Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sword Art Online Progressive - Aria in the Starless Night (Aincrad 1st Floor, December 2022)

Just once, I saw a real shooting star.

It was not during a vacation; it was from the window of my house. For people living in towns with crisp air and actual dark nights, shooting stars are not uncommon. But unfortunately, Kawagoe City of Saitama prefecture, where I have lived all fourteen years of my life, has neither of those qualities. On a clear night, even a second magnitude star can barely be seen with the naked eye.

But, late one midwinter night, when I happened to glance outside my window on a whim, I saw it. On that deep night without many stars, the city lights formed a whitish canopy covering the sky. And in an instant, it was cut by a quick flash of light. My soon-to-be 5th grade self childishly thought, "I must make some kind of wish...". Up to that point was fine, but the wish which appeared in my mind was, "I wish my next monster drop is going to be a rare item." It was the kind of wish no sensible person would make. I suppose it sprang from the fact I was playing an MMORPG I liked at the time. The shooting star I glimpsed that day, I saw it once again three (or was it four) years later—glowing the same color, moving at the same speed.

However, this time, I did not see it with the naked eye, nor was I beneath the dark grey night sky.

I saw it through a Nerve Gear, the world's first full sensory type VR interface, at the bottom of a gloomy, virtual dungeon.

One could describe the fight as bloodcurdling.

The level 6 humanoid monster, «Ruin Kobold Trooper», was swinging an uncouth hand ax, and the person fighting the Kobold was barely able to dodge. I felt a chill run down my back as I watched the battle. But after the player dodged three consecutive strikes, the Kobold completely lost its balance and, instead of using this chance to escape, the person used a sword attack skill at full strength.

The skill was the first rapier skill players learn: the single thrust attack «Linear». This sword skill is activated by holding a sword in front of the body with the main hand, concentrating on it, and then thrusting the sword straight forward; it was a simple, basic skill, but the speed was terrific. Clearly, the speed was not left to the system motion assist alone, but was boosted by the player's own movement commands.

To continue reading, you can download pdf file here!