The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico Qoga

by Feinne

Part 87: Saki Cosmosphere 3

Welcome back, children! I heard your mother told you about Saki's EP=NOVA performance? I heard a recording of it, it was quite something. And it's just about where we were in the story of Saki's cosmosphere, too. Aoto did a dive after getting out of the factory, and...


By the way, I know the video pauses a lot in the non-voiced sections, I did it before I heard the feedback on the previous video that I was pausing too much. Sorry.

It looks haunted or something. I've got a bad feeling about this...
I have a bad feeling, also.
Whoa! You! You're alive!?
I never die. So long as the world needs me, I'll always revive.
So you, go and spy on the castle.
Wh-why me!?
Do you intend to make Princess Saki go through with it?
Princess Saki...? Well, anyway, don't you think that maybe you could go?
Unfortunately, no. Bye-bye!
Damn! He's certainly quick on his feet.

But, first things first, investigate suspicious areas!

Oh, you're...
...Ah! Sir Aoto.
Sakia! How dare you destroy Saki's world!
Why would you do that?
...You were able to speak with Saki, right?
Well, yeah, but why's that important now?!
Then, be grateful. If that is all, then please leave.
I can't! If I let you do whatever you want, I don't know how you'll sabotage her next.
My music box hasn't been working very well lately. I'm here to examine it.
Music box? What are you talking about, all of a sudden?
An overall re-tuning may be necessary soon.
Excuse me.
Why's everyone in this world totally psychotic?!
That just seems to happen in a cosmosphere I guess. I've never heard of one that's just normal.

Then he went over the bridge to try to investigate the castle, but...

Hey, you!
Oh, Arche. You're actually involved in this?
You'll advance no further! Go away!
What's this!? That's kind of random!
This is no place for morons like you! Get lost!
Crap. I got kicked out so easily. Let's try somewhere else.

While looking around, he saw something terrible happening in the village.

Seems like something's happening in the village... Let's check it out.

Ya betta hurry up!
...I don't know what to do. There aren't any men in this village!
Oh... Is that true?
Gaylord: Captain! I found a man in the basement of a storehouse.

Didn't Daddy tell you not ta tell a lie, Princess Saki!?
Princess Saki!?
This is such a disappointment... You only have one old man in your entire village?
Please don't take Gengai away!
I hafta take him. It's what we tax, ya know?
Your kingdom lost to us. As the princess of the losing country, ya better listen to us!
...I-I know.
A'ight, we got him. Let's go back.
Gaylord: Yes, Captain.
No! I don't wanna go!
*sigh* I can't believe they even took Gengai away from us.
Now this village has only one man left.
Hey, Princess! When are you gonna take responsibility for this!?
How long must we be trampled upon by that empire, Your Highness?
...Everyone, I know this is hard to accept, but please endure it for just a little longer!
Things will change soon enough. But until then...
No! I'm sick of hearing that! When is that change coming!?
It's no use to just hope. Our princess doesn't understand her subjects' hardships. Let's go home.
Your Highness, please don't fret over this. You've been a great princess of this land.
Yet, I failed to protect my subjects from them again. They can't take it any more. And neither can Princess Saki!
Don't rush this. The more you rush, the more advantageous it will be for our enemy.
Uh, excuse me for interrupting you guys...
...!? Who are you...?
Huh!? I'm Aoto.
Oh, a traveler. How rare... Sir Aoto, welcome to this countryside kingdom.
Hey, that was Mute, right? What's going on here?
...You caught us being extorted? How shameful...
That was nothing. Sir Aoto, please rest peacefully in our village tonight. We shall prepare a cozy Inn for you.
That night...

Huh? Who's there?
Good evening.
Oh, I'm sorry. Did you happen to see any panties fall onto your veranda?
Saki just has no sense of embarrassment. Like a flighty, younger version of your mother.
I mean, if you haven't seen them, please forget about it. My panties have been vanishing. I thought they might be here.
A-anyway, I'm sorry you saw such an embarrassing side of our country this afternoon.
Hey, what's going on here anyway?
A few years ago, our kingdom lost a war to the neighboring Adult Kingdom. They have been oppressing us ever since.
Adult Kingdom takes one man from this country every month, under their Male Tax.
Because of that, we suffer from a scarcity of manpower, and our population has become mostly female.
I see...
Aoto, was it? Could you please go to Adult Kingdom with me!?
What for?
I want to rescue my subjects who have been taken away.
We can't bear their dictatorship any longer. But my vassal, Hikari Gojo, won't let me go to Adult Kingdom.
Travelers are my only hope!
Alright! But if you sneak out and go into enemy territory, won't your vassal get mad at you?
He just doesn't understand our subjects' pain. That's why I snuck out of the castle to speak with you here.
Oh... What a tomboy-ish princess...
Alright, I'll escort you to Adult Kingdom, Princess. I'm worried about the people they've captured, too!
Are you serious!? Thank you very much!
Alright, anything that's worth doing is worth doing fast! Let's go!
Yes! First, we must head to the border bridge. It is the only way to cross into Adult Kingdom.
The Hyuma, Gaylord, has been unlocked.

So they returned to the border bridge.

Yes. Beyond here is the land of adults. Please be cautious.
The symbolism of this cosmosphere is a bit unsubtle.
Oh! Things won't go as smoothly as you expected! Princess Saki, Yer Highness!
Ah! Who the heck is the shrimp!? Hey, Princess, you got another man!
He's just a traveler! He's not one of my subjects!
That don't matter! As long as you pay the male tax, it's fine with us!
Hmph! Try saying that after you take me down, Butch!
What the hell!? You little pipsqueak!
Aoto! No! Please don't resort to violence!
Get ready, big man! Hahhh!
Grrr! This is a nightmare! Such tremendous power...!
Hmph! This is no nightmare, this is reality.
Your Highness!
Hikari Gojo! What are you doing here!?
You weren't in your bed chamber, so I surmised that I would find you here! Please explain yourself!
You went inside my bedroom?
A-anyway, what happened to Mute! Why is h...she on the ground!?
I beat her up...
Wh-what!? No way! You defeated Mute! Your Highness, please compose yourself!
Saki is fine.
...Huh? What are you talking about?
Mute used to be a subject of Sweets Kingdom, and she was a good friend of Her Highness.
Huh!? So, she betrayed Saki!?
Wait! There must be a reason for that. Please don't speak ill of her!
Because...she's my friend!
Huh!? But you told me she attacks the village every month. That's not something a friend would do!
No, you're wrong! She is my friend! There is a reason she couldn't help. Otherwise, she wouldn't have...
Damn! She's already recovering!
Ms. Mute! Please stop this. Please come back to us.
I don't blame you. There was a reason you had to defect from us, right?
N-no, there ain't no reason! Crap, I'll let y'all live this time! But remember, next time I see ya, ya won't walk away!
She ran away! I've gotta chase her!
No, it's all right. I know she'll understand. She's just being a little shy.
Plus, she may have been blackmailed by Adult Kingdom. If that's the case, I want to save her!
Your Highness, are you sure you really want to go to Adult Kingdom?
Yes! I will go there and talk with the Empress, Her Majesty.
I'll ask her if we can please resolve this peacefully. I know Adult Kingdom doesn't want to fight a war, either.
Alright, let's go to Adult Kingdom.
You're going to save Mute, aren't you? I'll go with you.
Thank you very much!
*sigh* Once she makes up her mind, Her Highness never relents. Traveling sir, please support Her Highness.
Sure. Count on it.
Your Highness, please don't push yourself too hard. While you're gone, I'll run the village in your stead.
Yes, thank you!
But please don't enter my private room! My panties have been disappearing, so I don't want anyone to go in there.
If you'll excuse me...
Hey, wasn't he acting a little suspicious after you mentioned your missing panties?
No, he wouldn't steal my underwear! Hikari Gojo is such a competent, thoughtful person!
When I was busy, he volunteered to help me by doing my laundry and cleaning my room.
I'm not sure what to make of this. He doesn't seem like much a pervert in real life. Maybe this what she thinks men are secretly like.
Oh really? Okay...moving on...

After that, they came to the castle.

Yes, you have seen that castle before. It seems to show up in many cosmospheres.
Yes! It's very frightening...
Yo! Losers!
You're...Arche! Hey, where's the overlord of this castle?
Our lord's chamber is in the corner with a jack-o-lantern. Head 30 feet down 3rd St. and turn at the cigarette stand.
Hey! Take this seriously!
I am frigging serious! Listen up!
The Royal one, swinging the sleeves of the crimson garment, takes off the terrain. The terrain tears, and the Heavens cry...
Huh!? What are you talking about?
Do you have a hearing problem or something?
...! Wait...does this happen to be...?
Hey, Teppo!

This Arche guy is talking total gibberish. Can you tell me what he's saying?
Oh, I see. Please give me some time. Let me perform an SH Scan.

...Oh! My system has discovered some kind of coding violation.
What does that mean...?
There's a flaw in the system. The Cosmoshere's been fragmented, and not all of the data is working correctly.
As for Arche, because he's referencing fragmented data, he's suffering from conversional irregularities.
...And that means...?
The answer to your question must have something to do with data that is stored in a problematic module.
But my question was..."Where's the overlord of this castle?"
In other words, the location of the lord of the castle is in a place that isn't connected to this Cosmosphere per se.
Oh...I'm sorry. You can't understand such a complicated explanation.
Anyway, I shall manipulate the Sphere Location Table a little, in order to connect to the unconnected world.
Please stay out of the Cosmosphere in the meantime. Otherwise, it may affect your mind.
Are you serious!? Alright, all I need to do is stop Diving for a while, right?
Exactly. The reboot will be finished shortly. The two worlds will be connected by the next time you Dive.
Alright, got it. I'm counting on you.
Roger that! Now, I'll disconnect the network for now. Bye bye for now!
This is going nowhere. I better just get out of here for now.
I can't really blame Saki's cosmosphere for bugs. She's operating way out of the spec the SH server is expecting.

After giving it some time, Aoto reentered.


Hello! The recovery of the Sphere Location Cable is complete.
The flow of the story should be totally different than last time. Please try it one more time.

Aoto did the same thing he did last time.
What a spooky-looking castle. I feel like a demon lord will pop out at any second.
Yes! It's very frightening...
Yo! Losers!
You're...Arche! Hey, where's the overlord of this castle?

And a new challenger appeared!

You're Sarapatra!
Your Majesty!
Welcome, people of Sweets Kingdom.
Are you the queen of this castle? I'm here to talk with you!
The reason Your Majesty keeps taking men from my country under the Male Tax is because you're in trouble, aren't you?
My people and I will help you, so can we please resolve everything together? Can we become ally countries?
Hmhmhm. What an innocent idiot you are, sweetie. I'm not in trouble, and I won't negotiate with you, nor be your ally.
...You've had such a handsome man in your kingdom and never paid him to us until now? You're so tantalizing...
I'm not trying to tantalize you! Besides, he's not a villager, he's just a traveler.
Oh, really? I'm not surprised. I didn't think such a cute guy would choose to live in your jerkwater village...
In that case, why don't we make a deal?
...A deal?
Yes, a trade, if you will. If you give this handsome traveler up to the Male Tax, I'll release all the other people.
I can't do that! I can't pay you with someone who isn't even one of my subjects.
Then...the negotiations have failed.
I'll do anything other than that! So...please!
I see. Then...
Princess Saki, you'll gather all of your subjects at the Central Square and perform a sexy show in front of them.
Oh shut up about the age rating! I'll figure something out.
If you do that, then I'll return all of the men that I took from you.
Wh-what are you saying!? How can she do that!?
S-Saki...will do it!
Wait, Saki! I'd rather go to Sarapatra's place than make you have to do that!
No, I can't cause any trouble for you!
That's not the point! You're going to have to strip in front of an audience! They'll see your naked body!
If that'll save everyone, then I don't mind. It'll solve everything.
Saki needs someone to install a clue crystal in her body.
But, I don't like it!
Why not!? I'm not causing you any trouble!
That's not the point! I just can't stand the thought of you taking off...
He's a little possessive, but maybe he just can't stand someone abasing themselves.
I'll take my clothes off at the Square! So, please settle everything else after that! Please!
Hmhm. Of long as you perform well.
...Saki, fine. Do whatever you want!
Yo, long face!
I heard Saki's gonna do a sexy show at the Square.
She's such an idiot. It won't solve anything.
But, she's trying so hard not to burden you with anymore trouble.
That's why I'm saying she's an idiot. Now I have to go through the trouble of stopping her...
She'll be mad if you stop her. This is such a decisive moment for her. The fate of all of her subjects depends on it.
Well, think twice before you act. Adios!

Naturally this was getting quite a reaction.

Oh, Aoto! Did you hear!? The princess is gonna put on a sexy show?
Oh, you knew? I dunno why she's doing it, but it's pretty immoral to expose herself in public.
...Look who's talking. You don't sound very convincing.
I also heard it's mandatory for all subjects to watch the show. She really should act more modest!
I'm going now. Tardy arrivals are subject to fines, y'know? Stupid princess.
What's with all this ridiculousness?
I'm worried. I need to see what's going on.

Sir Traveler! Adult Kingdom has released all the men just for this event!
What!? Holy shit, it's like a big stripping extravaganza!
Indeed! In such a perilous time, too. How frivolous! How...outrageous!
Doc, I know you're mad, but why're you holding binoculars?
E-everyone, thank you for coming to see my performance.
I'll begin to strip order to save this country!
Hooray, princess! Get on with it! Bottoms first, just the way I like it!
Do it! Do it!
...What the hell!? I gotta do something about this.
Saki, don't do this. Even if you go through with it, nothing's goi-...
Yo, asshat! Do you really intend on ruining this national celebration!?
Yeah, if we don't watch this show, our country's doomed.
If you screw with us, I'll never forgive you.
Damn. This place is filled with ravenous, lusty beasts. I should get out of here for now.
...Ugh, if it were only Saki here, this would be a lot easier to resolve.
...Damn...I should've stopped her.
I mean, there's no use in complaining now. I have to look for a way to interrupt her strip tease.

And so it was time to go looking.

Butch! You're still here!?
Shut it! This is my working purview. What's wrong if I'm here!?
I heard you were an old friend of Saki's.
Gah! How'd you get that info!?
You do realize that Saki's about to perform a strip tease in front of her entire nation, right?
Your queen decided that Saki should do it.
That's all I had to say. Bye!
I was threatened by the queen. She said if I don't support her, my darlin'...
Y-you're married!?
Of course!
...No way.
I know this is wrong. It hurts my little brain to enforce this Male Tax.
I thought you seemed pretty pumped up about it...
Pipsqueak, what say we go defeat the Queen of Adult Kingdom? I'll help ya!

Of course. Why not help each other to save Saki?
But first, we have to do something about the show. Any ideas?
Um, maybe we can just barge into the theater.
Don't! You'd become an international fugitive!
Anyway, until I stop Saki from stripping for her country, lay low here.
F-fo sho.
Even though I told her to wait until I solve this, I have no idea what to do.

He went into the Organito Hut again, and there he found what he was looking for.

Likewise. If you keep sneaking around behind our backs, I'm not going to be lenient forever.
...Fool. Be advised you would do no good by harming me.
These gears in disarray are quite conspicuous. I'm just checking on them.
Gears again?
I would recommend that you focus on Saki's present issue.
...! Do you know anything about it?
Expand your worldview. Interception is not the only option.
Most of all, do you know why you're trying to prevent what has already happened? Is that even necessary?
Choose your path and the world will advance from there. So long as you waver, the current remains stagnant.
Huh? But this is Saki's world. Why would my inaction keep it from moving ahead?
Don't forget that this world's existence is sustained by your presence through the Dive. It cannot exist alone.
You need to choose soon. We're running out of time in every sense of the word. Make swift choices and...go deeper.

If you do not pick this choice you are insane.
I still want to prevent this world from heading down its present course. That's why I'm here.
Very well, then so be it.
But...I don't really know what to do.

Who're you?
You've woken another Hyuma.
Shelda: I am Sheda. My goal is to shroud the entire world in a dark gloom.
Cover the world in darkness? Hmm, sounds a little fishy, but yes, please help!
Shelda: How blatant. I cannot help such a savage.
Okay...please help me, ma'am.
Shelda: Hmhmhmm. Of course. In fact, I am appalled by that vulgar show, myself.
Shall we?
The Hyuma, Shelda has been unlocked.
I don't care what means you employ. We're running out of time.

When they got back, things were looking serious. Saki didn't have much in the way of options left. Or clothes.

...! It's progressing quite far... I have to take off even more clothes...?
Are you kidding, girl!? Of course you do! The real show's just about to start!
Quit teasing us and do it already!
Go! Go!
What the hell is that!?
Shelda: Alright, looks like it's my turn to come through.
Yeah, please turn off all the lights at the right time.
Shelda: Trust in me. I won't blow this.
Th-thank you for waiting. Okay...I-I'm gonna start stripping!
Here goes!
Shelda: Now!

What a shame! The exciting part was just about to start!
This is outrageous! Administrator, come out here! You're going to be permanently deported!
Shelda: That concludes Princess Saki's sexy show. We apologize for the technical difficulties. Thank you for watching.
Our country will be saved now. Hmhm.
What the hell!? That's it!?
Alright! Now...!

You're an idiot! Why did you do that, Saki!? Don't strip in front of people!
...! I'm sorry! I did this for everyone...
Yeah, well, everyone didn't seem to appreciate you!
The guys only looked at you as if you were an object, like perverts, and the girls only looked at you with contempt.
I know you only did that to save your country, but it resulted in the complete opposite.
B-but, I still believe this is a way to repay our people...and bring peace back to our country.
Even if they don't occupy your country anymore, it defeats the purpose if you lose the people's loyalty.
Plus, I can't stand it...!
I can't stand other people seeing your naked body.
What!? Why not!? Does it bother you that I'm doing this?
...Of course you don't understand. Well, it's alright. I'll tell you sometime.
Anyway, you can still make up for this. Let's go to Adult Kingdom and defeat their stupid queen.
No! Violence is wrong!
Then I'll go by myself!
What!? Aoto!
...Saki, you're too naive...and you're too kind.
No, it's not kindness... It looks like it, but it's not...

Now it was time to hope Sarapatra would keep her end of the bargin.

Oh, yes she did. I have evidence of it.
Shelda: That's right. We got it all on videotape.
What!? But there was a blackout and the event was canceled...
Shelda: Oh, she finished it in the dark. Where in the contract does it state it won't count in the event of a blackout?
There you have it! Alright, we'll be taking all of the villagers back now.
Hmph. Do you really think we would give them back so easily? Garter!

Tear them apart!
Kh! Hey, you can't do that, coward!
Garter: Alright, I'll shatter 'em to pieces! Hah!
Awooo! Can't let ya do that!
...! Mute!
Mute!? But, why...!?
Fear and oppression can't control people forever! There's only one thing in the world with that kinda power!

I just love that line.
Mute! Saki always believed you would come back someday.
Your Highness, when ya tried to protect yer country at the costa yer own dignity, it really hit me hard...inside!
Ya taught me that what's most important is love! My eyes've been opened!
Your Highness, I'm sorry fer all the trouble I've caused you! I shall defend yer honor and dignity to the death!
*sigh* Alright, I'm getting bored... Let's wrap this up.

The whole point of this exercise was for Saki to learn that there are bad things in this world. Betrayal, extortion, deception, that sort of thing.
...HEY! What are you insinuating? I'm going to have to talk to your mother about this! No, make that your father.

What does that even mean!?
...Aoto...ever since you started interfering with Saki's Soulspace, she's become stronger and more influential.
Even Mute... You turned the whole story into the cheesy, tear-jerking soap opera that Saki wanted it to be.
Or maybe not. I donno. This crazy stuff just isn't reliable enough for me to work with.
...Is that true...?
...Tell me, Aoto, why do you always take Saki's side?
Because...I decided to protect her.
...Being someone's friend doesn't mean you always have to support everything they decide to do without question.
See, Aoto messed things up by preventing Saki from confronting how bad Sarapatra had her.
Saki, you must grow up.
If you keep drawing what you fantasize about, your situation will never change. So...
But I don't want to give up. I like how it is now.
It's not wrong to make the world a peaceful place where everyone gets along. In fact, I'd prefer it that way.
But, that's not how the world works. There are some things that can't be achieved through strong ideals alone.
You need strong ideals and a lot of firepower.
I don't believe you! The world, by its very nature, is a very beautiful place. It's just...
...Everyone is acting a bit gloomy right now. That must be it!
...She's impossible. If she could change her beliefs so easily, she would've done so a long time ago.
...Huh? I don't understand.
But her naivete will bring about certain doom in the near future.
In anticipation of the impact, we have to fuse and support each other.
...Are you guys going to combine into one...?
Yes. Saki and I, who were originally of two separate minds, must fuse into a single being within our mind.
But don't worry; whether we fuse or not, Saki will remain Saki, and I will remain Sarapatra. Nothing will change.
That doesn't entirely make sense to me. This cosmosphere stuff is just not my forte. I guess I'm glad I don't dive.
We will just be able to support each other and make up for each other's weaknesses.
That I do understand, though. It's how partnerships work.
This time, I ask you: Saki, please be one with me.
If you agree, I can protect you. So...please.
Please give me some time to think about it.

Yo, rotten face! What's up? You look pretty dead, man.
Huh? Oh, yeah. I was wondering if that was really good for Saki.
You're seriously thinking about that? It's not really something you should be worried about.
No one will ever know whether that was the best solution or not. Understand?
It might be hard for you to accept, but happiness is always built upon sadness, failure, and humiliation... It's a fact!
We're living in the now. There's no good or bad here. Just keep looking forward, and take each step with determination.
...You sound pretty positive for a bomb.
Heh...I wouldn't be able to be a bomb if I weren't.
...I guess you're right.
Anyway, bro, if you have time to fret over her, go encourage her instead.
The Hyuma, Garter, has been unlocked.

After that, all that was left was some fusing.

Saki, there you are. Have you made up your mind?
Yes, I have. I think I'll become one with Sarapatra.
Are you sure that's what you wanna do?
Yes! I thought it over and came to this decision.
Sarapatra agreed to fuse with me in order for Saki to remain as Saki.
She wasn't trying to delete me from this world or occupy my body.
She was only trying to compensate for my imperfections.
So, I'm not scared of anything anymore. I will go through with the fusion!

Yes. I've made up my mind to accept you.
Once the fusion starts, an influx of new information and emotions will flow into your mind.
But please don't be afraid.
I won't!
Okay then. Let's start the fusion.
Was yea ra exec FLIP_COSMOSPHERE.

It's impossible to get any shots of the third purge animation that I would want to upload.

en chs yor, en pitod yor!

...! Something is coming inside me...!
Don't be afraid! Don't reject it!

???: Creator...irresponsible...
Who are you!?
???: But I'm still fine...we still have time...
So...please...regain your self as soon as possible...
Regain...Saki...? What do you mean?
???: Remember your true duty...
Congratulations! The fusion is complete.
Saki, how'd it go? Are you okay!?
...Aoto, were you worried about me? Thank you! I'm okay.
Oh, I'm glad... If you are fine, please put some clothes on, quick...
Ahhh! Why am I naked!?
Hmhmhm, when we do a fusion, we need to make as much skin-to-skin contact as possible.
But is that such a big deal? Aoto, wouldn't think so...right?
...I don't know how to answer that.'re such a pervert!

Is this how it ends again?

It seems like Saki has discovered something new within herself. Go to the Stonehenge.
You can now use Sarapatra's Body!
You can change Bodies from Equipment on the Main Menu.

As usual, everything ends in a paradigm shift at the stonehenge.
Aoto, I'm sorry I keep causing more trouble for you.
When did you do that?
If I could just make a peaceful and enjoyable world, you'd be happier. Instead, I only seem to burden you.
That's not true. If you're happy, I'm happy. That's all there is to it.
Yep. A peaceful and enjoyable world would get boring pretty quickly, anyways.
I think life should be exciting and full of challenges to overcome!
Okay. I'll be going now. I hope I can create a happy, challenging world to invite you to.
As a general rule, asking your Reyvateil for a more challenging cosmosphere is a fast-track to brain death kids. Don't do that.
The kind of world doesn't matter to me. Whatever it is, I'll be happy to be there with you. I look forward to it!

Unsurprisingly, the mystery silhouette is Sarapatra.

At this point, you cannot Purge to the 4th level. Please advance the main story.
Just you wait until we can do a level EX Purge. It's something special. In a good, non way for once.