My //Link review so far

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My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:27 pm

Hot damn! It's been a while since I made a thread here. So over the past few months I finally managed to get myself a PSP and thanks to Kazetrigger and the fan-translation project I've been able to finally play .Hack//Link.

Now due to the amount of research I've done over the years, I already knew a lot about the game and the plot but I wanted to really experience it for myself(Yes, Kuukai I'm fully aware of the videos that you posted when the fan-translation started but, personally, it didn't do it just for me). In the beginning I tried with a PSP emulator but it couldn't keep my interest that way.

Anyway, for those who don't know, .Hack//Link was the next major installment after //G.U. wrapped up. It takes place during the year 2020 where 14-year old Tokio meets up with a mysterious girl named Saika on top of the roof of his school. After indicating that she's somehow been aware of Tokio for a while she suddenly uses a black game cartridge of the newest version of The World, The World R:X. After a blinding flash of light, Tokio finds himself physically transported into the game. Not only that, but finds himself in the middle of a fight between a mysterious gunman with white and a monocole and Kite, the leader of the .Hackers from back in 2010. Unfortunately, the fight ends with the gunman, who's name is Fluegel, defeating Kite and turns him to stone with his special revolver called the Brieler Rossele. Fluegel then turns his sights on Tokio but they both see that Tokio is unaffected by the gun. Tokio escapes and finds himself in the GrandWhale, a data submarine accompanied by a Toki-Grunty. A Grunty that looks just like Tokio. Not long after, Saika appears and tells Tokio the situation involving the hacker group Schicksal, the group of which Fluegel is a leader of, Cc Corp, and a special kind of system called the Akashic Records. Long story short, the hacker group has managed to screw up The World R:X by taking control of the Akashic Records. The Akashic Records itself is basically a large system that keeps chronological data records of every single event that has occurred in The World since the game's creation. Schicksal has mananged to take control of it and alter the time data of the various events thus causing the current version game to become screwed up.

On top of this, it is revealed that a group of AIs called the Twilight Knights have been created and have been trying to protect the Akashic Records from Schicksal but unfortunately, they've all been turned to stone. To Tokio's surprise, the members of the Twilight Knights are AI versions of all the past heroes of every event in .Hack//. Alberio, Tsukasa, Kite, Haseo, Shugo, Rena, Balmung, Blackrose, Mimiru, Bear, etc.

Kite was the last one to go down by Fleugel's gun; at his last request he asks Tokio to be the hero and to save everyone. And so with, Tokio does just that. At Saika's instruction, Tokio goes back through the time data stored in the Records and relives all of the events of every installment of .Hack and corrects all of the corruptions caused by Schicksal. Starting with .Hack//SIGN.

Now that the exposition is out of the way, lets get to my account thus far.

In the past few weeks I've been playing the game and I recently entered the era of .Hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet and currently searching for Shugo at Rena's request.

During the time, I've come to enjoy the gameplay for the most part. I know one of the reasons why //Link didn't come overseas is because of the gameplay not being it's best characteristic and I'll get to that in a moment but I will say that even though repetitive, the combat has grown on me. Save for some odd conversations probably spawn from some bits of hairy translations, the project has done a fanatastic job. The game does go through all of the canon installments of .Hack but it doesn't go through them completely. Just the major parts of each event. With .Hack//SIGN, it mainly through the chapters of Tsukasa meeting Mimiru, Tsukasa meeting everyone else and him trying to save the dying Grunty, Morganna Data Draining him, and finally him standing up to Morganna.

Given the plot, Tokio's involvement does alter a few events from how they originally went down obviously but given the plot it's understandable. However there are some instances where it's just weird. Like Balmung witnessing Kite and Tokio destroy Skeith and joining up with Kite immediately after. Maybe Balmung really was there hiding behind the scenes during the fight with Skeith, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case but that scenario was just weird. Plus Morganna seems a bit more talkative during the Twilight Incident than she actually was.

In terms of the members of the Twilight Knights Tokio rescues, they're all great. They all have their own way of fighting given their classes. Though has been a two cases with two of the Twilight Knights where forming a Unison with them is just annoying. Mainly Mistral and Kite. The game has an event called the Link Judge where they ask Tokio a question and you answer determines their disposition towards you, contextually this makes sense given Tokio special abilities as a DoubleWare but gameplay-wise its annoying when playing with Kite and Mistral.

The dialogue, unfortunately, isn't translated yet but that's not the bad part. Given Mistral's love for rare items when the Link Judge event happens I'm assuming she's asking Tokio if she can go hunt for rare items. Me not wanting to rub her the wrong way, I let her go. She goes hunting rare items while I'm alone fighting monsters. Similar case with Kite. It gets annoying.

So far, my major gripe I have is the lack of consistency. Given the plot, Tokio is going through the time data of previous eras of The World. From version R:1 and R:2 to the current version in //Link, R:x. From 2009(and most likely even before that) to 2020. That said, the asthetics should match the current era. Unfortunately, even though this should be the case, the characteristics don't match. The class names used for the Twilight Knights are the ones used in R:2 and R:X. Instead of Heavy Blade, Mimiru's an Edge Punisher. Instead of WaveMaster, Tsukasa's a Harvest Cleric.

The monsters also suffer from this. Most of the monsters you fight are from R:2. But since I'm going through the time data of The World R:1, I should be fighting monsters from that version. Instead of fighting Goblin Rookies, I should just be fighting the Goblins from R:1. Instead of Chicke Dadas, I should be fighting Chicken Hands. Instead of Onion Mushes, I should be fighting Mad Grass. Instead of Bezels, I should be fighting Disco Knives. You get the idea.

Another form of its repetition is the fact that EVERY area you go to has a boss at the end. And the boss monsters are always one of four monsters. And it doesn't take much to make sure you're strong enough to tackle the next area and the next part of the story. With each new scenario you're given a few free areas to tackle.

In terms of everything else, it's pretty great. The bulk of the emails are still in japanese as well as the other various conversations but I'm sure I speak for a lot of us when I say I'm nothing but patient and I appreicate how much work and effort has been put into the game from the beginning. And overall, it's pretty awesome. Glad to finally be able to play this installment after it's eluded fans in this part of the world for so long.
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Kuukai » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks for the thorough review! Great to hear you're enjoying it, Jun and I started the patch with the goal of allowing others to experience the game directly, that said I agree with a lot of this feedback because the mechanics and ubiquitous R:2 elements bugged me as well - especially by hour 70. There are a few areas where it innovated though - for example, while playing Last Recode I missed having goblins taunt me with speech bubbles. Looking forward to your followup!
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Won't have to wait long.

This is a continuation of my last post before I talk about my recent adventures.

During the time when I started I ran into two of the members of Schicksal. Trommel and Posaune. Trommel is the member of Schicksal that likes to play and act like classic comicbook superhero and he calls himself "Big T"...it's incredibly obnoxious. But in between the era of //Sign and the Twilight Incident, Tokio and Tsukasa confront twice. The first fight was just Trommel in his regular state but then the last fight he conjurs a large robotic body with himself as the head. However, despite how threatening he tried to be he was a total cakewalk.

Afterwards, when Tokio and Tsuaksa left, Geist appeared suddenly and PKed Trommel, destroying his PC and, no doubt, putting the actual player into a coma given the special state between the members and their special PCs. Next Posaune steps up. Character-wise, I hate him. I hate his face. I hate the way he talks, I hate the way he looks, I hate how he's constantly sticking his tongue out! Everything about him pisses me off!

So I guess that means he's doing his job well...

After the Twilight Incident and Morganna went down, the clown suddenly appears and freezes Kite in the similar way Fluegel does in 2020 and takes him away. Tokio and Blackrose try to pursuit but he disappears. However, Aura appears and is able to give Tokio Kite's Chrono Core.

Leading up to tonight, I've unlocked scenarios from .Hack//Liminality, .Hack//AI Busters, .Hack//Another Birth, .Hack//Legend of the Twilight, .Hack//Zero, and .Hack//ChuChopCase.

I didn't get to //ChuChopCase yet but true to //Link's plot, the scenarios revealed some interestings things involving many characters with a lot of the scenarios in the different eras.

Though, I managed to come across 2 inconsistencies that are probably retcons. Near the end of //AI Busters, Alberio's Spear of Wotan gets destroyed by Lycoris. Of course in the actual novels, that doesn't happen at all. In fact, Alberio's spear breaks when he confronts Macha and he falls into a coma. In //Liminality, Sieg asks Tokio to follow him to an area so he can confess his feelings to Mai Minase(whom Terajima Ryoko apparently knwos), yet Mai turns him down. Now as we've seen in the first OVA, Sieg asked Mai out before he fell into a coma.

Aside from that, everything else was great. The scenarios of //Legend of the Twillight detailed the event with rare items that turned out to maid costumes and of course Zefie.

It was great finally being able to experience .Hack//Zero and, apparently, not only did the consciousness of Sora thank Kite back in //Outbreak, but he also thanked Carl as well which I found neat. And Alph is just adorable. Though the scenario that took place in the novel where Skeith(Sora) was in pain because of Aura's presence didn't happen exactly like in the book. Carl still falls into a coma though.

After I beat Posaune's ugly ass, he hasn't shown up again yet, but I'm sure he will -_-

Overall, it continues to be great. However, just like last time, there are some things that rub me the wrong way. Mainly in the era of //Legend of the Twilight. When Kamui comes on to the scene, she and her Cobalt Knights are trying to destroy Zefie and Shugo as well all know. In order to protect the three, Tokio engages the Cobalt Knights. This is//Link's first instance of PvP. However, the game did so badly in a way that made me think "Ok, CC Corp. You guys know better than this."

Basically, during the fight with the groups of Cobalt Knights, instead of fighting players that actually looked like the Cobalt Knights, the game recycles character models used by regular characters you'd see walking around idlely everytime you go to area! That's one thing that rubs me the wrong the worse and it's the only thing about this game (besides some other insignificant things) that made me wonder what the hell was CC Corp thinking! At the very least, they could've made character models for the Cobalt Knights.

Ah well. It was interesting to see PvP in the game finally.

However, that reminds me. At the end of every era, as we all know, the time stream data of that era is restored to normal thus restoring the Twilight Knight related to that era. One of the Twilight Knights is Kazu and his friend Chimney. Kazu I understand but...why Chimney?

Also, an interesting scenario I just finished that's at the end of the Twilight Incident era shows that it seems like that CC Corp added the PKing system right back into The World R:1 shortly after Morganna went down. Not by the time Shugo and Rena joined.

Also: I have pictures!

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I love the way she calls Tokio, Toki

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Oh boy...this guy...

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F*ck this guy!

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You fight him twice!

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Zefie!

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Ouka! Mireille!

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Hah! Komiyama!

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/23794931_10210543482802578_7377724479944323198_n.jpg?oh=5e382f14471eeeebfcb81087efe30490&oe=5AA755E5


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Balmung and Orca fighting the One Sin. You get both of their Union Addresses.
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Lindz » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:05 pm

Its almost been 8 years since Link released an its still super rare ta see discussion of it be something other than hot-takes so this is a nice thread!

Keyaki wrote:Given the plot, Tokio's involvement does alter a few events from how they originally went down obviously but given the plot it's understandable. However there are some instances where it's just weird. Like Balmung witnessing Kite and Tokio destroy Skeith and joining up with Kite immediately after. Maybe Balmung really was there hiding behind the scenes during the fight with Skeith, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case but that scenario was just weird. Plus Morganna seems a bit more talkative during the Twilight Incident than she actually was.

Though, I managed to come across 2 inconsistencies that are probably retcons. Near the end of //AI Busters, Alberio's Spear of Wotan gets destroyed by Lycoris. Of course in the actual novels, that doesn't happen at all. In fact, Alberio's spear breaks when he confronts Macha and he falls into a coma. In //Liminality, Sieg asks Tokio to follow him to an area so he can confess his feelings to Mai Minase(whom Terajima Ryoko apparently knwos), yet Mai turns him down. Now as we've seen in the first OVA, Sieg asked Mai out before he fell into a coma.

As I understand it the further into the game ya get the more warped the stories become so I wouldn't call these retcons. Just a different take on things due to tampering with "time".

The dialogue, unfortunately, isn't translated yet but that's not the bad part. Given Mistral's love for rare items when the Link Judge event happens I'm assuming she's asking Tokio if she can go hunt for rare items. Me not wanting to rub her the wrong way, I let her go. She goes hunting rare items while I'm alone fighting monsters. Similar case with Kite. It gets annoying.

They're not the only ones, as ya may have found out by now. Personally I'll just take the affection hit. Winning battles, opening treasure, idly running around, and XRengeki can all build affection so to me it seems more efficient ta just say no an keep 'em by your side!

So far, my major gripe I have is the lack of consistency. Given the plot, Tokio is going through the time data of previous eras of The World. From version R:1 and R:2 to the current version in //Link, R:x. From 2009(and most likely even before that) to 2020. That said, the asthetics should match the current era. Unfortunately, even though this should be the case, the characteristics don't match. The class names used for the Twilight Knights are the ones used in R:2 and R:X. Instead of Heavy Blade, Mimiru's an Edge Punisher. Instead of WaveMaster, Tsukasa's a Harvest Cleric.

I agree but I also think its just a convience thing for the devs? Like if you wanted to take Subaru with to an area during IMOQ would she be the Heavy Axeman version or the Lord Paritzan Twilight Knight one? They coulda gone the extra mile an had two seperate "profiles" to load for R:1 versions of characters and their R:X / TK iterations but that wouldn't be very .hack like! .hack games always cut corners it seems an try to make the most outta the smallest amount of content they do make.

Another form of its repetition is the fact that EVERY area you go to has a boss at the end. And the boss monsters are always one of four monsters.

Ya, it seems like keeping Virus Cores "generic" as G.U. did woulda been the better call here. As it is bosses net ya the C/F/etc. letter cores so they kinda have ta be there. At least theres plenty of unique bosses during the story but by the post-game it'll be just the regular old 5 (6 counting Link Play mode) you'll be seeing all the time. Seeing as how they largely drew from the G.U. pool of monsters I'm surprised they didn't throw in any of the Gun Giant or Gigamouth recolors.

Overall, it continues to be great. However, just like last time, there are some things that rub me the wrong way. Mainly in the era of //Legend of the Twilight. When Kamui comes on to the scene, she and her Cobalt Knights are trying to destroy Zefie and Shugo as well all know. In order to protect the three, Tokio engages the Cobalt Knights. This is//Link's first instance of PvP. However, the game did so badly in a way that made me think "Ok, CC Corp. You guys know better than this."

Basically, during the fight with the groups of Cobalt Knights, instead of fighting players that actually looked like the Cobalt Knights, the game recycles character models used by regular characters you'd see walking around idlely everytime you go to area! That's one thing that rubs me the wrong the worse and it's the only thing about this game (besides some other insignificant things) that made me wonder what the hell was CC Corp thinking! At the very least, they could've made character models for the Cobalt Knights.

Ah well. It was interesting to see PvP in the game finally.

Wasn't the first instance of PVP vs Kaotin in SIGN 10? Anyway you're right about it being lazy. Its also baffling considering a thing they do later on (won't say incase ya haven't gotten to it yet).

However, that reminds me. At the end of every era, as we all know, the time stream data of that era is restored to normal thus restoring the Twilight Knight related to that era. One of the Twilight Knights is Kazu and his friend Chimney. Kazu I understand but...why Chimney?

Just a friendly shoutout to Another Birth I guess! Chimney helped BlackRose at times, though so did NOVA yet he gets no love here lol.

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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:35 pm

Hello, I'm back again with another update and this one is alittle crazy!

Here's an Xmas gift for you guys. Sorry it tooks so long. This is my next update on my .Hack //Link playthrough and this one is pretty crazy:

So I've been through of the game thus far. And I'm close to finishing the //GU era.

During my time I went through all of the scenarios I said I had unlocked in my last post and went through them all as we all know. And this time I did get through //ChupChopCase, though half of it. There's about events in that scenario and I've unlocked and played through 2 of them. However, the scenarios I'd unlocked finally did show the reason what did happen between Elk and Mia when she was finally destroyed for good and why Elk made the drastic change that he did when he became Endrance.

The main scenario after all of the others ones was //Roots. Just like the other scenarios, it goes through the whole series very well albeit with a few changes here and there, nothing of note. It skims a lot of the insignificance and only shows the important parts. Like Naobi, Tawalaya, and Ender and their interest in Ovan. The coup de'tat that TaN attempts on the Twilight Bridge on the Coite-Bodher Battlefied and Ovan's capture, etc.

However, near the end, when Tokio learns from Saika that Shino was to fall into a coma from the Akashic Records time data, Tokio goes and tries to warn her and Haseo. Of course, Tokio actually was never able to change the timeline and despite trying to prevent it, Shino falls victim to Tri-edge. However, this time, things are alittle different. Haseo does manage to get there too late but not only does he blame Tri-edge for Shino's death but he also blames Tokio as well since he believes that Tokio knew what was going to happen but decided to not do anything to stop it.

After that, the scenario basically ends.

Back in the current era, Tokio restores the frozen AIs from that era and before Tokio can go to the next level of the Akashic Records he engages in a fight with the next Schicksal member, Trommel who loves fighting with guns and has a mean temper. However, just like the rest of the fights, I kick ass easliy. However, even though Tokio defeat Trommel, another member of Schiksal, Klarinette, appears and completely curbstombs Tokio calling him weak.

Tokio gets depressed by Shino's death gets and Saika is too much of a **** to help Tokio. And so, that's when Tokio finally gets his first glimpse at AIKA. Though he doesn't fully understand it, AIKA sends Tokio to an area called the "Maze of the Ending Terminus"(not the best sounding name). After making it through the area he gets attacked by this "dark version" of Kite and seems to get destroyed. However, that's when he basically goes through the exact same event Haseo when through after Ovan's Rebirth and he remembers all the people he's helped up to that point and he's able to achieve hi's own Xth form. After defeating the "dark Kite" and Tokio stops freaking out about the change of his outfit.

Tokio heads into //GU.

And believe me, that's where things get f*cking crazy. And I'm not sure I mean that completely in a good way.

Just like the games, //Link startes the //GU era with Haseo destroying through a horde of PKs lead by Bordeaux with Haseo interrogating her for information about Tri-edge and kills her when she doesn't comply. Next, comes Haseo's confrontation with Sakaki and him meeting Atoli and then him reunitng with Ovan and then his fight with Tri-Ed....I mean Azure Kite in the Hulle Granz Catherdal. The fight....goes as it should. However...there are some weird changes. The fight begins as it does in //Rebirth. However, Haseo seems to pin Azure Kite to the ground and he believes he's won only for Azure Kite to surprise him by Data Draining Haseo at point-blank range. We don't see Ovan at all.

Afterwards, Tokio tries to reach out with Haseo only for Haseo to vow to get stronger once more and threatens Tokio should he ever see him again.

Later, Tokio meets Silabus and Gaspard and then Kuhn, Pi, and Yata. They all tell Tokio about the AIDA crisis and they ask for their help in enlisting Haseo's help due to their failure to do so.

And get ready because here's where things get really screwy.

So in the scope of //Link with the //GU era, Haseo has not met with Pi, Kuhn, or Yata at all. Meaning he shouldn't be aware of Skeith at all, however, when Tokio accompanies Atoli to an area, they run into an AIDA. Atoli faints and Haseo somehow summons Skeith and destroys the AIDA. The scene back in //Rebirth where Haseo and Atoli first discover AIDA and Kuhn comes in and saves them and the scene where Haseo first awakens Skeith gets combined into one scene in //Link with the differences being that Haseo isn't in the Arena, Endrance isn't present, and neither is Kuhn.

At the same time, Tokio notices something happen to Saika as her eyes begin to act weird as if she gets possessed.

But the mess doesn't end there. During this Saika catches a cold and introduces Tokio to AIKA properly and has her takeover while Saika rests. At the Arena, she tells Tokio that's "precisely 3 years old". She's so adorable. Anyway, Tokio, AIKA, and Kuhn witness Haseo stupidly use Skeith against Alkaid in the Arena

Afterwards, Kuhn directly confronts Haseo outside of the Arena and Haseo, being as irrationally aggressive as he is, he summons Skeith and challenged Kuhn to some Magus.

Let me iterate: Haseo summons Skeith in Lumina Cloth and fights Kuhn with his Magus in the middle of Lumina Cloth. Not in the Arena.

Soon after Pi and Tokio learn that Moon Tree get's plagued by AIDA like in //Reminisce and they both go to stop the problem. When they make it, AIKA makes the situation immediately easier by expelling a lot of the AIDA that are present in the @HOME. Later, when they reach to the deepest part of the @HOME instead of passing through the hallways AIDA created from Atolis' memories to find Sakaki at the end, Tokio and Pi pass through the hallways of Atolis' memories and find Haseo and Atoli at the end. AIDA causes Atoli to summon Innis like in //Reminisce and Haseo does the same with Skeith.

HOWEVER! When the fight ends, Atoli faints and Haseo goes to try to strike one last attack on Atoli. This was the part that made me think "What the f*ck!?!"

Seriously, Haseo acts completely irrationally and more violently in //Link than in //GU and longer too. But him about to attack Atoli while she's unconscious was the last straw.

It gets crazier. Haseo turns his aggression on Tokio and Pi and you have to fight him. You literally fight Haseo. However, he doesn't look the same way he does in //Reminisce this time.
Unlike in //Reminisce, in //Link Haseo still looks like he does in his first form but he's attacking with a scythe that looks similar to Skeith scythe and he has Skeith's glowing Avatar pattern. As ridiculous as things get to this point, it felt great to kick Haseo's ass as I hoped this will finally knock some sense into him.

But, thankfully, Tokio stops him and tries to remind him of what Haseo's really trying to do. Haseo begins to writhe in pain at the memories and AIKA reveals that, apparently, not only was Atoli infected with AIDA during this Moon Tree incident but Haseo had also become infected with AIDA sometime in the beginning of the //GU chapter. With both of them cured, Pi takes Haseo and Atoli home and Tokio returns to GrandWhale.

After that incident, I put the game down. I don't hate it but the direction //Link handled the //GU era was crazy from the start. I get that each era didn't exhibit every single event that happened and only showed the majors scenarios of each era but //Link took //GU and it felt it got thrown into a blender. Some events we don't see; like the fight with Azure Kite and Haseo.

Anyway, the last few chapters involve Tokio and Haseo finally reconcile and they go to confront Sakaki at the PK Tournament at Pi's request. Similar to when it actually happened in //Redemption, Tokio and Haseo go through five rounds of PKs(or more like three) with Sakaki fighting you in the end. However, after his defeat, he doesn't summon the AIDA <Victorian> like in //Redemption, instead, he tries to alter his character with the Berserker Program similar to what Orgel did. Apparently, before the PK tournament, Sakaki had obtained the means to infect his PC with the Berserker Program from Schicksal but, unlike with Orgel, something goes wrong and Sakaki self-destructs.

The second to last chapter involves Haseo going to meet Ovan and AIKA has a bad feeling. Tokio follows Haseo and just like in //Redemption, Haseo meets Ovan in The Creator's Room and Ovan reveals everything and they both summon their Avatars and they fight. Tokio, unfortunately, gets held back by Schicksal members Klarinette and Cello and they fight him. However, Flugel calls them back to get out of danger of what's coming and after they retreat, Tokio arrives in The Creator's Room in time to witness Corbenik's Rebirth.

It stops there for me because, unfortunately, in the final chapter Tokio first goes to talk to Atoli but whenever I try to, the game completely freezes and the PSP(if you're using one) shuts down.
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Falions » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:02 am

Keyaki wrote:
It stops there for me because, unfortunately, in the final chapter Tokio first goes to talk to Atoli but whenever I try to, the game completely freezes and the PSP(if you're using one) shuts down.

Put the UMD in and do the conversation to bypass it, or load an unpatched ISO. You're finally in the thick of the game--enjoy the following bit!

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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:35 pm

Falions wrote:
Keyaki wrote:
It stops there for me because, unfortunately, in the final chapter Tokio first goes to talk to Atoli but whenever I try to, the game completely freezes and the PSP(if you're using one) shuts down.

Put the UMD in and do the conversation to bypass it, or load an unpatched ISO. You're finally in the thick of the game--enjoy the following bit!


Yea, that was my assumption as well. . Unfortunately, I'm on vacation and even though I have a clean ISO I forgot my PSP USB cord. When I get home tomorrow, Ill do it.

EDIT: Nevermind, found one
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:10 pm

Alright, lets finish this.

In the months since my last entry, I worked through the last bit of .Hack//Link and had finally beaten the game.

After Tokio witnessed the Rebirth, Atoli asks Tokio to accompany her to the Hulle Granz Cathedral. When they arrive, Atoli claims she hears Haseo's voice but all they find instead is Haseo's Morning Star Chrono Core with Haseo's voice emanating from it. When they return Tokio meets up with AIKA who's relieved that Tokio wasn't hurt by Ovan's Rebirth and Tokio gives her a Chim Doll that he had bought from a Guild Shop.

At the same time, Tokio also witnesses Haseo confessing his feelings to Atoli and Shino giving him his blessing, Yata reuniting with Tawaraya in his new PC, Tohta, and helping Pi find Yata snap some sense back into him after his breakdown caused his Epitaph to run wild; he also met Aina and learned of Ovan's fate after the Rebirth during with Tokios' DoubleWare powers caused him to few some of Aina's memories during the time she was a Lost One and he consciousness was attached to Ovan.

A lot of the scenarios we know of as we see them in //Redemption but there are two extra scenarios that are rather odd.

First, there's a scenario where Tokio helps Hiiragi reconcile with Sakaki in the same manner as with Pi and Yata. As an end result, Sakaki joins Tokio and the Twilight Knights.

As we all know; this doesn't happen in //G.U. At all. After the PK Tournament in the Sage Palace, Sakaki was killed by the the Three Azure Knights and he fell into coma. He doesn't come to until after Cubia went down and his memory of the chaos he caused in R:2 was completely wiped. This reconciliation between Tokio, Hiiragi, and Sakaki didn't happen at all. Moreover, Sakaki was villian in the latter half of //G.U. why in the world(pun not completely intended) is he apart of the Twilight Knights helping to protect Aura? The Twilight Knight AIs were created from Aura's memories of all of the heroes of the past eras of The World and its incarnations. Sakaki was definitely NOT a hero; he was FAR from any kind of benevolence in //G.U. so why is here?

Anyway, the second scenario is weird but not in a canon-breaking way but in an interesting and surprisining way. Tokio finally meets Kaeda that Zelkova went missing (typical) and Tokio goes to help find him. When Tokio fails to find him around Mac Anu or anywhere else, he goes back to GrandWhale to learn that they have a customer. It turns out that Zelkova was on GrandWhale!
As it turns out, apparently, Zelkova and Toki-Grunty are "old friends" and that GrandWhale was a "playground" for him once. Considering the mysteries still surrounding Zelkova (his true identity, how he became the master of Net Slum Tartarga, how he learned knows how to work the Serpent of Lore and how he knew how to create Haseo's Xth Form, etc) adding another mystery to Zelkova I suppose isn't too surprising. But this just compounds onto those known mysteries. How does Zelkova know of about GrandWhale? In fact, where did GrandWhale come from?

Aside from all of that, Tokio also witnesses the event in //Returner where Tokio and the former members of the Twilight Brigade see the benevolent AIDA spell out the word "Returner". The same AIDA that would eventually become AIKIA.

There were also the other scenarios from the non-canon installments of G.U.+ and //Trilogy.

Back in the present, Tokio once again goes higher into the Akashic Record and Saika realizes (in her own tsundere-like way) that Tokio is right to also want to help Kite and they aim for the top of the tower. But once they get to the top, they find Orgel waiting for them and he uses a type of virus called the "Berserker Program" to alter and power-up his body. During the fight, Tokio's DoubleWare powers kick in again and he witnesses an early memory from Orgel of when his parents were shot and killed. He also sees another memory of when he's older and is having a session with Ryuuji Sogabe as his psychiatrist promising to give Orgel an outlet for his anger.

The fight comes to an end when the Berserker Program begins to backlash and Tokio defeats him and Orgel disappears with his real life operator falling comatose. Along the way, Tokio tells Saika about some of the truths he learned about Jyotaro and asks if that's who she's searching for. She tells him that she received an email from who she believes to be Jyotaro a few years ago.

"Saika, I now live amongst the 1's and 0's. Please come find me. Please help me. "

They finally reach the top of the Akashic Records and they find Klarinette, Cello, Geist, Metronome, and Fleugel waiting for them. He gives Tokio an ultimatum: return to the real world and forget everything that happened hear or else. Tokio refuses and vows to defeat them all to save Kite. Fleugel, in his typical calm demeanor, decides that with no other option, he fights Tokio. During the fight, Fleugel asks Tokio how long ago did he started playing The World and about how he feels about everything that he has experience up to this point and asks if he suffered in headaches(weird).

However, things take an unexpected turn. Metronome appears behind Fluegel and stabs him in the back. Klarinette and Cello attack Metronome but he quickly dispatches them. Fleugel succumbs to his injuries and disappears. Cello and Klarinette retreat as well. Metronome begins to believe that Fleugel has lost his way from his original ideology and vows to take over his research. Metronome goes to attack Tokio next but Geist reminds him of the promise he made that he wouldn't hurt Tokio. He then obliges and leave with Geist following him but not before wishing Tokio good luck. Tokio and Saika are left dumbfounded but they continue on.

They reach the door at the the top of the Tower and the door opens. Inside, they see Aura. But something happens. Tokio begins to suffer an intense surge of pain and black chains suddenly shoot from Tokio's body and wrap around Aura forming a type of black egg with the infinity symbol covering it. Tokio then fallws unconscious.

Suddenly, Geist reappears and explains that a brainwashing virus that hidden within Tokio activated due to Aura's presence and it's currently starting to corrupt her inside the egg. Surprised that Geist can see her, he also reveals that he was the one who sent the email to Saika all those years ago!

He manipulated Saika into Real Digitalizing Tokio with the Black Disc and watched and waited until they reached Aura. Klarinette and Cello then reappear and Klarinette begin to fight. During the battle, Klarinette knocks off Geist's mask revealing his full face, which happens to look just like Jyotaro.

After the scuffle, Geist disappears and everyone retreats. Tokio eventually recovers only to see on the screens in the GrandWhale that various different eras of The World including the present are in trouble. Monsters are invading the Root Towns and attacking players. Genius, the CEO of CC Corp then appears to Tokio and explains the situation and decalres it a new Network Crisis.

The virus infecting Aura has caused anomalies through different time eras of The World. Genius, despite being an annoying presence to CC Corp, believes that he and Tokio need to work together to circumvent the crisis. Tokio doesn't trust nor can he forgive CC Corp but agrees to the truce. With their first priority to locate Geist, Tokio is tasked to go to a certain area in the 2017 era of The World that was said to have beenn exhibiting a large amount of data abnormality before and after the current crisis began.
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:58 pm

Meanwhile, Geist and Metronome are in the hideout discussing that Klarinette and Cello have joined forces with Tokio and Metronome professes his heated desire to capture Tokio to continue to his DoubleWare research. However, Geist mentions to himself that the DoubleWare is no longer needed for some reason.

Tokio and Cello go to the area to complete the task Genius had given them and along the way, Tokio talks to Cello about the email she had sent to him explaining a lot of things that are going on and he asks her to explain further. Basically explains things we already know at this point (it's rather funny how a lot of the important information of the entire plot was explained in an email).

Tokio then asks where Jyotoro Amagi is since he made the Akashic Records; she simply replies that no one knows and that Schicksal was hired long after he disappeared (duh).

Tokio and Cello eventually return mission accomplish and report to Genius and they give him the item the "Evil Omen Twilight Data" (don't think too much of the item, it's a McGuffin for the sake of a McGuffin)

Genius then informs him that they located Geist's hideout and comes up with the belief that given everything that happened up to this point, especially accounting for Aura's current situation; Genius believes that they need to apprehend Geist to learn how to free Aura from the Brainwashing Virus. With Geist's hideout being in the 2010 era of The World R:1, Tokio and Klarinette head out to capture Geist.

Along the way there, Klarinette asks Tokio why he had grown so strong with Tokio replying that it was when they fought last time and Tokio got beaten that spurred him into wanting to become stronger.

Eventually, Tokio and Klarinette make it to Geist hideout with Geist and Metronome waiting for them.

Metronome once again raves on about how he wants to complete his Doubleware research and how once it is complete then humans won't have to worry about the burdens of life anymore. Death, hunger, illness, etc

AIKIA then appears and reveals that Metronome is possessed by AIDA. Admittedly, I found this odd because considering Schicksal was keeping watch over Tokio, Metronome must've gotten infected by AIDA when Tokio was in the 2017 era of The World R:2 while they were following him. How it managed to stay attached to him, however, is something I don't know. But it does explain his erratic and irrationally driven behavior.

Tokio and Klarinette all begin to fight Geist with Metronome attacking indirectly. After the fight, Metronome catches Tokio from behind when suddenly, Geist snaps his fingers creating a barrier that incapacitates and imprisons everyone in the area while Geist escapes while revealing that the area wasn't his real hideout but a decoy as well as fatally injuring Metronome and declaring that "Immortal Dusk" will soon begin once the Queen of End is born.

However, before Geist leaves, Saika calls out to him if he really is Jyotaro. Geist simply replies that he is and that the area is going to break down in 3 seconds.

Things seem hopeless until Metronome, with the last of strength, disables the barrier allowing everyone to escape.

Tokio, Klarinette, AIKA, Saika, and Metronome both arrive in Mac Anu. Metronome begins to lament everything that has happened and wondered why Fleugel decided to turn away from their initial ambition. AIKA, being an AIDA herself, uses her abilities to have the AIDA that's attached to Metronome magnify the feelings of happiness he felt from the memories of working with Fleugel early on. With Metronome at peace, his PC disappears causing the real-life player behind Metronome to fall into a coma.

Cello then appears and informs the group that Klarinette had disappeared (without Tokio knowing; she appears and disappears without anyone knowing a lot) and that she went to chase after Geist. Tokio, AIKA, and Cello then go back to the GrandWhale to wait for Klarinette's email.

Back the data submarine, there's a news report in the real world of a number of students falling comatose while in class while another patient fell comatose while in front of his computer and a number of customers falling into comas while at an internet cafe and are in critical condition.

Geist remarks that everything is nearly set and sense Klarinette's presence. Geist then insults her and they begin to fight.

Tokio and Saika eventually make it to Geist's real hideout from the email Klarinette sent them only to see Klarinette unconscious on the ground with Geist standing aside the real Jyotaro Amagi sitting in a chair and looking rather absent-looking and not entirely lucid. In fact, he looks rather catatonic and unresponsive.

Geist then explains that he never was a real part of Schicksal and that everything he has done up to this point was to serve his "Master", Jyotaro as well as revealing the Geist is actually an AI created in Jyotaro's likeness.

He then recounts the events that happened that caused Geist to be present. Basically, he recounts the events that took place in 2015 with the failure of RA Plan revealing that Jyotaro's true purpose of that plan was to achieve global Real Digitalization in the hopes of improving human lives for the better which explains why he wanted to use Aura; Immortal Dusk.

During the fire after the failure of the plan, Jyotaro Real Digitalized himself and Geist's activation was triggered and here we are. Klarinette wakes up and asks Geist if it's really worth it but Geist simply decides to end her as well but before he can he gets shot by a gun. The Brieler Roessle. Fluegel appears having recovered from when Metronome injured him.

He then criticizes Geist ambition and that the theory of Real Digitalization and Immortal Dusk is flawed. Where it appeared to Geist that Amagi had lost himself due to the despair he felt from the failure of the RA Plan, in actuality, prolonged Reali Digitalization will cause any normal person to lose themselves and cause abnormalities in their mental processes with Fluegel calling it "Outer Dependency Syndrome" with Jyotaro in the terminal stage.

A normal human can't survive in a harsh and chaotic digital environment like the internet nakedly.

This falls on the deaf ears of Geist. He doesn't believe him until Jyotaro begins to act weird. He starts to experience a large amount of distortion and intense pain.

Geist tries to ask him what's wrong with Fluegel adding that Jyotaro is exhibiting signs of a seizure that's a symptom of the terminal stages of the Outer Dependency Syndrome; proving his point.

In that instance, Jyotaro's body mutates and Jyotaro turns into a large and ravenous beast void of any thought shocking Geist.

The final stage of Outer Dependency Syndrome. A state that Fluegel describes as a "diffusion of their 'self' across the electronic space". Causing victim to transform into something not human.

Geist then pleads with the monster, completely confused with what has happened, asking what exactly was his purpose; If Immortal Dusk wouldn't bring about the paradise Geist was created to believe then what exactly was he meant to do? The monster simply response by destroying Geist.

There's a flashback 8 years ago showing a younger Jyotaro Amagi at the age of 16 and Saika at age 6 attending the funeral of Ayaka Amagi. Dead t the age 25 and Saika's mother and Jyotaro's aunt. It's because of this event that caused Jyotaro to embark on this journey from the very beginning. He began to believe that life is too fragile and that it has too much value to be so easily extinguished and that it should be eternal; and that he'll find a way to make it so.

With Geist gone, the monster turns its sights on Tokio and Saika is frightened. Suddenly, he sees Saika and, for a brief moment, the true Jyotaro consciousness emerges from the monster and Saika makes him remember her mother. The monster is motionless. Then cracks appear all over its body and it suddenly crumbles away and Saika is mortified.

Another flashback occurs of Tokio playing a peculiar online game called "Akashic Line"

A while later, Saika is grief-stricken over the loss of her brother (he's really her cousin, but he's been like a cousin from the point of her mother's death) and AIKA communicates with her inside her mind and coerce's her to come to grips with her feelings and realizes that she loves Tokio and that she needs to speak with him (apparently, she's able to exert some control over Saika in the real world and she makes her log in).

Tokio and Saika meet in the Central square of Mac Anu in The World R : X and Tokio apologizes for not being able to save Jyotaro. Tokio recounts on how everything has happened up to this point and Saika wonders how she forced herself to get involved in everything. She then recounts on how she wanted to always be around him and marry him when she came of age (*shudders*) and how when she received the email she swore to save and protect him at all costs. It was because of that email that made Saika track down Tokio and use him to find Jyotaro.

She tries to hold back the tears with the tough facade she's been showing throughout the whole experience but she can't hold it anymore and collapses into Tokio sobbing with AIKA watching from the corner.

Later, back at the GrandWhale, Tokio wonders if Real Digitalization of everyone with the P-COM is even possible. Then Genius appears and tells Tokio that it's time to capture the egg Aura's in starting with finding the stone statue of Kite and that Fluegel knows how to reverse the frozen time effect. Tokio and Fluegel then go to Net Slum in 2010 of The World of R:1 to find him.
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Tue May 08, 2018 8:20 pm

Continuing on...

While Tokio and the crew wait for the GrandWhale to dive into 2010, Fluegel "entertains" them with a "rousing" tale about how he prefers to eat his dumplings. As they close to the year 2010, Toki-Grunty tells them that the digital space of the area they're moving into is quite unstable so they can't stay long.

Suddenly, the exterior of the GrandWhale data submarine gets attacked by the 3 Azure Knights. Azure Kite (whom Tokio still believes is Tri-Edge), Azure Balmung, and Azure Orca. Fluegel suits up and goes outside to fight them. When they finally make it to an area, the fighting continues but it doesn't look good. That is until the real Kite miraculously shows up and defeats them with the Bracelet.

Kite and Fluegel and Tokio all reconcile during the reunion and everyone returns to the year 2020.

Meanwhile, the Brainwashing Virus on Aura is completed and the Egg containing her shatters releasing her. However, she has a new form. She's bigger, her hair is longer and frayed and has four large serpent-like monsters coming from underneath her gown with heads that look similar to Cubia from //G.U.

As this happens, back in the real world, people begin to disappear and appear in the game world of The World R:X physically. Same as Tokio. They've been Real Digitalized.

As everyone watches this happen, Genius chimes in to confirm that Immortal Dusk has indeed begun and that players that own P-COMs have vanished from the real world.

While everyone ponders on how to stop Aura, Saika comes up with the plan to use Tokio's PC body to create a vaccine in the similar way the Brainwashing Virus was used. Geinus is skeptical considering Saika is also partly to blame for Aura's current condition and that CC Corp will be prepared to sue Saika should the Immortal Dusk Network Crisis worsen. Saika agrees to this.

Fleugel sends Genius the analysis data on Tokio's PC and Genius puts CC Corps' best teams to work on creating the vaccine while everyone makes preparation for the final battle and upgrades to the GrandWhale.

Meanwhile AIKA expresses that she's fearing the worse and that she's prayed to her Chim Doll, that she named Moulin, for a safe end to the crisis.

With preparations ready, everyone gathers around and Tokio delivers a rallying speech.

He's always been good at video games and, of course, this is the first time he's been physically trapped inside of a video game. Everyone he's met up to know has different backgrounds and their own reasons for doing what they did in their native eras but they all have gathered here for one single purpose:

To Save Aura.

With that, they commence Operation Gear.

When they enter the Akashic Records they notice that Aura's corruption has altered the Akashic Records and they proceed to the top-floor.

The game also shows another flashback of the Akashic Line online game.

When they finally reach Aura at the top, they see Aura truly has been corrupted it. Her infinity symbol has become spiky and has peculiar markings all over her face.

She asks him why he's here and Tokio says that he's trying to save her but she rebuffs him and says that she's going to save him and everyone else.

She continues to say that in the past she has watched over the world believing that everyone would be able to make their own decisions (see //G.U.)

But her corruption is making her believe that she can no longer stand aside and that she will reign over everyone and everything as an expression of her "love" and reshape the world.

She then opens her eyes and reveals that her eyes have turned pitch-black and her pupils have turned red.

Tokio decides to use the "Vaccine Bullet" given to him but he's too far away. That until the GrandWhale finally shows up.

Genius hatches the plan to use the GrandWhale to get to Aura's upper body to attack her to lower her defenses then use the Vaccine Bullet.

Aura isn't willing to let them get close and attacks. Tokio and everyone go to defend the GrandWhale as it begins to get in close to Aura.

As the fight gets close to the end, Aura turns her attention to the data submarine but this leaves her core exposed and Tokio fires the Vaccine Bullet.

Unfortunately, however, it doesn't work. Aura recovers and begins to sing an odd song and one by one, the members of the Twilight Knights bgins to disappear.

Saika tries to reason with Aura but to no avail. AIKA then steps up and happily says that she'll help Aura remember who she was. She adds that she finally understands why she exists: to help Aura.

With a final farewell to her hero, AIKA flies towards Aura...
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Tue May 08, 2018 9:10 pm

Tokio finallys remembers that distant, recurring memory. Akashic Line was an online game(I know I already mentioned it) that Tokio was beta testing. AIKA was originally an NPC of a princess that Tokio had to rescue from a demon king. It was that event that inspired Tokio to become a hero.

As AIKA flies towards Aura, he body begins to crack. She goes through all of her memories with both Saika and Tokio and is truly grateful for the time she spent with them and asks them for courage. She then crashes into Aura and shatters completely it. The Chim Doll she was holding also gets torn up and the light inside begins to affect Aura.

Deep in Aura's mind, Aura is like a child again, similar to how she was in //SIGN. She then meets AIKA and takes her hand releasing her from her corruption.

Tokio and Saika both tearfully mourn her sacrifice. Everyone that had disappeared due to Aura's power begin to return.

Suddenly, the Akashic Records begins to breakdown and everyone escapes on the GrandWhale.

Long afterwards, a light begins to emnate from the tower of the Akashic Records and it was said that everyone who was currently logged into The World R:X saw it.

Tokio then collapses with a fever and wakes up days later with Fluegel greeting him. He informs Tokio that, according to Genius, everyone who had been Real Digitalized in the real world had returned. He also says that Saika wants Tokio to return to the real world and live his life. But it seems like Tokio won't be able to see Saika anymore.

Just like that, Tokio's adventure is over.

He then returns to the real world and is hospitalized for examination for Outer Dependency Syndrome. He is released a week later.

When Tokio returns to school, he learns that Saika had disappeared. At the same time, it turns out that Immortal Dusk only affected a very small percentage of the global population. Meaning only a handful of people, probably not even outside of Japan were affected. Naturally, CC Corps sweeps the entire incident under the rug by claiming it as just some network trouble (seriously?)

To everyone else, it seems, nothing really happened. But Tokio vows to never forget what happened. To never forget AIKA.

Meanwhile, Saika is a secret hospital watching over Jyotaro Amagi who had also returned and is surprised by Tokio visiting her.

Saika isn't in the best way. She thinks that it's really just forget everything that has happened. But Tokio will never forget. About any of it.

He then tells her that because of everything that's happened, he feels like he can accomplish anything and that we're all like gears. All connected together.

He then tells her to stop grieving AIKA all by herself and to not seclude herself. Saika then realizes he's right and that he is her hero as well.

The End.

After the credis roll, Tokio still goes through various side stories and sub-scenarios. Some involving him and Fluegel going to an era before the AIDA incident and Azure Kite gives Tokio his Union Address and handling a request from Pi about finding a strange file called the "Amagi File".

There's another chapter that's actually located in the year 2024. Given the plot of the game, it's not canonical and only provides as sneak peaks into future installements like //Bullet, //Beyond the World, etc.

There are a few un-explored sub-chapters I haven't look into but I'm not sure exactly how to access them. I haven't gotten any new emails or anything. I'm not sure how to make them active so I can access them. The chapters are located above the main //Link timeline and there are three below it as well. There are also two more chapters in the 2024 I also haven't activated yet. Anyone know how to get into them?
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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby SaberChan » Fri May 11, 2018 7:28 pm

Keyaki wrote:There are a few un-explored sub-chapters I haven't look into but I'm not sure exactly how to access them. I haven't gotten any new emails or anything. I'm not sure how to make them active so I can access them. The chapters are located above the main //Link timeline and there are three below it as well. There are also two more chapters in the 2024 I also haven't activated yet. Anyone know how to get into them?


Those are X-Over events. They're unlocked after you reach Max Affinity for specific characters.
The three at the bottom are just a few extra character unlocks; you can play through Link Play a few times on different difficulties to unlock them, or use keywords to unlock them. Post-game character unlocks can be found HERE.
There will also be one more event to play through after you unlock everyone!

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Re: My //Link review so far

Postby Keyaki » Thu May 31, 2018 11:41 pm

SaberChan wrote:
Keyaki wrote:There are a few un-explored sub-chapters I haven't look into but I'm not sure exactly how to access them. I haven't gotten any new emails or anything. I'm not sure how to make them active so I can access them. The chapters are located above the main //Link timeline and there are three below it as well. There are also two more chapters in the 2024 I also haven't activated yet. Anyone know how to get into them?


Those are X-Over events. They're unlocked after you reach Max Affinity for specific characters.
The three at the bottom are just a few extra character unlocks; you can play through Link Play a few times on different difficulties to unlock them, or use keywords to unlock them. Post-game character unlocks can be found HERE.
There will also be one more event to play through after you unlock everyone!


~Sigh~
Just when I thought I was done. Oh well, I knew //Link had a hell of a lot of content. I shouldn't be surprised. This'll be fun though.
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