Part 17: .hack Mutation - //Update 04 - Λ Resurrecting Confused Judgement//Update 04
Good morning/day/afternoon/evening everyone! Please, pick one as appropriate, get yourself something to drink, and some snacks. I'll wait. Got 'em? Are they Mountain Dew and Cheetos? Yes? Go and get something that won't destroy your digestive system, please.
While they're off doing that, we'll get this party started. I promised last time that things were gonna be happening and I didn't lie! Today we only visit three areas, but don't let that fool you. This one's gonna be fairly sizeable!
Starting us off is Moonstone, filling us in on details of his life we really didn't need to know about. That is impressive, though. I have to admit I had him pegged for the overweight, pasty nerdy type. You know, the average MMO player!
Logging in to try and force the next step in Moonstone's affection e-mail chain, we get met by Blackrose at the Chaos Gate. Seems like Lios isn't half as useless as he seemed initially! Getting your hands on a virus core isn't an easy task without the Bracelet. The unread e-mail message is the next (and last) step of Moonstone's e-mail chain. Let's take a look!
I have to admit, if he really does all that exercise everyday, he's gotta be swole as hell. Dude would fit right in with the YLLS crowd, I think. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
Anyway, with the virus core we got from Lios, we should be able to investigate the protected area he e-mailed us about last time.
Ah... that presents a slight problem. We have both necessary M-cores, and the lone E-core, but we're lacking a D-core. If you recall the e-mail that Helba (or was it Lios?) sent us explaining the virus cores, we get D-cores from Data Draining small enemies from Lambda server. So let's go find a few to hack!
We start off with this level 33 field, which doesn't have as many small monsters as you would think. It doesn't have any Armor Evils (that I saw) and the only small monsters that I spotted on the surface were the fragile Hysterias.
Now, those of you with good memories may recall that back in Infection, we found a field where the skies had a twirling corpse in an airship caravan. We later infiltrated that caravan and fought the Parasite Dragon, the "super boss" for the game.
Well, in this field we're lucky enough to find the Mutation counterpart to the twirling corpse.
I... have no earthly idea what that thing is. A worm? A snake? A tsuchinoko? The noise you can hear in the video is the sound that it makes when it's in the sky near where you are.
In the end, that field was a wash. Though Mistral did get a level from the enemies that were granting us between 2 and 5 experience each. While selling spoils in the town after leaving the field, I noticed a pair of gloves in my inventory: "Gloves of Dark". I'll let the screenshots speak for themselves.
That's a hell of a physical drop for fairly mediocre magical gains. Given that I tend to play Kite as a physical damage dealer, in the thick of the melee, I sold the gloves for however much they were going for. Probably 1250 gold.
Now this field? Ah, now we're getting somewhere. For comparison's sake, Kite is level 38, so the monsters in this field are slightly stronger, but still in the range to give decent experience. Any small monsters found here would be perfect Data Drain fodder.
The little bastards deserve it, too! My feelings about mimics aren't a massive secret, and each time they show up, I'm suddenly wishing they'd go away again.
Though the mimic recolors do eventually come through and give us a D-core.
While in the field, searching for more D-cores, we come across several of these guys. They are also quite annoying, feeling the inexplicable need to buff themselves (and anything else they're in combat with) with a health regen spell.
Though I didn't enter it, this is what the dungeon looked like for that field. Most of the time, the dungeons are holes in the ground, or the carcass of a rotting beast. It's not often that you find a fairly large keep (that wouldn't look out of place in Skyrim) as the dungeon topper.
We leave the field shortly after finding the tower.
Finally, this is our main party as it stands for the rest of the update. The experience numbers change slightly, but this is everyone's status for the remainder. As you can see, the main three are still largely rocking the same gear that we finished Infection with and barring any particularly good drops, will probably be rocking that armor until the endgame, when I get them up-to-date for Outbreak. Weapons will (probably) change eventually. Except for possibly Mistral. Her kill-things-in-one-hit summons are attached to that staff.
Back in town, we waste no time before heading off to Λ Ressurecting Confused Judgement.
: There's something... here.
The noise that Blackrose mentions is different from the graphical and audio glitches that occur regularly on bugged fields. No, when noise like that happens, be prepared for something bad to go down.
Anyway, this field is a massive pain in the ass. The enemies and portals are plentiful, and seem designed to drain you of your supplies before you even get into the dungeon.
After Data Draining a particularly annoying foe, Kite strikes it at the same time as one of Mistral's spells goes off.
The result is spectacular. Yes, that's hitting the damage cap at level 38 with a tier 1 spell. Despite the annoying enemies, nothing else happens in the field. Inside a decaying head propped open by steel girders, we find the dungeon.
Tell me honestly, what do you think the chances are that we find something in that first large room?
While we're being honest, this dungeon caught me off-guard. I thought that there was another "regular" one before this particular event, so when I saw the big empty room, I knew that I was underprepared for what was going to come.
A quick note that the video has the empty rooms for not only this floor, but the next floor down as well. So be aware that's what you're seeing when it cuts to another scene halfway through.
: That's it? That thing is the cause?!
: It... ran.
I can't help it. Whenever I look at this thing, my eyes are immediately drawn to its right side. It looks like you could punch Skeith right out of the right-hand side. Well, more-or-less.
This is included because I like the name of the level 2 thunder spell. I think it's just RaJukZot, but Ion Strike just sounds cooler, Y'know? Anyway, if you glanced at the minimap about 20 screenshots prior, you may have noticed that the first floor is oddly berefit of enemies. I'm not one to question why, but the second floor has no such lack. With the boss battle coming up, any handout the game gives is worth taking! Those of you with excellent pattern recognition skills may realize what's coming up soon.
: Are you a shadow?! Or the real thing?! Will you just make up your mind!
: It's as if... the thing's playing tag with us. And now we're "it."
: Playing or not... I'll chase it!
I mentioned pain-in-the-ass enemies. We've even seen this guy (once) before. At the time I thought he was weak. I was wrong... kind of. He's still weak-ish, but in groups of more-than-one, the awful truth comes out. A Skate Rat Ark is one of those rare enemies that will revive anything else killed before it is. Multiples will revive each other in an endless cycle that honestly makes me wonder just how legit players are supposed to kill them.
Down on the third floor, we have this issue. I'm not sure if it's the Skate Rat Ark, or the Hysteria running around, but something in this fight is really messing with the party. Kite and Mistral are paralyzed, and Blackrose is asleep! My money's on the SRA, personally.
Bonus goes to Mistral for the quote of the update, though we'll see a serious contender before too long.
But, before too long, we arrive at a purple mist door in front of the ether. There's only two types of doors we've seen open up to a spot off the map. The first led to White Rooms, but those were lacking purple mist. The other...?
: Hey, you're not getting away!
Yeeeah. Welcome to the first Phase Fight of Mutation! Yes, there are more than one!
Innis is... uh... I'm really not sure what it is. Well, besides laughably easy. Skeith was a difficult fight and you were constantly on the defense from his insanely overpowered moves. He could wipe out most of your health with one swipe of his cross wand. Innis isn't any of that. Innis is a massive joke for an at-level party. Kite and company are, as you saw, around level 38, which isn't all that overpowered. It's really quite easy to remove all the difficulty of the fight in three simple steps. How?
Step one: Open your party menu with the Square button.
Step two: Select Mistral and press X.
Step three: Select First Aid! and press X.
Congratulations. If Mistral knows Ola Repth, then it is now physically impossible for you to lose the fight, short of falling asleep in your chair.
You may be asking why not put Mistral on offense? Her summon spells can wreck shit up and down, and would probably make short work of Innis's data protection, further humiliating the boss. Honestly, I would have loved to, but Innis is sadly Magic Tolerant.
His is a super tolerance, too. Not even a Beast's Bane can remove it!
Offensively, Innis only has six attacks.
Smacking the ground for a small chunk of damage.
Visions of Self, which seems to apply a random debilitating debuff. In the fight, I saw confusion, charm, paralyze, poison, slow, and sleep.
Demon Fire, which seemed to exclusively target Mistral for barely more damage than his slam attack deals. I would also like to point out the other contender for the quote of the update, again said by Mistral.
Invisible Doll, which seems to be his most dangerous attack. I saw the Fire Dragon and Iron Giant varieties, and I'm sure others exist. Innis just didn't live long enough to actually use them.
Absolute Zero, which on further reflection, seems just to be the ice version of Demon Fire.
And last, but certainly not least, Data Drain. Again, it just applies every debuff and cuts the target's HP by half. BlackRose got exclusively targeted by it.
Your general strategy is to just beat on Innis until it protect breaks. The spells you can't do anything about, and you can avoid a large amount of the slam attack's damage by simply not being nearby when it happens. Innis will frequently teleport around the battlefield to get away from you and... that's really it.
After Skeith, this was really a disappointment for the next Phase fight. The lowest anyone's HP ever got was Mistral in one of the above screenshots, when she got hit with a bunch of Iron Giants.
This is more of a highlight reel than anything else. I elected to not do voiced commentary because none of it would really be insightful in the least, and I'd probably just spend the full 10 minutes the fight took bashing the boss on how braindead simple it is. You can see each of the attacks I detailed above, as well as the Data Drain and death animations for Innis.
Anyway, eventually he protect breaks. In this case, it happened the instant that I brought up the menu to use Sabre Dance again. Actually took me a second to realize what I was seeing.
Quite the difference before and after, eh? Speaking of before and after differences, I'd like to point out just how much data draining one of the Phases really screws with Kite's data.
The top shot is immediately before draining Innis. The bottom is immediately after.
Anyway, once it gets drained, it only has 3000 HP. Sure, it still has the super magic tolerance, but it really doesn't matter. It dies in about 10 seconds of sustained attacking between Kite and Blackrose.
Like Skeith before it, the Epitaph Stones break apart and crumble away. That's two of the series major bosses laid to rest! With any luck, they'll all be as easy as this one was.
On the other hand, that is not good. That's far from good! When we killed Skeith, we awoke Cubia. If the hardcore flashing going on is any indication, something equally bad is happening now! Blackrose and Kite also seem to have noticed something weird happening.
: Did you feel that? That was weird...
: Yeah, let's go back to town.
Have you ever seen a deserted main town in an MMO? I have, and it's unsettling. Now you have too. There's just something wrong about the streets of Carmina Gadelica being abandoned, y'know?
: Hey... doesn't it feel different?
: Let's look into it...
They run off and eventually wind up back at the Chaos Gate, where they have some company!
: You've done it again...!
: Where's everyone else?
: The situation was critical, so we forced a system shut down. We'll be getting a lot of calls again. What did you do?! I told you to investigate! Do not move until you are instructed. This is an order!
God, Lios is an asshole. I can understand where he's coming from, but he goes about things in the worst possible way. No wonder Helba calls him a Pig Head.
As you can indeed see. Carmina Gadelica is indeed deserted of any players. Right now, Kite, Blackrose, and Mistral are the only three players connected to the Japanese servers of The World.
In case you were curious what the item we received from Innis was, this is it. One of Aura's segments is extremely useful! With any luck, we'll find the other two segments quickly and bring her back from... whatever it is that Skeith did to her.
Kite says this if we try to interact with the Chaos Gate. The only part of The World still online is the Carmina Gadelica server and once we log off, that too will be brought down for maintenance. Seeing as there's nothing else to do in game until we do, we do just that and log off.
I don't know about you all, but that's more than enough for now!
their jobs to concentrate on playing games.
machine users without consent is an invasion of privacy.
realized remains questionable.
Λ Merciless Grieving Furnace is added to the Word List.
And... there you have it! Innis in all of its non-glory. You get no points for guessing exactly what's gonna happen next time. Last time we saw it, we got our ass handed to us by it merely yawning. Now we're gonna take it on. Kite vs. Cubia! Don't miss it!