The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 2: The Assassin and the Klutz

The road to Eternus Shaft was not long, but it was quite hazardous. Monsters had been appearing in greater and greater numbers, and those weren’t even the biggest problem anymore. The ground began to shake beneath their feet.

In the distance they could see the source.

One of Clustania’s warships was approaching, a devastating machine from an earlier age.

Those bastards…!
This is not good. They're gonna search all over this place. Thank Goddess we left the village earlier.
Yeah, but we won't be able to go back to the village for a while...
...Are you homesick?
Of course not! I just thought Steeps might be worried about me.
That's true. You should at least borrow a Telemo and call him.
Yeah, okay…

They’d managed to find some medicine along the way, which Saki was somewhat concerned about.

Aoto, you have a Rescue Injection, right?
Yeah, I do, why? You don’t look all that well…
It really is an injection needle… Is it really safe?
Safe? What?
B-because there are different types of injections, like intramuscular or depot…
So, you have to stick the needle in the right spot.
…I never thought about that.
We aren’t professionals. Do you think it’s safe for us to use it by ourselves?
…Now I’m a little scared. Why don’t we use something else next time?

It took most of a day’s travel to reach somewhere safe to hide out.

Video Record- “Soma”


Oh...I'm sooo tired... We've been walking all day.
A-are you alright, Aoto!? Do you want me to carry you on my back?
N-no, I'm alright...but...that might be pretty delicious...
...Stop your silly convo right there. Come on, quick. We can rest in this house.
...Huh? Whose house is this?
Does your acquaintance own it?
Sort of. We can get some good rest and use the Telemo. You wanna call your boss, right?
Oh yeah, I forgot about that! Thanks, Tats. You're a life saver!
You are great, Tatsumi!
I am great...haha. Anyway, let's go!

Aoto called home to tell Steeps he wasn’t going to be back for a while.

Steeps: Is this Aoto!?
Yeah, sorry. I left work without asking you and...
Steeps: Who the hell do you think you are!? Who the hell told you you could leave early, idiot!? What the hell are you doing!?
Sorry...I can't tell you much, but anyway, I can't come back for a while.
Steeps: …I see.
Steeps, can you please tell me what's going on over there? Are Clustanian soldiers still hanging around?
Steeps: Clustanians? No, they left already. There aren't any soldiers over here.
Oh, I see… Thank you, Steeps.
Steeps: Yo, Aoto…you alright?
Yeah, so far. I'll try to come back as soon as possible. Bye, Steeps.
Steeps: H-hey! Wait a sec…

Aoto hung up on his mentor before he could finish, though.

He was furious.
…I’m sorry. This is all my fault…
No worries. I can deal with him just fine.
So, what about the Clustanians?
He said they’ve already retreated.
...That was fast. But if they're heading this way, we better hurry. We hafta stay alert.
Yeah, Saki needs to see the doctor anyway. Let’s head out to Eternus Shaft.
We can leave tomorrow. As for today…
???: …You may all stay here.

The home was owned by a traveling monk.

Training Monk: I am just your average monk in training. It has been a while, Tatsumi.
Yeah, long time no see, Abbot.
Training Monk: Indeed. Here in the Great Fang region, there is an archaic, indigenous religion.
In this harsh, barren climate, people believed that attaining enlightenment was their only path to eternal bliss.
He's the abbot of a temple that used to take care of me. He's on his sojourn right now.
Another monk of his order is my personal mentor, Rev. Gengai.
Oh, I didn’t know that.
E-excuse me, but doesn't it bother you...that we barged into your house all of a sudden?
Training Monk: My goodness, what an exceptionally beautiful lady.
Training Monk: Hmhmhm. Well, this may be a small, old shack, but please make yourselves at home.

As darkness fell, Aoto was already asleep.

Aoto…is snoring soundly.
We stayed up pretty late last night.
He must've been really tired. He fought so hard just to protect me...
But I...couldn't help him at all...
You don't need to worry about that.
I don't think this guy cares anything about that. He probably doesn't even think it's any trouble at all.
Gosh...he's so...gullible... Or maybe he's just reckless...
Pff! Hmhmhm…
…? What?
I'm sorry. It seems like you two are really good friends.
…Why is that?
Huh? Aren’t you?
…You’re…pretty weird.

Their conversation was rudely interrupted, however, by the shattering of glass.

A very unwanted guest had invited herself into the house.

Huh!? What’s going on!?
Who’s Soma!?

…We gotta run away…
I said we gotta run away! We can't beat her by ourselves!
We can't? you know her!?
I wish I didn't. She's Clustania's deadliest soldier.
What!? What is a monster like her doing here!?
How am I supposed to know!? Anyways, we don't stand a chance! We hafta find a way to escape...

Once again Saki began to pray…

Please…save us…

It seemed Soma had some idea what was coming, because she fled back through the window before Saki could finish, leaving them once more somewhat safe.

Uh...!? Huh? What happened? Saki...nothing has...

Training Monk: What are you youngsters up to!? Huh!? What the hell happened here?
Abbot! Are you alright?
A Clustanian assassin came to take our lives...
Training Monk: What!? ...Nothing happened to me. And no one came inside.
I just heard a loud noise, so I came to see what was going on...
I'm sorry...we broke the window...
Training Monk: That's fine. Is anybody hurt?
We barely managed to survive, but she didn't even leave a scratch.
Training Monk: I'm glad to hear that. But, since the enemy knows where you are, this place is no longer safe.
I know. We have to go, like now.
Yeah. I'm sorry, Gramps. We caused you nothing but trouble, and we can't even pay you back any time soon.
Training Monk: It's fine. I was going to leave this place to continue my sojourn anyway.
I see.
Training Monk: Leave the rest to me. You better set forth on your journey.
Alright, we will. Thanks, man.
Thank you, for everything.

And so, night still heavy on the land, they set out towards Eternus Shaft once more.

Video Record- “Soma’s Gift”


Yes! I’m so glad!
...When Soma saw Saki say her prayers, she just bolted all of a sudden.
Is there any relation between Soma's sudden flight and Saki's prayer...?
Saki's prayer brings me a lot of energy from the planet. Maybe she noticed it!?
From the planet?

Unfortunately, Soma had left them a friend to play with.

That’s a Clustanian Guardian!
Did Soma leave us this nasty souvenir!? We should've kept our guards up.
Aoto, this is seriously not good. If it gets off a signal, Clustania will know right where we are.
We have to take it out before it can do that.
But it's pretty tough, you know? We'll have to use powerful Song Magic.
A knight wouldn't be cool with doing this, but we'll have to depend on Saki this time.
Saki will do her best! I'll get a lot of energy from the planet and defeat that guardian!
Feinne on Qoga: Purge
So, here’s the Purge tutorial. Purge allows us to take advantage of the offensive potential of taking off clothes. As we attack in combat, the heart next to the Harmograph will grow. The rate of growth depends on the height of the lines when we strike. When the heart says ‘Purge Ready’ we can hold one of the shoulder buttons and shake the controller to Purge. This will power our Song Magic up one level and add elemental damage to our Vanguards’ attacks. As a tip, the Purge movies are triggered by Purging on a red beat on the Harmograph, so you can avoid them even if you don’t have them turned off.

Aoto was quite concerned by the way Saki kept taking her clothes off.

Because I get more power from the planet. ...The more skin a Reyvateil shows, the more power her Songs get.
But...of course it's I can only take off so much clothing...
Anyway, thanks to Saki pulling her bra straps, I mean bootstraps, we were able to cling to life again.
It should be fine, as long as you don't get any impure thoughts, Aoto.
What!? I-I don't have any impure thoughts!
…Really? was a little hard not to stare at her...

*sigh* Seems to me like it'll be harder to get him used to seeing her naked body than it'll be to beat those monsters.
A-anyway, it’s good that we didn’t get killed! And that’s all thanks to Saki!
Aoto, you have to take this more seriously.
You're underestimating how dangerous this is. I think you need to learn a lesson from this experience.
Huh!? You didn't see this surprise attack coming, either, did you!?
Uh, excuse me! Please don’t fight!
What? No, we were just…
We weren’t fighting.

He even brought it up to her again a bit later.

By the way, to get some power, you have to strip off clothes, right?
Y-yes. The more clothes I take off, the more power I’ll be given by the Goddess.
I see…maybe we should bring a hot water bottle with us?
On a cold day, when it’s windy, if you take your clothes off, you could catch a cold.
Or get a stomach ache.
You don’t need to worry about that.
The more clothes I take off, the more embarrassed I’ll get and the hotter my body will get.
Did you just say something really suggestive? I could be wrong…

Aoto did take Tatsumi’s suggestion to heart as they moved on, and was paying more attention.

Video Record- “New Problems”


? What's wrong, Aoto?
...I thought I sensed somebody walking up there...
You’re just saying that to scare Saki.
No, I’m serious. Let’s take a look up…

It turned out Aoto’s instincts were dead on.

A girl!?
It’s an emergency!
Hey! Are you alright!?
Please get me down from here!

The girl seemed quite stuck.

I have to save her somehow!
H-hey! I don’t wanna get involved in any more trouble!
What!? How can we just ignore her!?
He’s right! We have to go save her!

The closest they could get was a bit above her, though.

Video Record- “Finnel”


No, I’m not. I’m about to fall!
She’s over there! …Aoto!
Let me handle this! I’ve worked from all kinds of heights. I don’t even consider this a cliff.
Hey! I’ll be right there to get ya! Hang tight!
Aoto, watch out!

Aoto managed a quite impressive leap to reach the outcropping the girl was on.

Alright, I got ya.
You did it!

Before long they were safe with the rest of the group.

*huff* *huff* I'm alive...
You did it, Aoto! That was impressive!
What? …Really?
Yes! I'm so impressed!
Anyway, you, why were you up on that cliff?
Uh, well, that’s…
I just was going for a walk, and then I got lost!

Um...hi, I'm Saki. And you are...? Oh, and where do you live?

The young girl’s name was Finnel, and it seemed she shared a destination with them.

Eternus Shaft?
That's where we're going! Why don't we tag along with her? That's a good idea, right, Aoto?
Uh…sure. I don’t see why not.
Yes! I'm glad because I have never met a girl around my age before!
Please be my friend!
Oh, of course! Nice to meet you, Saki.
Hehehe. I’m happy now.
Good for you, Saki.
Yes! Oh yeah, do you mind if I call you Filulun from now on!?
Y-yes! Filulun. Isn’t that such a cute and fabulous name!?
Uh…I…don’t know what to say…
...Pff! That's a perfect name for you! It matches your clumsiness so well!
Clum…!? What do you mean by clumsy!?

I understand Aoto was not one to sugarcoat things.

Clum…!? You said it again!
A-Aoto, it’s not nice to call someone clumsy…
Filulun isn’t clumsy at all! She just lacks a little grace and can be careless sometimes!
…Saki, that’s not making me feel any better…
Bfff! Hahahahaha! That name really is the best fit for you, Filulun!
Urgh…you’re so mean…Don’t make fun of me! Actually, can you just stop calling me Filulun?
Oh, okay…? Then, what about Filly?
We saved her, right? Can we go now?

Just then, something rather strange happened. Finnel began to glow blue for just a moment.

What’s wrong?
What was that? That was really pretty. It is an accessory or something?
Eh-uh? …Yes, it is! But I have to put it away now cuz it’s very precious.

…Alright, we’re going to Eternus Shaft, right? This place is full of monsters, so let’s get going!
Oh, Filly! Please wait! It’s dangerous to go by yourself!

Hey Tats, aren’t you being a little cold to us?
When we were about to save her, you seemed pretty reluctant.
Not really. That’s just the way I am… Besides…I’ve got a sort of…ugly feeling about this…
What? You’d ignore someone in trouble just because you’re getting an ugly feeling?
You’re a little too gullible.

Despite Tatsumi’s reservations, though, they traveled together with Finnel. Saki at least seemed to be happy.

I didn’t know Filly was such a good athlete.
Finnel? Why do you say that?
Because she climbed pretty high. That would be impossible for me.
Well, I don’t think so.
A real athlete can get herself down from where she had climbed up to.
It’s more like…she’s just a tomboy who doesn’t know her own limits, or a thoughtless child.
I think she’s just energetic. She’s so cute. I think it’s a good thing.
Uh…I guess what you’re saying may be true, but…
Besides, Saki is a little jealous of Filly.
I want to be a girl like her, who can climb up to such a high place all by herself.
I don’t know about that…
(If her spunk lasted until she got down by herself, that would be a different story…)

Despite everything, Finnel was pretty grateful to be not dead.

…Huh? That sounds like Finnel.
I’m coming in, okay?
Sorry for barging in on you this late at night.
What happened?
Well, I figured I hadn’t thanked you properly for helping me out.
Oh, that? Don’t worry about it.
Still, I put you in danger.
Not really. I’m a steeplejack, you know. I’ve worked in higher and more dangerous places than that. It was nothing.
What!? You work in more dangerous places than that? Like, all the time?
Yeah, it’s kind of brutal. Steeps, my boss, is a real hardass.
Construction on the edge of a steep cliff is common! Once, I had to work on an overhand like a rock climber.
Whaaat!? Aoto, are you for real? That’s awesome!
Haha, it’s really not. Well, I guess it takes a certain type to do the job. I’m not sure you could do it…
Well, no thanks. I’d pass anyway…
But, thanks again for saving me. I just wanted to say that.

It seemed Finnel had slightly changed her opinion of Aoto since she’d first met him.

A violent jerk? R-really…?
Hey Aoto, if it’s fine with you, I think we should talk at night again.
Huh? Are you asking me or telling me? Okay…
Hehehe. Thanks. Okay, I’m going to bed. Good night.
Yeah, sleep well.
Yep. Same to you.

Aoto was wondering how it was that Finnel got up there but couldn’t get back down. She didn’t have much of an answer for him.

Hey, do you hate heights?
N-not necessarily. I don’t think they’re scary.
Then why couldn’t you get down by yourself?
If you weren’t scared, you could’ve helped yourself, right?
…It’s not that I hate heights.
I just can’t walk along such thin paths…
Oh, I understand what you mean.
There was hardly any room for my feet on that cliff.
Standing there, I felt like I was gonna be inhaled by the ground way before.
I kind of understand what you’re saying.
I felt the same when I first started this job.
But then, you shouldn’t go to such a place by yourself.
…It wasn’t by choice.
Huh? Did you say something?
No, I didn’t say anything.

She’d also noticed Aoto’s strange weapon. He swung around a strange construction tool that could change shape.

Aoto, your weapons are pretty unique.
I feel awkward to admit this, but yeah, they are.
Drills, swords, claws… It’s like a fruit parfait of weapons.
Well, that’s a gross way to put it, but I see what you mean.
But because of the variety, I can use my weapon for many different situations.
Maybe, but…
If anything, it’s a little heavy. That’s the only problem.
…I think you may want to consider changing weapons.

He in turn wondered why she was wearing so many ribbons, which eventually took an odd turn.

Hey, I’ve been always meaning to ask you, do you have a thing for ribbons? Like a ribbon fetish?
What do you mean!? A fetish!?
I just thought you did because you’re wearing ribbons all over yourself.
It’s not a fetish. I just like ribbons.
I’m not a pervert, you know!?
I wouldn’t count a fetish as a perversion.
But, wait. I think you used to have a Big Ribbon, right?
Yes, I still do.
…Where did you put it? Aren’t you supposed to wear it on your head?
I’m not a cartoon mouse, y’know!
After wearing so many ribbons, how can you act like an adult.
So, where do you wear your Big Ribbon?
Well, uh…
…Don’t ask a girl such a question!
A guy should notice her fashion statements without asking her.
If you wear it somewhere that I can’t see, I don’t think it’s still a fashion statement…

I have a funny story about ribbons, but maybe when you’re older. Anyway, what happened when they reached the Eternus Shaft will have to wait for next time I’m afraid…