To usher in the Year of the Ram. Art by Gahokyu, I take absolutely no claim
I’m not that big of a Gamer, so I can’t vouch for this chapter’s accuracy
Chapter 222: Game Knowledge
“… What comes after that?” (Naofumi)
I’ll put off shouting at Gaelion for now. Right now we’re thinking of plans for the future.
“To be decided.” (Ren)
“Yep, To be decided.” (Motoyasu)
“The next major boss hasn’t been released yet. The updates following that were all events in Local Maps, and they didn’t release anything pertaining to the main story for a while.” (Ren)
Ah, that’s right. If the world achieves peace, the game is over.
Long live preserving the industry. Damn you preserving the industry! Go bankrupt already!
“The Spirit Turtle was Update 7, right?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, the seventh large scale update.” (Ren)
“Do you have any idea how that may relate to the wave?” (Naofumi)
“If you consider the time we were summoned to be the start of service, then that would make the first wave we participated in Update 2.” (Ren)
Then what of the first wave that decimated Raphtalia’s village…?
And would that make Glass’s appearance to be 3?
What of 4-6?
Since Ren and the others destroyed the Spirit Turtle seal, were they skipped?
Glass. She disappeared after leaving behind some ominous words.
Ren and the others lost not only to the Spirit Turtle, but also to Glass.
That means that it was probably an unforeseen event.
“Do you know if Humanoid enemies can appear in the Wave?” (Naofumi)
“No, that never happened in the games.” (Motoyasu)
It’s not like I’m going along 100% with Ren and Motoyasu’s game knowledge, but it seems like Glass’s appearance was unexpected.
Now that I think about it, that woman seemed to be separate from the calamity of the wave.
The Black Lion that Raphtalia saw, and the Soul Eater that the Three Heroes defeated didn’t appear to be beings with intellect.
The Spirit Turtle was no exception.
I don’t know if Houou will actually manifest, but he probably won’t be intelligent.
… Glass, was it? What exactly is she?
I don’t know.
I don’t even know the meaning behind her parting words.
Anyways, the Spirit Turtle that awakened with the Blue Hourglass, and the ones that may appear, Houou, Kirin and Ouryu. If we count those monsters as part of the wave, we’ve done 3 waves so far.
But the only enemy that ran from us was Glass.
Where did she come from, and where did she go?
Another dimension? Another world?
I have no idea what sort of existence she is.
“Did you lose because she was an unforeseen factor?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, she was really strong. I was really suspicious when Naofumi beat her, but considering recent events, I guess it’s to be expected.” (Ren)
“I don’t need your praise. Anyways, how did the wave work in the games you played?” (Naofumi)
Quests and bosses?
Or were they large scale guild raids and event bosses?
“In my world, they would be fought on the server as Event Bosses, and the events could later be replayed through quests.” (Ren)
Fumu… It’s a common system.
I haven’t personally played such a game, but I’ll consider it as a TRPG-like system.
“In the actual Spirit Turtle event, a city became unusable due to massive destruction afterwards. In replays, you chose a city to protect and if you failed, you wouldn’t be able to access it until you defeated Houou.” (Ren)
“I see. That’s an annoying gimmick. So how widespread were the damages caused by it?” (Naofumi)
“… I think that it was great enough for some players to give up the game, and that the turtle was greatly weakened upon replays.” (Ren)
“You went up against such an enemy!? Wasn’t he supposed to be weak!?” (Naofumi)
“At that point in time, the level cap was 50. It was said that it would have been easy at 80… Is an excuse. According to the game, if you left it alone, it would gradually get stronger, so it was better if you killed it quickly.” (Ren)
Just how low level were these players?
Well, in the games that I do know of, the starting level cap is low, and it rises with every major update.
In a First Person VRMMO, level is a very important factor.
A difference in level can easily decide the flow of battle.
Though patches do come around to make it easier for new players.
“Was it the same for you, Motoyasu?” (Naofumi)
I think that Motoyasu was the one who released the seal right before the Spirit Turtle was unleashed…
“In your quests, was it best to undo the seal quickly?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, but it drops rare items if you leave it, so some people purposely let it rampage. For that, Level 80 was recommended. If it gets too strong, it’s best to run.” (Motoyasu)
The basics of Net Gaming. Everything is based on rare drops.
To summarize, the fact that he undid the seal this early in the game was partially for the sake of the world.
And as in MMOs, where discussing matters with the country bears no fruit, he refrained from doing so.
But it’s weird that these guys couldn’t beat an unpowered-up Spirit Turtle, but I could beat it after it was left alone for days.
“By the way, how wide-spread was the destruction in your game?” (Naofumi)
“There will be some difference in area names, but is that alright?” (Motoyasu)
I take out a map, and display it to the two.
“Looking at the update history, the damage spread to these areas.” (Motoyasu)
The country the Spirit Turtle was sealed in, all the neighboring countries, Melromark, Schild Freiden, and some countries I’ve never heard of.
The only place I’ve been that wasn’t effected was Zeltburg. That area seems like one that would have a lot of Minigames and easy money in an MMO. They made sure to defend it, I see.
It seems that Faubley and Silt Welt weren’t effected either.
“During the event, players were forced to spawn in Faubley. The area around it was immediately rebuilt whenever it was damaged, but many players complained that it was a pain.” (Motoyasu)
“I want to get a clearer picture. Melromark was…” (Naofumi)
“It was a popular city to start in. But it was completely destroyed at some point in time. It was something that happened before I started playing.” (Ren)
So I was able to prevent that.
Seeing the power of the Spirit Turtle back then, it’s not weird for it to bring about this amount of destruction.
“I don’t intend to run from my crimes. I don’t think that spreading this information will offer me any salvation.” (Ren)
“Yes, yes. I get it, so don’t go killing yourself or anything.” (Naofumi)
Asking any more of him will increase his sense of responsibility, so let’s wrap this up.
“So next is Houou.” (Naofumi)
An enemy strong enough to disrupt the game balance.
Though I have no idea how far this info will take me.
“Do you know where it is?” (Naofumi)
Ren and Motoyasu both point to an area.
It’s… a country west of Melromark.
So the Spirit Turtle was East, and Houou is West… This may be serious.
“It doesn’t seem that the Blue Hourglasses have teleportation functions, so… We’ll have to go and check it out.” (Naofumi)
(TL: I think he’s talking about how he gets warped to the wave, but not to the Spirit Turtle)
“About that.” (Ren)
Ren once again breaks eye contact.
What is it now?
It seems that Ren has a hard time asking things of people.
I guess it is difficult considering his position.
“I want to leave Military leadership to Naofumi.” (Ren)
“Well, I’ll probably be the one to direct the battle.” (Naofumi)
I did go in front during the Spirit Turtle Battle.
Of course, the plans themselves were handed to me by the Queen and other leaders.
I guided the troops, and did the actual execution of the plan on site.
“No, not like that, I mean I want you to give us orders.” (Ren)
“… I understand what you’re trying to say, but…” (Naofumi)
My analysis is that Ren and Motoyasu are no good at large scale battles.
Though Motoyasu seems to have some Guild experience.
“Do you have experience of doing so?” (Ren)
“A long time ago… I wasn’t the strongest, but I did help in directing a large guild.” (Naofumi)
“As I thought.” (Ren)
“You could tell?” (Naofumi)
“When I first met you, you gave off a similar feeling to someone I knew.” (Ren)
“A friend?” (Naofumi)
“Yes. Her personality was somewhere between the past and the present Naofumi. She was good at taking care of others, and people naturally gathered around her.” (Ren)
The past me…
Back then, I felt like I could strike up a conversation with anyone.
Rather than worrying about being deceived, I think I just wanted to have a fun life.
“She managed a large guild. So I thought that Naofumi might have some experience as well.” (Ren)
“I did manage some raids and sieges in my day.” (Naofumi)
That’s one of the major appeals of Net Games.
In order to see just how strong we could get in the virtual world, we would fight. We would aim to enter the strongest dungeons and obtain the rarest items.
Among the countless event presented on the server, there are thousands of things that can’t be experienced Solo. That’s the appeal of Guilds and Teams.
But it’s a little hasty to compare the wave to that.
I can’t imagine what sort of things may happen during them.
I always try to avoid battle as much as possible.
“In games, it’s usually obvious which guild will win which event.” (Ren)
And if you can’t beat these large scale events, then you won’t get the exclusive items.
You’ll miss out on major EXP, and rare items. This is why major guilds scramble for these victories.
But in order to preserve relations, some guilds instead vie for alliances.
Allied guilds sign non-aggression pacts, and repel other guilds in order to not cut their losses any further.
Of course, there are always problems in these agreements, and some people want to protect their positions.
For the leader of a Guild or Team, it is essential to look for the route that gives one’s own members the most advantages.
As such, the most important thing for a Guild Master isn’t being the strongest, but to make one’s team the strongest.
“I don’t think it matters who leads, though.” (Naofumi)
Team play is important, but in a battle of hundreds of people, it’s impossible to watch everything.
(TL: Get on Shiroe’s level)
Besides basic commands like ‘Advance’ or ‘Retreat’, it’s difficult to make appropriate decisions.
Though there are meetings beforehand.
At least in Net Game large scale battles, I don’t have the experience of holding major strategy meetings, and making plans to weaken the enemy before the battle.
“In the games you’ve played, how large of a guild did you manage?” (Ren)
“In one server… we were the third largest alliance guild. But we weren’t large enough to compete in world competition.” (Naofumi)
We were quite strong, but nowhere near the strongest.
The character I owned wasn’t at the level cap, and and instead of raising level, I raised money and human relations.
One of the reasons for this was that it was a game that relied on expensive equipment and recovery items.
Basically, I went to college and did part time work during the day, while leaving my character’s AI to complete simple transactions. At night, I played with my Guild Members.
If there was an event, I would spend more time with them. But I didn’t limit myself to games. I also spent a lot of time on Manga and Light Novels.
So I didn’t feel an intense need to be the strongest.
I was satisfied with having weaker characters commanded by strategy and teamwork, rather than raising many strong players.
Though I did rise to around 5-10 levels below the max quite easily.
When I went out to help other guild members gain EXP, I would play whatever role was needed.
I think it was a common playstyle.
Anyways, with the power balance, it is impossible to become the strongest in a Net Game.
Even if you do, the next update may weaken you, or increase the abilities of another job, and that’s the end.
In the end, it just turns into a competition of who has the best build and skills.
And here is where the game differs from Reality.
“Then you have much more experience than me.” (Ren)
“For argument’s sake, yes. But the number of times such experience has come in handy here is close to 0.” (Naofumi)
In the First wave, the only thing I could do was protect the villagers. The next one was the same.
In the Spirit Turtle battle, the Queen and other country leaders were the ones doing the planning, and I was merely their stepping stone.
Though I may be the one with the most experience among the four summoned heroes.
Ren only knows how to play Solo.
Motoyasu was in a small guild.
Itsuki was on Console Games, right? It may have been a strategy game, but I don’t think that counts.
We’ll have to think up a plan if Houou appears in the next wave.
It’s probably best to venture to that land to search for methods to defeat it.
There was the Mural in the Spirit Turtle village. The past heroes probably left something else.
“How did the Quest go with Houou?” (Naofumi)
“According to the game story, after the Spirit Turtle attack, the countries began seriously investigating the matter, and They found the seal and tried to strengthen it, but eventually they failed and it revived.” (Ren)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
“It’s fine, Father-in-Law. I, Kitamura Motoyasu will defeat the Houou with ease.” (Motoyasu)
“Please be quiet for a bit.” (Naofumi)
He says whatever’s convenient to get in my favor… Motoyasu, you weren’t able to do anything to the Spirit Turtle, right?
I’ll deal with him later. He’ll probably have something important to input.
Wait… When fighting the Spirit Turtle, the sealing magic failed.
The reason is unknown. Perhaps the turtle was too strong, but that’s probably not everything.
I still haven’t solved the puzzle left by the past heroes either.
The mural was destroyed and decayed, so only the important parts were hidden.
-because of the wave, the world will … so this monster to prevent…
in the end, what was supposed to be in place of the …?
To prevent that, this monster harvests life?
I’m back to thinking about this.
Anyways, there is a high chance that the countries will fail to seal Houou.
I should probably report this to the Queen.
Author Note: You’ve probably realized from the beginning, but original Naofumi was a Frivolous and diplomatic person.
He participated in many offline meetings.