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こんにちは、土屋です。「ゲームでは語られることのない、設定思惑裏の裏!」という事で、第二回は「延命剤のシーンに託した想い」です。少々長文になりますが、お時間許す限りお付き合いいただければ幸いです。

Hello everyone, Tsuchiya here. This will be the seond issue of the Firefly Alley Citizen's BBS special "We won't be talking about the game, but about the secrets of the secret setting intentions!", and for the second iteration of that, we'll talk "About the Feelings I entrusted to the Life Extending Agent scene". It might get a bit long, so I'd be very glad if you could take a bit of your time to read it.

作品と言われるものには、殆どの場合制作者の想い-即ちメッセージが込められています。それはこのアルトネリコでも同じです。アルトネリコという作品で一番伝えたい想い…それは「パートナーとの愛、絆」です。この作品ではパートナーという言葉は、人生で一番身近な人、もしくは一番身近になるべく人、という意味として使っています。それ故にゲームでは、そのコンセプトに従い「主人公とヒロインとの関係の描写」というものに、ほぼ全てのパワーを割いています。設定、ストーリー、システム全てが「主人公とヒロイン」に焦点を当てています。今回のテーマにもなっている「延命剤のシーン」も、全く同様の意図で創られているものです。

More often than not, a piece of work will be full of the author's feelings - a message that they wish to convey . And Ar tonelico was no different. The feeling I most wanted to convey with it was that of the love that a character shares with their partner, and the bonds between them. In the game, the word 'partner' is used to describe the person someone trusts most closely, or perhaps simply a person who will grow to fill that role. In order to convey that concept, we devoted most all of our energy to portraying the relationships between the main character and the game's heroines. The game's setup, story, and systems were all structured so as to focus on the main character and the heroines. Today's topic, the Life Extending Agent scene, was created with exactly the same aim in mind.

延命剤のシーンは、絆や愛といったものをコンセプトに据えた2004年版アルトネリコ(※1)の中では、一番最初に創造されたシーンでした。その根本となる想いは、パートナー同士が強い絆で結ばれている事を一目で感じられるシーンを描きたい…というものでした。そのシーンでは、親が子を包むような、本当に大切な人を護りたいという気持ちが見えるものであり、子が親に身体を委ねるような、そして全く陰りのない100%相手を信頼して開くような、そういった心が見えるものでありたかったのです。
延命剤の投与はインストールポイントで行います。しかし、レーヴァテイルはインストールポイントを見せたがりません。それは、この場所が自分の命に関わる場所であり、苦痛を伴う場所でもあるからです。更には、様々なグラスノの投与によって体調までも簡単に左右できる場所です。すなわち「自分の命」そのもの。レーヴァテイルが本当に信頼できる相手にしか見せないのは当然のことです。
そして延命剤の投与とは、本当に自分を護ってくれる存在に、自分の命そのものを無条件で預ける行為です。延命剤の投与には苦痛が伴います。オリカがライナーにお願いするとき、最初後ろ向きに、そして「やっぱりこっちがいい」と向かい合う形になったのは、その「苦痛」も「いのちの火」も、全てをライナーに委ねる事を決めたからです。向かい合う形の方が、身体全部をライナーに委ねる事が出来るからです。痛くて暴れても、力が抜けて倒れそうになっても、この形ならライナーが支えてくれる、護ってくれると信じたから、この形を選んでいます。本当に信頼しているから、ライナーにこの身全てを委ねる…という事が出来るのです。
小さなドット絵では表現しきれませんが、実際のところ延命剤のシーンは「抱き合う」という表現は適切ではありません。それは「しがみつく」という表現が最も適切です。ライナーの身体に爪を立てて血がにじむ、といった事もあるような状況です。そして、そういった事もひっくるめて受け入れてくれる…と、オリカを始めとするレーヴァテイルは、パートナーに身を委ねているのです。そしてパートナーは、その締め付けられる力で彼女の苦痛を共有します。立てられた爪で、彼女の痛みを分かち合います。それでも彼女と共に一緒に生きていくために、決して拒絶したりせず、むしろその痛みから更に彼女をいたわります。こうして行われる延命剤の投与は、延命剤で物理的な命を救いながら、彼女の人生でも有数の過酷な時間を共にいてあげる事で、彼女の心をも癒すのです。
これが、延命剤のシーンに託した想いです。延命剤のシーンを通して伝えたかったものです。

The Life Extending Agent scene was the first scene made in 2004's Ar tonelico (*1), a game based around the idea of the love and bonds between people, My desire was to create a single scene that could, even at a glance, display the deep bond that two partners shared. I wanted it to be a scene that would portray feelings like those felt when a parent embraces their child: the parent wishing only to protect one who is truly dear to them, and the child allowing themselves to be held, opening themselves in complete trust to their parent.
The Life Extending Agent is administered via an Install Port. But a Reyvateil is reluctant to show this Port to others. This is because it is not merely a Port capable of giving them life, but also one that can cause them pain. Furthermore, if certain Grathnode Crystals are applied, a person can easily cause them harm. To put it simply, a Reyvatil's Install Port is akin to their life itself. It's only natural that a Reyvatil would be unwilling to show that to anyone but a person they could really trust.
Thus the application of a Life Extending Agent is the act of entrusting your very life, on entirely unconditional terms, to one that you truly trust to protect it. It also carries with it the burden of pain. When Aurica first asks Lyner to administer the Agent to her, she stands with her back facing him. But she changes her mind and, telling him that "Actually, this way is better after all...", turns to face him. This is because she decides to trust him to manage both the pain of the installation and her life's flame itself, and by facing him, she is able to entrust everything to him. She chooses this position because she believes that Lyner will support her and protect her if the pain becomes too much to bear, and if she feels as if she might fall under its weight. She trusts Lyner to the point where she can place everything she is in his hands.
You can't really display it with small, pixel-based artwork, but during the Life Extending Agent scene, the Reyvateil is in fact less embracing her partner and more clinging on to him. The situation is such that her fingernails might well pierce Lyner's skin and draw blood. The previously partner-less Aurica entrusts herself to one who will accept even this. Through her tight grip, her partner will share in her pain. Through her fingernails against his skin, he will help her to bear its burden. In order that she might continue to live alongside him, he never refuses to bear that burden. Rather, he only offers her greater sympathy having understood it. Though Life Extending Agents allow a Reyvateil to continue living, their administration is one of the most traumatic experiences she faces in her life, and by sharing in that experience, her partner can help calm her heart. These are the sort of feelings I had in mind with the Life Extending Agent. What I wished to convey through it.

結果的にリリース後、ネット上ではエロいシーンとして話題になりました。
正直な話、書いている時にも「微妙にエロいシーンにも見えるなぁ」と思っていた事は事実です。ただ、「だから表現方法を変える」というのは、自分にとってはあり得ない選択肢でした。本当に伝えたい事を描いたシーンを歪めてしまう事は、このゲームのコンセプト自体を否定する事になります。エロ目的ではないシーンが結果的にエロく見えてしまった。いいじゃないですか、伝えたい事はそれとは100%違う事なのですから。セリフも、声優さんにしっかりとその想いを伝えた上で喋ってもらっているのですから、ゲームのセリフにエロ目的の想いは入っていない筈です(知る人ぞ知る「そういう風にも聞こえるように」という指示は本来の主旨からは逸脱しているわけです。が、それも私自身のスタッフへの伝え方が至らなかった為に起こった事ですが…)。ですから、胸張ってリリースしています。寧ろそこで躊躇する方が、自信の無さを体現しているようなものですよね。
結果的にこのシーンをどう捉えられるかは、プレイした方一人一人で違うものです。そしてそのご意見について四の五の言う事は全く考えていません。もし大半の方が誤解されたのなら、寧ろ自身の伝え方に反省点があると考えています。それでも私は、こういったメッセージを受けとめてもらえると信じています。例えそれが今でなくても、一時の間を空けて何年後かにアルトネリコを思い出してくれた時にでも感じてくれる事を信じています。しっかりとした想いを詰め込んで創った、という強い想いがありますから。

However, once the game was released, it was basically referred to as a dirty scene online. Honestly, I can't deny that while I was writing it I kind of wondered if people wouldn't misinterpret it being as borderline perverted. But simply thinking of another way of doing the scene was never an option for me. To distort a scene that so portrayed the message I wanted to get across would've been paramount to denying the message of the game itself. A scene that wasn't meant to be seen as perverted ended up being seen that way. But does it really matter? That's 100% not the way I meant it. And the voice actors delivered their lines fully understanding their real meaning, so there shouldn't have been any dirty undertones there (but only a few people really knew the intent behind the scene well, and thus the idea for the double entendres slipped in and caused them to deviate a little from the original intent. Of course this is my fault for not having made things clear enough to my staff, but...). So when the release date rolled around, I was full of pride. I would've had to have been the very model of low self-confidence to have hesitated over something like that anyway, right?
In the end, I think how the scene is perceived differs from player to player. And I'm not going to complain over how people want to interpret a scene. Actually, I think if half of the people who play misinterpret it, it's probably me that needs to reconsider how to express his ideas. Still, I do believe that people will get the message I wished to convey. Even if it doesn't reach them now, then I believe that they'll feel it later, when a few years have passed and they think back on Ar tonelico. After all, I created the game with nothing but a strong desire to cram it full of my thoughts and feelings.

今回の文章も、人によって捉え方は様々だと思います。想いが伝わらなかったのであれば、それは私の伝え方が至らなかったという事です。ただ、1つだけ…上に書いたような延命剤投与のシーンを、本当に自分が当事者になったつもりで感じてみる、という事だけでもしてみて欲しいのです。本当に大切な相手がいて、延命剤を入れなければいけなくて、でもそれが相手にとっては苦痛で…そんなとき、貴方はどんな気持ちで彼女に接しますか?どんな想いで投与してあげますか?現実でのエピソードにダブらせてもイイと思います。例えば大切な人が風邪で高熱を出たとき…、病院で重体になってしまい、ずっとベッド横で手を握っていてあげるとき…。こういったときに感じる気持ちと同じものを感じてもらえるのではないかと思います。それを少しでも感じてもらえたのなら、それは私にとって本当に嬉しい事です。伝えたかった事なのです。
以上、長文でしたが、読んでいただいた皆様、本当にありがとうございました!

I think how people perceive this article will probably differ quite a bit too. And if there's those who don't quite get what I'm trying to convey, then it'll only be a result of me not knowing how to properly convey it. There's just one thing I'd like you all to try doing, though... Think for a moment about how you might feel if you were the one administering the Life Extending Agent in the scene I described above. If there was a girl who was really important to you, and you had to administer the Agent, but doing so would cause them a great deal of pain... How would you approach her? How would you feel doing something like that? It might not be such a bad idea to draw parallels with real life events. Perhaps a time where someone important to you was running a high fever, or when someone was in a critical state in hospital, and you sat at their bedside holding their hand. I can't help but think that the way you'd feel might be the same one you feel at times like those. So if you feel that way, even a little, then I'm really happy. That was the feeling I wished to convey.
If any of you took the time to read all of above, I can only give you my most sincere thanks for having done so!

さて、次回ですが、先日より行っている「アルトネリコアンケートPHASE.2」の簡単なレポートを出してみようと思います。答えていただいた方にとっては、全体的にどんな傾向なのか興味が有ると思いますし、まだ回答されていない方も興味深く読んでいただけるのではないかと思います。皆さんから頂いた御意見ですから、簡単ではありますが、皆さんにお返ししようと思います。

Well then, I think the next week we'll show a simple report about the [Ar tonelico Enquete: Phase 2] we made the other day. It seems from the trend of the responses that there is quite an interest on Ar tonelico, but also, there might be some responses I didn't read deeply enough. I though that it would be good to return the favor to you all in this simple way, given I took part of your time for the Enquete.

それでは、また!

Well then, we'll see you all later!

(※1:以前この「ほたる横丁町内会報」でお伝えしている2000年版アルトネリコでは、現在とはコンセプトが違っていました。2004年以降の新生アルトネリコは、世界は引き継いでいますが、ゲームとしてはコンセプトから全部作り直しています)</pre>

(*1: As I have been saying in this section, the concept I had for Ar tonelico on the 2000 and the one I have currently are very different. On the 2004 and onwards, to give a new life to Ar tonelico, I took its world again, but completely remade the game and its concepts).

Translated by Izzy

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