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Video Game / Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star

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This article assumes you have knowledge of Ciel nosurge and will have unmarked spoilers for that game.
iyon-du vari-wei-iz, koh-ne aa-nie-iz soh-nh nyue-i;note 
To the Songless Hill -Harmonics Pre=Ciel-

Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star is a 2014 role-playing game for the Play Station 3, and the sequel to Gust Corporation's 2012 game, Ciel nosurge. These two games form the Surge Concerto series, a distant prequel to Gust's Ar tonelico games. Together, the two series make up the EXA_PICO universe.

Thousands of years after Ra Ciela's destruction, its people are still struggling to survive on the Migratory Starship Soreil. They have lost the ability to use Song Magic, and must face the attacks of hostile beings known as Sharl. The people of Orei, a place within Soreil, have been split into two factions due to the conflict: the Genomirai Church seeks to coexist with the Sharl, while the people of the city of Felion believe that destroying the Sharl is the way to peace. The key to resolution may lie with the Ancients, people who were alive during Ra Ciela's last days and can still make use of Song Magic's power.

Ar nosurge's initial Japan release was followed by a September 2014 release in North America and Europe. An Updated Re-release for the PlayStation Vita was released for Japan October of that year and on July 2, 2015 for the US.

Ar nosurge provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: As you would expect, Cass becomes very uncomfortable when Delta (under the effects of a medicine) compares her breasts to Kanon's.
  • Addressing the Player: The characters in the game actually talk directly to you, facing the screen, in two of the most heartwarming moments of the series. It's also the main shtick of the game when playing as Earthes.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Averted. Mysteriously, the price of items do not necessarily correspond to its utility: One of the best healing items in the mid-game, which heals for 1000 HP and restores barrier levels, is sold at half the price of another item which only restores 250 HP.
    • This may be due to the fact that the former is medicine and the latter is a cat-shaped meal.
  • After the End: A few thousand years after the Main Characters' home planet is destroyed, to be more precise.
  • All There in the Manual: The "incident" with Delta six months prior to the game is only covered in the choose-you-own-adventure text novel "Class Ar-Nosurge-Proto" that was published in Gust's promotional site. It's been fantranslated though.
    • Additionally, the story of how Ion came to that universe was covered in a two-part light novel set in her Earth before she was summoned to Ra Ciela. It also curiously features the name of Nero's world and the name of the person who hacked the Interdimend to almost kill her, which could be Player 2: they are respectively "Flayjha" and "Arytha Tyrijha".
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final battle, of course. Justified for once : it takes place on the Singing Hill, which is in outer space, as Ra Ciel Reincarnation rebuilds the world of Ra Ciela. The swirling mass of energy in the background slowly turns into a full blown planet as the fight goes on.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Delta. Except that not only the game is a sequel, most of the cast has known him since he was a kid, the only mystery to him being the time he was captured by the Genomirai Church prior to his return to Felion six months before the game started.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The Teru Tribe from Ar tonelico were originally a scouting party sent to Ar Ciel. Their appearance is due to having to fuse with a Genom just to survive (namely Terefunken, Ion's old partner who left with said scouting party back in Ciel nosurge).
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The switch from Delta to Earthes happens right after a cliffhanger, too.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Cass frequently, angrily assaults and berates Delta whenever he's doing something risky or particularly stupid. The implications that he'll never get his memory back from the incident also has much the same effect.
  • Another Dimension: Ion comes from none other than our own planet, Earth. Nero also counts, having come from a completely different universe that isn't ours or Exa Pico's. Though if the player gets the normal ending on the Earthes side, Ion will ultimately decide to stay in the reborn Ra Ciela, and she and Nero will craft and have Cass sing Ar-ciel ar-manaf to naturalize her and Nero's souls to the universe, giving up their connection to their original universes, as well as any possibility of returning to them, and their Oversight ability in the process. Needless to say, this also becomes Fridge Horror upon learning exactly how Ion and Nero ended up in Ra Ciela and their early experiences there. Doubly in Ion's case as revealed in one of the light novels, as she was assaulted and left at the brink of death, so she had pretty much to let her soul be taken to Ra Ciela as a very improbable gamble for her to remain alive.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Ion and Nero actually descended from there and really want to go back, Nero especially. In a more straight example, Cosal ends up giving up on his current existence to become the Will of the Planet of the reborn Ra Ciela.
  • Assimilation Plot: Zill's ultimate plan, combining all the human and Sharl souls into a single being called the Maternal Overseer. After it gets stopped, the other player picks it right back up.
  • Assist Character: Every character that's not Delta, Cass, Earthes or Ion doesn't get to be playable. Instead they give you Friend Skills which are basically this. Each party gets four, with Delta/Cass getting help from Sarly, Shirotaka, Kanon and Ayatane while Ion gets Tattoria, Nelico, Nay and Renall.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Just about any of Sarly's inventions are this, the best is a model of the spaceship that affects the real ship directly.
  • Bag of Sharing: Referenced in-game. Characters in one party will magically find items in their bag that weren't there before. Characters in the other party will complain about those items suddenly going missing. After they figure out what's going on, they actually use this knowledge to solve problems that would be otherwise unsolvable.
  • BGM Override: Song magic music doesn't play in major boss fights. There was also that one time in the Hymnesphere when you had to stop the place from self-destructing.
    • Also applies for when Kanon begins singing "yal fii-ne noh-iar;", which overrides most of the music in Delta's side until she is defeated.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Delta calls Nay "Nay-san", which sounds exactly like "Onee-san": older sister. It fits her because Nay insists on being such a figure despite her stature; and Delta actually still sees her as one anyway. In fact, she's also older.
    • Becomes a Fridge Brilliance as Nay actually adopted her name from the current Ion's real name, who has a little sister back at Earth.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In spite of the numerous times someone gets slashed, shot, or blown up with song magic, there is no blood nor gore to speak of.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The whole point of the Sharl, who have nothing but good intentions but just don't get how humanity works, resulting in the current war.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: That last all-red wave in the Center of Ra Ciela? They will destroy you. If you haven't built up your burst gauge to 300000% with the previous waves, the only sensible option is to run.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The humans and Sharl. The humans only want to not be under attack by the Sharl. The Sharl want to help the "demons" reach enlightenment. Neither side makes a concerted effort to explain their position to the other; the Sharl because they really have no idea of what's going on (and because their leader believes the humans will not agree), the humans because to them, the Sharl attacked first - they're just defending themselves.
  • Brain Freeze: Delta gets it really bad the first time you make the One Hit KO Parfait!
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Renall. Turns out that her memory got scrambled in the same way Ion's was, causing her to act like a puppet whose only purpose was serving Nero and Zill.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: A literal example at the end of Phase 2. Earthes gets destroyed and Delta uninstalls Interdimend, causing the program to crash, resulting in FATAL ERROR messages covering the screen and culminating with a Red Screen of Death that's unique to this game and Ciel nosurge. The game then skips directly to after Earthes is rebuilt as you have no other link to Exa Pico's universe than the two of them.
  • Break Meter: Attacks have their own Break parameter. If you break an enemy you cancel one attack, giving you an extra turn or (if you're fighting bosses on Veteran) a chance of survival.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Ion can no longer use her Oversight ability because it has been "dulled" by additional connections, such as Earthes' port. In fact, after waking up and before reuniting with Earthes, she can't even cast song magic.
  • But Thou Must!: When you first start Ion/Earthes's (Avatar's) story, Ion will ask a series of questions to Avatar. The final one is a request and Avatar must accept it to continue, things will just be stuck if you just keep refusing it. As an added twist, however, you actually should refuse it the first time in order to receive a Trophy - "I Refuse." (Description: "Heartlessly refused Ion's request.")
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Zill has quite a lot of fans. Delta himself accidentally admits that Kanon has "brutally great tits."
  • Call-Forward: Cass telling Shurelia not to get close to a guy that's nice to everyone and have trouble remembering things, while Earthes calls her "the kind of girl who ends up with two younger sibilings".
  • The Cameo: Pretty much every character from Ciel nosurge comes back, plus, Shurelia and her legendary sense of direction return from the first Ar tonelico game.
  • Can't Stay Normal: At the end of Phase 2, Delta successfully uninstalls Interdimend. While he is happy to be able to enjoy his own body again, he quickly finds out he doesn't have enough power to protect everyone he cares about anymore. He ends up accepting to reinstall it.
  • Character Development: Arguably the main strength of the game, other than the music. It's even the main mechanic: exploring the characters' psyche, having conversations, and synthesizing items together will give you much more power than just leveling up.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Avatar Core/Earthes's head comes in handy quite a few times. It has a port that allows the characters to connect to multiple systems they couldn't access otherwise, after it gets stolen by Nero and Prim Zapping to it allows you to spy on their plan, and it is ultimately given to Tattoria so he can use the rare parts in it for his medicine research which eventually becomes successful.
  • Climax Boss: Against a flying, power-armored extradimensional being with six cannon-wings, at the very top of the Generation Ship, on a platform overlooking outer space.
  • Colony Drop: Cass's ultimate song magic summons Horus to perform this on Soreil using the entire planet, luckily it then reverses time so it never happened.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Every post-synthesis has one person doing this.
  • Cooking Duel: Between Delta and Nay, over who gets to keep Delta's restaurant that she hijacked early on. Do note that neither can actually cook. Delta ultimately throws the towel in, as even he acknowledges the place has never been livelier than under Nay's management. Plus she's actually got more than one dish on her menu.
  • Cool Shades: Delta's second costume puts a pair on. Strangely, it never appears in the 2D animated cutscenes.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Nay's cooking is a weird variation, her foods range from barely edible with bad side effects to edible but not for humans due to her just mixing stuff together without caring how it tastes. Her ultimate recipe is a pretty okay side dish... that somehow requires an item that can transfer items between dimensions.
    • Delta is a questionable case. Before the game starts, his sole dish is called Chazen Fried Rice. It's steamed rice sprinkled with salt. He makes a version 2 during the game... only adding pepper.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The grim situation notwithstanding, the characters seem to be quite carefree, especially when they're synthesizing things. It gets subverted partway throughway the game with the mass disappearances and deaths, though.
  • Crapsack World: The humans live a miserable existence fighting hostile lifeforms called Sharls and a human faction that supports the Sharl aboard a Colony Ship with no set destination in mind after the destruction of their previous planet. By the time the game starts, Felion is the only remaining human territory and they still haven't found a planet to settle in. Outer areas that the Sharl inhabit on the other hand, have created a faux-planet that is a far more inhabitable place than the Inner Areas that the humans live, but at the expense of the kidnapped humans being used as fertilizer to create such an environment in the first place.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: To Delta. You don't have the ability to just let Delta disconnect. One option is foreshadowing; the other's just cruel. The Vita version gives you the option to at least plead with him not to do it in a nicer tone, but it doesn't help.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Delta. When the player controls him through Interdimend, he gains combat prowess at the cost of gradually deteriorating his own senses.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Prim is a dream-type genom in human form, and very cute indeed. Earthes can comment on it.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Kanon still goes crazy over cute birds. She even gets to design an entire line of cute bird products for her shop and the mascot of said line, Chunpi, becomes a goddamn Song Magic summon.
  • Damage Over Time: An enhancement called Continuous Damage exists, but it's so small that it's practically useless compared to your normal attacks. However, it does work pretty well on a certain type of Mecha-Mook that has freakishly high defense unless under Break, though.
  • Deadly Euphemism: 'Purification' appears to be this in the first section of the game. Cosal and the Sharl insist that it's just forced improvement of human souls Ion's story clarifies it. Yup, it is.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Delta is a minor case of this. At first, he appears to be the main character. But besides the whole "controlled by the player" thing, the game suddenly switches to Earthes at a climatic point in the Delta plotline. There's also a distinct difference in how Delta and Earthes are treated as player characters; Earthes is actually being directly controlled by the player, as the player, while Delta is being "controlled" by the player via Interdimend and is very much his own distinct person, regardless of whether or not he's currently being used by the player.
  • Deus ex Machina: The pathway to Ion's true ending comes as sudden and without build up or context, as Ion herself had already resigned her life to stay in Ra Ciela because the only known way back requires the sacrifices of many people. Said Deus ex Machina lies in Ayatane's "Reincarnation" recipe that allows the party to bring Prim's soul back to the living world, with next to no indication about such a function. And the real reason for Prim's prequisite for said ending was because the other Interdimend player had a way to return Ion and Nero (Ulyliyha) back to their original dimension that he doesn't bother to disclose, let alone attempted, as he assumed that the Soreil won't make it to the center of the universe. This method involves singing with EXA_PICO. Even then, such a solution comes out of nowhere to resolve a conflict at the tail end of the story. That said, it's better than the non-canonical alternative of having Nei remain dead in her original world and causing endless grief and guilt to her family, especially her younger sister Aya.
  • Demonic Possession: Happens to Prim, and it takes the heroes a long while to realize it.
  • Deuteragonist: Delta and Earthes, by virtue of how the game works.
  • Diegetic Interface: The primary trope used. The player is technically an overseer of the worlds, the entire interface is used as if it were logging into an OS like Windows, and the player controls an avatar (literal name according to the menu before being called "Earthes"). Of course, this ends up getting pulled to it's own ends in the game, as explained under From Beyond the Fourth Wall, and leaves the game with a thin sheet of glass as a fourth wall.
  • Duel Boss: With the aforementioned Deuteragonists, no less.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The sounds the heroine lets out during purification certainly do.
    • Get Cass or Ion personality to "Masochist" and their in-battle quotes will reflect this with such lines as: "Please, I don't want you to stop!", "We're going to continue?... All right, let's do it." and who could forget "Hard and fast, right?"
  • Easy Amnesia: Delta, as a result of Interdimend. He does eventually recover, and a number of Sarly's synthesis items involve working on this problem.
  • Everyone Can See It: A lot of characters are on the Delta/Casty train long before it becomes official. Even after it becomes official, even people who have just met them are able to pick up on it right away.
  • Excalibur: The cathode edition. It's far from being an Infinity +1 Sword, however.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Delta and Cass's designs, to a minor degree.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Earthes, and rightly so: the faceless, voiceless robot is just a vessel for the player who has come from another dimension.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Differences of ideals and opinion regarding the current conflict (Delta wants to destroy the Sharls while Ion prefers a diplomatic approach) and on what course of action to take Delta wants to bring Prim back to Felion while Ion asks them to accompany her in an attempt to persuade Kanon. forces a boss fight between the two of them, with Cass reluctantly siding with Delta. Regardless of which channel the player chooses, it ends with Cass unintentionally blowing Ion and Earthes away from the platform.
  • Find the Cure!: Most of Tattoria's storyline is dedicated to curing Felie. He fails in curing her in for good but manages to create a medicine that pretty much negates any symptoms if taken periodically, combining his gained experience as a pharmacist and his mastery of Song Magic.
  • Foreign Queasine: Sharl don't get sick like humans, so they can just stuff whatever they want into their food. Notable is their dumplings, which have a mild pesticide. Different types of Sharl apparently have wildly different preferences in taste, leading to an item that seems suspiciously like Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.
  • Foreshadowing: Ion's side reveals that Sharl tend to find things such as nutritional supplements tasty.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall: Played with: While the characters do not act like they are in a videogame, the robot Earthes is a terminal being controlled by "someone from the seventh dimension" (the player). The characters in-game interact with you as such. Earthes only communicates through dialog prompts, the options you choose are beamed directly into the character's minds. As the story goes on, the game gets increasingly meta with this.
    • Deconstructed:
      • Eventually, dialog prompts appear on the Delta side as well, often causing him to blurt out random lines that have nothing to do with what's currently happening. It is eventually revealed that Delta's memory loss is caused by being constantly under control of another being. The prolonged connection is also causing him to lose his own senses such as sight and feeling. Needless to say, neither Delta nor Cass are very amused by the notion that his every move is subject to the whim of some unseen being.
      • As you go deeper into Ion's Genometrics, she repeatedly calls you out for merely being "someone on the other side of a screen pressing buttons" and treating it as some sort of game. This culminates in her giving you a quiz of questions about Ion's personal life you can't possibly know the answer to, except through repeating the quiz over and over until you get them right. After finally getting them right, she calls you out for Save Scumming.
      • Following the above are a series of dialog choices where you can reassure her that you care for her despite her assertions being technically true, and that it's not just a game to you. Some savvy players might consider the implications of going down this road, however: In the end, it really is just a game, and while you might care for your characters, it's hard to see them as real people.
      • Late in the game it is revealed that Prim is also being controlled through Interdimend. Said "other player" has no value for the in-game characters at all and appears to be merely interested in 100% Completion, and is willing to sacrifice everyone on the Soreil to do so. They also express their envy of you having access to two channels.
    • Reconstructed:
      • Delta eventually willingly reconnects himself to Interdimend, acknowledging that the third-person perspective is immensely useful in the challenges to come, intending to disconnect again once they accomplish their goal. He then proceeds to make gratuitous use of the fact that the player has access to both his and Earthes' channels. Characters also come to appreciate the player for having their best interests at heart.
      • You eventually get to thwart the "other player's" plan, preventing them from "beating the game". Instead, you are the one who both gets to beat the game AND save the world. Whether this is because you actually care for the characters, because this is the only route available to you, or just because it's much more fun to be the good guy, is up to you.
    • Also, it's been stated that the ship takes energy from the PS3 of every player that's playing the game.
    • Any song with the word NOSURGE in it takes power from the dimension they're connected to, which is the reason why Ion didn't die after making humongous amounts of Sharl, when Delta was on the verge of passing out after making a single Dream Genom.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: That whole Memory Dive thing? Yeah, it becomes EXTREMELY important, not just to solving puzzles, but to other things.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Main Characters' objective of coexistence with the Sharl certainly doesn't get in the way of them killing droves upon droves of Sharl enemies. The Doylist reason is the game doesn't have any other enemy models to use.
  • Generation Ship: The Soreil is an impressively expansive one.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Final Boss is the entire Soreil turned into a Humongous Mecha, an ability that's never actually been seen before (Renall and Sarly's respective accesses to the ship's security system only unlocked beams and missiles respectively). This is justified because the other player used a REON-4213 command to link up the Soreil with Prim, and through it, it fused the remains of the Maternal Overseer with the ship to get an easier time forcing Ion to fuse with it, as well as ridding of anyone who could disrupt their plans. Too bad (for them) they forgot about Earthes, Delta and Cass.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Played straight at the start of the game. Cass wakes Delta up from a dream, and the adventure starts.
  • Grand Theft Me: A gradual side-effect of Interdimend, causing the user's control of their body to be slowly overriden by the player behind him/her and ending with said user trapped in their own body. Also, Ion is still "wearing" Nay's original body, though the latter has mostly come to enjoy her new one.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Kanon's songs (the non-Conlang parts anyway) are in Russian instead of Japanese, courtesy of the Russian-born ORIGA. According to Word of God it's to represent the gap in understanding between the human and Sharl sides.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck finishing Ion's Genometrics the first time you get it. It's impossible until you finish two other characters' genometrics, and then you have to dive in Cass's genometrics to complete the fourth test. This is on top of the first stage, which throws no less than three red herrings your way. Nelico even lampshades that you won't be able to complete it until you've visited other Genometrics if you see the optional event in the Junkyard area, and Heart of Light gives you a hint about what the fourth test is about if you try to defeat him at the very end of the Genometrics startup sequence.
  • Hand Wave: How the equipment you synthesize works at all is never understood, and sometimes this is the only way of justifying the existence of such outlandish items like an RNA chip that turns you into an amoeba.
  • Happily Married: In the Vita version, an alternate version of Nelo (who hails from what's implied to be the Delta/Casty good end) tells you that her world's Delta and Casty married two years after saving everyone on Soreil.
  • Heroic Mime: Earthes, sort of, in that the robot can only use text prompts to speak. He's actually you, the real life player, working through him.
  • Hot-Blooded: Delta and Cass, natch. They're even hot-tempered in different ways; Delta tends to flare up more on questions of war or ideology while Cass goes ballistic on emotional topics, resulting in them taking turns as the other's straight man.
  • Hunter of Their Own Kind: The humans and Sharl are at war and both sides are led by a member of the opposite side. Kanon is human but believes humanity is too far gone and needs to absolve of its crimes, while Nay is stuck in a Sharl body but still fights for the sake of humanity. Though Nay was originally human and identifies more with the humans than the Sharl.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: It's never explained why Felie and Vio's friend Rin look exactly the same except for their eyes, or if there's even a reason (other than from a plot perspective in order to make help Ion identify Rin's body and cause Vio to lose hope about saving Felie.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Continues the tradition of every single character making Purification Ceremonies sound like sex. At this point, one wonders if they're not doing it on purpose, really.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Sarly has a massive, and probably reciprocated crush on Shirotaka but refuses to do anything about it because she believes herself to be too much of a nerd to have a stable couple life.
  • Item Crafting: Loads and loads of it, complete with a commentary for each silly item you make — which is all of them.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: And this time, it's not only the heroines. Due to the chaining mechanic you get to explore the psyches of supporting characters as well.
  • Just Add Water: A large part of the items you can get from crafting are born of pure insanity and definitely not what you put in the recipe. Especially plugins, most of which appear to be "I stuck a CPU and [random thing ranging from a figure of a hot woman to an overgrown amoeba to cream soda] together and for some reason it works better now". The characters are aware of this, and it is played for laughs.
  • Karma Houdini: YMMV on whether Nelo is this, but the other 7th Dimension player definitely counts.
    • Specifically, Nelo killed many innocent people and was willing to destroy the entire universe just so she could go home. In the end, not only did she get to home but nobody in the game puts much blame on her at all, treating her more like a victim than villain. Guess screwing and killing innocent people to get what you want really does pay off?
      • Ironically, Neptool also did a similar thing as Nelo, but arguably for a nobler cause (to save his daughter's life), but not only did he die, the very daughter he sacrificed everything to save saw him more as a villain for what he did. She hardly saw him as father, opting more for Dr. Clacket, a scientist she barely knew but shared her interests and showed more intimate fatherly concern for her.
  • King Incognito: Most Felion citizens don't know that Nay the Gale, friendly neighbourhood heroine, is actually their Divine Empress. That Nay is all around beloved by everyone while the Empress's popularity keeps sinking due to the war does not help.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After you do the ultimate attacks for the first time, where the characters strip and embrace each other, a conversation topic appears where they ask each other why they needed to strip for it.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • Every item you make in synthesis. When Nay finally makes something that does look normal, Cass and Delta remark that something's off about it.
    • Some of the items Sarly makes are even beyond lethal, such as a scale model of the Soreil that transmits everything you do to it to the actual ship. Sadly, it's not usable in combat.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Find enough conversation topics and you unlock a crystal slot to enhance your stats. You also get new song magic for each genometrics you complete.
  • Living Battery: The Maternal Overseer switches the power source from interdimensional energy harvesting to people in a bid to absorb their souls.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Ion's story starts with her escape from it.
  • Mind Screw: To a certain extent, all genometrics is this. Ion's in particular is especially tricky to navigate.
  • Money for Nothing: The rate at which you acquire Carats (CT), the easily maxed-out crafting items you can sell in bulk for even more CT, and the prices of goods and services across the board means you will almost never want for pure cash.
  • Mood Dissonance: Renall reunites with Ion, discusses a possible way out of the impending disaster, and tells us of the destruction of Ra a room plastered with Pretty Berry posters.
  • Mood Whiplash: In Shirotaka's DLC Genometrics on Casty's side, you go through what seems to be an over-the-top, comical Dating Sim until the Feminisat intervenes and reveals that Shirotaka's love of the 2D world is escapism from the fact he still hasn't gotten over Pram's death.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia songs (namely Green Lands, Ancient Memories and AT Inside ~Anomaly~) make their return when the road to Ar Ciel, the planet said game takes place on, is opened. In the same context they were first used for, at that (world map, outside and inside of the First Tower respectively). In addition, the opening song (To The Songless Hill ~Harmonics Pre-Ciel~) actually takes parts from Ciel nosurge's first and last songs (To The Songless Hill and Ra Ciel Fuser), as well as having the same exact opening chorus lines used in the Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia opening theme (Singing Hill ~Harmonics EOLIA~), in another language.
    • One of Ar Ciel's locations is Shelanoir's Forest, a mythical location previously talked about in song by Akiko Shikata. Ar nosurge is the first time the place is actually seen, as by the time of the Ar Tonelico trilogy it has long been reduced to an enormous crater filled with magma due to the Seven Bloodstains Incident. The music in the area (The Color-Carrying Wind) was also explicitly been said to be based off from the song where the forest's story was first told.
  • Multiple Endings: You can get different endings depending on certain factors:
    • The team chosen to beat the final boss.
    • Synthesizing a certain item.
    • Encouraging Ion to find a way home, after all.
    • also there's a joke ending if you choose to stay with Shurelia on Ar ciel.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Nay's ultimate recipe, which makes the item you need for the true ending, gives you none other than... a very expensive meat and potato stew. Even Nay herself is bewildered.
  • No Fourth Wall: There's a sheet of glass, but that's about it.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Somewhat justified, since there are areas that weren't meant for regular people to live in. Lampshaded in a conversation about Quanturv, which is a city built in an inactive reactor.
    Ion: I thought it was lovely to see streets and buildings built on trees. It was like a fairy tale... Although, as soon as I noticed, there weren't any handrails, all I could think about was how dangerous it was. I guess it's just normal to the people living there.
  • Notice This: The items in the field are balls of light.
  • Numerical Hard: It's generally advisable to play the game on Hard because bosses on Veteran simply have more HP, defense and damage, and therefore simply take longer to kill. Switching to Veteran and grinding lower-leveled areas is recommended for Dive Point farming, though.
  • Official Couple: Probably the biggest difference between this game and the Ar Tonelico games. No girlfriend-picking here, it's Delta/Casty and Ion/Earthes (and Sarly/Shirotaka) all the way. There is a special ending where you can use Interdimend to enforce Delta/Shurelia instead but it's pure What the Hell, Player? material.
  • Older Than They Look: Just about everyone. That white-haired girl in the page picture? She's over 20 years old. Justified due to the effects of being turned into an Incarnate: a human-shaped Genom, so they can use Song Magic and it stops their aging, and is the reason why Sarly and Cass look so young. Nay's early teens look is because she was the very first Sharl ever created, and they don't age either. Most other characters look their age (though Delta is surprisingly clean-shaven... unlike Shirotaka), cryostasis for thousands of years nonwithstanding.
  • Old Save Bonus: Connecting this game to a Ciel nosurge save file unlocks a lot of neat bonus content in Ion and Earthes' scenario. In the Japanese version.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Par for the course due to being part of the EXA_PICO games.
  • One-Winged Angel: About halfway through the game, Zill turns into an extradimensional being called the Maternal Overseer via Assimilation Plot.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sarly ends up asking Shirotaka what kind of dumb alias is Leolm. Turns out it's actually his real name, which stumps pretty much everyone.
  • Otaku: Shirotaka is still around and is the same as ever. He even programs romantic visual novels for you if you get the game's DLC.
  • Palette Swap: A particularly Egregious case. There seem to be only a handful of models and any types, their danger to you decided by their colour scheme.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Genomirai Church speaks at length about blessings and salvation and the guidance of the Sharl, who are God's's really a sham cult created by Zill, who also created the Sharl.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Neglected your dives and want to finish it all before the end? The Hymmnesphere gets its encounter count raised to 50 waves of enemies that you can kill for 5x multipliers if you play the battles right. Of course, this is only right before the final battle.
  • Playful Hacker: Sarly and Shirotaka. Sarly even calls herself good at using computers but not so much tinkering with them, in contrast to gearhead Ion.
  • Powers as Programs: Similarly to Ar Tonelico, one of the two Song Magic types, the Cielns are programs created to be executed by the Surge Concerto Terminal that serves as the main control system of Soreil. They are even sung in a programming language unique to the game called REON-4213, which was also used by the Cielnotrons back in Ciel nosurge.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Mechanical wings, natch.
  • The Power of Friendship: As expected, this is how they solve the core problem: by creating a planet with Song Magic borne out of the Seven's wishes.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Ion's goal to find and gather the Seven, who were most of her old friends from the time of Ciel nosurge. The problem being, while Delta, Cass, Nay and Sarly are still together, Kanon is at war with them and Shirotaka and Renall are MIA. Both of them were eventually found in the Hymnesphere, away from the Soreil.
  • Rainbow Speak: Key terms are colored purple so you know they can be found in the glossary if you want more information.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: The Genomirai Archbishop and the Divine Empress will absolutely whoop your ass in combat if you're unprepared.
  • Really 700 Years Old: All the cast members returning from Ciel nosurge, excepting Ion and Nero, have been in cryostasis for five thousand years. They're actually called Ancients by the rest of Soreil's inhabitants. And Nero herself has been around for around 10000 years prior to the events of the game, though she spent over 5000 of them as a roaming soul, while like Ion, she skipped over the other half using Song Magic.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nay and Kanon, friendly and extroverted, and cold and reserved respectively.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Everyone on the Soreil, even Zill, has workable reasons why they do what they do. The only one who doesn't exists outside of 7D space.
  • Schmuck Bait: Tattoria synthesizes two for you - Maze Bread (a poisonous cookie that can have its poison neutralized by solving the maze on its top... somehow), and Sharanoir Tea (an item which he admits came about because he nearly drowned, and just barely managed to save himself). Using either will take chunks out of your health in exchange for buffs. The tea is notorious because it sacrifices all of your health.
  • Serious Business: Don't question Nyuroki's appeal in front of Sarly or Cass.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit:
    • Quite a number. All the Sharl monsters are costumed as such, as is Sarly, and Cass's alternate costumes are this too. One starts to wonder if this is ntny's fetish.
    • Special mention to Nay and Prim, whose really low cut outfits get incredibly distracting when seen from the back and front, respectively.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Delta and Cass are susceptible to this, even after having passionately declared their love for each other multiple times. That said, the problem is not that they're in denial about the fact that they're lovers, but that they're not used to suddenly defining themselves as such because as far as they're concerned they've always been extremely close since childhood and nothing has really changed about their relationship.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shopping Cart Antics: What ends up happening to Delta when you make the Shocking Cart.
  • Skyscraper City: Felion. Much of the background buildings you see take great advantage of the largely vertical design of the station.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Koei apparently had two translators on the game, as some romanizations keep jumping around from text box to text box. Notable examples include Zill/Jill, Quanturv/Quantave, Korzal/Cosal, Nero/Nelo...
  • Spotting the Thread: Cass does this to Delta, by pointing at Honokano from a point where they can't actually see it, forcing him to admit he's lost most of his sight to Interdimend's effects, and he lets her on the secret. However, that was only the last straw, as how she points out, they've always been together and she noticed there was something wrong with him a long time ago.
  • Squee: When building the Superalloy Avatar, Delta gets ahold of the recipe... and promptly modifies it into a Combining Mecha toy that barely resembles the original product. When asked about it he enthusiastically calls it a man's romance and is seen playing in the bath with it later on. Earthes enters a similar state when presented with Kanon's cathode that's a drill-shaped pilebunker.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Ion and Earthes could qualify as one if your relationship with her gets deep enough, due to the simple fact that she is from a different world than yours. It is possible for the player to marry her in this game (in Genometrics, at least) or Ciel Nosurge (the latter even have a marriage oath beyond the Seven Dimensions, courtesy of Nelico). However, at the end of Ciel Nosurge, Ion had to disconnect the Interdimend terminal to transfer it to Earthes avatar, possibly unable to reconnect to the same person again, or worse, ended up connecting to a player that doesn't appreciate Ion as much as the player from Ciel Nosurge does. The Ar Nosurge OS has a built-in interaction limiter for a reason.
    • While it is possible for her to reconnect the terminal to the same player via the Sekai Link in the Japanese version, the Interdimend will be cut off again at the end of the game, separating you for good regardless whether she stays in the reborn Ra Ciela or returns to Earth, as she lives in a different collective axis than the player's Earth.
    • This can be downplayed somewhat in the Japanese version as you can get one of three possible voicemails from Yuuki Nei after clearing both games, but unlocking the best of these voicemails requires you to be marry her back in Ciel Nosurge in the first place.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Delta fights with a pair of energy bladed weapons that can combine into a BFS, a warhammer, or shoot projectiles. He calls them tonfas.
  • Techno Babble: Sarly is especially prone to this.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: If the number of enemies don't alert you to this, it also has a floating giant ring on the background, it consists of one long flight of stairs, and it's in space. It's not that different from any other dungeon in actual design, but still.
  • Time Skip: The game skips two years when you first take control of Ion and Earthes. On the other hand, it is amusing to note that Ciel nosurge to Ar Nosurge is actually a total aversion : Ion's story starts maybe five minutes after Ciel ended, as said game ended on Ion unplugging your communicator to mount it on the robot body that would later be known as Earthes, and Ar starts with her rebooting it after it's done.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The basis of the Sharl's actions. They believe that humanity's ability to choose for themselves is the cause for all their self-destruction, and their leader wishes to turn them into a peaceful hivemind working for the collective good.
  • Through His Stomach: Sarly put lots of effort into doing this; so much so that she came close into serious breakdown when she realized how lousy she is at cooking.
  • The Fundamentalist: The Sharl have tinges of this. They are willing to do extremely drastic things base purely on their church teachings, believing they are doing what's best for everyone. The teachings are unquestionable, with Cosal even attacking and abandoning Kanon for questioning what they were doing to the humans, despite how devoted Kanon is to him and his teachings in general.
    • Zill may also count. She was raised by very conservative parents of the Chimon faction and believe that the Genom are superior to humans, among other beliefs. This leads to her having so really loony ideas.
  • Title Drop: In the climax of the second phase.
  • Tsundere: The entire first level of Cass' Genometrics is about the conflict between her tsun and dere sides. It gets to the point where there's a "interpreter" and that translates tsun lines to dere lines, and it's hilarious.
    Cass: If you don't leave, I'll throw you into the brig again!
    Tsunderain: I can't protect you, but I want to be by your side. It would make me feel better if you were secure in the safe.
    Cass: GAAAAAH! Shut up! I didn't say anything close to that!
    Tsunderain: It's all true, I swear! Please, Delta..., Don't be mislead by words, and realize my true feelings!
  • Undercover as Lovers: Delta and Cass originally infiltrated Quanturv by stating they were eloping. Of course, they've never been anything other than a couple, but the point still stands.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Zill's life philosophy is forming a new society free of the flaws in humanity (such as selfishness) that can exist in true harmony. If she needs to lie, scheme and create a few "noble sacrifices", then so be it.
  • Visible Silence: Go on, ask Ion whether she can love you when you put on the Chunpi Costume (a Chunpi mask that gets horrifying when combined with Earthes's peculiar head).
    Ion: ...
    Ion: ...
    Ion: ...
    Ion: I'm sorry, I just can't!
  • Voice of the Legion: The Maternal Overseer. Fitting, for someone who wishes to make all of humanity and Sharl into a hivemind.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Zill is probably the first enemy you can't defeat by just mashing the square button, and will also make you wish you had stocked up on a number of restoratives.
  • Wave Motion Sword/Gun: Delta's and Earthes's powered-up triangle attacks.
  • Welcome to Corneria: All the NPCs have dialogue changes save for the elder in Honokano who only says this line every time.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nero, whose body is being rejected from their world, had experiments performed on her and was used as the core of the system that allowed everyone to use Song Magic. Her only means to return from the game's world to her own involves genocide.
    • Ion too, but only because she actually had to destroy Ra Ciela herself in the previous game.
  • Wham Line:
    • Courtesy of Nei Yuuki: "Don't lie to me! What do you know? I know things... You're just looking through a screen, right? Pressing buttons..."
    • After getting the Soliel's navigation systems back online, Delta, Cass, and Sarly all realize the ship is still exactly where it started.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Lots of responses the Player can make lead to the characters telling them off for being a creep or a jerk. These ranging form sexual harassment, to creepy as hell sexual harassment, to screwing Delta's life, to actions that leads to the death of Ion and the others just for laughs. Not the mention the utter betrayal of Ion's trust and love.
  • World Half Empty: Perhaps unexpectedly so. Behind the cheer and humor, humanity is actually stuck in a spaceship roaming deep space, locked in a struggle against mysterious beings who kidnap their loved ones. Those who are taken never return, so they might as well be considered dead; diseases cause entire sections to be locked down; and what remains of humanity is divided between a religious sect that worships the sharl and a militant force which opposes them to the death.
  • Wrench Wench: Ion loves tinkering, building stuff and thinks vacuum tubes are the cutest thing ever. However, when she was on Earth her parents did not approve of her going into engineering.
  • You Bastard!:
    • The game doesn't pull any punches on you essentially body jacking Delta regardless of your reasons, Ion's penultimate Genometrics blames you for treating this as a game and only wanting to advance.
    • In a minor degree, Nelico's Genometrics also calls out the Ciel nosurge players who never bothered playing the game to the end: the player ends up being abandoned by Ion halfway during the roleplay sessions in which they exchanged roles, and when they tell the Sharl Ar Cielno that Ion would never abandon them, she replies back that there were many parallel worlds in which Ion herself said these same words but the player she was connected to never came back and left her alone, trapped in her Genometrics forever. Unfortunately, due to poor wording, it ends up making it look like Ion has been going around with all other players, which is actually impossible because each player connects to a different possibility of Ion, and no two players will connect to the same version of her (the Sharls are the only ones that have awareness about the parallel worlds due to their connections with each other and the Micro Quasar.)
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Due to the limited amount of NPC and enemy models used in the game. One of the side-effects of the game team getting a lower budget from Gust in comparison to the one given to the one working in the Atelier games.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Tattoria absolutely refuses to explain to Ion what he uses to make the Silent Green item, and the ingredients list in the box is unreadable due to being blacked out. Given its name is a clear Soylent Green joke, it's probably for the best.

Alternative Title(s): Ar Nosurge, Ar Nosurge Plus