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Swords of the Dead

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Your report has been successfully submitted. Thank you for helping us improve PBS Video. Discovery of the Must Farm, the 'British Pompeii'. British experts join the excavation to uncover the secrets of the British Pompeii. Discovery of the Bronze Age Boats. The discovery of log boats suggests the villagers at the Must Farm were travelers. Tune in Oct 3 at 10 9c Tune in Oct 3 at 10 9c. Join Ann Curry to witness reunions of those whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. Group 2 Shop Has dropdown. Use one of the services below to sign in to PBS: Creating an account is free and gets you: Access to High-Definition streaming A personal area on the site where you can access: Providing Support for PBS.

Season 16 Episode 1 3m 6s Swords first appeared during the Bronze Age. NR Closed Captioning Video has closed captioning.

Report a Problem Closed Captioning. Width in pixels px. Height in pixels px. From what he could recall, guns nearly guaranteed a kill on non-player humanoid enemies if they struck the head. A hit to the torso did a considerable amount of damage as well, taking out unarmored enemies in one or two hits. To balance them out, they had a substantial reload time and generated a lot of noise; something which attracted the undead. But in a duel situation where you could reload between rounds, it was almost the same as cheating unless both players used guns.

How'd he manage that? Smaller and faster moving targets, which was why I said he was really good. Kirito felt a rush of adrenaline coursing through his body. He wanted to see the new weapons in action, to test his own considerable skill in PvP against the undefeated player before him. He hadn't felt this alive since he had first created his character in SLD and fought his first enemy in the field. Heads turned in his direction as the crowd opened a path for him to the center of the marketplace.

Kirito strolled through to face his foe. The man gazed contemptuously at the weapon at Kirito's side, a single long sword, before looking at Kirito. The two duelists faced off. His opponent eased into a shooting stance, pointing his weapon at Kirito's head. The timer to start the duel counted down. Kirito rushed forwards, keeping his eyes trained on the weapon in his opponent's hand. Like all other known firearms in the game, it was a single shot weapon. If he could avoid the first attack, victory would be his.

There had been 15 meters between the two of them at the start of the match. The distance was now less than The blue-haired man grinned as he aimed the gun down at Kirito's feet before revealing his feint and firing at his left shoulder. But Kirito was ready for such a trick. An audible gasp rose up from the crowd just as the blue-haired man realized he had missed. He took a step backwards as Kirito neared him. With just five meters left, Kirito drew his weapon back to attack. That was when he noticed the man putting his right hand behind his back.

Based on the patch notes, it was possible to switch from a ranged weapon to a melee weapon with only a slight delay. No doubt the man was trying to do so after his initial attack had failed. But Kirito wouldn't give him the chance to complete that action. He dug his feet into the cobblestone street beneath him and accelerated forwards. He stalked off through the crowd, clearly upset that he had lost. Kirito, on the other hand, was swamped by a mass of people congratulating him on his win. To him, it seemed like all 1, of the players who had been granted early access in the Beta were there.

Been watching too many American action movies lately?

Dead Sword

Kirito ignored that last bit and replied, "Well, you did say he shoots at the arms and legs. I figured that if I kept my eye on where he was looking and his finger, I'd be able to know when he'd shoot and where he was aiming. Thanks for telling me that Argo. I hear you can carry over personal information from the beta to the launch. She gave him an annoyed look, "Just shut up and do it. I don't want to have to build my network again from scratch and you're one of my regulars.

Kirito chuckled as he sent the friend request to the girl sitting next to him. A confirmation message appeared and her name appeared on his list of friends. Argo's smile twisted almost mockingly when she looked over at his menu. I'm the only person on your friends list? I don't know whether to be touched or concerned. Give or take," Argo answered sheepishly. She had never been particularly good about making friends. In fact, one of the reasons she had started opening up to others was due to Kirito's influence.

Not that she would tell him that. Feel free to let your imagination run wild, young man," she said with a wink. His face was, no doubt, beet red right now. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. Argo seemed to know exactly what to say in order to fluster him. After a few moments, he finally managed to clear her face, complete with that teasing, upturned corner of her mouth, from his mind. Most players in the beta test phase went out in parties in order to hunt.

Kirito was one of the few exceptions, a solo player. Initially, he had gone out with groups as well but soon became frustrated with the lack of teamwork most beta testers showed. Few players were even remotely close to his level in skill and as such, Kirito felt that grouping up actually slowed his progress. He had switched to a solo playstyle after the first week of the beta. It had been tough at first. He had to get used to a completely different atmosphere. In a party, if you encountered a group of the undead, your group would generally watch out and make sure your entire party wasn't flanked.

This wasn't possible as a solo player. He had died twice before learning how to deal with the lack of extra sets of watchful eyes. Kirito had also learned not to set the computer generated scents to their lowest settings early on. Most players couldn't stand the smell of decay that heralded the approach of the weakest of the undead; the majority of players kept their scent settings at the minimum allowable levels when out in the field.

By relying on senses other than sight, Kirito was able to avoid getting into fights with more than one or two enemies at a time. Kirito walked out to the teleportation stone in the middle of the district center and declared, "8th Ward. The districts were arranged in a spiral, with the first and largest district at the very outer edge. The starting town was a base camp, resembling a town, outside of the city proper.

Each district was completely infested with the undead until the boss of that district was killed. When that happened, the entire zone would be cleared of any remaining enemies and become a safe-zone for players. In order to allow players to level their skills and gather resources without being at the latest available district, there was an expansive sewer area under each district which continued to house mobs even after the district above had been cleared.

Sewers in general held monsters of the same level and type as the district they were a part of although Kirito had heard rumors of hidden areas that housed monsters from more advanced zones. Some even said that there were special bosses in the sewers but none had been found thus far. The 8th ward was the last safety zone that had been opened thus far in the beta testing period. It was unlikely that the players would be able to clear the 9th district before the end of the testing, but Kirito wanted to spend more time learning the battle patterns of the enemies there.

The 9th district, like the areas before it before the 8th district had been reclaimed by players, was made up of ramshackle buildings and streets that looked as if they hadn't been maintained in a century or more. Leaf-less trees and brambles lined the roads and the sky was darkened overhead; it wouldn't clear up until the district was freed. The bread and butter of any horror genre game was the ambience. The feeling Kirito got when walking down these streets was that he was starring in a horror movie; whether he was playing the part of the hero or the victim was up to him.

The clanking of chains told the boy that an enemy was near. Stitched together from multiple corpses, they were a terrifying foe that swung around rusted blades attached to chains. Because the attack pattern of this weapon type was something completely new, it had taken Kirito several long hours before he had gotten used to fighting this monster. He grinned to himself now. Asada Shino sighed and looked at the bottom corner of her computer screen.

The time read Only ten more minutes until the game's launch. Shino tuned out the rest of the report. She wasn't planning on playing the game as an MMO enthusiast anyways. Her reason for playing was because she had heard that the full-dive experience almost perfectly mimicked reality.

She wanted to exist in that world where the dead walked because of one reason alone. To find a way to change from the "weak" Asada Shino into someone else. Several years ago, she had been at the scene of a bank robbery. Her mother was there alongside her, whispering that everything would be alright as Shino huddled in fear. She had almost believed her. But then the robber had pointed a gun at them. Out of all the people in the bank, he had chosen to target them. Everything else was a blur.

When Shino finally regained her senses, she found herself standing over the man's body, his gun somehow in her hand and the barrel smoking. She could remember everything that happened afterwards, the police questioning, the looks of horror, fear, and grudging admiration on the faces of the other spectators. But pulling the trigger was a blur. The one incident that had shaped her life most.

The event that had caused her to become shunned at school and whispered about on the streets to such a degree that she had transferred multiple times and she could barely recall it due to trauma. Shino shook her head. She wouldn't think on that right now. Not when her goal was to become strong enough to leave that past behind. For that purpose, she would enter this other world. A world where the dead walked and weapons were commonplace.

She would steel herself and become someone else. And if she became stronger in reality as a result, so much the better. It was now No doubt many people had already logged on. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she calmed herself. She felt her heartbeat slow.

Previous Story

She was taken to the log-in menu where she entered a pseudonym for herself. Because she had not taken part in the beta phase, the game skipped over the option to let her import data and sent her to the character creation area, a circular white room with what appeared to be a floating mannequin at the center. Here she chose the parts that would become her avatar, her in-game character.

She immediately made her character look as imposing as possible; a female commando. Tussled blue hair and a strong jaw. Eyes that said "don't even think about it" and a body build that was lithe and muscular. Her character's height was roughly a foot taller than hers in real life. Turning the generated character around and admiring her handiwork, Shino confirmed that this was the character she wanted to be known as.

With a stomach wrenching sensation, Asada Shino was no more. In her place, standing in the center of the square at the starting town, Sinon came into being. Her first thought was to check the time: It had taken her over half an hour to generate her ideal character. She walked over to a park bench and sat down.

Waving her hand in the air in front of her brought up a menu. Browsing through the different options, she selected the skills list. It was a good thing she had thought to read up on the basic in-game functions before logging in. Even if there was a help feature within the game itself, it wouldn't do for "Sinon" to appear as anything less than a competent and confident player. She already knew what skill she wanted. She would leave the second skill slot beginners were granted unfilled for now. This early on, there were no player-run stalls where people could buy and sell goods open yet so Sinon entered an NPC shop instead.

Armor accounted for half of that sum already, so Sinon was left with barely enough to buy a pistol and some ammunition. As she approached the entrance to the 1st ward, the first area where it was possible to encounter enemies, a voice called out from behind her. The speaker was wearing a brown cloak with the hood up that covered the top half of her face. It also made it impossible to tell her gender just by looking, but the voice was unmistakably female. The figure's overall appearance could best be described as "shady. Was it just her imagination or was the cloaked person grinning mischievously?

Sinon decided to ignore her for now and head on out.

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Sinon had found a spot that wasn't occupied by any players a short while ago. She could have just joined one of the many parties that were forming but decided that it'd be best to practice on her own first. She wanted to develop a reputation for being strong and partying as a new player broadcasted your shortcomings more effectively than anything else.

Once she was more comfortable with her own abilities, then she would join a party.

Unfortunately, she learned the hard way why the girl back in the plaza had seemed so amused. The enemies in this zone were attracted to noise; the more you made, the faster they came and in larger numbers. And nothing generated more noise than a gun. Coming in at a close second was running at full speed.

But Sinon didn't care, she had to get away. While the enemy was slow, there were a lot of them. Worst of all, it seemed the first shot she had fired in surprise when she turned a corner and bumped into a zombie had drawn in more from every corner of the surrounding region. Sinon was now running around trying to find a clear escape route or a spot with few enough foes that she could break through.

So far, she had no luck at all. Behind her, an ever growing crowd of monsters was giving chase. Perhaps if she got far enough away they would give up and return to their aimless wandering. Their putrid scent was overwhelming and Sinon really did not like the way how flesh, skin, and bone seemed to meld together on the parts of their bodies that weren't covered in tattered clothing. But what really scared her most was how her mind seemed to merge the face of the man she had shot in the bank with those of the monsters.

She pointed her wheel-lock pistol at its head and pulled the trigger. Sinon ignored the experience and item drop menu that had appeared in favor of running even faster. No doubt more enemies were now zeroing in on her location after that last shot. Sinon dodged under the arms of another monster and ducked into an alleyway, reloading as she ran. She dashed down the dark alley, her boots splashing water as she stepped in a puddle. Then she skidded to a halt. The way was blocked off by a wall that was too high to scale. Frantically looking around, Sinon could not see any other way out other than the direction from which she had come.

Unfortunately, that egress was now blocked off. The horde of undead had finally caught up to her. Their groans as they shuffled nearer filled the girl with a sense of dread. As they closed in, the alleyway seemed to darken even further.


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Sinon's back collided with the wall. Her feet shuffled backwards but she was no longer able to back up. She felt a scream rising from the back of her throat as the first of the monsters reached her and grabbed her by the arm. She pulled the trigger, but nothing happened as she hadn't reloaded yet. She tried hitting her enemy with the butt of the pistol, but aside from doing minimal damage to its health bar, nothing happened. Try as she might, she couldn't break free from that grip.

She closed her eyes and turned her head, trying hard not to think of what was happening. That was impossible to do as she could hear the sounds of biting and feel pressure and tugs as her avatar was attacked by a merciless foe; thankfully there was no sensation of pain.

After a few moments, Sinon chanced a look. There beneath her, her avatar's body lay in a crumpled heap, her features now barely recognizable. Worst of all, as the respawn timer neared zero, Sinon's "corpse" began to twitch. Her vision faded to white. The first thing she did when she respawned in the central square of the starting town was to check whether her head was still attached to her body.

The experience at the end had been too realistic for her taste even though there wasn't any pain involved. In addition, she had gotten a few item drops which she sold to an NPC vendor. Sinon glared at the cloaked girl and shot back, "And I suppose you're the master of carefulness. After all, you haven't taken a single step into a zone with hostile monsters yet, have you? I've been here selling information to my clients since the server opened. Sinon was so perplexed by the notion that she forgot about being annoyed.

She could understand buying item drops and player-crafted gear, but why would anyone pay for access to information that should be readily available? Behind her, she could hear the other girl's strange sounding laughter. This time, Sinon thought she might have been able to sneak by and save herself a little embarrassment since the other girl was in conversation with two male players.

Unfortunately, it almost seemed as if the self-proclaimed information dealer was on the lookout for her. She had been doing better on her second foray into the first district. By staying further away when shooting and remaining aware of her surroundings, she had managed to avoid being entrapped like she had before for the first half an hour. But then she had encountered something unexpected. The reanimated corpse of her own character.

Dead Swords: What Are You Listening To?

As if the game were mocking her previous weakness, it had a unique name atop its head: Her mind had frozen for a precious few seconds. Had the monster been a normal enemy, she would have recovered in time to avoid being killed. You were going to help this other newbie out anyways, right? One of the male players the girl had been talking to turned around and regarded Sinon.

He had a plain face, slightly unkempt black hair, was around the same height as Sinon, and wore only a breastplate for protective gear. All things considered, a very forgettable looking person. But she's a gun user, right? I'm not too familiar with that weapon-type. Sinon tried to decline his offer, but between the teasing from the hooded girl, "Ki-bou's" insistence that it really wouldn't be much trouble, and her own desire to avoid getting killed again and allowing the system to mock her weakness once more, she found herself following him into the first zone.

Sinon noted the names that had appeared in the corner of her field of view. Her party members' health bars coupled with their names. So, she thought to herself, the black haired one was Kirito and the redhead who was trying hard to look and act like someone out of a samurai flick was Klein. She immediately regretted doing so.