. I come here for a reason.
The problem that the Cloche in this level is having can't be solved in this level.
What do you mean?
There are two different problems that are contradicting each other. That's why she's so confused.
Those are the feelings she has toward me and...
The image she has to show to the public.
To the public...
Who do you think I am? Everyone knows me, and I'm supposed to lead them and make rational decisions.
I've never been in love. Happy or not, I just never met the right person...
But unfortunately, I fell in love with you.
That's why I came to tell you this.

What are you...
It shouldn't be any surprise. I've been saying that all along.
The Cloche in this level has already lost herself in you. She won't be able to calmly tell you that.
That's why I'm here to let you know instead.
...I swore to protect Lady Cloche. I'm not going anywhere.
And how strong is that commitment...?
Honestly, this is going to be your last chance. You better leave now or...
You won't be able to leave after this, even if you change your mind.
If your words are true... then you must be completely prepared.
You will need to commit your entire life to me.
You just needed to keep saying that and use your body to protect me up until now.
However, from here on, you can't just "protect" me...
...That's all I have to say. My wish is that you won't come back here.

The me of this world is hiding somewhere. Find her and talk to her about this.
Don't you dare make an irrational decision at the spur of the moment. You will end up regretting it later.
Good bye.
...A commitment, huh?

This being where the real one wussed out. Let's say he didn't, though.

I'm sorry, Lady Cloche. I finally figured out what your problem is.
You can still hear me from there, right?
You're the most valuable person in this world. Everyone is counting on you.
Your responsibility of protecting the people and not letting love bother you with your task...
And your wish to be a woman and fall in love with someone...
These two wishes are clashing with each other, and are your biggest dilemma.
You're... mostly right.
This is my first time falling in love. I didn't know it would be so hard to make rational decisions like this.
I was so excited and I couldn't help myself. I wanted to see you...
But the maiden part of me kept rejecting the idea...
That's why I tried to trick myself and the others.
...With... the collar?

Hey, he figured it out!

I was able to deal with my feelings and my public image by treating you like a pet.
I knew it wouldn't work. I couldn't do it forever.
But I do love you. I'm so happy when I'm around you.
That's why it's become such a big problem.
How are you going to protect me?
As a knight? Or as my partner?
Please, don't be irrational!
I'm ready to show you my everything, depending on your decision.
I want to find a way for both us to be happy together.
It won't be easy to stay with me. You will be criticized by the citizens and the Grand Bell.
We're from different social classes. There are so many problems that we'll need to solve, one at a time.
Plus, I need to figure it out myself. I don't know if I can do my job while being in love with you.

Plus love is a horrible state of madness that brings only agony and despair to the world and its people. Just saying.

I won't be able to forgive myself if I mess up... I might destroy myself from that.
If you still want to accept me as all of the above...
Meet me at the Stonehenge after you make your decision.
To be honest, I'll be so happy if you come, but I don't want you to make an irrational decision.
Anyway, I'll be waiting for you there...

You know the real him punking out before it even got to that point turns out to be a pretty merciful move in retrospect.

Feinne's Shouts From the Fourth Wall:
I actually did intentionally dodge this scene earlier because I don't need the game making me feel all bad here. I'd actually forgotten that, unlike Luca's level 5, Cloche's actually makes you feel like a bastard if you're not on her ending path.

Let's get this saccharine-sweet simulation over with.

I know I keep saying this, but your decision will affect my life, too. Be responsible for what you choose.
I know.

...You're sure of this.
Yes, I am. I want to live my life as your partner from now on.
That must mean...
Whatever I say to you, however I act towards you, or whatever you experience...
You must keep protecting me.
Whatever you see in me, you must accept me for who I am.
You know, you have to be beside me forever?
...Of course.
If you back out in the middle of it...
...I'll never forgive you.
That's fine.
Lady Cloche, you told me earlier that you will find a way for both of us to be happy together.
Whatever you do or say to me, I will always know that it is for our own good.
I'm sure that will work out just fine.

I know it might sound ideal, but that's how I feel.
Croix... I'm so happy. Thank you...

Paradigm Shift or something.

I won't be able to control anything deeper than here.
You might find me trying to destroy you. That's also one of my feelings.
You have to accept me through it all. Do you understand?
...I see.

I'm particularly proud of even simulating my own involvement in these things. I am having to live vicariously through fake me's taunting of Croix.

...You could say that.
Both you and Cloche might not be able to return to reality if you're not ready for this.
I know.
...Well then, do your best. I won't be helping you anyway. I'll just sit back and watch.

Okay, that's it for now, gotta run the numbers on the next one.

User Comment: Falconer

Falconer posted:

I figured it was time that I put together that post-level 5 conversation between Cloche and Croix. There's one thing I feel I should note before I get to the actual dialogue. This works similar to a talk topic in that it takes place in Cloche's tent/room, but unlike a talk topic Cloche is in her normal outfit instead of her nightgown. It's a minor thing, but with that said...

-= Post level 5 Cosmosphere, after resting at an Inn or save point =-

Who is it? ...Croix.
...Lady Cloche? Is something wrong?
N-no. It's nothing.
Is that so? Then that's fine.
...... So, Croix. How are things with Luca lately? Are you doing well?
Huh? Uh, yes... We talk to each other normally now.
I see, yes. You and Luca are childhood friends. Of course you're close with each other...
What's wrong? You're acting a little strange, Lady Cloche.
I'm sure it's more fun being with Luca. You have so much more in common. If you're with me because you felt pity, then you can go back to being with Luca.
Lady Cloche! That's...
Because I can't tell any more if it really was a good thing for you to pick me...
...... Of course it was. I picked you of my own free will. I still think it was the right choice.
But I don't know if you really feel that way.
Then... what should I do? I seriously like you! More than anyone else...

Comment from the Peanut Gallery: At this point, the background changes to a picture of a blushing Cloche hugging Croix. Revisiting chapter 18 of this LP (Heart's Battle) allows you a mostly uncluttered look at said picture about halfway into the chapter. This combined with the change in background music really helps set the desired tone for this entire scene.

L-Lady Cloche...!?
...... I thought... It might relieve me a bit... It's so difficult... but doing this makes me feel like my problems are so tiny...
Lady Cloche, I love you. There's class and status and all that, but I want to stay with you like this.
...You're no fair.
You never do or say anything after I take action. Stupid.
I'm sorry... but...
I was worried that maybe you still liked Luca. I felt insecure, even when I was with you... If you really like me, then don't think about class or status. Be more aggressive and appealing.
Okay. It's like... a dream for you to be talking to me like this. I will protect you forever. Like this... Together, forever... You're usually dignified and cool. I like that about you. But I love you right now even more. ...You're very cute.
Stupid... What are you saying?
But, I'm very sorry. Because I was a coward, I caused you to worry... I am devoted to you. I love you... Lady Cloche.
...Me too. I... I like you too. ...Ah, stupid! What are you making me say?
I'm sorry, but it makes me very happy. I will continue to protect you forever. Everything about you, Lady Cloche...

...aaand that's that. After that last line the scene ends and the game resumes as if you'd just finished resting. I'm fairly sure there's a similar scene with Luca post-level 5, but I don't have a save that is anywhere close to that point with her.

Simulation Projection: Victim Pain