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I was rewatching Sword Art Online and I notice that Heathcliff KILLS him and yet, he is able to come back and finish off Heathcliff, how is this so?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Logically, there is a delay in between the death flag being detected and the NerveGear frying the brain, which is explain by how a Revival Item (Divine Stone of Returning Soul) can be used within 10 seconds of a player's death.

However, as for how Kirito, whose HP was 0 but was still able to affect Heathcliff, was explained by Kayaba Akihiko when he congratulated Kirito for doing something that went beyond the system by using the power of the human will. This concept is reasserted when Kayaba appears before Kirito in ALO and reminds Kirito about how he acknowledged this.

It's more of an anomaly rather than any sort of plot hole. In essence, Kirito shouldn't have been able to do anything when his HP reached 0, but he was still determined to end the game because Asuna believed he would end the game for her sake. That determination allowed him to transcend SAO's rules.

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Thanks nhahtdh for correcting the revival item time –  Memor-X Jul 24 '14 at 2:41
I believe fridge logic dictates that the NerveGear doesn't start doing damage to a person until at least after 10 seconds of a player being dead. It may even be longer--- as this isn't explored from outside the game. In the terms of physiology, the easiest way for the NerveGear to kill someone is simply to shutdown their heart. This would lead to a user's death. Indeed, thinking about it for a few seconds, this is the likely cause of death. User dies in hardcore, gets "dumped" from the game, but not logged out properly. Thus, the gear doesn't "unhook" from the nervous system, just shuts down. –  StarPilot Aug 12 '14 at 3:27

Kirito didn't come back to life. The whole "You're Dead" and then scattering to pieces, and then coming back to life was the anime's dramatization. It was never like that, it was simply there to say that Kirito's mind had accepted death. However, Kirito did NOT die yet, and he had a sudden burst of will and resolution to live, which by then altered the game's so called "rules". This is not a bug, it is simply because the virtual world they lived in was...well...virtual. In a way its simply an image projected by the brain, and is supported by a system. Because he had a strong resolution, he was able to defeat the game's rules just in time to defeat Heathcliff.

HOWEVER! This is not the end of it all. Asuna died way before this happened, and to explain why she was able to survive is this: Heathcliff had turned off the system's way of killing a person or frying the brain upon death, which was an in-game module, and he had simply removed that portion right before the duel started, thus, even though Asuna had died, she was not killed in real life because Kayaba had disabled the module that fries the brain. The area they were in at the last portion is not an imagination or a dream either, or some kind of afterlife. It is a special Area Kayaba had created in order to talk to Kirito after the duel, whether he had won or not, Kirito would meet Kayaba in that area

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This is just a theory but, doesn't earlier in the series kirito gets a rivival stone from santa and gives it to Klien so, in theory if Asuna was able to move and get infront of heathcliffs attacks couldnt klien get up and use the revival item on kirito?

Maybe i haven't got a clue

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please refer to the answers in this question –  Memor-X Oct 30 '14 at 21:10

If you read light novels you can see Heatcliff smiles. I think Kayaba becomes a good man and searches for a way to release all the people.

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Can you explain this better? As far as I can tell, this doesn't even attempt to answer the question. –  キルア Sep 3 '14 at 18:56
How does this relate back to the question How does Kirito come back to life when he's fighting Heathcliff?, also Kayaba knows how to release everyone, beat the final boss (him) and we see that happen, he didn't need to search for a way to release everyone –  Memor-X Sep 3 '14 at 22:16

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