The Let's Play Archive

Chaos Rings

by ivantod

Part 30: Thank You for the Memories

Obviously, after the "fake ending" last time, we now come to the "real" one.

But before that, there is the matter of eight optional bosses.

So, predictably, I did some grinding to be able to deal with them and here is what the characters looked like going in:

While grinding, I took care to obtain the new equipment that was lying around the dungeons... of course this will be used only for a little while until the eight optional bosses yield even more better weapons and clothes. As you will see in a moment, the names of some of the items in these two sets of four are a little esoteric and thus have resulted in a bit of a mess with regards to their translation into English.

First off, a new Chaos Katana pair for Ayuta (here we are still in familiar territory!).

And then a--what?--for Shea? Ameno Ohabari (天之尾羽張 or in modern spelling 天の尾羽張) literally means "Heavenly tail-feathers", but actually this is the name of the sword used by the Shinto storm god (Susanoo). I have no idea why they again named a bow after a sword, but regardless, this probably could have been translated as "Heavenly feather-bow" or something like that. I think this would have been a good translation, because...

...well, look what the matching kimono for Shea is named! Although in this case it is spelled out plainly without allusions to any mythical swords or such. Such lazy translation effort really annoys me (but it will get far worse very shortly, unfortunately).

But before it gets worse, it needs to get better so here we have the absolutely awesomely named "Mark of Rakshasa" jacket for Ayuta! This, incredibly, is a 100% correct translation of the Japanese name of this item! So what on earth is a "Rakshasa"? Rakshasa (राक्षसः) are some sort of spirit beings in Hindu and Buddhist mythology who may have been especially bad people in their previous human incarnations. This is interesting, as you'll soon see.

Well, anyway, at this point the eight bosses were defeated, same as before, and from them, we received the following pieces of equipment.

First of all two weapons, with standard names:

And then, more interestingly...

New clothes for Ayuta, "Solar Heaven". Please excuse me while I say "what?" again. Checking out the Japanese version, we find that the original name of this item is: 神明日輪. What does this mean, you may ask? Well, again we need to dive into Shinto territory, as this is a reference to Shinto goddess of the Sun (and the universe, indeed) named Amaterasu. So potentially, this could have been translated something like "Robe of the Sun God" or along those lines. Again, next item will show why this would have been a good thing. Oddly enough, the actual name Amaterasu (天照) in fact when translated means "shining in heaven", so that strange name "Solar Heaven" is not out of nowhere; but if you already did research enough to know what the name actually refers to, then why not give it a better translation?

And here they finally completely give up on trying to deal with these names and just directly transcribe this one without even trying for a translation. This is a shame, because the original name is 月弓尊衣 and believe it or not, it actually means "Robe of the Moon God"! Because, inevitably, Tsukuyomi no Mikoto (月弓尊) is in fact the Shinto Moon god! So, opportunity massively wasted here, but we already know that while technically without significant errors, the English translation is fairly lazy and uninspired.

In any case, I'm going to take a guess that this is a lot more that most of you wanted to know about all of this (although I do feel that since the Japanese writers of this game made effort to choose somewhat cool names for stuff, the least we can do is give them a second of two, even if the English translators did do their best to mutilate the names), so it's finally time to move on to the final part of this chapter of the game.

As always, our destination is Bereshith Road.

...that we're qualified to fight the Qualia ourselves?
I can't be absolutely sure, but... right now, I think we need to try a different path.
...I'm sorry.
For what?
If I hadn't fallen in love with you... you never would have gotten caught up in all this...
Don't apologise for that. In fact, I am grateful to you.
What? Why?
...Thank you for loving me, Ayuta.
(No matter where our path may lead... I will remain by your side...)
(Even... if you still love Theia...)

Well then. Going through the door brings us to the usual lift (first of three).

Let's go!

Looks like your memory isn't completely back yet.
Yeah. It's like the things I remember and the things I've forgotten are all mixed together...
(I can only remember Theia in bits and pieces... And yet...)
(...when I think about Theia, my heart feels like it's being torn out of my chest.)
(If I do get all my memories back, what's going to happen to me?)
I see... Well, please don't push yourself too hard.
Aren't you going to ask?
About Theia.
...I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me.
But if you don't want to tell me, I'm okay with that.
(Come on, Ayuta. Get it together. All you need to think about is keep Shea safe.)
(It doesn't matter what happened between Theia and me. That's all in the past.)
(Shea and I are together now. And we are going to put an end to all of this.)

Of course, there is the Executioner to interrupt us.

...No, I think there's more to it than that.
Either way, we're going to have to defeat him to keep going...
I'm afraid so. But it's okay. Together I know we can do this...

What's going on with you Ayuta?

Ayuta, come on!
It feels like my head is splitting apart!
Get back Ayuta! I'll handle this!
Trust me! I've gotten stronger like you have!
...Okay, you got it.
(Damn it, why won't my headaches stop? Is this my memory trying to come back?)

And we go into the fight for real now. Despite what the previous scene might seem to imply, no Ayuta is not in any way incapacitated and participates in the fight normally with his full abilities.

It's just a matter of a few hits like this until the big spider with spine growing out of its neck is defeated.

...Yeah, I'm okay.
You've been pushing yourself too hard.
I am so grateful that you've been trying to protect me, but you don't have to take everything on yourself.
Please. Let me help carry your burdens.
...I'm afraid it's not that simple. There are some burdens you just can't share...
I'm sorry... just, forget I said anything.
My head's been killing me and I said something I didn't mean.
(What am I doing? That was a terrible thing to say...)
(It's not Shea's fault that my memory might be coming back...)

After that, we enter one of those famous corridors with terminals. The first one that you see wasn't there in previous chapters, so it will be interesting to see what it has to say!

So let's look at it!


> A plan to create a stronger human race.

The original first couple:
> Adam: Ayuta Utyl (Genetic Rank: 1)
> Eve: Theia Lieberg (Genetic Rank: 3)

Original Eve candidate:
> Cyllis Mackenzie (Genetic Rank: 2)

> We will begin by travelling to the primitive
  Earth of 10,000 years ago, upon which
  the first Ark Arena will be held.

> From there, the Ark will continue to repeat
  a 10,000 year time loop until
  sufficiently strong warriors are born.

Cyllis Mackenzie... I wonder if we'll find out more about her at some point and also why Theia apparently took her place as the "First Woman"?

Yes... Very long.
I never though I would get to talk to you like this again.
What's going on?
It's good to meet you, Shea. You must be wondering how I am here...
I separated my body, mind and knowledge in order to complete the Ark Project.
My body was transferred to a clone, and my mind and knowledge were each transformed into data and transferred to the Ark.
I am the part that used to be Theia's knowledge.
I can't believe it! Why would you do such a thing to yourself?
It was the only way possible to carry out a plan that could take an eternity to complete.
That is also why I locked Ayuta's memory after every tournament.
I continued to serve as the Ark's supervisor... and Ayuta served as a limiter, ensuring that the abilities of each round of warriors never fell too low.
So then, where is Theia's body?
My body was lost when the cold sleep process failed.
That is not all. Constantly maintaining data for both my mind and my knowledge has become difficult.
Wait a minute! What do you mean by that, Theia?
I... ... ...
Theia! Theia!! Damn it! She's not responding!
We have to find another terminal!
(Ayuta... You really do still love her...)

Since you are not able to hear the voices, I will mention here that the golden-eyed version of Ayuta most of the time tends to speak in a low monotone voice, unlike the "normal" version.

Next couple of terminals are already familiar:


> 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

After all, there is no way humanity could propogate from the descendants of only two people.
It's crucial that there be highly evolved bloodlines mixed in with those of people of that age.
Maybe so, but that doesn't mean that a stronger version of humanity will be born every time the process is repeated... right?
That's why I'm here.
If the new humanity ever became weaker than the previous one, it was my role to win the Arena and keep the overall level from dropping...
That's how far we had to go... there were no other options left...
Ayuta... How long have you been fighting...?

Well, at least that addresses a few questions that we all had for a while now. Moving on to the next terminal.


> 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).

The Ark is set up so that the moment any previous winners are summoned here, they will lose their immortality.
Besides, it wouldn't do any good against the Qualia anyway...
...What about you, Ayuta?
My time... stopped moving long ago...
And it will never start again until this is all over...

Eventually we reach the actual fighting arena...

What isn't?
In the original Ark Arena rules, the loser are just supposed to have their memories of the tournament wiped, then be sent back to earth...
They were never supposed to be killed...
Theia... When did you change the rules...?
You mean, it is all Theia's fault that we had to kill each other?
I can't believe it...
No. That can't be what happened. Theia would never have wanted that.
So you're taking her side?
Of course not! How dare you judge her when you don't even know her!
You're right. I shouldn't have said that.
No. I'm sorry... I didn't mean to yell at you like that...
We can still talk to Theia if we can find another place like that, right? Let's go ask her ourselves.
Uh, yeah... Good idea...
(I didn't mean to blame Theia like that...)
(What am I doing...)

No matter, for here we are at the next lift.

This one, of course, leads into the fight with the "true version" of the Agent.

So, you have defeated the Executioner.
H-how are you here? We just defeated you...
He was holding back from using his full power... Weren't you?
Indeed I was. Our earlier battle was to judge you if you were worthy of becoming the First Couple.
Now that you've made it here, I will judge whether you are worthy of proceeding to the Final Door.
241 couples have made it this far before. So far none of them have been able to defeat me.
The Final Door? What's over there?
That's where the Almighty is waiting.
The Almighty?
It appears that you have completely recovered your memories.
That's right.
And yet, you still wish to proceed.
That's what Theia and I decided.
Very well. In order to judge the Final Couple, I will hold nothing back.
What's wrong, Shea? Are you scared?
I'm not afraid of anything anymore!
Then why can't I sense your spirit?
I'm okay, Ayuta. Don't worry about me.
I am incapable of understanding complex human psychology. Nor do I have any interest in attempting to try.
However, you will not be able to defeat me unless you work together.
Now, show me what you've got!

This is as easy as always, but we still need to see the cutscene before we can give the final blow!

It's not your fault, Shea. I'm the one who wasn't strong enough.
It's astonishing that the original First Man has made it this far.
So I shall give you a little time before I kill you. Feel free to say your goodbyes.
Damn it!!
Ayuta... since there is no time left, I'm just going to say it.
...I was jealous of Theia.
I'm embarrassed to say it, but... that's why I wasn't able to fight at my best. It's pathetic.
No... No, you're not pathetic at all...
It's my fault... I let myself be confused by my memory returning, and I didn't stop to think about you at all.
I kept saying you were important to me, and yet I...
No, you did nothing wrong. If I hadn't gotten so worked up...
Shea. Our rings are glowing.
Yes. They've been glowing constantly since our fight with Olgar and Vahti.
Please believe me. My promise to Theia... was only to put a stop to all this.
I... no, we are weak... So much that my feelings got to be too much for me.
But that's exactly why I want us to be together and support each other.
I think that if I'm with you, we can break this cursed loop! No, I'm sure we can!!
Oh-ho! I can sense your spirit again! It appears that it was worth the wait!
Then let us resume our battle.
Ayuta... I want us to be together and support each other too.
That's why I am going to do my best. We can't afford to lose now!
Thank you, Shea.
Now, let's end this!

And so we do. After his defeat, the Agent gives us his final speech.

In this world, your names are Ayuta and Shea... In other worlds, others will answer the call...
We finally surpassed you, Agent. We'll take it from here. Rest in peace.
Come on, let's go. The Almighty is waiting for us.
Just what is the Almighty?
Another being designed to test our strenght. Like the Agent.
We'll need to defeat her to get to the Final Door.
I see.
We've made it this far. I know we can defeat her.

So time for more terminals and more info-dumping.

     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

...That's how far he was willing to go to save the world.
Unfortunately, there was just one problem...
When a person specialises in one ability, it is often compensated by losing something else...
...What's that?
In Piu-Piu's case, his sense of shame. With it gone, he became a huge pervert.
Yes, I know.
No, you don't understand. I mean a huge pervert.
In fact, his perversion was so great that his new body was incapable of withstanding it. We ended up having to move the perverted part to a "Prototype Agent".
Afterwards, the Prototype Agent's name became "Libido".
Eventually, Libido ended up greatly surpassing the Agent's abilities, and it became known as the "Crimson Demon".
If you ever come across it, run away as fast as you can.
Piu-Piu's perversion come to life... I can't think of a more terrifying enemy.

Well, this is interesting actually.

It's been a while since I've mentioned it last, but here is the thing. Actually "Prototype Agent" (shown above) is the final boss of the "Purgatory" level. On the other hand, more interestingly...

..."Libido" is his superboss equivalent (also at the end of "Purgatory") and is pretty much the hardest enemy in the game to defeat (don't worry about fact that the picture above shows Escher and Musiea, I have just reused the one I had from before).

So, now you know.

But, we need to keep going.

And that brings us to the "Control room" area with more terminals to examine. This is also last chance to try to talk to the "other" Theia.


> 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.

...Sorry, I still don't get it.
There may even be worlds where different versions of you and me exist.
It's even possible that their situations and environments are completely different from ours.
I just hope that those other versions of me end up meeting the other versions of you, too.


> 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.

She began to spin out of control... And I too began to act recklessly...
When we started to become unable to manage the ark anymore, we decided to go our separate ways forever.
We transferred Theia's consciousness to the Ark, sealing off here humanity in the process, and managed to restore the systems to normal...
As for me... I was only able to stay sane by resetting my memory...
That was the last time we touched each other as humans...
Ayuta... I want to save Theia...
As do I. We've made it this far. We won't go home without defeating Theia... the Almighty... first.


> 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

...No wonder no human civilisation was ever able to defeat it...
It's the enemy of all living things...
Can... can we really fight that thing on our own...?
I don't know... But I am certain of this: something is going to happen.
Something that would not normally be possible.
It may not be much... But Theia and I bet everything on it!
We may have had to climb a mountain of dead bodies to make it this far...
...but we finally did.
The sins Theia and I have committed are numerous, and unforgivable.
But I have no regrets.
For I cannot turn back now!
This is the only way I can redeem myself!
I will defeat Qualia even if it costs me my life!!

Luckily the swirling mess fades out and we're back to normal(?).

I will not let you die. Whatever happens, I will protect you.
All I ask in exchange is that you protect me too.
...That's right, I promised that I would take you back to the mansion, didn't I.
Once this is all over... Let's go home... together.
That sounds good.

What's wrong? I'm having trouble accessing you.
Ayuta. There's no time left to waste.
The ark's countless trips through time have brought its core too close to the Qualia. Now, the ark is almost at its limit.
As a result, the Almighty's behaviour has become increasingly unstable.
That's why my body was lost and why the Arena rules were changed.
So the Almighty is responsible for these abnormalities.
And as Theia's knowledge, I too will soon cease to function.
This is terrible.
Do not feel sad for me. It is simply my time to die.
I can now die with... no regrets...
Okay Theia. I understand.
Thank you... for everything.
We're going to go on ahead... defeat the Almighty... for good.
Goodbye, Ayuta...
Give my... regards... to... the other... Theia...

And to confirm that the Ark is becoming increasingly unstable, even the lights give out at this moment and we are plunged into semi-darkness.

Last lift still works, though.

Which means... we have to defeat her, no matter what. This may be our last chance...
Are you okay with that?
The Almighty is Theia's spirit, right?
That's right.
Then, does that not make her Theia herself?
The only feeling the Almighty still has is her determination to defeat the Qualia. Her other emotions no longer exist.
Nevertheless, we can't afford to hesitate even for a second if we're going to defeat her.
Her power far exceeds that of either the Executioner or the Agent.
...I understand.

I am the Almighty. I am the one who summoned each of the five couples for the Ark Arena.
Ayuta and Shea. I have watched your battles closely through the eyes of the Agent.
Theia! Come on! Don't you remember Ayuta?
It's no use. Her memories as Theia are gone.
Now she's just an inorganic being, with a single overriding purpose.
You must defeat me in order to proceed to the Final Door.
The fate of humanity rests on it.
The end of the world is at hand.
Theia... You've been out here in the dark all by yourself for a long time...
But we've both continued to believe in hope, however slight. And now, I've made it here.
I have no interest in your feelings.
All I wish to know is, if you are strong, or if you are weak.
Theia. We are going to defeat you now. It's what we decided to do.

So, again, we have to fight her.

Of course, fight is soon interrupted:

What are you saying? We have to attack her all at once!
Just wait a moment! I think... she wants to tell us something.
I was right! She got her emotions back while we were fighting her!
Theia! Ayuta is here now! Isn't there anything you want to tell him? me...your strength...
Theia! That's not what I mean!
That is...your...That is...your...
Bond... isn't it?
Okay, Theia. We won't hold anything back. I will end this with my own hands.
Will you help me, Shea?
...Of course.

So the fight goes on for a moment longer until she is defeated.

I was afraid that you would take Ayuta from me.
I still am. You two spent so much time together...
It feels there's no place left for me... jealous...of you...
I...wasn't enough... confident...and...take good care...of Ayuta.
...I will.
I still remember the day we first came to this planet, and I dreamed of our destiny changing...
The day we said our eternal farewells, all so we could keep the Ark's systems running...
Theia, I promise; we will defeat the Qualia. I swear it.
Beyond the door...lies the Convergence Point...the place...where the Qualia...will appear...
Now...I leave...the your hands...
I truly hope...that you two...will succeed...and are both...happy together...
Goodbye, Theia.

Fade to white.

That's the Qualia...
...It's like nothing I've ever seen.
I felt like I was going to be torn apart just by going near it.
This may be truly out of our league...
You may be right.
But, you know, it's strange. It doesn't make me want to run away either.
Me neither.
If we don't win, the world will be destroyed. So let's do it. Let's defeat the Qualia together.
It won't just be us facing it.
Theia will be there with us.
Right, Theia?
Thank you, Shea.
Okay then, let's get going.
It's time to settle this, once and for all.

Whew. That was quite a lot to take in. Now we can relax...

..with one more repeat of end credits.

* * *

Of course, at this point, before continuing the story, we should go back and reload the game one more time.

As yo can see, the lights really have gone out!

There is that one unfilled star on Bereshith Road.

Of course that leads back to the arena...

...where our dark mirror images await.

Nothing special happens in this battle...

...but we get the usual two diamonds.

And that pretty much concludes the Ayuta/Mana chapter.

What's next? Well, obviously, there's Olgar's story to finish and then we'll see after that...