The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 14: .hack Mutation - //Update 01 - Θ Soaring Sky Bounded Abyss

//Update 01

Greetings everyone! Today we start on the second game of the first series: Mutation! Should be a pretty short game, right? I mean, we've destroyed Skeith, so what's left? Let's find out!

Video: Attract Mode

The main menu has a new option available: "Convert." This option lets you import your flagged game data from Infection into this game. Thanks to the grinding we did after beating the game, we're pretty well off for items and equipment for the time being. So let's go ahead and import the data.


: The day that he first played "The World," his friend Orca fell into a deep coma as a result of Skeith's Data Drain.

: "The World" isn't just an online game. Something with another purpose is lurking within it.

: The Book of Twilight, handed to him by the girl Aura, transformed into a bracelet, giving him two extraordinary powers.

: Data Drain, the power to alter monster data.

: And Gate Hacking, which allows him entrance to protected areas. It was these very same powers that put Orca into a coma.

: With the help of the Bracelet, he and his party succeeded in destroying Skeith. However...

With the Episode One recap out of the way, let's get started. That news option looks interesting.

Analysts theorize this stems from low fees SOL-NET charges compared to its rivals, and the ongoing network communication monopoly. Critics allege these fees will rise dramatically once SOL-NET share reaches 60%.

Some have suggested these incidents are related to the worst computer virus in history, "Deadly Flash," which affected millions and resulted in seven deaths back in 2003. Following the prominent scientist's statements, some have expressed relief over the issue and said they plan to return to "The World."

At Makino Hospital in Kanazawa City, a patient who fell comatose is still hospitalized in stable condition. According to the hospital chief, they are no closer to determining the cause, though some speculate his condition could be genetic.

The magazine, which during its best years sold one million copies a month, will publish its last volume just short of its 100th anniversary. Readership had steadily declined during the past decade, and sales recently dropped to as low as 20,000-30,000 per month.

"Play road," the famous gentleman's magazine established over 50 years ago, also recently closed its doors. As subscribers increasingly turn online for their information, the print industry has struggled to maintain sales and advertising revenues, and it's believed the "International Geographic" announcement is only the beginning of an industry wide downturn for print media.

Screen Noise
Author: JING

My computer froze and I logged back in, but it looked totally weird. It wasn't normal. There was noise on the screen and there was this really loud sound. Did this happen to everyone or just me?
RE: Screen Noise
Author: Nyneave

Wasn't it like a scream? I heard it too.

I thought my computer just went bust. Kind of glad I'm not the only one.
RE: Screen Noise
Author: Kojiro-

Isn't that like really bad?
RE: Screen Noise
Author: Quatro

There's just been a lot of problems lately. Especially with what happened the other day and this time around. They should have some kind of response.
RE: Screen Noise
Author: MadMax

So other people's PC's had that noise too? I wonder if it has to do with the sound board on the system. Mine came with it.
RE: Screen Noise
Author: Black Dot

That's beside the point!
RE: Screen Noise
Author: MAX

My PC had that sound too.
And the noise as well.
I thought it broke...
RE: Screen Noise
Author: GONTA

I doubt a virus is the cause.
I wonder what's going to happen now? <EG>
RE: Screen Noise
Author: Korm

I better not have to reformat my HD. Or there will be bloodshed...!
RE: Screen Noise
Author: 01

Virus... I wonder what they'll do.

Pluto's Kiss
Author: Matah8

Pluto's Kiss was bad. It was like a countdown to the end of the world. I mean the Pentagon's host computer was hit. Missiles were about to go off, right? Geez, and wasn't it some 10 year old kid who did it?

Who cares
Author: Misaki

I don't think it matters if they reform it or not. ALTIMIT is a perfect OS right? You don't have to worry about cyber terrorism or a computer virus.

RE: Is it the times?
Author: Haruna

My dad was solemnly listening to the news. Apparently he was a liberal arts major and wanted to become an author...

That was a side of my dad I've never seen before.

Flag race
Author: CC Corporation

A Flag Race will be held in each of the towns, where the contestants will ride the Grunty that they have raised and grab the flags in the town.

To participate, raise all three types of Grunties that are available in each down. When you have finished, you will receive an e-mail regarding the Flag Race. Please proceed according to that e-mail.

Whew. We can finally log in to the game. Hopefully the servers aren't slammed, what with it being patch day and all.

: ?

: We are going to the dungeon of Θ Chosen Hopeless Nothingness to find out what happened! It feels icky leaving it hanging like this!

The field is much the same as it was before: corrupted and full of high-level monsters.

Who can notice something strange about the dungeon from the above shot? On the second floor, BlackRose notices the same thing.

Moving along to the third floor, she speaks up again.

: I wonder if that big thing is still here?

: Yeah, I wonder.

: I'm the one that's asking! Don't ask me... really... But if it was here... could we win?

: That's... ...impossible.

: ......

The ellipsis abuse is starting to get irritating. Down to the fourth floor, still no enemies in sight.


: Hey...

: What?!

: Aren't you afraid...?

: Who me? I'm not afraid! No way! Well, all right, I am. I'm scared enough for the both of us. My controller is soaked with sweat. So, what about you, huh?

: Yeah. To be honest... I'm terrified. But I... can't let that... stop me now.

: You're right.

Down to the fifth floor, and still no monsters in the dungeon. Recall that B-5 also held the entrance to Skeith's lair.


: Ah!

: What?! What?!

: ......

BlackRose starts marching up to Kite looking pissed off. I guess she got tired of his constant abuse of the ellipsis as well.

: Hey, what did I tell you? That is rude! Really, really rude!

: Sorry. But that... graphic on the wall, it...

: Where, where?!

: It's my imagination. But it's just that... for a moment, it seemed to transform.

: Don't ever scare me that way again!

: :-)
: It's not funny! Don't you dare :-) at me!

BlackRose actually says "Don't you dare smilie at me!"

: Excuse me, but didn't something like this happen once before?

: Ah... Yeah. Oh, okay, I confess, I'm just a newbie that's trying to act big and tough, that's all. Go on, laugh at me if you want!

: I want... to ask you something.

: Now what?! You're pissing me off!

: The reason I'm here... is because I want to help Orca. Why are... you here?

: Because...

The pair hear a noise coming from behind.

: What, what, what?!

: I come here to discover the cause, and I find you again. Explain!

: Explain my ass! You don't know anything!

: I already told him the other day.

: Huh? You did?? Now that you know, what's the problem?! Don't you understand what we're doing?

: I do understand. But you need to face facts. With you two involved, things get worse. That's how I see it. Am I wrong?

: Man, I hate him!

: Maybe... maybe he's... just got his own reason, one that's different from ours. Let's go on ahead.

: It's a dead end. I guess we can't go back there again.

Between Infection and Mutation, Balmung's voice actor changed. For the remainder of the series, he is voiced by Crispin Freeman, instead of Doug Erholtz. Anyway, since we hit a dead end, I guess the only thing to do is head back to town.

: You are the player that won the Power Up Campaign, right? We had found that the item we gave you has a defect that won't let you install it. We will exchange the item with the Book of Absolute.

: Power Up Campaign? What's that?

Even BlackRose can see how fishy that campaign is. Let's see what this new book does.

Yeah, not using that. A few seconds later, we get an e-mail ding. Let's go see what that's all about.

That message stinks of a trap. We really don't have a choice, but nothing good can come of going to that meeting.


: Hey you, I got a suspicious e-mail instructing me to come here. You get one too?

: "There's a clue to curing... those that went into comas..." That?

: Yeah. Hold on a sec.

: That's weird... Look, I can't Gate Out. What was that sound?!

: The System Administrator of "The World." You have ignored our warnings... and have gone too far. If you two hadn't interfered... then the situation would not have deteriorated.

: You not only did nothing about the coma victims, but you also tried to cover up that fact. What about your actions?

: Viruses that were spread by hackers caused the series of problems. If you want to blame someone, blame them.

: Are you saying... that if I blame someone, those who are in comas will awake and return to normal?! Then... okay! Sure! I'll accuse them all you want! Kazu's still in the hospital! Bring him back! Bring him back to normal!

: (whispered) BlackRose...

: Bring him back!

: We are currently investigating the relationship between "The World" and those who fell comatose. We are not twiddling our thumbs, I assure you. We're working on countermeasures. But aside from that - to take immediate action to prevent the situation from worsening - it requires that you delete your character.

: Delete it?! Why?!

: You should know that your character violates the software usage agreement. Installation of an illegal effect. You do know what I'm referring to?

At this point, Lios holds out his hand and starts charging a bright ball of some sort of energy. He's pointing at Kite.

: Helba?!

: Lios. Do you want to be one of the lost ones as well?

: What?!

: I wonder what would happen if the boy performed Data Drain. Right here and now.

: No way, I wouldn't do that!

: I know. Since you aren't stupid. The stupid one is this pig-headed man. You don't even understand how it works. Yet you'll delete it before finding that out? Or, do you even possess the ability to delete it in the first place?

: ......

: The boy's character data is so well protected. The System Administrator can't even crack it. In spite of the fact that you developed a vaccine and disguised it as a rare item... Deleting those that you cannot control is something that a pig-head would do.

: Um... can I say something? I... really don't care what happens to this character data.

: Hold on! What, what do you mean that you don't?

: It's true. Like I've said before... I simply want to help my friend. And that's all I want to do. Helba... System Administrator... I need your advice. What should I do?

: I'm sorry, little boy... But I don't have the answer to your question. And I'm positive that pig-head there doesn't either. Although...

: Although?

: If the design of this world was designed upon writings in the "Epitaph of Twilight"... It should provide you a clue.

: Forget it!

: Lios.

: Yeah, what?

: The code name given to a System Administrator. Were you remotely aware that it's the name of the "King of Light" that appears in the Epitaph?

: It is...?

: Silencing is not the only means of control. Why don't you observe them for a little while longer?

: I won't take orders from you!

: Orders? No, I'm only offering it as... a suggestion. The net is spread throughout the world. If the problems escalate, can you accept responsibility? It's your decision.

: The decision is put on hold. Later, I'll tell you the outcome.

: Later, eh? 'Til then.

: "Epitaph of Twilight"...

: We haven't got enough to go on so far. Um... about the thing earlier... No. Forget it. Well... so long for today.

That's an awful lot to take in. Helba is exceptionally good at saving our asses, it appears. I wonder, though, what she gets out of all this. Why is she helping us so much? Let's log out and think it over.

Scientists have launched an investigation to determine the validity of his claims, but locals remain skeptical of his findings.

each server has a Root Town, and the areas that can be warped to is different. These can be distinguished by the first letter of the keyword.

For example, to go to the Area: Δ Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field, you must use the Chaos Gate in the Root Town of Δ Server.

Even if you know the words other than Δ, if you cannot go to that server, you cannot warp to that Area, even if the Keyword is registered.

Server restrictions on all users have been lifted. You may now go to Λ Server.

Select "Other Servers" at the Chaos Gate to go to Δ, Θ, and Λ Servers.

Go to Λ Server and obtain information from players in Root Town.

I will be investigating as a Shop NPC. When you have gathered the information, talk to me.

That is all.

We're working for the system now! Hopefully that will help us out with our search. Oh right and the Λ Server opened or something like that. But still: we're now like the Crimson Knights, but not completely useless! So yeah, let's go check out Carmina Gadelica and see what Lios wants.

Alright, now to select Λ Server.

Dammit! My finger slipped. Oh well, we can still get to Λ Server from here.

This isn't Carmina Gadelica. Might as well check out the cathedral while we're here.


: I'm afraid I can't tell you how my Guardian came to me.

: Well, I was wondering about that too. But, um... By any chance are you a girl?

: Huh?

: Well, you know what I mean, right? Are you, the player, a girl?

: Not that it's any of your business. I'm a guy! Why are you asking that? *laugh* You're so weird!

: Uh...?

: What are you up to? Why do you think I'm a girl? Why would that matter?

: Because we wanted to know if you were okay in real life.

: So you just went and snooped around?

: I'm sorry, but we did just that.

: They're gone...! I wonder who they were? I feel like we've met before.

Man, the server problems must be worse than we previously thought. On the upside, we got a really rare item for a few minutes of our time! Now let's see if the Chaos Gates work right this time.

None of the players in Carmina Gadelica have anything useful to say. So we'll skip talking to them and head straight for Lios instead.

: What the?! Are you...

: Yes, it is Lios. I will give you the instructions now. For now, investigate the rate of infection in Λ Server. Surveys of Protected Areas are top priority.

: Protected Areas...?

: Areas that are officially "undergoing maintenance." We have not yet found out what they are. However, we already know that your illegal powers can break that protection. And that you need this for Gate Hacking.

You now have Virus Core P! It is added to Key Items.

: !

: This is nothing to be surprised about. This is the result of a successful abstraction of the virus incubating in the monster's data. The data codes to the Protected Area were on the Board.

Talking to the weapon shop a second time lets us brows his wares.

Pity that Natsume and Sanjuro didn't have access to Λ Server at first, huh? Anyway, let's see those area words that Lios mentioned.

Λ Dolorous Evil Eyed Widow is added to the Word List.

RE: Girl
Author: marin

black knight, you lie!
that area's protected.
i couldn't go!
RE: Girl
Author: Quatro

I couldn't go either.

I like the theory that Protect Areas open if you fulfill a requirement... like a hidden event.

Maybe I should put up a new thread about it.

RE: Test Version
Author: 01

I think that's the "Epitaph of Twilight."

I think it was more of an epic poem rather than a novel.
RE: Test Version
Author: waffle

How much of the game is based on it?

Well I can already tell the outcome, but I'll meet the challenge gob. Oh, for got important thing again, gob. Stehoney R is at: Λ Detestable Vengeful Sunny Demon gob.

Come alone gob!

Λ Detestable Vengeful Sunny Demon is added to the Word List.

Λ Lightless Distand Dead Lands is added to the Word List.

Λ Collapsed Pagan Remains is added to the Word List.

Mid-size Monsters: Virus Core B
Large-size Monsters: Virus Core C
(there are exceptions)

Λ Server:
(Battle Level: above 30)

Small-size Monsters: Virus Core D
Mid-size Monsters: Virus Core E
Large-size Monsters: Virus Core F
(there are exceptions)

With Gardenia's stunning word play, that brings the update to a close. Next time: we make some new friends!