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The .hack Newbie FAQ

The .hack Newbie FAQ
Author's Note: Anything in Bold represents an answer to a commonly asked question.


Question Bank


Is .hack an MMORPG?
No: .hack is a simulation of an MMORPG.


What IS Project .hack?
Project .hack is a series revolving around a fictionary game called "The World." It was first annouced, if memory serves correct, at the E3 2000-ish. The series itself consists of an anime series (.hack//SIGN), a four volume video game series, a four episode OVA (.hack//LIMINALITY), a manga (.hack//DUSK) with an accompanying anime, and a novel (.hack//AI Buster).


How is .hack pronouced?
"dot hack."


Who is behind Project .hack?
The game series is being developed by CyberConnect2, and published by Bandai. The three masterminds of Project .hack are Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Character Design, of Evangelion and FLCL fame), Kazunori Ito (Director, created Maison Ikkoku and helped direct Ghost in a Shell), and Koichi Mashimo (Animation Director, worked on Noir and the Irresponsible Captain Tyler).


Chronology of the .hack series?
1st .hack//AI BUSTER (Novel)
2nd .hack//SIGN (Anime)
3rd .hack//Infection Expansion (PS2 Game #1)
.hack//LIMINALITY 01 (OVA Episode #1)
4th .hack//Malignant Mutation (PS2 Game #2)
.hack//LIMINALITY 02 (OVA Episode #2)
5th .hack//Erosion Pollution (PS2 Game #3)
.hack//LIMINALITY 03 (OVA Episode #3)
6th .hack//Absolute Encirclement (PS2 Game #4)
.hack//LIMINALITY 04 (OVA Episode #4)
??? .hack//Another Story (DVD)
7th .hack//UdeDen (Manga and Anime)


What is the Anime, .hack//SIGN, about?
.hack//SIGN takes place before the games, and is about a Wavemaster named Tsukasa who finds himself unable to log out of The World. All 26 episodes originally aired on TV Tokyo from April to September of 2002. It's planned to come out in the US and air on Cartoon Network on February 1st 2003. The 1st DVD will also come out in America in March, as well as a Limited Edition DVD + goody box set.

See the .hack//SIGN section of the FAQ for more in depth info.


What is .hack//Another Story about?
.hack//Another Story is like an episode 27 to .hack//SIGN, and tells the story from Mimiru's PoV. It's basically like a tie-up and aftermath to .hack//SIGN...

Actually, I'm not 100% sure about this, because I got the info 3rd hand: the person who originally stated it; I don't entirely trust their translation. But, we'll see. :P


What are the games about?
The .hack game series is for the PlayStation 2, and comes in four volumes. It follows the story of Kite. Kite was playing The World with his friend Orca, when they ran into an odd monster. As a result, Orca has fallen into a coma In Real Life, and Kite now continues playing to find out why this happened.

.hack//INFECTION EXPANSION is the 1st volume, and came out in June of 2002 in Japan. It comes with the 45-minute-long disk one of the OVA. Originally, it's NA title was Treasure Hackers, but luckily this was changed to .hack//INFECTION. It was supposed to come out on October 15th 20002, but was delayed until February 13th 2003 due to the American release of .hack//SIGN.

.hack//MALIGNANT MUTATION is the 2nd volume, and came out in September of 2002 in Japan. The NA title is .hack//MUTATION, and will probably be coming out in April 2003 in the US. It comes with the 25-minute-long disk two of the OVA.

.hack//EROSION POLLUTION is the 3rd volume, and came out in December 2002 in Japan. The NA title is .hack//OUTBREAK, and will probably be coming out in July 2003 in the US. It comes with disk three of the OVA.

.hack//ABSOLUTE ENCIRCLEMENT is the 4th volume, and comes out in March 2003. The NA title is .hack//QUARANTINE, and will probably be coming out in October in the US. It comes with disk four of the OVA.

See the gameplay FAQ for more info.


Where can I import the games?
Importing them can be done from places such as National Console Support and they can be won over eBay. eBay auctions usually include other goodies like the strategy guide and any little trinkets that're released with the game.

I myself bought .hack//MALIGNANT MUTATION and .hack//EROISON POLLUTION over eBay, and was incredibly pleased, and finally have a modded PS2! I still can't speak Japanese though! ^_^;

I've never used NCSX, but I've heard it oftenly nicknamed, "NCSux." ^_^;


What is the OVA, .hack//LIMINALITY, about?
.hack//LIMINALITY takes place concurrently with the games. It is not sold separately, it's only sold with the volumes of the game. Although, you can most surely download the episodes subtitled from IRC, KaZaA, etc.

As of January 2003, Uptown Anime has released a subtitled OVA #1, United Anime/Anime Paradize teamed up and have released a subtitled OVA #2, and United Anime released a subtitled OVA #3. The first two are easy to find over a P2P program, but OVA3 is a little harder to find. Try downloading it directly from UnitedAnime.org using their BitTorrent program.

OVA #1 is titled, "In the case of Minase Mai." It was changed to "In the case of Mai Minase" for US release.

OVA #2 is titled, "In the case of Aihara Yuki." It was changed to "In the case of Yuki Aihara" for US release.

OVA #3 is titled, "In the case of Tohno Kyoko." It was changed to "In the case of Kyoko Tohno" for US release.

OVA #4 is titled, "Trismegistus." Found by MAd Mithras: "The name means 'Hermes Thrice Greatest' and is the title given to the Egyptian lunar god Thoth (Tehuti) by the Greeks in their attempt to equate the Egyptian gods with their own." Rest of info is here.


What is the manga/anime, .hack//DUSK, about?
.hack//DUSK takes place four years after the games end. In an online contest of some sort, two twins, Shugo and Rena Kunizaki, win the character avatars of the legendary .Hackers, Kite and BlackRose. The anime version is airing currently in Japan, and the manga installments are being published monthly inside Comptiq magazine.



What is the novel, .hack//AI BUSTER, about?
.hack//AI BUSTER takes place before the anime, .hack//SIGN. In it, the Long Arm player, Albireo, a system admin of The World, discovers an A.I. named Lycoris. It's a short novel that can be purchased at Amazon of Japan.



What is .hack//DUSK?
What is .hack//UdeDen?
What is .hack//Legend of Twilight's Bracelet?
What is .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet?
What is .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Monogatari?
.hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu is the manga drawn by a Rei Izumi, with an anime version now airing on TV Tokyo and TV Osaka.

.hack//DUSK is a fantitle for the series.

.hack//UdeDen is the offical nickname for the series; even used by the Manga Artist.

.hack//Legend of Twilight's Bracelet is #Anime-Junkies translation of the title; though any sensible person would want to know, "Who's Twilight and why does the bracelet belong to them?" :P

.hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet is the more correct translation of .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu.

.hack//Tasogaren o Udewa Monogatari is a mistranslation by Newtype USA's staff.


Content originally written by Rhyste


The .hack//SIGN FAQ

The .hack//SIGN FAQ
Part One: General
Part Two: Character Questions
Part Three: Music Questions
Part Four: Episode-Specific
Part Five: Last Episode Questions


Why is the .hack//SIGN section so large?
Because .hack//SIGN has a lot of material to cover. @_@;


Collective Question Bank


Content originally written by Rhyste

The .hack//SIGN FAQ
Part One: General .hack//SIGN Questions

Question Bank


Is there a second season of .hack//SIGN?
When is the second season of .hack//SIGN starting?
There is no second season of .hack//SIGN. The .hack series continues in the PS2 games... however, there is an "episode 27," sort of. It's a DVD called ".hack//Another Story." Basically, it stars Mimiru, and tells the aftermath of .hack//SIGN. This isn't 100% confirmed, and the DVD hasn't been released in Japan yet.


Which came first: .hack//SIGN or .hack//LIMINALITY?
.hack//SIGN came out first. It also comes first chronologically.


When did .hack//SIGN air?
From April 4th to September 26th 2002 on TV Tokyo, around 12am at night.


Is .hack//SIGN airing in the US?
It will be appearing on the Toonami Super Saturday Block on February 1st 2003 as well - 3pm EST, 1pm MST. Unsure of future plans for now.


Is .hack//SIGN being commerically released in the US?
.hack//SIGN is going to be released on DVD's starting in March. Anime on DVD has a section dedicated to the special edition hexagon box. You can order it at The Right Stuf but it won't be shipped until it's released in March. ^_^;

Thank you to Dan the Chipmunk for the Right Stuf link. ^_^


What is .hack//SIGN about?
.hack//SIGN is about a boy named Tsukasa who plays The World. He finds himself unable to Log Out one day. .hack//SIGN then begins to tell his quest of human discovery, and his search for a way to leave The World.


Where can I buy or obtain .hack//SIGN?
You can buy bootlegs over eBay, or you can buy the real DVD's on online stores, OR, you could be like me and 10,000 other people and download the entire series using programs such as KaZaA or WinMX. You can also usually find a bunch over anime-based IRC channels.


Who is the dancing user in the opening?
Uhm, well... some people think that it's Helba, but her hair's not blonde enough, nor is it long enough, to be Helba's. ^^; And notably, her boobs don't look big enough. :P Some people think the opening is kind of like a commerical for The World, because you see the person logging on (you see the optical mouse click), and then some people think it might be Morgana. I myself like the idea about the dancing user and the person logging on being part of a commerical for The World.


Who is the naked girl in the ending?
I think it's Subaru, stripped, by a window, waiting for... Tsukasa perhaps? But, most people bitch that it couldn't possibly be Subaru, because the girl's hair is seemingly longer, and she's naked - Subaru's a bit of a delicate flower; why would she strip? *cue eye roll* However, her naked body could be a metaphor to, "being stripped" as in, "being yourself."

Recommendation: Download "Stripped" by Depeche Mode.


In the opening, when the cast is moving across with their weapons, you see a face underneath. Is that them IRL? Or a random person?
If you look closely enough, each face looks like Tsukasa's. I think it shows that they're all connected to Tsukasa, and that they're going to help him fight his enemy.


What is the tablet that Tsukasa touches?
A small representation of the Tablet of the Twilight.


Who is the cat that doesn't talk?
That is Maha... I really can't say what Maha is just yet, unless you want UEBER-spoilers.

In the Epitaph of the Twilight, of which The World was based off of, depicts eight phases (starting with Skeith); the sixth one is named Maha. It's a theory, that the Maha that appeared to Tsukasa is the same as the Maha depicted in the Epitaph. And in episode 25 when Maha sacrifice themself for Tsukasa, the dark Guardians re-write him into the game character, Mia. After the 3rd phase, Magus, is destroyed in the game, Mia slowly begins to be re-written into the 6th phase, Maha. If this theory is correct or not, will have to wait until volume four is released.


Who is the sleeping girl?
That is Aura. She is an AI programmed into The World. Aura has a purpose that has yet to be fulfilled. I assume that Morgana doesn't want her to fulfill it, and ties Tsukasa and Aura together so that Aura will sleep. Morgana is able to trap Tsukasa inside the game, and ties him to Aura. He can only log out when Aura is awakened. In turn, only he can awake Aura.


Who is that voice that talks to Tsukasa?
That is Morgana. Like Aura, she is also an AI in The World. She is the one who keeps Tsukasa in The World, and gives him his Guardian. She calls herself Tsukasa's mother, like she's going to be the mother whom Tsukasa never had. She bounds him to The World, and he can choose to make Aura sleep or not. But Morgana makes sure he won't want to leave The World and return to the real world by reminding him of what a [censored]ty place the real world is, and gives him something he never had in the real world: power, which comes in the form of the Guardian.


What is Tsukasa's guardian?
Tsukasa's Guardian is a gift from Morgana. I think it was one of her way's of making sure he'd stay in The World, and not want to go back to the real world. In the real world, Tsukasa didn't have a good upbringing; not much "power," and not a very good life either. Morgana then gives Tsukasa the Guardian - Tsukasa now has power, and Tsukasa recognizes this. It makes him not want to go to the real world.


Why does the Real World appear in B&W with TV static noises?
It appears in B&W to represent how opressive and boring the real world is. I think it has TV static noises like as if, someone from The World was watching the real world on a TV? You don't hear any sound either in the real world, which further makes it seem like a boring place.


What is the large monolith that appears at the beginning of episode one and the end of episode twenty-six?
That is the Tablet of the Twilight. It's the point of origin of the eight phases. It and the smaller tablet that Tsukasa touches in episode one are the same thing. ^_^;


Content originally written by Rhyste

The .hack//SIGN FAQ
Part Three: Music Questions

Question Bank


Who is the composer of .hack//SIGN?
Who is this artist, See-Saw?
Yuki Kajiura, who also did the Noir soundtrack. She has her own little band called See-Saw, which is why you see that See-Saw does most of the vocal songs for .hack.


How many OST/Singles/Albums/CDs are there for .hack//SIGN?
There are three OST's: OST1, OST2, and Extra OST (aka: OST3), and one Single (Obsession).


What are the tracklists for the CDs?
Obsession Single


Where can I get/download the CDs/MP3s?
Usually off KaZaA, Direct Connect, WinMX, or using a xdcc server on IRC.


What is the song that plays when Ginkan and Tsukasa fight near the end of episode one?
That song is on OST3 - it's Track 18 - Bridge 01.


What is the name of the song that plays when Tsukasa is riding around on his Puchiguso in episode one?
What is the name of the jazzy song that plays when Balmung appears in episode 22?
Neither of these songs were on any of the OST's, unless I seriously missed something. It could be that they're from the game soundtrack, but I haven't heard a .hack game OST release yet.


What is the name of the song that plays during the Helba Gate scene in episode 23?
Sen Yoru Ichi Yoru. Alternate titles: Senya Ichiya, Thousand Night One Night. Also acts as the OVA2 opening song.


Is Sora's Banjo music on one of the OST's?
Extra OST (aka: OST3), Track #23, Bridge 05.


Content originally written by Rhyste

The .hack//SIGN FAQ
Part Four: Episode Specific Questions

Question Bank


Who is the girl who has fainted at the end of episode one?
Is it Ginkan's player who's shown fainted at the end of episode one?
No. That is Tsukasa's player IRL.


Who is this "Kreem" that the Crimson Knights are talking about in episode two?
Early fansubbers mispelled "Crim" as "Kreem." So, it's not some new character, it's just a typo.


ho was the Wave Master Bear was talking to in the beginning of episode 10?
That is his son. Explanation by Tavila: In Japan, when a person divorces, their children don't keep contact with the other parent. Bear's son is trying to use him to get money for a Car, and using the divorce as an excuse to milk his dad.


Who is the blonde woman with the white clothes who Bear meets in episode 13?
That is Helba - a legendary hacker known throughout The World and the internet. She has a much larger role in the PS2 games, however.


Who is the weird curly haired man (episodes 14 and 22)?
That is an emodiment of the creator of The World, Harold Hyuek. He created both AI's, Aura and Morgana, but his intended use for both the said AI's is unknown. It's revealed in OVA3 that he was trying to bring the outside world into the game world.


Who is the girl who looks an awfully a lot like Subaru in episode 19 and what is her problem?
That would be Kaho - a crazed Stalker Fan of Subaru's. Because Subaru is "famous," people naturally want to copy her character's look. At the beginning of episode 19, you hear those two Blade Users talking about how Subaru must be an imposter.


Who is the silver-haired, angel winged, bandana-wearing bishonen who pops up for an entire two seconds in episode 22?
SOUTEN NO BALMUNG! ^_^ The token bishonen of the .hack series, and my future husband. ^____^

The .hack//SIGN FAQ
Part Five: Last Episode Questions

Question Bank


How is Tsukasa able to indentify the fake Mimiru from the real Mimiru, but not the fake Subaru from the real Subaru?
Tsukasa has known Mimiru and her stubborness since episode one. Subaru, on the other hand, is a person he's still getting familar with to this point.


How does Tsukasa awaken Aura?
Somewhere along the line, he's able to recognize that awakening Aura is his way to logging out of The World. He now has a will to awaken her, because if she awakens, he'll be able to log out, and go see Subaru.


What/who is Skeith?
Skeith is the first of eight phases sent after Aura. They're kind of like messengers of Morgana, who do her dirty work. What their true intention is, and what Morgana's true intention is, is quite unknown.


Sora is Data Drained by Skeith. What happens to Sora is that he falls unconscious in real life, but he is consciously still stuck inside the game. It's revealed in .hack//Erosion Pollution that he's inside of Skeith's staff.


How is Tsukasa finally able to log out?
He wants to log out now - he now has a will and a reason to leave The World. At the beginning of the series he wants to stay in The World, but by the end he's decided he's going to awaken Aura, and he's going to get out, and he's going to meet Subaru.


Do Tsukasa and Subaru really meet?
There was an interestion conversation about this, that it could be like the Matrix, and that Tsukasa never really meets Subaru, which is why you see the hands freeze.


Why don't Tsukasa and Subaru's hands touch?
Perhaps to show that the battle for the net world has *just* begun.


What is the monolith that appears in the end?
That is the Tablet of the Twilight.


Is there something wrong with my episode 26? It shows two hands almost about to touch, but then it suddenly cuts off, and you see a giant cellphone thing, then a "to be continued" picture.
... no. That's the way the episode ends. >_>;


Are Tsukasa and Subaru lesbians? If yes, when do we get to watch?
Tsukasa and Subaru are lesbians in doujinshi and fanfic. :P (And in your sad, sick imagination).


February 17th 2003
Like the new layout? :D ... nothing's really changed... ^_^; Anyway; most tweaking has been made to the layouts and text... I'm going to start the .hack//UdeDen FAQ later. A few new questions to the Newbie FAQ... etc & etc...

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