The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 28: .hack Outbreak - //Update 04 - What the fuck, Gardenia?

//Update 04

Hello again everyone! Like the past several updates, we're picking up pretty much where we left off. This is probably going to be happening a lot. A downside of recording pretty much the entire game across two nights, you see.

Today we're doing some side-quests, the first of which is Marlo's Necrotic Eye sidequest.

In case you don't remember, (and who could blame you, seeing as it's been three weeks) here's the information we got last time about the Necrotic Eye. So off to Σ Spun Bloody Tragedy we go!

: So, the monster that I'm looking for is really here?

: That's what it said on the Board... but why are you looking for that monster?

: There are things...

Such a stunning conversationalist he is. He's more communicative than Moonstone, but my pet cat is more communicative than Moonstone, so it's not a great accomplishment.

The dungeons in this update are all weaker than we are, so I'm just gonna talk about the monsters instead.

Sadly, we've reached the point in the series when tolerant enemies become distressingly common. Most dungeons from here on will have at least one enemy that resists either physical or magical attacks. Not all of them are vulnerable to Beast/Knight banes. This Torterra wannabe here, for instance, took way too long to kill - a full minute and a half.

Wiseman has a weird fondness for fire element attacks. He seems to prefer them over all others in his arsenal. Given that information, and the fact that this hammerhead shark dragon is a water element type, I dare you to guess how long it lasts.

Before you commit to an answer, bear in mind that Kite is using the Blades of Kill Everything.

As proof that the game hates me, physical tolerant mimics start showing up on floor 2. They remain as much of a pain in the ass as before, except now only Wiseman can hurt them.

Finally we have these guys. This weird drill enemy is, by and large, unremarkable. Except for the fact that it has an attack that deals between 500 and 800 damage.

All the dungeons we're covering today also include an obvious "boss here" room, often right next to the Gott Statue room.

Look at the image carefully and you can see the Necrotic Eye in the background.

The fight doesn't take too awful long, especially once a Beast's Bane removes its magic tolerance.

: Well... we got him. I fought with this one a while back.

: ...Okay.

: We were no match for it, and before I knew it, I was alone.

: Did the others all die?

: No! They ran!

: ......

: It doesn't matter what they say, everyone only looks after himself. I mean, this is only a game... I just don't like to lose, so I just wanted to defeat it. It's trivial.

: Hey, Marlo... maybe your friends who abandoned you... regret it.

: We'll see about that!

: Who the hell are you? Don't talk to me.

: You came here just to say that?

(Tsutomu): Well, um... We're sorry. What we did was wrong...

: You think that's an apology?

(Tsutomu): ......

: If you run again... Oh, all right. Let's forget about it.

(Touru): Marlo, will you come with us next time?

: Sure.

: I'm happy for you, Marlo.

: Heh, we'll see about that!

Marlo's kind of a dick. Granted, his friends are gigantic wusses. Who gets scared of monsters in an MMORPG? Yeah, it's an amorphous blob covered in eyes. So what?

Here's an amorphous blob covered in mouths. It's just as scary as the Necrotic Eye back there.

Anyway, Marlo excused himself from our party. Probably so he can go beat some spine into his idiot friends. So it's time to move on to the next sidequest: Sanjuro's!

A quick refresher on Sanjuro's quest:

It's a quiz dungeon, and to give the fun away: it's based on English idioms. So I'm really hoping he couldn't handle the monsters inside.

Remember, Sanjuro lives in the US.

It's always a good sign when you enter a field and can't see shit.

The first enemy we encounter here is a Sled Dog King. Kite's opening attack took off 3/4 of its health. That should say something about how much of a threat it is.

Our requisite physical tolerant enemy. Bonus points for it being part of the family of assholes that will randomly deal most of your maximum health in damage. Thankfully we only encounter one portal containing them before we hit the dungeon.

: The answers are related to the exit. If you are correct, you will go on, but if you are wrong, you will return to the first room. Well, good luck on getting the Tonosama Sword at the bottom.

This is one of those dungeons where you really don't need to use a fairy orb. It's kinda like the maze dungeon from the end of Mutation.

I realize that I spend a lot of time ragging on how dumb the people in this game can be, but come on. These are the sorts of questions this dungeon asks of you. If English is your native language, you've surely heard all of the sayings in this dungeon at least once. Especially if you're a teacher, like Sanjuro is.

The answer: is East.

North, naturally.

Star Eater is a pretty unremarkable enemy.

With Wiseman having just linked the bonfire in his world, he's the new Lord of Cinder.

He really likes setting shit on fire.

Second verse, same as the first.

Go West young man!

You know, I never did watch the West Wing. Was it a good show?

North, to Alaska! We go North to Russia's own.

The link in that last spoiler is a pro click, by the way.

To be completely fair to Sanjuro, this Grangon is a bitch to fight. Lots of health and powerful attacks. This very well could have been his stumbling block.

The Grangon also is guarding the Gott Statue.

: So this is it... give it to me!!
: Don't worry, I know.

: Thanks for helping me again. Here, take this in return.

Sanjuro ditches us to go play with his new katana, leaving us a spot free for Gardenia.

Gardenia was especially helpful in telling us what her goals were with regards to her sidequest.

So many of Kite's friends have great futures as orators.

She gets a new weapon before we set out. It was between her and Nuke for the spear, and I seem to remember giving him a new weapon the last time he was in the party.

Her dungeon was pretty close to the gate-in point, so we didn't encounter any monsters outside.

Inside the dungeon, Gardenia asks us a question.

: It's not like I haven't thought about it before, but... I won't know until the time comes. What's wrong? Why are you asking something like that?

I would like to point out that Kite is 14. He's a teenager. What teenager spends a nonzero amount of time thinking about what they would do if they were dying?

: Nothing, I just wanted to ask... but you are right. I would want to lie in a field with flowers and quietly wait for that time to come. And I will return to Mother Earth and nurture the flowers... No, don't mind me... Let's get to B3 for now.

: Gardenia...

Sled Dog Kings make a return. They're still just as worthless as before.

Holy Nights are slightly more tough by virtue of being magic tolerant. Kite still kicks ass, and Gardenia is using an extremely powerful weapon.

Command Goos also make a "triumphant" return. They still hit like a freight train.

Down on the next floor, Gardenia pipes up again.

: Yeah.

: I didn't answer you back then... but I'll tell you now. The life span of a flower is extremely short. But in that brief moment in time, it lives with all of its might. I...

: Gardenia?

Now I feel kinda bad for asking what teenager thinks about death like that.

Hydrosauruses are just as much of a threat as they were before. Wiseman remains the Herald of Ragnaros the Firelord.

You know, I could get used to sidequest dungeons being three short floors. It's just the right length. Short enough to be quick, but long enough to give you some decent fights.

: Goodbye? What are you saying?! Are you... No, you can't!

That's really sad actually. Someone spending their last living day online because they can't leave the house anymore. Having an adventure with their friends. I'm sorry for making fun of you Gardenia.

: No? There's nothing you can do about it. How can you be so selfish?

: Huh? Well you said life and... goodbye and...

: I see. I think there's been a huge misunderstanding. I'm saying that because I am busy, the amount of time I spend online is as short as a flower's life.

: Well, if you put it like that, anyone would've made the same mistake.

: Would they? It doesn't matter. Well, I have things I must do, so I'm going back. Call me again.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? You deliberately chose phrasing that made it sound like you were dying and... what the FUCK.

Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

What kind of sick bastard leads people on to think they're dying, then chastises them for believing it?

Gardenia you are sick and you fucking need professional help.

: So... why did we come to this area again?

At least we got a secret book out of the deal, but seriously. What the hell. Who even... ugh.

Before I go off on another fuck-infused rant, let's grab Nuke and see what we can do to help him out. As you may recall, he was feeling kinda depressed and burnt out on the game and wanted some help in reinvigorating his interest.

This area ought to be an absolute cinch after the previous 55-56 areas.

Maxwells make a return from like three updates ago. They're about as tough as you expect a level 52 monster would be when fighting Kite's group whose average level is close to 57.

Maiden enemies will never not annoy me. There's something about an enemy that stunlocks you with spells and then runs away before you can get close.

Forest Hsien is another caster enemy. A regular attack from Kite takes off more than half its HP. I don't think it lived long enough to actually cast any spells.

I finally take a look at the Ice Tiger Hood. I forgot we'd been toting one around since Marlo's dungeon, to tell the truth.

Some extra evasion is worth a single point off our attack score.

This thing doesn't last very long. Part of that's because it's level 52, and part of that's because Kite's party is 3/4 of the Riders of the Apocalypse in terms of ability to kick ass.

: I see! That's why! I get it now...

: Hmm? Do you know why you were depressed?

: Yeah, you see, up until now I've been acting like I'm in trouble against a really easy enemy, right? But that's no good. You gotta actually put yourself in danger. Do you get it?

: Uh... yeah...

: Oh, you just thought that you wouldn't want someone like that in your party, huh? Don't worry, I won't take it too far. Well, we did what we came here to do, so let's go home.

:confuoot: Whatever works, I guess.

: ......

Alright, that's enough sidequests. Let's see what the plot's up to.

Λ Pulsating Truth's Core is added to the Word List.

I really wish Wiseman had found this earlier. Like at the end of the last game earlier. Would have made Magus... actually, what am I complaining about? Magus was piss easy despite how annoying that dungeon was.

Σ Generous Bemused Virgin is added to the Word List.

All of Ryoko's area keywords involve the word virgin. It's super creepy.

"I'm in 8th grade. "

Sometimes Kite has the best responses.

Anyway, we're headed off to Net Slum, so let's bring Balmung along. Give him an idea of what it is that Team Kite does.

For posterity, here's Ryoko's sidequest dungeon:

That's a tad too high for us at the moment. So let's go to Paradise instead.

(Tartarga): Oh, you're here. This is the message from Helba.

: Little boy, come to Σ Tested Quicksilver Valkyrie alone.

Σ Tested Quicksilver Valkyrie is added to the Word List.

Oh god DAMMIT. What is with this game's need to send Kite to dungeons alone? Helba has watched us fight Cubia. She's seen us take out three of the phases. Obviously she needs to test Kite again.

(Tartarga): Oh, and there's one other thing. Ever since that day, there's been a troublesome fellow living here. Since you are here... can you get rid of it? The Data Bug is at the opening in the back. I'm counting on you.

A bugged Harpy Queen is an odd opponent. Nevertheless, Team Kickass takes it down in short order.

(Tartarga): Thank you.

: All right, let's go back to town.

At least it's a level 52 area.

It's not even worth commenting on the enemies here. Sora's blades and Kite's high stats crush everything in his path.

He also has a spell that heals himself for 400 HP, and enough healing items to probably successfully solo a phase fight.

I mean, look at those numbers. To say Kite tears through the dungeon is to do it injustice. Nothing even gives him pause.

If the dungeon was so easy, then why did I complain so much about being sent into it solo? Besides the data bug beyond the purple mist, it's also the reasons I covered above. Kite and Co. have proven themselves capable of handling anything the system can throw at them. He will never solo fight a phase, or Cubia. So there's no reason to send him in alone.

Furthermore, suppose he falls in battle and is rendered comatose. Suddenly the only hope The World has of ever returning to normal has been taken out, all in the name of a fucking test of resolve. It's dangerous, it's stupid, and it's not the last time we'll be asked to do something incredibly stupid in the name of a test.

Also the boss is a complete bastard.

The fight lasted over 7 minutes. Most of which was Kite running out of range and casting spells at the thing, because it was far too dangerous to remain in melee range. Those drill enemies can combo you, and as mentioned before, they hit exceptionally hard.

If the RNG hates you, you can be taken from full to 0 in under a second, all from standing in melee range. Helba can take her test and shove it up her ass.

: Did you test me?

: The success of the operation depends on you. But good work. I've heard from Wiseman about the plan. I think his tactics might work. I'll accept your offer. Give him my regards.

Information from Helba about the data volume in a field increasing, followed by more garbled text from Aura.

So I guess that means...

NEXT TIME: Phase 4, the Prophet.

See you then!