Sword Art Online Episode 13 Review: The Skeletal Centipede

So when last we left off with the two love birds that are Kirito and Asuna, they were mourning the loss of their adopted virtual child. This episode wraps up the whole honeymoon subplot involving these two, and moves the story forward with a massive all or nothing battle against the boss of the 75th floor. It’s got action, it’s got drama, it’s got comedy with a dash of romance thrown into a mix. That said, let’s dive right in.

We start off with Kirito leveling his fishing skill and looking extremely bored, mirroring the exact same feeling one has when trying to level fishing in World of Warcraft only magnified. Another player shows up to fish in the same area, an old man named Nishida. Nishida is apparently from the company that hosts SAO and was in charge of security, really dropped the ball on that one didn’t you security? I mean, if anyone should have known that there was something fishy in the coding, it should have been these guys and of course the entirety of Argus but that is a rant for another day.

SAO13_screenshot2Nishida shows Kirito how to fish and manages to catch a fairly big one. The old man laments the fact that he can’t cook the fish with soy sauce, as soy sauce does not exist in SAO. Kirito tells the old man about Asuna, whom was able to create soy sauce using various cooking ingredients found within the game. They have a big dinner and Nishida tells them about a particular fish that is on the lake nearby, which he refers to as the king of all fishes. In short, he needs someone really strong to pull the fish out of the lake once it has been caught with the bait. Kirito volunteers for it and then proceeds to have philosophical pillow talk cuddle time with Asuna later that night.

So Nishida makes a big event out of the whole catching the fish in question. The plan is simple, the old man will catch it while Kirito switches with him to pull it out with all of his strength. This plan works and we see the fish. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that thing. It looks like what you’d get if a fish and a toad spawned offspring. Naturally, the fish is not particularly docile or friendly. No, it sees a large buffet of humans and runs in for a snack. But before it can go Jaws on any player, Asuna kills it in a single strike. While Asuna is swarmed by fans, she and Kirito get a message from Heathcliff calling them back to HQ.

SAO13_screenshot9So as it turns out, things aren’t going particular well over on the front lines. Good news is that the boss room has been located. The bad news is that half the recon team got trapped in the boss room and were killed. That means ten fewer players on the front lines, when there are only a couple hundred of them to begin with. Since bosses on the 25th, 50th, and 75th floor are all stronger than the other bosses, Heathcliff decides to organize a massive raid group to take down the boss and get to the next floor. With a three hour preparation time for the raid, Kirito and Asuna talk and realize that time is running short for everyone given that their bodies are kept barely alive by machines in the real world. For the first time in awhile, if not the first time ever, we see Kirito lose his cool and be actually terrified. Not for the sake of his own life, but he is afraid of losing Asuna the one person that matters the most to him in all of Aincrad.

The raid group assembles on the 75th floor, where Kirito sees Agil and Klein waiting for them. Heathcliff shows up with his group and opens a portal to the hallway just before the boss room. There he proceeds to give an inspirational speech to the rest of the players and they all charge in. So after a massive minotaur demon, what could possibly be next? A skeletal centipede known as the Skull Reaper. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone was able to maintain their cool against something that freaky looking, because I know I probably wouldn’t. To make matters worse, the boss is capable of killing a high level player in a single strike.

SAO13_screenshot13Of any boss we have seen so far, this one is undoubtedly the most powerful one so far. It is fast and is hard to predict what it will do next. The battle against it so far has been very difficult, and unfortunately the episode ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. Although I bet the loot that droops off of this boss most be extremely powerful, too bad we never really see many items from this game.

With all the side stories aside, the focus now shifts back to the main plot which is getting out of the game alive. At least now there is some motivation for Kirito and Asuna to actually get back to the task at hand and clear the game. Of course, with twenty five more floors to go filled with monsters that are becoming progressively more dangerous what could possibly go wrong?