Part 15: .hack Mutation - //Update 02 - Rachel, Nuke Usagimaru, and Moonstone//Update 02
Hello everyone! Are you all ready for something resembling excitement? I hope so! Today there's no time wasted, we jump straight into the game and right into the waiting arms of a cutscene.
The video is worth watching if only to hear Mia's voice actress stumble her way through chatroom-speak. What might sound like the video slowing is just how stiltedly Mia is speaking. That threw me off for a while before I realized what was happening.
: Ever since that Noise incident, Mia's input system is acting up.
: Eye m shoe r et wheel get fixed event you ally. 8 knee weight, wear R u go ink?
: Huh? Oh, to a Protected Area.
: The one that was on the Board? Λ Dolorous Evil Eyed Widow?
: I'm going to head there too.
: Welt zen...
: Mia, I'll say it. Invite us when you're gonna go to Λ Dolorous Evil Eyed Widow. We might find Aromatic Grass. Mia's intuition is usually right. Mia taught you how to hack the gates, so she has a right to go, right?
: Uh... yeah...
I don't care if it's schadenfreude speaking or not. I can't get enough of text-speak Mia. We also found this pretty kickass armor off a passing player. For the remainder of the update, I switch back and forth between this and the Quakebeast Fur because there are a fuckton of Darkness-element enemies in the next few dungeons.
Anyway, there were a couple of posts on the board last time that were practically flashing neon signs saying "NEW PARTY MEMBER HERE." So let's check them out; first up is Rachel's area.
Rachel is another character that I do not like. Her voice grates on me. It reminds me too much of Fran Drescher. I probably won't be using her if I can help it.
: Anne has a Basin Shield and wants a Paper Cloak. Bate has a Plastic Sword and wants a Mad Opener. Catherine has a Mad Opener and wants a Basin Shield. Dick has the Paper Cloak and wants a Love Archery.
: Which means... Give Anne's Basin Shield to Catherine, and give Catherine's Mad Opener to Bate. Take Bate's Plastic Sword... Oh no. No one wants the Plastic Sword.
Anne: So what now?!
Bate: Don't you have any extras?
Catherine: What a waste of time...!
Dick: This is all I get?! You've got to be kidding!
: If everyone ain't satisfied, you can't consider yourself "pro." There should be a Love Archery somewhere in this dungeon. Could you go find it for me?
: Uh. OK.
I brought Mia and Elk along for the hell of it. While I didn't grab a screenshot of it, I did outfit them with whatever weapons the shop was selling. While this made them functionally more useful, it is still Mia and Elk we're talking about. Combined, the pair of them are smart enough to be functionally retarded.
Anyway, this dungeon pissed me off. There were enemies that could stunlock you with high damage Thunder spells coupled with high physical damage enemies that took full advantage of you being stunlocked. Eventually I decided "fuckit" and data drained one.
Yeah, the Bracelet leveled up. Drain Arc is a neat little skill that can be best described as "multi-target Data Drain." It's not handy very often, but it's an awesome skill to use nonetheless.
On the second floor, in the hallway before the stairs going down, we met someone trying to act cool. He gated out after ellipsis-ing at us. Weirdo. Anywho, checking the Gott Statue nets us a Love Archery and some minor treasure.
: This must be it. I'll take it to B1.
: Oooh! That's it! The Love Archery! But who should I give this to in order to make everyone happy...? I wonder... Could you hand this out so that everyone will be satisfied?
Dick: This is it?! If there's no Love Archery, I'm outta here. I'll take the Paper Cloak, though.
Trade him the Love Archery.
Dick: Yeah, this is what I wanted! OK, here you go.
You now have Paper Cloak.
Dick: See ya!
Anne: So what's it gonna be? I'm not trading my Basin Shield without your Paper Cloak!
Trade him the Paper Cloak.
Anne: Sure. This is an equal trade.
You now have Basin Shield!
Anne: Talk to you later.
Catherine: What a waste of time. All you have to do is trade Basin Shield and Mad Opener!
Trade her the Basin Shield.
Catherine: He-y! You already have it! Well, here ya go!
You now have Mad Opener!
Catherine: O-kay! Well, see ya-!
Bate: I ain't moving until I trade my Plastic Sword with a Mad Opener!
Trade him the Mad Opener.
Bate: I'm so grateful! Thank you! Now, here's yours.
You now have Plastic Sword!
: Well, it always seems to work out. But it's sooooo draining. I'm sooo tired...!! Without you, I don't know what would've happened. So how about teaming up with me, huh?
: Catch you later.
That was far more annoying than it had any right to be. At this point, I got tired of Mia and Elk and decided to go on their little adventure just to be rid of them.
The dungeon was completely unremarkable. It was full of enemies that we all saw back at the end of Infection and they haven't gotten any stronger since.
Even the "boss" of the dungeon was just a data bugged variant of one of the monsters we fought in the dungeon proper. Though it did have a nasty little trick up its sleeve: it was completely immune to magic spells. Thankfully, unlike the Parasite Dragon from Infection, we were able to break its Magic Tolerance with a Beast's Bane. With Elk able to cast spells on it, the monster was barely able to put up a fight.
: Here you go, Mia.
Elk gave Aromatic Grass to Mia.
: Wow! Thanks!!
: By the way, how do you use that?
: There's no use for it. We just collect it.
: You think it's futile? Ah, but futility is a necessity. A system without futility is very vulnerable. The key in opening a new gate is futility. Just because there's no use for it, is it futile? Sometimes the existence itself is enough.
: Hey, Mia!
: Oh? I guess it got fixed.
: Congratulations! Though, that was amusing in itself.
I liked Mia a lot better in chat speak mode. She didn't recite the daily word from her Word-of-the-Day Calendar repeatedly in a nonsense speech that was meant to sound deep and meaningful.
: The Ts chuloo!
: Dam Ett...
: But... I didn't see any girl-like character... I guess I'll start again...
At this point, I started offering to trade with everyone I passed. I found a couple of pretty good items that were worth trading away whatever it was I traded for them.
For Mistral, a new necklace that gives her a spell that's as game breaking as it sounds for this early on in Mutation. For BlackRose, a new armor that's pretty damn good as well. I believe both items were item level 44, so that's one hell of an upgrade this early on!
Finally, I spent about 20 minutes tracking this little bugger down. Why?
Something that will shoot Piros' affection through the roof without any extra effort on my part. What did s/he want for a weapon as amazing as that?
A hunk of ice.
Anywho, this field can mean only one thing: everyone's favorite blood sport!
That was refreshing! Now time for something that will be considerably less fun. Rachel's little trading sequence was only the first potential new party member that posted on the board last time. There was one other, as well. Nuke Usagimaru wanted us to come alone to a level 30 field.
Morgan: Let's start, already!
Nece:: C'mon, make me laugh.
Sasaki: Countin' on ya!
Q: I'm a bit picky when it comes to performances.
I think the localizer meant to put "woo hoo!" here, but both onomatopoeias work.
: O-K, so shall we get started?!
: Sorry to keep you waiting!
: You're the only one?! 'Tis an actor's job to perform, even with just one audience member. Show's on at B3. Come along, now.
I never really used Nuke enough to form an opinion about him when I first played the games. I think I was still partially bitter about the solo dungeon crawl. Anyway, before we're too far into the dungeon, we run into a familiar face.
Guess he didn't like Nuke's comedy routine, either.
For some reason, the bottom floor is completely devoid of enemies. It's also devoid of a Gott Statue. No points for guessing where Nuke set up shop.
: So, how's my technique? Now this is what I call graceful. Am I right or what? Special techniques are cool only when you use them at the precise time. Don't overuse 'em.
: He calls it a show, but maybe he needs some help?
The "boss" dies from two Rai Don spells.
: Thanks to your intrusion, the talk show was a success. So lighten up, OK?
: All right, see ya!
Finally, because Gardenia asked us so nicely last time, let's investigate that area she sent us keywords to.
: There is.
One of you guys in the thread mentioned this kind of monster as being a pain in the ass. I have to agree with you. It has obscenely high physical damage, and I'm pretty sure it drains SP away as well. Guess what enemy the dungeon just loved to throw at us.
Eventually, Kite asks Miss Taciturn a simple question.
: Do you like flowers, Gardenia?
: Why do you say that?
: You pick the fields with flower names and you talked about flowers the last time we met.
: Must I explain?
: Only if you'd like...
: Well then don't bother asking.
Don't let her go Kite, she's a real winner, that one. Further ahead in the dungeon, we meet everyone's new favorite talkative individual.
For once, the Gott Statue wasn't our goal. The empty room just in front of the group was the real destination. Notice that there are no gold portals inside the room on the map.
The only thing inside the portal was one of the weak coffin monsters from the surface and throughout the dungeon. I have no idea why Gardenia called it strong or why she used the plural form of monster.
: I feel cheated when I don't receive equipment from the treasure boxes.
: Yeah, it happens sometimes.
: Use that as you wish.
: Gardenia... Are you looking for something?
: No, it's just...
: It's just I'm here to seek revenge on the monster that got me before. Mission accomplished. Let's go.
Anyone know if the Crystal Stone has any special use like the Ice Bar did? I can't find the answer anywhere I look. Just to be safe, I stuck it in storage for the time being. I also bought Nuke a spear and a pair of socks from the weapon shop, which boosted his affection clear to 200. (No really, the weapon shop sells ninja-style socks.) Gardenia also received a spear and Kite's old Quakebeast Fur. That kicked her affection from 60 to somewhere close to 300.
What I'm saying is, if the party members like them so much, everyone will receive new pairs of socks for Christmas! Anyway, that's all there is to the game for now. Time to check the board and our e-mail.
Λ Nameless Seeker's Prairie is added to the Word List.
It was popular in certain circles, but the site it was on bit the dust, so I couldn't gather much information about it.
Fragments of text data apparently got traded for a lot of money among the die-hard fans.
But I don't know if that's true. The entire thing is just filled with mysteries.
IF anyone knows anything, please post.
Λ Detestable Vengeful Messenger is added to the Word List.
If you use these two well, it gets pretty easy to collect items.
The items you can get in an area are directly related to the area level, but the enemies get stronger, and it get spretty dangerous.
If you choose a negative word for Monsters, the rate of appearance for items in the area will not change, but the difficulty of the monsters that appear will decrease.
Also, if you choose a positive items word, you can increase the rate of appearance for appearing items in that area.
The words that I know are:
Part B: Bounded -10
Part B: Evil Eyed -8
I'm starting to get tired of the quiet, mysterious loner trope. Gardenia was fulfilling that role in our team nicely, thankyouverymuch.
Λ Bottomless Guffawing Raw Ore is added to the Word List.
: Moonstone...? Oh, is he the guy I've met several times in the dungeon?
Normally I don't show off both of the two possible choices for sending e-mails, since one is "be a dick" and the other is the obviously right choice, but this was too good to pass up showing.
However, the "right" response is this next one.
So yeah. You can see just what a new spear and a used piece of armor can do for affection. Next time: we'll finally get to talk to Moonstone face to face for more than a second.
Addendum from 2012: Hello again! Been a long time and so much has changed since the thread was sadly abandoned and reopened. For instance, I somehow lost the save file that covered this specific update. So I had to replay it and approximate as much as I could. As a result, some things changed. You could consider most of this odds 'n ends. Just stuff that changed between play-throughs or stuff that I caught while grabbing screenshots this go-around.
Some additional chatspeak Mia dialog. Respectively "Right, let's go." and "Thank you. I feel so embarrassed thanking you like this." The first one is from calling her Member Address, and the second is from giving her the sword detailed below.
New weapons for Mia and Elk. The weapons shop in town sells these for relatively cheap and I figured that trying to keep them semi up-to-date on equipment might make them stop sucking. It doesn't work. Also risky chests around this time start to contain those gloves. Evasion on your Wavemasters probably can't hurt, and Elk gets this pair. No worries about Mistral. She'll get her own pair before too long.
Finally, some new toys for Kite. Sure, the weapon cuts his accuracy, but the raw attack is worth it. The turban is also amazing if only because of the fact that you get the next Repth spell upgrade for yourself.