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Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

What is dotHack?
The .hack franchise isn't what you would call a mega-hit. However, there is an extremely loyal fanbase that buys everything .hack related. There is, not coincidentally, also a shitload of stuff that is .hack related. There have been several full-length anime series, at least seven games, four 45-minute one-offs that tie into the first series' story, more manga than you can shake a stick at, many novels, at least one actual MMORPG, and so many other kinds of merchandise that it boggles the mind. Unfortunately, CyberConnect (the company behind the franchise) have taken a "buy it all if you want to understand the full story" stance. This can get prohibitively expensive very quickly.

About the Thread
The primary focus of the thread is going to be playing through the first series of games, collectively "IMOQ" or Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine. In the last thread, we finished Mutation and catastrophic hard drive failure prevented us from continuing on with Outbreak. We're now here to finish Outbreak, and Quarantine.

:siren: While I would prefer you didn't post spoilers, I'm not going to create a big deal about it. If you absolutely feel the need to talk about Kite learning how to go super saiyan then please use spoiler tags as I have there.

I would also really appreciate it if the thread didn't look like a classified FOIA document.

Will You 100%?
By the time we're done with Quarantine, the Ryu books will be completed and I will have unlocked all of the concept art.

Just to note, I will not be going out of my way to get full item lists. That would be insane and prohibitive to actually finishing the series. :suicide:

Extra Notes
Like I said before, the .hack franchise is very story-driven with some actually decent voice acting. Most of the "big name" voice actors in video games have at least one speaking role here. Expect to hear a lot of familiar voices as the game progresses on. Because of that, this will be a screenshot LP with accompanying videos. I will occasionally mark particular videos as ones that should be watched due to what happens in them.

Text in italics is used for commentary that I've added. Bolded text is typically used for system messages or any narration done by Kite.



//Update 01 - Δ Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field
//Update 02 - Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground
//Update 03 - Level Grinding (Several Fields)
//Update 04 - Δ Expansive Haunted Sea of Sand
//Update 05 - gently caress Mia and Elk
//Update 06 - Θ Quiet Eternal White Devil
//Update 07 - New and Old Friends
//Update 08 - Investigations
//Update 09 - Screaming Conspiracy
//Liminality Vol. 1 - In the Case of Mai Minase (ANIME WARNING)
//Liminality Vol. 1 (Part 2) - Navel Gazing (ANIME WARNING)
//Update 10 - Θ Chosen Hopeless Nothingness
//Update 11 - Finishing up Vol. 1

//Update 01 - Θ Soaring Sky Bounded Abyss
//Update 02 - Rachel, Nuke Usagimaru, and Moonstone
//Update 03 - Moonstone's Adventure and Λ Nameless Seeker's Prairie
//Update 04 - Λ Resurrecting Confused Judgement
//Update 05 - Cubia
//Update 06 - Kite's Day Off
//Update 07 - .hack//SIGN Reference
//Update 08 - Wiseman's Quest
//Update 09 - Λ Pulsating Worst Core
//Liminality Vol. 2 - In the Case of Yuki Aihara (ANIME WARNING)
//Update 10 - Λ Bitter Fantasy Mirror World

//Update 01 - One-Two-Three Gut Punch
//Update 02 - The White Knight
//Update 03 - The Most Badass Moment
//Update 04 - What the gently caress, Gardenia?
//Update 05 - It's actually pronounced Fid-hell
//Update 06 - Σ Rising Implacable Sipping Bug
//Update 07 - Cubia, Round 2
//Update 08 - Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena
//Update 09 - Rachel's Courier Service
//Update 10 - Operation Breakwater
//Update 11 - Σ Chatting Snaring Twins
//Update 12 - Λ Pulsating Sea of Cloud Whale
//Liminality Vol. 3 - In the Case of Kyoko Tohno (ANIME WARNING)

//Update 01 - Relic City Lia Fail
//Update 01.5 - Message Board Posts
//Update 02 - Σ Screaming Wind Sand's Fate Castle
//Update 03 - Σ Graceful Tempting Fallen Angel
//Update 04 - Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars (Cubia Edition)
//Update 05 - Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars (Tarvos Edition)
//Update 06 - Rachel's Rescue Service
//Update 07 - Ω Collapsed Traveler's Fort
//Update 08 - Ω Raging Facing Mirrors Virgin
//BONUS ROUND - .hack//Frägment
//Update 09 - Δ - Reincarnated Purgatorial Altar
//Update 10 - Corbenik
//Liminality vol. 4 - Trismegistus (ANIME WARNING)
//Update 11 - Data Stabilized
//Update 12 - Δ Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field
//Update 13 - Ryu Book Review
//Update 14 - .hack//Sign Data Ghosts
//Update 15 - Goblin Tag Final Rounds
//Update 16 - Ω Hidden Darkside Holy Ground
//Update 17 - Item Collection and e-Mails
//Update 18 - Grunty Races and 100% Completion
//Update 19 - Unison (ANIME WARNING)

DoubleNegative fucked around with this message at 13:39 on Jun 10, 2015


Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
Supplementary Lore:

The Tale of The One Sin Event - Why Orca is "pretty well known" in The World, by Senerio

gently caress the Internet - How Pluto's Kiss nearly created the Fallout universe, by pointlessone

Morganna - One player's tale of The God of The World, by Senerio

gently caress the Internet Part II - The rise of ALTIMIT, by pointlessone

Modified Characters - All about character models and why it's totally illegal to make your character look like an anime, by Senerio

gently caress the Internet Part III - Players, admins, hackers, and "The World," by pointlessone

Role Playing - Be whoever you want to be, by Senerio

Gott Statues - Mistral discusses the finer points of item collecting, by Senerio

About Grunties - Hotaru explains how Grunties work, by Senerio

Optional Party Members - Senerio explains about optional party members and why they're awesome.

About Magic - Nighthand explains the game's magic system.

Physical Skills - Nighthand explains melee skills for the various classes.

Class Skills II - Nighthand explains Heavy Blade skills

gently caress the Internet Part IV - Before "The World," there was a man, a woman, and a beta, by pointlessone

Class Skills III - Nighthand explains Long Arm skills

Affection - berryjon explains the game's affection system in detail.

gently caress the Internet Part V - "The AI Hunts" - pointlessone explains why the administration team of The World destroy all nascent AIs they come across.

gently caress the Internet Part VI - "Aura and the Black Box" - pointlessone shows just how creepy the creator of "The World" really was.

The Name of the Game - Onmi explains why the seven .hack games are named what they are

FredMSloniker asked if I would capture all the Grunty Food audio, both English and Japanese. The image below links to a video with just that very thing!

DoubleNegative fucked around with this message at 04:23 on Apr 15, 2015

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Character List (Listed by order encountered.)

Kite: A new player to "The World." He is a Twin Blade character class with light blue hair and is fairly short. He is the main character for the first four games in the series, and is thankfully not a silent protagonist. Always polite and friendly to anybody, he is quite easy to get along with.

The player behind Kite is a 14 year old middle school student that enjoys playing soccer.

Voice Actor: Mona Marshall (South Park, lots of anime)

Orca: An experienced player of "The World" who has been playing since the early days of Fragment. (The beta version of "The World.") He is a Blademaster character class, wearing very little armor and carrying a large sword. He is one of the two legendary "Descendants of Fianna," known as "Orca, of the Azure Sea." The title was gifted to him for being one of the players to defeat the unbeatable boss, The One Sin.

All that is known about Orca's player is that he is named "Yasuhiko" and that he is in a deep coma.

Voice Actor: Kirk Thornton (Naruto, Kingdom Hearts series)

BlackRose: Like Kite, she is also a new player to "The World." She is a Heavy Blade character class, and is very loud. She is quick to add her thoughts to any discussion going on, and is easily the most confrontational out of everyone Kite meets. She seems to have a personal stake in the goings ons in "The World."

Behind the character, BlackRose is played by a teenage girl named Akira Hayami. She enjoys playing tennis more than anything else, and has two brothers: Fumikazu and Kouta.

Voice Actor: Wendee Lee (Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, various other anime)

Balmung: Balmung is a legendary player in "The World." He is the other half of the "Descendants of Fianna," known as "Balmung, of the Azure Sky." He dealt the killing blow to an unbeatable boss and was rewarded with a cosmetic change for his character. That is where he got his trademark wings. He basically defines the term "White Knight" and all that it entails. Like Orca, he has been playing since Fragment.

Not very much is known about Balmung's player.

Voice Actors: Doug Erholtz (Official VA of Squall Leonhart, Bleach) (Voice of Balmung during Infection)
Crispin Freeman (Lots of Roles) (Voice of Balmung for the rest of the series.)

Helba: Not very much is known about Helba. She is an infamous hacker and... that's about it. She always seems to show up when something big is going down, and always knows far more than she lets on. She seems to have taken a liking to Kite.

Nothing is known about the person that controls Helba. They are obviously a skilled hacker, and they seem to have a vast number of resources at their disposal.

Voice Actor: Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Lots of Roles)

Mistral: Mistral is an item collector - she wants to collect at least one of every item in "The World." She ran into Kite in the dungeon of Δ Expansive Haunted Sea of Sand. There, she saw him use Data Drain on a bug, and thought it was a pretty cool skill. She's a bit of an airhead at times, but is a solid addition to Kite's team. She is a very bubbly individual, always using some form of smilie to show just how she feels at any given moment.

Offline, Mistral is played by a young woman named Mayumi Kurokawa. One of her favorite things to do is cook, and she has exchanged many e-mails with Kite about cooking and shopping for cooking supplies. She claims to get the best deals when she buys food because she haggles the prices down.

Voice Actor: Sandy Fox (Akira, Love Hina, Trigun)

Mia: Mia is a very mysterious character in the game. She's the only PC in "The World" that looks like an anthromorphic cat. This makes her an accomplished hacker, because character modification is quite illegal. She's the only Blademaster that joins Kite's party for a long time, as well. She is never far from her companion Elk, and has a fondness for Armoatic Grass. Despite being pretty blunt and no-nonsense most of the time, she is also an expert Troll and enjoys torturing Piros.

Absolutely nothing is known about the player behind Mia.

Voice Actor: Debra Rogers (Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Zone of the Enders)

Elk: Elk looks almost exactly like Tsukasa from .hack//Sign, making him a Wavemaster. He can always be found with Mia, and she is probably his only friend in the game. This makes him pretty fiercely protective of her, and he has been known to be outright cruel to people who he believes to be drawing her attention away. He's pretty insecure, always stammering when talking to others.

The player behind Elk is a middle school student named Kaoru Ichinose. He's a little younger than Kite, at 13.

Voice Actor: Brianne Siddall (Bleach, Xenosaga series, .hack//Sign)

Piros: Piros is the comic relief. He plays a Heavy Axeman character and seems to always be role playing himself as a great hero in "The World." He has a unique character design among all other male Heavy Axemen in the game - his PC doesn't have a helmet.

The player behind Piros is named Hiroshi Matsuyama. He's in his early thirties and works as a programer for a large company. He has a love of strange food.

Voice Actor: Daran Norris (Fairly Odd Parents, Lots of other roles)

Natsume: Natsume is another Twin Blade. Kite first met her when she posted on the forums about looking for the Spiral Edge. She's a bit naive, and is really down on herself. Despite that, she's very energetic and gives 100% to anything she does.

Offline, Natsume is played by... Natsume Oguro. She's a 15 year old librarian, and (though she doesn't realize it at first) she knows Kite's player in real life.

Voice Actor: Lia Sargent (Xenosaga series, Star Ocean 3, Cowboy Bebop)

Sanjuro: Sanjuro is a Heavy Blade, like BlackRose. He looks similar to a Ronin, or a wandering Samurai. He has an eye patch, and uses Katana-type weapons exclusively. He really hates PKers, and views himself as a wandering hero.

Sanjuro's player is actually a Japanese teacher from South Dakota. He plays on the Japanese servers to improve his skill in the language, by playing with those who are fluent in it. He is a huge fan of Samurai films starring Toshior Mifune. The character's name came from "The Hidden Fortress."

Voice Actor: Steven Jay Blum (Every Role Ever)

Gardenia: For some reason, Gardenia has a fan club. The first introduction we get to the character is through her fanclub circlejerking each other on the forums. She finds the club annoying, and the only reason she joins with Kite is because he's both persistent, and not a member of the fan club.

The player behind Gardenia is a High School senior, and president of the Naginata Club. She loves flowers, which explains her name.

Voice Actor: Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital, Dawson's Creek, Click)

Lios: Lios is the head system administrator for "The World's" Japanese servers. The "power-up" books that Kite received during Infection were his doing. He had hoped to silently delete Kite's character data through them. He is something of a grouch, but his heart is in the right place ultimately.

Head SysAdmin for "The World" is both who he is in the game and real life. It's his job, after all!

Voice Actor: Bob Papenbrook (Suikoden V, Digimon, many other video games)

Nuke Usagimaru: Nuke wants to become a stand up comedian. He is the host of an internet show where he provides running commentary over battles. He likes Kite because he sees him as the ultimate straight man to his comedy act.

Nuke is much the same offline as he is online. Fun fact - he and Rachel actually successfully become stand up comedians by the time the GU trilogy rolls around.

Voice Actor: Derek Stephen Prince (Kingdom Hearts series, Bleach, Naruto, Xenosaga Series)

Rachel: Rachel is a very greedy lady. She's always chasing after some idea or another to make her a lot of money in the game. Every couple weeks, she posts a new message on the Boards with a new service she's started.

Offline, Rachel is a 19 year old "freelancer," as she calls herself. She wants to become an Editor-in-Chief of something. It doesn't matter what she's EIC of, she just wants that title. She's also Nuke's editor by e-mail.

Voice Actress: Julie Ann Taylor (Akira, Patlabor, Nier)

Moonstone: He's a silent, brooding loner hero who speaks in short often... ellipsis... filled... sentences. He seems to chase after moon-themed items. He likes Kite because Kite is strong.

Offline, Moonstone is obsessed with working out. He has a pretty intense list of exercises her performs morning, noon, and night. He made friends with a little puppy while out jogging.

Voice Actor: Lex Lang (Agents of SHIELD, Mass Effect series, Digimon)

Marlo: You remember that kid in High School who wore black leather, played with a lighter, and carved symbols into his arm with a paperclip? That's Marlo. He's constantly negative, he's a bastard to the few friends he has, and fashions himself as a brooding anti-hero.

Offline, Marlo's player is a 17 year old who drinks beer and refers to himself as a loner. That should tell you all you need to know about him.

Voice Actor: Robert Martin Klein (Suikoden IV, Digimon, Leap Frog Educational Products)

Wiseman: Wiseman fancies himself as an information and item broker. He's an excellent strategist and something of a modest hacker.

Offline, Wiseman is a 10 year old kid. He hates carrots for no particular reason and plays Digimon Card Battles. He also enjoys playing soccer.

Voice Actor: Steven Jay Blum (Every Role Ever)

Terajima Ryoko: Where to begin with Ryoko? She's very polite and formal, but can be very territorial if she wants something. Kite is her only male friend.

Offline, Ryoko is a rich heiress. She attends an exclusive private all-girls school that sends its students to Hawaii for a field trip. Her father is also a very controlling man who once black bagged a boy for expressing interest in his daughter.

Voice Actress: Julie Maddalena (Monster High movies, Love Hina, Star Ocean 3)

//Character Class Descriptions (courtesy of berryjon)

Twin Blade
Wave Master

DoubleNegative fucked around with this message at 04:23 on Apr 15, 2015

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
This was originally posted in Late December, 2013. It is included here for completeness's sake.

//Update 07

Greetings everyone. Because there's currently a small coating of snow and ice outside and I have literally nothing better to do at 7:45 AM, here's another update. Also, y'know, because this update is short as hell. It's "only" 70 images, not counting talking heads.

Today we're gonna tackle the Anti-Existence. The Enemy. We're gonna tackle the other recurring boss in these games that aren't the phases. Let's get started, eh?

So, hey, a level 62 area means we're finally gonna face new enemies! :toot:

I've always had a soft spot for the "horde of insect" enemies. Even as far back as those flies in Diablo 2's desert levels. I just like the concept!

Also these guys are loving stacked HP-wise. They have more health than the past two data drained phases, and have more health than the upcoming boss.

They're also only level 60 enemies. It's a subtle indication that the gloves are starting to come off - we're just about 2/3 done with leveling and we're facing enemies that are halfway to the HP cap!

Speaking of levels, here's the latest from the party. I'm fairly certain that Balmung is forced into your party for this bit. Not that it matters - he's more than capable of holding his own in a fight! Going by the stat numbers, he's more magically inclined than Blackrose, with a couple more points of defense.

She's whipping his rear end on defensive stats, however - at a three level disadvantage, no less. Her equipment is also less up-to-date than his is. Basically, Blackrose is much, much better than Balmung in nearly every way. He's no slouch, but she's simply better.

Now, I was celebrating about new enemies. But the game is also a master of trolling. Look at the map layout for the floor. Very few enemies in general, and only one between us and the way down.

It's not even that exciting an enemy. Kite's blades cut it to size and that's that. :geno:

Now, when I was streaming this, what, 6 months ago? I was freaking out in this dungeon. I knew what was coming and I was dreading fighting it. So I may have overcompensated a bit and filled up on consumables.

Second floor is no more exciting than the first. The big room was empty, and the only monster portal contained another of those dark dragons we just fought.

Finally the third floor, which was completely devoid of all life whatsoever. There's something really :effort:-feeling about this dungeon. Like the developers couldn't be bothered to make a major boss dungeon exciting or even remotely challenging.


What are you up to, Lios?

: Damaged data?

: What's this?

: I think she wants to say something...

An earthquake happens before anyone can talk to Aura.

Also Kite gets attacked by suspiciously familiar purple-blue roots.

This loving amazing track starts playing for the Cubia boss fight. It's totally worth a listen. Come to think of it, the track that plays from the start of the cutscene until Cubia appears is also pretty awesome.

For all that I will bitch about the gameplay, .hack had some really great music on its soundtrack.

: Huh? Wh - what is it?! Something like that exists?!

: It's... it's that thing again!

: It's big... too big! Can we defeat it?

: It's... growing!

So, Cubia. ...Again. Nothing about this boss has changed. It has the same patterns it had back in Mutation.

First the core comes out, and it's resistant to a type of damage - in this case, physical.

Then the core starts spawning Gomoras. Kill the Gomoras and the core will retreat.

Also thanks to the marvel of screenshots and frame-advancing, you can peer at what's inside the core!

Then Cubia will attack with one of its super skills.

Eventually we'll kill the core. That's where the fight ended last time. We're... not as lucky this time.

No. See, Cubia's gimmick is that each successive time you fight it, it gets another core. Also take a very good close look at that core. What's inside it? It looks familiar...

Anyway, skipping ahead 20 minutes...

Cubia starts dying when we kill the second core. The next time we fight it, in Quarantine, we'll have to kill three cores.

I did a pretty in-depth coverage of Cubia back in Mutation. So if you need a refresher, you'll want to re-read that. It's Mutation's 5th update!

: ......

Hm. Looks like Lios was watching us fight Cubia. I wonder what he's up to.

: Hey... by any chance is Cubia trying to stop you from meeting her?

: Stop?

: After what's happened, that's what I think... but it always runs away. I don't get that part.

: But... what happens if I meet Aura? Why does Cubia want to stop that?

: How should I know! Think about it yourself!

: So, what is it?

: I'm telling you, I don't know!

: I see...

:stare: Jesus Christ, Blackrose. Kite and Balmung were asking perfectly cromulent questions and you jump down their throats for it. What crawled up your rear end all of a sudden?

Anyway, the party gates back to an empty Carmina Gadelica.


: The infection is getting worse. We can't keep fighting on scattered like this...

: What do you mean?

: ...Lios

: Lios?!

: You do realize it's Lios right?! Are you insane?

: Lios wants to restore this world as well. I'm sure he'll lend us a hand.

: I agree with you.

: I'm pretty sure Lios won't help us.

: Yeah, well... he's got his corporate side that won't let him say yes easily, but...

: We need the information within CC Corp. itself too.

: The question is whether Lios will accept Helba.

: Yeah, that's the tricky part.

: Oh, all right.

: Summon? How?

: Just watch.

: Actually, the problem is what to do after they're summoned.

: Did you say something?

: ...No.

I love this scene. It's so small, so easy to overlook and yet it's so important. They recognized a problem, realized they needed a solution and hashed out a workable solution to that problem. It's the party's first steps of moving to being an active force instead of a reactive one!

Future Bay 21, hm? Movie theater and shopping area, hm?

.hack//Liminality Vol. 2 - In the Case of Yuki Aihara posted:

It's been 11 months ago that I did Liminality 2 and I still really loving hate Yuki. This also means that I was really wrong about the timing of those events, because the news story is obviously referring to them.

Yeah, the party really needs to get Lios on their side quickly. The simple act of fighting Cubia caused those blackouts. Not data draining, just fighting.

But not as food right? I love Kite's responses so much!

That was short and relatively painless!

NEXT TIME: we'll see just what Blackrose's scheme to get Lios and Helba together was, and we'll also do some of those sidequests. See y'all then!

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Update 08

Hello everyone! It's been a very long time, hasn't it? By my reckoning, it's been 15 months since last we met. How is everyone doing?

Because I can't very well stay away and I didn't want to leave this unfinished, we're back again. Let's see this out, shall we? I reposted the last update just above, but to cover what we did last time, we fought Cubia and made the subtle change from being a reactive force to an active one.

Our first goal is to get Lios and Helba on the same side. It will not be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. So, without further ado, shall we?

Last time, Blackrose did say that she posted a message on the board we should take a peek at. Perhaps this is it!

I hope Blackrose knows what she's doing. This post seems innocuous enough, but with how Lios has been acting, I don't doubt he knows she posted it.


: The plan is perfect! I'm not a woman for nothing!

: I guess we should head to Net Slum: Λ Pulsating Truth's Core, for now.

We pick up Wiseman, though we don't need him straight away. It'll save some time when we go to the next dungeon.


: Well, I don't know what you're both up to, but I'm afraid I deleted that post. It's no more. The truth is... she won't be coming here, I'm sorry.

Tell me that's not the epitome of :smug:

: The hackers... they're having a good laugh. They find the current affairs to be quite amusing. What do you intend to do with them? I'm curious to know, tell me.

: Why do you say things like that? Because it's the company's policy?

: What?

: Lios, you should know by now that the problems are unrelated to Helba.

: What do you know? Do you think you're a hero now because of that bracelet? Don't make me laugh! So wear that thing if you want. I will restore the system without the help of that abominable item!

: I'm trying to tell you that if we want the same results, we should work together.

: I do not work with hackers!

Lios knows Kite's right, but his pride won't let him agree right out. He's already made up his mind to agree to help but doesn't know how to say yes.

: If he wasn't so thick-skulled, I'd have done it already.

: Helba! How'd you -

: A deleted post is meaningful, fraught with significance Did you actually think I would pass up something that juicy? Deleting messages with clues that point toward the truth? Shameful! Even a pig-head like you is aware of the present situation... right?

: Fair enough, but first prove to me that you aren't a pig-head.

: What?

: The players who fell into comas during the game continue to suffer. What we ought to be doing right now -

: All right. If it will stop your insistent demand, I will do it on one condition. You can prove to me how serious you are by obtaining a Virus Core from the lowest level of the dungeon. The dungeon of Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena.

Told ya! He found a way to agree in his own way. Kite's already picked up on this, too. He's a pretty perceptive little guy!

: That's not a problem!

: Don't be ridiculous! What are we supposed to do if a Data Bug suddenly shows up?!

: Understood. I agree.

: Huh? Are you kidding? "Understood?" What are you saying?!

: If I do it, you'll work with Helba?

: Only if you fulfill the condition.

: It's nearly impossible to soften that pig-head. I want you to show him that you're serious.

Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena is added to the Word List.

I'm not gonna lie, I have absolutely no idea what level Kite is at right now. It's the same as what it was when he fought Cubia. 61, I think? Anyway, a level 62 area isn't a problem in the least.

: You understand?

: I understand. I won't use Data Drain in this area... but Lios, you'd better keep your promise, too.

: ......

This is an incredibly simple dungeon. There's maybe three or four monster portals between us and the goal.

This is a new enemy. They're weak to lightning elemental attacks and are wholly unremarkable except for one nasty thing that they never did here. This monster type has a chance to deal Death damage and it's something innate to all of them.

Funny enough, I never saw any of them do it until I was doing post-game stuff in Quarantine. It turns out that even at the level cap of 99, a level 15 monster in this family can still take off 90% of your HP with one swipe.

It's a little annoying.

We fought these guys in Cubia's dungeon. They're just as worthless as they were then.

These three floors seriously had no monsters between us and the exit. I still somehow fought the lone portal on the fourth floor because I got turned around and confused. It was another pack of Undead Voodoos, if I'm not mistaken.

Anyway, purple mist means a data bug, and we're not allowed to use data drain. This could get nasty.

Lios is here to make sure we hold up our end of the bargain.

: Let's go!

So there's something slightly wrong about this data bug.

Like the fact that it's down by 2/3 of its health and still hasn't protect broken.

We just killed a data bug. That's... that's not how that works. Before my old external hard drive suffered catastrophic failure at the end of the last thread, I had a recording where berryjon and I sat around bullshitting for 15 minutes as I slowly beat a data bug to death.

Eventually its health hit a minimum and refused to go lower. I want to say that it was at 50% health that the data bug stopped taking damage. It was well past the point that the thing protect broke. In fact, as I recall, it protect broke several times, and continued to do so even after hitting the invulnerable point.

This data bug didn't do that. Its health went to 0 and it laid down and died. It never protect broke once. Care to hazard a guess as to why that happened?


: Why didn't you use Data Drain? You might have fallen into a coma.

: You're the one that made him do it! What the hell are you saying?! We've fought something a lot stronger than that one! You don't know anything!

: Lios knows.

: Huh?

: What are you talking about? Anyway, that Data Bug you just defeated was a fake one that I created. If it was real, it wouldn't have gone that easily. Don't get cocky.

: I had a feeling it was. This game is just as important to Lios. So someone like that won't make us do something dangerous.

: Why didn't you say that in the first place? I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

: Whoa!

: Lios, you lose.

God dammit, Helba. This isn't the time to be gloating like that. You know it makes Lios defensive!

: Yeah, I lost... I completely lost. This hell isn't amusing...

: Lios, while I'm at it, I'll tell you something else. CC Corp. has begun to create a script for their farce.

: Hmmm?

: Agencies that were sympathetic to CC Corp. are preparing to announce that the company is responsible. After hearing that, the upper management is going out on a gamble for their own protection.

: Gamble?

: They are planning on throwing this world in the dark, along with the lost ones.

: No!

For the first time, his farce drops. As cold and detached as he pretends to be, he does genuinely care about the game and its players.

I think this news, more than the bet he lost, is what galvanizes him to help us. Before, he was sulking because Helba was rubbing her victory in his face. But this news she dropped has upset him enough that he's willing to finally go against the company and help the hackers he so despises.

: They'll probably say that hackers or terrorists are responsible for it.

: But that won't... do anything. That won't stop the infection of the network!

: Yes, you're right. CC Corp. know that, but they are still proceeding with it.

: We'll have to do something before they do something stupid.

: ......

: Lois, I did what you asked, but... I won't force you.

: You are such a brat... All right. I'll keep my promise. I will help you.

: You did pretty well. It's going to get busy.

: This is it!

: Yeah, it is!

We're finally now all on the same side. Now that we're not fighting each other while we fight the Wave, maybe we'll make some headway into bringing the coma victims back.

At the very least we should be able to limit the damage that happens due to data draining one of the eight phases, or even from fighting Cubia.

At any rate, that's enough for now. So let's see what's new on the message board, and see if we have any e-mails.

Lios did say he deleted Blackrose's post.

What? How does that even? WHAT? :psypop:

Good to see that creepypasta is a universal thing. I think. Anyway, this is worth investigating even if it's just for a quick level or two.

Σ Fleeting Fallow Chaos is added to the Word List.

We've also got some new e-mails! Let's see what everyone's up to.

Why is Kite cursed to be surrounded by people who can't communicate properly? Between Gardenia and Moonstone, I swear...

Digimon Card Battles is a thing that exists in the .hack universe? I can't even laugh at that. I'd feel bad if I did.

It's like making fun of someone for liking to play Hearthstone. It's just not cool, y'know?

I'm pretty sure Kite is saying he's never seen a disaster movie in the rear end in a top hat answer. You'd have to live a fairly sheltered life to have never seen a movie, even in the weird universe that .hack takes place in.

from Helba and Lios, we should be able to narrow it down.

It's all because of you.

Sure, Blackrose. Suuuure.

That's all for now!

NEXT TIME: We help Rachel and Moonstone. :suicide:

See y'all then!

DoubleNegative fucked around with this message at 18:51 on Apr 16, 2015

Jan 2, 2014
Ah .hack, if I remember correctly, all four of these games could fit on one dvd but they decided to cut it into four for some arbitrary reason.

Jul 10, 2008

Gravy Boat 2k
I'm impressed (and concerned) that you're continuing the LP. Think your body can handle it? It only gets worse from here!

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

Shinjobi posted:

I'm impressed (and concerned) that you're continuing the LP. Think your body can handle it? It only gets worse from here!

I've been past the pale and come out the other side a lessened person. I'm ready. Also I've finished recording all of the remaining sections in the last two games, captured screenshots from the recordings, and even written the updates. I'm not gonna make some grand claim, because that's inviting disaster, but I am prepared for any eventuality short of being crushed to death by a spontaneously de-orbiting satellite.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Update 09

Hello, everyone! Welcome back! After accomplishing the impossible last time, I think we deserve another break. Unfortunately we have to deal with Rachel and Moonstone, so it's not gonna be a very restful break.

Oh well, nothing for it. The sooner we get started, the sooner it'll be over with. So lets-a-go!

Does it feel like, to anyone else, that these e-mails are bookending our progress? Maybe it's just me.

Gardenia is like a cat. The people who show her attention and affection get ignored for the one person who doesn't care. Presumably this means she also coughs up hairballs and claws the door frames.

What? I wouldn't put it past her.

I'd kinda like to see a collectible card battling game where 3 or more people fight in a giant brawl. Was that how MtG worked? I seem to dimly remember 3 or 4 people playing magic games before classes started in the mornings during high school.

Just listen to the sound those bugs make. Gross gross gross.

So, starting off with Rachel's quest...

I get the feeling we were meant to do this a while ago. Y'know, before Cubia or even possibly Fidchell.

: (Kida) Hey! You guys are the Rachel Courier Service?

: Yup, that's us!

: OK, I've got a job for you. There's a player called Akai in the dungeon, so give him the Red Sword and get the Yellow Cap.

: No problem!

Oh the Sled Dog Kings. Oh these guys. How I searched and searched for these guys. I wanted to data drain one to get a juicy gooey item, but I couldn't find them anywhere. But that's a story for later on down the road.

These Dark Stalkers are really kind of forgettable. Their monster type is always either physical or magical tolerant. Otherwise they're wholly unremarkable.

: (Akai) What? You brought it now? You guys were late so I traded the Yellow Cap with Aoyama. But I'm sure if you explain it and give him these Blue Boots, he'll give it to you.

: I think Aoyama is at the very bottom.

: Urgh... we gotta find Aoyama!

I really think the game intended these dragon enemies to be mini-bosses. They have a fuckton of health. However they also, to a one, have crippling elemental weaknesses. This particular one is weak to wood element, which Wiseman is exploiting here.

So instead of being tough encounters, they just take marginally longer than most others and occasionally deal more damage. But when your Wavemaster can heal the whole party for 800 damage at a time, and with how plentiful recovery items are...

Yet another of these three floor dungeons. Aoyama is obviously to the north, and the Gott Statue is to the east.

A fairly nice pair of pants for the heavy armor user in your party.

: (Aoyama) Hey, you can't ask for something back after you traded it.

: Oh come on... Please... trade for it.

: Oh all right... but only this one time.

: Thanks a lot!!

: OK, let's give the Yellow Cap to Kida on B1.

The game is merciful enough to teleport us back to B1 to hand the item over.

: (Kida) Hey, thanks a lot!

: Um... I've just been wondering...

: What?

: If you just asked Akai to come here, you really didn't have to ask for a courier...

: Ah... uh... it just seemed interesting, so I just felt like asking...

: Wh - wh - whaaaaaaaat?!

: Ah, well, thanks a lot... um, bye!

: Oh man, he was toying with us!

: ......

: You're not getting away!

Rachel left to go commit assault against Kida. So we're gonna just invite Moonstone so we have an alibi for when she gets arrested.

He's getting better at this whole "talking to other people" thing. Soon we hope to start him on complicated things like verbs and sentence structure.

Time Visitors are part of a class of enemies that are deceptively powerful. It has half as much health as that dragon encounter in Rachel's dungeon, and it also hits like a truck. They also become more common the higher the field's level climbs.

Yet another three-floor dungeon.

There are so many things I want to write here, but everything that comes to mind doesn't feel appropriate or funny. It just somehow makes so much sense that Moonstone is obsessed with the moon.

: :-) I'll give this to you, Moonstone.

: Are you sure?

: Of course!

: Thanks... For you:

: Thanks!

: ......

: OK, let's go back.

: Yes.

Moonstone is pretty generous! I forget where we got the Feng Shui, but it's also pretty nice.

Okay gently caress this. gently caress it. I'm tired of grinding for virus cores.

So I'm gonna cheat like a motherfucker. Suddenly the game has magically improved 1000%.

Virus cores are a horrible mechanic and I will not be sorry to see them go. They're purely bullshit padding and add absolutely nothing of worth to the game. The fact that every couple quests you have to go out and pointlessly grind through enemies hoping one will drop a virus core is actively disrespectful of the player's time.

Inside of the field we meet this lovely fellow. As best I can figure, he's got a drill speared through his chest. I guess someone tried to go Simon on the golem, but lacked the requisite spiral power.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Nightmares can deal a Death hit. Otherwise they're just more fodder.

I'm gonna be perfectly honest here, until I fought them I had completely forgotten this style of enemy even existed. Give me an hour and I'm sure I will have forgotten again.

And we have another version of the freaky floaty alien enemy already.

These sand enemies are more annoying than anything else. They have a lot of health and despite being weak to wood element, they don't take a lot of damage from it.

Yet another three-level dungeon. :geno:

This guy wasn't very hard. I don't remember him dealing very much damage.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Oh my god that's funny as hell.

It doesn't live very much longer.

Σ Resonating False Grasslands is added to the Word List.

Aww. Moonstone made a friend. :3:

You know, if I had to join a sports club, the Badminton Club would be about as far down the list as it could go. I don't even know how to play nor do I have any desire to learn.

Rachel I'm pretty sure there are better ways to make money than launching courier services. Like just going to lower level fields, looting every chest, and selling all the vendor trash.

NEXT TIME: We're on our way to the end of the game. We won't fight the final boss next time, but we'll be in position to do so afterwards!

Stay tuned!

Jan 29, 2009

the absence or violation of symmetry
I'll always love this series. v:shobon:v Thanks for continuing it.

Nov 4, 2009

Obtuse.....even hokey.
Some of the weapons in this game are pretty cool looking. The design on Black Rose's current sword is particularly neat.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Mucho Mucho
Nap Ghost
I just went on PSN to buy the games. Then I was sad.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

Seyser Koze posted:

I just went on PSN to buy the games. Then I was sad.


Unless you're referring to the GU games, you just dodged a bullet.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013

Mucho Mucho
Nap Ghost

DoubleNegative posted:


Unless you're referring to the GU games, you just dodged a bullet.

I have a pretty high grind tolerance.

Mar 25, 2003
Thanks for coming back to this LP. I really appreciate how much work its taken to condense such a grind-heavy game into something entertaining to read.

This series premise of playing a character who is playing a game seemed really cool to me when I bought Infection. Unfortunately the reality of paying ~$50 for one-fourth of a game really hit home an hour or two into playing it.

Arcade Rabbit
Nov 11, 2013

I got all four games right around the time the fourth one came out, so I was able to get the other three for pretty cheap. I do really love this series, even if it does have its fair share of issues.

Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.

making a third try? cool, good luck beating the curse!!!

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Update 10

This update is gonna be a quick one. I probably could combine this and the next, but that would only serve to create one gigantic update and those take forever to write. One hour of furiously typing is better than several.

Moonstone does have a soft side! Aww, that's adorable.

Kite poking fun at Rachel never gets old.

Anyway, for once there are no forum posts to greet us, so we're off to investigate those keywords we found last time.

Oh I will never get tired of looking at that full complement of virus cores.

Commando bees sound like bad news. Like the sort of badass insects that could give killer bees a run for their money.

I don't even have things to say about some of these enemies. They're just completely forgettable.

Look at that, a dungeon that goes past the third floor!


: Harald...

Occasionally the white rooms sync up with the game's story. I'm sure that if I were better at reading hidden metaphors, I'd find they all did.

Quarantining the area where the wave appears sounds like it might work. In theory it should prevent the damage from spreading!


: Let's begin.

: The general idea is as written on the mail. If there are no questions... Helba, please tell us about our assigned roles.

: The remaining will quarantine the operation from other areas. That is all.

: We have yet to specify the location. We will commence the operation as soon as we know. Each of you, be prepared until the operation commences. I will mail you the operation period. That is all. Dismissed!

So it looks like I was right. The plan is for Lios to track the wave, Helba will herd it to a predefined area, then while Kite engages it in fighting the wave itself, everyone will quarantine the entire field, so when Kite eventually beats the wave the damage will be contained.

Thank god that Lios is bringing some employees with him, because it sounds like we potentially may not have enough people to quarantine the field.

This is good advice anyway. Playing in a darkened room with just the glow of a monitor is a great way to gently caress up your eyes. Or at least give you a migraine. I have to have my desk lamp burning all the time to give me enough light to work by.

Anyway, we don't have any new e-mails yet. So let's see what's shaking in town.

Oh, hey Elk.

: I can't get in touch with Mia at all. Have you seen her?

: I haven't either.

: We promised to meet... I'll look a little more. Later!

We get a new e-mail notification. That's probably Wiseman, so let's see what's up.

The fact that CC Corp. has a cover-up unit is pretty hosed up.

We've got our destination. We've got our orders. Let's get to NetSlum!


: This is it.

: Be on guard.

: Let's make sure we're prepared before we begin.

: There is nothing to worry about. You can do it.

: Well then.

: Huh?

: Come on.

: Go on.

: Yes.

: We can't get started until you say it!

: Um... uh... this operation is to find the clue to restore "The World" and to help the comatose victims. It's my understanding that Wiseman named the operation in hopes that, like the jetties on the beach, we can nullify the powerful force of a wave by working together. Everyone, please lend me your hands!

: I would like to see Orca again as well. We gathered here for the same purpose.

: You, the holder of the bracelet, shall commence the operation.

: Show us what you got!

: That was good.

: I'm ready.

: I'm counting on you.

: Leave the quarantine to me. You just focus on the fight.

I'm cutting it here. I'm sorry that I was somewhat light on commentary this update, but there really wasn't a lot to say.

NEXT TIME: Phase 5, the Machinater.

See you then!

Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.

now that i think about it, what the hell does 'quarantining the area' actually mean in a video game?

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

AriadneThread posted:

now that i think about it, what the hell does 'quarantining the area' actually mean in a video game?

The best I can figure it, the Wave has already made Σ Chatting Snaring Twins its current lair. So while Kite his party are engaging the Wave in combat, Helba and Lios's men are doing something to quarantine the field from the rest of the game.

It's not going to work. These are small jetties trying to hold back a tsunami.

Jan 29, 2009

the absence or violation of symmetry

AriadneThread posted:

now that i think about it, what the hell does 'quarantining the area' actually mean in a video game?
I'm assuming it means disconnecting it from the rest of the game servers. I'm not sure if we're supposed to assume every field is its own instance, and if so, then they could stop access to that sole instance and make sure it can't read/write data to other instances and the main game server. I dunno. Talking out my rear end, from what little MMO experience I have.

Oct 9, 2012

No tears, only dreams.
Man I was just thinking about this LP the other day. Glad that its back.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Update 11

Hello again everyone! Are you guys ready to beat the game? I sure as hell am! Last time, Wiseman and Helba briefed us on exactly what should be going down, so let's hope Murphy's Law doesn't come into effect.

I've already preemptively cut out the level grinding. We're actually going into this final dungeon two levels too low, but it really won't turn out to be much of a problem. We're also stocked up as far as we can be on consumable items.

Hand of God starts the pain train out. It sucks that Wiseman can't contribute against her, but it's rarely worth breaking the tolerances on trash mobs.

Though she does drop a neat weapon for Blackrose, who seems to like her new killstick.

Liches return from the Sora event dungeon. These enemies become distressingly common the higher in level you go. You know what's sad? Eventually I'm gonna be savestate scumming monster portals hoping for one of these guys. Look forward to that in the distant future!

Wiseman gets a new hat somewhere on the second floor.

Somewhere on the third floor, Kite gets a new hat too.

Finally on the last portal of the third floor we get this sign. That's the first time we've seen one of these in an incredibly long time. I haven't been keeping up with the all field and all dungeon portal clears, and it's going to come back to bite me in the rear end at the end of Quarantine.

To get the last reward from the Ryu book for "all dungeon portals cleared" you need to clear 75 dungeons of all portals. :suicide:


I like to imagine that Helba made a field-wide announcement.

Gorre looks so loving ridiculous. Two silver guitar picks or whatever those faces are.

: Just who designs these freaky things anyway?!

Someone fed the artists tabs of acid after keeping them awake for five straight days.

Alternatively it's because GAINAX is listed in the credits.


The video linked right above details all of Gorre's abilities if you want to see what they look like in action.

To make things easy, I'm gonna treat the two of them as a single unit. They move in sync, they attack in sync, and they share a health bar. For all intents and purposes, they are a single unit.

As far as Gorre goes, one of them is magic tolerant, and the other is physical tolerant. I decided to use the Standard Strategy and put Wiseman on healbot duties while Kite and Blackrose beat the ever loving poo poo out of the magic tolerant half.

I probably could have told Wiseman to nuke the physical tolerant one and have been just fine. Unlike the previous three phase fights, Gorre is a little more akin to a proper final boss.

This is how it opened up the fight. Yep, because there are two of them, you take double the shockwave damage when Gorre slams into the ground. Fun, huh?

Gorre also possesses the standard repertoire of charm, sleep, and paralysis. I also don't know if it was just because he was incredibly unlucky or not, but it had a hate boner for Wiseman. Almost all of its special attacks were directed against him.

The thing certainly is pretty creepy at least. Those yellow eyes and that mouth full of teeth emerging out of an otherwise flat stone is the sort of poo poo nightmares are made of.

This shot was taken a second before Wiseman died from being electrocuted to death.

Yellow Gorre: You know, they really tick me off.

Blue Gorre: Yes well. Shall we do it then?

The field name's starting to make sense, eh? Σ Chatting Snaring Twins. They're talkative, there's two of them, and their abilities have a theme of plotting and scheming.

Gorre also has data drain. But that's to be expected from a phase fight. Though seeing those two hosed up stone faces staring at you before you go comatose has got to be pretty high up there on the "what the gently caress" o meter.

Despite being more like a proper final boss, Gorre still isn't a very good fight. With the exception of Skeith and Magus, all the phase fights have had one thing in common. The next three will also share this trait to some extent or another. They're loving cowards. They run very fast around their fields, only stopping to occasionally use one of their abilities before taking off again.

Skeith was aggressive. Instead of running, he was mixing it up with your party.

Innis ran away, and despite hitting somewhat hard, it never pushed things. So you'd have time to heal up before its next attack.

Magus was so concerned with setting up its instant kill gimmick that it didn't have time to do anything else.

Fidchell ran away. It stopped to occasionally use one of its prophecies and then half the time forgot to follow up while the debuff still affected your party.

Gorre is a more pronounced coward than the previous phases, because I swear the loving thing is faster than the previous four. The next three also move extremely fast, for the record.

The fight I recorded took 20 minutes. Most of that time, no joke, was spent chasing the boss around its field. By the time I protect broke the boss, I had gotten so sick of chasing it around that I had given both Kite and Blackrose a speed buff.

The point I'm getting at is that because these bosses spend so much time running around, the threat they present to your party is close to zero. You always have plenty of time to top your health off after each ability fires. To actually get a game over against this boss, you'd have to come in to the fight itself at something like level 65 after having done absolutely no side-quests.

Well that or just straight up fall asleep while fighting it. To be honest, this is the more realistic prospect between the two.


Even being data drained that thing is loving creepy as hell.

As per the usual, the epitaph stone versions of the bosses are the more threatening part of the fight. These things don't spend their time running away, and instead elect to stomp around and occasionally cast obscenely high level magic.

Oh wait, its magic stats are so poo poo that it can't even be a threatening epitaph stone boss fight. We took hundreds of damage there! HUNDREDS! :geno:

Jesus Gorre, you were the worst.


Blue Gorre: Why me?

Yellow Gorre: No! I can't, I can't, I can't!

Blue Gorre: Why me? How?

You know, hearing them scream and cry as they died really took all of the satisfaction out of that kill.

: All appears to have gone well. An investigation will still be needed, but... I guess you've succeeded, for now.

: Let us rejoice at our triumph.

More earthquakes are shaking the game.

: The immensity... There's a possibility that it's the "Cursed Wave" itself. It's moving...

: Counterattack? No!

Before we start celebrating, can I ask something here? What the gently caress is Kite even talking about? What true rule? This ending makes no sense. Kite is just spouting gibberish and the game's doing this dramatic zoom on his face and it's all rather dumb.

Some of this is still me being salty about Gorre being another lovely phase fight, but this last line really cements Outbreak as being the worst entry in the series.

Anyway, that's enough out of me. All that's left are the credits. I recommend you click on the video and just listen to them in the background. The credits music for the first three games is one of my favorite tracks from the entire series.

See you guys next time when we tackle post-game content!

Oh and I wasn't kidding earlier. GAINAX really is in the credits for the game.


Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.

hooray you did it

i have no loving idea what kite means either
unless he thinks that harold, like, intended all this to happen???

May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.
Kite was reading the script and forgot which page he was on. I think he zoned out and was talking about something that happens next game.

Oct 9, 2012

No tears, only dreams.
Well, at least now we get to move onto Quarantine. I never played it so I'm looking forward to seeing how this ends.

Arcade Rabbit
Nov 11, 2013

I love the designs of the 8 Phases. They're all so wonderfully bizarre and alien, especially compared to the garden variety enemies which already look a little out there at times. Also, bit of trivia, Gorre is actually a mistranslated of Gor, a character from Norse mythology. He had a brother named Nor, and together they ruled over Norway which Nor founded. Hence, why you fight two of them here.

Jan 29, 2009

the absence or violation of symmetry
The Phases definitely set off my internal This Is Wrong alarm, so kudos to the designers.

Sep 19, 2013
As someone who has tried to play this series several times and never gotten past mutation, I want to thank you for attempting to LP it, and wish you the best of luck in completing it. You're already 3/4 of the way there! I'm looking forward to finally seeing how it ends.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
//Update 12

Welcome back everyone! Today we're gonna tackle the bonus content in Outbreak.

That is to say we're gonna go to Ryoko's dungeon and then the optional bonus dungeon and then completely forget about the Liminality fields altogether. Sounds good, right? If you want a preview of what those fields look like, just imagine the enemies from Ryoko's dungeon, but five more times.

:stonk: Apples that taste like potatoes sound like the most awful thing.

"DNA analysis shows that the footprints belong to this creature" I don't think that's how that works. Like at all.

I thought the Panthers were a Carolina team. A 15-game winning streak is still pretty drat good, though.

StarChild being wholly incompatible with ALTIMIT means that it's gonna have an extremely slow adoption rate. Who wants to make the change to a completely new operating system when absolutely none of your old programs and games will work for it?

Λ Pulsating Sea of Cloud Whale is added to the Word List.

You know, despite Outbreak introducing Σ Server, there were an awful lot of Λ Server fields we were told to investigate. I mean, Carmina Gadelica is much better laid out than Fort Ouph, but you would think that the developers would want the higher level players in Σ instead.

Anyway, a save-and-reload later and we have some end-of-volume e-mails from our buddies!

Rachel had an oddly aggressive tone in that e-mail, and Wiseman seems to think we were begging him for cheap items. :psyduck:

At least Moonstone appears to have our backs.

These dungeons aren't gonna run themselves, so let's grab Wiseman and Ryoko and go adventuring!

This should be really easy!

This was the first portal in the field. Ryoko's dungeon is full of data bugs. If I had to hazard a guess as to why, the developers wanted to get you accustomed to Quarantine's dungeons. Any other guesses involve the developers being complete assholes and I want to hold on to that slight bit of innocent hope otherwise for as long as possible.

Iron giant style data bugs are always a pain to fight because of how much damage they deal.

The destination room is just to the north of this round room.


: An enemy! Let's get him!

: No, wait! Don't rush in so recklessly!

Swing and a miss!

Strike two!

It can be a little hard to tell what's going on, thanks to the awkward way the enemy bends its arm. But it's raised its blade arm up and intends to bring it down on Ryoko.

But Kite's a little too fast for it!

GEE I WONDER IF RYOKO HAS DEVELOPED A CRUSH ON KITE I HONESTLY CAN'T TELL. (No I didn't edit that image. The game seriously zooms in on her face and adds a soft pink glow.)

Kite, ever the gentleman, drops her on the ground before he gets punted across the room.

If you watch the video, you can hear Kite yell out something. The monster shudders and then the light on its face dies.

Not gonna lie, if the games had a system where you could deal backstab damage, the combat would be vastly improved.

: Are you all right?

: I'm sorry. I was out of line and I... I... I attacked carelessly. I'm completely... useless. I mess things up every single time, without fail. Even in a game, I cause trouble for other people. I can't apologize enough. Please forgive me.

It's just some slight damage, Ryoko. Potions are cheap, and Kite knows a healing spell. It's fine. Really!

: Hmm, if that's truly how you feel, then all you have to do is change. I'm sure you can do it. Everybody, including me, likes you a lot.

: Thank you so very much!

If you watch the video, Ryoko's wings are really expressive. When she's apologizing to Kite and belittling herself, they droop. But when Kite tells her it's fine, they straighten back up. Also back when the camera did the zoom in on her face earlier, as the screen turned pink, her wings were doing this fluttering thing.

There's a dungeon very late in Quarantine where you can see the magical expressive wings in action again.

For our troubles, we get +30 HP, which is a pretty good reward, all things considered.

Back in town, we get an e-mail notification, so jumping ahead...

Ryoko's dad, as we'll come to find out, is completely insane. I'm also trying to figure out just how loaded Ryoko's family is. Look at those field trips. After seeing the aurora borealis, they go to Hawaii to warm up. That school has to educate the children of the top 1% of the top 1%.

Now that Ryoko's been dealt with, let's round up the usual gang. It's time to take on the real bonus dungeon!

Nope. Never gets old.

It wasn't something I ever saw while playing Outbreak, and never had recording software running when I encountered it in Quarantine's post-game, but occasionally while in Σ Server fields, you can look up in the sky and see several eyes staring back down at you.

Presumably we're up on top of the body those eyes belong to right now. Take a good look around when you come up here. This dungeon exterior is completely unique in all of the games!

Inside we have the most :effort: dungeon type. Oh boy another stomach dungeon. They stopped being gross and creepy a long time ago and now are just kinda blasé.

The dungeon itself is also tiny as hell. I went out of my way to get the "All Dungeon Portals Cleared" bonus and it involved clearing maybe two extra monster portals all-told.

I tried repeatedly. I must have recorded three separate attempts, and there were at least two more that I didn't record. For all that I tried, I could not get this bonus boss to protect break. He has 9999 HP, and according to some forum posts I saw on the matter, you had to deal over 8000 magical damage to it. This boss is magic tolerant, and breaking that tolerance took multiple Beasts Banes each time the break wore off.

So yeah, I eventually gave up on getting the rare weapon the boss dropped. It wasn't worth the time, effort, or resources it would have taken to get a weapon I wasn't going to use anyway.

As far as a strategy for fighting the Black Death is concerned, put Wiseman on healing duty, have Blackrose stand in front of the boss, and put yourself on its hind quarters. If the boss starts to turn around for any reason, run as far away as you can until it turns back to Blackrose. She can take its hits, Kite can't.

: I've killed the root of the infection, so it should be fine now.

We've been getting lots of desktop wallpapers recently. I'll show them all off at the end of Quarantine when we have a complete set.

Looking at Blackrose's equipment, it occurs to me that she's still wearing that Ceramic Helm that we got that way back in one of the Infection bonus dungeons. Whoops.

That's the end of .hack//Outbreak, though. I hope you guys enjoyed it.

NEXT TIME: Liminality vol 3: In the Case of Kyoko Tohno

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.
All right, here's the deal. Starting the day after tomorrow I'm leaving on a trip and will be gone until the early part of next month. So this is the last update until May. While I would rather be ready to start Quarantine when I get back, Liminality 3 is awful and I don't want that to be the last update for such a long period.

Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

DoubleNegative posted:

All right, here's the deal. Starting the day after tomorrow I'm leaving on a trip and will be gone until the early part of next month. So this is the last update until May. While I would rather be ready to start Quarantine when I get back, Liminality 3 is awful and I don't want that to be the last update for such a long period.

seems fair, though I don't remember Liminality 3 being that bad.

Jul 10, 2008

Gravy Boat 2k
I think it was more boring than anything else.

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

Shinjobi posted:

I think it was more boring than anything else.

This. Also I'm kinda irritated about there not being a transcript available online. There is absolutely no action going on in Lim3, it's just Tokuoka and Kyo touring a mountain tourist town learning about its history while Helba and her employee Bith the Black test everyone's patience with bullshit mind games.

Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.

i remember a dramatic burger eating scene
but yeah, if i recall right, pretty much the only things of note is the scene that justifies explains the series being called 'liminality' and setting up the final episode

Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

AriadneThread posted:

i remember a dramatic burger eating scene

Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.

thank you
for this

John McClane
Nov 14, 2011
Oh hey, I don't know if this thread has covered this, but there's a random interview on the insert to a .hack soundtrack that might be of interest, with some character spoilers.

I can't find the whole thing, but the music director mentions that Helba and Lios' players are married outside of the game, it's why their themes are evocative of each other.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011

4 times. I had to go through that goddamn dungeon 4 times. The first time I killed the boss no sweat hey why didn't he protect break?

I have to do what? OH gently caress YO-

Second time I killed him with magic. No protect break.

Third time was the same.

Only on the fourth time did I finally manage to data drain him.


Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

John McClane posted:

Oh hey, I don't know if this thread has covered this, but there's a random interview on the insert to a .hack soundtrack that might be of interest, with some character spoilers.

I can't find the whole thing, but the music director mentions that Helba and Lios' players are married outside of the game, it's why their themes are evocative of each other.

Did this happen before or after IMOQ? Because if not that would either be hilarious or awkward living conditions.

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