Part 13: .hack Infection - //Update 11 - Finishing up Vol. 1//Update 11
Greetings, everyone. After a short (unintentional) break, we're back to close out .hack//Infection. Like the e-mail said last time, the story has been effectively halted until we move into Mutation. Let's use that pause to our advantage to pursue the ultimate goal of every MMO ever: gear!
But before we go to do dungeons, heroics, raids, named mobs, rare spawns, world events, etc., we have some e-mails to read.
These are the e-mails you get from party members at the end of the game for having maximum affection. Since we used BlackRose and Mistral almost exclusively, their affection is naturally maxed out at Infection's cap of 250. I believe they were the only two with an affection above 200.
This message from Martina doesn't get posted until you beat Skeith. She is, by far, the most annoying Goblin to play with.
Not pictured is me trying, unsuccessfully, to hit her for nearly ten minutes. Even using a speed charm, she runs faster than you do. So playing "tag" involves trying to head her off and ambush her with skills. This wouldn't be a problem, except she casts Rig Saem. (Health regeneration) Yeah. I decided to retreat from the tag match until later.
Now, the big draw for the Liminality series was that there were special keywords you could find hidden in the anime that would take you to actual areas in the games. The only way to see the area keywords was to have subtitles enabled, and my copy didn't have subtitles. Luckily, the area keywords are not difficult to find if you look for them on the Internet.
These special "anime-only" areas have really rare, and usually powerful items. The first area we're visiting is Δ Voluptuous Her Remnant.
The "danger" of visiting a level 3 dungeon at this point is that you get loaded down with crappy equipment if you open chests. Unfortunately, you need to open chests if you want to find the item I have highlighted, there.
30 accuracy is extremely powerful, even if it does come at the cost of 10 physical and magical attack. Miu Lei is a spell that so far we've only seem mimics use: Charm. For being a level 1 rare weapon, it's not too bad. The Kagayuzen is alright for being only magical armor. It's rather perfect for a low level Wavemaster. The "No Damage" effect occasionally completely ignores an attack!
I found this weapon through a trade in town. It's not actually as strong as the Raitei that we used to kill Skeith, though it is only the next "tier" down. Finding this is what sparked me to upgrade everyone to the best possible equipment.
The Hell's Gate is basically the strongest "normal" blades Kite can find and use. The only stronger ones are either insanely rare from Data Drain, or a "gift" from a special event monster. Anyway, we got to the Hell's Gate by abusing the Spring of Myst and a list of items on GameFAQs.
WARNING! Long-winded, spergy information about upgrading equipment coming up. If you don't care, then just skip the text and look at the pictures until you see Dun Loireag in the background!
We touched on how the Springs worked earlier, but now is an excellent time to explain how they work in detail. We've already covered that Monsieur and Grandpa exist on both servers. Monsieur covers the lower level items (0-13 on Δ, and 0-23 on &Theta while Grandpa covers the stronger fields. (14+ on Δ, and 24+ on Θ.)
Each weapon operates on a level system. The Raitei we used to kill Skeith are weapon level 11, and can be covered by Level 2 Monsieur. All we have to do is visit a low-level field on Θ server on a sunny day field and throw the blades in. But how do we guarantee a sunny day? Easy! We abuse the keyword system. The third word "Sea of Sand" will guarantee a desert field every time, and in "the World," deserts are always sunny.
With this knowledge, all we have to do is keep trying word combinations until we find an appropriate field. This is where the Weapon/Armor FAQ comes in handy. The guy that wrote it went to a lot of trouble to make a list of every weapon and armor in //Infection, whether Monsieur or Grandpa can change it, and what the next item in the list is.
The process is really easy, but extremely time consuming. In the images, we used Monsieur to turn the Ryokugun into an Anshou, and then into a Hell's Gate. If you look at the FAQ, the Dante's Blades are the next item below the Hell's Gate. However, the Hell's Gate has better bonuses and more attack power. So that's why I didn't upgrade the Gate.
Similarly to the weapons, you can use a similar principle to upgrade the armors. Instead of using Sea of Sand, you can use Twin Hills to guarantee the right conditions. In the case of armor, you need a thunderstorm to power the armor up two levels.
Armor also behaves a bit oddly with upgrading. The weapons stayed in the same class, so you could upgrade dual blades to dual blades. Armors stay in the type instead of the armor class. So you upgrade gloves to gloves, but it transcends to another class. It goes Light Armor -> Medium Armor -> Heavy Armor. This makes planning the upgrade path slightly more tricky, but nothing you can't overcome with a little thought. Naturally, this means you need to upgrade armor three times to return it to the same armor class.
Enough on my part, though.
Remember last update when I mentioned that occasionally you can find BlackRose's best weapon through data drain? We got lucky this time. It's technically a katana, but she doesn't care. In fact, she rather likes the item.
Getting this from a data drain means we don't have to grind out her weapons, so we can start on Mistral instead.
This is showing that, despite how strong the Hell's Gate is, the moves are extremely expensive in terms of SP. Also no Staccatto.
Summons are insanely powerful in this series. They're mana intensive, but they effectively end any fight they're brought into.
HERE ENDS ITEM
Heavy is one of the random NPCs you can see in the towns throughout the game. Normally they wouldn't stand out, but she's one of my favorite NPCs in any game. Why? Because she has a shitty connection and can be seen always bitching about it. I think at one point it gets bad enough that talking to her almost forces her off the server. Despite the bad connection, she has some pretty decent items to trade for.
Anyway, we came to Dun Loireag to put a check mark next to a box on the completion list.
To thank you for all your loving care, I want you to have this, mon ami!
Use this in the field to call me, mon ami!
I'll repay my debt to you, mon ami!
I've never actually used the Grunty Flute. Apparently the grunties do different things in the field. Probably never will use it, actually. Anyway, time for more item collecting. It's armor time!
Rip Synk is the "Restorative" item in magical form.
Ap Vorma increases magical defense.
Rai Kruz is like the fireball spell, but for electricity.
Rai Don drops a thunderbolt on the target. You can also see that I Data Drained between 20 and 30 enemies across that series of screenshots. Ryu Book VIII is the last one you can obtain, and it requires a hefty 80 Data Drains to obtain.
The good news is that after all that item grinding, Kite's armor upgrades are done! And, while I didn't capture screenshots of the process, so are BlackRose's and Mistral's. The entire process took from 3:44 PM to 9:32 PM. Anyway, let's celebrate by going to another of the Liminality fields: Δ Hideous Organ Market Scaffold.
The Ice Bar is like all those weird treasures we always find in Gott Statues. It's good for trading. Let's hang onto it, though. It seems more valuable than the rest of the vendor trash we normally find. Since we're on a roll, let's go ahead and visit the last Liminality field as well: Θ Dog Dancing Passionate Tri Pansy.
The Soul Blades are like the earlier set of rare blades we found. There is no indication that they're even in the field, and you have to search almost every treasure chest to find them. Ranki Lei is a confuse spell, so they're not too shabby for a weapon!
The Ceramic Helm gives BlackRose both HP and SP regeneration spells. It's also more powerful than the helm I spent a lot of time farming for her. Before we continue on, here's a shot of the main party all decked out in their epic gear.
As you can see, the different armor types have a theme for the final "tier." Kite's armor is thunder-themed, BlackRose's is wood-themed, and Mistral's is also thunder-themed. Anyway, there's only two things left to do in Infection. We got an e-mail from Roy@BANDAI about the Aerial Fleet. Let's go check that out.
We're on the Aerial Fleet that we've been seeing in the skies of Δ server. At the bottom of a very short (two floors) dungeon that barely had any enemies in it, we find one final yellow portal.
I didn't think to grab any screenshots of the fight itself. But it was pretty unremarkable. The Parasite Dragon is the special, optional boss in Infection. He's got 9999 HP and is immune to magic damage. So I dunno why I brought Mistral with me.
He has an extremely simple pattern. If he's targeting you, get away. Else just beat the living shit out of him. After fighting Skeith so many times and grinding out the best possible equipment, this guy was a cakewalk. Sure, if you got hit, it hurt. But 99% of his damage was avoidable. BlackRose makes a pretty good tank in that regard.
The big draw of this optional boss is being able to Data Drain him.
The Hyakkidouran is Kite's strongest weapon in Infection. You only have one chance to get it, and if you kill the Parasite Dragon instead of Data Draining him, your chance is blown.
Yes, it was yet another stomach dungeon. Anyway, as you can see, the Hyakkidouran is really powerful. It hits harder than any other Twin Blade weapon available in Infection, but at the cost of a lot of accuracy.
I think it's worth it, though. Now that we're decked out in the best possible gear you can find, I think we need to pay Martina a little visit...
Even with the new equipment, it still took five minutes, an accuracy buff, and a weapon damage buff to bring Martina down. Half the trouble was catching her before her regeneration healed her full.
But no matter. We're done with Infection, finally!
I feel really bad about leaving you guys hanging so long, waiting for an update. So I have a special surprise! The Ryu Books we've been collecting, as I mentioned, are the game's way of tracking what you can do in each game. As you fill the books out, you earn the game's FMVs, some background music, and background images. So here's a bunch of background images we've unlocked!
Lastly, the other two default backgrounds. You guys have seen the blue one already, naturally. There was also an orange one we saw once and another one as well.
That's all, folks! Next time: .hack//MUTATION!
Here are the completion stats according to the Ryu Books, as of the end of Volume 1.