- Allegretto: "Don't you know anything? That girl was able to use magic. And that means she must be sick with some kind of incurable illness."
- Beat: "And it's always fatal?"
- Allegretto: "That's right. Yeah, only people who are gonna die soon are able to use magic like that."
- — Allegretto and Beat discuss the magic illness.
The Magic illness is an illness suffered by certain individuals within the World of Eternal Sonata. Everyone that contracts the illness gains the ability to use magic and the illness is always fatal. Despite this, not everyone who contracts a fatal illness gains the ability to use magic. The illness is not contagious, though many believe it to be, due to a rumor that was started.
In general, the cause of the magic illness is not known, but one cause is the mineral powder distributed by Forte - anyone who uses it too much eventually contracts the illness. Those who use mineral powder first mutate into mindless Maledictors or other monsters before dying. Due to the nature of their ordeal, their souls are unable to leave the world and are left in limbo in the village of Elegy of the Moon. Since mineral powder has addictive properties and is marketed without taxes as a miracle drug, most who begin taking it end up continuing to use it. The mineral powder causes the magic illness due to containing a substance called magitone that is mined at Mt. Rock. Magitone is catalyst for magical power, but consuming large amounts of it destroys the body's natural balance, leading to the illness.
There is a Magic Researcher in Baroque Castle who is studying the nature of the magic illness. He reveals that it is possible that the illness is actually a set of different types of illnesses, all with the same symptom of being able to use magic, and always being fatal. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make much headway with his research, due to a lack of test subjects. Nobody wishes to admit to being able to use magic, as doing so is akin to admitting that they're going to die soon, and also exposes them to the fear of those who incorrectly believe the illness to be contagious.
The only individuals in the game shown to use magic and thus suffering from the illness are Frédéric François Chopin and Polka. Polka's illness is said to be somewhat different from those of other magic users, as she has an astra that shines more brightly than anyone else's in the world, though exactly how it is different is unknown. Frederic is never shown to be physically ill, though his body lies dying in the real world as his spirit explores the world of his dreams. Polka only ever displays any symptoms in the PlayStation 3 release of Eternal Sonata, in which she collapses at the foot of Baroque Castle, apparently due to the illness. The party borrows the power of the Agogo Queen Mother to absorb some of the light of her astra in order to wake her up.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "You can't use magic powers unless you're really sick. This world's pretty messed up."
- —Allegretto regarding the downside of magic.
- Most individuals within the World of Eternal Sonata that know of Polka's illness shun her, though she is immediately accepted by all of the party members, who understand that the idea of the illness being contagious is only a rumor. The particular illness does not manifest any visual identifiable symptoms, thus most other individuals that Polka meets on her journey accept her, as they are unaware that she has the magic illness.
- The magic illness may be a stand-in for "Chopin's disease," the mysterious ailment suffered by Chopin. Though Chopin was diagnosed with tuberculosis, a number of hypotheses have since been suggested for the ailment that he suffered. This may also be the reason why the illness seems to have such vaguely defined symptoms.