Part 30: .hack Outbreak - //Update 06 - Σ Rising Implacable Sipping Bug//Update 06
Greetings everyone! Now that I'm capable of tearing my attention away from Starbound for more than two minutes, I figured I owed you guys an update! Last time, we took down one of the eight phases and for our trouble we received a pretty ominous prophecy.
Last Time posted:
So let's pick right back up, shall we?
Town is, yet again, empty. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the answer to that is "no." So, back to the desktop we go.
Scientists and researchers can be giant jackasses. I'm pretty sure if a guy came forward with a theory that he could model and predict future disasters, the response wouldn't be "Psh. You're dreaming." Or maybe it would.
Though honestly that's kind of sad to think about.
The cause is under investigation.
Our protagonist ladies and gents, causing 80,000 commuters to be late to work. Even with two of the brightest hacker minds working on the problem, the damage was still pretty widespread. How widespread? Well...
To the tune of $300,000,000. I've got a strong feeling that without someone on the side of the system, we're never going to be able to stop the damage that occurs when we data drain a phase.
What kind of name is Me&Her for a band? Also Kite finally puts two and two together with that last message and figures out what we've known for a while now.
While I want to blame this on Kite, if we go back to Aura's previous garbled message...
"Fidchell is going to go outside with my fragment.
Please bring it back!"
We caused a lot of damage, sure. But we also stopped something much, much worse from happening. Imagine what would happen if a live phase made it out of the system and into the network!
You know what? Marlo's pretty cool. Anyway, with that out of the way, let's log in and see what new horrors await.
: I brought you some Aromatic Grass.
: Wow! Thanks! So much? This must've taken a long time.
: It isn't that much. And by the way, I haven't seen you for a while. Were you busy?
: I don't remember... My memory these days is fuzzy...
: It sounds like you're just tired. I would rest if I were you.
: Oh, hi!
: So, who are you?
: I'm... not myself. I'm done today.
: Yes. I think that's a good idea.
: Wow. Mia seems to be exhausted. She's gotten to the point where she's beginning to lose her memory.
: I'm worried, Elk.
: ...... Don't tire yourself out, either. I'm gonna log off, too.
: Thanks. See ya.
: Bye bye.
Well shit. I hope Mia's gonna be okay. Being that tired is never a good sign. Last time we saw her, she was delirious, and now she's forgetting stuff. This is why you need to sleep, kids. Sleep is good. Sleep is your friend!
There's nothing to be done currently, except for Ryoko's sidequest, so we'll take Elk's advice and take a break for now.
God DAMMIT Lios!
I thought we were done with this shit. Lios ended that relationship pretty cleanly by betraying us, so why does he want to work with us now?
: Making me do all of that for what? Look at what happened!
: What are you saying now? You acted on your own free will. ... You're late!
: Our free will? You just used us!
: This is why I don't like kids. Listen. Our interests were the same, so we joined forces. You followed orders out of your own free will. That is all.
: Any questions? If not, I'll get on with the subject. An area where a virus is perceived to be incubating has been found. I want you to investigate it. Stand by at the Chaos Gate.
: I can't hear you.
: Yes, sir!
: "Following orders out of your own free will"... Tch!
This line is very important. I want you to read it again. Go ahead, I'll wait. ... ... ... You're done? Good. Think about what it means. Lios is obviously reading from a script that CC Corp upper management handed him. 'Following orders out of your own free will' is no defense and he knows it. He knows he's being told to bully children into submission with bullshit.
And you know what? He doesn't like it.
: It is shameful that we are taking orders from someone like that!
: We need the information from Lios, and Lios needs us... ...to help Orca, and to restore this world to what it used to be.
: I will accompany you this time as well. I called BlackRose too, but she apparently does not like me.
Show of hands. Who would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when that happened?
: The target of the investigation is: Σ Rising Implacable Sipping Bug. It's protected, so use this.
: All right, I'll wait for you at the field.
Σ Rising Implacable Sipping Bug is added to the Word List.
A level 56 area means... yep, you guessed it. More of the same monsters. Joy.
Not pictured: 20 minutes of grinding virus cores. Also not pictured: me vowing to cheat in 99 of every virus core in the game for Quarantine. Fuck grinding those things.
I would ask who would blame me, but the only people that would have never played this series and have never experienced the grind that is virus cores. So...
: The infection of the field is level three... this is bad.
Yep. Looks like every dungeon since the start of the game.
: The infection in the dungeon is far greater than the field... I will go to the lowest level. You should hurry up.
Despite all indications, this is just a data bug dungeon.
I don't even have anything funny to say about these enemies anymore. We've seen them all how many times now? They keep popping up! This is more-or-less the halfway point of the game. Let me reiterate that. For the first half of the game, we fight the same enemies over and over and over and over and over again.
Even if we were at-level and didn't have the murderblades, we would still have no problems because it's a party with Balmung and Wiseman. Balmung, by definition, is a crutch character and Wiseman is one of the most powerful Wavemasters in The World.
We haven't seen many of these enemies yet. Time Visitors are part of an "alien" group of enemies that all have one feature that sets them apart from others. When you data drain an enemy in this group, it turns into a UFO enemy that has absurdly high defense and 1000 health, instead of a level 1 weakling with less than 20.
: The virus incubating in the monsters are replicating at an exponential rate. There is a possibility that "The World" itself will become a virus. If that happens, there may be nothing we can do but to destroy the servers in order to prevent the spread of damage.
: That's ridiculous!
: If you do that, the clues to finding the cure for the coma victims will be lost forever!
: I understand. Yet I'm still saying it, because I understand - No, it's nothing. There's no use telling you about this. The investigation is complete. Good work.
Lios is caught in between a rock and a hard place. He wants to help Kite, but he also has his job and his responsibilities to think about. I don't envy him his position at all.
Back in town, the game thinks we've had far too much melodrama lately. So...
: I have great information. I might tell you on the condition that you will go with me. So?
: It's all right...
: Yes, yes, you want to hear. That's the spirit! The more the merrier and two heads are better than one.
: I didn't say that, I...
: You recite the secret spell three times at the lowest level of Σ Dying Windmill's Neigh. And then you get rare items. Are you coming? Of course you are. I knew it! That's the spirit! Well let's strike while the iron is hot. Let's go, now that it's been decided!
: It's not decided yet!
Σ Dying Windmill's Neigh is added to the Word List.
What the fuck is that thing?
Besides the Chthonian horror up above, the usual suspects come out to play. Down on the lowest level, we run across the Gott Statue.
Then in the designated "something happens in here" room, Piros finally unveils his evil scheme for items.
: SRI JAYEWARDENPURA KOTTE, SRI JAYEWARDENPURA KOTTE, SRI JAYEWARDENPURA KOTTE!!
: Give me those items. I was the one who gave you the information, so I believe that this is fair.
: Sure, but what are you...
: I really want them! Friend! Please understand!
: Woohoo! Friend! I'll put them on right now... Wha - wha? This is!!
: Ha ha... ha ha ha... ha ha ha... This is a complete course! What an unpredictable world it is! Live long and prosper! Let's meet again!
Mia would have gotten a kick out of that.
Alright. The game went loopy here. I'm honestly unsure of what order the rest of the update happens in. When I was playing, I hit log in to go to the game and I was immediately kicked back to the desktop with more unread mail.
I'm gonna present it in the order it happened in, because I have no idea otherwise.
Σ Expansive Corrupted Ridgeline is added to the Word List.
Σ Dying Grieving Battlefield is added to the Word List.
: Hey! Balmung sent me an e-mail saying he wants to talk...
: E-mail? Oh... Balmung is one of us now.
: What? He sided with Lios! He's so arrogant, a coward, and -
: Oh, Balmung!
: Uh... strong, and is the Descendent of Fianna and...
: I'm sorry for everything.
: Wh - wh - what? You're throwing me off...
: This feeling... Aura?
: Hey... and what are you talking about?
: I heard Aura's voice. She said... she's waiting at Λ Merciless Grieving Furnace. That girl is calling.
: That girl?
: Aura, the girl that gave me the bracelet. Let's go to Λ Merciless Grieving Furnace.
Who remembers what happens when Kite meets Aura? If you don't then that's fine. I guess you'll be finding out...
NEXT TIME: Kite and Aura meet. Again. Also Balmung meets the anti-existence.