Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

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Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Falions » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:59 pm

I haven't seen many people discussing the future of the series since the game's release, so I figured now that it's been a week I'd start a thread to really think about what comes next. There are a few things I was thinking about:

1. Most obviously is the teaser after the credits of Vol. 4. "Connected people" is a motif that was heavily used in the third season. The commercials for Link had the cast repeating "繋がる" and the teaser at the end of Link said something like "We are more connected than we think" IIRC.

2. Piroshi's line about the "next world" in the post-game of Vol. 4. Kuukai mentioned this already, but we know that in-universe this means R:X, and also lets us know that something is being brewed IRL too.

3. Limited edition of Last Recode. I thought bundling Returner was an odd choice considering how Vol. 4 was aiming to provide closure, but then I remembered that AIKA was born in Returner. This, and Genius' appearance in the Ragtime novel (would love some context for that) make me really feel like some return to third season is on its way.

Perhaps a complete and total remake of Link. Rewrite the plot to feature maybe only the mainline .hack entries, contextualize mama within the narrative, and overhaul the gameplay to offer more variety and depth. Though, there are some other questions, too.

1. How will the new AIDA characters from Innocent Call factor into the future plot?
2. How will we make our way back to Thanatos Report? How will we work with the existing canon in general?
3. What about Ovan? (Can we just retcon Quantum out of existence already? Seriously, people complain about Link a lot but if there's any .hack entry that needs to die it's Quantum).

And my own thoughts:

1. Maybe the AIDA will become a new enemy for Tokio in addition to Schicksal? Maybe this will expand AIKA's character?
2. Perhaps an actual print of Bullet and reissue of Beyond the World? (But then, what about Versus...)
3. DELETE QUANTUM

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.

EDIT:
Just posted today, here is a new interview about .hack with Matsuyama.

Q. Can you shine some light on one mystery .hack fans have been wondering about for years…. What happened to AIKA?

A. Sorry, we can’t go into that right now. Maybe one day.

Q. There are so many threads from anime series and games in the .hack universe, is there an ending point planned for the entire series?

A. Yes, we do have something in mind.

Of course, the latter has been established since the beginning of third season. I remember the very first TGS trailer for Link marketed it as the "final chapter."

EDIT 2:
I noticed this on the subway. The theme that plays in the teaser at the end of Vol. 4 sounds suspiciously like the title screen theme of .hack//Link, perhaps being played in a different key. I think something to do with Link is definitely next. There's no doubt in my mind anymore.
Last edited by Falions on Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Bullet Biter » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:26 pm

While I'm invested in the current plot of chapter 3 of .hack I wouldn't be entirely opposed to a streamlining or redoing parts of it.  DELETE QUANTUM
But, I'll be entirely honest and admit I'm totally biased because I adore Ovan. I will be in favor of anything that makes sure that man has a Good End in this series, alright?
Please don't take this from me, CC2.

For real I'd like to see a re-do of Link with the fat trimmed and that horrible volleyball battle system eliminated (call it Re-LINK jk) because I do love the game and characters introduced in it, but after playing through GU again I appreciate how streamlined the game is plotwise compared to Link which...kinda drags more often than it should?

Since DELETE QUANTUM is probably not going to be in the cards (Hermit is too cute to lose to the non-canon pile!) they can just throw another 20 000 retcons at it to make it make sense, right? Then again the entire cast was oddly missing from the recent popularity poll...wonder if that's just me reading too far into things though tbh

...Now that I typed all this out I realized I'm pretty much just restating everything you said so tl;dr - I agree with you completely on all points lol

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Falions » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:48 pm

Bullet Biter wrote:after playing through GU again I appreciate how streamlined the game is plotwise compared to Link which...kinda drags more often than it should?

Wow, you posted right as I edited my post again! Anyway, yes definitely. I think there were plenty of times while I was playing Link I was excited to be done with whatever abridged .hack history I was going through to be able to hear more about whatever Schicksal was up to. Link is really good at its core, it's just bogged down by literally everything about the gameplay and the way it was organized.

Also, on the topic of names... I can see it becoming full Kingdom Hearts by this point. .hack//RE:Link here we come, baybeeeeeee

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Kuukai » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:29 pm

Falions wrote:1. Most obviously is the teaser after the credits of Vol. 4. "Connected people" is a motif that was heavily used in the third season. The commercials for Link had the cast repeating "繋がる" and the teaser at the end of Link said something like "We are more connected than we think" IIRC.
It's a general theme of .hack, especially the second and third seasons. From Haseo saying, "I want to see everything I've become involved with to the end" to Tanaka saying, "We may be more connected than we think" to Kite(Sora's) desperate plea to Aura, "I want to be connected to everyone!" It's so minimal I'm not sure it's a teaser, but the operative words are probably "new world."
Falions wrote:3. Limited edition of Last Recode. I thought bundling Returner was an odd choice considering how Vol. 4 was aiming to provide closure, but then I remembered that AIKA was born in Returner. This, and Genius' appearance in the Ragtime novel (would love some context for that) make me really feel like some return to third season is on its way.
Innocent call clarified that:  the "benign AIDA" is more than just a single entity that evolved into AIKA. There are at least 12 other beings like AIKA - she's actually considered an odd one out because she merged with an NPC from a different game. One example is Kusabira/Ovan's PC. I'll be looking into the novel soon. It's important to remember this is an interquel though, it makes sense that they would add some connections to future events in the .hack universe. I believe Genius is still president of CC Corp at the time of the novel, and Yata is a distinguished employee. Although we need to know what the true purpose of the  MOD Program is.That could tie into Link, but that doesn't mean it ties into the next game. It might be more like, "Surprise! Yata was involved behind the scenes in Link."
Falions wrote:Perhaps a complete and total remake of Link. Rewrite the plot to feature maybe only the mainline .hack entries, contextualize mama within the narrative, and overhaul the gameplay to offer more variety and depth. Though, there are some other questions, too.
This would be awesome, but I don't see a lot of evidence for that at this point. I think we might return to the Tanaka arc if the next game is greenlit. I think the new AIDA, and AIKA, will be important. MaMa has ignored them, but they are powerful in their own way. If one was able to help stop Immortal Dusk, they definitely have a role to play in causing or preventing Twilight.

Quantum seems bad, but what was really bad was the supportive material and .hack//T.E. In Quantum itself, Pi doesn't exactly say Ovan is missing. She says "not everyone came back" and that looking like Aina "is related to an ongoing investigation." That said, the supporting material all reveals that Ovan is missing. There are a few solutions to make it work:
-Quantum isn't canon.
-Quantum is Akashic Records canon - an alternate possibility if Ovan wasn't saved.
-The supporting material isn't canon, just enjoy Quantum for what it is and savor the mystery of Pi's other mission.
-Like the movie, the canonical story of Reconnection ends on a downer they opted not to include for now (like the removed post-credits scene in the movie of Aura captured by NAB). Ovan has a fun final day with Haseo, but discovers he can't log out due to Kusabira. Or he stays to preserve Kusabira.

I believe the "ending point" for .hack is the true Twilight - a bigger-budget showdown where the forces of good and the remaining proponents of Twilight have a final and conclusive showdown, Aura has to face the truth of her lineage and destiny, and ultimately humanity is either digitalized in some good way or it's prevented forever. It's basically like Eva.

The next phase of .hack is presumably N.U. - unless they have dropped this and are doing something else.

I hope the naming never becomes quite like Kingdom Hearts, I love Kingdom Hearts but Square Enix doesn't know how to name anything. That said they also shouldn't name anything longer than the paragraph that is the Japanese name of Vol.4.
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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Falions » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:56 pm

Kuukai wrote:The next phase of .hack is presumably N.U. - unless they have dropped this and are doing something else.

But wasn't N.U. given to New World? Isn't that so far in the future that it would make no sense to jump back there? I am mostly desperate for the Tanaka arc.

Kuukai wrote:It's basically like Eva.

Yes, that's how I've felt it'll be for a long time as well. I would love the .hack equivalent of End of Evangelion--a feature length movie or game that definitively concludes .hack past a point of no return. I could also see an ending like Lain happening; everyone is digitized but doesn't even realize it (at least, that's how I understood the Lain ending :lol: ).

Honestly, my ideal, never-gonna-happen situation is a definitive ending to .hack followed by The World FORCE:ERA becoming a reality. I both want the narrative closure I've been desperate for and a way for .hack to never die after that.

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Kuukai » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:26 am

Falions wrote:But wasn't N.U. given to New World? Isn't that so far in the future that it would make no sense to jump back there? I am mostly desperate for the Tanaka arc.
I'm not sure that's necessarily true. It's entirely possible that New World was a sidestory that was thematically connected but otherwise not related to the overall plot of timeframe of the rest of the project. Like Epitaph of Twilight. We'll have to wait and see. I also really want to see what they're doing.
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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Bullet Biter » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:05 am

Kuukai wrote:Ovan has a fun final day with Haseo, but discovers he can't log out due to Kusabira. Or he stays to preserve Kusabira.

(screams into pillow)

I hope the naming never becomes quite like Kingdom Hearts, I love Kingdom Hearts but Square Enix doesn't know how to name anything. That said they also shouldn't name anything longer than the paragraph that is the Japanese name of Vol.4.

Come on Kuukai, get with the times! Unnecessarily long and wordy titles are the name of the game now! If CC2 wants to be modern they'd go with something like:
.hack//RE;LINK - Unraveling the Chains of Time Which Link Together [The World]

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Falions » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:14 am

Bullet Biter wrote:.hack//RE;LINK - Unraveling the Chains of Time Which Link Together [The World]

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Adhemas » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:34 am

Ovan is my favorite character too, at least regarding R:2, which is why Vol. 4 finally provided the stuff I wanted to see years ago. I am happy it didn't end with Quantum and just put this plot point on an indefinite waiting line, most likely without ever resolving it.
Speaking of it I kinda wish (but wonder) if Ovan will ever be relevant again. I was surprised hearing him moving to Germany at the end of vol. 4. I mean there are always connections to Germany, be it Harald's whole story and Lara, Ryuuji's adopted daugther and Kaya, his lost love and so on. But maybe he just went there for Aina, who was, AFAIK, treated there. Guess it depends on what kinda of player he is. Many of the .hack characters were only invested in The World for personal reasons and left after problems got resolved. Ovan has this whole AIDA thing going on though, especially in vol. 4 so I am not not sure here.

I basically just hope to see one of the adult characters again. Be it Ovan or Ryuuji, or one of the former characters as an adult.
Also, I really want to know how the end of Thanatos ties in into this whole storyline too. Tanaka seems to be the next important main character or at least a big walking plot point, but so far we never heard or saw anything about him again - or was he ever mentioned in the phone game?

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Kuukai » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:11 pm

Yep, at this rate that's the next name. .hack beat all the semicolon-containing games to the punch by years in terms of weird computer punctuation though.

The story was always that Aina was hospitalized in Germany, so that makes sense. Kusabira could stay relevant. The AIDAs' bet on Haseo will of course be relevant and it explains them not trying to destroy humanity during Link or something. The two radical AIDA who weren't part of that agreement will be something to watch out for. The reveal that the Versus player is Tanaka was very interesting, it means his story spans across all three media on the Movie Blu-ray. The fact that he moved from Tokyo and played the game before doesn't seem irrelevant. The R:1 real world is a lottery murkier than R:2's. He's not very obviously anyone from either but he could be, or he could be a sibling or something. The hackers he works with in Versus are definitely recurring characters (like Ryuuji) and it will be interesting if they ever reveal this dream team as a protagonist group for something. I think New World was more of a side story and less consequential.
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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Adhemas » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:51 pm

I somehow really hope we will get a Steam version of Versus someday. I could imagine this being the next thing, now that the GU sales were quite good. It would make a bit of money and keep the hype alive while/if they're working on or thinking about possible sequels and since it's already done there isn't too much work involved - it's basically the port and a translation.

And I agree, that whole Tanaka stuff is keeping me intrigued. I didn't even know (or already forgot) he played R:1 and intruduced Sora to TW. That could imply some interesting stuff for the future, not to mention the whole connection with Aura he seems to have (see the dreams he had in the OVA and so on).

Further, I really wonder what kind of in-game game the next installment would be. Regardless if they're doing it or not Matsuyama seems to have a rough draft of the future events in mind. Link didn't really provide anything new since it was all about memory collection, but I wonder if a new game would be some post-steampunk(?) or even fantasy sci-fi version of TW, or rather some back to roots kind of medieval fantasy and if it would still be the same kind of MMORPG we know.
What did The World even look like as Armed Conflict version and in New World (I think it's called Re-vice age)? Was it even a serious installment of that MMORPG or just some side project? In-game I mean.

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Kuukai » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:45 pm

Adhemas wrote:I somehow really hope we will get a Steam version of Versus someday. I could imagine this being the next thing, now that the GU sales were quite good. It would make a bit of money and keep the hype alive while/if they're working on or thinking about possible sequels and since it's already done there isn't too much work involved - it's basically the port and a translation.
A port of Versus might be a little tricky. The PS3 has a very unique architecture so porting takes some effort. PS3->PC is easier than PC->PS3, but it's not zero effort. Japanese developers tend to be sensitive to that sort of thing. That said, it's a great idea, they really should just throw it on Stream with like DLC Balmung or something.

I'm not saying he knows Sora, but it's definitely an open question.

FORCE:ERA was so fleshed out I'd love to see more of it. Why create all those class tiers, just for fun?
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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby (Phantom) Thief » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:12 pm

Here. I still haven't gone through the game so I don't understand everything but while CC2 has an end in mind. I think that with Bandai Namco they're planning to continue the series for the next 10 - 20 years. So there should be a lot coming up. Either way its an important message so I think you guys should watch it. Also while I don't think the creators will remove Quantum from the main timeline I do feel like there will be more media leading into R:X, since .hack//Bullet & .hack//Versus do include references to what happened in Quantum, plus the fact that the series is also currently being promoted alongside .hack//G.U. Trilogy and .hack//The Movie. I don't know how things will turn out however it could be that Masato Indou is like Ryou (Sora) and is too deeply tied to his remaining character data and looses consciousness over time and later becomes a wandering AI and with some interference from Mama somehow ends up as the Ovan from .hack//Versus.



EDIT: Plus in-case anyone was looking for the of the older info because Last Recode here's the playlist for .hack//ch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgDu6lr ... uLVFb4zclr

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Adhemas » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:43 pm

Kuukai wrote:That said, it's a great idea, they really should just through it on Stream with like DLC Balmung or something.

Didn't even think of this yet but yeah. DLCs are also a good way to keep fanbases alive and the game hadn't that many characters to begin with. Not to mention that CC2 is quite well-versed in producing beat 'em ups too.

And thanks for the answers. I have to admit that I never cared about Force:Era, but this was simply because I never even touched the new games (not only am not good enough in understanding Japanese, I didn't even own a smart phone till a few months ago).

(Phantom) Thief wrote:Also while I don't think the creators will remove Quantum from the main timeline I do feel like there will be more media leading into R:X, since .hack//Bullet & .hack//Versus do include references to what happened in Quantum, plus the fact that the series is also currently being promoted alongside .hack//G.U. Trilogy and .hack//The Movie.

Did anybody ever read the sidestory-(?) and main manga and the LN to Quantum in Japanese? Did they contain or hinted at anything new that wasn't in the anime?
.hack is rather well known for adding new tidbits or alternative story lines whenever they're retelling a story in another format and a LN has usually more content than a three episodes OVA, so I am wondering about that.
Also if it stays canon pleaaase give older Hermit a cameo! I always love it when characters who were once sick or almost dead appear some few years later and confirm that they're okay now.

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Falions » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:27 pm

Adhemas wrote: I have to admit that I never cared about Force:Era, but this was simply because I never even touched the new games (not only am not good enough in understanding Japanese, I didn't even own a smart phone till a few months ago).

FORCE:ERA is the version of The World featured in the movie. Also, isn't Hermit, like, 100% dead? That was the twist in Quantum, right?

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Re: Last Recode and Beyond (VOL. 4 & LINK SPOILERS)

Postby Kuukai » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:45 pm

(Phantom) Thief wrote:I think that with Bandai Namco they're planning to continue the series for the next 10 - 20 years.
Glad to hear that on the business end. It'll be interesting to see what CC2 does with that.
(Phantom) Thief wrote:Also while I don't think the creators will remove Quantum from the main timeline I do feel like there will be more media leading into R:X, since .hack//Bullet & .hack//Versus do include references to what happened in Quantum, plus the fact that the series is also currently being promoted alongside .hack//G.U. Trilogy and .hack//The Movie.
Well... Trilogy isn't canon. But I do agree there are ways the ways I listed above that they can make Quantum work.
(Phantom) Thief wrote:I don't know how things will turn out however it could be that Masato Indou is like Ryou (Sora) and is too deeply tied to his remaining character data and looses consciousness over time and later becomes a wandering AI and with some interference from Mama somehow ends up as the Ovan from .hack//Versus.
That's an interesting theory, but I believe Ovan was just a Versus The World level, if it was actually Ovan then things would have transpired pretty differently I think.
Adhemas wrote:And thanks for the answers. I have to admit that I never cared about Force:Era, but this was simply because I never even touched the new games (not only am not good enough in understanding Japanese, I didn't even own a smart phone till a few months ago).
FORCE:ERA was only used for the movie. That's probably because it's so detailed and cool (30+ class tree and guild airship fleets) that the only places where it would work as a setting are either a full RPG with all the stops pulled out or visual media like movies/anime. It would be hard to adapt believably to a smartphone game with tap-based combat and a handful of classes (and as they've shown it's just easier to spawn totally new one-shot versions of The World from the future). We are teased in Versus, which takes place while FORCE:ERA is running, shares the same OS desktop, and (unlike Reconnection) has fully functional (3d!) forums where the players playing FORCE:ERA (including Piros 4 Ever) discuss it.
Falions wrote:Also, isn't Hermit, like, 100% dead? That was the twist in Quantum, right?
Quantum is so short and Pi's exposition so fast that you could get whiplash, but Hermit's real body turned out to be on ice and everything worked out for him.

I would like to see what real Hermit/Touha Tanagami is up to, too.
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