Part 42: .hack Quarantine - //Update 04 - Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars (Cubia Edition)//Update 04
Greetings everyone, welcome back. Last time we ended on a pretty somber note, and today's gonna be a short one by necessity, but what update with Cubia isn't?
I've said it several times now, but Quarantine is a very short game. Last time we fought phase 6, today we're fighting Cubia, and next time we are going to fight phase 7.
Shall we get started?
: Yes sir!
It may not be a bad idea to resupply before heading back out. Macha can be a pretty big drain on your supplies if she takes a dislike to you, and while Cubia is an easy fight, it does take a long time to go through the motions.
Jumping forward a little bit to the dungeon of Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars. If you need a refresher on what the dungeon looks like, we covered it last update. It's a pretty short dungeon, though.
: We parted with Elk at Σ Graceful Tempting Fallen Angel. Is something wrong?
: He left his position with the vaccine! The final drive won't be -
: Lios! I can't hear you, Lios! ...Let's go down.
: We're aborting the operation!
: Return to Ω Server Root Town!
: Wiped out... You mean...?
God DAMMIT Elk! His little hissy fit here just put five people into comas. The awful thing is, he's never made to account for this betrayal. He gets away with critically injuring five people and nobody ever calls him on it.
This is the one time where it would be justified for Blackrose to get angry and she's keeping silent on the matter.
Look at the change in Aura here.
The first time we fought Cubia in Mutation, Mistral was right. It was difficult to see until we had something to contrast against, but she was very much not alive. Look at how much color returned to her when we gave her the final segment!
This line is incredibly important, by the way. That's why I have it in screenshot form. Aura merely returning to life was enough to completely halt the momentum of the Wave. In fact, we will not be seeing any more news stories about how shit is going wrong on the outside. Aura put a stop to all of that just by virtue of existing.
Is it any wonder that Skeith was hunting her down so fiercely in the first game? This revelation also excuses what would otherwise be a moment of immense stupidity many updates from now, so just keep it in the back of your mind. Trust me, you'll know when that moment is. I may forget about it then, so someone kindly remind me when that time comes.
Of course, Aura can't show up without something else showing up as well.
Look at how massive Cubia has gotten!
: No! You must run! You can't fight Cubia...
She really needs to explain why we shouldn't fight Cubia. It chased us down, it attacked us. We're just defending ourselves!
So, as per before, the cycle goes that Cubia sends out its core, which alternates between being physical and magical tolerant. Don't be afraid to micromanage here! You've done this twice before, you can do it again.
In Mutation, Cubia had one core. In Outbreak, Cubia had two cores.
In Quarantine, Cubia has three cores.
And later on in Quarantine, Cubia will have five cores.
Eventually the anti-existence will start dying again and, as usual, run off like a coward.
: Cubia doesn't want me to meet Aura.
: There's no doubt about it.
: The Wave has resumed its movement... unable to determine course.
: Let's return to Ω Server Root Town.
Video: *** WATCH THIS VIDEO ***
: We still have a chance if we herd it to the other route!
: My men are in the hospital! How are you going to herd it?
: Lios, plans are thought up with failures in mind.
: Helba... that was quick.
This is one of my absolute favorite moments in the series. It's a much-needed pick-me-up after what happened both last time and earlier in this very update.
This is the reason you should watch that video above, by the way.
: We also have the improved vaccine. We can resume the operation at any time.
: I've heard about your men, but... for their sake, can you stop now?
Lios's ellipsis abuse is actually him hemming and hawing over the idea. He understands the darker side of what it is Helba has done here. The optimistic way to look at things is that she contacted everyone and asked for their help.
The pessimistic way to look at things is that she told everyone that Kite was in trouble and that their help was sorely needed, effectively using their goodwill as a bargaining chip to get their assistance. After what happened in Liminality 3, we all know she wouldn't be above doing just this very thing. This is how I lean, to be honest.
No matter how you view the situation, it's still a pretty uplifting moment. It's hard to not smile as all of Kite's friends come to the rescue.
Lios doesn't want to involve regular players in this, but Helba's got him over a barrel. These players are here and are willing to help do whatever they're asked to do. How can he very well say no?
: Resume operation!
: To your positions!
: It's gonna hurt if you get slashed!
: May the stars shine upon you until the end of your journeys!
: We'll win!
: Iris. The flower language is: faith, hope, wisdom, and power!
: From today, I won't run away!
: Unleash the hounds of war... right?
: It's a great setup for a stage! Let's rumble!
: I'll make it cheap. You can pay me back later.
: I hope all will go well today.
: Heh heh... I came. We can't... just let it be! I want him to play a great game as well.
: You will form the fighting party and stand by at the lowest level of the dungeon of Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars!
If .hack//Quarantine were a better game, this would be the point at the endgame where we're given full control over our party makeup, allowing us to take any combination of our favorites into the upcoming boss fight.
.hack//Quarantine is not a good game. Yes, we can take any party we want into the upcoming boss fight - as long as it's Kite, Blackrose, and someone else. Elk, naturally, is disqualified. As much as I want to bring Mistral along, it would be massively irresponsible of us to put her in that much danger knowing that she's pregnant. So we're going to be sticking with Kite, Blackrose, and Wiseman.
NEXT TIME: Phase 7 - The Avenger.