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Recap / Meta Runner S 2 E 09 Nightmare Mode

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"WARNING... challenger approaching..."
Tari and Theo finally reunite and together trek through a harrowing nightmare.
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MD-5's last stand against TASCorp is underway, and Tari has warped herself through their server and into the corrupted Ultra Jump Mania cartridge to help Theo finally escape it before Lucks can make it back to TASCorp HQ and reboot the server. But Lucks has one more trick up his sleeve...

Episode 19 provides examples of:

  • Art Shift: Due to the persistently-glitching world they’re in, Tari and Theo are briefly changed into their Season 1 designs (in a running shot mirroring a similar one from “Out of Bounds”).
  • Cliffhanger: Tari and Theo are both down to one life, but Tari still has a plan, and challenges Evelyn to face her 1 on 1, while Theo makes a break for the goal flag on top of the Glitchemoth.
    Tari and Evelyn: Final round... let's go!
  • Didn't Think This Through: After being forced into the holding van with Belle and Masa, Sofia states that once Tari gets Theo out, Lucks won’t have anything to use against them and she can release the server data with ease... but Masa quickly points out that the three of them are currently in Lucks’ captivity. Her response?
    Sofia: ...llleeeet’s... all just have faith that Tari knows what she’s doing.
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  • Evolving Credits: Tari wears her iconic hoodie in the last shot of the intro.
  • Happy Ending Override: A downplayed inversion regarding Theo. From what was said in the last episode, one could've been led to think his run through the glitchy Ultra Jump Mania ended in outright failure. This episode clarifies that Belle's capture didn't end his run, but he is struggling to finish without Belle's help. Thankfully, Tari shows up to help him in this episode.
  • Invincible Villain: During the fight with the Glitchemoth, Tari discovers that Evelyn is using an infinite health cheat, which means that defeating it outright will be a futile effort, and they'll have to steal the goal flag.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Glitchemoth, the... thing Evelyn takes control of to stop Tari and Theo, a giant abomination made up of various UJM assets.
  • Shout-Out: "Warning! Challenger Approaching!"
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