Ar tonelico

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This page describes both the franchise as a whole and the first installment of the franchise, and should be split into two pages.

From left to right: Aurica, Lyner, Misha.


The Ar tonelico series consists of a trilogy of JRPGs for the PlayStation 2 (the first two games) and Play Station 3 (the third game), developed by Gust Corporation of Japan, best known for their Atelier of video games, and localized in English by Nippon Ichi Software. The games (which are largely independent of each other in plot and characters) take place in a post-apocalyptic world of Ar Ciel, in which the ground was swallowed hundreds of years ago by a mysterious Sea of Death. Humanity clings to life only on Floating Continents surrounding three great towers, each of which serves as the setting for a game. Humanity's engineering ability has regressed to a Steampunk level, and their only interface with the fantastic technology of the towers are the Reyvateils - an all-female race of artificial beings capable of singing songs to conjure Magic From Technology.

The first game, Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, originally titled Ar tonelico: Sekai no Owari de Utaitsudzukeru Shoujo (The Girl who Continues to Sing at the End of the World) takes place in and around the first tower, in the region of Sol Ciel. This is where the series gets its name: Ar tonelico is the name of that tower. The story starts in the city of Platina, during an outbreak of enemy creatures called Viruses. The protagonist, a Knight of Elemia named Lyner Barsett, goes to investigate with fellow knight Ayatane, and the tower administrator, Shurelia. Unfortunately, they rapidly discover that the Viruses are able to turn intangible, rendering normal defeat impossible. Shurelia therefore sends Lyner on a quest for the only thing that can help them: the Hymn Crystal Purger. Taking an airship, he travels down to the Wings of Horus, the Floating Continent that surrounds the tower. More accurately, he crashes thanks to an attack from a dragon, which complicates matters extremely.

In the process of searching for the crystal and a way to repair his airship, he meets and teams up with a number of people, including two Reyvateils. First is the shy Aurica, who healed his injuries after his crash. Second is the more outspoken Misha, actually his Forgotten Childhood Friend. But there's one problem - Misha looks much younger than she should be. Aside from those two are the wanderer Jack, the local church knight Radolf, and the airship grathmelder Krusche. As the story progresses, Lyner and his comrades not only try to find the Hymn Crystal and fix Lyner's airship, but discover the reason for Misha's youthful appearance, and the source of the recent Virus outbreak.

The first game also has a single-episode OVA adaptation, which focuses on Lyner's crash and desire to return to Platina. Due to time constraints, the details of the plot are largely condensed and simplified, with other elements left out entirely.

Tropes about the sequel, Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica can be found on its page. Ditto for Ar tonelico III.

All the games have a number of drama CDs devoted to the heroine Reyvateils (and some other people besides). Some of the cast went on to have parts in the crossover game Cross Edge. There also exists a Manga, set in Sol Ciel, titled Ar tonelico: Arpeggio.

Aside from Elemia-specific tropes, examples provided by the series as a whole can be found here, as well.


The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Ar tonelico franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
  • Acceptable Feminine Goals: Many fans were surprised that Aurica suddenly gave up her dream of becoming the Holy Maiden, which she had worked so hard for despite such odds, and revealed that instead of wanting to become the local equivalent of Pope and reform the church, what she really wanted to do was settle down with Lyner and make music boxes in a small town. The fact that both starting reyvateils in Ar Tonelico 2 end up co-maidens and head of the Metafalican government/church may be Gust's apology for this: the company |normally averts this trope hard.
    • While it could be also said that Aurica was never interested in wielding authority and power in the Church, and just wanted to be able to contact the Goddesses. Anyway, in Misha's path and in Tyria's Drama CD it's revealed that she wasn't going to be the same position as a Pope (that position is given to Radolf), and instead, she was put in charge of a charity program, from which she resigned at the end of the game to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a music box crafter, with more than a few either hilarious or horrifying results.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the history of the world of Ar Ciel is explained in supplemental material that is only available in Japanese.
    • Yay for wikis. Also, a Genius Bonus as a lot of the technology in the series is blatantly based off computers.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Grathnode crystals.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Not that this is a bad thing for going through Cosmospheres.
  • Apocalypse How: Ar Tonelico just loves these.
    • The first age ends with a class 5, with everything retreating to artificial Floating Continents.
    • The second age ends with a class 1, that would have been a class 3 had Mir succeeded
    • And the third age is about to end with a class X unless you do something about it
  • Artificial Human: Beta and Origin Reyvateils.
  • Artificial Limbs: Jack has a mechanical arm. With a gatling gun.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Or rather, awesome but suicidal. Lyner's final creation, the "Ar Tonelico??" is a pocket-sized version of the reactor that powers their third of the remaining world. It is meant to be used as a hand grenade. The typical gamer reaction is to expect it to be a regular Slap On The Wrist Nuke. Unfortunately, the game decides to turn logical on you all of a sudden, and using your pocket WMD results in exactly what the description suggests should happen: Your party, and presumably everything else in miles, is instantly decimated and you get and game over.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Shurelia, you should give GUST a praise for actually creating one of the coolest names ever in Video Game history.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Krusche, Aurica's Skuwat costume.
  • Barrier Maiden: Misha and her clan, who were created to help seal the source of the viruses by spending their entire lives singing Chronicle Key.
  • Berserk Button: Do not mess with Reyvateils around Lyner. Also averted by Lyner: despite the fact that according to his in-game character bio the two things he hates most are viruses and traitors instead of seeking revenge on Ayatane for what he's put Platina and various reyvateils through, he works to understand Ayatane's reasons and eventually causes Ayatane to see that the real way to help his mother is to help Lyner.
  • Big Bad: Mir, the "Mother Virus".
  • Bilingual Bonus: Having some knowledge of Hymmnos makes the Hymns that much better and show how they fit in the story, even hinting at things that haven't been revealed yet. Alternately, finding the lyrics online works just as well.
    • In a particularly nifty piece of foreshadowing that hints at a character's motives in Metafalica, the hymn EXEC_HARMONIUS/. from the first game has the word Metafalica in it repeatedly. In this instance and, so far, only in this instance, Metafalica means 'Song of Hope.' Given what Jakuri hopes to accomplish in the second game... Let's just say that the writers thought ahead.
  • Bishounen: A lot of the guys count, but Flute also counts under his hat and mask (he's very pretty).
  • Bittersweet Ending: The normal ending where you choose to never awaken Shurelia after she sings Suspend.
  • Blessed with Suck: Third Generation Reyvateils get nifty song magic and all, but after coming into their powers, they have to take a substance called Diquility every three months just to continue living. Averted with Origin and Beta type Reyvateils, who get the song magic and extended lifespans on top of it.
    • Stronger song magic and very extended lifespans (Betas have about 150 years and the Origins are over 700 years old each, implied to be immortal for as long as the towers exist). Oh, and the Diquility Installation is pretty much equivalent to a first time.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to either Aurica or Misha, depending on who you chose to sing Purger, when Mir invades their Cosmosphere. They get better, though.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Mir.
  • Broken Aesop: At one point Lyner defends Claire from two guys trying to harass her out of her job by beating the muscular one up. Claire is a bit unhappy, telling him that he shouldn't have solved it with violence. Later on Lyner learns the lesson that "violence is bad", but considering that without violence he couldn't have saved the world....well, its just not the right message to send in this kind of story.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mir's treatment during the second age.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Shurelia, the administrator of the titular Babylonian tower, has No Sense of Direction and is a Dojikko. (And she likes bunnies!)
  • Catgirl: Hama.
  • Chainsaw Good: Krusche uses one.
  • Character Development: Pretty much the whole point of the Cosmospheres, though characters aside from the Reyvateils get development, too.
  • Church Militant: That's some spear you got there, Radolf.
    • Justified: Bishop Falss intended to use the Church as a military group to invade Platina. Which he does.
  • Cliff Hanger: Almost all of the "episodes" in Shurelia's Cosmosphere involve this.
  • Combat Stilettos: Shurelia's Linkage costume takes the cake (granted, she avoids the practical problems by floating everywhere in it...) Misha's default costume and a few others have impractically tall shoes, too. Then again, this is subverted in that the Reyvateils don't actually DO any fighting aside from standing and singing magic.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The OVA cuts out a ton of the plot. Even Misha only appears briefly. Granted, for a game so long and involved, it's pretty much impossible to pack everything in there without turning it into a long series.
  • Con Lang: Hymmnos. There are even different vocabulary words depending on region, and vastly different grammatical structures for Central Standard Note/Metafalss Note and New Testament of Pastalie Hymmnos. And yes, half of that page is dedicated to being a dictionary. A lot of thought was put into making the language.
  • Corrupt Church: Bishop Falss.
  • Costume Porn
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The second game rules out the bad and normal endings.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Lyner's general goal in the true ending.
  • Detached Sleeves: Aurica.
  • Damsel in Distress: Every Reyvateil, at one point or another.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Diving, Installing and most other interactions between the main characters and their harem of Reyvateils are played up as... intimate affairs.
    • And then there's Diquility installation, which is what can only be called "a PG-13 cherry popping sequence." There is an actual doujinshi that makes this reference in reverse context.
  • Dojikko: Shurelia will occasionally lose her balance when she fires off a spell, falling flat on her face.
  • Double Entendre: Oh Aurica.
    • And that's among many others.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Bourd and Bishop Falss, in their own ways. Both to Mir, and Bourd to Falss as well.
  • Dual Age Modes: Misha
  • Earthshattering Kaboom: The reason the sea of death is there in the first place.
    • Also, dropping some of what little land there is down there.
    • Mir destroyed half of the land on one of the towers.
  • Emotionless Girl: Mir originally, which was what her creators wanted, but she grew out of it. Later, Bourd tried to find a way to make Reyvateils into this.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: It's happened twice in the past- the first being the Grathnode Inferia, the second when Reyvateils on Ar tonelico revolted against humans and destroyed about half of the floating continent as well as the civilization on it.
    • The endings where Shurelia isn't revived, thanks to the supplementary material's ample Fridge Horror quotient. Total death toll: the entire population of Metafalss once Frelia burnt herself out trying to keep them aloft. Even Metafalica wouldn't have saved them: power from Ar Tonelico is necessary for the EXEC portion of Metafalica.Of course, some argue there would have been No Endor Holocaust... At least for the first tower, since at the absolute minimum, all of Metafalss would have died.
      • Part three makes all ends where Mir is not freed an Inferred Holocaust: Without her involvement in the second game, the Heart of Gaea wouldn't have reached the third tower (at least not in time), thus dooming the entire planet.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ayatane's in things so his mother, Mir, can finally be happy. Though it should be noted that he's more like Love Makes You Evil than a real bad guy.
  • Hair Decorations
  • Facial Markings: Ayatane who is a Virus.
  • Faking the Dead: Bishop Falss, then known by his real name Kyle Clancy, faked suicide in order to flee Platina.
  • Fan Service: It's everywhere. For starters, you can force every Reyvateil in either game to fight wearing bath towels, pajamas, or a variety of other costumes.
    • Of course, they will call you out on it once you get to a town, but expect them to be embarrassed and gushy while doing so.
    • The second game features taking baths to power up. 'nuff said.
    • The third game takes it to a logical extreme: All the Reyvateils power up by stripping off their clothes. To top it all off, there are technically more than three, each with different personalities, clothes, and body types...sort of.
  • Fantastic Racism: In Elemia, Reyvateils are often treated as second class citizens, to the extent that Lyner is depicted as standing out for treating them like he would any normal human.
    • Arguably justified in the first game, since aside from the portion of Tenba that Bourd is running, most of the racism is aimed at Reyvateils without a partner, such as Claire. This makes sense, seeing as Reyvateils on the Wings of Horus had destroyed a good half of a continent when Mir rebelled.
    • Inverted in the third game, where Reyvateils hold dominance over humans.
    • Subverted in the city of Platina. When The Church Attacks you can see how the knights fight without backup to give their Reyvateil partners time to rest and recover. Hilariously, the Church Knights that they were fighting act more like Tenba grunts than anything else.
    • Subverted again by Lyner in regards to viruses, like Ayatane.
    • Reversed in the third game, where Reyvateils from Clustania see humans as "impure" and do their best to Cleanse (wipe out) or Purify (brainwash) them. It doesn't help things that the main computer was hacked and had her personality changed into a genocidal maniac.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Older Misha only needs one stocking.
    • Finnel from the third game as well. Her stockings don't match.
  • Fictionary: Reyvateils (and occasionally humans) communicate with Ar tonelico in a warped creole of English, German and Sanskrit known as Hymmnos. However, among themselves they speak garden-variety Japanese (or English, if you're playing the dub.) Apparently, Metafalss and Ar tonelico have different dialects of Hymmnos (or Hymnos in the English localization).
  • Fiery Redhead: Subverted with Krusche. The only time she EVER gets fired up at all is when she's talking about or involved with high-tech airships and getting to the top of the Tower. 99% of the rest of the time she's the incredibly laid-back, droll, Deadpan Snarker type.
  • Fix Fic: Done in-game in Shurelia's Cosmosphere story at the request of Lyner, who Justifies it by (what else) "the original sucks!" Mir takes this very personally, which could be seen as a Take That to Fix Fic in general. Or she just takes her works way too seriously
    • The completion of all cosmosphere levels could be referred to as this. Cosmosphere levels, especially the lower ones, represent a reyvateil's issues, where they act out inner conflicts and have not been able to resolve them. The job of a cosmosphere diver is essentially to act as a Self-Insert Fic Marty Stu character, breaking the reyvateil out of a hopeless cycle and encouraging them to reach a good ending. What Lyner did when Shurelia died on her fifth cosmosphere level was exactly what a cosmosphere diver was supposed to do, since leaving something like that unresolved would have left Shurelia scarred for life. Of course, Lyner was Wrong Genre Savvy since Shurelia doesn't have a real cosmosphere, and this was just a visual novel she was using to replicate the experience. This becomes a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Lyner really does treat it just like a real cosmosphere, and Shurelia like a real reyvateil.
  • Flanderization: Any part of a Reyvateil's problems/desires gets blown up to spectacular proportions in their Cosmosphere. Later levels don't even try to hide it via metaphor.
  • Floating Continent: The Wings of Horus, and Firefly Alley as a smaller example.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Lyner, how in the hell did you forget Misha?
    • Justified in that they were pretty young when they separated, and that never communicated again, nor Lyner ever heard of Misha again, until the start of the game.
  • Gag Boobs: "Misha, you grew tits!"
    • Shurelia would like to know if Lyner likes them big or small since she's stuck permanantly in-between.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted as Song magic is cast during various cut-scenes, with varying effects.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The first game had a glitch in which an item necessary to advance the plot could be acquired before activating a particular event that allows the player to progress.
    • Though not necessarily game-breaking since it pertains to an end-game, extra-content boss, Ar Tonelico 2 had a boss that was virtually unbeatable because one of her moves would freeze the game and force a reset. The only way to prevent this was to beat her in one turn, preventing her from using it.
  • Genius Ditz: Lyner is very definitely Book Dumb, something he is repeatedly harassed about throughout the game. He also mastered the basics of Grathmelding in less than a day and by doing nothing else than following instructions, became the main source of everything the party uses throughout the game. By the third phase, the stuff he cooks up rivals or surpasses First Era technology, he is teaching Grathmelding to the one who created its basic principles centuries ago and his magnum opus ends up being a pocket-sized version of the gigantic building-sized power reactor that powers their entire civilization, which by the way doubles as a
  • Genre Shift: Cosmosphere's take a shift towards more Visual Novel-type stories. And, usually, each level is an Out-of-Genre Experience.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh dear Lord, does it ever.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Young Misha
  • Giver of Lame Names: Aurica. Don't ask her to explain her reasoning, only makes the names sound even worse.
  • Godiva Hair: Mir.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Krusche.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Happens in Elemia, but you don't quite become aware of it until Metafalica. By Jakuri's own admission, the "Mir" inside Shurelia's corny magical girl love story was not an avatar, but rather the real one just playing along with the game, which she herself had scripted. So, at the time Lyner was trekking through the entire tower to find a way to save ominous and terrifying Mother Virus Mir, Mir herself was content playing a retarded video game with Shurelia. Bizarrely, it actually makes some sense in hindsight, as the two were friends and, most of her nefarious plots having failed completely, she wasn't doing anything at the moment.
    • To top it off, the only remaining bit of bad blood Jakuri has against Lyner is completely unrelated to him stopping her century-long plans: She's angry about him rewriting the ending to her game.
      • Well, she also dislikes him for being an idiot.
  • Guide Dang It: Getting all the talk options with the Reyvateils, which have requirements ranging from making a certain item to going to certain places or talking to the other girls a certain number of times in a row. Made worse with the fact that a great deal of talks can be Lost Forever.
    • Which thankfully can be gotten via multiple playthroughs. Otherwise, it would be impossible (not that all the topics are required to clear the game or the Cosmospheres).
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Reyvateils, although only applicable to Third Generations, since they start as humans which change at any time during their childhoods/puberty, and can interbreed with them. The children may be either human or Reyvateils. The Origins and Betas don't count because of being completely artificial life forms.
  • Haunted Technology: Infel lives on past her death via the Infel Phira server. Nenesha sort of counts, because of the integration of technology with Reyvateils' minds. Mir does something similar to Infel for a good portion of the first game, but she's not actually dead.
  • Heel Face Turn: Ayatane, Mir/Jakuri.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Reisha.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Teru tribe would like to be this, but Platina plays it straight until the end of the game.
  • High Altitude Battle: The first game features a battle with a giant dragon while riding an airship. But then, all three games are based on floating continents (and/or a massive tower) due to the Sea of Death covering the world.
  • Homemade Inventions: As mentioned above, Lyner is the party's only real source of equipment, regardless of variety or technological complexity. Everything, including a pocket-version of the massive building-sized reactor built by ancient superadvanced technology that powers more than a third of the remaining civilization in the planet, is built by him, in a tent, from scraps.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: Ayano used to be one of these. Now she's just hot.
    • Also, Luca's vague and often-confusing "therapy sessions" appear to suggest that Everyone Is Bi.
    • Dualstalls. That is all.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Elemia, at least near the beginning, has plenty of characters, especially in Tenba, who treat Reyvateils as easily replaceable property. When one can't get his Reyvateil partner to sing new magic because his physical abuse doesn't seem to be granting her any more Power of Love to make new songs, his teammate suggests just getting a new one. Oddly, this seems to be caused almost entirely by Card-Carrying Villain Bourd, and his death almost instantly brings about an end to the Fantastic Racism (granted, because Bourd was the one encouraging it and the president of the company known for it was violently against it).
    • This is the reason for Mir's Kill All Humans and why her listed dislikes are humans.
      • She gets over it thanks to Lyner which ironically one of the only humans that she still hates because he has ruined her script.
  • I'm Melting: what happens to the Beta Reyvateils when they die, and also, what happens to any Beta or Origin that dares to leave the area effect of her Song Server.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The English releases so far follow the pattern of Melody of (X).
    • The third game is named Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, apparently to prevent people from thinking that they need to have played the first two, although it helps understand the overall story if they have.
  • Idiot Hero: Lyner. A thousand times Lyner. Mir discusses in broad strokes how much his idiocy pissed her off in the sequel, despite being the primary beneficiary of it. Of course, the real reason Mir resents him is that he wrote a fixit fic for Shurelia's cosmosphere. While she was angered by the insult to her literary talent, it was actually a case of Wrong Genre Savvy, since allowing that kind of trauma to go unresolved in a real reyvateil's cosmosphere would have left Shurelia scarred for life.
    • Lyner's idiocy, however, perhaps makes him the perfect lead in a game that's based on the Power of Love. It's pretty much the only way he could achieve the true goal of Save the Villain.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: The game makes a point of this. Killing Mir nets you a bad ending. The only good endings occur when (after being asked by Tastiella), the group goes out of their way to understand Mir's position and defeat her without killing her.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Misha. Shurelia also has her moments.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: It would be faster to list who doesn't qualify.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: I would be very suspicious if my Bishop was named 'false'.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The game's first two endings. If Aurica doesn't sing Re-Nation to revive Shurelia and the Tower, without power from Ar Tonelico Frelia would eventually be forced to drop all of Metafalss, killing every character in Ar Tonelico 2 except Jacqli and Spica. Then there's the question of what would happen to Sol Ciel with both song magic and grathmelding turned off. They're lucky that the weather is run by another system, not the tower itself, but if it, like Metafalss, was using the Ar Tonelico song server as a power source, they're going to run out of drinking water before very long.
    • Even bystanders qualify!
  • Innocent Innuendo: Where do we start?!
    • We start by commenting on the insertion of "Diquility," a substance in the form of a large crystal that must be inserted into a Third Generation Reyvateil every three months through a place called their "Installer Port." Both male leads must do this once during the story, and it's always Their First Time.
      • Seriously, it's one gigantic scene of nothing but innuendo. It MUST be seen to be believed.
      • Or heard. If you listen to the audio without looking at the video, you will feel like some sort of voyeur.
      • In fact, there's so much Innocent Innuendo that you can't really blame Lyner for being a literal Accidental Pervert. He always reacts like how you would expect a normal person to react, so the girls assume he's thinking something dirty... correctly.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Misha's shinobi costume.
  • Interspecies Romance: Human/Reyvateil romance is nothing anyone bats an eye at (they're fully capable of interbreeding), but there's also the human Krusche and the Teru Jack/Harmonica, at the end of Elemia.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Shurelia says something similar to this during the second level of her "Cosmosphere".
  • Invisible Backup Band: Whenever one of the Reyvateils sings.
  • Item Crafting: Grathmelding
  • Joshikousei: All the heroine Reyvateils (so far) have a school uniform costume.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Diving into a Reyvateil's Cosmosphere both helps them craft new song magic and is an excellent form of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, it can be hazardous to the diver's health.
  • Kill All Humans: Mir's goal. Of course, she's just doing it for her fellow Reyvateils' sake.
  • Kill'Em All: According to the myths, Sieryek, son of an El nemesys sovereign, killed the King of his own kingdom and some other ruling sovereigns which included his own father. However, he couldn't kill Princess Liarsha due to his love for her, instead telling her go free. In the end, the love that she had once shared with Sieryek turned to hatred and she eventually killed him and then herself immediately afterwards. Obviously, nobody survived.
  • Lady of War: Shurelia. At least until she sings EXEC_SUSPEND/. and finally reveals what she really looks like under that armor. When she eventually joins the party, she also begins to act more like her age. Well, at least whatever age she looks like considering she's as old as the Tower itself.
  • Language of Magic: Hymmnos.
  • Lethal Chef: Averted with Aurica; although her creations look terrible, they taste good. Shurelia's look odd, but also taste great.
  • Level Up At Intimacy 5: Diving into a Reyvateil's Cosmosphere (which involves playing through scenarios that are a cross between dating and psychotherapy) will result in the Reyvateil crafting powerful new songs which she can use in battle. In addition, to unlock new Cosmosphere levels, you must first invite them into your room at night and... have an intimate chat with them, with topics ranging from scenic observations to expressing jealousy.
  • Like a Son to Me: Inverted. Shurelia repeatedly tells Lyner that he reminds her of her father, probably due to Lyner's grathmelding genius & the fact that he's one of the few people to ever see the goddess as a person who needs help sometimes, just like anyone else.
  • Limit Break: In the first game, these can be activated after guarding a Reyvateil.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Reyvateils get costume changes, but, except for Croix out of Metafalica, who has a civilian set of clothes (with glasses), none of the other front-liners ever change clothes. While characters like Krusche or Amarie might get away with it, due to their "armor" essentially being bulletproof clothes, Leglius in particular is never seen outside of his full plate armor, which practically looks like its breastplate was made by welding the bow of a battleship to his chest.
  • Long Title: The original titles are like this, and probably why the English releases are shortened.
  • Love Hurts: Hmm, Lyner can get raped and killed in the Cosmospheres.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The lower levels of the Cosmosphere do this to everyone. Somewhat Justified in that the lower levels (starting at level 5) are said to be closer to the Reyvateil's subconscious/unconscious levels, meaning they're a lot less restrained in expressing their emotions and...ahem..."desires."
  • Love Makes You Evil: Ayatane, though he gets better.
  • Love Triangle
  • Machine Worship: A far more benign version than usual, but pretty much everyone outright worships or at least acknowledges the Revytail Origins as gods.
  • The Magic Goes Away: During Elemia, the tower administrator Shurelia sings the hymn EXEC_SUSPEND/. and shuts down the magic-generating systems of Ar tonelico, putting herself and the antagonist into a coma and rendering all other Reyvateils near-powerless. Depending on the player's actions, the game may end at this point.
    • This becomes a critical issue in the sequel: The whole reason Frelia cannot maintain Metafalss is because suspending Ar tonelico forced her to start powering the continent-generating song magic purely from force of will.
  • Magical Girl: One of Misha costumes is this.
  • Magic Music From Technology
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Hello there Shurelia. How's life as what is probably the oldest person alive? Is Lyner doing alright? What, he grew old and died?!
  • Meido: One of Shurelia's costumes.
  • Mental World: The Reyvateils' Cosmospheres.
  • Miko: One of Aurica's costumes.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Hymn Crystals
  • The Mole: Bishop Falss and Ayatane.
  • Momma's Boy: Ayatane. Literally everything he does is for his mother's sake (i.e Mir's), for better or worse
  • More Friends, More Benefits: Encouraged in the original - you could wind up being sexually abused in the Cosmosphere more often than you might like if you're assiduous about keeping the Cosmosphere up to date (What are you doing with that electricity, Aurica?).
  • Multiple Endings: The games allow you to choose which Reyvateil you'd like to spend the rest of your life with, as well as having a few more endings on top of that.
  • Mundane Utility: In one of the radio dramas, the costume change is used as a quick way to change out of clothes.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Harmonica and Flute.
    • Not just that, but pretty much everything involving the technology. "Silver Horn," "Plasma Bell," "Symphonic Corridor". Semi-justified in that it's Magic Music From Technology but still...
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Shurelia, nice job forcing Frelia to drop a lot of what arable land Metafalss had in the first place.
  • No Sense of Direction: Shurelia, considering she somehow finds herself getting lost quite easily in her own tower (on top of being over 700 years old), not to mention everywhere else.
  • Official Couple: Averted. Despite Misha, Aurica, Shurelia, Spica and Mir showing up in the second game, there are no hints as to which girl Lyner ends up with.
    • However, it's known that Radolf ended marrying his old partner Fayma after the first game, who only appeared in one of the light novels, in one of the Drama CDs, and in the OVA.
  • Older Than They Look: Misha at least in the beginning. Also, Beta type Reyvateils age only till they get, well, hot. Then they don't age at all. And they live for about 150 years, so you do the math. There are some others better covered below by Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: It's your party's power.
  • One-Gender Race: Reyvateils, since something in the Y chromosome negates Reyvateil powers.
  • One-Winged Angel: Shadow Mir. Eventually subverted. They're just Mir's viruses/servants that she can summon. She can summon them in Metafalica.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: All There in the Manual Shurelia. See Replacement Goldfish
  • Organic Technology: Reyvateils, in a way. The Origins in particular, during high-level grathmelding, Shurelia will make comments about some of them. In one case, she'll comment about one product being "her brain."
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Mir is implied to be one, with the ability to be a major nuisance even when she's trapped in Ar Tonelico's equivalent of Cyberspace. Not to mention she's as powerful in some regards as the Goddesses of the three towers.
    • She's noted that she could definitely beat Shurelia in a fight simply because she knows all the latter's weaknesses. It helps that the former has a stronger up-front personality so she could simply bully the latter regardless.
  • Powers as Programs: The various Hymn Crystals found in the two games are pretty much this. The Hymns (the song sung) vary depending on the singer, but the effects do not.
  • Power of Love: The power of a Reyvateil's song is proportional to her "intensity of emotion". Blue Magic, for instance, is more powerful if the Reyvateil is in love with the person she's making it for.
  • Power of Rock: In addition to powering spells, songs are used at several points in the games to inspire the world's population.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Misha's "ability" to go from a pre- and post-prepubescent ages by adding/removing the Chronicle Key.
    • Everything about the Binary Field. Read: it allows you to insert yourself into any story setting and pretty much do anything.
  • Promoted to Unlockable: Mir, between AT 1 and AT 2. Fans rejoiced.
  • Psycho Electro: Bourd
  • Random Encounters
  • Rapunzel Hair: Mir. Justified since it hasn't been cut for a few centuries.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Shurelia (Eoria), Frelia, and Tyria, as these three are the Origin Reyvateils, and thus, are as old as the towers they administrate. Shun's getting on in age too. Mir is also coming up on her four hundredth birthday - her life presumably extended by being locked in the Binary Field for a few of those centuries.
  • Rebel Prince: Lyner is the future ruler of Platina, although not if he has anything to say about it. And he succeeds in every route except possibly Shurelia's.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Mir
  • Red String of Fate: As an equipable accessory that raises DP gains after battle (the String of Binding, although supposedly raises the trust between a vanguard and the Reyvateil he's protecting at the moment). However, its effects still kick in, no matter who in the active party has it equipped.
    • Lyner's ignorance to its meaning embarrassed Shurelia. His suggestion to use it to enhance Radolf and his "unity" freaked her out.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The sheer amount of crap that gets past the radar is astounding, in the US release. (some other countries are more relaxed about things like sexuality, which explains it being 7+ in Europe and 12+ in Japan)
  • Replacement Goldfish: Shurelia in the backstory, which is why she has that name instead of her original name.
  • Robot Girl: Mei Mei, Kanade.
  • Rousseau Was Right: With perhaps one exception per game, absolutely everyone in the franchise is doing what they feel is best for the betterment of mankind (and Reyvateil-kind). On top of that, the final boss of each game performs a Heel Face Turn, if they weren't just doing what they felt was best in the first place.
  • Save Point
  • School Swimsuit: One of Shurelia's costumes.
  • Serious Business: Lyner's love for Funbun may equal to his love for this world.
    • Mir takes the scripts that she writes a little bit too seriously in fact she can forgive humanity for all the pain they caused to her, but not Lyner's sin of ruining her script.
  • Shorttank: Krusche, although she doesn't get much sexual tension in, due to not being a Reyvateil, and hence, not a romantic option. (Something she lightly pouts about at one point, asking if Lyner'd be in love with her if she were a Reyvateil. She gets paired with Jack/Harmonica.)
  • Shout-Out: The end of Misha's and Aurica's Cosmospheres.
  • Shrinking Violet: Aurica.
  • Smug Snake: The majority of the villains are this, making it all the more fun to slap them around. Bishop Falss and Bourd Rade from the first game are Egregious examples.
  • Sound Stone: Hymn Crystals
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Spellings for names were changed between the Japanese and American releases.
  • Serial Escalation: Just how blatantly Fan Servicey can we get the Reyvateils into next time without pushing the T rating? The third game features stripping to power up, so god knows what's next.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Each game steadily incorporates more 3D, and it looks like AT3 will finally make the leap.
  • Stocking Filler: Older Misha's standard and shinobi costumes.
  • Stripperific: Whooooo boy. Misha, Claire, Shurelia, Krusche, the president of Tenba... easily two-thirds or more of the female cast of the first game is dressed quite provocatively, with Aurica being the only one who's somewhat modestly dressed... and of course the player has the option of making her fight in nothing but a towel.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The music track Sleipnir resembles the Pyramid Cave music from Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Talking To Herself: Aurica and Mir share the same voice actress in Japanese.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The Three Supreme Goddess of Elemia (A.K.A The Three Origins)
    • Eolia(Shurelia) as The Mother
    • Frelia as The Child
    • Tilia as The Seductress
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: A Tropes Are Not Bad version. The language of Hymmnos places heavy emphasis on emotional state (and in fact has a whole grammar rule for them). This is pretty much needed for the Reyvateils to properly communicate their emotions to the tower to cast magic.
  • Their First Time: Misha and Lyner react to their first dive with shyness, awkwardness, and Misha even saying its her first time. Diving is not sex but the level of intimacy is the same.
  • Title Drop: Many of the hymns sung in the games say their title near the beginning or the end. Example, Chronicle Key and Implanta say their names within the first line of singing, and Sublimation says it's own in the chorus.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Misha in Elemia until she gets her adult form back.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lyner and Funbuns.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: The ladies have plenty of time to change clothes before attacking or getting attacked.
    • Likewise, the ladies in the third game have plenty of time to take them off and pose during battle.
      • Except in the one battle with time limit. Which is usually the only battle where each and every transformation sequence is shown in full length, just to taunt you.
  • Transformation Sequence: Though not totally like a typical Magical Girl, the Reyvateils do change clothes for added power and the like.
    • The third game has the reverse: they take their clothes off for added power.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Lyner and Radolf never change out of their armor-plated outfits.
  • Underboobs: Ayano.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend / Victorious Childhood Friend: Misha can wind up as either, but it's up to the player.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Mir was guilty of this, though it was a Reyvateil-only utopia.
  • Vapor Wear: Ayano.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Diving is consensual, but the Reyvateils aren't consciously aware of what goes on in their Cosmosphere. (Through dialogue, they do reveal that they feel subtle effects as you clear their mental blocks by helping them overcome fears, grudges, jealousy, and the like.) In order to progress past a certain point, you have to force them to relive the most traumatic events in their lives which destabilizes their psyche irreversibly into a crisis from which only you can save them and give closure. There is nothing stopping you from leaving them at the brink of mental meltdown indefinitely.
  • Visible Silence: Almost every scene in the game has at least one character doing this.
  • Warrior Prince: Lyner.
  • Warrior Therapist: Lyner. It's not just the Cosmospheres. As of the second game, Mir still doesn't know what hit her.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Welcome back Ayatane, the guy who technically was the reason why everything turns crazy in Phase 2.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Subverted by Lyner. It's not that he can't win Leard's favor, it's that he's actively refusing to do it, and doing something that makes Leard happy with him is one of the few things that actively annoys Lyner. This makes sense, given that most of the things that make Leard praise Lyner in the early game aren't very nice and Lyner may resent him for what happened to Misha. In the scene where Leard finally says he's So Proud of You, it's noteworthy that the other characters are far more excited about it than Lyner is. Apparently, the extent of Lyner's Character Development is not rejecting Leard's feelings: even when Lyner asks Leard to help craft the hymn at the end of the game, it still feels as though Lyner is making the effort because Leard is his father, after all: their relationship is still rocky.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Ayatane.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Shurelia, Ayano, Spica. Some official art reveals that Tastiella counted when she was younger, too.
  • White Prince Wise Prince: Lyner has traits of both. On the Wings of Horus, he's considered an example of the White Prince, but most of that is because he's a Fish Out of Water and at home he acts more like the Wise Prince. Despite being the heir of Platina, he rejects that power and prefers to be a common soldier. This may be because if he becomes Leard's heir, it will be his job to train Misha's daughter and continue the cycle of useless sacrifice, as well as tensions with Leard.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Misha and heights.
    • Comes off as a Wallbanger if you notice that (When you meet her) she lives in a man-made flying island just below a flying continent, all of which are one Creative Virus away from crashing down.
  • Widget Series: A textbook example of the trope, as quite a few of the things it parodies are already a bit weird in Japan. In Americans this means the reactions tend to range from bemusement to astonishment to abhorrence.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mir's first song, Harmonius, was meant to express her hope for the human race. However, since she was created with the hope of making an emotionless Reyvateil, it led to her being tortured and locked up. Nevermind that to be told "Your song's no good" would be an incredible insult all on its own, considering Reyvateils' songs are born out of their deep, heartfelt feelings. It's no wonder she started hating humans.
    • Perhaps more importantly, Mir, while connected to the tower, is keenly aware of the Fantastic Racism being leveled against Reyvateils, and her inability to do anything else to stop it leads to her (understandable) declaration that all Humans Are the Real Monsters
  • The World Tree: The towers seem to be an analogue. There's also the fact that tonelico is toneriko, the Japanese word for ash tree, which Yggdrasil was in Norse mythology.
  • Wrench Wench: Krusche.
  • Yandere: Most of Mir's songs are like this - you could make a bit of a leap to say her entire role as the Big Bad of Elemia was a Yandere reaction to humanity.
    • Though actually only Despedia qualifies for that role. Harmonious Fusion doesn't contain any kind of Yandere-ness in its feelings (and arguably, in the lyrics neither), and Colors is no more than an image song for her, illustrating the development of her feelings.
    • Almost every Reyvateil attempts to kill their partner at some point in their Cosmosphere. Aurica tries to kill Lyner and herself because of her self-loathing, jealousy, and fear of him abandoning her. Misha believes that Lyner's presence is complicating the struggle between her desire for freedom and her fate of becoming the seal for Mir.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Where do we even begin with the impossible hair colors?
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: This game has one of the more elaborate (if still fairly obvious) fake endings out there, even going so far as including a credit roll after Shurelia's Heroic Sacrifice. You actually do have the option of ending the game there and living happily with the girl you chose to be with at the start of the game's second act (which could be called a Nonstandard Game Over) but to continue on to the real end you have to choose to bring Shurelia back. On top of that, early in the third act you're given the choice of killing Mir and earning the bad end there, or going on a subquest that ends in Lyner deciding that he wants to save her, which is the game's true end.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Shurelia's Corsette and Monette costumes.