Part 40: .hack Quarantine - //Update 02 - Σ Screaming Wind Sand's Fate Castle//Update 02
Hello again everyone! Today's update isn't going to be particularly action-packed, but we're still ramping things up. The next three updates are gonna more than cover your action needs, so strap yourselves in and get ready to do... something.
We start off with the team already chosen and ready to investigate that data bug for Lios. I didn't want to say anything last time, but this occasion is very special. It marks the last time that Lios will ever ask us to destroy a data bug! From here on out, we're on the offensive in a big way.
No prizes for guessing what enemies we're going to face in this field. Here's a hint, it's the same enemies we first fought three updates into Outbreak, and faced in both Gorre's dungeon and the bonus dungeon.
Those enemies and this Acanthaster thing. You can also see what's about to become a hallmark of Wiseman's - tree spells.
Otherwise, like I said, it's still the same enemies. Liches are still massive pains to fight, and so on and so forth.
Kite seems so surprised to see a data bug in a corrupted dungeon. How many of these things has he destroyed by this point? It seems weird that he would be surprised this late into the game.
Sand Hill data bugs are surprisingly hardy, but they all still have a crippling weakness to Wiseman's new favorite element.
Ultimately it still goes down like all the previous data bugs.
: End data measurement. Mission completed. Good work.
: All right, let's go back to Root Town.
We have new mail waiting for us. Those of you familiar with pattern recognition probably can guess what its contents are.
But first this news story is particularly interesting. Kite will kindly explain why.
: It's the hospital where Orca is... We have to hurry...
Yeah. That's not good. We're incredibly lucky that Orca is still alive.
So yes, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Ω Server has J, K, and L virus cores.
: Did you read the news... about the Niizato University Hospital? It's related isn't it? I keep thinking... what is something like that happens at the hospital where Kazu is...
: What do you mean, "Yeah"?!
Oh Christ, Blackrose. Use your pea-sized brain for something other than getting upset and fucking think. Why might Kite not be in a fucking chipper mood, ready to discuss about how you're glad it wasn't Kazu's hospital?
It's funny, I didn't used to hate Blackrose. But in Quarantine, she's turned into this awful person who can't stop being hateful.
: I feel the same way. I want to get rid of the Wave from this world right now. But... we're all finally on the same team. I'm sure it'll work. We shouldn't get impatient.
I know that, but Kazu and Orca are...
: Orca is all right... so...
: Hey... is the hospital that Orca is... is it...
So before I start calling Blackrose awful names, let's talk to this fellow who seems to have wandered in from a STALKER game.
: (Spiritas) There seems to be a strange room in Σ Screaming Wind Sand's Fate Castle. You may be able to change this world...
Σ Screaming Wind Sand's Fate Castle is added to the Word List.
Oh boy, another level 70 dungeon.
Had I not cheated in all those virus cores, we would have had to go out and farm 2 J cores, and 3 G and H cores. That sounds like the very opposite of fun, to be honest.
Please don't play these awful games. If you somehow feel the odd compulsion to do so against my wishes and your better judgment, don't feel bad cheating in virus cores. Anybody who tells you differently does not have your mental well being in mind and wants you to suffer for the sake of suffering.
Anyhow, a disembodied voice will rant at us about evolution on every floor of this dungeon. I'm not sure exactly why, but sure - why not?
I swear, by the end of this game, you all are gonna be as sick of these monster types as I am. I don't need to see a shriveled scrotum with eyes and pubes.
I forget exactly when I started doing so, but I eventually quit capturing screenshots of duplicate monsters. I also didn't intend to get a shot when the screen went all inverted, but hey it makes for a cool-looking shot!
Down on the third floor, data bugs start showing up in the monster portals. It's just a hilariously weak "W*dSto^k" bug, though. So no cause for alarm yet.
Is it just me or did those weird disembodied rants do a complete 180? These last two seem to be saying the opposite of what the first two did.
I'm not sure what I data drained these out of, but these blades are gonna be so useful many hours down the line. When you equip these bad boys, you do so little damage that you can protect break an enemy on Δ Server!
It wasn't until I was reviewing the video I encoded of this section that I had an epiphany. Do you guys think that it's possible that the tree depicted here is the one Harald waited under for Emma? It would explain the freestanding assortment of women's clothing, to be honest. She never showed up and so neither does the woman here.
That actually makes the riddle posed by the Ape With Human Speech pretty heart wrenching. "What clings to you? Bear it you cannot, accept it you cannot, but hidden it is from you."
Emma's death. Harald couldn't accept it, nor could he bear it, and so he went into denial and threw himself into his life's work.
: I can't find Mia anywhere.
: Maybe... she stopped playing the game.
: There's no way!
: Hey, I know! You help us out as well! If Mia is still here, you may be able to find her that way.
: Yeah... you're right. Mia likes this type of stuff. Will you let me help?
: It's decided.
It's kind of shitty to involve Elk in this. He's looking for Mia and Blackrose has him convinced that by helping us out, he'll find her. Just another chip on the "Blackrose is an awful person" pile.
While this would be a good stopping point, let's continue on some more. Doing so will mean that next time we have more action, all the time and won't have to cut things off at an awkward place. Plus it's better to get this next part over and done with quickly.
Understand why, yet?
Σ Unmatched Worst Abyss is added to the Word List.
So Piros is upset that someone is using good pricing practices? Healing items in this game are incredibly expensive, and selling them for more than the shops is a pretty good way to make a pile of money, truth be told. Whatever, may as well help him. If nothing else, we'll get to see him try to attack someone despite PvP being disabled.
Σ Breezing Sage's Walkway is added to the Word List.
We're going to have to put this one on the back-burner for a while. The reason being that it's a level 85 field, and we're in the low 70s. Sadly, by the time we get around to doing this one, we'll have found the best spot to level up in the game.
Piros has an absolute pile of health. He's a few levels lower than Blackrose, but has almost 300 more than she does.
I really do not like this family of enemies. They're really evasive, so only magic will reliably hit them. Yes, they come in data bug variety, too. You know, just because the game wasn't being enough of a bastard.
I love Sora's Blades. Taking off almost 4500 health out the gate on this battle is pretty awesome.
I'm fairly certain we haven't seen these snake enemies yet. They don't start showing up until the high level fields, and have an annoying propensity to charm your heavy armor wearers.
: Hmm! That's... the corrupt player that sold me - uh, I mean, my friend, an expensive item!
: (JJ) Oh! You're that guy from the other day. The amount you gave me for the Healing Potion was off by a figure.
: Hey! This is...
: It's change. :-)
: The monster here is pretty strong. A lot of people run out of items, so I do business here. I stock up while I'm playing, so I sell them cheaper than the item shops. Isn't that cool?
: Was... was it my friend's mistake? Ha ha ha ha ha! I'll thank you on his behalf... Thank you!
: Friend? I believe it was you...
: Ha... ha ha... Our designs were similar... because... you know we are friends. I must correct the misunderstanding and return him his money... well, so long all!
: I'm going back as well. Oh! I got some leftovers, do you want to use these?
: I'm going to log off now. So long.
Every other person in this game is an idiot. JJ was nice, and generous, but still an idiot. No matter how you look at it, he's ultimately operating at a loss as far as his money is concerned. I guess he just hates money.
Anyway, doing that task for Piros put us exactly where we need to be for next time. So let's check our e-mails and such.
Imagine nobody in the world being able to call or text each other for more than two hours. That's pretty fuckin' scary, to be honest.
A 20x increase for priority deliveries? That's kind of impressive, honestly. I guess some good came out of the phones being down?
Okay, we need to get this shit under control and fast. The sixth phase is out there and apparently it's causing all sorts of havoc with hospitals.
We've received operational orders from Wiseman. We're ready to go!
NEXT TIME: Phase 6 - The Temptress.
Shit is about to get very real, very fast. Stay tuned!