Part 56: .hack Quarantine - //Update 16 - Ω Hidden Darkside Holy Ground//Update 16
Hello everyone, welcome to
This bonus dungeon is 15 floors of data bugs, an unprepared party is going to find nothing but despair here. Most people who attempt this get little more than halfway down before their luck runs out and they get a game over from data draining too many enemies.
But first something I found while investigating one of the Outbreak bonus dungeons I initially skipped for any number of reasons.
: I don't want it, so you can have it.
: Are you sure?
: Yeah. I'm only interested in the Golden Grunty. Oh, I'll give you these, too.
: Th - this many? Are you sure?
: Yeah, take it.
: You're really only interested in the Golden Grunty... Why?
: Oh, uh... I don't know... I just am.
: Heh heh. I only collect them. I haven't thought about what to do after that.
: You're... determined...
: Heh heh. That's me! Well, bye~
A-20 is a weird little girl.
Knowing that I had to bring Elk along to this shit show, from the moment that I finished the game, I started seeking out the strongest weapons and armor I could. This wasn't very hard, as all the players in the root towns are carrying level 70-90 equipment after you beat the game.
So Kite and Elk are outfitted in some of the best stuff in the game. Helba came with a lot of her equipment already, but I did upgrade a few of her things. If ever a party were to be prepared for this monumental task ahead of us, it is this one.
The game subtly suggests that you should prepare more. As far as I can tell, a level 95 field is one of the highest level fields the game can generate. I've only seen level 98 fields a handful of times, and the enemies are all stuff we've already seen for the most part.
Grinding to level 99 is also a gigantic pain, because past level 92, the amount of experience you get starts rapidly dropping. I'm pretty sure Kite was level 98 for the full amount of the time it took him to get that far in the first place.
Though that had more to do with me single-mindedly hunting down weapons and armor than anything else.
Anyway, once you get in the field, fucking book it for the dungeon. Fighting any enemies in the field is a recipe for disaster. Before you even go in, ensure your data corruption is as blue as you can possibly get it.
: A cat?! Are you...
: No wait! Don't go! It's Mia. Did you see that? That was Mia!
: Let's keep going.
That cat is actually the last major character from Sign we haven't met yet. It often floated around and seemed to be working with and for Morganna, though it had a soft spot for Tsukasa.
Elk is right, though. That is functionally Mia.
Floor 1 of 15.
I fought this group of enemies exactly once in this dungeon and that was so I could get their bestiary entry. Otherwise it's not worth the corruption increase you get for fighting multiple data bugs at once.
If I had a counter for how many times I loaded a savestate in this dungeon, it would have rolled over at least twice.
The Caduceus Rod was one of the two items I wanted to be sure I got when I came in here.
Floor 2 and nothing's too bad just yet.
I've cursed these guys every time I've met them. They still retain the ability to instantly kill Kite or Elk if they so choose, but they are a godsend in this dungeon.
Chances to reduce your data corruption levels are few and far in between, so treat every chance you get as a small gift.
This was the other item I wanted to be sure I got while I was in this dungeon. Those two items were the last ones I needed to complete the item collection lists.
I'll cover all of that in depth in the next update, though.
My typical strategy for each combat encounter is to micromanage. I tell Helba to go all out with magic, and I have Elk sit back and heal. Helba's incredibly high stats are needed too much for damage to have her act as a healbot.
I really have to wonder if anyone has ever actually gotten a full dungeon clear in here. It would be the acme of lunacy to try. We're also only 1/3 done. Tired yet?
These guys again! It's been a while!
Between the 6th and 7th floors, we get a new cutscene. (It's included in the video I linked back at the start of the dungeon.)
: Mia? Tell me... are you Mia?
Approximately halfway through the dungeon and things are feeling grim. Our data corruption is up in the yellow consistently, and the enemies are getting harder to kill. (The correct answer here is to go left.)
Lich enemies were always one of my most hated enemy types. But with this party setup, it's a wonderful break. Just have Helba and Elk both act on healing duty and Kite will survive absolutely everything these guys throw at him.
Get a couple of these rooms and your data corruption levels will plummet back out of the danger zone.
It's down on the 8th floor when things start taking a rather humorous turn.
We're on the 9th floor in this shot, but this is also illustrative of what I'm talking about. We're 60% through with this infamously difficult dungeon and our data corruption is at its absolute minimum.
The term "Vlitra" sounds familiar somehow. Wasn't it in Asura's Wrath?
At the 2/3 mark and we're still going strong!
These guys can be difficult to fight due to how strong they are.
The 11th floor was just a giant arch. You can see part of the up staircase over to the left.
I'm running out of things to say about this dungeon. We're absolutely steamrolling it thanks to how hilariously over prepared I was.
Bafflingly, there were no enemies on our path at all on the 14th floor. Neither room even had so much as a monster portal.
Two portals stand between us and our goal on this last floor. Humorously, this dungeon doesn't even pretend to have a gott statue. What, really, could such a treasure box offer you? You've reached the end of the hardest challenge in the game and all that's left is a perfunctory "boss fight."
The video I linked at the start of the dungeon also covers this small cutscene and the next.
: !! This is?
This "boss fight" doesn't even have strategy. Tell Helba to nuke and tell Elk to heal. Stab the boss until it dies.
The Dawn Wanderer's body disappeared and the bracelet fell out.
: It's resurrected!
Despite looking more wicked, the Temptress Lover is hardly more difficult than the previous incarnation. Just repeat the same strategy.
The boss will fall eventually.
Video: *** WATCH THIS VIDEO ***
Watch that video, it is the last video in this LP I will ever tell you to watch. It's worth it, trust me.
Think about something for me. In this game, everyone's gotten their respective happy endings. Kite and Balmung got Orca back, Blackrose got Kazu back, Lios got his team back, even Mai and Tokuoka got their evidence against CC Corp. Absolutely all of the good guys got what they wanted. Except for one. Elk.
To get Elk his happy ending, we had to go above and beyond the call of duty. We had to take on and triumph against the single hardest challenge in this game series.
: Oh, Mia, I'm so happy that you came back!
: Hi Elk.
: That's a unique bracelet.
: Can I take a look?
: Mia... Your memories, they're...
: Can you see it?
: Yes, of course! Do you mean to say you can't see this nice bracelet?
: Even if you can't see it, as long as you know it's there, it's the same thing as seeing it, right?
: Yes, it is.
: Mia's memories...
: It's all right. Because... Because you'll be with her.
: Me? Okay! I am always going to be with Mia. And I am going to help you remember things! Hey! Call me again when you're gonna play in "The World!" Don't forget us! Mia and I... We'll be waiting!
: So long!
: I'll see you around.
You know what? It was worth every second we spent.
We're not done yet guys!
NEXT TIME: Item Completion Event