「非情の選択」 (Hijou no Sentaku)
“Heartless Choice”

Things are escalating insanely quickly. I also have conflicted feelings about Quinella.

General Impressions

Overall, I really enjoyed this week’s episode for a myriad of reasons. Between advancing the war that the Dark Territory was definitely going to lose and changing the odds to be overwhelmingly in their favor and making me rethink about my rage and anger toward Quinella, this was definitely a weird episode.

Starting with the latter, I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying all these little glimpses of Quinella in the past. Based on everything that everyone minus Kirito and Eugeo has seen, it doesn’t seem like Quinella was all that bad of a dictator. Assuming she knew about the coming Final Load Test, her actions don’t seem all that crazy when you think about the notion of facing a battle you must win unless you want to be literally deleted. As they say, history is written by the winners and Quinella will probably be looked toward negatively till the end of the time, but it’s getting a little difficult to see her simply as a power hungry Administrator who wanted to find out just what exists passed the walls of the Underworld.

Moving back to the Final Load Test, I have only two things to say. The first being good job to the bad guys for figuring out a creative way to supplement their dumb as bricks forces and the second being how in the world do you not notice the FLA rate being changed?? While Kikuoka and team might be at a secondary console, I can’t imagine how no one would realize the FLA rate had/has been changed. That and if I’m being truly honest here, it’s kind of insane to think that a military vessel out in the middle of nowhere would have the infrastructure to facilitate such a huge amount of connections hitting it all at once. Like Yui herself said, the Underworld wasn’t made to facilitate adhoc connections and without the proper infrastructure to facilitate all those hits, I can only imagine the whole thing just falling apart.

Unfortunately, watching the Underworld crash would not be all that fun and I do appreciate the old group finally getting a chance to show up on screen so I’ll let the whole thing slide for now. Boy, I can’t wait to see what happens when we get to next week’s episode. Yui has managed to open the doors for help to come and with a ton of sleezy American players diving in to wreck some havoc, I hope we get an Avenger’s End Game level entrance with everyone coming to help. Anyways, see you guys next week!




  1. I didn’t know if I had to be deadpan or smiling nervously at the Engrish on display here. Either way, it was too cringy for me to laugh at XD

    On a serious note, there are now 2 signs that the seal of the right eye doesn’t exist only in the human empire, but also in the dark territory. One being the leader of the orcs who just lost his wife to the meaningless sacrifice for that umbra worm spell, and now the leader of the pugilists decrying the senseless deaths of his comrades that were made because they were ordered to merely capture the priestess of light has the same light emerge in his right eye. So now the question begs itself, why? Its purpose in the human empire by a mole within Rath was to impede the emergence of a fluctlight that could potentially function as a very human AI, but I thought that was only supposed to be applied within the human empire, or would should that impediment be applied to both sides for that goal to be achieved?

    1. Guess it doesn’t really matter which side breaks the seal. I may be a bit out of the loop, but if the purpose of the seal is to impede progress, what’s the condition in order to break the seal, from a RATH guy’s standpoint? Just intense anger against a higher authority?

      1. Yeah, I guess that’s how it is. It doesn’t matter which side has the seal, because the entire point of Underworld is to create a human-intellect capable AI that can be used to weaponize unmanned artillery. I guess the mole figured that any fluctlight within Underworld can possibly achieve such an intellect, and so he programmed the seal to be applied on everyone just to be on the safe side. Smart, I’d say.

        1. That makes me wonder about the alleged mole’s motivations: what if it was done to protect the virtual inhabitants of the Underworld?

          No matter how much Yui tries to spin it (even if the SDF only wants the IA for “demonstrations” for now, sooner or later it will be militarized too), at the end of the day the people of the Underworld were created for real-life military purposes. The “seal” is an obstacle, making the final goal much harder to achieve.

          What’s more, one could argue that, even if the seal is broken, such “success” invalidates the entire experiment. It’s proof that this IA is not just intelligent, but has the strength and the willpower to defy orders and turn against her bosses, even if said orders were coded into her programming. Which military would trust their expensive and dangerous weaponry to such an IA? Perhaps that’s what the mole was after.

  2. For what it’s worth, I really wished they showed Yui’s inner monologue in the episode. The moment showcased something in the light novel, but without context via Yui’s inner thoughts, it kind of felt a bit rushed and left out. Nevertheless, it was still nice, but I wish we got more from that moment.

    I don’t think it was mentioned in the episodes, but the Ocean Turtle has a high-bandwidth satellite connection which is why so many players were able to connect via the Seed/Amusphere, and all that. Perhaps as an analogy, imagine running Overwatch on a supercomputer at a national laboratory using all of its resources and such. I’m trying to find the point where you mentioned that ‘Underworld wasn’t made to facilitate adhoc connections’ to see for myself, but I don’t know where it was in the episode.

    Also, what was Sinon doing at 3 AM? Having a Frank Castle moment?

    Also, is no one going to talk about the American gamers?

  3. That’s what I was talking about Takaii. There’s a big twist though because the Japanese players are still heavily outnumbered. Well two twists. Though I’d imagine you’d be OK with how Yui handles things considering whats at stake.

  4. Oh and speaking of the American players.

    They were tricked into believing this is all some kind of event, they’re not aware when they first arrive that the worlds inhabitants have souls.

    1. I recall the author stating in their afterwords the Japan vs USA player thing came from the original webnovel version, a reflection of Japan’s gaming era when local players were less accepting of foreign gamers on their servers.

      Although he’s aware that plot point has aged poorly since then and attempted to rewrite it, he couldn’t think of any better alternatives without compromising the story and decided to just keep it in.

    2. I still don’t understand why they didn’t try to explain it in American websites (thanks to Lisbeth for at least suggesting it). I would have understood it better if the reason was “who’s gonna believe us?” (even their ALO acquaintances were skeptical), but if keeping the secret was their reason, then how come it’s not a problem to blurt it out to hundreds of ALO players?

  5. Ocean Turtle is way bigger than what is needed to run what they are running. So I’ll buy huge connections for some future planed project.

    Purpose of project I take as a lie. The Knights and even citizens under Quinella were great for artificial soldiers that you don’t want disobeying orders. So why the need for rebellious non controllable AI’s especially as that route can lead to Skynet? (AI sealing to eliminate humanity) This is not criticism much more must be shown before it is an error instead of plot point.

    Milferd Jones
  6. As they say, history is written by the winners and Quinella will probably be looked toward negatively till the end of the time, but it’s getting a little difficult to see her simply as a power hungry Administrator who wanted to find out just what exists passed the walls of the Underworld.

    I understand the ambivalence. It’s happened to me since we knew of Quintella’s origin, and I think it has a lot to do with the difference between in-game and out-of-game perspectives.

    In-game, Quintella was a cruel tyrant with a god complex. That’s enough to make her the bad guy. Out-of-game, on the other hand, I can’t help but respect her. She was basically a NPC in a military experiment that not only became aware of the cage that trapped her, but sought to co-opt her. If she was forced to play the game, it would be under her terms. Let’s not act as if RATH wasn’t also playing god with sentient lives.

  7. What I want to know is, does that mean the same applies to the American players on how theres no pain mitigation system and they all will feel excruciating pain when they are killed in-game? You’d think the shock would potentially kill them IRL as well.


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