Having finished the main story of Heavensward, I returned to Omega Quintet this evening in the hopes that I would be able to polish off the “true ending”. I succeeded, though this isn’t the end of my time with the game just yet: there’s the optional “training facility” dungeon, which features some of the toughest monsters in the game, and there’s a bunch of sidequests that open up even after the “final” boss. I’m undecided as to whether or not I’m going to pursue the Platinum trophy, as a few of the trophies are a bit grindy, but I probably will end up going for it.
As for the true ending — oh, spoilers ahead, by the way — it was a satisfying conclusion.
For context, the “normal” ending was surprisingly downbeat, even bleak, leaving the story with a somewhat bittersweet ending that didn’t really leave any of the characters in a situation that could really be called “happily ever after”. Aria was revealed to have become a Blare when she was attacked prior to the events of the game, with the Blare in question effectively devouring her emotions and turning her into the seemingly morose individual she is depicted as throughout the main narrative. Said Blare is revealed to be the cat-like creature that had been following her around for the whole game, and this obnoxious little creature “awakens” Aria to her true Blare self.
This sets up the final confrontation of the normal ending, where the depleted ranks of the Verse Maidens, now a quartet rather than the quintet they had been for the majority of the game, have to strike down their former friend, who is, it becomes clear, utterly beyond help. But even after she’s defeated, the people of the city no longer trust the Verse Maidens thanks to Aria having tricked them for so long, and as such they’re doomed to a life of unappreciated toil, fighting back the Blare for a populace that hates them.
The true ending takes this as a starting point but makes a few changes. When the time comes to fight Aria, she doesn’t completely lose herself and transform into the “Avatar of Destruction” she becomes in the normal ending. Instead, the Verse Maidens strike her down but refuse to eliminate her, instead dragging her back to their headquarters despite her protestations — but not before “Pet” has revealed its true nature and threatened to bring even greater chaos to a world that is already practically in ruin.
It’s a slow route to healing for the populace, but eventually they come to accept and support Aria once again, as her mysterious nature had always meant she was one of the more popular members of the quintet. Ultimately, the girls discover that Pet’s plan is to gather as many Blare as possible in one place and attempt to control them in the name of “fun”; Pet, having consumed Aria’s original cheerful personality but lacking the emotional maturity to know how to handle it correctly or appropriately, is more concerned with entertaining herself than any great master plan, and it eventually transpires that she neither knows what to do with all the Blare once she gathers them in the city’s Central Tower, nor is she really able to control them effectively.
Thus begins the true final battle, first against Pet, who eventually admits defeat and volunteers to try and get rid of the trouble she caused following an epiphany brought on by having the shit kicked out of her, and subsequently against a gigantic, horrible monster that appears as Pet allows herself to be completely consumed by the Blare she summoned. The Verse Maidens are ultimately triumphant over this fearsome foe, and a convenient side-effect of the fact that it was made up of so many Blare concentrated in one place means that their conflict all but frees the city itself from the oppression of the Blare.
The world still has some healing to do, however; the story ends with protagonist Takt and one of the five girls (you get to choose) setting out on a grand journey into the wider world, clearing out the Blare as they go and discovering a new-found appreciation for one another. The post-final boss gameplay, meanwhile, unfolds before this happens, and sees Takt and the Verse Maidens — plus their predecessor Momoka, who manages to come out of retirement thanks to a useful bit of experimental technology — attempting to clear up the last few stragglers around the area of the city and continuing their work as Verse Maidens, bringing hope to the people.
It was an enjoyable ending and the final boss battles were pretty great; the last one in particular had some superb music. I’m interested to see what the post-game has to offer now; the Training Facility dungeon promises to be a stiff challenge, and there’s proficiencies to level up, affection to increase, archives to find and quests to complete, so I think even though I’ve technically “finished” the game there’s still probably a fair amount left to do!
To cut a long story short, Omega Quintet is an excellent RPG that I’m very glad I took the time to play. It’s another in a long line of titles from Compile Heart that has helped cement this quirky Japanese developer’s position in my mind as one of my absolute favourite game makers out there, and I have to feel a little sorry for those people who can’t find joy in their colourful, humorous, witty games that are absolutely bursting with character and soul.