The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 80: Finnel's Soulspace, Level 8 part 1

This level was going to be strange, that was obvious from the start. So strange that we’re both here to tell the story.

Video Record- “Finnel 8”



Aoto hadn’t even realized at first that the fourth door was a Paradigm Shift. It was pretty unorthodox.

...Oh...I unlocked another Paradigm Shift...
Welcome to the Fourth Door's Layer.
...!? Momoko! Yo, it's been a while! What's up!?
Oh, well...because I didn't go to the world of the dead, it's been a while for you.
Oh, so you knew what we were doing without coming out to see us?
Of course. I am a Mind Guardian, after all.
You are, unbelievable. You call yourself a Mind Guardian, but you've never once actually guarded Finnel... that so? I'm always working hard for Finnel...
You were working hard to abuse Finnel.
Then you ended up coming here. What a bummer...
What do you mean, "What a bummer!?"
Hmhmhm... That's a secret. If I spill the beans, then it wouldn't be any fun.
Alright, see you later.
...Damn. Where's Finnel?
Soma's gone, too... Okay, I'll go take a look.

When the Soulspace has gotten this dark and decayed, something is seriously wrong.

A grey and twisted version of Clustania was in her mind.

...Aoto!? I can't believe you're here!
Huh? Is there a problem with that?
No, no, no! Why did you go through the Fourth Door!?
Quick! Get out of here! If you stay, you'll be dragged into this whole mess!
???: There she is! Over there!
Oh no! Hurry!
Hey! Why are you running away from us!?
I'm not running away. I was just going for a walk to get some fresh air...
Well, you better not be. If you try to run away, you'll be severely punished.
But you know, since she's already bothering us, isn't it the same thing?
...That's right. Thanks to your walk, we're all behind schedule...

I guess the Cosmosphere does this for our sakes, right? Fills in people we recognize? It’s because they’re not strictly memories even if they’re based on real events.

Hey! What are you guys doing!? What's happening to Finnel!?
He's a human! What's a human doing here!?
She actually is possessed by a devil! This is happenin' cuz the ritual was delayed! We gotta start it now!
No! Please stop!
Hey, wait!
Richa!? Who's that? I'm not Richa.
There's no one by that name here. You're just a crazy, stupid human!
We're gonna take some extra time to purify this moron... Alright, are ya ready!?
I won't let you!
You're in my way!

He’s really good at getting defeated. Well, the deck is stacked against him.

Okay, let's go, you little brat...!
Let's start the ritual. We gotta do it more thorough-like than usual.
And don't forget her punishment.
No! Kyahhh! Please let go of me!

Uh-oh... Passed out? Hello... It's time to wake up.
Finnel! Where is she?
Good morning. You woke up pretty early today.
Momoko! Where's Finnel!?
She headed to Monolys for the ritual. Why don't you go meet her there?
...What? Hey, why aren't you laughing at her misfortune?
I'm not in the mood for that, today.
Anyway, I've gotta go rescue Finnel!
What do you call it when you would rather die than have a certain experience?
Have you ever had one of those?
...I don't think so.

Something you’d rather die than experience…

Now I think we’re getting to the heart of this.

Don't be fooled by her pitiful words! She's definitely possessed by a devil.
Someone even saw her change into the devil!
Pour holy water on her now!
Kyahhh! It's hot! It's piping hot! Please stop!
Shut up! Cover her mouth! Quickly!
No! Please forgive me! It's burning!
Then I'll slice off her devilish finger.
Hey, what do you think you're doing!?
You're that human!
...Why are you doing all these terrible things to her!? You're going way too far!
What do you want with us? You can't even get in this cage, can you?
What are you doing with her?
We're freeing her from being possessed by the devil. It's called an exorcism. If we don't do this, she'll die.
That's right! If we don't save her, she's doomed!
Who the hell are you all!?

I would laugh if it weren’t so sad, such actions done in the name of ‘Reyvateilia’. I fought so long and hard to create a world where Reyvateils wouldn’t have to suffer like this and then we went and did it to ourselves.

Right. It is thanks to you that Clustania is so peaceful.
Hey! You're...!
Sir Kureha! Everything is operational, sir!
Hello, Vinet. Thank you for reporting in. Thanks to you, Clustania is safe. Take care of the devil-possessed.
Hey, you bastard! What are you doing to Finnel!?
Oh, she finally summoned her devil to this holy land?
He's just a human who's been accompanying her for a while. Vinet killed him, but he still ain't dead.
Aoto! Run away!
Our duty is to save Finnel... If you hamper us in any way, I'll kill you myself.
Should I fire another missile?
Just leave him alone. He won't be able to enter this cage anyway. Please perform the ritual today.
You can count on us, sir!
Glory to Reyvateilia!
Glory to Reyvateilia!
Dammit! This stupid cage! I gotta destroy it!
Aoto, please stop!
...Hmhmhm. Stupid boy, it's impossible. If you touch it, you'll turn into scorched hamburger and die.
I have to do something about it. There must be...some kind of way around it...
Finnel, I will save you! Hang on!

I don’t know how he hasn’t gotten that it’s not as simple as that. Just isn’t too bright.

You look like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed...
...Momoko! Why does Finnel have to suffer so many hardships?
...That's the way it goes. It's the burden she was born to carry.
What do you mean!? Are you saying that's why she's always being bullied!? That's ridiculous!
Why don't you give up already? Some things you just can't change.
It's not like they're trying to kill Finnel.
Shut up! It was stupid of me to even ask you.

So if I understand the chain of events, this next part would have happened before this last Will of the Planet remembered her identity.

Which explains why she’s still a terrible jerk.

Don't worry. All my energy will be depleted any minute now...
...Finnel!? How did you manage to run out!?
Oh, you!? The verdict's still on hold. I'll definitely nullify this contract!
That's impossible. Everything will be finalized shortly.
Finnel, don't worry. I'll free you, no matter what!
Aoto, just forget it. I've made up my mind.
I'm kicking you out!
Finnel, why...?
I told you, "You'll get kicked out if you cause too much trouble here."
I wanted to co-exist with you, but with the Supervisor gone and the 4th Door passed, I can't take it anymore.
So, I'm banning you from here forever.
Why!? I just wanted to save you...

There’s no saving someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

Can't you see? The bullying, misfortune, and everything else...I want them all.
You destroyed them and stomped all over my mind. I overlooked it cuz I still wanted to live with you, but...
You overlooked it!? Gimme a break! You want misfortune? Not one single person would want that!
Ugh, then you're not right for me. I thought you'd understand. I'm so disappointed in you.
...I thought you'd play this misfortune game with me for the rest of my life...
Yes, it's a game. She's been playing this game out of her own self-pity.
Yurisica! Did you kill yourself to come here, too!?
What!? That fake death thing ended in the previous level. I'd never break my own neck like Soma.
Sorry about that.
I told you before. Finnel unknowingly ensnared us in her traps.
It's all controlled by her subconscious. Her hidden will.
What's that got to do with this misfortune game thingy?
I'll explain.

Yurisica laid it all out.

You know that. It's happened so many times here. That fate game, the survival game, the lawsuit...
All were paths where she asked for help, but she had already blocked the exits to all the good endings from the start.
Why would she do such a pointless thing?
That way, you'd always be there to pay attention to her.
Think about it. You made it this far because of your pity for poor Finnel.
You came here to save her, right? That's what this is.
Is that really the right answer?
You're all my personae. You're all correct.
But I went too far, because I didn't think he'd go through the 4th Door.
I just wanted to suffer with Aoto forever. I didn't mean for him to save me from my pain.
This is psychotic! You want to suffer? I don't understand that!
Another Finnel, not you, is being bullied in a cage. You know that, right!?
Haven't you seen it!? Do you still want to suffer?
Yes. It's my obligation and my punishment. So, I need to accept it.
Why? What did you do to deserve this kind of treatment!?

Finnel explained just that.

It's fair treatment for someone like me.

Do you seriously believe that?
Yeah. But you made me happy...
...Because you always pitied me.

Plus, ever since you started to play these games, you've paid so much attention to me...
You consoled me a lot. You were brave for me, encouraged me... I'm so happy when I'm with you.
It's so addicting. How can I stop now?!
...Aoto, I need to speak with you. Let's go somewhere else.

They withdrew to a forest.

You mean it's not really Finnel...?
The defense system is justifying the agony she's suffering whenever she feels pain, as a way to tranquilize her mind.
Since it's manifesting, it means that in her mind, her defense system has been given the green light.
Her experiences of getting bullied and whatever else have probably become too harsh for her to bear.
Of course! I'm not sure if that "ritual" thing was true or not, but if it really happened...
I know. Ordinary folks wouldn't be able to handle it unless they could justify it somehow.
Do you have any solutions? How can she change the way she is?
Medical prescriptions are simple but formidable ways to make her face reality.
...Is that possible?
Listen. In her mind, it's public knowledge that she was bullied because she was a bad girl.
Although it was unjustified, we'll force her to accept it.
Then, we need to know what happened when she was a child, right? How can we do that?
Interrogate Ayatane.
He's the mastermind, right? Let's capture him, take him to Finnel, and force him to tell the truth.
Are we allowed to do that?
Sure. Hehehe. My blood is starting to boil already. Hehehehe...
That sounds like the most effective method, I guess. Okay, let's look for him.

Why is it that your Ayatane is so much cooler than this real one?

Because he’s mine.

Ayatane, I need to know, why did you do such cruel things to Finnel and call them rituals?
...Hmm? Oh that...
If you refuse to know the price you'll have to pay.
...Hmph, what can puny humans and lowly Wills of the Planet do together?
I don't care if I'm weak by myself. I just have a grudge against you. I'll be happy to make you suffer like Finnel.
If I die, there'll be no one left who knows the meaning of the rituals. Are you sure that's what you desire?
Don't worry. I won't kill you, since you never intended to kill Finnel. I'll just pet you...very affectionately...
Ugh... Urgh...
How does despair taste? Finnel's it delicious? matter how long you do this, you'll never know anything about it.
Enough, Soma. Vengeance won't do us any good.

Ayatane, forget the rituals and whatnot...just release Finnel.
Hmhmhm, that's impossible.
Memories of the past are permanent. Even if you temporarily suppress them, they'll relapse soon enough.

Let's go. This is a waste of time...
Let's disable Ayatane so he can't get out of here.

We’re also getting close to the world spelling out why Momoko exists, since Aoto is too dumb to figure it out.

It's heavy, huh? That's why I don't want you to watch too much of it.
...! Hey, Momoko! You know something about those rituals, right?
...Hmhmhm. Unfortunately, I don't know anything.
That's impossible! You're her Mind Guardian, right?
We're allowed to be ignorant about certain things. For example, the 4th Door...
It was created before I was born. I mean, I heard I was born here...
Nobody knows when they were born. The same goes for Mind Guardians as well.
Damn. Then what should I do...?