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  1. Table of Contents Patching the Game for English Playing As-Is In Japanese Playing on PC Playing on PlayStation 2 Playing on PlayStation 3 Playing on Xbox One X|S and Xbox Series X|S .hack//fragment 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. The rest of the Offline mode consists of following characters from .hack//SIGN, .hack//Infection, and even .hack//Legend of The Twilight acquiring everyone's Member Address and allows you to summon these NPC's in root towns to join your offline adventure. By the time you acquire the last member address, Helba, concludes the offline mode's "story" which is basically an extended tutorial. But you can always return to offline mode and grind fields/dungeons with your NPC's who's levels range between level 15 all the way up to level 99. .hack//fragment was released in November 2005; first with it's Early Released Version on the 2nd and it's full Retail version on the 22nd. The Early Release Version is an online mode only version of .hack//fragment, there is no Offline mode, further it does lack several character creation options. But the one everyone should be playing is the retail version. Please do not play any version other than the retail version, you will not find any support here if you choose to play the Early Release Version or the modified Coldbird version referred to as Build 7 and Build 8. The official service ended on January 18th 2007, in order to to conflict with the scheduled sequel series release of .hack//G.U. Rebirth. Fans took it upon themselves to rebuild the server with limited capacity with the Coldbird server from December 25th 2013 to December 8th 2016. The online server Coldbird's team created was for a time open source on Github and the Netslum community revived it quickly after on December 8th 2016 and continues to be available today in 2021. The Netslum community has even gone a step further and fixed the limitations of the Coldbird team and restored full access to the Guilds, BBS, Rankings, and Mailer that were absent since 2007. When to play? Anytime! Play offline by yourself with your NPC team, play online solo, help your friends find this guide to learn and setup to play, and join us every week on Friday's for the scheduled Fragment Fridaytm meetup on our Dothack Discord server https://discord.gg/behCxEB (DHN). Text the @Fragment group, add yourself or remove yourself with the t!selfroles or !fragmentplz comands. Or join the voice calls to coordinate with others to play with on PC and PS2.
  2. 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! Table of Contents History Preparation for PC Emulator Play on PCSX2 PCSX2 Setup Guide Playing On A Real Physical Playstation 2 Getting The Word Out There! Creating a Character Setting up the Area Server Port Forwarding Setting up Keyboard Controllers Shortcuts and Overlays Getting from Main Menu to Root Town online, Adding Friends, Trading Troubleshoot Support Japanese to English Patch Plus New IP History This old PS2 game released back on November 22nd 2005. The game itself offered 2 modes, an offline mode and an online mode. The offline mode had a short story that let you and your customer character meet up with the characters from the .hack//Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine games including some of the character's from .hack//SIGN. The most notable piece of the offline mode was to acquire the Data Drain ability for your custom character. This character could be any reskin, coloring, height, weight, altered form of Kite, Blackrose, Balmung, Piros, Sanjuro, Marlo, Nuke, Subaru, Elk, Tsukasa, Sora, Terajima, and so much more! In the online mode, it connected to a central Lobby Server. This was the main hub that connected you to all the online players waiting in the lobby to join an individual private server called Area Server. The lobby server was hosted by CyberConnect2 at their static IP address j5q.channel.or.jp and operated between November 23rd 2005, a day after the game's initial release, and lasted longer than anticipated due to popularity in Japan and ceased operations on January 18th 2007. Without the main lobby server hub, the game was no longer playable online regardless if people continued operating their area servers. The area server, were self hosted private servers run through a windows executable file hosted by Cyber Connect 2 on their website during that time. You'd launch this file, it would take you to a mock desktop. There were 4 icons on the left of the desktop in Japanese that read Area Server, Map Editor, Display, and Exit. By choosing Area Server in the program, a smaller window called Local Server popped up with nothing on it, because you'd need to either Publish an existing area server your named and abbreviated or create a new one then published. After you've port forward your router/firewall for port 20000, you were set to receive players on your area server. So what does the lobby server offer that is different from the area server? The lobby server remember is the main hub that all players must access first before being put into the actual game i.e. the root towns, the fields, and the dungeons. The lobby server manages the online mode's leaderboards, mailer, BBS, and guild functions. And the area server is where you the players could create custom dungeons and custom fields for your friends to login and enjoy by creating custom words that would be selected at the warp gate. Fan Community But without the lobby server, people all over the world could only access the offline mode only. And since the PS2 was region locked, chances are anyone with an American, Canadian, European, South American, Australian, Indonesian, or wherever PS2; you could not out of the box play the game. You would either need a Japanese PS2, soft mod or hard mod your own region's PS2, or use a PS2 emulator such as PCSX2. This not sit well with the community, and work to reverse engineer the lobby server began with the Coldbird team; a group consisting of Coldbird, NCDyson, Mugi, Belldandu and a few others. Each had a hand in the project including emulating the old lobby server, translating parts of the game, replacing the UI, patching the game to point to their new static IP fragment.coldbird.net and working on building a website that would display area servers that connected to the lobby server as well as players online. This ran for a time from December 24th 2013 to August 12th 2016, due to complications between the developers and the player base at the time. Thankfully the lobby server emulator was open source and a community known as .hack//fragment Netslum Server led by Alkalime and Bison stepped in to continue the basics of the emulated lobby server on a new static IP at a.dothackers.org. And soon later a community known as Fragment Resurgence led by Slyestral brought the player base back to the game. On August 13th 2016, the lobby server emulator was back online and continues to operate to this date! A few things from Area Server are not functional i.e. password required servers, for the most part both the Area Server and the Lobby Server currently are fully functional. Alternatively, our reach and your reach is also extended on Discord chat, social media platforms, and the webpage hosted by the current lobby server host. Conclusion Even though this game originally operated with the intent of selling only in Japan and keeping it's online service up for 1 year after release. The fan community has done amazing work throughout the last 13 years making this game accessible to the general public who still have an interest in this cult classic. A game that enabled those who played the original quadrilogy of Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine to play with their own custom characters, hours spent grinding levels, and obtaining rare items and even building custom fields and dungeons for their friends to play to this day. Hours have spent doing the unthinkable so that everyone world wide can gather and play .hack//fragment
  3. In the past we saw many attempts of a fan .hack game with 2D and 3D games, most were online, but more importantly trying to capture that feeling of The World en masse. Unfortunately time, upkeep, and drama dwindled down those projects and games and all we have are memories. But anyone with motivation, time, and a goal can make their own .hack game in many formats from: text adventure, visual novels, 2D game, 2D online game, 3D game, and 3D online game. I'm leaving this topic open for the discussion for people interested in attempting at a .hack game, to show off their progress on either a standalone or game/server client based on The World. If you have a game in the works, let us know your progress. If you need help, seek peer-to-peer support here, or if you need a team, pitch your idea on our discord server to find your team. Useful links to programs Text Adventure: ADRIFT http://www.adrift.co/ Inform7 http://inform7.com/ Quest http://textadventures.co.uk/quest Twine https://twinery.org/ Visual Novels: Visual Novel Maker https://store.steampowered.com/app/495480 Ren'py https://www.renpy.org/ 2D Game: RPG Maker 2000 https://store.steampowered.com/app/383730 RPG Maker 2003 https://store.steampowered.com/app/362870 RPG Maker XP https://store.steampowered.com/app/235900 RPG Maker VX Ace https://store.steampowered.com/app/220700 RPG Maker MV https://store.steampowered.com/app/363890 Game Maker Studio https://www.yoyogames.com/get LÖVE https://love2d.org/ 2D Game & Server: BYOND http://www.byond.com/download/ Eclipse Origins https://www.indiedb.com/engines/eclipse-origins/downloads Elysium Diamond https://github.com/legacygamedev/elysiumdiamond32 Genus https://github.com/jikoriko/Genus Konfuze http://konfuze.atspace.com/HOME.htm Mirage https://github.com/link2x/gMirage PyORPG https://github.com/marcusmoller/pyorpg-client 3D Game: Blender http://www.blender.org/ Godot https://godotengine.org/ Unreal Engine https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/download Unity https://store.unity.com/download 3D Game & Server: n/a And should you have concerns about CyberConnect2 coming after your project, hear this statement from the CEO himself regarding fan projects. Basically, go for it!, but don't tell us. 😉 And BandaiNamco's statement. https://www.bandainamcoent.com/legal/community-events/content-creator-guidelines Basically non-profits are good, better if you don't copy/paste textures, models, or art directly from them. Go forth and good luck!
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