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"The Teru and the Reyvateils will be destroyed."

Cosal: There are so many more alive and yet to live in this place beside yourselves. You intend to make sacrifices out of them all?!
Revelt: No, not sacrifices... this is a culling.
Cosal: What did you say?!
Revelt: Those who cannot progress, those who can do nothing to improve themselves on their own must be culled. That is the law of the heavens. And this situation, which I have carefully crafted, is only an expression of the law, ergo, simply a manifestation of a natural phenomenon. For you see, I am myself an existence inside the natural world, as I am energy, and life as well. When a Burst falls and burns a city, the birds, insects and animals living there will run for their lives, so as not to be burned with it. Likewise! By trying to live on and survive in a new world, even if it destroys this one, I am only following the laws of nature! The strong live, the weak die. That's all there is to it, and that's all that's happening here and now.

At the surface, the EXA_PICO games looks like light-hearted and cheery JRPGs, but beneath the surface are serious stories tackling dark themes with these twisted villains.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Surge Concerto prequel series
  • Ciel nosurge: Revelt, head of Tenmon, one of the two leading groups of Ra Ciela, in actuality is one of their biggest problems. Building himself as a man for the people due to his technology, Revelt has always wanted to be in the top and would use any means necessary to get there. Separating his own daughter Nay's body and soul to place Ion, a girl with more potential, in her body, endangering Ra Ciela as a side effect. He would then train her to become the perfect candidate for the next empress of Ra Ciela, through years of physical and emotional torture. He then forced his other daughter Renall to befriend Ion and betray her if she ever tries to disobey. Once Ion is ready to be made Empress, Revelt started making deals with other antagonists in order for Ion to gain support and make herself look better to the people. Once Ion began to resist Revelt's hold on her after realizing his true actions, he decides to drop all formalities and starts using force. When Ion and her friends fight back, Revelt ultimately decides to screw over his people by trying to use song magic to teleport himself and his followers away from Ra Ciela to a new planet while leaving it to be destroyed, and then guaranteeing its end when he shot down Dr. Clacket, the only person who knows how to save Ra Ciela, and forced him to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to end Revelt. A selfish, ambitious man, Revelt destroyed his own home just because society didn't follow him.
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  • Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star: The "other player", much like the Player Character, has the power of Interdimend, the ability to visit and control a being from another dimension in order to interact with the world. Unlike the player character trying to save the world, this player's goal is to send Nero back to her world, although the other player goes about doing it in the most callous way possible. Controlling Prim, the mind-child of protagonist Delta and Cass, he first assists Zill in her plan of creating the Maternal Overseer, a being that can absorb souls, to pull off her goal of making everyone's being into one consciousness. Once Zill has let herself be part of the Maternal Overseer, the other player makes their move to destroy the world while taunting Delta and Cass by using their own daughter as an avatar to do all of this, with each plan being stopped by the player character's interference. Once all the conflicts were about to be solved, the other player makes their final move by trying to eliminate everyone, using a giant mecha dragon they made and to convert every being into energy. This is where it is revealed that they plan to get enough energy to bring Nero back to their world to "complete the game in a 100%" from their side. When confronted by everyone, including the player character themselves about this not being a game, the other player shows that they knew but doesn't care. They would destroy and kill thousands of residents of another universe just out of amusement and their own selfishness. It is also heavily implied that the other player was the one who almost killed Ion in her home world and forced her to send her soul to Ra Ciela.

Ar Tonelico trilogy & related works

  • Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia:
    • Bourd Rade is the second-in-command of the Tenba Organization, which is notorious for its shady practices. Rade has a penchant for using innocent people in his army, and lets them abuse the Reyvateils they capture. Seeking to dissolve all of the organizations to get what he wants, he worked with Bishop Falss to awaken Mir. To do that, he first stole the song, Chronicle Key, from the Star Singer Misha, to prevent her from performing her ritual which would keep Mir's seal intact and kidnap Misha to be his personal weapon, even burning down an innocent village. One day, Bourd was to told to meet with Lyner by Falss and tries to forcefully recruit him. After chasing him and Misha in an airship when they escape, Bourd takes another Reyvateil named Aurica as a hostage and threatens to throw her off until Misha returns to his side, and when she does, Bourd throws Aurica off anyway. When Lyner and his group goes to stop Mir, Bourd tries to stop them from heading to their destination, only to end up seemingly killed by Misha; he survives and continues to antagonize the party through attacks. After entering Bourd's secret lab, Bourd reveals to the heroes that his goal is to create an army of lifeless Reyvateils under his command and use them to destroy every organizations, including Falss and his church. Escaping from them, he is encountered one last time trying to prevent the newly regained Chronicle Key from being sung.
    • The aforementioned Bishop Falss is the seemingly kind and friendly leader of the Church of Elemia, but as his name suggests, he is wearing a false facade to hide his true colors. From Platina, Bishop Falss's true identity is Kyle Clancy, one of the leaders of Platina who became obsessed with power. Believing he could use the Mother Virus Mir to bring forth prosperity and glory, he tried to awaken her only to get caught and banished by his fellow leaders Shurelia and Leard. After trying again and getting caught again, instead of facing his crimes, Kyle threw himself off Platina and landed on the lower world where he changed his name to Falss. After gaining leadership of the Church of Elemia due to his advanced knowledge from Platina, he began manipulating everyone to bring forth Mir's awakening, from his deal with Bourd, to twisting the Church, to declaring war against Platina to get revenge on them and eliminating anyone who might stand against him, even his own allies. Having returned to Platina during the war, Falss manages to awaken Mir and gain her power, which he uses to try kill the heroes.
    • ~arpeggio spinoff manga: The seemingly-kind scientist Masticus is the Big Bad of the story. Having a deep hatred of non-humans like the Reyvateils, blaming them for two apocalyptic disasters in the past despite humans playing a strong role in them, he aims to fully control all of them. Unleashing the Reveris virus, which caused Reyvateils to go berserk or become comatose, Masticus plans to study the virus itself and find the Hymn Crystal "Soporific" in order to perfect. When Espada's father had the Crystal inside his sword, Masticus sends out the living prototype of the virus, Kauron to retrieve it and kill Espada's father and his wife. Once Sonnet manages to retrieve the sword from Espada, Masticus begins showing his true colors, as he reveals that Sonnet is his latest version of the virus, and with the stone, Masticus transforms her into the perfect version of the virus and has her try to kill her two friends Espada and Adagio when they came to see her. Once Sonnet was able to break free, the virus manifests itself into a new physical form, and under his command Masticus orders the death of those who stand in his way. Once the virus is dealt with, he was asked to surrender, only for him to laughs at the heroes for their ideals before throwing himself to his death as one last attack. A hateful scientist, Masticus pretends that he fights for humanity side, but in actuality just wants to satisfy his hatred towards non-humans and humans who support them.
  • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica: Dr. Laude, part of the Grand Bell regime, is in charge of experimenting on and containing girls infected with the IPD virus, with many of these girls ended up dead or severely traumatized. Laude isn't doing this though because he believes in the Grand Bell's cause, but is instead using them so he could find the Heart of Gaia. He's actually from the tower of Tyria/Tilia, and he plans to use the Heart of Gaia to gain fame, even if this means sacrificing everyone from Metafalls. To that end, he goes against the main party when he tries to steal the Heart of Gaia, even when it contains the soul of one of the Sacred Maidens who are needed to save the world. When his plans are stopped, Laude kidnaps Reisha, the mother of Luca, one of the Sacred Maidens, to forcibly turn Luca to become another Heart of Gaia. This act lead to a chain of events that cause his own death and Reisha dying in her daughter's arms. Laude would sacrifice another world for his precious artifact, just to return home and bask in fame and glory.
  • Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel:
    • Raphael, the Chairman of the Archian Think Tank, appears to be a benevolent man at first glance, but underneath is a wicked man with sinister ambition. First appearing after having his forces rescue Aoto and his friends from the Clustanians, he convinces Aoto to leave Saki and a necklace entrusted to him supposedly out of kindness. Soon afterwards, Aoto learns that Raphael and his company are responsible for multiple disappearances, including the sister of one of his friends. After liberating Saki from their hands, Aoto's party clashes with Raphael's party multiple times as Raphael attempts to massacre the Clustanians and take Saki. They eventually decide to form a truce with Raphael to stop Ar Ru and the forces of the planet from killing them all, but after temporarily stopping it, Raphael reveals his end goal. Having forced the scientist Katene to activate a machine by taking his lover Mute hostage, he uses the necklace Aoto gave him to take some of Ar Ru's power to achieve what he wants: forcing mutation on everyone by mixing the DNA and aspects of Reyvateils, humans, and antibodies, creating Reveroids which Raphael has full control over; the disappeared victims were all people who died trying to make these creatures. His final action was to force Richa to sing a song that would turn everyone into these abomination. Pretending to have humanity's best interests at heart, for him the pinnacle for humanity is powerful monsters under his control like a god.
    • Kurogane is a prideful and selfish scientist responsible for Tyria's Dark and Troubled Past. Responsible for looking after Tyria, the Third Tower, Kurogane only saw her as a tool, despite her love for him as a father figure. Placing her in many painful and dangerous experiments, Kurogane hoped that Tyria would bring the results he wanted, and every time she failed, he would treat her even worse for many years. After failing a very important test, the government closed Kurogane's projects and shifted attention else where. This infuriated Kurogane, who refused to acknowledge that the reason Tyria couldn't do it is because he refused to let her socialize and properly develop her emotions. After pestering the government into giving him another chance, he was only given a fraction of the original budget. Taking this as an insult to his pride, Kurogane as an act of spite, began to make a sinister plan to sabotage the creation of the Tower made to save humanity. Before pushing through with this plan, he left behind the Human Evolution Project, a scheme to mutate people into powerful abominations, as a trap for humanity in the future. He started to treat Tyria kindly, having her love him, but during the critical moment of Tyria creating the Tower, he went to Tyria and committed suicide in front of her to give her strong amounts of trauma as a final act of sabotage against humans, resulting in the Tower not being fully completed. This ended up stalling the Planet Regeneration Project for 700 years, potentially dooming Ar Ciel and everybody living on it, and causing several far-reaching problems in Sol Cluster whose ripples can still be felt during the time the game takes place.


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