Part 8: .hack Infection - //Update 08 - Investigations//Update 08
Hello everyone, sorry about the delay. Let's continue on with Kite's strange journey. When we last left our hero, BlackRose had found the real keywords to an area instead of what had been posted. So let's hop right in.
BlackRose is really insecure about Kite not wanting to investigate keywords. Assuming you were playing straight through, you'd get the e-mail where she asks if you're interested, and then immediately you log in and she wants to know if you changed your mind since then. Poor girl needs to chill a little bit.
Let's take her and go grind some levels. That should take her mind off the protected area. I'd say we'll round up the regular party, but Mistral is unavailable for some reason. So let's grab Sanjuro instead.
Nothing at all interesting happened in either of those fields. I swear the second field came up entirely by random chance.
Okay! With some additional levels under our belt, we should be quite ready to face the upcoming area and whatever we find inside.
Well then. As you can see, we're short both A and Q cores. The A cores are entirely my fault, but the Q core? Odd letters like that mean that the core can only be found from a data bug.
: My message was also...
: It got deleted, right? I'm not sure what's going on, but I just have a bad feeling.
The game gives us a "New Mail!" message, so we should check that out.
Despite Kite's e-mails having two choices, I'm only showing the "correct" choice for now, which is the one that nets you more affection from the person in question. The affection stat only really matters for e-mails, though there are rumors that it affects how well the character performs in battle, as well as the amount required for trades. Affection caps at 250 for each volume, and the e-mail we just got from BlackRose means we've capped hers out. Don't worry, I'll be capping out everyone's affection before the end of Quarantine.
Anyway, let's log in again.
: Is there a loan program available?
: With a high interest rate, yeah.
: Wah! Spare me from debt hell!
: Debt hell. That's an awful sounding word.
: Beyond awful!!
You might even say it's Something Awful. Am I right, guys? Guys? I'm clever, too!
: Well then, that's the end of the negotiation.
: From when you asked about the loan.
: Heh, heh. Well, I'm the type that just has to collect every single item. That's why I get all emotional about it.
: Um, okay...
: Well, I'm gonna go for a walk and calm down. :]
: I have this Book of Iron. You interested? You are, right? Install this item, and it will nullify an attack from an enemy at a high percentage.
: How about it for 999GP?
: Excuse me? You just told Mistral that it costs 9999GP.
: You're kidding me right? That's off by a whole digit! Well... she's not here anymore, so you buy this item. It'll come in handy, trust me.
: No, thanks.
: Don't be so hasty. Just buy it. There's nothing wrong with a little security.
: But I don't need it.
: Oh? You really are a hard sell. Hey, I got my pride too! I don't want your stinkin' money. Just shut up and take it!
: Oh, listen up. Watch out for a notorious hacker named Helba.
: He's gone.
: Oh, I guess I was too late... I just sold everything I don't need. :'( Oh, that reminds me! I overheard something over at the weapons shop. Θ Collapsed Momentary Spiral They say it's really dangerous. Let's go together. I want to see you do that skill again!
: Oh, come on! Let's go!
: Uh... all right...
I'm not gonna touch that book. At all. It's way too suspicious. At best, it'll do nothing, and at worst we could wind up like Piros, or even completely corrupted. Plus, "Nullify enemy attacks at a high percentage" sounds way too fishy to fool with. That book has to be a hacked item. Anyway, time for some more level grinding. This time, we're using Mistral and Gardenia because, why not.
The little sunflower in the foreground of the picture is the first chance I've gotten to get a good shot of one of these guys. Every time you data drain an enemy, it turns into a level 1 monster. Plant-like monsters turn into the sunflower you can see. It even makes sense in the context of the story, because you're draining away all the infected parts of the monster, leaving only the unaffected parts behind.
In some cases, you will find items instead of the weak level 1 monsters. The items you find tend to be pretty powerful for where you find them, and the best equipment in the game can only be found in this fashion. Unless the items are guaranteed from data draining, you're better off not farming for them and just being happy at what luck can drop into your lap.
At any rate, we've leveled up plenty now. So let's go check out the dangerous area that Mistral told us about.
This also occasionally happens. Data drain goes out of control and you get a random effect. In this case, we got really lucky and got a complete recovery. Usually the game casts paralyze on a random party member, or something equally undesirable. Data Drain only goes out of control if you use it too many times in succession. Note that, for the game's purposes, using it twice is occasionally too many times.
The dungeon wasn't anything really special. Some of the enemies had poison moves, but I always carry a shitload of Antidotes and Restoratives for just that reason. Purple mist always means a boss, so let's check it out!
A Thousand Trees enemy? What a pathetic data bug. Mistral's flame spells really ruined it quickly.
: Wow, I didn't know they had an event like that!
: No, it wasn't an event.
: Oh, no! It started raining! I have to bring in the laundry! Sorry, I've gotta go.
: Oh... (Maybe I can hack Θ Cursed Despaired Paradise with this virus core.)
Before we go do that, let's see if there's anything on the boards.
Come alone gob!
Δ Detestable Golden New Truth is added to the word list.
And... back into the game we go!
Θ Cursed Despaired Paradise. You are coming with me, right?
: Sure, let's try it out.
We got really lucky with a data drain here. Critical Hit is a better added effect than Life Drain, and it still lets us keep Tiger Claws as a skill. No downsides!
Except that. The teeth are the worst part, I think.
Someone in the thread mentioned that some flesh dungeons have a sickly green floor. Well, here it is. You can also see a bit of an anomaly ahead - a door that just opens up into nothingness. Let's see what that's all about!
We will entrust her with our will.
Our future is in her hands.
She is our...
What is this?
: I don't know, but Aura is probably that girl.
You mean... the girl who gave you the bracelet?
: Yes. I just think it's her.
Look, there's more over here.
Shunning the field broken by Wave,
The shadowed girl whispers,
"Surely, I will return."
Alas, the truth unbeknownst,
Awaiting her at journey's end;
Eternal mourning for her land.
Well, that doesn't make any sense either.
: OK, I'll do the same. See ya.
That, ladies and gents, was a White Room. They can be found all over "The World," and none of them make a single lick of sense. Players really aren't meant to see them. Anywho, that's about enough for today, so let's check the board out. Goblin Tag and Gardenia can both wait until next time.
They caught the guy in Japan and it was the first case to fall under the Network Safety Law. As for the guy... I think he was put to death.
I'm thinking that guy won't be put to death 'cuz of this. Man, who would've thought a thread about "Neuro Goggles" would end up here.
The product has sold out in most stores leaving many empty handed. After hearing this report SONES has decided to increase production, but officials comment that the shortage will continue for some time.
The game in question is "The World" from CC Corporation which is currently being submitted to the Guinness Book of World Record as the "Highest Selling Game in History."
A spokesperson for CC Corporation has stated that the rumors have "no basis in fact" and there are no plans to deal with these rumors.
With that final thought from BlackRose, that's all for today. Next time: something completely different. We're going to be looking at .hack//Liminatlity vol. 1 - In the Case of Mai Minase. Stay tuned!