The Queen of the Lake
The holy sword Excalibur has been found in ALO, but no one has obtained it yet. Kirito and Leafa had both located it before but wanted to leave it for a bit before going to get it. Now that the news is out Kirito makes the decision to go for it and calls upon Liz, Asuna, Leafa, Sinon, Klein, Silica to help him.
They set a designated place in game to meet up and off they go to a very cold underworld of ALO.
As they fly on an elephant octopus friend a large woman appears before them calling herself the queen of the lake. She wants help to save this land from the frost giants. Apparently Excalibur was used by the giants to cut off this part of the world from the world tree so that it became an ice barren wasteland.
The frost giants want to kill all of the queen’s friends and have asked the players for their help offering Excalibur as a reward, however they never plan to actually give it to them as once Excalibur leaves this land, everything will return to normal.
So, their quest now is to infiltrate the frost giants’ lair and take Excalibur. Their time limit is until all of the queen’s friends have been slain.
Well this is a first for SAO, an arc not involving some sort of life or death type situation or sexual harassment. Just an in game quest for a sparkling gold sword with perhaps the change of the landscape of Alfheim on the line. I didn’t think a gold sword would be Kirito’s style considering his usual black attire, a bit too contrasting I feel, but even he can’t refuse the nice stats I guess.
If they wanted to make it more realistic for MMORPGs they would’ve had an option to skip all that background information from the queen. I mean who reads quest information on these games. The objective is usually to kill something, talk to someone, or get somewhere and that’s given in the quest information afterwards. I daresay that not many, if any, of us care for the background information particularly here either. Whilst it was interesting and explained a lot, it did fell a drag on the back of a particularly lacklustre episode.
With how some of the episodes being half lacking and half exciting, I was kinda hoping they’d get to some action in the latter half of this episode with the first half being sorta a reintroduction of everyone they’d left behind in GGO. But nope, we just got a long back story to the whole Excalibur thing.
The good thing is it looks to be a far more relaxing and comical mini-arc as show cased this episode, like the tail grabbing. The bad thing is it seems pretty boring, at least in this episode. I dunno, I felt like it was trying to drag on for time and certainly not a lot happened.
However they have at least arrived at the door of the castle, or whatever place they’re infiltrating, so hopefully that means some action next episode. Unless this is going to be a purely story and speech driven arc, but that seems unlikely for an anime like SAO. And with 7 people invading a castle, there’s gotta be action. I’m sure they’ll heat things up soon enough.