The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 69: Cloche's Soulspace, Level 7

Clochemas Devilstravaganza!

Feinne's Shouts From the Fourth Wall:
Screw this. This is the Special Edition of this level because they fuck up the English so very badly. I'm going to preserve the original intent of the passages, don't worry.

I'm not even sure how this is still going on. Surely there's nothing left.


The world was completely ruined.

Alice is gone, too...
I should go look around.

Croix went and looked at something that really is none of his business. Not that he knew what it was.

This looks like a huge lock...

Then he got back on track.

Man, she cannot be seriously wearing that.

Whoa! ...Lady Cloche! You're back! What are you wearing...?
Back? I didn't die or disappear in the first place. All of my other selves seem to be gone, though.
Seems like you're the unlucky one. You dove into a world like this.
Prisma: Hmm? Do we have a visitor, meow?
Oh, hello Prisma.
Y, you're that one with Luca!
Prisma: That's right, meow! You remembered! I'm Crescent Prisma, meow!
What are you doing here!?
Prisma: What do you mean... Magic usually sticks around with the owner, meow.
The owner...!?
...Do you get it? Or you still don't?
...You are...

I knew it! It was the only rational explanation.

Ugh, an imaginary "guest" can't create magic.
I'm not the Luca that she created. I'm made up of one of Cloche's personalities.
Do you understand?
Why did you do that!? Why did you make a level that would destroy Lady Cloche's mind... why...
Oh, I didn't make that level. That was created by Cloche, herself. I was just helping out to make it more exciting.
It would be boring if it was always an imaginary Luca. I wanted a realistic personality to take over.
Did you think it was different? It was working just fine, and I was so close to bringing that level deeper.
Why did you intentionally help destroy this world...?
It has to do with my existence... and the idea I have is a little different than that of the other personalities.
My philosophy is...
Prisma: Cloche! Emergency! The flower field is forming again, meow!
...What did you say?
Prisma: We need to destroy it fast, meow!
Oh man... Even if the body is gone, some kind of personality is still struggling its way through.

Wow, this is incredibly bad. There is no way he can deal with this alone.

...Wish for self-destruction.
A wish for self-destruction...!?
What should I do... If only Infel was here to help... Dammit...
System Message: Magic [Brave Thunder: Lv 2B] "Crescent Prisma" acquired.

He ran to the flower field to try and stop them, for what good that would do.

Oh, why did you come here? How annoying.
The flower field... This is horrible...
Prisma: ...Cloche, emergency, emergency meow! Now the Travel Basket is coming back, meow!
Croix, it seems like your existence is giving one of my personalities hope.
It's supposed to be impossible to do this without its body, but I can't think of any other reason.
Alright... I have a good idea.
*cough * *cough *
You're our, Cloche's hope... What if I killed you?
...Wh-what are you saying?
I could trap you in here forever too. After the Dive, everyone will wake up except for you...
I bet Cloche in real life would go crazy... Hehehe!
I wonder what would happen... Doesn't it make you excited?
No way!

Their attack was relentless.

She would probably go crazy if she saw this happening.
Crap... I better get out of here for now...
I won't let you! Crescent Prisma!
Prisma: Yes, meow!
Prisma: You can't get away now!
Hehehe! Hm, what can I do to drive Cloche nuts the most...?
S, stop! What do you get out of this!
You see, I'm not sure if there is any good.
Humans don't always choose the right thing. Sometimes they make bad decisions on purpose.
On... purpose...!?
Gaaahhhh... Ah... Uh...
Do you know when that is?
That... is when there is no hope.
Everyone possesses a wish for self destruction, one way or the other, but don't you think it's rare to see someone that wishes for it so strongly like me?
People compare their happiness to the average, and if the difference seems so big, sometime...
They will work to lower the average itself.

Now we're coming to the truth.

Then, I won't be the only one who's unhappy... I can relax for a bit... Don't you feel that way sometimes too?
Whatever, the time for questions is over. I want to start torturing you already.
Damn... What do I do now...
...! That's right...
I can use this "Reset Button"... and I might be able to change something.
...! That button...!
Don't use that!
Crescent Prisma!
Gaaahhh... Ah... Agh...
Don't you dare press that button...! I didn't expect you to have that thing...
There is no time to waste... I will destroy you right now!
How huge...
You should just disappear... You, Luca, and everyone else too!
You guys gave me such high hopes! If not for you, I could've happily fallen into a pit of despair!
Die, die, die, die! Everyone die!

Once again it's up to me, or at least simulation me, to save the day.

Don't get me wrong! I just came back out of curiosity!
I felt like a loser, leaving alone this Cosmosphere filled with mysteries!
Didn't think you would come back.
I didn't even create you, right? What is the point of obsessing over my world?
Oh, shut up... That's what I just said. I came back out of curiosity, and to further my knowledge.
I will not leave until I solve this Cosmosphere and all of its irrational mysteries.
And what are those?
One! The reason for the fall of the 3rd level!
Two! The reason why the world didn't disappear, even after Cloche did in the 6th level!
Three! The reason for your existence even after Cloche disappeared!
...What does the third one mean...?
There should be an equal effect to all the levels, even if only one of the personalities gets rejected.
That means, you shouldn't be able to be standing here right now.
...Interesting. I would like to hear more about that.
Sure. I'll tell you the two theories I came up with.
First. The destruction of all personalities is impossible, and you're just making it look like that.
Second, there is someone that manages "Cloche" in this world, and...
All the Cloches are gone, but you're chosen to be alive for a reason.

I will reveal your everything!
Infel, wait a second!
Gah... I shouldn't have let my guard down... If you think you can defeat me, go on and try!
What...! Let me hit you again with it!
She got away...! I was almost there...
Thanks... for helping me.
It-it's not like I saved you because I like you! I'm going to use you as much as I can from now on...
Well, I didn't say that...
Sh-shut up! I was just making sure, since you're so full of yourself!
I see, well thanks. Anyway, what are we going to do now?
Alice! Where did Alice go!?
I haven't seen her since I entered this level.
Alice might be the reason this world is hanging on by a thread.
I struggled a little bit, but there is no way that devilish Cloche can regulate the other personalities.
Alice is Cloche, but she's not one of the personalities.

As I suspected, she's the key to all of this.

Life is full of surprises.
Anyway, that devil Cloche must have some clue about this.
Whether she was chosen or not, it's true that she's treated a little differently.
Hypothetically, there must be a reason why that Cloche was chosen by Alice, or whoever.
I see...
If we could find out that reason, then we might be able to solve this whole thing.
That's pretty good... We should try that. So, what should I do?
Let me see...
Oh hey! You should equip some iron claw to fight against her!
Why is that!?
The real "Iron Cro...ix" Or...
There is no time for your word play. You weren't even making any sense anyway...
Sh-shut up! I'm trying to calm this tense air!
Yeah, yeah.

Stupid kid, can't appreciate my rapier wit. See, his name can also be said "Cr-augh" which if you consider that 'r' is a fluid could easily be misheard as "Claw" and I don't know why I bother.

Do something while I attract her attention with my magic, "Geometrica"!
Alright, the strategy meeting is over!
Huh!? W, wait... That doesn't tell me what to do at all! You're not helping!
...You're such a greedy man. Fine, I'll give you one clue.
You act so nonchalant. Why don't you try and show your feelings and emotions more?
You can't Paradigm Shift by just being cool from here on.
Let's hurry now!
It still seems pretty unreasonable..
System Message: Magic [Mind Zapper: Lv 2A] "Geometrica" acquired!

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
We've gotten two magics so far. Crescent Prisma is good, but I generally prefer Solar Paladin because it's easy to evolve to quickly and then just throw out with Replakia. It's also sort of academic because now we have Geometrica. The Geometrica cannon is super awesome and I love it every single time Infel pops up and fucks up someone with her huge gun. Expect to see it for irony's sake when I refight InfelxNenesha with Cloche's path.

Other me had an amusing experiment to suggest to Croix. I wish I'd gotten to see it in real life.

Well, if it's something I can do, I don't mind.
It's very easy. Even a baby can do it.
I see. So, what am I doing?
Next time you return to the real world, I want you to go and caress Cloche's right thigh.
Uh, she'll slap me and beat me down! I mean, why do you want me to do that of all things?
Hehe, well you see, it seems... she's weak there. So it got me interested.
Yup. According to my research, when she feels something touch her right thigh in a crowd of people, she reacts funny.
Sometimes, she walks so that her clothes touch her right leg, without really thinking about it consciously.
See? Isn't it interesting? So I want greater evidence to prove my research results.
If you can touch her thigh, then I can get numbers from the emotional data that will prove my assumptions correct.
What the hell are you researching...
It's because I'm bored. Don't you think it's kinda fun researching things that even she doesn't know?
And plus, aren't you interested too? Places where she's sensitive. Hehe...
D-don't be saying stupid things...

I don't know, maybe I'll still get to find that out, she's been doing weird things lately. Anyway back to the main event.

I'm not leaving until I return Lady Cloche to this world.
Oh ho, so you'll never go back?
You better be ready. I'll find out why you're here, if it takes the rest of my life!
*sigh * Such an annoying little brat, as always. Why don't you just shut up and go home?
This is my home. What's wrong with me trying to fix it?
Get outta here! This is my mind.
I call first attack! Croix, get ready!
Prisma: That was so close, meow!
Dammit... she dodged it!
Looks like it won't be so easy...
What did you expect? This is the 7th level. If you're not careful, somebody might mistakenly kill you, you know?
Mistakenly? You tried to kill me earlier!
Oh, did I? I must have been mistaken.

In the end I don't have nearly as much power to change things as a Diver. If things were going to be fixed it would need to be Croix.

Okay, here I come! Yaaaaaah! One more time!
It doesn't matter how many times you try!
Prisma: Meeeow!
What!? No...

I'm not entirely certain what Croix was thinking but he ran over and grabbed her.

I'm not letting go. I will bring Lady Cloche back to this world.
I swore to myself that I'll protect her till the very end...
No, go away! I'm fine being here alone! I don't want any friends!
Why not!?
Because then I can't possibly get any unhappier than I am right now.
Happiness always turns into despair! I don't want that! And I don't need you!
Everyone is just using me, including you! No one in this world really cares about me!
That's... enough!
*Gasp *
I might not be enough to give you all the happiness that you need...
But I'm doing my best, everyday, to create more happiness for us both.
I wish for you to be happy everyday!
Do you really expect me to believe that?
If you don't, that's fine with me. But there's your answer.
I'll just have to start from here, and work hard so that someday Lady Cloche will believe in me!
I need you to let me stay by your side until then. I won't lose hope and I won't give up.
Just tell me when you don't believe me, and feel free to do anything to me if you ever feel betrayed.
I will accept your judgment, and I will prove myself in the end!
I will be your friend, and we will be happy together!

Not much for me to do at this point.

Because it's the only way to stay close to you!
Even through the hard times, I want to be with Lady Cloche!
Life is so much harder when she's not with me!
I can't stand it anymore! That's why I'm telling you this right now!
There will be times when we won't understand or believe in each other...
But little by little... day by day, we can solve it together. It'll take time, but we'll always be moving forward.
We can be friends someday if we slowly work on understanding each other.
That's what I want us to do. To solve the problems, and be happy together.
Is that so hard? Is it too much to ask that you just let me stick around?

This was about where he began to turn things around.

I'm so scared... *sniff *
Lady Cloche!?
I won't be able to go on if Croix left me!
I'm so scared to lose you, because I love you so much...
I want to be with you... forever!
But... that's impossible. So I'd rather not feel that happiness to begin with.
If I have to go through the pain of losing you someday, I'd rather be less unhappy the whole time... *sob *
...Lady Cloche.
I'm so sorry. I didn't realize you felt so... strongly about this.
*sob * *sob *
I know everything lies in the darkness ahead of us. I don't know what will happen...
I can only promise you one thing.
*sob * What is that?
I've been trying everyday to make us both happy.
However it turns out, I still tried.
I will keep trying from now on...

I will live to make us happy... day by day.
As long as I do that everyday... our happiness will continue everyday.
There is no end to the happiness. It will keep going on... as long as I keep working on it...
I want to keep working on this with you... Is that still not enough?
*sob * Croix...
I don't ever want to be away from you. I want to be with you... forever.
I love you, Croix. No one else can have you. I want you to keep hugging me, and kissing me...
Because... I love you so much.

And we were out of the red.

She's turning back into the normal Cloche.
I... want to live... with you.
I wanna live with you, too.
You promise? You won't ever leave me alone?
I can only promise to do my best.
You won't start getting tired or bored with me, will you?
I... I can't promise that.
But, I will let you know if I ever think that's happening, so we can work it out together.
...Fair enough.
Croix... I love you.
I love you too, Lady Cloche.
Hehe, I'm so happy.
Looks like her will to live beat out her self-destructiveness.
...I'm glad.
...So you can do this.

Croix, thank you for saving me... and this world.
I just did what my heart told me to do.
I'm glad I reached through to you in the end.
So anyway, I'm still not convinced.
What do you mean?
*sigh * Nothing seems to have changed at all.
Now that you mention it...
Hey, there's the Paradigm Shift!

Of course before he got too excited there were some things I had to point out.

Sorry to tell you this, but you can't go into that Paradigm Shift.
What? Why not?
An I.P.D.'s Cosmosphere only goes up to the 7th level.
Yeah, it's supposed to go to the 9th, but for some reason you can only go to the 7th in an I.P.D.
That's why the ending ceremony is conducted at the 7th floor for them.
What's the ending ceremony?
...I can't believe you don't know that. Fine. I'll tell you before it begins. Come to the church once you're ready.

It's odd though because we don't really have all the answers. Also that me didn't quite tell him the whole story because honestly he doesn't need to know.

Sorry. So, how do we complete this?
Ending ceremony approves the fact that you have seen and accepted all of Cloche.
You can conduct it by both of you two agreeing to that fact.
I see...
If you complete it right, the ties between you two will be stronger, and you will acquire a magic to prove it.
Okay, then I better do this right.
Right. Well then, come with me.

Lady Cloche... you're...
! ...Don't stare so much!
You look good in it.
Y, yeah...? Thanks...
Okay, okay, okay, anyway, we're starting now. Hurry now, c'mon.
This is not even the right mood.
It's not like you guys are getting married! There's no need to set the mood!
So, ready?
Err... The time is finally here. Cloche has over come many obstacles...
And um, provoked countless Paradigm Shifts... and finally got to this point.
And, uhh...
Infel...? Do you not wanna do this?
Sh-shut up! I'm not good at this kind of stuff! Continuing!
Croix has accepted all of Cloche, and the two stand here today.
Cloche Leythal Pastalia.
Do you pledge here today that you have given your all to Croix and showed him everything with no lies?
I... I do...

And that's when things got INTERESTING.

You are so full of it.
Lady Cloche!? What's wrong?
No, no, no, no, no! No... Go away...!
You haven't showed Croix everything. You're a liar... A liar!
No... No, no... Go away... Please, forgive me!
You're a liar. You're a liar. You're a liar. You're a liar. You're a liar. You're a liar.
Please... Forgive me...
Alice...!? What is going on!?
Cloche has... not showed you all of her.
Hey, Cloche...
*gasp * Ah... Agh... ah... Ahh...
Don't you know that I'm so lonely...? Why do you keep locking me up?

I think I get it now.

Alice...! Stop, you're scaring Lady Cloche!
Ple-plea... please... For-for-forgive me...
It's not about forgiving you or not. I just... want to go back to you...
Nooo! Go away!
Whoa! This isn't good! Hey, Infel! Can't we do anything!?
This... this is what I've been waiting for! The truth is about to be revealed.
Infel! What the hell are you talking about! Can't we do anything!?
There's nothing I can do, because this is her own problem she's got inside. We can't do anything about it.
We just have to watch.
Hey Croix... You're... my friend, right...
Yeah, um... of course.
So you do remember the promise you made... right?
...Yes, I do.
My house is just over there, on the 8th level.

Very interesting. And that certainly would be a problem if she was trying to get there.

Yep. See... I told you it's close... You will take me home... right...?
I'll be waiting... at Stonehenge.
*huff * *huff *
Lady Cloche! Are you alright??
...Yes... I, I'm sorry...
If you don't mind me asking... Why are you so scared of Alice...?
I don't know either... but my instinct tells me something... I don't know why...
...I see.
Alright, we better get going to the 8th level!
...You look excited.

Of course there's a small problem, since we can't normally get to the eighth level.

Alice, sorry for the wait.
So Infel, how can we Paradigm Shift here?
If you can turn the "Boundary Key", we can provoke Paradigm Shift.
...A Boundary Key...
I'll explain further by the Boundary Key.

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
So, here's the thing. We can't do anything with the Boundary Key until Cloche has sung METHOD_METAFALICA. We'd be stuck in-game until that point, and Infel would tell us there's nothing we can do until we've found a way to turn the key.

I really like this solution to the issue, actually.

What a huge key...
All I.P.D. Reyvateils possess this key in the 7th level.
By turning this key, you can advance to the next level.
Why is it like that?
I.P.D. Reyvateils don't have any boundaries below the 7th floor.
Meaning, all the I.P.D.s are connected there.
Yes, they use those levels to sing Replakia and Metafalica.
I see... they can sing the magic together, because their minds are connected...
That's right.
It also means that they can look into someone's minds if they wanted to.
That's why they lock it up while the level is not in use.
I see. So, I can go to the 8th level if I open this...
Uh huh... Are you really going?
Of course. I promised Alice.
Plus... I want to help Lady Cloche too.
...Alright, then turn that key.

Nice and easy.

You should be able to complete the Paradigm Shift now.

Getting very close to all the answers here.

Sorry to make you wait, Alice. I can take you home now.
Lady Cloche... Don't worry, I'm going in with you...
Croix... Don't let go... please...
It's okay... Whatever happens, I will still be with you...
I think you will find something important to you in the next level.
That's why we should go...
Croix... I'm scared... It's gonna be fine, right...?
...Yes. I will do my best...
I care about you, and I care about Alice...
We're almost at the climax...
Good luck...

He's going to need it.

Simulation Projection: Fluffuria