20320514: A Plot Guide

Foreword

While Baroque contains many elements that are completely left up to player interpretation, it is nowhere near as vague or deliberately confusing as many players make it out to be. The string of events and logic governing the game's world have been richly detailed and explained both in-game and through developer interviews.

The following is a comprehensive explanation of these elements, complete with sources for every one of the claims contained within. The initial Sega Saturn release of "Baroque", as well as the "Baroquism Syndrome" prequel stories serialized before its release are covered by this analysis. Subsequent re-releases of "Baroque" (including "Baroque Syndrome") have altered the plot in contradictory ways and therefore have been omitted. These versions were confirmed to be derivative works by Yonemitsu in his November 12th, 2020 livestream. 1

Prologue

Somewhere around the year 2020, a new life form was discovered by one Mr. Miyasaka. He invented a program known as "Perception" which allowed for the detection of previously undetectable matter. 2   These lifeforms had an abnormal cellular structure 3 , and were composed of unknown elements. 4   A secret think tank was constructed to further the study of this new discovery - the Koriel. 5, 6

The Koriel discovered that these organisms absorbed surrounding matter and corrected it, before expelling it back into the environment. These "creatures" were merely the sensory organs of a much larger entity. 7   By using "Perception" to track the source of these "Sense Spheres", they were able to trace the main organism's location - somewhere below the waves, off the shores of Japan. Pulling together both government and corporate support, a joint venture was launched to construct a man-made island over this area. Once completed, they were able to drill down to the point at which the Sense Spheres originated. 8

It was there that humans discovered God.

An immobile and silent mass, researchers soon ascertained that this being was responsible for the creation of the universe, as well as its ongoing maintenance by correcting any distortions that arose within the information comprising the world. This data that made up the world - water - crystallized when reduced to its purest form, which would eventually come to be known as "Idea Sefirot". 9, 10

Amongst the researchers was a man by the name of Tenjou Kyuushiro 11 , who began working on creating artificial versions of the Sense Spheres that Miyasaka's "Perception" program had originally detected. It was theorized that with these, humans could stream their own information into God in an attempt to communicate with the silent entity. 12   The attempt to connect with God's nervous system did not go as planned however, and Tenjou was driven mad when he made contact with the mind of God. 13

         Unbeknownst to his colleagues at the time, his ability to repress his delusions - the delusions all people form as a way to cope with the hardships of life - was shattered. His dreams of purity and desire to escape the elements of life he deemed unsavory now completely consumed his mind. 14   Tenjou would come to be known only as the Archangel, and it was his delusional dream to replace God so that he could lead mankind to a new, pure future. 15, 16

With the realization that coming into contact with the mind of God could so profoundly affect a person, the Archangel recorded and processed the voice of God into a sound file he named the Tarantella Melody. 17 Listening to this recording would allow people to experience the world through the infinite perspective of the Sense Spheres 18 , driving them mad and placing them into a suggestible state 19, 20  in which they too became consumed by their delusions.

The various parties who had gathered to research and protect God soon fell victim to the Archangel's brainwashing campaign. It was then that this partnership between think tank, government, and corporation became one singular entity - the religious Order of Malkuth. The Koriel think tank remained as the brains behind the operation, but it was now the Archangel who oversaw the entire project from on high. In accordance with the Archangel's delusions, the members - now adherents - began wearing prosthetic angel wings and carried on with their delusional task of "protecting" God. 21

The Archangel's first attempt to reshape the world in his own image centered around his interest in Tarot cards. He initially created a special Tarot deck - one containing cards encoded with fake information about a fictional world born from his own delusions. He then fed these into the artificial Sense Spheres, attempting to alter the stream of data flowing through God. 22  

Interestingly, this only succeeded in causing Sense Spheres to begin appearing in greater numbers all over the world. God, having sensed corruption in its systems, produced ever larger quantities of sensory organs in an attempt to sample uncorrupted data and correct the damage done by the Archangel. 23   The Archangel realized that as long as God had the ability to detect distortions within itself, he would only be able to gradually distort the world little by little. 24   All these distortions achieved was to increase the likelihood that ordinary people would go mad after coming into contact with the increasing number of Sense Spheres. 25

Baroquism Syndrome

It was from murders surrounding these mad civilians that the term "Baroque" began to be used amongst the public to describe people overtaken by their delusions. 26   The number of Baroque cases continued to increase as the Archangel began sending out copies of the Tarantella Melody to recruit new, suggestible members into the Order of Malkuth. 27  Applicants that did not meet the Archangel's standards were instead made into a part of the neural network formed by the Sense Spheres. 28  By streaming his thoughts through the network, he was able to take control of these 'failures' to do his bidding. 29

Even though he had made his "pretend angels" more compliant, the Archangel still had to work around the delusions which captivated his adherents - primarily their delusional ambition to protect God. Their desire to defend the entity clashed with the Archangel's desire to seal away and ultimately replace God as creator and ruler of a new world. To this end, the Archangel would have to turn the Baroque Malkuth Order against God. 30

The Archangel began to research how to accomplish this while also removing God's ability to correct his alterations. They quickly discovered that, just like in humans, God released hormones in response to damage as a way to promote the process of correcting and healing distortions within its system. Put simply, ‘pain’. An organism experiences pain as a means to identify harmful forces that must be avoided. 31

By exploiting the feelings one of his underlings felt for him 32 , and the feelings one of her underlings felt for her 33 , he assembled a small two-person team to extract God's pain-inducing chemicals. These two - who would come to be known only as the "Guardian Angel" and "Neck Thing" - then stored and cultivated God's pain in a fluid environment. This resulted in new organisms, small cherub-like insects: the physical embodiment of God's suffering. 34   These Angelic Insects, or "Littles", were then mass produced as ammunition. Firing them into a target would cause the capsule to shatter, and as the Littles cannot exist outside of the cultivation fluid in which they were grown, the process would also kill the Angelic Insect instantly. 35

The intense pain constantly experienced by the Littles, however, is transmitted directly through any body it comes into contact with. 36   This burst of agony would likely appear as a beacon of distortion to the anesthetized God, as all of its ability to feel pain would have just been channeled through the singular target of the bullet. As such, this target would be immediately and utterly erased from reality as part of a corrective effort. If God itself was shot with this ammunition, would it not simply erase itself from reality as well? This was likely the Archangel's logic, and his reasoning behind cultivating God's pain into ammunition. With this sudden burst of suffering, he correctly surmised that he could kill the mad God. His mission was now to distort the Creator (and therefore the world) to a point at which he could gain the necessary support from the Malkuth to fire Littles into God - killing it and allowing him to take its place. 37

With God unable to feel pain and therefore unable to correct itself (or others), the Archangel was free to disperse his fabricated information into God without much resistance. As God fell ever-deeper into madness, the world it had created began to distort more violently. People who had previously only gone Baroque now began to change further. Some developed relatively minor deformities that reflected their own delusional desires (a longer neck to aid in the wish to avert one's eyes from wrongdoing, for instance). In those with especially strong delusions, God began to identify them not as human, but as cards from the Archangel's personalized Tarot deck - their delusion dictating which of the 23 forms they would take. 38, 39   As such, it would absorb and "correct" them into new, monstrous forms that the public would begin calling "Abnormals". The more the public was terrorized by these mad beasts, the more people retreated into a world of their delusions and went Baroque - in turn only leading to more Abnormals. 40

Before he could completely succeed in his ambition to turn the Order against the insane God, the Archangel's use of God's recorded screams (the Tarantella Melody) to recruit new adherents backfired. One of his candidates managed to play the recording within the Nerve Tower that had been constructed around God. 41 Upon hearing the recording for a second time, the Koriel present were  freed from the Archangel's conditioning. The think tank behind the entire operation now knew that the Archangel could not be trusted.

The Koriel Rebellion

The Koriel  began to panic. No one, other than the Archangel's secret unit, knew the true cause behind their steadily distorting world. They did not want to believe the Archangel’s alarmist theory about God wanting to destroy humanity, for they now knew that he could not be trusted. 42  To this end, they devised a plan dubbed the "Dabar Fusion". 43   They would fuse one of their own with God itself, in an attempt to give God the ability to communicate in a language that humans could comprehend. 44

They chose the Twelfth Koriel to undertake this union. Number 12 was either born as a conjoined twin, sharing a single heart with his brother, or simply believed himself to have been as the result of his Baroque. 45   At a young age, supposedly, the medical staff caring for the twins realized that just one heart was not enough to sustain the two children, and that one of them would have to be killed lest both of the twins perish under the strain. 46   The twins could not comprehend the situation. All they knew of life was being conjoined, to kill one of them so that the other could live was a fate worse than death. To kill a part of what they perceived to be "themself" was not something they would ever consider. 47   However, being merely children, the decision was taken out of their hands. One of the twins was killed so that the other twin could live. 48   Number 12's claim that he had once lost half of his body made him the perfect candidate for a fusion with God, or so the other Koriel thought - unaware of his crippling survivor's guilt and sense of loss.

    The Koriel knew this plan would meet with heavy resistance, so they hurriedly undertook it in secret. 49  The Archangel had taken to spying on his fellow acolytes by monitoring communications sent through the Sense Spheres and it was through these communications that he overheard the instruction to begin the Dabar Fusion. 50   The Archangel immediately mobilized the rest of the Order and commanded that the Fusion be halted. 51   Already well underway, the Archangel was left with no option but to manually tear Number 12 and God apart mid-fusion. 52

Around the world, Sense Spheres began screaming, pleading to not be torn apart again. The anguished and panicking mind of Number 12, now completely fused with God, created a massive distortion that enveloped the entire world in an act of mindless desperation. This cataclysm would come to be known as the Great Heat Wave, a disaster that reduced the world to a blasted wasteland. 53  In its wake, many of the survivors who were not already transformed into Abnormals found themselves fused with other, nearby people - becoming gross parodies of conjoined twins. 54   It was as if Number 12’s desire to remain conjoined was projected onto the entire surviving population of the world. All of the water in the world became stagnant and toxic, the data flow of the world irreversibly corrupted. 55

In the massive distortion, the Archangel had become impaled on a spine of one of the Sense Spheres, 56   eternally preserved and unable to die. 57 All he could do in this state was project images of himself through the information network formed by the Sense Spheres. 58, 59   He ordered the remainder of the Order to recover and study Number 12.

As the Archangel had suspected, Number 12 had been changed by his brief union with God. As the Koriel had intended, God had taken Number 12's ability to speak, but in return Number 12 had received God's ability to "purify" corrupted data. 60  By destroying something, Number 12 was now able to reduce it to a crystalized base state, an Idea Sefirah. 10   Through this, the Archangel saw a way to save the world and obtain the world he had been trying to create.

As Number 12's abilities were far too valuable to waste, the Archangel had Number 12 cloned countless times. 61   Not only would a fresh supply of disposable clones safeguard the purification ability in case of accidents, but the cloning process would allow the false angels to tamper with Number 12's memories and emotions, keeping him vulnerable to emotional manipulation and therefore compliant with the Archangel's commands. Erasing Number 12's memories of the Dabar Fusion, but preserving his faint memories of loss and survivor's guilt, the Archangel began pressing Number 12's clones into service. 62

Baroque

The clones' mission was to infiltrate the Abnormal-infested Nerve Tower and "purify" God. With the Idea Sefirah of God itself, the Archangel would possess all the information and power necessary to create a new world - a pure world free of distortion that the Archangel could then control and maintain. 15

        The player takes control of Number 12's many clones in their mission to appease the Archangel and save the world. Initially, the game takes place in a simulated run of the clones' mission, after which the player is released into the real world in order to attempt his mission of redemption for real. 63   Along the way, the player can converse with various survivors and piece together the mysteries of this world.

Upon reaching God, things do not go as planned. If the player succeeds in purifying God, Number 12 simply decides that a new world is not necessary and that it just needs another chance. This results in the creation of the same exact world all over again. 64 Fusing with God produces much the same result. Without the ability to feel pain, the insane God's voice drives Number 12 completely Baroque. 65   His out of control delusion that his brother was sacrificed so that he could live will lead Number 12 to recreate the current world in every detail - except that he died in this new world so that his twin brother could have a chance at life instead. You then play as Number 12's twin, who feels the exact same survivor's guilt and will also strive to sacrifice his life for his dead brother. 66

Until the various versions of Number 12 regain their memories and come to terms with their sense of loss, the plot of the game cannot progress. Likewise, God's ability to feel pain so that it can diagnose and correct its faults must also be restored. Number 12 is not alone in this endeavor, however. To fill the gap left behind by Number 12, and to aid in the healing effort, God has split into multiple divinities. Taking the form of two women, Eliza and Alice, their purpose is to produce corrective Sense Spheres 67  and to regain the ability to feel pain, respectively. 68

Of course, things are not as they appear. Upon restoring sanity to yourself and to God, finally enabling the fusion to successfully take place, you discover the truth of the world. This distorted world is, in fact, the world God created in the first place. There is no need, or even capacity, for God to create anything other than this. The Archangel's desire to "purify" was in itself, a Baroque. 69   The world by its very nature is distorted. People naturally invent delusions, Baroques, all the time in order to cope with life's hardships. 70   When this process gets out of hand, those people become hideous monsters that lash out at the world around them, forever seeking stagnation and isolation. It seems God was no different.

The ever-shifting Nerve Tower will continue to stand in this barren wasteland, its halls forever crawling with grotesque parodies of human delusion. While it was the Archangel whose distorted thoughts gave them their current form 38, 39 , these tortured creatures are virtually identical to their former human selves in the eyes of God - and therefore need not ever be corrected or eradicated. 22, 69  Clones of Number 12 continue to be born, wander the wastelands alone, fight "Abnormals", and attempt to join with God. The distortion carries on.

After the End

The story ends here, but potential future events have been explored in the Great Heat Wave Anniversary Wallpapers distributed by Sting. Since 2010, these annual illustrations have formed a loose narrative, expanded upon by Kenjiro Suzuki - their creator (and part of the graphics team on the original game): "The girl [Eliza] who forgot how to float gave birth to many sensory organs that continue to transmit distorted information throughout the world. Within this distortion, the Nerve Tower is perpetually changing and expanding, until it covers the entire world. In this time of change, a winged man - connected to one such sensory organ - continues to quietly await a visitor... An image illustrating a “possible/probable” future, as the world continued to distort after the events of “Baroque”. 71  

Although their canonicity is questionable, the undying Archangel biding his time until he can try and do something about the nightmare hellscape that Earth has become (due to the actions of the protagonist and God) is a fascinating premise that continues Baroque's legacy of moral ambiguity and existentially disturbing concepts. Flipping the dynamic of the main story on its head, the Archangel's unnaturally geometric Artificial Sense Spheres now seem to be more a beacon of hope than harbingers of distortion in the midst of this corrupted alien landscape. Wonderfully vague and evocative, these illustrations allow the viewer's imagination to run rampant and continue the story for themselves if they so wish.

Footnotes

1  “ 第10回米光うゑみぞのコンパイル時代のお宝を見せながらしゃべる会 BAROQUEと魔導物語編 .” Youtube , uploaded by Kazunari Yonemitsu, Nov. 12, 2020 .

2  A photograph of a man with a delicate figure, who the file introduced as the inventor of the Sense Sphere detection system “Perception”. A man who, if one looked closely, resembled the boy who left me the disc - Fumi Miyasaka." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

3  …the tissues appeared to have an abnormal cellular structure not found in humans." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

4  "Some guys were panicking about them having fallen from space because the spheres were composed of previously undiscovered elements." Neck Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

5  "This [Sense] sphere is said to be currently stored within the deepest levels of a think tank organization..." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1. Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

6  "They were the brains behind the Malkuth Order…" Yonemitsu, Kazunari. “Character Commentary.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998. Considering that early terminology (such as "Koriel", "Sense Sphere", and "Perception") do not share the religious themes present in later Malkuth Order naming conventions, it is assumed that the Koriel think tank came first - only later being taken over by the Archangel, who was the one to usher in his Cabalistic take on the world (Sefirot, Malkuth, etc).

7  "God could then take in that information, repair it, then release it... However, the organ that takes in information is a Sense Sphere, and there are many of them buried all over in the real world of this setting. Rather than being tactile, they're organs that can take in or export information and have a spherical shape to maximize their effective surface area." “Long Interview with Kazunari Yonemitsu.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

8 "The sea lay beyond the high fences. A number of long bridges had been constructed, leading to a man-made island floating offshore… A special area. From government departments to corporate headquarters, all the central institutions of the country were concentrated on that island."Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998. The idea that this area is located in Japan is an assumption, but a safe one, considering that "Baroquism Syndrome" clearly takes place in Japan due to nearly everyone having Japanese names. It is unknown how the location of God was determined, but it seems as if it would have been with the use of the Perception program.

9  "An object that is said to be the very core of something’s existence." “Baroque Encyclopedia.” Baroque Report Z , Sting, 2000.

10  "Pure water, or the Idea Sefirah, is the core of an individual person. Idea Sefirot can be obtained through the act of purification." Mind Reading Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

11  Yonemitsu, Kazunari (@yonemitsu). “天城九詩郎って名前だったということにしようか、上級天使様。” Oct. 8th, 2014, 9:50 AM. Tweet .

12  "The Sense Spheres here are manmade devices created by the Archangel, for the purpose of streaming false information." Research Angel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

13  "It is my wish that the distortion vanish and the Archangel be brought to justice. The artificial Sense Spheres drove him mad. I can't think of any other explanation." Koriel Member, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

14  "…the data shows that many people who have come into contact with this sphere have entered a hallucinatory state in which they become obsessed with delusions, eventually resulting in madness, and in some cases, suicide. " Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

15  "The Archangel was speaking. "If the Creator and Preserver has a core, then the world can be remade as many times as one pleases. The next world will be created and preserved by me. I will return the world to normality in an instant." Sack Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

16  "Using the Idea Sefirah of the Creator and Preserver, we will create a new world.… Rectify this distorted world, this world swarming with hordes of the distorted." The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

17  “If you don’t use [the earplugs], you’ll be driven Baroque by the screams of God.” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998. This is a small assumption, as there is no other source presented for where the Archangel would have come across a sound file with this specific effect.

18  "For a moment, I was everywhere.” That was bad. Feelings of being everywhere at once is one of many early symptoms of going Baroque." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

19  "The [Baroque] customers I usually get are all anxiety and no imagination. They’re perfectly happy to die or go mad as long as you write them a story that makes them feel special." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

20  “Is that really okay? Just giving out the same Baroques over and over?” [Ruby said.] “I have too many clients to keep up with. And besides, none of them have complained yet.” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroque Interludium.” Sting, 1999. The fact that Baroque clients will take any old Baroque that makes them feel special suggests they would be fairly compliant with the Archangel pushing wings and his mission on them - as long as it doesn't directly negate their own desire to protect God.

21  As mentioned previously, the Koriel-led think tank was fairly normal and used secular terminology (as it would have to, in order to win over so many government and corporate organizations). The angel wings and Cabalistic slant had to have come from the Archangel, especially seeing as he leads the organization and wears the largest wings we see in the game or novels.

22  "Around the time he distorts the world, the Archangel's hobby is tarot. Not a tarot that exists now, an original tarot, with a different design on the back. With the creation of fake Sense Spheres, the Archangel was able to insert this new "world of tarot" into the Sense Spheres in order to distort reality little by little. That tarot is the image of another world. A different image of the world that has formed in the Archangel's thoughts." “Long Interview with Kazunari Yonemitsu.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998. The "different design on the back" that Yonemitsu references is likely a picture of the Kabbalah Tree of Life (the origin of the term "Malkuth" and "Sefirot"), an apparent object of the Archangel's obsession. It is visible on the "Magician" enemies (distorted humanoid figures fused into these exact Tarot cards). They provide a massive clue that Abnormals are simply humans transformed to fall in line with the Archangel's Tarot-based Baroque worldview.

23  "I wonder why Sense Spheres started showing up all over the place before the Great Heat Wave occurred." Neck Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

24  "How did these mere artificial Sense Spheres manage to distort the entire world? Shouldn't the Creator and Preserver have a vastly higher capacity for correcting distortions?" Research Angel, Baroque . Sting, 1998. This is also evident, as it necessitated the need for the extraction of pain (elaborated upon in the Guardian Angel's memory cutscene).

25  "As far as I know, 73 boys and girls committed suicide this year… The only other thing they had in common was that each person left behind a vivid account of a distorted delusion before their death." Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

26  "’The delusions of true mentally-ill people are simpler, more incoherent and repetitive in nature. The delusions surrounding these suicides may be absurd, but there is an uncanny rationality and overwhelming persuasiveness to them. It’s all very baroque’… the usage of ‘Baroque’ exploded, as if they had specifically chosen it to describe this sort of case.” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 1.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

27  “Anyone who sees an Angel has to go through some kind of test. If you pass, you can become an Angel too.” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

28  "’Release control of Reika.’… It spit something out of its mouth, tongue still flailing about. A syrupy black sphere.” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

29  "Ruby had collapsed like a puppet whose strings had been cut… ‘He must have already left me.’ [Ruby said] ‘What, like a soul leaving your body?’ [I replied]… ‘We all failed the Malkuth’s system…’” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

30  "As the Creator and Preserver began to distort, the Archangel insisted that it must be sealed away. In reality, it was he that had been spreading the distortion through the artificial Sense Spheres." Research Angel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

31  "Pain is a signal that indicates the presence of distortion. When we become ill, our bodies produce substances such as malignant noradrenaline… [Malignant noradrenaline is] a chemical in the brain responsible for causing pain, chills, dejection, and all manner of negative sensations. But this is a signal to repair a body that has begun to distort. This is why sick people are not cheerful and positive. We will begin to create a sick God that is cheerful and positive." The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

32  "She was in love with [the Archangel], and even after the Great Heat Wave, her feelings for him did not change. In the end, she couldn't bring herself to go against his wishes." Yonemitsu, Kazunari. “Character Commentary.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

33  "I couldn't defy the Guardian Angel." Neck Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998. An assumption on my part, as his excuse is worded similarly to the one the Guardian Angel gives.

34  "We will create beings of pure pain. Pain that no longer resides internally within God, but pain that can enter God from the outside." The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

35  "The Angelic Insects known as Littles are packed into cultivation tubes. These tubes are the very bullets used by the Angelic Rifle. The cultivation tube SHATTERS as it enters an Abnormal and the Little pierces through its body. HOWEVER, the Little dies before it can fly away. The Littles are nothing but suffering, so they can only exist within the cultivation tubes." The Guardian Angel, Baroque. Sting, 1998.

36  "I imagine sensitive folk are going to have a real rough time, since the Littles' pain is contagious." Thummim, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

37  "As the world started to slowly distort, the Archangel insisted that the Creator and Preserver was going to destroy us." Koriel Member, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

38  "…tarot was also applied to the direction of the Abnormals… Because I only requested that the creature looked like the card generally, it means that you don't have to understand the appearance to a great extent.” “Long Interview with Kazunari Yonemitsu.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

39  "His mind is racing. ‘I’m a songbird. Even though I’m trapped in this abominable birdcage of a world, one day I will slip between the bars of this world and take flight as a songbird does’… The distortion takes the form of a birdcage constructed from steel beams, his grasping hollow arms continually discharging electricity. Like a stubborn animal, he lost sight of the world he so desperately wished to escape from - despite all the while knowing it was a fruitless endeavour." Kazunari Yonemitsu. "The Girl Who Twisted A Songbird into A World.” Baroque Report Z , Sting, 2000.

40  “Were you aware that the number of Baroques has been on the rise ever since people learned about the existence of Abnormals?” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

41  "I asked if it was the same young man who had been wearing the large wings. When Task had asked him if he was with the Malkuth, the man had responded that he had ‘discarded his wings.’” Shimizu, Mariko. “Baroquism Syndrome, volume 3.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

42  "But if things continue like this, the Archangel will replace the Creator and Preserver." Protagonist’s Memory cutscene, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

43  "As the world started to slowly distort, the Archangel insisted that the Creator and Preserver was going to destroy us. But we couldn't believe it. That is why we undertook the Dabar." Koriel Member, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

44  "We wanted to hear the God of Creation and Preservation's true intentions. That’s why you fused with God, so that God could share its thoughts with us through your mouth." Koriel Member, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

45  "Number 12 seems appropriate, as he once lost half of his body." Protagonist’s Memory cutscene, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

46  "It's not possible to preserve the two of them with only one heart… If they remain fused together, both of them will surely die." Protagonist’s Memory cutscene, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

47  "We were one since birth. Why were we cut apart? Why couldn't we have remained as one ?" The Horned Woman, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

48  "You and the other you were screaming at the time of the surgery. "Why are you tearing us apart? I don't want to live if it means killing a part of myself!" Sack Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

49  "If this is discovered, they'll be torn apart…" Protagonist’s Memory cutscene, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

50  "The Archangel had the capability to use the Sense Spheres. Not realizing that was our undoing." Koriel Member, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

51  "What? The Koriel are attempting the Dabar!? To the Confinement Caskets with the traitors! Halt the Dabar Fusion! Pull them apart!" The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

52  "Yes, I was the one who tore you apart." The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

53  "Just before the Great Heat Wave, the Sense Spheres cried out. ‘You're tearing us apart! Stop it! It's already too late, the Dabar Fusion has completed! If we’re torn apart now, the world is going to become distorted!’" Sack Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

54  "They [Urim and Thummim] were near each other at the time of the Great Heat Wave, and so they became stuck together and distorted." Yonemitsu, Kazunari. “Character Commentary.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

55  "There's no pure water left in this world anymore. I'll never drink pure water again. What a depressing situation." Coffin Man, Baroque ~Distorted Delusions~ . Sting, 1999. Although the PS1 port is a derivative work and therefore not canon to this analysis, the Coffin Man's statement is easily observed to be true in the original version (as the nearby body of water is a sickly, unnatural green).

56  "Even though I took the trouble to tear you away from the Creator and Preserver as you performed that wicked fusion, I was impaled by the mad God for my efforts." The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

57  "Why am I still alive? Shall I ever die? Is this Sense Sphere preserving my life?" The Archangel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

58  "Lord Archangel hasn't been seen since the Great Heat Wave, just those projections coming from the Sense Spheres. What's going on?" Worker Angel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

59  "The Archangel shouldn't be able to move anymore, but he still hasn't given up. He's still manipulating the adherents through his use of the Sense Spheres." Alice, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

60  "But after being torn apart by the Archangel, we entrusted you with the ability to purify and you left behind your language." Eliza, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

61  "What on earth! He came back? Did he not meet with the Archangel's projection?… Lockdown Clone Laboratory Number 2!… The Archangel's plan, no, the world, what will become of it?" Research Angel, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

62   "The opening is more or less depicting tampering with the brain by erasing memories." “Long Interview with Kazunari Yonemitsu.” Baroque World Guidance , Softbank, 1998.

63  "Won't fragments of the simulation linger in his memory?… Do you think he'll perform like he did in the consciousness simulation?" Post-Simulation cutscenes, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

64  "There's no need for a new world. The world just needs one more chance…" The protagonist, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

65  "You have no ‘past’ to constrain yourself. I have no ‘pain’ to constrain myself. So don't come any closer than you already are. Any further and you will go mad." The God of Creation and Preservation, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

66  " I should have been the one to die! I will die in my brother's place! I will die so that my brother may live! For his sake, repeat everything all over again!" The protagonist, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

67  "We, the multiple divinities, were produced to ease the suffering caused by the gap left in the wake of you being torn away… If we sample lots of uncorrupted information and spew forth that data, we should be able to restore things to the way they were. That is why we will need many Sense Spheres…" Eliza, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

68  "Are you carrying the Idea Sefirah of the Littles? Are you really? I wonder what we must do to return that pain and suffering to ourself . Hey, I want to see it. The suffering of the Littles." Alice, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

69  "I remain the same as I was. We will continue to carry that distortion within ourselves. Trying to purify the world was, in itself, a distorted delusion. We are all distorted beings." The God of Creation and Preservation, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

70  "Nothing has changed, so make peace with things as they are. Baroques have existed from the very beginning, so make peace with things as they are." Mind Reading Thing, Baroque . Sting, 1998.

71  Suzuki, Kenjiro. “ 「バロック」2012年版「大熱波記念壁紙」を公式サイトにて1週間限定で配信 .” 4Gamer , May 14, 2012.