The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 50: .hack Quarantine - //Liminality vol. 4 - Trismegistus (ANIME WARNING)

//Liminality Vol. 4 "Trismegistus"

You guys are about to hate me. A lot. You see, I interrupted the middle of the final boss fight last time, all so we can look at Liminality 4 today. I hope that by the end of this, you understand why.

As per always, if you're interested in watching events unfold rather than reading them, this is where you want to look.

It's only half an hour long, and it actually has stuff happening! So, you know, absolutely nothing like the one we just did after Outbreak.

The intro is full of spoilers, but welcome to anything involving this game. You'd be hard pressed to find one trailer or piece of promotional material that doesn't prominently feature some of the game's biggest spoiler moments, like Macha or something from the final boss fight. Or, yes, even stills from the fucking ending.

: (Boat captain) Here you go! The Edomae Tempura special dish!

A bunch of tempura-fried foods sound really awesome.

: *giggles*

: Yo! I've been waiting for that!

: You got it!

: The rest of the world is celebrating Christmas and we're eating on this tiny dinner cruise ship, it's not much of a party.

: Don't be like that Yuki! We were invited here! All you can eat, and no charge! You can't top that!

Denied! Kyo takes Yuki's tempura fried shrimp.

: Well, if the cruise came with a pass to Tokyo Disneyland, and a hot-looking boyfriend, AND I didn't have to do anything else tonight... then I wouldn't complain!

: Yuki! This is a very serious matter!

: Okay, then I'll just start getting nervous and by the time we start I'll be a total headcase.

: I think I'm a little seasick.

: Looks like Mai is already getting nervous. Hey, do you think we can really do it?

: We've got two high school girls, one middle aged man and... Yuki. I guess that kinda makes us something like a second-rate Charlie's Angels, you know what I mean?

: We certainly can't turn back now.

Bith, as always, keeps things classy by munching on a hot pocket while he pilots his boat to meet up with the dinner cruise.

: Right on schedule. Everything's ready for tonight.

Tokuoka turns around to see if his team is ready.

Our heroines, everyone.

: Uh... we're on for tonight.

: Maybe we'd better postpone it.

: Uh, Kyo, we're not the only ones involved in this. Y'know?

: I can do it. I'm okay.

: I checked out your story. About those things you were telling us?

: You didn't believe me?

: Well, I like to make sure of things myself. Some of the players character data... their volume is much larger than the system specifications.

: That's true, however if you track them over an extended period of time, the data volume reverts to normal size.

: Really? Does that mean that the data's being exchanged inside the system without permission?

: Well, yes! That's what it would indicate.

: That's the "outside" that Harald brought in.

: The "outside..." I'm afraid I still don't get what that's all about.

: Harald was in love with Emma Wielant. We believe that after her death, Harald may have tried to put his love for her into a tangible form.

: This won't be the end. Not yet. I won't let it be over!

: You're talking about "Fragment," right?

: This is only a theory, but we believe that Fragment was merely a container. It may be hard to understand this, but what he tried to create was a child. His and Emma's child.

: You're kidding!

: *gasp*

: A little girl...

: Wait, wait, wait! Listen, don't you think that's a bit much?

: I'm only speaking figuratively, of course. The child we speak of would be an AI.

: Artificial intelligence!

: Yes, an AI. A being that can learn and make mistakes like a human. The ultimate AI.

: ...that tolerates wavering! I get it! The inflated data was the players persona, which was stored in their profile.

: That's right. in the game, characters, enemies, equipment, even the fields are equal in data.

I'm having a really hard time believing that character data is the same size as field data, which is also the same size as entries in a database making up the equipment data. Bith is an IT professional, he should know that these things aren't remotely the same size, even without a DBA after his name.

: The engine that Harald designed passes various persona data to the system, via money or equipment that is traded in the game. That data is the raw material from which the AI child develops. That was the idea.

: So where did Harald's calculations go wrong?

: I'd say he probably didn't know very much about women.

: Huh? What does that mean?

: As the data exchange went on, the system itself came to possess an artificial persona.

: An artificial maternal mind. In other words, she's an individual system, but she only exists to give birth to the AI child. The moment the child is born, her function is completed, so essentially she would cease to exist.

: It's own survival? That's why the system is refusing to give birth to the ultimate AI child?

: Yes. The system is using every means to prevent this birth. That's it, I suspect it's the underlying cause of the incidents in "The World."

: That thing, that ultimate AI thing? It better be worth all this trouble or someone's got some major explaining to do.

: We can only hope that whatever it turns out to be, it's something extraordinary. Something we've never seen before.

: Do you mind if I ask you something kinda basic?

: No, go on.

: You can get to this place by regular roads, right? So why'd we bother coming by sea?

: Yuki, weren't you paying attention at all?

: Huh?

: The Maritime Information Support Center is fully functional. You may not see any guards stationed there, but trust me there's a security system in place.

Let's be fair to Yuki for a moment. She's not wearing her glasses, so she can't see anything at all beyond a vague blur. We're lucky she's not talking to a telephone pole and thinking it's Kyo.

: Doesn't look like it.

This is probably my second favorite of the Liminality episodes, solely for the reason that Kyo spends the whole running time giving Yuki a hard time. It's really cathartic.

: They only have a small budget for seaside security. That's why we came from the sea, it'll buy us a little time. I heard.

: Yeah but, I thought Helba was supposed to be some kind of super hacker. Why can't she just hack into their security system and shut the whole thing down?

: You're forgetting about the Network Crisis, Yuki. The malice of "The World" is affecting everything now, it's not just on the net anymore. We have to be very careful so it doesn't spot us.

: I don't want it to pick up our moves, not until the last possible moment. I hope everyone understands that.

: Let's get going!

Such a wide range of emotions between five different stills.

This shot reminds me of a scene from Scooby Doo. Just the awkward way they're running really looks like the way Mystery, Inc. runs.

: My heart is pounding.

: I think I'm gonna throw up.

: You're still sick?

: She's just nervous!

: Hey Mai, it's okay to feel nervous.

: I'll be alright.

: You can be sure their security team will be here to check this out. If we're lucky they'll think this was some kind of glitch or false alarm. But if we're not lucky...

: I don't want to think about it.

: All right, let's go.

: Hey, hold on!

: How much time do you need to set it up?

: 20 minutes.

: 10 minutes.

: Impossible.

: If you say 20 minutes, you know it will take 25. But if you say 10 minutes and take 15, that's okay.

: Uh, say again? He can be really annoying.

: Hey, I'm here because I want to find out more about the "outside" that Harald brought into the game and understand exactly what it means. But why are you here?

: Same as you. I wanna know.

: To know what?

: You know...

: Yuki? Sorry, could you get me some coffee?

: Whaaaat?

: Over that way, there's a vending machine. C'mon I'll go with you.

: Hmph. I can go by myself, thanks.

: Why so snappy? I thought you were supposed to be best friends and all that.

: I think it was someone on the Internet who said "If you want to stay good friends, just meet in cyberspace, not in person."

: I don't think you can really be friends with someone you never met before, it's not the same.

: Stupid Kyo. *kicks the machine*

The phone next to Tokuoka starts ringing.

: Somebody get the phone?

: Hello? I understand. It was Mr. Sato, he said that a security team was on the way.

: Hey, I'm back Kyo!

: Be quiet!

: Come on, let's get this over with.

: Right, the sooner the better.

In this one case, I'm using the same talking head image to refer to different people. There's like six security guys who are gonna be part of this before the end, and they all look identical. So each time the talking head changes, a different one is talking.

: No one's gone in or out since early this evening.

: You want to go in and check?

: It's probably another false alarm.

: Yeah there's been a lot of that since the Network Crisis started.

: This is Megafloat Maritime Information Support Center...

: Wait, look! It seems that someone used a vending machine about 5 minutes ago.

: Even with this state of the art hardware, there's still too much data to handle.

The phone starts ringing. Mai reaches for it.

: No, it's okay. (Into the phone.) Yeah?

: We have a problem.

: Same here.

: That's not good.

: That's all you've got to say?

: There's no time for chatter. Send Kyo over to me right away.

: I told you, I've got problems here!

: She can't help with your problems. You're the only one who can handle that end of things. Send her over.

: You know, I really don't like him.

: So they know we're here?

: That's putting it mildly. They'll try to track us down.

: So are we gonna have a real battle now?

: Get serious, this isn't a joke!

: Kyo, listen. This is the kind of game you can't reset. We'll have to find a way to get through this together.

: *yawns* Sorry, seems like I always yawn when I feel nervous. My mom always used to get mad when I did that, said I wasn't serious.

: You yawn when your brain needs oxygen. Take a few good deep breaths. Hmm? How is it?

: I can't tell yet.

: *chuckles* Even my old remedies don't work on you.

: Oh well. Could you start monitoring the game? Please?

: Okay.

: This isn't funny...

: We need to buy time for Mr. Tokuoka so he can get that server online and functioning. That's our main goal, everything depends on it. Understand?

: Yes sir!

: All right, let's do it then.

: You seem happy.

: Me? Yeah!

: Why's that? I don't get it.

: Because the old me is already dead, and the new me is on a really exciting mission, doing stuff with you and Mai and that funny guy Mr. Tokuoka.

: If they catch us, they'll treat us like common criminals.

: If that happens, we'll fight CC Corp in the courtroom! Right?

: Yuki, you're a scary girl.

: If this doesn't work, then that's it, there are no other options.

I'm cutting out about one press of the Enter key each time we cut back to Tokuoka in the control room. So just manually put one in place each time we cut back.

: It's working!

: What did you do?

: Distributed processing. Since I've got all these machines, why not use all of them? How about you?

: There doesn't seem to be anything happening yet.

: I think we've got enough time.

: What's going on here?

: That real battle thing you said isn't funny, Yuki.

: Hey...

: Huh?

: We're ready! All we have to do now is link up to Helba's server.

Mai's just pressing buttons at random.

: Mr. Tokuoka? They're coming!

: I'm on it!

*A in C major scale ding noise*

: You've got to hurry!

: You two, follow me to the control room!

: I hate this! I wasn't supposed to be doing this at all!

: Quit complaining!

Back in the control room...

: All right, hit it!

: I don't believe this!

: We've spotted a suspicious boat on the south shore!

: Stay there and keep watch!

: You two, go back to the squad car! We'll handle this!

These area keywords, if I remember correctly, only have a trade item in them. It's not even a trade item you need for anything as I recall.

I prefer this version over the green text one.

: Tomonari?

: What happened?

: I don't know! It just started all of a sudden.

: Tomonari is fighting inside of the game!

: Huh?

: They'll head for the fire escape. C'mon, ignore them. They can't get away from the Megafloat anyway, get moving!

: Mr. Tokuoka, I can't hold on! Everyone will vanish!

: The setup is accurate, and there's nothing wrong with the wiring. There's no reason for this, it should be connected.

: Help me... please.

: Mai!

: You two? You know what happens now?

: Are you okay, Mai?

: Unfortunately, we are out of time.

: We can't stop! Everyone was there fighting! I saw them. There was Tomonari playing Sieg and somebody else showed up named Orca! If we stop now-

: No, we won't stop. There are no errors on this end, so there must be a problem on the other side. If that's the case, you know what we have to do.

: Don't tell me...

: What is it?

: We have to discard the other server.

: If you can pull that off, then this system will completely replace the original server, but if our timing is even a fraction off...

: Then everyone could go into a coma! They could be permanently lost, but it's the only hope we have!

In the background, the theme to the first Liminality anime, Edge, starts playing.

: Huh? That's strange!

: Mr. Sato, let me do it.

: Hold on, I'll contact the other side.

: All right, let's do this. She says she'll leave the timing for us to work out.

: You know you'll need to react faster than light.

Mai just successfully hot swapped an active server to its backup without an interruption of service or connectivity. That's pretty impressive!

: That's why I said I wasn't supposed to be doing this!

: It's too late for that.

: You're not gonna put up a fight, are you?

: You can if you want, though.

What the FUCK

: I'm sorry.

: Don't worry, he'll live.

: C'mon, Mai! Hurry!

: Stay right there.

: What the hell?

: Good evening. Pleased to meet you. Excuse me, this is my business card.

: You're a network security analyst?

: Yes. I'm afraid our tests have revealed a number of serious breaches in the security system for this facility. I'll provide you with specific details back at the main office.

: You're trying to tell us you're supposed to be here? Huh?

: Of course.

: Run! I'll handle this! Kyo! Get them out of here, now!

: But Mr. Tokuoka!

: Are you two just going to stand there and let everything go to waste?

: Hurry! Call for backup!

: Mai, listen! Will you give me a chance to take care of things for once?

: Let's go!

: Intruder spotted in container block! We need backup!

: You just couldn't leave it alone!

: Stop right there!

: Let's go!

: (Ship captain again) You got it!

: Hey! Come back here!

: You know I've got you!

The girls got away safely, but...

: I told you, I caught one of them. I've got him right here! How should I know how many there are?

: We'll talk about that along with the other security issues. Shall we go now?

Bith is such a smug prick, but you have to admire just how much of an asshole he can be.

: So, you don't know what happened after you guys left?

: Everything should be okay.

: How do you know?

: Because that's the will of the new being, the ultimate AI. The one that's trying to be born.

I have a pretty good feeling that was Kite achieving victory over Corbenik.

: Hey, it's snowing.

: It's Christmas Day.

: But you know, Mr. Tokuoka is...

: Hey! How are you doing, comrades?

: How are you doing? I guess we lost all our evidence, huh?

: Did not. All right, let's get something to eat. Something really good.

That was .hack//Liminality Vol 4 - Trismegistus.

NEXT TIME: The ending to .hack//Quarantine.