Part 47: .hack Quarantine - //BONUS ROUND - .hack//Fr?gmentThis is a special update to make up for the fact that I'm not going to be updating tomorrow due to wedding shenanigans. (Not my wedding, thankfully.)
This was one of the things I wanted to cover in this version of the thread, but I never really got around to recording stuff for it. I was way too burnt out after dealing with that fucking item collection quest. But that quest wrapped up in March and it's mid-May now, and with enough distance I can stand to play something in the same engine for at least long enough to record a small quick-look at something pretty neat.
You see, in November of 2005, CC2 released a game titled .hack//Frägment. The umlaut is important, you see. It differentiates this game from the in-universe prototype for The World. That's also the last time I'm going to use the umlaut version, so just be aware that when I say "Fragment" from this point forward, I'm referring to the MMO.
Anyway, CC2 Japan released Fragment, a real life MMO based in the IMOQ games. You could create a character and run around Doing Things in all your favorite locations from the games. However, this MMO was never localized in the US and the servers shut down in January of 2007 after only 14 months of being active. According to the wikia page on Fragment, the servers were initially intended to shut down in November of 2006 but were kept active due to the game's popularity.
Fast forward to 2014 when the folks over at coldbird.net announce that they have a playable version of Fragment available for download on their website. That is what I'm going to be showing you guys today! We're going to be going through character creation and the tutorial of the offline portion of Fragment.
This image is mostly here to fuck with people who don't click on the updates.
I'm gonna be honest, I don't really know what the Area Server option even means. I have the associated program installed, but the menu options are entirely in japanese and I can't read a lick of it.
This is the main menu. Clicking on either of the top two options brings up the following screen.
The third option brings up a list full of numbers, while the last option is apparently exit.
Forum threads on coldbird.net seem to point to it being a customizable server you can use for your own personal use and apparently it "levels up" when you loot shit from the Gott Statue. It's far too much effort to figure out so that's why I don't bother with it.
Anyway, the Online option allows you to connect to someone else's server. But for our own purposes, we're going with the Offline option, which is just Fragment's story mode.
We're taken to this awful colored desktop. The orange is so garish, but at least we only have to deal with it for this one look. The second option is mail and the third is news. There is no news and we have no mail.
However, if you select The World, then you are taken to character select.
So let's make a character!
So, going from left to right, we can play as Kite, Balmung, Blackrose, Piros, Gardenia, or Elk.
Long Arm is objectively the correct choice here.
Anyway, this is the customization screen. Type determines your character's appearance and gender. Type A - C are male, D - F are female. Color just determines what color outfit you're wearing. Height and Width are pretty self explanatory, though it should be noted that selecting the down-arrow means you're playing as a child-sized character.
We're also asked to assign stats.
I do not do a particularly good job of it.
Meet DOUBLENE the Long Arm. My username is a tad too long as it turns out. I would have used some lowercase letters, but I couldn't find the option. I didn't look very hard.
The main menu is a lot more crowded than it is in the main games. Guild and Ranking don't do anything particularly useful, and BBS is... well, take a look.
Yeah, that's not exactly readable. So let's just log in to the game instead of dicking around on the BBS.
I like the US version's font better. It's much more readable than this one.
: Hello. Hello! ...No answer? Hmm. Oh I get it! You must be new here! I'm bear! ...What?! I'm not suspicious!
: ...I'm just helping the newbie here, BT.
: ...So Mr. Bear is giving lectures now?
BT turns to DOUBLENE and starts talking to her instead.
: I'm BT. Nice to meet you. I'm a Wavemaster.
: BT and I could show you around. How about it?
: Let's go then! That's what a MMO is about anyway. Communication! Here, take this.
: Member Addresses can be used to email your friends inside The World.
I'm gonna be cutting out a lot of the tutorial here. We know all of it already and there's little point in explaining it again this late in the LP.
: Now for the real thing. Try to invite me into your party.
Bear looks really unfortunate here. But as bad as he looks, wait until you see BT.
: ...Just got it! "Incoming Party Request"
He actually uses some weird form of brackets. Just mentally substitute FF14's auto translate brackets instead of quote marks and you have the idea.
DOUBLENE looks like she's had enough of this tutorial shit.
: Anyway, we should get going. BT, you ready?
: ...one second. Member Address.
: All right! Time to embark on your first adventure. Let's find an easy area for you. This is the Chaos Gate. It takes you from one place to another. It's like a teleporter.
: Tally-Ho! Δ Bursting Passed Field, here we come!
Bursting Passed Field doesn't have the same ring that the US localized equivalent does. Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field just sounds better. Anyway, here I'm going to start cutting a lot of the tutorial stuff out, so just expect highlights.
Like Bear and BT bickering like an old married couple.
: Don't mock me old man...
This is the only hit that DOUBLENE lands in the entire tutorial.
This was in response to the "How to command your party" tutorial. Moving on into the dungeon, we get to the treasure chest tutorial.
: Just like guys hitting on BT.
: You will be next if you don't stop.
: Wish I could picklock my way into BT's heart.
The rest of the dungeon was completely uneventful. It's Δ Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field after all. What could possibly happen there? Anyway, back in town we meet Mimiru.
: And BT too, always together. What have you been doing?
: Bear decided to play teacher.
Skipping ahead some, everyone decides to leave.
Apparently Mimiru is pretending to be a dwarf or a British person.
If you look at the minimap, you'll notice that the save station is not shown. The recorder, however, is present.
Speaking of the options menu, take a look at how much crap is on it.
Fragment would be a gigantic drag to play because there is way too much going on. Like, for example, if you wanted to check your mail.
First you would have to select the mailer option.
Then specify whether you want Online or Offline mail.
Next you have to go all the way to the bottom to select your inbox.
Finally you have to select the message you want to read.
I'm sure this is a very heartfelt message from Bear, but oh well.
So let's give this one last try.
: That Bracelet! You must have been chosen! I wonder if it works the same way "his" does. I know you are surprised. Every bracelet bearer is at first. Let me show you how to use it. Add me to your party!
You know what? Fuck this noise. I don't wanna be a bracelet bearer!
In all seriousness, that's approxmately as far as the game has been translated. I think Mia's mission is still in english, but after that it just goes to All Japanese All The Time, and I don't have the patience to play through an approximation of IMOQ's story, but even slower.
So, bid farewell to DOUBLENE the Long Arm and this mysterious place where Bear and BT pressgang a newbie into an adventure.
We're nearly done with Quarantine's story, guys. Next time we go to the final dungeon, Δ Reincarnated Purgatorial Altar. Stay tuned!