The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 43: VR21

They hurried to Eternus Shaft’s old gallery, where VR21 was kept.

Wow! It's so good to see you, Tyria.
Our tasks are nearly finished. You'll remember the lyrics to the song shortly.
Wait, Katene. Unfortunately, there's one thing we must take care of before that. It's why we're here.
...What are you referring to?

She explained the situation and what they needed to do to Katene.

Isn't the "Hymn to Fuse with Ar Ru" called Exec Cosmoflips?
Katene, you know of it!?
Of course. It's the Hymn said to be necessary for the Planet Regeneration Project from 700 years ago.
The Ancient Faction, the research team my father belonged to, sought it for years.
Really? Then, do you know the details of it?
Or why the first Chairman of the Archia Think Tank didn't install the Hymn into Tyria?
Unfortunately, I never found out, thanks to my old man.
What did your dad do?
...We were on the cusp of unraveling the mystery of 700 years ago, but then...
He intentionally shut down the "Main Frame," which had a tremendous amount of logged data, and discarded the boot key.
What!? Why would he do that?
How would I know? He was a sicko.

Katene had a better question.

You forgot who he was? Maybe he kept it in secret, knowing it was important to his rivals, the Ancient Faction.
...Anyway, if it's true, I'd be more than happy to help you.
Alright, Aoto, let me know when you're ready.

They didn’t have anything really to do if they couldn’t succeed, so they prepared to Dive to find Ar Ru.

Great. First, Finnel, please enter the Dive Pod.
I'll watch over you. Please don't worry.
Thanks, Saki.
Next, Tyria. Please enter your Dive Pod.
So, who is going to contact Ar Ru?
Oh, I thought it would be Finnel.
Tyria is the Network Medium. A Telemo itself cannot communicate with the recipient, per se...
In the Soulspace, Tyria cannot communicate with Ar Ru. We need a third party caller.
Since she's not human, she can't function as a Diver, either.
High-level Dives like this require someone with a lot of experience.

Yeah, there was only one person with the right combination of experience and being too dumb to be scared for this job.

...Of course.
I know, I know. You're gonna tell me to do it, right!?
Good luck, Aoto!
Let me provide you with a synopsis of the situation. Aoto, you'll Dive into Tyria.
Huh? Not into Finnel?
Correct. I will help you cross the border and continue down to Level 17 of Finnel's Soulspace.
Got it. I'm counting on you, Tyria!

Katene was a bit worried. About Tyria of course.

You're irreplaceable. If something were to happen to you in there... Ugh, now I'm starting to worry...!
Don't worry. I am a Reyvateil created to host conversations with the planet. My capacity is quite vast.
...Amazing! Fine, I'll exert all of my skills, knowledge, expertise and experience to support you all!
And I'll keep my eyes on you, too. If something comes up, I'll address it immediately.
I'm rooting for you.
Me, too!
Thank you.
Okay. Let's do this!
We're starting now...!
It will all be fine...right?
Maybe! Tyria is doing it, and she can handle most anything.
All we can do is believe in them and wait, Saki.
Let me know when you're ready.

A proxy dive to level 17 is like the riskiest thing you can do. Anyway, Aoto dove into the Binary Field.

This is a virtual world that is based on my memory.
A virtual world...?
Level 17, where you're going now, is a world full of high frequency energy waves that you can't withstand...
In this virtual world, my high-frequency waves are protecting you, like a scuba diving suit, so to speak.
But we're closer to submarine depth...
Well, almost. Let's Paradigm Shift all the way to Level 17! Follow me.

A massive First-Age city greeted him there.

What the heck is this town!? Those skyscrapers are huge! This building is a monstrosity!
Plus, it looks like it's populated by a lot of people. This is so different than the Cosmosphere.
We're not here to play.
I-I know...
There's a pressure bulkhead in this world. It's the door between the sub and the ocean of the Binary Field.
The outer world should lead to the extremity beneath Finnel's Cosmosphere, Level 17.
Alright, so after this place lies Level 17...
Once you head out, you can't linger too long. Anyway, let's do what we can until our time is up.
Alright, I must go prepare to support you. First we have to go to the pressure bulkhead.
Whatever you do, please don't run around the city.
H-hey! You just told me to go to the pressure bulkhead all of a sudden, but I don't know how...

He managed to find it without too much trouble fortunately. Tyria had a few more warnings.

Thanks for waiting. That was fast.
Yeah. That's good, right?
Of course. This is the pressure bulkhead that I told you about.
We're going to unlock it, but before that, there are several notes I want you to keep in mind.
First, once you open the bulkhead, a tremendous torrent of energy will hit you. You must keep yourself together.
Second, the Binary Field is where my soul programs are installed, so don't act up in there. Keep a low profile.
If you don't, it'll impact my soul, the worst case scenario, my memories will be replaced.
Alright. But, it sounds like we're doing something extremely dangerous.
You should've realized that before. Now, it's too late. Alright, we're opening it.

Aoto withstood the initial burst, though that was just the first danger.

...The mind's excited...
It sure is powerful... I feel like I'll lose consciousness if my focus slips. I have to look for Ar Ru!
...I don't think you'll need to.
...! Ar Ru...!
Who...are you?
Huh...don't you recognize me?
She's just an artificial being. She doesn't have Symphonic Body H-Waves of her own.
Well, I don't long as she answers my questions...

Aoto did at least grasp the important question.

...I want to save the planet.
That's your answer...?
I don't carry any personal grudge against humans. I just want to save the planet.
What do you mean...? If you don't hate us...if you really want to save the planet, then stop doing this!
Because...I'm the same as you! I wanna save the planet, too!
Isn't there any way...for us to coexist? Can't we support each other!?
...I don't know... Your feelings...are so strong... I just can't fathom them.

Aoto had dropped his guard, a terrible mistake.

Aoto! Pull yourself together!
Huh...? That voice...

Luckily for him, he had friends in the Binary Field.

Aoto! You came to!
Why are you here?
I'm here to encourage you.
...Saki! You... Why are you all here?
We are the Will of the Planet. It is easy for us to come here.
As Sarapatra said, we're here to help you.
That's right. Because you're...our only hope.
Since I met you...I started believing that we can live together with humans. I want you to send my feelings to Ar Ru.
But, how can we do that?
It's alright. We've sang a special Song to directly deliver our feelings to Ar Ru.
This Song grows larger and larger as we gather more people's feelings.
If we throw it at Ar Ru, we can deliver all of our feelings to her, without having to inflict damage on her.
Please use it well. Bring our message to Ar Ru.
Alright, I'll try!
Aoto, I know you can do it. Filly and I will be rooting for you. Good luck!

A while after that, Aoto woke up.

Video Record- “Katene and Mute”


Aoto!? Are you awake!?
Ngh... Where am I...? Did we make it back?
Yes. Thank you.
But you didn't wake up for a while. I'm glad you came to. Both of them were worried about you.
Saki...Finnel... You guys sang a Song and...saved me... Or was that just my dream...?
We sang a Song to give Ar Ru a piece of our mind.
Let's shoot our feelings to Ar Ru.
...Alright, everyone! Let's go!
Katene! I brought somethin’ for ya!

I’m pretty sure he might have been convinced he was still asleep for a minute here, though, because things were about to get deeply surreal.

Awww... Mute, thank you so much!
Oh, don't mention it! It's my pleasure, ya know?
If ya like it, I can do this for ya every day... Ahh! I didn't mean ta say that! Was that a little too bold?
...Hey, Mute.
A-Aoto! Ahhh! Wh-wh-what are you doin' here!?
Do you always bring food for him?
Yes, she does. She's a very good cook. Ever since I came to work here, this is my one great pleasure in life.
This is all made from scratch...
Ahhh! Man, this is so embarrassin'!
Haha. You're so shy.
You guys are so lovey-dovey. Why don't you just settle down together?
Hey, Doc, that's a great idea!
H-hey, you! Whatterya talkin' about!?

I guess with such a strange pair of people you’d expect this part to be strange too. By the way if someone asks any of you a question like that and you say yes don’t tell me the story or I’ll have to explode them.

I know you could fetch a better man than me to be your husband...
N-no, not at all!
Katene! I-I...I love ya, Katene!
...She did it. She finally did it.
What a wild confession...
Mute...are you serious?
Of course! I've loved you since we was kids! My love's the friggin' real deal, man! gonna be my husband, or what!?
Mute, I can't believe you asked me! Of course, I'll gladly marry you, Honey!

They got out before it got even more awkward.

Anyway...we still have to go to Moocheriel.
Sure, why not? Let's leave the lovely couple here.
But...Mute looks very happy.
Yeah. And Katene looks happy, too. I sort of envy them...
Well, that's kinda nice.

That night, Tyria made Aoto an offer.

You did well today. Take a good rest tonight.
Whoa, Tyria! When did you get here?
The door was unlocked, so I figured it was a shy, indirect way to say "Please come in."
I just got really exhausted all of a sudden.
Anyway, you're quite odd in your Cosmosphere. Not to mention the real world...
It's not a Cosmosphere, but a "Binary Field." It is not a physical representation of my mental state.
The scenery there is what I truly saw with my eyes inside the Tower of Origin... 700 years ago.
The tower was like that 700 years ago? So, it's more like your memory? Why is it 700 years, though?
I became the tower right after that. I can only trace my memory to that time or earlier.
My memory gets jumbled from time to time, but that is more or less an accurate picture of that time.
Think of it as a museum. If you care to visit it, do so through a Dive Shop.
If you wish to browse it, use my body whenever you get the urge.
I can use... your body? That's kind of exciting... I mean, Reyvateils are usually hesitant with this, right?
It is different from Diving into my mind. As I said, it is merely my objective memory.
It's nothing embarrassing to show.
Oh, really?

Thinking back on that time also reminded Tyria that she’d actually used VR21 before.

VR21 was created 700 years ago, right?
Yes, that’s right. I’ve used it several times before.
Then, such an antique gadget still works after such a long period of time? That’s amazing.
But it’s almost obsolete.
It was sensational when it first appeared. So I, who could use it, was even more amazing.
Well, you lived during that era. It’s normal that you could use it.
No one in this era has ever used VR21.
I have the experience. Therefore, I am great.
Uh, sure. You are great, but that sounds a little unfair.

She was also very interested in Mute.

While I was sleeping, Reyvateils have evolved quite a bit.
I never thought I would see a muscular, beefy Reyvateilic girl.
Are there many of those girls?
Of course not. I would refuse to let that happen.
First of all, you’re talking about Mute, right?
She’s like that because of a Hymn.
When it expires, she becomes a regular girl, which is her real body.
I see. That’s kind if disappointing.
It makes me shudder, thinking that there could be more of those butches. That would be a nightmare.

That’s it for tonight, I’ve got a long night still, um, negotiating my way into the server to get a log of what exactly happened when Aoto dove into Tyria. I should have it next time.