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Video Game / Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica

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Clockwise from top: Croix, Luca, Cloche
Was yea ra, Rrha yea ra synk mahin yor en meanote 
Was yea ra, Rrha yea ra irs an ar ciel,eenote 
Was yea ra, Rrha yea ra synk sphilar yor en meanote 
exec hymme METAFALICA.note 

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 and the overarching EXA_PICO franchise.

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 IPD, 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 patch of a new translation was completed in December 29th, 2016.

Being as this is the page for the second installment, more general series tropes go on the EXA_PICO page.

Ar tonelico II provides examples of:

  • Acrophobic Bird: Referred to in EXEC_SPHILIA/.
  • Action Girl: Cloche has a sword (in both her standard and Oldmodern Style costumes), though she doesn't really use it. Save for her Moment of Awesome.
  • 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 Genes Are Codominant: Female children inheriting the Reyvateil genes will awaken to those powers roughly around the onset of puberty even if they can't use them properly yet. However, they're weaker and shorted lived than their Beta Reyvateil ancestors. Additionally, having the genes doesn't necessarily guarantee becoming a Reyvateil, as it's stated that Reyvateils are rarer than normal humans.
  • All There in the Manual: The setting encyclopedia goes into certain details regarding character histories and more of how the plot came to happen, etc.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Lots of them are activated through Synchronity Chain and Cloche's Replekia.
  • Amazon Brigade: Cloche's IPD fanclub is referred to in terminology as an "elite bodyguard unit" of Reyvateils.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Dualithnode crystals are used to enhance Reyvateil abilities.
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: The cosmosphere is supposed to be a look at the inner world and emotional conflicts of a reyvateil, but Jacqli presents hers to Croix as a game and allows him, Luca and Cloche to fulfill three of the main roles for what amounts to her magical girl fanfiction. It's the same idea as Luca's dive therapy, but much more impressive. However, the NPC Alfman Omega and the author avatars of Miros and Miwa all stray from their intended behaviors at times and "Kuroaki" starts hearing crack sounds in stage three as the stage begins to break down. By level five, it's clear that the story is a metaphor for Jacqli's internal struggles after all and her control over the world can't extend any deeper into her mind. Even the player sees the world as though looking through a broken window. The story ends there and to progress further Croix has to commit to her and enter her true, unaltered cosmosphere, which still uses the same setting as Jacqli's story.
  • Anime Hair:
    • Alfman has what can only be described as gravity-defying hair.
    • Frelia's hair is pretty crazy, too.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The Bonus Boss can be fought consecutively without fighting any battles in-between, unlike the previous game's bonus boss that required five regular battles between each fight.
  • Anticlimax: After Jacqli takes the Heart of the Land produced by and made of Cloche/Luca's soul, the party tracks her down while she continually flees and occasionally has her robot dog stall you for time. You finally reach her as she completes some unknown ritual using the Heart of the Land, only for it to fail, prompting her to hand it over without any fuss the moment Croix asks for it.
  • Assimilation Plot: The Sacred Army is backing Hibernation, an attempt to forcibly upload everyone's minds to Infel Phira. Tried on a grander scale later with Sublimation.
  • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: By maxing the Psych gauge enough times, you can trigger a Synchronity Chain. Apart from giving you free action time, it also opens up powerful combo magic. However, it's not even available until act 3, requires combat to go on for quite a few rounds, requires a high relationship between the two Reyvateils and in the end still isn't as powerful as just using Replakia, which only requires maxing out harmonics, something you do anyway and making it available by the second round of combat. Plus, once the combo magic has been activated, it will unleash itself automatically.
  • Battle Couple: A game mechanic. Every knight and Reyvateil team is also a romantic couple; including the protagonist Croix.
  • Barrier Maiden: The goddess Frelia certainly qualifies, as her support is required to keep all of Metafalss afloat above the Sea of Death.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Hymmnos songs are not just gibberish. If you know the language or, more reasonably, have the translated lyrics you can see what is actually being sung about or sometimes even simply talked about. For example, Jakuri calls Croix a thief before taking the Heart of the Land and leading him on a chase around the Rim because it agreed to go with her, not him, when she spoke to it in Hymmnos. The party just assumes she made it mad and caused it to attack you.
  • 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. Jakuri says Frelia can handle four people at once. Everyone shouts how impossible this and normally this would be the case but Jakuri reminds them that Frelia is a goddess and so can handle it easily. Croix' response is pretty much "oh yeah....I forgot...". That said, they're not actually Diving into her Cosmosphere due to it being impossible to handle by modern Dive Machines, but into her section of the Binary Field instead.
  • 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.
  • Boob-Based Gag: 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 drawn sprite of this alone makes this scene more hilarious than it has any right to be.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The strongest enemies in the game are not the various bosses but rather level 9 IPDs, a random group of mostly generic enemies placed randomly throughout the world or occasionally used to guard high level Dualithnode Crystals.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Poor Jakuri. The trauma that underpinned her Big Bad status in the previous game is revealed.
    • Even though Cloche didn't go to such extremes, it shows when you figure out why her Cosmosphere's so messed up...
    • At the very beginning we are shown how five year old Luca loses her younger sister and her father and it turns out this one event was the root of Luca's twisted mind, self-hatred and guilt. It didn't help that Reisha became distant and cold towards Luca when the latter needed Reisha the most.
    • The concept of IPD is 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, demonstrated by Croix himself, and what happens to Cocona when she goes berserk.
  • Broken Bird: Jakuri, 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......"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
  • Came Back Wrong: Nenesha. Specifically as a Type 2, as her physical body took a stab to the heart by Raki and only her Heart of the Land from the failed attempt at Metafalica remained.
  • The Cameo: Shurelia makes a brief appearance near the end of the story. All three heroines from the first game appear in Frelia's Binary Field Dives.
  • Catfight: Luca and Cloche twice. The first time is played for laughs, but the second one is played much more seriously, with both of them dropping reasons the other sucks like bombs.
  • Child Prodigy: Sasha runs a shop all by herself and teaches herself academics before bed. She can even read the Pira Theroies.
  • Chained by Fashion: Cloche's Victim Pain costume.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Quite a few.
    • Gengoro/Nenesha and Infel, who were first introduced as Mind Guardians. Later it was eventually revealed that Gengoro had shapeshifted into Nenesha while Infel simply resided in Cloche's Cosmosphere as a pseudo-Mind Guardian, eventually serving as the final bosses in the game.
    • Luca was first introduced as Croix's long-distance girlfriend and Reisha's adoptive daughter. It turns out that she is the Goddess Maiden.
    • Leyka is Reisha's long-lost daughter who had been kidnapped when she displayed IPD symptoms at a very young age, and was presumed to be dead near the end of the Phase 1. It turns out the current Maiden of Mio who has been instated as Lady Cloche is none other than Leyka herself.
    • Amarie, whose introduced as a mysterious follower and becomes a party member.
  • Church Militant: The Sacred Army is a militant faction that claims to serve the Goddess Frelia, and since her messenger is part of their leadership, that claim is on good faith.
  • 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:
    • Replekia channels the power of singing IPDs 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.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: When Cynthia's not talking about love she makes even less sense.
  • Combination Attack: Synchronity Chains.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Frelia's Binary Field has three familiar Reyvateils playing roles in the Syndicate.
    • Jakuri and Spica talk about Lyner and his harem all the time along with those other people that they traveled with.
    • Jakuri also uses Viruses from the first game - her creations as the Mother Virus, Mir - for some of her song magic.
    • A monster called a Nyo? shows up briefly in Metafalica; aside from that, they were only in Elemia.
  • Creepy Child: Alice in Cloche's Cosmosphere eventually shows herself to be this; first the mysterious appearances and then the vicious punishments later on.
  • Cute and Psycho: Many of the personae in Luca's Cosmosphere switch between cutesy and dangerous quickly.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Jakuri has a bizarre version: while she is shown to slip up in battle, she can only do so in a floating mech, which will fall flat on its face.
  • Cute Witch: One of Luca's costumes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mir/Jakuri and Cloche; both of them suffer abuse from their creators/bosses and the later was kidnapped from her family to make it happen. Luca qualifies as well; the events of the childhood and the environment she grew up into lead to her turning into a manipulative liar.
  • 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, which is not helped at all by the fact that Sol Ciel (the first game's setting) was left in a far better shape after the Grathnode Inferia than Metafalss is. Jakuri, who is familiar with the events of the first game, is amused by the contrasts between the casts.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Jakuri 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: Infel has been dead for centuries, but due knowing how to control 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 Jakuri.
  • 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 Jakuri's Cosmosphere story as they're playing the "heroines of justice" bit but end up 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.
  • Distressed Damsel: Every Reyvateil except for Jakuri needs a rescue at some point or another.
  • 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, and they also force Luca to sing only the EXEC part of Metafalica, which is doomed to fail without the METHOD part.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • Diving is frequently compared implicitly and explicitly to sex, to the point where a Dive therapy shop is likened to a brothel. However, if customers actually treat Dive Therapists like that, they're generally given permanent bans from Dive Shops. Further, after Croix Dives into Cloche Luca gets sulky about Cloche taking his "virginity" and saying she hadn't let anyone Dive into her apart from her job because she wanted it to be special for her too. Part of this was due to NISA's localization, as the equating to sex wasn't as hamfisted or prevalent in the original script.
    • Third Generation Reyvateils need a life extending crystal plugged into their Install Port, a special conduit that only Reyvateils have, because they die if they go beyond three months without it. While it seems that the problem is the size of the crystal, it has nothing to do with it: the Reyvateils scream in pain due to the crystal dissolving into its component waves (ie: they have something akin to a nuclear fission right on their skin) and being absorbed by the Port to end up in their minds, making them feel as if they were being given a particularly painful injection and also having their minds suffering a tremendous shock during the Install, so it'd hurt the same no matter how small the crystal was. Unfortunately, it tends to be treated and sound like a couple having sex for the first time.
  • The Dragon: Oh, Raki. The enforcer for the Big Bad.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The NIS America translation implies that Reika killed Croix's parents, where in reality she had nothing to do with that incident. Croix's mother suffered from an IPD outbreak and it caused her to go insane and kill her husband, while she herself died in the destruction she caused. This explains why the characters never bring it up or hold Cloche accountable for it. This is one of the errors that were fixed in the relocalization project.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Trulywaaths. Luca's father died fifteen years ago, her little sister was taken and she has a terrible relationship with her mother due to Reisha being distant and cold for years out of her fear of getting too attached to her adopted daughter because she knew she'd be taken away, except she never was. Reisha probably didn't realise how much pain this caused to Luca since it contributed to further increase her guilt and self-hatred to the point her mind got twisted. Luca became obsessed with finding her lost little sister Reika thinking that's the only way to fix her family's situation because whatever she tried previously didn't work. When an IPD tells her sister probably died years ago, Luca loses it.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
    • It nearly happens three times.
      • First, there's the threat of Frelia running out of power to keep the Rim afloat which will ultimately happen no matter if Metafalica is succesful or not.
      • Second, there's the Hibernation plan, an Assimilation Plot to upload everyone into Infel Phira since Metafalss is almost unsalvageable.
      • Finally, Sublimation, which would convert all the people in Sol Ciel and Metafalss into a Will of the Planet.
    • It also happened off screen before the game begins: one time because of the massive power consumption that Infel and Nenesha's failed Metafalica caused, and after that, when Raki halved Sol Marta's power output in response to Shurelia using Suspend in the first game. Both of these events caused several sections of the Rim to collapse.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The world nearly ends three times and the story contains multiple civil wars and apparently at least one genocide in the recent backstory, but the story does have a happy ending when Cloche and Luca finally stop hating each other and sing Metafalica properly. All main characters make it through okay too and most of the villains convert.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Ryuju, a monster Infel and Nenesha create out of Frelia's trees by singing Sublimation that is fought during the first two rounds of the Final Boss, is an instrument-woman-dragon-tree that wouldn't look of place with Yoshitaka Amano's final boss designs.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Cloche and Luca, but Cloche takes the cake due to her IPD fan club.
  • Facial Markings: Amarie who is half-Teru.
  • Fangirl: An in-game example being Cloche's army of IPDs for Replekia.
  • Fanservice: There's a game mechanic devoted to girls taking baths, among many other things.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: The two paths for the game. Luca, a Maiden of Homura (Fuero), and Cloche, a Maiden of Mio (Aqua). Homura means Flame in Japanese. Mio means Waterway in Japanese. Fuero looks like it should be a fire-related Latin word, while Aqua is Latin for Water.
  • Floating Continent: The Rim floats over the Sea of Death.
  • 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.
    • Fauxshadow: During an early cutscene, just after you team up with Leglius, with Cloche pointedly standing behind him, while Cocona stands behind you, in a similar alignment to a knight and their Reyvateil partner, with Cocona dropping several hints to potentially being one. Moments later, Leglius tells you to flee, and Cocona never partners with Croix. It's not until the next game that she awakens her Song Magic...
  • 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.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Close-but-not-quite; while no actual body-swapping occurs, 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 is seen depends on which route Croix takes.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Reisha's weapon of choice. She takes out a combat robot with it.
  • Gainax Ending: If you chose one of the other girls, Jakuri's Cosmosphere ends this way. It gets even funnier when Jakuri basically tells you afterwards I have no bloody clue. Fanwank something.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration
    • The "link" system indicates a Reyvateil's affinity with their guard and how well they can work together. It's reliant on personal interactions and as such pairs like Cocona and Luca are bad because Cocona dislikes Luca and Luca is jealous of her in turn while Cocona and Cloche get along quite well in their tastes and have great affinity as a result. Further, the links can change as the story advances: Luca and Croix start with a good ranking while Cocona and Jakuri start out at normal, but Luca's affinity drops after you're through the tutorial part of the game when she breaks up with him while Cocona's goes up when Jakuri learns she's a Reyvateil.
    • Your view of Jakuri's Cosmosphere begins to fragment and crumble as Jakuri slowly loses control of the situation, which culminates in her telling Croix that it's not safe to continue diving in her.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The localization added a glitch in which the game will freeze during the third round of combat with a mandatory boss due to deleting the code and attack type for it. Fortunately, it's possible to defeat the boss within the time limit with reasonable leveling.
  • Gift of Song: The main character writes a song as a gift for one of the heroines in her ending, using the language that only the heroine's race sings out of.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Cocona, Sasha, Luca's Pretty Cherry costume, Cloche's Summer Love and Pretty Viola costumes, Jakuri's Pure Ritual costume. They're generally for cuteness or innocence.
  • Godiva Hair: Jakuri's Miros costume wears little clothing but her hair covers up her body.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Every side in the game has its own positive and negative qualities. Even Infel and Nenesha, the Big Bad Duumvirate, are doing what they believe is the only way to save their people from extinction with their Assimilation Plot.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck trying to get Jakuri's ending without referring to one of several guides to find enough of her talk topics. Even then, you can STILL get screwed over.
  • Guns Akimbo: Jakuri's Spirit Gunner costume, though the guns are fake.
  • Half-Human Hybrid
    • The half-Teru Amarie, Chester, and Sonia.
    • In a sense, almost all currently living Reyvateils and everyone directly related to them are only part Reyvateil. Origin and Beta Reyvateils were constructed as part of the Project Reyvateil and live longer than humans, indefinitely in the case of the Origin Reyvateils. However, betas are capable of reproducing, but their descendants will get sick and die without regular treatment and even then only live to around forty or so.
  • Headbutting Heroes: A lot of party members just don't like each other. Sometimes it gets better and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of vanguards and reyvateils, it can have a big effect on gameplay: Pairing up two characters who dislike each other is a bad idea.
    • Leglius and Amarie fight constantly. At first glance it's because she's an obvious spy, but it turns out she actually just reminds Leglius of his deceased daughter and he's worried about her but awful at getting it across. When she's not around he'll admit he doesn't think she's going to betray them but is only hostile because she's keeping secrets when she has no reason. Reisha eventually tells him to stop being an idiot and show some of the concern he feels if he wants her to open up. By the end, they have a sort of father/daughter relationship.
    • Luca and Cloche also don't get along until the end which is a big problem when the strength of their relationship is necessary to the survival of the world. It takes until around act four before their relationship is finally smoothed out and includes several attempts to outright kill each other before that happens.
    • Finally, other vanguard/reyvateil pairs also have low compatibility and the relationships here never improve enough to affect gameplay like it does with Cocona and Jakuri/Cloche. For example, Luca is jealous of Cocona, who dislikes her in turn while Cloche initially considers Amarie both flaky and untrustworthy.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: In one level of Cloche's Cosmosphere, she rapidly alternates between treating Croix as a literal dog and acting like his girlfriend. As you go on, it's explained to be a status issue: Cloche's public image absolutely does not allow her to date, so were they to be seen in public she could never admit their relationship.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Luca's Assault Pain and Cloche's Victim Pain costumes. Note that these are bondage outfits. Yes, bondage.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Cloche is well hated at one point. She's loved again later on though.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cloche and Luca become great friends and better sisters by the end of the game. This is high-lighted in the Cocona and Jakuri endings.
  • High-Altitude Battle: The final battle against Infel and Nenesha takes place in a satellite.
  • 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. While the Cloche has a minor mental connection to the IPDs that allows them to feel each others' emotions to a certain extent, she can't consciously control them.
  • Hive Mind: All IPDs are connected at the 8th and 9th levels of their minds. This allows them to feel each others' emotions to a limited extent and makes them capable of pooling their song magic in a Combined Energy Attack.
  • House Wife: Cloche and Luca fight over who would be the better house wife in the Infelsphere. Presumably, Reisha was this pre-series.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Cloche and Alfman's mantra in Phase 1; it may be heinous but it is for Metafalica.
  • Idiot Ball: Averted. Croix remembers the fact that IPDs 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 admitting to having read her diary, it's impossible to get any information from her.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • 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!
  • Infinity +1 Sword: In this case, Infinity+1 Spell, which would be the Phantasmagoria Song Magic. It tops off rather spectacularly Jakuri's spell list (that's already the strongest of the three available Reyvateils) by getting Misha, Aurica and Shurelia to join in a Combination Attack to the tune of an arrangement of the first game's end credits song. Getting it requires to reach endgame and complete Frelia's Binary Field.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Cloche has a Tsundere-type reaction.
  • Instant Fanclub: Averted. It takes time for Reine to build the Cloche fanclub, and the IPDs have to be convinced by the player to join by complying with their support requirements.
  • Interface Screw: In theory, with good timing you could defeat any enemy in the game that does not have a healing skill so long as you hit a perfect guard every time you're attacked, even if you're only at level one. Getting perfect guard only gets easier when you've unlocked fan club members with Guard +++ or Guard ++++ for Girl Power. However, to keep you from blocking attacks that the game wants you to get hit by they'll often move the attack meter from where you're used to looking, make it shake violently or give distracting lights in the background to make it more difficult to tell when you're supposed to guard.
  • In the Name of the Moon: For the first five levels of Jakuri's Cosmosphere, Luca, Cloche and Croix's memories are temporarily taken away while they act out Jacqli's script. Whenever Luca and Cloche turn into magical girls they give cheesy speeches while even with mind alterations Croix still refuses to do it except for the very last time where he's becoming subconsciously aware that this isn't just the game Jakuri is pretending it is. It's fitting considering Jakuri/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 components) is parodied hilariously with Croix's numerically strongest weapon is simply the components glued to each other in a hap-hazard manner.
  • I Will Wait for You
    • Croix made 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, this was mostly part of her long term plan to infiltrate Pastalia's higher security areas to look for Reika and the relationship is called off before act one even ends.
    • In the default ending, Croix says he will wait for Coccona to return from her journey to the third tower.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Jakuri's Long Skirt costume draws on the "sukeban" style of female Japanese delinquents.
  • Kill Sat: The ultimate Song Magic uses their Song Servers as this.
    • Replekia is depicted as this as well, as it was fired twice throughout the story. The in-game battle system depicts it as a Song magic amplifier, though.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham: Cloche, in battle.
    Cloche: My love... is overflowing!
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Both Luca and Cloche play this dead straight; poor Croix.
    • In fairness to Jakuri, 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 for the vanguards to activate and they are awesome.
  • 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 Miss Snarker: Jakuri. Except that she's really almost 400 years old and thus only looks like a loli, and Croix definitely doesn't see her as a "younger" sister, unlike Cocona.
  • 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.
  • Living with the Villain: Infel, the Big Bad, poses as Cloche's Mind Guardian.
  • 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. On the other hand, it 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 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 makes a brand of 'weapons of love' called '=CynCro= Brand'. Nearly every synthesis with her will invoke the Power of Love.
  • Love Hurts: Croix doesn't have it any better than Lyner ever did. Croix was almost killed 4 of the 9 levels in Luca's cosmosphere, killed by the suicidal Cloche and squashed like a bug in the third Reyvateil's hate for humanity.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Infel does everything for the sake of her beloved Nenesha.
  • Luminescent Blush: Jakuri gets this surprisingly frequently and it's done hilariously at the end of her Cosmosphere. Normally, it involves a "marriage" ceremony with a speech. Jakuri 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?
  • Mage Species: Reyvateils are an artificially created subspecies of humanity and the genes that make them what they are all masked by the Y chromosome, making reyvateils a magic wielding exclusively female race.
  • 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.
  • May–December Romance: Croix and Jakuri if you choose her path considering that he's human and she's a Pureblood Beta Type. She has about a century more to live.
  • Meido: One of Jakuri's costumes is a maid uniform because of her cosmosphere script job.
  • 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. They 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, and the most powerful Hearts serve as the cores for planets.
  • The Mole: Amarie joins the main party as a spy for the Sacred Army.
  • More Dakka: One of Alfman's attacks reveals a Hyperspace Arsenal, and he unloads.
  • 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.
  • Musical Theme Naming: The Cello and Viola moons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In her backstory, Infel gave a cruel yet not 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 imperfect replacement for the sacrifice in the form of Mimimi, the doll he gave to Infel a 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."
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Misha's Spy Catsuit in Frelia's binary sphere is open all the way to her navel.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Jakuri thinks a giant killer stuffed rabbit is cute (as well as thinking all the "normal" cute things are lame).
  • Noble Wolf: Shun is a wolf that severes as the bodyguard and messenger of Frelia, the world's administrator.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In-Universe even! If Croix enters Frelia's cosmosphere and takes the option to succumb to Reisha's temptations, they hook up and live happily ever after. The story ends and Frelia sulks that she didn't even appear despite being the heroine. Croix can get basically the same bad end in the third level and it's still a happy ending, but this time a sulky Frelia calls Croix a pervert.
  • 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 a downplayed Brothersister Incest.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Jakuri" is actually the name of her mech. Her true name is Mir.
  • OneeSama: Cloche for Sasha; an elegant, reserved, and affectionate big sister figure. Sasha's adoration can 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.
  • Princess And Pauper: Zig-zagged. Luca starts as the maiden and Cloche as the common girl when they're born, then they're switched, 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... It keeps going from there.
  • Puberty Superpower: Not explicit, but Reyvateils tend have their powers awaken right at the start of puberty, though there are rare exceptions that are considered freak accidents like with Reika as a toddler, or one ancient Maiden who awakened at one year old. Cocona, at ten or eleven, has an IPD outbreak immediately after awakening, causing a nasty double shock for Croix. Also, it doesn't come with the usual mastering that you might expect: Most spells have to be individually crafted for each Reyvateil, which requires either a lot of time for them to sort out the necessary feelings to craft the songs, a strong shock or epiphany, or undergo Diving with a partner. Diving with children is a terrible idea due to the fact their Cosmospheres don't get stabilized into actual worlds until they reach 13 years in age (high risk of dying for both people involved if they dare to attempt such a Dive), nor something that would be palatable to most people, given how most people take the intimacy and trust required for Diving as being a direct metaphor for sex. Therefore, at best Cocona can just use really weak basic spells to supplement her melee or channel a raw burst of power into her combos as her EX attack.
  • Quickly-Demoted Leader: Leglius is technically Croix's boss at first... but still often takes orders from him after rejoining. Even when Croix is transferred to being directly under Cloche, a woman very much used to giving orders, she takes orders from him, too.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Cloche is the figurehead of the movement to rebel against the goddess Frelia.
  • Rags to Royalty: Luca, given that she's a Maiden, but hidden in a commoner family following Alfman's coup and then ultimately becomes a Maiden again alongside her sister.
  • 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.
  • Random Encounters: Using the same system as the first one.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Frelia and Jakuri look all of about fifteen, but are far older than they look being an Origin and a Pureblooded Beta respectively. Mind you, despite being born centuries ago Jakuri would not have been capable of aging for most of that time given that she was locked in stasis as Mir.
  • Relax-o-Vision:
    • What did Luca/Cloche do to Croix while he was sleeping in Phase 2? Boing boing!
    • One of Jacqli's song magic spells invokes this effect by having the enemy clobbered behind a peaceful screen.
  • Robot Girl: Raki and Reki are both robots created to carry out the will of Frelia; one as a warrior and the other as a hostess.
  • Rule of Cool: Rocket powered lances? Double lased bladed hair ribbon swords? Yo-yo shield chainsaws? Yeah, all the EX attacks definitely fall under this.
  • Save Point: Green circles on the map or inns generally. They also double as a spot to use Dualstall.
  • Serious Business: Gergo products are this to Cloche, especially when Geugo products are brought up in comparison.
  • Sequel Hook: One of the post-credits scenes has Jakuri/Mir entrusting a Heart of the Land to Cocona and sending her off to a third tower. The Cocona ending expands on it with an implication that Cocona will be gone for years, but Croix will wait for her.
  • Sequence Breaking: The cosmosphere often refers to events or character that you simply haven't come across yet if you progress too quickly through it. For example, Cloche's level 2 cosmosphere contains a conflict you won't hear about until the Infelsphere while level 4 contains Jacqli, except in her real form.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Jakuri's level 5 cosmosphere event has Miu cuddling up to Kuroaki before switching to the morning, where her scent has been left all over the room. Mind you, this is a story script, so presumably it's actually In-Universe and the transition between night and morning was actually instantaneous.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Jakuri 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).
  • She's a Man in Japan: The ambiguously named Jean Ishikawa (one of Cloche's spells) is clearly female, but referred to as male. So, when "he" accidentally cuts off his own armor, does that make "him" a transvestite?
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: 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.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: You can jump through a bunch of hoops to line up a Synchronity Chain and get a bit of free action time and evolve your magic into combo spells, or you can just play completely normally, max Harmonics and use Replekia. With a decent number of fan club members it's both far easier to pull off in a battle and far more powerful. Even the general effect of each is pretty telling: A Synchronity Chain is aligning the psyches of the two reyvateils enough that they cast and think in sync to achieve greater results. Replekia is just turning on a gigantic Kill Sat and nuking everything.
  • Slave Collar: Dog collar but it serves a similar purpose. Cloche puts it 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: Several character names were changed from the original Japanese release.
    • Croix and Cloche, as opposed to Chroah and Chroche, are based on French words and thus probably should have been like that to begin with, though according to developer commentary, Cloche's original name was based off the word "crochet", and there's also the fact that French doesn't exist as a language in Ar Ciel. Things like Nenesha as opposed to Nenesya reflect standard romanization schemes, so again, pretty much standard. Jakuri became Jacqli as a nonsensical stylistic choice that clashes with the fact the name actually belongs to the robot she pilots, which is lampshaded by Croix's comment on her profile that her name sounds strange and unfemminine.
      • "Cloche" means "bell" in French. The Grand Bell Holy Maiden's name is a direct translation of "bell" in another language.
    • Luca's last name (Truelywaath) became Trulyworth at the expense of some symbolism using the Hymmnos language and a bilingual pun made in Hymmnos and English.
    • Other names simply changed altogether, such as Sincere becoming Cynthia.
  • Status Effects: There are a lot of effects like virus, sick and pain... but you'll probably never notice them given that most enemies don't seem to use them on you, most attacks and spells don't inflict them and the only way you're likely to even know they exist is because you can craft items to cure them.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: This starts to happen when Infel and Nenesha sing Sublimation. This turns out to be an phenomenon caused by severance of the souls from their bodies, causing everyone within the area of effect to gradually lose their perception to the physical world.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • This defines Luca's internal turmoil; all smiles on the outside because of her job when on the inside she has angst about her sister's kidnapping, her mother's coldness and competition with other therapists as well as her self-hatred, self-rejection and fear of getting too close to people.
  • Stylistic Suck: Rather than show her inner thoughts directly, Jakuri chooses to arrange her cosmosphere as a story and wow is it cheesy. Then the cosmosphere's world begins to crack and fall apart and it's not as unrelated to Jakuri as Croix thinks.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Jakuri has elements of this, with a few standard tsundere traits thrown in for flavor. She acts aloof and cold to others (main party included) when she has a noble goal in mind.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Frelia, one of the three goddesses/Origin Reyvateils, and Luca who is the real Holy Maiden.
  • Superpower Meltdown: Reyvateil magic is strongly linked to emotions, so when an IPD infection causes their emotions to run out of control, their superpowers similarly go haywire. At the beginning of the game, you see Reika captured after an outbreak.
  • 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.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: used early on in Jakuri's "cosmosphere" during The Reveal.
    Kuroaki: You...what did you do to Togasaki!?
    Miros: ......I don't know of such a girl.
    Kuroaki: did you know that Togasaki is a girl...?
  • Take That!: While Luca disagrees, Spica takes a shot at moe:
    Spica: Sure it is. Anyone who uses the word "moe" is most likely a pervert.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Depending on which route you're on, either Cloche or Luca will push the other out of the way of a lightning bolt. It doesn't kill them despite first appearances, but it does necessitate going to a world constructed out of fragments of their psyche and memories and making the other person feel terrible about judgments they made about their savior.
    • Later played straight with Reisha, who took a lethal blast from Raki to defend Luca.
  • The Chosen One: Cloche, the Holy Maiden. The Truth is more complicated. She is a Maiden, though linked to Infel Phira instead of the Goddess. The second chosen one is Luca, the real Goddess Maiden.
  • 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 get what makes the drill suit 'manly'.
  • Timed Mission: Not defined ingame as such, but due to a bug involving an incorrect calling index being set for a skill that was apparently overlooked by the QA staff 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 game tries to call up an attack with an index far higher than any other skill and that makes it land on a section of the game's program code long after where the skill data is stored and which is completely blank, which causes it to crash if she has more than 20% of her HP. Otherwise, she merely tries to use her ultimate attack against 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. Mercifully, this is corrected in the EU release, though it seems very unlikely that it will ever see resolution in the US.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Cocona is a teenager traveling with young adults.
  • Tough Leader Façade: Cloche. A major part of her backstory is presenting an image of a regal, imposing, and above all flawless leader to her public.
  • 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!
    Lady Cloche is so tsundere. That means she acts stuck up and then gets mushy! WHY CAN'T SHE BE HONEST IN THE FIRST PLACE!?
    • Infel surprisingly fits this if you go deep enough in Cloche's Cosmosphere and do some optional scenes such as when telling that you (Croix) read her diary. She gets so flustered and angry that he's kicked out of the Cosmosphere.
    • 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.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Leglius never takes his armor off. This is despite Croix taking his off when he's not in a dungeon or in battle.
  • 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.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Any Reyvateil that becomes the Heart of Gaea is sure to go completely nuts, as all the restraints she would normally have like morality and such are removed due to becoming an imperfect Will for the Land.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Infel, who was driven by the pain of losing Nenesha to find a way to eliminate all unhappiness... Too bad her method, Sublimation, happened to be an Assimilation Plot. And there's also the fact that it wasn't even her fault that the Metafalica attempt she did with Nenesha was a failure: it was all because most of the IPDs at the time refused to cooperate with her when they looked inside her mind and ended up hating everything they saw about her, so they just stopped singing when she needed them the most.
  • 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".
    • At the deeper level of her Cosmosphere, 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, while 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. Even the Level 9 Cosmosphere which usually serves as a celebratory level isn't safe while Diving into Luca, as Croix had to pay a massive amount of DP to purchase a bridal kimono there and was nearly killed by "Romance" Song magic which summons up a cleaver wielding psycho in a test of love.
    • 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 in order to be with her again.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Immediately after his Heel–Face Turn, Alfman does this to the Divine Army so the main cast can continue their climb. After the heroes move, he invokes I Am Your Opponent.

Alternative Title(s): Ar Tonelico 2