The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 15: Finnel's Soulspace, Level 3

Just in case something strange happened, Aoto Dived with Finnel one more time before they left for Archia.

Video Record- “Finnel 3”


He found himself once more at the strange board game, but this time they could access the board.

I'm interested in this. This time...okay, I think I can go to the wheel.
Oh, I didn't know you liked this sort of thing. Sorry, but you can't play.
Why not?
Because you're an alien, naturally. But you can watch the others play.'ll be glad you can't play soon enough... Hmhmhm...

Aoto headed to the starting square to see the game begin.

It was actually quite crowded.

You're in a decent starting spot this time. Be careful not to go to the Ghost Town Square.
...Hey, don't jinx me! Of course I won't!
Please take every precaution possible. Your carelessness may cause quite a conundrum along the way.
Aoto, was it? I apologize for my unwelcome face that's intercepting your journey.
I-I didn't say you're unwelcome.
Aoto! Saki is joining in!
Saki, you, too!?
It's easy to make the people who Finnel thinks about a lot appear in her Cosmosphere.
Yurisica, you're here, too? You guys don't look like you'd be big on these kinds of games...
Hmhm, you're right. I'm not interested in this, but now that I'm here, I'll aim for the goal by any means necessary.
Okay, but don't cheat.
...Speaking of unsuitable characters for this game....look at those two.

Soma and her Guardian were also at the start.

Soma will definitely win! Heave ho!
Y-yer...the little pipsqueak! What are you doin' here!? Today definitely will be the day you dig yer own grave!
W-wait! This is someone else's Cosmophere...
Destiny: Enough! Don't fight from the get-go! Shape up or ship out! If you don't behave, it's back to the Ghost Town.
Huh! What the hell!?
She's the umpire, so to speak. She's the Hyuma who'll see to it that we don't cheat during the game.
Destiny: Alight! Thank you all for gathering, fellow players! We'll start the Fate Game now!
The rules are simple. Turn the wheel, and advance the same number of squares as you've gotten. Isn't that simple?
And yet, the results of your turn of the wheel will decide your fate.
Is the ending that awaits you a happy one!? Or, will there be a tragic denouement?
It all depends on the roulette! Alright, everyone, if you're ready, let's begin our fateful journey.
Alright, I'm goin' first! I'm looking forward to stopping at the Lay the Little Pipsqueak Down Square!
There's no such square! ...Well, this is Finnel's world, after all, so there is a slight possibility of that...
See you sons of bitches later!
…I’m next.
Not a bad start... Alright, see you guys later. Hmhm.

The roles real people take in the Cosmosphere are always interesting, I find.

Bye for now, folks.
Saki's going!
I'll try my best to stop on a square where I can marry Aoto!
Saki, even if that's what you're thinking, you're better off not saying it...
I'll stop on that Marriage Square, too! Yahhh!
Saki! I'm not gonna fall behind to you!
Whew...I'm glad I didn't get kicked this time.
That's the price of being a popular man, Mr. Bond. Hehehe...
The playboy must die from being trampled by a kitty!
But, I don't understand this. You joined this kind of game. What are you up to?
...Hmhm. You'll find out soon enough. I'm sad that you couldn't run with us.
If you joined, I would curse you so that you had to go to the Ghost Town.
*sigh* Does that Kabotatsu Hyuma carry a personal grudge against me or something?
She's like that to everyone. Don't let her get to you.
Oh, I see... But this world seems really lively.
Hmm...hmhm. I can't wait to see who falls into the dark abyss. I'm so excited.
...I won't even bother with them anymore. So, Destiny, I can walk around freely since I'm not playing, right?
Destiny: Of course you may. But don't touch, help, or sabotage any of the players.
I know. Okay, I'll go look around and see how well they're doing.

Aoto followed Finnel for a while until he reached an odd square.

It was a junction between two paths on the board.

...Hmm...what should I do...?
Oh, there you are, Finnel.
Whoa, hey! Which path should I take?
I'm not sure. Where do they lead?
The straight one is Safe. It might take some time, but I'll have a secure, stable life.
To the left is Gamble. I might win big, but I might lose a lot of time, so to speak.
So, which one?
Isn't it obvious...?
Hmhm. Empires are not built overnight. Do what you can each day and continuous effort will lead you to happiness.
See you later!
Yurisica took the Safe course, huh?
...Idiot. Life without risks is not worth living. Dream like you'll live forever. Live like you'll die tomorrow.
I shall live a life of glory, since "failure" is not in my vocabulary.
Soma took the Gamble course. Which one should Finnel choose?

Aoto didn’t think it was right to make that kind of decision for someone else.

Why don't you make your own decision?
It wouldn't be fair to blame me if you end up unhappy.
I see... Okay, I'll think about it by myself.
Good luck!
What kind of life is it if someone else decides what path you'll take?
Well, just this once, you could have made the choice for her.
Her Cosmosphere is this chaotic because it was made from her own decisions.

I'm excited to see what'll happen, though I already know how it'll end.

Nearby there was another occupied square.

...What is this place!? Happening Square?
What does this say? "Turn the wheel of fate, and something corresponding to the result will happen to you..."
That sounds kind of fun. I think I'll try it!

As Aoto was about to learn, these squares could have exciting consequences that also impacted him.

...Yurisica, that costume... Is it Halloween?
I've become a nurse. How do I look? Aren't I hot?
Oh yeah...
When I come to Happening Square, the next person to come must be my patient. I have to perform an operation on him.
But...the next person...was...
That's right.
O-kay...I gotta run! You know, see how the others are doing!?
You won't escape!

Yurisica was a lot faster than Aoto, unfortunately for him.

You gotta make up your mind. You're seriously ill. As a medical practitioner I can't let you go!
Wait! I'm not gonna play this game with you...
Shut up! Once I succeed with this formidable operation, I will have made a name for myself!
Cooperate with me! Help me conclude my success story!
Why do I have to undergo surgery!?
Don't be scared. It won't hurt. I promise... Okay?
It'll be the first and last favor I'll ask of you!
...Alright! But you have to take this very seriously. I don't wanna die yet!
You'll be fine. I'm very sure of my dexterity.
Hmhmhm. Seeing you like this, I just realized you've got a baby face.
What do you mean!?
Seeing your face as you struggle like such a turn on! It kinda makes me want to pull some naughty pranks...
Don't you dare!
Hey, don't move. Big Sis is taking care of you now... Okay?
Alright, I'll administer the anesthetic. This may hurt a little bit...
…I’m starting to feel sleepy…

Aoto was out for quite a while, it’s a good thing time in the Cosmosphere doesn’t really matter.

Hmhmhm. Good morning, Aoto!
Where am I? Oh, now I remember. You...! How was my operation!?
Successful, of course. Thanks to you, my name will go down in medical history.
Hmhmhm, now my future is set. Thank you for your cooperation, Aoto.
So, I don't get anything for going through with that scary surgery? What a waste...
Oh, you're not satisfied? Then...
Shall I service you a little? Hmhmhm!
N-no, thank you! I'm done!
Oh, that's too bad. I thought I could play with you a little more.
Whew...I thought I was really gonna die...
But...that was actually kinda delicious...

He decided to try and track down Finnel and see how she was doing.

There seemed to be quite a lot going on at the bankruptcy square.

Hmm, "You started a new business but it suffered from a depression. A huge debt is all that remains."
What a horrid space. Who stopped here?
Gyah! Y-you!
What a fool I was. I can't believe I stopped here.
Ugh, you made such a dramatic statement and you're already bankrupt? You're clumsy too, huh!?
Shut up! You have no right to laugh at me!
Whatever. No matter how loud you cry, a loser is a loser.
...! Haha, I don't know why I didn't notice it until now. Hehehehe!
Just following the path that is already paved? It's so out of character...
I'll carve my own path. I'll prove it to you right now.
Soma, you're...!?
See you later. In Happy Goal Square.
Hey, cheater! Will she really be okay?

With Soma off cheating, Aoto realized there was someone else there as well.

Oh, Finnel.
I don't know why, but I was sent to this square. What should I do!?
You were born unlucky, huh? Do your best. As long as you stay alive, you'll see the light eventually.

Aoto kept exploring, and soon found himself at another occupied square.

This one was another that was a bit too interesting.

Oh, good for you!
And now I'm getting married to you! Thank you for marrying me!
Oh, to me? That's good...
W-wait! M-me!? Did you say, "I'm getting married to you!?" Has it already been decided!?
Y-yes! The umpire told me so...
Destiny: Congratulations! I hear Ms. Saki's new groom is you.
Who decided such an important thing!?
Destiny: That is the law of Great Nature!
So Aoto, I may be a clumsy wife, but my wish is that we'll love each other for the rest of our lives. *blush*
Wait a second!
*huff* *huff* I stopped on this square, too!
Destiny: Congratulations! Ms. Finnel has stopped on the Marriage Square.
Therefore, the bridegroom for the new bride, Finnel, shall be...

Finnel really had the most terrible luck.

Eeek!? Wh-why is it Mute!?
Destiny: Sorry, we're low on people. There are various ways to love that are all legit, so there shouldn't be a problem.
There's a huge problem! What fate would match me up with her!? Please explain!
Destiny: Well...that is...because we follow the principle of first-come, first-served.
What!? That's ridiculous...
Please pardon me for interrupting your fun.
Yurisica!? What's up with that costume!?
Hmhm. I became a nurse on the Recruit Square. Do you want me to give you an injection?
N-n-no thank you!
So, you stopped on this square, as well? Then, I'd rather marry Yurisica!
Ya little wench! How dare you have an affair on our wedding day!? You got quite the audacity, yo!
Destiny: Ms. Yurisica didn't stop on the Marriage Square. She's just exercising her right of Valuation.
That's right. Hmhmhm... Since Finnel sweetly volunteered to become my bride, I'm going to decide on her, I think.
Huh? What!? Well, I don't care as long as you'll save me from this situation! Please do whatever that is!
Destiny: Okay. Then your partner is Finnel.
Yes! So, what now?

Really, really terrible luck.

...You really were born with the most miserable fate.
Filly, how pitiful...
Destiny: Since Finnel doesn't have 100,000 DP, she'll be reversed by 15 squares, willy-nilly.
Huh? Hey! You're joking, right?
Destiny: By the way, the fact that you stopped on the Marriage Square is still in effect, so your marriage is secured.
Destiny: Okay, Ms. Finnel, let's go.
He-lp me!
Honey! I'm goin' home with ya!
...What a pitiful girl... I better go check up on her.
You’re staying with me.
S-Saki! What's with that costume!?
W-well, after the wedding is our first night. ...You know what that means!
Wait a second! Think calmly!

Thankfully Aoto did at least sort of get that some things weren’t supposed to be done. Or maybe he was just a coward.

No, I'm not doing this! Even if it's just a game, a man must not do this! I-I'll go see how the others are doing!
Ah! Aoto!
Whew...I'm all sweaty. I never expected Saki to make a move on me in Finnel's Cosmosphere.
You should have scored with her. Too bad you ruined it...
Even though it's a game, I could never do something like that.
Oh, you're such a square.

Aoto checked out the finish of the game.

As it turned out, someone was already done.

Wow, you're so fast! Are you already at the goal!?
Fast? Not really. I took a bit longer than the shortest route that I calculated. Luck was not on my side.
What about marriage?
I have not married.
I have enough to live comfortably.
You just got to the goal and that's it?
What else matters? The best way to get a solid result is not to stop on the unnecessary squares.
In the Employment Square, I became a public servant, which guarantees my future. Focusing elsewhere is foolish.
Momentary pleasures do not equal happiness. It's an illusion. True happiness lies in Happy Goal Square!
That sounds pretty convincing! But, your life sounds...boring.

And it turned out Akane wasn’t the only one to finish up.

I got here on my own two feet. I never relied on that wheel. I defied my destiny and made it here my own way.
But that's...
You violated the rules. I'll report this foul play to the Game Master.
Destiny: Foul play! You're under arrest!
Hehehe. I disobeyed all the rules, and destroyed every obstacle in my path. Do you really think you can stop me now?
Destiny: Easily. I'll send you to Bankruptcy Square!
Whoa, she's way too strong!
Destiny: Thanks for reporting game abuse. Later!
Whew. I've finally made it to the goal!
Oh, Aoto, you're so mean. You can't escape on our wedding day!
Due to that, I was sent to After the Wedding Ceremony, Your Husband Escapes! Collect 30,000DP Square.
S-sorry, Saki! But, you did manage to reach the goal!
Umm, I'll...go see how the others are doing! Bye!
Whew. I'm a bit worried about Soma...

Loud noises were coming from the Happening Square.

Finnel’s string of luck was continuing.

Yo, coward! No running!
Kyaaah! Please help me!
What's happening!?
Aoto, help!
Seriously, what's going on!?
Finnel, this bastard's your cheatin' partner?
What!? So there's another one!?
N-no! No!
Oh, man. What a living hell...
Graaagh! It was so dumb of me to fall in love with you!
I want a divorce!
*hic* *sob*
Hey, are you okay? What was that all about, anyway?
Your Spouse Catches You Cheating. Pay 20,000DP Square.
Well, you divorced Mute. That's not all bad, right?
Although, I do kinda feel sorry for her...
Really? She seemed to be enjoying the situation.
Oh, it seems that another player just finished. Let's go see them.

Aoto returned once more to the finish line at Momoko’s prodding.

Who was finishing should be obvious at this point.

Congratulations, Mute!
You can do it if you really try.
It was wise to divorce that cheatin' wife. I dug up a coal mine and became a billionaire!
Oh, you're Finnel's cheatin' partner.
Agh! That's not nice! The husband who ran away from me was actually Filly's cheating partner?
W-wait, it's all a big misunderstanding that's gotten even bigger!
If he cheated with Finnel, I can't let him go. I must punish this filthy beast!
Wait! I wasn't involved in this game in the first place. It's incidental!
Are you trying to escape!?
Whew... This is crazy.
But now, the only other players who have yet to arrive at the goal are...Soma and Yurisica.

Aoto heard arguing from the Bankruptcy Square and headed over.

It seemed all three remaining players were stuck there.

I don’t know…

You're all here? Are you okay...?
What's wrong with making my own path!?
I can't believe they were so intolerant of cheating. I thought I was being very stealthy.
You all got caught doing something illegal...
...I d-didn't do anything illegal!
I know. I feel really bad for you.
There's no use staying here forever. Let's go for the goal.
If only it were so easy. To get there from here, we have to make a huge gamble.
That everything I have and turn the Wheel of Fate!
If I win, I'll be a millionaire, but...'s the poor house for me.

Yurisica was becoming concerned that she and Soma weren’t the only ones cheating, somehow.

What do you mean?
Finnel, Soma, and myself are all here. Everyone else is done. Only the Cosmosphere's residents have failed.
Yes, but couldn't that all be just a coincidence?
No. That is very unlikely. It's worth investigating.
I'm not interested. Do whatever you want.
How uncooperative. Fine. Finnel, turn the wheel and put all of your belongings on the line.
Whaaat!? Me!?
Yes. I'll watch for foul play as you turn the wheel.
Or, can you spot if someone is cheating?
I don't think so...
Then, you must turn the wheel. Aoto, come with me.

They headed for the wheel of fate.

Despite her supposed disinterest, Soma came along with them.


Well, Soma, you're here, too, after all. Why are you so stubborn?
It's not like I came to help you guys. I just got a feeling that this is going to be a fun event.
Hmm, your reason doesn't really matter. So...which number did Finnel bet all of her possessions on?
Well...on six.
Okay... Well, I don't think you're going to win either way, but if the wheel acts funny at all, you have to call it luck.
But...I didn't win anyway...
I'm sorry, but you're going to the Ghost Town.

Hey... Can't I turn her wheel, like a designated hitter?
...You? Why?
Hehe! I've got good luck when it comes to gambling. I always win good prizes in the Annual Blue Canyon Fiesta Raffle.
Oh, you just grazed a fluke.

Yurisica saw an opportunity to help the plan out.

Huh? Aoto, are you really that lucky!?
Of course! My gambling luck is extraordinary. I've won some lotteries where there's only one winner!
Alright! I'll go do some exercises to boost my luck! Wait a sec!
I-I'm going, too!
...What an annoying joke.
Oh, I think it's an effective strategy. They're so simple, that I'm sure it'll make a difference.
Although, I don't know whether his luck is real or he's just bluffing or hyping himself up or whatever...
I don't think he has a decent brain like yours.
Well, he may be the type of guy who does things without thinking logically.
You're overestimating him.
Maybe. But they can be useful, depending on how you use them. We have to take advantage of it while we still can.
You have to be a little more flexible. Stubbornness will only serve to hinder you in the end.

Anyway, let's see how they fare on the wheel of fate.

I’m really glad there was no data about Aoto’s luck exercises.

Aoto, please.
You can count on me! I'll make you a multi-millionaire.
...Hehe. But if I don't win, it's still okay. So, please don't feel any pressure.
Hey, don't ruin my tension.
That's not what I meant. I'm already happy that you're turning the wheel for me.
I'm grateful for that.
...How selfless of you. Don't sell yourself short.
No, I'm not! You're...just special.

Hey, you guys! It's time for you to turn it. We're going to get in trouble if Destiny finds out!

They returned to the wheel to try Aoto’s luck.

Good luck, Aoto!
We're ready. Turn it whenever you're ready.

Alright, I'll spin the hell out of it! Wraaarrr!
9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 9...
...4, 3, 2, 1, 9...

...No way! It really stopped on 6!

Yurisica’s intuition was correct, the wheel was rigged.

What!? You little cheater!
Dammit! It's so dark!
???: Nyahhh!
What a fast runner!
???: Nyahhh!
What? We're outside?

Soma had the Hyuma from the wheel by the neck.

???: Ow! That hurts! Let me go, nyahhh!
Soma! Did you catch her!?

She's...a Hyuma. What's your name, sweetie? What are you doing?
Lorelei: Me name is Lorelei. In charge of wheel, nyah. Me job is turn the wheel properly, nyah.
I see... You've been manipulating the outcomes of the wheel.
Lorelei: Me wasn't manipulating, nyah! Me was just working as the manual said, nyah!
Manual? Who wrote that this manual!?
Lorelei: The untouchable Consensus of this world, nyah! Cross her and you'll be erased, nyah!
...The untouchable Consensus of this world, huh? Finnel, I don't believe you think so well of us?
Including yourself in this world.
Huh!? What do you mean?
I don't know why, but She doesn't want us or Aoto to advance any farther...
She's just fond of bullying herself.
This is no time to joke around!
I wasn’t joking.
Then, the fact that she was confined in that dark, lonesome cage was also because...
Maybe that was also what her Consensus wanted...

Aoto had no idea what they were talking about but he wasn’t going to let that stop him from jumping to conclusions.

...Plus, how dare you abuse Finnel so theatrically...!
I'll will catch and punish that stupid Consensus! Otherwise, I'll never be satisfied!
I...wanna see the Consensus, and ask her why she did all of this to me!
...Besides, I can't forgive her for ruining Aoto's good luck by cheating! I can't forgive her!
...Finnel, the Consensus is your Holistic Will itself. You won't like what you'll find there.
...I don't care. I don't want to be trapped in that dark, small place and go through these misfortunes anymore!
So...I'm scared, but I'll go!

And it seemed that they’d succeeded.

She's got some real zeal this time. I can hardly believe she's Finnel.
Aren't you having harder and harder times in Finnel's worlds? You were enjoying her misfortune so much...
How rude of you. That's not true. It's not that I was enjoying her misfortune. I AM enjoying her misfortune.
Hmph. Keep barking, you sadist.

They went to Stonehenge.

For once, Finnel had some hope.

If the cause was the Me in a deeper layer of my mind...I can change the Me over there and be happy, too!
Of course. Learn from me! If you think you'll succeed, then you will!
Let's go, Aoto.

The soulspace stayed open for a short time after they had left.

Hey, who do you think will win this game?
...That's none of my concern.
But you always end up helping her.
It's only natural. If we lose her to the Consensus, then we must all start over.

Our Consensus does not wish for that, either.
I don't care either way.
...I'm curious to see which side you'll choose this time.

Finnel in the real world was reaping some benefits as well.

You already made a Paradigm Shift occur, right?
Yeah, but I’m tired.
Oh, I’m sorry. Was it that cumbersome?
…I can briefly tell you what happened, right?
Just briefly.
It was some stupid roulette game.
…I can’t describe it any further.
…Sounds like a really brutal world…
It’s your world, so how do you feel?
Uh…I always thought I was never very lucky.
So, whatever I did, it would only cause someone trouble.
…I see.
But when I woke up from the Dive, I knew that…
I may be an unlucky girl, but I’m not unhappy, so I have nothing to fear anymore.
If I keep fearing the worst results, of course nothing will ever go well.
So, I think I should try new things more often.
…But that’s an ordinary notion for most people.
I don’t see anything wrong with it. Everybody’s different.
Well, I think it was a good change.
If you try something big and fail, I’ll back you up.
So, just do whatever you wanna do!
Alright, I’m counting on you, Aoto.

They were almost ready to head to Archia. Just one tiny thing left for them to do…