Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell Of Ar Ciel
Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel "Ar tonelico III: The Girl's Song that Pulls the Trigger of World's Demise" is a role-playing video game produced by Gust and published by Namco Bandai in Japan and by NIS America in North America for the Sony PlayStation 3. It is the third and final installment, taking place in the Reyvateil-ruled country of Clustania, located in an area known as Sol Cluster, and set around two and half years after the events of Ar tonelico II. Clustania is situated on the third tower in the world of Ar Ciel, which floats above the uninhabitable Sea of Death. Although it is the final game in the series, the series mythos is continued in Gust's social game, Surge Concerto, which takes place within the same universe as the Ar tonelico games. The Japanese version became available for retail on January 28, 2010 and it was released in North America on March 15, 2011. It was released in Europe on April 1, 2011. It is notably the first NIS America game to be rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB in North America, to be later followed by Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2.
Reyvateils (the game's equivalent of mages) sing to execute what is known as 'Song Magic'; however, depending on the actions of the player, the songs will combine and change. These changes have additional effects; for example, increasing attack power. This system goes in hand with the Purge system (explained below), as the Reyvateils have to 'purge' to increase their power. The 'song magic' will change depending on the state of the Purge.
During the game, Aoto, the protagonist, can dive into the 'Cosmospheres' of certain Reyvateils to craft 'song magic'. Various personalities exist within the Cosmosphere, and the player can choose to have the Reyvateil fight in their clothing. Because the personalities who wear these costumes have differing preferences in 'song magic', the costume will influence the R.A.H. system. Diving additionally deepens the bond between the Reyvateil and the protagonist.
The system for conversation is similar to those of the other games in the series, with the difference being only three Talk Matters are now required for entering the next Cosmosphere level. Each topic is classified by color to indicate how they are found:
1) Pink colored topics are triggered by progressing through the main storyline
2) Green colored topics are obtained by having specific items in the inventory or meeting certain conditions
3) Blue colored topics are found as shining orbs throughout the maps
Talk Matters for the rest of the party members now exist, as opposed to the previous games. The updated Talk Matters system now includes talk topics between all members of the party, instead of topics between the party's Reyvateils and the main character. Conversations between party members are triggered after the player talks to certain non playing characters.
The battle system is real-time based, similar to those of the Star Ocean games. Only one Reyvateil can be present in battle. The player controls one of the three Vanguard (support/attacking) members, and the AI controls the other two, though the player can change the character he/she is controlling at any time in battle. The Purge system is a key element, as it allows Reyvateils to use their high-level song magic. However, 'purging' also has importance for the Vanguard characters, as it allows them to use their best attacks.
The Revyateils are by themselves defenseless, so they must be defended by the player. Therefore, if all three Vanguard characters fall in battle (their HP reaches 0), the game is over, regardless of whether the Reyvateil is alive or not.