|RIS Bouteina episode|
|"Grade Inflation, Part One"|
|Previous episode:||"Doctor Rihanna"|
|Next episode:||"Grade Inflation, Part Two"|
Grade Inflation, Part One is the eigth episode of the third RIS Bouteina season.
Upon arriving at a planet located at the edge of ISC space, they pick up transmissions from satellite television, indicating that grade inflation has become an epidemic. Also, Relm is beta-testing an holoprogram.
Having arrived in orbit around a border world of the Interstellar Concordium, they are picking up stray satellite TV signals. These signals were those of a special news report indicating that grade inflation was prevalent on the entire planet. However, at the same time, Relm is beta-testing an holographic program, for which she requires three tests subjects. Putal, Accersitus and Damar accept to take part in Relm's experiment. Annika Hansen awakes and finds that the other main officers have mounted an away mission to get to the core of the grade inflation matter. They realize that it is quite prevalent.
When the beta test begins, the participants get to choose from six available classes: warrior, monk, thief and white/black/red mages. After they got to choose, the computer takes them to a cutscene, after which the participants play the game. They begin to shop for their weapons, prompting them to purchase rapiers, as well as selling some of their starting gear. After that, they purchase suits of armor in a dressing room. Before they start their journey, they are about to purchase some magic scrolls, and they are brought to the castle when they try to get out of town. The King of Cornelia then ask the players to save the princess.
Once beamed down on the planet, the away team begins their away mission by looking for a suitable base of operations. En route, they devise a plan, which is to interview students from a selection of classes. However, Annika did not require the entire operation to be scientifically rigorous and, as such, doubted that the plan would work. Later on, though, she goes ahead and she goes into a primary school, asking the principal of the establishment permission to interview students for a journalism dossier on behalf of the Romulan News Network. The permission was granted and they went off in the classrooms.
After the party leaves the castle, Relm activates the ultra-easy-mode of the holodeck program and they encounter no monsters until they reach a location where Putal complained that there was nothing to fight. However, Relm took it as a sign that it worked and she switched to the easy mode for the rest of the test. And the goblins fell prey rather easily, with pretty lavish loot for beginners. They also beta-tested the pre-emptive strikes to make sure they worked. When it was time to face the first boss, Garland, they needed more tools that what they have used so far, including magic, eventually prevailing.
Relm has added the option of being able to switch between real-time and turn-based mode. When testing that new functionality, they get the commands of new types of characters to engage Garland once again. They could settle the matter much faster with real-time playing, but the attributes of the players drove gameplay rather than program-assigned stats. But this is basically repeating the ending of that quest, and they were brought to the castle, where Princess Sarah gave the party a special lute. Afterwards, the cutscenes show the reconstruction of a bridge, which bores Putal to no end.
The holodeck program being tested is an holodeck version of Final Fantasy I.