Thursday, August 2, 2012

.hack//Sign: Lets all get together

.hack recap: Bear has come to the conclusion it may be necessary to talk to the Crimson Knights about Tsukasa's situation, Subaru is looking for more information, BT has latched onto finding out about a special hidden item, Mimiru has given up on giving up, and other stuff as well.

(I recommend actually buying .hack//Sign since my words don't really do it justice.  One can get either the DVD this episode is on, or the full series as a set.)

.hack//Sign, Episode 3: Folklore, 16:05-17:32

Remember where Tuskasa first met the Crimson knights? Blue and pink skies, a well, funny looking windmill? It's ok if you don't.

Anyway, it is here that we find BT waiting. A shadow appears behind her, when she turns no one is there, when she brushes it off Sora starts talking. Then she brushes him off.

He thinks that's a rude way to act since he assume she invited him, she assumes he invited her, and while they're having a back and forth over that Subaru and Silver Knight appear.

Silver Knight: What are you two babbling about?

Yes, Cullen wannabe, everyone else's discussion must be babble or prattle or something like that. No way they could possibly matter. Think I'm overstating his jerkishness? Very next sentence:

Who told you to talk to each other?

Because apparently speaking to one another without permission is a hideous sin.

Sora: It just happened.
Silver Knight: Why you... *begins to draw sword*
Subaru: *stops silver knight with a gesture*
BT: *looks at interaction between Subaru and Silver Knight with interest*

Ok, so I'm no BT fan and Sora is just a jerk, but Silver Knight seems intent on out-jerking everyone in this encounter. He's going to draw his sword and start a fight because two people who happened to be in the same place at the same time started speaking to each other without his permission?

Is it any wonder that Subaru thinks she has to remind this guy that he's an ordinary player not some mythical (by which I mean nonexistent) special class of system support staff that stands above the regular folk?

Also, remember our introduction to the Crimson Knights, which happened at this very place? They're supposed to value courage, civility and tolerance*, which part of that involves pulling a sword on someone because they just answered your completely uncalled for question in a way you don't like?

Anyway, at this point Mimiru shouts out for everyone to come over to the base of the windmill, where she and Bear are waiting.


And now we find out why Bear wanted to bring the Crimson Knights in.

Subaru: The player's information?
Bear: You can communicate with the system administration staff. It should

If I should seem to get distracted or lose my place or something like that at this point it probably has something to do with the hanging plant across the room from me suddenly crashing to the ground and me spending the next half hour to hour dealing with the fallout from that.

If you've never had that happen to you, let me tell you, it will change your entire plan for the day.

I have no idea if that happening will have an effect upon the rest of the post, I haven't written it yet, but I was writing a post during the day, there was a crash, I had to disentange the plant from things that hadn't even been on the floor in the first place, things were uprooted, notably roots, I had to find containers to put water in so I could put the parts of the plant that were no longer parts of the plant into those, I had to locate rope to tie a backup in case the hook that's supposed to hold the plant up fails again, I had to run around trying to find stuff a lot. I had to move a chair so I could be high enough to tie off the rope.

When so much as one part of the sky falls it's a major hassle.

Oh, and I never picked back up on the “ during the day” thing. It's night now. Not dusk, not twilight, certainly not sunset. It is NIGHT.

Back to .hack:

Subaru: The player's information?
Bear: You can communicate with the system administration staff. It shouldn't be too difficult, right?
Subaru: That's impossible.

Score one for Bear making bad assumptions. “Shouldn't be too difficult” and “Impossible” are worlds apart.

Why is it impossible?

Subaru: A player's personal information is highly confidential. There's no way the sys admin would reveal it even if I requested it.

The subtitles don't place emphasis, and so we're free to read that as seems best and I read, “Even if I requested it,” as saying that she's not going to request it. She won't ask and they wouldn't tell because she and they both believe in the confidentiality. The dub is different, it's, “even to me,” thus placing the emphasis on who would be doing the requesting. Yes, Subaru has a closer relationship with system administration than most players, but that still doesn't get her confidential information.

Either way, I have to say that I'm liking the CC Corp here. My understanding is that if I continued the story into the games and OVA they'd turn out to be evil or, at the very least, like the Mayor who refuses to acknowledge that there's a shark in the water and so ends up with blood on his hands because he's more concerned with tourist dollars than the public's safety. But right here, right now, in this TV show, I like them.

They're never on screen, we hear about them only second hand, but what I like is that they seem to have this moral framework, and they stick with it. Even as the impossibilities stack up and they see things get more out of their control than should be physically possible, they never budge from this stance. At no point do they decide, “Screw it, things have gotten too far out of hand for us to be fettered by minor moral qualms, let's just use the confidential information.”

Tsukasa's information is confidential and damn it, it's staying that way. That's how CC Corp rolls and I'm in favor of that. Yes, Bear can be trusted and telling him wouldn't have harmed anything, but they can't know that and they can't operate on that kind of faith. Keeping their players safe means keeping the information confidential and they will do that even in the face of the impossible.

Or maybe it's not even at a level of keeping the players safe, maybe it's just maintaining trust. They promised the information would be confidential and damn it they're going to keep that promise.

Whatever the reasoning, I like the fact that the CC Corporation doesn't budge from this position. A player's personal information is confidential and that's final.

Bear: I understand it's not easy. But can we at least track where he was accessing from?
Silver Knight: If it could be done, I would have done it by now.

Silver Knight doesn't end there, he'll state the obvious in patronizing tones as well until such time as Subaru says his name which shuts him up. (She does say it in a, “Back off,” kind of way.)

And the obvious that he states sort of serves as a reminder that the people here are coming at this from different angles. Bear wants to track down Tsukasa's player because he's worried about that person. If Tsukasa has been online all this time, what's going on with the player? Is the player currently dying of dehydration? What?

(The player is in a coma in a hospital bed.)

Silver Knight doesn't know that Tsukasa can't log out, for him it's just a question of simplicity. Trying to track down Tsukasa on the net isn't exactly the easiest thing ever. They haven't found him yet. On the other hand talking to a player offline should be simple. Make a phone call, send a letter, knock on their door.

People tend to be tied to a physical address in the real world, if you know that address tracking them down should be easier than chasing them through the game.


There's a pause in the conversation so I'm going to stop here. The plan was to follow this through to the end, but the plant thing really ate up a lot of time.


* For whatever reason I want to map this onto the Harry Potter houses but I note that only one of those is considered a house worthy virtue in Harry Potter. Gryffindor values courage. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Ravenclaw is civility and Hufflepuff is tolerance. Slytherin gets left out here. (Don't they always? The poor things.)

Of course that's just making stuff up, an argument can be made that Hufflepuff is tolerance, but Ravenclaw being civility is just playing on stereotypes of bookish people.

Though, regardless, if it were true it would mean that Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw would be the ones to root for.

And if one is going to follow this pure BS mapping to its logical conclusion Silver Knight is bringing in the Slytherin with his ambition to be more than an ordinary player, but like the book Slytherin he seems to have completely overlooked the other virtues of the house (cleverness resourcefulness) and someone convinced himself that the way one becomes better than everyone else is just by declaring themselves to be so and expecting others to go along with it.

And when they don't, out comes the wand... I mean sword.


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