.hack//INFECTION Speed Run guide
By Master ZED (http://masterzed.cavesofnarshe.com/)

Table of Contents:

0. Version history
1. Intro
2. The little things that make (y)our lives miserable
   - Ctrl+F is your friend!
   - Need extra help?
   - Pre-game
   - Virus Cores needed
   - General tips
   - PC concerns
3. Walk(run)through
   - Last-minute stuff
   - Key for dungeon/field stat listings
   - Beginning to HFHG
   - Expansive Haunted Sea of Sand
   - Level-up: Voluptuous Someone's Melody
   - Indiscreet Gluttonous Pilgrimage
   - Boundless Corrupted Fort Walls
   - Closed Oblivious Twin Hills
   - Theta: Quiet Eternal White Devil
   - Level-up: Theta: Chronicling  Destroyer's Melody
   - Delta: Plentenous Smiling Hypha
   - Delta: Putrid Hot-Blooded Scaffold
   - Theta: Collapsed Momentary Spiral
   - Theta: Cursed Despaired Paradise
   - Delta: Buried Pagan Fiery Sands
   - Delta: Lonely Silent Great Seal
   - Theta: Great Distant Fertile Land
   - Theta: Chosen Hopeless Nothingness
4. Skeith, The Terror of Tedium
   - Attack pattern
   - Attack info
   - How to take it down
5. Credits
Non-numbered. Legal bull

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0. Version history
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------
v1.0 (2:33 AM 10/13/2006)

Initial release.
--------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Intro
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before I ever did my speed run through Infection, I wrote down notes that I
could scroll through on my laptop during gameplay so that if I forgot anything
important, it would be sitting right in front of me.  Later on, after the run
was released onto the web, I thought "if I cleaned these notes up, I could
probably release them as a guide!"  So I started on it, getting the intro done,
some tips in, getting the Skeith strategy in...

...then sat on the whole project until October 9.  And now, here we are,
midnight on October 10, having finished the rest of the guide in a day, with me
rewriting this intro a fourth time.  This has actually been the hardest part of
writing my little guide here, the one part that has no effect on anything. -_-

Anyway... this speed run guide is being released with the intention of not only
informing anyone who wants to know how to get through the game with amazing
speed, but also how to do it fast at all.  You see, a lot of those interested
in the .hack games only play for the storyline, so they don't learn more than
necessary about how the game works.  That, in turn, leads to the ignorant
impression that the games *must* last somewhere around 10 hours at the least,
which even those who like the gameplay get suckered into believing.  That's
simply false; I would not have written a speed guide just to get into the 10
hour range for one thing, and on the other hand, I wouldn't have been able to
produce what you see in the following link:

http://www.archive.org/details/DotHackInfection1_22814

As for the other games, no comment on Outbreak or Quarantine.  Mutation, I see
no reason why it couldn't be sped through.

Now I wasn't the first one to do this to Infection.  Brightstar inspired the
run you see above and was the first to show that the game could be beaten that
quickly.  His dash through the game is also the source of a few of the
different strategies in my movie, though many of them were changed and
improved.  You can still see Brightstar's original 3:15:17 playthrough here:

http://www.archive.org/details/DotHackInfection1_31517

save for Closed Oblivious Twin Hills.  That segment was lost during the initial
upload, so no one but Brightstar would know what he did there.

Like I said before, the guide is based on my notes for my own record-setting
playthrough.  However, the guide is more detailed, contains dungeon directions,
and even has a couple of improvements not seen in my run.  If you're looking
for speed, you've come to the right place!

If you haven't beaten the game normally yet or don't feel you have a good grasp
on the combat system, I recommend you don't try to speed through Infection just
yet (in the former case, don't watch the run either).  Speed runs, no matter
the game, aren't for first-timers, blah blah blah, and also, this guide wasn't
written with first-timers in mind, given the subject.  So now that you're
either screened out or proven too stupid to see the fly swatter coming, let's
get the little stuff out of the way before the runthrough.  Get it?  You can't
very well "walkthrough" a spee*is shot*

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. The little things that make (y)our lives miserable
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the miscellaneous general tidbits that have no room in the walk-
through itself.  

-----
Ctrl+F is your friend!
-----

First and foremost, LEARN CTRL+F!!!  This is usually the shortcut for the
Search function on your browser, which is also usually found under Edit.  You
can use this to look up certain words, sentences, etc., and is much easier than
scrolling through the entire guide.

-----
Need extra help?
-----

If you need more help than the guide is giving you, you can see how I went
about the run here (unless someone has beaten my time, but if that happens,
you should check theirs out instead, hence the different link than the ones in
the intro):

http://speeddemosarchive.com/DotHackInfection1.html

If it's still my run that's on that page, segment 3 is Voluptuous Her Remnant,
the rest are in the order described in the guide.  Skeith was a rather
conservative battle, which is regrettable, but it worked.  What's more
regrettable is that I scrapped the pre-finale save at some point between
finishing and Radix asking me if I could improve the final battle... things
like this make me wonder if I should rerun the game.  But enough of my petty
regrets!

-----
Pre-game
-----

Loading a game up, quitting, then starting a new game keeps the Start menu
settings from the loaded game.  Use this to turn off the Data Drain demo and
turn on the Japanese voices or whatever else it is you like to do in that menu
so you don't lose precious seconds... or minutes if you're that indecisive.
You really should use this for Data Drain, though.

-----
Virus Cores needed
-----

These are the Virus Cores you need to collect on your own as you progress
through the game:

 A |  B | C 
---+----+---
 6 | 10 | 1

The other cores, including the second C core not included in this listing, are
given to you by data bugs along the way.  Keep in mind that this count, and of
course this guide, are Infection-only.  If you want to run through all four
games, you will ultimately need more A/B/C cores than this.

For maximum speed, do your hunting on the go, and follow a quota setup like the
one I have in this guide.  Unless you get lucky, you'll end up redoing dungeons
for cores, trust me.  If you don't pay attention to your Virus Core count
through the game, you'll regret it when you find yourself on a core hunting
mission.

-----
General tips
-----

- Every party member has a Speed Charm you can trade for.  Make use of this if
you can't/don't buy your own supply.  Remember, however, that they only have
the one and don't restock it until they return to town.  If you think you'll
need more than two, buy them instead.

- Quick hit may not save you much time, but use it anyway.  What is quick hit,
you ask?  It's a bug that has to do with Kite's normal left hand strike.
Kite's two normal hits (when you simply attack) include a right handed
horizontal slash and a vertical left slash, starting with the right, then the
left.  The right hand move can only be canceled by hitting the Personal menu
and picking a skill, but the left hand strike can also be cancelled by moving
Kite (d-pad or analog stick).  If you move him just after he does damage, you
can launch the next normal hit immediately instead of waiting for him to
recover.  Keep in mind, however, that you can cancel out at any time, including
before you do damage, which is the worst case scenario.  Also, you'll never
lead off with the left hand, which cuts the usefulness of this bug down quite a
bit, and if you're caught in an enemy skill, you can't move, which makes the
bug impossible to use.  It can still save a few seconds here and there anyway,
so use it when you can.

- Do not forget magic!  Long range can be good, and it's easier to get and use
than elemental physicals.  Rom spells have the best area of effect and strike
numerous times, making them rather fail-safe.  I recommend those types of
spells above all others, with Kruz-types being the least useful.  However, you
may likely end up with a Don spell early on instead, which isn't bad since it
has a small area effect.  Zot spells are equally as good as Dons if they come
from scrolls, otherwise the extra 10 SP cost for no good reason makes them
mostly unworthy of your time.

- Don't go out of your way for treasure unless it's an easily accessed Gott
Statue.  Given this however, don't pass up anything in your path unless you're
losing too much time.  You'll have to use your own judgment for this.

- The first level-up field is about the only place where you can make use of a
cheap shield: dungeon entrances.  Most dungeon entrances have an area where
monsters cannot physically wander any farther despite the lack of obstacles in
their path.  This is especially noteworthy of grasslands and snowfields, the
latter's castles having the largest such area.  Keep this in mind during your
stay there, as while it is slightly cheap, it is also the only thing guaranteed
to keep you alive (and the only thing that makes the field useful).

- Operation Follow Me makes your characters follow you over fighting enemies,
which is good for running away.  You may want to use this when crossing some
fields.

- If you're doing a serious run, you may want to practice run the next segment
first.

-----
PC concerns
-----

- Using Ap Do only on yourself and leaving your team behind on the field is
actually rather normal since you don't want to fight on a storyline dungeon
field anyway.

- Do not worry about keeping other characters' supplies up-to-date.  They'll
restock even with 0 GP.  However, while you can get away with never giving
items to your companions, in the interest of paranoia, keep them in mind.
Places like Theta: Quiet Eternal White Devil are infested with ailment abusers,
so giving party members extra Restoratives isn't a bad idea there.

- When you order PC's around, give an order once, then give the next a second
after.  Buffering the next order will have them execute their next move ASAP,
which is much more useful than waiting for them to move on their own.  However,
if it comes too soon, they may ignore it, hence the minimum second-long wait.

- Don't be specific in commands unless it is absolutely necessary!  Speed runs
are one of the few times micromanaging sucks in any of the four games.  Blanket
commands like Skills will work fine.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. Walk(run)through
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I can get detailed at times, so it may be best to review these sections before
each part of your run.

-----
Last-minute stuff
-----

- Fields marked with "Level-up: " are fields I used for major level gains
during my run and are NOT required fields.  If you want to use your own, or for
whatever reason don't want to level up, just skip these two subsections.

- I recommend saving after every dungeon and level-up spree, but maybe not
storyline-only fields like the second visit to Delta: Bursting Passed Over Aqua
Field since you can't really die or screw up that badly.  Exactly where I'd
save is whenever you see the next subsection start.

- There aren't any maps in here, just directions for each dungeon starting from
the first room of every floor after the entrance.  This is because I found
using maps took up a bit of room and if you're going through the guide during
the game (like I did with my own notes), maps can become more of a pain than a
perk.

If you would rather have maps, I recommend Gray Fox's FAQ's maps, as those are
what I initially used.  Delta: Plentenous Smiling Hypha is missing in his
guide, but that dungeon is rather simple anyway.

- On that note, if you follow the guide exactly, Fairy's Orbs are worthless.
It's not just because you can't waste your time with them on every dungeon
floor, it's also because the two level up fields have you abuse the dungeon
entrance to reset portals and free-roaming monster groups, so you don't ever
have to look for portals.  You can sell the ones you have for an extra 250 GP
if you feel like it, but even in a speed run, that's not much at all.  The
seconds wasted selling them may be more precious.

- In case you don't know, cutscenes are skipped by pressing Start.

- The next field, when placed in the word list, is always stuck at the top, so
when you access the Chaos Gate you can just mash X over the Word List option.

-----
Key for dungeon/field stat listings
-----

Members : Party members available for each mission.
V. Cores: Virus Cores required.  This isn't listed for dungeons that have no
          such requirement.
Portals : # of mandatory portals you'll encounter in the dungeon.  This isn't
          given for level up fields.
Monsters: What enemies you could face in the dungeon.  Level up fields list
          monsters encountered on the field instead.  Monsters are marked with
          *letter* to indicate the type of core they carry.  Data Bugs and
          Phases are unmarked.  There wouldn't be a point to marking the F core
          on Skeith (which I kinda just did, but whatever), and draining bugs
          can't be considered optional at all until Outbreak.
Directions: The directions to take when exiting each room in a dungeon.  They
            start from the first room after the floor entrance and end at the
            floor exit since the up/down rooms only have two exits, and you
            came from one of them already.  If you see the words
            "Straightforward path," then there is no other route to take but
            the correct one.  If there is a period after a direction, that
            means there is more than one room to go, but they all require that
            you continue heading the same way.

Level and Element are not listed; they're only good for predicting the kind of
monsters that will show up, the type of field, and the conditions of said
field, the former of which I list in the guide (the field type and conditions
aren't important enough to list really).

-----
Beginning to HFHG
-----

The Altimit bootup screen is skipped with O, not X or Start.  This is the
only such time you'll skip any kind of scene with the cancel button, making
this an easily overlooked detail and why it isn't a last-minute tip.  The
game's timer likely starts with the first cutscene, and is definitely running
while you choose your names, so be quick about this.

- Check all mail and log in.  Get through the tutorial as quick as you can.

Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field - Use a Speed Charm on yourself ASAP.  This is
quick and impossible to lose, so don't stop for anything.  Let Orca kill the
Goblin you encounter here, Saber Dance isn't any quicker and it may not work
anyway.

Directions:

B1 - West, North

B2 - North.

- Check e-mail, go straight to the board, then quit.  Check Aura's e-mail
message.  Log in.  The BlackRose intro cutscene will start before you see the
load screen, so skip it now.  Talk to the Chaos Gate, then add BR and go to
Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground.

HFHG - Cutscenes start when you go through the door.  Don't bother with a Speed
Charm here, it won't make but a fraction of a second's worth of difference.

- Check the Coma message, then Helba's and BlackRose's e-mails.  Log in, shop,
and meet Mia.  Log out and check Is This an Event Character? on the board for
the next dungeon keywords.

I recommend you carry a couple Warrior Bloods, Knight's Bloods, and a Beast's
Blood to the next dungeon, along with extra Health Drinks.  Don't bother with a
Beast's Blood for BlackRose, as she likely wouldn't survive the data bug's Ani
Zot even with its help.

As for trades, get the Smith's Gloves now, then when you first have Mistral on
the team, trade with her to get the Sotetsu.  The Smith's Gloves have Vak Don,
and just having another glove/bracer will allow you to take off the Leather
Gloves, which you can dump at the next field's Spring of Myst for the Wrist
Band.  It's Juk Rom will be very useful throughout the game.

The Sotetsu sounds a little strange since everyone else recommends the Raitei,
but the reason behind it is that Thunder Coil can't justify the extra 20 SP
cost.  You simply won't have the resources to sustain multiple uses for long,
while Tiger Claws is almost as powerful and it's nice and cheap.  Besides,
it has pretty much the same important stats (attack and accuracy) anyway.  The
elemental is rather unnecessary.

-----
Expansive Haunted Sea of Sand
-----

Members : BlackRose
Portals : 6
Monsters: Swordmanoid *A*, Chicken Hand *A*, Magical Goblin *A*, Deadly
          Moth *B*, He{dhu&__er (Boss), Headhunter (Post-DD boss) *B*

If you're heading for Monsieur, use Operation Follow Me so BlackRose doesn't
end up fighting with the enemies that come out of the portals on the way there
and to the dungeon.

Given you're going in not leveled up at all, use a Warrior's Blood at least
on yourself just before the first dungeon fight.  BlackRose doesn't necessarily
need it yet, but it helps.

Directions:

B1 - West, North, East

B2 - East, South, South, West, South

B3 - Straightforward path.

Although it isn't necessary, try to collect a Burning Oil from the eggs.  Ap
Vakz will help at the level up field.

Physically attack the data bug, but stay apart from BlackRose so you're not
both caught in Ani Zot's area when it is cast.  Ani Zot will kill her, but you
may survive with a Beast's Blood (or it'll just miss, which is typical).  Even
with Knight's Blood, you can't take a blow from the Headhunter's sword in
either form, so run when you see it coming.  BlackRose should be constantly
attacking with everything she has, playing the role of healer as well if she
didn't waste her supplies on the way down.  Magic shouldn't play a role in this
battle.

Draining the He{dhu&__er will net you a Virus Core C, one of the two needed
over the course of the game.  Try to drain the fixed Headhunter as well for a
potential B core, but whether you get it doesn't matter; the extra GP may be
useful anyway.

Mash X to get through all of the dialogue post-fight and when you return to Mac
Anu.

NOTE - I originally hit up Voluptuous Her Remnant for the Kagayuzen after this
dungeon, but it's probably not necessary for the fastest time.  Things may be a
little harder without it, but certainly possible.

- Virus Core A check: At least one A core.

- The next field is the level-up field; I recommend only taking Mistral as this
mission is magic-centric, and try not to waste Mage's Souls.  Bring Hermit's
Blood, you need the strength!  Since you're bringing Mistral, this is also the
perfect time to trade for the Sotetsu.

-----
Level-up: Voluptuous Someone's Melody
-----

Members : BlackRose, Mistral
Monsters: Killer Snaker *C*, Arrow Fish *A*, Ochimusha *A*

Head straight for the dungeon entrance, enter, then exit to fight battles
almost immediately within the entrance's protective field.  There's no portal
to activate, the monsters will come on their own.  You can gate out before the
fight begins as the monsters start at just the right distance to come to you
without ambushing.  You don't have to enter/exit the dungeon as soon as you get
there, but Mistral will likely get stuck outside the entrance's physical walls
due to her not having Ap Do (at least, she shouldn't since that's a waste of a
charm), and if you stay outside until she arrives, you'll likely die.

If you see a Killer Snaker to the northeast upon leaving the dungeon, dive back
in; you shouldn't take them on, if not for their Gan Rom spell then for their
high Magical Evade and high HP combo.  Keep resetting the field until you get
Ochimushas and/or Arrow Fish.

Arrow Fish has Duk Lei and Suvi Lei, while Ochimusha has only Ap Corv.  IOW, so
long as you stay inside the entrance field, they can't hurt you, just your time
and Antidote supply.  Fry the fish with Vak Don/Rom, and use anything on
Ochimushas if you can (just avoid Kruz-types unless you can't hit more than the
one target).  The more monsters you can get in one shot, the better.  If you
have a Burning Oil, use it too.  With it and a Hermit Blood, Vak Don may be
able to take out Arrow Fish in one shot (and if it can't, it soon will).
Levelling up recovers SP by how much max SP you gain, but it likely won't take
care of everything.  Consider using a Mage's Soul if you have to.

I recommend stopping with at least a 30 SP max for a safety net, so around 8.
You can stop a level or two lower and still get away with it, I just don't like
the thought of it myself.  If you want to go higher, go right ahead.  Going
past 12 may be wasting time, though.

- Bring both BlackRose and Mistral to the next dungeon.

-----
Indiscreet Gluttonous Pilgrimage
-----

Members : BlackRose, Mistral
Portals : 6
Monsters: Sword of Chaos *A*, Sky Fish *A*, Headhunter *B*, Hell Doberman
          (last floor normal portal) *B*, Rock Head (Boss) *B*

Directions:

B1 - North, West

B2 - North, North, East, North

B3 - North (there is a Gott Statue to the west if you want it)

Physically attack the last monster if you think you can get a Virus Core B out
of it.  Otherwise, a Juk Rom with Hermit's Blood should kill it or at least
knock it down enough for BlackRose and Mistral to end the fight.

- Virus Core B check: At least one B, two or more preferred.

- Trade for Speed Charms if you want, log out, check the CC Corp and Anonymous
e-mails, then head for the Recorder to get the Book of Law.  Save here or log
out.  Check Mia's e-mail and head to the next dungeon alone, or save if you
haven't already.

-----
Boundless Corrupted Fort Walls
-----

Members : N/A
Portals : 9
Monsters: Hob Goblin *A*, Bee Army *B*, Dust Curse *A*, Shield Man *A*, Rock
          Head *B*, __ed*]) (Boss), Red Wyrm (Post-DD boss) *C*

Directions:

B1 - West, South, South, East

B2 - North, North, West

B3 - South, East, South, West, South

B4 - Straightforward path.

B5 - North

Tiger Claws should rip apart most of the monsters here.  For Rock Heads, Juk
Rom is enough, though you can still use physical attacks and Tiger Claws to set
up Data Drain instead.  Watch out for its four hit attack if you do, it tends
to do a bit of damage.

Physically attack this bug.  Definitely consider the use of Beast's Blood to
counter its magics.  This is the time to apply a Knight's Blood if you have one
to spare; do not wait for mid-battle as that's a waste of resources, and the
fight won't last five minutes (the duration of most good status spells) anyway.

- Virus Core B check: At least two.

-----
Closed Oblivious Twin Hills
-----

NOTE: Extra Restoratives may be in order for the Mimics.  If luck is against
you time-wise, don't be afraid to reset; I find this to be a bad dungeon to
race through myself.

Members : Mia (required), Elk (required), others N/A
V. Cores: M (2)
Portals : 4
Monsters: Scorpion Tank *C*, Mummy Ripper *A*, Mimic *A*, Hungry Grass *A*, Red
          Wyrm *C*, *tone^t= (Boss), Stone Tuttle (Post-DD boss) *B*

Directions: Go up.  Just up, every room on every floor.

*tone^t= tends to be a real endurance match unless you go a bit overboard on
levels.  Quick hit, use Tiger Claws, and use Warrior's Blood; you'll want this
to end quickly.  Make sure to keep an eye out for when it telegraphs its
spinning attack so you can evade it!  Keep Elk on healing duty, as his Repth
will save you a couple Health Drinks.

Once the bug becomes Stone Tuttle, use Juk Rom and have Elk and Mia hit it as
hard as possible.

- Virus Core A check: At least three by this point, but more are preferable.

- Log out.  Fully check the Test Version and Protected Area threads.  Log in for
a cutscene.  Log out, check the Event Character, Test Version, and MISSING
threads.  Check e-mail for BlackRose and Aura, then head for Theta server once
restocked.

-----
Theta: Quiet Eternal White Devil
-----

- Take Restoratives and Mistral!  Her Gan Rom can really help with Hungry
Grass, whose Mumyn Lei spells can be a real pain if you're not quick about
finishing them off.

Members : BlackRose (required), Piros, Mistral
Portals : 9
Monsters: Hungry Grass *A*, Thousand Trees *C*, Guardian *B*, Crab Turtle *B*,
          Cyclo Shark *C*

Directions:

B1 - North, North, West, South.

B2 - East, East, North, North, East, North

B3 - Straightforward path.

Other than Hungry Grass, there's nothing noteworthy about this dungeon's
difficulty.

- Virus Core B check: At least 5.

- I strongly suggest bringing Elk and Mistral for the final level-up field.
For Elk, you'll have to visit Delta server now and flip through the dialogue
setting up the next storyline dungeon plot, then head back to Dun Loireag.
Hermit Bloods and extra Speed Charms for the Wavemasters will definitely help.

-----
Level-up: Theta: Chronicling  Destroyer's Melody
-----

NOTE: In case you Ctrl+F'ed your way here, I'll repeat: Hermit Bloods and extra
Speed Charms for the Wavemasters will definitely help.

Members : BlackRose, Piros, Elk*, Mistral
Monsters: Bee Assault *B*, Metal Goblin *A*, Lead Snakoid *A*

* - Elk is available if you visit Delta server first.

Magic-wise, every monster on this field can be annihilated now without much
trouble, hence why I recommend Elk and Mistral.  There are two portals just
north of the dungeon entrance; open them, fight whatever comes out, dive into
the dungeon, come back out and repeat.  Try to Data Drain a Metal Goblin as
early on as you can for the Anshou, which you'll want for the Goil Menhirs in
the final dungeon.  You may have to launch a spell at one, then physically
attack to get Protect Break; use your best judgment to decide when to strike.
The Kikujyumonji is a normal item from Lead Snakoid that carries Hirameki (a
wood-elemental physical skill) and high physical attack, making it worth your
while to drain for BlackRose as well.  Operation Follow Me will be helpful in
keeping Elk and Mistral out of trouble if the enemies come too close.  Everyone
having Ap Do may be helpful here.

I recommend you don't stop until you reach LV. 22-3, though just below that is
acceptable.

- Head for Delta server.  If you didn't get Elk, you'll have to go through the
plot setup for the next dungeon now.

-----
Delta: Plentenous Smiling Hypha
-----

Two Wizard's Blood are recommended for the data bug.

Members : Elk (required), others N/A
Portals : 4
Monsters: Heavy Metal *A*, Water Witch *A*, Thousand Trees, Ki/er S^&aker
          (Boss), Killer Snaker (Post-DD boss) *C*

Directions -

B1: North, West, North, West

B2: West, North, North, North

B3: Just head north.

Attack the boss with spells.  Yes, that's, right, spells!  Why else would I
tell you to get Wizard's Bloods?  It has a high magical evasion rate, but can
still be beaten faster by magic if you pummel it with Rom-types, which both you
and Elk should have.

- Log out and back in to get Piros' scene with Mia and continue.  You can, of
course, just save and quit instead; it won't matter time-wise if you see the
scene now or when you start the game up again.

- Virus Core A check: At least 5.  No more A checks since it's one more core
for the final dungeon... kind of hard to mess that up.

-----
Delta: Putrid Hot-Blooded Scaffold
-----

Members : Piros (required), BlackRose, Mistral
Portals : 5
Monsters: Squilla Demon *B*, Goblin Wiz *A*, Sled Dog *B*, Shining Eyes *B*

Directions:

B1 - East x2, South (Remedy), North, West x4, North, East

B2 - South, West, South, West x2, North, West, North, East (Custom Remedy),
     West, South, East, South, East, North

B3 - North, West, South (True Remedy), North, East, North

B4 - West, West, South (First Remedy)

This dungeon is unremarkable, save for that a few monsters such as Squilla
Demon carry Water-elemental armors.  This is a good time to get stuff like the
Ice Helm for BlackRose and Piros in order to prepare for Skeith, though you'll
have to wait for later before you can give Piros any new equipment.

- Check the Test Version and Virus threads, then e-mail.  Head for Theta server.
Try to enter Cursed Despaired Paradise, then check your e-mail or save and
quit.  Reply to Mistral, then log back in.  Get through the event and head for
the next dungeon.

- Virus Core B check: at least 7, preferably 8.

-----
Theta: Collapsed Momentary Spiral
-----

Members : Mistral (required), Piros
V. Cores: A (2), N (1)
Portals : 3
Monsters: Phantom Wing *B*, Dark Witch *A*, Menhir *B*, W*dSto^k (Boss),
          Thousand Trees (Post-DD boss) *C*

Directions:

B1 - West

B2 & B3 - Straightforward path.

You may want to switch to the Anshou if you have no use for Tiger Claws at the
moment.  Swirling Dark will wipe out the Menhirs if they prove troublesome, and
the 10 Darkness bonus will not only help there, but will also help defend
against Dark Witch's spells.  You can switch back and forth between the Anshou
and the Sotetsu, but that will cost time and is not recommended.  You can go
without Tiger Claws just fine.

Phantom Wings can be really hard to Protect Break sometimes, so it's best not
to actively try during a speed run.  It's not like you need to drain it for
anything in particular.  Of course, if Protect Break does pop up, they do carry
B cores, so there's little reason to ignore the opportunity!

"Attacks are the best attack."  Seriously, normal physical attacks (and maybe a
couple Tiger Claws strikes) are the best for the data bug, though Mistral's
spells won't hurt at all.  Non-existant cookie if you know what guide I pulled
that quote from! :P

- Check your e-mail, then log in.

-----
Theta: Cursed Despaired Paradise
-----

Members : BlackRose (required), Piros, Mistral
V. Cores: A (3), B (2), Q (1)
Portals : 4
Monsters: Wood Harpy *A*, Dark Witch *A*, Fire Witch *A*, Lambada Knife *A*

Directions:

B1 - South.

B2 - West, North

B3 - North.

You may want to switch back to the Sotetsu for Tiger Claws at this point.

Wood Harpies have the Water God Axe, which can help Piros versus Skeith.  It
is the normal non-core item, so it shouldn't be too hard to get.  If you plan
on bringing Mistral to the final battle, you can ignore this tip.

- Check the board, all posts under MISSING, then e-mail.  Go back to the board
and check the To Orca post.  Log in and head for Delta server.  Flip through
the dialogue at Delta: Bursting Passed Over Aqua Field and prepare for the next
dungeon.

The Secret: Reason has a sell value of 2500 GP, which could potentially be more
valuable than two points of Magical Defense depending on your financial
situation.  I'd consider a supply run as bad as a core-gathering mission if
you're looking for the fastest time.  If you're not sure what to do, wait for
before Theta: Chosen Hopeless Nothingness before you decide on how to use the
book.

-----
Delta: Buried Pagan Fiery Sands
-----

Members : Mia, Elk, Mistral
Portals : 1
Monsters: Fire Witch *A*, Gladiator *A*, Hell Box *A*, Fresh Valkyrie *A*

Directions:

B1 - East, North, West, North

B2 - West, North, East, North

B3 - N/A

My notes don't say a thing about this place.  Perhaps it's because there's only
one fight here and the only monster remotely difficult is the Hell Box?  GEE, I
WONDER...!

- You can head for the next dungeon immediately if you wish, and it's a bit
more interesting than this sad little hole in the ground was.

-----
Delta: Lonely Silent Great Seal
-----

Members : Mia, Elk, Mistral 
V. Cores: B (4), C (1), O (1)
Portals : 7
Monsters: Fresh Valkyrie *A*, Lamia Hunter *A*, Living Dead *B*, Baby Worm *C*

Directions:

B1 - West, North, East.

B2 - North x3, East, North

B3 - Straightforward path.

Lamia Hunters are a bit strong with physical attacks, so long range combat is
recommended.  Antidotes for Living Dead's Suvi Lei wouldn't hurt either, and
try to avoid that hammer while you're at it.

If you lack any B cores, now is the time to collect them!  The only B-carrying
monster in the next dungeon, the Armor Shogun, won't make Protect Breaking it
easy on you at all, and you shouldn't be too far from your goal anyway.

- Check e-mail, then head for Theta Server.

- Make sure you have 1 A core, 4 B cores, and 1 C core leftover.  If you don't
have the B cores, you'll have to break the Armor Shoguns or go on a core-
retrieval mission.  I recommend the former, of course.

-----
Theta: Great Distant Fertile Land
-----

Members : BlackRose (required), Mia, Elk, Mistral
Portals : 3
Monsters: Hell Box *A*, Armor Shogun *B*, Grand Mage *A*, Baby Worm *C*, Snappy
          Grass *A*

Directions:

B1 - West, North

B2 - West.

B3 - North (there is a Gott Statue to the west if you want it)

Magical warfare is the order of the day here, though you will want to use
physical strikes with the Baby Worms (with any luck however, you can avoid ever
fighting one).

If you must get B cores now, the Armor Shoguns must be physically attacked to
get Protect Break.  It isn't as hard as you think, but I still wouldn't do it.

- Check the board under MISSING, then e-mail.  Log in, then out to check
Helba's e-mail, or save and reload instead.

- What comes next is the final dungeon.  Check to make sure you have all
required cores by this point, which, if you've been paying attention, you
should!  Preperation advice is in the next and final subsection.

-----
Theta: Chosen Hopeless Nothingness
-----

Members : BlackRose (required), Piros, Elk, Mistral
V. Cores: A (1), B (4), C (1), P (1)
Portals : 15
Monsters: Cursed Blades *A*, Mantis *B*, Red Scissors *B*, Goil Menhir *B*, Mu
          Guardian *B*, Ogre *C*, Skeith

Directions:

B1 - West, North

B2 - North

B3 - West, North, East x2, North, East

B4 - East, North x2, West x2, North
NOTE - There are two paths going to the same destination, but the path
indicated in this guide takes you by more chests.  Both are the same overall
length.

B5 - Straightforward path.

Preperation advice: Health Drinks should be maxed out, along with Resurrects
if possible.  It is highly recommended you bring some Blood items as well,
though you can ignore Hunter's and Wizard's Blood as Accuracy should no longer
be a worry.  Although Mistral can help with the dungeon, I recommend Piros
since he can significantly contribute in the Skeith battle, which is the larger
problem, and he can still do his share in the dungeon.  He also has three great
opportunities to upgrade his weapon which Mistral doesn't have.  BlackRose and
Piros both start with the Face Guard, which has Ap Ganz; if you have no Well
Water, make sure one of them still has that helmet.  You certainly need the
help versus Mu Guardian's awful attacks.  Ice Helm and Pure Water will help
at least at the start of the battle with Skeith, as will any Water-elemental
equipment you can trade for at the last minute.  Whether you can afford the
trade(s) is up to you.  The Ryokugun, if you can find someone to trade with,
can help, but the SP cost of Splinter Slash along with the -10 Earth penalty
may make it too expensive overall.  I don't recommend it.  I do, however,
advocate at least one practice playthrough if you really want a nice final
time.

The real problem monsters in this dungeon are Mu Guardian and Goil Menhir.  Mu
Guardian's Earth spells are vicious HP drains and Goil Menhir has Rip Maen,
making it potentially the most dangerous monster before Skeith.  The Wrist
Band's Juk Rom will most certainly help clean the guardians up along with
BlackRose's Hirameki (if you got the Kikujyumonji as I suggested), and their
vulnerability to Mind-type ailments can be a life-saver.  If you have The Moon,
The Fool, and/or The Lovers scrolls, use them if you encounter more than one Mu
Guardian at a time.  For Goil Menhirs, use the Anshou.  Swirling Dark will maul
them just like the Menhirs at Theta: Collapsed Momentary Spiral, and they can't
take advantage of the blades' Thunder penalty.  Because of their ailment
invulnerability and high Magical Evade, nothing else will really get the job
done, and without Swirling Dark, you'll be in some bad trouble if more than one
shows up at once.

The rest of the monsters are cake.  Cursed Blades have no real weakness, but
have low HP and average defense (for an enemy).  Mantis and Red Scissors are
weak vs. Fire, which you (should still) have the Smith's Gloves/Fire Bracer
for.  Ogres only have physical attacks, are vulnerable to ailments, and are
weak to Water; if Piros has the Water God Axe, Rue Tornado will make short work
of their high HP, along with any Water spells/scrolls you may have in your
possession.

As for last-minute weapons and armors, Goil Menhirs carry the Master's Axe
(normal) and the Shikisokuzeku (rare) for Piros and BlackRose respectively, the
latter the most powerful Heavy Blade physical attack-wise in Infection.  Mantis
has the Giant Hill, which has the highest physical attack for an Infection axe.
It and Red Scissors also carry Electric Guard, which is a good leg armor if you
don't already have Aqua Guard.  Mu Guardian has the Bom-Ba-Ye and Ogre has the
MasterBlades and Thunder Gloves, all nice upgrades (the latter if you don't
have a Water hand armor already).  None of these are *really* worth going after
unless Piros is missing a decent axe.  If he has the Water God Axe, only the
Giant Hill would really be worth your time if you get lucky, but don't go out
of your way for it.  Don't seek out the Electric Guard either, as it's a rare
drain for both monsters that carry it.

Once you're before the purple smoke door at B5, you should make final
preperations.  Cast Ap Ruem and use your Bloods at least on Kite if you still
have them (BlackRose and Piros will likely have their first deaths soon into
the battle anyway, so you can ignore them if you want).  Equip any Water-
elemental armors you have, along with your strongest attack weapons, and head
into battle.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Skeith, The Terror of Tedium
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Skeith isn't only the toughest boss in the game speed run or no, this fact also
scares people into thinking that anything below 30, let alone 28, makes him an
impossible challenge.  This isn't necessarily true.  Let's start with its
attack pattern first before dealing with the attacks, and after that I'll
discuss strategy.

-----
Attack pattern
-----

- The patterns always start from the top.

First pattern:         Second pattern:

Wait                   Wait, move
Double wand strike     Data Drain
Wait, move             Wait
Shockwave              Double wand strike
Wait, move             Wait, move
Judgement              Judgement
- Repeat.              Wait, move
                       Shockwave
                       Wait, move
                       Judgement
                       Move, wait
                       Single wand strike
                       - Repeat.

Data Drained Skeith

Random move/wait
(ailment vs. random target), shockwave
(Repth)

- The ailment pattern and when Repth is cast is unknown (I didn't pay
as much attention here since the ailments kept missing).  Known ailments
include Suvi Lei, Mumyn Lei, and Dek Do.  Only one ailment is used at a time.
Exact knowledge of DD'ed Skeith's pattern would hardly be helpful since all
you'll notice is the shockwave and Repth, along with the occasional ailment.
DD'ed Skeith's ailments shouldn't have a very good hit rate anyway, so this is
really all you need to know. :\

Of course, if you want to make an accurate DD'ed Skeith pattern for the guide,
go right ahead.

-----
Attack info
-----

- Most of Skeith's attacks target the character closest to him.  Exceptions
only include DD'ed Skeith's individual ailment spells.

- His wand strikes are the real issue; a lot of your Resurrects will be thrown
at allies destroyed by this alone.  They'll deal over 500 damage, and in a
speed run, Kite can't handle that at all.  NEVER get close when a wand strike
is on the way.

- The shockwave deals 200 to 300, which you can take, but Kite shouldn't.
Health Drinks can take care of this.  The moment prior to a shockwave is a good
time for Kite to strike normal Skeith however, but you may want to have Ap Do
as a precaution.  Skeith's shockwave is the slowest of any Phase, but over-
estimating your available time will kill you.  DD'ed Skeith is typical of the
other Phases (i.e. fast), so being hands-on with it is not recommended at all.

- Judgement should only be a problem to BlackRose and Piros, and that's if they
don't have Water-elemental armor.  This can be solved through Ap Ruem/Pure
Water and Beast's Blood as well, but aside from the very beginning of the
battle, this is a resource drain and will unnecessarily lengthen your time.
You need the armor.  This will hit everyone including you regardless of where
you are, so if Judgement's coming, maul Skeith while you can.

- Data Drain shouldn't be much of an issue.  As for healing your allies from
losing 1/2 HP, you need to choose whether it's easier on your overall supplies
to use Health Drinks so the victim can take a wand strike or whether you need
to save your drinks and use a Resurrect instead.

- DD'ed Skeith's Repth shouldn't do anything more than make the battle last a
little longer by cancelling the effects of a couple blows, nothing more.  Also,
it and the ailment spells have recovery times of less than a second, so a
shockwave could be coming almost immediately.

- Once again, do not attack DD'ed Skeith physically yourself!  Spells?  Maybe.
I wouldn't, but if you really need to jump in and you have the room....

-----
How to take it down
-----

- If you took Mistral, use the Assemble and Standby commands as needed to get
her away from the action, then put her on First Aid.  There is only one
situation in which Mistral should be attacking, and that's when DD'ed Skeith is
in the double or single digits HP-wise, if ever.  This is the best you can do
with her as now you have to attack Skeith and DD'ed Skeith yourself to end this
quickly.  If you just let BlackRose attack, this will take a good 20 minutes if
you survive at all.

- If you took Piros, let him and BR attack and heal as necessary, using the
attack pattern to know when Skeith can't outright kill you for your own
attacks.  Before you use Data Drain, you can attack if you know Judgement is
coming, and if you have Ap Do, if the shockwave is coming.  Usually I coax my
team into a death/revival pattern so that one lives and one survives, trading
roles constantly so one is at high HP and the other is about to die.  This
keeps Skeith from ever having the opportunity to use the wand and Data Drain on
Kite.  Once Skeith is drained, BR and Piros will have to deal with attacking
exclusively as the shockwave is too quick for a personal attack to be worth the
risk.  Be ready to issue a First Aid command if you're hit by Suvi Lei or Mumyn
Lei, and on top of that, never let both characters die at the same time because
you're next if it happens.

The Credits last about 5 minutes, after which you can save and find out whether
you're a speed demon or if you can't even beat Elk and Mistral in a foot race.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Credits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brightstar - for making the first .hack//INFECTION speed run (that I've seen).
Not only did it inspire my runs, it also indirectly inspired this guide.

Gray Fox - for the maps I initially used on my own run, which were also used
for writing most of the dungeon directions.

JackSpade - I accidentally came across how conveinent it was to get the
Kikujyumonji while reading your monsters/weapons/armor FAQ in order to clarify
a few details.  It was something I could have used on my own run... too bad I
missed it until now.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright 2006 Master ZED
The Unoriginal White Sheet: http://masterzed.cavesofnarshe.com/
.hack//INFECTION 2001/2002 Bandai/CyberConnect2
I'm not responsible should anything stated in this FAQ/guide do anything.
I'm not responsible should anything stated in this FAQ/guide do nothing.
I'm not responsible for whatever you or anyone else do with this FAQ/guide or
the contents within it.
I'm not responsible for whatever you or anyone else don't do with this FAQ
/guide or the contents within it.
The only places you should find this guide are GameFAQs and ZED's Unoriginal
White Sheet.
All rights reserved.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------