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Epitaph of Twilight


"Epitaph of Twilight, I see you've reached it as well."
— Helba —

The Epitaph of Twilight (黄昏の碑文), sometimes rendered Epitaph of the Twilight, is an epic poem written by Emma Wielant. It tells of the battle between the Cursed Wave and the armies of light and darkness. The story centers on a human and two half-sprites searching for the Twilight Dragon, who is foretold to have the power to defeat the Cursed Wave. The Twilight Dragon cannot talk, but instead, it speaks to your heart. If the will to be rid of the Cursed Wave is strong enough, the Twilight Dragon will destroy it, but if it isn't, then it will not. Assisting them in their journey to the Wavering Peninsula at the edge of the world, where the Twilight Dragon is rumored to exist, are Fili the White, and Bith the Black, assistants to Apeiron, King of Light, and Helba, Queen of the Dark.

The original version was published on Emma Wielant's personal website, and never completed. Since it had special security measures that kept people from normally saving, printing, or copying the text for themselves, the only way to view it was online. When Emma died the original was thought to be lost, but some copies and notes, as well as a purported hardcopy, remained. Supposedly the Epitaph used as the setting for Fragment, and that carried over into The World. However, since it was still only based off of fragments of knowledge, much of The World's setting was created by CC Corp. It is often unknown what elements came from the Epitaph, and what were additions. The Epitaph was also supposedly added by Harald for the development of Aura. Since the original Epitaph was lost, it's impossible to know how close the copies are to the original, though small pieces remain. Even in the real world, fan versions of the Epitaph float around. It is later revealed however, that Harald was somehow able to obtain the original manuscript, which exists in The World as the Book of Twilight. The passage of the Epitaph seen at the beginning of .hack//INFECTION was translated into Japanese by Norikazu Fujii (藤井紀和).

The Epitaph is said to begin at "Navel of Lake", also known as Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground in The World. The following are the known fragments of the Epitaph.




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Epitaph Outline

Translated from .hack//analysis and the CyberConnect2 website.

1.
1.Conversation
2.Turning Away from the Fields - The conversation between Apeiron, King of Light, and Helba, Queen of Darkness, at "Navel of
Lake". Before the threat of the "Cursed Wave", the two form an alliance. Tells of the time until the three travelers—including Saya, the first being with a shadow found by Magi the Black and Bith the White—set off in search of the Twilight Dragon.

3.Lilith
4.The Travelers
5.The Dividing Forest
6.Shining Eyes- The night sprite, Lilith, who is pursued by the Dark. The reason Kendor the Tall participates in the search. Crossing through the forest where all get lost—the Dividing Forest. In the swamp, the first contact with the ancient monster Cubia. Saved from this danger by Lilith, the shadowed ones, the seekers of the Twilight Dragon, gather here.

2.
1.Plaird the Sorrowful
2.The Crystal Hill
3.Light's Great Tree- The three seekers, Bith and Magi come to the city of Arche Haokar. In a reunion with Magi's old friend—Plaird, a sprite who wanted to become human—the reason why Magi serves the Dark becomes clear. The rebellion of the "Crystal Hill". In a meeting with Dorin, who sleeps near "Light's Great Tree", they learn that if they go to the Wavering Peninsula beyond the "End of Land", which is past the "Keel Mountains", they may be able to learn the whereabouts of the Twilight Dragon, and that the only one who knows the way there is Tartarga, who is in the "True Underworld".
4.Sconk
5.Reunion
6.The Bewitching Spirit of the Desert- They obtain a jar of Sconk's tears to protect themselves from Tartarga's guardian, Tortets. In the desert of the Dark, they meet again with Gendor's companions, who have come fleeing the Wave. Tells of the bewitching spirit who dreamed of a desert where the World Tree grows


3.
1.The Dark Hearth
2.(Unknown)
3.Tartarga - The former inhabitant of the boiled underworld lake called the "Dark Hearth". Meeting with Tartarga in the "True Underworld". They learn that the way to the "End of Land" lies within the Great Temple of Arche Koeln in the "Land of the Beginning of Beginnings", but, pursued by Tortets, become lost in the tunnels of the underworld.
4.The Dream of Lazeth
5.The Great Waterfall
6. Wandering in the Maze- The group has come out of the tunnels in the worst place, the Forest of Everlasting Darkness, and are trapped in Lazeth's dream. Within the dream, they encounter Cubia again. Saya's familiar and Cubia annihilate each other. Opening the seal on the Great Waterfall, they come to the Great Temple of Arche Koeln. Tells of the awakening of Gendor's sleeping powers in the Living Maze.

4.
1.Gate at the End of Land
2.The Wave Comes
3.The Keel Mountains - The group meets the gatekeeper of the "End of Land". At the same time, Helba's palace of darkness falls to the Abominable Wave. Apeiron's army leaves the palace of light. Not waiting to see the Dragon, the King of Light and Queen of Darkness move their armies against the Wave
4.(Unknown)
5.The Dragon Sighted
6.The Night Before- Encounter with an ape wearing a hat, and the formation of the Armies of Light and Dark at the foot of the Rainbow. The Lake of Alba, which perished in a battle, and the riddle-asking dragon Sheraton. The group finally reaches the Wavering Peninsula. There, Saya's group parts ways with Magi and Bith. The retreat of the Armies of Light and Dark, and their formation for the final battle. Ends with the return of Magi and Bith to Helba and Apeiron. Tells of the situation on the eve of the decisive battle.


5.
1.Twilight Dragon
2.An Ending (Incomplete) - Finding the Twilight Dragon, and the fife that signals the start of the Last Battle. The Dragon's unexpected words. Before the Wave, Magi becomes a point of light, and vanishes. The sprites who risk their very existence in their hopeless fight against the Wave. Dialogue between Saya's group and the Dragon. (The currently confirmed manuscript ends in the middle of this dialogue.)
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Epitaph of The Twilight

From the introduction of .hack//INFECTION and posted by W. B. Yeats

Yet to return, the shadowed one.
Who quests for the Twilight Dragon
Rumbles the Dark Hearth,
And Helba, Queen of the Dark,
has raised finally her army.
Apeiron, King of Light beckons.
At the base of the rainbow do they meet
Against the abominable Wave,
together they fight.
Alba's lake boils.
Light's great tree doth fall.
Power- now all to droplets turned
in the temple of Arche Koeln.
Returns to nothing,
this world of shadowless ones.
Never to return, the shadowed one,
Who quests for the Twilight Dragon
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The Phases in the Epitaph

Found in an E-mail by Wiseman

Unknown where the Cursed Wave was born…
After the stars doth cross the heavens,
The sky in the East doth darken and air doth fill with mourning.
From the chosen land beyond the forest, a sign of the wave comes.
Riding the Wave is Skeith, the Shadow of Death, to drown all that stands.
Mirage of Deceit, Innis, Betray all with the flawed image, and did aid the Wave.
And by the Power of Magus, a drop from the Wave doth reach the heavens, and creates a new Wave.
With the Wave, Fidchell, the power to tell the dark future, hope darkens, sadness and despair rule.
Gorre schemes when swallowed by the Cursed Wave.
Macha seduces with the sweet trap.
Wave reaches the Pinnacle, and escape none can. Tarvos still remains with more cruelty to punish and destroy.
And with the turbulent destruction after the Wave. Only a void remains. From deep within the void arrives Corbenik.
Perhaps then the Wave is just a beginning as well.
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Epitaph 00

Found at Θ Cursed Despaired Paradise


Shunning the field broken by Wave.
The shadowed girl whispers,
"Surely, I will return."
Alas, the truth unbeknownst.
Awaiting her at journey's end;
Eternal mourning for her land



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Epitaph 01

Found at Λ Dying Madness Haunted Land

When the finger points to the
yonder moon,
The fool will not look at the fingertip.


Notes from .hack//analysis

It is thought that Harald, who did not realize at first what a daunting task creating the Ultimate AI would be, particularly related to this passage, as felt foolish in his lack of foresight
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Epitaph 02

Found at Σ Chatting Snaring Twins

The whole cannot be changed.
We have already lost that chance.
Because the time left to us was short,
We were mistaken in our path.
But now do we realize,
We should change not the whole,
But the parts.


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Epitaph 03

Found at Σ Resonating False Grasslands

Wave soars and shrouds the eyes.
No means to fight an omnipresent force,
The shadowless ones just grieve.
Why must it be a Wave?
Divide, if it would just...
Then retaliate, we may.
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Epitaph 04

Found at Σ Screaming Wind Sand's Fate Castle


Over the Keel Mountains,
Meets an ape with human speech.
The ape asks,
"What clings to you?
Bear it—you cannot.
Accept it—you cannot.
But hidden—it is from you.
Recite its name."


Answer

Your own name—the name of your shadow, your dark side.
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Fidchell's Prophecy

Recited by the Phase Fidchell the Prophet

Like a frenzied horse that is driven.
An unseen wind of plague shrieks across the border.
Pandemonium, wailing, and stench of carnage fills the air.
There is no place to run. No hope of escape.
Those who are mourned will never return.
The hands of time cannot be turned back.


Notes from .hack//analysis


* Listed as part of the Epitaph, but shown to also be relevant to the events of the .hack Games.
* "Wind of plague" refers to the virus corruption.
* "Border" refers to the servers, security zones, and the real world.
* "Those who are mourned" refers to the belief that computers are infallible and dependable.
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"Epigraph"

From .hack//Another Birth Vol.2

The Keel Mountains traversed at last,
we met a dragon that spoke thus:
"Sheraton am I, who interprets the signs.
An answer to my question, give.
If you can, complete my role will be,
and I will leave this land.
Though equally it exists before everyone's eyes,
grasp it not one person can.
Tell me—what is it?"


Answer

"The moment."
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Mia's Words

From .hack//Another Birth Vol.3

Plaird of the Seven Sisters,
falling in love with a human,
Became a Shadowed One and was exiled from the Dark.
Hence, her name came to be called Plaird the Fallen.
At her wanderings end,
she settled in seclusion in Arche Haokar.
However, those days may not last.
A reunion may come, or may not.
Plaird's form vanishes at the coming of the sign of the Wave.

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Characters in the Epitaph

* Apeiron, King of Light - The preserver of order.
* Bith the Black - An elderly sage. The black guide. A servant of Helba.
* Bith the White - A half-sprite who accompanies Saya. His relation to Bith the Black is unknown.
* Crimson Knights - Warriors of the Dark, said to oppose to the Cobalt Knights.
* Cobalt Knights - Warriors of the Light, said to oppose to the Crimson Knights.
* Corbenik - The Rebirth.
* Cubia - An ancient lifeform.
* Culhwch - Watchman of the Crystal Forest.
* Dorin - A qilin (or griffin) who sleeps under the "Light's Great Tree".
* Fidchell - The Prophet.
* Fili the White - A young sage. The white guide.
* Gorre - The Machinator.
* Helba, Queen of the Dark - The destroyer of order.
* Innis - The Mirage of Deceit.
* Jinn of the Desert - A solitary sprite who watches over the sprouting of the seeds of the World Tree.
* Macha - The Temptress.
* Magi the Black - A half-sprite who accompanies Saya.
* Magus - The Propagation.
* Plaird or The Pleiads are ambiguously one of or all of a group of seven water sprite sisters who gain(s) a shadow/shadows from falling in love, and wanted to become human.
* Saya - A human, and eldest of the people of the Chosen Land. The shadowed one, who quests for the Twilight Dragon and crosses the Dividing Forest.
* Sconk - A cowardly monster.
* Sheradon - An ape who wears a fez and looks down on humans.
* Sheraton - A dragon who interprets the Signs.
* Skeith - The Terror of Death.
* Tartarga - A tortoise who lives in the True Underworld and possesses ancient knowledge.
* Tarvos - The Avenger.
* The Flying Stag - A six-legged stag with golden horns.
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Places in the Epitaph

* The Temple at Arche Koeln Waterfall
* Navel of Lake
* The Keel Mount ain
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Trivia

* The Twilight Dragon from the Epitaph is frequently invoked by serious players as a blessing. Wiseman is especially fond of this.
* In the areas where you find Epitaph 02 and Epitaph 04, Harald's memory fragments activate from floor to floor.
* In Greek mythology, the Pleiades are nymphs (i.e., beautiful minor divinities of nature) and the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione born on Mount Cyllene. They were turned into stars by Zeus, and the Pleiades star cluster, which is named after the mythological Pleiades, is called Subaru in Japan
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