Part 19: .hack Mutation - //Update 06 - Kite's Day Off//Update 06
Good evening, or day, or whatever it is where and when you're reading this. Here it's evening, cold as hell, and there's a layer of snow on the ground. Sounds to me like the perfect time to see what's going on in the .hack world!
When last we left Kite, he and two friends fought and defeated Cubia. Sadly, instead of dying, the monster woke right back up and fled. I guarantee that nothing remotely as interesting will be happening today. No data bugs, no super bosses, just some... hey, where's everyone going? I swear it's not as boring as it sounds! Today's more of a breather episode than anything else. Kite deserves some time off and a chance to enjoy the game he's fighting to protect, so without further ado, let's see what Kite does when he has free time...
Piros asks some weird questions. Also, according to a Google Image Search, Yakitori looks fucking delicious.
Even though Piros didn't ask me, I'm gonna answer that I think I gotta have sauce on it. Just look at that picture! That shit looks amazing. Anyway, before I put this off further and go order takeout to curb my appetite, let's move on.
There's simply no way that anyone could...
Natsume is an idiot. We're gonna have to save her, aren't we?
As you can see, we've got quite a bit to do today! All the fields are approximately level 40 or so. Right now Kite and company are around level 39, so I think it's time to do some level grinding!
Some people mentioned that Nuke was a pretty good character, so I decided to actually try him out. First time I ever played the game, I basically never ventured outside of the Kite/Blackrose/Mistral super trio. In an effort to curb the fact that it looks like I'm in trouble of repeating that mistake, I'm gonna start switching up characters for sidequests.
So I'm gonna put this out now! If there's any character anybody would like to see used for stuff that isn't super bosses, feel free to let it be known now! Super bosses, naturally, are Cubia and the Eight Phases. Even if it winds up with me in a group with both Rachel and Piros, I'll still endeavor to pull it off.
Nuke gets set up with a bunch of gear from the shops, as well as a random hat I had in my inventory. It's safe to assume that anyone I use is gonna be outfitted in gear from shops to bring them somewhat up to par.
Our first stop of the level grinding tour is a field to bring Nuke up to par with Kite and Mistral.
The only thing really to report is a new enemy, who Kite can one shot for more than its maximum HP. Voodoo Goblins really don't do anything besides casting fire tornado skills occasionally. Honestly, the few that we met barely lived long enough to do anything. Even Nuke, with his semi outdated equipment, could one shot them.
We also pick up some Masterblades Slightly higher Accuracy for slightly less Attack is probably worthwhile. In an attempt to at least not be using the same weapons for four straight updates, I swap it in. Other than that, absolutely nothing happened. Nuke gained a level or two, but that's pretty much it.
:stonk: Back in town, we meet Alue here. Do people really write fanfic about her avatar? That's pretty fucked up!
Places that are two or three levels higher than the party are almost always a pretty decent place to get several quick levels. The levels the party gains here are gonna sustain us through the rest of the update!
Music: Desert Field (Normal ~ Battle)
The monsters in the field actually weren't too bad to take care of. The worst thing the party encountered was a Starving Ogre, and the only reason it was bad was because Mistral couldn't hurt without having to spend a Beast Blood. Otherwise, everyone gained a lot of levels extremely quickly.
Homura loses a lot of accuracy, but gains quite a bit of Attack. I feel it's a worthwhile trade-off for the interim.
This is everyone after the level grinding excursion. Not too shabby, I have to admit!
So let's get started! First off, Natsume probably needs our help.
I can't find the music on Youtube (this is not the first time it happens to me this update) but the battle theme is this smooth kinda chill sounding tune. Otherwise, it's just crickets chirping for the field music.
The dungeon poses little challenge and there are maybe two monster portals in our way. Natsume is in the empty room up to the left, at the top of the map.
Mistral really eliminates a lot of the difficulty at times. The Elemental Hit for 2152 is her doing, and it was more than the mushroom thing had in terms of HP.
: I've looked all over the dungeon, but I can't find any monsters called Level 10 Vine.
: I think that posting is a hoax...
: Oh... really...? Yeah, I guess so.
: I don't know what I'd do without your advice. *giggle* I'll become stronger, I promise! You know what?! I've realized that the harder you work, the bigger the reward.
I think she finally learned to not believe everything you read on the board. I think she'll be alright now.
Back in town, Nuke is removed and Sanjuro is added to the party and is fully equipped via another 12,000G donation.
This field uses the desert music track linked above. Personally, I think it looks more like a wasteland than a desert. The sky makes it look almost apocalyptic.
The dungeon entrance is a half-buried croco-gator mouth, so no bonus points for guessing what the interior's gonna be.
Music: Flesh Wall Dungeon (Battle)
I linked the battle theme, because the dungeon theme is just the sound of a heartbeat endlessly. Anyway, like the previous dungeon, this one is pretty short and simple.
: So this is the famous sword...! Hmm... I want it.
: :-) I'll give it to you, Sanjuro.
: Thanks, kid. Here, take this.
: This is...
: Silence, kid. Take it, and be on your way.
: Thank you.
So just what was it that Sanjuro gave us that Kite was so excited about?
:staredog: Needless to say, we equip that sucker pretty damn fast!
We also... ugh... add Piros to the party.
Music: Piros' Theme
I must admit, I like the background. However, I'm a sucker for mesas and that American Southwest look. Also off in the distance, we have easily the most horrifying of the dungeon entrance types.
Now you can also experience the horror for yourself! There's just something unsettling about it. Anyway, let's head in!
...huh. .hack really upgraded its graphics. And where's Mistral and Piros?
Oh neat. This dungeon's a lower level, but it has those Starving Ogres from before!
I think we made a wrong turn somewhere.
Let's try that again!
I dunno... Mistral and Piros are here. But the dungeon still looks an awful lot like the lower floors of Blighttown.
Shitty jokes aside, this dungeon is just as easy as the previous two. Furthermore, Piros is a beast. He's easily got the most health out of anyone in the party and his damage isn't half bad with that rare axe equipped!
Before we go into the room that's blatantly our goal, we'll swing by the Gott Statue.
And we're rewarded with a pretty powerful pair of shoes for Mistral. She seems pretty stoked to get them, too!
Now, those of you that remember our adventures in Infection, may recall that Mia and Piros have a history. Piros certainly hasn't forgotten!
: Hmph! Many thanks for thy gift the other day.
: Um... who are you?
: How dare you...
: Just kidding. I remember you. Wasn't it fun getting a color makeover?
: There is no problem if you used that on yourself for fun, but I hate the fact that I was tricked!
: You're serious, aren't you... I'm sorry. I apologize... profusely.
: Hmm... as long as you understand, it is all right cat-person.
: Hey! Have you ever heard of Otherworld Helm?
: Yes, of course! It's a super rare item. Only seven exist in "The World."
: I'll give it to you.
: ...Are you sure?
: Yeah, so will you forgive me?
: There is nothing to forgive. I was not angry to begin with. I am a very open minded man! Ha ha. A ha ha ha ha ha!!
: Put it on. I'm sure you'll like it.
: Maybe you shouldn't...
This is accompanied by the sound a goblin makes while alive, or when dying. Basically a moaning noise.
(You did it again you damn cat! You're gonna pay for this!)
No, really. He actually says that string of text.
: Mia... you're going a little too far with this one.
: It's fine. Once he logs out it'll be fixed.
: Hey, why do you play tricks on Piros?
: Hmm? Hmm... good question. I don't know.
I have to admit, that's pretty damn funny. As much shit as I give Mia, I have to admire properly done trolling.
: I think I understand, but...
Back in town, we disband the party. The last two items on our checklist are solo endeavors.
First off, we were called out on the message boards. So let's go see what Marlo wanted.
The game fakes us out first of all. Shows the body of a giant mushroom tree thing, but the inside?
Just a normal cave wall dungeon.
: What's it to you?
Justice: Don't call someone anonymously. It's against netiquette. Know the rules.
: I just wanted to talk about something, that's all. What's wrong with that?
Peace: The way it's written is offensive.
Justice: Just stop it, OK? It's annoying.
: Why should you be annoyed?
Justice: It's about time you asked! We work day and night to ensure the peace and justice of "The World!"
: Hmph. Got it. See ya. I ain't got as much time on my hands as you fellas.
Fuck you. Fuck YOU. FUCK YOU. FUUUUUUCK YOOOOOU.
Anyway. Once we get past the two loudmouthed morons up above, the dungeon is a cakewalk and a half. Kite is barely three levels above the field level, and everything is just pathetically weak. Sanjuro's present is also working quite hard at keeping Kite healed with its life steal effect. So let's cut to the Gott Statue.
Not bad. It'll make a nice gift for Blackrose next time we see her.
And you can see where Marlo's waiting for us on the third floor.
Hades Hounds are one of the enemies we encountered in that level 42 field that we were level grinding in. Bear in mind that this is a level 38 field. So it's quite interesting to have such a powerful boss at the bottom of this otherwise simple dungeon.
Not that it matters, because Kite's Life Drain effect basically negates all the damage the Hades Hound deals.
: You're such a nuisance...
: You're Marlo, right? I read the Board. What do you want to talk about?
: Didn't think anyone would respond to a post like that. Well, what was it that I wanted to talk about...? I forgot. Oh well. Let's meet up again sometime, OK?
We're almost done! Just one last thing to accomplish: goblin slaughter.
Turns out that these guys are even easier to kill when you stuff yourself full of self-buffs. Anyway, that wraps us up for Kite's day off, so let's check our e-mail and we'll call it a day.
Note that I'm showing the entire unseen arc of these e-mails. So each unlocked chain that we haven't finished will have its conclusion down below.
This is a tokkuri vase set.
Strangely, Nuke's e-mail chain is the only one where you have to be a dick to him.
Anyway, next up we have a bunch of forum threads that Blackrose was talking about. Apparently we missed some downtime?
Alright, that's enough for this time. Next time we'll see what shakes out. There's a pretty good chance that something's gonna come of the Epitaph of Twilight stuff on the board. So tune in next time to see that. And if you want me to use any particular party make-up, be sure to let me know or it'll probably be the Kite/Blackrose/Mistral power hour once again.