Phantom Avenger

Key Events:

Kirito sees a hooded figure on the roof of another building and chases him but he escapes. Kirito thought the protection system of the inn they were at would make them safe, that wasn’t the case. However, he’s certain there’s a logical explanation of killing in safe areas.

Whilst eating with Asuna, Kirito realises that what they saw, wasn’t what they saw. The victim’s armour vanished as it ran out of durability, his HP didn’t decreased, and he timed a teleport at the moment of his amour’s disappearance making it seem like he died. Similarly, the witness already had the dagger in her continuously lowering her armour’s durability, then timed her teleport. But they decide to leave the case as their part is over.

On floor 19, the truth comes out as the victim and witness are both alive and forced the truth from the Holy Dragon Alliance person. Apparently he was ‘instructed’ by a memo to do something, but he doesn’t know who ordered him. As things calm down, they’re suddenly attacked by a PK guild, Laughing Coffin. Luckily Kirito arrives and bluffs his way out.

Kirito had figured everything out, it was all Grimrock. Married players share storage, so when one dies the other get the items. Therefore he probably ordered red players to kill his wife to get the item. He only helped the other two so he could gather all three of them and kill them. Asuna finds Grimrock and leads him to everyone to explain.

He killed his real life wife as she had changed in the game. He didn’t want the game to ruin the image he had of her and so killed her so she stayed in his memories like before.

Thoughts:

A very VRMMORPG murder mystery case and I thought it was rather clever. Timing a teleport as your armour vanishes to fake death, it was very interesting and taking advantage of the fact they’re in a game. But I do question some small details. The first is why couldn’t Kirito have noticed that in both deaths no HP decreased? The other point was that none of the two looked like they were using a teleport item. The girl could’ve hid it as she fell, that’s fine, but Kirito was watching the guy all the time he was hanging around, from what I saw, his hands were on the blade.

Also whilst Kirito was chasing down that hooded figure at the start, I found it odd how he teleported whilst in combat. Very rare in MMOs, for the obvious reason that it’d be too easy to run away when you’re fighting monsters. Either you can’t use teleport items during combat, or the teleport items take a long time and/or you can’t do anything whilst using it. In a way, it kinda makes it more realistic, although I think it’s probably because they’re in town and can’t die, so nothing can happen in combat so teleporting isn’t a benefit.

I was thinking that it’d be much ‘easier’ if, after entering safe zones, all weapons disappear or become unusable. Whilst I say that, I suppose it would make it less like virtual reality.

Oh and nice to see status ailments appear. I was ticking off things you see in typical MMOs and there’s another off the list.

So, an interesting end to this mystery. I quite liked how they tied an MMO’s mechanics into the murder. And we saw someone else blurring the line between reality and virtual in Grimrock. He obviously doesn’t get the point of a VRMMORPG, it’s pretty normal for someone to change in an online game. I wonder how many more people that have sank to insanity because they’re trapped in a game we’ll see.

Some light hearted relationship developing between Asuna and Kirito, looking forward to the actual story more and more as each of these side stories go. By the looks of the opening theme animation, Kirito and Asuna seemed like they were soloing the frontlines. So, two things could’ve happened, either Asuna decided to go ‘solo’ with Kirito or Kirito’s decided to stop soloing and join Asuna’s guild. Latter seeming unlikely. Either way I really want the story to start. However it’s probably not going to anytime soon. I doubt it’ll start next episode. Maybe they’ll do an entire season of stories before starting, but as long as they come up with interesting ones then I don’t mind.

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