The Sharls form the core of one of the main game systems in Ciel nosurge: Ushinawareta Hoshi e Sasagu Uta, and they have an important plot role both in it and in its sequel Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star.
Sharls were originally the inhabitants of planet Ra Ciela, which was originally called Sharlanoia, but after invaders from planet Ciela came and defeated them in an extermination war, the Sharls relinquished their physical bodies and became spiritual beings called Genoms.
The currently existing Sharls are actually a type of artificial Incarnate created through the use of the Astrocyte Modulation Virus developed by Zillillium Rimonite, their prototype being Nayaflask's body. When this virus is administered to a human, it leaves them in a coma, causes them to be misrecognized as Genoms and forces them to give birth to other Genoms (the Sharls) in a distorted version of the natural process in which Genom are created, pretty much turning them into living seedbeds that exist only to produce Sharls.
Sharls were designed originally as mere robot Genoms that only obeyed the commands that were preprogrammed into a particular sample of the virus prior to its inoculation, so they lacked all sorts of free will and emotions, although they could still use Song Magic the same way the normal Incarnates do, which is how they are depicted in Ionasal.kkll.Preciel's memories in Ciel nosurge. Therefore, their main use was for brainwashing people and carrying out surprise attacks, and at one point, they were the "mechanism" that allowed the Second Generation Cielnotron Server to work.
However, the fact they were emotionless and robot-like changed 5000 years later, after Ra Ciela was destroyed and the people were forced to live in Colony Ship Soreil, when Kanoyeel.kkll.Preciel began using the song em-pyei-n vari-fen jang; to extract the Genom souls that were compressed into the Micro Quasar and lodge them into the empty Sharl bodies, allowing the Genoms to reincarnate and giving free will and emotions to the Sharls. These emotional and playful Sharls are the ones seen in the Sharl Nest in Ciel nosurge, and the ones appearing in Ar nosurge. Given they are reincarnations of the Genoms, they constructed a relatively advanced society in the pseudo-planet Sharanohiar that was created in Soreil.
They also sought to bring this same kind of happy and comfortable life to the humans in Orei, which they called the Demon World, but unfortunately, this made them easily manipulated by Zillillium Rimonite and her Genomirai Church. Therefore, they have been kidnapping humans since before Sharanohiar was created and stuffing them into the Flask Sea, believing that they were helping them to mature their souls in preparation for allowing them to live in Sharanohiar with them, but they were actually being used for a far more sinister purpose.
Sharls have the same characteristics that all Incarnates have, which means that aside of crafting Song Magic, they can also sing the Songs they have crafted thanks to the fact they possess vocal chords and the same amount of energy of the humans.
However, due to the fact that they are born from the Static H-Waves of the humans instead of being mutations of existing animals, they fall in the Imaginary Genom classification, which means they also suffer their same weakness: they can't gain energy through eating or drinking, so Sharls that haven't found a partner they can Synchronize with won't have a source to draw life energy from, and ultimately will die if they spend beyond three days without Synchronizing with anyone.
Despite this, some particularly powerful Sharls have the ability to pull people into Synchronizations with them that can't be broken unless the Sharl wills so, eliminating the First Harmonics and bilateral consent steps that are normally required for a Synchronization to be established.
Additionally, regardless of their appearance or the Sharl type to which they belong, all Sharls can freely fly or float through the air, as long as they do so in a place with a proper atmosphere.
However, Sharls have a particular weakness: given that all Sharls born from a specific strain of the Astrocyte Modulation Virus share a specific type of genetic code, this allows them to be controlled by an Incarnate o Sharl that has been injected with the SHS Heteremycin drug, which turns them into Master Sharls. Given this, the Master Sharl could potentially annihilate all the Sharls born from that strain if they wanted, and likewise, all Sharls controlled by a Master Sharl will die if the Master Sharl herself is killed while she controls them.
Sharls in Ciel nosurge
As mentioned previously, the Sharls are one of the main game mechanics in Ciel nosurge: Ushinawareta Hoshi e Sasagu Uta. Therefore, their creation and raising plays a major part in the game due to their ability to repair Ion's memories when the player is in the Dream World. Sharls have a classification system and stats sheets, which will be detailed below.
All Sharls are created by going to the Sharl Nest and tapping the Genomix button. Once they do this, they will be shown an image of what the PlayStation Vita's back camera is being pointed at, and if they scan an EAN-8 or EAN-13 barcode, they will be taken back to the game and a Sharl will be created. Then, the player will be given the option to pay a certain amount of HymP in order to form a pact with the Sharl or to dismiss her.
It must be taken in account that particularly popular and powerful Sharls have greater costs for their pacts, so it's advisable for the player to have a surplus of HymP before doing it. Of course, Gust reduced the HymP costs when some events took place, and in once occasion even abolished them entirely, but it isn't wise for players to wait for such events to get the more expensive Sharls.
In the case of Ciel nosurge Offline, all Sharls have the same HymP costs, but the player can pay more to have the Sharl start at a higher level, though the cost increases exponentially the higher the level chosen. Players can also earn free pact tickets as rewards from the Micro Quasar and use them to establish pacts with the Sharls at no cost, though they force the player to have the Sharl chosen start at level 10.
Regardless of version, the players can also dismiss a Sharl they have pacted with to regain half the HymP they paid for her, but they will also lose all the skills and Sharl Parts they bought for her, so if they ever make a pact with that same Sharl later on, they will have to rebuy the skills and parts again.
The Sharls have a somewhat complex classification system, and are divided in the following way:
- Sperimaius: This Sharl species looks like fairies, as they have humanoid appearance, pointy ears and generally have insect wings; and are commonly found in plains and forests. They are the most common kind of Sharl.
- Nareglakos: These Sharls look like mermaids, so they have a fish tail instead of legs, and naturally reside in the sea and rivers. They are called "Nereglacos" in the localized version of Ar nosurge.
- Jirdenpier: Sharls that look like harpies, as they have bird wings instead of arms and talons instead of legs. This type is extremely rare, and never appeared either in Ciel nosurge or Ar nosurge. They showed up only in illustrations.
- Avinir: These Sharls are like imps, having bat wings and horns, but also having stones and jewels for their clothing, and habitually live in mountaintops. They seem to be more like a variation of the Limma Genus of the Sperimaius species rather than a different family. They didn't appear in Ciel nosurge, and instead only showed up as NPCs and enemies in Ar nosurge. It must be mentioned though that the Avinir Sharls that appear as enemies in Ar nosurge are no more than Felion Genus Sharls with different clothes and accesories.
- Kustendius: There is no information available about them aside of the fact that they are commonly found in caves and mangroves.
Each Sharl family has several subtypes, but only three are known for the Sperimaius family and three for the Nareglakos one. They will be described below.
- Felion: These Sharls wear clothing made from grass and commonly have flower garlands in their heads. They are particularly skilled at manipulating water, which is why they are mostly Water-elemental.
- Limma: These Sharls wear stones and jewels as clothing, and commonly have horns in their heads. Their affinity is with the Earth element, and have a great ability at manipulating the landscape and ground.
- Flanqorime: They wear clothes made from flower petals and usually wear hats made from flowers. They are attuned to the Wood element. They are called "Flantrium" in the localized version of Ar nosurge.
Note: No Nareglakos Sharls can ever be gained directly from scanning a barcode, and they are unavailable in Ciel nosurge Online if the player hasn't installed the Ambassador Pack DLC.
- Juema: These Sharls are typical mermaids that have fish tails instead of legs. They are attuned to the Water element.
- Altrith: These Sharls are based on jellyfishes, so they are covered in slime and have tentacles instead of fish tails. They are attuned to the Wood element in Ciel nosurge Online, and to the Earth element in Ciel nosurge Offline.
- Enpnele: Based on anemones, these Sharls have graceful tails covered with beautiful dresses. They are attuned to the Earth element in Ciel nosurge Online, and to the Wood element in Ciel nosurge Offline.
There are also several other Sharl genii, but all information aside of their names is unknown at the moment.
Likewise, there are other several names in the Sharl gene map that came in Ciel nosurge's Agent Pack documents, but there is no information as to what they stand for.
There are three possible families for all Sharl species and genii, which are humorously classified by their breast size.
- Pamir: Large breasts.
- Lande: Normal-sized breasts.
- Meis: Flat chests.
Finally, all Sharls have a nature, though it's unknown at the moment what effect it has on their appearance, abilities or personality. The natures are as follows:
- Alarioz Class
- Drocens Class
- Calion Class
- Epiruma Class
- Recun Class
Aside of the randomly generated name they are given upon being created for the first time, Sharls also get a scientific species name that goes: "<=Species (3 first letters).Genus (2 first letters)-Family (First letter).Nature (Four first letters)"
So for example, a Sperimaius Species, Felion Genus, Lande Family, Alarioz Class Sharl would have the following scientific name: "<=Spe.FeL.Alar"
However, this scientific species name is completely dropped in Ciel nosurge Offline, so in that version, the player can only check the Sharls' characteristics through the tree diagram shown in their stats.
As stated previously, all Sharls have affinity with an element, which is important to consider by the player when they are asking them to repair Ion's memories in Ciel nosurge. The possible elements are Metal (), Wood (), Water (), and Earth ().
The element will depend on the Sharls' genus, and it also has somewhat of an influence on the appearance the Sharl will have. However, Metal-elemental Sharls aren't tied to any particular genus, so a Metal Sharl can belong to any of them.
All Sharls have a personality, which will change the lines they say when they greet a player and in response to the player stroking them. The possible personalities are Little Sister-like, Intelligent, Tsundere, Big Sister-like, Airheaded, Worrywart, and Pessimist.
All Sharls have the following stats in Ciel nosurge:
- Level: This partially determines the other stats. Levels are increased by gaining experience through making the Sharls repair ruins, stroking them, granting their Sharl Wishes and making them send energy to the Micro Quasar. Additionally, if a Sharl is owned by multiple players, she gains experience from their combined actions.
- LP: This indicates for how long a Sharl can repair ruins in a single session. LP is consumed at a rate of 1/5 minutes of real time minus her Recovery Rate, and once it reaches zero, the Sharl won't be able to continue repairing ruins unless the repair is canceled and the Sharl is allowed to rest. Additionally, Sharls that have the "Healing" status won't be able to participate in any repair processes until their LP is full again and their status changes to "Ready".
- Synchronization Rate: This percentage has the same importance as levels when it comes to determining a Sharl's stats, as the higher the Synchronization Rate a Sharl has with the player, the better her stats will be. This rate is increased in the same ways the player does to gain experience for the Sharl, and they also have the option of buying them Sharl Parts, as the cheaper Parts increase the Synchronization Rate by 1, and the more expensive ones by 3. Note that equipping bought parts isn't necessary to boost Synchronization Rate: just buying them increases this stat.
- Recovery Rate: This shows how fast the Sharl will recover her LP when it is at anything but its max amount.
- Repair Power: This indicates how much energy of the element the Sharl is she will be capable of sending to a destroyed area each five minutes. This stat is the second most desirable one in a Sharl, although if the Sharl has a high Repair Power but low LP, she won't be able to withstand long repair sessions.
- Leadership: The most important stat in a Sharl, the Leadership shows how many additional Sharls she can command for a repair session, the max being four between Labor Sharls and a single Support Sharl. Therefore, the preferred approach between Ciel nosurge players is to build this stat before any of the others.
There are other minor stats in a Sharl's status screen:
- Owners Number: This display how many players have that particular Sharl in their possession. This is essential because several equipments and skills are locked out for Sharls unless they have been pacted to a certain number of players in Ciel nosurge Online.
- Nest Number: This indicates how many players have that Sharl in their active Sharl Nest instead of in their Annex.
- Energy Contributed to Restore the Planet: Shows how much mag that Sharl has sent to the Micro Quasar.
The first two are removed in Ciel nosurge Offline due to the fact that the players can't interact with each other due to the removal of the online version's social aspects.
Players can send messages to the Sharls in their Nests, and they will usually reply back to them, with the contents of the message varying depending on what the player sends and on the Sharl's personality type, serving as a sort of microblogging service that replies to its owner. They were also one of the ways players could send answers to the polls made by the staff in the Surge Concerto Social site's section Seven-Dimensional Communication.
Similarly, they allow players to see the message boards of all other Sharls that share either their same element, personality or species; as well as a log of the last actions other players have done with a particular Sharl, if she has leveled up recently, or if the Micro Quasar entered in Bonus Mode for her.
Players can also check a Sharl's ranking in comparison to all others. When the Rankings tab is opened, it shows that Sharl's position in the following aspects:
- Number of Common Users
- Number of Active Users
- Sharl Level
- Repair Power
- Recovery Rate
- Amount of Experience Obtained
- Amount of Energy Sent
- Number of Times Energy Was Sent
- HymP Used
- Amount of Energy Sent by A Player
- Number of Times Energy Was Sent by a Player
The Ciel nosurge servers update the Sharl data and their rankings every day at 4:00 AM, Japan Standard Time, during which the workload for the game's servers peaks so much that trying to do anything that requires connection to the network becomes impossible for about a hour, so players should beware this. It's also during this time that the stroking and Quasar flags get reset, allowing players to do these actions and gain rewards from them again the next day.
Like all other social-related functions, these features were taken out in Ciel nosurge Offline. However, the reset flags time is still kept, so regardless of how much the players use the time-forward function, the Quasar and stroking flags won't get reset until the clock reaches the equivalent of the next day's JST 4:00 AM.
Labor Sharls and Support Sharls
Tied to the Leadership stat, this system allows players to hire Sharls from other players to help their own with the repair of a destroyed area. Labor Sharls are selected at random from the pool of Sharls that sent energy to the Micro Quasar in the last 24 to 36 hours, while Support Sharls are those the player can choose from the Nests of the people they are Following.
A player can choose up to four Labor Sharls if their Sharl's Leadership stat is at its max, but they will be only able to send a support Sharl regardless of their Sharl's Leadership, which is done so players don't try to abuse the Friend system. However, it must be noted that since the Labor Sharl list is randomly picked depending on the Sharl initially chosen by the player, it's very likely it'll be filled with low level Sharls that won't be helpful in a repair, forcing the player to either reload the list until they find the ones they need, or to cancel and choose another Sharl in order to completely re-roll the list.
When a repair is completed successfully, the Labor and Support Sharls will receive a percentage of the experience gained from the repair, so it benefits all the players involved.
This system is changed in Ciel nosurge Offline: since players can't contact each other or access each others' Nests any more, Labor Sharls are randomly generated by the game, having stats roughly equal to that of the Sharl the player chose, while the Support Sharls are the ones the player can pick from their own Sharl Nest. However, the rules still are the same: players can't ever choose more than a Support Sharl for the repairs, while they can pick up to four Labor Sharls if their own Sharl's stats allow them to do so. And while the Support Sharls will gain a fraction of the experience and Synchronization Rate gained by the Sharl that initiated the repair works (called Master Sharl in this context), the Labor Sharls will disappear once the repair is complete, so any experience and Synchronization Rate gains that would otherwise go to them will be lost.
The customization options for the Sharls are limited, as their names, eye colors, eye shapes, hair colors, clothing colors, skin colors and personalities are predetermined at the time of their creation and can't be changed.
However, the player can change the lines they say in response to being stroked, they have a total of six slots in which they can equip skills, and Sharl Parts can be bought to alter a bit their appearance, which fall in the following categories: Hairstyles, Hair Ornaments, Glasses, Equipments, Wings and Tails. However, the player doesn't get to decide their coloring, as they will be determined by the Sharl to which they are equipped.
For a complete list of the skills and equipments, please check the following articles:
Additionally, players can spend 30000 HymP to transform Sharls back and forth between the Sperimaius and Nareglakoz species, with the resulting Sharl being dependent on the genus she originally was. The genii conversion goes as follows:
Flanqorime <=> Altrith
Felion <=> Juema
Limma <=> Enpnele
However, the conversion was mixed up for Ciel nosurge Offline, affecting only the Flanqorime and Limma genii, so they are instead as written below:
Flanqorime <=> Enpnele
Limma <=> Altrith
Additionally, Ciel nosurge Offline adds the requirement that a Sharl must be at least level 10 before the Species Change can be carried out.
It's pretty uncommon to have Sharls that have long hair, equipment, or heterochromia in their eyes right after being scanned. Likewise, some Sharls have special colors reserved only for the first player that establishes a pact with them, like the Felion ones having orange clothes instead of aquamarine. But leaving them aside, there are two particular kinds of Sharl that are quite special in the game.
These are the Sharls a player receives right after starting a new game and entering the Sharl Nest for the first time. Regardless of the barcode scanned, a player will always receive one of the following four Sharls upon scanning a barcode for the first time. However, these Sharls don't have much practical use due to being unable to level up, so it's advisable to dismiss them right after scanning them, but if the player wishes, they can also be kept in the Annex for collection purposes, as they can't be gotten ever again.
These Sharls are gained from scanning particular barcodes from products related to the game, including the game's own packaging. Their names also make allusion to either the product they were scanned from, to the game itself, or to its precursor series Ar tonelico.
Sharls as Enemies
Given they are on the side opposing the protagonists, it's natural for Sharls to be one of the main enemy types the player encounters throughout Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star; where they can heal their allies or blast the player with magical attacks. For more details, please check the listing below:
- The Sperimaius and Nareglakoz species originally were named as the Pnemorpherious and Neredorkorrus species, but apparently they received a name change at some point.
- As shown in a prototype screenshot, Sharls originally didn't have species names, and instead were classed into "Fairies" and other unknown types.
- Ar Cielno is the Sharl with the most common players in Ciel nosurge, and she reappears in Ar nosurge to play important roles both in Nelico's and Renall's Genometrics.
- "Sharl" is misspelled as "Charl" in the Labor Sharl list.