The Let's Play Archive

.hack (Series)

by DoubleNegative

Part 58: .hack Quarantine - //Update 18 - Grunty Races and 100% Completion

//Update 18

Welcome back everyone! Today is the very last update in the .hack game series. We've beaten the story mode, we've gotten Mia back, we've done every e-mail chain. All that's left is to round out 100% with a few loose ends.

Today's update starts with something I regrettably left until the very last. I had no idea how to start the Grunty Races, but I couldn't get to 100% completion until I finished them all.

I'm also really glad that I did them.

The idea is that you're doing a flag race around the root towns. It's called a race, but the only thing you're racing against is the clock.


The timing is incredibly strict, but after how soul-draining the item collection event was, this was really fun.

The video above goes through all four root towns. It's really short, and it shows my best runs from each race. These took dozens of restarts before I got the proper time, so it can be a bit disheartening at first.

The purple flag looks closer, but the only way to get 1st place is to go after the red one second. Otherwise you lose something like 4 seconds under the lead time.

The idea reminds me a lot of the Trackmania series.

Look at how tight those times are. This is actually the widest lead margin we'll get in these races, and the difference is less than two tenths of a second. Use the Iron Grunty in the Θ Server race. Its raw speed is the only way to win the gold medal here!

In Λ Server we have probably the most difficult race. Bony Grunty is the one to go with here. As before, his speed is the key to winning.

One tenth of a second was all that stood between us and second place!

I never covered it in Outbreak, because there is no need to go up there, but the grunty ranch in Fort Ouph is straight ahead from where you warp in, on the far end of the save kiosk.

We're using the Aqua Grunty here for his ability to take corners. You could probably get a faster time with another grunty, but you'd lose speed making turns.

If you don't run in front of the save point, you'll never beat the first place time. You need to hug inside walls as much as possible in this race.

Even on my winning run, I had no idea how well I was doing until the giant golden "1ST" popped up.

Three hundredths of a second difference between first and second place!

Ω Server's race is also incredibly difficult. It's also hilariously short. I like adjectives. Because the race is so short, you want as much acceleration as you can get.

Again, three hundredths of a second difference here. Beating these times will, if nothing else, give Balmung something to work toward.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the last of the gameplay for this series. It went out on a pretty high note with the surprisingly fun race minigame.

All that's left in this update is a full list of the concept art we've been unlocking since the first game, followed by our fully completed Books of Ryu.

Still kinda creepy to have a wallpaper image of Mai in her pseudo-coma.

Liminality 1 had a lot of screen grabs for these wallpapers.

This was the point I got to before I realized I was going to have to do the grunty races. We're also approximately halfway done with all this concept art.

This was one of our two rewards for clearing the item collection event. The other reward was a 45 second long clip of yasashii yoake, the ending theme to .hack//Sign.

Hi-Res version.


This one looks pretty cool. Well, a good many of them look pretty cool.

That's all the concept art and renders! If there are any more, then I haven't been able to find them.

Yes that clock really does say 116 hours, 07 minutes, and 51 seconds. That item event took a long goddamn time.

3000 monster portals sounds like a lot, but I triggered a bunch incidentally while running to and from the springs of myst.

Every player is on our list, and we've traded with every single one of them at least once.

Every monster type is dead.

Fun project: look at everyone's gift totals and calculate how many Nightcalls I gave them as gifts.

The boxes were the most grindy part. That involved finding a room with 12 of them, smashing those, leaving and reentering, then smashing them again.

It wasn't too bad, though. Mostly because I did so while listening to Dan Ryckert's insane stories.

I would say that I was surprised that I only needed approximately 175 visits to Grandpa and Monsieur each, but that also means that they were responsible for nearly 350 of the 750-some items.

You need to have raised a Noble Grunty in each town to unlock the races.

You should also cheat in a lot of the grunty foods because collecting them legit would otherwise take for-fucking-ever.

That's it guys! That's all she wrote.

There is still one last update left in this thread, but it won't be in these games. We're done with those.

To be honest, I'm gonna be kinda sad to see them go. Don't get me wrong, I never want to play them again as long as I live. The combat is boring as hell, the idea of the combat being balanced fairly is laughable, the very fact that there's an item completion event and that you can't start it until you've already beaten the game is absurd.

This series, purely from a gameplay perspective, is trash. Absolute garbage. But I still love it. The concepts in this series captured my imagination like no other form of media has before or since.

Infrequently I will re-watch .hack//Sign. Slightly more often I will re-watch the Liminality anime shorts, because I do enjoy most of those quite a lot. I will most certainly play the GU trilogy, because the gameplay in those is quite amazing even if the story is bonkers.

But until such a time comes, I'm done.

NEXT TIME: I'll see you guys one final time for Unison.