|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
Nato the Colonel Taurus (ナト・ザ・カーネルトーラス, Nato za Kāneru Tōrasu?), alternatively referred to as Colonel Nato (ナト大佐, Nato Taisa?), was one of the two mid-bosses that assisted Asterius the Taurus King on the 2nd Floor of Aincrad in the official service of Sword Art Online. Nato had three HP gauges. In the closed beta test, Nato was the only mid-boss, as Baran the General Taurus was the Floor Boss at the time.
Aside from differences in colour and size, Nato was like a body double of Baran. Nato was a blue-skinned, bull-headed beast with shining black horns, hooves that were as big as buckets and a bare upper body. The sub-boss was 2.5 metres tall, half the size of Baran, and armed with a two-handed hammer.
Like its taurus brethren, Nato has a special debuff skill, called «Numbing Impact». When Nato is about to use this skill, it lifts its hammer straight aloft. The hammer then stops overhead for an instant and its wide surface begins glowing with brilliant yellow sparks. Then with a fierce roar, the beast brings down its hammer, slamming it against the floor. Narrow sparking tendrils then extend from the impact point. Anyone too close to the attack suffers direct damage, while anyone touched by the sparking tendrils suffers a stun debuff for three seconds. After using the skill, Nato is left rigid for a few moments; however, Nato is capable of chaining several hammer attacks before the delay. If a player is hit with two such attacks in a row, their stun debuff is changed to a paralysis debuff.
When Nato bellows up to the ceiling, stomps the ground, and then exposes its horns and tenses like a coiled spring, Nato begins charging diagonally along its tail.
After two of its three HP gauges are depleted, Nato enters a state of frenzy and begins to use continuous numbing attacks. When close to death, the taurus's skin turns purple and it begins to rage even more.
Like all tauruses that do not have armour protecting their head, Nato's weakness is its horns. Attacks against its horns have an increased chance of staggering the creature.
No scouting battle was made, as the information contained in Argo's guide was deemed sufficient enough for the battle.
- See Baran the General Taurus#Strategy for the strategy of the entire battle.
Initially, groups G and H were to be assigned to deal with the mid-boss, but due to Orlando's protests, the raid leader, Lind agreed to allow them to participate in the battle against Baran, thus only group H, led by Agil was assigned the task of dealing with the mid-boss. Agil decided to have Asuna and Kirito be the damage dealers, while he and his friends tanked the damage. The two were also assigned to handle the switch timing.
During the battle, Kirito warned the other members of the party about the boss's special attacks and informed them when it was safe for everyone to switch to the offensive. As the battle against Nato was proceeding smoothly while there were issues with Baran, Kirito temporarily left the battle against Nato to the other members of group H and ran to Lind to advise reorganising to make it easier to retreat. Afterwards, Kirito returned to helping Agil's party with Nato. By that point, Nato was down to its last HP bar and began charging. However, its charge was intercepted and the boss was temporarily stunned, allowing the group to attack in full force.
But then, as Baran's last HP bar had been depleted to the yellow zone, the surprise Floor Boss, Asterius began spawning. Noticing the unexpected threat, Kirito ordered a full-scale attack on the boss and jumped to hit the taurus's forehead, causing it to suffer a movement delay and creating an opening for the other members of the group. As the boss then attempted a numbing attack, Kirito timed his «Horizontal» to cancel the attack, allowing his companions nother wave of attacks. As only a few pixels remained in the boss's HP bar, Kirito finished it off by using his Martial Arts skill Gengetsu to get around the delay induced by his Horizontal. With this last attack, Kirito defeated the boss.