December 09, 2012

Suspension of Disbelief...

There are some things that strain credulity.
I was able to look beyond the premise of SAO and the implausibility of the technology. I could look beyond he occasional writers hand-wave.

But this is too much...
See that thar nebbish, the one who goes by the handle of Recon? In real life Leaf Sugu his Kendo senpai. He pines for her but is shorter than Sugu, physically weak, socially awkward, and has a stammer. In the online world however, he's shorter than Leaf, physically weak, socially awkward and has a stammer, plus he's got a bowl cut and walks with an Egor style hunch. I just don't see him picking that avatar. I just don't.

Wait, where was I?
Oh yeah, Sword Art Online  episode 23:

The gate as seen from below near the entrance.


Same view, moments later after the guardians have started to appear.

Yes, it appears that the closer one gets to the gate the more guardians spawn...FRACTAL DIFFICULTY! Worse, the targeting algorithims of the guardians are different from other monsters in the game, in that they begin to focus on the healers, even though they do not advance have no weapons equipped.

Our heroes are being overwhelmed when Recon has an idea. He has a spell that allows him to convert all his character points, inventory and XPs into an explosion with that many points. This clever attack comes with the 8 point limitation "ends character" but Leaf has convinced him that this is a genuinely important task with real world implications.
...or he's just disgusted. In any event, Recon blows a huge hole in the guardians...to no avai it would seem... Kirito is overwhelmed as he tries to fly through it.

..or would be if the cavalry did not choose that moment to arrive.

There are Catgirl princesses  on on fire breathing dragons. This is the best show ever.

The Sylph and Cait Sith armies from 3 episodes ago finally arrive (and no doubt are wondering why these loons attacked ALONE...oh well). They have been preparing for this quite comprehensively and come equipped with dragons and magic swords, and hundreds of soldiers...some of whom are spellcasters with frickin' layzerbeams, but while they do inflict a great deal of damage, the guardians are spawning at an exponential rate. Both armies are driven back by the unstoppable Mandelbrot set of mayhem coming at them. However, both queens keep there heads and organize a fighting retreat giving covering fire to Kirito (who is in the temporary gap made by Recon's self detonation and very near his goal). By a miracle, the combination of dragon breath salvos and magic arrows, along with his dual wielding prowess does, just barely, cut a hole in the enemy line through which he slips just as the cloud of guardians closes behind him.

Alas...

"Funny...It doesn't LOOK like cake."

Y.U.I. quickly ascertains that this "gate" is locked by system administrators...no player can open it. The World Tree CANNOT be accessed by players. The whole game is a lie!

Oh yeah...the guardians...they are approaching like angry bees.

Kirito remembers the card that Asuna threw them. He asks Y.U.I. about it and she realizes that if used by her it can indeed unlock the gate. She does so just the guardians descend upon them  and the two are teleported (someplace) in the nick of time as  the credits roll.





OK! The episode suffered from an Asuna deficit, but despite that we're cooking with gas! Kirito has crossed a huge hurdle, though it remains to be seen if there is a mat or a bed of spikes awaiting him. The horrible awkwardness with Sughu was actually handled a bit better than I was afraid it would be.

3 episodes to go and it's coming together in such a way that I'm growing increasingly hopeful that the ending will not be a cop out or an exercise in nihilism. Fingers are crossed.

Speculation;

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 03:29 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 130 words, total size 9 kb.

1 They did say that your avatar's appearance was randomly generated; allowing you to upgrade your looks would be an obvious source of additional revenue. Sugu either got lucky, spent her allowance to make her character look just right, or the designers included a "real girl retention bonus". :-)

What Recon needs is a Groundhog Day quest, where he's forced to live out the same day again and again until he finally manages to bag a catgirl. The reward is a new haircut and the ability to stand up straight.

Speculation:

As for the ending,

-j

Posted by: J Greely at Sun Dec 9 12:35:54 2012 (2XtN5)

2 Hm.  No on the ending. 

Posted by: ubu at Mon Dec 10 13:25:49 2012 (SlLGE)

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