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The AfterWORDS are thoughts, explanations and little essays about each set of comics. This can point out hidden things, explain meanings or just provide further commentary. Opinions appear in green. Old is at the top, newest is at the bottom of the page.
|Title: Crossing 3084
The title refers to the year that Pioneer 2 reached Ragol. Also, it is at this point that the paths of all the people start crossing eachother, giving the interactions that are to come in all the following sets of comics. It also refers to time crossing that particular year so it's a logical title.
|This is basically just an intro type deal. Everything is short and very simple. It introduces the types of people and some of the arguements/misconceptions that were found in those days. (The whole HU vs FO thing, and can't forget the wackos, of which there are always plenty) At this point, fighting is hard enough, and enough of a novelty along with plot exploration to keep things running.
This also introduces the concept that there's more then 1 of every boss or that they have infinite capacity to keep coming back. (In the case of Falz) This way there's no 'crossing over' of the comic into 'serious game plot-point activity' which would break down the continuity for everyone else. The comics also will not explore NPC activity that EVERYone basically has to explore for themselves.
The real substance comic of this set is Evil's Quiet Start. The real "Quiet Start" was the dawn of Hacking, and not just Falz so it had dual meanings. PSO was not hacked the first day it came out, but Jet only showed up a month or so into it, where people already had a bit of a leg-up with duping. Of course, at this point no one actually KNEW what Razor was up to. We just thought he was really good.
|Title: Who You'll Meet
With this set of comics, all the main characters for the next few arcs are finally introduced. Chibi ChuChu and Skyy are "The other memory cards", and not actual other players of PSO. This set gets into the different sorts of friends and foes available on PSO.
|Chibi Is: A Small and Sticky Discovery
Chibi was meant to be the total opposite of Jet. Trusting, ever-happy, tiny, total-magic, not much for fighting with a tendancy for wackyness--she succeeds. The meeting was a total plot-device (it had to be). The explanation of Androids is just an illustration/elaboration of what PSO plot already says.
**I hate cribbing, parodying, and ref-ing when it is done blatantly/inappropriatly in a serious comic. Example: in the Knuckles comic book, a few panels show people riding in Luke Skywalkers' desert speeder (from Tatooine). It's supposed to be a gimmic/ref, but it comes off as lazy because they didn't want to think up a new vehicle, and the SW one has no place in a Sonic the Hedgehog property.
*The big prototype HUcast has the symbol from a Garanz on it.
With the Mines Mystery: Of course, it never gets solved.
Yes, the horn does have tiny feet in 'Bumper Sticker'.
The Big Find: Yes the Spread Needle is HUGE. Did you ever measure it?
The Covetor: A first incident with real, open, maliciousness
|A Rare Understanding:
This is a cool look at culture. The value of being able to play a videogame with international people is higher then anyone can imagine--IF it's done correctly. Which, at this point, it mostly was.
Miako is Japanese. However, she had to be incomprehensible to ANY reader of the comic for it to be effective--so she speaks an illegible font. Also, since everyone's from Coral, you can't use Earth countries or language references, so they were all anonamized into "Island nation" and "Our language".
This comic may be a bit perplexing without the context of the following comics. It isn't exciting at all, and does not really seem to have much of a point or a lesson. It is actually an introduction for some important characters later on. Without this seemingly mundane chapter, some later events would lose a lot of authenticity.
The First End
A bit of a shock for this one. As it should be.
I had a very breif debate about quitting after putting in all the hard work, only to have it wiped out. Even called Sega only to find "Nothing we can do if its not our brand" --which it wasn't. The problem was, there were no real 3rd party warnings from anyone.
*When things are really teleported, they are atomized somehow and sent as molicules through space great distances, so understandably, this going wrong would be rare, but devastating.*
However since the government computers keep a blue-print of everyone, ("Government" means SonicTeam in most cases, and in this one, SonicTeam allows you to create another char if one is deleted) you could be 'put back together' based upon it. However to prevent cheating, you're stripped of all your stuff.
This is a more thoughtful comic, especially the 'essay' at the end. Being deleted really makes you think about stuff. The words surround the pannel, like thoughts that are piling up. You've seen the fish before too...it was introduced so it would be familiar here, and make the gesture seem more complete. I have a great liking for the professional air of introducing things, and then bringing them in again later to fulfill a plot point. It gives the story flow, and readers something to look for. It can also be used for shock or even comedy, to enhance it.
Hopefully, this comic will introduce a slightly new style to the series, with more pannels, more expressions and somewhat more complexity to the art.
A Change of Plans
Frusterating times, aren't they? To watch your last best weapon slip away due to a bad circumstance like a single inopportune disconnect. Your last best chance at remaking your precious empire of fun, and now it too, is gone. Needless to say, that was not a good week for PSO.
The Uninvited Guest
What a nice surprise!
With regards to hacking, this was the only pass-break I ever experienced. It was patched by ST in fairly short order--one of the few things they were ever able to fix. Also, not a whole lot was available now to do you serious damage--so while it was scary it wasn't actually life-threatening. He asked what the pass was, and I admitted it was gibberish because I was mad. He broke in because he knew I was mad, (and wanted to see what I would do) and the game title was a bit of a challenge for him. Part of it is set in Skyy's home, to give it a more personal feel of "invasion" and also to gloss over the plot device of "individual game naming" when everyone was supposed to be running around the same area of the planet at once.
Yes, his name was changed. Who knows what happened to him after that, never saw him again. He was really just "Sephiroth" but he had that straggly red hair, so I added "red" onto the end. Why? Because there's about a billion Sephiroths, and this one should be distinguished somehow. He was actually in before the whole name thing really took off to insane levels though, but for current reference it had to be done.
The way he spoke was also memorable, he did keep calling Skyy "Dear Boy" for whatever reason. I let him. Call me whatever so long as you give me something. Brag anything you want, and I'll be impressed. But know this...I may be happier. Perhaps it's all a thrill for both parties. A hacked weapon is still a weapon, and at this point I didn't care. This guy really was a serious break-in breakthrough.
Color appears again!
This was not one I wanted to do. At all. This is one of the few, few times I've been truly MAD in PSO. Death Reverser was still so very new, as to be a rumor, in most parts of the game. It was totally unexpected, unlike in the later days, where you couldn't equip hardly anything, for fear of getting whacked, and if you played with strangers, might as well just give up everything. This was sort of the end of a free-er time.
This is a rather curious comic, and the last story before Ultimate Mode opens up. Of course, there was tons of buzz about ult, and Japan got it first. If you had their edition of the game, you could go on there ahead of everyone else. The nature of the upgrade was that you could transfer your character (one way street) to that game, but still be able to interact with people who didn't have it. You could play in their games (but they couldn't go in yours).