September Record (セプテンベル・レコード), or Ber-Rec (ベルレコ) for short, was an in-universe MMORPG developed and run by one of the Sumeragi Group's subsidies at the request of Merak, who secretly controls the game and can manipulate its functions as he wishes. Appearing to be a normal online game, in truth it was a system used to attract and detect Adepts over the internet; Joule's electronic septima The Muse aka Lumen was a central component of the game system, and Lumen frequently made live singing appearances within the game (which Merak noted was completely unrelated to the game's setting). Gunvolt freeing Joule at the beginning of Azure Striker Gunvolt caused the game to crash, and Sumeragi publicly blamed this outage on a hacking attack.
Some months after this, a successor game named September Historia (セプテンベル・ヒストリア), aka Ber-Sto (ベルスト) was developed and released. Unlike Ber-Rec, Ber-Sto is a mundane video game with no special properties. It was developed to recoup the financial costs of Ber-Rec, which, despite making some money from advertising deals, was actually operating in the red due to its primary goal of catching Adepts.
The game also has its own theme music composed for it, which was included in Lazy Kingdom.
Game development may have begun just after the events of Armed Blue Gunvolt. As Nova was praising Merak for outmaneuvering Teseo and bringing the national defense barrier back online, Merak claimed he wanted his own online game as a reward. Nova didn't disagree to the request, saying it would be expensive.
As an escape from her normal life, Elise begins playing September Record. One day, she receives an email advert for the game describing a limited time campaign. Elise is suspicious due to the way it's written, but accepts. She then begins manifesting her septimal power in the game, at times taking on an unidentifiable form and gaining an imbalanced set of abilities like auto-revival and petrification. Elise doesn't realize this is her septima, and mistakenly believes the skillset is a real feature of the game granted to her by the campaign. Her resentful side comes out, and she abuses her newfound game power to become an infamous player killer, exclusively targeting high rank players. The email was in truth from Teseo, rigged by his cyber septima Hack the Planet to enable this.
Devoting his energies to being a good for nothing, Merak decides to play the game. He has already completed almost all available content, and decides to take a peek at the message boards. There he learns about an unidentified player killer rampaging, and is mildly annoyed at the idea of someone playing like that in "his garden" without his permission. Reading about the details and recent encounters being reported, Merak decides to investigate. At his own pace. Setting his sights on four suspects, Merak recruits Elise to assist on a quest. He becomes very annoyed with her inexperience and lack of skill, thinking to himself that while all of his suspects are crappy players, she's in a league of her own. Elise apologizes, and when Merak comments on her difficult race/job choice for a beginner, Elise claims she chose it because the outfit is cute, exasperating Merak even more.
Having contacted all his suspects, Merak deduces that "it"(Lumen) is involved after considering the target's habits, and that "that"(her live performance) is where something will happen. His deduction was correct, and he (in disguise) encounters Elise in her player killer guise right after one of Lumen's streams. He is unable to stop her, but gathers data from their battle and leaves to form a plan.
Merak calls Elise, who is now back in her normal persona, ostensibly to help on a quest. Merak starts a conversation about Lumen. He brings up an "urban legend" about how Lumen's song resonate with Adepts and can be used like sonar to track them. "Coincidentally", a stream is about to start. As Elise gets nervous, he seals off the game world's exits to prevent her from leaving. The song causes her domineering, player killer guise to come out. Elise wins the fight by petrifying Merak's character, but as she gloats over her victory Merak breaks into her house and confronts her in person. What she defeated was just a bot he programmed using their past battle data, which he used it as a decoy while he tracked down her real world location. Merak knocks out Elise and turns her over to Sumeragi's scientists.
Merak checks her computer and finds the email from Teseo, identifying it as the cause of this incident and remarking that Teseo's hacking skills have improved.
While living civilian life with her forged identity, Joule is approached by a classmate friend named Hatano. Hatano is a very avid gamer, perhaps too much so and the only one of her type in the class, and she brings up September Record. Joule is seemingly only a little familiar with this, knowing about the seven playable races and Elves and Humans being two of them. That's enough for Hatano, who goes on about its newly debuting sequel September Historia. Most of her rambling goes into one of Joule's ears and out the other, although some details like its shortened name "Ber-Sto" stick. Hatano asks Joule to play with her to acquire a co-op play reward being distributed in commemoration of the game's release.
Joule immediately gets on the lone computer at her and Gunvolt's apartment when she gets back, and GV notices and asks her what's up. Having it explained to him, GV is concerned and expresses that they must be very careful about what they do online given that they're fugitives. GV is then contacted telepathically by Lumen, who asks to talk to him in private about the matter. GV tells Joule he'll consult Zeno (who acts as their network tech support) and leaves the room. Lumen reveals to GV that Ber-Rec was a Sumeragi product. Looking up its sequel Ber-Sto, he finds that it too is indirectly run by Sumeragi. Lumen reveals Ber-Rec's Adept sonar nature and the central role she played, and asserts that Joule should know about this, but is suppressing that knowledge because she really wants to play with a friend.
GV decides to call Zeno for real about the matter and explains the situation. As a gamer, Zeno is quite familiar with it. He tells GV about how Ber-Rec was actually what lead to QUILL discovering Lumen was being used as Adept sonar. Sumeragi's response to the events of Lazy Kingdom was unusual for what was supposedly a normal game, so QUILL's Intelligence Team investigated the MMO and discovered its true nature. GV is surprised to learn this, and Zeno says Asimov didn't bother telling him because he doesn't play net games. Zeno gets to the point: The sequel Ber-Sto is a normal, safe to play game released solely for monetary profit. Jokingly speaking as a QUILL agent, Zeno advises playing the free trial and no further, although he's tempted to pay for a subscription. GV hangs up as Zeno starts going off on a tangent about other video games.
Starting up the game, Joule decides to play as an Elf, ignoring GV telling her that it's for experienced players, and loudly denying the idea that she try the beginner-friendly Sect race instead. At the in-game plaza, Joule is contacted by a scary looking swordsman character who turns out to be Zeno. Using a private QUILL communication system for chatting, the two play together for 2 hours. In a co-op exclusive dungeon meant for beginners, the two encounter a high level event boss, speculated by Zeno to be a countermeasure against players who linger in the dungeon for too long "building up." Joule is overwhelmed, but refusing to lose, she controls Lumen and sends her into the game to telepathically control her character and rig the system to give her endless attack avoidance, critical hits against enemies, and item drops. Taken out of her trance by GV telling her that it's cheating, Joule is struck and defeated by the boss.
After this, Joule was banned from playing net games by GV and had to tell Hatano about this restriction. Some players witnessed the event, and the "Legendary Lucky Elf" became a rumor whispered about among the game's community.
Included in the Lazy Kingdom booklet is a page giving summaries on the style, setting, playable characters, and gameplay specifications of September Record. A fan translation is listed below, along with additional observations about the game gleaned from its appearances.
Uses a 17th century European style as its basis as well as some steampunk elements; a “swords and magic RPG.”
It’s a trial of the gods gained by them every 1000 years. Monsters from another world are summoned through a water jug making them infest the lands; it’s a pretty merciless festival. And the race that defies that fate and wins are promised wealth and peace for the next 1000 years. The Gods wish for destruction and regeneration to happen again and again and make the world a paradise of the strongest race. And there’s only 1000 years left for the 7th cycle, in the year 7000. Which one will be chosen by the Gods?
The Seven Races
The namesake of "September", the game features seven playable races of varying qualities that players may choose from. It is implied that the races have various exclusive jobs that players can focus their character on. the only known race/job combo example is Sorcerer/Enchanter.
The 1st race. Race of giants. The eldest race. They thrived in the first 1000 years. Their initial stats are high and can use magic too but they have a low growth rate. They remember a lot of supporting magic.
The 2nd race. Race of insects. They have a high lifepower and speed. They can’t use magic but can use many skills instead. They’re designed for beginners but due to their grotesque looks they aren’t popular amongst players. (Gunvolt suggested that Joule start with this type, but was rebuked for mostly the reason listed)
The 3rd race. They can use magic from birth and many specialize in attacking. On the other hand they are fragile and bad at hand to hand battling. They are intended for experienced players. (Joule went with this one, because Lumen is a cybernetic elf)
The 4th race. They’re skilled and can repair weapons durability, and have skills to customize them. They don’t like magic but can use some. Their growth rate is normal.
The 5th race. A mechanical race made by the Dwarves. They can’t use magic and their growth rate is low but depending on the weapons and tools they can get a parameter bonus.
The 6th race. They can’t use magic and their initial stats are the lowest but they have a high growth rate, and can learn many types of skills. They are the types of “great talents mature late”. They are the biggest population in the game. (Merak plays as a human, as does Zeno)
The 7th race. They are a race of humans that have suddenly mutated and can use magic since birth. They can also use skills, but not as many as normal humans. They are balanced, but have a low growth rate. They supposedly are being discriminated again by Humans. One of the jobs one can select with Sorcerer is Enchanter, which possesses no attacking skill and functions as support for other players. Merak calls the race the "magician class", and claims that is a hard job unsuitable for new players. (Elise played as a Sorcerer-Enchanter, and chose it because the outfit is cute)
- Level Cap: Lv 70 is the current max level (at the time of Lazy Kingdom). It will soon be updated to Lv 90.
- Magic: An art that can be used by Cyclos, Elves, Dwarves and Sorcerers. They consume MP. Apart from attacking, they can also be used for support or healing; there’s many types.
- Skill: Ability that can be used by Sects, Dwarves, Golems, Humans and Sorcerers. By using the skill gauge (refills after a set time), you can employ them to attack or for supporting. But there are no healing skills.
The game appears to have an advanced and presumably easy character customization system, at least for the Human race, as Merak and Elise's player avatars are nearly identical to their real selves. They both wear variants of the Sumeragi officer uniform, implying that it is available as a costume in-game for both employees and civilians (Elise was only a normal high school girl at the time). Conversely, players can go with a character model nothing like their real selves. Zeno's Human warrior character is said to be scary looking and covered in muscles and bones. Joule had no idea it was him at first.