The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 53: Tyria's Binary Field, Part 2a

Once again Aoto entered Tyria’s Binary Field, hoping this time to work around the event that crashed him out last time.

Video Record- “Tyria 2a”

Watch (LONG)

This time he found himself at the Kurogane Lab.

I'll gradually refamiliarize myself with Masakado.
I can still remember the last Dive. Now's my only chance.
The only thing I can do before people think I just woke up from a nightmare is...

Don’t know why he thought this was a good idea but I guess he was going with just doing the opposite of what he did last time.

Yeah, let's go to Tyria's house!
I'll tell her everything. I think that's the best thing to do!

So yeah he went to Tyria’s place still dressed as Aoto.

Hey, Tyria, listen. There's something really important that we have to talk about.
(...But, what should I say?)
(The only thing I can tell her is that Kurogane is gonna commit suicide...)
(Besides, I don't think she'll believe me if I tell her that.)

Masakado. ...Oh, that's my name, right? What's up?
...Why are you wearing that weird costume?
Huh? Ah!
Well, I better go home for now.

So yeah, he rushed home to change. Still, it’s funny how a place like this responds to your intentions, so maybe it was important that he cared enough to rush off without thinking.

Pocco: Masakado, where did you go off to so early?
Oh, you're...Pocco, right?
Pocco: Bff!? Hahahahahaha!
Pudding: Pocco, don't laugh so loud this early in the morning. The neighbors will complain...

Wh-what happened, Pudding?
Pudding: ...What's going on?
Mimi: M-Masakado, you...didn't go out in that costume...did you?
Costume? Well, you may think it's a costume, but I wore this as my normal clothes up until a while ago.
Pudding: I can't believe anyone would walk around in that costume.
Mimi: None of our neighbors have seen you, right? If they catch you, it'll spread all over town by the end of the day.
Pocco: Ngh...well, on top of that...this is hilarious! Aoto, you're such a hoot! ...You're killing me here!
Hey, you guys, stop it!
For me, this is a normal outfit! Don't you think it's a little rude to make fun of it?
Pudding: A normal outfit!? Do you seriously think you can pass that off as normal?
Yep. In reality...uh, somewhere other than this world, this was my personal attire.
Mimi: ...He started talking about his "I'm an alien" theory.
Pocco: Did he hit his head on something, or was he brainwashed by some cult?
You little punks!

They decided to settle this the only way possible.

Pudding: I took a photo of your silly costume and sent it to Tyria.
I'm gonna let Tyria judge whether it's hip to wear that outfit, assuming that it is your regular attire.
That's a horrible thing to do!
Pudding: Oh, I already received her reply. Hmm, what did she say?
"Before you text me, go wash your face and make sure you're fully awake."

Mimi: Oh...Masakado, what are you gonna do now?
...I'm gonna go wash my face, ma'am.

He went to meet up with her, much like last time.

At least this time he knew what was going on.

..Huh, me? Why?
I can't believe you're talking half asleep.
(*sigh* She really thinks I'm half asleep.)
(Well, I mean, why was I running around town this morning wearing heavy armor?)
(Am I really mentally tired...?)
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?
From those Anti-AAA people. Uh, though, I already know when you're going to be attacked.
...What does that mean?
(Damn it, I shouldn't say stuff like that or she'll think I'm a weirdo. I gotta find a way out of this.)
Actually, I had a dream in which you were attacked.
A dream?
Yeah, a dream. I remember when you were supposed to be attacked. So don't be scared!

Masakado, are you really okay? Do you have a fever or something?
No, of course not. I'm totally fine!

He ended up getting to about the same point here, the story does have a lot of inertia after all.

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.

He came up with another way he could deviate from the previous path here, and took it.

But I can't. We're friends, right?
...Friends? Are we friends? I didn't know that.
Don't say such a sad thing.
Did you know that because we're always together, they think we're a couple?
That is why I tell them all that we are childhood buddies.
But that's also a lie. I don't think it's a lie to say that we're friends...
(Since I had to say goodbye to her in such a sad way last time, I want to be as good a friend to her as possible.)
(Plus, we've been together for a long time. It'd be sad if we were nothing more than business partners...)
Sure. We may be friends, so that is not a lie.
Oh yeah...of course.
(I was afraid she'd deny that, but she seems to have recognized at least that much intimacy between us.)

There was a whole bunch of stuff with Sake and Finelle that was exactly the same as last time before they went to class. I’m just going to skip over it because it wasn’t that interesting the first time, let alone in reruns.

(Up until now, it's been exactly the same as last time.)
(I talked to Sake and Finelle at the front gate. I have no idea what the teacher is saying...)
(At least that F-Student redemption printout wasn't that hard. I still remembered all the answers!)
(Alright...I'm gonna play hooky.)
Ria, I don't feel like I'm at my best yet. Sorry, but I'm gonna skip the afternoon classes.
...Aren't you going to get in trouble?
I'll be fine. But, please don't leave the classroom while I'm gone.
...Okay. Go, while the teacher's still looking away at the blackboard.

He snuck out again, delinquent that he is. At this point he was in a sort of awkward position because he didn’t remember being Aoto but did remember what was going to happen.

Well, now where should I go?
...Speaking of which, this is my second time experiencing today.
So, why am I so calm, like everything's normal? Well, I think I know the reason this is happening...
No, I can't remember. Maybe I should consult the pro of alternative worlds.

So he headed to the shrine to find Kokona.

I guess they were helpful. Sort of.

Nam: Hey, you over there.
Who are you, young man?
Alright, it's the same linear storyline as last time.
Nam: ...Huh? What are you mumbling about?
I'll tell you the specifics later, so please call Kokona.
How did you know my name was Tatsumina no Mikoto Kokona!?
Of course I knew that. Although...I don't think you know me yet.
Nam: ...Fellow, what are you saying? You definitely carry an otherworldly air about you. You are quite peculiar.
Yeah, that's right. I'm from another world! And that's why I came here.
I heard there was a shaman who's familiar with other worlds at this shrine.
Who told you about that?
You guys. ...How should I explain this?
Oh, yeah! This should be the best way to show you.
Actually, I came from the future. Explain to me what that means!
...He's totally on drugs.
Well, that is the natural conclusion.

He actually had a pretty good way to prove that he was from the future, though.

And monetary donations are credit card, right?
How do you know the secret custom passed down from generation to generation at this shrine?
...I see. So, Masakado, you have all the memories of the period of time leading up to when Tyria became the Tower.
Yep, so doesn’t that mean that I’m from the future?
Nam: I would reckon the statement, "I came from the future," isn't quite accurate.
Yet, now that you've proven to us that you know the secrets of our shrine, your story is worth listening to.
Then, what the heck happened to me? What brought me here?
Hmm...I don't know the reason...
But you're such a lucky man.
I'm lucky!? Why is that?
Nam: You know what's going to happen in the near future, for a while at least.
And if there's something that you don't want to happen, you can prevent it, all by yourself.
...Well, that is true.
Nam: See? You are a lucky man.
...What I wanted to know was, why did I come back to the past.
Nam: The door or hole to another world suddenly opened, you fell inside it by mistake, and ended up here in the past.
Knowing the reason why wouldn't put food on the table, so you should just rejoice in your opportunity.
She's right. What matters is now that you're in this situation, you know what you can do this time, don't you think?
...Well, I guess you're right.

They did have a decently useful warning for him.

Nam: If you live a normal life, there's no way to return to the past unless you've got a car with gull wings.
The same phenomenon, which goes against the laws of physics, may happen again...
Uh, in your mind, of course.
...So, you're telling me that if I only do the exact same things I did before, my brain will be restored?
Nam: Exactly. But things don't always happen as you expect them to. Keep that in mind.
...Well, I'll make the choices that I think are the best for each situation. I can't do things any other way.
Nam: That's probably the best attitude. No matter how complicated you think things are, human abilities are quite limited.
As we said before, this is a great opportunity, so you should be happy.
You can avoid bad events, escape the stuff you don't wanna do, and use that time for something else.
You could even win the lottery or bet on some horse races. Alright, it's time to make a donation! Lavish us!
(Is she saying this is an investment?)

His card was rejected again.

It says, "Credit card expired."
Nam: That means, your condition hasn't been met yet.
Then you can't go to another world. Too bad, Masakado.
Well, I never said I wanted to go to another world.
Anyway, if I need your help again, I'll just come back.
Okie dokie. Buh bye!

Aoto returned to the downtown as last time.

Once again he picked up some lunch.

Let’s grab some lunch and go back.
Alright, I got me some lunch!
Now I should…

This time he actually could think of something he should be doing.

Hmm, Tyria said something about dessert last time…
Maybe I should buy something for her.

He returned to school, dessert in hand.

For a bit now things went just like last time.

...That was quite a while. Did you refresh your mind?
Uh...I don't know about that. Sorry for making you worry.
Have you had lunch?
No, not yet, but I bought something to eat.
Then, why don't we go out to the yard? It's such a nice day that I think it'll be really pleasant.
Sure, let's go.

Once again they ate outside.

Nothing in particular. Although...
Otto Masakado, report to the faculty office immediately. Again, Otto Masakado...
...That was a weird announcement to have during lunch. Maybe the teachers found out you played hooky.
I didn't know this school was so strict about ditching classes.
I don't know. I've never ditched a class before.
Neither have I...until today.
So, what are you going to do? You have to go to the faculty office, or they may spank you on the butt with a giant triangle.
Oh, I forgot this is in the past. That's worse than a punch in the face...but for now, I'd rather eat my lunch with Ria.
I think you should really go. If I go back to the classroom to finish lunch, it shouldn't be a problem, right?
It's nothing to worry about. Besides, you've been in the classroom all day. The fresh air is good for you.
I can't believe this is the same person who left me all alone until the afternoon...
I know I told you to skip the morning class, but I didn't think you would skip all of the morning classes.
That's why I'm trying to make it up to you now, ya know?
I thought the classroom would be safe, but now that I think about it, that was a little dangerous.

Of course this time he knew it’d be safe.

...That's right. I'm sorry. From now on, I'll try to be with you as much as possible.
I hope so. It's very nerve-wracking to be without a reliable bodyguard.
Haha, thank you. That's sweet, even if it was only rhetoric.
I don't use such devices. For instance, I'll never call you a dreamboat or anything like that.
Please don't add any more unnecessary information...
But, do you really think I'm reliable?
At least it's all thanks to you that I can commute to school everyday.
You were acting weird this morning, but I'm glad you've settled back to normal.
Then, I won't fail to meet your expectations.
Great. I'm expecting a lot from you. ...Ah!
What is it?
...I forgot to bring a dessert. Can you do something about it?
I can’t actually take care of your stomach…

This time, though, he actually could.

Is that...a cake?
Yeah, I bought it when I got my lunch at the shop.
...You knew that I would want dessert?
You know, I'm actually a prophet.
I don't think you're in good shape yet. Do you want to skip the afternoon classes, too?
I'm just joking. Here, eat the cake.
(...She didn't believe me. Uhhh...this sucks...)

The rest of the time at school went pretty much the same.

...Alright, sorry.
Okay, everyone. See you tomorrow.
You've got a homework assignment? Too bad.
I think I should be thankful that my punishment was so lenient.
That's because you skipped class. Na na na na nah na you're a hooky boy.
Urgh, I can barely resist the urge to argue back.
Anyway, do you have any plans? If you don't, then...
Oh, yeah. We should go now.
Masakado, Ria, are you guys going home now?
We have some part-time jobs to do.
Idle hands do the devil's work. Sake, do you have a job?
...No, I don't.
Well, we're high school students. You don't have to work if you don't need to. We just work for money and fun.
Hey, what are you guys talking about? Let me join the conversation.
Idle hands do the devil's work. Finelle, do you have a job?
My family runs a meal set bistro, so I help out. But I don't get paid for it, though.
I feel sorry for you, Zeta.
Don’t call me Zeta!

Including the same lame cover story.

Hmm, I would say it's so-so.
You're a liar. I know you get paid pretty well.
Wow, so they do pay a lot...
It depends on which department you work for.
Oh, we have to go. See you tomorrow.
See you tomorrow. Ciao.
Good luck with your part-time job!
Bye bye.
Alright, we've gotta go to the lab!
Don't stop for ice cream on the way.
I know.

Anyway, they headed to the Lab.

For a while that went the exact same way too.

No, thank you. I must go to the Sonic Room.
But we're early. I don't think the staff is all here yet.
I don't mind. Besides...
I'm sure Kurogane's there, waiting for me.

I'm going now. Bye-bye.
...Chairman Kurogane.

Aoto continued to note how weirdly close Tyria and the Chairman were.

Even though she comes to the Lab every day, she only sees him maybe once every few months.
However, something links them together that makes up for their infrequent meetings.
Their conversations. When she enters the Sonic Room, Kurogane directs her from the Operation Room.
That is the extent of their relationship as far as Masakado can tell.
Tyria, however, trusts Kurogane implicitly.
I wonder why... She doesn't even see his face often enough to grow attached to him.

Fine. I'll just go to the Nap Room.
???: No, you have a far more important task right now.

And once again the Vice Chairman came to tell him he could go home.

Oh, Vice Chairman.
What's this important task? Do you need me to guard someone else?
It's more important than that. Otto, your work is done for today. Go home and rest.
Huh? What do you mean!?
Tyria just told us that since you seem tired, she wants you to take a break.
Tyria, you're screwing me.
That's the complete opposite of what she's doing, Otto.
She trusts you. That's why she wants you to always be in top form.
You wouldn't want her to get injured because you aren't well-rested, do you?
I guess not, will she get home?
Yozuki will escort her home. Are you still worried?
...So, am I no longer needed?
For today, no. But I will need you to come back here tomorrow.
So go home today and get a lot of rest.
...Yes, sir. I'll head home.
Thank you for understanding.

The Vice Chairman once again wanted him to do something.

(Oh yeah, I was going to be asked to look for a Hyuma.)
(But I think they'll be able to find her without my help. I'll just go home.)
Sorry, but I really should go straight home and rest as you said, so...
I understand. Please resume your guard duty tomorrow.
Yes, sir. Please excuse me.

This time he decided to just go home.

The Hyumas were surprised to see him home so early.

Pocco: Oh, you're back already!
Mimi: You're early today. Did you get in a fight with Tyria and leave without her?
I just finished work early. What's for dinner?
Pudding: It's still cooking. You should've called if you knew you were coming home early. It's common courtesy.
Ugh, I just came home a little early and this is how you treat me?
Whew. I'm stuffed.
Pocco: You're so impolite, Masakado. You should say, "Thank you for the meal!"
Pudding: Forget it. I wouldn't expect that from him.
...Thanks for the delicious dinner.
Pudding: W-well, you're supposed to say it before we have to tell you, y'know?
Please stop treating me like a child...
Mimi: Oh, we have a guest. This is rare.

He too had a surprise in store for him. This was where the plot really began to diverge from what had really happened.

Masakado, how are you feeling? Are you getting any better?
Oh, yeah. Did you come all this way just to check up on me?
...Well, we are friends, after all. This is normal, right?
I brought you something.
Medi: How ya feeling, Masakado?
Oh, you're...from the Medical Lab...
I asked her to take care for you tonight.
Medi: That's right. Pleased to see you again.
The Hyuma, Medi, has been unlocked!
Oh, but you didn't have to...
Medi: Masakado, you're supposed to protect Tyria. Let me take care of you until you're all better.
I'll see you tomorrow. Ciao.
Oh, Tyria!

Indeed what Aoto did next was a massive divergence from the actual past.

If you don't mind, would you like to go out with me?
Right now? I'm not sure what you're getting at, but that's out of the question.
No, not now! Some other day.
It hasn't been officially decided, but I'm sure you'll become the Tower soon.
After that, we won't be able to go out anymore. So, maybe before then...

Do you not want to?
I'm thinking... I can't decide on this so quickly.
I wanted to celebrate your dream coming true in advance. Please say it's okay. If we celebrate, it'll hafta come true.
And plus, that way we'll stay motivated.
That may be true.
Okay, then for the next holiday, I won't make any plans.
You must pick where we go.
See you later. Ciao.

When you start breaking a story is when things start to get weird.

Mimi: Yep, it's a date.
Pudding: A date.
That’s not what it is.

I don’t know what else you call something like that.

Anyway they got together a few days later.

It's finally time to meet her. I hope Tyria really shows up.
Oh, Tyria. Right on time.
...Were you waiting long? Look at your forehead, it's covered in sweat.
I'm fine. Did you bring your swimsuit?
Yes, I brought it.
Alright, then let's go!

So they went down to the pool.

What's up, Tyria? Let's go change.
...I want to switch places.
Why? Don't you like this place?
This pool stinks. It smells like it has too much chlorine.
Oh, I know what you mean. It's kind of...pungent. But that's common.
No. I don't like stinky smells.

Aoto was sure he knew what was going on, but then again Aoto’s a moron.

...Tyria, you can't swim, can you?
I can. I just can't stand the smell of chlorine.
Are you sure? Or is that just your excuse to hide the fact that you can't swim?
What are you talking about? Of course I can swim. I can swim faster than you!
I'll prove it to you right now!
Alright, mermaid. I'll watch you swim in the water.

Tyria could swim incredibly well, in fact.

(Tyria's super fast, like a real mermaid.)
(Since she got in the water, she's been constantly swimming without taking a break.)
(...I was actually excited that I might be able to teach her how to swim.)
Alright, it's literally time to sink or swim! Let's race!
You should warm up first for your own safety.
Nyagh! My leg!
Oh, crap! Cramp! *glub*
This can't be...
(I tried to change the outcome of my fate, but I ended up drowning to death!?)
This is so stupid!

For a moment he was pretty sure he was dead.

(Huh...what's this?)
(Something got in my mouth...)
(Some sticky stuff's plugging up my mouth. What is this...?)
*cough* *cough* *cough*

When he opened his eyes Tyria was there.

Urgh... *cough* ...Uh? What am I doing...?
Don't you remember?
I was...uh...
Oh yeah, I jumped into the pool, got a leg cramp, and...
...You were not breathing. I was sort of freaked out, sweaty bitty.
...Sorry for making you worry.
...As long as you're fine, it's alright. But don't cause me any more trouble.
Did I really stop breathing?
Yes, but your heart was still beating, so I...

I don't feel like I ever stopped breathing...
I felt a lot of air coming into my mouth, and...
(After that, some sticky stuff came and plugged up my mouth, and then air flowed in.)
(And when I opened my eyes, Tyria's face was right in front of me...)

He eventually put two and two together.

I'm going back to the locker room! Masakado, change your clothes and get ready to go home.
Ty...I mean, Ria!
...She's gone. She looked awkward, in a hurry. She really must have...
Poemy: Hehehe. That's right. That's what happened.
Poemy: Hmm...that was a quite a spectacle.
Oh, just another Hyuma.
Poemy: Just another Hyuma? What kind of greeting is that!? Despite my looks, I'm the lifeguard of this swimming pool.
...Can you really do your job?
Poemy: I'm a very competent lifeguard.
But I've never seen a human stop breathing, so I was a little scared and couldn't move.

Aoto wasn’t exactly impressed by the Hyuma lifeguard.

Poemy: I know, but my body wouldn't stop shivering...
So, when I saw that young lady breathe air into your mouth, I sort of lost my confidence.
Oh, really? So...she really did...?
Poemy: You don't have to finish that question. I'm embarrassed, too.
I'm suppposed to protect her, but she saved me...
Poemy: I'm the one who's supposed to save you, but I couldn't do anything...
This really hurt my pride.
So, until I find a new job, I'm going to have to help you out at home.
Poemy: It's all your fault that I lost my dignity.
Ugh...well, I am part of the reason...
Poemy: That's right. Please take care of me for a while.
The Hyuma, Poemy, has been unlocked.

Aoto met back up with Tyria afterwards.

...What happened, Masakado? Since we came out of the pool, you've been awfully quiet.
...I'm sorry. I was gonna entertain you, but I ended up causing you a lot of trouble instead.
Plus, I was supposed to protect you, but I was saved by you. There's no question that I failed you...
I'm really sorry for being such a helpless bodyguard.
...That's not true.
You're the bodyguard that I place all my faith in.
Seriously? I'm just a drowning victim.
That was an accident. You should have done more warm-up exercises before jumping into the pool.
...I can't argue about that.
But I still had so much fun.
We had some trouble, but even including all that, today was a great day... And it's all because of you.
Thank you, Masakado. If we have another chance to go out together, I want you to take me somewhere else.
…Of course.
Let's definitely go out to have fun again!
I'm so excited!

Things were quite a bit different now. Aoto would just have to wait and see if it would impact the conclusion.