The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 51: EXEC_Z

Aoto and his friends rushed through Archia and found themselves once more at the Tower of Origin. On the way, he and Saki discussed how surprisingly evil Raphael turned out to be.

I can't forgive Raphael. What he did to Rev. Gengai was atrocious!
I know. I can't forgive him, either!
I didn't think he was such a bad person.
I think he's becoming increasingly bad every time we see him.
I didn't know there were so many outrageous bastards in this world, like Ayatane and Raphael.
We may become more doubtful of people when we first meet them.
I don't think you can be that way.
What do you mean? I'm that gullible?
No. Do you remember when Cocona was still Tatsumi?
You're just too nice.
That means, I'm gullible and a sucker to everyone...
But I think that's much better than being so doubtful.
I like you partially because you trust people so much.
Really? Well, it's not really my style to be so doubtful anyway.
But we still need to be cautious so that we won't be deceived by bastards like them.
Maybe we need to be a little cautious.

They’d been having Ar Ru fight with them, and she was actually disappointed the enemies weren’t stronger.

Hey, you’ve been joining the battles all the time… Are you alright?
Are you underestimating me? I’m not that weak.
I know you’re strong.
But I feel like you’ve been overworked.
…Was there any enemy we fought that was formidable enough to make me exhausted?
Well, but you’ve fought so many enemies.
You’re the same. You fight every battle.
I’m confident of my toughness, but you’re not like me, right?
Well, sure, but this is nothing.
I want to fight stronger enemies.
You’re so strong. Well, that means I can rely on you a little more.

They eventually reached the SH Server. Raphael wasn’t there, but he had been.

Video Record- “Krusche’s Lament”


Raphael went further down with Richa.
You two...
Is everything alright!?
Of course, ya kiddin' me? Yer chasing Raphael, right? You better hurry.
He looked like he had somethin' on his mind. He didn't give a shit about us, and that ain't normal.
This doesn't forebode well. Let's hurry!

Even with the end of the world hanging over their heads, Krusche was focused on her goal.

Are you really gonna continue!? You gotta know your limits! What if that Evolution Project thing really starts?
They won't let that happen. This is our one super opportunity, ya know? We gotta find information on Luke right now...!
Cut the crap! If we screw this up, we're both gonna die!
Don't even think about giving up now. Why do ya think we kissed the Archians' asses!? It was all for this, wasn't it!?
If Archia's info network gets wrecked during this fight, our whole operation here will be a complete waste of time!
...Alright, geez! Just make it quick!
There it is! Luke's name...!
Cool! Grab that information and let's get our asses outa here!

...Hey, what's up!?

They’d come a long way to learn something she had to know all along.

What? Just do it quick! dead...
"3078, Luke volunteered to explore the surface of the planet to back our results, despite pleads not to."
After that, he disappeared... Nobody's seen him to this day. The Archia Think Tank officially declared him deceased.
...I feel sorry for him, but we've got no time to lament over some dead guy.
...Luke, what were you looking for?
Hey! C'mon! Hurry! You already got the information! If we stay here any longer we're gonna be deceased, too!
Ah, hell! Hey, Krusche! I'm sorry!

Meanwhile, our main plot had reached a scaffold above the Server.

And after a bit of a climb, they reached their destination, the XP Shell.

Video Record- “XP Shell”


Feinne on Qoga: XP Shell
This place has a lot of unique enemy models in it so I included the video of it.

There was no way they could have predicted what they’d find there. Unless they asked Tyria something I imagine she assumed they knew.

Video Record- “EXEC_Z”


...What is this place!?
...It looks just like Harvestasha's chamber.
Like? I'd say they're exactly identical.
Of course. The resident of this space is also Harvestasha.
What!? There are two Harvestashas!?
Her official name is Harvestasha Module XP. She's also known as the Master Frame.
So, the Master Frame that Katene's father shut down was Harvestasha?
Right. And that girl over there is... "Harvestasha Module Vista," also known as the "Sub Frame." that the version of Harvestasha who made me deliver the Heart of Gaea.
So, she was on Archia's side this whole time? She had Jacqli dancing in the palm of her hand...

The Doctor had noticed something, though.

...Doc? What happened?

He ran to confront Richa.

Richa, that's a dangerous Song to sing!
...I know that.
Then why do you keep insisting on singing it!?
I don't want to lose my place to live... That's why I have to succeed this time!
I want to live longer! I'll sing to live on!
...You want to live longer? Then you should live longer. You can set up your own place. I'll help you...!
...I'll protect you from all of your enemies!
...Then, please marry me!
If you marry me, then I'll take a permanent, marital leave from the Archia Think Tank today!
This is no time to joke around...
Women don't joke about proposing!
...If the good Doctor becomes my home to go back to, I'll be out of this project!
We should not do our oaths of eternal love here.
If you say you'll protect me, then ask, "Will you marry me?" I've been waiting for you to ask me...

Unfortunately, they were out of time.

...There he is!
The stage is prepared. It's your time to sing! Once you sing the Song, we will be gods.
Y-yes, sir...
No, Richa!
Sing, Richaryosha! The curtain has risen! Sing the song... Let the knell of Ar Ciel herald the demise of the world!
Richa! Don't!
...Doctor, I'm sorry. Goodbye!

And so began the Song.

Shit, I gotta stop her!
I won’t let you!

In the end, they had no choice.


They had to fight Richa to stop her singing.

Boss Battle: Richa + Guardian x 2
This is a pretty straightforward fight. Take control of one Vanguard (I’d suggest Cocona) and stick to Richa like you’re made of glue the whole time. You can just leave the robots to the computer, since there are only two of them. Richa’s attacks are pretty fast but don’t hurt anywhere near as much as Ar Ru’s or Reyvaroid’s. Do make sure you break her cast ability, it’s the only thing that really does meaningful damage. I drag this on for a while when I could have ended it at any time just to rock out to more of EXEC_Z, not going to lie.

Richa collapsed and the Song faded, its terrible work prevented.

Video Record- “Harvestasha”



Mute grabbed Raphael, keeping him in a tight hold.

Aoto! The crystal!
No! Stop!

So yeah, Aoto smashed the crystal on the back of Raphael’s neck.

It turns out that was a load-bearing crystal or something because Raphael EXPLODED. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy really.

It did leave them having to pick themselves up a bit.

Are you okay, Aoto? Mute?
But...where's Raphael!?
He disappeared. You defeated him!
Hehehe. We defeated him...!? Yes! We did it!
Richa! You have to be alright!
Richa, is she still unconscious?
Yeah... Her physical injuries aren't that severe, but she needs treatment. I'll take her back to Archia with me.
Oh, alright.
I hope Richa will be okay.
...She'll be fine. Doc is with her.
Right. Let's leave her with the Doctor. We have our own business here. Look at that.

With things a bit more calm, someone had decided to make themselves known.

Was she rebooted...!?
...So it seems. That man possessed the key to reboot me.
Is that...really Harvestasha?
She seems different than before.
She's somewhat more communicable than Harvestasha Vista.
Excuse me, are you the one who sent the message to Jacqli, telling her to deliver the Heart of Gaea to you?
The Heart of Gaea? Jacqli?
...Was I wrong?

How was I supposed to know there were two completely different Harvestashas, and one of them was crazy as a bag of crazy snakes?

At the time, I asked Mir to undertake the Planet Regeneration Project and the AAA.
We both had the means to regenerate the planet, but I didn't know the recipe for the main part, the Core Square Ring.
She told me she had a few ideas about it, so I asked her if she found anything about it, to let me know.
I I'm starting to connect the dots. So, what you call the Core Square Ring is really the Heart of Gaea.
Is that true!? Oh it really does exist. can I use it?
Well, of course you don't know. That's because the program needed to use it isn't installed in you.
More importantly, there's something I want you to do. Can you communicate with Vista?
...No. Actually, I haven't received any signals in a long time.
So, the other Harvestasha has been completely shut down.
To revive the planet, both Harvestashas will be needed.
In other words, we must turn the other Harvestasha back on.
But, to do that, we have find the boot key, right?
Exactly. We've already talked to this, let's get out of here.

Back at the Think Tank, Richa was starting to wake up.

Video Record- “Gojo and Richa”


My mission...failed...right?

Now, I have no place to exist... I belong nowhere...

Don't worry. Your place is right here.

Gojo decided to stop being a horrible coward for once in his life.

...I...I don't want your pity.
I don't pity you. I like you.
...I've been rejecting you for a long time. You were in the Archian military. That was why I was worried.
If my sister's death was related to Archia, I might have hated you for that. I own weakness.
That's why I couldn't accept you. I kept deceiving myself...suppressing my feelings for you.
But still, you never stopped. You always thought about me with all your heart.
I'm sorry...for hurting you. Even after my coldness, do you still love me?
...Yes! I love you so much, Doctor, I'm about to melt!
...Thank you, Richa. I love you, too...

And that’s about when everyone got back.

Is she feeling okay?
I'm so happy that it feels like my body is burning!
Wait, are you happy because you passed out?
I'm happy because...Doctor...proposed to me!
What!? Whaaaaaaaaat?!
Wow, that's awesome! Are you going to marry him!?
Of course! He asked me to marry him! He even said, "I love you, Richa!"
How wonderful!
Gyahhh! That's so romantic!
...What a twist.
Whew, Doc, that's pretty cool, man.
Well, this is just...I was just...
Don’t be shy!
...He's right. This is a great thing.
It sure is! Doctor! Richa! Congratulations!
I'm happy for you!
Oh! Thank you!

They left to let her rest.

Someone she had a crush on finally proposed to her. What's more delightful than that, y'know?
Ahem...well, she's so energetic. I don't think I need to worry about her health anymore.
He's still being so shy...
Finnel, don't make fun of a medical professional!
You better make sure she comes in for her check-ups. She's your fiance, after all!
Speaking of which, I'm worried about Master.
Yeah, that's right! We took him to the clinic in Archia.
...Darlin', I hope yer okay. I hope ya didn't get attacked.
Katene is strong, but I'm concerned about Mr. Gengai's safety. Let's stop by the clinic.
Alright, let's head out then.

Aoto is as dense as a box of steel bars by the way, which is I imagine why his relationship situation ended up so… strangely.

Why are you sighing? Are you in some kind of trouble?
No. I was thinking about Richa.
The proposal...I'm kind of jealous.
...Well, but he seemed to want to make an excuse about it, though.
He was just being shy. I don't think he's very experienced with that...
Oh yeah, you're probably right.
But the proposal... I want to be proposed to sometime.
You don't always have to wait for a man's proposal. You can take the initiative.
What!? Are you serious?
Wouldn't you feel defeated if a woman proposed to you?
Well, the direction shouldn't matter. Wait...

...Hmm, I just can't imagine the opposite pattern.
I don't think it's traditionally familiar.
Can you imagine a traditional man-to-woman proposal?
Yeah, that's easy, and I can even imagine the woman's reaction to it.
So, then, what if someone proposes to you? How would you react to her?

I don't know. I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
I think most men would say that.
Well, most women would rather have the men propose to them.

Aoto was still surprised at how evil Raphael was, so Tyria gave him some perspective.

Anyhow, I can't forgive Raphael.
He sure is a truly unforgivable man.
I don't care if it's evolution or whatever, but I can't believe he can think about such brutality!
...You're pretty naive about researchers.
There are ruthless scientists who would do anything to get their way.
Their own research means the world to such fanatics.
They make no bones about committing genocide or whatever in order to succeed.
I see. I didn't know researchers were so scary.
They're only part of academia. I think those like that old man are just a minority group.
They have to bet their life on their ruthless research path.
At the same time, they must have believe in their righteousness.
...They're that desperate, huh? It certainly leaves a bad aftertaste...

One problem was dealt with, but that left so many to go. The road to the planet’s salvation was to be much longer, unfortunately.