The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 32: Synthesis Roundup

Last time we left our heroes they were preparing to travel to the Rinkernator to save Saki and Finnel. So naturally I’m not going to tell you about that tonight. Instead I’m going to discuss some of the great and terrible things unleashed on the world by Aoto’s hubris.

What should the print design of this shirt be?
What a vague theme. It depends on what kind of clothing you want to make.
I guess you're right. Then what about for just a regular shirt?
Then just having a small logo on the chest would work.
That sounds a little lame.
Then, why don't you make two? One for each side?
Although, it's kind of risky to put too many decorations on it. Perhaps that's the best place to start?
Maybe... Alright, then I guess I'll just try it!?
I hope it turns out well.

It didn’t turn out well. I understand fire had to be employed on the result.

...A horrendous monstrosity has forced its way into existence, and we are, as a species, worse for it...
It wasn't on purpose! Cut a guy some slack. That was a total accident!
You made this accidentally? I can't believe it.
Are you saying I have no sense of style?
N-no, that's not what I'm saying...
Before even touching on the actual fashion, the size would be really tight on anyone.
Plus, it looks a little...metallic?
Besides your atrocious sense of fashion, I think this is one hell of an avant-garde work.
...Is that supposed to be a compliment? It doesn't sound like one.
I'm saying this is really extraordinary. Why don't you give it a mean name?
...Tight Tough Shirt. How about that?
...Finnel, I think you should think up one, too.
Vinyl Man, how about that?
Are you saying I don't even have a good naming sense!?

Indeed they insisted on trying to come up with a good way to burn not just the shirt but its very memory from existence.

If it's an item for attacking, why don't we make it sound strong?
So now you want me to be plain and straightforward with item names?
Well, if this is something that deals damage to enemies, it could possibly hurt us too, right?
Yeah, it should sound dangerous so we'll make sure it doesn't explode prematurely or something.
But if I have to start worrying about those things, it won't be any fun to make weapons anymore.
Making weapons isn't a game. If you're not serious, we'll all get hurt.
To be fair, one of the most important things about synthesis is to enjoy it.
When you create stuff with fun and curiosity, it turns out much prettier and stronger than normal.
See? Cocona agrees with me...sort of. Now, I'll finish it up quick before she can change her mind.
...Just make sure and know your limits.

Their first effort was a mortar, but that’s just not quite right for incinerating a piece of clothing.

It's done, I guess, but it's not as strong as I wanted it to be...
That's not true. It looks really strong.
I think so, too. Does it look stronger than it is or something?
Well, I mean, it's only good for launching missiles, you know?
Only good for launching missiles...! That sounds powerful enough!
When you've done synthesis for a while, I guess your sense of what's "powerful" gets thrown off...
Aoto's probably so far gone already that he can't even see "normal" from where he's standing...
But as long as he's creating strong items, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
It isn't a problem, so long as I can make stronger items!
Don't say that...
Anyway, the Burnin' Launcher was created. Okay?
Burnin'? Shouldn't it be Burning?
Do you think it's weird?
Well, it sounds less strong if you drop the "G". In fact, why don't we just call it Hell's Bomber?

So they insisted Aoto work on something else related to fire.

Ah, that's a missile launcher, right?
You look happy. What's going on?
That's so cool! I've always wanted to try one.
Oh, heh, I can sure understand that.
Yeah, it looks cool, huh? Alright, why don't you try carrying it.
Woohoo! Okay. I'll give it a shot...

What's the matter? Just pick it up.
...I can't lift it. It's too heavy.
I'm not surprised. It's an iron box that launches four missiles at once. since it's so heavy, some people can use it and others can't. That's not very convenient...
Aw, and I wanted to try it out...

I mean I don’t know who could lift a rocket launcher like that, it’s just silly.

Alright, there. Now everyone can use it.
That's using your brain! Now we can all use it, since we don't have to put it on our shoulders.
Didn't you want it to be shoulder-mounted, Cocona?
Well, yeah, I thought it'd be cool, but I can't lift heavy stuff, either.
Oh no...I was excited about it.
It can't be helped. If you can't lift it, you can't use it.
It's my fault that I'm too weak. You didn't have to remodel it.
It's okay. I did it because I didn't know who would want to use it.
Finnel, are you fine with just seeing someone hold it, instead of using it yourself?
It's still cool...
…Okay, I’ll admit htat.
Then the name should be something straightforward, like Homing Pod, don't you think?
When you use it, you have to put it on the ground, so I think that name's a little too cool for it.
It should be Dosukoi! or something.

They finally just made him make something that shoots fire.

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "Something that incinerates everyone in front of you?"
That would of those, of course.
I think we should of those. You carry it on your back and hold the hose...
So let's stop talking about one and make it!

Those things are pretty terrible honestly. But not as terrible as that damned shirt.

Okay, it's done! How's that? Is it what you thought it'd be?
Of course! When you hear, "Kill it with fire," accept no substitutes!
I can't think of anything to add, either. may take a little guts to use it.
Is it really okay to use it...?
I know... You're worried about what might happen if you used it.
...C'mon, don't spoil the mood, we were all excited about this new weapon.
S-sorry! Let's name it!
Well, then...
How do you like Hell's Segregator?

Speaking of terrible things they also created something that’s really not terrible.

When I look at the ingredients, it reminds me of something really disgusting.
Something disgusting? What is it!? My morbid curiosity needs to know...
...I'll just tell you the name, okay?
Will it be enough of a clue?
Trust me, I don't care who you are, you'll understand what I'm talking about when you hear the name.
Just tell me already.
...BBQ Soda.
...Ugh. That's horrible. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
I can only imagine such a grotesque thing...
It may look gross, but I swear, it's actually very yummy.
It was a mistake, for sure, but it actually became one of my favorites.
...I really don't want to make it, but if you say so, I'm kind of curious.
I'm just a little bit curious, too. So, how do we do this?
Well, it's gotta be something that a person with common sense can't possibly make, right?
Y-yeah. It's weird to mix soda with BBQ.
...It's really tasty, though.
I-I'm not gonna make it! It would be torture to eat!

I cannot believe that girl came up with something so disgusting yet so delicious.

You really made it!?
What choice did I have? If it's supposedly that delicious, I can't help being curious about it!
I'm not kidding. This is delicious, for reals.
I actually made this, but I don't know if I can try it...
So what you’re saying is, you’re a punk who doesn’t care about a girl’s personality at all and is only after some booty?
What!? Where did that come from? How does that have anything to with this soda?
Because you judged the dish by its looks, and now you're not even gonna try it, like some sorta snob.
"Looks are way more important than what's inside." That's the type of guy that will remain eternally dateless.
Kh...okay! I-I'll eat it!
Aoto, you don't have to. You'll get a tummy ache.
No. I can't cop out now, or I'll forever be labeled as a wimp. I can eat it!

See Aoto? Just spit it out.
...This is good.
I don't know what the hell is going on, but it's very delicious!
If all the ingredients are tasty, what they make will also be tasty. It's the natural order of things.
The original inventor, who happens to be a Reyvateil, put it best.
This is really good! I don't know who that Reyvateil is, but I respect her a lot!
...I'm getting a headache.
But this is a little different from the original BBQ Soda, so it needs a different name...
...What about BBQ Sour?
This is far from grotesque. It was dumb of me to judge one of the world's great delicacies by looks!
...Well, I'll admit it still looks grotesque.

Aoto’s own ideas weren’t nearly as good.

Hey, Aoto, why are you making so many musical instruments?
Hmm... Go ahead and guess. If you get it right, I'll give you the whole thing as a reward.
I-I don't know if I'll even want it...
Hmm...are those just weapons shaped like musical instruments?
The drums resemble some degree.
But the tambourine and triangle aren't weapon-like at all...
Alright, I give up. What is it?
Ah-ah-ah, no spoilers! Look forward to the answer when I'm finished!

It was just a ridiculous mess designed to create a racket.

Ta da! So, the answer is: To combine them all together and hit and blow them all randomly.
What? That doesn't make any sense at all!
First of all, you said combine the instruments together? Why?
If they're all going off at once, it'll be so loud, it'll be like an awful marching band, right?
Marching bands are lively, but I don't think even an awful one would use those instruments.
So then, what is the purpose of this item, Aoto?
Of course, this is for playing while marching. What else could it be used for?
...Y-you're not joking, are you?
Doc, what are you saying? Is there any other way to use this contraption? Seriously?
By using this, we can attract tons of monsters.
This is a great item for people who want to train to be strong.
...But we can already walk around and encounter monsters as much as we want, without these instruments.
We don't have time to just pace back and forth! We need to gain experience now!
So, I'm gonna call it Solo Orchestra, okay?
That sounds like a name you'd give to a cheap, plastic, party favor.
Then what about Variety Mixture?

They also got in a really weird conversation I can’t follow at all. Maybe you kids can.

When you hear the words "air" or "atmosphere," what do you think of?
Those KY people who can't "read the atmosphere." They're rude, dense, and insensitive idiots.
That's what I thought, too. I don't know why we don't think about the vital air we all need first...
I think it's cuz the KY clique is getting really popular. Besides, what has air done for us lately?
It's sad, but that's the kind of world we live in nowadays.
I see...and I know just who you're talking about.
I actually is the air...
What are you talking about, Aoto?
I was just thinking to myself... When it's done, please remember what I said.

I also don’t know how the hell he pulled this off but Cocona swears it worked just as advertised. Maybe he’s so stupid he broke optics as a concept.

Alright! It’s done!
Really!? But it's only full of air.
Yeah. That's what it is. It has to be full of air. That's the name of the game.
What kind of game would that be!?
...Ah! Are you saying...!?
You finally realized it, huh...?
Does that happen to be an item that somehow makes us invisible to enemies?
Huh...? What!? You can make us like the air!?
Right! "Nobody sees the air, though it still exists."
Those Air People wouldn't be noticed by anyone, but they still exist, too.
This is the embodiment of Air People.
...I'm starting to feel sad.
Although that does sound convenient.
I think I'll call it Air Spray.
Isn't that too plain? What about Air-like Spray? We don't want to give away the secret ingredient...

Aoto kept making increasingly ridiculous drills.

This weapon seems to be full of... symbolism. Maximum Penetration!?
You really seem to know what gets guys excited, Finnel!
Of course. It's like common sense.
Well…when I heard Maximum Penetration, I sorta figured what the outcome was gonna be.
But even if it is a "Man's Fantasy," it seems like it's gonna be really big.
It's the embodiment of what I fantasize about all the time!
It's gonna be too bulky to carry around. I think you should grind it down.

Even when he tried to moderate things they ended up stupid, just in a different way.

...Uhh, I think you went overboard on the grinding. At this size, it's not gonna be very good.
But you told me to streamline it! I can't make it any lighter than this. What do you want from me...?
Hmm...because I had to help grind all this hard stuff, my shoulders ache so bad...
See, Finnel worked hard on making it light, too. Don't marginalize all of our hard work.
Well, more precisely, my hard work. I thought Aoto was supposed to be the one doing the grinding.
You know I was too busy making the device to turn the drill. It couldn't be helped.
Well, anyway, I'm glad we got an obviously strong-looking weapon out of it.
Yeah, if you stab this in an enemy and turn it on, it'll be pretty effective...
...Almost too effective, now that I think about it. Gory like a splatter movie...
Don't worry. Enemies have been getting stronger lately. They're not gonna die just from that.
Hmm, if we're fighting such strong opponents, maybe this isn't strong enough. If we added some fire...
N-no, that's enough as it is!
Speaking of which, I think I'll name it Steel Grinder. What do you think, Finnel?
You worked really hard for me this time, so I really want to hear your opinion.
Really!? I'm glad! Well...then...
Let's call it Perfect Driller! Is that name okay!?

He wasn’t satisfied with making stupid weapons for himself, though, and branched off.

If you imagine one of these when you hear "playing doctor," I think that means you're honest and healthy.
Do you mean a medical license?
If you forge one, isn't it illegal, even if you made it through synthesis?
Well, it would be counterfeit, and that's not acceptable.
If that's the case, then what do you plan on making instead?
Well...the bag.
Do you mean a medical bag?
Let's try a different tactic. When you hear "playing doctor," what do you usually think of?
See? I knew Finnel would get it.
Hey, the way you said it was misleading! I've never done it myself!
...I don't understand, but I'm starting to worry about whatever we're making right now.

The Doctor didn’t even get where they were going with it was the weird part. What a square.

So it actually was...THAT.
So you do recognize it...
I said, stop trying to mislead me!
...Ah...I know what this is...
It's a Doctor's Bag! I'm sorry, Doc, but when I hear "medical doctor," I just can't think of you like that.
Well, I understand what you mean.
I think you should be mad, Doctor. What do you think doctors are, Aoto!?
I mean, we all had one of those when we were kids.
We would gather up and discuss remedies for various kinds of diseases.
...That sounds way too advanced for just playing doctor.
We didn't know our limits when we were kids. Hahahaha!
...No, we can't laugh at that, Doc.
Well, all talk of personal histories aside, what is this thing called?
It pretty much is what it is. I call it a Doctor's Bag.
That's pretty generic. It should be more like Child Clinic, to tie in with our stories.

Fresh from his ‘success’ he tried to create a new V-Board for Cocona.

If we're gonna make a V-Board, why don't you take the lead, Cocona? Show us the ropes.
No, I'll pass. I'm really bad at doing this kind of stuff.
Look up Cocona when you want an excellent V-Boarder, but for a V-Board maker, you're outta luck...
I don't think there are many people who can both make something and use it at a very high skill level.
I see...then I'm a kind of rare breed, I suppose.
I'm making this without knowing what it is exactly, much less how to use it.
I guess so. But then, most people aren't special in your "too dumb to know it's impossible" kind of way...

That’s really the only logical explanation for how most of this stuff worked.

...That looks really, really, dangerously fast.
Yep. If you don't concentrate, you might get shaken off at high speeds, so be careful.
Why didn't you think about the user's safety when you made it?
Don't worry. Cocona's always saying how great she is at V-Boarding. This should be easy.
...I've figured out how Aoto can make fast V-Boards, even though he doesn't know anything about them.
Really? Why?
I think that since he doesn't know anything that's unnecessary, he can just concentrate on making it.
Normal people would think about safety and equip it with a speed limiter or something, right?
I see what you mean! Aoto doesn't have the common sense to consider the user's survivability!
Huh? Is that kind of stuff really necessary?
Well, I wouldn't use it in the Grand Prix, but it's still usable. Keep making this stuff, Aoto.
Of course!
I named it Ether Runner, but would you prefer another name?
I came up with Ciela Express.

I’m not sure he himself knew what he was trying to create sometimes.

Hey, Aoto, you're making a healing item, right?
No...this is a "Reviving the Dead" item.
What? That sounds creepy! Are you becoming a necromancer or something?
No. It's more of a medicine for waking up knocked out people.
When you're knocked out, you're basically unconscious, so regular healing items won't wake you up.
This item'll wake you up and heal you all at once!
Oh, I see...Aoto, you have to be clearer.
Dead, knocked out, same thing. Anyways, once it's done, we'll no longer fear death!
That's...great. Hopefully we'll never need to test it out...

I don’t even want to contemplate what this stupid thing sounded like that it would wake up an unconscious person.

...Well, I sort of have an issue with the shape, but I guess it's fine.
Are you sure it's done? It just looks like a normal whistle to me.
It looks normal, but regular whistles can't compare to the sound this one makes.
I guarantee even if you pass out during battle, you'll wake up with this whistle.
...That sounds like a pretty uncomfortable way of being woken up.
Because it's such an ear-splitting wake-up call, I doubt it would heal much vitality.
When you use this, you should also be prepared to heal them with Song Magic right away.
...So if you get attacked before being healed, will you get knocked out again?
Don't worry, I'll just blow on this whistle again and again until the effect sticks!
...That's torture.
As long as Aoto has this whistle, please be ready to use healing Song Magic at any time...
So, I'll name this whistle the Rousing Whistle.
I think you should give it a name more fitting of a torture tool.
Maybe something like Youcomebackhell...

Saki saw that horrible mess of instruments and thought it would make a great toy until Aoto ruined everything.

The Solo Orchestra is such a lively item.
Of course, it's a tool to attract a lot of attention. It has to be lively.
But there's another use for it, right?
I think kids like complicatedly decorative things like that.
It would be a great toy for my students.
Well, they sure will like it, but you don't want enemies to attack them, do you?
Wait, what would be their enemy?
Even if Clustanians came, I don't think they would shoot Song Magic at them...
I see your point. I'm kind of curious to see who would show up to fight them...
Well, if anything came, it would be a big problem in any case.

She was also inspired by his love of drills to create a story about them, though I don’t think I want to know how that turned out.

Aoto, how can you use your drill so skillfully?
Oh, do you mean the Steel Grinder?
Well, it's more like, I'm forced to use it tactfully.
Why don't you make it smaller so that it'll be easier to wield?
I can't, because...
Drills are every man's fantasy!
You know? Drills are every man's fantasy!
So, to discard a drill is to discard your manliness!
I see... Men are really fond of their drills...
Then, when we get to go back to the pre-school, I'll write a story about a drill!
The boys will love it!
I'm curious about what the storyline will be...

He’s terribly wrong, too, the size doesn’t matter nearly as much as how it’s used. Ahem, anyway, Finnel was having second thoughts about them creating that doctor’s bag.

You know, the bag that Doctor has...
Oh, his medical bag?
...I think we should change the name of it. know, it's...
I know. If we had it, it would be a problem, but as long as Doc carries it, it should be fine.
I know that. But I just thought…
Then, how about this? Say you saw Doc carrying it. What would you think he's doing?
Visiting a patient?
Right? Now what if you saw me carrying it?
...I didn't expect you to label me that from a hypothetical story... But, see?
There's no problem as long as Doc is the one who carries it.
But to those who don't know that Dr. Gojo is a doctor, he may look odd.

She also couldn’t stop being grossed out by the BBQ Soda because she’s got no taste.

By the way, do you know of a drink called BBQ Soda?
I learned of it recently. I don't know who invented it, but they must be a true genius.
Who could imagine the incredible harmony of those two different things?
I see. That means it doesn't come from Blue Canyon Hamlet...
I do admit that BBQ Soda totally rocks.
But there's no way anyone from Blue Canyon Hamlet is freaky enough to invent it.
I don't think anyone from Clustania or Eternus could invent it, either.
Then, who the hell invented BBQ Soda?
I don't know. All I know is that it didn't exist until a few years ago.
But this drink sensation appeared out of the blue, and it's very popular among a group of people.
...That sounds like a creepy urban legend.
That's true. I'm really curious about who first invented it...

That’ll be enough of those for tonight I think, I’ll tell you more stories about his mad creations another time.