Headscratchers: Tales of the Abyss
New entries on the bottom. Spoilers.
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Van and Asch
- Why does Van, after the reveal, constantly condescend and denigrate Luke and keeps asking for Asch to join him, when his entire plan revolves around replicas (Which Luke is) and to get rid of the originals (Which is Asch).
- Because Asch has a more powerful hyperresonance then Luke and once Van was done with Luke at Akzeriuth, he expected Luke to die because he had no further use for Luke.
Fon Slot Seal
- Why, in the beginning of the game, did Largo want to use the Fon Slot Seal on Ion? At first it just sounds like some vague nefarious plot to take the Fon Master out of commission, except that then it turns out that his abilities are very much what the villians need to advance their plot. Sure, they could probably just remove it once in a safe location, but would it really be worth spending the bigger part of the budget of a nation on that? Ion has no way to defend himself- anytime he uses his abilities he's so wiped out he's a sitting duck, and he would've most likely followed Largo anyway, given that he's part of the Order too. It... just doesn't make sense.
- Maybe that was a distraction so Jade would let his guard down?
- It doesn't really feel like a distraction, though. Largo didn't snuck up on him and use it, he used the Fon Slot Seal as bargaining chip- get hit by this, and Luke lives. More or less, anyway.
- OP here, I think a possible explanation would be that Largo was really acting on Asch's orders, or what he believed to be Van's orders but was really Asch trying to subvert Van's plan. The attack on the Tartarus was orchestrated by Van, though, so it's a flimsy excuse.
- Largo explicitly said to seal Ion's fonic artes. Maybe the core principle of general fonic artes and his need Daathic artes to open the doors were different enough that Ion could still use his Daathic artes but be unable to properly defend himself through normal fonic artes. That or after capturing Ion they intended to help him remove it so he could help them.
- How did Van get enough Seventh Fonons to create his replica army? Combined, the army had enough fonons to destroy the miasma, but the only way to amass that many Seventh Fonons is to kill a huge number of Seventh Fonists. It seems very unlikely that you can get more fonons out of a replica than you put in: not only would you then be able to get enough fonons by replicating, say, inanimate objects, but any random fonons floating around are going to stick to Lorelei, not the replica (getting the replica's own fonons to stay together is hard enough as it is). So in order for Van to get enough fonons to create the army, he'd have to go round up a huge number of Seventh Fonists and kill them all, which you'd think would have been mentioned.
- He used his Beard Of Power.
- He harnessed the power of the Planet Storm, which creates seventh fonons, or did you miss that?
- If the Planet Storm provided enough Seventh Fonons to destroy the miasma, the party should have been able to use it to do that.
- But Van's use of the Planet Storm was causing the entire world to churn and collapse.
- It's implied that combined with Loreli's imprisonment, the rapid rate of replication between both Hod and the Replicas which resulted in the equivalent of a global low-pressure zone of seventh fonons kicked the Planet Storm into overdrive to compensate for the rate of consumption. As well, fomicry is not an instantaneous arte, so the seventh fonons had a month with which to be gathered and used to make replicas, which wouldn't have been feasible to store (nor did they have a month to wait before dealing with the miasma) in order to use for erasing it.
Sideline Party Members
- When all four of your party members fall in battle, you lose. Fair enough since if they're all dead, they can't revive each other. But er...what about the two standing on the sidelines who repeatedly receive Hand Waves as to why they're not fighting?
- The other guys are just lazy.
- This is more related to the programming and hardware than the story. Tales of is a real-time battle game, right? Well it can be chaotic enough with only four party members and however many enemies there are on the field. Now add two more characters and you have all the casters casting and throwing lightshows around, melees meleeing with their own lightshows and special effects, monsters doing their own, enemy casters casting and a partridge in a pear tree...it'd be quite chaotic and potentially lag the hardware. (I'm sure they tried that.) Not to mention the UI needs a bit of room to give to the screen, and in some games with eight party members it'd be even messier. (Tales of Symphonia, anyone?) The sequel would also get even worse for the final dungeon.
- Also, it's sort of justified in-game, as in the point where you have to guide civilians through a war, if you get in to a battle, after you get to the end point, they say something along the lines of "we received some civilian casualties" even if you only got into one battle. This implies that even if you only have 4 people in battle, the other 1-2 are also fighting, but off-screen, and apparently don't take any damage.
- And there's also the fact that you can only identify a few people as "friends", and anyone else in range of your fonic artes will take damage from them. Perhaps you can only set 3 friends? It would explain the party size limit.
- I think it's explained that they're on guard or something elsewhere, like looking for an escape route.
- Fomicry plays a huge role in the plot, yet nothing about it is ever actually explained outside of "it's like cloning." What exactly does replica data consist of, and how do you extract it? Do you extract it differently for living and nonliving things? What is it about the 7th fonon that makes living replicas more psychologically stable? How are replicas made? Is taking replica data painless? Does it have adverse effects on the original all the time, or just for select individuals (like a vaccination, or a medication allergy)? There are fomicry machines in Choral Castle and Ortion Cavern, but late in the game Sync is able to run around collecting replica data from random people claiming it's Score readings, and nobody finds it suspicious, implying that you don't need the giant machines to take the data (because I think the people of Auldrant would be smart enough to realize that if somebody needs to hook you up to huge machine to read your Score, something's up)...
- A fonist did it. Seriously, though, I assume its painless to have your data taken- its the production of a copy that drains your 7th fonons. As for why 7th fonons are important, I assume they're the limiting factor- the other six can be obtained from the ambient environment, but the 7th are limited enough in supply that it partially drains the original. As for the equipment, I think either that stuff was for early stage research, and they improved things, or it was for replica production and data collection doesn't require very much.
- That's a lot of assumptions. Also, seventh fonons clearly aren't the limiting factor: Nebilim's replica explicitly stated she was missing first and sixth fonons, which suggests that the limiting factor is the fonons the replica's creator is proficient in using. Jade learns only one light spell and no dark spells in the course of the game, and was much younger when he made that replica, so presumably his skill was much less at the time. Using only seventh fonons might well counteract that imbalance by simply making it irrelevant. Since no one in the second half of the game seems to recognize when their replica data is taken, it is probably safe to assume that it's painless, and can be done with a small scanner or even by a fonist on their own. It doesn't drain seventh fonons from the original to create the replica, though - having the fonons operating at the same frequency creates interference that links the replica with the original. Sometimes, that interference has side effects that aren't entirely well understood by anyone in the game, with the possible exception of Dist and/or Jade. Any further speculation would get into wave/particle dynamics discussions better suited for someone who remembers more of their quantum physics lessons.
- The term the game uses is 'replica data.' Seventh fonons contain memory particles (remember that Lorelei's memory is the Planet's Memory) that provide the blueprint used for replication. Think of replica data as a DNA sample. As for why it weakens them, the seventh fonon is the fonon used for healing. Not only it is essentialy draining the victim's life force (lowering their max HP?), body memory/the memory the body's seventh fonons contain of how the body should be is probably what healing artes use to tell what shape to put the body back into (in the same way our DNA does). In other words, extracting replica data is the equivalent of damaging someone's DNA. Not only are they far more vulnerable to things like the miasma, but the ones that just drop dead may have died of cancer or the Auldrantine equivalent. In any case, a replication machine creates replicas by gathering a whole bunch of seventh fonons and configuring them (or having them configure themselves) according to the blueprint provided by replica data. Growing a plant from a cutting is a good metaphor. Worse to come. The seventh fonon is also the fonon of spacetime: the Score isn't Lorelei's prediction of the future, it's Lorelei's memory of what is happening/has already happened from its perspective. Distance also seems to be immaterial to it, as the plot shows via Luke and Tear's teleportation (it also plays a role in gameplay via wing bottles.) To an original's personal memory fonons (if they're a seventh fonist who has them), a replica's body is for all intents and purposes a part of their own body and if their main body dies, they'll just download themselves into the backup.
- This leads to Fridge Horror when the party encounters a replica who says nothing but the words his original said before his data was extracted. The only reason those memories would exist in that body is if the Big Bang effect has already happened since the replica was created before the man died and the combination of his death, who was responsible for doing this to him and taking over the body of an infant and effectively eating its soul drove the original mad.
- The seventh fonon does not make replicas more psychologically stable. Nebilim wasn't a normal replica, she was created by Jade trying to reconfigure the fonons from Nebilim's actual dead body into a body that was a living one, thus preserving her memories since it would practically be the same brain - that was the only Jade had to try to transfer memories, due to not being a seventh fonist. The reasons that replica is insane are likely that Jade couldn't use the first or sixth fonon, meaning those fonons weren't where they should be in the new body or the rebuilt brain and there's also a belief that the souls of seventh fonists go to the Fon Belt when they die, making that replica a brain-damaged, soulless copy of Professor Nebilim, who was a seventh fonist. No wonder it is both insane and completely amoral. The relative psychological stability probably isn't because modern replicas are created with the seventh fonon so much as because the seventh fonon allows for more accurate replication and less brain damaged products. Nebilim is the Psycho Prototype, remember.
- That's why Jade is so angry/upset when Dist tries to comfort him by saying that Luke's memories will remain in what will now be Asch's head after the Big Bang takes place: the fact Nebilim contained Professor Nebilim's memories not only did not make it Professor Nebilim, but Dist's attempt to make him feel better just makes what happened to Nebilim and what is going to happen to Luke even more similar - a person that Jade, by now, both like and looks up to as an example being replaced by a Jerkass with the nice one's memories.
- Arietta: for one thing, when you reach a certain age (3 or 5, I can't remember), you generally become unable to learn how to speak, so she should never have been able to talk, and considering her life with the ligers, she shouldn't be able to walk upright, and I just can't picture a human being able to learn "animal languages", if such a thing exists. Not to mention that ligers are carnivores, an all-meat diet can't be that good for sixteen years. And besides, in real life, wolves would generally eat defenseless infants, so the liger queen should've devoured Arietta as a snack.
- First off, ligers aren't wolves, so no real life comparisons. Second, last I checked the original Ion found a few years before the game began, so she should have been able to learn to walk and maybe speak, especially in a fantasy world. As for the all-meat diet, it's not like she couldn't have just gotten some fruit or something. Finally, an "animal language" may not exist IRL, but it sure as hell does in Tales of the Abyss.
- Arietta is 16, and most likely at least a little older than Tear. A few years before the game would have been 11 at the youngest. Fortunately, Arietta did learn to talk, she just speaks Lyger and other animal languages (the same way the Sorcerer's Ring allows Mieu to speak to the Lyger Queen). So it was more like an English-speaker acquiring a second language, or a polyglot doing so, instead of her having to learn the entire concept of language.
- They're still carnivorous monsters. I also doubt that ligers would know that humans need vegatables, grains, milks, and fruits for their diets.
- They may have not known that, but Arietta probably could. Remember, she wasn't abandoned in a forest as a baby or something. The Liger Queen took her in for whatever reason after Arietta's parents were killed in that tidal wave. That's why Arietta considers it a mother. And even if she didn't, we can assume by the very fact that there's a language that Ligers are intelligent. So it's possible that the Liger Queen knows what humans eat. Other then that, since the Cheagles were stealing all kinds of food to feed the Ligers, it's likely that Ligers are omnivorous.
- They could be like dogs in that they'll eat anything even if they don't need to. Also, since Arietta was with them as a baby, she would have no knowledge about what humans eat, since she'd consider herself a liger.
- Again, the Liger Queen, at least, was intelligent. Its very possible that she knew what humans were, and maybe had a somewhat awkward little chat with Arietta when she started wondering why her fur was growing in a weird mane.
- I admittingly haven't played in a while, but I'm pretty sure Arietta spent the first few years of her life with her parents, before the tidal wave hit and she was adopted by the Liger Queen. And even if she didn't have that much knowledge, the original Ion probably taught her.
- The Hod War was 16 years before the game began. And Arietta is 16, so she'd be an infant.
- Huh. Well shoot. Chalk it up to Acceptable Breaks from Reality then.
- Come to think of it, maybe they used Arietta as a practice run for the memory/skill implanter that lets newborn replicas speak and fight.
- Luke was physically seven years old by the time he had to learn to talk, walk and fight at the world-class level, and he explicitly had to be taught from scratch. I'm guessing that that is one aspect of child development that's not the same in Aldurant.
- But Asch could walk and talk when he was replicated, so the relevent portions of the brain were present in Luke when he was created.
- While the note about language development is accurate, it's perfectly possible to learn a second language fluently once you've learned a first and activated that part of the brain's development. Arietta simply speaks the monster language as her first, and the human tongue as her second.
- Sync: Yes, he's a replica of Ion, but why make him a God-General, which Arietta is also a part of? He could easily reveal the whole Ion is dead and has gotten replaced fiasco to her, and since Ion's death drives her crazy as we see later, I'm surprised Van actually let the whole thing go like that. Even if Sync was instructed never to reveal it, it doesn't change the fact that Sync is still physically like the original Ion in voice, body structure, and hair colour, and that Sync would be more than eager to be dead, if his attitude later in Eldrant is any indication. I'm also surprised that Arietta didn't catch on to this, but considering that being raised by monsters is a big limit on intelligence, that's probably what the game uses as an excuse not to call this out.
- He wears a mask and very few people are skilled enough to knock it off. Van lets Asch wander around without even that much, even though the revelation of his identity would completely ruin all his plans, at least partially because he values his skills and practically unique abilities so very much, and Sync is similarly awesome. Besides, Sync doesn't really seem to be the social type, so its unlikely that he's ever really around Arietta (or anyone else) when they're not being occupied by a mission. Besides, Ion's personality and fragility is directly the opposite of Sync's behavior and stats, so even if she notices a similarity, there's really no real reason to guess who he is... especially since she thinks that the Ion she was protecting is still alive and active.
- There's still his voice and other physical similarities. After all, some voices can be recognized even if the person uses a different style of speaking. As for Asch, yeah, that was pretty reckless of Van, seeing as how Jade caught on the whole replica issue immediately (now if only he just spat it out, seeing how much Luke fits the definition of an Idiot Hero to a T).
- Well, in all fairness to Van, Jade is probably the last person on earth that Van would allow near either Asch or Luke (who he had ensured would be locked away for his entire life), considering that he had created the Replica process in the first place. Vocally, Ion (who would probably be the second to last person Van'd ever want to meet Luke) and Sync use completely different tones of speaking (and Sync doesn't really seem to be the talkative sort, outside of battle), even if they've got similar pitch. Similarly, I doubt that the body of a master martial artist is going to resemble that of the very delicate Ion very much, even discounting the latter's rather figure hiding form of dress. Sure, there are some similarities, but not too much more than there are between, say, Natalia and Noelle. If anything, that might have made her feel somewhat better about her new job, though that was never even suggested. I just hope that she didn't somehow pick up a animalistic sense of smell, because then she's just an idiot for not noticing.
- Even if she did, people's smells change over time. Mainly by their environment. So I heavily doubt they smelled anything alike.
- Does anyone even realize how much of the plotline the opening video spoils? You get hints at fighting Van and Asch (whose face you see a lot earlier than you do in the game), and you even get a really subtle, vague hint at Ion's death, among other things. And this goes for a lot of other opening videos for Tales games, as well.
- We have a trope for that.
- Why do we never get to hear Van sing? Tear comments on how he has an amazing voice, and we get to see him play the organ, but since the fonic hymns and Van's use of them are such a huge plot point, why do we never actually get to hear him sing them?
- Luke's hypersensitive to the hymns. He hears Tear sing the First Fonic Hymn when she's on the other side of the manor and his first hyperresonance occurs shortly after that. It's almost like the hymns make it easier for Lorelei to find Luke and communicate more freely with him, and Van really doesn't want that.
- Van actually does sing, but he's about as bad as Rick Astley so he's probably got enough sense not to do that because, after all, nobody deserves to hear singing as bad as that! Plus it's probably harder to have a man's singing voice that wouldn't get americans saying "it sounds like a girl's voice" or "it sounds fruity."
- When do we hear Van sing? I honestly don't recall that every happening.
- It's not really singing, Van is basically just saying the lyrics of...one of the fonic hymns (can't remember which)...without giving them a melody.
- Van does use Judgement during the final battle, but he doesn't sing it.
Luke and Ion
- Why is Luke immediately nice with Ion? While at first he is a jerk with everyone, he seems to show genuine caring for Ion most of the time (even considering Ion is one of the few to be nice to Luke, he isn't the only one).
- Because Luke is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Ho Yay?
- Luke was a jerk to Ion. But due to the fact that Ion is always respectful to him and Ion's frailty/Distressed Damsel status combined with Luke's overwhelming desire to save people, he ended up being Tsundere to Ion. It probably helped that Ion was introduced by saving him from being arrested then showed off a very powerful fonic art when they saw him next. Still, Luke managed to really piss off the entire party when he wanted to abandon Ion after he got kidnapped during Luke's Ambassadorial mission to Akzeriuth.
- Just how nice Luke is to Ion from the beginning is used during the Ortion Caverns plotline to show the difference between Luke and Asch (and Anise). Luke is willing to let Ion come with him through Cheagle Woods (instead of using the excuse to get rid of Tear by sending her back with him) because Ion wants to come (since it's part of his job), and Luke tells Ion that he won't be a burden and shouldn't think of himself that way. No wonder Ion thinks this is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to him even if Luke was Raised by Wolves and doesn't put it in nice-sounding langauge. By contrast, when Ion asks to join the party in Ortion Cavern (since this is stuff he needs to know too) Asch says that he can't because he'd be a useless burden and orders him to Stay in the Kitchen (or the Tartarus). For extra wall banger points, Anise mistakes this incredibly insulting and inconsiderate act on Asch's part for Asch being nice, cementing Anise's status as a Horrible Judge of Character who is worthless when it comes to protection Ion and his interests.
- People often forget the reason that Luke was in such a hurry on the way to Akzeriuth: People were dying and Van had told Luke to hurry there so that he could save them. Luke knows that the god-generals aren't actually going to kill Ion: they haven't before, they need him and Arietta would kill them (as far as he knows). Thousands of people dying of poison in Akzeriuth vs. one person who will be perfectly safe waiting slightly longer for Luke and Van to come rescue him. Do the math. Not to mention that Ion was sickly anyway, and breathing in Akzerith's miasma not only couldn't have been good for him, the trip was tiring him out and slowing the rest of them down as innocent people in Akzeruith died.
- Not to mention that it was pretty much entirely Ion's own fault that he got captured this time. It makes a lot more sense when you find out his real age, but at the time it must have been completely infuriating to find out that the guy you just rescued from his own people, and who you know had to be rescued even before that, had just wandered off with some random soldier without telling anyone about it.
- Also worth noting that there's a difference between Luke being a Jerkass and Luke being a spoiled, self-centered brat. He's a brat back in the manor, but he's friendly to both Guy and Van and while he's whiny to his parents, he's not outwardly cruel. But then he gets hypperresonance'd away from his manor, and he turns into an actual Jerkass which makes sense considering who he's with at the time. Tear he'd be mean to because she tried to kill his beloved Master Van and then kidnapped him. Of course he'd be displeased. Anise he hardly talks to until after he meets Ion, and he's mean to her because she helps Jade kidnap him...again. Jade, of course, is Jade. Jade is almost as much of a jerk as Luke is, we just forget about it because he's a) much more hilarious, b) much more dignified, and c) much more awesome. Luke's mean to the townspeople in Engeve but only after they accuse him of stealing. Oh, and there's Mieu, but since Luke literally has the mind of a seven-year-old and Mieu Tastes Like Diabetes, it kind of makes sense he'd have no respect for the creature at all. Once Guy comes back into the party Luke's still pretty nice to him, or as nice as Luke can be. He's a literal Adult Child in enemy territory, out of his manor for the first time ever, and he's surrounded by kidnappers, snarkers, and accusations. Doesn't it make sense that sweet, respectful Ion would be the only one to get a pass from Luke?
- I always understood Luke's dislike for Mieu, aside from that voice, being because Mieu's actions are what caused all the troubles for the Cheagles and the Ligers to begin with. If not for Mieu, Luke would not have had to kill the Liger Queen, with whom he wholeheartedly sympathized with. Recognized again after the destruction of Akzeriuth, when the party admonishes and walks away from Luke. Mieu tries to comfort Luke by telling him they've done the same thing and so he understands. Luke gets very agitated and begins crying. ~Thundaknawckle
Geography of the floating continents
- When you get down to brass tacks, they have a planet where they took the crust and lifted it a few thousand feet above the mantle... and managed to have a complete perfect sphere, despite the increase in volume meaning that the total area of the sphere should have increased as well. Then, when they lower the floating lands back down, not only does the total area not decrease with the lower volume as it should, but it actually increases as Yulia City and that one island are added! What the smeg?
- Writers Cannot Do Math?
- This, basically. While one could theoretically argue that the oceans may have been spread out on the upper world and deeper in the lower world once the Miasma was taken away, the map seems to be the same size. Still, this is a world where the North and South Poles are within eyeshot of one another, so maybe this also goes into Law of Cartographical Elegance.
- The Outer Lands lost Akzeriuth and Hod.
- I was under the impression the Outer Lands Map was just scaled to the inner area. Like, the continents are farther apart on the Outer Lands, but are proportionately apart inside the Qliphoth. That... still doesn't explain the North and South poles, though, which just made me laugh. I think that was an error in the game, but it would be hard to map it on a flat map.
- It makes even less sense when you realise more rivers and streams were added because the ground broke. Most notably, there's now a river running directly in front of St. Binah, meaning the continents should be closer, but I was also under the impression the distances were scaled. Plus, I think sections of land that were unused were erased in some areas, because the scenes showing the land being lowered, they show the land breaking apart. What irks me about the map, though? We use the Eighth Sephiroth to get in and out of the Outer Lands >they specifically say we use the Sephiroth's power to get in and out here). The one that's been extinct for 16 years. We should be actually using the Fifth, Akzeriuth.
Natalia and Luke
- Natalia is just as much at fault for not telling the group about Luke's plans with Van as Luke, if you go with the whole "the group hates Luke because he didn't say he had plans with Van angle.. Natalia ones through stating that she had virtually nothing to do with it (such as when Mohs took them to the palace to re-start the Kimlasca-Malkuth war), yet she also knew what was being planned. She didn't say anything because she was being selfish and using it as blackmail. Yet nobody blames her for anything that goes wrong. The only time anyone ever gets mad at Natalia is at the end, when she nearly gets them killed by Sync after Asch dies, and the only one who does anything is Jade. Why does Natalia get excused from everything so easily? Its not just from her being the princess. She mainly goes treated as a regular person.
- IIRC, the party didn't know that Natalia knew anything about Luke's plans, so how could they blame her? As for Sync, it gets worse. While I disagree with Jade hitting her, I certainly understood why he was harsh with her. The problem is that she clearly learned nothing from it as evidenced by the skit after Sync's defeat. Natalia gets excused from everything because she's an idealist type who gets things done, so to many people, she can do no wrong.
- Purity Sue anyone?
- I think what the OP was getting at, is the party gets angry at Luke for not saying anything about what happened, including Natalia, who could have said something. Natalia also puts the blame wholly on Luke for the detour in the Dark Wings Badge sidequest, when she was insistent on chasing Asch as well, and she is definitely never called on it then. Natalia never takes blame for those events. Regarding Akzeriuth, Jade, Ion, Guy, Tear, and Asch all take partial blame for what happened, but Natalia ignores that she could have confided in someone, but she didn't, simply because it "went against her honour" or whatever it was, and it would cost her blackmail information that got her in the party in the first place. Hell, it could have been a hypothetical question- 'Can a hyperresonance neutralise the miasma?' and when asked why she's asking this, state that she was told as a child Luke could make a hyperresonanse on his own. Asking someone like Jade would have been an intelligent thing to do. In fact, she could have said something when Jade comments Luke could have spoken up. The point they were making, I think, was that Natalia never acknowledges she knew what the plan was and could have spoken up earlier.
- Guys, I think you are all forgetting that Natalia DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT VAN'S PLAN. The only part she overheard (and that she used to blackmail Luke) was that Luke was going to runaway with Van after the situation in Akzeriuth was resolved. She missed the rest of the conversation, since she wasn't trying to spy on Luke.
Lorelei's fonon frequency
- Is it ever explained why Asch was born with Lorelei's fonon frequency, other than Because Destiny Says So? The score is simply a record of the planet's memory, right, ie. things don't happen because they're in the score, they're in the score because they're going to happen (though people's reliance on it turning it into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is a separate issue)? Therefore, the fact that the score predicted Asch's status doesn't change the fact that it is impossible (since isofons don't occur naturally). Is it because he's an isofon of Lorelei specifically, and therefore in a sense a semi-divine being, so the regular rules don't necessarily apply to him?
- You're right about the score, but isofons do occure naturally, it's just that no one has the exact same one. Until Asch and Luke came around, everyone thought it was impossible for two or more people to have the same isofonic signature, but everyone did have one. This is the main reason that creating a replica is such a problem. When the data is collected from the original, most of the time, it causes the signature to mutate just enough to be deadly to the original while still useable for the replica. So, when the boys came around, they were supposedly the representation of something previously thought to be impossible. Does that make sense?
- Why did the party just basically forget that Anise was a spy for Mohs, resulting in many deaths, including Ion's but when Luke destroyed Akzeriuth he was worth less than dirt to them. Except Tear and Mieu. It's a bit hypocritical, especially since Anise is technically older than Luke is. It's seriously a double standard.
- Simple: Luke was doing it all for his own selfish ends and following Van blindly, and being a giant jerkass for the first 24 hours or so of gameplay. All Luke cared about was himself and Van, then he flat-out refused to take any blame for it, then went unconscious, and returned to them. For all they knew, it was a ploy (though really, Luke is far, far too stupid for that). They had every right to have a disdain for Luke- you don't just instantly like or trust someone who's been selfish and rude to you who starts being nice, do you? Luke had a choice, but for his own selfish reasons, he never said anything. As far as they could see, he didn't care at all about the people of Akzeriuth, and cared only about seeing Van. It was all he spoke of, and he made several comments about "wasting time" in regards to Ion on the way. What Luke did was completely careless and a direct result of him being selfish, careless, and a mindless, opinionless drone of Van's. It didn't matter if Van was acting odd or not, Luke idolized him, and would do whatever Van told him. If he told him to jump off a cliff, he'd go "Yes, Master!" and do so. From the start, Anise was in the same boat as Jade- playful, childish, occasionally a jerk but for comedic reasons. Neither Jade nor Anise had any intention of getting truly attached to the group. Anise was a gold-digger, but it was treated in the same way that people treat kids who have one-in-a-million-shot dreams. Anise did what she did for her parents and because she literally had no choice. You forget Anise has been in this position since she was really little. I think she was scared to say anything, because it's likely if they showed up to save her parents, Mohs would have them killed, and they were probably on guard most of the time if Mohs was out of Daath. Possibly, their locale kept changing, AND they'd probably say something to Mohs anyway, like Pamela did when she told Arietta that Anise was in town. Anise probably never saw a way out, and possibly didn't want to burden her friends, viewing the problem as her own. She might have been afraid they, her friends (though she never planned to be friends with them, like Jade), would be killed if they tried to rescue her parents. And you may have noticed, Anise didn't WANT them to trust her, and tested how they would treat traitors. Anise was constantly hardest on traitors. She was vicious in regards to Luke, her distrust and dislike of him surpassed Jade's, called everyone else idiots for trusting Spinoza, and was the more ruthless of the group when Guy was revealed to have originally been on Van's side. She was the harshest in regards to Van as well. Anise also gave them a means to find her and hopefully save Ion. She also took the blame for what happened entirely on herself. Anise intentionally acted suspicious to alert the others that something was up, because she wasn't acting at all outright strange until they went to Mt. Zaleho. You'll note that Jade was one of the fastest ones to accept what Anise did, despite his dislike, even outright hatred, of Luke after Akzeriuth. I think the party recognised what Anise was doing, why she was a gold digger, why she was so hard on traitors, why she was acting so odd after Mt. Zaleho, and why Anise acted so cheerful. Jade lampshades that Anise hides her real feelings in several skits, and Anise is horrified when she acts her feelings.
- A spy, a traitor, one who handed over someone precious and influential to the enemy? Someone who was trusted and cared for by the party, who blatantly disliked traitors and asked why everyone trusted someone who betrayed them once before? Thinks they're all stupid for being so trusting? Someone who is outwardly fun, smiling, confident, and flirty? A character who gets along with everyone they meet? Someone who never lets their true feelings show, who hides behind masks? Someone who goes off and secretly makes contact with the enemy? Who has been lying all along? Who acts suspicious before betraying the group? Now, answer this: am I talking about Anise, or am I talking about Zelos? Yeah. I thought so. The latter and the OTHER traitor from that game were totally forgiven by the fans, but not Anise? Double standards much?
- That's all well and good, but let's not mince words here: Anise is treated like dirt because she's a girl. Girls are treated badly by fandoms because Het Is Ew and Ho Yay is the best and a lot of people who voice their hatred of her seem to be girls. If [[spoiler: Anise was a boy, of if Guy was the one with this subplot, there would be no butthurt in the fandom about this]]. But the people who slam Anise forget that she is still a soldier, and Jade and Tear both show that soldiers are trained to tune out their personal problems. They also forget that Anise is still really a child. She sees Tear belitting Luke constantly for his complaints, long after he reforms. That does send a bit of a message that says "don't talk about your problems". The rest of the party can come off as unapproachable, particularly Jade. Plus, for what it's worth, when would she be able to say anything? They're constantly running around saving Ion, trying to stop the war, lowering the land, and generally saving the world and whatnot, there wasn't really an appropriate time for her to say anything. Also, I know I noted this when I originally replied to this topic, but Anise is the roughest on traitors or potential traitors. She took the longest to forgive Luke, and was the first to voice doubts about Guy when he confessed to originally working with the Big Bad. Anise was also easily the hardest on Spinoza and stated flat-out that they shouldn't trust him and are foolish for doing so. She actively tries to make sure she has a punishment by trying to get the party to be as hard on traitors as she is, but they're not taking the hint. Also, considering the fact that they didn't really start dropping hints until almost halfway through the game, it makes me wonder just how long she'd actually been spying for Mohs. She's a dreadful liar and she only makes up an excuse to send off a letter once. I think the Party forgave Anise because A) she's still a kid. B) they need her abilities. C) losing Ion was absolutely crushing for her since she was in love with him. D) they gave Luke a second chance and he completely reformed. E) Anise is one of the very, very, very few people in Auldrant who agrees with their plans. F) Anise was genuinely, deeply sorry. G) They're already pretty forgiving anyway since they just forgave Guy for working with Van secretly and planning to murder Luke and Spinoza, who's betrayal was just as bad as hers because while Anise was inadvertently responsible for Ion's death, Spinoza is directly responsible for the deaths of Sync, Iemon, Cathy, and Tamara as well as countless others in Sheridan. He also put the whole entire world in danger by tattling to Van. There are probably a lot more reasons that contributed to her being forgiven like that.
- Except Zelos didn't end up getting Colette killed. Not to mention the character had HONORABLE reasons for doing what they did. And immediately made up for it. Anise never makes up for it.
- Jade actually gives an answer to this if you do the Fonic Sight sidequest. He says, to Luke, "I didn't scold you because you destroyed Akzeriuth. I scolded you for doing nothing but making excuses, showing no sign of wanting to improve or to think." Arguably this could be why they forgave Anise: she didn't make excuses, she blamed nobody but herself, and she immediately wanted to improve from there. You can't really compare Akzeriuth to Anise's situation.
- Luke knowingly destroyed one of the largest cities in the world, murdering thousands of people, all because a man that anyone with half a brain would realize is shifty told him to, then has the nerve to whine and bitch when called on his bullshit. Anise was forced at gunpoint (metaphorically, at least) to lead the party into a trap, indirectly leading to the deaths of a grand total of two people, one of which was A) a villain, and B) a known collaborator in Van's genocidal plot. Doesn't exactly compare.
- One thing people forget is that Luke did not, in fact, intend to destroy Akzeriuth, and only was following the words of someone who has been good to him and he trusted for as long as he could remember, and had no reason not to take him up on his word until that point. Sure, Van was using him the entire time, but how would Luke know that? In fact, even the audience doesn't have any reason to doubt Van about anything until Akzeriuth happened. In short, Luke was an innocent dupe. On the other hand, Anise was lying and knowingly screwing the party and even Ion over and over again throughout the game, and even contributed to bringing about many of the disasters in the plot, including Akzeriuth. It does compare, in fact in a lot of ways it's much worse, at least Luke owns up to what he did even if it wasn't really his fault, Anise on the other hand was not only deliberately causing harm, but all but completely unapologetic about it. It doesn't help that any justification she could have possibly had for what she did goes out the window thanks to the fact that Anise's parents could have been saved pretty much at any time either.
- "In fact, even the audience doesn't have any reason to doubt Van about anything until Akzeriuth happened."
- Because clearly Tear was the sort of person who just randomly decides her brother needs killing.
- It's a complete coincidence that Van's most powerful subordinates are constantly getting in the way.
- Speaking of coincidences, Luke's twin who also fights using the exact same style Van trained Luke in that somehow Van has never talked about.
- Who hangs with the aforementioned subordinates.
- Plus the way Van subtly plays on Luke's desires for validation and freedom to sell him on the plan.
- How can Dist fly? Furthermore, why is everyone sooo impressed with the concept Flightstones in Sheridan, despite seeing Dist not ten seconds prior? Nobody believes humans can really fly, but then there's Dist, who can fly. Who flies everywhere, including overseas.
- Why did Yulia hide the Seventh Fonstone, when it shows the imminent destruction of the world she loved so much? The end of the Sixth Fonstone promised prosperity to Auldrant. Well, Kimlasca, anyway. The Sixth Fonstone was pretty clear that Malkuth got the short end of the stick there, since the Score was pretty clear that Malkuth would lose the war and His Imperial Majesty would die. If that's all they know of it, people are bound to follow it, right? Eternal, ever-lasting, "unprecedented" prosperity sounds fantastic, right? So people would follow it to bring future generations to that prosperity. If you really wanted the world to avert the Score you wrote down because you love the world so much, why would you hide the thing that says the world will end in death and disease with the miasma consuming the planet? For that matter, why would you even write it down? Would that almost make this an Idiot Plot? And Yulia's not the only idiot here, why in the name of Lorelei would you follow something like that, if there's a whole entire section at the end completely missing? It'd be like an inexperienced baker trying to bake a cake where the instructions don't say how long to bake it for. They can follow the recipe to the letter, but what will they do when it comes time to bake the cake? Will they get lucky, or will disaster happen? Who knows?
- I can't answer why Yulia hid the last fonstone or wrote the Score down in the first place, but as for why people followed it anyway despite the ending being missing, you can probably chalk that up to good old fashioned religious zealotry. People have gotten fanatical followers over much less impressive things than accurately predicting the future.
- I do not recall, was it really mentioned that Yulia was the one to hide the Score? Or that she was the one who wrote it down. Actually, wasn't it said that she read the Score, but someone else wrote it down? But if she did, perhaps she hid the seventh one to protect the people of the horror that will befall them. A misguided attempt at protecting someone, when telling them would likely have helped make them go after the decision 'Should we follow this? Can this Score be averted?' instead of blindly following it.
- It's stated outright that performing fomicry on living things is illegal, which implies that replicating inorganic, inanimate objects is fine. Whouldn't this have some effect on the economy? There's an entire city run by a group of merchants for the purposes of importing things between Kimlasca and Malkuth, and is apparently extremely successful, but how are they still in business when someone could create an unlimited supply of any item just from acquiring one? And why was there so much contention over the mines at Akzeriuth if each country could just take a sample of the minerals and generate as much as they needed from it? The only answer I can think of is that fomicry is prohibitively expensive and uses a lot of seventh fonons, but its shown that replicating inorganic matter is a much simpler process (Like with the doll. Jade could do it with an arte, making it free and possible even without the use of seventh fonons)
- Two possible answers for this. One - the obvious - is that fomicry is altogether illegal, on living things or non-living things. When Jade rampages at the villains because they use fomicry, I don't think he specifies it's only illegal to replicate living creatures. I think he just calls it 'forbidden'. The other explanation, which makes a bit more sense, is that fomicry is simply not well-understood enough to be widely practiced. First of all, it's only been around since Jade was young, so less than thirty years. In that time, it was invented and then either partially or fully outlawed by its own creator because it was so dangerous. If it was outlawed so quickly, it's likely that nobody - besides the few researchers who recognize Jade as the father of fomicry - even knows how to use it. During the game, it's still in development, as the conversations about the Big Bang and whatnot all seem very theoretical, as does the conversation about regular replication and isofons near the beginning of the game (this is even before Akzeriuth, I think, it's in a conversation on a boat somewhere). It's not likely a new technology that was briefly invented and then partially hidden would suddenly spring into widespread economic use. As for the fact that Jade could replicate objects with an arte, this is true, but it's worth remembering that Jade is like the most intelligent person in Auldrant's history or something, and a prodigy with fonic artes. Most people can't even use regular fonic artes with the precision and ease that Jade does, and I'm assuming replication takes a bit more control than even that. In fact, the fact that Jade invented it probably speaks to its complexity. In the two thousand years or so that people have been manipulating the Seventh Fonon - since Professor Southern-Cross at the very earliest - nobody was able to develop replicas, living or otherwise, until Jade came along. Even after he put the pieces together it's unlikely your average Chesedonia merchant would be able to do it, especially when Jade is so reluctant to spread the secrets of fomicry.
Dangerous at night
- This is literally the stupidest gripe ever, but why, in the ending, does Jade say "we should leave soon. The valley is dangerous at night?" Uh, if he means Tataroo Valley, no it isn't. Luke and Tear got through it on level one no problem...yeah, yeah, Gameplay and Story Segregation, but Jade. Seriously. You could literally - literally - look at the enemies here and they would explode and die instantly. I think he probably just couldn't handle feelings and wanted to run away but he should have come up with a slightly better excuse.
- With the change in the environment by the land dropping, it's plausible that more difficult-to-deal-with monsters moved into the Valley over time. It's also been a good passage of time since moss has grown on Eldrant's remains (despite nobody looking any older). In fact, Natalia alludes to Luke's coming-of-age ceremony, which might be a clue to how long it's been. If she means Luke, and not Asch, then it's been about 11 whole years, since you come of age at 18 on Eldrant. 11 years for monsters to grow and move into and around Tataroo Valley, since the other side of the creek sported harder monsters to deal with. It's likely at least part of it was the emotional impact. After all, they last saw Luke when the sun was setting, ie heading into night time. Feelings themselves are dangerous. He probably means Tear's feelings on that front, and might feel genuine concern that in the past who-knows-how-much time since Tear lost both of the people she loved most in the world that she'd give up and just let the monsters destroy her, no matter how low-levelled they are. If you look at her in that scene, she's not acting like her usual tough self, and the camera doesn't show her eyes much. She's very sad and vacant, and her movements are rather lethargic until the very end, when she starts to run towards Mr Ending over there.
The Score (And Its Flexbility)
- Something that always bugged this troper is the fact that the story revolves around The Score of the world and it also includes how the world will eventually die, so Van is trying to Screw Destiny by deviating from the foretold Score and prevent this end from happening. Fair enough, we have hints off and on about what the Score says ('Luke' goes to the miner's city and dies there, a war will later break out between Kimlasca and Malkuth and the eventual fall of Malkuth, with the later fall of Kimlasca and humanity dying out) and we even have moments of the game pointing out to us how they are deviating from the Score.
'Luke' surviving the events in Akzeriuth, because he's a replica that was not foretold in the Score, which resulted in delaying the war apparently and halting the imminent prosperity that Kimlasca would obtain, after winning said war. And Kimlasca (and Daath, to an extent) is willing to kill Luke, to get back to the Score and continuing to follow it. Also, the whole part of the Outerlands beginning to fall and continuing on in the Qliphoth.
Things start to get muddy as you proceed in the game. Ion reads the Planet Score in the volcano, which tells of 'Luke' using a forbidden technique to cleanse the world of the miasma that is plaguing them currently. And the forbidden technique requires 10.000 lives of replicae, though this is done in the story and not actually mentioned to be part of it in the Score itself. (And even the game lampshades that the Tower of Rem is situated practically where Akzeriuth, the miner's city, was originally located, so Luke would still be doing something in the correct location that would kill him...)
So, Luke cleanses the world of the miasma and then the kicker comes at the end. After defeating Van and setting Lorelei free, Lorelei thanks Luke for preventing the foretold end of the world in the Score. This implies that all the events, including the creation of Luke and all the other replicae and the deviations in the Score, were part of the Score to begin with!
A) Were the events in the story honestly supposed to be seen as having been predicted, after all; including Luke's birth, his rise against his mentor and ultimately setting Lorelei free? B) Is the Score... flexible? Changeable? It's supposedly foretelling the tiniest of details, but if one goes by the idea that Luke's creation deviated the Score from its original path, does this mean the Score changes itself into potential, multiple branches to make sure it still gets to the same end? If it doesn't, how come 'Luke' is mentioned to do something in the Score, when - according to said Score - he had already died in the miner's city long ago?