The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 29: .hack Outbreak - //Update 05 - It's actually pronounced Fid-hell

//Update 05

Greetings everyone. Today's update is gonna be a short one - all we're doing is a quick boss battle. However, it is a very important fight! You see, today we're gonna be tackling yet another phase fight.

Oh right. I also wanted to mention that as of this update, I've started upscaling the accompanying videos to 960x720, which should prevent youtube from butchering their quality.

So let's get to it, eh?

Edajima is a pretty cool dude. Especially giving us that fourth O-core. We're gonna need all four of them shortly!

For posterity, here's the team heading into the fight. Also... wait, what?

Does Wiseman really have 1,097,000 GP? :staredog:

I just noticed that while writing this update. Holy crap!

It's kinda awkward, but I like that the game is acknowledging the phase fights in that fashion.

: Yes.
: All right, the connection on this side is good to go. It'll be tiresome if Lios notices. I'll run the jammer right before the battle. Hurry!

I'm not sure it's ever outright explained what's going on, but Wiseman and Helba both understand how bad things get when Kite data drains a phase, especially after last time. So they collaborated together on a plan to try and quarantine the field so the damage doesn't spread like it has the previous three times.

This pre-boss dungeon is atypical of the previously established conventions. It's relatively short, the enemies are pretty easy to kill, and it isn't a drain on your supplies.

The enemies are nothing new at this point, just the standard fare we've been fighting since the start of the volume.

The floors are so short, too. Most of them will fit nicely on a single minimap square. Hell, the closest it gets to being devious is the third floor and... well, look at the map.

Anyway, purple fog gate means a boss is ahead.


: Whaaah! What the hell? It's a mask this time!

: Launching program. Audio and visual communication from this end will now cease functioning. White noise on the screen will signal the start of battle. Good luck!

Alright. So. Fidchell.

This boss is honestly the single most disappointing phase fight in the series. Its predecessors, Innis and Magus, were far more threatening. Recall that both of those fights were approximately as difficult as destroying wet paper, and you should get a good idea of how bad this fight is.

The whole idea behind the fight is that Fidchell will use an ability called "Oracle" where it foretells using a super powerful spell, and then it debuffs you. This debuff lowers your elemental resistance to the element it foretold casting.

It's a pretty simple idea for a boss fight, and if the idea worked, I would laud the game for making a phase fight interesting. If the idea worked.


The linked video showcases all five of Fidchell's abilities and is worth watching if only to hear the first phase in the series to actually speak.

When I recorded the fight, I went to extra pains to capture how much damage the oracle abilities do both when you are and are not debuffed with weakness to that element.

As you can see here, the party took quite a bit of damage from the attack. Look at the past two HP totals to compare before and after. Kite took 537, Blackrose took 917, and Wiseman took 617 damage. All three are pretty respectable numbers, right? 46% of Kite's HP, 74% of Blackrose's, and 66% of Wiseman's.

Ready for the kicker?

This is the amount of damage dealt to the party when they aren't debuffed by the elemental weakness. Notice some striking similarities between those numbers and the ones I quoted above?

Yeah. The basic premise of the fight is fundamentally broken. I'm not sure offhand how much the elemental weakness debuffs your stat in the corresponding element, but the numbers don't lie.

Ice Storm is basically a souped up version of Skeith's Judgement move. Also I want to point out that the damage screenshot is from the run where I didn't bother removing the debuff. It actually wore off before Fidchell ever got around to casting Ice Storm!

Thunder Cry is visually impressive, but otherwise hits just as hard as Devil Quake.

On the other hand, Hell Fire is just embarrassing. It's just a rain of fire from the sky, just like Wiseman loves to spam.

Finally, Fidchell can data drain. I do want to point out the little zeroes and bar codes that make up the data drain strands. They've been there since we first got Data Drain back in Infection, but I never paid attention to them. It's a really cool effect.

As far as strategy for Fidchell goes? It slams the ground once or twice and then casts a spell. Usually it's Dek Do or Mumyn Lei. (Slow and Sleep respectively.) Though once in a while it will also cast Suvi Lei. (Paralysis.) If it doesn't cast a status spell, it will cast one of its Oracles.

If it casts an Oracle, it will immediately follow up with a status spell, and at least one ground slam before casting the accompanying damage spell. So you have plenty of time to get rid of the debuffs if you were so inclined.

So to negate whatever difficulty the fight has, just put Wiseman on healing and go about your business. He'll take care of patching up whatever damage Kite and Blackrose take, and will rather enthusiastically remove the elemental debuffs.

It's also been my experience that if you're diligent with just mashing the attack button in front of the boss whenever you get a chance, it'll only get the opportunity to cast four Oracles before protect breaking.

Like Magus before it, Fidchell actually gets more difficult upon being data drained.

Marginally so, at least. It only has 5,000 HP. Just let Wiseman cut loose with attacking and be ready to heal whatever damage it deals.

It really likes to cast spells. It has four spells for the four elements it had Oracles for: LaRue Zot is its water elemental spell. RaVak Don is the fire spell, GiRai Don is the thunder spell, and OrGan Zot will typically flat out kill its target.

According to the wiki, Fidchell retains the ability to cast its status spells. I don't have reason to doubt that, but I never saw it happen in the two minutes it lived after being data drained.

I'm also going to shut up now and let you all enjoy this next bit without any commentary. Be sure to watch the upcoming video. It's pretty great.

Next time, we'll see whether or not Wiseman and Helba's operation was a success. See y'all then!