From Academic Kids

.hack (pronounced dot-hack) is a multimedia franchise primarily created by Bandai.

The franchise primarily surrounds a future in which one operating system, ALTIMIT OS, is used by all computers in the world due to various computer viruses (in particular, one named Pluto's Kiss) that crashed the internet in the mid-2000s.


Pluto's Kiss

In the .hack universe, The Pluto's Kiss is a catastrophic event that took place on December 24, 2005. On that day, all computers connected to the Internet crashed simultaneously around the globe. Also, all networked computer and communication network control systems were shut down.

In the United States, the automatic retaliatory systems malfunctioned, in a short time reaching a point of crisis.

77 minutes later, the global network was able to recover itself from the incident.

It was later discovered that the virus creator was a ten year old elementary school student (since his/her identity is unknown, it is not known if he/she was arrested or escaped).

After the Pluto's Kiss crisis, the 44th president of the USA (Jim Stonecold) resigned in January 2006.

Ever since then, ALTIMIT OS is the only major operating system in the world. This is credited to its remarkable stability.

The World

The primary focus of the franchise however is the popular MMORPG The World, which has over one million users upon its launch. The series focuses on a particular set of incidents termed The Twilight Incident in which multiple users were forced into a coma while playing the game. Most of the stories surround an AI named Aura (アウラ) or various other anomalous AIs.

Main storylines

The four initial storylines of the franchise were:

  • .hack//SIGN, an anime series surrounding the character Tsukasa (司) and his inability to log out of The World.
  • The .hack video games, a set of four video games for the PlayStation 2 that follow the story of the .hackers Kite (カイト) and BlackRose (ブラックローズ) and their attempts to find out what caused the sudden coma of Kite's friend, Orca (オルカ).
  • .hack//Liminality, a set of four DVD OVAs included with the games that follow the story of Mai Minase, Yuki Aihara, Kyoko Touno, and ex-Cyber Connect 2-employee Junichiro Tokuoka as they attempt to find out what is causing the comas.
  • .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet (released in Japan as .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu, translated as .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, which was mistranslated by fansubbers as .hack//DUSK), a manga series (that later became an anime series) following the player characters Rena (レナ) and Shugo (シューゴ Shūgo), as they win a mysterious contest that earns them the same character models as the legendary .hackers Kite and BlackRose. The third and final volume of the manga is twice as large as the first two, and could have been released as two separate volumes.
  • .hack//G.U. A recently announced PS2 game that will be released late 2005. Not much information is said about this game other than that it takes place seven years after the previous games. The main characters are Haseo, nicknamed the Terror of Death because he assaults Player Killers with extreme prejudice(Although, there may also be a relation to Skeith, the Phase with the title "Terror of Death"), and Tri-Edge, a very powerful Player Killer who wears the tattered remains of the clothing worn by the previous game's main character, Kite.

Other storylines

Other storylines of the franchise that were created later were:

  • .hack//AI buster, a novel telling the story of Albireo and a prototype of the ultimate AI, Lycoris.
  • .hack//Another Birth, a novelization of the .hack games, from BlackRose's point of view.
  • .hack//GIFT, a self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek, one-episode OAV that was created as a "gift" for those who had followed the .hack franchise through all its incarnations. It is predominantly a comedy that makes fun of everything that developed throughout the series, even the franchise's own shortcomings.
  • .hack//ZERO, another novel that tells the story of Karl (カール), and of what happened to Sora after he was trapped in The World by Morganna.
  • .hack//ENEMY, a Collectible card game

.hack//Online Rumors

On December 28th, 2004 an interview with CyberConnect 2's president, Hiroshi Matsuyama was posted on (Gamer's Central Intelligence Agency, which seems to host closed beta tests to help development stages for online games) and CyberConnect 2's official .hack site. During the interview, the question below is brought up (among others, which are for the most part redundant). Auto Translated: "Is there a possiblity of converting .hack to an online game? Or are there any plans to continue the [game] series?"

CC2 President, Hiroshi Matsuyama: "Oh, you went straight to it, didn't you. Yes, I'm sorry. I can't answer (cry)" "Thank you very much." (to Mr. Matsuyama) "The .hack//series has awoken one large boom with its multi-sided expansion. Of course, because its based on an online game, it seems naturally that many of the .hack fans are wishing for an online game version. If we are to believe Matsuyama-san's words "If it is the case that all the users want this, then their dreams will surely be implemented", then perhaps there is a possibility of an online game. If all the ".hack//series" fans also persist their hopes, then that'll probably become a reality someday, hm? For all the people who haven't experienced the .hack games, definitely try playing the ".hack//series" sometime. They should surely understand the reason this idea is supported by lots of people."

This has undoubtedly brought back the massive amounts of rumors of a .hack MMORPG in the works. Project GU has been rumored to be the code name for .hack//Online since CyberConnect 2 announced its latest project back in June of 2004. Mr. Matsuyama did state from the interview that if the .hack fans want 'it'--a .hack MMORPG, then it would be considered. Hopefully he'll stick to his words.

NEW INFO- At E3, CC2 revealed a trailer for .hack//G.U. G.U. is going to be a whole different story from the other .hack games, and is probably not going to be online.

For the full interview untranslated, click here. (

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