The Let's Play Archive

Chaos Rings

by ivantod

Part 21: The Reality of the Situation

After exploring the option of going through the "Original door", we decided that this is not really what we want to do. So instead...

Eluca is obviously eager to go...

...Bereshith road it is. Incidentally, "bereshith" (בְּרֵאשִׁית) is a word in Hebrew which means "in the beginning". It is the name of the first book of Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament (Book of Genesis). But please don't take the religious references in this game too seriously, ok?

But... Hey, Zhamo, why are you going there?
Didn't you want to build your ideal country?
Of course I do. That's exactly why I have to see this battle through to the end.
No one will follow anyone who gives up on everything halfway through.
Don't you think so?
As usual, everything you say is straight and true... Which is exactly why I am worried.
People like you often end up dying young.
Don't worry. I am not going to die anytime soon.
Not as long as you're with me.
...Okay, you've convinced me.

As you might recall, this area consists of tiled hallways, separated by lifts.

First stop is floor 46, but...

...we are interrupted by the executioner.

The executioner!
Did we break one of the rules?!
Maybe we weren't supposed to come here?
At any rate... It looks like we have no choice but to fight him.
It's okay. We may have been no match for him before, but he won't defeat us easily now!
You're right! Okay, here we go!

Uh, what's happening...

Tell me. You can't actually believe what Zhamo has been telling you, can you?
What do you mean?
Do you think your crimes will disappear just because you helped some child with his little daydream?
What about the grief he feels from losing his parents?
You really think it's okay just because the King ordered you to do it?
No I don't.
As you shouldn't. His hatred for you will continue to grow and you will never be able to escape what you have done.
But don't worry. I will soon put you out of your misery.

Uh, so, looks like Eluca will first have to defeat... Eluca?

Cool touch... she's exactly the same level as real Eluca! But it won't help her, remember that enemy levels are a lot "smaller" that ours.

So the difference in our relative powers is like you see... another easy battle.

That's right. Die and pay for your crimes!
An eye for an eye, a life for a life.
You're right.
If the people I've hurt wish for me to die, I will gladly offer up my life.
But until that day comes, I cannot let myself die here. Especially not by my own hand.

Eluca! Are you okay now!?
Yes. I just needed to take care of something.
Now, let's show this thing what we are made of.

There is still nothing special about this battle, just keep attacking...

...and the giant spider goes down easily.

...We did it! We avenged their deaths!
I could never have done it without you, Eluca!
...Thank you, Zhamo, for believing in me. I will doubt myself no longer.
Now let's keep going.

And here we come to the first tiled corridor and the first set of terminals you may remember from before.


> 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

Latest subjects:
  Vieg Valma (Olgar)
  Vahti Pauwell

But we're human. No one made us.
...I don't want to believe it, but... That would mean that Olgar and Vahti are our ancestors, since they won the last Ark Arena.
No way... Then, if we had gone on to open the First Door...
Yes. We might have been sent back in time 10,000 years.
Which would mean that our descendants would one day go to take part in this Arena themselves...
It is truly unbelievable...


> 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).

Latest subjects:
  Vieg Valma (Olgar)
  Vahti Pauwell

I wonder why they'd do that? An immortal warrior would have to be stronger than anyone else.
Unless... there was some kind of enemy whose attacks were even stronger?

Next, we are led to the...

...Arena itself.

So this is where it was.
Escher, Musiea, Ayuta, Mana... they were all such good people...
...and we used them as stepping stones to get here.
Does it bother you?
Why was the Ark Arena created in the first place?
I wish I knew. But I have a feeling we are getting closer to the answer.
I think you're right.
Let's keep moving.

Next lift takes us to the 137th floor...

But of course, not without interruption!

But, we defeated you!
Our earlier battle was just to judge if you were worthy of becoming the First Couple.
Now that you have come here, I will judge whether you are worthy of proceeding through the Final Door.
441 couples have made it this far before. Only 13 of them have been able to defeat me.
The final door? 13 couples? What are you talking about?
Calm down, Eluca. Just focus on the enemy at hand.
Yeah. You're right. Until I make you king, I can't lose to anyone.
Ignorant fools. There is no point to becoming king!
The Qualia will soon arrive and eradicate every living thing there.
This time axis will soon run out... and the world will meet its end.
Qualia? The end of the world?
I don't know what you're talking about... But it looks like we have no choice but to fight you.
All that's left for you is to seek the Final Door. Our master, who awaits you there, will tell you all you need to know.
If you can make it that far.
Now fight me and show yourselves to be worthy.
Here he comes!
Don't be afraid. We've already defeated him once before!
Defeated me before? I think not. What you defeated before was not my true power.
Now that it is time to judge the Final Couple, I will hold nothing back.
Hold nothing back?
I guess he was going easy on us earlier?
That was going easy?
Don't worry! We're not done growing yet! I know we can still become stronger!
Zhamo. You have always inspired me with your bravery.
No. Not just me.
I am sure you can inspire bravery in countless others, too.
I cannot... will not let you die here!

Ok, finally! The battle!

This is actually easier than the executioner! Although the game, as always, thinks it won't be.

He was really going easy on us earlier.
If you are having difficulty now, you will never be able to make it through the Final Door.
What is beyond that door?
You will find out once you defeat me.
Zhamo, if you are ever going to be king, we can't get held up here!
If you stop now, everyone who gave their lives so we could be here will have died in vain!
You're right. We can't afford to lose!
Let's show him what we can really do!

Ok, we're done here.

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 Zhamo and Eluca... In other worlds, others will answer the call...
The world, coming to an end. Do you think this is true?
I don't know.
...But I do think that both the Agent and the Executioner were being controlled for a purpose.
I guess we'll have to keep going forward if we want to find out.
You're right. Okay, let's go find that final door.

But, before that, another hallway with terminals!

     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


> 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

I'd say he's more insensitive than interesting.
For that matter is he even human?
Well, he walks upright and he can talk... He fulfills all the conditions for humanity that I can think of...
Oh, I can think of a few more.
Really? Even so, I think he really was a scientist.
Remember when he kept reciting all those numbers with that deadly serious expression?
Yeah, 34, 24, 34... over and over again.

I really don't have anything to say to this. In the meantime...

...Oh, hey you! How many levels will you give me?

Five? Not bad, not bad. Of course, as before, we don't really need them (at least for now).

After a while we reach this control room-looking thing. Let's check the consoles.


> 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.

What's wrong, Zhamo?
If I hadn't been summoned here, you would have executed me.
I would have never met Escher and the others, or be together with you... I wouldn't even be standing here right now.
I know we've sacrificed countless lives to get here...
But there's still a part of me that's happy to have been able to take part in it.
I feel the same way. The times I've spent here with you and them... have been the most fulfilling moments of my life.
It allowed me to face my own weakness.
And that's exactly why I want to see this through. We must take responsibility for our actions.
We must end it, no matter what may be laying in wait for us.
...Then let's do it!


> 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 all of them will be destroyed by the Qualia?
Maybe there are even other versions of us in those worlds?
Another me...
You are not alone! No matter how many more of you there are, I promise you there are just as many of me!
I feel oddly.. replaceable...

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...

...Is this the Qualia's power?
I... I can barely stand up.
Impossible... It's just an image... and yet...
Does the almighty really expect us to fight this thing?
Why don't they fight it themselves?
They created this giant space! The Executioner! The Agent!! They should be able to defeat this thing!
...There must be some reason they need us.
Perhaps there's something that'll occur when we fight it.
I guess we'll just have to go ask them ourselves.
Either way... I've already decided... I'm going to make a country where everyone can live together happily...
I know it will be extremely difficult... But I also know I can pull it off...
That's why, no matter what may happen... or what kind of future awaits us...
I cannot allow myself to lose!!

Finally the anomaly fades out!

That was a pretty good speech just now.

Outside is the last lift that takes us to the top floor to meet the Almighty (again).

I can already tell she is far stronger than the Agent.
But, we have nothing to fear. We've defeated both the Executioner and the Agent, and we can defeat her too.
Hey, Eluca...
What do you think it means to be king?
I'm not very good with these types of questions, but...
I don't think it means just standing above other people.
If it did, every king would be just like ours.
Then, what?
I think it's someone who gives people the chance to fulfill their dreams. And not just certain people.
Men, women, children, the elderly... those with power and those without... Someone who makes it possible for everyone to achieve their dreams.
That's what makes someone a king in my eyes.
Perhaps I'm being naive...
Not at all.
I'll do it.
I will become a king that gives everyone a chance to fulfill their dreams.

I am the one who selected and summoned each of the five couples for the Ark Arena.
Zhamo and Eluca. I have watched your battles closely through the eyes of the Agent.
What do you want?
Everything I have done was done to defeat the Qualia.
That's why I prepared the Ark and made my way to Earth.
Only humans have a chance of defeating Qualia that appears in this timespace.
So... that's the Singularity?
Correct. My task is to create 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.
Zhamo, Eluca, 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 have been waiting for.
Now that you have 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 the sufficient strength for this battle...
All we want to do is to go home and rebuild our country.
Why do we have to fight Qualia?
If you cannot defeat Qualia then everything will return to nothing.
There will be no country left for you to rebuild.
First this Almighty person, then the Qualia... How much longer do we have to keep fighting?
Zhamo, there is no way to build the country without spilling some blood.
That is why people like me exist.
Just give me the order and I will fight in your place until I can fight no more.
Thank you, Eluca.
But I will never order you to do that. If blood must be spilled, we'll spill it together.
I refuse to become a king who hides behind his people.
Understood. Then let us fight to the end together.
I have no interest in your ideals.
All I wish to know is if you are weak or if you are strong.
Let's go, Eluca!

Let's get this over with!

After a few attacks...

And after a few more...

Beyond the door... lies the focus point... The place where 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've 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 indeed a portal appears in front of us.

(W-what the...!)
(Such evil power. I have never felt such a dark force!)
(Is it really something humans can fight, let alone defeat?)
(And yet, if we lose, we lose everything. We cannot turn back now.)
...Eluca, you are not going to try and go alone, are you?
...Would that be so bad?
Of course it would.
Do you want me to become the kind of king that sacrifices others to win?
Were you lying earlier when you said we'll fight together to the very end?
...You're going to make quite a king.
Okay, we'll do this together or not at all.
That's right. Together, no matter where destiny leads us.

Of course, another attempt at end credits follows.

* * *

There still one more thing we can do now. If we reload the game and climb up to the arena floor...

...we get the same optional boss battle as before.

It is against the dark versions of our characters. This battle is not very different from the one that Escher and Musiea did, but I will show you the how the final attack that I did turned out...

...because it was pretty ridiculous as you can see. Let me explain what happened here: this is actually a combination of factors at work. First of all, the enemies did a pair attack previously so they were both hit; secondly, the attack hit their current weakness (physical) so that already more or less doubles the the damage; finally, I used a skill that guarantees a critical hit, which is another 2x multiplier on top. So in the end you get an attack that SHOULD have hit for about 8-10,000 HP hitting for over 40,000 HP. I think that's not so bad. And for the record, the enemies in this battle are level 90, whereas our characters are around 70 or so, so the enemies are about 20 levels ahead.

In any case, this fight nets us two diamond accessories for our characters.

And so, that's about it for this chapter; we'll check in with Eluca and Zhamo again a bit later.

As for what is on the table next, well, things are going to get a little bit messy!