Sword Art Online – 19
「ルグルー回廊」 (Rugurū Kairou)
“The Lugru Corridor”
I think the aspect of this arc I most enjoy is watching Leafa take every opportunity she can to poke fun at and belittle Kirito. It’s a refreshing change to the blind adoration shown by most of the other characters he comes across and the exaggerated jealousy and hatred felt towards him by antagonists. He can tend towards arrogance quite frequently, so it’s always nice to see someone bring him down a few pegs, whether over his poorly considered choice of race or his tendency to launch himself at obstacles expecting to be able to break through them with his strength alone.
Spriggans specialise in illusion magic, though if Leafa’s ability to create an illusory wall to hide them is anything to go by, they should be able to use other types of magic too. ‘Illusion magic sucks in combat!’ she repeatedly informs us. Kirito’s use of it aside, I don’t really agree with this at all. Illusion is an incredibly powerful tool. Invisibility and stealth definitely exist in ALO – we see Recon use it, so logically speaking illusion magic should have some variation on that too. Many games have existed in the past where illusion is a powerful tool – clones to deceive enemies can keep you alive longer while causing confusion, you can inflict blindness upon foes, and a variety of other extremely handy crowd control abilities are usually at your disposal. Heck, if you’ve ever played Guild Wars 2 you might know that Mesmer, a class specialising almost entirely in illusion, is one of the most irritating classes to fight against. If ALO has none of this – as Leafa’s claims of uselessness seem to imply – then what on earth does illusion magic do? Surely there must be more than merely lighting dark places and transforming your appearance – that seems like quite the meagre offering.
So the party out to get Kirito and Leafa appears, and things begin to look a little shaky for our would-be heroes. But I wasn’t worried. They’re just a specialised, high-level, well trained and organised squad out to get Kirito after all. But maybe this would actually be an ideal opportunity to show that Kirito isn’t just a godlike Gary Stu! Perhaps this could be the long-awaited opportunity to show that he could be beaten by other players, albeit only in a twelve-on-one battle! Oh wait of course, he’s Kirito. He can just turn into a giant monster that looks suspiciously like Gleam-Eyes and one-shot everything in sight!
You could argue that he only won against them because of the fear generated by his appearance, and fair enough, such is the purpose of illusion magic and breaking during combat generally leads to losing. But you can’t argue that his ability to one-shot everything, move at ridiculous speeds, and leap several stories high isn’t completely broken. It wasn’t so much the appearance that terrified the Salamanders – it was how ridiculously overpowered he was. And he enjoyed it. You’d think after spending over two years in a game where players actually died he’d feel at least a little conflicted about the idea of massacring them. Heck, he even got all serious and stated that he would never let party members die, which would seem support that notion. But nope. No hesitation whatsoever.
It’s funny really, only a few minutes after this he begins to preach to Leafa, essentially claiming that committing crimes in a video game changes one’s personality irrevocably – that by killing or stealing in a game, you’ve permanently screwed yourself up. This is an argument that has been all over the place for years with claims that violence in video games turns people into psychopathic killers and the like. But putting that topic aside because it’s largely irrelevant anyway, I find this extremely hard to take from Kirito. His sermon on how you should always be true to yourself, be honest and act as you would in the real world, is coming from a guy who’s using glitched stats, buying equipment with glitched money, and has already fought and killed multiple other players with no sign of remorse whatsoever.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – ‘Illusion magic is terrible!’ they said. Hah. #SAO
- It’s good to see that Kirito understands the value of bribery over force in an MMORPG. In many other situations too actually!
- What is this? What happened to Asuna?
- Wasn’t Recon still in the Sylph city? Shouldn’t it be impossible for players of other races to attack him? Or do the sewers not count as part of city for some reason?
- The Cait Sith leader is d’awww.
- Pillaging towns is certainly an interesting mechanic, but surely that must make it suck to be a leader. You’d have to remain somewhere safe under guard for most of your time in-game just so that some opportunist didn’t decide to kill you. So much for playing the game and having fun.