「無限の果て」 (Mugen no Hate)
“End to Eternity”
We’ve reached the end game. And to all those folks who complained about his harem being unnecessary, turns out they actually have a purpose. Apparently to save Kirito, people who were close to him in life must gather (enter harem) while one of Rath’s technicians reconnects Kirito’s STL to the main system – so that the memories/impressions he left on their fluctlights can be used as a backup to restore his own fluctflight. But while there it’s a sound idea – there are many obstacles that need to be overcome. Firstly, the hostile invasion of the Ocean Turtle by Americans. Secondly, the war that’s playing out in the Underworld.
Arrival of the Japanese Reinforcements
To fend off the onslaught of the evil Americajin player, Japanese reinforcements arrive – with many of them being veterans from the original Aincrad incident. e.g. Klein, Agil, etc. Not all of them could be convinced however – because the price of losing your account is steep. Apparently dying in the Underworld would mean it’s gone forever. That said, many players were willing to take that plunge. And though some of that could come down to Japanese honour, it’s an example of how many lives Kirito and Co have positively touched that people would be willing to make that kind of personal sacrifice for his sake.
Even though these reinforcements aren’t Kirito level – with the assistance of 2-3 goddess accounts – you can be assured that they can hold on for a good while. As Asuna explains, while the quality of their fighting forces are higher, they are still wildly outnumbered. Meaning a battle of attrition should be avoided – lending into a strategy where they keep their front line relatively far back and compact, maximising the effectiveness of AOE healing. Question is – can they hold out once Subtilizer comes onto the field?
Bercouli vs Vecta
What can I say. A-1 Pictures really delivered for this fight. It had everything – Bercouli mounting an epic last stand as a mere mortal faced by a God, thick exaggerated lineart, fluid and crisp animation sequences, and god tier soundtrack to accompany the fare.
If Bercouli was already disadvantaged going into the fight, since Vecta could randomly erase willpower by merely crossing swords with him, having one of his arms sliced off certainly took away any chance he had of going even in a straight up fight. But even then, he was driven by the desire to save Alice. And most importantly he had a clear idea of how victory could be achieved – capitalise on any moment where Vecta let his guard down to release the Time Slashing Sword.
After courageous back and forths – taking multiple lethal hits – it definitely looked like Bercouli didn’t have enough left in the take to accomplish his task. Especially after Vecta realised something was amiss. However, Bercouli’s beloved dragon Hoshigami disobeys his final order – sacrificing itself to buy Bercouli time to reposition himself and charge up a Time Slashing strike that put an end to Vecta once and for all.
Unfortunately, having been stabbed through the stomach like that, I’m sure we all knew there was no way Bercouli could survive even though he won the fight. But at least he was able to protect his adopted daughter, live out a generally happy life, elopes with the Administrator in their afterlife, and leaves behind an unborn child with Fanatio. Farewell Synthesis One – the greatest of all Integrity Knights. And arguably the greatest side character in this series. You will be missed.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. I also wanted to note that while Bercouli vanquished Vecta – it looks like Gabriel Miller is going to log back into the Underworld with his Subtilizer account. So this definitely won’t be the last time we see him, and though it’s difficult to imagine – perhaps his GGO account will be even more powerful than Vecta. Also, while Yanai offered to assist Higa in relinking the cables to Kirito’s STL, he really doesn’t give me good vibes – he definitely seems like he could be the mole inside of Rath who will look to sabotage Higa’s mission.
As always, thanks for reading this post. And see you next week to find out how the mission to restore Kirito’s fluctlight proceeds.