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These games are packed with optional stuff not required to beat them, like Gruntys, but I covered those elsewhere. This guide will cover optional characters, dungeons, and other little things.

Characters
At different points in the game threads will show up on the message board, or an e-mail, relating to three characters. If you choose to go along and help them out you'll gain their member address. You don't need to recruit them, but why wouldn't you?

Natsume / Female Twin Blade
Sanjuro / Male Heavy Blade
Gardenia / Female Long Arm
Nuke Usagimaru / Male Long Arm
Rachel / Female Blademaster
Marlo / Male Blademaster
Moonstone / Male Twin Blade *

* Moonstone is sorta a secret optional character. In order to get him, you'll need to have done Gardenia's quests along with the quests to get Nuke Usagimaru and Rachel. This is because he'll show up in them regardless of order. After you've spotted all three of his appearances you'll have his member address.

Goblin Tag
The goblins love to "play tag." Of course it's not your usual game of tag. You must go to their field alone and try to kill them. Each of the first four goblins will give you a piece of the rare goblin armor. Defeating the fifth will net you the key item "Imp's Pin." Equip all four pieces of the armor after getting the pin and you'll be able to cast a pretty tough summon spell!

[Lambda] Detestable Vengeful Sunny Demon
Goblin: Stehoney R / HP: 750

[Lambda] Detestable Vengeful Messenger
Goblin: Jonue R / HP: 890

[Lambda] Detestable Vengeful Scent
Goblin: Zyan R / HP: 1030

[Lambda] Detestable Vengeful New Truth
Goblin: Albert R / HP: 1170

These gobs are about on par with their first incarnations - just faster but victory shouldn't be difficult. Tactics here should be making use of Saber Dance for your attacks then disengaging from the battle and dashing right back up to them once they've slowed/stopped!

[Lambda] Detestable Vengeful Gate
Goblin: Martina R / HP: 1310

You'll want to take away her magic defense with a Beast's Bane and strike her down with tornado-type spells. So that also means you should bring an item to increase your magic attack and accuracy.

The summon "More Goblins" is your reward for beating these five goblins. It's a non-elemental summon that attacks one enemy. It's so-so in power compared to other spells though.

Secret Dungeons
There are dungeons out there that hold rare items you will want to get your hands on. But what are the keywords needed to find these areas? Well, if you watch the second .hack//Liminalty episode with subtitles on - one area name will flash across the screen. There are others gotten from other sources, however if you want to find them out the easy way I've got them listed here!

[Lambda] Capricious Unending Corridor - Lv.38 Water

Rare Items:
- Chinese Food: Trade to Annri for a rare Long Arm weapon the Super Wufei. Found at the Gott Statue.
- Gemini Soul: A Twin Blade weapon with the skills Saber Dance and Ap Do. Found in a treasure box northeast most room B3.

[Lambda] Bottomless Soul Kaleidoscope - Lv.43 Fire

Rare Item:
- BL Yokohama: A book that raises your water element +3. Found in the Gott Statue.

[Lambda] Lightless Sacred Remains - Lv.47 Wood

Rare Item:
- Bent Glasses: A rare helmet with the skills Duk Lei and Dek Torma. Found in the Gott Statue.

.hack//SIGN flashbacks
After certain points in the game go back and visit [Delta] Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground to view up to four flashbacks to events in .hack//SIGN. Nothing real spoilerish since these events only reference episodes up to about #9.

"The Guardian" - Visit the first chance you have upon starting .hack//Mutation.

Member Address, Please? - Visit after finising [Lambda] Nameless Seeker's Prairie.

Maybe he too, is a victim... - Visit after you get the keyword [Lambda] Dying Madness Haunted Land

Crim vs Sora - Visit after finishing [Lambda] Scattering Fossil's Milestone

The SIGN references aren't the only things you'll get out of this though, you'll also walk away with some memory fragments, two Golden Grunties and two Silver Grunties. Don't stress out if you played through the game without checking for these. You can actually beat it and go see them all in a row if you like.

Affection & E-Mail
Raising your allies affection will net you e-mails from them. If you want to learn more about them, respond with the replies below. As a note, Mia & Elk will still not mail you regardless of affection. Nor will Wiseman though that's probably because he joins you very late in the game. To check an allies current affection level open up Ryu Book V. Affection can be raised simply by having a person in your party for certain periods of time, giving them items and equipment, and responding properly to e-mail as seen below. In .hack//Mutation, the maximum affection level is 500.

BlackRose
Mail #1: Yesterday
Reply With: I heard *
* You can also just choose "Swim?" but "I heard" answer nets you an extra e-mail from her, so why not go with that one?

Mail #2: RE: I Heard
Reply With: Swim?

Mail #3: RE: Swim?
Reply With: Everyday...

Mail #4: RE: Everyday...
Reply With: Resistance

Mistral
Mail #1: Chocolate
Reply With: I love it

Mail #2: RE: Yeah
Reply With: Really?

Mail #3: RE: Really?
Reply With: New Flavors

Piros
Mail #1: Question 2
Reply With: I don't know

Mail #2: RE: Answer to Love
Reply With: Don't eat that much

Mail #3: RE: Answer to Yakitori
Reply With: Miso or Soy **
** You'll get the same response either way so to make it personal choose YOUR favorite topping!

Natsume
Mail #1: Lord of the Rings
Reply With: What is it about?

Mail #2: RE: What is it about?
Reply With: Fantasy Novels

Mail #3: RE: Fantasy Novels
Reply With: Three Books!

Sanjuro
Mail #1: Hidden Fortress
Reply With: Don't know the movie

Mail #2: Hidden Fortress 2
Reply With: !!

Mail #3: RE: !!
Reply With: I'll watch it!

Gardenia
Mail #1: Movies
Reply With: Really?

Mail #2: RE: Foreign Films
Reply With: Recent ones?

Mail #3: RE: Recent ones?
Reply With: What is it about?

Nuke Usagimaru
Mail #1: About Me
Reply With: Hey

Mail #2: RE: Hey
Reply With: Hey

Mail #3: RE: ...hey
Reply With: Huh?

Rachel
Mail #1: Wassup!
Reply With: Editor of?

Mail #2: RE: Editor of?
Reply With: Why

Mail #3: RE: Why
Reply With: Too bad

Moonstone
Mail #1: Hobbies...
Reply With: My hobbies?

Mail #2: RE: My hobbies?
Reply With: Jogging

Mail #3: RE: Jogging
Reply With: Wow

Marlo
Mail #1: Introduction
Reply With: Me Too

Mail #2: RE: Me Too
Reply With: Marlo's Character

Mail #3: RE: Marlo's Character
Reply With: Actually

Hero of Zeit
The Hero of Zeit. Like the goblins, this is another special event that you can participate in any time you wish. The point of this event is to get the the end of any dungeon starting with the keyword "Chronicling" in a speedy way. The time to beat for first place is 2 minutes and 12 seconds set by Balmung himself. If you're able to beat that time you will get a set of rare time armor! Rank in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th place and you'll only receive one piece of the set. Bring Speed Charms and Fairy Orbs!

Other
Remember the Ice Bar you found in one of the secret dungeons I listed for the first game? Well in .hack//Mutation and the games following it, you trade it to Panta for the rare Heavy Axeman weapon the Key Axe.

Ryu Books
Ryu Books are Key Items generated after using Data Drain a number of times. Within these books holds the records of your gameplay, and the key to unlocking additional desktop accessories, music, and videos. Using Data Drain 80 times may sound overwhelming but if you're looking for virus cores, good equipment, or just need to weaken monsters that keep getting revived your count will go up in no time.

10: Ryu Book I
20: Ryu Book II
30: Ryu Book III
40: Ryu Book IV
50: Ryu Book V
60: Ryu Book VI
70: Ryu Book VII
80: Ryu Book VIII
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