Part 27: .hack Outbreak - //Update 03 - The Most Badass Moment//Update 03
Welcome back everyone. This update certainly didn't take the better part of three months to write. It was perfectly on time. Perfectly on time to avoid the thread being archived.
But never mind that. Last time, Kite and Blackrose made up after briefly fighting. Also Balmung joined us. This time we're gonna meet the last new party member in this series and we will proceed to not use her until after we've beaten the game. Sounds fun, right?
We're picking up more-or-less where we left off from last time.
Σ Cracked Worst Milestone is added to the Word List.
No. Noooo! NOOOOOOO! Not you!
Ryoko is one of those characters I don't really care for. She's not exactly bright, I mean she used her actual literal real life name (Ryoko Terajima) as her online character's name. Furthermore... well, I don't want to give it away. We'll see in due time.
Fourteen new e-mails! All of them from our friends and party members. Starting from the bottom...
Guys, I hope you don't mind this spoiler, but Quarantine will have Virus Core J, Virus Core K, and Virus Core L!
I know she's trying to be uncharacteristically helpful, but anyone with a modicum of pattern recognition could have guessed the virus cores we'd be finding on Σ server.
Isn't it the perfect Keyword for me? Come with me to the bottom of this dungeon! Thanks dude!
Σ Attracting Fated Ebb and Flow is added to the Word List.
Σ Dolorous Promised Clavicle is added to the Word List.
I tried it by myself, but I just couldn't do it.
I need your help.
Would you mind helping me?
Σ Soaring Sky Madness Compass is added to the Word List.
After doing a pretty good job of delivering several gut punches to Kite, the game does provide some badly needed emotional boosts. Nothing like looking at your e-mail to find messages from all your friends saying "Hey, sorry I couldn't connect. Wanna play together?"
It's one of my favorite moments in the series.
Anyway, nothing left to do here, so let's go see what Wiseman wanted.
Σ Spun Bloody Tragedy is added to the Word List.
But first, a clue to Marlo's quest.
: If the matter is proceeding as written on the "Epitaph of Twilight"... ...then there are five more signs before the "Wave"...
: If we defeat them...
: No, there is still Cubia. "Cubia, the hidden one"... it was written on the Epitaph as such, but what role it plays... It's beyond me.
: I wonder what Harald wanted to do in the world modeled after the Epitaph?
This is so awkwardly phrased. You should watch the video linked above just to hear it said out loud.
: That is the question. Oh, I'll give you this. I hope it is useful.
: I'll be in touch.
Oh no you don't, Wiseman. You're the only Wavemaster we have for the entire rest of the series. We're putting your ass to work.
Now that our party's assembled, let's look at these areas.
Some level grinding wouldn't be unwarranted. Kite's the highest level at 52 or 53, while Blackrose and Wiseman are still 50.
So let's get some leveling done.
While it hurts to lose Mistral, Wiseman is already kicking ass quite handily. He's already hitting for a nearly half of the damage cap on an elemental weakness crit!
Also some new boots drop for Kite. They're honestly not worth losing the "No Damage" bonus on the Lucky Shoes. We're probably not gonna be replacing those until sometime in the next game.
A new hat also drops for Wiseman, which now makes him a competent healer in addition to the force of destruction he was.
Anyway, jumping forward about an hour and a half of level grinding, everyone's around level 55 now.
Instead of doing the side-quests, we're gonna do something completely insane instead.
Yeah. We're taking on an endgame dungeon. It's not one of those fake-out dungeons full of weaker monsters, either. This place is balanced around an endgame Outbreak party and we're taking it out barely two hours in to the game, 15 levels lower.
Also I urge everyone to right click that image and hit properties. I give all of the images in this LP a name to identify what happens. Look at that title. For those of you that can't, or won't, I named this next image series "badass" and with good reason.
We're gonna complete this dungeon. We're gonna investigate the red wand that was seen here.
Unfortunately, I was an idiot and forgot to start recording until I had cleared the first room of the dungeon. You didn't miss anything, just a flat run towards the dungeon, ignoring every single enemy on the field.
These guys are why we ran. Liches don't fuck around. Need proof?
This was taken approximately two seconds later. Bear in mind, this was two Liches. A single monster portal can spawn as many as four!
These guys hit like a truck, but look at that tolerance. Kite and Wiseman both have extremely hard hitting lightning attacks.
Also there are pretty clear rewards for taking down enemies this high of a level!
This ability right here also wrecks those Skull Devilgons in approximately two casts.
This is the party three rooms into the dungeon.
Oh, right. These assholes can also appear in the dungeon. They're not worth fighting. They hit hard, they have a lot of life, and when I was capturing screenshots for this update, each time I fought one I had to scrub through more than five minutes of fighting a single monster before it finally went down.
Mercifully, the dungeon is incredibly short. Three floors, with an obvious "Something is in here" room taking up half of the third floor!
This is the party after three floors. Granted, I beelined through those floors and abused savestates to avoid fighting Liches. But the numbers don't lie. This field is incredibly brutal, but it is an excellent level grinding ground. Also Skull Devilgons are a pretty reliable source of I-cores when data drained.
Also sadly I don't have a good recording of this next bit. Getting one would require playing back through this section at a low level, and that ain't happening again.
Kite doesn't see anything in the room, so he turns to leave.
So are you guys ready for a special rematch with Skeith? I mean it makes sense, right? It's a balls hard dungeon full of enemies that are designed to drain resources if not outright kill you immediately.
Well too bad. Instead, we get to meet Sora.
Throughout the entirety of .hack//Sign, Sora was always a wild card. You never really knew what he would do next or who he would betray. He always acted on what was most interesting to him at the time.
At the end of the series, all of the protagonists are gathered in Net Slum with Helba when the antagonist shows up. Helba creates a portal for everyone to escape, and Sora stays behind to give everyone a chance to do so. That was the last time that anybody ever saw Sora.
You see, Skeith was summoned and Sora tried to fight against it. The antagonist didn't like being betrayed. So Skeith was made to data drain Sora. But that wasn't enough. See, Sora spent a lot of time helping the antagonist. So they were especially put out by his betrayal. So his character data was made to serve anyway, by being transformed into a weapon for Skeith.
Kite's mere presence just released Sora from his endless torment.
Of course, he also compensates us for our time.
You better believe I'm equipping those. Also note the negatives for equipping.
Kite loses 5 physical accuracy and evade for equipping. That means that at level 58, with his previous equipment, he was at the physical accuracy cap and was almost at the physical evasion cap.
So with our new, completely broken equipment, let's go meet Ryoko.
The dungeon was like five feet from the gate in spot.
: (Hybnos) I saw the post and came. Have you seen Terajima Ryoko?
I'm trying to decide on this dude's intentions. The optimistic part of me wants to believe that he's a genuinely friendly player that wanted to help a newbie. It's a lot better than thinking he wants to creep on her because "GIRL PLAYING ONLINE GAMES OMGZ!!!111"
Anyway. This is the first time I used Sora's blades against an enemy. It procced the death effect and cut off 75% of that thing's life bar. I am in love with these blades.
Because this is a level 54 dungeon, and the average party level is nearly 60, I'm just gonna skip the details. If you want an idea of what happened, look at the screenshots where Wiseman crits for more than four times his max HP.
At the end of the third floor, we run into another player.
: (PINA) Oh, but I think I saw a female player staggering towards the lower level...
Down on the fifth floor, my good luck runs out. Mimics with physical tolerance means bad times.
Ryoko is obviously to the north, but we have a rare chance to go to the Gott Statue first. So let's poke at the treasure chest and see what comes out.
Ohhh yeah. I'm equipping those. I'm not sure what I equipped that docked some physical accuracy points, but it's back to where it was now, so I'm not complaining. For posterity...
Stats have a hard cap of 99. With the help of equipment, the group is starting to hit those caps.
Kite would have capped physical accuracy if not for Sora's blades, and his evasion is pretty decent. His magical stats are also pretty great, and both his physical and magical status resistances are both extremely high.
Blackrose is wearing heavy armor, but is more evasive than Kite by 10 points, and she has capped out her magical resistance. Not that you'd notice - she's constantly being hit by effects that need restoratives to correct. Her magic stats aren't great, but given that her job is to hit shit with a sword bigger than she is, she doesn't need magic stats.
Wiseman is a magical shitwrecker, and he's capped his physical status resistance. Also apparently he has an effect that drains SP from enemies when he hits them with his 8 physical attack.
I don't pretend to pay attention to the elemental resistances. Any high or low numbers are purely by chance. There's only one boss fight in the entire series where they matter, and I'll explain that when we get to it.
But yeah, we're doing pretty decent stat-wise.
Oh alright, fine. I'll go get Ryoko. But don't expect me to be happy about it!
: ...Oh, B5? I thought it was B1...
Dumb. As. A. Brick. She wandered past all those high level monsters, down four sets of stairs, through four separate loading screens, and thought she was still on the first floor.
Also get a good look at her character model. She's wearing pure white, she has wings, and she has a fucking golden halo.
: If you want, I can show you the way out.
: Yes, please.
: Thank you very much. Please invite me next time. So long.
These are her stats. She's a bit deceptive, actually. She joins at level 1 when the rest of your party is in their mid-50s. However, she's also one of the best characters in the game. You see, she's a rich heiress and her daddy paid a lot of money to CC Corp for a customized character that becomes incredibly powerful.
To put it in Fire Emblem terms, she's a level 1 Trainee that comes in 2/3 through the story, but has insane growths.
There's also absolutely nothing stopping you from buying and equipping her in incredibly powerful equipment from the Fort Ouph weapons shop, which shoots her affection up to Mutation's maximum.
Anyway, that's enough for now. We'll continue later on with some plot and some sidequests.
NEXT TIME: Helba is a fucking asshole.