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PSO2 Story Guide Episodes 4-5
The story of PSO2 has many chapters & is very long.
This isn't meant to be a substitute for the game, or as a transcript of the entire script/plot, but rather a way to understand, read-up-on, speculate, analyze & get a really good idea of what's going on in the game.
This section is for Chapters 4 and 5 ONLY. For all the plot before this, see the Story Hub. Because the game is divided up over these sections, the plot will be as well.
Character Guide
Planets/Areas Guide
Special Quest Mission Write Ups
Color key
Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
Choice Options: Blue Text
Dates & Times (Story is time travel related) Purple Text
Story Guide HUB * Episode 4 Story Page 2 *

EPISODE 4 BEGINS

The opening of the game is now made consistent with the Episode 4 opening. There’s no more “well you joined the ARKS…here’s Afin…etc”, it’s ALWAYS “you get out of a cryo sleep pod and now Xierra is here to explain things to you. If you are NEW (a new character) she will explain that “you did this great stuff in the past” & if you are continuing on, you get something similar where “you had these great adventures and succeeded”.  Note: If you are new, you have the opportunity to go back and do 1 thru 3 before moving on to 4, to play the whole game in sequence.

This opening date is meant to be a surprise because it is TWO years after the last event / story panel that you were able to experience. So, your character has been in that pod thing the entire time.

241 3/22 at 1030
In a metal high tech 'pod' thing, your character is revealed and steps out among a cloud of white mist. There are other pods in the area, each marked “closed” while yours is marked “open”.  Xiera calls to you, and says good morning. Your character is wearing either what you chose at charcreate, or whatever you had on last when you selected ‘episode 4’. You walk up to her, and she introduces herself as “Xiera the personal operator”. You woke up without any problems. She asks if you feel strange, or have signs of darker factor, but you are all right. You clearly 'ask' something with a head tilt, so she asks if your memories are mixed up. She says that it's happened a lot, they got contact from the med unit over it. Though you were just awakened, Xiera will fill you in on the current situation.

Xiera is a female either human or cast (you can’t see her ears, but she has low ear-muff things so newman is ruled out as they wouldn’t fit in there) with yellow hair in high twintails, a tiny purple hat, and mostly mauve themed clothes. She wears the earphones & head mic of an operator.

This triggers 241 3/22 at 1100
Where you follow her to a 'bridge' looking area with many hovering screens, a view of space outside, and room to meet but no table or chairs other than her small, hovering seat. She explains that on 238 at 2/20 you were enlisted as ARKS to go on your first Naberius mission. You completed missions, gained recognitions & had adventures. It shows you PD, Loser, Apprentice Woman, Gettemelder, various bug darkers & the double twins. She says this was a success.

There's an untranslated bit with a picture of the Matoi-corrupt/anga fundarge combo boss.  Then she shows you Matoi falling out of that/back to more normal in her half darkerized 'bathing suit' looking thing. She talks about and shows Persona with the Clarissa rod. It has to be assumed this was a success--because it's another of those that can't possibly be translated. She then says she's amazed that the person from the story is here before her now. (So, this is a recap, to remind you of the episodes really quickly, or something to lure you to play them if you didn’t yet)

It's 2 years since PD, she says, to which you always react with a big shock.  She can't blame your surprise, because it all went by in an instant. After PD you had to cold sleep to cleanse. (Remember, Xiao foreshadowed this a lot, when PD was coming around, it was one of his big worries. Somehow being in the cold-sleep pod makes the 'darker influence' or whatever contamination it is go away but nobody ever explains why that happens. Is it merely doing nothing/not actually getting near any darker for an extended period of time and the stuff 'evaporates' like water but really slowly? Or is the pod capable of extracting darker contaimantion but it's really slow?)

During that time they were still fighting PD, but don't worry, everyone is fine and still fighting. (As you remember, it’ll keep coming back because Persona time-skips it every time it loses) So now is your grand return. ARKS will be ready to go. But, nothing's ever that easy. She realizes you just finished being purified by the cold sleep process, but she awoke you because she has a favor to ask. But before that she has to give you an item. She gives you The Story Board, which will make it easy to chronicle your grand adventures.

This gives you the Story Board Window.
It is SIMILAR to the Matter Board, but it is linear instead, without having a scattering/grid of 'matters'
.  This implies there won’t be / won’t be as much time travel in these upcoming episodes.

Now, to trigger events you have to go to the bridge & select them on the story board. This causes a cut-scene to play. This is how MOST of the elements seem to work, rather than going & finding the tablets in quests as you normally did before. In other cases, you go find the NPC on ship somewhere to trigger the scene & get more plot.

BEGIN STORY BOARD MODE

First Scene to actually go trigger: Io is glum
When you approach her, she'll ask if you have a minute because you're here. How long has it been since we've been able to meet? She knows you were just asleep so she wasn't worried but is still relieved to talk to you again. She suspects you think she's over-reacting but it was a long time.

You've grown more mature
You've become more beautiful

If you say You've grown more mature (Why though? Her hair's mostly the same--she added a random braid on one side that looks kind of shabby-chic-boho but...., clothes are the same, and she's her usual suspicious self acting contrary & gloomy, she hasn't gotten prettier OR uglier and her personality hasn't matured/become more well adjusted any--these options are dumb—but the game itself seems to want you to be dumb or bad to her often to fuel her personality)
She says do you really think so? Given enough time even she might grow up. She then says that you should know trying to embarrass her by saying something weird is a waste of time. She's used to being teased so she can ignore it, but then suddenly she thinks you're too close! And goes scooting backwards. She claims that you act 'too suddenly' and if you do too many strange things she'll go tell Matoi. You 'act embarrassed', so she says 'haha when we have these ordinary exchanges she feels you've truly returned'.

She knows she's late in saying it, but really welcome back, she's been waiting.

Poor Io, counting on strange fake antagonistic relationships and making up stuff in order to have conversations. She’s just as confusing as she ever was. Did you notice here that the title is "Io is Glum" but then you never find out how or why?

Legend of the Bouncer Maiden
Katori will come running up to you in the forest, asking if you remember her. You consider this for a while but then:

Who were you again...?
Ah, long time no see
.

If you say Ah, long time no see , she'll  say the moment of silence means you don't remember, and get frustrated. (As if anyone would forget her? She got like 20 chances to rattle on with Saga earlier) She'll explain her name is ka to ri and she's the one who spread the beloved bouncer class and is now regarded as the graceful and legendary maiden. Saga appears, saying because she's so assertive she's received a legendary number of complaints. Katori says it's because he doesn't advertise enough, because getting people to remember bouncer is the top priority. Katori claims it's partially due to you that Bouncer is doing well as a class, but Saga explains that people are inspired by your achievements so ARKS are trying various weapons and classes regardless of preference.

(*Remember, it used to be a big deal that you could use more than one class, or try others. Most people couldn't, and Zeno didn't do too well at it, though he improved later, as did Echo. ARKS were pretty 1-track when they started)
ARKS diversity has increased. Well...that and Katori was unnecessarily spreading word that you were a bouncer (regardless of if you were or not) and making strange ads which also contributed. She claims she doesn't lie...but even if you weren’t using it...well you were aware of it and that counts. Aaaand even if you're not BO right now, you can start learning right now and make everything true!

Saga picks out the sense, saying diversity in styles is great, plus individuals who master many are easier to work with others. Saga says new problems are probably on the horizon, so call upon them to help. Katori pledges her new skills too...but he undercuts her with as you've guessed during the talk, Katori has hardly changed and will likely cause you grief anyway, so we wish you the best  regardless. Katori yells at you not to nod.

Summoner is beautiful
You can find Pietro in the forest with a Wanda pet. Pietro is a Duman with light beige skin, black overcoat, frosty blue hair and a flat hat. He has a long black forehead horn and one visible blue eye. The other is under his hair. He wears checkered hoop earrings. A Wanda is a dog-like pet. It has a pointed hair tail, is about the size of a medium/large breed dog, and is always a reddish brown with purple & pink tips to the ears, tail & tufts. It has yellow horns on the head which are curved & flattened. They are pointed toward the front for stabbing. The collar has a picture of a music note in it.

Pets are an unknown quantity at this point.
WHAT exactly IS a pet? Is it a real animal? Is it an alien? How smart is it? Is it some invented machine-animal thing like an ‘android dog’? Why did none of these animals appear before? Pets include the large dog like Viola, bird like Aero, mutant-elf with no legs thing Sally (it hovers), explosive plush-toy rounded-egg things Maron & Melon, and quite-clearly-a-small-dragon Redran. There’s also Synchro, a fox-like upright 2-leg walking red/white thing which has rudimentary hands. So, they're basically just "Pokemon" inspired junk that's called "an animal" because it has a role to fill but not any sense to make. Why is the dog a person?

In the forest you meet Pietro & his Wanda. He praises the wanda as perfect to the touch, graceful and without flaws. He boasts about how great is the love it has for him, the elegant way in which it snuggles!

What are you talking about?
Who are you?

If you ask "Who Are You?"  He'll say that you don't know, and that he doesn't know you/you don't look familiar but aside from the children, he has no interest in anyone else so it doesn't matter. He introduces his pet wanda as "Catherine" (you can name the pet or leave it as the species name, so this makes sense) He says you're not a familiar face he's seen before, so let him explain his beloved Summoner class to you!

Summoner is the latest class for ARKS where you use what are called 'pets' but they are really children who need to be loved. You can take them with you onto the battle field. He introduces the weapon of the summoner, the Takt which is a short magic (its photonic) wand. With it, you conduct a symphony of destruction on the battlefield. So you want to try it, yes? No need to be so reserved...everyone wants to try it! To share the joy of holding the children dear is why he established the class. As he talks and gestures all around, the Wanda walks up to him from where it was sniffing around on the grass.

So the Wanda attacks him. It does a flip roll and bashes into his side, making him stagger. (The Wanda is a dog-like thing, but it has flattened ram horns that come to a point)  He tells it to wait just a moment, they'll go to a cafe soon enough. As he walks away to lead it to the cafe, it bites him in the back. He turns to say enjoy the summoner life, and tells Catherine not to rush because the food isn't going anywhere. So it bites his hands repeatedly, making him yell that it hurts and to stop, little rascal.

So Pietro is another resident eccentric character.
He does grand gestures, speaks in his eccentric way & is incongruent. He says the pet is lovely and perfect but it clearly doesn't like him, doing attacks, bites & head-butts with the horns. He says it snuggles but if it antagonizes him that way, you can be sure that it does not snuggle. Why he's so obsessed with pets but is obviously rubbish at training them
(an antagonistic pet is garbage—and being a bad pet, it only reflects on a worse trainer) and then somehow got a whole class started around it is sure to be a lingering mystery.
Also a lingering mystery is that
the pet doesn’t have any animations that involve the face, so the ‘biting’ is just it slamming the sprite into him with a yellow effect.

Request from the Commander 241 3/22 at 1200
Xierra disappears her glasses with a touch to the side of her head and asks if you've got the hang of the Story Board. If there's anything else you need to know she'll give you a hand. Xierra explains there's a message: (From a screen) Ulc is now commander. She heard your memory is foggy so wants to see you in person but both her and Xiao are really busy so she can only send a voice message. But, she has a request because people have been appearing who seem to be ARKS but that no one has ever seen before. She's looking for info but believes Casra is hiding something because he never has anything to report. So, to covertly gather info, could you tag along with one of the suspects and see what happens? Casra won't do anything so it has to be you.

Xiera says she agrees with Ulc's decision, saying Ulc took over for Xiao as commander because everything's still a mess. When you're ready to go, just ask her. Also, ARKS went through some restructuring. Which she will tell you about at.... 

241 3/21 at 900

Arks Restructure: ARKS command chain has gone through a drastic restructure while you were out. Ulc is top, Theodore is her assistance, Council of 6 was split up. Huey is combat division with deputy 3rd Claris Claes, General affairs is Maria with Deputy Sara. Instructor is Regius, deputy Zeno. Intelligence is Casra. Decision making that involves the policy of ARKS is thoroughly discussed among the heads of departments & commander first. With this set, Xiao has returned to the mother-ship to concentrate on his calculations. (Rather suddenly and apropos of really nothing here???) Xiera blurts out that: She's happy because it's been 2 years since she was born so she's an adult in both mind and body now! By the way, she heard from Xiao that Ulc had a part in forming her personality. Oh and within ARKS there's a special title called The Guardian. It doesn't belong to any department, they can act on their own, it's the only Unique presence really. And there's only 2: You and Matoi. And Xierra is your personal operator.

So, Xiera exposes herself for what she really is:
Not human. She HAS to be a CAST of some kind, born 2 years ago, but looks like an adult though has the personality of a bubbly teen. She's clearly smart and means well, but she's a bit hyper and excitable to be an ordinary adult. It’s very believable that Ulc had to do with her personality, Ulc is cheerful and likely realizes that good cheer is important for many aspects of life & so imparted positivity to Xiera too.

The next story you can actually activate is

Chapter 1: Guardian’s Awakening: Time To Wake Up


241 3.22 at 1500
In the ruins Hitsugi is looking at a screen before him, it’s one of those hologram ones that people can make out of thin air. Hitsugi wears a red and black version of the ‘normal hunter male’ outfit. He has sandy tan hair, beige skin & blue eyes. He seems young, maybe an early teen at best. His face is fairly ordinary, with blue eyes. He thinks & frets as he changes his screen. He never heard of a quest like this-- the General HQ asking him personally, is he dreaming?  Could it be someone’s watching him? No way, there’s been bugs from the start. AI getting suspicious and acting out of order? Nothing to fear… he quickly and nervously convinces himself that all is well and normal. But suddenly, you stroll up, which shocks him into shouting who are you! And flailing around some.

Xiera calls to him, asking if he is Hitsugi? On his earpiece comm. that everyone has. Xierra introduces herself as the ARKS Operator, after he acts startled. She tells him you’ll be working with him for this mission. He thinks he’s seen your name somewhere before…and decides to look you up. You’re the ARKS who fended off PD 2 years ago! Why be here with him now? He is freaking out a bit, at a famous person.

Xiera offers to explain it all when you 2 return, because this mission serves as rehab. He wonders a bit at this, then sits right there on the ground, facing away from you on purpose. He begins to think things through by talking to himself. THE ship operator assigns him alongside THE person who defeat PD?? It cannot be a coincidence. But why, did he work too hard? He is under suspicion? Xierra interrupts his fretting, with an ‘Ops to Hitsugi?’, which prompts him to agitate and say he’s relieved to be in the hands of someone so capable, so please take care of him. He then  does a fancy bow to you and says let’s get going to get it over with.

Xierra says he’s strange because even though he’s male he doesn’t act like one. (Really? Aside from the fancy bow that would be odd for anyone to do, this just seems like a nervous-nellie character) She says he’s fishy, so keep an eye out FOR and also ON him. To which you nod, and Hitsugi joins the party.

This lets you both off in the ‘corrupted ruins’ where the grass is all yellow & everything looks dried up. Several waves of darkers will appear, like dagan, dagacha & kradah so you have to defeat them to remove a typical darker spike wall. Next will be birds then toy types. Last, they’ll all appear in one go.

241 322 at 1530
Beating all these will let you into the next area where Hitsugi pulls up another screen & Xiera says what happened before aside, nothing seems off about him. He’s skilled but slacks off too much, what a waste! But do you have any thoughts?

Nothing in Particular
Something Feels Off

If you say Something Feels Off she’ll agree that maybe he’s hiding something? She feels as if his guard shifts focus to us when he’s not in combat with darkers. Just keep watching him, we’ll sort the details after the mission.  He frets because he hears whispering and throwing glances at him while he works.

A creepy shadow of black and red smoke that is vaguely-human shaped with burning red eyes appears before him, then dashes at him! It’s right in the middle of the path too, standing in a hunched and wavering way. Nothing like this has ever appeared before in any scene, it’s totally new & definitely dark. You grab him away, blocking him from the figure’s attempt.

Xierra is afraid of this shifting strong darker reading. Is it a Dark Falz? It makes another attempt to consume him in a red and black cloud of photons.

He disperses the figure with a slash!
He says hey did you see that? Awesome right? He’s an ARKS after all, he can do that much…when he feels like it, that is! Xiera says keep your guard up, the readings are still there. No sooner than she says it, then It traps his hands so he can’t move, and a darker cloud forms around him, he calls for help and

It’s ok I’ll save you
Calm down, I’ll save you

If you say It’s OK I’ll Save you, you rush toward him with a hand out & a blue/white power appears from it / around both of you that starts to dispel the evil cloud. Xierra yells that “It’s neutralizing darkers --no it’s as Xiao said it’s your power!” So, you have apparently retained a little of what Matoi has, which is the ability to neutralize darkers powers, but Xiao never appeared here yet & didn't say anything like that to you yet. He says he can move, and he can log out! Quickly, a white window screen appears near one of his hands, he hits it, and vanishes. Xiera says darker readings have gone, but where is Hitsugi?

2028 at 1600
Confusingly: The view shifts to a room in a school dorm, without warning.

Hitsugi-girl is…playing the PSO2 “Game”???
A girl with the same name as the boy who vanished is sitting alone at a wooden desk in a sunny room on the ground floor of a building. (Is “Hitsugi” a generic genderless name like Jaymee, Madison or Casey?) She says everything felt too real in the game, did something go wrong with the net? Now that she’s back, on Earth, the blue mother Earth a place with no conflict. My room, my computer essential for her modern lifestyle and also her bed. For rest…but…there’s a naked person in her bed. This makes her repeat things and inhale and exhale by saying it. She’s 16 and its 2028, the era, where she is in her dorm at the 2nd year of HS. Def. the real world, not some dumb game, the illusion is not on the bed. So she turns and still sees the kid! It’s waking up!

Character looking kid asks where is he? She starts shouting that it’s a dream, so he creeps forward. She says it’s too racy for this time of day, why is he naked where are his clothes!? For petes sake ughghghghh. He asks if she’s hurt. Time to stop denying and look at reality. She’ll hear him out, who is he, what’s his name? He says it’s Hitsugi. She claims it’s her name…so then he says he doesn’t know what his really is. She yells him more.

She says he suddenly appears in the room, the spitting image of her avatar in the game…could he actually BE from in there? MOTHER didn’t say anything about this. She hears footsteps outside her door.

Did she make too much noise, is the dorm monitor coming? She goes to open the dorm door, but the footsteps she heard was from a very tall, half-constructed zombie man of some kind. This is like a guy in a suit, but he has a blurry, blue/gray top of his face (so it’s pretty featureless) a blue crystal-type claw arm, regular arm, and various blue lumpy/crystal-ey defects to him.

She’s then punched by the zombie man, who steps into her door after her. There are more coming, and it swings a big fist so Naked Kid jumps in the way and gets hit in the back and falls. She yells at it not to come closer and yells for help so the screen of the computer flashes and……..you appear in her room!

You knock the zombie out into the hall with a punch pushing it away. You are now in a dorm fighting zombies. Several varieties of zombie type blue crystal afflicted tall guys appear in the dorm hall, which is narrow and has all closed doors. Somehow, all the noise this would make doesn't alert anyone at all. These just dissappear when they are defeated, much like a darker would.

322 at 1700
When you beat all the zombies, you return to her room, and she asks where’s the monster? You nod that it is gone. She doesn’t know what’s going on but you saved both of us. The zombie hit seems to have KO’d naked boy, so she rests his head on her knee. As she laments, she collapses forward. You can apparently dump them both on her bed. It has starry blankets, plant-like stuffed animals & a plush puppy dog.

Xiera calls to you there in the room over your ear-comm
Says that both their vitals are stable now so no need to worry about them. Somehow, she can still ear com you, even though you are in this strange place. What’s got her worried is that strange mystery monster because it is different from a darker. Rehabilitation (What does this mean? Of the monster? Of the crazy naked kid?) was the original goal, but you handled it well along with the transfer to an unknown location. (Unknown locations ARE Handle-Able by ARKS, because often times you would get dumped somewhere darker-made like inside of Double-Stomach or the Darker Nest where the campship gets abducted via the portal—so this isn’t unprecedented here) We can’t take any further action here and now, so please return with haste. You nod, and Xiera activates the TP.

Hitsugi wakes up and laughs once you’re gone. It was just a dream, haha all that crazy stuff. Then she turns around and naked kid is still there. So she laughs more but sadly now. It wasn’t just a dream.

Is Hitsugi-Girl having an out of body experience?
Her reactions ARE NOT consistent with someone simply sitting in a chair playing a normal video game. It’s like she was fully immersed in VR or something with the way she’s acting, but she’s keyboard & mousing it up on her school desk. Why is she acting like ‘she was really in danger’ while she was ‘playing the character’? If the game somehow is able to interface with her brain & make her feel like she's in the body of her character, that sort of thing needs to be EXPLAINED by the plot or SHOWN to the viewer.

The next day
241 3/23 at 1030

Xierra is doing her thing in the bridge when you approach. She tells you well done, we’re not sure what happened but it’s unlikely we’ll see such an event again. However, she’s ready to share the info. The star for that planet is located in a point of subspace that’s not quite the same as this one. It’s a totally different dimension! (Different dimensions are ALSO not unprecedented, because as we know from CANNON PSU & PSO1 are in different dimensions from each other. They are ALSO different from PSO2’s dimension. All 4 of these places are now co-existent & can apparently exchange at least a few items and clothing bits somehow between them.

1.       PSO1, CARD, and PS0
2.       PSU is in a dimension by itself
3.       PSO2 is also in a dimension by itself
4.       This “Earth” planet & it’s sun are another separate universe/dimension

Different dimensions spells out convolution for travel, so investigations are proceeding. Shining like a pearl, the new world is called The Earth. But, when you visited it so briefly, you recall communicating with Hitsugi to be second nature. (So that means she is wondering at how you spoke whatever language is going on, on Earth—this is very valid & a plot hole unless it is addressed.) She tells you that as soon as debriefing is over, she’ll try to pry some info out of Intelligence Division hands. They’re just not giving anything to the bridge unless they feel it’s relevant. Ulc was right it’s fishy stinky fishy. They’re having trouble anchoring Earth’s transfer coordinates.

But there are more important matters like it’s thanks to your effort that we may begin to bridge the divide between Oracle (the ARKS collective ships) and Earth in its other dimension. But if they’re still not sure how to send you, how’d you go? It seems like your desire to save Hitsugi triggered a response with Photons & helped transfer you over there.

NO: She is wrong here.
You had NO IDEA that Hitsugi-girl was in danger, or even of her existance. Remember, when HE snapped out of existence after bashing the shadow man, Xiera was all ready to call you up and shrug it off as a normal teleport. It was Hitsugi’s-girl desire to GET SAVED that triggered something and dragged you there to her aid
. Will they ever clear up that Xiera is wrong?

Xiera says she’s gone off topic, but you could travel there now, however keep all things a secret. Optical Camouflage and Spatial Quarantine measures are employed so you should be able to operate without alerting Earthlings…probably. But because the tech’s from the intelligence division she’s doubtful. She says they make it possible with Transparent Blade Mai’s latent ability but that seems sketchy. Problems are all around so more investigation is needed. (This negativity on her part reveals that Casra is already doing his job which seems to be making people dislike him & his duties at whatever it is he’s assigned to)

But she has another important info:
They lost traces of the DF like presence that appeared in the ruins. She ordered a pursuit but odds are slim so sorry. But, the silver lining is that you 2 were able to contact it and that makes a link.

Contact?
What is a link?

If you ask Contact? She says don’t you remember when you tried to save Hitsugi your hands came into contact. During that time some of your photons got on her hand and we captured her signature. We were able to trace her in time to save her. It allows us to sniff around earth and gather intel. With ARKS advanced technology it would be easy to look into her daily life! Hehehe! What scenes would you want to see?

Isn’t that peeping?
In that case…

AND NOW FOR AN INTERRUPTION PSA
This ENTIRE STORY SET exists for LITERALLY ONLY 2 REASONS and they are:

1.       To get rid of the “Lore” of the first 3 parts of the entire game to make it friendly to newbies who start playing years after the game got going. This one was confessed by the developers out loud, officially. So it's not green because it is not an opinion.

2.       To look at high school girls’ panties & in pursuit of the all-mighty high-school TIDDY. The eternal & most high-minded quest of all of human-kind ever culminates right here in the entire arc constructed to be able to focus on high school hi-jinks and the boobs of high school girls. Oh do you think this is hyperbolic? Do you think it's exaggerating because this is how the story starts off and it has made an action-gamer mad? Keep reading, it lives up to what's said above here in the green text. And some panty, in the case of the anime. This point in the story where Xiera is delighted to be able to peep on under-age girls sets the tone for what’s to come. Also note that the anime that goes with this chunk of the story starts around here too. And yes! It’s got more of the same…

A.      Oh no our generic boy protagonist is in the girls dorm!

B.      Wow, the studious class president has an android character so people online don't harass her for being female/ leave her alone…but she later makes a character that looks just like her but you can see the boobs* because she out of character chooses skimpy PSO2 outfits! Shock!

C.      Look, the actual-ARKS girl pretending to be from earth and acting military/cold but actually likes the generic boy protagonist toooooo??? Woooow!

D.      You somehow have to ‘play the game for school’ but balance it with your school life too so everyone can praise the game! Wow it’s the best game ever created on Earth! It's installed on every computer made because everyone loves it so!

E.       Whoa, a generic male protagonist in the anime with black hair & brown eyes who is just some average joe schlub that turns out to be god tier hero that all the girls go for? Who would expect THAT? It’s trope-tastic!

Plus more generic, expected, normal, boring animuuuu tropes out the wazoo. They could have made the anime about all the interesting characters, back-stories and plots and things we already have, but they chose “generic high school setting with generic boy protagonist (you already know what he looks like! A black hair, brown eyed schlub who’s just your average joe with no special talents but the girls are gonna go for him boy-o!) instead. Instead of introducing the lore of the first 3 chapters to MAKE it newbie friendly & entice people to the game they chose to ignore it all and make a mediocre anime set at High School, just like the LITERALLY 12 OTHERS that have already been done. (No, this is serious/its not hyperbole look up on crunchyroll how many “high-schoolers enter the game” animes there are, its at least 12 and none of them are highly acclaimed moneymakers/award winners/a big deal aside from Sword Art Online's first season.)

*Then they wonder why it wasn’t some kind of money-machine break-out hit. Hmm.

*There are plenty of non-booby outfits in PSO2. A conservative girl who chose an android character first to avoid negative online attention would choose to look like a badass/a conservative outfit not a temptress. (Both badasses & temptresses are fine—what’s not fine is being out of character in order to service the fans—which is exactly what this does.)

If you say “Isn’t that Peeping?
Not so, the information is strictly in the name of gathering info for Xiao, I swear on my honor it’s perfectly fine! Besides, only the 2 of us will ever see it, so there’s nothing to worry about. (Just because 1 person or 2 people watch another against its will/without consent doesn’t make it ok) All jokes aside though, collecting info is paramount because there’s abundant intelligent life there, after all. We may accidentally peep on a private moment, but it’s in the name of research so she’ll do her best to sift through the info.

This ends the chapter.

End notes:
This one was quite a thing.
It’s difficult to even sum up
.
First: Introduced a new dimension which contains at the least “Earth, Moon & Sun”
Second: A person in that dimension can summon someone from PSO2 dimension into it if they agitate hard enough
Third: Earth-Dimension can and has been affecting PSO2 dimension via a game on a screen.......somehow
There is a thing called MOTHER
Naked the Kid has amnesia or something
There’s a new “DF-Like” darker-man-cloud thing & areas of the forest/ruins are weird/corrupt still

Why rage?
We rage because we care! PSO was groundbreaking back in the day for a reason: it was different, it
wasn’t swords n’ sorcery dungeon medieval fairy time & it wasn't "earth war 3: gun man big shooting" & it wasn’t high school hi-jinks or a harem anime panty waifu inspired thing. This episode is looking to put a stop to it's appeal/unique-ness. The story was also ‘kinda believable’ in its own setting, it made sense, & you could take it seriously and think about it without punching 30 holes in everything plot-wise per minute. There was just so so so so much squandered potential in the anime & the goofy plot hoops one is having to go through for this episode are really firing up.

241 3/23 at 1130
Gather info on Phantoms

Xiera wants you to gather info from Hitsugi & also Earth. She is specifically looking for stuff about Phantoms, the thing that attacked girl Hitsugi. Of course, there's no info in the database. But, since Earth was discovered, there have been detected large quantities of those. They could have existed since some time ago. They're not native or natural to Earth, and their origins are unknown...but we can't leave something so harmful alone. They materialize through an unknown method. It's similar to our own way of materializing photons. And with that, all we need to do is give the baddies the 'old one-two!' and if its trusty you, it should be a breeze.

She explains that you should be free to operate on Earth undetected because Optic Camo & Spatial Quarantine are in order. (These are clearly really important to the plot or the story, this is the 2nd time she's mentioned these devices/features) Because it hasn't been directly explained yet here: It's those "red photon walls" that act as "White Gates" did previously. No one on Earth can see into these & nothing can enter/leave them. Plot-holerifically, these only appear in areas where no one wanted to go anyway, like intersections in the middle of the city. It even surprises her sometimes. But she's got another favor: she really wants you to blast those phantoms!

A video feed is established 2028 3/23 at 1000

Hitsugi is frustrated as naked kid (now in a shirt that says "Maru" with a cartoon puppy on it) doesn't remember his name, where he's from, or who he is) He nods enthusiastically so she yells amnesia isn't a thing to be proud of. She thinks she has a headache because that kid has no memory whatsoever. She's dressed him (most likely) in one of her big night-shirts that is middling pink. She feels because there was a weird monster the police should handle all of it. However...he did try to save her from the monster so she can't abandon him. (Or call the police to take him away) She says let's just roll with this and pats him on the head.

She ponders to herself* that he looks just like the avatar she used in PSO2, it can't be a coincidence.  She looks over to her gaming set up which is a curved screen large monitor, cordless mouse & ordinary keyboard. She has speakers, but notice how there's ZERO INDICATION of anything VR or mind control or anything immersive about the game. How is the story supposed to believe she got 'trapped in the game' and actually afraid? Her desktop wallpaper has the "ESC-A" logo on it. She wants to investigate if it has anything to do with the PSO2 game. It's a part of her job as a Mother-Cluster Member. As a chosen member of the social media group Mother Cluster it's her job to investigate the occurrence of bugs in the game. It is her obligation and duty. (She's very serious about some goofy facebook group)

Episode 4 Story Page 2