From top to bottom, clockwise: Cloche, Luca, Croix.
Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, or Ar Tonelico II: Sekai ni Hibiku Shoujo-tachi no Metafalica (The Girls' Metafalica that Resounds throughout the World, with Metafalica meaning "Song of Creation"), is, obviously enough, the second game in the Ar tonelico series.Taking place in the desolate land of Metafalss, a tiny continent built upon the rim of a tower much like the first game's Ar tonelico, it revolves around two opposed factions: the ruling Grand Bell, which has recently declared war against the Goddess Frelia; and the Sacred Army, who believe that the Goddess enables Metafalss to exist. This ire against the Goddess stems from a failure centuries past at creating Metafalica, a paradise-like land spoken of in legend, which was interrupted by a vicious attack by her defenders. In addition to civil war, Metafalss is ravaged by outbreaks of I.P.D, a Reyvateil-specific disease which causes the victim to execute song magic uncontrollably and do much damage to herself and her surroundings.Protagonist Croix Bartel, a knight of the Grand Bell, is regularly tasked with stopping the harm done by those afflicted. It is while on a mission to contain one such outbreak that Croix, together with his adopted sister Cocona, is put in quite a different situation. The Holy Maiden Cloche, the Reyvateil who leads the Grand Bell in the war, has come under attack by the Sacred Army. He is soon entrusted with protecting her while they escape. While attempting to hide from the Sacred Army, they encounter Luca, another Reyvateil who has known Croix since childhood.Croix is soon to discover that neither the Grand Bell nor the Sacred Army are what they seem- and nor are Cloche or Luca. Unable to trust anyone except each other (and sometimes not even that), he and his companions struggle along their own path to thwart those who would manipulate them, discover the truth about the Goddess Frelia, and achieve the seven hundred year old dream of Metafalica.A manga adaptation exists.A retranslation of the "Blind Idiot" Translation is in the works here for those who care.Being as this is the page for the second installment, more general series tropes go on the Ar tonelico page.
A God Am I: Infel and Nenesha claim to be the world's new Goddesses at the end of the game.
Alien Sky: There's two moons, one with rings, and the sky itself occasionally has an artificial-looking ring visible in it. The rings are actually part of the tower, however, instead of something surrounding the planet.
All There in the Manual: The settei book goes into certain details regarding character histories and more of how the plot came to happen, etc.
Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Lots of them. But they're a bit subverted, as you're the one who activates this through Synchronity Chain and Cloche's Replekia.
Amazon Brigade: Cloche's I.P.D fanclub is refered to in terminology as an elite bodyguard unit.
The Atoner: Jacqli/Mir is this, particularly if you take her path. If you don't, she likes to pretend she's not... but she still is.
Battle Couple: A game mechanic. Every knight and reyvateil team is also a romantic couple; including the protagonist Croix.
Badass Adorable: Cocona. She's about ten years old or so, four-foot-nothing, wears her long hair in pigtails with two absurdly large hair ornaments, and is the main character's adopted little sister. She is a very cheery girl who is always willing to help her big brother and often pouts in the cutest way whenever he's late. Turns out that she accompanies her "big brother" on his knight missions, and fights by taking her hair ornaments off and using them as a sort of transforming baton weapon. Despite her size, she keeps up with the adult frontline fighters, including her older brother. Since she's still too young to use song magic effectively, she decided to pick up combat skills, which hadn't been seen on any other Reyvateil so far in the series. Normally, they stick purely to their magic and end up rather out of shape.
Beyond the Impossible: Justified near the end of the game. The game likes to mention how only one person at a time can dive into a reyvateil with two person dives a big deal that only the most skilled therapist can perform. Jacqil says Frelia can handle four people at once. Everyone shouts how impossible this and normally this would be the case but Jacqil reminds them that Frelia is a goddess and so can handle it easily. Croix' response is pretty much "oh yeah....I forgot..."
Big Bad: Infel and Nenesha, the former maidens, who have been manipulating everyone else from behind the scenes, and eventually serve as the final bosses.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: This is becoming far more apparent now that a bunch of outraged fans have taken it upon themselves to retranslate Metafalica. Certain characters just come off completely wrong due to NISA not translating things properly or just not putting in the effort to wrangle Japanese puns into something that makes sense in English.
Break the Cutie: Poor Jacqli. And even though Cloche didn't go to such extremes, it shows when you figure out why her Cosmosphere's so messed up...
The concept of I.P.D. is simply a breakdown of cute girls who more or less get sent into some kind of prison/therapy/mistreatment just like how it's shown in the prologue, demonstated by Croix himself, and what happens to Cocona when she goes berserk.
Broken Bird: Jacqli, who actually uses the imagery of a bird as a metaphor for herself in her songs.
Buffy Speak: "It is a bomb, just unique and charming with machanicalness......"
Combat Stilettos: Cloche's Victim Pain costume stands out, though there are other examples, including just plain impractically tall shoes.
Cocona has something like 4 inch tall platform shoes.
Combined Energy Attack: Repalica channels the power of singing I.P.D.s to amplify the power of Cloche's song magic.
to create Metafalica, Cloche needs to collect their power and pass it on to Luca.
Clark Kenting: Cloche thinks dressing like a Magical Girl will hide her identity because that's how magical girl outfits usually work despite the lack of masks etc. Croix snarks at this, privately of course.
Darker and Edgier: Compared to the first game, there are a lot more aggressive and domineering characters running around trying to get their way, which tends to involve nearly ending the world in any number of ways. Jacqli, who is familiar with the events of the first game, seems slightly amused by the contrasts between the casts.
Dark Magical Girl: Jacqli fits this trope very well. First her color scheme is dark colors compared to the leads. She's more cynical compared to their optimism about Metafalica. She's an enemy that later has a Heel-Face Turn. Her Cosmosphere story has her play this part as well.
Deader than Dead: subverted as Infel has been dead for centuries, but due to the technical failures of Infel Phira and her will to carry out her Ascension Project, her consciousness remain within its data banks. When Metafalica is sung successfully, Infel Phira is reformatted and Infel is literally deleted
Deadpan Snarker: Croix. The man has to comment on every screw up made in synthesis, and even complains about having to complain every time.
Even the item descriptions have snarking.
Defeat Means Friendship: Mir, defeated in the first game, returns as an (eventual) love interest in the form of Jacqli.
Demoted to Extra: Luca gets the short end of the stick in Frelia's Binary Field story, showing up once with little plot relevance. She lampshades this in a talk. Same goes for both Luca and Cloche in Jacqli's Cosmosphere story as they're playing the "heroines of justice" bit but end up getting shafted because the story is centered on the Dark Magical Girl.
Despair Event Horizon: Infel passed it 400 years ago when Nenesha and Ana died. It lead her to the Assimilation Plot because she gave up on anything better. When shes cheers Cloche on later its a further symptom of her despair; Cloche and Luca's success means her death because it will reformat Infel Pira and defragment its memory, I.E. delete her.
Divided We Fall: The Sacred Army and Grand Bell are both fundamentally wrong since you need both maidens. The Sacred Army tries to assassinate Cloche outright while the Grand Bell is secretly looking for the other Maiden, Luca, to perform Metafalica properly, but to make up for that moment of competence they also declare war on the goddess, who is the only thing keeping Metafalss from falling into the Sea of Death.
Dojikko: Jacqli has a bizarre version: while she is only show to slip up in battle, she can do so in a floating mech, which will fall flat on its face.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: If you didn't know they were talking about 'Diving' I.E the process of creating song magic in a Reyvateil's mind, you'd think they were talking sex. Also, just like the last game, there is no end of the Innocent Innuendo involved in Installation. A specific instance for this game would be the Therapist organization compared to a brothel.
At the least there's NPC dialogue that explains that the Therapist are seen that way due to their high fees and the way the business is structured, but also, that everyone that requests a Therapy session under such a misunderstanding will get banned permanently from using the Dive Shops.
The End of the World as We Know It: It nearly happens three times. First, there's the threat of Frelia more or less running out of power to keep the Rim afloat (and she does for part of it). Second, there's what would have happened if Hibernation had been successful, and third, the similar Sublimation, which would affect the entire world instead of just Metafalss.
It also happened off screen before the game begins. Supplemental material reveals that Sol Marta doesn't have enough juice to keep the rim up by itself with Ar tonelico shut down. This means that the Rim that we see during the second game is what's left after Frelia was forced to let most of it drop after The Magic Goes Away. Fortunately, it came back in time that she didn't have to let it all go.
Foreshadowing: A lot of plot points are put in metaphorical language during the cosmospheres, which you are very likely to have already explored by the time you get that far in the game. For example, Cloche's conflict with the Alfman restaurant owner in competition with Luca's restaurant is pretty clearly representing that Cloche hates the job she has to do and the choices she has to support on Alfman's part. Luca offers the people something new and naturally the people all go to her instead of the harsh, limited government provided by Alfman.
"Freaky Friday" Flip: Close-but-not-quite; while no actual body-swapping occurs, the one level of the Infelsphere (forcibly) has Luca and Cloche see how each other had to live by having one of them "reenact" certain events of the girl's life. Whose past gets seen depends on which route Croix takes.
Gag Boobs: Taking a bath finally showed Jacqli "the difference" in size between herself and Cloche.
Just to give an idea of the difference: the official data have their respective Three Sizes. Jacqli's 71 cm. Cloche's is 91 cm. Luca's 78 cm. Luca also makes comments about Cloche's chest size in the Infelsphere.
At one point, Luca is attempting to find a way for Soope to hide itself from civilians. Luca suggests that it hides in her clothing pretending to be her boobs, with obvious results. The actual drawn sprite of this alone makes this scene more hilarious than it has any right to be.
Gameplay and Story Integration: The "link" system in Metafalica, where a vanguard characters current relationship with a given Reyvateil changes along with a story. Example: when Jacqli learns that Cocona is a Reyvateil, their link changes from "Normal" to "Good." Done for tragic effect when Cloche and Luca use their magic to prevent Reisha's death; it doesn't work.
Hive Mind: All IP Ds are connected at the 8th and 9th levels of their minds. This makes them telepathic with each other and capable of pooling their song magic in a Combined Energy Attack.
Hive Queen: Cloche becomes this after Reine starts the fan club, though Reine deserves honorary mention since she's the head of the club and Cloche is the focus of it. Cloche is telepathically connected to the I.P.Ds and can see into their minds and they into her's. Though she doesn't direct their movements, as much as they adore her, she might as well be.
House Wife: Cloche and Luca fight over would be the better house wife in the Infelsphere. Presumably Reisha pre-series.
Idiot Ball: Subverted. Croix actually remembers the fact that IPD can't have mind guardians at a certain point and confronts Infel about it in Cloche's route, who only gets evasive, and combining that with Croix having read her diary, it's pretty much impossible to get any information from her.
Croix - While fairly plausible (a spear with a massive guard to act as a shield with a machine gun mounting), it has rocket boosters on one end that he uses for his EX attack.
Leglius - Equipped with what can best be described as a "Chainsaw Yo-Yo" that are the size of shields.
Cocona - Equipped with a pair of hair ornaments that are also chakram-like weapons and metamorph into a bladed staff by materializing a stick between the two... somehow.
Shun - He's a big robot wolf, so naturally, he attacks with... his horn-like blades and being able to jump and spin like Sonic the Hedgehog.
Amarie - By far the biggest offender, she normally has what looks like tonfa or maybe short-swords, but then puts the two halves together, and can turn it into a bow firing what appears to be laser arrows (and in the EX attack, these arrows are supposed to travel faster than light), then she flips it around the other way, and suddenly, she has a lyre, and can hit the enemy with a Brown Note attack... seriously?!
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Jacqli in Metafalica has no nudity taboo, and is convinced to wear clothes by Spica, offscreen between the two games. However, she's not innocent in the slightest, as she revels in taunting Croix by offering to remove her clothing or something equally enticing (like a ribbon and nothing else).
Instant Fanclub: Deconstructed. It takes time for Reine to build the Cloche fanclub but otherwise they fit perfectly. They tell people how great Cloche is, protect her in battle, and provide the energy for Replakia.
Fitting considering Jacqli/Mir was also the creator of Shurelia's "Cosmosphere" in the first game. There, Shurelia does it.
Item Crafting: Synthesis. One common element (where the finished product looks nothing like the componants) is subverted hilariously with Croix's numerically strongest weapon, which is simply the components glued to each other in a hap-hazard manner.
I Will Wait for You: an interesting variant. Croix makes what amounts to a Childhood Marriage Promise with Luca who agrees to wait until he's a full fledged knight and he comes to take her to Pastalia. However if the player chooses the default ending, Croix says he will wait for Coccona to return from her journey to the third tower.
Japanese Delinquents: Jacqli's Long Skirt costume draws on the "sukeban" style of female Japanese delinquents.
Kill Sat: This is amongst Jacqli's power. Luca's final Song Magic may also count, as Sol Marta (Metafalss' relay for Ar tonelico) itself is used as such. And of course, Cloche has Replekia and Infel Phira...
Lady and Knight: Of the Bright Lady and White Knight variety. Croix is the knight, and Luca and Cloche are the ladies; Phase 1 is about him standing between his childhood friend and his boss.
In fairness to Jacqli, her cooking is a crapshoot. Half her food is a weapon of mass destruction, but the other half makes up some of the best food/healing items in the game. So what if it was supposed to be a cake, it's still really good sushi! Compared to the other girls, you at least stand a good probability of surviving her meals.
Additionally, anything that is actually toxic at least looks the part.
Limit Break: Requires a series of specific actions to activate.
Little Miss Badass: Cocona from Metafalica manages to push this to its limits. Wielding her concealed baton and roundhouse kicks, and an occasional magic attack, as her weapons, she not only fights on the front lines, but bodily protects the Reyvateils who are twice her mass and age in spite of actually BEING a Reyvateil herself. Her EX attack involves creating a laser blade from her baton.
Little Sister Heroine: Coccona is Croix's adoptive sister and very cute. She confides in Cloche that she is in love with him but his only love is as a brother because of their age difference. she's the default love interest.
Long Song, Short Scene: Hibernation. Although it's fourteen minutes long, it's extremely unlikely you'll hear half of it unless you intentionally idle.
To be fair, the song actually overrides the normal battle music, and so, it's easy to hear it to then end before getting to the next plot point where it gets replaced by normal event music.
Lost in Translation: Infel repeatedly makes bad puns. However, these were translated literally for the North American release, which turns Croix's responses into strange non sequiturs.
There's also the pun regarding Skycat's name. In the original, she's called Soraneko (while working, anyway), which literally does translate to Skycat. However, Croix mistakenly calling her Seacat loses its humor if you don't know the Japanese equivalent, Umineko, is actually (despite the literal meaning) the term for a type of seagull.
Love Freak: Cynthia the blacksmith, who makes a brand of 'weapons of love' called 'Cyn Cro Brand'. Nearly every synthesis with her will invoke the Power of Love.
Luminescent Blush: Jacqli gets this surprisingly frequently. Done hilariously at the end of her Cosmosphere. Normally, it involves a "marriage" ceremony with a speech. Jacqli breaks the rules and has Ayatane forgo this because it's embarrassing (whilst blushing), and her "Costume Get" image, normally with a default expression, has her blushing while rolling her eyes. Tsundere much?
Mayfly-December Romance: Averted for Frelia and Shun. Shun was a human who willingly transformed himself into a digital lifeform to protect Frelia throughout her 700-year lifetime. However, his bio says that he wants to go back to being human.
Mental World: In addition to the Reyvateil's Individual Cosmospheres, there is also the Infelsphere, which is a shared world that Luca and Cloche can enter, though Croix is able to join them with both girls permission at first.
Mineral MacGuffin: Hearts of the Land. The also function as a Cosmic Keystone for the land because they regulate everything from the cycle of the seasons to the growth of living things.
More Expendable Than You: Leglius sees this as his purpose for traveling with Cloche: Do dangerous rescue missions so she won't. The knights in general are kind of this too.
More Friends, More Benefits: Slapped down compared to the original - you have to commit to one girl before completing Level 5 of their Cosmosphere (and be able to go deeper and get better song magic), and that locks you into their ending.
My God, What Have I Done?: In her backstory, Infel gave a particularly cruel yet not entirely underserved Calling the Old Man Out toward her foster father Grammul, after it's revealed that his plan for Metafalica require her to be sacrificed. Grammul was soon fired from the Metafalica project and then disappeared. What Infel realized later was that Grammul had created an (long story short) imperfect replacement for the sacrifice in the form of Mimimi, the doll he gave to Infel long time ago.
Infel: "Somehow, I wanted to meet Grammul again. However, now that is a wish that can't be fulfilled. Because, he must have passed away already."
Nightmare Fetishist: Jacqli thinks a giant killer stuffed rabbit is cute (as well as thinking all the "normal" cute things are lame).
Not Blood Siblings: If you do not progress past Level 5 in anyone's cosmosphere in Metafalica, Croix gets paired with Cocona, his adopted sister.
Croix is raised in the house of Reisha alongside Luca. Even though, for some odd reason, he's never officially adopted despite being a 4-year-old orphan, that still makes Croix and Luca more than just "childhood friends" by any reasonable count. The game very specifically never tries to mention this, probably to avoid squicking the player out of picking Luca's route.
Oneesama: Cloche for Sasha; an elegant, reserved and affectionate big sister figure. Sasha's adoration came be seen in every one of their conversations.
Pimped-Out Dress: Cloche fits this most. Lampshaded when upon her first dualstall scene with Luca; her dress turned out to be so complex that she didn't know how to take it off herself.
Foil: Cloche and Luca. Princess/Pauper, Tsundere and Kawaiiko, Tsurime Eyes and Tareme Eyes, all the way to their hair ornaments; a sun and moon respectively. Heck, if one compares their hair and eye colors, they would notice that they are exact inversions.
Princess And Pauper: Zig-zagged. Luca starts as the maiden and Cloche as the common girl when they're born, then they both become commoners after Alfman's coup, then end up swapping roles in the opening flashback, then both end up as the maiden, and well...it keeps going from there.
Replacement Goldfish: Amarie offers to replace Leglius' dead daughter after he says they're a lot alike. Considering how she warms up to him afterward, one would think she wants him to replace her dead dad.
She's a Man in Japan: Or rather, he's a woman in Japan. Jean Ishikawa, one of the characters in Cloche's Cosmosphere and the avatar for one of her song magic spells, was changed to a male in the US localization. This runs into a problem with the associated song magic spell, considering she accidentally cuts off her armor in the attack animation.
Shoddy Knockoff Product: A couple in universe examples show up in Metafalica. First there are Funboons, a knockoff of Funbuns from Elemia. Then there's Geugo, a knockoff of Gergo.
Silk Hiding Steel: Luca refers to it as 'attacking with smiles'. Pretending to be sweet and submissive when she's really luring someone into a trap.
Slave Collar: Dog collar but it serves a similar purpose. Cloche puts on on Croix in her level 5 as a means to balance her love for him and her public image: nothing wrong with a maiden having a beloved pet, right?
Spell My Name with an S: Spellings for names were changed between the Japanese and American releases. Some made sense - Croix and Cloche, as opposed to Chroah and Chroche, are based on French words; things like Nenesha as opposed to Nenesya reflect standard romanization schemes - but others notsomuch. Trulyworth, as opposed to Truelywaath, removes the Hymmnos symbolism of Luca being the real Holy Maiden. Some spellings were stylized (Lakra and Jacqli) despite the originals (Rakura and Jakuri) being written in kanji. Other names were changed entirely for no apparent reason. This is one of the things that drew criticism for NISA's localization of Metafalica.
One name that is Woolseyism is Cynthia. In the artbook, her name is written as Sincere.
It's made quite clear that one of three things happened: 1) The translator was not provided with a Hymmnos dictionary, 2) The translator was told the players wouldn't have access to an official English-to-Hymmnos dictionary (which is technically true as there isn't an official one), or 3) Both 1 and 2. Truelywaath therefore, would seem MORE lazy to people with passing knowledge of Japanese-to-English translation conventions, despite it being technically accurate in Hymmnos. Trulyworth doesn't lose all of its symbolism, as she still has her "true worth" so it isn't as blatant as, say, Leyka, which loses a bit of the naming scheme since her mother is still spelled Reisha, and not Leysha.
Stripperific: Luca and Cloche are more modestly dressed. Then you see Cloche's Armageddon outfit, and all that goes to hell. Jacqli is very much Ms. Fanservice, however, and her clothes (and combat entry) reinforce that.
Amarie and Lakra fit this well, too, particularly the latter.
Cocona as well.
Stylistic Suck: Rather than show her inner thoughts directly, Jacqli chooses to arrange her cosmosphere as a story. And wow is it cheesy. Of course, the cosmosphere's world eventually begins to crack and fall apart. And maybe it's not as unrelated to Jacqli as Croix thinks.
Supernatural Gold Eyes: Frelia, one of the three goddesses/Origin Reyvateils, and Luca who is the real Holy Maiden.
Supporting Protagonist: The game follows Croix's actions but his only connection to the plot is his relationship to Luca and Cloche. The plot revolves around them as they save the world; Croix just protects them while they do it. This is acknowledged in the Opening theme, where the girls sing a duet and he's a mere cameo.
Spica: Sure it is. Anyone who uses the word "moe" is most likely a pervert.
They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Inverted. Cloche is painfully aware of her title and this is precisely why she doesn't want her closest friends using it. Everyone else, though, has to call her 'Lady' or 'Holy Maiden'.
This Is a Drill: Parodied in one of the synthesis conversations. Croix doesn't really get what makes the drill suit 'manly'.
Timed Mission: Well, not really defined ingame as such, but due to a bug in a certain line of code that the translators apparently overlooked in the US release (and, mind you, patchers came up with just a few lines of code that corrected this), the last fight (and the subsequent optional boss battles) against Raki have a time limit of three turns - on the sixth action of the boss (usually the third round), the buffer overload kills the game if she has more than 20% of her HP. Otherwise, she merely tries to charge at you. This makes it nigh impossible to win later battles (in which the boss gains more HP and stat buffs) and the Last Lousy Point. 'Course, there are legal and not-so-legal methods to get around this. Mercifully, this is corrected in the EU release, though it seems very unlikely that it will ever see resolution in the US.
Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Cloche, given that she was taken from her parents at three years old and experimented on because she was a high level IPD. Her first memories were of her being told her new name.
Tsundere: Who other than Cloche? An attack of Luca's even says so!
Infel surprisingly fits this if you go deep enough in Cloche's Cosmosphere and do some optional scenes esspecially when telling that you (Croix) read her diary. She gets so flustered and angry that you get kicked out of the Cosmosphere.
Cloche's Level 5 Cosmosphere is this taken to the absolute extreme.
Recent Toukosphere dialogue has confirmed that Targana is the 3rd most favorite AT Tsundere character, needless to say he denies it, but when Croix says that he likes that part of him he gladly accepts it.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Oh god, Metafalica. Oh god. spreading I.P.D, denying them treatment, lossing part of the world, declaring war on the godddess...
What the Hell, Hero?: In the prologue Croix is containing an I.P.D. outbreak which involves defeating a reyvateil. After the battle, the reyvateil's mother comes out and chews him out for it. "Slave of the Grand Bell!"
Winged Humanoid: Frelia has fairy wings. Cloche's default costume has feathery attachments that resemble angel wings, but they're just part of the clothes, not her.
Xanatos Gambit: There's one in Frelia's binary field. The syndicate assigns Kurowaki to fight an enemy of there's and find a lost briefcase. If he obeys and completes the mission, great. If he betrays them again, like they expect him to, then he's likely to find said enemy anyway and try to join her. Even if he runs away at least he won't be a problem for them anymore.
Yandere: Portrayed in the lyrics to the hymn EXEC_DESPEDIA/. Have a look here, particularly towards the end. It's worth noting that "Rrha yea ra" roughly means "In a trance of happiness that I want to last".
Also, in her Cosmosphere, Luca has a string of personalities that want to murder Croix fighting with other personalities that want to save Croix so that they can murder him in the next floor. Cloche's Armageddon self attempts to kill Croix so she won't have to suffer the pain of losing him after their relationship grows closer.
Not to mention her spell "Romance" which summons up a cleaver wielding psycho.
A sort-of example exists in Infel as well, who was so torn up by Nenesha's death that she decided to put the world through an Assimilation Plot.