Part 26: .hack Outbreak - //Update 02 - The White Knight//Update 02
Hello everyone. Last time things ended on a pretty somber note. However, today's a new day. We'll be picking up immediately after the previous updated ended with, appropriately enough, a new mail notification.
Blackrose did say last time that she sent us an e-mail. This must be it.
Really twists the knife that much more, doesn't it? She sends that e-mail and logs in to a depressed Kite.
Now this is the first bit of good news we've had for a very long time. What do you say we go check out Fort Ouph?
You can now go to Σ Server. Select Other Servers from the Chaos Gate Menu.
Anyone who's beaten Outbreak is rightfully nervous when they see that area name. Without giving too much away, this is the Θ Chosen Hopeless Nothingness or Λ Pulsating Worst Core of Outbreak. We're being given it as the very first story destination of this game. Kinda makes you a little nervous, doesn't it?
Σ Chatting Snaring Twins has been added to the Word List.
The video link is just a quick flyby of the Aerial City, Fort Ouph.
All the shops are on the top half, and the bottom half has absolutely nothing. I do wish the bank wasn't to the west of the Chaos Gate. The item shop would have been much better served in that position, as it's most likely gonna be the shop you spend the most time purchasing from.
Speaking of the item shop, we finally get access to the next tier of healing item. As you can see, it recovers 800 health, which is currently 80% of Kite's maximum. Other than that, it has the usual fare you might expect.
The weapon shop is also pretty useful. Also, if you're playing along with the LP at home, make damn sure you buy an Akatsuki here and now. You will need it for the next dungeon if you want to get through with a minimum of fuss.
For reference's sake, we were finding the Akatsuki and Kikuhyakumonji from the highest level enemies on Λ server. So these weapons and armor are pretty powerful.
Anywho, we've got a dungeon to explore. So let's try and grab Blackrose.
She must still be mad. That's fine. We've got a bunch of others we can call on to help.
Natsume? Elk? Wiseman? Piros? Moonstone? Nuke Usagimaru? Sanjuro? Marlo? Mia?
Well shit. Looks like we're going this solo.
Triple shit. This dungeon is two levels higher than we are, we have no backup, and it's tossed at you out of nowhere. By the time you know about it, your entire party is unavailable. You have to either suck it up or level grind by yourself. That is officially called a Dick Move.
And just to further kick you in the groin, you're expected to have two E cores. Luckily we had several, but if not... well, I hope you like grinding medium-sized enemies on Λ server.
Also unlike Mutation, this first field is live. There are enemies present, and they're a massive pain in the ass to kill.
Upon entering the dungeon, we're accosted by a text box out of nowhere.
I want to know where it will lead. I want to see what lies there.
Meet the first enemy. It's a darkness tolerant enemy. Because I am exceptionally lazy about changing equipment, Kite still has Rai Don as a spell. So it completely one shots these bastards on Elemental Hit. Good thing, too. If they get a chance to attack, they fucking hurt.
This is by far the most common enemy in the dungeon. They are half the reason I told you to buy that Akatsuki. I have one from sometime at the end of Mutation, but I'm not gonna realize that until the third floor. Orchid Dance, which is part of the Akatsuki's kit, completely wrecks these guys. Don't be me, guys. Equip the Akatsuki and humiliate the dungeon's difficulty.
In terms of attack, they absolutely love spamming a spell that drops rocks out of the sky. More than one of them means they will work in concert to perpetually chain-stun Kite. Remember, having a spell cast at you freezes you in place until it finishes. If they want to be assholes, they'll also slow someone and then run away across the room.
Needless to say, they're frequently assholes.
In the last update, I mentioned that you can find virus cores in the dungeons. They're always found in dead-end rooms without a chest.
They're not usually current virus cores, but they're always a very nice thing to find. A D-core here means that's one less small enemy from outdated content we potentially have to farm later on. Anyway, back to the enemy parade.
These enemies are pretty forgettable. It's been less than a week since I recorded the update, and less than two hours since I captured screenshots, and I've completely forgotten what they do. Just cast a fire spell at them and then smack 'em until they die from it.
Down on the second floor, we get ambushed my more bodiless words.
The difference is to not repeat the same mistake. Harald, this is a critical time.
I have no earthly idea who the speaker here is. Absolutely nobody on the team translating The World to Japanese knew about Harald's creepy as fuck plans for the game.
This configuration is next to impossible to kill. There are two of those Earth Maidens, so they can basically lock Kite down indefinitely. Furthermore, the two Maxwells will make your HP disappear in next to no time.
Down on the third floor the dungeon kicks things up a notch.
The correct answer is to go west. The only reward for going east is, as far as I can guess, a virus core.
This is the point where I thankfully remember that I have an Akatsuki. Also feel free to laugh at the 25 accuracy penalty you suffer for equipping it.
Though the results of an Orchid Dance on an Earth Maiden do speak for themselves.
Morganna Mode Gone - She rejects my intervention.
The only way to go is into the purple mist door. Time to see what's inside.
Oh great. Balmung's here and he's still jumping around like an idiot.
: Run! Balmung!
: No... it's faster... I can't outrun it!
Okay, you see that damage Balmung is doing? He's an NPC fighter. He's making numbers appear, but functionally he's doing jack shit. Once the data bug sees Kite, Balmung can't even tank it.
This is the second reason I told you to bring an Akatsuki. Orchid Dance, if you can risk getting close, wrecks this boss's shit. It's also wrecking Kite's shit, as you can see.
Bring a shitload of healing items, or run far away from the boss to heal. You can't afford to take a lot of damage without healing it up.
To be safe, stay well above 75% health when attacking the boss. Thanks to the magic of screenshots, we can skip the battle to the end. But this took almost eight minutes before the bastard protect broke. By the end, I was standing halfway across the room, spamming Juk Rom to damage it.
Don't bother switching off the Akatsuki when it gets protect broken. Dark Dance will suffice for wrecking it.
That last screenshot is mostly for my benefit. It makes me feel much better when I see its health empty with all those elemental hits.
Yes I hated this boss, what gave you that idea? Was it the eight minute slog where I was constantly a hair away from death because I couldn't afford to get close enough to use Orchid Dance?
Video: *WATCH THIS ONE IT IS IMPORTANT*
: Are you nuts, fighting it alone?!
: I couldn't very well ignore the thing. So, why did you help me? I scorned you when you both fought bravely. I am guilty of resorting to more cowardly means.
: You ask why did I help you, but why shouldn't I?
: Yes, of course... I... seem to have lost myself in hatred for the power of that bracelet. The power itself isn't good or evil. There are only evil intentions.
: It appears that I am the one who may have been selfish.
: "A great force. The power it holds can bring forth either salvation or destruction at the whim of the user."
: What's that?
: The girl Aura... that's what she said when she gave me the bracelet.
: I see... you are indeed the one who should wear the bracelet.
This line here is pretty interesting. Looks like it wasn't only hatred that Balmung was losing himself in. He appears to have been jealous of Kite.
: I'm sorry for what I've said and done. I apologize.
: I want to restore this world. And like you, I want to help Orca as well. However, it's not something I can accomplish alone... Perhaps you could lend me a hand? *hmph* I am being selfish, go right ahead and laugh.
I'd make a crack about how the mighty are laid low, but you know it really stung Balmung's pride to admit he was wrong, and to ask for help, especially from Kite of all people.
: I wouldn't laugh, because I happen to have a request, too. Care to hear it? I want two things: to help Orca, and to play in "The World" that's not corrupted. But... it's not really something I can accomplish alone. Could you lend me a hand?
: You're... of course!
Kite seems to know this, and to help Balmung save face, he puts himself in the position of asking for help instead. Also, seriously watch the video linked above, if only for this scene.
You now have Balmung's Member Address.
It's cheesy as hell, but you know what? I fucking love it.
Balmung is our second replacement character. We got the first one, Wiseman, back in Mutation. He replaces Mistral before you even know you'll be losing her. Balmung is a replacement for Mia. He's also a crutch character for a while - he joins the party at level 62!
: The reason Orca and I were investigating the rumor was not because we wanted to find the source. But to prove that the rumor was indeed only that - a rumor. However... one day we discovered a strange room. It was obviously an unusual and a bizarre, alien place. Then Orca said Morganna Mode Gone.
: Morganna Mode Gone?
: He said he would explain later. And then I lost contact with him.
Morganna? Why does that name sound familiar?
Senerio" post="394248185 posted:.hack// Episode 2. Morganna
Um, hello... my name is An Shoji, and up until recently, I played THE WORLD. When I was there, I met this woman, Morganna, who gave me a lot of power. She said she was the God of THE WORLD, and gave me a guardian with power beyond your imagination. It was wonderful, until she told me to avoid this AI I had met a few times and become friends with.
Long story short, I disobeyed her, and found out that while she was immensely strong in THE WORLD, she had no power over me. Morganna is a very dangerous player, and if you meet her, run away. Log out. Stop playing the game. Do not interact with her, because she can ruin you. She almost ruined me.
This An Shoji seems to have met Morganna before. Might be worth looking this person up, see if they can shed some light.
Wait, guardian with power beyond imagination? That also sounds familiar.
Nah, I'm sure it's nothing.
That's all we can do for now. Time to log out.
This was in the topic about Grunties, if you couldn't guess. Or were just skipping the boring forum posts.
Looks like the .hack universe's version of Netflix or Hulu is pretty popular.
Try as I might, I can't come up with anything appropriately witty. On any level, that's messed up as hell. Let's just check the e-mail.
: Blackrose... I'll go to Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground.
Better not keep her waiting.
Video: *ALSO WATCH THIS ONE*
Seriously, you should be watching the video. It has a lot of pretty awesome camera angles, and there's a lot of emotion in the character's faces that screenshots can't do justice.
: Do you want to know something? My brother fell unconscious here.
: I didn't tell you because... I couldn't find the right time. Sorry. When I first met you, I forced you to come here, right?
: I wanted to see what had happened here with my own eyes. Yet I was too frightened to come here by myself. And I still feel that way, I'm very, very scared.
: But... I wouldn't have gotten this far without you. So... what am I going to do if you start doubting yourself? How am I supposed to cope? Does a big sister have to be happy?! I want... I want to...
Her character model starts shaking here, and her voice breaks like she's crying.
: Blackrose... Please don't cry...
: Wh - what do you mean?! I'm not crying! You can't even see me, so don't make any assumptions!
: There you go, how typical. You always clam up when you should be talking.
: Yeah... I'm sorry. I was wrong in thinking that I'm the only one who's trying to do something about Orca and the disaster. Everybody wants to do something. Now I know. I'm not the only one. We all want to bring this horrible mess to an end.
: What can we do about the situation now? It's simple, we've got to do what we think is right. That's the only way we'll move forward.
: Yup. Let's do it together. Things'll work out. *giggle* My intuition is pretty good.
: Well, I'm off to go see my brother.
: At the hospital?
: Mm-hmm. Thanks.
: Thank you... to you too.
Now that we've worked things out, I think the future's looking a lot better. That'll also serve as a good stopping point for now.
Next time: Do you guys think that we've had a lot of plot recently? Well, the game does too. Next time it's side-quest city. We also get the final new character of the entire series. All that and more! See y'all then!