The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 10: .hack Infection - //Liminality Vol. 1 - In the Case of Mai Minase (ANIME WARNING)

//Liminality Vol. 1 Pt. 1

Greetings everyone, it's finally time to cover the first of the four animes packaged with the .hack games. We'll be taking a look at .hack//Liminality - Volume 1: In the Case of Mai Minase. Its approximate running time is 45:16, so grab a snack, get something to drink, use the bathroom as needed and get ready for a long ride and a lot of

If you want to skip this update, you can also watch Liminality Vol. 1 at the following links:

They aren't my videos, but they should still be good.

I'll let you off easy this time. Forget about your cock-eyed dream.

: But you know it's not a dream. You just want to keep me from talking 'cause you're in on it! Don't forget, you're the ones who got me fired up about this. Ironic.

You wanna battle it out? Fine! But first you'll need some evidence that'll stand up in court. I'm not worried.

: This won't be the end. Not yet. I won't let it be over!

: How serious is it?

: How's he doing?

: Stabilized!

: Dad, are they gonna be okay?

: I don't know. Are you the one who found them, Masaya?

: Passed out in the clubhouse.

: Clubhouse?

: G-Study. The game research society. They didn't respond to my voice.

: Did you notice vomiting by either one of them?

: No. So, uh, they're okay, right?

: Doctor!

: Ahhhh...

: Mai! Hang on!

: Get them to the ER!

No drugs or any other addictive medications were found in either of their systems upon examination. The cause of their unconsciousness is still under investigation.

: MAI!

Masaya is skipping rocks here. Mai seems to think this is an accomplishment.

: Hey, I just came from your house. No one was there. Are you still feeling under the weather?

: Mm-mmm. I'm fine.

: Hmm?

: I'm just ditching class.

: Come on, Mai!

: Hey, you have to come to school. So show your face already! I know there are a lot of rumors going around, but--

: Rumors?

: Well, you know... lots of things. Everyone has been really worried about you.

: Angry, too?

: Angry?

: You know, Uchiyama, and people in G-Study. The room, it was sealed off, wasn't it?

: Yeah, but, there was no choice. Tomonari's medical condition hasn't changed.

: That would mean he's not awake.

: It doesn't make a bit of sense to my dad. He thought it might have been caused by heat exhaustion, but that wasn't the circumstance here, was it? No, and besides, you regained consciousness shortly afterwards.

: Not him, though.

: Um, no, that isn't what I meant.

: I'm going... back to school tomorrow.

: Great! Here's your tote bag and violin. Besides, they shouldn't be left lying around forever. Say, aren't you cold, you really should dress more warmly when you're walking by the river.

: It's that sound.

: Huh?

: If I go by the river, I don't have to listen to that sound.

Essentially, "Mai, I'm going to be home late. Here's some dinner." Mai is less than thrilled to see her mother isn't home.

: I wanna show you something. Have a seat.

: But, I...

: Please. Violin? Practice?

: Uh-huh.

: Half an hour, okay? At least ten minutes.

Something you'll find repeated a lot across the Liminality series is that pushing the Enter/Return key is a Big Thing. That simple action punctuates a lot of important moments for no particular reason.

: Hey, you don't play games, do you? Go on, try it! I'll bet you'll love it!

: I'm not so sure, it looks hard!

: Nah, it's not that hard. Honest! I've put together your own character.

: What do you mean?

: Watch now. I'm not bad at this if I do say so myself. But I'm sure not as good as the Descendant of Fianna!

: Hello? Mai speaking! Oh, hi dad. Uh, yeah. Huh? She's not home yet.

Dad: I see. Sweetie, about next month...

: You can't come home?

Dad: No.

: Alright. I understand.

Dad: I'm sorry, sweetheart. I promise I'll be home for the first anniversary of grandpa's death. Please, let your mother know that. I heard you've not gone back to school, yet. Are you still not feeling well?

Dad: Mai? Can you hear me? Hello? HELLO?

: Miss, are you the girl that passed out at school?

Mai wisely ignores him. Never talk to strangers, kids!

: Hey! Hold on! You are, aren't you? And the other kid they carried out, the one in the coma, was he your boyfriend?

: Why should I tell you? What business is it of yours?

: So, were you playing a game at the time?
: I don't know!

: Mai! You're back! Poor thing, I hear you've been through hell! Are you okay now?

: Mm-hmm.

: I'm glad! But what about Tomonari? Wasn't he kept at the hospital?

: I suppose.

: You suppose? Excuse me, wait a minute. Aren't you going out with him?

: Uh-huh.

: Well, you seem awfully calm about it. Amazing!

: What's wrong? Did I make you upset? I really didn't mean to, I'm sorry!

: I'm going to the girl's room.

: You don't have to act so frightened! You'll hurt my feelings, I'm sensitive!

There is so much wrong with this scene here that I don't know where to begin. This is also going to become a bit of a habit for the man in pink. He loves grabbing Mai's arm every time they meet.

: Don't you want to know the reason why you and your friend collapsed?

: Know the... reason?

: The World. Familiar with it?

: Mai!

: Who's this man?

: Me? An acquaintance!

: What's that mean?

: I'm Junichiro Tokuoka. I'm age 34, and I'm presently unemployed. No address due to circumstance. Do you want my hobbies and body measurements?

: Hey, only club members allowed in this place. Please leave right now!

: Hmph! Who do you think you are? Some knight saving the damsel?

Masaya gets pissed when Tokuoka calls him out on his white knighting.

: Easy! Down boy! I'm going...

: By the way, it isn't healthy to play games all the time, kids. Bye, Mai! See you later!

: Are you sure he said "The World?"

: Yes.

: Did something happen during the game? Knowing Tomonari, I wouldn't put it past him to try something reckless for thrills! Do you remember where you went, Mai?

: What do you mean, "where?"

: Like the area keywords.

: I don't know.

: Well, what do you remember, then?
: I think we were in a place that was like a town square.

: The root town... and then what?

: That's it. That's all I remember. I can't help it. It was my first time playing the game.

: Something happen between you and Tomonari, Mai?

: No! Nothing! Even so, I mean, what if something did?

: Uh, well...

Mai standing up suddenly disturbed the patrons of the Internet Cafe.

Junichiro Tokuoka was the lead programmer for the Japanese version of "The World." He was responsible for porting the game to Japanese, and was essentially the Project Manager in general. Without him, Kite wouldn't have a game to play.

: Mai! So, where've you been lately, huh?

: I... I've been busy!

: Did you hear that they announced the set piece for the competition?

: No. Not yet!

: Its supposed to be pretty tough this time.

: I'm sorry... I'm in a hurry right now!

: Mmm... she's beyond help I'm afraid.

: Now, Kie...

: Oh come on. It only means that there's one less rival. Right?

: He's with the CC Corporation? Really? Him? What's up with that?

: So... what should I do now?

: Look, Mai... You can always choose to do absolutely nothing at all. Let the man go mind his own business. And besides, my dad wants you to come in for another check-up. Just as a precaution.

: And I...

: What?

: I want to stop worrying, too.

: *giggle*

: Did I say something funny? See ya.

: Oh, hey sis!

: Masaya, do you know if the rumors are true about Mai? That she might give up the violin?

: Where'd you hear that?

: From a senior in my class. If she quits, then that class will suck big time!

: Hello!

: What are you...

: That guy? Tokuoka? He's not part of the CC Corp anymore!

: Huh?

: I called their customer service center and harassed them for information. I was transferred a million times until they finally told me "He has nothing to do with our company, he quit six months ago." That's it! I thought the sooner you found out, the better. Well, I gotta go. See ya at school!

: And by the way, I know I should keep my nose out of this, but don't quit the violin. Even if you stop going to music class, keep playing, okay?

: 'kay!

: Everything's normal! Hmm? Aren't you glad?

: Doctor, I was wondering about something. Can subliminal information cause somebody to, you know, lose consciousness?

: No, Mai.

: It's impossible? You sure?

: Subliminal suggestion itself is rather similar to an urban myth. It never produces results like those you've heard about. It's been medically debunked. Don't tell me, you think it was the game that did it? Hmm...

: I recall you claimed you started to feel ill when you were playing the game and the next thing you remember after that was waking up at the hospital.

: I'm not making up a story.

: Hmm. Yes, however Mai. Masaya informs me, this "World" game, well over 20 million copies of it have already been sold worldwide. Think about it, use your common sense on this!

: It's just absurd!

Mai's reaction is from hearing the same tone that's been bugging her. The one that the river prevents her from hearing.

Tomonari Kasumi

: (thinking) Why? I don't understand. Why didn't he wake up?

: You're okay!

He's really not helping the creepy image he's given himself, here.

: Wait a minute, kid! Settle down! Look, I'll let you go.

: See? Please don't scream out, I'm begging!

: Mmm.

: You swear?

: Mmm-hmm.

: Promise?

: Mmm-hmm!

: Okay...

: What are you doing?

: Ssh! Ssh! Sssh! I came to see your boyfriend.

: I had to look at him.

: If you don't stop lying, I'll scream my head off!

: Why won't you believe me?

: Imagine the panic if it got out that someone went into a coma because of a game! Is that why you're trying to threaten me?

: You got the situation all wrong! I don't have anything to do with CC Corp, Mai!

: I know! You quit and then cut yourself off from them! So you could carry out your rotten scheme!

: Swell detective job.

He just looks so damn proud that she found that out on her own, that I had to show it.

: However, you're completely mistaken about me, and the one major point where you're way off base is in the fact that I'm on your side!

: Maybe I'll scream after all!

: Uh, no, don't! Come on, Mai! Be reasonable, will ya?

: Hey, get off!

: Look at him... I wonder if he's still in the game right now. Maybe he's still fighting some battle. Won't you please help me out on this, Mai?

: Well, what name did he use? Tell me the name he played under, Mai.

: It's Sieg. S-I-E-G

: Password?

: MaiMinase.

: Huh? Of course. I should have figured.

Apparently ALTIMIT is based on Windows XP architecture! I also have no idea what they were going for with that IP address. Unless the last octet is the subnet mask, there's a full group of numbers too many.

: Uh oh.

: What's wrong?

: I accidentally opened his mail out of habit.

: Kyo and Yukichin...

: Are you familiar with them?

: Do you remember which server you had used?

: Mm-mmm. No.

: You mentioned this was your first time playing. It was probably Delta I'll bet. If I check the computer log, bam! We have the answer.

Ever know someone from the Internet who took a microsecond of silence to mean you were ignoring them? Yukichin is a person like that, apparently. The general idea of what she's saying is "Hey, are you there?" "Hello?" "Sieg are you there?" etc.

Gotta love illegal operations.

: Hmm? Not again...

: Wait! Why are you so quiet? What did you mean by "again?" How long have you been doing this?

: Say. Here in Japan alone, there are at least six people in Tomonari's same condition. The victims were all playing that game when they went into comas and so far, no one's come out of it. Do you hear me? Not one!

: What happened during the game? Tell me! Why is it that you managed to come back safely?

: I don't know! I don't know! I can't remember!

: Who's there?

: A sound... where are you?

: Wait, what? A in C-Major Scale?

: The "Ahh" sound. It's used for tuning musical instruments.

: That's what it was...

: Huh?

: Uh, nothing. So you're saying you heard that before you fell unconscious.

: Yeah.

: Hmm... But I wonder...

: It was the sound that's been nagging at me all this time. But I'm still having trouble remembering. At any rate, I'm positive I heard it in the game.

: Mai, when you came to at the hospital, the first thing you said was "Ahhhh."

: I did!?

: That sound you made must have been the musical note "A" in German! You know, from their alphabet "Ahh" "Bay" "Say" A-B-C. It could be that you weren't able to remember this until now because you were protecting yourself from it subconsciously somehow. Even so...

: The sound had nothing to do with me collapsing?

: I wouldn't consider it advisable to jump to any conclusions just yet. Besides, you have extraordinary hearing, don't you, Mai? Are you absolutely positive it was a sound within the game?

: Umm...

: If I were you, I wouldn't dwell on it too much.

Cute little computer generated fish.

: Mai, do you happen to know the meaning of Tomonari's character name?

: What, Sieg?

: There's a strong player in the game, I have no clue who he is or where he's from, but he calls himself "Balmung of the Azure Sky."

: Could it refer to the sword of Siegfried, the Balmung?

: You know a lot!

: Grandpa. He really loved operas. Especially Ring of the Nibelungen.

: Wagner?

: Mmm-hmm. Well, I'll be darned. It's Siegfried.

: Guess so. He told me that instead of the sword, he would become the possessor. Tomonari's awesome in the game! He sure gained power rapidly! And hey, isn't Siegfried supposedly a guy who's invincible?

: Mmm. What happens if Tomonari never comes out of his coma? If he stays like that forever, growing into an old man.

: No way! I swear to you it won't happen! I can't allow him to remain like that! I'm the one guilty of first turning him on to "The World."

: Hello, Minase residence. Oh... ... ...hello.
: Ah, good! You're still there!

: Listen, I want to apologize for my awful behavior yesterday. It wasn't' very gentlemanly of me, and I'm terribly sorry. Will you forgive me? Yeah? You will? So, we're okay right? Hey wait, don't hang up! So now that we're on friendly terms again, I have to impose upon you for a favor. Can I go into the clubhouse?

: The G-Study room?

: If that's what you call it. The place where you both passed out. You see, I want to test the game out one more time. In the same environment, under the same conditions.

: What?

: Well, perhaps we're the only two people who suspect the game's responsible for these collapses and comas. Come on! I just need you to work with me here!

: I need time to think about it...

: I'm um...

: What is the matter with me? Geez I'm dumb. Sorry! I'll never do it... again! Well, not for a while. I mean I'm sorry!

: I didn't mind, really.

: You're not upset?

: Mm-mmm.

: YES!

: I have to go...

: Huh? Ahh... look at this mess. I wanna show you something, have a seat.

: But I...

: Please.

: You're kidding! I don't believe it! You're still in touch with that man?

: Yeah, but...

: Is he somebody you should be trusting?

: Trust him? Who knows?

: Ugh. Mai! What's the matter with you?

: What's wrong with, with me wanting to know?

: I need to find out exactly what happened in that game. It's something that I feel I have to do.

: You have to sneak into the clubhouse in the dead of night with a shady middle-aged guy who stalks you?

: Don't put it that way...

: Come on, will you think it through for a second? It's merely a game, Mai! And it isn't possible for someone to go into a coma because of it. That's just dumb! I'm mystified what was going on in Tokuoka's head when the felt the need to tell that bizarre stuff to you. But I am sure of one thing, he's up to something, Mai! The man is suspicious!

: I see. I've made a mistake.

: Mm-hmm.

: I was relying on you far too much.

: Hm? Uh... h-hey wait!

: Let's pretend we never talked about this.

: Mai!

: I'm sorry.

Masaya is an asshole. Tomonari's in the hospital in a coma and all Masaya cares about is getting into Mai's pants. He obviously also has no interest in her needs and wants. Every time she interacts with him, he talks past her, like he's talking to a small child who needs correcting. Telling him to get lost is one of the best moves she's ever going to make in her life.

: You're home early, what's up mom?

: Hello, Mai. I've only a few minutes, then I'll head back. Don't just stand there, come, sit down.

: I heard a rumor today that you're not going to music practice. Please explain.

: I...

: I know you've been through a difficult time. That's why I gave you some space and said nothing while you stayed out of school. However, the violin is a different matter. How do you expect to become a soloist this way?

: I've never even considered being a soloist.

: Hmm. There you go again...

: Mom, it's true.

: We already had this conversation. You told me you had every intention of becoming one!

: I simply told you I liked the instrument.

: Well, if it's simply a hobby to you, give it up!

: Why do I have to choose?

: Your late grandfather was enough hobbyist for this family. If you're going to continue playing the violin, then you must keep a goal firmly in mind. Alright, Mai?

: Sorry, mom. You're wrong.

: I see. Your veins obviously carry your grandfather's blood. I'm leaving now!

: Mom? Wait a minute!

: You won't need music classes anymore, Mai! So you won't need your violin, either!

: Stop it! Mom! Mom!

I have no idea, either. It sounds like a scene lifted right out of Sister Act 2. This also brings the first half of the post to a close. Yeah, sorry. The update was so big that it exceeded the message length by some 5,000-odd characters.