On the planet Ar Ciel, life is being torn apart and destroyed as genocidal campaigns are carried out to cleanse the populace of humans and "purify" those who remain as slaves. Elite groups of Reyvateils (an advanced species created by humans) are fighting to control what remains of their world and are responsible for leading the cleansing operations. As you save the human race from the oppressive Reyvateils, your secret weapon will be the sweet serenade of two Reyvateil damsels.
Fans of Ar Tonelico might already be geared up for this third, and final, installment of the series (full title: Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel), but newcomers shouldn't shy away from plunging into the many worlds of Ar Ciel, or the Soulspace of its characters; that is, assuming you're 17 or older. The series has matured graphically in more ways than one, boasting 3D rendering as well as partial nudity and sexual themes.
Unlike the previous Ar Tonelico games, this latest title is incorporating an action-based combat system, allowing you to run around and attack as well as protect your teammates. Being able to customize weapons and items is still a feature, but now you can also design their character's personalities, skills, and appearance through interaction.
Character interaction will be taken to a higher level, and in a way that is relevant to how you'll battle in the game. In order to get the best performance from your Reyvateil companion, it's important to build trust and "bond" with her. This involves diving into her Soulspace, or Cosmospace. As you probe the issues in her mind, this will strengthen your relationship and unlock new skills. The interaction might play out like a dating sim, but you'll be achieving a more powerful song spell instead of second base.
Successfully protecting the Reyvateil comrade during battle is key to bonding as well as winning the fight - and if that isn't enough of an incentive, the stronger your heroine grows the more clothing she takes off. Makes sense, right? The explanation is the clothing interferes with their ability to absorb power from their surroundings.
Those familiar with Gust's games can expect a great soundtrack and attractive art style, and Ar Tonilco Qoga appears to be upholding these expectations, judging by the score samplings and screen shots that have been have put out. Will performing musical numbers during battle, disrobing teammates, and reading the minds of women make for a good RPG? Be on the lookout for Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel later this month to decide for yourself.