Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Melody of Metafalica is the second game in the Ar Tonelico Trilogy, I haven’t played the first game in the series, but from my understanding, it is set 100 years after the events of the first game, although it is not necessary to have played it. the game does a good job of explaining things, thanks to a helpful in game encyclopedia which fills in details about just about everything in the game. It has a very complicated story, which i will try to explain clearly in this post. I’ll also try to make it as spoiler free as possible, so don’t worry about reading it. It will be hard to compress a huge 70+ hour game but i’ll do my best! ^_^ go on, DIVE into the world of Ar Tonelico!
At it’s core, AT2 is part traditional JRPG and part Dating Sim. the game is split up almost equally into dialog scenes, which play much like a visual novel, and adventure sections which see you doing standard RPG tasks, walking around, solving puzzles and entering fights etc. but there is much more to the gameplay than these simple mechanics. As with most GUST developed games, there is an in depth item syntheses system, which you can use to make new weapons and Armour, as well as bath salts, which i will explain later.
The game centers around two Reyvateils, Luca and Cloche. a Reyvateil is a person who can use song power, which is like magic, they are all female and born as humans, but during their childhood they change into Reyvateils, if they don’t get their life extended every 3 months the song power will drain their life and they will die. There is a legend that a Reyvateil will sing the song of Metafalica to recreate the world and make a new world without suffering or pain. Therefor they are very respected and the government has set up a scheme to make sure they get the life extending agent (Diquilty) installed every three months.
A Reyvateil can get infected by a disease called IPD. Once they are infected with the IPD they loose all control and begin to destroy everything. There are two types of IPD infection, positive and Negative, the positive infection makes the Reyvateil sing song magic, causing the area around them to burn, often killing the infectee as well, the negative effect causes them to break out in a fever and faint, which doesn’t sound too bad, but when they get a fever the infection can spread, so in a way it’s worse…
The main character in the game is Croix Bartel, he is a member of the Grand Bell Knights, which is a group set up to contain I.P.D’s. They are also working against the goddess Freylia, who is against plans to rebuild Metafalica and create a better world.
His mother had an IPD outbreak when he was young and killed herself and his father, he went to live with Luca and her mother, Reisha, he was brought up with them in Mint Block. Croix grew up with Luca and over time they became good friends and when Luca became a dive therapist, they started dating. However, Croix was training to become a knight at Grand Bell, and shortly after beginning their relationship he had to leave to go and live in Pastalia.
Croix had a childhood friend, Targana, who turned out to be the prince of Metafalss, they promised to work out how to create Metafalica and make the world a better place.
Croix was sent to contain the IPD infected Reyvteils, and on one mission he met an orphan girl called Cocona, he ended up adopting her and she went to live with him in Pastelia, becoming like a sister to him. She becomes one of the girls who can fight alongside you in battle.
Luka is a Reyvateil, she grew up with Croix after he moved in as a child after his parents died. She became a dive therapist, which means she lets people dive into her mind to help them excape from reality and helps them with any problems they have by moving around their cosmosphere, which is like a world inside the mind. She can use dive therapy to cure IPD’s which are then used to sing with Cloche as she uses her magic, Replika. She has stong song power and wants to be a singer.
She began to go out with Croix not because she liked him, but because her sister Leyka was being held captive in the Grand Bell hall as an IPD, and the only way to get in there was to use Croix. Six years later, she reunited with Croix and meets Cocona and Lady Cloche, the Holy Maiden. as you play the game you will find out that Cloche is not who you first imagine, i will not spoil it here though.
She is one of the characters you can choose half way through, depending on who you pick, the ending of the game changes and you get access to all levels of the girls cosmosphere.
Cloche Leythal Pastalia
Cloche, or Lady Cloche is the Holy Maiden of Grand Bell, she was born into the Grand Bell. she is very popular and a very respected person, she can be selfish and isn’t very polite. However, it turns out that she is not the Hold Maiden and doesn’t have the power to sing Metafalica, infact she is Reisha’s true daughter, and her real name is Leyka Trulyworth, she had an IPD outbreak at a very young age and was taken by the Grand Bell Knights and was held prisoner there. she was told that if she took on a new name and became lady Cloche Leythal Pastelia and was the Holy Maiden she would be released. she became the head figure of the Grand Bell.
The first time the meets luca they don’t get along, Cloche thinks that being a dive therapist is a terrible and dirty job so they don’t talk much at first.
Throughout the game her opinion on things changes and she becomes a much nicer person and helps Luca sing Metafalica. Although, as she is not the real hold maiden her song doesn’t work and you have to figure out another way to use the song to create Metafalica.
I won’t go into as much detail but here are some of the other important people in the game
Cocona – she was adopted by Croix after he found her almost dead after an IPD outbreak, she tags along with him and lives at his house in pastelia.
Leglius– Leader of the Grand Bell Knights
Amarie – She was found unconsious in a forest and she joins your party, she has a pet called Soope
Soope – he looks like a pillow and can be used to enter the Infelsphere when Luca and Clock lie on him
Lakra – She detects IPD’s and sends you information on where they are so you can find and contain them.
Frelia – An Original Reyveteil. She is in charge of the world regeneration, she has the strongest song power and can sing metafalica, but she doesn’t want to change the world!
There are many more important characters.
Using the Dive shop to enter the Cosmosphere is a very important aspect of the game, First you have to find conversation topics, some of which can be found walking around as glowing orange lights, others are triggered by events in the game. once you have a conversation topic you have to choose “Rest” when you are either at a save point, or in one of the main characters houses with a bed.
Once you enter the rest screen, it will either be the bedroom, or a tent, depending where you entered, you can choose the girl you want to speak to and the conversation topic, then once they have talked for a while, (usually it’s based on events in the game, sometimes its just talking about nothing important, just for fun) then you will fill up a grid of conversation points, when you get more than three points on a row, you unlock the next level of the girls Cosmosphere.
The Cosmosphere is one of two sections of the game that plays like a Visual Novel, the other section being the Infelsphere, which i will go over in the next section.
Once you have unlocked a level of the Cosmosphere using the conversation topics, you can go to the Dive Shop and Choose to Dive into either Luca of Cloche, and later on, another girl, Jacqli. each has their own stages to unlock and play through. before you can dive you need enough Dive Points, which can be gained from winning battles or through the Dualstall.
from inside the Cosmosphere you are presented with a map, and several points to access, to enter each area costs you some dive points, and the areas are marked out of three stars for importance, and ones you have to visit to advance the story are shown as stars on the map. during the dialog sequences sometimes events will happen where you have to make a decision, sometimes if you make the wrong choice you can get a bad ending or even get kicked out and back into the real world, where you will have to start the stage again! and sometimes there are events that take some dive points from you, and only if you have enough dive points can you advance past these areas.
inside each level is a different story and you have to help whoever is in that level or finish the plot in that section to cause a “Paradigm Shift” to be able to gain access to the next stage. during your time in there, you will gain new song magic to use in battle and new costumes which can be worn by any of the Reyveteils to boost their defense, or change their Burst Variation. (i’ll explain about that in the “Battles” Section)
This section of the Dive Shop lets you play as Luca as she talks to the IPD infectees to try and cure them and make them available for song magic, each PD needs a certain item to be given to them before they can be cured, once you have the right item you can talk to them, they will say a sentence then you have two options, you have to pick the one that they would most like to hear to make the gauge move to the correct area, then they are healed and can be used to help sing Replika in battles. There are items you can get and liquids you can inject the IPD with to help with the healing process.
To use the infelsphere, Both Cloche and Luca have to lie down usig Soope as a pillow, when they do they are transported to the infelshpere, which is a world that exists inside both of them, in this world they will have to get to know each other, and once all 5 levels are complete they will finally be able to join together and sing Metafalica. The infelsphere plays im much the same way as the cosmosphere, but instead of Croix trying to get to know one of the girls, its Luca and Cloche learning about each other and advancing their stories.
the game has random encounters with enemies, but as you walk around,a meter on the left of the screen will flash to alret you of a battle, as it begins to glow faster and turn red that means a battle soon to happen, once in the battle you can set which song you want to use, then it goes into either an action formation or defense formation. in the attack form, you have to look at a grid in the corner. see the bottom right of the picture.
There are four sections of the grid, Harmonics, Care, Burstec and Psych. each one is a different direction on the D-Pad, you have to look at the blue outline on the grid and try to fill up each section, once its filled up you get more chance of upgrading your attack to level 2, then level 3, and if you sync hearts with the other fighting team mate you can use an EX attack, which is as strong as a full powered song magic attack.
After each round and if you have filled the requirements, the song you selected will move to the next evolution of the song, making it more powerful. each song usually has two different layers of magic, and each will have a different attack type, such as lightning, ground etc. which is more effective against certain enemies.
The Defense phase, sees you blocking enemy attacks by pressing the button that corresponds with the character being attacked at the right time, if you can time it well you can get a prefect, which will fill up your song meter quickly. This is just the basics to fighting, a lot more is taught to you through out the game. including some very powerful joint songs which are sung by both Cloche and Luca together. and Cloche also has her fan club to help when you enter the Replika mode.
Music plays a huge part in this game, instead of magic, you use songs to attack, and the main aim of the game is to sing a song of life. The songs are sung in a language that was invented for Ar Tonelico, called Hymnoss.
Here are some links to some songs:
Ar Tonelico 2 is set on the planet Ar Ciel, there was a disaster 700 years ago which made most of the world uninhabitable, the only areas left were floating lands around the three towers of Ar Tonelico, this game is set in the area called Metafalss which is the area underneath the second Ar Tonelico tower, the Tower of Frelia.
*From the instruction manual* The “Sea of Death” covers the planet and the vast sky around it.There was a tower amongst the clouds.On top of it, there was a flat, artificial land that people lived upon.It was a small world facing a crisis of structural collapse.
This land was created when Felia went up to the Sol Marta, Which is a Satellite in space which emits frequency waves preserve the world created inside Ar Ciel.
The land on which people live on is slowly collapsing so it is up to you and the Reyveteils to sing Metafalica and make a new and better world!
Some areas of Metafalss:
Once you complete the game you unlock some extras, including developers comments on the songs and costumes designed for the game which is very interesting to read, and you can also replay any of the scenes in the game, as well as read any of the encyclopedia articles, (which helped greatly in creating this post!)
I’ve been trying to avoid including my own opinions of the game so i don’t come across like im trying to review it, so i hope that from what you have read it has made you want to try the game yourself, there is a lot more to the story and characters than i have detailed here. It really is a very interesting world, and i hope the first game holds true to this! i’m going to start it soon! although, as i just finished the second game, i should have already finished it. lol. oh well. better late than never! oh, and once im done with that i’ll have to get a PS3 from somewhere to play the third game! 😛
I hope you enjoyed my overview of the game Ar Tonelico Melody of Metafalica. Theres a lot more i could discuss but this is most of the main points. Sorry if i missed anything important out.
Thanks for reading! 😀