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Headscratchers / Sword Art Online Abridged

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    Blacksmith minigame 

  • Why does the announcer declare Flawless Victory when Lisbeth's giant mech fight/blacksmith minigame had her only survive with a sliver of health?
    • It could be seen as a flawless victory for completing all three of the mini-games required to forge. Her score also rolled over into gibberish, so it's likely the announcer glitched out and assumed it was the highest number possible.
    • Also, the fact that the game is chock full of bugs may have something to do with it as well. I mean, a player stole the tutorial NPC, a player was able to teleport from a tower while hanging from a rope to use the snazzy death animation to trick people into thinking they died and, the big one, the game actually kills players when their avatars died. The game not detecting a "Flawless Victory" correctly doesn't seem that far of a stretch, honestly.



  • In episode 11 why exactly did Tiffany say "Can't even starve to death..."? Does this game have hunger mechanics or not?
    • At least in the original series, I'm pretty sure you didn't get hungry, food was just to make the world feel more real and for comfort. However, since they are trapped in a video game on life support in the real world, they will not be able to die no matter how long they are trapped in that room unless people start killing each other.
    • In the original, you did get hungry if you didn't eat in-game food periodically. But you wouldn't actually starve since your real body had IV support. Presumably it's the same in SAOA — so they're going to be increasingly uncomfortable, with no escape.

    Name order 

  • Why is Kayaba's name always said in Japanese order of last name then first name (Kayaba Akihiko as opposed to Akihiko Kayaba) while everyone else uses the western order of first name then last name (Kazuto Kirigaya, Asuna Yuuki, Nobuyuki Sugou etc.)? It's weirdly inconsistent.
    • Most likely one of two reasons. Kayaba's is the only real name given between episode 1 and episode , with a solid three year gap between each. It's entirely possible they changed their minds on which ordering to do some time between, and since only one name would be inconsistent to the others decided to roll with it. Alternatively, it's because Kayaba Akihiko rolls off the tongue and sounds more menacing than Akihiko Kayaba.


  • Is there any reason that the people can't be rescued from the outside world? Since in this instance, the killed-player-is-killed is just a glitch, and Kayaba implied near the end that logging out normally is possible, just disabled, what's preventing thousands of families to just pull the plug on the thing and potentially save thousands?
    • An Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole. In the original, Kayaba intended it to be a death game, and designed the headset to kill if removed, so that players couldn't be rescued like that.
    • Not really a plot hole. While it is a glitch this time around, it's one complex enough that the very designer of the NerveGear was unable to fix at the time, much less someone else with far more limited knowledge of both the hardware and software involved, leading to effectively the same situation as in canon. Heck, Abridged!Kayaba probably was counting on the authorities eventually finding a way to save the players' lives while he thought up a way to escape death penalty. The fact that their collective efforts failed to do it in almost two years likely only reinforced his conviction that Humans Are Morons.
    • One possible answer is that the death glitch triggers if the life points of the player reach zero, which can occur if the player is killed in game or if the connection is severed by removing the helmet. Kaiba may have found a way around the problem later after a long nap, but by then he was hoping to use the players as hostages while he figured a way out of the whole mess.
    • Did... did you somehow miss the part with the clip from Scanners? Kayaba could have been lying about the consequences of outsiders removing nervegear, but it's unlikely. Hell, someone probably tried it, and accidentally killed their friend/family member.
    • Given that everything was an accident, it's even more likely Kayaba was speaking the entire truth so that even more people don't die due to his fuck-up.
    • Kayaba made everyone get stuck in the game so they'd serve as hostages while he tried to figure out how to evade the authorities. So, either the glitch also affected a loss of connection and he used it in his favour or, in his crazy sleep-deprived state, he coded in the kill-on-disconnection "feature" after finding out about the glitch, so he could have leverage with the authorities.
    • Consider in addition to everything above, there is the fact that we have no idea how the Nerve Gear functions, nor do we get any indication of what could happen if they removed it while still logged in. Think about it: you have an unknown device attached to your head that allows for you to have realistic VR. This isn't like an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality or Valve Index headset. This is a device sending signals directly into your very brain and disables your ability to physically move. What if by removing the headset, you end up causing a seizure that causes people to die because the Nerve Gear was still on? Or due to it remaining on, inadvertently causes the signals from the brain to cease involuntary functions of the human body (such as breathing)? We get the indication that users log out, which then the Nerve Gear switches off to allow for the helmet to be removed. Since we don't know how the Nerve Gear works, we don't know how it sends signals to the brain, let alone what could happen if the Nerve Gear was removed while it was still in use. Would you honestly take the risk even if someone who has your family/friend in their digital world hadn't threatened that the Nerve Gear would go all Gallagher on their gray matter?


  • Why didn't Kayaba fix the player killing glitch after trapping the players? He more than got enough time after getting enough sleep to rectify the code killing the players.. So. What was stopping him?
    • He fixed it. That's why people were able to wake up unharmed when the game ended. Problem is, fixing the glitch doesn't really solve a thing for Kayaba himself. He's still liable for terrorism, mass kidnapping, and most likely every single death so far by providing the means for players to kill each other. Most likely, Kayaba kept the game running because it'd have given him leverage over the authorities just in case they managed to track him down and arrest him. Maybe some last ditch plan like "I want a plane fully-fueled and ready to go wherever I tell the pilots to, or I will kill every remaining player in the game! Mwhahahaha... ha?"
    • Well, a lot of people still died more than a year into the game, like Sachi, Keita, Rosalia and others. Even though Kayaba wanted to have them as hostages, his later motives revealed that the formation of Knights of the Blood Oath was for stopping any more deaths due to the glitch. Which he could have done using the same technique which Kirito used to turn Yui into an item.
    • If SAO is anything like real-life programs, it's likely that he could modify the code, but not the compiled program that was running, and that everyone was playing.
    • The sunk cost fallacy. He said that the glitch triggers upon dying- not logging out, Stopping people from logging out was at first due to his temporary insanity from sleep deprivation, and later due to needing hostages to stall for time as he desperately sought a solution. So he never fixed the glitch because not only would have it been very difficult to fix such a thing solo, with the game still running and simultaneously trying to keep the players from killing themselves, but also because he was hanging on to the ruse of it all being intentional because he backed himself into a corner and couldn't see a way out. He could have simply turned the servers off and popped everyone out safely, but then he would have to explain himself to the legal authorities, He felt to invested to properly cut his losses and was too overworked to think of a good excuse to weasel out of it to feel comfortable just freeing everyone. He trapped himself too basically.

    Ahem... damage 

  • Does... does Kirito have a penis now? When his catheter was ripped out, he tore his dick in half. Did he lose half of his penis? Was it fixed in the hospital? Suguha teased him saying "It's not like you were ever gonna make much use out of it anyway" indicating he lost it. Then she joked about him jerking off which may imply he still has a functional one, but in the next episode he complained about the "multiheaded dick hydra that is now my life" which may indicate his genitals sustained some serious damage...does Kirito still have functional genitals?
    • Surgically reconstructed... very badly, at least. Wait for the arc to end, this is likely to be a running gag. (It's possible it is now functional, but messed the frak up).
    • It's likely just a joke. Catheters can do real damage, sure, but not "literally rip your penis in half" damage unless you do something incredibly stupid like try to rip it out with all your might. Suguha was probably just exaggerating for comedy.


    ALO content and censorship 

  • Isn't ALO a kids game? For all they keep mentioning it (with the math trees, profanity filters, and the aerial combat supremacy), there seems to be a lot of things that players are capable of doing that I'd expect to be prohibited by the servers, either at the start or patched out once they became known. Like...
    1. Using the term Race War.
    2. Describing a blowjob.
    3. Giving a blowjob.
    4. Restraining a player of a different race without any way to teleport out, and using that dominance to carry out some classic hate crimes.
    5. Pain. Forcing the players to feel real pain. What 8 year old is going to keep playing after the first time they learn what it feels like to get stabbed?
    6. Saying, "Oh, don't worry about me. My wife punches me during sex."
    • This can all be explained by the fact the creator is a complete nutjob and a sex offender.
    • It's generally implied that the game was basically forgotten and abandoned until the LARPers found it, meaning that the game is likely running basically unmoderated.
    • As in the original, ALO is the SAO code with some extra bits papered on top of it. Sugou is a lazy, incompetent pervert who has little respect from his employees, so it's doubtful anyone made any effort to make sure the censorship was really effective. Besides, as noted, the game wasn't particularly popular among its intended audience, so maybe these problems were part of the reason why.
    • As for the blowjob, first, as noted, ALO is using SAO code, and SAO has sex. It might be hidden behind a couple extra layers of censorship, but presumably it can still be accessed. Second, Suguha knows Recon in real life, so she might have done it there to bribe him for help in the game.
      • This is later implied in the episode 15 teaser, when Suguha and Nagata meet at school, and Suguha tells him to go to the janitor's closet, and states she has another "quest" for him.
    • The term 'Race War' could be an Aversion of the Scunthorpe Problem: race and war are both perfectly normal words for children when used separately, and the game is poorly programmed enough to only exclude profanity.

    Immortal object player 
  • If Kayaba didn't want anyone to die during his game, why didn't he give everyone the 'immortal object' flag? Sure, he might not have been able to alter the source code (possibly?) while the game was running, but isn't it possible to alter game files during gameplay? He was sane enough to lead the players, so why couldn't he streamline everything else and turn them into a bunch of game breakers?
    • He states that he doesn't perform well under pressure, and being the most wanted man on the planet means he's probably under quite a lot of pressure. It's likely that the idea just genuinely never occurred to him.


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