The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 49: .hack Quarantine - //Update 10 - Corbenik

//Update 10

Hello everyone. Today's update has only one thing: the final boss of this game, of this series.

I don't want to waste too much time on preamble, so...

: We're able to come back.

The game tells you to save. GO SAVE.

If you fail here, you'll have to redo the final dungeon and Cubia again. There is a nonzero chance of getting a game over here. The final boss hits like a goddamn truck and hits more often than once per geologic era.

You will be low on health, and if you're not quick on the draw, you will die badly.

If we're down to needing Healing Potions and Health Drinks, then we've already lost. Otherwise, most everything is maxed out.

Able Lamellar is actually better than the Demon Mail. We got it somewhere in the last dungeon. You may have noticed that we're still using Sora's Blades for some unknown reason.

We're back to Raian, so we're now hitting fast and incredibly hard. I should have shelved Sora's Blades a long time ago because the Death effect doesn't work on bosses.

So outside of the final boss of the game, we're all in the low '90s. Look at all those 99s on our stats!


: ...All right. I'll go get Helba and the others.


Before I continue on, I want to point something out. Back in Mutation I talked briefly about how the game's developers got more adept at how they handled cutscenes. Well, look at this image here.

It perfectly shows off Quarantine's approach to that. You may have noticed looking at the previous nine updates, but many characters have been cast in shadow from certain angles, giving things an oddly cinematic quality, even with the low-res models.

It's a really subtle lighting trick and it helps to emphasize just how thrown into despair things have become. It also feels oddly like we're in the middle of the night, as though this meeting were taking place in the wee hours of the morning.

(Coincidentally I'm typing this update at 1:30 AM, so I consider myself something of an expert at what late at night feels like.)

: Let's begin.

: The bracelet was lost in that battle with Cubia.

: What?! The bracelet is the only method of opposition against the Wave.

: Power - all now to droplets, and the world dwindles into twilight... Just like the Epitaph.

: About that... is it really "twilight?"

: Interesting. Continue.

: It's Aura. When I look at her, I don't think the world is facing dusk. Rather, dawn - daybreak. It feels that way to me.

: True, the word "twilight" means both.

: Even so, so what?

: I see... so we may find our chance there.

: "It is darkest before the dawn." That's what Harald said. I want to believe him.

: So, what do you wanna do?

Before we continue with this, I need to interject. Go back and re-read that exchange again. It won't take very long.

Kite's whole plan is to trust that Aura can protect them from Morganna's power. There is no subterfuge, just heroically (and suicidally) attacking a force they have no way of ever hoping to oppose without the bracelet.

We've got our backs up to the wall and we have no alternatives. We have to fight and we know we're going to lose. This is a moment of sheer lunacy for Kite and company, and any normal person would declare the situation hopeless.

Their one saving grace (by the way this is what I alluded to in the Cubia fight before the one we just finished) is that Aura is immensely powerful. Remember that just by merely being reformed, she completely halted the momentum of the Cursed Wave. Things are not as hopeless as they may initially appear, but the way Kite has phrased things is utterly stupid.

We're going to win - despite the odds - because of Aura, not because Harald programmed the game to have a happy ending.

Also, yes, that is Elk spying on our conversation.

: That's... a gamble.

: ...But it is worth doing.

: However, it is also a fact that it would be dangerous.

: Very well. This is neither an order nor obligation. Those who will not join, gate out while I count down from three.

: It's decided.

: I have one suggestion. Why don't we first test that method on a Data Bug?

What method? Trusting in Harald's programmed happy ending? We've got a rogue AI who doesn't want to die, and is willing to permanently disable innocents to ensure she lives. There is no method here, there is no plan.

: Unfortunately, we don't have time for that. It appears we are the ones who have been cornered.


Our final boss is a fucking testicle. The eighth phase is someone's missing nut.

I know it's supposed to be a peanut or seed or whatever.


The first thing Corbenik does is shoot out 5 glowing seeds with short countdown timers. Unlike Magus, this boss doesn't fuck around trying to set up what appears to be an instant death attack.

A few seconds after ejecting the seeds, it will kill one of your party members (usually Blackrose) with high level wood magic.

You're usually busy trying to destroy these countdown seeds because you remember how the Magus fight went.

That's just what Corbenik was counting on. Those seeds explode after their timer expires. Between the last shot and this one, Blackrose was revived and is already at 30% of her max HP.

Then just to be a bastard, Corbenik decides this would be an excellent time to hop around like a four year old hardlining sugar. Each bounce deals heavy damage.

This is the pattern for the first phase of this boss - it spits out seeds, it kills someone with magic, the seeds explode for heavy damage, then it tries to finish your party off with a lot of explosive hops.

Thanks to the fact that Δ Reincarnated Purgatorial Altar is level 90, you will be able to survive this fight by virtue of being able to get to it. That doesn't mean it is going to be easy, however.

Eventually the boss's HP bar goes all the way down.

That's when the second phase of this fight begins.

You really don't want to be caught in the second form's shockwave attack.

Also because it's the last phase and the final boss of the series, Corbenik's status moves pack a tiny bit more punch than the other phases did.

Suvi Lei is a pretty good indication that you're about to be helpless to prevent the brutal amount of damage that's about to fly your way.

The attack is Corbenik cloning itself a dozen times and then throwing all those clones at you like throwing knives. The ability thankfully only targets one person.

Cruel Exploitation has Corbenik targeting one member of your party, trapping them in roots, and then sucking out all of their HP - healing itself in the process.

It also retains the ability to outright kill someone with wood magic.

The second form's final ability is called Fierce Flash.

It left Wiseman at 1 HP, but that was more a coincidence than anything.

Video: *** WATCH THIS VIDEO ***

Somewhere under 10% HP remaining, Corbenik decides to cheat and activate something called Supreme Defense. At this point the phase of the fight is functionally over, you just have to go through the motions for a few more minutes.

As you can see, no attacks deal any damage. Despite it being wholly ineffective, you need to keep attacking the boss. Eventually a cutscene takes over.

You need to attack the boss some more at this point. It only takes another minute or so before another cutscene takes the controller from you and says "you're doing it wrong here let me show you how to do it."

: No. It's impossible.

: No! We'll lose if we give up!

: Give Orca back!

: Everyone is here. We are all fighting.

The employees that were put in comas? They may look familiar. We've met them all before. The axeman on top tried to give Kite one of the "character reset" books back in Infection. All five of them were also the only players in Carmina Gadelica sometime midway through Mutation.

: *Sora noises*

I forget exactly where, but I once read that partway through the Corbenik fight, Morganna assumes direct control because her avatar is losing. I'm not saying that's what's happening here, but you have to admit that it's a pretty compelling idea.

Each of these eyes has a different seal, but I don't know what the significance of any of it is. They look like ancient Roman coins.

Anyway, welcome to the third - and final - phase of the Corbenik fight. The boss's HP refills and we're now fighting a really creepy giant eye.

The boss takes a cue from Cubia and ejects several Seekers from the center of its coin. These seekers are hilariously weak, but you want to take them out quickly. They are just Gomoras by another name.

Destroy them and the boss will float around for an unspecified amount of time before deciding to attack.

Grand Complication hurts, but it's not going to kill you unless you somehow forgot how to heal.

A giant eye boss would be remiss without fuckoff-sized lasers. It's probably the boss's most dangerous attack.

A way that the game could have made this encounter much cooler would be that each time someone on your team got data drained, they were out of the fight and someone else had to step in. You know, like Final Fantasy 6's final battle.

This is probably also the coolest looking data drain because of all those eyes staring at you as you get drained.

Corbenik 3 has a lot of health, but it will eventually fall.


This looks a little familiar. Kind of reminds me of the original Lia Fail, back in the first update of the game. It was dangerously unstable and looked much like this right now.

: The server!

: What?!

: It's crashing! No! It can't sustain!

NEXT TIME: Trismegistus.