The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 9: The Great Escape

Let’s see, where were we last time? Oh, yes. Everyone had been captured by the Clustanians.

Video Record- “Yurisica”


Aoto at least ended up in a dungeon, and not a terribly well kept one either. And he wasn’t alone.

Whew… We’re lucky Soma didn’t show up.
Alright, we can’t leave Finnel here for long. We have to escape…

…Where…am I?
A dungeon.
A dungeon…!? Oh…we were captured by Clustanians… Shit! I broke my promise!
No use crying over spilled milk, buddy. You’re better off figuring out how best to move on.
…So, who are you?

I don’t know why you’d be dumb enough to imprison people together but it’s done surprisingly often. Also for an idiot Aoto is quick on the uptake sometimes.

Friend...? Oh, where is Finnel!? And what about the others!?
You are the only one who was brought to this prison.
Then...were they taken somewhere else?
In any case, we have to break out of this cage first, yes?
I guess you're right. Have any idea how we can do that?
Silly boy. First of all, I was sent here for that exact purpose.
! Are of Finnel's other personae?
...Oh, you're smarter than you look. As you deduced, I am another of Finnel's personae.
She seemed to be in trouble, so I decided to come out and help her.
So, there are more than just Soma?
Bingo. But don't worry, I'm somewhat more personable than Soma. Anyway, I'm ready now.
Ready? ...For what?
To break us out of this dungeon. Honestly, I was worried about what I could do with such limited resources.
Luckily, fossil fuel has been leaking from that old pipe. With that, I think I can manage to get this job done.
Uh…what job?

Did I mention that Yurisica is a Reyvateil after my own heart?

I mean explosions are the tool for every situation, no matter what your father says. Anyway, they were free.

You know, I travel the hazardous zones. If I wasn't able to do stuff like this, I wouldn't be alive today.
...I'll teach you the recipe.
Oh, thanks, man.
Hmhmhm. Let's go.
There are cells everywhere... How do we get out!?
…That voice? Aoto! Are you there!
...! That's Tatsumi! Sounds like he's around here!

And seriously, not only did you have two people in one cell, one of whom is a Reyvateil, but you have another prisoner from the same group of people right there? So very sloppy.


Of course, Yurisica’s presence did create an awkward question, namely who exactly she was.

She' agent. She's going to get us out of here!
I'm Yurisica. Nice to meet you.
Where are the others!? Weren't they with you?
No. Let's get the hell out of here! Get up!

Feinne on Qoga: Eternus Dungeons
There are a few things to note here. This area is a group of several small areas connected by ladders, and the steps before we see an encounter resets every time we change areas. The items we need for Aoto and Gojo’s first supermoves are here, so make sure you pick them up. The enemies here are relatively tough, they’re similar to the Ultimate Border guys from earlier. I think at some point there was intended to be destructible walls in this that we’d have to blast with Yurisica’s bombs, as the dump of the game text has lines that go with that.

Tatsumi wasn’t entirely buying it, given how they were acting.

Grumbling already? Don't be such a wuss. We haven't even been trapped in this place for a whole day...
You seem to have a lot of survival experience.
Being polite isn't the only virtue for a girl. If you can't break out of a fort or two, no man'll want to marry you.
I don't know if that's necessarily true...
By the way, I've been curious...
...You guys seem really close for two people who've just met each other...
You're a little too distant. Young people today are supposed to be sociable, like us.
...Yeah! I'm worried about Saki. If she really was abducted, I have to find her as soon as possible!
That's right. I'm worried about the Doc and Finnel, too.
Well, Finnel's fine.
How do you know that?
Uh...well, I think she is...
...You're really acting weird...
I am not…
Anyway, let’s go.

They heard someone behind a door on the way out. It definitely wasn’t who they were expecting, though it explained where they were.

Hey, is anyone there!?
...Aoto? Is that you Aoto!?
...Rev. Gengai!?
Master! What're you doing here!?
Anyway, we'll be right there. Reverend, please back away from the wall. We're gonna blow it up!

They were quite surprised to see Gengai in prison with them.

I could ask the same of you. What about the others? Where's Saki!?
Uh...she was abducted...
I know I said I would protect her, but...
...It's pretty pathetic to admit, but even if I was guarding her, that still woulda happened. ...Look at me.
What happened to you? I thought you had a Community Assembly at Great Fang Headquarters...
...They decided to go conservative. The Vice Chairman, Eternus' mayor, doesn't want to provoke Clustania's wrath.

Gengai told the story of what had happened.

???: You're being absurd, Rev. Gengai. If we keep a low profile, there won't be any cause for further bloodshed.
...Mayor, you don't understand them at all.
Do you seriously believe they'll cease their assault as soon as they recognize our white flag?
Eternus Mayor: ...What are you trying to say?
Don't underestimate Clustania. Remember the Cleansings, abductions, and assassinations?
Did you forget how nasty they were to us!? We don't have any choice! Stand up now or we'll all die!
Eternus Mayor: ...Are you done barking? I hope you're satisfied, FORMER Chairman Gengai.
Eternus Mayor: That was a splendid speech, but you no longer possess the authority to address this Board.
Explain that to me!
Eternus Mayor: You've allowed your own hometown, Fallen Heaven Peak, to fall and have made the survivors political refugees.
What a fiasco... We cannot condone your actions. You will be stripped of your position and expelled.
...You sonuva...
Eternus Mayor: Rev. Gengai, as of today, you're expelled from the Great Fang Coalition.

He was right to be angry, since the Clustanians had already proven to be untrustworthy. Still, cowards who only care about their own lives are always the worst sort of people.

Then...after being bullied and harassed, the Great Fang Coalition isn't gonna resist or retaliate at all?
They can only feel their own pain. After all, they weren't the victims.
I was dismissed as a heretic and kicked out. I don't have any backing anymore. I have to make up my own mind.
...So, who is that young lady? Forgive me for not introducing myself earlier.
Oh, she is…
Yurisica. I just met them myself. fascinating... That's the name of an ancient fire deity.
(Ancient deity? I thought Sarapatra was the name of a goddess from ancient mythology... Is it just a coincidence?)
I'm Gengai. I'm just the leader of a small resistance army. Pleased to meet you.

Being in prison had left Tatsumi with a… small problem.

...Huh? Hey, Tatsumi, your voice is a little weird... You sound like two people talking at the same time...
H-hey, Tatsumi! You look sick! Go take a short rest! I'll take care of ya!
Aoto, you guys go ahead! We'll meet up once sh-uh, he feels better.
Huh? But there's no place to rest around here...
Just go already!
Y-yes, sir!

Despite his flashes of brilliance Aoto was pretty bad at figuring things out.

I don't know. Maybe you'll figure it out soon enough... Anyway, there's no need to stick around here. Let's go.

They were close to the exit by then.

It should. a common path that connects Waterforest Square and Reverse Lamp.
Does that mean...we managed to escape!?
So it seems. But we must stay alert. Let's head into town.

Once they reached town Yurisica felt the need to provide Aoto with just the barest hints of a clue about anything at all.

Oh, you're right. Good idea.
But before I switch back to Finnel, I want to tell you about something. ...Finnel.
What about her?
She may act tough in front of everyone, but she's really vulnerable. I know it because my role is to heal her body.
Does she really get injured that often?
When Soma comes out and becomes violent, she usually ends up in dangerous places. ...Like when we first met you.
Whenever she's lost in a dangerous place, I come out and take her back to safety.
You seem to care about her a lot.
She has always been a clumsy girl, and because of that, the Clustanians treated her badly. So, I can't leave her alone.
...That's odd. So, some personae get along well, and others don't?
...In a way. We personae are all independent beings that share one body.
...So, is that the same as Saki and Sarapatra?
...Hey, Aoto?

The answer to the next question was important, because Yurisica needed to know if she could trust Aoto with a very important task.

Well...she's a reckless fool who's noisy and clumsy...
…Is that all?
...But sometimes, she makes me wonder if it's all an act. Or maybe, she's bottling all her stress inside.
She's kind of stubborn. She should rely on other people, sometimes. I can maybe help her by doing whatever I can...
...I'm relieved. I think she'll be in good hands.
Aoto, I want to ask a favor of you. It's about Soma...
What about her?
A Hymn Crystal has been installed in us that forces Soma to the surface.
I want you to uninstall it before anyone else notices. If you can do that, it'll go a long way in helping her heal.
Huh? How can I do that?
When Soma emerges, you must remove the Hymn Crystal from her Installer Port.
...Oh. That sounds easier than I thought.
Unfortunately, it's a lot harder than it sounds, so we're back to square one...
I wrote the key spell on this note. Ask Finnel where her Installer Port is.
Yeah, alright. You got it.
...Let your mind be your guide, and search every inch of her mind. You'll find the crystal...eventually.
I'm glad I got to talk to you about this, Aoto. Goodbye.

And with that, Yurisica vanished. And just in time, really.

Good, you're back.
Aoto! Did it again?
Don't worry. No one saw it.
Aoto, I didn't know you found Finnel.
Oh, yeah! Isn't that lucky? I just ran into chance!
Y-yeah, that's right!
Where's Yurisica?
Oh...she left! Yeah, she was in a hurry. I guess she really had to do something. Anyway, we're back safe!
But their security was pretty lax. Were they trying to insult us...?
Oh, hey, did you see Doc anywhere?
No. Maybe he got away without being busted.
Luckily, we're in Eternus. Let's go to his clinic.
Sure, why not?

They headed down to the Clinic to look for Doctor Gojo.

Then, Doctor is still confined in there…?
Not necessarily. Let’s look around here.

They found a lead at the Bistro.

Auntie Leu!
Auntie Leu: Oh, thank goodness! I was worried about you 'cause you disappeared all of a sudden.
Sorry, Auntie Leu. I was with Dr. Gojo, but he disappeared. He isn't at his clinic. Have you seen him lately?
Auntie Leu: No, I haven't seen him for a while.
I see...
Then he's probably still being held hostage there...
Dr. Gojo is a very competent Reyvatologist. He'd be a precious asset to Clustania. I doubt they'd kill him.
Maybe they're holding him in a special place...
Auntie Leu: Sounds like a really ominous topic. Did something bad happen? It seems like the Fangers have been really busy lately.
In Great Fang...? Then...maybe they took him to that place...
Rev. Gengai, do you know where he went?
...The Great Fang HQ is in the Old Eternus Gallery, and is only accessible by officials. That's where they'd keep him...
So, you think the Great Fang Coalition is holding him hostage there?
After their coup d'etat, I wouldn't put it passed them...
Let's go then! We have to save him! Plus, Doc may know where she was taken!

They did take a moment to rest, though, and Finnel wanted to weigh in on the supermove she’d inspired.

…I’m not that monstrous.
Oh, that was just a joke. Don’t worry about it.
But thanks to you, I came up with my move. I’m really thankful for that.
Huh? Well, I hit him because he was being a jerk. I didn’t expect anybody to learn from it…
In any case, you’re the mother of this invention. So please be its godmother as well and name it.
Objectively speaking, what did you think would be a good name for it?
…Rail Crush?
I see… So…which name should I pick…?

Aoto wondered what it was that Finnel and Tatsumi were always talking about. Of course, she wasn’t going to even try to explain.

You seem to talk with Tatsumi quite a lot.
Oh? Are you jealous or something?
Not at all.
Hey, in that case, it’s courtesy to say yes, even if it’s not true.
First of all, what are you guys talking about? I have no idea.
Well, that’s, uh…
…I don’t know what to say… What should I tell you?
Don’t ask me.
Well, I know, but it’ll take a long time to explain it from the beginning…
It’s that complicated?
It’s really complex.
Actually, I’m not supposed to even talk about it, but if I told you, you wouldn’t understand it.
Hmm… I’m kind of curious, but you don’t need to tell me.
I think I’d get a bad headache if you told me.
But you brought it up…
…Well, if I don’t have to tell you about it, that’s a good thing, I guess.

They headed down to the entrance to the gallery, which was heavily guarded.

Video Record- “Finding Gojo”


Hey, we're passing through here... You're not just gonna step aside, are you?
Great Fang Soldier: Unfortunately, I must capture you, Reverend.
Hmph! Go ahead and try!

They managed to defeat the soldiers, and fortunately they’d not yet revoked Gengai’s access to the facility.

Alright. I hope my ID pass still works...
Great, it worked!

Finnel had a good question as they planned out the search.

As residents of Great Fang, they were such a disappointment.
I know, they were much weaker than we thought.
They prepared that huge machine, but they were easily beaten by us non-military types.
As Rev. Gengai said, they aren’t what they say they are.
I think so, too…
But Rev. Gengai wasn’t fighting that time, was he?
Uh…he wasn’t. We fought, but he didn’t join us.
…What was he doing the whole time?
Well, he figured we could have handled them without his help.
Really? That doesn’t really make sense to me.

They managed to find the Doctor after a brief search. He knew a lot more about what was going on, and all of it was bad news.

Video Record- “A Rescue and a Plan”


Tatsumi! You guys... It's so good to see you!
Did you get injured?
No. I was only being interrogated.
Doc! Where's Saki!? Do you know what happened to her?
Clustanian soldiers took her away.
Rev. Gengai, I heard you were expelled from the Coalition Committee, but did you hear about Ciela Gate?
Huh? What about it?
The Coalition decided to concede Ciela Gate to Clustania so that they won't provoke their wrath.
Ciela Gate!?
It's the only place where Great Fang can gain access to the Tower. I can see why they chose it to be Clustania's tribute.
That's ridiculous! How could they abase themselves like that!?
I also heard that Clustania seized the Moebius Factory. They've been using it as a base. Saki's supposed to be there.
Saki’s there!?

They had a bit of an interruption, though.

Eternus' Mayor, you bastard...!
Eternus Mayor: We'll ratify a treaty with Clustania soon. If a sinful, war-monger, clergyman like you is loose, it'll be bad for us.
What treaty!? If Great Fang gives in to Clustania, everything we've defended for years will be lost!
Eternus Mayor: They said that if we accept their conditions, they'll never take any forceful actions against us.
Hmph! Are you out of your mind!? Is you head stuffed with rotten spaghetti or something? This is Clustania's plan...
You'll be massacred by Soma, Great Fang will be conquered by Clustania, and we humans will be enslaved forever!
Eternus Mayor: Whatever you say, our decision won't be subverted. ...Get rid of him. You needn't take him captive.
What the hell!?

Gengai didn’t so much help them fight again, though it turned out not to matter much.

When you’re in charge you do get to save all the fun jobs for yourself.

Eternus Mayor: Grr…
Now the Great Fang Coalition will be quiet for a while. You little bastards...
Hey, Doc, is it true that Saki's been taken hostage at Ciela Gate?
That's probably true. I overheard a conversation between some Great Fang Soldiers.
I want to go save Saki. This time, I must never give up. I must rescue her, no matter what.
If we're going to go, we must go now. I'm sure they're planning to take Saki back to their headquarters.
...And yet, Ciela Gate's already become the enemy's fort. It won't be easy to get there.
It's impossible. We can't even get to Ciela Gate now.
You're right... The gate is probably closed by now...

It turned out that Aoto actually had a solution to their problem.

...There's a secret path to Ciela Gate. If we use it, we can probably avoid the enemies' gaze.
…Is that so?
Alright, here's the plan: You guys go through the secret path. I'm not suitable for undercover missions...
I'll meet comrades that I still have in Fallen Heaven Peak and re-seize Ciela Gate with them.
Wait, Master. I'll go with you...
No, Tatsumi, you go with Aoto. Hold onto this Telemo and keep me in the loop.
Well, Luphan may be back, too. Don't worry about me.
You guys better go now. If you're a real man, never give up when you must keep fighting, but don't waste your life.
Thank you.
So, where is the entrance to the secret path?
Well, we have to take the regular way, until just before we get to Ciela Gate. So let's go normally for now.

And so they prepared to sneak into the enemy stronghold at Ciela Gate. We’ll see next time how badly Aoto’s efforts to prepare for this went…