|Ciel nosurge: Ushinawareta Hoshi e Sasagu Uta|
|Release Date||April 26, 2012 (JP)|
February 21, 2013 (RE:Incarnation version, JP)
Ciel nosurge (シェルノサージュ〜失われた星へ捧ぐ詩〜, Sherunosāju 〜 Ushinawareta Hoshi e Sasagu Uta 〜?, lit. "Ciel nosurge -A Song Offered to the Lost Planet-") is a life simulation video game for the PlayStation Vita developed by Gust. The player is introduced to Ionasal (shortened to "Ion" in the game), a girl with amnesia upon starting the game, and the player's objective is to establish a relationship with Ion as they help her to regain her memories by entering her Genometrics, a representation of her mind, which is shown as a broken world which the player can repair. Although not a continuation of the Ar tonelico series, it takes place in the same universe with many of the same elements and expands on the series mythos. The game is notably the first game to be developed by Gust after their merger with Tecmo Koei.
It was released on April 26, 2012 in Japan. As of January 2015, there are no plans for a release outside of Japan. The original cart contained the first episode of the game, and since then elven more episodes have been released as downloadable add-ons to the original game at low prices via the PlayStation Network. Ciel nosurge Re:Incarnation, a rerelease containing all of the original game's patches and DLC, including episodes one through four on the cart and voucher to download episode five, was released on February 21, 2013. Finally, a complete version of the game called Ciel nosurge Offline which contains all the DLC packs, adds a few additional costumes, an option to advance the in-game time and eliminates all need to be connected to the Internet to play, was released on October 3, 2014.
The game is divided in have a total of twelve episodes called World Packs, which are divided in three arcs: the Trials Arc, the Collapse Arc and the Empress Arc. There are also three additional episodes: two Extra Scenario Packs that serve to expand further on other characters aside of Ion, and the Terminate Pack, which contains the ending to the game and the events that connect it with its sequel, Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star.
Said sequel is an RPG game for the PlayStation 3 which was released on 6 March 2014.
Ciel nosurge is a game that requires an Internet connection to be played, though this is made in order to facilitate a real-time communication between our world and a different world located beyond the Seven Dimensions where a girl called Ion lives, and by interacting with her, it becomes possible to progress on the story. The game cartridge contains the Everyday Segments and the first chapter of the "Trials Arc", and while the second Trials Arc chapter and additions to the interaction segments are given for free, all the chapters from the third one onwards and the costumes are given as DLC and thus have to be bought. All of the actions of the players are uploaded as data into Gust's servers, so there are parts from the following chapters that could be affected by it.
Additionally, the game is also the very first part of the Surge Concerto series, with is slated to be a group of games related by a common world setting that will cover several genres.
While the game suffered from several lethal bugs and server-related problems right after its release, Gust released fixes to all these problems alongside with an official apology. However, given they had to allocate a large part of their staff to fix the bugs, this delayed their work on the rest of matters related to the game for over a month, severely disrupting the release schedule for the downloadable contents.
On November 2012, during the briefing Tecmo-Koei holdings had in order to make their plans for the first trimester of 2013, an apology to the users that experienced the bugs was publicly released, which stated "This is the first online game Gust has made, so the main cause of the problems that appeared in it was inexperience". However, it was also made clear that the server programs and such other matters would continue receiving support from then on.
On February 21th, 2013, all of the DLC that had been released up that point were bundled alongside some new contents and repackaged alongside the game in a version called "Ciel nosurge RE:Incarnation". They also released a special content pack for their already established player base called the "Ambassador Pack" that same day.
The game itself is divided into two parts called the Everyday Segments and the Genometrics Segments. In the Everyday Segments, the players can enjoy interacting with Ion through the touch screen of the PlayStation Vita, while in the Genometrics Segments, the players must repair areas of Ion's Dream World, and once they have done so, they can bear to witness to the memories these areas contain.
While the player can't really talk to Ion, they can still convey their "feelings" to her through their actions. Ion herself has a 24-year schedule for each day, similarly to the player. However, since there is a time difference between both worlds, there may some times in which Ion is asleep when the player is awake. However, after they have interacting for some time, Ion can synchronize her schedule to match that of the player. She can also make the player promise to meet her for lunch and to have dates with her.
By taping the command icons on the touchscreen, the player can communicate with Ion, and by sliding their finger through the screen, they can also move the camera. They can also ask Ion to search for items, which she can then use to synthesize new items. The recipes for synthesizing are gained from repairing her memories, so the more the player helps Ion to regain her memories, the more items she will be able to make. However, there are also special items that can only be gotten by going to specific locations or visiting Nelico's shop.
It is also possible to configure Ion's parameter by entering the "Symphorhythm" menu, in which the "Lovey-Dovey Level" option allows to check the status of the relationship between Ion and the player, the "Status" one allows the player to see how hungry and sleepy she is, and the "Mood" one allows to see Ion's current emotional state. The "Personality Trends" menu allows to check which are the traits that shape Ion's current personality, and the "Food Taste" menu allows to see which are Ion's current tastes in flavors. While all of these can be modified depending on the actions taken by the player, the "Lovey-Dovey Level" can only be increased by progressing with the game's story.
And of course, the player can also ask Ion to initiate a Dive into her Dream World, which will make the game move over to the Genometrics Segment.
Once inside Ion's Dream World (Soulspace), the player is tasked with the mission of restoring Ion's memories. Once they have chosen which chapter they want to play, the player will be taken to beyond the door that represents that specific chapter and end up in a map filled with ruins. By repairing these ruins is that the player progresses the story.
To repair the ruins, the player will have to read barcodes (of which only the 13 and 8 digits long EAN codes will work) through the PS Vita's camera, which will be used to create special fairies called Sharls. After creating a Sharl, the players will have to spend a type of points called Hymmno Points (HymP) in order to establish a pact with them. As the ruins have several points that require repairing, the player will have to create several Sharls in order to repair them all. Once a point has been repaired, the next point requiring repairing will be shown on the map, but the repaired point will be unlocked and will allow the player to watch the memories it contains upon tapping the icon that corresponds to it. By repeating these steps is that the player advances in the game.
However, it must be mentioned that aside of Ion's own memories, the player can also watch the memories of other characters that Ion herself shouldn't have.
The Sharls are fairies of hope born out from Ion's mind.
The player can have up to six Sharls inside their Sharl Nest. Each Sharl has her own type, personality and elements, of which the types are further subdivided into genii and classes depending on their particular characteristics. As for the elements, there are four that a Sharl can have: these are Water (represented by a water droplet), Wood (represented by a plant), Metal (represented by a gear) and Earth (represented by a square). The personality influences their voice and the lines they say. While they are on the Nest, the Sharls will be on standby on the Sharl Nest, which is similar to an aquarium, and will constantly have pop-ups with lines about things they want to tell the player, and they can be customized to some extent with accesories the player obtains in the game.
To create a Sharl, the player has to use an EAN barcode and read it through the PS Vita camera, though two players scanning the same barcode aren't guaranteed to create the same Sharl. Additionally, there is also a mechanism that increase the HymP required to establish a pact with a Sharl depending on the number of Sharls the player has pacted with and if the Sharl the player is trying to pact with has made pacts with many other players, so the more sought out and rarer a Sharl is, the higher the amount of HymP that will be necessary to establish a pact with her. And while half of the HymP expent on a pact will be returned to the player once the pact with particular Sharl is rescinded, the Sharl will take away the parameters and accesories she had at the moment of rescinding the pact, so if the player wishes to establish another pact with that same Sharl later on, they will have to raise her from the beginning, as the base parameters and levels for each Sharl are the same for every player. Also, if the player is establishing a pact with a particular Sharl type for the first time, they will be given a special costume.
HymP can be obtained from interacting with Ion in the Everday Segments, stroking the Sharls of another players that Follow you, sending energy to the Micro Quasar, completely repairing ruins, having the player's Sharls repair the ruins of another player, and by fulfilling the requests of your Sharls (Sharl Wish), which are updated by the game server every 24 hours of real-time. The player can accept any of the Sharl Wishes, but they can also consist of risque actions such as "touching Ion's breasts". And it might be digression, but these Sharl Wishes are said to be manifestations of Ion's deep psyche.
Each Sharl can send energy to the Micro Quasar once per day, and aside of this giving HymP to the player, when all the players have sent a determinate amount of energy to it, a reward will be given to them all, which can be accesories for the Sharls or songs for the jukebox in Ion's room. By the way, by checkin the Micro Quasar, the player can also read at random the comments sent by the other players as well as send their own, which makes it very similar to a social networking site. There are also occasions in which the energy sent is increased automatically, which is known as the Bonus Time. The player can also become friends with another players, which will give they access to peruse their Sharl Nests and recover the LP of their Sharls by caressing them, which will also increase the synchronization rate between them and the player by a 1 or 2%. Additionally, HymP can be used for increasing the skills of the Sharls, buying accessories or even changing the type of the Sharl. Therefore, the player is completely free to customize their Sharls however they like, as well as increase their parameters and share them so all other players can establish pacts with them.
Each of the Repair Points will require a determinate amount of an element, and many require multiple elements at once. Therefore, repairs take a variable amount of real-time, and the player can only send a Sharl to work on repairing a single point at a time. Additionally, the Sharls have a parameter called LP (Life Points), which once depleted will cause the Sharl to go back to the Nest to rest and become unable to repair anything else until her LP has recovered. Therefore, while it is possible to swap the Sharl with another that has her LP full in the middle of a repair, it's inevitable that the Sharls a player has on hand won't be enough to repair a point and thus they will take even longer than normal to do so. However, players have at their disposition a system called Labor Sharls that allows them to borrow the Sharls of the other players. The Labor Sharls is a listing of Sharls chosen at random from the Sharls other players have pacted with and that have contributed energy to the Micro Quasar in the last 24 to 36 hours, though players can also bring in a Sharl from a player who they have established a friendship with. However, in the latter case they will be only able to bring in a single Sharl, so most of the Sharls they bring in will have to be from other people. The max number of Sharls that can be brought in for repairing a point is five, which also includes the Sharl chosen by the player to lead the repair. However, the number of Sharls that can be brought in depends on the "Leadership" parameter of the Sharl chosen, so if said Sharl has a low Leadership, she won't be able to bring as many Sharls to help with the repairs. Additionally, the speed each Sharl will have to repair the point is determined by their "'Creativity" parameter.
It must mentioned that each Sharl will repair their element in quantities equivalent to their Creativity parameter each five minutes, with them losing LP depending on their restoration power, so if the player chooses the correct Sharls for each work, the repairs won't take long and will be rather easy to finish them.
The parameters of the Sharls will vary depending on the Synchronization Rate they have with each particular player, so the higher the Sync Rate, the better abilities they will be able to display. The Synchro Rate can be increased by fully repairing points, by equipping accesories or using HymP to increase the parameters, granting Sharl Wishes, or in the case of another players' Sharls, by stroking them.
Additionally, fellow players can use the Sharls as intermediaries to communicate among themselves by sending each other messages like in a social networking site, as well as sending friend requests to each other, in addition to request pacts.
The game opens in a temple with a large number of people watching over a ceremony, in which two girls wearing masks approach a woman, who apparently bless them both, and they board elevators located in opposite sides of the room to leave.
Once in the elevator, one of the girls, Ionasal.kkll.Preciel, is told by an attendant priestess that she is about to arrive at a city located in the ground called Manjusara, and she'll lose her status as princess and won't be able to receive any help once she sets a foot outside of the elevator. Ionasal, still scared about this entire event, doesn't want to go ahead with this, but the priestess tells her she must be strong, and gives her the only proof of her status: the Princess' Cloth. She tells Ionasal that if she loses it, she will relinquish her rights over the imperial throne, so she must take good care of it, though she can give away pieces of it to people that support and help her during her three years of Trials.
Once on the ground, the girl that boarded the other elevator, Kanoyeel.kkll.Preciel, conducts herself before the public magnificently and managing to inspire great respect on the people. On the other hand, Ionasal is extremely nervous, and the situation ends becoming a disaster when the people begin trying to pull away her hairs and part of her clothes as good luck charms, which makes her run away scared from them all the day, until night comes. Ionasal can't do much but curl herself up and cry at a fate she never wished for...
Things then take a sudden turn, as Ionasal, now calling herself Ion, appears before the player in what seems to be a tidy and comfortable room, saying she has just repaired a strange terminal. She comments on how strange is it that isn't giving any images or sounds, but then she begins feeling in her heart the replies the player attempts to give her, as the terminal is unable to transmit any sound or images, but it can send over the feelings of the player. Ion asks the player a few personal questions about themselves, but when she tries asking them their name, for some reason the feelings composing it can't reach her, so Ion settles with calling the player "you". She explains she has no memories, and that she only knows her name is Ion because the owner of a nearby general store called Nelico said that it was her name. She then tells the player she has things to do and bids them farewell, but not before telling them she will be waiting to talk with them again later.
The player then calls out to Ion, who decides to try out how far the terminal goes when it comes to allowing communication between them, showing them how to activate the Communication Panel that allows them to touch and stroke her. She also gets to receive the feelings of the player, and notices that they are communicating with her through a small handheld terminal. She then returns to her normal activities.
At some point, Ion calls for the player and asks them to transmit their feelings to her. It's then that Ion noticed the player knows about the recurring nightmare she's having: the one where she appears in the Imperial Succession Ceremony and is chased away by the people. She states she's been having that nightmare for several nights in a row, and she herself doesn't know why she's having that particular dream. However, she adds that she has no problem with the lifestyle she has at the moment, and thus doesn't really pay much mind to that nightmare. She states that's she amazed the player could see into her dreams, and that possibly the terminal is equipped with a function that allows the player to go into her Dream World. She then tells the player she'll go back to what she was doing, and she resumes her schedule.
The player talks again to Ion, and she tells them she has something she wants to discuss. As she's always wearing her pajamas, she decides she wants to wear something that is easier to move in, and thus gives the player their first recipe card, which is used to make her default Polar Memories I costume and their associated Large Flowers Hair Ornament. She also readies the ingredients necessary for its creation. Once the costume is ready, she asks the player if they'd like her to wear the costume they just made, and the player gives the go ahead, which makes her change into it. Ion states she's embarrassed due to how much skin it exposes, but she's glad when the player expresses their opinion about it.
She says that she feels like she wore these clothes before, and while she can't remember if that's really the case, she's completely sure about it. She wonders what she can do to gain back her memories, and when the player tries thinking strongly about her, a strange machine surrounds Ion, shocking her, and makes her black out.
The Dream World
When the image comes back in, the player finds themselves in a circular room containing twelve curtained doors, and Ion standing in front of them. She welcomes them to Ion's Dream World. She then laughs at the player's surprise and explains that while she's Ion, she's not the Ion the player has known so far, as she has no human emotions and exists merely to act as a navigator in the Dream World. She proceeds to explain this place is the entrance to Ion's memories, with each place containing precious memories to her that have been completely destroyed.
However, the player can make Ion regain her memories if they manage to repair them, for which they will need energy and beings that can procure it. It is then that the navigator Ion explains them how to get to the Sharl Nest, where they will get a more detailed explanation on how to carry out their duties. She also warns them that they will have to repair each one of the many ruins existing beyond each door individually, but once they do, they will be able to bear witness to the powerful feelings they each hold. She finally explains how to return to Ion's room, and how the player is the only one that can do this.
Upon reaching the Sharl Nest, a Sharl welcomes the player, saying the place is still empty and they must create Sharls to heal Ion. When asked about what she has different from the other Sharls, she says she's like a mere symbol, so while she's born from Ion's feelings, Ion's own power isn't enough to heal her, which is why the player has to send over energy from their own world. The Sharl then explains the process of scanning barcodes to create more of her kind, as barcodes are attached to matter that have a high deal of energy, and once converted into energy through Ciel nosurge, they can be used to give shape to new Sharls, as well as explaining that the room with the doors is called the Dive Gate and how they can go back there. She then asks the player to try it out and create a Sharl right away. After they do, the Sharl congratulates the player, and after explaining briefly about how their levels and stats work, she urges them to go through the only door that's not covered by a curtain in the Dive Gate.
Trials Arc, First Chapter: Time of Beginning
1-01 - Tabou
Right after crossing the door, the player is shown a scene set right after Ion's nightmare. In it, she's crying she wants to go back to wherever she was before the Trials started, and a boy approaches her telling she should get back, as a Wave Burst is incoming. Ion replies she can't go back, as she was "chased out from her home". The boy says she's older than him and a bit big to be a lost girl, but that she should get somewhere safe, as it'd be pretty bad for her if she got drenched from the rain.
Before they go, Ion's stomach growls, making the boy laugh and ask if the hunger comes from being lost, to which Ion replies it's because she smelled roasted beef somewhere nearby. The boy replies it's the dinner his mother is cooking, and upon hearing Ion loves that kind of food, he invites her to his house, saying his mother would be glad to have a guest. After some pushing, Ion agrees, and the boy says it's on the condition she eats everything. He then helps stand up, and the boy introduces himself as Tabou while Ion also introduces herself. Tabou is a bit confused as he remembers hearing that name somewhere else, but drops the issue when it starts raining and they have to run to his house for shelter. Ion then narrates saying she always was alone, but now things were different, and while she was still nervous, she wasn't as scared as before, as she had made her first friend in Manjusara.
As soon as the memory fades out, the player finds themselves in a ruined version of Manjusara, and the Sharl welcomes them to the world of Ion's memories. She explains that the destroyed state of the place is the proof that Ion lost her memories, but that the Sharls made by the player could fix them. The Sharl then urges the player to get ready to repair these memories, and explains the process used to do so, as well as a more detailed insight on the Sharls' stats, and how to strengthen them. The player sets a Sharl to repair the first memories, and returns to reality in the meantime.
Upon getting back, Ion seems a bit fazed, and tells the player she remembered a little about her past: it was a cold night and living had become a hell for her, to the point where she didn't even mind dying. It was then that Tabou appeared and called out to her. Ion still can't remember what kind of boy Tabou was, but that it was thanks to him that she found a little hope that allowed her to continue living. She adds she was surprised about being able to remember anything at all and wonders if that's the player's power. She then says she always had the same nightmare, but the dream finally changed when she started sleeping with the player, and says it's all thanks to them. She then says she wants to remember more and asks the player in helping her to reclaim her memories. Ion thanks the player when they say they want to help her, and while she can't reward them in any way, at least they can share impressions with each other whenever a new memory is restored.
Interlude: First Meeting with Nelico
While Ion is out collecting ingredients, a mysterious dark-skinned woman comes to her house, asking if she's been well. She notices the terminal, and upon prompting the player to talk to her, they oblige, surprising her. She then asks what they think about Ion's life, but the player responds by asking who she is, making her introduce herself as the Nelico Ion mentioned when she first met the player. The player then asks what she is doing in Ion's house, which makes Nelico ask back if they don't know anything about that world yet, to which the player responds that's the case. Nelico then tells the player she's going to be teaching them about that world bit by bit, beginning by explaining that the concept of time as the player knows it doesn't exist in that world and that the next second could be for us the one that actually passed a moment ago. The player replies they don't understand what she means, and Nelico says it's natural for an unknown world to be hard to grasp at first. She then proceeds to explain that both worlds exist in different points of the Dimension Axis and that it's thanks to it that Ion has been able to live peacefully thus far. However, it's possible that something that doesn't naturally belong to that space-time will bring a great change to that world, though she emphasizes the "possible" part of it if the player asks for more details, also saying the player may be what cuts up the moebius loop that exists in that world. The player asks how they would do that, but after asking if they are actually planning to do it, Nelico says she doesn't know. She does say that the key for it would be the Lighthouse Keeper's... Ion's memories, as they still have a very long way to go to make her regain all her memories. So they should take their time and work hard to dispel the mist over her memories.
Nelico then announces the conversation has been long enough already, and that she's gotten bored. She says she'll be looking forward to see what changes the player brings to that world, and to call her if anything interesting happens to Ion, as she'll come running faster than the speed of sound to hear about it. She says she's going to come anyway whenever she pleases, and gives the player a little memento: a trial card, which she tells the player to give a try at least once because it'll allow them to have some fun with Ion. Nelico says she doesn't want to really talk to Ion while she's coming back home, but that she's going to give the player more cards like the one she just gave them whenever she feels like it. And saying she prays this won't be their last time meeting, she leaves Ion's house.
Upon returning, Ion calls out to the player, noticing the terminal has gotten a strange card. The player explains to her that Nelico gave them that card, making Ion ask if she told them anything about what it did. The player is at a loss about what it does, so Ion says that maybe it'd make them feel different from everything they have done until now, and thus Ion decides to try it out. After the player agrees, Ion gets all excited and uses the card, bringing up the Dive capabilities of the terminal. However, instead of ending in the Dream World, they both end in a beach, shocking Ion and making her ask if they teleported. The player makes her realize that it's not possible because the terminal would have shut down if that was the case, and she then notices the sea, saying her house isn't anywhere nearby of such a place. Ion then recalls that the card was giving her a familiar yet strange sensation, and she finally realizes what is it: the place feels similar to the Dream World, but slightly different from it, though she can't really put it into words. The player suggests calling it the Virtual World, to which she agrees, and tells the player to take a walk around. The player asks if Ion can remember the sea, to which she replies she can, as it's common knowledge that resides at the very root of her memories. She then comments on how hot the place is due to the sunrays and the heat rising from the sand, and the player suggests heading back to her house. Ion then tries taking some of the sand back with them as a memento. However, upon getting back, she gets the nasty surprise that the sand she picked up has disappeared, making her realize that bringing objects back from the Virtual World is not possible. However, she doesn't get sad about this because they now have a place to which they can go have fun, to which the player adds that Nelico offered to bring them more cards in the future, much to Ion's surprise. She rejoices and says she'll be looking forward to which other places they can go to.
1-02: The Unreliable Princess
Tabou brings Ion back to his house, which is also a relatively famous general store called Ruru. Ion is amazed at the many things they sell, which include all sorts of old machinery and equipment, while Tabou replies there's nothing they don't sell. They enter the house, and there Tabou calls for his mother, Ruray, announcing he brought a lost girl along. Tabou's mother states her frustration at her son doing whatever he wants, but she's shocked upon seeing Ion, as she expected a little kid; and with a bitter face, she asks Ion if she's going to be eating with them. Ion initially refuses, but her stomach begins growling. Ruray laughs it off and just tells her it's okay to have dinner with them. However, she hits Tabou on the head, saying it's all her idiot son's fault. Tabou tries talking back, but she tells him to just go set up the table. When he tries to make Ion sit down at the table, Ruray hits him again and tell him to bring out her old clothes, as the ones Ion is wearing are all battered up. Tabou tries to protest, but upon getting threatened with another hit to the head, he runs away.
A while later, Ion has changed into the clothes Ruray offered her, and she and Tabou are watching a news report on television stating that a Wave Burst struck a nearby region, and it follows by stating they would next give a report on the Anti-Wave Shell's Collapses. Ion is unaware about what the Shell is, so Tabou explains is the barrier that protects the city from the cosmic rays, and Ion recognizes it as the dome-like structure covering the sky. Tabou adds it's half-broken down now, and that parts of it frequently end up coming down on the city. Tabou also comments on how Ion really knows nothing about the world. The news report then follows by covering the Imperial Succession Ceremony that took place previously that day, and explaining how the three years of Imperial Trials have just started. Ion thinks that she doesn't want to go through any scary experiences due to it, but then Ruray interjects saying how she heard about the Tenmon Princess running away right as the Ceremony finished, so while she had high expectations on Tenmon, this greatly disappointed her, which makes Ion cover her face in shame. Tabou retorts that Tenmon would win anyway since the seekers found their objective, but Ruray just says that no matter what the seekers did, it's pointless if their Imperial Princess isn't fit to become Empress. She then tells Ion to eat to her heart's content, as she made lots of food for everyone. Ion thanks her, amazed at how good the food looks, while Tabou comments how cooking is one of his mother's few good points, which earns him another smack to the head from her.
However, Ruray then moves to ask Ion where she came from, and tells her that it's getting late and that her family would be worried about her. She also adds she won't accept her in if says she ran away and will instead drag her back to her home by the neck. Tabou tries to defend her, but Ruray shuts him up, and this forces Ion to reveal the truth about her being the Tenmon Imperial Princess. Shocked, Tabou asks her for her full name, and Ion reveals it: Ionasal.kkll.Preciel, adding that "Ion" is just how she normally shortens it. Ruray tells her she won't believe it so easily, so Ion brings out her Princess' Cloth. Ruray recognizes it instantly, while Tabou doesn't until his mother explains to him what it is. Having seen this, Ruray understands Ion has no place to go back to and decides to lodge her for the time being. And since Tabou stood there staring at Ion, Ruray tells her son to stop being so rude to her. Ion thanks Ruray as she leaves them aone, and apologizes to Tabou for telling him about this. Tabou doesn't mind it, and asks her if she came down to the city for the three years of Trials. Ion nods, adding she wasn't given anything aside of the Princess' Cloth and being told that she needed to find allies that would support her. Tabou then explodes in excitement for being the one to lodge and help the Imperial Princess who will save Ra Ciela, while Ion comments Ruray didn't seem very happy about it. Tabou tells her to not mind it, as Ruray may be heartless but she's also pretty excitable under her tough face. Tabou then goes to prepare a place Ion can sleep in, and tells her to call him if anything happens. They then go to sleep, Ion thanking him. Ion wonders to herself if she can actually last three years being helped like this, and wonders what she will do from the next day onwards as the memory ends....
Back to reality, Ion tells the player that she remembered all sorts of things: how Tabou was so realible despite being so much younger than her, and how he must have turned out like that due to how stern Ruray was at raising him. This makes her wonder if she didn't have a mother of her own, and how she didn't wonder about anything like that until now. She then asks the player how their mother are. She proceeds to give the player several recipes she remembered, and after thanking them, she goes back to her usual schedule.
Several days later, Ion and Tabou are out at Manjusara shopping for groceries, as Ruray asked them. Tabou tells Ion she could just stay at the house and relax, but she replies back she wants to help as much as possible. Tabou then exclaims that he's doing everything he can to not shout that he's shopping alongside the Imperial Princess, while Ion just wonders what she's going to do in the future, as she's been freeloading at Ruray's house for quite some time.
Tabou gets her out from her thoughts as Ion is introduced to the Shrimp Bread and Milk Way Sandwich, both typical dishes from Ra Ciela. Ion says she prefers the sandwich after tasting it, while Tabou says he can't stand the overly sweet jam packed in it. He comments that Cass is just like that and that it must be a girls' thing, but he shrugs it off when Ion asks what he's talking about. Ion tells him they can't waste the money Ruray gave them for the groceries, and that they should leave it for another time. Having finished, they head back home, with Tabou thanking Ion for accompanying him, and she offering to help again whenever Tabou calls her. Tabou goes to give Ruray the groceries, but Ion notices a small creature she initially mistakes for a lizard in a nearby alley, but she notices it's a dragon from the wings. The little dragon is whimpering sadly and weakly, and Ion struggles because she doesn't know how to help him, and she doesn't want to bring Tabou and Ruray more problems by bringing him to their home.
After thinking about it a little, Ion brings Tabou back with her and asks how she can help the dragon. Tabou tells her it'd be better to leave him alone, as the dragon is actually a Genom. He says he only knows about them from hearsay because neither he nor Ruray have Synchronized with one, to which Ion expresses her surprise because she thought Synchronization only happened with the Cielnotrons. Tabou continues explaining that humans can share their heart with the Genoms when they Synchronize with one, and the Genoms come to live in the heart of the people that did it... or something like that. He also adds this allows people to use Song Magic in exchange for consuming their host's life force, similarly to a parasite.
Ion says it sounds scary, but Tabou just tells her it was something common back before the Cielnotrons were invented. He adds that Genoms are more bothersome to deal with because it's not possible to program magic into them and that they won't necessarily use magic when their partners want it, but Ion still decides to help the small dragon to heal him, though Tabou refuses saying she can't just Synchronize with one like that, as that means they'd have to be together for a long time, and besides, Ion is the Imperial Princess of Tenmon: the creators of the Cielnotrons themselves. Ion doesn't care about it, saying she can't just act like nothing is happening when there is someone suffering in front of her. She thinks to herself about how the dragon's eyes look so sad, and wonders if he understood what Tabou said.
She then reaches out to he, and ends up in a strange space, which she recognizes as the Genometrics. The dragon thanks her, and Ion notices he is speaking normally. Ion wonders how he knows her name, and the dragon replies he learned it after they performed the First Harmonics: the very first Synchronization between a Genom and human, which was sparked this time from Ion's feelings of wanting to save him and allowed them to meet inside the Soulspace. The dragon thanks her for having healed him, but also apologizes for having made her Synchronize with him due to being very weak and not having a great capacity for Song Magic, telling Ion she should have chosen a Genom better fitting her vocal range.
Ion doesn't mind it, and tells him she couldn't just leave him alone as he was dying. The dragon tells Ion how she is strange, and that he wants her to know more about him, to see if they can become partners. At Ion's request, the dragon shows her some of his memories, showing he was born in the Colons from a gentle old man, and that he had many Genom friends. Ion also comments on how she heard the Genoms' numbers had been steadily dwindling in recent times, and how his capacity is only one fifth of Ion's vocal range. Despite this, Ion decides to become the dragon's partner, and after the dragon thanks her, they both go back to the real world.
Tabou sighs in exasperation due to Ion having completed the Synchronization with a useless Genom, wondering what she plans to accomplish with this. The dragon just growls at him, making Ion laugh about he not being to talk outside the Genometrics. She then panics because she forgot to ask the dragon for its name, but Tabou says she gets to decide it because she initiated the First Harmonics. Ion then decides to give him the name Terefunken, to which the dragon replies with a happy cry. Tabou says it's a weird name, but neither Ion nor Terefunken think so. He also adds that's just Ion is, and that he doesn't really hate that part of her. The memory then ends with Ion giggling and Terefunken letting another happy cry out.
Back in reality, Ion comments how she remembered several things, and that she'd be happy if she could always have different dreams in this same way every day. She comments on how she brought home a little dragon a long time ago and called him Terefunken, making her feel nostalgic. She also comments she gave that name a meaning, and asks they player if they'd like to know what it means. The player replies affirmatively, but Ion unfortunately can't remember the meaning despite liking it so much, and apologizes to the player for this. The player then asks what happened to Terefunken, and Ion says she remembers always having him at her side, but doesn't remember were he is now. However, she's optimistic that they'll come to know if they keep entering the Dream World.
(more coming later...)
The world of Ciel nosurge was designed with an intent to give Japanese players a sense of nostalgia; for example with buildings from the Showa era. Ion herself lives in a world called Ra Ciela. Ra Ciela is nearing destruction due to the expansion of its sun, Bezel; and due to this, most of its population built floating cities called Colons to protect themselves; while the poor still live on the ground.
Ciel nosurge was released in four versions. The first two are the normal and Agent Pack editions of the original release of the game, the latter of which is a limited edition that also includes replicas of the Genomirai documents Gust sent to Dengeki PlayStation prior to the official announcement of the game, a Drama CD about Ion's daily life, and a decorative decal for the PlayStation Vita.
The third version is actually the Re:incarnation re-release, which has been discussed at the beginning of this article, and the fourth and final version is the Offline one, which itself also has its own Agent Pack version.
Differences between Online and Offline
As the name says, Ciel nosurge Offline eliminates the need to be connected to the Internet to enjoy the game, but it also has several changes from both of the online versions, which will be detailed below:
- All the animations Ion had for transitioning between different actions were eliminated and replaced by either fade-to-black transitions or chalk-style drawing slides. Similarly, her animations of walking around her room or putting on an apron when cooking were removed.
- The options to set sleeping, awakening and eating together times for Ion were replaced by ones that make her act like an alarm clock for the player.
- The camera doesn't automatically focus on Ion's face when talking to her.
- The conditions for receiving the costumes and accessories that were sold as DLC in Online have been changed.
- The player can go in dates with Ion immediately after she requests one, instead of having to schedule them days in advance.
- Players can spend HymP to move the in-game clock forward, at a rate of 1 HymP/1 minute.
- Nelico doesn't come right away after Ion leaves, so if the player is always using the option to move time forward, they will miss the conversations with her.
- If Ion gets hungry or tired in the middle of a synthesis, she will interrupt it and go to make food or sleep. She will resume the synthesis after she finishes eating and cleaning the plates, or after she wakes up.
- Ion's lines and motions when waking up were changed. Similarly, the lines for the summary of what she did while the player was away, when scheduling dates for weekdays and when she fails at making a dish while cooking were removed.
- The time required for Ion to go and return from the gathering spots has been increased.
- The internal message board and e-mail systems of the game have been removed, and the spots for them in the menu have been given to the Save and Load functions. The same goes for all the community-related features included in the Sharls.
- The method for generating Sharls has been changed: since they don't have any more a register of which players they've made a pact with, players can instead spend more HymP to have them start with a higher level after their barcode has been scanned. They can also use tickets gained from the Micro Quasar to make pacts for free, though this will set them to level 10.
- New skills have been added for the Sharls, and the only conditions for obtaining them are now Sharl level and energy given to the Micro Quasar.
- The HymP costs for the Sharl skills and equipments have been decreased.
- Instead of having a general gauge for the Micro Quasar that affects all players, each player has now their own personal Quasar gauge.
- The auto-save system has been replaced with a manual save one. Similarly, all the progress data for the players is stored in the PlayStation Vita's memory card instead of on Gust's servers.
- The SekaiLink is done by manually initiating a connection to the Internet through the GenomiLink menu instead of being a constant automatic save update.
Reception and sales
Japan's Famitsu magazine scored Ciel nosurge 31 out of 40. Merchandise for the game include a mousepad. In the week from April 23 to April 29, Ciel nosurge ranked number one in PlayStation Vita games sales (33,324 per week) and fourth overall, behind Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3 version), Mario Party 9, and Fire Emblem Awakening, respectively.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gantayat, Anoop. "Life With Ion, Surge Concerto's Other Dimensional Heroine". Andriasang. http://andriasang.com/comzxu/surge_concerto_life/. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Romano, Sal. "Surge Concerto: Ciel no Surge screenshots". Gematsu. http://gematsu.com/2012/04/surge-concerto-ciel-no-surge-screenshots-6. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Spencer. "Ciel No Surge, Gust’s PlayStation Vita Game, Has You "Dive" Into Ionasol". SiliconEra. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/01/30/ciel-no-surge-gusts-playstation-vita-game-has-you-dive-into-ionasol/. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Spencer. "Ciel No Surge Re:Incarnation Is Gust’s Vita Game Bundled With DLC". SiliconEra. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/12/11/ciel-no-surge-reincarnation-is-gusts-vita-game-bundled-with-dlc/. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ 2013-11-05, 「アルノサージュ ～生まれいずる星へ祈る詩～」，“詩魔法”がカギを握るバトルシステムや登場ヒロイン「キャスティ」「イオン」を紹介, 4gamer
- ↑ Gantayat, Anoop. "Surge Concerto: Ion's Friends and the Dive System". Andriasang. http://andriasang.com/con03w/surge_concerto_friends/. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Romano, Sal. "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1221 - Surge Concerto and Starhawk reviewed". Gematsu. http://gematsu.com/2012/04/famitsu-review-scores-issue-1221. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Gantayat, Anoop. "Surge Concerto "Pancake" Mouse Pad". Andriasang. http://andriasang.com/con19z/surge_concerto_mouse_pad/. Retrieved January 2013.
- ↑ Ishaan. "This Week In Sales: The Raccoon City Outbreak Hits Japan". SiliconEra. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/05/02/this-week-in-sales-the-raccoon-city-outbreak-hits-japan/. Retrieved January 2013.