The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 18: In the Tank

Let’s see, children. Where were we last time? Oh yes, the Archia Think Tank. With the hatch unlocked, they could enter the sewers beneath the facility.

Be quiet! Let’s keep going!
There must be ladders. If we find one, let’s climb it.

Feinne on Qoga: Archia Think Tank
The dungeon is pretty simple really. It’s split into an upper portion that is hard to travel around in thanks to locked doors and a lower portion with ladders that let you travel back and forth. There are a lot of ways you can go that don’t actually lead anywhere, but you’ll find your way eventually. Here’s a link to the second half of the dungeon if you want to watch a bit of gameplay.

Video Record- “Think Tank”


They stumbled around for a while trying to find their way through the building, but eventually they managed to find Saki. And it was very lucky they had returned so quickly…

Oh Goddess...I'm glad! I can't believe I got to see you again!
Sorry for leaving you alone...
Richa told me everything. I was sad, but it's all good because I got to see you all again before being put to sleep.
Aoto, let's talk about it later. We have to go back now!
Yeah! Let's go, Saki!
Huh? Where are we going!?
I'll tell you all about it later! For now, just believe in me, Saki!
Hurry! If the sentries catch us, we'll be in big trouble!
C'mon, Saki! Let's go!
Please, Saki! I promise I'll never let you be lonely again!
Aoto...okay, I'll go with you.
...Good! Let's go!

They rushed back out before the Archians could figure out what was going on. Luphan and Katene were waiting for them back at the preschool.

Welcome back, everyone.
Why are you here?
I was concerned about all of you... But everything seems to be fine now.
Katene, you waited for us here, too?
Of course. My friend broke into the Archia Think Tank. Who wouldn't be worried?
Luphan, Katene, thank you for your concern.
No problem. Saki, I'm glad you're back safe.
Hey, isn't it dangerous to chitchat here?
Yeah, if they find out that Saki's not there anymore, they'll come to get us.
That's right. Let's get going. There's a better place to discuss this.
Oh, your old clinic and house, right?
I'll regroup with the Great Fang Militia for now. Maybe Rev. Gengai knows where to offer you shelter.
Thank you, man.
See you all later.
Take care.

They returned to Doctor Gojo’s old clinic to wait for Luphan.

Do you feel sick, Saki?
No, I'm fine. Thank you, Doctor.
Did the Archians do anything strange to you?
No, I was just about to be put to sleep.
...Yeah, you said that earlier.
Well, they told me I would die if I stayed awake...
They must've been talking about a cryo treatment...
Were you going to sleep forever?
If that happened, we would've been completely clueless...
It's a good thing we took her before that happened.
But they had a valid reason. Her energy has been spiraling downwards. They were trying to extend her life.
But I can't help but suspect that the Archians are up to something...
...Wh-what do you mean?
...Saki, you haven't lost your memories from when you were working at the pre-school, right?
Th-that's right...
Could you please tell me everything that you can remember about it?

Saki told them what she could remember about her own past. It wasn’t much.

Ever since then, the Principal raised me. When I turned 16, I took over the pre-school.
But, shortly after that, the Principal passed away... Then, I was attacked by somebody. That was a few months ago...
Then you ran away and met me. The people who attacked you were probably Clustanians...
I think so...
I see. Then, only your memories from more than 8 years ago and between when you ran away and met Aoto are missing...
If Saki was at the Archia Think Tank 8 years ago, as Raphael said, she must've been 8 years old.
Reyvateils can develop as early as 6, so she probably only belonged to the Think Tank for a year or two, tops.
But who took her to the pre-school?
I don't know if this is related, but when I met her, a man named Kiraha was fleeing with her...

Kiraha was a very familiar name to Katene, though really it should have come as no surprise that someone they met was going to turn out to be his son. That’s just how things like this work. From experience I can say if you stop and try to think about them it’s just not healthy.

Katene's dad...?
He disappeared without a trace. I always wondered what he was doing. I can't imagine him doing that. How is he now? order for Saki to escape...right in front of us...
No way...did he die...?
...I'm so sorry!
...I see. What a father... He never did a fatherly thing for us...until the very end...
...Katene, I'm sorry...!
Mr. Kiraha told me to give a necklace to you, but I gave it to Raphael instead! It was your dad's keepsake...
Oh, that thing...? Don't worry about it.
But...that was...
Really. Don't worry. I don't even want that keepsake. But why did you give it to Raphael?
Because he told me he was Mr. Kiraha's friend...

It seemed Raphael had certainly been lying about at least some things back at the Think Tank.

I think he lied to gain your trust so you'd leave Saki with him. He seems really shady... I think Gojo was right.
Yeah, I'm still not sure, but I can't trust him completely, either. I can't leave Saki to him, that's for sure...!
Saki, I know you're in a critical condition right now, but please let me protect you again!
I'll fight against whoever gets in your way, so that you can be happy, surrounded by kids at the pre-school!
...Aoto. Yes, please protect me!

Luphan arrived just then to give them a message from Gengai.

I told Rev. Gengai. He said we could shelter you at the Garvelt Bridge, where the Great Fang Militia is stationed.
Oh, nice!
Please hurry. You should get out of town before the Archians start looking for Saki.
Wait, we need to prepare to travel.
Very well. Then, I shall return to the militia first. Please come to the bridge once you're ready.
Alright! Let's get ready to travel.
Katene, what are you going to do?
I'll go with you all, of course. This will be a rare opportunity to approach the Tower.

Back at the Think Tank, they were scrambling to find Saki. It seemed they needed her for something, though it wasn’t clear what.

I'm sorry, sir, but we still have yet to find her...
How is the search for Ar Ru?
We have no convincing evidence, but the preparations for finding the gateway address are progressing smoothly.
...Saki won't be around much longer.
We need to get her back and put her in cryo sleep. Otherwise, I'm not sure if she can survive until we capture Ar Ru.

Please hurry. Once she breaks down, it will be irrevocable.

Aoto and his friends were concerned they might not be able to return to Archia for a while, so they started stocking up on supplies.

By the way, it's got so many things. This place is so amazing...
Well, some of this stuff in no way looks like it should be for sale.
Well, please don't mind them.
This place used to be an iron workshop, so a lot of stuff is left over from then.
We cleaned it quite a bit, actually. But it was so heavy. I remember my arms were sore the next day...
Huh? Doc, you knew about this shop?
I checked up on Sasha before, when she was injured.
She said she'll be fine, but I'm still worried.
She's pretty strong-willed.
Well, she seems like a nice girl.

Aoto was worried about Saki’s safety in battle.

Oh, hey, Saki. Are you alright?
Huh? Why?
Well, when you were singing, I couldn't protect you properly.
Are you hurt anywhere?
Thank you for your concern.
But that was nothing. Saki's not that weak.
Oh... Sorry about that. I promise I'll protect you better from now on, so please forgive me.
I'm not offended. Please don't be sorry.
But, Aoto, please don't push yourself too hard.
Even if you kindly protect me, I would be sad if you were badly injured.
I appreciate you worrying for me, but I'm pretty tough, ya know? See, not a scratch...
I know you're very strong, but I don't want to see you get hurt.
You have to worry about yourself, too.
...Alright, I will.
(She's worried about me. I shouldn't let her do that. I hafta work harder for her...!)

Saki meanwhile wanted to know what Aoto thought of her hometown.

Aoto, do you like Archia?
Well, sure.
...What's wrong? You don't look very happy.
...Sorry. Since we came to Archia, I haven't been feeling quite right.
All the buildings are built upside-down, hanging...I can't get used to it.
So, just looking at them makes me queasy...
I see... I understand what you mean.
But I always lived in Archia, so I never realized how strange it was until now.
Well, I think you should realize it's weird, whether you were raised here or not.
(I guess those hanging buildings seem normal to the people who live here...)

She was also feeling bad about the fact that she’d been kidnapped constantly since they’d met. Though really that’s more Aoto’s fault.

I'm sorry I got abducted multiple times.
No, don't be sorry.
It was my fault. It was because of my indecisiveness.
But I was the one who was kidnapped.
If I were stronger, no matter how hard they tried, their efforts would be wasted.
So, I'll make sure that I'll never get abducted again.
I can't cause any more trouble for you guys!
I'll be more careful from now on, too. I'll never make such a stupid decision again.

She was also very interested in some of the weird stuff Sasha had at her shop.

There are a lot of interesting goods at Nya Nya Ya!
They're more cute than interesting.
Did you really like that huge teddy bear?
Hehehehe. Actually, yes.
Big, stuffed animals are every girl's fantasy.
So, do you want to buy it sometime?
Of course, but...
If I bought it, there'd be no space to keep it.
...You're right.
Do you think anyone would buy such a huge stuffed bear?
I don't know about that... Maybe that's why they're a fantasy.

Finnel, meanwhile, was wondering who Sasha even was.

So, are Sasha and Tatsumi close friends?
You're curious because you've got a crush on Tatsumi, right?
No! I don't have a crush on him or anything like that.
I didn't think he was the type of guy who would get along with girls very well.
Oh, that's true.
But I don't think they're dating or anything.
They're just V-Board friends. Sasha takes care of his V-Board and stuff.
So, you don't need to worry about that.
I told you, that's not what I meant!

She found Archia even more unsettling than Aoto, though for a different reason.

Do you think that place is really okay that way?
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about Eulark's entrance and the flooring around that area.
It's really rusty, and the flooring is about to fall off at anytime.
I know what you mean...
Isn't anyone questioning its safety?
Didn't you feel nervous walking in there?
Not really. There were a lot of dangerous places back in Great Fang.
I used to walk on a cliff on the way to Eternus.
Compared to that, Eulark's nothing.
...I was raised in Clustania, so I'm not used to that kind of stuff.

Aoto was working on another new move he’d been thinking about.

Aoto, what's wrong? You look pale. Are you alright?
Well, I've been thinking of a Supermove all night.
I had to invent a new move! But I can't think of anything else!
Because I'm sleep deprived, now my head hurts...
You have to sleep well!
I'll sing you a lullaby. Please sleep soundly.
No, until this problem is resolved, I can't sleep.
But you'll get sick if you don't.
Let's at least handle the headache for now. I think we've got some aspirin...
There. It's pulverized medicine, so it may taste bitter, but it should work well.
Thank you...ungh!
What a giant sneeze!
Are you okay, Aoto? Your body's been weakened by lack of sleep.
Ah, the medicine was blown away by his sneeze...
Don't worry we have more. Alright, Aoto, be careful this time...

Oh, yeah. This one. But this no, no, if we do this, he'll be...
...I think he's about to come up with a good idea.
Aoto! Hooray!

Being able to draw inspiration from terrible failures is pretty important I suppose.

I'll be fine now! Everything will definitely be okay!
Oh, good for you, Aoto!
Thank you very much!
Hahaha. This was pretty easy after all!
I don't know why I didn't notice it until now. I'm so stupid. Hahahaha!
...Aoto, what happened?
Uh, he's fine. Just a lack of sleep.
He's in a natural high from solving the problem that had long been afflicting him.
Saki, Doc!
What is it?
...Land Pillar.
That's the name of my new super move!
This great idea hit me when I saw the powder get blown into the air. Isn't that awesome!?
Aoto, I understand, but please get some rest. You're tired.
...I didn't know lack of sleep was this frightening.

They also worked on improving their equipment before they left. First they started on Aoto’s weird sword thing.

Huh? This drill is kind of big.
I made it big. That way, it's a lot stronger.
Whoa, I bet you just can't wait to charge into a crowd of enemies.
Well, thrusting seems a lot more deadly, doesn't it?
...Well, yeah, in a way.
Then you could just make a regular drill for that, couldn't you?

He just stuck a huge drill on the end of it, I don’t even know.

Look out! Here comes the Pile Driver!
How are you going to do Pile Drivers while holding that...?
No! Pile Driver is the name of it! I'm not talking about the devastating pro wrestling move!
Uh...sure, dude. Whatever.
As I said while I was making it, it's a sword with a huge drill at the end.
It's actually pretty powerful!
It sure looks like it.
But why don't we change the name to something like Big Screw?
The original name sounds like the name of a professional wrestling move, so we should change it.
I don't think that's anything we have to worry about...

Somehow he goes right from sticking drills on swords to working on advanced medical tools.

The reason you can't do operations outside the clinic is because you don't have the right tools, right?
That, and because it's almost never sanitary enough to do that kind of work outside the clinic.
If bacteria gets into the patient through the incision, they could get sick or even die from infection.
But then what if one of us got seriously injured and needed to be operated on right away?
Even if you're right next to us, you can't help us if we aren't inside your clinic?
If I don't have my equipment and a completely sanitized, closed space, I can't do anything.
Then for you, Doc, I will make an awesome gift that will astonish the entire world!
It'll be done in a minute. Look forward to it!

I don’t know how the same person created these two things honestly, they’re really night and day.

It's finished! High Voltage Gloves!
You can shock anyone with these gloves to humanely put them down instead of letting them suffer.
What? No! You can do emergency operations to help people survive! They just run on electricity!
Oh, you can do that with electricity...? I'm surprised.
Oh my...this is...truly amazing...
With this many tools, I can do most operations outside!
It's got a compact, bacteria-free greenhouse and most surgical tools.
This is a wonderful tool. I think it'll be a great boon, not just to our team but to mankind!
Yeah, it's definitely helpful. And, of course, it can also be used as a weapon in a pinch.
...E-excuse me? A weapon?
Yeah. This huge battery isn't just for decoration. You've got some real juice in this baby.
You're going to make him fight with a medical tool?
...I'm not too excited about that.
Hey, c'mon, Doc. We worked really hard on this stuff.
Sorry, Aoto. Okay, I'll use it to fight enemies from now on, too.
But why don't we at least change the name? It's long, and kind of complicated.
What about Survivegery Gloves?

And then he just made something really strange.

Hey...!? Oh, Aoto! What's the deal with this stone tablet?
A flying tablet!? How on Ar Ciel did you create this miraculous wonder!?
It's not my fault! I was just mixing stuff together at random and this is what it turned into!
How is it floating? This is just a piece of stone, right?
Don't ask me...
Well then who should I ask, boo for brains?
...Hey, this might not be that bad.
See, if you sit on it, it feels like you're sitting on a flying bench. It's kinda fun!
...Are you sure it's safe to sit on it?
Sure. See, look, I'm hopping on it and it doesn't even shake.
I see... Maybe this could be really useful after all...
Useful? For what?
Just watch the master at work...

Seriously he made a flying rock by accident. I guess he was just throwing the laws of physics at the wall and seeing what stuck.

Awesome, it's complete!
Complete? It doesn't look like it's changed at all since the last time we saw it...
Well, I mean...I reshaped it a little.
Oooh, the top's been leveled off, so it's more comfortable to sit on now!
Okay, sure, right on. But that doesn't explain why it's better or why you want me to use it?
Because now it's not just a floating tablet, it's a Flying Tablet. You can use it as a V-Board!
...Are you serious? You want me to use this as a V-Board?
Sure! Just tell people it's the predecessor to V-Boards that was made by the ancient astronauts!
Oh, I even have a name to go along with that story. Call it the Genesis Monolith!
Before you go inventing a back story for it, how about just telling me why it's floating?
Uh, just pretend it's a historical artifact from the unknown ancient astronaut civilization.
…I’m getting a headache.

He also started polishing some weird plate they’d found for no obvious reason.

Kyah! It's so bright!
Are you okay, Finnel!? reflects light so brightly.
Yeah. It's a reflection plate. It's kind of dangerous to look at it so closely.
Despite its small size, it's really powerful.
This reflection plate amplifies light several times.
If the sky was extra sunny today, you would've gone blind, Finnel.
This is too scary, Aoto! What are you doing, making such a dangerous thing!?
...I just used it instead of a gem, period.
So this is a substitute for a gemstone? What does that mean?'ll see soon enough.
I have a bad feeling about this...

I don’t think Aoto, you know, ‘gets’ rings.

Alright! The Adamant Mirror Ring is done!
Don't bring it any closer to me! Its reflection is hitting me!
I see, that's what you meant by "instead of a gem."
It's brighter than any gemstone.
I think you've gone the completely wrong direction in regards to brightness.
I know what I'm doing. No one should look at it closely anyway.
That way, no one can tell whether it's a gem or not.
Well, normally gemstones aren't this shiny. Anyone can tell it's not real.
I wonder what he thinks gemstones attached to rings are.
But if you put mirror in the name, no one would think it's a gemstone.
I think a simple name like Mirage Ring would be better.
Oh, that sounds like a regular, mass produced ring.
I don't think you can find anything this bright at a regular retail shop, though.

Tatsumi was still quite concerned about the idea of having to use that floating rock as a V-Board, and Saki seemed to agree with him.

...About that levitating stone...
Synthesis is amazing! You can even make a stone tablet float into the air!
I think it's amazing, too. It's a surreal phenomenon!
But, do you think the stone is why Tatsumi looks a little depressed lately?
He sometimes stares at the stone with a gloomy look and sighs...
Well, that's kinda natural.
Because of the strong impression that rock makes on people, he's not getting as much attention.
That's why he's getting depressed, so don't worry about it.
Is that really what it is...?
Well, what do you think?
I don't know, but he probably isn't satisfied with his reality.
He doesn't seem to like the fact that it's useful, even though it's just a piece of stone.
I don't think it should be a problem, as long as it's useful.
He's pretty selfish and he always has to be the numero uno, so it's possible.
I don't think it's a matter of selfishness...

They were ready to leave for the Great Fang Militia’s camp on the bridge. Things were only going to get more exciting when they reached it, but that’s a tale for another day.