The Let's Play Archive

Chaos Rings

by ivantod

Part 11: Things That Happened

Let's go for a ride!

Instead of going through the original door...

...let's try going to Bereshith Road instead.

Enemies on max available level of course, because we are anyway practically invincible!

I'm sorry. I thought if we went through the Original Door, we could return to our original word...
It's fine. Really.
Of course I want to hurry back to the children that are waiting for me. But...
I have a feeling this isn't over yet.
You're right. I want to know the real reason why we all had to kill each other.
It would be an insult to Zhamo, Eluca, Olgar and Vahti if we never found out.
Yeah... We've come this far, after all: it's about time we found out what is really going on.

And here we are. The Japanese text simply spells out the same name phonetically in English.

There seems to be some kind of terminal here.

In fact, it's an elevator control panel. Why not go and visit the restaurant on the 46th floor?

Done with what?
With fighting for our lives. I've got a bad feeling about this.

Oh, this guy?

So you're still here?
Does it mean it's against the rules to be here?

Suddenly, Zhamo's voice is heard from nowhere in particular...

What was that?

I knew it! It's Zhamo!
So, that's him speaking from the darkness? That's terrible...

Stop it!! How dare you!!
It's too much... Too awful. How can you do such a thing?
You've crossed the line that should never be crossed!
You're going to pay for what you've done! Now come on!

So we need to fight him, but...

Our first attack already takes off most of his HP...

...and our second finishes him off.

This game has a bit of a problem, which is the fact that it is made to be possible to finish it even if you don't do any of the optional stuff. But on the other hand, if you do do it, that typically leaves you massively overleveled for the subsequent storyline content. Similar problem exists for example in Final Fantasy X where if you stop to do Monster Arena and other optional bosses like dark aeons, you are basically in a position to one- or two-shot most of the bosses that follow after that!

And he fades out.

Huh? What are you so surprised about?
...I think you just got even stronger.
You think? I can't really tell myself.
Besides, it's all his fault for making me angry. Right?
Anyway, let's keep going.
Uh, right.
(Why did the Executioner make us listen to Zhamo?)
(Was he actually taunting us so we would fight better? If so... why would he do that...?)

We can continue onwards, and it takes us to one of these tiled corridors, but this time with some sort of devices along the wall...

Let's examine them to see what they say.


> An organically-grown lifeform programmed to
  ensure that the Ark Arena proceeds smoothly.
  Loaded with advanced A.I. to assist in
  guiding participants.
> Follows commands given by the Almighty.

> Guide participants to proper destination.
> Execute insubordinate participants.
> Judge participants' eligibility to open
  the Final Door.


> An organically-grown lifeform programmed to
  ensure that the Ark Arena proceeds smoothly.
> Follows commands given by the Almighty.

> Execute insubordinate participants.
> Judge participants' eligibility to open
  the Final Door.


> The two participants that win the Ark Arena
  will be sent back 10,000 years to become
  the First Couple.
  Their superior DNA will be used to reconstruct
  humanity and create powerful warriors.

Currently discovered special abilities:
  Toughness:     Loop #768
  Pyrokinesis:   Loop #782
  Magic:         Loop #1737
  Psychokinesis: Loop #1979
  Teleportation: Loop #2001

> The act of sending living matter back in time
  has a high probability of being noticed by
  the Qualia. Should that happen, the Qualia's
  interference is predicted to speed up the end
  of timespace.
> Therefore, only two people at a time will be
  sent back in order to keep this risk as low as

So if we had gone through it...
We'd have been made immortal and sent back in time 10,000 years ago. That must be what happened to Olgar and Vahti.
Apparently, that's also how the magic we use was developed.
So this power was born from the blood of countless wariors...
...What sinful power...

There's one more of these documents:


> A means of ensuring that the First Couple can continue
  to produce a predetermined amount of descendants.
> Their bodies will be boosted to superhuman levels
  using the principles of transhumanism. This will
  allow their cells to increase their divisiions at
  a vastly increased rate, even upon taking damage,
  resulting in automatic regeneration.
> Simultaneously, telomere reduction will be employed
  to prevent their cells from aging.

> These effects will likely be neutralized in the
  presence of the Qualia's energy (Quintessence).

We wouldn't have been able to defeat Olgar and Vahti if there weren't.
I'm guessing it can't handle fatal wounds, like having your head cut off.
Not to mention the 10,000 year limit.
Still, 10,000 years should be more than enough for anybody.

Wow, that was quite a plot dump right there, wasn't it?

But, we need to continue going forward.

At this point, even former bosses start showing up as regular enemies!

But even they cannot do anything (even though we are NOT actually higher level than they are!).

Or, like these guys too.


In any case...

Soon we reach what turns out to be the arena where we fought other couples!

Where we all fought for our lives.
Zhamo and Eluca were so strong...
Yeah. Now that I think about it, it's a miracle that we were able to defeat Olgar and Vahti too.
...They were all such amazing fighters.
And now, we're the only ones left.
Makes you wonder what the whole point of the Ark Arena was...
...I can't help but feel that we'll find the answer to that before long.
I agree. Let's keep going.

More of these...

...but soon we are at another elevator access terminal.

And hey, it's that annoying guy!

Our earlier battle was to judge if you are worthy of becoming the First Couple.
Now that you have come here, I will judge whether you are worthy of proceeding beyond the Final Door.
439 couples have made it this far before. Only 16 of them were able to defeat me.
The Final Door? 16 couples? What are you talking about?
Will we be able to return to our own world from there?
Do not be foolish. There is no point in going back home, because the Qualia will soon arrive and eradicate every living thing there.
The time axis will soon run out... and the world will meet its end.
Qualia? The world ending?
What on earth is going on? Tell me in a way I can understand!
For that, you will need to seek the Final Door. Our master is waiting for you there. She will tell you all you need to know.
Fine. Then we'll go see her. Where is this final door.
...Those who seek the final door, must prove their skill to me.
We have to fight you again?
In order to judge the Final Couple I will hold nothing back.
Hold nothing back?
Looks like he was going easy on us before.
That was going easy?
Relax, Musiea. Trust me, we can do this.
Don't forget, we defeated Zhamo and Olgar.
Okay. I trust you.

Oh fine, let's get this over with.

No different than any other fight...

But our next attack does nothing at all! You might think there is some kind of gimmick to this fight; but no, there is not. It just that there is a cutscene after the second turn and the game can't let us kill him before that, that's all.

He wasn't kidding about holding back earlier!
If you are struggling at this level, there is no way you can proceed beyond the Final Door.
You don't get to decide that!
We can't lose here!
So long as we have farther to go, we won't stop until we get there!
Well said, Musiea. This battle is far from over!

Actually this battle is over right now!

The Qualia is coming... The future of all world rests on this battle...
After endless years, countless time loops, and nearly infinite ends of all life...
You two have the potential to save us...
In this world, your names are Escher and Musiea... In other worlds, others will answer the call...

Fade to white.

The end of the world, huh? I guess this thing's a lot bigger than I thought.
There's so much that we still don't know. But if what he said is true...
I wasn't particularly attached to this country, but... I can't let that happen.
All we can do now is keep moving forward.
Let's go check out this "Final Door"!

This again leads to a hallway with documents...

     THE ARK

> Can travel up to 10,000 years in the past
  using the principles of timespace navigation.
> While the first couple uses that time to
  propogate, the Ark will hide inside the time
  axis, to avoid altering history.

> Contains records of multiple Earths.
  1. Re-creation and preservation of Earth's past
     and historical artifacts.
  2. Lifeform preservation (both sexes).
> Synthesized monsters created from existing
  animal DNA will be placed around the Ark
  to serve as level counters for participants.

Curent number of voyages: 2003

Newest Companions:
  Vieg Valma (Olgar)
  Vahti Pauwell

So that strange grey city with all the odd buildings is the remains of an ancient culture?
Must be. Man... just how long has this been going on?

Musiea is of course referring to New York.

On to the next document.


> One of the First Woman candidates for the Ark Project
> Genetic Rank: 3
> The original First Woman


> The founder of the Ark Project
> Widely acclaimed for his work on timespace.
> Famously succeeded at preventing plant and animal
  extinction by controlling their time axes. The
  first to discover the existence of the Qualia
  through his research on how lifeforms become extinct.
> Known during his college days by the nickname

Sure looks that way... But can you really call him "human"?
Probably not.
Honestly, he scares me. Have you ever seen his eyes when he gets that blank look on his face?
You think that's scary? I thought it's kind of cute.
All I know, my instincts have helped me evade death more times that I can count, and those same instincts are screaming at me not to fight him.
Haven't you noticed?
Sometimes he stares at you with this crazy look in his eyes. Like he'll eat you alive if you aren't careful.
...Oh, I'll be careful around him. Just not in the way you are talking about.

Ugh. Moving on, we reach this particular room:

Here are some more consoles we can examine...


> A system used to ensure the Ark continues to
  run smoothly.
> Connected test subject Theia Lieberg's cranial
  nerve directly to the Ark central nervous system
  in lieu of A.I.

> Produce a human race capable of matching
  the Qualia.
> Judge participant's ability to open the Final Door.

But she wants to help save the world.
That may be, but I don't like how she's going about it.
I don't know anything about this Qualia. But why doesn't she and her friends just fight it themselves?
If they can make things like the Executioner and the Agent, they should have no problem defeating it.
Maybe, as powerful as they are, they're still not strong enough?
Maybe they need us to defeat it... There must be some reason.
Whoa, you're taking her side? ...Well, whatever. We've already made it this far.
We might as well go all the way!
Let's put an end to this... once and for all!


> Separate timespaces that exist in parallel.
  Theoretically, these individual timespaces
  should never cross paths with each other.
> Beginning with the Original Couple, the Ark
  has helped spawn countless new timespaces.
  Of these, 99.99% have been confirmed to have
  been destroyed by the Qualia.

> It is predicted that the Qualia will even cause
  separate parallel timespaces to converge.

And the Qualia will destroy all of them.
So, does that mean that there are other versions of us in these worlds too? If so, what happened to them?
I don't know... But I hope they managed to avoid getting trapped here...

Finally, the console in the middle...


> A conceptual being of pure energy. Its only
  determinable purpose is to distort space,
  consume everything and bring about
> Once it appears in a timespace, it consumes
  everything until that timespace is destroyed.

Confirmed Data:
> Millions of attempts to destroy the Qualia
  have been undertaken over thousands of
  timespaces, but a powerful corrective force
  always brings the timespace back to destruction.
> Confirmed timespaces destroyed: 64,762.

The Singularity:
> After a long and exhaustive observation,
  a single point in timespace, though to be
  the Singularity, has been confirmed to be
  capable of enabling a sufficiently powerful
  force, in theory, to destroy small amounts
  of energy.
> The primitive human race that exists in the
  Singularity has been confirmed to be incapable
  of producing even the smallest amounts of
  this energy. The Ark will be used to help this
  race develop their ability to produce this

The ground shakes, suddenly...

T-this is... the Qualia!?
My head feels like it's going to split open!
How... how is this possible...
There's no way we can fight something like this...
And the Almighty actually expects us to defeat it?
...because she expects that "something will happen" if we do?
This... this is why we had to kill Zhamo and others?
Perhaps that's how badly the Almighty felt she was outmatched?
...I won't accept this.
I won't!

And it fades away.

No matter who, or what, my opponent may be, I will crush all who stand in my way!
That's how I lived my whole life.
And it's not going to change now! You hear that, Qualia?
After we are done with the Almighty, we're coming for you next.

We can now leave this room...

...and we reach the final elevator!

Oh sure.

I can tell already from here that she's far stronger than the Agent.
I'm not worried. Not as long as I'm with you.

It's that female voice again!

Our hypothesis was not mistaken. You two have become even stronger than my simulation had predicted.
So you're here.
Let us introduce ourselves in person. The end of the world is close at hand. We do not have time to waste.
True love gives people strength. I do agree with that.
...But you have no right to say it! Not after how you've made us kill each other!
There is no time for discussion. Preaching morality will not avert the threat that the Qualia poses to us.
Now make your way here. We cannot waste even a second.

Invoking the last elevator, leads us to meet this... thing:

You must be the big boss.
I am the Almighty.
I am the one who selected and summoned each of the five couples for the Arena.
Escher and Musiea, I have watched your battles closely through the eyes of the Agent.
So you're the one who put this stupid fight together.
I think it's time we showed you how grateful we are.
You're going to pay for what you've done.
We found out on our way here that you used to be human female.
How could you possibly force us to participate in such a cruel competition?
All was for purpose of defeating the Qualia. That's why I prepared the Ark and made my way to Earth.
So in other words, you are an uninvited guest. If you want the Qualia defeated, do it yourselves.
That is impossible. Only humans have a chance of defeating the Qualia that appears in this timespace.
And that's... the Singularity?
Correct. My task is to create the humans at that point in this timespace that can match the Qualia.
Truly, I am relieved. My anguish all these years was not an infinite loop, but a spiral with an end.
Escher, Musiea, thanks to you, this bloody, spiraling path will soon be over.
Now is the time for final judgment, to see if you are truly worthy of becoming the Final Couple I was waiting for.
Now that you've come this far, you must defeat me to proceed to the Final Door.
The fate of humanity rests on it.
Now, show me your true power. Once I am satisfied, I shall open the path that leads to the Qualia.
But if I determine that you do not have a sufficient strength for this battle...
Even if we do have to defeat this Qualia thing, that's up to us to decide!
You don't get to choose that for us!
Escher's right! If you are responsible for all this, that makes you our real enemy!
I have no interest in your feelings.
All I wish to know is if you are strong or if you are weak.


Darkness, divinity, the end of days... Destruction has no purpose.
The only thing that matches it... is clear strong-minded will.
I don't want to die... I want to live with you... A...yu...

The second and last turn of this boss fight. I really need to try to beat this game at low level one of these days!

Beyond the door lies the Focus Point... The place where the Qualia will appear...
At last; at long last, the time has come... After nearly eternal despair... your genes have provided a glimmer of hope.
You two... are the Final Couple I have been waiting for.
Once you pass through that door... not even we know what will happen...
Now... I leave the future... in your hands... and pray... for your victory...

And then a portal opens in front of us:

This is bad.
What do we do?
...I'm not the type to go around saving the world and the future.
I don't even know if it is possible for humans to fight this thing.
After all those countless Ark Arenas, we're the ones who made it this far.
We're here now thanks to the sacrifices of all those that went before us.
And I don't want to be the kind of person that runs away at a time like this.
...besides, I want to make sure that those kids that are waiting for you are safe.
Thank you... I feel the same way.
Okay then, let's go!
If we lose, we lose everything... Sure you still want to join me?
I still haven't forgiven you completely, but...
...even I'm surprised how ready I am.

At this point, the game decides to try it on again with the end credits, believe it or not!

But we are smarter than to believe that now!

Because the familiar screen shows up as soon as they finish:

Take a deep breath, people.

A couple of notes at this point, though:

1. Because this part was so long (more than double the normal length of an update--there just was not a good stopping point) the next time it will be quite a small one just covering some more of the optional stuff in the game.
2. It may look like a lot of plot was revealed here, but I'll just say this: it's actually not nearly as much as it seems. That is all.