The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 11: Finnel's Soulspace, Level 2 Reprise

Teppo had finished repairing the issues he’d found in Finnel’s Soulspace, so Aoto returned to see what had changed.

Video Record- “Finnel 2A”


Teppo was waiting for him there.

Yes, this is Level 2. By linking the cracks, you will be able to trespass into each persona's private zones.
Good job, Teppo! You're awesome!
I only did what I'm supposed to do... It's my job.
Alright, I'll go look for Finnel. Although, I already know where she is.
???: You can’t do that.

Teppo wasn’t the only one though.

Soma! She's quick...!
I've made it a policy to eliminate all factors that might prevent me from accomplishing missions.
It's nothing personal.
I won't let you!
???: Don’t move!

This time, Aoto had some help that was actually helpful.

...Yurisica, you wench...
Too bad. This area is close to my territory, well within range of my ballistic missile, Haveli.
A second one is ready to be fired. What do you want to do?
I'll retreat for now. But next time we meet, I'll eliminate you from this world without giving you time to retaliate.
Whew... Are you alright!? Did you get hurt?
No…thank you.
I'm Yurisica, lord of the Western Army territory. Pleased to meet you.
The Western Army!?
Exactly. The Western Army is in a fierce war against the invading Eastern Army. ...You got caught in one of our battles.
*sigh* That sounds pretty complicated...
Can I ask you a question? Do you know where Finnel is?
Oh, Finnel? She's in a cage in the dungeon.
...Oh, so that's where she is?

Yurisica also could explain a bit more about why Finnel had locked herself away.

...Oh, really?
Yeah. Because...the people fighting here are Soma and I. We're fighting over the territories of this world.
Wait! This is Finnel's Cosmosphere, right!? You outsiders can't stage a war motif without her permission!
Outsiders, huh...? That isn't actually accurate. Besides, I heard Finnel decided to cede this world to us.
Are you serious?
Yeah, of course. Not even Soma would trample over someone's world without their consent.
That's why we're not aiming at Finnel anyway. I don't know why she's so scared...

Oh, I have a good idea. Would you please ask her if she wants to help my army when she comes out of the dungeon?
We're kind of being pushed back... Of course, in return, I'll give her the power that I have.
If she agrees, please bring her here to the Stonehenge. I'm counting on you.
H-hey! Wait a sec!
...Damn, that wasn't enough information to decide whether she's good or bad.
Anyway, I better go visit Finnel.

Aoto headed to the prison to find Finnel. Momoko wasn’t around, so the strange robot artillery Yurisica had used was helping Aoto.

He also got shown some weird information as he entered.

Here you are. You haven't changed a bit.
Aoto, you're the only one who remembers the past.
Finnel and the other personae are all supposed to be strangers to you.
I see. Anyway, no matter how I see it, it looks bad when she voluntarily puts herself in a cage.
Sh-shut up! I'm being chased by killers!
...Well, more importantly, how do you know why I'm in here?
Dummy, I know everything. I even know the reason why you're in there. Someone wants to kill you, right?
Uh, yeah...
You don't need to worry about that anymore! Finnel, be happy!
You're not the target. The war out there is over the domains of this world.
...Are you...serious?
Yep. So, they're not even paying attention to you.
You're so troublesome! You got into that prison by yourself! How timid are you!?
Hahaha...I guess you're right.
What? Aren't you happy? You just found out that you're not their target.

Finnel seemed a bit less afraid, and Aoto decided to see if she was willing to help Yurisica even though he wasn’t totally sure it was the right choice.

Then, come out of there already. Oh yeah, one of the army leaders told me she wanted you to help her.
Yeah. You're not going anywhere by hiding in this prison, right? This is your chance to break out of your shell.
If you succeed, maybe they'll give you your Cosmosphere back. I'll go with you.
Umm...okay... I'll go...

Though she wasn’t guiding Aoto, Momoko was still hanging around.

Whoa! Momoko, don't suddenly pop up! You scared the crap outta me!
Hey, don't be so mean. It's been a while since the last time I saw you.
I have no intention of keeping you company.
Alright. I wonder how long it's been since she first went into that prison by herself...
...Was she in there for that long!?
Of course. Maybe since before she could even speak...

They returned to the Stonehenge together, where Yurisica was waiting.

...She's the one who needs my help?
It's nice to meet you. I'm Yurisica, a Cosmosphere resident.
Nice to meet you... So, what're you doing here?
I must defeat the General of the Eastern Army, Soma, and restore peace to this world. I need your help to do that.
You may be unaware of it, but you have very attractive abilities for a battle unit.
If you support my army, we can defeat Soma and bring peace to this world once again.
But even if the world becomes peaceful, it's not mine...
If you help me, you'll be able to travel anywhere you like in this world.
Of course. If you can't walk around freely, how could you aid me?
Right. Isn't that great, Finnel?

Finnel agreed to help Yurisica. It turned out there was something they needed to do before she could.

Really? Great! If you join my team, it'll be like a Grand Dragon wielding Excalibur!
Then, let's do some preparatory work.
Yes. To fight on my team, you must fuse with me.
Without this fusion, you won't be able to access my world.
It just means two segments, separated by cracks, will be repaired. Our Soulspaces will join, but our bodies will remain.


Finnel wanted to know something first.

I don't know any details, or the reason why we're in you.
Anyway, this is as much as I can say: I'm here to fulfill a duty.
And that duty is to support you. I'll protect you, who carries our lives, and leads our Consensus to success.
What does that even mean!?
I may sound like I know everything that's going on, but in fact, I don't know any of the details.
There is one thing that I do know: Soma should not be left free to her own devices in this world. That is for sure.
That's why I need your help now, Finnel.
...Okay, I understand.
...Thank you.
I don't know if the fusion will go well, but...I think it'll still be better than staying inside the cage forever.
Well, yeah, of course.
Then, let's start the fusion. When we fuse, our clothes will take themselves off, but don't worry.
What!? Our clothes will just come right off!?
Yes. When we fuse, we must have direct contact with each other's skin.
Then we'll intermingle.
Two girls?
First of all, the components of our bodies are identical. Why are you hesitating now?
I don't think that's what I'm worried about...
Anyway...Aoto should go somewhere else, first!

Aoto, of course, was kicked out. He probably would have stayed out too if not for bad influences from a certain resident of her world.[/i]

Are you pouting over such a trivial thing? Why don't we go back and watch?
What!? But Finnel told me...
Who cares? If you hide behind a rock or something, it'll be fine!
This is a super rare opportunity that you may never experience for the rest of your Cosmosphere travels!
Are you really her Mind Guardian?

Meanwhile, Yurisica and Finnel were preparing to Fuse.

Emotions, feelings and memories that you had before will bubble up into your mind. Calmly accept them as they come.
Was yea ra exec FLIP_COSMOSPHERE.
en chs yor, en pitod yor!

As the Fusion began, something began to flood into Finnel’s mind.

It'll be alright. Don't reject it!

She found herself surrounded by a strange light, and a voice rang out.

Huh...? What...? Who's there...!?
???: Please save us...
I can't take it...anymore... I have no choice but to delete everything...
Who are you!? What are you talking about!?
???: But that is...
Anyway...please. I need energy...
Can you save us...?
Who? Me?
???: Yes. Will our lives?
I don't know if I can. This is so out of the blue.
???: Don't long as you allow us to stay near you.
Please...let me stay here...
Yeah...okay. I think I can do that...
???: …Thank you.

Finnel had collapsed, so Aoto ran out of hiding. Which was a pretty dumb move really.

Finnel, are you alright!? Get ahold of yourself!
You suddenly collapsed. I was worried.
A large torrent of memories and feelings flooded into her mind. It overwhelmed her.
...Aoto, why are you here?
Uh, well...because...
I told you to stay away! You idiot!

Anyway, the Fusion was complete.

Alright, you're one of us now. We can share this world together.
I'm sure you have many questions, but first we have to defeat Soma. Will you come with me to the Western Army Fort?

Feinne on Qoga: Yurisica’s Body
Now that Finnel has Fused with Yurisica, we can freely switch between their Bodies. We switch at the Equipment screen. Yurisica has less health than Finnel but does more damage, and her Haveli has a different area than Finnel’s Momoko. There are some Talk Topics you have to use Yurisica to get so you probably should at least for a while (she’s awesome and her Purges are a lot less terrible if that helps).

This let them freely travel around level two. They headed to the Western Army’s headquarters to confer with Yurisica.

Video Record- “Finnel 2B”


What are you guys doing, exactly?
I'll explain. My army has two units: Haveli, who performs long-range attacks, and me.
To make matters worse, our third unit, Ho-ryo-ryo, was captured by Soma's Army.
She has a mid-range attacker named Kabotatsu, a short-range unit named Meryl, and, of course, herself.
Sounds hopeless.
Well, yes, but since Finnel has joined us, the situation has changed dramatically.
I don't know if I can be of much use...
It's fine. Your battle abilities were already tested in the status window.
Okay, why don't I join the rumble too!? Since Soma has pissed me off, I'd like to personally get some revenge.

Aoto wanted to help in the fight, but there are some things that are not an outsider’s place.

Huh? Why not?
This issue must be resolved internally, with only the Cosmosphere's native residents.
So, outsiders cannot intervene directly.
...That sucks! I've got no choice but to be a bystander?
You can support us indirectly, of course. If you're willing to help, I have a favor to ask of you.
Please maneuver the enemy units and order ours so there will be a path leading straight into Soma's base.
Right now, all the spaces leading to the fortress are occupied. Clear them out.
If you do, I can move forward to fight the final battle against Soma. Until then, I need to conserve my strength.
I see. Sure, I can do that.
By the way, why're you fighting against Soma?
...In short, because our ideologies conflict.
I wish for co-existence, but Soma just wants to occupy everything.
So that means Soma wants to usurp Finnel's position?
Long story short, yes. Therefore, Soma must be stopped as soon as possible.
In that case, I've got no qualms about this. I will help you out.
Thank you. I give you permission to command my units. Handle the rest with tact and precision.

Aoto decided to look over what he had available, including what information he had on the captured Hyuma.

Feinne on Qoga: Unit Status
We saw Finnel’s status earlier, so that just leaves Haveli and Ho-ryo-ryo. We need to keep in mind what each is good at because we’ll have choices later that can go wrong.

Unit Name: Haveli - Yurisica's Army
Attack Method: Long-Range Missiles
Immune: Nothing Weak: All

Unit Name: Ho-ryo-ryo - Yurisica's Army
Attack Method: You-Like-It-Hot Energy
Immune: Trauma Weak: Bombardment

They started by trying to free Ho-ryo-ryo.

They would have to go through Kabotatsu, Soma’s Mind Guardian, to do so.

Well, what should I do…?

Since Kabotatsu was vulnerable to lasers, Finnel was the perfect choice to fight it.

Okay Finnel, I'll leave this one to you!
What! Already? And...all by myself!?
You can do it. Yurisica has a lot of faith in you. Believe in yourself!
In the meantime, I'll go rescue Ho-ryo-ryo.
Okay, I'll try!
Great. I'm counting on you!
Ho-ryo-ryo: No! If you get too close, Kabotatsu will bombard you!
No worries. Kabotatsu's fighting someone else right now. Here. Let's get you out of here while we still can!
Ho-ryo-ryo: A-alright!
Thank you so much!
Don’t mention it. Let’s go!
Aoto, I defeated the Hyuma!
Good job, Finnel. Then, let’s attack the enemy now!
System Message: The Hyuma, Ho-ryo-ryo, has been unlocked.

That just left one more opponent to face before Soma could be engaged.

It was lucky that they’d rescued Ho-ryo-ryo first, because their opponent this time would have been much more challenging.

Meryl: Enemy invasion detected within searchable range. Switching to Alert Status.
Well, what should I do…?

This one was an even easier choice than the last.

Okay Ho-ryo-ryo, I'll leave this one to you!
Ho-ryo-ryo: Y-yes, sir!
Meryl: Enemy detected! Attacking target immediately! Traumachinegun!
...Oh!? Traumachinegun!
Ho-ryo-ryo: I don't have any traumas, you idiot! Now it's my turn! You-Like-It-Hot Energy!
Hmhmm, you're a cute girl... I'll turn you into a woman tonight.
Meryl: Ahh! Please stop! I’m not immune to sexy things!
Ho-ryo-ryo: Why!? Let's do something that'll make us feel good together.
Meryl: Did you defeat her?
Ho-ryo-ryo: Yes. My supermove, You-Like-It-Hot Energy, was rather effective.
Yeah, but...won't that affect our age rating?
Ho-ryo-ryo: How rude! I'm gonna blast you with my You-Like-It-Hot Energy!
I'm kind of interested in seeing that happen...
System Message: The Hyuma, Meryl, has been unlocked.

I think the Dive machine must have glitched out here because this next bit makes even less sense than normal. They are clearly installing Haveli up on the mountain, but the conversation is unrelated to that.

"Yo, Aoto! How much longer d'ya intend on sleeping!?"
Shit! Steeps! I’m sorry!
System Message: Haveli placed on Mountain.

Anyway, I think things recovered at that point and they headed to Soma’s fortress.

They had no reliable information on Soma’s power, though. And she was not happy that Yurisica had fused with Finnel, though it wasn’t clear why.

I've creamed all your units. You're the only one left!
...You let Finnel become your ally? I didn't think you'd commit such a taboo.
Oh, is that sour grapes? I always claimed that my goal was to co-exist with Finnel. I just acted on it today.
Your whole existence itself has become one giant taboo. But until I catch you red-handed, I can't punish you.

As you know, our Consensus forbids any form of intercourse with other beings.
You should know that. Once there is intercourse, there will also be sorrow... Because we are...
Shut up! I'll disprove that obsolete dogma myself then!
Hey, wait a sec. I don't understand what you guys are talking about...
Please stay quiet now, Aoto!
I shouldn't have tried to negotiate with you. You're the Consensus' lap dog. You obey them, rather than human emotions.
...Is that all you have to say before you die?
So it seems... And...I'll remove you from this place. Get ready! Smart Bomb!
...Kh! It's my turn now...
Aoto, this is scary…!
Hmm…should I just stay neutral and observe or intervene…?

Aoto thought it through, and made the right call. His whole purpose in the Soulspace was to help Finnel, after all.

Finnel, don't worry. I'll protect you at any cost.
Will you always be with me?
Of course! How can I leave you alone in this chaotic situation?
...Thank you, Aoto.
*huff* *huff*
*huff* *huff* This is neverending...
Naturally. We're fighting against ourselves...
...Then, I shall change my strategy.
Where are you going!? Wait!

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to remove you from this place.
But don't fear, I won't kill you. It's more like...I'll repel you from this body.

Between what had been happening in the Soulspace and the real world Aoto was getting pretty tired of Soma’s ruthlessness.

I hate that about you! If you lay even one filthy finger on her, I'll repel YOU from this world!
...Understood. Then, I'll stage your fall into the abyss.
Hmph, too slow! You can't hurt me!
This can't be...!
Aoto! Hang in there!
This is easy. I'll turn her away in a second. Don't worry.
Alright, it's my turn now! Are you ready, goon!?
I'll never forgive anyone who hurts Finnel! Deyahhh!

Aoto had managed to force Soma out of the level.

Don't make such a big scene out of it. This is nothing.
...Such a tremendous display of affection. That was incredible, repelling Soma with one blow.
Heh! Don't underestimate my guts!

And finally, a real Paradigm Shift opened on Level 2.

Oh, congratulations. The Paradigm Shift is complete.
This time, it’s a legit Paradigm Shift, right?
…? What are you talking about?

And so they headed for Stonehenge.

N-no! I don't really care about Finnel...but...I had to get my revenge against Soma for my own reasons.
Hmhhmm. There's no point in lying. This is Finnel's Cosmosphere, remember?
...What do you mean?
Whatever you say at her subconscious level is delivered without distortion.
Her Consensus, which perceives your true feelings, accepts you. That's how the Paradigm Shifts occur.
Consensus? What's this all about!?
It is all of Finnel's collected feelings. The Finnel here is but a single part of her combined Consensus.
Aoto, your true feelings were captured by the Consensus. That is why the Paradigm Shifts have occurred.
...I'm not convinced, but you're saying that even if I lie, Finnel will know the truth?
More or less.
That's weird. To be honest, I was desperate to protect Finnel. I wanted to protect her, no matter what.

Aoto wasn’t quite as much of a jerk as he pretended to be. Or maybe he was, I’m not actually sure yet.

Hmph. Language is convenient. There are so many ways to express your feelings without describing them all in depth.
It's a craft perfected throughout the long history of human communication.
...I'm just saying words. Why are you trying to make it sound so complex?
Maybe. Let's proceed to the Paradigm Shift.
Yurisica, are you coming with us?
No. This is Finnel's world.
So if you wish, I'll see you on the next level.
Uh-huh. Thanks...
Okay, let's get with the Paradigm Shifting!
(This time, it's for real.)

After a lot more trouble than he’d expected at the start, Aoto had finally completed Level 2.

Finnel in the real world was sort of confused, since from her perspective they’d already done so before.

Aoto, you caused another Paradigm Shift!
Oh, you knew about that?
Of course! This time, my Paradigm Shift was…
…For Cosmosphere Level 2.
Oh, Level 2.
Oh? Didn’t you cause a Paradigm Shift before?
Well, after a little ruckus, I’ve achieved the second Paradigm Shift.
Oh, really? Anyway, it’s another success!
So, how do you feel now?
Hmm…I don’t know what to say.
I’m sort of timid. Did you know that, Aoto?
Yeah, I saw that side of you in the Cosmosphere.
Oh…then this is all thanks to you.
I always imagined the worst outcomes and feared them.
But if you’ll be there to protect me, then…
Sure, but you must quit being so timid.
I promise!
Please always stay with me.

Since she and Finnel had fused, Yurisica could also freely appear. Aoto had a question he’d been meaning to ask since they escaped.

Well, uh…
What? If you want to say something, just say it.
H-how did you know!?
I’ve watched your behavior and habits. I can tell what you’re thinking most of the time.
You were watching hiding behind Finnel?
That sounds as if I were some sly dog. If I wasn’t watching, you never would’ve broken out of jail.
So, it’s more like, I’ve been a watch guard for both of you.
That’s true. I can’t argue that…
So, what do you want to know?
Well, it’s actually about when we broke out of jail.
You’re not a bombermaniac, are you?
Well, you can use Song Magic, but you still prefer to use bombs, right?
So, I thought you might be a big bomb lover.
…Do you want me to blow up your rotten skull?
I’m just kidding! Don’t be mad…
(I don’t think my guess was completely wrong, though.)

He also had a very awkward question that he’d come up with when they were fighting together. Smarter people wouldn’t have asked it, but Aoto.

Yurisica, I didn’t know you would be strong if you take off your clothes during battle, too.
Of course. Even though I’m a different Persona, I’m still Finnel.
Well, I guess so.
So, what about it?
I just can’t get over when you took off your clothes.
Whenever you do it, some weird, screen-looking thing hides your body, right?
Is that your underwear or something?
So, you’re basically asking if I normally wear underwear?
I didn’t ask you that that directly!
I think it’s even ruder to ask rude questions like that in an indirect manner.
…Do you have to bully me?
Alright, I’ll cut the crap now. So, you want to know about my underwear, right?
I’m actually wearing underwear behind that screen thing.
Oh, okay. I thought you might have been completely naked…
If you take a close look at the screen, you’ll see my underwear through it.
If you don’t believe me, you should check it out with your own eyes.
Well, I’d be too embarrassed to do that.

Anyway, now that they had Yurisica’s help they were ready to infiltrate Ciela Gate and save Saki from the Clustanians. They’d have to hurry, though, things were getting worse by the minute…