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Thread: RPG Backtrack: Episode 94 - Ou Est le Sol Ciel?

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    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    RPG Backtrack: Episode 94 - Ou Est le Sol Ciel?

    This particular Gust series has many trademark RPG elements, including tongue-twister subtitles for the games. It also steadily progresses in misogynism, until the amount of odious material reaches near-cataclysmic levels.
    Might just be the worst Saki ever.
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

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    New Member Member DarkLancer's Avatar
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    This was a series I only recently came into contact with, and I was really excited to hear the show on it, as I've played the first two. I'm really worried about Qoga, because I really liked II as a centerpoint in a trilogy. It sets up the next game, implying that Cocona's going somewhere to solve a problem, and includes a few characters from the previous game. The latter is actually what prompted me to pick up the games in the first place. Browsing tvtropes, I found that Ar Tonelico II has the villain of the first game as a playable character in the second game, which is a trope that I really really like. Spoiler alert, that's Jacqli, who is actually Mir, which is super cool. She even talks to Shurelia from the first game at one point.

    Apart from not mentioning that particular spoiler, I definitely found myself nodding along with the discussion of Ar Tonelico I and II. Though I did find the translation of II as on par with the awful translation of Wild Arms 2, I actually found the retranslation project even worse on a couple points, which just brings out how translation is an art form, with two different theories. You can either translate literally and as true to the original words as possible, or you can translate the general gist of the original and adapt it into the language translated into. There are problems with both approaches.
    Anyhow, at this point the RPG backtrack has covered nearly all the games I've played (at least the ones the backtrack is likely to touch). When the backtrack is starting to cover games on a generation I've barely touched... It's always a pleasure.

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    Back when I was trying out the Windows 8 release candidate, I couldn't get any of my XNA games to work on it under steam. Primarily Breath of Death 7, Cthulhu Saves the World, and Penny Arcade Adventures 3. I don't know if they fixed this later though.

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    It was an enjoyable backtrack, although there are a few points that I'd like to clear off from it. Some are mere nitpicking, but others are matters about which I wanted to speak up my mind:

    - The songs in the games are in both Hymmnos and Japanese. Just checking up the lyrics at the Wikia should suffice to confirm this.

    - The region from the first game is called Sol Ciel. El Elemia was the largest country that existed in that region before the surface was rendered uninhabitable.

    - "Metafalica" has no relationship to anything phallic. The word in fact comes from the ancient Metafalss Hymmnos word "Metafalya", which means "hope". It could be argued that it's also the word from which the region's name, Metafalss, was derived, as according to the creators the nation/region used to be called "Metel Filios" when it was founded.

    - Each Dive Therapist has a personal code of conduct, so most will refuse to do any kind of job sexual in nature, as shown in the terminology entries in Ar tonelico 2. Additionally, some NPC dialog reveals that any idiot that attempts to get into a Therapy session expecting that will instead be permanently banned from all Dive Shops over at Metafalss.

    - Leyka was never kidnapped by the Sacred Army. That was the Grand Bell's doing while they were trying to capture Luca.

    - Croix only serves as the viewpoint character for Ar tonelico 2, as the main focus is put into Luca and Cloche. Despite this, he still undergoes significant development and takes action whenever it matters, as you would never see him giving the speech he gave to the final boss if he continued being how he was at the start of the game.

    - It's "Replekia", not "Replica".

    - Qoga it's pronounced "ku-oh-ga", not "kou-ga'.

    - As for Saki, it's quite a bad idea to judge her as a little child considering a few things: first, her speech tic of talking in the third person was also used by Cocona in Ar tonelico 2, but it was mostly removed in the localization of said game. However, they didn't bother doing the same here, which is why she sounds kinda retarded. As for how she acts, there's a reasoning behind this: she's an actual goddess, the personification of the Planet's side as the mother of all the animal lifeforms, and she pretty much acts like this because she refuses to realize that she failed as a creator by how badly her creations (particularly the humans) managed to ruin Ar Ciel. That's in-universe, but out-of-universe, Gust explained that they made her as a pure character that didn't have any dark thoughts or desires in order to make a contrast with the level of depth they achieved with Luca and Cloche in Ar tonelico 2. And let's not forget the fact that she doesn't have a body comparable to that of a child, but rather the opposite.

    - I disagree with the personae of the Ar tonelico 3 Reyvateils being mere stereotypes. Just playing through the game should suffice to disprove this, and coupled with the stories in which they appeared outside of the game, it utterly debunks that statement.

    - Likewise, I disagree with Ar tonelico 3 being completely senseless. All of the events of the game come are caused by a chain of events that have 700 years in the happening, which are then brought to their conclusion during the course of its plot, which also drives to a good ending the trilogy provided you get the True Endings. Any of the other endings only lead the world to its demise.

    - The timed battle actually has a timer: the light lines in the area of the battlefield where the Reyvateil is standing start blue, and as time passes, they turn yellow and then red; with red signaling that time is about to run out.

    - Ar tonelico itself was closed off with the release of the Kurt Hymneth Hymmnos Concert boxset, which included three new songs sung by Cloche (Akiko Shikata), Luca (Haruka Shimotsuki) and Mir/Shurelia (Noriko Mitose) and stories to set each of them, of which the second one also serves as the definitive closing theme for the series, being set after Ar tonelico 3. However, its universe (the universe of EXA_PICO) still lives and continues being expanded in Ciel Nosurge, which is a game that most likely we'll never see around here due to its peculiarities: always needing to be online to work, being pretty much a tamagotchi-like game with VN elements that works through episodic content, and its strong social component focused in creating fairies through the scanning of QR codes.

    - Finally, and as an additional note, you can blame NISA for treating Diving and Installs as euphemisms for sex, as while they were treated as pretty subtle double-entendres in the original Japanese text, NISA had the brilliant idea of making it all in-your-face. One of the best examples is the fact that the original text treated the first Dive of a Reyvateil merely as "first time", but never went to the extreme of saying "Dive virginity" or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLancer View Post
    Apart from not mentioning that particular spoiler, I definitely found myself nodding along with the discussion of Ar Tonelico I and II. Though I did find the translation of II as on par with the awful translation of Wild Arms 2, I actually found the retranslation project even worse on a couple points, which just brings out how translation is an art form, with two different theories. You can either translate literally and as true to the original words as possible, or you can translate the general gist of the original and adapt it into the language translated into. There are problems with both approaches.
    Could you tell me what were the problems you had with the retranslation project, then? After all, everything that has been posted on the blog are no more than drafts that have already underwent two revisions, and were aimed to show some of the inaccuracies committed by the official localization, so they shouldn't be used as an indicative for the quality the final version of the retranslation will have. Additionally, we at the team have no way of knowing in what we're failing beyond what we have noticed ourselves if no one says it.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquagon View Post
    - Finally, and as an additional note, you can blame NISA for treating Diving and Installs as euphemisms for sex, as while they were treated as pretty subtle double-entendres in the original Japanese text, NISA had the brilliant idea of making it all in-your-face. One of the best examples is the fact that the original text treated the first Dive of a Reyvateil merely as "first time", but never went to the extreme of saying "Dive virginity" or something like that.
    I never found NISA's localization to be extremely "in your face". It has its moments for sure, and issues certainly, but those moments don't feel like they mess with the overall story too much. We are talking about a super-niche game here that likely had a really small localization budget. If putting in some more boob jokes sold a few more copies, doesn't really bother me. It actually got me to check out the game (I'm awful) and I quickly ignored said jokes for the overall plot.

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    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    For complaints, nitpicks and other annoyances of imperfections, please e-mail our complaints department at wheels@rpgamer.com.

    Thank you, and have a wonderful day.

    As for the pronunciation issues in this episode, I apologize in advance because I speak faster than I think sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    @ aquagon - My pronunciation of things is terrible and I've admitted to that fully on lots of episodes. I also haven't played the first game since it released so I know I'm not telling the story as perfectly as it should be.

    As for Saki, I'm sorry, but I think people have the right to feel uncomfortable with her portrayal. It's disturbing in so many ways, I don't agree with your assessment of her. It's fine to have a character be pure and innocent, it's another to initialize her into baby-talk and disturbing acts of role play when she is talking like a baby. I don't think that makes her a character to sympathize with (I think Finnel by far is the one you sympathize with). I can't say I've seen too many people speak with positivity of how that character is portrayed, and I know from talking to a lot of women who have played the series that her character over-stepped a lot of personal thresholds.

    Truthfully, every time you come to our forums when Ar tonelico is mentioned you throw a fuss. Understand that not one agrees with you, and we calling a lot of things as we see it. Also I'm assuming you don't understand my sense of humor, so I'm sorry if you didn't like how I approached my way of conversing about the series. I know for me personally, Metaflica's image looked like a *****, so I called it as is. I don't care about the history compared to WHAT its looks like. I showed my husband and even he agreed. Point is, we are not claiming to be experts in any way about a series -- we're just sharing our feelings and just what we understand based on what we've played. I don't think there's anything wrong with that (which, might I added, I remember praising the retranslation project).

    I like this series a lot and I think it has some great ideas behind it. Yes NISA may have taken it somewhere with the sexualization, but unfortunately even without that localization, I still think parts of that game would have had sexual connotation to begin with. I got the true endings for Ar tonelico 3 (Well, I got Saki's I don't have time to replay games) and for me, I never hated the ending. I just felt like the story was lacking, especially now that I've played and completed 2, which I adored the ending for simply because I was able to see WHY Cocona was now a part of three. Because I hadn't played 2 before 3, I knew that was going to be an issue for me to discuss. Finishing 2 I can see the connections with 3, but I don't think storywise its as strong.

    Anywho, we are sorry if we offended you because we are not hardcore fans of the series and therefore our knowledge is inadequate. But rest assured, we try our best given the circumstances of when we played the games. I would say, personally, for me it was one of my weaker episodes, but considering my own life currently, I thought we did a great job. Especially Wheels. I thought he was fabulous.
    I know that, and it's okay to have differing opinions as long as we don't overstep into openly insulting what others like. However, I don't really think I've really overstepped here, as I'm only giving my own viewpoints on the matter as well, while also adding a few details about the world, and I haven't lashed at anyone either. Likewise, I also mentioned prior to posting my points that some of them were mere nitpicking, such as was the case with Metafalica's name.

    As for Saki, I stated that her baby-talk problem mostly owes to her dialog being localized in a too direct way, when we all know that a person talking about themselves in third person sounds pretty ridiculous in English and should be avoided whenever possible. As for the roleplaying, I remember that was only something Aoto "devised to camouflage her", but only because he did want to bring her alongside him despite the fact they were charging straight into enemy territory instead of leaving her waiting, which already had begun causing some strains in their relationship the first time he tried that. This is only for the main plot, of course, as the Cosmospheres are fair play for all the absurd things that happen in them. Additionally, and while it's somewhat tangential to the topic at hand, I have to say that it's quite sad that Saki's main motivation was never even mentioned in the game: she descended to the human world in order to find a way to save her best friend Shelanoir, which is the personification of Ar Ciel's side as the mother of vegetal life and was in the verge of death when she decided to descend. Fortunately, Saki and the others were successful in restoring the planet and Shelanoir was saved on the last moment, which is why the first plant you see sprouting in the surface on the ending has an additional meaning: it's a Dyanthus plant, which is the one that produces the flowers that Shelanoir loves the most.

    Well, as mentioned previously, I'm not offended, I just wanted to say a little of what I had on mind after I heard the podcast. And likewise, I enjoyed quite a bit the podcast and I never meant to say that I was enraged or anything similar to that. Still, I apologize if I sounded rude or confrontational about it.

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    News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    Saki's behaviour was ridiculously creepy with the rest of context in was relating to, said spoilered stuff above may be what they intended but it's certainly not how it came off.
    "My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre and that I am therefore excused from saving universes."
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    Staff Healer RPGamer Staff TwinBahamut's Avatar
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    If you channel every discussion over to Wheels he'll be the only person who gets to enjoy some conversation...

    Anyways, I rather enjoyed Ar Tonelico 1. It had likable characters and a very unique and interesting world. It also had a great battle system. Too bad that battle system was marred by the game being far too easy. It says something when the most challenge you get out of a battle system is trying to not kill enemies. I'm also not really a fan of most of the third act... The Shurelia plot seemed like a poor rehash of Misha's story that artificially undermined the much more emotionally engaging Misha version.

    I've played 2, but never finished it. Not sure why not, though I certainly wasn't a fan of its battle system.

  10. #10
    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquagon View Post
    I know that, and it's okay to have differing opinions as long as we don't overstep into openly insulting what others like. However, I don't really think I've really overstepped here, as I'm only giving my own viewpoints on the matter as well, while also adding a few details about the world, and I haven't lashed at anyone either. Likewise, I also mentioned prior to posting my points that some of them were mere nitpicking, such as was the case with Metafalica's name.

    As for Saki, I stated that her baby-talk problem mostly owes to her dialog being localized in a too direct way, when we all know that a person talking about themselves in third person sounds pretty ridiculous in English and should be avoided whenever possible. As for the roleplaying, I remember that was only something Aoto "devised to camouflage her", but only because he did want to bring her alongside him despite the fact they were charging straight into enemy territory instead of leaving her waiting, which already had begun causing some strains in their relationship the first time he tried that. This is only for the main plot, of course, as the Cosmospheres are fair play for all the absurd things that happen in them. Additionally, and while it's somewhat tangential to the topic at hand, I have to say that it's quite sad that Saki's main motivation was never even mentioned in the game: she descended to the human world in order to find a way to save her best friend Shelanoir, which is the personification of Ar Ciel's side as the mother of vegetal life and was in the verge of death when she decided to descend. Fortunately, Saki and the others were successful in restoring the planet and Shelanoir was saved on the last moment, which is why the first plant you see sprouting in the surface on the ending has an additional meaning: it's a Dyanthus plant, which is the one that produces the flowers that Shelanoir loves the most.

    Well, as mentioned previously, I'm not offended, I just wanted to say a little of what I had on mind after I heard the podcast. And likewise, I enjoyed quite a bit the podcast and I never meant to say that I was enraged or anything similar to that. Still, I apologize if I sounded rude or confrontational about it.
    Look, it's fine, I just don't do well with confrontational considering that I'm not an expert in any way to judge things. I call things as they are, what I like, what I don't. However, on previous threads I have seen you lash out at the staff (my own review included), and that to me is enough to make me get defensive. Also understand, I have a speech problem at times, so I know my pronunciation is TERRIBLE. I get offended easily about it because I know of my own problem with my speech. It's something I've been trying to work on for years, so I'm easily embarrassed by this issue.

    As for Saki, you and I will agree to disagree. I found her character downright offensive, and I think if they had tried to humanize her more in the location instead of the all the creepy whackiness that they felt to include for her Cosmosphere and plotline, I probably could have stomached her. However, the cat mask scene is one of the most offensive things I've ever seen, and it didn't add to the infaticizing of her. If they are may be tried to give her more plotline that wasn't fixated on her and focused on that main motivation you brought up, she probably would have been a better character all around. I found Ar tonelico 3 really offensive at times simply because they game didn't know when to stop with the whacky, inappropriateness that it radiated. That's why I felt the story was worse on a whole. I think if they had kept more of the serious tone that it had at times, it would have been a better finale and a better game.

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but at the same time, I don't know the backstory, I don't play or read Japanese. Unfortunately, NISA's location is all we got and therefore Wheels and I were basing a lot on our feelings on the product we got. I think if the series had been approached by a different company, it would have been a different product. I do value your insight, because it's interesting coming from someone who clearly knows a lot and has researched the series, but at the same, understand where we are coming from as well.

  11. #11
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I'm the man in charge of mis-pronunciation on the RPGBacktrack. Here is my official statement released for anyone with concerns.

    "At the RPGBacktrack, we promise (especially one of the co-hosts in particular) to slaughter the pronunciation of any and all names without prejudice to race, creed, color or sexual orientations (or lack-thereof). We are equal opportunity name slaughters."

    LOL

    In all honesty, I gave up trying to pronounce names a long time ago. I mispronounce the games, our guests names, nicknames from the boards, character names, etc. It's more done in jest than any intentional insult. If I call you something that's insulting, let me know, and I'll find another way to mispronounce it that isn't so insulting :P I really don't accept complaints from people who are upset that I pronounced a game or a character wrong unless they are the game's developer, though.

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    New Member Member DarkLancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquagon View Post
    Could you tell me what were the problems you had with the retranslation project, then? After all, everything that has been posted on the blog are no more than drafts that have already underwent two revisions, and were aimed to show some of the inaccuracies committed by the official localization, so they shouldn't be used as an indicative for the quality the final version of the retranslation will have. Additionally, we at the team have no way of knowing in what we're failing beyond what we have noticed ourselves if no one says it.
    Absolutely! I'm sorry I can't go over everything, it's not my project. But I'm happy to help, or at least provide another perspective on a line that I noticed (that may already have been corrected, I don't know).

    The one that I believe I was thinking of was Fururu's line "Besides, I think the person in the penguin was a woman. I donít think she liked me.", which was retranslated to "Plus, it was a woman in that penguin suit. So I donít think she came after me just because she was attracted.". I can see that the second is more true to the original Japanese wording, but the retranslation just... doesn't parse well to me. I don't like it ending with "attracted" without an object (though the object can easily be implied) but adding the object "to me" makes the phrase repetitive. There are problems with the original translation to be sure, as it doesn't convey that there was an ulterior motive.
    I should mention that, for the most part, I tend to hold the philosophy of translating the sense, and not holding too close to the original words. I would prefer more literal translations, but only accompanied by lengthy footnotes explaining the cultural context of the phrase/word at issue. There's obviously some liberties taken that I don't agree with, like making Vivian female in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, but other examples are quite good, like the Lunar Silver Star Story Complete translation, which worked in some cute pop culture here and there and generally made things kinda humorous.

    Anyhow, best of luck with your project! And it's good to hear another point of view on Ar Tonelico Qoga. For better or worse, I'm committed to the series, so I will buy a PS3 and play it someday (not getting the PS3 just for that, don't worry :P. Tons of great games, like Ni No Kuni.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    Look, it's fine, I just don't do well with confrontational considering that I'm not an expert in any way to judge things. I call things as they are, what I like, what I don't. However, on previous threads I have seen you lash out at the staff (my own review included), and that to me is enough to make me get defensive. Also understand, I have a speech problem at times, so I know my pronunciation is TERRIBLE. I get offended easily about it because I know of my own problem with my speech. It's something I've been trying to work on for years, so I'm easily embarrassed by this issue.

    As for Saki, you and I will agree to disagree. I found her character downright offensive, and I think if they had tried to humanize her more in the location instead of the all the creepy whackiness that they felt to include for her Cosmosphere and plotline, I probably could have stomached her. However, the cat mask scene is one of the most offensive things I've ever seen, and it didn't add to the infaticizing of her. If they are may be tried to give her more plotline that wasn't fixated on her and focused on that main motivation you brought up, she probably would have been a better character all around. I found Ar tonelico 3 really offensive at times simply because they game didn't know when to stop with the whacky, inappropriateness that it radiated. That's why I felt the story was worse on a whole. I think if they had kept more of the serious tone that it had at times, it would have been a better finale and a better game.

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but at the same time, I don't know the backstory, I don't play or read Japanese. Unfortunately, NISA's location is all we got and therefore Wheels and I were basing a lot on our feelings on the product we got. I think if the series had been approached by a different company, it would have been a different product. I do value your insight, because it's interesting coming from someone who clearly knows a lot and has researched the series, but at the same, understand where we are coming from as well.
    Very well, I'll leave it at that, and I'll just finish saying that I'm not the only one that actually liked Saki, but well, to each their own. However, I do find as somewhat questionable that you're acting so formal and saying things in a conciliatory tone here while also treating me as if I had turned this topic into a flame war or something over Twitter, as your tweets and the rest of the ones posted by the rest of the staff are visible in the sidebar from the main site. I just wrote my points and addendums calmly and without offending or attacking anyone, and even apologized in case my post was being taken as an attack or offense, so I don't see a valid reason for such treatment (and for the record, I don't remember having lashed at anyone in your review topic since the only comment I remember giving there was that getting the true endings wasn't so hard as you stated). I know that everyone has the right to write whatever they want in their social networking sites, but it also says a lot about a person when they do things like these... But well, I'm no one to judge anyone, so I'll refrain from saying anything further.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkLancer View Post
    Absolutely! I'm sorry I can't go over everything, it's not my project. But I'm happy to help, or at least provide another perspective on a line that I noticed (that may already have been corrected, I don't know).

    The one that I believe I was thinking of was Fururu's line "Besides, I think the person in the penguin was a woman. I donít think she liked me.", which was retranslated to "Plus, it was a woman in that penguin suit. So I donít think she came after me just because she was attracted.". I can see that the second is more true to the original Japanese wording, but the retranslation just... doesn't parse well to me. I don't like it ending with "attracted" without an object (though the object can easily be implied) but adding the object "to me" makes the phrase repetitive. There are problems with the original translation to be sure, as it doesn't convey that there was an ulterior motive.
    I should mention that, for the most part, I tend to hold the philosophy of translating the sense, and not holding too close to the original words. I would prefer more literal translations, but only accompanied by lengthy footnotes explaining the cultural context of the phrase/word at issue. There's obviously some liberties taken that I don't agree with, like making Vivian female in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, but other examples are quite good, like the Lunar Silver Star Story Complete translation, which worked in some cute pop culture here and there and generally made things kinda humorous.

    Anyhow, best of luck with your project! And it's good to hear another point of view on Ar Tonelico Qoga. For better or worse, I'm committed to the series, so I will buy a PS3 and play it someday (not getting the PS3 just for that, don't worry :P. Tons of great games, like Ni No Kuni.)
    Ah, ok then. Thanks for telling me about it. I think that line has indeed been reviewed already, as the section where it appears in the game has already underwent two revisions, but in case it hasn't, I'll make sure to pitch this to our editor so it can be made to flow better. And that's pretty much the translation approach I take, as excessive literalism makes the text dry and boring, while too much liberties make it lose its original meaning and spirit, so there has to be a compromise between both extremes.

    Also, thanks for the support, and I hope you enjoy AT3 once you get to play it! Just try to not get overhyped or place too much expectations on it before you get to play it. *winks*

  14. #14
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquagon View Post
    Very well, I'll leave it at that, and I'll just finish saying that I'm not the only one that actually liked Saki, but well, to each their own. However, I do find as somewhat questionable that you're acting so formal and saying things in a conciliatory tone here while also treating me as if I had turned this topic into a flame war or something over Twitter, as your tweets and the rest of the ones posted by the rest of the staff are visible in the sidebar from the main site. I just wrote my points and addendums calmly and without offending or attacking anyone, and even apologized in case my post was being taken as an attack or offense, so I don't see a valid reason for such treatment (and for the record, I don't remember having lashed at anyone in your review topic since the only comment I remember giving there was that getting the true endings wasn't so hard as you stated). I know that everyone has the right to write whatever they want in their social networking sites, but it also says a lot about a person when they do things like these... But well, I'm no one to judge anyone, so I'll refrain from saying anything further.
    Well you did respond to our well meaning podcast effort with a bunch of nitpicks, many of which don't really matter, what kind of response did you expect?

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I can't speak for the others...but I can help you understand why others' response to you was kinda strong.

    First, as Wheels points out above, no one likes a point by point nit pick, especially on something they're offering out there for free and work hard on. I know this point is a little harder to understand given that we practically beg for feedback on the show sometimes, but its asked for in context of what we do and how we do it. All of us have precious free little free time, and while some research is done, the vast majority of what we say on the show comes from our own experiences. That means things will get mis-pronounced (as I have joked about since I started on show #11), and a few things we put out there as fact may be wrong. I think by large, we hit most points rather well given that these are sometimes games we played more than a decade ago.

    - I disagree with the personae of the Ar tonelico 3 Reyvateils being mere stereotypes. Just playing through the game should suffice to disprove this, and coupled with the stories in which they appeared outside of the game, it utterly debunks that statement.
    The first half of your sentence here is clearly subjective. It's your opinion that, in this case, is different than those expressed on the show. However, the 2nd half makes it sound like it's a totally invalid one. No one likes being told their opinion is invalid. I will point out that we speak about games subjectively, based on our experiences. That often means we may judge a game's story based on what's presented in the game, and not in other material (nor should we have to in order to experience the story properly). If the game gives us a crappy story, don't expect us to read books or manga outside of it to read the better version of the story. Yuck. I don't have time for that.


    - Likewise, I disagree with Ar tonelico 3 being completely senseless. All of the events of the game come are caused by a chain of events that have 700 years in the happening, which are then brought to their conclusion during the course of its plot, which also drives to a good ending the trilogy provided you get the True Endings. Any of the other endings only lead the world to its demise.


    I only put serious time in the first one...I haven't got to AT3 yet. However, I will tell you, based on this statement here, I wouldn't even want to play it. First, if an RPG waits until the ending before it begins making sense, it's done a poor job at story telling. Most players, myself included, will quit before we get there if everything in up to the ending is rubbish. Next, It makes me real cranky when developers only give me the 'true' (or even 'good') ending when I jump through hoops...especially when they're not really spelled out or are particularly time consuming or difficult to get there. Not everyone has a FAQ sitting in front of them when they play games and/or tons of free time to grind and the such. EVIL. I assure you, that if I play through the game normally, make decent decisions, and get a 'bad' ending or something along those lines, I will review the game based on MY experience....which will be 'bad', lol. Hiding "True" endings that "explain everything" behind invisible walls is nasty, wrong, evil, smell game design. Nuff said. :P

  16. #16
    これはメタです RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    Hiding "True" endings that "explain everything" behind invisible walls is nasty, wrong, evil, smell game design.
    The irony is that one of our most beloved games (going by it's composite review score on RPGamer) does exactly that.

    That game being Persona 4

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

  17. #17
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I've not played Personal 4 myself more than an hour or so...but presuming that the gameplay, story, etc is on par with Persona 3, I would still rate it well because the story up to the ending is pretty engaging (To say nothing of the gameplay, likable characters and more). It doesn't excuse the above practice, but it makes the experience as a whole much more palatable. It sounds like, just reading through what's being said both here and on the cast, that the journey to the ending in AT3 isn't as compelling, and that one needs the good ending and/or read a bunch of books to get the story that's actually good. Meh. Evil.

    But if you're going to tell me that a story is only good if I get the hidden ending (because everything up to that point doesn't make sense unless I see this TRUE ending) then I'm going to be pretty cranky...and probably pass unless the gameplay totally makes up for this draconic approach to storytelling.

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    *randomly moves in to leave a post*
    I don't like what you said about Metafalica. The one with the *****. It is the song of hope for a certain Reyvateil, the sacred land for the people of Metafalls, a song and also means utopia, but not ***** or something in that direction.
    The timed battle towards the true ending in Qoga isn't that difficult. It can be done without grinding at all. The game tells the player that it is timed. Katene says something about it before the battle starts. How much time is left can be seen during the fight. The walls of the Rinkernator are lowered. If people look at that from time to time, they know when it's time to hurry.
    Cloche wasn't kidnapped by the Divine Army when she was young. That was the Neo Grand Bell.
    I never associated dives whith what you did sometimes.
    Mute didn't fell in love with Teppo, but with Katene. Teppo is a plugin for dive machines.
    Mute's true form is the small one, she transforms into her big form with the song EXEC_CUTYPUMP/.
    How was Jacqli's/Jakuri's breast size important for the game or her Cosmosphere?
    I don't share your opinion about Saki or Croix.

    Overall, this backtrack didn't quite covered what I was hoping for.
    Was au ra vit pagle yor
    Was yea erra ee Ar tonelico

    I'll leave it at that, I guess.

  19. #19
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quin View Post
    The irony is that one of our most beloved games (going by it's composite review score on RPGamer) does exactly that.

    That game being Persona 4
    Well that's a bit of a different case, given that the normal ending to that game isn't exactly "bad". No doubt the path to the true one should have been a slight bit more clear, but its not the same kind of situation as AT3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    *randomly moves in to leave a post*
    I don't like what you said about Metafalica. The one with the *****. It is the song of hope for a certain Reyvateil, the sacred land for the people of Metafalls, a song and also means utopia, but not ***** or something in that direction.
    Uhh you're taking those comments quite a bit too seriously. Relax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    The timed battle towards the true ending in Qoga isn't that difficult. It can be done without grinding at all. The game tells the player that it is timed. Katene says something about it before the battle starts. How much time is left can be seen during the fight. The walls of the Rinkernator are lowered. If people look at that from time to time, they know when it's time to hurry.
    Assuming what you're saying is true, it still doesn't excuse the lack of explanation for the huge implications of not finishing the battle quickly. Whether or not there are actual hints to the fact the battle is timed is largely irrelevant. The game needs to make it relatively clear that not finishing quickly is really really bad and it does not do this adequately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    Cloche wasn't kidnapped by the Divine Army when she was young. That was the Neo Grand Bell.
    Considering we often made the point some elements of the plot felt irrelevant to the overall narrative I think you can excuse us forgetting some exact details (I haven't played AT2 in a few years).

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    I never associated dives whith what you did sometimes.
    POINT X:That's nice, you do understand we were stating a lot of our own opinions and experiences which obviously wont match everyone's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    Mute didn't fell in love with Teppo, but with Katene. Teppo is a plugin for dive machines.
    Mute's true form is the small one, she transforms into her big form with the song EXEC_CUTYPUMP/.
    We both played AT3 back when it first came out, so given the flaws of human memory I think you can understand forgetting specifics at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    How was Jacqli's/Jakuri's breast size important for the game or her Cosmosphere?
    ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    I don't share your opinion about Saki or Croix.
    GOTO POINT X;

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegasword View Post
    Overall, this backtrack didn't quite covered what I was hoping for.
    Was au ra vit pagle yor
    Was yea erra ee Ar tonelico

    I'll leave it at that, I guess.
    We aren't experts on the series, sorry! I thought we did a good job giving a general overview. Also pointing out how awesome the music is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Uhh you're taking those comments quite a bit too seriously. Relax.
    I know it might be meant as a joke that shouldn't be taken too serious, but my opinion about it is like that and won't change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Assuming what you're saying is true, it still doesn't excuse the lack of explanation for the huge implications of not finishing the battle quickly. Whether or not there are actual hints to the fact the battle is timed is largely irrelevant. The game needs to make it relatively clear that not finishing quickly is really really bad and it does not do this adequately.
    Alright, the situation is the following: Saki's/Finnel's bodies use way more Telomere(Reyvateils need that to live) than usual due to them having multiple personae in one body. The normal life span(150 years) is heavily reduced. The group goes up to the Rinkernator to find someone who's able to do anything about it. That person is the Reyvateil Origin Tyria. She gave her physical form around 700 years ago up when she became the tower of Harvestasha. To reawaken her, Akane needs to sing EXEC_METEMPSYCHOSIS/.. This temporary shuts down the Prome Wall and disables song magic. A tower guardian appears when she starts singing.
    I see... Without using Song Magic, it'll be impossible to defeat the guardian.
    That's what you get ingame by Hikari Gojo. I'm not going to post the entire conversation. If it is needed, I'll post a video.
    No Song Magic -> No way to fight Myu -> Tyria's holography can't be created -> Finnel/Saki are destined to die soon due to the lack of Telomere -> Ar Ciel follows soon after that due to Tyria being needed to prevent that. The last point might not be realized by everyone who plays the game, but the other points are included in the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Considering we often made the point some elements of the plot felt irrelevant to the overall narrative I think you can excuse us forgetting some exact details (I haven't played AT2 in a few years).
    I can do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    POINT X:That's nice, you do understand we were stating a lot of our own opinions and experiences which obviously wont match everyone's?
    ANSWER POINT X: I know that those are your opinions. And no, they don't have to equal my own or that of anyone else. You said yours, I said mine, that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    We both played AT3 back when it first came out, so given the flaws of human memory I think you can understand forgetting specifics at times.
    Actually, I found it funny imagining Mute falling for Teppo since Teppo is this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    ?
    It was when the topic moved to Jakuri's/Jacli's Cosmosphere. Suddenly, you talked about her being flat chested although the initial impression was different. The way I understood it, you said it's a big deal which it isn't for me. It just struck me as odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    GOTO POINT X;
    GOTO ANSWER POINT X

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    We aren't experts on the series, sorry! I thought we did a good job giving a general overview. Also pointing out how awesome the music is.
    It could've been way worse, but also better and I don't expect others to be an expert of the series. It wasn't all bad, though left much to be desired for experts of the series. I'm not talking about what's found outside of the games. This is something I expect only from the more dedicated fans.
    Last edited by Omegasword; 06-05-2013 at 08:59 AM.

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