WMG / Ikaruga

The final reprise symbolizes the reconstruction of mankind's ideals.
As noted on the main page under Crowning Music of Awesome, the basic structure of the background music remains the same throughout the game, but gets steadily darker in tone as things start looking worse on the way from Ideal to Reality. Then in the end its original form pops up again and the protagonist gives an awesome display of Heroic Resolve as he clings to the one thing he fights for. Combined with the information under What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?, the conclusion above was created.
  • Metempsychosis is another term for reincarnation. Radiant Silvergun, the spiritual predecessor to Ikaruga(which ends with the same boss as Ikaruga), shows humanity existing in an infinite loop. The progression is doomed to happen again and again.
  • Silvergun's Stone-Like took Buster, Leana, and Creator to 10,000 B.C. in the hopes that humans don't turn into bastards again and is still there to Kill 'em All if they do. Ikaruga's Stone-Like, however, was destroyed by Shinra.
    • The obvious conclusion, then, is that Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga are actually the same universe. The endless time loop from Silvergun happened hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of times before, but this one time, the Stone-Like was found by the Ikaruga villains first, and used for... something nefarious, presumably. Our heroes fight through the enemy forces, find the Stone-Like, and destroy it shortly before it pushes the Reset Button once more (except this time, there'd be no clones!), ending the Eternal Recurrence once and for all. (One does have to wonder what'll happen to the planet now that its guardian-slash-physical-manifestation has a sploded, though - especially since, given the game in question, the whole point it was trying to get across in Silvergun doesn't appear to have been corrected.)
      • That's simply what it said, but causing the deaths of various life forms by transforming whatever it touches into something else for hundreds to even thousands of cycles doesn't give that point much credence.
      • The weird ring things surrounding the Stone-Like also aren't present in Radiant Silvergun. They could be a restraining device of some kind, suggesting that Horai has actually subjugated the Stone-Like. This would further invalidate the Stone-Like's "methods" and bring its credibility into question, as its extremely roundabout way of trying to force humans to become better has ended not only in failure, but in making things worse without Shinra to finally stop it.
    • As an additional detail, this would explain the Ikaruga's final message just before firing on the Stone-Like; the onboard computer is somehow a remnant of the Creator. "Was I helpful for you? I am deeply grateful to you." Considering the loop's just been broken, during an iteration where, as noted above, it would be impossible to start again, it would certainly be fitting.
The enemies aren't really the enemies.
Notice how the pre-boss enemy patterns get more complex from Ideal to Reality, but then in Metempsychosis they suddenly become much simpler. This is because they're there not to try to stop you but to help you chain.
  • So they're sacrificing themselves so that Shinra can have a greater hope of destroying the Stone-Like? If so, those Ikusa pilots could have been kind enough not to try and crash their ships into his...
    • Or maybe by that point so much destruction had occurred so absolutely everyone was suicidal. The only difference was that Shinra had a positive outlook on his own destruction.

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