- "The amount of water is the most important part of creating waves. That can be said about people, as well. There are many things in this world that can charm peoples' hearts, just like the moon charms the sea. Things like wealth, vanity, status, image, and power."
- —Solfege to the young Polka in Eternal Sonata's opening
Solfege is the adoptive mother of the playable character Polka. She lives together with Polka in the idyllic Tenuto Village. While little is known about her personal life, she seems to deeply care about her daughter Polka, though she must also live with the burden of knowing that her daughter is destined for a tragic fate.
Solfege is voiced by Cindy Robinson in Eternal Sonata's English-language version and Yuko Kobayashi in Japanese.
Solfege first appears in the game's opening, out strolling in the field in Tenuto at night. A bit later, she is seen in a flashback sequence with a young Polka, strolling through the field of flowers of Tenuto. Polka asks her why there are waves in the sea and she explains that it is because the water is charmed by the beauty of the moon. When Polka expresses surprise that there are no waves in a puddle, Solfege explains that this is because the amount of water is the most important part of creating waves. She compares the concept of waves to the idea of people being charmed by things such as vanity and power, stating that it can lead to terrible conflicts. She tells Polka that if were to happen, the only thing for her to do would be to jump into the sea, because then the big waves would calm down.
In Chapter 1, when Polka returns home, she asks Solfege if she's afraid to touch her. Solfege correctly concludes that Polka used her magic in Ritardando and explains that people are afraid to touch her because they believe that if they do so, they'll catch the magic illness that she suffers from. She explains that this is actually a false rumor that people have spread out of fear.
Later, Polka meets a man named Frederic, who can use magic like her. The two visit Polka's house and Solfege offers to make dinner. Polka encourages him to try it, and Frederic accepts. The two then head to the Heaven's Mirror Forest and when they return, Polka explains to Solfege her intention to travel to Forte Castle to speak with Count Waltz about the possibility of reducing the production of mineral powder, which has resulted in greatly reduced sales of the floral powder produced in Tenuto Village. Solfege discourages her from going, worried about her safety, but Polka states that she's made up her mind.
In Chapter 4, when Polka, Beat, Frederic and Salsa visit the inn at the summit of the Sharp Mountains, Polka is reminded of her home. She has a flashback to when she was a young girl, of a time when her mother told her that everyone in the world has a jewel inside them called an astra and that in some people it glows very brightly, but in others, not much at all. She tells Polka that her astra is glowing too brightly for this world, and it is leading her towards a sea of darkness that must be illuminated.
In Chapter 5, Allegretto visits Tenuto Village to meet with Polka so that she can join the party on the Baroque Ship the next day. Before finding Polka, he first talks with Solfege, who asks him to look after Polka. He replies that she's the one who looks after all of them. He inquires about the state of her illness, and Solfege tells him that Polka's illness is a bit different from that of other magic users. She explains that Polka's astra glows more brightly than that of anyone else in the world and because of this she is chained to a tragic fate and will someday sacrifice herself to protect the one she loves. Allegretto replies that there's no way he'd let her do something like that. Solfege thanks him and tells him that Polka is in the flower field.
In the ending (Final Chapter: Heaven's Mirror), the spirit of Solfege appears to Polka as she stands at the edge of the cliff, echoing her line from before that it is Polka's fate to go into the sea. Polka thanks her, and says that she knows what she has to do. Solfege steps back, then vanishes. After the first set of closing credits, the young Polka is shown descending from the sky and appearing to Solfege. Solfege steps forward to catch her and the scene fades to black. Following the scene of Chopin's death, the sequence from the game's opening in which Polka and Solfege speak about waves is repeated, except this time, as the scene continues, Frederic speaks over the scene, lamenting that a fourteen-year old girl must live her life. After the scene ends, Polka says that she hears someone calling her. Solfege tells her that it's the person who's the perfect match for her astra. She tells her that she wanted to see her on her wedding day, but now she can only ask her to come back someday, and do her best. Polka agrees, and is lifted up and away by the glowing agogos. Solfege wonders if she herself has become a bit more like the sea water that has been stirred by the beauty of the moon. She thanks Polka and wishes her happiness.
In music, solfège is a technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of a score is sung to a special syllable. This technique was popularized by the well-known song "Do-Re-Mi" from the film The Sound of Music. It has two main types, "movable do" and "fixed do."
Behind the scenes
- In the original Xbox 360 version of Eternal Sonata, Solfege does not appear in the opening until the scene with the young Polka, following the Narrator's description of Tenuto Village. The scene with Allegretto in Chapter 5 is also absent and there are changes in the wording of the sequence with her spirit in the game's ending.
- It is never stated whom, if anyone, is Polka's biological mother. Eternal Sonata's ending sequence indicates that each time the cycle of events began in the World of Eternal Sonata, Polka materialized before Solfege in the field of flowers in Tenuto Village at about the age of four.
- In an Encore Mode playthrough, Allegretto can visit Polka's house in Chapter 6 and speak with Solfege, who mentions Polka's special rock, the one that was actually given to her by Allegretto. She explains that Polka often loses the rock and gets sad about it, but always manages to find it again, somehow. If he visits again in Chapter 7, Solfege will comment that Polka is somewhat frail and she'd rather that her daughter not travel at all if it could be avoided. She asks him to do his best to take care of her.
- The PlayStation 3 version of Eternal Sonata has three different sequences that can take place during the first set of closing credits. One of these features the characters repeating various lines from throughout the game against a black background. Solfege is the first character to speak in this sequence and the only non-player character to do so. She repeats her line that, "Really though, comparing sea water stirred up by the beauty of the moon to the ugly waves created by the effects of human desire is rather an insult to the ocean."
- Solfege's fate at the end of the game is unclear. As she bids the young Polka goodbye, she states that she had so hoped to see her on her wedding day. Why this wouldn't be possible once the teenage Polka rises to the cliff and is reunited with Allegretto and the other party members is uncertain.
Notes and references
- Wikipedia entry on Solfège