Part 4: .hack Infection - //Update 04 - Δ Expansive Haunted Sea of Sand//Update 04
Today's gonna be another short-ish update. However, unlike last time, some relatively important stuff happens! We're starting off today at Δ Discovered Primitive Touchstone, the field we learned about last time on the forums. Today's update is also an important milestone: it marks the first time we've logged in that a cutscene hasn't immediately ambushed us!
This here is a Symbol. You run up to them, activate them, and receive a buff. Most of the time, you only get elemental tolerance from Symbols. Occasionally, you get physical or magical accuracy increases, and once in a while you get a straight damage increase for physical or magic. SP regeneration and HP regeneration are the last two effects you can get, and they rarely show up. We were extremely lucky with this Symbol, we received HP regeneration!
A bit further on in the field, we come across the dungeon entrance. Yes, that is a mouth that Kite and BR are about to enter. Sadly, I didn't see the Symbol in the background at the time or I'd have activated it.
This is what the inside of the dungeon looks like. It's more than a little unsettling: the floor makes this godawful noise when you run across it, the two lines you can see in the background are dripping blood, and instead of a portcullis dropping to seal a room, a sphincter closes instead.
This makes the inside of dungeons even more weird. All the Grunty Food you can find are variants of eggs. I'll go more in-depth to the Grunty Food once Θ Server is unlocked and we can actually start putting them to use. For now just remember that Bloody Eggs are unique to the body-type dungeons. Try to not think of too many immature jokes in the meantime.
Further on in the dungeon, this starts showing up. Occasionally, monster portals will spit out a chest instead of something to fight.
Finally, we have the room with the Gott Statue. Clicking on the above image will show you the statue collapsing into the pit below. Yes, that heartbeat sound follows you throughout the dungeon. That should be enough level grinding for now, so let's head back into town.
Here is how Kite and BlackRose stand after today's level grinding. Not too shabby, eh? There's not much to do in town, short of emptying Kite's inventory and restocking on any potions we used. However, we did find some equipment while in the dungeon, so let's take a look at that!
The Miner's Gloves are a pretty decent upgrade over the Leather Gloves. They also let Kite learn the Gan Don spell, which will prove to be invaluable against any Wood-Element monsters we fight. However, the Assassin weapon is even better. All the stats are direct upgrades, gives us Saber Dance, and gives the Death effect.
Saber Dance is a pretty generic skill that hits relatively hard. Combined with the Death effect, it becomes extremely deadly. The Death effect occasionally lets one of Kite's attacks deal a massive amount of damage, putting an enemy in critical health. Bosses are sadly exempt from this effect. Overall, this makes the Assassin weapon one of the best you can get early on in the game. As a bonus, the Weapon shop sells it, which makes it technically available as early as the time you first meet BlackRose.
Alright, enough rambling about weapons. Someone on the boards saw the mysterious girl in a dungeon, so let's go check that out.
Corrupted areas are pretty weird looking. Lots of code snippets, a lot of graphical corruption, and there is almost always a Data Bug present somewhere causing it. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves, though.
This seashell is our dungeon entrance for this area. You get three guesses at what type of dungeon it'll be, but I bet you only need one.
: This area is currently unstable and not functioning properly due to corrupted data configurations. Please return to the field immediately and Gate Out to the town.
: No, if I give up now, I'll never be able to help him! I must continue on.
The dungeon was completely unremarkable. Only three levels deep, and the average monster was around level 4. Needless to say, Kite and BlackRose completely destroyed it.
Pink mist in a dungeon means there's a boss in the next room. The .hack series only has two kinds of bosses, Data Bugs and super powerful monsters. Pink mist only appears for Data Bugs.
: (...Data Bug?! I need to Data Drain to defeat it!)
This is the same kind Data Bug we saw in Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground, which makes sense. That field is technically a level 6 area, and Data Bugs are always monsters from a field a couple of levels higher. Anyway, all there is to do is beat on the Data Bug until the Protect Break indicator happens. Data Draining it gives us a Virus Core C and turns the bug into a normal Headhunter enemy. Kite and BlackRose easily destroy it. Now, where is--
: I can't believe you defeated the monster by rewriting its data! How did you do that?
: I uh...
: Oh. Did I hit a nerve? Should I keep my mouth shut? I came because I read a post about it on the Board and it sounded interesting. But this place looks so weird. Even if the data is corrupted it's too weird. :O Well anyway. It seems strange things have been happening everywhere in "The World." Ever since the server failure it's all going downhill. There's something going on!
: I burned dinner... :_( Oh well, gotta go. :* Oh, I almost forgot. Invite me to your party next time. Let's do this again, 'kay?
That was Mistral, folks. What else is there to say? She fucking loves smilies, to borrow a quote from the thread. She'll also become a mainstay of our team for the majority of Infection due to being a Wavemaster. A spell caster is invaluable to have along. Anyway, the girl in white isn't there and Mistral has left, so let's go back to town as well.
: He of fair eyes.
: I trust your eyes. I have a favor to ask. A player I know is being harassed by a wicked monster in: Δ Indiscreet Gluttonous Pilgrimage. I will vanquish the wicked monster, and I want you to bear witness. You will do that for me?
: You will! Ha ha! I knew you would say that. Oh, good. Ah ha ha ha! I will be waiting for you at: Δ Indiscreet Gluttonous Pilgrimage. This will be good. Ha, ha, ha...
Δ Indiscreet Gluttonous Pilgrimage is added to the Word List.
That's exactly how I feel, Kite. Despite how sketchy this looks, Piros is actually being straightforward. He's an idiot, but he's a harmless idiot. The most devious he ever gets is using completely transparent redirects like above. "A player I know," in Piros's case, is always himself. I don't hate him, but I will never use him outside of his requests. Really he's not so bad.
At any rate, that's enough for now. Piros can wait in that field for a while, let him sweat it out. There aren't any new posts on the forum, but we do have an e-mail!
That last message is a response back to BlackRose. Sorry for the short update! Next time, power leveling, hatred, utter bullshit: Mia and Elk are the stars of the show. Save us all.