Complete .hack//MUTATION Walkthrough Version 1.4, 5/27/03 (First Version started on 5/7/03) Written by Jereden (Email: Jereden@aol.com) For my review of .hack//MUTATION, as well as web comics and reviews of many others games, check out http://www.gamer-girl.org! All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders. This walkthrough may not be reproduced under any circumstance except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advanced written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. Sites that have permission to post this FAQ are: gamer-girl.org, gamefaqs.com, ign.com, cheatplanet.com, neoseeker.com, dothackinsider.vze.com, cheatcc.com, rpgdreamer.com, and honestgamer.com Copyright 2003 Acacia Parks ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction This is my first FAQ. I was inspired to do a walkthrough for .hack//MUTATION because I am so obsessed with the .hack series. I just finished watching the entire anime series (.hack//SIGN) after playing through INFECTION for the first time. IMHO, the anime makes the game 10 times more interesting. Anyways, I am taking a stab in the dark re: how to do all of this, but I think you will be pleased. I have used many FAQs in my day, and have learned what I want out of a walkthrough. That is, no plot spoilers embedded in the walkthrough, easy-to-follow directions, and helpful hints for problems I encountered while I played. I hope you find that in this FAQ. While I originally prioritized writing a full walkthrough over working on the sidequest section, all sections are now completed for the most part. I will still be making updates from time to time as new info comes along, but don't expect many new things. :) Oh yeah... if you find something cool that I have not mentioned in this FAQ, please email me and I will add it (with credit to you). I will also reply to questions IF THEY ARE NOT IN MY FAQ (most of the questions I get *are* answered in here). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Table of Contents I. Version Notes II. General notes. III. Introduction to the walkthrough format. IV. Complete walkthrough. V. Side quests ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- I. Version Notes Version .5: Wrote the walkthrough up to beating the Scorpioid data bug (including recruiting Rachel and Nuke, and doing Gardenia's sidequest area). Wrote the introduction, general notes, and introduction to walkthrough format. Version .7: Added a couple of notes to the "walkthrough format" section. Went back and updated a few of the data drain items as I discovered them. Started the "bogus speculation about what it all means" section. Version .9: Added substantially to the walkthrough. It now covers up to what I think is the final boss (it kicked my butt, so no strategies for beating it yet). Also covered several optional areas and started the side quests chapter. This new chapter contains a section on finding the .hack//SIGN flashbacks, and a section on affection ratings / emails. I took out the bogus speculation section because it was full of big spoilers I don't want people to accidentally stumble upon them while searching for other information. Version 1.0: Added a strategy for beating the final boss. Finished the Grunty section. Corrected a few mistakes. Will finish gob tag and cover whatever extras come after beating the game in the next update. Version 1.1: Finished gob tag section, added more to the section on the final boss, fixed the format so there are actually blank lines (I forgot to save it "with line breaks" last time). Version 1.2: Added a link to the game-review website I write for at the top of this FAQ. Added a chapter about what to do once the game is over (including a walkthrough for the bonus area). Realized that you don't get congratulatory emails at the very end, but rather after beating an earlier boss, so I mentioned that. Made a couple of little changes here and there (added some items you get from data draining in the later dungeons, etc.) Version 1.3: Corrected the spelling of "LAMBDA" (why didn't anyone tell me before now!!). Thanks, Tomanari. Fixed some formatting. Next update will contain Ryu Book bonuses. Version 1.4: Added a section about Ryu books, including an important note about Ryu Book IV, i.e. that you can see what items you can DD from each monster using this book, courtesy of VeghEsther and Hackwrench. Soon, I will probably go through and add all the data drainable items for each critter to my faq list using this tool. Also added some formulas for grunty breeding, courtesy of eqballer and iamsonicthehedgehog. Corrected a mistake where I said you get the Chinese Food in the wrong area (thank you, hackwrench). Added to the grunty racing section with insane props to Chewy, who put all this info together. Also added a brief note to the gob tag section about which spells to use (thanks VeghEsther). Also added a note about Wiseman and when you can use him. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- II. General notes. In the writing of this walkthrough, I have incorporated information about how to be powerful (i.e. getting the best weapons and armor) and efficient (i.e. tackling bonus features such as Ryu Books and Affection ratings). If you follow the directions that I give in the walkthrough, you shouldn't have to spend much time making progress towards bonuses. They will get done automatically as you play through the game. The main things to try and do often are (with a few exceptions): 1. Clear the field outside each dungeon you go into. You will get a message saying that all portals are open when you have killed every monster. This will ensure that you are adequately leveled up, and will also make progress towards certain Ryu Book bonuses. 2. Clear every dungeon you go into. If you are getting your butt kicked too much to do that, it's all the more reason to muscle your way through, or leave and try an easier dungeon first. This will also get you a Ryu Book bonus. 3. Whenever you see a Spring of Myst, use it! It'll upgrade your weapons or armor (see the Extras FAQ by J BoSS for more info about how to effectively use these springs), and also move you towards a Ryu Book bonus. Same with activating symbols (those little flames you see on the field and occasionally in dungeons that cast a spell on you), you want to activate them all to move towards Ryu Book Bonuses. 4. Keep your party members' equipment upgraded. This will make them like you more, and keep them alive at the same time (not to mention it'll move you towards both the Ryu Book bonuses and higher affection ratings from them). 5. Data drain often. This will get you great items for trading, equipping, and giving to friends (the best way to make your teammates like you is to give them great equipment). Of course, keep an eye on your level of infection, you don't want it to get too severe. I'd say if you're data draining between 1/4 and 1/2 of the time, you're in good shape. There are some basic facts you'll want to be reminded of if you're rusty: 1. There are five ways to get items in a dungeon. The first is to shatter skeletons, eggs, jars, and crates. These contain the "cheapest" items, such as health drinks, antidotes, and restoratives. They also contain rarer items on occasion, such as "Well Water", "Sports Drink", "Pure Water", etc. These are important for trading, as some of the best armor items in the game are available by trading this kind of item with NPC's. They are uncommon, so it's easy to understand why you can get such good items when you use them for trading. The second way to get items is in regular old treasure chests. These chests usually contain magic scrolls. The third way is to get items in risky treasure chests. These chests are blue, and have traps on them that you have to disarm with a "fortune wire". Always carry tons of fortune wires. Some of the best items you will get in dungeons come from these trapped chests. The fourth way to get items is to get to the Gott Statue at the end of the dungeon and open the chest. Easy enough. The last way to get items (a method that I drastically underused the first time through, but would have made my life much easier) is data draining monsters. If you have no idea what I'm talking about when I say "data drain", play some more and read this section again later. Anyways, when you data drain a creature, two things might happen. It could turn into a virus core (booo-ring), or it could turn into a piece of equipment (yaaaaay). The best weapons in the game are available via data drain. For each area you encounter later in the FAQ, I will list the creatures and what kinds of items they give when you data drain them. Each critter has two pieces of equipment that you can possibly data drain, but I don't necessarily list all of them because sometimes I didn't get a chance to data drain that creature, etc. 2. When you are going to an area in "The World", take note of the Battle Level and Element of that area. I believe the battle level indicates the average level of creature (or maybe the lowest? Not sure) you'll find in that place. The element is important because it affects what kinds of scrolls and items you'll get, as well as what kind of resistances the creatures there will have. If you go to a place with lightning element, for example, you will probably fight monsters that are immune to lightning magic. You will also find scrolls with lightning magic, and the jars/crates/skeletons/eggs might contain items that either protect you from lightning magic or make your lightning magic more powerful. Those tasty items that traders want (sports drink, well water, pure water, etc.) each have an affiliated element, so if you want sports drink, go to a lightning area, if you want well water, go to an earth area, etc. 3. Money is virtually nonexistent in this game. You will need it only to buy healing items, or the occasional scroll. However, the primary currency is equipment. This means you want every single piece of equipment you can get out of a dungeon. If you don't need it for a party member, you can assuredly sell it or trade it for something better. Along those lines, always empty out your inventory at the storage facility in Root Town before going out to a field. You don't want to run out of inventory space and end up leaving things behind. 4. You can open up a really important menu by pressing the square button. I didn't discover this button the whole time I played the demo! You can use the menu options here to command your party members ("Skills!" has them use magic and special abilities like crazy, "Attack!" has them attack without using MP, etc.) "First Aid!" is an especially important option because you can use it to command your party to heal HP, resurrect dead party members (including you, if you die), and cure status ailments. Just don't forget to switch to a different command once people are healed up, otherwise your party members won't do any damage to the bad guy! You can also look at your party members' equipment, and change it around using the square button menus. This is important when your party members have several different weapons, because they don't change them autonomously. If you find yourself fighting a creature that's immune to fire, and you know that BlackRose is equipped with a fire sword, it's very useful to be able to go right in and change her weapon. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ II. Introduction to the walkthrough format. For each area, you will find an entry that looks like this: ********SECTION NAME********* Spoiler-free narrative about what to do. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. --Area: SERVER KEYWORD1 KEYWORD2 KEYWORD3-- New Monsters: (NOTE: In this section, I only include monsters that are new to each area. I don't repeat monster entries, so if it's something I've mentioned before then you can search the document for what items you can data drain) Monster Name (#HP) - DD: Items you can data drain from them* Monster Name (#HP) - DD: Items you can data drain from them* *NOTE: If data drain items aren't listed for a creature, it's most likely that I didn't get a chance to data drain that creature. All creatures drop items (2 of them, plus one kind of virus core), so don't assume there's nothing there because I didn't find it. I will go back when I'm higher level and try again with some of the creatures I miss. B1: Directions to get to B2. B2: Directions to get to B3. (I provide directions for the quickest way through. If you want to explore, fight, and gather treasure then go every other direction first.) BOSS: BOSSNAME (HP, if available) Info about the boss, and strategies for beating it. A narrative about what to do after that, etc. etc. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ III. Complete walkthrough. Table of Contents The Beginning Exploring a New Server Continuing the Investigation When Sys Admin Says Stop, You Say Go! Hunting for the Net Slum After the Game is Over ********THE BEGINNING******** Watch the opening sequence. Once you gain control, you'll be on your desktop. This is where you can enter "The World" (select THE WORLD), get your email (select MAILER), check the news for an idea of what's going on in the real world (select NEWS), change your desktop (select ACCESSORY), replay plot movies (select AUDIO, but you can't do this until you get each of the movies via Ryu Books and beat the game that the movie is from), change your desktop music (select AUDIO, but you can't do this until you get bonus music via Ryu Books), and save (select DATA). Start by reading email and the news. Reply to your emails, then select "THE WORLD". Here, you should have three menu options: LOG IN, BOARD, and QUIT. LOG IN takes you into the actual game. BOARD takes you to the message boards. Ahh, just like real life, there's a message board to wade through. Important messages come up on the boards, so read them faithfully. QUIT takes you back to your desktop, where you just were. Read up on the boards for new postings, then log in to THE WORLD. IN ROOT TOWN You'll start out in the THETA root town, where you will immediately encounter BlackRose. You can explore the town if you want, but little has changed. If you loaded your save data from INFECTION, then you should have all of your items and gold. You can trade with the various people in town (they all have new items, and if you data drained a bunch in INFECTION, you should have a lot of rare items to spare for trading). However, the next area has weak monsters outside the dungeon and no monsters inside, so I wouldn't worry about this for now. Add BlackRose to your party (don't bother with inviting other party members, none of them will respond), and proceed to THETA Chosen Hopeless Nothingness. --Area: THETA Chosen Hopeless Nothingness-- Proceed through the dungeon, exploring if you want to (there are no monsters and no treasures of note, so whether you do or not is up to you). This is an earth area, so crates/barrels will give you well water. The quickest way through is: B1: West one screen and north one screen, then down the stairs. B2: All the way north and down the stairs. B3: North, west, north, east, east, north, east, and down the stairs. B4: East, east, north, west, west, north, north, north, and down the stairs. You will see a scene at the beginning of each floor. At the beginning of B5, you'll see a longer series of scenes and then you'll be transported back to the THETA root town. BACK AT THE THETA ROOT TOWN A sys. admin will trade your Book of Law from the last game, which supposedly has a bug that won't let you install it, for a Book of Absolute which he says should work. But it doesn't. :P You'll be notified that you have new email, so log out and read it. You should have two messages. One will contain your next lead: THETA Soaring Sky Bounded Abyss. Lets go! --Area: THETA Soaring Sky Bounded Abyss-- You have to go alone. There's no fighting, it's just a scene. BACK IN THETA ROOT TOWN Afterwards, you will be returned to the root town, and you'll have some new emails. I received letters from all of my friends, but I am not sure if that was contingent of having had high affection ratings with them, or what. Anyways, the important email is from Lios, who gives you access to a new server (LAMBDA) and asks you to do some investigating in that server. Lets go! There's also news re: a bigfoot sighting. :P NOTE: You can now start calling your friends to join you on adventures. That means you can also start buttering them up with new equipment, raising their affection ratings for you. This means they will send you more emails, etc. which is really fun! You should be able to get nearly any tradable item right away with all of the old extra equipment from your INFECTION save (if not, just go to a level 30 area on THETA and data drain everything in sight, you should get some awesome gear for trading in no time). I immediately upgraded everyone's stuff with anything interesting I could find for trade. ********EXPLORING A NEW SERVER******** Head to LAMBDA server. ::BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE:: It's so pretty! (but, as VeghEsther pointed out, it's not where Subaru rides her boat. That's Mac Anu. Oh well.) First things first, go talk to Lios. He's disguised as the weaponsmith, so head in that direction. After you talk to him, log out and check your email and the boards. You have many choices now: you can 1) go to a keyword that Gardenia emails you, 2) go to the trading convention that Rachel is holding, 3) check out the "Nuke Usagimaru Show", 4) start the Gob Tag sidequest (see the sidequests section), or 5) go to the area of the most recent Aura sighting. Regardless, head back into "The World" for a short scene. I will list the them (except for Gob Tag, which will eventually go in the "Sidequests" section), in the order that I did them. I'd recommend doing Rachel's trading convention and Nuke Usagimaru's show first, then the plot area, then Gardenia's area. This makes the most sense in terms of what levels the various areas are. Also, spend some time trading for some better equipment, data draining creatures, and leveling up. You'll be glad you did. NOTE: Take this opportunity to get Mia's affection rating up to 500. It's impossible to get her in your party and available for wooing again after this. --Area: LAMBDA Lightless Distant Dead Lands-- (Nuke Usagimaru) You have to do this one alone, which is rather difficult because it's a level 30 area. The main thing here is to bring enough healing potions so that you can maintain an all-out offensive without taking the time to cast heal spells. These guys are all ones you've seen near the end of .hack//INFECTION (mostly Mu's Guardians, Mystery Rocks, etc.), so I'm not going to bother listing them. Here's my recommended strategy for this dungeon: Data drain creatures as soon as you can. Try to take out as many as you can at once using multi-attacks. Follow the directions below to make it to the end ASAP. I explored the whole area, there's really nothing that you can't find in other dungeons where you aren't all by yourself. Make a run for the dungeon entrance (no point in clearing the field, IMHO, it will be pretty hard and not particularly good exp). B1: Watch a scene, then head north, west, north, and down the stairs. B2: North, east, north, north (short scene), north, then down the stairs. B3: North, north, east, north, east, north BOSS: Pumpkin King (1610 HP) He attacks using both physical attacks and magic, but his physical attack is the real killer. He throws a series of 70-hp hits at you, and it can drain you really quickly. My only advice is to keep plunking away at him (nothing seems to be particularly effective), and keep a careful eye on your HP. The second it starts to go down, use a health potion. After you get his HP way down, you can data drain for a Virus Core E (not sure if he has any items). Once he's gone, you get a new party member named Nuke Usagimaru, but don't get too excited. He's really annoying. :P He's a long-arm, like Gardenia. --Area: LAMBDA Collapsed Pagan Remains-- (Rachel) "If everyone ain't satisfied, then you can't consider yourself 'pro'" Who translated THAT line? :P New Creatures (outside the dungeon): Smiley Ray (2610HP) - DD: Darkness Hood Death Crane (360HP) - DD: Gloves of Dark, Handyman's Axe Hysteria (360HP) - DD: Spiral Wand, Demon Cloak New Creatures (inside the dungeon): Specter (1410HP) - DD: Silver Rod Bone Army (370HP) - DD: Steel Spear Grand Cold (370HP) It's a level 32 dungeon, so bring some friends. If you bother to clear the field, you will be well leveled-up in no time! Find the dungeon, and head in. This is where you get Rachel. Her voice is silly. Witness her silliness. Anyways, she wants you to go into the dungeon and find a Love Archery, so do it. Like the previous dungeons, I am just going to outline the quickest way to get to the end. If you want to explore, take the other branches before proceeding in the right direction. B1: Walk north for a scene. After the scene, head north, east, north, west, north, and down the stairs. B2: North, east, north, west, and north. You will see a short scene. Continue north and down the stairs. B3: North (to your first mandatory encounter), north (to another mandatory encounter), and east to the Gott Statue. You will be transported back to B1. Now give Dick the Love Archery in exchange for the Paper Cloak. Next give ANNE the Paper Cloak for the Basin Shield. Give Catherine a Basin Shield for her Mad Opener. Lastly, give Bate the Mad Opener in exchange for his Plastic Sword. When you're done, talk to Rachel and she'll give you her member address. She's a Blademaster. --Area: LAMBDA Dolorous Evil Eyed Widow-- You have to take Mia and Elk with you on this one. It's a protected area, so gate hack it using the P virus core you received from Lios. It's the only one you need. The monsters on the field are old news, and probably won't give you very good experience. Just move on to the dungeon. The monsters in the dungeon aren't very hard either, you don't really see anything new until the boss on B3. B1: North, west, north, west, south, and down the stairs. B2: South, east, north, north, and down the stairs. B3: North and north (for a boss). BOSS: Data bug Like most data bugs, he doesn't have a fixed amount of HP. Take down his HP until you can data drain, data drain, then slay him. He was very responsive to physical attacks for me. After you kill him (a simple task), there will be a short scene, and then you'll be back at Carmina Gadelica. This is where I did Gardenia's keywords. If you want to move along with the plot, skip past this section. --Area: LAMBDA Quiet Oblivious Cabbage-- (Gardenia's Invitation) You have to take Gardenia with you on this trip. It's a level 35 area and there are some particularly tough creatures, so it may be a bit over your head. Be sure to upgrade equipment on everyone you take, and most importantly, be careful! Clear the field before entering the dungeon to gain some extra levels. New Creatures (outside the dungeon): Armor Evil (1450HP) - DD: TranquiLance, Siegfried Skate Rat Ark (1450HP) - DD: Yosetu & Fuyou, Gold Necklace NOTE: Watch out for groups of more than one of these, they resurrect each other. So be sure to data drain all but one of them so that they actually die. New Creatures (inside the dungeon): Green Wyrm (2770HP) - DD: Horse-Killer Hackberry King (1410HP) - DD: Jet Bracer, Benkei's Guard IronBall Mania (3550HP) - DD: Yosetu & Fuyou Watch the scene when you enter the dungeon, then move on. B1: North, north, east, east, north, and down the stairs. B2: You'll see a scene first thing on this floor. Go north, north (there's a small scene), north again, then down the stairs. B3: North, north, north. There's a scene, then you go back to Carmina Gadelica. Check the boards for your next lead. If you have recruited Rachel and Nuke and gone on Gardenia's sidequest, you should also have an email from Moonstone. You now have his member address, and he also leaves a set of keywords. He's a twin blade. Like you need another twin blade. Argh! Lets check out his keywords first, then go on with the plot. --Area: LAMBDA Bottomless Guffawing Raw Ore-- You're supposed to clear the dungeon. No prob! You start out near the entrance, so head on in. Most of these monsters are guys you've seen before. B1: Start by clearing the western and northern paths. Then head east and all the way north down the stairs. B2: Head north, then clear the northern passageway (there are no monsters to the east). Head down the stairs to the west. B3: There's not much on this floor. Just one more set of monsters (I think they were to the west), then you are teleported back to the root town. ********CONTINUING THE INVESTIGATION******** Now it's time to follow your next lead. Gather your preferred group of 3 and head to LAMBDA Nameless Seeker's Prairie. --Area: LAMBDA Nameless Seeker's Prairie-- All you need are two B-cores to gate hack this one. I would be amazed if you don't have enough by now (I had 81). New Creatures (on the field): Phalanx (505HP)- DD: Kurogane New Creatures (inside the dungeon): None. Enter the dungeon, then: B1: Head all the way north and down the stairs. B2: North, west, west, north and down the stairs. B3: North, east and north for a boss. BOSS: Data Bug You know the drill. Kick it's butt until you can data drain. He really takes a lot of damage from fire spells and techniques. After data drain, he becomes Scorpioid, who has 3250 HP. You can data drain him again for even more fun (I got a Spiked Guard for this, nice!) and then he's just a little wimpy guy with 50 HP or whatever. You get warped back to Root Town. BACK IN THE ROOT TOWN When you get back, you'll have an email waiting. Lios wants you to report back to him. Head back to Root Town and he'll meet you there. Afterwards, check the boards and your email. You'll have your next lead. PREPARATION: Make sure you have plenty of mage's souls and strong healing items. Anything that can help your accuracy is also a plus. Pick a third member for your party, but I will say now that you would be well advised to bring another twin blade. It'll be hard to survive the everyday critters without a Wavemaster, but you'll thank me when you get to the boss (immune to magic) and you don't have a totally useless character in your party. --Area: LAMBDA Resurrecting Confused Judgment-- This gate hacking extravaganza requires virus cores from several sources. D cores come from small monsters on LAMBDA server. E cores come from medium monsters on LAMBDA. The M cores should have come from one of the bosses, and from Lios. Hack away!! New creatures (on the field): Metal Eraser (1370 HP) - DD: Ebony Armor, Full Swing New creatures (in the dungeon): There aren't any. B1: Go north and watch the scene. WTF? Time to find out what that was all about. Head north, east, north and down the stairs. B2: Go north for another scene. Once again, HUH? Go north, then you can go either way and make it to the stairway. For example, go west, north, east and north and you'll get there (same with going east, north, west and north). B3: North, east, south, east, north, north, and then north for a boss fight. BOSS: INNIS, THE MIRAGE OF DECEIT (PHASE 2) Remember him? Kite read his name off of the inscription in the chapel. "Skeith, Innis, Magus" He's a big boss! He's creepy. Time to whoop 'em! Innis works like a standard data bug (that is, whack him until you can data drain, then drain, lather rinse repeat until he's a tiny pitiful critter that dies in one hit). Kite's Twin Dragons and Twin Darkness both work really well, but be sure to initiate these shortly after Innis re-appears, lest he disappear in the middle of your combo and make you angry. It's hard to hit him with a sword because he sort of disappears and reappears a lot, but you should be fine using your techniques. He's immune to magic, so if you brought Elk or Mistral, this is where you will start to feel the pain. Because you're moving around so much, group healing spells are rather pointless, but anything helps. In general, Innis doesn't do too much damage. He has a few big techniques ("Invisible Doll" is the worst) that really hurt when they happen, but mostly he just puts status effects on your characters here and there (the attack is called "Visions of Self") and attacks you at a manageable pace. You'll worry that he's never going to hit protection break, but don't worry. You're not doing anything wrong. It'll happen. When you data drain, you'll get "Segment 1" and he'll become Innis with 3000 HP. Much more workable, yes? Just use the same strategy you've already mastered and he'll be gone in no time. I don't know if it was possible to data drain him a second time, he just died for me. BACK IN ROOT TOWN Watch the scene, then log out for another short scene. Check news and email, then go back into "The World". Watch the scene, then add Mistral (you gotta!) and another friend of your choice to the group. Pick someone good (preferably able to use both magic and physical attacks decently), coz' there's a tough boss at the end of this area! --Area: LAMBDA Merciless Grieving Furnace- No new creatures on the field. New creatures in the dungeon: Voodoo Goblin (410HP) Valkyrie (500HP) - DD: Lake and Sea, Kris Armor B1: North, east, south, east, north, down the stairs. B2: Head all the way north and down the stairs. B3: Head all the way north for a boss. BOSS: Cubia This is a multi-part boss. There's the core, which has 5000HP and alternates between having a tolerance to magic or physical attack. Each time Cubia does a big move (that is, one with a caption), the core's resistance changes. Then there are the various helper parts called "Gomoras", some for healing (Repth Gomora), some for casting status effects (Downer Gomora) and I think some attacking and generally irritating you (Killer Gomora). Don't bother killing the Gomoras (except the downer and healer ones if they bug you), they are pretty weak but they regenerate. Focus on the core, doing whatever kind of attack it is currently vulnerable to. You'll eventually send Cubia back to loserville where it belongs. *******WHEN SYS ADMIN SAYS STOP, YOU SAY GO!******* BACK IN ROOT TOWN A scene, then it's email/news/message boards time. Sanjuro and Piros both want you to go somewhere with them. There's a rumor that if you defeat "Level 10 Vine" at the bottom of a dungeon, then your level will be 10 times its current level (and Natsume wants to do it, she says in an email). Some guy named Marlo wants you to come meet him alone (he means it!). Once again, you've got some choices! I did Marlo first for totally arbitrary reasons. Skip all the way down to the Piros sidequest if you want to advance the plot. --Area: LAMBDA Stalking Silent Footstep-- (Recruiting Marlo) Note that because you have to go alone as Kite for this quest, I didn't bother to fight all of the creatures on the field, data drain them all, get their HP values, etc. I just ran through as fast as I could to avoid dying against Level 38 monsters on my own. ***DIATRIBE*** I hate quests like this, because inevitably you will get into some encounter where you are attacked by 8 creatures at once, and you can't move or even get into your menu because they are too busy bombarding you and then once you make any progress they cast a group healing spell before whacking you to death (can you tell that just happened to me?). :P ***END DIATRIBE*** New Monsters: Headless King (1490HP) - DD: River Spear Great Sled Dog (1330HP) - DD: Copper Lance King Snakoid (430HP) - DD: Linen Cuirass B1: Go straight north and down the stairs. You'll see a scene along the way. B2: This is another one of those where it's a loop, so you can get there by going north, east, north, north, west, north OR north, west, north, north, east, north. Unless you feel really confident, though, do NOT go to the southeastern room on this floor (it's north, east, east, south). It has two portals, which means TONS OF MONSTERS. Not recommended. B3: North, west, north, north (for a fight). Data drain the critter for a Blitz Spear. Now Marlo gives you his member address. He's a blademaster. --Area: LAMBDA Bitter Hot-blooded Sand Trap-- (Sanjuro's Sidequest) Put Sanjuro and another party member of your choice in the party. Start by clearing the field of you want to, then head for the dungeon. You'll fight Pumpkin Kings (an earlier boss, data drain them for flaming rods) in here. Also: Nobunaga Soul (640HP) - DD: Golden Helm B1: North, west, south, south, east and down the stairs. B2: East, north, west, north, west, south, down the stairs. B3: South, west, west, north (Gott Statue). Sanjuro will give you the Blades of Bond, a totally awesome rare Twinblade weapon, and you will end up back at Root Town. --Area: LAMBDA Bottomless Hopeless Footstep-- (Level-10 Vine Sidequest) A short, easy (and ultimately rather pointless) dungeon. New monsters: Orichi (3170HP) B1: North, north, east, east, south, down the stairs. B2: South, west, north, west, north, and down the stairs. B3: This is one of those circular floors. Go north, then east, north, north, west, north (OR west, north, north, east, north) for a scene and a pretty easy fight --Area: LAMBDA Shapeless Haunted Holy Ground-- (Piros's sidequest) New monsters: Star Fish (410HP) - DD: Golden Turban Sand Hill (3250HP) - DD: Sinner's Axe Killer Box (1530HP) - DD: Hands of Ronin, Protect Ring Mummy Scissors (420HP) - DD: Fire & Sky, Kris Armor B1: Head all the way north to the stairs. B2: North, east, east, north, north, north and down the stairs. B3: North, north (for a scene). When you return, you'll have an email telling you to check the boards. Check 'em! There will be a scene when you head back to Root Town, and then you'll get another email with a lead. AND CHECK OUT THE BOARDS OH MY GOD ::drools all over herself:: So now you have two leads, but only one you can follow on this server (the one from the email, they just put that thing on the boards to taunt me). Now is also a good time to check out the only OVA keyword set I found when I watched this volume's round of .hack//LIMINALITY (LAMBDA Capricious Unending Corridor). Please email me if you found others! Anyways, it's a level 38 area. I'll write the walkthrough for it here, since I did it at this point in the game. --Area: LAMBDA Capricious Unending Corridor-- (OVA Keywords) Head to the dungeon. By now, you've seen all of these creatures, there should be no surprises. B1: A circular floor. Head north, then either west, north, east and north or east, north, west and north to find the staircase. B2: North, west, north, north, east and down the stairs. B3: East and north (Gott Statue) You'll get a Chinese Food item, which is rare (I havn't found it anywhere else) and can be used for trading. One particular guy (I forget who) wants it for a good item (I forget what). Use a sprite ocarina and return to town. Put together a party you like and follow your next plot lead. --Area: LAMBDA Dying Madness Haunted Land-- This is a protected area. To enter, you need an F and an N core (both of which you should have gotten automatically via Lios and bosses), a D core (from everyday critters) and 2 B cores (also from everyday critters). This is a forest area, which means it's a maze before you even get to the dungeon. Statue Menhir (1570HP) - DD: Hands of Ronin, Vitality Axe Outside: South, west, west, north (because you should ALWAYS use a spring of myst!), back south, and west to the dungeon. B1: All the way north and down the stairs. B2: North, north, north, east, east and down the stairs. B3: East, north, west, west (for a scene). Now you're back in Root Town. Check email (of course) for another lead. Store unwanted items, form a party, and go! BUT FIRST... if you're like me, you're probably obsessing about the post on the board earlier and want to go to THETA server to check it out. So that's what I'm doing next. Why a level 38 area exists on THETA server is beyond me, but whatever. --Area: THETA Rejecting Oblivious Wavemaster-- (.hack//SIGN sidequest) Enter the dungeon for a scene (if you don't have a golden grunty, don't fret. PotbellyJD reports that it doesn't matter whether you do or not). B1: North, west, south, south, east, north and down the stairs B2: North, west, all the way south, and down the stairs. B3: South, west, north, north (Get the Gott Statue box and watch a scene) Not as much as I had hoped for, but it'll do for now. Time to continue with the plot! --Area: LAMBDA Dazzling Sage's Arctic- A new dungeon with harder critters. Head inside. Starving Ogre (1730HP) - DD: Able Gloves, Mikazuchi Franken (1770HP) - DD: Knight Glaive Moonlighter (1730HP) - Druid Witch (450HP) - DD: Bolt Rod B1: North, west, north, north, east, east, south, east, north and down the stairs. B2: North, north, east, north, west, west, north and down the stairs. B3: Go all the way north for a scene. And then you're back in Root Town, where there's nothing to do so you should check your email. You have to go to LAMBDA Blooming Promised Walkway for an item called the "Spark Sword". Unload your junk, form a party and head off! --Area: LAMBDA Blooming Promised Walkway-- This is a protected area. You'll need two D cores, three E cores, and two F cores. Temple Knight (1010HP) - DD: 6 Side Blade, Masamune Armor Big Eyes (3570HP) Grand Electric (470HP) IronBall Titan (4550HP) B1: North, west, west, south, south, south, east and down the stairs. B2: East, north, east, east, south, south, south, west, north and down the stairs. B3: North, and north for a boss. BOSS: Data Bug You know how to handle a data bug. This one breathes fire, and it doesn't seem to matter whether you get out of the way or not, it still hurts like heck. Try some anti-fire or magic defense-raising items if you're getting whooped. For me, I just kept my HP up and barely survived each flame attack. After you data drain, he becomes Dalaigon (3570HP). Data drain him again if you want for extra fun (I didn't get anything interesting from doing this, but maybe you will). You've got the Spark Sword, time to head back to Root Town for a little scene. --Revisited Area: LAMBDA Dazzling Sage's Arctic-- I can't believe they make you go through Wiseman's area again, but they do. Scroll back to "LAMBDA Dazzling Sage's Arctic" and follow the directions. As if it wasn't tedious enough the first time. But it's worth it, now you have Wiseman's member address (he's a Wavemaster)! Unfortunately he never responds to your flashmail, which means you can't fight with him in your party (yet). NOTE: In an IM conversation, someone (can't remember who) mentioned to me that you can play around with him in your party AFTER you beat the game. I haven't tested this, but I will next time I play. *******HUNTING FOR THE NET SLUM******** BACK IN ROOT TOWN Check that email, read those boards! Go back to Root Town! BlackRose will ever so eloquently inform you that she wants to follow the lead from your email. :P NOTE: As I checked my email at this point, I got an email from everyone in my party with whom I had high affection ratings and I panicked, thinking this was supposed to be the end of the game. It looked just like at the end of INFECTION, when they all email you to say "nice job". Note that this IS your set of final emails from people, and there will not be another set after you beat the final boss. There's a still a bit of the game to go, though. Add BlackRose to your party and grab one more friend. You're good to go! --Area: LAMBDA Scattering Fossil's Milestone-- By now you should be getting Recovery Drinks in dungeons, so start being vigilant about cracking those barrels/crates/pots/eggs. They restore 800HP! Hooray! Sphinx Menhir (1890HP) Inferno (1390HP) - DD: War Headband Dark Horse (1850HP) Headhunt Lord (1890HP) - DD: Devil Greaves Ark Prince (1930HP - DD: Akatsuki, Imp Earrings B1: North, north, north, east, east, north and down the stairs. B2: North, west, north, north, and down the stairs. B3: Go all the way north for a scene. Ok, back in town. Do whatever, then head to the next area (you learned the keywords at the end of the last scene)... --Area: LAMBDA Pulsating Worst Core- In the immortal, poorly-translated words of BlackRose, "Don't smile and think!" :P WARNING: THIS IS THE FINAL PLOT DUNGEON, AT THE END OF WHICH YOU HAVE TO FIGHT A VERY DIFFICULT BOSS. This dungeon is long and difficult. On top of that, it's followed by several longish scenes and the boss at the end is a pain. I highly recommend leveling up quite a bit before going in. Use some random keyword combinations to challenge yourself and afford yourself the opportunity to data drain some top-notch equipment. If you want a challenging area, try "LAMBDA Collapsed Law's Wavemaster". That's a level 50 one (the highest level area available), which is hard to come by with random keyword generations. You need an O core, three F cores, three E cores, and a Q core to hack this gate. Data drain everything you see here. You can get some AWESOME equipment. Mad Witch (1000HP) - DD: Treasure Wand, SWORD (Good Blademaster weapon) Harpy Queen (1970HP) - DD: Great Elite (AWESOME Wavemaster weapon), Jishuwen (Good Long Arm weapon, I think) Squidbod (2010HP) - DD: Fishskin (AWESOME Twin Blade weapon), Bloody Blades Easter Rock (2010HP) - DD: Blade 3000 (Good Heavy Blade weapon) Dalaigon Anecdot (3970HP) - DD: Segmentart (Good Twin Blade Armor), High Forger House Golem (5050HP) - DD: Quake Axe, Laevateinn (An even better Heavy Blade wpn) Enter the dungeon for a scene. The first floor is a no-brainer (BlackRose only says what you should do a gazillion times!). B1: East, north, south, west, north and down the stairs. B2: North, west, north, east, east, north, east, down the stairs. B3: East, north, east, south, south, west, west, west, down the stairs. B4: West, west, west, south, east, south, down the stairs. Before you go any further, take a moment to assess how you've been doing in this dungeon. Are you running low on items? Did you get some really great items that you'd be really angry to have to re-get? Are you having a hard time with the monsters? Most of the time, the first time through you will answer "yes" to one of these questions. If so, use a sprite ocarina and go back to town. Save and restock. It's lame enough dying and having to go through the dungeon again, you don't want to lose all of your badly-needed items and experience too. B5: Head all the way south for a scene. You'll be moved to a new area, which you should explore before watching a longer scene and fighting the final boss! BOSS: MAGUS, THE PROPAGATION (PHASE 3) Devolution gives the following strategy for beating him: "It really doesn't matter who you use on that final dungeon...although it might be smarter to take a Wavemaster with you as they have higher [spirit] points and stay in the background. All that matters is that your third person stays high on SP and has Ol Repth or Ola Repth as well as a full stock of Ressurects. And stocking them with Banes too isn't a bad idea either. I mean Black rose with Enhanced physical defense, offense and Accuracy is quite nasty as is a magically enhanced Mistral/Elk. [When you fight him:] 1. Do you see the little Magus leafs he drops behind him? Each one has a 15 second timer. When they go off he does his death and rebirth attack. In otherwords the cheese attack [ed. The one that does 1000 damage to everyone. Ouch]. 2. Set BlackRose and whoever is also in your party to directly attack him and only him. You, meanwhile, play the role of wavemaster/oppurtunist and heal them while YOU directly take out each of those leafs. 3. When he stops...and starts charging up, go all out. He'll either DD you or your friends or he'll cast LIGHT PURITY which saps 350-500 hp from all your party. Then the cycle continues. 4. Keep this up until his Protection Breaks and you can DD him. 5. After this, simply kill him and have your Wavemaster or whoever does the healing heal while you and Black Rose go to town on him. I suggest you use speed scrolls, physical defense up and physical attack up." Jay Cul 2K adds: "Data drain him as soon as you are able to do so. Now, the fun starts. He gains a wood spell that will basically kill one member of your party at least whenever he uses it. Keep your wavemaster full of SP and just keep having him wail on Magus, keep healing and get a few shots in yourself when you can and before you know it Phase 3 will fall." TA DA! Now it's over! Start crying because you raced through this game in 2 days and the next one won't come out until August. :P ********AFTER THE GAME IS OVER******** You have a few options after the game is over. You should have two emails, one of which will give you a lead to a sidequest. There will also be a post on the boards inviting you to the last round of Gob Tag if you have done that sidequest yet. Either way, log in and check out Carmina Gadelica. Take a moment to look around, maybe talk to some people (some of them say interesting things). The other Root Towns are worth a look as well. See the sidequests section for info on the gob tag quest. For now, I'll do the walkthrough of the extra area. --Area: THETA Bitter Fantasy Mirror World-- It's a protected area that uses a U Core. I have no idea where I got it (maybe from the final boss?), but I happened to have a U core. There is no map in this area, which makes it kind of hard to find the dungeon. You should be able to see it in the distance to the northwest, but here are directions to get there. I will use directions (your left, etc.) because there's no map to orient you to direction anyways: Follow the path in front of you all the way forward, then turn left and go all the way in that direction. From there, follow the path (turn left and go all the way, turn right and go all the way, then turn right and go all the way to a big black door). Fortunately, the inside dungeon has a map (phew!). Mosters of interest: Brown Wyrm (4050HP) - DD: Segmentart King Worm (4050HP) - DD: Kikuhyakumonji Wander Demon (4050HP) - DD: Geist Ring B1: North, west, north, north, east, south, east, north and down the stairs. B2: North, west, west, north, east, east, north and down the stairs. B3: North, west, west, north and through the door for a boss. BOSS: Angolmore (9999HP) I just had no trouble with this guy at all. Have whoever's in your party hurt him, use healing items or have a Wavemaster heal. I data drained him for a Crimson Raid (an excellent Twin Blade weapon), but I am sure you could just kill him if you wanted the EXP. After data draining he becomes a little skull that dies in one hit. You also get some Lucky Shoes (excellent shoes for Twin Blades or Long Arms) for completing the quest. That's it for stuff to do when the game is over. Now just level up and collect items to trade in the next volume. That's all you can do!! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- SIDEQUESTS Contents: .hack//SIGN Flashbacks Affection Ratings and Email Grunties Gob Tag Ryu Books ******.HACK//SIGN FLASHBACKS****** There's a sidequest in .hack//MUTATION that allows you to watch memories from the characters in .hack//SIGN. I first heard about this in JBoSS's "Extras FAQ", when he mentioned that you can go to DELTA Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground (the church, remember?) and see a flashback (you also get an object, the golden grunty, and a key item, M:Wavemaster). In a fit of frustration, trying to figure out how to get more flashbacks, I went back into the same area and got a new memory plus new items (Silver Grunty, M:Twin Blade). Turns out if you keep going back, you keep getting more flashbacks! There are four total (at least in this area), here's a list: Tsukasa, Bear and Mimiru - M:Wavemaster, Golden Grunty Sora and B.T. - M:Twin Blade, Silver Grunty Silver Knight, Subaru, Bear and Mimiru - M:Heavy Axeman, Golden Grunty Kurim and Sora - M:Long Arm, Silver Grunty NOTE: iamsonicthehedgehog has informed me that he only saw two of these scenes, and after that no more appeared. So maybe you can only get them gradually as the game progresses, I first started getting them near the very end of the game. ******AFFECTION RATINGS AND EMAIL****** The affection system is easy as pie. Basically, you give your friends items, and they like you more. The more they like you, the more you can get to know them. The way that you get to know your characters is via email conversations that they will initiate with you when their affection for you reaches a certain level (just max it for good show). Below are several questions and answers about this system. Q: How do I see everyone's affection ratings? A: You can check on everyone's affection ratings (and therefore how much a given item/action raises their affection for you) using Ryu Book V. Q: Is there a maximum affection rating? A: The maximum affection rating for INFECTION was 250, it's 500 in MUTATION. Q: Why should I bother raising peoples' affection ratings? A: Because you want everyone to like you!! No, seriously... if you want to get to know your characters better via email, you have to get each of their affection ratings to a certain level. Also, if you have maxed out a given character's affection by the time you beat Cubia, they will send you a congratulatory email. Technically, you don't miss out on anything but a couple of emails if you don't bother (you also get a bonus to your affection ratings, but they're probably going to get maxed out anyways), but what fun is that? I love opening my mailbox to find it all stuffed full of emails after a hard battle! :) Q: What is the best way to raise peoples' affection ratings? A: Just make sure they have the best equipment. You want to do this anyways so that they don't get their butts kicked, right? By the time you upgrade each of your friends' inventories twice (once with EQ available to you early on, once with the best equipment available in the volume), you've pretty much maxed out their affection. Plus you get to hear each of them freak out about how cool the items are. If for some reason they aren't maxed out after you give them new equipment, try giving them scrolls and spell items. Those will make a slow but steady dent on your affection ratings. Q: At what point in the game should I have everyone's ratings maxed out? A: With the exception of Mia, who you only have access to during one part of the game (when she and Elk insist on investigating an area with you), you can work on affection ratings any time before you beat Cubia. Well, you can do it after that too, but that sort of eliminates the point (which is getting the congratulatory emails from everyone). Q: What do I do to make my friends start an email conversation with me? A: Max out their affection ratings. After you do, there will be email from them waiting for you next time you log out. You don't have to max out your affection ratings to start the conversation, but sometimes they won't write you back until their affection rating is high enough. I think answering emails correctly raises their affection ratings for you sometimes, but once again it's just so easy to max it out by giving them items that it's not worth waiting for the emails for the purpose of raising your affection ratings. Q: If I pick all of the "right" answers, how many emails will I get from each person? A: Four, methinks, plus any plot emails and your congratulatory email after beating Cubia. Q: Ack, how do I respond??? A: Sometimes you can reply to an email from a friend. When this is the case, you will be offered two possible replies, and can view the content of each reply by selecting it, then saying "yes" or "no" to whether you want to send it. Most of the time it's pretty easy to guess which answer your friend will like (unless they're a crazy weirdo like Piros or Moonstone). Your friends like it when you have things in common with them, and they don't like it when you insult them. If you pick the "wrong" answer, then they don't respond and your email conversation is over. If you pick the "right" answer, they will send another response. Q: What are the "right" answers? A: See list below. BLACKROSE Mail 1: "Yesterday", reply with "Swim?" Mail 2: "RE: Swim?", reply with "Everyday..." Mail 3: "RE: Everyday...", reply with "Resistance" Mail 4: "RE: Resistance", no reply possible. MISTRAL Mail 1: "Chocolate", reply with "Yeah" Mail 2: "RE: Yeah", reply with "Really?" Mail 3: "RE: Really?", reply with "New Flavors" Mail 4: "RE: New Flavors", no reply possible. PIROS Mail 1: "Question 2", reply with "I don't know" (as opposed to "No Idea") Mail 2: "Answer to Love", reply with "Hate Yakitori" Mail 3: "Answer to Yakitori", it doesn't matter which choice you pick. Mail 4: "Answer to Ramen", no reply possible. SANJURO Mail 1: "Hidden Fortress", reply with "Don't know the movie" Mail 2: "Hidden Fortress 2", reply with "!!" Mail 3: "RE: !!", reply with "I'll watch it!" Mail 4: "RE: I'll watch it!", no reply possible GARDENIA Mail 1: "Movies", reply with "Foreign Films" Mail 2: "RE: Foreign Films", reply with "Recent ones?" Mail 3: "RE: Recent ones?", reply with "What was it?" Mail 4: "RE: What was it?", no reply possible. NATSUME Mail 1: "Lord of the Rings", reply with "What is it about?" Mail 2: "RE: What is it about?", reply with "Fantasy Novels" Mail 3: "RE: Fantasy Novels", reply with "Three Books!" Mail 4: "RE: Three Books!", no reply possible. RACHEL Mail 1: "Wassup", reply with "Editor of?" Mail 2: "RE: Editor of?", reply with "Why" Mail 3: "RE: Why", reply with "Too bad" Mail 4: "RE: Too bad", no reply possible. NUKE USAGIMARU Mail 1: "About Me" I messed this one up. The right answer for the first mail must be the snide one (something like "stand up comic? Yeah right!") I was polite and he didn't respond. MOONSTONE (This guy is insane) Mail 1: "Hobbies...", reply with "My hobbies?" Mail 2: "RE: My hobbies?", reply with "Jogging" Mail 3: "RE: Jogging", reply with "Wow" Mail 4: "RE: Wow", no reply possible. MARLO Mail 1: "Introduction", reply with "Me Too" Mail 2: "RE: Me Too", reply with "Marlo's Character" Mail 3: "RE: Marlo's Character", reply with "Actually" Mail 3: "RE: Actually", no reply possible. ********GRUNTIES******** Grunties are very weird. They look sort of like pig-cows, and they talk (but they all seem to have male voices, even the females). They have all sorts of weird colors and features, but most importantly, you can trade with them for great items. Grunties are the only source, for example, of Aromatic Grass that I've seen. They also tend to have some of the best tradable armor in the game. GRUNTY BREEDING: Grunty-breeding bewilders me, however. I followed the baby grunty's direction in LAMBDA server, and got a Bony Grunty. Any time I follow it's directions (i.e. give it what it wants), I get the same thing. Any time I try to make another kind of grunty, I get a dreaded Noble Grunty. I'll have to wait until I have more patience to figure this one out. What I do know is: Grunties grow differently on LAMBDA server than they do on THETA (i.e. they require more food to grow and mature at a larger size rating) 1.) They start out as a Little Grunty. After one or two pieces of food, the baby grunty will start asking for vague things (using the descriptions I provided below, like "In a really dark labyrinth") 2.) At Size = 7 he will grow into Little Grunty 2. 2.) At Size = 15 he will grow into Grunty The Kid 1, and start telling you the name of the food he wants. 3.) At Size = 25 he will grow into Grunty The Kid 2, but he looks and acts no different. 4.) At Size = 40 he will become an adult. If the grunty starts asking for Golden Eggs every time, that means you have reached the scores he has been guiding you to by asking you for various foods. Since golden eggs just increase size, he is basically saying "I'm ready to grow up, my scores are where they should be". The scores that the grunty will try and guide you to are (roughly): Body Odor = 14-17 Rebel = 6-9 Brutality = 10-11 Intelligence = 11-14 Purity = 1 You will get a Bony Grunty if you follow these instructions. UPDATE! I now have info about how to get all of the grunty types available to you so far (thanks to Katarina Engelswartz for this info!) Here it is: Dun Loireag Poison Grunty Body Odor 0 - 20 Rebel -5 - 15 Brutality 10 - 30 Intelligence 5 - 25 Purity -5 - 15 Poison Grunty cannot be made if all stats are within Iron Grunty Range. Iron Grunty Body Odor 13 - 17 Rebel -2 - 12 Brutality 13 - 27 Intelligence 8 - 22 Purity -2 - 12 Noble Grunty Any stats not meeting Iron or Poison grunty requirements. Carmina Gadelica Snakey Grunty Body Odor 10 - 30 Rebel 0 - 20 Brutality 5 - 25 Intelligence 5 - 25 Purity -5 - 15 Snakey Grunty cannot be made if all stats are within Boney Grunty Range Bony Grunty Body Odor 13 - 27 Rebel 3 - 17 Brutality 8 - 22 Intelligence 8 - 22 Purity -2 - 12 Noble Grunty Any stats not meeting Boney or Snakey grunty requirements. The key to getting both Poison and Snakey grunty is to make sure that at least one of the stats is outside the range of the other grunty on the server. Because Bony Grunty's ranges overlap with Snakey grunty's, you want to make sure that the requirements are met only for Snakey in order to get one. Otherwise, you'll get Bony by default. Eqballer sent in the following formulas for grunty breeding (remember that if you follow the grunty's directions in lambda, you get bony, and if you follow the grunty's directions in theta, you get iron): Snakey: 2 Cordycep, 2 La Pumpkin, 2 Mandragora, 2 Twilight Onion and 16 Golden Eggs Poison: 4 Piney Apples, 3 Snakey Cactuses, 1 Immature Egg and 11 Golden Eggs Iamsonicthehedgehog reports that this formula will also work for Snakey: 5 cordyceps, 2 piney apples (feeding it one also works, but if you have extras you can do it this way to help increase its size a bit or just to be sure), 1 invisible egg, and then all golden eggs until it matures. GRUNTY RACING: According your email, after you figure out all three of the grunty types for a given server, you can do grunty races. This basically entails choosing one of your grunty types (each has different strengths and weaknesses) and running around town collecting flags. They appear on your map. There are people walking around, though, and they get in your way and slow you down. Each race costs 100GP, and you get a prize depending on how well you do (see the Extras FAQ by J BoSS for more info). The following is a new section containing info that Chewy emailed in to me. Check it out for some good tips: "Prizes are... 1st: Gold Grunty, Images 51 and 52 (depending on the server and only the first time) 2nd: Silver Grunty 3rd: Divine Cross (theta server) or Light Cross (lambda server) You can win each of these a total of 3 times before you get a lesser prize. I've never won the lesser prize for 1st, and I don't remember what you get for 2nd or 3rd (I am pretty sure that 2nd is a summons). There is a fairly easy strategy for the grunty races. The only way to take first place (that I've found) is to use the iron grunty(theta) or the bony grunty(lambda). I'll go server by server and by location of the flags (since I don't remember the color). Theta server: Closest flag to start on right Flag near Gate (straight) Flag to far left of start. Lambda server: Flag straight ahead (to right on map) Northernmost flag Flag farthest west on the map. There are two parts of the race that will determine whether you place first. I will discuss them in a little while. Obviously you have to avoid all obstacles, but that is secondary. Using the Bony grunty or the Iron Grunty means your turning and acceleration are poor. This means you have to rely on speed alone, and make sure not to lose momentum at any point during the race. Therefore: First: At each of the flags except the last, be sure to reverse direction so that you touch the flag as the grunty is sliding backwards (and building momentum to move in the opposite direction). If done correctly, the time you hit the flag will be higher than if you ran straight through it, but you will have actually saved time. A good place to practice this is on the first flag in lambda. Second: This especially applies to the far harder lambda server. You have to make sure to cut the corners without losing any speed. This means heading into the corners at an extremely sharp angle, and afterwards maintaining an extremely straight path to the next flag. (minimize the distance traveled as much as possible. With practice you should be able to easily take first or second with no problem. I managed to get a time of 18' 23 on the lambda server doing this. Grunty racing is possible the most lucritive side quest in the game yielding 6 golden grunties and 6 silver grunties. You can therefore increase your hp by 180 and sp by 90. With the other gold and silver grunties from the anime memory sidequests you will end up with hp higher than piros and sp higher than any of the wavemasters. At level 52, kite has approximately 1241 hp and 301 sp. With the best armor and the blades of bond, along with ap do from time sandals (or other armor) it becomes very hard to die." GRUNTY FOOD: One thing I DO know about is the locations of different kinds of grunty food and what status effects they have on baby grunties. Some of this info is on the message boards, some of it comes from hints given by baby grunties, some of it just came by scribbling down what kind of climate I found each food in. Either way, it's a really useful list to have. I use the following abbreviations for stats: Body Odor (BO), Rebel (REB), Brutality (BRU), Intelligence (INT) and Purity (PUR) EGGS - All eggs are found inside dungeons (each in a different type of dungeon, I am still working on figuring out which dungeon type belongs to which egg). Even if you don't explore dungeons that carefully, you should have a pretty good supply of these if you pick them up as you find them. They all give +2 size. Bear Cat Egg: -1 BO, -3 REB, +1 BRU, +2 INT, +3 PUR. Found in castle wall dungeons. Bloody Egg: +1 BO, +3 REB, 0 BRU, -3INT, -1PUR. "In the stomach of a really scary monster" = Found in flesh wall dungeons. Immature Egg: -3 BO, -1 REB, +3 BRU, +2 INT, +1 PUR. "In a really dark labyrinth" = Found in stone wall dungeons. Invisible Egg: +3 BO, +1 REB, 0 BRU, -1 INT, -3 PUR "In a very deep cave" = Found in cave wall dungeons. Golden Egg : No status effects, just increases size. "Just a few grow inside of an important story" = Found in plot-related dungeons. OTHER FOODS - All non-egg grunty foods give +1 to size. Cordyceps: +2 BO, +2 REB, 0 BRU, +2 INT, +4 PUR. (Part B "Someone's") "Near a large statue of Buddha" Grunt Mints: 0 BO, +4 REB, -4 BRU, -2 INT, -2 PUR. "Near a very hot square face" = Found in areas that look like lava fields. La Pumpkin: -3 BO, -2 REB, +3 BRU, +5 INT, 0 PUR (Part C "Paradise") "Near huge cocoons" Mandragora: +5 BO, 0 REB, +4 BRU, -4 INT, -4 PUR (Part C "Aqua Field") "By a pointy tower" = In grasslands with windmills. Mushroom: -4 BO, -3 REB, 0 BRU, -3 INT, -3 PUR (Part C "Hypha") Oh No Melon: +3 BO, +1 REB, -1 BRU, +1 INT, 0 PUR (Part B "Destroyer's") "Grow by a barnacle" Piney Apple: 0 BO, -4 REB, +5 BRU, +4 INT, -2 PUR. "Deep in a green forest" = Found in forest areas (Part B "Solitary") NOTE: You usually only get one piney apple per area. Sad but true. :( Root Vegetable: -2 BO, -1 REB, +2 BRU, 0 INT, +3 PUR In wastelands. Snaky Cactus: +2 BO, +5 REB, -2 BRU, -1 INT, +2 PUR (Part C "Fiery Sands") Twilight Onion: +4 BO, +3 REB, -3 BRU, 0 INT, +1 PUR (Part B "Gluttonous") "Near a very old strange weapon" White Cherry: -1 BO, 0 REB, +1 BRU, +3 INT, +5 PUR. Found in snowy areas. (Part C: White Devil") ********GOB TAG******** I think (but I'm not sure) that in order for this quest to happen, you have to have beaten all of the gobs in INFECTION. If you have done so, then most of these tips will be old news for you. Early on, you will see a post on the boards under "Let's Play Tag Take 2" from Stehoney R challenging you to a game of tag. What it really means is that you have to go to the area alone, chase him down, and kill him for an item. This is the beginning of the gob tag sidequest. As you beat each of the various gobs, a new gob will post inviting you to come. I've written some general tips, as well as info about the specific gobs. NOTE: These areas are also a great source of grunty food. After you defeat the area's gob, you can go back as many times as you want for a replenished supply of that area's food type. General tips: 1) The gobs are really fast! Use a speed charm so that you can keep up (even then it will be difficult). 2) Magic attacks are very useful because you can do them from a distance. Sometimes you will need to use magic/items to raise your magical accuracy (or lower their magical resistance) for this to work. Wood magic works really well on all of the gobs (thanks to Devolution for this info), though you have a better chance of hitting if you use level 2 spells or higher (thanks to VeghEsther). 3) If you're going to use physical attacks, use spells to raise accuracy and attack power so that when you get in a hit, it works. 4) If you can't hit a gob physically and you want to, you can always use the good ol' "wait until you're out of combat then rush them" trick (ErekoseDM reminded me of it). They stop running once you're no longer in combat, and if you run up to them while still not in combat mode you can get in a good hit. The gobs: Stehoney R - Prize: Goblin Cap A LAMBDA Detestable Vengeful Sunny Demon This guy is pretty standard. I used Juk Kruz once and he dropped dead. Alternatively, ErekoseDM suggests using the "summon goblin" spell using your old gob equipment from INFECTION. Stick around the area and get some Oh No Melons if you want. Jonue R - Prize: Goblin Mail A LAMBDA Detestable Vengeful Messenger He is better at dodging, but I just cast Juk Kruz 4 times instead of once. Explore for some La Pumpkins. Zyan R - Prize: Goblingloves A LAMBDA Detestable Vengeful Scent Exact same drill, except I had to use a spell to raise my magical accuracy in order to hit him. You COULD chase him down and hit him with your weapon (he doesn't seem to dodge physical attacks as well), but it'd take FOREVER. This area is full of white cherries, so collect them if you want! Albert R - Prize: Goblin Boots A LAMBDA Detestable Vengeful New Truth Same thing as for Zyan, except there are Grunt Mints on this field. This last challenge won't come until after you beat the game. Martina R - Prize: Imp's Praises Use Monster's Bane on her and then simply cast WOOD elemental spells on her. She'll die as easy as the others (thanks to Devolution for this strategy). There are mushrooms for you to collect in this area! Erekose DM reports that the new ability you get is: More Goblins Lv.2 M: R: None: Summon Summon a giant goblin! ********RYU BOOKS******** I am just starting this section with a list of what each books does. Most of the time, it's intuitive what you have to do in order to get the bonuses. However, in future updates I may include the different increments at which you receive rewards (though this is already done in JBoss's extras FAQ, so I may not bother). Book I: Keeps track of number of areas visited and total time spent playing game. Book II: Keeps track of number of portals you have opened, and the number of fields and dungeons you have completely cleared of portals. Book III: Keeps track of characters you have met and number of trades you have made with other characters. Book IV: Keeps track of monsters you have encountered (VeghEther reports that it lists all data drainable items for each monster, even if you haven't data drained that item. Cool!). Book V: Keeps track of total value of all of the gifts you have given your friends, and each friend's affection level for you. Book VI: Keeps track of number of chests you've opened, number of boxes/jars/bones you've destroyed, and number of Gott treasures you've collected. Book VII: Keeps track of number of symbols activated, and the number of times you've seen Monsieur and Grandpa. Book VIII: Keeps track of the different types of grunty food you've collected (and how many of each), as well as different types of grunties you've bred and how many.