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                               .hack Newbie FAQ

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                          author of steel:
               rhyste@herzeleid.net

                                           shameless plug:
                          http://www.net-slum.com

                                                 update/version info:
                                last updated 18.02.03      version 0.3

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_______Menu_
 + Updates/Upcoming
 + Frequently Asked Questions
 + The Timeline
 + Gameplay
      * Member Address List
      * Data Draining
      * Gate Hacking
      * Character Classes
      * Transferring
 + The English Version
      * Name Changes
      * Additions
      * Subtractions
      * Editing
      * Voice Actors
 + Legalities
 + End

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 + Updates/Upcoming
===============================================================================

Version 0.3 - 18/02/03
Updates - Updated Voice Actors, and Editing; Removed some stuff.

Version 0.2 - 18/02/03
Updates - An entire one thing was changed. XD

Version 0.1 - 17/02/03
Updates - I've split the Gameplay FAQ into a new FAQ called the Newbie FAQ.

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 + Frequently Asked Questions
===============================================================================

Q: Is .hack an Online Game?
A: No; it's a simulation of an online game.

Q: Do the //sign characters appear in the game?
A: Yes; some in the flesh, some in "memories."

Q: Do the //sign characters join you?
A: No.

Q: Are Elk and Tsukasa, BlackRose and Mimiru, and Orca and Bear the same
people?
A: No. There character designs are quite clearly different. You forget this is
an online game; people can *look the same,* suprise suprise. I personally have
ran into twins on PSO and Ragnarok Online many a times. :P

Q: When's .hack coming to the US?
A: The anime .hack//SIGN is airing February 1st on Cartoon Network; 3pm EST.
The .hack games are being released every three months starting with volume one
in February.

Q: Who is this, "Balmung" guy?
A: Balmung is the token bishonen of the .hack series, and appears or is at
least mentioned in every series. We're also getting married. ^_^ He doesn't
know yet, but, WE ARE! >:O

Q: What's this battle system like?
A: I've given up on using a longer list of games, so for now I'll just have to
say - Kingdom Hearts. Only, without the migraine camera views.

Q: I've watched .hack//SIGN; is Sora that monsters that's attacking you in
Infection?
A: No. Sora is Data Drained by that monster, who's name is Skeith BTW. The same
thing happens to Orca.

Q: Should I get .hack or Xenosaga?
A: Uh, I dunno why people even ask this, but I personally have been looking
forward to .hack moreso than Xenosaga... mainly because I never finished
Xenogear - my Memory Card got a bit trashed when I was in the dungeon of Deus.

Q: What's this Limited Edition DVD on the dothack.com webpage?
A: That's the .hack//SIGN Limited Edition DVD's. The webpage shows you the LE
volume one, with episodes 1 through 5. It's released in March, while the others
come in the months following.

===============================================================================
 + The Timeline
===============================================================================

The .hack universe timeline goes like this... and it is absolute - unless they
add another part, it is totally up to date and cannot be proved wrong.

1) .hack//AI Buster
Medium: Novel
Availability: Try Amazon.Co.Jp

2) .hack//SIGN
Medium: Anime
Availability: All 26 episodes available over p2p programs or on IRC. Airing in
US Feb. 1st on CN.

?) .hack//Another Story
Medium: DVD
Availability: Not released in Japan yet.

3) The following take place concurrently:

.hack//INFECTION EXPANSION
Medium: Ps2 game
Availability: Released in Japan, coming to US

.hack//Liminality - In the Case of Minase Mai
Medium: Anime DVD
Availability: Packaged with .hack//INFECTION EXPANSION.

4) The following take place concurrently:

.hack//MALIGNANT MUTATION
Medium: Ps2 game
Availability: Released in Japan, coming to US

.hack//Liminality - In the Case of Aihara Yuki
Medium: Anime DVD
Availability: Packaged with .hack//MALIGNANT MUTATION

5) The following take place concurrently:

.hack//EROSION POLLUTION
Medium: Ps2 game
Availability: Released in Japan, coming to US

.hack//Liminality - In the Case of Tohno Kyoko
Medium: Anime DVD
Availability: Packaged with .hack//EROSION POLLUTION

6) The following take place concurrently:

.hack//ABSOLUTE ENCIRCLEMENT
Medium: Ps2 game
Availability: Not yet released in Japan, coming to US

.hack//Liminality - Trisgimestus
Medium: Anime DVD
Availability: Packaged with .hack//ABSOLUTE ENCIRCLEMENT

?) SUPPOSEDLY, a sequel to the inital four .hack games is being planned.

7) .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu
Translation: .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet
Offical Nickname: .hack//UdeDen
Fan Nickname (thanks to Subaru): .hack//DUSK
Medium: Both an Anime version and a Manga version
Availability: Anime recently aired in Japan. Manga version serialized in
Comptiq, Manga vol. 1 came out last August. Plans to release //LotTB in the US
have been set in slate, according to the .hack//INFECTION demo disk. If you
want to get fansubs, get Anime-Kraze's.

===============================================================================
 + Gameplay
===============================================================================

These are some of the more commonly asked parts, taken from my Gameplay FAQ.

__________________________________Member Address List__________________________
Your list of online friends is in the form of the Member Address List. You can
call them into your party any time unless the current place in the story
doesn't allow you to.

In example: At the beginning of volume two, you're supposed to go to a dungeon
with BlackRose and BlackRose only. The game purposelly makes it so that no one
else on your member address list can't be called.

Some of the characters are optional to the story, and you can get them if
you'd like. They'll later mail you asking you to take them to dungeons.

Below are the full lists of Member Addresses you can get separated by Volume.
Characters with a * are optional. After reading their post on the BBS, you
can choose to go into the dungeon they listed in their posts and get them or
not. Characters with a - are required characters.

Volume One:
- Orca
- BlackRose
- Elk
- Mia
* Natsume
- Mistral
* Gardenia
* Sanjuro
- Piroshi

Volume Two:
* Rachael
* Getchoseki
* Nukeusagimaru
* Maro
- Wiseman

Volume Three:
- Balmung
* Terashima Ryoko

__________________________________Data Draining________________________________
Some specific monsters you're going to need to Data Drain. During battle, the
words, "Protect Break" will appear. You now know it's safe to Data Drain.

The Data Draining skill is the last page of Kite's skill menu. It costs 10sp
per use. Using it repeatedly will result in Kite's Infection gague turning Red.
when he goes Red, DON'T DATA DRAIN! You could loose a level or get a game over.
Although it has a very low risk of happening, you can get a status effect or
EXP Loss even when the gague is lowered. Quite random though.

As you continue to Data Drain more and more, you can open up a more powerful
version of the drain. There's a 20sp version that targets all Protect Broken
enemies, and a 30sp version that hits one target, but with a higher rate of the
enemy giving you a nice Rare. :D Of course it also makes your Infection go
up higher, much quicker. x_o;

When you Data Drain, you can get a rare item from an enemy, and the enemy will
turn into a lesser enemy. Killing it will minimal EXP. Instead of a Rare Item,
you might get a Virus Core, which goes into Gate Hacking...

__________________________________Gate Hacking_________________________________
Some fields you'll need to Gate Hack. This requires Virus Cores. There's 26
different types of them, 12 of which can be drained out of various enemies
regularly, the other ones you're given during parts of the story, or from Data
Draining a previous boss. The nine different cores are available based on the
server you're on, and the size of the enemy.

   Delta & Theta
Size    Type
Small   A
Medium  B
Large   C

   Lamda
Size    Type
Small   D
Medium  E
Large   F

   Sigma
Size    Type
Small   G
Medium  H
Large   I

   Omega
Size    Type
Small   J
Medium  K
Large   L

Volume four isn't out yet, but based on various patterns, it's safe to assume
that J, K, and L will be available on the Omega server.

__________________________________Character Classes____________________________
Like in an MMORPG, there's different character classes you can play as. The
classes in .hack are divided by what kinds of weapons you can use. And no, you
cannot change Kite's class. :P

Blade User - Typical fighter class with a one-handed sword.
Blade Users in .hack: Balmung, Rachael, Orca, Mia
Blade Users in .hack//SIGN: Bear, Ginkan

Twin Sword - Can wield two daggers/katars/etc. They're identical to a class
like a Thief, or a Rogue.
Twin Swords in .hack: Kite, Natsume, Getchoseki/Moonstone
Twin Swords in .hack//SIGN: Sora, A-20
Twin Swords in .hack//DUSK: Shugo, Ouka (?)

Heavy Blade - Uses large, two-handed swords, that're, as the name implies,
heavy. :P The little Heavy Blade icon, I found out the hard way, is hard to
tell apart from the regular Blade icon. x_x; Yay for giving a level 50 Heavy
Blade to Balmung after coming out of a dungeon I did not want to re-do. ;-;
Heavy Blades in .hack: BlackRose, Sanjuro
Heavy Blades in .hack//SIGN: Mimiru
Heavy Blades in .hack//DUSK: Rena

Long Arm - Use long-ranged weapons, like spears and javelins. Supposedly they
can also use Bows and Arrows, because in .hack//SIGN, episode 22 in specific,
there were two characters shown; one using a bow + arrow, the over using some
kind of throwing Javelins. *shrugs*
Long Arms in .hack: Gardenia, Nukeusagimaru
Long Arms in .hack//SIGN: Crim
Long Arms in .hack//AI Buster: Albireo
Long Arms in .hack//DUSK: Kamui

Heavy Axe - Like the Heavy Blades, they use large, heavy weapons; Axes in
specific. Sometimes they come off looking more like spears. ^^;
Heavy Axes in .hack: Terashima Ryoko, Piroshi
Heavy Axes in .hack//SIGN: Subaru, Kaho

Wave Master - The typical Mage class, low physical strength and high magical
power, and a staff. Wave Masters have no physical attacks like the others do,
but their staves usually come with many a different spell.
Wave Masters in .hack: Elk, Mistral, Wiseman
Wave Masters in .hack//SIGN: Tsukasa, BT
Wave Masters in .hack//AI Buster: Hokuto
Wave Masters in .hack//DUSK: Mireille, Hotaru, Reki, Magi

Wave Master isn't the exact translation, it's something more like... "Crest
User." But, ehhh... :P

__________________________________Transferring_________________________________

After you've beaten the game, and watched the credits, a little "Save Game?"
box will come up. Go ahead and save your game - overwrite your old file - you
can still play even after you've saved, but, because you've beaten the final
boss, you'll now have a yellow file. The yellow depicts you've finished the
game, story-wise.

But, like an in MMORPG; even after you've beaten the final boss, you're still
able to walk around and do as you please. You can still save and the like, and
when the next volume comes, everything that's in the save file (levels, equip,
items, etc), will get carried over to the next volume.

I don't believe that you can load English game data file onto the Japanese game
and vice versa, nor can you load volume 4 data into volume three.

===============================================================================
 + Concerning the English Version
===============================================================================

I'd like to take a little time out to list some of the things changed from the
Japanese version to the English version. ^_^

__________________________________Name Changes_________________________________

Goes from: Japanese <-> English

Piroshi <-> Piros
Getchoseki <-> Moonstone
Terashima Ryoko <-> Terajima Ryoko
Ginkan <-> Translated into Silver Knight

Puchiguso <-> Grunty
Blade User <-> Blademaster

Dona Roriak <-> Dun Loireag
Calmine Gaderica <-> Carmine Gadelica
Fort Auf <-> Fort Ouph

.hack//vol. 1 INFECTION EXPANSION <-> .hack//vol. 1 INFECTION
.hack//vol. 2 MALIGNANT MUTATION <-> .hack//vol. 2 MUTATION
.hack//vol. 3 EROSION POLLUTION <-> .hack//vol. 3 OUTBREAK
.hack//vol. 4 ABSOLUTE ENCIRCLEMENT <-> .hack//vol. 4 QUARANTINE

Because I was first told the original names and places from the Japanese
version, I use the Japanese names and places. ^_^;

As for the Ginkan <-> Silver Knight thing... Silver Knight is a translation of
Ginkan, so I guess it kind of makes sense... but we like to call him Ginkan
because it sounds more like a name. ^_^;

__________________________________Additions____________________________________

Bandai, being the incredibly smart people that they are (sort of) decided to
include a choice of English or Japanese voice track option. This is probably
because they also publish Anime DVD's. ^_^

... however, we got the bonus Japanese voice track in place of something else,
which leads us to...

__________________________________Subtractions_________________________________

The Japanese versions of .hack contain an extra voice track called Parody Mode.
Basically, the written in-game dialouge was the same, but the character's
spoken lines were different. They were all humorous and stupid, and, well,
parodic. :P

In example:
 - Kite thought Aura was the spirit of his dead hamster.
 - Orca tries to be a stud and is like, "Whoa, Aura, can I have your phone
   number? ^_~"
 - Balmung, ala an Anime Mad Scientist, asks Kite if he can investigate his
   body... this also caused quite a few Yaoi fics on Japanese webpages. XD
And the list goes on - my understanding is that a lot of it was culture jokes.

Anyway, the English release doesn't get Parody Mode because we got the extra
Voice Track. It also would've been more work to translate Parody Mode, and
make it make sense to an American audience, which would've meant they'd've had
to add the entire Parody Mode Voice Track in Japanese and English, and then
an entirely new gamescript. o_x;

__________________________________Editing______________________________________

Until recently, I was under the influence that nothing was edited from the
game, but people who've played the Demo have made it clear that Skeith's Cross
was changed to a Q.

Another strange edit was when Balmung was walking out of the church: In the Eng
version we see him from behind, but in the Jp version we see him from the side.
Unsure of why this was changed.

__________________________________Voice Actors_________________________________

Role_____________Voice Actor______________Other Role___________________________
Kite             Mona Marshall            Izzy (Digimon), Ascot (MKR)
BlackRose        Wendee Lee               Faye (Cowboy Bebop)
Balmung          Doug Erholtz             Older TK (Digimon)
Aura             Lia Sargent              Big O (R. Dorothy Wayneright),
                                          Nanami (El Hazard)
Helba            Mary Elizabeth McGlynn   Caroline (Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust)
Lyoth            Dan Lorge                Cody's Gramdpa (Digimon)
Wiseman          Steven Jay Blum          A LOT OF DIGIMON... O_O;
Mia              Debra Rogers             
Elk              Brianne Siddal           Jim (Outlaw Star), Jun (Persona),
                                          Tsukasa (.hack//SIGN)
Orca             Kirk Thornton            A LOT OF DIGIMON... O_O;
Emma Wielant     Mary Elizabeth McGlynn   Caroline (Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust)
Harold Hoerwick  Bob Klein                
Mistral          Sandy Fox                Fillet (Brave Fencer Musashi)
Piros            Daran Norris             Cosmo, Mr.Turner (Fairly Odd Parents)
Gardenia         Carolyn Hennesy          
Natsume          Lia Sargent              R. Dorothy Wayneright (Big O),
                                          Nanami (El Hazard)
Moonstone        Lex Lang                 Crim (.hack//sign)
Sanjuro          Steven Jay Blum          A LOT OF DIGIMON... O_O;
Marlo            Bob Klein                
Nuke Usagimaru   Steven Prince            
Rachel           Julie Taylor             
Terashima Ryoko  Julie Maddalena          Hikaru Shidou (MKR)

===============================================================================
 + Legalities
===============================================================================

The .hack Gameplay FAQ copyright Rhyste January 2003. All content was typed up
from personal experience with the game itself.
aim: rhyste
rhyste@herzeleid.net
http://www.net-slum.com

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders, namely:
http://www.cyberconnect2.jp
http://www.bandai.com

Concerning legal stuff...
I prohibit use of this guide on another website except GameFAQs, .hack for
Dummies, and .hack//SIGN Defragmented. I also disallow reproduction of any part
of this guide, as well as using parts of it or the entire thing and saying it
was your own, and things that're basically the same as the previously mentioned
offenses.

===============================================================================
 + End
===============================================================================

Uhm, more later. ~_~; Hope this was a little helpful. :P

People to thank: Niu, Raistlin, Jack Eccs, the people who modchipped my PS2,
CyberConnect2, Hawque, Kojirou, Master LL, Landale, a lot of people who I know
I'm forgetting... oh, and Yoshiyuki Sadomoto for... sketching Balmung. ^_^

More Thanks:
- Josh (Ryu Book Compilation)
- Imagined Reality (Brianne Siddal's Roles)
- PERSON WHO I FORGOT OMFG I'M SO SORRY (Lia Sargent's Roles)

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