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The goal of this guide is to set you up with the original retail copy of .hack//fragment in English and with the new address to the new online server, and to play on your choice of real Playstation 2 hardware or emulation on PC, Linux, Mac. And possibly on backwards compatible or custom firmware Playstation 3, Xbox One X|S, and Xbox Series X|S.
If you read my previous guide from last year 2020, you may have learned that you can play .hack//fragment as of the time you reading this topic. However, that guide was written in Summer of 2020, and it was more of a as the development progressed, so things are in out of order and the guide doesn't flow from A to B to C, more like A to D back to B and then C. With this 2021 guide and with the progress made in the past 6 months, this discussion will flow easier and sensible for you who may have never attempted this. Let me assure you ANYONE can do this, so that means YOU can play .hack//fragment today if you wanted.
Here's the short back story of things, .hack//fragment was developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai as a stripped down version of .hack//Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, Quarantine that has no voice overs whatsoever in any language and no FMV's. So what you have is a game that has a character creator, root town, shops, items, fields, dungeons, monsters; the base game you may have experienced in the IMOQ games.
There is a short story in .hack//fragment's "Offline" mode, all text no audio. The most important part of this offline mode is to acquire "data drain" for your character's, and this is the only means to get this skill for your characters. You can create a character in either offline or online mode, your characters are transferable between the two modes. But the part in offline mode tutorial where you play with Mia, this is when your character permanently acquires the skill Data Drain.
Liminality was the OVA for the first generation of the dothack franchise that was included with the original PS2 games. Each game had included 1 DVD each for each of the 4 episodes of .hack//LIMINALITY that coincided with the game's timeline. This was the real world account of events while you played the PS2 video game, each involving a party directly tied to the in game characters and events that were occurring at that time.
Have you seen people on YouTube and Twitch playing .hack//fragment for the PlayStation 2 and wondered how you can play the game for yourself? What if I told you that you could play the game online with friends? And that you could do so today, September in the year 2020. It's all true!