The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 44: Tyria's Binary Field, Part 1a

Aoto returned to Tyria’s Binary Field, this time to enter it for its own sake.

Video Record- “Tyria 1 Part 1”


Normally it should drop you right into the character of someone who belongs there, but this time that didn’t seem to be happening. Aoto was still dressed like a freak and had no idea who he was supposed to be.

Oh, it's the Binary Field. Still, it seems to be a much larger world than I expected.
I don't think I have enough time to look everywhere.
???: Hey, Masakado! What're you doing!?

If this is supposed to be based on Tyria’s memory I don’t even know what to think about that.

Costume? I mean, who's Masakado...?
Anyway, you're a Hyuma, right? That means she can use new Song Magic?
???: Huh? What're you talking about, Masakado?
We're Hyumas, but those are different Hyumas.
Huh? Hyumas...have types?

The Binary Field seemed to be taking pity on Aoto and started slowly supplying him with the memories he’d need to actually play his role.

They're originally from somewhere else, but if a human manages to trigger their appearance, they must live together.
But how they are summoned is pretty vague.
Maybe Hyumas appear to those who need them, but not always. Sometimes they appear without humans wanting them to.
Hyumas cannot show up to people who are incompatible with them.
By the way, if you ask any Hyuma why, they'll almost always answer you:
Just as humans avoid humans they don't like, Hyumas also avoid humans they don't like.
But Hyumas flock to lovable humans and sometimes they can get out of control.
Oh yeah, there are three Hyumas at my place. You're...
...Pogo Stick! Right?
Pocco: I'm not Pogo Stick! I'm Pocco without the stick!
Wait, we haven't met yet, so how do you know me?
Who's Masakado?
Pocco: Is that your joke? How boring. Could you really have forgotten your own name?

Pocco: Well, let's go to school. Unless you want to be late for class...

Including who the hell he was supposed to be.

Okay, right! I'm a student.
Pocco: ...Are you still waking up? Even so, it's kind of bad to forget who you are.
Well, I'm Masakado and Aoto, so...
Otto Masakado! Yep! That's me!
Pocco: ...Are you...really okay?
Let's go home first. I need to get into my school uniform.
Pocco: Okay. Get on my back and we'll dart to your place without stopping.
...Won't you get squished?
Pocco: I may appear small, but I'm a centaur. All aboard! Hyah!
Whoa! You're fast! I'm gonna fall off!
The Hyuma, Pocco, has been unlocked.

Tyriasoft was notable for having the shoddiest programmers in all of Ar Ciel, and for having customer support so terrible it bordered on the unreal.

Anyway one tiny centaur ride later and he was home.

He continued to be hassled by tiny fairies, which never stops being funny for how humiliating it is.

Pocco: How pathetic. I ran kinda slow, just so you wouldn't fall off.
I'm never riding you again.
???: Oh, you're back.
Oh, you’re…
Pooting, right?
Pudding: No, Pudding! It's so rude to give a lady such a vulgar and childish nickname.
Pocco: I think he's half asleep. See? Look at his weird costume.
Pudding: You're cosplaying so early in the morning? What a sketchy person.
Well, it's...
...By the way, why're you wearing armor?
Pudding: How're we supposed to know? Huh?
Pudding: ...Eew! You smell like a horse.
Pocco: Are you insulting me!? I take a shower every day, because I'm two things!
Hey, don't argue so early in the morning.
Pudding: Watch your mouth! You're the idiot who's all dressed up in some pervy outfit!
Pocco: Masakado, back me up. I'm not a stinky horse, right!?
Don't worry, you're not. Um, I need to go to school.

Aoto was missing something else.

Tyria? She's in the Binary Field, too?
Pocco: ...He's still dreaming.
Pudding: Yeah. It's so annoying.
Are you gonna neglect your guard duty?
Pick up Tyria? Neglect...guard duty?
Pudding: I've prepared some decent clothes for you. If you didn't waste your time cosplaying, we could've had breakfast...
Sorry for being such a thorn...
Pudding: This is part of being a Hyuma. Whatever. Go meet with Tyria. A man who makes a lady wait deserves to be stabbed.
Well, since I sent Mimi, they'll be waiting.
Okay. I'll go change now.
Pudding: How vulgar, changing in front of a lady. Whatever. I feel nothing from seeing your bare body.
Thanks for the compliment... I'm going now.
Pudding: Nope, I'm coming with you to meet Tyria.
Pocco: It's scary to think that you're taking care of her all by yourself.
Trust me.
Pudding: It's your own fault that I can't. Now, let's hurry.
The Hyuma, Pudding, has been unlocked!

They headed down to Tyria’s place, which was rather more impressive than the run-down shack where ‘Masakado’ seems to have lived.

They were already on track to be late to school.

Mimi: Oh, Masakado, we're all gonna be late.
Sorry, Mimi. Where is she?
...You're late.
You're extra late this morning. Because of you, I gorged myself on two extra pieces of toast for breakfast.
Um, sorry? I was kinda...busy...this morning.
Pudding: Don't lie to her! You weren't busy, you just overslept, right?
Pocco: That's right! You were wandering around town in some weird costume.
You idiot! Don't tell her that!
...Are you mentally ill?
I was just half asleep. Before I knew it, I was outside in some costume.
Mimi: This is so dramatic. But one question arises:
When did you buy that costume, Masakado?
Huh!? Actually, I have no idea when I bought it.
Pudding: Don't be so shy. Different strokes for different folks. It didn't look too bad on you.
Pocco: I'd have no problem seeing you wear it out in public.
Mimi: It looked good on him? I kinda wish I saw it...

Tyria was quite concerned, since it was her life in danger and all.

How could I? I have to protect you, otherwise...
Well, today...
...Yeah! I'm your bodyguard.
So this bit of lethargy is nowhere near reason enough to stay home!
Mimi: ...Masakado, you're acting weird.
I think I'll feel even less safe with you around today.
I'm fine, really. My head's all refreshed...I think.
Tell me about it on the way to school. If I decide you're acting too strange, I'll send you back home right away.
Mimi: Yeah. Take care of Masakado.
Hey, I'm the bodyguard here, y'know?
Pocco: Then stop being sleepy and guard her body properly.
I know. I'm going now. You all can go home.
Mimi: Okay. Later.

They headed for the school.

Tyria’s concerns hadn’t really died down at all.

..Huh, me? Why?
I can't believe you're talking half asleep.
Well, I can sometimes handle things while being half asleep, but I admit that today I may have crossed the line.
But I'm fine now. I'll protect you, Tyria. Don't worry.
Let me ask you this: what are you protecting me from?
O-Of course, um...

...Yeah, that's them! You know, those Anti-AAA people? My duty is to protect you from those morons!

Once again the Binary Field supplied him with the backstory he needed.

The Anti-AAA people are the ones who oppose the Planet Regeneration Project.
As the head of the project, you have to use the Song to become the Tower and provide the planet with energy.
Therefore, naturally, the Anti-AAA crowd is out to abduct or eliminate you.
...Did you forget?
...N-no, of course not. Don't worry, Tyria!
I'm anxious... I'm trembling...
Don't be scared. you not trust me?
I try not to trust you too much.
Otherwise, when you are defeated, I won't be able to remain calm and defend myself.
Urgh, you could trust me a little...
I do trust you. I'm just trying not to trust you too much. That is all.
Don't be hurt by that. Fight!
It kind of makes me feel uncomfortable when the person I'm trying to protect is trying to cheer me up...
When you aren't in a good condition, you don't need to try so hard to protect me.
Even if your client isn't attacked very frequently, being a bodyguard is tiring enough as it is.
Well, I do get exhausted to some degree.
Then you should take a rest.

Aoto did at least sort of get what he was supposed to be doing now.

I always did my job well. I have to complete this task, just like before.
...Of course. When you're given a task, you have to perform it well.
But, when are you going to stop calling me Tyria? We're almost at the school.
Oh, yeah...
Since we don't know where our enemies are lurking, we can't use your name out in public.
That's why you're using an alias at school.
Your name for here is Ria Towerman, got it?
Did you just call me by my full name?
Uh, yeah... I know, Ria. We're keeping this just between us at school.

Anyway, they made it to school in time.

And whose fault is that? I don't know if I can overlook this. I should tell Kurogane and let him punish you.
I'm gonna get yelled at anyway. Wait, he's gonna do even worse to me...
Do you expect me to keep this a secret? You know that I'm obligated to tell him about this, right?
C'mon! I'll treat you to a really nice restaurant the next time we go to the lab together.
Actually, I despise tattletales. Alright, we'll keep this just between us.
Thanks! You're the best.

The Binary Field is just as bad about substituting characters from the real world in as a regular Cosmosphere.

I already told you, Zeta, we're not like that.
Don't call me Zeta! My name is Finelle!
But your middle name starts with a Z.
I know that, but I don't like it. It doesn't sound cute...
But it's such a cool name...
Filly, don't start the school day arguing with friends.
Oh, Sake's here with you?
Good morning, Masakado, Ria.
You're supposed to say good before you say morning.
Since we're all friends, I thought we could be more casual.
That's a great idea! And, it'll encourage us to have a lot more fun together.
It's rare that I agree with you, Zeta.
Message: These two are both Masakado’s and Ria’s schoolmates.
The full name of the girl they call Sake is Nanba Sake.
And this Zeta girl is Finelle Z. Tokita. She is of mixed ethnicities.
Her middle name left a strong impact on me, so I call her Zet or Zeta.
I said, don't call me that!
Mmmm... I hate this uncute nickname...

He was certainly as much of a jerk in this world.

...Eh? Well, could I interpret that as you saying I look cute...?
I wouldn't say you could be Ms. Universe, but I still think your looks are above average.
Well, how about Sake's looks?
About the same level? At least, you guys are certainly better-looking than most girls.

Huh? What's wrong?
Womanizer. Pervert.
I am not...
That's right, he isn't. Cuz Masakado is all lovey dovey with Ria.
Yeah, they always come to school together, holding hands. It's enough to make a girl jealous...
I've told you a million times, we're not like that.
We're just childhood buddies, nothing more, nothing less.
(That's actually a lie, but...)

Tyria took this as an opportunity to mess with him.

N-no, I'm not! My house is on the other side of school from his...
I'm kinda jealous, Ria. You practically live right next door to him.
That's not really something you should be jealous about...
That just means you're really popular... *whistle* Don Juan! Casanova! Pervert.
N-no, that's not what I meant! What I said was...
Oh, the chime is going to ring soon!
Filly, we have to go, or we'll be late!
...Oh yeah! Alright, see you guys later!
We're in the same class. Why are they in such a big hurry?
Masakado, it's not cool to play innocent. You should be able to tell from their attitudes.

I can't afford to think about that right now.
Is that because you're overwhelmed with your bodyguard job?
Don't say it like that. It was my decision to become your bodyguard.
I want to finish what I've started all by myself. But to do that, I don't have time for girls.
Will you be as celibate as a monk until I become the Tower?
I never thought about it like that...
Anyhow, we hafta go to the classroom. We're supposed to be students. We hafta get there before the chime goes off.

Unfortunately for Aoto, he wasn’t actually supplied with all the information he needed.

You've got 30 minutes to finish it. Okay, start!
...Hey, you've gotta be joking.
(What's wrong!? I know I can usually solve these problems easily...)
What's wrong?
...I don't understand any of these problems.
Are you half asleep again?
I don't even know why...but I feel like I'm someone else.
...Masakado, I think you should rest somewhere, at least for the morning.
The morning classes all meet in this classroom, so I'll be safe. Please take care of yourself for now.
If you really want to be able to protect me, please refresh your mind.

Alright...but don't leave the classroom.
I won't. Please get some rest.
Alright, what should I do to kill time until class is over...?

Yeah Aoto wandered around for a while then made a terrible call.

The place was dark, but it wasn’t empty.

Oh, who's calling me? ...Hello?
Pudding: ...Pervert.
Pudding: You entered Tyria's room without permission. What're you thinking? Just tell me what you want from there.
Well, I just...
Pudding: You're not going to steal her panties, are you? You're just another perverted boy, aren't you?
No! I was, uh...
Pudding: No worries. I know that's not quite like you.
Of course it isn't! I'd never do such a thing.
Pudding: Well, you came into her room, and there's no excuse for that. You are a jerk.
Well, uh...
Pudding: Pervert. Get outta here, immediately...
From this world!
Seriously!? Isn't that a bit harsh?
What do you mean, get outta this world?

And that was when it crashed him out of the Binary Field.

Aoto took a rest after that. Finnel was interested in what had gone on in there.

I'm not going to dig too deeply into this, but Diving into Tyria is different from us, right?
Yeah, her world is called a Binary Field. It's different from the Cosmosphere, and it's actually fun.
Diving is fun?
In the Binary Field, you play the role of someone else.
I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand what you're saying.
The owner of the world overwrites your memory so you can live as an occupant of their world.
So, you start with picking whose role you'll be playing.
Oh, you have to do that...?
Isn't that dangerous, though? It sounds scary to overwrite your memory.
I don't know if it's dangerous, but I don't find it scary.
When my memory is overwritten, I don't feel like it's happening.
I only realize it was done when I return to the real world.
I see…
But it sounds good that you don't feel like it's happening.
If I knew what was going on, I'd be scared that I'd be lost forever somewhere.
Well, I still feel scared once I'm back in reality.
Oh, that wasn't really me. I'm glad that didn't happen in real life.
Oh, I see. When my personality's changed, I feel the same way.
I see, so you and Saki always experience this kind of thing.
I think I'm going to respect you two more.

Tyria meanwhile wanted Aoto’s feedback on the Binary Field.

Did you enjoy the Binary World?
...It was kinda...scary.
Is that because your memory was overwritten? But you shouldn't have felt it happening.
Well, I didn't feel anything at the moment it happened...
But when I came back to reality, I felt really frightened.
Like, "I'm glad I'm me again, safe and sound." ...Isn't that weird?
It's not weird. It's natural, as intended.
Oh, really?
Wait, what do you mean, "as intended?"
Usually as soon as you step into the Binary Field, your cognitive system swaps into someone else's.
But I thought that would boring, so I changed the setting so that you gradually changed into him.
I though you would enjoy the thrill that way.
Well, what's the point of being freaked out after I come back to reality?

She was also very interested by Eternus Shaft.

I didn't know Eternus Shaft was such a fun place.
I heard it was in a big cavern, so I thought it would be a lot dimmer.
Well, I thought the same thing before I first visited there.
A cavernous city. What would you expect?
But it looks kind of like a mysterious-looking, urban town.
Before I became the Tower, there was no such place like this.
I think everything was more convenient in your period of time.
That may be true.
There was delicious fried bread.
I've never met anyone who likes fried bread as much as you do.

He was wondering what it meant that Saki and Finnel were in the Binary Field.

Hey, I thought about this in the Binary Field... You used to go to school, right?
Yeah, I sometimes ran to school with a piece of bread in my mouth, when I was running late.
That's so typical...
I didn't bump into anyone, so it wasn't that typical.
That's not what I wanted to ask you.
So, in the Binary Field, Saki and Finnel were your classmates, right?
Does that mean you had friends like them when you were in school?

I don't want to remember it. I can never see them again anyway.

Let's stop such a gloomy topic. Change the subject.

She was surprised, meanwhile, at how easily their conversations seemed to come up.

Why do I feel like you're my old chum?
As it turns out, I was thinking the same thing.
...Actually, even though we've been travelling for such a short time, we've talked a lot already.
Yes, we have. That's because you're so entertaining, Aoto.
Isn't that the reason? That's why we feel like we've known each other for a long time?
I think that's possible. And that means we're compatible.
But don't forget about Saki or Finnel. They get lonely easily.
I know. Thanks for your advice.

There was a weird bug with the next part, I’m still working on it. I’ll tell you about it next time.