WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 16 of Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, Part 2, “Code 871,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
After giving its heroes a big win just a couple episodes ago, War of Underworld’s villains continue on with their devastating counterattack, both in the game and the real world. “Code 871” puts SAO’s heroes through the wringer and with the season quickly reaching the halfway point, it seems as though their troubles won’t be going away anytime soon.
The episode opens up from where the last one left off, with Yanai holding Higa at gunpoint. Yanai reveals that he’s the traitor working with the Americans, and that he also used to assist Sugou with his illegal experiments. He then tells Higa that he was the one who helped Administrator sabotage the Alicization project out of love for her. He then says that he wants Kiritio to die as revenge for defeating Administrator, as he stalls Higa in the hopes of just that happening. As this is happening, Kikuoka and Rinko discover that it was Yanai who put in error 871 into Underworld and immediately realize that he’s betrayed them.
Back on the battlefield, Sinon battles against Subtilizer, but she’s quickly overpowered by him. As he goes in to finish things off, Sinon thinks about Kiroto and manages to break free of Subtilizer’s grasp. Meanwhile, Sheyta and Iskahn are about to be overrun by enemy forces alongside the remaining pugulists, but Leafa and the Orc army get there just in time to save them. As this happens, ALO players desperately try and convince the Chinese and Korean players of Vassago’s deceit.
They eventually start to break through to them when both Moonphase & Mei, the Korean and Chinese players from the last episode, hear them out. However, Vassago manages to turn the majority of the enemy forces back on them, as the remaining ALO and SAO players surrender to spare the Underworld residents from further slaughter.
With everyone gathered, Vassago approaches Asuna and reveals that he is in fact PoH, and that he survived the events of SAO. When Asuna asks if he’s doing this as revenge for the raid on Laughing Coffin, he tells her that he himself sold out his own guild in order to ensure that Kirito, Asuna and the rest of the forward team would become murderers just like him. When Asuna reveals the trauma that those events had on Kirito, PoH then calls for his men to bring Kirito out in the open, much to Asuna’s terror and distress. After the credits, a server that seems to be related to SAO starts up.
Things just keep getting worse for Kirito and company in War of Underworld. Though both Sinon and Leafa look to have come away with wins in this episode, they each have a long road ahead of them. Kirito’s fate is still up in the air, as now both Yanai and PoH have his life in their hands with his allies unable to do anything about it. The biggest twist of “Code 871” came after the credits, with the SAO server’s introduction. What it means is still unknown, but expect it to be addressed soon.
Source of: ComicBookResources